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The Opinionated Bastards: Nox (Feb. 1, 3052)

Nox

The Rasalhague JumpShip leaves us on Nox, a pleasantly temperate world with some defensive forces still in place. It’s one world back from the front, at least for now.

The Action of January 25, 3052

Intelligence and preparation are classic Inner Sphere advantages over the Clans. This time around, the Rasalhague reconnaissance and intelligence forces give us a week’s worth of advance notice of Clan light forces arriving in our sector.

WIth time to set up, Drake and Teddy Bear hit on a plan: hide Drake’s Destroyers nearby, and dangle the Bruisers out front as bait. It ends up being a little more complicated than that—the projected course for the Clan force takes them through a badlands with next to no cover—but after disguising the Destroyers’ mechs as small hillocks, we settle in to wait.

Sure enough, the Clanners show up a few days later, tripping some remote sensors we’ve placed a few kilometers ahead. A few minutes pass, Drake wakes up his pilots and has them wake up their mechs, and before you know it, we’ve managed to bring twice the Clanners’ tonnage to the field.

The battlefield is open badlands, with no cover to speak of and very little relief to the terrain. This will benefit the Clans at first, whose weapons have absurd reach, but will swing around to helping us as we close in.

Round 1

001-deployed

We march from our deployment zone southward, taking desultory fire from a pair of ER PPCs and an ER Large Laser. Hanzoku, unluckily, takes a PPC to his arm.

Round 2

Carcer in the Flashman takes a few hits, but her armor is holding. Once again, we’re mostly out of weapons range. Next round should be better.

Round 3

Drake is still out of range, but will be able to bring the Clanners under fire next round. Most everyone else can hit the enemy Ryoken, the heaviest unit on the field. (The Pumas, however, with their twin ER PPCs, are probably more dangerous.)

Hanzoku scores the Bastards’ first hit; unfortunately, Severe and her Locust take a hammering and fall down. Hopefully they’ll leave her be.

002-locust-under-fire

Round 4

003-out-of-range
The green line is the extent of Drake‘s PPC range.

The Clanner scum squeak just outside of Drake‘s range. Happily, Severe manages to stand, so she’ll have a shot at running away if she doesn’t take too much more damage.

The Bastards’ shockingly poor gunnery continues, and Severe‘s Locust, alas, falls. She ejects, landing well away from the battlefield.

Round 5

Most of the Clanners continue to juke just beyond Drake‘s range; they rightly consider him the biggest threat on the field. The Ryoken, however, stays within his reach. He lines up and thumbs the triggers, along with nearly everyone else.

In the meantime, the reast of our mechs are getting closer, where the superior Clan technology doesn’t tell nearly as much. (An Inner Sphere mech fist punches just as hard as a Clan fist.)

While most everyone focuses on the Ryoken, Hanzoku and Teddy square off against the nearest Koshi, a Clan 25-tonner.

004-alas-poor-locust

The enemy Ryoken falls on its side after taking two hits from Drake‘s PPCs, and some miscellaneous hits from other units. Hanzoku trades fire with the Koshi, and flubs a piloting check after taking a number of hits. He falls, and his large laser is out of commission.

Round 6

Woad leads a pair of Phoenix Hawks (one of them is Private Hernandez, one is our liaison) toward the Clan flank. Embarrassingly, Carcer slips as she enters the rubble pile pictured. (Needed: 3 or better. Rolled: 2. On 2d6.) Hanzoku, too, fails an easy piloting roll, and slips as he’s standing up.

005-fallen-hanzoku

The enemy Koshi closes in, taking another crack at Hanzoku. Teddy is there, hopefully to kick it in the back.

006-shoot-the-koshi

Drake scores three solid hits on the Ryoken, cutting deep into its center torso.

Round 7

007-koshi-flanking

Drake looks to finish the job, firing another three-PPC barrage at the Ryoken. The Koshi comes up on his flank; Teddy and Hanzoku will angle to keep him safe.

Pepper in the Archer is looking a little unsteady; there are a few enemies pointing weapons at him. He may have to fall back.

Drake does indeed finish the job on the Ryoken, with an assist from Carcer and her pair of large lasers. During the physical attack phase, he brings his Awesome’s battle fist around in a sweeping arc, slamming into the Koshi’s cockpit. Somehow, its armor holds, but it’s looking decidedly worse for the wear.

Round 8

008-archer-dying

Alarms go off in Pepper‘s cockpit, as his Archer takes internal damage. He throttles his mech up to a run, hoping to throw off the Clanners’ aim.

Much of the rest of the lance focuses on one of the Puma Primes, whose aforementioned PPCs are causing us no end of trouble. Behind Drake, the dogged Koshi moves into position for another attack with its machine guns and flamer. Hanzoku and Teddy are there, ready with both weapons and their mechs themselves.

Drake‘s PPCs hammer one of the damaged Pumas, shredding its torso armor. Carcer follows up with a shot into the structure, punching through its core and knocking it down.

Though Teddy and Hanzoku don’t manage many hits with their weapons, their physical attacks finish it off. Teddy kicks off its left leg, and Hanzoku kicks off its right leg.

Round 9

Pepper takes a few more hits, one of which knocks out an LRM-15 and comes perilously close to his ammo storage. He turns around, presenting his rear torso armor to the enemy, which is in much better shape than his front. He’ll try to get to safety behind what little terrain there is.

Hanzoku and Teddy are out of the fight for the moment, but thanks to their jump jets, they can hopscotch their way south and back into the thick of things.

Bear’s Bruisers have had the worst of it this go round, down two mechs—Severe‘s dead Locust, and Pepper‘s heavily damaged Archer. As such, the only forces in the south are our liaison in the Phoenix Hawk, Hernandez in the all-energy Phoenix Hawk, Woad in the Grasshopper, and Carcer in the Flashman. All are in pretty good shape, and the numbers will only go further in our favor.

Round 10

009-fenris-faceoff

Woad boldly challenges the enemy Fenris face to face. Drake fires his PPC’s over the Grasshopper’s shoulder, hoping to support his lancemate. The rest of the Bastards will focus on the Puma-C nearest our forces.

Carcer once again scores solid hits on the enemy, slicing off the Puma-C’s arm with a large laser hit. The liaison Phoenix Hawk is looking a little unsteady, but stays on its feet.

Woad‘s challenge doesn’t really pay off; the Fenris hits him much harder than he hits it.

Round 11

Jockeying for position, the Bastards surround the damaged Puma-C, while Woad continues to bravely face off aginst the Fenris.

Teddy shows the value of his refit Vulcan, hitting with the Puma with four medium lasers and notching the kill.

Woad‘s bravery continues to fail to pay off; he falls under sustained fire from the Fenris.

Round 12

Woad runs for it; he’s taken some fairly heavy damage, and is notably low on head armor. The enemy Puma still has a shot at him, but Drake, in turn, has a shot at it, and a very good chance to hit with all three PPCs.

