Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Battletech A Time of War Campaign Complete

The turn of 2014 to 2015 marked a lot of gaming changes apparently and another one of those changes was the successful completion of my ongoing Battletech A Time of War campaign. The campaign is not 100% complete by any means as there is plenty of story to develop and reveal along with general character development alongside. The campaign completion was the end of the player character's involvement in the self designed Katerra system story line. What follows is a brief overview of the first campaign and some notable player information. Also I will provide a brief run down of the how the players available resources appear going in to the second campaign.

Campaign Overview

The campaign started with Mark (Lydon) the first player character along with support NPCs working to reveal the story line. Here is a previous post about Lydon and the support NPCs. Lydon discovered an active pirate infestation working to overtake the local authorized Katerra Mining Corporation. Lydon discovered the pirates used various tactics involving the use of battlemechs to secure mining facilities and the use of combat vehicles to garrison mining facilities. Lydon was able to push the pirate forces off of the majority of the most valuable of Katerra's sister worlds and shut down a gruesome forced work mining facility. Lydon was also able to identify the pirate forces leader who pilots a Cyclops possessing powerful communication equipment and who has bodyguards consisting of battlemech Chargers and combat vehicle Manticore heavy tanks.

With the pirate forces in dismay, Lydon assisted the people of Katerra and helped them see what was really going on. These actions brought various counter attacks from the corrupt government. This lead to the corrupt government to begin openly attacking FWL military forces. Lydon emerged victorious causing the corrupt government to exhaust the majority of available resources on Katerra Prime. This lead to the quell of most of the corrupt government forces and hopeful capture of the corrupt governor. During the chaos on Katerra Prime, Lydon and his lance mates were also able to capture a core sample of mined metal intended for a buyer, the sample was to be used in PPC weapon components.

Lydon and the support NPCs were soon joined by Dan (Zoku) the second player character who worked alongside them to reveal the story line further and see it to its eventual completion. At some point I need to make a separate post about Dan's character Zoku and her battlemech. For the meantime, she pilots a Thug THG-11E, acts as the lance's tank and head hit magnet.

Zoku arrived on Alpha Katerra in time for an RPG out of battlemech close combat session. In this session he and his lance mates ended up meeting biter previously pissed off Firestarter and Hunchback pilots at a local salvage shop. The next session Zoku got his first taste of Battletech and piloting a battlemech while working with Lydon and his lance mates to try and prevent a high value target from escaping. This same game, the players both met and fought the pirate aligned mercenary group known as Headless Help.

A Thug

The players would follow the pirate and mercenary forces to the last mining planet in the Katerra system still harboring corrupt government forces. The players would see the enemy off planet in a large drawn out battle to not only take the mining facility, but hold the mining facility and its contents. The players were hoping to get the Cyclops pilot to show himself, but he sent his Chargers and Manitcores in his stead. The pirates eventually fled the mining facility by a losing draw. The player characters were apparent baited pawns. The real picture was the player's parent company was ambushed on another of Katerra's mining worlds by a much larger combined pirate force. The parent company held their ground forcing the final retreat of the pirate forces, but not without heavy loss of resources.

The player's parent company was assembled using the 3028-3050 Faction Assignment & Rarity Tables. The players have only RPG wise met and interacted with a few of the parent company mechwarriors, but this will change going into the next campaign. The players parent company was in the bad shape. The scout lance was baited out and attacked first. The fire lance was ambushed shortly after the scout lance. The scout lance was ordered to retreat in order to save the remaining mechwarriors. The fire lance was decimated with the loss of two mechwarriors and three battlemechs. It was noted the Hunchback pilot held on to his position to long, but he never let a single unit pass beyond his position. The Pirate's paid dearly in resources in order to knock out the fire lance. The command lance was attacked last, but the company commander's defensive strategy proved superior.

Command Lance
Mechwarrior: Alive Battlemech: Black Knight BL-7-KNT-L Critical Damaged
Mechwarrior: Alive Battlemech: Orion ON1-K Critical Damaged
Mechwarrior: Alive Battlemech: Thunderbolt TDR-5S Critical Damaged
Mechwarrior: Alive Battlemech: Battlemaster BLR-1G Critical Damaged

Fire Lance
Mechwarrior: Alive Battlemech: Archer ARC-2R Destroyed
Mechwarrior: Alive Battlemech: Trebuchet TBT-5N Critical Damaged
Mechwarrior: Dead Battlemech: Trebuchet TBT-5N Destroyed
Mechwarrior: Dead Battlemech: Hunchback HBK-4G Destroyed

Scout Lance
Mechwarrior: Alive Battlemech: Wolverine WVR-6M Critical Damaged
Mechwarrior: Alive Battlemech: Wolverine WVR-6M Destroyed
Mechwarrior: Alive Battlemech: Phoenix Hawk PHX-1 Critical Damaged
Mechwarrior: Alive Battlemech: Phoenix Hawk PHX-1 Destroyed

The players regrouped with their parent company and left the Katerra system intent on chasing down the pirate forces. The players learned the Cyclops they were looking for was not the only Cyclops and their parent company located one as well. They stopped at the planet Arisfire which housed a large Personnel and Inventory Requisition Training Installation PIRT. This is where the players and their parent company would recoup their losses, repair, rearm, and train.

