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All posts for the month June, 2018

Bria: I’ll need one of those tapestries to clean my sword.

Ghancai: But they’re worth so much in Alguienn!

Ularon, in Piscean: Student.

Rulah, in Piscean: Teacher

Bria: Is that you under these doors, Rulah?

Rulah: Yes

Ularon: Did you use fire, Student?

Rulah: …yes.

I’ve been playing the new turn-based Battletech–the one I trash talked earlier this year–because it’s actually pretty good. It has all of the things I wanted out of a Battletech game. I do not say that lightly. It has the financial mechanics, pilot management, ‘mech repair and customization, and meat ‘n unseasoned potatoes story I want.

Mission: The Second Convoy Strike

Fuck.

I started in the south of a mesa environment with the convoy on an elevated road just north of me. The road twisted around and passed by a slope to the east of me. It was a direct shot for me, but the road was long enough I could beat the vehicles to it and interdict the convoy at a hairpin turn.

Destroying the vehicles and stopping the convoy were two different objectives, so I assumed I could physically stop them, possibly by destroying the cave at the very end of the road, north of the turn. I also had to deal with the escorts.

The escorts were led by a Griffin, with a large laser in its left arm. It entered sensor range with its left arm to me and since its main weapon was on its left arm, I took the opportunity.

Shadycator went east to intercept the convoy. The Shadow Hawk’s missiles would make it strong enough to take down vehicles and the Vindicator’s PPC would pack a punch for the heavier ones. Centaurjack moved in and hit the Griffin with everything they had, snapping its arm off.

But I split my Centurion and Blackjack across a rock formation. Three more enemy ‘mechs appeared, and with the Griffin, they pounded first the Centurion, then the Blackjack while I couldn’t focus my fire. My options were to pull back–away from Shadycator and my targets–or to fight with one ‘mech while the other joined it. The second option put my heavier ‘mechs in the position to support and regoup with my entire lance, so I took that.

My Blackjack took a pounding and hugged its heat curve tightly until the Centurion caught up. I took a lot of structure damage to keep up the damage output and I’m not sure if that was worth it in retrospect.

Meanwhile, even sprinting was barely enough to get Shadycator to the hairpin turn before our enemies. If they’d arrived later, instead of being able to focus fire on each vehicle as they passed through a chokepoint, they would have been in a line abreast and been able to focus fire on my guys.

It was still ugly. The Shadow Hawk arrived first, destroying an enemy vehicle that had already passed the chokepoint before being blindsided by a Manticore. The Manticores I went up against in the Quick Extraction didn’t seem this big, intimidating, or well-armored. I’d walked my Shadow Hawk too far forward and given the other two vehicles line of sight to fire on it through the chokepoint. It had taken some fire in its mad dash over and after a volley of SRMs from the SRM Carrier, it was downed and looking tattered.

The Vindicator’s timely arrival didn’t seem to dent the Manticore’s armor and Centaurjack was on the ropes too far away to help. In an act of desperation, I jumped the Shadow Hawk onto the Manticore–and killed it–but my shot up little Shadow Hawk lost a leg and fell again. Between the falls, and the SRM volleys, its pilot, Graceland, was also hanging by a thread.

The Vindicator took a clutch shot against the SRM Carrier to save its friend…and missed. The next round saw the SRM Carrier unload a full salvo of SRMs into the side of my downed Shadow Hawk. It was impressive to watch…and lethal to experience. Graceland did indeed move on to a land of grace.

An untimely spread of LRMs from my Centurion landed through a break in the road’s cover and eliminated the SRM Carrier. The mop-up was easy and cathartic, but the damage was done.

Graceland was dead. He’d been with me since the start and was my second plankowner to die. The contract covered repair costs, but between pilot damage and ‘mech refits, the 50 days of downtime were going to put VanVelding’s Marauders into the red for that mission.

In retrospect, I should have tried to move my entire lance to the east. Centaurjack could have guarded the six of Shadycator and both could have shifted to support the other as necessary. Ultimately, I made the choice to move in on the Griffin’s vulnerability on turn one. I tried to have my bone and get the bone from that dog in the lake too.

