Welcome to the Hangar Bay. This blog has been set up to catalog information about the BattleTech campaign I’m currently running with a group of friends. For an introduction to the site please check out The Rundown.
Location: In orbit, Cameron’s Legion Jumpship Indomitable
Date: June 15, 3031
After six months of hard fighting in Lyrian Alliance space Cameron’s Legion has been called back to Combine controlled planets in order to pacify rebellions and uprisings. The first such planet is that of Vorarlberg. The Hyperborian Drakes are taking a moment to repair their battle torn Mechs while in orbit before dropping into the combat zone and rendezvousing with DCMS representatives. Equipment and personnel have begun transferring from jumpship to dropships in preparation for the impending planetfall.
Amongst the hustle of mechanics, pilots and mechwarriors Jelergan Meeves gathers his fellow Drakes onboard the Leopard Class Dropship Unreasonable to share some disturbing chatter he overheard on his graveyard shift in the comms center. According to Meeves, if the Legion wants to keep its contract with the Draconis Combine they must turn over all deserters from the DCMS, specifically those deserting from the 5th Rasalhague Regulars. Chu-Sa Kage Kune is waiting on the planet to take them into custody personally.
The decision is made to disembark from the Indomitable ahead of schedule, before they can be taken into custody, and seek haven in the city of Rhone; the city they were supposed to be pacifying. Sgt. Lucia Dale engages an emergency separation from the Jumpship and steers the Dropship Unreasonable into Vararlberg’s atmosphere. The maneuver doesn’t go unnoticed and kilometers outside of Rhone the dropship comes under anti-aircraft fire from heavy mechs on the ground.
“You’re gonna have to hot drop boys.” She calls into the radio “You guys will have to push your way through enemy lines and into the city. I’ll meet up with you as soon as I can make a clean landing.”
“Good luck” are her final words as the bay doors open and the four cobbled together Mechs begin their plummeting decent to the planet’s surface amidst the blasts of LRM explosions.
The lance of Assault Mechs encountered on Maule were not members of the Lyrian Commonwealth Armed Forces (LCAF) nor any mercenary unit. Supposedly they belong to a rebel force within the Rasalhague Military District known as the Tyr Regiment.
In an effort to allow my players to further differentiate their characters and to encourage deeper role playing I decided to offer them jobs. These are secondary obligations within the mercenary unit and provide the opportunity for both statistical (decreased modifiers) and story related effects.
Below is the text that I presented them with after they successfully completed mission 2a. I then asked them to choose a different task, and after everyone had chosen I revealed the effects (in parenthesis) of each. The goal was to keep anyone from choosing a job based on statistical benefits and encourage them to make choices based on story related criteria.
Camerons Legion is a growing mercenary outfit but they are not large enough that they can afford to keep MechWarriors on the payroll who aren’t earning their keep off the battlefield as well as on it. For this reason every MechWarrior must select a support role that they fill when not in combat.
Communications Tech – Keeping the lines of information flowing is a thankless job but it’s absolutely critical to a successful unit. (Not only is it a thankless job, it’s also kind of boring. No immediate effect, story related benifits)
Machinist Mate – Keeping one Mech battle ready is a fulltime job, keeping a whole battalion together is a lifetime job. (Spending all that time repairing Mechs means gives you a better understanding of how they work. May immediately switch one specialty for free)
Training Instructor – A chain is only as strong as it’s fattest, laziest link. Sometimes crew members need a little motivation to keep in shape. (Pushing everyone to work out constantly has improved your physique if not your personality. Piloting skill -1)
Dropship Technician – What good is a lance of Mechs if they can’t get to the battlefield? (Dropships need love too, and you keep yours in tip-top shape. All rolls involving a dropship -1)
Fire Prevention Engineer – Mercenaries spend as much time out of atmosphere as in it. And fire is not something you want to deal with a couple of lightyears from the nearest body of water. (Constantly being concerned with fire has it’s benifits. All rolls involving fire -1)
Intelligence Officer – It pays to be in the know, in fact it pays very well. (Surprisingly being nosy has no immediate benifits. Story related bonus)
Security Specialist – You’d be surprised how many untrustworthy people are out there. That’s OK, you’re naturally untrusting. (No one said you couldn’t do your rounds in your Mech. Piloting skill -1)
Jobs are now reflected on each MechWarrior post.
After a successful recovery of the cargo the Hyperborean Drakes moved towards the spaceport. Upon passing their dropzone and rendezvousing with their dropship (Leopard Class Dropship, the Unreasonable) they were confronted by a map wide forest that needed to be passed in order to reach the starport. Approaching the forest the Drakes witnessed two jump enabled medium Mechs approaching along with a heavy Mech trudging through the woods on long-range sensors.
Miyamoto Musashi, determined to take part in the assault on the starport (what he considered to be the ‘real’ assignment) bypassed the approaching reinforcements and pushed headlong off the far side of the map. The remaining three Drakes took up a position on the edge of the forest and awaited the approaching Mechs. Upon recognition that the apporaching heavy Mech was a Rifleman and lightly armored in the back, Micheal Hyung-Sei jumped into the forests for a quick, decisive strike against Colonel Ralleagh’s heavy Mech. The attack was a success destroying an gyro and engine components and forcing the commander to power down in surrender.
