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Author Topic: Starting a new campaign  (Read 1740 times)

ScrewySqrl

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Starting a new campaign
« on: 16 February 2012, 11:21:40 »
I'm going to be starting, possibly this weekend, a MechWarrior 3rd Ed campaign.

Because all 4 players are new to the universe, I was going to start the campaign in 3024. This will mean pretty much only TR3025/6 mechs/tanks and their variants are available.  All PCs will be forming a small merc unit (perfectly lance sized) with backstory on how they just arrived here on Galatea III.  I plan to use quickstrike for all mech/tank combat, to speed it along (a lance-on-lance fight could be a whole night's action in regular battletech).  it will also simplify the combats for people who want more role-play than combat.

(BTW: which Galatea *IS* the mercenaries star? the one in Steiner space or the one in Davion space? -- there are two planets named Galatea, and both are within 50ly of terra)

any good suggestions for a newbie campaign? 

long term plan is for them to run afoul of Comstar over a star league cache (let them get a few Star-League era mechs as a reward well into the campaign, once they get used to things)


guardiandashi

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Re: Starting a new campaign
« Reply #1 on: 16 February 2012, 11:33:41 »
I may be mistaken but I always thought it was the one on the steiner kurita border

nckestrel

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Re: Starting a new campaign
« Reply #2 on: 16 February 2012, 11:51:47 »
I think the Davion one is Galatia III, rather than Galatea (which doesn't have a number?).
Master Unit List - List of all canon units, faction availabilities, Alpha Strike unit cards, Battle Values
Combat Manual Lite series - Steiner, Liao, Marik, Calderon, Invading Clans, Comstar. Also Record Sheets for the CM: Kurita and CM: Mercs unique pilots.

Firedrake

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Re: Starting a new campaign
« Reply #3 on: 16 February 2012, 11:56:27 »
I'm pretty sure the Lyran Galatea is the one you want (http://www.sarna.net/wiki/Galatea),

One downside I can see to Quickstrike (and indeed regular TW) - PCs are likely to get killed quite fast and without much chance to be heroic. But that's life in wartime, really.

ScrewySqrl

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Re: Starting a new campaign
« Reply #4 on: 16 February 2012, 12:32:58 »
I'm pretty sure the Lyran Galatea is the one you want (http://www.sarna.net/wiki/Galatea),

One downside I can see to Quickstrike (and indeed regular TW) - PCs are likely to get killed quite fast and without much chance to be heroic. But that's life in wartime, really.

That's what Edge is for ;)

Mohammed As`Zaman Bey

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Re: Starting a new campaign
« Reply #5 on: 17 February 2012, 02:44:04 »
  Pick one. According to my friend with almost all of the BT fiction books the writers were similarly confused and frequently swapped Galatea and Galatea III.

ScrewySqrl

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Re: Starting a new campaign
« Reply #6 on: 17 February 2012, 16:48:00 »
ok. so which galatea itself isn't that big a deal (I think I'll pick the davion one).

Now, what sort of plotlines do you guys suggest?


Firedrake

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Re: Starting a new campaign
« Reply #7 on: 17 February 2012, 18:12:39 »
Looking for a moment at your original question, and considering fluff as well as rules material...

Mercenary's Star suggests quite strongly that a sub-company-sized unit, particularly one without its own transport resources, will have trouble finding contracts. So they may well end up having to take "interesting" jobs to pay the bills.

So what sort of jobs can a lance get? Well, mostly it won't be 'Mech-on-'Mech, because the other  side is similarly at sub-company strength. We might see an employer hiring the mercs to boost its own company-strength 'Mech unit, because it's going up against another unit of similar size and wants numerical advantage - but mostly I suspect that as sole military forces they'll be going up against infantry and maybe a few vehicles (at least in theory - there are always surprises). A lot of it's likely to be suppressing rebellions: a few multi-ton war machines strolling around a city put people off their demonstrations wonderfully, except for the few hard-cores.

Remember that 3025 is the era of small wars: before the massive troop movements of the 4SW, a few 'Mechs more or less very often make the difference between a mission succeeding or failing.

