Friday, September 3, 2010

Kill board and what counts as a kill?

What counts as kill?  Where kills are what determine your advancement I'll try my best to explain it.

A mech is considered a mission kill if...
It takes a third engine hit
It takes a second gyro hit
It loses it's 3rd limb
It loses the last internal structure point of the head
It loses the last internal structure point of the center torso.
It's cockpit is destroyed
It is immobile and has no weapons that it can fire.
The mechwarrior punches out.

A vehicle counts as a mission kill if...
It is immobile and can't fire any weapons...
Any one of the numerous critical hits that say "Tank destroyed"
The last internal structure point is removed from the hull or the turret.

Battle Armor counts as a mission kill...
When the last trooper is killed.

I have no intention of using infantry so don't worry about them.

Is a light tank the same as killing an Assault mech? is the kill value chart.

Mech = 1 kill
Assault Tank = 1 kill
Heavy tank = 3/4 kill
Medium Tank = 1/2 kill
Light tank = 1/4 kill
Battle Armor = 1/2 kill

It is not necessarily the kill shot that I award the kill to (although most of the time I do).  I will at times award bonus kills for mission completion or good role play or being aggressive or just having rotten dice.  Kills will be awarded in the after action reports.

This post might get some of you thinking about what is salvageable?....We will cover that in another post.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Smoke Jaguar Dossier: Star Commander Zimmer

Smoke Jaguar Dossier

Type: Military Personnel

Name: Zimmer

Rank:  Star Commander (Former Star Colonel)

Last know location: Port Arthur

  Star Commander Zimmer is an anomaly for the Jaguar forces in the Inner sphere.  Normally a Jaguar warrior of his years would have been shipped back to their homeworld of Huntress to train sibkos of future Jaguar warriors.  We are unsure as to why Zimmer is still on the front lines.
Man O War Prime
 Once a Star Colonel, age may finally be catching up to Zimmer.  His last known action was on Luthien the Draconis Combine capital.  His cluster was engaged with some 1st Sword of the Light Kurita forces.  The Star Colonel had exhausted the ammo in his Man O’ War prime.  He was driven to the point of rage after watching one Combine mech eliminate no fewer than three of his Command Star with Gauss Rifle shots to their heads.  The Tai-i(Captain) Pedro Martinez  of the 1st Sword of the Light was the mechwarrior who had dispatched the three clan warriors.
Dragon Fire DRG-3F

  Star Colonel Zimmer charged at the 75 ton Dragon Fire piloted by Martinez.  Martinez easily side stepped the Man O’ War, letting the 80 ton Clan machine stumble and fall on its face.  Jaguar forces had followed the charging Zimmer, thinking he was challenging what they thought was the best mechwarrior on the field that day.  But when they saw he had attempted physical combat, the Star Colonel lost most of his remaining respect from the other Jaguar warriors. 

  He was demoted two ranks after Luthien to Star Commander.  He is believed to be commanding a star of bondsmen in Inner sphere mechs.  He is most likely assigned to garrisoning minor facilities, until he can be shipped back to Huntress.

  From Battle reports from both Tukayyyid and Luthien, Star Commander Zimmer favors light Autocannons, and tends to engage from long range.  The range of the clan weapons keep him out of reach from return fire from most of his opponents.                

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Battletech background and timeline upto Operation Bulldog.

Here is a little timeline and background to the upcoming campaign.

Those that played in the last B-Tech campaign...that took place in 3067...this one is in 3059 so not all the tech or mechs will be available.  No Heavy Gauss rifles, no Rotary AC's...

Background:  There are 5 major houses that control the inner sphere (the explored galaxy).

House Steiner (Germans/Russians)
House Davion (British/French)
House Kurita (Japan)
House Liao (China)
House Marik (USA)

There is also Comstar, who for all purposes of this campaign will have no impact.  But they are the ones that keep communications going between worlds.

Anyway, the Houses once (long ago) belonged to a Star League, kinda like the UN.  Anyway there was a lot of infighting in the star league, the overall commander of the star league military (General Alexander Kerensky) saw where things were heading and rather than see is Star League forces being split among the houses and fight each other...He packed them all up and headed out to unexplored space.  With the Star League forces out of the way the Houses quickly turned on each other and many succession wars took place.

