We wind up having enough time to unpack the rest of our mechs, so Gamma-Two is able to hit the supply depot, giving us a chance to try out our new Guillotine and a customized Thunderbolt. Delta-Two is in the area as well, so they join the fight, although it's probably unnecessary, since the supply depot is defended by three tanks and a single Crusader while crews of infantry work frantically to load equipment onto transport trucks, braving the golf-ball sized hail flying around. Somebody's pulling out, looks like.
Gamma-Two is the aforementioned Thunderbolt and Guillotine, plus a Kintaro and Trebuchet 5N (long range)
We approach from the southeast and open fire immediately, making sure to take out the laser and SRM Carrier before coming into their weapons range. The Thunderbolt cuts the laser carrier down to size, while the Guillotine blasts the SRM Carrier to bits using lasers to breach armor then sending listen-kill SRMs into the breach. The Thunderbolt takes a few LRMs from the Crusader but nothing major.
The Crusader is looking a little lonely already, as is its Bulldog buddy. The Guillotine disables the Bulldog while the rest of our mechs focus fire on the Crusader, which sees the situation as hopeless and immediately flees, firing at our Trebuchet as it goes. Then the Guillotine gets in behind him and zaps the right leg with a bunch of lasers, causing the mech to do a pirouette then hit the ground, where the mechwarrior blacks out.
Some of the infantry in the base continue firing emplaced weapons at us, so we blast a few to bits as an example to the rest. Who surrender pretty quickly afterwards.
Delta-Two doesn't even get a chance to shoot anything. A couple of tanks approach from the southwest, but retreat when they detect our mechs.
Salvage is pretty crappy, although we do get a Crusader out of the deal. Our salvage crews also loot the supply depot, recovering a pair of gauss rifles and some ammo. To put it in AWS's words, "Where did those periphery yokels get gauss rifles?"
June 21, 3040
When the attack on the Sparrow comes, Beta-One is in defensive positions while Gamma-One is out on patrol. The attack comes in two waves, medium mechs and tanks first, then the heavier units. The Marik liaison comes out to fight with Beta-One driving a Hunchback. The locals literally wheel their Leopard up almost to maximum weapons range (although they avoid getting into actual weapons range of the Sparrow, as a Union outguns a Leopard, even side-to-nose.
Our mechs deploy between the incoming hostiles and the Union as a screen.
A minor pain point is that Beta-Air reports being engaged by additional hostile aircraft and will be unable to provide air support after all.
Zarathud grunts as LRMs from the Leopard impact his mech, but armor holds up. The hostile units take a little bit of damage and concentrate on hitting the Union. For now, from long range, with LRMs, so the damage is minimal. LordMortis also takes a few LRMs to the right arm, but it's an Atlas.
Zarathud goes for a lake to hide in but continues taking fire from the Leopard, losing a lot of armor from the arms and scoring a pair of PPC hits on a distant LRM Carrier. The vehicle keeps trundling along, much slower than before.
To the south, Zenn7 tracks a Maxim, plowing PPCs into it until the hover transport falls apart. LordMortis takes a few LRMs then blasts a nearby Griffin center of mass with the AC/20. The center torso armor basically disappears, as does a chunk of the engine, and the enemy mech falls over.
The Griffin gets up and tries to move around LordMortis but then disintegrates as it comes a little too close to the Union - the LRM ammo is detonated and LordMortis shoots more or less at empty air.
Zarathud splashes into a nice, cool lake and blows away the distant LRM Carrier, then scowls as a shot from the Leopard takes out the right-torso PPC.
When you're under fire by a Leopard-class dropship and your armor is breached, but you're in a lake, there's really only one thing to do. Go down. The right arm armor is also breached, so the PPC there shorts out as well, but it's better than getting blown to bits.
The dumb bastards are actually rolling the Leopard forward, though.
A Condor hover tank zips up to LordMortis, but hides behind a hill. That doesn't conceal it from the Union though, and it eats a PPC and several autocannon rounds, crashing into the hill side. Moley and LordMortis send listen-kill Warheads into a damaged Manticore tank, cracking through the armor and immobilizing it.
Normally, at this point, the enemy would break and run off, but their dropship is as grounded as ours.
On the plus side, Gamma-One shows up to the east, drastically shifting the force balance.
Zenn7 blows away an AC/2 Carrier that's been plinking away at our Union for a while. Moley charges up to the second Griffin, zapping it with four laser shots to boil away a substantial amount of armor.
A pair of unwelcome visitors join the fight, hostile aircraft.
Of course, what they don't realize is that the Union is very well equipped for anti-aircraft work when grounded, as most of the weapons are in the nose. So, the incoming Gotha takes a PPC and several LRM salvos, as well as autocannon fire. And that's before Gamma-One joins the anti-aircraft party. After eating some spray from Hyena's LBX autocannon, the Gotha shudders and drops altitude.
The liaison's Hunchback is baited out of formation by an enemy Wasp, taking a PPC to the back where the armor is breached. The offending Griffin pays the price though, its left arm going limp as Moley continues working on it with the Thunderbolt's lasers. The Wasp takes an AC/20 round to the right torso, ripping that section of the bug mech, and most of the engine shielding as well.
