Sunday 19 June 2011

Mummerset 05.21.11: Aftermath


The session started off with a recap to bring everyone, especially me, up to speed on what happened last session. 
This then led into a task organisation exercise to secure the base the players had retreated into after the last battle, allowing them to consolidate the forces under their command. This involved radioing the helicopter forces and moving straggler units to either the players current location in Elizabethville, or join up with the forces that were left in Clear Water Boring barracks.

The players then got their scout choppers to swept the perimeter and as a result they discovered that the enemy had managed to retrieve the four downed mechs from the last sessions battle. 
I then advanced the time with daily reports updating on the riots, and general news reports that were being aired over the Mummerset Broadcasting Company (MBC). Revolution seemed to be on the cards yet it was a revolution that seemed rather calm all things considered. Police were handling the riots and the Mummerset army was just waiting in barracks, apart from the 3rd Royal Guards who had gone out to defend the palace from attack by the "pirate" forces.

Communication with the diplomatic mission was re-established and the players made their report to the Duke. 
The session then became one of sifting through reports and summarizing events as they occurred. This allowed me to use the Duke to move the diplomatic mission from Clear Water Boring to Elizabethville and co-opting the players as military attaches under his command. 
Orders also arrived by drop ship from Major Lester at Bolan with a notification that Dan's brevet promotion to captain became confirmed as a full promotion, and the other players all received brevet promotions to the rank of captain, so as to fit into their new roles of military attaches. 
The team also grew with the addition of brevet Captain Edmund Deville who had arrived on the drop ship that had brought their new orders with his Firestarter as reinforcements for the players team.

Summary of Events

No enemy mechs had been spotted in Clear Water Boring during the attack on Elizabethville. Civilians riots had been handled by the Royal Mummerset Mounted Police (RMMP) both in Clear Water Boring and Elizabethville. 
No other reports of fighting were heard, which suggested that the attack was focused on one limited objective, namely destroying the Kingdoms administrative center and the royal family.

Post Attack Developments

The players had sent out their special forces team who had reported back that the apparent revolution "didn't smell right" as a full on revolution that the initial attack on Elizabethville, but more like a military led coup d'état. The enemy "pirate" force had managed to do its vanishing act again. 
In the aftermath of the attack three main factions appeared.

The first was the Royalist faction led by Colonel Whales, and his 3rd Royal Guards, which had been sighted going North after the battle at the palace. Colonel Whales seemed to be the military leader of any remaining Royal loyalists, with the Right Honourable John McDevitt of the RMMP, and the Mayor of Elizabethville being his civilian counterparts.

The Northern Alliance faction appeared to be the biggest and strongest faction as it was based in Clear Water Boring the commercial heart of Mummerset. The Mayor of Clear Water Boring, Chirico Marx, announce his support on MBC for Prime Minister Rufus T. Marx's motion in Parliament to turn the Kingdom of Mummerset into the Democratic Republic of Mummerset (DROM); with Rufus T. Marx as its first President of course. 
I sold this very much as a progressive development to move the politics of this world forward.

The main opposition appeared to be a Southern Faction led by the Mayor of New Cromwell, Lady Charlotte Spencer, with support from the RMMP Constable of New Cromwell, the Right Honourable Sir Henry Bewley. 
While the players could not prove that the Southern Faction were the ring leaders behind the so called "pirates" that had attacked Elizabethville, the fact that the Lady Spencer seemed remarkably well informed of the action at Cromwell where the players had fought two enemy mechs did suggest a link.

However, a compromise between the Marx led Northern Alliance, and the Spencer led Southern Factions, led to the announcement of the "New Deal" making everyone citizens of Mummerset with rights protected by a constitution that would be drawn up with representatives from all the factions.

The Rise of the Republic

The days and weeks passed by with the MBC televising the developments of the new constitution and the rights people would have as citizens of the Republic. However, the players started to notice that while the motto "service brings citizenship," one could easily lose one citizenship if one was found guilty of a crime against the state, for example by spraying graffiti or getting into a street brawl when drunk. 
Otherwise life on Mummerset seemed to drift along with occasional protests at the developments in the drawing up of the Constitution being dealt with by the RMMP, which had been renamed the Republican Mounted Mummerset Police, just shortened back to Mounties. 
So no change there then.

Further investigations and intelligence reports from the Second Attache David Bradford, the diplomatic missions spook, indicated the Marx & Spencer coalition had eight of the 13 mayors of Mummerset in their pockets, but that four towns were sitting on the fence.
Meanwhile, the Mayor of Elizabethville was calling for an investigation into the assassination of the Prince Albert and General Briton.

The Marx & Spencer coalition formally invited the Marion Hegemony and Outworld Coalition to set up diplomatic missions on Mummerset, which suggested to the players that the "pirates" were aligned to one of the ruling families, probably the Southern faction under Lady Spencer and the Right Honourable Sir Henry Bewley. 
The local network of informers had also heard that there was an illegitimate heir to the throne, and that the Mounties had indicated that they served the citizens of Mummerset, and supported law & order above any other considerations.

Soon after the existence of the "pirates" as an onworld faction was confirmed, after leaflets for the Mummerset Freedom Party (MFP) were found, and further investigation showed that this was the political wing of the Freedom Army of Mummerset (FAOM). 
This political wing was made up of lesser colony founding families that felt disenfranchised by the actions of the founding fathers of Mummerset, and that FAOM basically channeled the political protest of the MFP in a more direct manner.

