Poll

Declare your Allegiance

Federated Suns
0 (0%)
Capellan Confederation
0 (0%)
Free Worlds League
3 (25%)
Lyran Commonwealth
2 (16.7%)
Draconis Combine
1 (8.3%)
The Blessed Order (ComStar)
4 (33.3%)
The C-bill (Mercenary)
2 (16.7%)

Total Members Voted: 12

Voting closed: December 13, 2016, 02:41:10 pm

Author Topic: BattleTech Campaign - Maintaining the Holy Shroud  (Read 4459 times)

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Offline Scotty

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BattleTech Campaign - Maintaining the Holy Shroud
Alright guys, I've been inspired to try something.  It's not a traditional Let's Play, but more of a play-by-post game.  It's also going to be less focused on the minutiae of the rules, and more on the feel of smashing 'Mechs together.  As such, I want this to also include a roleplay element.  Finally, I'll be using some alternate and unofficial rules, explained below.

1) Double Blind.  When you are not in Line of Sight of an enemy, they will not be displayed.  I'll be using MegaMek in order to take screenshots, which automates that fairly easily, but it's definitely something to know ahead of time.

2) Simultaneous movement.  This is where things get tricky.  In order to cut down on time waiting for everyone to see what happened, plan their move, and execute it, I'm going to have everyone plan their moves simultaneously, and express it to me in the following format:  (W)F2L1F2R1  where each number is the number of hexes, not movement expended.  In that example, the 'Mech is Walking, moves forward 2 hexes, turns 1 hexside left, moves forward 2 more hexes, and then turns 1 hexside right.  All 'Mechs will move simultaneously, with "ties" "broken" by weight, and then by BV.  I'll determine how many hexes each 'Mech moves, and break it down into a series of individual moves.  A 'Mech (A) that moves 12 hexes in 1 turn, and a 'Mech (B) that moves 5 hexes in 1 turn, would end up executing their respective maneuvers as: AAB AAB AAB AAAB AAAB.  Introducing more 'Mechs makes it more complicated, but that's the general concept.  It would interact with Double Blind such that if after one set of moves results in clear line of sight, then I'll inform you that you were able to catch a glimpse of the other unit, even if your move ends with it out of view at the start and end of your move.  So that I don't go ****ing insane trying to figure out how to stagger 'Mech activations, the turn will be split into a number of sub-phases equal to the slowest 'Mech on the field (minimum 3, once again for sanity purposes)

If there are four 'Mechs, A, B, C, and D, and they move at a rage of 12 (light), 5 (heavy), 7 (medium), and 3 (assault) hexes respectively, then the order would look something like:  AAAACCBD AAAACCBBD AAAACCCBBD, with conflicts (terrain that is suddenly impassable) resolved as they arise.  To be extra clear, these are not separate moves, they are merely the points after which I check the game state for things like line of sight matching up.

3) Blind Target Modifiers.  I am not going to tell you what number you have to roll on 2d6 in order to make the shot.  I will tell you a difficulty, in terms of "easy", "possible", "difficult", "improbable", and "impossible", and you can choose whether or not to take the shot.

4) Blind Damage and Heat.  I will not tell you how much damage you did.  I'll happily describe the state of a unit's armor or dangling and destroyed components, but exact point values will not be given.  Additionally, we'll be using Direct Blow (each margin of success increment of 3 results in an additional point of damage or better cluster roll bonus) and Glancing Blow (meeting the target number exactly deals half damage, round down) rules, so just because you hit doesn't mean you did the amount of damage you thought you could.  Likewise, I won't be saying heat levels, but I will be describing temperature inside the cockpit, and whether the heat is affecting your capabilities.

5) <SECRET RULE>  I can't actually talk about this one yet, for ~reasons~, but it will affect how your guns operate 'under the hood'.  When I can talk about it, this one will be revealed.  I'm sure some of you will figure it out before then, but it will appreciably change the way you conduct combat.  Part of this requires that the game take place at thee depths of the Succession Wars, and my target year will be 3015 regardless of faction picked.

6) Roleplaying.  I don't want to see "Put your 'Mech in X hex and shoot at Y target with A, B, and C weapons" from anybody in this game.  What I do want to see is "take the left side, and take down that X", leaving exactly how to go about it up to your teammates.  As such, actual moves will be PM'd to me, and not put in the thread at large when I make it.  Additionally, pursuant to 3) above, I will not be telling you  your pilot's skill levels.  I will say "Green", "Regular", "Veteran", and the like, but the exact value of your skills will remain unstated.