In 3028 House Steiner and House Davion merged with the marriage of their two leaders.  Lots more changing hands.

3049...Return of Kerensky also known as the Clans.    The Clans invade the inner sphere with their Goal being to reclaim Terra and reestablish the Star League and stop the needless house fighting.  They have better technology and better trained mechwarriors.  Anyway they are rolling over the innersphere when Comstar steps up and challenges the Clans to a winner take all battle. 

3052...Rather than risk warfare on Terra (Earth) they use the proxy world of Tukayyid.  If the clans win, Comstar gives them Earth, and shuts down all communication for the houses throughout the innersphere.  If Comstar wins, the clans halt their invasion for 15 years.  Each Clan had to capture two cities on Tukayyid, Clan Wolf took their two, Ghost Bear and Jade Falcons took one each, the rest of the clans failed to capture even one city.  Comstar won, and the clans kept halted their advance...and dug in to the worlds they owned.

3058...The Houses come together and form a new Star League.  Well one of the Clans (Nova Cat) kind of follow the old Native American ways, lots of vision quests and influenced greatly by dreams.  Well the Nova Cat Khan happened to have a dream of a Dragon standing on the corpse of a Smoke Jaguar the night before he heard of the newly formed Star League.  He took this as a sign that their invasion was needless and their goals of reforming the Star League was complete.  Clan Nova Cat sent messages to the new Star League stating they wished to join.  This opened the door for the Innersphere Counter attack.  Almost a third of the worlds in the Clan Smoke Jaguar occupation area were controlled by Clan Nova Cat forces.  To legitimize the Star League to all the people of the inner sphere the leaders decided an example must be made and one clan must be totally destroyed...their target was Clan Smoke Jaguar.

This is where you guys come in.

You are mechwarriors in the 1st Davion Guards (The Strength of Alexander), 7th Company.  Your primary duties are Recon, Pursuit (read as mop up / chasing down fleeing mechs after a battle), and Garrison.  The 1st Davion Guards (4 Regiments strong) are to take the Port Arthur system from the Smoke Jaguars.  Preliminary recon shows light defenses, mostly second line units.

After session, Mech Selection process.

Now that the mech selection process is done, lets go over the rules for a replacement mech should you want / need one.

After a mission, there will be some salvageable mechs.  Some repairs will need to be made to your mechs.  Most all of the repairs can happen before the next game session.  Engine, Gyro, and Sensor damage will need one extra game session to repair, so you can run with that damage for the next mission and have it repaired for the following game session. 
Maybe some new mechs will be added to the mechbay via resupply from HQ or other sources.

When you select a new mech, your old mech is thrown back in the pool for anyone to have.  So, if you don't want to take that mech with the damaged engine into battle, it goes back into the pool and someone else may take it with a later pick. Once you get out of your mech, it is up for grabs.

You can not bump someone out of the mech they are currently in.  You may only select from the un-manned mechs that are available.

How will we go about assigning new mechs fairly?  Here is the pecking order, if stilled tied, move to the next one down the list..

1) Dead Mechwarrior.  Hey it happens, your mechwarrior will die.  And a new mechjock will take their place, they get 1st pick.  Notice I didn't say Mechwarrior who lost their mech, there is a difference.  Also notice I didn't say new player to the campaign...they will follow the tiebreakers like the rest of you.

2) # of kills, The mechwarrior with the higher kill total gets the next selection.

3) # of game sessions played, Who ever has been to more of the games will get the next pick.

(EDIT) 4) Lowest Tonnage of your current mech, meaning who ever has the smallest mech gets to choose first.

5) # of kills in last mission.

6) Next Birthday....If you are still tied after all that, mech selection falls to the player with the next birthday.

(Edit) From time to time you will lose your mech in the game.  Sometimes this happens really early in the game session.  I always have more than enough stuff to push.  If you are willing to honestly help push the Jaguars with me, you will be rewarded.  For every player mech that you kill playing as a Jaguar, you jump up one place on the mech selection process.  So if you were to pick 5th and you take out 2 player mechs you will now pick 3rd.

That's all for now.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sensors, ECM, Active Probes, Hidden Units, and Initative.

Here is a brief run down on how sensors, hidden units, units out of line of sight and their effect on initiative will work in the game.

