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Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

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NickAragua
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Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua » Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:22 pm

Having gotten super pumped up for Battletech, but not having sprung for the beta (not that it has the persistent mercenary campaign mode anyway), I went google searching and found that there's a piece of software called MekHQ which handles just about all the calculations and other tedium involved with running a mercenary company (rather than me having to look all that stuff up across fifty different rule books). Tactical battles are handled via MegaMek, the results of which are fed back into MekHQ. It's pretty neat. They've even integrated a random contract/scenario generation system. So, I fired it up and took a crack at creating my own mercenary company fielding giant stompy robots. I'll be posting updates here (with a very occasional screenshot), as well as soliciting occasional input and allowing folks to sign up as members (meaning your nickname gets applied to one of the mechwarriors).

Without further ado, I present the "1st Octopus Overlords" mercenary company:

To begin with, we have MekHQ generate 12 mechwarriors, as well as 10 mech techs, a doctor and an admin specialist (I take admin/transport as he'll help negotiate better transport compensation for our company during contracts, which is a pretty major component of price until we get dropships of our own).

Here's the initial lineup (having generated all the mechwarriors and applied the Against the Bot modifiers to them):
Spoiler:
Image
As you can see, our mechwarrior skills aren't terribly amazing, and our mech lineup is... well, anyway. We have three lances, including an Awesome, with its triple PPCs.

Alpha lance is a medium lance, Beta lance is also a medium lance, Gamma lance is a light lance. The lance weight determines the category of opponents that the AtB system generates for us, so the general best practice is to run close to the lance weight limit (130 for light, 200 for medium). Since our mechwarriors are all a little wet behind the ears, I limit myself to medium lances.

We also take out a 2 mil loan to buy some ammo and replacement parts.

Once we've set that up, it's time to pick out our first contract.

#1 The Lyran Commonwealth has a need to hunt pirates on Karston
- Regular/D allies, Regular/F opposition
- 4 months
- House command
- 35% transport costs covered
- 60% salvage rights
- 5M payment with estimated 1.5M profit

#2 The Capellan Confederation wants to conduct guerilla warfare on Kafr Silim against the Federated Suns
- Green/F allies, Regular/C opposition
- 6 months
- Integrated command
- 50% transport costs covered
- 70% salvage rights
- 20% straight support (I think this means they pay personnel salaries)
- 13M payment with estimated 8M profit

#3 They also want to conduct a recon raid against the Federated Suns on Algot
- Green/F allies, Green/D opposition
- 1 month
- House Command
- 30% transport costs covered
- 30% salvage rights
- 2M payment with estimated -250k profit

#4 The Free Worlds League wants to conduct a recon raid agsint the Lyran Commonwealth on New Kyoto
- Elite/D allies, Regular/F opposition
- 1 month
- Integrated command
- 35% transport terms
- 40% salvage rights (exchange)
- 100% straight support
- 1.7M payment with estimated 700k profit

I immediately eliminate #3 from consideration, as we won't be making any money on it. That leaves #1, #2 and #4 as legit options, and will put them to a vote. An explanation of some concepts: Allied an enemy forces go from Green to Elite and A-class equipment to F-class equipment. So, if you're fighting a Green/F enemy force, that means you're fighting fresh faced rookies out of the academy with crappy mechs held together with packing tape. Elite/A means you're fighting the biggest badasses in the galaxy equipped with top of the line mechs they probably just lifted out of an intact star league cache.

Command levels in AtB make it so that you have to take AI-controlled units with you - 2 for Integrated, 1 for House, 1 under your control for Liaison. Losing one of those is a contract breach, which is a major risk as the AI doesn't have the best self-preservation instinct. Additionally, since a Lance is a maximum of six units and the AI-controlled units count against that limit, it means that the number of player controlled mechs we can deploy on a mission is also limited.

#1 will be pretty easy, but isn't much profit (1.5M / 4 months = 375K/month). House command means low risk of contract breaches. We will also be in a Field Workshop for maintenance and repairs which is not ideal but better than the other contracts (meaning our techs are more likely to be able to patch up our mechs without screwing it up and having to buy expensive replacement parts).
#2 will be tough. With incompetent allied AI units fielding crappy mechs against good opposition, not to mention integrated command (up to 2 contract breaches per mission!) and guerilla warfare ("in the field") maintenance modifier means our techs will have a hard time keeping things together and we'll be there for a while and won't have much access to replacement parts if we need them. It's also way the hell out in the southern ass end of the galaxy while the other two contracts are a lot closer.
#4 looks low-profit, but with a duration of 1 month, we won't be there long. It's a quick buck against crap opposition.

So, I'm leaning towards #1 or #4, but I'd like to invite you guys to choose between the three profitable contracts. None of the options have battle loss compensation, so we're on the hook if we lose our mechs.

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El Guapo
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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by El Guapo » Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:42 pm

I'm in. I'd lean towards #4 at first glance - quick mission with a quick payoff while we get our feet wet.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by gbasden » Wed Jun 21, 2017 2:05 pm

Hmm - I like #1. It's a bit more commitment, but the extra 20% salvage seems like it should make it more lucrative.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Zenn7 » Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:04 pm

I'm in (can I request a more bruiser mech, not the light & nimble - cause that's just not me) and I'd go with #4 as well. In case things go south we can lick our wounds and take our lessons learned and move on quickly.

One question though - what does the (exchange) mean for the salvage rights in mission #4. That might have significant meaning regarding the value of the salvage rights.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua » Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:19 pm

"Exchange", I believe, means that the employer buys your salvage off you right away and gives you the cash value. Which is mildly a shame because sometimes I like to strip salvaged enemy mechs and vehicles for spare parts (or put them back together and deploy them in the future). But, money wise, it's about equivalent.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Zenn7 » Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:00 am

NickAragua wrote:"Exchange", I believe, means that the employer buys your salvage off you right away and gives you the cash value. Which is mildly a shame because sometimes I like to strip salvaged enemy mechs and vehicles for spare parts (or put them back together and deploy them in the future). But, money wise, it's about equivalent.
Prices don't fluctuate? A ton of armor always costs X? Cause if they do fluctuate or just go up over time, exchange could be a better or worse deal than non-exchange.

But for the first mission, doesn't matter much, vote for the 4th option.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by El Guapo » Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:24 am

Role playing wise you'd figure it would make more sense to get on good terms with the Lyran Commonwealth than the Free States League, of course.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua » Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:57 pm

MekHQ doesn't model fluctuating prices or anything like that, so I generally consider "exchange" a slightly worse option in terms of flexibility. Since I'm also leaning towards #4, after the mechwarriors hold their strategy meeting, the Overlords decide to take contract #4.

After using most of the initial loan to buy ammo, lots of spare armor and a few spare heat sinks, we're left with 200k, and a dragoons rating of C. After accepting the contract, we mothball our mechs immediately after loading them onto the FWL (Free Worlds League) contracted dropships, so we don't have to do or pay for maintenance en route to the destination system before the contract starts and are on our way. Arrival time is 33 days.

While our dropships are en route (12 days to the jump point, we're located on Galatea), we review potential additions to the company. On January 14th, everyone's guts get turned out as the jump ship transits to Alcor. We hire an Admin/Logistics person (to help with future contract negotiations), but pass on the disposessed aerotech pilot, the ultra-green infantry company and a vehicle mechanic.

Once in system, we re-activate all our mechs. It's worth noting that, due to Integrated Command, our lance size will be limited to 4 mechs per lance on the deployed lance (2 allied bot mechs per lance, and max lance size is 6), so I have to re-organize our TO&E a little bit:
Spoiler:
Image
Roy "NickAragua" Lucas pilots the Thunderbolt, an all around decent mech.
Ottalie "El Guapo" Asterbo pilots the Panther, a relatively slow 35 ton mech that makes up for it by packing a PPC and an SRM 4 as well as decent armor.
Yu-bao "Zenn7" Ting pilots the Awesome, a three-PPC killing machine (let's not talk too much about the little pee pee head laser gun), and the only assault mech in the company.
Rayan "gbasden" Asimov pilots the Shadow Hawk, another all-around decent mech in the medium weight class.

