Author Topic: Let's Play... BattleTech! Rise of the Hard Light Brigade  (Read 35374 times)

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Re: Let's Play... BattleTech!
How about Aerotech?

 

Offline The E

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Re: Let's Play... BattleTech!
oh god no

There was this one big event battle me and a friend of mine organized at a con once that had a fully integrated aerospace component, meaning that people on the ground were able to call in air strikes from above; it was a real nightmare coordinating all of that.
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Offline Dragon

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Re: Let's Play... BattleTech!
Since this one is played on a computer, coordinating aerospace stuff could be less of an issue. On the other hand, something tells me this engine may not support this.

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: Let's Play... BattleTech!
How about Aerotech?

I could attempt to shave my eyeballs and it would be less excruciatingly painful than attempting direct integration of AT rules.

That said, there are a few ways to sneak air units into the tabletop that won't make you scream for mercy. As a timed or a start-of-match thing, yes. The creative or crazy or the-Clans-just-overran-my-DZ use of DropShips as setpieces, sure. And VTOLs.

Of those options, I think MegaMek only incorporates the last.
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Offline The E

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Re: Let's Play... BattleTech!
VTOLs are awesome.

Yellowjackets doubly so (For those situations where you just need some highly mobile direct-fire artillery).
Let there be light
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Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: Let's Play... BattleTech!
VTOLs are awesome.

Yellowjackets doubly so (For those situations where you just need some highly mobile direct-fire artillery).

I believe in Yellowjackets, but not quite as much as I believe in Hawkmoths.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

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Re: Let's Play... BattleTech!
I'll throw my engineering hat in for a Mech tech position, ready to replace all your blown off limbs and blown out weapons (as soon as you pay me my c-bills).

Always wanted to get into BattleTech after playing MechWarrior and MechAssault (despite the abomination it is) extensively, but I just can't be bothered unfortunately. Feel free to drop the 7 when writing for your convenience.
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Offline Scotty

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Re: Let's Play... BattleTech!
I'm home, I have my computer and all my stuff back.  You know what that means!  Time to start for real.



The menu screen.  Pretty simple.  I'll be chosing the "Start a New Campaign" button because I'm not very smart and didn't make a 'blank' with the set up for this particular campaign ruleset.  One click later brings me to this screen:



Here I set up what the unit is called, what faction it is, when the campaign starts, and what camo the unit is going to use.  I've already filled in the info for now.  If anyone objects to that name for the unit, let me know so I can ignore you.  Start day is Monday, January 1, 3049.

You can see all those tabs up top?  All those are for different options for using MekHQ.  A good deal of them I'm not even going to touch, because they're fairly universal unless you're going for something really specific, but I am going to be visiting the Experience and Rank System ones pretty soon.  Repair, Personnel, Tech Limits, and Finance are all getting quick looks and a few checked boxes that I won't waste screenies on.



Here's how experience gain is going to be handled for the company.  All combat units gain one experience per sortie and one per kill.  Support personnel like techs and doctors gain one experience per 25 successful tasks.  Everybody in the company gains 1 exp per 2 months if they roll a 7 on 2d6.  That means that, in general, everybody in the company is going to get 3 experience per year, even if they do jack **** all year long, 6 if they're lucky, and a lot more than that if they're active.  In my previous campaigns, normal experience gain was right about 10 per year.



The ranks that the Hard Light Brigade is going to be using. 

Recruits are non-combatants that don't have a job (dependents, which enter the company based on a few events and don't really have a use aside from meaning I don't have to hire tech assistants). 

Privates are infantry (which I'll have a few of) that don't command a platoon, squad, or team, as well as green vehicle crew and techs.  If a really green vehicle crew has a vehicle to itself, the commander will be a corporal.

Corporals are all green MechWarriors, regular vehicle crew, and regular techs.

Sergeants are all regular MechWarriors and veteran vehicle crews, as well as green and regular vehicle commanders and veteran techs.

Senior Sergeants are veteran and elite MechWarriors, elite vehicle crew, veteran and elite vehicle commanders, and elite techs (that aren't head techs).

Master Sergeants occur at a rate of one per company and are the senior non-officer in the company.  This position may only be held by the most experienced MechWarrior or vehicle commander in the company, and the most experienced techs on either side of the divide (Mech Tech and Mechanic).  In this fashion, until the unit grows, there will be exactly three Master Sergeants.

