Campaign of the Month: June 2014

Battletech : The Farscape Campaign

Episode 80 - (Not so) Hot in the City

“Please, oh please, oh, do not let me fall,
You’re all mine and I love you best of all,
And you must be my man, or I’ll have no man at all,
There’ll be a hot time in the old town tonight!”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

Dale (Paladin)—————————Battlemaster
Bruce (Glamour)————————Phoenix Hawk LAM
JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Battlemaster
Greg (Fixer)——————————-Flashman
Ralph (Wraith)—————————Battlemaster
Dana (Blaster) -————————-Warhammer
Jay (Advocate)—————————Flashman
Chris (Caboose)————————-Thug
Ken (Templar) -————————- Crockett
Scott (Moxie) -————————— Maxim Heavy Hover Tank

April 7th, 3022 : Jumping into the Horsham system, the group contacted the local recharging station, and began trading between the unit and the local trade stations. They immediately sold off their looted reactor-grade uranium, and spent the next week organizing their now assimilated scientists and techs from the raid. Once secure, the unit began plans to return to System – New Syrtis.

April 14th, 3022 : Unit jumped into Robsart. The unit noted that the “…largest naval battle of the Reunification War…” occurred in Robsart,

April 21st, 3022 : Unit jumps into Deifenbaker.

April 28th, 3022 : Unit jumps into Merope.

May 5th, 3022 : Unit jumps into System – New Syrtis, and immediately reports in success in their mission. The Command Council is ordered to report directly to the Capellan March Militia command group in the system capital, Saso. The group decided to take the “Star Talon” and the “Pandora’s Box”, and made their way planet-bound.

May 9th, 3022 : Local news nets announced the meeting of three major Houses; Draconis Combine, Capellan Confederation and Free World’s League, were meeting together in some secret location (believed to be Terra), to sign some sort of peace proposal as a counter-balance to the 3020 FedCom Accords alliance between the Federated Suns and the Lyran Commonwealth.

As the DropShips underwent customs inspections, they were met at the main ramps by a military convoy seeking to take the unit’s leadership and their “package” for debriefing. Colonel Michael Ruxbondy “Paladin”, Major Kanto Jokukad “Pitbull”, LtSG Massimo De Luca “Advocate”, and Captain Erika Hartmann “Glamour” went with the transports, ordering all troops to remain on-station at the DropShips until further notice. The four were escorted, with their various assistants, into an APC and taken through the city proper, and then the windows blackened. It seemed like they made it across the nearby glacier and into a tunnel, and down a long, subterranean road. EVentually, the unit seemed to come to a stop, and they found themselves in a large underground complex of some sort; likely the deep complex of the Regional Military Headquarters under Heaven’s Top, the largest mountain near the city.

The group was ushered into a meeting room, and after being given refreshments, met with their contact, Colonel Simon Sortek. He was soon joined by several techs and a couple senior officers who examined “The Package” for its content and value. They gave the okay and verified its authenticity. Immediately, another handful of senior officers arrived, including one VIP; Duke Michael Hasek-Davion. He thanked the group for their actions, and mentioned how proud he was of their sacrifices. After shaking their hands and more flowery words, the officers left the room, leaving the group with Colonel Simon Sortek.

Negotiations began immediately, with the group wanting to have the unit let go from their contract early, but they were refused. Instead, the Colonel wanted them to supply a raiding force of infantry and armor and proceed against the local militia in three separate raids on important facilities, as though they were bandits. False ammo would be supplied and the specific targets wouldn’t know they were being specifically targeted until after the raids had been conducted. It was hoped, that the next few months of training would “season” the defenders to “out-of-the-box” thinking that raiders and pirates were known for.

Paladin chose Captain Fionna Lord “Angel Frost” and her infantry and armor to do the task, bolstered by several marine squads from * “The Cerberus Command”, to bring the total up to a full fifty (50) squads required by their contract. Since Fionna and her crews had specialized in this terrain and raiding Lt. Colonel Carla “Razor” Chestines forces many years ago. It seemed a good match. To assist them, they were assigned the unit’s Mobile Command Post, as well as Captain Jessa Dajus-Marik “Dragonfly” to help run intel for them. In the end, Glamour also chose to stay with the unit, running aerial recon with her and her wingman in their LAMs.

The unit was released to prepare for their activities, and Paladin gave everyone a three-day shore leave, and the unit broke into various small groups to fulfill their own agendas. They called-in the remaining DropShips from the jumppoint, to retrieve salvage and get their units organized.

