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What is your favorite Star League Era story?

Fall From Grace
12 (50%)
What I Remember Most
1 (4.2%)
So Costly a Sacrifice
0 (0%)
A Veiled Betrayal
1 (4.2%)
Battlefields
0 (0%)
The Theseus Knot
0 (0%)
Memories of Rain
0 (0%)
Seventy
0 (0%)
The Pear
0 (0%)
Destiny's Call
1 (4.2%)
Destiny's Challenge
0 (0%)
Way of the Champion
0 (0%)
Pulsar
2 (8.3%)
The Top of the Scrap Heap
1 (4.2%)
Greater Than Yourself
0 (0%)
Self Defense
0 (0%)
An Ill-Made House
1 (4.2%)
Living Legends
2 (8.3%)
Rise of the Animal
0 (0%)
Star Lord
0 (0%)
Tactics of Betrayal
1 (4.2%)
Desertion
0 (0%)
Hard Justice
1 (4.2%)
The Dark Night of the Soul
1 (4.2%)

Total Members Voted: 24

Author Topic: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era  (Read 76832 times)

Mendrugo

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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #180 on: 09 March 2015, 21:38:58 »
----- Four Years into the Star League Civil War -----

Date: 2770

Location: Rim Worlds Republic

Title: RWS Krait

Author: Matthew Hawk

Type: Sourcebook (BattleCorps Ship Profile)

Synopsis: This BattleCorps exclusive product profiles the RWS Krait, a former Terran Hegemony surveillance ship sold to Amaris-loyalists during the Reunification War and subsequently mothballed, prior to its reactivation in 2764 during the build-up of the secret army.  Following the 2766 coup, it was assigned to engage and destroy any Star League ships entering Republic space.  Lacking significant combat capabilities, the ship often blended in with civilian shipping vessels (as it was designed to do), waited for Star League flotillas to arrive at jump points and for the WarShips to depart for the system's primary settlement, and then attacked the relatively defenseless SLDF JumpShips. 

The profile details the Krait (under Captain Marc Birch), the signals section under Lt. Della Burgess, the transport section under Lt. Mickey Whitcombe, and the marines under Lt. Cmdr. Jonas Paasch.  The Krait is escorted by an Intruder assault ship and a Leopard CV fighter carrier.  Based on the carrying capacity, that adds eight fighters and four small craft, along with four infantry platoons.  The small craft were probably ST-46 shuttles, which debuted in 2528, and were modified to add weaponry.  The fighters were probably the RWR's home-built Vulcans.

The story of the Krait is that it was given orders to maintain radio silence from 2766 onwards, and to ambush Star League ships.  The crew didn't learn about about the death of Richard Cameron, or the start of the Civil War, until 2769, at which point most of the crew backed a plan to mutiny against the Rim Worlds Republic and flee into the Deep Periphery.

Notes: The Tracker-class surveillance vessel was rendered obsolete by the end of the 25th century, and the Terran Hegemony phased out its last few by the end of the Reunification War.  With a movement rating of 4/6 and a popgun weapon array supporting one main NL45, this ship is only capable of harassing larger vessels or limiting itself to hitting DropShips and civilian JumpShips.  A single NAC/20 shot would carve the ship open from stem to stern, so the appearance of any other WarShip should send this ship scurrying for cover, defiantly spitting extreme range Barracudas from its aft launch tube.  By contrast, its sister ship-design, the Nightwing, was slower (3/5), but sported some real firepower and 56% more armor protection.  For that matter, the Krait's Intruder DropShip carries 2/3 as much armor as its mothership, and actually outguns the Tracker at short range.

Field Report: 2765 - Periphery indicates that this is the sole Tracker in the Rim Worlds Republic fleet.

Historical: Liberation of Terra gives the timeline for Kerensky's invasion of the Rim Worlds Republic as beginning in 2767, pitting 2,500 regiments against 50 RWR defense regiments.  While the hardcore political troops fought - striking from 20 Castles Brian - many units professed loyalty to the Rim Republican Army, surrendered to the SLDF, and then aided it in rooting out the loyalists.  The League took all the Republic shipyards capable of providing WarShip support in 2768.  A popular uprising against Amaris' regent, Mohammed Selim, began in October 2768.  By late 2769, all the Republic's worlds were in SLDF hands and the campaign officially concluded.  The Krait's most notable action was when it ambushed an SLDF flotilla in the battle of Erewhon, which took place around March/April 2768.

According to the Krait profile, the ship was operating under radio silence, and didn't even learn about the Amaris coup until 2769, by which time the RWR had been completely conquered by the SLDF (Apollo fell in late 2768, leaving only mopping up operations).  At this point, the Krait took off for the Deep Periphery.  The Tracker's large cargo bay would have supported independent operations for 5+ years, so an isolated existence is feasible.  They have 23,810 tons of cargo and 2,800 tons of fuel (enough for 141 days of transit operations).  If 6,000 tons (5% of the ship's weight) is for spare parts, that leaves 17,810 tons.  With 334 crew (in both the WarShip and the DropShips), they consume 1.67 tons per day, so a five year food supply is only 3,047 tons.  The rest of the cargo bay was probably filled with additional Barracudas and extra fuel (if it was all fuel, they could get an extra 745 burn days from the left-over cargo space - 50 trips in-system and back).

But if the Krait was capturing JumpShips, from where were they getting their prize crews?  And where did those ships go?  Did the Krait have a Galactica-style entourage?  Were they sent to Secret Army staging grounds, like Outpost #27?  Were they just immediately recaptured by the swarming masses of the SLDF at the next system?  With radio silence in place, how did they coordinate any actions?  Just bounced around hoping to be in the right place at the right time?

