Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mission #1: Killboard, Lost Mechs and Salvage

First up the Killboard. This is it set in stone, don't like it too bad.  Kills are awarded for bold actions, doing or saying something that makes most or everyone in the room laugh, and whenever I feel like it.  Anyways here it is for Mission #1.

Next up are the Mech losses.  Players lost a Cicadia to Xl engine loss, Stinger to CT destruction, Commando to Engine destruction, Commando to ammo explosion, and Commando to CT destruction.  So Kyle, Jeff, Josh, Larry and Fab are mechless at this time.

Good news is we got some good salvage.  The Jenner, Hermes II, and Whitworth are all salvageable, and will be ready for the next mission.  The Koshi was a loss, as was the Ostscout, but we did get a Clan ER Meduim laser and Clan ER small laser out of the wreckage.  Turns out the Clanners had two more mechs in the mechbays, guess they didn't have enough bondsmen around to pilot them.  Seems they were left over from when Kurita controlled this base.  We got a Panther 9R, and a Sentinel 3M.  Both solid mechs and have been added to our mechbay.  With the Mech repair facility we captured...Furlow will have the damaged mechs up and running in 3 or 4 days tops.

Tech readouts on our new mechs...
Sentinel 3M -
Panther 9R -

I'll be in touch with each of you shortly about selecting your mech for the next mission.

Well Done.

Mission #1: After Action Report

Smoke Jaguar Forces
Hermes II HER-2S, Whitworth WTH-1S, Koshi D (Zimmer), Jenner JR7-F, Ostscout OTT-7J
Patton Tank, Galleon Light tank x2, Harasser (Laser variant) x2, Pike support tank (Clan) x2
  Not much of an after action report this time through.  (Forgot to take some pics of the battle.)

Players made short work of the opposition, securing three three objectives.  Key moments of the battle.
1) Players take out the communications tower early.  Discover the range of the Pike Ultra AC2's is almost the whole board.

2) Mechwarrior Hetzer charges the Mech facility alone to take on the Patton tank, his support decided to focus their attention elsewhere. 

3) Mechwarrior Meech jumped into a wooded area and failed his piloting check, damaging his head.

4) Mechwarrior Poe went one on one with Star Commander Zimmer (until the last played turn, where there were 5 or 6 players shooting at Zimmer)

We called it at that point.  The Jaguar Whitworth was mostly undamaged, and there were still the two Pike tanks left.  Plus the players had yet to destroy the Clan HQ.  Players had only lost the Cicada to an XL engine loss.  It was getting late (past midnight) so what follows is the GM taking liberty to finish the game (don't worry you players will like the final result).

The Whitworth and legged Zimmer continue to fight, the Whitworth finishing off both Jeff's and Larry's commando with engine hits.  The Whitworth finally shuts-down due to overheating, and the pilot ejects (Salvageable).  Zimmer is killed, kicked in the head by Poe (Clan salvage details to come).  Hetzer's commando takes a floating crit from an Ultra AC2 to the SRM ammo...Hetzer ejects escaping the blast.
Big Duke in his Stinger is the only mech to remained unscathed, however as he takes point to approach the Clan HQ, two hidden Streak SRM6 turrets pop out of the ground and destroy the Stinger's center torso. (Yeah I took away your commandos and stinger...sure that breaks your hearts.)

Summary: Major Victory for the players. All clan forces destroyed.  No players were lost.  Kill Board, Mech losses and Salvage to come in the next post.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

How the game turns should work.

  Some of you have not been in a Battletech campaign of mine before.  So here is a brief outline of how a game session will work.

I'll be running all the opposing force, yes this is a lot of work and might slow combat down a bit until I get the rust off.  Biggest game I had before I was running 24 mechs Might take a couple of sessions for me to get back up to be capable of running that many.

First let's go over the turn and how each phase will work.
1) Initiative
2) Movement
3) Declare Fire
4) Shooting
5) Physical Attacks
6) Heat

1) Initative:
We will be using the standard Battletech rules for initiative.  2d6 roll off players against me.  I will declare before initiative is rolled how many active Jag units there are on the board.  High roll gets to move the last mech.  Movement will flip flop I go you go until all the mechs are moved.  If there are an uneven number of units on each side, the extra units are spread evenly across the later movement phases. So say you guys have 10 mechs but I only have 4.  Movement will go like this.

Number of units needed to be moved.
Players  |   Jags
   2     |    1
   2     |    1
   3     |    1
   3     |    1

To help keep track of this, I got a section white board by the table (Home depot scrap bin, $1) with some dry erase markers.  A volunteer or two to help with this and keep it updated would be appreciated.  

