[Fanfiction] Deadmen&Friends - a BATTLETECH AAR (modded, beware of campaing spoilers)

[Fanfiction] Deadmen&Friends - a BATTLETECH AAR (modded, beware of campaing spoilers)

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RyuKazuha

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Good Day Friends and Enemies and welcometo a new AAR, this time in BATTLETECH, as the Title, and the Forum, suggests. I will be playing BATTLETECH including the campaign and document whatever happens in the form of transcripted Audiologs by Robert "Scrapper" Vega, my player character and newly appointed Commander of the "Deadmen&Friends" Mercenary Outfit.

I have completed a vanilla BATTLETECH-Campaign allready and will be using Mods to spice up the experience this time around, mainly focused on making the game harder economically, but also giving my pilots some more agency. I also fired Glitch, Behemoth, Dekker and Medusa right after I got the "Benefactor" Mission prompt and hired Rookie Pilots to fill their spaces. Thus I wont be able to use pilot abillities for some time.

I will be using the following mods( last updated 04.07.2018):

"dZ Consolidated Company Commander Mod Pack" by donZappo
- "Mech Maintanance by Cost" Percentage of MechCost set to 0.005. This will make Mech Maintanance more expensive depending on chassi AND equipment base price. Meaning those +++ components will incur significant additionals costs

"Unlock full map after obtaining the Argo" by SamokhodnayaUstanovka; This will allow me to go everywhere as soon as I get gifted the Argo by Lady Arano.

Finally my own mod. This one sets mechwarrior costs to 1/10th the vanilla pay, because meat is cheap, and mechs are expensive. It halves Contract Payouts per Difficulty to 90k.
Lastly I modded the cost of both moral abillities to cost 50 Moral (or 100% of the moral bar), to eliminate the "Core Chaining" or Legging-Sprees you can get going later on.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to ask them within the thread an I will respond as soon as I am able to. I plan to post at least one update per Week and after Mission 2 will also include screenshots. Furthermore, as we get deeper into the threat, there will be a table of contents with links for easy access.

If you've read this far, I hope you'll be around to see where we're headed. The first part of the AAR should be in the post below. Fly safe.
 
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Deadmen&Friends
- Recon, Rescue, Reposession -​


1 - Prelude

We're waist deep in quick sand and going down quick. We got been stuck in this part of the periphery after the banks locked our jump ship access. Money's running low and so is morale. Around here people expect you to smash a lance worth of vehicles and mechs for barely 100k C-bills and be happy about it.
Ever since the commander and the senior lance got smoked we've been on our own. The sorry bunch that's left elected me to lead them to glory, but all I see in front of us is an endless abyss and the shade of oblivion.

We sold the Locust at Belerophon to make ends meet, so we're down to four mechs, all of them now refitted for service.

The Spider had to shed some JJs to mount full armor and a pair of small lasers to beef up her double Mediums.

I also had the MechTechs switch the ShadowHawk to SRMs, none of us are exceptionally good shots, so I suspect a shotgun will do better then a rifle.

Lastly, I decided to drop the AC2s from the Black Jack, making space for the AC5 and more Armor. It'll do as a second row brawler while still retaining some range.

As for the pilots...

I'm a rookie myself no doubt, but the team that stuck with me after the commander is even more green, blank slates really, but eager enough to prove themselves in the field.

Vilmos "Cruithe" Coelho (3.2.3.3)
He is the heir of some noble family from the Capellan Confederation, but besides the family name, there isn't much to inherit. He's a decent shot, somewhat tactically inclined and brave enough, but not the fastest on the svivel. Outside he's a likeable if somewhat stiff man who sticks to hierarchys like boarding pods to a ships hull. Also it seems he's something going on with Lady Fortune and might share some of his luck.

Cornell "Macho" Kristiansen (3.2.3.2)
Macho was born a periphery commoner and snuck aboard the Leopard a couple of years ago. He's learned enough to pilot a mech and shoot it's guns, but he's lacking in his understanding of tactics and is more often stupid then brave. He suffers no insult and allways strives to outdo his peers. I hope he doesn't get killed while doing so, but at least he's improving.

Michael "Smog" Mehmedovic (2.3.2.2)
Smog is a Taurian, a Taurian noble, though even he disregards any such distinction, headstrong and volatile, but unfortunately little more. He has potential, at least as a pilot, but of all of my misfits, he's the most misfitting one.

Sezim "Triceratops" Mariani (3.3.2.3)
Sezim is the fifth son, born to marik nobility in the Free Worlds League. Being to far down the line to inherit any landed titles, he set out to be a mechwarrior. He's a cautios and methodical man with good grasp on all mechwarrior disciplines. But he lacks the guts to dive into a brawl, preferring to stay at the side lines, until he may land a decisive blow.



2 - Heavy Lifting

It appears the name Deadmen&Friends still carries some weight. We got contacted by some canopian lady (30k for a meeting, I could get use to that). We're to retrieve some old wrecked drop ship from a pirate moon called Ancylus, or something like that. Deal was for us to clear the closeby pirate base, while canopian marines and engineers took possession of the craft. Not to much to ask for a million C-bill Payday!

