1200 Days - Gramps' run at a Kerensky rated career

1200 Days - Gramps' run at a Kerensky rated career

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
Our story begins - Arn

MarkDey

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Welcome to my story, in which I will record the tales of the mercenary company Gramps' Giants and their new Commander's attempt to achieve the highest possible rating in a campaign game. Each mission will be recorded and summarized, and I should be able to update the thread every day or two (story parts will take longer.)

I make full use of the Threadmarks feature, so if you only want to see the major / interesting story parts and skip the brief mission writeups, then please do use that. Comments and questions are welcome, and I hope you enjoy the run!
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____"A SCORE?! MRB barely keeps the backstabbers in line, and now they have the nerve to say they're gonna make us jump through hoops for a score? Forget it - I'm done."
____Darius began, "Commander, so long as we keep doing what we're doing-"
____"I SAID, I'M DONE!"
____Silence spread across the bridge.
____"Darius, if you and the crew want to keep going that's fine, but this is the last straw - I am done. ... Gramps is in command."
____Eyebrows shot up around the room like they were fired from an autocannon.
____"I lost that bet with him last year, and since then he's always saying 'I told ya so' or 'If I were in charge' so now I'm gonna make him prove it. Old fart has enough years to think he knows how to run the company - well, now he'll wish he never signed on." Continuing after a slow deep breath, "I'm going down to the planet and taking my share of the company's cash, just like our agreement says. Arn isn't a bad place to rest for a while... good fishing, anyway. Here's my final order: Gramps is in charge, but he never gets to pilot a mech again."

____Needless to say, I was surprised. Excited, for certain, but completely surprised. With the look on his face when he told me, Darius didn't see this coming either. Probably thinks that I'll be dead before 1200 days are up anyway. Bah - I'm not that old, and my odds are way better if I'm not running around in my Jenner anymore.
____Financial reports. Engineering projects. Mechbay logistics. Medical supplies. I shrug my shoulders to myself. It's fine - just like running up heat; turn off a few medium lasers when you need to, splash through a river, redline the reactor if it's important. There are some new systems to get used to, but the Commander never really balanced everything all that well anyway - especially the people. My people, now. That's where I'll start.
____It took a whole day for everything to change over. I'm glad that I spoke with Yang first - seeing him ride down to the surface with the ex-Commander made me wonder if he was going to leave too. Darius told me not to worry, but that didn't help much. The other pilots seemed unconcerned though - I heard Jalopy taking bets with Moose and some mechtechs on what the new company insignia would be. A little ways away, Hangover was laughing with Moose, Sumire, and Farah. I learned a long time ago that when a bunch of women are laughing, you just leave them alone and hope for the best. Turning towards the mech bay seemed like a good bet.
____Two Vindicators, my Jenner, a Spider, and a Locust -1M. I got pretty good at being the spotter for the LRMs. As I was thinking about some past missions, Darius came up to talk about money. What we had in the bank, our costs, what we could improve, and the contracts that were out there. The local government had four contracts - two straight up battles, one base capture, and one base defense. The Capellans had two bases they wanted captured, and House Marik needed some art recovered. Nothing that looked too dangerous; my biggest concern was having a mech get too damaged to fight. We needed to get through as many contracts as fast as we could and then get away from Arn with a minimum of trouble.
____Fortunately, I knew that Yang was a miracle worker. He could assemble a fully working mech, weapons and all, from the scorched scraps of three enemies using the same model. He had also been talking with Farah about ways to cut the cost of improving the Argo by nearly half. Even with all of that though, not even Yang could bring back a mech that had its center torso destroyed. I really needed him to leave the ex-Commander on Arn and come back to the ship. I knew that running a mercenary mechwarrior company was a hard, lethal business with decent salvage (never anything rare, though) and stingy contract pay. It was also exciting, and the best way I knew how to make a difference in the galaxy.
____When I got up the next morning, I was immediately disoriented. Took me a moment to remember that I was in the Commander's quarters. Turning on the screen to check the time, I saw a message from Yang titled 'Surprise'. That woke me up faster than my coffee. As I read his message, I realized that not only was he coming back, he was bringing a present. A sealed crate "just happened to appear" on the Leopard, and being the curious sort, he opened it. A Vulcan -2T battlemech in the factory original shipping brace, a NARC Beacon launcher with ammo, and a COIL-L energy beam would be arriving soon. Plus, he'd instructed the mechtechs to start modifying the mechs like we talked about, dropping some components and adding on more armor. As I walked into the hallway, thinking about how to best put the new gear to use, Darius was already there, walking rapidly from the bridge.
____"Good morning, Commander Gramps." We both smiled a bit at the newness of the title. "Looks like Yang has already given you the good news."
____"Morning," I nodded. "I'll ask Farah to get the mechbay scaffolding up and running for her first project as a thank you."
____"Sounds good. After that, let's pick some contracts and drop some mechs", Darius replied.
____"First drop of Gramps' Giants - let's show the MRB what we can do."

