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Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

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$iljanus
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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by $iljanus »

Ok after sifting through the research in this thread I pick in order of preference...

Heat sinks
Armor
Secret blimp initiative (I believe in your dream, El Guapo!)

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua »

Vote Results:
Spoiler:
Lasers - .1
Rockets - .2
Heat Sinks - 3.2
Armor - 3
After some discussion we decide that to tackle the reactivation of the heat sink research lab. Reactivating the facility itself won't take too long, but it will take longer for us to find qualified personnel to examine the Capellan research and to figure out what to do with it. We shouldn't expect to see any results for at least a year or two - so, late 3049/3050 at the earliest.

While our main force body was gone, we'd also sent ten lances over to the Magistracy of Canopus, accompanying a House Marik liaison in a joint search-and-rescue operation. We didn't find the people we were supposed to be looking for, but our mechwarriors did get some good fighting in. The forces sent didn't take any major losses - personnel or equipment.

They do manage to acquire a Capellan knock-off Exterminator EXT-4A. A 65 ton mech with an oversized fusion engine that lets it keep up with Griffins, Dervishes, and other "heavy recon" mechs that we have. The original design had double heat sinks and an anti-missile system, but the Capellans, when they were attempting to build the "downgraded" model, had no access to those kinds of toys. So they used standard heat sinks. Which means that the mech is easily capable of shutting down on a mechwarrior who's not careful with heat management. The good part is that they're able to get ahold of the double heat sinks to refit the mech. By the time they're done with it, in addition to appropriate cooling mechanisms, the head-mounted small laser has been upgraded to a pulse, and the MG ammo has been dropped to a half ton. It's not quite a 4D, but XL engines are a little harder to get ahold of.

With the Overlord being our fifth dropship, it's time for us to think about acquiring or exclusively contracting with another jumpship, so we don't have to rely on rented transport to get where we're going. We've got two jumpship captains that are interested in long-term contracts with us:

One option is an aging Merchant-class jumpship for 535M C-Bills. It's got two dropship docking collars and space for ~700 tons of cargo. It's completely unarmed, but it does have two "small craft" bays - they're nominally for larger craft, but you can shove a fighter in there just as well.

There's also another Invader available for 677M C-Bills. It's got three docking collars and ~500 tons of cargo space. A couple of laser bays help defend against rogue asteroids, and there are also two "small craft" bays.

[] Acquire the Merchant
[] Acquire the Invader

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by El Guapo »

NickAragua wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:36 am

[] Acquire the Merchant
[X] Acquire the Invader
This is easy. We do a lot more invading than merchanting.

Also if I understand this correctly we get to play Asteroids between missions.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Leraje »

NickAragua wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:36 am
[] Acquire the Merchant
[x] Acquire the Invader
As long as the captain's name is not Zim. :P

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by $iljanus »

[X] Acquire the Invader

Not 2 but 3 rings! And something that goes pew pew!
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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Hyena »

NickAragua wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:36 am

[] Acquire the Merchant
[X] Acquire the Invader
Bigger is better.
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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by gbasden »

$iljanus wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:00 pm
[X] Acquire the Invader

Not 2 but 3 rings! And something that goes pew pew!
Pew Pew indeed.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Zenn7 »

gbasden wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:34 pm
$iljanus wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:00 pm
[X] Acquire the Invader

Not 2 but 3 rings! And something that goes pew pew!
Pew Pew indeed.
3 rings... for we elven-kings under the sky... (this can't go badly).

Say, if we just contract w/ them, are we responsibly if it breaks down like ours has a habit of doing at inconvenient times?

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua »

Zenn7 wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:08 pm
Say, if we just contract w/ them, are we responsibly if it breaks down like ours has a habit of doing at inconvenient times?
Depends on if we want to catch a ride home or not in a timely fashion.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Zenn7 »

NickAragua wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:37 pm
Zenn7 wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:08 pm
Say, if we just contract w/ them, are we responsibly if it breaks down like ours has a habit of doing at inconvenient times?
Depends on if we want to catch a ride home or not in a timely fashion.
So, contractually, no. But if we don't, the jump ship captain is not going to get it fixed on his own until long after we have found an alternate ride and moved on.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua »

Vote Results:
Spoiler:
Overwhelmingly unanimous - Invader
It takes some negotiations, and between the various incentives and crew member replacements we have to carry out, the actual price winds up being north of 700M, but we buy out a controlling stake in the second Invader. As usual, when we're on-planet or sitting around, it'll move dropships around locally to offset operating costs, with the understanding that it better be on call when we need it.

Unrelated, should we add a Thug to our collection? The model we're looking at is the THG-11E, refitted back up to Star League specs. This is a pretty straight-forward 80 ton design. Two PPCs for long range firepower, two SRM/6 launchers for shorter range engagements. CASE protects the SRM/6 ammo, while eighteen double heat sinks keep this thing perfectly cool even with engine damage while sprinting at maximum speed and firing all weapons. To help maximize armor protection, the internal structure is endo-steel.

