Shattergrounds

Infinity

Operation Magpie

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Ariadna
uberbranchez
VS PanOceania
Carlonius

Prologue

Colonel Kraznitsky sat in the loading back of the dropship as it approached the remote LZ. The land bay doors were open, the wind from the engines whipped the securing straps to the trucks around in a frenzy. Despite this, the sounds of the very unhappy bearpode in its containment cell, and the rattle sounds of the MAVs missile racks; he was still able to find some sort of piece. The view of Concilium Prima was magnificent from this elevation and location, undisturbed wilderness and ocean. Just over the horizon was their target, a research facility dubbed Xenos Facility 186. The colonels data pad lit up with an updated mission briefing

Start Briefing

This is a relatively straightforward mission: Assist with the evac of ariadnan civilians in Bhai and return them to Okolnir. Joint Command has identified this area as not having the sufficient amount of Haqqislam recovery teams to assist in the evacuation, as it is further out from the official city that other population centers.

The area happens to be a lab, when some Ariadnan scientist were attending a coop-program for the study of the Xenos Symbiont. This assembled team is smaller than we would have normally sent due to other commitments elsewhere in the theater. A handful of LAVs have been assigned to you, alongside a MAV to recover the science team. Two logistical trucks will be provided for material collection, though they may not be needed.

The dropship landed, strike team and monstrucker drivers dismount the dropship and mounted up the vehicles. They shoved off towards Bhai. A final message appeared on that datapad:

Just like with Edda, radio silence until you cross the red line. This should be in about 12 hours. Good luck, and happy hunting Colonel.

End Briefing

This was the longest infill the colonel has had, or at least ot felt like it. The dropships were some old tech from the Nomads, gifted to Ariadna as a goodwill gesture and definitely not just liquidating old stock. While the ride was much appreciated, he didn't appreciate how both the dropships and then these MAVs attempted to rattle the marrow from his bones. The convoy stopped periodically as local atmospheric craft would trigger the missile defense tracking on the MAV, to which a control override had to be used to prevent civilian loss. "Damn thing wants to commit a war crime all the time!"

While enroute to the site, new information was transmitted to the Colonels datapad:

Start Transmission

The science team you are going to exfiltrate from the science center is a joint team consisting of Ariadnan, Haqqislam, and a handful of PanOceanian scientists. Our orders for the recovery came from our Joint Command with Haqqislam representatives. That said, expect a potential PanOceanian team to try and exfiltrate the science team as well. Once they have been dispatched, load the team into the MAV and move out the LZ for the dropship. And try to keep the bear alive this time? It would be helpful to use during the interrogation of the PanOceanian scientists.

We will be radio silent until you reach Bhai. Radio in once youve met with theatre command and once your enroute to the facility and again once youre enroute to the exfil LZ.

Good luck comrades. For Dawn! And for Okolnir!

End Transmission

Kraznitsky let out another sigh. Saving more scientists. Lovely. And there might be PanOceanians nearby as well, even better. Forces of the HyperPower are fierce, but the colonel was sure they could be overcome with time. The team he was provided is decent for a firefight, should the landscape be on their side. The thoughts came racing through his mind again, both for the mission, and things not for the mission. He had just heard the news that his wife had given birth to his twin sons earlier than anticipated; thankfully she traveled with him to Concilium he supposed. And yet, while he should be with her, here he is enroute to a mission to save people at Bhai. Kraznitsky couldnt wait for this mission to be over and he could go hold his sons.

Pregame and Deployment

No HVTs, no classifieds, i believe i won the Lt roll-off and chose initiative. Ariadna ended up deploying first and going first. My Volkolak was my KeyOp, the Black Friar with MULTI-Rifle was the MO KeyOp.

Deployment

I had THE 5-man rokot/volkolak fireteam holding a building on my left flank (volkolak standing), polaris team further left, a wardriver and unknown ranger in the middle, and my reserve was the scots guard on the right flank in camo.

Kosmoflot Deployment
Military Orders Deployment

Turn 1: Symbiont Suckers Suck

The Polaris Controller, Rokot Paramedic, Rokot Lt, and Rokot FO all failed their checks and got symbiont-ed. The Volkolak, Unknown Ranger, Scots Guard, and Chainrifle Rokot all passed, but to my dismay.

I believe almost every Crozier, black Friar, and even the warcor got symbiont-ed turn 1. Only one who failed was the camo token.

