Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Next Campaign...Solaris VII

So I've been thinking...What will we do after the Operation Bulldog campaign?

Then it hit me.

Bookmark the new Blog, or sign up as a follower to keep updated.  Probably will kick this off at the end of the summer, after we wrap Operation Bulldog's final 4 missions.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mission #9: Prelude

Setting: Port Arthur, Southern Hemisphere, Smoke Jaguar HQ, Communications Room.  Star Colonel Giambi getting a situation Report from Star Captain Gehrig who is in Firebase Gamma's communication room.

Star Colonel Giambi:
Glad to see you made it back safely.  Perhaps if you had listened and not taken that relic of a mech for the assault, you might have been successful in securing the HPG.  However I have bigger concerns.  The assault on Kobe has failed...(Giambi turns to look and see who has dared walk up behind him while he is talking...) 
Galaxy Commander Jeter looks down at the seated Giambi.  Star Captain Rivera and Mechwarrior Burnett stand just behind the Galaxy Commander.

Galaxy Commander Jeter:
Oh do please continue Star Colonel, I would like to hear this as well.

Star Colonel Giambi:
(Stands up)  Sir.  (Back to Gehrig) We have reason to believe the inner sphere forces might make another attack on Firebase Gamma. Tell me Star Captain, what forces do you have available to defend the firebase.

Star Captain Gehrig:
We have less than a Star of Mechs.  My Timberwolf is fully functional again.  Mechwarrior Sanders also made it back from the failed assault, he is now piloting a Rifleman IIC we had in reserve.  Mechwarrior Sax is piloting the Hellbringer (Loki) that fell in the first attack they made on Gamma.  We have four Squads of Elementals lead by Star Commander Winfield.  We have a Star of Inner Sphere tanks piloted by solhama warriors.  It consists of  Two LRM Carriers, Two Schrek PPC Carriers and the Clan Demolisher.  That is all the forces at my disposal.

Galaxy Commander Jeter:
 Tell me of the firebase defenses Star Captain. 

 Star Captain Gehrig:
We have all four turrets back up and running again.  We have replaced the twin Ultra AC2's with single ER Large Lasers.  The LRM launchers remain unchanged Sir.

Galaxy Commander Jeter:
Hmmmm.  I'll be sending you some reinforcements immediately.  (Turns to the Jaguars behind him).  I'm assigning you both to Firebase Gamma.  I want more Long range accurate firepower defending that base.  Burnett, Bring your Warhawk with the "A" configuration.

Star Captain Rivera:
My Shogun C is ideal for base defense, Sir.     


Galaxy Commander Jeter:
Excellent. Now where am I going to find a replacement squad of Elementals to complete that star of Battle armor?  (Sarcastically, Looking directly at Giambi)

Star Colonel Giambi:
(Looking a little shocked he is about to be reassigned from the Jaguar HQ)
Me Sir?

Galaxy Commander Jeter:
Yes, You Star Colonel.  I am placing you in command of Firebase Gamma.  Report there immediately with Rivera and Burnett.  Under no circumstances is that base to fall into enemy hands.    The Jaguar does not run away, retreat or fall back, some of us have forgotten that as of late.  Defend it to the last warrior.  Is that understood Colonel?

Star Colonel Giambi:
Yes, Galaxy Commander. 

Galaxy Commander Jeter:
Good!  Dismissed.  (Gehrig, salutes and signs off, Giambi, Rivera and Burnett exit the room.  Leaving Jeter alone with his thoughts.  He looks as if he has bigger concerns than just Firebase Gamma.)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Smoke Jaguar Dossier: Rifleman IIC

Smoke Jaguar Dossier

Type: Battlemech

Name: Rifleman IIC

Mech Class: Heavy

Weight: 65 Tons

Tech Base: Clan 

The Rifleman IIC is an upgrade of the venerable Rifleman BattleMech. Five tons heavier than the design it is based on, the Rifleman IIC is also slower. This creates a great deal more room with which to mount other equipment. Further weight savings are found in the use of an Endo Steel frame. One of the first upgrades to the design was maxing out its protection, with eleven tons of Ferro-Fibrous armor. The vaunted anti-aircraft 'Mech is aided in its role by the inclusion of an Active Probe. To compensate for the loss of speed, the IIC mounts three jump jets than can propel the 'Mech up to ninety meters in one leap.

