Gramps' run through the Hyades Rim campaign

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

MarkDey

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Mission 182: 3.5 Skull Battle ____ Employer: Taurian Concordat ____ Target: Capellan Confederation ____ Biome: Desert
Lance: Macross (Merch), Warhammer (Nimbus), Crazy Eights (Hardpoint), Snipe (Eck)

Report: Settling a Grudge - Our last job was well received, and we've been offered this follow-up contract to further reduce the Capellan force on Elektra. No drop weight limit means that the big guns come out to work, and Ghost stays in the hangar for once. 290 tons of destruction drop into the desert, and Merch runs ahead to find our targets. QKD-5A, GHR-5N (headshot), VL-2T, ASN-101. As our mechs take a moment to cool down, an additional lance of reinforcements is detected. Moving into a small group of trees, we catch them in the open. CPLT-C4 (pilot kill), BL-7-KNT7-L, TBT-5N (headshot), CN9-A.

Damage: Only armor. ____ Salvage: CPLT-C4 assembled and moved into storage.
Advancement: Eck: Piloting 8 to 9. Merch & Nimbus: Piloting 9 to 10. Hardpoint: Guts 6 to 7, Gunnery 5 to 6.
 
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MarkDey

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Mission 183: 3.5 Skull Battle ____ Employer: Federated Suns ____ Target: Capellan Confederation ____ Biome: Urban
Lance: Macross (Merch), Warhammer (Nimbus), Crazy Eights (Hardpoint), Snipe (Eck)

Report: Dicey Mech - A lone heavy mech moving through a city center is likely bait for a trap, and we've been contracted to spring the trap and eliminate all Capellan units. Our employer limits the drop weight, but it's 320 tons - more than we can field anyway. Our salvage options are poor, so we'll just be coring out the opposition. The bait is a Highlander with ramshackle armor, and its reinforcements are not far behind. Our heavy firepower demolishes the enemy, and several buildings in the surrounding neighborhood. HGN-733P, 2x TBT-5J, CN9-A, CN9-AH.

Damage: Only armor. Reputation with the Federated Suns increased to Friendly. ____ Salvage: TBT-5J assembled and moved into storage.
Advancement: Hardpoint: Gunnery 6 to 7.
 
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MarkDey

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Mission 183: 3 Skull Battle ____ Employer: Federated Suns ____ Target: Taurian Concordat ____ Biome: Urban
Lance: Macross (Merch), Valkyrie (Shadow), Warhammer (Eck), Snipe (Hardpoint)

Report: Wild Goose Chase - We've been tasked with making a Taurian scouting group go away on a permanent basis. This drop is limited to 240 tons, but I can still drop a full lance. I decide to leave the Ghost in its bay and take both Phoenix Hawks - it's starting to seem like their maneuverability is more useful than the stealth suite. Our targets are quickly located and defeated with minimal damage to the buildings this time. CDA-2A, WVR-6D, TDR-5SE.

Damage: Only armor.
Advancement: Eck: Piloting 9 to 10. Shadow: Guts 9 to 10. Merch: Guts 9 to 10 - Max Skills
 

MarkDey

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Mission 184: 3 Skull Recovery ____ Employer: Pirates ____ Target: Draconis Combine ____ Biome: Urban
Lance: Macross (Shadow), Warhammer (Nimbus), Crazy Eights (Hardpoint), Snipe (Eck)

Report: Jailbreak - Our last mission here is to break an influential operator out of Draconis Combine custody. No drop limit and good salvage rights, so I deploy the heavy lance again. They advance up two parallel streets on the way to the compound, and Shadow nearly runs over one of the guards before combat starts. QKD-5A, DRG-1C (headshot), HBK-4J (legs kill).

Damage: Only armor. ____ Salvage: DRG-1C, HBK-4J assembled and moved into storage.
Advancement: Hardpoint: Guts 7 to 8. Nimbus: Tactics 9 to 10 - Max Skills
 
Glentworth

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____We sell some spare gear, and our departure from the system is uneventful. Yang's crew has time to relax as none of the mechs are damaged. Our plan is to head back towards Taurian space, but about halfway to the jump point, a flashpoint contract appears near the border of Davion and Liao space - One Man's Trash, looking for a group of light mechs to perform an unspecified job. I'm not particularly interested in the description, but they have arranged for travel and the path will take us past several Black Market systems, so I agree to change course.

