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Author Topic: The Iron Harpies merc company and their wonderful adventures!  (Read 1841 times)


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So, every Sunday for the past month I've run a Battletech mercs campaign at one of my local Game Stores. It's a weird mix of GURPS for the guys on foot and the Battletech TT rules for when they're in mechs but its fun.

I've been posting the various missions I've had on another forum but I finally got around to posting it here.  :thumbsup:

Episode 1

So I had a very successful Episode 1 of my battletech campaign. Our initial start was two hours of character polishing, deciding on where everyone came from.

We are, ironically, a seemingly Lyran/Marik mixed Merc Company. At least the pilots are. And now I run into a problem.

So you see my game is a drop-in, drop-out to encourage anyone who's interested to come and play. I had four players ready to go and now a fifth has joined us.

The problem is that the company Dropship is a Leopard as its the most common. I'm wondering how to fix this.

The Lance (As it stands) is comprised of:

One HGN-733 Highlander (the downgraded succession wars model, as fitting a very pompous Lyran noble who was the 2nd Son and thus didn't get the title but wanted to adventure)

One 'mostly' AWS-8Q Awesome (I say mostly as the character bought it from a 'discount' store for a steal...not realizing the heating system was radically altered. To get the Awesome, he took the 'Quirk' disadvantage at character creation. I then informed him when he Alpha Striked a poor tank that his heatsink system suddenly wasn't working right, and he built up heat as if he had fired a fourth PPC. After the battle the techs took a look and said to rewire it he'll have to have the mech stripped down and the heating sytems fixed. He liked the quirk as it was quite fitting for a hastily rebuilt mech.)

One GHR-5H Grasshopper (pilot really likes the mech, but hates the name. Wanted it to 'bully lighter mechs'. Another Lyran noble who is searching for adventure)

One PXH-1 Phoenix Hawk (our new drop in, who wanted speed and anti-infantry weapons)

Our fifth player had to miss episode 0 (I fluffed he had a head injury and couldn't pilot). We're not sure exactly what he's bringing to the party. But I think he's going to stick with a Medium or Heavy, I'm just not sure which. And I'm trying to figure out how to fit them all aboard...

I wanted a quick, get used to the rules mission, so it was a sweep for pirates in a big forest and hilly area. And it was a BIG forest, lots of light woods. They only got to fight a squad of infantry and a single Rommel Tank, which scared them until the Awesome Alpha Striked (finding out about his heating problems) and knocked the tank out with lucky rolls.

Episode 2

So we had session 2!

Still missing our number #5 pilot, the lance was sent out to find out why this nice little tourist town in the mountains was silent.

The reason they found out was that everyone, aside from one child in an airtight room in the local hospital, was dead. The volcanic lake had 'exploded', flooding the city with C02, and suffocating the other 15000 residents. But the group managed to find the evidence that a landslide had been induced into the lake, which set off the explosion. Suitably horrified by this, the lance was then tasked in thorough pirate hunting to flush out the group.

They had heard rumors of things being moved through a northern area, which turned out to be a forested area thick with old logging roads. Eager to close with the Pirates, the Lance set off and found an ambush waiting for them. Their first contact was with dug in infantry next to the road, which the Phoenix Hawk set to mowing down with his machineguns, while the two Assault Mechs waded through the woods directly. The Grasshopper was bouncing to support the PH when two light Scorpion Tanks came roaring around a pair of roads and started peppering the PH with AC-5 rounds. The Grasshopper then switched to the tanks and they backed off, especially when the Awesome crashed through the woods to directly face them. Chasing the tanks (leaving the PH to deal with the infantry), the Scorpions led the mechs to the first major danger. Set on the tallest hill on the map, the Pirate's Schrek PPC Carrier (one of their secret weapons), opened fire. Luckily, it kept missing over and over due to RNG, until it pegged the Awesome in the head, forcing the pilot to use his Hero Point.