Rumble in the Jungle

Like all good marriages of convenience the Marx & Spencer DROM fell out. However, the MBC announced that Colonel Spencer was being promoted to General, to replace the late Sir Thomas Briton, and was being made the overall Commander-in-Chief of all Mummerset armed forces. 
General Spencer was then interviewed by the MBC and announced the formation of the 1st Republican Guards with its own battlemech force. With the General telling everyone that he would be leading the force himself in an Awesome assault class battlemech. General Spencer also announced that the the 1st Royal Guards would be renamed the 1st Republican Guards.

Meanwhile Colonel Whales had taken his forces to Whales Land and appeared to be in exile, but in his journey into exile had managed to liberate four of the six industrial mechs that House Steiner had brought as part of the diplomatic mission to secure the boron market. 
Needless to say that via unofficial channels that Colonel Whales had requested help in converting said industrial mechs for combat and training for the pilots of his battlemech force.
The Duke agreed that it would be in the best interest of House Steiner to provide a cadre to train Colonel Whale's forces, but that it would not be in the best interest to declare this action to the current government of Mummerset. This was basically on the understanding that the players wanted all their options open and have plausible deniability if the need arose to ditch the Royalists in favour of whoever won the upcoming war.

Inevitably, Lady Spencer then declared that the Southern Federation would support the Mummerset Freedom Party's application to be recognized under the new constitution, and in a surprise move the former 2nd Royal Guards regiment declared itself loyal to the Southern Faction of the Republic.

Meanwhile, Colonel Whales requested access to transmit a message over the House Steiner communication satellites under the banner of the World Wide Broadcasting Company WWBC. 
His hour long speech to the people blanketed all channels and announced that he was acting as Regent to the 18 year old daughter, of the late Prince HRH Albert Burlington, Princess Natasha Anastasia Briton-Burlington. In addition, he would be visiting South Port, East Point, New Start and South Boring (the four towns that had not declared for the the Marx & Spencer coalition) to make his case for the Republic to become a constitutional monarchy with the Princess.

By this time we had reached week 48 of the campaign, and the Republican government made it quite clear that they knew that the players had been helping the royal faction and the Duke announced that House Steiner would be leaving Mummerset. 
The players then did a rather good pea-under-the-cup shuffle of appearing to load up all their assets into the drop ship, while actually sending them out to rendezvous with the 3rd Royal Guards.  So they only took off with only their battlemechs loaded on their drop ship Northern Lights, which meant that they could also be prepped for a combat drop to insert them behind Republican Guard forces when the time came for action.

The plan was to deceive the Republican Guards and lure them out of Clear Water Boring where they were dug in. 
Colonel Whale's force was using the Fork River, a major deep water shipping lane, to move his forces to South Boring, while travelling with an airborne security force to visit the towns with Princess Natasha, thereby focusing President Rufus T. Marx's faction on the political maneuverings rather than the impending display of military force.

The game ended with the Northern Lights drop ship taking off from Mummerset, and General Spencer leading the Republican Guards out of Clear Water Boring to attack Colonel Whales's forces at South Boring. 

Monday 6 June 2011

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Medium Laser

When I started writing this blog back in the day, two odd years ago (and very odd years they have been indeed, channeling Charles Gray for a moment) I was still working through my thoughts and feelings about the combat values for weapons and usefulness of Catalyst Games battle values for use in pick up games.

For a die hard mech bunny knowing what the "real" in game effects arise from the weapon choices that one makes is a very good thing indeed. If only so that when you design a suboptimal mech design you know that it really is suboptimal, and yet meets the operational expectations you've set out. IMNSHO, too many of the mech designs in BattleTech end up suboptimal for fluff reasons that don't make much sense from a real world operational perspective, because the writer designing the mech has trouble translating the brief into a playable unit that would meet the tasks required of it (Did I just say real world perspective for a game of giant battling robots?).

As such one gets to see an uneven mix of designs, where the truly awful are fluffed away as being just like real life, with insert your example of choice, to justify something that while history shows us could exist, yet adds nothing of value to the experience of playing a game of BattleTech. YMMV.

So, I've come to the conclusion that, for me, the best way to understand the effectiveness of the weapon choices is to use the weapons test format of averaging the damage over 36 rounds of firing to come to a damage inflicted ratio. For those of you new to this blog here is the link back for you to read.
I've also tagged these as Number Crunch Geekiness for good measure. After all I'm talking real world perspective for a game of giant battling robots, if that is not the very definition of geekiness, I don't know what is.

Going off tangent for a moment, sort of on an affiliated blog of note, if you don't read Skiltao's Xanga  may I recommend that you at least take a look at his posts that are exploring the unliked weapons and equipment in BattleTech, see here:
Well worth reading IMNSHO! Now back on topic, and there is one, no matter how meandering and rambling this post may seem. So my plan, when I have time, is to create an Excel spreadsheet that has all the current weapons in BattleTech that will calculate the damage over 36 results for short, medium and long range, and then I'll look at the results divided by range to create a comparison chart of weapon effectiveness.

Now running into the dark laughing and cackling madly...

Wednesday 1 June 2011

BattleTech Community

An announcement of sorts and link to same:

If you are reading this you are the BattleTech community. Paint it Pink out.