Event - New Holovids: Darius announces the new destination to the crew while passing out some holovid chips that were recently acquired during our trip to the market.
Result: Hardpoint thoroughly enjoys the Under Cover spy show. She gains High Spirits for 30 days.

____Reviewing the various markets and contracts on the way to Glentworth doesn't reveal anything really worth stopping for. The financial report comes due again and I maintain a normal rate of pay for everyone. Once we reach our destination, there are a few arm actuators on the Black Market worth purchasing, but I quickly turn my attention to the contracts available.
 
Flashpoint: One Man's Trash

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- - - - - - - - Flashpoint: One Man's Trash - - - - - - -​
My initial impression of talking to a client that appears as a parrot with sunglasses doesn't improve as the conversation goes on. Still, his MRB bonding checks out, and the job sounds straightforward, if a bit eccentric.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -​
Mission 185: 2 Skull Recovery ____ Employer: Trustworthy Client ____ Target: Hostile Mercs ____ Biome: Polar
Lance: Ghost (Eck), Macross (Shadow), Valkyrie (Hardpoint)

Report: Our drop is limited to mechs that are 55 tons or lighter because of the desire to not draw attention. Only three of our mechs meet that criteria, but it'll be enough, even though Darius points out that we're dropping a force that's a full skull lighter than the expected resistance. If our client's intel is correct, the local warlords only have vehicles. We are contacted by a pair of unsavory characters shortly after landing, and as they continue making threats, I guide our team to the road on the far right flank. That should take them up the hill into a better position instead of trying to fight their way up a mountain. Two missile carriers are spotted near the base, and they are quickly eliminated. Two more approach from the bottom of the slope, and they meet a similar fate. SRM Carrier, LRM Carrier, 2x Striker.

Damage: No damage.
 

Harmon Ward

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Jun 5, 2020
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Mission 176: 2.5 Skull Battle ____ Employer: Badlands Horde ____ Target: Harbingers ____ Biome: Lowlands
Lance: Ghost (Eck), Valkyrie (Shadow), Snipe (Hardpoint)

Report: Shock Troops - Two big and scary mechs need to be destroyed. Darius negotiates for max salvage since the employer is cheap and can only afford 180 tons anyway. Eck quickly picks up our targets on sensors, around the same time that we get a communication from Warboy command saying that we need to clear the area. Looks like they're after our salvage, but they can just join the scrap pile instead. Shadow jumps ahead and confirms the targets, and Hardpoint sends a gauss round through the cockpit of the Grasshopper, just like she practiced. GHR-UNK (headshot), BLR-UNK (legs kill). The Warboy lance lands and our troops move clear so the Harbinger Battlemaster can welcome them. Shadow jumps a little too close and a Centurion connects with a left hook but a block catches the damage on Valkyrie's arm. The Warboys fight the Harbingers while our lance shoots at both sides. TBT-UNK, COM-UNK, 2x CN-UNK (one headshot). Several volleys of fire are aimed at the Battlemaster's head, but nothing connects, so the lance switches to targeting the legs, severing both of them.

Damage: Valkyrie, RA reduced to 85% structure. ____ Salvage: CN-UNK, GHR-UNK assembled and moved into storage.
Advancement: Hardpoint: Guts 4 to 5. Shadow: Piloting 9 to 10 - Improved Resolve Gain
Good report. I got this one in the mix as a 1.5 Skull Mission. The Op4 was unknown when Warboy showed up. I hung back and the Op4 wiped out 3 Warboy Mechs in about 5 turns. Not a good sign. I moved forward carefully and noticed that the Op4 had two mechs, each with ECM. I had had zero upgrades at that time. So my Blackjack, Vindicator, Firestarter and Shadow Hawk moved forward, with the only Sensor Lock in the lance being the Blackjack. I identified the OP4 as a Madcat UNK and a Wolverine UNK with a minimum of damage, and then rushed though the ECM bubbles before the 2 PPCs and Two Large Lasers on the Mad Cat cut me to shreds. We took the Madcat first, overheating it and using physical attacks because all of our gunnery skills were really low at the time. I came a medium laser shot away from getting a "Pilot Incapacitated" result on the Mad Cat. Not surprisingly, by that time a lot of our armor was gone, but we mobbed the Wolverine anyway. After some well placed punches and kicks, the mech fell down and incapacitated the Mechwarrior. That full salvage went into my front line immediately. Getting that Wolverine (LL, ML, SRM6, ECM no jump jets) allowed me to avoid my earlier disasters.
 

