Campaign of the Month: June 2014

Battletech : The Farscape Campaign

Episode 17b - Trojan Horse : The Fall of Citadel

"The line Mechs had managed to find a way into "the Citadel" through an abandoned mine shaft, and were now able to freely range throughout the fortress... at least until they tried to blow something up..."

Roll Call————————————-Mechs

Dale (Paladin)—————————-Phoenix Hawk
Dana (Voice)——————————Hunchback
Bruce (Glamour)————————Phoenix Hawk
JP (Pitbull) ——————————-Chameleon
Greg (Fixer)——————————-Crab
Ralph (Wraith)—————————Wolverine
Jay (Advocate)—————————Griffin
Lee (Pockets)——————————Ostscout

It was during salvage operations that Fixer came up with the idea. Watching a salvage crew lose power to their tools, it dawned on him that the naval laser towers (and probably most of the other weapons systems in the Citadel) were reliant upon their main power for the bulk of their fire control systems and power. Informing the Major and Wraith of his thoughts, the plans to hit the naval laser towers were modified…

It was decided to activate *"The Werewolves", who were immediately ordered to search the administration building for any information of value they might find. They left even before repairs had fully begun on the the line Mechs, giving them about an hour to search for something regarding the source of the main power for the Citadel. After repairs were complete, and the prisoners packed into the salvage convoy, the unit decided to give the Werewolves an additional half-hour to finish their raid. Word came that the unit had entered the facility, and encountered “…a very large dog-like creature with bony armor covering its entire body… the skull seemed especially tough, and its claws were both sharp and fast…”. The guardian of the admin facility destroyed with no casualties, they continued to search the complex. By the deadline, they reported they had found some maps of the starport grounds (circa three years ago, pre-Invasion), repair records on DropShips and shuttles, and a diagram showing engineering protocols to connect the starport’s power generator (located under the Citadel Command Tower) with improved air ventilation… one of which ducts connected from the basements directly into the Command Tower’s lower levels.

With an opportunity to take out the main power generator, it was agreed to give the Werewolves another hour to slip into the lower Command Tower and plant sufficient demolitions charges to disable the generator. Fixer figured it would take the compound about a minute (6 game rounds) before any secondary generators activated, so the Dingoes had a window to assault the naval laser towers before they began targeting them. Timing their departure, they gathered at the mine-head, and 30 minutes later began moving into the compound in a long line, still organized by “Star”. The “Ice Wraiths” and “Frost Angels” stayed back and dug-in to ensure the Dingoes had an exit.

Moving across the compound the Dire Dingoes and Dead Man’s Hand swung wide past the infantry barracks, and approached the command center and its three naval laser towers from the northwest. They passed an APC broken-down and being repaired by a lone tach, and also encountered a small convoy of six trucks filled with infantry and what appeared to be AsTechs moving from the western gate off towards the DropShip assembly grounds. Ignoring the AeroFighter Hangar Bay, they managed to get within 1/2 a kilometer of the north-west tower, when a lance of Mechs approached their position, hailing them. Consisting of a Vulcan, a Trebuchet and a pair of Javelins, they moved at a slow pace, and appeared to be moving north. Unable to get the Werewolves on comms, the Dingoes began to open fire on the first tower as they approached and passed it, with the designated Stars choosing their assigned towers and tried to keep either their target or the central tower as a shield against attacks.

The first salvoes took the approaching support lance by surprise, and only sporadic fire against the trailing members of the unit. The Dingoes ignored counter-fire and concentrated on eliminating the towers as quickly as they could. After the first salvoes, the towers began warming-up their systems, and the turrets went active, when suddenly a lone tracked APC burst from the Command Tower, spun a quick donut and moved off to the south away from the area. Assuming this was their commando team, the Dingoes moved to flank them and continued progressive fire on the second towers, when a large flash came from beneath the Citadel, and plasma burned-out from every opening along the lower levels. Power immediately went down, as a pair of Wasps sauntered into the area from the south. Continued fire from the trailing Dingoes tore apart the structure of the first tower (labelled “Tower A” by command), while the leading MEchs attacked the second tower (labelled “Tower B”).

A Catapult and a pair of Patton Heavy Tanks appeared among the rises from the north, and moved directly towards the trailing Mechs, but remained at least a minute away from contact. The Vulcan and Trebuchet fired-off long-range shots, one getting a lucky round from its AC/2 to strike the Chameleon’s head, and rattle Pitbull. As the lance reached the ruins of Tower A, the Wasps leapt into the woods west of the Command Tower, watching, but not engaging the leading Dingoes Mechs. The Catapult and pair of Pattons rumbled through the rubble piles north of the tower, still trying to close. A lone tracked APC moved in from the north, making a direct bee-line for the central tower, ignoring everyone.

