Credits and Contents KLENDATHU INVASION CREDITS Author Matthew Sprange Additional Text Matt Keefe Editor Christopher Allen Cover Art Chris Quilliams Internal Art Jim Brady, Scott Clark, Danilo Moretti Figure Painters Adrian Walters & Viktor Medora Miniatures Manager Ian Barstow Production Director Alexander Fennell Proofreader Ron Bedison Playtesters Simon Dethan, Alexander Fennell, Nichola Wilkinson & Ted Chang CONTENTS Introduction The Road to Victory Preparation for Invasion Timeline of the Invasion Invasion! General Retreat A New Strategy Invasion Companies Light Armour Platoons Platoon Armoury The Arachnid Response Fighting on Klendathu Scenarios Heroes of Klendathu 2 3 4 6 8 12 13 15 17 23 25 30 35 45 Starship Troopers: The Miniatures Game TM & (C) 2005 TriStar Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved. Mongoose Publishing Ltd. Authorised User. Reproduction of any part of this work by any means without the written permission of the publisher is expressly forbidden. Printed in China. 1 Introduction INTRODUCTION Welcome to the ﬁght, trooper. This book details the invasion of Klendathu by the Mobile Infantry in an attempt to bring about a quick resolution to the Arachnid War. This is the ﬁnal step on humanity’s long Road to Victory, a campaign intended to ensure human civilisation, not insect, dominates this galaxy now and always. The Sky Marshal and his experts within the Strategic Integrated Coalition of Nations all agree on one thing; the strike against Klendathu will be a swift and sure victory. Unfortunately, they are wrong. Victory on Klendathu will not come easy. It will not come at all. Though the entire invasion will take less than a day, Klendathu will be the most devastating engagement fought by the Mobile Infantry to date, with an incredible death toll. The Klendathu Invasion has the following sections, detailing the invasion from conﬁdent start to ﬁnal tragedy. IT’S AN UGLY PLANET – A BUG PLANET! 2 Preparation of Invasion: A look at the last stages of the Road to Victory and the assumptions made by SICON as to the nature of the threat they faced on Klendathu. Read on as the invasion unfolds with devastating consequences. You will also ﬁnd a frank SICON analysis of the lessons learned during this battle and how the new Sky Marshal intends to apply them to future conﬂicts. Army Lists: Mobile Infantry players will revel in the new Invasion Companies. Comprising Light Armour Platoons, these are a new type of trooper created by the Sky Marshal in order to ﬁeld massive numbers on the battleﬁelds of Klendathu. The Arachnids respond with new ploys to trap unwary troopers by utilising their vast and extensive tunnel networks. Fighting on Klendathu: This section contains ideas on how to bring the excitement of Klendathu to your own tabletop, including a complete campaign that will test the entire vista of your tactical intellect! The Road to Victory THE ROAD TO VICTORY The destruction of Buenos Aires by a bug asteroid launched from the depths of space became a watershed for the entire Federation. There was time before BA and then time after. The Arachnids were no longer some vague alien threat on the far reaches of Federation space but a clear and present danger that had to be met with the most direct action. quickly they could not possibly be certain an alien presence was absent were ignored, if not outright suppressed. The Federation was destined for greatness and the Road to Victory was living proof of Mankind’s ascendance in the galaxy. The ships of the Fleet jumped from system to system, dropping Mobile Infantry squads and then transporting them to the next target with wellpractised ease. Klendathu loomed ever closer. After ridding Pluto of its Arachnid infestation, the Road to Victory began, a path through the stars that led directly to the Arachnids’ own homeworld, Klendathu. Under the strategic leadership of Sky Marshal Dienes, the MI were to ﬁght the Arachnids wherever they could be found, with no resistance, no matter how ﬁerce, allowed to slow down Mankind’s inexorable progress to Klendathu. By striking at the heart of the threat, Dienes imagined a fatal blow that would cripple the bugs throughout the galaxy. The Mobile Infantry could then spend months, perhaps years, slowly eradicating the Arachnid infestations left on remote worlds. The war, however, would effectively be over. During this period of time, Dienes was hard at work on the Home front as well as the ever expanding frontline. Even as the line of human control in the galaxy was redrawn almost every day, the Sky Marshal collected the resources of the Federation and funnelled them into the greatest military machine Mankind had ever created. New warships were launched from Earth orbit every week while factories on all the colony worlds began churning out weapons, equipment and vehicles. Most importantly, vast recruiting drives for all three arms of SICON military service were initiated, boosting the manpower available and permitting the creation of the now infamous Invasion Companies. There were opponents to this strategy, naturally, but Dienes did not attain his rank of Sky Marshal by succumbing easily to political opposition. He dismissed opponents who said this headlong streak through the galaxy was foolhardy, potentially leaving supply links and ﬂanks exposed to counterattack. In spite of their spread throughout this region of the galaxy, he maintained that Arachnids were utterly lacking in strategic sophistication and could fairly be treated as animals, a galactic pest that was his duty to wipe out. This drive, that effectively placed the entire Federation on a war footing, had just one aim – Sky Marshal Dienes realised that if he wanted the invasion of Klendathu to end the entire conﬂict, he would need to deliver a force so powerful, so overwhelming, that the Arachnids would be eradicated within hours. What was surprising was that so few civilians and citizens realised just how much money was being spent and