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Introduction

I can’t believe it. We got the ship up and running - for a given value of running, anyway. That engineer proved to be as good as she and every other folk claimed. Damn but it was a fine sight, seeing the ship lift again when the engines fired up. I wish my great-gran were still alive to see it, but she’s dead along with all the rest of them. Still, going to name this ship after her old callsign. Argo. It’ll do.

So now I am the proud commander of the Argo, a Star League era drop-ship, only no one can tell it is LosTech on account of the fact there’s practically more hole than ship, not to mention leftover moon still stuck to it. The power plant works - for a given value of work anyway. The engines can move us, so long as we don’t mind crawling. The Tech Bay has lots of space, and so much derelict gear we might as well open a museum curio shop. Yang keeps yammering ideas at me about how he could do this or that to a mech, to which so far I just say “Money” - and then he goes off muttering something. Damned Capellan, but he sure knows how to fix up a Mech.

And then there are the rest of the leftovers from the Mitcheneers. Stupid company name, but then old Mitch always did have a quirky sense of humour. I wonder if he’s laughing now, pulverised inside his old cockpit. At least he made sure we got an advance on that death-job. That bloody Steiner agent was happy to pay it too - he knew if he hadn’t suckered us then he would have had to go out there. Well between that, our reserve, the proper dropship and selling off the wreckage we just about got the funds to do the job. Bundled everything we had left inside the Leopard and off we went. To get this ship.

Glad the old family legend was true. Even managed to shut Darius up, though it won’t last.

Sumire is right though, better move aways from here. Don’t want to upset anyone, ‘specially not the bloody Marians who might be a bit irked we stole this out from under their snooty patrician noses. I told her to take us somewhere round the Aurigan Reach, and she’s found us a ride right to the edge of Marik space. Claybrook - one jump beyond and you’re in that unclaimed bit between the Free Worlders, Capellans, Canopians, Aurigans and Taurians. It’ll nearly be like going back home. Well, sorta. As close to home as I am every likely to get. And it’ll give Farah time to complete her survey of the Argo. Hopefully we can stop it falling apart along the way.

Anyways, now I am the Commander of this crew I decided to write this thing. Keep a record and all. Maybe some bored folks in the future will even read it some day - hello bored future folks. Hope you’re enjoying yourselves sipping tea or whisky or whatever the hell they drink in your time.

This here will be the record of the Silver Daggers. Commander Jill “Falcon” Kerrmor in charge.
 

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So this is my first attempt at a Battletech AAR, or of anything creative in the Battletech sphere tbh.

My own history with the universe starts back with Mechwarrior 2. Off the back of that my brother and I did a little TT, and a little of Battlespace. The other Mechwarrior computer games largely passed me by, until I randomly stumbled across MWO one day, which I have no more than dabbled in. You see, I may not have played much over the years, but the setting always stayed with me. There is something very enthralling about the Battletech setting I find.

When Battletech came out though ... well I very much enjoyed myself is I think how I will phrase it. Played through the Restoration campaign and had an absolute blast. Potted around here and there thereafter, but had a long spell concentrating on other games. With the release of Heavy Metal though I wanted to play another "serious" campaign, and most of my "serious" campaigns have AARs linked to them in some fashion these days. For me, that is all part of the fun.

And that is the chief aim of this campaign - to have fun and to hopefully share a bit of the story I tell myself as I go, in the perhaps vain hope it might entertain some others.

My game settings are below:


In terms of house rules more may evolve, but here are a couple. Well, house guidelines might be more accurate terminology. Unless it might make a better story, no more than one battle per day. Ammo in either the same or neighbouring component to the weapon, legs not allowed.
 
Week 1/1 Starting Status

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Week 1/1 - Status Report

So we got to Claybrook. Nice enough place, but we are very small fish. I hate paperwork, but at least by the time I got here we've gotten the new company name all squared away and registered, and nice even million in the bank.

So there are five us pilots left of the old crew. The rest, well I ain't that much more than a Rookie myself, but heavens they are so green they make me feel almost thirty. But then, that is why Mitch left us all behind on the helljob. So who are my crew?

