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Author Topic: Exile in Syberia  (Read 11142 times)

Wrangler

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #60 on: 21 July 2020, 09:44:50 »
Awesome sauce!  Its Back!  Thanks for posting new entry, Giovanni Blasini.
"Men, fetch the Urbanmechs.  We have an interrogation to attend to." - jklantern
"How do you defeat a Dragau? Shoot the damn thing. Lots." - Jellico 
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Brother Jim

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #61 on: 21 July 2020, 13:09:37 »
Streaks locked!!

worktroll

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #62 on: 21 July 2020, 19:20:19 »
Yes, Blindsight and Echopraxia are amazing, if somewhat depressing.

This too is amazing, and not depressing!  :thumbsup:
* No, FASA wasn't big on errata - ColBosch
* The Housebook series is from the 80's and is the foundation of Btech, the 80's heart wrapped in heavy metal that beats to this day - Sigma
* To sum it up: FASAnomics: By Cthulhu, for Cthulhu - Moonsword
* Because Battletech is a conspiracy by Habsburg & Bourbon pretenders - MadCapellan
* The Hellbringer is cool, either way. It's not cool because it's bad, it's cool because it's bad with balls - Nightsky
* It was a glorious time for people who felt that we didn't have enough Marauder variants - HABeas2, re "Empires Aflame"

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #63 on: 22 July 2020, 06:57:20 »
Yes, Blindsight and Echopraxia are amazing, if somewhat depressing.

This too is amazing, and not depressing!  :thumbsup:

Which is funny, because in addition to writing this in response to a few other Battletech SIs where gamer knowledge was useful, and wanting the basically the opposite, a lot of this story is exploring stuff that scares the hell out of me, like:

  • Separation from my family. I started this while on a work trip where I spent two weeks away from my wife and son.
  • Loss of memory.  Watching my dad sometimes struggle as he got older.
  • Loss of identity. Goes with loss of memory, but even moreso.  The loss of who I am would terrify me, and I've seen it happen to extended family, whether through Alzheimer's or dementia...it's terrifying
  • Getting older. There are days where I feel like my body isn't my own, simply because I can't make it do the things I'd grown accustomed to being able to do in my teens, or 20s, or 30s.  I have my size, I have my strength, but I've lost some endurance, some flexibility, and I'm far more fragile than I used to be, as my accumulation of injuries over the years starts to catch up to me
  • My sense of mortality. Being middle-aged is one thing. Watching a parent get old, knowing he doesn't have that many years left is one thing. Holding your dad's hand as he passes is another entirely. My worldview now is not the same as it was six months ago.  But that's not really as easily explored in my other stories.
  • The flip side to transhumanism.  There's no guarantee of sunshine and roses.

So, um, yeah.
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

Wrangler

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #64 on: 22 July 2020, 07:36:51 »
As note.  If i were highly disappointed, i am would be because there not lance or company of AI driven Terran Hegemony UrbanMechs not being reactivated to defend the firebase for comical relief.  ;D
"Men, fetch the Urbanmechs.  We have an interrogation to attend to." - jklantern
"How do you defeat a Dragau? Shoot the damn thing. Lots." - Jellico 
"No, it's a "Most Awesome Blues Brothers scene Reenactment EVER" waiting to happen." VotW Destrier - Weirdo  
"It's 200 LY to Sian, we got a full load of shells, a half a platoon of Grenadiers, it's exploding outside, and we're wearing flak jackets." VoTW Destrier - Misterpants

LightGuard

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #65 on: 22 July 2020, 08:21:03 »
As note.  If i were highly disappointed, i am would be because there not lance or company of AI driven Terran Hegemony UrbanMechs not being reactivated to defend the firebase for comical relief.  ;D

All I can think of are the TF:Prime Vehicons of the Decepticon Army. Cannon fodder, comic relief, and genuine threat en masse.
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Do not try to apply real-world logic to Battletech.  Naught lies there but madness and ruin. - moneylovingogre4hire

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Elmoth

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #66 on: 22 July 2020, 11:46:47 »
Now think about an EFFECTIVE lance of terran hegemony AI urbanmechs to defend the base with you d and cool tactics in an enclosed environment.

Just discovered and devoured the thread. Good stuff here. :)

worktroll

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #67 on: 22 July 2020, 18:30:01 »
So, um, yeah.

Well, it's not that I don't see what you're coming from - I remember the first time I could no longer focus to thread a needle, 20 years ago - but you're doing it in a way which is not as harsh as Watts. I mean, if this ends up like the end of Echopraxia I'll be surprised.

Just remember, Sarasti wouldn't have your doubts. Is that the choice? Mixing genres for a moment, 20 years ago I wouldn't have taken Tree-of-Life virus. Now, if I could I would, but for it wouldn't work ...