If, after reading all of those conditions, anybody still wants to play, comment on this thread with a callsign. :)

Sign-up Roster:
The_E: "The_E"
-Joshua-: "Bommel"
Phantom_Hoover: "Phantom Hoover"
IronBeer: "Ferris" (geddit?
AdmiralRalwood: "Archmage"
StarSlayer: "Shidachi"
JSRNerdo: "Null"
Lepanto: "Utopian"
Scourge of Ages: "Scourge (of Engines)"
niffiwan: "PPC"

Please PM your moves, and though you may plan your moves with each other (and I have no way of enforcing it even if I said not to).  Please remember to send me your moves in such a way that I can understand what direction and how far you're going.  As a reminder, light woods cost an additional point to enter, heavy woods cost an additional two points to enter, and going up or down a level is one extra point per level changed.  You can see that in the Locust's move below.  Ideal syntax for sending me moves is to start with either W, R, or J depending on whether your 'Mech will be walking, running, or jumping; then say the number of hexes you plan to enter (hexes may only be entered in front of you or behind you, for any of the 'Mechs you're all using.  You can't go backward if you're running), or the number of hex facings you intend to turn.  Any questions, just ask.  Alternately, if the idea of planning your move out in a specific and odd syntax bugs you, just tell me where you want to go and I'll plot a course there, just don't complain if it isn't exactly how you wanted to move.

Example moves:

RF6R2F2 (Running movement, forward six hexes, right two hex sides, forward two hexes)
WF3L1 (Walking movement, forward three hexes, left one hex side)
JF5L1F1:S (Jumping movement, forward five hexes, left one hex side, forward one hex, facing south)

Jumping is a little tricky, so just tell me the direction you want to take to get there; or tell me which hex you want to end up in and I'll put you there (or as close as you can manage).  Remember, when jumping you must take the shortest possible route to the target hex.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2016, 02:32:00 pm by Scotty »

 

Offline The E

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Re: Let's Play - Narrative BattleTech
I am interested. My Callsign would be my forum name.
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 Scotty

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Re: Let's Play - Narrative BattleTech
Also worth mentioning: this game, regardless of faction, will be combined arms heavy.  In a double blind situation infantry and fast vehicles are worth their weight in gold, and there's a decent chance that if anybody wants to play as an infantry platoon leader or somesuch that I'll find some way to adapt from D&D/Pathfinder a couple infantry combat scenarios on top of the roleplaying potential.

 
Re: Let's Play - Narrative BattleTech
I am also interested! My callsign would be "Bommel"

 

Offline Scotty

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Re: Let's Play - Narrative BattleTech
As an additional note, due to the play-by-post nature of it, and the general lack mandatory of huge time commitments, I'm hoping to post updates several times a week, and will be requesting input nearly as frequently.  Especially in a combat, which could last a couple dozen turns and requires a minimum of two inputs from everybody each turn (movement and firing orders).

 

Offline IronBeer

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Re: Let's Play - Narrative BattleTech
Put in for ComStar.

Callsign can be something to do with Iron, because I'm feeling uncreative at the moment.
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Offline AdmiralRalwood

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Re: Let's Play - Narrative BattleTech
Callsign: "Archmage".
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Codethulhu GitHub wgah'nagl fhtagn.

schrödinbug (noun) - a bug that manifests itself in running software after a programmer notices that the code should never have worked in the first place.

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"I am one of the best FREDders on Earth" -General Battuta

<Aesaar> literary criticism is vladimir putin

<MageKing17> "There's probably a reason the code is the way it is" is a very dangerous line of thought. :P
<MageKing17> Because the "reason" often turns out to be "nobody noticed it was wrong".
(the very next day)
<MageKing17> this ****ing code did it to me again
<MageKing17> "That doesn't really make sense to me, but I'll assume it was being done for a reason."
<MageKing17> **** ME
<MageKing17> THE REASON IS PEOPLE ARE STUPID
<MageKing17> ESPECIALLY ME

<MageKing17> God damn, I do not understand how this is breaking.
<MageKing17> Everything points to "this should work fine", and yet it's clearly not working.
<MjnMixael> 2 hours later... "God damn, how did this ever work at all?!"
(...)
<MageKing17> so
<MageKing17> more than two hours
<MageKing17> but once again we have reached the inevitable conclusion
<MageKing17> How did this code ever work in the first place!?

<@The_E> Welcome to OpenGL, where standards compliance is optional, and error reporting inconsistent

<MageKing17> It was all working perfectly until I actually tried it on an actual mission.