Simple, straightforward, and accurate; the Rifleman IIC is armed with four Large Pulse Lasers. This allows it to pick apart enemies from a respectable range, as well as easily target incoming aircraft. A single ER Small Laser is installed, seemingly as an afterthought. Nineteen double heat sinks keep heat mostly in check, though volley fire should be used.

Rifleman IIC 2 - This variant removes all of the weapons and equipment, and replaces them with four Ultra Autocannon/2s and six tons of ammunition. The weight saved, plus a half ton from armor, is used to upgrade the engine to allow the 'Mech a top speed of 64 km/h. MechWarriors must be exceptionally wary of the large, vulnerable ammo bins.

Captain Nash's Analysis:  This is your fast / light mech killer.  Quad Large Pulse lasers...she is not going to miss much.  Though it is a 65 ton mech that is the same speed as an Atlas...that is your advantage.  Stay out of range of those LPL's and drop this one with long range fire.       

Tech Readout:

Smoke Jaguar Dossier: Warhawk (Masakari)

Smoke Jaguar Dossier

Type: Battlemech

Name: Warhawk (Masakari)

Mech Class: Assault

Weight: 85 Tons

Tech Base: Clan (Omni) 

Introduced by Clan Smoke Jaguar in 2999 in preparation for the anticipated of the return to the Inner Sphere, when the Dragoon Compromise stalled such plans, the Jaguars unleashed the powerful Warhawk on their Warden opponents to deadly effect. Deployed extensively in the Jaguar frontline forces, often paired with the Daishi, the design truly came to prominence as originally intended, on the battlefields of the Jaguars' Invasion Corridor and earned the code name of Masakari, a Japanese battle-axe used on medieval Terra, from warriors within the DCMS who faced it.

Though it appeared in the Toumans of number of other Clans such as the Ghost Bears and Jade Falcons, with the Jaguars jealously guarding production, all examples of the highly prized 'Mech were battlefield salvage.

The Warhawk was powered by a massive 340 XL Engine that gave it a top speed of 64.8 km/h and mounted thirteen and a half tons of Ferro-Fibrous armor to protect itself from enemy fire. To dissipate the waste heat produced in its various configurations, it carried an awesome twenty double heat sinks. Additionally, though not truly fixed equipment on the chassis, the Warhawk managed to incorporate an advanced Targeting Computer into each of its configurations, making all of its direct fire weapons extremely accurate.

In its primary configuration, the Warhawk had an impressive arsenal of long range weapons which were centered around four ER PPCs that took advantage of the 'Mechs Targeting Computer. While unable to fire all of the ER PPCs at once it could use a volley fire strategy to manage its heat. These were backed up by an LRM-10 launcher that allowed the Warhawk a secondary weapon that can be utilized for long range combat.

* Alt. Config. A - Configured for a more all around combat role, the Warhawk A had two ER Large Lasers for long range combat. These were supported by an LB 10-X Autocannon that could fire both solid and cluster ammunition and an LRM-15 launcher capable of providing long range missile fire support. For close combat, the 'Mech mounted a highly accurate Streak SRM-6 launcher.

* Alt. Config. B - The B configuration of the Warhawk was a generalist rather than focused variant. For long range combat, the 'Mech carried a Gauss Rifle which could do a great deal of damage at long range. For close combat, the 'Mech had three ER Medium Lasers and a single ER Small Laser as well as two SRM-6 launchers. Finally, the 'Mech also carried a Narc Missile Beacon launcher which was capable of tagging a 'Mech with a beacon that can be used by friendly units for more accurate missile fire on the designated target.

* Alt. Config. C - The C configuration was a sort of compromise on the Primary configuration of the Warhawk. The 'Mech carried two ER PPCs for deadly accurate long range fire, supported at close range by a pair of powerful and already highly accurate Large Pulse Lasers, the lethality of all four weapons only increased by the Targeting Computer. The 'Mech carried a Flamer as well for use against infantry and mounted three additional double heat sinks to handle the 'Mech's heat load.

Captain Nash's Analysis:  To be honest I'm quite surprised we have yet to run into a Masakari.  Though lighter these things scare me more than many clan 100 tonners.  The Prime with it's quad ERPPC's is downright nasty.  The A has no heat issues and can alpha strike constantly.  The B seems oddly under gunned.  Where the C version is one of the most feared mechs the clanners have.  Rumor has it Galaxy Commander Jeter pilots the C configuration of the Warhawk.    

