Saturday, February 2, 2013

Fallen Battlecruiser

This is the second battle in my "Hidden Battles of MR-4/76" campaign. A damaged Hishen battlecruiser crash lands in the wastes of MR-4/76. The Star Army sends an advance squad to capture survivors and obtain enemy data modules. [In this patrol mission, I had an investment level of 3 and bad intel, despite having aerial recon.]

This is the initial setup. Debris from the battlecruiser litter the area [I rolled a very cluttered map. The corkboard hills and paper barricades count as LOS-blocking, impassable terrain.] I decided to deploy my squad as two separate fire teams: team alpha on the left has Ian (rep 5 star), Jack, Kyle and Louis. Team beta has Mark (rep 4 ASL), Nathan, Oswald and Peter. All grunts have a rep of 5.

[I also adopted the following house rule: because of the smoke and dust from the crash landing, visibility is limited to 30" away.]

Things started pretty calm, with fire team alpha advancing and fire team beta holding position. While they checked their surroundings, Jack noticed some movement among the debris: the Hishen had pulled together a makeshift defensive position.

In the ensuing firefight, Jack was killed and three Hishen were put out of the fight. Ian and Louis carried the stunned Kyle behind cover. [On the third turn I resolved first contact without surprises and found out that the  Hishen had an investment level of 4. The PEF resolved as one squad in defensive position. As the PEF was moving I make an In Sight test for my Star Army fire team.]

Jack recovered and the three jumped from behind cover to fire at the Hishen. Louis and Kyle ducked back while Ian kept firing his rapid-fire laser, taking down the Hishen squad leader. Unfortunately, he would be struck down moments later. [Ian suffered an OD result, got no successes on the star power roll and was saved only by the Larger than Life rule.]

Through the comm-links, Louis informed Mark that the squad leader had been shot. Mark decided to move forward, intent on flanking the enemy. The position in which they were was struck by an artillery shell just after they moved -- the Hishen had brought artillery support and air recon didn't see anything? Intel was bad indeed... [I moved into sight of another PEF but it resolved as an artillery strike! The blast landed close but no one was hit.]

The soldiers discussed what to do. It was evident that the Hishen had arrived first and had a larger force. While Mark tried to contact the planetary command, two Hishen popped from a spider hole behind them, taking Nathan out of the fight and stunning the rest of fire team beta. Kyle and Louis left cover to fire at the two Hishen at the defensive position but were stunned too.

The two Hishen ambushers moved up to Oswald and Peter and killed them. The same happened to Kyle and Louis. Mark recovered from the stun and surrendered, dropping his rifle.


Ugh... a whole Star Army squad wiped out in what started looking like an easy mission. Campaign morale was unchanged despite the massive failure, and it seems that the next mission will be a patrol once more.

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