MarkDey

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Good report. I got this one in the mix as a 1.5 Skull Mission. The Op4 was unknown when Warboy showed up. I hung back and the Op4 wiped out 3 Warboy Mechs in about 5 turns. Not a good sign. I moved forward carefully and noticed that the Op4 had two mechs, each with ECM. I had had zero upgrades at that time. So my Blackjack, Vindicator, Firestarter and Shadow Hawk moved forward, with the only Sensor Lock in the lance being the Blackjack. I identified the OP4 as a Madcat UNK and a Wolverine UNK with a minimum of damage, and then rushed though the ECM bubbles before the 2 PPCs and Two Large Lasers on the Mad Cat cut me to shreds. We took the Madcat first, overheating it and using physical attacks because all of our gunnery skills were really low at the time. I came a medium laser shot away from getting a "Pilot Incapacitated" result on the Mad Cat. Not surprisingly, by that time a lot of our armor was gone, but we mobbed the Wolverine anyway. After some well placed punches and kicks, the mech fell down and incapacitated the Mechwarrior. That full salvage went into my front line immediately. Getting that Wolverine (LL, ML, SRM6, ECM no jump jets) allowed me to avoid my earlier disasters.
Oh wow - you fought the Unknown Organization early! Glad to hear that you survived. I'm assuming you mean Marauder instead of Mad Cat. Even the unknown origin Wolverine is a huge boost, and you could probably keep it active for the rest of the career.
 

Harmon Ward

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Oh wow - you fought the Unknown Organization early! Glad to hear that you survived. I'm assuming you mean Marauder instead of Mad Cat. Even the unknown origin Wolverine is a huge boost, and you could probably keep it active for the rest of the career.
You are correct. It was a Marauder, with two PPC, two large lasers and an ECM. I hit it just a little to hard on the last shot. The Wolverine is a Jet Assisted Take Off kind of boost. More than once I have had to retreat to the ECM field and force the AI to close with me. Then my mediums start punching it's lights. That tends to work better than shooting, even at close range my Mechwarriors still miss to often.
 

MarkDey

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- - - - - - - - Flashpoint: One Man's Trash - - - - - - -​
Our client is happy to hear from us, particularly because he's trapped in his condo by Binton and Modge who are threatening to kill him. Turns out that he got them involved in the first place by hiring them to secure a 'fantastic treasure' from the Star League era facility. As tempting as it is to walk away from this mess, I don't really need a hold full of ancient office supplies. Not wanting to fight in an urban environment, I agree to the plan to drop the crates in an uninhabited area and then ambush the enemy with heavy firepower.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -​
Mission 186: 2 Skull Battle ____ Employer: Trustworthy Client ____ Target: Hostile Mercs ____ Biome: Tundra
Lance: Macross (Shadow), Warhammer (Eck), Snipe (Hardpoint), Crazy Eights (Glitch)

Report: With no need to keep a low profile anymore, we drop our heaviest lance. Once Sumire points out the crates that we've dropped, Binton and Modge turn on each other, and our lance moves in to wipe them both out. FLE-15, JR7-A, BNC-3E (headshot). COM-3A, PNT-9R, STK-3F (headshot).