Alpha Lance and Beta Lance are both medium weight. Gamma Lance will remain undeployed, as they're way under weight, and I don't want to be engaging enemy lances with two lights and a medium.

February 5, 3025: The dropships touch down and the "Operation Stone Vanguard" officially begins. Terms of the contract indicate we must deploy one lance in a scouting role, which we do. I deploy the other lance in such a way as well. Scouting lances are more likely to get into fights (40% chance per week), but are also more likely to reinforce one another (1/3 chance).

As Alpha lance and the attached Marik force are conducting their recon, they are intercepted by an overwhelming enemy force (24 units!). The scenario is called "Chase(Attacker)". We start on the south edge of the map and must reach the northern edge with at least half our starting force (meaning 3/6 mechs). I configure the allied bot for maximum cowardice, so hopefully we'll be able to run off quickly. The good news is that Beta Lance will be able to reinforce to take some heat off. The other good part is that it's heavily wooded terrain, so there will be plenty of cover.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua » Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:08 pm

Mission 1: Chase

The friendly AI units deploy first and start making their way north. A Ferret light scout helicopter (uh, sorry, "VTOL") buzzes them but takes a PPC from the allied Panther and evaporates. The AI units make good progress towards the north edge of the map, but the Lyrans have shown up in force on the south, meaning we're going to be in for a tough time when our guys get there.

Round 4: An enemy Ostscout closes with the allied Panther and gets into a shooting/kicking match. The Ostscout, as the name implies is an exclusively scouting mech, featuring really high speed, low armor and a single medium laser. Getting into a fight unassisted with the Panther proves to be a bad idea, as the Panther delivers a kick to the Ostscout's leg and it falls over.

Round 5: Our Stinger arrives on the field, chased by an ungodly amount of Lyran units. He's got jump jets, so I have him hop through the dense woods as far as he can, to minimize his chances of getting shot up. Meanwhile, a Lyran attack helicopter encounters air turbulence and flies off the field. The allied Panther delivers another PPC to the pursuing Ostscout, while the Stinger and enemy forces exchange fire. The bad guys have closed to melee range with the Stinger, but I opt not to kick, since 9+ odds means unacceptable odds of having to make a piloting roll.

Round 6: The Stinger leaps free and clear of the pursuing mass of Lyran forces.

Round 7: Beta lance arrives, and I deploy them on the eastern edge of the map, where the opposition is a little thinner.
Spoiler:
Image
As you can see, there's a ridiculous number of Lyran units here (by design, this is a "chase" scenario, after all). We will be beating feet as fast as possible. On the minimap, the red triangles are the two allied units making good time to the north, and our Stinger is the lone blue triangle to the southwest. Those are the only three units that have to make it out, the rest just have to survive. I jump and run Beta lance into the woods directly to the north. The Enforcer gives chase and exposes his back to the Whitworth. I have trouble passing up such an opportunity so the Whitworth is going to take a shot at the back arc, and kick him while we're there.

This is what it looks like before the party starts.
Spoiler:
Image
gbasden in the Shadow Hawk scores our first kill, a Saladin Assault Hover Tank - a mean, fast hover tank packing an AC/20. An SRM destroys its propulsion system while it's hovering over water and down it goes. Glub glub glub. He takes some heavy fire but keeps his mech standing. The enemy ostscout in the north abandons its pursuit of the allied units to take a shot at our Stinger. While I elected not to try a kick, he did try a kick at 11+ odds, missed, and landed on his arm, which promptly flew off. The Enforcer also fell over after being kicked in the back.

Round 8: Bad news. Four Lyran reinforcement mechs deploy to the north, complicating our light units' efforts to escape. Our Thunderbolt and Centurion arrive on the scene as well, but it's going to be pretty rough.
Spoiler:
Image
As you can see, this is going to be a pretty unpleasant situation, but about half the enemy force is isolated beyond the woods so we should be ok. Lot of armor damage in the firing phase that round, but one important thing is the Whitworth cuts the Pegasus hover tank's mobility by 1/2. Following, there's a lot of punching and kicking and two enemy mechs wind up on the ground.

Round 9: Zenn7 arrives in the Awesome. Not really the most optimal situation for it, but having an 80 ton mech present is still great for morale. We continue plowing to the north. The bulk of the enemy force is bogged down in the woods, which is great. This is what the party looks like. Up in the north, it's our moment of truth. If that Ostscout survives getting bumrushed by the northern reinforcements, we might make it out ok.

Zenn7 unloads on the Pegasus hover tank, reducing it's mobility to that of a slow assault mech. Our Centurion blasts the nearby Scorpion light tank with an AC/20, punching through the front. Zenn 7 then proceeds to kick the little Stinger in front of him, taking off its leg.

Round 10: The pursuing Lyran Ostscout decides he's had enough and bugs out. Realistically, our main force just needs to plow through the three enemy mechs (two lights and a medium) and then we're more or less in the clear. Lot of misses during firing that round. El Guapo exercises his ability to dodge the nearby Jenner's kick. Zenn7 appears to severely dislike Stinger legs, because he kicks the left one out from under yet another Stinger that finds itself in front of him. The commander, though, fails to kick the Commando in front of him and falls over.

Round 11: The commander finally gets up, but can't move anywhere. I move the Centurion to support him so that anyone trying to get in his rear arc will get an AC-20 to the backside. The allied Ostscout reaches the northern end of the board (1/3 escaped!) The bad guys start clustering around the commander's Thunderbolt (time to get out of there, bro), and the enemy Phoenix Hawk jumps into a crowd of our mechs. Well, who am I to say no. Zenn7 unloads on the rather tenacious Pegasus, which is finally destroyed. The commander gets in a good hit on the Commando with a large laser (breaching center torso armor), but takes one too many blows to the head and fails to stay up, blacking out as he hits the ground. That's real bad. Gbasden and our Whitworth both deliver kicks to the Shadow Hawk, knocking its leg off and sending it to the ground.

Round 12: I move the Centurion, Zenn7 and El Guapo in to support The commander. El Guapo in the Panther scores a good hit on the Galeon light tank, destroying a stabilizer (whatever the hell that means). The Lyrans spend time whaling on the Thunderbolt, boring through the internal structure and inflicting hits on many systems. The Centurion scores an AC/20 hit on the Enforcer, breaching the left torso, but no other effect. The commander's leg comes off during the kicking phase.

Round 13: The commander stays unconscious. Pretty sure this means that mech is toast. He can't even punch out. Meanwhile, a little piece of crap Stinger that Zenn7 legged earlier somehow manages to get up. Zenn7 fixes that problem permanently by disintegrating the mech's torso section with PPCs. The commander's Thunderbolt continues to take damage while on the ground (vicious bastards, aren't they), and a stray missile catches the SRM 2 ammo, which cooks off. The unconscious pilot is incinerated. The Centurion hits the enemy Enforcer with another AC/20 shot, knocking it down again. Meanwhile, up north, our Stinger manages to get around an enemy Centurion and unloads on its back (although to little effect).

Round 14: With no reason to stick around, the rest of the lance pulls back north, consolidating our position. The silver lining is that the enemy Enforcer fails to get up, the pilot knocking herself out. This is the situation:
Spoiler:
Image
Zenn7 unloads with PPCs on the Rifleman, scoring two solid hits, while El Guapo hits the Jenner's left arm with SRMs. Heat is a problem for the Panther, it's hard to jump around AND fire your PPC. Up north, the allied Panther and our Stinger make a break for it. They need to get through this soon, or we won't have any mechs left.

Round 15: Continuing our "tactical advance to the rear". The good news is our only real pursuers are a Rifleman, a Commando, the Jenner and the Galleon. And the Rifleman, if we're going to be honest, is a real crappy mech design with serious heat issues. Of course, that doesn't matter, as Zenn7 lands a head shot with a PPC and the whole thing comes tumbling down. El Guapo nails a pursuing Vedette tank with a PPC, knocking off a few treads. The Rifleman deals a parting blow to Zenn7, hitting the gyro and engine. Thankfully, he remains standing.

