Set-Up

Tilmora is an unaligned planet on the borders of the Lyran Commonwealth, Free Worlds League, and Circinus Federation. Its low strategic value and lack of key resources have allowed the planet to maintain its independent status. This balance is being threatened as a pirate force, the Corpse Battalion, has made planetfall and is effectively fighting and defeating the garrison of Tilamora and is poised to take the planet. This makes it a strategic issue, and now forces are being sent to Tilamora to support the garrison forces and ostensibly bring the planet into the fold of the power that defeats the Corpse Battalion.

A month prior to the start of the missions, Marquis Radcliffe and his 2nd Kraljevo Kavaliers engaged the Corpse Battalion in a decisive battle and were unexpectedly mauled. Marquis Radcliffe is missing and his survival is not known. The player will be attached to a lance of light/medium mechs attached to the 17th Marik Militia and are part of a greater landing force by the FWL. This represents a major escalation of forces, with the 17th consisting of effectively, a combined arms division (1 mech regiment, 3 armor regiments, 5 infantry regiments).

What is not known: the relative strength of the Corpse Battalion (this is their name, not their actual fighting strength), the remaining Tilamora defenders, who've been scattered, or other forces dropped on the planet. The Circinus Federation will likely send raiding forces to operate under the cover of the Corpse Battalion, and the Lyran Commonwealth would also likely send some force to make a claim to the planet if only to deny it to the FWL.

Mission 1 - Scramble City

The 17th has made landfall and basic deployment, and their mechs and crews are in position. The player starts as the pilot and must make their way from the barracks to the mechadrome while the facility is under attack. Corpse Battalion forces have not idly waited and infantry has attacked, and is supported by a mixed bag of light mechs, and fast medium mechs. This isn't the main fighting force, but fast responders dashing in for a Zerg rush against the 17th while they are still unpacking their gear.

The main focus of Scramble City is letting the player get used to tabletop rules and letting them smash a few low-grade mechs. This means most of the Corpse mechs are going to be Wasps, Stingers, Locusts, and other easily smashable and expendable machines. Most of the fight will also be in urban terrain with cover, destructible buildings, and the hazard of starting fires and civilian casualties.

Mission 2 - Rescue Mission

Elements of the Kraljevo Kavaliers have survived, and now the player must sortie his lance onto open plains to rescue a single Kavalier mech from Corpse Battalion forces. As with Scramble City, Rescue Mission will see Corpse Brigade using lighter, faster equipment to harass the Kavalier medium mech. When the player's lance arrives, he will have the option to pick save the mech or destroy the Battalion forces, which will have an effect on the playout of the battle. Save the Mech will see the Kavalier mech fight with renewed vigor. Destroy the Battalion forces will give the player combat initiative, but the Kavalier mech will disengage and attempt to reach safety with the player's lance.

Mission 3 - The Black Woods

The player is tasked with moving his lance and supporting forces to the strategically important Dekelos City. Dekelos is not accessible via dropship due to its mountain location and lack of landing facilities, so the plan is to send mech forces on a sweep towards Dekelos and clean up Corpse Battalion, insurgent, and potential pirate forces on the way. The map is a road through a forest, and the mechs are hit with a pincer attack by an assortment of light and medium vehicles and motorized infantry, there are no enemy mechs present.

Unique vehicle - Demolition Truck

Converted from a variety of large civilian vehicles, the demo truck is packed with explosives and ideally rammed into the leg of a mech before detonating. It is a suicide attack for the driver, and a suicide mission because the vehicles are poorly armored and unarmed, but explode for 20 artillery damage (roll on leg hit table)

Mission 4 - Dekelos Arcology

Ideally, an impressive map to play on, it would have a central pyramidal megastructure large enough to support multiple mechs walking and fighting across it. The Corpse Battalion has rolled out in force and has already taken the outskirts of the arcology, but hasn't penetrated and taken the structure itself, as infantry, bandits, police, and special forces engage in a bloody battle inside the building. The Battalion has a superior force of mecha, in terms of numbers and tonnage, and their medium mechs make their first appearance, with several being LRM equipped machines making use of having the high ground. There is still cover available.