Well there is "Graceland" - Maria Robertson, aka The Kuritan Krook as some of the old timers used to call her.
Next "Khepri" Christine Bolton, a Capellan just trying to make a living. But what kind of callsign is "Khepri"?
"Rifle" Willem Long - A Taurian "noble", but he wears it so lightly not even Darius has taken offence yet. Also, can't hit a Fortress drop-ship at point blank range.
Finally there is "Warlord" Concepcion Persson, who is most happy with a tech manual out when he's meant to be driving.
And there's me of course.

Give mechwarriors, and five mechs.
Enforcer ENF-4R
Vindicator VND-1R
Panther PNT-9R
Firestarter FS9-H
Spider SDR-5V

Not the more frightening line-up you ever saw, but it'll do.

I've told Farah to start trying to sort out the power core of this flying wreck. She's made it here, so while she needs bracing the Argo ain't likely to fly apart on us just yet. But one really bad power spike ... given how quickly the good doctor got to work I think she agrees.

Darius meanwhile says he has us our first contract. Going to check that out now. See ya soon.
 
Week 1/1 - Operation Rookie Mistake

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Week 1/1 - Operation Rookie Mistake

Look, I can call these ops what the damned hell I want. Well, I hadn't though of calling them anything to be fair, but on the trip back up I thought it would be neat, and the name's appropriate.

So the Mariks and Liaos ain't really all that good neighbours. Sure the Sucession War ended, but everyone knows it won't be long afore another one kicks off. So the Capellans are meant to have sent a small lance of rusty mechs out here to annoy the Mariks. They wanted us to deal with it. Sounds easy enough.

I mean, it ought to have been easy. Turns out it was two Jenners and an SDR-5K. We dropped with me in the Vindicator, Graceland in the Enforcer, Warlord in the Firestarter, and Rifle in our Spider. Me and Gracie got a nice firing position on a ridge, Rifle found the OpFor, and then Warlord went in to try and raise some fire. He did that well enough, and made himself the biggest target on the planet. Well it could have been worse - we only lost the arm of the mech and Warlord himsef is fine. We wasted the OpFor - though not afore that bloody spider kept jumping behidn Graceland. A few internals on the Enforcer, but nothing serious. The Firestarter is going to take a bit of doing though.

We got a pretty pile of salvage out of it though. I called dibs on a bit of Jenner, and the Mariks gave me twice as much again quite happily. Of course, we managed to headshot one and legged the other, so there was plenty to go around. Then they throw in an MG and what was left of the SDR-5K ... which by the time I melted its core with my PPC wasn't much.

We end up ahead, and Yang thinks with a bit more scrappage he could get a working Jenner out of this. I've told him to get the Enforcer back up and running soon as - he thinks he can do it a couple of days.
 
Week 1/2 - Yang's discovery

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Week 1/2 Yang's discovery

So I wake up still pissed off by Warlord busting up the Firestarter, and Yang meets me with the biggest grin I have ever seen on his Capellan face. "Boss" he says, "you know that pile of scrap in the far corner of the Bay we hadn't got a chance to clearing yet?"

For the record, it wasn't a pile. It was a entire section of the Bay itself. Yang had said he didn't want to do anything with it until we finished travelling just in case everything fell down. I thought he might have been being lazy ... but that's not usually his way.

"Yeah" I said, trying to find something - anything - with caffeine to drink.

"I thought we had to clear it out, might find something to fix the Firestarter."

"You did?" I say, a bit excited.

"No - something better."

Damned was he right. Not just anything under all that but a fully equipped bloody Assassin. And in a crate by the feet - well, something like a crate - some LosTech autocannons. Can't use them right now, but damned. Put a smile on my face even bigger than Yang has on his.

Important thing is, Yang reckons he can get this new mech operational in just a couple of hours, so I told Darius to bring me that contract list again. We are dropping again.
 

merrick

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Woo-hoo <waves first-comment flag> well done on starting a story.

I like the style - good job on setting up the back story and I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.
I get the feeling that "Facepalm" might be a better callsign for Jill than "Falcon", give the universe she finds herself in, but the boss has to keep up appearances

So you're starting off already on a Heavy Metal career. I'm probably going to do one myself, but I think I'll wait until after the inevitable first hotfix.
Looks like you've got a decent starting lance, jumpjets on everything and some long-range firepower on the Panther and Vindie.
No rare salvage is a handicap I haven't tried before - depending on what they've done with the stores (and if you go Black Market) it could come back to bite once you get up around the 3-4 skull missions, which is usually when I start getting to put + weapons on everything. Then again some of the rare stuff is seriously unbalanced, especially the +50% damage missiles.
 
