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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Rymeer

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Apr 24, 2018
59
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Hey merrick.
Keep up the good work. You've got a nice 'story' going here with the 'letters home' way of doing things. Just enough detail to clue one in to whatever mission is being discussed without slogging through a 'play by play' of the action. Giving the pilots 'character' and noting their successes and failures is a pretty good way to keep things 'fresh' as well. It should not be too long before the Argo gets more refits, and the Unit starts collecting some serious firepower.
Seriously, the little things like Tam, Sal, and Tatty's ongoing urban restoration project, keep things 'human'.
Way, way back in the 70's, I had a 'pen pal' that lived outside the USA. Looking back on things, most of our letters were pretty much like your entries in this thread. Although, from memory, ours were a bit more detailed than Aleks' short messages. But, ComStar fees are not cheap, and one can understand why Aleks' messages are so 'brief'. Especially with financial crunches like what has happened to the Unit in the past.
I say again, keep on writing. I am interested in seeing how all this pans out over time. Plus, I like the 'style' you are using to tell the tale.
 

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3026-04-07 Transit to Weldry

Hi again.
I hope you're all well and I'm sorry for not being in touch sooner, but it's been a bad few weeks. If it looks like my typing's improved that's because Nicholette is kindly taking dictation while I'm laid up in Medbay with my arm immobilised. And I'm the lucky one.

I should have known. We'd had one decent mission, taking down a Directorate base in the outlands, and I let them talk me into another. This one was meant to be abandoned, but had some sort of sealed bunker deep down, that they were planning to crack with a targeted rock from a mining ship in orbit. Which was fine by us, 'cos all we had to do was place the markers and retire to a safe distance.

Then we turned up, and it turned out that some folks from the Directorate had also turned up to check out the base and they'd brought a bloody Orion. And a Shadowhawk and the Firestarter That Would Not Die. I was in the spare Shadowhawk because Rocky was still being fixed up, and that monster pretty much stripped the main front armour in the first volley. So I was ducking and dodging and trying to draw attention without getting hit again and Popo and Arclight were dashing around placing beacons, and GV was being a star, as usual.

We were doing pretty well dancing with the monster until the "sealed" bunker opened up and started rolling out Demolishers. And another sort of tank, the new Gallants that move like smoke and carry real hi-tech guns. And I chose the wrong time to do the dumb thing - I should have scrubbed the mission right there, but Demolishers are slow, and short-ranged, and there were only a couple of minutes to go until showtime.

Well, we got the beacons placed, and started to withdraw. But GV and I were on the wrong side of the base and the Demolishers were starting to spread out. One of them landed a strike on Maximus that blew half the torso out, I was trying to escort GV out of range and Popo and Arclight were dancing around on the far side, trying to distract the tanks from the vulnerable Mech.

Except with Demolishers around the vulnerable Mech is whichever one they're shooting at. One of them caught Tengu between jumps and blew its leg straight off. It went down in a heap and a bunch of them focused fire and blasted it apart before Popo had a chance to punch out. GV and I had killed the one chasing us, and I really thought we might make it back to the LZ - and then one of the Gallants got a shot at long range, and Maximus just went up like a firework.

Then, and only then, did I have the sense to com Arclight to stop dancing and just scram.

We killed the base at least. That's something. But Popo's dead, Tengu's gone, Maximus's gone, GV ought to be dead but somehow he got blown clear - he's in Intensive and the docs say they're "hopeful". Damn.

I liked Popo. I didn't know him well - there was always a bit of the stern Drac about him - but he was as solid for the Restoration as anyone, and he pulled enough crazy tricks under fire that even Dekker bought him drinks. I had to write to his family - he left an address. I tried to write a poem, but I don't know the Drac styles, and Nicholette couldn't help, so I don't think it was very good. I told them he'd found a cause worth fighting for, he'd fought like a hero and died like a samurai. Do you think that makes a difference?

There's a Mech waiting for me when I get out of here, but I don't know if I want to get into it. No, that's not true - what I don't want to do is to have to be the one who sends some poor sucker who wasn't even from the Reach into a Demolisher's gunsights, in a sideshow op on a sideshow planet. But if we quit, then Espinoza wins, not just because he's beaten us, but because he's "proved" himself right about the best leader being the one who will sacrifice anything to win. So there's nothing left but to slog on and hope.

Hope to see you in the end,
Aleks

P.S. Nicholette says she's going to call her Griffin "Ume" in memorial. I said something stupid about how I didn't know she and Popo were close and she gave me half a smile and said they weren't, Popo was always too much the Drac to fall for a girl who couldn't write poetry.

