Hair of the Dog – Act V Scene 1 -Battle of Beasville – BT

These entries comprise the official turn resolution posts for Act V Scene 1 of our PBeM-run A Time of War Mechwarrior RPG campaign entitled Hair of the Dog. This scene encapsulates the entire urban aspect of the Battle for the port city of Beasville on the planet Oliver – a Marik industrial world recently annexed by the Lyran Alliance during the opening months of the 4th Succession War.

Player entries and GM notes have been largely excised from the narrative to allow for faster reading, a greater grip on continuity and shorter threads as this battle sequence requires frequent accessing of the maps and battle data to make real sense. The data sheet for the battle can be found via Google Docs at this link: Battle of Beasville Chart. The maps have their own album located here: Battle of Beasville Maps

This entry is told from the point of view of Blowtorch

For the other characters’ view points click any of the following links:

CH:L     MD      LJ

Cast of Characters

Hair of the Dog Archive

November 27, 3028

Turn 1 

The angled light of dawn casts spindly, twisted shadows across the undisturbed, snow covered ground in front of your mech as you follow Cool Hand’s Hermes beyond the reinforced walls of the warehouse and out onto Anderson Boulevard, facing North West. Through the large and slowly falling flakes of snow, the winter sunrise washes everything in shades of orange and fiery reflections, but your eyes adjust quickly thanks to the tinted view ports of the Hermes.

You form up to the left of the Hermes. After the last few years of piloting a Griffin, piloting something this light and nimble will take some getting used to.

An instant later, past Cool Hand’s slender mech, you catch sight of a bus, a garbage collection truck, and a few private vehicles slamming to sudden stops, and skidding through the intersection to your right.

There is nothing quite like making a dramatic entrance.

Initiative Information

  • No visible hostiles
  • Current location: Hex 2322 facing Hex 2221 (Hermes in Hex 2421 facing Hex 2321)
  • Terrain: snow covered road

As you jump a distance which almost doubles that which your Griffin can cover, the thin shadow of your tiny mech contracts to a curiously distorted humanoid figure which plays over the snow and across the rows of middle class apartment high-rises and commercial headquarters office towers to the West of you. Clearing an ugly and confused-looking building that you saw from the bus this morning and know to be the National Art Gallery, you settle down in a snow-covered parking lot, mostly empty of cars, with a minimum of effort.

As you leap over the intersection of Anderson and Reeves, you can make out flickering amber emergency lights, and yellow hazard tape strung haphazardly along scattered barricades further along the boulevard.

It looks as though the bridge which passes over Settler’s Pond collapsed during the night. The icy surface has been broken and refrozen. The ground to the North of the pond is torn up, and something large and very heavy looks to have been dragged from the water and up onto the boulevard.

As your Spider descends on a white hot plume, to settle lightly behind the Gallery (Hex 3323), just south of you, slowly and carefully navigating the snow covered surface of the street Cool Hand swings the Hermes around to face the North West (in 1725, face 3324).

>Are the friendly mechs showing up on my radar?

They will when they are on the same level and in range. Remember that your forward sensors have a much longer range than rearward. Visual spotting is often needed.

Spider SDR-5V

30 Tons – 8/12/8 – 10 Heat Sinks

Head              Armour Factor 6

Centre Torso AF 8

Right Torso   AF 6

Left Torso     AF 6

CTr              AF 4

RTr              AF 2

LTr              AF 2

Right Arm   AF 5

LA              AF 5

Right Leg   AF6

LL              AF 6

2 MediumLasers CT

Jump Jets are in Torsos so this mech can land in and jump out of Depth 1 Water. (Not Depth 2+)

Turn 2: Movement Phase

As you jump North to land near a broadcasting station, a little to the west of one of the city’s Hazard Shelters, you see Luckjaw come in your direction at a gentle run in his purple and gold heavy~  The Guillotine is working smoothly, and well.

To the South, most of the way down Reeves Avenue, you see Mad Dog’s Griffin getting hammered by energy and missile fire!

Turn 2: Firing Phase

You are out of range of all targets.

Turn 3

Initiative Information
0 visible hostiles

1 visible Ally (Guillotine, through the glass of the L8 apartment tower behind you)
4 Active Hostiles detected

3 Active Allies detected

Current Panel: Map Row 1, Column 2

Current Location: Hex 3316 facing Hex 3315
Terrain: snow covered ground

Enemy Movement Information

The enemy is turning to the East
They might be going for cover behind the Museum
One is Jumping behind the museum
three are running

Ally Movement Information

Cool Hand broadcasts on the Lance Channel: “All Units, form up East”
The Orion and Crusader will enter the map this turn

NOTE:

The map is made out in 3 rows and 4 columns. It contains a total of 12 map panels, using just 4 different maps. As a result, there are many identical hex numbers.

