Originally posted to ERIS::NOTES - FRP Chronicles VAX NOTES File on 25-SEP-1989 14:50

Another entry in the Chronicles of Mechwarrior Dysart Quinn

After landing and securing the Landing Zone, I ordered a recon exercise at dawn in order to obtain intelligence on the enemy's base and assets. The mission concept was a single vehicle infiltration, with a mobile 'Mech force available as back-up.

Mission Goals

Recon: Locate and reconnoiter the enemy base and force.

Support force: Support the recon vehicle and destroy/drive off enemy forces if necessary.

After Action Report

The recon had proceeded routinely, closing some 30 of the 50 klicks to the assumed location of the enemy base. Then, the IFV observed a Hermes medium 'Mech. While maneuvering to avoid it, other 'Mechs were spotted. As the observed enemy 'Mechs began to maneuver toward the IFV, I called the mobile force to advance.

The observed 'Mech force was composed of a Phoenix Hawk, a Jenner, and a Hermes. I could glimpse them as they leaped or maneuvered, before the IFV was buttoned up. Battleclocks started 0742:42 hrs Local.

I ordered 2Lt. Wzreranski to evade. His driver accelerated and started up a stream just wide enough to accommodate the craft. After a few violent maneuvers, he lost the OPFORCE in the trees, but ended up at a dead end as the stream shrank to a trickle. He fired SRMs at the trees before us, and blasted enough of a path for us to maneuver toward where the support lance was coming into view.

The enemy OPFORCE hesitated a moment as our 'Mechs deployed. Codpiece was on the east end of the line, with Passed Tense in the center and Tailbiter on the opposite flank, all within a front of two hundred meters.

The next 500 meters north was open, broken by a few patches of wood. There was a low ridge some 600 meters distant. The east side held the loose woods the IFV had used as cover. The OPFORCE was in the southern edge of those woods.

There was not much I could see from the passenger compartment of the ferret, jammed in with the squad. I was given a commo link, but I had no access to sensors. What few there were in the command compartment, with enough room for only the driver and Wzreranski.

I doubted the enemy lance would allow us freedom of action for a recon. And they would have to be blind for to have not spotted the 'Mechs on a MAD. Not much of a choice. Quick flanking action while they concentrated their attention on a 'Mech could cut off their retreat. Surely, I taught Larkin enough to win a quick clean victory given the 20% weight advantage, even against the OPFORCE's edge in maneuverability.

The Ferret moved west and then north to a position behind one of the thickets, as did Passed Tense and Tailbiter. Codpiece moved east to the cover of the woods and then moved north. As I supposed, the OPFORCE moved to the edge of the woods, prepared to use the ridge as cover.

Passed Tense rushed to south side of the ridge. The Phoenix Hawk and Jenner closed in, the Phoenix Hawk attacking. Tailbiter continued to move northwest, seeking cover. Passed Tense backed off until Tailbiter could move up in support. Codpiece was nearly invisible moving north through the woods.

0744:13 hrs
Codpiece charged to the ridge, took up position opposite side the Phoenix Hawk, and opened fire. Their Jenner moved in support of the Phoenix Hawk, rushing around the side of the ridge, firing on Codpiece's rear.

Passed Tense sprinted as soon as he saw the Jenner start moving and arrived behind it. He shot into its back with good effect, which, combined with fire from Tailbiter, knocked the Jenner over. However, the Phoenix Hawk had switched targets to Passed Tense, blasting off its left torso and arm.

The IFV had moved past the battle and now swept back to give supporting fire, but was not very effective. I considered leaving to continue with the recon mission, but decided we should remain a bit longer.

Tailbiter had been engaging the Phoenix Hawk to no mean effect and had drawn the attentions of the Hermes. After trading shots with the Hermes, Tailbiter moved out of the Hermes' line of fire toward the ridge - none too far due to heat constraints. Both the Hermes and the Phoenix Hawk (who had ceased supporting the Jenner, probably as a lost cause) closed on Tailbiter's rear. Fortunately, they did not do much damage to the Griffin.

