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/qst/ - Quests

You change back to the sky facing camera, where the skies continue to unleash their endless torrent and lightning flashes in between glowing and massive orange-red explosions. Westre won’t be able to hold out for any longer.

But so much blood had been shed already, that to risk everything upon the chance that the enemy does not locate the obvious nuclear device, no matter how well hidden, would be to spit upon everyone’s sacrifices.

“Colonel Kosmowski, secure the spaceport.” You order, having made up your mind.

Silence follows for a couple of moments. “You sure about that ?” Eventually Vinn’s voice responds.


“Alright, we’ll try to go as fast as we can then. Just make sure you’re not bombed back to the stone age by enemy air.”

“Carry out your duties, Colonel. I shall carry out my own.”

“Aye, aye, Lord-Colonel.” Saying so, Vinn cuts the comm.

You may have responded with some cold bravado, but my force won’t last for too long in the wide open like this. You have a simple choice, stay out in the open and be potentially bombed or move back to the surrounding rubble for cover and potentially leave Vinn exposed.

Either way, your options are not good, since most of your infantry support is currently within the spaceport allowing hostile infantry to easily sneak up on you in the terrain entirely fitting for their fighting style. The artillery company can provide assistance for as long as they too are not discovered, their escorts are dangerously thin as well.

And finally, no doubt a call for help had already went out, though the scattered regiments, companies, and platoons are the least of your worries and you doubt that they might be able to actually pose a threat to you. No, when it comes to actual troops, you are far more worried if more droptroopers are sent to your location alongside a bunch of landers. You’d reap an untold toll upon those soldiers, since you would be entirely expecting them, but they’d be able to overwhelm you in the end.

But, as you had said to Vinn, you have to carry out your duties, and your duty is to ensure that the last spaceport within Etrius is utterly destroyed.

“Formation, spread out, secure all entrances. I want overlapping arcs of fire for the laser turrets, if enemy air comes down once more, be prepared to face them with all you’ve got. Keep an eye on the surroundings, do not fire until you confirm hostiles. If hostiles are confirmed, chase them off with a couple of shells, do not waste ammo and do not pursue.”

As your tanks begin to trudge along, you begin to once more look through the comms. Linton should be arriving soon. You also need to coordinate with your artillery, moving them into the open would be a death sentence, so you must keep in contact through this way. No doubt Westre is also continuously throwing out commands one after another, keeping an ear on her command would inform you if things go into the deep end.

Once more, you find yourself in a rather queer situation of chaos reigning all around you, whilst you yourself wait at peace. The silence within the tank itself is heavy, as your own men try to keep their eyes out. The gunner nervously moves the main cannons left and right, keeping an eye on the horizon, the man responsible for the laser turret continues to twitch nervously at the blooming lights in the sky, your own driver nervously fidgets with his controls, the comm officer is also keeping an ear over all contacts, ready to feed you any information from the regiment as a whole, and finally, funnily enough, you’d think the one responsible for the railgun turrets is the most anxious one, for he has nothing. Your railgun turrets are dry, so even though they continue to cover your surroundings, all they can do is force the enemy to approach carefully until they realize what’s going on.

The boredom of a military man’s life. Waiting around, waiting around for orders to wait around, and the most intense five minutes of one’s life repeated over and over again. You find your own thoughts drifting as the first minute passes in relative calm. You can see that the wait had only made your men even more tense, it takes certain natural gift, like that of Linton’s, or prolonged acclimatization, like your own, to keep cool under such circumstances.

“…” You put your hand up as static crackles through your comm. Signalling to the comm officer, you begin interfacing your own protection suit with the tank’s in-built communications equipment, specially put there for commander tanks such as yours.

“…ᵗᵒ ᵃnʸᵒnᵉ ʳᵉᵃᵈinᵍ…” The weak voice, broken by static comes through as you try to get a more accurate signal. “…enemy exo-suit moving towards the northern spaceport ! I repeat, enemy exo-suit is moving towards the northern spaceport ! All Roy forces, get the fuck out of dodge now ! This message will now repeat…”

Well. You had not thought it was possible for silence to become even quieter, but here you are.

You’d like to ask for more clarifications, but the message seems to be automatic and on loop. Judging by the crass language and the rather panicked expression, some remaining element or another that had most likely already started retreating had put that out as a final warning. Which leaves you with one question; how long ago had it been set up ?

Quickly turning your head towards the south you activate the camera and…nothing. Nothing at all, besides of course the endless landscape of rubble and decay. Perhaps your nerves are strained as well.

Calmly sitting back into your seat, you, out of habit, try to grab onto a pack of cigarettes, only to realize that all you are doing is slamming against your chest with your stump for a hand.

You take out the lighter instead, not like you can smoke now anyways, with your good hand instead and begin playing with it. Moving it through your fingers with extreme dexterity and ease of a trained magician pulling tricks during a kid’s show. It is a distraction if nothing else, one that everyone is now pursuing, finicking, playing, or just moving in place. Everyone is looking for a way to distract themselves from the foreboding sense of doom. You had seen exo-suits in action before, hell, you had seen an entire armoured division annihilated by one whom then proceeded to simply slip away, with most shells bouncing off its hardened carapace.

Now that you think about it, that particular exo-suit had simply dug through the ground, leaving a massive tunnel, daring anyone to pursue it. No one did. And the tunnel itself, lacking any supports or infrastructure, simply collapsed on itself.

Wait. The ground is hard, being part of the highlands, but not hard enough to be difficult to dig through.

Halting the movement of the lighter, you also startle all of your men into silence as well, whatever activity was going on once more going mute.

And as you look through the camera, zooming in closer to the ground, you watch in discomfort as small pieces of concrete dance upon the ground.

“All units, prepare for incoming exo-suit !” You shout over the comm.

Scant seconds later, perhaps less than a dozen, in horror you watch as the ground itself buckles and bends, being torn apart by a what looks like a calamitous birth, a wound inflicted upon the world itself.

A looming figure of nightmares of old emerging, hard rock, obsidian, concrete and steel flowing of it as it was liquid, emerges the exo-suit.

Its armour is blackened and dark, clear signs of runoff metal are clear upon, exposed pieces of wiring and internal structure are clear to all. The massive rotary M.A.G. cannons upon its back appear to be just as equally damaged, if not entirely destroyed, the barrels warped beyond recognition, the sensitive equipment allowing for faster than sound shells to be unleashed one after another seemingly exposed to the heat of the Sun.

What you assume were once the exo-suit eyes, an entirely superfluous addition there for no other reason than that of added shock and psychological damage, appear hollowed out, missing the spark of intelligence one could unnervingly observe.

The bristling array of railguns across the exo-suits legs appear to have been almost entirely wrecked and non-functioning, unlike the M.A.G. cannons whom are built of sterner stuff, these smaller calibre weapons had been almost in their entirety annihilated, hanging limply, they are now nothing more than obvious wounds upon a crippled creature.

Having fully emerged, the machine lands heavily upon its legs, sparks flying off it without stop, as it begins to limp onwards with clear and obvious hatred in its movements.

And that is when the roar comes. Crackling, damaged and entirely artificial to the point where it would cause one nauseating emerges from the damaged speakers upon its hull. It is angry, very angry if you had to guess. But, most of its guns had been almost entirely destroyed. Just how many explosives did the local defenders use against it ?

“Vinn. Got a situation here, enemy exo-suit present, secure the port ASAP !” For the first time in a long time, you actually shout at Vinn.

“Oh, you’ve gotta be shitting me ! What do you mean enemy exo-suit ?! Fuck !”

“Proper decorum !”

“Fuck decorum ! Right, nuke’s secured best we can, we had welded the doors shut wherever we can’t secure. We’re talking spaceport level blast doors here, those suckers ain’t getting through any time soon.”

“Good, get out of there and get mounted, were pushing west soon as able.” Having calmed yourself, you say just as with a single swipe of its massive legs, four of your tanks are thrown into the air.

Your driver had hit reverse as soon as the thing emerged and your gunner had started firing without stop, straining the auto-loader to its fullest and simply burning through your already limited ammunition storage. The same hold true for the rest of your regiment, but even then, even when crippled and hurt, an exo-suit is massive, and with just a few limping strides it had closed the distance.

“Artillery company, open barrage on targeted coordinates, using targeting laser.” You quickly order perhaps the only guns with a large enough calibre to maim the wild beast. And there’s another reason why you are trying to keep its attention; the rescue crews currently trying to get Amato out of his mech. The thing has plenty of armour upon it, with now bent and warped, the task of safely getting him out had become quite a challenge.

With some skilled manoeuvring, be it from the years of experience or simple adrenaline driven fear, your driver expertly moves onto some stairs leading into the spaceport, hiding right underneath the large, ugly, blocky roof.

The exo-suit’s, razor sharp leg, now that you had the unfortunate moment to observe it close, slams into the ground in front of you, cracking right through the ground, but importantly, not cracking through the roof and condemning you all to a swift, if brutal death.

It has orders to keep the port intact ! You cannot help but think with some small amount of glee. No doubt the suit will quickly adapt and find a way to kill you regardless of this inconvenience, however it has bought some time, and that is all you need, as Vinn’s soldiers, as well as your own, begin rushing out of the building and they begin mounting up to the rather quickly moving APCs and IFVs.

“Bomb’s in place, let’s get the hell out of dodge !”

“No man left behind, Colonel.” You quickly rebuke Vinn. “Soldiers, what is the status of Lord-Colonel Amato ?” Switching over the comm you ask.

“Lord-Colonel is secured, sir ! But he is in critical condition and requires immediate medical attention !” A rather frantic voice responds.

“Get him into an APC, we do not have the time to be gentle, do what you can.”

“Understood, sir !”


“Yea ?”


“You don’t have to tell me twice !”

And with that, your entire formation begins beating a damn hasty retreat, like mice fleeing before a cat, your force begins to scatter, and APC alongside its crew is grabbed here and there, but with you now going full speed with the mind of escape, the exo-suit does not pursue, after all why should it ? It has secured the port, its main objective. You think whilst looking at the confirmation upon your heads-up display to detonate the nuclear device. Holding back your desire, you decide to get some more distance before hitting the big red button.

“Westre, status report ?”

“I’m down to quarter strength and out of missiles. I will have to disengage soon.”

“No need, we’re breaking out, follow the IFF signals.”

“Thank God !” She exclaims, blasting your ears with her shout. “We’re moving right above you !”

“And of the enemy space and air assets ?” Pushing down the need to scratch your ear, you ask.

“They’re like a swarm of angry bees. Luckily, it seems were not the only ones offering resistance across the planet, otherwise my force would have probably been already overwhelmed.”

“What do you mean ?”

“They keep sending in groups out of somewhere else, be it from their spaceships or other engagements, judging by the damage. Whomever is resisting is putting up a hell of a fight. Since everything Talon had been assigning had been clearly intended to crush me and mine with the minimal force required, not Talon style at all.”

“Roger. All that matters now is for you to disengage and cover out retreat.”

“Will do.”

And with those final words, you cut the comm as you bounce up and down in your seat, your tank gaining air on more than one time as your driver continues to hold down the pedal, draining the fusion reactor of everything that it has got.

Still, the speed that you move at means that you do not have the time to properly appoint any forwards elements to scout on ahead, so you will have to rely on luck, prayer, fortune, chance, and whatever else someone may think up.

Surprisingly, perhaps a higher power does indeed look after you, as you keep pushing for a solid ten minutes through the ruined streets, simply swatting away and all debris, rolling over and mutilating what corpses there are, friendly or otherwise. From time to time, a scattering of both Talon and Roy forces can be seen, but they are individuals, squads, platoons at best. You had not seen anything bigger than that. The Talon forces seem to be in the middle of rushing towards the Eastern side of the town, but not the spaceport. Meaning that whatever officer had come to take command had probably set their command there. Had you gone there; you might have jumped on far more than you bargained for. Meanwhile, what Roy forces remain seem to be utterly scattered, fleeing in any and all directions, more or less entirely ignoring you, and you cannot blame them, if you saw regiments worth of soldiers fleeing for their lives, would you want to run alongside them ?

On this occasion, the answer is yes as your comm starts crackling.

“My lord, we’re approaching you from the South ! We had also secured the VIP.” Linton cheerfully informs you.

“Roger that, fall in formation, we’re evacuating the town.”

You are glad to once more see your servant, but when your heads-up display shows a tracker of your forces, that good mood quickly evaporates, as an entire squadron worth of tanks and their escorts are gone, if not more. This engagement had been far, far worse than you had expected it to be.

And with that thought, you finally activate it. Just as heavy landers begin touching down out of your sight of view, another blinding flash goes off, one of the depressingly many today.

That, takes care of that. You think, watching the rising mushroom cloud, rising up to the heavens and kicking up the endless torrent of rain.

Wait. That building should not have crumbled, it was far too far from the blast zone.

To your continuous frustration, you gaze upon the battered exo-suit, whom had continued its pursuit after you having waited to confirm the security of the spaceport. In an act of supreme petulance, it had ripped out an entire building. And it is currently hurling it at you.

“Incoming !” You override the regiment’s cameras to showcase the incoming building as your forces quickly begin scattering once more before with a loud rumble your general location is smeared by bits and pieces of the structure. Being an act of petulance as it was, made due to the lack of proper weaponry, you had managed to surprisingly well weather the impact. Tragically, a few more contacts, this time from the artillery company, had been snuffed out, as they were moving behind your formation due to their placement and lack of speed compared to the rest of your force.

Other than the barely audible roar, a few harassing runs by enemy air assets, either swatted aside by your own ground forces alongside Westre, or simply unable to locate you in the ruins. The rest of your journey is blissfully boring. No ambushes, planned assaults, or large pursuing forces. Granted, the entire time you had been broadcasting the fact that you have the scion of house Olsten in custody, so maybe that has to do something with the lacklustre response given.

Eventually, you cut even that as your entire formation goes dark and a gag order is issued, as your force manages to clear the town and its surroundings, leaving the once, well not pristine, but certainly impressive given the circumstances town. Now, nothing but a grave made of concrete and steel. Fighting may still go on for a few days as Talon mops up the remainder of Roy forces, if they even bother to do that much. You can only hope for the safety of the civilian population within the fallout shelters, those had been designed to survive the end of the world, or at least something close to that.

“So, Steffan, what’re you doing once we get back ?” Your driver asks the gunner.

“Hitting the sack.”

“Man, I wish I could have a beer.” Your comm officer whines to the sound of agreement from the rest of the crew.

It seems that you managed to get out. You’ve done your mission. You won, as much as you can call this victory.

For the first time in hours of intensive fighting, straining your mind to its absolute limit, you take something that is sweeter than ambrosia – a damned nap.
(POV shift: You are Ex-Lieutenant-Colonel Girauld Lonsway of the imperial army’s 1231st drop troop regiment under Talon.)

