Tag Archives: letsplay

The Opinionated Bastards: Nashira Part II (Apr. 25, 3051)

It’s good to be back in the saddle.

The Action of 16 April, 3051

The Opinionated Bastards are deployed on the right flank of the FedCom front line, and have been tasked with breaking through the Draconis Combine defenses at a weak point in a mountain pass. Opposition is expected to be light to moderate; there are a few heavy mechs deployed with a number of vehicles in support. The weather is snowy, and the terrain is predictably rugged.

rugged
That cliff is eleven levels from top to bottom. That’s a lot.

Heavy Lance is first on the scene, and deploys to the east side of the map. That’ll let us skirt around the peak pictured above to the east; it’ll provide cover and a height advantage, and there are patches of pine forest nearby into which our mechs can duck.

The Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth chip in a Hunchback HBK-4G, a nice step up from our usual allies. Not only that, but it’s under our direct command.

Round 1

mobile

Heavy Lance moves forward. The enemy has deployed in between the peak I showed you in the picture above and the next one further north, with one medium tank a hair to the south. With adroit positioning, several of our mechs have the enemy in range and in their firing arcs. We’ll take some PPC and large laser shots to see if we can’t start to even the odds.

firstshots
This picture shows a peak to the south-southwest of the one in the battlefield description.

Only Drake scores hits; two PPCs strike the enemy tank in the side, knocking its track off. It’s now immobile, and a much easier target for everyone else. A solid opening to the battle.

Round 2

Woad moves further up along the edge of the Bastards’ assigned sector. His Grasshopper’s jump jets made the transit much easier.

Rook stays put; she can’t cross the lake in one turn, and moving into the water ahead of her takes the immobilized Bulldog out of her line of fire.

Drake walks slowly forward, aiming now for the Rifleman facing him from the south flank of the peak ahead. He’s already immobilized the Bulldog; the others can take care of it from here.

In what is now a predictable outcome, Rook notches the kill on the Bulldog with a precisely-aimed large laser shot.

Round 3

There’s nothing for it this time. Rook gingerly moves her Flashman into the lake, taking her out of action for the round.

The remainder of Heavy Lance will aim to get some fire on the nearer of two enemy Riflemen. Drake scores a hit, as does Carcer.

Round 4

positioning

More jockeying for position. Heavy Lance has a big advantage over the enemy in terms of long-range firepower, so unless they show interest in getting closer, we’ll keep pounding away at them from a distance.

Speaking of which, the Mustered Militia advances with a Hermes. Heavy Lance is still occupied with the Rifleman somewhat more distant.

Drake scores two hits on three shots, knocking the Rifleman down, but not before it scores with an AC/5 on the allied Hunchback.

Round 5

Heavy Lance slowly draws closer to the enemy, hampered by the rough ground but still moving in. The Rifleman remains the priority target.

firstkill

Though Drake fires three PPCs, it’s Carcer who scores the most important hit. The two criticals to the Rifleman’s center torso destroy its gyro. Tally another kill for Carcer, whose performance in the Crab is nothing short of spectacular.

carcer

The Draconis Combine pilot ejects, given that the Rifleman is now entirely immobile. Structurally, it’s in good shape. We may be able to take it as salvage at the end of the battle.

Round 6

With the enemy Rifleman down, Heavy Lance continues its slow advance and sets its sights on another enemy Bulldog on the south flank of the central peak.

southflank

Carcer, taking advantage of the brief lull to enter the lake directly ahead of her, nevertheless finds herself with a target: the enemy Hermes, attempting to flank Heavy Lance to the west. She lines up a shot with her large lasers. Since her mech is in depth-1 water, she can even fire both without building up any excess heat.

She scores a hit, but it’s the allied Hunchback who does the lion’s share of the work. With an AC/20 shot, its pilot blows off the Hermes’ left arm and heavily damages its internals.

hunchback

Round 7

medium lance

Medium Lance deploys! They’ll move up the western edge of our sector and outflank the enemy there.

Heavy Lance continues its advance, while Medium Lance races ahead. Milspec and Severe, in the Phoenix Hawk and Locust, charge ahead, while the two slower heavy mechs hang back.

For the first time this battle, Woad brings the full firepower of his Grasshopper to bear, targeting the Bulldog. The rest of Heavy Lance joins him.

He misses with all his weapons, but Drake steps in and polishes off the Bulldog with a pair of PPC hits.

Round 8

The faster elements of Heavy Lance (Woad and Carcer) move forward to target the second enemy Rifleman. Drake is in range, too, so he lines up on it. Rook, moving through another glacial lake, can’t get the Rifleman in her sights.

woad

Medium Lance continues its advance on the west side of the map, targeting the enemy light mechs. Further north, four Draconis Combine vehicles deploy as reinforcements.

Drake, Woad, and Carcer deal heavy damage to the enemy Rifleman.

Round 9

Again, Heavy Lance aims for the second Rifleman, while Medium Lance is foiled in its light mech hunt by the enemy’s crafty use of terrain.

Heavy Lance scores several hits, but not enough to destroy the Rifleman. It does fall, however, and it’s looking decidedly less healthy now. Medium Lance continues its push to the west.

damaged-rifleman

Round 10-11

The snow starts to accumulate.

Severe gets herself into a bit of a pickle; she has a good shot on the enemy Hermes, but a J. Edgar hovertank has lined up to shoot into her rear armor.

Medium Lance generally is better placed now, on the peak of the southernmost mountain in our sector, and three of them have shots on the enemy Hermes.

Heavy Lance continues its punishing of the enemy Rifleman.

Severe gets the kill on the Hermes, and Woad scores the last hit on the Rifleman. Severe takes moderate damage from the hovertank, but evades any serious hits.

Round 12

The enemy hovertank maneuvers but stays in the same hex in the end. Severe steps forward a hex to stand on top of it.

Heavy Lance is now badly out of position. It’ll take Drake a long time to get back in the fight, but the other mechs are a little more sprightly, and should be in firing positions soon.

Severe and Milspec end up being the only Bastards in any position to take a shot, and do so. Severe kicks off one of the hovertank’s tracks; since she took another hit in the process, she’ll scarper for the moment.

Round 13

Not a ton going on right now; the Bastards are moving up to get into range, while the enemy is maneuvering to respond.

It’s the allied Hunchback which gets the kill on the immobilized J. Edgar tank.

Round 14

Sparser updates from here on out. Severe attempts to move into the water, and ends up falling, which ends up letting water into her mech’s structure. Not good. Hopefully she’ll be able to make her way out of the lake before she takes any further damage.

Drake and Carcer continue to move along the eastern side of the map, hoping to flank the enemy reinforcements.

Again, the Hunchback proves its worth, immobilizing an enemy Vedette.

Round 15

Severe manages to get out from underwater, though her Locust loses an arm in the process. Drake now can bring his PPCs to bear again, though not on all the enemies. The firepower from the Awesome will be a welcome addition as the Bastards wrap this one up.

Woad destroys the immobilized Vedette with a barrage of laser fire.

Round 16

Fatigue begins to set in for your intrepid correspondent.

The enemy is down to four vehicles and a light mech, which shouldn’t pose too much of an obstacle from here on out, especially with the Awesome back in play. I’m going to call it cleanup from here on out.

Cleanup

jumpjets
The rugged terrain means that jumpjet-equipped mechs, like Milspec‘s Phoenix Hawk and Woad‘s Grasshopper, are vastly more mobile than the rest of their lances.

Woad scores a third kill on a wheeled scout tank and a fourth on the Goblin medium tank, while Drake damages the last enemy mech—a Wasp—and Rook knocks out its gyro. Carcer destroys a light tank. Milspec kicks the engine out of a Vedette, and Woad notches his fifth kill today with a hit to its fuel tank. Ace in a day!

Damage, Injuries, Salvage

Milspec‘s Phoenix Hawk took a number of hits, but nothing which made it through the armor, while Severe‘s Locust has some moderate internal damage we’ll have to see to. No pilots took any hits.

It’s a bountiful day for salvage. We take both the crippled Rifleman and the Wasp, as well as a second Rifleman which is only good for spare parts. That puts us 6% above our 60% salvage share, but we can make that up in later battles, and getting two potentially-operational mechs seemed like the right move to me.

We make about 50,000 C-bills in battle loss compensation, and ransom six prisoners for 120,000 more. One prisoner decides to defect to our company. Welcome, Recruit Gwenael Hernandez.

hernandez

Kill Board(s)

Woad moves from 12th to 4th on the strength of a magical five-kill performance. Rook has scored nearly twice the kills of her next challenger.

Last Battle

killboard

All-Time Leaders

  1. Lieutenant “Rook” Ishikawa (17, 5 mechs)
  2. Captain “Drake” Halit (9, 3 mechs)
  3. Private “Carcer” Ngo (8, 3 mechs)
  4. Private “Woad” Kohler (6, 2 mechs)
  5. Lieutenant “Linebuster” Atkinson (5)
  6. Lieutenant “Double Dog” Dare (4, 1 mech)
  7. Private “Severe” Payne (3, 3 mechs)
  8. Private “Euchre” Kojic (2, 2 mechs)
  9. Private “Ker-Ker” Ec (2, 1 mech)
  10. Private “Teddy Bear” Jamil (2, 1 mech)
  11. Sergeant “Milspec” Ortega (2)
  12. Private “Wojtek” Frajtov (1, 1 mech)
  13. Private “Hanzoku” Yuksel (1, 1 mech)

Status

It is now April 25, 3051.

Contract Status

We have a battle ahead, another attempt to break through House Kurita’s lines, scheduled for tomorrow. Heavy Lance is ready to deploy. We’ll discuss reinforcements a little later.

Finances

We have 7,080,500 C-bills in the bank. Thanks to battle loss compensation and a well-developed spares stock, we actually made money on the battle.

Training

Woad has enough experience to bump both his piloting and his gunnery. He’s graduated from green to a 4+/4+ regular. Severe is at the same level; both are a mere hop, skip, and jump from veteran status. (By which I mean about 20 xp.)

Organization

Wizard‘s Guillotine has arrived, but lacking a place in the TO&E to slot her in, I put her in a new fourth Reserve lance for now. Recruit Hernandez hops into the captured Wasp and joins Cadre Lance.

I end up shuffling some mechs around. Heavy Lance remains as previously constituted (Drake, Rook, Carcer, Woad), and Medium Lance stays the same too (Double Dog in the Tallman Thunderbolt, Milspec, Ker-Ker in the Frankenstein Lancelot, and Severe‘s Locust).

Cadre Lance and Reserve Lance, however, see some changes. Cadre Lance is now much more focused on training: Linebuster is the only veteran, with three green pilots (Euchre, Wojtek, and the newcomer Hernandez) under his wing. I may see about rotating Linebuster into one of the primary combat lances to get him some more fighting experience. It would most likely be a pilot swap; Linebuster would hop into someone else’s mech for a few months while the other pilot borrows his Lancelot.

In Reserve Lance, Wizard is the most talented pilot but Teddy Bear is the senior Bastard; he gets a promotion to Corporal and leadership of the lance. Rounding out the lance is Hanzoku. It’s fairly punchy as medium lances go; the two Guillotines provide a solid backbone. Pity about the Vulcan, though.

Medium Lance is a 190-ton medium lance; Cadre and Reserve Lances are both 180-ton medium lances.

Repairs and Refits

As of April 25, all our mechs are in fighting trim, including the salvaged Rifleman and Wasp. The written-off Rifleman we nevertheless salvaged yielded a decent number of parts, although nothing big-name.