There are a few weird downsides about it. First of all, its torso twist capability is extremely limited, so it can't cover its back at all. Second, the armor is distributed very inefficiently, so some tonnage is wasted there. Third, it's (and I can't believe I'm saying this) got too many heat sinks. Two PPCs and two SRM/6s means 28 heat. Running gets you another 2 heat. So, that's a maximum of 30 heat, but 36 heat sinking capacity, so you can trivially lose three heat sinks and still be heat-neutral.

There are some schematics out there that show how to add jump jets to this thing, so, while it'd no longer be heat neutral, it'd be a lot more maneuverable. It'll be almost like having a Highlander, except 15 tons lighter, no gauss rifle (and really, completely different weapon set) and limited torso twist capability.

[] Buy the Thug and customize it (8M C-Bills)
[] Buy the Thug and strip out the DHS/CASE (8M C-Bills)
[] Pass

Having settled on re-activating the heat sink research facility and gotten that process kicked off (restoring power and functionality to it is relatively easy, but finding the expertise to operate it will take a while), we can opt to re-activate or construct a factory.

We do get some disappointing news about the rocket pod factory, once we consult with experts who aren't optimistic aero jocks looking to mount rockets on their aerospace fighters. The design and construction costs will be a lot higher, and it'll take almost two years (19 months) to build it. First, we have to have professionals work out the design for the component (contrary to popular belief, duct-taping rockets together is not very safe), then we have to design the assembly lines, have someone manufacture then ship them here, then install them.

But on the other hand, the maintenance costs will be a lot less than anticipated, so it'll be pretty profitable assuming we can find some buyers. The main reason being that, for some reason, our initial maintenance estimates included basically re-buying all half the manufacturing equipment.

Investigation into acquiring replacement parts for the other factories yields similar results - the markups on spare parts basically wipe out the the savings we made by re-activating the power plants. However, repairing the laser and armor factories will be a lot quicker because we don't have to do any design work - we're just waiting for someone to manufacture and ship the parts we need, and installing them shoulr be pretty quick work. These facilities will all pay for themselves. In a few years. Assuming no damage, sabotage, planetary invasions, etc. But we at least have a ball park figure of what to expect.

Starting one of these construction projects will likely to take up the rest of the year (or more, in case of the rocket factory).

Our current budget is about 2.5B C-Bills with a 15M monthly expenditure.

[mechanically speaking, I re-calculated the construction and maintenance costs based on a second reading of the Industrial Tycoon's handbook - some things came out a lot worse (time), some came out slightly worse (initial cost), some came out a lot better (maintenance costs). It also makes more sense that semi-automated facilities cost less to operate, although, taken in isolation, the maintenance cost savings will take between 60 and 100 years to pay for themselves. But more people = more problems. The other thing about semi-automated facilities is that they're a lot more damage-resilient.[/spoiler]
Spoiler:
Repair "Tier II" Factory - Standard Armor This facility needs a little structural reinforcement, the power generator is out, there are no refined materials available to make the finished product, no raw materials available to make the refined materials, no place for the workers to live (and nothing other than money to make them want to live there in the first place), no food for the workers to eat, and nobody to sell all that stuff to anyway. But we can repair or rebuild what we need to get it going. We've got the option to go semi-automated to reduce staffing requirements, or go Capellan-style to reduce costs.
- [] Semi-Automated = 157M C-Bills, 128k/year maintenance, 0 employees
- [] Non-Automated = 105M C-Bills, 471k/year maintenance, 60 employees
Estimated profit without maintenance: 23.2M/year
5 months construction time

Repair "Tier II" Factory - Medium Laser Our survey crews have identified another Capellan factory. The structure is just about to collapse, but the equipment inside is intact and can be moved. What's it used for? Manufacturing medium lasers. At peak capacity, the survey crew estimates it would be able to pump out a thousand of the things per year. In addition to providing us with effectively unlimited replacement parts, we could expand or re-tool the assembly line for other types of laser weaponry (Binary Lasers, anyone? lol), or just crank it up and sell the surplus to manufacturers. The downside is that we'll need to set up a lot of support infrastructure, as the components required to make laser cannons are a little more complex than just refined metals. But we do have the option to activate this facility as well.
- [] Semi-Automated = 89M C-Bills, .5M/year maintenance, 75 employees
- [] Non-Automated = 60M C-Bills, 1M/year maintenance, 140 employees
Estimated profit without maintenance: 23.2M/year
3 months construction time

Construct "Tier II" Factory - Rocket Pods We'll have to bring in equipment from off-world and construct an all-new facility to get this done, but we've got the know-how to build rocket pods that can be attached to the external hardpoints on our aerospace fighters, to provide a major one-off boost to their air-to-air firepower. We'll be able to sell off any surplus to any interested periphery powers, or keep the plant idle when we don't need it and have no buyers lined up.
- [] Semi-Automated = 196M C-Bills, .5M/year maintenance, 75 employees
- [] Non-Automated = 133M C-Bills, 1M/year maintenance, 140 employees
19 months construction time
Estimated profit without maintenance: 22.8M/year
Our contracts for now are pretty slim pickings and not too great (an "exchange" salvage riot duty contract on the Marik-Steiner border, and a pirate-hunting contract out in the Outworlds Alliance with an amazing estimated 6M profit - those periphery nations don't really pay that well, even corporations pay better), so we'll hang out for another month while we try to rustle up some better contract options and figure out which major construction project to begin.