OOOO

OOOO

OOOO

To prevent confusion locations will be referred to this way: Sector 2, grid reference 2118. The Sector number will be the map panel. The grid reference is the hex.

Sector Two is this map:

OOOO

OOOO

OOOO

Sector 12 would be this map:

OOOO

OOOO

OOOO

As you try to get a clearer sense of what is going on, over the comm, Cool Hand states coldly, “Attack the light lance.”  Although no one wanted battle in the city, you are in one now, and there is no option but to win it.

Sending out your position and damage status, you fire the jump jets and take the Spider in a high arc with a smooth rotation to maximize the view of the streets you pass as you go. The glare from the sunrise is a bitch, but you think you catch sight of some major activity on the roof and around the perimeter of the grim-looking Police Headquarters. Adorned with Lyran banners of a clenched, blue-armoured fist, the huge complex looks more like a prison than a police facility. As the jump jets slow to let the mech begin its gentle descent, the position reports of the others, including Charger and Glass Heart, as they exit the Warehouse gates, filter past you in a steady stream.

As you bring the Spider down, Luckjaw’s Guillotine comes down just to your right in Grid Reference 2022, facing toward the museum and Mad Dog completes a short hop to land between two heavy buildings related to the Art Gallery, in Grid Reference 1922.

Ahead of you, the Orion and Crusader struggle a bit in the snow the passages of the first 4 mechs have packed and made slippery, but the two men turn their mechs and send them westward toward Mad Dog along Anderson Boulevard as expected, their torsos are already twisting in hope that they will be able to acquire a target despite their limited range options.

The enemy Wasp, glittering and fragile-seeming in the orange light of dawn completes its jump behind the museum, clearing the lake and coming down next to the Guard Tower where you lose sight of it. (Grid Reference 2426)

You lose sight of the Jenner and Commando before you touch down, but you know they are moving at a run through the light woods bordering the Museum park. While you are airborne you briefly catch sight of the enemy Stinger as its pilot hooks around in an agile turn and heads North. Ahead of it, a tall office tower with a familiar bank logo is wreathed in smoke.

Just before several of your cohorts’ mechs open fire on where you expect the Lyran Wasp to be, blasting with their lasers like it is going out of style, you receive a signal coded for you, Mad Dog and Luckjaw, requesting that you form up into a lance to pursue and attack the Lyran light mech lance.

Cool Hand has decided that those 4 light mechs are not to leave this area under their own power.

Turn 4

Initiative Information
0 visible hostiles

5 visible Allies
4 Active Hostiles detected

7 Active Allies detected (weak response from T-Bolt and Thug as they near ground level)

Current Location: Sector Seven

Terrain: snow covered ground

Enemy Movement Information

The three enemy mechs are heading North East
The Jenner and Commando are running around the corner of the Museum
The Wasp is Jumping NE
The Enemy mech in Sector 6 is running North

Ally Movement Information

The Thunderbolt and Thug will enter the map this turn

As you begin your movement a sharp message goes out over the command channel from CH:L, “Lasers don’t run out of ammunition, people!”

Immediately afterward, over a clear channel you receive the following communication:

This is local force commander Aaron Schmidt, for the People of Oliver. Rebel Force, cease fire for the sake of the innocent lives around you!

As your jump brings you down into the small park next toPolicePlaza, you see that you will be under the guns of the infantry squads assembled on the roof tops of the central ring of the  complex. Do they have infernos?

While you are checking your landing zone, a message from Luckjaw plays quietly in your ear as the Lyran message completes at full volume.

” hey try to cut them from moving to the commercial district, if you do I Will be able to close on them… ”

It is hard to see in the glare, but you are 80% sure there are two or more missile carriers on the East side of the Plaza. In the glare, through the snow, and at your rapidly decreasing height and speed it is impossible to tell what sort of carrier they are (LRM or SRM), but no matter which, they represent a major threat to this mostly unarmed force.

They will be able to rain down indirect missile fire anywhere within a range of 270m if they are ‘only’ SRM carriers… far more than that if they carry LRMs.

Looking southward you can easily make out the Wasp as it comes to rest on the roof of some sort of high-end electronics store. More alarmingly, the Jenner – notorious for being one of the most heavily armed light mechs in the Inner Sphere is coming right for you with woods cover of its own, and a range of no more than 150m!

Due to the squat stature of most of the strongly constructed buildings, and the propensity that the citizens of Beasville have for building underground, you are able to see most of the mechs in your force, but still cannot get a good visual on Mad Dog’s Griffin to assess its damage. As you touched down, you also lost sight of Glass Heart and Charger.

Death Breath (Fitz) ever-nimble narrowly avoided getting DFA’d by Luckjaw as the former mercenary came in hot and chose the entrance of the warehouse as his landing zone.

