Thursday, September 26, 2013

Battletech Battle Report

First Campaign Battle

I bring to you a great detailed Battletech Battle Report for your reading and viewing pleasure. This report details the beginnings of my friend mark and I's current A Time of War campaign along with the first Battletech combat engagement for the campaign . Mark is no stranger to RPGs, but this was his first game of Battletech. I decided against anything pre-selected and tried to make everything as random as possible along with the fact of tossing Mark and Mark's character Lyndon into something challenging. My last post tells about the Mark's charcter and his lance mates.

The story so far

Lyndon's parent company has been deployed to the Katerra system a group of similar junk works and moons with one detail keeping them from being rendered outright worthless. The world's moons have variable amounts of resources which can be mined. The largest entity and industry, Katerra Mine Works, KMO the local contracted mining company has been mining the resources for decades. The main populated planet Alpha Katerra has six moons, four of have mining operations in place, one moon has no mining resources whatsoever and the sixth moon has been abandoned due to an abundance of asteroid debris from a large asteroid belt near the moon.

KMO has experienced an increase in disturbances throughout the mines surrounding Alpha Katerra ranging from property damage to resource theft. KMO is fine when dealing with minor mining operation disruptions up to a certain point with their available pool of defense assets they have at their disposal. Mining operations on moon KA.M03 were disturbed further than usual when a battlemech was spotted terrorizing the operations. The Katera system is too far in the FWL borders to be a military target, but close enough the Periphery border for pirate incursions and infestations. KMO requested assistance from the FWL military forces once a battlemech was spotted which KMO defense is ill equipped to deal with.

Company command deployed to Alpha Katerra to setup operations while they deployed two lances to her outer moons, one to KA.M02 a moon with no mining operations and the other to KA.M04 a moon with Level 01 mining operations. Company command also deployed Lyndon's lance to KA.M03 a moon with Level 02 mining operations. Lyndon's lance would investigate the last area where mining operations were disturbed and a battlemech was spotted. The lances deployed remotely to KA.M02 and KA.M04 would act as nets and trap any enemy units that would flee from KA.M03.

Battlemech assignment, Pilot experience level, and Skill set

All of the Pirate force Battlemech units were assigned by rolling against a random assignment table. I changed the rolled Hunchback HBK-4G variant carrying an AC/20 to a HBK-4N variant carrying an AC/5. I felt the AC/20 was too big of a weapon for this game, plus the HBK-4N seems more suiting to a pirate force with its rather common weapon set.
The majority of pilots in the attacking force were Green level experience, which I rolled on the green column of the Random Skills Table. The pilots of the Assassin and the Centurion as lance leaders were considered regular so I rolled for their skills on the regular column of the Random Skills Table instead. Overall the random rolling produced some interesting and challenging skill sets for the attacking force.
All of the defending pilots were considered Regulars, but I still rolled for their skills on the regular column of the Random Skills Table. Again, interesting and challenging skill sets for the defending force.

I didn't consult Battle Value or tonnage, I went with the fact Mark's character went to investigate a disturbance and the last known location of an unknown battlemech. Mark's character happened to come across a little more than a simple force of pirate battlemechs conducting a raid.

Battle Setup


Hold The Line

Mission Objectives

The FWL forces must prevent the Pirate forces from passing the mountain range with any resources raided from the mines.


Mapsheet Selection

Desert Sinkhole 01, Desert Sinkhole 02
Desert Mountain 01, Desert Mountain 02

Desert Sinkholes are mined resource areas and the mountains are un-mined resource areas.