2) Movement:
When it is the next units move I will call out "players move" and you guys will decide amongst yourselves which units to move.  On the tabletop rather than terrain, each "hex" of movement is equal to 2".  So if your mech has movement of Walk 6, Run 9, Jump 6.  You could walk 12" in a straight line, Run 18" in a straight line or Jump 12" landing facing any direction.  If you turn hexes while running or walking each hex facing turned cost you 2" of move.  So a 90 degree turn is technically 2 hex faces so would cost you 4" of movement.
After you have moved you will place a die behind your mech.  The color of the die shows HOW you moved, white for walking, red for running, green for jumping.  The number you place shows the movement modifier your opponent will need to hit you.  I have some charts made up and hung about the basement to help you put the correct number behind your mech.

3) Declare Fire:
After the last mech has moved you will declare which target you wish to shoot at.  To make this fast and easier I have made some fire declaration markers out of popsicle sticks.  You will have one stick for each weapon on your mech.  So I'll say, put down your sticks, and everyone will place their sticks by the target they wish to shoot at. 
The lumber piles can really stack up when the big guys come out to play.

4) Shooting: 
All shooting is simultaneous so we just pick up a stack of sticks pointed at a given target.  Then work out the numbers needed to hit and roll some dice.  You put the hit sticks in one pile the miss sticks in another pile.  Then pick up the hit pile and roll for where the damage goes.  I've made up 6 of the "Boxes of Death" to help speed up SRMs.  Put your sticks back together, but not with the sticks you didn't shoot yet, that is later.  Piloting checks are made, if needed, after all the damage has been assigned from sticks pointed at a given mech.

5) Physical attacks:
Physical attacks take place after shooting.  Charging and "Death From Above" attacks have to be declared in the movement phase.  You can do one kick or two punches or a push attack.  Remember if you fired any weapons in a given limb you may not make a physical attack with that limb.  Also there is a -1 for any damaged or missing actuators.  Meaning that Rifleman that doesn't have hand or lower arm actuators would not be a very good mech at punching.

6) Heat phase:
Shooting too much or jumping around too much can impact the performance of your mech.  To calculate your heat.
a) Add your movement heat (1 for walk, 2 for run, 1 for every 2" jumped with a minimum of 3)
b) Take your fire sticks of the weapons you shot and add up the heat from them.  The number is right on the stick. This is your total heat generated. Now you can put your shot sticks back with the ones you didn't shoot.
c) add any extra heat you may have, Engine criticals add 5 heat, someone may have hit you with a flamer adding 2 more, you may be in a burning forest or building which would add more heat as well.
d) Subtract the number of heat sinks on your mech.  This is how much heat your mech can shed each turn.
e) Check for mech shutdown or ammo explosion if needed.
f) Mark the new heat level on your mechsheet.  This will be your heat level for the next turn.

That's all for now.  Looking forward to it!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Smoke Jaguar Dossier: Pike Support Tank

Smoke Jaguar Dossier 

Type: Vehicle

Name: Pike Support Tank

Vehicle Type: Tracked

Weight: 60 Tons

Tech Base: Inner Sphere

The Pike was created at the direction of Magestrix Kyalla Centrella of Magistracy of Canopus's During the later part of Third Succession War. Her plan was to add inexpensive combat vehicle to help Great Houses wear down their BattleMech  Armies through attrition. The Pike would be tool she envisioned to make it possible. However, the logistic costs of sending vehicle to market in the Inner Sphere was to be more costly. With the Great House's shrinking numbers of ships in their JumpShips fleets, the vehicle did not make impact she had hope it would.


The vehicle primary weaponry is its long-range Class 2 Autocannon. The ZeusBolt ACs have been given 5 tons of ammunition to snipe targets at distances. For close-in defense, the vehicle been given pair of SRM 2 launchers with a ton of ammunition.
The vehicle given 9 tons of StarSlab/9 Armor to protect its hull from damage. Its engine is capable of bringing the Pike to 54 Kilometers per hour.

Variants:  Clan version - The Clans have also built a version of the Pike. It carries slightly more armor and a single ER Small Laser in a front mount. The ZeusBolt AC's have been replaced by five Ultra AC/2s. Four tons of ammunition are carried in a CASE-protected bay.

