Hair of the Dog PBeM Report ~ 5.3a2 CH:L

BATTLETECH: A TIME OF WAR RPG

Campaign: Hair of the Dog

Story 1: Running with the Big Dogs

Act 4: Bites, Scene 9 – Elevator Rumble – PoV – Captain Lucas Rom

Thursday, November 27, 3028

Beasville, Ward Marik Museum of Military History

GM

Ok, you are answering the query with ‘pizza delivery’ and are sitting about 40 cm from the door to the stairs. The door will bang your chair if it opens. It has a small bolt on it, probably for that very reason- put there against building regulations by irritated and bruised guards. Blowtorch is speaking about the security terminal (IC chat) and MD is signaling with standard FWL Military body language that two are coming from the stairwell and two are coming from the elevator, as he starts to drift toward a position to the left of the elevator where he can ambush the occupants as they exit. Blowtorch does not see his signal and seems intently focused on talking to you in a low voice about options.

You now have time to do 1 thing, such as:

  • bolt the door
  • rise up to hold the door closed physically
  • interrupt BT with a short command
  • get behind the stairwell door so you will be hidden after it opens giving you surprise
  • get out into the open space between the console the elevators and the stairwell door, visible to all
  • go over the console to get out into the lobby itself
  • While doing this primary, single, action you can do one other little action:
  • draw a weapon
  • push BT somewhere
  • signal BT to go somewhere
  • etc

If there are gaps in the description, please let me know in this private thread

CH:L

Ok, I will get behind the stairs door for surprise, and give no signal to BT.  She will be the only one seen, and therefore a useful decoy for me and MD.  I will draw my stun stick as my other action.

GM

The Security Guard, in black commando gear (wool turtleneck with purple epaulets and insignia), web belt, fatigues, and boots, is rushing straight at BT perhaps to body slam her back into the console.

BT is a trained combatant and is facing her attacker.

You and MD are on opposite sides of the elevator, and behind the Guard, diagonally.

The Stairwell access door is still closed, and on your left. A full mop bucket and mop is in the corner to your immediate right, mere cms away.

You and MD have drawn your stun sticks.

CH:L

[OOC: vacation til Sunday –  If I’m holding things up, feel free to choose actions, as I suspect it will be simple combat with moderate threat at best.  🙂  ]

GM

MadDog begins to step out from cover, but you wave him back, trying to indicate the elevator, but also keep a close eye on the charging guard at the same time. He’s pretty big…

The burly guard rushes at Blowtorch and she reacts fairly calmly, despite suddenly realizing that Cool Hand has let her dangle a bit as bait. Stepping forward and a bit to her left, she executes a heavily drilled maneuver to trip and strike her assailant, sending him hurtling heavily into the front of the security console.

Just before he hits you are convinced he is saying, “Lyran Dogs!” under his breath.

He strikes the edge of the console with his face. A jet of blood from his forehead sprays the wall behind the console, to your left, between you and the stairwell door. How far up the stairs have the other guards come?

The burly guard hangs there on the edge of the console for a second, before crumpling awkwardly behind it and out of your line of sight. The console shuddered from the impact. He is down, but you would be surprised if he is out of the fight.

[BT beat the Guard’s Roll, She passed the Roll, he Failed the Roll, damage assigned as Fatigue from her maneuver as it is unarmed, but beating his MoF by more than 3 she is able to earn a Knockdown which is situationally appropriate. That causes him to interact with the console, and that causes some Standard damage. Yippee Ki-Yay, range-rider~  However, he is a big tough dude, and he passed his consciousness check].

CH:L

Ok, so there is still one in the elevator and two more slowly sauntering up the stairs.  I think I will be far more effective with unarmed than the stun stick, so I will continue to hold my action and wait.  I will prepare a nice side kick on the second person out of the stairs when they come through while keeping the stun stick in my hands.

BT is handling herself admirably, and MD can easily take the other in the elevator, so keep with the plan.

I’m starting to get the sense that these guys would indeed by Loyal FWL, but taking them down is still the safest option for us and for them.  They will have a more believable story for the Lyrans when they ask what happened to the mechs.

GM

The person in the elevator is an older woman, probably the curator.

To be clear you want to simply defend versus the first person out the door, and launch a side kick versus the second person?

CH:L

Ahh, didn’t realize madam curator was here.  New plan then.

Am I clear to get in the elevator as simple move?

If so I will try to go into the elevator for a grapple.  Try get the curator in a choke hold, and say, “Tell the guards to stand down”

If not, What about switching to laser pistol and aiming it at her from the doorway? same speech?  If neither of these are options, My original idea was to let the first stairs person pass through, think I was hidden (so hopefully no defending neccessary), and attacking the second one through.

I will call these plan A, B and C in the order they are presented here.  :0

GM

Mad Dog is next to the elevator.

You can get out from the corner behind the console to get into the elevator if you run.

You can see into the elevator from your vantage point, and see the curator mashing futilely at the buttons – probably to close the door and go back upstairs where she feels safer. She will be able to hear you if you project a commanding voice.

You still cannot hear the guards coming up in the stairwell, and with their construction, you should probably be able to from this distance, due to their construction.

You can indeed hide behind the door when it opens, and if your ruse succeeds (likely if there is a visible distraction) will be able to launch an attack on the second person, however, you will have to use your non-visual senses to know when to attack.

CH:L

Ok, the stairs guys are either being very sneaky, or slow.

I plan on stepping out of my hiding place and say in my best leadership voice (augmented by acting ‘projection’?)  “Madam curator.  In the name of the Free Worlds League regular forces, please step out of the elevator and tell your guards to stand down, and no-one else need be hurt”.  At the same time, I intend to walk purposefully but not aggressively toward the elevator, while gesturing MD to step inside the elevator doors.”

Again I will trust BT to deal with the brute if these developments do not give him pause as well.

GM

Mad Dog nods at you and then still standing there by the elevator tries to signal about the stairwell again. Although he is the one who raised the alarm about the impending arrival of the guards when you were distracted, he now seems to be paying more attention to you than to his surroundings.

You have to act, and end this encounter before it really starts.

You make full eye contact with Mad Dog and then adopt your best hard aura of command. Steeling yourself to brook no resistance, but trying not to demonstrate aggression, you draw your laser and direct it toward the elevator, as you step out from the corner and pass around the corner of the console. Keeping your distance from the guard on his hands and knees, trusting Blowtorch to watch your back, you keep your attention focused on the cowering woman in the elevator, still frantically pushing the button in the elevator.

While walking you project firmly, adopting the role of one the grimmest COs you ever had the misfortune to serve under [acting]  “Madam Curator.  In the name of the Free Worlds League Regular Forces, please step out of the elevator and tell your guards to stand down. No one else need be hurt”.

When you complete your statement, you gesture for Mad Dog to step inside the elevator.

Following close on the heels of your declaration to the Curator that you were part of the Free Worlds League Regular Forces and that hostilities should cease without further violence, you hear Velika move quickly and decisively, while she snarls nastily, “On the floor, NOW!” followed by the sounds of grappling.

As Mad Dog moves quickly into the elevator to deal with the curator, you re-position yourself to keep an eye on both him and Velika, pointing the laser up and away from friendlies. Mad Dog interposes himself between the woman and the elevator buttons, then presses his back into the far elevator door frame, facing you, and looking at Velika, and likely the Stairwell Door behind the security desk. His left hand is not visible inside the elevator. His right has his stun baton.

As you regain your view of the lobby, you and Mad Dog see that the burly guard evades the hold Velika intended to put him in, by rolling abruptly to his right and coming up in a crouch close to her, facing the elevators. A thin trickle of blood is creeping down his face from his hairline, and he looks furious. Velika has her back to you, facing the entry doors. The security desk is on her left.

Snarling a response to her statement to get on the floor NOW, he growls, “Never, Lyran Dog!”

[They both failed the TN 8 +/- modifiers roll, leading to a ‘not grappled’ result for each of them and no damage done]

CH:L

Always one difficult one right?  Why couldn’t we get Mr 12 sugars instead?  😉

GM ruling on whether my hold-out laser is on safety or not?  And what is the distance to the guard?

I’m torn between helping BT to end this guy quickly, or remaining calm, central and leadership like to try imposing a peace.

Can I get a perception roll on this guy’s state of mind?