Round 16: Up north, our Stinger and Panther have made it through the gauntlet of reinforcement mechs and jump into some dense woods for cover. One or two more turns, and we *should* be in the clear. Unless that Panther mucks up a landing roll. The two remaining enemy light mechs insist on closing in on our main formation, so we will oblige them with what weapons salvo we can manage. Combined fire from Zenn7's Awesome and the Whitworth inflicts severe damage on the Commando, knocking out heat sinks and pretty much every system in its right leg. Good luck getting up, bro.

Round 17: Some enemy armor advances on our position, and a Galeon light tank catches an AC/20 round for its trouble, coming apart. Our units in the north have survived their last round, and are now free and clear to run to the map edge. We exchange some fire, but nothing important.

Round 18: Our last northern unit makes it to the map edge, and we declare victory. We exchange some finishing fire with enemy forces, and Zenn7 gives them a parting gift in the form of his fist puncturing the Jenner's SRM 4 ammo bin, blowing the whole mech to kibble. With sufficient forces retreated off the north edge, "victory" is ours.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by El Guapo » Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:46 pm

NickAragua wrote: Ottalie "El Guapo" Asterbo pilots the Panther, a relatively slow 35 ton mech.
Hmmm. Remind me to update my will.

Also - wouldn't a "stone vanguard" be a terrible vanguard?

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua » Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:16 pm

Well, I wouldn't worry about it, considering my dude was in a heavy mech and was the first to die. As for stone vanguards, golems are pretty effective.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Zenn7 » Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:24 pm

NickAragua wrote:Round 18: Our last northern unit makes it to the map edge, and we declare victory. We exchange some finishing fire with enemy forces, and Zenn7 gives them a parting gift in the form of his fist puncturing the Jenner's SRM 4 ammo bin, blowing the whole mech to kibble. With sufficient forces retreated off the north edge, "victory" is ours.
I'm a generous and giving person like that. And I'm apparently a pretty darn good shot (I get better than average for the starter crew gunnery skills?)

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by gbasden » Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:36 pm

Awesome write up of our first engagement! Sorry our commander has already been vaporized. :(

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua » Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:45 am

That last one was a pretty difficult mission. It actually came out reasonably well (other than losing the Thunderbolt). The heavy woods made it difficult for the Lyrans to concentrate their forces, and their northern reinforcements couldn't quite keep up with our escaping units. Zenn7: your pilot is slightly above average... for our company.

Our goal now is to repair Beta lance to face their next mission, extracting some FWL "civilian reconaissance assets" under attack by Lyran forces. The Awesome, once again, proves to be a walking death machine, even at close range in heavy woods. It'll be out of action for probably a week or more, as it took a gyro hit and two engine hits (thankfully, not enough to destroy it).

The loss of the commander (and his Thunderbolt) is going to hurt a lot. Lt. Zanthe Papathanassiou (Just "Zanthe" from now one) takes over Alpha lance. We'll need to sort out which of the three Lt. JG will be promoted to Lt.

Meanwhile, our civilian evacuation commences. I configure the bot for maximum cowardice so that, instead of sticking around and trying to fight military mechs with civilian gas-powered mechs, the civilians run for it. We're deploying the repaired and blooded Beta Lance, under gbasden's command. Accompanying him are a Whitworth, Centurion and Griffin. The FWL is bringing a Locust and Spider to the party, which won't contribute much, and are more of a liability than an asset. Still, overall, a solid lineup of medium mechs. The civilians are... uh... a "Powerman Loadermech", a 10-ton APC, a Wasp and a "Harvester Ant AgroMech". Isn't there something in the Ares conventions about attacking defenceless civilians? Sigh. The bad guys are bringing a crap ton of light mechs and two heavies, in addition to two vehicle lances as reinforcements. We need to ensure at least 2 of the "civilians" survive until turn 12 *and* keep 4/6 of our starting units alive. The good part that I noticed is that the battle will be taking place on a moonless night, meaning nobody's hitting anything. As in the last mission, "defender controls the battlefield", which means no salvage.

Truth be told, I'm expecting the "civilians" to be massacred, since there's a whole two enemy lances between us and them.

We deploy on the east edge, the civilians on the west, and the Lyran forces in the middle. Right off the bat, half of the Lyrans make a beeline for the civilians, while the other half move to engage us. I'd say their screening tactic is going to work. Firing should be wildly ineffective, due to the +3 "moonless night" modifier. The other problem with "moonless night" is that walking is very slow, so it's a good thing three out of our four mechs are jump capable. That being said, the Marauder legs a "civilian" Wasp the first round. The allied Spider exchanges ineffectual kicks with an enemy Stinger, and the Stinger winds up falling over.

Round 2: The Shadow Hawk takes some fire from the Archer in the middle of the map. The Wasp pilot bails out. The allied Spider continues his excellent performance, knocking both of the enemy Stinger's arms off (only losing the machine guns but I'll take what I can get). Meanwhile, on the east side, the Harvester Ant is getting taken apart, including an engine stall. You don't get that kind of crap with a quality fusion engine, that's for sure.

Round 3: The Harvester Ant pilot ditches his mech. The Stinger knocks himself out trying to get up (that cramped cockpit doesn't help). Bet his commanding officer isn't going to be happy about that. I'm positioning my mechs to get behind the Archer next turn.
Spoiler:
Image
. Not shown: civilian units getting massacred on the west side of the map. Nothing I can do about it. The conditions are actually so bad that, between the jumping and the moonless night, we're needing 12s on our shots or are unable to hit at all. The civilian LoaderMech is the next victim, and I don't think he'll last another nine rounds. Both of the Locusts wind up on the ground after getting kicked.

Round 4: I move the Griffin and Whitworth behind the Archer, hoping to get in some good physical attacks, as that's realistically the only way we hit anything. And that's what happens, nobody hits anything.

Round 5: gbasden kicks through a grounded Locust's right torso. The guys fighting the Archer don't get anything done, but at least they don't fall over.

Round 6: On the east side, the Loadermech is still in one piece (although on the ground), and even manages to nail a Lyran Wasp in the center torso, inflicting a whooping two engine and two gyro hits. The Griffin stays next to the archer and kicks it, knocking it to the ground.

Round 7: The Lyran reinforcements show up, but it's a moot point really. One more round and those civilians are hosed. As the Marauder is plowing PPC shots into the Loadermech, I can't resist taking a PPC shot at its back with the Griffin.

Round 8: The loadermech stalls his engine, which then blows up as he takes fire from about five mechs and vehicles.Note that my force is a) halfway across the map and b) can do absolutely nothing about this. Since this marks three civilian units dead, I call it a defeat and retreat my force.

To be honest, I don't think we ever had a chance to accomplish this mission. Between the total inability to hit anything, and the major slowdown caused by the moonless night (only way we could move around was with jump jets - the Centurion was moving one hex a turn) and the Lyran screening force engaging our unit, the civilians were doomed. We return to base to patch up our armor, reload our ammo and get to work fixing that Awesome's engine and gyro.

Aftermath: The Awesome is actually repaired fairly quickly, and soon we receive new orders for February 15th and 16th: search and destroy. Two missions, "Hide and Seek (Attacker)", where the objective is to destroy 1/2 of the enemy units while losing less than 1/3rd of your own. Alpha Lance deploys on the 15th, Beta Lance deploys on the 16th. These will be the first missions where we'll get to pick up some salvage (as long as we win), so I'm looking forward to it.

Another wrinkle is that the deceased commander's annoying relatives are coming after us for his payoff (according to AtB rules, if a mechwarrior leaves or retires, you either have to supply the mech he came with or an equivalent amount of money). I come to an agreement with them to collect payment in a year, as we currently do not have the liquid assets and are in the middle of a war zone (this is effectively a one-year loan for the deceased mechwarrior's payoff amount).

A vote:

Who's getting promoted to company commander?
Options are:
Lt JG Zanthe (Green mechwarrior, Alpha lance leader, piloting a Commando)
Lt JG Rayhan "gbasden" Ashimov (Regular mechwarrior, Beta lance leader, piloting Shadow Hawk)
Lt JG Lyubonka Adnan (Regular mechwarrior, piloting Whitworth)

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by gbasden » Sat Jun 24, 2017 4:27 am

Being kind of biased, I say me. :)

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Zenn7 » Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:00 am

gbasden wrote:Being kind of biased, I say me. :)
I second this. More familiar face in management (gives us grunts more to hate! :P )

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua » Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:33 am

Congratulations on your promotion, gbasden! With it, you get a small raise, and... have to deal with all the paperwork.

