Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Battletech: Fox Hounds 3026 Update:

Our Battletech campaign is still going from strength to strength, now over a year (in real time) after it began. Despite one player moving to Kent (me) but still playing through Skype we've actually added a third team of player characters, the Barracuda's, who I will feature here soon. In the meantime, here's an update on my team's Merc unt; The Foxhounds.

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2 Light (Recon) Lances:

In training on Galatea they completed the Reconnaissance scenario against a Heavy Mech Lance without firing a single shot and losing only a single ton of armor between them. Two members of the lance counted coup of enemy Mechwarriors during the scenario and all four proceeded to leave the training area in style (walking backwards) despite being under fire.
In Training Scenario 3, Domino and Ranger very narrowly escaped the board with the flag despite Ranger's mech taking very heavy damage inflicted by Scarlett's Mech. In scenario 4, the Lance successfully completed the raid scenario, with the loss of two Mechs.

The Fox Hounds have made a name for themselves as one of the premier small unit Recon outfits in the Inner Sphere, having conducted a string of successful guerrilla style hit-and-run raids. Most recently (and notably) during the fighting on Galtor III. This would lead to the DCMS calling in the famous Bounty Hunter to track them down, as well as offering to pay the unit well (and drop any unspecified contracts targeting them) in return for betraying their employer, the Armed Forces of the Federated Sons.

Their most famous exploits include rescuing dozens of AFFS soldiers from a Draconis Combine P.O.W facility and destroying a DCMS Mobile HQ by pushing it off a bridge into deep water (under the nose of Warlord Samsanov himself).

FOX HOUNDS PERSONNEL:

Lishka "Scarlett" Androvanova - A former agri-mech operator turned mercenary from the Draconis Combine. Cunning. Gorgeous. Tactically Minded. Negotiates contracts.
Lishka is a former Agromech pilot from Gunzberg in the Draconis Combine. As both as woman and a farm-hand, she was repeatedly refused entry to Combine Mechwarrior gymnasiums. Determined to become a Mechwarrior, she sold her farm, home, agri-mech and livestock to purchase passage and training at Galatea, the Mercenary Star.
Lishka  is surprisingly well-educated, given her home-schooling, and (even more surprisingly, given her clipped, Raslahague accent) possesses a singing voice trained to many styles and disciplines. She has used her funds to acquire an elegant -if revealing- wardrobe, her one extravagance, the rest of her fortune having been dedicated to the pursuit of her new profession. Deadly serious despite her fondness for clothing other female Mechwarriors would consider "frivolous" she is as cold and calculating in the cockpit of a mech as she is brash and brazen outside it. She is the Fox Hound's electronic warfare specialist.
Currently Pilots:  RVN-1X Hag
Previous Rides:  JVN-10N Lady Jane (operational).
Mech Kills: 2 (1 Heavy, 1 Light)

Gunnery 4 Piloting 4
XP 13 Spent 8

Scarlett completed all of the four designated training missions, participating in a close range city fight simulation in Scenario 1 and completing an efficient reconnaissance in Scenario 2. She narrowly failed to prevent Ranger and Domino escaping with the flag in Scenario 3. She successfully completed the Raid scenario, escaping only Light damage to her Mech. Since then she has taken an active role in planning all the Foxhounds missions. Naturally cautious, she makes good use of terrain and her ECM to minimize damage to her Mech. 
Lishka has repeatedly shown herself to be cunning and tactically minded. A skilled negotiator, she is not above flirting or extortion to ensure a better deal for her unit. Her sneaky mind-set makes her eminently suited to pilot the units Raven ECM Mech. Somewhat bitter about being blocked from entry to DCMS mech-warrior academies, she takes considerable pleasure in twisting the Bushido code of DCMS pilots to her unit's advantage. She inadvertently discovered the presence of a DEST team on Galtor IV when she jumped into a deep-water lake and landed on the hull of their submerged dropship.
(played by Me)

