APAGear II Archives Volume 4, Number 8 October, 2002


Desperate Maneuvers: Part 2

Dennis D. Kirkpatrick

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

Light Assault Automaton (LAA)

With the aggressive push by the CEF on Kogland, the Industrial States found that their frontline Autos were marginally effective in taking on the CEF's faster and more heavily armored hovertanks. At first, the Polemarches moved their heavier combat Autos onto the frontlines, but losses over the following weeks strained the Kogland rearguard. Kogland's forces were getting spread too thin to compensate. It was clear that another alternative was needed to supplement the frontlines, a field kit for the lighter Auto frames more capable of holding the frontlines against the CEF's hovertanks.

Scarab NAI Engineering and Manufacturing was soon after tasked with creating the Auto refit but had only four weeks to begin deploying the solution. Relying on off-the-shelf components, Scarab was able to distribute a field kit in two weeks. Within the following month, Kogland forces were supplemented with the refitted Autos, giving them a much-needed edge. The refit was instrumental in slowing the CEF advance on the Aventine Range as Polemarches instigated a bold flanking maneuver against the own CEF's rearguard in the canyons of Kesh, east of the ruins of Deep City Troy. The stratagem cost the Polemarches an entire Regiment, but it afforded them the time they needed to entrench their forces into the Aventine Range.

The field kit upgrades the Auto's 52mm rocket packs with more powerful 72mm rockets, giving the Auto a harder punch at greater range. The "head"-mounted anti-personnel grenade launcher was dropped to make room for a modified 45mm rapid fire bazooka based on the handheld weapon used by Man-at-War Commando APES. Also, to give the Auto better armor protection against the heavier HT-68, the armored "head" was reinforced with thicker HEAT resistant armor. The new "head" also provided protection for the otherwise vulnerable top-mounted bazooka. However, it did make the Auto suitably heavier, taxing the Auto's drive systems at high speeds.

Vehicle Specifications

Vehicle Specifications

                  Code Name: LAA (Kogland refit of the Light Combat Automaton)
            Production Code: n/a
            Production Type: Mass Production w/ Field Modification
                       Cost: 568,000 PU
               Manufacturer: Scarab NAI Engineering and Manufacturing, Giza
                        Use: Assault Automaton
                     Height: 4.5 meters
                      Width: 5.25 meters
    Average Armor Thickness: 45mm
             Armor Material: Laminated ceralloy
Standard operational weight: 7400 kg
      Primary Movement Mode: Walker (42 kph)
    Secondary Movement Mode: None
           Deployment Range: 300 km
               Sensor Range: 40 hexes/2 km
       Communications Range: 200 hexes/50 km
                 Powerplant: Fuel Cells w/ Batteries
                     Output: 290 Hp


                    Weapons: RFB (T, 60 rockets)
                             FGC (F, 20 shots)
                             MRP/36 (F, 36 rockets)

            Perks and Flaws: Add Reinforced Armor (Front, R2)
                             Add HEAT Resistant Armor (R4)
                             Add Overheating
                             Add Fuel Inefficient (R1)

                    Changes: None

Threat Value

      Modified Threat Value: 853     
                  Offensive: 1300            
                  Defensive: 230
              Miscellaneous: 1030    

Vehicle Availability

         Utopian Deployment: Uncommon
      Individual Lemon Dice: 3

"Oasis" Support Transport (OST)

The "Oasis" all-terrain vehicle, while used extensively for exploration and wasteland patrol, has also served Utopian militaries as an effective armored transport. Providing safe transport for ground troops and mobile medical facilities for any injured. With a vast wasteland territory to patrol, Kogland forces make extensive use of a specialized Oasis Transport, modifying it to serve as a mobile support base and arming it with field support weapons. Mounting a turreted, pair of 82mm rocket packs and smaller antipersonnel weapons along the front and back of the vehicle for protection from infantry and light armor units, an OST-equipped Unit is able to patrol a much larger territory than otherwise capable with the added benefit of fire support.

Vehicle Specifications

Vehicle Specifications

                  Code Name: OST (Kogland upgrade of the Wasteland Oasis)
            Production Code: n/a
            Production Type: Mass Production
                       Cost: 670,000 PU
               Manufacturer: Various
                        Use: Field Support Transport
                     Length: 7.5 meters
                     Height: 5.25 meters
    Average Armor Thickness: 45mm
             Armor Material: Laminated ceralloy
Standard operational weight: 7500 kg
      Primary Movement Mode: Ground (72 kph)
    Secondary Movement Mode: None
           Deployment Range: 700 km
               Sensor Range: 40 hexes/2 km
       Communications Range: 200 hexes/10 km
                 Powerplant: Fuel Cells w/ Electric Drives
                     Output: 350 Hp


                    Weapons: 2 x HRP/24 (T, 20 rockets each)
                             2 x APGL (F/B, 20 grenades each)

