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Anime Let's Play BattleTech/MegaMek: Tales of Knights of The Codex Mercenary Company

Discussion in 'Codex Playground' started by JohnTheRevelator, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. JohnTheRevelator Arcane

    JohnTheRevelator
    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    [​IMG]
    This picture and more cool BattleTech stuff here: http://shimmering-sword.deviantart.com/art/Battletech-Unseen-Moon-396176559

    What's this all about you ask? Simple. Recently I found out MegaMekHQ got new feature. Built-in Against the Bot rule-set that let's you (with much, much less work involved) play custom campaign with randomly generated missions/contracts/unit and personnel market. As the name suggests it also sets up bots for you to fight. Is this heavan?

    I ran a large number of test games, tried out different things, see what works or me and what doesn't. BattleTech is a complex system and it comes as no surprise bots coded by unpaid hobbyists have difficulty handling it. For instance you won't be seeing any enemy VTOL's in this campaign, simply because AI can't really play them. Still it overall does work well enough and I can and probably will adjust rules as the game goes on. If for instance I'll suddenly find out I'm swimming in piles of money, I'll adjust contract payment rates accordingly. Maybe even lose some of that money through "random" event. If the fights will be too easy, I will make them harder. After all what kind of LP would that be if no one died? We can't have that.

    What I'm saying is it's a work in progress on all accounts. Weird stuff or bugs may happen and sometimes I'll have to fudge things up a little bit to keep the game rolling.

    It's 1st January 3047 by the way.

    Let's take a look at our unit organization chart.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see we're not exactly full company yet. On the upside we do have dropship AND a jumpship and you can bet your ass we'll be filling those empty mech bays once the money comes rolling in (seriously though, we can afford fucking jumpship just to run out of money for just 2 lances of mechs, whoever manages our finances is not very good with money, just saying). Hmm.. or should I say if? Ha, surely such prestigious mercenary unit like Knights of The Codex won't have any problems earning few million C-Bills.

    How about we take closer look at the machines we'll be using?

    Let's start with the biggest and by far most expensive assets.

    Our pride and joy Scout class jumpship.

    http://www.sarna.net/wiki/Scout

    As a side note I won't be doing any space battles, bots can't do that in first place. There is also small detail that I didn't quite get to that part of rulebooks yet myself. In any case it is out of scope I have in mind for this campaign and we'll never be able to afford any warships anyway.

    Our dropship:

    http://www.sarna.net/wiki/Union

    Keep in mind in BattleTech universe "dropship" doesn't necessarily mean what you may think it means. It's pretty wide term describing all sorts of large ships without FTL drive but equipped with docking collar with which they can attach to jumpships. There are civilian dropships used just for ferrying cargo.
    Our dropship is definitely of the dropship "dropship" variety though. It's armoured and armed and can fit whole company of mechs with supporting aerospace fighter lance. Goal for immediate future is to fill this thing up with all sorts of goodies.

    Since we have those out of the way let's look at something you will be seeing here often. The Mechs.

    [​IMG]

    Heaviest mech in the roster, our main big hitter:

    http://www.sarna.net/wiki/Cataphract

    Especially since it's piloted by the veteran mechwarrior. Should be kicking a lot of ass, sometimes quite literally.

    Moving on.

    http://www.sarna.net/wiki/Shadow_Hawk

    Very good armour for a medium, decent mobility. Doesn't pack quite as much firepower though. Weapon load out on our variant is heavily long range focused, both of it's weapons suffer from minimum range hit penalties up close. It's job will be mostly to provide fire support.

    Next we have this:

    http://www.sarna.net/wiki/Phoenix_Hawk

    Very jack of all trades kind of mech. Great mobility (especially range on jumpjets), decent enough armour, decent firepower.

    Last machine in 1st (and for now only) mech lance:

    http://www.sarna.net/wiki/Jenner

    It's a light but it certainly falls on heavier side of light. Very good armour for it's class. It does have slight flaw in that it can't twist it's torso. It's not a big deal though.

    Finally our support aerospace fighter lance (or if you prefer flight)

    [​IMG]

    As you can see what we have here are two pretty much identical medium aerospace fighters.

    http://www.sarna.net/wiki/Corsair

    Our variant has two large lasers and short range missiles. They also are capable of carrying 10 bombs each, option I definitely will be using. They will be doing some serious work here, don't think BattleTech is exclusively mech show.


