RogueTech: Bengy's Blobs (AAR #9)
This is the AAR following the exploits of the Mech Mercanary company, Bengy's Blobs in RogueTech (the complete overhaul mod of BattleTech). Earlier AARs can be found here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8.
The Blobs have been loitering around in the same Draconis Combine (House Kurita) system of Dromeni for quite some time now. There isn't too much exciting to challenge the Blobs, the missions tend to be easy and the salvage is just enough to cover the running costs of the company with a bit spare to save up for upgrades and bringing new Mechs online. So, not much to report in the way of new exploits of derring-do... so, it is a good time to have a quick overview of the forces that the Blobs are currently fielding!
It has been a while since we've had a force overview. Mostly, the AARs have dealt with new changes and old retirements... so, it can be a bit hard to remember from one report to another exactly what the Blobs company is composed of!
The Blobs have evolved quite a bit since the formation of the company. It now fields two Medium-Heavy lances with a small smattering of Assault Class Mechs. It means that the focus is now away from the hit and run skirmishes to a more considered slugging at medium to long range... backed by devastating hard hitting close range sluggers.
- Alpha Lance
- Beta Lance
- Vehicle Pool
The 70 ton Avatar is configured as a nasty close in combatant. It is relatively swift for a Heavy class OmniMech but lacks the jump ability that would allow it to navigate difficult terrain efficiently.
The entire configuration is built around supporting the fearsome Heavy Gauss Rifle, an Inner Sphere bastardization of an already fearsome technology. The regular Gauss Rifle fires uses an EM coil to accelerate and shoot a slug of inert metal, basically catapulting a direct fire equivalent of a slug. How do you make it more damaging? Scale it all up to fire the equivalent of a truck!
Needless to say, this leaves very little room for additional weaponry as the bulk of the space and weight is devoted to this monster weapon and its ammunition storage. However, once this beast starts firing... it is a very bad day for anyone unlucky enough to be hit! Including friendlies how have placed themselves in the line of fire...
An array of enhanced medium ranged lasers form the back-up weaponry in the event that the main weapon runs out of ammunition. This is most definitely a close ranged combatant, but the Avatar also fields an Advanced Anti-Missile System to provide company-wide cover whilst it is closing the range.
As the main weapon is not really a high-heat output weapon, the Avatar remains on the less efficient Inner Sphere cooling technology, freeing up the Clan technology for the hotter running Mechs in the company.
The Hellbringer (65 tons) is a Omnimech on the lighter end of the Heavy spectrum . This configuration has harnessed quite a bit of Clan technology to save on space and weight of components, which allows it to pack a bit more armour and weaponry.
As configured, it is a bit of a jack of all trades, with an emphasis towards the closer ranges. An improved Large Pulse laser gives it firepower at range, whilst twin Streak 6s give it that extra oomph at close range. The main feature of the Hellbringer is the highly advanced targeting systems that allow it to better target enemies in cover at long range.
It does tend to run hot at medium-close ranges when all weapons are included in an Alpha Strike. This means that care has to be taken with selecting weapons for best efficiency and heat management instead of going for a full salvo kill.
The Lineholder (55 tons) has been a long time mainstay of the company. It features a design that is based upon the older Inner Sphere designs of fixed hardpoints which drastically limits the types and amounts of weaponry that it can field.
It is outfitted in a Sniper configuration with a regular Gauss Rifle (of Clan extraction) and a Heavy Large Laser giving it quite a bit of firepower for its weight class at Long Range. However, at closer ranges, it only fields a few weapons that are effective, namely a Streak SRM launcher and a single Medium Pulse Laser.
Thus, it is better suited to staying at a fair distance from the fray in order to avoid being outgunned at close-medium ranges. Unfortunately, the lack of jump jets means that it might not always have the initiative in choosing the combat distance!
Another long term mainstay of the Blobs has been this Wolverine (55 tons) which is also built upon the older BattleMech hardpoint technology. It was the first of the company to field Clan technology weaponry with the Gauss Hyper-Assault Rifle. At the time, this Gauss shotgun was one of a kind in the company, with no spares if it was damaged. Thankfully, more recent engagements with the Clans have resulted in generous donations of spares!
The Wolverine is quite mobile with decent speed and jump jets, which allow it to perform decently in a skirmish role. It is mainly outfitted for ranged support, with a Clan LRM20 allowing to harass an enemy formation with barrages of minefields and Infernos. These specialised munitions allow the Wolverine to funnel enemy attacks or to plant deadly traps in terrain bottlenecks.
