Saturday, 17 November 2018

BattleTech: Kick Starter

[Part of the BattleTech Story.]

In between hunting pirates, Gabriel recruits a shady character called El Duce who literally pays 100,000 credit to join the team / escape from his planet. He is a better pilot than usual because apparently he's a Kickstarter backer!? He also has interesting information in that Kid working as a spy for the enemy. A quiet investigation supports this but instead of firing her, Gabriel keeps her on to feed her misinformation. El Duce also takes her spot on in the Catapult on the grounds that he has "more experience" (though Gabriel knew Kid was better than him by now).

I wish you were allowed to field more than 4 units.
The enemy has no such restriction.

Not long after Lady Kamea requests the Marauders aid once more, this time for some base defense against a large Directorate force. Fortunately it is mostly composed of light to medium mechs supported by a fleet of APCs. With good positioning, multiple base turrets, and misinformation fed to the enemy, they are easily wiped out. Kid, realizing she's been made, attempts a last ditch attack on the Argo using a virus vial. Rattlesnake and Silverlight manage to tackle her into a sealed room when the vial breaks though, exposing only the three of them to the sickness.

They are immediately taken to the now high tech medical facilities of the ship, and while treatment would take awhile - all of them would live. In tears, Kid explains she was forced to do this to try save her family who had been enslaved to Kamea's evil uncle. Despite the damage she caused, the team promise that they'll do their best to help her.

Friday, 16 November 2018

BattleTech: The Front Lines

[Part of the BattleTech Story.]

Gabriel, Viking, Rattlesnake and Silverlight (now in a Catapult mech) arrived at the spaceport just in time to help defend it against waves of Taurian lances. Even with the allied turrets and ground forces assisting, it was a close fight but ultimately all the Taurian mechs fell and all the evacuation ships took off with full loads of refugees. Almost immediately afterwards they went to intercept an elite Directorate recon team composed of very skilled pilots - not as skilled as the Marauders though, and as they walked away from that victory with a Battlemaster.

Using a dense sand storm as cover from radar detection, the squad then advanced to capture Directorate silos in a nearby canyon - a very easy stealth mission for the crew.  The Directorate then sent out their big guns, a lance composed of mechs they retrieved from Castle Nautilus composed of a Black Knight, Grasshopper, King Crab and a Highlander - much like the one Gabriel was piloting!

Strong armor and deadly weapons at close range.

It's a tough fight, and despite their superior tactics the King Crab manages to get in range of its devastating weapons and shreds Viking and his Thunderbolt into pieces. The Kid, who had just mostly been honing her skills in the training module until now takes his place as the Marauders withdraw to do side missions to recoup the losses. She pilots the Catapult while Silverlight upgrades to the Battlemaster.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

BattleTech: Federated Suns

[Part of the BattleTech Story.]

Before Ostergaard's Fortress dropship could lift off again, Lady Kamea ordered her fleet to scatter to make pursuit more difficult. The Argo went its own way, laying low in House Davion's territory (also known as the Federated Suns) and hunting pirates for them. Gabriel was most pleased with Lady Kamea's latest gift, a thank you from Castle Nautilus, in the form of a Starleague Highlander mech - a good blend of speed, power and armor.

"So, when do we get to try out the Highlander?" Rattlesnake would ask. "Over my dead body," would be Gabriel's semi-serious reply.

It's a very good robot.

The pirates had begun fielding some serious numbers now, but through careful tactics, Gabriel led his squad to victory after victory, assembling more fearsome war machines, and celebrating with a party in the new garden aboard the Argo.

After a few weeks Lady Kamea finally called, and she had an urgent task for them. Instead of pursuing the fleet, Ostergaard went to the prison Lady Victoria was being held at and freed her. For good measure, he also started killing everyone on the planet who "support Lady Kamea". The citizens fleeing to the star ports needed protection and since this was obviously a trap to lure Kamea out, the Marauders would be sent instead.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

BattleTech: Ostergaard's Rage

[Part of the BattleTech Story.]

"Kamea, you're about to have company," warned Gabriel over the comms as he watched the large red blip on the radar get closer. While his own people had already pulled out from Castle Nautilus, Kamea's support crafts were still loading the precious cargo that they found. "Let them come," replied Kamea defiantly. "My uncle doesn't have the resources to match these war machines."

"I don't think that's from Directorate ... it... it's a Taurian Fortress Class dropship! Get out of there!"

"Lady Kamea," boomed a new voice through the speakers as the ground began to quake with the . "I am Samuel Ostergaard, a new ally to the Directorate and I have come for your head!"

Knowing there was no time to waste, Kamea ordered a full evacuation and boarded the nearest Atlas mech while her body guards Charybdis, Reynard and Kanalon boarded other types of Starleague design as the rear guard. By the time the elevator returned them to the surface, light lances of Taurian mechs were already charging the castle but were easily wiped out by Starleague weaponry.

One of the smallest mechs punching the largest.

