Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The first of my companies for Alpha Strike

As promised, I wanted to post this because I had promised I would. Hey, it was a fun company to build, and it has been a hoot to run as well. It turns out to be a well-balanced Battlemech Company, and I am considering adding Infantry and Vehicle assets to it as well to turn it into a Battalion Task Force, but what vehicles, that is an interesting question, perhaps you the reader might be of help?

Note: This was developed from an earlier article on my old blog, I changed a few things to bring it into line with the company as it exists now. I also want to give a shout out to Too Fat Lardies, their Platoon Forward supplement was very useful in generating the personalities of the 'Mechwarriors listed here.

IP and Picture are from Too Fat Lardies

Kilo Company, 3/1st Robinson Rangers RCT, ca. 3056

   Shelton's Sweep Lance
         Leftenant Mackenzie Shelton, Skill 2, Phoenix Hawk PXH-3D (Blood Stalker SPA)
         Staff Sergeant Galit Foster, Skill 3, Dart DRT-4S (Blood Stalker SPA)
         Sergeant Danica Kemeny, Skill 3, Battle Hawk B-H-K305 (Blood Stalker SPA)
         Sergeant Riku Ready, Skill 3, Commando COM-5S

    Ebner's Battle Lance (Lucky SPA for Lance, 6 point)
         Leftenant Thorben Ebner, Skill 3, Osprey OSP-15
         Staff Sergeant Tomi Filpek, Skill 3, Phoenix Hawk PXH-3S
         Sergeant Kaja Fairburn, Skill 4, Dervish DV-7D
         Sergeant Dominik Lis, Skill 4, Vindicator VND-1SIC

     Peak's Fire Lance (2 'Mechs may be designated as having Sniper SPA per turn)
         Hauptmann Jezebel Peak, Skill 3, Zeus ZEU-9S
         Leftenant Drysten Roche, Skill 3, Marauder MAD-5D
         Sergeant Major Alice Gibbs, Skill 4, Catapult CPLT-K2
         Staff Sergeant Fishel Baardsson, Skill 4, Quickdraw QKD-5M

The company, with skill costs, totaled out at 400 points according to the MUL. Alpha Strike Cards for the company can be found here.

Bios of Company Mechwarriors

Shelton’s Sweep Lance
Leftenant Mackenzie Shelton: Leftenant Shelton hails from Emporia, near Robinson in the Draconis March. Shelton grew up in a working class home, his mother and father both farmers, and knew little of the wars that racked the Successor States except for the occasional Combine deep raid. Shelton signed up with the AFFS as an infantryman in 3046, and served on the Clan front with the 5th Davion Guards, and was one of the few survivors of the debacle on La Grave, having a scarred face from an inferno round to prove it, along with a Fedcom Medal of Honor for leading the 12 men of his platoon through Jade Falcon lines to safety. He was a 21 year old PFC at the time. Shelton was selected for Battlemech training and attended a crash course at the Pandora College of Military Sciences until 3053, when he was selected for OCS after having graduated in the top 10% of his class. He was commissioned as a Leftenant in 3054 and was assigned to the 1st Robinson Rangers soon after to replace the previous lance commander who had died in a Steel Viper raid.

Shelton is a cautious fellow, he has seen the Clans up close and personal, and he knows their power. He won’t spend any lives or equipment he doesn’t have to, and he fights smart. He keeps up on the latest information on ‘Mech technology, as he is obsessed with closing the technological gap with the Clans, seeing that as the primary reason for their superiority on the battlefield. He is an average leader in the field, realizing he has a lot to learn from SSG Foster.

