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Utopia #7 – The general’s speech

April 26, 2013

Political tension was mounting up between the Union of Terra’s core worlds and its Outer colonies. The Outer colonies were strengthening their mutual alliances and there was more talk about leaving the Union than usually. Plenty of the corporate-owned Outer colonies were seeing an increase in PMCs and corporate security forces. The Union military was on high alert.

Alarming news came through: several high ranking Union military officers had defected to the colonies, chief among them the celebrated war hero and people’s favourite, general Hyun. Hyun had been transported to the planet of Marankov Primus, escorted by a team of operatives from the Redmond Security company and a Weyland-Yutani combat synthetic. The intention was for Hyun to make a rousing call for secession from the Union, that would be broadcast throughout colony worlds. The situation on Marankov Primus was tense, with attacks mounted on Union military and supply targets. The Union military on the planet was still loyal, but Hyun’s speech could very well tip the situation in the rebels’ favour.

Hyun’s speech would have to be stopped. The Union intelligence had tracked the general to a decommisioned military outpost, Tango-1. It was time for UTOPIA squad 16 to do their thing and stop Hyun from broadcasting his message. There was precious little time to do it.

Touching down on Marankov Primus, the 16th made their way through the woods towards the outpost with its thick walls, while Dastevan and Abdul managed to stealth their way inside the compound from the rear. Three of Redmont Security’s guards were guarding the area, one at the perimeter wall, one patrolling the area and a third one up in the guard tower with a light machinegun. DiGlaeser used his radio expertise to jam the rebels’ transmission systems, buying more time for the squad to stop Hyun.

A view through the trees

A view through the trees

Sgt. Fender leads from the front

Sgt. Fender leads from the front

Redmond Security - keeping an eye on your compound

Redmond Security – keeping an eye on your compound

A guard scans the area with his LMG

A guard scans the area with his LMG

The troopers hadn’t been spotted yet. Dastevan and Abdul quietly snuck to the back of a large barracks, and peeked in to see a Redmond operative cleaning his weapon. Not wasting a moment, Dastevan ran in and stabbed the man with his bayonet, bringing him down. Abdul mercilessly stomped on his neck to make sure he wouldn’t alert the others.

Meanwhile, the other Redmond troopers obviously weren’t expecting an attack, as they were scanning the treeline, but failed to notice the squad making its way over open ground to the wall and climbing over it. With most of the squad over the wall, the sniper Cohl raised his rifle and put a bullet through the head of a guard standing at the main entrance, finally alerting the PMCs.

A guard burst out from one of the smaller buildings, only to be knocked down by another one of Cohl’s accurate rounds. The former olympic marksman was murderously effective, standing in the shadows of the trees and raining death into the compound. Emboldened by Cohl’s supporting fire, troopers Bruce and Swartz rushed forward, only to be met with a hail of machinegun fire from the guard tower, going down wounded. The two guards still standing were doing their best to protect the traitorous general.

The machinegun in the tower guns down Bruce and Swartz

The machinegun in the tower guns down Bruce and Swartz

Abdul ran to finish the guard Cohl had knocked down. He calmly raised the barrel to the man’s face and pulled the trigger, only to find out he had forgotten to load his rifle. The tiny click the empty weapon made was deafening. The grinning Redmond operative fired his own rifle at point blank range…or would’ve fired, if his earlier fall hadn’t jammed dirt into his rifle. The man’s arrogant smile faded, and moments later a hail of bullets cut him down.

Abdul prepares to finish off a fallen guard

Abdul prepares to finish off a fallen guard – drama ensues

The squad was making good progress, but time was running out. Cohl’s rifle roared again, and another guard went down. This finally caused the machinegun wielding guard in the tower to lose his nerve and make his way down. The sixteenth ran towards the building they knew the general was in. Dastevan bought a little more time by opening up on the satellite dish with his rifle. Doing so, he failed to notice the guard with the machinegun, who leveled his weapon, ready to add another member of the squad to his tally. The empty click of the machine gun was even louder than Abdul’s. Being a professional, the guard could see his game was up, so he threw the gun down, raised his hands, got on his knees and was restrained by Dastevan.

Abdul and Lau went to the door and called for the general to come out, to no apparent reaction. The door was locked, too. Dastevan figured the best way was to simply trust blind luck, and fired full auto through the building’s wall. Abdul took a more sensible route, and shot up the lock on the door. Seconds after he’d done it, the combat synthetic stormed out through the door and grabbed Abdul with inhuman strength. In a desperate hurry, Lau attacked the synth from behind, only to be shrugged off. It wasn’t until Sgt. Fender joined the fight that the troopers managed to pull the android to the ground and Abdul rushed into the room. The bodyguard had done his job, however. Time was up, and general Hyun had made his broadcast. The general offered his surrender – the damage had already been done.

Abdul and Lau prepare to breach the door

Abdul and Lau prepare to breach the door

Sgt. Fender observes the breaching action

Sgt. Fender observes the breaching action

Suddenly a wild synthetic appears!

Suddenly a wild synthetic appears!

A victorious general Hyun surrenders

A victorious general Hyun surrenders

As the noise dies down, a lone badger studies the field

As the noise dies down, a lone badger studies the field

A few days later the news broke. Maybe it was the speech, maybe it was one of the countless other incidents happening throughout the Union. Whatever the reason was, war had broken out between the Union and the Outer colonies.

This seventh game concludes the first “season” of Utopia. What this means is that the game’s narrative takes on a new theme – that of civil war. It’s not going to be all that, of course. To be honest, a large part of it is that it provides me with easier inspiration for future scenarios. Also, I think the campaign will benefit from having something akin to a main plot. While monster of the week style play is fun, I don’t think it can keep its appeal forever. I’ve also really wanted to do a bit of storytelling for a while now, and this’ll provide me with a good opportunity to do that. The players have said that they’re happy to stay with the campaign, and we’re busy trying to schedule the next game. It’ll probably happen somewhere around mid-May-ish.

As you may have noticed, I made a lot of cardstock terrain for this board. I’ve never been very good at it, but with all the changing scenarios it’s simply not feasible to try and crank out resin or plastic terrain. I’m slowly getting better at it, too, and destroying far less than I used to. The main components here are the Tango Prime perimeter set (which I named the compound after) by Finger and Toe models, which is an absolute steal at $0.50 and Folding Unit Structures by Genet Models, which weren’t too pricey either at $6.50.

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One comment

  1. […] Bruce were still in the sick bay from being peppered with machine gun bullets in the unit’s previous mission. As a sort of reward, the team was handed an easy mission: Conner Industries’ research center […]



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