Julia "Domino" Lainark - Formerly of the 3rd Oriente Hussars, a young graduate from the Allison Mechwarrior Institute. Generalist, Marksman, Outrageous luck -mostly bad.
Formerly of the 3rd Oriente Hussars, a young graduate from the Allison Mechwarrior Institute.  After being hounded out of her unit by a senior officer, Domino elected to follow in her fathers footsteps by becoming a mercenary. Her brother, with whom she has an unpleasant relationship at best, continues to serve in the Mark military as an Aerospace Pilot. She is the best marksman in the Fox Hounds.
Current Mech: Panther PNT 9-R
Previous Rides: ASN-21 Assassin 'Diamondback' (operational),  Vindicator, destroyed during Operation Seigfried
Mech Kills: 5

Gunnery 3 Piloting 6
XP 13 Spent 8

Domino performed well in each of the four designated training missions, participating in a close range city fight simulation in Scenario 1 and completing an efficient reconnaissance in Scenario 2. Helped Ranger capture the Flag in Scenario 3. Escaped with only light damage following a successful raid in Scenario 4.
 
Since the unit went active, she has racked up a number of Mech kills and demonstrated a bad run of luck culminating in having the cockpit of her new Vindicator Mech shot to pieces around her in it's very first engagement (nearly killing her in the process). Domino's marksmanship skills make her the first choice pilot for any new high damage-output Mech added to the 'Hounds arsenal.
(played by Kenneth)

Zak "Ranger" Fox - A crippled veteran mechwarrior from the Federated Suns, recovered from injuries via cybernetics and facial reconstruction. Brawler. Close in Fighter. Pulls off some crazy stunts.
Zachary Fox served for over two decades in the House Davion Military before being badly wounded in a training exercise where a captured Zeus was erroneously loaded with live autocannon rounds. Having had more than half of his body replaced with bionics, Fox was medically discharged due to his wounds. Unwilling to give up the only life he has ever known, he has traveled to Galatea to find work in a new Mercenary Unit and to train his new body in the skills required of a Mechwarrior.
He is a senior member of the Fox Hounds merc unit and is their close-in brawling specialist.
Current Mech: Clint CLNT-2-3T.
Previous Mechs:  Commando (sold),  Grasshopper (destroyed during Operation Seigfried)
Mech Kills: 3

Gunnery 4 Piloting 3
XP 13 Spent 8

Ranger has completed all of the four designated training missions, participating in a close range city fight simulation in Scenario 1 and completing an efficient reconnaissance in Scenario 2. His demi-lance captured the flag in Scenario 3 and his full lance destroyed the enemy base in Training Scenario 4. 

His early missions (piloting a Commando) were characterized by getting off a single alpha strike before being mauled by enemy fire and spending the rest of the engagement in escape and evasion mode. He had a Grasshopper shot from under him during a recent POW rescue mission on Galtor III. His crowning moment of glory came on Gator III where, when piloting a Clint, he pushed a DCMS Mobile HQ off a bridge and into deep water, thereby destroying it.
(played by Craig)

Foa "Vick" Gurdel - A nordic mechwarrior with a mysterious past. Analytical. Cautious, Missile Specialist.

Foa has revealed little of his past, save that he comes from a periphery world. Given his Viking-like styles of dress, speech and mannerisms, certain of his colleagues believe he originally belonged to a band of Periphery Pirates. Foa, characteristically, is silent on the matter. He is a senior member of the Fox Hounds merc-unit and their missile systems specialist.
While piloting an Awesome in the defence of Fire Base Alpha, Foa accounted for two DCMS Mech kills.
Current Mech:   VLK-QA Valkyrie 'Morrigan'
Previous Rides: none
Mech Kills: 3

Gunnery 4 Piloting 5
XP 13 Spent 4

Vick completed all four designated training missions, participating in a close range city fight simulation in Scenario 1 and completing an efficient reconnaissance in Scenario 2. In Scenario 3 he narrowly failed to prevent Domino and Ranger from capturing the Flag. In Scenario 4, he destroyed a number of enemy buildings, defence turrets and infantry, but was his Commando was destroyed just 30m from safety.
Vik has repeatedly proven himself a cool and steady customer, often serving to reign in some of Lishka's most overly audacious plans.Never one to seize the limelight, he continues to pilot the same Mech he was awarded at the beginning of his career. His steady hand at the controls and expert placement of missiles has been the fulcrum in many engagements. Definitely knows more than he lets on.
(Played by George)

Vera bin Bahiyy al Din "Saracen" 
Religious. Duelist. Quotes literature..
Gunnery: 5, Piloting: 6