Woad takes hits from both the Fenris and the Puma, but lives to tell the tale, albeit with heavy damage and alarms blaring in his cockpit. Hanzoku scores on the Fenris by blowing up its engine, after Hernandez shot out its torso armor and heavily damaged its engine.

011-grasshopper-armor

Cleanup

With only one Clan mech left, the battered Bastards line up and prepare to bring it down. Woad‘s Grasshopper, still clinging to life, survives a jump jet maneuver out of the Puma’s line of fire. Hernandez gets the kill to close out the mission.

After the battle, Hanzoku and Teddy flip for the right to claim the Koshi kill. Teddy wins. Privately, Hanzoku thinks it’s a lot more boring than a classic Clan trial by combat.

Damage, Injuries, Salvage

If anything, we’re more beat up this time than last time. Pepper‘s Archer and Woad‘s Grasshopper are both going to take some serious time in the repair bays.

Woad and Severe are both injured, but not badly. They pop over to the infirmary; hopefully they’ll be back in action quickly.

012-salvage

Observant Bastards will notice that I elected to salvage both Puma Primes. Happily, we neatly cored both of them, and each has a brace of Clan ER PPCs we can pick up, bringing our total to five. Refitting the Awesome as soon as we can finagle some double heat sinks from the Federated Commonwealth seems like the thing to do.

Most interestingly, as the Clans fight more and more battles in the Inner Sphere, there begin to be some Clan parts available. In particular, there are sufficient parts to bring the Koshi back online, provided we can successfully repair its engine. If we do, I propose to assign it to Severe, who is currently without a ride. (Since her Locust was her property, we either owe her a mech or a payout for the value of it.)

Kill Board(s)

Last Battle

013-killboard

Teddy Bear leapfrogs several people on the board. Congratulations to Hernandez on his first kill.

Drake, notably, takes the lead for mech kills, although he’s still ten behind Rook.

All-Time Leaders

  1. “Rook” Ishikawa (24, 5 mechs)
  2. “Drake” Halit (14, 6 mechs, 2 Clan kills)
  3. “Woad” Kohler (12, 4 mechs)
  4. “Carcer” Ngo (11, 5 mechs, 2 Clan kills)
  5. “Teddy Bear” Jamil (5, 3 mechs, 2 Clan kills)
  6. “Linebuster” Atkinson (5)
  7. “Severe” Payne (4, 4 mechs)
  8. “Double Dog” Dare (4, 1 mech)
  9. “Wizard” Que (3, 2 mechs, 2 Clan kills)
  10. “Ker-Ker” Ec (3, 2 mechs)
  11. “Milspec” Ortega (3)
  12. “Hanzoku” Yuksel (2, 2 mechs, 1 Clan kill)
  13. “Euchre” Kojic (2, 2 mechs)
  14. Gwenael Hernandez (1, 1 mech, 1 Clan kill)
  15. “Wojtek” Frajtov (1, 1 mech)

Status

It is now February 1, 3052. Our contract is extended to May 17, on account of transit time.

Contract Status

Reports indicate that Clan Wolf’s morale is high, and understandably so.

The situation for the Free Rasalhague Republic, and for that matter the Inner Sphere entirely, remains dire. Our latest retreat takes us two world away from the Clan front, where we’re already facing enemy scouting forces.

014-sitrep

Unit Market

Not much in the way of mechs available: one Rifleman (large laser and AC/5 variant), one Dragon 1N (old-tech variant), and one Panther (a slow, 35-ton light mech mounting a single PPC and an SRM launcher).

We put feelers out to the Federated Commonwealth about access to better parts, along with a list of what we might be willing to part with. They responded with a potential deal; see Action Items.

Finances

We have 27.162 million C-bills on hand, although that number is dropping as we try to score more Clan parts on the crowded salvage market.

Recruitment

015-kevin

We welcome a new pilot to the ranks. Kevin Stirzacre is a veteran of the Rasalhague Royal Army, who hasn’t exactly been mustered out but has been stood down on account of there being very few mechs left in the Rasalhague forces. He saw that we returned from combat with the Clan forces with most of our mechs and all of our pilots, and thought that was a worthwhile thing to sign on to.

The Hot Dog ability decreases the difficulty on heat-related rolls (such as shutdowns or ammunition explosions). Gunnery Specialization – Energy means he rolls at a -1 bonus on all energy weapon attacks, and a +1 penalty on all other weapon attacks.

We un-mothball the Wasp we have in storage, put him in the cockpit, and attach him to Bear’s Bruisers for now, simply to keep our four-lance paper strength. Anything larger and the Bruisers aren’t a medium lance anymore. We’ll rejigger lances again soon.

Training

016-training

Milspec and Teddy Bear are now full-on veterans, both increasing their gunnery to 3+ and gaining the Hopping Jack trait (the penalty for using jump jets is only +2, not +3). Double Dog and Wizard both take a rank in piloting. Upon raising gunnery, they’ll move from Veteran to Elite status.

Repairs and Refits

A week of crazy work got all of our Inner Sphere mechs back in action. Drake’s Destroyers and Second Lance are on patrol; the other two lances are resting and refitting.

The Koshi is proving trickier; all of our most experienced techs cluster around it most days, scratching their heads. Hanzoku watches with concealed amusement. When it’s back in shape, I think the thing to do will be to refit it somewhat—remove the machine guns, slap in the ER Medium Lasers we have from previous salvage.

Mechwarrior Claims and Assignments

  • For the record, the following mechwarriors are claimed.
    • Captain Huri “Drake” Halit (Mephansteras) – Awesome AWS-8Q
    • Lt. SG George “Linebuster” Atkinson (Hasek10) – Lancelot LNC25-02
    • Lt. SG Mariamu “Rook” Ishikawa (Culise) – Stalker STK-3F
    • Lt. JG Sung-min “Double Dog” Dare (a1s) – Thunderbolt TDR-5S-T
    • Sgt. Jose “Milspec” Ortega (milspec) – Crab CRB-20
    • Cpl. Damayanti “Carcer” Ngo (Dorsidwarf) – Flashman FLS-7K
    • Cpl. Tedros “Teddy Bear” Jamil (Knave) – Vulcan VL-5T
    • Cpl. Ferdinand “Woad” Kohler (A Thing) – Grasshopper GHR-5H
    • Pvt. Jan “Euchre” Kojic (EuchreJack) – Trebuchet TBT-5S
    • Pvt. Cathrine “Severe” Payne (Burnt Pies) – n/a (provisional: Koshi)
    • Pvt. E-Shei “Ker-Ker” Ec (Kanil) – Lancelot LNC25-02
    • Pvt. Ed “Hanzoku” Yuksel (Hanzoku) – Guillotine GLT-4L
    • Pvt. Ik-jun “Wojtek” Frajtov (Blaze) – Trebuchet TBT-5N
    • Pvt. Xue-Min “Wizard” Que (Rince Wind) – Guillotine GLT-4P
    • Pvt. Abdul-Hafiz “Pepper” Popalzi – Archer ARC-2K
  • The following mechwarriors are available.
    • Pvt. Gwenael Hernandez – Phoenix Hawk PXH-1K
    • Pvt. Kevin Stirzacre – Wasp WSP-1A

Action Items

  • The Federated Commonwealth will give us market access to advanced Inner Sphere parts (including IS double heat sinks) at the cost of two Clan ER PPCs and two OmniMech corpses for investigation. That would take us from five PPCs to three. For chassis, we’d have to give up the Fenris from last time, and one of the two Pumas. (Unless we want to give them the Koshi.) Should we take the deal?
  • The Koshi continues to trouble our techs, but failing very unlucky dice rolls (always a possibility), we should have it back in service, in one form or another, by the end of the month. Should we assign it to Severe?