(Okay. Challenge to self. Pak/BT crossover.)
* No, FASA wasn't big on errata - ColBosch
* The Housebook series is from the 80's and is the foundation of Btech, the 80's heart wrapped in heavy metal that beats to this day - Sigma
* To sum it up: FASAnomics: By Cthulhu, for Cthulhu - Moonsword
* Because Battletech is a conspiracy by Habsburg & Bourbon pretenders - MadCapellan
* The Hellbringer is cool, either way. It's not cool because it's bad, it's cool because it's bad with balls - Nightsky
* It was a glorious time for people who felt that we didn't have enough Marauder variants - HABeas2, re "Empires Aflame"

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #68 on: 08 August 2020, 03:02:30 »
Unit Log, VeeMech TDR-1-74-01107C-J
Date 3018-07-16 14:31:34, Log Entry 9




Well, that whole experience sure did suck.


Stepping out the door into the valley next to my bunker, I found that our new Beetle-class AutoMech, Manx, had been spotted by a roaming Sounder-class belonging to the DemoCons, who then called in support from another DemoCon Beetle class and, even worse, a Seeker class.


Beetle-class AutoMechs are 35-tonners, with decent armor, double heat sinks, and an extended-range large laser.  Sounders, or VeeMechs like Spanner, are 60-ton Thunderbolt derivatives like my current form.  Unlike me, though, they have a 6-tube short-range missile launcher and extra cargo instead of the six tons of communications gear I pack, and like the Beetle class and unlike me, they pack an ER large laser and double heat sinks, instead of single heat sinks and a conventional large laser.


So, we out-tonned them, but given I was a terrible fighter and Spanner wasn't great himself, we were in trouble.  We needed to keep them from getting away, but with a midling fighter like Spanner and my own level of ineptitude in combat, I wasn’t sure we had the forces to do it.


Our first bit of luck came in the Seeker, named Fire Seeker as it turns out, had decided to fight on the ground rather than from the air.  “What do we have here?” he growled.  “You're a long way from AutoBoP territory.”


Instead of answering him, I powered up most of my comm gear, flipping through my options modes, finding my options under EW, and selecting "broadband comm jamming".  My other viable option was to try to burn through their Sounder's ECM field, which I could already detect trying to futz with our sensor locks, but, like I said, the priority was keeping them from getting a message out.


Glyph was still trying to get into position, as were the rest of us, which resulted in a whole lot of running around, and an exchange of fire, but nobody, not even Glyph, managing to connect with a shot.


As we continued to maneuver, the DemoCon Sounder, named "Blast Sounder", held back a bit from closing, while their own Beetle, or "Ender", as the DemoCons called them, tried to flank our loose formation.  The desert valley we were in offered little terrain other than rolling hills tall enough to completely block line of sight, which I wanted to try to avoid, since I wanted to shot back, and make sure the terrain didn’t block the radio static I was generating.


For my troubles, I took a hit from Fire Seeker's medium pulse laser in my right leg.  Getting shot in the leg did not, in fact, tickle.  Fully a third of my armor was rendered ineffective as the pulsing beam briefly swept down my leg, from thigh nearly to ankle.  It felt like my leg was on fire which, I suppose, it was in a way.  Luckily, the pain, as bad as it was, was muted enough I could continue to function.  Decades of knee pain probably helped me deal with it as well.


I could barely keep track of it at the time, but Manx had taken a much worse hit in his left leg from their Beetle-class "Wild Ender", the ER large laser nearly punching through.  Manx had been setting up his own shot at Fire Seeker, smacking the larger 'Mech in the chest with a solid hit.


Evidently, Glyph was commanding everyone on their shared combat frequency to focus on Fire Seeker and knock him out quickly.  They kind of forgot to share that frequency with me, at first.  I couldn't get a bead on Wild Ender, the little bastard was just too fast, but before I could aim at Blast Sounder, my radio crackled to life with the sound of Glyph.  "Target their Seeker!"


Fair enough.  He wasn't far away, so I charged towards him, firing my large laser, and trying to bracket with a small laser in my chest.  Swing and a miss, of course, for both.  While charging, their Sounder opened up at me, missing with the laser, but peppering me with four SRMs.  I felt the thudding impacts on my torso, my right arm, and two impacts against my left thigh.  Irritating, but not enough to stop me.


As I charged in, trying to close the distance in an effort to hit something, I could see Spanner's SRMs connect against their Seeker.  Evidently, he'd been smacked hard enough that he lost his balance (I'd missed Glyph's shot against him), and he fell over.  I took the opportunity, running past him, and kicking him myself, trying to take his leg off but failing.


Glyph had built up a head of steam at this point, weaving across the battlefield, and nearly shooting their Seeker's right arm off as he stood up.  Unfortunately, this gave him his own opening, which he chose to carve in Glyph's back as she passed by, decelerating to turn back towards him.  I kept moving, trying to keep my own back protected, and taking a lucky potshot back at Fire Seeker, burning through into his right torso with my large laser, but not hitting anything vital.


Once again, for my trouble, that damned Sounder peppered me with SRMs.  Worse, my right leg took another hit, this time from its ER large laser, which burned even worse than that damned medium pulse laser.


At this point, things had dissolved into a wild melee, Glyph kicking Wild Ender,  Wild Ender sweeping its leg out at Manx, Fire Seeker kicking Glyph, Manx kicking Blast Sounder, Spanner punching and missing their Sounder, and Blast Sounder trying and failing to kick Spanner, only to fall on its side.