Having isolated units continuing to fight on without communications isn't unprecedented.  Isolated groups of Japanese soldiers continued to be spotted into the 1950s (even becoming a plot point on Gilligan's Island).  I recall a sidebar from ComStar noting that the RWR deep range colony of Trentwash II still flew RWR colors and was unaware of the fate of its parent state, three centuries later. 
« Last Edit: 10 March 2015, 10:41:27 by Mendrugo »
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.

Wrangler

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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #181 on: 10 March 2015, 09:31:59 »
Thank you for the write up, i never had chance to purchase those individual Warship profiles.

Question on Cynthiana, i went to look up the planet. Where was it the Explorer book.  Interstellar Explorers doesn't mention it, so i'd image its forgotten or name dropped?
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Mendrugo

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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #182 on: 10 March 2015, 10:39:51 »
Thank you for the write up, i never had chance to purchase those individual Warship profiles.

Question on Cynthiana, i went to look up the planet. Where was it the Explorer book.  Interstellar Explorers doesn't mention it, so i'd image its forgotten or name dropped?

Sorry.  Half-remembered reference on my part.  Wrong world name and wrong sourcebook. 

Trentwash II (founded by Cynthia Amaris), p. 45 in the ComStar sourcebook (in a section referencing the Explorer Corps). 
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.

Wrangler

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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #183 on: 10 March 2015, 11:17:32 »
Sorry.  Half-remembered reference on my part.  Wrong world name and wrong sourcebook. 

Trentwash II (founded by Cynthia Amaris), p. 45 in the ComStar sourcebook (in a section referencing the Explorer Corps).

Hopefully they weren't completely wiped out, but the little bit info did say they burnt the city after local went nuts.  I guess, it was too minor of world to make it into Interstellar Expeditions.
"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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"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
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Mendrugo

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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #184 on: 10 March 2015, 20:46:48 »
Hopefully they weren't completely wiped out, but the little bit info did say they burnt the city after local went nuts.  I guess, it was too minor of world to make it into Interstellar Expeditions.

Regrettably, Interstellar Expeditions' section on the section of space between the Inner Sphere and the Clans mostly focused on items demarcated on the maps showing Clan outposts and supply stations, so it failed to update fluff-only entries from ComStar and Explorer Corps that would have fit there perfectly.  (Interstellar Expeditions was fantastic in every other respect, however.)  So the individual worlds like Trentwash II and even multi-world trading coalitions like the Khwarazm Empire got no attention.  When I asked about it, Herb first responded "Wait, that wasn't in there?" then indicated that it must have been destroyed "off camera," and therefore did not justify a writeup.  (Most likely they were accidentally forgotten by the writers who were fleshing out the Chainlane Isles, RWR Outpost #27, and a pile of Clan, JarnFolk, and Hanseatic League holdings.)
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.

Mendrugo

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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #185 on: 10 March 2015, 21:40:34 »
----- Four Years Later -----

Date: 2774

Location: Amaris Empire

Title: RWS Tadeo Amaris

Author: Craig A. Reed, Jr.

Type: Sourcebook (BattleCorps Ship Profile)

Synopsis:  This BattleCorps ship profile looks at the RWS Tadeo Amaris, an Aegis Heavy Cruiser that served the Terran Hegemony for over a century before being mothballed in orbit around Titan.  It was one of the ships given to the RWR in 2763 by Richard Cameron, and was designated the flagship for the Third RWR Defense Squadron.  In that capacity, it led the squadron in hunting down SLDF WarShips in the Hegemony during the coup, raiding SLDF supply lines during Kerensky's conquest of the Rim Worlds Republic, and continuing to strike at SLDF fleets during Kerensky's drive to liberate Terra. 

It is escorted by an Achilles, an Elephant, and two Leopard CVs.  The Elephant is a relatively fast (5/8) heavy tug/assault ship with impressive firepower and equally substantial cargo capacity.  The Achilles is even faster (8/12) and can massacre whole wings of aerospace fighters in a single volley.  The Aegis and its DropShips carry 28 fighters and 16 small craft (which could be shuttles, or could be Lyonesse/Aquarius-style escort craft).  Rather than the RWR's signature Vulcans, they have heavier Tomahawks, Rapiers, and Ahabs. 

Notes: A distinct change of pace from the previous Ship Profile, here we have an Amaris WarShip that is wholeheartedly committed to Stefan Amaris, rather than declaring a mutiny in the name of the Rim Republican Army and skedaddling into the Deep Periphery.  What's impressive is that not only did it fight in the initial conquest of the Hegemony, but returned to the Republic to participate in the fight against Kerensky there, returning to the conquered Hegemony after the fall of Apollo.  The writeup for the Krait indicated that Amaris sent his best ships and crews to the Hegemony, and this is borne out by the Elite status of the Tadeo Amaris' captain/crew, under Amaris' cousin, Richard Amaris.

This profile also puts the lie to the claim that Amaris completely abandoned the Rim Worlds Republic.  The Tadeo Amaris probably wasn't the only RWR raider sent to harrass the SLDF's preparatory efforts to strike back at the occupied Hegemony.  With the Caspar drones providing security for the Hegemony, the 300+ ships of the mobile Amaris fleet could use uninhabited systems to strike at SLDF troop convoys.  In fact, had the RWR fleet remained totally on the defensive within the Hegemony's borders, there would have been no need for a secret staging base (Gabriel) at Odessa.  The SLDF could have staged openly. 

