The story opens with a short briefing of the Inner Sphere's Operation: Bulldog, a daring plan to eliminate the most hostile and vicious clan in the Inner Sphere: Clan Smoke Jaguar, led by Anastasius Focht and Victor Steiner-Davion. Operation Bulldog and Task Force Serpent have already completed their objectives, but there is one last operation left—the one with which the player is tasked—the disruption of a ranking Smoke Jaguar officer's attempt to rally and restore the Clan forces. This mission (codename: Damocles) is to destroy key Smoke Jaguar installations on the planet Tranquil, including a mech factory, a starport, a geothermal power plant, and the Smoke Jaguar control structure. The mission is a commando operation with limited forces, and does not include elimination of the enemy as an objective.
Two dropships are deployed to release the BattleMech force to destroy these installations. However, while in orbit above Tranquil, a dropship is attacked by naval laser fire. The Blackhammer is shot down and the remaining dropship, the Eclipse, retreats to safety. The player was already deployed from the dropship, which had been slightly off target before it was destroyed. The Mobile Field Bases (MFB), which were deployed at the same time as the player, land on target. The player's first mission is to rendezvous with the MFBs and secure the area from hostile forces.
At least seven Mechs are deployed. Two are destroyed by the enemy near the beginning of the game and one toward the end. The novelization mentions one more casualty lost due to a parachute malfunction. The remaining four survivors gradually link up over the course of the game. Twelve more Mechs remain aboard the Eclipse, but they cannot be deployed directly, and an attempt to fight through from a safe landing area fails after heavy casualties. Despite this setback, the player must continue with his objectives, and eventually secure a landing zone so the dropship can return to evacuate them.