Saturday, 13 February 2010

Pink Panther History


I've never really tied myself in tightly to the Battletech universe, but had a paragraph I wrote a long time ago for Games Master International about the Pink Panthers.

Major Gloria Mundi
Under the exchange treaty House Kurita received several of the BLR-1CJ variants, one of which went to Duke Ricol’s command and was assigned to his new “Pink” Panthers’ hunter-killer Battalion for evaluation. Major Mundi named her new mech Excelsior, and demonstrated the design’s tactical strengths during the false war of 3039.

Over the years I've kind of thought about this a bit more and here are some of my musings...

3034 Duke Hassid Ricol has to play nice because he has fallen on hard times, as outlined in Heir to the Dragon. We know he has a mech Company under Captain Tyrell from Shrapnel. So this is my draft of how the Panthers fit in.

The Red Duke saw the need for training to face House Steiner and mercenary units, and had the idea of training an OPFOR based on Steiner & Grey Death Legion principle e.g: Assault, heavy and medium mechs. A lance was formed under Captain Conrad Black in a Battlemaster, with Lieutenant Serena Griffiths as his second in command in a Thunderbolt. The lance was completed with three medium mechs. Sergeant Mundi was in a Wolverine, and Mechwarriors Lucy Morgenstern piloting a Griffin and Lara Atsuko Tachikoma a Shadow Hawk.

On paper all the mechs were good to go, but this is the Succession Wars and the truth was they were all patch jobs. To hide this orange disruptive patches were painted over the less than perfect repairs. However the lance served their purpose of giving standard Kuritan lances a taste of what it was like to face this combination, and the team proved adept at mimicking Steiner and mercenary commands tactics. The unit also acted as a training cadre and would have Kuritan mechwarriors added to it, and could be expanded up to a Company size formation. The unit was known as Black's Panthers, because it specialised in night operations.

Unfortunately, Black was killed during the false war of 3039, and Griffiths wounded during a night operation, but despite this Sergeant Mundi completed the mission. She was rewarded by a promotion to Captain and was given a new Battlemaster, so that she could used the command functions that it provides. Both Morgenstern and Tachikoma were promoted to Sergeants for their part in the missions success. After the false war the Panthers were now an all woman unit and were nicknamed the "Pink" Panthers. As a response to this, Mundi had the techs paint a pink splinter pattern over the red and orange finish of the mechs.

By 3049 the Pink Panthers had become a training Company that were hired out as a cadre as necessary, and which could be expanded up to Battalion size for training when required. The unit was able to acquit itself well during the early stages of the Clan invasion, but their jumpship went missing during the war. If I get into the Dark Age they'll reappear in the game universe as a jump forward accident.


  1. Oh my god, Game Master International? Good to know I'm not the only person in the universe who acknowledges that that magazine actually existed!

    As to how the story goes, This was one fo the strengths of the BT universe as is existed under FASA: There was enough of it so that there was space to build on, but so much of it was in this gray-and-fuzzy area that it was easy to be creative and inser your own parts of the universe. Some day I'll have to tell the story of my old unit, the 17th Fusion Cavalry...

  2. Yes I knew Wayne, one of the editors of Games Master, which later became Games Master International. I wrote a bunch of stuff for them, including game reviews, scenarios and I even had a monthly column on Battletech.

    Those were the days, but they went bust and I was owed a lot of money, which caused me no ends of problems, and this was one of the reasons I quite the business to get a regular paying job.

  3. Never read many magazines at all back then (I was a bit young). If possible it would be nice to see articles you wrote for GMI.

    Heh, and I tend to think that any 'Mech formation appearing in the dark ages will cause serious problems for the established powers that be considering that it seems having 2 'Mechs on a planet is apparently a lot at that time period.

  4. Well a lot of the articles are well past their sell by date, being fan inspired rules and expansions for a game that didn't have many add ons. Nowadays, CGL will sell you a whole series of expansion volumes for your edification and delight.

    Looking at my old files I wrote 25 articles for the magazine over a period of 8 issues. Of these 8 were the monthly columns, which as I said are a bit dated. The rest of the articles are made of 15 game reviews and 2 Battletech scenarios. I intend to reuse the scenarios at a future point, maybe as PDFs?

  5. I would certainly love to see the scenarios. There is something nice about games where there is a set place in the greater BattleTech universe rather than some nameless confrontation on randomly determined forces in a randomly determined battle map.

  6. I won't play unless the GM can give me my motivation. I tried random scraps once a week - it got boring really fast.

    Scenarios are where it's at, but they have to be well written or things grind to a standstill quickly. \:/

    Umm, Pink, do you need an old-school Goliath? I sent my 1/48 scale model of it off a while back, but still have a nice mini still in the blister.


  7. I don't need one, but I can always give one a good home though.


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