Day One: Fort Fyve-I-O - Home of the Irish Dragoons
The communications technician called the base commander. “Sir, we’ve got Moonrakers in bound on a panty raid.”
“How many?” came the reply.
“The scope shows three Dropships but the batchal they’ve issued only lists a binary of mediums.”
“Have all officers, company commander and higher meet in the situations room in one hour.”
One Hour Later:
“All right gentlemen, we have another Moonraker panty raid in progress.” There was a chorus of moans and groans around the room.
“What do they want this time, Colonel?"
“Boots.” The Colonel let that sink in. “Their batchal is for two year’s worth of output from the Brown Group Boot Factory.”
“Why don’t they just buy them, sir? Hell, they can have mine!!” Everyone in the room laughed.
“You all know as well as I do that these nuisance raids are mostly to test their weapons and warriors. I’m just getting tired of them always coming to New Dublin. Why can’t they go somewhere else?”
“Maybe it’s because we’re the best.”
The Colonel broke in, “No one knows what they’ve got on their minds this time, but I think it’s time to put a halt to all this. On all the other incursions we’ve met them with just enough force to beat them back and nobody got hurt to much. This time I’m going to swat’em and maybe they’ll leave us alone. I’ll be taking the battalion command lance as well as Alpha and Bravo Companies. I’ll leave Charlie Company here to hold down the fort.” Nobody groaned at the Colonel’s little joke, it was too old.
“Sir, isn’t that a bit of overkill?”
“Of course it is. But if we hit them hard this time they’ll get the idea we’re not going to play games any more. I’ve ordered the Dropships Shamrock and Golden Harp to pick us up for transport to their Circle of Equals and it’s about halfway around on the other side of New Dublin. Boots and saddles in four hours, gentlemen. And it’s going to be a long ride.”
Three Hours Later:
“Colonel, I know you’re prepping for the run down to the Moonrakers, but we have a call from an in bound Mercenary Unit.”
“If they’re looking for a job, we don’t need their help to handle the lizards.”
“No sir, that’s not it. They’ve got Stalker on board that needs repairs that they don’t have the facilities to complete. They want to purchase parts and services to get it back on line.”
“We can help them out if it’s not a total refit.”
“It’s not that bad, sir. According to them, it took a PPC hit to the cockpit but there’s little other damage. They just need some specialized electronics and large gantry facilities.”
“No, not that bad except for the Mechjock that got fried.”
“Actually, sir, he got away with moderate injuries. Both legs broken and some second and third degree burns. It seems they had some kind of flaw in the ejection circuitry and when the discharge from the weapon hit the Stalker, it caused the ejection circuit to activate. Shorted it out or something. Blew him right out the top.”
The Colonel thought a moment, “If a man’s got that kind of luck, we better help him out. Have them land in the northern cleared zone, and we’ll fix’em up.”
“They say they can’t land here, Colonel. Their navigation system’s been damaged and they need the services of the star port.”
“In other words, bars and brothels?”
“Could be, sir. They didn’t specify.”
“We can’t spare the Shamrock or the Golden Harp to go get the Stalker. Send the welcome wagon and the gurney. Also, send Charlie Company’s third lance as an escort.”
“The mercs say they won’t need the gurney, sir. They’ve got the Stalker walkin’, talkin’ and fightin’. It’s just not 100%.”
“The gurney’ll get him here faster. Send it anyway. I want that ‘mech repaired and out of here by the time I get back. We may need the facilities, ourselves.”
The Colonel left the Command center and headed for the Shamrock.
Day Two: Fort Fyve-I-O
The head com-tech called the acting base commander over the direct intercom. “Captain O’Neal, we’ve got an inbound Dropship.”
Ned O’Neal yawned and looked at the clock. 5:30 AM!! Oh well, he’d have been up shortly anyway.
“McCarthy, I thought the Colonel would be gone for a couple of days at least. Have they said what happened yet? Did the Moonrakers bug out or something?”