If you’re keeping track (and I grant that’s pretty hard, given the paucity of information on mech assignments), you may have noticed that the Rifleman we captured is not currently in the lineup. This is for several reasons:

  1. It’s not a great loadout. Two AC/5s and two large lasers won’t do us very much good. There are several available refit kits that swap PPCs in for the AC/5s, which might be nice.
  2. It’s also very lightly armored. Carcer‘s Crab, both Trebuchets, and Milspec‘s Phoenix Hawk all have armor as good as or better than it despite being medium mechs, and although our gunners are well above average, it still fell apart quickly under concentrated fire. I’d prefer to address that before we send it into battle, especially since it currently has ammunition stored in the center torso.

Spares

Our stocks are shrinking a bit. We have one three-ton gyro and one PPC, along with three large lasers, as far as big-ticket items go. There are also a hair over 46.5 tons of armor at our field warehouse. (That’s 747 points.) At present, we can’t readily lay our hands on PPCs, but the Federated Commonwealth supply lines have our back for everything else.

Mechwarrior Claims and Assignments

  • For the record, the following mechwarriors are claimed.
    • Captain Huri “Drake” Halit (Mephansteras)
    • Lt. SG George “Linebuster” Atkinson (Hasek10)
    • Lt. SG Mariamu “Rook” Ishikawa (Culise)
    • Lt. JG Sung-min “Double Dog” Dare (a1s)
    • Sgt. Jose “Milspec” Ortega (milspec)
    • Cpl. Damayanti “Carcer” Ngo (Dorsidwarf)
    • Cpl. Tedros “Teddy Bear” Jamil (Knave)
    • Pvt. Ferdinand “Woad” Kohler (A Thing)
    • Pvt. Jan “Euchre” Kojic (EuchreJack)
    • Pvt. Cathrine “Severe” Payne (Burnt Pies)
    • Pvt. E-Shei “Ker-Ker” Ec (Kanil)
    • Pvt. Ed “Hanzoku” Yuksel (Hanzoku)
    • Pvt. Ik-jun “Wojtek” Frajtov (Blaze)
    • Pvt. Xue-Min “Wizard” Que (Rince Wind)
  • The following mechwarriors are available.
    • Recruit Gwenael Hernandez

Action Items

  • There’s a mechwarrior available for claim.
  • The upcoming mission is in pitch-black conditions with an F1-F3 tornado predicted. Since we don’t have any vehicles and the enemy does, the tornado might tilt things in our favor. On the other hand, shooting in pitch darkness is difficult to say the least. If we delay the attack for better lighting, we’ll also miss the tornado and probably fight against more even odds. Should we delay, or attack as planned?
  • Should we stick with the proven Heavy Lance-Medium Lance combo, or deploy a different lance in support?
  • Should we refit the Rifleman? If so, how?
  • Should we shuffle lance assignments?

The Opinionated Bastards: Nashira (Apr. 14, 3051)

Planetary Assault

traveling

The Opinionated Bastards load into actual battle DropShips this time, paid for by the Federated Commonwealth. Ordinarily, we’d mothball the mechs and get them back in order when we’re on-world, then pocket the difference in transit costs. For a planetary assault, however, we decide to leave everything in fighting trim. It helps that Nashira, our destination, is only two jumps away; travel still costs about 1.3 million C-bills.

The Draconis Combine defenders don’t oppose the landing, and the Bastards quickly set up a field base. Since this is a full-on planetary assault, we have some access to the Federated Commonwealth supply system, which means we can actually buy just about everything required to keep our mechs in factory shape.

Elsewhere in the Inner Sphere, the Clans haven’t made much further progress since last I checked. The attacks have come in waves before. Perhaps they’re consolidating for another push.

situation

Kill Board(s)

No changes to report, except that I rearranged the killboard to actually correctly order pilots by kills. (Ties are broken by mech kills. I suppose I could further break ties by weight of mech kills, but that’s a lot of work.)

All-Time Leaders

  1. Lieutenant “Rook” Ishikawa (15, 4 mechs)
  2. Captain “Drake” Halit (8, 3 mechs)
  3. Private “Carcer” Ngo (6, 2 mechs)
  4. Lieutenant “Linebuster” Atkinson (5)
  5. Lieutenant “Double Dog” Dare (4, 1 mech)
  6. Private Cathrine “Severe” Payne (2, 2 mechs)
  7. Private “Euchre” Kojic (2, 2 mechs)
  8. Private “Ker-Ker” Ec (2, 1 mech)
  9. Private “Teddy Bear” Jamil (2, 1 mech)
  10. Sergeant “Milspec” Ortega (2)
  11. Private “Wojtek” Frajtov (1, 1 mech)
  12. Private “Woad” Kohler (1, 1 mech)
  13. Private Ed “Hanzoku” Yuksel (1, 1 mech)

Status

It is now April 14, 3051.

Recruitment

On the journey over, former House Kurita mechwarrior Xue-Min Que joins us. Though a seasoned veteran, she currently lacks a mech.

que

Contract Status

Heavy Lance has a battle upcoming, a breakthrough attack against two mixed lances of Draconis Combine Mustered Militia, plus a reinforcing lance of vehicles. Medium Lance joins them for extra firepower.

Finances

We now have 12,808,564 C-bills in the bank. Monthly payout on this job is 2.834 million C-bills. Note that full battle loss compensation is a pretty sweet deal—as long as pilots don’t die, we’ll be well-placed financially to replace equipment losses.

Unit Market

Speaking of, now that we have a fourteenth pilot, we should look into a mech. The following mechs and vehicles are available on the unit market.

units

MechWarrior Claims and Assignments

  • For the record, the following mechwarriors are claimed.
    • Captain Huri “Drake” Halit (Mephansteras)
    • Lt. SG George “Linebuster” Atkinson (Hasek10)
    • Lt. SG Mariamu “Rook” Ishikawa (Culise)
    • Lt. JG Sung-min “Double Dog” Dare (a1s)
    • Sgt. Jose “Milspec” Ortega (milspec)
    • Pvt. Ferdinand “Woad” Kohler (A Thing)
    • Pvt. Jan “Euchre” Kojic (EuchreJack)
    • Pvt. Cathrine “Severe” Payne (Burnt Pies)
    • Pvt. E-Shei “Ker-Ker” Ec “Frankenstein” (Kanil)
    • Pvt. Ed “Hanzoku” Yuksel (Hanzoku)
    • Pvt. Ik-jun “Wojtek” Frajtov (Blaze)
    • Pvt. Tedros “Teddy Bear” Jamil (Knave)
    • Pvt. Damayanti “Carcer” Ngo (Dorsidwarf)
  • The following mechwarriors are available.
    • Pvt. Xue-Min Que

Action Items

  • Do we want to buy a mech?

Lastly, a final note: I’m closing on a house in less than a week and moving in less than two, so this is likely going to be the last update until mid-February.

The Opinionated Bastards: Piedmont (Mar. 19, 3051)

Homeward Bound Again

The Opinionated Bastards pack up and head home from Propus, celebrating the New Year on the way through Sichuan. We’ve all survived 3050, and the company is in better shape now than when we started. 3051 looks bright.

You may recall that Propus was a long way from Piedmont. We keep an eye out for interesting contracts on the way home, but none present themselves.

Arriving on Piedmont, the mechanics get the mechs out of mothballs, training resumes, and the minor damage which accumulated on Propus is finally fixed. Woad‘s Grasshopper has its last jump jet back, and Ker-Ker‘s Frankenstein Lancelot once again has a large laser.

The techs put Double-Dog‘s new Thunderbolt into the repair bay, then spend some time digging through factory plans and archives. Veteran mech tech Kepano Endo finds something interesting in the public records of the Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery…

endo

Late in the Third Succession War, the Draconis Combine invaded Galtor III, led by the Bremond Draconis Mustered Militia. That unit’s commander, Mary Tallman, had a customized Thunderbolt TDR-5S, retaining the large laser but ditching all the other weapons in exchange for eight medium lasers, four in each side torso. The remaining weight and space was filled with heat sinks.

thunderbolt

This seems like just the thing for money-conscious mercenaries such as ourselves. It takes a few weeks, but soon the

Status

It is now March 19, 3051.

Finances

We have 9,559,943 C-bils in the bank. Training and other expenses run to about 145,000 C-bils per month.

Training

Among others, Rook improves her gunnery to 1+. Her piloting remains at 3+.

The green pilots have all improved somewhat over the course of the last few months. Euchre and Woad are a mere few battles away from joining the ranks of the regulars, and Wojtek is only a little behind them.

Owing to her superb performance over the contract at Propus, Carcer Ngo has been promoted to Corporal.

Organization

Current lance rosters:

  • Heavy Lance (275t)
    • Captain Drake Halit, Awesome AWS-8Q
    • Lieutenant SG Rook Ishikawa, Flashman FLS-7K
    • Corporal Carcer Ngo, Crab CRB-20
    • Private Woad Kohler, Grasshopper GHR-5H
  • Medium Lance (190t)
    • Lieutenant JG Double Dog Dare, Thunderbolt TDR-5S-T
    • Sergeant Milspec Ortega, Phoenix Hawk PHX-1
    • Private Ker-Ker Ec, Lancelot LNC25-02 “Frankenstein”
    • Private Severe Payne, Locust (Custom, 3 medium lasers)
  • Cadre Lance (275t)
    • Lieutenant SG Linebuster Atkinson, Lancelot LNC25-02
    • Private Hanzoku Yuksel, Guillotine GLT-4L
    • Private Euchre Kojic, Trebuchet TBT-5S
    • Private Wojtek Frajtov, Trebuchet TBT-5N
    • Private Teddy Bear Jamil, Vulcan VL-2T Custom

Spares

As far as big-ticket items go, we have two spare large lasers, one spare PPC, one two-ton gyro, and one three-ton gyro. We have a little short of 60 tons of armor; we’d probably want more going forward.

MechWarrior Claims and Assignments

  • For the record, the following mechwarriors are claimed.
    • Captain Huri “Drake” Halit (Mephansteras)
    • Lt. SG George “Linebuster” Atkinson (Hasek10)
    • Lt. SG Mariamu “Rook” Ishikawa (Culise)
    • Lt. JG Sung-min “Double Dog” Dare (a1s)
    • Sgt. Jose “Milspec” Ortega (milspec)
    • Pvt. Ferdinand “Woad” Kohler (A Thing)
    • Pvt. Jan “Euchre” Kojic (EuchreJack)
    • Pvt. Cathrine “Severe” Payne (Burnt Pies)
    • Pvt. E-Shei “Ker-Ker” Ec “Frankenstein” (Kanil)
    • Pvt. Ed “Hanzoku” Yuksel (Hanzoku)
    • Pvt. Ik-jun “Wojtek” Frajtov (Blaze)
    • Pvt. Tedros “Teddy Bear” Jamil (Knave)
    • Pvt. Damayanti “Carcer” Ngo (Dorsidwarf)
  • All mechwarriors are currently claimed. As the unit grows, there will be more mechwarriors to claim.

Schedule

It turns out that I will, in fact, be buying a house (or at least, it’s overwhelmingly likely that this will be the case). As such, I’ll have limited time to spend on BattleTech, what with the packing and things. I hope to stick to one post per week, but bear with me if the schedule slips. I’m not abandoning it or anything.

Action Items

Contracts Available

Contract time! Our options are…

  • The Federated Commonwealth wants us to participate in a Planetary Assault against the Draconis Combine. Though it may seem unwise to participate in an attack against the same government which controls our homeworld, such arrangements aren’t unheard of among mercenaries. There are rules to protect us. As far as the details go, we’d be traveling two jumps to Nashira. Command rights are liaison, which I believe means we would control the allied mech detailed to keep an eye on us. Transport costs are fully covered, we would get 60% salvage rights, and, most interestingly, we’d also get 100% battle loss compensation. The contract would last five months, ending in early September, and would net us approximately 17,525,000 C-bills.
  • The Draconis Combine wants to hire us for Garrison Duty on Darius, which is facing sporadic attacks from the Free Rasalhague Republic. I’m not sure how they find the time, given their current troubles with the Clan invasion, but such is life in the Inner Sphere. Darius is six jumps away. House command rights means we’d have to deal with a friendly AI unit. Transport costs are fully covered, salvage rights are 40%. We receive no battle loss compensation, but the Combine will cover 60% of our monthly operating costs. Garrison contracts always last a long time; this one is twenty-two months, ending in March of 3053. I believe we would have the option of taking side contracts during our garrison time; we’d also have access to good repair facilities and spare parts. Estimated profit over the nearly-two-years of time under contract is 52,650,000 C-bills.