<IronWorks> I am useful for FSO stuff again. This is a red-letter day!
* z64555 erases "Thursday" and rewrites it in red ink

<MageKing17> TIL the entire homing code is held up by shoestrings and duct tape, basically.

 

Offline Scotty

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Re: Let's Play - Narrative BattleTech
Updated first post to clarify movement weirdness, also included list of players.

 

Offline StarSlayer

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Re: Let's Play - Narrative BattleTech
Are we volunteering to be characters or active participants?  If its the latter I don't have the experience in TT to contribute, in case of the former sign me up to get stepped on.
“Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world”

 

Offline Scotty

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Re: Let's Play - Narrative BattleTech
It's the latter, but it's the latter in the form of not actually needing to know a lot of the background stats beyond "I can move this fast" and "I don't like taking big hits often".  Being "the rookie" might be fun, besides! :D

 

Offline StarSlayer

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Re: Let's Play - Narrative BattleTech
Okay I'll get stepped on then, call sign "Shidachi"
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Re: Let's Play - Narrative BattleTech
Let's do it! I can't think of a callsign right now, but I'd preferably like to drive a light or medium robot. I have played enough MWO to know how to weapon boat.
AKA [`_`]
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Offline Lepanto

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Re: Let's Play - Narrative BattleTech
Reactor online. Sensors online. Weapons online. All systems nominal!

MechWarrior: Kally "Utopian" en-Korvare

For 'Mech, the biggest assault I can get! Preferably long-ranged. If you desperately need vehicle drivers for some reason, I could be one instead.

Why are people voting for ComStar? Not complaining, just curious.
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Offline Scotty

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Re: Let's Play - Narrative BattleTech
Reactor online. Sensors online. Weapons online. All systems nominal!

MechWarrior: Kally "Utopian" en-Korvare

For 'Mech, the biggest assault I can get! Preferably long-ranged. If you desperately need vehicle drivers for some reason, I could be one instead.

Why are people voting for ComStar? Not complaining, just curious.

Because it is different.  Also they get the best gear at this point in the line.  While most Successor States are still struggling to put two Assault 'Mechs in a Lance outside of the Commonwealth, the (secret) ComGuard and ROM can basically conjure a Level II (six 'Mechs) of King Crabs out of thin air.

 

Offline niffiwan

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Re: Let's Play - Narrative BattleTech
This sounds cool but I think I'm going to be too busy over Christmas/New Years to participate, so I'll just watch from the sidelines. If you don't mind, and it's still going towards the end of Jan, then I'd be keen to join.
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Offline Scotty

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Re: Let's Play - Narrative BattleTech
This sounds cool but I think I'm going to be too busy over Christmas/New Years to participate, so I'll just watch from the sidelines. If you don't mind, and it's still going towards the end of Jan, then I'd be keen to join.

This is absolutely an option for people who can't be sure to commit to anything.  I can also open up support/admin positions for roleplay and non-combat opportunities if the issue is not being able to keep up with the regimented pace for combat.  Particularly things like Techs and Medics are going to be in high demand but fairly low/non-urgent commitment.

 

Offline Scotty

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Re: Let's Play - Narrative BattleTech (Accepting/Searching for Players)
So, for those of you not particularly familiar with The Story So Far, I am going to shamelessly steal borrow these amazing posts from a guy on the Something Awful forums that goes by PoptartsNinja.  This actually goes a fair bit beyond when our game is going to be set (3005-3015ish to start), but it's funny enough I can justify putting it in here.

Quote
Once upon a time, Humans figured out that if you break the universe just right you can travel 30 light years in an instant. So they colonized the stars under the direction of a council of space fascists known as the Terran Hegemony. Now, the Terran Hegemony wanted to continue to exert direct control over all of humankind, which they accomplished in a few ways but mostly achieved because it turns out that exploring for new habitable worlds is very expensive and they could pick all the best ones for their loyalists.

Eventually humanity expanded so far that Terra simply couldn't field enough manpower to control them directly, so they not-so-quietly manipulated the emerging planetary governments into a form of pseudo-feudalism lead by charismatic individuals that the Terran Hegemony could easily manipulate and formed the Space Roman Empire Star League. These individual House Lords would form a "ruling council" that was still still pretty much under the thumb of the First Lord of the Star League largely because the Terran Hegemony manipulated all of these new feudal states into a cold war with one another. In order to keep this cold war from becoming a hot war, the Terran Hegemony then formed the Star League Defense Force to go blow up anyone who got too uppity.

