- Having successfully captured assets for NAR, Aralakh was finally released on so-so terms. Their most pressing concern was treating Drevan's injuries, so they took their chances staying in-system and going to the hospital. The company repaired what they could, but were short on supplies.
- A few months later, they jumped back into Free Worlds space to a more populous planet where they were hoping to repair and resupply. On their way in-system, however, they picked up a distress call from a merc dropship in orbit around one of the system's planet's moons.
- In exchange for the distressed company's remaining liquid assets, Aralakh agreed to get the company's surviving units out of trouble on the planet. They made a few low-passes in the target area before directing the survivors to a promising LZ northwest of their position.
- While the survivors continued to fight off the pursuit mechs that had been hunting them for the past few days, Aralakh attempted to clear the landing site - which, unfortunately, contained a hostile presence formidable in the face of Aralakh's severely-damaged condition...
Adam is joining our game, and we spent this evening making two PCs for him to add to Tim's company: an experienced former House Regular who pilots a 45-ton Assassin, and a newbie Noble who has a 65-ton Crusader.
These characters will a fragment of a decimated merc unit looking to join up with someone else - and Aralakh will be the convenient choice. They will be bringing their 'mechs as well as a beat-up Union dropship into the company's assets.
- Drevan's strike team invaded the dropship. They sustained some casualties, but were ultimately successful in capturing the ship, as well as the damaged Hatchetman in contained, and the two incapacitated Jenners outside - making for a pretty respectable salvage haul.
Continued playtesting on personal scale combat this session. How I ran the session aside, the system behaved well and played out the way I would want. That said, it's a little bit too clunky and I think I'm going to make a few more tweaks to it.
- NAR continued the defense of their compound, eventually destroying 3 out of 4 of the attacking units - unfortunately causing two of them to catastrophically explode, leaving no usable salvage for the Resistance. Hopefully Aralakh's attempts to capture the attackers' drop ship produces a more tangible gain...
Adam continued this encounter with us, and will likely be joining this game on an ongoing basis.
- Using assets "borrowed" from Aralakh, NAR attempts to fight off the mercenary lance sent to destroy them while Aralakh furthers its efforts to capture the merc's Union. The Resistance managed to take out the crippled mercenary Clint and the enemy Whitworth has virtually no armor remaining, but Aralakh's Warhammer is severely battered and the Trebuchet is now out of missles...
Adam joined us for this session, so we decided to play out the latter half of the previously "off-camera" engagement of mercs vs. NAR in order to introduce him to the defining mech combat aspect of our Battletech campaign. After this encounter resolves, we will return to Aralakh's attempts to capture the dropship, which have now moved into the personal-scale boarding of the vessel.
- Aralakh neutralized the mech defenses of the merc dropship and blew open one of the loading doors. The lance then called in their strike team, led by the temporarily dispossessed Drevan, who proceeded to board the vessel for capture.
- As NAR began engaging the mercenary force sent to take them out, Aralakh's partial lance emerged from their concealed location, making their way to the merc's LZ in an attempt to capture their Union-class dropship...
- NAR prompted Aralakh to go raid a Capellan noble's compound for much needed hardware and supplies. The group was only able to send a few mostly-repaired light mechs as the others were still in bad shape, but their target was not believed to possess mech forces. They engaged a trio of tanks, a pair of helicopers, and some turrets. As they finished loading up their plunder, however, they were pressed by a pair of aerotech fighters and a pair of approaching mechs. In the end, Aralalkh took significant damage but managed to escape with most of the desired equipment.
This session was the first to use my simplified Battletech vehicle rules mods. Tim and I both thought it went very well.
- Then things turned ugly. An LRM volley from Riley's Trebuchet destroyed the Hunchback completely, but Steiner's Blackjack was too close to avoid damage from the reactor explosion it triggered and it fell when it lost its gyro. Aralakh then attempted to negotiate a mutual withdraw, but were unable to convince their attackers. The Banshee's continued press on the damaged Trebuchet took down the smaller mech with a kick that obliterated one of its legs and then charged over to finally incapacitate the fallen Warhammer - which was still firing PPC blasts - with a kick to the head.
- Seeing little alternative, Aralakh surrendered. It turns out that their attackers were self-described freedom-fighters attempting to liberate the planet and remove the nobles' predation on the world's resources at the expense of its atmosphere.
- The New Andrin Resistance press-ganged Aralakh into their service - promising that if they helped the rebels kick the Capellan nobles off-world, they would return them their mechs and the two could part ways.