Well, at least they haven’t exposed me to the atmo…yet. You think with some derision.

The moment the new blood officers had come down and figured out what happened to the last one, your suit went into lockdown, losing all power and locking you inside. Right about now, they must be wondering why the set charge, surgically inserted around your neck, had not gone off the moment you blew your CO’s head off.

Bastard had it coming though. Unrepentantly you snicker to yourself. Sure, you risked crippling yourself for life, at best, or just killing yourself and ending it all, but if there is a will, and enough contraband to bribe the doctor, there is a way. The bomb couldn’t be removed, not the type they put into you, killing about a three-dozen people, and a couple of nobles, means that they expect you to die, sooner or later. But to interfere with explosive ? You can do that.

“Silence, prisoner.” One of the guards calls out.

“Woof, woof.”

The butt of the rifle slams quickly into your unpowered helmet, knocking you onto your back. You barely felt anything.

“That’s it ? My granny hits better you little cunt.” You continue to taunt.

“Shoot him in the leg.” An officer dismissively calls out.



You scream as the large, point-blank calibre round blows off your leg. The bastard aimed for the joint.

“Cunts ! Pieces of shit !”

“The other one.” The calm officer says once more.



“You promised me the enemy commander, prisoner.”

“He should have come here. From what I saw he doesn’t take needless risks. The caves would be the best place for him to move.” Through gritted teeth, hyperventilation, sheer pain and blood loss, you continue to explain.

“Unfortunately, the enemy commander has. He had also kidnapped Viscount Olsten’s heir, so we cannot even commence orbital bombardment. The Margrave will be very disappointed. He will express his disappointment upon me. Do you understand what I am saying ?”

“I- I do.”

“And what is it ?”

“That you’re a petty cu-“

Those are the last words you utter, as a sudden piercing pain comes from the back of your head.

(POV shift: You are Margrave-Admiral Cortes Talon, charged by Duke Talon to take Noct system.)

“My lord, preliminary estimates showcase that it will take about half a year to repair your exo-suit.” Timidly, one of the deck officers report.

You tap your fingers upon the silver head of your cane, looking underneath you upon the ashworld, the entirety of the floor being made out of transparent material, with extra reinforcement techniques in its making. The side armour would probably fail faster than the floor would break.

“And of Viscount Olsten ?” With arrogance tinged voice, you ask.

“Still raising protests, my lord.”

“Tell him that he will have a chance to redeem himself and the stain upon the honour of his family. But if he interferes with the orders of his superiors again, I shall personally strangle his family in front of him.” You take a pause as you realise that you had bent the silver head of your cane. “Make sure that he is aware.” Having caught yourself, you continue.

“Yes, my lord.” The officer, head still lowered, quietly leaves your observation room.

With a tap of your cane the glass beneath you zooms in upon the world, giving you unprecedented view of the happenings on below. You watch as the remnants of an entire dragoon corps are finally being mopped up. You had watched the running battle lasting for more than two weeks by now. They had been nuked, and they still fought without end. And those air assets, those annoying, insect-like, accursed. No. Calm. You take a deep breath. If only they hadn’t interfered, the highlands would have probably been secured. Now however, your father will be most displeased once he learns of Roy’s continued resistance. The last thing he needs is Duke Scorpio to mock him for his inability to break through a single measly world.

Time is of the essence, you must ensure that those starved cats of Roy are not entirely swallowed up by Scorpio’s greed, those peasant upstarts. To think they bear the tutelage of Duke the same as your father, it makes you sick.

Your comm chirps. You had instructed to not be disturbed over it unless something important has happened. Which means you are about to get another headache, good news…or you are about to order an execution.

“Yes ?”

“My lord, priority target Alpha has been secure and is within the ship, we await your permission to allow him inside.” One of your subordinates respectfully informs you.

“My, oh my. That is good news, yes, you are allowed to enter.” With a smile on your face you turn about to face the door.

With a hiss, it rises, two men with bulging muscles and red irises drag a beaten, bloody man before you. His short-cut golden blond hair, handsome looks, good build and those defiant, oh so defiant golden eyes, rise to meet your own pale blue ones.

“Cousin !” You exclaim fake smile growing wider. “How good to see you. It has been, what ? Three years now ? I’d say, your little civil war had made it so hard to get in contact. Is uncle still his old self ? Continuing your tradition of sending you out for some experience to see if you are a fitting candidate for his position ? Hmmm ?”

Breathing heavily, the man stares straight at you. “Cortes. You’re a bastard.”

A thump echoes across the room and a red mark becomes clear upon the man’s cheek. Had he been of a lower class, no doubt he’d have at least lost teeth.

“Very well then, Ludovic. If you are going to be so disrespectful, I shall not treat you as kin.” You look to your guards. “Take him to the interrogation room. Ensure that he does not die, but find out everything he knows.”

“By your will.” As one the two respond, before dragging Ludovic out.

“A Lion never kneels against carrion birds, Cortes. You’ll see !” The door slams shut and drowns out your cousin’s voice.

Well, that had put you in a bad mood. Perhaps you should order the bombardment of Etrius ? It’s not like there’s anything of worth for you there anymore.

(End of POV shift.)

You sit against one of the command consoles, only the light of your cigarette illuminating the surroundings as well as that of the screen. With some annoyance ? Amusement ? Perhaps a mixture of both, you watch as some of Roy soldiers within the first trenchline raise an old broken protection suit mounted upon a large metal pipe. They then get down giggling as yet another sniper shot hits the helmet. No doubt the Talon sniper had realized by this point that he’s shooting at a dummy, but yet the farce continues. Fascinating how humanity is able to find amusement in almost anything.

The room is suddenly lit up as the door opens.

“You called, my lord ?” Linton asks.

“I had. How’s everything looking ?”

“Lord-Colonel Amato is still in medical care, but he has regained consciousness.”

“Good. When can he move ?”

“The doctors reckon that it will take at least two more weeks ?”

“An entire month in the bed. I assume Amato is going crazy ?”

“He seems eager for vengeance, my lord.”

“There will plenty of chances for that.” You say lighting another cigarette. Your hand had just been reattached, so you might as well enjoy it. It had been two weeks since you last had two hands after all.

“Vinn and Rossana ?”

“Both rested and prepared.”

“The formation ?”

“As best as we can get, without, erm.”

“Calling in favours.”

“Yes, my lord.”

“I will have to speak with the quartermaster then. Viscountess-Lieutenant-General Drawy had thrown her support behind me. I’m sure that’s enough to get at least our regiment back up. Before she cooks up another suicide mission that is.”

“We shall carry that out successfully as well, my lord.”

“No doubt.” You simply respond, smoke rising from the cigarette in your mouth. “Make sure that everything is in order, you will have some reorganization to do soon.”

“Yes, my lord.” Linton says with a bow as you depart the room.

You had not lied, your standing within the base had increased massively, still, two weeks of non-stop fighting had started to drain the reserves of Roland, but not enough to be of any worry for the size of your force, at least for now.

The 1433rd Armoured regiment “Count’s honoured” Commanded by Lord-Colonel Aurelius Constance.
Maximum: 70 tanks
Current: 28 tanks

Maximum: 140 APCs
Current: 42 APCs

Maximum: 4,200 Mechanized infantrymen in protection suits
Current: 1,260 Mechanized infantrymen in protection suits

The 1414st Infantry regiment “The Stalwarts” Commanded by Colonel Vinn Kosmowski. SPECIAL: VETERANS OF A HUNDRED WARS*
Maximum: 200 APCs
Current: 132 APCs

Maximum: 50 IFVs
Current: 20 IFVs

Maximum: 6,250 Mechanized infantrymen in protection suits and power armour
Current: 3,879 Mechanized infantrymen in protection suits and power armour

The 1422nd light VTOL group “Thunder’s howl” Commanded by Colonel Rosanna Westre.
Maximum: 48 VTOLs
Current: 15 VTOLs

Current influence: 1330

250 for each destroyed spaceport.

300 for VIP capture.

>Refill Tank regiment 230 influence

>Refill infantry regiment 50 influence

>Refill VTOL regiment 413 influence

Naturally, because of your noble birth you can convince other commanders to lend you some forces.

Independent companies: Cannot be reinforced, will offer discount of rolled up into new regiments of the same type.

91251st artillery company: Discount for artillery regiment: 48

43 self-propelled light artillery pieces

8 APCs

200 mechanized infantry.

Vodyanoy company:

100 high-tech scouts.


>Infantry regiment 200 influence

>Artillery regiment 250 influence

>Mech regiment 350 influence

>Tank regiment 400 influence

>VTOL regiment 600 influence


>Light hover tank squadron (12 tanks) 200 influence

>Heavy tank squadron (6 tanks) 400 influence

Other areas have different deployed formations, allowing for different units to be borrowed for an undetermined prolonged period.

*VETERANS OF A HUNDRED WARS – The old-timers, now upgraded with proper equipment, are a guiding spirit for the entire regiment, sharing their experience and knowledge, keeping up morale and discipline as well as inspiring bravery. Regiment gets a +5 bonus.
Previous threads:



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>Refill Tank regiment 230 influence
>Refill infantry regiment 50 influence
>Refill VTOL regiment 413 influence
Basic refill of our combined arms basis.
1330-693 influence means 637 for shopping.
>Artillery regiment 250 influence - 48 = 202 influence.
Discount is simply discount.
435 left for
>Infantry regiment 200 influence
>Infantry regiment 200 influence
because we need way more meat.
>From what I saw he doesn’t take needless risks.
Did he even witness half the shit we pulled against him?

>Refill Tank regiment 230 influence

>Refill infantry regiment 50 influence

>Refill VTOL regiment 413 influence
Keeping everyone topped up is a must.
Leaves us with 637 influence.

>Light hover tank squadron (12 tanks) 200 influence
>Tank regiment 400 influence
Last battle proved we need a scouting unit when comms are down, and Amato needs a replacement unit to command. Since we got rid of the spaceports we should be safe from enemy heavy units in the local area, so we don't need any of our own, though one could argue that it would be useful to have the only such unit on the field.

As for the wider situation, equal amounts of good and bad news. Losing the Duke's son is bad, but it seems that Talon is struggling to take the world and feeling the pressure internally, which is extremely good. I can't wait for a Talon heavy cruiser to arrive only to smash into their lines with reckless abandon.
Also, how many units were able to escape the town to base roland other than us?

>Did he even witness half the shit we pulled against him?

Droptrooper standards are different from what others would consider caution. He presumed you'd prioritize the safety of your men over a mad dash.

>Also, how many units were able to escape the town to base roland other than us?

Will be covered in the next update.
>Refill Tank regiment 230 influence
>Refill infantry regiment 50 influence
>Refill VTOL regiment 413 influence
>Artillery regiment 202 influence
>Light hover tank squadron (12 tanks) 200 influence
>Infantry regiment 200 influence

This leaves us with 35 influence.
Id say refill all the regiments, and use the last influence on getting our men a beer or two. They fuckin deserve it.

Also, now that we destroyed the starport, how does the current seige on the home base look like? Id like to see if we could possibly find any talon knick knacks out close to the area where the space port was, stuff that might have gotten abandoned, and a small group of soldiers could capture

I know there likely wouldn’t be much since, ya know, the actually Good stuff usually never get’s f u l l y abandoned. But it’s still the scouting attempt worth i think.

(Also feels Good to be back in a unbroken Empire story, keep it up my man, i love the universe as of yet)
The downtime afforded to you and your men had given you some room for thought about how you will reorganize your forces. Bringing back the regiments to their full strength is a given, formations that are at fully equipped and properly organized fight better than what scratch remnants are slapped together.

As for else ? Well, you had never had the chance to witness the Strider light tank before. You had heard about it before, you are aware of its specifications and its intended use, but you had never had the chance to witness one of them yourself. A specialized scouting tank, using advanced antigrav technology that had only been really used in neutronium mining ships and behemoth landers, it is new, supremely expensive, difficult to repair on the field. But you had stumbled blind in Etrius. And it had costed you far more than you would’ve liked. Perhaps you could link up both the regiment and your brand new scout company ? It should provide the flexibility needed to ensure that you never stumble around again.

Next up, something a bit more complicated. Meat upon your bones. An artillery regiment, you already have a company of them, but you have no doubt that the men of 91251st would be quite happy to have their regiment restored. 9125th artillery regiment shall live once again and simply delete whatever you find as a sore for your eyes from a great distance. Once you secured that, you shall see if you cannot get your hands on an infantry regiment to further bulk out your force. No matter how advance tech may get, the poor infantry, or the equivalent of, will have to secure and hold ground. And the reason why these two are more complicated than simply refilling the forces that you already have is the fact that these formations are all accounted for. Simply bribing the quartermaster, exchanging some favours, shaking a few hands, making a couple of promises will not be enough to simply get an entire formation out of nowhere. Whilst previously you were simply drawing up reserve troops and equipment, these would be proper, organized frontline regiments with their command staff needed to make the regiment an effective fighting force.

As you walk the underground hallways, you stumble for a moment as the ground shakes beneath your feet, however these hallways had been built with mining efforts in mind. Still, you quickly look around the hallway, looking for any and all cracks, last thing you need is for a Talon mining team to stumble upon you.

Talon had begun sapping operations a week or so prior. Naturally, the pre-set sensors had discovered and foiled the first attempts, allowing for the base’s own engineers to begin countermining operations, catch their foes unsuspecting, and slaughter them all before collapsing the tunnels.

Unfortunately, Talon has brought up enough men to continue the mining operations day and night, and you only have so many sensors, and said sensors can only penetrate so many metres underground as they are.

Just last night, a team had stumbled into a Talon tunnel, the fight had lasted a short three or so minutes, but around twenty men laid dead on your side by the end of it. The situation had progressed to the point where the underground battle had massively slowed down, having lost most sensors, the digging machines have to be turned off, and then the soldiers have to sit in complete silence, hoping that they will pick the noise of digging from somewhere else.

Still, despite what can be charitably described as horrid conditions, your side had so far successfully beaten back any attempt at undermining your lines, but the casualties keep mounting.

The two men in power armour salute you as you pass, the simple drop of blood upon the command console confirming your identity and opening the door. You had arrived at your destination without being called for an emergency meeting to repel another assault attempt, or making the attempt yourselves.

