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pendell
2015-06-07, 04:17 PM
Welcome to this let's play ! This first post records the current status of the game, the character sheet, and all decisions taken so far.

RULES

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Character Sheet

Name: SAWANO, Kallen.
Rank: Captain

Commanding Officer, CWS TEMERAIRE

Coalition of Democratic Extrasolar Colonies

Piloting: 3 [Affects vehicle piloting and melee combat]
Perception: 4 + 1 [used for ranged attacks]
Willpower: 1 [used for fortitude and will checks; a low willpower score
may result in failure when attempting a frightening task]
Presence: 2 [Corresponds to Charisma; a measure of the characters ability to persuade
or dominate others]

Warrior: 68 Diplomat: 32
Deliberation: 100 Passion: 0

[These are a measure of the character's personality. Each pair is opposed; the higher your warrior, the lower your diplomat score.

These values determine how different characters react to you; for instance, if your character is coolheaded, other coolheaded people will be sympathetic to you while hotheads will be rubbed the wrong way.

Also, these characteristics determine how effective your character is at taking particular actions. If you spend the entire game cultivating a warlike character who loves to fight, you will have a hard time making any kind of believable appeal for a peaceful settlement].


Reputation: 100

Confirmed kills: 85

COMBAT ARMATURE [your combat vehicle]
Type: XCA-118 LIONHEART
Speed: 3
Armour: 3
Modifications: Enhanced Sensors
Weaphn 1: Particle Storm Rifle
Weapon 2: Plasma Cutter

LANCE [Squadron]

Eternal Vigi-2 [Feridoun Asadi] : ACTIVE
Eternal Vigi-3: KIA
Eternal Vigi-4: KIA
Eternal Vigi-5: KIA
Eternal Vigi-6: KIA


TECHNOLOGY DATABASE

Ansible

The only way to communicate in real time between human worlds, Ansibles
use the principles of quantum entanglement to instantaneously replicate
data over interstellar distances.

However, the technology involved is expensive to manufacture and costly
to maintain, so most colony worlds only have one.


Vernier Thrusters

Named for 16th century French mathematiciean Piere Verniere,
these small adjustable thrusters are the devices behind a
combat armature's ability to make precise maneuver in the microgravity
of space. Most Mecha carry three to six dozen verniers in addition
to their main thrusters. They are dispersed over the body of a
fighting vehicle and controlled by a central flight computer. Acting in
concert, they are capable of directing thrust in any direction. These
thrusters, coupled with inertial canceller fields, allow combat
armatures incredible agility both in space and in gravity.



Inertial Canceller Fields

Developed in the late 2nd century ISE, the ICF generator is capable
of creating a field which reduces inertia to a fraction of
it's original force. This makes possible the immense acceleratons
experienced both by armatures in combat, and ordinary craft
when accelerating to interstellar speeds.

This technology is not without it's drawbacks. It is quite expensive,
and the power requirements necessitate the use of matter-antimatter reactors.

Finally, an inertial canceller field at present has a minimum size of
5x5x5 meters, and a maximum size of 100x100x100 meters. Thus
it is impossible to mount the device much smaller than a combat
armature, and large ships must carry multiple generators.



Matter/Antimatter reactors

The beating heart of every modern vessel, a reactor generates the vast
amount of power needed for interstellar travel and combat. When antimatter
comes in contact with matter, the result is a violent mutual annihilation which
produces massive energy.

Obviously, there are significant dangers intrinsic to the technology, though
multiple failsafes and shielding make a catastrophic loss of containment almost possible under normal circumstances. During combat conditions, however, a breach of the core will almost certainly annihilate the vessel carrying it.



Variable Mass Drives

Barring the use of wormholes like the one that connects the systems of Vedria and New Lisbon, the Variable Mass Drive, also known as the Tachyon Driver, is the sole known mechanism for superluminal travel.

The VMD uses the same principle as the Inertial Canceller Field to break the light speed barrier and can be sustained only for short 'hops' lasting a few seconds.

Each hop can cover distances ranging from 16 light-hours for low-grade commercial drives to up to 96 light-hours for top-rate military ones. In between hops, a ship must spend several minutes recharging its drive capacitors. This reduces the travel time between human worlds to a matter of days or weeks, rather than the centuries otherwise required.


Autocannon [combat armature]

The heavy autocannon has served as the combat armature's primary ranged weapon for decades. The autocannon mounted by the mecha of both Imperial and CODEC forces are fully automatic coilguns capable of firing 45mm explosive shells at a rate of 950 rounds per minute. The weapon itself usually comes with a stock and grips, so that a combat armature may handle and aim the weapon in much the same way a human might use a submachine gun.

While these weapons are reliable, easy to manufacture, and relatively simple to maintain, their explosive projectiles are slow and relatively easy to dodge. They are also ineffective against heavily armored targets.


Particle Rifle [Type 1]

Developed by Wellington Defence Industries on Albion at the beginning of the current war, the particle rifle launches a bolt of particles towards its target at nearly 98% of the speed of light. Upon impact, these particles carry enough force to penetrate the armor of any combat armature or light warship.

The firing process of the particle rifle generates an enormous amount of waste heat. WDI's earliest solution was to deposit the heat in disposable heatsinks, which would then be ejected into space to liquify without damaging the weapon. This was done through a primitive but proven bolt-action mechanism, fed through a small interchangeable box magazine.


Particle Rifle (Type II)

A further development of the particle rifle by Wellington Defence Industries, designed as a weapon upgrade for the third generation of CoDEC combat armatures. Instead of a manually-cycled bolt action mechanism, this new iteration diverts a miniscule amount of the power from the weapon's firing mechanism into an automated system.

As a result, this type of particle rifle is capable of firing as fast as the pilot can squeeze the trigger, though sustained rate of fire is still limited by magazine size.


Particle Storm Rifle

Designed specifically for the XCA-118 LIONHEART, the Particle Storm Rifle is Wellington Defence Industries' latest attempt to amplify the destructiveness of particle weaponry with fully automatic fire capability. Instead of ejecting individual heatsinks when they are filled to capacity, the PSR mounts a cylindrical integrated cooling system made up of a large radiator system which constantly cycles a series of heatsinks.

As a result, the Particle Storm Rifle is capable of firing a rate of over 600 rounds per minute almost indefinitely.


Chainknife

A basic melee weapon and a stable of the combat armature pilot's armor, the chainknife is a slashing and stabbing weapon with a blade ranging from three to six meters in legnth. Its cutting teeth are usually made of synthetic diamondoid and pulled along a chain wrapped around the blade by a battery-powered motor at the rate of 1200 revolutions per second.

While the chainknife is almost completely ineffective against modern combat armature armor, it can still deal considerable damge should a skilled pilot be able to thrust the blade through gaps in an opponent's protective coverage.


Plasma Cutter

Derived from the industrial strength welding tools so commonly used in orbital and deep space construction, the plasma cutter projects a jet of superheated gas which is shaped into a ten meter long blade by a containment field. This "energy sword" is capable of cutting through all but the heaviest armor with minimal effort. In addition, the containment field used by the plasma cutter is the same type used by the Imperial military's monosabres, allowing CODEC pilots equipped with plasma cutters to block the monosabre strokes of their Imperial opponents.

Unfortunately, these properties come at the cost of colossal energy expenditure. A plasma cutter must be fuelled through power linkages which tap directly into a mecha's reactor, meaning that any machine using a plasma cutter cannot use the energy of its main powerplant to its full potential.


Monosabre

The ultimate embodiment of Imperial power and technical know-how, the monosabre is the signature weapon of the Imperial military's combat armature pilots.

The monosabre itself is a metallic nanofluid, projected from a hilt which also serves as a power cell for the containment field which shapes the blade. Unlike a mundane blade made out of solid materials, the containment field is capable of shaping an edge which remains sharp, even on the molecular scale.

The result is the famous "infinitely sharp" edge of the monosabre, an edge which never dulls or breaks and is capable of cutting through any material, be it paper or battleship armour, with the same effortless ease.

The only way to stop the stroke of a monosabre entirely is by parrying it with the containment field of another monosabre or plasma cutter.


Anti-Capital Ship Cruise Missile (ASCM)

These weapons are designed specifically to be launched by large warships for use
against other large warships. They range from about 8 to 12 metres in length. They mass anywhere
from 30 to 60 tonnes.

Cruisers are the smallest type of warship that usually carry ACSM tubes, fielding anywhere from
12 to 18. Larger vessels, like Imperial dreadnoughts, can carry up to 100 tubes, arranged along
both sides of the hull (broadside).

When ejected from their launching tubes through the use of a low-powered conventional explosive
charge, they quickly lock onto their designated target and begin moving along a flight path given
to it by the launching ship's Fire Control AI. The missile then quickly gains velocity as it travels
to its target.

Missiles are too small to be equipped with inertial canceller fields. While they are capable of
making wide turns to track targets, they are unable to make tighter turns to evade point-defence
fire. Generally, about 95% of all missiles fired in a fleet engagement are shot down by point
defence fire.

As a result standard doctrine is for a missile-armed capital ship to face in the direction
of the a target or group of targets and fire all the missile tubes on that side of the ship at
once, in coordination with any accompanying capital ships.

An ACSM's warhead consists of anywhere from 50 to 250 grammes of antimatter, held in a
containment field. When the missile impacts with a target or runs out of fuel, the containment
field fails, and the antimatter mutually annihilates with the matter of its casing, causing
an explosion roughly equivalent to that of a large 20th century thermonuclear bomb. In addition,
this reaction also releases a burst of lethal gamma radiation, killing all unshielded living
things within close proximity.


Swarm Missile

These weapons are the miniaturised cousin of the ship-launched ACSM.
They are designed to be launched from specialised combat armatures. They range from 50 to 90
centimetres in length, and mass somewhere between 300 and 800 kilogrammes.

Swarm Missiles share many of the advantages and disadvantages of their larger counterparts:
they are similarly vulnerable to point-defence fire, but their small size allows them to be
launched in large volleys by lances of combat armatures. An Imperial M404 Revolle can carry up
to 48 of these missiles in shoulder-mounted box launchers.

A small size means a commensurately smaller warhead: generally 0.5 to 4 grammes of antimatter.
While formidable, the explosive yield of these warheads are incapable of dealing severe damage
to armoured warships except through multiple direct hits. As a result, standard doctrine is to use
these weapons on "soft" targets, like civilian shipping and combat armatures.


SHIP REFERENCE


COALITION OF DEMOCRATIC EXTRASOLAR COLONIES

CA-70 PICTON [CODEC General Purpose Combat Armature]

Manufacturer: Hesse-Castle Macroindustrial.
Armament: Autocannon, Chainknife

In the decades before the rebellion, several manufacturers in the outer colonies produced conversion kits to turn civilian industrial armatures into fully-armed combat models. The most effective of these conversion kits added military-grade armor to the cockpit and leg assemblies as well as basic electronic warfare capabilities. The resulting conversion, the CA-70 PICTON, was more than a match for lightly-armed raider vessels.

Unfortunately, the onset of full-scale civil war has proved the Picton to be inferior to many of its purpose-built Imperial counterparts. While hastily-modified variants have been rushed into production to fill the gap. CODEC is already in the process of phasing out the outdated combat armature entirely.


CA-82 UXBRIDGE [CODEC Close Combat Mass Production Combat Armature]

Manufacturer: Hussar Aerospace
Armament: Plasma Cutter, Autocannon

In the opening stages of the civil war, CODEC high command quickly realized the need for an immediately available combat armature capable of facing the Imperial M403 VALLIER on near-even terms. A hasty design process led to the development of the CA-82 UXBRIDGE, a close-combat variant of the CA-70 PICTON with an enhance vernier system. While still outmatched by its counterparts, the Uxbridge's high speed allows a skilled pilot to keep up with most Imperial machines.


CA-95 MANNINGHAM [CODEC Long Range Combat Armature]

Manufacturer: Wellington Defence Industries
Armament: Particle Rifle (Type I) , Chainknife

At the beginning of the Civil War, CODEC forced suffered heavy losses at the hands of the Imperial M404 REVOLLE, which was equipped with swarm missiles capable of tearing apart lightly-armored CODEC ships, as well as heavy armor which could shrug off most counterattack. CODEC's answer was yet another variant of the versatile CA-70 PICTON: THe CA-95 MANNINGHAM. Armed with a heavy particle rifle capable of piercing the thickest armor, the MANNINGHAM soon proved highly effectvie against armored targets in the hands of a skilled and sufficiently cautious pilot.


CA-108 GRENZER Advanced Long-Range Combat Armature

Manufacturer: Brunswick Interstellar
Armament: Particle Rifle (Type I), Chainknife

A further evolution of the CA-95 Manningham, the CA-108 Grenzer is the first CoDEC combat armature designed for warfare from top to bottom. Armed with the same powerful long range particle rifle which equipped the Manningham, the Grenzer's upgraded reactor also allows it to carry additional armour.


CA-109 REITER Advanced Close Combat Combat Armature

Manufacturer: Brunswick Interstellar
Armament: Plasma Cutter, Autocannon

The close combat version of the CA-108 Grenzer, the CA-109 Reiter boasts an updated suite of vernier thrusters and a weapons outfit more suited for close range combat. In addition, the Reiter's upgraded reactor has allowed it to carry heavier armour over vital areas such as the cockpit, improving the survivability of both pilot and machine.



XCA-118 LIONHEART Advanced Combat Prototype

Manufacturer: Wellington Defence Industries
Armament: Particle Rifle (Type II), Plasma Cutter

Developed in secret on Vedria Prime by Albion's Wellington Defence Industries, the XCA-118 LIONHEART has been touted as the “silver bullet” needed to end the Civil War once and for all. Key to the LIONHEART's design is a next-generation experimental matter/antimatter reactor capable of immense power output, allowing the experimental combat armature to carry heavy armour without compromising its exceptional speed. In addition the LIONHEART is equipped with a semi-automatic variant of the MANNINGHAM's particle rifle.

Should the LIONHEART's initial tests prove promising, CoDEC is prepared to manufacture a mass-production variant in small numbers, to be assigned to elite pilots and used to spearhead counter-attacks into Imperial-occupied space.


SHIP UPDATE: CWS CALIBURN CV-63

CODEC Carrer
Dimensions: 685x245x211 meters
Crew Complement: 645 (minimum) 4500 (full)
Armament: 64x Class III ACSM Tubes, 24x37mm Point Defense Autocannon, 6x Combat Armatures

During the early days of the war, it became very clear that CODEC desperately needed a class of heavy combat armature carriers built for war. While converted freighters and starlines were capable of carrying and launching mecha, they possessed neither speed nor durability nor effective armament. This made them serious combat liabilities.

As a result, the CODEC Defence committee commissioned a series of new carrier designs. The most ambitious was that submitted by the Tercao Yards of New Lisbon in the beginning of the second year of the war: The CALIBURN. Though unable to carry more than one lance of combat armatures, the new carrier was equipped with a respectable point defense system and a battery of anti-ship missile tubes.

More importantly, the CALIBURN was outfitted with a powerful military-grade drive, allowing it to keep pace with even the fastest elements of CODEC's ramshackle fleet. Despite the oubvious advantages, the CALIBURN was also a notorious resource-sink, coming in 215% over budget and 14 months over schedule, temporarily scrapping to build any additional ships of this class.

However, when the CALIBURN was commissioned and deployed to the Vedria system in 418 SE, the new design proved remarkably effective. Therefore, the Defence Committee is once again considering the construction of three additional vessels of this class: The CURTANA, the NAEGLING, and the CALADBOLG.


EMPIRE OF HUMANITY ASCENDANT

M401 FANTIN [Imperial General Purpose Combat Armature]

Manufacturer: New Hyderabad Systems
Armament: Heavy Autocannon

Designed as the mainstay of a vast force of conscript pilots, the M401 FANTIN was designed to be rugged, easy to pilot, and cheap to manufacture. Despite being inferior to the CODEC's CA-70 PICTON, sheer numbers and resourceful Imperial pilots have made sure that the increasingly outdated FANTIN remains a useful weapon in the Imperial Arsenal.


M403 VALLIER [Imperial Close Combat Mass Production Combat Armature]

Manufacturer: Caballero Aerospace Solutions
Armament: Monosabre.

The M403 VALLIER is the current standard front line combat armature of the regular Imperial armed forces. While most conscripts and rear-echelon units are still equipped with the M401 FANTIN, the swifter VALLIER has become the mainstay of the Empire's better-trained volunteer units. The VALLIER is armed with a deadly monomolecular sabre, capable of effortlessly shearing through the heaviest armor. The lack of ranged weapon means that VALLIER pilots must use the craft's blinding speed to charge into close combat with the enemy, a tactic will in line with the warrior ethic of the Imperial elite.


M404 REVOLLE Imperial Fire Support Mass Combat Model

Manufacturer: Knox-Gribeauval Industries
Armament: Swarm Missiles
Those Imperial pilots who have shamed themselves
on the battlefield or whose skills have been proven wanting
are dealt the ultimate humiliation: they are assigned to “Fire-support units” equipped with the
M404 Revolle. Instead of fighting at close range in honourable battle,
Revolle pilots are required to remain clear of the battle in their lumbering,
heavily armoured machines, firing swarms of guided missiles at “soft” targets like
damaged enemy units or supply ships. There is no honour or glory in such combat, and
although the strategic value of such units are immense, Imperial pilots have been known to
shoot themselves to spare themselves from being reassigned to such duty.


M414 GROGNARD
Imperial Advanced General Purpose Mass Production Combat Armature

Imperial Advanced General Purpose Mass Production Model
Manufacturer: Caballero Aerospace Solutions
Armament: Heavy Autocannon, Monosabre

The M414 Grognard is the Imperial military's answer to CoDEC's Grenzer/Reiter line. While not as agile as the older M403 Vallier, the Grognard is much better armoured, and its automatic cannon allows it to theoretically blast apart any enemy machine which it cannot run down. In recent months, the Imperial Fleet has begun equipping selected veteran pilots with the Grognard. Initial reports have been nothing short of ecstatic: Pilots report that the new machine outclasses everything in CoDEC's current arsenal.


XM419 ROLAND
Imperial Advanced Combat Prototype


Manufacturer: [REDACTED]
Armament: Monosabre, Particle Beam Rifle

For decades, the Imperial Armed Forces have maintained a “black budget” for the development of secret weapons. The latest product of this constant and massive expenditure of resources is the XM419 Roland, a prototype combat armature using an experimental matter/antimatter reactor much like the one which powers the XCA-118 Lionheart. Armed with the very latest in monomolecular weapon technology and the Imperial answer to CoDEC's particle rifle, the Roland is a strong contender for the most powerful combat armature ever built.



KOVACS-class Light Cruiser [Empire of Humanity Ascendent]


Dimensions: 320 x 85 x 60 metres
Crew Complement: 80 (minimum), 750 (full)
Armament: 6x Class II ACSM tubes, 14x Class I ACSM tubes, 24x 20mm Point-Defence Autocannon,
4x 73mm Autocannon

Unlike the makeshift escort ships of the CoDEC fleet, the Imperial Kovacs class Cruiser was built
as a warship from the keel up. As a result, it holds several advantages over its CoDEC equivalents:
redundant systems, a reinforced structure and a more efficient engineering space designed
for a military grade FTL drive among them.

Despite this, these ships still lack the firepower or the armour needed to operate on their own.
They are usually deployed in squadrons of four, or as part of an Imperial battlegroup, operating
as specialised point-defence ships, thanks to their relatively impressive outfit of autocannon.


TRICOULEUR Class Dreadnought [Empire of Humanity Ascendent]

Dimensions: 1120 x 540 x 420 metres
Crew Complement: 600 (minimum), 5800 (Full)
Armament: 32x Class IV ACSM tubes, 64x Class III ACSM tubes, 48x 20mm Point-Defence Autocannon, 12x 73mm Autocannon, up to 6400x ground troops (Flight A) or 6x combat armatures (Flight B)
The crown jewels of the Imperial navy, the TRICOULEUR class dreadnoughts are the ultimate expression of Imperial military design philosophy: heavily armed and massively armoured, these immense warships can go toe-to-toe with entire CoDEC battlegroups.

When the first batch of four TRICOULEUR-class dreadnoughts were commissioned in 411 ISE, the Imperial naval staff was under the assumption that the massive warships would be mostly used to conduct and support ground operations against small-scale insurgencies with minimal space-borne presence. The outbreak of the CoDEC rebellion forced the TRICOULEUR's designers to rethink their priorities.

As a result, the second set ofTRICOULEURs were modified to specialise in combat against enemy fleets, with its massive troop bays replaced by combat armature hangars. The first of these ships, the ORIFLAMME, was commissioned into the Imperial Grand Fleet in early 417, and currently serves as fleet flagship.



LIGHTBEARER Imperial Unmanned Strategic Weapon [Empire of Humanity Ascendent]

Dimensions: 12600 x 6200 x 6200 metres (transit mode), 12600 x 10800 x 10800 metres (firing mode)

Armament: 1x Niven Device

With no end in sight to the CoDEC rebellion, the Empress personally commissioned the Imperial military to develop a series of superweapons capable of winning the war. The largest and most physically imposing of these projects to reach completion has been the Lightbearer. This colossal superweapon consists of a massive remote-controlled cannon and its support mechanisms, all protected by a shell of heavy armour.

In essence, Lightbearer is a gigantic starship engine, re-purposed as a weapon. The core of the weapon consists of a massive matter-antimatter reactor, capable of short, high-intensity bursts of operation. When activated, the vast majority of the reactor's power is released as exhaust, shaped into a variable-width beam by a containment field.

This exhaust consists of charged particles moving at 99.5% the speed of light, capable of travelling up to 50 000 km before complete beam dissipation. When set to be fired in a wide beam, the Lightbearer is capable of destroying entire fleets in a single shot. Narrower, more intense containment results in more concentrated fire, theoretically capable of punching through large space stations, asteroids, even small planets.

With such destructive power at its fingertips, the Imperial Admiralty expects to be able to crush the rebellion by the beginning of 420 ISE. As a result, the weapon has been attached to the Imperial Grand Fleet in the Vedria System.



HISTORY OF THE INTERSTELLAR ERA


Successful matter/antimatter reactions were first generated in the early
21st century, heralding an age of innovations. Over the next five decades
the reactor was refined, each iteration becoming more and more efficient.
Research colonies for the purpose of this testing were constructed on Luna
and Mars. While this occurred, the solar system itself was colonized by slow ships.
Small but permanent orbital colonies were established, as was Olympus City on Mars,
the first permanent settlement on another planet.

Three generations later, a combination of three breakthroughs caused a technological
revolution which produced the current era.

First, a relatively cheap method of producing antimatter, making it a viable source of
commercial, industrial power. This also led to the development of Inertial Canceller Fields
and the variable-mass drive, leading to the development of faster-than-light travel.

The result was an immense boom in colonization efforts, and many were sent out.
Unfortunately, most of these were unmitigated disasters, as the pride of nations goaded
them to establish colonies for the bragging rights, without regard for the welfare of
the colonists. Most of them died slow deaths, more degenerated into barbarism. Only
a few went on to become thriving worlds in their own right.

After multiple catastrophic failures, the six wealthiest and most powerful nation states
created a new regulatory agency to oversee further colonization and manage the existing
worlds. This new 'Colonial Authority' was empowered to administer the colonies of its
member worlds and to field armed starships to enforce its edicts. From now on, the
majority of colonization efforts would be carefully planned and administered. In
recognition of this new age, the Colonial Authority instituted a new calendar, retroactively
dated to the first matter/antimatter rector two centuries before. Under the new calendar,
the year was now 177 ISE: Interstellar Era.

Of course, some nations would not go along with this scheme, but the overwhelming
financial muscle of the CA's backers either forced the dissenters ot join or
abandon their colonial efforts altogether. Over the next century, the Colonial Authority
would increase in power and slowly usurp the prerogatives of its members states while
the colonies under its control grew into economic powers. The discovery of the Vedria
Wormhole and the nearly earth-like world of Albion in the
Faran system ushered in a new colonial boom. In fact if not in name,
the CA was the government of earth and all her colonies by the
beginning of the third century ISE.

Not long after this, the ambitious administrators of Albion begain
work on a massive combination orbital shipyard, trade port,
and orbital habitat capable of supporting ten million people:
Londinium Station. However, those behind the project had greatly
underestimated the costs. Far from the industrial capacities of the core worlds,
Albion's fifty-five million people completed a twentieth of the structure
in less than seven years.

These pressures forced innovation, and the colonists solved the
problem with the Construction Armature: a giant humanoid craft
powered by miniaturized matter/antimatter reactors and piloted by a
single specialist. With only one pilot and a team of two or three hundred
support technicians, the construction armature could do the work
of fifteen thousand spacesuited workers. This innovation allowed
the colonists to complete Londinium Station in three years.

The development of the Construction Armature allowed the construction of another generation
of massive orbital and deep space habitats, another colony boom.

This presented a problem for the Colonial Authority: The senior administrators
who had carefully maintained humanity's expansion had become a closed, hereditary class
of technocrats from Earth and the oldest colonies. Their monopoly on power was threatened
by the expansion, so in ISE 296 the Colonial Authority declared its senior positions to be
hereditary, and ordered an indefinite moratorium on new colonies.

The outer colonies did not take this very well.

Population pressure and disagreement with CA policies meant a sharp increase in piracy and smuggling.
When the pirtaes proved to be too agile for the CA's warships, local governments took
to arming construction armatures and deploying them from makeshift carriers to combat the problem.

Meanwhile, the Colonial Authority, which had become a feudal monarchy in all but name,
discarded the last pretences and declared itself the Empire of Humanity Ascendent,
with the current Administrator of Earth as Emperor.

Disorganized rebellions immediately broke out in the colonies, which the
Empire responded to with their own purpose-built armatures, piloted by Imperial conscripts
and led by highly motivated and trained members of a newly-developing "warrior class".

As the rebellions grew in frequence and intensity the warrior class gained more power within
the Empire. A new ethos was founded and became wildly popular among the Imperial Nobility,
one which harkened back to the Teutonic Knights, the Samurai, The Grenadiers, and the
Chasseurs a Cheval of Napoleon's Guard.

Despite the increasing militarization of the Empire and the constant refinement of its
Combat armatures and warships, a rebellion powerful enough to spark a full-scale civil war
was only a matter of time. In 414 SE, that time came, when the governor of Albion and
half a dozen other colonies declared independence, under the banner of the Coalition of
Democratic Extrasolar Colonies (CODEC).

The civil war has lasted five years now. Though bolstered by an increasingly organized military
and the defection of several Imperial units, the rebel colonies are locked in a stalemate
with forces still loyal to the newly-crowned Empress. With battle lines settled around the
Vedrian Wormhole, neither side has the force to manage a breakthrough.

There is no end in sight.


ART GALLERY


Ensign Asadi, portrait, by Kasanip

http://i1015.photobucket.com/albums/af275/umbrellako2/cc_zpsttxuhdda.jpg



UXBRIDGE in action, by Smuchmuch

http://i917.photobucket.com/albums/ad15/smuchmuch/Illustrations/IMG_Vardianrobotwar01_zpsmgjutevr.jpg


CODEC roundel, by Paul Wang

http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn188/Brian_Pendell/codecroundel_zpsknwwp7di.png (http://s304.photobucket.com/user/Brian_Pendell/media/codecroundel_zpsknwwp7di.png.html)

PAUL: The "corners" of the CoDEC roundel represent the military forces of the unified colonies, arranged in a protective array around the circle of a planet: this represents the organisation's stated purpose as a defensive militia, and their emphasis on protecting the rebel colonies.​


Flag , Empire of Humanity Ascendant, by Paul Wang

http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn188/Brian_Pendell/EmpireAscendentflag_zps3xabxopr.png (http://s304.photobucket.com/user/Brian_Pendell/media/EmpireAscendentflag_zps3xabxopr.png.html)

PAUL: "The Imperial Battle Flag's obvious inspiration comes from the Colours of Napoleon's infantry regiments, to the point where it almost seems like an anachronism in a setting with FTL and well, Combat Armatures. That's to demonstrate that the imperial metropole of Empire itself has an anachronistic bent (reflected in their rather old-fashioned views on combat, not to mention their dress uniforms) as well as the rather aggressive spirit driven into their pilots."


Randomella, our fifth regular player, by Fri.

http://orig02.deviantart.net/43de/f/2015/230/3/5/diceroll_tan_2_by_fri_freeman-d9676i9.jpg


Achievements
Gundamjack! : Grand Theft Prototype: You recovered a prototype from the enemy.
White Death: You maxed out your ranged prototype weapon.

Simohayha: The White Death : You maxed out your ranged combat ability.

Orlando Furioso: Defeated the Roland while Hawkins was piloting it.

The Biggest Stick. You intimidated the enemy fleet into surrendering.
Just this once!: Every major character survived to the end of the story.

Who the Hell…: You ended the story with more than 80 Reputation.

Take that, Manfred!: You ended the story with more than 80 kills.
Men of Destiny: You played through the story with an all-male cast.

Decision Log
1. Execute ejected pilots because we can't let them live.
2. Female pilot
3. We joined the battle to fight for the cause of Freedom!
4. Known for no single act but for reliability and unbroken record of excellence.
5. We use a particle rifle and fly the CA-95 MANNINGHAM
6. Upgrade sensors
7) Our Lance is named Eternal Vigi-Lance.
8) Our strong point is our perception.
9) Rules amendment: fan artists will receive one extra vote per piece.
10) Our weakness is the combat shakes
11) Respond neutrally to the team
12) Asadi is letting his heart rule his head; he needs to calm down.
13) We won't be able to stop to help but we can move carefully to prevent more damage
14) Attempt to catch sight of the enemy from here.
15) Remote-hijack the mech.
16) Attack the perimeter guards.
17) Get some distance and fight from range.
18) We're proud of our performance
19) Fire potshots to scare off conscripts
20) Get the box, it might be important.
21) Accept Hawkins' challenge, call in allies to assist.
22) Keep him at a distance.
23) We still fight for the same reasons.
24) Wait for outcome of vote 22.
25) Attack from a distance.
26) BP choose name: Aina Tomino.
27) We see the crew chief.
28) Compliment weaver
29) What are you fighting for?
30) IN order, if time: Prototype, Asadi, Hawkins.
31) Name changed to "Kallen Sowano"
32) Ask asadi how he's holding up.
33) Ask Asadi if he has anyone waiting for him at home.
34) It just means we'll have to fight harder.
35) "Congratulations on your first command."
36) "I'm just hoping it lives up to the hype."
37) "I can't help but feel that this machine isn't entirely safe."
38) We actually don't say anything.
39) I don't like it either but we have our orders.
40) test melee weapon thoroughy.
41) Test range weapon with panache!
42) Hope asadi has the good sense to run
43) Calm down, I'm the one in trouble not you
44) Enter the IFF code.
45) Fly the LIONHEART with limiters .
46) Fight the battle cautiously, in deference to that big egg-thing which is probably a superweapon.
47) Steele has to have something up his sleeve (like, say, a superweapon)
48) Stage a hit and run to protect the civilian transports.
49) Charge into the middle of the enemy.
50) Defend the battle group
51) Protecting civilians is our top priority. I'm glad we're doing it.
52) Attack Hawkins, ordering our lance to deal with his escort.
53) Engage Hawkins from Long Range
54) If only we could stop destroying the things other people have built.
55) The LIONHEART is an impressive asset but it has issues.
56) We saved as many as we could.
57) "I'm just glad we all made it through these past few days."
58) Ensign Asadi is an excellent pilot but his judgement can be questionable.
59) Maybe they wanted to gauge the morale of the battlegroup through me?
60) We'll see Asadi, Watanabe, and Captain Baelyn, in that order.
61) "I wanted to see how you were holding up."
62) Continue to talk to Asadi.
63) Why do you want to win this war so badly?
64) Make sure they didn't die in vain.
65) We don't accept Asadi's romantic overture but keep our options open.
66) Yes, they are.
67) Sure, I'd love to.
68) Clothes don't mean that much to me.
69) We'll stop them here.
(Already voted to see Captain Baelyn)
70) Ask all the questions.
71) Take experimental particle rifle.
72) Improve piloting.
73) I hope this will end the war.
74) Snipe from afar.
75) Retain tactical flexibility.
76) Wait a little longer.
77) Stay and fight.
78) Attack the flagship while Asadi defends the fleet.
79) Demand Steele spare crown station and withdraw the fleet.
80) Kill Steel when he refuses our demands
81) Name, rank , and serial number.
82) I don't agree, but i understand.
83) Name rank and serial number again.
84) Ask as many questions of the Blue Masque as possible.
85) Shoot to kill.
86) Allow Hawkins to hijack the Roland.
87) "Good, I'm not so sure, either."
88) "The Commandant has his own agenda but that doesn't mean he can't be useful."
89) I admit that I broke under Imperial interrogation.
90) See Asadi.
91) Part of something bigger
92) Serious issues with the plan
93) I trust you completely
94) visit Asadi's quarters.
95) Kiss him back.
96) Hunt the enemy down without mercy .
97) If it's a fight you want...
98) You're insane.
99) Engage Hawkins at range.
100) Attempt to intimidate the Grand Fleet into surrendering.
101) Spare hawkins.

Fanart bonus vote log:
+1 Fri, earned 18 AUG.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

pendell
2015-06-07, 05:33 PM
Orbit over Vedria Prime, Vedria System
419 Interstellar Era

You pull back on the throttles as the battered Imperial combat armature in your sights begins to glow with the tell-tale lights of a core breach. You shift your weightin your seat, your skin-tight pilot suit stretching as your own mecha's controls register your movement. Your multi-ton war machine halts just meters in front of the stricken enemy machine at the commands of your flesh and blood body inside the cockpit.

With a twist of your legs, your control interface sends the twelve metric tons of your combat armature's leg crashing into the disintegrating enemy machine, sending it careening off into the middle of the enemy formation. With a brilliant, self-annihilating flash, the crippled machine's matter-antimatter core goes critical, taking two other hostiles with it.

KILL COUNT: 63.

Around you, more enemy machines die as allied mecha pour supporting fire into them,exploiting the hole torn in the enemy formation by your attack. Command had been wise to choose you to lead the attack, for you were an elite ace with sixty kills.

Now you have sixty-three.

Their formation shattered, the enemy advance guard flees for the safety of their distant support vessels. Behind you, the main body of the fleet moves up to press the attack , allowing you and your fellow pilots in the advance guard to regroup.

You scan your tactical display, hoping to find and rendezvous with your unit. Instead, you find three, dim energy readings heading away from you. These must be the escape pods from your most recent kills.

What do you do?

Vote 1:

1) Killing helpless foes would be dishonorable. I let them go.
2) I'm a soldier, not a murderer. I don't want to kill anyone I don't have to.
3) Killing them would waste ammunition I could need later. I let them go.
4) I cannot afford to let three experienced enemy pilots live.
5) Why should I let those impie bastards live? I kill them all!


[NOTE: Choices 1-3 all spare the enemy lives and choices 4-5 kill them.
The reason there are FIVE choices rather than two is that the particular choice selected tells us something about your personality, which will influence your warrior/diplomat and reason/passion rankings]

TECHNICAL UPDATE: Ansible

The only way to communicate in real time between human worlds, Ansibles use the principles of quantum entanglement to instantaneously replicate data over interstellar distances.

However, the technology involved is expensive to manufacture and costly to maintain, so most colony worlds only have one.


TECHNICAL UPDATE: Vernier Thrusters

Named for 16th century French mathematiciean Piere Verniere, these small adjustable thrusters are the devices behind a combat armature's ability to make precise maneuver in the microgravity of space. Most Mecha carry three to six dozen verniers in addition
to their main thrusters. They are dispersed over the body of a fighting vehicle and controlled by a central flight computer. Acting in concert, they are capable of directing thrust in any direction. These thrusters, coupled with inertial canceller fields, allow combat armatures incredible agility both in space and in gravity.



TECHNICAL UPDATE: Inertial Canceller Fields

Developed in the late 2nd century ISE, the ICF generator is capable of creating a field which reduces inertia to a fraction of it's original force. This makes possible the immense accelerations experienced both by armatures in combat, and ordinary craft when accelerating to interstellar speeds.

This technology is not without it's drawbacks. It is quite expensive,
and the power requirements necessitate the use of matter-antimatter reactors.
Finally, an inertial canceller field at present has a minimum size of
5x5x5 meters, and a maximum size of 100x100x100 meters. Thus
it is impossible to mount the device much smaller than a combat
armature, and large ships must carry multiple generators.



TECHNICAL UPDATE: Matter/Antimatter reactors

The beating heart of every modern vessel, a reactor generates the vast
amount of power needed for interstellar travel and combat. When antimatter
comes in contact with matter, the result is a violent mutual annihilation which
produces massive energy.

Obviously, there are significant dangers intrinsic to the technology, though
multiple failsafes and shielding make a catastrophic loss of containment almost
possible under normal circumstances. During combat conditions, however, a breach of
the core will almost certainly annihilate the vessel carrying it.



TECHNICAL UPDATE: Variable Mass Drives

Barring the use of wormholes like the one that connects the systems of Vedria and
New Lisbon, the Variable Mass Drive, also known as the Tachyon Driver, is the sole
known mechanism for superluminal travel.

The VMD uses the same principle as the Inertial Canceller Field to break the light
speed barrier and can be sustained only for short 'hops' lasting a few seconds.
Each hop can cover distances ranging from 16 light-hours for low-grade commercial
drives to up to 96 light-hours for top-rate military ones. In between hops,
a ship must spend several minutes recharging its drive capacitors. This reduces
the travel time between human worlds to a matter of days or weeks, rather than
the centuries otherwise required.




BACKGROUND UPDATE: HISTORY OF THE INTERSTELLAR ERA


Successful matter/antimatter reactions were first generated in the early
21st century, heralding an age of innovations. Over the next five decades
the reactor was refined, each iteration becoming more and more efficient.
Research colonies for the purpose of this testing were constructed on Luna
and Mars. While this occurred, the solar system itself was colonized by slow ships.
Small but permanent orbital colonies were established, as was Olympus City on Mars,
the first permanent settlement on another planet.

Three generations later, a combination of three breakthroughs caused a technological
revolution which produced the current era.

First, a relatively cheap method of producing antimatter, making it a viable source of
commercial, industrial power. This also led to the development of Inertial Canceller Fields
and the variable-mass drive, leading to the development of faster-than-light travel.

The result was an immense boom in colonization efforts, and many were sent out.
Unfortunately, most of these were unmitigated disasters, as the pride of nations goaded
them to establish colonies for the bragging rights, without regard for the welfare of
the colonists. Most of them died slow deaths, more degenerated into barbarism. Only
a few went on to become thriving worlds in their own right.

After multiple catastrophic failures, the six wealthiest and most powerful nation states
created a new regulatory agency to oversee further colonization and manage the existing
worlds. This new 'Colonial Authority' was empowered to administer the colonies of its
member worlds and to field armed starships to enforce its edicts. From now on, the
majority of colonization efforts would be carefully planned and administered. In
recognition of this new age, the Colonial Authority instituted a new calendar, retroactively
dated to the first matter/antimatter rector two centuries before. Under the new calendar,
the year was now 177 ISE: Interstellar Era.

Of course, some nations would not go along with this scheme, but the overwhelming
financial muscle of the CA's backers either forced the dissenters ot join or
abandon their colonial efforts altogether. Over the next century, the Colonial Authority
would increase in power and slowly usurp the prerogatives of its members states while
the colonies under its control grew into economic powers. The discovery of the Vedria
Wormhole and the nearly earth-like world of Albion in the
Faran system ushered in a new colonial boom. In fact if not in name,
the CA was the government of earth and all her colonies by the
beginning of the third century ISE.

