[make your own fun]
I'm interested in running a player vs. player campaign. At the start I'd like to confine it to two teams of four players each, each controlling a company. The setting will be the 3057 fight over Gan Singh, which pitted the First Federated Commonwealth RCT against an allied force of Capellan house troops and mercenaries paid for by the Free Worlds League. The source material is vague as to who actually fought, but for purposes of this campaign, the lineup is as follows. This won't mean much to non-mechheads, but the game thread will have more fluff:
1. 4th Tau Ceti Rangers:
In 2764 the Rangers were originally a frontline SLDF military Division known as the 81st Mechanized Infantry Division. Already nicknamed the 4th Tau Ceti Rangers, the 81st served as part of the Star League's LVIII Corps within the SLDF Seventh Army. LVIII Corps was assigned to District 3 of the Capellan Confederation Military Region until it was transferred to an undisclosed district within the Periphery by 2765 in response to the Periphery Uprising. The 81st fought with other SLDF forces to put down the Periphery Uprising; the Rangers suffered heavy losses during the campaign, and the SLDF chose to disband the 81st in 2766. While it is unknown as to what happened to the survivors of the Rangers in the interim, by 2784 they had opted enter service with the Capellan Confederation Armed Forces as mercenaries. The survivors of the 81st had chosen to become mercenaries to keep the Division's traditions alive instead of being absorbed or dissolving. Chancellor Barbara Liao would purchase their services along with another formation of former SLDF troops turned mercenaries, the 15th Dracon. They have mostly been in service to the Capellan Confederation, especially on the Marik-Liao border. They're aware of the irony of the League paying their current contract, but such is mercenary life.
4th Tau Ceti Rangers (Mercenary, Heavy, Veteran, Mech) Major Der Waffel Maus
2. Warrior House LuSann:
Troi Lu Sann founded the fourth Warrior House on strict adherence to the principles of the Lorix Order, with little else clouding his warriors' minds. Lu Sann believed in apllying
the Lorix Order's tenets throughout Capellean society; citizens must demonstrate devotion to a high moral code in oder to deserve protection, and the Chancellor must similarly be held
accountable for his actions and orders. This view of the Lorix Order has made House Lu Sann prone to citicize Chancellors in the past, so its warriors rarely receive a fanatical loyalty rating.
This distinction rarely caused difficulty for the House until Lu Sann was shattered in the Fourth Succession War. The death of senior officers and Sifu allowed surviving House
members greater leeway in interpreting their order's centuries-old principles. With Maximilian Liao's descent into madness followed by Romano Liao's ruthlessness, the mostly
green House Leadership drifted even further afield. The master of the Warrior Houses, Ion Rush, has picked them for this mission to test their loyalty and thin the ranks of warriors who came of age in the dark decades of Romano's reign in the 3030s and 3040s.
Warrior House Lu Sann 1st Company (Liao, Light, Regular, Mech) Company Leader Da Moon Rulz
Warrior House Lu Sann 2d Company (Liao, Medium, Green, Mech) Company Leader Wiet
3. Gan Singh People's Liberation Committee:
(The Gan Singh Planetary Flag)
Some Capellan citizens never stopped resisting their occupiers. The Zhangzhang de Gueng ("shining path") are Capellan state sponsored terrorists guerrillas working to undermine the FedCom-sponsored government. Chairman Elldren's family, high in the Capellan order, was dispossessed by the Davion invasion of 3028 that killed billions across the inner Sphere. Educated at Davion's New Avalon Institute of Science as part of Davion-Steiner's attempts to integrate the former Capellan worlds into their regime, he uses what he learned there against his foe. The ZdG are used to irregular operations, and are untested on a regular field of battle. The Mariks have paid for an elite assault lance, Bonifacio's Batterers, to operate in conjunction with the ZdG troops on the ground. The Batterers have cutting-edge technology, paid for by the Mariks who have grown rich selling upgrade kits to the Federated Commonwealth. Given their small size and low manueverability, it is up to the ZdG to make sure they are properly supported on the field of battle.