Turn 1: Kosmoflot

To start, the scots guard moved up, avoiding some discovers to get a line on the Black Friar with Albedo, went to go fire a panzerfaust at him at decent range, but i stead got hit with the multi-rifle and died. Not a great start. The Unknown Ranger then moved up, took some shots at the warcor, to which islt dodged prone. Ranger moved a little further forward to do a pixel peak to shoot the Black Friar with heavy rocket launcher, and posthumously ate a rocket to the face and died. Fan-freaking-tastic. Theres like 70pts down the drain. Next attempt was playing games with the bearpode. Bearpode did plenty of move, smoke, more moving, more smoke, and eventually first a chainrifle burst at one of the Teutonic knights at the center building, causing him to take a wound, but the bear took one on the approach, so down to 1 wound. After the smoke was laid down to block LoS between the Teutonics w/ Panzaerfausts and the Volkolak, Volkolak and Black Friar w/ HRL began to trade shots. Volkolak won the day and evaporated the Black Friar; if he wasnt Immunity(Total), he would've been stunned by a critting FLash Pulse from the warcor off in the corner. Lost 70 points and only did 1 wound to a teutonic and killed a Black Friar, wonderful.. Awesome.

One picture is of the scots guard surprise shot on the black friar, and the other is what happened afterwards

The bear approach-ith
there was a ranger here before, it's unknown where he is now

Turn 1: Military Orders

Shenanigans are a foot. There's a bear in the middle of the table, with several rockets/panzerfausts, shotguns, etc. looking right down at him. You’d think they would've done it, but alas, it was the camo token that got the first order. It revealed to be a Dart, and the bear crapped it’s pants when it saw the Viral Tactical Bow. The bow crit, not what Smokey wanted to experience. I made 2 of the 3 saves. Smokey is down to Dogged, and rotates slightly to get the dart in his sight line. Dart did not like it, it moved back a bit and shot another viral arrow, to which the bearpode dodged (barely).

Dart vs the Bear

The Crosier with spitfire, (confident he wasnt in range of the chain rifle template), activated the fireteam, stood, and shot at the bear. Bear threw smoke, to which the smoke hit better than the spitfire shots.

Bear wants the Smoke

The Volkolak, not taking kindly to his bearpode friend being shot at, fired a missile in blast mode and knocked the crosier unconscious. Fireteam activated with another corsier (after the link was re-formed), and the paramedic attempted to medic the spitfire while prone. Spitfire died, guess the bandaid was put on backwards. The Lt Teutonic knight activated the team, moved around the rear building with some orders to get set to attack the bear. Lt shot double shot the panzerfaust while “tactically advancing to the rear” (Military Orders dont retreat), bear tried to dodge, bear dodged, sad noises were heard from the Teutonic. This saw the Black Friar/Teutonic team move. Well, during this move, the Black Friar stood up and the Volkolak said “Hey you! I see you!” and fired a missile. Black Friar broke from the fireteam to shoot the bear for his second half, while the 2x teutonics moved forward dodging. Bear tried to chain rifle the knight he had wounded earlier. Knight dodged accordingly. Black Friar shot the bear, killed it. Volkolak shot the Black Friar, killed it. The warcor durdled around a bit, not doing all that much with his order.

Volkolaks point of view. Top of his silhouette can see the top of his BARELY over the ramparts. Both player confirmed it, and one said it's still BS, haha!
End of turn moment for the bear staring down the teutonic knights

The warcor durdled around a bit, not doing all that much with his order. The Dart re-camo’d and went back under the stairs like the stair goblin it is.

Turn 2: Kosmoflot

Bear is down, Ranger down, scots guard down, time for the man bear volkolak and his crew of Rokots to do their thing. And with that, they decided to play a game of “how close can we get with this missile?” and they went for a stroll. During their afternoon cardio, the Dart would ARO a few times to dodge and place a deployable. Neat. The Volkolak eventually got LoS on the Warcor, and will probably be subject to another “Justice for Jacob” style protest, if they could identify who was even there that is. The team kept moving forward, eventually “slicing the pie” and dropping the non-wounded Teutonic Knight with a missile v panzerfaust trade off, to which the missile won. The volkolak was also able to pixel-peak the LT Teutonic, which attempted to dodge out of the way. Maybe he sneezed or something, but he did not make it out of the way of the missiles. LT down. Volkolak stood there overlooking the MO deployment zone looking for further targets to give an explosive hello to. The Rokots took up defensive positions behind what cover the could behind the building, still within shouting distance of the Volkolak.