We can also elect to take no contract and try again next month.

Long-Term Goals

  • Are we interested in hiring more pilots? As Rince Wind noted, a bigger table of organization and equipment yields fatter contracts, which translates to better equipment and bigger contracts. Another lance or two would also give us better depth, allowing us to stand up to longer contracts more readily even if we run our spare parts stock down.
    • If we are interested in expanding the company, I’ll keep an eye out for good pilots on the personnel market and hire at my discretion.

The Opinionated Bastards: Propus Part V (Dec. 1, 3050)

And we’re back!

The Action of November 21, 3050

001-map

Today’s terrain is wooded hills, a nice large map with room to maneuver.

Heavy Lance will deploy in the northeast corner, since the Flashman and Awesome aren’t due until Rounds 2 and 3.

Round 1

Private Ngo and Double Dog deploy in that northeast corner, behind some trees from the main body of the enemy. They begin to maneuver toward the enemy, still well out of range.

Round 2

002-deployed

Rook’s Flashman takes the field. The enemies are still out of range to the southwest.

003-out-of-range

Round 3

Drake arrives in the Awesome. He’s just barely out of range with his PPCs. The enemy, having initiative, manages to stay out of Ngo’s firing arc, too. Rook and Double Dog have shots, though; Double Dog cracks off a Large Laser shot at an enemy Pegasus, while Rook opens fire on an enemy light mech, a Raven.

Everyone misses everything, except for our brave ally in the Hermes; he cracks the Raven’s center torso.

Round 4

004-drake-in-range

Drake can hit from here; he aims for a Pegasus hover tank. The remainder of Heavy Lance, taking cover behind a convenient hill, has a shot on the same tank. In the hopes of removing it from the field, we focus our fire on it.

Round 5

005-jam

The friendly Hermes is suddenly in a bit of a jam. It seems likely it’s going to die now.

Heavy Lance is solidly in engagement range now. Drake has a solid shot at a Scimitar hovertank, and takes that in preference to a less-solid shot on the Raven. The remainder of Heavy Lance has a better shot on the Raven, and all three take it.

Drake immobilizes the Scimitar, which should make it easy prey going forward.

Round 6

006-round6

The friendly Hermes is now dead.

Cadre Lance will arrive before the next round.

This round, we’ll be working on the nearby Pegasus scout tanks; they carry SRM-6s, or what past experience leads me to call ‘mech-bane’. Drake and Ngo will shoot for the nearer one, while Rook and Double Dog go for the further one.

Ngo pads her tally with a kill on the nearest Pegasus, while Rook adds to her lead with the kill on the other.

Round 7

Cadre Lance arrives, and with its high speed is already close to the fight.

007-automatic

Drake aims for the Scimitar he immobilized; at this range against a stationary target, he’s automatic, a leisurely kill.

Ngo and Rook look to kill the last Pegasus, while Double Dog aims for the Scimitar hover tank directly in front of him.

Cadre Lance fires at what they can, but they’re still largely out of range.

As expected, Drake scores with all three PPCs on the immobilized Scimitar, punching through its armor with the first, cutting deep into its internal structure with the second, and scoring the kill with the third.

Ngo immobilizes the Pegasus, but Rook, everyone’s favorite glory hog, gets the kill.

Round 8

008-reinforcements

The enemy reinforcements arrive. At this stage, we’ve already won per the battle requirements, but once again, we’re in a sufficiently good position that I decide to fight it out. Drake, hidden from enemy fire by woodland, shoots at the only enemies he has a line on, a pair of Vedette medium tanks. Rook and Double Dog team up on the Scimitar in front of them.

Cadre Lance is still mostly out of range.

Round 9

Finally, Cadre Lance is mostly close enough to shoot. They, along with Heavy Lance, mainly engage the Raven. Drake and Ngo take aim at a Vedette and the currently-immobilized Scimitar, respectively.

Ngo and Teddy Bear are the only two to hit anything; Ngo finishes off the Scimitar, while Teddy Bear inflicts light damage on the Raven.

Round 10

The battle is truly joined now; not much movement occurs.

009-raven

Drake polishes off the Raven, Rook scores on a Vedette. Wojtek lands a 15-missile volley on a Bulldog medium tank, nearly destroying it; Milspec, however, lands the killshot, delivering the largest amount of damage I’ve seen yet.

damage

Cleanup

At this point, the enemy is scattered and nearly destroyed. Double Dog finishes off a heavily-damaged Scimitar which limped away from the battle early. Rook (of course) gets the Hetzer. Lastly, Severe scores a critical hit on the enemy Wasp’s SRM ammo, knocking it out.

Salvage, Repairs, Injuries

salvage

Drake is moderately wounded, and his Awesome will need a good bit of armor. No mechs took internal damage, and no other pilots got hurt. An easy victory.

Only the Raven is available for salvage, mech-wise; we take that, because it has medium lasers and armor.

We ransom five prisoners for 60,000 C-bills, and make a few thousand more in battle loss compensation.

Kill Board(s)

Rook continues to trounce all comers.

Last Mission

killboard

All-Time Leaders

  1. Lieutenant “Rook” Ishikawa (15, 4 mechs)
  2. Captain “Drake” Halit (8, 3 mechs)
  3. Private Ngo (6, 2 mechs)
  4. Lieutenant “Linebuster” Atkinson (5)
  5. Lieutenant “Double Dog” Dare (4, 1 mech)
  6. Private “Euchre” Kojic (2, 2 mechs)
  7. Private “Ker-Ker” Ec (2, 1 mech)
  8. Private “Teddy Bear” Jamil (2, 1 mech)
  9. Private “Wojtek” Frajtov (1, 1 mech)
  10. Private “Woad” Kohler (1, 1 mech)
  11. Private Ed “Hanzoku” Yuksel (1, 1 mech)
  12. Private Cathrine “Severe” Payne (2, 2 mechs)
  13. Sergeant “Milspec” Ortega (2)

Status

It is now December 1, 3050.

Contract Status

After this month’s victories, the Capellan forces break and the contract is complete. Despite the general wimpiness of the Capellan armed forces, this was nevertheless a good test for the Opinionated Bastards. We fought at a very high tempo, and still managed to keep our unit in good fighting trim.

Finances

We have 11,361,817 C-bills in the bank. We’ll use a million or two to get home to Piedmont.

Unit Market

We purchased a Thunderbolt.

Organization

Woad gets his Grasshopper back, now that we have a replacement Thunderbolt for Double Dog. Lance tweaks to come.

Spares

Now that the contract is over, we arrange for the following spares from the Federated Commonwealth. (Their price is deducted from the finances note above.)

  • Three large lasers, one to replace the missing one on the Frankenstein Lancelot, and two to have in reserve.
  • One three-ton gyro.
  • One 70-ton jump jet to bring the Grasshopper up to a full complement.

MechWarrior Claims and Assignments

  • For the record, the following mechwarriors are claimed.
    • Captain Huri “Drake” Halit, Awesome AWS-8Q (Mephansteras)
    • Lt. SG George “Linebuster” Atkinson, Lancelot LNC25-02 (Hasek10)
    • Lt. SG Mariamu “Rook” Ishikawa, Flashman FLS-7K (Culise)
    • Lt. JG Sung-min “Double Dog” Dare, Grasshopper GHR-5H (a1s)
    • Sgt. Jose “Milspec” Ortega, Phoenix Hawk PHX-1 (milspec)
    • Pvt. Ferdinand “Woad” Kohler, n/a (A Thing)
    • Pvt. Jan “Euchre” Kojic, Trebuchet TBT-5S (EuchreJack)
    • Pvt. Cathrine “Severe” Payne, Locust Custom (Burnt Pies)
    • Pvt. E-Shei “Ker-Ker” Ec, Lancelot LNC25-02 “Frankenstein” (Kanil)
    • Pvt. Ed “Hanzoku” Yuksel, Guillotine GLT-4L (Hanzoku)
    • Pvt. Ik-jun “Wojtek” Frajtov, Trebuchet TBT-5N (Blaze)
    • Pvt. Tedros “Teddy Bear” Jamil, Vulcan VL-2T (Knave)
  • The following mechwarriors remain to be claimed. They’re listed with their current mech assignment. To claim a mechwarrior, give me a callsign for one of them. I’ll refer to them by their callsign in most places, and bold it so it’s easier to find them.
    • Pvt. Ngo, Crab CRB-20

Action Items

  • Should we refit the new Thunderbolt to remove the missile weapons, or leave it be? Note that refitting units to a non-standard configuration makes them difficult to maintain.

The Opinionated Bastards: Propus Part IV (Nov. 21, 3050)

The Action of November 6, 3050

It’s going to be a brawl, and it’s going to be a brawl almost out of the gate. The map was originally 15×35; that seemed a bit cramped, so I used my reroll to change the map size. Now it’s 15 hexes by 25. Oops.

On the plus side, it’s a very hilly map with a lot of forest, which means, given initiative (which I never have, and which always seems weighted against the force with fewer units in any case), we can use the trees to protect ourselves.

Medium Lance will deploy near the edge and stay close to it, so that they can retreat in case of emergency.

Round 1

Since, once again, it’s a Scout deployment, units deploy by speed; onlyEuchre andHanzoku (in the Trebuchet and the jump-capable Guillotine) arrive in the first round.

round-1
Pictured: basically every mech currently deployed. Happily, almost everyone misses. As usual, the allied Wasp is getting plastered.

Round 2

round-2

Ker-Ker and Double Dog arrive. This is literally the worst kind of fight.

As seems to be tradition, Ker-Ker takes a pounding from the enemy, and fails to keep her mech on its feet.

The melee phase makes things even worse. Three of our four mechs end up on the ground.

Round 3

Everyone manages to get up. Euchre moves to protect the flank, while the heavier mechs take aim at a Vindicator and a Wolverine.

Ker-Ker, still focused by the enemy, loses a leg to weapons fire from a Wasp behind her. Her mech falls and won’t be getting up, but at least she’s not wounded or unconscious. The Lancelot still has both its arms, so she can prop herself up and shoot, too. Euchre plants a solid kick on the Wasp that did it and destroys its leg in return.

Round 4

Ker-Ker takes light damage, which isn’t bad, all things considered. Since, for once, she’s merely prone rather than prone and immobilized, she’s actually a harder target for mechs more than one hex away than she would be were she standing.

Euchre bags the Wasp which knocked Ker-Ker‘s mech down, while Double Dog kicks the Stinger next to him in the torso, knocking it out.

Round 5

The Wolverine jumps next to Ker-Ker, no doubt intending to attempt to kick her downed mech. The rest of Heavy Lance angles to keep that from happening.

round-5

The Lancelot takes heavier damage this time, including a hit or two to the head. The damage knocks Ker-Ker out, so now she’s in serious danger. Again.

Round 6

The good news is that everyone seems to be leaving Ker-Ker alone this round. The bad news is that, in attempting to protect her, we’re pretty poorly positioned. The good news is, Cadre Lance arrives in two rounds. The bad news is, I’m not sure Ker-Ker will survive that long even if nobody’s shooting at her this time.

The brunt of the enemy fire is aimed at Euchre, but catastrophe! It’s the Thunderbolt taking a lucky critical hit through the armor. (Fun fact: through-armor crits should happen a little less than 3% of the time. It’s happened twice in three turns here, though I didn’t mention the first one, since it was less terrible in outcome.)

round-6

The allied Wasp proves its worth for once, destroying its opposite number.

