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Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

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gbasden
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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by gbasden » Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:54 am

Is it even a thing to invest in some static defenses around the landing zone? Turrets, etc? I guess we should probably look at another Mule, but it seems to be pretty fragile. Is that just the way things are with all of the cargo dropships, or is it possible to get something more robust or sacrifice some cargo capacity to uparmor the Mule?

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Cylus Maxii » Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:01 am

Save up for the Invader.
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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua » Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:22 am

gbasden wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:54 am
Is it even a thing to invest in some static defenses around the landing zone? Turrets, etc? I guess we should probably look at another Mule, but it seems to be pretty fragile. Is that just the way things are with all of the cargo dropships, or is it possible to get something more robust or sacrifice some cargo capacity to uparmor the Mule?
As far as fixed defenses go, mines are pretty cheap, while fixed emplacements range from cheap (but made out of cardboard) to really damn expensive (but tough as nails). Depends on what we're doing, if we're running garrison duty, then it's worth it, if we're on a quick raid, then by the time we finish building the structure, the job would be over.

I looked around at other "cargo" transport dropship options, and the Mule is pretty fragile by comparison, with about a third of the armor of a Union. Some of the other viable alternatives are:

Jumbo - about 2x the armor of the Mule, but a little less than the Union, and almost 10,000 tons of cargo space (compared to a Mule's 8000). But it runs ~200M. It's also got two hangar bays for "small craft". Which we could probably refit to carry aerospace fighters or mechs.

Manatee - much smaller than, but same armor as a Mule, completely unarmed, 1000 tons of cargo space but only costs ~70M. Seems pretty inefficient.

Trojan - half the armor of a Union, 1500 tons of cargo space, 140M C-bills. Pass.

So we could probably try for a Jumbo instead of a Mule for better survivability.

The main benefit to having a large cargo transport isn't even the transport cost savings, it's that we don't have to rely on employers or random sub-contractors. If we need a ride somewhere, we have it available when we need it, not when someone else wants to do it. Same with a jumpship - there have been a number of times where we had to sit there and wait for a ride, while slowly being ground away by the locals (anyone remember Grand Base in the Capellan Confederation, all the way back in the 4th Succession War?)

As for making our own empire, we could pretty easily take over any Periphery world with what we've got. Some podunk place out in the sticks with a few million people will have maybe a couple of battalions of crappy tanks, and a few lances of lighter mechs. Of course, then, we have to govern it and defend it. And, as we all know, blowing things up and re-building afterwards are two entirely different skill sets. Not to mention it's a great way to get *noticed* by whatever great houses are nearby.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by gbasden » Thu Nov 22, 2018 4:47 am

For a delta of 35 million, that seems to be a good investment if the Jumbo is twice as survivable and has more carry capacity.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Zenn7 » Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:23 am

Agreed, lots go for the Jumbo, then save for the Invader.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua » Mon Nov 26, 2018 12:31 pm

Technical difficulties upgrading to the latest MekHQ release, will need to delay updates while I sort them out.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by El Guapo » Mon Nov 26, 2018 12:53 pm

It's probably because of some 1337 h@xx0rz.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua » Mon Nov 26, 2018 1:08 pm

Yeah, I definitely pwn3d myself.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by El Guapo » Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:13 pm

n00b

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Stefan Stirzaker » Mon Nov 26, 2018 4:05 pm

Kurita haxxors. Fire the lrms at it

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua » Mon Nov 26, 2018 5:56 pm

Phew, figured it out.
--

Upon returning to Outreach, the first thing we do is sell off all the salvage. There's quite a lot of it. Tanks, redundant mechs...

The most notable sales are a nearly-pristine Griffin 1N for 2.1M C-Bills (just needs a new head), and a museum-piece Phoenix PX-1R for 1.26M C-Bills. We briefly consider upgrading the pre-Star League-era mech with modern technology, but even if we put in normal armor and jump jets, the design is just awful. For example, every time you fire the PPC, the cockpit electronics all go fuzzy. The internal leg structure is brittle and, according to the techs, the whole mech "looks like it was put together by periphery pirates using knock-off Capellan parts". Which is not to far from the truth, as the design was created in the late 2400s for the Rim Worlds Republic. In fact, this thing looks like it could have been one of the prototypes.

The Phoenix Hawk that El Guapo decapitated goes for 1.5M C-Bills, while a Firestarter gets unloaded for 1.4M. We also clean out our spare parts inventory. As usual, we had more machine gun ammo than we knew what to do with, and a 320-rated fusion engine just sitting in a box. All in all, we bring in about 15M C-Bills selling "slightly used" mechs, tanks and spare parts.

We decide to skip trying to buy a Merchant, but go for a Jumbo-class dropship. We get in contact with a guy who owns one who's planning to retire "after I take a few more trips", and and he's willing to sell it to us by the time he comes back to Outreach in late August. That's fine, we've got plenty of work to do until then - refits, re-organization, all that good stuff.

Madmarcus is promoted to Captain, and is put in charge of Delta company. Freyland gets bumped up to Sergeant, to have more authority to yell at subordinates (also, salary goes up from 17.2k a month to 24k c-bills a month). Johanna "Archinerd (Mk 2)" Wojciechowski (the last name difference being due to a marriage and subsequent divorce) takes the retired Captain's spot in the Dervish.

A bunch of our APC crew members and dropship crew also quit, so we had to recruit replacements. No problem there, in fact the replacements are better.

We continue thinking about ways to customize El Guapo's Marauder, after a re-examination of the "Douglass" variant specifications leads our techs to discover that the PPCs would need to be replaced with large lasers. Which is just silly. But the idea of getting rid of the ungainly AC/5 is sound, so we still remove it from the right torso and unprotected ammo from the left torso. The mass savings is used to bring the armor up to maximum for the chassis and add two heat sinks. We also add a pair of the Streak SRM/2 launchers. To prevent the mech from listing to the left, all of the equipment, except one of the heat sinks, goes on the right torso where the armor used to be. It still lists to the left, as the right torso is three tons lighter than it used to be. Also, the techs can no longer rely on the manufacturer's manuals for some of the maintenance tasks, making it a little harder to maintain.

The other mechs onto which we put Streak SRM/2s wind up being our Quickdraws. On a Quickdraw, the SRM/4 launcher is not really well-placed, as firing it overheats the mech pretty badly. Replacing it with a Streak SRM/2 reduces the maximum potential firepower, but allows us to put an extra half-ton of armor on the mech while still being able to put out some missiles. The techs complain about the difficulty of maintaining non-standard equipment, but guess what guys, suck it up.

We also convert one of the many Griffin 1Ns we have to a 1S, and a Phoenix Hawk PXH-1 to 1D (no machine guns). No problems there.

It takes a long time to get the Union back into full working order. As the shipyard guys work on the armor, an anomalous diagnostic reading leads them to investigate one thing, then another, and next thing you know, we're talking about a six month overhaul because of a "hairline fracture in the reactor core shielding". It winds up costing about 1.5M C-Bills.

The lack of dropships gives everyone a chance to relax and enjoy the pleasant Outreach summer. By the end of August, we have our Jumbo as well as the Union fixed up, and start looking around for a new contract. As tensions flare up between the Federated Commonwealth and Draconis Combine, there's plenty of work to be had. Most of it is crap, though.

Option 1:
Planetary Assault on New Aberdeen. The Federated Commonwealth want to hire a mercenary element to carry out an operation to take and hold territory on New Aberdeen. The FedCom rep, a short and tubby fellow, is surprisingly honest and says that he doesn't expect us to be able to *hold* the planet against the inevitable counterattack by Sword of Light or other elements, at least not over the long term. We would form the spearhead, capturing and holding territory while the Davion forces "complete their mission objectives". Seems mildly sketchy, but, then again, we kill people for a living. Our negotiating team gets the FedCom guy to agree that we don't really need to be under direct command.