Am I getting the impression that any of this is sinking into him, and he’s wavering on standing down, or is he a testosterone fueled bouncer and not even thinking? (Perhaps perception and/or career soldier?)

If the former, I intend to issue two short commands “BT back off” and MD “escort her out” while trying to impose my best sense of calm authority on the entire situation.

If the later, maybe I should let BT finish him.  My plan is thus: Show her (and these guards) I’m confident in her ability to take him down.  In that case I intend to turn my back to him and approach the curator in the elevator (acting, dismissive gesture – while keeping my perception tuned for his approach).  If I hear him charge I will do a Medium height fouetté (savate round house) when I think he is close enough.

GM

Looking at him you see the very model of the paramilitary professional. His uniform is perfectly creased, his equipment is immaculate, his hair is marine standard… even the trickle of blood is disciplined.

The Purple and Gold Marik Eagle on his shoulder patch is proudly and perfectly displayed. If anyone is a loyalist, it is this man. [Perception]

He feels for reasons you cannot guess that you are Lyrans. It is easy to believe that his impact with the desk could have prevented him from hearing your claim to be Marik Reg Forces, and nothing about your attire suggests anything about anything as you are all dressed in non-descript gear to blend in on the streets.

Circumstantial evidence points to the Curator, known to be planning to turn the mechs over to the Lyrans, having made that decision and angering this fanatically loyal guard to the point where, when he saw interlopers in the sacred lobby in this shrine to the Marik Military, he lost control. [Intelligence]

It is not unreasonable to suspect that he could be brought to his senses with a little Purple and Gold Pride…. or a boot to the head.

He is very muscular, looks like he trains hard, and is certainly invested in winning, so talk might be the best way out – but… reinforcements are coming soon…

What to do, what to do?

😉

The gun is on safety as no one wanted to kill anyone or shoot their own pohinkus off.

The range is no more than 5m to the guard, 5m to Mad Dog, 3m to Velika.

Velika counts as a friendly target attack modifier to your roll should you want to fire without moving for a clear shot.

CH:L

Fair enough.  My job is to control the situation, BT and MD are supposed to control the individual pieces.  🙂

So turning my back is a bad idea, His training and state of mind will kick in and provoke an attack I think.  I need to tap in to a primal cadet training (career soldier) or propaganda (protocol FWL) to shake him out long enough to listen.  Like calling a Canadian a ‘canuck’ or ‘hoser’.

[OOC: I did a little research and found reference to the ‘silver hawk irregulars’ a FWL provincial unit with a great reputation and known to be really nasty to the Lyrans.]

I’ve been thinking this would be a great mantle to assume in this war.  Would ROM know anything about them?  If it’s not too far off the mark in your timeline I will try staring him down (leadership or acting) and hissing.  “Damn it cadet, we are Silver Hawk Irregulars.  STAND DOWN!”  And motion MD to bring the curator out of the elevator.

GM:

[OOC: Nice Idea! I am afraid that unit is a bit too far a stretch to be a viable entrant in the campaign. It’s pretty interesting really, that the most loyal forces on Oliver or even near Oliver historically are Carson’s Renegades who have ‘questionable loyalty.’ haha The 18th Militia even sided with Anton Marik! Still… everyone learns from mistakes, haha.

Still, that is the general idea that makes the most sense to reach this guy. Perhaps the best route is closer to the truth…? Saying you are from SAFE?

Here is something that Fitz shared with you once while out on the town. It is not common knowledge off world, and even on Oliver it would be known in detail only by someone with an interest in military history and oddities.]

Most of Oliver’s history as a member world in the Free Worlds League has left it with Mercenary companies for its primary defense. (Canonical)  For decades this has meant the Merc company called Carson’s Renegades (canonical). During the Marik Civil War, the unit’s questionable loyalty to anyone but themselves allowed the 18th Marik Militia to take a foothold on Oliver and forcibly ally the planet with Anton’s side of the war, when in actuality the politics of the conflict were of almost no interest to the citizens. [Semi-Canonical]

A small unit, loyal to Janos Marik for complicated and no doubt mercenary reasons of their own split from the Renegades under the banner of the Company Commander’s son and called themselves Carson’s Raiders. This group took on an almost Robin Hood character among the locals as they struck at the 18th Marik Militia almost for fun, taking salvage and leaving the rest for the people.

Once the civil war ended, the 18th was reorganized under new leadership and filled with fresh new recruits, effectively breaking its old loyalties but also its combat effectiveness. A new military governor was also installed with instructions to bolster the defense capabilities of the industrial world.

Sensing an opportunity, a select group of Carson’s Raiders joined up with the 18th, and quickly maneuvered themselves into leadership positions. Around the same time,Carson’s Renegades renamed themselves Carson’s Raiders and renewed their contract with the Governor.

The Unit within the 18th Marik Militia most renowned among the people of Oliver is known as the Grey Hawk Irregulars [my name for them has been exchanged to go with your suggested name for them] and it was comprised primarily of former Raider personnel. They are reputed to be loyal not to the Captain-General, or the Duchy, but to the ideals and promise of the FWL itself. Whether that be battling Lyran and Liao invaders, or opposing corruption in the Militia makes no difference. The people of Oliver feel that the Grey Hawk Irregulars are there to defend the people of the FWL from enemies without and within. [obviously non-canonical]

A drama fictionalized and exaggerated them beyond all reason 5 years ago, but due to low production values, it only developed a small, cult following. The average person with no interest in military matters will not have heard of them. Someone from Oliver with a hint of interest in military history will know everything.

Speculation:

If this unit is not present and fighting the Lyrans on Oliver right now, they must have gone somewhere else at the behest of the FWL where the threat was worse than the Annexation of this world.

GM

As you turn to face the guard, focusing your intense gaze on the crouching bruiser in black, Velika snaps, “Do I look like a Lyran, bitch?!” with venom, body still poised to fight.

His eyes widen in surprise, and cutting deep into the shock of that retort, you bark, “Damnit, we are Grey Hawk Irregulars, man! We don’t have much time!”

Behind you, in the elevator, you think that Mad Dog is trying to sincerely communicate with the Curator, but while he speaks she is too busy loudly apologizing and trying to phrase her surrender in what sounds like an attempt at German.

GM: [Guard]

“‘Grey Hawk Irregulars… Really?” he asks.

CH:L

“Captain Lucas ROM.  The rest of the introductions can wait, because first priority is keeping the Lyrans from getting your mechs.”  I ease my fighting posture slightly to signal the shift to BT and MD.  I will keep an ear open for activity on the stairs though.  I will let MD continue with the curator briefly, since I suspect this guy will be a better inroad.

If things don’t heat up again, and ~I have time to chat with this guy, I will say “What’s your name soldier, and have you been here long enough to know where the staff loyalty’s lie?”  I will then ask for his help in letting Fitz inside as a first test.

As soon as the curator is free I will turn my attention to her.

GM

Keeping her ready posture, Blowtorch replies, “Yeah, really. And if you want to stick it to the Lyrans, help us.”

Stepping closer to them, and further into the lobby, orienting yourself so that Blowtorch, Mad Dog, and the guard can all see your face, while you can still eye the stairwell door behind the desk, you deliver the crisp line, “Captain Lucas ROM.  The rest of the introductions can wait, because first priority is keeping the Lyrans from getting your mechs,” as you ease your fighting posture slightly to signal the shift to your team.

From this new vantage point, you can see that the drawbridge is slowly reaching its upright position.

From the corner of your eye, you make out that the Curator relaxes, and nodding her head starts to move with Mad Dog out of the elevator. Mad Dog has a saintly look on his face as he carefully ushers her past him and out onto the marble floor of the lobby.

A mixed look of relief, excitement and joy suffuses the guard’s face as he holds his hands out peacefully and begins to slowly rise up into a normal standing posture with a thousand questions brimming in his eyes.

“I have already begun…” he begins, when suddenly the stairwell door behind the desk slams open so hard from the kick of a massive, booted foot that it literally tears off the upper hinges and a huge, bear of a man… near 7 feet tall and at least 300 pounds, steps into the small space behind the desk, filling it with muscled menace. He is wearing the same Security Uniform as the burly guard, His eyes are on that guard as he growls, “Tate, is there a problem here?”

While he certainly is the focus of attention, you can see that the other two security guards are in the stairwell behind him, waiting to come out, but cannot get past his bulk in the space behind the desk.

