Operation: Dragonslayer

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A Heavy Gear Tactical Scenario

This scenario is intended for use with the Heavy Gear tactical combat rules. It features infantry units and tanks slugging it out with humanoid-shaped, armored one-person infantry fighting vehicle. All of the vehicles and variants used in this scenario come from the various Vehicle Compendiums (see the Online Catalog for more). Though the text was written with hex maps in mind, it can just as easily be played on a miniature tabletop.

It is intended to introduce a gaming group to the new system. As such, it is meant to be refereed if possible, with the referee playing the Southern forces and the new players on the side of the North. This story takes place a few cycles ago, before the current events rocking the planet Terra Nova (see the Storyline Books series for more).

1. BACKGROUND

A group of Southern Republic anti-infantry units is en route to the city of Saragossa, currently in the midst of civil war. These units are to assist the Southern Replublic's forces in Saragossa, the 5th Republican Cavalry Legion - the Knights of Saragossa. The vehicles in this anti-infantry unit are armed with high-powered automatic weapons, heavy rocket launchers, and several flamers. These weapons will be used against the freedom fighters in Saragossa, and will probably be used against innocent bystanders as well.

Northern HQ has intercepted a communique detailing this unit's movement from its home base to Saragossa, and have dispatched a well-trained unit to deal with this force before it reaches the city.

2. MISSION CONDITIONS

Scale: Tactical
Weather: Clear
Time of Day: Night

Suggested Optional Rules:

Damage Cap (Tactical Field Support, section 5.4.1)
Incendiary Effects (Rulebook, section 6.2.9)

3. FORCES IN PRESENCE

3.1 Southern Forces

Light Cavalry Cadre - Qualified Troops
Hun (vet), Hun x 2 (qual), Hittite (vet), Hittite (qual)

Assault Strider Cadre - Veteran Troops
Fire Dragon (vet), Fire Dragon x 2 (qual), Blitz Iguana x 2 (vet)

Infantry Platoon - Qualified Troops
Standard Infantry Escouade x 2 (qual), Heavy Weapons Escouade (vet), Grenadier Escouade (qual)

Armored Fighting Vehicle Group - Veteran Troops
Crocodile AFV x 2 (vet), Crocodile AFV x 2 (qual)

TOTAL THREAT VALUE: 17,398

The Southern Republic infantry units are defined as follows:

Standard Infantry Escouade - 8 x [lvl 2] with light flak armor and 7 mm assault rifles, plus 2 x [lvl 2] with light flak armor and 9 mm light machine guns. All members have nightvision goggles. (Qualified soldiers, TV = 74)

Heavy Weapons Escouade - 6 x [lvl 3] with heavy flak armor and 9 mm LMGs, plus 4 x [lvl 3] with heavy flak armor and 50 mm rocket launchers. All members have nightvision goggles. (Veteran soldiers, TV = 459)

Grenadier Escouade - 8 x [lvl 2] with light flak and 62 mm light mortars, plus 2 x [lvl 2] with light flak and 7 mm assault rifles. All members have nightvision goggles, plus the option of having Grenadeer document their unit's history. (Qualified soldiers, TV = 150)
 

3.2 Northern Forces

Light Paratrooper Gear Squadron - Veteran Troops
Cheetah Paratrooper (elite), Cheetah Paratrooper x 4 (vet)

Assault Paratrooper Gear Squadron - Veteran Troops
Hunter Paratrooper (elite), Hunter Paratrooper x 2 (vet), Strike Jaguar x 2 (vet)

Paratrooper Infantry Platoon - Elite Troops
Gear Hunter Paratrooper Squad (elite), Gear Hunter Paratrooper Squad (vet), Strider Killers x 2 (elite)

TOTAL THREAT VALUE: 30432

Gear Hunter Paratrooper Squad - 8 x [lvl 4] with turtleshell armor and 24 mm anti-HG rifles, plus 2 x [lvl 4] with turtleshell armor and 50 mm rocket launchers. All members have nightvision goggles, paragliders, and (yes) all-terrain vehicles for movement on the ground. (Elite Soldiers, TV = 2296)

-or-

As above, but level 3 instead of 4, making them veteran soldiers; total Threat Value for that particular squad is 1292. Keep in mind the encumbrance penalty for the bulky turtleshell armor when worn by less-than-elite troops!

Strider Killers - 6 x [lvl 4] with turtleshell and 24 mm anti-HG rifles, plus 4 x [lvl 4] with turtleshell armor and 50 mm rocket launchers. All members have nightvision goggles, paragliders, and the all-terrain vehicles for movement on the ground.

In addition, the Strider Killers have a portable anti-armor guided missile launcher (AAGM; Tactical Field Support, section 6.2.6) and five missiles. Elite soldiers, TV = 4272 - the AAGM missiles add 90 x 4 each, for a total of 1800 to the final Threat Value of the squad! [The x 4 is for the fact that they're being used by elite soldiers...]