We also had a suggestion regarding the acquisition of an assault dropship to help escort our transports and provide serious fire support. It'll probably take a while and expend a good amount of cash to find it, though [mechanically, it's a 100k/month, roll 2d6 vs target number of 7 for a chance at a roll on the dropship random allocation table - I still can't believe we actually got that Overlord via this method].

[] Put out some feelers, see what we can find
[] Pass, we may find something via "natural processes"

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Leraje »

NickAragua wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:24 pm
Vote Results:
[] Buy the Thug and customize it (8M C-Bills)
[x] Buy the Thug and strip out the DHS/CASE (8M C-Bills)
Strip it for spare parts including arms, legs and torsos.
NickAragua wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:24 pm
Repair "Tier II" Factory - Standard Armor This facility needs a little structural reinforcement, the power generator is out, there are no refined materials available to make the finished product, no raw materials available to make the refined materials, no place for the workers to live (and nothing other than money to make them want to live there in the first place), no food for the workers to eat, and nobody to sell all that stuff to anyway. But we can repair or rebuild what we need to get it going. We've got the option to go semi-automated to reduce staffing requirements, or go Capellan-style to reduce costs.
- [x] Semi-Automated = 157M C-Bills, 128k/year maintenance, 0 employees
- [] Non-Automated = 105M C-Bills, 471k/year maintenance, 60 employees
Estimated profit without maintenance: 23.2M/year
5 months construction time

[x] Put out some feelers, see what we can find
[] Pass, we may find something via "natural processes"
Keep rolling for DS - may be somehow RNGesus would bless us with a Titan or Colossus :shock:

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by El Guapo »

What's the difference between "unanimous" and "overwhelmingly unanimous"?

Anyway, the Thug doesn't sound that great. I'm not sure how budget-constrained we are these days - if it's pocket change, I guess why not, but overall neither it nor the mods discussed seem all that great.

I think it's worth putting out feelers on an assault dropship, see what we find.

And as before I support building the armor factory.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by gbasden »

NickAragua wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:24 pm

[X] Buy the Thug and customize it (8M C-Bills)
[] Buy the Thug and strip out the DHS/CASE (8M C-Bills)
[] Pass

Repair "Tier II" Factory - Medium Laser
- [X] Semi-Automated = 89M C-Bills, .5M/year maintenance, 75 employees
- [] Non-Automated = 60M C-Bills, 1M/year maintenance, 140 employees
Estimated profit without maintenance: 23.2M/year
3 months construction time

Assault Dropship
[X] Put out some feelers, see what we can find
[] Pass, we may find something via "natural processes"
Why do you say the Thug doesn't sound great? It's got all the new toys, and jump jets would solve a lot of the torso twist issues.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Freyland »

New toys and a spare Assault for those embarrassing moments you show up to a party and the rest of your gear is still in the shop.
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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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Zenn7 »

Get the thug and modify it. Makes a better backup Awesome than anything else I've seen.

Armor factory still gets my vote. 20ish M may not be much but it'll cover a month and a 1/3 of our current operating expenses. Sounds good to me. Especially when we're faced with a dry spell like now.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by El Guapo »

gbasden wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:50 pm
NickAragua wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:24 pm

[X] Buy the Thug and customize it (8M C-Bills)
[] Buy the Thug and strip out the DHS/CASE (8M C-Bills)
[] Pass

Repair "Tier II" Factory - Medium Laser
- [X] Semi-Automated = 89M C-Bills, .5M/year maintenance, 75 employees
- [] Non-Automated = 60M C-Bills, 1M/year maintenance, 140 employees
Estimated profit without maintenance: 23.2M/year
3 months construction time

Assault Dropship
[X] Put out some feelers, see what we can find
[] Pass, we may find something via "natural processes"
Why do you say the Thug doesn't sound great? It's got all the new toys, and jump jets would solve a lot of the torso twist issues.
eh, maybe I'm spoiled by my upgraded Marauder, but I expect a bit more firepower out of assault mechs. I wonder if it'd make more sense to put in a couple medium lasers into it?

Anyway, fine with picking it up.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Leraje »

El Guapo wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:26 pm

eh, maybe I'm spoiled by my upgraded Marauder, but I expect a bit more firepower out of assault mechs. I wonder if it'd make more sense to put in a couple medium lasers into it?