    So here we are, with all this expensive military equipment just sitting on our asses in Outreach. C-Bills we have left won't last for too long. We have to find our first contract or it's game over man.

    Luckily something shows up very quickly. Well, actually we had surprising amount of offers to choose from, I guess it's easy to fool people into thinking you're some big time mercenary outfit if you have jumpship. I picked something that should be safe and easily turn us profit. Short 3 month contract with Federated Commonwealth. Mission is Recon Raid in Free Worlds League controlled system Asuncion.

    http://www.sarna.net/wiki/Asuncion

    [​IMG]

    Pay is good, salvage rights not so much, only 20% but you gotta start somewhere, right? Anyway even if 20% isn't much it should be enough to scoop up the juicy pieces we actually want. It's not too far away, only roughly 28 days trip. Thanks to that we won't burn too much money by just getting there.
    We just have to snoop around for a bit and cash the check. There shouldn't be all that much fighting here. Maybe hit their supply lines a bit or do an ambush or two. The only issue I can see is that we're not exactly a scout lance material. I'm looking at you fat-ass Cataphract. Still it can't hurt to have all that extra firepower if shit hits fan.

    There will be fighting, in the first update though. I already have the game played. I just have to do write up. Which I'm doing right now, hopefully it should be up today.

    BTW I need ideas for codexian rank system.

    Also here is full list of personnel, yes there is more people than just mech pilots. Take a look:

    [​IMG]

    You know, now that I think about it there is all those people in there and none of them have any call signs yet. Geez I can't come up with that many all by myself. Peoples of The Codex, you'll have to help me here.

    Show Spoiler
    Just keep in mind that if you'll sign up as support personnel, especially very disposable support personnel like astechs you probably definitely will never get any spotlight in this LP. I'm not going to write prose about mundane daily life of assistant mechanic whose main job is to fetch wrenches and power tools for actual technicians.
     
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  2. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Codex 2012
    I'll sign up to fetch wrenches, sir! :salute:
     
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  3. tindrli Arcane

    tindrli
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    Pilot Tindrli reporting for duty
     
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  4. JohnTheRevelator Arcane

    JohnTheRevelator
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    Pick person from the list people. We're going full LARP here and stick to proper names MegaMek generated. You don't get to rename person, you get to give them nickname. Like Elliot "Azira" Craig the wrench fetcher extraordinaire. As bonus on signing up you also get to see your ugly mug which again was randomly selected by program (hey it could be Brad Pitt though), I might as well give you something if you're gonna sign up as support personnel. Writing combat update is more work than I expected but I'm nearly done with it.
     
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  5. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Codex 2012
    OK then, I wanna be the doc. MacDougal.
     
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  6. tindrli Arcane

    tindrli
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    Molloy Tindrli Potts
     
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  7. JohnTheRevelator Arcane

    JohnTheRevelator
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    I'm almost done with update. I just need to upload images. Format it a bit for the codex and spell check.

    Well then get to work. Andy Sanders and Aubrey Kohlmann are waiting to be treated. Just some bruises though, nothing too serious.
    Mister Potts, looks like you already scored 2 kills.

    Don't get too excited though. We're talking medium tank and hovercraft here.
     
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  8. Karwelas Dwarf Taffer

    Karwelas
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    I want to be Hyperspace Navigator... but I don't even know what he do. Nothing about game. But want to try anyway.
     
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  9. Dayyālu Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Dayyālu
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    Lemme take the Shadow Hawk. Aubrey "Servant" Kohlmann.

    Who whould have guessed that I would end up female in BT....


    By the way, despite me salivating at the prospect of playing some kind of campaign with MegaMek (seriously, Mech games have become a rarity) I never tried MekHQ and now it's kind of a mess. Even the google search results are, well, messy. Any hint where to find a good starting guide for the basics?


    Got old. "docs"!
     
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  10. lightbane Arcane

    lightbane
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    Dibs on the Phoenix Hawk pilot (aka Logan "Lights out" Mzee). I like the mech's design.
     