Round 7

This time, we focus on one of the enemy Vindicators. Next round, Cadre Lance arrives; the round after, Heavy Lance takes the field to wrap this one up.

round-7

The FedCom Wasp falls again, after taking heavy damage from the Vindicator facing it. We knock out the nearer Vindicator’s PPC, which renders it more or less harmless. It’s also taken heavy center torso damage, and another round of focus fire should fell it.

Round 8*

Cadre Lance arrives. The better elements thereof take the field to the north of the battle, while Wojtek and Severe deploy to the south. They’ll work as a team, with Severe spotting for Wojtek‘s LRMs.

round-8

Ker-Ker wakes up, somehow still not dead.

Teddy Bear scores his first mech kill, knocking out the Wolverine menacing Ker-Ker with a hit to the ammo reserves. Which is a shame, because other attacks decapitate it; we could have taken the chassis if it hadn’t blown up.

Ker-Ker‘s Frankenstein Lancelot is going to take quite a lot of repairing agin.

Round 9

As Heavy Lance takes the field, the enemy quite wisely begins to retreat. We’ll see what we can do to take them down.

round-9

It’s Hanzoku in the Guillotine who gets the kill on the Vindicator nearest us, his first as an Opinionated Bastard. Rook, hitting a ridiculous cross-map shot on a damaged Wasp, further cements her place atop the killboard.

Rounds 10+

With only two enemy mechs left, we move to cleanup. Rook bags the Wolverine, while Severe notches her first kill on the enemy Firestarter.

Salvage, Repairs, Injuries

The Thunderbolt is a total loss, so thoroughly destroyed by the ammunition explosion that there’s nothing left to salvage. The Frankenstein Lancelot is crippled, but we have enough spare parts to get it back into service. Everything else is undamaged. Ker-Ker is the only pilot to be wounded; she has a concussion again, along with a number of lesser injuries.

We can’t take any actual salvage because we’re still over our percentage.

We receive battle loss compensation to the tune of 600,000 C-bills, then add 70,000 more in ransom payments for enemy prisoners.

Kill Board(s)

Rook‘s lead grows. Notably, all the current Opinionated Bastards now have at least one kill.

Last Mission

(Turns out I forgot to take a picture. Oops.)

All-Time Leaders

  1. Lieutenant “Rook” Ishikawa (11, 4 mechs)
  2. Captain “Drake” Halit (6, 2 mechs)
  3. Private Ngo (5, 2 mechs)
  4. Lieutenant “Linebuster” Atkinson (5)
  5. Lieutenant “Double Dog” Dare (3, 1 mech)
  6. Private “Euchre” Kojic (2, 2 mechs)
  7. Private “Ker-Ker” Ec (2, 1 mech)
  8. Private “Teddy Bear” Jamil (2, 1 mech)
  9. Private “Wojtek” Frajtov (1, 1 mech)
  10. Private “Woad” Kohler (1, 1 mech)
  11. Private Ed “Hanzoku” Yuksel (1, 1 mech)
  12. Private Cathrine “Severe” Payne (1, 1 mech)
  13. Sergeant “Milspec” Ortega (1)

Status

It is now November 20, 3050.

Contract Status

The Capellan forces are beginning to look worn down as our string of victories takes its toll on them. There’s another mission scheduled for tomorrow, a probe against a medium vehicle lance and a mixed mech-and-vehicle light lance, with a second medium vehicle lance in reserve. Heavy Lance and Cadre Lance are currently detailed to the mission, with Cadre Lance arriving late as reinforcements.

Finances

We currently have 5.856 million C-bills in the bank.

Unit Market

market

There are a few options to replace the lost Thunderbolt, including another Thunderbolt. Action item below for should-we-buy-something.

Organization

Double Dog, left without a mech, takes Woad‘s slot in the Grasshopper for the upcoming mission. (Sorry, Woad. It’s not that you’re a bad pilot, it’s that the other guy’s a better one.)

Repairs

We’re in good shape. Ker-Ker‘s Frankenstein Lancelot is missing a large laser, and the Grasshopper is still down a jump jet.

Spares

We’re out of large lasers, which is a significant blow, especially given Ker-Ker‘s tendency to get our Lancelots blown up. We are, of course, still out of three-ton gyroscopes, but in good shape otherwise.

MechWarrior Claims and Assignments

  • For the record, the following mechwarriors are claimed.
    • Captain Huri “Drake” Halit, Awesome AWS-8Q (Mephansteras)
    • Lt. SG George “Linebuster” Atkinson, Lancelot LNC25-02 (Hasek10)
    • Lt. SG Mariamu “Rook” Ishikawa, Flashman FLS-7K (Culise)
    • Lt. JG Sung-min “Double Dog” Dare, Thunderbolt TDR-5S (a1s)
    • Sgt. Jose “Milspec” Ortega, Phoenix Hawk PHX-1 (milspec)
    • Pvt. Ferdinand “Woad” Kohler, Grasshopper GHR-5H (A Thing)
    • Pvt. Jan “Euchre” Kojic, Trebuchet TBT-5S (EuchreJack)
    • Pvt. Cathrine “Severe” Payne, Locust Custom (Burnt Pies)
    • Pvt. E-Shei “Ker-Ker” Ec, Lancelot LNC25-02 “Frankenstein” (Kanil)
    • Pvt. Ed “Hanzoku” Yuksel, Guillotine GLT-4L (Hanzoku)
    • Pvt. Ik-jun “Wojtek” Frajtov, Trebuchet TBT-5N (Blaze)
    • Pvt. Tedros “Teddy Bear” Jamil, Vulcan VL-2T (Knave)
  • The following mechwarriors remain to be claimed. They’re listed with their current mech assignment. To claim a mechwarrior, give me a callsign for one of them. I’ll refer to them by their callsign in most places, and bold it so it’s easier to find them.
    • Pvt. Ngo, Crab CRB-20

Action Items

  • We’re down a mech. Should we buy a new one?
  • For Culise, about Rook:
    • Rook now has enough experience to buy a Weapons Specialist trait for large lasers, which will further improve her enemy-shredding ability in the Flashman, but tie her down to mechs with large lasers. Should she buy that trait, or save for improved piloting/gunnery down the line?
  • Any requests for changes to deployment or strategy for the next battle?

The Opinionated Bastards: Two Fights (Nov. 6, 3050)

Last Time’s Action Items

  • We purchased the Guillotine, assigning it to Private Hanzoku Yuksel. After a long moment with his shattered Locust, he gives the techs the okay to start salvage operations.
    001-guillotine
  • The Cadre Lance deploys alongside Heavy Lance.

The Action of October 27, 3050

The Capellan forces arrayed against us are lightweight, as is typical for Capellans. (If I’d known they were such pushovers, I would have recommended tackling them a lot more strongly!)

002-enemies1

The only things on the list to be concerned about are the Hetzer (with its AC/20) and the Vindicator, which mounts a PPC.

The battle commences in heavy fog. That has two effects: movement will be much slower, and accurate shooting will be somewhat harder. The terrain is heavy urban; there are no open areas on the map, and most combat is going to take place along streets.

Round 1

Since Heavy Lance is deployed with the Scout duty, they arrive on the battlefield fastest mechs first. Only Private Ngo’s Crab is fast enough to make it on the first round. Rook and Double Dog will arrive in the second round. Drake and the Awesome will turn up in the third. We deploy on the north edge of the map; the enemy deploys in the center.

003-1round1map

Ngo starts off on a side street, out of view of the enemy; the liaison, in a Wasp, tangles with the /Capellan Phoenix Hawk and takes heavy damage.

004-1round1wasp

Round 2

The Flashman and Thunderbolt show up, deployed somewhat to Ngo’s west. They take an aggressive tack, moving toward the Phoenix Hawk and firing on it.

005-1round2deploy

Rook hits with most of her weapons, while Double Dog does a lot of missing. He hits with one medium laser, though, which is enough to pierce the Phoenix Hawk’s center torso armor.

Ngo exchanges ineffectual fire with the enemies on her side of the map.

Round 3

Drake deploys behind Ngo. As expected, the enemy gets out of his line of sight, except for one poor, unfortunate Hetzer assault gun a full 18 hexes away. He’ll take that shot.

On the other side of the map, Rook and Double Dog continue to hammer the Phoenix Hawk.

Alarms go off in the latter’s cockpit as the two heavies’ shots hit home. It’s very nearly dead.

006-1round3phx

At maximum range, Drake hits with two of his three PPCs. Putting him in the Awesome is basically cheating. If he can see it, he can hit it; if he can hit it, he can kill it.

Round 4

The Phoenix Hawk dodges behind Double Dog, but Rook still has a clear shot. Drake is set to take some fire, as enemy vehicles roll out into the street to engage his mech, but he can handle it.

007-1round4east

Drake and Rook tie for first blood. Drake bags a Packrat patrol vehicle, while Rook gets the Phoenix Hawk. Ngo kicks the Vindicator.

Round 5

Drake, who can’t back up owing to the heavy fog, remains stationary, aiming for the Vindicator. (It’s inside his PPCs’ minimum range, but he’s a good enough gunner to manage the to-hit penalty.)

On the other side of the map, Rook and Double Dog slowly make their way over to the rest of the fighting.

Drake takes moderate damage, but manages to stay vertical. The Vindicator does not. Ngo kicks it again for good measure.

Round 6

Drake moves up, hoping to kick the Vindicator into submission.

No need. The Vindicator pilot, while attempting to stand, falls down, and…

008-1round6vindicator

I’ll take it! Ngo, who did the last damage to the mech, gets credit for the kill.

Drake has a shot on the LRM Scorpion hassling the other members of the Heavy Lance, so he takes it. Rook and Double Dog still can’t shoot at anything. Ngo can, but she’s very unlikely to hit.

Round 7

Cadre Lance takes the field! They’re staying mostly out of the way, though Linebuster leads the way.

009-1round7cadre

Once again, buildings block Drake‘s line of fire. The LRM Scorpion he tagged last round is about to die a brutal death, though. Rook gets credit for the kill. Woad scores a hit, too.

Rounds 8-12

Cleanup at this point. We have a tremendous advantage in firepower and survivability.

Cadre Lance gets to fire its weapons in anger; merely showing up for battle is better for a pilot’s skill than a good bit of training.

Drake finishes off the Hetzer he was shooting at earlier. Ngo bags a Scorpion, and Linebuster gets credit for two vehicles.

Damage

None to speak of; the enemy didn’t make it through anyone’s armor. Nobody was injured, either.

The Action of October 28, 3050

… and before we can do much more than replace damaged armor, there’s another battle.

This one’s objective is hide and seek: kill half the enemy while losing less than a third of the Opinionated Bastards’ deployed force. Or, as I fully expect to do again, destroy the enemy utterly.

The enemy forces this time are a bit heavier than before. Almost everything on the field has something to be cautious of: an AC/10 on the Po tank, PPCs on the Vindicators, AC/20s on the Hetzers, and a large laser on the Grasshopper. Once again, Heavy Lance and Cadre Lance deploy.

011-2enemies

The map is quite small, a 15×25-hex affair with a lot of variation in height. That helps balance out the numbers disadvantage; we can use the terrain to take cover.

Round 1

Again, it’s a scouting deployment, so Ngo deploys first. She’s at the northeast corner of the map. The allied FedCom mech, a Commando, deploys near the center of the eastern map border.

Ngo takes hits from four of the five AC/2s mounted on the AC/2 carrier, and more damage than that from one of the Vindicator’s PPCs. Combined with a few LRMs, that’s enough to knock her mech over, but not before she scores a critical hit on the AC/2 carrier, killing its crew. First blood comes early.

Round 2

Rook and Double Dog deploy on the southeastern corner of the map, and open fire on one of the Vindicators with moderate success. Ngo stumbles, but manages to stand, and moves quickly to join her comrades to her south.