Just kidding, we have admin guys for that.

Alpha Lance has been tasked with rooting out four enemy vehicle lances hiding out in a small town. With clear weather and only three enemy vehicles massing 50 tons, this shouldn't be too bad. Our FWL allies bring a Spider with an elite (1/2) pilot and a Stinger with a 4/5 pilot and a cramped cockpit (making him really a 5/5 pilot). Well, one allied unit isn't too bad. To rehash, Alpha lance is a Commando, El Guapo in a Panther, Zenn7 in an Awesome and a Vulcan - an "all-rounder" mech featuring a machinegun, flamer, med laser and AC/2. Which isn't exactly the hottest weapon loadout ever to be honest.

Enlarge Image

Here's a picture of our initial deployment. Awesome doesn't arrive for another two turns because he's slow. The plan is to move into the heavy woods and get El Guapo into the little lake so he can unload and have some cover. Alternately, I could miscount and have him be one space short of going into the lake. Well, anyway.

Round 1: We move our units into the heavy woods as enemy forces move up. El Guapo gets in a solid hit with the PPC on a Scimitar hover tank, slowing it down by 1/2. The allied Spider strips off an enemy Saladin hover tank's armor.

Round 2: The Saladin begins withdrawing. For some reason, the allied Spider decides to jump into a hornet's nest of enemy vehicles. I uh... don't even know what to say about it. Enlarge Image

Surprisingly enough, all enemy fire misses, while we score some minor hits.

Round 3: The Awesome arrives. Time to start the party. The allied Spider wisely decides to beat feet to a more favorable position. The allied Stinger takes its place. Why do you guys hate life? Enlarge Image.

Predictably, the Stinger gets its arm blown off, and takes a critical engine hit (although he does disable another Scimitar hover tank). Our Commando has no right torso armor remaining. This is bad. You know why it's bad? Because that's where they keep the SRM ammo. The Awesome disables an enemy Scimitar hover tank with "motive system damage". The Vulcan destroys another Scimitar that was crossing over some water. What can I say, if you're in a hover tank, and your hover ducts give out while you're over a lake, you're going for a swim. I consider having Zanthe kick the nearby Galleon light tank, but she sucks at piloting so she's more likely to miss, fall over and cost us a mech than to hurt it. I elect not to do it.

Round 4: The Commando retreats. I have no desire to lose another mech to an ammo explosion, even a crappy one with a crappy pilot. Zenn7 and El Guapo stay put, camping out in the woods and sniping with PPCs. stays camped out in the woods. The allied Stinger decides to retreat as well, which is an action I heartily applaud (considering that, since he's missing his right arm, all he has to work with is a single machine gun). Zenn7 and the Vulcan blow an approaching Packrat LRPV (no idea what that acronym stands for) to bits with PPC and laser/AC fire. The Awesome is taking a bit too much damage so it's time to displace. We only need three more kills before the enemy force routs.

Round 5: Enlarge Image This is the situation at turn 5. I've pulled my Vulcan and Commando back. The Commando is taking fire which is not that great. I should have moved her through the deeper woods. Well, we'll see what happens. Also note the helicopter way in the south east corner plugging away with its LRM 10 launcher.

Zenn7 knocks enough wheels off a Striker Light Tank that it stops moving. The Commando catches an LRM 20 salvo to the right side, losing an arm and taking a hit to the engine. In revenge, El Guapo in the Panther blows the treads off the Hunter light support tank that delivered that salvo. The Commando falls over... aaand we lose the center torso section. It's a wreck. At least the pilot survived. El Guapo then kicks a Scorpion light tank that happened to be rolling by, knocking the crew around and stunning them (meaning they can't shoot). One more kill and we're good.

Round 6: Zenn7 overheats his mech, but it's worth it as he blasts through a Scimitar's armor with one PPC then torches off the fuel tank with another. El Guapo finishes off the Scorpion tank he kicked last round, using the PPC to destroy the armor, then the SRM 4 launcher to get at the soft gooey innards. With nine vehicles destroyed or disabled, the rest of the enemy force disengages and retreats.

Not the best result. However, the Commando is "salvage", meaning we can at least gut it for parts and sell the rest. All allied units survived as well. We also captured five prisoners, netting us a hefty 250k bonus. In addition, the FWL pays us around 600k for the salvaged vehicles, bringing our bank account to 1.4M (most of which I immediately use to pay off the deceased Commander's death benefits). Our techs now need to work double overtime to get Alpha lance back into shape, as they may need to reinforce Beta lance tomorrow. Luckily, aside from the destroyed Commando, it's just armor patches and ammo reloads. Once they're done repairing Alpha lance, I'll get the techs working on taking Zanthe's Commando apart.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by AWS260 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:24 am

I am enjoying this series!
2 Kings 2:24

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Zenn7 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:27 pm

NickAragua wrote:Congratulations on your promotion, gbasden! With it, you get a small raise, and... have to deal with all the paperwork.

Just kidding, we have admin guys for that.

Zenn7 and the Vulcan blow an approaching Packrat LRPV (no idea what that acronym stands for) to bits with PPC and laser/AC fire. The Awesome is taking a bit too much damage so it's time to displace. We only need three more kills before the enemy force routs.
Are the admin guys for the paperwork or for his raise? :P

I get as well as I give I see. :)

LRPV - Long Range Patrol Vehicle (googled to confirm my guess was correct). I used to have the Vehicles book from the 80's Battletech board game (actually, I might still have it boxed away somewhere...).

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:24 am

Our next mission: destroy a mixed enemy vehicle/mech lance, falls to Beta lance. Alpha lance will be reinforcing, so it's a good thing we patched them up. The allied forces are a Stinger and a Wasp, nothing to write home about. Enemy forces are a Wolverine (medium jump jet mech) and a Warhammer (nasty heavy mech with two PPCs and heat issues). Also coming are four vehicles. We need to destroy three of the enemy units while losing no more than three of ours (gbasden's leadership skill is just enough to push us over that threshold). My plan is to focus firepower on the vehicles, as they are generally a lot easier to disable. With the reinforcements from Alpha lance coming in around the 7-8 turn mark, we should win this handily. El Guapo temporarily takes command of Alpha lance for this mission. Beta lance is gbasden in the Shadow Hawk, along with a Whitworth, Centurion and Griffin.

The battle takes place near a town at the base of a hill. Enlarge Image. This is our initial deployment. The Centurion doesn't get there until round 2.

Round 1: The Manitcore, Pike and Wolverine move up while the rest of the enemy force stays back. Fine. I set up my guys to dogpile on both of those vehicles, and we unload on the Pike that has crested the hill top, inflicting heavy damage and turning it into a sitting duck (movement 1/2, it's not going anywhere)

Round 2: The Centurion arrives. Image I immediately put it up front to put that AC/20 to work. We lost initiative pretty badly, so this will be a turn of pulling back. The Warhammer starts lumbering up the hill, so we need to get this done quick before it takes us apart with those damn PPCs. The Shadow Hawk actually gets a better defensive bonus in the heavy woods than running around, so it'll stay there. The Wasp tries a heroic move and jumps behind the Warhammer. I predict nothing good. We whiff way too many of our shots, while the enemy connects with too many.

Round 3: We continue to brawl around that hilltop. The most amusing thing is that the allied Wasp kicks the Warhammer and destroys its searchlight.

Round 4: More brawling. ImageThe Whitworth and gbasden in the Shadow Hawk continue sniping from far away, while the Centurion and Griffin mix it up close (although I really should move the Griffin away, seeing as how he's not hitting any of his shots). I decide to move the Centurion to the back of the Warhammer to see how he likes an AC/20 there. The Griffin hits the Pike support vehicle with its PPC and ALL of the ammo goes off. Now, the Pike Support Vehicle packs the following weapons: two SRM 2 launchers, four AC/2s. Six ammo explosions, for a total of 594 damage. BOOM. The Centurion punches through the Warhammer's armor with the AC/20, taking out a small laser. Well, better than nothing. The allied Wasp loses his right arm as the Warhammer opens up with its short ranged weapons.