Current Mech: Javelin JVN-10N Mamba

Previous Mechs: Javelin JVN-10N Lady Jane (operational)

Mech Kills: 1 (light)

XP 2 Spent 0
(NPC)

Kyle Jamieson "Jackhammer"

Current Mech: ASN-21 Assassin 'Diamondback'
Previous Mechs:
Mech Kills: (Jenner)

Gunnery: 5, Piloting: 6
XP 2 Spent 0

Lewis MacKinlay "Top Ten"

Current Mech: Firestarter FS9-H 'Zoolander'
Previous Mechs:
Mech Kills:

Gunnery: 5, Piloting: 6
XP 1 Spent 0

Leroy Brodie "Boxer"
Gunnery: 4, Piloting: 5

Current Mech: Javelin JVN-10 "Lady Jane"
Previous Mechs:
Mech Kills:

XP 3 Spent 0

Assets:

Placeholder until I photograph some Fox Hound Mechs
Warchest: 0 WP
Stored Salvage: 1 Ton SRM2 Ammo, 1 x Medium Laser, 3 x tons SRM6 ammo, 3 x tons SRM 4 Ammo, 2 x tons LRM 10 Ammo, 1 x ton LRM 5 ammo, 2 x tons Machine Gun Ammo, 1 x Large Laser, 2 x Machine Guns.
Current mechs: Clint CLNT-2-3T, VLK-QA Valkyrie 'Morrigan', JVN-10N Javelin 'Lady Jane', JVN-10N Javelin 'Mamba', ASN-21 Assassin 'Diamondback', Raven RVN-1X 'Hag', Panther PNT 9-R, Firestarter FS9-H 'Zoolander'
Current Vehicles: 4 x APC's, Thumper Mobile Artillery
Support: 4 techs, 3 2/3 platoons of rifle infantry.
Reputation:
Federated Suns: 16
Tortuga Dominion: -5
Draconis Combine: -7

Contracts Completed:

Contract Registry: FS-OC-08-08 ESCORT - Drop Fees 50WP - Mission Successful - 120 WP
Hired by planetary government of Great Gorge to escort convoys threatened by Pirate elements from the Dominion of Totuga. Destroyed several pirate Mechs during foiled ambush and gathered intel leading to arrest of rogue militia elements collaborating with Pirates.
Expenses - Repairs 45WP, Reload 5 WP

Contract Registry: FS-OC-03-09 GARRISON - Drop Fees 75 - Mission successful - 165 WP 1 x Destroyed Clint CLNT-2-3T
Hired by planetary government of to defend court house during trial of three Pirate mech-warriors captured in previous contract. At recommendation of Fox Hounds the trial was held in a remote rural courthouse. Several Pirate 'mechs were crippled or destroyed including a CLINT-2-3T awarded to the Fox Hounds as salvage.
Expenses - Repairs 75 WP

Contract Registry: FS-OC-11-08 RECON - Drop Fees 50 - Mission successful - 100 WP
Drop onto the world of Galtor III to perform Recon. During the mission, Scarlett discovered a DEST Leopard class Dropship by jumping into a lake where radiologicals were detected. During subsequent ambush by DEST Commandos her Assassin was badly damaged. She was rescued when Vik (Ranger?) ripped the head and cock-pit from her Mech. After driving off the DEST commando's, the Fox Hounds were remanded into custody by Federated Commonwealth intelligence for "debriefing".
No repair costs or purchases due to incarceration.
INNER SPHERE NEWS FLASH OCTOBER 6TH 3025
+++++++++TENSIONS RISE+++++++++
Eduardo Garcia, reporting from Galtor III
The Draconis Combine has flatly denied claims of covert activity on the planet of Galtor III, in response to an accusation by First Prince Hanse Davion.  FSI claims a covert strike force of DEST agents was looting a site of fissile material, in flagrant disregard of the Ares Conventions. An agricultural planet in the Draconis March, Galtor has recently been the object of many rumours concerning an undiscovered cache of Star League Technology, purportedly a cache of military supplies hidden by Kerensky during the Amaris coup. A spokesman for the Combine was quoted as saying "The Fox grows senile and toothless in his advancing years, barking uselessly at his betters. He knows better than to accuse the unimpeachable and honorable Dragon of base treachery. All praise to the co-ordinator, all praise to the House of Kurita!"