- As the exchange continues, it becomes clear that neither side can keep this up for long - but neither side has a clear advantage either. The battle has moved away from the Warhammer such that it has some difficulty engaging, and the Blackjack is greviously wounded. On the other side, the Banshee is pretty beat up, but its toughness is keeping it at the top of the threat list. The Hunchback now has only a small laser, but the relatively-untouched Wolfhound has started to have an impact on the fight.
- The company continued to trade blows with their assailants. The Banshee's luck improved only briefly, and Aralakh's opponents may have been considering retreat before the Hunchback, its AC/20 now destroyed, got a lucky laser shot against the Warhammer's already badly-injured leg, taking it down. The Cicada has already met a similar fate, and the Hunchback and Banshee both have significant injuries that have greatly reduced their damage output. Unfortunately, Steiner's Blackjack isn't looking much better, Riley is only just starting to land some hits with her LRMs, and Jyun's injuries have made him less effective.
- Aralakh engaged in combat with their assailants. Steiner in particular has been extremely fortunate that the Banshee's pilot is having a run of bad luck. He was less fortunate with regards to the Hunchback's AC/20. Riley has yet to prove herself, and Jyun is hurting enough from his near-death experience that it is severely hampering his performance. Still, the group has given at least as good as they've gotten thus far...
- A few weeks after the processing plant sabotage, a group calling itself the "New Andrid Resistance" attempted to assassinate a couple of the members of Aralakh company. While the overall attempt failed, it was a miracle that Jyun survived.
- About two months later, the company gets an alert while on patrol: a lance of 'mechs is approaching the compound. They load up and head out, facing a Wolfhound, a Cicada, a Hunchback, and a Banshee...
This was the first session to feature my Mechwarrior Basic rules for personal-scale combat. It is very lethal (as I wanted it to), but it played very well.
- Aralakh arrived on the mining planet and took up their garrison duty.
- One night about 5 months into the job, a few of the small security team Aralakh had subcontracted witnessed an odd exchange between one of the compound locals and some outsiders. Following them, one of the men saw the outsiders give the local a large backpack. The man then proceeded to his job in a refinery. About 20 minutes later, alarms sounded and the place was evacuated. While authorities were attempting to determine what had caused the alarm, there was a tremendous explosion and the building collapsed.
- The Baron who'd hired Aralakh was furious at the sabotage, but the company was able to maneuver around his accusations.
- With the help of the subcontracted team, Aralakh was able to track down and capture the saboteur, who had apparently been paid to place the explosives but knew little of his benefactors.
- Aralakh stepped up internal security in response to the incident.
- Aralakh took their payment and left world, deciding to jump into Capellan space to avoid potential political issues selling "acquired" Free Worlds' military hardware.
- A baron met with them under false pretenses - not interested in buying their mechandise, but wanted to hire them on retainer for guard duty on a secondary planet in-system.
- The group negotiated up to 500k for the year, plus the baron will cover all repairs and normal expenses. Additionally, the baron agreed to hire a broker to aid them in the sale of their unneeded merchandise. The group also has 50% salvage rights, but as there are no other mechs on their world, it seems unlikely they'll get much.
- Aralakh took the opportunity of having a benefactor to bring on a new mechwarrior: a woman called Riley who pilots a Trebuchet.
- Overall, while not especially lucrative (or exciting), it seems like a nice, easy contract...
- Both sides continued to pound each other for several rounds, severely damaging multiple units.
- Ultimately, the pirate leader proposed a deal: they would leave the system and not return - and would leave the merc a prize of valuable military equipment - in exchange for an end to hostilities.
- After considering the situation carefully, Aralakh agreed to their terms. The pirates proved true enough to their word.
- The company's employer was not completely satisfied with their results, though they had technically fulfilled the contract and the pirate threat was gone (at least for the time being). Compensation was renegotiated for half.
- After taking the contract, Aralakh headed out to the mine abandoned moon where the pirates were said to be hiding out. Not liking the hemmed-in approach from the main road to the south, they decided to put their dropship down on the plain to the north even though it meant more rugged terrain between them and their target.
- As they approached the mine from above, first contact was made with the Jagermech perched atop a hill. The Commando entered as the mercs engaged, with the Dervish and Stinger arriving after a couple of exchanges.
- Aralakh took some hard hits early in the confrontation, but have so far managed to avoid being crippled. The destruction of the Commando has evened the playing field somewhat, but they still have an uphill battle. If they don't get a break soon, they may need to pull out or risk more than their contract...
- Though their new recruit gave them an in-system raid target with a decent opportunity to steal a solid battlemech, the company commander decided the timing was wrong and instead ordered repairs to begin on their damaged mechs as they made their way back to the jump point to head out of system.
