On Deadly Ground

"When there is nowhere to go, that is deadly ground." - Sun Tzu

Prologue

The column of armor rumbled over the rocky, broken terrain. Despite the ground control suspension system of the PRS-72 Perseus main battle tank, Sgt Skokes jostled violently in his seat. He was not a happy man.

"Tell me why we're here again," he muttered half to himself, half rhetorically to the other crewmembers in the tank.

Corporal Sadler replied tiredly, for what seemed to be the umpteenth time. "Command wants us to penetrate Kra'Vak lines, raise hell. They told us to follow the old mining roads which wouldn't be watched by the 'Vaks. They only neglected to tell us we would have to cross miles of this crap to get to one first."

Another violent jolt bounced Skokes' forehead off of the forward viewport.

"&#*&!" he yelled out, wiping the blood from his head. "Watch where you're driving, Private!"

"Sorry, sir," responded Private Cowell enthusiastically, "Just following the others directly, as per SOP."

"Yeah, yeah, whatever," grumbled Skokes. The column moved on, followed by two more troops of tanks.

After what seemed an eternity the violent jostling stopped.

"We've come to the mining road, sir!" Cowell called out.

"Thank you, Private. Just keep driving," snarled an ill-humored Skokes. He turned to Coporal Sadler. "This whole plan is so FUBAR. How does Command know the 'Vaks aren't watching here?"

"Supposedly they ignore the unpaved roads as not worthy of consideration for our forces. Seeing how slow we were going earlier, I'd almost agree with them. But now that we're moving more decently again..."

"Yeah..." muttered Skokes. He had an itch in the back of his head. Whenever he had that itch, bad things happened. He started to scratch his neck, and stared vacantly past Corporal Sadler. Sadler looked back at him curiously.

"You okay, Skokes?"

Something was wrong. Skokes turned to look out the viewport. His brain had just enough time to register the fact that the lead tank suddenly vanished in a fireball before his own vehicle followed suit...

Background
The Black Stallions, D Company of the 42nd Armored Cavalry Regiment (NAC), is being sent around a far flank in order to penetrate deep into Kra'Vak-held territory and cause as much chaos/damage/confusion as possible to the Kra'Vak supply lines, with their second objective to secure a small human town behind enemy lines to become a base of operations for airborne infantry forces.

Unfortunately, they ran straight into a Kra'Vak ambush...

#Players:2-4

Forces:

Human Order Of Battle: D Company, 42nd Armored Cavalry Regiment

Human: 2 Troops (4 tanks each) Partisan MkII-class MBTs
Human: 3 Troops (4 tanks each) Perseus-class MBTs
Human: 2 Troops (3 tanks each) Pegasus IV-class GEV Strike Tanks
Human: 4 squads (4 elements each) Power Armor w/IAVR
Human: 6 squads (6 elements each) Regular Infantry w/IAVR
Human: 2 Troops (3 vehicles each) Advanced Assault Infantry Vehicles (AAIV)
Kra'Vak Order Of Battle: 3rd Arm of Tal'Kon
Kra'Vak: 1 Claw (troop of 4 tanks) Tu'Lan-class HBTs
Kra'Vak: 2 Claws (troops of 4 tanks each) Vee'Gan-class MBTs
Kra'Vak: 7 Claws (squads, 4 elements per squad) Power Armor, with GMS/L
Set-up:

The terrain is overall Rough. The roads (A-D and B-C) are not paved, but are 'unimproved', and therefore should be considered Open terrain. There are hills, as depicted by the map. The A-D road is not continuous; the circular section at the lower right of the map is a 'bombed out' area, and should be treated as Rough terrain. It is 6 mu in diameter.

The Human player(s) must decide before any units are placed on the map where their units will start: either within 12 mu of 'A' or 12 mu of 'B'. The Human player also must determine (write down on a piece of paper for later verification) at which road their units must depart the board: 'C' or 'D'. The Human player may opt to split his forces between the two starting points, but all units must leave through the same exit point.

Once the Human player has decided where the human forces are coming onto the field, and where they must depart, the Kra'Vak player then sets up 21 counters anywhere in the Main Battle Area or Kra'Vak Rear Area (right side of the map below). 14 of these counters are dummies, while the remaining 7 represent Kra'Vak Power Armor troops. However, no more than half of these counters (real or dummy) may be placed within 12 mu of the Human Rear Area (left section of the table). Nor can they be placed closer than 4 mu from each other.