CH:L

I will hold my action in reserve to see how events unfold.  We have made inroads here, and I still think our guard (He is the one called Tate?) is our key inroad.  I like the fact that BrickShitHouse referred to him first, it means I was right that he has some capital here.  If there is time, I will add “Yes, Tate, is everything ok now?”

GM

Everyone’s eyes are on the huge guard, and perhaps to further impress them, he puts one of his huge hands on the counter that runs along the front part of the desk, and lightly swings his body over it. He stops where he lands, in front of the desk, and stands there waiting for an answer.

Not to put too fine a point on things, but running out of time, you prompt Tate from his reverie by asking, “Yes, Tate, is everything ok, now?”

Blowtorch was visibly startled by the newcomer’s sudden arrival, but Mad Dog actually smiles in amusement or enjoyment. The man does love his challenges.

Tate finally speaks up, “Alexandre! Everything is ok! Reinforcements are here! We will be able to get the rest of the mechs out now! We won’t have to leave any behind!”

He is turning his head back toward you when the curator’s head snaps around to look at Tate. “What did you say? You are stealing the mechs?! But I told you No! I have an appointment with Oberleutnant Braun in the morning!”

Tate ignores her to say to you, moving forward to shake your hand if you will proffer it, “We have to hurry – there is not much time!”

CH:L

CHL will smile and say “Captain ‘CHL’ Rom, Mad Dog and Blow Torch” nodding to each in turn.  I will try to say the following with as much tact and respect as possible to try not step on any toes.  The reference to my rank was said with the same emphasis that someone would bid a suit in bridge.  Expectation that I would lead the hand, but willing to let our partners outbid me if they have a higher trump card.  🙂

“Give a quick brief on what you have ready to go.  Your prep is obviously farther along than anything we had planned.  Oh, and could you arrange to have Fitz let in?  Once we are outside, our plan is a rendezvous to the north.  ” [intentionally vague here given the company] “I can give you more details shortly.  I suggest your group joins us and we can work out how to merge command structures and how to best take our battle to Lyrans.  Our plan was for museum administration to be respectfully tied up and left behind.  It will be safest for them if we do not leave a hint of question where their loyalty lies.  Anyone who actively assists us would be safer to join us in the exodus.  Agreed?”

[Do I recognize any of the rank information on these guards?  I assume they would not be regulars at any rate.]

I will look back and forth between Tate and Brick to see who answers first, and assume that will be the person in charge [unless I can discern other markings].  My current assumption is Tate, but I haven’t seen them interact much yet.

GM

You smile and say with exploratory tact and a sense of mutual respect, “Captain ‘CHL’ Rom, Mad Dog and Blow Torch” nodding to each in turn, “If you could give a quick brief on what you have ready to go…?  Your prep is obviously farther along than anything we had planned.”

The bleeding, burly guard, takes a moment to grab a handkerchief from his pocket to press to the cut, and nods. “Call me Tate. I am in charge of security here. Lieutenant in the 18th Marik Militia logistics and planning division, retired. Pleasure to meet you all…”

Blowtorch picks up her duffel bag and adopts a more casual stance, ready to get back to work. “Sorry about your face, by the way,” she offers when he looks her way.

Tate laughs and says, “I get worse just shaking Alexandre’s hand. Don’t sweat it… Blowtorch, is it?  This is my second in command, Alexandre,” he says, indicating the giant by the security desk. “You might recognize him from the Fight! Channel, but he was a mechwarrior once… we all were, or could have been.”

Checking the blood on his handkerchief he smiles and winks at Blowtorch before continuing. “The alarm systems are down, the mechs are primed for a cold start, and we have detonators rigged to take out the cockpits of the mechs we cannot take. The problem is, we do not have the passcodes needed to start the mechs, unlock the weapon systems, and allow the addition of warrior-grade neurohelmets.”

He stops and directs a black look at the curator. “She does.”

The curator is still babbling about her fate and how you simply cannot steal the mechs as they belong in a museum, while Mad Dog tries to get her to listen to reason.

Blowtorch turns on her and states, “You can blame us for the theft when Braun shows up. Tate put up a heroic fight to stop us…”

Alexandre rumbles to Tate, “Want me to get he password from the old hag…? I can have it in less then 2 minutes…” His posture is more relaxed, but as he turns toward the curator, she cowers against the wall in fear. “Or do you prefer the jail of the Lyrans for a long time… Do you really think they will let you go or live…. MA’AM!?”

You cut in and take on a more assertive posture, “I suggest your group joins us and we can work out how to merge command structures and how to best take our battle to Lyrans.  Our plan was for museum administration to be respectfully tied up and left behind.  It will be safest for them if we do not question where their loyalty lies.  Anyone who actively assists us would be safer to join us in the exodus.  Agreed?”

The giant named Alexandre turns to look at the rest of you and says, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Tate nods, and says, “Yeah – we are definitely on the same side here…  How many of you are there? We have 4 that can pilot a mech well, and one good tech that can run one in an emergency.”

“There are four of us here tonight… the fourth is outside – Do you think you could let him in? “

Before Tate can answer, Alexandre interjects politely and indicates that he needs to contact the people who are caring for his girl. “It’s time for them to move her out of the city,” he says.

Tate nods and says, “Use the blue line. Sal checked it an hour ago and its still safe,” before turning to Cool Hand, “Yes, let’s get your 4th in here and get a move on! We have a war to fight!”

CH:L

Alexandre’s comment worries me a bit, what would I make of his background?  Accent?  I plan to add “We have software that can unlock the mechs with a bit of time, but getting the passcodes will make it easier”  I will try to appeal to the curator at this point.  “Madam Curator, this is a museum of war, but the place of these mechs in history is still to be written.  I can promise you that once that story is told these mechs, or others like it, will be returned to this museum so that they can speak it to future generations.  We will not threaten you, we will not beat you, but these mechs are going with us one way or the other.”

And then to Tate:  “We had intel on 4 mechs here, what is the full complement?  Our plan was to make a statement either leaving the city, or farther north assuming we can find a lyran lance.  It’s time the people of this planet saw a video of Marik forces fighting back.  I suggest we put our greener pilots in the faster mechs to avoid contact while the rest of us take care of business.  Our intel has infantry forces at the naval base and at least one lance guarding the city.  Can you expand on that?  Do we have to worry about museum defenses on the way out?”

GM

[OOC: For expediency and reflecting previous statements by CHL which have been left far behind in real time, but not long in game time, I would like to process all of this with a slight alteration. Please forgive the intrusion, but it should head off two potential problems that I doubt would occur were we gaming face to face. These items grow from concerns about secrecy with the attendant knowledge that Axthelm’s goons are probably fine with torturing people for information, and from MadDog’s rabid passion for the chain of command. The small revision I would like to make is to have CHL separate the group so that he can deal with the Curator using his kewl spy powerz, while setting MD on the others to gather intel on their progress, then get them organized and into action. I will hold off posting until I hear from you~

This would have CHL working to get the passwords from the curator and hopefully convincing her to get on board with the resistance, while simultaneously letting MD assert that you lot are in charge and that Tate and his crew are joining you, heading off issues of their threats toward civilians (the curator) and confusion in the ranks. This should reduce problems with MD and prevent problems with the newcomers.]

Cool?

CH:L

Very reasonable, and thanks for the intervention.  I’ve been going on the assumption of time constraints, but with the prep work these guys have done, and the extra manpower, we are ahead of schedule.

I will use MD’s rank when he tells him to take charge of the mech situation.  He knows I only do that when I want to emphasize chain of command.  🙂  I also plan on suggesting a room where I can chat with the curator… but not her office.  I would be surprised if its not already bugged.  🙂

Want to read these scenes from another character’s Point of View? You can!

                 Mad Dog      Blowtorch       Alexandre (New Character!)

GM:

“Lieutenant!” you say to Mad Dog.  “Have someone see to Fitz, debrief Mr. Tate on the status and complement of the mechs, then organize and resume the operation in light of our new allies’ advance preparations. Report back with a revised timeline. I will be with the Curator.” You walk over to guide the curator toward the stairs and away from further contact with the operation, its planning, and its enactors.

Mad Dog, the second in command, calls out loudly, “Atten-shun!” in a tone that demands attention.

Tate replies instantly, “Sir, yes, Sir!” and snaps to attention, blood still seeping across his forehead.

