Bitter End: The Defense of Connor's Pass
|Bitter End: The Defense of Connor's Pass|
|Author||uncredited (see Notes)|
|Publisher||Game News magazine, issue #8|
|Era||Succession Wars era|
|Timeline||ca. 3026 (see Notes)|
Bitter End: The Defense of Connor's Pass is a BattleTech scenario published in issue #8 of the Game News magazine. Notably, it was announced as an excerpt from the Tales of the Black Widow Company sourcebook although that sourcebook does not actually contain this scenario. The two-page scenario is similar to those from the sourcebook in layout and general content, suggesting it may have been originally written for the sourcebook but not been included after all for one reason or another (possibly pagecount).
Magazines do not fall under the current definition of Canon by default, even official ones. On the other hand, the scenario was provided to the magazine by FASA for marketing purposes, marked as an excerpt from one of two sourcebooks that were advertised (along with the BattleTech game–"the second edition rules set of BattleDroids"–and a BattleTech poster) on the same pages. This arguably makes the scenario an official publication and raises its canonicity to apocryphal, instead of mere non-canon.
No date is given in the epigraph, and the location is given as "Istmar III".
Forces from House Kurita have defeated the combined regular and mercenary forces of Houses Steiner and Davion. A battle from two days before is mentioned. Hansen's Roughriders are withdrawing from their untenable position in the plains around Hannisport towards their transports to evacuate, pursued by enemy forces who are spearheaded by the Black Widow Company. To buy his unit time to escape, Hansen ordered an ad-hoc company of nine battered BattleMechs which were too damaged to escape the pursuers to stay behind and hold Connor's Pass to the last man, to delay the pursuers as long as possible.
The attacker is the entire Black Widow Company, who enter the gameboard one lance at a time (Recon Lance on turn 1, Fire Lance on turn 2, and Command Lance on turn 4).
The defenders are three medium and six heavy 'Mechs under Major John Qaffad (who volunteered, preferring a suicide mission to being dispossessed), all of them damaged to some degree and most of them with impaired movement.
- While no proper date is provided, the timeframe for this scenario can be narrowed down: Wolf's Dragoons and the Black Widow Company with them were in Kurita employ between 3023 and April 3028. Joint operations of the fledgling Steiner/Davion alliance would not occur until the Galahad 3026 exercises. By 3027, there are no known operations of regular DCMS forces in conjunction with Wolf's Dragoons anymore. That seems to establish 3026 as the only year in which the scenario could conceivably have taken place, around the earliest stages of the 3026 Galahad maneuvers.
- No system called Istmar is known to exist in the BattleTech universe. Istmar III might be a continent or region on a planet with another name. Given the Dragoons' tradition of including a clause in their contract by which they would not be used to attack their preceding employer, it can be assumed they either defended the planet in question from a joint Davion/Steiner attack or, more likely, attacked a planet along the Kurita/Davion border.
- While the publication in Game News is uncredited, its origin from FASA and that it was (presumably) originally a part of the Tales of the Black Widow Company scenario pack suggests the author to be William H. Keith Jr., J. Andrew Keith, and/or Richard Meyer (the credited sourcebook authors).
- Game News magazine, issue #8 (October 1985)