This might even answer one of my earlier questions - what the heck were RWR troops doing taking hostages on York, way out in the Lyran Commonwealth?  If elements of the RWR fleet did travel back to the RWR to help fight Kerensky's takeover, they would have traveled through Lyran space.  Notably, one of Kerensky's main staging worlds in the Republic was Circinus, so a raider looking to hit SLDF shipping could have been ranging in the vicinity of York.  Why they would have taken human shields there of all places is still a mystery, as is why the LCAF didn't get involved and let Kerensky's troops execute the rescue with the help of Antonius Zalman's resistance crew.  (Of the four sources that reference the York operation, three just say "York," and one says "a Hegemony world," leaving open the possibiliy that there's a secondary planet in a Hegemony system named York, and that the accounts aren't talking about the Lyran world at all.)

Author Craig Reed nicely covers the operational realities of the Tadeo Amaris, which resupplies from the ships it attacks, since it spends much of its time operating behind enemy lines as a raider.  It's never been detailed, to my knowledge, but WarShip fighter bays must have substantial arrays of repair and machining equipment with which to conduct repairs and maintenance.  Having all the WarShips in the squadron equipped with LF batteries (for a double jump) would be vital, as would having an onboard HPG to send reports and receive intel on SLDF fleet movements and shipping from AsRoc/Krypteia intelligence.

The Aegis is something of a glass cannon in the Star League era.  Its firepower is awesome - a single broadside can dish out 380 damage in a single round - enough to can-opener even a flying brick like the Texas or the Nightlord.  Conversely, it has only 101 armor on its sides, meaning that if two Aegis cruisers went to guns, the almost certain outcome is mutually assured destruction.  This reality had to strongly affect combat tactics (or at least it should have) to disincentivize ship-to-ship exchanges, and to focus more on maintaining distance while sending in waves of fighters to cripple a target, supporting it with less accurate long-range fire.  I've only played one engagement with an Aegis, and in it, my Yorks were forced to hang back at extreme range, sniping ineffectually with nose lasers while their 100 fighters attempted to overwhelm the 40 fighters escorting the two Aegis cruisers.  Had my capital ships moved to effective range with the two Aegis cruisers, they would have been vaporized in short order, leaving nowhere for my fighters to return.  Fortunately for its opponents, the Aegis' weak engines (2/3 movement) mean that it's not going to be able to catch any WarShip that doesn't want to be caught.

Given the accompanying art, this vessel, unlike the THS Repulse and the SLS Manassas, is one of the "new aesthetic" Aegis cruisers.  If you look at Technical Readout 2750 and Technical Readout 3057, you see that most of the ships were radically redesigned between the two books.  It's unclear why Duane Loose redid all the WarShip art originally done by Dana Knutson, but the fact that art directors changed from Dana Knutson to Jim Nelson in the interim may have something to do with it.  However, TRO: 3057 didn't come out all that long after the BattleSpace boxed set, and that prominently uses the TRO: 2750 versions.

Initially, fan reaction (for those who cared) was to handwave the aesthetic changes away as being part of the ClanTech upgrades the ships underwent.  However, in more recent years, the BattleTech developers have said that the designs underwent cosmetic refits during the Star League era, so that the TRO: 2750 pictures reflect how the class looked when they debuted, while the TRO: 3057 art shows their final form.  The fact that the old-look Manassas (from Living Legends) and new-look Tadeo Amaris were contemporaries indicates that the cosmetic upgrades were not universally applied.  This could help to account for sourcebook images that use the old art for Clan WarShips in action during Operation REVIVAL - not all the Clan ships got the cosmetic upgrades either.

The profile states that the ship began its service as the SLS Athens, but since its service dates were from 2415 to 2544 (predating the Star League), it must have been the THS Athens.
« Last Edit: 14 March 2015, 07:18:44 by Mendrugo »
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.

Wrangler

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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #186 on: 11 March 2015, 10:25:44 »
Woah, Amaris must got alot sweet talking. I thought the Elephant was excursive to SLDF from the fluff form 3075 and Revised version of the TRO:3026.

Nice write up, Mendrugo!
"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
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Mendrugo

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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #187 on: 11 March 2015, 11:44:48 »
Woah, Amaris must got alot sweet talking. I thought the Elephant was excursive to SLDF from the fluff form 3075 and Revised version of the TRO:3026.

I'm pretty sure Richard wouldn't have denied Stefan anything he asked for.  Alternatively, the RWR could have captured the Elephant in 2766 and assigned it to the Tadeo Amaris as a replacement at some point (similar to how the Tomahawks were upgraded to heavier fighters through battlefield salvage).
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.

Nerroth

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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #188 on: 13 March 2015, 11:43:00 »
Regrettably, Interstellar Expeditions' section on the section of space between the Inner Sphere and the Clans mostly focused on items demarcated on the maps showing Clan outposts and supply stations, so it failed to update fluff-only entries from ComStar and Explorer Corps that would have fit there perfectly.  (Interstellar Expeditions was fantastic in every other respect, however.)  So the individual worlds like Trentwash II and even multi-world trading coalitions like the Khwarazm Empire got no attention.  When I asked about it, Herb first responded "Wait, that wasn't in there?" then indicated that it must have been destroyed "off camera," and therefore did not justify a writeup.  (Most likely they were accidentally forgotten by the writers who were fleshing out the Chainlane Isles, RWR Outpost #27, and a pile of Clan, JarnFolk, and Hanseatic League holdings.)

In fairness, the book does make clear just how serious the post-Reaving difficulties are for any Inner Sphere (or near Periphery) groups attempting to operate in the coreward sector of the Deep Periphery, with both the Council of Six and Homeworld Clans stepping up their WarShip patrols and shifting decidedly towards a shoot-on-sight posture.