Anyway, fine with picking it up.
There are very few 80T IS mechs that are good. In theory ripping out SRMs and CASE would allow to fit 5MLs and JJs and keep it almost heat neutral. Still, the lack of torso twist is a major downer.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by AWS260 »

NickAragua wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:24 pm
[X] Buy the Thug and customize it (8M C-Bills)
[] Buy the Thug and strip out the DHS/CASE (8M C-Bills)
[] Pass
Gotta catch 'em all!
Repair "Tier II" Factory - Medium Laser
- [X] Semi-Automated = 89M C-Bills, .5M/year maintenance, 75 employees
- [] Non-Automated = 60M C-Bills, 1M/year maintenance, 140 employees
Estimated profit without maintenance: 23.2M/year
3 months construction time

Assault Dropship
[X] Put out some feelers, see what we can find
[] Pass, we may find something via "natural processes"

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua »

Vote Results:
Spoiler:
Buy the Thug, strip for parts - 3
But the Thug, customize - 7

Repair armor factory, semi-automated - almost unanimous

Put out feelers, see what we can find - unanimous
Armaxa, one jump away in the St. Ives compact is where we find a company willing to manufacture the replacement parts we need to repair the armor factory. It'll take them a few months to get our order done and ship the parts over, at which point our work crews can get the repairs done and we can start pumping out armor plating. The process will take until March.

While on Armaxa, we pick up the Thug and bring it back to the Octagon. Our techs do some research and apparently, there was a pretty variant during the Star League era driven by a guy named Jose Magellan, a mercenary who was able to find plenty of work as Kerensky pulled out and the successor states began bombing each other back into the stone age. His setup was pretty weird, with two ER lasers and an incredible number of SRM tubes (30!?), plus something called a "null signature system", which is apparently some kind of fancy electronic warfare suite. To round it out, it had a command console and an XL engine. Anyway, we don't have any of the fancier stuff and nobody actually wants a command console in their mech, but our techs are able to use those plans to figure out how to mount jump jets on the Thug we do have. We pull four double heat sinks and use the saved weight to install said jump jets.

We begin putting out some queries to our contacts, but nobody's selling assault dropships for the moment. With tensions again ratcheting up across the Inner Sphere as the Dracs and Feddies conduct buildups on their border, they're holding on to their good stuff.

In other Inner Sphere news that we missed, apparently, the Draconis Combine has introduced the Sai S-3 aerospace fighter. As of almost four years ago. It's a medium-weight space superiority fighter designed to hunt down FedCom Sparrowhawks and other light fighters. Armor's a little light, but it's got four medium lasers (two in each wing) and a nose-mounted large laser. It's seen some action in cross-border raids, with reasonable success. Anyway, we'll stick to our Lucifers, Lightnings, Shilones and Chippewas.

Contract-wise, at the end of September, we wind up with a few options as the major powers of the Inner Sphere simmer at each other. We discard some.

A raid into the Tortuga Dominions (which is apparently a small pirate kingdom in the deep periphery way to the southeast of Davion space). With a one-way travel time of 8 months and an expected profit of 4M, and salvage expected to come from "low-quality periphery pirate units", it's really not worth it.

A raid on behalf of the Taurian Concordat into southwest Davion space where we'd actually take a financial loss on it is obviously a non-starter. Also messing with FedCom while our home world is between FedCom and allied space does not seem like the smartest idea.

There's also a decent-sounding raid on the Free Worlds League world of Alkes, but, again, barring excellent salvage, we'd actually take a loss on it.

The planetary governor of Matar, a world in the Draconis Combine expresses an interest in hiring most of our company (we estimate we'll need fifteen lances, which is basically all Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta company) for a 4-month stint. Our responsibilities would be to train up the militia that's still trying to rebuild from getting rolled over by FedCom forces in the War of '39 (and some uh, "recent retirements" of key officers and personnel). Our secondary responsibility would be to assist in the defense of local assets from any raiders, FedCom, pirate or otherwise. Details:

Liaison command
4 months expected contract duration
3 months travel time (one way)
100% transport costs coverage
30% salvage rights
100% battle loss compensation
Estimate force commitment: 15 lances
Green/F allied forces
Unknown opposition
Estimated profit: 6.5M

A reasonable contract. It'll pay the bills. Unless the place gets raided by FedCom elites looking for payback for getting kicked out during the last war. Salvage is a little low, but it's a cadre duty not a frontline war contract.


As part of the push against increased piracy in the northern periphery, FedCom is hiring mercs to garrison worlds in Lyran space while others (like the Kell hounds) push out into places like the Greater Valkyrate and Oberon Confederation. Hey, maybe those guys will get to visit Butte Hold!

Anyway, we'd be tasked with garrisoning the world of Zoetermeer. It's a pretty hot, arid world that's focused mostly on industrial production. We would be defending local industrial facilities and more or less taking over militia duties, as the place has no meaningful military of its own to speak of. Details:

Liaison command
20 months expected contract duration
6 months travel time
100% transport costs coverage
20% salvage rights
100% battle loss compensation
Estimate force commitment: 13 lances
Regular/D allied forces (not that there are too many)
Unknown opposition
Estimated profit: 133M C-Bills

Pretty cushy Lyran contract - sit on our asses for a couple of years and collect pay while stomping any pirates, corporate raiders or wannabe vikings coming out of Rasalhague space (we of course won't be seeing any actual Rasalhague military forces there, but there's a reason the Lyrans aren't just leaving the world uncovered).