When you and the curator have left the lobby, to head down to the security office, you dimly hear Mad Dog state in his best drill sergeant voice, “You heard him: Mr. Tate with me. Alexandre, bring in Lieutenant…” before the echoes of the concrete corridor warp and distort everything with the sound of your own footsteps.

The Curator is willing to go with you, particularly to escape all the testosterone and passionate nationalism in the lobby, and seems like nothing more than a short-sighted, scared older woman, willing to go the easy route to ensure her own comfort and safety.

When you get her to the security office, you sit her down on the worn leather sofa and inform her, “Madam Curator, this is a museum of war, but the place of these mechs in history is still to be written.  I can promise you that once that story is told these mechs, or others like it, will be returned to this museum so that they can speak it to future generations.  We will not threaten you, we will not beat you, but these mechs are going with us one way or the other.”

She pauses a moment, and then says…”You can make them believe that I did not help you? Don’t my passcodes get recorded and logged with the Military Governor?”

CH:L

I will bring her a glass of water or coffee if there is such a machine in the security office.  “There are indeed a few ways we can do this.  The best way to guarrantee your safety is for you to help us then come with us.  I’m sure we could use your knowledge on the history of these particular mechs and the planet.

Other options: We can spend the time and crack the codes, but the longer we are here the greater chance of a fire fight in the museum. We would have to tie you up for the cameras, and it is likely the Lyrans will buy that story, but we cannot guarantee anything after we have gone.  The fact that you had set things in motion to turn over the mechs tomorrow will go in your favour.

Or, if you know how to bypass the system so your codes do not get recorded, you could help us get out quickly without tipping your hand.”

GM

She accepts the water gratefully and seems like she is listening as you speak with her, but you have to repeat yourself a lot. She is not the sharpest marble in the bag. When the conversation veers toward the mechs, it doesn’t take too long to know that she doesn’t even know what mechs are in the collection; just that in a museum is where they, and other ‘precious things’ belong.

She HAS to be related to some bigwig in the cultural fabric of Beasville…

Her utter surprise that more than a single person can fit inside a mech cockpit is pretty much the last straw, but when she asks if it is hard to learn how to ‘drive’ one, it is time to shift gears. She will not be able to maintain any sort of duplicitous cover story such as being tortured or threatened for the passcodes, so options are to leave her here and hope that she is not used as a tool by the villainous Lyrans, or take her with you and hope she doesn’t get her ‘driver’ killed.

Laying the importance of the situation out for her, you get her to give up her passcodes [interrogation], but then are ultimately left with the decision to lock her up in a vault in the sub-basement as is, fake a scary interrogation [acting] and lock her up, or force her on one of your crew to share cockpit space with.

To obtain the passcodes took 30 minutes

To effectively fake an interrogation will take 1 hour

To take her with you will impose penalties on her host during combat

What would you like to do? Can you see a different option?

CH:L

If she has family contacts that powerful, she is likely safer with them.  I will try lay out the options for her as if I were interested in her feedback, but the focus of of my question is that it will be very dangerous at this museum for some time to come (due to other military equipment here, the mech bays, etc).  This has the advantage of being close to the truth.  Even if our ruse works today, this site will likely be the focus of other conflicts. I will then ask if she has any influential family members in Beasville that could help her lay low in the near future.

If that doesn’t pan out, we will have to take her with us, I guess.  I considered faking her death for the cameras, but I don’t think she’s smart enough to stay hidden afterwards.  We will see which mech has the most cockpit rtoom when we get there.

On that note, I intend to take her to the mech bay to check on progress, and make sure she is locked in an office in the mean time.

GM:

At the end of your conversation you are convinced that latex paint has a higher IQ than this woman. Her only talent seems to be a knack for derailing trains of thought and causing arguments that go nowhere.

This office is on the Second Basement Level, as are the stored mechs. If everything is going according to plan, it won’t be long before the display mechs are lowered down here on the giant elevator. You are not sure what mechs are in the collection but the curator has mentioned that there are 11. Apparently someone took the 12th during the time of her predecessor and it was always her goal to replace it and maybe expand the collection, but no one sells antique mechs in pristine condition these days, and no one would make her one… those military industrial complex people are all so impossible!

If what Tate said is true, you have useful 9 personnel and this woman. Of the 9, 8 are pilots. You know what to expect of your crew, but the other four are a mystery. Looking around this room is is likely that most are former military, and you get the feeling that one or more might be on some kind of medical discharge from regular forces. [Marik Military issue back brace and crutches stuffed in a corner, covered in dust]

[OOC: Cool Hand is about 5 minutes in the future compared to the other players. One more round of replies and we should merge again]

From the lockers in the room you now know that the guards’ names are:

  • Myron Tate
  • Alexandre Lechasseur
  • Sal Winner
  • Pietr Llewellyn
  • Dominic Vincent

CH:L

Ok, I’m starting to think her stupidity will be her best defense.  🙂  Anyone who talks to her for more than a few minutes will realize that she’s incapable of plotting anything.

I will give her one more chance to choose escape with her family contacts (perhaps acting skill, showing genuine concern for her life if she stays).

If she chooses to stay after that, CHL’s next plan is to tie her to a chair with her hands behind her back with whatever he can find in the room.  Then hit her.  in the face.  and try not to enjoy it.  😉  With his interrogation and unarmed background, he should know where to hit that will cause maximum bruising for effect (and hopefully least pain).

I considered parading her in front of a camera like this, but the lyrans could just use that as propaganda of our torture techniques.

If she chooses to flee, I will still tie her up, and wait till we are ready to leave ourselves before releasing her.

As for the crew, didn’t Tate say we didn’t have to leave any mechs behind?  8 out of 11 is still excellent return on this mission though.  Are you going to continue keeping me in suspense, or do I get to find out which mechs now?  🙂

And with these codes, I expect we will be at least 60-90 minutes ahead of schedule?

NOTE: The next short section goes into a ‘behind the scenes’ look at more personal interaction about the play experience and expectations before resuming the scene

GM

OOC:  The mechs have actually been listed in the Command To Do file for several weeks, haha  😉

[Note: Command To Do is our multi-tabbed spreadsheet which collects all the important data from plans to salvage for the campaign. We access it via Google Docs]

I am quite curious how you folk will decide to allocate the mechs you choose to take~

CH:L

Sneaky, using my own accounting system against me.  😉

oh, and any ammo down here for those things?  🙂

GM

Sorry, the only mech ammo in the museum is papier mache~

CH:L

and really???  Hermes 1S and 1SB??  Masc and beagle??  🙂

Orion 1M with Narc and LBX?  please tell me there is ammo for that.  The LBX would be CHL’s perfect weapon.  🙂

GM

Really, really~

…but no ammunition, sad to say

CH:L

Kewl.  🙂

Brings up more questions though, which may impact which ones we take.

The ammo for the lostech systems like artemis IV, streak and LBX.  Can we manufacture ammo for these given the systems? (Knowledge old mech designs and Tech mech roll perhaps?), or will these weapon systems be useless to us?  I think the LBX cannon can fire normal rounds, but what of the others till we get up and running?

BTW, who took the 12th, and what was it?  🙂

GM

That is a mystery worth solving!

CH:L

nice dilemma on the mechs, the ones we really want are the ones that will have trouble defending themselves due to lack of ammo.  We will need a mix of high value and currently functional to make the getaway.  We also have to worry about whether to put our eager but probably low skilled guards in the rare but currently useless, or have them defend the rare but currently useless.

I exagerate, but with 2 medium lasers per mech (Orion, Crusader, etc) we could still probably take out a light lance.  A medium lance heavy on LRMs will be very tricky.

I am leaning toward putting the guards in the star league mechs with our lance defending them on escape.  If they betray us and try to flee, we should be able to take them out with their limited weapons.  Either way, they should be pretty much a non-factor.

Here are the assignments I was thinking of:

Guillotine FITZ

Orion Sal

Thug CHL (though I may still switch with archer)

Hermes Dominic

HermesS Tate

Thunderbolt BT

Hunchback (left behind)

Spider (left behind)

GriffinMD

Crusader Alex

Archer (left behind)

My plans once timelines merge include:

-Giving the codes to BT

-Asking Tate about placement defences

-Asking Tate about computer schematics, encrypted computer files that may help us with this star league find

(keyword search includes Crusader, Orion, Hermes, scorpion, Brigadier)

-Ask BT’s advice on how to quickly disable the mechs we leave behind, the THUG in particular.