Cruithe drew the short straw and had to take the Spider, I myself took the Shadow Hawk, Macho the Black Jack and Triceratops got the Vindicator. To be honest, there wasn't to much strategy involved in our approach. We swung around the right flank of the base entrance, Cruithe and I taking point and relieving the turret generator of its duty.
Macho took a bit of fire from a pair of defending Strikers, but he and Triceratops had no trouble taking them out.
Pushing further in, I took down a Scorpion Cruithe had outflanked and softened up. Triceratops taking his second name from another Scorp.

While Cruithe chased down the last remaining defender, a ramshackle bulldog, Triceratops ran his Vindicator a little to hot taking down the second generator.
After regrouping and taking some time to cool, we took down the radar towers to clear the path for the capellans, and then proceeded into the bases courtyard through a breach in the courtainwall.

Turns out the base wasn't as much close to the wreck, as it incorporated the downed Dropship, likely as a powersource if nothing else. Inside, the second wave of defence met us. A Jenner, a Commando, a Locust and two vehicles, all in less then pristine condition. Cruithe, eagerly going after the vehilces got flanked by the Jenner and the Commando. The Spiders left torso evaporated in an instant.
While Triceratops pledged to down the Locust, I slammed into the Commando, disrupting balance andcreating enough of an opening for Macho to blow him to bits.
The Jenner tried to take another shot at our Spider, but Cruithe dodged him and jumped as far as his jets would carry him and into full cover.
With the Locust-Pilot breathing void after to PPC-shots squarely to the CT, we were free to pile into the Jenner, who chose to eject, rather then follow his comrades into the grave.
I remember hoping for a brief respite, as he shot up into orbit, but it was not to be. Instead a goddamn Quickdraw accompanied by a Shadowhawk stepped into the fight. I was out of position, we all were, but there was neither room nor time to properly regroup and though the team held up well, losing momentum could have brought us down then and there.
So I charged forward, planting myself between my team and the enemy, opened up on the quickdraw and braced for his revenge. The light show was quite spectacular, thinking back, but the pirate captain wasn't a good shot andprobably drunk too. Last thing I expected was not to be hit. But seeing me standing there unscratched did a lot to inspire the others. Macho would not suffer to be second to my bravado and rolled up beside me, blasting the Quickdraws side torso away with an almost perfectly placed salvo.

Triceratops meanwhile repositioned and used his LRM to put more pressure unto the Quickdraw and even Cruithe suddenly appeared in the pirates six after circling around the left flank and tore into her rear armor.
The Shadowhawk turned on the spot to go after Cruithe, who sacrificed his Spiders second arm to save from a crippling blow. I called my team to keep the pressure on the Quickdraw, hoping for Cruithe to get out by himself and was rewarded, after a second barrage from the three of us, the pirate captain decided to flip the eject and leave for greener pastures.
The shadow hawk pilot proved to be much more stubborn. We toppled him and happily kicked him, while he was down, but when he finally ejected, there wasn't much of his mech left.

In the end, what suffered the most was ourselves. Me, Cruithe and Macho went straight to theMedBay, strapped to the bed for three to four weeks, no recourse. And the Spider was trashed. Two arms missing, the CT basically gone and the left leg hardly more then a jumble of artificiall muscle and bent metal.

But we got out ahead, a million and change in cb-bills, a share of parts from the Quickdraw and the Shadow Hawk, some AC5's and, courtesy of our employer, a complete Centurion Chassi the pirates didn't get around to fitting. We'll scrap the spider, a refit is just to darn expensive and we can't afford to run surplus mechs, especially not useless ones.

Addendum:​

It seems our real client is one Lady Arano, the ousted Lady of the Aurigan reach. Apparently her late father has hired Deadmen&Friends before and she'd hoped to meet the old guard. She wasn't to happy to hear they're all gone and none of us are with the crew long enough to remember serving alongside the Aurigan Army.
But apparently our performance was convincing enough. She needs deniable assets and we need coin. Naturally, there was mutual ground to be found. She dealt with the banks to give us some breathing room, but she made it quite clear she had a million or two to spare, if we were to desert her cause.
I don't care for her cause, but I'll honor my contracts. After all, that is the only thing seperating mercs from pirates. No back stabbery, just straight business.

-
 
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3 - Protect the Rebels

We've made our way to Cluff's Stand in search of work. Seems around here the capellans are quite eager to expand their influence and undermine the planetary government. They want us to protect a rebel convoy and are ready to fork over 246k c-bills for what seems to be a rather easy mission. We'll be stuck with six pieces of salvage and one pick, but covering our costs is a priority concern, regardless of our current balance.

Since I'm still cuffed to the MedBed, I won't be dropping myself.
Cruithe will lead the mission on the ground, taking the Centurion into its maiden battle. At least with us. We fitted it with an AC5, two medium lasers, an SRM6, 4 JJs and full armor. Not gonna take any risks on the hardware and he'll take a lot of shots at the tip of the formation.
Triceratops will take the Shadow Hawk for this one. I want a good pilot with a steady triggerfinger in a quick mech to make sure we can intereceot whatever necessary.
Macho will take a backseat and get familiar with the Vindicator. He's a good enough shot to utilize the PPC and maybe even get some LRMs to hit.
The BJ goes to Smog. Playing "midfield" should garner him some experience without putting him into a crucial position. He's to distract and harrass the enemy, if he kills somebody in the process, all the better.

