Saturday, 29 November 2014

A Lesson in Soildering

I recently played a game of Planetfall during one of the local clubs wargaming nights, Planetfall is ground based wargame of Firestorm Armada (and it looks like Spartan Games will be making a rules system to link the two games together). I wanted to do a write up of this battle but this issue is that i don't fully grasp the ruleset yet to be able to do a standard issue battle report on the game, however i do know enough about the lore of the Firestorm universe to do a narrative report on the battle, so thats what i have chosen to do. In addition this post will be the first in series aimed at explaining the basics of the Firestorm universe, whose lore is well written and interesting, much more so than 40k's lore in my view. So sit back and enjoy.

Colonel Valentin Zeigler sat back in seat and focused on the tactical readout displayed before him as the Works Raptor LR-6 Recon tank he was riding in moved into position. The readout displayed the real time locations of the units in the Directorate Armoured Recon force he was attached to, all the better for him to learn the tactics of Directorate. As the final units moved into position Zeigler, himself a Colonel in the Dindrenzi Federation and the freshly promoted CO of a Dindrenzi ground regiment, watched intently taking in as much of the Directorate's tactics as he could, after all he was here to learn from people that were considered to be well versed in ground warfare.

The contested military complex

  The Directorate Desolator Heavy Tank (left) and Retaliator Medium Tanks (right) move into position
Works Raptor Witch' Interceptors and Directorate Trojan Cyber Warfare Tanks claim a vital overlook
The Directorate Intruder APC with embarked Patriot infantry squads approach the main building
Directorate Intruder Recon buggies
Just as the final units moved into position a voice came through over the intercom "All units report in", this was swiftly followed by a chorus of Unit X ready. "Excellent" came the voice of the the Directorate commander, Colonel Richardson. "Colonel Zeigler are you ready to see how a true army fights?". Zeigler smirked slightly as he replied "Well i am ready to see how you fight, so i guess that will have to do", Richardson's retort was cut short as the leader of the Directorate recon element cut through the comms "Enemy spotted, sirs its the Aquans". 

Aquan Sedna Heavy Skimmer Tank accompanied by Sirsir Designator tank

Aquan Lamana Meduim Skimmer Tanks
 "Finally they decided to show themselves, lets go fishing lads" Richardson roared over the comms as the tactical display in front of Zeigler lit up with enemy contacts. Leaning over the display Zeigler addressed the pilot of his vehicle "I am ordering you to close with the objective in the complex directly ahead and hold position unless i order you to move" as the pilot started to object Zeigler added "and if you disobey this order i wont hesitate to ventilate your skull with my service revolver", looking decidedly pale the pilot responded with a simple yes sir and ordered his squad to follow as he moved his tank into the cover of the nearby building complex.

Works Raptor LR-6 Recon Tanks (accompanied by Colonel Zeigler) seek cover behind a series of buildings
Colonel Richardson grinned as enemy contacts started close in, here was a chance to show that smug git Zeigler how true soldiers fought wars. His grin widened as hostile contacts appeared on the building directly in front of his tank, "Boss Turkeys dead ahead" his driver unnecessarily stated. Richardson directed his Works Raptor flyers to engage the
Terquai's (referred to as "Turkeys" by most Directorate personal) heavy flyer that had so unwisely decided to fly over the main building of the complex and into the range of his force's guns. As the trident shaped Works Raptor flyers unleashed their volley of interceptor missiles into the Terquai flyer it disgorged it's cargo behind the building and as it crashed to the ground there was a series of flashes behind the building which was suddenly occupied by Terquai heavy infantry who had used the gateway dropped by the now burning heavy flyer to gate into the main building. Despite this Richardson only looked happier "Alright boys now we got some targets"

The Iophon Heavy Gunship as it prepares to drop the temporal portal
Directorate units zero in on the gunship
Having successfully deployed the temporal portal the Terquai Nabis Heavy Infantry deploy though the portal and into the building

Works Raptor flyers move to destroy the gunship
With the Terquai flyer out of the way Richardson order all units to engage the enemy infantry in the main building. Over the course of the new few minutes all his units bar the Trojan Cyber warfare tanks opened up on Tarakian infantry, Richardson even noticed that
Zeigler's Works Raptor recon tanks moved to engage only to withdraw once the enemy were all dead, typical Dindrenzi git, he thought, comes in to nab the glory and then runs away. Still with the Turkey infantry out of the way his own foot slogers now had a shot at securing the main building and he ordered the Intruder APC to advance. As he watched the APC trundle forward he allowed his grin to return, things were going his way.

