Monday, June 25, 2018

Part 2 of the Minnesota Project

Well, let's get to the stars of the show. The Minnesota Tribe. We don't know a ton about them, the best resources being Operation Klondike, Betrayal of Ideals, and the 1st and 2nd Succession War Books, as well as But, as they are a raiding force, they gotta move fast and hit hard, relatively, as they are up against a pretty heavy Kurita force. I also didn't want to bring any of the Slings/Pulverizers/Stags to the party as well, it would be all too obvious to ANYONE that they were "definitely not from around here."

So, what did I come up with? Let's start with the Recon Lance, I decided on a 2 Light and 2 Medium mix, and weighted the tech heavily towards Royal tech, as I wanted to get that Star League flavor, but not totally outmatch the Kuritan defenders (aka, this isn't the Clan invasion a few centuries early). 
So, I ended up choosing a Stinger-3Gb, a Firestarter-9H, a Sentinel-3Lb and a Phoenix Hawk-1b "Special", all of them are reasonably fast, the Stinger exceptionally so, and three of them are jumpers. This is a lance that is going to give the Kuritan player fits, and it should, if played right.

The Skirmish Lance is also a reasonably mobile force, mostly jumpers, and has a good base of fire. I chose a Dervish-6M, a Kintaro-19b, a Wolverine II (Like any Clan Wolverine force would be without one?), and an Exterminator 4Db. I do like this force, as I said, good base of fire, good mobility, and a solid punch.

The Brawler Lance has got some depth to it, and while it is a bit slower than the other two lances, it again, has a good base of fire, and some jumping mobility. Three of the 'Mechs have respectable long range fire capability, and while there aren't any assaults, they should have enough firepower to put the hurt on one at range. I chose a Thunderbolt-5Sb, a Warhammer-7A, a Grasshopper-5H, and a Marauder-2R (who has a nasty ability to really reach out at touch people at long range along with the Thunderbolt). 

Skills in this Company are pretty nasty, with nothing higher than a 3, and with the level of firepower present, it's going to be a case of firepower and mobility, versus Combine staying power in this scenario. We also might see the tanks of the militia get into the act, and at 533 points, it's a nasty brew for the Combine to face off against. Here's the AS Cards for the whole shebang.

Now to figure out victory conditions, and a map for this puppy. But that is next time. 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

It's Over...

The mess with Harmony Gold is over...thank heavens. We do not know what the terms of any settlement are, and we may never know, as these things are not often revealed to the public. But, in any event, it appears that both sides fought each other to a bloody draw. As far as I am concerned, this is a win for Battletech.

Why is this?

1. The matter has been dismissed "with prejudice" which basically means in legalese that Harmony Gold cannot bring it up again, this alone is a victory, and with HG losing the rights to Robotech in 2021, it seems that this will probably be the last of this we will ever hear.

2. Again, while I do not know what the terms of the settlement were, I suspect HG was mollified with a set amount of money, and both sides paid their own lawyers. If HG and their partisans are calling this a win, I suspect it was a phyrric one, I don't think that if it went to trial, they would have gotten what they did from a settlement, and I suspect PGI didn't want to spend the money quashing this legal challenge. I suspect both sides found the settlement cheaper overall.

3. So what does this mean for the Unseen? I really don't know. The terms of the settlement, as I said, will probably never see the light of day, but I suspect we will know soon if the Unseen/Reseen will be back or dead as a doornail. Like many Battletech fans, I do want them back, but it's really up to the parties involved to negotiate what they did, we just have to live with the results.

4. The good news overall? A legal bugbear that has dogged the franchise since the 1990s is now well and truly put to bed. That alone is cause for celebration.

For all those interested in reading the decision for themselves, you can find the decision in it's entirety here.


More information on the fate of the Unseens/Reseens has come out. This from Russ Bullock of PGI:

If this is correct, this is guardedly good news. I say guardedly because well, this applies to PGI, I don't know what the stipulations for IMR/CGL might be?


This story is moving fast, it appears that the settlement also applies to IMR/CGL as well. So yes, the Unseen/Reseen are safe to come out and play again.

Welcome home to the 'Mechs we all knew and loved!  I hereby declare this :VU (Victory for the Unseen) Day!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Part 1 of the Minnesota Project

Research, the basis of any good scenario in my mind is research. Now while you think this may not apply to Classic BattleTech, you would be wrong. With a game like BattleTech, the lore is to put it mildly, extensive, and here, the fluff is your friend, and things like do a good job of putting all the fluff into one place for you to access.

