Campaign of the Month: June 2014

Battletech : The Farscape Campaign

Episode 7b - Dude, Where's my Dropship?
"The fight was progressing well enough, until the appearance of the second lance. A Black Knight and a Sentinel were something to fear... but we never expected what Eden's Promise *really* was..."

Roll Call————————-Mechs

Dale(Capt. Ruxbundy)———Spider
Dana(Lt. Charles)————-Jenner (Mod)
Lee(Dominic) ——————-Ostscout
Bruce(Erica Hartman)———Phoenix Hawk
Greg(Michael Anderson)——Hermes A
JP—————————————-Wolverine
Ralph(Mitch)———————Firestarter

With Lord’s escorting hover recon storming into the hangar bay of the dropship, the remaining active Galleon moved out of its position in the woods, covered by Shredder and Lord’s two Pegasus Tanks. Gunfire could be heard coming over the coms, but it was light and quickly died-off. Shredder moved to cover the bay door, followed by the Galleon, and some of the infantry from the trenches around the ship. The two Pegasus pulled away somewhat, using their SRMs to destroy the Galleon, while Shredder evaporated the infantry on one side, and his brother Gunman tore into the others, scattering all resistance near the Dropship itself.

Glamour and Voice continued their sweep into the western hills, herding the Stingers, with Glamour destroying one Stinger on a hilltop and forcing the other to bounce back into the northern woods as they followed. They encountered a Thorn coming out of the woods, and Voice cut it to pieces, knocking it to the ground. For the next minute or so, he slipped around it and after several quick shots, kicked it into destruction, blowing its CASE and ammo stores.

Skirting the woods behind the quarry and next to the river, Paladin, Fixer and Wraith sniped across the river to strike against the Panther, finally ravaging it enough to knock it down. The Assassin continued to leap around, joining the retreating Stinger in the woods, and eventually making it to the eastern hills, where they made a few small shots, but eventually fled from the battlefield into the woods on the eastern edge of the valley.

With the fall of the Panther, all forces concentrated on the Sentinel, getting several good hits in, until the Black Knight made it to the edge of the woods and opened up on Paladin. Pockets and Pitbull combined their attacks to tear apart the damaged Sentinel, while Voice closed across the ruined Thorn, and Glamour tried to cool down. The Black Knight opened up another round against Paladin, missing with several of its shots, while it closed walking into the river. All the units of the Dingoes closed and opened up on the Black Knight, while Shredder and Gunman ensured the Dropship was captured and no loose infantry tried to enter up its ramps. The Black Knight took serious withering fire, and was knocked into the river, its breached torsoes flooding and in a cloud of steam, shut down. The commnander of the Mech, refusing to surrender, shot himself before being captured with a single statement before he died : “For their Honor!” BLAM. That single shot was followed by a chorus of howls and cheers from the Dropship, as Lord’s crew declared victory with the lead pilot’s surrender to the Dingoes command.

The Dingoes quickly tried to get control of the site, as techs from the camp began to flee the area. One group tried to rally and capture the remaining inactive lance of Galleons, but were quickly chased away by the arrival of Shredder. Some light jeeps evacuated into the eastern woods, but the majority were kept in the camp by the arrival of Gunman and Lord’s tanks. Pockets and Voice went on over-watch, sweeping the area for any other signals, while Wraith, Glamour and Voice headed to the Dropship to see about its disposition. Pitbull and Paladin tried to sweep the camp, while Lord’s reserve transport crews arrived, using their tech teams to evaluate the camp and its contents. Pitbull captured the Sentinel pilot, one Valentina Masterson, who was a little beligerent, but submitted to the boys with guns.

Pitbull negotiated a truce with the tech teams, discovering they were mostly local AsTechs hired to facilitate the excavation of the minehead. They were allowed to keep their personal transports, excavation vehicles, and complete their hired tasks, where-upon they were promised the freedom to leave. The Dropship, the “Velvet Glove” (a Seeker-Class) was surrendered to the unit formally, and they met its lead pilot, Captain Thane, who explained much of the reasons for the mercenary “Outback Irregulars” being here, as their secretly being treasure hunters. It further became obvious, much of the mining equipment they had accumulated was captured materiel stolen from the several mining camps recently hit in the Northern Territories…

Using Lord’s tech crews, Fixer and Pockets began salvaging all the Galleons and the ruined BattleMechs. It was determined the Black Knight was mostly intact, the Sentinel and one of the Thorns were fairly repairable, while the other Thorn, Panther and Stinger were in pieces. The pair of Skycranes were easily salvaged, and moved into the Dropship. About twelve hours of anxious salvaging later, the site was under control, with the unit’s captured materiel moved into the “Glove”.

Wraith and Voice went in search of an EM field identified by Pockets about 2 kms off on a hill to the north. They discovered an ancient microwave transceiver, and salvaged the site using Fixer’s skills, and traced its connection back to the quarry/mine site. It was determined that the site would take about 2-3 days of work, so the unit settled in for a wait, using the Dropship as a repair facility, and taking parts and supplies from the reserves they’d brought along on the Meadowlands carriers.

After a few days of anxious waiting, the site was excavated and the AsTech crews were dismissed, taking their tools and equipment along with them. Pitbull spoke at length with a handful of mercenary tech crews formerly serving with the “Irregulars”, who seemed willing to be hired, providing a half-dozen Green tech crews to the unit support crews.