Plus, it is hinted at in the book that there may be additional pieces of information which the "official" volume does not show, from an in-universe perspective. While the real-world explanation may be a case of unfortunate oversight, the lack of any details here could inadvertently open the door for some sort of further explanation, if or when the interdiction is lifted on new published data from that direction of space.
« Last Edit: 13 March 2015, 11:45:23 by Nerroth »

Mendrugo

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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #189 on: 19 June 2016, 14:14:27 »
Date: July 12, 2698

Location: Rasalhague

Title: The Face of the Enemy

Author: Philip A. Lee

Type: Short Story (BattleCorps)

Synopsis:  At Stenberg Manor, in the city of Reykjavik, young Thorsten Stenberg receives a bokken practice sword from his older brother Mikkel on his twelfth birthday.  The two spar before the party starts, and Mikkel presses Thorsten hard to teach him the lesson that the enemy will never go easy on him.  Though Thorsten complains at first, his dream in life is to be a soldier of the DCMS, and he admits the wisdom in Mikkel's methods.

Notes: It's interesting that Thorsten should be so focused on joining the DCMS in 2698.  During this period, so many soldiers had been mustered out during the "Good Years" that they turned to private "warrior society" dojos and honor duels against each other and the SLDF garrisons to achieve martial glory.  The Combine wouldn't be engaged in a major military operation until 2725, during the War of Davion Succession, and hadn't previously had major field operations since the Reunification War ended.  An yet he wants army playsets, toy 'Mechs (hey, don't we all?), and other martial trappings.

Living in a Manor, Thorsten is clearly of the Rasalhague elite, but he and Mikkel speak a mix of Japanese and Star League Standard English to each other, rather than Swedenese.   Notably, this scene takes place just seven years after the death of Coordinator Urizen Kurita II, who was most notable for his campaign to reshape Kuritan society and culture along the lines of feudal Japan.  It would seem that his efforts were a smashing success with the Stenbergs.
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.

Mendrugo

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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #190 on: 19 June 2016, 20:07:24 »
Date: August 31, 2698

Location: Rasalhague

Title: The Face of the Enemy

Author: Philip A. Lee

Type: Short Story (BattleCorps)

Synopsis:  Thorsten returns from bokken practice at the family dojo to find his father raging at his brother Mikkel, who is wearing a Star League Defense Force uniform, rather than the DCMS browns to which the Stenbergs had assumed Mikkel aspired.  Their father roars that the SLDF is an occupying force preparing for the eventual conquest of the Combine.

Mikkel stands up for the ideals of the Star League, and contends that the SLDF is a vital component of the Combine's defense against pirates and corrupt local governments.  His father disowns and banishes him.  After Mikkel's abrupt departure, their father comes to Thorsten and tells him that the duty of continuing the Stenberg's honorable service to the Dragon.  Still shocked by his brother's abandonment of the DCMS, Thorsten swears to uphold his family's honor.

Notes:  The downsizing of the Great House militaries appears to have had a number of unintended consequences.  The first (not referenced here) is the creation of the Warrior Dojos (see "Seventy" and "The Pear").  Another is that the Great Houses became dependent on SLDF garrisons for anti-piracy and anti-insurrection operations.  (Real pirates - the Third Hidden War where the "pirates" were false-flagged House regulars didn't start until 2741). 

The SLDF also served as a primary draw for people of a warrior mindset, who found limited opportunity to serve in their House's armed forces.  As a corollary, it would seem that the House militaries, with an artificial cap on membership, became prestige postings, limited to people with high-level social connections, or the occasional "warrior born" prodigy. 

Another interesting tidbit is that, even during the "Good Years" of the Star League, we have "corrupt local governments" causing problems.  When I went through MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries earlier this year, many of the earlier missions give the impression that the Great Houses' empires are very loosely held together, forcing the central government to expend significant effort to keep local governments from breaking off on their own or jumping ship for a neighboring state that offers better tax breaks.   

I would think that the SLDF would explicitly let such anti-insurgent operations be the province of the House militaries, since their charter prohibits interference in domestic conflicts.  Pirates and peacekeeping duty on the borders is more the SLDF's beat.  That's why they stayed out of the Marik Civil War and took so long to interfere in the War of the Davion Succession, and it's also why the "Freebooter War" (hunting down rogue CCAF veterans turned pirate on Wisconsin) was a joint operation between the FWLM and CCAF, without SLDF involvement.
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.

Mendrugo

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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #191 on: 19 June 2016, 22:24:52 »
Date: September 4, 2704

Location: New Samarkand

Title: The Face of the Enemy

Author: Philip A. Lee

Type: Short Story (BattleCorps)

Synopsis:  Now a cadet at the Sun Zhang MechWarrior Academy on New Samarkand, Thorsten Stenberg gets two message discs during mail call.  The first disc is an older message from Mikkel, who is now in the the Ninth Army, Twelfth Corps, Thirty-second Infantry Division on Sackville.  He congratulates Thorsten on getting into Sun Zhang, and confesses garrison duty on the Periphery border in the FWL feels boring and purposeless, with no real enemy to fight.

The second, more recent, disc is from his father, who sorrowfully tells Thorsten that Mikkel has been killed in action in combat against bandits.  Emotionally shattered, Thorsten blames the SLDF for his brother's death.

Notes:  To be fair to Thorsten, he has numerous personal reasons to resent he SLDF.  His brother's choice to join sundered their family, not only denying him the pleasure of his bug brother's company, but also putting a massive weight of new responsibilities "to uphold the family honor" on his twelve year old shoulders.

Handbook House Kurita notes that the Sun Zhang Academy notes that more of its alumni became Champion duelists with seventy or more victories in one-on-one 'Mech combat.  Accordingly, the school probably has a more hawkish philosophical bent than some of the other, lesser, Combine academies. The Handbook also notes that the curriculum emphasizes strict military discipline and bushido.  Duels to the death are authorized for slights to a cadet's honor.