North is right

Mapsheet layout

Northeast - Desert Mountain 02
Northwest - Desert Mountain 01
Southeast - Desert Sinkhole 01
Southwest - Desert Sinkhole 02

Battle Forces


Unknown Pirate forces

Two Light Lances

Mech Lance 01

Locust LCT-1V  -  G 4  / P 5
Stinger STG-3R  - G 5 / P 6
Firestarter FS9-H  -  G 4  / P 5
Assassin ASN-21  -  G 4  / P 6

Mech Lance 02

Wasp WSP-1A  -  G 5  / P 6
Spider SDR-5V  - G 4  / P 5
Hunchback HBK-4N  -  G 4 / P 6
Centurion CN9-A - G 4 / P 6


FWL 9th Marik Malitia

Heavy Lance

Mech Lance 01

Phoenix Hawk PHX-1  - G 4 / P 5
Wolverine WVR-6M  - G 4 / P 6
Rifleman RFL-3N  - G 4 / P 5
Crusader CRD-3R  - G 3 / P 3

Battle Report


The Pirate forces deployed along the South edge with lance 01 to the West and lance 02 to the East.

The FWL forces deployed along the North edge with the medium mechs in the West and the heavy mechs in the East atop a large mountain.

Turn 01

The two fastest Pirate mechs lead the charge towards the mountain pass followed by the slowest mechs down the middle bypassing the sinkholes. The Pirate mechs on the west flank utilized the sinkholes to cover their approach. The Pirate mechs on the East flank utilized the East mountain range to cover their approach.

The FWL heavy mechs held their current positions discerning some of the approaching mechs would have to funnel through the mountain range. The FWL medium mechs were sent ahead slightly into the Western mountain range to intercept any enemy flanking units from the slightly faster lance approaching from the Southwest.

Turn 02

All Pirate units kept the same pace and path .The Locust unlike the Assassin keeping to the middle for the first opening shot veered off behind the East mountain range for complete cover.

The FWL medium mechs moved further out to gain the high ground and protect the West flank against the fast approaching enemy mechs. The FWL heavy mechs stayed in position for fire support.

The Assassin fired his LRM launcher first at the FWL mechs specifically aiming for the stationary Crusader. The Hunchback joined by firing some LRMs at the Crusader as well, but all the LRMs sped harmlessly past the Crusader.

Since the Assassin and the Hunchback both tried for the Crusader, the Crusader was joined by the Rifleman in returning fire back to the approaching Assassin. The Crusader using his superior gunnery skills to surpass the Assassin's speed let loose with his LRM launchers sending a group of twelve LRMs slamming into the Assassin's center torso. The Assassin braced for the incoming munitions, the Assassin held steady, but an alert came up signaling his engine had suffered damage causing a massive heat surge going forward. The Rifleman sent autocannon fire into the Assassin's left arm tearing into the internal structure. Despite suffering no more critical damage, the Assassin's pilot could not hold his mech upright and fell to the ground severely damaging the remaining outer armor on the left torso.

Turn 03

The Assassin gained its feet and jumped away from the middle leaving the territory to the slower mechs. The Assassin was now in the company of a trio of light mechs also fully utilizing the East mountains for cover. The Firestarter lead the Stinger into combat against the FWL medium mechs.

The FWL medium mechs moved to the enemy light mechs while gaining the advantage of the high ground. The heavy mechs stayed in position for fire support.

The Firestarter was the only mech in the West mountains to get any weapon to connect being a ML to the Wolverine. The Centurion's pilot took a chance to fire at the Wolverine atop the mountain firing his heavy autocannon at the Wolverine's right arm causing significant damage and making his presence on the battlefield known. The Crusader causing no damage received some damage from the Hunchback. The Hunchback pilot could only curse his LRM launchers, one missing entirely and the other only causing two small blips of damage. The Rifleman ended the Centurion's joyful shot with a hit from one of his AC/5s.

Turn 04

The Assassin herded his trio of light mechs around the mountains pushing the two faster mechs forward across the gap between the mountains. The Assassin had a plan to launch a two wave strike against the FWL Rifleman, first striking with the fast light mechs followed by a second strike by the Wasp and his own mech. The Firestarter and the Stinger could not take the mountain top from the FWL medium mechs so they jumped ahead. The Ceturion and the Hunchback changed course slightly to ensure the FWL medium mechs would not overpower their lighter mechs.

The FWL medium mechs followed the enemy light mechs also grabbing some unwanted attention from the Centurion and the Hunchback.  The FWL heavy mechs stayed in position for fire support.

