Zari’s HUD buzzed and more red blips appeared on screen, as the living quarters’ security cameras picked up signs of the advancing EI.
The EI had taken their time asserting their dominance on the Tracking Station, but now it seemed they were out for blood, and preparing to pick off the weakest of the population who called the station home.
But the Barid also sensed a strategy behind the EI’s attack. The living quarters stationed under the satellite were the least secure, and for those with a talent for breaking into networks, offered an opportunity to crack the sattellite’s communication network and even take control of part of it.
Zari and her Hassassins were there to make sure it didn’t happen.
“Melek Reaction Group inbound – ETA 5 minutes.”
Zari just hoped her squad could hold out until then. She crouched down below her rooftop viewing platform and waited for the drop ship to come.
INITIATIVE AND DEPLOYMENT:
My opponent won the LT roll and elected to take first turm. In response, I chose sides and forced him to deploy first.
My opponent started by setting up a pure Core Unidron fire-team behind cover of a tall building, and followed up by placing Nourkias nearby. He then placed an Ikadron on a rooftop as an ARP piece (well, more a distraction), as well as one Q-Drone and the Monstrucker. He also had another piece in hidden deployment.
In reponse, I placed my Core Ghulam/Asawira fire team on a building in the centre of my deplloyment zone, with the Asawira acting as an ARO piece. I also place a Shujae behind cover on the groud floor to enable more ARO opportunities in the Centre of the board. I null deployed my Commlink Ghulam behind the building at the edge of my deployment zone, and my Lt Barid on a tall rooftop. I then placed 2 IMP-1 markers within small shotgun template of either antenna, before placing two camouflague markers watching either side of the board from the rooftops as well. I then placed another camouflague marker about 4 inches in from my delpoyment zone and waited for my opponent to act.
COMBINED ARMY TURN 1:
Having taken 2 orders away from him using a command token, my opponent then spent the next 4 orders trying to discover an eliminate one of my IMP-1 markers that I hadn't kept out of LoF from the Unidron fire-team, despite deploying second. It took three discover rolls for the fireteam to finally unveil the Fiday, but only one turn to wipe it out with a shot of plasma.
With one threat out the way, Nourkias then decided to Cybermask and make his way to the closest antenna.
On the other side, a Q-Drone decided to do the same, and narrowly avoided a rocket from a Daylami from the other side of the map. It continues to run for the other antenna and then comes face-to-face with the Daylami protecting that side of the map. It chooses to repay rocket-fire with Plasma, wiping out the Daylami and securing that flank.
Nourkias, meanwhile, tries to make its way to the second antenna, but is dicovered by the Daylami, before avoiding AP Spitfire rounds from an Asawira in ARO. The turn ends with Nourkias out of LoF of my units and camouflagued again thanks to Cybermask.
HAQQISLAM TURN 1:
My aim this turn is to get my Core Ghulam/Asawira team in prome position to repel the advancing EI.
As I move off the building they are stationed on, the Ikadron AROs with a flash pulse from the enemy's deployment zone, but fails to stun my Asawira. In response, I attempt to lob some Adhesive from my Monstrucker on the Ikadron, but he is instead stunned by the flash plulse. It's up to the Asawira to do the job instead, idling whilst his team moves on, and firing on the remote to prevent any more of the team being pinned down.
With one threat gone, the core team then moves on to the centre of the map, in the hope of getting near a communication antenna. But with CA units either overwatching an antenna on the left side, and surrounding the antenna on the right side next turn, I instead elect to send the fire team up a buulding and into a place where I can co-ordinate a suppressive fire order before the end of my turn.
It's then my opponent reveals his hidden-deployment Noctifer, who sends a missile my way, but fails to hit me. The Asawira fires in response, but only makes ONE hit with the Noctifer manages to save. The next several orders sees the Asawira and Noctifer exchange fire, with the dice choosing to grant victory to the Noctifer when he knocks the Asawira unconscious with subsequent rocket fire.
Meanwhile, Nourkias, who spots to fire-fight above him, uses his AROs to break camouflague and approach the building the fire-team are on.
As the turn ends, I use the regenration phase to try to revive the Asawira. But a failed PH roll sees it bleed out instead.
COMBINED ARMY TURN 2:
With the Asawira dead, Nourkias goes on a rampage, aiming to kill as much as it can in close combat.
He superjumps into CC with my Ghulam team, and proceeds to spend the next three orders killing them. He then superjumps across to my Shujae, and manages to take it down in CC as well. However, he is struck with adhesive from the Monstrucker and struggles to get out of bondage for the next two orders. He eventually breaks free and approaches the Monstrucker to get revenge.
In the meantime, the opponent's Monstrucker moves up with the Q-Drone to activate his second antenna, leaving him in a strong position for the final turn.
HAQQISLAM TURN 2:
Having lost more than 100 points, I call in my reinforcements. I have tunnel vision on Nourkias, and try to set him up behind his LoS and in cover, but fail to see the opponent's core fireteam and Noctifer situated in their rear upon deployment. A Sekban attempts to fire a boarding shotgun into Mourkias,. but only does 1 wound (out of three) before he is shot by a missible in blast mode and plasma fire, taking out the Djanbazan, Sekban and an Al'Hawwa. The seond Al'Hawwa responds with a Trinity hack, and manages to reduce Nourkias to zero wounds, with the opponent then triggering No Wound Incapacitation. Another missile from the Noctifer in ARO sees the Al'Hawwa go down.
I then move my remaining IMP-1 marker into position of the Unidrone fire team and reveal it to be another Fiday, before unloading 2 Blasting Shotgun Templates into the team. My opponent responds by firing all his weapons into me, wiping out the Fiday. But the templates end up taking out 3 of the five-man team, reducing his order pool for the final turn.
COMBINED ARMY FINAL TURN:
My opponents deployed his reinforcements in the Centre of the map, but with no resistance from anyone, they were able to move up to control the tech coffin.
A NWI Nourkias then made a dash for my Barid high-up on the building, and bounded up to get into CC with her. However, the Barid amanged to win the CC roll, driving her weapon deep into Nourkias' abdomen, killing him outright.
With little left to do to win the game, my opponent moved a Unidrone into control of the closest antenna, before moving his Q-Drone up the field to take out my remaining troops. To keep my opponent on his toes, I revealed my Farzan, dropping a mine behind him and then firing upon the Q-Drone. Sadly, none of the blows came to land, and the Drone managed to survive until the end of the turn.
HAQQISLAM FINAL TURN:
With few orders, and a desire to have at least one objective point, I decide to forfiet my final turn and have my remaining troops slink off the board quietly.
COMBINED ARMY WINS: 9-1
Zari's heart was still beating fast as she slinked through the shadows away from the sounds of the rampaging EI.
She thought she was done for when she saw the foul alien leap onto the rooftop and lash out with his glowing sword.
But somehow - maybe even by divine intervention - she had leapt out of the way of the blade in time, and found a perfect opportunity to strike her own knife into the beast's back. As the blade came down, the alien seemed to crumple under the weight of blade and hand, and fell lifeless on the rooftop.
That was when she made her escape, and willed her brothers and sisters who were still fighting to do the same.
The EI had won this battle, but Zari knew the forces of Haqqislam could still hold the rest of the station from the Combined Army menace.