MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries/Kestrel Lancers Missions
MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Kestrel Lancers Missions details the unique campaign introduced in the Legend of the Kestrel Lancers DLC. An expanded Heroes of the Inner Sphere DLC style Career Mode track separate from the game's main campaign, the player again takes the role of Commander Jake Mason of Nik's Cavaliers, succeeding in rebuilding the unit after the death of his father and their shattering on De Berry. As the Third Succession War splutters to a halt in 3026 and Mercenary Review Board contracts dry up, Mason is approached by Colonel Ardan Sortek of the Federated Suns with a contract offer from First Prince Hanse Davion himself to take part as an aggressor force in the Operation GALAHAD wargames against Federated Commonwealth forces.
At its base the Kestrel Lancer missions are a series of multiple mission operations with extensively scripted events and unique map layouts on a exceedingly tight timetable. As the game itself warns, the player must maintain a stable of multiple pilots and 'Mechs with gaps between missions only long enough for minimal armor repairs or light injuries to be healed. Aside from the longer gaps when travelling between systems, extensive repairs or refits and lengthy pilot recovery can sideline a significant portion of your strength for multiple missions, requiring careful management of resources.
Aside from the unique Kestrel Lancers campaign missions, standard procedurally generated contracts, Cantina Missions and Career Mode level High Reward Quests are available to play. Seven additional High Reward Quests were introduced as part of the Kestrel Lancers DLC but only two occur in a suitable period to be taken prior to "Call to Arms" campaign.
Depart for Avigait
- Mission Brief: After Mason accepts the FedSun contract on Lee, Colonel Sortek recalls his father's services alongside the Crater Cobras during the Battle of Halstead Station in 3013 and explains both mercenary units will be fighting together again on Avigait where Sortek will personally oversee the wargames there, offering full repair and transportation expenses to both units.
- Mission Brief: The Cavaliers and Crater Cobras are charged with defending a decommissioned orbital defense system from a combined Federated Commwonwealth attack, the wargames continuing until the overall commanding officer of each side is defeated.
- Rewards: 1,810,000 C-Bills, 200 Reputation, six Medium Lasers, three SRM-6s, one Autocannon/10, two Large Lasers
- Mission 1: 200 Tonnage Limit, 35 Difficulty Campaign (Defense) Mission to assist Crater Cobras defend an orbital defense emplacement from a combined attack by the Twelfth Donegal Guards and Second Crucis Lancers.
- Mission 2: 220 Tonnage Limit, 35 Difficulty Campaign (Assassination) Mission which see Colonel Richard Westrick of Crater Cobras attacking the coalition HQ as a distraction, drawing off the Donegal Guards and Crucis Lancers and allowing the Cavaliers to launch a surgical strike to eliminate Colonel Sortek and his LosTech enhanced Dragon Slayer to win the wargames for the mercenary side.
Operation: GALAHAD Complete
Impressed with the performance of both mercenary units, Colonel Sortek advises that the Federated Suns are interested in offering a long-term contract to the Cavaliers in 3028, assuming they can field multiple lances worth of pilots and can boast a roster of ten combat ready BattleMechs by that time.
Happy New Year
Once the year 3028 is reached, Cavalier XO Ryana Campbell wishes Mason a Happy New Year and reminds him of the FedSun contract, pointing out that they likely only have a few months to complete other contracts and build up their strength to level required to accept it.
Call to Arms
In the first quarter of 3028, on behalf of First Prince Davion, Ardan Sortek offers the Cavaliers a two year exclusive contract within the Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth which will see them integrated with a weakened and rebuilding AFFS RCT.
The player has a roughly six months to accept or reject this contract, providing a limited window for additional contracts any purchases, if accepted they will be immediately locked into the Kestrel Lancer campaign for the duration.
Welcome to the Second Crucis Lancers
Marshal Jackson Davion welcomes Mason to the Second Crucis Lancers as the Cavaliers will serve out their FedSun contract as an independent Special Operations BattleMech unit in the Kestrel Lancers under Davion's command, technically still mercenaries but on paper adding much needed strengthening to the depleted command. While not saying much more with Hanse Davion and Melissa Steiner's wedding still months away, Jackson advises Mason to prepare for an extended campaign, with his 'Mechs repaired or undergoing refit before boarding a Command Circuit that will take them to Crucis Lancers' homebase of Mira.