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  11. JohnTheRevelator Arcane

    JohnTheRevelator
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    Time to do some work. Journey is uneventful, just mechanics doing some maintenance checks (btw default rules for those MegaMek comes with are pretty hilarious, in my first test game my mechanics somehow managed to significantly cripple 3 out of my 4 pristine mechs before they even got to do any fighting, great job guys).
    Nice Orion shows up on the market but at well over 7 million C-Bills it's way too expensive for us now.

    We arrive at the location and there is some trouble already. Stuck up officer we're assigned to doesn't want us to use their trucks to transport our stuff. Well fuck you too buddy. (It was a special event roll, if we roll base defence mission this month and lose it we will also loose all our mechs currently in repair, shouldn't be a problem)

    Otherwise things go without a hitch. 2 weeks pass and we just did some scouting so far (what I'm saying is that we haven't rolled any missions). That won't last long though.

    It's 15 of February. We're doing our usual scouting run. Hawks and Jenner go ahead and do the actual work while Catphract hangs around in vicinity just in case lighter mechs need some help.

    Unfortunately this time we get spotted. Several mechs with supporting tanks and hovercraft start to chase us. We run for it since we're clearly out gunned here.

    They catch up with us and fight starts.

    [​IMG]

    Shadow and Phoenix Hawk take some shots. Medium Laser equipped hover craft manages to hit Shadow with one of them in the head (this is pretty dangerous, heads generally don't have much armour, 1-2 good hits is usually enough and if your cockpit gets blown to pieces you die, more than that every time head gets hit pilot also takes one damage, 5 hits and you're dead, more than that every time your pilot takes damage he needs to roll to see if he manages to stay concious, if your pilot blacks out he pretty much is dead, so yeah).

    Enemy Stinger jumps in front of Phoenix Hawk and kicks him in the leg. Fortunately he doesn't manage to knock him over (it was very close roll though).

    That red Wasp you can see there is officer we're assigned to, he's here to keep us on the leash and make sure we do our jobs. He dies, we get in trouble. Lovely. (this is one area where I might fudge things up a bit, bots can do some pretty stupid things and I'm not going to be responsible for some idiot in light mech diving straight for the heavy in the back line, fortunately nothing like that happens here).

    Aerospace fighters are on the way to help out but it's gonna take a while till they get here.

    [​IMG]

    Look who decided show up. It's our lance commander in his slow ass mech. As you can see he already got shit done. Stinger that tried to knock over Phoenix decided to deal with the new threat. He jumped right behind Cataphract where he's relatively safe (our model does have 2 rear mounted lasers .. he did miss with them though). Stinger hits all his shots but with single medium laser and 2 machine guns he doesn't have enough firepower to hurt our heavy mech even from behind (especially since trees get in the way and absorb some of the damage). He does land a kick but it's not enough to knock him down.

    Meanwhile Cataphract opens up on nearby missile carrier. He hits with his medium lasers shaving of armour on the left side and finishes it off with solid kick. First one out!

    I get bit cocky with Jenner. I figure with the speed and heavy woods cover it should be fine. It unloads on Bulldog medium tank scoring some good hits including critical on movement system cutting it's mobility in half. Also gets in good kick in the turret for good measure. However I do get punished for it. Both hovercrafts, Striker light tank with it's long range missiles and Thunderbolt heavy mech focus their fire on it, it doesn't take much damage but they scored critical on upper left leg, it's not the end of the world, especially since Jenner pilot didn't fail his piloting check caused by this hit. It loses some of the speed and it affects piloting skills rolls. I will just have to be extra careful with it.

    That mysterious sensor return ended up begin Galleon Light Tank. It exchanges some fire with Phoenix Hawk.

    Wolverine jumps into heavy woods but hits one tree too many on the way. Still pilot manages to save the situation and doesn't dive face first into mud. Shadow Hawk tires to hit it with PPC but it's really hard shot to pull off since we're within minimum range bracket here. No one is shocked he misses.

    [​IMG]

    Pretty damn lucky round for us. We had some very effective shooting this turn. Cataphract opens up on Stinger which was stupid enough not to keep his distance. Hit from torso mounted autocannon smashes it's right arm to bits. Then smashes his right leg with a kick, it's barely holding on now and pretty much any further damage to it will completely destroy it. He also fires PPC at the Vedette Medium Tank further back hitting it in the turret.