The past month or so had seen you launch no less than twenty attacks against Talon lines. Against better reason, plain common sense, and simple expenditure of men and equipment, Talon continued to reinforce the siege by landing literal hundreds of light landers, funnelling more and more infantry. And you kept smashing them, even when they deployed power armoured infantry in regiment sized formations alongside cyborg support, you still had crushed them, though with minor casualties. But now however, Talon was able to amass enough light and heavier artillery guns to threaten your assaults as they move over open terrain. So, as of now, the entire siege had moved onto an artillery duel. Your own guns are of a much higher calibre and number however, so the exchange is still entirely on your side. The destruction of the spaceports had so far stifled Talon attempts to land their own armour and mechs to mount proper assaults, one of the reasons why the underground war had been so intense as of late. Also one of the reasons for your current popularity within the base, everyone knows that the relative peacefulness of the current state of the siege is thanks to your efforts.

“Oh, Aurelius ! Just the man we were talking about.” A man waves you over with a smile.

Only now do you take a deep breath of the hazy smoke filling the air of your surroundings. The officer’s lounge, despite the harshness of war is still filled with officers of fine breeding. Clicking their glasses of expensive booze, filling the room with cigar and cigarette smoke, tasting fine meals made by exclusive chefs employed just to serve the lounge. And to be fair, after having a taste of that watered down excuse the regular soldiery call mashed potatoes, you’d rather have your meals here.

Moving onwards to the man that called you, you can clearly see the various cliques that had formed, the various base’s generals, those whom are not in command of their divisions or corps at least, are surrounded by gaggles of hangers on. The clear silver shine on officer rank insignias distinguish the common born from the nobility, and the few you see here are either sycophants hoping to one day be granted peerhood, those that had been recently promoted and are unaware of the jeers thrown at them, or simply those that do not care, or even indulge in the fact that they get to intrude upon such a high-class location. This is one of the reasons why hell would freeze over sooner than Vinn would take a step into the lounge, same goes for Westre, as being close to death at any given moment, makes men far more forward, especially to those they consider to be their lesser, with their approaches, and it is far easier to turn down a commoner than a noble who might know someone that could ruin her family’s business. Your own golden insignias however, despite your status as a minor celebrity, are usually enough to blend in unnoticed, but now that your name had been called, everyone is keeping an eye on you. The reputation you have perhaps being enough for them to seize more power and influence over the day-to-day decisions of the base. It is known that you also have the ear of Viscountess-Lieutenant-General Drawy, the overall commander of the base, making you just that little more valuable.

“Jarvell.” You reply with a nod. A snake of a man. Moving to and from the various cliques, staying just long enough to squeeze out as many benefits as he can, but no one can really do anything about, since the man has enough supporters to have control over an entire division, if you count in his own followers. Thin, but muscular body hides a surprising flexibility, you had witnessed the man in a duel before, and his way of fighting is just as treacherous as his personality, you wouldn’t want to face him in a proper one on one duel, another reason why he is untouchable. A middle-eastern complexion, short cut curling black hair and a long thick moustache, dark as tar just as his hair. This all draws attention to his pale, clear blue eyes, that even you have to admit are quite beautiful, his parents must have payed a premium for that. As for the rest of his face ? Well, there’s nothing special there other than the usual handsomeness that most nobles possess. You had grown quite unfazed to beauty yourself, but no doubt a commoner would probably think he had entered a painting depicting ancient gods, by just gazing at the perfect figures all around.

“Come, sit.” He gestures to one of the open seats. You naturally do take a seat, you had done a favour for him before, by having someone else do a favour for you, whilst you had promised something to someone else. You are already annoyed by the politicking you had to go through to get to this point. Thank God you didn’t choose the navy. “Now, as I was saying, I am glad that you’d come here. We were having some fun discussions.” Probably useless crap as usual. You think with derision. “Cognac ? Cigar ?” He also asks out of politeness.

“Gin and tonic.” You are a little thirsty, so you might as well.

As the ice clicks in the glass, you take a bite of soft cheese and quickly after that clear out a mussel. The conversation, to your boredom, is entirely about politics and business. A deal to buy something, to sell something, an agreement to coproduce something. A couple of engagements had been decided in the last hour as well. You yourself had to decline two of them, politely as able. Still, this is your duty as much as commanding your men on the battlefield. An able high-ranking officer should not only be an expert on the field of battle, but he should also too be an able diplomat. If one fails at the former, well, the consequences are obvious and clear, but at least they are quick. The latter however, it would be a slow death, as the commanded formation would be continuously deprioritized, due to clerical errors, mysterious lack of resources, or a myriad other reasons. And of course, such a formation would have to unfortunately, still be assigned to the front, usually where the heaviest of fighting is currently undergoing. A lot of high-ranking, commoner officers would find themselves soon dead or retired due to that.

And so, you bear with it. Luckily, you are not known for your conversationalist skills, having always been quite polite, but to the point, many people would prefer to fight side-by-side with you, but not to hold a deep conversation. It takes a while to get to know you well.

“So, what has brought the hero of the highlands to such a ponderous expression ?” Jarvell asks.

“I need more men.” You reply bluntly.

“Doesn’t everyone ?” The man begins laughing, his sycophants quickly follow.

“Just so, but because my entire formation is classified as an independent one, not under any division or corps, I have to acquire everything myself.”

“Is that so ? Quite unfortunate.”

“Quite.” You take a sip of your drink, maintaining eye contact. “I have no doubt that Viscountess-Lieutenant-General Drawy will have a new assignment for me soon enough.” Having gotten some more alcohol in your stomach, to deal with this nonsense, you speak up again.

You can already see Jarvell’s mind turning, making calculations, weighing pros and cons of your implications. “And if you succeed, maybe the general would then prioritise you a bit more. Perhaps even to the point where she might even be willing to listen to you about troop deployment ?”

“Perhaps.” You drive through a piece of cheese with a silver toothpick, taking the bite into your mouth.

“And what would you need ?”

“An artillery regiment, I already have one company, but it’d prefer far more firepower than that. And an infantry regiment.”

“Fresh ?”


He hums, placing his elbows on the table and putting his arms under his head. “Well, that is a lot of force to give up just on chance. But I suppose that even if you should fail, it wouldn’t cost too much.”

“Then ?”

“You will have those regiments. I shall have a talk with my CO.” He says after a moment of ponder. “The last artillery barrage had decimated our corps, to the point where we would lose a couple of regiments.”

“How sad.” Without even a change in your tone, you reply. “Oh my, look at the time. I unfortunately must depart. I have a meeting with the quartermaster.”

“Best of luck, oh hero of the highlands.” Jarvell once again says with a laugh. No one calls you that expect for him. You can even see his followers cringe a little bit at that.

Having violated every single strict guideline about discipline, you depart the room unopposed and unchecked. Ah, the privileges of officership.
“Striders, huh ?” The balding man asks. “Plenty of those in storage. You got all clear from the Viscountess ?”

“Right here.” You say giving the confirmation. Being new tech, unfortunately it is difficult to get through other means. You also decided to add your other request, alongside a rather large sum, with a few signatures you got from the local officers you had talked with before.

The quartermaster looks through it and with a couple of nods, forwards the information to his aides. Whom then begin to busy themselves with carrying out your set of orders.

“Not like I’m paying for it, but those Striders are a pile of junk and a half.”

“What do you mean ?”

“We hadn’t even used them all that much, but the damned things kept falling apart when we ran them through their checks. It’d say there are more broken parts in it than working ones.”

You simply stare at them, refusing to bite.

“Anyone ever tell you you’re no fun ?”


It seems he hadn’t expected that. “Erm, okay. Well. You know the antigrav engines, how they are massive pieces of shit that can drain fusion reactors dry ?”

“More or less, but I am no engineer.”

“Well, there always are issues when you try to miniaturise tech. I’ve got no clue what went through the heads of the committee members who approved the project, but from what I heard, the Strider was intended to be a Gideon, but you know, floating. Problem was, with the size of the engine, it still needed a big reactor, now that ain’t an issue with railways, since they don’t move and you can just connect them to the main powergrid. Can’t do that on a tank.”

“So, it was too heavy ?”

“It sure was. When put into a Gideon’s frame, it couldn’t lift without increasing the size of the engine, but then that would increase the power draw, so that would increase the size of the reactor. Eventually, the designers and engineers probably figured how much weight it can actually take, and it ended with what you have now. A scout tank. Kinda an oxymoron, innnit ?”

“As long as it can do its job, it will be fine.”

“The sensor system is probably the most advanced that could be used, so it won’t fail you there. Unless a power surge knocks ‘em down, or the faulty wiring burns out and disables parts of the system.”

Is this the reason why my request was fulfilled so readily ?

“Can you ensure that won’t happen ?”

“Nope. But hey, you’ve got a dozen of the damned things, at least one will work at any given moment.” He begins laughing.

I’ll have to assign the best crews into those things.

“Ahhh, just pulling ya leg. Those who actually gotten used to ‘em know their way around ‘em. Just make sure they don’t die; it takes a year atop of regular tank training just to figure the damned thing out. And again, the sensors are the best I’ve seen on a mobile platform. They didn’t cheap out on the equipment, if nothing else…even if it doesn’t work the way it should half the time.”

“Just get them prepared.” You finally say, having had enough of this conversation.

Turning around, you begin walking away, there are two places you are supposed to visit for today. And you wouldn’t consider either to be too pleasant.
“You look like shit.” Vinn says.

Amato just glares at him. His punctured lung preventing him from arguing.

“I would challenge you to a duel if I could.” But that does not stop his fingers from typing upon his datapad and using the text-to-speech device.

You sit in annoyance upon one of the uncomfortable chairs in the infirmary. Instead your eyes fall upon the still crippled Carolus and quickly recovering Earnan at the end of the infirmary. The two will be discharged next week, so they should be able to return to their duties soon…but why the hell are they playing rock, paper, scissors for ? Either way, Earnan seems to have won, and Carolus looks kind of upset.

“How about the two you calm down. Also, Vinn, you shouldn’t be moving too much, last I heard you got crushed under a collapsing building.” Westre interjects.

That causes a laugh to come from Amato, followed by a painful wince.

“Well, yea, that ummm, did happen.” Trying to hide his embarrassment with a cough, Vinn responds.

“Have you received new orders ?” You ask Amato.

“Aurelius, he’s crippled in bed, why would they issue him an order ?” Westre, compassionate as always, asks.

“I have.” The artificial voice responds.

You simply nod. “His recovery is guaranteed, and we need everyone that can fight. That is why he would be issued orders due to the circumstances.” For being a daughter of a ruthless capitalist, Westre is just far too kind. Ironically enough, this is probably why she was sent here, rather than risking death in a fight for succession against her far crueller siblings. “Assignment ?” You finally ask Amato.

“Independent command. With my regiment destroyed, I am left without command. I had already sent requests for being put in command of another regiment.”

“Guaranteed ?”

“My cousin-in-law is in charge of a corps here, whilst a friend of my brother is in charge of another. I was able to secure myself another mech regiment, alongside two infantry one’s.”

“And those you brought back from Etrius ?”

“Already integrating with the two infantry regiments.”

“Speaking of Etrius.” Vinn pipes up. “Westre, you give a shit, any survivors made it back by themselves ?”

“First of all, stop swearing. Secondly, yes. About two infantry regiments worth of survivors had manged to reach us. They’ve been reintegrated best we could…there had also been executions.”

“Executions ?” You yourself now ask, a sneaking suspicion rising.

“Officially, Talon spies.”

“Realistically ?” Vinn asks, seriousness in his voice, all joking gone.

“They found out that the town had been levelled by us. They got angry, got into fights, started talking about rebelling.”

“Morale is non-existent for those formations then.” You surmise.

“Yea. It depends, really.” Westre struggles for a bit. “Those formations that had been winning before the bombardment are the most ferocious. Those that were losing, see it more as a necessity that had to happen. Although they are still angry over the fact that they were bombed without even a single attempt to find out the situation.”

“I have a meeting to attend. Recover well. Good luck to you two as well.” You say your goodbyes after having taken a look of the clock.
“You know what annoys me, Lord-Colonel ?” The Viscountess asks. As usual, a leading question. You had grown accustomed to the philosophical nature of her questions. You had easily found out that her appointment was a simple political one that she had expected to just sit around and a few years after be reassigned somewhere else, and as usual, it is men like you who suffer from such appointments, due to bad commands, or this.

“I am certain that you shall enlighten me, sir.” You respond.

“The fact that Talon hasn’t let up yet. They have no tanks, they have no mechs, they do not have even have the heaviest pieces of artillery necessary to deal lasting damage to our structures.”

“They can keep a track of our forces, and the pieces that they now have are enough to pose a threat when we sally forth once again.” Keeping an even tone, you respond.

She taps her fingers upon her chair, it is still facing the window, meaning that you are staring at the back of the chair.

“I suppose.” She says with boredom in her voice.

“May I ask why I had been summoned ?” A couple of minutes of silence later you once again ask.

“I will have to inform you on this one, Lord-Colonel.” Baroness-Brigadier Percey smiles at you. Sitting to your side, she raises a cup of tea and takes a sip.

“As you know, the base is surrounded, Talon has aerial superiority, they also now have numbers superiority, though lacking any heavy equipment. Still, we expect that next month, perhaps two, they will be able to bring to bear their heavier equipment.”

“It seems that me and my men were able to achieve all objectives then.”

“Indeed. This is why you were called here.” Placing down her cup, the woman loses her expression and actually starts looking like an intelligence officer. You can feel a shiver roll down your spine. You still cannot get the stories of what happens to those who annoy them out of your head. There’s a damned good reason why folks like her are called spooks. You have no doubt in your mind, that if the Baroness would suspect her friend to be an enemy asset, that she herself wouldn’t conduct the interrogation. “We had received an outside signal. A Brigadier-General signal. It had passed all of our confirmations.”

“And what do they want ?”

“A force to assist them.”

“How large ?”

“Multiple elements. Regimental size at their smallest.”

“A large demand for a Brigadier-General. Why is it that you are considering it ?”

“The clearance had also come with a series of codes. Their nature is, sensitive, as such I shall not expose their content. Just know that it is important enough to warrant the entire garrison moving out if requested.”

Why do I have a feeling that I do not want to get involved.

“But, we now have another independent command of Lord-Colonel Kamaunu. Which means that you get a chance to choose.” Once again, the mischievous smile upon the Baroness face returns. “We require more manpower, with the siege of Noct entering its second month soon, tertiary and even secondary locations had lost importance, they are overwhelmed, or still stubbornly holding out. Either way, they would serve a better purpose by being brought here to base Roland.”

Another suicidal mission. I’d have to cover a large distance with an ever increasing number of soldiers that would most definitely attract the attention of enemy orbital and air assets. You quickly analyse the situation.

“Finally. Centre Aurelian, named after your namesake.” With a toothy grin, the Baroness looks at you. “A hidden base built deep underground. Its only purpose is to fight against space assets. A set of automated defensive systems meant to overwhelm potential invaders and swat them away. All it was made for is to destroy as much as possible before being overwhelmed. It had not activated.” Her expression returns to seriousness. “Still, it is good news, if it can be reactivated, there’s an entire enemy fleet formation right above it. Once its activated, we can wipe out some assets that would make the relieving fleet’s job that little bit easier.”