The team dropped a few hundred Meters south of the "clients" hideout, wich was allready under siege by the OpFor. 3 Panthers and a Jenner, ill prepared for an enemy combat drop. We crashed into their flank and concentrated fire on the first panther. With the opening volley the team took out both his arms, crippling him and taking almost no fire in return. The Jenner closed in from the left, while the 2nd Panther who had been standing on the close side of the hideout pressed our right flank, or tried to anyway.
I ordered to team to switch targets and they obliged. Smog landed a lucky hit destroying the panthers right torso, followed up by Cruithe taking the targets left torso clean of as well, causing the terrfied pilot to instantly eject. Triceratops then proceeded to blow of the first panthers right torso with the same effect, removing him from the battle as well. Unfortunately the Jenner managed to Evade the Vindicators PPCs, probably denying us a triple kill.
Shooting the Centurions Back was a daring move, but Cruithe wasn't going to let a Jenner take him down. He turned around and grounded with a crushing punch to the left leg. Smog was right on time, coring him as soon as he hit the ground with a full alpha for good measure.
Meanwhile the others had started engaging the last Panther, wich had come in from the far side of the Hideout. After some chipdamage and Macho taking out its right torso, Cruithe cored him without real effort.

With that done, the team spread out along a ridge covering the far side of the road before green lighting the clients convoy for extraction. Everything went smoothly, with enemy reinforcements just arriving as the convoy was at the extraction zone. Our lance had taken cover in the forest atop the ridge, well positioned to deal with 2 commandos arriving from the north and 2 Locusts from the east.
The enemy seemed to either ignore or just miss our mechs hidden in the trees, as they charged towards the dropzone. As soon as they had to slow down crossing the forest, we sprung our trap. Triceratops broke a commandos left leg with a low kick, while one of the Locusts lost his left torso to a devastating punch from the Centurion. Smog circled around the second commando to deliver a punch to the back and Macho removed the right torso of the downed commando with a well placed PPC shot.
Realising their mistake, the enemy tried to retaliate, but with most of their firepower already compromised, they failed to to noticable damage. Tricaratops crushed the downed commandos remaining leg and Cruithe cored the Locust with a second punch.
With that, the battle was effectively over, and the remaining locust was abandoned by its pilot after losing its left torso to a close range missle salvo by Triceratops.

I'm very pleased with the outcome. No injuries, no structural damage and a big payday. 295k in cbills, parts for a COM-1B, LCT-1V and PNT-9R as well as two JumpJets. If we keep up this kind of performance, we'll be well set for the future.
 

PauloBrito

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Nice story :), please continue
Very small point of order : - Canopian Lady and marines, not Capellan. From the Magistracy of Canopus and not from The Capellan Confederation. Also, not a downed Jumpship - very big dropship (100k tons only other ship class of that size exist - the Behemoth) / mobile base.
 

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Thank you. I've corrected the first post.

Also I'll be starting to use Consolidated Company Commander in the future to add more variety. I'm currently running some "combat simulations" to test for any undesired interaction between CCC and Basic Panic System and I will still be running my own cost adjustments. More on that as soon as I'm confindent that everything is fine.
 

PauloBrito

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Any chance of you using JK_Variants ?
Add a LOT of variants... turning the game much more 'interesting'. I remember vividly my first encounter with a AC/20 Centurion. Also help turning the campaign more challenging - way more time consuming get 'new' mechs.
 

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CCC does include JK variants so yes, it's going to be in. I've completed my testing and everything seems to work as intended, so I'm going to roll with it.

With Maintenance and DropCost both determined by Mech-worth and the slashes to mission payouts, moneys probably gonna be tight for a good long while and the new AI-behaviors are interesting too.

I'll have time to do a "real" mission and a write up on wednesday, so a new update is gonna be coming towards the end of the week.
 

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4 - Break the Bait

Still more problems with the capellans, but this time it's the Magistracy, who want them gone. Apparently some big mech is showing of and they suspect a trap. Of course we're the ones to take it. They offered a months rent, but I wanted some salvage. I negogiated for a hundred grand after drop costs. Since the last mission went over so smoothly, I kept everyone in the same mechs as before. They seemed to settle in quite fine.

