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Subject: Diary of a Marauder #3 rss

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Diary of a Marauder, Invasion of Skinny-5: Sortie #3

Well, we’ve evacuated from the Bugs’ planet to knock of their Skinnie allies. Our platoon was being dropped on Skinny-5 to take out their space port city, or at least render it inoperable. Intelligence gave us 14 possible locations for the 3 communications, 2 power plants and 1 water refinery. It was an either/or option. Either clear the city, or knock out all the critical locations. We decided to try to do both.

I’ll try to give you a quick briefing on the terrain. The city is in the NE corner of the sector. 6 possible locations were tucked away behind it even further NE. the city was filled with a multitude of Skinnies and 3 strongpoints were guarding the 6 objectives. 3 objectives were in each of the other compass corners and the rest were scattered in the rough terrain which went from 6:00 to the NW corner, where it encompassed about 1/6th of the sectors total area. Each objective had a strongpoint next to it, and the ones in the SW and SE were loaded with Skinnies.

Each Scout and Leader were given a High Explosive Missile Launcher (HEML), and each of the 6 squads were armed with 2 Delayed Action Proximity (DAP) Charges and 1 Delayed Action Remote (DAR) Charge. I got a DAR. Cool.

We had 2 hours and 24 minutes.

Command ordered the squad drops as follows.
Fox was dropped on the city, they drifted south a bit. Just south of the city Bravo was dropped, they drifted NW and landed on top of Fox. Anarchy, that’s my squad, dropped just SW of Bravo with a bit of a south drift. Charlie was just north of us, but drifted further north and landed west of the city. Eagle was dropped in the south east to look for installations, and Dog has the same objective with a SW drop in the savannah beyond the rough. One poor bastard from Dog drifted too far south and is MIA, presumed dead. I never knew him, but what a terrible way to go.

As we were landing the city went wild. 9 Heavy Weapon platforms appeared at the city’s edge: 5 Missile (HWM) Platforms (more deadly, but more fragile) and 4 with Laser Beams (HWB). They started taking pot shots at us even before we landed. And they were going for our command! Both Assistant Squad Leaders (ASL) had their suits heavily damaged, and ASL1 lost his HEML. 2 Marauder who landed near each other also were targeted and took heavy and light damage to their suits. Fox’s Scout also took a viscous hit and was seriously wounded in aciton (WIA). 6 Skinnie Warrior Squads attacked a fox Marauder in the city did light damage.

The worst part of the drop was losing Sammy. He was the Eagle’s Scout. Eagle wasn’t expecting much resistance, could’ve been a shelter full of workers for all they knew. But 2 HWBs came out and fried poor Sammy before he could even hit the ground.

The rest of us landed safely and the fight was on. This was for Sammy!

Now, war is a chaotic thing. And I hardly knew any of the following was happening at the time. But I spoke to friends in the different squads and pieced together the following. In order to try to tell this story, I’ll break up the events in 12 minute blocks, writing down what happened to each squad/in each area in that particular period. I’ll call each 12 minute period a turn. I could call it a banana, but I’d probably get hungry. Are you with me?

Turn 2 (aka Banana 2):

Dog was too far away from their SW objective, and they launched their 2 HEMLs at the strongpoint, disrupting whatever Skinnies were inside.

Eagle began to move in a focused their attack on the 2 HWBs. They missed both of them with a HEML and in Close Combat (CC). The HWBs retreated part way back to the SE corner and caused 1 stun and 1 HVY (Heavy damage to a Marauder’s Suit)

Anarchy/Bravo/Fox (ABF) – The majority of the Roughnecks focused on assaulting the city. Pretty soon, we were hardly distinguishable as 3 different squads, as we kept jumping past each other and combining firepower to try to take down targets. Bravo and Fox immediately began engaging the enemy. Anarchy, with our drop a bit further out, spent these 12 minutes moving nearer to the city’s outskirts. Marshall landed furthest to the south, and we sent him to check out the objective nearby in the rough. It was just a decoy. Our command and scouts used their HMLs but only disrupted a single HWM. Although, a couple Bravo Marauders in the city managed to eliminate a HWM in Close Combat. 2 DAPs were also dropped, but only 1 HWB was disrupted. This was bad news, because I could see those machines begin to power up for a counter attack. Two Marauders received HVY damage from the HWMs and Charlie’s Scout was seriously WIA. A number of the other scouts were stunned.

