As the strike force, from the frozen wastes of Svalarheima, made it's way towards the open pit quarry under the harsh, cold light of the large worksite lights that cast sharp shadows. Avoiding detection the strike force makes it way to a storage area filled with containers. They are here to find to find some evidence that Yu Jing, either due malice or incompetence, has allowed Combined army units to infiltrate deep into the Human Sphere. Little did they know that they had already triggered a silent alarm and a response from Yu Jing's Invincible Army was bearing down on them like sledgehammer.
A spotlight falls on the container field, illuminating the whole area and removing any cover of darkness. A loudspeaker begins to speak: "You are trespassing on sovereign territory of Yu Jing. Lay down your arms and prepare to be detained. We are authorized to use deadly force to protect our sovereign territory. Any resistance will be met with deadly force." The message repeats in the background as the PanOcenian soldiers exchange worried looks. They know the only way is out is through the enemy, who already was enveloping their exposed position.
Lieutenant Thorsen, a member of the Fusilier regiment, began to set up a defensive line trying to plug any gaps in the line. Nisse sniper took an overwatch position at the tallest building he could reach, as a Bulleteer and a Black Friar locked down the rest of right flank. The second Fusilier of the team, a Forward Observer by training, took a position that allowed her to guard the rear of right flank. Near her a Hospitaller Doctor sir Tobias, a seasoned knight, took position overlooking the center of the battlefield. Protecting the left fell to a Machinist and a Peacemaker remote, followed by it's trusty Auxbot. At the center a Order Sergeant from the Hospitaller Order, a squire in service of the Hospital knight, settled into a secure position and sighted his heavy rocket launcher down the field. He also had an Auxbot, that offered a further layer of protection. Anchoring the center was the mighty ice giant itself, a Jotum heavy TAG unit. Lieutenant Thorsen then settled at very center of the line, further back and in cover.
At the very end of the field some movement hinted at the expected positions of the enemy force. Unseen by the defenders, a infiltration unit was already within the lines and ready to turn the left flank. As Thorsen peaked from behind his command post a streak of fire fell from the the open sky and crashed into the tall building on his right, covering the roof in a ball of shrapnel and fire. Following this a sharp exchange of gunfire fills the air, shotgun by the sound of it, and Nisse's health signature suddenly falls into critical condition. Alive, if only barely. Further shots ring out and Lt. Thorsen sees as his fellow Fusilier's lifeless corpse falls to the ground. Before he can get his bearings another unit falls silent on his command screen: the Bulleteer remote has suffered a hit and has been rendered useless. Before he could direct the Machinist to relocate to other side of the line a sharp burst from a SMG rings out and the engineer's lifeline flatlines on the command screen. The unseen foe on the left had his first victim.
Lieutenant Thorsen, paralyzed by the ferocity of the attack, stares at his command screen in horror. Shouts from both the left and right become a cacophony of curses and distress calls. "Target acquired, firing. Confirmed hit, the enemy is falling back. Why won't these bastards stay down?" Despite the best efforts of the soldiers under Thorsen's command their fire isn't enough to put anything down for good. "Lieutenant Thorsen. I'm exposed and under threath from a missile launcher. I need someone to clear me a path." The signature of message reads Hospitaller Knight sir Tobias. Thorsen, cursing under his breath, orders the Jotum to move and engage despite wanting to avoid this particular firefight at any cost. The massive MULTI HMG roars into life and tracer rounds cut through the air. The firefight is brief, but devastating. Two missiles find their mark and blow a massive hole into the TAG's armored shell. The firefight is won, but it's a pyrrhic victory as the TAG limps back into cover with pieces falling off. Sir Tobias, now free to move, gets up and heads out to secure the tall building the looms over the right flank. Lt. Thorsen rubs his fingers to keep them warm, the cold was getting to him despite growing up in the harsh cold of Svalarheima.
A moving shadow on the left breaks Lt. Thorsen out of his stupor. A flash and explosion takes out the ruined Jotum, blasting the once mighty giant into pieces. As the flaming wreckage illuminates the Order Sergeant who rises from his cover and send a rocket flying across the battlefield. His victorious shout is cut short as a burst of bullets rip through him. Thorsen sights down his combi rifle and delivers a quick vengeance by putting down the foe that had demolished his left flank all by himself. Frozen to his core, Thorsen moves out. All the corpses of his fellow soldiers lay scattered across the field. Up on the tall building he sees as the brave knight charges against a volley of machine gun fire and falls lifeless. Even as his fingers are freezing into numbness lieutenant Thorsen lifts his combi rifle and fires a burst. Thorsen collapses never knowing that last shot had indeed hit but couldn't pierce the heavy armor of his target. As the last breath escapes from his frozen lips, Thorsen's last thought is of all his fellow soldiers who he failed. Then there is only cold darkness.
OCC: I have cut my usual Player's Thoughts section short because this piece of crap Warconsole has been down and out.
Having played mostly sectorials I wanted to go Vanilla PanO to see if Fire Teams were becoming a crutch I leaned on too frequently. And to make things interesting I chose to build list around Svalarheima. So none of the new shiny Varuna toys for me, thank you.
I made mistakes all along the game, but credit where credit is due, my opponent dismantled my army swiftly. The Fire Team I was dreading was nowhere near as murderous as the Liu Xing and Zencha. Those two pieces really snapped my army in half. With no Orders to spare I had to do what I didn't want to do, namely challenge the Fire Team missile launcher with Jotum. It was futile effort to change the course, as the Jotum was as good as dead after it.
My mistakes, those that remember clearly, came down poor positioning of models (slightly off LoF so no AROs, did this three times at least). I had a chance to play risky and try Dodge my Hospitaller out of missile sight, but went for safer Jotum route. The knight survived to move out of harms way, but the cost was ultimately too high.