So, Hero Points in this game are a 'break the game' chip you can toss in to save yourself by disregarding a hit, thus saving your life. It can also be used to reroll all your attacks in a single round.

With the Scorpions dying to the Highlander and the Grasshopper, the group closed in a pincer move on the Schrek, at which pilot the leader of this Ambush appeared in his customized Rommel Tank. Instead of the usual AC-20, this monster had monkey'd together a Rommel Howitzer sorta, with a smaller engine allowing him to fit a Long Tom Artillery Cannon into the turret. This scared the lance quite a bit, so three of the lance focused on the Rommel while the Grasshopper focused on the Schrek.

The Awesome and Highlander started trading fire with the Rommel while the Grasshopper dared the Schrek to try and hit it as it bounced from woods to woods.

Then the PH landed behind the Rommel to alpha strike, using his Hero Point to reroll all his attacks, and doing some damage to the Rommel. At which point, his back showing to the Schrek and he was close enough for short range on all three PPCs, the Schrek fired. :eek: It missed with the first two shots. The third however nailed the PH in the back of the head. It was at this exact point we learned the regular PH has rather less than full head armor. So our PH pilot died as his mech was decapitated by the Schrek. :headdesk:

At this, the Highlander kinda lost his temper and since he was within 90 meters, he decided to curbstomp on the Rommel, Highlander style. He didn't miss. He basically crushed the hood of the tank, killing the driver and at the same time throwing it off the level 1 hill it had been on. Then the Grasshopper landed beside the Schrek, but on a level 1 area beside its level 2 parking spot. And it shot the living hell out the Schrek with its chest weapons and then it punched the side of the tank and killed the engine by poking it. The Awesome then nailed and killed the commander of the Rommel with repeated PPC strikes.

The battle over, the Lance learned the pirate leader planned to steal a dropship and then crash it into the volcanic lake that was on the edge of the planetary capital to kill everyone inside it so they could loot the entire city.

So, the lance was fixed up the best it could be, minus their PH, and were dropped into the northern route to the secondary starport, to wait for the Pirates. Well the pirates had three assets left, not counting their dropship. First, the last Tank they had was a Manticore Tank. And finally the Pirates deployed their two mechs. The first was a Warhammer WHM-6D which the pilot had modified by dropping the 2 small lasers for a head flamer unit. The pirate leader had his own Assault Mech however. His machine was a Corsair, the new MWO machine (I made up a sheet for it) and with four trucks full of pirate infantry to secure a civilian dropship at the starport, this convoy was heading in the way of the diminished lance.

Well, the Manticore died in the first opening volley as the Highlander got lucky and cooked off ALL of its ammo. `:confused:

Then it turned into a 2 on 2 slugmatch between the Awesome and Highlander Vs the Warhammer and Corsair while the Grasshopper zapped the trucks.

This was a brutal short ranged slugfest, which the Lance Won...barely. The Corsair went down first, due to a lucky pilot roll which rendered the Pirate Leader out cold in front of the Highlander, which punted the cockpit off the mech. The Warhammer tried to run, but the Grasshopper stayed behind it and then punched the mech in the head (Crushing the flamer with the crit) knocking the pilot out cold.

With the pirate leader dead, his second in command handed over to the Lyrans to hang, the Lance made its money and then settled down to fix their battle damage `:D.

Oh, and try and find new heads for their PH and their new salvaged mechs.

Episode 3

So we had Episode 3: Revenge of the Dino! In my Tabletop battletech game.

Unfortunately, it was a very short day as I had a total of two players show up.

Luckily, one of them was my #5 player, and we had him settled in pretty well by the time the game got rolling.

So the merc company got wind of a new contract near the Marik border and was pulling up stakes in Wiltshire to make a move.


The Jumpship, a poorly maintained Invader, instead leaped into the far reaches of unknown space...around this thick jungle planet with an old space station hovering in orbit dead.

