Sunday, April 26, 2020

Battletech Campaign #9: Push Comes to Shove

With a successful recon mission under their belt, my son's mercenaries - Razor's Raiders - were able to identify the mechs and vehicles guarding their next target before committing to an attack. Rolling for my forces in the open my son knew I'd be fielding a pair of vehicles, three light mechs and a medium. With the battered state his mechs were in though, he was unsure if he should proceed. I reminded him that'd I'd rolled a 4 on 2d6, and it was unlikely that aborting the mission would result in a better array of units he'd be facing. Weighing his options, and desperate for the parts guarded by my units he grimly committed to the battle. And what a battle it turned out to be.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Battletech Campaign #8: Across the Misty Ice Fields

Continuing our Battletech campaign on the ice world of Parakoila, my son's mercenaries - Razor's Raiders - attempted to recover from their mauling in the last battle by sending an ad hoc scout force of any available mechs to recon the enemy.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Battletech Campaign #7: The Ice Storm Cometh

After breaking through enemy lines on the frozen world of Parakoila, my son's mercenaries reached the hidden mountain enclave of a Kurita spy. He welcomed them to the hidden base and gave them the objective of their guerrilla campaign: to steal a mysterious new battlemech the Lyrans had snuck here for testing.

Before they could launch an assault on the factory complex where it was being housed the mercs would need to run a number of supply raids, recon missions and communications disruptions until they had tipped the scales in their favor for their ultimate mission.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Battletech Campaign #6: Breaking the Ice

After our warm up on the desert planet of Vantaa, my son's mercenary force accepted their next contract - a secret mission to the ice world of Parakoila. After making planetfall they'd need to reach a Kurita contact in the mountains before waging a guerilla campaign agains the Lyran planetary defense force. Their first obstacle? Breaking through the Lyran lines attempting to halt their exit from the drop zone.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Battletech Campaign Intermission: Campaign Maintenance

I created some mercenary upkeep rules for the Battletech campaign we are playing. The previous C-bill based version was a bit of a headache, but the war point version from Catalyst's "Chaos Campaign" tracks is a bit easier and more flexible. The minutiae of Battletech campaign finances might not be of interest to you unless you are running a campaign yourself, but I figured I'd throw it out there in case someone else wants to mine it for ideas.

I totaled up the war points my son secured after his campaign on Vantaa, and updated his "Current Assets" to reflect mech losses to enemy fire and salvaged mechs that haven't been repaired yet.

Using a random mech availability table I rolled up some possible additions he could add to his force: 8 light mechs, 7 mediums, 3 heavy and 2 assaults (that seemed about right to me). Mechs could be junkers and salvage, or could be in fighting shape with its own mechwarrior pilot. Each mech had a chance of being crippled (25%), damaged (25%) or ready (50%). If a mech was ready I rolled up a pilot (Green, Regular, Veteran or Elite) and picked a call sign for them. The cost for each was taken from the Chaos Campaign chapter in Strategic Operations.

I'm using the repair costs from the Chaos Campaign, but I introduced a new "rush" mechanic to lower repair costs and reduce time but at the risk of permanently screwing the mech up. In reading some of the old supplements from the 80s there are plenty of 3025 mechs that go into battle missing armor, with broken actuators, flaky weapons and a host of mechanical issues peculiar to that particular mech. I love that stuff.

The defects I introduced shouldn't require a ton of bookkeeping. It will mostly be permanent armor damage that can be removed from the record sheet before play. The equipment defects require a bit more to remember, but should be rare.

My son picked up some of the crippled mechs to give to his dispossessed mechwarriors and rushed repairs on them resulting in some missing armor (the P-Hawk only has like 2 armor left on one arm - permanently!) and a machine gun on a Locust that can jam. It needs some tweaking, but overall it worked pretty well.

Next time - Assault on an Ice Planet!

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Battletech Campaign #5: Pesky Bugs

Mercenary mechs escorting a recovery vehicle (Rifleman salvage not shown).

Still stuck inside, my son and I continued our Battletech campaign with a follow up from our last mission. Having head-shot two mechs which were otherwise in decent condition, he wanted to attempt to salvage them.

We decided he would be able to recover the Phoenix Hawk without incident, but the Lyran forces were able to send reinforcements while his transport of the salvaged Rifleman was en route back to the mercenary's dropship.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Battletech Campaign #4: Back in the Saddle

My son and I haven't played Battletech since pausing our summer campaign a few years ago. Now that we're stuck inside for the foreseeable future and my regular gaming groups are on COVID hiatus, I found I needed to roll some dice and kill some little metal men.

I dusted off the notes from our Battletech campaign, advanced the campaign timeline a few years and the boy and I jumped back into the metal mayhem of the early 31st century.