Scenario 11: A Samurai's Death
During the previous Luthien Scenario, Coordinator Takashi Kurita’s choler overwhelmed him and he led his Dragon’s Claws unit in a suicidal charge. The initial shock of the assault carried the unit through any immediate Nova Cat resistance, but they soon found themselves well beyond friendly supply lines or fire support. Knowing that they were surrounded, Takashi ordered his men to make their stand on the outskirts of LAW city. The Mech’s under his command hid between the abandoned towers and prepared to meet eternity. Shin Yodama, piloting his battered Phoenix Hawk, knew that he had failed in his duty to his friend Theodore. He resolved to take as many invaders down with him as possible, blotting out the stain on his honour with Clanner blood. The leading edge of the Smoke Jaguar assault tracked the Dragon’s Claws movement into the city and sent a hunting cadre to eliminate them. The resulting battle would echo in eternity.
The Draconis forces were represented by the surviving Mechs from the previous scenario: Takashi Kurita in his Grand Dragon (essentially undamaged), Shin Yodama in his Phoenix Hawk (heavily damaged and missing an arm), a Hatamato-Chi (Zombie-Chi!) and a Hatchetman (essentially undamaged). These Mechs would receive a -2 bonus to physical attacks and a +1 penalty to ranged attacks. They would also receive bonus points for enemies taken out with physical attacks and for not surviving the battle. They started the game hidden anywhere on the map.
The Clan force was a collection of Smoke Jaguars’ finest, an Ebon Jaguar Primary (represented by a Nova), Huntsman Primary (represented by a Hellbringer C) and a Shadowcat Primary (represented by a Kitfox). The Huntsman, with its Beagle Active Probe, would be handy for smoking out the hidden Draconis Mechs. Along with the other jump capable Mech, the Shadowcat, it could jump from alleyway to alleyway and even scale buildings. The Ebon Jaguar was just there to soak up fire and sling out gauss shots. Knowing the damage some of those Mechs had sustained in the previous battle, I was confident that it would not take too many gauss shots to cut down the opposition.
The game opened in fairly spectacular fashion, with the Zombie-chi being destroyed by the first shot to touch it, an ER Medium laser fired by the Ebon Jaguar. Shin Yodama had a pretty bad time as well, taking a gauss shot that holed his Phoenix Hawk’s centre torso completely. That left a plucky Hatchetman and the Coordinator in his Grand Dragon to preserve the honour of the Draconis Combine.
The Hatchetman engaged the Huntsman in a duel across the roof tops, which included several “death from above” attempts (below). The battle ended when the Hatchetman struck the Clan Mech in the head with its hatchet, then poured pulse laser fire in the hole. Damn, that was a brutal kill.
The Hatchetman got its beautiful death a short time after, thanks to a crushing mid-air gauss rifle shot from the Shadow Cat, which prevented the successful execution of another death from above attack.
The Grand Dragon challenged the Shadowcat and they traded fire for a few turns, until it was opportune for the coordinator to break the honour rules. The next turn both the Ebon Jaguar and the Shadow Cat bracketed the Coordinator with their gauss rifles and brought the Mech crashing down.The Jaguars scored -90 points for their kills, whilst the Draconis forces clawed back 40 points through NOT surviving the battle and a further 30 points by taking out the Huntsman with the aid of a physical attack. The final score was -20 points, which puts the campaign standings on – 5 VP. With only two Classic Battletech games left and one Alpha Strike game, I can sense that this campaign is going to finish the way it started, on a knife’s edge.