Well, the Invader had both the Party's Leopard and a Cargo Mule dropship aboard, and the two dropships set off to see what they can salvage from the station and planet while the jumpship tries to figure out what broke.

Aboard the station, the party finds a torn up Griffin which instead of the usual PPC was sporting a Large Pulse Laser, which the party went 'meh' about.

The Cargo Dropship dropped to the planet to salvage from the last coordinates of four dropships which landed and never took off. And then they start screeching about 'things' in the jungle and ask for help. Well, with only two players I invent some damage that the other characters suffer from being thrown about in the misjump, so the repaired Pirate Warhammer and the Awesome drop to help fend off the locals.

Did I mention the name of the place was Hunter's Paradise?

They get rushed by two of the beasts, darting in and out of the light woods and heavy woods. But the mechs basically go back to back in a clearing so the things have to come out to get them. The 50 ton beasts do some damage, especially when one charges and rams the Awesome in the back.

But they bring them down and the Dropship asks if they got 'the big one'.

Cue "The Big One?" Questions from the two mercs who shrug and go check out the other dropships. And promptly bait the big one into charging them. It takes no less than six direct PPC blasts to bring it down, right as it was about to slam into the Awesome.

The pilots celebrate and I let them basically take the heads of the things as trophies while the Jumpship fixes itself and we head back to the Inner Sphere now that the tutorial part of the campaign is over!


So, our cast:

The Awesome Pilot: The Ex-Gladiator is alive and kicking, having fun piloting his assault around. So far he seems to becoming the 'rock' of the Lance, the one everyone relies on.

The Highlander Pilot:  Since his player couldn't make it to the game I had him suffer a slight injury during the Mis-Jump.

The Grasshopper Pilot: Helped the Highlander pilot to the medbay and was injured himself a bit from it as well. His player also missed the game.

Our Phoenix Hawk Pilot: Dead. His player missed the game.

Our #5 Pilot! Hailing also from the Lyran Commonwealth, he unfortunately suffers from amnesia! (Really, he took the disadvantage, so I get to plan ALL sorts of shenanigans for him!). All he knows is his name, that he can pilot, and that he despises the idea of 'buying' your rank. He doesn't know why he despises it but he does. Has decided to pilot the Corsair Franken-Mech as he likes the idea of all that firepower. He decided to try the Warhammer out first as it got fixed first. But he seems to like the Corsair more.

Episode 4

Episode 4: Wait, they're shooting WHAT at Me?!

So, we finally had almost all the players there. Our former Phoenix Hawk pilot didn't show again, making me think he's going to be the least reliable for showing up.

Anyways, the mission is a smash and then grab on a Marik world of Griffith, which is noted as being an iceball so hey, extra cooling! The group loved that note. They were...less enthused to learn their mission was to smash into a fortified base and then level the place after looting it.

The base had height 3 walls around it with Large Laser guntowers covering the various entrances. So the lance, consisting of our Awesome, Corsair, Highlander and Grasshopper. And MAN did everyone take damage this time around.

So the lance starts off running across the runway towards the base and knocking out two Guntowers right away and then the Corsair was about to run inside the base for their first good look when multiple fusion engines started up inside the base. He figures "I'm an assault mech, bring it." And he steps forward right as the Demolisher Tank rolls to the entrance and points its twin AC-20s right at him. Cue the lance going "Oh...this is gonna SUCK". The Corsair only took one AC-20 round, to its left arm, and he didn't fall down. The Demolisher then reversed back into cover and dared the Lance to chase him. The Awesome, wanting that tank dead before it could do much more, went stomping inside and then the 2nd surprise got him. An LRM carrier was waiting.

That's scary right? Well...this was an LRM Carrier...with Dead-Fire Missiles.