The drop zone is at the edge of a desert, with mostly hilly terrain and some dried up forest. The team dropped with a ridge covering the left flank, a bit south and below the supposed enemy position. While Cruithe, Smog and Triceratops advanced in a tight formation, Macho took the high ground on a mountain direktly to the east of the dropzone.
I didn't take long to establish contact with the primary target.

upload_2018-6-19_17-20-51.png


The bait turned out to be a Griffin 1N, who used it's superior range to engage Cruithes Shadowhawk from outside of the teams effective weapons range, but was unable to do significant damage. While it weaved through podshots fired by the front line, it gave Macho enough of an opening to sever its PPC with a well placed shot of his own and taking out its left arm as well, as it tried to take cover.
Triceratops pushed forward, scaling the hill that covered the griffin and unleashed a full salvo of SRMs, igniting the Griffins ammo reserves and blowing of its right torso, catching the enemy pilot off guard and getting an armor breaking punch into the center as well.
Meanwhile, reinforcements had entered the valley from the north, as Locust and a Spider, both in bad shape and hardly a scary surprise.
Ignoring the occasional LRM-fire from behind the enemy line, the team continued to advance. Cruithe securing the right flank, while Smog brought his Lasers to bear on the barely standing Griffing, coring it.
Triceratops exchanged fire with the incoming Spider, wich decided to retreat, as its charge had gone to the ground.

upload_2018-6-19_17-21-18.png


With the Locust in a prime position to be tackled by the whole team, Triceratops led the charge, softening the target for the following blows. Smog then shaving its right torso clean of with an AC5 hit an Cruithe crushing its left torso with a devastating missile salvo. The pilot bailed his walking coffing without second thought, leaving the Spider to fend for itself, only backed up by occasional LRM strikes still arriving from further north.
It was not to suffer for long. Smog severed its left leg with an AC5-shell, exposing it to a hail of bullets and lasers from everyone else, with Triceratops claiming the kill.
While the team regrouped to take advantage of Machos covering fire, the next enemy showed itself to be a striker, who was quickly removed by the aforementioned, after wich the team advanced together, chasing down the last remnant of the OpFor, a Galleon greatly hindered by the local terrain.

Aside from some Griffin-scraps there was nothing to valuable to me salvaged. We got a medium laser, a jumpjet, one heatsink and some LRM-ammo for our troubles, but once more no lasting damage and the crew is getting to a point the old guard would have called "basic competence".

I'm starting to consider more advanced training to play to their strengths...
 
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5 - The Man In The High Castle

This time we got contracted by House Liao. One of their spies, by wich I mean, local observers, got himself caught and imprisoned by the local government. We're to extract him and his observations and deliver him to the client.

I negotiated for six pieces of Salvage and some 120k C-Bills. It's not the best deal I've ever closed, but we're doing fairly well right now and local gov isn't likely to present a challenge.

They did however present a nice defensive position. The facility perched on a steep faced mountaintop with only a single ramp providing convenient access. Furthermore surrounded by rugged, treacherours terrain and no way to approach covertly.

upload_2018-6-19_20-0-39.png


The team dropped near a lake southeast of the facility and stuck to a cliff facing northward, providing at least a somewhat elevated position. Then we waited, hoping for the OpFor to abandon their fortress to engage on more favorable terms.

Luckily the local gov doesn't train their troops very well. Not only did they abandon their fortifications, they seemed to try for a pincering maneuver, while a Spider charged ahead, presumably to draw our attentionen.

upload_2018-6-19_20-3-25.png


Although the Spider did admittedly cause more chaos then it should have, a firestarter closing in from the left flank scared the shit out of Smog, and the locust circling the right got a bit to close to doing real damage to the Shadowhawk, in the end the lack of coordination between the enemy broke their back.

Instead of supporting the Spider in its struggle against Cruithe and Triceratops, the Firestarter retreated, probably to link up with the main force consisting of two panthers and a striker. It thus was unable to punish our inability to maintain order and furthermore freed up Macho to deal with the incoming Locust from long range.
When he recommited, the Spider was allready gone and Smog was more then willing to welcome him back with a full salvo to rip of his right torso before engaging in melee. Meanwhile Cruithe would turn on the Locust to finish what Macho had started.

Finally, the Panthers didn't seem to realize their melee-support had been decimated and opened fire on Macho, who happily played target dummy, until the rest of the team could close into short range and destroy them.

upload_2018-6-19_20-4-44.png


With the OpFor cleanly wiped, not much more persuasion was needed to free our target and obtain the intel. The Capellans turned out to be very appreciative, adding a full 30% to our payout and gifting us with 2 pantherparts in addition to the one I claimed, as well as what was left of the firestarter, a PPC and a JumpJet. Dropcosts considered, we got away with 110k C-Bills, no to shabby.

Still, I'll have to adress combat discipline. If the enemy hadn't been even more disorganized, we could've been in real trouble.
 

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6 - Unlinking

Seems we made an impression. As we were leaving the rendevouz point after droping off the Liao spy, our Capellan "friends" allready had another piece of work to offer. We're to apprehend a local gov official on their behalf. He's likely the one who got our last target imprisoned, but that's just me speculating.