Barbosa - Thanks for the support. It was a good holiday.

Rymeer - I've never been entirely sure about how "regular" mail gets sent between planets in the Battletech universe - is it physically carried by JumpShip (some of it has to be - not every planet has an HPG station) or do people buy a millisecond of HPG time to send a compressed text message? But, yes, you're right that a real once-a-month letter would probably be much longer and include much more personal/incidental stuff, even if it's just what music he was listening to or what Dekker had to say about the latest holovid. But I doubt I could keep any reader's interest through a page of that stuff. The Great Wall of Text has scared off a lot of online readers.
 

Lighthorseman

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I am enjoying this, hopefully will have time to catch up to you this evening, still only mid way down page 2
 

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3026-05-01 Kimi

Hi Tatty.

Thank-you for the package. The flower holos got a laugh when I put them up in Medbay, but I thought they were worth it. It's good to know that someone cares, when the universe at large is busy trying to show how much it doesn't. Also Dekker says that you can send cake any time.

I'm sorry. I should have written earlier. We've been running hard, trying to catch a break. Got back to Weldry to find the Restoration having a problem with Directorate intruders. We could still field a lance, so I said sure. Directorate commander turns up to the the party in another bleedin' Orion. Different model, of course, so we couldn't hope to put one together from salvage. Fortunately we were in a forest on some steepish hills, lots of cover and broken ground and we were able to isolate the thing and take it down without anything getting broken too much.

Nothing more to do on Weldry, so we pulled out to Kimi on local government contract, hoping maybe to catch some rest and do some recruiting. Funny thing, I guess the Doc really does have high-level contacts in the Sphere because she got a call from Morgan Kell - yes, the Morgan Kell - the don't-pretend-even-you-haven't-heard-of-him Morgan Kell - who was needing advice on some tech problem. I don't know the details - I just viewed the intro and the Doc and the techs went into conclave for a week - but I guess he must have liked what she told him, 'cos we got the payoff when we made planetfall - a couple of the latest freezers right out of the Davion labs, now installed on Rocky and Black Bart.

So I was actually feeling confident about the job on Kimi - right up to the point where I saw this great big blip on my scanner. No, not another Orion, a freaking Black Knight of all crazy things, and he'd brought along a T-Bolt for company (and a Shadowhawk, but that barely counted). Well, we all piled into the Black Knight, reasoning that if we let that monster fire twice somebody was dead, but we couldn't hurt it fast enough it stop it firing once - and if your guess for what happened next involves "Behemoth" and "PPC to the head", give yourself a prize. So there's Behemoth with her cockpit armour shredded and we're still tangling with two pocket Assaults. We mauled the Black Knight down and the Shadowhawk down and that didn't leave us in great shape to tackle the T-Bolt. Dekker was dashing round behind it trying for a back-shot and pulled one of his crazy stunts. Jumped right in behind and let fly with everything, cooking the Second to shutdown ... and not hurting the T-Bolt enough. The rest of us couldn't get there in time and he was bloody lucky it only took the Second's arm off while he was shut down rather than, say, staving in the cockpit. We killed it after that, but Behemoth's hurt, Rocky's beat up and the Second's half-fried.

And there are no decent Mechwarrior prospects on planet. Great.

GV's talking. At least that's something.

Best,
Aleks


Lighthorseman - Glad you[re enjoying this, hope you stay with it.
 

Rymeer

Sergeant
Apr 24, 2018
59
1
Damn Merrick, your unit is getting hammered. I've played the campaign several times and never had such bad luck. Yes, I did have some unlucky missions here and there, but not the string you're having. Hopefully, you'll be able to dig out of that hole eventually and get on track. I know that once I got some traction going, I.E. a couple of decent Medium Mechs, I was able to win far more easily and more often. Oh, and getting Yang that 2nd Mech Bay up and operating is pretty important. It allows Yang to work on two Mechs simultaneously and reduces overall time needed to repair and upgrade your Mechs.

On another point... I am still liking the whole 'letters home' style of your writing, even if I feel the length of each letter is rather brief. One can honestly say that the protagonist is keeping things short and sweet to keep the cost of HPG messages low. So, a compressed text file that fits into a microsecond burst is about as cheap as things can get, and well within the operating budget of the Company... which, to date, has been more of a Lance.

The most important things to upgrade the Argo are the Mech Bays, Medical, and getting the Simulators up and running. I know you have to fix or upgrade a few things to get to that point, but once you have the simulator(s) going, you can hire basic pilots and keep 'em in there, training, gaining experience, and you don't HAVE to upgrade their stats until you want to actually use them. This keeps the cost of upkeep of the Company smaller, since lower skill ratings cost less to maintain.