Once the Kra'Vak has set the counters, the Human player places his forces on the board, either on the road or within 12 mu of the road, within 12 mu of the road terminus at the Human end of the board. The Human player has the option of keeping up to half of his forces off the table, but they must enter on the road where the Human player opted to start, and the Human player must at this point note on which turn these forces will enter the board (note: the 6 squads of Regular Infantry are assumed to be mounted on the APCs at the start of the game).

Once the Human player is done, the Kra'Vak player may now place his 3 troops of tanks anywhere in the Kra'Vak Rear Area. The only restriction is that they may not be placed within 6mu of a road.

Victory Conditions: Victory conditions are measured in points. Human -

+2 pts/tank (not APC) that exits
+1 pt/Infantry unit/APC/Power Armor squad that exits
+2 pts/Kra'Vak tank destroyed
+1 pt/Kra'Vak Power Armor destroyed
Kra'Vak -
+2/Human tank/Power Armor destroyed
+1/Human infantry/APC that is killed/destroyed
+1 per Kra'Vak tank/Power Armor squad that survives the game
At the end tally up the points. The side with the most points wins. However, if the point difference is 10 or less, the result is a draw.

Special

All Kra'Vak and Human forces are 'Confident'.

The leadership levels of the Kra'Vak units are all '2'. However, there is a 2 in 6 of having a '3' leader somewhere in their forces. Randomly determine if she exists, and in what troop/squad.

The leadership levels of the Humans are all '2'. However there is a 1 in 6 chance of one Human troop/squad having a leader of '1'. And there is a 2 in 6 chance that one of the tank troops (not APCs) has a leadership of '3'.

All forces are assumed to be 'regular' troops. Each side may have one (1) average veteran power armor squad. Add one veteran '2' to the leadership level mix for the PAs.

The hidden counters (representing real and dummy units) may move up to 1/2 their normal movement and remain hidden. Should any move more than 1/2 their movement they are revealed immediately as to being real troops or dummies.

As soon as a hidden counter fires the unit is revealed. As no dummy counter can attempt to fire, this means a hidden unit firing is a real unit.

Human elements may fire on hidden counters that are within 8 mu of the firing unit. Treat these hidden counters as if they were real Power Armor troops. Note that the hidden unit, unless it wants to reveal its true self, cannot fire back if it survives the encounter. If the hidden unit is destroyed, remove the counter from the game. The Human player does not know (until the end of the game) whether or not the counter represented a real squad of Power Armor, or was just a dummy.

Due to the Kra'Vak's superior detection capabilities (or, rather, the Humans inability to disguise themselves adequately against Kra'Vak sensors), the Kra'Vak ignore one level of Stealth on Human vehicles (eg, a Stealth-2 tank is now viewed as a Stealth-1 tank; Stealth-1 vehicles have essentially no Stealth at all vs a Kra'Vak! non-Stealthed vehicles suffer no further penalties).

Neither side has any artillery, ortillery, or air support of any sort available. Don't count on it; it ain't there.

Kra'Vak main guns are essentially 'fixed'. However, due to their superior maneuverability, the Kra'Vak may rotate their entire tank as if it were a turret, effectively giving them a turret-like effect. Because of this, the Kra'Vak must buy their weapons as if they were turretted, but mark on their DataCard 'fixed'.

Vehicle Statistics 'Cards':

Hu'Man:
Name: Partisan Mk II
Type: Main Battle Tank
Size Class: Medium
Mobility Type: Fast Track
Basic Move: 12
FireCon: Enhanced
Basic Signature: 3
Stealth Level: 1
Effective Target Die: 10
ECM: Enhanded; d8
Armour Front: 3
Armour Side: 2
Points Value: 235
Weapons -
Type/ClassMountUp ToDieValid Hits Up ToDieValid HitsUp ToDie Valid Hits
HKP/4
Turrent (360)
24
10
All
36
8
Red/Yellow
48
6
Red Only

Other Equipment/Notes:

1xAPSW
Enhanced PDS (d8)
HMT Engine


Name: Perseus
Type: Main Battle Tank
Size Class: Medium
Mobility Type: Fast Track
Basic Move: 12
FireCon: Enhnaced
Basic Signature: 3
Stealth Level: 1
Effective Target Die: 10
ECM: Enhanced, d8
Armour Front: 3
Armour Side: 2
Points Value: 251
Weapons -
Type/ClassMountUp ToDieValid HitsUp ToDieValid HitsUp ToDieValid Hits
HKP/3
Turrent (360)
18
10
All
30
8
Red/Yellow
42
6
Red Only
GMS/L (enhanced)
Turrent (360)
36
8
Red/Yellow
-
-
-
-
-
-