            Perks and Flaws: Add HEAT Resistant Armor (R4)
                             Add Laboratory (R1, Leadership)
                             Add Trideo Link-Up
                             Add Weak Underbelly

                    Changes: Passenger Accommodations to Passenger Seating (20 troops)
                             Armor from 6 to 15
                             Sensors from -2/2km to -1/2km
                             Communications from -2/10km to -1/10km
                             Fire Control from -5 to -1

Threat Value

      Modified Threat Value: 845     
                  Offensive: 1132            
                  Defensive: 231
              Miscellaneous: 1173    

Vehicle Availability

         Utopian Deployment: Common
      Individual Lemon Dice: 3

The Scenario Proper

Somewhere in the Aventine Mountains west of Giza, a Kogland firebase is threatened by a heavy assault from CEF Scout and Strike Patrols that have broken through the base's, outer garrison patrols. Two CEF patrols have penetrated the secondary perimeter to the south of the base. Preparations are underway to move the firebase to a safer location, but the base personnel need more time to evacuate important supplies and scuttle the base. The Kogland 1234th Light Assault Unit and the 1251st Fireman Unit Highland Support Unit are currently in route to delay and destroy the two patrols before they get too close.

Mission Conditions

Weather: Dust Storm
Time of Day: Morning (Early Dawn)
Base Terrain: Broken Mountainous Terrain w/ scattered dust pits
Raiding Force: CEF 1st and 2nd Patrols, Beta Company, 698th Battle Group "Groundhogs"
Defending Force: Kogland 1234th Light Assault Unit and the 1251st Fireman Unit
Priority Points: 2
Raider Objectives: Neutralize Defending Units
Defender Objectives: Destroy all CEF forces before any armor unit can exit the board from the northern side of the battlefield.

Specific Scenario Conditions

This battle takes place at early dawn in the high, desert mountains of the Aventine Range. There is a dust storm kicking up, creating 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 (Northern) and the CEF forces at the other (South). As the CEF patrol is on guard for Kogland forces, roll initiative for who can allocate their Priority Assignment first. The Kogland forces suffer a -1 on their roll due to inadequacies within their high command. All Priority Assignments (see Raids and Raiders p.36) are available to both forces. The primary objective of the Kogland force is to destroy the CEF force at all costs, preventing the CEF from passing them. The primary objective of the CEF force is to capture or destroy any Kogland units in the area.

Raiders' Victory Conditions

Conditions Victory Points
Each Raider (armor) that exits the Northern edge 4
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 or destroyed -2
Each raider (armor) destroyed 2
Each raider (infantry) destroyed 1

Kogland Forces

Kogland 64th Company "Desert Phalanx"

1234th Light Assault Unit "Lone Armigers"

1251st Fireman Unit "Fire Dancers"

5201st Anti-Armor Specialists Infantry Unit "Jumping Toads"

5289th Field Specialists Infantry Unit "Dust Devils"

Total Threat Value: 8320

* All Utopian Heavy Flak suits offer 10 rad/hour protection.

The 1234th Light Assault Unit and the 1251st Fireman Unit are part of the 64th Company "Desert Phalanx", once an "Auto Units"-only Company. The severe losses in the Earth-Steelgate Invasion and a change to mountain guerilla tactics have forced the Desert Phalanx to take on infantry specialists. This has taxed the commanding officers who are uncomfortable with commanding human troops. Autos are generally expendable, but human lives are a different matter. Still, Polemarch Kazou Luong has been instrumental in helping integrate the different forces by having a direct hand in bringing the Unit forces together. A motivational leader and an expert strategist in mountain and highland tactics, she is an inspiration to those who have served under her. Still, despite her expertise; the command staff will hesitate on command decisions sometimes, costing lives. Fortunately, this hasn't hurt the Desert Planx's moral, as yet.

CEF Forces

CEF 698th Battle Group "Groundhogs"

Beta Company, 1st Patrol

Beta Company, 2nd Patrol

Total Threat Value: 23211

The 1st and 2nd Patrols of Beta Company within 698th Battle Group "Groundhogs" are GREL-only patrols. Both patrols serve as assault patrols, quickly moving into an area and suppressing opposition. Commanded by two veteran Jan-class GRELs, Soldier Colfax-5987 and Colfax-7123, the two patrols have taken the conflicts in the Aventine Range as opportunities to prove the GroundHog's worth over the last few short months. Both commanding officers push their troops hard but keep troop moral at the forefront of their command initiative, using their shared Jerusalemite faith to help enhance their charisma among their troops. As both commanding Jan officers have stated together on more than one occasion, "Strength lies not in the arm, the leg, or even the hand, alone these fail. It is in the concerted effort of all parts of the body that victory is achieved."

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APAGear II Archives Volume 4, Number 8 October, 2002