The Opinionated Bastards: Rasalhague Contract (Dec. 25, 3051)

Since Last Time

The Opinionated Bastards pack up and ship out, leaving Piedmont for the Free Rasalhague Republic world of Stanzach.

In transit, we get word from the Free Rasalhague Republic intelligence liaison that the Clans have restarted their attacks, and that Stanzach is nearly overrun. They redirect us to Gunzburg instead, and even that isn’t looking like a particularly tenable position when we arrive on December 9.

surrounded
Clan Wolf has advanced as far as Hainfeld and Wheel down to the galactic southwest; Clan Ghost Bear is as far as Alshain on the other flank.

We barely manage to land and get unpacked before reports reach us that Clan Wolf has landed on the planet and already overrun the capital. Provided we can survive until Christmas and are willing to fight the remainder of our contract elsewhere, the Free Rasalhague Republic has promised to send a DropShip to evacuate us. It’s a fair deal; we get a free ride back to the front line and keep the generous terms of the contract, and the Republic gets access to four lances of heavyweight mechs with veteran pilots.

First, though, we have to survive…

The Action of December 21, 3051

While the yet-unnamed Second Lance (Rook and company) is patrolling a wooded valley along the edge of our area of responsibility along with our liaison (who drives a Shadow Hawk), they stumble into the first Clan units. There are only four mechs; either a light star or a previously-damaged one. They didn’t call us up to offer a challenge, so presumably they bid for the right to engage us. Happily, Drake’s Destroyers are also deployed nearby, and will be able to join us in a few rounds.

The map is large and heavily forested, which plays to our advantage. Lots of cover means lots of opportunity to stay out of sight of the heavier Clan units until they get to very short range, where punches and kicks tend to negate their advantages in range, heat management, firepower, and speed.

Round 1

We deploy behind heavy woods in the middle of the map, where the trees will screen us from enemy fire to a degree. My goal here is to keep the enemy at a distance and shooting ineffectually until First Lance arrives, at which point we can hopefully overwhelm the Clanners. Their fault for attacking without sufficient reconnaissance.

deployment
More Clanners offscreen to the south. The red hexes are the jamming field from the enemy Loki.

Despite the briefings we’ve received, it’s still a little unnerving how much weapons fire comes from just four Clan mechs. Happily, they miss through the trees. Rook lands a few missiles on a light mech running through the trees, and takes a few shots from some kind of cluster-firing autocannon in response.

Round 2

Jockeying for position all around. Rook and Wizard have a decent chance of some hits on a heavy mech our helpful liaison informs us is called a Thor.

round2

Rook and Wizard both hit, and are looking rather satisfied with themselves, when The Thor fires back. An AC/20 shell and a large laser tear into the Stalker’s right arm, slicing it off. To make matters worse, the Stalker falls, and Rook falls again trying to get back up. The Stalker is looking decidedly less healthy. (n.b. to make this series of events happen, Rook rolled 3 on 2d6 three times in a row, which has a probability of about one in five thousand. Maybe the Flashman was lucky.)

Round 3

Rook finally manages to get her Stalker on its feet, and runs it into a dead-end gully where it’s largely safe from enemy fire. Unfortunately, the enemy light mech (a Fenris, says the liaison, and a medium mech in weight despite its speed) has a shot. The rest of the lance can bring some weapons to bear on it, at least, although none has a very good chance to hit.

round3

Round 4

The Fenris remains in the backfield, but doesn’t score any further crippling hits on the Stalker. Rook clips the enemy Thor in the head, but not enough to knock out its pilot.

Wizard and the liaison officer’s Shadow Hawk surround the enemy Fenris and both land kicks; it isn’t enough to knock it out or even knock it down.

Round 5

Drake’s Destroyers arrive! By more than doubling the enemy’s weight, we roughly even the odds.

The enemy Fenris has snuck around behind the Stalker yet again, a worrying trend, but it’s also been targeted by many of our reinforcements. The enemy Thor is likely going to take a highly destructive shot at Milspec in the Crab, but Rook and Wizard can both take a crack at kicking it, potentially.

round5

Drake and Carcer (now driving Rook’s old Flashman) combine for our first Clan kill. Drake lands all three PPC shots on the Fenris, blowing out its remaining autocannon ammo, taking out its left arm, and chewing through its center torso armor, while Carcer cores it with a large laser and medium laser to the center torso. Rook kicks the Thor in front of her, and it falls.

Round 6

round6

This round, we aim to put the enemy Thor in the ground. One way or another, I think we’ll probably manage it.

In the south, Drake has a very good chance of hitting the enemy Mad Cat with three PPCs (though, annoyingly, the Clan PPCs do a whopping 15 points of damage to our 10, the jerks).

Wizard scores the killing blow on the Thor after Rook softens it up, but not before it’s able to score immobilizing hits on Rook’s Stalker. (She’s still standing, but not able to move or turn.) On the southern front, the enemy Loki hits Double Dog in the Thunderbolt Tallman with two ER PPCs and knocks him over, while the Mad Cat plugs Drake with one.

Round 7

With only two Clan mechs left, it’s looking like the tide has turned somewhat. (Thanks in the main to our reinforcements.)

round7

The enemy Loki isn’t going down without a fight, though. He scores an ER PPC hit to the head of **Double Dog’s* Thunderbolt, who only just manages to eject in time. Shrapnel from his exploding cockpit hits him hard. (n.b. per the game, he died; he’s now spent 1 Edge to survive lethal damage and has 1 Edge remaining.)

Drake and Carcer prove a solid combination again, knocking out one of the Loki’s PPCs and eating through most of its torso armor. The Loki’s pilot stays on his feet, but the mechs coming down from the north put enough fire onto the Mad Dog to knock it over.

Woad, who is driving one of our medium laser boats and therefore leading the charge, is close enough to kick the Loki from one elevation up. He plants his Grasshopper’s foot right on the Loki’s shoulder and shears it clean off.

Round 8

Swarming the Mad Cat, the faster elements from both lances aim to finish it off, or at least cripple it, this round.

