Campaign of the Month: June 2014

Battletech : The Farscape Campaign

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
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…

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

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.

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

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…

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
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

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 :

Bruce(Erica Hartman)
Greg(Michael Anderson)
Dale(Michael Ruxbundy)

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.

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…

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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