We will start with some definitions.  Active unit is any unit that is manned and capable of moving and/or shooting during the turn.  There will be times, when units out of line of sight, but will be capable of moving.  All active units are part of the initiative / movement phase.

The only way to know about the movement and location of the unseen active units is either with the sensors skill, or an Active Probe equipped mech. The Active Probe stacks with the skill giving the mechwarrior one sensor skill higher then he actually has. 

To represent this Non-LOS unit I will use a marker rather than the actual figure.  So in a city fight you may see 3 markers moving about 3 blocks away, but you won't know if they are light tanks or assault mechs unless your sensor skill is high enough and the sensor mechwarrior is in range.

When ever a unit moves into line of sight the marker will be replaced with the actual mini.

To make things a little more confusing, some units have Electronic Countermeasures or ECM.  These units will block all active probes or sensors (as well as a lot of other things like Artimus and C3 networks.)  A sensor unit will be able to tell they are being jammed, and will be treated like a regular unit without sensors.

There are times where units may start the game hidden.  Meaning the ambushing unit is running on minimal power and is camouflaged.  Hidden and non-active units do not count toward the number of units on a side for purposes of the iniative/ movement phase.  After a unit with Active probes or Sensor skill moves, it will detect these hidden units if they are within range.  This ambushing unit may not move or torso/turret twist without giving away their position.  So if they remain undetected, they may pop-up out of nowhere when they make their first move, twist or shot.   The only other way they may be detected is if a non-sensor / active probe unit finishes their move within 2" of the hidden unit.

There is the potential that some active unit may come into LOS and  then drop back out of LOS.  If this happens once they are out of LOS they will revert to the marker.
Finally, you may fire indirect LRM's at units but they must be in LOS to at least one of your units.  Meaning no firing at the markers, the unit has to be on the table to launch a volley at.

Mission Briefing: Mission #1

Pike Support Tank - 3026 version
MISSION 1: Secure a foothold

Mission Objectives:
+ Destroy the Communications Tower at point Alpha
+ Secure the Mech repair gantry at point Beta
+ Destroy the HQ and forces at point Gamma

Mission Briefing:

Good news and bad news.  Bad news first.  Dropship is in rough shape boys, She isn’t space, much less air worthy, we can open the mechbay doors and that’s about it.  Comms are down as well, so we are probably considered MIA to the regimental HQ.   Consider this your home for a while.  We are rather limited on ammo and replacement parts and weapons.  Try and keep your mechs upright until we can secure a better foothold on our surroundings.

Master Technician Lucy Furlow
Good News, we have one of the best Techs in the regiment with us, Lucy Furlow.  The decision to spread the Techies across the invasion force will help us in the long run.  We may not have the parts, but when we do…She can get just about any mech up and running.  Lucy even has some experience with Clan tech.

  Also even though we are the only Inner Sphere unit in the southern hemisphere, it doesn’t seem that the Smoke Jags are coming for us.  Seems they are either too busy with the rest of the regiment up north, or they are saving their forces for a bigger push, or if we are really lucky they don’t know we are here.

  Our first goal is to secure a foot hold in the area within 50 kilometers of the Dropship.  I sent up an unmanned probe to get a lay of the land.  Seems we are not alone in this part of Port Arthur.  Probe picked up both Jaguar Mech and Vehicle forces in our immediate area.  We have three objectives for this mission.

1)     Take out the Communications Tower at point Alpha.  We are without comms, may as well return the favor to Jags.  Will keep them from reporting our presence, and requesting support.  This must be the first objective, taking the others objectives first risks the Jags getting a message off. 

2)      Secure the repair facility.  Looks like an old Kurita Mechyard that has been abandon or in limited use by the Jags.  We can make minor repairs in the dropship, having a working mech gantry would be extremely helpful. 

3)      Destroy the HQ and any enemy forces.    Also a considerable amount of tracked vehicle tracks were in the area about these buildings.  With the improved tank positions, I believe that this is a minor Smoke Jag military facility.  This force and HQ is our primary threat and must be eliminated. 