Eventually your unit will reach that 'tipping point', where they are making more than they are spending. That is, if you're not buying every neat thing you see in the markets. BTW: Keep your eyes peeled for the variant Hunchback. The one with all the Medium Lasers. That thing is efficient. Max out it's armor, even if you have to give up a laser or two and the associated heat sinks. You should be able to make a Mech that can take a pounding and keep melting foes to dripping shreds. Wither you keep the Jump Jets or lose 'em for armor mass is entirely up to you, but keep in mind that a jumping Hunchie with THAT many Lasers would pretty much core an enemy Mech if it jumps to two or three hexes behind it. Especially if you have some Morale to spend on getting a more accurate shot.

Keep up the story. I want to see how this unit survives.
speaking, Frank-ly
 

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3026-05-28 Mandalas

Hi again. Sorry again.

Another month, another letter limping in just when you've given up on me. I should have written from Herotitus, but I couldn't find the energy. We didn't stay long on Kimi. I figured that since we had a bunch to Mechs to fix before we could take any more contracts we might as well move on, and I let Dekker talk me into going back to Herotitus because it was a good place to rest and look for new hires.

Well, I think Sumire got some rest, maybe. Darius was at the poker table forty-eight hours straight. Dekker lost his roll at the casino and drowned his sorrows on my tab. Behemoth had checked herself out of Medbay when we made orbit and ended up carrying him to the Dropship. I managed one whole night at the resort between riding herd on those two, chasing contracts and following up phantom Mechwarrrior leads. Yang and the Doc didn't go planetside at all - we had a repair list as long as your arm and the Doc is still finding broken bits of the Argo to fix - but I think that's how she has fun. We weren't there for all that long in the end - all the Mechwarrior leads turned out to be phonies or no-hopers, except for one guy who told me straight out that the Restoration had no hope and money was no use if he didn't live to spend it. I did find us one job for our Canopian friends, which was turning out fine until a Hunchback blew Rocky's arm off, which rather soured me on the whole planet.

So on to Mandalas, where we did a job for the Liao, which went a bit better. Some nice salvage - we'd be drowning in Mechs if I had anyone to pilot them - but still no decent Mechwarriors willing to sign on. My fault for having standards I guess, but I reckon if I'm going to ask someone to put his neck on the line in some crazy mission against Espinoza's goons, he deserves to know what he's signing up for - and I'm not taking any raw meat that'll end up fried in the first mission.

The Argo is almost liveable these days - the Doc even swears she's fixed the intermittent vibration problem - but she still has big plans for opening up and refitting the sealed-off sections. If she can fix up everything there's plans for, the ship will be practically up to luxury liner standard, with our own pool and even a garden (well, a hydroponics section, anyway). Still, it's not home, or at least it doesn't feel that way. I hope your place does.

GV's back on his feet, though they won't let in back in Mech just yet. We're setting up a new Mech for him, a Wolverine-K with twin large lasers. It's not Maximus - and we're going to miss those LRMs - but it'll be good to have him back.

The good fight is calling again, so we lift in an hour,
Aleks


Rymeer - Thanks for the vote of confidence. Things aren't actually as bad as you seem to think - money stopped being a big issue some time ago (I've been paying extra for morale boosts). And I have plenty of solid medium Mechs - when I hit the killer mission on Ryan's Fate, my line-up was:
Aleks - Rocky (Blackjack with AC-5)
Behemoth - Black Bart (SRM Shadow Hawk)
GV - Maximus (LRM Centurion)
Arclight - then-unnamed (Stock Griffin-N)
Dekker - Lucky Second (FIrestarter w/4 ML & 4 SL)
Popo - Tengu (Stock Javelin-F)
and I had another Shadow Hawk and a Trebuchet (both SRM/ML builds) as spares, plus a Vindie and a Jenner. That's solid. But I've reached the point in the campaign where if I take any more story missions, I'm going to be seeing 3-skull contracts and heavy Mechs everywhere - and at 5 salvage/Mech it's going to take some time for me to get any heavy Mechs myself. And since Ryan's Fate, I've only had 4 Mechwarriors - so every time the RNG throws up a head hit, it shuts the Company down for a fortnight.
The second Argo Mech bay was the second thing I took (after the Medbay). Since then I've been mostly working on maxing out the Mechbay tools. I haven't bothered with the simulators because (self-imposed challenge alert) I haven't been hiring procedurally-generated Mechwarriors for this run. Which is also why the company is trekking all over the Reach looking for a suitable Mechwarrior to hire.
 