012-2round2deploy

Round 3

Drake takes the field. The entirety of Heavy Lance fires on the enemy Grasshopper; Drake hits with all three PPCs. The enemy mech falls.

Round 4

There’s very little movement going on. The Opinionated Bastards have a good position, screened in part by the hill, and the enemies don’t want to get any closer, either. Everyone focuses on the Grasshopper again; it’s the biggest threat and the easiest to hit. It falls down a second time.

013-2round4grasshopper

Round 5

The Grasshopper stands again and jumps closer, into medium laser range. *Drake and Rook will take another crack at him, while the other units split their fire to start working on the Vindicator next door.

Drake takes a hit to his gyro through the armor, and one of the Hetzers scores on his right arm with an AC/20, damaging one of his PPCs.

The Grasshopper pilot ejects after taking some engine, gyro, and actuator hits. That’s excellent news. We didn’t shoot out its core or destroy its limbs. If we can get it as salvage, we can probably save it.

Round 6

The next most dangerous targets are the Hetzers and the Vindicators, so that’s where we aim next.

Rook takes out the first Hetzer, with assists from Drake and Ngo.

Round 7

Cadre Lance arrives. Most everyone stays behind our protective hilltop, although the whole formation slides slightly southwest. The remaining Hetzer has one of the better gunners left on the Capellan side, so we’ll aim for him first.

014-2round7cadre

Severe, moving to fire on one of the Vindicators, takes severe damage, and loses control of her mech. It falls. That’s no good. On the other hand, it’s also behind a hill, so by falling, it’s now out of the line of fire.

Rook scores another kill, this time on the Hetzer.

Round 8

The enemy is below half strength, which means we win; I’m going to take a bit more time to blow stuff up, because it’s going well and, and the more that’s dead, the more likely we are to get a crack at that Grasshopper.

Drake loses his right arm to enemy fire, but that’s okay. We can patch him up. We have the parts.

Rook notches yet another kill, this time taking down the Locust south of our force. Double Dog gets in on the action, destroying the Po heavy tank with a hit to the ammunition store.

Round 9-11

Cleanup goes well; all we have left are the two Vindicators, which are looking rather worse for the wear. Rook takes a hit to the gyro, but is otherwise okay. Newcomers to the killboard Woad and Euchre each account for one of the Vindicators. Congratulations!

After-Action Reports

Salvage

016-2salvage

We score the Grasshopper! (We also took a Phoenix Hawk in the first battle.) The Grasshopper can be repaired; the Phoenix Hawk is only worth its weight in parts. That puts us at a little north of 40% salvage instead of the negotiated 30%, so we’ll have to tread lightly on the next mission or two.

In terms of income, we make 175,000 C-bills on prisoner ransom and about 50,000 on battle loss compensation.

Damage

015-2damage

Nothing is out of commission. Heavy Lance needs some repairs. The Awesome’s gyro turns out to be a total loss, but one of the spares we have fits. (I’m still not at all sure how to figure out which of the four different kinds of gyro a given mech requires.)

Nothing else to report on the damage front, except that we can’t fully repair the Grasshopper—one of its jump jets was destroyed, and we can’t order a new one on this contract.

Despite the damage to our mechs, none of our pilots were wounded.

Training

017-training

Ngo is now a Veteran, with 4+ piloting/3+ gunnery. Her new trait, Some Like It Hot, allows her to ignore the -1 to-hit penalty for mild overheating, which is useful. The Crab generates a lot of heat.

Ker-Ker also trained to 4+/4+. Woad and Euchre are both 5+/5+ now, which is still technically Green. Next time they raise a mech skill, though, they’ll be Regulars.

Changing Mech Assignments

018-mech-assignments

Mech assignments and organization shift a bit, since I had to throw together an undamaged lance to deploy following the mission above.

Woad steps into the Grasshopper and joins Rook, Drake, and Ngo in Heavy Lance. Medium Lance is now Double Dog in the Thunderbolt, Ker-Ker in the Frankenstein Lancelot, Hanzoku in the Guillotine, and Euchre in the TBT-5S.

Linebuster is still in charge of the rookies in Cadre Lance, whose ranks now include Wojtek, taking Woad‘s previous ride, the TBT-5N.

Kill Board(s)

Rook leaps out to a commanding lead, followed by Drake and the still-unclaimed Private Ngo.

Recon Raid

recon raid killboard

Hide and Seek

hide and seek killboard

All-Time Leaders

  1. Lieutenant “Rook” Ishikawa (9, 2 mech)
  2. Captain “Drake” Halit (6, 2 mechs)
  3. Private Ngo (5, 2 mechs)
  4. Lieutenant “Linebuster” Atkinson (5)
  5. Private “Ker-Ker” Ec (2, 1 mech)
  6. Lieutenant “Double Dog” Dare (2)
  7. Private “Wojtek” Frajtov (1, 1 mech)
  8. Private “Euchre” Kojic (1, 1 mech)
  9. Private “Woad” Kohler (1, 1 mech)
  10. Sergeant “Milspec” Ortega (1)
  11. Private Jamil (1)

Status

It is now November 5, 3050. I stopped here because there’s yet another battle planned for tomorrow, another Hide and Seek. See below for more information.

Finances

Our current balance is 5.225 million C-bills.

Spares

We’re out of spare large lasers, and we only have gyros in the two-ton size at present. Owing to combat in orbit, no resupply is possible this month.

Next Mission

The next mission sees us facing an interesting force: no vehicles whatsoever, but two full lances of mechs. The expected Capellan force is primarily light mechs, with some Vindicators and a Wolverine expected. Medium Lance was deployed and therefore must face the enemy first. Given the current distribution of pilots, I’m tempted to bring both Cadre Lance and Heavy Lance along for this deployment. Both will take a while to arrive on the field, since none of our lances are what you’d call fast, but I’m uncomfortable leaving Heavy Lance to face twice its number alone.

MechWarrior Claims and Assignments

  • For the record, the following mechwarriors are claimed.
    • Captain Huri “Drake” Halit, Awesome AWS-8Q (Mephansteras)
    • Lt. SG George “Linebuster” Atkinson, Lancelot LNC25-02 (Hasek10)
    • Lt. SG Mariamu “Rook” Ishikawa, Flashman FLS-7K (Culise)
    • Lt. JG Sung-min “Double Dog” Dare, Thunderbolt TDR-5S (a1s)
    • Sgt. Jose “Milspec” Ortega, Phoenix Hawk PHX-1 (milspec)
    • Pvt. Ferdinand “Woad” Kohler, Grasshopper GHR-5H (A Thing)
    • Pvt. Jan “Euchre” Kojic, Trebuchet TBT-5S (EuchreJack)
    • Pvt. Cathrine “Severe” Payne, Locust Custom (Burnt Pies)
    • Pvt. E-Shei “Ker-Ker” Ec, Lancelot LNC25-02 “Frankenstein” (Kanil)
    • Pvt. Ed “Hanzoku” Yuksel, Guillotine GLT-4L (Hanzoku)
    • Pvt. Ik-jun “Wojtek” Frajtov, Trebuchet TBT-5N (Blaze)
  • The following mechwarriors remain to be claimed. They’re listed with their current mech assignment. To claim a mechwarrior, give me a callsign for one of them. I’ll refer to them by their callsign in most places, and bold it so it’s easier to find them.
    • Pvt. Jamil, Vulcan VL-2T
    • Pvt. Ngo, Crab CRB-20

Action Items

  • For this next mission, should we deploy everything, or only reinforce Medium Lance with Heavy Lance?

The Opinionated Bastards: Propus Probe (Oct. 26, 3050)

Last Month’s Action Items

  • Discussion of long-term plans has not yet started, so we won’t take any action one way or another there. Not that we can.
  • Per TO&E discussion, the third lance is now the Cadre Lance, where newbies go to learn. Linebuster drew training duty last month, along with his Lancelot.
    • Along the same lines, Private Ngo replaced Woad in the Heavy Lance; Woad, Severe, and Euchre are the current pilots-in-training.

The Action of October 6, 3050

mission
On the first of October, unit intelligence receives reports of a Capellan concentration near a town fifty kilometers from our field base. The Medium Lance, in the field, moves to probe the town. The Heavy Lance reinforces them.

The enemy is, as expected, poorly equipped. Capellan forces arrayed against us include a Blackjack, a Flea, and six vehicles, including a pair of Vedettes and a Saladin assault hovertank. The Medium Lance deploys with a Phoenix Hawk, a Lancelot, a Vulcan, and the Locust IIC.

enemies

Round 1

Ker-Ker is late to the battlefield, and will deploy before round 2. Sergeant Milspec Ortega, in his first battlefield command, deploys on the southwest of the rectangular battlespace. (It’s 25×35 hexes.) The weather is good. The battlefield is split down the middle by a town; trees and small lakes dot the landscape.

Along with Milspec are Privates Yuksel in the Locust and Private Jamil in the Vulcan.

The FedCom liaison mech is a Commando, which deploys to the east of the Medium Lance. The Capellans deploy to the northwest and northeast of the town, in two divisions. Facing us to begin with are vehicles: the Vedettes, the Saladin, a Pegasus hovercraft, and a J. Edgar light hover tank. (Yes, the J. Edgar Hover tank.)

As might be expected, Private Yuksel charges into the battle with a crazed cry over the radio. Milspec and Jamil play it a little more coy, moving more slowly to get better shots off at the approaching hovercraft.

round 1

Yuksel, however, is the only one to score any hits. One of his ER Small Lasers carves into the forward armor of the Pegasus. In return, he takes a few SRMs to the side.

Round 2

Ker-Ker takes the field, moving up toward the enemy to bring the Medium Lance’s heaviest weapons to bear. Yuksel falls back toward the rest of the lance, and everyone aims for the AC/20-carrying Saladin hovertank.

Unfortunately, Yuksel is the primary target for the Capellans. The Saladin, which managed to close the range with him due to the annoying mobility of hover vehicles, blows a hole clear through the Locust’s center torso. It falls to the ground. It looks as though our mysterious Clanner got his wish, an honorable death in battle.

Round 3

round 3
The Capellan Flea has managed to get in close, which is a mixed bag. It means more enemies nearby to deal with, but the Capellan pilot stopped directly in front of Milspec’s Phoenix Hawk and Ker-Ker’s Lancelot.

Jamil is in a bit of a tight spot now, alone between the J. Edgar hovertank and the Pegasus scout tank. Fortunately, he manages to evade serious damage. Ker-Ker and Milspec don’t do a great job at knocking out the Flea with weapons fire, but they’re both in melee range. Milspec’s kick knocks it down, falling destroys its left arm and torso, and Ker-Ker’s kick removes its right leg. She gets credit for the kill.

Round 4

Down a mech and now suffering from light to moderate damage across the board, the Medium Lance falls back to the west. They’ll keep on the move, hoping to dodge the worst of the enemy fire until the Heavy Lance arrives to really lay down the hurt.

round 4

Ker-Ker finds herself in excellent position to beat two enemy vehicles. She stays more or less put while the two medium mechs jump to a better position. Even with the jump jets, they aren’t very well placed. The enemy’s vehicles are all lightweight hover vehicles; they’re more maneuverable than our mechs.

Ker-Ker hits the Vedette but takes a few SRMs for her trouble.

Round 5

The hover vehicles, between the enemy’s luck on initiative rolls and superiority in numbers, continue to drive circles around our mechs. Hopefully we’ll land some good hits this round; the Pegasus with its annoying SRMs is right in the kill zones for the Lancelot and the Phoenix Hawk.

round 5

As weapons fire, I’m a little concerned about the number of guns pointed at Ker-Ker and the Frankenstein. And I am correct to be! The gyros can’t take the stress, and the Lancelot falls. Fortunately, Ker-Ker remains conscious; she can attempt to stand next turn. Unfortunately, the impact dislodged the Lancelot’s left arm, and some damage leaked through the center torso armor to hit the engine. It’s still functional, but the Lancelot isn’t moving quite as fast anymore.