Charlie Squad began to move in from the west, but a small spaceport west of the city blocked them from the action so far (except for their scout and Squad Leader). Charlie also broke off two members (Forman and Vickers) who headed NW to check out some lightly and unguarded objectives.

Turn 3:

Dog continued to assault the strongpoint, but failed. They did discover a Communications tower in the far SW though, and a number of Skinnie warriors ran out to protect it.

Eagle dropped their two DAPs, one on each HWB, but both failed to do any damage. A couple Marauders in CC managed to eliminate one though. The second HWB retaliated and lightly damaged the platoon sergeant’s, Sarge’s, suit but did destroy his HEML. A couple warriors ran out of the strongpoint to defend the revealed Communications Tower.

Forman and Vickers continued their long trek NW.

Charlie dropped a DAR and DAP on a crowded strongpoint on the Western side of the city but failed to do any damage.

ABF – Anarchy joined up with Bravo and Fox. Billy, Washington and I, along with a Fox Member CC a HWM disrupting it. Bravo and Fox dropped a DAP and DAR to no effect. Carson and Rasczak focused their HEMLs on a HWB and eliminated it. But the rest of our attacks were ineffective. We used our extended jump capabilities to fan out, to avoid a large cluster for the inevitable Skinnie attack. It was looking bad, with hardly any Heavy Weapon Platforms disrupted. The Skinnies took this opportunity to retreat three of their HWMs into the heart of the city to attack Bravo and Fox, causing a Stun, Light, and HVY. The HWBs held the perimeter and took out 3 of our scouts, including Carson! All the scouts were unharmed, but their suits were heavily damaged, and two of them lost their HEMLs.


Turn 4:

In the SW, Dog’s HEMLs blew up the Strongpoint (and the Skinnies within). They eliminated two more warriors who were defending the Communications. Only 1 defender left in the SW. Part of the squad used extended jump to begin heading north to other possible objectives.

In the SE, Eagle used its DAR to no effect, but disrupted the HWB in CC.

5 Charlie Marauders assaulted the strongpoint and destroyed it with three Skinnie squads trapped inside. They used their extended jump to begin moving around to the northern side of the city where the objectives were.

ABF – Marshall took the HEML from Fox’s Scout. He joined the Leaders in their attack and they disrupted a HWB and HWM. The 3 HWMs deep within the city were hard to reach. In the alien city, our suits are pretty slow (only 2 miles per 12 minutes, while the HWMs can cover 8 miles in the same time). The remaining Marauders from ABF began moving into the city. Two were hit with Missiles and were HVY. Two HWB combined their attack on our Platoon Leader, Rasczak’s suit was heavily damaged.

Turn 5:

In the SW, Dog was having difficulty flushing out the last of the Skinnie Warriors. Half the squad was going north by now and discovered a Power Plant (objective 3/6 found).

In the SE, 6 active Eagles assaulted the HWB and destroyed it!

ABF – Our damaged scouts and marauders began retreating south away from the fight. Washington dropped his DAP on a huge pile of warriors and eliminated 3 squads and disrupted another three! We continued to assault and HEML the enemy HWs and disrupted most of them. Two HWMs that we missed, returned fire and heavily damaged two more Marauder Suits. We weren’t having much good luck, but it gets worse…

Charlie, reached three of the northern objectives. And found 3 decoys. But there were still another 3 to investigate. Which, by extended jump, were a Power Plant, Water Facility and Decoy. The last HWM exposed itself and seriously wounded one of the 5 Charlie Marauders. 7 work crews flooded out of the strongholds to protect the power and water plants.

Turn 6:

Far NE, Charlie dropped their last DAP on 4 workers and eliminated all of them. The 4 Marauders then assaulted the revealed HWM and disrupted it.

Forman and Vickers were nearing the far NW objective (deep within the rough, which made bouncing quite slow)

Eagle blew up the Communications Tower and began moving north to aid ABF with the City Assault.

Dog was still working on weeding out the last warrior squad at the Communications Tower..

ABF – I grabbed a HEML from a damaged comrade, and Marshall and I disrupted one of the HWMs. 4 Marauders from Bravo eliminated another on and McManlo, Rasczak and ASL2 took out a HWB. Finally we were making some headway against the Skinnie Heavy Weapons. 2 HWBs hit McManlo damaging his armour and destroying his HEML. Billy also took a HVY from a HWM deep within the city. Our casualties and damaged suits were adding up, but we didn’t have time for a head count. We had to keep those HWs occupied.