The team went down with the usual loadout, arriving at the mouth of a wide and pretty beautiful canyon the target used to hide from less sophisticated instruments of death.
upload_2018-6-20_17-13-25.png


For lack of a better landing position, the Leopard had to drop them direktly into open water, making them sitting ducks. As such, they were to beeline for the wooded shore leading into the canyon to secure a more advantageous position. Remembering the lessons learned the team advanced together aiming to reach the trees at the , with Smog taking a high flanking position on the salient to the north-east.
The OpFor had allready set up shop in the mouth of the canyon, fielding a Galleon, a Bulldog, a Striker and even a Manticore, none of them the usual rubble piles but in what has to be begrudgingly called "pristine condition". The Galleon working as somewhat of a forward scout was quickly dispatched by the teams concentrated firepower, with Cruithe landing the killing blow.

upload_2018-6-20_17-25-6.png


Giving the enemy no time to regroup, the team continuously advanced into the Canyon. Macho took out the Manticore from his elevated position and Cruithe claimed the Striker for a second kill. All of them ignoring a locust wich had dashed in from further north presumably having been on patrol when the fight started.
Instead they concentrated on the Maticore, wich still managed to bring his PPC to bear on the Shadowhawks Cockpit, leaving Triceratops with barely functional instruments and nasty burns all over.

upload_2018-6-20_17-33-31.png


The Manticors crew had no time to enjoy their hit, as Smogs AC5 tore through their side armor and shredded anything inside just a few seconds later.
Meanwhile Cruithe turned toward the Locust, displacing its leg and toppling it with a well placed swing. With Smog dealing the killing blow from afar, as Triceratops managed to direct his wreck to take cover in the canyon wall.

Though reduced to three mechs, the target riding a Shadowhawk of his own proved to not be an issue, abandoning his ride after trading a few long range AC5 shots. We picked up his pod a few kilometres away. I don't like to shoot people, but the capellans didn't want him alive and it's better then suffocating in space I guess.

After drop costs we made some 70k C-Bills, claimed part of a Shadow Hawk 2D and salvage a small laser, two SRM4s, an SRM mag and some JumpJets. No to shabby, and discipline was flawless. I have to tell Triceratops no to stop bullets with his head though. The MedTechs best estimate for full recovery is 20 days, so he'll join me for some time.
Maybe we can figure out the training deal while stuck here.
 
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I encountered an annoying bug wich may need some time to fix. Since we updated a running campaign, the starting mechtech value is at 3, instead of 5000 as required by CCC. We've Weldry coming up so there may be hope the transition to the argo fixes it, but if not, I may have to resort to some jiggery pokery. In any case I will reserve the right to reload in the event of a deadly headshot against the shadowhawk, as fixing 10 points of structure would currently cost me some 1900 days. :D
 

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7 - Training and Specialisations

Lady Arano summoned us a couple of days ago. It appears shes ready to start her war and we're to meet her in Orbit around a somewhat remote world on the edge of aurigan space. While on route, I had a long discussion with Cruithe, considering further training for the company. Considering everybody strenghts, we came up with a pretty solid plan. Also, we agreed about the necessity to hire some new talent.

Cruithe will be training to specialize as a Gladiator (Guts8/Gun5) himself and focus on front line combat, riding our heavier assets and leading from the front if I'm out of commission.

Macho we see as a Lancer (Gun8,Guts5) primarily focusing on midrange direct fire support, though he might even become a somewhat decent sniper in time. I would've liked to get him trained as a skirmisher, but his aptitude for piloting is... lackluster.

Triceratops will become our dedicated specialist for long range support. Training as a Striker (Tac8,Gun5) he will be able to hone his natural talent into a truly devastating edge on the field.

Smog's an interesting one. He's eager and brave, but I'm not really sure what to do with him. Cruithe suggested training him as an Outrider(Pilot8,Guts5) to serve at the frontline and I had nothing better in mind. I guess having a melee-savy pilot isn't the worst thing in the world.

I myself will be training towards Brawling (Guts8,Pilot5) to pilot the second dedicated frontline mech.

8 - Unboxing

We are to liberate a prison called "The Icebox" locally. As far as we are aware, it is highly fortified and well guarded. Also because of almost perpetual storms plaguing the area, we'll have to barge in from the front, using the only street leading there, instead of dropping in a more adventagous position.

But the facility is built to keep people _in_ not to keep mechs out. As such, most of the crucial energy-infrastructur is located out in fron of the prison and vulnerable to a quck attack. They do have some turrets, but nothing to dangerous to our boats, if we act quickly.
Plan is to scale the hill in fron of the prison, kill the generators there, then following the left approach and clear any resistance on the way to the main generators. Once they are taken out, we will handle what's left of the defenders and regroup, before entering the facility itself.