[] Take the Matar garrison contract
[] Take the Zoetermeer garrison contract
[] Pass, wait another month

Paingod - you've got the option to upgrade (?) from the Merlin to an Exterminator. The Exterminator is a short-range brawler with a single LRM/10 launcher for long-range combat, and is also faster, so that'll let you keep the spot in Delta-Ranger lance. Otherwise, the Exterminator is going there anyway, while the Merlin (a kind of un-focused, slower jack of all trades) will move to another lance.

Also, if anybody wants to drive the jump-jet equipped Thug, now's a good time to speak up.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by El Guapo »

[] Take the Matar garrison contract
[X] Take the Zoetermeer garrison contract
[] Pass, wait another month
Seems like a pretty cushy and lucrative deal.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Leraje »

NickAragua wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:37 pm
[] Take the Matar garrison contract
[x] Take the Zoetermeer garrison contract
[] Pass, wait another month

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by gbasden »

NickAragua wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:37 pm

[] Take the Matar garrison contract
[X] Take the Zoetermeer garrison contract
[] Pass, wait another month


Also, if anybody wants to drive the jump-jet equipped Thug, now's a good time to speak up.
I totally would, but that probably doesn't fit with my current lance. :)

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by $iljanus »

[] Take the Matar garrison contract
[x] Take the Zoetermeer garrison contract

That's a lot of money so let's go earn it!
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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Isgrimnur »

Is there CASE or a non-explosive slug-thrower that can replace my auto cannon?

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua »

Isgrimnur wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:38 pm
Is there CASE or a non-explosive slug-thrower that can replace my auto cannon?
I think we can acquire and mount an LBX-10 onto the Hatchetman, using the saved ton for CASE.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Isgrimnur »

Sounds intriguing.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua »

Vote Results:
Spoiler:
Zoetermeer - almost unanimous
We decide to take the Lyran garrison contract. The planet will be a little hot and dry, but the gravity is .98 normal, and we'll have access to local industry for any common spare parts we need. And for the rarer stuff, there's a plant manufacturing Chippewa fighters (including the advanced W7s) one jump away, while two jumps away is Twycross, which manufactures heavy and assault battlemechs of all kinds. So, we'll be using this opportunity to place factory orders for as much high-end gear as we can.

Corporal Holly "Bully" van Allst will be joining El Guapo's heavy lance to drive the Thug, replacing the retiring Cyclops driver. That brings the PPC count in Alpha-Heavy lance to 7.

This time, Beta-Hunter lance can actually bring their little Zephyr buddy along, so they get allocated narc-capable missiles. Xwraiths' Catapult and the Archer get LRM/15s, while Wolf's Warhammer and Leraje's Guillotine get SRM/6s.

Isgrimnur's Urban lance is re-constituted, with our mechwarrior making plans to buy an LB-10X autocannon and carry out a little more improvement on the Hatchetman. Madmarcus' Delta-Ranger lance gets the Exterminator.

We'll leave Epsilon company behind to keep an eye on things while taking Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta, as well as some replacement mechs. We'll also be bringing our artillery battery, those guys could use some exercise.
Spoiler:
Image
It sure is nice having our own dropship and jumpship fleet. Zoetermeer is twenty four jumps away, which, for a company our size, if we had to charter jumpships, would be... expensive. Probably tens of millions of C-Bills. But, we've got our own dedicated jumpships and dropships, so it's 2.57M C-Bills to get us across the 24 jumps.

One of the issues we confront en route is the Marauder MAD-4X prototype being driven by Lt. Liz Bolam. House Marik hooked us up with this prototype about a year after the War of '39, modifying a Marauder chassis had salvaged with some cool equipment (replacing the internal structure with prototype endo-steel, mounting prototype double heat sinks externally to the engine), and some uh, less cool equipment (Binary Lasers). The chassis mods are starting to show their age - in addition to the standard daily maintenance, the techs usually have to spend several days fixing the constantly decaying chassis. The replacement parts and equipment we need tend to run 20-30k per month, which is about a hundred times more than normal spare parts costs. We can either keep it (our techs insist on a 250k, possibly 500k refurbish package if we do), or sell it off and let our mechwarrior switch to something else (like the Cyclops). Also, it's weird that we're still required (and occasionally get legal letters to the effect via HPG) to send battle performance reports to the factory that carried out the refit, even though they've probably long since finished the project.

[] Sell the Marauder 4X, have the mechwarrior switch to the Cyclops.
[] Refurbish the Marauder 4X (at least 250k)

We get an HPG message en route, asking if we're interested in committing two lances beyond the thirteen we've chosen to commit to garrison duty - it's the usual "local corporations wanting to contract our services to blow each others' stuff up while we're there". For now, we pass, as we only have three lances to spare. If we get there and find that there's not much to do, we'll see.