- Mission Brief: As the Fourth Succession War begins and Operation RAT is set in motion, the Cavaliers along with the rest of the Second Crucis Lancers join the other seven Crucis Lancer RCTs to take the Capellan Confederation 'Mech producing fortress world of Tikonov, a world that has resisted all previous attempts at capture.
- Rewards: 304,825 C-Bills, 300 Reputation, CTF-1X Cataphract (pristine), one Tier 3 ER PPC, one Tier 3 Autocannon/10 Burst Fire.
- Mission 1: 245 Tonnage Limit, 40 Difficulty Campaign Mission to destroy the Anti-DropShip Orbital Cannons on Doriya, Tikonov's first moon, to allow the Lancer DropShips to land on Tikonov, facing off against the system's battle hardened planetary militia.
- Mission 2: 250 Tonnage Limit, 60 Difficulty Campaign Mission which sees the Second Crucis Lancers assigned to capture the mountain mining town of Gizhiga by destroying the entrenched Ariana Grenadiers.
- Mission 3: 255 Tonnage Limit, 50 Difficulty Campaign Mission. With Pavel Ridzik fleeing the battle turns in favour of that the Davion forces, but also reveals the existence of a previously unknown Earthwerks Limited BattleMech plant hidden in the Kazan mountain range near Gizhiga. Despite their inexperience, with the Second Crucis Lancers the closest unit they are tapped to capture the plant before the trapped CCAF forces left on world can use it to resupply or attempt to destroy it to deny it from the Federated Suns.
Following the final surrender of Tikonov, Jackson Davion reveals to Mason that after a month of R&R the Second Crucis Lancers will be shipping out, warning him to use the time well to purchase supplies, hire any replacement pilots and prepare 'Mechs for the next challenge in sixty-four days time.
- Mission Brief: Accompanied by the Third Crucis Lancers, the Cavaliers and the rest of the Kestrel Lancers are charged with the capture of the Confederation world of Tigress. While a less hardened target than Tikonov, with only two Lancer RCT it will be a difficult enough challenge assuming all goes to plan...
- Rewards: 304,825 C-Bills, 400 Reputation, ZEU-6S Zeus (pristine), two Tier 4 LRM-15 Stream Fire, four Tier 4 Medium Lasers, one Tier 4 Large Laser.
- Mission 1: 265 Tonnage Limit, 60 Difficulty Campaign Mission. The Second scout the planned location of their Forward Operating Base in Yuolor's Grove for the offensive against the primary target of the Four Cities only to find themselves walking straight into a Kerr's Intruders ambush.
- Mission 2: 270 Tonnage Limit, 70 Difficulty Campaign Mission. Though the Second were able to successfully fend off the ambush, the Third Crucis Lancer find themselves heavily under pressure from Warrior House Hiritsu and Laurel's Legion. With the Third insisting they can hold them off, Marshal Davion attacks alone while sending the Cavaliers on a risky surgical strike to destroy 20 power generators at the center of the Four Cities that power the entire region, only for disaster to strike.
- Mission 3: 275 Tonnage Limit, 60 Campaign Mission. With all of Operation RAT potentially at risk after House Hiritsu was able to overrun the Third's HQ and unwittingly acquire the unit's MIIO codebooks, a Maskirovka Crisis Team edict that all intel must be decrypted first before being forwarded to Sian provides a brief window to locate the planet's Maskirovka base before they realize what they have, the Cavaliers forced to perform the dangerous mission solo with the rest of the Second still tied up with the invasion of Tigress.
With the Cavalier attack forcing Tigress's Maskirovka team to send the still encrypted files to Sarna for processing and the Second still tied up on Tigress, Jackson Davion enlists Mason and his unit for a exceedingly risky solo mission - travel to Sarna alone without support to destroy the Third's codebooks to preserve Operation RAT. With the planet due to come under attack any day by the Fifth Syrtis Fusiliers who are already under a communications blackout, Davion is forced to send the Cavaliers in blind on a hundred and forty-day trip to hopefully able to link up with the Fusiliers before the Capellans can crack the codebooks.