Eventually BattleMechs are invented and the technology is very quickly leaked to the Great Houses by the Terran Hegemony. Although officially it's because BattleMechs are really awesome and impossibly tough weapons of war that don't rust and can last for centuries, the introduction of the BattleMech did a lot to keep the minor brushfire wars that kept cropping up from turning into all-out orbital bombardments and nuke fests (BattleMech duels are very romantic and fit the feudal aesthetic the Terran Hegemony was pushing for).

BattleMechs soon became the dominant military weapon as even the Terran Hegemony bought into the hype, and eventually it became ingrained in the Inner Sphere's collective consciousness that 'once a planet's BattleMechs are gone, that planet is lost.'

Then humanity expanded farther than the five original House Lords could control, and a new batch of Periphery Lords started cropping up. The House Lords had been established for several generations at this point and because they were all pretty much complete idiots did everything they could to keep the new Periphery Lords off the council and/or tried to turn the new space nations forming on their borders into virtual slave states.

One of these states was the Rim Worlds Republic, which borrowed very heavily from Rome and was actually a dictatorship lead by House Amaris. Skip ahead a century or two and one Lord Adolf Hitler Stefan Amaris decides he's not really content being House Steiner's whipping boy. Stefan Amaris ingratiates himself with the First Lord's son. Now, by this time, even First Lords have become as corrupt and inept as the Great Houses they once manipulated. The First Lord winds up dying and his young idiot son gets put in charge with Aleksandr Kerensky, commanding general of the Star League Defense Force, serving as regent.

Seeing an opportunity, the House Lords quickly undercut the First Lord's power, leaving him no one to turn to for help save his old friend Stefan Amaris.

Stefan promptly (and publically) murders Richard and the Rim World Army seizes control of the 103 Terran Hegemony worlds (including Terra itself) in a single day, making Stefan Amaris the new First Lord of the Star League. The Great Houses were pretty OK with this, all things considered, and the Star League likely would've continued as before except that Aleksandr Kerensky, as former Regent, had gotten pretty used to the idea of being in charge and started a massive war to 'avenge' Richard.

In spite of this, Stefan Amaris ruled the Star League for thirteen years (which is, coincidentally, the length of the reign Richard Cameron's father enjoyed making Amaris's rule pretty legitimate). Kerensky eventually invaded Terra and killed Amaris leaving the Star League with no strong successor. Not being a member of a noble family himself and with Space Feudalism prepped for centuries to doom the Inner Sphere, none of the Great Council voted for Kerensky. As the SLDF couldn't fight all five great houses at once, Kerensky took his people and ****ed off into deep space to (eventually) form his own Star League. With blackjack genetically engineered animals. And hookers incest.

The five House Lords then proverbially started trying to club each other to death and last-man-standing gets to be First Lord. Except the clubs were nukes and battleships.

Eventually the Great Houses so thoroughly demolish their own infrastructure that they sit down and negotiate, but the only thing they agree on is: "Hey, maybe stop with the nukes and the orbital bombardments and just do everything 'cleanly' and 'honorably' with BattleMechs (and occasionally shooting our own rioting civilians with machine guns and jets of superheated plasma)!"

A few centuries of this and it's 3025, the era this game is set in. Human space is falling apart, BattleMechs are still around because their armor is a steel/ceramic composite that doesn't rust on a meaningful timescale, and most Great Houses can only produce about 100 BattleMechs a year. A lull in the succession wars has finally broken out giving the Inner Sphere a brief 5-10 year respite (the longest they'd had since Richard Cameron was killed) to rebuild.

So of course the Great Houses are prepping for the next big war in the pissing contest to see who gets to be First Lord (spoiler: the Capellans) and for the first time in about 700 years two of the Great Houses who don't share a border have actually decided that maybe they don't hate each other (this will change) and are trying to work out a way to tag-team the other three before the 4th Succession War starts in earnest.

Quote
So, after Aleksandr Kerensky took his ball and went home left the Inner Sphere forever they wandered in the desert for about a year spent a year traveling to a star cluster notable only because it was hidden from the Inner Sphere by a giant nebula.

He settles the several dozen million SLDF members (and their families) across five worlds (the Pentagon Worlds) and, being complete idiots wanting to live comfortably speaking their native languages, they tended to form colonies and cities built around their old Inner Sphere affiliations. Needless to say things are peaceful and happy for about six minutes before the various SLDF communities started fighting over resources. The Pentagon Worlds were very poor in natural resources and so Aleksandr Kerensky had to form a kind of Star League Defense Force Defense Force in order to keep the colonies from murdering each other too badly.