The good news, at least, is that Milspec’s weapons fire immobilized the Pegasus, and can leave it behind while we make a tactical withdrawal to the northwest.

Round 6

The medium mechs stand by the Lancelot, screening it as best they can.

round 6

Ker-Ker and Jamil shoot at the damaged Vedette. Milspec takes his chances on destroying the immobilized Pegasus. Neither see great success.

Round 7

Ker-Ker has managed to lose both her Large Lasers. We retreat to the west of the small lake in the earlier screenshots, beset on all sides.

round 7

Milspec can’t fire this round without risking heat trouble—a major flaw in the Phoenix Hawk’s design—so it’s all on the Lancelot’s medium laser. (Ker-Ker won’t fire the PPC, her remaining weapon—the range is too close, and she definitely can’t risk it blowing up by firing with a disabled field inhibitor.) Ker-Ker hits a nearby Vedette in the side and manages to immobilize it. Given that Jamil is currently standing on top of it, that suggests some high kick potential. Jamil acquits himself well enough, too, hitting the Vedette with an AC/2 and a medium laser and scoring on the immobilized Vedette at his feet with a solid swing from his Vulcan’s left leg.

Round 8

Ker-Ker is more or less running for her life now, being out of center torso armor. The mediums continue to screen as they can. The heavy lance arrives after this round.

Ker-Ker makes it through with only minor damage, happily. Milspec kicks a Vedette, but doesn’t make it through the armor.

Round 9

round 9

Oh yeah. Heavy lance.

Cunningly, the enemy uses forest to screen itself from Drake’s PPCs. He can still hit the Vedette running away to the north of this picture, and that’s what he’ll do. Rook trains the Flashman’s Large Lasers on the disabled Vedette in frame. The two medium mechs from the Medium Lance focus on destroying the J. Edgar hover tank still hassling Ker-Ker. Double Dog is lacking in long-range weapons, with only a Large Laser and an LRM-15, which he trains on the LRM tank shooting at him. Private Ngo, poorly placed, can’t shoot at anything for any real effect. Her guns will have to wait until next turn to come into action.

round 9.2

Round 10

Ker-Ker turns around and runs south now, toward the comfortingly deadly guns of the heavy lance.

The remaining mechs line up; it’s going to be a brawl, and we’re going to win. Drake and Private Ngo focus on the Blackjack; Rook lines up on the J. Edgar tank, and Double Dog takes aim at the Striker LRM tank. Further north, Jamil and Milspec look to beat up the remaining Vedette, not pictured in the screenshot.

round 10

Between her lasers and the foot of her Flashman, Rook knocks out the J. Edgar tank. Drake softens up the Blackjack, and Ngo, moving behind it, destroys its center torso with large laser fire and a solid kick. Double Dog nearly takes down the Striker; its crew is stunned and its turret locked.

The Striker, unfortunately, takes down Ker-Ker’s Frankenstein, missiles impacting around the head and shoulders. Somehow, the autoeject system gets her out in time.

Round 11-12

The Opinionated Bastards mop up. Jamil scores the killing blow on the northern Vedette; Double Dog gets it on the immobilized one south of the lake. Private Ngo accounts for the Striker light tank.

Damage Report

damage

We came out of this one in decent shape. It’s a shame we lost the Locust IIC so quickly. Once again, the Frankenstein is rebuildable, although it’ll need a new head. The administrators are groaning already, but it does look like they can get it done; the FedCom forces can get a supply drop to us.

Two pilots are wounded: Milspec, who should be right as rain in a week or two, and Ker-Ker, who, among other things, has a concussion and a broken collarbone. The Opinionated Bastards should have her services back in three weks or so.

Surprisingly, Private Yuksel survived the death of his Locust IIC, and emerges from the cockpit as we’re cutting it open. He seems displeased by the idea of salvaging it.

Finally, the FedCom Commando liaison mech was destroyed, which isn’t earning us any good will with the brass.

Lethal Damage (House Rules)

Since BattleTech is brutal to pilots, I’ve taken the liberty of assigning each claimed pilot two Edge points. In the BattleTech RPG, Edge points are used to reroll results; here, they represent your luck. If you die in battle, I’ll deduct one Edge point from your pilot and keep you alive after the battle. (Ker-Ker now has one Edge point; everyone else has two.) If you don’t have any Edge points left, that’s that. You can buy edge points back for 10xp.

Salvage Report

salvage

The Flea could be salvaged and returned to service, but it would exceed our salvage rights by 18%, which our employers are not likely to be happy with. Instead, I take the Blackjack (we can’t fix it up, but it does have a bunch of medium lasers we can take, and some AC/2s we can sell), and the Pegasus scout hovertank, which has a medium laser and some SRM-6 launchers, and can be sold for a decent penny.

In all, we rake in about 800,000 C-bills after the mission, counting battle loss compensation (primarily for Yuksel’s Locust IIC), prisoner ransom, and sale of stripped vehicles and mechs.

Kill Board

Last Mission

kill board

All-Time Leaders

  1. Lieutenant “Rook” Ishikawa (4)
  2. Captain “Drake” Halit (3, 1 mech)
  3. Lieutenant “Linebuster” Atkinson (3)
  4. Private “Ker-Ker” Ec (2, 1 mech)
  5. Private Ngo (2, 1 mech)
  6. Private Frajtov (1, 1 mech)
  7. Lieutenant “Double Dog” Dare (1)
  8. Sergeant “Milspec” Ortega (1)
  9. Private Jamil (1)

Status

It is now October 26, 3050. Elsewhere in the Inner Sphere, the Clan invasion has advanced rather dramatically in the last few months.

galaxy

Contract Progress

We’re one month into our five-month contract, and the employer is happy with us so far despite the loss of the Commando in the prior mission.

The Heavy Lance deployed in place of the Medium Lance while the latter was being patched up. There’s a new mission on the docket, a recon raid against another mixed Capellan force. The mission victory conditions require us to move to the far side of the map, stay for two rounds, and return. I think, given the Heavy Lance is deployed and the enemy force is all light and medium mechs and vehicles, we should deploy a second lance and make our reconnaissance in traditional Steiner fashion. (That means blowing everything up.)

next mission

Finances

We have 7.569 million C-bills in the bank. Our estimated balance at contract end has gone down slightly, to 24.589 million C-bills.

Supplies

We’re doing all right. Thanks to quality administrators and good support from the Federated Commonwealth, we were able to obtain a spare Lancelot head for the Frankenstein.

Repairs and Refits

With the exception of the dead Locust, the Opinionated Bastards’ mechs are all in fighting shape.

Unit Market

market
That’s an SHD-2H Shadowhawk. Sorry for the truncated label.

Being down a unit and in good financial shape, it might be a good time to consider a new mech. Here’s what’s on the market right now.

Training

training

The Cadre Lance is serving its purpose; Woad, Euchre, and Severe all improve skills this month. (At 1xp per week, though, it’ll take a year or two to get them to 5+ piloting/4+ gunnery regulars.)

Action Items

Please comment on the upcoming battle, if so desired, by Tuesday. I’ll be playing it then; it takes longer to write up these updates when there’s fighting. I’ll likely wait a little longer before playing out the rest of the month.

  • Should we deploy a second lance for the upcoming mission? Ker-Ker is still recovering from her wounds, though not in any way that would penalize her piloting or gunnery.
    • It might be worthwhile to deploy the Cadre Lance. They won’t be expected to do much of the heavy lifting, and they’re also not down a mech (while the Medium Lance, at present, is). That, and battle is a much more effective teacher than training.
  • Should we buy a mech? More than one mech?
  • The following mechwarriors remain to be claimed. They’re listed with their current mech assignment. To claim a mechwarrior, give me a callsign for one of them. I’ll refer to them by their callsign in most places, and bold it so it’s easier to find them.
    • Pvt. Yuksel, n/a
    • Pvt. Jamil, Vulcan VL-2T
    • Pvt. Ngo, Crab CRB-20
    • Pvt. Frajtov, n/a
  • For the record, the following mechwarriors are claimed.
    • Captain Huri “Drake” Halit, Awesome AWS-8Q (Mephansteras)
    • Lt. SG George “Linebuster” Atkinson, Lancelot LNC25-02 (Hasek10)
    • Lt. SG Mariamu “Rook” Ishikawa, Flashman FLS-7K (Culise)
    • Lt. JG Sung-min “Double Dog” Dare, Thunderbolt TDR-5S (a1s)
    • Sgt. Jose “Milspec” Ortega, Phoenix Hawk PHX-1 (milspec)
    • Pvt. Ferdinand “Woad” Kohler, Trebuchet TBT-5N (A Thing)
    • Pvt. Jan “Euchre” Kojic, Trebuchet TBT-5S (EuchreJack)
    • Pvt. Cathrine “Severe” Payne, Locust Custom (Burnt Pies)
    • Pvt. E-Shei “Ker-Ker” Ec, Lancelot LNC25-02 “Frankenstein” (Kanil)

The Opinionated Bastards: Propus, Part I (Sep. 26, 3050)

Introduction/Last Month’s Action Items

Well, the votes are in, and voters prefer the contract on Propus. The techs mothball the mechs, and we’re off.

Changing Contract Details?

For some reason, the contract details changed between the first post and this one. Not sure what’s up there, but the upshot is that all the contracts are now worth slightly less. (It may have had to do with some of my experimentation.) It’s still a pretty good deal, though; 12 million in advance money is plenty.

In Transit

map
I’m sure it’s a pain to coordinate parts delivery while traveling, but our brave administrators somehow manage.

The parts bill is pretty wild. We now have spare arms and legs for all our mechs, as well as spare leg, arm, hand, and foot actuators. Since we’re fairly energy-heavy, we have ten spare medium lasers, two spare PPCs, and three spare large lasers. The parts stock includes more than 100 tons of armor, 15 heat sinks, and in general, at least one spare for nearly every part in use by the company. Notable absences: heads and center torsos (if we need those, we have bigger trouble) and engines. We have one spare gyroscope for medium mechs and one spare gyroscope for heavies, but none for light mechs or assaults.

Why mention the last one? Because…

Mech acquisition!

The Federated Commonwealth has the best toys, and since we’re working for them, that means we have the best toys. Available in the FedCom mercenary market is an Awesome AWS-8Q, a superb example of the assault mech class and a brand-new cornerstone for our heavy lance.

awesome

Kill Board

All-Time Leaders

  1. Captain “Drake” Halit (3, 1 mech)
  2. Lieutenant “Rook” Ishikawa (3)
  3. Lieutenant “Linebuster” Atkinson (3)
  4. Private Frajtov (1, 1 mech)
  5. Private “Ker-Ker” Ec (1)

Status

It is now September 26, 3050.

Promotions

Congratulations to Sgt. Jose Milspec Ortega, who received a promotion to Sergeant, owing to his new role as lance commander. (See below for more.)

Finances

We have 3.574 million C-bills in the bank right now. Our current operating costs are 141,810 C-bills per month. After shares and monthly expenses, we make 4.255 million C-bills per month. Our expected balance at the end of this contract, prior to travel back home, is 24.850 million C-bills.

Supplies

The Opinionated Bastards now possess, for the first time, a full company of mechs, as well as a large stock of supplies and spare parts. I expect we’ll be fine for the duration of this present contract. We can re-evaluate supplies when it’s over.