While on Arisfire, Lydon was tasked with requisition of  replacement personnel and resources. While inspecting replacement battlemech stock, Lydon received orders for a new mechwarrior and a new battlemech. Lydon keeps being reminded of a glitch in some system stating his unit is missing a mechwarriror and a battlemech. Lydon's attempts to fix the glitch have been fruitless so he does not worry and every now and then new equipment arrives attempting to replace the lost personnel and equipment. The new mechwarrior was a non trouble maker arriving and transferred to the brig before she could be transferred to Lydon's unit. The new mechwarrior and escaped and has been reported AWOL. Lydon finally got permission from command to modify his Crusader to better assist his preferred heat curve. The players and their support NPCs were able to locate an old fossil with some knowledge of how to repair Zoku's Thug's damaged double heat sink.

What follows is a breakdown of the types of missions I have had designed and played out with the players over the time of the first campaign. For reference, Dan entered shortly before the Breakthrough mission. I feel I ran a successful first ATOW campaign and a first RPG campaign overall using a healthy mix of Battletech to RPG game types. The mission locations brought the players to different locations so it wasn't all contained to a single planet. The mission types seem a bit repetitive, but this was the nature of the campaign progress. The odds seem always in favor of the opposing forces and this was intended to help challenge the players. Early in the campaign I would use no BV and randomly generate opposing force size and resources with small increases for challenge purposes. Later on I would use BV with small percentage increases for challenge purposes.

PC and NPC Overview

The players have learned quite a few things about their skills during the campaign as well.

Lydon has great leadership, but his leadership utterly fails when he needs it most. Jave antagonizing pirates during a cease fire, Pilots reconnaissance of the local female populace instead of the mission objective, Klive refusing to dump ammunition are a few of Lydon's failed leadership woes. Lydon also has a love hate relationship with protocol. Lydon is terrible at interrogating prisoners. Lydon goes down rather easily in RPG melee combat. Lydon's Crusader's LRMs regularly damage or kill vehicle crews. Lydon's despises his medical team for flip flopping their given abilities at any given time.

Zoku can miss with both of her Thug's PPCs without question at all of the right times. Zoku readily persues useless kills instead of pursuing what matters. Zoku can hold her own in RPG melee combat. Zoku's technician team replaces more battlemech head armor than any other battlemech in her lance.

The pilots who were gifted to Lydon secretly by his company commander are absolute drunk trouble makers. The pilots are both expert pilots and bombers. There methods are left to be desired. Deven will often single out targets and drop heavy payloads on to them from above completely demolishing the target.

Going into the second campaign the player's resources were the following.

Dropship: Union

Mechwarrior: Lydon - Battlemech: Crusader CDR-3R
Lydon's Crusader is in battle ready condition. The dual Machine Guns and volatile ammunition were removed and replaced in favor of twin heat sinks.
Mechwarrior: Zoku - Battlemech: Thug THG-11E
Zoku's Thug is in battle ready condition. It has some permanent internal structure damage.
Mechwarrior: Jave (NPC) - Battlemech: Rifleman RFL-3N
Jave's Rifleman is in battle ready condition. was should have been replaced with a Marauder.
Mechwarrior: Klive (NPC) - Battlemech: Phoenix Hawk PXH-1
Klive's Phoenix Hawk has some permanent internal structure damage.
Mechwarrior: Wolfy (NPC) - Battlemech: Wolverine WVR-6M
Wolfy's Lots of simulator time should help keep the Wolverine upright in combat.

Battlemech: Mongoose MON-67- Battlefield salavage
The Mongoose has some permanent internal structure damage.
Battlemech: Centurion CN9-A - Battlefield salvage
The Centurion is in battle ready condition.
Battlemech: Marauder MAD-3M - Replacement for the Rifleman.
The Marauder is in battle ready condition.

Pilot: ? (NPC) - Aerospace Fighter: Stingray F-90
The Stingray is in battle ready condition.
Pilot: Deven (NPC) - Aerospace Fighter: Riever F-100
Deven's Riever is in battle ready condition.

For those who have read this far, I hope you have enjoyed my campaign overview. Feel free to inquire about anything. The campaign tries to run in the post 4th Succession War era basically to keep the tech level nominal. I feel this second campaign so far is really taking off and is very enjoyable to me and I get the same feeling from the players.

I can offer a small glimpse into the second campaign which has already begun. I have a Battletech Battle Report coming soon to post. I also have a rather funny post of how I finally tackled ATOW's melee and ranged combat systems along with general character progression.


  1. I read it and it inspired me. Good Post! Thnx

    1. Thank you, and I am glad you enjoyed the post. I am trying to post more information on the second campaign as well.