1st Irregulars (Zangzhueng de Gueng & Free Worlds League Mercenaries, Light/Assault, Green/Elite, Vehicle & Infantry/Mech) Chairman Elldren
1. First Federated Commonwealth Regimental Combat Team:
Formed in 3028 by Prince Hanse Davion, ruler of the Federated Suns, from a regiment of mechs gifted by Melissa Steiner, heir to the Lyran Commonwealth, the First FedCom was the first recognizable sign of the future Federated Commonwealth. Prince Davion took the opportunity to assign recent graduates from the CMS, Albion, and the Nagelring and posted the unit in the Draconis March under the command of Marshall James Sandoval. After a few years the Regiment went from a unit of green cadets to a united, skilled unit. They now garrison Gan Singh, a world taken from the Capellan Confederation's Tikonov Commonality and made into the new Federated Commonwealth Sarna March. The unit features troops from Steiner, Davion, and occupied Capellan worlds working in cooperation, a microcosm of the modern FedCom. The 1st FedCom features advanced technology the smaller and poorer Capellan Confederation has seen little of, especially advanced battle armor suits based on Clan Elementals. They will prove an unpleasant surprise for Capellan infantry.
1st FedCom Armor Brigade (Davion, Medium, Elite, Vehicle) Major PhantZon
1st FedCom Ad Hoc Combat Team Baker (Davion, Medium, Veteran, Vehicle/Battle Armor/Mech) Leftenant TiamatZ
1st FedCom 3d Company (Davion, Heavy, Veteran, Mech) Captain RiemannLives
2. Count's Own Guards:
(The Kana Family Crest)
A collection of troops from the local nobility mustered in the world's defense, they are motivated but inexperienced. Count Kana has recently inherited command, and a Zeus, from his deceased father, murdered by Capellan terrorists during a parade review of the company. Every mech in the company is the hereditary property of a noble family on Gan Singh. They have received scattered recovered technology upgrades, depending on family resources and logistical constrains - Gan Singh is far from the Clan front and not too important.
1st Gan Singh Chevaliers (Steiner, Medium, Green, Mech) Count Kana
The Inner Sphere in 3057:
I'll randomly generate each force and then take a smoothing pass to make sure everybody has roughly equivalent battle value.
I am assuming I can get 8 players interested. Here's my proposal for how the campaign works - I haven't been able to devise something entirely to my satisfaction so am open to feedback and suggestions before we finalize everything.
The biggest issue I have is this: the more freedom I give players at the strategic level - freedom to move around a planetary map, to unevenly allocate forces to outnumber somebody at the expense of being outnumbered elsewhere - the less balanced and perhaps satisfying the actual megamek games will be. The games in some would largely be won or lost at the strategic layer, though the RNG has a way of upsetting people's expectations. That has a certain appeal to it in the abstract, because it might make some neat narrative experiences, but it seems more suited to a one on one planetary assault campaign where the players get to play the fights which are lopsided both for and against them, rather than have one player on each side be the one who is haplessly ambushed/ganged up on by 3 other players and then spends the rest of the campaign watching from the sidelines.
So I am thinking instead of the following system:
1) Pre-generated scenarios. I set four campaign tracks that are 1v1 matches in a series of fights. I might update a planetary map for reference, but it's an abstract one and no gameplay happens on it. I might use the rulebooks' quick and dirty campaign rules as well as put in a few custom missions. I will post general descriptions and let people pick where they go. Probably 3-4 fights to a track, and then the campaign tracks are mixed up. Thinking losers in a bracket fight each other.
2) Supplies. No repairs or replacements for mechs during the track. Battle armor/infantry will have a limited replacement pool because they tend to eat it quick. There is a program, mekhq, that plugs into megamek and can track repairs and repair success rolls between fights, but it would require either that a) people do their own repairs on the honor system and share rosters (in megamek they are called .MUL files or MULs) back to me, which is logistically complex and tempts cheating via save scumming, or b) i manage MULs, which is also a logistical mess. Maybe in a later campaign, but for now, because both sides have plenty of goodies, sufficient to just keep the persistent MULs that track damage during a campaign track.
3) Units and scoring. I want to incentivize people being cautious with their units, but am also trying to avoid the snowball effect where the first side to get a substantial victory outnumbers their opponent in each successive match. So killing units will get you victory points for the overall battle, but what I will do is "top up" people's forces with reinforcements between campaign tracks. Players will get rewarded for (a) winning, and (b) keeping their units alive, in some combination of upgrades and experience gains.
Thoughts? Interest? Am I forgetting something relevant?