Cool Hand will probably have some sort of response for the Lyran commander, but… what do you want to do? The Jenner is rocketing toward you with the bore of an autocannon aimed right at you, while its left and right medium laser pods  are clearly moving to line up shots. Somewhere behind and above you, infantry is getting into position to blast your brains out if they can get a shot, and somewhere around the corner of the very building you have your back to, are dreaded missile carriers just waiting for a target…

For an idea of the modifiers and whatnot the roll to hit will be:

2D6

+ 4 Gunnery + 0 Link Modifiers

-2 forMediumRange

-3 for Your Jump

-3 for Enemy Movement of 9 Hexes

-1 for light woods in LoS

-1 for Moderate Snowfall

-0 for the glare from sunrise at this angle

or: 2D6-6 on a TN of 8

By way of comparison a Medium laser shot from the Jenner would have:

-2 forMediumRange

-2 for Running

-4 for Your Jump of 8 Hexes

-1 for Light Woods Hex in LoS

-1 for Light Woods cover

-1 for Moderate Snowfall

As you and several others open fire, a message from Cool Hand ordering all mechs to cease fire begins. His intent is not stated until a full second after you have fired. The message is unencrypted and is on the same open channel as the Lyran commander used.

Grey Hawk Irregulars: hold your fire. Commander tell your people to cease fire, and we will gladly meet them north of the city for honorable combat

Steaming through the thickening flakes of sun-flared snow, the energy bolts from your medium laser, blasts down the side ofLawrence Avenuetoward the onrushing Jenner with the distinct feeling of too little, too late.

About 150m in ahead and to the right of you, a potent discharge of light and ionized energy erupts around the Wasp, rocking it back on its heels but not dislodging it from the wide roof on which it stands, 4 stories above the avenue. Its right arm has been blown completely off and the flaming pieces of metal rain down across the snow covered street and into oncoming traffic as your own bolt misses the Jenner and vanishes to the south.

You think your sensors are confirming what your eyes saw while you jumped. They seem to be picking up high concentrations of metal on the East side of Police Plaze but the heavy construction of the Plaza is causing a lot of interference.

____________________
Your side has won Initiative.

 

Turn 5

Initiative Information
2 visible hostiles (Wasp, Jenner)
4 visible Allies (Cannot seeGriffin, Orion, Crusader)

3 hostiles detected (Jenner, Commando, Wasp)

2 possible hostiles detected (missile carriers?)

Current Location: Sector 7, Hex 3120, facing South
Terrain: snow covered park, light woods

Enemy Movement Information

The light lance has split with 2 units moving North, up Lawrence Avenue toward Police Plaza, one unit down, and one unit in Sector 6 heading North

The Wasp is not advancing

The Jenner is running North (charging you?)

The Commando is moving North slowly, freeing itself from a building

Ally Movement Information

All Mech units are on the board

The tiny mech you are piloting responds far more quickly than anything you have piloted since your earliest training days. As you pivot and kick in the jumpjets for another 240m jump, you find that you have almost acclimatized to the sudden kick of lift off followed amazingly quickly by the gradual sense of weightlessness at the top of the arc, followed just as suddenly by the deceleration blasts which let the 30 ton mech drop lightly to the ground again.

As you are slammed back into the pilot’s couch, you taunt the Jenner pilot on the open channel, “Catch me if you can, kokotko!”

This jump… 240 metres travelled, clearing an 8 storey building [L4] while simultaneously passing between two much, much taller structures that you realize in passing must be diplomatic housing. You come close enough to the taller of these, an overbuilt and reinforced monolith of an apartment building standing nearly 30 storeys tall and descending lord knows how many underground, that had you wished, you could have reached out with the Spider’s hand and snatched a chubby government worker right off his balcony.

Coming down behind the Squat and brutal looking Planetary Exchange, you know that its guards will be marking your presence and preparing to resist any attacks you might make… regardless of whichever side of this thing that they are on, yours or the Lyrans.

In this position, a large plaza with fountains, benches, and untouched snow, screened by some of the tallest buildings in this part of town, you have lost visual contact with all allied and hostile mechs.

As you check your scanners, seething clouds of LRMS begin their deadly rain on and around the Thunderbolt.

Toggling the open channel and the Hermes’ external broadcast system, to denounce the cowardice and trickery of the Lyran commander while flagging the Wasp as a prime target and sending it out to your forces, Rom grates, “Treacherous Lyran DOG, have you no respect for civilian Lives??”

As his words crackle with menace and disgust across the airwaves, and roll like amplified thunder toward the park, the missiles descend and explode with massed concussive force, the echoes rolling down the snow covered streets like the laughter of Ares.

As a counterpoint, a low-flat crack of explosive ammunition erupts and echoes through the streets from somewhere back along your route. Someone fired an autocannon… the Jenner?

