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ID: 5740

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December 13, 2012, 3:42 pm

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The Order of the Single Cut-Iota Company

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A whole company of NPCs that can do the mundane jobs while the PCs do the hero stuff.

As was recently pointed out on this site, in military games no unit was designed to be alone on the battlefield. I know that PC units often get the really neat and impossible missions, but even in those cases they will often have backup or support units. However, most of us don’t want to spend a lot time thinking about the support units. How much food, ammo and who is in charge of those things is often something glossed over. It is glossed over because the action isn’t with the latrine diggers, but with the PCs on their impossible mission. It isn’t until the PCs ask Don’t we have a doctor or a mechanic back on this ship or at the base camp that this comes up. This write-up is a template for a support unit that you might find in a Sci-fi/military campaign setting. It is designed to smooth over technical or logistical questions without ignoring them. It was written for Mechwarrior, but I think it could easily be adapted to a Star Wars or Robotech type setting.

Order of the Single Cut (OSC): Intelligence and Logistics Regiment

Motto: Keep it simple

Unit Size: 2 Battalions

Unit Type: Light Infantry

Role: Intelligence and Logistics

Branch: Battlemech

HQ: Ito’s World

The Order of the Single Cut (OSC) is named for a particular philosophy of the samurai, and the OSC’s mandate is to apply that philosophy to logistics and maintenance. The OSC is a support regiment trained to accompany Battlemech units into hostile areas and provide technical, logistical and intelligence support without directly participating in combat. 2nd Battalion is broken into three companies, which are prepared to work autonomously from one another to support smaller mech units. 1st Battalion is just a large-scale version of the individual companies within 2nd Battalion. The 3rd Battalion exists only on paper, the budget for maintaining third Battalion has been fold into the budget of 2nd battalion. Iota Company is the most highly decorated company within the OSC.

 

 

Iota Company 2nd Battalion

 

 

Company Commander: Major Torazo Ishimoto
Manpower: 72 men 8 officers

Officers:

Major Torazo Ishimoto,
Platoon Leader 1st platoon.
Chief intelligence officer

Captain David Koguchi
Platoon Leader 2nd platoon
Combat Surgeon

Captain Masahiko Komura
Attached to 2nd platoon
Anesthesiologist and pharmacologist

Lieutenant Yuka Kadota
Squad Leader 2nd platoon
Chief security and loyalty officer

Major Yukihisa Fujita
Commander 3rd platoon
Chief Mech engineer

Lieutenant Rebecca Torenk
Attached to 3rd platoon
Mech engineer

Lieutenant Jack Huston
Attached to 3rd platoon
Mech Engineer

Lieutenant Ruth Ahmed
Attached to 3rd platoon
Mech Engineer

Iota Company Skill specialties

  1st Platoon: Reconnaissance and Intelligence


2nd Platoon: Logistic Support and Security


3rd Platoon: Salvage and Repair



Company Resources (by platoon)

 

1st Platoon

 

 

Role: Forward intelligence platoon

Strength: 28 men 1 officer

 

Armament:

 


  • 29 Jove Pulse Laser Rifles
  • 50 flash bang grenades
  • 50 standard shrapnel grenades
  • 4 personal anti-vehicle rocket launchers (3 rounds each)
  • 5 blade weapons (katana)
  • 24 blade weapons (combat knife)

 

Additional Equipment:

 

  • 2 satellite link communicators
  • 29 personal communicators
  • 29 Kevlar helmets
  • 29 Kevlar plastrons
  • 29 Energy ablative body suits
  • 4 laser guided satellite uplink spotter guns
  • 29 pairs starlight vision goggles
  • 4 medical kits
  • 1 portable AED
  • 8 Knock-knock portal charges
  • 1 shotgun microphone
  • 5 pair binoculars
  • 29 5 day travel ration kits

 

2nd platoon

 

Role: Logistics and Support

Strength: 28 men 3 officers

 

Armament

 

  • 31 Luthiean Semi-Automatic Rifles (3100 rounds)
  • 2  Heavy (Luthiean) gyro mounted machine guns (2000 rounds)
  • 16 standard shrapnel grenades

 