Zenn7 cycles the Awesome's PPCs against the Leopard, and Zarathud gets up when the dropship turns its blind spot to the damaged Awesome and fires a PPC shot as well. Zenn7's armor starts flashing yellow and green as LRMs and PPC shots come zipping in from the Leopard.
The enemy Griffin begins withdrawing, lowering its PPC to concentrate on limping off the field. We need to get that dropship so we let it go.
"Concentrate fire!" comes the order. We took cover last turn but now it's time to let 'er rip. We open up, with the Leopard losing a weapon, and one of Zenn7's PPC shots blowing out a fighter bay door.
Except for the Union, which blasts the hostile Cheetah out of the sky.
"Oooh, shit." Moley notes as a substantial number of enemy tanks and a pair of mechs approach from the west. We better finish this up quick.
"Phew". Moley releases a breath as the Leopard collapses under the combined weight of our fire.
The liaison, meanwhile, gets caught out by the reinforcements, eating a PPC from a Warhammer which strips the armor off. He still manages to breach armor on a nearby Maxim, which turns around and zips off.
The Union scatters an infantry platoon to the four winds with LRMs, while LordMortis and Cylus work on a Pike support vehicle - LordMortis breaches armor with the AC/20 and lasers, then Cylus sends a large laser through the gap, destroying the tank as it burps up its last AC/2 salvo towards our Union. Xwraith fires a long range shot with listen-kill LRMs, cracking through the armor and engine block of a distant Brutus assault tank.
LordMortis absorbs a little more firepower, then the liaison whiffs a kick on a Vedette and falls over, nearly crunching his Hunchback's arm off.
That nonsense aside, the rest of the hostiles cease fire and retreat.
As Zenn7 climbs out of the Awesome, chugging a "red thirst" energy drink, he notes the captain of the Sparrow looking at the exterior of the Union with some consternation.
"We. Are. Hosed." states the captain.
"See this crack?"
"That's the docking collar. We can't attach to the jumpship without it. Unless we can get a replacement, we're stuck here."
Zenn7 smirks. "What about that Leopard over there?"
The captain visibly relaxes. "You know what? Maybe. I'll get back to you."
According to the Sparrow's captain, repairs on the Sparrow will take several weeks: we'll need to first pull the docking collar from the Leopard wreck, then replace the one on the Union.
The Marik techs working on the Marauder 4X refit inform us that there's no way they'll get it done any time soon - they expect it to take another two months at least. Well, no skin off our teeth.
Beta-One is going to be sidelined - the techs manage to drain the water from Zarathud's Awesome, but a lot of the internal components will need to be repaired. LordMortis' Atlas and Zenn7's Awesome simply lost a lot of armor. Moley's Thunderbolt is the only mech in that lance that is in good shape.
Isgrimnur's Hatchetman and Stefan's Catapult also took some damage - nothing unrepairable, but it's preferable to avoid deploying them if at all possible.
One annoying thing is that we weren't able to acquire enough listen-kill warheads for a long campaign, so we're going to start running out and have to switch back to standard missiles. Annoying but not fatal.
After interrogating a few, it turns out that the locals that have been shooting at us are part of an occupying force from the Circinus Federation, trying to take down the local rebels who have entrenched themselves and were carrying out guerilla warfare. Normally, rebels on a periphery agro world wouldn't have the cash to hire expensive inner sphere mercenaries, but these guys managed to stumble onto a cache of Star League tech. The Vasps are to receive said tech as payment for their work here.
Examination of the Vasp Leopard's flight logs reveals that they have a jumpship sitting at a pirate point in the system. Chances are, if we beat them up too badly, they'll pack it in and run off. We'll need to prevent that from happening. Since the jumpship will simply vanish if we approach it (chances are their K-F drive is already charged up), we'll need to stop the Vasps on the ground or before they get to it.
Based on our conversations, the Circinus Federation is a bunch of assholes. They got driven off this world back in '36, but are now back in force, stomping the locals and burning their stuff. However, we're a) not being paid to fight them and b) have just put a serious dent in their forces. If we suggest it and release their prisoners back to them as a gesture of good will, we can probably get them to stop shooting us so that we can concentrate on the Vasps.
On the plus side, we've got full air support available, having taken down those orbital lasers.
Current force status:
Alpha-One - minor damage (Gbasden, El Guapo, Isgrimnur, Stefan)
Alpha-Two - ok
Alpha-Three - ok
Beta-One - major damage (LordMortis, Zarathud, Zenn7, Moley)
Beta-Two - ok
Beta-Three - ok
Gamma-One - ok (Scrub, Hyena, Cylus, Xwraith)
Gamma-Two - ok
Gamma-Three - ok
Delta-One - ok (Paingod, Freyland, Madmarcus, Archinerd)
Delta-Two - ok (AWS)
Delta-Three - ok
Aerospace assets, four flights - ok
The Vasps appear to be pissed off that we took part of their payment, and launch a full scale assault on our positions. The supply depot comes under attack while we're still looting it, as does the damaged Sparrow. We'll need to commit at least two lances to defend the supply depot and three to defend the dropship.
So, who does what? Also, do we attempt to negotiate with the Circinus guys to get them to stop shooting at us?