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Help Requested: Clan Scenario Ideas
Hello, community.  I need some help in coming up with scenarios for a MegaMek/MekHQ campaign for trueborn Clan MechWarriors.  We don't (and won't) use Against the Bot, so it is all me for mission and scenario design.  Some quick background on me:

I've been running a merc campaign for my group of friends for the past 7+ years, and recently paused it to do an "interlude" campaign where everyone starts a Clan character that is about to take their first Trial of Position in the Clan.  We've now gotten past the Trials and are playing through the careers of these Clan MechWarriors.  I am very knowledgeable in Battletech history in general, albeit slightly less so in the day-to-day view of life in the Clans, even though I've read nearly all the novels.

But the Clans stump me a bit because, unlike newly formed merc units, brand new trueborn front line units don't go out hunting bandits or taking backwater assignments to cut their teeth / get their feet on the ground.  Instead, their wheelhouse is going toe to toe with other Clan trueborn/front line units in Trials of Possession and the like.  With the rules of Zellbrigen being what they are, this means signing up my players for a bunch of battlefield duels for which their inexperienced Stars are ill equipped to handle the average Clan front line troops they encounter in such engagements.  I don't want to hand them easy assignments, but neither do I want to hand out a constant shin-skinning procession of frustration.

Assuming I'm not being too easy on them (let me know if you think so), I'm hoping some of you have even more specific knowledge on what a month -- or even a year -- in the life of a trueborn Clan MechWarrior might look like.  What sorts of missions do they fight?  How often?  And are there any deep Periphery realms that the Clans actively interact with, that they haven't already conquered?  I don't know much about this space of Battletech lore, admittedly.  I just know they pretty much stuck to themselves during the Golden and Political Centuries, fighting little skirmishes over resources and what not. There are vague references in the novels of things like Cyrilla Ward saying it would be good to fight the Smoke Jaguars once again, but the stories I've read don't cover what the various Clans are doing with all their warriors every day when they aren't invading the Inner Sphere.  Even the War of Refusal doesn't help me much because that seems to be all-out war with little or no Zellbrigen in the few scenes we see, which doesn't seem right to use as an example for a lore-ful Clan campaign like the one I'm running.
So, it's been kinda contradicted in later sources.  But the initial concept for the Clans there was no trade whatsoever.  (Then they decided to add the trader Clan Diamond Shark/Sea Fox later)  Any time another Clan needed anything, they would fight a Trial of Possession over it.  It could be something as large as a production run from a factory, to something as trivial as a technician.  So pre-invasion there was supposed to be a constant number of small trials between all the Clans.  The difficulty of the trial would depend on the value of the target, and the friendliness of the Clan who had control of it.  So Clan Coyote would deliberately undercut the forces assigned to defend a trial against Clan Wolf, but would over commit to a Trial against Smoke Jaguar.

It is an intricate system that, on the surface, made little sense. (Hence the addition of the Merchants)  But if one thinks about it, they were trying to design a complete communist system without a single piece of currency.  And if you can get around the fact that there is no money, not everyone can, it does actually work quite well.  And the constant fighting over everything helps keep the Clan Warriors sharp without plunging them into an all out war.

So, my suggestion for the warriors, would be to start them off with some friendly missions, where they are going up against some less potent enemies.  Second Line Garrison troops, even Salohma troops, in older equipment.  While having your forces out number the other clans is an option, it can make players feel left out while they are waiting for their turn to duel like good Clanners.
Thank you, sir.  You're replying a good bit after my question, and I can share that I have gotten past that point.  Perhaps interestingly, I ended up doing it very similar to how you laid out above.

We started as Ghost Bears, in the year 3040.

Everyone wrote up a character bio (at least one paragraph), and took a Trial of Position with that character.  I had to design some rules to act as a "safety net" under all the pilots, as I didn't want my players to get discouraged by doing all the work to write up characters, and then have them die or fail their Trials of Position.  The safety net worked well, and only 2 of the 6 players were able to get Star Commander rank from the results, with the other 4 barely making it into the Warrior Caste... which was a spread I was happy with.

Once they were placed in their new units, in Beta Galaxy, for their first Mission they were assigned a series of scenarios attacking Clan Snow Raven on a planetary-scale Trial of Possession for WarShip materiel on the world of Circe (broken up into lots of little battles, with the preliminary battles leading to others, and so on).  This pitted them against the Snow Raven second-line garrison there, and worked out well, in terms of my original question above.

Mission 2 was against the Smoke Jaguars on Huntress, which brought them into contact with still more garrison troops in the mix (though not all).  Though the players did well in their scenarios on Huntress, overall the attack there went badly for the Ghost Bears, thanks to the unanticipated presence of elements of the Smoke Jaguars' Alpha Galaxy (specifically the 6th Jaguar Dragoons) that coincidentally happened to be on training maneuvers there.  The Ghost Bears' Beta Galaxy was mauled when the Smoke Jaguars counterattacked the Ghost Bear main body of troops.  As a result, the Ghost Bear Beta Galaxy was sent to Bearclaw to Rest/Refit.

While out there, however, a massive attack from a very large bandit group hit them... very strange because these bandits had a larger and better equipped force than any bandit force ever seen in Clan space.  Smile  It's a bit of a side story I made up, that ties into the Society later.  As of this writing, my Ghost Bear players out there on Bearclaw are on their 7th Scenario, still working to rid that world of the last of the bandit scum.  They've picked up a lot of XP by this point, and are decently seasoned now.  When they are done, they will be able to take on Clan front-liners just fine, zellbrigen or no.

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