Not long after this, the ambitious administrators of Albion begain
work on a massive combination orbital shipyard, trade port,
and orbital habitat capable of supporting ten million people:
Londinium Station. However, those behind the project had greatly
underestimated the costs. Far from the industrial capacities of the core worlds,
Albion's fifty-five million people completed a twentieth of the structure
in less than seven years.

These pressures forced innovation, and the colonists solved the
problem with the Construction Armature: a giant humanoid craft
powered by miniaturized matter/antimatter reactors and piloted by a
single specialist. With only one pilot and a team of two or three hundred
support technicians, the construction armature could do the work
of fifteen thousand spacesuited workers. This innovation allowed
the colonists to complete Londinium Station in three years.

The development of the Construction Armature allowed the construction of another generation
of massive orbital and deep space habitats, another colony boom.

This presented a problem for the Colonial Authority: The senior administrators
who had carefully maintained humanity's expansion had become a closed, hereditary class
of technocrats from Earth and the oldest colonies. Their monopoly on power was threatened
by the expansion, so in ISE 296 the Colonial Authority declared its senior positions to be
hereditary, and ordered an indefinite moratorium on new colonies.

The outer colonies did not take this very well.

Population pressure and disagreement with CA policies meant a sharp increase in piracy and smuggling.
When the pirtaes proved to be too agile for the CA's warships, local governments took
to arming construction armatures and deploying them from makeshift carriers to combat the problem.

Meanwhile, the Colonial Authority, which had become a feudal monarchy in all but name,
discarded the last pretences and declared itself the Empire of Humanity Ascendent,
with the current Administrator of Earth as Emperor.

Disorganized rebellions immediately broke out in the colonies, which the
Empire responded to with their own purpose-built armatures, piloted by Imperial conscripts
and led by highly motivated and trained members of a newly-developing "warrior class".

As the rebellions grew in frequence and intensity the warrior class gained more power within
the Empire. A new ethos was founded and became wildly popular among the Imperial Nobility,
one which harkened back to the Teutonic Knights, the Samurai, The Grenadiers, and the
Chasseurs a Cheval of Napoleon's Guard.

Despite the increasing militarization of the Empire and the constant refinement of its
Combat armatures and warships, a rebellion powerful enough to spark a full-scale civil war
was only a matter of time. In 414 SE, that time came, when the governor of Albion and
half a dozen other colonies declared independence, under the banner of the Coalition of
Democratic Extrasolar Colonies (CODEC).

The civil war has lasted five years now. Though bolsted by an increasingly organized military
and the defection of several Imperial units, the rebel colonies are locked in a stalemate
with forces still loyal to the newly-crowned Empress. With battle lines settled around the
Vedrian Wormhole, neither side has the force to manage a breakthrough.

There is no end in sight.


Votes in by 5:30 PM , Eastern Standard Time, Tuesday.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Lord Ruby34
2015-06-07, 10:06 PM
I cannot afford to let three experienced enemy pilots live.

I want to be cold.

Legato Endless
2015-06-07, 10:09 PM
Vote 1:


1) Killing helpless foes would be dishonorable. I let them go.

This seems alright, but it's kind of the typical knight response.


2) I'm a soldier, not a murderer. I don't want to kill anyone I don't have to.

Mecha tend to be rather maudlin when they make remonstrations about the nature of war. Gundam's already got this pretty covered.


3) Killing them would waste ammunition I could need later. I let them go.

Too bellicose a form of pragmatism.

4) I cannot afford to let three experienced enemy pilots live.

A bit more tolerable, if we're going for cold and calculating, this is my pick. In fact, let's do this.


5) Why should I let those impie bastards live? I kill them all!

Woah there.

CrimsonKnight
2015-06-07, 11:04 PM
4) I cannot afford to let three experienced enemy pilots live.

It's cold, especially because our enemy grunts are just conscripts, but we're fighting a war of survival against an oppressive empire. Pragmatism it is.

Forum Explorer
2015-06-07, 11:36 PM
I can't afford to let any enemy live to fight again.

5a Violista
2015-06-07, 11:42 PM
I will vote contrary.

2) I'm a soldier, not a murderer.
'cause we got soul and we a soldier.

Dragonus45
2015-06-08, 12:09 AM
4) I cannot afford to let three experienced enemy pilots live.

Fri
2015-06-08, 03:10 AM
I kinda want to play a professional soldier type, so I'll pick this one.

2) I'm a soldier, not a murderer. I don't want to kill anyone I don't have to.
Though I don't mind if we end up cold and calculating, to give a bit of variation.

CoreBrute23
2015-06-08, 07:22 AM
I think a more dispassionate, but not cruel, pilot could be fun.

2) I'm a soldier, not a murderer. I don't want to kill anyone I don't have to.

pendell
2015-06-08, 07:37 AM
If I'm reading this correctly the votes are now evenly balanced at 4 for death and 4 for mercy. Voting closes tomorrow at 5:30 PM Eastern time. Will anyone else chip in? Will everyone remain firm in their resolve..?


...

Fascinating.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Lord Ruby34
2015-06-08, 11:30 AM
Actually, it looks like five for death and three for mercy.

CoreBrute23
2015-06-08, 12:35 PM
Lord Ruby is right. The cold killers are beating us 5 to 3.

Also, is it too early to start suggesting names for our Lance? I've got an idea I believe it appropriate. :smallamused:

pendell
2015-06-08, 12:39 PM
Lord Ruby is right. The cold killers are beating us 5 to 3.

Also, is it too early to start suggesting names for our Lance? I've got an idea I believe it appropriate. :smallamused:

Go right ahead, we just won't be actually setting it until that point in the story comes.

I'm tempted to drop by arts and crafts to see if anyone wants to try their skills at a unit patch, ship drawings, etc.

Reaper Lance? :smallamused:

Respectfully,

Brian P.

smuchmuch
2015-06-08, 01:44 PM
Hey. Nice to see this started.

I am going to vote for:
> Killing them would waste ammunition I could need later. I let them go.

pendell
2015-06-08, 01:47 PM
Smuchmuch, you understand that you're voting for a third option? We have :

5 votes to kill 'em because they're experienced pilots.
3 votes to spare them because we have a conscience.
1 vote to spare them because it's a waste of ammunition.

With a vote of 5-3-1, it appears that we're going to see some exploding escape pods in short order.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

JeminiZero
2015-06-08, 08:57 PM
Incidentally, is there a Geneva Convention (or something like that) which dictates that Enemy Pilots fleeing in escape pods should NOT be shot down?


Lord Ruby is right. The cold killers are beating us 5 to 3.

Also, is it too early to start suggesting names for our Lance? I've got an idea I believe it appropriate. :smallamused:

Lyrical Tokarev? :smalltongue:

pendell
2015-06-09, 08:05 AM
The book doesn't make any mention of a Geneva convention or similar; certainly no such agreement exists between CODEC and the Empire.

The Geneva convention was an agreement between nations to make war humane; from the viewpoint of the Empire there ARE no more nations; the Empire of Humanity Ascendant is the sole lawful government, and to make war upon it for ANY reason is rebellion and treason. Consequently all members of the CODEC armed forces are 'unlawful combatants' , under the terms of the old conventions, and so those protections would not apply to them in any case.

That said, the Empire is a neo-feudal system, and its aristocracy subscribes to a code of honor. Anyone who subscribes to that code will view the killing of helpless foes as a war crime, and anyone who does it with contempt. The Empire DOES take prisoners, and seems to treat them with a degree of consideration... when they have reason to do so.

Speaking abstractly, if one should fall into Imperial hands, one can probably expect far better treatment for acting with 'honor' than for shooting down escape pods. If you act like a knight, you'll probably be treated as one. If you act like a terrorist .. well, you can expect a great deal less restraint and courtesy.

All of this assumes you're captured in the first place. And it also assumes you don't run into an Imperial who cares not a jot about honor but a great deal about winning. As I understand it, such people are rare in their ranks but the historical pattern of wars is for scruples to gradually be abandoned in the pursuit of victory.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

pendell
2015-06-09, 05:45 PM
Very well, by a vote of 5-3-1, the enemy pilots who ejected are to be executed because they are experienced enemies who are too dangerous to live.



You push the throttle forward with one hand as you designate the enemy escape pods as targets with the other, a familiar sequence of movements made second nature by five years of fighting against the oppression of Old Earth. You position your combat armature behind the trio of tiny, egg-like craft as they fly for the safety of the Imperial fleet.

You close to point-blank range and raise your mecha's weapon, opening fire at a distance which almost guarantees direct hits.

You squeeze the trigger three times and the star-studded sky is filled with three dying blooms of pale fire and shattered metal.

You feel a strange disturbance, as if three voices had cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

You nod to yourself, satisfied that those Imperial pilots won't be causing you or your allies any more trouble.


WARRIOR: +20 DIPLOMAT: -20
DELIBERATION: +20 PASSION: -20



A voice chirps in your comm. "Nice shooting , boss. Glad to see we're not pulling any punches today."

The window on your comm screen displays the image of a black-haired, hungry-looking young person with aristocratic features and skin the color of milk tea, the smile made up of equal parts approval and admiration: Ensign Feridoun Asadi, your wingman. Possessed of undoubted talent, healthy aggression, and a killer instinct, Asadi is a highly valued asset.

You smile back, answering your wingman's youthful enthusiasm with a hunter's grin of your own.

"Every skilled pilot we kill is another one the Impies can't replace. That's how we're going to win this war, Asadi."

Asadi's grin redoubles.

"That makes all the sense in the galaxy to me ... "



Vote 2:

* "... sir."
* " ... ma'am".


[This selects the gender of your pilot. It has minimal game effect, as I will so arrange matters that all potential romantic partners are available.]



"Glad I've made myself clear, Asadi," you say as you look over your main display, beyond your wingman's face and at the battle still raging before you, high above Vedria Prime's Surface.

Half a decade of war has honed your ability to pick out friend from foe to a razor's edge. Within seconds, you are able to pick out the friendly warships and combat armature units of the fleet as they open up against the main body of the hated enemy.

They, like you, fight for the Coalition of Democratic Extrasolar Colonies [CODEC], an alliance of human colonies fighting for independence from the growing tyranny of Old Earth's Empire of Humanity Ascendant.

The rebellion itself had been centuries in the making. While the human species needed strong, central authority to govern it during the first uncertain decades of interstellar colonization that would become the Empire did not adapt to changing realities as Earth's colonies grew into power in their own right.

Ultimately, the result had been a government which claimed to speak for all of humanity, but one which concentrated all power in the one-seventh of the human race that lived within humanity's home system. Instead of delegating power to the ascendant colonies, Old Earth had sought to rein in its growing children with increasingly restrictive policies. When the outer colonies protested, the Empress and her court responded by stripping entire worlds of their charters and ruling by decree.

After that, open rebellion had only been a matter of time.

In the early days of the rebellion, the forces of Earth's rebelling colonies had been poorly organized and armed with nothing more than improvised weapons, warships, and combat armatures.

You had been one of the first volunteers. The moment the concept of colonial revolution became something more concrete, you joined up with the newborn rebellion's rag-tag armed forces.

You had only one thing on your mind that day, and you joined CoDEC's military as a combat armature pilot for one reason:



Vote 3:

* Revenge for what the Empire had did to my family.
* To support the cause of freedom from the tyranny of Old Earth.
* To shield those dear to me from the destruction of war.
* A chance for power, fame, and maybe even high office at the end of the war.
* To kill people with official backing.
* My homeworld had joined the rebellion. It's my duty to defend her.


Votes in by 5:30 PM Eastern Time Thursday! Hope to see you then!

Respectfully,

Brian P.

CoreBrute23
2015-06-09, 05:52 PM
Since we seem to be going kill kill kill*,

-> To kill people with official backing.

Also, my idea for the Lance name should be obvious.

We. Are. GIANT LANCE!

*To clarify, I chose thise because I like the idea of someone whose a bit Dexter like, who has this urge to kill, but wants to channel it, so he joined the military that would let him find a focus for his urges. He's still a nice guy, he just likes to chop up somebody with his giant mech sword (assuming he gets a sword) every so often.

Lord Ruby34
2015-06-09, 06:54 PM
...Ma'am

My Homeworld had joined the rebellion. It's my duty to defend her.

Legato Endless
2015-06-09, 08:03 PM
...ma'am

To support the cause of freedom from the tyranny of Old Earth.

Ruthless idealist sounds decent for a soldier and gives us some latitude for divergent choices.

JeminiZero
2015-06-09, 08:53 PM
2: ...Sir

3: To support the cause of freedom from the tyranny of Old Earth.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants fleeing enemy escape pods.

Dragonus45
2015-06-09, 09:13 PM
2: ...Sir

3: To shield those dear to me from the destruction of war.

5a Violista
2015-06-10, 12:37 AM
2: Ma'am.
Since it's rather evenly split so far.

However! Since we're going for cruel and heartless, I'll vote #3 for...
Revenge for what the Empire had did to my family. They stole my little sister's teddy bear, among other things.

And. Um. Not fish names this time; how about bird names? I say character's name should be Robin.

Forum Explorer
2015-06-10, 12:42 AM
Sir

My homeworld had joined the rebellion, it was my duty to defend her.

JeminiZero
2015-06-10, 01:11 AM
And. Um. Not fish names this time; how about bird names? I say character's name should be Robin.
We could go with a Fruit and Vegetable theme.

In which case our Pilot will be Kira Tomato (and his berserk function will be Seed mode).

Love interest will be the singing citrus, Lacus Lime

Best friend will be Athrun Salad.

*Barrel rolls out of the impending hail of rotten tomatoes*:smalltongue:

5a Violista
2015-06-10, 01:49 AM
Oh! Fruit and vegetables! I love that. Let's go with it. That's my vote.

CrimsonKnight
2015-06-10, 02:01 AM
2: ...Ma'am.

3: To support the cause of freedom from the tyranny of Old Earth.

Definitely rooting for the ruthless idealist.

smuchmuch
2015-06-10, 05:44 AM
... Madam

* A chance for power, fame, and maybe even high office at the end of the war.

I like ambitious characters (I feel ambition as a character motivation is rarely treated fairly in fiction) and it fits well with a certain kind of calulating ruthlessness.

That said, if it's anything like 'life of a wizzard', those first choices won't be that important.
I mean Koi started as a troublemaker as a child, bit of a thief and her best friends was a bad influence, and she ended up almost as a living "saint".

pendell
2015-06-11, 06:13 PM
By a vote of 5-3, our heroine possesses a pair of X-chromosomes.

The vote for the cause we fight for was far more divided, but in the end, by 3 votes to two one each, we fight for ...

https://madetofish.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/freedom-mel-gibson.jpg




Some of your fellow CODEC soldiers actually have very little idea what they are fighting for. They quote mass-media sound bites and jingoistic slogans.

You know better.

Your intellectual opposition to the Empire had begun long before the civil war. You could rattle off the injustices of the Imperial system one by one : The extra-legal rights of the Imperial nobility and the limitation of noble titles t othose born in the planets of Sol, the Empress' ability to rule the outer colonies by decree, the fact that the Imperial Fleet did nothing to quell the growing piracy threat in the outer colonies despite the colonies contribution of more than a third of the Empire's tax revenue, and so on.

When CODEC formed an open rebellion, you knew that the people of the outer colonies finally had a chance to get a government which did more than plunder the riches of the outer worlds and send them Earth-ward. You volunteered as soon as you could.

Over the next five long years, you watched CODEC's military turn into a cohesive fighting force capable of facing the Imperial war machine on even terms.



Vote 4:

During that time, you became one of CODEC's best pilots, most famously known for:

* Single-handedly destroying three Imperial ships at the Battle of Crown Station.
* Protecting a civilian convoy from repeated enemy attacks during the retreat from Toulon.
* No single act but for my passionate devotion to everything I do.
* No single act but for my utter reliability and unbroken history of excellent service.




With the other five combat armatures of your lance rallying behind your machine, you look for a target of opportunity. Your keen eyes soon find one: the tell-tale thruster trails of M401 FANTINs, the most basic combat armature still fielded by the imperial military. There are perhaps two dozen in all, moving forward in an attempt to outflank the advancing CODEC fleet.

You turn to your wingman again, she meets your gaze, a vicious grin on her lips. It is clear that she has seen the same opportunity you have.

"More work, Bossman?"

You nod. "More work, pilots. Rally on me and prepare to attack."

You look around your cockpit, going through the practiced motions of a pre-combat check. You know Asadi and the other members of your lance will be doing the same. FOr them, such a check would be a formality, but you've just come out of a battle, and you go through every item on the checklist in earnest, looking for minor damage from your previous skirmish, mechanical failure alerts, or any other pressing issus. Finally, you ensure that your machine's primary weapon is in working order.



VOTE 5:

You quickly check the:

* Heatsink status of my long-range particle rifle [Your ship will be the CA-95 MANNINGHAM, a dedicated ranged gun platform]
* Power Linkages on my sword-like plasma cutter [Your ship will be the CA-82 UXBRIDGE, a close combat assault mecha]
* Ammunition levels on my versatile autocannon [Your ship will be the CA-70 PICTON , an older, obsolete model which is a jack-of-all-trades]


[For descriptions of these vessels, the known opposing force, and the relevant technologies, see the technical updates below]

SHIP UPDATE: CA-70 PICTON [CODEC General Purpose Combat Armature]

Manufacturer: Hesse-Castle Macroindustrial.
Armament: Autocannon, Chainknife

In the decades before the rebellion, several manufacturers in the outer colonies produced conversion kits to turn civilian industrial armatures into fully-armed combat models. The most effective of these conversion kits added military-grade armor to the cockpit and leg assemblies as well as basic electronic warfare capabilities. The resulting conversion, the CA-70 PICTON, was more than a match for lightly-armed raider vessels.

Unfortunately, the onset of full-scale civil war has proved the Picton to be inferior to many of its purpose-built Imperial counterparts. While hastily-modified variants have been rushed into production to fill the gap. CODEC is already in the process of phasing out the outdated combat armature entirely.


SHIP UPDATE: CA-82 UXBRIDGE [CODEC Close Combat Mass Production Combat Armature]

Manufacturer: Hussar Aerospace
Armament: Plasma Cutter, Autocannon

In the opening stages of the civil war, CODEC high command quickly realized the need for an immediately available combat armature capable of facing the Imperial M403 VALLIER on near-even terms. A hasty design process led to the development of the CA-82 UXBRIDGE, a close-combat variant of the CA-70 PICTON with an enhance vernier system. While still outmatched by its counterparts, the Uxbridge's high speed allows a skilled pilot to keep up with most Imperial machines.


SHIP UPDATE: CA-95 MANNINGHAM [CODEC Long Range Combat Armature]

Manufacturer: Wellington Defence Industries
Armament: Particle Rifle (Type I) , Chainknife

At the beginning of the Civil War, CODEC forced suffered heavy losses at the hands of the Imperial M404 REVOLLE, which was equipped with swarm missiles capable of tearing apart lightly-armored CODEC ships, as well as heavy armor which could shrug off most counterattack. CODEC's answer was yet another variant of the versatile CA-70 PICTON: THe CA-95 MANNINGHAM. Armed with a heavy particle rifle capable of piercing the thickest armor, the MANNINGHAM soon proved highly effectvie against armored targets in the hands of a skilled and sufficiently cautious pilot.



SHIP UPDATE: M401 FANTIN [Imperial General Purpose Combat Armature]

Manufacturer: New Hyderabad Systems
Armament: Heavy Autocannon

Designed as the mainstay of a vast force of conscript pilots, the M401 FANTIN was designed to be rugged, easy to pilot, and cheap to manufacture. Despite being inferior to the CODEC's CA-70 PICTON, sheer numbers and resourceful Imperial pilots have made sure that the increasingly outdated FANTIN remains a useful weapon in the Imperial Arsenal.


SHIP UPDATE: M403 VALLIER [Imperial Close Combat Mass Production Combat Armature]

Manufacturer: Caballero Aerospace Solutions
Armament: Monosabre.

The M403 VALLIER is the current standard front line combat armature of the regular Imperial armed forces. While most conscripts and rear-echelon units are still equipped with the M401 FANTIN, the swifter VALLIER has become the mainstay of the Empire's better-trained volunteer units. The VALLIER is armed with a deadly monomolecular sabre, capable of effortlessly shearing through the heaviest armor. The lack of ranged weapon means that VALLIER pilots must use the craft's blinding speed to charge into close combat with the enemy, a tactic will in line with the warrior ethic of the Imperial elite.


TECH UPDATE: AUTOCANNON [combat armature]

The heavy autocannon has served as the combat armature's primary ranged weapon for decades. The autocannon mounted by the mecha of both Imperial and CODEC forces are fully automatic coilguns capable of firing 45mm explosive shells at a rate of 950 rounds per minute. The weapon itself usually comes with a stock and grips, so that a combat armature may handle and aim the weapon in much the same way a human might use a submachine gun.

While these weapons are reliable, easy to manufacture, and relatively simple to maintain, their explosive projectiles are slow and relatively easy to dodge. They are also ineffective against heavily armored targets.


TECH UPDATE: PARTICLE RIFLE [Type 1]

Developed by Wellington Defence Industries on Albion at the beginning of the current war, the particle rifle launches a bolt of particles towards its target at nearly 98% of the speed of light. Upon impact, these particles carry enough force to penetrate the armor of any combat armature or light warship.

The firing process of the particle rifle generates an enormous amount of waste heat. WDI's earliest solution was to deposit the heat in disposable heatsinks, which would then be ejected into space to liquify without damaging the weapon. This was done through a primitive but proven bolt-action mechanism, fed through a small interchangeable box magazine.


TECH UPDATE: CHAINKNIFE

A basic melee weapon and a stable of the combat armature pilot's armor, the chainknife is a slashing and stabbing weapon with a blade ranging from three to six meters in legnth. Its cutting teeth are usually made of synthetic diamondoid and pulled along a chain wrapped around the blade by a battery-powered motor at the rate of 1200 revolutions per second.

While the chainknife is almost completely ineffective against modern combat armature armor, it can still deal considerable damge should a skilled pilot be able to thrust the blade through gaps in an opponent's protective coverage.


TECH UPDATE: PLASMA CUTTER

Derived from the industrial strength welding tools so commonly used in orbital and deep space construction, the plasma cutter projects a jet of superheated gas which is shaped into a ten meter long blade by a containment field. This "energy sword" is capable of cutting through all but the heaviest armor with minimal effort. In addition, the containment field used by the plasma cutter is the same type used by the Imperial military's monosabres, allowing CODEC pilots equipped with plasma cutters to block the monosabre strokes of their Imperial opponents.

Unfortunately, these properties come at the cost of colossal energy expenditure. A plasma cutter must be fuelled through power linkages which tap directly into a mecha's reactor, meaning that any machine using a plasma cutter cannot use the energy of its main powerplant to its full potential.


Have your votes in by 5:30 PM Saturday! Hope to see you then!

Respectfully,

Brian P.

CrimsonKnight
2015-06-11, 09:45 PM
4: No single act but for my utter reliability and unbroken history of excellent service.

5: Heatsink status of my long-range particle rifle.

Changed my background vote since no one else seemed interested in defending the civvies. Guess we'll be the Reliable One instead.

JeminiZero
2015-06-11, 11:39 PM
Question: From what I gather, the CA-82 UXBRIDGE has the same Autocannon as the CA-70 PICTON, but it has a better Close Combat Weapon (Plasma Cutter vs Chainknife) AND an enhanced Vernier System? Doesn't it outclass Picton in every way?

Forum Explorer
2015-06-12, 01:11 AM
* No single act but for my utter reliability and unbroken history of excellent service.

* Heatsink status of my long-range particle rifle [Your ship will be the CA-95 MANNINGHAM, a dedicated ranged gun platform]



Veteran sniper. None of this hero of the moment stuff.

Legato Endless
2015-06-12, 01:45 AM
* No single act but for my utter reliability and unbroken history of excellent service.

* Heatsink status of my long-range particle rifle [Your ship will be the CA-95 MANNINGHAM, a dedicated ranged gun platform]


The auto gun looks kind of Subpar. Any reason we would want to take it?

smuchmuch
2015-06-12, 02:04 AM
* Single-handedly destroying three Imperial ships at the Battle of Crown Station

* Power Linkages on my sword-like plasma cutter


Question: From what I gather, the CA-82 UXBRIDGE has the same Autocannon as the CA-70 PICTON, but it has a better Close Combat Weapon (Plasma Cutter vs Chainknife) AND an enhanced Vernier System? Doesn't it outclass Picton in every way?

Well the game does specificaly describes the PICTON as an outdated quick conversion of civilian vehicles to millitary weither the UXBRIDGE is meant as it's rushed job millitary designed replacement, so it make sense the ltr would be a simply better fighting machine.

The only apparent positive point if favor of the PICTON is the energy expenditure of the UXBRIGE plasma cutter which stops the piot "to access it's Core full potential" while a very experienced pilot could get a good damage output from the chainknife.

Also it's possible (probable ?) that the increased expenditure of the plasma cuter impacts the performaces of the autocanon (which would explain why the uxbridge is called melle focussed while the picton called jack of all trade)

On an OOC pov, since we don't know much about energy cores yet (but I doubt the part about accessing the full apabilities of a core would be there if it didn'tbecome relevant later) or we aren't an experienced pilot stat wise (will there be stats like life of a wizzard in this game ?) , looks like taking the PICTON is a slightly risky middle term gamble.

5a Violista
2015-06-12, 03:31 AM
I really like this one:
No single act but for my passionate devotion to everything I do.

But since not everybody gets what they like, I'll vote for the same as TPAM. Because I also like these votes.

Single-handedly destroying three Imperial ships at the Battle of Crown Station. It was a glorious battle. Even with my ship severely damaged and even though it looked as though all hope was lost, I pulled through with a miracle because of my superior tactical skills and weapon usage. This battle will go down in legend for a hundred generations, and people will name their children after me because I AM AWESOME.

Power Linkages on my sword-like plasma cutter. Not only are swords cool, but they can cut through any kind of armor easily and they can block enemy attacks. Ever since they proved critical to my success at the Battle of Crown Station, I've depended and trusted my plasma sword like it's my little baby.

Fri
2015-06-12, 04:05 AM
* Single-handedly destroying three Imperial ships at the Battle of Crown Station.

* Ammunition levels on my versatile autocannon [Your ship will be the CA-70 PICTON , an older, obsolete model which is a jack-of-all-trades]

Because seriously guys. An ace of the rebellion using outdated hackjob of a civilian vehicle, and singlehandedly destroyed three imperial capital ship using that.

I'm not saying that you guys should change your mind.... but I'm not saying you shouldn't either :smalltongue:.

pendell
2015-06-12, 08:06 AM
(will there be stats like life of a wizzard in this game ?)


Yes. The piloting stat directly impacts your close combat capability. All close combat checks are pilot stat + ship melee stat.

You'll have opportunities both to get newer ships and to upgrade your existing one.

Likewise, the perception stat directly impacts your ranged capability. All ranged combat checks are perception skill stat + ship ranged stat.

There are two others skills which are not impacted by your vehicle, as well.

Presence is the ability to persuade others and to effectively command your units in battle. You are not just a pilot but a Lance leader. Sometimes your most effective weapon is not your rifle, nor your sword, but your wingman and fellow lancemates. If this status is too low, you may lose track of your fellow lancemates, and some of them may die.

Willpower is the ability to continue functioning under stress. If this check is too low, your character may, quite simply, cease to function in particularly stressful environments;go fetal at the controls.

As in 'Life of a Wizard', it's probably a good idea to pick a stat and maximize it. The later portions of the game require some fairly high skill checks, and while there are usually multiple ways to solve a problem, you need at least one really high stat to do it.



Question: From what I gather, the CA-82 UXBRIDGE has the same Autocannon as the CA-70 PICTON, but it has a better Close Combat Weapon (Plasma Cutter vs Chainknife) AND an enhanced Vernier System? Doesn't it outclass Picton in every way?

Short answer: No, but you probably want one anyway.

Both the UXBRIDGE and the MANNINGHAM are aftermarket improvements on the PICTON, designed to redress the PICTON's critical flaw: Neither its autocannon nor its chain knife can penetrate heavy combat armature armor.

The text is unclear as to whether ALL M403 VALLIER are so armored, or only some; but in either case it is possible, flying a PICTON, that you will encounter an enemy who is all but invulnerable to your weapons. You will either have to be very clever, very lucky, or just flat run away.

The UXBRIDGE and the MANNINGHAM both offer different solutions to overcome this problem; both the plasma cutter and the particle rifle can penetrate armor. However, because these are aftermarket improvements, these improvements mean cutting something elsewhere in the design.

The upshot is that the PICTON is a better ranged combatant than the UXBRIDGE, and a better melee combatant than the MANNINGHAM. It is average at everything. That'll do just fine against any number of typical Imperial conscripts flying FANTINS, but you're going to have difficulty with a VALLIER, and be in real trouble against an ace flying an upgraded, customized ship.

Oh, and flying the PICTON allows us to potentially unlock two achievements we could not otherwise get, but it's unlikely we'll stumble across them in this playthrough.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Legato Endless
2015-06-12, 08:44 AM
[COLOR="#FF0000"]* Ammunition levels on my versatile autocannon [Your ship will be the CA-70 PICTON , an older, obsolete model which is a jack-of-all-trades]

Because seriously guys. An ace of the rebellion using outdated hackjob of a civilian vehicle, and singlehandedly destroyed three imperial capital ship using that.

I'm not saying that you guys should change your mind.... but I'm not saying you shouldn't either :smalltongue:.

But-but the auto gun is so boring.



The text is unclear as to whether ALL M403 VALLIER are so armored, or only some; but in either case it is possible, flying a PICTON, that you will encounter an enemy who is all but invulnerable to your weapons. You will either have to be very clever, very lucky, or just flat run away.

Outwitting our enemy sounds cool. Is there a stat we need for that, (pick the outdated model to necessitate desperate creativity?), or can we just be smart enough with our choices? That might be too spoiler-y a question.


and be in real trouble against an ace flying an upgraded, customized ship.

Anyone want to gamble votes? I'm pretty sure this won't happen...

...less than 3 times.

pendell
2015-06-12, 09:22 AM
Outwitting our enemy sounds cool. Is there a stat we need for that, (pick the outdated model to necessitate desperate creativity?), or can we just be smart enough with our choices? That might be too spoiler-y a question.


The best non-spoiler answer I can give is: a combination of both. Clever answers alone aren't enough if you don't have the stats to back them up, but stats are meaningless if you don't know how to use them appropriately.

The other thing to keep in mind is your place in the warrior/diplomat passion/deliberation axes. As mentioned earlier, these influence how other people react to you.

It is possible to complete the game with any ending if you choose the PICTON here; but it does mean that you're going to have to rely less on your ship and more on your own skills and wits.

:Thinks:

There are also two skills which aren't mecha dependent at all -- perception and willpower.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

smuchmuch
2015-06-12, 04:22 PM
Because seriously guys. An ace of the rebellion using outdated hackjob of a civilian vehicle, and singlehandedly destroyed three imperial capital ship using that.

I'm not saying that you guys should change your mind.... but I'm not saying you shouldn't either :smalltongue

On one hand, you make a compelling argument but on the other:

http://i917.photobucket.com/albums/ad15/smuchmuch/Illustrations/IMG_Vardianrobotwar01_zpsmgjutevr.jpg

I'm not saying a hastily drawn picture should influence your vote but I'm not saying it shouldn't either. :smalltongue:

CoreBrute23
2015-06-12, 04:25 PM
I'm gonna go for:

No single act but for my utter reliability and unbroken history of excellent service.
I like the idea of this person who believes in what he's fighting for, because it's logically the best choice after examining the facts, and making a choice. Thus his behavior is still very logical, and thus a model soldier.

And for the weapon

Heatsink status of my long-range particle rifle [Your ship will be the CA-95 MANNINGHAM, a dedicated ranged gun platform]

EDIT: I've decided to change my vote from a sword to the rifle.

pendell
2015-06-12, 07:02 PM
Why not? Provided you win the vote and no one else has a strong objection.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Legato Endless
2015-06-12, 10:01 PM
Because i haven't won with the sword yet, and goddamn it, I want to cut some fools up!

Side note, can we pretend that it's not a sword, but actually a large plasma drill? Say a drill that pierces the heavens? Like we made up the fish gods thing in Life of a Wizard?

Sure. If sword wins let's re-fluff it. But I expect PIERCES THE HEAVENS! to be rendered with appropriate fanfare if and when pendell writes it.


The best non-spoiler answer I can give is: a combination of both. Clever answers alone aren't enough if you don't have the stats to back them up, but stats are meaningless if you don't know how to use them appropriately.

The other thing to keep in mind is your place in the warrior/diplomat passion/deliberation axes. As mentioned earlier, these influence how other people react to you.

It is possible to complete the game with any ending if you choose the PICTON here; but it does mean that you're going to have to rely less on your ship and more on your own skills and wits.

:Thinks:

There are also two skills which aren't mecha dependent at all -- perception and willpower.

Hmm, cool. We've got a nicely high deliberation, so that augurs well for planning. Although lack of diplomat probably means we can't talk our way out of things. I do like a challenge though. Might change my vote later.

Lord Ruby34
2015-06-12, 10:31 PM
* No single act but for my utter reliability and unbroken history of excellent service.

* Heatsink status of my long-range particle rifle [Your ship will be the CA-95 MANNINGHAM, a dedicated ranged gun platform]

The cool and collected sniper is a favorite archetype of mine. It only gets better when it happens within a giant robot.

Fri
2015-06-13, 03:36 AM
And for the weapon

Power Linkages on my sword-like plasma cutter [Your ship will be the CA-82 UXBRIDGE, a close combat assault mecha]

Because i haven't won with the sword yet, and goddamn it, I want to cut some fools up!

Side note, can we pretend that it's not a sword, but actually a large plasma drill? Say a drill that pierces the heavens? Like we made up the fish gods thing in Life of a Wizard?

I humbly request, please don't.

It's pretty overdone these days.

If it's shovel on the other hand...

Or maybe pickaxe.

Maybe it's THE ANGLE GRINDER THAT GRIND THE SKY

Something like that, you get my point :smalltongue:

(My point is, if you want to go that way, let's use other implements instead. That'd be way funnier and awesomer)

CoreBrute23
2015-06-13, 09:28 AM
I humbly request, please don't.

It's pretty overdone these days.

If it's shovel on the other hand...

Or maybe pickaxe.

Maybe it's THE ANGLE GRINDER THAT GRIND THE SKY

Something like that, you get my point :smalltongue:

(My point is, if you want to go that way, let's use other implements instead. That'd be way funnier and awesomer)

Huh. Didn't think the drill would bother people.

In that case I'll change it to the particle rifle. I've edited my vote above.

Fri
2015-06-13, 09:44 AM
To confirm, it's not the melee vote that jiggles me. It's just that I feel like using drill as melee mecha weapon is kinda overdone nowadays. If we're going to reference using over the top tools as melee weapons, I suggest we use a less used tool, because it'll be a funnier and fresher reference to those classic mecha series. And people who get the reference will still get it.

What about buzzsaws? Buzzsaws are still spinny, and they're less used!

smuchmuch
2015-06-13, 09:53 AM
Can't we just keep a blade for the plasma cutter (weither or not it end up being our weapon of choice) ? A nice simple plasma blade ?

Fri
2015-06-13, 10:37 AM
Or that can work too :smallbiggrin:

pendell
2015-06-13, 05:52 PM
It appears that we have five votes for reliability and 5 votes for a particle rifle, so those will be our choices.


... That's a cool drawing by Smuchmuch. I'm tempted to propose a new rule: Anyone contributing artwork to this thread gets an extra vote, one vote per art piece. That's assuming it's created , as opposed to taken from the internet. What do you think? You didn't sign up for the game with that rule in place, so I won't implement it without a majority vote.

At any rate, the story continues. ..



You learned long ago that spectacular victories and glorious triumphs count for little if they are canceled out the next day by defeat. You have always striven for consistency above all.

This means your service as a pilot has been a long record of dutiful, reliable competence. Though there are no brilliant feats of martial valor, there are no disgraces either. You have merely sought to do your job as best you can and survive long enough to get paid for it.

While that means other, flashier pilots might look down upon you, it also means that your superiors know you are someone who can be relied upon. To you, the knowledge that the cause of colonial freedom can always rely on your skills is enough to keep your mind at peace.


DELIBERATION: +6 PASSION: -6

New stats for the vehicle:
Type: CA-95 MANNINGHAM
Speed: 2
Armour: 1
Modifications: None
Weapon 1: Chain Knife
Weapon 2: Particle Rifle



You quickly pull back the bolt of the massive particle rifle, an action which is almost instinctual after five years as a combat pilot. You watch as the heatsink unit flies free from the main body of the weapon, letting the excess heat void into the blackness of space.

With a single fluid movement, you cycle the bolt and chamber a new heatsink. Though power-hungry and slow to reload, the MANNINGHAM's particle rifle is powerful enough to pierce the heaviest armor, and accurate enough to be effective both against mecha and starships.

The combination of the Manningham's long-range attack capability and your own finely honed skills have made you one of CoDEC's premier aces over the years, a reputation which grows with every battle. Of course, it helps that your machine isn't exactly factory-standard. Over the years, you've made a few modifications to your increasingly obsolete mecha. At first, they were just a few minor touches: new cockpit displays, a climate control unit, leather upholstery, stuff like that.

It wasn't until you'd scored your twenty-fifth kill in the third year of the war that command had given you permission to order the customizations you had really wanted, namely:


VOTE 6:
* Upgraded thrusters, which make my MANNINGHAM more agile [boosts pilot and close combat skill]
* Improved sensors, which help me keep my eye on the battlefield [boosts perception and ranged combat skill]
* Cockpit armor, which makes me feel safer and more confident in battle [boosts willpower skill; the ability to remain functional under stress]
* A custom paint job to encourage my allies and strike fear into the enemy [boosts Presence skill; the ability to intimidate and persuade]

AVAILABLE paint jobs:
COLOR 1 [background]:
Bright:
Red, Blue, Gold, Green, White

AND COLOR 2: [foreground/highlights]
Silver, Black, Red, Blue, Gold, Green, White


If you vote for the custom paint job, please select a color scheme. All votes for ANY color scheme count towards the custom paint job update. So if there are (say) two votes for cockpit armor, 1 vote for red on red, and 2 vote for blue on gold, that's three votes for a paint job and two votes for armor. I would then make the scheme blue on gold, since that was the most popular color scheme within the paint jobs.



"This is Lead", you report. "Ready for battle."

"This is Two", Asadi responds, his voice as cocky as ever. "Locked, loaded, and ready to roll."

After your wingman, the four other pilots of your lance report themselves ready for battle as well. The whole process takes mere moments. Your unit is comprised of some of CODEC's most promising pilots, each eager to prove their mettle alongside a famed ace such as yourself.

By following your example over the two years you've led them, your strengths have become their strengths. Unfortunately, your weaknesses have become theirs as well. In a way, perhaps, they are disciples of your own , unique combat style.