Expected Jaguar forces:
The probe picked up no fewer than four distinct Mech chassis tracks in the area.  Believe all are light mechs.  Figure there are at least a lance of combat vehicles in the area too.  The probe spotted two tanks at the HQ location.  These are Pike Support Vehicles, with some sort of modified turret and weaponry.  They seem to have five barrels rather than the normal three, might be a clan upgrade.  Finally expect some turret defenses as well about the repair facility.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Planetfall (Campaign Background)

Captain's Log,  May 5th, 3059, Captain Thomas Nash of the Union Class dropship "Lone Wolf" reporting.

Location: Port Arthur, Southern Hemisphere.  

Southern Hemisphere, as in the wrong hemisphere.  The old adage "No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy" held true today.  Port Arthur was to be lightly defended...if that was light I would hate to see moderately.  The Jags aerospace forces were swarming all over us during the drop.  On board is the 1st Davion Guards, 7th company, the light recon / pursuit unit for the Guards.  Should call them the lucky 7th after today.  We were to set down in the center of the secured area of the first wave, in the northern hemisphere.

That all went to pot when some hot shot Jag areospace pilot took it on themselves to challenge a Union class dropship, himself.  Well to be honest he was one of the best Aerojocks I've ever seen.  He took out our two areospace escorts with little trouble.  His fighter was taking a pounding, and just before our PPC took him out, he launched a volley that took out engine #4.  It is well know how vulnerable Union classes are to engine failure during planet fall.  The crew did their best to compensate for the loss, but we acted more like a deflating balloon than a descending dropship.  I'm betting regimental command believes we burnt up upon reentry, or crashed so hard there were no survivors.  We came down in a heavily wooded section of the southern hemisphere, and I mean heavily, like giant redwoods.  These things are almost as tall as the dropship.  We didn't knock too many down on our way in, and the dropship is mostly screened by them, camo for the dropship...didn't learn that at the academy.  Comm systems are out, as is the emergency beacons and their backups.  Perimeter is secure, the nine members of the 7th that survived the crash, did a great job.  Still looking into what Jag forces were supposed to be in our area.

I'm not expecting a rescue party any time, Seems like there were many more Smoke Jags on planet than early recon reports showed.  Looks like we are on our own.

Nash out.

Special Rules for the campaign.

Kicks from one level up = Punch chart!
Hey guys just a couple of special rules for the campaign that we will be using. 

1) Floating Crit.  When you roll a 2 on the to hit chart, normally the critical is assigned to the CT.  We will be using the floating Crit rule.  This mean when you roll a 2 for where the damage is assigned, you will then roll another set of dice for the location of the floating crit.  The 2nd roll will automatically have one chance for a critical in the newly rolled section.

Example: You hit the Atlas with an SRM and roll a 2 for location.  You would then roll again for the location of this lucky shot that found the weak spot (Rather than the Center Torso like the rules state).  Say you roll a 12 (Head), the Atlas takes 2 points of damage to the head and you get a roll to see if you get a critical (8+), say you roll a 12 for the chance (3 crits / limb blown off).  Yes the head is considered a limb.  So any shot could potentially (but highly unlikely) take out a mech. 

2) Flamers. if you want rather than doing 2 damage you can add 2 heat to your target with a flamer.

3) Movement Dice.  We will go over the use of movement dice when we get together.  In brief, The color of your die is how YOU moved, the number on the die is the Modifier to be Hit.

4) Fire sticks.  Rather than slowing the game down with a fire declaration phase, we will be using the fire sticks.  After everyone has moved, everyone will place their fire sticks (one per weapon on your mech) at their intended target.

5) Box O Death.  (AKA the Missile Rack)  This is a new one for the campaign.  Found this idea on the b-tech forums.  I'll be building a couple of these using 6 sectioned cases.  Taken one of those bead cases, filled each box with a pair of dice, and numbered each section.

What good is this?  Say you shoot an SRM6 and hit with all 6 missiles.  Just shake the box, set it down and there is a faster resolution to where the missiles hit.   Takes care of the order and where  they hit.  Say you get a floating crit, pick up another set of dice and roll that location.  Say you somehow get an LB-20 and shoot the shotgun round...the Box o Death above will take care of that.

6) Ammo:  You will start the mission will a full load of ammo, unless there is not enough to resupply.  You are well behind enemy lines, you would not go out into the field with only a few rounds or an empty ammo rack.  So no you can't leave your Machine Gun ammo behind.  You are more than welcome to dump your ammo during the battle, however any ammo dumped in battle is lost and not recoverable.