The Dingoes investigated the site to find a large Mech-sized entrance, dropping in a reinforced tunnel to a large alloyed door bearing a Cameron star of the Star League and the words, “51st Light Horse” below and “Eden’s Promise” above. An active hard-wired electronics lock along one side was investigated by Fixer, and after several hours, he was able to break its codes, determining it required a “Class 3 – SL Support ID Card”, though where someone might find such an item remained unknown. The door opened with a horrible screeching and the sound of ancient servos in movement. It revealed a series of activating lights, marching off into a vast and pristine vault of containers, canisters, and large bulky objects and vehicles. Eden’s Promise was a Star League Strategic Vault for the 51st Light Horse and its attendant RCT

Following the oddly dust-free passages between the supplies and equipment, they came to a central lit area where a computer console rigged with power cables led off into the roof, and was over-looked by a single olive-drab CRB-27 Crab. Accessing the computer, it became obvious it was a simple inventory data core, detailing the entire contents of the cache, which gave a print-out as follows:

- Class I Items for Storage -

Administrative Materials – 100 tons
Administrative Records – 72 tons
Construction Materials – 128 tons
Electronic Components – 14 tons
Medical Supplies – 15 tons
Soft Goods – 320 tons

- Class II Items for Storage -

BattleMechs – 50 tons
Combat Vehicles – 430 tons
Missile Ammunition Reserves – 110 tons
Portable Fusion Generators – 20 tons
PPC Loads – 210 tons
Repair Facility Equipment – 110 tons
Spare BattleMech Components – 125 tons
Spare Vehicle Components – 110 tons
Standard Foot Infantry Kits – 30 tons
Standard Jump Infantry Kits – 5 tons
Support Vehicles – 550 tons

- Class III Items for Storage -

Fibre-Optic Communication Lines – 10,000 tons
RCT Emergency Rations Reserves (20 Days) – 1200 tons
SL-V84 Fusion Engines – 2760 tons
Special Food Storage – 20 tons
Strategic Metals – 100 tons

Using the database, the unit was able to bring in their tech crews and identify the entire contents of the cache easily, though it took a good day to sort through its contents. They were able to salvage several vehicles, spare parts, infantry equipment, PPCs and ammunition, as well as a complete repair facility including its machine tools and a large supply of strategic metals for manufacturing essential high tech dies and tools. The Crab was easily salvaged, swapping-out its “black boxes” and using a spare neurohelmet from the unit’s dwindling stores, though it contained a minor mystery in the form of a bloody helmet despite its pristine appearance. They also salvaged a pair of “Patron” LoaderMechs. The cache finally included a vast stock of fibre-optic cabling (enough to equip a planet), stocks of combat survival rations, and a massive stock of Dropship fusion cores.

Every nook and cranny of the Dropship, and even the unit BattleMechs were laden down with salvaged supplies. The vehicle bays were crammed tight with support vehicles and stacks of other goods. With the tech crews secured aboard the Dropship, along with Lord’s recon troops to “keep an eye on things”, it began preparing for a quick sub-orbital hop to Fort Anton, while the PCs moved their large convoy of laden vehicles and Mechs back overland to rendezvous with the group in a week…

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Episode 7a - Dude, Where's my Dropship?
"Following the Agriplex raid, we investigated the isolated ravine our mystery satellite had been communicating with in the utter north... seemed the SLDF garrison had been doing something before they left the planet, and we were gonna find out what..."

Roll Call————————-Mechs

Dale(Capt. Ruxbundy)——-—Spider
Dana(Lt. Charles)—————-Jenner (Mod)
Bruce(Erica Hartman)——-—Phoenix Hawk
Greg(Michael Anderson)——Hermes A
Lee (Hagustus)—————Ostscout
JP (Jokukad) ————————-Wolverine
Ralph(Mitch)————————-—Firestarter

We spent a couple weeks more, rebuilding our Mechs and actually managed to strip down two of the tanks for parts, while we traded the Pegasus to Captain Lord and her crew for about 10 tons of armor patches… it seemed she had tons of the stuff, which hinted how good her scavengers were, since a week later the thing was up and running perfectly. We had enough after that, to rebuild both the Stinger and Locust we had in the “Dead Man’s Hand” Revserve Unit, and prepped the Clooney Brothers to act as support pilots. The Commando remained unrepairable at this time, but we also got the Wolverine working again. There was a discussion as to who should pilot it, and the Lieutenant gave up his claim to keep the peace.

Recognizing we needed manpower if we were to salvage anything, we approached Captain Lord, and offered to “hire” some of her crews to pilot our captured Meadowlands Carriers; with their modular container tanks removed, they made very nice 40-ton flatbeds, and we could haul away even a battered medium Mech in need. She agreed, but demanded she send protection, since they were her crew and she was not going to put them in undue danger. We agreed.

With our equipment repaired and our team in fine condition, we set-out, the convoy consisting of our nine Mechs, the three Meadowlands Carriers, the Dusters’ two Pegasus tanks and two units of Lord’s scouts. We took about a week, and a warm spell actually melted the deepening snow enough to make good time. Lords’ troops talked to some of the locals, with whom they had good standings, and they told us the site we were headed to was an ancient mine known as “Eden’s Promise”. Noone knew much about it, other than it had been abandoned for hundreds of years.