Like every lance in CODEC's military, your unit has a distinctive name, one which you picked yourself:


Vote 7:
* Wolf Lance
* Comet Lance
* Mythril Lance
* Titan Lance
* Something more original than that! [please specify]



GALLERY UPDATE : Ensign Asadi, portrait, by Kasanip

http://i1015.photobucket.com/albums/af275/umbrellako2/cc_zpsttxuhdda.jpg


GALLERY UPDATE: CODEC Roundel , by Paul Wang


http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn188/Brian_Pendell/codecroundel_zpsknwwp7di.png (http://s304.photobucket.com/user/Brian_Pendell/media/codecroundel_zpsknwwp7di.png.html)

PAUL: The "corners" of the CoDEC roundel represent the military forces of the unified colonies, arranged in a protective array around the circle of a planet: this represents the organisation's stated purpose as a defensive militia, and their emphasis on protecting the rebel colonies.​


GALLERY UPDATE: Flag , Empire of Humanity Ascendant, by Paul Wang

http://i304.photobucket.com/albums/nn188/Brian_Pendell/EmpireAscendentflag_zps3xabxopr.png (http://s304.photobucket.com/user/Brian_Pendell/media/EmpireAscendentflag_zps3xabxopr.png.html)

PAUL: "The Imperial Battle Flag's obvious inspiration comes from the Colours of Napoleon's infantry regiments, to the point where it almost seems like an anachronism in a setting with FTL and well, Combat Armatures. That's to demonstrate that the imperial metropole of Empire itself has an anachronistic bent (reflected in their rather old-fashioned views on combat, not to mention their dress uniforms) as well as the rather aggressive spirit driven into their pilots."


GALLERY UPDATE: UXBRIDGE in action, by Smuchmuch

http://i917.photobucket.com/albums/ad15/smuchmuch/Illustrations/IMG_Vardianrobotwar01_zpsmgjutevr.jpg


Let's shoot for this voting period to end next Monday, 5:30 PM. Since there's not always much activity on the weekends I may extend to Tuesday, if there hasn't been much response.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Fri
2015-06-13, 07:16 PM
* Something more original than that! [please specify]

Glaive-Giusarme-Glaive Lance :smallbiggrin:

Joking, I'll leave naming the lance to you guys with better naming sense than me.

I won't vote on the upgrade, but I'd say my preference. I kinda want the charisma upgrade, since the thought of a dutiful and reliable ace that inspire competence to his men by his reliability sounds cool. But on the other hand, custom paintjob just seems kinda out of character for his characterization so far.

If we want to max his advantage so far I guess we should obviously pick upgraded sensor. Do we want to min max or spread now?

CrimsonKnight
2015-06-13, 09:54 PM
6: Improved sensors, which help me keep my eye on the battlefield.

7: Wolf Lance Eternal Vigi-Lance

I'm for maxing Ranged Combat first, then boosting the rest of our skills. As for our Lance name, I may change my vote if someone suggests a good one. Okay, that's a pretty good one.

Forum Explorer
2015-06-14, 01:02 AM
6: Improved sensors, which help me keep my eye on the battlefield.

7: Wolf Lance Eternal Vigi-Lance


Ditto the above. Also I'm fine with fanart granting an extra vote.

CoreBrute23
2015-06-14, 12:41 PM
Custom paint job: Background Red, Foreground Blue.

(So this paint job essentially:
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/f2/aa/c2/f2aac2c8e31f3c05185fbe8ac73a4929.jpg )

And for Lance name, we need to go with
Eternal-Vigi Lance!

JeminiZero
2015-06-14, 11:51 PM
6* Upgraded thrusters, which make my MANNINGHAM more agile

Because even Snipers need to know how to barrel roll out of an Itano Circus, especially since we don't have a Chaingun to shoot down incoming missiles with

As to the name, we are fighting for Freedom. And we all know that the Price of Freedom is...

7: [b]Eternal-Vigi Lance

Forum Explorer
2015-06-15, 01:20 AM
As to the name, we are fighting for Freedom. And we all know that the Price of Freedom is...

7: Eternal-Vigi Lance

You sir, are a genius. Voting for this. :smallsmile:

CoreBrute23
2015-06-15, 04:56 AM
You sir, are a genius. Voting for this. :smallsmile:

Damn that is good. Also changing my vote for lance name to that.

Lord Ruby34
2015-06-15, 09:02 AM
Improved sensors, which help me keep my eye on the battlefield.

Eternal-Vigi Lance

That was a great idea, and you are my Hero for having it.

smuchmuch
2015-06-15, 04:21 PM
The Eternal vigilance pun is amusing but it's kind of a mouthfull, doesn't quite roll of the tongue, why not just the Free-Lance ? It's still puny and feels more natural as a name.

(Or at least, since it looks like it's going to be voted anyway write it Eternal vigil-Lance ?)

As for the customisation, we're ( kinda sad you guys choose the most boring option to illustrate) a sniper, we stay away from the action so I don't see much point to the improved thrusters or cockpit armor.

Improved sensors make sense but I like the charisma upgrade so Custom paint job

Legato Endless
2015-06-15, 05:29 PM
[COLOR="#FF0000"]
I won't vote on the upgrade, but I'd say my preference. I kinda want the charisma upgrade, since the thought of a dutiful and reliable ace that inspire competence to his men by his reliability sounds cool. But on the other hand, custom paintjob just seems kinda out of character...

I like this. We're just doing something a bit more nuanced with the archetype. It's not just those yelling hot blooded guys who can inspired their peers.

Custom paint job

pendell
2015-06-15, 05:55 PM
We have a consensus to upgrade our sensors, and to name the Lance Eternal-Vigi Lance!

UPDATE: I see Legato Endless cast the tying vote for paint job right at the same time I was writing this post.

Well.. the deadline was 5:30 PM Monday -- but I said it MIGHT be extended to Tuesday, so I'm going to count it. Roll-off time at random.org!

Custom Paint Job: 74
Sensors: 74

...

I didn't expect that result.

Hmm... I'm going to go with sensors. First, because the three sensor votes all got in by 5:30 PM. Second, because I already had the sensors post all written up. And thirdly, because changing it to custom paint job would require rolling the game back and re-applying all changes.



On the back of your cockpit module, you had a set of upgraded proximity sensors installed, including the same Type-6 detection net usually mounted on point-defense frigates.

With double the sensor range and six times the resolution of a normal combat armature sensor system, your upgraded systems mean that you always see the enemy before they see you, a rather nice edge to have when that could mean the difference between life and death.


Perception :3



"Alright Eternal Vigi- Lance! Form up on me and follow my lead."

Your unit forms up behind your combat armature with the grace of a ballet. They fly newer machines than your trusty old Manningham: CA-108 GRENZERs and CA-109 REITERs, models superior to your own, but strange and overcomplex to pilots used to the simplicity of CoDEC's first generation of combat armatures.

With your lance now flying in readiness behind your machine, you request authorization to begin the attack.

"Caliburn, this is Eternal Vigi- Lead, copy?"

You glance at the lean, knife-like hull of the CWS Caliburn as you send your message. The ship is almost brand-new, one of CoDEC's first purpose-built warships, a far cry from the hastily armed freighters and makeshift carriers you've spent most of the war on.

A moment later, you get a reply.

"This is Caliburn-Actual," barks a brusque contralto. "What do you want, Eternal Vigi- Lead?"

You wince a little at the hard tone on the other end of the line. Captain Baelyn of the Caliburn may be an excellent soldier and a tactical genius but her interpersonal skills leave much to be desired.

"Caliburn, requesting permission to attack contacts marked Delta-Five-Two on scope, about twenty or so, mostly Fantins."

"Granted, Eternal Vigi- Lead. Good hunting."


"Received and acknowledged, Caliburn-Actual, out." Your lips curl into a predatory grin as you open the throttle and fly into battle.



The battle begins. How are we going to take these Impies?



As you approach the enemy formation, your keen tactician's mind takes over. Honed to a fine edge over dozens of battles, skirmishes, and duels, you pick out your options even as your machine advances on the Imperial force at top speed:

1) The most obvious choice would be to hit the enemy head-on, but such a move would put you at the head of your formation, where you will draw the most fire and stand the most chance of colliding into an enemy machine. You would need an iron will and nerves of titanium do such a thing.

2_ You could attack the enemy commander first, relying on superior piloting skill to quickly destroy or disable his machine, leaving his subordinates confused and uncoordinated.

3) Another option would be to find a weak point in the enemy's formation and exploit it, something that would need excellent situational and tactical awareness.

4) Lastly, you could attempt to strike fear into the enemy by hitting them with a showy, intimidating first strike. You would need one hell of a flair for the melodramatic to sell it, but it might make the enemy hesitate just long enough for you and your unit to win the fight.

Ultimately, you decide to play to your strengths and choose to:


Vote 8
* Trust in my iron will and charge the enemy head on [Exercises and improves Willpower].

* Rely on my brilliant piloting skills to take out the enemy commander [Exercises and improves Piloting].

* Use my tactical genius and eagle eyes to exploit a weakness in the enemy formation [Exercises and improves Perception]

* Rattle the Enemy with a Dramatic Ambush [essentially, this is a Bluff; exercises and improves presence]


Essentially, whatever you select will improve that skill.

Vote 9
* Shall a person donating fanart to the thread be eligible for an extra vote, one time only?

[ by this I mean, one piece, one vote. You don't permanently get two votes for the rest of the game because you contributed a stick figure one time. Contributing fanart you've persuaded someone else on the forum to draw would also count -- but it doesn't count if it's clipart or stock footage. Well, unless you've done some really impressive photoshopping or other modification to make it your own unique piece]

Submit all votes in RED , if you please

Next voting period ends Wednesday at 5:30 PM Eastern Time.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

SHIP UPDATE: CA-108 GRENZER Advanced Long-Range Combat Armature

Manufacturer: Brunswick Interstellar
Armament: Particle Rifle (Type I), Chainknife

A further evolution of the CA-95 Manningham, the CA-108 Grenzer is the first CoDEC combat armature designed for warfare from top to bottom. Armed with the same powerful long range particle rifle which equipped the Manningham, the Grenzer's upgraded reactor also allows it to carry additional armour.


SHIP UPDATE: CA-109 REITER Advanced Close Combat Combat Armature

Manufacturer: Brunswick Interstellar
Armament: Plasma Cutter, Autocannon

The close combat version of the CA-108 Grenzer, the CA-109 Reiter boasts an updated suite of vernier thrusters and a weapons outfit more suited for close range combat. In addition, the Reiter's upgraded reactor has allowed it to carry heavier armour over vital areas such as the cockpit, improving the survivability of both pilot and machine.

CoreBrute23
2015-06-15, 06:57 PM
Use my tactical genius and eagle eyes to exploit a weakness in the enemy formation Makes the most sense for the kind of character we've created so far.

Also Fan artists get an extra vote per each piece. It sounds fair, and I think it will encourage artists to share their artwork. Also, I love mech art, it's my favourite kind.

Forum Explorer
2015-06-15, 07:31 PM
Use my tactical genius and eagle eyes to exploit a weakness in the enemy formation Makes the most sense for the kind of character we've created so far.

Also Fan artists get an extra vote per each piece. It sounds fair, and I think it will encourage artists to share their artwork. Also, I love mech art, it's my favourite kind.

Ditto, this sounds perfect.

CrimsonKnight
2015-06-15, 08:01 PM
Vote 8: Use my tactical genius and eagle eyes to exploit a weakness in the enemy formation.

Vote 9: Yes, fan artists get an extra vote per each piece.

I already argued for maxing Perception, no reason to repeat myself. And I have no problem with a forum artist receiving a small reward for illustrating the game.

smuchmuch
2015-06-15, 08:24 PM
> Use my tactical genius and eagle eyes to exploit a weakness in the enemy formation [Exercises and improves Perception]

Definitely in tone with the character so far.

Fri
2015-06-16, 03:18 AM
I'd actually say we should at least increase another skill other than perception before focusing on it, but focusing on it now is fine I guess.
But for the sake of giving another option, I'll pick this.

* Rely on my brilliant piloting skills to take out the enemy commander [Exercises and improves Piloting].

Because as Jemini Zero said, even a sniper need to learn how to barrell roll against itano circus :smallbiggrin:

I'd actually prefer to increase willpower, since snipers need steel will, but the act of charging head on seems to be out of character for us.

pendell
2015-06-17, 05:24 PM
The resolution is adopted, and we are going to improve our perception by spotting a weakness in the enemy formation.



The Imperial formation have covered themselves well. It takes you a few moments of hard observation before you can find a gap in their defense but it is there: a blind spot near the rear of their formation where your entire unit might approach undetected.

"Alright Eternal Vigi- Lance, follow me in!"

You lead your unit in, keeping your thrusters low to minimize your chances of being detected. You maneuver carefully into the enemy's blind spot and creep up on their formation, taking every precaution to avoid being seen and hoping that your initial assessment was right.

It was, nobody sees you or your lance as you move your machines into weapons range.

In fact, they don't even detect you at all until you and your subordinates bring your mecha to full power and open fire.


Hit 'em from behind, hit 'em with surprise, my kind of warfare :smallamused:.

Perception: 4 + 1




Your mecha's particle rifle isn't meant to be used in a close melee like this, but at this point you have little choice. The battle around you devolves into a confused, high-speed brawl, as the enemies around you desperately maneuver to get close to melee range, while keeping out of your own weapon's line of fire.

Few succeed. One by one, you lure or chase the enemy units before your sights. One by one, they die in a bright cataclysm of charged particles and vaporising metal.

All around you, your unit fights with the skill and ferocity you have come to expect of them. Slowly, the Imperial defense begins to crumble.

However, just as the tide starts turning in your favor, your fatal weakness rears its ugly head!


Uh-oh.

Vote 10:
You are:
* Outmaneuvered by an enemy pilot [decreases pilot skill]
* Losing the ability to command others in my lance [decreases Presence]
* Getting the combat shakes [decreases willpower]


[There's no fun in playing a Mary Sue, is there? So your character has one shining strength and one glaring flaw. Now we get to choose just what that flaw is. We can't choose perception, because we've already selected it as our strength].

Votes in by 5:30 PM, Friday, Eastern time.

How will we get out of this one...?

Respectfully,

Brian P.

CoreBrute23
2015-06-17, 05:31 PM
Well given one of our men seem to really enjoy the whole murder thing, and we don't, I'm gonna say our straitlaced attitude leads to:

Losing the ability to command others in my lance [decreases Presence]

"Goddamn it commander, where's the passion? Don't you know all mech pilots need to be hotheaded? Only the bad guys are cool and collected. Yes I've seen Aldnoah.Zero, one exception only proves the rule!"

Forum Explorer
2015-06-17, 05:35 PM
Getting the combat shakes.

We've been serving for a long time it seems. And we've been in a lot of battles. So I say we've got a fair bit of trauma and nightmares that plague us. In other words; man did we pick the wrong week to stop smoking. :smallwink:

CrimsonKnight
2015-06-17, 07:58 PM
10: Getting the combat shakes.

The fact that we are able to keep a cocky, gung-ho pilot like Asadi in check would indicate we are not lacking in command skill, and there's no way we'd have survived this long in the war if we couldn't defend ourselves in close-quarters combat. So I'll vote for the horrors of surviving the war this long beginning to take its toll on us mentally.

Legato Endless
2015-06-17, 10:38 PM
Losing the ability to command others in my lance [decreases Presence]

We're a cold sniper. We might from a distance with tactical acumen. We don't exactly lead from the front.

We fight the war for a reason beyond the ken or care of the average soldier.

We're adored by our superiors for our reliable, meritorious, but distinctly non-flashy career.

All that adds up to an elite who doesn't exactly blend with his fellows.

smuchmuch
2015-06-18, 03:56 AM
* Outmaneuvered by an enemy pilot [decreases pilot skill]

We're a sniper and a tactitian, being able to spot the ennemy weakness and command our troops are skills that we honned but at the cost of knowing how to pilot well in the thick of the action.

Fri
2015-06-19, 03:58 AM
By the way, I just want to say that I'm following this thread closely, but I just don't pick all choices because I've played this game, so I might be biased :smallsmile:

Tentreto
2015-06-19, 02:11 PM
This looks interesting. I usually prefer fantasy type CYOA, but this one seems pretty cool.
Oh, and Outmaneuvered by an enemy pilot [decreases pilot skill] someone who only knows where the fire button is, not actually how to fly the mech.

Edit: Just realized I tied the vote, we may need a tiebreaker

Fri
2015-06-19, 02:48 PM
Is someone asking for a tie breaker? I heard someone is asking for a tie breaker.

If so, my choice is


Getting the combat shakes.

We've been serving for a long time it seems. And we've been in a lot of battles. So I say we've got a fair bit of trauma and nightmares that plague us. In other words; man did we pick the wrong week to stop smoking

Partly because of the smoking quote :smalltongue:

pendell
2015-06-19, 06:44 PM
A three way tie broken by Fri. Our character is scarred -- scarred, I tell you! -- by the horrors of war.




You don't even notice it at first, the shaking in your hands and the trembling in your legs. It is only with each lightning-quick clash of fire and exotic matter that your limbs begin to feel weaker, and the controls at your fingertips begin to feel heavy and sluggish.

When you notice the distinctive sound of your teeth grinding against each other, your focus escapes you completely.

"Not now, dammit! Not now!" You growl at yourself as your hands freeze at the controls. Half a decade of constant battle have taken a toll on your mind and will, keeping in close company with death and destruction have frayed your nerves to the point where you never know when your resolve may falter.

The trembling in your limbs begins in earnest when you see an Imperial machine turn towards you, clearly planning to take advantage of your disordered state. The prospect of imminent death does not improve matters. The grinding in your teeth grows louder as you desperately try to regain your focus.

Suddenly, your opponent is taken down by a hail of autocannon fire. The shakes begin to fade as you see Eternal Vigi--Four and Eternal Vigi--Six take positions to cover you.

"Boss!" Eternal Vigi--Four's voice is steady, but worried. She's had to deal with your rare combat breakdowns before. "Are you alright?"

You take a deep breath as you feel your heads steady. "Yeah. I'm... I'm fine. Thanks for the assist."


Willpower: 1

Advice: Be very careful about attempting something that requires any kind of guts or what not. If , say, you attempted to jump a motorcycle through a flaming ring of fire, there's a pretty good chance your character would freak out and fail.

This doesn't mean your character is a useless, quivering lump. You're a professional soldier. You have little difficulty with the rigors of ordinary combat. But if you were exposed to really extreme circumstances, or remained in ordinary combat for too long without a break, odds are good you'll snap.



With your head clear, you take another look at your sensor display...

...only to find it devoid of enemies.

"Eternal Vigi- Lance? I'm not reading any hostiles on scope, confirm?"

One by one, the faces of your lance-mates appear on the communications display. Each of them confirms: there are no enemies left within sensor range.

"Maybe we got them all?" Eternal Vigi--Six theorizes, with only the barest hint of conviction. "I got one..."

"So did I!" Eternal Vigi--Three chirps cheerfully.

Asadi seems smug. "I got three." He turns to you, "How many did you get, boss?"

You think for a moment. "Six? maybe seven? I won't know for sure until I can look at the combat footage."

Your wingman's expression is not amused. You can tell that he's going to relish the day that he matches you kill for kill.

In the meantime, you have a dozen enemy machines unaccounted for.


KILL COUNT: 69



A moment later, another message comes in: it's the CALIBURN. You open the commline. The faces of your five lance-mates are replaced by Captain Baelyn's stern, battle-scarred scowl.

"Eternal Vigi--Lead, status report?"

"Engaged the enemy, no losses on our end but-"

"-let me guess, the enemy force just up and disappeared on you?"

You nod. The Captain responds with a look that might as well have said "I thought as much".

"Our sensor logs tracked about a dozen of them breaking off right after your lance hit them. They linked up with another lance and dropped planet-side. Apparently, they're headed for a high-priority objective on the planet surface. Your new orders are to go in after them and secure that objective. I'm sending you the coordinates now."

The coordinates point to a civilian district, with not a single known military target within a hundred kilometers.

"Captain? What exactly are you sending us into?"

Baelyn shakes her head sharply. "You're not cleared to know."

"Ma'am, we'd stand a better chance of success if we knew what we were getting into."

The Captain fixes you with a stern look. "Eternal Vigi--Lead, I'm not even cleared to know. Just get it done. Caliburn-Actual, out."

Well that was hardly helpful.



TECH UPDATE: Monosabre

Monosabre
[spoiler]
The ultimate embodiment of Imperial power and technical know-how, the monosabre is the signature weapon of the Imperial military's combat armature pilots.

The monosabre itself is a metallic nanofluid, projected from a hilt which also serves as a power cell for the containment field which shapes the blade. Unlike a mundane blade made out of solid materials, the containment field is capable of shaping an edge which remains sharp, even on the molecular scale.

The result is the famous "infinitely sharp" edge of the monosabre, an edge which never dulls or breaks and is capable of cutting through any material, be it paper or battleship armour, with the same effortless ease.

The only way to stop the stroke of a monosabre entirely is by parrying it with the containment field of another monosabre or plasma cutter.





What was that about?" Asadi asks as soon as you re-open communications with your lance.

"New orders," you reply. "Rig up for re-entry. I'm sending you the coordinates."

Asadi's face lights up in anticipation. "More fighting, boss?"

Not all of your lance-mates share your wingman's enthusiasm. Some seem nervous, Eternal Vigi--Five even seems outright disgusted by Asadi's eagerness.


Vote 11: How do you respond?
* Aggressively: I want my lance-mates just as fired up as I am.

* Neutrally: I don't want to upset anyone.

* Reluctantly: I've killed more than enough people today.



After you decide how you're going to react, we'll pursue them into the atmosphere.



One by one, the members of your lance report themselves ready for atmospheric drop. Your main display shuts off, obscured by the layer of ablative heat gel which will protect your combat armature from the heat of re-entry.

You position your machine over the drop coordinates, flying on sensors alone.

"Commencing re-entry", you dryly remark. "Eternal Vigi-Lance, follow me in!"

With that, you and your lance begin the blind descent into Vedria Prime's atmosphere.


http://i.space.com/images/i/000/012/790/i02/rosat-satellite-reentry-animation-still.jpg?1319308527

New Rodrigo City, Vedria Prime, Vedria System


Your lance makes land fall on the surface of Vedria Prime with all the subtlety of rolling thunder on a clear, summer day. Your ears ring with the crash of sixty-five metricd tons of mecha hitting the ground, a cataclysmic racket after so long in the soundless vacuum of space.

You bring up one mechanized hand to wipe the re-entry gel from your external sensors. Your hands move to the controls and wiggle your machines' arms and legs around experimentally, readjusting yourself to planetary gravity. All around you, your lance does the same.

One after the other, they report their machines functional. With most of the opaque heat gel that protected your craft during re-entry now puddling around your combat armature's feet, you look through your display and get a clear view of your surroundings.

http://www.city.yokohama.lg.jp/kowan/english/history/img/wreckage.gif

[quote=Mecha Ace]

A single glance is all you need to know that the Imperials have already done a real number on the city in their short time here. All around you, the debris of war stands mute testament to the vriulance of the last few minutes: the streets are choked with flipped and crushed vehicles. One building just ahead of you sports a gaping hole where an Imperial machine clearly walked through it. Another has been reduced to a burnt-out ruin, it's concrete walls pock-marked by the watermelon-sized craters of high caliber autocannon shells.

Buildings and cars aren't the only things wrecked on the ground either. Splatters of blood mark the last positions of the civilians unfortunate enough to be caught in the disaster; there is little left of a human being after being stepped on by a multi-ton war machine.

The Imperials did not linger. They did not have to. A combat armature unit could cause mass destruction simply by moving through a populated area.

You can see more columns of smoke and wrecked buildings all around you.

Asadi's face appears on your display. His full lips pulled taut in an expression of barely suppressed fury. "[Forum word filter]! Attacking civilians like this. We should make them suffer!


Vote 12:
* Asadi's right! We should make the Imperials pay for this!
* We shouldn't jump to conclusions
* Asaid is letting his heart rule his head; he needs to calm down.


After you finish responding ..



Eternal Vigi-3's face pops up on your comms display. "Boss? We may have a complication."

Your subordinate links her machine's camera's with your own. Through Three's hull sensors, you see a small group of civilians gathered around the contorted form of a child trapped under a block of fallen concrete. You watch three move forward and extend the arm of her combat armature. Carefully, like a child picking up a penny, she lifts up the heavy block, allowing the civilians to pull out the trapped boy.

You resist the urge to reprimand Three for wasting your time with this when there are more pressing concerns facing you.

Eternal-Vigi-Three's expression is nervous as she maneuvers her machine back into formation, the civilians' cheers and cries of gratitude audible from your link to her cockpit. "There's probably more civilians in distress out there. What do we do if we come across more? "

You think about your options as you bring the rest of your lance into the conversation : stopping to help every local in distress may make you feel better but every minute spent rescuing trapped children and injured seniors means the enemy is one minute closer to achieving whatever objective brought them here.

On the other hand, your ultimate job as a soldier is to protect and defend CODEC citizens. It could be said that your responsibility to do so supersedes the immediate mission.



Vote 13:
After a moment, you decide that:

* We should help any civilians we come across.
* We won't be able to stop to help but we can move carefully to prevent more damage.
* We have a job to do, and it will be done, civilians be [forum word filter]ed.


SHIP UPDATE: CWS CALIBURN CV-63

CODEC Carrer
Dimensions: 685x245x211 meters
Crew Complement: 645 (minimum) 4500 (full)
Armament: 64x Class III ACSM Tubes, 24x37mm Point Defense Autocannon, 6x Combat Armatures

During the early days of the war, it became very clear that CODEC desperately needed a class of heavy combat armature carriers built for war. While converted freighters and starlines were capable of carrying and launching mecha, they possessed neither speed nor durability nor effective armament. This made them serious combat liabilities.

As a result, the CODEC Defence committee commissioned a series of new carrier designs. The most ambitious was that submitted by the Tercao Yards of New Lisbon in the beginning of the second year of the war: The CALIBURN. Though unable to carry more than one lance of combat armatures, the new carrier was equipped with a respectable point defense system and a battery of anti-ship missile tubes.

More importantly, the CALIBURN was outfitted with a powerful military-grade drive, allowing it to keep pace with even the fastest elements of CODEC's ramshackle fleet. Despite the oubvious advantages, the CALIBURN was also a notorious resource-sink, coming in 215% over budget and 14 months over schedule, temporarily scrapping to build any additional ships of this class.

However, when the CALIBURN was commissioned and deployed to the Vedria system in 418 SE, the new design proved remarkably effective. Therefore, the Defence Committee is once again considering the construction of three additional vessels of this class: The CURTANA, the NAEGLING, and the CALADBOLG.


Next vote will close Monday, 5:30 PM. Remember that we have THREE votes this time around: One for what we say to our wingpeople in orbit, one to react to Asadi, and one to determine how we will pursue the Imperials.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Forum Explorer
2015-06-20, 12:09 AM
Neutrally

Asadi's Right, make them pay,

Help the citizens.

Maybe if we knew what was as stake we'd feel the rush, but I feel we got into this war to protect and liberate the common person. That is our top priority.

Fri
2015-06-20, 03:33 AM
Neutrally

Asadi's Right, make them pay,

Help the citizens.

Maybe if we knew what was as stake we'd feel the rush, but I feel we got into this war to protect and liberate the common person. That is our top priority.

What he says on all three votes.

Legato Endless
2015-06-20, 10:17 AM
Neutrally

Asadi's Right, make them pay,

Help the citizens.

Maybe if we knew what was as stake we'd feel the rush, but I feel we got into this war to protect and liberate the common person. That is our top priority.

I'll bandwagon onto this.

Tentreto
2015-06-20, 12:06 PM
aggressively: I want my lance-mates just as fired up as I am.

Asaid is letting his heart rule his head; he needs to calm down.


We won't be able to stop to help but we can move carefully to prevent more damage

Well, this is unlikely to happen now there is a bandwagon, but if we are going into a combat situation, I want my group to be motivated, not pessimistic. But we also need to remember that the mission is what we're here for, and in not completing it quickly we could endanger more lives. Moreover, the squad should be fired up, but not angry- anger can lead to recklessness.

CoreBrute23
2015-06-20, 07:26 PM
Neutrally: I don't want to upset anyone.

"If we need to fight more, we will. But let's not go looking for a fight Asadi."

Asaid is letting his heart rule his head; he needs to calm down.

She feels pain at seeing these civilians hurt, and dead. She feels his heart beating faster, hyperventilating. Aw crap, not now, not now. In fact Asadi's voice brings her back from the break of a panic attack.

"CALM DOWN!" Her volume actually takes the lance by surprise. She almost never raises her voice. She continues before they realize how shook up she really is. "Asadi, you need to focus. Going full throttle like that is only going to lead to more casualties. Do you want that on your conscience?"

We won't be able to stop to help but we can move carefully to prevent more damage

"Alright Lance stay in formation, but mind your step. We need to track that enemy lance." He could feel one of his lance about to argue. "We can radio CALIBURN to send support later, but right now we have a mission to do!"

CrimsonKnight
2015-06-21, 02:44 AM
11: Neutrally: I don't want to upset anyone.
12: Asadi is letting his heart rule his head; he needs to calm down.
13: We won't be able to stop to help but we can move carefully to prevent more damage

Brute pretty much nailed my thoughts on the subject.

Lord Ruby34
2015-06-21, 07:30 AM
11: Neutrally: I don't want to upset anyone.
12: Asadi is letting his heart rule his head; he needs to calm down.
13: We won't be able to stop to help but we can move carefully to prevent more damage

Brute pretty much nailed my thoughts on the subject.

These are pretty much my thoughts as well.

pendell
2015-06-22, 05:09 PM
All right, we have votes to respond neutrally to the team, to tell Asadi to chill out, and move carefully to prevent damage.

First, the neutral response:



"That's a maybe, Asadi. If we run into the enemy, we'll do what we get paid for."

Your wingman nods. "Then I hope we run into those impie bastards."

One by one, the members of your lance report themselves ready for atmospheric drop. Your main display shuts off, obscured by the layer of ablative heat gel which will protect your combat armature from the heat of re-entry.

You position your machine over the drop coordinates, flying on sensors alone. "Commencing re-entry," you announce. "Eternal Vigi- Lance, follow me in."

With that, you and your lance begin the blind descent into Vedria Prime's atmosphere.


WARRIOR: 70 DIPLOMAT: 30
DELIBERATION: 80 PASSION: 20

So it appears we didn't make anyone happier with us but we didn't offend anyone either.

On the surface, Asadi demands we make the Imperials pay.



"Settle down, Asadi. We don't know for sure if the Imperials did this on purpose."

Asadi grits his teeth in anger. "Are you saying those impie scum did this by accident?"

You nod your head. "Do you know how much damage a unit of sixty-ton combat armatures can do when its pilots are in a hurry? A lot more than this."

Your wingman bites back an angry response. He takes a deep breath. "Understood…boss."


So now we're faced with the need to move through this city, which has injured civilians in it.



"Heads up, Eternal Vigi- Lance! There are still civilians in the area, so we need to move carefully to prevent any more damage."

After a moment of hesitation, Asadi objects. "Is that a such a good idea, boss?" he asks, his expression sceptical. "I thought this was supposed to be a time-critical mission?"

You nod. "It is, Asadi, but that doesn't give us the right to run roughshod over these people for the sake of expediency. They've suffered enough already."

The ensign nods slowly, reluctantly. Thankfully, despite his misgivings, he follows your orders, taking care to avoid the civilian structures still standing as the six of you carefully make your away across the war-torn city.


And now, on with the story.



hankfully, the path of destruction left by the enemy machines is easy enough to follow, even while tip-toeing around apartment blocks and office buildings. It takes you a bit longer than it might have, but eventually, you and your lance track the Imperial mecha to the entrance of a large, subterranean passage, wide enough for three or four combat armatures to enter abreast. Judging by the wreckage of armored vehicles and bodies strewn in front of and just inside the entrance, your quarry awaits somewhere within.

"Alright Eternal Vigi- Lance, this looks like the place." Weapons at the ready, you slowly move your Manningham into the darkened passage downwards. "Follow my lead."


Dark, close quarters.



The six machines of your lance push forwards into the darkness, weapons at the ready, and expecting a fight.

You don't find one.

Instead, you find the passage splitting into a series of tunnels, each stretching into the darkness far beyond the light thrown out by your hull-mounted searchlights. This particular underground complex is larger than you had first thought.

"Just great," Asadi says. "What the hell do we do now?"

You weigh your options: CoDEC tactical doctrine would normally require you to sweep through each and every passage as a unit, proceeding slowly to forestall any attempt at ambush. Of course, these are not normal circumstances. With time of the essence, it might be better to split up and cover each of the passages individually.

Then again, there's always your own experience and intuition to rely on. You could simply try to track the enemy forces, using your own skills.


Vote 14:
* Sweep the complex as a unit. We would be safer as a group.
* Split up! We don't have time to play it safe!
* See if I can't catch some sign of the enemy from here.


Be advised that, by moving carefully through the population center. You've lost some time. On the other side of the coin, splitting your team up invites defeat in detail.

So far as I can tell, there is no skill check involved in tracking the enemy. Whatever happens will happen unconditionally.

What is your decision?

I'm sorry for only one vote, but I believe subsequent events are too dependent on this decision to go further. Next move will be .. let's say Wednesday, 5:30 PM.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Tentreto
2015-06-22, 05:58 PM
See if I can't catch some sign of the enemy from here
Although there isn't possibly a skill check, our character seems the more tactical and less engaging-he would probably want more information before continuing.
That and its probably not good to go alone with combat shakes.

I do however get a sense of foreboding with this one vote...

CoreBrute23
2015-06-22, 06:05 PM
See if I can't catch some sign of the enemy from here
Although there isn't possibly a skill check, our character seems the more tactical and less engaging-he would probably want more information before continuing.
That and its probably not good to go alone with combat shakes.

I do however get a sense of foreboding with this one vote...

I second this.

Lord Ruby34
2015-06-22, 09:33 PM
See if I can't catch some sight of the enemy form here.

I agree with Tentreto completely.

Fri
2015-06-23, 03:26 AM
We got good perception and censor anyway, might as well use them.

So yeah. See if I can't catch some sign of the enemy from here

Forum Explorer
2015-06-23, 04:31 AM
That's right, we did upgrade our sensors. See if they can detect anything.


Hopefully we can ambush these guys at the entrance if things go well. Nevermind. In light of the new information, I say Sweep the building as a unit.


I have no problems with the current update speed.

pendell
2015-06-23, 08:47 AM
Point of order; you're not using your sensors. You're going to physically leave your mecha and use your normal senses to track them, much like a scout.

So this would use perception only, not perception+ sensors. But that's not relevant, because as I mentioned there is no skill check here.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Fri
2015-06-23, 10:50 AM
That's pretty weird, but anyway, I think even if it is, you shouldn't tell us that, because it's kinda a spoiler. But eh, I digress.

Anyway, for one-poll stuffs like this, do you think you can shorten the poll time? Just an idea. I just want to see the story more, that is :smallbiggrin:

CoreBrute23
2015-06-23, 10:51 AM
Anyway, for one-poll stuffs like this, do you think you can shorten the poll time? Just an idea. I just want to see the story more, that is :smallbiggrin:

I second this.

Tentreto
2015-06-23, 12:03 PM
That's pretty weird, but anyway, I think even if it is, you shouldn't tell us that, because it's kinda a spoiler. But eh, I digress.

Anyway, for one-poll stuffs like this, do you think you can shorten the poll time? Just an idea. I just want to see the story more, that is :smallbiggrin:

I agree with this as well, maybe have a day per decision?

smuchmuch
2015-06-23, 01:53 PM
I agree with this as well, maybe have a day per decision?

No, please ?
Personally I'm lucky enough to have lots of free time now, but there are some people who are still working. Not everyone can afford to be connecting every day on gitp or have the time to do an answer. And some people are slower to aswer than other.
Futhermore some of us appreciate being able to think a little before giving a choice.
Personnaly, I find the poll time fine as it is and should it be shortened, two days should be a minimum.


Point of order; you're not using your sensors. You're going to physically leave your mecha and use your normal senses to track them, much like a scout.

With that precision, this option sounds like a /terrible/ idea.
* Sweep the complex as a unit. We would be safer as a group.

pendell
2015-06-23, 05:10 PM
I hear your request; I'm going to keep it as a two-day minimum because we have working people (such as myself). Nonetheless, I'll try to get more than one question in WHEN POSSIBLE. But that's not always possible, as in a case where the decision radically affects the outcome.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

CrimsonKnight
2015-06-23, 11:05 PM
14: Sweep the complex as a unit. We would be safer as a group.

Much as I'd prefer to hang back and move in cautiously, we're already running behind the Imperials. That being said, splitting up seems like a terrible idea to lose the half of the squad we're not with.

pendell
2015-06-24, 08:29 PM
By a vote of 4-3, we will attempt to catch sight of the enemy from here.



"Alright, power down, Eternal Vigi- Lance! Let's see if we can't track the enemy the old-fashioned way."

It only takes a moment for you and your lance-mates to power down your combat armatures' drives. Without the whining roar of the AM reactors and the whirring of servos constantly muffling your sense of hearing, your ears stand a much better chance of finding the enemy. Like the game hunters of old, you clear your head and keep your ears open for any possible sign of the enemy.

After a minute or two of concentration, you find it: though distorted by the twisting passages, you are still able to make out the tell-tale sounds of combat armatures, coming up ahead from one of the passages.

"Eternal Vigi- Lance! Form up! Follow my lead!"

Galvanized by your conviction, your lance follows tight on your tail as you barrel down the darkened passages at full speed, until you find the distant flickering of searchlights ahead of you: the enemy.



So we found 'em!



You advance forward towards the light, weapons at the ready, to find a better view. Once you get closer, you suddenly realize that the enemy isn't in front of you but below you. Dialing your throttle down, you take a look through the opening in the floor.

You blink in amazement as your eyes adjust to the light. Before you is a massive, cylindrical, subterranean vault, perhaps a hundred meters tall and three times as wide. On the far end of the vault, you see more mangled bodies and crushed armored vehicles. Among them stand the Imperial combat armatures which you have been pursuing. It appears you have arrived too late to prevent the enemy from setting up an initial protective cordon, but at least they have not prepared completely. Their perimeter sentries are still establishing a cordon, which means they're focusing on setting up their positions and not looking for interlopers. They would have little warning if your lance were to strike.

As you quickly run through a tactical assessment of the Imperial machines, something else catches your eye: behind all the shapes of the enemy lies a supine pile of metal, gleaming white under the harsh lights of the Imperial machines. It is clear that this is what the enemy force is after.

You zoom in on your hull camera feed to get a closer look at it. The heap of white metal soon coalesces into the familiar shape of a combat armature, but it is unlike any mecha you have ever seen before. Its lines are smoother and more rounded than the makeshift form of your own Manningham, but it is clearly of a different breed than the Imperial units around it.

Your eyes catch on an insignia on the shoulder of the unidentified machine. Your eyes widen as you recognize the decal as the designation marker for a CoDEC military prototype!



Bolding mine. That is the price for moving slowly -- we've given them a little prep time , but not so much as if we'd stopped to help civilians.

Sooo... they've stolen a military prototype, have they?



It does not take an idiot to put two and two together: the identity of the "high-priority objective", which Captain Baelyn told you about, is now blatantly clear. You beat a stealthy retreat and return to the shadows, where you can confer with your lance-mates without fear of discovery.

"It's a prototype machine," you tell your lance-mates as you feed them the recording from your machine's sensors. "That's why the Imperials broke in here, to capture that combat armature."

Asadi says exactly what everyone else must be thinking. "We have to get it back."

A stolen prototype in enemy hands could be disastrous, and not only because the Imperials could easily turn its advanced weapons against your allies in orbit or the civilians on the ground. Should the Imperials reverse engineer CoDEC's cutting-edge experimental equipment, they would be that much closer to getting a technological edge which might even win them the war.

Asadi is right. You have to get it back.


So .. how will we do that?




You lay out your options for the benefit of your lance-mates:

The most obvious option would be a direct frontal assault on the enemy position.

Alternatively, you could try to use the twists and turns of the darkened passages to lure your enemy into an ambush set by the rest of the machines in your lance.

Your current position above the enemy is, in fact, perfect for setting such a trap. If you were to lure enemies back to it, your lance-mates could fire on them from all sides.