-Set MD’sGriffinup to record the battle in HD.  I will assume the best and flashiest battle shots will come from him.  🙂

GM

I am glad to hear that you are enjoying the dilemma of our surfeit of choice. I am also pleased to have correctly remembered your preference for the LB-X  😉

If you feel like playing detective, Cool Hand can actually collect information which will enable him to deduce the Lyran forces assigned to Beasville. The clues are ‘out there’ and they are not in hiding with Mulder’s sister.

CH:L

all right, add that to my todo list.  Again, assuming we are still surplus on time.  🙂

places i could think of starting are

-communications between admin here and Lyran command

-video surveillance of outside the museum

-recent work done in the museum mech bays

but my priority for information is

1) schematics, files, designs for the star league era mechs and weapons

2) how to disable mechs (overload engine perhaps?)

3) local Lyran lance makeup

GM

The other players have almost caught up with you in time: The 30 minute interrogation will end with MD’s arrival to report. He will be able to tell you about the mech options, and the pilot capabilities, which when combined with your passive observation of stuff in this room will allow you to glean the following unit profile:

  • Tate: mech and industrial mech experience, no combat experience
  • Sal: not a pilot, a tech (aerospace)
  • Dominic: former mech test pilot for brigadier, high degree of formal training, no combat experience
  • Pietr: dispossessed, some combat experience, disability pensioner, Mad Dog’s old unit
  • Alexandre: combat experience, former merc.

That 30 minute mark will also coincide with the lowering of the display mechs down to your level. Once that all happens, and you have announced your various decisions to MD, I will put you together with Tate to answer your other questions.

As for the deduction of the enemy forces, each player has been given little clues about this, and these could be pieced together to form a coherent picture…  if you like   😉   Of course, the players would have to remember/look for these clues so…  you know. Haha~

Scene 9 resumes in earnest

GM

As you are coming to terms with the depth of this woman’s stupidity and self-centeredness, Mad Dog arrives to report. Seeing the situation, he takes the woman out to the storage lock-up next door and locks her inside, out of earshot, safe, and secure.

Mad Dog casts you a sympathetic and supportive look. Making sure that the curator has no means of phoning for “help” in a moment of hysteria, he does his best to help you escort her where she needs to be.

Once alone, he begins to speak, “I’ll begin my report with the mechs. Even though you are very familiar with all of these models, I felt it might be useful to refer to the loadouts and other particulars given the number of variants here. Other than bits from the technical readouts, I included some notes of my own, and at the end of that file I organized the mechs into priority ratings from 1 (the most important) to 5 (the mechs we can afford most to leave behind).

I based these ratings on three things in the following order:
(1) What we need to get everyone back to base in one piece…
(2) The presence of valuable tech, especially lostech/Star League technology. All of these ratings assume that all of these items are indeed present, as they appear to be, and in working order… We’ll need to confirm that. There’s a lot going on out there and Blowtorch is working like a mad woman.
(3) The long-term value to our revolution and a pitched war scenario, requiring both long-term campaigning mechs, and to a lesser degree—special ops mechs.

He touches an icon on the data pad and hand his report to you to review as he speaks

MECH SIT-REP

·          Archer               ARC-2K
·          Crusader            CDR-2R
·          Griffin                GRF-1DS
·          Guillotine            GLT-4L
·          Hermes             HER-1S
·          Hermes              HER-1SB
·          Hunchback         HBK-4J
·          Orion                 ON1-M
·          Spider                SDR-5V
·          Thug                 THG-10E
·          Thunderbolt       TDR-5SE
ARC-2K
– 70 tons
– Speed: 64.8 km/h
– Jump Jets: none
– Weapons:
2 x LRM – 15s
2 x Lg. Lasers
– 2 extra heat sinks

Notes:
A good support mech and well-rounded variant that we should take if we have someone to pilot it.

CRD-2R
– 65 tons
– Speed: 64.8 km/h
– Jump Jets: none
– Weapons:
2 x LRM- 15s
2 x Med. Lasers
2 x MG
4 x Streak SRM – 2s
– *Lostech*: ‘double’ heat sinks, endo steel internal structure, Artemis IV firing systems (one for each LRM), streak SRMs, and CASE ammunition storage. Royal SLDF variant.

Notes:
Like the Archer, a good support mech and well-rounded variant that we should take if we have someone to pilot it. However, the Lostech makes this mech a rare prize. The Artemis systems will probably have to be removed for the lack of Artemis ammo, but the Streak SRMs could be invaluable for any of our later tinkering efforts. The endo steel design and double heat sinks makes this a valuable mech for us to attempt to customize.

GRF-1DS
– 55 tons
– Speed: 86.4 km/h
– Jump Jets: yes
– Weapons:
Lg. Pulse Laser
LRM – 20
– Extralight engine + rare pulse laser technology

Notes:
The extra-light engine and pulse laser make this one worth taking if only to see what our techs can do with it. Personally, I dislike the design as is, but it might be good for someone else. The Lg. Pulse Laser is a great weapon, but further compounds heat problems for a mech that cries out for more heat sinks. There’s no point trying to use both weapons at once, because the mech cannot handle the heat from it. Missiles were always meant to augment the primary gun weapon, IMO, not replace it as the primary focus. In its current configuration, it would have to be used and deployed more like a Dervish or Archer. I also dislike the engine in some ways in that it is prone to critical hits and damage most engines would never feel. Griffins are supposed to be durable—a classic—elegantly rugged and reliable

With extra armour allocated to these engine areas, however, and stripping the weapons off for an all new variant, the half-weight engine could present working materials for a very potent Griffin. Especially with a PPC for long range and a host of smaller weapons for shorter ranges, it could be a power house—especially if some of the Crusader’s double heat sinks were added to the mix.

GLT-4L
– 70 tons
– Speed: 64.8 km/h
– Jump Jets: yes
– Weapons:
Lg. Laser
SRM – 6
4 x Medium Lasers

Notes:
We need heavies for a prolonged pitched war—at least for our core pilots. IMO jump jets are a good idea even on a heavy, at least on some of our heavy mechs for mountains and certain engagements. Otherwise, this 4L variant seems to be without any of the special tech that made the 4D model noteworthy.

With only a large laser for longer ranges, this mech will be easily outmaneuvered and picked apart by any PPC or LRM equipped medium mechs with a faster top speed and greater jump range. It will need to be paired with long range hitters and/or a medium mech escort to compensate.

HER-1S
– 30 tons
– Speed: 151.2 km/h
– Jump Jets: none
– Weapons:
2 x Med. Laser
Flamer

Notes:
Speed without jump jets on a recon mech reduces the usefulness of this mech to only certain engagements and terrain types. Out of the two, the other Hermes is the much better grab.

HER-1SB
– 30 tons
– Speed: 151.2 km/h
– Jump Jets: none
– Weapons:
4 x Med. Laser
Sm. Laser
Flamer
– XL Engine, double heat sinks, Beagle Active Probe, MASC system

Notes:
Another Royal SLDF variant. Even if only for parts alone, this one would be worth taking. If we could later remove something in order to get jump jets (even if only a small amount of its full jump potential), this would be a great recon mech. The Probe, if it’s still working, allows for greater scanning ranges and can even sometimes detect camouflaged or shut down mechs. The MASC system while able to temporally boost the mech’s ground speed is also prone to crippling the mech—leaving it locked up and immobile. Perhaps it could later be removed for jump jets.

HBK – 4J
– 50 tons
– Speed: 64.8 km/h
– Jump Jets: none
– Weapons:
2 x LRM – 10s
5 x Med. Laser
Sm. Laser

Notes:
Without the AC-20, the Hunchback is just a medium mech that is too slow and lacking jump jets. Even with the AC-20, it’s a ‘budget’-minded AC-20 platform and a ‘heavy-mech attempt’ with a medium-mech cost that we love only because of character. It requires an escort, is easily outmaneuvered and destroyed by other mediums, and is instantly outclassed as soon as a true heavy mech comes along. This variant is, at least, not limited to short ranges, but with plodding along at a top speed of 64.8 km/h we might as well take a real heavy mech that moves at the same speed. Always good to have, but it can be left behind over other choices.

ONI – M
– 75 tons
– Speed: 64.8 km/h
– Jump Jets: none
– Weapons:
LRM – 20
LBX AutoCannon/10
2 x Med. Lasers
1 x SRM 4
– Narc Missile Beacon

Operational Jumpseat

(many Marik Orions have a second seat with access to a limited control console for sensors and communications)

Notes:
We can always use another heavy. This is one mech that could be good for the Captain given the weapons and design. The NARC requires other mechs to have Narc missiles. Perhaps it could be switched out at a later date.