Round 5: I'm starting to think I have a real chance to take out that Warhammer. He moves first, letting the Centurion have a shot at his back (with the AC/20!). The only down side to this round is that the Wolverine decides to come after the Whitworth and gets behind it. That, and the allied Wasp's continued insistence on being in front of the Warhammer. We focus all firepower on the Warhammer, trying to bring it down. It takes heavy damage, losing an arm (with a PPC!), another small laser, a medium laser and a machinegun. Also, a heat sink, although, to be honest, he won't be needing it after that round. The allied Stinger gets pounded though, and falls over, and the allied Wasp gets pounded some more. The Centurion then kicks the Warhammer in the back for good measure, knocking out a leg heat sink and the upper leg joint. Bastard remains standing though. Literally all he's got for weapons is a PPC.

Round 6: The Stinger pilot bails out on account of being a giant pansy. The Warhammer raises his arms and begins withdrawing from battle. The allied Wasp also bugs out. I have the Centurion walk over and work on the Vedette, while the Griffin takes a break from the PPC to cool off. Image It's somewhat dishonorable, but we need that salvage money, so I have the Griffin fire it's LRM10 at the Warhammer. The Centurion immobilizes the nearby Vedette, while gbasden and the Griffin work on the warhammer, getting two engine hits and a lower leg hit, knocking him down. The Whitworth plinks at the Vedette with a medium laser (while cooling off a bit) and manages to "plink" the fuel tank. So much for that salvage. The rest of the enemy force retreats, and we can call it a day.

The Warhammer pilot thinks the better of trying to get up and leaves his mech for us for salvage, so we earn a pretty hefty payday of 940k. That money immediately goes towards paying off the Commander's family (since we uh, also lost his mech). Although, this does illustrate the drawbacks of the "exchange" salvage model - I'd like to have kept that Warhammer, personally. We now have to reorganize our lances again, as Zanthe no longer has a mech, and each lance needs to be headed up by an officer. Thus, we go into the third week of the contract, down two mechs.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by El Guapo » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:31 am

NickAragua wrote: El Guapo temporarily takes command of Alpha lance for this mission.

...

The Warhammer pilot thinks the better of trying to get up and leaves his mech for us for salvage, so we earn a pretty hefty payday of 940k.
#ElGuapoForCommander2020

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by El Guapo » Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:45 pm

Out of curiosity, is there any multiplayer in this game / engine?

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua » Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:59 pm

Good question. I know MegaMek has networked multiplayer, it's definitely possible to observe an ongoing match, and it should be possible to replace one or more of the AIs in these scenarios (for example, the crappy allied mech AI) with a human player.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:39 am

The next week brings another two missions. A Recon Raid and a Probe. First up, Alpha lance has been tasked with penetrating into an enemy held city, scanning a specific facility and then returning. In game terms, we start north, have to have a unit reach the south edge of the map, stay still for two turns, then run back to the north edge of the map. Meanwhile, if we lose two units, game over. Optionally, if we eliminate half the enemy units, then we control the battlefield. Unfortunately, I don't think that's happening, as the enemy is fielding a Rifleman, three Griffins and also a Firestarter and Commando (and some tanks). Also, we'll be seeing some light tanks and mechs coming in from the south. Our allies are bringing in a Commando and a Panther, so we run a real risk of those two dying and us losing the mission.

This is an urban battlefield, which means our jump capable mechs will probably be the ones doing the work. The Vulcan is the fastest in that regard, so good luck pal. The plan is to stay as far away from the enemy forces as possible, get the job done and get out.

We deploy our jump capable mechs on the far side of the map on the tops of buildings, to minimize the amount of crap we have to put up with. I seriously consider plopping the Centurion down in a corner somewhere and just letting him camp out.

Round 1: Vulcan deploys far northeast, rest of my mechs deploy south and stay on the building tops. Enemy force deploys in the center. Allied Commando runs up to a cluster of enemies, but only takes a couple of hits.


Round 2: I deploy the arriving Centurion inside a pretty tough looking building and park him there. Anyone walks into that line of fire is going to get an AC/20 to the face. Vulcan continues moving up. Allied Commando decides to stay still and gets surrounded.
Enlarge Image
I let the Centurion (to the north)have a peek out to see if he can hit anything with that AC/20. The allied Commando's SRM ammo lights off after a couple of lasers from the Griffin-1S. The plus side is that between the Centurion and our Griffin, that same enemy Griffin falls over and loses its arm. Wrong arm, though, the PPC is still there.

Round 3: I briefly advance the Centurion and have my Griffin and Whitworth break south. Not much of anything hits.

Round 4: The Vulcan arrives at the south edge. He can start heading back round 7. That allied Panther does not move, leaving himself wide open to get blasted by the Griffins that have made themselves his next door neighbors. We exchange fire and lose some armor, but nothing serious. The allied Panther takes a PPC hit and is just fine (see, El Guapo? Nothing to worry about. Unlike the AI, I'm pretty sure I won't leave you standing still in the middle of a city surrounded by enemy mechs)

Round 5: Vulcan scanning round 1. Our jumpers continue hopping around the east side of the map, hoping to avoid any major problems. Our Centurion gets lucky and breaches an enemy Griffin's right torso while the rest of our mechs score some hits on the Hunter support tank. The allied Panther gets its leg knocked off though, so we probably lose, unless he lasts another five turns miraculously.

Round 6: Enemy reinforcements arrive, Vulcan scanning round 2. Of course they deploy right next to the Vulcan, so he has to not die for a whole turn. Surprisingly, the allied Panther doesn't bail. We take a little too much damage brawling with enemy forces in the east. Time to start pulling back, as our Vulcan is going to head back now.

Round 7: Enemy vultures continue to cluster around the fallen Panther, leaving a pair of their guys isolated in the east and easy pickings for my jump capable mechs. The Vulcan starts his getaway, although it'll be difficult with vehicles getting in his way all the time. The Centurion finally destroys the Hunter (no more LRM 20s), and the enemy Commando takes an engine hit. Our Vulcan though is going to have some trouble, as he took a leg actuator hit. The Whitworth kicks the Commando's leg off, bringing it down, but that Panther is not long for this world.

Round 8: The Panther pilot bails out and house Command orders us to abort mission and retreat. We're going to destroy that Commando out of spite, though. The Whitworth hits the SRM6 ammo with a medium laser, and the ammo goes off. The pilot ejects right into a building. Meanwhile, the Vulcan disables that persistent damn J.Edgar that's been following it around (and managed to damage its upper leg actuator), but, according to the terms of the scenario, we've lost. The Vulcan gives the J.Edgar a parting kick, and that's that.

Not only do we lose the scenario, but we also have to eat two contract breaches for losing the allied units, bringing our contract score into the negatives. Beta lance is in no position to reinforce Alpha lance, so they'll be on their own. There are no replacement upper leg actuators available, so that Vulcan is going to be pretty difficult to work with until things change. After we're done pulling all the parts and equipment out of the Commando (most notably, cockpit and life support system, which are easily transferrable to other mechs and are super expensive to buy), it's worth a measly $56k (because at this point it's mostly an engine, some sensors and loose actuator bundles).

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by El Guapo » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:05 am

So is that loss condition triggered by losing *any* two units, or just the allied units? Why would the employer care about our losses if the mission is achieved?

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:41 am

Per the "Against the Bot" rules, the allied doofuses count as part of your lance (for deployment limits and victory conditions). The scenario conditions are that, in addition to doing the recon objective, you need to keep more than 3/4 of the starting units alive. We deployed a lance of four, plus the two allied scrubs (er... highly qualified professionals). 3/4 of 6 is 4.5, so once you lose two units, it's game over.