- Mission Brief: Reaching Sarna the Cavaliers find that the Fifth Syrtis Fusiliers and their supporting mercenaries, the Screaming Eagles and Crater Cobras, all but defeated by the combined regiments of McCarron's Armored Cavalry, and worse some Fusiliers have inexplicably gone rogue and destroyed the planet's HPG. Cutoff from any possibility of reinforcement and totally outnumbered, the Cavaliers are forced to land on the hostile world hoping some Davion survivors may be left to aid them complete their mission.
- Rewards: 1,304,825 C-Bills, 2500 Reputation, one Tier 0 Anti-Missile System, pilot Lt. Miasto Stabjorn for completing "Sarna Debrief"
- Mission 1: 290 Tonnage Limit, 60 Difficulty Campaign Mission. Picking up a faint and unencoded SOS seemingly from the Fusiliers that could just as easily be a Capellan trap, the Cavaliers find that its both when they link up the last survivors of the Fusiliers but that the Capellans followed their DropShip to them.
- Mission 2: 295 Tonnage Limit, 60 Difficulty Campaign Mission. Captain Alanna Damu, the highest ranking survivor of the Fusiliers, agrees to assist the Cavaliers if they aid her in connecting with the elements of the Fusiliers who destroyed the Sarna's HPG. Needing the help of even rogue troops if they hope to survive, the Cavaliers and Fusiliers instead discover their loyalties lie elsewhere and that the rogue "Fifth" are willing to do anything to cover their tracks.
- Mission 3: 300 Tonnage Limit, 70 Difficulty Campaign Mission. Putting the few survivors of the rogue "Fifth" under enhanced interrogation provides depressingly few answers to their origins but does reveal the location of the Maskirovka headquarters on world and that the codebooks remain encrypted, with Damu agreeing to provide the Cavaliers Fusiliers commandos to help complete their primary mission.
- Mission 4: 310 Tonnage Limit, 75 Difficulty Campaign Mission. Though their is mission complete, the Cavaliers are still trapped on Sarna without hope of rescue. Learning Colonel Westrick and the remains of his exhausted Crater Cobras are alive holding out in the hull of a long downed WarShip, Mason's command links up with them just as the Capellans launch a massed attack to eliminate them.
- Mission 5: 320 Tonnage Limit, 85 Difficulty Campaign Mission. Thankful for the save, Westrick reveals that long-range communications capable of reaching the system's Jump Point are blocked by heavy Capellan ECM. Offering a month to prepare, Westrick suggests a repeat of the GALAHAD tactic with the Cobras luring the Big MAC away to open a window for Mason to destroy the jamming arrays, though warning the Capellans will quickly deduce what is occurring when they strike.
- Mission 6: 350 Tonnage Limit, 80 Difficulty Campaign Mission. With the ECM gone revealing Ardan Sortek on approach with the Davion Heavy Guard, McCarron's Armored Cavalry know their only hope of victory lies in now eliminating the Davion forces on world. Despite having experienced six months of hard fighting, the few survivors of the Fusiliers, Cobras and Mason's troops must hold on until the Heavy Guards perform their drop in the face of a last desperate Capellan push.
NOTE: You get no time to repair your mechs before the last mission!
Message from Marshal Jackson Davion
Jackson Davion is overjoyed to learn the Cavaliers survived the Sarna Campaign, issuing a canned debriefing from Tigress discussing destruction of the HPG and the post-war economic crisis that means the Second Crucis Lancers will technically disbanded, existing only on paper with its troops reassigned to the Third Crucis Lancers, and the AFFS can no longer financially support final four months of the Cavaliers exclusive contract, exercising the cancellation clause. While disappointed, Davion remains upbeat that the Second will be rebuilt again and thanks Mason for his efforts to keep the Kestrel Lancers' legend alive.