Deep within the Kepler Verge lies the planet of Clobaka. A lesser known, and even lesser visited planet, Clobaka carries on nonetheless. They have had a stable government, even given their remoteness from the ruling body of Gaea Prime itself.
It may be this remoteness that caused Clobaka to become a target in the eyes of the Hishen, who are infamous across the galaxy for their ruthless slavery runs. After raiding nearby systems somewhat sporadically, the Hishen seemed content to settle down near Clobaka and slave-mine the planet for all it was worth.
Without hesitation, when a planet comes under any sort of extra planetary attack, a call is made out to defense forces in the system to assist. Clobaka on the other hand made no such calls, even after they discovered what was happening to large numbers of their citizens, even though their Planetary Defense Force found themselves often outmatched by the ruthless Hishen, no distress calls were made.
This remote swamp area on the steamy southern continent hides the remains of a downed Hishen surface-to-orbit craft (center) simmering in the morass. An ancient monolith, found by Clobaka's original colonists centuries ago, was clipped by the falling craft, smashing it in half. Large areas of ground became huge craters as pieces of the craft's engine exploded on impact. A Clobakan pumping station and water tower marks the only signs of civilization, its purpose to filter the mineral rich waters and irrigate nearby agricultural lands.
The cause of the crash remains unknown; planet side defense guns could have taken it from the sky, it could have been engine and mechanical trouble, or as it has been surmised, the Hishen became greedy and simply filled their cargo hold with too many slaves, weighing them down. No one knows for sure, but what is known is that on board the Hishen craft is an intact mainframe with a data component containing an incredible amount of invaluable information.
The Hishen are meticulous, and this data consists of every planet they've raided on this particular mission in the last six months, with times, dates, and locations of their slaving operations. Not only this, but most colonists and citizens are tagged with an ident-key, the Hishen data has all of this info as well; thousands of missing person names, their ident-keys, financial records, and the when and where they were enslaved is on the mainframe. Most importantly, the transaction of where each individual slave has been sent after being indoctrinated is on there as well. Planetary governors are waiting in line to get this information, connecting the dots to countless mysteries that have plagued the system.
Clobakan Planetary Defense Forces.
The Clobakan planetary government has recently cut off communication and traffic to even neighboring planets. Curiously enough, as reports of the downed Hishen craft managed to leak out, the Clobakan Council refused to help in the matter outright with recovering the data. In a terse statement they told fellow planets in no unclear terms that the wreckage, and whatever is recovered therein, belonged to Clobaka, and Clobaka only. A large recovery team has been sent in to the crash site consisting of PDF forces armed with the mass-produced lascarbine. A team of three Grath as well as a high ranking command squad round out the force. Initial visual scans suggest something is horribly amiss with the troopers.
The Kings of the Kilburn High.
It is a delicate diplomatic situation. Overt action is unheard of until further questions are answered given Clobaka's sudden shift in demeanor. The fact remains that the data on the downed craft is too important to let just one planet have however, so the Kilburn Kings were brought in. They are a free company of Mercs; Mercs with a solid reputation of getting the job done. Being a simple recovery mission, the Ceathairs would hit dirtside, and the exo-armored Big Tens would await in orbit, ready to airborne insert if needed. With superior training and equipment, the five-man squad didn't feel so overwhelmed.
Cat-and-mouse games are played around a piece of the broken monolith between PDF forces and a lone King. A second King would join in and PDF forces would eventually fall back to cover. Fire was exchanged and grenades were tossed, taking out a majority of PDF troops. The two Kings then fell back, while laying down suppressive fire to keep the remaining squad's heads down.
Dusk creeps in as PDF forces maneuver around the ample cover to attempt flanking King troops at the wreckage. Flannery, assault rifle running on empty, opts to hop into the wreckage to locate the mainframe. Next to him, Dalton unloads with his assault rifle on the flanking PDF troops, also running out of ammo. Lasbeams cutting through the air all around them.
Flannery slings his rifle and brandishes his multi-tool, removing the mainframe as quickly as possible, once he had the chip in hand, Flannery got back to the LZ as quickly as possible. Perhaps too quickly, running off leaving his allies behind. Dalton not having time to reload, also slings his rifle, draws his combat knife, and prepares to rush two PDF troops that have been knocked down, but are not yet out of the fight.
King troops shout taunting obscenities to duck backed PDF forces, brazenly walking out in the open, trying to gain a visual so they can throw more grenades. PDF troops wisely hunker down behind a storage shed, waiting for the right time to open fire with both lascarbine and LAW rocket.
Captain O'Shaughnessy left his custom OICW on board and took the closer ranged auto-shotgun dirtside, using it to devastating effect.
Run away! As Dalton dispatched a downed PDF trooper via coup de grâce, he was unaware of more approaching PDF. His hard body armor may have saved his life, but not his dignity as he fled...
There was more fluff to this 5150 battle report between Andy and myself than crunch, but it's been a while since we rolled dice in conjunction with figs, so I lavished some extra detail. It was a great game, and even though we were both incredibly rusty on the rules, they came easily enough and played with a fair amount of intuition and made for a quick paced battle. There was plenty of action, and I love the excitement that the rules bring with both sides firing on each other at any given time, it's like always playing with overwatch rules on. A few questions popped up along the way, which I contribute somewhat to a rulebook that requires a bit more work on the part of the player to decipher...at times. It also could've easily been contributed to how rusty Andy and I were with the rules as well. Quality of the troops, known as 'rep' in 5150, is a very important aspect that makes it's impact most known on the battlefield, and shows the biggest gaps if two separate forces have very different scores. For example, the Grath, which should have been a HUGE headache for me, simply ran off after receiving a few rounds of fire. Also, while I appreciate the realism of weapons vs. armors, there will be instances where your troops will have ZERO chance of wounding the enemy; such as firing a simple pistol at a power armored target.