Checking your scope it is possible that the Jenner took a potshot at the Thunderbolt which seems to have been at Ground Zero for the missile attack.
A huge flare of heat erupts around the Wasp, crouched on its rooftop.

You have won Initiative

 

Turn 6

Initiative Information
0 visible hostiles
0 visible Allies
4 hostiles detected (Stinger, Jenner, Commando, Wasp)

2 ICE hostiles detected (LRM carriers the computer does not recognize, Data: 1 carries 2 LRM20s, 1 carries 1 LRM20)

Current Location:

Sector 3, Hex 2316, facing East
Terrain: snow covered ground

Enemy Movement Information

The light lance has fragmented. 1 Heavily damaged (Wasp), 1 on the offensive (Jenner), one wandering around to the South (Commando), and one making a Beeline for the NW.

Ally Movement Information

Luckjaw and Rover are out of formation

The other mechs are headed NW

Moving upJohn Street, parallel to Rover’s mad dash up Weaving Street toward Police Plaza, you try to track the Jenner – ultimately losing it and the other enemy mechs behind one of the many department stores which litter this area.

Landing firmly on the heavily reinforced, crenallated rooftop of Police Place, you have your first clear view of the unit of Jump Infantry assembled on the rooftop in Sector 8, Grid Reference 3218. As you ride your jets to a stable landing, they are too elite to scatter, but rather break into a tactical formation and ready their missile packs to attack.  You can’t be certain what they are equipped with, but you are in range if they are carrying either SRM or LRM ammunition.

They seem to be set with large jump packs, so you can expect them to have a mobility of around 90m. If they get close to you, they will swarm your mech, plant charges and blow you to hell if you cannot brush them off and escape.

You have no visual on Luckjaw, as he stalks into position, crowing on the open channel about lining up a shot to blow the living daylights out of the Commando. The man never shuts up… he is even bellowing something about the Lyran pilot needing to strip down?

Rover executes a wide and skidding turn at the end ofWeaving Streetto keep a bead on the fast-moving Jenner, still screaming incoherently the whole time. You lose sight of him as he gets too close to the building for you to track him visually.

You have clear lines of fire to the Jenner, and Wasp, albeit atLongRange, and can even make out the Commando through a stand of park trees.

Beside the Plaza, your scope shows the heavy tanks, 85 ton monsters bristling with missiles, purring with barely controlled fury, unmoving, poised to strike.

Mad Dog and Death Breath seem to be flanking CHL as he turns once again to head East, into the glare of the rising sun and toward a battle he did not want, in a place he did not choose.

Although your mech is tiny for a Battlemech, standing on the roof less than 90m from the Lyran jump infantry – your vantage point towers over them.

Dragging the cross hairs for the Medium Lasers into position in the centre of their disciplined formation, as they themselves work in teams of two to load and ready their shoulder borne missile launchers, you find yourself in a position no true mechwarrior enjoys – the slaughter of the unprotected soldier.

When the blazing energy from your laser arcs across the roof, nothing will save those who lie in its path but luck. That is no way for a warrior to die, brave as those who fall might be to hold their ground in the face of such certain death.

Thumb on the single weapon trigger, mindful of heat build-up which will most certainly be deadly in the confined streets of Beasville, you add your attack to the one already being mounted by Cool Hand below and off to your right. His quartet of beams blow fragments of ferrocrete like sharpnel across the roof and instantly vaporize the snow and ice collected in and around the crenelated battlements. Yours sears down between two teams of soldiers, and instantly renders the 4 men to ash and charred equipment, while gouging a steaming trench out of the reinforced rooftop.

The return fire is not as heavy as it could have been, with troopers knocked off their feet from the explosions of super-heated snow and building material from the edge of the rooftop, and the path of destruction you have blasted into the heart of their formation, but it is no less dangerous for that.

At this distance you are in their ideal range, although your sudden arrival behind and on their level has not given them much time to prepare for a perfect shot.

Coils of smoke rise up from the figures below, the rockets trailing them death-tipped and bent on destruction. The Spider shakes and shivers beneath you as the clusters of missiles begin to strike home, peppering the thin, untouched armour of your mech with shrapnel. High in the cramped, hot cockpit, you can imagine the carbon scoring, seared paint, and more horrifyingly – the long rents and gashes which will expose the internal mechanisms beneath.

This unit of soldiers was assembled to be mech killers, and they are gunning for you now.

Turn 7
You have lost initiative this turn.

Initiative Information

3 visible hostile (Stinger not visible)

6 visible Allies (Guillotine not visible)
Current Location:

Sector 7, Hex 2824, facing East
Terrain: snow covered road

Enemy Movement Information

The light lance has regrouped to cover the retreat of the heavily damaged Wasp

Ally Movement Information

The unit has regrouped in the killing zone around the museum.