As we approached, Pockets picked-up a seriously hot signal, hinting at a large fusion engine; it seemed there was a dropship ahead. Lords’ scouts slipped off to recon the site, and came back with good and bad news; someone had beaten us to the site. There was a Seeker-Class Dropship, dug-in with infantry along the east side of a series of low hills. Behind it, lay a pair of large VTOLs, with tech teams moving around them doing maintenance. To the west were numerous piles of rubble, with a pair of Stingers doing something, while an Assassin and a Panther looked on. In the middle of the rubble piles was a huge tent and a pair of Galleon Light Tank lances. In the center, a large rubble pile was undergoing excavation against the central hill, and next to it was a large, sprawling camp filled with various light and heavy civilian transports and about a hundred people moving around. The scouts reported another lance of Mechs off to the north, behind the hills and a couple minutes away.

Approaching through the woods and under cover of a ridge, we sent Lords’ units to sweep around to the side, allowing them to find a better path through the forests. We hopped over the ridge and watched the anthill turn-over. The techs working on the VTOLs scattered, half heading into the Dropship for cover. A lance of the Galleons began to move, and slowly crawled towards the Dropship. The remaining lance proved to be abandoned, and not operational. The Mechs began pulling back onto the hills, and seemed reluctant to engage our forces.

Primary was called on the Panther, and though it took some withering fire, it managed to slip off to the eastern hill, guarded by the Assassin. Pit Bull and Pockets followed, pressing the advantage. The Stingers bounced off to the west, and began circling around the back side of the central hill, harried by Voice and Glamour. Wraith and Fixer tried to deal with the infantry dug-in around the Dropship, but their defensive works proved substantial. The armor moved to engage the Mechs near the Dropship, but were not very effective. The Clooney Brothers held back, sniping at the tanks, but when it became obvious the Dropship wasn’t going to fire on anyone, they closed and began providing supporting fire against the infantry and tanks. Eventually one of the tanks was destroyed to massed fire. Paladin bounced after the Panther, making one or two good hits, but it proved to have a capable pilot.

The Dusters finally entered the main battlefield, and held for about half-a-minute, until they understood the situation. The “Mystery Mechs” moved out of the forest to reveal themselves as a lance of unknown Star League vintage mecha; two Thorns, a Sentinel and a massive Black Knight! Captain Lord sent her two tanks in to assault the armor, quickly freeing Fixer and Wraith the join in the attack against the Panther and Assassin. The Thorns tried to assist in evacuating the Panther, but this allowed the Dingoes to get in behind one, knock it over and take it out of the fight. The Stingers began to slip further to the flanks, while the Black Knight and its “bodyguard” ran into the central forest behind the hill, keeping it out of the fight for a few seconds while it closed with the battle.

As the Dingoes gathered and began to mass fire, and the defenders formed up on the edge of the forest, Lord managed to take out two other tanks, and began concentrating on the last, while her swoop gang swarmed up the ramps and into the Dropship hangar bay. The Battle for Eden’s Promise had really begun…

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Episode 6 - Field Rations, Again?
"We were down for repairs and it took a couple more weeks for our wounded personnel to recover... by then, we were ready to eat our boots. When Captain Lord offered to take us on a raid of a nearby Consolidated Foods facility we jumped at the chance..."

Roll Call————————-Mechs

Dale(Capt. Ruxbundy)———Spider
Dana(Lt. Charles)————-Hermes 2
Bruce(Erica Hartman)———Phoenix Hawk
Greg(Michael Anderson)——Hermes A
JP (Jokukad) ——————-Jenner
Ralph(Mitch)———————Firestarter

It took a couple days, but the Dingoes managed to haul all our booty back to the Fort, despite a worsening weather and the staggering steps of the Stinger we’d captured. About a day later, the “Old Sawbones” showed-up in a battered hover jeep with a nurse (his daughter, I think). Captain Lord led him to the med-bay and he went straight to work. Several days of hard work later he had everyone in recovery mode, and gave them all passing bills of health. Captain Lord had some supplies loaded into his truck and he left just as suddenly, with hardly a word or two towards us. I know Erica spent some time watching him work and asking questions, but otherwise, they left just as suddenly as they arrived.

Over the next couple weeks, we did maintenance, stripping down both Stingers to repair our mainline units. The Lieutenant spent several days hacking the satellite he’d found, eventually getting control of the thing (called the “New Dawn”, though when he did, it sent a communication to several locations on the planet before he could command it to stop: one was to an unknown location somewhere in the north, while the other was to “Starwolf Base”… we suspected the military base in Deadwood. He and Hartman spent most of their remaining spare time trying to convert the coordinates to something we could understand. Eventually they had a location about a week away in the harshest mountain terrain on the planet. Whatever it was, someone had made sure it was isolated.

We were thinking about a trip to Deadwood for supplies, when Jokukad approached Captain Lord, asking about food. She suggested joining them on a raid of a nearby Agriplex. She admitted the location was well-protected, but the pay-off would more than make up for it, and having our BattleMechs take the facility would save lives. Detailing the location, we managed to identify a way to approach it quietly, and avoid the radar of the control tower until we were near the south entrance. The solar arrays were identified as a potential target, as was the communication tower. She warned us about a small garrison of corporate security, and that the silos and barracks were protected by MG turrets (which was why her group were loath to attack it in the past). She also warned us that patrols often took a few days rest at the facility for maintenance and some R&R; especially in the worsening weather hitting the Northern Territories.

Jokukad had a lengthy discussion with Milo Carsebloom, following the Captain’s revelation that he had mentioned Milo had some sort of plan to leave the planet with a Dropship and Jumpship waiting. He eventually agreed to give the contact information, in return for his BPOs of the LMG and Long Tom, and some of the gold to pay for transit off-planet.

