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Author Topic: P&B, Incorporated (Merc Command, 3031)  (Read 1169 times)

Col. Chiang

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P&B, Incorporated (Merc Command, 3031)
« on: 22 April 2012, 20:39:00 »
My gaming group has finally come 'round to trying their hands at BattleTech.  I've set up a series of linked scenarios using MekHQ to track things in while having the actual engagements in person every two to three weeks.

My gaming group has formed a mercenary command in 3031, entitled P&B, Inc.  They've taken a cadre contract from the AFFS, and their first training exercise went well for them (they're the OPFOR for a bunch of Broken Wheel cadets).

Here's the first scenario:

Code: [Select]
Vlad Soatomi 
Gunnery 3 / Piloting 4
WHM-BOB Custom (MG & Ammo Dropped from WHM-6R for 2 HS)

Callsign "Pugilist" 
Gunnery 3 / Piloting 4

AFFS Liason Officer
Captain Roger Durand
Gunnery 4 / Piloting 5

AFFS Liason Officer
Sergeant Sandy Lucik
Gunnery 4 / Piloting 5

Cadet OPFOR:
Code: [Select]
Alpha Lance

Recruit Steven bin Mika'il
Gunnery 4 / Piloting 5
Recruit Harvey Priday
Gunnery 5 / Piloting 5

Recruit Louie Herman
Gunnery 5 / Piloting 7

Recruit Seanan Farrell
Gunnery 5 / Piloting 5

Bravo Lance

Recruit Mie-Suk O
Gunnery 5 / Piloting 6

Recruit Samina Tareen
Gunnery 5 / Piloting 6

Recruit Jake Gray
Gunnery 5 / Piloting 6

Recruit Carel Santegoeds
Gunnery 5 / Piloting 7


Internal AFFS document
12 June, 3031
TO:  PBI Mercenary Command
FROM:  Captain Roger Durand, AFFS
Mercenary Liason, Broken
Wheel Combat Region
RE: Cadre OPFOR Duties

  Welcome, Gentlemen.  I'm sure that you've already perused the Old Lady's welcome note to you.  With that out of the way, let's get down to business.
  Our primary goal here on Broken Wheel is to turn out MechWarriors that are as experienced as possible short of actual combat.  Out here in the Outback, we do things a little differently than the core worlds.  Our funding is less, our forces almost always short-handed.  That being said, we make bricks without straw daily.
  Your main purpose here is to act as an OPFOR for the trainees among the Albion Training Cadre.  To that purpose, you will be issued training rounds for your projectile and missile weapons, your energy weapons will be stepped down in intensity, and your 'Mechs' on-board computers will be set to register battle damage from like-armed units as if it was real.  Our Techs are quite familiar with most of the common equipment in use around the Sphere, but
if you have specific requirements out of the ordinary, please do not hesitate to let them know.
  For our first exercise with the students, we will be simulating a hot drop into hostile territory.  The cadets will be dropping from atmospheric DropShips and simulating a short company-level assault upon an objective.  They have been informed that the DZ will be cold; no enemy forces will be expected there.
  However, as cold DZs often become Hot DZs in real combat, you will be operating in the region with instructors from the Training Cadre.  Your objectives and ROE are listed below.

OBJECTIVE I:  Prevent OPFOR from leaving DZ in designated direction (Primary).
OBJECTIVE II:  Preserve 50 percent or more of friendly units (Secondary).
OBJECTIVE III:  Cripple or destroy 50 percent or more of OPFOR (Secondary).
OBJECTIVE IV: Cripple or Destroy 100 percent of OPFOR (Tertiary).

  You are to operate as a unit integrated with AFFS cadre training officers under the command
of Captain Durand.  Deploy utilizing stealth and terrain to hide your units until ordered to fire.  Any OPFOR 'Mech is a legal target; anything else is not.
  Obey all orders given by COIC; command devolves to LT. Gerald if Cpt. Durand is taken
out during the exercise.
  You may not leave the designated training area during the exercise unless you have received crippling damage.  Crippling damage is defined as a side torso destroyed, two engine hits, one gyro and one engine hit, loss of the use of sensors, internal structure damage in three or more locations, four pilot hits, or loss of offensive weapons due to damage or ammunition depletion.  The cadets will be under the same restrictions.
  The cadets' designated target is to the north of the DZ; prevent them from leaving the DZ in that direction at all costs.  The cadets' designated rally point for damaged units is to the south.  Your designated rally point for damaged units is to the north.  You will deploy on the northern edge of the designated combat area.

After-Action Report:

Internal AFFS Recording
Transcript Runs From 16:47:31 to 17:01:43 Local, 12 June, 3031

CPT DURAND:  Recruit Mika'il, you were in overall command of the unit during the exercise.  Please, expand upon your decision to hot drop in such a close formation.

RCR MIKA'IL:  Sir!  The element of unit cohesion for time-on-target fire was foremost in my mind.  Due to our lack of firepower on a BattleMech-by-BattleMech basis, I decided that keeping the two lances close together so as to improve our chances against possibly-heavier opponents was for the best.

CPT DURAND:  But that's not what happened, is it, Recruit?

MIKA'IL:  Sir, no, Sir.  Unfortunately, damage received from ground fire during the initial drop made such a tight formation more deadly for us altogether.  The damage taken both in the drop and upon landing with such a tight formation would have rendered us combat-ineffective against a prepared enemy--as it turned out that the OPFOR was during the exercise.