Lastly, you could try bluffing your enemy into surrendering or retreating by making the enemy think that they were outnumbered or surrounded.

"Uhm, boss?" Eternal Vigi--Three speaks up. "There is one more thing we could try."

She scratches her head nervously as you gesture for her to continue. "Well, our machines have remote-controlled systems to fly us to safety if we get knocked out or something, right? What if you used your command codes to interface with that prototype and remote-pilot it out? It'd make for a nice distraction, at least."

Eternal Vigi--Three's idea certainly has merit. Of course, there is the fact that you'd have to effectively pilot two combat armatures at once to pull it off.



Ultimately, you decide to:

Vote 15:

* Make a frontal assault
* Lure the enemy into an ambush
* Bluff the enemy into fleeing or surrendering [requires Presence skill check]
* Remote-hijack the prototype unit.


[Reads ahead]

There is a major branch here, too many to follow, so this will once again be a one-vote thing. I understand your desire for speed, though, so I'll endeavor to batch votes where possible.

ETA: Next move Friday, 5:30PM.
Respectfully,

Brian P.

Forum Explorer
2015-06-24, 09:51 PM
Hijack the mech. That should make their defensive preparations all for nothing.

Legato Endless
2015-06-24, 11:09 PM
* Make a frontal assault: This sounds disastrous.

* Lure the enemy into an ambush: This might be viable if we'd taken that agility upgrade, as it stands, this sounds vaguely better than option 1, but not much better.

* Bluff the enemy into fleeing or surrendering [requires Presence skill check]: We don't possess this skill to any real degree.

* Remote-hijack the prototype unit. Avoids the fortifications, changes the dynamics of the fight favorably, and otherwise leaves our squad safe to take advantage of the confusion.

Lord Ruby34
2015-06-24, 11:10 PM
Lure the enemy into an ambush.

Because I'm not confident in our ability to remote pilot a hijacked mech and our own simultaneously.

Fri
2015-06-25, 04:46 AM
To follow the long tradition of mecha pilots and mysterious prototypes, I choose Hijack the prototype.

Who are we to argue with traditions? :smalltongue:

smuchmuch
2015-06-25, 08:59 PM
Awesome as activating the prototype would be, I'm going to say Lure them in an ambush, I feel it's more in character for our logical tactical sniper PCs.

(Also anyone else been put in the mood for a mecha pbp by this thread ?)

CrimsonKnight
2015-06-25, 11:06 PM
With the protective cordon already set up, frontal assault is right out and I don't know if they'd be willing to take the bait for the ambush. And bluffing them into surrendering definitely isn't our character's style. So we'll go for hijacking the prototype. Besides, our lance can bear the brunt of the fighting after we've disrupted the enemy formation while we're doing this so hopefully we shouldn't have too much trouble controlling two machines at once.

CoreBrute23
2015-06-26, 04:02 AM
Lure the enemy into an ambush sounds just logical enough to work with our experienced soldier character.

Also,



(Also anyone else been put in the mood for a mecha pbp by this thread ?)

I know exactly what you mean. I've been spending the past few months coming up with the rules for either a Code Geass game (powers included) or a Power Rangers game, both using different variations of Fate. I'm not sure if I would GM it here, or on a different site, but depending on the interest...

Fri
2015-06-26, 04:35 AM
Man, talking about bluffing and such makes me wonder.

I'm not talking about this current LP, but I can't help but imagining, what would an ace that's focused on bluffing (and maybe willpower) be like? I mean, they can't pilot or shoot jack ****, but for some reason he's an ace somehow? And they keep bluffing enemies to surrender, while if they actually fight the enemies would actually win. I guess it will be like Mr Satan from Dragonball Z? But how did they become an ace in the first place?

pendell
2015-06-26, 07:53 AM
I'm not talking about this current LP, but I can't help but imagining, what would an ace that's focused on bluffing (and maybe willpower) be like? I mean, they can't pilot or shoot jack ****, but for some reason he's an ace somehow? And they keep bluffing enemies to surrender, while if they actually fight the enemies would actually win. I guess it will be like Mr Satan from Dragonball Z? But how did they become an ace in the first place?


Well, a real ace wouldn't get along with piloting and shooting TOO poorly -- I would say a bluff-built ace would have average piloting and shooting skills, competent to stay in the air, coupled with max bluff which would primarily be used for intimidation and misdirection. To confuse, befuddle, and panic the enemy such that they would then be easy pickings for an average pilot.

My understanding is that real aces were not daredevil, superhuman flyers. The most common strategy for an ace would be to carefully survey the enemy formation and pick out the newest, greenest, most helpless newbie on the field. Then swoop him, blast the newbie, then nip out of the fight. Come back the next day and do it again.

Not very gallant, perhaps, but it kept some pilots alive for years and hundreds of kills.

Besides which .. I remember reading a lecture by a Russian Air Force officer who argued the great determinator for an ace was not skill but aggression, willingness to engage.



Do you realize that in the last war there were two
categories of pilots in our air force? Some, the minority, had dozens of enemy planes to their credit, while the others, the majority, had practically none. The first lot had their chests covered in medals, while the others had just a couple. The majority of the first lot survived the war, while the others perished by the thousands and tens of thousands. The statistics of war make very painful reading. The majority spent no more than nine hours in the air before they met their end. Fighter pilots were shot down on average on their fifth sortie. With the first category the opposite happened: they carried out hundreds of sorties and each of them spent thousands of hours in the air . . .'
The speaker was Major-general of the Air Force Kuchumov, a Hero of the Soviet Union, a wartime ace, and one of the most determined officers in Soviet military intelligence after the war. On orders from the head of the GRU, he was carrying out an inspection of the GRU's posts abroad operating under legal cover. ... He summoned us to him one by one. As he
talked with us he was, of course, checking up on our
chief, but at the same time he was helping him.

'In between those two categories of wartime pilots there was absolutely nothing, an abyss. There was no link between them, no middle class. Either an ace, a hero, a general, or a lieutenant shot down on his first sortie. Nothing in between. And I'll tell you how this came about. All the pilots received the same training and passed through the fighting units at practically the same level. In the first battle the commanding officer would divide them into those who were 'active' and those who were 'passive'. A pilot who was keen to get into a fight, who didn't fly off into the clouds away from the enemy and who wasn't scared to go into a head-on attack -pilots like that were immediately made leaders and the rest were ordered to cover the active ones. Sometimes the separation of the more active ones took place in the very
first air battle. All the commanders of flights, squadrons, regiments, divisions, corps and armies threw all they had into helping the active ones in battle, to protect them and take care of them in the most furious dogfights. And the more successful a pilot was the more they did to protect him in battle and to help him. I saw Pokryshkin in battle
when he had more than fifty German aircraft to his credit. Stalin personally issued an order that he was to be backed up in battle by two squadrons. When he went hunting for enemy planes he would have his no. 2 on his tail and two squadrons behind him, one a
little higher and the other a little lower. Today he's got three gold stars on his chest and a diamond star hanging from his neck and he's an air marshal. But don't imagine that it all happened automatically. By no means. It was simply that in his first battle he showed himself to be an active fighter and they began to protect him. The more daring and ability he displayed, the more they helped him and valued him. If that hadn't happened he would have been put among the passive pilots from the very beginning and given the thankless task of protecting somebody else's tail in battle. As a junior lieutenant. And
according to the statistics he would have been shot down on his fifth sortie, if not sooner. Statistics smile at some and pull faces at others.


I can well imagine such a pilot with a maxxed bluff skill using it to charge head on, terrifying his opponents into fleeing, when they would be easy pickings. Such a pilot, as I said, should be competent at both shooting and piloting but they wouldn't put more points there than absolutely necessary.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Tentreto
2015-06-26, 07:58 AM
Lure the enemy into an ambush
As we are invested into perception, this is probably our best choice, as our piloting is average, so is unlikely to be good enough for double piloting under fire.
A frontal assault and bluffing are bad for obvious reasons...

pendell
2015-06-26, 07:50 PM
Votes for ambush:
Tentreto
CoreBrute23
smuchmuch
LordRuby34

Votes for hijack:
CrimsonKnight
Fri
Legato Endless
Forum Explorer

A 4-4 tie. So Random.org will resove this with a roll-off. The first one suggested is first in the order.

Hijack: 42
Ambush: 15


So we're going to try to remote-hijack the mech.



Thankfully, now that you know about the CoDEC prototype, you can simply connect with its command and communications system from your current position. You activate your Manningham's networking system and probe for open CoDEC systems.

Flipping past the active connection nodes of your lance-mates, you find an unfamiliar node: the prototype. You order your machine's tactical computer to connect to the inactive machine's own system. You enter your sixteen-digit command codes when the prompt comes up, hoping that your codes will give you the clearance to access the necessary systems.

Luckily, the remote-accessed combat armature's computer accepts your authorization and begins activating. Even better, a quick glance at the experimental model's status screen reveals that the machine's remote sensors and piloting controls are both installed and integrated.

In fact, every single primary and secondary system in the entire machine is reading as ready for action. You wonder how close to completion this prototype was before its development was disrupted by the Imperial attack.

Asadi's curiosity finally gets the better of him. "Any good, boss?"

His face lights up when you give him and the rest of your lance the news. "I don't suppose active remote controlled weapons systems would be too much to hope for, would it?"

If you could use the prototype's weapons as well as its piloting systems, then the havoc your diversion would be able to wreak would increase dramatically. Hoping against hope, you take a look.

PRIMARY WEAPONS SYSTEM, AMMUNITION CAPACITY: 2/12 - STATUS: ACTIVE, AWAITING REMOTE CONTROL

Well how about that?


Achievement Unlocked: Gundamjack! Grand Theft Prototype
You recovered a prototype from the enemy.

It appears you have 2 shots in the prototype's weapons systems. Make 'em count!



Feeding the prototype's cockpit displays into your own and those of your lance-mates, you make a quick scan of the Imperial formation from the perspective of the "deactivated" prototype machine. Taking care not to move any physical components and tip off your enemies, you quickly identify three possible targets:

The most obvious targets are the enemy mecha at the very edge of the Imperial formation. By taking out the units who would normally engage your own lance first, you would be able to wreak a lot more havoc before the other machines in the Imperial force could reposition to attack you. However, if your attack falters, the enemy would still be in position to wipe you out.

Only slightly less obvious is the chamber itself: one of the support columns keeping the ceiling up has been obviously damaged in the Imperial attack. Should you destroy it entirely, it would likely drop a big enough chunk of the roof to crush everything under it, including at least five or six enemy machines. Of course, you are also right below a city. Collapsing a part of the ceiling might also bring the civilian buildings over it down as well. The cost in civilian lives and property damage could be staggering.

Lastly, there is the unit which has singled itself as belonging to the Imperial commander. Unlike most of the other units, it boasts the distinctive lines of an M414 Grognard, a machine assigned only to the best of the Imperial military.

"Hey, boss?" Asadi's expression seems to be a combination of apprehension and anticipation. "You think you can clear me a path to that command unit? I've never fought a Grognard before. They say that those things are better than anything we have. I wanna see for myself."



SHIP UPDATE : M414 Grognard
Imperial Advanced General Purpose Mass Production Combat Armature

Imperial Advanced General Purpose Mass Production Model
Manufacturer: Caballero Aerospace Solutions
Armament: Heavy Autocannon, Monosabre

The M414 Grognard is the Imperial military's answer to CoDEC's Grenzer/Reiter line. While not as agile as the older M403 Vallier, the Grognard is much better armoured, and its automatic cannon allows it to theoretically blast apart any enemy machine which it cannot run down. In recent months, the Imperial Fleet has begun equipping selected veteran pilots with the Grognard. Initial reports have been nothing short of ecstatic: Pilots report that the new machine outclasses everything in CoDEC's current arsenal.



Vote 16:
What will you target?

* The Perimeter Guards
* The support column [bear in mind you are under a civilian city]
* The Enemy Commander [despite the fact that Asadi is anxious to fight him/her]

Okay, once you've taken your initial shots with the Prototype it's ammunition will be expended and you can concentrate on fighting with your own mech. You decide to:

Vote 17:
Tactical options:
* Get some distance and attack from range. [uses vehicle ranged weapon + perception]
* I get in close and personal [uses close combat weapon + pilot]
* I try to find a way to fight dirty. [Uses Perception skill]


Hrmm... Let's try 5:30PM Sunday, shall we? If I have fewer than 4 votes by that time, voting will be extended to 5:30PM Monday.

Have a great weekend!

Respectfully,

Brian P.

PS. What's this about a PBP? I'm interested. -- BDP.

CrimsonKnight
2015-06-26, 08:12 PM
Second vote is easy enough, scoping and dropping from long range is our preferred style of attack. As for what to target with the prototype... you know what, I think we've been pulling on Asadi's leash hard enough. Let's clear a path and give him a chance to put his money where his mouth is against the enemy commander. Either he succeeds in which case mission accomplished, or he gets his ass handed to him and learns a valuable lesson about caution and not rushing in recklessly. Well, or he dies I guess, but this is war and that unfortunately is going to happen sooner or later. Plus, if we don't throw Asadi a bone now and then, I sense he'll be a major problem down the line.

16: The Perimeter Guards
17: Get some distance and attack from range.

Forum Explorer
2015-06-27, 12:56 AM
The perimeter guards.
Attack from range.

For a high stealth mission? They are likely the guys who won't break and run cause their CO bit it. Kill the guys who are actually fighting and lets let Asadi burn off some steam.

Attack from range is meta. This will likely boost our accuracy and/or perception, or it uses both, and thus has a better chance then fighting dirty.

Though thematically, it makes sense as it should make controlling the prototype easier if we only have to focus on aiming instead of the full fledged chaos of upfront battle.

Fri
2015-06-27, 03:11 AM
Yeah, let's throw Asadi some bone.

Attack the perimeter guard.

And we already got some leverage in surprise. Why don't we follow by fighting dirty?

Tentreto
2015-06-27, 05:56 AM
The perimeter guards.
Attack from range.

For a high stealth mission? They are likely the guys who won't break and run cause their CO bit it. Kill the guys who are actually fighting and lets let Asadi burn off some steam.

Attack from range is meta. This will likely boost our accuracy and/or perception, or it uses both, and thus has a better chance then fighting dirty.

Though thematically, it makes sense as it should make controlling the prototype easier if we only have to focus on aiming instead of the full fledged chaos of upfront battle.

Good point on aiming/targeting, and I agree with that.

We have also been reining in Asadi for a while now, so I agree with Forum Explorer

CoreBrute23
2015-06-27, 07:45 AM
16: The Perimeter Guards
17: Get some distance and attack from range.

Or as I see it going, the prototype attacks the perimiter guards, making them turn around, away from us. Then we all snipe them from behind. Precise, Clean, Textbook headshots, for everybody.

pendell
2015-06-28, 07:31 PM
We have a quorum, and it doesn't seem as if there is much dispute. We'll use the mecha to attack the perimeter guards, then follow up with a ranged attack.



"Lance, attack on my order."

You carefully calibrate the prototype's targeting computer and set its weapon crosshairs on one of the Imperial machines standing at the edge of the enemy position. With only two shots, you will have to make each one count.

Hoping that whatever weapon the prototype has been equipped with is powerful enough and accurate enough to do the job, you slave the fire controls to your own machine and squeeze the trigger.

The gleaming prototype machine springs to life. With movements as fast as lightning, the mysterious combat armature springs to a firing stance. The prototype's weapon flares with energy, bathing the chamber in pale blue light. A pulsing beam, visible for a split second, fires from the prototype and hits your target dead center. The enemy machine explodes in a thunderous clap of energy, its errant limbs flung in all directions.

The Imperials do not move, shocked by the sudden attack from this unknown quarter. That gives you all the time you need to shift your aim and fire again. Another blast of blue light fills the underground chamber. Another Imperial machine disintegrates in a flash of coherent light.

"Eternal Vigi- Lance! Charge!"


Looks like we did a fine job on the guards.




Asadi shoots you a vicious smile. "Thanks for the help boss!" he shouts as the impetuous young pilot barrels ahead through the gap in the enemy perimeter, heading straight for the Imperial command unit.

With your lance-mates engaging the enemy directly, you are free to move the remote-controlled prototype machine to safety; but you barely move it two steps before a pair of Imperial pilots finally catches on. Vaulting over the melee with their vernier thrusters, the two enemies rush to attack you. You disconnect your machine's controls from the prototype and prepare to defend yourself.

By the time you get your Manningham's weapons out, the enemy are just a hundred meters in front of you, their autocannons at the ready and pointed at your cockpit.


Looks like Asadi's skill lives up to his mouth; the Grognard is down.

Let's see what else we can do. Attacking from range!




You move quickly, sending your mecha leaping backwards before the enemy can open fire. Firing your verniers in short bursts, you bound backwards into the darkened passage behind you. When the Imperials give chase, you take the chance to strike.

You bring your particle rifle up. With the enemy units packed into the narrow passage in front of you and silhouetted by the light behind them, you barely even need to aim. Your first shot hits the lead enemy in the shoulder, sending it tumbling into its wingman in a jumble of metal limbs.

By the time the second machine picks itself up again, you've already cycled the bolt. Your second shot hits the remaining unit in the cockpit.

Understandably, it doesn't get up again.

You look around for fresh enemies, only to find the battle nearly over.

All through out the chamber, you see your lance-mates finishing off the last remnants of the enemy force. The scars and scorch marks on both fallen machines and the chamber walls bear mute testament to the viciousness of the fighting.

You call up your lance-mates. "Eternal Vigi- Lance, casualty check."

Miraculously enough, your lance has taken no losses. Though many of your unit's mecha are damaged to some extent or another, you have made it through without losing a single pilot.

There is, however, no time for celebration. Your job isn't done yet. You order your lance to secure the perimeter as you turn to the top-secret prototype mecha.




So far so good; we have secured the prototype and suffered no casualties; a textbook operation so far.




Suddenly, you receive a new commline for the Caliburn, marked "high priority".

Captain Baelyn's face pops up on the display as you open the line. "Eternal Vigi--Lead, status report?"

"We followed the enemy force to an underground complex and engaged them. No losses on our end."

Captain Baelyn seems to have no interest in casualty counts. "The objective, is it secured?"

You link the captain to your mecha's hull cameras and point them at the limp form of the white prototype machine. "That depends, is that our objective?"

The Captain shrugs, her scowl even deeper than usual. "Apparently, I'm not cleared to know." You get a feeling that she doesn't like being left in the dark any more than you do. "It looks important though. Does that thing have standard remote command functions?"

You check the link you had used to hijack the prototype machine earlier. Everything still seems to be working as intended. "Looks like it, ma'am."

Baelyn gives you a joyless little nod.

"Good, set that thing to fly up into the Caliburn for recovery. I want the rest of your lance securing the area and tying up loose ends and I want you to escort this machine up. Understood?"

By the time the Caliburn's commanding officer is finished speaking, you are already preparing your machine for space. "Understood, ma'am."



Now comes the tricky part -- flying this thing back to the CALIBURN while escorting it with our own ships. Y' don't suppose it'll be that easy, do you? :smallamused:

KILL COUNT: 73

Begin Episode 3



Orbit over Vedria Prime, Vedria System

You take a long, peaceful moment to savor the airless quiet of space as your Manningham breaks free from Vedria's atmosphere, flying close to the autopiloted prototype machine which you and your lance fought so hard to secure.

Vedrian orbit looks far less peaceful than it sounds. Though it lacks the thunderous rattle of autocannon and the mechanical whines of burning verniers which so dominate the audioscape of surface combat, the battle raging in orbit is of greater magnitude than the skirmish you just left behind you.

Here, the half-kilometer-long warships of the Caliburn's battlegroup push back against the attacking Imperial task force, pouring fire at each other at close range. In the distance, you see the lead elements of the enemy force begin to retreat from the battle as the Caliburn and her consorts salvo wave after wave of megaton-range warheads at the Imperials.

Before long, the entire Imperial force begins its slow, lumbering withdrawal. It seems that the battle in orbit is slowly, irrevocably being won.





Vote 18: How do you feel about that?
* Jealous: I could have gotten more kills if I had stayed in orbit.
* Disappointed: Eternal Vigi- Lance could have helped end this battle faster.
* Proud: We've done it! We've protected Vedria from the Imperials!
* Sad: I know far too many people have been killed today.
* Does it matter? We did our duty, we earned our pay, we didn't die. Good enough for me.


[This vote primarily affects your personality stats: War/diplomat, deliberate/passionate]

After you've made that decision, let's push on towards the CALIBURN.



The sharp beeping of the proximity alarm pulls you out of your thoughts and back into the battle. Your tactical display shows two contacts with hostile markers heading straight for you and the prototype you are escorting.

A closer look reveals them to be nothing more than a pair of M401s, carrying only the most basic equipment. What's more, they're flying straight and slow, the mark of new and undertrained pilots. You had been like them once, thrown into battle in the first frantic weeks of the war with only a few dozen hours of training. The Imperials had decimated your fellow CoDEC pilots then, but those that survived had gone on to become battle-hardened veterans.

That was years ago. Now it is these luckless Imperials who find themselves outmatched by you.

The enemies close in with the eagerness of untested amateurs. You know that the very lowest rung of the Imperial military is made up mostly of conscripts, you also know that even non-hardened pilots can do a great deal of damage if you do not respond immediately.



Fantins. Green, untested pilots. They pose minimal threat. Still, they could always get lucky.



As the Imperial mecha enter weapons range and prepare to attack, you make the decision to:

Vote 19:

* Evade the enemy mecha.
* Fire off a few pot-shots to scare them off.
* Attack them and make sure neither enemy machine escapes.





You are getting close to the Caliburn now. It would only take a few more minutes to get the prototype machine to the carrier's hangar bay, but as you approach safety, you also fly closer and closer to the battle itself.

At this distance, you can make out the shapes and forms of individual mecha. You watch as an allied lance of Grenzers streak across the sky ahead of you and fire their particle rifles into the side of a retreating Imperial light cruiser. Needles of pale-blue light pierce through the enemy warship, and it soon falls behind the retreating Imperial formation, plasma and atmosphere bleeding from its drive pods.

Your eyes are pulled from the sight by a call from the surface.

"Boss?" Asadi's face appears on screen. "I didn't want to bother you with this, but Eternal Vigi-Four insisted."

"We found something, boss," Eternal Vigi-Four says, her face appearing in a new window on your display. "It's a container marked top secret. It's sealed tight and none of us has the clearance to open it. I'd wager pretty safe odds that somebody considered this thing important. Whatever it is, it weighs something like five hundred metric tons: we'll need two of us to lift it."

Asadi shakes his head. "I don't want to waste our time dealing with this, not when we could still be hunting for enemy stragglers."

Eternal Vigi-Four purses her lips. "Our fight with the Imperials did a lot of damage to the complex. The place is falling apart. We might not have a chance to retrieve it later."





Vote 20:
* "The contents of that box might be critical. Get it somewhere safe immediately."
* "Hunting down the enemy takes priority. Leave the box."



Votes in by Tuesday at 5:30 PM. I hope your weekend was good!


Respectfully,

Brian P.

CoreBrute23
2015-06-28, 07:50 PM
Does it matter? We did our duty, we earned our pay, we didn't die. Good enough for me.
I think it's less of an issue of, we got paid, and more that he's satisfied in the role he provided for this victory, doing his duty. Also he's glad his unit didn't die.

Fire off a few pot-shots to scare them off.
These aren't experienced pilots like the first ones we fought. If these one survive, it will be ingrained in their psyche that fleeing at the first sight of danger is the best thing to do, which will only be more helpful in future fights. (at least that's what I think anyway).

"The contents of that box might be critical. Get it somewhere safe immediately."

Damn it Asadi, you just got the big kill. Stop trying to show off your murdering skills and start lifting the crate with your knees! What don't look at me, I'm the boss damn it.

Forum Explorer
2015-06-28, 10:49 PM
Proud

Attack them and make sure neither escape.

Get the box.


We aren't so cynical to not be happy that we successfully defended a planet.

Killing newbies might mean someone on your side lives another day. Plus they'll be down the supplies to make those mechs too.

The box is actually important. Killing retreating forces is just useful.

Legato Endless
2015-06-28, 11:40 PM
Proud...

Fire off a few pot shots...

Get the Box

Killing the two pilots is too risky. It's a deviation from the mission. We need to get package back post haste, and running off to take out a few neophytes gives the imperials time to reclaim the prototype.

Fri
2015-06-29, 03:14 AM
Damn, no casualty? We're good. I'm almost disappointed. I was hoping that this will go as a tragic war story :smalltongue:


Does it matter? We did our duty, we earned our pay, we didn't die. Good enough for me.
I think it's less of an issue of, we got paid, and more that he's satisfied in the role he provided for this victory, doing his duty. Also he's glad his unit didn't die.

Fire off a few pot-shots to scare them off.
These aren't experienced pilots like the first ones we fought. If these one survive, it will be ingrained in their psyche that fleeing at the first sight of danger is the best thing to do, which will only be more helpful in future fights. (at least that's what I think anyway).

"The contents of that box might be critical. Get it somewhere safe immediately."

Damn it Asadi, you just got the big kill. Stop trying to show off your murdering skills and start lifting the crate with your knees! What don't look at me, I'm the boss damn it.

This guy here said everything I wanted to say.

Lord Ruby34
2015-06-29, 10:59 AM
Does it matter? We did our duty, we earned our pay, we didn't die. Good enough for me.
I think it's less of an issue of, we got paid, and more that he's satisfied in the role he provided for this victory, doing his duty. Also he's glad his unit didn't die.

Fire off a few pot-shots to scare them off.
These aren't experienced pilots like the first ones we fought. If these one survive, it will be ingrained in their psyche that fleeing at the first sight of danger is the best thing to do, which will only be more helpful in future fights. (at least that's what I think anyway).

"The contents of that box might be critical. Get it somewhere safe immediately."

Damn it Asadi, you just got the big kill. Stop trying to show off your murdering skills and start lifting the crate with your knees! What don't look at me, I'm the boss damn it.

These are my choices as well.

Also, I'm down for a PBP

Tentreto
2015-06-29, 12:06 PM
I'll go for

Sad

Potshots

Critical to mission
Potshots seem more logical especially as our ranged combat is pretty good, and the conscripts would be pretty scared if they almost get destroyed in a flyby.
Also, the container could be our objective-way to screw up now.
Finally, we seem to be the PTS type, with combat shakes, we are probably less likely to be gung ho about victory.

CrimsonKnight
2015-06-30, 03:24 PM
18: Proud: We've done it! We've protected Vedria from the Imperials!
19: Fire off a few pot-shots to scare them off.
20: The contents of that box might be critical. Get it somewhere safe immediately.

pendell
2015-06-30, 04:59 PM
Hmm, it appears the emotional response to battle is the most contentious issue. We have 1 vote for 'sad' and we have :

Proud: CrimsonKnight, Legato Endless, Forum Explorer

Duty: Corebrute23, LordRuby34, Fri

So it's roll-off time:

Proud: 94
Duty: 27

Proud it is.

18) We're proud of our performance
19) Fire potshots to scare off conscripts
20) Get the box, it might be important.




Your heart swells with pride as the Imperial fleet begins to slink away in defeat. You know that you and your allies should be proud of all that you have done and all the lives that you have saved this day. Below you, the blue jewel of Vedria still shines, its surface and its inhabitants mostly unscathed.

Despite the damage your lance and the Imperials you fought on the surface have done to New Rodrigo City, you know that the devastation and death toll would have been orders of magnitude higher had the Imperials been given free reign to bombard the planet's surface with their heavy anti-ship missiles, each tipped with warheads capable of levelling entire towns.

As you continue onwards towards the Caliburn, you look down below at the planet's surface and wonder if the people living there will ever realize how much they owe the CoDEC fleet.


Warrior: -6 Diplomat: +6 [Warrior 64/Diplomat 36]
Deliberation: +4 Passion: -4 [Deliberation 84/Passion 16]

Odd. I would have expected being proud of our fight to improve our warrior stat. A coding error, perhaps?

At any rate, let's take some potshots at the conscript flyers.



You bring your particle rifle up to your mecha's shoulder as the Imperials prepare to open fire with their autocannon. You fire first.

A trail of pale-blue fire appears between the two Imperial machines. For a second, your opponents do not budge, continuing to approach, their autocannon levelled in your general direction. Taking no chances, you cycle the bolt on your particle rifle and aim again.

After a moment, both Imperials scramble away, their flight paths erratic. Apparently, you had mistaken their panic for resolve. Chuckling at the incompetence of your would-be attackers, you continue on your way.

A moment later, you receive a message from the CALIBURN: "Eternal Vigi--Lead. We're prepping Hangar B to receive the package. Status report?"

You consider your brief encounter with the enemy, then shake your head. "Nothing dangerous, Captain."

"Good. Keep me informed, CALIBURN out."



Right, now let's respond to Asadi's call.



Asadi jumps forward in his seat. "Boss!"

You shake your head at Asadi's protests. "No, I want this box to take priority."

From the other window, Eternal Vigi--Four nods. "Got it, boss. We'll move this thing to the surface and prep it for retrieval. Eternal Vigi--Four, out."

Your wingman gives you a dirty look before signing off. "Eternal Vigi--Two, out."


Smallest violin for Asadi, our henchman in murder who hasn't got enough murder for the day :smallamused:.

Deliberation: +2 Passion: -2 [Deliberate 86/Passion 16]



In the distance, the crippled Imperial vessel lashes out furiously with its point-defense guns, dappling the darkness around it with bursting shells, but the attacking machines come in for another pass, picking off gun after gun with precisely aimed shots. One by one, the defiant turrets of the wounded warship fall silent.

As the cruiser's last guns fall silent,CALIBURN and her escorts fling a vast salvo of missiles at the now-defenseless enemy vessel. The attacking mecha back away as each one of the warheads hits home in a self-annihilating flash of antimatter. Explosions ripple across the stricken vessel's hull as bodies and fragments of metal are blown free, shimmering in the light of death and the Vedrian suns.

Section by section, the ship's plating begins to fold and buckle as the ship's variable-mass fields begin to fail. Entire portions of the hull crumple like sheets of paper crushed by a gigantic, invisible hand.

Finally, a bright light emanates from the deepest recesses of the disintegrating vessel as it suffers a catastrophic reactor containment failure, consuming every part of it in a single, violent flash of unleashed exotic matter.

Half a million metric tons of metal, ceramic, and plastic, six hundred lives, snuffed out in the space of eight seconds.


Unhappily, this state of affairs won't last long.



Their target destroyed, the attacking mecha back away from the slowly spreading field of wreckage. One by one, they return to their formation to seek out another target.

At least, until one of them explodes.

More out of morbid curiosity than anything else, you magnify your main display, centering on the allied force as they quickly assume a defensive formation.

It doesn't help them.

Their attacker—and there is only one—is too fast for them to catch. Lances of pale-blue fire pierce the dark heavens, but the Imperial mecha among them evades them all with a speed and grace that even your veteran skills would be hard-pressed to match. The enemy machine moves so swiftly that it barely appears as a blur of fire and metal on your display, twirling through your distant allies, monosaber shimmering in the sunlight.


I wonder if anyone could give us some art of that.



One by one, the CoDEC machines are cut apart. Soon, all six are nothing more than burnt-out hulks or rapidly expanding clouds of debris. For a moment, you see the mysterious Imperial attacker, lit by the explosion of its last opponent: at first glance, it seems like a modified M403 Vallier, a quick and versatile, but aging model of Imperial mecha. It should have been no match for one Grenzer, let alone six. In fact, you can see very little that would distinguish it from a normal Imperial machine, save for its striking blue and silver paint scheme.

Blue and silver…

You break out in a cold sweat and begin to hear yourself breathe hard as you recognize the Imperial machine's distinctive colors.

They are the custom paint job of the highest-scoring ace in the Imperial military: Commandant Camille Hawkins.

The Blue Masque.


Well, it wouldn't be a mecha story if it didn't have an archrival, now, would it?



The Imperial ace's machine turns around with the grace of a ballet dancer. With a burst of flame from its verniers, it begins moving again…

…towards you.

You barely even have time to prepare yourself. The Imperial machine approaches with blinding speed. Your chances of evading, or otherwise outrunning the rapidly closing Imperial mecha, are slim.

A comm window blinks open on your main display. You find yourself face-to-face with a pale-faced man in an Imperial officer's pilot suit, perhaps in his late twenties. His features are gentle, perhaps even cherubic, despite his earnest expression. A sky-blue mask, fashioned to look like a knight's visor, covers the top of his face from his upturned nose to his mop of unruly golden-blond hair.

"Good day, pilot," his voice is a smooth, rich baritone laced with all the gentlemanly eagerness of an knight—errant from a bygone age. "I'm sure you know who I am."

"What do you want?" You reply, almost involuntarily.

"Want?" You imagine a golden eyebrow rising in question behind the inscrutable face of that archaic mask. "I suppose I shall want that white machine you are escorting, but ultimately, 'tis nothing more than a prize to be won."

Hawkins's machine comes to a gentle stop, just outside of your weapon's range. "For such a prize, I would request that you do me the honor of fighting for it in single combat!"

Well that was unexpected.



Ah, he really DOES think he is a knight in shining armor.



Your options flash through your mind as the Imperial ace awaits your response. Your tactical display shows only a few friendlies nearby, and all of them seem either engaged or clearing the area. It seems that none of them want to be the Blue Masque's next victim. With the ships of the fleet wholly focused on matching missile broadsides with their Imperial counterparts, they won't be able to come to your aid, either.

It looks like you're going to have to face the famed Imperial ace alone, unless….

Your allies in orbit may have no reason to throw themselves in the Blue Masque's way but if you ordered your own lance up from the surface, they'd be duty-bound to help you.

Your unit should be able to split up to aid you and recover the box they found at the same time. It would take them some time to reach you, but if you were able to hold off the Imperial ace for long enough, you would outnumber your solitary opponent.

Then again, Hawkins's insistence on challenging you to single combat might mean that he won't attack you if you were to refuse the challenge. It's a risky choice but if it means avoiding a fight with the Imperial ace, it might be worth a try.

Lastly, you could always accept the challenge. Hawkins's Vallier Custom gives him an advantage that you can't match, and his formidable reputation as a pilot must certainly be considered, but if you were lucky enough, or good enough to actually beat the Empire's top pilot one-on-one….

The Imperial machine before you points the blade of its monosaber directly at you. "Your time is up, pilot. I have challenged you, madam; how shall you answer?"



Vote 21:
* Accept the challenge!
* Accept the challenge but call up my allies to assist me.
* Refuse the challenge!


Votes in by Thursday, 5:30 PM, Eastern Time.

Legato Endless
2015-06-30, 06:55 PM
Accept the challenge but call up my allies to assist me.

Refusing and he might take that as ceding our claim to the prize, even if he spares us.

Granted, with our mates having left to transport the box, (how much time has passed?) we're probably kind of alone, but it's still better than trying take out a skilled pilot in a superior mecha alone.

Also it's the principle of the thing. We shouldn't sink to indulging in honorable combat unless it's the pragmatic decision.

Fri
2015-06-30, 11:30 PM
No man, don't we have any pride as an ace?

Accept the challenge alone

Despite everything, we're CODEC's best ace. We should have some pride on that!

And on practical note, if we call backup, they might be killed or something. We definitely will have advantage if we call our lance, but they're not as good as us, and when you face a boss with mooks, you absolutely kill the mooks first (which in this case, we're the boss).

CoreBrute23
2015-07-01, 01:45 AM
Accept the challenge but call up my allies to assist me.

Refusing and he might take that as ceding our claim to the prize, even if he spares us.

Granted, with our mates having left to transport the box, (how much time has passed?) we're probably kind of alone, but it's still better than trying take out a skilled pilot in a superior mecha alone.

Also it's the principle of the thing. We shouldn't sink to indulging in honorable combat unless it's the pragmatic decision.

I second this. Doesn't make sense for our character to get into a duel. Especially since he's so fast, he could probably dodge sniper fire, and if he got into hand to hand range, we'd be done.

Forum Explorer
2015-07-01, 02:11 AM
Call our allies to help. Our deliberation score is huge and we aren't just a veteran. We're a psychologically scarred veteran. We've seen the worth of Imperial Honor when they murdered civilians, and oppressed our people. But neither will we shy from the fight. We are the best chance to take down this ace, and calling our own allies gives us the best chance of succeeding in that.

Lord Ruby34
2015-07-01, 09:50 AM
Refuse. Fighting unnecessary duels is impractical, and Asadi and the rest of our squad can't handle this guy.

smuchmuch
2015-07-01, 03:02 PM
Question for Pendel: If we accept the chalenge, do we have to hold to it or can we fake acceptance as a ruse to give time to our teammates to retrieve the box ?

I mean he's an enemy combatant, he's probably going to attack us and our Lance anyway, but if we distract him, we might get the chance to recuperate the box and if push come to shove maybe we can order the prototype to self destruct rather than letting it fall under enemy hands or something like that ?

Oh what the heck, if we're going to be his next victim we might as well do it in style: Accept the chalenge

pendell
2015-07-01, 03:28 PM
Question for Pendel: If we accept the chalenge, do we have to hold to it or can we fake acceptance as a ruse to give time to our teammates to retrieve the box ?


Um..how exactly are you going to "fake" acceptance? The minute you say "yes" he's going to be on you. And HE won't be faking it.

Here's the layout as I understand it:

1) If you accept his challenge, you fight him. Perhaps you'll have a chance to break off during the fight, but then again maybe not. Maybe you'll win, maybe not.

2) Call in allies.
Because all of your team-mates are alive, two of them will drag the box back to the carrier while the other two assist you. If we had taken casualties, we would have to make some hard choices because we wouldn't have enough team-mates to attempt both objectives.

Of course, it will take time for your allies to arrive, during which time you will have to survive on your own. At the end of that time period , assuming the fight isn't already over, your allies will join in.

There's also a question as to whether this will actually help ... or whether you're setting them up to be killed by the finest Imperial ace of his generation.

3) Refuse the challenge.
One of two things might happen: He lets you go, or he attacks you anyway, and you run at top speed. Maybe you get away, maybe not. Maybe running abandons the prototype, maybe not.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Legato Endless
2015-07-01, 10:58 PM
...and if push come to shove maybe we can order the prototype to self destruct rather than letting it fall under enemy hands or something like that ?

Is it even possible to remotely detonate a mech? Don't you have to be inside with melodramatic music blaring to unlatch the button?


There's also a question as to whether this will actually help ... or whether you're setting them up to be killed by the finest Imperial ace of his generation.

I would feel very guilty about this...if they had names. Or faces. You know, those things that humanize characters and makes you believe they're a person. As it stands, we have Asadi, our bloodthirsty second in skill, and a vague assortment of numbers brightly printed on some red shirts. With some nondescript faces hovering above. I mean, currently they're basically just a metric for how well we're playing.

CoreBrute23
2015-07-02, 05:28 AM
I would feel very guilty about this...if they had names. Or faces. You know, those things that humanize characters and makes you believe they're a person. As it stands, we have Asadi, our bloodthirsty second in skill, and a vague assortment of numbers brightly printed on some red shirts. With some nondescript faces hovering above. I mean, currently they're basically just a metric for how well we're playing.

You are absolutely right Legato.

Guys let's start naming the rest of our lance, and give them backstories, Xcom style. How many are in out lance?

smuchmuch
2015-07-02, 05:43 AM
Well I bought Mecha Ace, what can I say, I felt like suporting the author it was on Steam for 4 bucks.

Six, a full Lance is six pilot. Including ourselves as "1" and Assadi as "2".

I have purposedly not gone further that the chapter we're in in order to avoid spoiling myself, though due to a certain gameplay mecanic, I got accidental spoilers on two characters.

