"The Coggshall Job"
Pacification Arc - Mission 2
A Firefight 2.0 scenario for two players by Greg Rumbles.
A group of Canlastrian allied mercenaries are against the clock to break through a League of Yordan siege line with the intention of relieving the Yordists of their pay chest.
Majoris MacGregor, of Laird Samuel Rumbles Lothian Tocs Borderers, ‘Rumbles Reavers’, smiled tiredly, as he offered the bar of chocolate to the dirty little waif who stood in front of him. The girl was watching intently as MacGregor tried to not wolf down his evening rations. He had spent the day with his troops in a ditch dodging Yordist rifle fire and rockets. The hungry, ragged girl snatched the chocolate from his extended hand and ran a short way to a shop door where she split the candy with an even smaller dirty little figure.
“There’s the true toll of war, eh Kerr?”
The Emeritas sitting next to him grunted in a Gaelic reply, pointing with his spoon at the children, “Shouldn’t feed ‘im when we’re so close ta the works Madj, they’ll follow us into the line and get killed. No good comes of feeding stray dogs or stray kids in a war zone. See, here comes the other one.”
A very small boy of about five or six and covered in cement and brick dust trundled in over large shoes to the mercenaries and with his hand out made an offer the men could not refuse. “Thank you for the chocolate mister. If you have another to part with, I’ll tell you a secret.”
The two battle hardened Borderers looked at one at another and smiled. The Emeritas replied with the look of an unpleased professor, “Now, what secret could a wee bairn of your tender years have to trade, eh?”
“Well,” the hungry child shyly replied, “those other soldiers, the ones in white, green, and yellow, they said I shouldn’t tell. But they wouldn’t give us any food and tried to kick us as my sister an me ran away. So, I don’t mind trading for it.” MacGregor gave Kerr a nod and as the small lad smiled and opened the bar, he looked up at the two and made good on his deal.
In five minutes three squads of Lothian Tocs Borderers were moving double-quick towards their new objective. They halted and took up a 360 degree defence, each man being close enough to hear their mission.
“Alright lads, we’ve got a job. Our recon teams say the Yordie’s are beginning a large scale withdrawal from the city, breaking out and away from our main assault. We've seen checkpoints at crossroads already but they’re also leaving small rear guard detachments in key locations, buildings important to infrastructure and supply. There is a Yordist strongpoint in an Exchequer’s building just a half a kilometre beyond our line of circumvallation around this bloody sector, it of particular importance to us. Here, our objective.” The Madj tapped a few buttons on his belt and an image of the local battle area appeared in the upper left of each Borderers helmet visor. He plotted a line of approach for all to see the known combat relevant information.
“We're heading for that green flashing icon. Between us and our objective are roving patrols of Yordists supporting strongpoints like this one in their defensive line. We need to get in and get out fast.” he paused for effect. “Now I know you're thinking what do we want with an exchequer’s office?” He smiled at Emeritas Kerr, “Two little birds have told us the location of a Yordist fiscal officer and his pay chest. It seems their repulsar unit has failed and they are stuck until tomorrow morning awaiting a replacement. Well, we’re delivering it tonight and relieving them of their duty, eh lads?”
The cheer was brief but heartfelt by the squadies.
“Sieges are expensive, and the Yordie officer commanding this sector has requested and received permission to communicate with his Laird for instructions whether they should surrender or fight. He is playing for time. They don't realize we know they're running and that we’ll be able to take this place without a main assault. The longer he keeps Canlastrian forces tied down in this sector though, the more coin it will cost our bonnie lass, Queen Cyon. Our good commander Laird Sam wants that chest, and we’re going to get it for him! Avoiding the roving patrols and getting in and out without a fight with one o’ them is what we need to do… and as always, I have a plan.” Majoris MacGregor smiled as his eyes fell to the cast iron sewer manhole cover before him. “Get your gear ready lads, we’re going on a raid!”
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 four squads of Ion Age Muster miniatures and a post of Retained. This mission is for two players, with one player taking the Yordist Retained post and one roving squad of Mustermen. The other one players command the three squad force of Borderers out to plunder the Yordist pay chest. The objective of this mission for the Yordists is to hold what they’ve got; possess and control the pay chest until morning.
The objective for this mission for the Canlastrian’s Borderer mercenaries is to sneak in under the siege lines, snatch the pay chest and sneak back out in the allotted time. The Borderers must move the pay chest to the nearest sewer manhole cover to complete the mission by the end of turn ten, when dawn breaks and the Borderers must withdraw.
