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Author Topic: [NYC] The Vanderlin Campaign  (Read 228 times)


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[NYC] The Vanderlin Campaign
« on: 08 March 2020, 05:50:20 »
I am a relatively new Battletech (and Tabletop in general) player, after a couple of years I decided to start my own narrative/map campaign with some players out of The Carcosa Club in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NYC. While there's still some rough edges I'm ironing out, my players have been very thrilled to be thrown off the deep end with my sort of bizarro approach of throwing brand new twists and turns at them throughout every scenario. I figured I should put together a thread to record the events of this campaign, as detailed by the detailed After Action Reports I write to go with every scenario.

No to be clear, I OC'd up an entirely fictional merc lance, non-canon planet, non-canon planetary factions, and have set it all against the backdrop of a surprise 3050 Clan Smoke Jaguar planetary invasion. I wanted to write a story about the people of all stripes and backgrounds, pushed to their breaking point, forced to improvise and adapt to the conflicts laid out before them. All of it set from the perspective of a handful of corporate mercenaries closer to Agent 47 than any sort of "honorable warrior."

Here is the overall campaign primer:

And here is the briefing for the introductory scenario:

The After Action Report for Scenario 01 will be the rest of this post:

Black Thunder Lance, Leviticus Steppe, Marston, Planet Vanderlin

DATE: 20 March 3050

SUBJECT: Operation Crimson Tears

FROM: CEO Daisaku Kuze
TO: Black Thunder Lance
CC: Kuze Tactical Discretion Operations Staff

Escort “ELEMENT KILO” to target location at B.T. Facility 0451
Discourage Kell Hounds lance reinforcement
Exfiltrate West to Dropship “TOJO” with minimal losses

The mission was an overwhelming success… for better or for worse. Black Thunder Lance eliminated four buildings at Berenger Technologies’ research facility, ELEMENT KILO (which actually belonged to Clan Smoke Jaguar) escaped completely unharmed, and almost all Kell Hounds mercenaries were killed, minus one. 

[David] Netro Karagan eliminated Building 2113, 2615 (+2 XP, 2.5mil CBills)
[Frank] Les Bowey eliminated Building 2015, 2315 (+2 XP, 2.5mil CBills)
[Rob] Vladia bin Kareef eliminated Building 3111 (+1 XP, 1.75mil. CBills)

>>Vladia bin Kareef’s Hatchetman brutally dismembered a Flea and its’ pilot via brutal overkill. It exploded before being sliced in half by Vladia’s blade, as a matter of fact. (+1XP for the kill, +1XP for a notable act of Sadist Brutality to Vladia, 250,000 CBills.) Mere moments later, she rescued Netro Karagan’s Wolverine from a 1v1 standoff with a Gauss Rifle equipped Hollander II by detoning the SRM ammo cache in its Left Torso. (+1XP for the kill to Vladia, 250,000 CBills)

>>Element KILO safely left the AO after completing their objective, entirely unscathed. (+1XP to every pilot + $5 million C-Bills to contract pay) They are now taking shelter in a mountainous area in the Southwest region of the mainland continent of Marston.

>>Building 3111 took 10 points of damage from falling defense grid satellite debris. A prominent geothermal engineering scientist, Jovany Delos, known for his potentially revolutionary experience in converting planetary cores into a renewable energy source was brutally smashed into fleshy paste. His family is in mourning, and funeral expenses are being raised via multiple crowdfunding platforms. (+1XP to “An Act of God”)

>>Kell Hounds pilot “Dan Allard” in a Firestarter witnessed his entire lance be dismantled in front of his eyes. He fought valiantly to the last man and refused to give up an inch, even in the face of the chaos in front of his eyes. He then proceeded to run for his life and jump into the bottom of a recently emptied nuclear missile silo. His jump jets malfunctioned, and was brutally injured as his mech slammed face first into the hard cement silo floor. (+1XP to “An Act of God”) Every limb in his body was shattered into a thousand pieces - but thank the heavens the generosity of the Berenger Technologies medical research staff was able to rescue him and his career in private security by outfitting him with experimental prosthetics. It’s amazing what the future makes possible!

>>Clan Smoke Jaguar “leaked” our involvement with the incident to the local media in a video address also meant to indict Charred Flesh Awakened, the local labor militant group. Berenger Technologies CEO Sid Berenger has sworn revenge for the senseless slaughter of their civilian researchers, and promises their brightest minds will be tasked with developing and deploying experimental military responses to both the invasion of Clan Smoke Jaguar and against the newly crowned “Butchers of Fordham.” (That’s us! What the ******, pilots.)

>>The FEDCOM Planetary Governor, Mariah Castro, has declared a planetary emergency in response to the Clan incursion. Civilians are to relocate to their closest shelter or bunker down in their homes as the military fights like hell to hold back Clan Smoke Jaguar. In lieu of the current crisis, and in response to CEO Daisaku Kuze’s pleading that they had no idea the Clans were behind the incident at Fordham, FEDCOM has offered KTD a basic contract escorting a supply convoy of arms through hostile territory. A stealth relay ship has been launched, and a military response is en route, although that will be some weeks away.

>>Charred Flesh Awakened Corporal Brady Gonzalez issued a video address denying any involvement with the incident at Fordham, and has insisted they will fight both FEDCOM and Clan Smoke Jaguar to the last man. They have activated every militant cell across the planet, and have promised that protecting civilians and helping them get off-planet is their primary objective for the time being.