Intro Combo.jpg
 
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MarkDey

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Mission 001: 0.5 Skull Base Capture____Employer: Capellan____Target: Local Gov____Biome: Polar
Contract: 1/4 Pay, 3/4 salvage (3/12)____Lance: Jenner (Sugar), Locust -1M(Moose), Vindicator (Hangover), Vindicator (Jalopy)

Report: Turrets confirmed, moved to contact. 3x Light Sniper, 1x Light Shredder. Local Gov reinf. LCT-1E (CT kill) and COM-2D (Pilot kill).

Damage: Only armor ____Salvage: Recovered all salvage. COM-2D assembled and moved to storage.
Advancement: Moose, Gunnery from 2 to 3
 
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MarkDey

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Mission 002: 1 Skull Recovery____Employer: Free Worlds League____Target: Capellan____Biome: Tundra
Contract: 1/4 Pay, 3/4 salvage (3/12)____Lance: Jenner (Sugar), Locust -1M (Moose), Vindicator (Hangover), Vindicator (Jalopy)

Report: Moved to secondary objective and encountered an enemy JR7-D (CT kill), two COM-2D (both CT kill), LCT-1M (CT kill). Secondary asset secured and more enemy contacts detected. LCT-1E (legs kill), 2x Striker NARC (both ranged kill), JVN-10A (CT kill). Primary asset secured.

Damage: Only armor ____Salvage: 1x JVN-10A, 2x LRM10 as priority.
Advancement: Hangover, Jalopy, and Sugar, Guts 4 to 5 - Bulwark. Moose, Piloting 3 to 4.
 
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MarkDey

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Mission 003: 1.5 Skull Base Capture____Employer: Local Gov____Target: Capellan____Biome: Highlands
Contract: 1/4 Pay, 3/4 salvage (3/12)____Lance: Jenner (Sugar), Locust -1M (Moose), Vindicator (Hangover), Vindicator (Jalopy)

Report: No oppostiion, secured base. Enemy reinforcements arrive, nearly on top of Moose in the Locust! GRF-1N (CT rear kill), LCT-1M (CT kill), JVN-10F (CT kill), JR7-D (CT kill).

Damage: Only armor ____Salvage: 1x JVN-10F, 1x GRF-1N, 1x JR7-D as priority.
Advancement: Moose, Piloting 4 to 5 - Sure Footing. Sugar, Tactics 3 to 4. Jalopy and Hangover, Gunnery 3 to 4, Piloting 2 to 3, Tactics 2 to 3.
 

MarkDey

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Mission 004: 1 Skull Base Capture____Employer: Capellan____Target: Free Worlds League____Biome: Tundra
Contract: 1/4 Pay, 3/4 salvage (3/12)____Lance: Jenner (Sugar), Locust -1M (Moose), Vindicator (Hangover), Vindicator (Jalopy)

Report: Enemy detected, LCT-1E (CT melee kill), SDR-5K (CT kill), Scorpion Mk II (ranged kill), Striker (ranged kill). Enemy reinforcements arrive, LCT-1V (CT kill), JVN-10A (pilot kill), Striker (ranged kill), Scorpion (ranged kill).

Damage: Only armor ____Salvage: 2x JVN-10A, 1x LCT-1E as priority. LCT-1E assembled and moved to storage. JVN-10A assembled and moved into the bay, sending the SDR-5V into storage.
Advancement: Sugar, Tactics 4 to 5 - Sensor Lock. Moose, Gunnery 3 to 4. Jalopy and Hangover, Piloting 3 to 4.
 

ntw

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It might be interesting if you also keep track of the score with each of your reports?
 