Damage: No damage. ____ Salvage: BNC-3E assembled and moved into storage.
Advancement: Hardpoint: Gunnery 7 to 8. Shadow: Tactics 9 to 10 - Max Skills.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -​
____The sale is made and we are a half million C-Bills richer. That, plus the Banshee that Yang was able to assemble from the salvage, plus some rare components that were pulled from the other wreckage, makes this job turn a good profit. Some more challenging contracts are still available on the open market, and we prepare to take those.
 

MarkDey

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Mission 187: 3 Skull Escort ____ Employer: Draconis Combine ____ Target: Federated Suns ____ Biome: Tundra
Lance: Macross (Shadow), Warhammer (Eck), Snipe (Hardpoint), Crazy Eights (Glitch)

Report: Terrifying Things - House Kurita is looking to hijack a Demolisher and some other vehicles. This job is to escort those vehicles to an extraction point. Hardpoint secures the garage exit with Snipe while the rest of the lance moves along the road to clear a path to the landing pad. The vehicles are fully armed and armored, and might have even be able to escort themselves. Bulldog, 2x Demolisher, Inferno Carrier.
____As the convoy moves out, hostile mechs are detected on an intercept course. They are cut down before even getting the vehicles within sensor range. ARC-2S, CN9-AH, BL-7-KNT (headshot), ASN-101. The convoy stretches out, with one vehicle complaining about a lack of escort despite being in the shadow of Snipe, and another vehicle speeding towards the extraction zone. Another Davion lance arrives before the drivers can get re-organized, and we move to engage. GHR-5H (headshot), VTR-9A1 (headshot), JVN-10N, WVR-6D (legs kill). Once the area is secured, the drivers eventually bring their vehicles into the waiting dropship.

Damage: Only armor. ____ Salvage: VTR-9A1 assembled and moved into storage.
Advancement: Eck: Tactics 9 to 10 - Max Skills.
 

MarkDey

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Mission 188: 4 Skull Battle ____ Employer: Federated Suns ____ Target: Pirates ____ Biome: Tundra
Lance: Macross (Shadow), Valkyrie (Behemoth), Snipe (Hardpoint), Warhammer (Eck)

Report: Scouts Detected - House Davion doesn't want a unit of freebooters looking around their territory, and we've been tasked with making them go away. We're limited to 240 tons for this drop, so Crazy Eights stays in its bay. Enemy forces are quickly spotted and engaged. TDR-UNK, CPLT-UNK (pilot kill), DRG-1G, CDA-UNK. A second pirate lance arrives to reinforce the first one, but they are too far away to make a significant difference before we can give them our full attention. QKD-5A, TDR-UNK (headshot), SHD-UNK (headshot), CPLT-UNK.

Damage: Only armor. ____ Salvage: TDR-UNK assembled and moved into storage.
Advancement: Hardpoint: Gunnery 8 to 9.
 

MarkDey

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Mission 189: 4 Skull Recovery ____ Employer: Taurian Concordat ____ Target: Federated Suns ____ Biome: Polar
Lance: Macross (Shadow), Warhammer (Eck), Snipe (Hardpoint), Crazy Eights (Nimbus)

Report: Get The Data - We are to rescue a spy and the data they were sent to get. Sumire deposits the lance on a good piece of high ground, and they begin their approach. They get close enough so that Shadow can jump into the facility to recover the data as soon as hostiles are detected on sensors. He also demolishes a nearby building overlooking the valley so that Eck can jump up and take cover amidst the rubble. Enemy forces are slow to react. Shadow quickly jumps towards the other facility to pick up the agent while the firefight happens behind him, only to detect another force on sensors. He fires a volley at the enemy Marauder and then bounds away once the agent is onboard. Hardpoint, Eck, and Nimbus each score a headshot by the end of the fight. Demolisher, PPC Carrier, ARC-2S, MAD-3R (headshot), QKD-4G, RFL-3C (headshot), GHR-5N (headshot), CPLT-K2.

Damage: Only armor. ____ Salvage: MAD-3R assembled and moved into storage.
 