No really, I mean it. I'll just say there's a good reason Assadi has a name when the rest of the Lance doesn't.
Asadi is romancable ? And so is Hawkin ? (got different random gender on these two)
Mind you given the insight you get out of Hawkin character if you play a diplomatic character and get them talking, if anything I ship Asadi/Hawkin together as the psycho battle couple of the year.

CoreBrute23
2015-07-02, 09:20 AM
So we have 4 unnamed members of the Lance. Let's name them team! Everyone knows named NPCs have a higher life expectancy than unnamed ones!

Lance 3 (He seems to be a lot more hesitant and much less eager for battle than Asadi, but that's all we've got so far)
Lance 4
Lance 5
Lance 6

In addition, if someone wants to make a backstory for any of these guys (or girls), let's hear it!

pendell
2015-07-02, 10:51 AM
Hmmm...

Lance 4 is female (I think) so how about ..

YAKUSHIMA, Ahi
LT (jg) CODEC Space Force
Age: 19
PERSONALITY: Diplomat/Passionate LT Yakushima's cool exterior belies a ferocious personality shone in off-duty life. Founder of CALIBURN's Karaoke club, on deck H room H13, 1830-2200 Wednesdays.

LT Yakushima comes from a middle class family; her father worked as a tug captain, moving watercraft into the port of New Osaka. That is, until a bombing raid in the first years of the war dropped an asteroid smack onto the port, destroying her house, her school, and much of her life. Her father's tug disappeared in the resulting tidal wave, and was never seen again.

Yakushima reported to the recruiter the next day because , really, she had nowhere else to go. Her excellent reflexes, high intelligence, and killer instinct which only shows itself in battle soon marked her for transfer to the combat armatures, and soon enough won her a spot in Eternal Vigi-lance. Her greatest feelings about her past is to prevent it from ever happening to anyone else. Ironically, her determination to bring about peace makes her fight the war all the more ferociously, since she believes that peace is only possible through victory in this war.

She has one surviving brother, Tomoyo, a Sergeant in the CODEC Marines.

---

What do you think? I'll add any names and backstories to the front page, but we should at least talk through them first. This is a rough draft; I'm willing to change the character somewhat.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

pendell
2015-07-02, 05:06 PM
Please see previous post for potential backstory. As mentioned, if anyone wants to "fill in the blanks", I'll add it to the first page.

1 vote to refuse altogether,

Allies: Legato, Corebrute23, Forum Explorer

Alone: Fri, Smuchmuch


So we'll call in some friends to help us. Mission first, last , and always.




Before you respond, you quickly cut off your comm line with the Imperial machine and comm your unit on the ground.

"Eternal Vigi--Two, I need some backup in orbit."

Asadi's face appears on screen, his expression puzzled. "Backup? What's the problem, boss?"

You link Asadi to your hull cameras, your wingman sits shocked for a moment. "The Blue Masque? I'm on my way, boss."

Eternal Vigi--Four's face pops up on screen. "What about the package?"

Asadi shakes his head violently. "If you want to babysit that stupid box, go ahead, but I'm going into orbit, to help the boss take down that impie ace! I'll be there, boss! Eternal Vigi--Two, out."

You close the channel to your lance-mates and open the one to the Imperial machine. Hawkins awaits you with a wry grin.

"This indecision is unbecoming of a warrior, pilot. Will you accept my challenge, or has your resolve failed you?"

You shake your head. "I accept your challenge!"

"Very well. Defend yourself!"


So it looks like only Asadi will come to join us while four takes the box back to the CALIBURN. Odd, what happened to 3, 5, and 6? A coding error, perhaps?



With that, the Imperial mecha rushes forward, its monosaber ready to strike. Moving faster than you had even thought possible, Hawkins is upon you. You barely managed to get away, with a hasty and uncoordinated burst of your thrusters which leaves your machine's limbs in a tangle. It takes you precious seconds to reorient yourself, enough time for your opponent to turn around for another pass.

This time, you are prepared for the enemy's blinding speed. As the enemy approaches once more, you quickly ask yourself how you want this duel to be fought:

While you could certainly meet Hawkins's machine in close combat, the Imperial's swift machine gives him a definite advantage. You would need to either find a way to make up for the inferior speed of your machine or hope that you are able to "read" your opponent's fighting style to counter his attacks before they even happen.

Alternatively, you could choose to fight at range, taking advantage of your opponent's lack of any sort of gun. You would need exceptional aim to hit a target as fast as Hawkins's machine from a distance, and nerves of steel to keep firing aimed shots should he try to get close.

Hawkins's Vallier Custom continues to close on you. If you are going to make a decision, it has to be now.


Vote 22:

* Meet Hawkins's mecha in close combat.
* Keep Hawkins's mecha at a distance.



Regardless of your choice, the following will happen. I'm cutting out any specific text describing the action , since we haven't decided yet, but certain elements of the combat occur regardless of choice.



"Tell me, pilot," Hawkins says, through the still-open comm channel, his eyes intent behind his mask, "why do you fight?"

The question takes you by surprise. You think back to that day, an eternity ago, when you signed up to fight against Old Earth. You had a cause then, a burning in your soul which drove you into battle.

Does it drive you still?





Vote 23:

* Yes. I still fight for the same reasons. [For Freedom]
* No, I have changed since then. I fight for a new reason now.
**** "I fight because I like fighting, isn't that enough?"
**** "I fight to protect the innocent people of the outer colonies!"
**** "I fight to win!"
**** "I fight because I'm paid to. That's reason enough for me."
* "Just shut up and fight me!"


Now, obviously this is a pause in combat, so while we can achieve advantage [or not] in vote 22, it will not be decisive by itself. So how will we resume combat after the dialog? Or ... I'll give an additional option. Wait to see how vote 22 turns out.

Vote 24:

* Wait for the result of vote 22.
* Fight at a distance
* Fall back to keep Hawkins at a distance.
* Keep Hawkins talking to prevent him from focusing on the fight.
* Close in and fight Hawkins in melee.
****Fight aggressively to cripple or destroy Hawkins's machine.
****Keep calm and fight defensively.


Let's get our votes in by Saturday, 5:30PM. I want to kick this guy's tail most thoroughly.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Forum Explorer
2015-07-03, 12:47 AM
Geeze what a tough decision. We're only a sniper fighting a close range expert. Keep our distance.


We fight for Freedom.

Keep him talking.

Fri
2015-07-03, 03:33 AM
Well I bought Mecha Ace, what can I say, I felt like suporting the author it was on Steam for 4 bucks.

Six, a full Lance is six pilot. Including ourselves as "1" and Assadi as "2".

I have purposedly not gone further that the chapter we're in in order to avoid spoiling myself, though due to a certain gameplay mecanic, I got accidental spoilers on two characters.

No really, I mean it. I'll just say there's a good reason Assadi has a name when the rest of the Lance doesn't.
Asadi is romancable ? And so is Hawkin ? (got different random gender on these two)
Mind you given the insight you get out of Hawkin character if you play a diplomatic character and get them talking, if anything I ship Asadi/Hawkin together as the psycho battle couple of the year.

Yes, at first I kinda laughed at Choice of Games (the company)'s existance. CYOA games? At this day? Without even music or art? But I'm curious, so I bought Mecha Ace, with rationalization, "eh, it cost as much as a burger anyway, and I assume it'll last much longer."

I'm ashamed, but I must admit that I was wrong. CYOA books still have its place.

Tentreto
2015-07-04, 10:33 AM
Fight at a distance
Pretty obvious given our character.

We have a new reason to fight
It seems to me that we are the dominating side in the war, so have mostly got the 'freedom' aspect. If this is a drop down part here, we Fight to protect the innocents, but I can't quite tell.

Fall back to a distance
Our persuasions ok, and we are good at pragmatism, but we are fighting an uber ace, who is unlikely to be easy to distract-he probably expects us to do this.
I would say keep calm, but that is what we are worst at, so maybe not.
If this does come to a tie by the way, I would support either long distance decision.

pendell
2015-07-04, 04:46 PM
Hmm, two votes, and they mostly contradict each other.

It's a holiday in the US this one (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvOZs3g3qIo) , so I'm going to assume that the lower-than-normal number of votes is due to the holiday. So... I'll delay the vote one day.
If we don't have four votes by 5:30PM tomorrow, I'll put it off again until tomorrow. But on Monday, we go in any case.

Fri, did you have an opinion? You posted but didn't vote.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

smuchmuch
2015-07-04, 05:11 PM
* We fight at a distance

* Our reason hasn't changed

* keep him at a distance

Fri
2015-07-05, 12:54 AM
Oh right.

Hmm, fight for a distance (what a tough choice)

Our reason hasn't changed.

wait for vote 22's result.

pendell
2015-07-05, 11:45 AM
It seems to me that we are the dominating side in the war, so have mostly got the 'freedom' aspect.


Actually, the war is stalemated. The exact situation *may* be discussed in more detail, depending on the choices we make.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

CoreBrute23
2015-07-05, 11:51 AM
Keep Hawkins's mecha at a distance.

Even though are nerves are more like copper than steel, I think this is our best bet right now.

Our reason hasn't changed.
Too early to have changed I think.

wait for vote 22's result.

I'd rather see the results of this before choosing a battle position.

CrimsonKnight
2015-07-05, 08:03 PM
Thanks for waiting. Weird, thought I posted to the last vote. Oh well.

22: Keep Hawkins's mecha at a distance.
Uh, duh? *sarcasm* Dur, I'm a sniper, I want to fight the Empire's best ace in hand to hand with a dinky little (by armature standards anyway) knife.

23: Yes. I still fight for the same reasons. [For Freedom]
Our motivation hasn't changed. Until the Empire is no longer in a position to threaten the colonies' freedom and independence from their tyranny, that's why we fight.

24: Wait for the result of vote 22.

Legato Endless
2015-07-05, 08:10 PM
Keep Hawkins's mecha at a distance.

Yes. I still fight for the same reasons.

Wait for the result of vote 22.

pendell
2015-07-05, 11:05 PM
Sorry I'm late, guys. Too busy playing Atlantic Fleet (http://killerfishgames.com/games/atlantic-fleet).

Sooo.. where were we?

There is an overwhelming consensus to meet his weakness (no gun) with our strength, as opposed to matching our weakness (average melee/low courage) to his strengths (high melee/high courage).

And we still fight for the same reasons. Beyond that, we'll wait for the result of 22 to make a determination what we're going to do next.



You send your machine flying back as fast as you can. When Hawkins charges in to strike, you are long gone. The Imperial turns and makes another pass, like a horse-borne tourney knight of Old Earth. Once more, you retreat out of the way. Again, the Imperial ace tries to charge you, faster this time. Again, you keep your distance.

After his third pass, the Imperial ace turns to face you as if he were to charge you again. Only this time, the Imperial holds position.

"Tell me, pilot," he says, through the still-open comm channel, his eyes intent behind his mask, "why do you fight?"



And it is at this point our answer comes in:



"I fight because I believe in CoDEC's cause!"


What is his response?



The Imperial ace purses his lips in disapproval.

"Ah, an ideologue then? Disappointing. You see all of this as merely a means to a noble end? You would stake your life on airy ideals that old men and women who have never seen combat bandy about to fulfill their venal ambition? I think you have long since abandoned that last shred of justification. I think you fight for the same reason I do: for the joy of fighting!"

Hawkins rushes for you again, his blade poised to strike. "No more hiding behind flags and ideologies and 'just causes'! Fight for yourself and no other!"



Well, that doesn't seem to impress him. What does HE fight for? For himself? If so, to what gain?

It looks like he's going to try to kill us again, and it doesn't seem that he likes idealists.



You examine your options as the Imperial mecha approaches with blinding speed. You could open fire on it now but that would give Hawkins a chance to get in close enough to use his Vallier's deadly monosaber.

Alternatively, you could continue to retreat from the Imperial's attacks, buying time to await a better opportunity.

It also occurs to you that you could use Hawkins's verbosity against him. If your opponent is too busy monologuing to put all of his focus into the fight, it would be a lot easier to fend off his attacks.

Of course, if you felt the need to change tactics and close into melee combat, you seriously doubt the Imperial ace would stop you.


Vote 25:

* Attack Hawkins from a distance.
* Fall back to keep Hawkins at a distance.
* Keep Hawkins talking to prevent him from focusing on the fight.
* Close in and fight Hawkins in melee.



So what's the difference between the first two options? So far as I can tell, the first one takes a shot but also takes the risk Hawkins will close.

The second attempt is to keep Hawkins at a distance, thus allowing for a better shot or buying time for Asadi to show up. The question is, is our machine faster than his? Will waiting give us a better tactical position later, or will waiting get him close and waste our only shot at him?

The third option requires a presence skill check.

The fourth requires the use of piloting and courage for melee combat with Hawkins, a melee specialist.

Votes in by Wednesday, 5:30 PM! Godspeed and good hunting!

Respectfully,

Brian P.

smuchmuch
2015-07-06, 02:03 AM
Heh, I knew that 'Blue masque' was likely an allusion to famous aces such as "the red baron" or "the black devil" but I just found the pun. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blue_Max).

Anyway, hs machine seems insanely fast, little chance to outrun it, so might as well atempt to get a shot in and do what damage we can to hamper his ability to cut us into ribbons (if we could shoot his monosaber away... no wait wrong cliche, this is a flying ace adventures not cowboys), I'll vote first option:

* Attack Hawkins from a distance.

Forum Explorer
2015-07-06, 02:03 AM
Take the shot.

Fri
2015-07-06, 05:11 AM
Close in and melee

Nah, take the shot.

CoreBrute23
2015-07-06, 07:52 AM
Fall back to keep Hawkins at a distance.

I don't trust our nerves if he comes rushing in. Besides we are trying to stall this guy, until we can overwhelm him with backup.

Legato Endless
2015-07-06, 10:38 AM
Attack Hawkins from a distance.

If we keep ceding ground, we risk losing the initiative completely and being out maneuvered. Better to take a risk now and trust our sharp shooting.

Lord Ruby34
2015-07-06, 04:18 PM
Shoot him in the face.

CrimsonKnight
2015-07-06, 11:28 PM
25: Attack Hawkins from a distance.

As he just demonstrated, his armature is easily fast enough to keep pace with us at least, if not slowly close the distance. And who knows how long before Asadi gets here? No choice, take the shot, and hope like hell we can dodge his attack if we miss. Besides, if we're lucky he'll be expecting us to just keep evading like we have been and the shot will take him by surprise.

pendell
2015-07-07, 08:06 PM
Very well, we'll take a sniper shot at him.

SKILL CHECK : Perception + vehicle ranged capability.



You bring up your particle rifle and aim carefully at the onrushing Imperial machine, waiting for the perfect moment to squeeze the trigger. Your shot streaks out, nearly as fast as light itself…

…and misses. Somehow, the Imperial has managed to dodge your shot. It should have been impossible. No human being is quick enough to evade a shot from a particle rifle. Quickly, you cycle the bolt and fire again.

This time, the Imperial ace dances out of the way a split second before you even squeeze the trigger. That's when you realize it: Hawkins isn't dodging your fire, he's dodging whenever your machine aims at him and prepares to fire.

You cycle the bolt again. This time, you have a plan. You aim at the Imperial as if to fire and pretend to squeeze the trigger. As expected, Hawkins's machine slides sideways but this time, you are ready. You quickly shift your aim and fire again.

This time, the shot hits Hawkins's machine, clipping one arm. The hand of the Vallier Custom's sword arm flies off into the endless expanse of space, monosaber still clutched in its frozen fingers.

The Imperial ace pulls out of his charge and falls back out of range. After a moment, the Imperial machine draws a backup weapon: chain knife mounted on the elbow. Ready for battle again, the Imperial ace renews his attack.



Was it smuchmuch who made the comment about shooting the monosaber out of his hand? That's exactly what happened :smallamused:.

The battle's not over, however. Round 2!

Vote 26:

* Attack Hawkins from a distance.
* Fall back to keep Hawkins at a distance.
* Keep Hawkins talking to prevent him from focusing on the fight.
* Close in and fight Hawkins in melee.


*checks*

I've taken the liberty of reading ahead, and we have three ranged shots left. Hawkins has lost is monosaber and is now attacking with a chain knife -- a weak weapon that has difficulty penetrating armor such as yours -- but his speed and maneuverability are unimpaired. So he's a less dangerous enemy than he was, but he's not defeated yet.

The last option, obviously, will mean we don't use them. Falling back means we're retreating , either to buy time or to gain a better shot -- but he might also close the distance.

Forcing him to talk may distract him -- that's a skill check -- but it might also give him time to close the range. Or, at least, force us to choose another option.

So .. what do we do?

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Fri
2015-07-08, 04:55 AM
To be honest, I think we're doing really damn well with our choice and stats. We did the planetside mission without casualty, and I don't think we'll have any problem beating up Hawkins even without Asadi. Just shoot him again, and be done with this shortest rivalry ever.

I mean it, I think our stats and choices works a bit too well for this chapter finale.

smuchmuch
2015-07-08, 05:27 AM
I wouldn't worry.

I'd say the text make it rather clear that we only got him by a clever shot but I doubt he'll fall for the same trick twice, or if he does twice, not trice. And I wouldn't be surprised if he had clever tricks of his own.
I think the difficulty of the range check is going to increase but it's still our best option.

* Attack Hawkins from a distance.


I very much doubt the game will let us shoot Hawkins down for good at this point (I wouldn't put past the game to give us an unbeatable skill check).

I haven't tried all possibilities, (like what we're doing right now with long range, high perception and caling allies) but so far the results of this fight seem to alway be the same. He'll likely retreat and even if we were to manage to destroy his Vallier somehow, he'll probably use his esape pod.

And I do feel that if we do manage to keep him to a standstill an even do damage him like we did, it makes the 'ace' reputation of our character and the parting comment he usualy say about 'being one of the finest pilot he fought again' that much more deserved.

Forum Explorer
2015-07-08, 12:12 PM
Eh, I think we should keep our distance. Time is on our side now that we've disabled his primary weapon, and he will be expecting another shot right away.

pendell
2015-07-09, 05:46 PM
Very well, let's shoot 'em again.



As you bring your particle rifle up to fire again, a red warning sign pops up on a side display. You swear under your breath as you read it. The day's battle has used up more of your disposable heatsinks than you had thought. Once you are out of heat sinks, your weapon can't fire.

You have three shots left.

As the Vallier Custom begins to advance towards you again, you try to make the same feint that worked the last time. Unfortunately, it seems your opponent is a fast study. Instead of simply dodging when you fire, Hawkins darts from point to point in a crazed, twisting pattern. Your second shot misses too.

Your last shot, however, hits dead center.

Pale blue light lances through the back of Hawkins's machine. You see a tiny burst of flame as the verniers on the Vallier Custom's left side gutter and die.

Hawkins seems unfazed. It barely takes a moment for the Imperial pilot to compensate, and continue his advance. You discard your now-useless particle weapon and draw your chain knife as the Imperial ace closes into melee range.


So we've hit him repeatedly but he's still functional and now we're in melee.



Suddenly, the Imperial mecha is thrown to the side as the pale-blue light of particle rifle fire lances through its leg. Hawkins turns away from you to face the new threat.

Ensign Asadi's face pops up on your display. "Hey boss, I'm not late, am I?"


Ah! There's our allies!



On your other line, Hawkins shakes his head. "You disappoint me, pilot," he says. "We agreed to fight one-on-one. To break such an agreement does not reflect well on you."

The Imperial ace turns to engage his new opponent. Asadi's Grenzer brings its particle rifle up and fires again but this time, the Imperial ace is ready for him. Without missing a beat, Hawkins fires a burst of thrusters to push the Vallier Custom swiftly out of harm's way before continuing his advance.

Zig-zagging, the enemy pilot quickly closes the distance on your wingman's machine. By the time you can move to assist your wingman, Hawkins is attacking Asadi up close. Before you can close in to help, Hawkins breaks through your lance-mate's guard and with two deft strokes of his chain knife, cuts Asadi's Grenzer apart, neatly severing both arms and legs from its now helpless cockpit module.

"Now then, pilot…" Hawkins turns back towards you, "…where were we?"


...

So much for that. Now what?



Before Hawkins can strike again, you become aware of an incessant beeping. It is only when the Vallier Custom pulls up short that you realize it is coming from the other end of your comm link with the Imperial machine.

The Imperial ace pulls back and sheathes his blade. His expression is almost apologetic as he looks up at you.

"I'm afraid I must cut our dance short, pilot," the Imperial gives you a sad, little grin. "To interrupt our engagement pains me greatly; you have offered me a better fight than most. Though your understanding of the concept of fairness is rather lacking, your piloting skill cannot be doubted."

With that, the Vallier Custom turns around and retreats for the fleeing shapes of the Imperial task force.

"Perhaps you will have enough faith in your own abilities to face me alone the next time we meet."



So ... that's the end of the fight. Realistically, we did as much damage as possible for the combat. What , you didn't REALLY think we were going to kill him that quickly, did you?

He's been recalled and we will secure the prototype. Both Asadi and our character is alive -- though the first is due to Hawkin's mercy than to any skill on Asadi's part. Evidently sending in allies against the Blue Masque gets them killed, since they lack our plot shields.

Time for the post battle wrap-up.



You open a comm line to Asadi. You are greeted by a long, inventive, and incredibly vulgar stream of profanity. It takes him a few seconds to even realize you're there.

"Wha—? Sorry, boss! It's just that I could have gotten him! Did you see that first shot? If I'd aimed up just a little higher, I could have taken out the Blue Masque before he even knew what hit his!"

You do your best to soothe your wingman's bruised ego. "You scored a direct hit against one of the best pilots in human history, at extreme range. Not many pilots can say that."

Asadi thinks for a moment and nods.

"Yeah boss, I guess you're right. Of course, I couldn't have made that shot if you hadn't fought one of the best pilots in human history to a standstill. I knew you were good but I didn't know you were that good."

You can't help but smile a little at your wingman's praise as you mark Asadi's wrecked machine for pickup and head for the CALIBURN's open hangar bay.


Time to head back to the CALIBURN.




The last of your combat adrenaline leaves you as you set your Manningham gently onto the Caliburn's recovery deck. A sudden wave of exhaustion hits you as your machine is slowly lowered through the hangar elevator to the airlock.

You can barely stay alert as the tell-tale hiss of atmosphere fills the pressure chamber and the sounds of the hangar bay begin to filter through the quickly thickening atmosphere outside of your machine.

By the time the airlock opens, you are operating in a post-combat fugue, barely even noticing or recognizing the secured bulk of the white prototype mecha as you pass it in the hangar bay and head for your own machine's berth.

Your eyelids heavy and your breath coming heavily, you set down your machine in the maintenance dock. Your mind goes through the shutdown check slowly, as if it were swimming in mud. Finally, the last of your displays shuts down, leaving your cockpit lit only by the small emergency lights on your suit.

With a high-pitched hiss, your machine's cockpit slides open. The sounds and lights of the Caliburn's hangar deck assault your senses.

You take a deep breath, and pull yourself out of your machine.


END EPISODE 3.

BEGIN INTERLUDE



Colonial Warship CALIBURN

In orbit over Vedria Prime

You spend the next sixteen hours unconscious as your body purges your system and recovers from the post-combat crash.

You wake up in your quarters, pale and trembling, your body still recovering from the effects of your combat drugs. In a tradition dating back over half a millennium, you went into combat dosed on a combination of stimulants which served to make you fast enough, tough enough, and alert enough to survive on the battlefield. Every sortie starts with your suit pumping your dosage into your system and ends with the beginnings of an hours-long period of withdrawal, through which you are blessedly unconscious.

The first few minutes you spend awake are devoted to a slow, deliberate routine: you strip off your sweat-soaked flight suit, take a quick shower, and drink three or four glasses of water at a regular, measured pace. It takes about half an hour for the color to return to your face, and for you to realize just how hungry you are.

Slipping into your duty fatigues, you head out of your quarters for the galley.

t seems that during the past few hours, the story of your encounter with Blue Masque has spread throughout the ship.

The pilots and crew that you encounter lower their voices in reverence as you walk by them. It is something to have a pilot on board who has faced the finest Imperial ace of his generation and lived. It is something else entirely to have on board a pilot who has managed to fight the Blue Masque to a standstill.

Twenty-four hours ago, you were simply another ace on a ship full of talented and distinguished pilots. Now, hushed voices are already referring to you as the best pilot in CoDEC's military.

You certainly get to hear more than enough of the ship's opinion as you make the half-kilometer walk to the ship's galley.


Evidently our rep has gone up. Let me check...

Reputation: 70

Confirmed kills: 73

Deliberation: 100 Passion: 0

Warrior: 60 Diplomat: 40
Deliberation: 100 Passion: 00

Well , how about that?



The only person you encounter in the corridor with no open opinion on your recent actions seems to be Captain Baelyn herself. With her are a pair of marines and a slim, short young man in what appears to be the short jacket and slacks of some kind of private school uniform. His black hair is cut short and his features still retain the slight softness of an adolescent barely a half-step short of adulthood.

Every few moments, the small group stops and the Captain speaks a few words. It soon becomes clear that she's giving the kid the same introductory tour you got when you were first assigned to the Caliburn, which could only mean….

"Lieutenant Commander?" You snap to attention the instant you realize that the Captain's talking to you now.

"Yes, ma'am?"

"This is Acting-Ensign Ichiro Watanabe, a volunteer from planetside. He'll be coordinating your unit from the Caliburn."

CoDEC carriers generally carry a "bridge controller", an officer who serves as a contact point between the bridge and the ship's combat armature complement. Captain Baelyn had been filling in since your last bridge controller was wounded four months ago. Not only would a new dedicated bridge controller make the ship as a whole more effective, it would also mean that you'd be spared from Captain Baelyn's often-abrasive tone while in the field.

You nod politely to the new volunteer. "Welcome aboard, Acting-Ensign Watanabe."

"Thank you," he replies as he leans in, trying to read your last name, printed on your uniform. "Lieutenant Commander-"



Okay this is where we name our character.

Vote 27: Last Name
#Capek.
#Kerensky.
#Rico.
#Simmons.
#Tomino.
#[Custom]

Vote 28:
#Aina
#Christina
#Emma
#Mirai
#Natasha
#Hold on a sec, none of those are right! [Custom]






Watanabe stands stunned for a moment, as if you had just offered some world-changing revelation.
"Eternal Vigi- Lance?" He finally says, so quietly you can barely hear. "I…I see."

You blink in surprise. The young volunteer's reaction to the name of your unit is certainly odd. You wonder if the name holds some certain significance to the new crewmember.

Captain Baelyn steps in before you can ask. "There's still a great deal of the ship to cover, Acting-Ensign, I'm afraid we don't have time to continue chatting." She turns to you. "Lieutenant Commander, I'm giving you twenty-four hours off until your next assignment. I trust you will use the time wisely."

You have only a moment to ponder the abrupt end of your conversation before your stomach begins rumbling in earnest. Your last meal was more than a day ago. Driven by hunger, you have no choice but to continue to the ship's galley.





So , chow time.



If there is one good thing about CoDEC military rations, it is the simple fact that there are plenty of them to go around.

Normally, considering the quality of the (facetiously labelled) "food" itself, that is hardly an advantage. At the moment, with your body desperately craving the calories it needs to recover from an hours-long spell in a combat armature cockpit, it is the only thing that matters.

You are shovelling the last remnants of your fourth tray of what the identification tab swears is beef stew and rice when you hear a chirping in your ear: someone is trying to call you.



So much for chow.



The comm line opens, and a calm, gravelly, male voice speaks into your ear.

"Good morning, Lieutenant Commander. I trust you slept well?"

Normally, it would be considered the height of arrogance for a mere enlisted crewmember to address a superior officer so informally but Chief $! Weaver just happens to be head of the CALIBURN's hangar crew. When someone is in charge of keeping your lance's machines in fighting order, it pays to cut them a little slack.

"I slept okay. What do you need, Chief?"

"If you got the time, I'd like you to come down to Hangar Bay B for a minute. I'm sure you want a status report on the repairs to your machine."

You look down at the food tray. The remaining portions of your meal look far less palatable now that you are no longer starving.



Vote 29:
#"I'm on my way, Chief."
#"Sure thing, just let me finish eating first."
#"Maybe later, if I've got the time."


We will have the time to do two or three things during this interlude, and seeing the chief is one of them; if we tell him no, that will give us time to do one other thing.

But then again, he IS your crew chief. It's probably a really good idea both to hear what he has to say and keep on his good side.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Legato Endless
2015-07-09, 10:04 PM
"I'm afraid I must cut our dance short, pilot," the Imperial gives you a sad, little grin. "To interrupt our engagement pains me greatly; you have offered me a better fight than most. Though your understanding of the concept of fairness is rather lacking, your piloting skill cannot be doubted."

Says the man in a customized elite mech.

See the chief now.

Since we have no idea what our other options are, I don't see why we wouldn't go down.

Fri
2015-07-10, 12:19 AM
yes, can we see what our options are, if there are only time to do 3 things?

And come on guys, don't disappoint pendell. Let's think of the coolest name ever for our character.

pendell
2015-07-10, 07:59 AM
Other options? Sure.

#Go see Chief Weaver in Hangar Bay B. [this is what we're being prompted to do now]

#Take a look at the prototype mecha in Hangar Bay A. [ Gives us a better understanding of the machine and may open up options we might not otherwise have. We also could look at the mysterious box]

#Go to the wardroom and check up on Asadi. [Allow us to strengthen, or weaken, our relationship with Asadi. May give insight into his character and, again, open up potential options].

#Try to find Watanabe and get some answers. [ Opens options, potentially improves Watanabe relationship]

#Go back to my quarters and do some research on Commandant Hawkins. [Gives insight into Hawkins which may prove useful the next time we meet him, and the Imperial navy in general. Again, more options]


I *think* we have time to do THREE of these things, of which seeing the chief is one. If we see the chief now, we have time to do TWO of these things.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Fri
2015-07-10, 10:40 AM
Huh, we only have 3 choice? That's pretty hard choice, since all seems to be interesting options.

Okay, my choice (for this particular choice and later choice) will be:

1.Go see Chief Weaver

And if later we're prompted


2. Go see Asadi
3. Go see Watanabe.

Ugh, I'd like to check on Hawkins as well... choice choice... Which one look like a more interesting choice to see, Asadi or Watanabe, in your opinions? I might change one of them into checking files on Hawkins.

By the way, we still need a name. Gah, I can't think a good theme or pun right now.

Legato Endless
2015-07-10, 12:08 PM
Investigate Prototype and/or mysterious box

Because I want to know. :smalltongue:

I think it would make a good deal of sense for us to investigate our rival Hawkins, since even minus Mecha Plot conventions, in character we'd have a pretty good idea that he's going to show up again, and knowing our enemy might prove vital.

On the other side of things, getting to know Watanabe might be nice. He looks vaguely potentially well adjusted, which is something we lack in our lives.

Asadi seems pointless to me. Smoothing things over now just kicks the can down the road a little. We've got a 100% deliberation score, and it's only a matter of time before the friction between the two temperaments explodes and Asadi goes Leeroy Jenkins on us.

pendell
2015-07-10, 01:04 PM
Legato, what about seeing the chief? Do you want to do this AFTER seeing the chief -- which is what we're actually voting on now, that and the name -- or do you want to look at the prototype INSTEAD of seeing the chief?

Regardless, I'll record your vote and apply it when it becomes applicable.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Legato Endless
2015-07-10, 01:30 PM
Legato, what about seeing the chief? Do you want to do this AFTER seeing the chief -- which is what we're actually voting on now, that and the name -- or do you want to look at the prototype INSTEAD of seeing the chief?

Yeah, just weighing in on my opinion of all of our options. But yes, seeing the chief now still sounds good.

pendell
2015-07-10, 03:44 PM
Okay. Would you mind putting that in red? I'm not being a stickler about this -- I'm just worried that when I do the final tally I forget and just skip your post 'cause I'm looking for red.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

smuchmuch
2015-07-10, 03:52 PM
Let's see the chief first.

Hmm, on one hand searching on Hawkins and looking at the prototype both seems logical
next step but on the other hand since Asadi did answer our call (and was the only one of our teamates to do so), it seems that checking on Asadi seems the least we could do.

CoreBrute23
2015-07-10, 04:08 PM
"I'm on my way, Chief."

Seems only fair, the man is fixing up our machine. We should also make sure there isn't any permanent damage too.

I'll refrain from making the other options preemptively.

Forum Explorer
2015-07-10, 05:07 PM
I'm on my way Chief.
See Asadi
Check out prototype.

pendell
2015-07-11, 08:26 PM
We have a consensus to see Chief Weaver immediately.

Here are the votes currently on record for what we do next:

See Asadi Fri
See Asadi Smuchmuch
See Asadi Forum Explorer
Investigate Prototype Legato
Investigate Prototype Forum Explorer
Searching for Hawkins Smuchmuch
See Watanabe Fri


Now, there will be some dialog options in this conversation, but these votes are already in when this branch concludes. Though, of course, we will still need to hold a vote at that time.

Ummm .... we didn't vote on a name for the character and we can't proceed after this point, right?

Okay, I'll assign one. Let's keep talking about it, though. It shouldn't be too hard for me to replace the character name in our posts.

I'll go with Aina Tomino-San, until we change our minds.



"-Lieutenant Commander…Tomino," Watanabe pauses, a bit uncertain. "That is how you pronounce it, right?"

You nod, the teenaged volunteer didn't mangle your last name entirely. "That's right, Lieutenant Commander-"

-Aina Tomino, commander of Eternal Vigi- Lance, here on the CALIBURN."

Watanabe stands stunned for a moment, as if you had just offered some world-changing revelation. "Eternal Vigi- Lance?" he finally says, so quietly you can barely hear. "I…I see."

You blink in surprise. The young volunteer's reaction to the name of your unit is certainly odd. You wonder if the name holds some certain significance to the new crewmember.

Captain Baelyn steps in before you can ask. "There's still a great deal of the ship to cover, Acting-Ensign, I'm afraid we don't have time to continue chatting." She turns to you. "Lieutenant Commander Tomino, I'm giving you twenty-four hours off until your next assignment. I trust you will use the time wisely."

You have only a moment to ponder the abrupt end of your conversation before your stomach begins rumbling in earnest. Your last meal was more than a day ago. Driven by hunger, you have no choice but to continue to the ship's galley.


So, we eat, and we tell the chief we're on our way.



"Alright, Lieutenant Commander. I'll be waiting for ya."

You take a few moments to dump the food substitute still in your tray into the recycling unit before heading out for the hangar bay. A wall of noise assaults you as you walk through the heavy blast doors into Hangar Bay B. The air around you is filled with the stink of ozone and raw metal. You can barely hear yourself think over the persistent roar of high-energy metal cutters.

The sources of all the commotion are plain to see: laid up against the wall of the cavernous hangar bay stand the inactive machines of your lance, each in various stages of disassembly and maintenance. Disassembled weapons, thrusters, and armor assemblies clutter the ground around Eternal Vigi- Lance's combat armatures, and deck crews in orange, high-visibility coveralls scurry from machine to machine as they continue the process of making your unit's machines fit for battle once more.

Out of the chaos walks a tall, dark-skinned, solidly built man with a pair of safety goggles clutched in one hand and a data tablet in the other. His cornrows tied back in a severe ponytail, the man pauses by one of his work crews to converse with them for a moment in his deep voice before continuing on his way over to you.

"Morning, Lieutenant Commander. It is still morning, right?"

You take a quick look at your watch. "It is for the next hour or so."

Chief Weaver shakes his head. "Sorry about that, I lose track of the time when I'm at work up here. And you pilots sure have given us a lot of work to do. We've been fixing your machines up non-stop since the battle ended."

The Chief takes a quick look at his tablet, possibly to remind himself exactly why he called you down here. After all, you can hardly be at the top of his mind. "Anyways, we've managed to fix most of the structural damage and we're fabbing replacement armor panels now. I've got another team working on giving your weapons systems an overhaul; they should be done in another six hours or so. All in all, I'd say that we should be able to get your Manningham repaired and re-armed in another twelve, fourteen hours tops."


Vote 28:
#"That sounds like an absurd amount of time for some minor repairs and standard maintenance."
# "Thank you for the update, Chief."
#"Good work, Chief, I'll mention to the captain how hard you've all been working."


After Weaver reacts to you, he gives you the opportunity to ask questions. I'm just going to roll through all the branches, since except for one , they have no impact on the game and provide information. We'll vote on that last.

Question 1: "Have you seen the prototype machine in Hangar Bay A?"



Weaver shakes his head.

"That thing's buttoned up tight. The blast doors are locked up. I hear that they even posted marine guards to make sure nobody tries hacking the lock and sneaking in or something. Word is, even the Captain doesn't have clearance to take a look at the thing up close."

The Chief takes another look around his hangar bay. "Besides, I've been in here since they brought it in, remember?"

Weaver takes a quick look at something on his tablet and nods in satisfaction before looking up.

"Anything else, Commander?"




"How do you think the war's going?"



Weaver scratches the back of his head for a moment.

"Well, that's an interesting question to ask, but to be blunt, I'd say that this war's going nowhere fast."

"What makes you say that?"

"Well, if we consider population, industrial capacity, raw materials and the like, at the moment both sides are, to the roughest extent, evenly matched. However, if the Empire should take Vedria, then we fall back on Fleet Base Crown and the wormhole to New Lisbon, and there's no way in a million years the Imperials could get past that, not as heavily as we've defended it. On the other hand, if we secure Vedria and move into Imperial space, we're a jump away from Sol itself, and the Imperials will pull out all the stops to keep us from going further."

The Chief inclines his head at you. "So you see, we're at a stalemate. With the situation as it was, that's the only way this war could have gone. It's kinda pointless, really. The only way this war's going to end is if both sides realize that and come to the negotiating table."

Weaver gestures to you with a wave of his hand. "Anyways, what do you think?"


Vote 29:

#"I think you're being defeatist, Chief."
#"I agree, it's time for peace talks."
#"If you think this war is pointless, why did you volunteer to fight?"



After we answer that, we're back able to choose things to do. I forget whether we can do TWO more things or only three, but give me a list of the things you want to do, IN ORDER. I'll go through the list in the order of which has the most votes. As mentioned at the top of the post, some votes are already in.


VOTE 30: Choose 3:
#Take a look at the prototype mecha in Hangar Bay A. [ Gives us a better understanding of the machine and may open up options we might not otherwise have. We also could look at the mysterious box]

#Go to the wardroom and check up on Asadi. [Allow us to strengthen, or weaken, our relationship with Asadi. May give insight into his character and, again, open up potential options].

#Try to find Watanabe and get some answers. [ Opens options, potentially improves Watanabe relationship]

#Go back to my quarters and do some research on Commandant Hawkins. [Gives insight into Hawkins which may prove useful the next time we meet him, and the Imperial navy in general. Again, more options]



Have your votes in by Monday, 5:30PM. Open skies and safe landings!


Respectfully,

Brian P.

Fri
2015-07-11, 09:13 PM
I actually like the surname tomino (its from yoshiyoki tomino the gundam creator for you who missed it), but to be fair, lets give our character shoji as first name, from shoji kawamori the macross creator. but shoji's a male name tho. anyone know wha]t's the female eq of that? for the votes...

Thanks an I'll mention it to higher ups

What are you fighting for? (http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9OVv-J-LXQU)

my next choices are still the same

CoreBrute23
2015-07-12, 04:01 AM
For a name, how about Kallen Sawano, after one of my favorite female mech pilots and Hiroyuki Sawano, who did the music for such great works as Aldnoah.Zero, Gundam Unicorn, Attack on Titan and Kill La Kill? That man needs some recognition, and I''d like to think his decedents will save the world some day.

#"Good work, Chief, I'll mention to the captain how hard you've all been working."

#"I agree, it's time for peace talks."