This didn't deter Samuel though, who simply sent waves of his own assault mechs in coordination with artillery strikes. It was a tough fight, with Kanalon being shredded limb from limb much like his Black Knight. Kamea's Atlas was also in bad shape towards the end, but her martial arts skills ended Ostergaard's final pursuer who blocked the way to the extraction point.

"I will find you Kamea," he promised on an open channel as she escaped. "I will avenge my son!"

Only when she was back in the safety of space did they realize Ostergaard's son was the pilot of the Newgrange, and because of that one death the Restoration had an entirely new and more powerful enemy house to deal with.

BattleTech: Castle Nautilus

[Part of the BattleTech Story.]

With Lady Victoria behind bars, Gabriel decided to spend the big payday earned from the last mission on more ship upgrades and recruitment gaining "Kid" the young gun, and a tough looking brute called Viking. They were immediately deployed with Silverlight and Rattlesnake and proved themselves by recovering Restoration operatives while destroying many Directorate light lances, as well as one pirate scouting party. Gabriel, on the Argo, took care of the pirate space vessels at the same time - saving some civilian transports in the process.

Not long afterwards, Lady Kamea came aboard the Argo for a special treasure hunting mission. She had acquired a map to an old Starleague base called Castle Nautilus long thought lost. The Marauders headed to the isolated little planet and landed, with Lady Kamea leading the way in her own Kintaro with Silverlight, Rattlesnake and Viking providing support against the surprisingly dangerous endless waves of automated drones that activated on their approach.

This was particularly scary for Rattlesnake in the unarmored Kintaro, as he had to sprint forward to the castle gates with the rest of his team mates. Silverlight provided good cover though, and Viking acted as rear guard in a Thunderbolt. Once they could access the gate control panel, Lady Kamea could finally shut off the defenses and the team gained access to the castle proper. Turns out the castle is a warehouse of pristine Starleague Assault mechs!

Odd thing to forget about.

Monday, 12 November 2018

BattleTech: Surprise Encounter

[Part of the BattleTech Story.]

The next task from Lady Kamea is to take down a refueling drop ship called the Newgrange which is supposedly smuggling supplies for the Directorate. While the turret generators were sniped with ease by Silverlight, the medium mech lance defending the platform was crushed by Rattlesnakes bombardment. The drop ship pilot pleaded on the comms saying they were only transporting civilians but letting them go wasn't what Lady Kamea was paying them for. Gabriel didn't hesitate to shoot the fuel lines sending a chain reaction of explosions into the solid hull of the ship, destroying it and whatever cargo it held.

Enemy destroyed.

At that moment, a new enemy lance landed - surprisingly led by Kamea's evil cousin: Lady Victoria! These mechs were fully armored, heavier than usual and had trained pilots to boot. Discord and Gabriel acted as the tanks, drawing fire away from the long range missile pair who were doing the majority of the damage. Victoria was a good shot though, and lazered right into the cockpit of Discord's Thunderbolt, frying him into crispy pata.

Gabriel then used his Dragon's speed and piloting skills to get up and destroy Victoria's mech in close quarters only to have her eject at the last minute. When her team then focused fire on him, he had to do the same as the Dragon is utterly destroyed. Fortunately the rest of Victoria's squad was badly damaged at that point, and were finished off from the ridge line by Rattlesnake and Silverlight.

Now on foot, Gabriel rushed over to Victoria's escape pod and found her unconscious. He was tempted to kill her right there, but being royalty and all he decided to instead capture her for questioning.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

BattleTech: High Morale

[Part of the BattleTech Story.]

With the squad now composed of Silverlight in the Griffin (scout), Discord in the Vindicator (skirmisher), Rattlesnake in the Trebuchet (support), and Gabriel in the Dragon (close quarters heavy) they begin thrashing the opposition, defeating competing merc companies, rescuing scientists, capturing pirate bases and defending Restoration strongholds. They even successfully hunt an outlaw in a Thunderbolt mech with little problem.

Shooting people in the back is the way to victory!

Indeed the most major loss for awhile is when Rattlesnake tried to upgrade an Autocannon 5 and ended up wrecking it. Apparently Silverlight had tried to teaching him some tech work. It's a good time on board the Argo, and watching the Solaris Championship (Mech gladiator TV) in the new entertainment area only strengthened the teams morale.

Their next job came from the government of Lyreton who claimed to have sighted an enemy heavy mech, but this turned out to only be a ruse to get the Marauders to help them defend against the invading Capellan Confederation. Unhappy at being lied to, Gabriel then sided with the Capellan's to assassinate the government official who lied to them, before switching sides once more to protect a city from Capellan attack. While the Marauder's didn't really make any friends there, they came out richer and with a brand new Thunderbolt mech which would replace Discord's Vindicator and a Kintaro, which would replace Rattlesnake's Trebuchet.

Following the specs originally suggested by Jim, Gabriel had the Kintaro stripped of all armor, jump jets, heat sinks and weapons other than long range missiles. Rattlesnake now had three times the number of missiles to fire before running out.