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MarkDey

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It might be interesting if you also keep track of the score with each of your reports?
Yup! I plan to do that too, maybe after every couple of planets. In the beginning, there isn't much change in the score but I still want to see the datapoints.
 

MarkDey

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Mission 005: 1 Skull Battle____Employer: Local Gov____Target: Pirates____Biome: Polar
Contract: 1/4 Pay, 3/4 salvage (2/9)____Lance: Jenner (Sugar), Locust -1M (Moose), Vindicator (Hangover), Vindicator (Jalopy)

Report: Quick contact. COM-1B (CT kill), FLE-4 (CT kill), 2x JVN-10A (Headshot! and CT kill).

Damage: Only armor ____Salvage: 2x LRM15 as priority. JVN-10A assembled and moved to storage.
Advancement: Moose, Gunnery 4 to 5 - Multi-Target. Jalopy and Hangover, Tactics 3 to 4.
 

MarkDey

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Mission 006: 1 Skull Battle____Employer: Local Gov____Target: Free Worlds League____Biome: Polar
Contract: 1/4 Pay, 3/4 salvage (2/9)____Lance: Jenner (Sugar), Locust -1M (Moose), Vindicator (Hangover), Vindicator (Jalopy)

Report: Contact with enemy. PXH-1 (headshot!), JVN-10A (CT kill), COM-2D (headshot!), JVN-10F (CT kill). Sugar takes a Med Laser to the head - seems like that kind of battle.

Damage: Sugar wounded for 18 days, Jenner minor leg structure damage. ____Salvage: 2x PXH-1 as priority.
Advancement: Moose, Guts 2 to 3.
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____"That was a marksman's battle, headshots all around. Looks like Sugar is going to be out of action for a while", Darius said.
____"She'll pull through. I still have the scars from my hits to the head", I replied.
____Darius nodded, and handed me a datapad. "Here's a list of pilots looking for work. We'll need to replace Sugar, and some of these people look pretty good."
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New Hire: Jingle, 3/5/2/6, Sure Footing & Sensor Lock.
 

MarkDey

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Mission 007: 1 Skull Base Defense____Employer: Local Gov____Target: Free Worlds League____Biome: Tundra
Contract: 0/4 Pay, 4/4 salvage (4/19)____Lance: Jenner (Jingle), Javelin -10A (Moose), Vindicator (Hangover), Vindicator (Jalopy)

Report: Vanguard detected. LCT-1V (legs kill), SDR-5V (Jingle alpha-strikes the rear CT, killing it in one precise shot and preventing LOS to buildings), FS9-H (CT kill). Reinforcements arrive. LCT-1M (CT kill), 2x JVN-10A (both CT kill). Undetected units set some buildings on fire! Moose investigates and finds LCT-1V (CT kill), 2x Galleon (both ranged kill), Striker NARC (melee kill). Three buildings damaged, one near collapse, but none destroyed!

Damage: Jenner has additional minor leg structure damage. ____Salvage: 3x LCT-1V, 1x FS9-H as priority. LCT-1V assembled and moved to storage.
Advancement: Hangover and Jalopy, Tactics 4 to 5 - Sensor Lock. Moose, Guts 3 to 4 and Tactics 2 to 3. Jingle, Gunnery 3 to 4.
 
Joppa

MarkDey

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____"That's the last contract" Darius said as the lance began boarding the Leopard. "We've got some travel offers though - two contracts in Liu's Memory, both from Pirates. Some interesting items for sale on the market too."
____After a review, I said "Let's buy that third section of Phoenix Hawk salvage, move the Locust -1M into storage, and then head towards Joppa. I want to be able to take on some higher salvage contracts, but we'll need better mechs and better pilots for that."
____I had bigger plans than that, of course, but needed more time to think about how to make them work. The MRB scoring system wasn't exactly intuitive. For the most points, we'd need to take in 800 million C-Bills in 1200 days. Not only that impossible task, but we'd need 700 skulls worth of contracts, one of every model of mech that I've ever heard of, two dozen elite mechwarriors on our payroll, a perfect score on a crew morale assessment, 170 star systems visited, honored by four factions, loathed by four factions, a fully repaired and upgraded ship, and a maximum reputation rating with the MRB.
____For now, I just wanted to get underway to the next system and see what miracles of engineering Yang and his crew could do before we got there. That Vulcan could use a refit, and I'd like to find a way to use those new NARC and COIL-L systems. In time though, if we could do it... if we could do all of those impossible tasks, then we'd have the rarest of all honors - a Kerensky rated career. Just a little over three years from today. Not a bad present to look forward to when I turned sixty.
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____By the time we arrived at Joppa, Yang had repaired my Jenner, and refitted the Phoenix Hawk into a close range brawler. We had the equipment to convert the Vulcan into a powerful energy weapons platform, but not the time. Three weeks was way too long to wait at this point; hopefully, Farah's improvements to the mech bay would start making a difference soon.
____The contracts were a mixed bag: the local government had one base defense and one battle; the Capellans had a recovery and a target acquisition; the Free Worlds League had a base defense and assassination mission; even the local Pirates were looking for help with a battle. The biggest downside was that every drop would be into a lunar environment - terrible for heat and no cover. Hopefully we were ready for it.
 