Additional Equipment


  • 2 3,300-Watt gas powered portable generators (rebuilt)
  • 1 Field hospital surgical tent (Fischer brand) with solar cell and electrostatic air-filter
  • Field Surgery Support Package
    • Antibiotics
    • Oxygen support system
    • General and local anesthesia dispensary kit
  • Solar Powered Refrigeration Crate
  • 2 8m x 3m poly-ethylene collapsible shelters
  • 1 2m x 2m canvas tent
  • 1 12m x 12m roll of camouflage netting
  • 2 collapsible stoves (each with a 20 liter butane tank)
  • Assorted Cookwares 
  • 16 flash lights
  • 1 Geiger counter
  • 40 kilograms rice
  • 1 kilogram beef bullion
  • 1 kilogram tea
  • 8 liters wine
  • 1000 tobacco cigarettes
  • 15 liters vegetable oil
  • 800 Meals Ready for Consumption
  • 200-liter collapsible cistern
  • 1 gas powered industrial water filter (rebuilt)
  • 400 liters gasoline (barrel)
  • 16 shovels
  • 1 metal detector
  • 1 standard EE tool kit
  • 1 standard ME toll kit
  • 16 dual AC and/or solar powered battery chargers
  • 1 dual solar and/or battery powered 1,000 Watt-radio and microwave transmitter
  • 6 personal communicators
  • 1 satellite up link communicator
  • 2 German Shepards  (cryo-frozen)
  • 2 Comstar limited personal computers
    • Cartography software, spreadsheet application, maintenance logs and personal records

 

3rd Platoon

 


Role: Battlemech Maintenance and Salvage

20 men 4 officers

 

Armament

 

  • 20: Needler (Fletchette) Pistols (2000 rounds)
  • 20: Luthiean Semi-Automatic Rifles (600 rounds)
  • 2: 10 Ton Tracked armored personal carriers
  •  
    • Turret Mounted Heavy Machine Gun
    • 2000 Rounds
    • Power plant: I.C.E.
    • Max. Range without refueling: 300 Kilometer

 

Additional Equipment

 

 

  • 1: 50-ton CAT Half-Track flatbed with a 40-ton wench arm:
    • Max. Load 100 tons
    • Max Range Unload 500 Kilometers
    • Max Range Loaded 150 Kilometers
  • 1: 40-ton heavy tractor (rebuilt)
    Max. towing 120 tons
    Max. Range Unloaded 1000 kilometers
  • 1: 5-ton light tractor (rebuilt)
    Max. Towing 25 tons
    Max Range Unloaded 600 kilometers
  • 2: Telescoping load lifters (battery powered)- Max height 10 meters-Max. load lift 1.5 tons
  • 2: Heavy industrial lifting exoskeletons (3-hour battery)
  • 1: 8,900-Watt Semi-Portable gas powered generator (mounted on wheeled trailer)
  • 5,000 liters: gasoline (wheel mounted trailer tank)
  • 8: Radiation Suits
  • 10: Pair 1,000-Volt tested insulated gloves
  • 4: portable Mech compatible diagnostic computers
  • 4: Myomer manipulation tool kits
  • 4: E.E. tool kits
  • 1: C.E. diagnostic and salvage kit
  • 4: M.E. tool kits

Personalities: The Internal Security Bureau (ISB) tries to maintain files on all the officers within the Draconis Combine. When deemed necessary or irrelevant the summary statements of those records are made available to military commanders.

Major Torazo Ishimoto

Torazo Zo Ishimoto was born to a bottom caste, but well respected farming family. At the 200th anniversary of the Ishimoto family’s servitude, the Lord decided to reward the family by sponsoring the appointment of 8 members of the Ishimoto family to a the Central Military academy. While most of his cousins chose to pursue aerospace or battlemech training, Zo realized that with no family connections it would be unlikely that he would ever see the inside of Battlemech. He chose the Recon Specialist MOS along with OCS. His 21-year career has thus far been a great success. Indeed Ishimoto holds a ceremonial rank of Lt. Col., but due to the convoluted nature of the caste system he will never hold a field rank above Major.