Long story short, things are stable right up until Aleksandr Kerensky gets himself killed in a police action. The SLDF goes full Ouroboros and is so efficient at eating itself alive that after five or so years of Pentagon Wars the five planets basically turn into interstellar Mad Max (Kerensky took the SLDF into deep space not to protect the SLDF but to keep them from doing precisely this to the entire Inner Sphere).

Anyway, the Mad Max who arrives to save everyone is Nicholas Kerensky, Aleksander's idiot son, who is just visionary enough to see the writing on the wall. Nicholas is charismatic enough by which I mean he convinces 600 whole people to grab their BattleMechs and join him in a second Exodus (this time to the Kerensky Cluster, a nearby mostly-habitable star cluster that Aleksandr eventually hoped the SLDF would expand out into once they worked out their differences).

Nicholas lays out his grand plan for the future: A(n insane) caste-based society lead by honorabru warriors (with him at the top of the pyramid). If he sounds like a crazy doomsday prepper / cult leader you've pretty much understood everything you need to know about Nicholas Kerensky. He divides up his people into 20 groups of 30 warriors and gives them all a spirit totem animal from a list of animals that he thinks are totally metal totally metal.

He and his Clans then sit on their thumbs for a while until the SLDF annihilates most of its war machines (and population). And then they invade.

600 people are sufficient to take over the Pentagon Worlds because after five years they have about twice the BattleMechs of everyone else. Wanting to avoid losing as many as possible Nicholas institutes a system where his men are encouraged to attack with only just enough forces to guarantee a win, and everyone who didn't support his insanity from the outset becomes a second class citizen in one of the slave castes (laborers, merchants, technicians, or scientists). Since Nicholas was the only one with guns and BattleMechs are really good at turning people into a fine red mist nobody really protests being dehumanized (their last names are stripped away and they literally become property of their Clan).

No one except Clan Wolverine, who think maybe this whole "Clans" and "slavery" thing is going a little too far. Fearing he's about to lose control of the Clans, Nicholas paints the Wolverines as traitors and they get wiped out (except for the ones who escape). When he starts to lose control again less than a decade later he tries to do the same thing to Clan Widowmaker. Who kill him.

The Clans continue because by the time of Kerensky's death they've all drunk the kool-aid and most of the civilian castes think being a slave is preferable to being eaten in a literal cannibal holocaust.

Some 200 or so years of cloning and incest later the Clans decide they need to share their enlightenment with the Inner Sphere and launch an invasion in 3048 (about 25 years after the Battletech Kickstarter game is going to be set), interrupting the lead-up to the 5th succession war and accidentally uniting the entire Inner Sphere against them.

Quote
Once upon a time there was a man named William Blake. Blake was the Star League's minister of communications, and was responsible for keeping interstellar communications working. Like most people in the Star League, he was more than willing to keep working under Space Hitler Stefan Amaris. Now, Blake loved one thing and one thing only: being a goon reading other people's space mail.
 
When Kerensky invaded Terra to kill Amaris, Blake was the first to realize that no matter who won the Inner Sphere was going to go to complete ****, so he kept ComStar, the Star League's communications division, completely neutral. He did so by whining at both Amaris and Kerensky until they made Terra's HPG off-limits and promised both that he'd keep sending their messages no questions asked.
 
When Amaris died and Kerensky abandoned Terra, the Terran Hegemony had been completely devastated and pretty much the only Star League office with any sort of power or organization left to pick up the pieces was the judicial system ComStar. Blake immediately seized control of Terra and issued an ultimatum to the Great Houses: Terra and every ComStar facility is neutral. **** with us and we'll stop sending your space mail and let your enemies eat you alive.
 
Blake, who had recently watched Mad Max was actually very intelligent, predicted the complete collapse of the Inner Sphere's infrastructure and feared it meant the eventual extinction of humanity. So he wrote books, doctrines and contingency plans to guide ComStar after his death and try to keep the space internet working as long as possible. Being a manipulative asshole member of the Terran Hegemony, most of his plans involved pitting the Great Houses against one another in order to keep ComStar in an advantageous position.
 
Eventually he died, and his words and writings all get recorded and studied intensely. Gradually ComStar starts to find it easier to get recruits by adopting a quasi-mystical bent and presenting Blake as a prophet. Blake's words became canonized and somewhere around the time the Inner Sphere stops nuking itself to death ComStar crawls so far up inside its own asshole that even the people at the top start looking on Blake as some holy messenger rather than a frightened smart guy who just didn't want humanity to die out.