#Go back to my quarters and do some research on Commandant Hawkins.
Kallen strikes me as the kind of soldier who would want to learn more about his enemy for future encounters, because he knows he didn't win, he survived. I imagine her believing knowledge is the best weapon, a bit like Inaho from Aldnoah.Zero (I'm sorry that's one of my favourite mech series)

#Take a look at the prototype mecha in Hangar Bay A. [ Gives us a better understanding of the machine and may open up options we might not otherwise have. We also could look at the mysterious box]
I think our curiosity might be piqued at this point, and assuming we have permission to enter, she should learn all she can for future developments.

#Go to the wardroom and check up on Asadi. [Allow us to strengthen, or weaken, our relationship with Asadi. May give insight into his character and, again, open up potential options].
He's a member of our Lance, we need to ensure he is OK, fit for future battles. We also need to do something about his blood lust.

Also a question to the GM:
Did you change all the romancable NPCs to male, so that our character could romance any of them? Or did we just get really lucky with the random generator?

smuchmuch
2015-07-12, 06:41 AM
>That sounds like an absurd amount of time for some minor repairs and standard maintenance.
(I'm actually curious about that)
>Why did you join ?

We can do only two others after, visiting the chief was one of the three so I confirm my votes

>Visit Assadi
>Check on Hawkins
If I must add a third:
>Check the prototype

Mecha harem comedy !

You know you want to :smalltongue:

Legato Endless
2015-07-12, 09:08 AM
"Good work, Chief, I'll mention to the captain how hard you've all been working."

I'm tempted to ask what the hold up is, since it's obviously taking a longer time than usual given our potential response, but do we really want to piss off the guy who keeps our mech running? :smalleek:

"If you think this war is pointless, why did you volunteer to fight?"

1. Take a look at the prototype mecha in Hangar Bay A.

2. Try to find Watanabe and get some answers.

3. Go back to my quarters and do some research on Commandant Hawkins.

The issue I take with seeing Asadi is, there's a pretty good likelihood we're just going to say something that simply weakens our relationship, so I'm not sure it's worth the investment.

pendell
2015-07-13, 07:47 PM
Vote 31: First question: What is our character's name?
* Kallen Sawano
* Aina Tomino


Here are the votes at this point :

Investigate Prototype Legato
Investigate Prototype Forum Explorer
Investigate prototype corebrute
Investigate prototype smuchmuch
Investigate prototype legato

See Asadi Fri
See Asadi Smuchmuch
See Asadi Forum Explorer
See Asadi Corebrute


Searching for Hawkins Smuchmuch
Search for hawkins corebrute
hawkins legato

See Watanabe Fri
Watanabe legato

So at this point, after we're done with weaver, we're going to see the prototype and Asadi.

And we're going to compliment weaver and ask what he's fighting for.




"Good work, Chief, I'll mention to the captain how hard you've all been working."

The deck chief beams back at you. "That's awful decent of you, Commander. If you get a chance, mention Team Three to her, too. They've been working four shifts in a row, non-stop."


Yes, it is NOT an absurd amount of time for light maintenance with their other workload. That option simply gave us the chance to play pointy-haired boss and offend our chief -- with who knows what consequences.

We ask how the war is going. He tells us he believes it is a stalemate and the time has come for peace talks. He asks OUR opinion,and answer a question with a question:



"If you think this war is pointless, why did you volunteer to fight?"

The deck chief breaks out into a broad grin. "It's refreshing to have someone on this ship willing to ask the right question, Commander."

Weaver leans in, speaking quietly so that only you can hear.

"I work with machines, and as much as I dislike the idea of war, only a harebrained fool would deny that war puts technological progress into high gear. Aircraft, atomics, quantum computing, antimatter tech, all of it developed as quickly as it did because there was a military need for that progress. Now, in the past five years of war, some fields of technology have been advancing at incredible speed. When this war ends, I want to be one of the first people to go home and use that new technology for something other than killing people. But to do that, I have to learn how everything works."

The Chief motions to the busy hangar bay. "I'm afraid the only place I can do that is here. Get what I'm saying?"

You nod. "Yeah, I think so."

Weaver smiles again. "Good. Anything else you need, Commander?"

"No, that's all Chief"

Weaver nods.

"Alright, I should get back to work, too. I'll see you later, Lieutenant Commander Tomino."

You glance at your watch. You have time for TWO more things.


So our first stop is the prototype on this same hangar deck.



You find the wide cargo doors to Hangar Bay A blocked by a pair of marines clad in full body armor, assault rifles in hand.

"Afternoon, ma'am," one marine steps forward to stop you. "I'm afraid this area is off-limits to all crew at the moment. Captain's orders."

Your eyes narrow in curiosity. "Is there a problem?"

The marine nods her head. "Nobody has clearance to approach the prototype machine, not even the Captain."

The other guard shakes his head. "Let her through, Zoey. The Lieutenant Commander brought the damn thing back up, remember? She's not going to hijack it," the marine turns to you uncertainly. "Are you?"



What a question. Sarcasm: Go!

Vote 32 :

#"Uhm, no?"
#"Of course not!"
#"Now that you mention it, maybe I will."


We should be able to talk our way past the marines in any event, so we'll move on to direct inspection and start looking over stuff.



The female marine—Zoey—presses her thumb against the security pad on the wall and the heavy blast doors slide open.

"No pictures, no notes, and definitely no opening the cockpit. I'll have to shoot you if you do. I'm serious!"

Judging by the way the marine's finger has slipped inside the trigger guard, you don't doubt her for a second. You nod agreement.

"Okay, go take a look around but if anyone asks, you were never here."

You step through the doors and there it is.

The white prototype has not changed at all since you first laid eyes on it the day before. Standing stock-still, as if at attention in one of the maintenance berths, the mysterious combat armature looks not unlike a colossal knight clad in enamelled armor, the metal of its inner workings and the black tubular "muscles" of its joints glistening under the harsh lights of the hangar bay.

Sitting next to it is the low silhouette of a box or crate of some kind, armored in the same gleaming material as the machine. This must have been the package that your lance recovered from deeper inside the underground complex.

As you step closer, you realize that despite the rough trip through Vedria's atmosphere and yesterday's battles, the gleaming finish of the machine itself seems entirely unmarred. Only the red and blue prototype decals and warning labels mark the surface of the machine's polished armor.



This is the part , where, in a movie, they'd start playing slow theme music while panning slowly over the ship. Spaceship porn: Go!

*Inspect the prototype's weapons.



You take a closer look at the prototype machine's weapons, still gripped in the machine's hands after the transit from the surface.

The first thing that gets your attention is the prototype machine's rifle, an alien-looking shape covered in the same material as the machine itself. Though its heatsink ejection port and breech assembly clearly indicate that the weapon is some relative of the Manningham and Grenzer's particle rifle, you see no visible bolt assembly. In fact, the sleek, gleaming body of the weapon is almost entirely flush, a single sleek shape from stock or muzzle. The only things that disturb its smooth lines are a rounded protrusion for the optics at the top of the body, and a twelve-round magazine showing empty under the rifle's body, stark matte-black against the shining white of the weapon's exterior shell.

The machine's melee armament is more prosaic. At first glance, it seems like an ordinary plasma cutter, much like the one equipped on close-combat machines like the Uxbridge and the Reiter. However, when you take a look at the power linkages connecting the weapon to its generators further up the machine's body, you find several vernier thruster nozzles hidden under the armor of the hand and forearm assembly. A cursory inspection of the other arm reveals a similar arrangement.

You imagine that those extra thrusters could be used to guide the machine's hands and weapons more finely in combat. Maybe they also provide additional force to strikes in melee. In a pinch, you have no doubt they could even be used to aid the pilot in pinpoint maneuvers.

Whatever the case, you won't know for sure until you take a look at the cockpit display, and for now, that is entirely off-limits.



Okay, so we have a new style of gun which has no bolt, but the standard plasma cutter tool. So this is a gun mecha, like our MANNINGHAM.


* Inspect the prototype's frontal armor



You decide to take a closer look at the prototype machine's frontal armor.

Moving through the hangar's elevated maintenance catwalks, you get close enough to the machine's armor to touch it. You spend a few moments looking over the segmented plates that make up the armor protecting the cockpit. After all, in battle, those armor plates could mean the difference between life and death for the pilot within.

Slowly, you extend your hand, gliding your fingers along the protective plates. The armor is porcelain-smooth under your fingertips as they trail along the glossy, white finish of the frontal plates. After a moment's hesitation, you rap your knuckles against the plate. You are answered by a low, dull ringing noise unlike the clang of metal or the dull clink of ceramic. It is unlike anything you have ever heard before.

After a few minutes of scrutinizing the blank white expanse of the frontal plates, your eyes are drawn to a series of bright-orange, cylindrical containers tucked behind the edge of the armor. A single glance at the warning label tells you that the containers are part of an experimental backup re-entry system, to be used should the standard-issue ablative gel system be damaged or malfunctioning.

Another few minutes of looking tells you that despite the cutting edge armor and experimental systems, the machine is not that different from the one you flew in your last battle: the cockpit, reactor module, and hull cameras are all where it should be.

You can only hope the rest of the machine is anywhere near as familiar.


Okay, so it has a new armor composite (stronger?) and an emergency re-entry system. That may be important to know.

* Inspect the prototype's back.



After a minute or two of climbing through the hangar's maintenance catwalks, you manage to get a closer look at the prototype machine's back.

To your surprise, you find the back of the machine to be relatively unarmored. While heavy, glossy plates of armor cover the areas directly behind the cockpit and reactor cores, the rest of the rear-facing area of the mecha is taken up by a mass of thruster nozzles and radiator vents. You hope that whoever ends up piloting the thing will know better than to let an enemy fire at their exposed rear.

In addition to the radiators and verniers, you find four large pods with what appear to be their own thruster systems attached. Each is covered by the same strange armor which covers the front and limbs of the prototype. After a closer look, you can see that each of the four pods shows markings indicating that a matter/antimatter reactor is housed inside.

Logically, these pods would have to have some sort of auxiliary thrust system, perhaps to provide short bursts of additional maneuverability or power in combat, something which could mean the difference between victory and death in battle.

How many other such advantages does this machine hold?



So it has increased maneuverability and speed but is unarmored from the back; we'll have to make sure to protect our six. Hope Asadi is up to scratch as our wingperson.

* Inspect the mysterious crate.



You step away from the machine for a moment to take a look at the crate sitting beside it. A cursory inspection reveals no markings or any kind of label that might tell you what it is. For all you know, the thing might be an alien artifact.

A closer look reveals that the crate is indeed made from the same white material as the prototype's armor but even after a careful search, you cannot find any key-pad or security device which might be used to open the container.

It appears the crate's contents will have to remain a mystery for now.


Ah well. Hopefully we'll find out at some point.

* I'm done for now.



You head back out through the open cargo doors and the two marines greet you with salutes on the way out. The second you are past the threshold of the hangar bay, one of them rushes to the wall-mounted security pad and gets the door closed.

A moment later, both guards are back at their posts, acting as if you had never been there at all.


And that concludes our tour of the prototype. let's see Asadi next.




You find Ensign Asadi sitting alone at the bar of the officer's wardroom, a pint of stout sitting half-finished in his hands.

Your wingman raises his glass to you as you approach. "The glorious hero of the Battle of Vedria Prime approaches!" he declares, as you sit down next to him.

Asadi turns back to his beer and takes a quick swallow.

"Anyways, what's up boss?"



Vote 33:
#"I was just wondering how you were holding up."
# "I just had a few questions for you."

Okay, the questions below have some that are dependent on his relationship with you, so we may have to open up some additional branches.

I'll ask and answer the questions that don't impact our standing.



"What do you think our next move should be?"

It's almost as if Asadi was waiting for you to ask.

"Our next move? We beat the impies good here and they're fleeing with their tails between their legs. The CALIBURN and her battlegroup should be right on their heels, ready to take every cubic kilometer of space they give up."

"Really?" After all, pushing forwards into Imperial-held space, without the main CoDEC fleet to provide support or any kind of supply base would be a supremely risky move.

Your wingman nods his head with aggressive vigor. "Damn right! We could drive the Imperials out of the system altogether. Hell, we could keep pushing and liberate Toulon, then drive right into Sol! Wouldn't that be something!"

You shake your head a little in disbelief. Whatever could be said about your wingman's strategic sense, there is no doubting his aggressive zeal…or his imagination.



Yeah, he's definitely warrior/passionate, without question. Our icy deliberation offsets that ... if he appreciates it or not, we'll find out.



"Have you met our new bridge controller?"

Asadi nods. "You mean the kid? Yeah, I ran into him an hour ago. Word is that his folks are some kind of big-shots in the local government planetside."

"Anything else?"

Your wingman shakes his head. "Nope, the Captain was giving him the grand tour and she kinda just hustled the kid along before I could chat."

Well, this is going nowhere.


Watanabe is from the planet, eh? And has high-powered connections there? Interesting.

Okay, so we have three votes -- 31-33.

Have your votes in by Wednesday. It may take a session or two to get through Asadi, depending on what branches open up.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Tentreto
2015-07-14, 05:37 AM
For name, I'll go for Kallen Sawano

Also Of course not!

Though I find it hard to justify why...

Finally, I was just wondering how you were holding up

He's our wing-man, we can afford to be casual out of battle. Also we aren't in the kind of rpg where asking blankly about stuff will work; we have to be social!

CoreBrute23
2015-07-14, 06:48 AM
Kallen Sawano

Of course not!

I was just wondering how you were holding up

smuchmuch
2015-07-14, 09:40 AM
Yes, it is NOT an absurd amount of time for light maintenance with their other workload. That option simply gave us the chance to play pointy-haired boss and offend our chief -- with who knows what consequences.

Frankly I should think the man can take one complain or question once in a while with professionalim and simply explains that 'no it is not too long for the amount of work to do". If it was made clear it's an habit of our character or worded in a really rude or offending way that'd be something else but here the question seems rather neutral.
If he build instant resentement to 'isn't it a bit slow ?' then he would not belong in any organised workplace, let alone an army.


Okay, so we have a new style of gun which has no bolt, but the standard plasma cutter tool. So this is a gun mecha, like our MANNINGHAM.

While the plasma cutter is 'regular', the description mention extra vernier trusters in the mecha hands and arm to give it extra strength and speed and it has those extra pods for geberal speed and maneouverability so it is also a mellee mecha.

It seems to be an all around upgrade to both the Uxbrige and the Manhingham, no wonder they wanted it back so badly.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Aina Tomino

"Now that you mention it, maybe I will."
A bit of sarcasm once in a while...

I was just wondering how you were holding up ?
Seems to be the logical thing to say first as an opener.

Fri
2015-07-14, 02:36 PM
Aina Tomino

"Now that you mention it, maybe I will."

I was just wondering how you were holding up ?

Let's see as our main character got gunned down by the marines and we have to restart from a save:smallbiggrin:

pendell
2015-07-15, 05:29 PM
It appears that the votes for a name are tied, 2-2.

Normally, I would roll off at this point. That's what the rules say.

HOWEVER, "Kallen Sawano" is a name a person here made up and put some thought into. On that basis alone, I think it deserves credence over something I essentially made up at random.

So "Kallen Sawano" it is .. unless someone wants to protest. If you do, I'll roll off as normal.

We tied for our rejoinder to the marines, so we roll there:

"Of course not!" - 97

"Now that you mention it, maybe I will" - 33




"Of Course not!"



And... they let us through. No special comment.

Now let's go ask Asadi...


"I wanted to see how you were holding up."



Oops! We have an additional conversation option opened up with Asadi that wasn't immediately available and we have to answer it first:

Vote 33:
"Have you got anyone waiting for you back home?"
* Ask the question
* Continue as normal.


Evidently our relationship with Asadi is somewhat positive, and it may make our relationship ... more personal.

Do we ask, or do we just proceed with the other questions?

Vote by Friday, 5:30 PM.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Fri
2015-07-16, 12:56 PM
ask the question

CoreBrute23
2015-07-16, 01:51 PM
I think we continue as normal. We are a deliberate character, let's not bring family into this.

smuchmuch
2015-07-16, 08:55 PM
On one hand if we have to romance a battle hungry sociopath, I'm more interested in Hawkins so I'd rather nt take the relation with Assadi too far, on the other if we don't talk to him we won't find if his character is a little more dimensional than the paper thin war poster he seems to be.

I suppose there's no harm in just asking.

>Let's ask the question.

Tentreto
2015-07-17, 03:46 PM
Continue as normal

pendell
2015-07-17, 05:05 PM
Okay, we'll ask him.



sadi shakes his head. "There was someone, but we…decided to part ways a few months ago."

Having answered your question, your wingman leans forward, eyes narrowed in curiosity.

"What about you boss? Got a wife? Husband? Kids?"

You shake your head. You've been a soldier for so long that you barely even remember what it is like to have a proper personal relationship with someone who isn't in your chain of command.

Asadi responds with a sly, little grin. "Well now, isn't that something."

Now would probably be a good time to change the subject.


So we may have a potential romance down the line .. maybe.




Your wingman shrugs before turning back to his drink. "Honestly boss? I'm worried about how this war's turning out. We've been fighting for five years now and it's lost us three systems and who knows how many ships, combat armatures, and people. Even if we win a fight, like the one we won yesterday, it's still a battle where we're defending and the impies are attacking."

You nod. The fact that the war hasn't been going well is pretty much common knowledge.

"Besides, even though we've won this fight, there's probably some other impie fleet in some other system kicking our asses hard enough to make it all pointless. That's how this whole thing all feels sometimes, pointless."

Asadi empties his beer with a long pull before giving you a resigned sigh. "You know what I mean, right?"


Vote 34:

* "Yeah, it means we just need to fight harder."
* "Maybe we should consider suing for peace."
* "Don't worry about it. It's not like we can change the situation ourselves…."



I *think* this is our last action in the interlude, and we can push on with the story ... on Sunday, 5:30PM, eastern time.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Amaril
2015-07-17, 05:13 PM
Oh, hey, anybody mind if I jump in a little late? I just finished my own playthrough of this, and it'd be fun to see a different outcome.

"Yeah, it just means we need to fight harder."

Seems like the only in-character option for Kallen.

pendell
2015-07-17, 07:28 PM
Oh, hey, anybody mind if I jump in a little late? I just finished my own playthrough of this, and it'd be fun to see a different outcome.

"Yeah, it just means we need to fight harder."

Seems like the only in-character option for Kallen.

Not a problem! See the rules on the first page. Anyone can jump in whenever they like, and jump out whenever they like. So yes, you're welcome to join and play with us :).

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Amaril
2015-07-17, 11:55 PM
By the way, is there still any interest in mecha PbP? I know Core is doing a Code Geass game (which I sadly won't be able to apply for, due to RL schedule issues at the moment), but if anyone around here is up for even more, I've been thinking of running something myself soon. I'll use the next few days while I'm away to think up ideas, just in case.

CoreBrute23
2015-07-18, 06:52 PM
"Yeah, it means we just need to fight harder." I'm not sure if it's entirely in character, but he would want to encourage his subordinate to keep focused, especially if that ace comes back.


By the way, is there still any interest in mecha PbP? I know Core is doing a Code Geass game (which I sadly won't be able to apply for, due to RL schedule issues at the moment), but if anyone around here is up for even more, I've been thinking of running something myself soon. I'll use the next few days while I'm away to think up ideas, just in case.

Thanks for the shout out. Sorry to hear you won't be applying, but keep me informed about your game. I love Mech games, so depending on the system I might want to join in on that one.

pendell
2015-07-19, 06:38 PM
I've never really played a mech game before; I'd love to give it a try.

There doesn't really seem to be much question we want to tell Asadi we just need to fight harder, so that's what we'll do.



"Yeah, it means we just need to fight harder."

Asadi nods thoughtfully as he digests your response. "Yeah, you're probably right, boss. I mean, the situation's been pretty frozen for the past few years, which definitely means we're at a stalemate. That would mean that our strength is roughly equal to the enemy's."

Your wingman leans in with the beginnings of a broad grin on his face. "Which means if we can push just a little harder, we can start winning this thing!"

Beaming, Asadi turns back to his drink. "Thanks boss, I think I needed to hear that."

The steward at the bar sets down another full glass in front of your wingman. Absentmindedly, the ensign takes a long pull from the glass before turning back to you.

"I should go, I've taken up enough of your time."

"Alright boss, see you later."

Asadi gives you a jaunty, little parody of a salute as you head away from the bar.

You take a quick look at your watch: you have about ten hours before Captain Baelyn expects you to report in for duty again. That gives you just enough time to make sure that you get some sleep before you clock in for your next assignment.

You make a quick trip to the galley. You have to stifle a few yawns as you spoon unappetizing reconstituted food into your mouth, trying hard not to remember the fact that the greasy, rubbery mush going down your throat was made by the lowest bidder. Thankfully, your hunger does not take long to sate. It only takes you a few minutes to eat enough of the high-calorie rations to feel full.

With your immediate food needs met, you head back to your quarters as you feel your body grow heavy with fatigue. After a few moments to brush your teeth and change, you put yourself to bed, falling asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow.



So that ends our interlude -- in ten hours, it's back to the daily blood ... er, grind.

EPISODE 4: ROAR, LIONHEART! The White Machine's First Flight.



Colonial Warship CALIBURN

Eight Hours Later

After a passable night's sleep and your morning routine, you find yourself once again sitting in the mess hall, poking at a ration tray with a metal fork. The label claims that the contents are sausage and egg but the smell of the stuff doesn't do your appetite any favors.

Then again, you're never really hungry before a flight op; the combination of the prudent nervousness of a professional doing a high-risk job, and the hard-earned knowledge that the combat drugs which you will soon need to take are capable of unsettling all but the most pacified stomachs.

Still, you try to eat. Your body can't run on combat drugs alone. You'll need nutrition for the arduous day of patrol, and possible combat ahead of you. You keep prodding at the rubbery "food" sitting in front of you, trying to will yourself to ingest a portion of the wretched stuff.

You're still prodding when a small, black-haired shape sits next to you: It's Watanabe, the kid from yesterday, the one who'd freaked out when you mentioned your lance's name, your unit's new bridge controller.



Ah, yes. Watanabe.



The new volunteer is obviously nervous as he sets his tray down on the table.

After a few moments of observation, it becomes clear to you that the kid's even more jittery than you are. While you've at least opened up your ration pack, the kid has remained almost stock still, staring blankly at the foil-wrapped package sitting on his stamped, metal tray.

Suddenly, he turns to you. "I'm sorry."

You look up in surprise. "What?"

The kid swallows hard. "I'm sorry for freaking out at you yesterday. It's just that I had a lot on my mind. Anyway, the Captain told me that I should talk to you, get to know you a little, since I'm supposed to be working with you and your unit from now on."

Watanabe scratches the back of his head nervously. "So I—uh, I guess you should ask me some questions or something."


There are a number of questions. If there are no decision points, we'll just ask them.

"So, why are you so nervous, anyway?"




Watanabe looks like you'd just caught him with a pornographic data tablet. "Nervous?"

You nod. "Yeah. I mean, you haven't even touched your food, for starters."

For a moment, the kid's mouth works but no sound comes out. Whatever it is, he's finding it really hard to say.

Finally: "I guess it's because I'm new to this whole thing. I'm not even trained for bridge controller work. I was supposed to be trained for naval command, not communications. The only reason I'm even here is because your ship needed a bridge controller and my parents thought I'd be safer in the fleet than at home."

You nod. That makes sense, but what was that about the kid's parents getting his assigned to the CALIBURN?


No doubt, with political connections, his future career will be meteoric.



"Why did you react so oddly to my unit's name?"




Watanabe scratches the back of his head nervously, something he seems to do a lot when he doesn't really know what to say.

After a moment of silence, the kid answers. "Well, I was in New Rodrigo City two days ago during the battle. I saw the Imperial machines go through the city and I saw your machines following them. I could tell by the markings on your hull armor. I just…didn't expect to see you again, that's all."

That would make sense. After all, if Watanabe had seen your lance during the battle, he would have seen Eternal Vigi- carry out your orders regarding the civilian populace.

"Is that all?" you ask.

Watanabe nods. "Well, there were loud noises and explosions everywhere. I just kept my head down and tried to stay out of the way, so I didn't see much beyond that."

You nod, another logical answer. However, Watanabe's expression is neutral, forcefully so, as if he were trying to hide something further.


Ah, so stomping through without concern for civilians would have got us off on the wrong foot.


"Tell me about your parents."




Watanabe looks up with a look of confusion on his face. "M-my parents?"

You nod. "You said that they were the ones who got you this posting."

The kid nods, hesitantly, as if it were a fact he wanted to hide. "Yeah, my mom's Minister of Commerce or something, my dad's Deputy Minister of Industry. They said that the planet was too dangerous with the Imperial Fleet in system, so they got me this post."

Watanabe shrugs. "I guess they thought putting me on the front lines of a major war was safer than staying home", he says with obvious sarcasm plain in his voice.

Despite the kid's disapproval, you have to admit that Watanabe's parents had a point. With no fixed defenses of its own, Vedria would be unable to escape a planetary bombardment should the Imperials push the fleet back. At least the CALIBURN had armor and point defense, not to mention the ability to retreat.

"They're getting somewhere safer, too," Watanabe continues. "The whole cabinet is leaving the planet today. They're headed for Crown Station, 'just in case' the impies push us out."

You nod and try to keep your expression calm even though anger is rising within you. Clearly, the suits and stiff-necks planetside are more willing to see to their own safety than actually help defend their planet.

Deep down, some little part of you hopes that the Vedrian cabinet's evac ship never makes it to its destination.




Probably a good idea not to mention that to the kid, eh?


"That's everything I wanted to ask."




Watanabe nods. "Um, okay."

You take a quick look at your watch, then lean over and motion at his still-unopened ration pack. "Now hurry up and eat. Captain Baelyn wants us in the briefing room in 20 minutes."

The kid nods, you turn back to your still-unappetizing breakfast, and eat as much of it as you can.

Neither of you says another word.


20 minutes or so later...



The briefing room is surprisingly crowded when you step in. While the small, boxy, classroom-sized chamber is plenty of space for you and the five other pilots of the Caliburn's complement under normal conditions, today you are joined by Chief Weaver and two full teams of tech crews, not to mention your new bridge controller.

You make your way through the crowd of coverall-wearing deck crew to the double-row of upholstered leather seats reserved for pilots and bridge crew.

Asadi is waiting for you as you sit down. "Morning, boss."

Your wingman carefully hands you a full mug of coffee with one hand, waiting for you to pick up the cup before turning his attention away.

You barely take your first sip before Captain Baelyn strides in from the side entrance, immaculate in her uniform as always. A thin, black swagger stick is tucked under her arm, a souvenir of her fifteen years of service in the Imperial Fleet, before she defected to CoDEC at the begining of the rebellion.

As she takes position at the podium, she makes eye contact with everyone in the room, ensuring she has each person's attention. After a moment, she nods with tacit approval, apparently satisfied.

"Close the doors."

Your heartbeat speeds up at the captain's words. A closed-door briefing means that your next assignment is something which only the people within the room are authorised to know about. That could only mean that your next assignment is going to be something crucial.

The doors slam shut and the Captain continues. "Needless to say, everything you are about to hear is classified. Not a word of it leaves this room, understood?"

Everyone in the room knows the importance of secrecy but Captain Baelyn still waits for a chorus of acknowledgement. She touches a button on the side of the podium and the front of the room lights up with the sterile, blue glow of a holographic display of Vedria and its surroundings.

"Good, let's begin."


TS briefing, eh? should be interesting.



"Half an hour ago, the Imperial force that attacked us the day before yesterday withdrew beyond the outer limit of our passive sensors. While this confirms that the enemy force has no intention of launching an immediate second attack, it also means that we shall soon have no idea where the enemy is, nor what the enemy's intentions are."

The Captain manipulates the console on the podium before extending the point of her swagger stick and using it to outline a flight path out from the Caliburn's symbol on the display.

"Eternal Vigi- Lance will fly a reconnaissance mission to ascertain the intentions of the enemy force. Your objective is to locate the enemy force, gather as much intelligence as possible regarding the strength and condition of the remaining assets at their disposal, and, if possible, form a conclusion as to their next likely course of action."

You take another sip of coffee. What the Captain says next almost makes you spit it out again.

"Ensign Asadi will take command of this sortie."


Ensign Asadi is being given command of the Lance? What am I going to be doing?



"Wait, what?" It seems that your wingman's just as surprised as you are.

The Captain glares at both of you. "You heard me. Lieutenant Commander Sowano has been requested for a different assignment."

Asadi raises his hand. "Uh, Captain? Are you sure this is a good idea? I've never had an independent command before."

"Then this will be your first." Captain Baelyn replies. "I require Lieutenant Commander Sowano to remain here but you and the rest of your pilots are dismissed."

"Captain?"

"You do not have the clearance to know what is to be said next, Ensign." The Captain replies, her voice slowly icing over. "You are dismissed."

Your wingman stands up shakily. Being suddenly placed in a position of command is sure to rattle someone's nerves, even if that someone is as confident as Asadi.



Vote 35: Do you have anything to say to him before he leaves?
* "Congratulations on your first command."
* "Good hunting out there; bag some impies for me."
* "Don't do anything too reckless out there."
* "Don't [word filter] this up, Asadi."
* I say nothing.




The room stays almost silent as Asadi and the rest of your lance's pilots walk out the exit. It is only when the doors close again that the Captain continues the briefing.

"Now, as for why you're here, Lieutenant Commander…"

The Captain presses a few more buttons on the podium console and the holographic display dims into blackness.

"After our engagement with the Imperial Fleet two days ago, I sent a request to fleet command for information regarding the prototype machine that you recovered, the one currently sitting behind closed blast doors and a marine guard detail in Hangar Bay A."

Captain Baelyn inputs another set of commands. "Six hours ago, we received a reply."

The display at the front of the room lights up again. This time, it displays a full-color, intricately detailed rotating model of the prototype combat armature which you had recovered in your last battle.

"For the past three years, WDI had been working on a combat armature capable of defeating the best the Imperial Fleet had to offer. The result was this: the XCA-118 LIONHEART. It comes equipped with an experimental powerplant, a new type of composite armor plating, an optimized thruster power outlay, a top of the line operating system, and a next generation particle rifle. Make no mistake, ladies and gentlemen. If this design proves a success, its deployment, even in small numbers, could win us the war."

A hush falls over the room. The thought of finally having a weapon capable of turning the tide of the war is certainly a heady one. Captain Baelyn gives you and the others a moment for you to pick up your jaws from the floor and continues.

"Of course, that is, if the prototype does not prove wanting. The records Command sent us seem to indicate that the prototype in our possession is effectively complete. The only thing which remained was to test it and determine if it is ready for limited mass-production. WDI will be sending a team in-system to retrieve the machine but they have given me the authority to field test the prototype machine."

The Captain turns to you, a sly grin on her hard-edged face. "I told them that I would put my best pilot on the job."

Fifteen minutes later, you're carefully clambering into the cockpit as the smart fabric of your pilot suit expands and contracts around your shockgel underpadding. You do a last minute check to make sure your suit is air tight and all the appropriate modules and dispensers are attached properly before lowering yourself into the LIONHEART's cockpit seat.

You feel your suit settle around you as your weight sinks into the thin, soft padding of the seat.

Chief Weaver's head pokes through the open cockpit hatch. "You comfortable in there, Lieutenant Commander?"

The chair's padding isn't quite as worn in as your MANNINGHAM's but it's soft enough and doesn't seem to pinch in the wrong places. You give the deck chief a thumbs up. "It'll do, Chief."

Weaver nods. "Alright, strap yourself in, we're sealing the cockpit."

You nod. Five years of muscle memory and countless past launches send your hands up as they begin reaching for the safety belts to the sides of your chair. Thankfully, whoever laid out your cockpit put the straps exactly where they would be on your MANNINGHAM.

The second you strap yourself in, the hangar chief pulls the armored canopy down over your cockpit. For a moment, you see nothing but blackness and hear nothing but the high-pitched hiss of pressurization.

Then, there is light.

An arc of hard light panels ignite before you in a spray of holographic pale-blue glow. Loading bars and initialization graphics fade into silvery, strobing solidity on each screen as your HUD comes to life.

After a moment, the darkened inner shell of the cockpit lights up as well. One by one, the visual sensors recessed into the LIONHEART's hull activate and begin feeding data into your main cockpit display. Within seconds, you are surrounded by a panoramic view of the hangar bay outside the LIONHEART. You can see Weaver pulling your access ladder away, the deck teams doing final checks on the exterior of the test machine, and the great, metal maintenance braces holding the machine still slowly retreat into the hangar bay wall.

Lines, boxes, and streams of telemetry pop into existence as your tactical overlay superimposes itself onto the main display. You take a moment to look through the hull cams. The resolution is sharp, far sharper than the display on your MANNINGHAM, and you savor the experience of being able to see through a machine with perfect vision.

One of the smaller holo-screens to the side chirps for attention. It's your comms display: you answer the call to see Chief Weaver's face pop up on the side-screen, flanked by a handful of curious deck crew. "Alright, Lieutenant Commander. Everything load up alright?"

"Everything looks fine up here, Chief."



VOTE 36:
Weaver smiles. "Ready to see what this baby can do?"

#"I'm looking forward to this just as much as you are."
#"I'm just hoping it lives up to the hype."
#"Honestly? I'd rather be out on patrol."
#"Just following my orders. Let's get this over with."





The deck chief pulls up a data tablet and spares it a quick glance before turning back to you. "Alright, I got the documentation in front of me. You figure out where everything is yet?"

You check the cockpit around you. Despite the brand new displays and futuristic layout, the Lionheart's designers were at least smart enough to put all the basic controls in the same decades-old configuration that you and every other military pilot in CoDEC is familiar with.

Within a few seconds, you have both hands resting firmly on the combination arm control/throttle assemblies, and both feet slotted into the leg control frames.

"I'm ready to go, Chief."

Weaver checks the data tablet again before nodding. "Alright, let's do the phase-one pre-flight check."

You nod back. With the field test begun in earnest, the deck chief is all business. With your hands and feet locked into the controls of a 70-metric ton walking weapon and surrounded by both fragile equipment and fragile deck crew, any lapse in focus might lead to dire consequences.

The deck chief sets the tablet down. The pre-flight checks you're about to start are no different from the ones you run through before every combat sortie. You've done it a thousand times. Weaver's done it even more. Both of you could easily rattle off each step by heart.

In fact, that's exactly what you do.

"Alright," Weaver begins. "Diagnostic systems?"

You make sure each display is loaded and ready, "Check."

"Emergency systems?"

You ensure that the ejection seats, emergency power, and distress beacons are all reading green. "Check."

"APCS?"

You activate the automatic posture control system and feel your control assemblies stiffen slightly as it comes online. "Check."

"Fuel?"

You scan your fuel status display and make sure that all of the power linkages show green. "Check."

Weaver grins. There's only one part of the phase one check left. "Primary powerplant activate."

You gently press a large, red button on one of the displays in front of you. The low, breathy whisper of a matter/antimatter reactor fills your cockpit as the XCA-118 LIONHEART comes to life.



So we're about to test fly this puppy.



The cockpit rumbles with power, like a giant lung taking a first, shuddering breath. You can feel the power of the machine permeate the air around you. Your body tingles with energy as the Lionheart's metal and ceramic body activates, piece by piece.

You take a quick glance at the main status display. Everything looks good. "Phase one, check."

The deck chief gives you a thumbs up and a broad grin. "Nothing wrong on this end, either. Let's get started on phase two."

Phase two of a pre-flight check generally requires you to test the synthetic "muscles" which control joint articulation. You reach out with one of the Lionheart's arms…

"Woah!" you exclaim as you feel your machine's arm swing out with surprising speed. Compensating quickly, you bring the over-extending arm under control before it can do any real damage.

"What the hell was that?!" you exclaim as you try to calm your racing heart.

Weaver takes a look at the manual tablet. "It says here that the LIONHEART's power output is verging on three times that of your old MANNINGHAM. Some of that excess power probably goes towards boosting the joint servos. You might wanna use a gentler touch."

Following the deck chief's advice, you start waving each limb around and gingerly walking around the hangar bay.

With your first close call still foremost in your mind, you don't make a lot of progress at first: you either end up over-extending again, or barely moving the relevant limb at all. It is only after fifteen minutes of trial and error that you are able to walk around and move your arms with some level of fluency.

Finally, you move the Lionheart across the hangar bay. "Phase two, check."

The deck chief gives you the thumbs up. "Looks good from here, Lieutenant Commander. "



Vote 37:
"How're you feeling so far?"
#"I can't wait to crack some skulls with this baby."
#"This machine has a lot of power. I look forward to using it to help end this war."
#"I can't help but feel that this machine isn't entirely safe."



So we're getting warmed up for our test flight.

Just a little something for the mood, eh? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_RvMbcdS1Q)

See ya guys on Tuesday, at 5:30 PM!

Respectfully,

Brian P.

pendell
2015-07-21, 07:11 PM
What's this? It's now due time and not a single vote?

Okay, we'll extend to 5:30 PM tomorrow.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Amaril
2015-07-21, 10:16 PM
Did I show up right as everyone else left?

"Don't do anything too reckless out there."

"Just following my orders. Let's get this over with."

"This machine has a lot of power. I look forward to using it to help end this war."

smuchmuch
2015-07-22, 03:06 AM
> "Congratulations on your first command."
With a strong underurrent of 'don't *@! this up',)

>"I'm just hoping it lives up to the hype."

>#"I can't help but feel that this machine isn't entirely safe."

CoreBrute23
2015-07-22, 05:02 AM
"Congratulations on your first command."
"Honestly? I'd rather be out on patrol."
""I can't help but feel that this machine isn't entirely safe."

Fri
2015-07-22, 05:12 AM
whoo

"Congratulations on your first command."
"I'm just hoping it lives up to the hype."
"I can't help but feel that this machine isn't entirely safe."

Legato Endless
2015-07-22, 12:49 PM
"Congratulations on your first command."
"I'm just hoping it lives up to the hype."
"I can't help but feel that this machine isn't entirely safe."

pendell
2015-07-22, 08:30 PM
Thanks , guys.

If someone could PM me about this PbP we're setting up, I'd like to get in.

We choose:

"Congratulations on your first command."
"I'm just hoping it lives up to the hype."
"I can't help but feel that this machine isn't entirely safe."




"Congratulations on your first command."


Your words seem to have given your wingman a little of his customary confidence back.

He flashes you a toothy grin. "Thanks, boss. I'll do my best."

You grin back. "I'm sure that your best will be more than enough."

The room stays almost silent as Asadi and the rest of your lance's pilots walk out the exit. It is only when the doors close again that the Captain continues the briefing.

"Now, as for why you're here, Lieutenant Commander…"


We next begin the test flight and we discuss the craft with Weaver.



"I'm just hoping it lives up to the hype."

The deck chief nods in agreement, his expression a bit less jovial than it was a moment ago.

"Yeah, I hope so, too. Captain said this machine could end the war for us. That's something worth hoping for."

The deck chief pulls up a data tablet and spares it a quick glance before turning back to you. "Alright, I got the documentation in front of me. You figure out where everything is yet?"

You check the cockpit around you. Despite the brand new displays and futuristic layout, the Lionheart's designers were at least smart enough to put all the basic controls in the same decades-old configuration that you and every other military pilot in CoDEC is familiar with.

Within a few seconds, you have both hands resting firmly on the combination arm control/throttle assemblies, and both feet slotted into the leg control frames.



We power up the system and complete phase 1 testing.



Weaver nods in agreement. "I've got my own reservations as well. Be careful in that thing, will ya?"


Deliberation: +2 Passion: -2




You nod back. The deck chief returns to the checklist, moving on to the next item.

"Anyways, phase three: Diverting power to VIFG."