Current Organization

Because we now have a full twelve mechs, I went ahead and rearranged the company. I tried to stick with something in the spirit of Hasek10’s organization, aiming to make lances as close to the weight category limits as possible.

overview
An overview

heavy
We start off with the Heavy Lance, at 270 tons. Drake moves up to the Awesome. His legendary skill at gunnery should make him a fearsome combatant. Rook steps up into Captain Halit’s old mech, the Flashman; Double Dog gets the Thunderbolt. Rounding out the Heavy Lance is Woad, back in the trusty Trebuchet TBT-5N. His primary role will be to act as a screen and bodyguard for the Awesome.

medium
Next up is the Medium Lance, something of a misnomer now. Linebuster Atkinson and Ker-Ker Ec, along with the two Lancelots, take up the first two slots. Clanner Ed Yuksel and his fancy Locust IIC, and Tedros Jamil and his custom Vulcan fill out the lance. The Lancelots are the primary firepower here, both in terms of weight of weapon and of pilot skill.

light
Lastly, the Light Lance, even more of a misnomer. Newly-minted Sergeant Milspec Ortega leads the lance from the Phoenix Hawk, joined by Private Ngo in the Crab, Severe Payne in the Locust, and lastly, Euchre Kojic in the LRM-equipped TBT-5S.

The only mechwarrior without a mech to drive is Private Frajtov, who was evicted from the TBT-5S in favor of Euchre.

Contract Progress

contract progress
Updated contract details

We’ve just started the contract; it lasts until February 25, 3051. At present, the Medium Lance is deployed on Scout duty to fill the terms of the contract. The other two lances are awaiting your direction.

Action Items

  • The TO&E is open for comment; if you think things ought to be rearranged, say so.
    • On that note, should we rename the lances First, Second, and Third or something? Heavy, Medium, and Light are only going to get more misleading.
  • Should we deploy more lances? A different lance? Lances on other duty assignments?
  • In the longer term, what should we aim to do? Should we look to expand our mercenary command first, adding a second company of mechs? Should we save for a DropShip of our own?
  • The following mechwarriors remain to be claimed. To claim a mechwarrior, give me a callsign for one of them. I’ll refer to them by their callsign in most places, and bold it so it’s easier to find them.
    • Pvt. Yuksel
    • Pvt. Jamil
    • Pvt. Ngo
    • Pvt. Frajtov
  • For the record, the following mechwarriors are claimed.
    • Captain Huri “Drake” Halit (Mephansteras)
    • Lt. SG George “Linebuster” Atkinson (Hasek10)
    • Lt. SG Mariamu “Rook” Ishikawa (Culise)
    • Lt. JG Sung-min “Double Dog” Dare (a1s)
    • Sgt. Jose “Milspec” Ortega (milspec)
    • Pvt. Ferdinand “Woad” Kohler (A Thing)
    • Pvt. Jan “Euchre” Kojic (EuchreJack)
    • Pvt. Cathrine “Severe” Payne (Burnt Pies)
    • Pvt. E-Shei “Ker-Ker” Ec (Kanil)

The Opinionated Bastards: Back Home For Now (Jul. 1, 3050)

Last Month’s Action Items

Hasek10 presented a proposed reorganization, but discussion is still ongoing. Continue the discussion, and we’ll finalize our organization before the next deployment.

A strong consensus emerged on taking the money, packing up, and heading out, so that’s what we’ll do.

Packing Up, Heading Out

The Opinionated Bastards remain on-world for the ceremony around the pirates’ surrender, mechs serving as the honor guard. The tech teams mothball our mechs, the administrators accept the final payment and pay out shares, and before we know it, we’re packed into a creaky old Buccaneer-class DropShip, headed for the jump point and, eventually, Piedmont.

On the way back, we make a very interesting pickup. An man odd in speech and dress, Ed Yuksel approaches Captain Halit at the Telos IV jump point and says his only desire is to die honorably in battle. He shows us a mech, an unusual-looking Locust painted with a red wolf’s head. Despite Halit’s attempts to weasel more information out of him, he says nothing else of consequence.

ed
locust

Eventually, Halit welcomes him aboard as a private and promises him combat aplenty.

House Rules (Early Clans)

That’s right, our first Clanner. There are several special rules around him (and other Clanners with which we may associate until, say, 3055).

First, his mech is packed with Clan tech, which we can neither obtain nor readily repair. I’ll figure out how to represent that mechanically when the time comes. He can’t be reassigned, and if he’s injured, nobody else is allowed to pilot his mech.

Second, he’s here early, before the Clans did much in the way of associating with the Inner Sphere at large. He must therefore be disgraced in some way, cast out by his people. Yuksel’s main goal (as mentioned) is to redeem himself with a fighting death on the battlefield. Whenever he’s deployed, he’ll fight just shy of suicidal.

Finally, since he has no connections to anyone, we won’t be required to pay out the cost of his mech on his death. If his mech is destroyed but he survives, he’ll expect another one. If we refuse, he’ll demand payment and hit the road.

Contract Offers

We return to Piedmont in late June, and unpack the mechs for some training in between contracts. On July 1st, the following offers come in. (Note: I’m still tweaking the game settings to find contract generation options which are neither insultingly bad, like last time, or unbelievably generous, like this time.)

We have six contracts available, all of which have at least something to recommend them.

  • The Free Worlds League offers a five-month objective raid, fighting well-equipped FedCom regulars on Laiaka, eight jumps away. Notably, we negotiate for liaison command rights; any allied mechs will be under our direct control. Battle loss compensation is included at 40% of lost equipment value. 20% salvage rights. The estimated profit before shares is 24.8 million C-bills, including an advance of 12 million C-bills.
  • The Draconis Combine offers a six-month planetary assault, fighting elite but poorly-equipped troops of the Free Rasalhague Republic on Thun, nine jumps away. 50% salvage rights. Battle loss compensation is 10%, and the estimated profit before shares is 27 million C-bills, including an advance of 13 million C-bills.
  • The Federated Commonwealth offers a five-month objective raid, fighting poorly-equipped Capellan regulars on Propus, 11 jumps away. 30% salvage rights. 10% battle loss compensation; profit of 27.2 million C-bills along with a 14 million C-bill advance.
  • The Federated Commonwealth also offers a second objective raid, fighting Free Worlds League regulars with average equipment on New Hope, nine jumps out. 20% salvage rights. No battle loss compensation, profit of 25.4 million C-bills, with a 12-million C-bill advance.
  • The Free Rasalhague Republic wants to hire us for six months of guerilla warfare against poorly-equipped FedCom regulars on Surcin, nine jumps away. We receive no support payments whatsoever, neither for operating costs nor for battle loss compensation. 70% salvage rights. Pay is poorer than the others, too, at 23.8 million C-bills and 12.2 million C-bills in advance money.
  • Finally, the Draconis Combine has offered us a four-month pirate hunting contract on Kilmarnock, nine jumps away, based on our previous successes against pirates. They’re known to be decent mech pilots, but have typically poor equipment. No battle loss compensation, and very poor pay relative to the other contracts on offer, but also low risk and fewer limitations on parts and supply. 30% salvage rights. Estimated total profit of 9.6 million C-bills, and a 7.3 million C-bill advance payment. (All the other contracts have anywhere from worse to much-worse parts access. It’ll start to get less important as our administrators improve, but we aren’t quite there yet.)

As ever, I’m partial to low risk, but we’ll see how the voting turns out.

Kill Board

I’m going to leave this in every post, because it saves me having to dig through old ones to find the up-to-date version.

All-Time Leaders

  1. Captain “Drake” Halit (3, 1 mech)
  2. Lieutenant “Rook” Ishikawa (3)
  3. Lieutenant “Linebuster” Atkinson (3)
  4. Private Frajtov (1, 1 mech)
  5. Private “Ker-Ker” Ec (1)

Status

It is now July 1, 3050.

Finances

We have 3.343 million C-bills in the bank right now. Our current operating costs are 135,810 C-bills per month.

Supplies

The Opinionated Bastards are back to eleven mechs. We have supplies which enable us to embark on a mission with below-average parts availability, but I’d probably still want to bulk up the stocks a bit if we do.

Unit Market

There are several mechs for sale on the unit market at present, but they’re all on the black market, which has a one in six chance of turning out to be a scam. There’s a Thunderbolt, a Commando, a Centurion, and a Shadow Hawk; I’ll post variants and prices if there’s interest in purchasing a new unit.

Action Items

  • Should we take a contract, or wait for something better? We have room in the budget to chill for a few months.
  • Should we buy a mech, or wait?
  • The following mechwarriors remain to be claimed. To claim a mechwarrior, give me a callsign for one of them. I’ll refer to them by their callsign in most places, and bold it so it’s easier to find them.
    • Pvt. Yuksel
    • Pvt. Jamil
    • Pvt. Ngo
    • Pvt. Frajtov
  • For the record, the following mechwarriors are claimed.
    • Captain Huri “Drake” Halit (Mephansteras)
    • Lt. SG George “Linebuster” Atkinson (Hasek10)
    • Lt. SG Mariamu “Rook” Ishikawa (Culise)
    • Lt. JG Sung-min “Double Dog” Dare (a1s)
    • Pvt. Jose “Milspec” Ortega (milspec)
    • Pvt. Ferdinand “Woad” Kohler (A Thing)
    • Pvt. Jan “Euchre” Kojic (EuchreJack)
    • Pvt. Cathrine “Severe” Payne (Burnt Pies)
    • Pvt. E-Shei “Ker-Ker” Ec (Kanil)

The Opinionated Bastards: Gacrux Part II (May 1, 3050)

The month of April turns out to be an exciting one for the Opinionated Bastards. Read on below the fold.

Last Month’s Action Items

Hasek10 took the lead this time, so I went with his plans. The light lance remains on training duty. We’ll discuss procurement at the end of the month.

The Action of April 19, 3050

On April 14, the unit intelligence officer receives word of a pirate concentration near a grassland town some distance from our base of operations. Happily, the light lance is training locally rather than on an exercise elsewhere, so they join in the deployment.

We’ll probably need them, too. This is some battle. A full six lances of mixed enemy mechs and vehicles are facing our ten mechs (Private ‘Severe’ Pain’s Locust is currently in refit, adding some armor and two more medium lasers). Happily, when they catch wind of our approach, they flee. We’ll have to chase down and destroy half their force before we can declare victory.

Captain Halit has four levels in the Tactics skill, which means we get to reroll battlefield conditions up to four times. The end result is this: muddy grassland with a town in the center, in moderate rain, on a moonlit night.

Because this is a chase battle, units deploy in order of speed, fastest units in early rounds and slower units later on. Attached to our lance is a Lyran Phoenix Hawk. Since the contract stipulated House command rights, the Lyran pilot is not under our direct command.

Rounds 1-4

Nothing happens.

Round 5

The Lyran mech deploys, along with the rest of the enemy light mechs. In total, they have four Wasps, a Spider, and a Stinger.

The mud is proving tricky.

stuck

Round 6

Our two fastest mechs take the field: our Phoenix Hawk (piloted by Jose Ortega) and our Vulcan (piloted by Tedros Jamil). They both fire on a Stinger stuck in the mud a few hexes to the north, but do limited damage.

Round 7

The remainder of our ‘light’ lance arrives on the field. Our two Trebuchets come first; Private Frajtov is driving the short-range TBT-5S, while Woad has the LRM-equipped TBT-5N. Damayanti Ngo rounds out the deployment, piloting our Crab.

deploying

The pirates deploy a number of Vedette medium tanks in a flanking position. Fortunately, the weather will make it very hard for them to hit our mechs at any distance, and Vedettes are slow at the best of times. They may have trouble moving at all.

The light lance concentrates its firepower on a stuck Wasp, the Stinger having escaped the sucking mud and jumped further away. (Ortega pursues him in the Phoenix Hawk, but can’t line up a good shot.) They do a good job, hitting the Wasp for more than 20 damage. Its pilot fails to keep his balance under the barrage, and the Wasp tips over into the mud.

die, wasp

Round 8

Our heavy lance hits the field. Expert gunners with long-range weapons should begin to tell here. Three of them (Captain Halit’s Flashman, Double Dog‘s Rifleman, and Linebuster‘s Lancelot) deploy with the light lance, while two of them (Lieutenant Ishikawa’s Thunderbolt and Private Ec’s Lancelot) deploy further east, behind the enemy vehicle line.

heavies

The pirates deploy their lone heavy mech, an Orion, just to the southwest of our forces. Double Dog turns to face it, ready to engage.