Rymeer

Sergeant
Apr 24, 2018
59
1
Hey Merrick.
Ah, I didn't know about the limits you had imposed. Five piece Mechs? Ouch. I am not really sure why you are holding back on random pilots though. I know getting one of the Backer pilots is fantastic, but you really should have at least two in the 'stable' at all times just to keep random head hits from crippling the unit as a whole.
As an aside, Twice now, I've gotten Majestic as one of my pilots on various play throughs. Majestic was one of the Utube reviewers and players of MWO that I followed pretty often, even if I don't play MWO myself. I'm hoping that one day I'll run across Molten Metal, aka: Baradul, another MWO player and Utuber that I follow. That. Would. Be. Awesome! And I'm not talking about the Mech! :)
I figure that in about half a dozen full play throughs of the game, I've gotten at least 4 or 5 of the Backer's pilots into my 'stable' on the Argo. I guess I've been lucky. Hehehe... I even played a female pilot in one game, who ONLY hired female Mech pilots... other than Majestic. He was an 'exception'.
Right now, I am slowly playing a game using the 3062 mods... when I am not busy reading various fan made stories, listening to music, playing other online games, or occupied with various chores like shopping, laundry, cleaning my condo, etc.
Well... as I said, I'm liking the whole 'Letters Home' style you're going with, and I hope things take a turn around for your game's events.
Frank-ly speaking.
P.S. Got some help here on the boards to have a version of my Space Marine Chapter's logo as my Merc Company's logo, then a lot of advice on how to use it in game as well on the site here. I like how it looks. :)
 

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3026-07-11 Weldry

Tatty,

I know, I know. You're tired of me saying "sorry" and then going and doing it again. I don't even have a decent excuse, because I haven't been doing anything for most of the last month, except trekking from Jump to Jump on our way back to the Restoration. We'd got a call from Panzyr just before I wrote you last time, and there was nothing to keep us on Mandalas, so we yes-ma'amed and headed back. I didn't really realise how far we'd drifted until I saw the transit times getting back. Oh, and I did find time to pick up a couple of little things for Sal. I hope she likes them. Maybe she'll forgive me.

Life in JumpPoint transit is dull. There's nothing to do (well, not much for me to do - Yang was head down burning through his backlog and the Doc is busy on her project to open up the second pod), every day is just like the last and it's easy to put things off because there's nothing coming up but more empty time. And people get scratchy and on each others' nerves and you're always trying to talk to someone and avoid someone else and the Argo isn't that big. I can't remember how we managed when we only had the Leopard. Avoided long transits, I think.

Anyway, nothing of note happened except that I had some long talks with Nicholette and finally got her to open up about why she'd always been so sketchy about her past. Turns out that she used to be a freelancer, and four years and some ago, she was working with someone who was working for someone who turned out to be working for Espinoza. That little detail wasn't made clear in the contract, she says, and I believe her. Freelancing is always about dodgy contacts for dodgy clients and half the time you're never sure quite what their game is. But it made me think. If I'd stayed a freelancer - if Sir Raju hadn't got me into the Guard - and someone had come along with a well-paying offer and don't-ask-questions - would I have walked away from it? Even a year or so ago, when the debts were biting, if someone shady had offered the Company a decent contract for an off-the-books op, would I have worried about maybe being the bad guys? Actually I don't have to worry about the last one, because Lady Centrella made that offer and I took it. Turns out she was one of the good guys, but she needn't have been. And I've certainly done enough things I'm not proud of, just trying to stay afloat.

Maybe that's why I loved the Guard. With people like Sir Raju in charge, I didn't have to worry about being snowed or set up or doing bad things for bad people because politics. I think the Lady's the same. I know she tries to be, but she's on a hard road. And sometime you have to do what you have to do, just to keep going. I don't blame her if she slips. I don't blame Nicholette. I'm trying not to blame myself.

