Thursday, November 10, 2016

Some Legends From the Legions of Steel

With our Great National Nightmare Over (or just beginning, depending on your political predilections) let's get back to gaming!

Early this year I took the girls to a painting clinic at the FLGS, and with our overwhelming raffle, won a gift certificate for the painting service running the event.   I quickly assumed that he could take over some of my back-burner projects, namely my personalized characters for Legions of Steel.

Even before the Planetstorm Tabletop Rules for LOS had been released, I had been privy to some cool artwork of me as a UNE Pioneer.  Alas the story of my character in rulebook didn't have as happy an ending as most...
Figure 15.  Pioneer in Paladin PBA1E, Regimental HQ, 18th Powered Infantry Regiment.
Any trooper face with the daunting task of assaulting a heavily fortified position or fortifying a thinly defended one in the path of a determined Machine advance is extremely happy to see Pioneer troopers coming their way.

Grizzled veterans tell newbies that when the Pioneers show up, it's not a question of if things are going to be bad, but just how bad they will be.  For troopers of the 7th Powered Infantry Regiment's Lima Company, the arrival of the Pioneers proved to the very bad indeed.

Machine forces had taken three planets in the Goodwood system and wasted no time in digging in.  UNE Forces returned, determined to take back their own.  Landings on the outer planets of Marrakesh and Carpiquet initially went well, but soon bogged down.   Because Goodwood was such a "dirty" system, protected by an asteroid belt and a nigh-invulnerable base on one of Goodwood Prime's moonlets, UNE approach lanes were very restricted.  The Humans had a substantial numerical superiority, but traffic problems meant that they couldn't get it to the mud where is belonged.

Regardless, the attack must press on with the troops already in place.  Lima Company was one such unit, not exactly thrilled with the prospect of leading an assault, especially short-handed as they were. Wise to the ways of the army, they weren't actually expecting Pioneer support, but when a four-man detachment showed up they were quickly put to work.  The Pioneers worked like men possessed:  positioning smart-mines to cover the flanks of the assault, clearing advance lanes through a suspected minefield, and standing by with the demo charges ready to take out the bunkers that were the main objective. 

The advance began as scheduled, troops doing a bounding advance through the minefield.  Then the Machine mortars opened, hitting the line of advance with surgical precision: the advance faltered.  Three ESH's made a determined counter-attack, and the advance stalled.  Suddenly, smart-mines opened fire, ripping into the backs of the beleaguered humans, along with well-aimed blaster fire.  This proved too much for Lima Company.  They began to break and sections pulled out of position, heading for the rear.  As they were cut down, the company commander realized that the Pioneers were wolves in sheep's clothing - Machine infiltrators using jacked human PBA's.  This didn't save him or his command, who were wiped out to the last man, but at least he was able to transmit a warning about the new tactic and images of the traitors.

One such traitor was sapper Eric Jacobson, lost during the aftermath of the Vologorod campaign.  It was thought that the transport he and his comrades were on had been lost to a Fantasian raider, but it appears that the LOS was operating there in the hopes of causing dissension in the LOA.

The suit's markings had been left alone, it bears the Vologorod "totenkopf" and several personal inscriptions.  Three of the 'jacked' PBA's were destroyed in the battle, but Jacobson's PBA's was never recovered.  Except for a control module in the helmet, a heat source, and synthesizers to simulate a human occupant, the suits were empty.

They also did some very appropriate artwork for my friend (and fellow LOS demonstrator)  Wooly.

Figure 10.  Heavy Assault Trooper in Behemoth RXS, 2nd Co., 3rd Independent Assault Bn.
The Independent Assault Bn.'s are corps assets, allocated to subordinate Divisions or Battlegroups as the situation requires.  Because they are always in demand, the Independent Assault Bn.'s rarely fight as complete units.  Instead, they are broken up, usually into companies with each company assigned to stiffen a Bn. for an offensive or are rushed to reinforce a defensive position threatening to crumble.  Frequently, a platoon of the organic Pioneer Company (4th Co.) will accompany each individual company as will a platoon of technical company to care for the RXS specialized maintenance needs.

1st, 2nd, and 3rd I.A. Bn. were organized even before Fairchild Republic got their second production line operational and shipped out with the first Stormfleet.  Their techs fought a never  ending battle for supplies and spare parts.  At one point as a stopgap measure, a freighter loaded with converted Volcano BAPs were sent to replace casualties incurred on Blue Planet and its moons.   These RXS' were placed  into 3rd and 6th companies.  The Henschel conversion kits were well-designed and re-training was not that difficult.  The roomy 'H-BAPS' were popular with pilots, though not with service crews, who now found their supply problems doubled.  

The few that survived the final assault on Red Planet's fifth moon (Easy) were given over to 2nd Independent Assault BN, was re-equipped with a mixture of Behemoths and ASPs.

This Behemoth, "Woolly Bully", survived the entire Planetstorm campaign, racking up an impressive number of kills.  After a brief promotional tour of Earth, it was assigned to the Advanced Power Infantry Training School on New Meaford (also known as "New Mudford."), where its original pilot, Lieut Colo B. Woolever was CO.  

Now that these bad boys are done, I may drop a few more LOS figures in the lap of Triple P Painting.   Heck I may even dump off the pile of Warzone figures his way.  

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