Message formats reflect BattleTech's "future of the 80s" motif.  Restrictions imposed by the academy limit the file size of incoming messages, delivered on discs as grainy low-res video.  These messages arrive simultaneously, despite having been sent at different times.  This would imply that the messages were either physically couriered, or significantly delayed while being transmitted through the interstellar HPG network (either Starlight Communications - the civilian network, or the SLCOMMNET - the military network).  Jihad-era references to removable media often reference both vid-chips and holodiscs, so optical media is still going strong.
« Last Edit: 20 June 2016, 05:07:59 by Mendrugo »
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.

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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #192 on: 21 June 2016, 23:36:29 »
Date: April 7, 2722

Location: Luthien

Title: The Face of the Enemy

Author: Philip A. Lee

Type: Short Story (BattleCorps)

Synopsis:  Thorsten Stenberg, now a Tai-i in the Second Sword of Light stationed at Fortress Sanethia on Luthien, feels somehow unfulfilled, despite having achieved his dream of martial service to the Combine and Coordinator.

He dons his dress uniform and goes to a meeting of the 2nd Sword senior staff, which is also attended by SLDF Major Steydlitz, liaison to the DCMS from the 131st Royal Mechanized Infantry Division (also stationed on Luthien).  In a pre-planned act, Thorsten interrupts Tai-sa Sanaka to decry the SLDF garrison on Luthien as a disgrace, and demand a chance to duel their champion to gain satisfaction for the death of his brother.  Sanaka dismisses Thorsten from the DCMS and snaps his katana (thereby freeing him to make the challenge as a ronin).

Thorsten takes his Lancelot to Fort Luthien, the SLDF base, to make his challenge, following in the tradition of Amanda Kazutoyo, the first ronin to challenge a SLDF garrison forty years earlier.  He arrives to find a crowd of spectators gathered and an SLDF Champion waiting for him, piloted by Captain Jia Lin Kwan, a Gunslinger program graduate. 

After some initial banter, they have at it, and Thorsten proves the superior combatant.  Kwan's Champion lies at his feet, with the Captain trapped in the cockpit, unable to eject.  He targets her with his laser, but the image of his brother flashes in his memory, and he pictures his brother in the cockpit with Thorsten's Lancelot in the role of the bandit who murdered him, and powers down his laser.  He salutes the SLDF Captain and says it has been an honor fighting her.

Notes: Combine dueling culture is a favorite subject of BattleTech authors for the Star League era - primarily because it's the main source of "Battle" in BattleTech during the so-called "Good Years" before the Second and Third Hidden Wars (not counting the Marik Civil War).  It does strike me as odd that the SLDF liaison would act so shocked by Thorsten's banishment, given the 40 year history of "ronin" attacks.  Surely the Star League Intelligence Corps must have seen through the pretense by this point, especially with the SLDF Gunslingers getting equally into the competitive spirit of the First Hidden War.

It is worth revisiting the rationale for having such a large SLDF garrison presence in the Combine (roughly 100 divisions).  As previously noted, Mikkel's claim that they suppress insurgencies by corrupt local governments doesn't match the SLDF's policy of non-intervention in purely domestic conflicts.  Responding to bandit raids is also a bit of stretch - Field Manual SLDF shows that the worlds on the Combine's Periphery border are sparsely garrisoned.  The garrisons are far more densely concentrated near the borders with the other Great Houses.  This leads me to believe that the SLDF forces in the Combine are there to react to any Combine aggression (albeit under the pretense that they're there to keep the peace and to respond to any Lyran or FedSuns aggression).

This final scene is set only three years before the outbreak of full-blown hostilities between the Combine and the Federated Suns in the War of Davion Succession.  The Combine mobilized large numbers of "ronin" as highly skilled auxiliaries in that conflict, which was ultimately quashed by the Star League's Operation SMOTHER.  Thorsten was, clearly, not exactly wrong when he accused the SLDF of trying to thwart the Combine's warrior destiny.  I wouldn't be surprised if Thorsten was recalled to duty for the war.

It's also interesting that the Combine rewards Thorsten with a million Star League dollars to ensure that his wife and three children will be taken care of if he dies in the battle.  (Though, you would think the family's existing wealth and Thorsten's role as the sole heir would have made money a non-issue, given that they were wealthy enough to have a mansion, private dojo, etc.) 

Also...Star League dollars?  Did they avoid paying in ryu to maintain the illusion of an arm's length relationship between the Combine government and the "ronin"?  I can see them doing that to maintain the pretense for honor's sake (and minimally plausible deniability).
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.

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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #193 on: 26 June 2016, 11:21:55 »
Brings up interesting question about Thorsten.  If should a Ronin win his battle against "evil" SLDF champion...what does the pilot do from there on out?  So he won, he now ronin.   Is he outcast forever?  Does he get allowed to come back or join the DCMS or his he banished forever to fend for himself or forced to commit Seppuku to project his family from his "disgrace" being ronin in the first place?
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Mendrugo

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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #194 on: 26 June 2016, 12:34:33 »
Most of the source material indicates that he carves a notch in his belt and continues challenging other ronin and SLDF MechWarriors until he scores 70 victories, then opens his own dojo and teaches his methods to the next generation of ronin - paying the bills by hiring himself and his students out as "private security" forces.

The million ("One Million Space Bucks!") that would have gone to support his family can now be used to pay for repairs in his continuing dueling career, or seed money for starting his "security" firm.

The Combine mobilized large numbers of "private security" ronin as auxiliaries during the War of Davion Succession (aka the "Second Hidden War")
« Last Edit: 26 June 2016, 12:36:40 by Mendrugo »
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.