Tech Readout:

Smoke Jaguar Dossier: Shogun SGH-2F

Smoke Jaguar Dossier

Type: Battlemech

Name: Shogun SGH-2F

Mech Class: Assault

Weight: 85 Tons

Tech Base: Inner Sphere 

The Shogun began production before the Star League fell and eventually was thought to be lost to the Succession Wars. The 'Mech suddenly reappeared when the Wolf's Dragoons showed up and had the Shogun in their forces in sizable numbers. The 'Mech was intended to be used as an urban combat 'Mech where its jumping distance and slow speed makes it able to easily traverse the close confines of a city.
Though built for close combat, the weapons payload on the Shogun is built for long range combat. The 'Mech carries as its primary weapon a Magna Firestar ER PPC and two Coventry Star Fire LRM-15 launchers which allow the 'Mech to engage an enemy very effectively at long ranges. The 'Mech does carry two Thunderstroke SRM-6 launchers for close combat, allowing the 'Mech to find any weak spots in an enemy's armor when they do get to close ranges with the Shogun.

* SHG-2E - Downgraded by the Dragoons to Succession Wars era technology the 2E simply carries a Hellstar PPC in place of the ER PPC. Otherwise, the 2E is completely identical to the 2F model. Ironically, because the 2E uses an older PPC model, the PPC produces less heat at the cost of a shorter range than the 2F model, making the 'Mech's waste heat easier to manage.

* SHG-2H - The original Shogun model is similar to the 3050's era SHG-2F, addingArtemis IV fire control systems to the LRM racks. The SRM-6 racks are replaced with four Streak SRM-2 launchers, which share a single ton of ammunition. A head mounted Medium Pulse Laser and a Medium Laser in the center torso rounds out the weapons. Ferro-Fibrous armor and CASE protect the 'Mech.

* Shogun C - A complete redesign of the Shogun using Clan technology that is used exclusively by the Wolf's Dragoons mercenary unit, the Shogun C is armed with two LRM-20 missile racks with an Artemis IV fire control system for greater missile accuracy. The 'Mech also carries an ER PPC and four Streak SRM-6 launchers, giving it a devastating close range damage capability

Captain Nash's Analysis:  One of these Shogun C's has been seen on Port Arthur.  Must have been a salvage job from Luthien, when the Dragoons faced the Jaguars.  Figure whoever is in this mech must be smart enough to realize a good design, rather than just sticking with a clan designed mech.  Dangerous at range with the Twin LRM20's and ERPPC.  But up close the Quad Streak 6 packs are pure evil.  Do not approach this mech if you are armor thin in any area.

Tech Readout:

Smoke Jaguar Dossier: Schrek PPC Carrier

Smoke Jaguar Dossier 

Type: Vehicle

Name: Demolisher Heavy Tank

Vehicle Type: Tracked

Weight: 80 Tons

Tech Base: Inner Sphere

Designed for extended, long-range bombardments, the Schrek PPC Carrier is capable of unleashing a deadly rain of particle fire.

Developed by Aldis in 2813 to overcome the heat issues which hampered the effectiveness of their immensely popular Demolisher tank, the company took an entirely different tack, replacing the Demolisher's mammoth autocannons with a trio of PPCs and enough Heat Sinks to fire them continuously.

While highly effective when firing from cover and the perfect partner to the short-ranged Demolisher, the design is unpopular with crews due to the Schrek's limited mobility and pitifully low seven tons of ArcShield VII Mk 5 plate, making it highly vulnerable to counter-battery fire. The Schrek's reputation also suffered due to the decline of technical knowledge during the Succession Wars era, its use of increasingly rare Fusion Engine to power its weapons array drove up the costs to buy and maintain the vehicle, pricing it outside the range of all but the most elite units until after the War of 3039.

The trio of turret mounted HellStar PPCs allow the Schrek to unleash horrific firepower on a target. Also unlike other vehicles or BattleMechs mounting as many particle projection cannons as the Schrek, such as the fearsome Awesome, the vehicle mounts enough heat sinks to continuously fire all three at once from a fixed position. Because the Schrek mounts no other weapons, and due to inability of PPCs to effectively fire at close range, it is rarely deployed without escorts such as the Demolisher.

Captain Nash's Analysis: 3 Standard PPC's...on a slow, minimally armored tank.  Pretty straight forward on what to do here.  PPC's have a hard time at close range so don't sit and trade shots with one of these.  Get in close and kick it.