Command Sergeants occur at a rate of one per battalion.  As such, this rank will not be in use for quite some time.

Lieutenants are the lowest officer rank, held by the most junior MechWarrior and vehicle officers.  Administrators and doctors are all officers, with green and regular admins/doctors holding the rank of lieutenant.

Captains are company seconds, the second most senior officer in a company, also commonly called the company XO.  Veteran and elite admins and doctors are also captains.

I've added Majors since making this list (oh, that's another thing, every option can be changed after starting by hitting the "Campaign Options" button under File), and will occupy the position of company CO and, once the unit gets a bit bigger, the most senior admin.

The highest rank, Colonel, is reserved for once the unit expands to more than one company, and will be granted to the most senior officer in the entire unit.

Speaking of the entire unit:





At this point, I also figured how much money the unit has to start with.  Ten percent of equipment costs adds up to 1,779,343 c-bills.  That's not terribly much, but it'll definitely be enough to get us to our first contract.  Contract generation is a pain in the ass, so I'll be tackling that sometime later tonight or tomorrow.

 

Offline deathfun

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Re: Let's Play... BattleTech!
Jesus that's a lot of customization
"No"

 

Offline Scotty

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Re: Let's Play... BattleTech!
Indeed.  MekHQ allows the level of in-depth to be frankly absurd, and it's still not everything.  Just wait till you see the contract offers go up, and the contract I pick into the briefing room.

 

Offline Scotty

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Re: Let's Play... BattleTech!
Now, about those contracts....

Generating contracts is annoying, time-intensive, and incredibly tedious.  That said, I'm not going to go through every step right here.  All I'm going to put here is what you need to figure out to generate a contract.  Each contract has certain fields, modified by a whole lot of stuff, that determine what you're going to get and when.  These fields are: Contract type, employer, enemy, duration in months, command type, salvage rights, support, and transport.

Contract type tells you what kind of mission you're on, for example planetary invasion, riot duty, garrison, extraction raid, or something like that.  It determines what missions you're going to encounter, and the aggressiveness of the enemy you're likely to encounter out of the gate.  Contract type also influences the difficulty of repairs or resupply mid-contract, but I'll get to that a bit later.

Your employer and enemy are who you're working for and who you're shooting.  There's not really a penalty for picking contracts against the same state every time, but there is sometimes a bonus to working with the same one multiple times.  That bonus doesn't happen for like ten full contracts, though, and I doubt it's ever going to come up, but it exists.

Duration is how long the contract lasts.  High intensity contracts like invasions and raids last between two and five months, if you're unlucky, while garrison and cadre contracts can last a year and a half by themselves.  Duration strongly influences how much you get paid, since everything is calculated based on your starting force and the duration, instead of anything like your performance or anything.

Command type I went over a bit previously in the thread, but it determines what kind and how many allies you get per mission.  It's essentially what determines how easy it is to get ****ed over by the bot.  This is why my admin is a command admin.

Salvage rights determines how much of your salvage is actually yours, and how much belongs to your employer.  A "good" salvage amount is 50 or 60% - more typically with a D rating, I'll be getting between 20 and 30%.  100% is a pipe dream right now.

Support deals with things like overhead (how much your employer covers your monthly operating expenses) and BLC, battlefield loss compensation.  BLC is probably the second most important thing to have a high number for (right after salvage), since it basically pays you back if you lose anything in the line of duty.  Wasp get blown out from under you?  Have a pile of money.  I've never actually seen that get up to 100%, but 30 or 40% isn't too shabby.

Transport is the most straightforward.  It's how much of your transport costs the employer is going to pay when you leave for the contract destination.  Transport costs tend to hang out in the mid-hundred thousands range, so this can be the difference between a third Hetzer or hoofing it back to Outreach.

That's a contract in a nutshell.  I'll skip the tedious part, and leave you with the finalized options.  At the beginning, every starting company gets two contract offers.  And here's option one:

Employer: St. Ives Compact
Contract type: Pirate Hunting
Enemy: Pirates
Contract length: 6 months
Payment: 5,068,800
Enemy Skill/Tech: Green/F
Allied Skill/Tech: Green/F
Command type: Liaison
Salvage: 40%
Support: Straight/Full
Transport: 20%, 14 jumps.