While the mechs in the West mountains played cop and robber with their seemingly imaginary guns the bigger mechs didn't play so nicely to one another. The Rifleman used his heat sinks to potential sending twin AC/5 shots back with a LL to the Centurion almost removing the remaining armor in the left leg. The Centurion bent on causing more damage to the enemy Wolverine settled for the enemy Crusader instead sending some well place autocannon fire into the mech's right arm. The Crusader's twin LRM15s connected releasing a spread of 23 LRMs across the Centurion's front arc. The Crusader's LRM barrage was powerful enough to cause the same type of stress it did on the Assassin's center torso causing the gyro to buckle slightly. The Centurion's pilot, alerted to the damage, luckily kept the mech upright. The Crusader again received some damage from the Hunchback. The Hunchback pilot again cursed his LRM launchers, one missing entirely and the other only causing two small blips of damage.

Turn 05

The Assassin and his accompanying mechs now past the gap between the mountain ranges moved further towards the enemy Rifleman. The Centurion stayed with the lighter mechs while the Hunchback continued up the middle. The Stinger jumped to flank the enemy medium mechs while the Firestarter abandoned the medium mechs to for some unknown reason challenge the enemy Crusader on his own.

The FWL medium mechs adjusted position to deal with the enemy Stinger in their zone of control. The Crusader answered the enemy Firestarter's challenge. The Rifleman adjusted position for the incoming swarm of pests.

The Stinger now in the control zone of the FWL mechs traded ML shots with the Wolverine. The Stinger believed his jump movement would provide adequate defense, but the Phoenix Hawk would prove otherwise. The Phoenix Hawk's pilot saw opportunity to possibly rid his lance mates of a pest as he tossed heat consideration out the cockpit and blazed away at the Stinger with every weapon he had available missing with only a single MG. The Phoenix Hawk's short range weaponry did a great deal of damage to the Stinger's right arm singing the armor to the inner parts while his LL heated the left leg to a breaking point sending the Stinger clambering to the ground. The Stinger mech fell to the ground as the pilot watched alerts displayed over and over for the right arm upper arm and lower arm actuators were damaged along with the system losing contact with the now destroyed left leg.

The Firestarter showed his might by blazing the Crusader with twin MLs. The Crusader standing uncaring and pilot laughing traded the same amount of MLs along with a weak amount of SRMs from his duel SRM6s followed up by a MG for an afterthought. Despite the challenge at hand, the Crusader again received some damage from the Hunchback. The Hunchback pilot again cursed his LRM launchers, one missing entirely and the other only causing two small blips of damage. However, some slight relief came when a single ML connected.

The Spider sprung his attack early against the Rifleman without the Locust and landed twin MLs blasts against the Rifleman. The Rifleman prepared for the attack popped the spider with autocannon fire tearing into the mech's right arm all the way to the shoulder.

Turn 06

The Spider moved past the deadly rifleman along with the locust passing the chance while the Assassin and the Wasp moved into position to attack the Rifleman. The Centurion and the Hunchback pressed forward to the FWL heavy mechs. The Pheonix Hawk pilot saw the Centurion at a disadvantage and moved behind him while the Wolverine moved to assist the Rifleman about to be swarmed. The Firestarter pilot took the Wolverine's movement to his advantage and abandoned his challenge with the Crusader to get behind the Wolverine.

The latter portion of the Assassin's two wave attack plan was faltering as the Spider attacked ahead of the Locust thereby forfeiting its chance. The Locust trained his weapons to the Wolverine instead since it had moved in front of him. The Assassin backed the locust both causing minimal damage to their adversary. The Wolverine on the other hand attempted to swat the locust for good with both his MLs and his SRM6 and failed to cause enough damage. The Firestarter gave the Wolverine a twin blast with his MLs and supplemented his heat scale nicely with twin flamers. Burn baby burn! :)

The Hunchback in better range switched to primary ML firepower and got two MLs to connect against the Crusader. The Crusader more focused on the Centurion sent a ML blast and a hail of SRMs to the Centurion. The Phoenix hawk behind the Centurion fired a twin ML blast singing the inner parts of the left leg. The Centurion attempted to hold his mech upright as more warnings appeared displaying the left leg lower leg actuator and foot were inoperable. Alas the Centurion;s could not hold his mech up and fell to the ground with it injuring himself in the process. The Rifleman used a combination of firepower to damage the evading Spider enough to remove the left leg sending the wounded Spider slamming to the ground.