Rook has managed to get her balance back a bit, and has turned partway around. At this rate, another eight or ten rounds and she’ll be back in the battle.

round8

Private Hernandez in the Phoenix Hawk falls over, and neither Clan mech falls, though Drake, Carcer, and Milspec have done a number on the Loki, which is all but unarmored now.

Round 9

Still swarming the enemy. Drake gets his first Clanner kill, punching through the Loki’s center torso armor and knocking out its engine.

Wizard and Woad continue kicking the Mad Cat, which is more or less immobilized in a little dip in the terrain. Its right torso fails, dropping the arm off, and its left arm follows shortly after.

Cleanup

With all six operational, mobile mechs now focusing fire on the Mad Cat, it goes down. Wizard gets the last shot, her second kill of the day.

Damage, Injuries, Salvage

damage

Rough day for the Bastards. The Stalker is a figurative wreck, while the Thunderbolt is a literal one (at least until we order a new head).

Carcer, Rook, and Hernandez are lightly wounded. Double Dog is on the brink of death.

Salvage is a better story. The Fenris, Loki, and Mad Cat all end up in our possession, although we’ll be hard-pressed to strip them before we’re heading offworld in four days. They’re beyond repair, but that’s hardly a great loss; we can’t buy parts to field them anyway.

salvage

The Thor is a different story. It’s actually functional, or could be restored to function; that puts it well outside of our salvage budget.

Kill Board(s)

Last Battle

killboard

Wizard is moving up the ranks.

All-Time Leaders

  1. “Rook” Ishikawa (24, 5 mechs)
  2. “Drake” Halit (13, 5 mechs, 1 Clan kill)
  3. “Woad” Kohler (12, 4 mechs)
  4. “Carcer” Ngo (10, 4 mechs, 1 Clan kill)
  5. “Linebuster” Atkinson (5)
  6. “Severe” Payne (4, 4 mechs)
  7. “Double Dog” Dare (4, 1 mech)
  8. “Ker-Ker” Ec (3, 2 mechs)
  9. “Wizard” Que (3, 2 mechs, 2 Clan kills)
  10. “Teddy Bear” Jamil (3, 1 mech)
  11. “Milspec” Ortega (3)
  12. “Euchre” Kojic (2, 2 mechs)
  13. “Wojtek” Frajtov (1, 1 mech)
  14. “Hanzoku” Yuksel (1, 1 mech)

Status

It is now December 25, 3051.

Contract Status

After radioing the Bastards’ command post to be sure it’s clear enough to attempt a landing, a Rasalhague Royal Army Union touches down, followed shortly after by a Leopard. There are just enough mech bays to fit the active units, and too little cargo space to comfortably fit all our salvage and parts. Our administrators work with the Rasalhague officers to make it work.

The men aboard the dropships are ashen-faced and gaunt, and no wonder. The Bastards who choose to wander get the sense this isn’t the first world the Royal Army has abandoned in a hurry, not by a long shot. It hasn’t been a very long war by the standard of such things, but it has been a brutal one, defeat followed by failure circling right back to defeat again. There’s very little of the Free Rasalhague Republic left to flee to. The soldiers and sailors aboard are very aware of that.

The more reflective Bastards realize that they got off easy. Only the presence of reinforcements turned a brewing rout into a costly victory.

Unit Market

There isn’t much worth mentioning for sale: an UrbanMech, a Dragon, and three Wasps. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for better stuff.

Finances

We have 23.155 million C-bills on hand, after purchasing the spare parts necessary to get the unit back into fighting shape.

Training

Wojtek increases his gunnery to 4+, the last Green pilot to join the ranks of the Regulars.

Ker-Ker and Double Dog have both used 1 Edge at various points in the campaign, and have 1 remaining. All the other claimed mech pilots have 2.

Repairs and Refits

Our mechs are back into fighting trim. In the rush, we haven’t had time to fix the paint, so they’re looking a little battle-scarred.

Mechwarrior Claims and Assignments

  • For the record, the following mechwarriors are claimed.
    • Captain Huri “Drake” Halit (Mephansteras) – Awesome AWS-8Q
    • Lt. SG George “Linebuster” Atkinson (Hasek10) – Lancelot LNC25-02
    • Lt. SG Mariamu “Rook” Ishikawa (Culise) – Stalker STK-3F
    • Lt. JG Sung-min “Double Dog” Dare (a1s) – Thunderbolt TDR-5S-T
    • Sgt. Jose “Milspec” Ortega (milspec) – Crab CRB-20
    • Cpl. Damayanti “Carcer” Ngo (Dorsidwarf) – Flashman FLS-7K
    • Cpl. Tedros “Teddy Bear” Jamil (Knave) – Vulcan VL-5T
    • Cpl. Ferdinand “Woad” Kohler (A Thing) – Grasshopper GHR-5H
    • Pvt. Jan “Euchre” Kojic (EuchreJack) – Trebuchet TBT-5S
    • Pvt. Cathrine “Severe” Payne (Burnt Pies) – Custom Locust
    • Pvt. E-Shei “Ker-Ker” Ec (Kanil) – Lancelot LNC25-02
    • Pvt. Ed “Hanzoku” Yuksel (Hanzoku) – Guillotine GLT-4L
    • Pvt. Ik-jun “Wojtek” Frajtov (Blaze) – Trebuchet TBT-5N
    • Pvt. Xue-Min “Wizard” Que (Rince Wind) – Guillotine GLT-4P
    • Pvt. Abdul-Hafiz “Pepper” Popalzi – Archer ARC-2K
  • The following mechwarriors are available.
    • Pvt. Gwenael Hernandez – Phoenix Hawk PXH-1K

Action Items

  • We’re en route to Nox. Presumably, we’re honoring the deal we made for evacuation. If we don’t, then there’ll be consequences regarding our reputation.
  • We have some Clan salvage (one ER PPC, two ER Medium Lasers, one double heat sink, one anti-missile system). The Free Rasalhague Republic doesn’t have much left in the stores to trade to us. Other employers (FedCom, the Free Worlds League) may be willing to share advanced technology with us in exchange for our Clan salvage. We can’t just slap the latter onto our mechs; advanced Inner Sphere tech isn’t up to the same standard as Clan tech, but also doesn’t require us to salvage a functioning Clan mech and put it back in service.
    • Put another way, should we look to trade our Clan salvage for access to advanced Inner Sphere weaponry, or hoard it and try to assemble a franken-Clan-mech or two?

The Opinionated Bastards: Piedmont Again (Sep. 8, 3051)

Nashira Wraps Up

At the end of June, our FedCom liaison stops into the Bastards’ headquarters and lets us know that the assault is over; they’ve come to terms with the Draconis Combine. We spend another week or two on Nashira while the FedCom military packs up; we spend some money on paid recruitment rolls to pick up more mech techs, and some additional money on spare parts.