One of the messages does promise to put us into the priority queue at the Chippewa factory so we can place orders for upgraded W7 Chippewas (good fighters in their own right, but also for large/small pulse lasers, double aero heat sinks and ferro-aluminum armor), so it might be worth looking into.

We arrive on Zoetermeer on March 26, 3049. Materializing at the zenith jump point, our jumpships move to recharge at the station, while our dropships proceed in formation planet-side. The Moonraker has some trouble disengaging its docking collar, so it winds up a few hours behind the rest of the fleet, which is when some locals decide to make a run at it, demanding a surrender.

The recharge station's garrison sends some help. The little Centurion fighter burns hard and reaches us in time to help, while the heavier Eagle and Stuka won't be of much help. The Moonraker is only able to launch two fighters (the third being packed away in the Jumbo). We're facing four lights, three mediums and a heavy.

Which ones did the Moonraker happen to have (pick 2):
[] Chippewa CHP-W7 (90 tons, massive firepower, light armor)
[] Gotha GTH-400 (60 tons, medium-heavy firepower, medium armor)
[] Lucifer LCF-R15 (60 tons, medium firepower, massive armor)

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Leraje »

NickAragua wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:55 pm
[x] Sell the Marauder 4X, have the mechwarrior switch to the Cyclops.
[] Refurbish the Marauder 4X (at least 250k)
Sell it, unless the refit would completely solve the issues with it.
NickAragua wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:55 pm
Which ones did the Moonraker happen to have (pick 2):
[] Chippewa CHP-W7 (90 tons, massive firepower, light armor)
[x] Gotha GTH-400 (60 tons, medium-heavy firepower, medium armor)
[x] Lucifer LCF-R15 (60 tons, medium firepower, massive armor)
Sounds like a bit of an attrition fight, so heavier armoured units would be preferable.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by $iljanus »

Leraje wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:21 pm
NickAragua wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:55 pm
[x] Sell the Marauder 4X, have the mechwarrior switch to the Cyclops.
[] Refurbish the Marauder 4X (at least 250k)
Sell it, unless the refit would completely solve the issues with it.
NickAragua wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:55 pm
Which ones did the Moonraker happen to have (pick 2):
[] Chippewa CHP-W7 (90 tons, massive firepower, light armor)
[x] Gotha GTH-400 (60 tons, medium-heavy firepower, medium armor)
[x] Lucifer LCF-R15 (60 tons, medium firepower, massive armor)
Sounds like a bit of an attrition fight, so heavier armoured units would be preferable.
I agree with this. Make it so!
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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by AWS260 »

$iljanus wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:13 pm
I agree with this. Make it so!
Yes.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Zenn7 »

Leraje wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:21 pm
NickAragua wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:55 pm
[x] Sell the Marauder 4X, have the mechwarrior switch to the Cyclops.
[] Refurbish the Marauder 4X (at least 250k)
Sell it, unless the refit would completely solve the issues with it.
NickAragua wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:55 pm
Which ones did the Moonraker happen to have (pick 2):
[] Chippewa CHP-W7 (90 tons, massive firepower, light armor)
[x] Gotha GTH-400 (60 tons, medium-heavy firepower, medium armor)
[x] Lucifer LCF-R15 (60 tons, medium firepower, massive armor)
Sounds like a bit of an attrition fight, so heavier armoured units would be preferable.
Maybe... is the Chippewa's light armor "light for 90 tons" but still more than medium armor for 60 tons or is it really really light, the Gotha has noticeably more? If they're even or more on the Chippewa, take that. If the Gotha is ahead on armor, take that.

Completely agree on the Marauder.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Leraje »

Zenn7 wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:17 pm
Maybe... is the Chippewa's light armor "light for 90 tons" but still more than medium armor for 60 tons or is it really really light, the Gotha has noticeably more? If they're even or more on the Chippewa, take that. If the Gotha is ahead on armor, take that.
Gotha has 1.5-2x armour of a Chippy depending on location.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua »

Leraje wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:47 pm
Zenn7 wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:17 pm
Maybe... is the Chippewa's light armor "light for 90 tons" but still more than medium armor for 60 tons or is it really really light, the Gotha has noticeably more? If they're even or more on the Chippewa, take that. If the Gotha is ahead on armor, take that.
Gotha has 1.5-2x armour of a Chippy depending on location.
Yeah, when I looked at it I was dumbstruck by just how little armor the Chippewa has. By comparison a 35-ton Firestarter has more armor, whereas a Gotha has armor comparable to a well-armored 70 ton mech. And let's not even talk about the Lucifer, which (thanks to being upgraded with double heat sinks), has more armor than a mech can actually mount.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Leraje »