Jumping back off the rooftop back behind the cover of towering apartments to the North, you quickly lose visual contact with both allied and enemy mechs. The Stinger, having been out of sight and range for several moments, drops completely from the scope, although you can be certain it continues to make a beeline for Azure Estates to theNorth West.

Also jumping this turn are Mad Dog and Luckjaw, and you lose sight of them last, as you hook around a towering office building and begin your rapid descent.

“Enemy Lyran choppers!” blasts across all bands at full volume from Rom and this report is confirmed on your scope – 2 airborne targets are approaching theMuseumParkfrom the South West.

At a much more muted and peripheral volume and audio placement, you hear Luckjaw query the unit, “Is anyone tacking care of the Stinger…..”

Checking your scope, you see that CH:L is hunting down the Wasp, the Commando is backstabbing Rover, and two choppers are coming in from the South West.

To add icing to the cake, sensor data from the other mechs reveals another cloud of LRMs has been sent in the same general arc as the last massive strike…  about where Fitz’s mech is standing now…

Distantly, you can hear the missile strike hammer down on and around Fitz’s mech in a wave of missile after missile, shattering glass and concrete, shattering the street, and exploding in wave after wave across the thick armour of the Thug.

Your side has won Initiative

Turn 8

Initiative Information
0 visible hostiles
0 visible Allies
3 hostiles detected (Jenner, Commando, Wasp)

2 ICE hostiles detected (SturmFeur1,2)

2 Bogies detected (Warrior 1, 2)

Current Location:

Sector 3,  facing South East
Terrain: snow covered terrain

Enemy Movement Information

The Light Lance is heading East. Contact with the Stinger is lost

Ally Movement Information

The unit has separated again into an expanding circle. The heavies are still within walking distance of the museum, you and Mad Dog are jumping for cover, and serious battle is being waged in the centre of the formation. Rom is chasing after the Wasp and Jenner by himself… in a scout mech.

With barely time to get used to your new surroundings, you fire the steaming jumpjets again and arc into a fairly sheltered position on the South East side ofPolicePlaza.

Sharp shooters from within the building may be able to take pot shots at you, but without seriously renovating the size of the reinforced windows with explosives to make more room, nothing they fire will be of sufficient force to be a concern.

The infantry on the roof however, are a completely different story. Keeping one eye peeled on them, you scan the terrain as you set the Spider down behind a screen of tall trees.

“Follow orders and disable light lance and spotters,” cuts across all radio traffic, sent from the command channel in the Hermes.

The Commando tries and fails to rise three times, either the pilot is injured in some way, or the mech is on ice and cannot get any traction, the final fall plants it on its face, and must have given the pilot a severe blow as the head cracked down loudly and forcefully face first into the ground.

From this distance, and at this angle, the prone position of the Commando will make it a tough hit [additional penalty of 2 for prone target]. The helicopter tagged as Warrior 1 is also in range, but due to its high speed is also a tough target.

Commando:

2D6+4 -1snow-1sun-3jump-2range-1trees-2prone = 2D6-6

Warrior 1:

2D6+4 -1snow-3jump-4target movement-4range = 2D6-8

The target number is, of course, 8 so you will need a 14 to hit the Commando or 16 to hit the Warrior…  Not good odds.

It is very hard for a fast moving target like your mech to hit other fast moving targets, which can frustrate some players. Using your speed and long movement distances to get behind slower mechs is the key to doing without being done unto.
What would you like to do~?

PS: Regarding the technical details…  you can read about all the equipment, at www.sarna.net (the battletech wiki).  I weapons system a day will enrich your life.

As the only way to lose is not to play, and as lasers need no ammunition, you take a shot at the Commando, but are near certain that all you hit was snow.

Fitz strides ever closer to the struggling mech in his 80 ton monster, lowering both arms to fire twin PPC blasts into the rear armour like some kind of executioner. Luckjaw opens up with everything,  large laser and 4 mediums,  at it at the same time.

Before they fire, over the open channel the Lyrans have been using, someone screams “Nooooooo!”

You do not recognize the voice. It is cut off before the scream ends.

In the eruption of energy and vaporized metal you cannot tell what weapons hit and what weapons do not, but feel certain the the Commando will not be rising under its own power any time soon, as internal explosions blast metal fragments in all directions, trigger the pilot ejection sequence, and heave the mech up out of the flash boiled snow like a rag doll.

For a mechwarrior, despite the thrill of victory at downing an opponent, there is often a hint of sadness as well, as another great and ever more irreplaceable machine falls. The same is true for the pilots, and death on the battlefield is often mourned for friend and foe alike.

The ejection sequence goes wrong. Triggered by what must be an ammo explosion in the torsos, the cockpit armour blasts outward and the command couch is primed to blast toward the sky. The commando however lies face down, and the explosion buckled its midsection, meaning the launch sequence hurled the pilot directly into the ground at full, rocket-propelled speed.

