APAGear II Archives Volume 4, Number 7 September, 2002


Desperate Maneuvers: Part 1

A Heavy Gear Design and Tactical Scenario

Dennis D. Kirkpatrick

Author's Note: This is the first installment in a small tactical campaign set on Utopia within the Earth-Steelgate Invasion of 475 UC. The second part is here and the third is here.

Rifleman Heavy APES

Following the surrender of Greenway to the Earth-Steelgate Alliance in the Summer of 475 UC, the first major battles occurred between the CEF-Steelgate forces and Kogland. These battles involved huge numbers of forces on both sides clashing in the high plateaus of the northwestern regions of the Sumer continent. However, Kogland, with its massive hordes of automatons and powerful command tanks, found itself quickly overrun by the CEF's combined-arms tactics. With most of their Command Tanks destroyed in the first weeks of these assaults, Kogland was faced with having to restructure their combat assets to compensate. Forced to move from attritional tactics that they had used in the past, Kogland began defending the mountainous regions still protecting Giza and Rhodes from the CEF's western front using smaller raiding parties and other maneuver tactics. A number of automaton and APES refits were soon deployed during those final six months to better equip the Kogland forces for this type of warfare.

One such refit was the Rifleman Heavy APES. Using the basic frame of the Man-at-Arms Heavy APES, Porel Heavy Industries reconfigured the APES to perform as a command and field support unit that was capable of long-extended missions in the mountainous regions, able to command Automaton forces while providing them needed field support. With nearly all the primary weapon systems removed, the APES was outfitted with a single handheld 56mm field gun equipped with a high-powered targeting scope. Awkward to carry, the field gun was outfitted with a bipod to allow the APES to better handle the heavy recoil. An armored ammo and fuel containment backpack replaced the "Organ Grinder" rocket pack, provide additional clips for the field gun and the needed fuel for extending the APES range.

The design was a quick and desperate fix and thus added new vulnerabilities that made the unit a poor frontline unit despite best efforts. However, in its sniper and Auto-command role, the unit performed admirably. In the final month of the war, Units of three Riflemen combined with a pair of extended-range Man-at-Arms APES that utilized a similar fuel backpack as the Rifleman were used to harass the CEF's flanks and supply lines. However, by that time, the inevitable was already certain to Kogland military commanders, the Industrial States of Kogland would soon fall.

Vehicle Specifications

Vehicle Specifications

                   Name: Rifleman (Kogland refit of the Man-at-Arms Heavy APES)
           Vehicle Type: Augmented Powered Environment Suit
        Production Type: Mass Production
                   Cost: 262,000 PUs
           Manufacturer: Porel Heavy Industries, Rhodes
                    Use: Field Support APES w/ Stealth
                 Height: 3.9 meters
                 Length: --
                  Width: 3.25 meters
   Avg. Armor Thickness: 17 mm
         Armor Material: Laminated ceralloy
    Standard Op. Weight: 2100 kg
  Primary Movement Mode: Walker (24 kph)
Secondary Movement Mode: Jump Jets (50 x 25 meters)
       Deployment Range: 300 km
           Sensor Range: 40 hexes/2 km
    Communication Range: 200 hexes/10 km
             Powerplant: Fuel Cells w/ Batteries
          Engine Output: 120 Hp


                Weapons: VLFG (F, 3 shells, bipod-equipped)
                         Spare VLFG Ammo Clip (2 clips of 3 shells each)
                         HHG (F, 3 grenades)
                         Chassis Reinforcement (F, +1 DM to punch attack)

        Perks and Flaws: Add High Capacity Computer
                         Add Sniper System (VLFG)
                         Add Stabilizer Mount (VLFG bipod attachment)
                         Add Ammo Storage
                         Add Hazardous Ammo/Fuel Storage
                         Add Unstable

                Changes: Deployment Range from 150km to 300km

Threat Value

  Modified Threat Value: 299	
              Offensive: 339		
              Defensive: 82
          Miscellaneous: 477	