LEAKED HOLOVID INTERVIEW WITH FOX HOUNDS MERCENARY JULIA "DOMINO" LAINARK, 25th October 3025.

A grainy camera image tracks toward a woman in a mech-warrior coolant vest and smartly pressed uniform. She is watching a tech unload a devastated Assassin battlemech onto a transport skiff. The mech is a wreck and spattered with mud and weeds and she seems none too happy about it.


“Alright, so the mission began no-problem. We spread out and start covering ground with our sensors, moving up cautiously and leaving nothing unseen. A few of the buildings have low power - Vike spots squatters in one building, and on one of the sea structures, Ranger takes out an old comms dish to be on the safe side.

“Things did not stay OK for long. As we moved, our own comms got jammed. This really should have alerted us, we’re here for looters and are they going to have that sorta tech? We pressed on, anyway.

“Right after this, we get in range of a building that feeds into one of the underwater structures, and Vike trades fire with our first tango – a tank that packs a metric fuckload of missiles.”

She sighs.



“So Vike is hit, but before we can do anything about we get heat from the water – four enemy mechs lurking in wait for us. At this point, we’ve got it figured – ‘Looks like we found our pirates, har har’ – if only!

“Scarlett finds a huge reading of metal from her sector, something real big down in the water. No power, no heat, so we leave it for now. Pirate drop ship? Half right.

“So by now we’re fighting – I get the tank down to limping-speed, but take way too many missiles for it. A Jenner comes out the water so we start swapping fire with it. The old oil containers still have something in them, so we keep clear in case any stray rounds set the whole place on fire – turned out this was the least of our worries.

“Ranger engages with a Panther in the water, and is fighting the Jenner too after not long – Vike is still on fire support, Scarlett is scanning the few buildings left, and I’ve been forced to leap the huge central structure straight into scuba duty to save myself.

“Now, this huge building was not brought up by intel. When I saw it, I thought ‘Hey, Domino, isn’t that a missile silo? Naaah, Intel would have mentioned it.’ I don’t think I’m going to ever stop second-guessing Intel from now on!

“This place has had its side blasted open – not unlike some other places, we expected that – and there are huge furrows in the sea bed from something. There’s a Whitworth coming at me, so I move for the shore. Not my best idea.

“At this point, Vike is moving up to cover the last of the mission area, Ranger is and drawing all kinds of fire from mechs, and Scarlett decides to check out that metal signature. Damn is that girl lucky! Jumps right into the water, and lands on the top of a Dropship – surrounded by mines! A couple of metres out and she would’ve been wrecked.

“Best to come is for yours truly though, as in this murky water I can’t get anywhere. My mech is on its ass more than once, with this Whitworth closing, and he finally puts Diamondback down. The battle keeps going elsewhere, but down in the water, with my engine off, all I can hear is my Geiger counter. Silo? Check. Radiation? Check. Nukes? Stolen.”

She sighs again.

“There’s something special to finish though. That drop ship took off, and its colours were nice and clear. Draconis Combine. We’ve been fighting commandos this whole time! We stumbled into something way bigger than us here, and we got out as quick as. With me trapped beneath the water, Scarlett had to pull my Assassin’s head off to get me out.

“We got away, and I think we learned from this. Mostly I learned that I want shoot Kurita mechs in the face. A lot.”

The camera pans back toward the battered battlemech, a hole shot clean through the centre of mass. The microphone picks up Domino sighing a third time.


+++++End of Excerpt+++++ 


Defense Of Fire Base Avalon, New Wu Han city - Mission Successful - 365WP in bounty.
While being "debriefed" by AFFS at Fire Base Avalon on Galtor III, the base comes under attack. DEST commandos destroy the Mech warrior barracks leaving the base defenseless. Lishka and the Fox Hounds quickly negotiate a brutal new contract (including repair of all damage incurred to their own Mechs last mission and a bonus for confirmed kills) with the AFFS. Piloting the four Assault Mechs of the Garrison, they fight their way to friendly AFFS lines on the other side of the planet. Success is (in part) due to using DCMS honour against them by engaging in a number of lop-sided duels. 6 DCMS Mechs are destroyed. 2 additional Mechs are crippled and driven from the field for no loss.
Expenses - Dropship port fees at Changlee for Dropship 'Lucky Seven' - 100WP
Total repair costs: repairs supplied by FSAF
Sold - Commando - +90WP
Purchased - Vindicator (glitchy medium laser, +2 heat), Raven, Grasshopper 270WP