Staff Sergeant Galit Foster: SSG Foster has been with the 1st Robinson for most of her military career, and has seen lance commanders come and go. Her family held a minor patent of nobility on Robinson itself, though she was the second child, and thus, unlikely to inherit. She is a graduate of the Robinson Battle Academy, Class of ’29 and saw some action during the tail end of the 4th Succession War and again saw combat during the War of '39. SSG Foster has a bit of a temper and doesn’t hesitate to demonstrate it when she is displeased. She does realize she is getting older and would like to move up to an open NCO position at battalion or regimental headquarters, but realizes the competition is tough for those slots. (She doesn't know it, but Hauptmann Peak is ready to award her a field commission if the lance loses another Leftentant, she has done so well in the role of lance leader in the past). She is the lance’s “rock” in combat and is a very competent combat leader, having demonstrated it most recently during the last Steel Viper raid where the last lance commander was killed.

Sergeant Danica Kemeny: SGT Kemeny is a very optimistic person, who believes she is part of a great effort to stop the ravening advance of the “rapacious clan menace” or whatever the current line of FedCom propaganda is these days. Kemeny hails from Kentares IV, growing up in a middle class family, he mother a schoolteacher, and her father a hovercar salesman. It surprised her family when she joined the Conroe Training Battalion as a chance to “do her part”. (Her father blamed the constant lessons about the Kentares Massacre in school). She was assigned to the Clovis DMM for several years, seeing action against several Combine raids until 3053, when she asked for a transfer to the 1st Robinson on their eve of departure for the Clan front. It is a decision she has never regretted. For all of her optimism, she is a placid, even tempered mechwarrior in combat and has proven to be a very talented light ‘mech pilot.

Sergeant Riku Ready: SGT Ready hails from Gibbs and as a Steiner ‘mechwarrior, he cannot believe he was “unfortunate” enough to be stuck with these “Davion plebeians”. The only good thing about all this is that he gets to kill those “proto-communists from the Periphery” (ie: The Clans). He is in total agreement about the “Clan menace” needing to be stopped, but he is a bit cautious when it comes to him personally doing the stopping. Born to middle class parents, he left the import/export business to sign up with the LCAF in 3050 when the call went out to stop the Clans. By the time Ready was ready to go to war two years later, the invasion had ended, and there was a dilemma on what to do with him. Riku spent another two years cooling his heels with the 15th Lyran Regulars, chasing pirates who were fleeing the Jade Falcons. But things changed in 3053 as a number of Davion units needed replacements due to recent casualties, he was selected (some think it was because of the fact Ready kept pestering his last company commander for a transfer to a unit on the Clan front) and arrived at the 1st Ranger’s cantonment on Kooken’s Pleasure Pit on January 2nd, 3054.

He is not a popular person in the company, but he is skilled, if he would just stop dedicating kills to Katrina and Melissa Steiner like he was on Solaris, that might go a long way to helping him fit into the company.

Ebner’s Battle Lance
Leftenant Thorben Ebner: Leftenant Ebner is a recent product of the Pandora College of Military Science, class of 3050, and then was selected for OCS. Ebner has lost friends to the Clan invasion, and his signing up was a source of consternation to his middle class parents, who ran a successful tax attorney firm on Borghese.  To them, other people signed up, not him. But Leftenant Ebner had dreams of glory, nobility, and all that came with in his eyes. He has begun to see the truth behind the shiny medals now that he is in the real world, but he still has not lost that sense that somehow, he is the best thing that has happened to the 1st Robinson Rangers.  Happily for all concerned, he is actually a very good officer, so there is something to back up the boastful nature and he is careful with the lives of his men and women while in combat (though not always his own life). Who knows, perhaps one day, he might be Marshal Ebner? His lance knows that on some level, the boasts are covering up a raft of insecurities about his professional abilities, so they tolerate it for now.

It doesn’t help his attitude that Ebner’s wealthy parents paid top dollar to have a rare Star League Osprey refitted and assigned to him as his ‘Mech. The trouble is, the damn thing draws all kinds of fire from enraged clanners, and tends to be a source of not so minor irritation to the rest of the lance.