I ordered Passed Tense to assume a defensive support position. The enemy Jenner was no longer a threat. Codpiece and Tailbiter still had weight and fire power on the other two OPFORCE units.

The Jenner got up and stumbled to put its back against the ridge, hoping to gain some cover. Codpiece ran up onto the ridge and came at it from behind. The Hermes ran southeast into the open ground south of the ridge, and the Phoenix Hawk jumped as far away as it could in the opposite direction, landing in the woods. Tailbiter jumped west, putting a thicket between the Griffin and the Hermes - the Phoenix Hawk had already hid himself.

Codpiece fired at the Hermes to no effect, but kicked the Jenner and stove it its right torso. Codpiece continued to chase the Jenner for the next two minutes as it jumped north onto the next ridge. The Jenner pilot moved and jumped his crippled craft as much as he could over the rocky terrain to keep himself alive. Codpiece's gunnery was not very effective, and punching is a slow way to destroy a 'Mech.

On the south side of the ridge, the Hermes fired at Passed Tense, hitting its head with its autocannon. MW Wiener reported that he was all right. The Hermes was chasing Passed Tense, so I ordered Tailbiter and Codpiece after the Hermes. Codpiece did not respond.

The Phoenix Hawk pulled back to cool off and oriented on Codpiece, which was chasing after the Jenner. The Jenner put its back to a cliff; the Phoenix Hawk took a position across the open ground in the woods. It was the first decent coordination I had seen the OPFORCE manage.

Codpiece would give the Phoenix Hawk an easy shot if he stayed put. Instead, he jumped behind the ridgecrest. 2Lt. Wzreranski chose this instant to grab for glory.

The IFV eased around a shoulder of the ridge. Not 100 meters in front of us was the top half of a Jenner. Wzreranski fired all his weapons - but missed. Then there was a burst of heat from the forward compartment. The screen went out for a moment as its filters reached saturation and then came back on. The IFV scraped to a sudden stop and a high pitched squeal came from the rotors, until the driver hit the cutoffs. Even before I was unplugged, the squad corporal yelled "Bail out!"

I rolled out a side hatch, and yelled "Scatter!" to the squad peering around the edges of the immobile IFV. "P-Hawks have machine guns!" No one hung around to be a target. There were popping explosions - Tailbiter hit the Jenner with LRMs.

I smacked on my headset and called for an update.

Codpiece advanced down the ridge, into the open. Tailbiter, some 500 meters away, began closing. The Phoenix Hawk sprinted out of cover, around Codpiece, and unloaded into the Shadow Hawk's back, opening it like a ration pack and tearing it up badly, bursting the engine's heat shielding. I could feel it from where I crouched.

Codpiece moved to avoid. Tailbiter remained in place to cover. The Phoenix Hawk came on anyway, slipping around behind Codpiece anyway. The Phoenix Hawk again fired at the open back of Codpiece, but struck arms and legs - not anything vital. Tailbiter hit the Phoenix Hawk again, further damaging its jump jet system and scraping off some more armor.

MW Wiener warned that the Hermes seems to have changed course a bit, breaking off the chase, but heading northwest.

745:32 hrs
Codpiece retreated back to the ridge slope some 60 meters south of the IFV. Tailbiter backed off beyond the Phoenix Hawk's jumping range to avoid the same attack Codpiece suffered. The Phoenix Hawk jumped northwest, gaining some badly needed cool off time.

It then changed course to the east and appeared opposite our position, using the bulk of a low ridge to shield from our 'Mechs to the south and east, ready to fire at Codpiece. Tailbiter returned to position against the ridge and caught the Phoenix Hawk in the head with its PPC, vaporizing it instantly.

The Hermes left the field at high speed, headed northeast.

Written and © Copyright 1989 by Mitch Schwartz.
Battletech and Mechwarrior are Copyright © FASA Corporation.
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