Mitch and a couple others took “The Football” out for a spin to check the facility out on their own, finding it pretty much how Captain Lord described it. We spent a couple more weeks doing maintenance and managed to get some supplies from the Snow Dusters, while our crew recovered their injuries. Even though Captain Ruxbundy wasn’t completely healed, he wanted the raid to go forward sooner, rather than later, and we made final preparations to hit the complex.

The trip to the agriplex took most of a day, especially since the snow was at 6’-deep and rising, but we managed to get to the perimeter undetected. Erica noticed the control tower was displaying flags showing something had landed at the airstrip about a km away. We moved to surround the facility, noticing a lance of hover armor (typical patrol of a Pegasus, a Harrasser and a pair of Scimitars), along with two Locusts near the barracks. A pair of security squads were walking the perimeter, and three of the massive Meadowlands-Class Grain Carriers were in the compound, one being filled with grain from the silos.

Erica and Alder opened on the control tower, blowing off the communications array as a welcome. Erica and Anderson moved to the front gate, The Lieutenant flanked to the west, while Mitch and the Captain flanked east. Erica blocked the gate, and the hover tanks were forced to mass together , unable to leave the compound, while the one piloted Grain Carrier spun out of control and was abandoned. They fired heavy barrages of SRMs at Mitch and Anderson as he approached, trying to retreat around the hangar. The Captain bounced into the main compound, taking fire from the security squads that were pouring from the barracks, and one of the Locusts, while the Lieutenant ran into the compound and took a couple swings at the turrets on the grain silos, attracting the other Locust’s attention.

Erica and Mitch concentrated on the armor, taking out the Pegasus and the Harrasser, while Anderson retreated to recover, followed by one of the Scimitars. The Lieutenant started to work on the Locust and the security squads, while the Captain pulled out of the compound followed by the other Locust and one of the Scimitars. In a catastrophic fluke, one of the MG turrets hit the Lieutenant with a penetrating shot that struck his AC ammo bins, setting-off an explosion that destroyed his Mech, though he ejected safely. Erica closed and eliminated the Scimitar and the group began scattering the security forces. The Captain broke back into the compound, and took-out the MG turret over the barracks. Mitch closed and began removing the other turrets on the silos, while the remaining pilots destroyed the remaining tank in a fiery explosion. The group then rallied, as one Locust sprinted off into the distant snow fields, but the other was shot and surrounded, and forced to surrender.

With the destruction of the last turret and security forces, the Snow Dusters swarmed into the compound, securing the remaining vehicles and set about salvaging the three immobile hover tanks. The control tower sealed its doors, and refused contact, while the Grain Carriers were filled with grain, and the Snow Dusters set about repairing the skirts on all the tanks from the parts stores in the hangar. Jokukad began negotiations with the facility mechanic, one Grant Brown, who willingly signed-up for a promise of a bonus equal to a month’s wage, bringing his own tools and a couple “nephews” as AsTechs. In addition to hundreds of tons of meats, fruit and vegetables, the Snow Dusters found eight “Loadmaster Exoskeletons” in the warehouses, and after using them to assist in loading operations, gathered them together and loaded them on those Mechs that were able to. The captured pilot, Corporal John H Morgan, was interrogated, and he revealed that a LR shuttle was visiting the complex with people from the capital, though he knew nothing more.

Supplies gathered, the combined group moved off into the blowing snow, to return to Fort Anton, with a degree of fellowship not seen before between them all.

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Episode 5 - The Great Train Robbery
"The snows had gone from a light dusting to 4'-deep and growing when the call came that "The Torpedoe" was going to be in Profit Pass in eight hours. We broke camp and made haste; but, we'd never counted on Kate and Leopold being there ahead of us..."

Roll Call————————-Mechs

Dale(Capt. Ruxbundy)———Spider
Dana(Lt. Charles)————-Hermes 2
Lee(Dominic) ——————-Ostscout
Bruce(Erica Hartman)———Phoenix Hawk
Greg(Michael Anderson)——Hermes A
Dylan (Wiebe)—————Jenner
JP—————————————-Jenner
Ralph(Mitch)———————Firestarter
Lyle -—————- Firestarter

We had maybe a week of downtime to do maintenance work on our Mechs, and work on the fort’s power plant whenever we had a second. The lieutenant was still hacking the satellite he’d found in orbit, and Erika was just about ready to claw-out Captain Lord’s eyes (I really don’t get what’s going on between those two). Our newest “bondsman” “Wild” Bill died in his sleep suddenly; although several people pointed fingers, he was old and it wasn’t surprising to most. “The Lady” Simpson gave a fond farewell, kissing the Captain rather fondly, and left aboard several Karnov VTOLs that arrived one morning to haul her, her Mech and her salvage back to the starport. The Lieutenant finally cracked the outer codes on the satellite to reveal it was forgotten coms satellite, in tight stationary orbit… then he began to see if he could give it some orders…

Then the call came; the “Torpedoe” was leaving Deadwood and would be reaching Profit Pass in about 8 hours. Problem was, snow had begun to swirl, and it was getting treacherous out there even for a Mech. We sent off our lead four “fast” Mechs, to stage the ambush site, while the rest of us slowly made our way north to the rendezvous.

Profit Pass was the south end of a twisted canyon reaching north to mining country, and it opened into a valley that gently spread south into the main circuit of the rails. The twisty stretches, we’d hoped, would slow it enough to get the ambush in place. It worked. We laid a couple debris fields across the tracks just after the bridge with some well placed shots with out lasers, and powered-down to wait for the right moment.