Week 1/2 - Operation Cephalapod

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Week 1/2 - Operation Cephalapod

Don't really know what the word means, but I heard an old fogie say it once and I thought it sounded cool.

I like me this Assassin. When we got it all fired up we realised there was some sneaky software in it - this thing tracks targets the way Darius thinks he counts cards. Not much punch, but what it has it lands.

So a Marik noteable had this job for a friend of his, small contract to make sure his shipment gets through. Of course the route from his factory to the shuttle landing site isn't that safe. Especially not with this low-level fighting going on. And it just so happens the chap thought there might be a Capellan mech or two out there.

I saw one or two - he thought there was a lance or two. Our Marik contact said they were fairly sure that wasn't the case. Perhaps a mixed lance of mechs and vehicles, but given how poor Capellan logistics are out here probably not in the best of shape.

With me in the Assassin Graceland got to play in the Vindicator and Rifle kept the Spider. I benched Warlord and let Kephri come out in the Falcon. Mmm, might need to rename that mech. Only one Falcon in this company, and that's me.

Well we get to our drop-site, and the bloody businessman is on the com saying his factory is under attack. We sprint out there as fast as the actuators can bear to find ... nothing. And no evidence of anything either. Of course now the rich git just clams up, and hops into his convoy. So we start escorting it and lo and behold there is a hostile down there. A hostile.

A single Firestarter with barely enough armour to cover the internals. It didn't last long, but I think it must have got an alert off because as the convoy was approaching their shuttle we detected another mech powering up - a Locust 1M. It got one volley off that scratched the paint of the Vindie and that is about it. We got what was left of them, for what it is worth (and not much at that) - though the Marik noteable who hired us threw in a bonus, so it could have been worse.
 

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Woo-hoo <waves first-comment flag> well done on starting a story.

I like the style - good job on setting up the back story and I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.
I get the feeling that "Facepalm" might be a better callsign for Jill than "Falcon", give the universe she finds herself in, but the boss has to keep up appearances

So you're starting off already on a Heavy Metal career. I'm probably going to do one myself, but I think I'll wait until after the inevitable first hotfix.
Looks like you've got a decent starting lance, jumpjets on everything and some long-range firepower on the Panther and Vindie.
No rare salvage is a handicap I haven't tried before - depending on what they've done with the stores (and if you go Black Market) it could come back to bite once you get up around the 3-4 skull missions, which is usually when I start getting to put + weapons on everything. Then again some of the rare stuff is seriously unbalanced, especially the +50% damage missiles.
I've been waiting on Heavy Metal for what feels like weeks to get this AAR started. I didn't want to wait any longer :) Glad you like the start of it. I won't be posting as much after tonight, but first night of a new game/patch is always fun :)

We'll see how it goes on the rare salvage, but it always struck me as odd you could get rare salvage when the OpFor doesn't have it in the actual fight. From an rp perspective.
 
Week 1/3 - Operation Mushroom Dancer

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Week 1/3 - Operation Mushroom Dancer

So for today Darius cooked up a contract from a Capellan. Seems like all the fighting out here has given some opportunties for more free-wheeling. Some might call them entrepreneurs. Well, very entreprenurially a group of them had taken hostage this painter. I never heard of her, but then that's not surprising. I don't actually think she was all that famous - but she was much appreciated by a local Capellan bigwig on account of being her daughter. Which was why she was held hostage, of course - only said Capellan bigwig decided to spend his money hiring us than paying the ransom - which is fine by me.

We dropped with the same lance as yesterday. OpFor proved to be a full lance of Mechs (one Jenner JR7-D, two locusts (a -1S and a -1V) all led by a Wolverine WVR-6K) plus a couple of support vehicles in the form of a Galleon and a Striker.

The strike was a bit annoying firing from behind obstacles and whatnot until Khepri lined up a gorgeous PPC shot. The Locust -1V was a bloody pain to take down though. It took about as long to crush it as it did the Wolverine at the end, even with this nice targetting system. Really, it was a fight of three parts. The starters was the -1V and the Galleon. The mains was taking out the Jenner, the other Locust, and the Striker. Though by then the Wolverine had finally gotten close enough to engage. Graceland kept that busy whilst the rest of us took out the others. Jenner got a pretty good salvo off on me, but the armour held up.