A thing I don't miss about the Guard is always having someone wanting you somewhere else right now. We arrived at Panzyr to find they wanted us on Weldry. We arrived on Weldry after travelling a month straight to find out why - Directorate intruders getting support from the Taurians. That turned into a very nasty fight against two lances at once - a few lights as flankers, a solid block of mediums and the boss-man had brought a Dragon. Not much fun tangling with that thing when you're already counting the holes in your armour. Behemoth was our point-girl and she got most of the attention - they took just about all the left-side armour off Black Bart and she end up circling the furball, trying to keep the good armour towards the enemy. There was a steep outcrop in the middle of their position that we were using to split them up, which worked OK until some of them worked out that they could jump on top of it and then it all got very close and personal. We took them down in the end, but Nicollette got hurt bad when they blew an arm and a leg off of Ume, Rocky had more holes than armour and Black Bart was beat up as well. Could have been worse - when Behemoth came back in to bail us out she let a Shadow Hawk charge her. I could only watch and wait for a punch in the wrong place - but fortunately it was too beat up to land one

The good news was that the boss-man no longer needs it, so now we have a Dragon, if I can work out what to do with it.
Meanwhile the Restoration wants us back on Ryan's Fate. I can't wait.

Best
Aleks

Barbosa, Rymeer - Thanks for the support. I did put the 5-piece Mechs restriction in the first post of the thread. The no-random pilots thing was something that evolved through the play, partly because it's harder to write about pilots with no backstory. I also try to keep my pilots with their personal rides as much as possible, at least until they move up to something bigger and better. It feels more in line the Battletech lore.
 

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3026-08-17 Mechdur

Your humble correspondent begs forgiveness for the unfortunate delay.

I don't have much of an excuse either, we've had enough time in transit to write an epic. I've been worrying over people in Medbay and Mechs needing repair and the Restoration getting overextended and the bloody Taurians. You heard it here first - Espinoza must have made a deal to sell the whole Coreward side of the Reach to the Calderons. It's the only thing that would explain the amount of Concordat hardware we've been running into - all of it shooting at us and pally-pally with the DIrectorate. It's messed up the Restoration plan something horrid - we were meant to be fighting Espinoza, not the whole Taurian army. Come to think of it though, it would explain why the Centrellas were so keen to back the Restoration in the first place.

Anyway, the Lady's worried, and when she's worried, we get called in. We didn't go to Ryan's Fate in the end, we went to Bringdam, which differs only in having too much air rather than too little, and otherwise is just about as unlivable and undesirable. We were needed to clear out a lance of Taurian heavy tanks which were a bit much for the locals. They turned out to be two Manticores and two more bloody Demolishers. Plus Mech support. We had GV in the Dragon and Dekker in a new Griffin and we needed all the metal we could get, 'cos fancy footwork only goes so far when you're between a Demolisher and a Hunchback. Black Bart got one side ripped wide open and Behemoth was bashed up pretty bad.

So we pulled out of Bringdam and headed for Mechdur and that other great joy, city fighting! I had GV in a Wolverine that we'd fitted up with max LRMs - it was a pretty terrible ride, but it worked OK for shooting from behind buildings. This time the oppo were a bit more spread out and a bit less armoured and we could take them down bitewise. I actually thought we might finish a mission with no-one hurt until Dekker got a building blown out from under him and managed to land the Griffin on its head. So we're all killing time until Behemoth's out of Medbay.

At least Mechdur City is a decent place to kill time in. I actually got to spend some time groundside and I found a restaurant that does a peppered pork like Ma used to make. Which reminds me, I never thanked you for your last mail. It took a couple of detours on the way but it got through in the end. I know I'm lousy at saying so, but it always makes me feel better to know you care. Congratulate Tam for me, and I hope the vacation goes well. It feels funny to think about people taking vacations in the middle of a war, but I guess you can thank Espinoza - nothing to rattle the china on Coromodir, keep the pain out of sight in the outworlds. For me, these last few days have been as close to a vacation as I've had in years. You'd think a place this size would run to one qualified Mechwarrior candidate, but apparently the local Restoration swept them all up first. But one success - we salvaged a Centurion from the last job and Yang and GV are loading it up with the LRMs. He's going to call it Secundus.

I will try to write more often, really.
Aleks


[OOC Note - For some reason, the ++ damage LRM10s on Maximus didn't get blown up with the mech. Since they're about the only ++ weapons I have, I've been looking for a suitable Mech to mount them in]
 

BARBOSA (Aries)

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This LRM is a lucky piece of hardware. How about mounting it on this new centurion. Its a great missile boat mech.
 

merrick

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3026-09-10 Ryan's Fate

Hi again,

Sorry for another long silence, but I'm in Medbay again. At least this time I can sit up and I don't have to ask Collette to write for me. We had one more job on Mechdur, taking down a pirate band who'd taken Espinoza's cash to make trouble for the Restoraton. The good news was that their Mechs were junkers. The bad news was that they had nine of them, and two of them were Kintaros. When you square off against two Kintaros, you get to see a whole lot of missiles pointy end on, and they rattled old Rocky pretty good.. The other good news was that we were able to salvage one of the Kintaros. The other bad news was a priority call from Ryan's Fate.