The Bastards return to Piedmont in early September, along with a brand-new used Stalker, the company’s second assault mech. Unpacking from its rented DropShip, the company bids their traveling companions farewell and gets down to training, refitting, and preparing for whatever comes next.

Which is a bit of a sticky question. The full extent of the Clan push into the Inner Sphere is still not exactly common knowledge, but it’s common enough now that a well-regarded mercenary outfit such as the Bastards can get a sense of the scale of the problem. The upshot is that the Inner Sphere is, at present, largely at peace with itself.

What does that mean for us? Mainly, that there isn’t much to do right now on the general contract market. There’s some pirate hunting in the Federated Commonwealth and Free Worlds League, and the Free Rasalhague Republic is desperate enough to put out a call for mercenaries to carry out security duty against the Clans on Stanzach.

Organization

With Rook getting used to her new Stalker, it’s time for some lance reorganization. I’ve come up with two options, one of which is less well-described than the other. We can also change lance names now, if you’d like.

One Assault Lance

We can pack both assault mechs into one lance; along with our two heaviest heavies, that makes for a 310-ton lance, 70 tons shy of our 380-ton maximum drop weight. The other lances would likely be medium-weight, with one underweight heavy lance.

Two Heavy Lances with Assault Mechs

The setup I have right now. It looks like this:

  1. First Lance (270t)
    • Drake, Awesome AWS-8Q
    • Carcer, Flashman FLS-7K
    • Woad, Grasshopper GHR-5H
    • Pvt. Hernandez, Phoenix Hawk PHX-1K
  2. Second Lance (270t)
    • Rook, Stalker STK-3F
    • Double Dog, Thunderbolt TDR-5S-T
    • Milspec, Crab CRB-20
    • Wizard, Guillotine GLT-4P
  3. Bear’s Bruisers (180t)
    • Teddy Bear, Vulcan VL-5T
    • Hanzoku, Guillotine GLT-4L
    • Severe, Locust Custom
    • Pvt. Popalzi, Archer ARC-2K
  4. Reserve Lance (220t)
    • Linebuster, Lancelot LNC25-02
    • Wojtek, Trebuchet TBT-5N
    • Ker-Ker, Lancelot LNC25-02
    • Euchre, Trebuchet TBT-5S

First and Second Lances are both solid, assault-anchored heavy lances near the 280t heavy lance cap. Bear’s Bruisers is a durable, punchy medium lance with long-range fire support between the Archer/Locust team. Reserve Lance is a true reserve, subbing in whenever a pilot is injured or a mech damaged in the other lances.

Contract Options

We have a few short-term options, limited by the fact that the Inner Sphere isn’t really fighting amongst itself very much right now, and a few longer-term options. As ever, we also have the option of waiting to see what next month brings.

Short-Term

The Free Worlds League and the Federated Commonwealth both have some pirate hunting on offer. They’re very similar contracts; both have Liaison command rights, pay for about 35% of transport, give us 20% or 30% salvage rights, and cover 10% of battle losses. The FedCom contract pays about 22 million C-bills in profit for 5 months, and the Free Worlds League contract pays about 16 million for 3 months.

The Free Rasalhague Republic offers a Security Duty contract against the Clans on Stanzach, as mentioned above, Clan Wolf in particular. We get a bit more transport, 40% battle loss compensation, and 30% pure salvage rights, a generous offer when Clan tech is on the table.

Long-Term

We also have the option now of signing on for the longer haul with one of the great powers of the Inner Sphere. The Federated Commonwealth was impressed with our performance on Nashira against strong Draconis Combine resistance, and is willing to bring us on semi-permanently—until the threat of the Clans is diminished. They’ll pay us to relocate to a world in the northeast of the Inner Sphere near the Clan front line plus a signing bonus of 10 million C-bills, and keep us on a mix of reserve/refit missions, like short-term garrison and cadre duty, and front-line missions like planetary assault and security duty. They’ll accept liaison command rights and pay good battle loss compensation, but salvage rights will be exchange (i.e., they buy Clan tech we salvage at market rates) rather than pure.

We could attempt to put out feelers to the Free Rasalhague Republic about a longer-term contract. They’re more desperate, but also much poorer. We’d have to relocate on our own dime and wouldn’t get much of a signing bonus. In exchange, we’d likely see front-line combat as often as we want, liaison command rights, and broad rights to take what we want from the wreckage. In exchange, we wouldn’t get a lot of battle loss compensation.

In both cases, we’d of course be paid a fair base rate, although a slightly fairer one from the Federated Commonwealth. It’s the bonuses and benefits which are different.

Status

Gonna keep this one short, since it’s deep into Saturday morning and I’m still writing this. It’s September 8, 3051, and we have 11.874 million C-bills in the bank.

Mechwarrior Claims and Assignments

  • For the record, the following mechwarriors are claimed.
    • Captain Huri “Drake” Halit (Mephansteras) – Awesome AWS-8Q
    • Lt. SG George “Linebuster” Atkinson (Hasek10) – Lancelot LNC25-02
    • Lt. SG Mariamu “Rook” Ishikawa (Culise) – Stalker STK-3F
    • Lt. JG Sung-min “Double Dog” Dare (a1s) – Thunderbolt TDR-5S-T
    • Sgt. Jose “Milspec” Ortega (milspec) – Crab CRB-20
    • Cpl. Damayanti “Carcer” Ngo (Dorsidwarf) – Flashman FLS-7K
    • Cpl. Tedros “Teddy Bear” Jamil (Knave) – Vulcan VL-5T
    • Cpl. Ferdinand “Woad” Kohler (A Thing) – Grasshopper GHR-5H
    • Pvt. Jan “Euchre” Kojic (EuchreJack) – Trebuchet TBT-5S
    • Pvt. Cathrine “Severe” Payne (Burnt Pies) – Custom Locust
    • Pvt. E-Shei “Ker-Ker” Ec (Kanil) – Lancelot LNC25-02
    • Pvt. Ed “Hanzoku” Yuksel (Hanzoku) – Guillotine GLT-4L
    • Pvt. Ik-jun “Wojtek” Frajtov (Blaze) – Trebuchet TBT-5N
    • Pvt. Xue-Min “Wizard” Que (Rince Wind) – Guillotine GLT-4P
  • The following mechwarriors are available.
    • Pvt. Abdul-Hafiz Popalzi – Archer ARC-2K
    • Pvt. Gwenael Hernandez – Phoenix Hawk PXH-1K

Action Items

  • Lance organization and naming suggestions.
  • Contract choices.

The Opinionated Bastards: Nashira Part IV (Jun. 15, 3051)

After a few weeks of downtime, during which our intrepid techs decidedly do not succeed in quickly refitting Teddy Bear‘s Vulcan to the more effective 5T variant, we end up with a battle.

The Action of May 27, 3051

This time, it’s a chase, and we’re the defender. We need to eliminate 50% of the enemy before they reach the north edge of the map.