Meanwhile Jelergen Meeves and Leif Svalgaard took up positions on a hill overlooking the forest and fired upon the apporaching medium Mechs. Meeves scored a headshot with his LRMs and knocked the pilot of the Vindicator unconscious. The other medium Mech, a Trebuchet, recognizing the plight of his commander decided to cut his losses and flee after a single round of up close combat. Jumping to Ralleagh’s powerless Mech the young pilot collected his commanding officer and then retreated back through the woods, off the far end of the maps.
Successful in their primary goals of capturing the convoy and drawing out reinforcements the Hyperborean Drakes are accepted into the Cameron’s Legion as full-fledged MechWarriors, given secondary responsibilities, and allowed to personalize their lance with their choice of any of the Mechs they have used to this point in the campaign, to which they can add the following hardware: 1 pulse laser, 1 PPC, and a C3 Network.
Touching down on Nox the unit set up an ambush on a map of rolling hills and light woods. Their mixed lance was made up of four mechs: Dragon (60 tons), Hermes II (40 tons), Vulcan (40 tons) and Valkyrie (30 tons).
The Hyperborean Drakes (The lance’s new self appointed title) lay in ambush in the light woods surrounding the expected convoy route. The convoy appears and is made of up the following vehicles: 3 Cargo transports, one PKR-T5 Packrat long range scout, one Skulker wheeled scout tank, one GAL-100 Galleon Light Tank, one Vedette Medium Tank, and two light mechs (one Wasp and one Commando)
As the convoy makes it way through the winding valleys one Galleon light tank passed directly in front of Hyung-Sei’s Vulcan. Not wanting to give up the element of surprise the Vulcan pilot unloaded into the tank point blank, destroying it. His position now known to the members of the convoy, the two light Mechs sprang into action targeting his position. Moving to support his comrade Musashi stepped out of hiding earlier than he would have liked to attack the largest threat, the convoy’s Mech escort.
The fast moving vehicles in the convoy began to make a break for the starport (trying to exit the far side of the map), while the cargo trucks did the same but at a much slower pace and the heavier tanks rallied around the cargo trucks.
Musashi piloted his Vulcan to harrass the defending Wasp while Hyung-Sei focused fire on the Commando, A lucky strike ignited its SRM ammo, vaporizing the light Mech in a cloud of fire. At this point Svalgaard revealed his Hermes II and engaged the heavier escort vehicles. After dispatching his Wasp opponent Musashi gave chase to the Skulker scout tank that was fleeing the battlefield. Simultaneously Hyung-Sei disabled the Packrat scould vehicle with a well placed shot. Immobilizing the target but leaving it’s weapons intact.
Meeves, paranoid from the last encounter and expecting reinforcements had remained in hiding throughout the early phase of the battle. Noting the fleeing scout vehicle he finally brought his Dragon into the fray but was too late to keep the vehicle from escaping, to call in reinforcements.
Svalgaard after taking a face full of flamer from the stationary Packrat finally stepped into the light vehicle’s blind spot and destroyed the Vedette medium tank while Hyung-Sei and Meeves finished off the Packrat before it’s SRM-6’s could do any more damage. With the escorts dispatched the mixed lance of the Hyperborean Drakes easily captured the cargo vehicles and moved to join the battle already in progress at the starport.
Name: Miyamoto Musashi
Current Assignment: Camerons Legion (MechWarrior, Training Instructor)
Lance: Hyperborean Drakes
Weapon: Small/Medium Laser
The second son of nobility on his homeworld of Alshien, Musashi is driven to the breaking point by his second-best status in his father’s eyes. In his Early years he showed his unrest through juvinile misdemeanors – acts of rebellion against his father’s governance. His Kendo training is his single outlet to the rigors of academic and military training, with the goal of earning his father’s (and his own) favor. He keeps a single Kodachi in his Mech cockpit, with his family’s insignia on it for memory, tradition, and defense if on the ground.
Now in exile he is plagued by guilt and driven to excesses in combat. He blames his regiment for abandoning him without hope of fulfilling their true duty and himself for not killing the enemy that lay crippled at his feet. Would that have made a difference?
My crew has been playing with the cardboard counters that came with a 13 year old boxed set. While this has been perfectly functional it has it’s drawbacks, not the least of which is a reduced level of immersion. I’ve been wanting to pick up some miniatures for our games.
Needless to say I was super-excited to hear about the new introductory boxed set which comes with 24 plastic minis. I was less than excited to find out that I couldn’t find a single online retailer who had the set in stock. I did however find a Boarder’s with it in inventory 2 hours away. After a little road trip I’m now the proud owner of a tiny ‘mech army.
I’m excited to see what havoc we can reap with our new little toys. The only problem now is that they desperately want to be painted, a project I’m not sure I have the skill or the patience for.