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Gregorius21778

[Input Requested] Supporting an urban assault on mortars

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Greetings, fellow GMs!

I am currently leading my group through a modified version of the Deatwatch-freebee "Final Sanction". To my regret, I jumped the gun and
started the mission before being 100% sure what to do with the PC and so I need to make things up on the fly. 

The PC decided (after a meeting with the local Gouverneur and a Genestealer-Assault on a local Astropath) not to leave until the tide of battle
was turned in favour of the PDF or a ship with a "planet torpedo" arrives. Or both. 

My group consits of Sister of Battle (in full gear), a Psyker (Schola-Path; Biomancer and human lighting-machine) and a Guardsmen (Feral Warrior), all Rank5.  I intend to request them (over the NPC Commander of the PDF) to spearhead and assault on a rebell mortar emplacement pounding away at
the besieged star port.I know that they will accept.

What do I need/request
Additional ideas of "Flash Points" of the battle (events where they can turn the tide in favour of the assault; I will not roleplay all of the battle but only the
lim lights/spot lights) and a general idea on what such an emplacement could look like. I am always bad in this regard

Thanks a lot in advance!
 

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While fighting the rebels (some sort of line against line fighting i imagine), the players notice a rebel heavy stubber group moving into a building with overview of the battle.

If the Rebels get into position and can entrench it the loyalists will be caught without much cover and can easily be suppressed. If the players can take out the team, they can use the heavy stubber to supress or force a temporary retreat of the rebel forces.

The players may of course have to expose themselves to get to the rebel heavy stubber group.

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The fight is raging on when the acolytes see a group of rebels moving forward with shields, heavier amour and melee weapons. It almost seems like they're guarding something.

A group of Rebels have been armed to be able to defend a genestealer while it closes in on the loyalists, unless the players can either take it out (should be hard as it is using these people as shields) or expose this group to greater fire power, the genestealer will get into the loyalist ranks and cause massive casualties.

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In dense urban terrain, it is likely that the mortar teams have hidden 'spotters' feeding them coordinates over a vox. Finding and eliminating the spotters would be a good objective for the PCs. -And if your players are really devious, they may come up with the idea to feed the mortars false coordinates so that they end uo shelling their fellow rebels...

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As for mortar emplacement looks....they are highly mobile 2 man teams ( 3 if you include the spotter ).  If they want to "entrench" the position it becomes basically a "static-unmoving" position that could have 1-4 defensive guards ( light infanty type ) and sandbag/flakboard walls that will usually ( but not always ) cover the mortar team from direct fire at range ( unless the PCs get up higher into an abandoned building with overlook to see them thereby nullifying their cover from direct ranged attack) A good image would be a nice sized shellhole-crater in middle of the street..provides a lower field for setup with minimal prep and offers direct fire cover from basically all sides.  As for what the mortar itself looks like..thats a simple google search to get a good idea. They are VERY simplistic in design and function.  Anyplace that offers best cover possible for situation and least prep time to setup will be favored.  And if they are xenos lovers the group is fighting...then its possible that the mortar team(s) the enemy deploys will have some kind of chemical rounds ( gas, poison, hallucinagenic, etc ) in addition to regular explosive rounds to further decimate the enemy.  Also of note..most all of your standard PDF forces will have some kind of armored mobile artillery pieces of their own as well as light-med tanks and scout walkers to further assist..so if your PCs are creative ( and you allow it if they think to ask ) you could provide them with the vox frequency to a squad of armored units ( perhaps 1 light tank, 3 walkers, and 1 mobile artillery piece ) That way once they located the emplacements..they could if they wished simply call in an artillery strike ( less XP but likely more PDF lives saved ( thereby giving potential of gaining contact or peer talents from lives saved or from command staff etc ) IF they play a vital AND decisive role in defeating the enemy.

Just some food for thought..hope this helped you some my friend and dont be a stranger..I was actually in the army so i am familiar with many military things if you have questions feel free to message me and ill get to it as soon as i can.

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Hi everyone,

thanks for the support so far. 

@Cobramax
While I know what Mortars look like (and was more searching for how a set-up position for them could look like. Thanks for your input, it was helpful) I totally forgot about how mobile these small buggers are. The rebels would properbly react with a re-location as soon as the charge begins. 