    Shadow Hawk scores very good hit with it's PPC on enemy Wolverine, criting 2 jumpjets and seriously damaging it's right torso. The real hero of this round is Phoenix Hawk though. He hits all his shots on Wolverine and manages to score a hit on the head with one of it's medium lasers. Pilot of Wolverine blacks out from the damage! (that was super lucky roll for us, all he needed is 3 on 2d6 roll, seriously) Remember kids hitting your head is dangerous.

    Since he received over 20 damage in single shooting round he needs to make piloting check not to fall over but since pilot is unconscious he automatically fails it and falls on it's back.

    [​IMG]

    Yup, we just killed 2 of their mechs. Still as lucky as we were so far situation isn't too great. Jenner got hit pretty hard, left leg doesn't have any armour on it left. On the other side they still have fresh Shadow Hawk and Thunderbolt and all the supporting vehicles, and because Cataphract arrived late we are separated and can't properly focus fire. Heavy casualties on our first mission would be financially crippling for us. We can't afford to replace even single mech right now.

    Since Jenner has damaged leg I don't want to risk using jumpjets to get it out of harms way. It would have to roll piloting check to land safely and there would be around 50% chance to fail, because of that same leg and lack of proper arms to prop itself up once it goes down it would be hard for it to get up. I'm just hoping here trees will provide enough cover to get out of this alive.

    Jenner fires its lasers at Wolverine scoring some hits and critical on gyro. Then it proceeds to stomp on its head crushing pilot inside. There goes their commander. It gets kicked in the leg by enemy Shadow Hawk, it barely manages not to fall over, another one like that and that leg is gone.

    Second kill of the round goes to Catphract. He blows off second arm from that Stinger with another AC/10 hit and finishes it off with medium lasers. Vedette driver also gets a kick for his brilliant idea to drive right next to heavy mech.

    Thunderbolt opens up on Catphract, he misses with everything but his long range missiles .. which of course hit him in the head. He doesn't black out though.

    [​IMG]

    Nothing dramatic happens this round, shots are fired but not much actual damage is happening. Phoenix Hawk and enemy Shadow Hawk exchange kicks. Jenner manages to break contact.

    [​IMG]

    Cavalry has arrived!

    [​IMG]

    Fighters get to work right away. See that pile of wrecks in front of our mediums?

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    That's just half of it's bomb payload, yeah.

    Other fighter dives on Thunderbolt. This time whole payload of 10 bombs gets dropped. We're not fucking around here. This thing is tough.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Yup, it just lost tons of armour. Well at least now some of our shots can actually go through. He takes 80+ damage this round, needs 9 not to fall over, rolls 11. Lucky bastard. Ok maybe I shouldn't be complaining about that after the Wolverine fluke.

    Thunderbolt tries to return fire on diving fighter but misses completely.

    Cataphract scores AC/10 hit on tank, he doesn't fire other weapons to loose built up heat. Shadow Hawk scores good PPC hit on light tank destroying most of its front armor and scoring critical on it's movement system.

    [​IMG]

    Field is starting to clear up all of a sudden. One fighter opens up on remaining Harasser hovercraft with it's regular weapons. He misses though. Second fighter dives in on Thunderbolt, he hits with everything and scores critical hits with his large laser on right lower arm and right shoulder.

    Hawks and Jenner focus on Galleon light tank, it survives firing round but not physical attacks, Shadow Hawk kicks it in turret jamming it in place and Phoenix hits it in already weakened front smashing it to pieces.

    Cataphract finally deals with that annoying medium tank. AC/10 hit to the turret destroys it's main gun (AC/5) and medium laser hit disables it's engine. Crew quickly abandons now completely useless vehicle.

    Enemy Shadow Hawk manages to score hit with LRM on one of the Corsairs but it's a glancing blow and barely manages to scratch the paint.

    [​IMG]

    (Picture was taken in following turn where Thunderbolt already made it's move but before anything else happened, it was standing in the same hex Corsair #2 is)

    Mediums and Jenner close in to finish off remaining forces. Enemy Shadow Hawk perhaps out of desperation decides to go for a duel with Cataphract, good luck with that buddy.