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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #195 on: 20 July 2016, 02:58:34 »
Date: July 25-27, 2722

Location: Lone Star

Title: What a Pleasant Breeze

Author: Michael Miller

Type: Adventure Seed

Synopsis:  The SLDF's XLIV Corps began to establish a beachhead at the city of Swartzhof on July 25, 2772.  A massive three-day dust storm coincided with the SLDF's arrival, providing cover for Amaris garrison forces to stage devastating attacks against the liberation force.  The Adventure seed provides details about the city and its surroundings, as well as environmental conditions affecting players outside of their vehicles, and visibility conditions affecting the battlefield units.

Notes:  According to Historical: Liberation of Terra (vol. 1), the First Liberation Army under General Sibeliy Amaris took charge of Lone Star Province, with support from the 2nd and 4th Patriot Divisions from the Imperial Liberation Army.  Lone Star itself has five Castles Brian and an SDS system.

In 2772, The SLDF 16th Army hit Lone Star after several Republican naval squadrons withdrew from the system rather than face the overwhelming numbers of Admiral Brandt's 70-ship SLDF fleet, but the fleet still took weeks to fight its way through the system's SDS Caspar fleets and achieve orbital control in a final battle against Liberation Army aerospace fighters based on the moon of Vespa and the planet itself.  Attacks against DropShips during the naval battle wiped out the entire 138th Royal Mechanized Infantry Division, leaving the XLIV corps with the 299th Royal BattleMech Division, the 355th BattleMech Division, the 1st Infantry Division, the 1216th Mechanized Infantry Division, and the 131st Mechanized Infantry Division.  The initial invasion was accomplished with four of the Corps' six Divisions, and the commander called up the two reserve divisions after losing the 138th during the naval insertion and another five brigades due to nuclear strikes against the staging area.

Historically, the fighting at Swartzhof was focused on a major air campaign by Amaris garrison forces against the SLDF beachhead.  Amaris fighters (probably predominantly the RWR-staple Vulcan attacked in sufficient numbers to drop three nuclear warheads on the staging area, destroying several DropShips and prompting the XLIV Corps' commander to call in his reserves.  (Five brigades were lost "before the fight really began," but it's not clear if the nukes wiped out five brigades or if that number includes losses during the naval battle.)
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.

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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #196 on: 20 July 2016, 20:55:44 »
Date: 2752

Location: McEvedy's Folly

Title: Terrorform

Author: Aaron Pollyea

Type: Adventure Seed

Synopsis:  The Star League's Department of Mega Engineering (DoME) brings vast amounts of highly valuable equipment to McEvedy's Folly for Project SAGITARIUS UMBRELLA (2740 - 2752).  In 2752, an unknown force entered the system and attacked the DoME facilities, wiping out the security forces and looting the supply bunkers.  This Adventure Seed provides sufficient setup information for groups to play as either the security forces or the raiders. 

Notes: Touring the Stars: McEvedy's Folly details the history of this Deep Periphery planet.  The world had long captured the eyes of BattleTech fans, due to the fact that the last Khan of Clan Wolverine was Sarah McEvedy.  Since the trail of the Minnesota Tribe/Wolverines went cold somewhere in the vicinity of the Magistracy of Canopus, this world was the center of intense speculation.  The TtS writeup dashes the hopes of Wolverine fans (though the actual Wolverine base world is less than a jump away), but provides a great showcase for the Department of Mega Engineering, the Star League organization which is responsible for a lot of the LosTech wonders which still festoon the Inner Sphere and Deep Periphery after three centuries of Succession Wars. 

During the Star League Era, the main focus is on the effort to make the world livable for humans, and fending off space pirates trying to boost the construction materials.  This far out in the Deep Periphery, the bandits could be either independent or, potentially, operating out of the Alexandrian Covenant.  This would be about fifty years after the First Upheaval, which turned the bicameral republic into a matriarchal dictatorship, but didn't significantly reduce their technology level. 
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.

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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #197 on: 20 July 2016, 21:31:18 »
McEvedy's Folly....i wonder if the mad scientist was related to the Khan.



"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
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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #198 on: 20 July 2016, 22:58:33 »
McEvedy's Folly....i wonder if the mad scientist was related to the Khan.
I hope so it would make things much more fun....
Federated Suns fan forever, Ghost Bear Fan since 1992, and as a Ghost Bear David Bekker star captain (in an Alt TL Loremaster)

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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #199 on: 21 July 2016, 05:41:38 »
There was a mention in passing in one sourcebook that people tracking the Minnesota Tribe went to McEvedy's Folly, and the locals sad the Tribe had visited, but moved on, they knew not where.  Since the base world is just 20 light years away, it looks like they made one more jump.

A family connection could explain why the Tribe, led by a horribly burned but still living Sarah McEvedy, would have gone there. 

Trish Ebon:  Where can we go now, my Khan?
Sarah McEvedy:  There's this planet out past the Magistracy my uncle/brother/cousin was terraforming.  He'd give us refuge.

They arrive.

Trish Ebon:  My Khan, it is an entire world of Clan Totem Animals.
Sarah:  Righty ho - one more jump, then.
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.

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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #200 on: 26 August 2017, 23:38:40 »
Date: 2742

Location: Butte Hold

Title: Business is Business

Author: Aaron Pollyea

Type: Adventure Seed (Touring the Stars: Butte Hold)

Synopsis: Lyran and Terran Hegemony intelligence agents back-track pirate forces that have been raiding the Commonwealth to Butte Hold, and the 12th Lyran Regulars are sent to clean out the bandits' nest, with support from mercenary and black ops forces.

The Lyran task force establishes orbital superiority, but faces difficulties spotting the bandits, which are hiding in cave networks under the vast Throline Desert, and enjoy support from the locals.  Once it locates a pirate base, the standard Lyran frontal assault ensues, followed by mopping up across the desert.