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Thanks Gramps, I've enjoyed reading this. Going to flag the thread to keep up on. Good luck and safe battles.
 
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Nick_S

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This is a great thread -- fun reading and informative.

It gives me a different sense of how a skilled player approaches a Kerensky run, and the ways in which the difficulty settings affect that (for example, I don't think I've ever done all 6 contracts on the starting planet, and I often skip Local Government contracts, particularly against pirates -- but the combination of normal mechwarrior progression and pieces-of-3 change the risk/reward calculation slightly. You're taking some reputation losses early, but you're building mechwarrior skills much faster)
 
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MarkDey

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MarkDey

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This is a great thread -- fun reading and informative.

It gives me a different sense of how a skilled player approaches a Kerensky run, and the ways in which the difficulty settings affect that (for example, I don't think I've ever done all 6 contracts on the starting planet, and I often skip Local Government contracts, particularly against pirates -- but the combination of normal mechwarrior progression and pieces-of-3 change the risk/reward calculation slightly. You're taking some reputation losses early, but you're building mechwarrior skills much faster)
Thanks! :) I don't think that this is a foolproof way to win, but it's what I've decided to try, and with the time I have available, I hope it works; I might not get another chance at a dedicated block of time to play!
 

MarkDey

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Mission 008: 1 Skull Base Defense____Employer: Free Worlds League____Target: Local Gov____Biome: Lunar
Contract: 0/4 Pay, 4/4 salvage (5/23)____Lance: Phoenix Hawk (Moose), Javelin (Jingle), Vindicator (Hangover), Vindicator (Jalopy)

Report: Vanguard detected. LCT-1V (melee kill), LCT-1S (melee kill). Enemy reinforcements land, and Moose is able to split fire to distract them from the buildings. JR7-D (CT kill), BJ-1DB (survived), LCT-1M (CT kill), 2x JVN-10A (CT kill and survived). Time runs out and allied reinforcements arrive to complete the mission.

Damage: Only armor ____Salvage: Recovered all salvage. LCT-1M, JR7-D, and JVN-10A assembled and moved to storage.
Advancement: Moose, Tactics 3 to 4. Jingle, Guts 2 to 3. Hangover and Jalopy, Gunnery 4 to 5.
 

MarkDey

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Mission 009: 1 Skull Base Defense____Employer: Local Gov____Target: Free Worlds League____Biome: Lunar
Contract: 0/4 Pay, 4/4 salvage (4/19)____Lance: Phoenix Hawk (Moose), Javelin (Jingle), Vindicator (Hangover), Vindicator (Jalopy)

Report: Friendly engineers are inbound to activate the defense turrets. Vanguard detected, JR7-D (CT kill), COM-2D (CT kill). Enemy reinforcements land, Galleon TAG (melee kill), Striker NARC (melee kill), FS9-H (pilot kill), JVN-10A (CT kill), Striker (ranged kill), Galleon (ranged kill), LCT-1S (CT kill), Galleon (ranged kill).

Damage: Phoenix Hawk lost 40% CT structure from a rear melee attack. ____Salvage: 3x FS9-H, 1x LCT-1S as priority. FS9-H assembled and moved to storage.
Advancement: Jingle, Guts 3 to 4.
 

Jolly Joker

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You moved a Firestarter to storage? Will you equip it in your next transit?
 
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