NickAragua wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:54 pm
Leraje wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:47 pm
Zenn7 wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:17 pm
Maybe... is the Chippewa's light armor "light for 90 tons" but still more than medium armor for 60 tons or is it really really light, the Gotha has noticeably more? If they're even or more on the Chippewa, take that. If the Gotha is ahead on armor, take that.
Gotha has 1.5-2x armour of a Chippy depending on location.
Yeah, when I looked at it I was dumbstruck by just how little armor the Chippewa has. By comparison a 35-ton Firestarter has more armor, whereas a Gotha has armor comparable to a well-armored 70 ton mech. And let's not even talk about the Lucifer, which (thanks to being upgraded with double heat sinks), has more armor than a mech can actually mount.
Lucifers and Thunderbirds make the best lawndarts. Strafe, get shot down, squash whatever they fall on, take off and repeat :pop:

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Zenn7 »

Leraje wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:10 pm
NickAragua wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:54 pm
Leraje wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:47 pm
Zenn7 wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:17 pm
Maybe... is the Chippewa's light armor "light for 90 tons" but still more than medium armor for 60 tons or is it really really light, the Gotha has noticeably more? If they're even or more on the Chippewa, take that. If the Gotha is ahead on armor, take that.
Gotha has 1.5-2x armour of a Chippy depending on location.
Yeah, when I looked at it I was dumbstruck by just how little armor the Chippewa has. By comparison a 35-ton Firestarter has more armor, whereas a Gotha has armor comparable to a well-armored 70 ton mech. And let's not even talk about the Lucifer, which (thanks to being upgraded with double heat sinks), has more armor than a mech can actually mount.
Lucifers and Thunderbirds make the best lawndarts. Strafe, get shot down, squash whatever they fall on, take off and repeat :pop:
Gotha it is then...

Can we look into swapping out 1 or 2 weapon mounts for some armor on our Chippewa? Do the new ones we're looking into getting have more armor??

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Leraje »

Zenn7 wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:19 pm
Leraje wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:10 pm
NickAragua wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:54 pm
Leraje wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:47 pm
Zenn7 wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:17 pm
Maybe... is the Chippewa's light armor "light for 90 tons" but still more than medium armor for 60 tons or is it really really light, the Gotha has noticeably more? If they're even or more on the Chippewa, take that. If the Gotha is ahead on armor, take that.
Gotha has 1.5-2x armour of a Chippy depending on location.
Yeah, when I looked at it I was dumbstruck by just how little armor the Chippewa has. By comparison a 35-ton Firestarter has more armor, whereas a Gotha has armor comparable to a well-armored 70 ton mech. And let's not even talk about the Lucifer, which (thanks to being upgraded with double heat sinks), has more armor than a mech can actually mount.
Lucifers and Thunderbirds make the best lawndarts. Strafe, get shot down, squash whatever they fall on, take off and repeat :pop:
Gotha it is then...

Can we look into swapping out 1 or 2 weapon mounts for some armor on our Chippewa? Do the new ones we're looking into getting have more armor??
I'd loose the nose-mounted SRM6+ammo and two aft-mounded small pulse lasers. That would allow for a respectable armour coverage.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Hyena »

Leraje wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:21 pm
NickAragua wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:55 pm
[x] Sell the Marauder 4X, have the mechwarrior switch to the Cyclops.
[] Refurbish the Marauder 4X (at least 250k)
Sell it, unless the refit would completely solve the issues with it.
NickAragua wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:55 pm
Which ones did the Moonraker happen to have (pick 2):
[] Chippewa CHP-W7 (90 tons, massive firepower, light armor)
[x] Gotha GTH-400 (60 tons, medium-heavy firepower, medium armor)
[x] Lucifer LCF-R15 (60 tons, medium firepower, massive armor)
Sounds like a bit of an attrition fight, so heavier armoured units would be preferable.
Yes and yes.
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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by NickAragua »

Vote Results:
Spoiler:
Sell the Marauder - 5
Refurbish the Marauder - 1

Chippewa - 4
Gotha - 5
Lucifer - 9
March 26, 3049
En route from zenith jump point
Zoetermeer, Federated Commonwealth

The Moonraker launches the Gotha and Lucifer - the Chippewa is still in the cargo bay and won't be ready in time to make a difference for this fight. The Lucifer is loaded-up with Artemis-capable warheads, so we'll see how those work out.

Round 1:
Spoiler:
Image
It's nice to have our normal paintjob back. Hawk paid well and was a good employer, but painting ourselves in Kurita colors always felt weird. Our Lyran buddy gets into formation before the pirates arrive as they continue broadcasting demands to 'heave to'. We may do that at some point, to collect salvage.

Round 2:
Spoiler:
Image
The Moonraker's gunners go to work, blowing away a Cheetah that zips in to make a close pass on our dropship.

The Lucifer rocks as the pirate Lightning's AC/20 rakes across its armor, but this is why we brought the Lucifer. Our fighter loses a small laser on the left wing, but no major damage otherwise. The Lightning has to briefly disengage as one of the Moonraker's laser bays nails it in the left wing, taking out the medium laser there. Our Lucifer pilot stays on target, blasting a Sholagar fighter in the tailpipe with its lasers and LRMs - the light fighter takes major engine damage and will not be able to keep up with the battle.