Other Equipment/Notes:

1xAPSW
Enhanced PDS (d8)
HMT Engine
1 space cargo


Name: Pegasus-IV
Type: Strike GEV Tank
Size Class: Medium
Mobility Type: Fast GEV
Basic Move: 15
FireCon: Enhanced
Basic Signature: 3
Stealth Level: 1
Effective Target Die: 10
ECM: Enhanced, d8
Armour Front: 3
Armour Side: 2
Points Value: 234
Weapons -
Type/ClassMountUp ToDieValid HitsUp ToDieValid HitsUp ToDieValid Hits
HKP/3
Turret (360)
18
d10
All
30
d8
Red and Yellow
42
d6
Red
HEL/2
Turret (360)
60
d10
Red vs Reg Armor;
Green vs Ablative;
Yellow vs Infantry
-
-
-
-
-
-

Other Equipment/Notes:

1xAPSW
Basic PDS (d6)
HMT Engine


Name: Advanced Assault Infantry Vehicle
Type: Armored Personnel Carrier
Size Class: Small
Mobility Type: Fast Track
Basic Move: 12
FireCon: Basic
Basic Signature: 2
Stealth Level: 0
Effective Target Die: 10
ECM: Enhnaced
Armour Front: 2
Armour Side: 1
Points Value: 70
Weapons -
Type/ClassMountUp ToDieValid HitsUp ToDieValid HitsUp ToDieValid Hits
RFAC/2
Turret (360)
12
d8
Red and Yellow*
18
d6
Red
24
d4
Green
* - RFAC/2 is Yellow Only vs Infantry, any range

Other Equipment/Notes:

1xAPSW
Capacity to carry 1 squad regular infantry
HMT Engine


Kra'Vak:
Name: Vee'Gan
Type: Strong Arm Vehicle (Main Battle Tank)
Size Class: Medium
Mobility Type: Grav
Basic Move: 15
FireCon: Superior
Basic Signature: 3
Stealth Level: 1
Effective Target Die: d10
ECM: None; d4
Armour Front: 3
Armour Side: 2
Points Value: 220
Weapons -
Type/ClassMountUp ToDieValid HitsUp ToDieValid HitsUp ToDieValid Hits
MDC/3
Fixed*
24
d12
All
36
d10
Red and Yellow
48
d8
Red
HEL/2
Fixed*
60
d12
Red vs Reg Armor;
Green vs Ablative;
Yellow vs Infantry
-
-
-
-
-
-
* - 'fixed' in position, but vehicle may maneuver as if it were a turret, unless immobilized

Other Equipment/Notes:

1xAPSW
Basic PDS (d6)
FGP Engine


Name: Tu'Lan
Type: Iron Fist Vehicle (Heavy Battle Tank)
Size Class: Large
Mobility Type: Grav
Basic Move: 15
FireCon: Superior
Basic Signature: 4
Stealth Level: 1
Effective Target Die: d8
ECM: None; d4
Armour Front: 4
Armour Side: 3
Points Value: 238
Weapons -
Type/ClassMountUp ToDieValid HitsUp ToDieValid HitsUp ToDieValid Hits
MDC/4
Fixed*
30
d12
All
42
d10
Red and Yellow
54
d8
Red
MDC/4
Fixed*
30
d12
All
42
d10
Red and Yellow
54
d8
Red
* - 'fixed' in position, but vehicle may maneuver as if it were a turret, unless immobilized

Other Equipment/Notes:

1xAPSW
FGP Engine


Historical Outcome:
Vicious fighting ensued after the Kra'Vak jumped the lead human tank column and all but obliterated it. The second human tank column followed suit before the humans started to dish it back out. Slowly the Kra'Vak tanks and Power Armor troops were torn down by human fire. But however accurate and effective the Kra'Vak were with their offensive firepower, and however good the 'Vaks were at deflecting human weapons and targetting, they were few and the humans were many, and eventually the humans wore down the Kra'Vak Claws, leaving no survivors. Once the battle was over the human 'victors' (if you could call them that) continued on their way to fulfill their original orders. However, with only 50% of the tanks and 25% of the Power Armor troops they had started with surviving (none of the infantry or APCs made it out of the skirmish alive), their ability to achieve their objectives seemed bleak at best. But this was war, and anything they could do to the Kra'Vak supply lines would help the humans fighting on the front. They turned away from the smoking ruins and pushed onward.