Third Level Clan Commander Utor Varanis had been an employee of the Kagemusha Corporation for a decade or more, following his discharge from the New Venus Defence Force. His military career had been solid if unspectacular, but brought to an ignominious end when his illegal financial trading had been exposed by the planetary government's Inquisitors. Fortunately, most of his ill-gotten gains were invested in an anonymous off-planet account with the Kagemusha Bank. Some of the money was invested in a profitable arms dealing enterprise and the rest was used to buy a stakehold in the Kagemusha Corporation's private army, the Kagemusha Security Force. Since then, his career had been one of endless small small conflicts, security actions and punitive expeditions for the kind of customers who were prepared to buy discreet K-Force muscle from K Corp with no questions asked. This latest contract was no different from many others; a security detail on an arid satellite of a gas giant, defending huge automated mining installations from pirates. Nine weeks in both he and his troops were bored, listlessly counting down the days until they were rotated out to be replaced by a fresh company.
Now, in the hours before sunrise, the alarms were going mental across the control centre and the long range sensors were down. Across base, troopers were scrambling and taking up defensive positions. Whatever it was, it was something that 3L Varanis had never seen before. Hurredly, he deployed his troops in a line either side of a road that led from his base to the nearest mining installation, which, if his displays could be believed, was offline and powered down, as was the entire network of orbital spy satellites. In the dim early morning light, he could see something approaching.
Varanis deployed hover AFVs on both flanks, on the left secure behind a toxic slurry canal. He pushed Techno Ninja stealth troops in a ruined settlement and in some scrubland way out on his right, supported by robotic Cyborg Guardian troops.
Before long, the enemy could be seen advancing. These were robotic troops of an unknown type. Almost immediately, their energy beams destroyed the AFV on the K-Force left, leaving the infantry there out in the open and at risk of destruction.
The unknown robots took cover in a rocky outcrop where they were difficult to locate and attack.
Varanis occupied the settlement, deploying a heavy weapons team to try and take out the robots.
On the right, K-Force units occupied heavy cover in a deserted mine.
For hours, little happened. The robotic troops bombarded the settlement without much effect and K-Force responded with an equal lack of success. Varanis began to feel that he had a firm control of the situation, despite attacks from floating weapons platforms that appeared, fired and vanished again. Suddenly, alien troops appeared over a low hill. Varanis ordered his elite Ninjas to attack.
Inexplicably, these masters of combat were defeated and eliminated by the aliens. First they lost their initial assault (due to an appalling dice roll) and were then crippled by a Paralysis attack which meant they were wiped out without being able to respond.
As the sun rose over the horizon, Varanis sent in the Cyborg Guardians, but despite causing some damage, these were taken over by a Mind Of The Machine attack and forced out into the open where they were picked off by heavy weapons fire. Elsewhere, the threat from alien Flyers forced Varanis to deploy many of his troops on Overwatch, as casualties began to mount from long-range heavy energy beam fire. The heavy weapons team in the settlement was one such loss, one that would prove crucial.
The alien robots, supported by floating heavy weapons platforms were proving to be almost impossible to dislodge. They were too far away to assault and with few heavy weapons, almost immune to his Ashigaru infantry's small arms.
In desperation, Varanis ordered his remaining AFV to attack the robots.
Finally, the primary weapon on the AFV scored a hit and severely damaged one of the alien robots.
This success was short-lived as withering heavy fire destroyed the remaining K-Force heavy weapons team and damaged the AFV.
However, before long, the damaged robot exploded from prolonged suppressive fire from the beleaguered K-Force troops.
The constant airborne threat kept K-Force from doing anything except cowering in cover and anxiously scouring the skies. Inevitably, a Flyer got through and destroyed the remaining AFV.
At this point, Varanis realised that his gamble had failed and his remaining troops were sitting ducks. He ordered a general withdrawal. As his battered fighters emerged from their improvised defences in the ruins, Third Level Clan Commander Utor Varanis contemplated his future. Demotion to Second Level Clan Commander seemed inevitable and he fully expected that there would be large financial penalties to pay as well. He would be lucky to avoid the disgrace of being sent to command a Kagemusha Corporation Debtor Re-education Facility.
So, an interesting game. The loss of an AFV early on meant that my army lacked long-rage firepower and was unable to get anywhere near the enemy to launch any assaults on the weak Grey infantry. My forces were bottled up in defensive positions that soon became death traps. The Alien Greys are an odd force in many ways but the sheer number of heavy weapons they can deploy means that they can stand off and destroy their opponents one at a time.
Still, plenty of food for thought. I still like the Corporate Mercenary army, but they do seem to need more long-range punch. Also, Flyers.