Enemies Below - Submarine Defense - 200 WP in bounty

Still piloting the AFFS Assault Mechs, the Fox Hounds defend an aquatic AFFS C&C base hidden beneath the waves. Attacking forces include the Steel Legion and elements of the Second Sword of Light. Heavily outgunned, the Hounds lose two Mechs. The base and a defending AFFS submarine are both destroyed. The Fox Hounds themselves destroy the base when it is boarded by DEST commando's in a fast-attack sub. Total DCMS and Steel Legion losses: three submarines, four DEST teams and one Mech. During the battle, Vik's cockpit was breached by a shot from Stryker of the Steel Legion. Only his considerable physical endurance and quick thinking saved his life. Additionally, during the course of the battle, Mechwarrior Fawlkes of the Steel Legion was captured and ransomed (along with his Mech) after his Mech was crippled in the battle.
Total repair costs: repairs supplied by FSAF
Expenses - Dropship port fees at Changlee for Dropship 'Lucky Seven' - 100WP, Purchased salvaged Combine Firestarter from AFFS. Recruited four additional Mechwarriors.

INNER SPHERE NEWS FLASH OCTOBER 8TH 3025

+++++++++BREAKING NEWS+++++++++
Eduardo Garcia, reporting from the front line on Galtor III
Contrary to their prior claims of disinterest, the Draconis Combine has invaded the world of Galtor III. Elements of the Benjamin Regulars, the Galedon Regulars, the Amphigean Light Assault group and the 7th Sword Of Light led the attack, under overall command of Warlord Grieg Samsonov. Beachheads were established outside New Wuhan City and New Derry, the latter falling under the control of Draconis Combine forces.

In the South, the city of Changlee is besieged and is currently held by a beleaguered garrison comprised of the 33rd Avalon Hussars, the 4th Crucis Lancers and a smattering of mercenary elements. A massive detonation of an FSAF command facility offshore of Changlee was detected shortly after the opening salvos of the assault. Initial reports have indicated that the base was destroyed after falling to an assault of DEST commandos. Further reports indicate that General Timothy Oldham was killed in the detonation and the Neptune class submarine Ward was lost to enemy fire.

FSAF Command has since passed to Leftenant General Wilson Mandella but latest reports indicate that a his Mobile HQ was vaporized by heavy fire from the 1st Galedon Regulars Assault Lance.

Further reports are sporadic, with many communications links going offline. Comstar issued a statement to the effect that their facilities had been subject to collateral damage from "Samsonov's ham-fisted and crude assault" and has warned that sanctions and reparations will almost certainly be expected from the Combine or they will issue a HPG interdiction on the planet.

Operation Siegfried: 4 Mission Mini-Campaign, Galtor III

Operation Siegfried - Mission 1, Liberation of POW camp 'Avenging Flame' from the Draconis Combine - Mission Successful
AFFS offer the FoxHounds a new contract operating behind the lines on Galtor III. Given four missions, the Hounds elect to undertake them in the following order. First of all, they launch a successful attack on a DCMS POW camp. A bluff by Lishka (operating a "crippled" DCMS Firestater captured from the DCMS by the AFFS and purchased from the FedSuns) draws several defenders away from the camp. Alas, a covert infiltration by the rest of the hounds goes wrong when Ranger (piloting the Grasshopper) triggers some vibromines. During the intense firefight the Grasshopper is mown down and Domino's Vindicator is destroyed by a lucky head shot. However, the prisoners are liberated and only one DCMS Mech escapes the field. Lishka tricks one FAV crew out of their vehicle where she kills them and captures the FAV intact. 
This battle proves to be an important event in terms of Fox Hounds operational doctine -they decide to stick to fast Mechs in future. In three engagements where they have piloted non-fast Mechs they have lost a total of four such Mechs. Yet in many, many engagements where they only piloed fast Mechs they have lost none.
Salvage updated - Lost Vindicator and Grasshopper to enemy fire. Acquire four platoons of infantry, four IFV's, multiple Mech parts and four AFFS Techs from POW camp and 1 FAV.