Green/F Allies
Regular/D Opposition (local planetary militia, mostly)
Liaison command
Free jumpship ride (100% transport costs coverage)
80% salvage rights (probably because we're fighting planetary militia)
80% battle loss compensation
170M estimated profit
6 month expected duration
Able to access FedCom supply lines

Option 2:
Extraction Raid on Calish. We had to look up where this is, it's out in the eastern sticks of the Inner Sphere. Outworlds Alliance. We also had to look up who those guys are. Which doesn't make them any more relevant, really. The Draconis Combine wants us to go all the way out there, "extract a designated group of individuals, voluntarily or otherwise", and "eliminate anyone that gets in your way". Ah, good old Kurita diplomacy.

Well, that's great, but the 30% salvage-exchange rights and no battle loss compensation make this undesirable.

Option 3:
The FedCom rep also offers for us to go south, down to the Taurian Concordat and carry out a quick recon raid. Gather information. We'd only be there for a month, so it would be a short, high-intensity contract. Unfortunately for him, the 40% salvage-exchange rights and -12M estimated profit on our end make it a bad option. Plus, we'd be under house command.

Option 4:
Col. Ferrerro sends Scrub an e-mail asking if we're willing to take on another raid on behalf of the Free Worlds League into FedCom territory. It's a little cagey on the details, but we are to "retrieve personnel, data and technology samples from designated facilities" while "avoiding detection as much as is practical". The pay is good (122M over 4 months), but 0% salvage rights isn't great.

So our real options are to take the planetary assault, or wait another month. Right now, we're burning through about 5.8M a month (between salaries and maintenance costs, as well as "property rental"), and our warchest is sitting at almost exactly 300M.

The command staff also thinks long and hard about trying to acquire a lance of artillery vehicles or crew-served. Our options are:

1) Lance of Sniper tubes. ~5M, but does only 15 damage on a direct hit, 5 on adjacent hexes. Easy to find.
2) Lance of Thumper tubes. ~10M, does 20 damage on a direct hit, 10 to adjacent hexes. Less easy to find.
3) Lance of Long Tom tubes. ~15M, does 25 damage on a direct hit, -10 per hex distance, with an incredibly three-hex blast radius. Very hard to find.

We'll also probably need to detail a lance of mechs or something to guard these guys when they're out in the field, otherwise a stray Locust or infantryman may destroy them.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by El Guapo » Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:05 pm

I'd say take the planetary assault. Sounds like fun, and the pay seems good.

As for artillery, I'd start by looking for the hard to find but great stuff, and work backwards from there.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Zenn7 » Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:45 pm

I agree with the Guap!

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Hyena » Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:57 pm

I agree with Zenn7, who agrees with Guap!
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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by gbasden » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:22 am

And they all agree with me as I thought the planetary assault was the best option after you posted but didn't actually get around to saying so until now. :)

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Paingod » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:38 am

I agree with Hyena. :D
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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua » Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:25 pm

We accept the planetary assault contract and begin packing everything up on the Jumbo. In addition to having more cargo space, the Jumbo also doesn't smell like old Star League feet. We're informed that we will meet our liaison en route. By October 7th, we're loaded up and our dropships burn for the zenith jump point to rendezvous with the FedCom-contracted jumpship.

New Aberdeen is apparently a fairly standard temperate world orbiting a sun-sized yellow star. Nothing remarkable about it (other than the fact that it's a shirt-sleeves world that doesn't need crazy Star League terraforming tech to make it habitable). Being on the Draconis-Federated Suns border, it tends to get raided a lot. The Draconis Combine nominally owns it, and routinely sets up garrisons and spare parts production, but the Feds will occasionally send a strong force over to grab anything that's not nailed down (and some things that are), then pull back right as the Dracs mount a serious response. So basically, it's routinely used as a diversion, but the Dracs still haven't figured it out.

Hyena spends the time (both back on Outreach and en route) improving his gunnery. It doesn't go quite as well as we'd like, as he develops a particular affinity for ballistic weapons, but keeps trying to lead his shots with lasers.

We have enough spare mechs and mechwarriors that we decide to allocate a medium lance of mechs to be permanently stationed with the dropships, in addition to actually making use of our mech-grade laser equipped infantry platoon for the purpose. Since we'll probably be moving around frequently, stationary defences are not in the cards this contract.

We rendezvous with the liaison at the Raman jump point, four jumps away. Cpt. Scrub scrunches her face, as it's (now Captain) Allred, but manages to keep it professional until the end of the briefing, at which point she asks him if he's gotten any better at piloting mechs.

He shrugs. "Depends on your definition of the terms."

"Which ones?"

"Take your pick."

We'll be working "with" elements from the 33rd Avalon Hussars and the 2nd NAIS Cadet Cadre. And by "with", I mean we'll be doing all the work and they'll be scampering around behind us for the most part. Which is fine, that's what we've been hired for. We are apparently to "attempt to avoid damage to civilian infrastructure" and "attempt to avoid unnecessary environmental damage". The implication being we shouldn't set everything on fire. We'll see how that goes. We jump into the New Aberdeen system on New Years' day, 3037 and operation Blue Moon officially begins as we burn for planetary orbit.

January 9, 307

Our initial landing is uncontested, but as soon as the Union drops our initial mech company in to secure the landing zone, it's forced to land quickly to avoid an incoming flight of interceptors. This separates it from most of the rest of the force, and Kurita units swarm around it like flies on a rotting pumpkin. We count at least three separate enemy forces closing in, so we'll need to deal with them. Preferably before they get to the dropship itself.

Additionally, Cpt. Allred tells us that a pair of Kurita dropships have been detected heading to planetary orbit, and it'd be great if we could prevent them from landing. Actually, it would, since they're an Excalibur and a Triumph, carrying a company of mechs and an ungodly amount of tanks between the two of them (~134, or more if they pack 'em in real tight).

Luckily, they are unescorted. Or, rather, the escorts are still bumbling about planet-side, when Alpha and Gamma air wings hit them. Our aircraft are a pair of Lucifers, a Hellcat and a Lightning.

Round 1:
Spoiler:
Image
"Stay in formation until we get in weapons range." Lt. Bruns calls out. "And keep those thrusters under control."

Round 2:
Spoiler:
Image
The Drac dropships stay together, more or less. The Triumph will be a little easier to handle, since it's got those blind spots at four and eight o'clock, but the Excalibur will be a tougher nut to crack.

Round 3:
Spoiler:
Image
"Break formation and engage! Target the Excalibur!" Our aero jocks open fire as best as they can, although enemy ECM makes targeting difficult. One of our Lucifers takes a nasty hit to the left wing, blowing out one of the heat sinks. Our laser fire mostly peels off armor, but the Lightning rakes its AC/20 across the Excalibur's engine cluster, which "puffs" quite nicely, throwing metal chunks out of one of the thruster outlets before it flickers out.

Round 4:
Spoiler:
Image
We burn hard to turn around, so we can catch up to the Triumph - the Excalibur appears to be adjusting its vector to skip the planetary rendezvous. Maybe the captain feels he can't land the craft safely with one of the thrusters blown out. Our damaged Lucifer rakes a laser across the Triumph's left side, but the armor holds up just fine. The guy flying the Hellcat burns a little too hard and loses control of his aircraft as his engines overheat and flicker off, while one of our Lucifers just can't put enough thrust into it to avoid flying off. Those two will be back, but probably not in time to help with the Triumph.