Automated facility. Best case, enemy infiltration shut it down. Bad case, the A.I. got compromised and went rogue. Worst case, it got hacked and taken over.

>A signal outside of the base, sent by unknown people that had disturbed even an intelligence officer. What a great choice.

>The manpower is needed. At this rate, your equipment and manpower will fail before Talon runs out of soldiers.

>The automated defence centre. You wouldn’t mind some destroyed space ships under your belt.
>The automated defence centre. You wouldn’t mind some destroyed space ships under your belt
If we're going to survive this siege, this mission seems most useful. Also, the other two seem too relatively risky.
>A signal outside of the base, sent by unknown people that had disturbed even an intelligence officer. What a great choice.
Mystery boxes are mysterious. I want to find out more. Wasn't that weird signal we got from the Spaceport also a Brigadier-General level clearance? I'm sure they've got something up their sleeve.
>>The automated defence centre. You wouldn’t mind some destroyed space ships under your belt.
>The automated defence centre. You wouldn’t mind some destroyed space ships under your belt.
>The automated defence centre. You wouldn’t mind some destroyed space ships under your belt.
Fleet destroying weaponry under potential rogue AI? Sign me up.
Is nobody really interested in finding out what's going on with those spooks? Not even a little? Come on, the guys who can force off a dedicated Talon assault without a sweat have got to have something that's worth it.
“Well, it is only fair that I bring my namesake honour.” You reply, after all, your only other two options are either a suicide mission the moment Talon realizes what you are doing and positions a couple of missile destroyers above you to teach you a lesson in not getting spotted via nuclear fire. Or you can take up the order to go to the people you had never seen, heard of, or have any idea what they want or are doing, however you do know that they have full authority to order you around as they see fit.

The Viscountess’ chair lazily turns, her gaze meets yours. “The A.I. system installed there is a Gamma core. Entirely separated from any outside infrastructure, it was meant to be intelligent enough to decide by itself when to open fire. Other than an isolated communications system, with the potential of sabotage in mind, the core has no way of accessing the outside world besides that. It is entirely possible that it is simply unaware of the situation.” She pauses for a moment. “But, if it is sabotage, then it is highly likely that Talon has secured the facility.”

“What can I expect find down there, sir ?”

“Combat bots, mainly. The facility was not meant to support anything living in it, so make sure that your men are using their own oxygen supplies rather than switching to absorb it from the environment. Other than that, numerous automated turrets and emplacements. There are also set in capture countermeasures, nuclear devices, explosives, things of that nature. Individual rooms or the entire facility can be levelled at a single command.” Wonderful. “So I recommend for you to be fast, Lord-Colonel.”

“Are we in the possession of the facility’s layout ?”

“We are, Percey shall forward you the details.”

“When are we to leave ?”

“In two week’s time, when Lord-Colonel Amato recovers. You shall move upon your objective is tandem. If you do catch Talon’s attention, it should divide their forces at least somewhat. I expect you forces to be prepared to move out at a moment’s notice by then.”

“Understood.” You say, having no more questions.

“If there’s nothing else, you are dismissed.” The Viscountess simply waves you off, her chair once more turning to face the window.

With a simple salute, you step out of the room and start making your way back to your assigned quarters. It only takes a few steps before the data you had requested is transferred over, if nothing else, you will have plenty of time to study the plans.

Scouting, Patrol, Defence, Repair mark 5 or SPDR-5, the first of the defensive robots, manufactured by Xiu robotics. A small, stout, eight-legged machine, able to fit into vents, crevices, move swiftly under thick undergrowth. It also has a selection of repair tools allowing it to carry out automated maintenance upon facilities or vehicles. An in-built rail system allows it to fire off tungsten rounds with comparable force of a sidearm. Capable of penetrating protection suits at close enough ranges, whilst the rate of fire is rather low, that weakness can be made up by numbers and carrying out ambushes. With sensitive tremor sensors and an IFF reader, the SPDR-5 can lay low for as much as a month before its batteries begin to run low and it must return to recharge. Still, being cheap as it is, the SPDR-5 has relatively thin armour, easily penetrated by rifle rounds and even sidearm fire, once again, combined with the slow rate of fire, make SPDR-5 an exceptionally poor frontline combatant, easily overwhelmed when spotted even in superior numbers. Overall, the bot excels at its niche of repairs and ambush tactics, but flounders when forced to do anything besides so.

Mainline battle robot – Defence 1 or D1, an old design made by Meyer Hardware, now a defunct company whose assets had long since been divided by its competitors. The D1 is a sufficient model for its purpose. Two arms that have set in light machineguns, with a direct feed attached to the machine’s back where vast quantities of ammo are stored. Directly below the machine guns are two extending hands, allowing the robots to manipulate the environment or use machinery that they are unable to simply directly connect to. Four legs giving stability, allowing for accurate fire, still, whilst the legs are magnetized, they are incapable of climbing sheer cliffs like the smaller SPDR models can. Reaching a height of around 150 centimetres, the D1s are heavily armoured, allowing them to take on a few rifle rounds before falling down. For its price, the D1 seems like a fine money-making machine, but actual battlefield reports indicate otherwise. Faulty feed system can cause jams for the main machine guns who fire too quickly for it to be able to keep up. The joints of the four legs had been shoddily built, causing some instances where they simply brake off, making the bot fall to the ground and rendering it useless if it has to move through rougher terrain. Meyer Hardware had also cheaped out on the main sensor system, lacking any infrared, radio, tremor, or any other sort of means of detection other than sight and a relatively weak nightvision system. The only reason why the base is laden down with these old bots is because of the massive surplus of the robots currently in the Dukedom’s possession, whom were bought on the cheap when their manufacturer went bankrupt.

The third and final robot type within the centre is Martel made by Ingénierie Drummond. An incredibly advanced robot, and most human looking of all. It could be described in appearance as a cyborg, just far more heavily armoured and much, much heavier. A massive, thick shield held in one hand and a great slab of metal called a shock baton. It was originally made for peacekeeping duties to work alongside law enforcement, but its violent performance quickly saw Martel moved onto rapid-reaction duties against the most dangerous criminals, and a military retrofit employed in the centre had even more armour and a more powerful weapon. Martel is a brutal melee combatant, perfect for base defence or second line patrol duty against insurgents. The military retrofit is also equipped with four chest mounted railguns, giving some much-needed range support crucial in military operations. Still, the Martel suffers from a lack of ammunition, quickly running out if all four railguns, with a calibre similar to that of basic infantryman’s rifle, fire without pause. And whilst there are no complaints in the skeleton, armour, internals, nor sensors of the robot – it is supremely unreliable and lacking batteries allowing it to function for only 48 hours of extended usage which then afterwards requires a long recharge time.

Atop of the mobile robots patrolling the facility, there is a large selection of defensive turrets, usually not employed in bases due to the potential fears of sabotage, hacking, or enemy forces seizing local defence rooms, turning them upon the base’s defenders. The probability of such is massively reduced in installations run by A.I.s, with a Gamma core present, the risks were deemed low enough to install defensive turrets. These can range from hidden ones, armed from simple machine guns, to those armed with missiles.

All in all, the centre is heavily defended, with there being no need to consider prolonged stay for human personnel, such places like mess halls, barracks and the like can instead be converted to more rooms to store ammo, more robots, be used as choke points. And oh boy, are there choke points.

The facility is around 1-kilometre underground, making it nigh impossible to damage from orbit, that is not considering the fact that there is a mountain, around 1.2 kilometres tall, atop of the base. Built into it is a collection of eight ground-to-orbit cannons. Each and every rated to cut down a battleship hull, slow rate of fire, but powerful, alongside that is a collection of sixteen secondary cannons, with a greater rate of fire rated to be able to cut down light cruisers. There is no access to them other than the incredibly thick walls that are meant to only open up once to the outside, making any attempted breaches exceedingly difficult, not counting the numerous traps hidden around the doors whose purpose is to make whomever was sent to disable the cannons life a living hell. All of this means that if you want to disable the cannons, your fastest and easiest option would be to seize the centre itself. There is only a single entrance, a small lift capable of transferring around 30 people at once prevents any heavy equipment to be sent down, or large quantities of soldiers.

There’s no doubt that the first wave, perhaps the first dozen will be butchered to the last, as once the lift reaches the first level, it is exposed to a large open room filled to the brim with robots and turrets. With there being no cover whatsoever, the only way to get through is by simply throwing men down there until a breakthrough is achieved or the defenders running out of ammunition. But looking at the armoury report, that will be a long while. And even if the room is secured, that is just the start of the battle. There are 4 floors in total, with lifts in almost every other room, all rooms being connected to at least two more rooms means that the attacker has to continuously funnel more and more men, or risk being ambushed or outflanked by the defenders. With the entire facility being one giant labyrinth, it could be rather difficult, if not confusing for a base’s commander to fully coordinate his forces. An issue that an A.I. does not possess, being able to directly command its forces, capable of synchronizing the entirety of its assets, the A.I. can run circles upon any would be attacker and break them long before they even manage to get down to the main room where the A.I.’s core is housed.

It is assumed, that to overwhelm the force of 7,000 SPDRs, 15,000 D1s and 1,000 Martels, numerous defensive turrets and pre-set charges to deny any advances made, one would need to expend around 50,000 to 100,000 men, presuming forces used would be standard infantry formations, it would also take an assumed 1 to 2 months for the installation to be overwhelmed.

And I have to make do with around a tenth of that number. Well, Kosmowski will have to make do with just a tenth.

Thinking of Vinn, you rise from your chair. You had been held up in your room for the past two days, sifting through the given information, making plans on how you should approach the objective. It would do good for you to stretch your legs.

Two newest regiments under your command had been kicked off to Vinn, whom is just another two regiments shy from being a divisional commander. That’d be an interesting sight, Vinn being made a general, since he now technically commands as many men as a Brigadier-General would…His entire division would be thrown at the front without any regards to anything the moment he’d piss off the frontline commander. He’s far too opinionated for a commoner commander.

The door opens up, the base’s guards salute you as you step into the motor pool. The base’s technicians and engineers currently looking over your force’s vehicles. The large space also makes for an excellent muster point. The last two weeks had been spent by Vinn just trying to get his three regiments to coordinate with each other.

Unfortunately, the noise of repairs and checks is instead replaced by the sounds of shouting, as all of the techs have simply stopped working and are now looking over to the ever-increasing brawl. An exhausted Vinn simply looking on as soldiers in protection suits trying their damndest to knock each other out. At least it had not gotten to the point where bayonets would be on the table.

“Colonel.” You say sharply.

“Aye, sir.” He responds without turning.

“Why are your men engaged in an open brawl ?” You ask, watching as the gathering thousands of men try to look over the fight currently spanning hundreds. “And why had you not taken control of the situation yet ?”

“The new soldiers do not really like us.”

“So ?”

“So, they view our forces as mainly outsiders, and those recent recruits and the old guard are having a go at it.”

“It must have been quite an insult to result in this.”

“Yea, the old-timers were told that it was the defenders of base Roland that had bombarded the town. They also added that it’s a shame that not only – you old fossils are alive, but you dare to drag us down.

“And the other two Colonels ?”

“Just as pissy as you’d think. Neither are happy being assigned under me, even more so being ordered to leave the safety of the base and throw themselves against Talon on the outside. You might make a nice celebrity Aurelius, but a damn steep price of blood had paid for it.”

“Then even more blood shall be spilt if this situation is not put under control. I shall subject every single one of these men to fifty lashes, so you better get a reign over them before I myself have to interfere. Am I understood ?”

“Crystal, sir.” With a grumble he responds. A large sigh escapes his lips, shortly there after he begins rotating his shoulders, cracks his knuckles and moves his neck side to side.

“Listen up you bastards ! Lord-Colonel here is about to deliver some good ‘ol fashioned military discipline. Now you can save yourselves from that by simply losing some teeth !” And with that, his men departing, Vinn decks the nearest man in the fight whilst screaming profanities and threats, knocking out another four men before the fighting begins to subside.

It is good that he managed to retain control, I’d pain you to deliver so many lashes just before you have to leave, since it would make these men less than useless in a fight. That being the only reason why you gave them a free way to avoid your ire. Discipline will have to be enforced. If any of those whom had caused the fight are still alive at the end of your sally that is.

Turning about, you start walking towards the other end of the motor pool, where your collection of a dozen Striders is currently being worked on.

“Are they ready to go ?” You ask one of the techs.

“They sure are, sir. That is unless they short-circuit and crash the moment we kick the reactor online. Or the antigrav plates blow out and cause the entire tank to swirl and smash into the wall uncontrollably the moment we apply power to them.”

“I assume that had happened before ?”

“Sure has, sir.” The technician rolls out from under the tank. “I’d, uh, recommend for you to take about ten steps away from the tank, sir.”

Following the man’s advice, you take ten calm steps back. Only to notice from the corner of your eye that the tech had just jumped behind a repair vehicle. “Activating the grav plates !” He shouts out, and you watch as other technicians nearby rush for cover, leaving you as the only one in the open.

Suddenly, a smell of ozone fills the air, as the noise of vibrating metal and coursing electricity bites against your ears. With fascination, you watch as bits and pieces of mud, metal, liquid oils begin to float up around the tank. It is not too difficult to enforce gravity upon a ship in space through various means. But to deny gravity upon a world as such is a different achievement all together. Eventually, steadily, carefully, the Strider begins to lift up from the ground, exciting the environment around it, pushing out everything that had started to float around it, as if an invisible string is cut, having left the antigrav field, the various pieces of material and liquid flop onto the ground. Rocking side to side, you can see as the power output, indicated by a large console besides you, continuously moves from one plate to another, looking to strike that perfect balance. Hovering a metre over the ground, the tank eventually manages to achieve stability. It looks strange, other than the noise made by the plates, there is nothing indicating that the tank is functioning as intended, were it not for the barely perceivable grains of dust floating underneath it.

“Plates, green. Fusion reactor, green. Antigrav engine, green. All outputs, green ! SD-01 operational.” Emerging from their covers, the technicians quickly begin swarming the tank, bringing up ladders they clamber inside to undergo final checks.

A quartet of men in rather advanced looking protection suits, strapped head to toe with various tools, approach you and the tank.

“Sir.” The one in lead salutes you.

“Captain. How’s your company ?”

“Ready and willing to go, sir. Everyone’s excited to finally be in the field.”

“Not much use for armoured scouts during a siege ?”

“That, and well, I’ve got to admit that the quirks of the Strider make it less than reliable, most commanders don’t really want to use them if they can get out of using them.”

“Then it’s time to prove them wrong, captain. I expect perfection.”

“And we shall deliver.”