Then we all turned around and pegged up to the Wolverine to get its attention before it tore Graceland's Vindicator right open. As it was it gouged away all the armour on the right-hand side just about, but did nothing serious. Graceland had the pleasure of seeing it off as well.

Unfortunately there wasn't too much of the Wolverine left to salvage, but I baggsied that for the Daggers when the op was over. They then allocated us some more Jenner aparts - Yang tells enough to give us a brand new Jenner if I want it - but I told him to park it in the hold for the moment.

Think I am going to suggest Rifle becomes our main-scout. He's been doing a good job in that Spider.
 

Specialist290

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Trekked my way across the Great Forum Divide for this one :)

I've been in sort of the same boat about Battletech myself -- I've always found the setting fascinating, but somehow never really got around to playing very many of the games. I remember dabbling a bit in MW4:Mercenaries back when the free download was still available, but I lost the computer it was on to a hard drive malfunction and never got the files back.

At any rate, I'll be following with interest :)
 

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Trekked my way across the Great Forum Divide for this one :)

I've been in sort of the same boat about Battletech myself -- I've always found the setting fascinating, but somehow never really got around to playing very many of the games. I remember dabbling a bit in MW4:Mercenaries back when the free download was still available, but I lost the computer it was on to a hard drive malfunction and never got the files back.

At any rate, I'll be following with interest :)
I'm much the same. Always fascinated by the setting, but never really tried playing the games much.
 

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Trekked my way across the Great Forum Divide for this one :)

I've been in sort of the same boat about Battletech myself -- I've always found the setting fascinating, but somehow never really got around to playing very many of the games. I remember dabbling a bit in MW4:Mercenaries back when the free download was still available, but I lost the computer it was on to a hard drive malfunction and never got the files back.

At any rate, I'll be following with interest :)
I'm much the same. Always fascinated by the setting, but never really tried playing the games much.
Glad to have you both along, and as you are both old-timers like me I would urge you to take a look at @merrick 's Letters Home AAR also in this place (you may or may not remember merrick from days of yore). It is a rather fun telling of the story campaign (though obviously spoilers if you ever might end up playing story campaign).
 

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"Mitcheneers"

Awesome name :D

I liked a lot how you created a backstory for a career playthrough.
Thank you :) Ever since I knew I wanted to do a story AAR for this campaign I knew I wanted to somehow ground "how" one starts in the Argo.
 
Week 1/4 - Ops Pigeon Drop & Shift Left

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Week 1/4 - Ops Pigeon Drop & Shift Left

We're leaving Claybrooke, but we're going out on a high, and probably just in time. What a day. A busy day. For starters we ran not just one, but two ops.

Well, the first op wasn't that much. See, the guy who hired a couple of days ago to protect his business-friend is a local Free World notable called Lord Aaron Carson. I get the impression he is a bit of a local heavy hitter, and well regarded. Anyway, his friend, apparently impressed by our performance, has gone out and hired a trio of newbie pilots and cut-price mechs, and begged Lord Carson to get them some training. Through the local agent Lord Carson decided to see if we would be interested in the work - since it paid well for little risk. I thought why the hell not, and so Operation Pigeon Drop was born.

When I say these guys were new, I mean one of them only got into a proper mech for the first time yesterday. Until then it had been all simulators. As for the mechs themselves - I've seen worse, but not often before a drop. Certainly old Mitch would have never sent us out in anything like that. I took my Assassin, and the newbies came in a Commando COM-2D, a Panther, and an Urbie. The foes - some Capellan funded bandits apparently - were two work out LCT-1Vs. I let the kids get both kills after softening them up each time.

I guess they'll do, if they survive long enough. They have to work on their callsigns though - I mean who the hell wants to be known now and forever as Guano?!?!?!

However, while I was doing that the rest of the crew were off on their own adventures. See the Capellans wanted to take out a local district security chief, to further de-stabilise the planet. Mind you the backwater region they had in mind seemed pretty unstable already from what I could tell, but hey it paid well. Of course I didn't want to annoy the Mariks, but if they thought I was training their newbies I figured maybe Sumire would be able to sneak the others to the AO.