Beyond this brutal spectacle the copters have climbed to a higher altitude, and suddenly begin an uneven descent to facilitate their shots on… the Guillotine. What happens next is obscured by flame, clouds of smoke, and debris.

Your side has WON initiative.

Turn 9

Initiative Information
0 visible hostiles
3 visible Allies (LJ obscured by smoke)
2 hostiles detected (Jenner, Wasp)

2 ICE hostiles detected (SturmFeur1,2)  Internal Combustion Engine

2 Bogies detected (Warrior 1, 2)
Current Location:

Sector 7,  facing SE
Terrain: snow covered woods

Ally Movement Information

The Unit has formed up around Fitz, and are generally moving NE at a good clip.

Enemy Movement Information

The Light Lance has been stopped, and is turning to fight?

One copter is losing altitude, Warrior 1.

It’s not every day that you get to see a Thunderbolt jump.

Rover’s aggression on the battlefield, first charging the Wasp, then chasing after the Jenner, then the Commando, and now going after the missile carriers, has no rhyme no reason… It just seems like fury, …or fear.  Attempting a DFA in these weather conditions, under the guns of the Elite Infantry in place on the roof of Police Plaza, and who knows what else set up to guard the Sturmfeurs, is pure madness.

With all eyes on the Thunderbolt as your unit converges from different directions on the Plaza, the sight of proud Marik colours passing under and over it almost goes unrecognized. Death Breath’s Thug charges across the open parkland and on into the residential district, trying to keep a bead on the remaining mechs in the light lance. Your Spider arcs up and over the Plaza,  over Rover, over Fitz, and deep among the apartments and skyscrapers, trying to form up with the Hermes. Mad Dog’sGriffinpresses ever closer and sets down in the wooded parkland screening the West side of the Plaza, showing the grievous injury to its leg as little as possible.

With such a surfeit of choice, you could perhaps forgive the Infantry for hesitating, or being uncertain where to fire, but as you begin your descent and lose sight of the tableau unfolding by the Plaza, without hesitation their missile squads open up on Rover with their LRM launchers.

This is almost immediately followed by the sound of heavy missile launchers.

In training, the maimed old veterans they keep around to scare and keep the young men in line always used to say that the best way to defend against a DFA was to destroy the incoming mech in the air.

It would seem that the Lyrans take that old saying very seriously.

As you hit the ground, you have a nice shot into the Jenner’s ‘good side.’ The right arm is still functioning, although the armour has been punched through from the inside, and the mech is spewing smoke from one of its jump jets just under it, on the torso. Beyond it, the Wasp also makes a nice target, but perhaps one a bit too far out of easy reach…

Wasp:

2D6+4  -1 -1 -3 -2 -2 for 2D6-5

Jenner:

2D6+4  -1 -1 -3 -2 for 2D6-3

As you drop down with the thickening snow into the busier streets of this residential sector, SRMs rocket past you from behind wreathing you in the smoke of their passage before blasting holy hell out of a snow-draped dumpster and the hapless crew of shovellers standing next to it.

Shaken, but not stirred [Will], you hold your aim on the Jenner and let loose two bolts from your Mediums into its rear. One burns through the huge rents made by the loss of its Left Arm and the subsequent savaging of its torso sections, penetrating deep inside, and blasting large parts of the autocannon free and onto the street below.

Beyond the Jenner in your sights you can see the Wasp on its back, trying to reach out to the Jenner…?

Over the open channel you hear a woman’s voice, “You knew?!” but the signal ends abruptly as though the power were switched off.

At that very instant had come twin blasts at two targets from Fitz. One blazed over your head and caused an eruption of heat on your rear scope where the Warrior copter is, The other ripped brutally into the Wasp as it held up its one good arm in vain toward the mangled Jenner. The PPC tore the internal structure of the Centre Torso apart, sending the tiny mech flipping over onto its front like a rag doll. As it hit the scarred pavement the arm tore out of the shoulder joint to roll slowly away.

The pilot does not eject.

As sparks and heat flares fade around the Wasp, the Jenner, rocked by a blaze of fire from Cool Hand’s slender mech, collapses in an uncoordinated heap and its heat signature spikes suddenly!

Your side has WON initiative.

Turn 10. 

Snow Increased to Heavy Snow

Heavy Cloud Cover and Strong Winds

NO Glare

You run forward to close with the crippled Jenner and devastated Wasp. Smoke is still billowing out from the shredded armour of the Jenner, but while you step cautiously on the slippery terrain, the hatch is flung open and the mechwarrior, a man clad only in the traditional shorts and cooling vest of his calling, stumbles out onto the domed surface of his mount’s head.  Wreathed in a cloud of steam produced from the heat differential, he seeks a way down. He seems to be frantically trying to reach the Wasp.