Our Gotha doesn't do so well. While the aero jock is busy exchanging LRMs with a distant Chippewa, a light fighter gets up on its tail and cripples it, causing the engine to sputter and hitting the main sensor array - the aero jock will now have to "eyeball it". Or return to the hangar, more likely.

On the plus side, our Lyran buddy blasts one of the Sparrowhawks tailing the Gotha, causing it and its buddy to drop out of pursuit for a moment.

Round 3:
Spoiler:
Image
As the Sparrowhawks temporarily drop off and the Cheetah wreck drifts along, the Moonraker continues to try to fend off the attacking Lightning and Slayer. The Lightning rapid-fires its AC/20, scoring some armor off the Union, but then takes an armor breach from our dropship's laser batteries. The Slayer focuses on our Lucifer but fails to breach armor.

Round 4:
Spoiler:
Image
One of the Sparrowhawk's rejoins the fight as the Sholagar drops off. The hostile Chippewa and Lucifer hang back.

The enemy Lightning engages our Lucifer, scoring multiple autocannon hits. Our fighter's armor holds up, and then the Lightning is blown away by the Moonraker's gunners, who also work on the Slayer as it closes in for a pass.

Round 5:
Spoiler:
Image
The Lucifer pilot's eyes go wide as the Slayer closes in for a shot, then misses with every single one of its weapons. It must have taken some sensor damage in that last exchange, a situation which isn't helped when the Moonraker's gunners nail it with another LRM salvo to the same sensors.

Round 6:
Spoiler:
Image
The Slayer pilot does his best to keep up, but continuing damage from the Moonraker's guns breaks the craft apart.

"Good for them they didn't try to hit our Overlord." One of the gunnery crew jokes.

With the arrival of two additional Lyran heavies from the recharge station, the rest of the pirates break off, leaving their ejected aero jocks and destroyed craft to be picked up. We opt to save ourselves the fuel and leave the "salvage" for the guys at the recharge station, and move on to Zoetermeer. Our little Centurion buddy bits us fare well and rejoins his bigger compatriots in pickup and salvage operations.

Our dropships land in formation outside a warehouse complex we'll be using as our base of operations for the duration of our stay here. Until we get things set up, we'll be operating out of the Seeker as it's the most comfortable.

The Lyran liaison tells us that these guys have been operating from the moon of one of the gas giants in the system, but local forces haven't been able to figure out which one. If we figure anything out, it may be worthwhile to send some forces there to take care of the problem.

The Marauder goes up on the auction block, where it's pretty quickly snapped up by a local corporate outfit for 2.7M C-Bills. The mechwarrior previously operating said Marauder moves into a Cyclops.

The damage to the Moonraker takes a couple of days to patch up, while the Gotha requires almost a week and about 300k in spare parts, thanks to a lucky shot on the part of the pirate Sparrowhawk. Of course, the pirates lost a lot more.

Isgrimnur negotiates some factory work over on Twycross - take out the Hatchetman's AC/10, replace it with an LBX, and install CASE on the torso section with the ammo, plus some extra armor. Since his Hatchetman's been customized to hell and back already, it's got an XL engine sticking out into that torso - so an ammo explosion will still disable the mech, but at least it'll be recoverable. The refit does cost quite a bit - ~8M C-Bills, as we basically have to buy a salvaged Phoenix Hawk 3S to get the CASE.

Unrelated, fresh off the assembly lines over on Satalice, in Rasalhague space, we've got the option to snap up a Phoenix Hawk PXH-3D. The designers went a little nuts with Helm Core tech - it's got two each of ER large lasers and medium pulse lasers, as well as an anti-missile system in the right arm. Normally, you'd need a ridiculous amount of heat sinks to manage all that, but the 3D has upgraded to double heat sinks. It's a major firepower upgrade over the standard Phoenix Hawk, while retaining the mobility. So, we could buy this fellow and replace one of our existing Phoenix Hawks with it. At 8.8M C-Bills, it's a pretty good deal. We could also use it for parts to improve one of our other mechs. But already, being up here has done wonders for our available technology.

Our current budget is 2.486B C-Bills, so we're doing ok, especially with the contract money coming in.

[] Buy Phoenix Hawk PXH-3D, replace one of our existing Pixies
[] Buy Phoenix Hawk PXH-3D, strip it for parts
[] Pass

One of our mechs, a Champion, gets ambushed while on patrol by at least three unidentified hostile mechs. Well, we identify three of the mechs (a Trebuchet, a Griffin 1S and a Shadow Hawk), just not who owns them or where they come from - our mechwarrior barely makes it out of there in one piece, coming back with a missing arm and multiple armor breaches. We put a lot of effort into searching, but the unidentified assailants decide against being found. Other than that, the first three months of garrison duty on Zoetermeer are quite peaceful.

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Re: Let's play: Battletech via MegaMek

Post by Leraje »

NickAragua wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 12:56 pm
[x] Buy Phoenix Hawk PXH-3D, replace one of our existing Pixies
[] Buy Phoenix Hawk PXH-3D, strip it for parts
[] Pass

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