MarkDey

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Mission 190: 3.5 Skull Defend Base ____ Employer: Federated Suns ____ Target: Taurian Concordat ____ Biome: Polar
Lance: Macross (Shadow), Warhammer (Eck), Snipe (Hardpoint), Crazy Eights (Glitch)

Report: Breakthrough on the Brink - Protect the military lab from Taurian interference. Glitch takes Crazy Eights on this drop because despite excellent salvage rights, I expect that we will need to split fire onto multiple targets several times to keep them away from the buildings. A squad of engineers is on the way to get the automated turrets back up and running, and Shadow jumps ahead to draw the attention of the enemy vanguard away from their vehicles. He is successful and a mixed set of heavy turrets comes online (2x Command, 1x Artillery, 1x Battery). The vanguard is quickly eliminated after the turrets are operational. 2x TDR-5S, ON1-K (headshot). A second enemy force begins coming down the mountain, and the lance moves to intercept. This force mostly has long ranged weaponry, and were likely hoping to have the vanguard act as spotters. RFL-3N (headshot), JM6-A, CPLT-C4 (headshot), TDR-5SE (headshot).

Damage: Only armor. ____ Salvage: JM6-A, ON1-K, RFL-3N, TDR-5SE, Hit Defense Gyro++ assembled and moved into storage.
Advancement: Hardpoint: Gunnery 9 to 10 - Elite
 

MarkDey

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Mission 191: 3 Skull Battle ____ Employer: Federated Suns ____ Target: Draconis Combine ____ Biome: Highlands
Lance: Macross (Shadow), Warhammer (Eck), Snipe (Hardpoint), Crazy Eights (Nimbus)

Report: Flushing Them Out - Our last contract here is to seek and destroy an elite lance from the Draconis Combine. On landing, Darius reports that Sumire picked up some readings that may be additional reinforcements moving towards our area. The lance moves forward together as a group, and spots our targets clustered together in some trees. They spread out as we open fire, although Nimbus is able to decapitate the Orion with his opening salvo. As the targets are methodically disassembled, Eck is injured by a volley of laser fire from the Black Knight. He carries on, and all of the opposing pilots are incapacitated. BL-7-KNT (pilot kill), DRG-1C (pilot kill), ON1-K (headshot), ARC-2R (pilot kill).

Damage: Eck injured for 12 days. ____ Salvage: BL-7-KNT, ON1-K, DRG-1C assembled and moved into storage.
 
Mitchel New

MarkDey

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____To leave the Federated Suns, Sumire is able to arrange transportation with a JumpShip pilot she knows that handles the Black Markets. The course will take us on a winding route through Liao space, but we will have the advantage of visiting some prime shopping locations. A day after we get underway, the MRB liaison from the Free Worlds League contacts us.

Event - Letter of Marque Marik: Darius reports that we've received another offer to work for one of the Inner Sphere houses. I wonder how many more houses will be interested in hiring us, but for now, I decline the opportunity so we can continue our focus on the Periphery.
Result: +1 Reputation with Black Market Pirates

____Yang gets to work replacing the gyro in Warhammer with a better version, and then presents a few options on what we can do with Ghost. I ultimately decide on a risky configuration that will use the COIL laser we acquired. Instead of Snub PPCs and MGs, it will carry a COIL-L in its right arm, and a Coventry Alpha arm actuator in its left arm that will double the striking power of its sword. An advanced small laser in the center torso will complete its weaponry. The tonnage freed up will allow for extra armor and heat sinking. It'll take Yang over a month to complete the work, but we have the time.

____The Mitchel system is our first stop, and it has a prototype ECM system and another COIL-L available on the open market, as well as a lostech rangefinder and some Cyclops salvage in the Black Market. The contracts are few, but still worth taking, so I decide to have Sumire bring us into orbit.
 

MarkDey

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Mission 192: 3.5 Skull Battle ____ Employer: Federated Suns ____ Target: Pirates ____ Biome: Desert
Lance: Macross (Shadow), Warhammer (Eck), Snipe (Hardpoint), Crazy Eights (Nimbus)

Report: Supply Lines - House Davion needs a path cleared through bandit territory, and they're willing to pay pretty well to do it. Not much in the way of salvage, but we can at least bring our big guns. The last known location of the enemy lance is on a ridgeline, and our heavy units set up on another ridgeline facing them while Shadow moves into the low ground in between. The bandits open fire on Shadow, missing, and we respond with targeted strikes. The enemy Orion is an interesting configuration, apparently designed to move to close range with boosted melee attacks; it doesn't get the chance. ON-UNK, CTF-1X (headshot), BL-7-KNT (headshot), BL-UNK-KNT.