Round 5, 6:
Spoiler:
Image
Our fighters complete their turn-around, while the Triumph slows down a little.

Round 7:
Spoiler:
Image
Our damaged Lucifer and Lightning get into the Triumph's blind spot and open up. Most of the lasers wind up missing, but the Lightning's AC/20 cracks through the Triumph's heavy armor, raking across an autocannon blister, sending sparks and bits spinning off into the void.

Round 8-12:
Spoiler:
Image
The Triumph manages to avoid our craft temporarily. We regroup and try to come at him again. Should be a little easier, he doesn't have an Excalibur buddy around, this time.

Round 13:
Spoiler:
Image
Coming around for a second pass.

Round 14:
Spoiler:
Image
Target engaged. Lightning and Lucifer holding back to get a better angle. The Lucifer in the back eats a PPC to the left wing, blowing out another heat sink. The two closer aircraft score a good number of hits on the left side, weakening the armor there with lasers and SRMs. The Hellcat jock loses control again after his attack run.

Round 15:
Spoiler:
Image
"Stay with him!". Our fighters do their best to chase the Triumph down, but he's picking up speed now. Say what you want about slow-ass dropships, but they can just keep applying thrust until the cows come home. A fighter has maybe ten minutes of "full burn" before having to disengage and head home.

Round 16:
Spoiler:
Image
"We are at bingo fuel, this is our last chance!"

But we blow it. A couple more lasers and autocannon rounds connect with the Combine dropship, but the vessel's captain manages to rotate it so the more heavily armored right side takes the incoming fire. Our spacecraft wind up having to disengage, as otherwise they won't have enough fuel to land. In one piece.

A mixed result. On the one hand, this means a Triumph is going to be landing somewhere on the planet with probably a full complement of tanks (24 heavy units anywhere up to 100 tons and 20 lighter units up to 50 tons, to be exact, plus some infantry). On the other hand, we did stop the Excalibur. And we didn't lose any spacecraft this time. So, could have been a lot worse.

Current force status:
Spoiler:
Alpha Company
Alpha-One (command lance, elite)
- Gbasden / Awesome
- Isgrimnur / Hatchetman
- El Guapo / Marauder (modified, AC/5 replaced with armor, 2 heat sinks, 2x Streak SRM/2)
- Stefan / Catapult
Alpha-Two (battle lance, veteran)
- Blackjack BJ-1
- Rifleman RFL-3C
- Trebuchet TBT-5J
- Flashman FLS-7K
Alpha-Three (fast attack lance, regular)
- Wolverine WVR-6M
- Quickdraw QKD-4H (modified, all weapons forward, SRM/4 replaced with Streak SRM/2)
- Griffin 1N
- Shadow Hawk 2K (modified, two heat sinks removed, extra LRM/5 launcher added)
Alpha-Air (flying bricks, veteran)
- Lucifer LCF-R20
- Lucifer LCF-R20

Beta Company
Beta-One (assault lance, elite)
- Zenn7 / Awesome
- Zarathud / Awesome
- LordMortis / Victor
- Thunderbolt TDR-5SE
Beta-Two (battle lance, regular)
- Catapult
- Trebuchet TBT-5S (short-ranged monstrosity)
- Orion ON1-K
- Rifleman RFL-3N
Beta-Three (battle lance, regular)
- Ostsol OTL-4D (modified, all weapons forward)
- Centurion CN9-A (modified, all weapons forward)
- Vindicator VND-1R
- Wyvern WVE-6N
Beta-Air (mixed light/medium, regular)
- Lucifer LCF-R20
- Sabre SB-27

Delta Company
Delta-One (heavy recon lance, elite)
- Archinerd Mk2 / Dervish
- Madmarcus / Wolverine WVR-6M
- Paingod / Griffin GRF-1N
- Freyland / Quickdraw (modified, all weapons forward, SRM/4 replaced with Streak SRM/2)
Delta-Two (medium recon lance, veteran)
- Phoenix Hawk PXH-1D
- Griffin GRF-1N
- Griffin GRF-1S
- Wolverine WVR-6R
Delta-Three (light recon lance, regular)
- Cicada
- Ostscout
- Phoenix Hawk PXH-1
- Firestarter FS9-K (modified, rear flamer replaced with heat sink)
Delta-Air (light air lance, regular)
- Cheetah F-10
- Seydlitz SYD-Z2

Gamma Company
Gamma-One (heavy battle lance, elite)
- Scrub / Warhammer WHM-6D
- Hyena / Striker
- Cylus Maxii / Grasshopper GHR-5H
- Xwraith / Thunderbolt TDR-5SE (modified, large laser replaced with ER large laser)
Gamma-Two (medium battle lance, regular)
- Wolverine WVR-6M
- Rifleman RFL-3N
- Champion CHP-2N (modified, two small lasers replaced with heat sink)
- Trebuchet TBT-5N
Gamma-Three (fast recon lance, regular)
- Phoenix Hawk PXH-1D
- Vulcan VL-5T (modified, machine gun ammo reduced to half-ton, replaced with extra armor)
- Spider SDR-5V
- Clint CLNT-2-3T
Gamma-Air (medium air)
- Hellcat HCT-213D
- Lightning LTN-G15
The situation around the Union is looking pretty rough, and we'll need to detail three lances to defend it. One lance for direct, more or less stationary, defense. One lance to station at a chokepoint through which a substantial number of Kurita units will be passing. One lance to harass, delay and divert a third, larger enemy force.

The Davion guys decide to pull their weight as well - the liaison informs us that they'll dispatch at least two lances, one to help defend the Union, one to help with the diversion. The liaison himself will be helping out at the chokepoint.

Cpt. Scrub calls the chokepoint, but the other two missions are "wide open". Air support is unavailable, as it's still being unpacked or refueled (in the case of Alpha and Gamma Air). I'd recommend something heavy duty for stationary defense and something light and fast for the diversion.

Eventually, the fighters in the air keeping the Union grounded will have to leave (either due to low fuel or when we unpack the rest of our aircraft), at which point our dropship will be able to re-join the rest of the force at the primary landing zone. Once we unpack the rest of the mechs, we'll also be dispatching a recon lance to survey and scan nearby forces. Hopefully we can give them a good bloody nose here to regain a bit of momentum.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Freyland » Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:32 pm

I hear Delta company is pretty fast, with a badass heavy mech in the mix. I think he even specializes in vehicle destruction.
I don't remember where I read this, Cort, maybe it was in the last patch notes, but they said the UAZ really handles the best when... the wheels are actually touching the ground.
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Hyena
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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Hyena » Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:09 pm

For completely selfish reasons, I would volunteer Gamma 1 for the stationary defense. We're one of the heavier Lance's, although I know that it would be pretty cool to have a crap ton of Awesomes melting shit left and right...
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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by gbasden » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:35 am

Heck yeah it would be. Alpha and Beta 1 are both ready to go.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Zenn7 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:52 am

Beta 1 for defense (let's not get our company commander whacked before we are even truly landed - that way, he can decide how to deal w/ our capture if things go south).

Delta 1 for mobile if they are fast enough (they are clearly our fastest "1" lance (with our OO people), but is that fast enough? or do we need lighter/faster - Delta 2 or 3?)

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Cylus Maxii » Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:19 pm

Gamma 1 for Defense - I'm with you Hyena!
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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by xwraith » Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:37 pm

Cylus Maxii wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:19 pm
Gamma 1 for Defense - I'm with you Hyena!
Gamma 1-4 standing by
I forgot to call it "a box of pure malevolent evil, a purveyor of
insidious insanity, an eldritch manifestation that would make Bill
Gates let out a low whistle of admiration," but it's all those, too.
-- David Gerard, Re: [Mediawiki-l] Wikitext grammar, 2010.08.06

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

Post by El Guapo » Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:08 pm

Just tell me when to leave the dropship and who to shoot at and I'll go from there.