Works Raptor elements move to engage the Terquai infantry

The final Terquai infantry squad charges the Intruder APC, they are duly destroyed.
Glancing back at is own tactical display Richardson noticed on the left flank that his recon buggies had halted behind a hill and that some were flashing yellow, indicating damage. "Recon squad what the hell is the hold up?", Richardson only received garbled and panicked gibberish in response. As this was going on he noticed that a icon representing a Aquan heavy Skimmer had appeared in front of the buggies, who had started to retreat the way they came, "Oh thats whats up".

Before and After shots of the Directorate buggies as they come under fire from the Aquan Heavy Skimmer Tank
A mangled scream snapped Richardson's attention away from the plight of his recon buggies as the Intruder APC was hit by multiple enemy rounds, causing it to explode, the infantry inside the carrier having managed to get clear just in time to avoid a fiery death. Just as he was about to order the infantry off their asses and into the building his own tank was rocked by a series of explosions "What the hell was that!!" he roared to no one in particular, "Its that Aquan heavy sir, its came back round and is targeting us" came the panicked response from his driver "taking evasive action now sir"

The APC and Infantry squads moments before the APC exploaded

The Directorate center with the damaged command tank pictured lower right
As his tank attempted to retreat his display lit up once more with two new contacts and through the now cracked view port Richardson stared in disbelief as two Aquan Stingray defence turrets plummeted from orbit and slammed into ground and within seconds of landing the Stingrays had fully deployed and turned their weapons on his tank. Moments before the Stingray's missiles detonated his tanks plasma batteries thus incinerating himself, his crew and his tank Richardson had enough time to think "Damm that smug bastard Zeigler will out live me....."

WIth Richardson dead things look bad for the Directorate
Zeigler sat back in his seat and sighed, with the death of that arrogant fool Richardson the Directorate forces had, well, gone berserk. The medium tanks had tried to engage the Aquan heavy and medium skimmer in a duel but lost badly, they were all dead. After that the Cyber Warfare tanks had gunned straight for some Aquan light skimmers but despite initial success with their CQB weapons they were now be shot to pieces by the lighter and fast Aquan vehicles, as for the recon buggies Zeigler assumed they were dead as there had been no contact from them for the past 5 minutes and the sinister black smoke clouds rising from their direction didn't bode well for them, and the infantry were holed up in the main building but how long they would last was anyone guess. And just to round off the insanity the Works Raptor flyers had attempted a attack run on the Aquan heavy skimmer only to kill the Sirsir designator instead of the heavy and then go onto be gunned down by most of the Aquan force.

The last of the Directorate forces before their suicidal attacks

The Works Raptor flyers begin the ill fated attack on the Aquan heavy skimmer

The buggies are surrounded and destroyed by Aquan infantry

The cyber warfare tanks and out manoeuvred by Aquan light skimmers

Once more into the breach! The final directorate tank charges the Aquan gunline
Without looking up from his display Zeigler addressed the pilot "Call a retreat, enough fools have died here today and i do not wish to join them". The pilot started to form an objection when suddenly he found his skull had been ventilated. Still holding the gun he used to kill the pilot Zeigler climbed into the driver seat and wiped the brains from the dashboard and controls. "One more dead fool i guess" he muttered as he put the head set on and addressed the rest of the unit "Soldiers listen up, we are pulling out from this battle, the Aquans have won the day and to stay would be to die foolishly. If you want to stay and fight be my guest but it would be to die a pointless death, no one will remember your stand or even care about it, however follow me and we may well one day avenge those who have died here. Are you with me?". Zeigler smiled as a chorus of yeses came back over the comms. As he left the battlefield he reflected that Richardson had shown him how a true solider fought, as an individual with no view of the bigger picture like how the Directorate and Works Raptor forces had acted after Richardsons death, and in showing him this he had taught Zeigler a valuable lesson: Don't fight like a True Solider, Fight like a True Officer. So all in all the day hadn't been a total lose.

Colonel Zeigler, upon deciding that he has learned all he can from this battle, quits the field
So there you go, my first narrative Firestorm battle report. As i play more games of Firestorm expect to see many similar reports and much more of Colonel Valentin Zeigler in the near future. Until next time.

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