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firefight-logo-304x90"Checkpoint Charles"

Pacification Arc - Mission 1 

A Firefight 2.0 scenario for two players by Greg Rumbles.

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The actions of a disillusioned Muster Emeritas could mean the difference between victory and defeat for a small group of Canlastrian Scouts as they recon a Yordist Retained checkpoint.

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The young Emeritas watched as his squad finished kitting up for their next mission. His dark curly hair was soaked with sweat and plastered to his forehead under the weight of his heavy Aketon Clam Armour helmet. Even with the visor raised, it was hellishly hot in the stained tent which his squad called home. 

After six straight months of combat Emeritas Fletcher had had his fill of war. This was his first tour of duty as Emeritas with the planet’s Southern Muster. His company had been one of the few in Bosworth IV's planetary sector Muster not to heed the call of Baron Nevall and support the League of Canlaster. Many Platoons had already deserted to fight alongside the Canlastrians. His Platoon had already been stationed with the main League of Yordan forces and, even if he did make the decision for his Squad, they could not escape to fight with their Canlastrian allied brethren far to the South. His company Centaris and all three Platoon Majori, all loyal men who had not once challenged the chain of command, had all been summoned by a Yordist Retained officer’s call and had never returned. 

Now they were under the command of an off world Yordist ex horse-trader aptly named ‘Horsewood’. Horsewood and his choice of replacement Majori treated all Southerners as traitors due to no other sin than simply being born in the South. Fletcher and the other men of his Squad bore the abuse in silence and wistfully thought of home and if the Canlastrian cause or that of the Yordists was the just one in this war. 

Fletcher had expected to be sent home after the fall of the City of Coggshall. The County Seat for most of Zone 17 had been wrenched from Yordist hands at no small cost. Most of their army had pulled back from the besieged city already. Only a single Division of the Yordist was left as a rear guard, and Fletcher’s company had been assigned to keep order amongst the panicked populace trapped in this embattled Division’s rear area.  

In all of the books he had read upon war and the people who made it, they got to go home when the fighting ended. And this fight was about done. It was just his luck to be stationed with troops who were enemies to his own people. Still he was a soldier, so he followed orders and did what they paid him to do… for now. 

The young man thought upon what would be the trigger which would set him off to lead his Squad South, to leave what was becoming for him, an unjust cause for a ‘better’ one. And, when the time came, he wondered if his men would follow him? 

The Mission and Its Aims  

This mission requires you to have a copy of IAG001 Firefight 2.0 Killing Streets for the Firefight rules. Also required are two Squads of Ion Age Muster miniatures and a Post of Retained. 

This mission is for two players, with one player controlling a League of Yordan Retained post defending a road checkpoint, known as ‘Checkpoint Charles’ and one supporting Squad of Mustermen coming up to support them. 

The Retained player may use damaged vehicles and rubble markers to create a single barricade and a single two man firing position to control the traffic at the intersection. 

The other player commands a Squad of Canlastrian scouts sent out to harass, and if possible close, the Yordist escape route with long ranged fire and to act as forward observers for the Canlastrian Super Basilisk batteries far to the rear, who are scheduled to fire upon this road junction to disrupt any and all activity when the Canlastrians launch their final push through the war torn city with the aim of forcing the Yordists back to the more open ground beyond.  

The objective of this mission for the League of Yordan is to hold and maintain their checkpoint, utilizing the supporting Muster Squad to drive away the annoying presence of the enemy scouts. At least the firing has chased off any civilian traffic for the moment. 

The objective for this mission for the League of Canlaster scouts is to pin down the Yordist forces at the checkpoint and to call in artillery fire when they see the last Yordist forces begin to fall back along the road past the checkpoint. See the special rules for this scenario. 

This mission is unusual in that the Yordist supporting Squad of Mustermen, led by the disillusioned Emeritas Fletcher, may decide to switch sides under cover of the confusion of the long ranged fire fight or they may decide to follow orders and assault the Canlastrian scouts or they may simply walk over and surrender to them. Then again, they may have had one insult too many and open fire upon their supposed Yordist betters at point blank range and then join their Southern brothers and sisters fighting alongside the Canlastrians. In combat it is always good to know who your friends are, and to remember that everybody carries an automatic weapon! 

Creating the Playing Area  

Set the crossroads as the centre of the table and continue the roads with one road or parking lot board at each road intersection end. Then shuffle the remaining 5x5 tiles and the pavement tiles. Each player selects and places one in turn until they have filled in the map around the crossroads. Whilst tactical advantage is encouraged so is a sense of aesthetics. The Debris and Vehicle scenic objects should then be randomly scattered around the map, again placed alternately by each player. They should be placed on pavements and only to the edges of the roads as the Yordist Forces have kept them clear for use by their transports. The Yordist player then places the seven barrier scenic objects and a single 'U' shaped rubbacrete emplacement on the crossroads tile as thier barricade and then places their Retained section around it. Fletcher’s section shall approach the checkpoint up the road from behind the Retained position. The Canlastrian Players then determines where the four P1 positions at the direct opposite edge of the board shall be. 