Cruithe will be piloting the Centurion, the Shadowhawk goes to me, wich Macho in the Vindicator and Triceratops in the Black Jack for a change.

upload_2018-6-25_13-20-29.png


The plan went as well as it could have, without us even taking major fire. Though our sensors didn't pick up any more contacts, I was relativly certain the OpFor would expect us to break through on of the gates. So we didn't. Instead I assembled the team a hundred meters away from the right gate and we jumped over the wall as one, suprising the OpFor, who had been hiding in the Prisons hangar.

upload_2018-6-25_13-27-3.png


I jumped the second wall to find them with their pants down, allowing me to get some juicy hits into their Centurion.

upload_2018-6-25_13-29-50.png


My little maneuver, though leaving me open to a missle to the cockpit and thus raising my med-bay-time, confused the OpFor causing it to split. While the centurion and Jenner engaged the rest of my team, the Trebuchet and Jaeger instead moved back towards the hangar bay, leaving them badly out of position, when I jumped back.
Cruithe made short work of the jenner, coring it with a mighty punch when it got to close and Macho, 'disarmed' the Centurion, taking off both of its armed in a single salvo. It was also around about this time, that Lady Arano showed up in an attempt to be helpful. Let's just say she didn't get in the way, so I've nothing to complain about. She did have at least some success distracting the Jaeger before I broke his back. Meanwhile Triceratops got a hold of the Centurion, wresteld it to the ground and then unloaded into its center until it burst.
With them gone and the Trebuchet suffering an Ammo explosion wich ripped off its left torso, it was but a matter of time for the remaining pilot reconsider his life choices and punch out.

Lady Arano was very pleased with our work, much less so with what she found in that prison. Her uncle apparently was into torturing political prisoners, but as far as I'm concerned, that's family business I'm not getting involved in. This will probably be the last we see of the Lady herself anyway. As her most trusted advisor, Lord Alexander Madeira will be our Liaison in the future.

We got paid about 1.7 Million C-Bills as well as a whole lot of salvage, chief among them what was left of the trebuchet (4parts) and some bits of the centurion.
 

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9 - Argonauts

As my fingers slide along the ancient metal, I find it hard to believe my luck. Lady Arano must be nuts, completely insane after what she saw on weldry. I don't know wether she really thinks we deserve this gift, or just snapped and couldn't bear wathever guilt she associates with this beauty. Maybe she even thought we are worth this kind of investment and wanted to ensure our loyalty.
Either way, I've been gifted this mangled marvel of star league engineering and I ain't gonna give it back. Not ever. Hell right now I'm hard pressed to even imagining ever stepping out of her hundredt housand ton belly again. More then three hundred meters long and some two hundred meaters in diameter, three hab pods capable to provide spin gravity like a freakin' grave deck. She's less of a drop ship then a mobile space station easily accomodating her own crew and a full company's worth of mechs and dedicated support personell with room to spare.
Even now, riddled with holes, hold together by what amounts to foam glue and tape, and with barely a third of her systems running, the Argo is a sight to behold.
From what I understand, there's no second ship like her in the galaxy, never even has been. She's not a WarShip of course, neither armed nor capable of Jumping on her own, but even Behemoths pale in comparison.

Tric(eratops) mentioned we should rename the Company to "Argonauts" in reference to an old terran myth about a bunch of heroes trying to catch a golden duck or something. While fitting - at least the duck part - I'm not thrilled about the idea of changing the name of the company. Deadmen & Friends garnered enough pedigree to get us this ship in the first place and I feel obliged to honor their... our history by having the ship don the purple and bear the name.
First order of business is to bring the mech bay up to speed. The scaffolding needs a refit and once done will allow us to significantly increase our MechTechs working speed. Meanwhile I've ordered some small alterations to the Centurion and the Shadow Hawk. Given how prevalent melee operations have become in the recent battles, shedding half a ton of armor to install a small laser on each of them seems like a good idea.
Once the scaffolding is done, the ship techs are to repair the power systems. I don't want to start drifting mid transit because they give out, so the Argo stays in Orbit until we got them done. There's still plenty to do on Weldry, so the mechs won't catch rust.
 
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Just a quick service anouncement.

1.1 gave me some trouble mod-wise and with a big update for CCC I spend a lot of time starting and restarting the game. But i finally got everything to play nice with each other and it looks stable enough to continue the campaign with Mission-Updates.

If you enjoy the read, let me know, it's allways nice to get some feedback aside from a rising view counter. ;)
 

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10 - Lost and Found

The Arano Restoration has gained intel on a valued asset wich was captured by directorate forces or may even have turned traitor. Either way it's held in a remote base high up in Weldrys mountains and guarded by a heavy lance of mechs. We're to extract the target, before it is moved elsewhere or shipped off world. I negotiated for some 200k Cbills and eight pieces of salvage, two of wich we'd pick ourselves.

We dropped in south of the base, with a mountain covering our approach from the enemies view, a road leading around it from the drop point up to the facility itself. Using our jump-jets we scaled the mountains shoulder to get the high ground and force the opfor to leave its probably entrenched positions guarding the road.
Of course we appeared on their sensors before we fully cleared the ridge, but there wasn't enough advance warning for them to get their supporting Trebuchet out of our way. In a first and well coordinated attack we were able to break past its left torsos armor with Triceratops blowing of the LT fully with his last hit.