In order to keep my general scenario (which I will detail below) I will change the mortars to WW-I style "siege mortars"
http://www.google.de/imgres?imgurl=http://members.kos.net/sdgagnon/nfg13.jpg&imgrefurl=http://members.kos.net/sdgagnon/nfg.html&usg=__3o_2tHVxjuRgwNnV8IDlXvBVfkQ=&h=465&w=592&sz=69&hl=de&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=dGUIzn3zj92PhM:&tbnh=139&tbnw=190&ei=gRQMT57eCI31-gaDhtmiBw&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dsiege%2Bmortar%26hl%3Dde%26biw%3D808%26bih%3D498%26gbv%3D2%26tbm%3Disch&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=318&vpy=163&dur=160&hovh=199&hovw=253&tx=122&ty=148&sig=108283866880223003564&page=1&ndsp=6&ved=1t:429,r:4,s:0&biw=808&bih=498

They will not be as mobile and quick, pressed charged should allow the loyalist to get to their entrenchment/fortification and get them out.

My general idea:
I want my PC (a Battle-Sister, a guardsmen and a Psyker) to "spearhead" an Infantry assault on said siege mortar emplacement. My idea
behind this is that the general area is infested with rebels so that sending in real tanks (leman russ, Chimera) is not possible due to tank-traps and
fear of rebells with anti-tank weapons hiding in the ruins.

The plan of the loyalist commander is to quickly stage an infantery assault through the ruins. While a "spearhead" (perhap 3 to 4 platoons) is meant to break through to the mortars the main infantery body is to engage the rebels. The infantery is supported/followed by sentinels and a small tank detachment meant
to deal with groups/gun nests of rebels once they are identified.

While I do not know if this is "valid strategy" it allows me to send the pc into a pressed charge where I can give the lime light to the Sister of Battle (she did not head "her moments" recently and feel bad about it).

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your very welcome and it is a valid strategy..but heres some food for thought ( esp if you have creative players )

1) depending on how "active" your psyker is about using his abilities the friendly infantry might not be soo keen to charge in side-side with them 9 prolly a bit behind them eying the psyker more than would be good for their own survival and the mission goal ( IE charging ) due to the inherent fear of psykers there is always a bit of hesitation..added they are Inquisition so theres the fear there as well. ( worries about being caught up in a affected field of psy disturbance etc..)

2) the tank traps are a very good idea but any smart tank commander ( depending on the level of destruction of the city the field commander is willing to accept ) can simply drive through a wall to avoid the traps AND if a few tanks do that at the front line...will blunt the enemies charge by infantry as well ( as they get buried in debris or scramble out of the way of the falling walls and rolling tank treads ( they dont call light infantry "crunchies" for no reason ) and perhaps right into the waiting gunsights of the IG infantry in flank positions of their advancing tanks ( might also make for some good imagery to give the PCs as to the horrors of a full battlefield whenever they look around ( and the tanks rolling up through the buildings provides them good cover from anti-tank troopers :)

3) As a thought for extra visual effects and / or  morale checks against either side...what about the flame tanks ( modified Chimera chassis ) to add that..burnt fyceline and flesh scent to with the screams of the dying in the air :P ) Yes im all for the visual input to get the mood of the setting..MUAHAHA

Anyway..just some ideas for you to toy with for extra possibilities.  Hope you enjoy

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Thanks again, Cobra. Especially for reminding me of what tanks tend to do to walls. Meow... their goes my scenario AGAIN. sad.gif But better you point it out then my smart-ass Psyker-Player...

I think I will need to come up with some other reason why they do not use tanks for the Spearhead...hmm.... any ideas, Cobra? Besides " minimize colletral damage?" The enemy in question is a mix of rebels and deserted PDF... in truth, it is a Symbiont Cult but this was only discovered recently and PC & Gouvernor decided that this moral threat is not to be revealed to the troops unless 100% necessary.

Perhaps the Gouverneur actually is not willing to free up the tanks (I last introduced them as serving as an additional layer of guard to the Magistrat District...which is home of the ruling class and site of the Gouvernors Palace).
 

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This is what I intend to use so far

Hybrid Counter-Attack:
The PC & the troops they are leading/attached to where able to gain a lot of ground. So much ground that a large group of Hybrid-Cultists with improvised heavy armour are send against them in a counter-strike to stop their momentum so that more rebel forces can close in.

The multi-armed Hybrids are armed with Assault Rifles, Grenades, low quality flamers and scavenged chainsword. The PC need to slay/kill/heavily wound (PC+1) Hybrids within 10 rounds or otherwise their assault will lose momentum. In addition, they need a Command test to keep their forces from breaking. The longer it took to kill the required number of Hybrids the more difficult the Command test will be.

