The four members of the battered Red Knights Striker Lance IV were moving too slowly. Several of them had significant damage, none more than Panzergrenadier Ilien Silver. His Hatchetman was a custom model HTC-SX, manufactured by Alesian Engineering Works. In his opinion, the HTC-SX was the best of the best of Hatchetman battlemechs available, and it suited him. It was faster than other variants, and to get there it had sacrificed its long range weapon, the famed Defiance AC-10, and in its place it added speed and carried additional short range weapons. When combined with the Ares Power Hatchet in its right hand, it was a deadly short range mech that could quickly get up close and personal. Ilien was known among his Red Knights brothers as one of the most aggressive mechwarriors in the unit, and it seemed to him like this mech design was made just for him.
Yet it was horribly damaged… as he limped along the only thing worse for Ilien than the twisted hunk of ferrosteel that had once been his deadly Ares Power Hatchet, was the useless hunk of metal and wires that was once his right leg, which his mech was now dragging. To his left was his lancemate, a Lander battlemech, holding up one side of his mech, and to his right was another lancemate, a Vulcan battlemech, holding up the other side as they limped along. To the rear, the last of their lance, a Jenner circled to keep careful tabs on enemy mechs… mechs that were closing too fast. It would not be long before he would have to do the unthinkable and abandon his cherished mech so his lance could escape.
His lance had been one of seven Red Knights lances that struck behind enemy lines. The enemy had been caught with their pants down, and his lance had taken the fight to them, killed two of their mechs, destroyed most of their objectives, and now all they had to do now was get away for their mission to be complete. The Red Knights were extremely fast, but with him dragging a leg, the odds of getting away looked grim.
That is until they called in and reported their precarious situation, and were promptly ordered to a grid point along the river where they were told they would find friendly forces. This seemed too good to be true. They might make it… if what the area commander said was true.
Ragnars Raiders – Mercenaries
Brad A – Whitworth (40)
Mike P – Hunchback (50)
Rich S – Enforcer (45)
Tyler A –Quickdraw (65)
Red Knights – Sons of Odin Mercenaries
Fred L – Assassin (40)
ADF – Black Horse Company
ADF Eldar LRM Truck x3
ADF Scout Sniper Team
Blood Dragons – XXIII AA Brigade – Lance IV
Brad A – Clint (40)
Dave W – Charger (85)
Dave W – Thunderbolt (65)
Guy V – Grasshopper (70)
Juan M – Crusader (65)
The battle started out with a pair of understrength BD lances chasing after a badly damaged and fleeing Red Knights lance as described above. The first enemy lance was only two mechs, two really good one, a 70 ton Grasshopper (Guy V) and a 65 ton Crusader (Juan M). The other lance consisted of an 85 ton Charger (Dave W), a 40 ton Clint (Brad A) and a 65 ton Thunderbolt (Dave W). Both lances were deadly brawler style mechs capable of dishing out and receiving tremendous damage. These lances started out on the Southeast and Northeast side of the map, respectively.
The ADF combined forces were situated in a carefully planned ambush. They had a QuickDraw (60) and Assassin (40) on the South flank, a Griffin alone on the North flank, and in the middle the only forces readily in view of the enemy were a Whitworth (40) and a trio of dug-in Eldar LRM trucks, lightly armored 10 ton trucks sporting a single annoying LRM-5. Their combined firepower, and the fact that they were dug-in on high ground, made them a valuable and effective chess piece. What the enemy did not see was that just inside the entrance to the canyon sat an Enforcer (45) and a Huchback (50) who were patiently waiting to ambush the enemy if they approached the canyon entrance.
The BD mission was to destroy the enemy lance and capture a prisoner so their high command could learn how so many mechs managed to get across the river, and into their rear, without any sort of bridge. Their initial strategy was to link up the two lances in the middle and roll up the canyon as a group, using their combined firepower to force the ADF units into a decisive head-to-head fight. This was a smart strategy, as it was the one thing the lance commander of the ADF feared most.
Fortunately for the ADF the Ragnars Raiders mercenaries anticipated such a strategy. They put together a counter strategy which they executed perfectly. They used the QuickDraw and Assassin to draw the enemy Grasshopper and Crusader mechs away from the middle. In the middle the Whitworth and three Eldar LRM trucks peppered the enemy in the center with long range missiles from atop a high plateau, the Griffin guarded with North flank from atop the mountain, while the Enforcer and Hunchback lay waiting in the canyon, praying that the enemy would come their way before it was too late. Only time would tell if this strategy would work.