Notes: This is set during the so-called Third Hidden War, when the Successor States (primarily the Lyran Commonwealth and the Draconis Combine, but the other three as well, to a lesser extent) covertly financed and equipped "bandit" forces (often just false flagged military regulars) to strike at the commercial interests of their trading rivals.  Given the location, the "bandits" on Butte Hold were actually Combine mercenaries. 

Archon Steiner and Coordinator Kurita came to blows at the 2742 Star League Council Session over the Butte Hold incident, as LIC agents had confirmed Combine-ties to the "bandits" there.  The fisticuffs, however, didn't stop the Third Hidden War (the Iron Land Wildcatters Unit Digest records a Combine attempt to destabilize Commonwealth Mining's operations on Iron Land in 2748), which continued until Simon Cameron's death in 2750.

The Rim Worlds Republic seems to have had little control over Butte Hold at this point, purportedly not even learning of the Lyran invasion until six months later.

In an interesting side note, it's indicated that Butte Hold had an HPG at this point, but no regular staff for it.  Pretty expensive bit of hardware just to lock up until someone in the vicinity with authorization needs to use it. 
« Last Edit: 26 August 2017, 23:41:14 by Mendrugo »
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.

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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #201 on: 27 August 2017, 00:19:45 »
Perhaps ComStar closed down the HPG for security reasons, seeing how nobody could guarantee the safety of the staff on this increasingly lawless and hostile world.

Or alternatively, perhaps good ComStar didn't want to be associated too deeply with what was alternatively a Kurita false flag base of operations or a genuine nest of pirates.
(Then again... no, I'm not quite buying this myself.)
« Last Edit: 27 August 2017, 00:21:24 by Frabby »
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Mendrugo

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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #202 on: 27 August 2017, 00:27:53 »
Perhaps ComStar closed down the HPG for security reasons, seeing how nobody could guarantee the safety of the staff on this increasingly lawless and hostile world.

Or alternatively, perhaps good ComStar didn't want to be associated too deeply with what was alternatively a Kurita false flag base of operations or a genuine nest of pirates.
(Then again... no, I'm not quite buying this myself.)

This predated ComStar.  It would have either been an SLCOMMNET military facility or a civilian StarLight Communications office. 
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.

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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #203 on: 27 August 2017, 02:53:59 »
Date: October 10, 2780

Location: Terra

Title: I, Kerensky

Author: Uncredited

Type: Short Story (BattleCorps Iron Writer)

Synopsis: Nicholas Kerensky bitterly recalls the exact sequence of events at the Star League High Council meeting where his father, Aleksandr, was stripped of his title.

He recalls that the great lords were tall and terrifying (and that Barbara Liao was smoking a ginkohl root).  He recalls that all attention was on Aleksandr as he stood, after the revocation of his position as Protector of the Star League.  Nicholas was stunned when General Kerensky sighed, removed the honor braids from his uniform, and dropped them on the floor, followed by his epaulletes, medals, and rank insignia, then strode wordlessly from the room, not looking back.

Nicholas recalls being stunned, having never seen his father run from a fight, and develops, at that moment, a hatred for the "general who was," who betrayed everything Nicholas had believed in life to that point.

Notes: The exact date isn't given, just the year - 2781.  It's not clear if that was intended to be when Nicholas was flashing back from, or if that was intended as the date of Kerensky being stripped of his title.  The Council session pictured actually happened in October 2780, while the council continued to meet for another 11 months after that, before finally disbanding in September 2781.

Additional clues at the place are given towards the end, when Nicholas thinks "Even here, near the end, I feel the urge to rail at the stars..."  He also makes reference to his father having passed and his last mementoes of the Inner Sphere being reduced to ash in an incinerator, which would put the flashbacks post-Klondike.  It almost sounds like the unspecified author was trying to convey a deathbed flashback, but Nicholas didn't get one of those - he took a Widowmaker laser to the face, which doesn't leave much time for reflection.

A trifle dark to learn that Nicholas kept a suicide pill taped to the underside of his nightstand. 

Nicholas' hatred for Aleksandr Kerensky shows that Nicholas was raised to revere Aleksandr as the distant war hero, fighting the bad guys in an effort to come home - always doing the right thing, never retreating.  Nobody could hope to live up to those sorts of expectations, let alone a tired, academic-type micro-manager who struggled to make emotional connections throughout his life. 

What we see here is the moment at which Nicholas began planning for his own version of the future - one that undercut whatever Aleksandr was planning, purely out of spite.  Fall from Glory showed that, while Nicholas didn't create the factional tensions in the Exodus Fleet, he certainly worked to exacerbate them and to facilitate their breaking out into open warfare.

As a caveat, it's never specified who the speaker is, on that he's Kereknsky's son, so technically this could have been Andery's monologue and remembrance, but it seems very out of character for him, given what we saw in Fall from Glory.

Looking sideways at the "Alternate Universe" story "The Shot Heard Around the Sphere," this change of heart (feeling betrayed by Aleksandr's cutting and running) at the Grand Council session would have been what started Nicholas on the path of arranging for Aleksandr's assassination and the cancellation of the Exodus, whereas in the mainstream timeline, he settled for hijinks aboard the Exodus Fleet, culminating in the Prinz Eugen mutiny.

So, what to make of the dark musings at the end?  Was Nicholas suicidal in the aftermath of the Wolverine extermination?  Was all this going through his mind in the split second before he became a crispy critter in his cockpit?  Is he just tripping after smoking a ginkhohl root spleef?