Which in Ishimoto’s case is a blessing, because he excels as a field commander in his particular area. Ishimoto’s expertise is reconnaissance and intelligence gathering. His primary assignments often involve monitoring enemy movements from forward positions and extraction of VIPs, friendly or otherwise from secured area. He hand selects the members of his platoon and many of them have served together for nearly a decade. His unit has completed advanced training course in urban combat, extended survival training, field interrogation, demolitions, and harsh environment combat.

His commander and subordinates describe him as cautious, subtle and imaginative. As a mission planner he is meticulous and thorough, and his briefings are always extremely detailed. As a field commander he is very hands-off; trusting in his subordinates. He has no known medical problems or identified psychological or behavioral problems relevant to his duty as company commander. Outside of active combat duty, Ishimoto maintains a home on his birth world that he shares with his third wife. He is consulted regularly by the central command of military intelligence, and wrote the field interrogation handbook currently used by the infantry Officer Candidate School (OCS).

Game Use: Having a scout with initiative and skill is a useful plot device. This NPC can also handle the interrogation of prisoners if that is something your PCs arent interested in doing.

Captain David Koguchi

David Koguchi was born David Emmanuel on a Federated Suns world. He excelled during his primary and secondary education and was accepted into the MD/PhD. program at the Medical Academy on Sol. While attending the Medical Academy on Sol he was recruited to work for the Draconis Combine as an intelligence officer. Often sending valuable medical information about the health of important members of the Federated Suns.

He was eventually extracted from the Federated Suns and married his handler Major Omi Koguchi. Taking his wife’s name he obtained a commission in the Kuritia Military. Because of his known history as a traitor he has not been allowed to conduct any research and his foreign birth also makes him illegible for any position at a military hospital or university. He has served for 10 years as a field medical officer at garrisons, outposts and in forward positions. During this time he has shown him self be an effective manager, but was only recently promoted to Captain.

His previous commanders have described him as skilled, argumentative and disturbingly knowledgeable. Despite not having completed a Draconis Combine office candidate school (OCS) his military etiquette is described as effective, and he has twice commanded battlefield triage centers without incident. His specialty prior to joining the Draconis Combine was in pulmonary cybernetics. Performance reports rate his surgical skill as above average. His Ph.D. work was on microbial pathogenesis.

While holding the rank of 2nd Lieutenant he was twice reprimanded for fraternization. There are also three suspected suicide attempts on his record, and it is believed he suffers from untreated mental health issues. In his personal life he does not maintain a personal residence and while still married to Major Koguchi, the ISB. has not recorded any direct contact between them in 7 years. He is known to speak several languages, plays chess regularly, maintains a moderate physical exercise regime and attends regular continuing education classes. He has no known physical aliments that would interfere with his job performance.

Game use: The need to have an effective scientist and doctor on hand in Sci-fi games is a troupe that goes back to H.G. Wells. This doctor is overly qualified for the job to which he is assigned, which is a plus for the players. His back-story justifies his presence in this unit and makes this character a second resource. Since he is a former member of a rival or foreign organization he can provide information to the players regarding that group.

Captain Masahiko Komura
Masahiko Komura is the nephew of Field Marshall Geoffrey Komura. He graduated 112th out of 180 in his class at the New Lebanon School of Medicine. He was given the rank of Captain upon commission and completed the abbreviated OCS class with satisfactory marks. Upon completing his apprenticeship in anesthesiology at the Southern Bay Hospital on New Samarkand he was transferred into a mobile surgical hospital on Buckminster. At Buckminster he was four times reprimanded for fraternization, and twice for insubordination. As a disciplinary action he was transferred to the garrison on Ito’s World under the direct supervision of Captain Koguchi.
His supervisors at Buckminster described him as argumentative, combative and arrogant. The ISB agent involved in his debriefing before transfer described him as having a God-complex, and believing that the role of an anesthesiologist was more important that of a surgeon. Specifically, he has petitioned the military board of medical protocols to place the de facto supervisory role of medical procedures on the anesthesiologist rather than the surgeon.
In his personal life he owns 1000-hectare agricultural estate on New Lebanon and is heir to a Lordship along with a 500-hectare residential and commercial estate on New Samarkand. Field Marshall Komura has sent only two memos regarding Captain Komura’s career. The first was a memo recommending him for a Captains commission, and the second was recommending he be transferred to a less significant and less visible military command than Buckminster. Captain Komura has twice failed his physical performance test and has never had direct command over a unit. He has two years left in his military service commitment.