Heavy Lance gets the nod for deployment again. Only Bear’s Bruisers are able to make it to the battlefield in time. (I house rule this one—when I’m listed as the attacker, I can deploy whatever I want; when I’m listed as the defender, only the listed lance, lances with a duty of Defend can join in automatically. Other lances have to roll 4+ on a d6.) Happily, Teddy Bear borrowed the new Dragon from Private Popalzi, who’s now temporarily driving our Wasp in Cadre Lance.

Besides the Heavy Lance we all know and love, we’re bringing another three mechs: Teddy Bear has the Dragon, like I said; Wizard has a Guillotine GLT-4P, and Hanzoku has a Guillotine GLT-4L. Good luck.

There are a full five lances of enemies deployed, largely light forces with a few heavier mechs mixed in. There are several Archers, in particular.

Because it’s a chase, and most of the enemy is lighter weight than we are, we’ll be fortunate to catch anything, frankly.

Round 1-6

Yes, the enemy gets a seven-round head start. (At least, the lighter things do. All of their speed 6 and slower mechs arrive now too.)

Round 7

A lot of our mechs are about this fast, so a lot of them show up. Taking the field are Woad, Carcer, Wizard, Hanzoku, Teddy Bear, and our liaison unit, a FedCom Blackjack.

After our first round of deployment and movement, there are a number of enemy vehicles we may be able to get some good attacks off against.

001-rnd7

Woad opens up the shooting with a kill on an enemy Packrat patrol vehicle, though he takes a few SRM-6 missiles in response.

Wizard, next to a pair of Vedettes, gets his with three medium lasers and half of an SRM-6 volley, which is sufficient to immobilize the vehicle. She’s in good shape to get on the killboard in her first battle.

Hanzoku and Teddy Bear don’t miss a beat, either, tagging the second Vedette near Wizard sufficiently to immobilize it, too. A good round.

Round 8

002-rnd8

Teddy Bear moves up to join Wizard in knocking out the Vedettes. Hanzoku will work on the Archer until Drake arrives next round.

Rook is on the field, to the east; she’ll try to knock out the Packrat there while Carcer and Woad move forward.

Rook gets her kill, as does Wizard. Teddy Bear doesn’t quite manage to finish his Vedette with his Ultra AC/5, but polishes it off shortly thereafter with a kick to the fuel tank.

Hanzoku makes good progress on the Archer, doing enough damage to knock it down.

Round 9

003-rnd9

Most of the Bastards push north. Drake is too slow to catch up, and leisurely picks apart the Archer with Hanzoku‘s help.

Round 10

As the company advances, Woad takes down a Maxim heavy hover transport, and Rook bags a J. Edgar hover tank.

Further back, Hanzoku kicks the Archer in the back, and it falls over again.

Round 11

We’re well on track to win this one by the victory condition, which I didn’t expect. Early kills by the lighter mechs in these two lances helped us out immensely.

Woad and Rook both score kills again this round; Rook finishes off a Vedette, while Woad bags a Scorpion light tank.

Further north, Teddy Bear makes some unlikely hits on a Galleon light tank.

Round 12-13

004-rnd12

The southern Archer falls once more after Hanzoku kicks it; he advances north to join the rest of the lance, while Drake attempts to decapitate the Archer with a few PPC shots.

Wizard, Teddy Bear, and the allied Blackjack are in position to take a shot at the Galleon light tank near the middle of the map.

Drake gets his critical hit, and a little more to boot. He’s not likely to see much more action this battle, but he’ll gamely run north anyway.

005-crit

Round 14

006-rnd14

Rook finishes off the Galleon, according to the combat telemetry analyzed after the battle, although it would be more accurate to say that the combined weapons fire of a lance vaporized it just about all at once.

A Phoenix Hawk from the Draconis Combine reinforcements moves into range, and we’ll start to engage that now.

Round 15

Surprisingly, Drake is catching up and Hanzoku is almost in range. The enemy reinforcements have pushed a bit further south, with a second Archer now roughly in weapons range. We’ll finish off the Phoenix Hawk, take down that Archer, and call it a day.

Cleanup

The Phoenix Hawk pilot ejects after the allied Blackjack kicks out its gyro.

Woad is the man of the hour, finishing off the second Archer with a medium laser shot to the head, followed by a large laser shot to the head.

But wait, there’s more! A Vedette from the Combine reinforcements moves south in a futile attempt to cover the Archer’s escape, and Woad, on a tricky LRM-5 shot, finishes it off after the rest of the company chips away at it.

That’s right: two five-kill battles for Woad. Look out, Rook, there’s a new challenger.

Damage, Injuries, Salvage

The Dragon and Wizard‘s Guillotine both took a good bit of armor damage. She and Teddy Bear both took a few knocks during the fight, and will have to stop by the infirmary.

As for salvage, well, I’m just going to post the picture and let your jaws drop.

007-salvage

In addition to that epic haul, we earn about 60,000 C-bills in battle loss compensation and 130,000 C-bills from prisoner ransom.

Kill Board(s)

Woad is the story of the day, with another epic five-kill performance to move into a tie for second place on the leaderboard.

Last Battle

008-killboard

The killboard here pictured is missing the Packrat which Woad killed—the game assigned them both the same name, without giving one a #2, so it didn’t know they were separate kills. I gave him the Harasser Missile Platform instead (which killed itself by failing a movement roll before we even deployed).

All-Time Leaders

  1. “Rook” Ishikawa (24, 5 mechs)
  2. “Drake” Halit (12, 4 mechs)
  3. “Woad” Kohler (12, 4 mechs)
  4. “Carcer” Ngo (9, 3 mechs)
  5. “Linebuster” Atkinson (5)
  6. “Severe” Payne (4, 4 mechs)
  7. “Double Dog” Dare (4, 1 mech)
  8. “Ker-Ker” Ec (3, 2 mechs)
  9. “Milspec” Ortega (3)
  10. “Euchre” Kojic (2, 2 mechs)
  11. “Teddy Bear” Jamil (3, 1 mech)
  12. “Wojtek” Frajtov (1, 1 mech)
  13. “Hanzoku” Yuksel (1, 1 mech)
  14. “Wizard” Que (1)

Status

It is now June 15, 3051.

Contract Status

Again, no battles on the calendar.

Enemy morale is now believed to be very low.

Unit Market

009-market

There are a few tasty chassis on the market, including a few assault mechs, and all are easily affordable. Should we pick anything up? Build a second elite heavy lance? Save the money for now?

Finances

The Rifleman and civilian Commando get kicked to the curb. In addition to the monthly payout, that puts our current finances at 15.177 million C-bills.

Training

On the strength of his second five-kill performance, Woad is now a 4+/3+ veteran, and is promoted to Corporal. He also gains Weapon Specialist (ER PPC), not that we can buy ER PPCs. Congratulations!