You simply nod, you had learnt not to trust simple words, but rather look upon one’s actions.

Next up, you quickly look over your self-propelled artillery. One hundred self-propelled, tracked, light pieces. Really nothing more than a simple tank hull with a large gun mounted atop of it. The light pieces range from 200 to 300 millimetre calibres. Whilst the fifty heavy pieces are meant to be proper siege breakers and are usually between 400 to 800 millimetre calibres. Decently fast, the pieces are exceptionally explosive as they are filled to the brim with shells and pretty much nothing else other than the piece’s crew, ranging from 3 to 6 individuals. Due to this, the pieces can never be put directly at the front due to the risk of being consumed by a large ball of fire when hit by missiles or anything else able to cook off the munitions.

Eventually, you take out your datapad and quickly skim through your forces.

The 1433rd Armoured regiment “Count’s honoured” Commanded by Lord-Colonel Aurelius Constance.

Maximum: 70 tanks
Current: 70 tanks

Maximum: 140 APCs
Current: 140 APCs

Maximum: 4,200 Mechanized infantrymen in protection suits
Current: 4,200 Mechanized infantrymen in protection suits

The 1414st Infantry regiment “The Stalwarts” Commanded by Colonel Vinn Kosmowski. SPECIAL: VETERANS OF A HUNDRED WARS*

Maximum: 200 APCs
Current: 200 APCs

Maximum: 50 IFVs
Current: 50 IFVs

Maximum: 6,250 Mechanized infantrymen in protection suits and power armour
Current: 6,250 Mechanized infantrymen in protection suits and power armour

The 3055th Infantry regiment subordinated to Colonel Vinn Kosmowski.

Maximum: 200 APCs
Current: 200 APCs

Maximum: 50 IFVs
Current: 50 IFVs

Maximum: 6,250 Mechanized infantrymen in protection suits and power armour
Current: 6,250 Mechanized infantrymen in protection suits and power armour

The 9125st artillery regiment subordinated to Colonel Vinn Kosmowski.

Maximum: 100 self-propelled light artillery pieces
Current: 100 self-propelled light artillery pieces

Maximum: 50 self-propelled heavy artillery pieces
Current: 50 self-propelled heavy artillery pieces

Maximum: 30 APCs
Current: 30 APCs

Maximum: 1,000 Mechanized infantrymen in protection suits and power armour
Current: 1,000 Mechanized infantrymen in protection suits and power armour

The 1422nd light VTOL group “Thunder’s howl” Commanded by Colonel Rosanna Westre.

Maximum: 48 VTOLs
Current: 48 VTOLs

Independent companies:

Vodyanoy company.

Maximum: 100 high-tech scouts
Current: 100 high-tech scouts

Light hover tank squadron.

Maximum: 12 Strider Light hover tanks
Current: 12 Strider Light hover tanks

*VETERANS OF A HUNDRED WARS – The old-timers, now upgraded with proper equipment, are a guiding spirit for the entire regiment, sharing their experience and knowledge, keeping up morale and discipline as well as inspiring bravery. Regiment gets a +5 bonus.

Maybe you should put in a request for reinforcements. You have more than enough forces to form a scratch division.

Your comm goes off. And checking your watch, you notice that it is right on time. Down to the minute in fact. “Lord-Colonel. The assault will soon begin, have your forces prepared to punch out in an hour.” The voice of the Baroness quickly informs you.

“Roger that. My forces will be prepared.”

Quickly switching the comm, you patch into your command network. “All forces, be prepared to leave in an hour. If I find out that any formation is not within regulations, they shall be punished with fifty lashes.” Your cold, even, and most importantly – completely serious voice, should send down chills everyone’s backs.
You watch as a concentrated barrage sends down a mech in a fiery explosion, just as the second trench line is overrun by the advancing Gideons, whom continue to spray down indiscriminate fire without pause. The slower moving Shiva is also caught out by the barrage, its blown out hull crumbles down into the second trenchline, with Talon firing upon their own forces indiscriminately, deeming lost infantry, numbering in the hundreds, a worthy expenditure if they can nab a few heavier vehicles here and there.

All a part of precalculated losses no doubt. Someone will file a shining report upon how well they did.

And whilst the garrison bleeds to open up a path, your own forces move behind at a snail’s pace. Avoiding drawing anyone’s attention, your force continues to moving on a steady pace, keeping a track of comms to make sure that you move through without suffering any casualties. Eventually though, as Talon artillery batteries are tied down by a mechanized infantry assault. You manage to leave the attacker encirclement just as an entire group of Talon bombers strafes some Gideons that had bunched up. The half a dozen tanks, alongside their infantry escorts, are evaporated in a single strike. The skies light up as, in but a second, half of the group is annihilated by blinding flashes of lasers and a literal wall of missiles is unleashed by the base.

The battle continues to rage on behind you as your force moves onwards unopposed. Nearly twenty thousand men moving on your command. You wonder how Amato is doing, you were not informed where he was sent, other than the fact that you were both supposed to move out at the same time. Seeing how his forces are not here, then no doubt another assault has him trailing behind, searching for an opportunity to slip out unnoticed.
“Can you confirm ?” You say over the comm. You had moved on non-stop for about two days now, far, far away from the protection of base Roland, to an area where you were unable to pick up any friendly signals.

“Confirmed, sir.” The Strider captain responds. His force had moved as much as twenty kilometres further than your own forces, with their powerful comm system, they were also able to punch through the comm interference, were it not for that, you are certain you could double that range, if not triple it.

“Any details ?”

“Talon banners, but it does not seem that they know where they are. It seems like they constructed the camp here due to the solid ground around the mountains. Can confirm anti-tank installations around the perimeter, no doubt there are anti-air installations deeper with in.”

“Force displacement ?”

“Regular foot patrols around the immediate area, around a kilometre from the base. We are detecting small groupings of APCs and IFVs, they seem to be patrolling an area about five kilometres in diameter. Wait !” The captain perks up. “Can confirm, Gideons are leaving the base, I repeat, hostile Gideons are leaving the base ! Counting…” The man continues to murmur under his breath for about a minute. “A squadron, an entire squadron has departed the base, departing towards the North.”

“Roger, can you confirm any more forces ?”

“Escort APCs, wait, mobile AA platforms are also rolling out alongside the tanks.”

Well, if nothing else that force will inconvenience whatever Roy defenders they are sent off to annoy, instead of defending the base.

Logically thinking, your job had just become easier, yet at the same time, if there is a force still out there offering stiff enough resistance to warrant such a response, it is likely that they are either well dug in, or damned experienced if nothing else.

“Lord-Colonel, I have eyes on a couple of heavy landers making touchdown inside the base !” The Captain’s voice becomes increasingly louder. “Alongside a heavy VTOL escort !”

You pause for a moment, simply taking in the information.

“Can the enemy detect us ?”

“If the force is not detected by the patrol, I can see a large radar installation, if we move in force, they will detect us.”

The landers are still landing, it will take a while to unload them, meaning whatever is in them wouldn’t be able to strike at you if you move fast enough, presuming you can actually punch through the defences.

At the same time, you do have a company of infiltrators, whose entire job is to ensure that the main force remains undetected, that will give the enemy time, but it will ensure that the element of surprise stays on your side, should the infiltration succeed, and that may very well be everything you need to emerge victorious.

Of course, you could try bait. Reveal a squadron of your tanks, a tantalizing target for any enemy forces possessing heavy weapons. If the enemy bites, you will be able to destroy a part of the enemy’s force with ease, and perhaps weaken them enough to be able to easily run over whatever remains. Granted, if the enemy does not bite, you would have just put the base on high alert, making any further attacks that much more painful.

Then there’s that armoured column. Whilst it is not a part of your main objective, it could lead you to more friendly forces that you could rally to your own side. A massive storm is currently raging above you, one of the reasons why Westre’s VTOLs remained undetected, so a few more thousand men could still move unnoticed by enemy orbital assets.

>A head on charge, move fast, strike hard, wipe away all resistance with a single frontal assault.

>Specialists are specialists for a reason. Have the Vodyanoy company infiltrate the base, remove as many scouts as they can, disable the base’s defences and radar installations.

>The enemy is confident, use it against them. Reveal a part of your forces and try to drag in as many enemies as you can into an ambush.

And for the armoured column.

>Detach a force to track it to its objective, then strike and destroy them. (What forces ?)

> Detach a force to track the column and attack as soon as the terrain is favourable. You shall be the unsung hero for all those men that will not have to fight the column. (What forces ?)

>Ignore it. You already have enough issues to contend with.

>And I have to make do with around a tenth of that number. Well, Kosmowski will have to make do with just a tenth.

This was supposed to be blue, as in internal thoughts. Keep fucking that up for some reason. Sorry for the inconvenience.
>Specialists are specialists for a reason. Have the Vodyanoy company infiltrate the base, remove as many scouts as they can, disable the base’s defences and radar installations.
Information is one of the 3 main pillars of warfare. It also mean we can keep the initiative longer.
>Detach a force to track it to its objective, then strike and destroy them. (all forces except air.)

> Detach a force to track the column and attack as soon as the terrain is favourable. You shall be the unsung hero for all those men that will not have to fight the column. (air power)
>Specialists are specialists for a reason. Have the Vodyanoy company infiltrate the base, remove as many scouts as they can, disable the base’s defences and radar installations.
>Ignore it. You already have enough issues to contend with.
>He doesn't remember just how fucked up our marines were by spooks in the Navy quest

>Specialists are specialists for a reason. Have the Vodyanoy company infiltrate the base, remove as many scouts as they can, disable the base’s defences and radar installations.
>Ignore it. You already have enough issues to contend with.
Bigger fish to fry. Let's not split our forces at the very start of this op.
fuck spooks. Let them do their crazy stuff and let us do our own crazy stuff. Spook stuf and soldiers don't mix well, but they are both really needed to win conflicts.
>Specialists are specialists for a reason. Have the Vodyanoy company infiltrate the base, remove as many scouts as they can, disable the base’s defences and radar installations.
Surprise is always a good force multiplier.

>Detach a force to track it to its objective, then strike and destroy them.
>The 3055th Infantry regiment subordinated to Colonel Vinn Kosmowski.
>The 9125st artillery regiment subordinated to Colonel Vinn Kosmowski.
>Light hover tank squadron.
Just need enough to help out whoever they're fighting against. We could use the reinforcements, and we need to preserve as many units on this planet as possible. The scouts can shadow them and keep everyone in contact.
>Specialists are specialists for a reason. Have the Vodyanoy company infiltrate the base, remove as many scouts as they can, disable the base’s defences and radar installations.
>Ignore it. You already have enough issues to contend with.
Guys, we need those reinforcements. We can't take the facility with our current numbers, and letting the limited troops on this planet get overwhelmed by Talon's numbers is a sure way to lose. A force that warrants Gideons and plenty of AA is definitely worth helping out.

why have specialists if you aren't gonna use them?

also good to see you are still doing well QM
>>5441110 This write in wins, due to the fact that this >>5440829 means that there are 4 total votes to assist vs 3 to ignore.

As for the main objective, overwhelming victory for using specialists.

6d100 best of 3

first 3 for main engagement
last 3 for the tracking force.

I'll try to get updates to this and renovatio out tomorrow, I've been busy due to hectic nature of my studies, my apologies.
Rolled 58, 47, 8, 92, 78, 54 = 337 (6d100)

Oh, and since I keep forgetting to bring it up.

I had seen complaints about the crits, and to be fair, luck is not entirely on the side of you anons.

The debate had raged whether or not to remove them in their entirety and that was declined.

So I offer up one last option.

Crit fails are 1 and crit successes are 100. Doing so decreases the chances of super bad things happening, but it also decreases the chances of good things happening, as such the severity will be much stronger.

Example in the old system. Getting a crit success upon one flank would see you overwhelming the enemy and pushing them back, putting your forces in a stronger and better position for further attack.

With the new system, the crit success would see your forces completely overwhelm the flank and cause a rout, you soldiers running down the fleeing enemy and securing the flank in its entirety.

The very same severity will apply to crit fails. So consider it carefully.


Also, good to see you back fleet-anon.
I, for one, support this change. Classic 2/100 crit chance has served many quests well.
Rolled 91, 50, 13, 74, 46, 9 = 283 (6d100)

Rolled 100, 45, 23, 43, 19, 11 = 241 (6d100)

Looks like our stealth light infantry are worth their weight in gold
As annoying as it is, I'd like to keep the current system. It's just bad luck that we've gotten so many critfails, it's the curse of the Broken empire setting. Also I'm pretty sure we've gotten more 1's than 100's anyway. Maybe you could make 1 and 100 into super crits with the effect you outline? To me that would be more balanced, but the whole thing really just boils down to complaints about shitty luck.
I vote for the change.
You ping Vinn’s private comm and wait a moment.

“Reading you.” Kosmowski responds.

“Vinn, Have you gotten your new subordinates in line ?”

“Well, the officers hate my guts, the soldiery don’t give a damn if I were to die in front of them, but none of them are gunning out to actually shoot me at the first given opportunity, so I’d yes.” With his usual prickly sarcasm, the man responds.

“Then it’ll have to do. Get the new infantry and artillery regiments to follow that armoured column. I want them to figure out whom they are being sent to fight, and then assist them. The Strider squadron will keep them informed of enemy’s movements.”

“I am sure they will appreciate the chance of being sent from a suicide mission to a suicide mission.” Vinn cuts the comm, no doubt beginning to relay your orders, also escaping from the lecture you were about to give him.

Putting down your own annoyance, you redirect the private comm.

“Captain, have your company move in and secure us a safe passage.”

“Roger.” A crisp and clear voice responds.

Soon after, you watch as the terrain shifts around you, the camouflage system struggling to blend in as the scouts move rapidly without stop.

(POV shift: You are the captain of Vodyanoy company, operating codename – Alpha-1.)

You like the rain. The hellscape of Noct I is perhaps depressing, uncomfortable, or a myriad of other curses, to most people, for you and yours it is heaven. The darkness and the rain combined naturally makes it difficult to keep an eye out on one’s surroundings, the background radiation and heat distorts most sensors.

A perfect hunting ground.

You drop to your knees, the muck beneath you splashing around, staining your chest as your protection suit blares its warning about acidic material trying to work its way through it. You simply dismiss it as the rest of your force quickly follows suit, hiding their presences as you watch two APCs and one IFV and their footmen standing around the surroundings.

Bright light shines from them as they had forgone their night vision, and the reason is clear as one of the APCs spins its wheels as fast as it can, only to sink down deeper in to the muck. It must have encountered a pocked of acidic water, the weight of the wheels being enough to disturb the layer of soaked through ashes and cause the APC to get stuck.

