Saturday Seed ~ 98 (A Time of War)
This week’s seed is for A Time of War. It is a short mission best used as a complication in the midst of a larger problem, although it can run independently. It can include action from the individual level up to mech level.
A squad on a significant mission gets ambushed upon arrival at their drop zone and calls in requesting aid as casualties mount.
Planting the Seed
The characters are preparing for a sortie of their own when the emergency call comes in. It would be best if those requesting rescue are close to the characters, but if that opportunity does not exist, playing on unit loyalty, hatred of the enemy, or even simple orders can suffice to get the ball rolling. The characters will have to deal with how to accomplish their mission and the rescue mission as their own mission can only be delayed a short time, not scrubbed nor passed off to another crew.
The drop zone is at a small spaceport with extensive storage facilities nearby. The main purpose of this spaceport is lifting ammunition off-world. Needless to say, the environs of the spaceport are deserted, and other traffic is restricted. The squad was sent in to negotiate for supplies of ammunition before they could be shipped off-world or secured by the enemy. If no agreement could be reached, the squad was to destroy the ammo dumps and make their escape overland to a designated pick-up point for extraction.
Upon arrival at the spaceport the squad came under organized fire from ambush, and their transport was disabled, then set ablaze. Caught in a cross fire between two snipers, with two enemy APCs approaching and a Scorpion Light Tank approaching in the distance, the squad had to act fast. Separated into two groups and under an initial wave of heavy fire, the group took up defensive positions. One portion of them in the burning transport, and the other taking a defensive position in the fortified control tower (a heavy building) near it. The divided squad is doing their best to use their limited equipment to hold off a superior force. The contingent in the transport has access to heavy weapons provided should their negotiations fail. The contingent in the tower has demolitions equipment and personal weapons.
The squad in the tower has discovered access tunnels to the supply warehouses around the landing pads, and can replenish their ammunition providing the enemy force does not discover the same tunnels.
The control tower occupies a choke point in the design of the spaceport, requiring the enemy forces to pass a reinforced wall or enter through a gate house in order to gain access to the warehouse section. No cover is available for attacking forces, but they are prepared to make the assault.
What is going on
The PCs are to be dropped into the middle of the fray with little time to prepare or do much more than review the map of the area. They are tasked with rescuing the trapped squads, destroying or driving off the enemy forces, looting then destroying the munitions dump, and then pressing on with their own mission. They will be given a lot of latitude in accomplishing this.
The enemy troops were tipped off by port authorities on the take, most of whom fled the scene when the shooting started. The enemy troops are at the low-end of the ability scale, and are little more than raw recruits with poorly maintained gear and low morale. At first, they will be riding on a wave of bravado as they press down on what they see as easy pickings, but the concerted resistance put up by the squad, despite the cruel attacks of the snipers and the visibly superior forces arrayed against will slowly begin to have an effect. If the PCs are dropped in with mechs, their morale will break almost immediately, and they will further complicate things by opting for surrender. Their numbers are large enough to make this a very daunting and annoying proposition.
If their morale breaks under the normal course of battle, they will break and run in directions of convenience for them, but will be rounded up by their own forces and show up as the front line of a more disciplined force later in the scenario, as dramatically appropriate.
The focus of the exercise is giving your players the chance to drop in to someone`s rescue, and get to make some hard decisions about how to do it, and how much time to spend on each aspect of the mission.
Mission details are intentionally left vague here to facilitate ease of translation of this seed into your personal campaigns.