Nobody else has much to do on the training side. Rook is sitting at 48 experience, and needs 100 to make the final step from Gunnery 1+ to Gunnery 0+. She could alternately spend 40xp to go from Piloting 3+ to Piloting 2+, or buy a special ability.

Organization

The Bastards are currently organized into four lances. Heavy Lance and Medium Lance are unchanged. Cadre Lance looks like this:

  • Lancelot LNC25-02 (Linebuster)
  • Trebuchet TBT-5S (Euchre)
  • Trebuchet TBT-5N (Wojtek)
  • Phoenix Hawk PXH-1K (Hernandez)

That’s 205 tons, so it’s not really a good lance to be deploying for combat. It’s a heavy lance by weight, but only barely above medium lance strength. It’s also not really a cadre lance anymore; only Wojtek still benefits from training, and he’ll be up to Regular soon.

Bears Bruisers look like this:

  • Vulcan VL-5T (Teddy Bear)
  • Guillotine GLT-4P (Wizard)
  • Guillotine GLT-4L (Hanzoku)
  • Archer ARC-2K (Popalzi)

It’s a 250-ton heavy lance; not as well-optimized as actual Heavy Lance, but still functional. Its pilots aren’t quite Heavy Lance good, but they’re no slouches; Wizard especially is pretty good.

At present, we have two spare mechs: the Dragon and the Wasp.

Repairs and Refits

As you may have noticed above, Teddy Bear is back in his Vulcan, which is now armored nearly to the level of a stock Rifleman, and mounts a solid primary armament of four medium lasers.

The salvaged Archer and Phoenix Hawk both enter service.

We are quite dramatically understaffed in the technical department; we have fourteen tech teams for eighteen mechs.

Mechwarrior Claims and Assignments

  • For the record, the following mechwarriors are claimed.
    • Captain Huri “Drake” Halit (Mephansteras) – Awesome AWS-8Q
    • Lt. SG George “Linebuster” Atkinson (Hasek10) – Lancelot LNC25-02
    • Lt. SG Mariamu “Rook” Ishikawa (Culise) – Flashman FLS-7K
    • Lt. JG Sung-min “Double Dog” Dare (a1s) – Thunderbolt TDR-5S-T
    • Sgt. Jose “Milspec” Ortega (milspec) – Phoenix Hawk PXH-1
    • Cpl. Damayanti “Carcer” Ngo (Dorsidwarf) – Crab CRB-20
    • Cpl. Tedros “Teddy Bear” Jamil (Knave) – Vulcan VL-5T
    • Cpl. Ferdinand “Woad” Kohler (A Thing) – Grasshopper GHR-5H
    • Pvt. Jan “Euchre” Kojic (EuchreJack) – Trebuchet TBT-5S
    • Pvt. Cathrine “Severe” Payne (Burnt Pies) – Custom Locust
    • Pvt. E-Shei “Ker-Ker” Ec (Kanil) – Lancelot LNC25-02
    • Pvt. Ed “Hanzoku” Yuksel (Hanzoku) – Guillotine GLT-4L
    • Pvt. Ik-jun “Wojtek” Frajtov (Blaze) – Trebuchet TBT-5N
    • Pvt. Xue-Min “Wizard” Que (Rince Wind) – Guillotine GLT-4P
  • The following mechwarriors are available.
    • Pvt. Abdul-Hafiz Popalzi – Archer ARC-2K
    • Pvt. Gwenael Hernandez – Phoenix Hawk PXH-1K

Action Items

  • There are mechwarriors for claim.
  • Should we buy any mechs?

The Opinionated Bastards: Nashira Part III (May 15, 3051)

Another battle kicks off.

The Action of April 26, 3051

Drake, ever the tactical genius in addition to his other fine qualities as a leader, manages to draw the Draconis Combine forces out of the city in which they had established defensive positions as the tornado passes by. We’re now engaging the enemy in a valley at dawn, with moderate snowfall covering the battlefield.

minimap

The terrain slopes downhill from west to east, and is dotted by patches of forest. That may be handy for lighter units in the later phases of the battle; woods can screen a small, fast mech from enemy fire with a bit of luck.

Round 1

We deploy on the north edge of the map, along with our FedCom liaison, today a pilot in a Phoenix Hawk. The enemy deploys in the center.

Woad and the Phoenix Hawk deploy to the northwest corner of the map, where they can navigate the rough terrain with jump jets to perhaps flank the enemy. Drake, Rook, and Carcer start in the middle of the north edge, ready to open fire as soon as the enemy shows itself.

The enemy is two mixed lances, two mechs and six vehicles, with an expected mixed lance of reinforcements arriving later. The two mechs on the field right now are Dragons, a fast, low-profile heavy mech. The enemy seems confident in their skill, moving them forward, along with two of the four Vedettes they brought to the field.

Predictably, the enemy targets Drake. Once again, the AI has proven itself to be much better than me at using cover and sightlines; most of our weaponry is impossible to bring to bear.

None of the Bastards besides Drake hit anything; Drake nails a Vedette with two PPCs to the right side and nearly destroys it. He takes a hit from an AC/2 and an AC/5 in return.

Round 2

positioning

Drake manages to get himself in such a position that he can only shoot at the Vedette he damaged on the previous turn. This isn’t bad, per se, and might even net him a kill. On the other hand, Rook is shooting at it too.

The rest of Heavy Lance has lined up pretty neatly on the enemy Dragons, and will be prosecuting that advantage for all it’s worth.

Rook takes five hits from the AC/2 carrier in the distance, which is hardly anything to worry about, especially since all the shells impact her mech’s arms and legs. Nothing really important in there anyway. She and Drake both hit the Vedette, but don’t manage to eliminate it.

Woad and Carcer take aim at the two Dragons, but can’t combine for more than a low-percentage medium laser hit from Woad’s Grasshopper.

Round 3

round 3

Heavy Lance has a pretty solid line going, occupying the forest here and benefiting from its defensive bonuses.

Drake has nothing to shoot at, again, but the Vedette he’s been whittling away at. Rook has the Vedette right in front of her to take a crack at; she’s joined by Carcer. Woad and the Phoenix Hawk fire on the nearer Dragon.

Drake gets his kill, while Rook does not, though she damages her Vedette’s track.

Woad gets a pair of medium lasers onto the nearer Grasshopper, taking an AC/5 shot in response.

Round 4

r4

One of the Dragons moves around behind Woad, who is happy to about-face and take a crack at him. The Phoenix Hawk is able to get enough of a twist on to join the fun.

Drake, Rook, and Carcer all take aim for some of the nearby Vedettes, angling to reduce the enemy tonnage on the field.

Drake puts three PPC shots onto one Vedette, while Rook dispatches another. Woad, the Phoenix Hawk, and the Dragons trade fire ineffectually, but Woad plants a solid kick on the Dragon.