Glamour spent a little time in the the local spas and shopping, taking Advocate with her. She spent the rest of the time going over intel reports and maps and making plans. Doctor Max Helmut “Moxie” visited the local university in Saso, and made plans to do a formal reading of his paper (submitted earlier during the unit;s first stop on New Syrtis ) on the third day. Pitbull and Advocate had words with the recruiter, getting an update on his efforts. Captain Mitchell Kitsune “Wraith”, Lieutenant SG Michael Anderson “Fixer” and MechWarrior Evan Lars “Caboose” paid a visit to the Johnstone Industries showroom, looking at their support weapons. Mechwarrior Pol Baca “Templar” and Trooper Bodrick Thompson “Blaster” visited the local university, the former looking for information on Star League studies, and the latter researching explosives and demolitions (something he was particularly interested in).

The recruitment reports showed Lt. Daniel Bernard, their merc recruiter, had managed to round-up a half-dozen (6) Line Engineers and thirty-three (33) Machinists willing to relocate to the unit’s landholds. He had also managed to find 4 regular techs, 2 armor crews, a scout, a pair of dispossessed Mech pilots and a dispossessed Aero pilot. These people would be bringing whatever families they might have as dependents and had basic tools for their hired tasks.

Wraith and his crew examined the M56 “Smartgun”s on display and first looked at buying seven, but were able to get enough scrip from Advocate to buy a total of twenty-one (21). While Fixer and Caboose worked on finalizing the purchase, Wraith was distracted by a dusty display on one wall showing the numerous industries that Johnstone Industries were once involved in. He noted they once worked on various infantry support industries, from basic uniforms to infantry guns and support weapons. It included numerous industrial sites scattered across the planet, but the one that caught his eye, was under the Propper title that sold basic BDUs, support equipment and infantry armor to the Star League. He noted where these locations were, though they were listed as having been heavily destroyed in orbital bombardment.

Advocate and Pitbull spent a couple days looking through * “The Scrapyard”, and tried to trade some of their salvaged and unwanted Mechs for some units that fit their raiding profiles. Eventually they managed to get a hold of a pair of QKD-4G Quickdraws for their salvage, though they also found a line on an Ostscout and three Phoenix Hawks.

Learning about the possible salvage site for the Propper factory, Paladin organized a “raid party”, deciding to spend another week on-planet before heading out to System – Redfield.

May 14th, 3022 : The raiding group left the starport and made their way into the northern wastes, where they would rendezvous with their own DropShips and use them as a base for their raids.

The other DropShips were finally present, and the group sent Wraith, Fixer and Templar out to the ruined site with a Cobra Transport VTOL, two sqauds of marines and a pair of salvage squads. The group found the site easily, and a quick examination revealed the only thing of value was a heavily damaged clothing processing facility, though it was once highly automated and produced three lines of military uniforms; a line of standard infantry/armor/aircrew BDUs with an arctic overshell (7% intact); an (MCPS) “Multi-Climate Protection System” in Woodland camo, Water- and flame-resistant jacket and trousers (4% intact); and an (ECWS) “Extreme Cold Weather System” : in Arctic camo Cold Weather “Cobra” Jacket and Trousers, and Extreme Cold Weather Parka. (8% intact). The lines did have a certain C-Bill value attached, but were abandoned because they didn’t really seem worth trying to put back in production given it was cheaper to produce them through the civilian markets.

The group then decided to salvage the lot of them, but amounting to 300-tons each, it would need some time to accomplish, so a steady stream of techs ran the equipment every night from the ruin site down to the DropShips with their numerous VTOls, taking three days of steady work to accomplish. The goods were bound for long-term storage on “The Iron Vagabond” until the unit managed to make it back to their landholds and decide what to do with them.

During this time, the group also began plans to formally organize the * Pirates of the Blood Asteroids. Paladin was informed about the idea, and rubber-stamped it though with some reservations.

Recognizing the unit had the equipment, but needed the Propper blueprints to properly use the manufacturing equipment. Templar and Advocate visited the showroom again, and while Advocate distracted the salesman, Templar tried to access the shop’s computers. He quickly determined the information was not at the showroom, but likely in the deep storage archives in Johnstone Industries HQ building in the heart of Saso.

May 17th, 3022 : Plans were being made to make the trip to Redfield, searching for a possibly lost storage facility or something else that Pitbull was certain might be found. They spent a day “thought-busting” on ideas of how to get there, and called it a night.

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Episode 79b : The Boys From Sangria

“He was nothing but a sadist, really. A sadist with an MD and a PHD. Well, some people would say the perfect definition of a scientist.”

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

Dale (Paladin)—————————Battlemaster
Bruce (Glamour)————————Phoenix Hawk LAM
JP (Pitbull) ————————-——-Battlemaster
Greg (Fixer)——————————-Flashman
Dana (Blaster) -————————-Warhammer
Jay (Advocate)—————————Flashman
Chris (Caboose)————————-Thug
Ken (Templar) -————————- Crockett
Scott (Moxie) -————————— Maxim Heavy Hover Tank

January 21st, 3022 : Caverns under Brightwater Base.