The temperature is well below twenty, but with the wind chill and other factors will have far stronger effects. [between -30 and -50]

The Wasp, lifeless and in pieces, has yet to show any signs of disgorging its pilot. Due to the heavy impacts in quick succession in the last few seconds, it is likely that she is unconscious or perhaps even dead.

Cool Hand also closes with the two downed mechs, moving cautiously in reverse. Mad Dog touches gently down about 180m to your rear.

As you ran into position, you noted that one of the tanks is reentering the vehicle garage ofPolicePlaza. Its partner, trailing some smoke and grinding with difficulty through the snow, is bringing its turret around to track Rover’s jump as Luckjaw and Death Breath run into firing positions, passing under the targetted T-Bolt as they do. Fitz seems to be trying to use the woods to get a covered shot into one of the tanks, where Luckjaw seems to be relying on movement and weather.

Ready for anything, but bringing up the physical combat controls to target and launch kicks – or punches should the Jenner successfully rise – you hold off as the Lyran, woefully ill-dressed for temperatures your gauges put between -30 and -40, stumbles out of the Jenner’s hatch and carelessly makes the descent down its blackened armor to the street below to head off toward the remains of the Wasp where he is soon lost to sight in swirls of snow and steam.

All around you, combat ensues, with CH:L firing his four medium lasers, and the rest in their heavy mechs unloading their full energy weapons complements into the impossibly thick armored hide of the Sturmfuer.

It looses a flight of SRMs at Rover in the Thunderbolt, but once again luck is very much with him as far fewer strike than miss. The rest travel past his mech before scattering wildly across the open ground, exploding against whatever they find… statues, benches, parked vehicles, sign posts… shrapnel and smoke fill the air. A large piece of sign tears the cab off a snowplow sitting like a rock in the middle of the street, the driver’s jaw agape – frozen in place by the sight of mechs doing full on battle just before rush hour on a snowy Friday morning.

From nowhere (the other tank?) a flight of LRMs hooks over the top of Luckjaw’s mech, and homes in on Cool Hand! There have to be 20 missiles screaming right at his tiny mech on streaks of coiling black smoke and fire.

They rocket past him, detonating along the corner apartments of the building behind him.

You are spared the sight of the casualties which must of course be the result of such devastation.

Turn 11

Your side has lost Initiative

The Lyran commander is signalling a request to speak with the Marik Commander

Sturmfeur 1 is moving toward the vehicle entrance with difficulty – the tank keeps pulling sharply to the right

Sturmfeur 2 is no longer registering on your scopes

Winds have picked up to very high levels and the snow is coming down in sheets at an angle of nearly 45 degrees, but gusting up into chaotic swirls every few seconds. The temperature is pushing down toward -40 or lower. Training tells you that any step could bring you into contact with Black Ice.

No other threats are registering on your scopes.

Current Orders: Fighting Withdrawal to Sector 3 Grid Reference 5610.

Kicking the Hermes into a run Rom rapidly blasts past you before you can get your mech into motion.

As he runs behind you, scouting out the North exit from this sector of the city, Mad Dog advances in a jump of approximately 150m to set down between two towering apartment complexes not far away, using them as cover versus the threat of reprisals from Police Plaza.

Luckjaw leaps between Rover and the struggling Sturmfeur, while Rover doesn’t seem to be moving at all.

Opening the command channel Rom orders Rover to fall into position.

Echoing the command comes the thick french accent of Luckjaw. “ROVER MOVE TO THE FUCKING COORDINATE NOW, OR I WILL SHOOT YOU MYSELF”

Fitz has pushed a little extra speed out of his mech to stay close to Rom, but if you know him is probably still tracking the Sturmfeur.

So far, nothing new is registering on your scopes that poses a threat.

Responding to the ongoing signal of the Lyran Commander Rom states, “This better be good…”

The reply is instant and in a different, and older voice than their last communication.

“This is Oberleutnant Gerber Braun, regional commander. First, my apologies for the unnecessary duplicity of my subordinate 1st Leutnant Aaron Schmidt. May I  know to whom I speak?”

The name seems familiar…

Your long jump gives you a chance to take a quick visual scan of the streets in this area, but you detect nothing out of the ordinary. Problematic, however, is the growing number of spectators pressed against their apartment windows to see the mechs in action.

The wind buffets your small mech much more strongly as you take a long leap to form up with Fitz in his 80-ton monster. Landing with the Sturmfeur in your sites, you are just in time for Fitz to unleash one hellish bolt from his left PPC, striking the impressive armor of the tank.

Luckjaw, dropping between Rover’s Thunderbolt and the thank, snaps a volley of shots from all of his energy weapons and scores a hit on that devilish turret of SRMs as well as doing some kind of major damage to the motive system! The tank slams to a sudden and obviously unplanned stop!