The large cockpit makes this one stand out. We’ll need it tonight since not everyone can pilot (that alone giving it a priority of 1), and you never know when that might be useful again. The Star League tech in addition to that makes this choice a no-brainer.

SDR – 5V
– 30 tons
– Speed: 129.6 km/h
– Jump Jets: yes
– Weapons:
2 x Med. Lasers

Notes:
A good recon mech with great versatility for its role. Though not as fast as a Hermes in a flat out run, I would never run a recon mech out in the open if I could help it. With its jump jets, it allows recon and access to areas other mechs could never reach.

The Royal Hermes 1SB could perhaps be reworked around this principle, and maybe even exceed the specs of the Spider. However, that’s an ‘if’. This mech is good to go on these principles right now, and the whole design of its chassis and handling are based on these principles.

[GM Notes: The Spider’s design will allow it to perform a non-linear jump, permitting the pilot to veer to the left or veer to the right when jumping, rather than the shortest straight line route to a target hex]

THG – 10E
– 80 tons
– Speed: 64.8 km/h
– Jump Jets: none
– Weapons:
2 x PPCs
2 x SRM-4

Notes:
We can’t leave an assault mech behind in this case, we just can’t. Other than that, there’s not much that stands out about this one. Not for me, but someone with a decent hand at gunnery should still be assigned to this one. We might later be able to create a better variant out of this one, perhaps with more weapon variety and more heat sinks.

TDR – 5SE
– 65 tons
– Speed: 64.8 km/h
– Jump Jets: yes
– Weapons:
Lg. Laser
LRM – 10
3 x Medium Lasers
– 2 extra heat sinks

Notes:
A nice mech able to handle a mix of ranges which should be pleasing to both the commander and his second-in-command. The presence of jump jets and extra heat sinks always appeals to me, and if I must be in a slower mech for whatever reason please let it be jump capable.

Summary with priority ratings:

Priority rating of 1

–                   – Orion                 ON1-M         (tech + large cockpit)

–                   – Crusader            CDR-2R        (tech)

–                   -Griffin               GRF-1DS      (tech)

–                   – Hermes              HER-1SB       (tech)

–                   – Thug                 THG-10E        (assault mech)

Priority rating of 2

– Thunderbolt     TDR-5SE            (jump capable)

Priority rating of 3

–                      – Archer               ARC-2K

Priority rating of 4

–                     – Guillotine          GLT-4L

(lacking long-range fire with a top speed of  64.8 km/h)

–                     – Spider              SDR-5V

(good recon mech with a significant jumping ability)

Priority rating of 5

–          Hermes             HER-1S

(no jump jets; easily destroyed if cornered)

–          Hunchback         HBK-4J

(too slow for a medium mech; no jump jets)

“As for mechwarriors, you and are Fitz are by far our best all-round mechwarriors. As life-long career mechwarriors, and talented people in general, both Blowtorch and I have reflexes and hand/eye coordination that are well above the norm. You and Fitz, however, are as they say, ‘off the charts’.

“You, me, and Fitz are our best pilots. You and Fitz are our best gunners. You are hands down the best at mech sensors, with both Blowtorch and I as runners up.” Raising an eyebrow and smirking at CH, “It would seem you are exceptional at everything, Captain. Quite a feat for a man who’s worked more outside a cockpit than in one.”

“As for our new friends, here’s what we have so far:
• Tate. In charge of security here. Lieutenant in the 18th Marik Militia logistics and planning division, retired…
– Experience piloting a mech (no combat experience in one)
– The leader

• Sal Winner has no mech piloting skills, but is a first class aerospace tech, with additional training in electronics and weaponry – specifically shipboard weapons.

– Former tech for the 18th Marik Militia Aerospace Division

– No mech piloting skill—he’ll need a ride from someone

• Dominic Vincent, former test pilot for the Brigadier Corporation
– The highest technical level of training from this group
– Experience piloting a mech (no combat experience in one)

• Pietr Llewellyn, formerly of the 10th Marik Militia, Dispossessed, Disability Discharge
– Experience piloting a mech and has seen combat

• Alexandre Lechasseur
– professional fighter, and former mechwarrior
– Experience piloting a mech and has seen combat”

Pausing but then continuing, “There’s a lot of missing info, I admit, but it’s the best assessment I could get of the personnel out there with everything that’s going on.”

“Alexandre proposed an idea of booby-trapping the myomer bundles in the legs of the mechs we leave behind.”

“You see, before meeting us, their team rigged radio detonators, sufficient to destroy all the electronics, into the cockpits of each of the eight mechs that their team was planning to leave behind. They will need to remove some of those, obviously. More time to our schedule…”

“Alexandre feels that by leaving the current set up in the other mechs—the ones we leave behind—the Lyrans will find them and disarm them. They probably won’t, however, notice the explosives rigged in the legs that he proposed setting up. This allows us to avoid dishonorably and wastefully destroying unmanned mechs, but it will take those mechs out of use and leave them available for later salvage should our campaign in the north go well.”

“He says it would take him about one hour per mech. We have eight mech pilots out of nine people, so that means three mechs left behind and thus three hours of work for him if you approve.”

“As for which mechs to take, here are my recommendations:

(1) Orion                 ON1-M

(2) Crusader            CDR-2R

(3) Griffin               GRF-1DS

(4) Hermes              HER-1SB

(5) Thug                 THG-10E

(6) Thunderbolt     TDR-5SE

(7) Archer               ARC-2K

(8) _____

“And for number eight, it should either be the Guillotine or the Spider. For a fight, the Guillotine is obviously the better choice; however even on this mission we might need a mech like the Spider. I have this feeling that at some point we will need a recon mech that can jump over eight stories and clear 240 meters in a single jump. It can keep pace with a Locust and out-jump almost any mech commonly seen and deployed.”

Rubbing his eyes for moment, “Other than the Griffin and the Hermes, our current list is all heavies and one assault mech plodding along with a top speed of 64.8 km/h. It will be a valuable but slow procession. If I had to choose, and it seems that one of us does, I would go with the Spider based on our current goals of getting out, and the long term goals of our army. It seems counter to good sense to take a recon mech and leave a heavy, but there you have it. Feel free to call me on that choice,CH.”

After a noticeable pause, the young lieutenant continues thoughtfully, “I did have a crazy idea and this is not one of my better ones: What if before our force left as one group, I took the Spider and ran towards an area that’s likely to get a Lyran reaction while you guys head for the hills? Maybe the Naval base? Maybe it’s possible to flush out the Lyran mech forces and act as distraction. If I don’t directly engage them, use the city environment and the Spider’s speed and jumping capabilities, I might be able to lead them on a chase. It wouldn’t be long before they notice heavies walking through the city, too, but it might buy some time—enough to make a difference.”

“The downside of this crazy idea is that if I even once walk into a missile battery instead of placing myself on the other side of a building from one, or if some loser gets even one lucky set of shots on me, it could all be over for me. Light mechs have a habit of going up in flames that way.”

Forcing a smile, he finishes with an awkward chuckle, “This is the point where you say, ‘Yeah, it’s a stupid idea,’ and that I’m ‘too valuable’ and all that.”

Getting no real reaction from you other than one to speed things along, he presses on with suggested mech assignments

“OK, you wanted recommendations for mech assignments. Here we are:

1) Orion                  ON1-M       – You with Sal Winner in the extra seat

(2) Crusader            CDR-2R      – Blowtorch

(3) Griffin               GRF-1DS     – Alexandre (combat experience)

(4) Hermes              HER-1SB     – Dominic Vincent

(I’m hoping his technical skills might also include good sensor skills)

(5) Thug                 THG-10E      – Fitz

(6) Thunderbolt       TDR-5SE      – Mad Dog (it jumps)

(7) Archer               ARC-2K        – Pietr Llewellyn (combat experience) or Tate

(8) Spider                SDR-5V       – Pietr Llewellyn (combat experience) or Tate

“I’m concerned about placing Tate in the Spider, since he’s their leader, seems to be intensely in favour of joining us, and seems to be a little sensitive. I really don’t care—you get what you get assigned—but if his ego is scratched we might also scratch the driving force behind them joining us right now. It sounds childish, but I felt it worth raising this time.”