Mohammed As`Zaman Bey

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Re: Starting a new campaign
« Reply #8 on: 18 February 2012, 00:31:39 »
Now, what sort of plotlines do you guys suggest?
  When players are new to the game I suggest a series of instructional scenarios where they learn about the BT universe and backstory. In the campaign in which I am now playing, we just got a half dozen players who have never played campaign, only set battles and the GM has them participating in a massive, multi-regimental training exercise in order to teach them the importance of logistics, cooperation, strategic planning and the consequences of disregarding very obvious hints. Many of the players have never played IS units and in the current scenario (A simulation of the Battle of Luthien) we had this:

Clan Player: I have bid my forces and now you may choose the venue.
IS Player: What's a venue?


  There was a moment where you could not hear anything due to the thunder of facepalms in the room- This guy was a BT Commando who hosted numerous official Clan vs Clan scenarios yet he was not familiar with the preliminaries of Batchal. Being in the Navy, he also failed to deploy his support units, such as infantry, artillery and logistic trains, which made up over half his total forces- This and a number of errors and gambles has cost the IS forces. The IS was on the verge of victory after massing their airpower and literally blowing several Trinaries out of the sky before they could land. In response the Clans drove the combined IS aero assets from all but one field (The battles are taking place on four separate exercise grounds) and Clan air superiority has become air supremacy- A lesson to all players that you must never underestimate people who have been playing war games since the 1970s.  8)

  The need for training scenarios is sometimes vital to bring the players up to speed with the basic rules, advance rules, important details and overall rhythm of your campaign.

  I strongly suggest you give your players assignments attached to larger, established merc units and have them take part in balanced training exercises until they are comfortable enough to play "for keeps."

Good luck!

ScrewySqrl

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Re: Starting a new campaign
« Reply #9 on: 27 February 2012, 15:50:21 »
Just thought I would give an update.

Character gen has begun for this game this weekend.  One full character story has been filled, another is a solid outline, the rest are a bit sketchy.

What I have:


32-year old Lyran Nagelring graduate.  Pilots WHM-6D Warhammer, 3 pilot, 3 gunnery/energy, 4 gunnery/ballistic, 4 gunnery/missile to start. Full story in the quotes below.
Quote
Born in 2992, Alexander Schwartz was born the cousin of a baronet in the Lyran commonwealth. His parents were merchants, and he was reasonably well off, but wasted his youth. At the age of 10 he was hanging out with the wrong sort, and his parents spent some money on lawyers to keep him out of trouble.

In prep school he spent almost all his time in the mech sims. While this hurt his grades some, he knew what he wanted to do with his life now. He applied at the lyran academy, and scored well enough to be accepted to Nagelring in 3008. Qualifying thanks to his prep school connections, he took the mechwarrior AIT, and special training in military science, qualifying for OCS as well and graduating summa ****** laude in 3014.

He began his military career as an aide, and worked for two years alongside high-ranking officers before being assigned to a Warhammer and sent into battle as a lance leader. In his two years on the front lines, he made an enemy of another companies captain. In the end he mustered out owning his own warhammer 6D.

He took a year off in 3019, and studied literature. He kept in practice with simulators, and found that the call to pilot his mech was too strong. After much introspection, he signed on with the military again, a different branch of the lyran service. Repainting his mech blue and white, he went through basic again, and took many technical classes to learn how to repair and maintain his own mech.

His next tour of duty(3022) saw brutal fighting, and he was battalion 2nd as his company marched into battle (aide to the hauptmann-kommandant). Unfortunately, he was wounded in the fighting when his mech was damaged, but he kept on fighting despite his broken ankle. Because of the abuse he put on his ankle over several days with only his mechs first aid kit and some painkillers, his left ankle did not heal properly. He was partially disabled, and walked with a limp. It wasn’t bad, and really only slowed his running speed. It made certain martial arts kicks a bit more difficult, and he now needed to walk with a cane when the weather was too cold. But his piloting was not effected in the least. A veteran pilot, he wears a number of medals on his uniform.

FWL-born Merc Brat tanker, family was on the losing side of the Anton Marik civil war, has bounced around several minor mercenary units,  Drives a Shrek PPC Carrier, 3/3 pilot.