Suppression Fire:
The PC & their troop quickly end up on the receiving end of suppression fire from a stubber emplacement on high ground (a window of an office building). They need to overcome their own fear (-20, as per Standard rule) quickly and then need to either get the troop going (extended test for Command) or need to take care of this heavy stubber (laying suppression fire themselves, sniping, heavy weapons). If the situation is not successfully dealt with within 10 rounds…

Flamer Sentinel!
The PC are charged by a rebel Sentinel with a heavy flamer, supported by renegade PDF soldiers. The PC need to take out the heavy flamer, either by destroying the sentinel, the heavy flamer or the pilot inside.

Genestealers
Two Genestealers rush out of the ruins and tear into the ranks of the troops. The PC need to kill them and keep the troops from rooting.


 

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Terrain, then.

Unless you have already stated otherwise, perhaps the cityscape they are to charge has some aspects of an emerging Hive. Multiple levels, high towers with walkways, layers upon layers of city. Something like the chinese city in Deus Ex: Human revolution, if you've played it. Not quite a Hive, but definitely not something a Tank can expect to roll into without an airlift of some sort.

Which can't be done until your team has taken out the Surface-To-Air-Missile (SAM) sites and/or mortar teams. Or some other fine excuse to prevent tank-lifting dropships to operate in the area until you (and the Plot) deem it appropriate.

So a ground-charge using the cover of the battle-fields debris is the only way. 

I am not intimately familiar with the scenario (I have not played it, and as my buddy is GMing Deathwatch I've not read any of the scenarios) but have all civilian elements left the city? If not, play up the tragedy of the remaining people who have stayed behind. Families hiding, desperate people protecting their homes and/or temples or other areas of importance to them. Steal liberally from war movies (that's what I do).

The sniper scene from Full Metal jacket, where a sniper has wounded a soldier who is bleeding out (slowly) in an open square. Everyone knows the sniper is waiting for someone to rescue the wounded soldier (who screams for help and is in great agony), but also know that any who try will also get shot. What do they do? Put their buddy out of his misery? Wait for darkness? Risk trying to save him? In the movie they catch the sniper, and she turns out to be a little girl. Whom they shoot in the head. Lovely :)

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As for not using the tanks...i like Darth Smegs idea of the Hive style city to naturally inhibit tank movement. But i also like the idea of the cult PDF forces disabling the tanks knowing they would have to face them if they didnt once they showed their true colors...tanks could be diabled/awaiting repair due to their sabotage prior to deserting.  Its what i would do..sabotage as much as i could before leaving and turning against in order to make my fight as easy as possible to win when it came time.

As for dealing with a stubber emplacement in a upper floor window etc..a smart PC would ALWAYS have a rocket trooper with them if they expected any armour on opposing side ( as well as some krak grenades ) ..simple hit the upper edge of the floor the stubber is on to bring the whole area down onto the nest...guaranteed kill in one shot as long as they are in a building ( unless its on the roof which makes them prime for sniper-bait ) This works for the sentinel as well..a well placed shot could bring a building down onto a sentinel imobilizing and stunning the crew if not outright destroying it easily ( just gotta be careful of blast radius of the rocket and grenade is all )

As for the hybrid heavy infantry..a few Frag grenades will deal with them ( if the PCs are smart enough to plan for what they could face...hmmm do  smell some bonus XP for prudent planning/prep...perhaps :P )( again watch out for blast radius ) All of these things are something any heavy trooper and most regular ones would carry at least one of if not more for the PCs to either take and use ( if they dont carry them or have the throwing skill ) or command the PDF to use when its time ( designate the target and conditions etc...) One thing all commanders should always know is the loadout of all their troopers under them so they know what theyve got to call upon if needed.