Round 5

005

Finally, Heavy Lance is decently positioned. Woad and the Phoenix Hawk each have a solid shot on a Dragon, while the Awesome, the Crab, and the Flashman can begin to deal with the tanks further away.

Drake will take a crack at the AC/2 carrier in the distance, while Rook dispatches the Vedette in front of her. Both score.

Woad scores some decent damage on the Dragon in front of him, and also manages to land a kick. So does the Phoenix Hawk.

Drake takes several hits from the enemy Manticore heavy tank, and at the end of the round, his left torso armor is gone.

Round 6

The AC/2 carrier and the Vedette destroyed, the enemy Manticore heavy tank now looms largest (besides the mechs, of course).

The enemy’s reinforcements, a light lance comprising a Locust, an Ostscout, and two hover tanks, arrives.

Drake and Rook both have clear shots at the enemy Manticore, though both are running a bit hot this turn. Rook fires her large lasers; Drake chances another three-PPC volley. Carcer can manage a good shot, too, and does so.

Round 7

006

Medium Lance takes the field, and with enemies to spare and not far out of range, at that. Some kills for our second line, perhaps?

A confused movement phase sees Rook facing off against the Manticore at short range, firing every weapon she can bring to bear. Drake leaves two of his PPCs unfired so he can sink some heat.

Woad and Carcer have a Dragon caught between them.

Medium Lance has split in two. Severe and her repaired Locust and Milspec and his Phoenix Hawk proceed down the west edge of the map, while Ker-Ker and Double Dog advance up the middle.

Between her weapons and her Flashman’s foot, Rook destroys the Manticore. Woad and Carcer both shoot at and kick the Dragon between them; Carcer’s kick knocks out its leg.

Round 8

The downed Dragon attempts to stand and fails. Woad keeps his eye on it to finish it off, while Carcer heads south to help Rook with the three mechs now near her. (A Dragon, and the two lights from the enemy reinforcements.)

Milspec gets his weapons into action for the first time, though he misses; Drake scores three hits on the enemy Dragon, and Rook adds a large laser hit.

Woad fails to finish his Dragon, and will attempt to complete the job with a kick.

Rook, in melee range of several enemy mechs, elects to dodge this round instead of hit back. An uncharacteristic lack of aggression.

Round 9

007

The enemy reinforcements seem to be falling back. Drake and Rook push forward through the center of the map, flanked to the west by elements of both Medium and Heavy lances. Milspec and Severe are in position to eliminate the final Vedette, while Woad continues to wear away at the northern Dragon.

The allied Phoenix Hawk jump jets over a lake and will take a few shots at the southern Dragon.

Round 10

Not much happens on the prior turn; the big guns were out of action. Woad still hasn’t killed his Dragon, but this is probably the turn. Severe and Milspec work on the Vedette, while the enemy Ostscout approaches.

Drake, Carcer, Rook, and the allied Phoenix Hawk all shoot at the southern Dragon. Double Dog and Ker-Ker are closing in, nearly in effective range. So far, they’ve been moving into position too quickly to stop and shoot.

Milspec scores the unlikeliest kill of the day.

kill

While waiting to kick the Vedette that Milspec just killed, Severe might well have scored us another mech to salvage.

headshot

Cleanup

The enemy appears to be in full retreat now. We’ll mop up what we can. (For all our battlefield success, nobody is going to call the Bastards a fast lance.)

Woad gets his kill after all; he just had to aim for a different Dragon. He scores with a kick which blows up the Dragon’s AC/5 ammo supplies. Rook wings a hover tank, but Carcer gets the kill with a hit to its fuel tank. Ker-Ker scores a kill on a Locust; kicking it from one elevation level up, she hits it in the head. The whole weight of the Lancelot behind the blow, the poor Locust has no chance.

Two enemy units retreat: the Ostscout and a J. Edgar hover tank.

Damage, Injuries, Salvage

The Awesome and Severe’s Locust are mildly damaged, and Severe herself took a knock when the enemy Locust knocked her over. Otherwise, the company is in good health.

We salvage the Dragon DRG-5N Severe headshotted, as well as a Vedette to bring us up to 60% salvage.

Battle loss compensation comes to about 60,000 C-bills, and we ransom prisoners for 120,000 more.

Kill Board(s)

Severe may not be all that high up the kill board, but she is currently the giant-slayer of the bunch. All of her kills are mechs, and in that category she’s second only to Rook. Who, incidentally, has now scored 20 kills. Drake gets two, though, to stay at just above half of Rook’s total.

Last Battle

killboard

All-Time Leaders

  1. Lieutenant “Rook” Ishikawa (20, 5 mechs)
  2. Captain “Drake” Halit (11, 3 mechs)
  3. Private “Carcer” Ngo (9, 3 mechs)
  4. Private “Woad” Kohler (7, 3 mechs)
  5. Lieutenant “Linebuster” Atkinson (5)
  6. Private “Severe” Payne (4, 4 mechs)
  7. Lieutenant “Double Dog” Dare (4, 1 mech)
  8. Private “Ker-Ker” Ec (3, 2 mechs)
  9. Sergeant “Milspec” Ortega (3)
  10. Private “Euchre” Kojic (2, 2 mechs)
  11. Private “Teddy Bear” Jamil (2, 1 mech)
  12. Private “Wojtek” Frajtov (1, 1 mech)
  13. Private “Hanzoku” Yuksel (1, 1 mech)

Status

It is now May 15, 3051.

Contract Status

No battles on the calendar right now; the Bastards get a bit of a break.

At the end of April, the FedCom forces gift us a civilian-use Commando (with a primitive cockpit, limited armor, and a large laser). In addition, we picked up a Dragon this month. At present, we have 18 mechs, though not all of them are worth bringing to the battlefield.

Finances

We have 9,426,500 C-bills in the bank.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing in the unit market to spend it on, besides maybe a pair of Hunchback HBK-4Gs.

Recruitment

Another mech pilot comes up on the recruiting market: Abdul-Hafiz Popalzi, of the Free Rasalhague Republic. He’s a 4+/4+ regular to boot. He joins the company.

popalzi

Training

Wojtek is the only remaining Green-rank pilot; Hernandez and Euchre are now regulars, too.

Organization

Adding the two misfit heavies to Cadre Lance, with Hernandez and the newcomer Popalzi driving, yields a second heavyweight lance. At present, Medium Lance and Bear’s Bruisers (if we’re sticking with that) are both medium-weight lances.

Repairs and Refits

Everything’s in tip-top shape, although the Dragon and Rifleman designs are still questionable.

Our technical teams are a little under-strength compared to our mech strength now. We’ll have to see to that.

Spares

We had to use a few more actuators and a spare torso or two to patch up the Dragon.

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.
    • Pvt. Abdul-Hafiz Popalzi
    • Recruit Gwenael Hernandez

Action Items

  • There are mechwarriors for claim.
  • Several refit questions open now: both the Dragon and the Rifleman could do with some changes.

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?