The OpFor consisting of the afore mentioned Trebuchet, a Black Knight and a Grand Dragon, made an effort to hit our Centurion, but Cruithe expertly evade all but a single hit.

upload_2018-7-4_16-26-56.png


Macho and Triceratops continued to focus on the Trebuchet, taking it down with their next salvo, but failing to stop it from firing one of its own, baiting Cruithe into once more face tanking a missile. Despite being rattled, Cruithe went in hot, taking great leaps to get behind the Black Knight and unloading into his back, all the while weaving and dancing around to avoid counter fire.
I used the confusion to take a few shots at the Knights rear myself, while Macho and Triceratops repositioned to flank and braced themselves, waiting for an opportune shot while the Knight and the Centurion locked arms in melee combat. For some time this continued, with Cruithe taking the heat but still evading all of the OpFors attacks. At last, Tric had a clear shot and annihilated the Knights entire torso in two well places salvos.
Meanwhile I had gotten a jump into the Grand Dragons rear arc, tearing apart his rear armor and was finally able to scare him into ejecting, though he managed to get a serious blow in to the Centurions rear just before he did so.

I'm very pleased with our performance out there. We managed to take down the enemy without major damage to the mechs and made a 100k Cbills after drop costs. Furthermore we got 2 Parts of a Dragon, what remained of the Black Knights Torso and the last few pieces our mech techs need to scrape together a Trebuchet.

upload_2018-7-4_17-8-15.png


Once repaired it'll replace the old Black Jack in our line up. Though somewhat unorthodox, I'm probably going to have it fit for front line combat instead of missile support. Medium Lasers and SRMs would give it I nice punch and with a small refit, the Centurion could easily fill the role of our current BJ. I'll be toying with the idea a little more, getting it up and ready is a months work for the mech techs, at least.
 

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11 - Popping Pockets of Resistance

It's been a few days since our last deployments and I've had a talk with the mech techs, resulting in a further refit to the Centurion. Right now it's getting home mostly unscathed so we figured we could skimp some more on the armor side and up it's capacity for hurt quite a bit. Moving stuff about we were able to fit 3 SRM4s with 2 tons of ammo total, keeping the AC5 for long range fire and the small laser for melee, while dropping the MLas. I'm somewhat concerned about its staying power, but we've not run into problems with ammo yet and am willing to take the risk. Adding 3 SRM4s instead of two SRM6s will require more maintenance, but should allow for better ammo conservation and heat management. It'll also provide some mitigate the loss of firepower if one of the systems is compromised.

The restoration tasked us with taking out a directorate fuel refinery huddled in Weldrys mountains. The base serves as a retreat for a small but tenacious lance of light mechs, wich have raided several Restoration-held facilities in the area. While taking out the base itself would be a simple matter of orbital bombardment, Restoration Command prefers the scalpel over the sledge hammer and also hoped we may draw out the enemy lance. The Leopard dropped us on the high ground out of the ground defenses line of sight.

As luck would have it, the lance in question was indeed inbound for refueling as we set down. The two panthers and one Jenner proved to be annoyingly good at dodging fire but hardly threatening to our lance. In the end, weight of fire and a few well placed melee hits sealed the deal on first the jenner and his two compatriots shortly after, leaving us free to take on the base itself.
From our position this was an easy task as well, met by noticable resistance only from two LRM-turrets on the far side peppering us continously with missiles. After dealing with the defenses, we destroyed the storage silos as per our orders and extracted.

All things considered well worth the 100k payment after drop costs, also we got enough salvage now to reconstruct a panther. I'm not planning on keeping it around for long but it's worth more if we get to sell it whole instead of scrapping it. With an expected worth of 200k after expenses, we've more then broke even for the month even without considerung Weldry. wich is good. We've a more risky contract coming up in a few days...
 

RyuKazuha

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May 23, 2016
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Due to changes in CCC you may notice some inconsistencies in drop costs. Though I strife to keep things consistent, I haven't got enough time to test zappos changes, give him feedback and play the AAR-campaign with my own settings as well.

Settings I will always make sure to keep are payment per contract difficulty and mech maintenance per month at 0.5% of mech value.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

12 - Taken Lightly

Restoration Command has had reports of a light Directorate Scout Lance operating in Weldrys Mountains for days now, but were unable to pinpoint its exact location until recently. We were tasked to sweep the AO and destroy any opposition for a 300k payout and 3 parts of salvage, no first picks.

We deployed south of the last know enemy position with Triceratops piloting the Vindicator, Macho the Centurion, Smog in the Black Jack and myself at the helm of the Shadow Hawk. The enemy had taken up position on a forested rise across a small lake, providing them with favorable line of sight and abundant cover. It was impossible for them not to have seen the Leopard incoming, so I decided to circle to the north east to engage with at least some element of surprise.
The new position was also providing us with some high ground on our own and steep faced ravine seperating our position from the enemy. Easily traversed by jumping, but enough to force any non-jumper into a long range fight or taking the long way around.

