We actually sped some time considering the possibility of simply ditching out. Two things play against it - first, given the position of our (thankfully unmolested) JumpShip, our dropships would have to run a gauntlet of JumpShips capable of moving from jump point to planetary orbit. Second, given the current political situation, we'd be unlikely to find any work for one of the major houses again. Unlike the last time we ditched out on a contract, where House Marik put in a good word for us with the arbitrators after kicking our asses, it's unlikely that these invaders would do so. And also they haven't kicked our asses yet.
"So... are we gonna do this or what?" Scrub asks. "Think these guys would accept a surrender?"
"Yes, and no." The Marshal replies after loosening her grip on the holo projector rails. "These 'clans' are here, looking for a fight and they like to take salvage and prisoners. So they're likely to 'ask' for a good chunk of our units even if we surrender, and from what I hear, people who surrender without a fight don't get treated too well. Only reason we got away from our last fight was because they let us go after we 'fought fair' according to their rules."
Scrub considers the idea of declaring assets and agreeing to conduct battles via one-on-one duels idiotic, especially when our technology is significantly inferior to the opposing force, and states her opposition to doing any of those things. Especially the weird rules of engagement. She's overruled on the force declaration, but the marshal leaves rules of engagement up to her.
"Well bargained and done." Comes the response.
October 3, 3050
Mud Bath HQ
Alpha Company has been tasked with defending an area known as the "Mud Bath", which contains a number of strategic facilities.
The 10th Donegal has set up a forward command post with pre-fab buildings out here. They're not too sturdy, but they do have some auto-turrets that'll help fend off any attackers. The downside is that one of the pre-fab buildings houses the 10th Donegal's local command staff (it's only a Captain and some junior officers, but still). Given our familiarity with the planet, we got asked for advice on where to place the facility:
Wet or Dry?
 All depth 0 water hexes become mud instead (mud costs +1 MP to move into, and tanks may "bog down"). This will reduce overall mobility in the northern half of the map, for both us and the incoming hostiles
 Keep the depth 0 water as is
Woods or Swamps?
 All woods (foliage or otherwise) become swamps instead, increasing visibility but reducing mobility, especially on the northern half of the map
 Keep the woods
Designate four sets of coordinates for the buildings (x and y must be greater than 8 and less than 24). Also (in spoiler tags, so I can't see), nominate one of the buildings to be the actual command center. Each building is CF 40 (aka has 40 hit points) and may be of any height. Some of the more relevant heights are 1 (mechs can use them as partial cover), 2 (mechs can hide behind them completely) and 3 (buildings will poke over most terrain, allowing good lines of fire for the turrets mounted on them, but also exposing them to enemy fire). Each building has a turret with an AC/10 (2 tons of ammo) and 2x medium lasers, and is pretty heavily armored (all attacks do 1/2 damage, rounded down).
Pick a cardinal direction. The hostiles will be coming in from the opposite direction. Our units can retreat off this edge as well, allowing them to survive to fight another day if we don't hold the field after the battle. Pretty much all our lance leaders recommend making the hostiles come through the crap terrain to the north, leaving our mechs a clear line of retreat to the south if it comes to that.
Sensors show an incoming force of five BattleMechs - four mediums and one heavy. The heavy has active ECM, preventing us from getting detailed readings. Two of the mediums are loaded down with what appear to be external cargo. Sensors also show a pair of medium aerospace fighters vectoring in.
Which Alpha Company lance is currently defending the HQ?
 Alpha-Heavy - El Guapo/Marauder, Fury/Guillotine, Thud/Awesome, "Guru"/Thug
 Alpha-Ranger - Cujo/Wolverine, Bass/Griffin, Stefan/Trebuchet, Yuki/Ostroc
 Alpha-Urban - Isgrimnur/Hatchetman, Paingod/Blackjack, Hyena/Grasshopper, "Phung"/BattleAxe
Additionally, we can make recommendations for auxiliary forces that the 10th Donegal has allocated to help defend this HQ, according to this chart (for convenience and my sanity, the actual units will be rolled randomly once the types are picked). Generally speaking, VTOLs and hovercraft are harder to hit and faster but don't pack as much of a punch, while armor is tougher and packs a punch but is slower. Infantry is none of those things, but is cheaper, can be deployed in large numbers, and can hide in the buildings for extra survivability. None of our lance leaders think that minefields will be too helpful in this situation, given the relatively wide-open terrain. We can also, instead, get the 10th Donegal guys to hook up mid-air refueling for our aerospace fighters and get our guys in on air superiority to keep hostile aircraft off of us or on ground attack runs. If no hostile aircraft are detected, units on air superiority will make strafing runs against ground targets, but the results won't be as spectacular. Given that we're on the defensive against a highly mobile force, our lance leaders don't consider artillery a worthwhile option at this time.
We have 24 support points:
 VTOL: 5 - crap firepower, weak armor, super fast (e.g. Warrior VTOL)
 Light Hovercraft: 4 - good firepower, weak armor, fast (e.g. Pegasus hovertank)
 Medium hovercraft: 5 - good firepower, medium armor, fast (e.g. Drillson hovertank)
 Light armor: 4 - light firepower, light armor, fast (e.g. Skulker scout tank)
 Medium armor: 4 - medium firepower, medium armor, medium speed (e.g. Vedette)
 Heavy armor: 5 - good firepower, heavy armor, slow (e.g. Manticore)
 Assault armor: 7 - major firepower, massive armor, basically a turret (e.g. Shreck PPC Carrier)
 Mechanized Infantry: 2 - crapshoot firepower (33% chance of field guns), wheat before the scythe for armor, slow
 Jump Infantry: 2 - no firepower (but can swarm mechs), no armor to speak of, slow
 Air support (limit 1): 6 - Alpha-Strike aerospace flight participates in the battle
 air superiority
 ground attack
[Gamplay mechanics notes]
For those whose mechs aren't present on the field and wind up without a mech to drive, you'll get to control the support units.
Scanning - in order to "identify" a target, a unit must end its movement within three hexes of it for two turns in a row, foregoing attacking during both turns. If the unit has a "probe", "improved sensors" quirk or "sensor geek" SPA, that's five hexes instead, and the unit can shoot and kick/punch to their heart's content.
To save on my sanity, the player force always wins initiative.
"Foliage" - this is woods that are the height of a tank (aka shrubbery), meaning that mechs don't derive protective benefits from them as from normal woods, unless the foliage happens to be on top of a level 1 hill (e.g. the foliage in hex 0409 provides the +1 to hit penalty between hexes 0309 and 0510). They still slow down movement though by the usual amount.
Swamp - +1 MP to move through. Units entering a swamp hex must make a PSR or get bogged down.
Mud - Like swamps, except mechs don't get bogged down.
Depth 0 water - does nothing
Rough terrain (e.g. 0607) - +1 MP to move thorugh
The attacker (the clans, in this case) must identify, via scanning, the HQ building, then destroy it. Or, I guess, just level all the buildings, but that'd mean having to do a lot of damage. Point value: 200
Destroy or cripple at least 50% of the opponent's force, not including aerospace fighters. Point value: 100.
The defender must destroy the attacker's commander. This is the Loki. Point value: 200
Whoever scores the most points wins and holds the battlefield. In case of a tie, the side with the most non-crippled remaining units (not including aerospace fighters) wins. In case of a tie there, we'll play it by ear (either the side with the most BV or keep playing until there's a winner).