    Thunderbolt is still trying to shoot fighters but has hard time doing anything here. Corsair with remaining bombs makes small altitude bombing run on Thunderbolt and second Galleon Light Tank. He misses Thunderbolt but manages to hit tank. Second Corsair finishes it off with lasers.

    Striker that hangs in the back whole time scores LRM hit on one of the fighters. This one is more effective but still only a glance. However unlike Thunderbolt he actually has decent chance to score some good hits. I'll have to deal with this guy quick. The thing with fighters is that what is most likely to kill you isn't straight up weapon damage but failed piloting rolls caused by taking damage. Crashing into the ground hurts a lot. Even 1 damage glancing hit can kill you in right circumstances.

    [​IMG]

    Wait a second where did that enemy Shadow Hawk disappear to you might ask? Well.. he tried to jump into heavy woods like Wolverine earlier, except unlike Wolverine he fell face first into mud. Long story short once you're streched on the ground your head can easily be reached with a kick.

    That's another pilot crushed in his cockpit. This time deed was done by Cataphract pilot.

    First battle and I think I'm already going to alter some rules here, I'll have to switch off piloting checks when jumping into heavy woods because I'm starting to suspect bots might not be aware this is a thing. In test games I noticed similar problem with planetary conditions based on actual planet data. You could be fighting in low gravity for instance.
    This lets your mechs leap pretty damn long distances, the catch is you need piloting checks if you want to abuse that. You could literally just stand in place and wait for enemy force to cripple itself to oblivion. Funny stuff.

    Back to the battle though. Phoenix, one Corsair and Jenner fire at Thunderbolt, not much actual damage happens. Other Corsair goes early into initiative order and can't get fix on any target (to hit ground units fighters need to pass over the hex unit is in. If you go first before anyone else has moved you're probably not getting to hit anything because they will just move out of the way).

    Striker scores another hit with missiles and this time he forces control check. We need 6 to succeed, we roll 7. Damn, too close for comfort. We're doing ground attacks at low altitude. Failed control check would pretty much mean crashing into the ground.

    [​IMG]

    Phoenix uses it's jumpjets to close in with that annoying LRM boat and goes to town on it. Laser hit immobilizes it, kick damages it further. Next round crew abandons it in a hurry.

    Jenner fires at Thunderbolt and manages to score critical hit on the other shoulder. Corsair and Cataphract absolutely shred to pieces remaining Harasser with their fire. AC/10 through the front does the trick. Kill credit goes to Cataphract.

    (Excuse my lack of picture for last round. Turns out I can't take a look at map once win conditions are reached, I'll have to be more careful about saving the game at right moments in the future.)

    Anyway, Catphract goes around the southern edge of lake and manages to get clear shot at Thunderbolt, the last remaining enemy. Only AC/10 (which btw was last round he had left) hits. Thunderbolt fires at Phoenix Hawk but thanks to tree cover he doesn't suffer any significant damage.

    Phoenix returns fire and the results are catastrophic.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    Sure nice fireworks show but that's our money that's blowing up there. Well we do get something nice salvage wise out of this.

    I think I'll do another post (later) with bit of an after action report. We'll also take closer look at our new acquisition and whatnot.
     
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  12. Luka-boy Arcane

    Luka-boy
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    Noice.

    I'll be Carl Hoefnagels, Mech Tech extraordinaire.
     
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  13. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

    Self-Ejected
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    Signing up to pilot a giant stompy mech! :salute:
     
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  14. JohnTheRevelator Arcane

    JohnTheRevelator
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    I haven't really seen anything like that. There was one series of youtube videos but it was incredibly long winded. Guy set up all the crew pictures by rolling dice and doing it manually. It also was for older MegaMekHQ that didn't have AtB rules integrated so he just rolled dice and consulted excel charts...

    I'm actually thinking about running campaign for few players. Custom, hand made maps. Human controlled, intelligent enemies that act appropriately to situation and of course hand crafted missions and goals to achieve. Potential is off the charts. However I'm too new at this and I'm not well versed in lore, I do know what's happening in the timeline in general but not much beyond that. Before I attempt to do something THIS ambitious I think getting my feet wet with AtB campaign is way better option.