Game Use: This character can be a role-playing springboard, as an arrogant member of the upper class, he can be used to play out latent conflicts. The PCs may come from a cross section of social strata and thus there is a potential need to have NPCS from various groups as role-playing set pieces. Additionally he may have information or connections to the upper class that may come into play later in the game.

1st Lieutenant Yuka Kadota
The Kadota family has a long tradition of service to the House Kuritia. Nozuma Kadota, Yukas grandfather owned and ran a munitions plant, her great-uncle commanded a battalion of armor, and her great-aunt was a Drop Ship commander eventually retiring as Admiral in the Combine Interstellar navy. Kadota munitions was lost during the forth succession war as was most of the next generation of Kadotas. Yuka’s father Michihiro Kadota, attended law school and works as a legal council for Luthien industries. Yuka is youngest Kadota and the only member of her generation.
She attended a four-year university on Luthien graduating with an impressively diverse dual major in business administration and musical performance. She was offered positions as a court musician in several well-placed houses, but instead entered OCS. She graduated 4th in her class and not having significant finical or political backing she entered the infantry MOS.
In her three-year career since receiving her commission she has commanded Mech support platoons during several off-world campaigns, though she has yet to command a unit during an engagement. Major Ishimoto describes her as professional, thorough and fastidious, but he also notes that she lacks initiative. His reports also highlight a lack of charisma and a failure to inspire anything in her soldiers save duty
ISB considered Kadota as a possible recruit, because of her extraordinary degree of physical attractiveness and her educational achievements. The evaluation agent determined that she lacked proper motivation. He described her as a loyal citizen, but a 9 to 5 solider at best. Outside of her military role, ISB observed that she indulged a promiscuous and undisciplined private life.
In her personal life, she holds the lease for an apartment on Luthien and still plays the violin. She maintains regular contact with her father. Aside from a tobacco addiction she has no identified physical or psychological problems that would interfere with her job performance.

Game Use: As a garrison officer it is desirable for the PCs to have one that won’t do anything cute or grate against the PCs. Additionally, while there are certainly many types of role-players, I believe that the mean falls near or close to the single or semi-single male who relies heavily on fantasy. Thus having an attractive promiscuous female NPC who smokes (aka willing to do something she will regret) enhances the game experiences for the average player. Indeed one GM I had would bring adult magazines to games as visual aides. It is impressive how many players really get into the visual aspects of role-playing: huge explosions, hot girls and cool looking weapons.

Staff Sergeant Michael "Love" Jones
Sgt. Jones was born as most members of the Draconis Combine in the small village of an agricultural estate. Prior to being conscripted into the military he had a vocabulary of roughly 800 words and knew less than 200 people by sight. After 10 years in the military he has shown a strong aptitude for computer engineering and accounting. He has received good marks from all his superiors, and audits of his equipment rosters have revealed meticulous inventories and regular maintenance schedules. His current specialty is records and C.E. maintenance.

He is very popular with the other enlisted personal. His last ISB evaluation suggested strongly that he has an ingratiating personality. The ISB reviewer noted his passions for literature, soccer and card games. His joy at participating in various activities has earned him the nickname love because of the limited vocabulary he uses to describe a positive experience. Two years ago he suffered a muscle injury to his groin. His physical performance test scores, which were previously quite high have been in decline since that injury. He has always served with mech support units and has not been part of any forward infantry operations.

Game use: The PCs want to trust their accounts and inventory lists and having a NPC with a few simple easy to remember quirks is easy to remember.

 

Major Yukihisa Fujita
Major Fujita was previously the executive officer of the prestigious 3rd Transport and Repair Battalion (TRB) on Luthien. He was assigned to Iota Company because the commander of the Mech unit with which Iota Company is paired is extremely wealthy. The Commander of the Mech unit agreed to triple his salary and paid a large bribe to the commander of the 3rd TRB in order to obtain Fujita. Fiscal favoritism has granted Iota Company  a small but elite repair and salvage unit.

