Hells Lancers – Sons Of Odin Regiment
Hatchetman – Crow (FredL)
Falcon – Ghost (BradA)
Gladiator – Sandman (MattS)
Enforcer – Bureaucrat (DougW)
Dragon – Bowman (SteveW)
Quickdraw – Dolph (TylerA)
Black Horse Chargers – ADF Armor Regiment
Armadillo APC x2 – ADF Troops
Hyena APC x2 – ADF Troops
Burro Recovery Vehicle – ADF Troops
Coolant Truck x2 – ADF Troops
Blood Guard – Blood Dragon Regiment
Warhammer Battlemech – NPC (TylerA)
Goliath Battlemech – NPC (TomK)
Von Luckner Tank – NPC (BradA)
Crimson Diao – Blood Dragon Regiment
Crusader Battlemech – NPC
Thunderbolt Battlemech – NPC
Jenner Battlemech – NPC
Cicada Battlemech – NPC
The ADF convoy rolled through the hills, and began the trek into the massive valley where last convoy was ambushed. The men were clearly jumpy, with com chatter higher than usual and with a hint of nerves betraying the thoughts in the voices of the soldiers.
Out in front was a Hyena APC, followed by a pair of heavily armored Armadillo transports. Trailing them was a range of weakly armored supply and a support vehicles, and rolling up the rear was another Hyena. All of them loaded down with supplies and equipment. A juicy target that would have any supply starved BDA zealot salivating.
All around them were their Battlemech escort, veteran Hels Lancers who had seen action all over Orontes and who were eager for relief. If this mission went well, they were hopeful they could finally leave this forsaken planet at last. They had fought many battles already on Orontes, and while not a man among them liked being used as bait, not one could say they weren’t eager to get back into action so they could wipe out the BDA cancer on this planet once and for all. If the BDA attacked today, to them that would be the last box to check off before achieving their goals. While the ADF coms were busy and anxious, the Hells Lancers coms were cool, collected and relaxed. Just another day in paradise.
As they snaked their way through a valley full of pits, craters and hills, without warning a fusion engine signature fired up. Com traffic lit up and every mechwarrior glared at their HUD while smoothly maneuvering into battle positions.
The first mech ID’d by the computers was a Thunderbolt, moving right in front of them on a hill to the East side of the valley. Then another mech, a Crusader, powered up atop the plateau to the West. The lancers spread out and began to move forward, further positioning themselves between the attackers and the convoy. A Goliath then popped on screen, it was standing in a copse of heavy woods behind a small hill, and began lobbing LRMs at the lancers. As the lancers continued to move forward, shielding the convoy, a heavy Von Luckner battle tank suddenly popped up on everyone’s HUD as it rolled around the top of a hill near the Thunderbolt. Bowman scrambled his Dragon backwards to escape the dangerous AC20 that the tank was aiming at him. He dodged into a crater as the tank unleashed a flurry of fire. Several SRM’s scored hits, but luckily the heavy main gun missed by a fraction, the AC20 rounds sending an explosion of dirt skyward as they crashed into the lip of the crater.
Crow made the call; “Attack! All units attack!” He glanced at his HUD and saw his fellow lancers moving aggressively. He then frowned at the surprised chatter coming from the ADF command com. They had clearly been expecting a hasty retreat and their commander was now hesitantly trying to rally them. He missed working with Duke and his SOO marines, those guys were cowboys but also were professionals who wouldn’t have hesitated to attack with zeal. Instead, the less experienced ADF troops were now nervously forming up to attack alongside the mechs, clearly expecting the mechs to lead the way and take the brunt of the enemy fire.
As Crow jumped his Hatchetman toward the Crusader he thought to himself; “I guess that’s what we’re supposed to do.”
Bureaucrat’s Enforcer was in the center, but was backing Crow up, taking pot shots with his long range weapons. Allishay’s Falcon jumped over the plateau to his right, clearly trying to keep her lightly armored Falcon from getting torn up by the much bigger Crusader as Crow’s Hatchetman closed the gap. The Crusader, predictably backed away, keeping atop the plateau and trying to put space between them. Going toe-to-toe was not something that would be good for the Crusader. Crow pursued and was not all that surprised when another mech popped up on his HUD, coming straight at him between the hill to his right and and the Crusader’s plateau to his left. It was a Vulcan battlemech, a close range specialist like him. He was about to order Alishay’s Falcon to help out in the West, but he would need her to stick around now. They had their hands full.