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NickAragua
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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua » Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:28 pm

January 11, 3037
Gamma-One takes up position at a chokepoint some distance to the west of the Union, while Delta-One runs interference (and attempts to preserve some allied units). While that happens, Beta-One catches a major break as severe wind conditions ground all nearby Kurita aircraft and force their treadheads to shelter in place or retreat. Which leaves our lance, plus dropship, plus a pair of Davion mechs facing a company of light and medium mechs, which display great "elan" (although perhaps not good common sense) and press their attack on our dropship.

Beta-One is, as usual, the two Awesomes, LordMortis in the Victor, and a Thunderbolt (SE). The Davion backup is a Rifleman and a standard Thunderbolt. They also sent an LRM Carrier and a Manticore tank, but the high winds prevent them from operating at any capability, so we have them button up and drive into the Union.

The opfor is a pair of Dragons, a Wyvern, a Phoenix Hawk, a Panther and a bunch of bug mechs.

Round 1:
Spoiler:
Image
We actually manage to "intercept" (at a very slow pace due to the nearly tornado-force winds) the incoming units well north of the dropship. Zenn7 starts the party off by zapping a Locust in the left torso with a PPC - a whole bunch of electric feedback travels to the bug mech's core and rattles the gyro, causing the mech to fall over. Given the wind conditions, he's not getting up.

Round 2:
Spoiler:
Image
The opfor advances pretty slowly. Nobody's realized that they're sitting ducks yet, partially because our weapons fire whiffs this round.

Round 3:
Spoiler:
Image
A Panther opens up with its PPC from the northwest, attracting the ire of Zenn7 and our Thunderbolt. The thirty-five ton mech's right leg comes off under sustained PPC and large laser fire, dropping it to the ground (for the rest of the fight, due to wind conditions).

Round 4:
Spoiler:
Image
Enemy units continue to advance, trying to close to their weapons range. Ballistic and missile weapons are completely useless under these conditions, so it's PPCs and lasers. One of our Thunderbolt's lasers connects with the head of a Dragon, giving the mechwarrior inside something to think about.

Round 5:
Spoiler:
Image
Zenn7 legs (and disarms) a Wasp to the north, basically hogging all the kills so far. The mechwarrior inside powers down almost immediately after the mech hits the ground. Some lasers come LordMortis' way, but he doesn't even have to try to use evasive manuevers, they just miss.

Round 6:
Spoiler:
Image
As a Phoenix Hawk tries to approach our mechs, it fires its lasers at LordMortis, cutting some armor off the right arm. Then it takes three PPCs, dropping the 45-ton mech to the ground. Our Thunderbolt fires a precise shot at the Wyvern to the north, taking the right arm off.

Round 7:
Spoiler:
Image
To LordMortis' great surprise, the Phoenix Hawk gets up, so he moves forward to "put his foot down". The mech gets one last shot off with a medium laser to melt a little armor, then takes an 80-ton Victor's boot to the face and flops down out of sight.

Zarathud's PPC fire knocks over the Dragon to the west, while Zenn7 does the same to the Wyvern.

Round 8:
Spoiler:
Image
The Wyvern knocked over by Zenn7 has trouble getting up in the high winds, and our Thunderbolt takes advantage of it by putting a medium laser through the weakened right torso armor and setting off the SRM ammo. The explosion dissipates rather quickly.

LordMortis moves to continue his head-removal rampage, but takes a hit to the foot actuator from a nearby Dragon. The damage is pretty light, but the mech is already having trouble balancing with the "local atmospheric conditions" in play, so he falls over awkwardly onto the right arm, which comes off entirely (but actually pretty cleanly). On the plus side, this doesn't affect his combat capability in any way whatsoever, since the AC/20 is basically useless under these conditions.

Round 9:
Spoiler:
Image
LordMortis has a little trouble getting up, and is unable to even prop himself up to fire weapons (missing an arm and all). Zarathud notes that the legged Panther to the northwest is still popping off PPC shots, so three PPC shots fly back, taking off an arm. Not the one with the PPC, but still. Our Thunderbolt inflicts heavy damage on the Dragon's right arm, severely damaging actuators there, while Zenn7 blows away another bug mech to the east. Technically, he only disables an arm and a leg, but then the fall completely ruins the structural integrity.

With their bug mechs dropping like flies and their heavies starting to take damage, somebody in the Kurita company finally decides that they can't beat three assaults and three heavies (not that our Davion buddies have really been hitting anything) and orders a retreat. The Dragon that tried to flank us takes another PPC hit from Zarathud and a laser from the Thunderbolt to knock out the AC/5, and then they're gone.

Once the winds calm down, we'll grab the Phoenix Hawk and Panther wrecks (for spare parts) and earmark the bug mechs for FedCom's share. Other than the right arm on LordMortis' Victor (which shouldn't take more than a couple of days to put back on), we took pretty negligible damage. Three bug mechs went down, plus a Phoenix Hawk, a Panther and a Wyvern. Nothing over 45 tons, but still a decent start.

It actually used to be that we didn't like unfavorable weather conditions. But with our elite mechwarriors, it's actually better to fight at night or in hurricane-force winds or driving rain - the average opposition has trouble hitting us (for the most part), while we take them apart.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua » Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:07 pm

While Beta-One (fairly easily) sweeps aside the guys that came directly at the dropship, Delta and Gamma-One have a harder time. Isolated from the "wind conditions" around the dropship by a mountain range, Delta-One "buzzes" a substantial force (a fairly ridiculous number of hovertanks, medium armor and light/medium mechs), then runs like the dickens. The plan here is a fighting retreat to the north, where a lance of Davion heavies awaits. Hopefully, the running battle will string the Kurita units out, and the combination of Davion heavies and Delta-One's applied firepower will reduce the enemy force somewhat. If it doesn't, then Delta-One will proceed to Gamma-One's position and attempt to hold there.

And if the weather around the dropship clears, we'll all collapse towards the dropship and lift off.

The Davion military-industrial complex has been busy it seems. They've brought a Crusader, a pair of Jagermechs and a Black Knight. We've actually never seen Jagermechs or a Black Knight in this playthrough. A Black Knight is a classic Star League design. It packs a PPC, two large lasers, and a bunch of mediums, and not nearly enough heat sinks to fire all of it at once. Armor is decent, speed is average. The original intent was probably to use double heat sinks, but guess what, we don't have any of those.

The Jagermechs are a JM6-A and a JM6-S. The A is an exclusively long-range weapons platform, with a pair of LRM/15 launchers and a pair of AC/2s, plus two medium lasers for backup. The S is two AC/5s instead of LRM/15s. Both are, in my opinion, similar in usefulness to the Rifleman RFL-3N (the one with the two large lasers and two AC/5s). Which is, to say, I would prefer something else.

Madmarcus decides to help our odds of not dying by launching this operation at night. Combined with some heavy fog, we should be able to maintain good range advantage on the enemy units.

Round 1:
Spoiler:
Image
The faster hovertanks catch up to Delta-One almost immediately, but it's rough going for them. Still, we want to get away from that north map edge pretty quick as there are going to be a *lot* of angry Kurita units buzzing our way shortly. Archinerd II's isn't as good a shot as her dad with the LRMs, but she still nails the Harasser, blowing through the canopy and hitting the crew with some shrapnel. The light hovercraft veers off rapidly.