     Netro Karagan: 6.25 million CBills
     Les Bowey: 6.25 million CBills
     Vladia “Hatchetwoman” bin Kareef: 4.25 million CBills 
     Netro Karagan: 4XP
     Les Bowey: 4XP
     Vladia “Hatchetwoman” bin Kareef: 6XP
    C. KILLS:
     Vladia “Hatchetwoman” bin Kareef: 2 Kills
     Act of God: 1 Kill
     Netro & Les: 0 Kills
     FEDCOM: -1
     Berenger Technologies: -2
     Clan Smoke Jaguar: +1
     Civilians: -1
     Kell Hounds: -3

Well, apparently none of you thought to read the contract and question why a labor militant group would ask you to raze a bunch of buildings full of civilian research scientists. So yes, now we have a wallet full of Clanner minted C-Bills, all of which are just as good as regular C-Bills, but everyone hates us, and we are now the “Butchers of Fordham.” Big ups to Vladia, you’re now known as “Hatchetwoman” for your anti-Flea brutality.

For now, we’ll try to work for the Federated Commonwealth’s local government. Of course, this is the largest government in the Inner Sphere, and we’re just a handful of mech pilots, so they have no reason to give a ****** about us if something goes wrong. Something to keep in mind going forward. [Options for mech purchases and spending XP will be made available in a couple days. -GM]

« Last Edit: 08 March 2020, 05:53:20 by Taintberner »


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Re: [NYC] The Vanderlin Campaign
« Reply #1 on: 08 March 2020, 06:01:44 »

Wrapped up the second scenario in my narrative campaign this week - the Mercs of Kuze Tactical Discretion survived by the skin of their teeth! I took some photos:

The BBC-76 "Banal Bringer of Cargo" and her 5 lightly armored trucks prepare to depart into the canyon where an unidentified Clan Smoke Jaguar Star waits to ambush them. I rolled a 1D6 to determine the weight class of the mechs they'd be facing - 1 for Negative Contact, 2 for Light Mech, 3-4 for Medium, 5 for Heavy, and 6 for Assault. The first contact ended up being a Mad Cat, believe it or not.

Here is the canyon of death that loomed before them.

The Merc lance managed to down the Mad Cat, but not before it managed to kill one of the supply trucks! A few turns later, the BBC-76 turned and blocked the path of the trucks - it wasn't a cargo landcarrier, it was a rapid Battlemech deployment playform! She launches a Marauder piloted by the pilot that jumped into the bottom of a recently expended nuclear missile silo. Kuze Tactical Discretion responded by forming a congo line and lighting the ******'s ass up, with the Hatchetman taking an axe to the BBC's engine block. But that's not where the fun stops!

One of the Wolverlines sprinted across the wreckage to close the distance with the Marauder, dodging not one, not two, but THREE shots of PPC fire. I gave an extra XP point for that one, obviously. The three of them then proceeded to force the Marauder to fall from overwhelming fire. Absolutely embarassing show.

They then proceeded to circumvent the road and take the trucks off road - I thought they would have to apply skidding rules for taking wheeled vehicles off paved terrain, but alas I was wrong. This allowed them to mostly circumvent the Clan Smoke Jaguar Star (minus one lucky ER PPC shot from a Puma) and escape the AO, having all the vehicles basically drive off a cliff, take 2 points of damage, and then drive off the map.

Partial victory, $6 million CBills in the bank, and a few handy salvageable Mechs.

For the next scenario, my players will be shipped off into space - fighting on a low orbit landing platform defending refugee transports as Clan Smoke Jaguar attempts to violently claim these poor souls as their bondsmen.
« Last Edit: 10 March 2020, 11:55:00 by Taintberner »


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Re: [NYC] The Vanderlin Campaign
« Reply #2 on: 08 March 2020, 12:15:59 »
Nice AAR and campaign. You've put a lot of work and thought into it and it shows. I was wondering what did you use to create your planetary map?


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Re: [NYC] The Vanderlin Campaign
« Reply #3 on: 08 March 2020, 21:50:01 »
Excellent work.  Looking forward to further installments.  :thumbsup:
There is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others.   -Machiavelli

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Re: [NYC] The Vanderlin Campaign
« Reply #4 on: 10 March 2020, 15:20:10 »
Nice AAR and campaign. You've put a lot of work and thought into it and it shows. I was wondering what did you use to create your planetary map?

I had a .PDF of Campaign Operations where I ripped the lineart for the Planetary Map template out of the back and put it onto an 11x17 in Adobe Illustrator. Then, I went into Adobe Photoshop and started drawing out the map (based off some pre-lim sketches in my campaign sketchbook, very helpful for logging events, brainstorming, etc.) outline in blue.

After that, I was able to fill in with different colors & brushes for texture. After that, I came up with some basic icons, and to come up with location names, I looked at the character list from the Red Dead Redemption 2 Fandom wiki and started splattering them around, to get a vaguely Wild West theme going.

Also, thank you! I'm working on a fresh map from scratch right now, as a matter of fact. It's tricky! Gonna try to write up some fluff as well, although I think my players are oddly over-focused on taking FEDCOM contracts to fight Clan Smoke Jaguar instead of the other stuff I've dreamed up.


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Re: [NYC] The Vanderlin Campaign
« Reply #5 on: 10 March 2020, 16:24:06 »
Thanks! It turned out really well.
Also, thank you! I'm working on a fresh map from scratch right now, as a matter of fact. It's tricky! Gonna try to write up some fluff as well, although I think my players are oddly over-focused on taking FEDCOM contracts to fight Clan Smoke Jaguar instead of the other stuff I've dreamed up.
This is the way. Having plans for your players is a sure fire way to have them do anything *but* that :)).