Dominic’s passives told us about four light hover armor units moving towards the pass, long before the train.They made for the rails, and after crossing the bridge, slowed and stared at the rubble across the tracks. A short burst of coded info went up from the lead tank; a Pegasus flanked by its Harrasser “guard” and a pair of Scimitars. The Lieutenant squelched the signal with his Hermes IIs coms and we sprung the trap. 30 seconds later, the lead tanks were smoldering ruins and the Scimitar’s had slipped back to cover the approaching train.

The train was a marvel of engineering, fusion engines chromed and even the passenger cars were vintage pieces, gilt and wood polished. Behind these, were a series of boxcars, flatcars laden with bulk ores, and the smoldering turrets of some gun emplacements. They opened up on us as they approached, but with the final twist of track and the angles of the hills, they couldn’t get any clear shots on us. Flanking the train, were a pair of Stingers, and they scrambled on either side of the tracks to cover the slowing train.

Janto’s Jenner came under heavy SRM fire, taking a couple shots to the head, and then one of the Stingers popped him as well, and that knocked him unconscious and out of the rest of the fight. Our slower Mechs began to arrive and as they approached the train, detected a pair of new Mechs appear across the valley; a Firestarter and an Ostscout. They traded a couple shots with us, but when our other lance arrived from up the valley, they quickly took off with the surviving hover tanks and abandoned the train. One Stinger escaped with them, but another took critical damage to its gyro and engines, and the pilot shut-down and abandoned the Mech next to the train.

The Dingos surrounded the train, watching as it shed a few dozen infantry, that all fled from the train and scattered into the Pass. Several members dismounted their Mechs, while Dominic and a couple others started pulling doors from the boxcars and looting the contents. Among them were several tons of munitions (small arms and ammunition), some special ammo for the two Long Toms and a couple crates marked “Machine Parts”, that proved to be crates of gold bullion. Jackpot!
While Erika checked on Janto’s status, and Mitch and Slaine searched through the passenger cars for Mr. Carsebloom, but only found a dozen or so who were his employees, herding them out into the snow near the bridge and the engineer’s station. Evidence was found in one car that he had been there recently, but a thorough search reveled nothing.

We’re not too sure what happened, but the Captain went into the main engine to get a manifest, and shortly after a scuffle occurred between him and a body-pistol-armed Mr. Carsebloom, who had been hiding in the forward cabin. Both were injured and rendered unconscious in the struggle, and the engineer was utterly in fear for his life, so we never got anything out of him. Now down two Mech pilots with a third in need salvaging, we called on the Dead Man’s Hand to arrive in “The Football”, our hover truck, and have them get all the Mechs home. We distributed the arms and munitions we found, and when the reserve lance arrived, got them all into Mechs and fled the scene, taking Mr. Carsebloom and his two lawyers with us back to Fort Anton.

With our damage and all the loot we were hauling back (including an SRM Jeep found on one of the flatcars, the two Long Toms minus their flatcar carriages, the two AC5s taken from their turrets, and various other supplies taken from the train cars), it would take a couple days of slow travel through the deepening snows to get home, so we sent Mitch on ahead with our wounded to see if Captain Lord knew a surgeon or could get help for our patients. It was a successful raid, though, really, it didn’t quite feel like it…

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Episode 4 - Enemy of my Enemy
"The "Real" Panther Gang was well known as the primary force of bandits in the Northern Territories. At least, that was until we showed up..."

Roll Call————————-Mechs

Dale(Capt. Ruxbundy)———Spider
Dana(Lt. Charles)————-Hermes 2
Lee(Dominic) -—————Ostscout
Bruce(Erica Hartman)———Phoenix Hawk
Greg(Michael Anderson)——Hermes A
JP————————Jenner
Ralph(Mitch)———————Firestarter

We’d been doing maintenance and other work on our Mechs for a couple weeks in the relative peace and tranquility of Fort Anton, when the “Panther Strike” Gang showed up. They went on demanding entrance, which Zeddy, our resident landlord, refused at our request. Fionna and her troop refused to help us, stating “Not our fight”, though they seemed concerned about the outcome of it. When the bandits found out we were present, their leader went apoleptic. Demanded our heads and our Mechs, and other things. He called us out, and said he’d take us down in the local ruins of Antonopolis. We suspected a trap, but we didn’t have much choice. We needed that Wolverine… We all agreed that it was to be our target of opportunity.

They had brought a Firestarter and a Stinger as support, but the Wolverine and Commando were fairly new to us. Also with them was a Locust, and based on its coloring and battle scars, was likely the same one that eluded us in the Panther Strike Mine. They also had a Valkyrie with them, and this one turned-out to be piloted by a noblewoman by the name of “Lady” Anna Simpson, late of the Federated Suns. When we arrived, she immediately challenged Captain Ruxbundy to a duel in his Spider, which he accepted. A collection of hover trucks showed-up too, filled with drunken locals seeking to get in a little bounty and salvage.

As Capt. Ruxbundy and the noble opened on each other, we moved into position. Lt. Charles and Dominic moved forward, and started trading blows with the Wolverine and his “bodyguard” in the Commando, while the rest scattered and began taking shots at the targets of opportunity on the far flank, namely the Stinger and Firestarter. They scattered a few ranging shots at the support Mechs, and managed to chase them away from the flanks, while Charles and Dominic began to take withering fire from the Commando and Wolverine. Erica engaged the Firestarter and Stinger, and then pulled back to range long distance fire on the command group, as they had taken a position in some hills near the village.