Round 2:
Spoiler:
Image
We're still in LRM range of the north end of the map as the rest of the hovercraft show up. Even that number of hovercraft would normally be a threat, but they are greatly slowed down by the combination of fog and no light. Madmarcus suggests that everyone holds fire for now, there's a lot of bad guys to blow up and we want to conserve ammo.

Round 3:
Spoiler:
Image
More enemy units show up. Madmarcus tests the outer range of enemy fire, but everything misses, thankfully.

Round 4:
Spoiler:
Image
We've basically gotten clear of the Kurita forces. The only wrinkle here is that we *want* them to keep chasing us. So, we're not going to be able to just fire jump jets at full burn - we fall back just slowly enough that the fastest elements of the opfor are able to keep up. Which happens to be a bunch of bug mechs and a Phoenix Hawk.

Round 5-12:
Spoiler:
Image
We continue retreating to the south to the waiting Davion heavies. Realistically speaking, they're not going to be able to fight all of the hovercraft and tanks slowly making their way after Delta-One. "Ok, let's just take down the fast movers instead. Then we can keep baiting the rest of them until a couple of hours before daybreak, then fade out." It takes us about a minute to reach the Davion heavies.

Round 13:
Spoiler:
Image
We give our jump jets a break, but the Kurita fast movers prove to be a little too smart for us: they hang back behind the hill separating our two forces.

Round 14+:
It becomes fairly obvious that the Kurita guys aren't falling for our ambush. Their lighter units continue hanging back. So, we go to plan C. Have the Davion units step aside and power down, and keep stringing the Kurita guys along for the rest of the night. That should give Gamma-One enough time to take care of the units coming at them, then Delta-One can swing back to the dropship and we can all get out of there. The Davion guys have their own transports, so they can get out on their own.

So that's what we do. On the plus side, we have a good idea of the amount and type of forces operating in the area. At least the ones that the Dracs committed to try to take down the Union. Combined with the 44-pack of tanks from the landed Triumph, we're looking at a slog.

[given the gigantic opfor that was rolled (~50 units), I was actually very happy that it turned out to be foggy. I even re-rolled the lighting conditions hoping for a night-time result, which I got. We would have gotten flattened otherwise.]

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Zenn7 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:18 pm

NickAragua wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:25 pm
Cpt. Scrub calls the chokepoint, but the other two missions are "wide open". Air support is unavailable, as it's still being unpacked or refueled (in the case of Alpha and Gamma Air). I'd recommend something heavy duty for stationary defense and something light and fast for the diversion.
Hyena wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:09 pm
For completely selfish reasons, I would volunteer Gamma 1 for the stationary defense. We're one of the heavier Lance's, although I know that it would be pretty cool to have a crap ton of Awesomes melting shit left and right...
Cylus Maxii wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:19 pm
Gamma 1 for Defense - I'm with you Hyena!
You two forget who your Captain is???

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Hyena » Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:36 pm

Zenn7 wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:18 pm
NickAragua wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:25 pm
Cpt. Scrub calls the chokepoint, but the other two missions are "wide open". Air support is unavailable, as it's still being unpacked or refueled (in the case of Alpha and Gamma Air). I'd recommend something heavy duty for stationary defense and something light and fast for the diversion.
Hyena wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:09 pm
For completely selfish reasons, I would volunteer Gamma 1 for the stationary defense. We're one of the heavier Lance's, although I know that it would be pretty cool to have a crap ton of Awesomes melting shit left and right...
Cylus Maxii wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:19 pm
Gamma 1 for Defense - I'm with you Hyena!
You two forget who your Captain is???
SIR, NO SIR! I JUST THOUGHT WE WERE OFFERING SUGGESTIONS, SIR!

*sarcastic salute*
"You laugh at me because I'm different; I laugh at you because you're all the same." ~Jonathan Davis

"The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives." ~Robert M. Hutchins

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by xwraith » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:56 pm

Hyena wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:36 pm
Zenn7 wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:18 pm
NickAragua wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:25 pm
Cpt. Scrub calls the chokepoint, but the other two missions are "wide open". Air support is unavailable, as it's still being unpacked or refueled (in the case of Alpha and Gamma Air). I'd recommend something heavy duty for stationary defense and something light and fast for the diversion.
Hyena wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:09 pm
For completely selfish reasons, I would volunteer Gamma 1 for the stationary defense. We're one of the heavier Lance's, although I know that it would be pretty cool to have a crap ton of Awesomes melting shit left and right...
Cylus Maxii wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:19 pm
Gamma 1 for Defense - I'm with you Hyena!
You two forget who your Captain is???
SIR, NO SIR! I JUST THOUGHT WE WERE OFFERING SUGGESTIONS, SIR!

*sarcastic salute*
*almost blunders into the conversation -- and attempts to suppress a snigger around the corner*
I forgot to call it "a box of pure malevolent evil, a purveyor of
insidious insanity, an eldritch manifestation that would make Bill
Gates let out a low whistle of admiration," but it's all those, too.
-- David Gerard, Re: [Mediawiki-l] Wikitext grammar, 2010.08.06

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua » Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:24 pm

While the winds around the Union taper off (allowing salvage operations to take place) and Delta-One gives a substantial Combine force the runaround, Gamma-One moves to secure a chokepoint. It's an industrial complex surrounded on both sides by jagged, rocky, impassable terrain, so it's the only place for ground-bound units to cross for kilometers.

So, it basically is stationary defence. The liaison deploys alongside Gamma-One, having gotten himself a Hunchback 4G. This gives us a good close-in punch in addition to a healthy mix of long-range firepower, with Hyena and Scrub's PPCs, plus Cylus and Xwraith with their LRMs and ER laser.

The incoming force is on the heavy side, with a couple of lances of tanks backing up almost a company of mechs. Including three Thunderbolts. It's going to be a tough fight for sure.

Round 1:
Spoiler:
Image
We make our presence known with a flurry of long range weapons fire. Cylus is the only one who hits anything though, dragging the Grasshopper's large laser beam across the front of a Saladin.

Round 2:
Spoiler:
Image
Xwraith makes good use of the ER laser's long range to target a distant Saladin, severely damaging its air ducts to slow it down. Scrub punches through the right side of a Jenner with PPCs, taking out two jump jets. Cylus takes a few hits, but nearly removes the head from the nearby Ostscout. Hyena whiffs with all weapons against a J. Edgar light tank trying to zip by, but then sticks his foot out, causing the hovertank to flip over.

Round 3:
Spoiler:
Image
One of the enemy Dragons runs a little too fast along the road and skids, falling over in the middle of the street. Since we haven't actually seen too many Dragons before: it's a Kurita design, featuring an AC/5, a pair of medium lasers (only one facing forward) and an LRM/10 rack. Same ground speed as a Griffin or a Quickdraw, but pretty undergunned for its mass.

There's also a Grand Dragon on the field, which replaces the dubious AC/5 with a PPC, extra laser and extra heat sinks. Now we're cooking with gas! Unfortunately, this one chooses to expose itself to fire from our liaison and Cylus. Well, not that unfortunate, the liaison's gunnery is exceedingly poor. Cylus scores a couple of hits and lands a kick, taking a punch in return, but is unable to knock the enemy mech over.

Hyena backs up into a building, which absorbs some of the fire from the nearby Saladin as it zips in, then opens up a counterattack, cutting through the hovertank's left side with lasers to take it down.

Scrub finishes off the Jenner's left torso by blasting it with two more PPC shots, and the lighter enemy mech peels off, looking for safety. Her left leg takes an AC/20 hit and a bunch of laser fire, the armor flashing yellow.