Staff Sergeant Tomi Filipek: Staff Sergeant Filipek comes from a long line of police officers on David. She was not interested in continuing the family tradition of walking a beat in the planetary capitol and wanted to see the stars. Her cheery disposition, along with a few favors, got her a slot with the Kilbourne Training Battalion, and she graduated with distinction in 3039, just in time for Hanse Davion’s abortive invasion of the Combine, where Tomi first saw action with the 17th Avalon Hussars on An Ting, and won the Silver Sunburst for her actions there, but she lost a lot of friends by the time it was all over, and requested a transfer to the 1st Robinson, which was granted as soon as the cease-fire went into effect. She served with the 1st and was seen as a cheery, steady and competent presence in Kilo Company. It was for this reason, that she was made SSG of the Battle Lance in 3050. She is a very skilled combat leader, and if Leftenant Ebner got himself killed in a bit of glory-seeking (which, thankfully for all concerned, hasn’t happened yet), SSG Filpek could fight the lance very easily.

Sergeant Kaja Fairborn: Sergeant Fairborn is from a middle class family on New Valencia, with her mother as a technical writer for a small tech firm, and her father is a firefighter. A graduate of the Conroe Training Battalion, she graduated in the middle of her class, her class ranking would be higher if she wasn’t such a discipline problem in barracks. Kaja is at heart, a hedonist, and that nature has gotten her into a measure of trouble during her time with the 1st Robinson, and has ensured that she will probably never get promoted. Lately, the seeming unstoppable nature of the Clans has convinced her that the end of the Inner Sphere is at hand, and the time to “eat, drink, and be merry” is at hand. She thinks she personally hasn’t got a chance, but intends to fight as long as she can to make sure the Clans don’t reach Davion space, but wonders if that will make much of a difference. Her mindset is similar to many a German soldier in 1945, feeling trapped between duty and the reality of the situation. But, the fact is, the Federated Commonwealth is far from beaten, but Fairborn cannot be convinced otherwise.

Sergeant Dominik Lis: Sergeant Lis has, to say the least, a very odd background. He was found on the doorstep as a baby on an orphanage on Conroe, with a note attached to his bassinet stating that his mother was the last of a minor Capellan ‘mechwarrior family that had been killed during the war with Canopus. He grew up an orphan, not realizing that there was a minor trust being held for him when he reached 16, not the least of which was a Vindicator battlemech.

When Dominik aged out of the orphanage, he took his ‘Mech, and his trust, and hired an instructor to teach him what he needed to know to compete for a slot at the Robinson Battle Academy. His persistence, and his story paid off, but it is a decision that haunted Lis. He was hazed very badly at the Academy, including an incident that left a web of scars on his right arm, and Lis a very shy, withdrawn man.

Lis is quietly very grateful to the Federated Commonwealth, and is willing to fight to the death for her, but he is cautious with his ‘Mech, believing that were he to become dispossessed, he would not get another one due to his parentage.

Peak’s Fire Lance
Hauptmann Jezebel Peak: Captain Peak is a study in contrast in ranks. She was born to a working class family of general laborers on Conroe. She enlisted in the AFFC in 3046 and became part of a Manticore crew assigned to the 33rd Avalon Hussars.  She was picked out as a natural leader, and her pragmatic nature made her a smart, level headed NCO when she was selected for a tank commander position with the 33rd Avalon Hussars.  Her baptism of fire was against the Wolves on Suk II and she was the only survivor of her tank, let alone her platoon. She was badly wounded, spending the rest of the Clan Invasion in a hospital bed. It is something that torments her to this day and she lives for the chance to revenge the spirits of her men and women on the Clans. She is convinced that if she was more aggressive, more willing to close with the Clans, that her men and women would be alive today. Once she returned to active duty, she was selected for ‘Mech training and OCS, graduating first in her class in both. Her pragmatic nature made her a solid officer, but she became reckless when presented with Clan opponents. But, due to a dearth of qualified officers, she was assigned as a lance commander to the 1st Robinson. It wasn’t long before she was promoted to command Kilo Company after the previous commander was killed in a hovercar accident.

Most of Captain Peak’s tactical solutions revolve around organizing an attack as soon as possible, but that approach can border on the reckless, and it is beginning to with Hauptmann Peak. She is on the whole, a competent leader, but the guilt she is trying to expunge, as well as the vengeance she seeks, may get her and more of her men and women killed.