Tech Readout:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mission #8: Mechbay & After Action Report

Was a very good mission for us as far as lost mechs go.  We only lost three.  The Crockett, Daikyu and Starslayer.  The hunchback IIC went down with arm and leg losses and Fulow is putting them back on as we speak.

OOC: All those pics I took from the new camera came out poor.  That will learn me for taking pics with a video camcorder.  Oh well.  I'll use the old digital camera next time. (Lame AAR I know)
Salvage wise, we landed The Chassis, Head, Gyro and Engine of the Kraken!  So we just needed to replace the weapon systems we took out.  We managed to pull an UltraAC10 off the wreck of the Cougar you guys downed.  With the UltraAC10 we landed from an earlier mission...We have a fully functioning Kraken 2 in our mechbay.

OOC: Here is where it will get confusing.

The Draconis Combine folks were so pleased you saved the Capital and Palace that they are offering us a complete C3 networked company.  They are also willing to swap out your current ride for an upgraded version of the same chassis..  With us salvaging the Kraken...I find it highly unlikely that all 12 of you will be in a C3 mech.

So you may want to discuss how many C3 lances you will want, I would lean toward 1 or 2.  How many of you want to be part of the C3 company will determine how many C3Masters we will need.  Here is the break down.

2-4 players = 1 C3 Master needed.
5-8 players = 3 C3 Masters needed. (Two can be in one mech, Naginata NG-C3B)
9-12 players = 4 C3 Masters needed. (Two can be in one mech, Naginata NG-C3B)

Here are the mechs they are offering, you can take the single or double C3Master version of the Naginata but not both...(click for larger image)

And here is the mechbay...

Further are your upgrade options if you choose to take their offer to upgrade your mech.  If you're not listed here, don't take it personal...just that House Kurita doesn't have an upgrade for that chassis you are in.

Mitch:  You can upgrade your Atlas AS7-D to...
  • AS7-K - An 3050's Combine upgrade of the Atlas that used rediscovered Star League technology, the K model was built with an XL Engine that reduced the weight of the engine by half. The 'Mech was been rearmed for long range combat, the 'Mech carried a Imperator Dragon's Fire Gauss Rifle and an Shigunga LRM-20. These were backed up by a pair of Victory Nickel Alloy ER Large Lasers, which allowed the AS7-K to keep an enemy at range, though the use of single heat sinks caused swift heat buildup if both lasers are fired repeatedly. For close range defense, the K model carried two Victory Heartbeat Medium Pulse Lasers and a Yori Flyswatter Anti-Missile System. Finally, CASE had been added to the side torsos to protect against an ammunition explosion. BV (1.0) = 1,649
  • AS7-C - A modification of the K model, the C model was intended to carry a C3 Slave unit into combat. This was achieved by removing one of the Medium Pulse Lasers from the K model. The extra free ton was used to add another heat sink to the design. BV (1.0) = 1,650
  • AS7-CM - Another modification of the K model of the Atlas, the CM Atlas was designed to carry a C3 Master Computer into battle. In order to do this one of the ER Large Lasers was removed and in its place a C3 Master computer was installed, allowing it to coordinate a C3 lance. BV (1.0) = 1,725
Dereck: You can upgrade your Crusader CRD-5M to...
  • CRD-5K - The 5K Crusader is a complete upgrade produced by Cosby BattleMech Research Firm. The chassis has been redesigned using Endo Steel construction techniques and the engine has been upgraded to an XL Engine. The 'Mechs armament has been completely overhauled as well. The primary weapons are two Shigunga MRM 30 launchers and, as secondary weapons, it carries two Victory 23R Medium Lasers and two Victory Heartbeat Medium Pulse Lasers. To allow the 5K to share targeting data, it also carries a C3 Slave Unit. Finally, to vent waste heat, the 'Mech uses eleven double heat sinks and is protected with twelve tons of armor with CASE to protect itself from ammunition explosions. BV (1.0) = 1,223
Jeff: You can upgrade your Grasshopper GHR-5N to...
  • GHR-6K - The 6K variant of the Grasshopper upgrades the design by using an Endo Steel chassis and the 'Mechs heat sinks have been upgraded to double heat sinks. The LRM-5 launcher has been replaced with a Guided Technologies 2nd Generation Streak SRM-4 missile launcher and the 'Mech carries five Medium Pulse Lasers for close range combat. For long-range situations, the Grasshopper carries an ER Large Laser. The 'Mech also carries a C3 slave unit to allow it to share targeting data with friendly units. BV (1.0) = 1,484

What ever mechs are unselected or left behind will be removed from the roster and sent north to help up there. If one of the guys that has the upgrade choice gets out of their mech someone else can jump in and take the upgrade if they want.