“I could also take the Griffin or the Spider if you felt my skills might be better needed in either of those mechs. To conclude, the current sit rep seems to be this… We have various things which are requiring time—even more so because there are more pilots. We have to tune the neurohelmets to the mechs, we have to remove explosives while perhaps installing new ones, and we likely will have to have Blowtorch hack the weapons systems for the mechs. Hacking the weapon systems will take time for each mech, unless we can get the curator’s codes, but the weapons systems codes —I’m told— will alert the Lyrans immediately. Either way, it’s safe to say that we need to be out of here before sunrise and people start coming around.”

“Working to our advantage is that we don’t have to deal with the security staff or being spotted by them during our prep. Also, they already had the engines at active status when we arrived.”

“The Lyran curfew should work to our advantage for minimizing loss of innocent life or injuries. The streets should be pretty clear if we are out of here in time.”

“Our last intel suggests the likelihood of these three lances possibly being in this area:

– Experienced scout lance: Wasp, Commando, Locust, Flea
– Green scout lance: Stinger, Commando, Jenner, Wasp
– Veteran Medium lance: Phoenix Hawk, Clint, Trebuchet, Dervish

“Of course, there might be more than that to engage us. Of the two medium mechs capable of meeting or exceeding ranges, only the Clint and Dervish can play that game and the Clint is noted for running out of ammo quickly. If I were them, my primary targets would actually be our Griffin and recon mechs. With those out of the way, they could follow us and shadow us with greater ease.”

“Our main goal is to deter pursuit and lose them if we can’t outright destroy them. Destruction could become an option once we are away from civilian zones. Either way, the Lyrans cannot be allowed to follow us. If engaged in battle we need to deny medium and light mechs the terrain and mobility that they would use to harass us and engage us with.”

“If we thought we had the upper hand, and had all weapon systems working, we might want to assault Lyran assets directly before they knew what was going on. Of course, that leads us back to a battle in the middle of a populated area, one that has not had time to evacuate or otherwise expect the destruction that would be about to hit them.”

CH:L

“Thanks MD, and we are thinking on the same lines.  The problem with some of those star league mechs is that most of the weapons are ammo based and will be dead weight in helping us get back.  The orion and crusader in particular only have a pair of medium lasers working.

I will be in the Hermes which can match all of the lighter mechs in firepower and speed (not to mention sensors).

Fitz and BT will be our raw firepower, which in this case will be the heavies with large lasers.

I want you in the Griffin for close range, speed, harassment and best chance of physical attacks. Remember you will have one weapon and it has a max range of 450 metres

You were being too modest about your own piloting skills.

Here are the assignments I’m thinking.

  • Guillotine – FITZ
  • Orion – Tate (and Sal)
  • Thug – Alex
  • Hermes – Dominic
  • HermesS  Myself
  • Thunderbolt – BT
  • Hunchback (left behind)
  • Spider (left behind)
  • Griffin- MD
  • Crusader – Pietr
  • Archer (left behind)

I see your point on the spider, it has some unique capabilities.  We have plenty of fast jumpers back at base already though that can do 180 metres.  I’m not convinced the extra 60 metres is worth leaving a star league hermes behind for.

If you think it is a key asset, especially for that harassment lance we agreed you would set up, we can swap the second hermes for the spider.

Our new friends will be in heavily armoured mechs that can flee and take a bit of damage. We will provide cover fire and support for the escape.

But damn, I did not see three lances in this joint.  This is 15% of their entire on-planet complement in a single northern city.  That medium lance in particular is extremely dangerous.  They can outmaneuver and outrange us with the lrms and AC5.  Maybe I want Fitz in that Thug after all.

You are right on their initial targets.  If they are smart, they will hit us with the Medium LRM lance first, while shadowing us with the light lances.  If they can take out our recon mechs, they can just follow without engaging and wait for reinforcements.

All right, let’s:

– tune the neurohelmets

– rig explosives in the legs

– check the computers for files on these mechs or weapon systems

– I have the codes, and we can use them, but as the final task before we escape.

[Just on a hunch, I will also go back to the curator and ask.  “ok, one final question,  what’s in the hidden vault…” and check her reaction.

I will also ask her and the guards about the missing mech]

GM

You dispatch Mad Dog back into the thick of preparations, and then return to the curator to inquire about the missing mech. You recall as you enter the room that she mentioned it was taken during her predecessor’s time in office so, with her mental challenges might be beyond recall, but she brightens immediately about being able to answer one of your hard questions and states with authority, that it was a Lancelot. Unlike the others it had been damaged in battle, so it was never displayed – and according to her predecessor had probably been missing for quite awhile before a routine inspection revealed it was gone.

When you hit her with your surprise question about a hidden vault, she startles guiltily, and stammers, “H-how-how did you know about THAT?”

CH:L

Ok, one mystery solved, or at least I know the next person to ask.  🙂

And who says you can’t go fishing in an empty pond.  🙂

The next part of the interrogation will be tricky, since any question I ask could let her in on how little I know.  I’ll start with the old trick of just staring at her, for minutes if I have to.  Most people will start babbling to fill the silence, and I suspect her maybe more so than most.

If she doesn’t start babbling about the vault, I will have to suspect the dumb act is just that.  Mind you, it would be a very good act if it is.

If she does start babbling, and needs prompting to go a little further I will say “SAFE has been watching you and this museum for some time now” (I will try to save that line for when needed)

Finally, if I get any sense that she knows where this vault is, and how to access it, I intend to get her to lead me there.  Tate suggested that using the curators codes will alert the Lyrans, but hopefully not this vault.  If there is something secret more valuable than the mechs, and the Lyrans knew about it, they would be here already.  🙂

CH:L

Oh, and after chatting with Mad Dog, I want to revise the assignments. Here is the new mech assignment list:

  • Guillotine – Tate
  • Orion  – Dominic (and Sal)
  • Thug – Alex
  • Hermes (left behind)
  • HermesS – Myself
  • Thunderbolt – Fitz
  • Hunchback (left behind)
  • Spider – BT
  • Griffin- MD
  • Crusader – Pietr
  • Archer (left behind)

GM

The curator is quite stubborn and very reminiscent of a toddler in her reluctance to spill the beans about the hidden vault, but [interrogation] is quickly out-thought and out-maneuvered by your gargantuan intellect into revealing its location: the Hall of Honour.

The contents, she is quick to point out, will be no good to a ‘thug like you.’ They are Manufacturer and Military training documentaries for each of the mechs stored here, including maintenance and service training for each onboard system.

———

OK: Review and Clarification

Notes – the mech entry and command pass codes are safe to use. The codes which unlock the weapons are not. This is all just technofluff, so it will be a part of my big post at the end about what happened as you leave the museum. The real choice is: hack them so there is no alert, or allow the alert.

Things have gone just about as far as they can go with RP elements in the museum, so it is time to get ready to go to war. Yeehaw~

Have you given thought to the ammo-drop idea?

CH:L

Choices:

Hack vs codes.  This will be the last decision we make before heading out.  If everything is ready and we have time to hack, we will do so.  If not, we will use the codes at the last second possible.  Either way, we will likely meet hostiles on the way out (just adds a and timing change).

I will give the Manuals to BlowTorch with a smile, saying merry Christmas.  🙂  Her instructions are to keep them safe and not take chances in combat.  These are more important than any individual mech.

As for Fitz’s idea about the ammo-drop, I like it, except it commits and shows our drop ship strength too early.  If the Lyrans know we have one, we’ve given away a lot of info of where we could be hiding.  Here is what I will put into plan as a compromise.  Load one ton of each type of ammo in the Leopard, but have Westerlie land at the proving grounds as we planned.  If things start going bad for us in the city, or if we end up coming into the secret base hot, I will send a coded message ‘plan B’ to Westerlie.  At that point, she takes off from the proving grounds, and does the combat drop you mentioned.  They should get there before we do, and will attack our pursuers long enough for us to load on ammo, and rejoin the battle.

GM

Update from Mad Dog after issuing orders to the troops:

Mel seems much more enthusiastic and ready for battle than earlier. The prospect of being in battle again is drawing close. Anticipation is filling the mechwarrior but still leaving him hungry—but maybe not for long.