The problem with it all is that its a genstealer cult and by rights the Inquisition ( even acolytes) have overriding authority on what can/will be done to deal with the situation....once they realize its a xenos threat ( maximal at that ) then the standard imperial ruling is to use any/all means necessary to prevent the corruption of the area to include full sanitization. If the threat isnt contained in reasonable time then its highly likely that one of the upper level arbites or AdMech on planet will contact the Astartes as a matter of prudence to prevent the genstealer cult and whatever other xenos threat from taking over the planet if the Lord Govs attempts fail or dont achieve preffered results in time ( food for thought nothing more ) ( as well as potential summary execution by the Commisarat if the lord govs plan fails too miserably...or they just feel like making an example of him ) ( yet more pressure on the PCs..hehehe..and a chance to get a planetary lord gov as a contact WOOHOOO ) IF they get it right and achieve all their goals set them in the alloted timeframe and your feeling generous..lol

Just some more food for thought to play with as you see fit.  happy hunting..er..gaming..lol

 

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[Calling in Help]
They already did via a resident Astropath (this is were they first met three Genestealers. They just arrived in time to save the Astropath from being slayn). But since they had a little more then 2 weeks of travel to reach the planet I expect that no sizeable levy will reach them sooner then 3+weeks. The PC had the choice of "hole up" or "join the fray". Guess what!

 

[Hive-like-city]
While the city of Lordsholm is not hive-like... I think I will rule that the district where the mortars have been placed is a commercial district with lots of high buildings & simply rule that a tank crushing its way through a wall (to avoid tank-traps) has a high risk of getting buried inside the building while it comes down on him. Describing them as "burned-out" do to prior riots should give me the bonus of "suspended disbelieve" in regard to the structural intergrity and how/if a building likes this collapses because of tank dashing through it.

@Sabotage
While this is a good idea, I already established some of the tanks as functionable =(. I think I will use the method detailed above.


[Fragment grenades]
@Max: Yep, in the real world thinks will play out like that. But as far as I see how Frag-Grenades and armour (especially flakk-armour) work in DH a fragg grenade becomes something not-so-deadly. The Hybrids will come with AP:4 armour at last (non-primitive) and are likely to have a TB of 5 and about 16 wounds. A frag grenade does 2d10 damage.  Chances are that the thing will just wound them... but I will make them throw frag grenades
as well =)

[To Quickly dispose a threat with a RPG-Launcher]
Well, if they are clever enough to pull this off they are free to do so. In regard to the Sentinel they might not get what they wanted, so. I think a rocket hitting a wall will make  the wall coming down, but this does not mean that it will tumble down like tree. Most of it might go down straight with rubble & debris raining down. While this will for sure keep the Sentinel busy for a few rounds and might make him tumble, I will not rule it as an "auto-kill". But again, thanks for the warning! I think I will make a test for the Drive(Walker) skill of the Sentinel Pilot to see what happens. Degree of failure will result in the
Sentinel falling down & perhaps be partially buried. Otherwise, the Sentinal will count as "stunned" for 3 rounds (minus 1 round for every level of success)

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Gregorius21778 said:

@Sabotage
While this is a good idea, I already established some of the tanks as functionable =(. I think I will use the method detailed above.

If there are only "some" tanks are functionable then whoever is in command (before the Acolytes take over that is) would certainly want to not send them into an environment where there could be tank hunters hiding in the rubble. City and city like areas are the most dangerous areas for tanks since they can be easily flanked and taken out. Not just by rocket wielding units but also by explosives or even better by brave (or stupid) capture troops that force open hatches and gain entry into the tank itself. Not so likely for human to pull off but a space marine or similar strong being might be able to pull if off.

Gregorius21778 said:


[Fragment grenades]
@Max: Yep, in the real world thinks will play out like that. But as far as I see how Frag-Grenades and armour (especially flakk-armour) work in DH a fragg grenade becomes something not-so-deadly. The Hybrids will come with AP:4 armour at last (non-primitive) and are likely to have a TB of 5 and about 16 wounds. A frag grenade does 2d10 damage.  Chances are that the thing will just wound them... but I will make them throw frag grenades
as well =)

Fire Bombs (from the Inquisitors Handbook) would also work wonders against those things. A few of the more experienced guardsmen might carry some of those for room clearing and enemy burning.

 

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Musclewizard said:

Fire Bombs (from the Inquisitors Handbook) would also work wonders against those things. A few of the more experienced guardsmen might carry some of those for room clearing and enemy burning.



Since the loyalists are only made up of the remaing PDF of a rather backwater settlement (& some volunteers the PC can muster later on) I don´t think that they will have anything special at hand. Which helps me A LOT since it is the first time I am going full military style.

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Given that you are making this a back water planet, those tanks maybe few and far between.  Unless required they maybe nothing more the "Palace Guard" unit and if then, well..  If that what they were, might not be as great of help as the PC were looking for, plus they maybe stay neutral until they see which way the rebellon will go.  And the rebels know they tank crew skills and well, they have the ability to dig in and prepare ambush points for them.