Operation Siegfried - Mission 2, Capture of 17th Benjamin Regulars Thumper Mobile Artillery, Intel purchased - Mission Successful
Lishka successfully predicts the likely location of the Thumper unit. Under the ECM protection of her Raven, they successfully sneak into point blank range of the defenders. New pilot Saracen proves his worth, downing a Javelin in a duel while piloting the Foxhounds own Javelin. Domino also scores a kill. A volunteer platoon of liberated AFFS POWs captures the Thumper. The Fox Hounds extract with a newly acquired Thumper for the loss of a handful of infantrymen and one FAV.
Salvage updated One FAV is lost along with 1/3 of an infantry platoon. A Thumper mobile artillery unit is captured. Captured a Panther PNT 9-R and a JVN-10 newly christened "Mamba."

Operation Siegfried - Mission 3, Eliminate 17th Benjamin Regulars Mobile HQ - Mission Successful
Salvage updated
Taking only the four PC Mechs and leaving the rest behind for repairs and defence of their base, the FoxHounds approach the Mobile HQ convoy under ECM cover. As the HQ crosses onto a motorway bridge, the FoxHounds artillery  and missile Mechs sever the connections, stranding the HQ on a bridge where Stryker (in his Clint) is able to rise up out of the water and push it off the bridge and into the river, destroying it. DCMS humiliation is complete when the Fox Hounds escape from the five defending heavy and assault Mechs (including DCMS Warlord Samsanov in his Atlas) with barely any damage to their Mechs.

Current total: 0 WP

INNER SPHERE NEWS FLASH OCTOBER 25TH 3025
+++++++++BREAKING NEWS+++++++++
Prince's Champion Ardan Sortek, on New Avalon.

The Federated Suns troops were in high spirits today after the retaking of city of New Derry on Galtor III. The 33rd Avalon Hussars, still smarting from the loss of their CO, Lieutenant-General Mandela, drove back the Benjamin Regulars. The DCMS troops fell back in disarray after major disruption to their communication and supply lines, regrouping at New Wuhan City.

In a press conference on New Avalon earlier today, the newly appointed Prince's Champion, Colonel Ardan Sortek had this to say:

"This brutal assault on our worlds by Kuritan thugs will not go unpunished. The peoples of the Federated Commonwealth have seen the triumph of justice and courage today. Our thoughts and thanks go out to the men and women fighting for us behind the invader's own lines, for their bravery and ingenuity has allowed us to strike back against the Dragon this day."

Kuritan spokesmen were unavailable for comment on this latest development.

+++++++++THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME+++++++++
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The Bounty Hunter

An unusual mech has been sighted several times behind Draconis lines. A distinctive looking Marauder, painted bright green, has been seen patrolling sites where the DCMS forces have been struck by commando raids. Several ransomed mechwarriors have reported that a mechwarrior wearing colours matching the camo of the mech has been present during DCMS interrogations, speaking very little and only to ask about the whereabouts of a mercenary unit known as the 'Fox Hounds'. The whereabouts of the 'Fox Hounds' is unclear, but it seems the DCMS have decided that the group are enough of a problem that they merit a contract for the infamous Bounty Hunter.

New Contract Available:


Contract Registry: DC-GL-25-10
Unit Assigned: n/a
Working for the: Galedon Regulars
In the: Federated Suns
To complete the following: Reconnaissance
System: Galtor III
Forces Recommended: 1 Lance
Contract Duration: 1 Months (15 Days in REAL TIME)
Employer Contact: Chu-i Jerry Akuma
Jump/Drop Fees: 50 WP
Pay Rate: 100 WP
Support: None
Salvage Rights: None
Command: Independent


You are required to travel to the Galedon Regulars garrison outside Changlee on Galtor III to provide intel on FSAF troop dispositions, battlemech strengths, artillery and aerospace support. A commensurate bonus of up to 200 WP will be provided for any FSAF prisoners handed in to the DCMS stockade. Transport will then be provided to Galatea.

Note, completion of this contract may result in the termination of employment of other unspecified mercenary contractors in the service of the DCMS.

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