Issue: 22
System: High Crusade
Publisher: Wessex Games

Living With The Big Lie
by Steve Blease

"They never tell you the truth at boot camp - hell, you can't blame them I s'pose. Who in the Grail's name would be frecking stupid enough to do this if they knew the truth. Hey, don't get me wrong, I ain't no coward man, I ain't 'fraid to lay down my life for the Free Companies. It's just the futility of it all out here on some backwater planet were the indigs treat us like lepers and the geeks come and go like wraiths in the night. I swear on the Grail man, it ain't funny here..."

Excerpt from "The Journal of Trooper Olthasson - A Personal Perspective of the Khalihari Campaign"

Introduction:

2712IC wasn't the best of years for the Free Companies. Surrounded on all sides by enemies, the eighty systems on the periphery of human space have been beset by a series of violent attacks and the forces of the Free Companies - the elite Crusaders and the Levy, the groundpounders have found it hard to hold onto their worlds as the mighty Shia Khan continue their expansion to reoccupy worlds they previously owned millennia before.

Some forces find themselves on worlds such as Khalihari, a harsh desert world with a hostile indigenous population and an enemy that defies all their efforts to destroy. The Levy Troopers of the CMXVIII Thors Hammer Brigade have defended Khalihari with their blood for the last two years. In their eyes it is a pointless exercise on a world of no value, but they do their duty. Promises of reinforcements and relief have come and gone, casualties and disease have reduced the Brigade to nearly 20% of its operational effectiveness and now the Shia Khan are poised for the kill. Levy outposts fall one by one, as the Shia Khan Infiltrators now assault the beleaguered Levy.

Outpost 614:

Reports over the Brigade net were grim and the platoon at Outpost 614 knew they were in one seriously deep hole... The Composite Levy Platoon (drawn from various reduced strength units) allocated with the task of manning the Outpost and using it to keep an eye on Infiltrator movements on an important supply line have been under attack by artillery and sniper fire for the last week. Effective strength has been reduced to eighteen troopers and now the Shia Khan are poised to launch an all out assault on the outpost to finish it off. The Levy have been promised reinforcements, but they've heard that before...

XXVIII Composite Platoon:

The Composite Platoon's effective strength is as follows:

The Levy also have a supply of five K-More anti-personnel booby traps which are positioned prior to the game and detonated by electronic control during the order phase. Just place a counter next to the K-More's position (any counter will do) and if the order is not jammed then the weapon fires. Each K-More can be detonated individually. The K-More's fire a concentrated blast of missiles at the enemy and once used can no longer be used. To simulate the K-More use the Support Weapon Template to show the arc that the blast covers and the stats of the Battlemaster Chain Gun. The K-More can fire in any direction round a 360° arc.

As suspected there are no reinforcements and the Levy have to hold their Outpost to win the game.

Shia Khan Infiltrators:

For the past week you have been wearing down an enemy outpost with the eventual aim of just walking in and finishing off the pieces. This tactic has worked well against the Levy forces on Khalihari as they've shown a rigid determination to hold pieces of ground with little tactical or strategic thought as to why.

However matters have come to a head following the interception of Free Companies subspace traffic indicating a Free Companies Crusader Regiment is being mobilised to relieve the beleaguered Levy troopers. This may well be subterfuge by the Free Companies, but it has been decided not to take the risk. Consequently assaults have been stepped up to finish the Levy off quickly and if this means higher casualties than first envisaged then that has to be accepted.

Your orders are to finish the Levy off and capture their outpost within twelve moves. Losses are irrelevant, though your troops may beg to differ on this point. You have the following forces at your disposal:

Ed Note: This scenario was originally published in Hellwire #4, an informal and irregular journal/newsletter from Wessex Games; they also publish the High Crusade rules on their web site.