The crew’s is currently in the process of attaching cables to the IFV, in an attempt to see if they cannot get the APC unstuck, whilst the mechanized infantry had all dismounted and formed a perimeter. Judging from their rather relaxed postures, they don’t seem to think that there’s any danger near them.

A mistake you shall correct.

You gesture for the company’s engineer and he quickly activates the mobile jammer. Its range is useless strategically speaking, even tactically it may not be enough, but about 50 metres worth of disrupted comms can spell the success or failure of missions like yours.

“Encircle. AP rounds, directed thermal readings.” You say whilst signalling your men. You quickly switch your rifle into its sniper configuration, gingerly taking out a different magazine, you insert the bullets with red markings and chamber one of them.

Raising the rifle, its scope quickly interfaces with your helmet, upon which you quickly put on a layer of thermal vision and also overlay the plans of APC and IFV internal structure and designated positions for where its crew would be seated. The surrounding interference is, difficult, but since you are concentrating upon a small location, it only takes you about a minute or so to get a good reading of the gunners and the drivers.

“Bravo-1, in place.” A voice appears over the comm. “Charlie-1, ready to go.” Quickly arrives another. “Delta-1, all targets on scope.” The final confirmation comes in.

Your own crosshair is currently situated over the gunner of the IFV. Carefully, slowly you place your finger on the trigger.

“All forces, on my mark.” You say, steadying your breathing.

“Mark.” You press down and feel recoil go into your shoulder.

Disabling your thermal vision, you watch as the bullet had punched a hole in the thick turret plating of the IFV, sparks fly out of it as the sheer powerful impact had cut through internals. All around, you watch as both APCs have three holes, and the IFV itself no doubt has a couple more somewhere around its hull. The footmen around all lay dead in their own pools of blood, the sheer power of your rifles ripping off limbs, leaving gaping holes and blowing away heads. Roughly sixty men had been cut down in a single, disciplined volley unleashed by your men. The sonic booms of your rifles simply melting into the surroundings of the raging storm above as lightning momentarily illuminates the surroundings.

Rising to your full height, you quickly move in and begin dragging away the fresh corpses, the rain shall take care of the blood, but everything else has to be secured. Your own men simply throw the bodies into the APCs, treating them as nothing more than a piece of rubbish to be discarded. Whilst you are underdoing the process, you quickly interface with the comms of Talon forces, no doubt that they expect a report by now.

Clearing your throat, you strain your voice and raise it up a notch, your genehancements allowing you to easily mimic people’s voices. With a signal to the engineer, the jamming comes to a halt and everyone waits for what’s about to happen.

“MP-14, report in.” An annoyed voice comes through, clearly having waited for a while.

“Ah, this is MP-14, reading you loud and clear.” You say with a voice that is not your own.

“Finally ! You had been dark for a minute over your scheduled report time, what happened ?”

“One of the APCs got stuck, and we all got out to get it out, sorry about that.”

“Sorry won’t cut it. Report back to base immediately for your punishment. I do not care what your circumstances are, orders were clear and discipline will be enforced.”

“Negative on that, we still need to get the APC rolling.”

“Did you just deny the order of your superior officer, soldier ? What’s your ID, rank and name ?”

One of your men drags up a corpse and its identification. One of the platoon lieutenants.

“ID 55984/POF, Lieutenant Alasdair Riter, sir.”

“Alright, Lieutenant Riter. Why do you think you can just deny direct orders ?”

“Sir, the APC fell into an acid pocket, wholesale, its engine got damaged from the impact, we are currently in the process of repairing it, but if you need us to return to base immediately, then we will have no choice but to abandon the APC to the elements, sir.”

The man stays silent over the comm, his desire to punish you and the fact that his direct order may cause the loss of a large, expensive piece of equipment needlessly now weighing in his mind.

“Don’t think you’ll get away scot free. Get the APC going and report to the disciplinary office. You and your entire platoon.”

“Roger that, sir.” Faking exacerbation, you reply.

“Watch your tone, Lieutenant.” The man finally cuts the comm.

With that, no one should approach this location for a while, a perfect place for the remainder of your forces to pass.

Signalling your men once again, you begin to rapidly approach the main base itself. No doubt there are turrets with night vision active, observing the place, but there are also searchlights illuminating the areas under foot patrol. Dropping bodies here would result in them being spotted, or the crews of the searchlights quickly noticing that there are missing patrols.

That means you’ll have to move slow and in small groups. Dropping onto your stomach, you and another three men begin to slowly drag yourselves forwards, the remainder of your formation splitting up and also beginning their advance.

The soaked ground drags against you as you try to crawl forwards. It is a long going task, laborious and exhausting. Even with the artificial musculature of your protection suit, and your own genetic enhancements, the distance you have to cover is long under such circumstances, and you can feel your real muscles protest against the fact that you have to move your body weight and more forwards in the most inefficient way possible.

You slam your head downwards, as a searchlight goes over your position, the slow movement allowing for the Chameleon system to do its job. Granted, if someone comes close enough they might question why there is a mound upon the almost completely flat area, but you will have to worry about it when it happens.

A couple of seconds later, you are once again on the move. The foot patrols coming uncomfortably close on more than a couple of occasions, but be it due to ignorance, incompetence, or simply not caring enough to pay close attention, no one stumbles upon you and yours. You suppose there’s a small blessing to be had in overly strict discipline of the Talon armed forces. The moment no noble, bootlicker, or a political officer with many a fancy title looks over the shoulder of what you are doing, even the most hellish of landscapes becomes paradise in which one can rest and recuperate.

Having gone through the surroundings, you come closer and closer to the wall encircling the base. It appears to be about five metres tall, turrets clear at its top, and unclear all along the wall no doubt. From here, it is not difficult for you to recognize dozens of cameras keeping a sharp eye out on the wall itself proper and its surroundings. Men walk the top, being far more vigilant than the outside patrols, no doubt the men sent out first were disliked, at the very least, to use their lives as an early warning system and nothing more. But the one close to the heart of the base are undoubtedly the favoured soldiers, whose dedication and loyalty is assured.

Stopping a few metres out, you remain unmoving, simply observing the surroundings, moments after, the specialist following you activates his cybernetic implants, beginning a dangerous process of trying to hack into the cameras and isolate them for a few moments, to begin looping the surrounding footage. One of the reasons why it is so dangerous, is the fact that your man has to connect to the base’s network. If it is monitored deeply, then not only will he be located, but your entire force will be compromised.

Still, to place a couple of cameras on loop shouldn’t be the hardest thing imaginable, for now you will have to consider how to deal with the guards a top of the wall. Shooting them is out of the question, as it will attract too much noise. One guard can keep a lookout on two others, so just outright killing will be difficult, if not impossible. The are from behind the wall also appears to be illuminated, no doubt there are more men upon the ground whom are also observing the walls, passively or actively.

Scanning the area, you quickly locate one of the inbuilt defensive turrets, manned by perhaps a couple or a trio of soldiers, a simple method to avoid any potential sabotage which your specialist is currently carrying out, but also a potential way in. It a ugly, black sphere of thick armour meant to deflect any incoming fire. A large, long barrel protrudes from its centre, more than capable of knocking out a Gideon for a fraction of the cost, one of the few reasons why emplaced static positions still hold some importance on the defensive.

But because such emplacements are man-maned, that means that there has to be a way in. Since the gun is atop of the wall, that leaves two options, the first one you instantly rule out, that being that the entrance is located within the wall itself. Unlikely as it would compromise the integrity and toughness of the wall. The second option, and really the only one, there being a simple door built into the cupola itself. No doubt it is electronically guarded, most likely a simple keycode password, as you doubt soldiers whose duty is to knock out tanks and then die would be outfitted with a large number of cybernetics or genehancements.

Your specialist rises besides you, a clear indication that he had succeeded. Quickly following him, the four of you soon find yourselves right beneath the walls, hugging the wall as closely as you can, trying to stay out of the sight of the patrolling guards. You had observed a rotation pattern, it will be short, very short, but the few seconds will be all you need.

Holstering the rifle, you instead take out a silenced pistol. Lacking the powdered charge, and explosive detonations afterwards, the Z4S instead fires simple tungsten rounds just below the speed of sound. An exceptionally silent weapon compared to the booms most modern-day weaponry unleashes. Granted, it also means that it is more than useless at even medium ranges against men in protection suits, but at point blank it is exceptionally deadly.

Bending downwards, you put all your strength into your legs, and jump. Your genehancements allow you to rise a solid 3 metres into the air. Slamming your hand forwards, your gloves quickly produce microscopic hooks, allowing you to hang and put up more pressure to boost yourself up once again as your legs kick at the concrete derivative.

Landing at the top of the wall, you are momentarily blinded as your night vision clashes with the bright shining lights, one of the reasons why you even got this opportunity to begin with is because of the wall guards facing the same annoyance if they turn back.

Quickly producing a cable from his arm, your specialist interfaces with the door, which only has a keypad as you had expected. You crouch besides the door, at with trepidation watch as the closest guard begins to slowly turn towards you, casting his gaze away from the surrounding outlyings.

You grasp your pistol, slowly raising it up. A corpse here will make your task that much harder, but that is what you might have to do.

The sound of a door clicking open quickly informs you that you might just get away with it. A couple of muffled shots and later. You click the door closed just as the guard passes by it.

Turning back, you observe the hardpoint. Nothing more than a screen, some ammunition, the autoloader system and the cannon itself proper. A few chairs here and there, but nothing else. No surprises, the place lacks a proper airlock, so everything not specifically made to survive the hostile atmosphere would soon begin degrading.

Grabbing the nearest corpse, whose visor now houses a simple hole next to which cracks had formed and blood had splattered, you simply push it and the body falls to the floor, leaving the seat for you to take. The rest of your squad follows, with the slowest of you being forced to rest on the floor.

“Other forces ?” You question your specialist now sitting in front of the console. You dare not risk contacting them over the comm, lest you be found out.

“Moving onwards, I already tagged the pillbox as empty. If anyone moves through this sector, they should be able to quickly get in here.”

“Good. Charges ?” You ask the other man upon a seat.

“Set and ready to go.” He responds pointing out the explosives he had set down around the ammo boxes.

“Enemy sensors ?”

You ask the last man resting on the floor, as he looks upon another screen next to the door, showcasing camera footage that he had already changed to look into the base itself.

“Main building with a radar dish about 300 meters North-West. Can determine a few smaller locations with clear signs of electronics. Perhaps communication centres, jamming centres and the like. Clear purpose undetermined.”

“Defences ? Troop disposition ?”

“Most structures seem to be heavy concrete base, standard construction. Continues patrols of infantry, primarily protection suits, a few suits of power armour for officers and heavy weapons soldiers. I spot a few static positions of AA, marking them now. There seem to be a grouping of Gideons, perhaps a squadron’s worth, marking now. Damn, Shiva heavy tank rolling through, it seems to be parking next to the Gideons. Marking it.”

You shift uncomfortably in your seat, it is a worthless piece of crap made out of cheap steel and cheaper plastic, nothing more than the simple protective layer applied to it keeping it intact against the environment.

“Everything’s lit up ?”


You rise from the seat, your body once again putting out its protests and demanding you continue your rest. “There, that looks like a hangar, perhaps a repair station. The background noise and clatter there should allow us to move on faster without being spotted.” Going over to the door, you prepare your sidearm once again. “Breaktime’s over.” With that, your men also get up and prepare to move on.

Finding another opening, you swing the door open and simply jump down the wall. Rolling to dissipate the impact, you quickly find yourself some cover as yet another heavy tank rolls over. [blue]There’s some serious firepower here.[/blue] Even if the Lord-Colonel can arrive at the gates undetected, the fighting’s going to be rough.

Hoping cover to cover, you slowly but surely make your way towards the hangar, or the motor pool, perhaps both at once. It is then that you notice the extent of the armour depot here. Line upon line of Gideons maybe two regiments worth, and perhaps three Shiva’s in total. There could be more, but there’s a decent chance that most of the base’s armour is concentrated here. [blue]But why ?[/blue] Concentrating forces in such a way leaves them vulnerable to artillery and air strikes.

The pompous looking suit of power armour slowly swaggering towards a raised platform quickly informs you that the reason why such great strategic weakness had been put down was because someone needs to stroke their ego.

“Glorious warriors of…” The speech begins as you move behind a collection of crates, barely avoiding a local patrol. “…as such it is my…” You hop onto the roof of an APC, keeping your body low. “…victory shall be ours…” Another hop later, you are crawling atop of a small building’s rooftop, your cloak providing plentiful cover as long as you do not move too fast. “…though it is unfortunate, we must move at speed…” You drop down, driving a dagger right into the throat of the man guarding the door leading into the hangar, your specialist quickly beginning to crack open the door lock. “…elite Scorpio forces are already on planet.”

That causes you to come to a halt. Straining your ears, you remain in the open for longer than you would’ve liked, but those words seem to be the end of the speech, simply thrown out right at the end.

Exchanging a few glances with your comrades, you simply move on.

(End of POV shift.)

It had been around twenty minutes since you had split your forces and sent off your scouts. Your main forces had moved on as close as possible without triggering the various sensors and alerting the numerous patrol groups.

For once, your mind is at rest, being in a situation that does not endanger you in the hands of others. You simply wait, trying to steady yourself in the preparation of the upcoming battle.

“Lord-Colonel, an all-clear signal had just come from Talons base.” Your comm officer informs you.

Opening your eyes, you quickly look over the data sent over. “All forces, move out on the path provided.” You say into the comm a moment and a head nod later.

Rapidly closing the distance in just scant minutes, you pass by some patrolling vehicles missing their crews and their headlight glaring brightly.

“Sir, we’re approaching the enemy defensive installations, eyes on enemy static defences.” The driver pipes up.

“Ignore them. Concentrate on the main gate, blast it open.”

If you send out your men, then you should at least give them the benefit of the doubt. As such, you will concentrate on the main target instead.

A cacophony of booms echoes out as shell after shell of your entire regiment impacts the main gate. Alarms ring out, foot patrols begin scrambling having realized what had just happened, rushing towards the wall, rather than suicidally attacking your formation. No doubt the mobile patrol formations will begin rushing back, but the open fields here will be nothing more than their graves against your own tanks.

Eventually, the large gate is broken by the concentrated fire, but it had bought the defenders time, nowhere near enough to fully mobilize, but if the report’s to be believed, they have certainly gotten some of their armour going.

The first elements through the broken gate, as always, are your mechanized elements. Your own infantry surging forwards, quickly disembarking from their APCs, they come under quick, but scattered fire from the local defenders actively on patrol. But these elements are quickly swept aside by your IFVs finally rolling through the gates. This is your biggest bottleneck, faltering here would see you suffer heavy losses to just push through.