Weeeeeeeaaaaaabbbbb.

It’s good to see Worf successfully engaging with his heritage in a way that his progenitor character, Spock, never did. It’s weird that, in retrospect, Worf is the number three or number four character for development and storylines in this series. I approve.

Also, Riker should have been the cha’DIch.

The Beige and The Bold is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms. It updates Sunday nights at 12:00 PM ET / 11:00 PM CT.

Rulah, *throwing a modest gout of flame from her hands*: “Fire!”

Rulah, *patting herself out*: “Ah! Damn! Fire-reflective doors!”

Rulah: “What about…the hinges!”

*She shoots fire at the edge of the doors.*

Rulah, with a self-satisfied smirk: “A few seconds of heat and you’re reduced to a useless creaking hea–”

*The heavy, metal doors fall forward on her*

Rulah, in clear Piscean from under the doors:“Fuck.”

I’ve been playing the new turn-based Battletech–the one I trash talked earlier this year–because it’s actually pretty good. It has all of the things I wanted out of a Battletech game. I do not say that lightly. It has the financial mechanics, pilot management, ‘mech repair and customization, and meat ‘n unseasoned potatoes story I want.

Mission: The Capellan Kiddie Pool of Sacrifice

This was a base destruction mission. Not that I’m still bitter about my base defense mission, but this base had turrets.

I was on an elevated position with a slope headed up from the right. Again, I’m not bitter about anything, but I checked extra-hard and there was only one broad slope up to my position. The base was in a circular depression below me.

I set Behemoth and her Shadow Hawk back and let her sensor lock turrets while I hit the them with indirect LRM fire from my Centurion and Vindicator. My Blackjack guarded the slope.

After a while, some enemy reinforcements arrived. A pair of Commandos charged, one by one, from the valley. I tagged and LRMed them into oblivion. An enemy Centurion followed into the valley while a Griffin ran up the slope. I shifted back from the edge of the valley and all four of my ‘mechs obliterated the Griffin while cutting the Centurion out of line of sight.

After the Griffin was down, I shifted back to the edge and found the Centurion had its back to me. A few direct-fire shots later and the enemy ‘mechs were down.

The dropship then came down into the LZ and there was one turret left. I didn’t know if the turret could fuck things up for me by shooting my dropship, so I scrambled to finish it off. It was a complete inversion of the Capellan Amphitheater of Death from earlier; I had the high ground and utterly destroyed the opposition and took almost no damage in return.

It was a good day, ‘Tater.

Mission: The First Convoy Strike

I’d never had a convoy destruction mission, but it guaranteed a few vehicle kills. Soft–albeit moving–targets and maybe some escorts. Worst case scenario, I could blow up some civilian vehicles and then run.

The environment was a desert with whirling sandstorms. I wasn’t sure if the storms were actually soaking up my laser shots or if they were just rendering glitches, but my mostly-energy loadouts and the fast, small enemy ‘mechs made the first few rounds of combat embarrassing.

A Locust, Spider, Panther, and Jenner were small enough that I thought I could put them down with three of my guys and send my Shadow Hawk to take down the vehicles. That strategy fell apart after my Centurion received its second devastating backshot and my Shadow Hawk was almost knocked down by the weapons of a convoy comprised entirely of combat vehicles.

Still, I retreated up to a hill and pinwheeled my ‘mechs, a different one pounding the convoy each turn while the other three took down the escorts. It wasn’t harrowing, but it had some surprises. With the surprises of convoy strikes known, I felt confident taking my second convoy strike mission.

That Andorian looks like The Great friggin’ Gazoo. Data is a great dad. Beverly in grade school was whatever Mean Girls look like in the 24th Century.

Where are we on Worf needing a permission slip to give birth to Klingon Jesus?

Also, I swear we recorded this over a month before any actual famous people blamed prescription drugs on saying racist things.

The Beige and The Bold is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms. It updates Sunday nights at 12:00 PM ET / 11:00 PM CT.

*Outside the doors Ularon, Gahncai, and Bria entered.*

Rulah *pulling on the doors*: “Are you guys okay?”