DURAND:  And what, precisely, happened with Recruit Priday and Recruit O?

MIKA'IL:  Sir, after reviewing the battleROMs, it seems that Recruit Priday did not manage to control his descent entirely.  Unfortunately, that resulted in a collision and fall between the two recruits' BattleMechs that damaged Priday's Firestarter's leg armor and torso while also damaging O's Wasp's head and causing minor injuries to Mie-Suk.  It was my fault for deciding to bring us in so close together.

DURAND:  No, Recruit Mika'il, you don't get off quite that easily.  Recruit Priday!


DURAND:  What in the Nine Hells of Sian possessed you to not pay attention DURING A HOT DROP?  It's not as if your piloting has been neglected under other circumstances; your scores are above average for the unit in that area.  Would you mind explaining just what was going through your mind as you LANDED YOUR 'MECH ON TOP OF YOUR LANCEMATE'S?!

PRIDAY:  Sir!  The recruit has no idea what he was thinking during that landing, Sir!

DURAND:  Bracketing stupidity with "sir" will NOT earn you any points you'll live to spend under combat conditions, recruit.  And drop the third-person crap.  Expand or get out of my sight.

PRIDAY:  <sighs quietly>  Sir, I honestly don't know what happened.  I can see that I screwed up on my jump jet feathering at the last moment during the drop from the battleROM, but I have no clear memory of what exactly I did.  It's all a blur of damage to my systems and reflex-level responses to things.  I think I was just overwhelmed by the sensory input.

DURAND:  Well, Priday, that's at least a little more honest.  Still, you should NOT have landed on your fellow recruit's head.  She's going to require a splint for that sprained wrist and a cervical collar for her strained neck, the medics tell me.  Whether or not she'll be fit for duty by the next exercise is still up in the air.  DO NOT let me catch you taking risks like that again, either of you.  Am I clear?


DURAND:  Alright, down to the rest of it.  With nearly half your command already disabled, including your XO, you then proceeded to consolidate mobile units and begin movement to the objective.  Is that correct?

MIKA'IL:  Essentially, Sir.  However, I did wait for Recruit Priday to join the remnaning mobile members of my lance.  Again, I knew that we were going to need the greatest amount of fire possible for our scheduled assault upon our ultimate objective.

DURAND:  And how did that work out for you?

MIKA'IL:  <winces> Not well, Sir.  The enemy fire was too accurate and too heavy for our light units to stand up to it.  Our speed was not enough to outrun their accurate, long-ranged mass fire.  One by one, my fellow recruits fell to heavy fire.

DURAND:  An honest, if grim, statement, Recruit.  What do you think led to that?

MIKA'IL:  Two things, Sir:  a desire to knock out some of the OPFOR units on the way to the objective, and my decision to wait and concentrate our firepower.

DURAND:  And what do you think you should have done differently, Recruit Mika'il?

MIKA'IL:  Sir, my best estimate is that we should have scattered individually, presenting the OPFOR with as many dispersed targets as possible while making for a rendevous point beyond their weapons range.  Unfortunately, I had not designated such a rendevous point beforehand.  It is not a mistake I will make again.

DURAND:  A fair assessment, Recruit.  In addition, I will add that the COMBINED firepower of your remaining active 'Mechs did not even approach that of the OPFOR's heaviest unit.  You were outmassed two-to-one and outgunned almost three-to-one.

  Under those sorts of circumstances, you have three options:  scatter and rendevous as you have already stated, stand and die--which I DO NOT recommend under ANY circumstances, Recruit--and, finally, sacrifice one or more of your members to distract the heavy units while the rest of your formation escapes.  Of the three, I think the option you decided on with hindsight was most likely to work under those circumstances.  Plain and simple, you couldn't have outgunned or outfought us; green recruits in light machines pitted against seasoned veterans in mediums and heavies, especially already suffering such heavy casualties, do not survive by standing and fighting.  Even a passing engagement, as you experienced, is not desirable under such circumstances.
  Son, we handed you a nearly-impossible situation in that exercise.  There are many battle-hardened veteran units that would have had trouble under such circumstances.  But, it HAPPENS in real combat.  Sometimes the intel pukes screw up by the numbers, and you wind up in that sort of Charlie Foxtrot.  That's why we do things like this.  To iron out the problems.
  To recap, you need to drop in a looser formation to prevent possible Blue-Blue accidents, disperse and run rather than try to fight with heavier machines operated by more experienced pilots, and plan ahead.  Prior planning prevents piss-poor performance, son, and always expect Murphy to put his hand in.
  We'll review the battleROMS later, people.  You are dismissed for chow.
« Last Edit: 22 April 2012, 20:44:24 by Col. Chiang »


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Re: P&B, Incorporated (Merc Command, 3031)
« Reply #1 on: 25 April 2012, 08:24:23 »
Good write up, Drops are hard man.  The game balance breaks down a bit- the attacker needs more targets than the defender can handle in a turn.   And always expect someone to break a leg on touch down.  Ideally I throw a light lance on some fairly hard place to land, just so that the main body can land a turn or two later in an area where the defending force just moved away from.

Sometimes it works, sometimes... it's a horrifying variant of "the greatest raid".  O0

Col. Chiang

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Re: P&B, Incorporated (Merc Command, 3031)
« Reply #2 on: 25 April 2012, 19:10:34 »
Yep.  Never done a hot drop before.  Always wanted to, but I never got around to it until the last one.

We should have another AAR coming in a couple of weeks.  Definitely will keep this updated!