Turn 7: Our time was half over.

Vickers found an unguarded Communications Tower in the far NW.

Dog finally destroyed the SW Communications, and were fighting a lone defender at the western Power Plant.

Eagle was racing north as fast as they could. We’d likely need their help with the remaining HWBs.

Charlie – Managed to take down the disrupted HWM in the far NE. They then used extended jump to ready for an assault against the few workers guarding the critical installations.

ABF – I, Gene Steeler, had my moment of glory. I jumped over a Heavy Missile Platform and managed to drop my DAR amongst it’s ammunitions. The resulting explosion almost blew me out of my suit. It was a sight to see. One of the HMWs knocked Washington for a loop and gave him a HVY.

Turn 8: Winding down.

Dog killed the last defender at the Power Plant and blew it up.

Vickers blew up the NW Communications

Charlie could finish the mission here, but only killed 1 of the three workers. 1 worker was still guarding each installation in the NE above the city. This would prove a pivotal and continuous string of bad luck.

ABF – 5 Marauders took out another HWM. There were only 2 HWB and 1 HWM left. 6 warriors in the city managed to overpower Bunson and heavily damage his suit.

Turn 9:

The first of Eagle squad reached the city and assaulted a HWB disrupting it.

Charlie failed to kill either worker (although, intelligence told us later they had a 5/6 chance of taking out each one!)

Red went psycho and assaulted the HWM by himself and disrupted it.

We combined our HEMLs against the last active HWB and missed. This was also very unlucky, and would prove costly. This HWB fled north 8 miles through the city and stunned one of the 4 Charlie Marauders who were attacking the workers at the water installation.

Turn 10:

Opie dropped his DAP on a bunch of Skinnie warriors, eliminating one squad and disrupting another 4 squads. They’d be easy pickings now.

The rest of the Eagles arrived from the south and eliminated the second last HWB. Good job!

We disrupted the HWM again, but had no success against the northern HWB that was hassling Charlie. Charlie blew up the Water Installation, but again failed against the Power Plant!

The Skinnie HWB missed, so did the few remaining city warriors.

The clock struck two.

Turn 11: Moving in for the Kill

Eagle began racing north (3 miles) through the city.

Fox dropped their DAR on 4 warriors, annihilating 3 squads.

My HEML, along with the last two others in the city eliminated three other warrior squads.

We disrupted the HWM again, but failed to disrupt the HWB. This actually mattered in the aftermath, as Charlie squad, on yet another 1 in 6 failure still couldn’t kill that last work crew at the Power Plant. The HWB took a shot and Wounded one of Charlie’s Marauders. If Anarchy had that assignment, I’m sure we would’ve taken out that Power Plant by now, even with a HWB taking the odd pot shot.

Turn 12: The end.

We disrupted the HWM, but missed the MWB yet again. So the city was still not cleared. Charlie finally destroyed the work crew and Power Plant. The HWB took a retaliatory strike and heavily damaged another of Charlie squad.

We reached the 2 hr and 24 minute mark.

The fight was now over. Eagle finally caught up with the HWM and HWB and combined we took them out. The city was ours, and the critical installations were all destroyed. It was now time to count our losses.

Aftermath:

We had 2 KIA (Sammy and the poor bastard who went MIA on the drop)
We had 4 WIA and 20 suits heavily damaged. That’s 26 casualties. Command gave us a maximum target of 24. Meaning that even if the final retaliatory strike on turn 12 didn’t count, we still had 25 which was just enough to piss Command off. If Charlie was able to take out the Power Plant earlier, HQ would’ve been happy and the Skinnies would have surrendered. So many “what ifs…”

Now, it wasn’t much of a win for the Skinnies. But it was a win. Those Heavy Weapons were pretty devastating and hard to handle.

This was definitely the most fun and exciting mission yet. For both the Mobile Infantry and the Skinnies.

Command is trying to incite the Skinnies to Revolt against their Bug overlords. We’ll have to wait and see if anything comes of this. I gotta run. We’re holding Sammy’s funeral service in a few minutes and I still have to polish my shoes.
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