With Mitch's C3Master option you could do the 4 C3masters all in separate mechs.  The Double C3 master provided with the Naginata is ok, but the mech is a lot better with just the single C3Master. The mechs you have that can't link into the C3 network are...Kraken, Hunchback IIC, Flashman, Guillotine, Black Knight, Exterminator, and Champion.

I can see 3 paths to take...

A) Eleven C3 mechs + Kraken.  Single C3Masters in Atlas, Naginata, Gunslinger and Battlemaster.  Or maybe 10 C3 if Gregg wants the Hunchback IIC again.

B) Eleven C3 mechs + Kraken   Double C3 in Naginata, Single in Battlemaster and Gunslinger, Atlas a slave.

C) Eight C3 mechs + Kraken +3 other non C3 (HBack IIC?, Flashman?, Unupgraded Atlas?)  Single C3Masters in Naginata, Gunslinger, Battlemaster.

Any other path is going to waste tonnage from a C3Master being unused / or unclaimed and I can't see an Assault mech getting passed up..

Nash out.

OOC:  Time to get picking...

As mentioned in the prior is the selection order.
1) Derek (Dead Mechwarrior Rule)
2) Mitch
3) Kyle
4) Jay
5) Fab
6) Scott
7) Larry
8) Dereck
9) Lee
10) Gregg
11) Jeff
12) Dave

Available mechs are:
Kraken, Naginata, Gunslinger, Battlemaster, Hatamoto-Chi, Mauler, Warhammer, Grand Dragon, Catapult, Kintaro, Crab, Venom, Hitman.

Derek your pick.  If any of you have any questions feel free to email or comment here on the blog.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Missions #9 - 12, Wrapping it up.

Ok folks,  We have 4 major objectives left in this Southern hemisphere. 

1) Firebase Gamma, where we got our butts handed to us.
2) Smoke Jaguar Mech Yard / Ammo dump
3) Smoke Jaguar HQ
4) Smoke Jag Star Port.

Command wants us to save the Star Port for last.  Geographically it makes sense to save the Star Port for last as it is the furthest from us and would be tough to secure with the other three objectives unsecured.

As for the other three it is our choice as to the order in which to take these down.

Firebase Gamma, we have been to before.  Expect Mechs, Tanks, Battle Armor and Turrets.  Of the three will probably be the lightest defended.  Good amount of open ground.   

Mech Yard and Ammo Dump is the primary (and last remaining) major mech repair facility on Port Arthur for the Jags.  Have to figure there will be quite a large force defending the facility.  Lots of open ground to cover to get into this place.  Long Range weapons will be handy.  The salvage however might be enough to get half the company into Clan mechs.  Unknown defenders.

Smoke Jag HQ.  Hills,  Forests, and Rocky pillars.  Think the Jags made it their HQ for the view, and not for any strategic value.  Expect the Jaguar Elite mechwarriors to be located here.  Salvage here should bag us a couple of the best Clan chassis. Mechs and Battle Armor in this area.

Star Port...when we get there, we will have to deal with any Dropships that might be on the tarmac.  That in addition to any Smoke Jags that have gotten away from us.  Another reason to save it for last.

So...which will it be first?  Firebase, Mechyard or HQ?

Nash Out.

Reply to me in an email, Or comment here with your thoughts.  This mission / terrain might be good for you to know before you select your mechs.

Our next event will be Friday,  May 20th at 6pm.  Got to work Saturday the 14th at 7am so the 13th is a no go.  

Waiting on Derek (2 regular) and Dereck (1 veteran) to get me their skills.  Dereck, so you know, Some of the Draconis Combine Mechs you guys are getting will have their newly developed Medium Range Missile (MRM) launchers on them.  So that Veteran skill is now a viable choice...not sure I would take it over ER Laser, or Gauss, or PPC or even LRM's...but it is a choice, cause when they hit...they do hurt a bunch.

Edit: Got Derek' just Dereck.