Workin’ for a Livin’

November 15, 2009

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.


Battle Report 2a – The Green Bands

November 11, 2009

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.

Battle Report 2 – New Employers

November 8, 2009

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).

Dragon 191px-3025_Vulcan1 Hermes II Valkyrie

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.

MechWarrior – Miyamoto Musashi

November 7, 2009

Name: Miyamoto Musashi

Age: 26

Sex: M

Current Assignment: Camerons Legion (MechWarrior, Training Instructor)

Lance: Hyperborean Drakes

Gunnery: 4

Piloting: 4

Weapon: Small/Medium Laser

Mech: Light

Experience: 6

Player: J

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?

Behind the Scenes – Mini ‘Mechs

November 5, 2009

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.

Atlas is more intimidating in 3D

Picking a fight

Optional Mission 2a – The Green Bands

November 3, 2009

Planet: Nox

Location: Outside the city of Trondhiem

Date: January 1, 3031

Colonel David Ralleagh cursed loudly as he read the communique from his beleaguered  convoy. He had been cursing ever since he took command of the Spaceport garrison force on Nox. Nothing about this assignment had gone according to plan.

Months ago Ralleagh had cursed when the second half of the garrison force had been moved off world to help with the offensive against the DCMS leaving him without enough BattleMechs to adequately defend both the starport and the city of Trondhiem. As a result Ralleagh had been forced to concentrate his forces at the starport and could allow only minimal military presence on the all-important supply convoys.

Weeks ago Ralleagh had cursed at the civil engineers who informed him that the plans for a well paved road through the forests dividing the Starport and the city were postponed indefinitely. These so called “Green Bands” of forest were both a logistical and tactical nightmare. Unfortunately it seemed that neither expediency nor safety were pressing concerns and the materials and manpower simply did not exist to complete the project.

Days ago Ralleagh had cursed under his breath when his officers had informed him that moral among the enlisted men was low and that some were grumbling about desertion or worse. Faced with this problem Ralleagh had allowed all but a skeleton crew to take a days liberty and celebrate the New Year and let off some steam. Ralleagh had weighed the risk of being under staffed for a day against the possibility of an all out revolt down the road. He had chosen the former and realized now how big a mistake that had been.

The Colonel had ordered a young comm officer to round up any MechWarriors she could find who weren’t too hungover to function. David seized yet another opportunity to curse as she met him in the Mech hangar with only two young men trailing behind her. Absolutely nothing was going according to plan. Three BattleMechs against a mixed lance of mercenaries. Ralleagh could only hope that the attackers had already suffered some losses. Hope and curse.

MechWarrior – Leif Svalgaard

November 3, 2009

Name: Leif Svalgaard

Age: 26

Sex: M

Current Assignment: Camerons Legion (MechWarrior, Machinist Mate)

Lance: Hyperborean Drakes

Gunnery: 3

Piloting: 5

Weapon: Small/Medium Lasers

Mech: Medium

Experience: 2

Player: A

My name is Leif Svalgaard.  I grew up on New Slartibartfast, a cold, snowy planet full of frosty fjords.  It’s so cold that we depend heavily on our machinery to survive the long winters until the single warm month when “’tis short spring, at last; the frigid ice-blast of Slartibartfast has passed into past,” as the ancient saying goes.  So I grew up a skilled mechanic.  Our beloved planet’s inhospitable environment has also rendered me particularly adept at wilderness survival (a forgotten bard once spoke of our planet thus: “This white waste of hinterland is the ice-hard splinter and shard of frost-dead Winterland,” which is the legendary ice-world of a god whose breath will one day freeze the fire of the stars: “The glittering ice-god exhales frigid frost to freeze life-fires in death-ice”).  New Slartibartfast has taught me to remain cool-headed in all situations; on my world, giving way to the fire of rashness leads directly to death.  Also, while I love eating fish–especially those from “the frozen fjords of ‘Fast” (for so we sometimes refer to our world)–I hate sushi.