Round 4:
Spoiler:
Image
Despite taking a full AC/20 to the center of mass, the Kurita Panther basically shrugs it off as it casually walks by the liaison's camping spot. Cylus jumps in behind it, but is unable to breach its rear armor. Our Grasshopper does step on an SRM Carrier though, breaking through the front armor and causing the tank to seek shelter elsewhere.

Alpha-Three manages to run off a small Kurita patrol poking around our landing zone, destroying a Saladin and disabling a Galleon, along with a Scorpion.

Round 5:
Spoiler:
Image
Xwraith and Hyena both crash through heavy-duty buildings, taking shelter in there. Xwraith takes the armor off one of the nearby Scorpion mech's legs, but we're probably going to have to let it go.

Hyena opens up on a passing Prowler, raking it with the AC/10. The building absorbs the return fire gamely, but the Prowler remains more or less intact.

Cylus continues chasing the Panther, hoping to finish it off. This time, a large laser disables the smaller mech's left leg, forcing it to the ground even as it fires back and hits with a PPC shot to the left arm. The mechwarrior bails out pretty quickly.

Scrub exchanges PPC fire with the Grand Dragon, the enemy mech coming away worse off, but it's not quite enough to stop the larger mech.

Round 6:
Spoiler:
Image
These guys are basically getting away from us, we're just not able to apply enough firepower. Cylus takes an armor breach in the left torso as a Thunderbolt gets the drop on our Grasshopper. Our mechwarrior fires back with lasers and even dodges a kick while hitting the larger enemy mech in the head with a fist. Hyena does manage to knock one of the Thunderbolts over with an almost alpha strike, then stomps on the right leg to take off most of the armor there.

Round 7:
Spoiler:
Image
The liaison's Hunchback shudders as the enemy Thunderbolt unloads with every short range weapon it has, but armor holds, even as the Rifleman adds some fire. His leg nearly comes off as the enemy mech gives him a solid kick, but he does manage to crunch through the nearby Manticore's armor and destroy the engine.

Cylus jumps in and manages to slice some armor off the front of the Prowler to the west, the send a few LRMs that way, with a few stray missiles blowing through the weakened armor and injuring the driver. The all-terrain transport peels off.

The Thunderbolt that Hyena knocked down gets up and runs out of line of sight, right into Scrub's PPC firing lane. The two PPC shots impact the Thunderbolt's right leg, which simply comes off. The enemy mechwarrior wastes no time in bailing out.

Xwraith goes chasing after the Scorpion, scoring a few hits but failing to disable it, and takes an LRM salvo to the rear from an opportunistic Thunderbolt, knocking out one of the medium lasers.

Round 8:
Spoiler:
Image
Cylus gets the drop on the enemy Thunderbolt as it makes its way north. The Grasshopper's right torso flashes red as the last of the armor there evaporates under laser fire, but its in perfect position for a rear shot. The large laser melts through the rear armor to get at the internals, then all four lasers fire off, one hitting the already-damaged head section. The 65-ton mech slumps, then tilts over.

Hyena wipes out an SRM Carrier as it drives by, breaching armor with the AC/10, then torching the fuel tank with a laser. That wraps up the tail section of the enemy column.

The Grand Dragon and Scrub exchange PPC shots, but the enemy mech is able to escape.

Round 9:
Spoiler:
Image
Cylus attempts to chase down the Rifleman, taking a hit to the left arm while stripping the enemy mech's armor with lasers.

Xwraith is was unable to disable the Thunderbolt that ran by, but takes a deadly accurate shot, center of mass, at the Panther coming after. The ER laser blasts through the weakened armor and dings the gyro, dropping the smaller mech to the ground.

Round 10:
Spoiler:
Image
The Panther can't get up due to gyro damage, so we bypass it for now and continue chasing down the rest of the enemy mechs. Its weapons fire is pretty ineffective also.

Hyena blasts the last of the retreating Thunderbolts with long range weapons, as the Dragon that tripped earlier ducks around a corner.

Cylus continues the duel with the Rifleman, taking another hit to the right torso but breaching the left leg armor with the large laser. Scrub helps out by bursting through a building and hitting with two PPC shots. Cylus uses the distraction to strip the last armor off the other leg with a kick while dodging the enemy mech's distracted melee counterattack.

The liaison attempts to engage the Goblin but the enemy tank zaps him in the leg, knocking it off, effectively putting him out of the fight.

Round 11:
Spoiler:
Image
The Goblin does its best to resume its route north, but skids along the pavement and crashes into a nearby building.

Credit for the kill on the Rifleman is somewhat disputable, as both Cylus and Scrub scored hits that would have knocked the mech down on their own - Cylus to the gyro, Scrub to the left arm. Between the two of them, the enemy mech falls over on its back, at which point the ammo detonates. We credit it to Cylus, since, without the gyro hit, the mech would have probably remained upright.

The Panther continues being unable to get up.

Round 12:
Spoiler:
Image
At this point, Scrub just needs to finish off the Goblin, while Xwraith and Hyena move to finish off the Panther, whose mechwarrior has conveniently blacked out after trying to get up a few too many times with a dinged gyro. Xwraith zaps the head with the ER laser and calls it a day.

Round 13:
Spoiler:
Image
Scrub is unable to finish the Goblin herself, but Hyena is on the job, within a few seconds, detonating the tank's on-board SRM ammo (this was the Goblin SRM variant, with three SRM/6 launchers instead of a large laser).

Since most of the enemy force's meaningful heavies didn't make it past Gamma-One, and Delta-One distracted their opposition for quite a while, the local Kurita forces are unable to bring enough force to bear to threaten the Union. As soon as the weather clears and salvage operations are complete, our mechs pile on and the Union lifts off, meeting up with the Jumbo and Davion dropships at the main landing zone, while the Davion guys catch a ride of their own.

Salvage is a pretty good haul. Two standard Thunderbolts, two Panthers and a Manticore, with Cylus getting a mech hat trick. The Grasshopper's left arm will need a full rebuild, but between us and the Davion forces, we've got the spare parts for it, it'll just take time. We hand over the crappy hovertank wrecks, and put the more beat-up Thunderbolt and Panther into storage. We use the parts from the beat-up Panther to replace the leg on the less beat-up one, while the other Thunderbolt can actually be put back together without any replacement parts. It'll be useful to have a pair of spare mechs on hand.

With all dropships present and all mechs accounted for, our landing zone and base of operations are secure (once Alpha-Three runs off a Kurita patrol, destroying a lance of tanks in the process). A pair of captured Kurita mechwarriors are interrogated (nicely, politely, perhaps over tea and biscuits) to confirm our estimates of their force disposition. One of them offers said information freely, nothing terribly conflicting with what we've seen so far - a mix of light hovercraft backed up by a small number of heavy tanks, while mechs are mostly lights and lower-end heavies (especially after we put a significant dent in their Thunderbolt population). Current count is a little under a regiment's worth of combat units. We're in for a scrap, that's for sure.

After consultation with the liaison, we begin reconnaissance operations, attempting to identify and track nearby enemy forces and facilities. Mostly low-key recon stuff, and the the planetary militia don't oppose our movements for the most part. Once we figure out where they're keeping their mechs and tanks, we'll hit them hard.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Zenn7 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:02 pm

Hyena wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:36 pm
Zenn7 wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:18 pm
NickAragua wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:25 pm
Cpt. Scrub calls the chokepoint, but the other two missions are "wide open". Air support is unavailable, as it's still being unpacked or refueled (in the case of Alpha and Gamma Air). I'd recommend something heavy duty for stationary defense and something light and fast for the diversion.
Hyena wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:09 pm
For completely selfish reasons, I would volunteer Gamma 1 for the stationary defense. We're one of the heavier Lance's, although I know that it would be pretty cool to have a crap ton of Awesomes melting shit left and right...
Cylus Maxii wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:19 pm
Gamma 1 for Defense - I'm with you Hyena!
You two forget who your Captain is???
SIR, NO SIR! I JUST THOUGHT WE WERE OFFERING SUGGESTIONS, SIR!