This should be a hard fight, with likely several mechs lost in the fight. The reward for this mission is a major rest and refit. Damaged machines will be brought back to fighting shape, pilots will have time to recover from injuries, and destroyed machines will be replaced. If the player has had some mech pilots do exceptionally well, they might see mech upgrades, trading low end mediums for top end mediums, or top end mediums for low end heavies. This also applies to Guest Pilots who have been with the player (NPC pilots under the DM's control)

Mission 5 - Raid on Sykon

Sykon is the main prison complex on Tilamora, and was one of the first places to fall to the Corpse Battalion, and the prisoners have since been either conscripted into support staff or pressed into the Corpse Infantry. Rumor says that Marquis Radcliffe is being held prisoner and the Battalion is willing to ransom him. The government of Kraljevo and the FWL are willing to pay the ransom to recover the Marquis. After making the exchange, and the leader of the Battalion leaving, Corpse Battalion mechs emerge from concealed positions to attack.

The battle is set around a massive block building that has already been severely damaged by artillery strikes, combat is close range, and the Corpse Battalion has multiple heavy mechs (low end), making for a tough fight.

Mission 6 - Fort Tyche

Fort Tyche is a relic of the Star League and has been raided for everything of value and quite a few things of no actual value. The Corpse Battalion has fallen back and there is intel that one of the leaders is present. Attacking would provide a major boost to morale, and could break the resolve of the Battalion.

The battle is a frontal assault against Fort Tyche, which is in collapsing disrepair and defended by veteran infantry, gun emplacements, and a command lance of the Corpse Battalion, including one of it's leaders. If the player has been doing well, the Battalion general will pilot an assault mech, likely a Stalker or Goliath. If they have struggled with missions, and had to replace pilots, and lost multiple mechs, the general will have a top end heavy mech, like an Orion, Grasshopper, or other non-PPC boat. While the Command Lance will be at minimum, all heavies, they will also be showing damage from ongoing fighting and an inability to reequip and rearm. Each mech will have 20-40 damage scattered in 5 point groups, and ammo reduced by half.

The general is likely to flee once it seems the battle is lost, demoralizing the remaining Battalion forces.

Following the battle of Fort Tyche, the player will have a long rest and refit phase.

Mission 7 - Laverna Defense

The Corpse Battalion has also had time to fall back and rearm. The player's lance and supporting forces are tasked with providing a defense for the Laverna plateau during the lull in the fighting. Thus, it is somewhat of a surprise for Corpse Battalion forces to rally and assault the plateau.

The previous general returns in a fully repaired and rearmed mech, along with fresh medium and heavy mechs to carry the battle. The Battalion is looking to smash the Laverna defensive line, and threaten the FWL held territories on Tilamora. If Laverna folds, it could allow the battalion to strike deep into the largely undefended territory and threaten the landing zones, supply depots, medical centers, and command areas.

The player has access to Marik Militia air support, artillery support, and VTOL support. If the Battalion General is defeated or her mech destroyed, the Battalion forces will suffer morale penalties. This might be easy because the General is a lead from the point of the spear leader.

Mission 8 - Tilting at Windmills

The Laverna Defense holds, and the Battalion is in disarray following the death/capture of one of its commanders. Intel garnered indicates that the Battalion is on the retreat and has gathered at the Windmott Wind Farm, a collection of dozens of megascale wind generators. The terrain has multiple windmills that are larger than mechs, and over cover, they also have set damage and can be destroyed. A falling windmill can severely damage a mech, block movement through the hexes it falls in, and otherwise cause major problems (artillery damage where the propellers land, shrapnel) to forces present.

The overall commander of the Corpse Battalion is present, and has a Victor assault mech notable for having a Star League era Ultra AC-20 autocannon, and can likely one shot one kill most medium mechs and cripple even heavy mechs with the weapon. It devours ammo, so will only have a few rounds of combat before running dry. The other forces present are heavy hover tanks, and jump infantry, this is a core element of the Battalion and shows how much damage they've taken thus far. Once defeated, the Battalion's commander escapes via a jetpack/parasail. While not technically a hard fight, it will be expensive for the player.

Mission 9 - Fort Zellbringin

Fort Zellbringin is a military power generation plant and ammo dump. What remains of the Corpse Battalion has gathered at the Fort for a final stand, holding hostages and attempting to negotiate their escape from the planet. Negotiations will go poorly, as Kavalier/Marquis Radcliffe allies wound several Battalion officers and kill a few hostages to force escalation.