Around this time ComStar's attitudes change and rather than simply preserving every bit of knowledge and technology they can get their hands on they begin hoarding it instead. As technology gets lost, rediscovered, lost, rediscovered, lost, and rediscovered ComStar stops helping with the rediscovery and starts making sure that most technology starts getting "lost for everyone who isn't ComStar." Rather than protecting humanity ComStar starts secretly seeking to control it and all is going swimmingly and ComStar gets more and more smug about it until suddenly the Clans show up.

Finding someone with technology better than their own ComStar pretty much ****s a brick and goes into panic mode since it's something Blake's writings never accounted for. Since their leadership has been growing steadily more bug**** crazy over the centuries the Space Pope Primus, a woman named Myndo Waterley, interprets the arrival of the Clans as the final culmination of Blake's prophecies and the destruction of the Inner Sphere from which ComStar will rise ascendant. She immediately throws in and helps the Clans only to pretty much instantly betray them when they learn the Clans mean to conquer Terra, the seat of ComStar's power (and the place where ComStar's best stuff is "hidden").

So ComStar tricks the Clans into an unwinnable battle of attrition by making the Clans (and their relatively small militaries) fight a literal ocean of men and equipment and eventually force a 15 year truce. Around this same time Myndo Waterley dies. The next leader of ComStar throws off many of the mystical trappings ComStar has relied upon and, as most of them have been drinking the proverbial kool-aid, a new movement called the Word of Blake splinters off. They do nothing for a while and then suddenly take over Terra because ComStar left it basically unguarded. Also spies. Also one of the guards was a Dervish which, as BattleMechs go, is a colossal piece of ****.

So the Word of Blake does nothing for a good while little longer except revel in their smug superiority. A new Star League forms, and just when Word of Blake gets recognized and invited to sit on the Star League council alongside ComStar and the five Great Houses, the New Star League dissolves. I'd say the Word of Blake goes crazy but they were already, so instead they do what any crazy religious fundamentalist does when they're apoplectic with rage, Pinky: they launch a Jihad and try to take over the world Inner Sphere. But this happens in 3067, 17 years after the Clans were stopped and 42 years after the HBS Kickstarter is set.

Quote
So, let's talk about the Great Houses.

There're five Great Houses in the Inner Sphere, and most use a pseudo-feudal government. We'll start with the only exception:

The Capellan Confederation, while feudal in theory, doesn't really give their nobility much in the way of special privileges above and beyond the average citizenry, and even has ways for normal citizens to become nobility. They have the most upward mobility as long as you're a useful and contributing member of Capellan society, and as long as you jump (or roll over (or die)) whenever a member of House Liao asks you to. That said, most of the Confederation's populace will never perform enough meritorious deeds to become a citizen unless they join the CCAF, so most people languish in some form of poverty. This is the favorite nation of Loren Coleman, who currently runs Catalyst Games and maintains the BattleTech tabletop game. The Capellan Confederation is famous for having at least three 'heroic terrorist' characters, much in the same way that Dominic Deegan was famous for its heroic orc rapist.

The Capellan Confederation in 3025 is 1985 Post-Communist Russia. They were a power once but their glory has faded pretty heavily. They do a lot of posturing but no one really takes them seriously anymore. They are also simultaneously Yellow Peril the nation. They're led by the "inscrutable" Fu Manchu Maximillian Liao who is, in canon, literally insane. He is famous for such feats as: trying to replace another House Lord with a body double, having a Fu Manchu, and losing pretty much every fight he gets the Capellan Confederation into. He will be succeeded by his daughter Romano Liao who is a female Chinese Joseph Stalin who will become famous for murdering most of her nation's nobility and a good portion of the average citizenry, shrieking like a harpy, and losing every fight she gets the Capellan Confederation into. The Confederation's industrial capacity is the worst in the Inner Sphere, which doesn't help them much when they get half their army killed.

The Capellan Confederation hires a lot of mercenaries because their army is tiny, backwards, lacks initiative, and generally poorly trained. They're also one of the most likely Houses to abandon, betray, or **** over the mercenaries they hire. They just put out enough mercenary contracts that the chance of bumping into a screwjob is relatively unlikely.



The Free Worlds League is next. They neighbor the Capellan Confederation and ate about half of it during the first three succession wars. They're the Byzantine Empire, and are known for not doing much. The Free Worlds League actually has the second best industrial capacity in the Inner Sphere but they don't use it for much. They're the only nation lead partially by a parliament, and they're usually bogged down by bull****. They elect their House Lord and are prone to massive civil wars. They've also been the most overall peaceful nation since the second succession war, and often have long stretches of only attacking the Capellans.