Damage: Only armor.
Advancement: Hardpoint: Guts 8 to 9.
 

MarkDey

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Mission 192: 3.5 Skull Battle ____ Employer: Federated Suns ____ Target: Pirates ____ Biome: Desert
Lance: Macross (Shadow), Warhammer (Eck), Snipe (Hardpoint), Crazy Eights (Nimbus)

Report: Supply Lines - House Davion needs a path cleared through bandit territory, and they're willing to pay pretty well to do it. Not much in the way of salvage, but we can at least bring our big guns. The last known location of the enemy lance is on a ridgeline, and our heavy units set up on another ridgeline facing them while Shadow moves into the low ground in between. The bandits open fire on Shadow, missing, and we respond with targeted strikes. The enemy Orion is an interesting configuration, apparently designed to move to close range with boosted melee attacks; it doesn't get the chance. ON-UNK, CTF-1X (headshot), BL-7-KNT (headshot), BL-UNK-KNT.

Damage: Only armor.
Advancement: Hardpoint: Guts 8 to 9.
 

MarkDey

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Mission 193: 3 Skull Defend Base ____ Employer: Pirates ____ Target: Capellan Confederation ____ Biome: Badlands
Lance: Macross (Shadow), Warhammer (Eck), Snipe (Hardpoint), Crazy Eights (Glitch)

Report: Caught In The Act - A pirate raid needs more time to load up their loot since it's a much bigger haul than they were planning. We've been contracted to protect the facility until they escape, and Darius is able to secure some excellent salvage rights. The Capellan vanguard moves in quickly, and our lance is somewhat out of position when they arrive. The hostile mechs are cut down thanks to the sheer volume of fire where they can't dodge everything. A second Capellan force arrives on the other side of the base, forcing us to reposition and try to remove lines of sight to the buildings. A third force of vehicles is detected near the end of the battle, and they are able to land some LRM hits on a few of the buildings before Glitch gains a line of sight and eliminates them with heavy autocannon fire. WVR-6M, SDR-5V, VL-2T, CPLT-C4. QKD-5A (headshot), PXH-1, ON1-VA (headshot). 2x PPC Carrier, Gallant AUV, Bulldog.

Damage: Only armor. Reputation with Capellans decreased to Hated. ____ Salvage: CPLT-C4, ON1-VA, QKD-5A assembled and moved into storage.
 

MarkDey

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Mission 194: 3 Skull Capture Base ____ Employer: Pirates ____ Target: Capellans ____ Biome: Desert
Lance: Macross (Shadow), Warhammer (Eck), Snipe (Hardpoint), Crazy Eights (Nimbus)

Report: Some Cargo - Our last job here is on behalf of the Black Market to secure some inventory that is currently gathered in a House Liao warehouse as a staging point to be shipped offworld. Sumire finds an insertion point a good distance away, and we approach the walled base. There is only a single defending lance, and our units open fire as soon as targeting solutions are available. Reinforcements arrive shortly after the shooting starts, and they are led by a modified Warhammer with an advanced battle computer that acts like the command suite of a Cyclops! All units focus their fire carefully, and the mech is brought down intact. LCT-1M, 2x TBT-5S (one headshot), TBT-5J (pilot kill). CDA-2A, WHM-UNK (pilot kill), CPLT-C4 (pilot kill), BJ-1.

Damage: Snipe RA reduced to 80% structure. ____ Salvage: WHM-UNK, CPLT-C4, LCT-1M, CDA-2A, TBT-5S assembled and moved into storage.
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____Yang confirms that he can get the battle computer working again, but it's integrated into the Warhammer and he can't remove it to install in another mech. For now, I have him work on the minor repairs to Snipe, and I'll think about bringing that mech into the bays if it'll be a suitable replacement.