Warlord took the newly repaired Enforcer, and everyone else stayed the same. The OpFor were in three groups conducting a sweep of some frozen valleys. One group had a Javelin JVN-10N and a Vulcan VL-ST. They ran into these two first, the next was had a Locust LCT-1M, Jenner JR7-D, and a Panther PNT-9R. Finally the target himself was lumbering around in a Hunchback HBK-4G

Apparently the only real tricky moment was when Rifle went too far forward and the Vulcan got behind him and stripped off most of his rear armour, but not much bled through in the end. Apparently Warlord cored the Javelin with a single salvo. The Hunchback was trickier to take down - they most stayed beyond range of its AC-20 and eventually persuaded it to come out the woods and then swarmed it.

Main thing is they had fun. Whilst they were doing this I had been running the kids through some poor training drills, and then Sumire picked us up in the Leopard.

After it was all said and done I got a query from Lord Carson, asking if we were intending to stick around in the system. I told him I hadn't planned to, and then the bastard smiled and said he thought that was for the best, and wished us well. Clearly my ploy didn't fool him, but equally he doesn't much to mind.

Well, we're on our way out of here. I've told Sumire to take us into unclaimed space - to Arn in fact. It'll be a good next step, but will take about a month given how travel times. Enough time though for Farah to make the Argo a little more ship-shape, and Yang to repair the Firestarter. We can't quite properly restore it though on account of coming up short a flamer. And with all the fancy gear you can score here (for the right price) there isn't a flamer to be found. We'll think about alternatives.
 
Week 5/3 - Arriving at Arn

stnylan

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Week 5/3 - Arriving at Arn

We're on the final approach to Arn. Been a slow month travelling, on the whole. Yang fixed up the Spider and the Firestarter, less that one Flamer. Farah sorted out the worst of the power problems, re-installing conduits and cables all over the Argo. She even managed to get reliable power to some parts of the ship we basically left alone - including the simulator suite. I had intended her to reinforce the structure, but the sim-pods I figured would do everyone good. Mostly it was a matter of running yet more power lines and some engineering help from Yang with pods' mechanisms. Things are a bit rudimentary, but still pretty good.

Mind you, I also learned this trip why Mitch was always scowling. See, ten days or so ago I was going to see Darius about something and suddenly came across Graceland and Warlord going at each other hell for leather. I have to admit my lungs got some good exercise getting their attention, and then I dragged them into the galley to find out what was going on.

Apparently it was because Graceland had been giving Warlord a hard time 'cause of losing the Firestarter's hand, and Warlord had been boasting of coring that Javelin last op, and one thing led to another and then they both blew the top. Oh, and Warlord too apparently wasn't happy that he thought Graceland hasn't been pulling her weight in the chores department, which I don't doubt might be the real cause of the dispute. Well I remember a reaming Mitch gave me two days after my 18th and I went to town on them both, and then told them their had rubbish duty for the rest of the voyage to Arn. Joint duty. Also told them every night in the pods it was both of them against the rest of us.

And the hell thing is it appears to have worked. They are both laughing with each other now - especially since that sim-exercise a couple of days ago where they took the rest of us out three times on the trot. Speaking again of the sims I had us run through a certification course yesterday. The results pretty much as I expected - myself, Graceland, and Khepri have improved out shooting - I've even managed some multi-shots which I figure might come in handy. Rifle has been practicising his piloting, which given he seems really eager to continue scouting seems sensible. Warlord, well nothing obvious yet, but in our games he kept trying to extend the life of his mech under fire. He ain't there yet, but if he keeps it up.

As for the mechs, I've chosen to name my Assassin Sunrise, and Graceland is calling the Vindicator the Lady V. Time to see what this planet holds
 
Week 5/3 Operation Foxglove

stnylan

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Week 5/3 Operation Foxglove

It might have been worse. I was dozing at one point earlier, and dreamed we came up against a Black Knight of all things - which promptly cored Rifle's spider and that was that. So it could have been worse.