A pair of SRM Carriers and a couple platoons of infantry appeared near the missile bunker, and while the former began moving to intercept the lead Dingoes Mechs, the infantry moved around the main entrance to the bunker and tried to dig-in. The sight of twenty SRM-6 packs moving to intercept the rapid elements of the Dingoes, frightened them into slowing their approach, while the slower elements in the Dingoes managed to reach the crumbling Tower B and savage it with rounds of close-in weapons and melee assaults. Slayer, using bravado, moved into the south edge of the forests, luring the Wasps in for an attack, while the other pirate units swept around both sides of the command tower firing salvo after salvo at the trailing Dingo Mechs, but doing little severe damage. Another tracked APC moved in from the north, rapidly travelling across the rubble piles towards the command tower.

The rapid destruction of both “Tower B” and “Tower C” (the furthest west tower) in a matter of a few seconds, however, altered the fight. The lead elements of the Dingoes switched fire to the SRM Carriers, and Slayer nearly took the leg off one Wasp, forcing them to quickly retreat. Slayer then moved to the edge of the woods and sniped a shot into the damaged front of one SRM Carrier, blowing it apart. Stargun bounced forward and followed-up with a lucky laser shot, and did the same to the other one as it retreated. Valentine took a couple shots, but her “…elite piece of Star League trash…” Ultra AC/5 jammed again, and reduced her combat potential significantly, and she withdrew from the fight to the south.

Power was restored in various towers and facilities across the compound, but the only support the defenders could give was scattered fire from the laser turrets in the Citadel itself. The Dingoes moved out of range of the central tower, crossing the open plain to the west and closing with their remaining target, the missile bunker. A pair of Archers appeared near the bunker and moed to defend it, firing several salvoes of deadly missiles at the approaching forces. The missile lance of Vulcan and Trebuchet followed along closely behind Dingoes, stopping at the forest edge.

Behind the trailing Dingoes Mechs, a Maxim and a pair of Saracens appeared, moving rapidly across the field to flank them. The lead elements of the Dingoes began firing and attacking the missile bunker, taking sporadic fire from the dug-in infantry and Archers. As the central “Star” moved to divert the Archers’ fire, the two support Mechs were forced back, and retreated towards the rubble hills taking scattered fire. The Wasps moved to assist, while the Catapult, Trebuchet, Vulcan, Javelins and Pattons gathered at the edge of the woods to snipe into the trailing Mechs. The first tracked APC from the north entered the shattered lower maintenance bays of the command tower.

As the units began to coalesce in the area south of the missile bunker, the damage began to be felt on both sides, especially with Slayer, who took a full salvo of four LRM-20s, losing an arm and taking serious other damage. Pockets leapt behind the Archers, taking various shots of opportunity, and Stargun charged the hover tanks, firing wildly, while the rest of the DIngoes tore apart the missile bunker. Glamour, in her haste, stepped into a rubble of a portion of the collapsing bunker and tripped. It was later identified she’d snagged her foot on a White Shark Torpedoe…

When the bunker finally went up in a gout of collapsing masonry and smoke, the Dingoes called-in “all-retreat”, and all units disengaged, fleeing south with all best speed. The remaining pirate Mechs and tanks scattered off to the north and east, fleeing the facility, and refusing to engage anything. The remaining Dingoes Mechs managed to leave the map (despite some wiching to “claim the field” and fight it out further), and pulled back to the mine entrance, sweeping past the fairly empty infantry barracks and leveling it as they passed.

Things began to happen rapidly after the Dingoes raid. Having taken the bright shot of light and power-outage as proof that the Dingoes had succeeded at hamstringing the compounds’ AeroSpace defenses, the supporting forces began their assault on Citadel;

Low level attacks on the walls by AeroFighters laden with bombs breached the defenses in several places. A full battalion of infantry mounted on APCs moved in a rapid dash to gain the walls along the north, while a company of heavy armor moved into the compound and began chasing lone APCs and Mechs away from their defensive posts. The remaining Mechs of the “Black Banner” and its surviving allied mercenary forces assaulted the walls from the east, while “Bane’s Badgers” and “Veruca’s Visigoths” took the west. Meanwhile, a pair of infantry squads came through the tunnels used by the Dingoes to aid in holding the “secret exit”. A trio of heavy VTOLs carrying an infantry platoon each, landed inside the compound along the orbital catapult rail, taking cover and digging-in.

With all these units in position, the final assault began. As forces from TF 29 moved through the compound, pirate infantry, armor and Mechs began a full-scale retreat, scattering away to the south-east and north-east. The final proof of the fall of Citadel was as the pirate DropShips began to launch from the starport in a rapid succession of blasts, followed closely by the handful of remaining AeroSpace Fighters. Both a Triumph and a Condor DropShip were unable to lift-off, swarmed by TF 29s infantry forces, but the remaining spheroids (a pair of Unions, a pair of Lions, and a Dictator) managed to claw into orbit and reach safety. The Citadel had fallen…

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