About twenty (20) seconds into the fight, with several of the defender units destroyed, and the assaulting Mechs of * “The Dead Man’s Hand” had been pummeled by the defending Crusader and Victor before they were destroyed.

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Several units exchanged fire shredding armor. Major “Veruca” Louise Salt managed to get in a couple good shots on the back Enforcer, knocking it over. During the fall against the cavern wall, the Mech critically snapped off its right arm. MechWarrior Dominic Haugustus “Pockets” was able to get a critical shot on the Griffon, breaching its leg, flooding it, and forcing it to flounder submerged into the pool.

The Sentinel that moved forward into the rubble where the Crusader once stood, managed to pierce the shredded armor of MechWarrior Ela Rose‘s LT, critically damaging her engine shielding. She also took a swift kick to the leg, knocking her over, but she remained undaunted. The Wolverine took a solid kick to the LLeg, suffering Foot and Lower Actuator damages, but fell over on the Mech’s Head, knocking the pilot unconscious.

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Trooper Cooper Hawkes stumbled trying to get out of the pool, as did Pockets, and the Griffin powered-down, unable to stand.

Trooper Farah Dulac – “Blade” tore all the armor off the _Wolverine_’s CT, and Ela scattered her fire, critically destroying its AC/10 and destroying its entire LLeg. The Wolverine collapsed, out of the fight. Ela took a round of counter-fire, critically puncturing its CT armor, damaging her Gyro and Engine Shielding, and destroying a Heat Sink. She then fell over, taking a critical shot to her PPC and had her Left Arm completely snapped off. She did, however, remain awake and angry. She also got her third kill of the fight.

Trooper Paul Wang hit the Enforcer CT, critically damaging its Gyro and tearing most of its Fusion Engine shielding off, and the blast knocked the Mech over onto its left side.

Veruca and MechWarrior Katie Starling both opened up on the Enforcer down the tunnel, striking it multiple times, including once in the Head, knocking the previously untouched Enforcer over. The Enforcer managed to get off a couple shots first, hitting Veruca and bowling her over.

The closest Sentinel took a shot from Master Trooper Dale Taylor “Solitaire”, destroying its AC/5 Ultra, and MechWarrior Patrick Clooney “Shredder” followed up with several shots that breached the Mech’s armor in multiple locations. The Sentinel hit Katie with a few ineffective shots, and she responded with a swift kick to its RLeg.

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The lead Mechs in ruins, Major “Veruca” Louise Salt demanded the surrender of the defending units, and with most of their lead Mechs down and removed from combat, they quickly agreed, surrendering the field to the Dead Man’s Hand. They had captured a Victor fairly intact, and the remnants of the ammo-explosion-slain Crusader. The unit demanded the Mechs power-down, and helped drag the Griffin out of the pool, before turning to their own units and getting them to safety.

With Veruca and __Ela_ critically damaged, they left them behind to watch the battle site, while the rest of the unit under the aegis of MechWarrior Katie Starling proceeded down the tunnels to secure the entrance to Brightwater Base. The unit called-in their infantry to begin their trip to make the drop on the base interior, and approached the armroed gate at the entrance.

Consisting of a small 60m wide area before the armored gate and two guard towers with a pair of MGs on their ball turrets, the gate was heavily defended against infantry, but not terribly dangerous to BattleMechs. Katie approached the main gate, and as the turrets turned towards her, opened with her loudspeakers, demanding the surrender of the base’s garrison. The roar of the nearby waterfall was the only sound in response.

Unable to see beyond the massive wall built from scrap hull plating, concrete and native stone, they waited patiently for another minute. Again they demanded the surrender of the base garrison. Just the waterfall again.

Trooper Paul Wang moved forward, banging on the gate and calling for someone to respond. Nothing but the rain. Even the turrets seemed quiet and unresponsive. Katie moved forward, and proceeded to tear and kick the gate down, taking it apart in 10 seconds flat. Beyond, they saw Brightwater Base for the first time.

New_Eden.jpg

Perched along a river ravine with two bridges crossing its depths, the Mech bay to their right next to the large waterfall coursing down from the mountain, and the drop-pad away to the left. Infantry barracks were placed along and into the cliff wall to the left, while the central bridge led to the underground fastness of the base storage, HQ and motor pool. Away down the ravine, led dangerous footpaths carved into the cliffs, and along these routes could be seen the remnants of infantry working their way back into the jungle beyond the ravine.

The Mechs waited patiently, watching the last of the garrison slip away, and eventually were joined by the Command and 3rd infantry platoons brought in to secure the facility. Facing no immediate threats, Captain Jerri Holden quickly spread the infantry through the base and began scouting the base facilities. The two VTOLs were released to return to Corazón Airfield to gather the unit’s techs and salvage squads to effect repairs and get the unit to safety. Several hours later, the unit was joined by their techs and the salvage operation began in earnest.