To the West, Sandman’s Gladiator led a group consisting of a Dragon and a Quickdraw. The none of these mechs were close range specialists, they were backed up by Bureaucrats Enforcer, though technically part of Crow’s Lance, the need to the East was more pressing and he began edging that way. Neither Crow nor Sandman gave such an order, but they didn’t have to, the lancers had worked together so many times their coordination was seamless, almost artful, requiring little in the way of direct orders. Crow’s frown at the ADF troops and their clunky response to the enemy became a smile as he saw his team instantly spring into smooth action. The art of war was certainly a beautiful thing sometimes.
‘It is well that war is so terrible – otherwise we would grow too fond of it.’
— General Robert E. Lee to General James Longstreet._
As Bowman returned fire at the Von Luckner, a new mech appeared on scope out in front of him, a Warhammer lurched from cover and started firing its PPCs at him. He was in a bad spot and needed to back up, but was in a terrible crossfire which limited his options. Instead of backing up into a storm of withering fire, he broke left out of the crate, taking cover in the hills to the West. Sandman followed him to the West flank, firing away with his LRMs to little effect. All three enemy units ahead of them were in excellent positions. Bureaucrats Enforcer started edging West as did the Quickdraw. That flank was going to be hard pressed. The ADF Hyenas moved into a support position behind the Gladiator while the remaining vehicles consolidated in the middle near the Enforcer.
The Goliath held his position in the heavy woods while the Warhamer and Von Luckner closed with the lancers in the West. The Quickdraw, Gladiator, Enforcer and Dragon had several uncharacteristic missed shots as the battles the Gladiator, Von Luckner and Warhammer. Those mechs were combining to dish out some serious damage in return, most of it to the Dragon who was still maneuvering away. The ADF column at this sprang into action and attacked, most of the fire from the Armadillos machine guns was directed at the Goliath while the Hyenas focused their SRM fire on the Von Luckner. The dangerous Von Luckner disabled one of the Hyenas with a flurry of SRM hits but after disabling the vehicle, he focused once again the dangerous mechs in front of him, much to the relief of the Hyena crew.
To the East, the Falcon continued to fight a mostly defensive battle while Crow’s Hatchetman pressed hard at the Crusader and Vulcan, those four mechs doing a constant dance of fire and maneuver without scoring a ton of hits. This was okay with Crow, who was trying to keep them both away from the West flank where Hels Lancers has a major advantage in numbers.
In the West, Sandman rolled up behind a small hill, using it as partial cover as his LRM fire supported the Lancers counter attack. The BDA Warhammer and Von Luckner continued their advance, neither side willing to cede the offensive to the other. As the mechs pressed ever closer, the intensity of the fire between them increased into a furious barrage.
Sandman scored a pair of big hits on the advancing Warhammer, apparently drawing the ire of its driver who wheeled and fired back with several PPC shots. Several missed but one struck Sandman’s Gladiator square in the head. Sandman reeled in his cockpit, seeing stars for a moment, but shook off the vicious hit. He could ill afford to be knocked out now! Alarms were sounding in his HUD. First glance showed all core systems operational, thank God. His mech’ head was flashing red, the computer registering internal damage. The armor of his cockpit was completely blown away, burning pieces hanging like leaves from the superstructure in places. He was lucky to be alive, he knew, and with a blasted head and no cockpit armor, he could no longer hold his fighting position. Sandman was forced to back off a bit as the Warhammer and Von Luckner advanced.
Soinc’s Dragon held his ground, as the Enforcer and Quickdraw also advanced. At this point the BDA and SOO mechs were as close together as any of them dared with the ADF vehicles now fully mixed into the fray. The two sides attack formations had now fully clashed and their precise battle movements had devolved into an old fashioned brawl. The West was quickly becoming a field of carnage.