Manx wasn't so lucky, failing to stay upright after having his leg swept, and damaging his right ankle in the fall.  I watched him struggle up, and try to put some space between himself and their Spanner, but as he watched Glyph go after their crippled Seeker, he flanked Wild Ender instead, only to get battered by their Sounder's SRMs.


Spanner and I, meanwhile, barely moved, anchoring the east and west sides of the battle.  Fire Seeker opened up on Spanner, bracketing him with his pulse lasers, and connecting with his mediums, but Spanner seemed to weather it fine.  In turn, Spanner tried, and failed, to connect with Wild Ender, the little bastard weaving and making himself hard to hit.


I didn't bother, and focused on their Sounder instead, firing all my weapons, and managing to connect with only a single small laser, the large and other two smalls just barely missing.  I did mention I'm a terrible shot, right?


I did, however, get its attention, as it turned more towards me and, in a voice so digitized it was almost unrecognizable, said, “Terran Hegemony?”


Glyph had more luck, and a lot more skill, than me, smashing into Fire Seeker's rear torso and, evidently, knocking out two of his jump jets.  She successfully landed a kick on him, but it didn't seem to slow him down much.


Trying to get away from Glyph, Fire Seeker ran right into the reach of Spanner, who lashed out with a punch, smashing the DemoCon’s shoulder.  Spanner wasn't done yet, though, wrenching at the joint with his salvage arm, and tearing the damaged limb right off the DemoCon, then using it to smash him in his damaged torso.  I could see the thermal bloom from damaged reactor shielding: Fire Seeker was nearly out of the fight.


Unfortunately, so was Manx, who'd taken to trying to trade blows with Wild Ender, only to take a kick on his already damaged left leg, for the poor limb to snap off at the hip.


Furious, I charged the short distance to Wild Ender, intent on kicking his ass...which is exactly what I did, smashing my foot into his left hip and causing it to seize, and the DemoCon to fall flat on his face.


Spanner tried to open up the range a little bit, backing up to get a clearer picture, but that just let Fire Seeker flank him, forcing Glyph to flank the DemoCon Seeker in turn.


Manx was in trouble, nearly crippled, unable to stand, so he simply propped himself up with his left arm and shot their Sounder in the back, getting hit in his own back, knocking out a heat sink, for is trouble, as Wild Ender managed to stand.  Give him props, he refused to give up.


Trying to draw some heat off him comrades, I charged right for their Sounder, firing everything, feeling myself heat up in return.  I couldn't connect with my small lasers, but managed to use my large laser to burn across his right leg, nearly burning through his armor, then following it up with a kick to his other leg, as the Sounder stepped back to protect his weakened right leg.  I tried to keep track of what was happening to everyone else, but things happened so damned fast, and I was mad enough that it was a struggle.


As it turns out, Glyph had finally knocked down Fire Seeker, taking out his right leg.  With one leg and one arm gone, he couldn't even prop himself up to shoot, and Glyph ignored him, chasing after Wild Ender, who was intent on taking out Manx.  Glyph shot the DemoCon's right leg out from under him, but not before the shot Manx in the back, damaging his gyro and engine shielding.  As Wild Ender fell to the ground, my own small lasers passed through the air where he stood a moment before, but my own momentum carried me forward, and I stomped the little bastard's right hand in passing.  Unfortunately, I'd been aiming at his forearm-mounted laser.


Spanner and Blast Sounder, meanwhile, circle each other, trading fire.  It looked like Spanner was holding his own, hitting with his laser and a punch, but failing to repeat the trick he'd pulled with his salvage arm, though he took a savage kick in return.


The Sounder disengaged, moving to reengage Glyph and protect Wild Ender, who was continuing to trade shots with Manx from the ground.  Glyph hesitated for a moment, unsure of who to shoot, before finally aiming at the Sounder and missing.


At this point, I don't think the DemoCon Sounder expected to escape, and he was more interested in doing damage before he fell.  It opened up with everything at Manx, peppering him with more damage, but failing to kill him.


I can't say I did much better, actually.  I opened fire with everything at Wild Ender, smashing into his back with my large laser, but not hitting anything vital, and stripping more armor off with two of my small lasers, one of which wrecked his left knee.  My own kick took off the rest of his left leg, crippling him further.


That was when the DemoCon Sounder stomped on Manx's rear torso, knocking out his engine, and taking him offline.


Spanner and Glyph went into a frenzy, throwing themselves at the Sounder, smashing its right leg, crippling it.


Glyph disengaged, running back to the downed Seeker, and shooting it in the back, penetrating the engine shielding and wrecking the remaining structure there, knocking it out permanently.


Spanner started walking around the downed Blast Sounder, intending to shoot him in the back, but missing.  I did the same, but was angry enough I only connected uselessly with a single small laser, kicking him again as I closed.


I figured none of them were getting back up.  I was wrong.


Blast Sounder staggered to its one good foot, its ruined right leg dragging along, and turned to reengage Glyph, who'd left the wreckage of the DemoCon Seeker to finish off Wild Ender.  She shot the other Beetle-class in the chest, but didn't penetrate.  Wild Ender, in turn, took a shot at Spanner in reply, hitting, but not hitting anything vital.