In "fluff" terms, we're under integrated command, meaning that our units are placed within the employer's forces. At the end of the day, we didn't really lose *our* mechs, we lost the employer's mechs. Presumably they're unhappy about it and whatever information we extracted was not worth the cost in materiel.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:22 am

This brings us to our next mission. While out performing reconaissance, Alpha lance is engaged by several mixed enemy lances, counting two medium mechs, two lights, six vehicles and a helicopter. Sensors also show an additional mixed lance closing in. Our objective is to give them a bloody nose by destroying three enemy units. Meanwhile, we need to lose less than two units. Unfortunate, as we have two attached allies (a Locust and a Firestarter). Our team is Zenn7 in the Awesome, El Guapo in the Panther, gbasden in the Shadow Hawk and a scrup in a Wasp. Try not to die, bro! Also important is that the winner controls the battlefield, which means salvage.

The plan is to quickly pick off three weak units (should be doable, with all the small vehicles and light mechs running around) before the reinforcements show up or our allies have a chance to get themselves blown to bits.

The first thing that strikes me is the terrain. It's like 90% mud. Meaning our mechs move super slow and have good odds of getting stuck. We deploy in a dry patch of woods to the north west. I think our goal is going to be to get into town quickly to neutralize the enemy numbers advantage. The Awesome doesn't arrive until turn 3, which is unfortunate.

Enlarge Image
Round 1: We all jump towards the road. The allied Firstarter takes a PPC hit to the right arm right away.

Round 2: El Guapo tries to cross a bridge into town and winds up in the drink. Kind of my fault, it looked sturdy. Not even kidding:
Enlarge Image
Of course, our Firestarter decides to jump into mud and gets himself stuck (and quite probably killed in very short order). He gives some back, alpha striking the Lyran Firestarter right next to him.

Round 3: Zenn7 deploys. He's going to stay in that patch of woods for the rest of the battle. El Guapo gets himself out of the drink and we set up for a reasonable round. However, our luck has run out and we hit absolutely nothing, except one measly kick to the back of a Packrat.

Round 4: I put El Guapo back in the lake, where he's joined by an Enforcer for a romantic swim. I have gbasden come up next to the enforcer to see if we can maybe kick its head off. Our Wasp continues hopping around and being annoying. Between Zenn7 and the allied Locust, the enemy Packrat finally blows up. I consider my options as the Enforcer sets up to kick El Guapo under water. Do I hit him back or dodge? I try the dodge, which adds +2 to the Enforcer's "to hit" difficulty. It prevents El Guapo from getting a foot to the face. Pretty good!

Round 5: The allied Firestarter wisely bugs out. We focus all fire on the enemy Firestarter, hoping to bring it down. El Guapo gets targetted by a lot of fire but it's all just armor. The Firestarter is still alive but in the dirt and unlikely to get up.

Round 6: Hoo boy. Lyran reinforcements deploy. We better take care of this quick. No, allied Locust. Why did you run out to the road? You're going to die! gbasden tries to go for the prone Firestarter to kick its head in but gets stuck in the mud. That's ok, El Guapo is on the case! He jumps right in, points his PPC at the right torso as the enemy mech struggles to get up and lights up the machinegun ammo. He takes an AC/10 hit to the right torso and loses two heat sinks though, so he's effectively out of the fight. Before leaving though, he gives the enemy Griffin a good kick to the rear torso, stripping away all the armor there.

Round 7: As El Guapo retreats (being chased by the Enforcer), gbadsen jumps in to finish off the Griffin. That thing goes down, we win. We focus fire on it, hoping to get enough hits. The right leg is heavily damaged and he goes down. Meanwhile, El Guapo's left torso and arm come off. Not good. Then the right leg. Mech is still operational though!

Round 8: The Enforcer leaves El Guapo alone to fire on the Shadow Hawk. Meanwhile, despite taking six PPC hits that enemy Griffin still stands. Until the allied Locust "pings" the LRM ammo bin with a medium laser and lights the whole thing off. The enemy force, not having the stomach for a protracted fight departs. Final position: Image

We get $35k in salvage and a $50k bonus for some captured mechwarriors, which doesn't make up for the fact that we have to replace just about all of El Guapo's mech. Even better, none of the parts are available right now, so he's out for the count. Alpha lance will be going off line for a while, and we'll be consolidating 200 tons worth of functional mechs into Beta Lance.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by El Guapo » Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:00 am

Image

Well, that certainly is a shame. I wish everyone else the best of luck with the rest of the mission - let me know how it goes.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:26 am

February 28th, 3025. Even though this planet's seasonal cycle has little in common with Earth's, we do get a nice dusting of snow as the reconstituted Beta Lance, under gbasden's command, heads out into the badlands, where they come in contact with four lances of enemy vehicles! Command confirms that they are cleared to engage but are to withdraw if it gets too hairy.

This is another Probe mission. The objective is to destroy or disable four out of sixteen enemy units while losing less than two of ours. We are accompanied by a Wasp and a Stinger, while the Lyrans have brought a bunch of Vedettes and Scorpions for the most part. They do have a Saladin hover tank (which comes with an AC/20) that I'll need to watch out for.

The map is pretty cliffy but barren, so while there is some cover, we'll have to be careful not to expose ourselves to the angry vehicle swarm.

We deploy on the northern edge of the map, while the enemy force deploys on the south.

Round 1: We advance into a cauldron and fire off a couple of symbolic LRMs to let the other force know we're there.
Image

Round 2: As we set up in the Cauldron, a Scimitar hover tank decides to crest the hill in front of us. Good job, Leeroy.
Enlarge Image
Everyone opens up on it, and an LRM from the Griffin manages to find its way through the armor and makes contact with the fuel tank. We start taking some AC/5 and LRM fire from his buddies, but it's manageable for now.

Round 3: More bad guys crest the hill, including the dreaded Saladin.
Image
We focus fire on it, as that AC/20 is no joke. The Centurion brings its own AC/20 to bear, punching through the front armor and knocking out the uh... AC/20. How "ironic". The Griffin then puts PPC to internal structure, and the Saladin is history. The allied mechs take some missile fire from beyond the hill. However, we're already halfway to scenario victory.

Round 4: The allied Wasp stupids it up and stands still, taking fire from just about every enemy unit on the map. Predictably, he gets taken apart. The Centurion blows the Pegasus to bits with the AC/20, bringing us to three kills.
Image
Not shown: the swarm of enemy vehicles to the south.

Round 5: We focus fire on the stunned Maxim to try and bring him down quickly, except for the Griffin, who fires on the Galleon as the Maxim is much harder to hit, being in minimum range of both the Griffin's PPC and LRM. The Whitworth disables the Maxim with a medium laser to the air ducts, and the rest of the enemy force decides to call it a day.

This mission turned out to be a wash, because of the stupidity of the allied Wasp pilot. The commander spends some time arguing with the FWL representative, but the terms of the agreement are pretty ironclad. "You were *supposed* to recon the area, not get into a firefight", etc. However, between the salvaged enemy vehicles (the ones that didn't have their fuel tanks go off) and the prisoner capture bonuses, this mission nets us about 300k. The prisoners will be treated for their injuries, then released into the custody of our employers. We also took so little damage that a single tech was able to patch it all up in less than a day.

March 1st: We get paid. After distributing salaries and shares, we wind up with an extra million c-bills in the bank. We also see a contract offer. Not the best:

Federated Suns wants to perform an objective raid against the Draconis Combine over three months. Allies are Green/F, opposition is Regular D, so we'll basically be babysitting scrubs with Locusts against seasoned veterans with better mechs and vehicles. Other terms:

Integrated command
100% transport cost coverage (important since it's 14 jumps away and jumpships are expensive, to the tune of ~2M according to the interstellar map)
40% salvage rights
60% "straight support"
0% battle loss compensation
2.6M estimated profit.

The question is, do we take this contract? It's not the best (pretty risky with crappy allies), but it's work. Regardless, we have until the end of the month to accept it.

The other option is we head over to Galatea (only three jumps away), where we're a) more likely to scare up contracts and b) able to score some R&R so that our people don't start leaving the company in droves. It'll cost us about $500k, which is unfortunate but affordable.

Edit: Forgot command rights.
Last edited by NickAragua on Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Paingod » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:50 am

I've been enjoying the play throughs quite a bit. Please continue!

I don't have a horse in this race, but I'd vote for the R&R.
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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by gbasden » Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:34 pm

Paingod wrote:I've been enjoying the play throughs quite a bit. Please continue!