In the Phoenix Hawk, Ortega has run up too much heat from weapons fire and jump jet use, and forgoes firing this turn. The western heavies engage the Wasp, and the eastern heavies focus on the enemy vehicles, including two PPC-equipped Manticore heavy tanks. The mediums (and the Rifleman) divide their fire between the Orion and the vehicle line.

Captain Halit proves his worth on his first turn in battle. Lighting up the stuck Wasp with his large lasers, he draws first blood, neatly coring the enemy mech.

The eastern heavies badly damage the pair of Manticores, knocking out the nearer tank’s engine and scything into the more distant tank’s armor.

The Orion, unfortunately, aims true and hits Woad‘s rear center torso with an AC/10. The Trebuchet’s engine and gyro both take hits, and Woad is unable to keep the mech’s legs beneath him. The Trebuchet bogs down in the mud, and rattling around the cockpit like a pinball does Woad no good, either. He’s alive and conscious, but it seems unlikely he’ll be able to get unstuck and stand back up, especially with an ailing gyro.

Round 9

Let’s talk about a particularly devilish foe: the SRM carrier. A simple tracked vehicle with an enormous box of SRM launchers on the back, the SRM carrier has one of the most devastating alpha strikes in the BattleTech universe. It mounts ten SRM-6 launchers, each of which fires six missiles, each of which does two damage. That’s a potential total of 120 damage; for comparison, the Flashman, the most heavily armored mech in our hangar, has 216 points of armor altogether. It’s altogether possible for a lucky SRM carrier to blow up a mech in a single turn.

Why do I bring this up? Well, our piratical friends have laid their hands on five of them, all of which are part of the rearguard with which we’re currently engaged. We’ll come back to the SRM carriers.

This rearguard, by my count, contains enough enemy force to fulfill our mission requirements, so rather than pursue the enemy across the map (and allow the rearguard to fire on us from behind), I decide to focus on beating down the enemy here. That means nobody moves very much, although the medium mechs move closer to the vehicle line to the east of our main body to secure better shots.

Woad is still prone and unable to stand up. His mech takes some light fire from the Orion, but weathers it without further drama. Double Dog, running hot, takes an ineffectual medium laser shot at the Orion, but successfully kicks an SRM carrier, stripping its armor. The Lyran Phoenix Hawk, standing next to him, finishes the job with a kick of its own.

Linebuster destroys a second SRM carrier with well-aimed laser fire from his Lancelot, while Lieutenant Ishikawa and Private Ec in the Thunderbolt and other Lancelot make short work of a Manticore heavy tank and the lone LRM carrier.

Then the SRM carriers shoot back.

Three shoot at Captain Halit’s Flashman, but he’s moving, and the range, darkness, and rain conspire to protect him. He takes a pounding, but his armor holds.

Two shoot at Private Ec’s Lancelot. She’s not moving, and she’s much closer. Missile after missile slams into her mech’s armor. Holes begin to open up, and the explosions move inward to the mech’s frame. The dust settles. In all, 61 missiles hit Private Ec’s mech, destroying weapons and heat sinks, and damaging leg actuators. Several missiles hit the cockpit. The armor holds, but the shock knocks Ec out cold. Her mech collapses into the mud.

SRM carriers remaining: 3.

Round 10

Well, we should probably do something about those. Captain Halit and Private Frajtov will continue shooting at the Orion, in the hopes of bringing it down. Frajtov places his mech directly in the Orion’s path.

Everyone else is going to set up to shoot at an SRM carrier.

Linebuster hits one, knocking out its engine but leaving it alive. Lieutenant Ishikawa destroys one outright. The others survive unmolested.

Surprisingly, it’s Private Frajtov who takes home the trophy for largest mech destroyed to date. A simple medium laser shot at point blank range penetrates the Orion’s armor and lights off its AC/10 ammunition. Fire blossoms within the pirate mech, then bursts forth in a tremendous fireball which leaves very little of the Orion left.

Then the SRM carriers shoot back.

Private Ec’s mech takes the brunt of the barrage. Happily—she was basically doomed anyway. In the end, there isn’t much left of her mech besides a frame and, surprisingly, a cockpit. (It survived with one internal structure point remaining; happily, she did not die in her first battle.)

Double Dog takes fire from the final SRM carrier, and it’s a doozy. It gets into his Rifleman’s internal structure, knocking out several weapons and damaging a leg actuator. He can’t keep his mech upright, and it topples, getting stuck in the mud.

That’s bad. Hitting an immobilized target is easier, and Lieutenant Dare’s mech is still in relatively good shape. It would be a shame to lose it.

SRM carriers remaining: 2.

srms, sadface
The mud-soaked battlefield as it stands now.

Round 11

We’re winning, per the objective; we only have to destroy half of the enemy’s starting force before it escapes, and we’re currently up to 45%. Mopping up here in the south should suffice to win.

As far as positioning goes, it’s pretty static. Now that the Orion is dead, Captain Halit can turn around to help with the vehicles. He hits a Manticore and kills it. Linebuster destroys another SRM carrier.

Unfortunately, Private Ortega, the only pilot with a clear shot at the last SRM carrier, misses altogether. Hopefully that won’t come back to haunt us next round.

One SRM carrier shoots at the Lyran Phoenix Hawk; the other shoots at the Rifleman. The Rifleman survives, somehow, amidst a bevy of internal structure damage. It’s alive, but I don’t know how much longer it can take this kind of beating.

SRM carriers remaining: 1.

Round 12

Captain Halit accounts for the final SRM carrier with a hail of laser fire. Just before it goes up in a towering explosion, it gets off a shot at the Rifleman.

The Rifleman eats it. Its engine is destroyed, its head is destroyed, and its AC/5 ammo explodes just to really clarify that yes, it’s gone. Happily, the autoeject system works, flinging Double Dog free of the flaming wreckage just before the ammo goes off. He’s badly wounded and unconscious, but he’s alive.

doubledog down

To add indignity to our vaguely Pyrrhic victory, Woad finally gets himself unstuck from the mud, but doesn’t risk standing with his damaged gyro. Wouldn’t want to set ourselves up for yet more repairs.

SRM carriers remaining: 0. Thank God.

Rounds 13-22

With the SRM carriers dead, there isn’t much else left in the south; a few damaged Vedettes, mostly. They go down much more easily, and don’t obliterate our mechs in the space of seconds.

Private Frajtov walks his Trebuchet past the still-burning Rifleman, pops out, and brings Double Dog up to the cockpit. At least he isn’t in the rain anymore. Private Ec, still unconscious in the cockpit of her very dead Lancelot, remains there for now.

An ad-hoc lance comprising Captain Halit, Lieutenant Ishikawa, Linebuster, and Private Ngo heads north to chase the pirates, now in full retreat, off of the map.

Further in that direction, the Lyran Phoenix Hawk beats up on an immobilized transport hovercraft.

wrapping up
At least someone’s having a good day.

Eventually, the pirates make it to the north end of the map, and I call it a day.

Damage Report

damage report

Man, it would have been nice to have some battle loss compensation in this contract.

There are some bright spots. Miraculously, Private Ec’s Lancelot is not a total write-off; it has enough internal structure left to rebuild. We are, therefore, only down one mech.

dead lancelot
It’s going to take a lot of work, though.

Four of our ten pilots are wounded, including Double Dog and Woad. Only Double Dog‘s wounds are serious enough to impact his piloting skills, but he should be fine in a few weeks.

injuries1
injuries2

Salvage Report

The Wasp Captain Halit nailed is a total loss, so I took as salvage an SRM carrier and a Manticore heavy tank. We’ll strip the weapons and armor and sell the chassis.

In doing so, we make nearly 800,000 C-bills, and add a spare PPC, some armor, a medium laser or two, and a ton of SRM-6 launchers (even after selling half of them).

The husk of Double Dog‘s Rifleman yields an arm and a leg, along with a few actuators and a heat sink or two.

The salvage we took comes to 35% against our total allowed of 30%. We’ll have to pay the employer back for the overage if we don’t get our salvage percentage down below the 30% mark; the payment required at present is about 185,000 C-bills.

Kill Board

Last Mission

kill log

All-Time Leaders

  1. Captain Halit (3, 1 mech)
  2. Lieutenant Ishikawa (3)
  3. Lieutenant ‘Linebuster’ Atkinson (3)
  4. Private Frajtov (1, 1 mech)
  5. Private Ec (1)

Repairs and Refits

The Rifleman is good for an arm and a leg, which simplifies getting the second Lancelot back in action.

Unfortunately, we need some expensive parts. The damaged Lancelot’s gyroscope is a total loss, and a new one sets us back 900,000 C-bills. Other parts come to about 200,000, eating into last month’s payout a bit.

By the end of the month, we’ve rebuilt the mech, which has earned the name Frankenstein from its tech teams.

frankenstein

Status

It is now May 1, 3050. I decided against advancing the game further because…

Mission Progress

deployment
After taking such heavy losses in equipment, morale among the pirates here on Gacrux has collapsed, and they’ve made overtures to the planetary authorities about surrendering. At the same time, the local government has located the pirates’ main base of operations and passed that information on to us. See the action items for more.

Personnel

organization

All pilots except for Double Dog are in good health. Lieutenant Dare’s concussion symptoms are lingering. The doctors estimate he’ll be back to 100% in a week’s time.

Captain Halit’s Negotiation has improved, which increases our company’s reputation.

Finances

We kick off May with 2.881 million C-bills in the bank, and two payments of 884,800 C-bills remaining in this contract. That leaves us with an expected balance of 4.6 million C-bills after this contract, and about 2.9 million C-bills after transit back home.

Supplies

Per Hasek10’s directions, I’ve obtained spare ammunition and armor suitable for a deployment of moderate length and intensity, and laid in stocks of common weapons and equipment.

Action Items

  • As far as this contract goes, we have two options. We can attack the pirate base, or accept the pirates’ surrender and head home. In both cases, we’ll be paid the remaining balance of the contract. In the former case, we have a chance at more salvage, although there are no heavy mechs among the enemy’s known forces. In the latter case, we don’t risk losing any further mechs in a costly battle, but we’ll have to pay 185,000 C-bills to the employer to cover our over-salvaging.
  • As far as the company goes, should we reorganize? We may be able to find more favorable engagements (read: MekHQ generates less difficult missions) if we go to a more traditional lance structure, heavy units supported by lighter units. On the other hand, that places a greater emphasis on pilot skill; we do have some skilled pilots, but they’re distributed mainly in the heavy mechs right now. If you think the answer is ‘yes’, you should describe a structure you think would be an improvement.
  • Mechwarriors are going fast, but there are some remaining. Give me a callsign and the pilot is yours; I’ll follow them more closely in subsequent updates, refer to them by their callsign in most cases, and bold their name so you can track them more readily.
    • Captain Halit
    • Lt. SG Ishikawa
    • Pvt. Jamil
    • Pvt. Ec
    • Pvt. Ortega
    • Pvt. Ngo
    • Pvt. Frajtov
  • For the record, the following mechwarriors have been claimed by members at the Bay12 Games forum.
    • Lt. SG George “Linebuster” Atkinson (Hasek10)
    • Lt. JG Sung-min “Double Dog” Dare (a1s)
    • Pvt. Ferdinand “Woad” Kohler (A Thing)
    • Pvt. Jan “Euchre” Kojic (EuchreJack)
    • Pvt. Cathrine “Severe” Payne (Burnt Pies)