Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Surveying the field. Part 1 of the battle for Hooke's World

Hooke's World has long been considered inconsequential, scarce in precious raw materials and quite inhospitable by human standards.

That was until a recent survey of the polar badlands.

Omni-corp miners, hired by New Imperial Japan (holders of the deed to the planet) found deposits of osmium, plutonium and a host of transuranic elements.

Suffice to say, Hooke's world was no longer inconsequential.

The USS, United Strike Systems was formerly the holder of the deed, and felt they were owed a certain part of the wealth discovered due to some contractual fine print. Obviously the Imperials dissagreed. While the Unity courts in the core worlds argue the merits of each side of the conflict, out on the fringe the parties were not content to wait, knowing they might stand to lose a considerable amount no matter what the courts decided.

The USS high command authorized a strike force to probe the planetary defences, while the Imperial army on Hooke's World were put on high alert..

The USS recon team had their orders; find and extract as much information about the imperial defences as they could, then disengage and join up with the main force. The site chosen was a small comms outpost in the badlands, since it is connected to the rest of the enemy comnet but less guarded than the city.

Two recon elements, three light mechs and two light cavalry elements led by a light cav CHQ makes up the USS recon force. They also have fire support from a orbiting spacecraft (counts as armored artillery, but can't deploy on the table). All the structures belonging to the NIJA can be searched for intel, each is worth 2 vp for the USS.

Guarding the site is a heavy "Katana"-class mech which is also the commander, a "Specter"-class medium mech, two light mechs, two light cav elements, one heavy cav and three elements of light infantry.

Coming out of nowhere, one of the recon elements quickly scan the defensive bunkers in the center of the battlefield.

Almost as quick, an imperial light armor has the recon in it's sight. Autocannon rounds slam into the recon unit, destroying what little offensive power they have.

One of the USS Dagger light mechs take cover behind the rock pillar..

..But is quickly targeted by some rockets from the NIJA Spectre mech.

Another Dagger moves up the left flank, it's cannon smashing pieces off the opposing NIJA Dagger mech.

Stepping out from behind the rocky hill, the Katana mech levels it's particle cannons at the USS light across from it. The staggered twin blasts blow the light mech to scrap!

Speeding around the heavy mech, the NIJA heavy tank fires it's main gun at the light cav that peeks out across from him. The armor rings like a bell when the round strikes it, damaging the tracks slightly.

The second recon element appears on the left flank, right next to the garage. Calling in a fire mission on the close-by Spectre, the kinetic strike manages to damage every system on the mech!

As soon as the recon unit turned up on sensors, the NIJA yumi-class light mech was striding towards it, cannons booming. Both the recon units firepower and locomotion is compromised by the incoming fire.

Start of the second turn. So far only one location has been scouted, and the USS have lost a mech to enemy fire.

In an attempt to take some heat off the recon unit, a USS light armor attacks the Yumi mech..

..Only to be trampled into a wreck by the warmachine. The mech doesn't escape unharmed either, receiving severe damage to it's weapon systems as well as it's armour.

Sneaking up on the NIJA light armor, the last USS Dagger mech fire into the rear of it's enemy while it keeps firing on the beleaguered recon unit.

Seeing their window of opportunity closing, the crew of the light armor on the left flank makes a break for it, braving the fire of the combined guards to scan the barracks.

A final burst from the mech's autocannon touches off the magazines of the imperial armor, blowing it sky high.

Seconds later the missile alerts goes off inside the mech, as the Spectre launches another flight of missiles at the Dagger.

As the recon element starts falling back, the second light armor is hot on his heels, blowing chunks out of his armor. At the same time, the USS CHQ manage to damage the skirts of the imperial hover armor.

Never standing a chance, the last USS light armor goes down in flames as more shells slam into it from the heavy tanks cannon.

Start of the third turn, the USS falling is back, having managed to scan the garage in the bottom right in the final parts of last turn. With 3 out of 4 objectives scanned, the commander decides they have all they will be able to get and order withdrawal.

Having effected some repairs, the second recon unit calls down more fire on the already damaged Spectre, finishing it off before the last of the sonic booms can be heard.

Finally succumbing to the enemy fire, the first recon element is destroyed.

Taking revenge on the damaged imperial light armor, the Dagger mech blow up the enemy unit with a blast of plasma.

While not completely destroyed, the second recon element is rendered ineffective by the Yumi's last attack.

At this point the rest of the USS contingent have fallen back far enough to be out of danger, and the NIJA doesn't pursue, they have aerospace assets for that.

At the end of the battle the USS have scored 12 vp; 6vp for the 3 objectives, 2vp for the Spectre mech and 4vp for the two light cav elements destroyed.

The NIJA scored 11 vp; 2vp for the objective denied the enemy, 4vp for the two light cav, another 4vp for the two recon elements and 1vp for the Dagger mech.

A close game, the USS winning by the smallest of margins!

Each side starts this campaign with 100 Presence each, and after this battle they are down to USS 91 and NIJA 94.

With the intel paid for in blood and steel, the USS will be planning a major strike against the city, one of the most important sites between them and the mining complexes.

Til next time!


  1. Table looks great and the shadows from the sunlight added a lot of atmosphere, even if it wasn't intentional :)

    1. Cheers Ivan. The light was most unintentional, but lesson learned for next time ;)

  2. Great report. I'm guessing you're using Horizon Wars with a home brewed victory system?

    1. Thank you Robey, glad you liked it.

      It is as you say, I like tinkering with scenarios so home brew victory conditions and the like is often needed to fit the narrative I have planned. The ones in the HW book is great for pick-up games though!

  3. Smashing stuff Alexander another great report :-)

    1. Thanks Yoshimi, in a few days I should have the next one ready for you :)