Ruxbundy and the “Lady” traded blows, while they ranged across the map, and the Spider used its superior mobility to its advantage. Erica pinned down the command group with her Phoenix Hawk, while Charles took a few devastating hits that breached his engine shielding and he began to form a fall-back move. Meanwhile, Kampho, Michael and Mitch managed to take down the Firestarter and chase the Stinger back into the cluster of trees around the hills the command group were working in. The Stinger took a devastating shot that blew away its right arm, and with severe damage to its armor, it shut-down and surrendered.

By this point, Charles was dodging around the woods, and finally saw his chance to pull away from the fight and flee across the battlefield away from the Wolverine. The Locust took a couple lucky shots and then it attempted to slip away into the nearby forest, being pursued by Dominic for a about half a minute, until he abandoned it and returned to the main fight. The group, now concentrating on the Commando and Wolverine as originally planned, managed to blow apart both right and left torso on the Commando, forcing its surrender, and all that was left was the main duel and the Wolverine.

Ruxbundy was doing well, until he closed in for an attempt to take out “Lady” Simpson; his attempt failed, with him falling over and taking severe actuator damage to his legs. He admitted defeat, as the gang surrounded the Wolverine, blowing one leg clear off on a lucky shot. The group offered surrender terms and stopped attacking the remaining Mech, and finally managed to convince “Wild” Bill Neibling to surrender himself.

The party convinced “Lady” Simpson to accept the damaged Firestarter instead of the easily repairable Spider, and offered her to spend the night in Fort Anton. Although the pilot of the Firestarter had escaped, and the Stinger pilot refused to work with us, (claiming “You’ll get yours, yet!” as he left)the group managed to secure a new bondsman, Dale Taylor, pilot of the Commando, as well as the services of “Wild” Bill Neibling as the lance leader of the “Cattlemen Society”. Combined with the two battered Stingers piloted by the Clooney Brothers (one from this fight and the other from the previous Panther Strike Mine raid), the group now had a seriously damaged lance of questionable loyalty added to their organization.

“Wild” Bill proved to be a wealth of information about Deadwood, and freely shared what he knew with Capt. Ruxbundy. The Thumpers seemed impressed at the savvy of the group, and although Fionna Lord and her Snow Dusters didn’t say much, they did seem to hold the “Iron Dingos” in higher esteem than before. All that was left now, was repair work and waiting for the notice of Milo Carsebloom’s train leaving Deadwood for New Denver… with all the extra mouths around, we needed some serious influx of cash, or we might have a mutiny on our hands.

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Episode 3 - Looking For Group
"They called it "The Moathouse", but "Mudhouse" was more like it. Fort Anton was a relic of the Star League, and insignificant to their way of thinking; to us it was a palace, though the existing residents thought so too..."

Roll Call:

Dale(Capt. Ruxbundy)———Spider
Dana(Lt. Charles)————-Hermes 2
Dominic(Lee) -—————Ostscout
Bruce(Erica Hartman)———Phoenix Hawk
Greg(Michael Anderson)——Hermes A
JP————————Jenner
Ralph(Mitch)———————Firestarter
Lyle(Alberto)——————-Firestarter

While the mechanics (Mr. Anderson & Erica) salvaged and repaired our Battlemechs, we sent Charles and Dominic out to scout Fort Anton.

After several days in the former Bolton Gang’s mine, Dominic reports back with news that Fort Anton is a neutral location controlled by the Thumpers, an armed infantry group.

Packing up we collect the Portable Gantry and the rest of the salvageable Mechs, we headed to Fort Anton. Unmolested the company arrived at the Fort finding an old Star League base! As the gate screeched open we noticed the lack of repair, defenses and communication dish’s. Inside we found a small company named “Snow Dusters” containing 5 squads of riflemen with 3 transports and a Pegasus, named Lily, under the command of Fionna Lord. After chatting up and getting to know the leader of the Thumpers, Zeddy, we offered to help fix up the place.

After some radiation warnings the mechanics suited up and went down for a look, but to our dismay finding nothing but a cleaned out hulk with a offline Fusion generator. With ease and knowledge Erica quickly points out a secret door leading to an active power supply and the source to the radiation. Following it for quite a ways we find three unguarded chambers, a communication lab, an electronic workshop, and a power plant that is powered by an orb that leaks massive amounts of radiation. Finding out the generator is hitting its half life, we gathered some tools and supplies from the rooms and head back to the base to look at getting the fusion generator back online.

During this excursion underground Fiona offered us a Bounty to kill the Leaders of the town of Deadwood to which our Mr. Ruxbundy said “We will look into it.” Sending Dominic out on a scout run, our esteemed leader Michael eagerly went out to stretch his (Battlemech’s) legs and found about the local ‘defenses’ that everyone knows about, a minefield! Losing his balance after activating one he face-plants into the ground, barely missing more mines…

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Episode 2 - The Black Hills
"We should have known a tiny village in the middle of nowhere meant trouble. That it was named after some dead Terran general was lost to us at the time... at least until we found out that militia had killed him in a lop-sided fight..."