In the East, Ghost’s Falcon kept dodging around, trying to stay alive while keeping her presence felt by the enemy. Crow was in much the same scenario, only he was now in point blank battle against two mechs, both equal or greater to himself in firepower. His one advantage was his mechs specialization as a close range brawler. The enemy Crusader was too slow to disengage and the Vulcan simply couldn’t leave his wingman, so all four mechs were locked into a death struggle.
Casualties quickly began to fall. First was an Armadillo APC, it’s engine destroyed by PPC fire from the Warhammer. Next the Von Luckner’s right track was pulverized by Sandman’s LRMs. Then Goliath destroyed the transaxle of one of the Hyenas with a solid hit from his LRM’s. Chaos reigned as the fire was constant and intense. One of the Armadillos scored a hit with his MGs against the Von Luckner, locking his turret. Another hit from Gladiator stopped Von Luckner cold, it’s right side track disabled. Bowman’s Dragon suffered so many consecutive hits from the Warhammer and Goliath that he was forced to duck back into another nearby crater, having suffered two engine hits with his torsos almost totally destroyed.
Bowman was suffering from so many hits that his HUD was ablaze with warning lights. His engine was no longer cooling properly so he was heating up badly. In the crater, he was safe from the Warhammer and Von Luckner, but was at risk of being shot by the Goliath, but luckily for him the Goliath now had bigger things to worry about than destroying a combat ineffective mech. The ADF vehicles were swarming around him with their small weapons. The Enforcer, Gladiator and Quickdraw were all pressing closer. His Warhammer and Thunderbolt allies were battered and falling back. He continued to stubbornly hold his ground, but for how long could he hold it?
To the East the Crusader and Hatchetman were now in point blank range, which is just where Crow’s Hatchetman was at its best. Both mechs were already battered. The Vulcan and Ghost’s Falcon were now fully engaged further to the West. Ghost was no doubt outmatched by the Vulcan, but she could keep him busy for awhile. It seemed to Crow as though the Crusader pilot realized he had to help out in the West and was desperately trying to disengage from Crow and get over there. His suspicions were confirmed as the Crusader abruptly jumped Westward.
In the East, the battle raged. Bowman’s Dragon was alive but effectively disabled in the crater. Sandman was sporting critical head damage but was still in the fight. Dolph’s Quickdraw was badly damaged. Bureaucrat’s Enforcer was about the only Lancer’s mech left in decent shape. The enemy Warhammer and Thuderbolt were badly damaged, the Von Luckner was alive but immobile and with a locked turret. The Goliath however was almost cherry, still parked in his heavy woods and delivering continuous fire.
The fight was now desperate for both sides and on both fronts. And then it happened. The Crusader, attempting to ignore Crow’s Hatchetman and help his teammates in the East, finished his jump landing atop a hill near the center of the field. Crow jumped with him, and Ghost anticipating his move, cut off the Vulcan from following Crow. Crow landed to the Crusader’s left, the two mechs blasting each other as they landed. But Crow’s Hatchet whistled through the air in a wide arc as he landed, and with a sickening crunch, buried itself down to the handle in the head of the Crusader. A cheer went up from Lancers as the Crusader’s body flinched and then collapsed in a heap. The battle on the West flank was now only between the Falcon and the Vulcan, and Crow was able to move to the East. This was a huge, battle changing moment for the lancers.
In the East the Warhammer, suffering from intense damage began a tactical withdrawal behind the Von Luckner, using the heavy tank’s intense firepower as a shield. With renewed vigor, Dolph gave chase in his Quickdraw, refusing to let the Warhammer escape to a more favorable position. The Thuderbolt moved further outward, pressing toward Bureaucrat’s Enforcer in the center. The Warhammer, desperate for protection against the onslaught of fire from the Lancers, slid behind a small hill, giving him cover as he returned fire with his PPC’s. Dolph ran up into the hill, and kicked the Warhammer, directly in the front of his cockpit! The Warhammer, like the Crusader moments before, collapsed in a heap. The outcome of the battle, once seemingly in favor of the BDA forces, was now anyone’s to be had.