*sarcastic salute*
You're a riot. I don't care but Capt. Scrub may not be so inclined to save your butt in the field when you just up and ignore her.

AND STOP TURNING DOWN THE HEAT!

Is there a specific lance being dedicated to dropship defense? (We were going to keep a lance on defense duty at all times?)

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by moleymoleymoley » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:08 am

Hey, I can't remember where I even found this thread, possibly from the Megamek forums, but I've been really enjoying it for couple of months now, great work! I've just signed up to this forum to ask, can I be a pilot please?

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Freyland » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:41 am

moleymoleymoley wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:08 am
Hey, I can't remember where I even found this thread, possibly from the Megamek forums, but I've been really enjoying it for couple of months now, great work! I've just signed up to this forum to ask, can I be a pilot please?
Throw one more "moley" on your name and you could practically be your own Lance!
I don't remember where I read this, Cort, maybe it was in the last patch notes, but they said the UAZ really handles the best when... the wheels are actually touching the ground.
--RedF1ve

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Hyena » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:21 pm

Freyland wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:41 am
moleymoleymoley wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:08 am
Hey, I can't remember where I even found this thread, possibly from the Megamek forums, but I've been really enjoying it for couple of months now, great work! I've just signed up to this forum to ask, can I be a pilot please?
Throw one more "moley" on your name and you could practically be your own Lance!
This actually made me gigglesnort.
"You laugh at me because I'm different; I laugh at you because you're all the same." ~Jonathan Davis

"The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives." ~Robert M. Hutchins

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:31 pm

Currently, we are rotating Alpha-Two, Beta-Three and Gamma-Two on dropship defensive duty (eight-hour shifts where the mechwarriors basically have to be in the hangar with "two-minute readiness" or out and about in their mechs). Additionally, we have a platoon of support laser-equipped infantry. The other thing that improves our landing zone security is that the Davion guys have their own dropships, so anyone attacking the LZ will be fighting not only our units but the Davion dropships and their security force.
moleymoleymoley wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:08 am
Hey, I can't remember where I even found this thread, possibly from the Megamek forums, but I've been really enjoying it for couple of months now, great work! I've just signed up to this forum to ask, can I be a pilot please?
Welcome aboard! Beta-One's Thunderbolt jock has finally accumulated enough respect to get a nickname. PFC Hoshi "Moley" Higashi is a 3/4 mechwarrior driving a Thunderbolt 5SE (the one with jump jets). Apparently, Zenn7's tips on the usage of PPCs at long range also apply to other weapons.

The next week is relatively calm, with only a few incidents where we encounter Kurita forces during our recon forays.

January 17, 3037
We do manage to catch an Intruder dropship as it descends through the atmosphere to a landing site some distance away. An Intruder mostly carries cargo (about 850 tons worth), but does have space for several platoons of infantry and two aerospace fighters. Which it promptly launches as Gamma's air wing intercepts it. Gamma-Air is a Hellcat (lots of lasers and SRM/6s) and a Lightning (lasers and an AC/20). The escorts are a Sholagar (light, lasers, SRMs) and a Slayer (80 ton bomber, AC/10 and lasers).

The plan is to avoid the fighters and see if we can shoot down the dropship before it lands - it gets much less vulnerable once it's on the ground and we have to punch all the way through that thick armor and can't send it spiraling out of control.

Round 1:
Spoiler:
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"Stay in formation, wait until we're in weapons range."

Round 2:
Spoiler:
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"That's one giant mother*static* dropship. Target the engines."

Round 3:
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"Here come the escorts. Avoid them, concentrate fire on the dropship."

Round 4:
Spoiler:
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Well, we don't actually avoid them. It's too tempting to take a shot at the Slayer's side as we pass it by. A controlled swarm of SRMs and autocannon rounds flies out at the 80-ton fighter, with a few medium lasers hitting as well. The Lightning's AC/20 blasts away at the right wing, the shock of the impact reverberating through the enemy craft and damaging the on-board avionics system.

"I got him! Wait, crap, I'm losing veloci... waaaaaaaagh!" The guy in the Hellcat stalls out his aircraft trying to get an angle on the Slayer, and takes a slight dive, being unable to recover before hitting a nearby mountainside near a picturesque town. His SRM ammo detonates, precluding any chance of recovery.

The good part is that the Slayer crashes into the same mountain as well, eliminating its considerable firepower from the battle.

Round 5:
Spoiler:
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The Lightning pilot makes a slight mistake and doesn't climb high enough, so he has to dodge fire from the dropship as he approaches. He doesn't do a very good job, losing two lasers to PPC and autocannon fire.

Round 6-8:
Spoiler:
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The Lightning gets some good hits in on the dropship but loses the remaining lasers and takes a major dive trying to recover. As he's trying to avoid plowing into the ground, the Intruder's gunners continue pumping PPC fire into our fighter until it disintegrates.

Well, that was a disaster. Not only did we lose both of our aircraft, but the Intruder continues on its way unmolested, so the local Dracs will now have an extra four infantry platoons (whatever) and 850 tons of cargo (which is enough to keep a substantial force supplied with spare parts and ammo for a long time, or maybe it was a bunch of boxed-up tanks and mechs).

At least it wasn't a complete shut-out, I don't think anyone will complain about not having a Slayer strafing our mechs from above. Telemetry indicates both of our aero jocks ejected, but we are currently unable to recover them. At the end of the campaign, we will probably attempt to conduct a prisoner exchange. Which will causes us to forego a prisoner capture bonus for the guys we exchange, but prisoner capture bonuses are peanuts compared to mech and tank salvage (so far, we'll make about 2.4M from selling a Thunderbolt, Panther and a Manticore tank).

I think we'll need to adjust our air doctrine if we're going to continue having a role for our aircraft other than air support. First of all, we'll need to invest in aircraft with LRMs so we don't keep having to close in to knife fighting range. Second, we may consider having a separate, larger, aircraft squadron (6 fighters total, rather than the 2-fighter wings we're using right now), or at least a 3-fighter element (like the Capellan Confederation uses).

Somewhat related, honest question time:
Do you guys want to continue seeing these aerospace fights?

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Isgrimnur
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Snooze

Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:42 pm

Yes.
Silver - 1k

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Hyena
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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Hyena » Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:13 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:42 pm
Yes.
This.
"You laugh at me because I'm different; I laugh at you because you're all the same." ~Jonathan Davis

"The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives." ~Robert M. Hutchins

moleymoleymoley
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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by moleymoleymoley » Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:17 pm

Freyland wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:41 am
moleymoleymoley wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:08 am
Hey, I can't remember where I even found this thread, possibly from the Megamek forums, but I've been really enjoying it for couple of months now, great work! I've just signed up to this forum to ask, can I be a pilot please?
Throw one more "moley" on your name and you could practically be your own Lance!
:mrgreen: woooo! Thanks nick! Heavy metal and a decent pilot too :horse:

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

Post by El Guapo » Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:18 pm

Yeah, I enjoy the aerospace fights.

Also, be sure to add Danger Zone to the aerospace recaps in the future.

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NickAragua
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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua » Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:15 pm

January 20, 3037
Delta-One spots a large force of enemy hovercraft, tanks and light mechs moving through a valley. Since it's raining, our mechwarriors see a chance to separate the enemy units out from each other a bit and pick on them. We intercept the head of the column and engage the hovercraft, attempting to keep the battle away from the heavier Kurita units.