The Banshee (95 tons) is the pride of the company and a close-in brawler Mech. Although it is based upon the older BattleMech technology, it is by far and away the heaviest combatant in the Blob's company. A monster Mech is best paired with a monster weapon, and this Banshee is equipped with the ever fearsome Ultra AC20 (Clan tech). A regular AC20 is a nasty weapon that fires an incredibly damage explosive short range munition... the Ultra version improves on that by firing at double the rate, at the expense of a higher jamming rate. Getting hit by one of these slugs will give even Assault class Mechs a huge headache, getting hit by two.... needless to say, lighter Mechs will be instantly destroyed if they are accidentally clipped by this weapon!
An LRM20 battery and a couple of medium ranged lasers round out the weapon configuration, giving the Banshee a better range than the point-blank effective range of the Ultra AC20!
When the Banshee and the Avatar are together, it spells doom for those who are careless enough to wander too close!
The Dervish (55 tons) is best described as an Assassin. It is completely based around four large short-Medium range missile batteries, half of which are guided and the other are just free-fire. It is by far and away the fastest Mech in the company, but lacks the jump jets for that extra surprise factor.
It's job in the skirmish is to close fast and flank... unleashing a full volley of devestating missiles in the paper thin rear armour of the enemy. A full volley can easily take out a Heavy Mech or lighter, and Assault class Mechs will go down if they are especially unlucky! The reliance on missile batteries means that the Dervish runs relatively cool and has more damage output than other loadouts, however, it is offset by the fact that it has limited salvos.
Plus, an unlucky strike will detonate the ammunition stores.... and all the safety gear (CASE) was stripped in order to produce a harder hitting, faster configuration! Needless to say, this sort of Mech attracts pilots with a death wish....
This OmniMech version of the venerable Centurion (50 tons) is one of the lighter Mechs in the company. Built along a similar missile based design principle as the Dervish, it acts in the longer ranged support role by featuring two large batteries of Clan Tech LRM15s. These batteries have great range and indirect fire capability, but they don't tend to cause much in the way of focussed damage as the missiles are not guided and tend to land all over the place!
However, they do excel at delivering area-based munitions... such as Infernos and Minefields. So, this Mech is adept at staying at range and creating bottlenecks for the enemy formation... locking them down with minefields and perhaps crippling some before the fray is joined by the skirmishers and brawlers.
In the case that the Centurion is caught at short and direct combat, it fields a few smaller lasers which also serve as reserve weapons in case the main missile batteries run out of ammunition. An Artemis IV system does improve the accuracy (and cost) of the Long range missile munitions, but they are still inaccurate enough to keep the Centurion in a support role rather than a direct fire role.
The Penetrator (75 tons) is a bit of an experiment in a completely laser based brawler. For a heavier type of Mech it does feature a decent amount of speed and a fully Mechanical Jump system. The jump system is less effective than regular Fusion based Jump Jets in that you can not maneuver whilst in the air, but they do run a good deal cooler!
... and heat management is the bane of a laser based BattleMech. Although the Penetrator fields a vast variety of the cutting edge Clan Double Heat Sinks, a full salvo is more than enough to bring the Mech to the brink of shutting down. So, the laser loadout of the Mech is designed to have different effectiveness at different engagement ranges. Not to do full salvo Alpha Strikes! Unless you want to have the Mech just shutdown and become a sitting duck!
Vehicles are often overlooked on the battlefields of the Inner Sphere. They are definitely less versatile and flexible than their more recognisable BattleMech partners, but they do fill specialised roles with better effectiveness than the walking machines. Often at a cheaper cost as well!
The Blobs currently fields four battle worthy vehicles. Two tanks and two VTOLs. They aren't the best or by choice, they just happen to be the only functioning remains of battlefield salvage.
The Myrmidon and Cloud Buster are the two tracked tank like vehicles. Although they can generally hold their own against lighter Scout type mechs, they are often outclassed by the heavier varieties. The Myrmidon features a PPC as its main weapon which means that it fills the minefield clearance role, freeing up a Mech to actually shoot at enemy combatants. The Cloud Buster features a pair of Anti-Aircraft Autocannons which can easily shred most of the fragile VTOLs. Again, this takes the onus off the Mechwarriors and frees them up to target more dangerous enemies.
The AWACS and Nidhogg are the scouts of the company. The AWACS features an advanced electronics, artillery spotter and minefield laying ability. It is by far and away the fastest unit in the company, but also the most fragile. It is best suited to quick rescue/snatch missions or laying out the artillery beacons for orbital bombardment. Meanwhile, the heavier Nidhogg features two heavy Autocannons which make it enough of a threat to enemy flanks for them to directly engage. By flanking and surrounding their position, the Nidhogg can sometimes entice an enemy Mech to accidentally reveal its rear facing to the main Blobs Mech force.
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