A couple of surprises on this one.  First, getting a Green/F Pirate Hunting contract is like striking gold for an early company.  Pirates are poorly equipped (relatively), and Green means that they're easy, too.  If I wanted an easy blooding, this would be it.  The next biggest surprise was St. Ives.  I honestly don't know all that much about the dinky little state.  In a nutshell, it's a splinter faction from the Capellan Confederation in the immediate aftermath of the Fourth Succession War, when the CapCon just couldn't maintain control of its various commonalities.  It's fiercely independent, and just as fiercely coveted by House Liao.  I wouldn't be surprised if these "pirates" were Liao irregulars.  The last surprise was 20% transport and 14 jumps.  Ouch.  That's gonna end up being expensive.  Still, let's look at the other contract to see if there's anything good.  Straight/Full support isn't exactly a surprise, but it's also unpleasant.  No BLC for me.

Employer: Federated Commonwealth
Contract type: Recon Raid
Enemy: Taurian Concordat
Contract length: 3 months
Payment: 4,055,040
Enemy Skill/Tech: Veteran/F
Allied Skill/Tech: Regular/F
Command type: House
Salvage: 20%
Support: BLC/80%
Transport: 45%, 9 jumps.

I might as well have stopped once I rolled Veteran enemy, honestly.  Fighting Veterans at this point, who typically fall between 4/4 and 3/3, is pretty much tantamount to committing suicide.  House command and 20% salvage doesn't exactly bring me running either.  But that 80% BLC..... no, gotta pass it up.  That's honestly the highest BLC I've ever seen, but it's still not worth it considering I'd need every c-bill to replace my suddenly destroyed equipment going up against vets, periphery or no.

With that particular no brainer, I've got a contract!  The AtB rules don't support randomly figuring out what planet I'm going to, so I'll be doing that myself.  A little bit of half-random browsing later, and I find out I'm headed to sunny (I think it's sunny) Milos, the system most directly adjacent to the nearest CapCon world.  What's on Milos?  I haven't got the faintest idea.

It'll take seven weeks to get there, and I'm going to have to rent a dropship and jumpship headed that way.  A Mule costs 30,000 a week to rent, and will comfortably transport everything the company has with room to spare.  A Scout jumpship is 70,000 a week to transport the Mule.  Total cost is 100,000 per week, and it'll take seven weeks.  700,000, and only 20% of that covered by the employer.  See?  Expensive.



Here's a good look at the briefing room right before we start rolling out the weeks.  Seven weeks in transit will take us clear to most of the way through February before the contract gets started, and that contract will last us through August.

Speaking of rolling weeks, here we go.  Every week has a series of rolls and events to see what happens.  When in transit, just about the only thing that happens is recruitment, and sometimes markets offer their wares.  There won't be any battles or special events while we're hanging out at the jump point waiting for our jumpship to recharge.

Not having a Human Resources admin means I get -2 to all rolls when determining skill and equipment for new recruits.  Oof.  What it doesn't affect is what kinds of recruits walk through the door.  The rolls for recruits for the first week of January ends up spitting out a flamer foot infantry platoon seeking employment.  Infantry are a *lot* of mouths to feed (and more importantly, keep track of), even if infantry are generally pretty good under these rules.  I'll pass on them for now, simply because I don't feel like dealing with retraining them to something less useless than flamers.

One week down, another six to go.  The next week brings something more interesting: a vehicle crew with a light vehicle!  Even with the -2 to every roll, my non-existent admin apparently found something!  Let's see what -

6/7 J-27 Ordnance Truck

Get out.

So much for that.  Next week!  An MG foot infantry platoon seeks employment.  Again, no.  Not doing well on the recruitment so far.  MG foot infantry is almost as bad as flamer infantry.

The week of Jan 22 to Jan 28 gets me another Flamer foot infantry platoon.  Jesus, how many infantry platoons can there be waiting to jump to the next system?  I mean, damn.

January 29 dawns, and we're four weeks into the journey already.  Nothing of note has happened whatsoever.  Maybe something interesting will -

No recruits.

Sigh.  Oh well, next week!

February 5 brings with it a useful recruit.  A tech seeks employment.  He's a Green Mechanic.  Not exactly stellar, but any tech is a good tech.  Adding him to the roster.  Jeez, it only took 35 days for anything interesting at all to happen to the company.  At this rate, the contract is making me really nervous.