Instead of shooting at Glyph, though, Blast Sounder twisted, and fired at Spanner instead, smashing through what was left of the armor over his center torso, and striking his gyro housing.  I tried pushing the bastard over, but failed, as the bastard somehow sidestepped me with his one bad leg.


Reeling, Spanner tried, and failed, to successfully return fire, and given I'm reeling even without damage, I did no better with my guns.


Glyph was not having it, flanking the bastard again, and striking him in the torso with her ER large laser, striking his gyro.  Blast Sounder, unable to reach her in reply, focused on Spanner, missing with his laser, but peppering him with SRMs, before its own damage got the better of him, and the DemoCon crashed to the ground again.


Spanner couldn't turn quickly enough to reach Blast Sounder with a punch or kick, but did stomp Wild Ender's right arm, tearing it off, and taking away his last weapon.  I kicked the larger DemoCon, breaching his left torso cargo hold.


Even now, Blast Sounder refused to surrender.  The DemoCon struggled, and failed, to stand, succeeding in nothing but damaging its one good leg, crippling the foot and ankle.  Failing to stand, it fired at the smallest of us, Glyph, missing with its laser, but peppering her with SRMs, including one that hit her head, and another that ruined her left foot.


Our return fire, though, tore his right arm off, and smashed his one good hip, crippling him further.  Prone, the three of us took turns kicking the DemoCon, Spanner stomping him in his back like Blast Sounder had done to Manx, finishing him off.


Glyph broke off, returning to the crippled Wild Ender, and put him down with a single shot to the chest.  With his armor already breached, that was it for the smaller DemoCon AutoMech.


In the final total, Glyph had taken a hit in the back that resulted in a damaged heat sink, and damage to her left leg sufficient to mangle her foot.  Spanner had a damaged gyro that kept him from moving fast, and a lot of armor damage, especially over his right leg, which had breached the armor.  I had armor damage, well, everywhere it seemed, but had gotten lucky and hadn't suffered any internal damage.


And Manx.  Well, yeah.  Manx was pretty much gone, and his current body wasn't salvagable.  The only question is whether his primary and secondary CPUs were intact enough to transfer to another body, which we didn't have in immediate supply.

I could do without another victory like this.
« Last Edit: 08 August 2020, 03:14:09 by Giovanni Blasini »
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

Elmoth

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #69 on: 08 August 2020, 07:33:52 »
I wonder if he will be a better fighter with the more human body and weaponry layout of a Griffin. Probably yes, but he will still be a bad shot. Right now he seems to be doing what he knows works: using mass to go brawling.

Wrangler

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #70 on: 08 August 2020, 09:04:37 »
He needs better targeting computer.
"Men, fetch the Urbanmechs.  We have an interrogation to attend to." - jklantern
"How do you defeat a Dragau? Shoot the damn thing. Lots." - Jellico 
"No, it's a "Most Awesome Blues Brothers scene Reenactment EVER" waiting to happen." VotW Destrier - Weirdo  
"It's 200 LY to Sian, we got a full load of shells, a half a platoon of Grenadiers, it's exploding outside, and we're wearing flak jackets." VoTW Destrier - Misterpants

Elmoth

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #71 on: 08 August 2020, 09:37:17 »
I myself would not be very good targeting if I had weapons all over my body. Now, give me a gun i can grab with my hand and a shoulder mounted RPG-like weapon and we can talk. I will be a terrible shot, but I can practice it better I guess.

Wrangler

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #72 on: 08 August 2020, 11:17:26 »
Unless he figure it out. He could figure out how to make Mech Mortar s
"Men, fetch the Urbanmechs.  We have an interrogation to attend to." - jklantern
"How do you defeat a Dragau? Shoot the damn thing. Lots." - Jellico 
"No, it's a "Most Awesome Blues Brothers scene Reenactment EVER" waiting to happen." VotW Destrier - Weirdo  
"It's 200 LY to Sian, we got a full load of shells, a half a platoon of Grenadiers, it's exploding outside, and we're wearing flak jackets." VoTW Destrier - Misterpants

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #73 on: 08 August 2020, 16:26:42 »
Ok, honest questions: was the fight scene too hard to follow, and what would you recommend to improve it?
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

DOC_Agren

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #74 on: 09 August 2020, 17:48:29 »
Honestly not really, it was a "grand melee" with a # of "players and npcs" where most shots missed..   8)

and I had days that the only weapon that could hit was SL, even at long range..  but anything else was just for show and heat.  Unfortunately that day I was was the Ops Force commander with a Vet Pilot
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

Elmoth

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #75 on: 09 August 2020, 18:18:20 »
Yup. What Doc said. Grand melee, a bit chaotic. As it should be.
Frankly, combat is one of the most boring parts of BT fiction. It has great moments, but it gets old eventually. Necessary but not a prime in story development. This was a good combat description. Do not overviews yourself. The pace and description was cool.

