This “campaign” is the current home of a persistent Battletech League. It is intended to provide a context and metaplot for participants in individual games. There will be no set schedule or participation requirements. In a large part, I am creating this to help people with busy lives and vastly differing schedules all take part in a shared game.
Games can be played either in person or online via the excellent, if somewhat arcane, free program MegaMek (it is Java based and therefore will work on a number of platforms including PC and Mac).
Each player represents and leads a mercenary company in the waning days of the Third Succession War in or about the year 3029. The BattleTech Universe PDF contains the backstory of the setting and is well worth a look even for veteran Battletech players.
This site will be used to track player assets, wealth and reputation via their “character sheets” (one Obsidian Portal character = the entire mercenary company). The adventure log section will also be used for battle reports should anyone have the time to write them.
In any reasonably “fair” game of Battletech the system tends to result in very heavy losses to both sides unless one or the other concedes fairly quickly. This tends to make ongoing campaigns difficult at best as a single bad game can result in such loss as to cripple a player permanently.
In the interest of keeping play interesting over time, each scenario will assign to each player a number of units (mechs, vehicles etc…) as supplied by the Great House for which they are fighting. The players may, if they choose, supplement these units with their own or attempt to win the day using only the house troops. Any losses to personal assets are considered permanent (see below for repair and salvage rules) so players should deploy their own units with care. Scenarios will usually indicate some kind of bonus should the player also manage to keep a reasonable number of house units in action.
There is one other requirement for league games. Each player controls a mercenary company but they also have a single character representing their illustrious captain. In every battle the captain must be deployed to the field in some way. They can be assigned to pilot one of the house units or in one owned by the mercenary company. If the captain is killed in battle (note: this is not the same as their unit being destroyed, actual pilot death is much less common) their company disbands and the controlling player must roll up a new one with starting assets.
How this will (hopefully) work
Players in the league arrange to play a game of Battletech (either online or off) as their schedule allows. They can use a scenario listed here as a template or create their own. Everyone is encouraged to write up and share scenarios that can be posted here for others to use. After the dust settles, the relevant info is sent to the gamemaster and the stats on Obsidian Portal will be updated. The following information will be tracked for the mercenary company belonging to each player:
Cash assets (in C-Bills)
Reputation with each of the five Successor States (see below)
War machines (mechs, vehicles etc…)
There are in the Tactical Operations / Strategic Operations manuals exquisitely detailed optional rules for tracking the status of every sub-component of every mech in a force. For this campaign we are adopting a less detailed and less paperwork intensive approach.
[more details to follow]
Each time a player starts a new company (either because they are new to the league or their old is retired) they begins with 6,000,000 C-Bills to spend or horde as they will on any tech from the Third Succession War era (tech readouts 3025, 3026 and 3029 mostly). In addition every mercenary unit begins with and must always have 1 pilot (that representing the captain of the mercanary company the essentially the “player character” for each participant). Pilots begin with the Inner Sphere standard skills of gunner 4 and piloting 5. All reputation values start at 0.
A new mercenary company starts with a reputation score of 0 with each of the five Successor States. In each battle each player must choose which state they are representing and their reputation with each will be adjusted according to the results (scenario info will have more details). Generally, the victor will see their relations with their patron improve and with their foes decrease. While the loser will see a much smaller change. As the league progresses there will be special opportunities available depending on ones reputation with certain factions.
[more to follow]
Some handy links
Quick-Start rules for Battletech Good introduction to how to play the game.
Inner Sphere Cartography Interesting maps of the battletech “universe” sorted by era.
Megamek Be sure to get the most recent “Current Stable” (as opposed to Development) build from the downloads section.
Java Runtime Required by Megamek only.