February 12.  One week from landfall on Milos.  More infantry apply for a position and are rejected, surprise surprise.

February 19.  Landfall.  One a pirate hunt contract, the odds are around 2:1 for a battle any given week.  Time to see what happens.  A quick check turns up no recruits (surprise).  Pirate hunting contracts roll 1d6 and subtract 4 to see how many battles there are in a given week during the contract.  As luck would have it, the very first week sees the company engaging in one battle.

There are a whole bunch of different battle types.  Stand-up fights, hold the line, break contact, hide and seek, extraction, and base attacks, just to name a few.  Base attacks in particular are significant events, since a Base Attack (Atk) can end the contract with an early victory, while a Base Attack (Def) can do the same in defeat, depending on the outcome.

The first thing to do when determining a battle is to find the type.  It's a simple roll of 1d100, compared to what contract you're on to find what battle you're fighting.  And the first battle the Hard Light Brigade engages in is:

Base Attack (Atk)

You're joking, right?  Unreal.  Gotta remember there's still a chance that I'll lose and the contract won't end immediately, however slim.

A base attack features a whole bunch of units.  I bring a combat lance to the fight.  My allies bring two smaller lances to the fight.  The defenders bring 10 "base" units that are civilian 'Mechs/vehicles, as well as double my weight in combat units, which really means two mixed heavy lances.  In order to win, I have to kill all ten base defenders, as well as half of the combat units.  One helpful bit is that my allies lances aren't counted against me if they get creamed.

This'll be fun.

I'm going to figure out the nitty gritty of the base attack tomorrow, like what exact units are involved and what map it's on.  Base attacks are always done on urban terrain of some kind, though, so this battle is going to be kind of awesome.  The command lance is the obvious choice for such a mission, with two assault 'Mechs, a main battle tank, and the urban renewal box (Hetzer).  A quick roll determines that the assault is going to happen on... Monday.  Wow, same day.



That basically means that, at the same time the company is making landfall, they practically land on top of the enemy base.

 
Re: Let's Play... BattleTech!
Hope the dropship doesn't take any fire on the way to drop us off...

Quick! Somebody find a recording of Ride of the Valkyries to play as we fly over!

 

Offline deathfun

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Re: Let's Play... BattleTech!
I'm now imagining a dropship making planetary entry in some crazy ass fashion with it flying over the base dropping units as it goes
Slaughter ensues, etc
"No"

 
Re: Let's Play... BattleTech!
Excellent, good old bandit slaughtering for the combat trials. Just don't break a PPC first time out of the hangar, I don't feel like replacing one just yet.

(also "urban renewal box" should not be this damn funny...)
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~Nighteyes

 

Offline Dragon

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Re: Let's Play... BattleTech!
Wow. This is gonna be fun. *cocks PPCs* :) If we make it through this, I guess we're going to have quite a reputation.

 

Offline The E

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Re: Let's Play... BattleTech!
Yes, a reputation of being an averagely competent, but inexperienced merc crew. AKA the same rep we had before.
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 

Offline headdie

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Re: Let's Play... BattleTech!
a day one campaign resolution would be awesome, good luck to the company
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Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: Let's Play... BattleTech!
Saint Ives pirates.

Tortuga, possibly, but very likely Warrior House or regular Liao troops pretending to be pirates.

Saint Ives is a breakaway state from the Capellan Confederation, having seceded during the Fourth Succession War over a number of issues, but mainly the fact that Candace Liao wanted to marry Justin Allard. Though the Capellan Confederation's greatest current threat to its existence is the Federated Commonwealth, its greatest long-term threat is the fact that Candace Liao's intelligence service has repeatedly proved able to infiltrate the palace on Sian without apparent effort and could likely assassinate the other members of her family and make herself ruler of the Confederation by default.

Given current leader of the Confederation Romano Liao's mental instability, Candace not being provoked enough to do so is by guess and by Blake.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2013, 02:07:56 pm by NGTM-1R »
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Offline StarSlayer

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Re: Let's Play... BattleTech!
Compact produces a good chunk of the Fed Suns' Victors, yes?  I don't suppose they might reward us some hardware for a consistently good job?

Possibly of the flying AC 20 kind?  ;)
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Offline The E

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Re: Let's Play... BattleTech!
Personally, I don't much care for Victors. I would like to make a down payment on a Pillager though.
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis