Author Topic: Mercs & Operation Bulldog- salvage options?  (Read 589 times)

Colt Ward

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Mercs & Operation Bulldog- salvage options?
« on: 12 September 2017, 20:56:41 »
So the Inner Sphere all got together to throw a party and all sorts of people showed up.  Blake never got the word though, so they had to sneak in.

They launched a belated counterattack against the Smoke Jaguar OZ in '59 which involved troops from every House, the Periphery, a Clan and ComStar.  Mercenaries also showed up under various flags as part of the contributions of the Inner Sphere or Periphery.  But what sort of terms did they get since they were seconded to the Second Star League- talking run of the mill mercs, not the Hounds, Dragoons, or Highlanders?

What sort of contract would they have gotten as part of Operation Bird Dog where they had lived off what they could take from the Jaguars?

I ask because http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=58707.0 where I am trying to put together the MechCommander Port Arthur campaign as a small start up merc campaign if you do not want to play as House forces.  In the game, if you salvage it you keep it . . . but I am not sure the salvage clause in a Bird Dog contract would even come close to allowing that sort of action.  Plus I do not want the players tooling around in more Warhawks than the garrison command trinary has available.
Colt Ward

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pensiveswetness

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Re: Mercs & Operation Bulldog- salvage options?
« Reply #1 on: 12 September 2017, 22:14:54 »
you could put LOTS of fuel tanks into the mix (there are rules for that)... Maybe the DC's could have elements on hand (Tombo's maiden use was Bulldog plus you also have Savior MFB Salvage units available)...

Colt Ward

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Re: Mercs & Operation Bulldog- salvage options?
« Reply #2 on: 12 September 2017, 22:40:27 »
Yes . . . but what I am asking is what sort of salvage terms would the Houses/Star League offer to run of the line mercs put in to Bulldog/Bird Dog.

Pretty sure they will not get to keep everything but what would be the terms for Bulldog?  What would be the terms for Bird Dog, especially since they would be trying to survive behind enemy lines?

I do not imagine a merc commander would appreciate covering a DZ while dropship bearing the Star League invasion force is arriving, and after months of combat with nerve wracking games of cat & mouse with Jaguar garrison troops to be told by some liason to hand over his mechs.  The sponsor or Star League were claiming what they had managed to salvage, but thanks for scooping up that Omni-mech from the battlefield and keeping it functional- here is a vintage Orion 1K in exchange for your efforts.

The Tonbo fluff DOES raise the issue of mercs leaving the Combine at the conclusion of Bulldog being harassed by customs officials or local garrison commanders trying to 'confiscate' what they salvaged.  It always struck me a bit underhanded considering that was the payoff for other Houses to send their troops to liberate Drac worlds . . . but very much in line with political machinations, especially by underlings or perhaps even Black Dragon manipulation.
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glitterboy2098

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Re: Mercs & Operation Bulldog- salvage options?
« Reply #3 on: 12 September 2017, 22:52:05 »
one way you could do it is to use a point type type system.. any mech salavaged gives a certain amount, as would any stocks of supplies captured. then during post-mission phases of the campaign, the player can spend these points to purchase (and then repair) the salvaged mechs, or to buy new ones on offer. salvaged mechs that aren't purchased are not available later, having been claimed by your employers.

IIRC post-game salvage in the game had to be paid for out of your mission rewards/total funds, so you couldn't just grab every mech salvageable. so the above system (should be easily adaptable to battlechest or whatever force upkeep system you are using) would fit fairly closely.

(and at least you aren't having to worry about the mechcommander 2 version, where you can salvage mid mission and get the mech right away. was always fun to do in the game, but would be a pain to model on tabletop)
« Last Edit: 12 September 2017, 23:07:03 by glitterboy2098 »

GermanSumo

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Re: Mercs & Operation Bulldog- salvage options?
« Reply #4 on: 13 September 2017, 04:50:09 »
One of the older RPG-Merc books clearly stated the contracts available to units offered by the various houses during the clan invasion. i know, this is a bit later but i would use those as guidelines, colt. off my head i remember that the dracs offered huge amounts of payments, transportation (yes, the average merc unit gotta pay for that, too. who has jumpships just for his own unit, after all), generous supply terms and other goodies. but NEVER allowed mercs to keep clan salvage.
i personally would offer them to keep star league tech-salvage, which IS common among second line units with the clans. and - provided that many clan tech parts/mechs were salvageable - offer them drac-produced mechs as payment. upgraded chargers, dragons, panthers ... oh and they got a huge stockpiles of those lbx10-toting 45 tonners, right?

the details are up to you and your players and all this is off the top of my head... but i remember clearly that drac contracts NEVER allowed their mercs to salvage clan-grade equipment.

GermanSumo

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Re: Mercs & Operation Bulldog- salvage options?
« Reply #5 on: 13 September 2017, 05:00:34 »
luthien was THE one exception. with the two coordinators in chief allowing the dragoons and hounds first salvage due to... reasons the combine is reluctant to admit :D :D (besides... your group will likely deal with some liason officer from the dracs forces, not teddy himself)
and should you bring up the thorns... we dont talk about the thorns here, right? :D

AlphaMirage

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Re: Mercs & Operation Bulldog- salvage options?
« Reply #6 on: 13 September 2017, 11:45:01 »
I would think most of it would be exchange for c-bills or production mechs and keeping SL level tech.  Despite my love for mix tech a relatively small merc command can barely keep their regular tech gear running for want of techs, you can play with clan tech till the contracts done but I'll take reliability over flash.

2ndAcr

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Re: Mercs & Operation Bulldog- salvage options?
« Reply #7 on: 13 September 2017, 18:22:29 »
 Personally, I could see any NON Combine hired Mercs maybe getting a 10-15% salvage deal. But to get that they would have to take a BIG hit somewhere else. Like the cash payout would be way smaller.

 I don't think I would allow anything more than a 20% salvage level during Bulldog. That would limit them to some salvaged equipment but rarely full on Clan mechs. Or maybe a tiered salvage, 60% SL tech but only 10% Clan tech.

Colt Ward

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Re: Mercs & Operation Bulldog- salvage options?
« Reply #8 on: 13 September 2017, 19:05:51 »
one way you could do it is to use a point type type system.. any mech salavaged gives a certain amount, as would any stocks of supplies captured. then during post-mission phases of the campaign, the player can spend these points to purchase (and then repair) the salvaged mechs, or to buy new ones on offer. salvaged mechs that aren't purchased are not available later, having been claimed by your employers.

IIRC post-game salvage in the game had to be paid for out of your mission rewards/total funds, so you couldn't just grab every mech salvageable. so the above system (should be easily adaptable to battlechest or whatever force upkeep system you are using) would fit fairly closely.

(and at least you aren't having to worry about the mechcommander 2 version, where you can salvage mid mission and get the mech right away. was always fun to do in the game, but would be a pain to model on tabletop)

No, that was MC2 that you paid out of the pool . . . MechCommander & Gold you were a House soldier so what you salvage you got to keep though after the campaign was concluded the quartermaster said thanks and shuffled it all off.  Your RP rewards (Cbill stand in) were used to repair damaged units, buy replacement equipment or even new mechs . . . though how you got them when you ran the blockade to land on the planet I am now sure.

A few of the missions you end up being 'given' mechs . . . each operation seems to have a mech & mechwarrior being found and escorted out- 1st one is the Raven, 2nd one is a Hunchback IIC with a DEST pilot, and the 3rd you escort a APC to a Warhawk that was being repaired behind the lines so the pilot can go take out the Orbital Guns in the area.  Have to see what happens for 4th but I think you rescue someone in their Atlas . . . each of those mechs becomes part of your command though the HBK IIC could be written off as Drac property since Dracs stole it though its owner falls under your tactical command.  But that Warhawk . . .

Based on some of the answers here it seems some folks have not played MechCommander, which is surprising since its a good game to reflect the TT. 
Colt Ward

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glitterboy2098

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Re: Mercs & Operation Bulldog- salvage options?
« Reply #9 on: 13 September 2017, 20:02:33 »
been awhile since i played the original one.

still, adopting the MC2 style "use your upkeep points to buy the salvage you want" would be a way to bypass the issue. for a BT or alpha strike campaign. you'd basically be giving up part of your (future?) pay to put a claim in for salvage that normally would go to your employer. something of a company store ploy on the part of the employer, actually, since not only does it mean you don't have to pay them as much in the end of the contract (basically getting 'paid in kind') but odds are good the mercs would have saddled themselves with expensive IS or clan hardware that'll require closer ties to your quartermaster corps to keep working properly.
« Last Edit: 13 September 2017, 20:26:22 by glitterboy2098 »

Colt Ward

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Re: Mercs & Operation Bulldog- salvage options?
« Reply #10 on: 13 September 2017, 22:13:17 »
Yeah, I am just one of those AccountanTech types when it comes to campaigns and mercs in particular b/c part of the fun for me is making do and working creative ways to get around material shortages.  But if you are starting off a merc group as a lance of light mechs and fight your way through several months of battles while ending up with a company of heavies . . . then something has to bend.

I mean right now I am sitting there looking at that Kit Fox Prime (no CT armor and a leg missing), the Stinger 3Gb (also missing a leg) and my big gun, the Wolfhound, which is missing a leg, no head armor, and life support & both sensors crit . . . and trying to figure out how a player would go into a post-battle recovery phase to move on to the next mission.  None of them share the same type armor, internal structure or myomers (20t, 30t & 35t).  But this is a single lance with light mechs- they would not have the pockets deep enough to carry enough spares for a extended campaign though a employer could offer that support.  So 'buying' the supplies as you go from the House/SL's on planet command might be the way to go using RPs generated through achieving the objectives might keep it simple for a start up . . . and then they have a cache when moving on.

Question then becomes, to reflect the situation and actual game mechanics- keep in mind they will need heavy & assault salvage later on to complete some missions- would it be shared or exchange and what percentage?  I almost think to reflect the mechanics it has to be shared with a high percentage so they can build a company that can complete later missions.  Part of that would be to encourage the PCs to take risks on a behind the lines strike . . . though it can also mean they go into deep debt trying to keep their toys.
Colt Ward

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Colt Ward

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Re: Mercs & Operation Bulldog- salvage options?
« Reply #11 on: 15 September 2017, 16:18:10 »
Okay . . . to reflect the game, Shared salvage @ 50%, captured supplies/weapons @ 25% (avoids a lot of decimal work) . . . and by doing that the mercs had the points to claim the Kit Fox and repair their damages but not the 2nd mech.
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idea weenie

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Re: Mercs & Operation Bulldog- salvage options?
« Reply #12 on: 15 September 2017, 19:50:15 »
I wonder how many of those Mercs were hired by Blake and given nice salvage contracts, something like:

"For every Clan weapon you salvage and turn over to us, we'll give you two Inner Sphere Star League Tech level weapons of the same type"  (So turning over a Clan ERPPC gets you two Star League ERPPCs, a Clan DHS gets you two SL-DHS, aso.)

WoB took over Terra in 3058, so they could have had a few of the factories running to produce Star League weaponry/equipment by the time of Operation Bird Dog (May 13, 3059).

Of course, the other stuff to grab would have been Clantech factories producing the stuff, using the money stolen from the Free World's League to pay the mercenaries.

BrokenMnemonic

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Re: Mercs & Operation Bulldog- salvage options?
« Reply #13 on: 20 September 2017, 10:33:38 »
I don't think BIRD DOG used any mercenary forces - all the regiments I can find listed on Sarna that participated were House units. BULLDOG involved at least a number of mercenary commands though - the Crater Cobras, Kell Hounds, and two regiments from the Northwind Highlanders, I think. With the exception of the Kell Hounds, none of those units really feature in Field Manual: Mercenaries (3059) or Field Manual: Mercenaries (Revised), and the Kell Hounds have a pretty minimal level of Clan tech in the rules for them in FMM(R) - they can swap out two weapons per lance for Clantech stuff.

It sounds like the question is moot for BIRD DOG as that only involved 9 ad hoc companies of troops; if you're having mercenaries involved in BIRD DOG, then they're in some pretty rarified company, and could probably get away with pretty generous terms, but wouldn't have the pilots on the ground to take much stuff away. Given that Clantech stuff seems to have been a pretty minor thing in mercenary units pre-Jihad, I'd suggest that the Great Houses arranged to keep as much of the Clan salvage as they could from BULLDOG, but that depending on the House involved, the terms for getting it would be of varying levels of generosity - and given the traditional saw about how difficult Clantech is for mercenary units to maintain in the first place, most were probably pretty comfortable selling on anything more complex than simple weapon systems.

It's more interesting than optimal, and therefore better. O0 - Weirdo