The Phoenix Hawk gave the fallen Centurion while down a swift kick to its right arm breaking and cracking open the outer armor.

Turn 07

The Spider pilot attempted to raise his mech, but the action failed. The Spider's pilot saw the ground again as the left arm snapped to pieces fully destroyed. The Wolverine traveled away from the Firestarter intend on exploiting its over heated state. The Locust followed to continue harassing the Wolverine for what it could. The Firestarter did the same as the Locust. The Assassin maneuvered to get a bead on an enemy mech with less attention to himself. The Wasp kept distance to the Rifleman debating on getting close. The Crusader and the Rifleman barely moved proving their removal was constantly met with stiff resistance. The Hunchback pressed on slightly to engage the Crusader as the Phoenix hawk jumped behind it.

The Wolverine chose to avoid firing any weapons to sink as much heat as possible along with anymore lost due to the Firestarter. The Locust got some damage on the Wolverine while the Firestarter failed miserably to cook the Wolverine again. The Assassin sent a few LRMs to the Rifleman which took aim and blasted it back with a LL causing far more damage.
The Phoenix Hawk and the Hunchback both put an end to the others undamaged state. The Phoenix Hawk's MGs tore across the Hunchback while the Hunchback's MLs beamed across the Phoenix Hawk. With their useless weapons fire both mechwarriors decided to kick one another, both missed their kicks, the Phoenix Hawk kept upright while the Hunchback slipped and fell to the ground in misery.

Turn 08

The Stinger and Spider pilots gave up trying to raise their mechs and abandoned their mechs. The Wasp moved up to the Rifleman and the Assassin followed in support. The Phoenix Hawk moved behind the Wasp in response to its movement to the Rifleman leaving the Hunchback. The Hunchback rose up and continued to the Crusader who was watching his general area. The Wolverine moved to the Crusader for relief from the Firestarter while the Locust broke off in support of the Wasp taking on the Rifleman.

The Wasp backed by the Assassin and the Locust all damaged the Rifleman, however the experienced pilot swayed off the damage. The Rifleman picked the Locust as his target using his AC/5s with precision destroying the Locust's right arm completely along with damaging the MG in the left arm leaving the Locust with a sole ML to work with. The Firestarter still after the Wolverine got a ML in while the Wolverine got a ML to the Hunchback. The Crusader sent punishment to the Hunchback with a large concentration of short ranged weaponry. The Hunchback failed to deal any damage in support of all the other mechs trying to break the FWL mech line of defense. The Wasp's jump movements kept it from receiving a crippling kick from the Phoenix Hawk.  The Wolverine did not fare as well, receiving a strong, non-crippling kick causing the battlemech to fall to the ground.

Turn 09

The Wolverine managed to right itself up and get back to back with the Crusader for protection. The Hunchback  moved to engage the Crusader at short range. The Wasp continued to bombard the Rifleman at short range while the Assassin and the Locust broke off to work on the Wolverine alongside the Firestarter.

The Wolverine's  ML shot from the Locust was not much to worry, but the Firestarter had succeeded in every weapon fired at the Wolverine. The combined might of ML, MG, and Flamers to boost tore into the Wolverine's right arm damaging the upper arm actuator and the attached ML. The Assassin finished what the Firestarter had opened up with a combined ML and SRM2 destroyed the Wolverine's right arm. The Rifleman felt a slight thump against his mech's head from the Wasp, but chose to ignore its presence. The Rifleman trained his AC/5s on the Assassin and destroyed its right arm as well.
The Hunchback displaying its best firing yet with three good ML blasts to the Crusader. The Crusader's response to the Hunchback was far more superior at close range with twin MLs, twin MGs, and twin SRM6s firing a total of ten SRMs at the Hunchback. The Hunchback received a punishing short range barrage along with a random SRM striking the head causing the pilot to reassure his own alertness, but not topple his mech.
The Pheonix Hawk gave a similar punishment to the Wasp with twin MLs, and twin MGs. The Pheonix Hawk followed his weapon attacks up with a crippling kick to the Wasp's left leg which the left leg buckled into the internal armor smashing all the way to the center torso destroying the light mech.