Master Sergeant Fishel Baardsson: MSG Baardsson comes from an odd background of his own. His was a prominent Rasalhague military family that had served the Draconis Combine for centuries. They were also Jewish, and secretly members of the SPA. When they were finally found out in 3020, the ISF showed no mercy, and a Davion merchant who owed Fishel’s father a favor got the young man to a cousin on Coventry, who got Fishel to some distant relatives on Robinson. In 3027, grateful to the Federated Suns for taking him in, and having been part of a military family in two realms (the Davion end of the family was a minor military family of some renown), he managed to get a slot at the Sakhara Academy, where he graduated towards the top of his class.

Fishel was then posted to a series of March Militia units, before being assigned to the 1st Robinson in 3042, where he has remained ever since, being made Master Sergeant (and Kilo Company SNCO) in 3050, on the eve of the Clan Invasion. Fishel is also a devout Jew, and observes as much as he can, even when in the field. He sees the Clans as little more than misguided fools who have yet to discover God, but unlike Vorster with the Fox’s Teeth, doesn’t feel that he needs to make them aware of that, and thinks religion is about self-discovery. MSG Baardsson is a man of refined tastes, and often takes in whatever cultural events he can attend, duty and religious demands notwithstanding. 

He is one of the few married men in the Company, having met his wife 15 years ago while on Mallory’s World. She is back there with his two children, on his insistence. He is a competent leader as well, and is a believer in bold, violent action, but unlike the Hauptmann, knows when it is time to call it a day.

Sergeant Drystan Roche: Sergeant Roche is a native of Wyatt, and how he wound up with a Davion line unit is to him, one of the vagaries of life in the Inner Sphere. Born into a family that made its money in a wildly successful cosmetics line, Roche was planning on taking over the family business. When the AFFC came knocking with draft papers in 3050, it knocked Roche’s whole world asunder. Happily, Roche had been trained on the family ‘Mech, and had been able to pay for the mech to be upgraded to the MAD-3S standard, as well as the best private training..when Roche reported six months later, the AFFC happily posted him to the Pandora CMS to polish his skills, and then he was reassigned to the 1st Robinson in 3055 as a replacement for a casualty.

Roche is a liberal minded person, and thinks little of all kinds of lifestyle choices, even if he personally, isn’t inclined to try them. He thinks the Clans could use a little exposure to life in the Inner Sphere, and that would set them straight on a lot of issues, so far, few have been willing to listen. He is even headed in combat, and has been helping run the family business from his duty posting, sending a flurry of ideas monthly via HPG.

Sergeant Alice Gibbs: Sergeant Gibbs is an old hand who is happy being a mechwarrior and nothing else. She likes only being responsible for herself and her aggressive nature suits her very well, even though her nature in combat is far more even handed. Her main problem is her hedonistic nature, which has gotten her in as much trouble as Sergeant Fairburn, they are often seen drinking and carousing together, even if Gibbs cannot always stand Fairburn’s gloomy nature when she is really drunk. Gibbs is level headed in combat, having a knack for being where she is needed. Gibbs has been shunted from unit to unit in her 25 year career with both the AFFS and AFFC, her homeworld of Layover being a memory, as she has not returned since she joined the Kilbourne Training Battalion in 3035. She says little about her family, except to say that they “got in the way of her fun”.

Her ‘Mech, a captured Kurita Catapult (K2 model) is the oldest ‘Mech in the unit, and no one has made any offers to upgrade Gibbs ride, figuring the Clans will either kill her off, or she will finally retire.

Some Photos

Kilo Company, 3/1st Robinson Rangers on Exercise, ca.  9 August, 3056, seen here are elements of the Sweep and Fire Lances

Kilo Company, 3/1st Robinson Rangers on Exercise, ca.  9 August, 3056, seen here are elements of the Battle, Sweep and Fire Lances

Kilo Company, 3/1st Robinson Rangers on Exercise, ca.  9 August, 3056, seen here are elements of the Battle and Sweep Lances.

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