4. MISSION OBJECTIVES

The Northern forces' primary objective is the complete destruction, disablement, or surrender of the Southern forces. This objective is High priority for morale purposes. Failing the objective, they must at least destroy the five anti-infantry vehicles (Fire Dragons and Hittites) to achieve a partial victory.

The Southern forces' primary objective is the repulsion, destruction, or capture of the invading forces. This is Medium priority for Morale purposes. At the very least, the Southern forces must get word to HQ that they are under attack; to achieve this (and a partial victory), they must break through any ECM jamming from the Northern forces.

4.1 Notes

The Northern forces' Cheetah Paratroopers include both laser designators and ECM gear; the laser designators can be used to guide the Strider Killer units' AAGMs, and the ECMs can be used to jam the Southern forces.

The Southern Blitz Iguanas include satellite uplinks. In order to "get word to HQ," they must make a successful communications roll against the Threshold determined by the Cheetah's ECM... (there's a tactical use for communications -- besides forward observing, of course.)

5. BATTLEFIELD

Use two forest maps, but treat forest hexes as jungle terrain instead of forest. Also note that Saragossa is in the mountains of the Westridge Range -- the forest maps with elevation levels should be used.

For tabletop play, make sure there are plenty of elevations and cover around. Jungle terrain should cover at least half the playing surface (leave some trails for easier movement).

6. DEPLOYMENT

The Southern forces start on the right-hand (ie., east) edge, in a column moving from the south (bottom) to north (top) at Combat speed. They should be moving through a relatively clear path, not through jungle. While the Fire Dragons won't notice the jungle, the tanks will. Since the Southern forces have been marching all night, they are considered Tired for Morale puposes. (Southern infantry, by the way, begin inside the AFVs.)

The Northern forces land to the west of the maps. They enter on the west edge, and they move at whatever speeds the Northern player(s) want. They got a good night's sleep, and are Fresh for Morale purposes.

7. COMPLICATIONS AND VARIATIONS

The following have not been thoroughly tested, and may unbalance the scenario. (If you test them, let Chris know! Especially the rather complicated 7.3, below...)

7.1 "Waiting for Godot - And Our Damned Missiles!"

During the drop into Southern territory, the parachute on the crate containing the AAGMs failed to deploy. The Strider Killer squads are thus without their AAGMs. Northern TV is adjusted to 26832.

7.2 "No-Terrain Vehicles"

A certain critical component on the Northern infantries' ATVs (Wallabies - Tactical Field Support book) is revealed upon landing to have been manufactured in Timmins, in an effort to reduce costs. Because of this little oversight, the compressors that normally inflate the air-dropped wallabies' tires fail, resulting in wheel-less all-terrain vehicles. The infantry are on foot now, and the North's Threat Value drops to 26166.

Combine 7.1 and 7.2 above, and the Northern Threat Value is 23232.

7.3 "Weather Report: Clear and Sunny, No Chance of Showers"

That's what HQ predicted, anyway. Too bad the meteorologist who filed the report was stoned out of his mind. Just as the Northern forces reach the maps, a torrential downpour strikes. (Heavy Rain; see Tactical Air Support, section 4.1.3) Worse, it's a thunderstorm!

After two minutes (4 rounds at the Tactical scale), all of those nice, clear hexes become muddy terrain -- treat them as Rough. Five minutes (10 Tactical rounds) after that, the formerly-clear hexes become Swamp. (Terrain that started Rough remains Rough, however) Luckily, at that point, the rain ramps down to a mere Light Rain. (Remember that Tactical ground scale is smaller than Airwar scale -- it's like Dogfight air scale.)

7.4 "Hello? Recon? Were You Paying Attention?!?"

Due to some bad reconnaissance reports, HQ is unaware of the cadre of Gears that is accompanying the Southern column -- it's a qualified-rating strike cadre. Add 3x Long Fang Black Mamba and 2x Flammjagers to the horde. The South's TV jumps by 4971 -- one of the LFBMs is a veteran! Total TV: 22369

Note that the Northern forces' mission has just changed. In addition to the Fire Dragons and Hittites, the two Flammjagers must be destroyed to acheive a partial victory.

7.5 "Firestorm!"

The South was sending a much more heavily anti-armor force than the North expected. The Light Cav Cadre is now entirely composed of Hittites, two of which are vets, the rest are qualified. In addition, that Assault Strider Cadre is now composed entirely of Fire Dragons -- three vets, two qualified crews. The South's Threat Value is now 21596.

As with 7.4, the partial victory conditions are altered: All tanks and striders must be destroyed or disabled.

If you combine 7.4 and 7.5, the Southern forces have a Threat Value of 26567.

8. Closing

That's pretty much it; the Northern forces, if they survive, can get to a pickup point near the Badlands. Naturally, this unit does not exist. The men and women you claim to have seen among the non-existant Gears, dropping out of the sky into AST territory, are not listed among the many names on the Northern armies' payrolls.

Officially.

The government of the North is not involved in any way with the rebellion currently plaguing the peace-loving citizens of Saragossa.

Officially.