Whats left of the battalion is present in their battered and damaged heavy and assault mechs, their ammo is low, and some are suffering exhaustion or wounds from previous fights. The battle goes until the commander, now piloting an Atlas with major damage (starts with 50 dmg) is close to defeat. He retreats his mech into the Fort's single mech bay, starting a 3 round time, at which point the Fort self destructs in a massive 300 point artillery damage explosion.

Congratulations, the Corpse Battalion has been defeated.

This is also assuming that all battles are won by the player.

WHAT IF???

The above linear event is based on the player winning each mission RPG style, but there are loops and defeat trees available as well.

Mission 1 - technically the player should not lose mission 1, as the first guest pilot will start in their mech and provide cover and fire support until player's pilot enters their mech and starts fighting, and then having 45-55 ton mechs fighting 20-30 ton mechs should be pretty one sided.

Mission 2 - technically also should not be lost. If the second guest pilot's mech is destroyed, the player can still win provided they defeat the enemy mechs, and the guest gets a new mech, no experience, and is not going to be super friendly in future battles.

Mission 3 - this mission can be lost on material levels, but the vehicles should not pose a serious enough threat to take out the player. This is to get them familiar with fighting vehicles and in forest terrain. Also, having the two guest mechs brings their lance to 6 mechs instead of 4

Mission 4 is the first mission where they can actually lose. Should the player lose the fight aka all mechs destroyed, the next battle is Mission 4 ALT. Mission 4 ALT is the 2nd Battle of Scramble City. Survivors have been rescued and brought back to Scramble City, reequipped with medium mechs. If previously doing well, these might be good machines, but if the player has had a long hard fight through the tutorial, they might end up with partially repaired or still damaged machines, with 20-30 damage, and reduced ammo. If Mission 4 ALT is won, player advanced back to Mission 4, but with reinforcements, a second land of Guest NPC mechs, their choice of a fire support lance (Trebuchets and Dervishes) or an assault lance (Hunchbacks and Centurions) and the story continues. If they lose the 2nd Battle of Scramble City, the Corpse Battalion has won a quick and decisive victory against the 17th Marik Militia. No wonder the Kraljevo Kavaliers got stomped so quickly.

Mission 5 can also be lost, and the player will still advance to mission 6, but will have to use their points on refit and replacing machines rather than upgrades and getting bigger better gear, leaving them in a weakened position. The story will follow that a second force struck, destroying the entire facility, but only after the Marquis was executed by the Battalion, and the massive bombardment only levels an abandoned prison.

Mission 6 can be majorly affected by the outcome of mission 5. If the player wins 5, then 6 remains the same. If the player loses, then the Battalion forces have not been harried, and they are repaired and rearmed. Battalion mechs that survived Mission 5 should appear again, with their pilot's attribute scores improving accordingly, some maybe even upgraded into bigger and better mechs. If the5 was lost, the Battalion's general will either have a hot heavy like a Marauder or Warhammer, or a solid assault mech like a Battlemaster, Awesome, or Zeus. The player's attack is expected, and defenses and traps are prepared accordingly. If the player loses Mission 6, the Player falls back to repair and reequip and prepares to defend Dekelos, but rather than fighting on the arcology itself, it is a fight on an open plain, but the player has access to air and artillery support to stop the Battalion assault on the city. Failure of Mission 6 ALT is another fallback to the 2nd Battle of Scramble City, with damaged mechs, exhausted troops, and low morale.

Mission 7 can also be lost, and results in a Mission 7 ALT, a second defensive line in a forested area, completely bypassing Dekelos. Depleted mechs are supported with more vehicles and motorized infantry forces for a desperate pitched battle against advancing Corpse Battalion mechs. If that is failed, 2nd Battle of Scramble City.

Mission 8 can technically be lost, but its unlikely. By this point, the momentum has turned against the Corpse Battalion, and rather than participating in the raid against Fort Zellbringin in mission 9, the player gets Mission 8 ALT and it is an escort mission to take Corpse Battalion prisoners to Sykon Prison and defend the prison vehicles from a Corpse Battalion rescue force. Losing 8 ALT would have the Corpse Battalion win the battle of Fort Zellbringin, and force the FWL and the Tilamoran government to the negotiations table. Further escalation would provoke a Lyran Commonwealth counter-occupation of the planet, and could trigger a new Succession War.

Mission 9 can't be lost, because a called shot from a guest pilot and the Corpse Battalion leader retreats and detonates the fort, good game.

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