APAGear II Archives Volume 3, Number 3 April, 2001


White Sands of Mercy

An RPG/Tactical Scenario for Heavy Gear

Part Two: Confrontation!

Dennis D. Kirkpatrick

Author's Note: This is the second sequence for White Sands of Mercy. You will find the introduction and first sequence in Volume 2, Number 9.

3.0 Sequence 2: Confrontation!

You and your squadmates are being dropped at the edge of the current major sandstorm over the Karaq Desert approximately 240 km from your target. High winds prevent the Hammer shuttle from performing a landing on the drop-off; instead you will have to execute a low altitude parasail drop at 500 meters. Once on the ground, you will need to move south toward the isolated oasis tower underneath the storm. Your trajectory should take you past the downed Orcas. You are to look for survivors and transport them with you to the tower. You have been warned to avoid contact with MICLIA forces, steering clear of them if necessary. The chance of encountering white sand is a distinct possibility, so the shorter length of time you spend traversing toward the oasis tower, the better.

Mission Sequence

[GM may read this verbatim or improvise.]

The hull of the Hammer Assault Shuttle shook and bumped as it descended into the edge of the storm. You could feel the craft creak and rattle as the aerodynamic strain of shearing winds lifted the shuttle only to drop it a second later. You held your stomach, hoping that dinner would stay put.

There were several gear squads lined up for drop off, however your group is scheduled first. As you look over the mission notes on the datapad, you reflect on the purpose of this mission. You are being dropped into hostile territory, in the middle of the night. Your worst fears being dependent on the severity of the storm that seemed determined to shake your courage right out of you.

"Feeling OK?" a voice shouted above the noise. "Ah, this is nothing." You and your squadmates looked up at the jumpmaster as he continued. "Just a week ago we were over the Pacifica Range when a big thermal funnel opened up under a giant thunderhead. Man, we flew straight up over 3500 meters before we dropped 3000 meters only 20 seconds later, spinning sideways the whole way. Woo, you want to talk about a mess. There wasn't a gear boy onboard that didn't let loose. The cleaning crew had to scrub the hangar down all--"

"This is the navigator," a voice boomed over the comm. "We are nearing the first drop point. [Insert PC's squadron callsign here], we are nearing your drop point. Squad leader, get your team ready for drop in seven. Good luck."

"You heard the man," the jumpmaster reaffirms. "It's time to gear up. Let's move, only seven to go."

GM Notes

This scenario tests the ability of the PCs to play the role of the mouse in a cat and mouse game against an MILICIA patrol. Early on in the scenario, the PCs should notice a nearby MILICIA patrol. At this point, the GM will have to take the role of the MILICIA patrol, rolling random detection rolls against the role playing of the players. (i.e. Are the players using the dunes to keep a low radar profile? If so, then add concealment to their defensive rolls. If the players are just trouncing up and down the dunes, then you should subtract concealment from their defensive rolls.) Despite this, it is ultimately up to the GM if he wants the MILICIA to entrap or just stumble onto the PCs. A smart team of players will be rolling detection rolls while advancing. Either way, the PCs should know that someone has detected them and is following through their own declared radar detection rolls.

If the PCs confront (or are confronted by) the MILICIA patrol, they should automatically notice that they are likely out-classed, suggesting to them that they attempt negotiating themselves out of the confrontation rather than fight. The GM should roleplay the MILICIA patrol to emphasize this point. There are possible complications and side stories suggested below for the GM's use. Whether the PCs are forced to escape from the MILICIA or are permitted to continue their mission, they need to get past the MILICIA patrol before reaching the downed Orcas.

The PCs should not intentional tell the MILICIA patrol about their mission. If the players do tell the MILICIA about their mission, then the GM, playing the MILICIA squadron leader, should pretend to not be interested in the information. At this point, all negotiations should appear to go the PCs way automatically, allowing them to continue on their mission. The GM should save this blunder for a later sequence, storing it away to haunt the PCs later in the campaign.


The players will have to avoid a persistent MILICIA gear patrol that is tracking the squad into the storm from their drop point. The players will complete this sequence when they find the downed Orcas, having escaped from the MILICIA patrol.

Terrain and Setting

The terrain setting is rolling sand dunes with a sandstorm in full gale. Visibility is poor. Sound detection is useless in the high winds. Lidar is ineffective at long range. Radar is only slightly better, barely giving you a 500-meter lead on the HUD scope. Sound detection is useless in the high winds.

All weather modifiers and associated detection rules apply from Heavy Gear Rulebook 2nd Edition.



1 x Chieftain (lvl 3) - Squadron Leader
1 x Warrior (lvl 3)
3 x Warrior (lvl 2)*


1 x Jager Command (lvl 3) - Squadron Leader
2 x Iguana (lvl 3)
2 x Jager (lvl 2)

All HGs equipped with a single Vibroblade and six HG hand-grenades of PCs choice.

Standard equipment assigned to each pilot: Light flak suit, Desert suit, 9mm pistol w/ 2 extra clips, Throat/ear communication set, First Aid kit, Memcompass, Binoculars, Water Condenser

*Gear is carrying approximately 400kg of medical supplies and field rations.

Potential Complications or Side Stories

High winds and limited visibility give a -1 to all piloting rolls for landing from airdrop. A resulting failure in piloting check is one step worse on damage to the movement hydraulics or SMS. Roll a six-sided die using fifty-fifty odds to determine which system is damaged.

Gusts of white sand are blown into the gear's joints. GM should roll a single six-sided dice. On a two or less, +1 damage to gear's armor and roll on systems damage table, rolling Crew results in no ill systems effects.

During conversation with the commander of the MILICIA Patrol, one of the MILICIA Jagers "accidentally" releases a short burst that impacts around one of the player's gears. All negotiation, persuasion and psyche rolls are now at -2 as tensions escalate. Nearest targeted player must make an automatic psyche roll with the -2 to see if he/she fires back in a panic.

One of the squadmates recognizes the voice of the MILICIA squad commander over the comm. This provides a +1 to all negotiation and persuasion rolls. GM should tie in any applicable PC bio information to accommodate this personal connection.

[Next sequence: Rescue and Discovery]

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APAGear II Archives Volume 3, Number 3 April, 2001