The other Great Houses tend to ignore the League, which will simultaneously come back to bite them in the ass (when the Word of Blake uses the League's industrial capacity to fuel their Jihad) and prove completely justified (when the League collapses and Balkanizes in the 3070s). Incidentally the League's current ruler, Janos Marik is known only for having an eagle tattooed on his forehead (and while whatever mysterious thought process lead him to believe that was a good idea it does speak worlds about his character*). He's eventually replaced by "Thomas Marik" who is a Word of Blake sleeper agent. The League's industrial capacity is only really hindered because they don't produce many PPCs yet most of the BattleMechs they produce have at least one (and often two or more) PPCs.

The Free Worlds League is the most likely nation to have missions against itself since many of the internal factions hate each other.



The Lyran Commonwealth is pretty much every warring German state from the 1600-1800s. It has the strongest economy in the Inner Sphere and produces the most BattleMechs. House Steiner also loses the most BattleMechs since most of its military leadership is the very model of a modern major general. By which I mean they are promoted by nepotism and family connections rather than actual capability. They're on relatively peaceful terms with the Free Worlds League (they still raid each other, mind, but the borders remain largely unchanged) and as they're the richest they hire a fair number of mercenaries to shore up their defenses and raid the other houses. They're currently lead by Katrina Steiner, who is probably the single most capable politician in the Inner Sphere in 3025.

The Commonwealth considers it a status symbol for a noble to have a mercenary lance or company on retainer (so they can pretend they're a general even if they're not in the military), but at the same time they're also prone to making stupid and risky decisions and tend to lose a lot of fights with House Kurita.



The Draconis Combine was founded by a literal weaboo named Angus Kurita, and it's considered a mark of pride that many members of House Kurita have blue eyes. They are Space WWII Imperial Japan, which means in 3025 they're typically used as the setting's 'big bad.' In spite of this they're often portrayed heroically as the nation is very Honorabru and plays up the Samurai asthetic. House Kurita is actually politically fairly weak, as the Coordinator of the Draconis Combine is largely a passive 'father figure' who makes suggestions rather than giving orders and otherwise has to hope his Warlords do something no stupid. Needless to say this rarely works out for the best. Their neighbors ****ing hate them because when they're at their best they often conquer large huge numbers of their neighbors' planets before overextending themselves and slowly losing them all.

House Kurita is lead by Takashi Kurita, a man who bucks the passive 'father figure' role and takes a very active and aggressive (but not complete) control of the military. House Kurita wins more fights than they lose, but they're theoretically hampered by their adherence to a vague Space Bushido and more practically by their "win or literally die" attitude that doesn't tolerate and heavily punishes even the slightest failure. Their industrial capacity is the middle of the road.

House Kurita doesn't much like mercenaries as they feel people who fight for money are unreliable, and they tend to penny-pinch and fight hard for every negotiable point on their often barely-negotiable contracts. In a few years Takashi Kurita will also publish a 'death to Mercenaries' order ordering every Mercenary operating inside the Draconis Combine put to death. So, y'know. Take their contracts at your own risk.



Finally the Federated Suns are the Space Hansa / Dutch / French and, eventually, in 3039 they become Space America when Michael Stackpole starts writing novels about them. They become the 'designated good guys' for a long stretch (before the Capellans superseded them). Their impression as the 'underdog' is aided largely by the fact that they're bordered on one side by the Draconis Combine (who is never not invading) and on the other by the Capellan Confederation (who are lead by lunatics). Their industrial capacity is the second worst in the Inner Sphere since nearly half of the Suns is still recovering from a massive Draconis Combine assault a few centuries before. The Draconis Combine actually came a hair's breadth from capturing the capitol of the Federated Suns at one point (and put innumerable civilians to the sword in the process), and so large swaths of the Federated Suns so vehemently despise House Kurita that anti-Asian racism is practically an institutionalized feature of their planetary governments.

The Suns are lead by Hanse Davion, who is the most accomplished Successor Lord in terms of military acclaim (in terms of actual prowess Theodore Kurita, Takashi's son, probably has him beat). Hanse hates Maximillian Liao more than he hates Takashi Kurita since Lo Pan Max once tried to replace Hanse with a brainwashed body double in an attempt to puppet-rule the Federated Suns. The Early Federated Suns also has a lot of Arthurian parallels with Hanse playing the role of King Space Arthur.