Your fingers dance across the hard light console pads, transferring power to the Variable-Inertia Field Generator, the crucial provider of a combat armature's famed maneuverability.

Under normal Newtonian physics, the high-speed accelerations and turns which are such a vital part of combat armature piloting would crush any human pilot under the equivalent of a thousand times their own weight in inertial force.

By generating a field around your cockpit and cancelling the inertia of everything within that field, using the same principles as a starship's FTL drives and artificial gravity generators, a combat armature's VIF generator is capable of mitigating the vast majority of the inertial forces at play during a dogfight. This means that high-speed maneuvers and high-energy weapons impacts that would normally reduce your body to paste now merely rattle you around your cockpit at worst.

You feel no difference as the Variable-Inertia Field activates but your displays tell you that it is working just fine. You hope they aren't lying.

"VIFG reads green, Chief."


So that's our preflight. Ready to fly, almost.



Weaver nods again. "Pre-flight check complete. Take your stims, Lieutenant Commander."

You press a button on the side of your flight helmet. You feel a series of pricks on the inside of your left wrist as the injectors in your suit go to work filling your body with the potent cocktail of combat drugs which give you the superhuman physical capabilities needed to pilot a combat armature.

After a few moments, you feel lighter, your breathing comes easier, and your vision sharpens until you can see the individual motes of dust floating in the light of your cockpit displays. You take the last steps forward towards the elevator to the deployment deck with a dexterity which you could have never managed normally, the stims giving you precise control over the Lionheart's temperamental limbs.

"Standby for transfer to deployment control," Weaver says just before his face disappears from your comms display. The elevator lowers you into an airlock chamber. You hear the sounds of the ship around you fade into silence as the atmosphere beyond the Lionheart's armored shell is vented away. By the time your mecha reaches the exposed catapult deck, you can hear nothing save the quiet whine of the Lionheart's engine, the leathery crackle of its synthetic muscles, and the soft tempo of your own breathing.


Let's get this sucker into space!




A moment later, as you are lowered into position before one of the CALIBURN's two catapults, you see Ichiro Watanabe's face appear on your comms display. "Deck is free. You have launch clearance."

Carefully, you send the LIONHEART forward into the tunnel-like main passage of the catapult system, locking each contact point with the corresponding magnetic accelerator rail on the deck and vertical walls of the launch corridor. "Locked and ready for launch."

Watanabe hesitates for a moment, looking off to the side quickly, before turning back. "Lock confirmed. You have control."

An instant later, another hard light screen pops up: catapult control. You take a second to brace yourself for the abrupt gut-punch of a sudden acceleration. Even with the Variable-Inertia Field at full power, a catapult launch is bound to hurl your stomach into your spine.

Nobody knows where it comes from but ever since they were first fielded, combat armature pilots have had a tradition of using a unique…well, something halfway between a battlecry and a personal motto, shouted before they launch. They range from the businesslike to the grandiose but every pilot has one.

So naturally, as you punch the launch button, you declare yours:



Vote 38:
* "Kallen Sowano! Launching!"
* "Lieutenant Commander Sowano! Taking off!"
* "Kallen Sowano! Let's do it!"
* "Eternal Vigi--Lead! Deploying!"
* I actually don't say anything.





The sudden rush of acceleration presses you back against your seat as the catapult rails hurl the Lionheart forward. The three hundred-meter-long launch corridor whizzes past you in seconds as your machine is pushed faster and faster, your controls locked by the magnetic clamps.

Then you are free. The catapult launches you clear of the CALIBURN's knife-like hull and you find yourself surrounded by the sparkling blackness of space.

Chief Weaver's face pops up next to Watanabe's. "Still alive in there?"

You nod. Satisfied that the VIF Generator is indeed functioning and that the sudden acceleration of launch hasn't reduced your body to the consistency of mashed potatoes, the deck chief checks off an item onhisomnipresent data tablet.

"How's the RCS?"

You turn the mecha around to face the CALIBURN and as you do, your vernier thrusters fire off automatically, steadying your turn and exercising finite, computer-directed control over your movements.

You move the LIONHEART's arms and legs around (something you can do with much greater agility now that the combat stims are honing your hand-eye coordination to a fine edge), watching as the automatic reaction control system keeps the multi-ton war machine steady by cancelling out the inertia generated by its limbs.

"RCS looks good, Chief."

"Alright, looks like we're done with the first phase of field testing. Now we can get down to the fun stuff."

You nod eagerly. Weapons testing and high velocity maneuver trials are next up.



Launching (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XcBsmVgC3s)



A dozen of the broadside missiles tubes recessed into the CALIBURN's hull open up. Each spits out a small, silver egg lit by a soft, strobing, red light.

"Weapons test targets are away," Watanabe announces. "Confirm target lock?"

You take a look at your tactical display and notice a tiny bit of a problem.

"I've got nothing on scope—the screen's blank."

Weaver interjects his self into the conversation. "What do you mean blank? Has your tactical display malfunctioned?"

You shake your head. "The screen's up and everything seems to be configured properly but neither the CALIBURN nor the targets are showing up on it."

You look at the screen again, drawing your own conclusions. "I don't think the LIONHEART's been loaded with an IFF data package."




Wait, what? No IFF? We can't distinguish friendlies from anything else?



That makes a lot of sense. Without the necessary identification, friend-or-foe software to interpret sensor contacts, your tactical display has no information to work with.

Watanabe turns around in his station to say something to the Captain. He turns back a moment later. "The Captain says to continue with the tests. I think you're going to just have to confirm the targets visually."

Weaver shakeshis head. "I don't like this, Lieutenant Commander."



Vote 39:
#"Me neither. This is a recipe for disaster."
#"I don't like this either but we have our orders."
#"What's the matter, Chief? Scared?"



So we have two votes : What we say when we launch, and what we're going to do about this missing IFF package.

SHIP UPDATE: XCA-118 LIONHEART Advanced Combat Prototype

Manufacturer: Wellington Defence Industries
Armament: Particle Rifle (Type II), Plasma Cutter

Developed in secret on Vedria Prime by Albion's Wellington Defence Industries, the XCA-118 LIONHEART has been touted as the “silver bullet” needed to end the Civil War once and for all. Key to the LIONHEART's design is a next-generation experimental matter/antimatter reactor capable of immense power output, allowing the experimental combat armature to carry heavy armour without compromising its exceptional speed. In addition the LIONHEART is equipped with a semi-automatic variant of the MANNINGHAM's particle rifle.

Should the LIONHEART's initial tests prove promising, CoDEC is prepared to manufacture a mass-production variant in small numbers, to be assigned to elite pilots and used to spearhead counter-attacks into Imperial-occupied space.


TECH UPDATE: Particle Rifle (Type II)

A further development of the particle rifle by Wellington Defence Industries, designed as a weapon upgrade for the third generation of CoDEC combat armatures. Instead of a manually-cycled bolt action mechanism, this new iteration diverts a miniscule amount of the power from the weapon's firing mechanism into an automated system.

As a result, this type of particle rifle is capable of firing as fast as the pilot can squeeze the trigger, though sustained rate of fire is still limited by magazine size.


Have them by Friday, 5:30 PM, to continue our test flight!

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Fri
2015-07-22, 08:59 PM
Kallen Launching!

and

Me neither, this is a recipe for disaster.

CoreBrute23
2015-07-23, 04:50 AM
"Kallen Sowano! Launching!"
"I don't like this either but we have our orders."

A powerful ranged mech that can't distinguish friend from foe? That's a massive oversight. If we weren't such a loyal soldier I'd be screaming to get out of this death machine before I kill an ally.

Fri
2015-07-23, 06:28 AM
Well, it's just a prototype, and it's just that they haven't fully installed all the softwares yet or something in that line.

But yes, it's a massive oversight.

smuchmuch
2015-07-23, 08:58 AM
Oh, wait till we get going a little bit for 'massive oversights'.
To be fair that thing got stolen by the imperials, possibly before it's insallation was complete, and make sense IFF is something you'd install kind of last (and not entirely needed for that test)

> I actually don't say anything.
We're a stern silent professional.

>I don't like this either but we have our orders."


If someone could PM me about this PbP we're setting up, I'd like to get in.

So would I but I'm afraid it mostly exist as a theorical.
Core was recruiting for a Code Geass game but recruitement has already ended.
Amaril seems to be thinking of starting a game but it seems to be only at the basic idea stage for now ?
(And personnaly, uh, I have a terrible track reccord for GMing atemp, not at all. or any good idea for a setup.)

Legato Endless
2015-07-23, 09:15 AM
I actually don't say anything.

I concur on the professionalism. I also sort of like the idea that our lack of a phrase itself becomes a distinction by sheer absence.

Me neither, this is a recipe for disaster.

Because obviously, something is going to go horribly wrong.

CoreBrute23
2015-07-23, 09:38 AM
Pendel didn't you get the PM Amaril sent about the game? You were cc'ed in it.

Amaril
2015-07-23, 12:46 PM
I actually don't say anything.

"I don't like this either, but we have our orders."

Speaking of my game, does anyone else besides smuchmuch want to get in on it? I only PM'd pendell and Core because they were the only ones who spoke up earlier, but I'd be happy to take one or two more. I'll message if anyone's interested.

Fri
2015-07-23, 01:25 PM
well, depend on what it's about, really. Because so far the only thing I know is that it's mecha game. I was waiting for a recruitment thread in the recruitment forum, so I can see the premise actually. Because just saying it mecha is pretty wide :smallbiggrin:

Amaril
2015-07-23, 01:32 PM
Fair enough :smalltongue: I initially held off on making a recruitment thread because I had a couple of different ideas for particular games to run, and I wanted to talk to potentially interested people here to see which one would be most appreciated; I held off on describing those ideas in this thread because I didn't want to derail it. At this point, though, I'm just gonna go make a recruitment thread and link it here once it's done. Hope to see you folks there!

Legato Endless
2015-07-23, 04:55 PM
I would appreciate a link here as I don't regularly check recruitment.

Amaril
2015-07-24, 01:24 AM
You've got one (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?429768-Armored-Core-Ascension-(FATE-mecha)) :smallbiggrin:

pendell
2015-07-24, 05:30 PM
Okay, we have a consensus not to say anything, and to say we don't like it but we have our orders.

Our cool, icy deliberation -- this needs a callsign. Howzabout 'Zero', as in 'Absolute Zero'? Or maybe Kelvin -- cold and deadly as space.


We launch in silence.

We discover the missing IFF package.



"I don't like this either but we have our orders."

Weaver scowls a little. "A lot of good folks have justified a lot of bad things with that reasoning."

You shake your head. "We're talking about an equipment test, not burning down an orphanage. I don't think we're going to be kept up at night because of one missing data package."

"That's not what I'm worried about, Lieutenant Commander. It's just that-" Weaver stops, as if he genuinely has no idea what to say next. "Never mind. Let's carry on."

Before either of you can say anything else, Watanabe cuts in nervously. "What's the next step?"

Weaver nods, any lingering protest submerged under a front of professionalism. "Next up is the weapons test…."

As soon as the words "weapons test" come up, the kid seems to lean forward in his chair. "Weapons test?"

The deck chief nods. "Yeah, you heard right. But don't get any ideas, kid. This here trial is to measure the capabilities of the hardware. It's best to be slow and meticulous for this sort of thing. I hope the both of you keep that in mind."

You nod. "Which weapon do I start with?"

Weaver shrugs. "It's your call, Lieutenant Commander. Which weapon do you want to start with?"



Okay, we have three votes, both of which are roughly the same.

Vote 40:
* Test the Melee Weapon First
* Test the Ranged Weapon First

For each weapon [Votes 41-42]:

#Be as flashy as possible. I want to show off a bit.
#Be efficient, as if under actual combat conditions.
#Be thorough so that Chief Weaver gets all the readings he needs.

Besides the obvious changes to passion/deliberation/warrior/diplomat,

You have an audience of two: Watanabe and Weaver.

Being flashy will enthrall Watanabe and irritate Weaver. It's also something you have to actually be good at to pull off. Flashy moves work well if you are highly skilled, but if merely adequate or subnormal could have... very poor results and irritate everyone.

Being efficient carries no risk and neither unduly pleases nor angers anyone.

Being thorough will delight Chief Weaver -- getting data IS the reason you're out here , after all -- but will put Watanabe asleep. He wanted something more from weapons testing than shooting clay pigeons.

So let's have our votes in by, Say, Sunday at 5:30 PM.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Fri
2015-07-24, 08:58 PM
Doesn't really matter whether we test the ranged or melee weapon first, but for the sake of completeness...

Test Melee Weapon First.

And I know that we're a deliberate person, but I feel sorry for Watanabe, and kinda want to cheer him up a little. So I say

Be deliberate with melee weapon

and

Be flashy with ranged weapon.

CoreBrute23
2015-07-25, 05:04 AM
Test the Ranged Weapon First

Be thorough so that Chief Weaver gets all the readings he needs.

Melee Weapon
Be thorough so that Chief Weaver gets all the readings he needs.

We aren't here to entertain this kid. We are here to make sure this death trap works, and then get out of it before it explodes or Asadi starts declaring genocide on a planet of Empire aligned bunny rabbits!

Fri
2015-07-25, 05:53 AM
Those bunny's fault for aligning themselves to the empire!

Legato Endless
2015-07-25, 02:35 PM
I'll second CoreBrute23 on this.

Ranged Weapon
Be thorough so that Chief Weaver gets all the readings he needs.

Melee Weapon
Be thorough so that Chief Weaver gets all the readings he needs.

smuchmuch
2015-07-25, 03:06 PM
>Test the Melee Weapon First
Be thorough so that Chief Weaver gets all the readings he needs

Ranged weapon:
>Show off your mad skillz

C'mmon people, what the point of being an ace if we can't show off once in a while ?
Also Being slow and thourough will take us longer than showing off.

Amaril
2015-07-25, 03:10 PM
I'd actually go with "Be efficient, as if under actual combat conditions" for both. Since that would mean the order doesn't really matter much, I guess I'll say "Test the melee weapon first."

pendell
2015-07-26, 10:16 PM
We have a consensus to test the melee weapon first, thoroughly.

For the ranged weapon we have a split vote between showing off and being thorough. So we'll roll off:

flashy: 87
thorough:49

So flashy it is. I guess Random likes to show off too.



"Let's go for the melee weapons tests first," you say. "I've never used a plasma cutter before."

Watanabe's eyebrows shoot up in surprise. "Really? I thought you'd-"

Chief Weaver shakes his head. "Only UXBRIDGEs and REITERs have plasma cutters. Commander Sowano flies a MANNINGHAM."

The kid has the good sense to look embarrassed. "Oh."

You double-check the power linkages to the plasma cutter and make sure all four of them show green. With the amount of energy and super-heated gas involved, you know that a critical malfunction could easily melt the Lionheart's arm off.

"Linkages look good," you say as you push the Lionheart slowly towards the closest group of targets. "Here goes."

You touch the activator on your arm control assembly. A bright blade of silver-blue fire flares from the emitter. As soon as the first target comes within range, you swing. The superheated stream of plasma slices through the egg-like target drone effortlessly, leaving two metal halves behind, each still glowing bright orange from the heat of your blade.

Watanabe's eyes seem glued to the screen. "That was really cool," he says, more to himself than to you.

"It's lighter than I thought it would be but I think I got the hang of it," you report.

Weaver nods in agreement. "Looks like it but let's make sure. Cut up a few more targets for me, will ya?"

How do you want to handle the next few targets?


Be thorough so that Chief Weaver gets all the readings he needs.



You take your time, carefully lining up each target. When you strike each target, you do so with the slow, methodical movements of a martial artist at a public demonstration: breathe out, bring the Lionheart's arm up, breathe in, strike, breathe out.

Your blade bisects each target perfectly each time. Indeed, it would have been quite the embarrassment if it hadn't, considering the amount of preparation you put into each strike.

By the time you finish off your third target, you can tell that Watanabe is both bored and disappointed. The kid probably expected a flashier exhibition from you but was instead treated to a careful, slow method that any half-trained pilot could replicate.

Chief Weaver stops you when you finish off your fourth target. "Alright, looks good. Thanks for taking your time, gave me a few seconds to take some extra notes. Let's move on to the particle rifle." Weaver nods but doesn't refrain from a last word of warning. "Just remember, Lieutenant Commander, this weapon isn't like the gun on the MANNINGHAM or the GRENZER. It may take the same kind of heat sinks as the older weapons but you don't need to cycle a bolt or anything. Just squeeze the trigger to fire. The weapon ejects the old heat sink and chambers another one automatically."

You can understand how that could serve as an advantage in combat. Without the need to cycle a bolt to fire again, a LIONHEART pilot could fire as quickly as they could squeeze the trigger. "Alright, I got it."

The deck chief nods. "Then you are clear to fire, Lieutenant Commander."

You raise the rifle and point it towards the nearest target a few thousand meters away. After taking a second to aim, you squeeze the trigger. A streak of blue light explodes from the muzzle of your rifle and punches right through the egg-shaped object dead center. Hit by a stream of charged particles moving at two-thirds the speed of light, the target drone disintegrates into a cloud of superheated gas and shattered metal.

Watanabe's eyes are fixed on the broken remnants of your target. "That was awesome," he says under his breath.

"It shoots just fine," you report, somewhat redundantly.

"Well, blast a few more targets," Weaver responds. "I want to make sure the reloading system works properly, too."

How do you want to proceed?


I want to show off a little, show the kid what I can do.



You push forward to your next target but instead of shooting it, you reach out with your free hand and grab it, tucking the egg-shaped target under the Lionheart's gargantuan arm like a ball.

Chief Weaver does not seem to be amused. "Lieutenant Commander, what are you doing?"

You ignore the deck chief and keep going, with a plan to turn this normally mundane weapons test into an impressive demonstration of your skills fixed firmly in your mind. You grab two more targets and take a breath to focus.

Your hand pushes the arm controls forward. The Lionheart's corresponding limb flings the three targets forward in a rough fan in front of you. Your particle rifle snaps up.

You squeeze the trigger three times in rapid succession, shifting your aim quickly after each shot. Three empty heatsinks pop out from your rifle's breech, all three targets disintegrate within a second of each other under your precisely aimed fire.

"Holy [forum filter]!" Watanabe exclaims in surprise and even a little excitement, his eyes fixed on the shattered remains of your last target.

The deck chief shakes his head. "Commander, we're supposed to be testing the weapon's capabilities, not your shooting skills."




Looks like Watanabe liked that last little show -- we pulled it off!



Chief Weaver nods. "Now, there are still a few issues I'd like to take a gander at, but-"

The frantic chirping of an urgent call sounds from Watanabe's comm window. For a moment, the young bridge operator looks away. All of a sudden, the kid turns around, shouting something urgent at the Captain behind him. When he looks back, he is pale and shaking.

"We have a problem," he announces, voice quavering.

Captain Baelyn ducks into frame. "Lieutenant Commander, these trials have just become time-critical. Finish them as quickly as possible then report back to the ship for emergency detox and rest cycle."

Your eyebrows shoot up at the mention of the emergency detox regimen. That would mean purging your body of all of its combat stimulants prematurely, through the use of a terrifyingly potent chemical cocktail. With a possibility of permanent damage to your body, the procedure is an extremely risky and dangerous one; a last resort.

The Captain responds to your questions before you even speak them aloud. "Ensign Asadi just made contact with the Imperial Fleet. They're heading our way, and will make contact with us within twenty hours. We need you rested and flying again by then. There's no time to wait for the combat stimulants to diffuse naturally."

Thoughts fly through your head. Ensign Asadi and the four other pilots of your lance are facing who knows how many enemy ships and combat armatures by themselves. Ultimately, only one thought remains:



Vote 42:
* I hope Asadi proves himself to be an able commander.

* I hope Asadi doesn't do anything reckless and get my pilots killed.

* I hope Asadi has the good sense to run.

* I wish I was leading my lance, not Asadi.


Contact in 20 hours. PLEASE keep my lancemates alive, Asadi.



Unfortunately for you, Asadi and your lance are three million kilometers away. You must focus on the present and the tasks before you, namely, the remaining exercises required to test the Lionheart's capabilities.

"Chief, what's next?"

Weaver looks down at his data tablet for a moment. "Looks like there's only the high-velocity maneuver trial left."

You nod in acknowledgement. While weapons and armor are certainly important parts of a combat armature's effectiveness in the field, the ability to make sharp turns and stop quickly at high velocities is also an extremely important factor. An agile mecha could out-turn a better protected opponent and attack from an undefended direction, or evade the fire of a better armed enemy.

"Ready to see how well it can move?" Weaver asks with a look of anticipation. You can understand Weaver's excitement. With a reactor output three times that of a MANNINGHAM, you bet the LIONHEART could turn, brake, and accelerate with the best that both CoDEC and the Imperial Military have to offer, even with its heavy armor.

You nod. "I'm ready, Chief."

Weaver nods back. Watanabe, still looking a bit distracted, pushes a few buttons on console. Three more of the CALIBURN's missile tubes open up. This time, bright-red emergency flares come out of each tube. Each flare streaks out for a few seconds before bringing themselves to a stop. Together, they form a triangle around the CALIBURN, fifty kilometers long on each side.

"Flares are on station, Lieutenant Commander," the deck chief announces. "I need you to get to each flare as fast as you can, pass within fifty meters of each flare, and come back to this position. Got it?"

"Sounds good, Chief."

"Alright then, ready…go!"



WHOOOSH! High velocity!




Your body is flung back into your chair as you push the throttles forward as far as they can go. The Lionheart's vibrating frame transmits a full-throated roar of its engines into your cockpit as the machine surges forward at blinding speed, taking you with it. The blinking red point of the first sensor beacon edges closer with increasing speed until it seems to streak towards you like a bullet.

The Lionheart rushes past the first beacon. You pull the prototype around to reorient yourself to the next beacon then you push the throttles forward again to make the turn.

Nothing happens.



Nothing happens? Wait, what? We missed the turn?



Instead, you and your machine continue on your original course, your RCS has turned you around but your momentum is still sending you on your original trajectory.

"Lieutenant Commander!" Weaver's face looks panicked. "What the hell is going on out there?"


.... and ... we fail a willpower check.




You feel yourself panicking a little. "My braking thrusters aren't responding! My primary thrusters aren't responding! What the hell is happening?"

Okay, you feel yourself panicking a lot.

"Lieutenant Commander!" the deck chief barks, the first time you have heard hin raise his voice in a long time. "I need you to calm down. Are your thrusters malfunctioning?"

You take a deep breath. Your heart's still pounding in your ears but you get a hold of yourself and take a look.


Okay, so we're hurtling through space in an out of control mecha and panicking.





Everything comes up green in your cockpit display.

"I'm not reading any malfunctions. The thrusters should be working fine."

The deck chief scratches the back of his head, his brow furrowed in frustration. "Then it's probably an interface problem. The flight computer isn't reading your controls properly."

"Um, Chief?" Watanabe asks. "If the problem is that the controls aren't being read, does that mean the autopilot systems could still fire the thrusters?"

Weaver nods. "It might but the autopilot needs a signature to lock onto and we don't have one. The IFF package is missing, remember?"

"Can it be entered manually? I have the CALIBURN's IFF code here somewhere."

You bring up the tactical display, trying to keep calm as your machine continues to hurtle further and further away from your home carrier. If you could enter the CALIBURN's IFF code into the LIONHEART's computer, then it can lock onto your carrier if you activate the automatic recovery system.

It's certainly worth a shot.



So we're going to give our ship over to control of CALIBURN's Automatic landing system, since our own controls aren't responding.




After a few moments of searching, you find a way to manually enter the Caliburn's IFF code. "I've got it," you announce. "I need that code."

Watanabe rattles the string of letters and digits off, almost faster than you can enter them. With the code entered into the Lionheart's computer, you pull up another display, and reach for the button that should activate your machine's automated recovery system. If it works, then it should plot a course back to the Caliburn, directly overriding any previous commands to make sure you reach the safety of the carrier's hangar.

If it doesn't…well, best not to dwell on that.

You press the button: "Automated Piloting System: Online."

Immediately, you feel the LIONHEART begin to decelerate and turn around in a wide arc, orienting itself towards the CALIBURN's location. You breathe a sigh of relief. The kid falls back exhausted into his chair. Even Chief Weaver takes a deep breath.
Unfortunately, today isn't over yet.



Wait, what?



"Lieutenant Commander?" You sit back up at Watanabe's worried tone. "We've got a problem. Your trajectory takes you within 5 kilometers of a civilian transport craft's flight plan."

You stop yourself before you look to confirm the kid's readings. Without an IFF data package, your tactical sensors are useless. Instead, you take a look at the main display. Sure enough, you see the tell-tale flare of a spacecraft engine up ahead, crossing your path.

"I have visual confirmation. Can you wave it off?"

Watanabe turns to the side, frantically pressing keys on his console. A moment later, he turns back, expression panicked. "I can't get them to answer! What do I do?"




Vote 43:

#"It's alright, you did your best."
#"Calm down. I'm the one in trouble, not you."
#"Get a hold of yourself! You're no good to me if you're panicking!"





You look up to see the grey shape of the civilian craft loom larger and larger in your main display. Your cockpit fills with the harsh beeping of the proximity alarm. Your mouth goes dry and muscles curl in on themselves when you realize what it means.

You're on a collision course with a ship full of civilians.

With time running out, you don't really have a lot of options. Your first possible solution would be to simply reboot the LIONHEART's flight computer. That would kill the auto-recovery system but it would also leave you drifting at the same relative velocity, and still on a collision course with the civilian craft. You would have to manage to regain control and fly the LIONHEART out of the way as soon as your controls came online, and that's only if whatever malfunction that made you lose control in the first place doesn't come up again.

Your second option would be to try to enter the civilian vessel's IFF code into the tactical computer. If you're fast enough and sharp-eyed enough to avoid any typos, the autorecovery system should trigger its collision avoidance subroutines and maneuver around the oncoming ship.

Another option open to you would be to override the automatic recovery system. Unfortunately, only two systems can do that: self destruct and emergency re-entry. While the first is clearly not an option, the second will lock your controls and send you hurtling into the atmosphere of the planet below. Unless the Lionheart has already been equipped with ablative re-entry gel dispensers, your machine will have to weather the stress and heat of re-entry without heat shielding, a risky procedure at best.

Then again, there is the backup re-entry system you found installed on the LIONHEART the day before. Even if the gel system hasn't been installed, you could always deploy the Ballute.



So, we have three possible options:


Vote 44:
#Reboot the flight computer and try to regain control. [ This requires piloting skill, as we will have to fly manually once the computer is down ]

# Try to enter the civilian ship's IFF codes into the flight computer. [ Requires perception to see the code and enter it accurately ]

#Override the recovery system with the emergency re-entry protocol. [ This requires no skill check, and since we inspected the prototype before the flight we are familiar with its re-entry systems, which may enable to come down in fewer pieces than we otherwise would. Of course, we WILL be plummeting to the ground like a meteor ]





So .. we're about to collide with a civilian craft which is going to mean death for someone if we goof this up.

No pressure... have your votes in by Tuesday, 5:30 PM!

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Fri
2015-07-27, 03:23 AM
Well...

I hope Asadi proves himself to be an able commander.

Come on Asadi, berserk your way through this!

"Calm down. I'm the one in trouble, not you."

and since we seem to have pretty good perception, might as well use it.

Try to enter the civilian ship's IFF codes into the flight computer.

CoreBrute23
2015-07-27, 04:15 AM
I hope Asadi has the good sense to run.

Don't get into a fight you can't win Asadi!

"It's alright, you did your best."

Hey the kid came up with a good idea earlier.

Try to enter the civilian ship's IFF codes into the flight computer.

Our perception is top notch, let's try to use that.

Legato Endless
2015-07-27, 09:28 AM
Hope Asadi has the good sense to run.

Calm down.

Enter IFF code

Crashing down sounds cooler than dramatic typing, but it also looks the way out for pilots without adequate skill, and the crash probably has some consequences like damaging the mech or injuring us.

smuchmuch
2015-07-27, 09:11 PM
> I hope Asadi doesn't do anything reckless and get my pilots killed.

Or to be exact: Assadi better not @*☠💣 -this up or if he comes back alone I will make him regret not being shot by the enemy fleet !

> It's alright, you did your best.
or
> "Calm down. I'm the one in trouble, not you."

I feel saying 'calm down' or 'you're no use to me' wold be sliiightly hypocritical seeing as we were having a panick attack not one minute ago (though I feel we did recover amazingly fast seeing as it's supposed t be our one deadly flaw)
On the other hand we are in a life or crash situation, adrealine rushing an plumeting at high speed, we may not have time to be delicate.

> Try to enter the civilian ship's IFF codes into the flight computer.

Like everyone else I think given our perception, it's our best bet. (it would be nice if we could boost our piloting skills a little at some point later though)

pendell
2015-07-28, 08:17 AM
(though I feel we did recover amazingly fast seeing as it's supposed t be our one deadly flaw)


It's a relative flaw, though. It doesn't mean Kallen is a coward who falls into fits at the slightest little thing. It means she's very likely to crack under extreme pressure, or to miss critical details (as we did now). If she didn't possess SOME ability to recover from a panic attack when she has a calming voice on the comm, I doubt she'd have survived this long at all.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

pendell
2015-07-28, 08:03 PM
Apologies , guys. I expect to have it up tomorrow morning because I'm working late tonight.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

pendell
2015-07-29, 06:39 PM
Sorry guys, I had an all-nighter last night and did not have access to the game until about 1 AM.

Our consensus:

* Hope asadi has the good sense to run
* Calm down, I'm the one in trouble not you
* Enter the IFF code.



"I hope Asadi has the good sense to run"

When CoDEC lance commanders are sent on patrol or reconnaissance missions, they are usually given minimum oversight and the maximum amount of freedom to make their own tactical decisions. It's a tradition that goes back to the last wars of Old Earth, and theoretically, it means that those who are best-informed of the situation on the ground are the ones who make the majority of the decisions.

With Asadi in command, the amount of freedom at your wingman's fingertips worries you. After all, Asadi is hardly known for being cautious or circumspect in his combat roles in the past. You can only hope that he has the good sense know when he is hopelessly outmatched and extract your lance from the field before they can be overwhelmed by the Imperial force.



From there ,we start the flight test and break our flight computer. We transfer control to the CALIBURN's automatic landing system, but are now on a collision course with a civilian ship. Watanabe panics and we respond:



"Calm down. I'm the one in trouble, not you."

The kid nods. "I know! I know! I just-" Watanabe takes a deep breath, then shakes his head. "Never mind."


We decide to ask Watanabe to send us the ship's IFF code which we will program into our system. This will allow it to become visible to the LIONHEART's computer and it will then automatically evade the ship.

If we succeed at perception, that is.




"CALIBURN!" you shout. "I need that civilian ship's IFF code!"

Watanabe frantically scans the screen next to his for a second, his expression one of sheer, panicked haste.

After a few precious seconds, Watanabe shouts, "I got it!" The kid quickly rattles off a long string of numbers and digits.

You enter the codes into your flight computer. Halfway through, your sweat-slick fingers miss a key and strike another. For a heart-stopping instant, your fingers hang over the hard light input board. Then, just as quickly, your professional focus takes over, you correct your mistake and keep typing.

With a triumphant shout, you enter the code into the computer, your finger hitting the button so hard that it goes right through the display and into the meaty flesh of your thigh.

You don't notice. Your eyes are too fixed on your flight computer as it wastes valuable time authenticating the code, and on the civilian ship as it looms ever closer.

Finally, after what seems like an eternity, "IFF codes accepted. Updating automatic systems."

Your guts slam into your pelvis as the LIONHEART's automatic systems pull the prototype machine up to avoid the newly recognized civilian craft with reflexes faster than any human pilot could manage. By the time you regain your breath, the civilian vessel is long gone, having continued on its course, oblivious to the certain destruction they only just avoided.



*Wipes brow* . It would have been embarrassing to end our career here, not to mention all those deaths.



The automatic retrieval system flies the LIONHEART towards the CALIBURN and deposits you and the prototype machine onto the carrier's recovery deck without any further incident. You take advantage of the intervening minutes to take deep breaths until your heart is no longer pounding in your chest.

Chief Weaver and his deck crews are waiting for you as the recovery elevator lowers you into the hangar bay and you wearily walk the LIONHEART into the maintenance berth. As soon as the heavy clamps secure the machine, you begin the shutdown routine. One by one, the cockpit displays go dark until finally, the machine powers down and the scalloped plates of the LIONHEART's frontal armor slide open.

The second you clamber down the access ladder and take off your suit helmet, you find the deck chief looking at the prototype: its armor still gleams white and flawless as Weaver's deck crews begin to scale it for their post-flight inspection.

"That was a close call today," Weaver says as he turns away and motions for you to follow. "Now follow me. Let's go take a look at your flight recordings before your detox, and make sure it never happens again."


Yes. Let's. Just what happened out there?



or the next half-hour, he assails you with a long stream of questions, mostly technical. Together, the two of you use your memory, cockpit recordings and the deck chief's vast engineering knowledge to reconstruct an outline of the LIONHEART's malfunction during the high velocity maneuver trials.

After his questions, the deck chief takes a look through his accumulated notes on his data tablet. After a minute or so, the deck chief nods his head conclusively.

"Well, I think I've found what went wrong."


We actually get an option to explain what happened or move on. I'm going to ask for the explanation but put it in spoilers so if you don't want technical sutff you can just skip it.


"It's called a "stack overflow error". It's been a problem that software engineers have been dealing with for centuries. Long story short, your flight computer determines which thrusters to trigger when you order any kind of maneuver, be it a turn, acceleration, or deceleration in a certain direction. You know why that is, of course?"

You nod. "Yeah, because the computer also has to calculate which thrusters need to fire to cancel pre-existing velocity."

Weaver nods. "Exactly. The problem is that the OS currently installed on the LIONHEART was designed for a much slower machine. When you pushed it past the maximum velocity it could account for, the software simply registered it as an error and did nothing. That's why your controls stopped responding. Thankfully, the emergency systems had contingencies built in to handle higher velocities or else you'd still be out there."


So now to the meat of things: Essentially, the ship's computer wasn't designed to handle the speeds he ship is capable of, and if that velocity is exceeded the computer will crash, as it did here. Can we fix it?




You nod. "Can you fix it?" Weaver shakes his head.

"It's a problem with the LIONHEART's software and we don't have the time or resources to reprogram a combat armature's flight computer from the ground up."

The deck chief scratches his head for a second, thinking.

"What I could do is install physical limiters. It'd mean that the machine's speed would be drastically reduced. It might still cause further problems down the line but it will stop this particular malfunction from happening again." Before the deck chief can speak further, the door slides open.



It's the Captain, and she looks angry.



Captain Baelyn enters the room, data tablet in hand, barely wasting time on a quick exchange of salutes. She walks up to Chief Weaver. "Are you done with the debriefing, Chief?"

Weaver shakes his head. "Not yet, ma'am."

The Captain purses her lips in frustration. "Well, you are now." She turns to you. "Lieutenant Commander, I need an honest answer: is the LIONHEART ready for combat operations and if it is, will you pilot it next time we enter battle?"

The deck chief steps in, brow furrowed in anger. "Now hold on a minute! That machine damn near killed who knows how many civilians today! Do we really want to send it into combat?"

The Captain responds with a glare that could melt steel. Weaver takes a step back. "I'm sorry, ma'am."

Your senior officer turns back to you. "We are going to need every advantage we can get, pilot. Your wingman sent us some of his pictures before he was forced to withdraw. They confirm that the task force we defeated two days ago is returning, and has been reinforced by the Imperial Fleet."

You nod. "So how many Imperial ships are we facing?"

The Captain hands you her data tablet. On it is an image which makes your blood run cold. The image shows a massive formation of Imperial warships, a hundred of them at least. The image is marked as only five minutes old.

"All of them."



The Imperials evidently don't share the Chief's pessimism about their chances in this war. They appear to be trying to end it all in a single blow, throwing everything they have at us.




The implications don't even have time to go through your head before Captain Baelyn spells them out for you.

"If the LIONHEART is capable of performance superior to your regular machine, then its abilities will be desperately needed in the battle to come. However, as the only person on board who has piloted the machine in question, I leave the decision to you."

With the LIONHEART still undamaged from your test run, there is no doubt in your mind that it is as ready for combat as it was at the beginning of the day.

It's pretty obvious that the LIONHEART is a far superior machine performance-wise than your old MANNINGHAM. However, today's test run has made it blatantly clear that the prototype machine might malfunction with catastrophic results in the middle of battle. Whether the high speed and potent weapons of the experimental mecha are worth the risk is entirely up to you.

Of course if you allowed Chief Weaver to install limiters on the LIONHEART's thrusters, you could pilot it and take advantage of its powerful weaponry without risk of it suffering the same malfunction. On the other hand, the limiters would also decrease the machine's speed and maneuverability.

Lastly, you could decide to stick to your old MANNINGHAM. While it may not be as fast or well-armed as the Lionheart, your Manningham isn't an unreliable, untested prototype either.



Vote 45 :What do you decide to do?
#I'll fly the LIONHEART in the next battle, without limiters.

#I'll fly the LIONHEART into the next battle but will have Weaver install limiters.

#I'll fly my MANNINGHAM into the next battle. Better safe than sorry



After we make our decision:


The deck chief quickly leaves. The Captain turns to you.

"Report to the infirmary for emergency detox, then get some rest, for we are soon going to be very busy."


That's the end of this episode, so have your vote in and we'll pick up at Thursday, 5:30PM. We're about to tackle the entire Imperial fleet in a combat armature. The question is: Will we use the much improved but somewhat unreliable prototype, or use our original machine which has served us well so far?

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Fri
2015-07-30, 12:29 AM
Fly Lionheart with limiter. :smallamused:

CoreBrute23
2015-07-30, 02:18 AM
Hmm, I feel like, even with the limiter on, it's a far superior fire power would make up for it's reduced speed.

However, the personality we've created, in my opinion, would be too cautious to fly this machine in a battle, after losing control like that. She'd prefer something reliable, so I'm gonna say,

#I'll fly my MANNINGHAMR into the next battle. Better safe than sorry

pendell
2015-07-30, 08:03 AM
Sorry guys, I meant votes should be in on FRIDAY, 5:30 PM, two days after the last update.


...

See what an all-nighter does to you? My brains are jelly :smallamused:.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

smuchmuch
2015-07-30, 08:19 PM
It's true we've created a rather cautious character but I also get from her she'd vbe the kind to use any advantage she can, and that auto riffle is one heck of an upgrade, not to mention the heavy armor, the top speed (even wih limiters it should be at least Uxbridge levels of speed) and the nice plasma cutter

Fly the Lionheart with limiters, I think.

Fri
2015-07-31, 02:51 AM
Yes. We're cautious, but I think we're pretty practical.

Legato Endless
2015-07-31, 08:01 AM
Limiters It's not like our piloting skill is considerable enough to use the agility yet.

Besides, we need the upgrade for when that Imperial Larper comes around again.

pendell
2015-07-31, 06:11 PM
We've made the decision to fly the LIONHEART with limiters. If I may be forgiven some editorial commentary, this is a sensible choice; as a sniper, we make full use of the upgraded type II particle rifle; so long as we keep at a distance, we won't ever use the extra speed anyway.

Also, the extra speed isn't as useful as we would wish because none of our other craft are upgraded; if we want to move in the battle *as a unit*, we have to move at the speed of the GRENZERs and REITERs which compose the rest of our wing.

Still, that does mean we won't have the extra speed if we need it. Can't have everything, I guess.



"I'll launch in the Lionheart, ma'am," you reply. The Captain nods.

Chief Weaver shakes his head. "Please tell me you're going to have the limiters installed."

You nod. "I don't want to find myself in an out-of-control machine during the middle of a battle."

The deck chief nods, expression relaxed. "Glad to see you've got some sense left, ma'am."