Now the brawl shifted into a punishing series of finishing blows. The Goliath, apparently irritated at the loss of two comrades, turned and hit the Dragon with both machine guns, scoring a fatal gyro hit. The Dragon shut down where it stood. The Quickdraw then moved up behind the Von Luckner and began blasting away with everything he had, determined to finish off the tank. The Goliath, still lodged in his woods, fired back with everything he had, attempting to save his tanker companion whose presence was protecting his rear. Though he scored hits with his PPC and an LRM, it did no critical damage while the Quickdraw, Gladiator and Enforcer all scored hits on the tank. One of the Quickdraws medium laser shots blasted through the crew compartment, killing the crew and the tank. The Thuderbolt unloaded on the Enforcer, knocking him down and scoring an engine hit. The Enforcer fired back, both Large Laser and shots hitting the right torso of the Thuderbolt, the destructive AC10 ripped into his LRM15 ammo causing the mech to detonate in a thunderous explosion. The Goliath was now all alone against four mechs on the West flank, but he was very lightly damaged while all of the Lancers were in rough shape.
In the East the Falcon continued to duke it out with the Vulcan. Although the Flacon was wholly outclassed by the larger mech, Ghost was holding her own by staying mobile. Crows Hatchetman charged toward the Goliath, determined to help finish of the assault mech before it could kill any more of his team.
In the West the Goliath stubbornly held his ground while Sandman gave the order for all mechs to hit the Goliath with everything they had. And they did. Without the threat of the Von Luckner to keep them at bay, it was open season on the Goliath. He suffered many hits all at once and after repeated blows, the mech fell in place. His return fire hit the Enforcer but did little damage. Crow then closed to point blank range, prompting the Goliath to call for honors.
The Vulcan, in the West, having the clear upper hand on Ghost’s outmatched Falcon, escaped. Ghost’s mech was too beaten up to give chase without a high risk of getting killed.
Although the Vulcan managed to escape the trap, the mech was later tracked down and the pilot surrendered to the ADF forces on Orontes. The ADF became awash in BDA prisoners as they flocked to surrender, their supplies all but gone and their military forces utterly destroyed. The ADF would have their hands full dealing with all of the prisoners, and war crimes trials were likely to follow as the BDA troops, having no moral leadership, committed many rapes, killings and other atrocities upon the ADF military and Alesian civilians. The SOO job on Orontes was now over, each of the SOO campaigners receiving a Orontes Campaign badge in addition to a outrageous paycheck, large enough that most of the mech warriors of the campaign could retire if they wanted to.
- The missing SOO marine was found dead, having been executed.
- It is rumored that SOO is continuing excavations of the Polynikes crash site.
- The Serpent Legion mercenary company appears to have broken their contract with their previous employer and are now working for SOO on Orontes.
- The Lostec taken from the Polynikes, as well as the beacon, have been shipped back to the Arminius.
- All of the mechwarriors from Hel’s Lancers are being given several weeks of R&R time, as well as their mechs rotation out of action and being fully repaired.
Orontes Campaign Badge – All SOO Orontes campaign veterans.
MVP – Crow: Hatchetman Battlemech (FredL)
Held off the the West flank for most of the battle against two mechs with very little help, freeing up the East flank which was crucial for the battle success.
First Blood – BDA Mechwarrior: Warhammer Battlemech (TylerA)
Took out an Armadillo APC early in the battle.
Camper – BDA Mechwarrior: Goliath Battlemech (TomK)*
Stood in a heavy woods all game, laying down a constant barrage of fire at long range.
Kickboxer – Sandman: Gladiator Battlemech (MattS)
Kicked the Warhammer in the head, resulting in a crucial mech kill.
Weapon Master – Crow: Hatchetman Battlemech (FredL)
Split the head of the Crusader Battlmech wide open, killing the biggest threat on the West flank at a crucial time.
Zombie – Bowman: Dragon Battlemech (SteveW)
His Dragon was a target dummy for the enemy but somehow survived and remained in the fight till the end.
Goose – Bureaucrat: Enforcer Battlemech (DougW)
Backed up his teammates throughout the battle, laying constant supporting fire on the enemy and keeping their backs protected from the enemy light mechs in the rear.