Magistry of Canopus Noble, black sheep of his family, hedonist who knew he wouldn't inherit.  Speed demon, hasn't picked his mech yet, but will be either Locust-1E, Spider-5V, or Jenner-7F.  3/4 pilot

Fed Suns MechPilot and Scientist.  Graduate of the NAIS/NAMA.  On the run from Comstar after figuring out a PART (but only a part), of the code for HPG transmissions, Pilots an Enforcer 4/5 pilot

Older (42) FWL mech pilot.  4/4 pilot Inherited her father's AWS-8Q Awesome, mustered out after her first tour in 3004, because she was pregnant, went into an interstellar mechant company after the birth of her second child in 3006.  Both her first child (her daughter) and husband were killed in a Liao raid in 3010.  She and young son were offworld at the time.  She poured grief into spoiling and doing everything for her surviving child.  son was sent to an academy to be a mech pilot, on a training exercise, her 17-year old son was killed by Liao raiders.  She swore vengance on all Cappellans, but was told she was too old now to rejoin the FWL militia, so has come to Galatea III to be a mercenary in hopes of gaining her revenge.

First session will be their coming together on Galatea III.  To make it easy, I'm going to have their first contract include a Leopard dropship, modified so that the Aerospace Hangars are vehicle instead, and an infantry platoon for base security.

« Last Edit: 27 February 2012, 15:54:26 by ScrewySqrl »

ScrewySqrl

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Re: Starting a new campaign
« Reply #10 on: 29 February 2012, 14:35:37 »
ping?

Anyonre have thoughts on the characters?

also: should I have them hired individually by a larger force, or have one of them hire the others as an independent merc unit?

guardiandashi

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Re: Starting a new campaign
« Reply #11 on: 29 February 2012, 19:09:24 »
for the "meeting" scenario /mission I think it might be a little more reasonable to have a NPC or unit do the recruitment a bit cliche but less problematic than the other common cliche of x people walk into a bar and despite radically different backgrounds possible hate for each other etc they spontaniously group togather.

wheras "this group of people each apply for a job posting ... and all get hired to do X well as they start getting to know one another they discover that they have all these potentual ways to NOT get along.
« Last Edit: 29 February 2012, 19:20:08 by guardiandashi »

Mohammed As`Zaman Bey

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Re: Starting a new campaign
« Reply #12 on: 29 February 2012, 21:25:50 »
ping?

Anyonre have thoughts on the characters?
  They are a good mix of personalities and equipment.

Quote
also: should I have them hired individually by a larger force, or have one of them hire the others as an independent merc unit?
  How much work would the prospective leader want? Some players hate bookkeeping while others revel in playing merchants. I'd say give the players the option with the commander getting a modest starting budget.

ScrewySqrl

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Re: Starting a new campaign
« Reply #13 on: 02 March 2012, 18:22:22 »
a slight update:

a couple of mechs have changed.
Its now
FS9-H Firestarter 4/4, but also special-forces trained.
PXH-1D Phoenix Hawk 4/4, has a high skill (3+ equiv) in Comm/conventional.
WHM-6D Warhammer 3/3
AWS-8Q Awesome 4/4
Schrek PPC Carrier 3/3

Given their almost entirely energy-weapon content, I'm seeing them as an independent lance of the merc unit that will hire them (Name suggestions WELCOME!).  Initial deployment is going to be to Spica, both as garrison duty on a recently conquered planet, and as a jumping off point for small raids.  I'm going to add an NPC Condor-L  (4 MLs in a turret) to let them break into 2 demi-lances of a recon group (FS9, PXH, Condor), and an assault group (WHM, AWS, Schrek).    The 6 units will have a single Leopard (modified so that it's aero bays hold vehicles, one side the Schrek and Condor, the other side the recovery truck purchased by the WHM pilot, and the motor pool for the security rifle platoon: 1 jeep and 3 trucks.

Spica will have a situation similar to Kittery at the start of the Warrior trilogy: Capellan criminals and guerillas, plus plenty of people who just want to keep their heads down and will be fine fedsuns citizens if you let them be, and some cross-border light raiding.  possible political angles: Michael Hasek-Davion vs Hanse, Capellans angling to return Spica to their side, Mercs vs regulars vs militia (which is possibly riddled with capellan moles!) vs citizens. 

suggetsions on expanding any of these ideas welcome.

Also, a suggesting force for a 'training' exercise in either this weekend or a second session, that should be a mild challenge in a Quick-Strike game, but SHOULD end up with this force winning. (I add up 67 BattleForce points for the 6 mech/tank force.  Does a MAD-3L, CPLT-C1, VND-1R, BJ-1, HER-2S, and WSP-1A seem like a fair matchup?