So, let's begin our deep dive into the Kurita defenders, namely, the 20th Rasalhague Regulars. According to's article on the 20th Rasalhague Regulars:

At the outbreak of the First Succession War, the Twentieth remained stationed on Nykvarn. By the time the "Great Succession War" had ended in 2821 the unit had suffered losses of over sixty percent. [2]

By the start of the Second Succession War the Twentieth had almost returned to full strength and was redeployed the prefecture capital of Trondheim. [3]

As for the fateful engagement with the Minnesota Tribe? has this to say:

On 17 December 2825 the Twentieth Rasalhague Regulars were attacked by an unknown unit on Trondheim; this unknown enemy would later be labeled the "Minnesota Tribe". The second Combine world attacked by these mysterious troops, the focus of the Tribe's interest on Trondheim appeared to be for information rather than capturing supplies as with the first strike against Svelvik, beating back the Twentieth to raid the town of Misby Flats, leveling the town's mayoral complex before withdrawing. While the Twentieth Rasalhague Regulars succeeded in defeating some Tribesmen, they were not able to conclusively prove they were returning elements of the Star League Defense Force as the Tribe destroyed their crippled 'Mechs and stranded Tribe member committed suicide rather than be captured.[4] [5] 

Furthermore, by 2830, when the Second Succession War kicks off, the 20th is listed as a Veteran regiment trending towards a heavy weight class. So, the answer to all of this is that the unit is 2825 is probably midway through rebuilding. It probably rebuilt to 90-95% strength when the 2nd War kicked off, and I suspect, pilot experience was something of a mixed bag, and considering that the old Combine House Book stated that the ISF kept a close leash on the Rasalhague Regulars as a whole, even if the 20th was considered reliable, I may treat the 20th as a Regular regiment at this time, and weight the 'Mech selection towards older models...with maybe a couple of newer designs to give the Combine some unexpected punch.

I am also weighting things, at least on the Combine side, towards models I already have. It makes things easier, and to be honest, a bit more challenging.

As for paint schemes, Trondheim, according to Sarna's description, was settled by the usual collection of Scandinavian transplants that makes up Rasalhague, and that Misby Flats is the capital (and Trondheim was the prefecture capital), in short, this is the beating heart of a lot of political power. So, why the raid? Remember, the raid appeared to be for "information". What information is unclear, but what remains clear is that it was the defenders were probably a mix of 20th RR and local militia.

So, what scheme to use for the 20th? I am thinking something of a mix of whites and greys. The terrain resembles Iceland, to be honest, volcanic and probably cold overall. Methinks they'd look pretty fetching on a 'Mech, and I have an idea for a scheme that could be used.

So, let's build a company for Alpha Strike?

First things first, let's open the MUL website, and search the Draconis Combine and Early Succession War period?

The Search Results for the aforementioned criteria in the Master Unit List (photo taken from Master Unit List)

So, we are going to begin to select 'Mechs. I think I am going to go with 1 Light/Medium Lance, a Heavy Lance, and a Heavy/Assault Lance. So, a grand total of 2 Light Mechs, 2 Medium Mechs, 6 Heavies, and 2 Assault Mechs. To me, it's a viable force for the Combine, and if we throw in a platoon of vehicles from the Militia, then we have enough points via the AS Builder to give the Minnesota Tribe a decent fight.

So, let's start picking, eh?

So, for the Light/Medium Lance, I chose the Panther and the Jenner, both pretty bog standard Combine light designs, and probably prevalent in every Combine 'Mech unit there is. The Mediums I chose are the Clint (Hard to fix castoff, perfect for a unit like the Regulars) and a HBK-4G Hunchback, she may be slow, but she hits hard and can be the anvil for the rest of the lance.

Now, the all heavy lance?

I lead off with a Warhammer-6R and a Thunderbolt-5S, both probably captured from the Lyrans. I added in a Dragon-1N (It's a Combine unit, you gotta have at least one!), and a and an Archer-2R. All of them are a solid Fire Lance that can be the bedrock of the Company.

Now, the final lance?

I added a Orion-K and a Marauder-3R, not a bad pair. As for the Assaults? A Stalker and a Banshee (Both probably again, captured from the Lyrans). Not a bad lance here, and yet, it isn't the best available.

So, now, let's find a lance of vehicles for the militia.

I ended up choosing a pair of Von Luckners, and a pair of Demolishers. Something tells me these guys would do well to stick close to Misby Flats.

So, I now have a force, which according to the MUL, translates out to 554 PV, so we need to keep this in mind for the Minnesota Tribe when we work on them in the next post. They're going to be a lighter force, but with a much higher Skill rating, to put it mildly.

So, here is the roster for the Dracs. Next time, the Minnesota Tribe!