Captain Baelyn turns to Weaver. "There is no time to waste. Ensign Asadi and the rest of Eternal Vigi- Lance should be returning within the hour. Prepare for their arrival."

The deck chief quickly leaves. The Captain turns to you.

"Report to the infirmary for emergency detox, then get some rest, for we are soon going to be very busy."



Some time later ...



Orbit over Vedria Prime, Vedria System

Sixteen Hours Later


The acceleration of the launch catapult punches you back as your mecha is flung forward from the CALIBURN's hangar into the blackness of space. You move your machine forward slowly, giving the rest of your lance the time they need to launch from your carrier and form up behind you.

As you wait for Asadi and the others to launch, you take a glance to your rear, at the convoy of evacuation vessels still assembling behind the planet's defenders. On board are hundreds of thousands of civilians: government officials, colonial militia, anti-Imperial activists and their families, anyone whose lives might be endangered should the Imperials take the planet. It is your objective to defend those transports by any means necessary. Orders from fleet command have ruled that Vedria itself is to be abandoned to the enemy.

At least you won't be fighting this battle alone. The Caliburn and her consorts are assembled and ready for battle behind you. Most of the CoDEC warships are converted merchant vessels and passenger liners—the colonies have had neither the time nor the resources to build a fleet of dedicated warships but their hastily installed armor will still do its job, and their missile tubes are more than capable of lending you support in battle.

Then there's the formation of allied combat armatures assembled in front of you and the warships of the CoDEC task force, the three dozen or so launched from the lighter carriers which accompanied and supported the CALIBURN during the last battle. Together, they form a protective wall in front of the CoDEC ships, with a large hole in the center reserved for you and your elite Eternal Vigi- Lance.

Beyond them await the enemy.



Right, let's look at the tactical situation...




The Imperial force is a sight to behold. The first ranks are made up of swarms of smaller, lighter warships, each a quarter of the size of the Caliburn: combat-armature-destroyers, each armed with light quick-firing guns. By themselves, their thin armor make them easy prey. In groups, they are deadly, capable of warding off attacking mecha with a wall of fire.

Behind the destroyers sit the point-defense cruisers—larger, heavier vessels, each bristling with counter-missile launchers designed to protect the rest of the fleet from any capital ship missiles fired by your own side's ships.

Then at the center sit the dozen blocky, iron-gray shapes of the enemy battleships; dreadnoughts more than a kilometer long, each capable of launching immense volleys of missiles, each protected by dozens of quick-firing point-defense guns and meters-thick slabs of armor.

To the rear and to the flanks lay the ungainly shapes of the Imperial carriers—dozens of them. These ships are lightly armed and poorly armored but you know that each is capable of carrying a full lance of Imperial combat armatures.

Lastly, behind the rest of the Imperial force, sits an immense, egg-shaped object, easily ten or fifteen times the size of the largest enemy capital ship. Perhaps it is a mobile shipyard or supply base. Whatever it is, it is far to the rear, out of reach, and the Imperials show no intention of changing that state of affairs.

The whole setup is a classic Imperial battle formation, one that has been used and reused by enemy commanders since the beginning of the war. It is a formation designed for brutal, bloody slugging matches, or when an Imperial fleet plans on grinding a determined opponent into nothing.

Already, your mind is falling into the familiar thought patterns of a veteran commander. Facing a force this big and this powerful is a daunting prospect.



Vote 46:
How do you plan on fighting this battle?

#Aggressively. We should try to deal as much damage as we can to the enemy.

#Cautiously, in a way that will minimize our battlegroup's losses.

#We should concentrate on defending the transports, nothing else.

#Making a stand against a fleet this big is suicide. We should be running. Now.



Now that you've decided in your initial disposition, we have an incoming comm:




A new message appears on your comms window. It's from the Imperial flagship. You have no doubt that the same message is being transmitted to every ship and combat armature in the CoDEC task force.

The speaker is a grim-looking, block-jawed man near the end of middle age. His skin hangs in tired bags under his green eyes, his face is covered with scars, and his gray hair is cut very close to his scalp. It is clear that this man has been a soldier for a very long time.

"This is Star Marshal Nicholas Steele, Commander of the Imperial Grand Fleet," he begins, his voice a weary baritone, as if he had repeated this speech a hundred times before. "In the name of the Empress and the rightful government of the sixteen worlds of Humanity Ascendant, I order to you to recant your treason against the throne. Those who surrender will be shown mercy."

A moment later, your own side offers a response:

"This is Captain Artemisia Baelyn, commander of the CALIBURN Battlegroup." You see the Imperial commander's eyes widen in recognition. "If you know who I am, then you know my answer. We will never surrender."

The Imperial gives a resigned sigh. "You never do," he mutters.

Then the line goes dead.


Preliminaries out of the way. Let's get this show started.



A few seconds later, the Imperial carriers begin spitting out silvery specks from their hangar bays—the enemy have begun deploying their own combat armatures. One by one, the enemy mecha begin heading to positions in front of the Imperial fleet. Soon, there are over two hundred of them, advancing slowly in a single, massive wall as the gaps in their formation are filled by more and more enemy machines.

Oddly enough, while the enemy mecha are advancing, the Imperial warships hold steady behind them.

Normally, common sense would dictate that the Imperial fleet's combat armatures would be deployed directly in front of the fleet's ships so that mecha and warship could remain in range of each other's weapons and mutually support each other. However, the Imperials have deployed their vast force of combat armatures far in front of their ships.

The Imperial mecha remain a formidable force—a gargantuan formation of versatile Fantins, swift Valliers, deadly Grognards, and long-ranged Revolle bombardment armatures. However, without support from their own ships, the Imperial pilots would have to attack the CoDEC force on their own.

The fact that the Imperial machines aren't being supported by their warships means that the latter will be hard-pressed to assist their combat armatures.

Does Steele expect his pilots to fight this battle themselves?



Vote 47: What is your opinion of Steele's initial deployment, sending out his combat armature unsupported?

#It's a good idea if Steele wants to avoid losing any ships.

#Steele is sending his mecha in unsupported. They'll be slaughtered!

#Steele's got to have something up his sleeve.

#What a coward! Steele's just trying to keep his flagship—and his own hide—out of danger.

#We can hold out longer against the Imperial mecha if they aren't supported by enemy warships.





Another message, on the channel reserved for your lance this time.

Eternal Vigi-Two reporting. Looks like we're all here."

Asadi looks tired. Your wingman's eyes are bloodshot and his hair is disordered under his flight helmet. Asadi and the rest of your lance had returned to the CALIBURN four hours after you had, without losses but exhausted. With every pilot needed for the coming battle, they had gone through the same emergency detox process you had, with the sole difference being the fact that they got even less sleep than you.

It's more than that, though. You are good enough at reading people's faces to know that something is weighing on him.

You tried asking Asadi about it as you waited for your orders in the briefing room but either he didn't hear you or didn't care to.



Something weighing on Asadi? What happened back there...?



You take a look at your tactical display to make sure everyone in your unit is formed up and ready to go.

Chief Weaver had installed the IFF data package as soon as you landed, providing the LIONHEART's computer the capability to recognize and display friendly and hostile contacts.

"Eternal Vigi- Lance, let's move into position."

Your unit's machines fall in behind yours as you continue to move towards the main force of CoDEC combat armatures. As you approach, some of your allies shift to allow you and your subordinates to take up positions. As the commanding officer of the most elite lance on your side, you are expected to take the brunt of the enemy's attack and to position yourself where the Imperial forces are likely to be the strongest.

Then again, as the commander on the spot, you're the one who will decide exactly where your unit is needed most.



Incoming fighters, everyone get ready!



Your Imperial counterparts continue to advance as you and your lance take up your positions. Hundreds of enemy machines begin making their ponderous way towards you. Their warships remain stoic far behind them.

Closer and closer, the immense Imperial formation approaches. Your own formation remains still, weapons at the ready but unmoving, lest you or your allies step out of the zone of protection offered by your fleet's guns. The soundlessness of space makes every second feel like an eternity—a noiseless hell as your two formations slowly approach the maximum effective range of your weapons.

Suddenly, the Imperial formation seems to explode.

Enemy machines fly out in every direction, like fireworks, each point of light armed with enough firepower to level a small city. Friendly comm channels fill with confused chatter but a second later, before anyone can react, the Imperials reassemble with perfectly drilled spontaneity.

Out of the seemingly unordered mass of Imperial combat armatures come two separate formations. The smaller group is a loose gaggle of fast, agile machines, VALLIERs and GROGNARDs. They head towards and above the CoDEC combat armature screen. Their obvious objective is the CALIBURN and the other CoDEC warships. The second formation is much larger and much tighter. This group makes its way to the side, away from the CoDEC fleet and towards the civilian transports.

Even at this distance, you can see the tell-tale silhouettes of bulky, ungainly machines at the center of the force: M403 REVOLLEs. The massive volleys of tiny, short-range missiles fired from their bulky, shoulder-mounted launchers can barely scratch armor, but against unprotected targets, they are deadly.

Both the task force and the transports will need your help. The REVOLLEs' swarm missiles will tear the unarmored transports apart, and while the warships' heavy armor might shrug off missiles and cannon fire, they offer no protection against the infinitely sharp blades of the monosabers carried by VALLIERs and GROGNARDs.



VOTE 48: What are your orders?

#Move to defend the CoDEC Task Force.

#Move to defend the evacuation transports.

#Launch a hit-and-run attack against the enemies headed for the CoDEC Task Force.

#Launch a hit-and-run attack against the enemies headed for the evacuation ships.


Tactical analysis: The hit and run will be less effective than moving to defense BUT we should still have time to move to the protection of the other group -- but our defense would not be as effective as if we defended that group from the start.

Assuming the hit-and-run goes well. If we screw it up, we might not get another chance to do anything in this battle. But that seems unlikely.

So our choices are to defend one group while sacrificing the other, or to attempt a defense of both groups; both groups will take more damage than if defended solo, but less than if they were completely abandoned.


Ship Update: M404 REVOLLE Imperial Fire Support Mass Combat Model

Manufacturer: Knox-Gribeauval Industries
Armament: Swarm Missiles
Those Imperial pilots who have shamed themselves
on the battlefield or whose skills have been proven wanting
are dealt the ultimate humiliation: they are assigned to “Fire-support units” equipped with the
M404 Revolle. Instead of fighting at close range in honourable battle,
Revolle pilots are required to remain clear of the battle in their lumbering,
heavily armoured machines, firing swarms of guided missiles at “soft” targets like
damaged enemy units or supply ships. There is no honour or glory in such combat, and
although the strategic value of such units are immense, Imperial pilots have been known to
shoot themselves to spare themselves from being reassigned to such duty.


Ship update: KOVACS-class Light Cruiser [Empire of Humanity Ascendent]


Dimensions: 320 x 85 x 60 metres
Crew Complement: 80 (minimum), 750 (full)
Armament: 6x Class II ACSM tubes, 14x Class I ACSM tubes, 24x 20mm Point-Defence Autocannon,
4x 73mm Autocannon

Unlike the makeshift escort ships of the CoDEC fleet, the Imperial Kovacs class Cruiser was built
as a warship from the keel up. As a result, it holds several advantages over its CoDEC equivalents:
redundant systems, a reinforced structure and a more efficient engineering space designed
for a military grade FTL drive among them.

Despite this, these ships still lack the firepower or the armour needed to operate on their own.
They are usually deployed in squadrons of four, or as part of an Imperial battlegroup, operating
as specialised point-defence ships, thanks to their relatively impressive outfit of autocannon.




TRICOULEUR Class Dreadnought [Empire of Humanity Ascendent]

Dimensions: 1120 x 540 x 420 metres
Crew Complement: 600 (minimum), 5800 (Full)
Armament: 32x Class IV ACSM tubes, 64x Class III ACSM tubes, 48x 20mm Point-Defence Autocannon, 12x 73mm Autocannon, up to 6400x ground troops (Flight A) or 6x combat armatures (Flight B)
The crown jewels of the Imperial navy, the TRICOULEUR class dreadnoughts are the ultimate expression of Imperial military design philosophy: heavily armed and massively armoured, these immense warships can go toe-to-toe with entire CoDEC battlegroups.

When the first batch of four TRICOULEUR-class dreadnoughts were commissioned in 411 ISE, the Imperial naval staff was under the assumption that the massive warships would be mostly used to conduct and support ground operations against small-scale insurgencies with minimal space-borne presence. The outbreak of the CoDEC rebellion forced the TRICOULEUR's designers to rethink their priorities.

As a result, the second set ofTRICOULEURs were modified to specialise in combat against enemy fleets, with its massive troop bays replaced by combat armature hangars. The first of these ships, the ORIFLAMME, was commissioned into the Imperial Grand Fleet in early 417, and currently serves as fleet flagship.



Tech Update: Anti-Capital Ship Cruise Missile (ASCM)

These weapons are designed specifically to be launched by large warships for use
against other large warships. They range from about 8 to 12 metres in length. They mass anywhere
from 30 to 60 tonnes.

Cruisers are the smallest type of warship that usually carry ACSM tubes, fielding anywhere from
12 to 18. Larger vessels, like Imperial dreadnoughts, can carry up to 100 tubes, arranged along
both sides of the hull (broadside).

When ejected from their launching tubes through the use of a low-powered conventional explosive
charge, they quickly lock onto their designated target and begin moving along a flight path given
to it by the launching ship's Fire Control AI. The missile then quickly gains velocity as it travels
to its target.

Missiles are too small to be equipped with inertial canceller fields. While they are capable of
making wide turns to track targets, they are unable to make tighter turns to evade point-defence
fire. Generally, about 95% of all missiles fired in a fleet engagement are shot down by point
defence fire.

As a result standard doctrine is for a missile-armed capital ship to face in the direction
of the a target or group of targets and fire all the missile tubes on that side of the ship at
once, in coordination with any accompanying capital ships.

An ACSM's warhead consists of anywhere from 50 to 250 grammes of antimatter, held in a
containment field. When the missile impacts with a target or runs out of fuel, the containment
field fails, and the antimatter mutually annihilates with the matter of its casing, causing
an explosion roughly equivalent to that of a large 20th century thermonuclear bomb. In addition,
this reaction also releases a burst of lethal gamma radiation, killing all unshielded living
things within close proximity.






Tech Update: Swarm Missile

These weapons are the miniaturised cousin of the ship-launched ACSM.
They are designed to be launched from specialised combat armatures. They range from 50 to 90
centimetres in length, and mass somewhere between 300 and 800 kilogrammes.

Swarm Missiles share many of the advantages and disadvantages of their larger counterparts:
they are similarly vulnerable to point-defence fire, but their small size allows them to be
launched in large volleys by lances of combat armatures. An Imperial M404 Revolle can carry up
to 48 of these missiles in shoulder-mounted box launchers.

A small size means a commensurately smaller warhead: generally 0.5 to 4 grammes of antimatter.
While formidable, the explosive yield of these warheads are incapable of dealing severe damage
to armoured warships except through multiple direct hits. As a result, standard doctrine is to use
these weapons on "soft" targets, like civilian shipping and combat armatures.



Have your votes in by 5:30PM , Sunday, to see how we well we defend the evacuation of Vedria Prime.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Legato Endless
2015-07-31, 08:42 PM
Cautiously, in deference to the enemy super weapon

Steele has something up his sleeve, probably a super weapon

Hit and run against the enemies attacking the evacuation ships



I would prefer we not abandon the civilians entirely, but doing anything more than a hit and run when the enemy hadn't unveiled their strategy seems premature.

CoreBrute23
2015-08-01, 03:52 AM
Cautiously, in deference to the enemy super weapon

Steele has something up his sleeve, probably a super weapon

Hit and run against the enemies attacking the evacuation ships



I would prefer we not abandon the civilians entirely, but doing anything more than a hit and run when the enemy hadn't unveiled their strategy seems premature.

All of this.

Fri
2015-08-01, 04:24 AM
Cautiously, in deference to the enemy super weapon

Steele has something up his sleeve, probably a super weapon

Hit and run against the enemies attacking the evacuation ships



I would prefer we not abandon the civilians entirely, but doing anything more than a hit and run when the enemy hadn't unveiled their strategy seems premature.

Did anyone say bandwagon :smallbiggrin:?

smuchmuch
2015-08-02, 12:18 PM
I vote the same as everybody else

pendell
2015-08-03, 07:01 AM
We have an overwhelming consensus to:
1) Fight the battle cautiously, in deference to that big egg-thing which is probably a superweapon.
2) Steele has to have something up his sleeve (like, say, a superweapon)
3) Stage a hit and run to protect the civilian transports.


No comments for 46.

Steele is sending in his fighter unsupported? He must have something up his sleeve...



You take a closer look at the enemy formation. You keep your eyes peeled for any sign of a feint or trap or second force ready to flank you from above. There's no way that the enemy commander's going to send his combat armatures forward without support unless it is part of some bigger battle plan…

…right?

Even after a few moments, you come up with nothing. You see no signs of trickery but the Imperial fleet's movements don't make any sense otherwise. It'd probably be best to keep your eyes peeled, to be ready for whatever the Imperial commander has planned.


So our next choice is to launch a hit and run to try to defend the evacuation ships.



You lead your lance towards the massive, lumbering formation slowly making its way towards the civilian transports.

A quick tactical analysis lays out the facts: the enemy formation is massive but slow; the FANTINs that make up the escort are old machines, equipped with neither the powerful engines nor the deadly monosabers which the Imperials are so famous for. In addition, the REVOLLEs they are escorting are barely armed at all, save for their missile launchers.

One option would be to form a skirmish line at range in front of the enemy formation and shoot into it as it advances. Provided your aim is good enough, you could do some amount of damage to the enemy, and the chances of the enemy's return fire hitting your more agile machines at long range would be quite low.

Alternatively, you could order your unit to make a lightning strike through the enemy formation, charging at full speed, striking your targets with your melee weapons and escaping before the lumbering enemy machines can offer any sort of resistance.

While either of these two options pose relatively little risk to you and your unit, they would also limit the amount of damage you could do. A riskier course of action could be to simply charge into the middle of the enemy formation and destroy as many enemy machines as you can. Of course, you would risk being overwhelmed by sheer numbers if you stayed and fought for too long. But if your nerves are steady enough and your piloting skills good enough, you and your lance could wreak serious havoc among the enemy.

What do you decide to do?




Vote 49:

* Skirmish with the enemy at long range.

* Make lightning strikes with melee weapons.

* Charge into the middle of the enemy.


I think that's all we can do until this vote is decided.


....


I am 99% confident of your choice, but I feel that to make it for you would sacrifice your agency, so we'll have to delay the action two days.


So let's have the votes by 5:30 PM Wednesday, and slaughter some REVOLLEs!

ETA: Good grief, I had this post WRITTEN last night but evidently I completely forgot to press the actual REPLY button until this morning!

Respectfully,

Brian P.

Fri
2015-08-03, 08:46 AM
You know what? This might be our ruin, but I want to charge.

We have a new powerful prototype, our lance are experienced, and the enemies are old machines and inexperienced soldiers. The battle is vast, we don't have time to be careful. We have to finish this quick so we can go back to our battlegroup and protect the capital ships.

But of course you guys don't have to agree on my opinion though, it's a vote-based cyoa after all.

CoreBrute23
2015-08-03, 10:33 AM
Damn it Elenor you are going to get us all killed!

Sorry wrong game. But I feel I'm going to be saying that a lot in the near future...

Skirmish with the enemy at long range.

We can't get bogged down in a charge! We need to save the CoDEC Task Force as well!

Fri
2015-08-03, 11:06 AM
Yes but the thing is, here's what I think: Mind you I'm completely basing this on out-of-game knowledge, since eventhough I've played this game it's a long time ago and damned if I can remember what each choices mean anyway.

If we just skirmish it, we'll only be able to destroy a limited amount of the civilian-attack group before I assume we have to go back to defend the task force, and leaving the civilian fleet facing the survivor of the attacking group, which even after our cull, might still be some number. Then we'll have to pick between continuing to cull the civillian attack group or defending the task force. While if we go guns blazing and charge right now, we might be able to destroy the civilian attack group completely and we'll be able to defend the task force in leisure.

Legato Endless
2015-08-03, 12:07 PM
While I've nothing against doing something other than mindlessly mashing the snipe skill, I would be better tempted if we had picked a different flaw. While Pendell is quick to remind that our character is no coward, this does sound like it might call for a willpower check. In which case, will we really take out more enemies?

CoreBrute23
2015-08-03, 12:30 PM
Willpower is our weak stat! There's no way we can pull this off. Besides it's not in character for us to go charging in like that-we are a sniper.

pendell
2015-08-04, 07:34 AM
While I've nothing against doing something other than mindlessly mashing the snipe skill, I would be better tempted if we had picked a different flaw. While Pendell is quick to remind that our character is no coward, this does sound like it might call for a willpower check. In which case, will we really take out more enemies?

Legato Endless, just so you know, I don't see a formal vote here so the voting is currently tied 1-1 between "charge" and "long range attack".

Respectfully,

Brian P.

pendell
2015-08-05, 07:46 PM
We have a 1-1 tie so we'll roll off to determine whether we charge in or attempt an attack at long range.

Charge in = 80

Shoot from distance = 16

The random number generator wants us to charge in, so that's what we'll do.



"Alright Eternal Vigi- Lance, we need to wipe out those bombardment machines, so we're going to charge through the escorts, get right into the middle of their formation and do as much damage as we can!"

Your lance choruses aknowledgment as they form up in a broad wedge behind you. It's compact enough a formation to drive your unit through the outer ranks of Fantins, but it also means you'll be able to split up and fight independently once you reach the center of the enemy formation.

The vast cloud of enemy machines fills your main display and gets bigger by the second. The first sporadic bursts of enemy fire reach out for you but you are moving too fast. Fantins are piloted by the bottom rung of the Imperial military's pilot corps. Even as the range closes, not a single one of the panicked, erratic bursts of fire comes close to hitting you.

Your assembled combat armatures plunge through the outer layers of the enemy formation, braving a storm of poorly aimed but heavy enemy fire. You open up on the enemy FANTINs as you pass by them. There are so many of them that you can't help but hit a few. An enemy machine explodes, brought down by your fire, followed by another.

Within moments, you and your lance-mates are at the heart of the enemy formation.


So we've got past the escort screen -- FANTINs are mostly conscripts anyway -- what now?



The Imperial bombardment mecha are big and slow—even an idiot could hit them.

Their armor, on the other hand, poses a problem. Your first shot only staggers your target. When you fire a second, the bolt of blue light goes right through, and the enemy machine is engulfed in a retina-searing bloom of antimatter annihilation. Your next enemy goes down easier, now that you have the hang of it.

The LIONHEART's rifle reaps a bloody harvest: you down five of the bombardment machines in quick succession.

For a few seconds, you and your lance work a fearful slaughter on the vulnerable Imperial bombardment mecha entirely unimpeded. However, it is not long before the mass of escorting machines on the outside of the formation react, turning inwards and opening fire, hoping to drown your attack in a storm of fire.

Unfortunately for them, their response is less well-considered than it could have been. Thousands, if not tens of thousands of shells fly at you, but some hit the very bombardment mecha the escorting FANTINs are trying to protect. Others fly past your lance's machines and strike Imperial escorts on the far side of the formation.

Regardless, you are stuck in a crossfire, with bullets coming from every side. You maneuver frantically to avoid being blasted apart.

You try to evade the storm of fire, and you manage to avoid most of the enemy shells—most but not all.

Your cockpit shakes as Imperial shells explode against the Lionheart's armor but the strange, white material holds firm. You take no damage.

At this crucial point, you make the decision to withdraw. Your lance could score some additional kills against the enemy now but it would put you and your entire unit at risk of being annihilated by the thick enemy fire.

You give the order. The FANTINs are not much faster than the lumbering bombardment machines they are escorting so it's simple enough to evade them. You have torn great holes in the enemy formation, and many of its bombardment mecha are now twisted tangles of wreckage and vaporised metal.

Soon, Eternal Vigi- Lance are out of weapons range and you are safe to contemplate your next move.


*Wipes brow*

We didn't kill everyone in the formation , but we savaged it most viciously.

It's a good thing we took along the LIONHEART. Up-armored as it is, it sustained no damage. I'll wager our MANNINGHAM would not have been nearly so fortunate.

*Checks*

It appears there was indeed a willpower check involved and we broke off the attack a trifle early, so the Imperial formation is a bit stronger than it would be otherwise. Still, quite a good showing.

Confirmed kills: 80

Warrior: 70 Diplomat: 30
Deliberation: 100 Passion: 0




You take a second to take stock and assess the progress of the battle.

Both Imperial forces continue towards their respective targets—the smaller force of swift VALLIERs and heavily armed GROGNARDs will launch their attack on the warships of the CALIBURN's battlegroup at any moment, while the much larger force of REVOLLE bombardment mecha and their massive escort of Fantins are almost in position to launch their attack on the civilian evacuation ships.

The Imperial attack force headed for the CoDEC battlegroup is still at full strength, but the actions of you and your lance have done moderate damage to the Imperial force bound for the civilian transports.

The options avaliable to you seem clear: position your lance to defend the warships and help preserve your home carrier and her escorts for future battles, or protect the civilian evacuees and save tens of thousands of lives.

There is also a third option. The advance of the two groups of Imperial combat armatures has left a large gap in between the two strike forces and left the Imperial fleet wide open. You could always eschew the defense altogether and strike directly at the ships of the Imperial fleet. Without combat armatures covering them, the ships of the enemy's fleet are more vulnerable to your lance than they have any right to be. You could inflict devastating losses on the enemy this way, but only if you abandon the civilians, the CALIBURN, and your fellow pilots to fend for themselves.





What will you do?
Vote 50:
* Defend the battlegroup.
* Defend the evacuation transports.
* Strike at the enemy fleet.


Votes in by ... Friday, 5:30 PM. Good work so far.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

CoreBrute23
2015-08-05, 11:47 PM
Damn that was close.

Let's stick to the plan people:

Defend the battlegroup.

Legato Endless
2015-08-05, 11:54 PM
* Defend the battlegroup.

Attacking the enemy is tempting, but somehow looking back and watching our fleet get crushed seems a strategic misstep.

Fri
2015-08-06, 12:19 AM
* Defend the battlegroup.

Attacking the enemy is tempting, but somehow looking back and watching our fleet get crushed seems a strategic misstep.

Well, if all of the enemies' ships got wiped out, even if all of our ships are wiped out too, doesn't that count as victory :smallbiggrin:?

And yes, since we've done quite a lot of damage to the bombardment fleet, I think we can go to defend the battlegroup now. The civilian fleet will still get bombarded, but not as heavily, and protecting our battlegroup is a higher priority now, since if the battlegroup got wiped, the civilian fleet will be dead anyway.

CoreBrute23
2015-08-06, 02:23 AM
A Pyrrhic victory perhaps. I don't want to be sending of letters of condolences to all those soldiers' families.

pendell
2015-08-06, 07:56 AM
Well, if all of the enemies' ships got wiped out, even if all of our ships are wiped out too, doesn't that count as victory


That depends; Is the enemy's will to absorb casualties as great as your own? Is the enemy able to replace casualties more readily than you can?

These are the important questions to ask when considering a war of attrition -- i.e., grinding each other down through brute force.

For instance, during WWII the Germans scored victories on the Eastern Front during 1941 that dwarfed any in history. Whole army groups disintegrated. The Russians sustained millions of casualties.

The Russians replaced their men and their equipment, and often old, obsolete equipment was replaced by newer and better equipment. And won.

The Russians won in part due to the fact that the Germans had a lot less ability to absorb casualties than the Russians did; however lopsided their casualty ratio, it was still more than the Germans could sustain.

Or an older example: Hannibal and the Second Punic War. The battle of Cannae is still remembered as one of the most crushing victories in human history, in which two entire Roman consular armies were destroyed.

Nonetheless, the Romans replaced their armies and trailed Hannibal, attacking him everywhere else except where his army actually was. The cities of Italy closed their gates, and Hannibal gradually began to run low on troops, food, and supplies. He was eventually recalled to Carthage because Roman attacks elsewhere were making his victories in Italy meaningless.

War is about more than killing the enemy. If the enemy can replace every soldier he loses but you can't, you gain nothing from an even exchange of troops and men. If anything, you're worse off than before!


Likewise the American experience in Vietnam: We sustained 50,000 casualties in the course of years of fighting while the North Vietnamese sustained more than a million, in addition to being constantly bombed. Yet Vietnam is a united country today, despite the North Vietnamese never actually winning any battles against the Americans larger than the company level or so.

Why? Simple. National will. While the Americans technically had the ability to replace casualties at a higher rate than Vietnam ever could, in point of fact we were a lot less interested in getting killed in a land war in Asia than were the people who actually lived there. North Vietnam inflicted more casualties on the US than it was *psychologically* prepared to sustain, and we eventually left.

So Vietnam won that war of attrition despite having all the numbers against them. While they did not come close to exhausting our manpower, they DID exhaust our willingness to throw away young lives in a far off place. The result of winning, to us, simply was not worth the investment in human lives it would take to win it.

Also, attrition warfare is considered the lowest, least skilled form of operational art, not least because every human life expended in a war of attrition is one less soldier for future battles against other enemies -- or, if you win a peace, fewer workers and medics and artists and mothers and carpenters and sailors, all of whom can do their country more good than by fertilizing some field in a far off place.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

pendell
2015-08-07, 06:52 PM
We have a consensus to defend the battlegroup .



You deploy your lance in defensive positions around the battlegroup and await the enemy.

The Imperial force approaches slowly. You count down the seconds as the first wave of VALLIERs and GROGNARDs close to within reach of your weapons. You bring your weapon up and aim carefully for one of the leading enemy machines and try to keep calm as your target enters range.

"Fire!"

On your mark, your lance unleash a storm of fire, augmented by the fire of the point-defense guns mounted on the warships behind you. Together, you send a hail of autocannon shells and particle rifle shots downrange at the enemy.

The front ranks of the enemy are torn apart as your shots tear into them, their feeble attempts at evasion no match for the overwhelming volume of fire. Each enemy machine that falters is blasted apart, pierced, or battered by shells and charged particles from half a dozen sources. There is no way to tell one pilot's kills from another.

Still, the swift enemy machines continue their suicidal charge forward, sheer numbers and forward momentum doing what their skill could not. The space in front of you is littered with the wrecks of enemy machines, but dozens more push on through your fire and begin their attack runs on the warships.

You draw your plasma cutter and give orders to engage the enemy at close range as you rush into melee combat.


The enemy is now in melee range.



You and your allies roar into close combat, melee weapons drawn, to intercept the enemy machines before they are able to carry out their attack runs on the battlegroup's warships, whose heavy armor would offer little defense against Imperial monosabers.

With the enemy focused on closing to melee range with the vulnerable warships, cutting down the attackers before they can strike seems like an easy job, but you simply do not have the skills for it. The enemy move too quickly and your reflexes are too slow.

You give it your best effort regardless. You have many enemies to intercept and very little time to do it. Striking as quickly as you can, you ignore your frequent misses and don't stop to finish off the targets of your rarer hits. With no time to double around, you can only hope that the few targets you damage are hit hard enough to be taken out of action one way or another.

After a few minutes, the Imperials fall back in ragged groups, their formation savaged by your defense.

Your lance gives a token pursuit, but you soon return to assess the damage.


I suppose that's the price we pay for only an average piloting skill.



You take a few seconds to watch the enemy combat armatures retreat back to their fleet and catch your breath as your lance forms up on you again. With your ammunition and fuel reserves running low, you doubt you'll be able to fare particularly well against a renewed attack.

The cost of the battle has been high. While your own machine has suffered minimal damage, your lance-mates' machines have all taken damage, to some extent or another, you can't be sure how much. With your own attention so focused on keeping your machine in one piece, you have little ability to keep track of your lance.

At least you're all still alive.

The CoDEC battlegroup is not so lucky. Though a stout defense has saved most of the ships of the battlegroup, one of the destroyers has been cut apart by the swift machines of the Imperial attack force. In addition, almost every ship remaining has suffered some kind of damage or other. The CALIBURN herself is streaming atmosphere from two hull breaches near her bow, and her fire-control mast has been reduced to a crumpled ruin.

For the most part, the civilian ships are still intact. The Imperial attack only managed to destroy two or three of the evacuation transports, though another floats dead in space, her engines disabled. Though tens of thousands have died by the swarm missiles of the Imperial bombardment machines, hundreds of thousands more still live on the dozen or so transports still intact. The remaining ships are getting away from the battle as fast as their drives will carry them.

The Imperial machines are now long gone, fallen back on their massed warships, no bigger than an array of specks on your main display. For a moment, it seems the enemy fleet is actually moving forward to meet their retreating combat armatures.

Wait.

You take a second look. Instead of retreating to their carriers, the tiny, dark dots of the Imperial machines are taking standard defensive positions around the enemy ships. Your pilot suit suddenly feels clammy as it fills with cold sweat.

The Imperial Grand Fleet is advancing.



Okay, so we lost track of our lance during the battle because we only have an average ability to command others in battle. It appears that both the groups we defended have suffered some damage but are mostly intact -- only 1 destroyer lost and three evacuation transports.

Could have been much, much worse.

But it seems like the main event is about to start -- perhaps that is why the Grand Fleet held back? To use the Combat armatures like a Roman Javelin, disorganizing and weakening the opposing force before closing for the kill with the warships?



There is no way that the battered CoDEC battlegroup could survive against the full force of the Imperial Grand Fleet. It barely survived an attack by a third of the grand fleet's combat armatures, and this time, the mecha will be supported by the heavy weaponry of the Imperial warships. Now with the civilian ships out of the picture, you see no reason why the Imperial fleet would divert its attention this time.

As much as you hate to admit it, you know it would be hopeless to try to stand against an attack this big.

Sure enough, the order you've been waiting for isn't long in coming.

"Eternal Vigi--Lead, this is CALIBURN. Return to the ship and prepare to withdraw. We're getting out of here while we still can."

Acknowledging your orders, you turn your back to the enemy and order your weary lance to retreat, trying not to turn back and look at the receding blue planet behind you.



We appear to have survived that engagement, and we saved quite a few ships. Now a new episode starts...





Caliburn Battlegroup, In Transit to Fleet Base Crown, Vedria System

Thirty-Six Hours Later

"CALIBURN to Eternal Vigi--Lead."

The incoming message shakes you free of your fugue state as your eyes focus on the glowing panels of your cockpit consoles in front of you. Escort duty has never been a particular favorite of yours—long hours of staring at nothing and hoping that one of the points of light in the distance will turn out to be an enemy contact is not an enjoyable way to spend a day. In this case, however, your inattention comes from something other than mere boredom or ambivalence.

"Eternal Vigi--Lead, this is CALIBURN, respond!"

The last day and a half have not been restful ones. While the CALIBURN and the remaining ships of the CoDEC battlegroup were able to make an escape from Vedria, you've had to escort the the handful of remaining evacuation transports to the safety of Fleet Base Crown, where the rest of CoDEC's main battle fleet is waiting. This means keeping pace with the much slower civilian vessels and constantly guarding them from possible lightning raids by the combat armatures of the pursuing Imperial grand fleet.

For you, that's meant being on a constant, emergency patrol cycle.



Vote 51:
In all honesty:

* I think that keeping the civilians safe should be our top priority. I'm glad we're doing it.

* I think that protecting the civilians is just part of our job as soldiers.

* I think the civilians are slowing us down—we should abandon them.

* I think these stupid civilians are getting in the way of our real job: killing the enemy.





With the other combat armature lances in the battlegroup severely depleted, your outfit is the only one still capable of flying cover for both your home carrier and the civilian transports.

That's meant long hours in the cockpit, and a truncated detox cycle, giving you barely enough time to purge the combat drugs from your system before you have to get up for a new sortie and take another dose. The result has not been particularly pleasant for your physical or your mental well-being.

You reach forward and activate the comms console. "This is Eternal Vigi-Lead, send."

"Eternal Vigi-Lead, we have unidentified contacts closing fast from the direction of the enemy fleet. We need you and Eternal Vigi-Lance to confirm and to engage if hostile. Keep them away from the evacuation ships," Watanabe adds.

Well then, perhaps you'll be seeing some excitement today after all.



Enemy ships incoming ... I believe our ship is still in good shape. Battered by incoming fire but the new armor saved us.



You acknowledge your new orders wearily and order your lance into formation. They respond with an equal exhaustion, their fatigue even showing through the ragged movements of their machines. They've had to put up with the same schedule you have, and their relative lack of experience has negated any advantage they might have received from their younger, less war-ravaged bodies.

You go through the standard pre-combat status check as your lance forms up behind you

and give the order to advance.



All right, let's check out our bogeys.



A few minutes later, you see the unidentified contacts come into range of your own tactical sensors. The distant blips appear on screen, colored a bright red. Your machine's IFF package identifies them as hostiles.

You open a channel to the rest of your lance. "This is Eternal Vigi-Lead, contacts read as hostile, confirm?"

A moment later, Asadi appears on your comms screen. "Confirmed boss: enemy contacts read hostile," he responds wearily. The two of you haven't had any time to talk properly over the last few days but you get the feeling that the constant patrol cycle is getting to your wingman even more than it's wearing you down. "What are our orders, boss?"

You relay your findings to the CALIBURN. Within seconds, you get a reply. "The Captain wants you to engage the enemy. You are under no circumstances to allow them to attack the civilian transports or the CALIBURN."

Armed with your new orders, you move forward to get a closer look and zoom in on the metallic specks in front of you, each glowing with the halo of thrusters on full burn.

Your eyes narrow as a more detailed image coalesces on your main display: five VALLIERs charging towards you at full speed. Four of them are in the bare gunmetal-gray of the Imperial military but the fifth, the one leading them, is adorned in bright blue and white.

A mechanical chirping fills your cockpit and your hand automatically reaches for your comms console.

A pale, aristocratic face appears on your screen, half hidden by a sky-blue mask.

"We meet again, pilot."



Oh, for pity's sake. THIS guy again. Somebody mentioned our Imperial LARPer?



"I look forward to facing you again," Hawkins says, his eyes intent. "I have been fortunate to find someone capable of matching me in battle. Battles betwixt those like us are a rare pleasure."

The Imperial ace and the quartet of enemy machines formed up behind him continue to close with you. With time growing short, you open a channel to your lance and discuss tactical options.

Unlike the last time, you can't simply retreat. If Hawkins trails your unit as it withdraws, the Imperials would be able to attack the CALIBURN and the undefended civilian transports. Running away is not an option.

As the most skilled pilot in your lance, and the only one piloting a high-powered prototype, you would be best suited to face Hawkins. Thus, the obvious option would be to face the Imperial ace while the rest of your lance deals with the four machines accompanying him.

Alternatively, you could order your lance to engage Hawkins while you dealt with his accompanying escort. While you have little doubt that your skills and high-powered prototype machine
would be able to prevail against regular Imperial pilots in regular Imperial machines, even outnumbered four-to-one, your lance would be hard-pressed to deal with a pilot as good as Commandant Hawkins.

Hawkins would definitely try to engage you personally in single combat regardless of the circumstances, and would aggressively tear through your lance-mates if they tried to get in his way.
Your unit will almost certainly take losses but it would likely prevent you from having to face the Imperial ace alone.

Lastly, you could perhaps try to stall Hawkins by talking with him. That might buy you some time, or even give you a way to get Hawkins to call off his attack altogether.





Vote 52: How will you act?
#Attack Hawkins and order my lance to deal with his escort.
#Attack Hawkins's escort and leave the ace to my lance-mates.
#Try talking to Hawkins first.



Votes in by Sunday, 5:30 PM. If we have received less than four votes voting will be postponed till Monday, 5:30 PM.

Respectfully,

Brian P.