Luckily, whilst losses are mounting, by the time your own tank moves in, other than a couple of APCs annihilated by well placed missiles, your losses are light. A combination of luck, and of course your own infiltrators, had resulted in you easily getting a foothold, your forces quickly breaking up and starting to secure the base as a whole.

And that is when the barrel of a Shiva appears right before you. A single, powerful shot, obliterates one of your tanks, a trio of IFVs are wrecked by the secondary cannons. An endless barrage of railguns mow down dozens of men that were in the open, torn to shreds and left for dead. The only bit of silver lining that you can find is the fact that it had yet to employ its deadly payload of nuclear missiles most likely out of concern for the infrastructure damage that it would cause by doing so. Still, the fact that your own main cannon rounds bounce off harmlessly the thick plating gives little comfort.

“The Shiva is acting as means of containing us, spread out, it is too large to safely move down more narrow paths !” You quickly give out orders as your own tank makes a sharp 90 degree turn, rocking you in your chair.

Quickly getting a read on what’s happening, it appears that another two Shiva’s are currently holding the main roads within the camp. They seem to be concentrating upon a certain district, no doubt the local HQ. As you had expected, the camp is scrambling to face you, meaning that whatever target you strike at first would not have as many defenders as it theoretically should.

“Lord-Colonel ?” The captain of the Vodyanoy company comes through the comm.

“I need targets.” You reply.

“Roger. Relaying targets, now.”

You watch as targets of opportunity quickly fill up your heads-up display.

First, the barracks. With so many troops still unprepared, striking there could inflict massive casualties, but strategically speaking, it is one of the less important targets. However, tactically speaking, it could most definitely lessen the burden your men have to undergo.

Second, the primary AA battery centre. Whilst most heavy weapon emplacements had been disabled, the AA defences being deep within the base and so defended meant that many of them are still functioning despite the efforts of your infiltrators. Knocking that out could allow for Westre to start delivering air support without being cut down for her attempts.

Third, the motor pool. A lot of armour is still just sitting there unmanned. Its destruction would be exceptionally useful in denying the enemy their own heavy vehicles. Whilst the presence of the Shivas is unfortunate, they are large and unwieldy vehicles, but if combined with faster forces such as Gideons, they become an exceptionally deadly anvil upon which your forces could be herded for.

Forth, the comm buildings. Assumed so at least. These structures have clear antennas and dishes, clearly serving an important enough function to have a permanent garrison watching them 24/7. There could be local jammers there, disabling those could allow for longer range communication. Or if they are the main comm structures, taking those down could prevent Talon forces from calling for help.

Fifth, the main HQ. Enemy officers and the base commander. Even if decapitated, Talon will fight on, but the time they will fight on may very well decrease. There’s also the fact that removing the head of the snake will see Talon forces lose coordination.

Sixth, the main lift to Centre Aurelian. You had not come here to defeat Talon, but to secure the main facility. You have the access codes, time to get down there and figure out what’s happening. Maybe you will be able to quickly reactivate the A.I., get its assistance and disengage without shedding more blood.

Due to the nature of the battle and he front, you will only be able to dedicate small forces to each objective, whilst the remainder of your formation simply tries to ensure that no one interferes with you. At best, you could disengage two tank squadrons and one infantry battalion. Anything more than that and you risk being overwhelmed. Of course, your infiltrators still remain a hidden card for you to play at any moment, a hidden dagger spread out throughout the base.

>At what targets shall you strike and with what forces ?
>the primary AA battery centre
>Two tank squadrons
We need this down to allow Westre to begin bombing runs on those Shiva's and anything else important.
>Forth, the comm buildings.
One infantry battalion. Pretty obvious we want to keep this op secret and not call down any more talon forces on our heads.
>the main HQ
Cut the head off the snake. I also want intel about those Scorpio forces, that is some very worrying news. Though since the Infiltrators only number 100 they should proceed with extreme caution and disengage if they don't think they can accomplish the objective.
Send our infiltrators to the main HQ to take out their command and gather intelligence regarding Centre Aurelian.
Send an infantry battalion to secure the comm buildings.
Send one tank squadron to attack the barracks.
Send another tank squadron to attack the primary AA battery centre.
3 and 4
RIP Newb.

Alive. It's that period of time right before the exams that lecturers force out a shitload of assignments. I had been rather busy, but I should be able to update around next weekend.


This one has the most votes.

12d100 best of 3
Rolled 85, 36, 36, 48, 22, 55, 77, 28, 55, 97, 44, 54 = 637 (12d100)

Rolled 23, 41, 94, 7, 30, 14, 7, 95, 62, 35, 90, 12 = 510 (12d100)

Rolled 99, 10, 66, 38, 19, 82, 14, 15, 13, 16, 85, 21 = 478 (12d100)

good to see that you are still alive NQM :)


also, one thing i think i've began to notice in terms of interactivity difference between broken empire (space battle) and (ground battle) is, well space was has had alot more variety in what people would give of ideas & solutions to problems we would face, and well, that isn't happening here as much. which can be seen as a smaller group of people voting, and fewer ideas being put on the table.

this isnt me saying the story we are being given isn't written well, but i definitely think there is a general problem, that ground combat, or at least the way it's being presented right now, is alot less....open to interpretation? i don't know the word to use right away, but alot of the time people are just voting the already existing plans and most of the time agreeing on a singular one, because first of all, we are all autistic as fuck and have the same mindset when it comes to combat, but also because there doesn't really seem to be alot of room for creativity.

for the space version, most of the time we had things like open leads, areas where we could choose who to talk to, the whole shabang, it definitely feels like this quest has a fewer of those things that make it good as a /qst/ than as a straight up story or choose your own adventure game.

and again, im not saying you arent doing fine world building/work N-QM, but im rather saying this because i wanna see you be able to see this threat flourish more and be able to have more fun with seeing new ideas put on the table by us as players. to have everyone be able to come out of this satisfied. and i feel like this needs to be discussed/be pointed out, so we can actually see more people regularly weigh in on the situation.

(sorry for maybe saying something out of line, but i feel to a degree that the thread has stagnated specifically for the reason stated above, and since i've followed along with this quest for quite a while and have loved most of it, seeing it follow this trend that im seeing is breaking my heart metaphorically. but if it's just me being too quick on the trigger finger, then do just ignore this big post, tis just my thoughts after all.)
You quickly open up your tactical display. Basic indication of terrain, as seen by your soldiers, vague directions towards hostile forces, with only a few, such as the Shiva heavy tanks, being clearly distinguished, as well as a clear showcase of your own forces starts to fill your sight. Your mind races as you start making adjustment and calculations, detaching a squad here, a platoon over there, pulling out an individual tank whose presence could be better used somewhere else. But most importantly, you start gathering proper strength formations to send off to carry out their missions, using the maps provided by your infiltrators.

“Vinn, detach a battalion, I am sending you coordinates right now. Make sure to send your best as your target is a potential collection of comms buildings, I do not want our presence known here for as long as possible.” You call out through the net.

“Roger, orders received !” Vinn shouts back, the noise of roaring rifles clearly distinguishable from his end.

“Lord-Lieutenant-Colonels.” You now call out for your own men. “Sambor, I want you to secure the enemy barracks. Level them to the ground and ensure as few as possible actually manage to get up and start fighting back. Spare no one.”

“Understood, moving off now.” That should be a perfect opportunity to heal the man’s bruised ego. You think as you hear the excited voice.

“Savin, your task is to annihilate the primary AA battery centre. I want air support, and I wanted it yesterday, those Shivas are going to cost a reaper’s toll if we do not have aerial superiority.”

“Received and moving.” With a quick response and a quicker cut, the man begins carrying out your orders.

“Captain.” You now address your infiltrators. “Once the enemy is completely distracted, I want for you to infiltrate enemy HQ, behead their command structure and acquire any relevant information that they might possess related to our primary objective.”

A simple confirming ping informs you that your orders had been received.

Taking a deep breath, your once again gaze upon the tactical display, as your tank rattles having just been hit by a missile. Luckily, it had come at an angle had not penetrated or dealt any serious damage, though the thick plating would have stopped it anyways.

(POV shift: You are Colonel Vinn Kosmowski.)

Well, if you want something done, you’ve got to do it yourself. Or at least that is the justification you are telling yourself as mortars continue to rain upon your position. The glorious advance halted by an endless rain of explosives.

“Report !” You call out over the comm. And the responses you receive are anything but shining. It’s not just your platoon or company, but rather the entire battalion that had been supressed. Clearly, this had been a planned response rather than a swift reaction from the opposition. It seems that the enemy really doesn’t want their comms disturbed. “Get prepared to push through, we do not have a moment to waste !” You call out, hoping out of cover the moment you feel a lull in the bombardment.

Rushing forwards, another round of mortar shells come down from the sky. Enemy units quickly reveal themselves as rifle fire and machineguns begin to mow down your forward elements. Hoping back to cover, you watch as perhaps a platoon worth of men had been cut down. Whomever is in charge of this sector is damned well prepared, all things considering.

“Push through ! Keep firing !” You shout at the top of your lungs, even though it is painful, you have the superior numbers. Moving slowly will simply cost the lives of more men as the enemy reacts and manages to assemble themselves.

Once more, you jump out of cover, your men rushing forwards upon your signal, time to time, as you manage to pass by buildings, you can notice the rest of the battalion making their way forwards. IFVs fire without end, trying to assist the APCs whom are nothing but death traps in the narrow spaces, filled to the brim with foes that have more than enough high explosives to blow them sky high. Ironically, moving on foot is far safer than sitting within the safety of a metal box, whom in actually is nothing but a wrecked coffin.

You heft your rifle and start unleashing suppressive fire, covering what forward elements remain.

But the sight of a spooling heavy machine gun, acting as the hand of a cyborg, gives you pause.

You roll into cover, quite literally this time, as your entire body is covered in wet, melting ash. About thirty men fall to the ground lifeless, their bodies torn asunder by a quartet of cyborgs, standing tall, unleashing an endless torrent of fire.

“Colonel, the enemy has dug in, we need heavier gear !” One of your men shouts over the comm.

“You will have to make do with what you have !” You respond. “Everything’s already tied down as is !” With frustration clear in your voice, you watch as the quartet of cyborgs begins to advance forwards, a line of spent casings following behind their laborious steps. The sheer destructive fire power seems to melt, in a certain sense, the vary cover some of your men are taking, bits and pieces of metal flying off and eventually exposing those hiding behind them, the structure finally weakening enough to punch straight through and butcher more of your men.

Suddenly, a booming noise erupts behind you, turning back, you watch as a single IFV is unleashing its autocannon and single railgun without stop, seemingly uncaring of the incoming fire.

THUD ! A sickening metallic noise of steel smashing against steel echoes out. One of the cyborgs is hurled backwards and a massive dent becomes visible upon the IFV. Swiftly rotating its autocannon, it unleashes brutal point-blank shots ripping apart another cyborg. Enraged at the loss of their comrades, the remaining two cyborgs riddle the IFV full of holes, no doubt slaughtering those within.

But their sacrifice got you what you needed – time. The missile gently slides out of the tube, the back blast covering the area behind the soldier, as your salvation in the form of high-explosives screams forwards.

Boom after boom, blast after blast, the thick plating upon the cyborgs’ cracks, crumbles, and eventually collapses. Their swaying, ruined forms still barely stand, but the endless fire unleashed from the rest of your soldiery quickly rip through the compromised armour.

“Forwards !” You shout out once again, rising to your full height and charging.

(POV shift: You are Lord-Lieutenant-Colonel Carolus Sambor.)

Your tank smashes through a collection of boxes sending them flying into the air. You barely feel any impact as your tank rolls forwards, the relatively narrow surroundings meant that your tanks had to split up in order to advance forwards, a potential weakness, but it also means that you get to move exceptionally quickly.

Another bump informs you of another death as your tank crushes a Talon soldier. Your railguns had been firing without stop, expending vast quantities of ammunition. Punching holes through the various structures as you advance, you end up undoubtedly condemning dozens, if not hundreds, of unprepared men to the harshness of the toxic environment.

“Tank !” Your driver calls out as a Gideon bearing Talon’s insignia comes into view as it turns the corner.

As one, your tank, alongside two others, unleashes a withering barrage. The first expelled shell is but a glancing hit, the armour reflecting the shot. The second one pierces through a weakened section at the front, despite the thickness of the armour there. The third shot smashes right into the turret, unloading its cargo of such dead explosives and shrapnel that any reinforced protection suits are worthless. Having lost its crew, the tank rolls onwards regardless, most of its systems still fully functioning, before it smashes through a building and disappears from sight.

“Sir, one of the main barrack structures, as identified by the scouts, is ahead of us.” One of your crew informs you.

“All units, open fire on designated target, leave it nothing but rubble !” You order over the comm. You will certainly not fail this task, not after your previous performance. That had been a humiliating sight, doubly so because Earnan had spat upon his own honour to ensure your rescue.

Being one of the main buildings within the base, housing hundreds, if not thousands of soldiers, the building is naturally quite reinforced. But no matter how well built a structure, dozens of tons of explosives battering away at the primary foundations eventually cause the noise of groaning metal and crumbling concrete sees the building crumble. Dozens of survivors had rushed out through the various entrances, only to be ruthlessly cut down by your railguns.

“New targets, all units, move out.” You do not take even a moment to revel in your success. Just because one barracks had been razed, it does not mean that there are no others.

Once more, your tanks begin moving without rest. Racing onwards towards the following objectives.

A loud thud fills yours ears and then is swiftly followed by your tank rocking back and forth. Quickly looking at the camera, you locate what had just hit. Static fortifications. Anti-tank turrets built upon more elevated terrain slightly onto the mountain itself, offering unapparelled view of the base, making it a perfect place to locate and annihilate enemy formations, such enemy formations as your own.

“Driver, through the building on the left, close the distance !” You order and prepare for the impact as the tank smashes through. You can see the panic in the eyes of the soldiery located within, a laundry room from the looks of things. Still, you do not give it too much attention when once again, you break through the other wall. Your turret swivels and quickly fires. The round bounces off the thick plating of the static fortification. In exchange, you receive inaccurate fire back. Seems like the situation will last a little while longer, but the noise of another collapsing structure informs you that you will soon have overwhelmed the are completely.

(POV shift: You are Lieutenant-Colonel Earnan Savin.)

“Back, back, back !” You shout out as your tanks stops harshly and pulls back, just as the Shiva tank unleashes its barrage, missing you by mere metres, wrecking the structure you are trying to hide behind. “Comms, send a report to Lord-Colonel, inform him there’s another Shiva heavy tank guarding the AA installation.” You quickly switch the comms. “Squadron, prepare for flanking manoeuvres, maintain eyesight of the Shiva tank, keep safe distance and do not stop moving !”