The two BD mech warriors in the South (Grasshopper and Crusader) really had little choice but to move away from the center because QuickDraw aggressively pressed their position, forcing them into a continuous engagement which required them to keep closing to return fired effectively. Plus they had had to be extra cautious when the Assassin made a bold move and slipped behind them. The only way to guarantee their backs were not jeopardized was to stay close and keep their tails to the river. The four mechs exchanged lots of fire as the Grasshopper and Crusader slowly made their way Southwest, well away from the ambush in the canyon.
Meanwhile the other BD lance ran into trouble making their way across the center. The Thunderbolt stepped into depth one water and took a pair of LRM shots to the head from the LRM trucks. The loss of armor on his head was significant and make him cautious. Though the Thunderbolt is a great mech, it was ill suited to the hilly and mountainous terrain, and ended up exchanging fire with the Griffin on the Northeast side of the battlefield for much of the game. This left the Charger and Clint moving up the middle. The Clint and Assassin were in a continuous dual as the Clint tried to keep the Assassin from getting behind the Charger. This allowed the Charger and Clint to keep moving forward, but eventually they walked right into the ambush that they could not have foreseen. Things could not have gone better for the ADF and worse for the Charger. Not only did he walk into the ambush unaware, but he was in the worst possible position. He was behind a level one hill and on the punch table to the Enforcer, while suddenly and without warning facing a Hunchback and Enforcer at point blank range.
Normally the Charger LOVES point blank range, but not under such circumstances, facing two mechs boasting tremendous firepower. The Clint squared off against the assassin at the same time, and what followed was a furious barrage of firepower going in both directions. The Assassin blasted the Clint with a slew of lasers and missiles, destroying the Clint’s precious AC5. The Clint returned the favor, crippling the Assassin’s right leg with crits to both leg actuators. Meanwhile the Enforcer scored a hit with his Large Laser and a head shot with his AC10, clearing all the armor off the head of the Charger. The Charger pilot also let loose a deadly salvo of AC20, SRM and laser fire, pummeling the Hunchback with tremendous damage… but it was in vain. The Hunchback fired with all his guns as well, and though the Charger absorbed the AC20 hit without trouble, the Hunchback also hit the Charger in the head with not one, but TWO medium lasers! The head of the Charger was blown apart, and one of the shots tore through the cockpit, killing the valiant Mechwarrior at the controls. The Charger slowly collapsed to the ground in a heap, the ADF side cheered as the BD mechwarriors looked on in shock and anger.
At this point both the BD forces were in real trouble, and both sides became a lot more aggressive. The Grasshopper and Crusader pushed to the middle toward the canyon. The Whitworth, Enforcer and beleaguered Assassin moved over to that side to help the outmatched QuickDraw and deal with the growing threat to the South The Hunchback moved to face the closing Thunderbolt in the North. Unfortunately this left the battered but functional Clint alone in the middle. The Clint slipped in behind the Hunchback, using the cliffs for cover from the LRM fire from the Eldar trucks. He then placed a pair of well aimed shots into the back of the Hunchback who was busily exchanging fire with the Thunderbolt. One of the shots breached the chamber in the left torso that housed the Hunchbacks AC20 ammo and an epic explosion rocked the canyons and the Hunchback exploded into millions of metal fragments. The Ragnar’s Raider mechwarriors all glanced to the sky and breathed a sigh of relief when they saw chute of their friend, the famed Frank Thorbald pop open, far above the apex of the blast.
The destruction of the Hunchback gave the BD forces a much needed break. This allowed their Thunderbolt to swing around the corner of the canyon and relieve pressure on the Grasshopper and Crusader, which have them the opening they needed to disengage and escape intact. This was not the mop up operation they were expecting… they would be back, with friends.
First Blood Mike P
First Unofficial Kill in a battle – Charger (80)
Justice For All Brad A
Destroy an enemy that destroyed one of your teammates. – Hunchback (50)
Phoenix Badge Mike P
Eject from an exploding Battlemech, and live to fight another day.