Clearly, young Nicholas wanted his father to refuse to obey the authority of the High Council, and to convert the remnants of the Terran Hegemony into a military dictatorship, using the full might of the SLDF (such as remained).  As we've seen in the alternative timeline, there's a chance that could have worked.  Nicholas had a good grasp of the force strengths and logistical assets, but failed to take into account just how weary and sad his father had become.  The early Kerensky fiction always portrays him as more of a philosopher than a warrior, and he always preferred talking to fighting.  (He even preferred talking while fighting, and got shot out of his 'Mech at least once while carrying on a running philosophical discussion with his opponent.)

The sourcebooks show that Kerensky did not, in fact, give up, and that he spent several more years engaged in shuttle diplomacy trying to get the Council to reconvene, without success.  (Probably while Nicholas seethed at his father's impotence.)

As an alternative theory - this story could be from the parallel timeline where Nicholas arranged his father's death.  Then it could be a proper deathbed freakout.  (Of course, then the line about burning all his Inner Sphere mementoes doesn't make any sense, so...)
« Last Edit: 27 August 2017, 02:56:00 by Mendrugo »
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.

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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #204 on: 27 August 2017, 20:53:29 »
Was that considered to be actual canon?  It was competition, was it the winner or these stories declared a canon story? I'm not saying your wrong, I'm just wondering.
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"How do you defeat a Dragau? Shoot the damn thing. Lots." - Jellico 
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"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
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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #205 on: 28 August 2017, 11:06:13 »
It is explicitly non-canon, like the rest of the iron writer entries.  That being said, they were mostly the work of the core staff.  Given his work with Nicholas in Clangrunder, I wouldn't be surprised if this was Randall Bills' entry.  It provides insight into what the core writers were thinking at the time.

In general, this is a thread to review and discuss BattleTech fiction, even stories lacking official sanction as canon (taking care to note such divergences), and while iron writer stories weren't fact checked, they're still a cut above fanfic.)
« Last Edit: 28 August 2017, 12:09:09 by Mendrugo »
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.

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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #206 on: 31 August 2017, 16:07:11 »
Date: July 1, 2766
 
Location: Dicallus

Title: The Emercity of Betrayal

Author: Kevin Killiany
 
Type: Short Story (BattleCorps Iron Writer)

Synopsis: Old Man Butler tells a crowd gathered at a bonfire that he's heard from Fred Jackson that the Star League will arrive on Dicallus next month.  Paul Jepson advocates trying to flee offworld, while Annie Wang objects that Dicallus is their home. 

Butler announces that he fought pirates on New Vandenburg 50 years ago, and that the Dicallus natives can do the same.  He pledges his 'Mech, Justice, and the contents of an old arms depot.  The formerly argumentative crowd is swayed, and begin cheering and dancing.

Notes: The story is undated, but identifying the enemy as Star League puts this during the Periphery Uprising, since Dicallus wasn't on the Reunification War-era maps.  The reference to "50 years ago on New Vandenburg" would seem to place this 50 years after the Periphery Uprising, but that's well into the First Succession War, by which time the Star League wasn't putting any boots on the ground in the Concordat.

Dicallus was written up, in brief, in Objectives: Periphery.  From that writeup, we can see that there was a Bowie Industries Gabriel factory there at some point. 

One odd note that struck me is that the citizenry knows the League is coming in a month.  Erm, how?  The Objectives: Periphery writeup gives the transit time as 9 days, so the League can't already have entered the system.  (To be fair, this is a non-fact-checked Iron Writer story that predated Objectives: Periphery, so Kevin Killiany may have intended that the system's transit time be 30 days.)  Perhaps Taurian listening posts in the Organo, Celentaro, Norman's World or Logan's Land systems noticed the SLDF troops passing through and sent a warning to systems within one jump.

Or perhaps Fred Jackson has an eyepatched brother (Samuel L.) in the espionage game, who tipped him off to a pending League raid.  8)

One of the people at the bonfire is noted to be a Lumberjack pilot.  This fits well, since the design dates back to 2489.  Justice is presumably the 'Mech (later revealed to be a Phoenix Hawk) Butler piloted against pirates on New Vandenburg.

Looking at Field Manual: SLDF, the 364th BattleMech Division (The Zulu Division) was stationed on Dicallus prior to the outbreak of the Periphery Uprising, coming increasingly under sporadic attack from an "increasingly brazen" enemy.  None of the legal TDF units was posted there (per Field Report 2765).  One scenario that seems plausible is that Taurian rebels, staging from the Badlands cluster, hit and crushed the Zulu Division, after taking a few years of raids ahead of the uprising to size it up.  The rebels then moved on in search of other SLDF units (or to support fellow rebels that were taking it on the chin), without leaving a garrison force on Dicallus (the Gabriel, while a nice hover scout, isn't that strategically critical of a unit).  When the SLDF counterattack got going, it dispatched a force to reclaim the Bowie Industries factory and pacify Dicallus, leading Old Man Butler to throw together a scratch planetary defense force.
« Last Edit: 31 August 2017, 17:37:53 by Mendrugo »
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.

roosterboy

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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #207 on: 31 August 2017, 16:48:52 »
"emercity"?

Mendrugo

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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #208 on: 31 August 2017, 17:24:41 »
"emercity"?

Must have been an Iron Writer in-joke.  No fewer than three entries used it in the title.

The Emercity of Betrayal
The Emercity of Space
The Emersity of Monkey (note the spelling change - suggesting it was based on a verbal exchange among writers)
« Last Edit: 01 September 2017, 14:43:42 by Mendrugo »
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.

roosterboy

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Re: Chronological BattleTech Fiction Review - The Star League Era
« Reply #209 on: 31 August 2017, 19:25:13 »
Oh right, I kinda vaguely remember that now. IIRC it came from some malapropism of Randall's (possibly for enormity?) or something like that.

 

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