The orders were handed down, as much as it pained the men and women of this VIRD detachment, it had to be done. The transport was already on its way, we would be trading the wet and sandy Okolnir environs to defend a roadway ill defended by the people most threatened by it. The Human Sphere had already painted us villians, but what we do, we do for the good for the Human Sphere, they just couldn't see it.
It was T-12 until transport on a rainy night when the distress call came out, NCOs and Officers awoken rudely from their desperate attempts to catch some sleep: "Maritime Coordinator Node 43-N under attack, support requested".
"I came from Manila! This isn't right, this isn't who we are!"
"We can't just let them own this dock..."
Do... the right thing. As the IC of the VIRD detachment looked up from his watch he ordered the teams to draw up a plan to infil and exfil the dockside by foot. Okolnir was lost to the mobs, but perhaps they could at least keep one light in this dingy corner of Concilium going in this dire hour.
Unfortunately a Kosmoflot had covertly dropped from orbit and already setup a beachhead. Ariadna [win the Initiative roll], opting for [deploying second on their chosen side]. [PanO decides] in retaliation [to take first turn].
The main group consists of a Fusilier fire team + Kamau sniper, Montessa Knight and max AVA of Helot Militia holding the line, staring down a Kosmoflot Rokot Fireteam and assorted disruptive camo markers in the midfield.
Patsy Garnett has Terrain (Aquatic) and is nominated to be sent as a Parachutist. PanO's Uberhacker is its Crocman deployed in Infiltration. Due to some misreading of the rules, Ariadna is unable to declare an Uberhacker on the table (the offer to remake the list was given, but gracious and stoically, the Ariadna player chose to keep it as is! Hats off to him!).
The Montessa Knight is deployed Impetuous, but is left to blow off some steam by his own, lest he risk running through a BS+3 five-man-powered Vokolak HMG. The Crocman counter deployed by a Rokot camo marker is pulled back using his Uberhacker order and one order at the end of the turn.
Patsy Garnett drops the right flank, finding an angle not covered by the Rokot core fireteam. She is able to leverage her submachine gun and BS14 to inflict some amount of casualties. A final speculative fired grenade nails a Rokot in the fireteam (who turned out at the end of the game was right next to the LT!).
Not much could be done to safely push the consoles, but enough damage was done to blunt the potential Ariadnan advance.
In the Ariadnan turn, a lot of gunfighting would ensue, leading to the Vokolak defeating the Kamau MSV2 Sniper and a forward moved Helot Milita LRL in an active turn duel. Pavel would parachute in to try and flank the VIRD defensive position, risking dropping in view of a Shock Marksman Rifle Helot Decoy, only to be dropped on reaction after realizing it was the real one.
With not a lot achieved at the moment for either side. A bloodier turn 2 was guaranteed.
Patsy Garnett would begin to gun another Rokot down, brought in to reform the fireteam to give the Vokolak the required firepower. Next she would attempt to engage a Patcher at range. Despite her BS14, 2W and ARM4, she would go down in a single order, causing the right flank to fall apart tremendously.
The Montessa Knight would speed forward, dodging and taking a wound from the overwatching Vokolak. Helots would be repositoned and impossible shots taken just to try and plink at the Ariadnans without any backup long range firepower.
Once again (arguably foolhardily) the console would not be pushed and PanO would bet it all on achieving more objectives in Turn 3.
Ariadnan Turn 2 was more successful. A drop pod would storm the middle of the table, bring a long awaited Wardriver to jam up the midfield, an Apache to kill the Crocman Uberhacker and a Equipe Argent fireteam let by Jacques leading a Haris team to gun down the opposition.
The hidden SAS would take the eastern console, revealing the Server defended by the remaining Helot Militia, who were then promptly blown away by the Brigadier and his merry men. With the PanO right flank exposed, the hidden Scot Guard D-Charge expert would waltz 40" to the Server and blow the Rogue AI away in one shot.
It was finally time for the Code Capitol reinforcements to arrive: Shona Carano, a Blade-Ops Engineer, a Spitfire Bulleteer and a Neoterra Bolt w/ Boarding Shotgun and Drop Bears.
The main group had survived very well, but was not in a good position to score points. The backup Fusilier hacker was pushed up to the now safe and Vokolak-free left flank, revealing the furthest and most inconvenient objective as the Rogue AI server. The Knight of Montessa was pushed up, unable to kill the Wardriver. He would then go on to drive into the enemy lines and perhaps in a moment of bloodlust, became engaged with a Rokot. (It was definitely better to have just stayed out of LoF and gone for the server! I am dumb!).
Shona would waste an order cutting down a model who could have impeded the reinforce fireteam's advance. Although she would open the way, the Blade-Ops would subsequently be left with a single order left to D-Charge the correct server, but unable to kill it.
While Ariadna had managed to destroy a server, they were left with little materiel in which to engage in. Some token rolls were made, but ultimately the game shortly ended after the PanO turn 3.
With the Rogue AI destroyed, more servers destryed and their own Rogue AI secured and all servers intact, Ariadna score 9 points.
PanO have a single console activation for 1 point.
Score is 9-1 for Kosmoflot!
The Ariadnans had paid a dire price, special operators lost in transit, units cut down before they could engage properly. But they had done it: Coordinator Node 43-N's primary control software had been destroyed right before their very eyes. Through jammed radios and the high reaction speeds of their Helot allies, the Ariadnans had gritted their teeth and managed to destroy vital PanO allied shipping infrastructure.
The time was T-0.5 and the order to withdraw was forced on them, all they could do now was board the transports bound for Edda's beltways and stare at the wrecked docks. It hadn't just been them, Ariadna had shown its full might and the destruction they wrought on Okolnir was visible everywhere through the sand and wash.
Command would be furious at the futile loss of life and materiel with not much to show. But they knew, it didn't matter, this tiny VIRD unit would look back on this day and still proudly say every day of their life: they did the Right Thing.