Rulah *in Picean so deeply accented as to be unintelligible*: “???!”

*Muted sounds of scuffling can be heard through the door.*

Rulah, *to herself*: “It’s okay. It’s fine. You’re the only one out here. Use a spell. Open the door. Stay calm. Just pick a spell.”

Rulah: “…no one’s here.”

Rulah, grinning broadly: “I can use fire.”

I’ve been playing the new turn-based Battletech–the one I trash talked earlier this year–because it’s actually pretty good. It has all of the things I wanted out of a Battletech game. I do not say that lightly. It has the financial mechanics, pilot management, ‘mech repair and customization, and meat ‘n unseasoned potatoes story I want.

Mission: The Hunchback and a Clown Car Full of Panthers

This mission wasn’t boring. I was supposed to sweep through a Capellan base and bust up their noses a little bit. I don’t hate Capellans, but I try to stay on the Magistracy’s good side and the Capellans weren’t hiring, so I tend to take a slightly higher-than-random number of missions against the Capellans.

Now the Taurians, I love fighting Taurians. Fuck those guys. I think those two Commandos were Taurians.

But this one is about Capellans. Base. Bloody nose. Lance-on-Lance. I deployed on a southern road with the base just north of me. The defenders were on patrol, as they often are in this game. There was a rocky peak just west of me and I parked my Shadow Hawk and Vindicator on that while my Blackjack and Centurion pushed forward.

If you’ve noticed the pattern, then we’ll just call those specific ‘mech pairs Shadycator and Centurjack.

Centurjack started getting sensor contacts and pulled back toward the forest on the west of the peak. Two Spiders and a Panther sprinted in, followed quickly by a Hunchback. The Hunchback’s AC/20 is a huge motherfucking weapon that, while short-ranged would fuck up any of my ‘mechs if it hit them. Even my (relatively) beefy Centurion.

I pulled back harder.

My Vindicator was at the front of the peak, which was really peak-y. That meant I had to move Behemoth down and closer to the front for her to get a shot in. I finished off the Panther and began pouring everything onto that Hunchback, taking every precision shot I could at its right torso to take out that gun. In return, the Spiders swarmed my Shadow Hawk and Centurion.

The Hunchback was disarmed, but at the cost of my Centurion’s main gun (its much smaller AC/10) and almost all of my Shadow Hawk’s armor. I pulled Behemoth back so she could continue providing fire support while staying safe.

Then the two other Panthers swept in. Panthers are light and based around a PPC. The PPC is a relatively big gun and I’d focused on the first Panther until a larger gun trundled into the picture. I’d finished it off quickly because it wasn’t heavily armored.

But now I was pushing the heat curve on my Blackjack, my Shadow Hawk was being harried by a pair of Spiders, my Centurion was minus its boom stick, and my Vindicator…well, my Vindicator was untouched but the situation was still tenuous.

My Centurion traded physical blows with the Hunchback until the Hunchback fell. It spent the rest of the combat chasing down smaller ‘mechs and taking wild, drunken swings at them. It occasionally offered up LRM shots when they were too far away to punch.

My precision shots recharged enough to eviscerate another Panther’s PPC, but I had to leave the back armor of my Blackjack open to a beating while it maneuvered to the other Panther’s right side (to increase the odds of a hit on its PPC-carrying right arm).

The Centurion eventually caught a Spider and took it down. The Vindicator took down the unarmed Panther. The Blackjack took down the armed Panther with a withering laser light show. The Blackjack then took down the last Spider, which had finally left the Shadow Hawk alone while it backshot everything in range.

The repairs costs were moderate. I had to replace my Shadow Hawk’s left side, the Centurion’s right arm, and patch up a lot of torso structure on my Blackjack. I don’t think I earned anything after repair costs. Worse, I had one of those upgraded AC/10’s on my Centurion. One with a “+” or two on it. That was lost with the left arm and I had to buy a new, regular, AC/10. I resolved to only buy special equipment that went on torsos and the head from that point forward.

It was the first of some slightly tougher missions that were coming up.