And remember you most likely have 3 sides here, Loyal PDF, Rebel PDF, and then those PDF units who are "staying in place" until well they see which way the rebellion is going. 

I would also suggest watching Platoon, Enemy at the Gates, Saving Private Ryan, Defiance, and even Capt American for idea to spring on these brave players.  The PC should have to deal with Snipers, hidden Heavy Stubber Teams and yes the big Siege Mortars and the other prime target any rebel Leadership they find.  And at the same time, wondering if the PDF that they are with, are loyal to the government.

and remember rebels might have had Improvised Weapons, Molotov cocktails and Nail Bombs.  Now if staying true to the module, both sides are fighting for control of the "Armoury", and after they aid the in taking the starport that where the PC should be sent next.

So can I ask how your PC are armed?

 

 

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why not replace the mortar with a customised and repurposed Basilisk tank, something big and ponderous that the rebels can't easily move, and then have them bulked around it, have it be some kind of a wreck from earlier fighting. As for battle tipping moments, have the cultist make outflanking movements to set up heavy support guns that the pcs should work to take out, have a champion make a charge twards a building escorting a group of cultists carrying some kind of nefarious bomb. Effectivly most of the tide tipping moments should occur outside of the main carnage of battle, such that the guard/pdf can't really react to it accordingly or they don't see it, leaving the action up to our heroic players!! this usually works well

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@Angel of Death
The Sister is (of course) totting a  bolter & servo armour. In fact, I picked this modul up so that the player would finally get a benefit from the class!
I am not quiet sure at the moment what Guardsman is running around with. But for the mentioned assault, I am quit sure that he will pic up a heavy stubber, making use of his Bulging Biceps for the first time. Otherwise, he is quiet found of Long Las.  Of course, he is wearing guard flakk armour. 
My Psyker is death incarnate if a)you are in range of his Bio-Lighting Power b)you are an "average" enemy (1d10+5 with no PEN, after all!) c) he goes first.
Otherwise, he is a little frail void-born that recently learned (through a Genestealer) that he is screwed if anything actually manages to respond to his attacks ("critted" him first time, but he healed himself afterwards). I think I will stuff him into a heavy flakk coat to allow him to be more survivable.  He is already wearing a mesh vest.

@DarkMittens
In fact, I switched to the Siege Mortars (see picture) because they are even less manouvreable  happy.gif

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...and it never-ever works according to plan *sigh*

This is how it turned out:
The PC showed up at the strategy room at the command centre of the Commander (as requested). As the the Commander described the situation (a scout reported that the rebels/traitors where setting up two siege mortars about 8km from the Spaceport) and proposed an assault, my Psyker-Player quickly suggest to turn this assault into a fake attack so that the enemy forces in that area would be distract, allowing the pc to go in "commando style". The fact that the scout reported about 40 enemy soldiers protecting the siege mortars did not even made them blink....

The scout who found about the position led them their. The Guardsmen of the group (a duskborn going by the name of Thywin) scored 6 levels of success on a difficult Awareness test so I allowed them to bypass about any patrol in the area short of one... which they managed to bypass as well.

The mortars where placed in the parking lot of a rectangular office building. While the Battle-Sister (Danielle) crashed through a nailed-shut personal entrance (and survived the frag grenade wired up as a trap there) Thywin & the scout sniped the two guards off on their side of the rooftop while the Psyker anchored  rope across the street via grapnel. While Danielle was unharmed (a hail to Servo-Armour!) Thywin and Ilmari (the Psyker) rushed alogn the rope from one side of the building to the other. The Psyker quickly dispatched two soldiers garding their level (whom where distracted by the Battle-Sister rushing in one level beneath them) while Thywin straightly went for an office window on the other (inner) side of the window. Their, he quickly prepared his RPG-Launcher and.. aimed for the stack of 385kg Mortar Grenades which where the ammo for the Siege Mortar. KA-BUUUUM.

Meanwhile, a Genestealer prowling the building as "added defence" had found the Battler-Sister and had ambushed her. She ended with her first-time critical wound (rending claws to the knee -2 crit) but Ilmari finished the Symbiont with a score of Bio-Lighting... invoking a rain of blood and getting an shiny new CP.

Well, it was not a total loss: I think they still enjoyed the scene (although I was much shorter then originally planed) and after their second encounter with Genestealers they have a high level of respect in regard to this enemy (both times one of them ended with critical damage and the situation way only saved by the Psyker putting enough power into his Bio-Lightings to provoke a warp-schock).

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