Player One – Emeritas Gunn of the Lothian Tocs Borderers, Provisional Force Reconnaissance Platoon (Scouts)  

You have 105 points to assemble a veteran Squad of Muster scout troops. One veteran Scout Emeritas (with a Move of 5 1 Scout Skill Point at a cost of 12) and three Scout Privates, all armed with Moth Type VI Automatic Rifles. You must have four characters. You may have four troopers armed with a Hobbes Bomb or two troopers armed with two Hobbes Bombs. All of your characters must be armed with projectile (P) weapons. One trooper must have the ‘Comms’ skill and is the scout Squad’s communicator and forward observer. 

Place the Scouts on any of the P1 starting places to the left or right front of the Yordist Retained Post’s checkpoint at the edge of the board. You may manoeuvre around the checkpoint as you wish, but a character may not voluntarily finish their move into any square within 5 squares from the centre of the crossroads tile because of the pending friendly artillery threat. 

There are no alternate options for this Squad. 

Player Two – Yordist Household Knight, Sir Reginald Oxford of Yordan III  

You have 113 points to assemble a post of Retained troops, containing one Retained Household Knight with a Minstrel PP2 Taser, and three Esquires with Angis 12.5mm Automatic Rifles. One character may have a Hobbes Bomb. 

Optionally use one Retained Household Knight with an Angis 12.5mm Automatic Rifle and Hobbes Bomb, and three Retained Household Esquires with 12.5mm Angis Automatic Rifles. 

These characters can be placed anywhere on the central crossroads tile. They have been ordered to protect the Checkpoint and cannot voluntarily move further than five squares from the centre of the crossroads at any time during the game. 

You also ‘initially’ have 69 points to assemble a Squad of Muster troops. One Emeritas (Fletcher) and three Privates, all armed with Moth Type VI Automatic Rifles. You must have four characters. You may have up to two troopers armed with a Hobbes Bomb or one trooper armed with two Hobbes Bombs. All of your characters must be armed with projectile (P) weapons. 

Optionally use one Squad of Muster troops all armed with Moth Type 6 Rifles and two Hobbes Bombs. 

Place them on the board edge on the road to the rear of the Yordist Retained Post’s checkpoint at the edge of the board. You must move this squad to the checkpoint, choosing Move as it's Tactical Options until it arrives there. 

Special Rules and Conditions  

There are some special rules for this mission. Please read and apply them in your playing of Firefight for this mission. 

Special Rules  

1. Change of Colours – When Emeritas Fletcher’s squad of Mustermen reach the troubled checkpoint, he arrives in time to see the Yordist Knight in charge slap and violently shove a young civilian woman away from the protection he is using as cover from incoming Canlastrian small arms fire. 

Every initiative phase after their arrival at the checkpoint roll 1D6. On a roll of 1-3 Fletcher decides he and his troops have had enough and they switch sides! Fletcher’s squad is now under the control of the Canlastrian player. 

If Fletcher is subsequently killed, each of his men face a similar choice. Immediately roll individually for each of his surviving men. On a roll of 1-3 control remains with the Canlastrian player, but on a roll of 4-6 the possibility of impressing their new leaders overcomes the Trooper and he switches back to support the Yordist Retained. 

2. Artillery Strike – At the end of the 9th turn an artillery barrage will hit the centre of the crossroads, any character not under cover within a ‘kill zone’ of 5 squares from the centre of the crossroads is instantly killed. Roll 1D6 for every character in Cover in the Kill Zone. From the point of impact of the central square of the crossroads those in Complete Cover are killed on a roll of 6, Hard Cover on a roll on 5 or 6 and Soft Cover on a roll of 4-6. If the Canlastrian Scout Comms skilled trooper is killed during the game, move the centre of the artillery strike’s impact by 2D6 squares in the following direction, as per a second dice roll of two D6: 1-3 East, 4-6 South, 7-9 West, 10-12 North. 

Expanding the Mission  

This mission is part of the Pacification Mission Arc should be played with other missions in the Arc in the correct order. This mission sets the stage for the following missions and it should not be expanded. It may also be played as a stand- alone scenario. 

Designer’s Notes  

This mission is the first of a series of missions in an arc which is meant to show the difficulties faced by an occupying force in a built up area in time of war. I have drawn upon the reports of recent military experiences in the modern age and have applied them to this mission arc. When the players have finished all of the missions, it is my hope they will be enlightened to the truly difficult job military personnel have when forced by circumstance and orders to occupy and garrison a city in a foreign land. 

This mission introduces the concept of ‘Provisional Force Reconnaissance Platoons’, Scouts and observers capable of so much more when well trained, equipped, and led. Snipers also serve with these elite troops of veteran status. I am told sniper rules are sure to come to Firefight 2.0 in the near future.  

This mission also introduces the Lothian Tocs Borderer Free Companies. Mercenaries hired from the far flung borders of the Prydian Precinct of space to expand their employer’s interests in time of war or peace. 

In play testing this mission, the Yordist were able to hold on to the checkpoint once in three games, as Fletcher’s squad advanced and took on the Canlastrian Scouts. 

Next, the Canlastrian Scout’s saw the checkpoint unmanned as Fletcher’s squad mutinied and opened up on the Yordist Retained post at point blank range! Artillery fire then finished off the survivors of this fight. 

In the last game, Fletcher’s men moved off to attack to scouts, and when fully covered from Yordist Retained reprisal fire, surrendered to the Canlastrians and joined them in pinning the Yordist Retained down until the artillery strike left all save one dead. Yes it was the Knight, perhaps there is truth in the statement, ‘only the good die young?’

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Webmaster's Notes

This article was originally published on Barking Irons Online and is reproduced here with permission.

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