Darius found us a deal working for the local scum - and made a good point too, believe it or not. It pays not to entirely piss off the underworld. And the various ruling bodies on Arn mean well, but they're not important. Anways the scum wanted us to clear a planetary lance out the way. Turned out the lance was a couple of Wolverines (a -6K and a -6R) and a Centurion CN9-A. Damned but I want another Centurion like the family had, like the one that bought my entry into the Mitcheneers - but that was a CNT-AL.

We had dropped with me in Sunrise, Warlord in the Enforcer, Graceland in Lady V and Rifle in his Spider. Rifle goes ahead to take a peek, and damned if the Cent's AC/10 doesn't hit him mid-torso and into his insides. Damned fine shooting.

Of course, we had some pretty good shooting ourselves. Not so much to tell of the fight except we kept it highly mobile - going first for the Cent (if nothing else it was closer), then to -6K, and finally the -6R. The Cent took some punishment, but then Warlord manage to get his AC/10 right into the cockpit of the -6K. The -6R in return opened up his left torse front and back, but never quite managed to cuts his way through, and we finally took him down shortly afterwards.

Our employers were happy anyhows. Got about half a -6K out of it for starters. I passed on getting anything off the Cent - it just wouldn't be the same.

Yang tells me it will be but a day for the Spider to up and running, and a couple more for the Enforcer. We'll see what tomorrow brings.
 

Specialist290

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It seems like the Silver Daggers have been doing well so far. Any mission where the K/D ratio ends with a "/0" is one that I'd count as a good mission, regardless of how far south anything else goes.

I guess they'll do, if they survive long enough. They have to work on their callsigns though - I mean who the hell wants to be known now and forever as Guano?!?!?!
Knowing what I know of how many real-world aviators earn their callsigns, I have a feeling that "Guano" had his picked out for him, probably after some sort of bizarre and improbable mishap involving the substance in question ;)
 

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It seems like the Silver Daggers have been doing well so far. Any mission where the K/D ratio ends with a "/0" is one that I'd count as a good mission, regardless of how far south anything else goes.
Agreed - though losing Mech parts can get bloody expensive.
 
Week 5/4 Operation Jolly Jupiter

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  • Hearts of Iron III
Week 5/4 Operation Jolly Jupiter

So the local lowlifes generally go around calling themselves The Verdant Dawn. I doubt anyone outside of Arn much cares what the name is, and most folks even here will just say "pirate" or "scum" or something original like that. But I have to say I rather like "The Verdant Dawn" - for guts if nothing else. Anyways they wanted us to help them with a follow-up op from yesterday's fun and games - destroying some important convoy. Except I got the impression the convoy wasn't the real objective, but the distracted caused by its destruction was. The agent - who goes by the callsign Verdant Calling if you can believe it - made some hints about more long-term work, to which I replied we were mercenaries and tomorrow we might be on opposite sides.

He took it fairly well, and I think got a bit of an arrangement here in Arn. For the next few days anyway. Meant accepting less c-bills and salvage for this job, but I think it will be worth. Darius kept grumbling about it so I know he approves.

I kept the same team. That'll have to change the next op - Khepri needs to get out. Put Warlord into Kestrel and off we went. Oh, about Kestrel. Yang gave me an earful (in private) earlier for mixing up our beloved Panther and a Falcon. He began all charming and sly - that is when I knew I was in trouble. By the end of it felt like I was in school again. But I'm still calling our Panther "Kestrel".

The convoy was guarded by a Crab and a Firestarter - the convoy itself consisted of a Galleon and three strikers. Fortunately they were all as green as us - or greener. The Firestarter proved a particular pain - jumped behind me at one point, stripped off some back armour and took out one of Sunrise's jets. You might say I was a bit annoyed. The Spider took quite a bit of damage too from being primaried by all those strikers. Rifle said by the end of the op it was definitely getting a bit wobbly.

For all that we did well enough. We took down the Firestarter first, and then the Crab. The Crab took bloody forever - not helped by both Warlord and Graceland forgetting how to aim. Still, whilst Rifle and I darted about the place those two marched in lock-step. We ended up effectively dismantling the crab piece by piece. After that the convoy wasn't much trouble at all, with Graceland in Lady V soaking up quite a bit of the damage. Warlord and Graceland are working really well together again.

Yang says it will take a day to sort out the Spider, and a couple more to do Sunrise since he's got to fit and calibrate a replacement jump jet. I'm going to review the contract list and make a decision what to do.