You punch the engine into overdrive, switching off the limiters and propelling the tank onwards. Another barrage flies just past, four shells barely whizzing past to the point where you can hear the whistling of death right next to your ear. “FIRE !” You shout out having remotely guided the targeting of the tank’s main gun. Your shot flies true and smashes right into one of the AA turrets, crumbling it and causing an explosion as the overcharged laser turret short circuits and causes an explosive large enough to wreck a few nearby turrets.

Moving like a mouse running from a cat, your tank manages to close the distance and slip in between more buildings, you can feel the anger of the Shiva’s crew, as the structure shakes taking round after round of fire. Meanwhile, your own distraction had worked perfectly, allowing more of your tanks to fire at the AA centre without any opposition. However, this will not last forever, as the Shiva will change its focus back onto your squadron proper.

“We’ll circle around the Shiva, I want a point blank shot upon its side turrets. Let’s make it angry.”

“Roger that, sir.” Your crew responds, less than enthusiastic, but still obeying your commands.

The tank once more takes off. Internal warning systems blaring over the fact that the artificial limitations upon the engine had been lifted, for a good reason as well, as keeping going for too long tend to quickly wear off the parts, but that is a risk you will have to take.

Concentrating entirely upon the single moment, you do nothing but watch the camera as you had more or less kicked off your gunner of his seat, you have a few moments to achieve what you want, otherwise, you will either be blown to bits, or the rest of your squadron will be forced to retreat under withering fire.

And the moment comes, adrenaline had fully filled your veins, your concentration had been entire narrowed down to this point, your eyes start to sting due, but you refuse to close them. One of the four secondary turrets, had been swivelled around just for cases as yours, to annihilate any would be flankers that would strive to outmanoeuvre the beast of a tank. You stare straight at the barrel in front of your as you press down the command to fire. And as your body shakes, your concentration evaporates and your eyes begin to rapidly blink. Behind you comes a loud explosion as the tank had already moved on without even a second of hesitation.

“Squadron, report on Shiva condition ?” Fighting off the desire to rub your eyes you command.

“Secondary turret destroyed, the explosion had detonated internal ammo storage, an entire section of the heavy tank’s threads are gone, it is immobile, sir !” An excited voice from your end quickly responds.

“Good, squadron, continue to flank around, do not engage with it, concentrate all firepower upon the AA centre.”

And with that, other than some clearly undermanned, or entirely unmanned static defences, your tanks run circles until they find a weakness and create a gap large enough to fire on without any serious danger. Granted, the occasional missile fire does still pose a threat, but there is no overly serious organized resistance.

It seems you has succeeded your mission swimmingly, with minimal casualties.

(POV shift: You are the captain of Vodyanoy company, operating codename – Alpha-1.)

The hornets’ nest had certainly been kicked hard and fast. You watch from above as squads of soldiers rush without stop towards the sound of gunfire. It seems that Talon had not expected their outer defences to fall so quickly and utterly. Your attention is drawn by the noise of a crumbling building, one of the structures you had designated as potential barracks housing enemy soldiers. That should draw more attention. You think to yourself. And you duck and keep your head low as a group of cyborgs accompanied by men in power armour move past you. It seems that even elite guard of the officership corps had been mobilized to halt the incursion.

You hop down from the roof the moment the area seems secure, your men following you along fan out, keeping an eye of the surroundings. With the order given to secure the HQ, you had no choice but to rally your force, whilst it increases your firepower, it also makes finding you that much easier. So you will have to move fast or risk discovery.

Rapidly moving without halt, your comm rings without stop, as reports endlessly come in about enemy movements and the movement of the rest of the company, now that the alert had been raised, sneaking in had become even more difficult.

You move into the shadows, exposing your side towards the approaching vehicle, whom simply zooms past you. Your men begin to slowly rise and also continue to move on as you as well rise.

The same situation continues for a good five or so minutes for almost the entire formation, more and more Talon troops being withdrawn from other areas of the base and sent to the front, though the disorganized nation of the response appears to be quite haphazard, something quickly thrown together rather than a proper response. It is simply feeding one’s troops piece meal, to simply be devoured by the roaring guns.

Eventually, you had reached the presumed HQ, a base within a base. Automated security turrets, housing a single spooling railgun, capable of cutting down dozens of men at once. Heavier, larger static fortifications, manned and operated by Talon soldiery keep an open eye around the surroundings. It has to be said, that the garrison is still weaker than you had expected, the presence of three Shiva tanks further back must give the base’s commander a certain degree of confidence that nothing will be able to get close, not until those tanks are down. You do love teaching overconfident people like these a proper lesson.

Still, the large, thick wall appears to have to easy ways around it, like the base’s wall proper. Meaning that you will have to go loud.

“Sensors ?” You ask one of your men.

“Tremor, movement, light distortion.”


“We’re not approaching the wall without raising an alarm. If we had some more time, we could wait-“

“No. The longer we wait, the higher the chance that we will be found unprepared. We’re going loud, prepare explosives, we’re blowing a hole in the wall and using the confusion to get in. Our target is enemy leadership, capture if possible, otherwise liquidate hostile personnel.” You conclude.

The noise of about a hundred rifles switching to their rapid-fire mode breaks through the endless silence, meanwhile your explosives expert approaches you.

“What do we need ?”

“Simple HE won’t cut it. I’ve got some nuclear charges with me, should blow a hole through nice and easy.”

“Fallout danger ?”

“In acceptable levels. I’d still suggest hosing our gear down before we get out of it once we get back to safety. Otherwise, well, slow and painful death from cancer in a few years without any extensive treatment.”

You send an inquiry to the rest of the company and soon enough everyone reports that they are ready to go.

“Do it.” You say whilst turning down your visor to the point where it is pitch darkness.

Let there be light. Is what you think when the miniaturised nuclear weapon that had been fired out from the miniaturized mobile mortar impacts the wall. Whilst enough charges could match the destructive fire of the little piece you had just expended, they are far, far from being as comfortable. Still, you will have to put an invoice for its usage to the dukedom, miniature nuclear devices do not come cheap, especially if you want to make them as stable as possible.

“Move !” You command rising, your visor once brightening up, allowing you to have a good look at the surroundings. Whilst the explosion had been powerful, the wall, or part of it still stands, a small portion of perhaps ten metres wide had seen affected by the bomb, that had reduced the wall by about half, enough to get through, but not as easily as you had hoped.

Putting strength into your legs, you make a single leap, hopping onto the irradiated rubble and quickly jumping off it and into the courtyard.

Where you have to quickly dodge an automated turret tearing through the air as it unleashes firepower capable of rivalling a Gideon. Half a dozen of your men are riddled with holes as they tried to get through the breach, their bodies missing limbs, mutilated, torn and defiled eventually drop to the ground as the automated turret continues on without rest, meaninglessly expending ammo as it registers life signs.

You notice a distinct lack of cover around you, other than a few scant bits and pieces of more jagged terrain jutting out, you dive for one, falling heavily upon your back and directing your rifle towards the wall, unleashing shots against the guards still atop them, whom had finally gotten over their disorientation.

Your high-powered rifle tears through the guards, each shot despite the rapid fire being deadly accurate, evaporating head after head, ripping off limbs with each shot. The rate at which the guards are being overwhelmed continues to increase, as despite the fire more and more of your men manage to get through.

“Target down, move on !” Your tech expert calls out and you can see as the turret stops firing, it seems to have imposed some sort of restrictions upon it. The explosives expert rushes forwards with a satchel of charges over the open terrain, ducking and dodging best he can, before he closes the distance and hurls it forwards, hitting the detonator and obliterating the automated turret, the shockwave of the blast knocking him to the ground.

“Go, go, go ! Secure the perimeter !” You call over the comm, rising to your feet and moving onwards to the stout and wide concrete building.

Grabbing the explosives expert as you rush past him, your rather roughly let him go towards the door. The man stumbles a bit, but he quickly finds his footing and without further ado slams a breaching charge upon the door.

As the explosive goes off, you move inside with it, the flames of the explosion licking against your chameleon cloak, bits of metal shrapnel getting stuck in your armour. Your vision entirely taken over by the black smoke. Finally, as your vision returns, the first thing you do is deliver an accurate shot to one of the defenders, the bullet flying true and cracking open the visor, blowing out the guard’s brain in a single second.

More and more of your men continue to funnel through as you lead the charge, a bullet is deflected by your helmet as the shot had not found purchase, but it had still thrown your head backwards regardless. And then you feel air leave your lungs as one of the defenders shoulder checks you. You slam heavily upon the ground, but before you have a chance to recover, you kick the wall with your right leg, moving sideways, thus dodging the high-frequency blade tearing into the floor. A barrage of fire from your own soldiery forces the noble, now that you recognize the weapons, back to his own lines, giving you some time to get back to friendly territory. That was a close one. You cannot help but think as your body is covered in cold sweat, the closest you had gotten to death in quite a long time.

(End of POV shift.)

The enemy had been continuously increasing their forces all along the main frontline, but in a disorganized manner, to the point where you were able to coordinate a response and encircle small grouping, butchering them to the last.

While your forwards operations had been met with good enough fortune, all things considered.

Reports are already streaming in that the AA centre had been disable, or at least most of the turrets there. The attack towards the barracks had been proceeding decently well, some of the buildings housing soldiery had been obliterated, whilst the remainder had been tied down, still, the static fortifications there had slowed down the assault, but they had not stopped it entirely. Whilst the HQ, well, you had barely received anything about it, but it is currently contested by your specialists, so it will serve as an unnerving factor to the enemy high command if nothing else. Worst of all had been Vinn’s advance. It had been a brutal forward assault, savaging the entire battalion as it tries to advance forwards. So it is not an utter failure, but the reported death toll is becoming concerning.

At the end of the day, the complete success of Savin means that you can easily disengage his squadron and assign it to another location, or you could just order him to punch through deeper and wreak havoc behind enemy lines.

>Give him autonomy, let confusion reign behind the enemy lines.

>No, his squadron will be more useful assisting an existing assault. (Which?)

>No, I shall send him to secure the motor pool, plenty of vehicles are still there unmanned.

> No, I shall send him to secure the lift to centre Aurelian.

And line of Savin’s success, Westre’s group can now begin her air strikes, with so much of the battle still up for grabs, her assistance is invaluable. She could provide support to the whole battle as needed, but if she concentrates her forces upon a single objective, it could prove decisive.

>Have her provide general assistance to the entire battle.

>Have her assist one of the existing assaults. (Which?)

>Have her simply provide support to the main frontline, maybe that will allow you to detach more formations for special operations.

I mean, that is the difference between terrain. Space is a lot more open than terrestrial combat. And what an individual ship captain can do it a lot different than what an induvial soldier can do. Due to that, the army is a lot more strict for overall autonomy. But when it comes to creativity, well, even in the space battle I had always offered the most obvious of solutions, similar to what I am doing here. And when it comes to player creativity, perhaps that has something to do with the map ? I could start making tactical combat maps, perhaps giving you anons even more control over your units, kind of similarly how I did things in the Border Princes quest.

If you anons would like tactical maps, I could start drawing them up.
>>No, his squadron will be more useful assisting an existing assault. (Which?)
>>Have her assist one of the existing assaults. (Which?)

Have both assist Vinn.
Yes, tactical combat maps would be good.
>No, I shall send him to secure the motor pool, plenty of vehicles are still there unmanned.
>Have her assist one of the existing assaults. (Vinn)
>Give him autonomy, let confusion reign behind the enemy lines.
Letting the penetrating armor element act independently will likely be best

>Have her assist one of the existing assaults (Vinn)
Shut the comms down ASAP
>the complete success of Savin
Wait, do you mean Sambor?
>No, I shall send him to secure the motor pool, plenty of vehicles are still there unmanned.
>Have her assist one of the existing assaults. (Vinn)

No, it was Earnan Savin that took down the AA, it is Carolus Sambor whose currently slowly obliterating the general barracks area.
Have the characters from this been put into the pastebin?

I had tried to keep named characters to a bare minimum, so I had not written them down in a pastebin, no.

I can post my rudimentary notes for tracking the chs here.

The 1414st Infantry regiment “The Stalwarts” commanded by Colonel Vinn Kosmowski

The 1441st Mech regiment “Alexander’s Lance” commanded by Lord-Colonel Amato Kamaunu

The 1422nd light VTOL group “Thunder’s howl” commanded by Colonel Rosanna Westre

The 1433rd Armoured regiment “Count’s honoured”. commanded by Lord-Colonel Aurelius Constance

MC's regiment:

Aurelius Constance MC 1st squadron

Linton Linegar second-in-command, genetic modified bodyguard 2nd squadron

Earnan Savin aggressive, bald, beard, black. 3rd squadron

Carolus Sambor purple eyes, white hair, white. 4th squadron
Air for Vinn 4

Tanks for Vinn 1

Secure motor pool 2

Autonomy 1

Alright, Westre's group will concentrate on clearing the path for Vinn's assault towards the comm area. Meanwhile, Earnan Savin, having succeeded in his task, shall move onto the motor to either secure it or decline the usage of armoured assets.

12d100 best of 3
Rolled 93, 98, 51, 70, 89, 21, 7, 73, 13, 95, 6, 24 = 640 (12d100)

Rolled 35, 22, 79, 3, 73, 91, 13, 90, 81, 17, 92, 3 = 599 (12d100)

Rolled 17, 77, 16, 4, 76, 25, 88, 90, 44, 43, 100, 53 = 633 (12d100)

Bless this roll
A nat 100. Your roll has been blessed.

I count 3 crit successes and 2 critfails (there's actually 3 but 2 of them are for the same roll) so I think we'll be coming out on top this round.
Based on the new system:

Vinn’s assault 93 98 79

Motor pool assault 70 89 91

The HQ battle 88 90 81

Barrack attack 95 100 (Crit) 53

are the rolls
Weren't rolls being switched to hard crits of 1 or 100?
Or is this not implemented yet
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Some task I had not been previously aware of had come up, combined with the fact that I have an exam tomorrow, means that I only really sit down and write after I am done with it. In the mean time, the promised map. I would like to know your anons opinions on it and if I should do anything different.
Seems good! Nothing to really criticise, and take as much time as you need!
Just to be sure, our forces are blue right?

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Those Shivas make me nervous, so here goes.
Linton's double strength tank regiment circles around in blue arrow to push through and flank the infantry. I'm not clear on structures to garrison, but this supports the bogged down infantry to clear the opposition so they can assist in other areas.

While Linton is pushing through, the green infantry next to him also makes use of the breakthrough to make their own. They push through to support the attack on comms by Vinn.

Constance to move to support and kill nearby infantry like at bottom left.

Everyone else attacks the opposition and harries the Shivas without committing to a full engagement as Sambor's team did.

VTOL team to support the HQ attack by the Voys and destroy any opposition returning to HQ, and attack Shivas as a secondary objective.

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