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #76 on: 10 August 2020, 05:24:44 »
Unit Log, VeeMech TDR-1-74-01107C-J, Log Entry 9 Supplemental

We're still going through the aftermath of the battle, assessing our damages, and trying to figure out whether Manx's AI core can be moved into a different AutoMech.  Ripley says she has something important to show us, but it can wait until we've finished our damage assessment, and she's been a big help getting the wreckage of the DemoCons we fought, and of Manx, off the battlefield and back into the bunker.  Spanner is hoping that the DemoCon Sounder's gyro is intact enough to use for spare parts for his own damaged gyro, while Glyph has to face the joyous decision that the only replacement foot for her nearby is either going to come off a destroyed DemoCon, or the wreck of her protoge Manx.  Personally, it feels a bit ghoulish to me, but then I have to remember that, were these regular BattleMechs somewhere in the Inner Sphere, salvaging components off of destroyed 'Mechs to keep yours running would be par for the course: just because they're autonomous doesn't mean that's different here in Syberia.

Meanwhile, I'm getting ready to poke my head outside, trying to keep to what little cover there is, so I can bounce a signal off a satellite, and get word to Primus Optimal that we're gonna need a bigger boat.  Because we're worried about being monitored, Glyph has me using one of their stealthier low-orbit satellites, which make regular passes, rather than one of their geosynchronous ones that everybody on the planet knows about.

That gives me some time, and one thing I've been neglecting to do, though, and really should have already, is to record for posterity more information on the AutoMechs I've encountered so far.  I don't know for sure whether anyone who may read this journal will be from the Inner Sphere, and thus familiar with BattleMechs, at which point some of the stuff I'm including will be needless detail.  On the other hand, though, maybe you'll be from my original universe, and not as familiar with this one.  Or maybe you'll be from somewhere else entirely: I ended up here, after all, so there's no guarantee I won't end up somewhere else, whether within the California Nebula or in another universe.  So, don't stop me if you think that you've heard this one before.

Beetle-Class / Ender-Class Wheeled AutoMechs



--Take one of each of the above, throw them in a blender, bake at 350 degrees, and the result is a Beetle Class

The Beetle-class seems to be the basic footsoldier of the Autonomous Barony of Primus faction, and, at 35 tons, are generally the lightest class of AutoMech in common frontline service.  Nine meters tall, and big for a light 'Mech, Beetles are still light 'Mechs, emphasizing speed and agility over firepower and armor.  Beetles are capable of 64 kph walking, 96 kph at a full run, and 118 kph flat out in its wheeled mode, making the Beetle-class a solid scout and courier.  Protection is solid at 6 tons, though not as heavy as it could be, and a single extended-range large laser is mounted on the right forearm, able to burn through a half-ton of 'Mech-equivalent armor out to 590 meters.

Evidently, the Beetle class isn't as common amongst the Democratic Industrial Conglomerate (DemoCons) as they are among the Autonomous Barony of Primus (AutoBoPs), where they're everywhere.  I don't know if the DemoCons just can't build many Beetles, or if they're unable to build Beetle-class AutoMechs at all, and instead salvage them off of the AutoBoPs instead - wouldn't that be disturbing?  Either way, those that do serve the DemoCons, though, do so with a different name: Ender-class, rather than Beetle-class, but they're functionally identical.

Glyph is, and Manx was, a Beetle-class AutoMech.  On the flip side, one of the DemoCons we fought, whose IFF signal identified him as "Wild Ender", was an "Ender-class", ie. the same thing.

CON-series Carbine ConstructionMech

--Yep, that's a Carbine

Not every AutoMech can transform.  That's something mainly reserved for the frontline ones, the ones expected to see combat.  For what we'd normally think of as civilian roles, which aren't expected to fight, quite often these are filled by AutoMechs that can't transform at all, often built with industrial grade, rather than battle grade, components.  Ripley is a prime example of this, an autonomous version of the CON-series Carbine ConstructionMech.  I haven't met others yet, but I'd presume there are other AutoMech worker types filling other roles that the rest of humanity built IndustrialMechs for, too.  Well, maybe except agriculture.  Not much need of AgroMechs on Syberia these days.


Seeker-Class / AeroMech-Class Fighter AutoMech


-- The wings aren't visible in this picture, but this is pretty close to a bog-standard Seeker.

At first glance, the the 50-ton Seeker-class AutoMech would be the type of AutoMech most familiar to the inhabitants of the Inner Sphere.  For those who may read this journal and are more familiar with the Transformers than with BattleMechs, your first assumption would be Seekers are basically expys of Starscream and similar flying Transformers.

While it's fully AI-controlled like all the AutoMechs, Seekers are basically a a variation on the Phoenix Hawk Land-Air-Mech, or LAM, and the Inner Sphere has plent of experience with those.  Seekers, like all transforming AutoMechs, are bimodal, lacking an "in-between" mode like the regular Phoenix Hawk LAMs, instead transforming directly from BattleMech mode to Aerospace Fighter mode.  That makes taking off and landing tricky to manage.

Like their presumed progenitors, the Seeker class has a ground speed of 54 kph walking, or 86 kph running.  It uses some early form of improved jump jets for thrusters, making it capable of 180 meters jumping on the ground in 'Mech form, and in the air has 3G of standard or 4.5G of maximum thrust.  Those jets are heavy, though, cutting the available mass for armor and weapons.  Most AutoMechs aren't fitted with jump jets, though, so while the Beetle-class AutoMechs might be able to run slightly faster, those jump jets help tremendiously with their maneuverability.