Triceratops took his position on top of the hill, clear firing arcs all around and then it was machos turn to bait the enemy. And that he did, engaging the enemy BJ-1DC from the flank and allowing for Triceratops to take a podshot as well. The enemy, caught at least somewhat out of position shuffled towards us, revealing a Cicada and a K-Variant Firestarter as escorts to the Black Jack. The first minutes of the engagement went pretty well. Keeping ourselves moving, we sacrificed accuracy for protection but managed to take out one of the enemy Black Jacks arms before the Fire Starter even got into half decent range.
Macho and I myself scrambled to intercept that same firestarter to try and take it out quickly in melee, before it got a chance to bring its small lasers and flamers to bear. Unfortunately, it was then, that reinforcements for the enemy arrived, minutes after first contact.
In retrospect, I feel like Restoration Command had to knew about those guys. They were to close to not have been spotted by their scouts, or whatever sources they used to find them. Anyway, suddenly we see ourselves faced with two BJ-1DB LaserJacks and a Shadow Hawk to boot. While the lights and the shadow hawk closed in on our position, the Black Jacks set up shop in the woods and lasered away, turning what would have been a solid victory into a struggle.

We managed to subdue the firestarter, taking out both of his arms and a side torso and knocking it to ground, before the pilot decided to push the red button and bail. Meanwhile Triceratops was doing his best to interfer with enemy targeting by the way of his PPC and Smog dared to push forward, taking not only the heat of the LaserJacks, but also managing to rid the enemy BlackJack of his second arm.
Macho and I turned our attention to the Cicada next, tearing its CT apart with a few well placed strikes, knowing all to well that the Shadow Hawk drew ever closer, though he seemed a bit reluctant to jump into the fray right away. Fortune is a fickle mistress though and attacking the Cicada left our Centurion an easy target for a barrage of large laser fire, ripping his weapon arm clean of and tearing into his side torsos armor, while I myself took a heavy hit to the side torso.
Smog and Tric did what they could to cover us, the former even pushing into melee range with the SHK while going hot on a full barrage, the latter splitting fire between the SHK and the closer of the LaserJacks.
Must have been around this time too, that Triceratops took down the enemy BJ-1, but I don't seem to remember and it hardly matters in the grand scheme of things.

It seems the sudden weight of fire on his mech was a bit unsettling for the Hawks pilot, as he backed out of close range into a patch of woods. Macho fired his last salvo of SRMs towards it and then retreated, his missiles depleted and other weaponry lost, while the rest of us concentrated on taking the Hawk down at all cost. Luck turning again, Triceratops long range missiles snaked its way into the Shadow Hawks ammunition stores and set it off just in time.

Three against two the LaserJacks quickly found themselves at a severe disadvantage and as one desintegrated, the other one was quick to punch out having lost his weapon arm and most of his torso armor.

While certainly not a desaster, the mission can hardly be considered a major success. Even with the bonus payments received we barely made 150k after deduction of drop, repair and refit costs. It's a miracle nobody got injured. Alas, the powerconduits are almost done. I'm eager to go hunting some more pirates. All of this war business is hardly worth the effort and if this mission has taught me anything, it's that we're not yet skilled enough nor sufficiently equipped to take on superior numbers of well trained opposition.
 

RyuKazuha

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There'll be no update this week, as I am on vacation and without internet until monday.
 

RyuKazuha

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Hey guys, just a little update. We're not dead yet, but I got the chance to publish a novella and have to meet deadlines. I hope I'll be able to put down more posts towards the end of the week.

Thanks for your patience.
 

RyuKazuha

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13 - Recreational Shooting

We arrived at Herotitus several days ago. Our precious can of lostech is holding up quite well to the stresses of interplanetary travel and only occasionally shedding debris. The crew has been eager for a vacation from some time now and to be honest, they earned it, but first there was a mission to complete. A bunch of rogues in light mechs was making life nedlessly difficult for the owner of a local resort and they kindly requested our help, offering a 250k payout without salvage.

Triceratops piloting the Vindicator, Cruithe the Centurion, Macho in the Black Jack and myself stearing Shadow Hawk, we dropped into a valley. wich eastward opened into a wide open, partially wooded flat land. Preliminary scans indicated the OpFor was travelling west through the plain, right towards us. We formed up and marched east to set up an ambush at the mouth of the valley, three of us hiding just behind the last little hill seperating us from the flats and Triceratops taking high ground in a hillside wood.
Sensor contact was established soon after, as our victims closed in at full sprint.

Trics signal turned out to be a ppc shot ripping an incoming panthers leg clean of. Macho was the first to react, jumping onto the crest of our cover and burning the panther to slag with concentrated laser fire to the CT. Meanwhile me and Cruithe flanked the hill and the OpFor on both sides all guns blazing. In what appeared to be a single continous motion, Cruithe took of the enemy Commandos right torso with a missile salvo just before closing the distance and smashing its central torso with a qucik punch.
I myself enganged the remaining two, a Locust and a Spider, throwing the first of balance and engaging the other in melee. though to my dismay the Spider was quick enough to evade my punch.
Macho, being the opportunist he is, set out to execute the Locust, prompting its pilot to eject, rather then face death right then and there. Shortly after, the spider pilot arrived at the same decision after losing both arms and his left torso to our combined attacks.

Having sustained virtually no damage worth mentioning, we were happy to cash in, even though it felt more like beating up a scrawny kid for lunch money, then actually fighting. Isn't it strange how we seem to long for the kind of battle that's bad for business all the time, instead of enjoying a nice cash grab? Anyway, with some 180k banked after expenses, it's all black jack 'n' hookers for the night.