January 22nd, 3022 : With the base seemingly secure, Veruca dispatched the “WIld Bunch” lance of the unit’s Mechs (led by Master Trooper Dale Taylor “Solitaire” ) to Tuadann with Varsha Arkadjian, to secure her position as local war-chief, and fulfill their promise. With the techs busy salvaging guarded by their infantry, the Mechs took turns keeping watch, while the unit took some down-time. Salvage operations were expected to last about two days, after which, the surrendered mercenaries would be released to head back south out of the jungle towards San Isabel, their “employers”.

Salvage operations went well, considering the lack of heavy equipment, but eventually they had managed to get their Mechs armor covered sufficient to move them out of the jungles down-river, dragging the parts from the Crusader and the Victor out of the caves for pick-up. The remaining technicians managed to get the mercs mobile and moving.

January 24th, 3022 : Initial reports about the base were concluded, and salvage operations of the base itself commenced, snatching various supplies, an advanced military comms system, and two noted anomalies. The first, was the armored wall and gate. They were built from rusted and scavenged armor and hull plating from a DropShip or JumpShip of some sort. Its exact origins were unknown. Second, the fuel tank at the drop-pad was false. Apparently, the tank was actually wood-covered steel of recent manufacture, and hid both a monitoring post and an anti-aircraft gun (a twin-barreled AC/2) that could be deployed from the post. Actual fueling facilities were in a hard tank burrowed into the cliff face below the station.

Suspecting something like a “secret door” might be found inside the air station, techs soon found a hidden shaft and winch elevator leading deep under the base ravine…Command platoon took the lead of the investigation, and entered the tunnels leading deep under the base. The elevator was capable of hauling a single Standard (5-ton) Cargo Container and an operator.

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Quickly dropping into the tunnels below the complex, they discovered a “mustering area” once formerly some sort of mining area. Numerous tools and empty cargo containers were here, along with a ventilation shaft connection in the ceiling. Two tunnels led from this area, one to several raw mining tunnels, while the other led straight for about 100m to a pit. Troopers stared in horror and awe as they looked down to see about a dozen near corpses moaning and clawing at the pit’s sides, trying to climb out and attack the intruders. Covered in some sort of blue-glowing gel, the techs present quickly identified it as radioactive waste. Furthermore, the lead tech remembered something similar having once been encountered by the Iron Dingoes, during the unit’s encounter of The “Shadow Station”, in 3017 during their Contract – “Operation : Overlord”. Identifying the cobalt blue gel as “Deathpaste”, and the “zombie” effect on the people in the pit as likely Neo-Ghoul, the group arranged to hack up some of the cargo containers and form a makeshift bridge to cross the pit safely.

After an hour of work, they managed to cross over, finding a mobile ramp along one side of the passage beyond, hinting that the group that worked here had not left by the “front door”. To the left was a short tunnel leading to an iron-bar sealed prison (empty), and to the right a couple more mining tunnels with ventilation shafts. Directly ahead, was a shaft with a lift leading further down into the complex.

Travelling deeper into the complex, the infantry posted a pair of squads at the shaft’s base, and discovered a corridor leading both right and left. Taking the right corridor, they found a metal “accordion” door along the right wall, and beyond this a well-reinforced chamber with access to heavy power conduits and a large quantity of unknown communications equipment, that was later identified as a powerful ECM suite meant for installation in a permanent location.

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Further down the corridor, they encountered the first evidence they were in a lab; a large Rejuvination Suite with a large computer core, surgical equipment and a central tank of green-glowing fluid. Inside the tank was a red-headed woman… probably a clone. She remained unresponsive, but the unit paramedics thought she seemed stable and alive. They were unable to identify what the computer core connected to the machinery did, beyond storing a large amount of data files. The walls around the chamber contained a large number of plants and other bio-samples. A thick power cable ran south through the wall along the same path as the ventilation shafts in the room. The computer ran a statement when first accessed :

“You will fight to the last soldier, and when you die, I will call upon your damned souls to rise and speak horrible curses at the enemy.”

Taking the tunnel leading deeper in, they found another metal door and a massive chamber holding more bio-samples and four separate Rejuvination Suites, all empty, but recently used. This was a fully-stocked lab for biology work and study. Beyond another metal door, they found a straight-cut chamber jammed with computer banks of local manufacture and another ceiling vent. The computer files in this room seemed to be filled with extremely sophisticated profiles of plant, animal and human DNA. Most of this was from local sources.

The tunnel to the north (or left) led to a series of store rooms and residences for a complete scientific team. One room in particular, was extremely plush and spoke of whomever had led the local science team. There were no obvious exits, and signs that the residents had left suddenly and with little warning.

The facility explored, the infantry called-down the unit techs, and it was determined that the group had the ability to salvage the entire operation, though it would take time. The acti