- Upon returning to their employer, they collected the rest of their pay, finished their repairs, and received two offers for new contracts from others: one involving eliminating a pirate lance in a nearby system, and another recruiting merc units for a larger campaign offensive assaulting an undisclosed Capellan world.
- After some discussion and weighing options, the company decided to go pirate hunting...
- After a few intense exchanges and significant damage to both sides, Aralakh succeeded in bringing down the Awesome. The pilot of the mech survived and turned out to be an exiled noble of some sort. He offered them information that would aid them in exchange for a place among their company. Aralakh agreed to this on a "trial basis".
- The company bribed and called in the strike team that had been sent with them to round of the remaining personnel at the base. The noble had warned them of fanaticism, but the team still took some losses while performing the task. The group stripped some supplies and equipment from the base and then returned to the primary objective at the R&D facility.
- The strike team recovered 3 experimental/prototype "pulse lasers" from the facility. The leader of the strike team, having been bribed already, offered to sell Aralakh up to two of the lasers recovered for the Duke.
- The company used its Warhammer to carefully (if inelegantly) salvage the fallen Panther for rebuild & refit.
- As they were preparing to leave the system, their new "recruit" informed them that there was another ripe target in-system...
- Aralakh pursued the fleeing light mechs back to the mostly-decommissioned military base. After a few brief exchanges, they managed to take out the Locust and the Hermes - but about that time, they detected an engine power-up in one of the hangers. After a few moments, sensors were able to determine it was an assault mech - an 80-ton Awesome. Despite - or maybe because of - the fact that they couldn't get much salvage from the Hermes after its ammo explosion, they decided to stay and see what they could do against this new foe, particularly when they noticed it didn't seem to be operating at peak performance...
- Tim's company was hired by a Free Worlds League duke to hit a small Capellan military R&D facility on an otherwise-insignificant border world. Intelligence indicated the nearby military base was all but decommissioned and they expect no more than a few light mechs and a pair of turrets as in terms of resistance. Aralakh is to neutralize defenses and allow a strike team (they're transporting) to enter the facility and extract technology.
- Tim rolled rather poorly during contract negotiations and is only being compensated with a forward of 45,000 for operating costs, 25,000 for mission success, a potential 50,000 bounty on significant tech recovered - BUT, they do have full rights to any salvage they have time to pull out, which could pay off nicely.
- The jumpship transporting them says they will remain in-system for 17 days. At the standard jump points, the target world is about 8 days travel at 1G. Aralakh pays the captain an extra 5,000 to jump just a little closer to the ecliptic, shaving a day off the interplanetary travel. They should have up to 3 days on-world. Extra time comes at 10,000/day.
- Upon reaching the site, they found it defended by a Locust, a Panther, and a Hermes II - which is actually a medium mech. After a brief skirmish, they took the Panther down and the two remaining units retreated. Seeing no evidence of additional resistance, the unit held off on calling in the strike team and instead decided to pursue the fleeing units for more potential salvage.
|Tuesday October 18, 2016 at 8:00pm||new campaign, battletech, aralakh company, game session notes||Comments (0) »|
Aralakh Company will be a strategic-level Battletech RPG/playtest that Tim is helping me with. I loves me some Battletech and I haven't been able to get a full group together to start a game (not for lack of trying) - so, instead, Tim and I are playtesting a "Mechwarrior Basic" RPG companion ruleset I've developed as well as feeling out the logistics of a Succession Wars era mercenaries campaign. Since it's just me and Tim, it will be light on the RP and mostly focused on game mechanics, battletech map combat, and strategic level decision-making.
My version of the Battletech universe is about .5-1 steps removed from canon. I leave most things as-is, but there are a few minor alterations to "the way things are" that improve the setting in my view. In addition to using my own Mechwarrior ruleset, I've made a few minor mods to the tabletop wargame and have come up with my own simplified versions of some other game-relevant areas.
"Aralakh" was the name Tim gave his merc company, having stolen it from a video game.
- "Steiner", a guy born into a merc family who inherited and/or split off to form his own company; Pilots a Blackjack.
- "Drevan", a friend of Steiner's who comes from the family of a house regular; Pilots a Warhammer.
In addition to the two "PCs" and their mechs, Aralakh also has a leopard-class dropship owned by the hired captain, a few techs for upkeep on the mechs & vehicles, and some light support equipment. They're also starting with a small supply stockpile for repairs and reloading, but it won't last them forever.
Character creation rules seemed to work reasonably well, especially the random aspects. The "average" starting character might be *bit* too skilled out of the box, but we'll see how this develops.