Captain Nash's Mission #1 Analysis:
The overflight of the probe and how quickly the Jags were able to shoot her down, leads me to believe that it is the Clan variant of the Pike we are facing.  Each one of those tanks has the same damage potential as an AC20 only at a much longer range.  In fact the Clan Ultra AC2 has the longest range of non-artillery type weapon  mounted on a tank or mech.  Advice when facing these, get very close.  They are very accurate even for a rookie gunner at a range that veteran mechjocks would be challenged to hit with medium laser.  As with all vehicles try to get around to the sides as it provides a larger target and is easier to critical the motive system or turret.

Tech Readout:

Smoke Jaguar Dossier: Koshi (Mist Lynx)

Smoke Jaguar Dossier

Type: Battlemech

Name:Koshi (Mist Lynx)

Mech Class: Light (Omni-mech)

Weight: 25 Tons

Tech Base:Clan

Weighing in at twenty five tons, the Mist Lynx is a lightweight workhorse OmniMech. The Mist Lynx is a common light OmniMech among the Invading Clans, and is part of the touman of every clan. The Mist Lynx was designed and most commonly fielded by Clan Smoke Jaguar and earned the code name Koshi, or "small death", from the Draconis Combine forces which encountered it.

The Mist Lynx is built on a lightweight Endo Steel chassis to save weight and is powered by a 175 XL engine that gives the 'Mech a top speed of 118.8 km/h. The Mist Lynx also has six Jump Jets that allow the 'Mech to jump up to one hundred and eighty meters. The Mist Lynx has a fixed Active Probe that allows the 'Mech to protect itself from ambush by letting it detect any hidden enemy units before they can strike. For protection from enemy fire, the Mist Lynx has three and a half tons of Ferro-Fibrous armor.

In its primary configuration the Mist Lynx is armed to engage an enemy at any range. For long range combat, the Mist Lynx carries a single LRM-10 launcher, which is backed up by a Streak SRM-4 launcher for close combat. Finally, to protect itself from infantry, the Mist Lynx carries two Machine Guns.

Alt. Config. A - The A configuration of the Mist Lynx is intended for artillery spotting and anti-infantry work. To spot for Arrow IV artillery, it carries a TAG laser designator. To protect itself from infantry attacks, it has two A-Pods, two Machine Guns, and a single Flamer. Finally, for added protection from missile attacks, the Mist Lynx A has two Anti-Missile Systems.

* Alt. Config. B - A close combat configuration, the Mist Lynx B has two ER Medium Lasers and two SRM-6 launchers for its primary weapons. These are backed up by a single ER Small Laser as a weapon for extremely close ranges.

* Alt. Config. C - The C configuration of the Mist Lynx is armed with a single ER Large Laser as its primary weapon backed up by an ER Medium Laser for close combat. For added protection, the Mist Lynx C has an Anti-Missile System for protection from missile fire and an ECM Suite to protect it from enemy electronic warfare systems.

* Alt. Config. D - A long range sniper configuration, the Mist Lynx D has a single Ultra Autocannon/2 for sniping at targets at long range. For close range protection, the 'Mech has an ER Medium Laser and an ER Small Laser.

Captain Nash's Mission #1 Analysis:  

Very common among the ranks of the Smoke Jaguars, figure if you see a light Omni-mech chances are it will be a Koshi, or Mist Lynx as the clanners call them.  As with all Omni-mechs, the ease of swapping weapon systems make the capabilities and role of this chassis dependent on the loadout chosen.
The B or C configurations are the only ones I would worry about.  The D in the right hands might be a nuisance, but not really a threat.  Weakness of this mech is in the arms.  Remove the arms and with them goes all  the weapon systems on this mech.

Tech Readout:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Smoke Jaguar Dossier: Jenner JR7-D

Jenner JR7-D firing from a rooftop.
Smoke Jaguar Dossier


Name: Jenner

Mech Class:Light

Weight: 35 Tons

Tech Base: Inner Sphere

Designed in 2784, the fact the Jenner was the sole property of the Draconis Combine was a source of pride, however this honor would later be tainted by the 'Mech prominent role in the Kentares Massacre. Even after the destruction of its manufacturer in the early Succession Wars, the Jenner remained a common sight among the regiments of the DCMS. The Jenner's primarily laser armament and phenomenal speed helped to make the the 'Mech  extremely well suited as a guerrilla fighter. The design has a top speed of 118.8 km/h. This mobility is further enhanced by the addition of five Smithson Lifter jump jets, giving the Jenner  a jumping distance of 150 meters. The primary downfall of this 'Mech is also one of its assets: with such a heavy reliance on energy weapons, the Jenner is woefully light in the area of heat sinks.