Roll Call & Mech:

Dominic(Lee) -——————-Ostscout
Bruce(Erica Hartman)———-Phoenix Hawk
Greg(Michael Anderson)——Hermes A
Ralph(Mitch)—————————Firestarter
Lyle(Alberto)—————————Firestarter
Dale(Michael Ruxbundy)——Spider
Dana(Charles)————————Hermes 2

Later that evening after traveling quite a distance the company stumbled upon the town of Custer. The newly appointed commander Ruxbundy decided to leave the Mechs and venture into the town on foot. The hill-billy town of Custer barely holds on to a stocked general store, service station, cafe, hotel and a marshal’s office. After visiting the Deadbull hotel the crew realized all the occupants were well armed ne’er-do-wellers. After visiting the Gibbon’s cafe however (which serves the most delectable foods ever) we found out about the local bandits, The Panthers. After some (careful) negotiations by Alberto, we enlisted the cafe owners <<the>> to close up shop and head out with us. Managing to acquire a local map and some must needed supplies from the general store we returned to the Mechs and continued forth following the map

Along the way to Fort Anton, the “supposed” Panther base, our scout, Dominic, found a rogue EM signature. Mitch proceeded on foot to recon the unknown signature. He quickly found several ground sensors watching an entrance to the abandoned mine. Commander Ruxbundy considered his options and sent the jump capable Mech’s to circle around for an ambush. Sending in the Hermes and a Firestarter to draw the 4 Mechs and 4 tanks to them, the ambush proceeded according to plan. Finding a lone enemy Firestarter, Erica and Dominc proceeded to bash its legs with kicks and a hockey stick(a felled tree). Fighting to the last breath the leader continued to try and attack while his cohorts fell exploding and surrendering one by one <<the>>. After surveying the damage to our Mechs we found a field repair facility to repair our damaged BattleMechs.

Thus ends this Kicktastic Mining Adventure

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Episode 1 - Hard Landings on Claybrooke
"That we survived the crash of the lifeboat at all was a miracle. That we'd come down only a few miles south of a reserve armory for the local Junta was damnably near shocking..."

Roll Call :

Dominic(Lee)
Bruce(Erica Hartman)
JP
Greg(Michael Anderson)
Ralph(Mitch)
Lyle(Alberto)
Dale(Michael Ruxbundy)
Dana(Charles)

Fleeing the wreckage of the life boat the party, we noticed lights coming to us in the distance. As it got closer we noticed an active locator beacon on the survival kit, quickly disabled it the lights turned into a military APC heading straight towards us. As the group scrambled for positions, the APC arrive and two troopers got out and started asking questions. With their attention focused on Erica and party, little did they know Mitch was stealthily going around and actually entered the APC and took out the Gunner. With some quick shooting the APC was ours…

After taking our time to investigate the APC and started heading to the city, we noticed a radioactive area near us, avoiding the area we circled around to find a Military Reserve Base. Still in the middle of the night we approached cautiously, quickly discovering the lack of guards we silenced the gate guard and proceeded to check out the base looking for things of interest.

Finding an obscure path leading into a crater But to our amazement we found approximately two dozen BattleMechs sitting on a field with 3 tanks. After convincing some mechanics to go back in there shop, we liberated all the Mechs we could take with us. With quick orders we went on a demolition spree, Firestarters burnt down the buildings while the rest took out the tanks and the remaining Mechs…

Taking our fully stocked APC (nicknamed “The Football” as Erica’s Phoenix Hawk was carrying it as such) we decided to head for the hills. But we were intercepted by some Helicopters, J-Edgar’s and some hover APC’s. As we engaged them the APC’s ran crashing straight into trees disabling themselves, but disgorging their troops into the relative safety of the woods, with the Helicopters doing strafing runs, and the J-edgars pounding our front lines.

After a relativly short fight that consisted of burning the APC’s and boot-kicking the J-Edgar’s, the helicopters and the remainder of their assault force fled back to there base.

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Episode 0 - Escape from the Ice Hook
"We were going insane from the boredom of nearly three weeks in transit from the Jump-point, when the first explosion against the hull resounded across the cell block..."

Roll Call :

Charles (Dana)
Alberto (Lyle)
Dominic (Lee)
Kanthto (JP)
Michael (Greg)
Mitch (Ralph)

While Still trapped in the Prisoner Module in the Ice Hook, we made friends with a old Janitor named Manny. While the IceHook descended to Claybrooke, it got boarded! Manny quickly came to our rescue, opening the door to our module and giving us directions to the cargo hold.
We bravely ambushed 2 Slavers in combat suits with our bare hands by dog-piling them while ripping there guns and helmets free. After they were taking care of we salvaged a cargo pod and quickly left.

Going up some little know entrances we went to the closest lifepod available. But Michael found a trap attached to the portal to the lifeboat, after a quick conference Dominic bravely removed the bomb and we fled into the LifeBoat. When the lifeboat disembarked the IceHook shuttered drastically as the airlock was still open! As the slavers left the IceHook we fell to the surface of Claybrooke crash-landing in a field. The group quickly gathered there possessions, salvaged a survival kit and fled the burning wreckage. As soon as we got barley 100 feet away the Life Boat EXPLODED! We quickly started marching to the nearest town as military helicopters and APV’s started to roam the area trying to find any survivors…

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Mustered Out - The Marik Fringe
What would you do, if you'd lost everything you held dear, your family were imprisoned for your sins, and the entire nation called you traitor?