Round 1:
Spoiler:
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Right off the bat, a Pegasus and a Scimitar get flustered in our ambush and crash into each other. The Scimitar is immobilized entirely, while the Pegasus zips along a lot more slowly.

Freyland gets the drop on a pair of Saladin hovertanks, jumping in to the left of one and zapping it with three laser shots (the fourth goes wide), then hears a quick "beep" indicating that his Streak SRMs have locked on and sends a pair flying in as well. The missiles are quite effective, plowing through the breached armor and taking out the hovertank's engine. The Quickdraw heats up a little bit, but no problem so far.

Madmarcus lands a few regular SRMs on a Locust running past, then delivers a nasty kick to the nearby Jenner's center torso, crunching through the armor.

Round 2:
Spoiler:
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Paingod follows the Jenner, while unloading LRMs at a distant Packrat to cool off. The kick cracks the smaller, bird-like mech's right torso, sending the right weapons mount flying off.

A Pegasus attempts to avoid Freyland's fire as the Quickdraw jumps into a nearby lake, but crashes into some trees instead, wedging itself in there pretty tight. To the north, the Pegasus collision victim is also stuck - the crew continues firing as Freyland jumps away, but hit air and water for the most part.

Round 3:
Spoiler:
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The Jenner peels off, and we let it go. Plenty of other targets to take care of.

Madmarcus gets in behind the Saladin to the north. Weapons fire is ineffective, but reaching in with a fist and pulling out half the drive systems does the trick.

On the east side, Freyland goes after a Scimitar and a Condor, taking a couple of hits but blasting through the Scimitar's armor to take out the engine.

Round 4:
Spoiler:
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Well, here come the heavies. Just kidding, they're Vedettes. The real heavies are still about half a minute away.

Archinerd II chases down a Wasp, blasting away its right arm armor and damaging an actuator, following up with a kick to the right leg, which comes off under the stress. Good luck getting up from that one.

Madmarcus reminds the Pegasus that crashed into the trees near Freyland that it's immobile by drilling a large hole through the armor with a laser. Maybe that'll get them to stop shooting while immobile.

Round 5:
Spoiler:
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Ok, *there* are the heavies. Manticores, Bulldogs. We'll lure their lighter companions into the woods and cut them to ribbons while avoiding the big guys. Archinerd II jumps in to take down another Pegasus with medium lasers and SRMs into the air ducts, leaving just a Condor for hovercraft. The guy in the Wasp wastes no time climbing out.

Round 6, 7, 8:
Spoiler:
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Madmarcus takes a slight beating from the high volume of incoming fire but remains upright. Time to pull back, which we do. Paingod scores a PPC hit on a Vedette as we retreat further into the woods, but things are quiet otherwise. Freyland gives another prime demonstration of streak SRMs being helpful, trying to fire a salvo at an escaping Spider. The missiles refuse to fire, having not achieved lock, which saves our Quickdraw enough heat that the actuators don't "slow down".

Round 9:
Spoiler:
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We halt in a patch of woods which will force pursuing units to cross open terrain, which they do. Paingod takes the opportunity to punch through a Vedette's left side with a PPC shot, and the tank peels off.

Freyland continues chasing a Spider and a Locust. The Spider SDR-5K is a standard modification of the original Spider model, which replaces one of the lasers with a pair of machine guns. For anti-infantry work, I guess. The light mech eats four lasers and some streak SRMs, a jump jet fizzling out under the fire.

Round 10:
Spoiler:
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We continue hopping back, scoring a few annoying but non-fatal hits on the pursuing enemy units. A Manticore falls behind after Archinerd's LRMs crunch the treads a little, while Freyland's streak SRMs ding the Locust being chased in the head.

Round 11, 12:
Spoiler:
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More of the same. The main thing happening here is that the tank column is extremely strung out at this point. Once they no longer have critical mass in one place, we'll collapse in and engage the lead elements a little more forcefully.

To the south, Freyland does manage to blast the Spider, lasers carving through the rear armor and wrecking the right half of the mech, which runs for it. Freyland lets it go, there's still the Locust to take down.

Round 13:
Spoiler:
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The Locust's right machinegun mount comes off under sustained laser fire.

Round 14:
Spoiler:
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That Crusader could cause some trouble. Madmarcus finishes drilling through the armor of another Vedette.

Round 15:
Spoiler:
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We pull further away north. You can never string these guys out enough.

Round 16, 17, 18:
That little bastard Locust actually manages to get away. Madmarcus disables another Vedette. A few more, and the heavies won't have any screening elements left.

Round 19:
Spoiler:
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We start cutting into the heavier enemy tanks, Madmarcus jumping back north along the western side of the battlefield and punching through a Rommel tank's armor to disable the motor. A Rommel is a pretty simple concept for a tank. Take an AC/20, then mount a couple of secondary weapons to pretend like there's a purpose to the tank other than punching through the toughest targets on the battlefield, and mount it all on a bog-standard 65-ton treaded mobile platform. Well, better for us not to have to deal with another AC/20.


Round 20, 21, 22:
Spoiler:
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The Manticores are now the front of the enemy formation, with most of the Vedettes disabled or destroyed. Such as the one crushed under Madmarcus' foot. After a particularly energetic round of pounding the enemy tanks with everything we've got (but not penetrating armor, mostly) somebody on the Kurita end orders a halt to the pursuit when a Bulldog's crew gets the opportunity to take in some fresh air, courtesy of Freyland's foot through the turret.

Delta-One takes the opportunity to make themselves scarce, having disabled or crippled fourteen tanks and two mechs. Most are repairable (from the looks of it, we only totalled a couple of Vedettes), but it'll take them a while.

Freyland reports being satisfied with the performance of the streak SRM system: it drives up the heat quite a bit to fire the extra missiles, but they only fire when they're guaranteed to hit, so it's usually worth it. Fourteen missiles were used in total, although this was an unusually long fight, taking almost four minutes.

----
Delta-Two, meanwhile, identifies another, smaller Kurita recon group, and is able to conduct full scans of the enemy vehicles and buzz them briefly to distract from whatever they're doing. The exchange rate isn't exactly in our favor: we destroy a Harasser, while our Griffin 1S loses an arm and needs to have a leg rebuilt due to hip damage.

Gamma-One and Delta-Two (specifically, Cylus' Grasshopper and a Griffin 1S respectively) are still not up to full strength (Cylus' mech got pretty beat up), so they'll be rotating in for dropship defense duty.

Having established a solid beachhead and gotten a pretty good idea of the kind of forces we're up against, the rest of our units move to take control of nearby strategic points. For the most part, Kurita forces refuse to engage us. The only notable action for the next week occurs when our employers decide to move some of their supplies from our landing zone to a staging area further north. As Alpha-One escorts said convoy, they are confronted by a lance of Kurita mechs, painted crimson red. Or at least you think so, as it's pitch black due to being night time. A Griffin 1N, a Warhammer 6R, a Marauder 3R and a Battlemaster. The encounter area is pretty marshy with a substantial amount of woods. Sensors indicate that the four mechs aren't the *only* units present, but all the other blips are fairly far back.

"Fedrat scum, I challenge you to a duel. Name your champion, and I will pick mine. When you are defeated, we will take possession of the convoy."

Who's going to fight the duel?

1) Gbasden in the Awesome vs Battlemaster
2) Isgrimnur in the Hatchetman vs Griffin
3) El Guapo in the Marauder vs Marauder
4) Stefan in the Catapult vs Warhammer

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