End Game

The Pirates gave up the fight and retreated away grabbing their fallen mechwarriors leaving the pilot of the Wasp surrounded by FWL forces. The FWL forces chose not to pursue the Pirates except allowing the Phoenix Hawk to follow them slightly to make sure they retreat and not double back or bring reinforcements.

Carnage Report


Unknown Pirate forces

Two Light Lances

Lance 01

Locust LCT-1V
R. Arm destroyed
L. Arm MG damaged
Critical damage
Stinger STG-3R
R. Arm UAA damaged
R. Arm LAA damaged
L. Leg destroyed
Battlemech Crippled!
Battlemech Aabandoned!
Firestarter FS9-H
Heavy Damage
Assassin ASN-21
Engine hit
R. Arm destroyed
Critical damage

Lance 02

Wasp WSP-1A
Left leg destroyed
C. Torso destroyed
Pilot hit (Head hit)
Battlemech Destroyed!
Mechwarrior Captured!
Spider SDR-5V
L. Leg destroyed
L. Arm Shoulder damaged
L. Arm destroyed
Battlemech Crippled!
Battlemech Aabandoned!
Hunchback HBK-4N
Pilot hit (Head hit)
Heavy Damage
Pilot hit (Fall)
Gyro hit
L. Leg LLA damaged
L. leg FA damaged
Battlemech Crippled!
Battlemech Aabandoned!


FWL 9th Marik Malitia

Heavy Lance

Lance 01

Phoenix Hawk PHX-1
Wolverine WVR-6M
R. Arm upper arm actuator damaged
R. Arm ML damaged
R. Arm destroyed
Critical damage
Rifleman RFL-3N
Pilot hit (Head hit)
Crusader CRD-3R
Heavy damage


* This game was a ton of fun and I didn't really care about the random skill sets or the fact I might lose.
* I played the Pirates so the Crusader would be their priority target and towards the end Mark had disrupted my operation on his own causing chaos and me firing all over the place. Well played.
* The engine hit to the Assassin sucked royally. Every time I jumped the mech which was the most efficient way to keep its defense up overheated the mech.
* I have a renewed respect for the Firestarter now. The twins flamers can really hurt if they both connect. The Firestarter was successful at pushing the Wolverine back somewhat until it failed at a second volley of flamer goodness.
* Mark's ability to cook his Crusader or Rifleman to high heat level becomes outright deadly quick producing stupid amounts of damage. Fuck yeah!
* The Wolverine -6M can dish out and take punishment good.
* Likewise I have more respect for the Phoenix Hawk as it was tough to get away from or simply shake off once it was in range.
* The Centurion gyro hit blew chunks and failing to get him up sucked. I should have kept trying though. The combined leg damage and gyro damage proved to much to beat.
* The Hunchback had some crap roles when it came to weapon attacks and cluster rolls, however it tends to either not or take forever to die. The Hunchback I think is a classic zombie mech which can lose weapons and still pose a large problem until it is removed.
* The Rifleman's low head armor, low armor, and heat sinks in general make it difficult for it to keep up in stand up fights. However Mark played the mech well as a fire support unit.

I hope you enjoyed this Battletech Battle Report and check back for the next report already in the works which is twice as large, twice as long, and full of heavy metal mayhem.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Time of War

A Time of War

Previously before my attending Dragoncon 2013, which was completely awesome, I started a Battletech campaign using the rules in A time of War. I wanted to start a campaign with as much difference to any games I have played in the past. Since the new player Mark, had very little knowledge of the Battletech universe I let everything start at the character creation process. This worked out better for a clean slate idea as he didn't have anything he wanted in mind except to ride in a heavy battlemech. The character creation process was a long process to work out, in fact we had to use two sessions to work out all the kinks.