Rover’s mech stands motionless, and a quick zoom-in reveals some damage on the right side of the head… he may have taken a missile strike there and even though the armor has not been breached, he may be unconscious!

Initiative:

  • No new threats register on your scope.
  • No sensor contacts in the Argent Estates region reported by CH:L
  • The weather is growing too rough for conventional aircraft to be effective
  • The Sturmfeur has shut down – no infantry or police reinforcements are closing on its position

As you ready your tiny mount for another leap across the iced and dangerous streets of Beasville – leaving Fitz behnd as he closes in on the rendezvous point, you notice that Luckjaw, apparently unsatisfied with knocking out the tank’s drive system, has decided to have his heavy mech stomp on the Sturmfeur for good measure! Even with a solid stomp on the turret, the silent heavy tank still keeps a solid bead on the Guillotine as if waiting for the perfect chance… or permission… to unload its deadly flights of SRMs…

Turn 12

The snow is making it difficult for the unit to come together again at the rendezvous point. Your mech is reporting increased resources being devoted to mimicking your sense of balance because of the wind and snow, so the others must be having a hard time too…. A fall now, could be deadly. The Lyran light mechs… when they fell, they never got up again. Still – your mechs cannot afford the damage, your pilots cannot afford the risk of injury and unconsciousness, and the citizens have much more to lose…

Checking on progress, Rom starts a long walk in reverse toward the rear of your unruly group, as Rover’s mech suddenly comes back to life and jumps near the Captain’s, in a slow and controlled arc in the direction the rest of the unit is moving, coming down far behind your position, as you clear a bland and grey office tower, and start your descent toward some elegant looking apartments and shops.

Over the unit’s comm comes and open and chagrined message from Rover, “Sorry, Captain!”

At the same time, a message comes through in text and speech from Death Breath stating, “Caution! Watch for Private Security Forces” Looking around, you can understand his warning. Embassies, corporate holdings and media outlets from outside the League, and the upper-class infrastructure to support that sort of rarefied level of living, are spread out all around the chosen rendezvous point.

With the unit under orders to rendezvous in the Northern part of the city, Rom and  LJ are now the last mechs in the line – farthest from the rendezvous point. Even your damaged mech can move faster than his Guillotine…!

You have to wait long, long seconds for Rom’s reply to the Lyran commander, but finally you hear him speaking over the open channel in deliberate tones, “This is Captain Rom of the Free Worlds League Planetary defence, Grey Hawk Irregulars.  I strongly suggest we continue this action outside the city, but be warned we will meet any duplicity with deadly force.”

Your mech can scan a wide range of things, but in the city not many of them are all that effective. Narrowing the focus to seismic, motion, and IR will still cause a lot of interference from the buildings, but unless the buildings mount a mobile assault on your position, it should be easy to pick out the mechs.

Turn 13

While you scan, Braun replies, “Excellent Captain Rom. May I suggest then that you call off your attack dog, so that I can order my men to stand down? We have ceased fire in good faith, but need not be so restrained.”  You sense an implied threat in his words, indicating that not all of his cards are visible on the table at the moment. What other forces could he have in the area?

No one is reporting any contacts or threats. Ahead of you in Grid Reference 5404, a heat bloom indicates that someone near the top floor of the building has opened a window facing in your direction. Zooming in reveals the window opens upward on a hinge, shows the blurred outlines of shadowy figures of more than one person silhouetted against the bright interior light, and a long, narrow, cylindrical object is projecting from the base of the window in your mech’s general direction.

No one else is in a position to confirm or detect this.

Flagging the building as a potential threat and announcing the presence of possible snipers, you stop your mech where it stands and focus on a scan of the structure. The building is adjacent to the new rendezvous coordinates. Is that just coincidence?

The lances are converging nicely and should be able to make the rendezvous points and exit the city in a uniform fashion.

Cool Hand offers a challenge to Braun offering a formal challenge to reconvene hostilities in a more genteel fashion at a set of coordinates your memory indicates is roughly 50Km south of the suspected location of the Marik Base in 5 hours time.

“OK Oberleutnant Braun, We are under cease-fire, barring any more treachery.  If you still wish to contest these mechs we will suggest a location outside the city.  If not, I’m sure we will have plenty of chances to test each other in the coming months”

Braun simply replies, “Go on,” then the two of them work out a time and place for a real battle, somewhere to the North, at noon.

Visual scans indicate that the building contains dwelling spaces, but also commercial spaces… such as something called the Lyran Trade Concern.

The sensors indicate the device they are setting up in the window could be a weapon – likely an inferno launcher, but your own eyes suggest an optical or sensing device of some sort.

Turn 14

You have no visible/mobile enemies

Opening comms to the lance leaders, you broadcast, “I’m not sure if they’ve got a weapon or sensor gear but it’s making me nervous. I suggest we stay out of LOS of 5404.”

Speak your piece~

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