Armament: The primary weapons system on the Jenner is four Argra 3L Medium Lasers. These provide the Jenner with a powerful close-to-medium range striking capability that does not suffer from a lack of supplies when operating behind enemy lines. The lasers are backed up by a Thunderstroke SRM-4 launcher that can be used after breaching an enemy's armor to try and get a critical strike against vulnerable exposed internal components.

JR7-F - The JR7-F Jenner is a simple upgrade of the JR7-D model by removing the SRM-4 and adding three tons of armor.  This variant increases the survivability of the mech.  Removing the ammo eliminates the potential ammo storage hit, or explosion due to overheating.  The Extra armor makes this Jenner one of the most durable Light mechs in the inner sphere.

Captain Nash's Mission #1 Analysis:  
The Jenner is a well known Kurita mech.  With Port Arthur being deep in Kurita space, logic would tell us that many Jenners were captured by Clan Smoke Jaguar.  Clan Mechwarriors would scoff at piloting an Inner Sphere mech.  However when a Clan mechwarrior is past what they consider their prime many are assigned to Solahma units. A solahma unit is a unit made up of old or dying Clan warriors, usually used as shock troops. In this way, the aging warriors can serve their Clan to the bitter end, dying in combat - a death considered far more appropriate and honorable than dying in bed.  Figure there is a good chance that any Solahma unit you may encounter should have a Jenner or two in them.  

Tech Readout:

Smoke Jaguar Dossier: Patton Main Battle Tank

Smoke Jaguar Dossier

Type: Vehicle

Name: Patton Main Battle Tank

Vehicle Type: Tracked

Weight: 65 Tons

Tech Base: Inner Sphere

Designed concurrently with the Rommel Main Battle Tank, Defiance Industries decided that a vehicle to replace 'Mechs was needed in the early 3000s. Since 'Mech production was nearly at a standstill, the ability to produce and field armored vehicles became a necessity no Successor State could ignore.

The strength of the Patton is shown in its great urban warfare abilities. A Patton may lie in wait down an alley or other concealment, then use its devastating armament to cripple or destroy a 'Mech. The main advantage the Patton has over other, older designs is a combination of higher speed and more armor. With even more armor than a Demolisher tank, the Patton can take more punishment, yet slip away faster to fight again from another position.

The Patton uses a single Defiance Killer Type T Autocannon/10 as its main armament. While not able to as easily cripple light and medium 'Mechs as the Rommel's AC/20, combined with a Coventry Five-Tube LRM-5, the AC/10's longer range allows it to strike and keep enemies at a distance while retreating to another position. To counter attacking infantry, the Patton is equipped with both a turret mounted Defiance ASL Small Laser and a front mounted HotShot Flamer.  With 14 Tons of standard Armor, this Tank has more armor than many Assault class Battlemechs.  Some recent upgraded variants have been seen with an Ultra Autocannon/10 class weapon.

Captain Nash's Mission #1 Analysis:  Pre-invasion data shows there are a significant number of the Inner Sphere made Pattons and Rommels on Port Arthur.  Exclusively in bondsmen or Solahma units.  They are primarily serving garrison duty or city defense assignments.  The Patton is a threat to any Medium or Light mech.  It's strength is in the amount of armor it has, it can take a pounding and remain in the fight.  It's weakness, it lacks a significant backup weapon system. Disable the AC10 and it becomes a slow moving LRM5 turret.  If there is a Patton or two defending one of the objectives here are my suggestions.

1) Swarm the tank, the AC10 can only hit one of you, don't try to take this tank on alone.  The AC10 can punch through almost all our current Mechs armor with a single round.  Lets hope the Jags don't have the upgraded Ultra variant.
2) Focus SRM fire on it's side armor. Vehicles have shown a weakness to SRM attacks from the side, the Patton is no exception.

Tech Readout:

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Mission #1: Recon Photos

Troops here are the images the probe captured when passing over our targets.

Forgive the fuzziness, the probe was moving at a high rate of speed.  This shot shows all of our targets, the Comm tower in the lower right, the walled in mech facility in the middle right edge, and the HQ in the upper left.  You will be attacking from the area near the roadway on the lower left.

Here is the Comm tower, should be the easiest of the three targets.  Remember it must be the first target taken out, otherwise the Clanners might get a message out.

Target #2, the Mech yard.  Note the two automated defensive turrets, not sure what they are armed with...lasers or autocannons.  Also note of the two prepared tank positions.  Expect some armor to be defending this position.

Finally the HQ is the center building.  Note the two Pike support tanks scrambling to take out the probe...Which they did in short order.  Figure the Jags will have their guard up.