Vehicle Availability

     Utopian Deployment: Very hard to find
  Individual Lemon Dice: 3

The Scenario Proper

Somewhere in the Aventine Mountains west of Giza, the 189th Kogland Highland Support Unit spots an encroaching CEF patrol. The 189th was enroute to a Kogland mountain firebase that had called for backup. The base is threatened by a heavy assault from CEF Scout and Strike Patrols that have broken through the base's outer garrison patrols. All Kogland Units in the area have been recalled to assist for fear that the patrols will discover the base's location. The 189th needs to quickly eliminate this CEF patrol and get back to assist the firebase or lose one of their support bases to the CEF.

Mission Conditions

Weather: Clear
Time of Day: Night (midnight)
Base Terrain: Broken mountainous terrain w/scattered radiation dust pits
Raiding Force: CEF 4th GREL Patrol, Delta Company, 698th Battle Group
Defending Force: Kogland 189th Highland Support Unit
Priority Points: 2
Raider Objectives: Neutralize Defending Units
Defender Objectives: Destroy all CEF forces

Specific Scenario Conditions

This battle takes place at midnight in the high, desert mountains of the Aventine Range. It is a calm, clear night, so there is no interference from the weather. Most of the terrain is mountainous, broken ground (Rough). Although, there are scattered areas of thick radioactive dust (Sand) in depressions. [Note: Dust pit radiation is minor enough (1/6 x 5 rads/hour) that it does not cause noticeable effect within the scope of the skirmish, but GMs can track it for RPG integrated play if desired.] Begin the scenario with the Kogland forces at one end of the map and the CEF forces at the other. As the Kogland forces first spotted the CEF patrol, the Kogland force chooses how to allocate their Priority Points first, followed by the CEF force. All Priority Assignments (see Raids and Raiders p.36) are available. The primary objective of the Kogland force is to destroy the CEF patrol as quickly as possible and move out to assist the nearby firebase. The primary objective of the CEF force is to capture or destroy any Kogland units in the area. Since this engagement takes place at night, all CEF infantry patrols are equipped with nightvision goggles.

Raiders' Victory Conditions

Conditions Victory Points
Each raider escaping 2
Each raider (armor) destroyed -1
Each defender disabled and captured 2
Each defender destroyed 1

Defenders' Victory Conditions

Conditions Victory Points
Each defender escaping 2
Each defender disabled -1
Each defender captured -2
Each raider (armor) destroyed 2
Each raider (infantry) destroyed 1

Kogland Forces

Kogland 189th Highland Support Unit

Total Threat Value: 3668

The 189th Highland Support Unit was formed only two months ago. Like other Rifleman-equipped Units, the 189th operates independently, performing reconnaissance hunter/killer missions against CEF patrols. The Unit is under the esteemed command of Armiger Captain Laurent Earnshaw, who pilots one of the Rifleman units. His combined skills in APES combat and Automaton command and leadership make him a respected officer to his Unit armigers and commanders alike. With over sixteen CEF Patrol kills under his command, CEF forces rarely get the chance to tell stories of their engagements with the 189th. Earnshaw doesn't believe in being merciful to a weakened or disabled enemy. As he is often quoted by his subordinates, "Dead men don't shoot you in the back."

CEF Forces

CEF 4th GREL Scout Patrol, Delta Company, 698th Battle Group "Groundhogs"

Total Threat Value: 4968

Within the Delta GREL-only Company of the 698th Battle Group "Groundhogs", the 4th is a Scout and Pacification Patrol used for eliminating the guerrilla threats from Kogland forces. Unremarkable compared to other GREL patrols, the 4th Patrol is commanded by the qualified Soldier Colfax-6412, a Jan-class GREL. Till the conflicts began in the Aventine Range, the 689th served as a garrison battle group at Deep City Ankara. They were just transferred to the Aventine Range following reassignment a month ago.

Back to APAGear II Archives

APAGear II Archives Volume 4, Number 7 September, 2002