No-one was really happy to ship out - Dekker and Behemoth had a set-to in the mess a couple days later. Nothing serious - just too many jumps and not enough mission time and the general feeling that the war is going nowhere. But I had to discipline Behemoth and she spent the rest of the trip making attitude. Dekker, thank the stars, didn't push her. Maybe he's growing up after all.

I was still crocked when we made orbit, so I had to let the team go in without me - and I have to say they did us proud. It was Taurians again, a lance built around a T-Bolt and backup on call and they did it with no wrecked Mechs, no crazy stunts and best of all, no-one hurt. Collette told me that after taking down the first lance they ended up on one side of a steep ridge with the Taurian back-up on the other side, so they took turns playing jump-up-and-shoot (or at least jump-up-and-spot-for-GV). The Taurians never figured it out - she told me that their commander cursed them for dishonourable rebel scum until they blew his Mech out from under him, but he never either came up the ridge or pulled out of range of it. I like enemies like that.

Even better, I got a call from an old friend while I was sweating it out in orbit. Ellis Simonsen, goes by "Blockade", solid guy, used to be with the Guard. He was with 3 Company on Fjaldr and then commanded a lance in the Coromodir City garrison. You might remember him from back when I was living on West Street - I think he came by the flat a couple of times when you were there. Tall, dark, Gangtok accent - he had a place up on Shaw's Edge and a terrier he called "Mastiff". Anyway he remembers you, and he asked after Tam and Sal. Couldn't believe they're teenagers now. I'm not sure I can either.

We swapped stories and they were much the same - his CO had been one of Espinoza's stooges and it ended in a shootout in the middle of the Guard barracks when the bloody snake tried to call bring the company out in support of the DIrectorate. He got out in one bit, barely, and went freelance out towards Davion space. Came back when he heard of the Restoration, and had been trying to get a ride on one of their salvaged Mechs. We had a good time talking about the old days, and it didn't exactly take much pushing to get him to sign on with us. He's brought a friend too - a high-class Davion who calls himself "Kingwolf". Yeah, he's young, but he went to military college on Robinson and then saw action against the Dracs. So we're up to strength again and can field a full lance even if I have to rest a couple of guys.

All best
Aleks

Barbosa - yes, the LRM Centurion is a sweet ride. Most of the other medium Mechs are faster and hence don't have the same internal space, as I found out when I was trying to cram the LRMs on a Wolverine. Hence why GV is so happy to get another Centurion.
 

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3026-10-02 Smithon

Hi Tatty,

I know, I know, but I can plead operational security on this one. Yes, this message comes to you from liberated Smithon. I guess you already heard all about the liberation from the newsfeeds. I wouldn't pay too much attention to the ones from our side about "planned delays" and "waiting out the Directorate" - we were pretty hard pressed for a while and couldn't move much faster - but don't listen to anything from Espinoza about "strategic withdrawal". The Directorate had plenty on Smithon and not much made it off.

Our big show was clearing out an ammo supply dump in the badlands. We'd been warned it was a tough job, so I actually left old Rocky in the bay and took the Dragon. Turns out that I needn't have bothered - no-one paid me too much attention because they were too busy shooting at Dekker and Behemoth. Dekker got a leg blown off the Griffin but he's OK (we'd got Yang to reinforce the cockpit and it turned out to be a good call). Between him dancing on one leg, Behemoth as point girl and GV in support, we took all them all down with no leakers and no-one hurt on our side. Helps that their boss mechs didn't know to stay away from the ammo stocks. Took down a Dragon without shooting it once, only problem was there wasn't much left to salvage.

So another Founding House joins the Restoration, though I have to say that joy was somewhat confined. Given what Espinoza put them through, I can't say I blame them. The DIrectorate are stripping the outworlds to build up Coromodir and - my guess - pay off the Taurians, who are all over the border in numbers. But a Founding House is a Founding House and Smithon is one step closer to Coromodir. And Espinoza's strategy of stripping the outworlds only works as long as he controls them. We'll see how long his goons stick around when they have to pay for their own war.

After the big show we had Black Bart in the MechBay with the Griffin, so I had Blockade and Kingwolf with me for the mop-up jobs and they did pretty well. Two missions with no trouble and then on the third one things got nasty. We were covering a Restoration base and they hit with a bunch of light Mechs with LRM support. They took Rocky's arm off and Collette got shook up a bit. That meant I had to leave the last job to Behemoth in the Dragon, with GV, Blockade and Kingwolf, Turns out I needn't have worried. The Directorate had managed to find another Orion, and they took it down so neatly that now it's our Orion. You should have seen GV's face when Yang was working out how many missiles he could load on the thing. He's already calling it Primus.