If 3036 is too early to use these missiles, then I am happily ignoring that limitation as the Lance reeled when the Awesome took 48 damage from the two LRM-20 racks that connected. He didn't fall over but he did walk backwards REALLY fast to avoid eating it a second time. This started a dance where the Demolisher used its 9-hex bubble of doom to keep everyone away from the LRM Carrier until the Grasshopper jumped close and smashed it with lasers and kicks. At this point the lance of mechs protecting the base made its appearance. The first note was a Fusion Engine firing up in the nearest hanger, and then a mech stood up and tore the roof and wall out of the hanger.

When I put down the Atlas' mini on the table, the Awesome pilot asked "Is that what it looks like?" as we had been doing a lot of proxying (All my tanks are dice for instance). And I said "Yes, it is". I should mention that it was within 5 hexes of the entire Lance at the time. The Awesome and the Corsair took on the 100 ton monster while the Highlander stomped on the Demolisher and the Grasshopper bounced around and flanked. At this point, the rest of the Defense Lance showed up, a Panther, a Dragon and an Ace SRM Catapult. All the missiles used by the defenders were Dead-Fire missiles. This made the Atlas especially scary as its LRM-20 launcher could do ridiculous amounts of damage.

The Corsair, backing out the of walls for cover, baited the Catapult outside. The Awesome was trying to back up when the Catapult, Atlas and Dragon preformed a pincer move and almost trapped the Awesome with no way to move. But the Awesome had a way out and he ran, escaping the worst of the fire.

The Catapult died at this point when the Corsair got a lucky ammo hit and blew the entire mech to pieces (Getting extra XP for killing the Ace). The Panther got into a jumping competition with the Highlander and Grasshopper but it got knocked down and it fell off a tower, falling 3 hexes.

The Dragon got blown to bits by a triple PPC blast from the Awesome that cored it out and the Atlas when down when it rolled snake eyes on a stay awake roll and the Lance dogpiled it.

At the end of the battle, the Lance is sporting heavy damage, the Corsair had both arms shot off, but they looted the site, getting 15 tons of the Dead-Fire missiles and when reading about the downsides of the missiles the entire lance declared they wouldn't touch them.


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Re: The Iron Harpies merc company and their wonderful adventures!
« Reply #1 on: 23 April 2019, 04:36:33 »
We had another fun campaign day on Sunday, least I did.

Episode 5: The Shadow of Lostech

So, our lucky band of mercs raiding this Marik held iceball had a choice of targets today. Target number #1 was another base raid, while it was between resupply convoys. Target #2 was the convoy itself when it was between the bases.

They chose poorly #2 as it turns out. However, the place for the convoy ambush was on a big highway with scattered small hills, none of them big enough to hide behind if the mechs stood up.

So the lance goes power down and prone and waits for this convoy to arrive. They were warned the convoy had an escort of mechs and that they'd likely be mediums so they weren't worried. Remember that saying about having a plan and contact with the enemy?

Well, this big happy convoy approaches our hidden band of mercs and they see that the lance actually only has 1 medium mech (A trebuchet), 1 light mech (A Jenner) and two heavy mechs (A Thunderbolt 5SS and an Orion). Leading the happy convoy of vehicles is a pair of Scorpion Light Tanks with a SRM Carrier and Hetzer backing them up. Driving in the middle and the back is a covered vehicle and three heavy tractor trailers (2 Box carriers, 1 fuel).

Well, they spring the ambush and everyone manages to stand up without falling over. The Scorpions race ahead and instantly regret it when the Awesome and Grasshopper mechs target them first to kill them. Highlander stands up next, closest to the Convoy while our 4th pilot, his regular Corsair mech still in the hanger, uses the Pirate Warhammer they salvaged to rain down PPC bolts in a crossfire.

Things go pretty good at the beginning. The Trebuchet lines up on the Highlander to rain missiles and the Highlander opens fire and misses with everything...except a lone medium laser. Which tagged the Trebuchet in the head. Which knocked out the pilot due to an unlucky roll. Which resulted in the mech falling over, dealing a crit to its rear side torso armor which rolled the solitary 1 ton of LRM ammo carried there. KABOOM.