The Federated Suns hires a lot of mercenaries and treats them better than most other nations, but they absolutely need the help to shore up their defenses so most Federated Suns contracts are combat heavy and the Federated Suns rarely has enough manpower to stage a rescue if things go wrong.



* Janos Marik is also Sean Connery.

 
Re: Let's Play - Narrative BattleTech (Accepting/Searching for Players)
Vote 1 capellan confederation for space tyranny and squawking!
AKA [`_`]
Inferno: It's the I in Inferno / It's the beam spam delight / Risin' up to a shock jump arrivaaaaaal
Between The Ashes: Look just a really cool and neat thing, OK?
Dimesional Eclipse: High speed anime girlies blowing **** up gets me excited
The Last Stand: A very episodic capship command mini-campaign
Breakthrough: A pretty standard but not really capship command mission

 

Offline Scotty

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Re: Let's Play - Narrative BattleTech (Accepting/Searching for Players)
As a friendly reminder, to folks who might have commitments that prevent participating in the campaign as a combatant, we will have a couple spots open for Techs, which will be an involved role but involved in such a way that the decision making can be handled in a single fairly short block of time with little need to respond quickly.  Basically, at the end of a given combat, I'll put up a list of repairs needed for 'Mechs that took damage or expended ammunition, how difficult each task is, and how long it takes to do each task.  You'll have a pool of time to attempt those repairs, and the ability to choose between taking your time and making it a bit easier, or doing a rush job to save time but make the job harder (or attempt it normally).  Extra time is in full increments of the job's starting time, while rush jobs halve the time required for each level attempted (i.e. the difficulty increases at 1/2, 1/4, and 1/8 time).  Time requirements for rush jobs round up (i.e. 45 minutes becomes 23 minutes)

Just send me a PM (or post in the thread) the order you want to accomplish those tasks, and I'll roll the dice on them.  You may also budget time just in case you fail, and put 'if time allows' decisions at the end in case you get it the first time.  A tech normally has 480 minutes (eight hours) of time to work in a given day.  As an example, if after a big fight there is a Light 'Mech (Wasp -1K) that lost an arm to a single big hit that did no damage anywhere else, you might see a task list like:

Replace Right Arm (240 minutes, Difficult)
- Replace Upper Arm Actuator (90 minutes, Very Easy)
- Replace Lower Arm Actuator (90 minutes, Very Easy)
- Replace Hand Actuator (90 minutes, Very Easy)
- Replace Armor, 5 points (25 minutes, Very Easy)
- Replace Medium Laser (120 minutes, Easy)

Where the indented lines cannot be done until the one they're under is completed.  If you're pressed for (in game) time, that could mean a post looks like:

Replace Right Arm
(Retry if failed)
Replace Upper Arm Actuator (1/4 rush job)
Replace Lower Arm Actuator (1/4 rush job)
Replace Hand Actuator (1/4 rush job)
Replace Armor, 5 points
Replace Medium Laser
(Retry all if failed)

Doing all that, if the first attempt failed it'd be those two and nothing else (arms are hard, yo).  If the first attempt succeeded, you'd be able to continue down the list, and if you succeeded every roll would have spent a total of 454 minutes of time, and still have a few minutes left for wasting at the end of the day.

If playing a tech and you do have the time to engage more frequently, you might just try to repair the arm, and then wait for the result, then try again.  I'm not going to force you to do it one way or the other.

Now, if you do fail a repair roll, it's not the end of the world.  When it happens, I make a second roll, against your margin of failure.  If that roll is below your margin of failure, then the part is damaged (or if it was already damaged, is destroyed), and you'll have to attempt to fix it before you can try to replace it again.  Or if you have an extra piece of equipment, just try again with that.  Destoying common components like armor plate and actuators while attempting to replace them is really goddamn difficult, to the point that regular Techs, working in the field with no repair bay support are literally incapable of ****ing it up that badly.  Green techs doing an incredibly ****ty rush job might be able to manage it, but it's still pretty difficult.  It's when you get to things like replacing fusion engines that doing it badly enough can result in some serious damage.  But then, that's what extra time is for.

If anybody reading wasn't sure they'd be able to keep up on a mission to mission basis in combat, but thinks they could do that for ~20 minutes on a given weekend, spots are still open (and will likely remain open during the campaign).

 
Re: Let's Play - Narrative BattleTech (Accepting/Searching for Players)
I think I could handle some technical duties, sign me up!

Eric "Scourge of Engines" Lathram, Professional Mech Meddler!