Best,
Aleks
 

Rymeer

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A Dragon and an Orion walk into a bar. Total destruction. Owner has to claim 'War Damage and reparations' from his insurance... good luck with that.
 

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3026-10-15 Enkra

Hello again!

Don't worry, I'm not dead and this message doesn't come to you courtesy of Espinoza's Security goons - I really can write twice in the same month. Sometimes. It helps that Espinoza and his Taurian buddies seem to have given up on Smithon so things have calmed down a bit on the Restoration front, not that you'd know it from our repair list. But they tell me that Plan B is back on track.

After Smithon they sent us to Enkra, another worn-out planet with no reason to keep existing that muddles on anyway. At least the air's decent here, and you can actually find some quite pretty bits with trees and flowers and stuff, once you get away from the slag hills.

The Restoration had a problem here - Taurians. Lots of Taurians. Some of them flying Directorate colours, but all of them bloody Taurians. I don't know why the Concordat wanted the place so badly, but they must have sent a full battalion. I reckon we got to fight most of it.

We pulled one decent ambush on a Taurian Catapult, then got hit by the old trick. A heavy-medium lance with another heavy-medium lance hiding just outside sensor range. I don't think we even ID'd them all. By the time all the dots were on the radar, I was blinking through a starred screen and Dekker had holes in his armour as well. So we burned down their point-man and left the party with all due haste. I may be getting smarter in my old age.

While I was resting up in Medbay, GV was running the follow-up missions, mostly with Behemoth, Blockade in the Wolvie-K and Kingwolf in the Kintaro. They did pretty well. Blockade hasn't forgotten what Sir Raju taught him, and Kingwolf was a good spot. He's still learning, but he's coming along fast and has almost worked out that coming the jaded veteran doesn't get you much change from people who've been in the life a dozen years longer than you. I was worried his attitude might get him into trouble with the other MechWarriors, but luckily it turned out the Dekker likes him and Behemoth just thinks he's funny. Still haven't got him to open up about why he's all the way out here instead of commanding a lance for Hanse Davion, but their loss looks like our gain.

Anyway, they got through two simple jobs no problem and then the last one got to be a bit of a meatgrinder, against another double lance though at least lighter than the last one and more spread out. Blockade's hurt - nothing serious but it gives me company - and everyone but GV came back with holes in their Mechs. The Taurians didn't get to come back at all, which hopefully ends their interest in Enkra. The local salvagers must love us.

Blockade - Ellis - said to say hi. Collette did too, when she found me writing this. She misses her folks, but she left in front of a bunch of trouble and doesn't think she can go back. Story of all our lives.

I miss you too
Aleks.


Rymeer - The heavy Mechs have finally started to come together. It helps the seemingly every mission in Restoration space is against Taurians and the Taurians looove their Orions and T-Bolts.
 

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3026-10-25 Zangul

Hi again, Tatty

Thank-you for your mail. It's always appreciated, just to know that there are sane people out there and we're fighting for something worthwhile. So you've finally finished fitting up the house? I though it looked great from the pictures and I'll spare you Blockade criticising the curtains.

Today's message comes to you from Zangul, which could actually be a decent bit of real estate, despite what the Capellans did to it. For the moment, though, it's more like one of those vid sets the action directors love, all rusting metal and abandoned buildings. The last Directorate units in the coreward end of the Reach had fallen back there and we had the job of clearing them out.

I was back on duty for the first round, only I got careless and let a Directorate Quickdraw put a hole in Rocky. So I sat the next one out and GV did his usual star job (I'll swear he's a better tactician than I am now) and brought back enough of a Thunderbolt for Yang to fix up. So we'll have another heavy Mech once we're caught up on the repairs. GV didn't do so well the second time out - trying to be too clever with a Directorate medium lance with armour support - and Kingwolf got hurt and Dekker's Griffin got bashed up as well. But we got another Centurion out of it, so it was't a dead loss.

A new rash of Mech names - Dekker (typical) is calling the Griffin Triple-X, Kingwolf insisted on calling the Kintaro Big Bart - which would likely have landed him in the Medbay if he wasn't already there; Behemoth did not get the joke - and Blockade is calling the Wolvie-K Justicar. He thinks it means something cool, I think he's got it wrong, and Dekker is making bad jokes, which just makes him dig his heels in.