The Highlander pilot was good enough to be sheepish at his insanely lucky kill.

The Jenner at this point started to put its 7/11/5 movement to its best effect and charged around while the SRM Carrier and Hetzer squared off with the Highlander. The Thunderbolt got into a long range duel with the Warhammer, and the Orion was slowly charging forward to meet the Highlander.

The Awesome and Grasshopper killed the two Scorpions in 2 rounds and turned to help the Highlander who was dancing around the SRM Carrier, who had missed with all but 1 of his SRM racks. The Hetzer at this point however turned somewhat into a sniper, as he kept hitting at 8-9 hexes with his AC-20. Well the Awesome killed the Hetzer and the Highlander killed the SRM carrier and they thought, hey this will be easy.

Then the covered vehicle finally unsnapped its tarp which had been covering it. They knew it had to be a big vehicle, but they weren't expecting what they got.

Oh Yes folks. 95 tons. 13 tons of armor. THREE GAUSS RIFLES. Everyone respects the Alacorn when it comes a knockin'

This, as it turned out, was the super secret cargo being escorted to the base. And it announced itself by firing all three Gauss Rifles at the Highlander, who ate two of them into his Center Torso and suddenly decided to be elsewhere.

The sheer threat of this one tank forced the entire Lance to go on the defensive, as its 22 hex range made sure nothing they had could out range it and the land was mostly flat and open. The tank then spent the next 7 or so rounds laying down cover fire for the Thunderbolt and Orion, while the Jenner had one entire side torso shot off and ran away.

Eventually, the Awesome just decided screw it and went toe to toe with the 95 ton monster tank, and got lucky with a crit roll after eating three or so slugs. The Awesome killed the crew but left the tank intact, and then it was a slog to kill the Thunderbolt and Orion.

At this point the Thunderbolt and Jenner knocked the Warhammer out and its pilot decided his mech was lost and while knocked down kicked the cockpit hatch open and bailed. Which saved his lift as the Thunderbolt then blew the remains of the Warhammer to bits to spite the Mercs.

This, however, made them mostly mad. The remaining mechs then knocked the Jenner out and the Orion was reduced to quite literally a center torso, legs and cockpit before it died. The Thunderbolt surrendered with a single point of internal structure left in its center torso, having its right arm blown off.

The Lance had suffered such heavy damage they had to withdraw, but not before stealing the Thud and the equipment off the Alacorn.

So, our pilots.

The Awesome pilot: Sad at facing fellow Free World's Leaguers but hey, that's business. His machine is still the most reliable out of all of them and he's trying to find a reason to modify it but the sheer stubbornness of the machine makes him loath to mod it.

The Grasshopper pilot: Was scared as hell to face the monster tank, but got arguably the best loot out of it. After the mission they decided to squeeze that XL engine into the Grasshopper (I let em do it) and then swap his Large Laser and LRM-5 for a Large Pulse and Medium Puilse and a Flamer plus a wee bit more armor and as many extra heatsinks as he could.

The Corsair/Warhammer pilot: Sad at losing his heavy mech but he was terrified by the Alacorn but as soon as the Lance got its trio of Gauss rifles he wasted no time in having his Corsair (still in torn apart repairs) modded to carried one of them. He gave up the LRM-15 to carry it plus ammo as he wants that long range punch.

The Highlander pilot: Unfortunately the way he's trained he's 5/4 for Gunnery and Piloting so he's amazing at hand to hand in a mech but suffers when shooting. He mostly spent the mission being a target and missing lots his own shots. I'll have to see what exactly we can do for him to help him enjoy himself more...

Dave Talley

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Re: The Iron Harpies merc company and their wonderful adventures!
« Reply #2 on: 23 April 2019, 05:51:29 »
sounds like fun
Resident Smartass since 1998
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