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!


  1. This is great. I got my Alpha Strike commander’s edition in mail today. It’s been like since late 1990’s I’ve really been into it. So just feeling out my legs a little. Want to learn more before I commit to buying models. Good stuff to absorb here.


    1. I was into Battletech in the late 90s but the rules bloat killed a lot of my enthusiasm. I'm taking a much more DYI attitude these days, making up stuff and changing it to better fit how I want to play. If you are looking for models you should check out the beginner's box. 16 bucks, two mechs some maps, rules and tokens. It's an affordable way to tip your toes back into the universe.