I don't have a horse in this race, but I'd vote for the R&R.
I like the R&R option. It's pricy, but morale is good and the chance at better contracts is awesome.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua » Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:23 am

March 8th, 3025:

After the shareholders' meeting, we rent some dropships and file aboard for the month-long trip to Galatea. Once we arrive, we begin looking around for new contracts while the troops get some R&R. Two contract options come up:

Free Worlds League wants us to conduct guerilla warfare against the Capellan Confederation on Arboris.
5 jumps away
Green/F allies, Regular/B enemies
6 months
100% transport terms (started out at 40% but we renegotiated)
60% salvage rights
0% battle loss compensation
Integrated command
Expected profit: 7.4M

Federated Suns wants us to hunt pirates on Fairfax
17 jumps away
Green/D allies, Regular/F enemies
5 months
60% transport terms (re-negotiated from 20%)
40% salvage rights
60% straight support
House command
Expected profit: 1.1M

The guerilla option looks just about right with very good profits and full transport coverage. The integrated command isn't so hot, as is the 0% battle loss compensation. We'll also be babysitting pimple-faced, wet-nosed teenagers barely fit to be called Mechwarriors against battle-hardened badasses who eat autocannon ammo for breakfast. That being said, the other contract is super far away, long and doesn't pay well. Also, our creditors at the Federated Employees Union become increasingly interested in such things as "employment prospects" and "how we're going to pay off the loan". They stop short of threatening to break legs, as we have battlemechs. So, we take the Guerilla Warfare contract and ship out.

I hire an ultra-green rookie in a Centurion. The 'ultra-green' part isn't so good, but the Centurion is. It's a CN9-A variant, packing an AC/10, an LRM/10 and a medium laser (and a rear-facing medium laser, which we'll be re-mounting to face forward in short order). Welcome aboard, Kesia Hauli.

Our main problem currently is that, between our crap Dragoons rating (F) and our crap logistical admin (regular), we can't find the parts to fix El Guapo's Panther. So, we compromise by re-assigning the ultra-green rookie to the Panther, while El Guapo gets the Centurion. The plentiful salvage means we ought to be able to find some 35 ton mech parts soon enough to fix the Panther up. Meanwhile, we get an actually good pilot in a decent mech, as opposed to a 7/6 scrub. The scrub is not entirely ok with it and requires a defection roll. But because we're paying out 50% shares, she decides to stick around.

En route to Arboris, we hire two more mechwarriors. A greenhorn, "Mab Orme" (yeah, whatever), a 6/5 piloting a Phoenix Hawk. Phoenix Hawk is a solid jump-capable unit packing a large laser, two medium lasers and two *snicker* machineguns. The important part here is that this brings us to twelve mechwarriors, which means that El Guapo can now be promoted to Lieutenant JG and head up a training lance for all these greenhorn rookies we have. Also, a regular mechwarrior joins our unit, Maricel Enriques, piloting a Quickdraw (a jump-capable 60-tonner packing 4x LRM 10s, 4x pair of MLas and an SRM 4 launcher).

In case anyone is wondering why I'm hiring all these mechwarriors it's a) because I'm afraid of end-of-contract turnover and b) guerilla contracts have bad parts availability, so we're not going to be swimming in replacement parts exactly. I expect salvage and mech cannibalism to be the order of the day.

June 17th, 3025. We arrive planetside as Free Worlds League forces begin operation Hot Shroud. Alpha lance is deployed in support of FWL operations, while El Guapo heads up Beta lance, training our snot-nosed recruits using damaged mechs (one doesn't even have a leg, hah!). What I've realized is that, even though it's nice to have the possibility of reinforcements showing up (by deploying an extra scout or fight lance), those lances get into unnecessary fights and get beat up more often than they can show up to reinforce. Thus, we'll be deploying just the one lance with "Fight" orders along with the training lance. This is the lineup:
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Note the training lance full of scrubs with 5s and 6s for gunnery/piloting. Uh, I mean, sorry Lt. I guess Recruit Craig Bowmer has a thing for thousand-year-old entertainment videos. Although, to be honest, I bet they get re-released in "re-mastered" versions every 20-30 years anyway.

July 2nd, 3025. As Alpha lance advances towards a small town in the middle of the night, they are intercepted by more or less a full company of enemy vehicles. Command orders Alpha Lance to break through. Here we go!

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NickAragua
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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua » Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:42 am

This is a "Hold the Line (Attacker)" scenario. Our objective is to destroy half of the enemy forces while losing less than a third of ours. Translated into numbers, we need eight kills (and four more if we don't get it done by the time reinforcements show up), while we need to lose less than three units (normally it'd be two, but gbasden's leadership skill gives us a little more wiggle room). The pitch black conditions will slow down movement for non-jump-capable units, aka all of the enemy vehicles and drop weapon accuracy across the board. While it's harder for everyone to hit their mark, this basically means we have mobility control over the situation.

Alpha lance is gbasden in the Shadow Hawk, Zenn7 in the Awesome, a Whitworth and a Wasp. The allies brought a Trebuchet and a Hunchback to the party, meaning plenty of LRM/15 and AC/20 goodness. Enemy force consists of lots and lots of hover tanks and choppers, including a disturbing number of Saladin hover tanks packing AC/20s. The Capellan forces deploy in the center of and around a small town, we deploy on the north edge of the map.

Round 1:
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There's a nice patch of woods into which we'll be moving to provide some extra cover for my mechs. As you can see on the minimap, the center is covered in green. A trio of hovertanks move up towards the patch of woods, but almost nobody can get a shot off, although the allied Trebuchet pings a Pegasus with some LRMs.

Round 2:
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We take up position in the woods as the hovertanks continue to slowly move up. We take some minor damage, giving out nothing in return.

Round 3: This one goes a little better. gbasden in the Shadow Hawk stays still in the heavy woods, takes his time aiming at Scimitar #2 and lets 'er rip with everything but his LRMs. Medium laser nails the sensors, and an SRM goes right through the cockpit viewport and shreds the crew. The other SRM blowing away an air duct is just icing on the cake.

Round 4: Similar positioning to round 2. Zenn7 stands still and unloads PPCs on the Pegasus, blowing off half the motive system. He takes some minor fire in return from LRMs in the town, but is doing fine. gbasden is on a roll, knocking all the air jets off the right side of his target Scimitar, immobilizing it.

Round 5: I have the lance move up to finish off the limping Pegasus and so we can get to the town before those LRMs start really taking a toll.
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"Finish off" is a strong term though, as nobody really gets any hits in again.

Round 6: The Capellan reinforcements arrive on the south end of the map. Unfortunately for them, the pitch black lighting conditions mean they'll be moving about two or three hexes a turn and are unlikely to make a significant difference in the fight. Of course, we don't get a single hit in during the firing phase.

Round 7: After four rounds of this nonsense, Zenn7 finally plasters the Pegasus with a PPC. Our Whitworth takes a random gyro hit and falls over, damaging the engine as well. The Wasp, having jumped into town, kicks through a Scorpion's armor and removes the engine, bringing our kill count to 4/12.
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Round 8: I have the Whitworth try to get up and retreat, but the nimrod can't even manage a 7+ twice in a row. gbasden and the wasp really get in there, right next to the enemy LRM launchers (the Hunter and Scorpion), and start kicking.
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I generally tend to ignore the enemy choppers, as they a) can't hit anything and b) are almost impossible to hit. The Wasp kicks the treads off the LRM Scorpion, immobilizing it.

Round 9: Whats-her-face in the Whitworth finally gets up and faces away from the enemy force (due to a breach in CT armor). The Wasp chases after the retreating Galeon, although I'm going to be real careful about those Saladins. gbasden kicks the wheels in on the Hunter next to him, immobilizing it.

Round 10: I take an unnecessary risk jumping gbasden on top of a Saladin, hoping to get a quick kick in. As I should have predicted, he catches a 12 to-hit AC/20 in the left arm as he jumps in, almost removing it entirely. He does, through an impressive feat of piloting, plant his foot through his target Saladin's left side. It comes out covered in circuits.