Given the mass they devote to movement, standard armament is relatively light, with a single regular medium laser and medium pulse laser in each arm.  As a result, Seekers need to get in close in combat, since those medium lasers can't reliably burn through 'Mech armor closer than 270 meters, and the medium pulse lasers are optimized for 180 meters or less.  Their armor is similarly light at 7 tons, with surprisingly heavy back armor compared to most 'Mechs, which helps them when running into close-range combat, but hit them hard enough, and you can hurt them.

Evidently, only the DemoCons and their allied subfactions call this class of AutoMech a "Seeker", where they tend to be somewhat common.  Spanner tells me that the AutoBoPs and their allies use smaller numbers of similar fighter-class AutoMechs they call "AeroMechs".  There can be soma variations between individual Seekers or AeroMechs, even within factions; the loadout I've described here is the most common, and was what Fire Seeker, the DemoCon we fought, was kitted out with.


Sounder-Class / VeeMech-Class Wheeled AutoMech


-- The TDR-1C Thunderbolt, progenitor of the Sounder-Class Wheeled AutoMech and its variants.

Sounders are an odd duck.  Both the DemoCon's Sounder class and the AutoBoP equivalent, the VeeMech, are supposed to be based on the Thunderbolt series of BattleMech, shedding five tons and gaining the ability to transform into a big truck.  Both the Sounder class and VeeMech class have the same basic layout and armament: arm-mounted ER large laser, a six-tube short-range missile launcher (SRM-6) on top the right side of the torso, able to target 'Mechs out to 270 meters.

Feeding the SRM launcher is one ton of ammo, enough for 15 reloads, with specialized Cellular Ammunition Storage Equipment (CASE) to give them blow-out panels in the rear torso to keep an ammunition explosion from blowing them the hell up.  Star League standard double-capacity heat sinks to keep them cool, and lets them keep up a high rate of fire, with weaponry useful at both long and short ranges.

In 'Mech mode, both the Sounder and the VeeMech can walk at 43 kph or run at 64 kph.  In their truck mode, they're a bit faster, cruising at 54 kph and topping out at 86 kph, but combat is evidently awkward in this form, since their weaponry isn't in true turrets.  Armor is thicker than the Seeker/AeroMech at 9 tons, but still weaker than their progenitor.  Like the Seeker, their rear torso has thicker armor than most human-piloted BattleMechs do,  I suspect that AutoMechs sometimes get fixated and lose situational awareness in combat, and don't always notice when someone's gotten behind them until they get shot.

Despite their size, Sounders tend to work well as recon units, packing pretty solid electronics, with a Beagle active probe system to ferret out hidden units, and a Guardian ECM suite to provide electronic warfare capability.  They also carry a 3-ton cargo hold in each side of their torso, allowing them to carry small, supplemental recon drones, extra parts and supplies, or other mission-specific equipment.  Glyph tells me she managed to shoot down one of the drones following Manx, and it looks like I crushed another one in the Sounder's cargo hold during the battle, based on what we've seen of the wreckage.

So that's pretty much the layout Blast Sounder, the DemoCon we fought, was set up with, but evidently the DemoCons are starting to field a new variation on the Sounder, but I'm given to understand the primary change is moving from using a bunker-like cockpit like the Thunderbolt did to an actual centerline head.  Why?  Good question: maybe it's easier to access the AI computer for maintenance or retrieval, maybe since AutoMechs tend to aim for center of mass, Sounders were getting hit in the "head" more often before, maybe it just gives their head mounted sensors a better view, or maybe it's some kind of higher ranking Sounder variant.  I don't know.  Tell you what, though, it'd make my life easier if my head were where I expected it to be, I bet.

VeeMechs, on the other hand, haven't moved their "heads" into an actual head yet, and lose the extra electronics equipment, freeing up another three tons of mass for other specialty equipment.  In Spanner's case, that mass went into a salvage arm in the place of his left hand, a specialized set of manipulators and micro-manipulators that he can use to help make delicate repairs on other AutoMechs, while still being capable of lifting heavy equipment.  Spanner also gave up a cargo hold in favor of a lift hoist, but he did note that some VeeMechs will carry a third cargo hold, extending them out to 9 tons of internal capacity.


"Groundwave-Subclass"  - VeeMech Wheeled AutoMech


-- Add some wheels, swap that missile launcher for an electronics pod, and this is pretty much what I look like

...technically, according to Spanner and Glyph, I fall under the category of being a VeeMech subclass.  However, I'm more primitive, in a lot of ways, than your average production-model Sounder-class like Blast Sounder was, or VeeMechs like Spanner.  I lack the SRM launcher of the regular Sounder-class or VeeMech class, which freed up four tons of mass, and I also drop one of my three-ton cargo holds, and I also lose a half-ton of mass since I don't have CASE equipment to store ammo in.  Like the other VeeMechs, I lack the dedicated active probe and ECM suite.

So where's that 10.5 tons go compared to a regular VeeMech or Sounder?