Anyway, the last of the Directorate goons holed up in the old spaceport, so we got to go in and smoke them out. The first round I was back in the Dragon with Collette, GV and Behemoth, and it was lucky I had the A-team because the oppo turned out to be the Directorate hardcore. We'd blown through two T-Bolts and an Orion (all in pretty bad shape thankfully, and GV dropped the first T-Bolt with a headshot in his second salvo) when the big boss turned up - in his King Crab. You've never seen so many Mechwarriors wishing their Mechs were smaller. I never thought I'd be happy to be fighting in a city, but I was very glad to be able to keep a lot of buildings between me and that monster while we tagged it with sensors and GV chipped it down with headshots from two streets away. Not honourable, perhaps, but I'm not interested in getting any more of our people killed.

Last sweep went strange - we'd just got a line on the last of the Directorate hold-outs when a lance flying Steiner colours dropped in and tried to claim the bounty. No idea if they were real Lyrans or what they thought they were doing there, but it turned into a three-way streetfight with everyone popping off at everyone else - or in our case hiding behind buildings letting the other two wear each other out. Which they did, so we ended on top and they ended in the rubble.

The Taurians seem to have gone quiet for them moment, so maybe they're reconsidering the whole "Alliance with Espinoza" thing. We can hope.

Best,
Aleks
 

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3026-11-10 Smithon

Good day, my lady

Lady Victoria Espinoza sends her warmest regards. Or at least I'm sure she would, if she wasn't in a soundproof cell and if she could stop raving like General Blight on helium long enough to observe the civilities.

Yes, don't believe whatever nonsense Espinoza puts out, Daddy's little backshooter is now enjoying the hospitality of the Restoration, which true to the Lady's principles have not hung her up by her thumbs, much as the bitch deserves it. You'd think she'd show a little gratitude but it's all "I will destroy you" on repeat loop. Give Espinoza this much, I guess there's one person in the Reach still believes in him.

She even swore vengeance on me personally, which sounds dramatic, but if she ever gets out of that cage, I can't say I'm too worried at the prospect of facing her again. She didn't give us much trouble the first time round, after all.

We'd been called in to clear out a shadowport on Smithon's moon where the Taurians (natch) were running supplies to the Directorate. We'd been warned that the locals had already had a shot at the place and failed, so I went in with the A-team - me in Rocky, GV in Secundus, Behemoth in Black Bart and Dekker in Triple-X. The locals must have got a bigger piece of them than we thought, because all we faced upfront was one lance of beat-up Mechs and a few turrets. Dekker did his thing and marked the turret generators, and once they'd gone what was left was mop-up. The Taurians tried to claim they were innocent bystanders - specifically innocent bystanders in an armoured Dropship who could't bring themselves to go quietly when we had a dozen guns on their fuel supply. Bunch of idiots. I'd hoped one of them would have had the sense to shoot his boss and power down, but no such luck.

Anyway, after we'd finished with them, who should drop in but Lady Vicky and a lance of Espinoza's finest. Or at least Espinoza's most trusted, and it looks like he's valuing "trusted" over "competent" because they came at us like a bunch of mooks. Straight down the middle, no tactics, no strategy and we knocked them down one by one. The last of them managed to put a hole in Triple-X before we blew his other arm off. Lady Vicky had already punched out by that point. I hoped I'd cleared a debt to Sir Raju when her MG ammo cooked off, but life never works out the way you want it.

Not for us, and certainly not for Lady Vicky and her dad. If he's not checking out the bug-out options then he ought to be. The clock is ticking and pretty soon his jackals are going to hear it and turn on him to save their own necks.

If you have any special messages for Lady Vicky, I'll make sure they're passed on to her.

For the Restoration,
Aleks


[OOC] - That was rather annoying. I had three parts of a Catapult K2 already and I had Victoria's mech legged and down and I was carefully precision-shotting the other leg off to get myself a K2 called Lady Vicky - and then the MG ammo went up and cored out the centre torso.
 

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Rymeer

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Apr 24, 2018
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[OOC] - That was rather annoying. I had three parts of a Catapult K2 already and I had Victoria's mech legged and down and I was carefully precision-shotting the other leg off to get myself a K2 called Lady Vicky - and then the MG ammo went up and cored out the centre torso.

Yeah, a K2 would be cool. I like the Large Laser idea, especially if they are + or ++ weapons, although I have had ONE game where I got a +++ Large Laser. My current game is a bit sparse on the Plus weapons side, mores the pity.
Keep on with the Letters. I am enjoying this.