“Sir, I don’t think this is the Colonel. That Dropship’s the wrong conf . . . . Wait one! I’ve got incoming transmission from that ship.” Moments passed. “Captain, it’s a Moonraker ship and they’re issuing a batchal.”
“Damn it, McCarthy! Tell them that they’re off course and give them the coordinates to the Circle of Equals where the rest of his Clan is. Then notify the Colonel he’s got more lizards to deal with.”
“I’ve tried that sir, and it’s not going to be that easy, Captain. They’ve issued that batchal as a Trial of Possession for the Donar. They say they are in the right place.”
Two months earlier the Irish Dragoons had captured a Clan Donar helicopter. They were finishing the process of refitting and testing the VTOL. It would make a fine addition to the Dragoon’s Air Support wing, if they could keep it, that is.
“Okay, McCarthy. Get Walsh into that Donar and have him get it airborne. We’re going to need its eyes and weapons.”
“Walsh is with the Colonel, sir. We don’t have any VTOL pilots in the fort at this time.”
“McCarthy, if you give me any more bad news I’m gonn’a bust you back to private!”
“Well, you better come get my stripes, sir. They’re declaring their incoming force as a binary of heavy omnis.”
That was a sobering thought for O’Neal. Most of the battalion was with the Colonel and his light lance was off on escort duty. That left him a heavy and a medium lance to stand off the Moonraker’s binary. He briefly toyed with the idea of having the Donar flown to the Colonel in the hopes that the lizards would follow it. Then he remembered, no pilots.
“Do we have any personnel or equipment outside the fort other than that escort detachment?
“Okay. First, put the fort on full defensive lockdown. Next, sound ‘General Quarters’.” McCarthy must have had his hand on the button waiting for the G.Q. order, because the alarms began sounding almost before O’Neal could finish his sentence. The captain was struggling to dress as he continued to bark out orders. “Activate all defensive turrets; automatic targeting and weapons free. I repeat, weapons free! Sound ‘Boots and Saddles’. I want the warriors in their ‘Mechs five minutes ago. Also try to get word to the Colonel that we got big mess on our hands and could use some help. ”As O’Neal ran out the door of his quarters towards his green and red Catapult, he could see the turrets on the walls going through their target acquisition sweeps. He was glad to see the most of the Mechwarriors in his command were already coming out of the barracks doors pulling on their combat gear. His only thought was, “What a way to start the day.”
Special Game Rules:
1: The detachment with the Stalker arrives on the North West corner of the board at the beginning of turn three. The Stalker is strapped to the gurney. Order of entry is up to the Irish Dragoons Player
2: The Stalker may not dismount on the turn of entry.
3: The Stalker must roll a 4, 5, or 6 on a 1D6 to successfully dismount and stand. He may then operate normally.
4: Due to the incomplete nature of the repairs, the Stalker gets -2 on all “to hit” and “piloting skills” rolls. Movement is reduced by one point.
5: The Moonraker player must secretly designate three of his ‘Mechs as having an extra person on board. These extra persons are pilots who can fly the Donar.
6: If all three pilots are killed the Moonrakers loose the Trial of Possession and withdraw. They have no way to fly the Donar out.
7: If the Donar is destroyed the Trial of Possession is nullified and Moonrakers withdraw.
8: The Moonrakers may attempt to “hijack” the Donar. To accomplish this, a ‘mech with a pilot aboard must be adjacent to the Donar for one, full turn to disembark the pilot. It will take the pilot two full turns to activate the Donar. At the beginning of the next turn the Donar may then operate normally except that it cannot use its SRMs (none were loaded). The pilot may use the laser.
9: Due to the fact that the Colonel doesn’t feel that the Donor is worth heavy losses on the part of the Irish Dragoons, he has ordered that any ‘mech that receives more than 30% damage must shut down and no longer conduct combat operations.