Mustered Out – A New Beginning

You are all former members of the 3rd Marik Milita regiment, sentenced to a future life of hard labor and dreading your present situation. You are aboard the Mule-Class Dropship “Ice Hook”, an ore hauler that brings new prisoners to Pilpala and hauls the ore mined by the prisoners back to the war industries in the Marik core worlds. You are accompanied by former Mechwarriors, a few Techs and even some of the other senior support troops, such as Scouts and Aerojocks. Some of you even have family and other dependents that were arrested and sent on ahead, since they share your “shame”.

History of the 3rd Marik Militia : “The mailed fist within the velvet glove”, the Marik Militia has been the backbone of the Free Worlds League since 2525, when the peace between House Marik and the Hegemony provided the League with access to advanced technology. The Free World’s troops were reorganized with fresh production-line Mechs. The 3rd Marik Militia went on to serve with distinction in the campaign against the Magistracy of Canopus during the Reunification Wars, forming the basis of the 6th Marik Militia with officers from the 3rd and captured war materiel from the Magistracy.

In the civil war of 2729-2734, the 3rd and 8th Marik Milita defected to the cause of Oliver the Ursurper, but following the peace settlement, Bertram granted the defectors amnesty, kept both units intact, and returned them to active duty (though most senior officers “retired”).
Following the collapse of the Star League and during the centuries since, the Marik Militia has had its share of successes and failures. Most noteworthy of them all, was their efforts in the “ComStar War” defending Berenson, Bordon and Van Diemen from invading Liao and Steiner forces. Nevertheless, the Marik Militia’s forces have declined in recent years, even as the Marik’s power over the League government has dwindled. Supply and maintenance issues have plagued the units, and regiment after regiment has fallen prey to this lack of attention and respect.

Anton’s War : As part of the 3rd Marik Militia, you were with Duke Anton Marik, when he made his bid against the League for the Captain-Generalship of the Free Worlds. Having served the Duke as his personal command for nearly a decade, you all knew him to be both fair and quite reasonably a better leader than his brooding brother Janos. Your entire unit defected to his cause at the outset of the conflict known today as “Anton’s War”, and wound up facing against your old comrades-in-arms.

In April 3014, the 3rd Marik Militia seized the Crusader plant on Bernardo, and then its sister Crusader plant in Ascunsion a month later. The 3rd was moving rapidly to secure the resources it would need in the coming war. Jumping to Suzano and then Kyrkbacken, they secured Zion Province for the rebel forces, and moved on to the edge of the Protectorate to take Sophie’s World from your companions in the 6th Marik Militia, dropping on-planet in Sept 3014.

The bitter and indecisive conflict for Sophie’s World was part of Janos’ attempts to delay the rebel forces long enough to gain the Parliament’s support; it succeeded. With no quarter asked or received, the fighting between the 3rd and 6th Marik Militias was the most violent in the entire conflict. The 6th received the support of the 1st Atrean Dragoons and the mercenary Head Hunters, tying the 3rd into a prolonged seige campaign for months. Only the arrival of two of Wolf’s Dragoons regiments in Oct 3014 shattered the 1st Atreans and sent the 6th Militia and Head Hunters retreating off-world, breaking the stalemate.

The attempts to flank Janos’ forces on Berenson in a drive to Irian failed, and when Wolf’s Dragoons were betrayed, and assaulted Anton’s main forces on New Delos in revenge, all units in the rebellion were thrown into chaos. Retreating to Bernardo for resupply in December 3014, and then to Park Place, the 3rd Marik Militia was finally trapped several months later by three seperate units; the 15th Marik Militia, the Stewart Dragoons and the return of the Head Hunters mercenaries. After two weeks of brutal fighting, the 3rd Marik Militia admitted there was no hope of further success, and surrendered on May 23, 3015.

The Aftermath : Janos Marik chose not to show the same clemency that Bertram had shown the 3rd Marik Militia centuries previously; he disbanded the entire unit, redistributed the bulk of its assets and Mechs to the 6th and 15th Marik Militias, and sent its senior officers to either execution or life as hard labourers in various prison planets near the Periphery. Convicted members had their titles and lands confiscated, their property converted to cash and the proceeds were used to hire Wolf’s Dragoons to bolster the borders with the Lyran Alliance, now weakened by the damages of the war. The regiment was further “…permanently disbanded and stricken forever from the Militia’s history…”. Its unit membership was sent to an obscure future as prisoners and meant to be forgotten.
Although these actions may have satisfied the Marik’s taste for vengeance, it also antagonized a number of other Militia units, many of whom sympathized with the conflict of loyalties felt by the 3rd. This undercurrent of discontent will likely remain very much alive among several of the Militia’s regiments for decades.

The Marik Misfits : Known officially as the 13th Provisional Company of the 3rd Marik Militia, your unit was a particular thorn in the side of Janos Marik’s troops. Most of your company were recruited just prior to the war, and come from a variety of sources and origins. Most of your technicians, pilots and other crews were also recruited with a mosaic past. Known for unconventional tactics, many of your troopers were given barely functional Mecha and vehicles, but proved skill over quality, by staying alive against the many forces arrayed against you. The lot of you were convicted and ordered to Pilpala, a prison planet on the crossroads to Liao and Canopus space.

A New Beginning : It is the end of your careers, and the beginning of new lives. Formerly proud members of the 3rd Marik Militia, you were part of the failed attempt to overthrow Janos Marik, Captain-General of the Free World’s League. You look around and find yourselves travelling with various fellow soldiers and junior officers, bound for the Periphery Prison Planet of Pilpala, and a lifetime of hard labour in the mines of its deep desert. And you all face the same question : “What will happen now?”.

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