Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bugs - Intro

It has been weeks since the bugs arrived. All over the planet, infestations have taken hold. In some isolated places, these were rooted out, but the local defence forces are insufficient to completely eradicate the invaders. Now, known infestations are cordoned in an attempt to prevent them from spreading while the human inhabitants wait anxiously for help from the Empire.

However, time is on the bug’s side. Deep in their burrows, they breed or spawn or whatever they do to create more and more of the voracious creatures. If help does not arrive soon, the numbers will be overwhelming and humanity will lose another planet to the swarm.

In hundreds of locations, small forces of defenders surround known infestation sites and try to hold back the occasional foray. Whether these assaults are probing attacks looking for weaknesses in the defences or whether they are designed to wear down the spirit and patience of the defenders is anyone’s guess. The hive mind is inscrutable.

Lieutenant Robinson and his platoon occupy one such defensive position in what was the city of Camlan. Nothing much remains but the bombed out ruins of once glorious gothic style stone and marble buildings. The area immediately in front of their position has been cleared as best it can to provide lines of sight for the defenders.

“Here they come!” shouted one of the soldiers in the observation post. Lieutenant Robinson turned to see dark shapes in the distance moving as if tumbling over the ruins towards them.

“Signal stand to” he instructed his comms operator, but he knew it was unnecessary. The squad sergeants would already be rousing the men and getting them into position. He heard the engines of his two FSVs (fire support vehicles) start up. Their twin heavy machine guns were in fact the main defensive line, with the soldiers of his platoon there to prevent the tanks from being overrun. His other key weapon systems were the three missile teams. These were the only weapons he had that were capable of taking down the larger alien monsters, but they were slow to fire.

Lt Robinson established his command post in the ruined shrine building. As this was the tallest building in the area, this gave him an excellent overview of the battlefield.

On the left flank, sergeant Autry’s squad was deployed in a ruined medical facility that the soldiers had christened ‘the lab’. In the centre, sergeant Bogart’s squad was deployed in a ruined chapel and sergeant Cagney’s squad was deployed on the right in the old archive. The final rifle squad, led by sergeant Douglas, was deployed behind Bogart’s men in a prepared defensive position in the park in front of the shrine building.

Between Autry and Bogart, the first FSV, commanded by corporal Clarke, was parked behind a sand bag emplacement. The second FSV, commanded by corporal Gable, was in a similar position between Bogart and Cagney. Sergeant Wayne and his rangers were deployed with Gable’s FSV as a week point in the line were some ruins quite close to the centre position and the extra firepower of his squad’s heavy laser rifles would help to keep the bugs from occupying those ruins.

Two missile teams, led by corporals Cooper and Grant, were also deployed near the FSVs to use the same cleared fire lines. The third team, corporal Stewart’s, was held in depth with Douglas’s squad.

The platoon’s medic, a nurse named Betty who had joined them after the initial fighting, was also stationed with sergeant Douglas’s squad. Platoon sergeant Flynn was also in this central position from where he could intervene if necessary.

[Rule: both lieutenant Robinson and sergeant Flynn can exercise command and re-activate subordinate units. LT Robinson can activate any squad or tank (but not the missile teams) via radio, while SGT Flynn can activate squads within 6” (including the missile teams) or the tanks by using the intercom at the rear of the vehicle.]

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