Creating The Playing Area
The Exchequer’s Office sits cradled in the arms of an intersection. A parking lot opposite what otherwise would have been a four way stop. Many abandoned or destroyed vehicles rest there. Large glass fronted office buildings line the street, many of them broken and smashed. There is a manhole cover in the center of every street board or at the centre of an intersection board. Player One determines where their P1 positions shall be, by allocating each of their squads to a specific street manhole cover to arise from to begin their movement on a piece of paper. Multiple squads can come up from the same manhole. When Player one has finished their placement order, but before they make this placement known; Player Two shall place their retained squad as they see fit within the confines of the marble built Exchequer’s building, they also place the pay chest anywhere in the building they wish. Only then does Player One place their troops according to their written orders. Player One has the initiative for the first turn and begins the game.
Player One – Majoris MacGregor and Emeritas Kerr of the Lothian Tocs Borderers
You have 150 points to assemble three squads of Borderer mercenary Muster troops. You must have twelve characters. You may have up to two heavy weapons. All of your characters with the exception of the two heavy weapons, must be armed with projectile (P) weapons. You may not field any Retained troops for this scenario.
Place them on P1’s starting places. Optionally use three squads of Muster troops all armed with Moth Type 6 Rifles and one Hobbes Bomb and one Smoke Bomb per squad. Two squads have an Emeritas armed with a Moth Type 6 Rifle and one squad has a Majoris armed with a Tumbler MkIII SMG. Replace two Moth Type 6 Rifles with one Urgan 2 Bore Shotgun and one Pardoner Fire Projector.
Player Two – Paymaster Sir Thomas Springford of Yordan III
You have 72 points to assemble a post of Retained troops, containing one Retained Household Errant Knight, one Medic, and two Esquires. And one repulsar unit with pay chest.
Optionally use one Retained Household Errant Knight with an Angis 12.5mm Rifle and Pelleas Mace, one Retained Household Medic with an Angis 12.5mm Rifle, and two Retained Household Esquires with 12.5mm Angis Rifles and one Hobbes Bomb. And one repulsar unit with pay chest.
Place them on P2’s starting places. You also have 37 points to assemble a roving patrol squad of Muster troops, containing three Mustermen with Moth Type 6 Rifles and one Hobbes Bomb, led by an Emeritas with a Comms unit.
At the start of any turn after a Borderer weapon has been fired roll 1D6. On a result of 6 p lace your Mustermen on the board on a map edge of your choice. They enter at street level.
There are no options for this squad.
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.
1. Sewer Movement – There is a manhole cover in the centre of every street board or at the centre of an intersection board, you should place tokens to show this before the game starts. The Muster troops of both sides may use sewer movement. This type of movement is ‘beneath’ the Retained troop class. Opening a sewer manhole cover is a general action which takes two general dice to accomplish. It also takes three general dice as part of a movement action to enter or leave the sewers. Movement via sewers follows the roads and as per the terrain penalties rules it costs two general dice to enter each square in the sewers.
2. Night Vision – Vision at night without any source of light except moonlight is limited to 2D6 squares range, which should be determined before play begins. Infrared vision is available to all troops via their visors if they have batteries to power the units. Representing the unsurity of equipment and supplies in a time of war, you roll 1D6 for each side at the beginning of every turn. If you roll a 6 the batteries are good and the equipment comes through. It stays active for the rest of the scenario. Infrared allows normal vision as per daylight, however do note that grenade and artillery shell explosions blind any characters with Infrared vision who are directly facing the explosion for one turn. 3. Smoke Grenades – These should be used for cover as per the normal rules.
4. The Pay Chest - To take the pay chest the Borderers must first break it free of its rubbacrete holdings in Melee combat. The pay chest has a Dodge Score of 3. Once free, the chest is too heavy to be moved using the normal rules, the borderers must secure it to their repulsar unit. This is a general action which takes one character thee general dice to accomplish. The repulsar unit with the chest attached is still slow. It can be maneuvered by any character for a cost of three general dice (so four general dice per square). Each additional character who assists, reduces this by one general dice. All characters assisting are activated at the same time and moved as one using the slowest characters movement. The Borderers must move the pay chest to the nearest sewer manhole cover to complete the mission by the end of turn ten as this is when dawn breaks and the Borderers must withdraw.
Expanding the Mission
This mission is part of the Pacification Mission Arc, set after the fall of Bosworth IV, and should be played with other missions in the Firefight 2.0 Campaign Arc in the correct order.
You can easily expand this mission and scale it up to encompass the actions of whole platoons raiding or defending, or even scale it up to company level if you want.
This mission is the one in a a series of missions which 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 shows some of the array of the difficulties for both the besieged and the besieger when fighting a siege. There is both a form of courtesy and a science in siege operations. Sieges lead to some of the most violent and horrifyingly cruel acts man can inflict upon man, and some of the most heroic.
In play testing of this mission, the League of Yordan were able to hold on to the exchequer’s building and the pay chest once in three games. The Canlastrian Borderer mercenaries achieved their objective once, and failed to get the chest to a manhole cover and blew up the pay chest with a Hobbes Bomb once!
The most experienced player should command the Yordist forces.
This article was originally published on Barking Irons Online and is reproduced here with permission.