Most of it's taken up by six tons of specialized communications gear: radios and antennas covering everything from shortwave wavelengths like 160 meters or 80 meters all the way up to centimeter-wave radio for satellite or ground-to-space communications, divided up between the spot where most Sounders or VeeMechs have their right torso cargo bay.  Mounted in my back in 'Mech mode are a trio of jump jets, letting me leap up to 90 meters at a time: it's usually easier to walk or run, but it lets me climb some otherwise impassable terrain.

That doesn't leave a lot of space for extra weapons, and where the progenitor Thunderbolt packed a trio of medium lasers in its chest, I have a trio of smaller lasers with a third their range instead, where I need to get within 90 meters to have a real chance of damaging 'Mech armor.  My other problem is that my subclass was either an earlier version or one they skimped on, because I've got ten standard-grade single heat sinks to their ten double heat sinks, and my large laser is the older standard-grade, rather than extended range, so I can only hit out to 450 meters against other 'Mechs.  However, I wasn't always a VeeMech.  before that I was a...


GRF-series Griffin BattleMech


Yep.  Used to look more or less like this, evidently, though I don't particularly remember it.  Based on the wreckage we found, I didn't have that drum missile launcher, instead appearing to have used the same electronics setup that then got transferred into my current VeeMech-based body.  Everything else would've been the same, though, as a standard Griffin: same 55-ton mass, same 86 kph top speed, same pack of jump jets allowing me to leap 150 meters.  Griffins generally carry a rifle-style particle projector cannon, or PPC: it's a particle beam weapon that hits a bit harder than the large lasers more common amongst AutoMechs, if not quite as far as an ER large laser, but that have magnetic field interference trying to hit within 90 meters.  Griffins were generally mobile fire support platforms, emphasizing long-range fire, and relying on their own fists and feet up close.   That doesn't seem so bad to me.


Leader-Class Wheeled AutoMech


--Yeah, that's not quite Primus Optimal right there, a prime (heh) example of the Leader-Class

Even running around as a 60-ton semi-humanoid war machine, the Leader class is big and imposing, standing nearly 14 meters tall, and massing 85 tons.  Because of their size, and the weight of their transformation gear, they're not as fast as smaller AutoMechs, with a 35 kph walking and 54 kph running speed.  The Leader's vehicle mode helps a bit, but even then, Primus in his command truck mode driving flat out is only able to maintain 64 kph, which I can run at, and Glyph can do walking.

Instead, looking at the triad of speed, firepower and armor, Leader-class AutoMechs like Primus Optimal go for the second two.  Protected by 14.5 tons of armor, Leaders are tough to damage, and they can hit back, hard.  Most carry a massive gauss rifle in their right arm, a large pulse laser in the chest, and generally carrying a massive anti-'Mech hatchet in their left hand for close-combat, though they appear to have a way to mount this to their back when they're not using it.


So, yeah, that's a basic rundown.  If you'll excuse me, I've got a satellite to catch.


(Out of story: this was mainly written for those less familiar with Battletech on other forums, but is still a useful who's who)
« Last Edit: 01 October 2020, 20:42:14 by Giovanni Blasini »
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

Kyryst

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #77 on: 10 August 2020, 09:25:16 »
He can take Blast Sounder's parts to upgrade himself, right? Double heat sinks, ER Large Laser, maybe do something about the small lasers that are pretty much useless? Because it is going to be a while before he can find a Griffin, I would think, and given the attack, he needs increased combat capability. And having an arm mounted ER large laser should feel a lot like holding a gun?

Neat the way everything is tweaked to fit the setting.

Wrangler

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #78 on: 10 August 2020, 14:22:52 »
That's a great.  I can't wait for more!

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Giovanni Blasini

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #79 on: 10 August 2020, 17:02:41 »
He can take Blast Sounder's parts to upgrade himself, right? Double heat sinks, ER Large Laser, maybe do something about the small lasers that are pretty much useless? Because it is going to be a while before he can find a Griffin, I would think, and given the attack, he needs increased combat capability. And having an arm mounted ER large laser should feel a lot like holding a gun?

Neat the way everything is tweaked to fit the setting.

Thanks.

Surprisingly, it's not as bad to upgrade Groundwave as I thought it would be, thanks to the errata for Strat Ops, though it would be time consuming.

Groundwave's large laser and 10th heat sink are in his right arm, and removing them would take 120 minutes and 90 minutes.  Replacing them would take the same amount of time, and since we're doing the job in the same sitting in theory, we're looking at a Class B refit, which is a field refit.

But...there's 9 other heat sinks in the engine, right?  And if we're swapping one heat sink for doubles, we have to do those, too.  That's 810 minutes for the removal of 9 more single heat sinks from the engine, and another 810 minutes to add 9 double heat sinks into the engine.  Since they're all going in the same place...still Class B field refit.

OK, so now we're up to 120 + 90 + 120 + 90+ 810 + 810 minutes, or 2040 minutes.  We haven't done anything with the small lasers yet.  Say Groundwave wants to rip out all three and add an ECM suite or Beagle Probe in their place.  That's another 120 minutes per laser for removal, and another 120 minutes to put the new piece of electronics in. 

