Date: May 25, 3027
Location: Chara III (Pacifica)
Title: Warriors of the Night
Author: Jim Brunk, Dale L. Kemper & Michael Lee
Type: Scenario (The Kell Hounds)
Synopsis: At 4:30 AM, Salome Ward and a Tech named Madsen discuss the possibility of Kurita ninjas being attached to the Combine company that went missing after the earlier raid over coffee in the main building's kitchen. Madsen's "how many ninjas to change a lightbulb?" joke is interrupted as a ninja bursts through the window and decapitates him with a katana.
The attackers are ISF Unit Ten, aka "The Dragon's Hidden Hand." There are 24 of them, each with a laser pistol, sword, and light body armor.
The Kell Hounds able to respond to the incursion are Patrick Kell, Anne Finn, Cat Wilson, Bethany Connor, Salome Ward, Mike Fitzhugh, Diane McWilliams, Mary Lasker, Daniel Allard, Austin Brand, Meg Lang, and Eddie Baker. Allard and Wilson are fully geared up and in the 'Mech bay. Salome has a pistol, knife (and a mean cup'o'joe) in the kitchen, and the rest are asleep with only a knife and laser pistol at the ready.
ISF Team Ten gets 10 points for killing a regular MechWarrior, 15 for a Command Lance member, and 20 points for Patrick Kell. The Hounds get 10 points per Commando killed.
The battlefield is the ground floor of the Kell Hound barracks/administrative building. A floor plan is provided, along with a key identifying each room and what weapons may be found in each.
The commandos enter in Room 7 (Commanding Officer's Office), Room 1 (Reception Room), Room 6 (XO's Office), and Room 11 (Kitchen). They must search each room before moving on.
The Hounds may move freely, but the asleep ones remain asleep until woken either by noise nearby, a perception check, or the alarm going off.
Notes: The infantry are explicitly described as "ISF commandos." But what is the difference between DEST and ISF commandos? Did Brunk, Kemper, and Lee not know they were reinventing the wheel? The illustration of a "ninja" bursting through the window shows a helmet with a faceplate very similar to the ones shown in use by DEST on the cover of "Far Country," down to the serrations on the sides. With 24 members, they'd seem to be equivalent to two DEST teams, assuming the structure of the team in "Far Country" is standard, with 12 troops in four three-man sections.
So Allard and Wilson left Salome to watch the comm center. Half an hour later, she's in the kitchen making coffee, leaving the comm center unattended. Perhaps lax discipline is to be expected for a unit that combines staff meetings with poker games.
Strategy-wise, the ISF commandos' best bet is to spend the first round searching (they have to), and then head out into the corridors and charge pell-mell down the corridors without entering any other rooms to beat Salome Ward to the security room (so she can't sound the alarm) and to the armory. If their commando in the kitchen can take her out, he can get the key and then they can seize the armory, then sweep the building for the poorly armed Hounds.
Salome just has to evade the one commando in the kitchen (the scenario more or less suggests stabbing him with a kitchen knife or clubbing him with a frying pan, though Salome does start with a laser pistol), and get to the security room. Then all the Hounds will be awake, and can storm the security room and gear up to fight back.
As described, the scenario seems like a pushover for the ISF side. I think there may have been some poorly worded bits of the setup - it would make much more sense for the ISF commandos to have to open every door they come to, enter, and sweep the room. Otherwise, they can just charge down the corridor to Salome and seize the most critical parts of the complex long before Wilson and Allard arrive as the cavalry. That will slow them down long enough for Salome to save the day and for the Kell Hounds to have enough gear to make a fight of it.
There's some discontinuity between the scenario and the book, since here Wilson and Allard come to save the day five turns after the attack, while in the novel they're heavily engaged over at the 'Mech bay, and don't even know about the fight at the barracks until Salome comes out and tells them all the attackers are dead, with the only serious injury being Patrick Kell's collapsed lung. And, even then, Patrick is still able to pilot his 'Mech in the 'Mech battle.
There's no time limit, and the victory is determined by who scores the most points. Thus, if you just want to win on points, wait until your side is ahead and then flee the building. Perhaps a time limit, or rules about withdrawal should have been included.
That aside, it's a pretty decent MechWarrior 1E scenario, though replicating the nearly bloodless outcome of the novel will be very difficult. Combat in MW1E was treated much like 'Mech combat, with body armor points marked off first, and then internal structure (skin/bones) taking hits, with critical hit tables listing "perforated spleen," "collapsed lung," "severed foot," etc. No wonder artificial limbs were so prominently featured in TRO:3026.
With the Combine troops outnumbering the Hounds two to one and having good weapons and armor, and better stats than the majority of the Hounds - who are in their underwear and armed with popguns and cutlery, it'll be a slaughter unless the rules are adapted to require the commandos to do a room-by-room search instead of sprinting directly for the security center. Even if the Hounds do manage to win, they'll likely be in no shape to fight off the incoming Panther company.
There's also some confusion about how many commandos are in the scenario. It states that there are 24 troops, but only give deployment data for 12. Presumably the other 12 were the ones that got barbecued out in the 'Mech bay. If there are only 12 in the barracks, then the Hounds have more of a fighting chance, especially if they can get the thermite grenades from the security office into play.
Even so, if they can get ahead on points, the Hounds should really just fall back through the tunnel towards the 'Mech bay, where they can get into their 'Mechs and render the ISF team's sidearm superiority moot.