Round 11: I pull gbasden back and get the Wasp around some of the weaker enemy tanks.
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The idea here in general is to avoid the Saladins and pick off the weaker units. A Saladin gets the jump on the Wasp anyway and knocks off an arm, also scoring an engine hit. Time to pull out of the town. Zenn7 does knock the armor off a Galeon with a PPC, and the enemy unit begins retreating.

Round 12: Not much happens. I pull the Wasp back, the Whitworth continues limping around and nobody hits anything.

Round 13: Zenn7 scores a PPC hit on a visible Hunter, but the armor holds. The annoying enemy Peregrine Attack VTOL that was hovering around behind us catches a medium laser to the rotor from the allied Hunchback.

Round 14: The bad guys finally slip up a little and let me have a shot at a "lone" Saladin (Galeons with medium and 2x small laser don't count).
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We screw it up though. Nobody hits anything.

Round 15: The Capellan reinforcements finally start crawling into the town. I have gbasden jump in on a lone Vedette to see if he can do any damage. He does land a non-penetrating kick while. Zenn7 continues working on the Hunter.

Round 16: As the Saladin starts driving towards gbasden's position, Zenn7 pops the armor off the right side with a PPC, and the vehicle declares a retreat.

Round 17: I don't understand people who build light or medium mechs without jump jets. If gbasden's Shadow Hawk didn't have jump jets, he'd have been stuck sitting next to two Vedettes and a Galeon. None of which are very impressive by themselves, but you get hit by enough medium lasers, you're going down. Instead, he gets to isolate a Hunter for some kicking.
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It's a little busy in the screenshot, but the Shadow Hawk jumped three hexes to the right and is now in LOS of none of the active enemy vehicles: the Saladin and the Galeon are both retreating! Of course, Zenn7 steals the kill by blowing the Hunter away with a PPC.

Round 18: A Vedette is nice enough to Wander into Zenn7's and gbasden's LOS. gbasden carefully lines up his medium laser and gets a little "plink" on the Vedette's fuel tank for a nice big explosion.

Round 19: Keeping in mind that we only need one more kill before the enemy is forced to withdraw, I have gbasden jump over to say hi to the Vedette he was previously working on. It drives away from the kick though.

Round 20:
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A Galeon drives into Zenn7's LOS and is slammed by a PPC to the right side, knocking all the armor off. The driver peels out on the subsequent turn.

Having been badly bruised, the Capellans retreat with the rest of their vehicles. Of course, we didn't exactly come out unscathed, either. I elect not to claim any of the crappy tank salvage, this way we'll have a lot more leeway to pick out mechs later on. We do get a 250k prisoner capture bonus. The main bad parts of this are that the Wasp is missing its right torso and gbasden's Shadow Hawk is missing its right arm. We can still use it if we need to, as the arm didn't contain any important weapons. We'll need to re-organize Alpha Lance so it's composed of combat-ready mechs. We bring in the Quickdraw and Stinger to do so.

Here's a philosophical question: A few of the captured Capellans are willing to go to work for us. Unfortunately, they're from the uh, "vehicular" arm of their forces. Should we recruit the better ones anyway and expand our forces to include vehicles in the future?

The up-shot of vehicles is that they only count for half their weight when determining lance weight, and can mount a lot more armor, weapons and can go faster than mechs generally. The downside is that they get disabled really easily (I can't count the number of times I've seen "chance for motive systemd damage: vehicle immobile" after a vehicle gets plinked by a small laser). What do you guys think?

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LordMortis
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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by LordMortis » Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:23 am

:pop:

Your AAR now makes me want to go out and try this game.

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AWS260
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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by AWS260 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:22 am

NickAragua wrote:Here's a philosophical question: A few of the captured Capellans are willing to go to work for us. Unfortunately, they're from the uh, "vehicular" arm of their forces. Should we recruit the better ones anyway and expand our forces to include vehicles in the future?

The up-shot of vehicles is that they only count for half their weight when determining lance weight, and can mount a lot more armor, weapons and can go faster than mechs generally. The downside is that they get disabled really easily (I can't count the number of times I've seen "chance for motive systemd damage: vehicle immobile" after a vehicle gets plinked by a small laser). What do you guys think?
After seeing you stomp all over those vehicles...
2 Kings 2:24

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El Guapo
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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by El Guapo » Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:30 am

How expensive would the Capellan mech vehiclewarriors be? Seems potentially useful to have some vehicle options for versatility, at least - question would be whether that would be worth the cost.

Also could we get Saladins? Those guys seem pretty useful.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua » Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:59 am

The prisoners will join up for free, and then we have to pay them a monthly salary (which is tiny compared to the cost of mech parts or dropship rentals). Acquiring good quality vehicles is a little tougher, but there's plenty of battlefield salvage usually. The most time consuming part will be finding or training the vehicle techs to maintain them and put them back together.

Saladins are pretty scary with the AC/20, but that comes at the expense of having paper thin armor and having to get close (AC/20 has the same range brackets as a medium laser). They are pretty fast though, so do well in daytime conditions on open terrain (as long as I win initiative and don't do anything too stupid). They're also fairly common, so shouldn't be too difficult to get. My favorite vehicle so far that I've seen (not in this campaign though) has been the "LRPV-4", which packs a PPC in a turret. Or, I could "think outside the box" and grab an unarmed Pegasus Hover Tank.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua » Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:17 am

July 5th, 3025
While conducting a night-time exercise to whip the snot-nosed rookies into shape, El Guapo (in his new Centurion) is ambushed by a pair of allied FWL units who decide to grab a little extra salvage in addition to the units they're bringing over to the Capellans.

The enemy units are a Phoenix Hawk and a Hermes, both of which are undergunned but more mobile (with jump jets, even). This is going to be hard, no doubt about it. Both sets of units deploy in the middle of the map. I decide to deploy El Guapo in some heavy woods next to a cliff edge, to minimize the chances of getting kicked in the back. It's going to be a slug fest.

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Round 1: El Guapo stays put for the +2 modifier. The other guys shuffle around. He scores a couple of good hits on the Hermes with the AC/10 and LRM/10, and kicks the Phoenix Hawk pretty good.

Round 2: The Hermes continues advancing. The Phoenix Hawk stays put. El Guapo's kick strips the armor off the Phoenix Hawk's leg.

Round 3: The Hermes is now too close for LRMs, and the battle devolves into a bunch of kicking.

Round 4: El Guapo kicks the leg out from under the Phoenix Hawk, which keels over. Unfortunately, he also takes a good shot to his leg, leaving him with one internal structure and on the ground.

Round 5: I have El Guapo turn right so his exposed leg isn't facing the remaining Hermes. The Phoenix Hawk keeps firing, so it gets a solid kick to the arm.

Round 6: The Phoenix Hawk pilot thrashes around a little and hurts himself trying to get up.

Round 7: The Phoenix Hawk actually gets up with a destroyed leg! Sonofabitch! With almost no armor left though, he's taking internal damage with every shot. El Guapo crunches the left leg and the mech falls over, this time knocking the pilot out.

Round 8: With the Hawk out of action, El Guapo focuses on the Hermes again.

Round 10: The Phoenix Hawk pilot wakes up and bails out.

Round 11: The Hermes advances to melee range and loses a bunch of armor for its trouble.

Round 12: While trying to circle around El Guapo, the Hermes gets kicked and falls over.

Round 13: El Guapo knocks the right arm and center torso AC/5 out (not that it matters, as the Hermes was at point blank range and using the medium laser and flamer). He follows up with a kick to the right leg, knocking it off. The Hermes falls over, destroying its own left arm in the process.

Round 14: The Hermes pilot bails out and El Guapo walks away with two mechs' worth of salvage.

Sorry for the lack of screenshots, but this battle wasn't very dynamic. The end state of the battle is El Guapo in the same place with two mech wrecks in front of him. This is where having skipped out on that crappy vehicle salvage last mission really pays off, as we claim both the mechs, even though they're basically wrecks. I mothball the both of them for now, but they're there in case we need some quick cash, armor or spare parts.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by AWS260 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:41 am

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2 Kings 2:24

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by El Guapo » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:16 pm

Boo yah!

So, just to confirm - I was attacked by allied mechs?

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