Turn 2: Military Orders

With what orders left, the crosiers tried to take on the volkolak, to which the volkolak won the engagements where missile faced off against combi rifles. I think one of the crosiers actually won a face to face, but with Arm 9 in cover thanks to the symbiont, the volkolak made the save. The last Teutonic moved up and tried to engage the volkolak, to which point-blank missiles still hit on hit mode and removed him. The dart then moved up with it’s Viral bow, took a shot, i tried to ARO back and rolled too low and too high. The box hit JUST right. And he failed a BTS save, and dropped to NWI. Volkolak stayed standing (my bad). Another shot (final order from a command token, thanks ITS15!), another failed missile ARO bow hit with a Crit(!), and then two failed BTS saves (double 1s at that!). Volkolak goes down, fireteam broken. Military Orders, having seen the casualties around and lack of available medics, opted to withdrawal.

The volkolaks saves! Or rather, save dice! terrible, but he def earned his 40 points back!

End of Game

Kosmoflot Key Ops (Volkolak) removed a LOT more than the Military Orders Key Ops (Black Friar with MULTI-Rifle). End of Game VPs were Ariadna with 61 and MO with 41. Ariadna killed the MO LT and KeyOps, while MO killed the Ariadnan Key Ops.

Result: Ariadnan Victory 10 to 1

Epilogue

Begin Transmission
--- Operational Report ---

The gunfight was intense, or that what it sounded like inside the MAV and from what the lite-surveillance was showing the engagement unfold. We saw some very clear tactical errors made early on by the camo specialist and the ranger, which saw them both collapse in the opening seconds of the firefight. The Volkolak looked overwhelmed at first, just standing there watching his comrade fall. The bear broke the momentary silence by rushing forward into the fray, slinging it’s supply of smoke grenades and spinning up the chain rifle at a PanO operative. As soon as the bear got hit, the Volkolak woke up from his trance, and began firing his explosives with extreme prejudice. He was also reloading the missile launcher extremely quick, the drone circled behind the central tree when the reloading was happening, and Kraznitsky could be convinced that instead of reloading the missile launcher, the rokots around him were just handing him new ones. The bear eventually fell from concentrated fire, but the volkolak just kept on firing at anything that moved. After essentially clearing one of the flanks, he ordered his team to flank to the right, with the hacker and the bearpode controller staying behind. Further explosions sounded, the volkolak’s pulse signature flatlined on the team monitor, and footage from the drone indicated withdrawing PanOceanian forces.

This was only a brief lull in the engagement, as that many explosions were sure to attract further enemy forces. The rokots burst open the doors to the lecture hall, where all the scientists ended up being and began moving them toward the enclosed transport vehicles. Meanwhile the drivers were collecting bodies and equipment where possible. Bodies and what little removable scientific data were stored on the logistic trucks for transport; the symbiont in the area was not able to be captured by our team. Drone footage showed the PanOceanian retaliation force incoming a few kilometers out. The team exfiltrated to the LZ and awaited the drop ship.

--- End Operational Report---
End Transmission

Kraznitsky sent the report while on the dropship. The bodies were successfully recovered, along with a bonus of valuable data from the research facility, various physical records and harddrives were recovered before PanOceanian operatives could gather the data remotely, or so we had hoped. Kraznitsky was a ground pounder, not a techie. All he did was grab harddrives, place them into a tote, and moved on.

All of the scientists on the manifest were acquired; surely Ariadnan command, alongside our Haqqislamite allies will be pleased with this. We even captured a handful of PanOceanian scientists who capitulated to our orders quite well. They’re smart to do so, those rokots are less than pleased with the casualties that were taken, and taking the lives of some scientists would slake their bloodlust, albeit get a few drinks into ‘em and they relax a bit more.

Our ship took some incoming fire from PanOceanian batteries while coming back in to land on our LZ. Looks like PanOceanian activity has picked up around Okolnir. Thankfully our ship is a glorified generic-looking freighter and the shots were not inherently aimed our way. Our landing and transit back to local command was uneventful. The scientists were delivered to the interrogation unit, they’ll handle their transit elsewhere from there. Scientific data and evidence were provided to our science specialists, and they’ll go from there. Bodies dropped at the morgue. Surviving team members were given liberty.

I got my cup of coffee from the “R&R” room and went to my little broom closet to finish my report and check for further communications that I did not get while on my mission, just a lot of chatter and potential mission plans for when I return from leave. This is when I learned that my leave request was approved, albeit it was shortened to only a few days instead of the few weeks I had requested beforehand. Guess this Quantum Anomaly crisis takes priority, shocker. I'm just happy to go see my kids.

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