Major Fujita is technically the highest-ranking officer in Iota Company. He is an expert at myomer repair and manipulation and is familiar with the majority of inner sphere technologies. He is an effective manager of engineers, and has been well respected by all the mech warriors to which he has been assigned. In his personal life he maintains a residence on Luthien which he shares with his wife and children. He suffers from type 1 diabetes and he is exempt for physical performance testing.

Game use: Same as the doctor, it works out better in the long run if you have a brilliant tech. NPC even if you have brilliant PC techs. It makes it easier to swallow if there is a reason that brilliant tech is with the Unit.

2nd Lieutenant Ruth Ahmed
Ruth Ahmed was originally trained as a Mech warrior and despite her low birth was lucky and skilled enough to be recruited into the House Kurita’s own 9th Sword of Light Regiment. She saw several campaigns, eventually obtained the rank of Captain and was made a company commander. During the recent Ronin War she disobeyed orders and took her company into un-scouted terrain in an attempt at a flanking maneuver. Her company encountered an anti-vehicle minefield. Shortly, afterwards the company came under indirect missile fire. With the companies decreased mobility due to damage from the minefield the missile fire inflected heavy loses. Her Wolverine Mech was destroyed as well as four other Mechs belonging to House Kuritia. She was demoted to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. She completed the basic engineering MOS and was assigned to Order of the Single Cut.

Lt. Ahmed is a fair technician and an effective manager of enlisted personal. She has no significant personal assets and no significant political or military connections. As a Mech Warrior she was considered an exceptionally skilled gunner, but a poor tactician. ISB has determined from monitoring of her personal communications that it is her hope that by serving in a salavage unit she will be able to obtain a new Mech or commision as a combat mech pilot.  She has cybernetic replacement below here right knee and therapeutic steel pins in both her shoulders. She is exempt form physical performance testing.

Game use: It always helpful to have an extra pilot around in case the party also ends up with an extra mech, Y-wing or hover tank lying around.



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Comments ( 6 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted manfred
April 7, 2009, 17:23
0xp
Now this isn't my preferred game genre, but I can see it being put to good use. Mech units - really, most military units - have someone in the background to take care of things while they rise to their glory or death. It's a solid amount of information but not too much, suitable as a template for another game or even to take over most of it.

There are some minor typos and the formatting could be improved, as with any complicated list - but those are minor quibbles. (If you plan to build upon it, you should consider splitting it into a scroll.) I am tempted to add a bit more potential for conflict to the personalities, though I see it may be intentional to keep things run smoothly (also to be expected in an elite unit). In general though, it is a well-written aid few would want to write, but many would welcome to have.
Voted Michael Jotne Slayer
April 8, 2009, 0:50
0xp
I second Manfred on this. Technical issues are syntax, formatting and typos. Otherwise I have to say that it was an ok read, I will never use it, but still ok.
Voted Nocontrivedname
April 8, 2009, 18:24
0xp
Okay AR,

I gave you a 1 and you deleted it. But you took some of my advice, changed this to an NPC, fixed SOME of the typos and MJS says it is okay. So I will give you the thumbs up.

Later,
NCN
Voted MoonHunter
April 8, 2009, 18:33
0xp
It is hard to write "extras" that are engaging, especially when there is a group of them. While not my favorite setting, I understand this one. These are the "other company" that backs you up and fills out the situation, so you can go be dangerous/ heroic. It fills a valuable nitch.

Plus for being extras (a seldom used category) minus because the officers and notable figures did not engage me at all.
Voted angryscotsman93
May 24, 2009, 14:00
0xp
Hmm. Wouldn't fit into a Starship Troopers kind of game. After all, one of the primary rules of the Mobile Infantry that Heinlein made was that every man in a unit fights, regardless of other roles on the field. However, this is an incredibly thorough look at battlefield logistics that could fit into just about any other game. Bravo!
Voted valadaar
December 5, 2012, 14:31
0xp
Not bad. These folks are quite usable.

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