So, yeah.  Minimum of 2040 minutes, potentially up to 2280 minutes.  So, 34 to 38 hours of work.  That's a lot of time, and something like that could only come once the rest of the facility is for sure secured and Glyph and Spanner both get repaired.

Note this doesn't include armor replacement time for Groundwave's current damage.  Groundwave took 38 points of armor damage.  At five minutes per point for repairs, it'd take 140 minutes, or just over two hours, to repair that.  Honestly, that'd almost certainly be the first thing they'd do, before attempting anything else, since Groundwave's actually the least damaged of the bunch right now.
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Wrangler

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #80 on: 10 August 2020, 17:40:01 »
It could be scary if i were Groundwave.  Hoping the modifications go well when u wake up.
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Kyryst

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #81 on: 10 August 2020, 21:40:31 »
Huh, for some reason I thought this story was taking place over longer intervals. My bad.

Looking to more, then.

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #82 on: 10 August 2020, 22:18:52 »
Huh, for some reason I thought this story was taking place over longer intervals. My bad.

Looking to more, then.

Yeah, that's probably how slow I update in general.

Y'now, back to your original question about upgrading, it occurs to me that there's something easy and straightforward that Groundwave could see about having done: remove some or all of his cargo space.  He's got a 3-ton cargo bay in his left torso, which is enough to replace all the small lasers with medium lasers, like a real Thunderbolt, and leave 1.5 tons he can put into more armor protection.  Heat management would be a lot like the TDR-1C primitive Thunderbolt, but that's manageable, and would only take 16 hours total.
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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #83 on: 10 August 2020, 22:53:17 »
What's the Syberian take on self-mutilation? Or is it more like piercings, cosmetic surgey, or something along that lines?
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Kyryst

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #84 on: 10 August 2020, 23:19:02 »
That and swapping the LL for the ERLL would be the easiest alterations for a total of 20 hours. Something to do once the others are taken care of. And that is going to be some work for sure.

HABeas2

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #85 on: 11 August 2020, 00:44:28 »
What's the Syberian take on self-mutilation? Or is it more like piercings, cosmetic surgey, or something along that lines?

That's called "customization" and likely is no big thing to them. It only becomes a problem if it interferes with functions.

GRF-series Griffin BattleMech


Yep.  Used to look more or less like this, evidently, though I don't particularly remember it.  Based on the wreckage we found, I didn't have that drum missile launcher, instead appearing to have used the same electronics setup that then got transferred into my current VeeMech-based body.  Everything else would've been the same, though, as a standard Griffin: same 55-ton mass, same 86 kph top speed, same pack of jump jets allowing me to leap 150 meters.  Griffins generally carry a rifle-style particle projector cannon, or PPC: it's a particle beam weapon that hits a bit harder than the large lasers more common amongst AutoMechs, if not quite as far as an ER large laser, but that have magnetic field interference trying to hit within 90 meters.  Griffins were generally mobile fire support platforms, emphasizing long-range fire, and relying on their own fists and feet up close.   That doesn't seem so bad to me.

Fun factoid. I did plan for classic Griffin/Shadow Hawk VeeMechs for both sides, as they would best fit the appearances of G1 Prowl, Bluestreak, Smokescreen and several others of the "sedan" vehicle types that were bigger than scouts like Beetle Bee. Democon versions--likely using the Shad over the Griffin--would have been the likes of Runabout, Runamok, Lockdown, and Exhaust. I just decided to hold back because I could have gone on forEVER on making stats for these guys.

Love that you linked to Luciora's minis, GB!

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Elmoth

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #86 on: 11 August 2020, 03:30:19 »
Another reason to perceoive it as slow is Transformers. this looks episodic in some aspects, and we never know how much time passes between each episode of Transformers, but all the characters (and the city they destroyed in the last episode) are 100% fine in the next one. :)

But yeah, so far this has been a whirlwind for poor Jason +++static+++.

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #87 on: 11 August 2020, 03:39:40 »
That's called "customization" and likely is no big thing to them. It only becomes a problem if it interferes with functions.


I suspect that they probably customize the crap out of each base chassis to fit whatever their particular role or calling is?

Quote

Fun factoid. I did plan for classic Griffin/Shadow Hawk VeeMechs for both sides, as they would best fit the appearances of G1 Prowl, Bluestreak, Smokescreen and several others of the "sedan" vehicle types that were bigger than scouts like Beetle Bee. Democon versions--likely using the Shad over the Griffin--would have been the likes of Runabout, Runamok, Lockdown, and Exhaust. I just decided to hold back because I could have gone on forEVER on making stats for these guys.


That's...actually pretty awesome.

Quote

Love that you linked to Luciora's minis, GB!

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His work is so good.
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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #88 on: 11 August 2020, 03:59:51 »
Yes, but are there any Syberians able to ride each other?
Good news is the lab boys say the symptoms of asbestos poisoning show an immediate latency of 44.6 years. So if you're thirty or over you're laughing. Worst case scenario you miss out on a few rounds of canasta, plus you've forwarded the cause of science by three centuries. I punch those numbers into my calculator, it makes a happy face.

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Elmoth

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Re: Exile in Syberia
« Reply #89 on: 11 August 2020, 04:12:39 »
Mech cavalry!