He gives you a quick report before returning to help with the mechs of what is going on, and what he ordered:

Organization

·          Lance of 5 Heavies (Tate, Pietr, Dominic, Alexandre, lead by Fitz)

·          Lance of 2 for recon and escort (BT, lead by MD)

·          Lance of 1 for hooliganism, spying, and general cleverness (You)

Instructions

·          Head to the Harbor, then North until ordered to cut across the desert

·          Watch each others’ backs, particularly yours (no jump, light mech)

·          He and BT to serve as distraction and harassment or as directed by you

·          All personnel to expect unexpected shifts in the plan and organization

·          Avoid civilian areas and targets

·          Be ready to depart at 1:15am (4 hours’ time)

He also passes along new facts and reinforces earlier suggestions: 
1. His own idea for forcing the Lyrans to react rather than act (such as the Griffin and Spider hitting the naval yard or some other target in order to distract the Lyrans from the heavies).
2. Possible ammo dump at the spaceport *and* that the spaceport might also be a location the Lyrans might feel forced to either defend or attack (intel uncertain though-just a possibility)
3. The naval base and its independent (not city) power installation as things the Lyrans might feel forced to defend. This station is North of the City, and may also power the Marik Secret Base. MD is worried some locals might resent an attack on a power facility, but those in power are aware it is a military not civic-held facility. Of course, they want it for themselves so… maybe he is right

4. His hope that their march might even inspire the people of Beasville and beyond

5. Witnessed Enemy forces are a Stinger, Wasp, Jenner, Commando. There is a lance with this composition. They are rated as Green. Fitz believes there must be another lance in the area as a result. Alexandre confirms having seen a Clint.

6. Some are worried about family members not getting away

I will be posting this information for the others later today, then getting replies from BT and Alexandre, so you have some time yet to review your basic plan.

Lots of good RP opportunities are bubbling up now~

🙂

GM: Blowtorch in absentia

Without her flowery prose and flair for cussin’ here is the gist of what she might have told you:

  • ·          Archer              ARC-2K
  • ·          Crusader          CDR-2R
  • ·         Griffin             GRF-1DS
  • ·          Guillotine         GLT-4D  (Not L as listed)
  • ·          Hermes            HER-1A   (Not S as listed)
  • ·          Hermes            HER-1SB
  • ·          Hunchback       HBK-4J
  • ·          Orion               ON1-V    (Not M as listed)
  • ·          Spider              SDR-5V
  • ·          Thug                THG-11Eb  (Not 10E as listed)
  • ·          Thunderbolt      TDR-5SE

ARC-2K
– 70 tons
– Speed: 64.8 km/h
– Jump Jets: none
– Weapons:
2 x LRM – 15s
2 x Lg. Lasers
– 2 extra heat sinks

CRD-2R
– 65 tons
– Speed: 64.8 km/h
– Jump Jets: none
– Weapons:
2 x LRM- 15s
2 x Med. Lasers
2 x MG
4 x Streak SRM – 2s
– *Lostech*: ‘double’ heat sinks, endo steel internal structure, Artemis IV firing systems (one for each LRM), streak SRMs, and CASE ammunition storage

You both agree: This variant was used by the SLDF’s Royal units. How it came to be here is a real mystery. These variants were never made in mass quantities, nor for general purchasers.

GRF-1DS
– 55 tons
– Speed: 86.4 km/h
– Jump Jets: yes
– Weapons:
Lg. Pulse Laser
LRM – 20

– Extra light engine + lostech pulse laser technology

GLT-4D
– 70 tons
– Speed: 64.8 km/h
– Jump Jets: yes
– Weapons:
Lg. Laser
SRM – 6
4 x Medium Lasers

CASE, Endo Steel Internal Structure

HER-1A
– 30 tons
– Speed: 151.2 km/h
– Jump Jets: none
– Weapons:
2 x Med. Laser
Flamer

She tells you that this variant carries half the armor of the 1S, but is otherwise the same. She feels it is a very good idea to leave this one behind.
HER-1SB
– 30 tons
– Speed: 151.2 km/h
– Jump Jets: none
– Weapons:
4 x Med. Laser
Sm. Laser
Flamer
– XL Engine, double heat sinks, Beagle Active Probe, MASC system

You both agree that this version of the Hermes must also have been for the Royal SLDF. The BAP console had another password, but she was able to reset the whole command system, which cleared it. It is now ready for use, but she has no familiarity with it and cannot advise you on how to employ it in battle.

HBK – 4J
– 50 tons
– Speed: 64.8 km/h
– Jump Jets: none
– Weapons:
2 x LRM – 10s
5 x Med. Laser

1 x Sm. Laser

She mentions that this mech actually carries more energy weapons than some of the same speed/maneuverability being taken (Archer/Crusader/Orion), but it is being abandoned…

ONI – M/V
– 75 tons
– Speed: 64.8 km/h
– Jump Jets: none
– Weapons:
LRM – 20
LBX AutoCannon/10
2 x Med. Lasers

2 x SRM 4

This one calls itself an M, but most of its equipment refutes that – making it a near match for a V. It does, however, carry the LBX AC10 of an M. Between the two of you; a best guess might be a prototype.
SDR – 5V
– 30 tons
– Speed: 129.6 km/h
– Jump Jets: yes
– Weapons:
2 x Med. Lasers
THG – 11Eb
– 80 tons
– Speed: 64.8 km/h
– Jump Jets: none
– Weapons:

2 x ERPPCs
2 x SRM-6

Endo Steel, CASE, Double Heat Sinks

She didn’t notice, but in going over the reports, you notice that this is another of the Royal Unit variants.
TDR – 5SE
– 65 tons
– Speed: 64.8 km/h
– Jump Jets: yes
– Weapons:
Lg. Laser
LRM – 10
3 x Medium Lasers
– 2 extra heat sinks

Her Report:  There might be specialized tools and equipment to use for repairs on some or all of this lostech equipment at the Underground Facility, but you do not have spare components for the lostech electronics if they are damaged, nor the know-how to make special materials such as Endo Steel, or in the Double Heat Sinks. She hopes the tech manuals you have located will provide more clues, but she is not certain she can keep these mechs running as is, if their special equipment takes fire.

CH:L

I mentally inserted the cussing myself, thanks.  🙂  And the Thug confirms a pattern I thought I was spotting.  These aren’t just starleage, they are Royal SLDF.  That hints at a story….  I think CHL needs to hit the library when we get back, or maybe liberate Beasville and use theirs next time we are in town.  Oh…  which city did you say was the first settled?  I tried to search my email, but I would need the name of the city as keyword to find it….

I’m tempted to leave the Orion behind now, except for that AC and the extra seat (it still has that right?)

BT is right about the HB, but even better would be the Archer for extra range.  Could we squeeze an extra person in the cockpit of one of the other heavies?  You mentioned there were support vehicles down here as well?

GM

The location of Oliver’s founding settlement is approximately where you are standing right now. The monument is a few blocks away to cater to tourist patterns rather than historical accuracy.

Yeah~  You could definitely say that there is a story   😉  Of course, in a Time of War, it might never see the light of day.
As for the 9th person – they can be squeezed into any cockpit except the Hermes and Spider. They will not be comfortable and piloting rolls for things like 20+ points of damage and falling will be harder due to the lack of space and flailing limbs. The Orion is the only one with a spare seat and the space for a 2nd person to sit down.

The Hunchback, Thunderbolt, Thug, and Orion have the largest, most ‘open plan’ cockpits. The Archer and Crusader are next, but have interior obstacles like pipes and HUGE ventilation fans spinning slowly and somberly…. I mean…  you know: stuff in the way.  😉

The Griffin and Guillotine round things out with cockpits just large enough to accommodate another person, but who must stand and hang on, leaning over the pilot.

History Question:

I think most people know the basics of Star League history, and Military Students know the command structures and some famous battles. Everyone knows they left. Few remember what mechs could really do in the old days.

CH:L wouldn’t know really specific details, but it is important and useful that most of you guys have a special interest in specialized mechs.

Trideo dramas often include heroes finding caches of Lostech in the nick of time. It almost never happens in the real world – and only once canonically with any significance… almost a decade in the future.

Royal Mystery:

I read your notes on your theories for the SLDF mechs being here. Good stuff! Excellent start~

Note

From this point onward, the separate threads converged through to the end of Act 4. Stay tuned for the climax to this very long and eventful Act – Mounting Up!, and for the start of Act V and its focus on the Battle of Beasville~

Speak your piece~

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