    You have to be more precise. Do you want Jenner/Cataphract pilot or to get on the waiting for whatever we may get in future?



    Ps. It's really late now so I will handle all the sign ups tomorrow along with after action report.
     
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  15. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

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    Just give me the first medium or heavy mech we have available
     
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  16. Luka-boy Arcane

    Luka-boy
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    Pilot the Jenner so I can pimp your ride, fagit!
    [​IMG]

    And who wouldn't want to have the surname Fatasini anyway?
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  17. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

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    Are clan mechs an option? Gib Mad Cat or Vulture pl0x.

    Else give me something kewl like a Thor or a Rifleman. Jenner is not big and stompy enough.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2015
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  18. JohnTheRevelator Arcane

    JohnTheRevelator
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    Rides will be pimped but not just yet, money is short and filling empty mech bays comes as priority.

    Git out of my house filthy clan lover!

    Show Spoiler
    Actually what should I say is: Clans? What's that? It's 3047 mate. Invasion will happen in couple of years though, so if you can survive long enough AND we can capture ourselves a Timberwolf you might get to pilot your Mad Cat. It's a big if though.
     
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  19. Dayyālu Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Dayyālu
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    Methinks we are before the Clan Invasion.

    Of course, if John ever ends up with the proper campaign, I guess the only factions Codexian enough are the Clans or the Manei Domini.

    Never understood the Clan hate.
     
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  20. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

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    No idea. My introduction to Mechwarrior was MW2, Ghost Bears Legacy and MW2: Mercenaries. Never got the clan hate either. Any 55+ ton mech will do. I just listed the ones I remembered the names of.
     
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  21. oscar Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    oscar
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    Sign me up as Andy "Don" Sanders
     
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  22. GreyViper Erudite

    GreyViper
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    GreyViper reporting to Corsair pilot duty and yeah this pre invasion time. The closest one can get at advanced techs is the Star League era relics. Man I get serious Cyberstorm vibes from this.
    I recommend you try out the 1st Mech Commander Gold, it has aged well considering how old it is.
     
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  23. JohnTheRevelator Arcane

    JohnTheRevelator
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    I'll let Herr Führer explain that one for you guys: https://youtu.be/vK3pbyP-57A?t=1m20s
    Also this on cursory glance looks like good thread to read peoples opinions on the matter: http://mwomercs.com/forums/topic/95373-so-why-do-people-dislike-the-clans/

    Personally I do think they are bit bullshit but honestly I don't mind. People who would refuse to play anything other than 3025 are frankly a bit silly especially since it leaves you without a lot of cool tech and options on battlefield, not even necessarily Clan tech. Fafnir is 100% IS tech and it's bestest mech ever.

    http://www.sarna.net/wiki/Fafnir

    We're Inner Sphere based mercenary company, we're not gonna suddenly join a clan or something like that, we might end up working for different factions but that's more reliant on what contracts RNG throws us. Now if someone REALLY wants to be clanner it can be arranged somehow when it makes sense (meaning after clan invasion). In practical terms it makes no difference though so I don't know why you would want to wait this long to sign up.

    Also Ulminati be a man and pick a pilot already, I'm not gonna do that for you. To clarify just because you're assigned to this mech or another doesn't mean you will be piloting it forever. It may one day end up on scrap heap or you might just simply get an upgrade (when we can afford such luxuries).

    EDIT: Looks like there is only Jenner left to pick.
     
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  24. Dayyālu Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Dayyālu
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    3,894
    Location:
    Apparently, Black Mesa
    That thread is dangerously high spergin' level for my tastes. Clans are a mostly adequate sci-fi concept, surely not Age Of Sigmar level canon rape. But whatever, I guess people react quite strongly about their giant stompy robots.


    I meant in the unlikely case you get to the

    phase. For starting and testing, a merc company is sure the best bet.
     
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  25. Karwelas Dwarf Taffer

    Karwelas
    Joined:
    May 12, 2014
    Messages:
    1,015
    Location:
    "Mostly Harmless" planet
    Hmm, guys, I have kind of dumb question. Battletech is system of games, while MegaMek is some kind of game? I'm kind of retarded now.
     
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