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Author Topic: Word of Blake assault on Tharkad, December 3067  (Read 1453 times)

Pegasus Actual

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Word of Blake assault on Tharkad, December 3067
« on: 14 October 2012, 01:31:02 »
The Triad
Tharkad, Lyran Alliance
5 December 3067

   Adept IV Kassidy Quibell’s Rifleman lurched violently as it crunched onto the pavement of the Tharkad City dropport. A quick check showed the other members of her Level II had also landed safely; indeed, she could just barely make out the running lights on Acolyte Benincasa’s Mad Cat mk II through the heavy, irradiated snowfall that was supposed to be masking the Blakist’s landing. The twin thundercrack of a pair of heavy gauss rifles interrupted her survey, the Fafnir that had fired the shots emerging from the blizzard moments later, flanked by a Warhammer.

       “Engage and destroy, priority on the ‘Mechs.” She triggered her own weapons as she gave the order, scoring a hit with one of her lasers and tracing autocannon fire across the assault ‘Mech’s right leg despite the poor visibility. The Warhammer returned fire wildly as it went down on a patch of ice, though dumb luck still guided one of the PPC shots into Quibell’s machine. A flight of LRMs from the Mad Cat mk II and laser fire from a Level I of Purifier battle armor blasted plate from the back of the Fafnir, sending the already off-balance BattleMech down beside its comrade. Only the arrival of the remainder of the enemy lance, a Bushwhacker and Cobra, supported by a trio of battle armor squads, prevented the Blakists from finishing the downed Lyrans then and there. The screech of lock-on warnings announced the arrival of even more hostiles, this time a lance of Ravens led by a Jenner.

       Quibell’s team automatically began consolidating in the face of the new arrivals; they had trained for worse scenarios than this in preparation for the drop. Laser fire rent through in the blizzard, casting the world in an unnatural mix of red, green, and ashen white. The Rifleman’s autocannon ripped through the leg of the downed Warhammer, ensuring the overeager pilot of that machine wouldn’t be able to effectively re-engage the Blakists. Acolyte Benincasa likewise targeted the Fafnir, searing armor from the cockpit and sending the hulking BattleMech reeling drunkenly back to the ground.
Suddenly, the blizzard parted for a moment, the clouds shredded by the wash of a DropShip’s engines. Quibell couldn’t resist a smile; her reinforcements had arrived right on target and on schedule for once. The split second distraction cost her, though; the Rifleman lurched as the Bushwhacker’s autocannon and missiles left the armor on her machine’s right side little more than a shredded mess of scrap. Moments later, her attacker suffered the same fate as the Blakist reinforcements outflanked the Lyran medium ‘Mechs, an Avatar suppressing them while a Gallowglas and Awesome strode in to join the battle.

       Despite the damage and conditions, the Fafnir pilot had not only survived, but somehow coaxed his machine up to snap off a heavy gauss shot that sheared the right arm from Acolyte Benincasa’s BattleMech. Unbalanced, the Mad Cat mk II foundered and collapsed under a hail of fire. It was the last shot the Fafnir pilot would make; every Blakist gun turned on the massive machine until it ripped itself apart with feedback from the gauss rifle capacitors. Once again, though, the Bushwhacker pilot lived up to his ‘Mech’s name; autocannon shells tore through the Rifleman’s hips and gyro from the right flank. The already damaged right leg buckled, collapsing the BattleMech into the rapidly accumulating snow. Sheer spite kept Kassidy Quibell firing through the pain of her cracked ribs, her hazy mind barely registering that her autocannon had jammed. Finally, the hated Bushwhacker collapsed, and Adept Quibell slipped into unconsciousness…

I played the first scenario from Jihad Turning Points: Tharkad yesterday with my brother and a friend. I played the Word of Blake, while the two of them teamed up as the Lyran defenders. The above fiction is a dramatization of the battle from the perspective of my force commander. MegaMek generates some unusual names, it seems.

My forces were:
Mad Cat mk. II
Catapult CPLT-C1b w/1 ton of semi-guided LRMs
Rifleman RFL-5M, the commander's ride (mostly since I figured that my opponents would think the Mad Cat was the CO)
Owens OW-1C
Owens OW-1E
Avatar AV1-OC
Gallowglas GAL-2GLS
Awesome AWS-9Q
4x Level 1 of Purifiers, 3 w/lasers, 1 w/TAG

I don't know what exactly my opponents had, but it included a Fafnir, Catapult, Warhammer, Bushwhacker, Cobra, Jenner, several different Ravens, and three squads of IS Standard battle armor. We played in MegaMek with double-blind rules, and agreed to use Heavy Snowfall weather rules. As per the scenario, both Lyran forces deployed anywhere on the board they liked, while I had to drop in a single Level II per turn via combat drop. As it turned out, I dropped right on top of the Lyran heavy lance defending the drop port. The icy pavement did my friend no favors; the Warhammer slipped on the first turn, and a lucky few hits sawed off its leg before it managed to get up. His Fafnir spent a fair chunk of the game down too, but that was mostly because it just refused to die even with concentrated fire. Meanwhile, my brother's Raven lances (he had at least two lances of mostly Raven variants) spent most of the game slipping and sliding to the fight. The slugfest in the dropport ended with both the Fafnir and Warhammer out of action by pilot hits and heavy damage, and my Mad Cat mk II and one of the Owens dead on my side. The Rifleman was getting hammered pretty badly, too. Everything else was lightly to moderately damaged by the end of turn 7, but the game ended there thanks to a MegaMek error we couldn't fix. After eyeballing the situation, my opponents decided I probably would have won had we been able to finish. All in all, it wasn't a bad game other than the MegaMek bug at the end. Cities with icy pavement aren't going high on my list of things to do again, though. #P Hope you all enjoyed the report.
Warhammer Faye "Cairn Wraith II" avatar by me.