Building a character

With as much unbiased information from me Mark chose the Free World's League for his character's affiliation. His character is primarily a mechwarrior being the only request by me along with some ability as a dropship pilot as well. He also chose to make his character an officer before ending his first tour of duty. During the finalization of character creation I advised Mark to not worry about trying to get a battemech since he would most likely be assigned one to use anyway. Mark did express interest in a heavy mech where possible. With all of this in mind, the era was set to 3028 and the character placed in the 9th Marik Malitia. The 9th Marik Militia has an interesting background along with a home world ripe with opportunity in the future. Initially I wanted to begin a campaign in the new Dark Age era, but since Mark had no knowledge of the older versus newer technology I felt keeping tings simple and more readily available would work better.

Building a unit

Since Mark's character was essentially an officer in the 9th Marik Malitia, he was assigned to a random heavy battlemech. I used a a PDF of tables found on the Battletech forums called "3028-3050 Faction Assignment & Rarity Tables" for battlemech assignments. This particular PDF offers more expanded faction specific selection tables. I let Mark conduct the roll for his character's battlemech assignment despite being random which ended up being a Crusader CRD-3R. Mark was all to thrilled to receive the battlemech liking the variable weapons compliment it offered. Mark's character also holds the position of lance leader so the rest of his lance needed to be created.


To create the rest of his lance I used the available tables from FM: FWL for lance composition and again letting Mark conduct the roll a heavy lance was produced consisting of two medium battlemechs and two heavy battlemechs, one of the heavy battlemechs being Marks character's Crusader. I again used the PDF mention before for battlemech assignments and again letting Mark conduct the rolls producing a Phoenix Hawk PHX-1 for the first medium battlemech, a Wolverine WVR-6M for the second battlemech, and a Rifleman RFL-3N for the second heavy battlemech. Mark was very pleased on the results of the rolls seeing two units capable of large amounts of firepower at different range brackets along with two highly maneuverable sniper units. Another bonus would be the Wolverine 6M variant being a FWL variant carrying a large laser instead of an AC/5.

Adding unit details

Mark named his character Lyndon Rayleonard. Lyndon is a regular of the FWL and in command of a lance of battlemechs which are part of reinforced company within the 9th Marik Malitia. Lyndon's unit is the beginnings of a new company being formed. Lyndon's command allows his unit more remote assignments to lessen their dependance on the parent company's resources in the future..
The Rifleman pilot, I named Jave Cobb. Jave is a regular of the FWL and is also Lyndon's right hand mechwarrior who stays at his side and follows orders to the absolute. Jave tends to keep the other members of Lydon's unit in line when necessary.
The Phoenix Hawk pilot, I named Klive Jacobs. Klive is a regular of the FWL and a hotshot pilot with a better understanding in communications systems than his battlemech.
The Wolverine pilot has yet to receive a name yet. The Wolverine pilot is partial officer material being transferred in to Lyndon's unit and placed second in command to Lyndon. His battlemech functions as a command battlemech, however his piloting skills are not on par with his regular gunnery status.
Lyndon's lance rides in a Union dropship for transport which his lance being the only units being transported besides the usual crew and support personnel.

Adding unit assignment

Lyndon's lance and their parent company are off their home world of Carbonis deployed to the west of the FWL to a planet encircled by moons with various amounts of resources. Their current role their is policing up some local pirate activity disrupting localize mining operations.

Mark and I generally meet every Friday evening when we can so I generally look forward to our game sessions. I try to mix in RPG elements as much as possible so I build my experience and challenge Mark's character. In fact to give me some time to learn more about the RPG aspect as well build and prep for their in the future I threw Mark right into the Battletech universe right away. I gave Mark a copy of the intro rules so he could learn them asap and learn the rules he did.

Look for an upcoming battle report. :)