how many people were being recruited. Regular FedNet broadcasts continued to paint the Road to Victory as a foregone conclusion. In a little over a year, Dienes had accomplished most of his tasks, all but silencing his political critics. The Road to Victory had been paved with success after success as the Mobile Infantry, supported by the Fleet, hopped from planet to planet. By dropping in force and crushing any Arachnid resistance, entire planetary systems were secured in rapid succession, allowing the Sky Marshal’s forces to span the galaxy as they raced on towardss their ﬁnal target, Klendathu. Whispers of Arachnid infestations left almost entirely intact and planets scanned so Dienes was no fool and was at least somewhat aware of the risks he was taking with the Road to Victory. While he was conﬁdent that the Fleet could protect supply lines as the Mobile Infantry raced across the galaxy, he was less sure of their stability if the ﬁghting on Klendathu became a protracted battle rather than a quick extermination. Thus, it was essential that enough ﬁrepower was massed in Klendathu orbit at zero hour to ensure a holocaust on the alien world that no bug could escape. He believed the entire operation could be completed in less than 24 hours from the ﬁrst drop to the last bug dead. WELCOME TO THE BUG HUNT, APES. WITH ANY LUCK, THERE WILL BE A FEW LEFT TO KILL BY THE TIME YOUR SQUAD DROPS! 3 Preparation for Invasion PREPARATION FOR INVASION Briefing 12-20-02-KLN, Military Intelligence, Colonel Makinsson Welcome, ladies and gentlemen. This brieﬁng is intended to familiarise you with all aspects of the invasion. For many of you this is the ﬁrst time you have been presented with the big picture, as it were. I’ll provide the overview now and meet with you all individually to discuss the roles of your own departments within the next few days. Due to the excellent turnaround of analysis, Military Intelligence has been instrumental in the progress of the Road to Victory campaign. Indeed, we can demonstrate that our rapid evaluation of planetary systems and potential infestation sites has allowed both Fleet and MI to concentrate on high-value targets and avoid those with little or no interest to us. In turn, this has shaved off nearly two months from the Sky Marshal’s original timetable for the Road to Victory. Now we are in a position to strike at the heart of the Arachnids before they can make any serious defence preparations – Logisitics and Procurement have had to work hard to complete their quotas! Nevertheless, we have been assured all assets will be in place when the Fleet reaches Klendathu orbit. So, let us look at the primary targets. Klendathu’s sun is similar to Terra’s Sol, though larger and older. Orbited by seven planets, it gives off an extreme amount of radiation for a yellow star, though we project its more harmful emissions are weak enough by the time they reach Klendathu itself to cause little or no harm to exposed humans. Klendathu itself has two moons, dubbed Centipae and Milliapae. These satellites are natural in origin and uninhabited. The surface of Klendathu is dry and barren from pole to pole according to remote sensors and observation. Xeno-Studies has proposed the possibility of a considerable underground ecosystem present beneath Klendathu’s surface, needed to support a species as ravenous as the Arachnids. Repeated probes into the system have revealed no such ecology and I am thus happy to report that there is in fact a very small population of Arachnids present on Klendathu. Yes, there may be a larger contingent of stored, dormant eggs but those will be easily destroyed after the initial assault when we clear the way for a nerve gas strike against the Arachnid’s underground nests. 4 As an aside, an interesting possibility was raised during our closing interview with Xeno-Studies on this matter. We have in the past discussed the potential to capture advanced Arachnid forms for study and it might well be possible to select an attack region for isolation. We can ensure the chosen zone is contained and indigenous inhabitants quarantined for transport before the gas phase of Operation Righteous Extermination. This may result in high casualties within the unit assigned to this mission but given the otherwise light losses expected on Klendathu, we feel the numbers are well within acceptable limits. Moving on, the planet’s atmosphere is quite similar to Terran norm. Klendathu’s atmosphere is more stable than Earth’s, which is likely due to a greater mix of noble gases and a much wider ionosphere spread buffering lower levels of air closer to the surface. Initial research into Klendathu suggested turbulent weather due to the existence of two moons. A closer examination by Military Intelligence, headed by myself, has shown this supposition to be untrue. Far from being a planet-wide race, the Arachnids are concentrated in a relatively small area, probably because the softer rock here allows easier tunnelling. This, of course, plays right into our hands. We will land our forces in Drop Zones Alpha, Bravo and Charlie, effectively ringing the Arachnids and allowing us to methodically wipe them out in a matter of hours. This will be achieved primarily by the Invasion Companies. Individual power suit and Marauder units will be used in a purely supporting role or be otherwise tasked to eradicate smaller nests located outside the main Drop Zone areas. I have noted that more than one of you sitting around this table has questioned the Sky Marshal’s creation and implementation of the Invasion Companies. Allow me to take a moment to allay your fears. It is true our projections do report that far fewer MI can be landed on Klendathu with a fair expectation of success in all mission objectives. However, it is a foolish intelligence operative who does not expect a few surprises when battle begins! We must therefore attack Klendathu in overwhelming force, regardless of how weak the primary targets may appear. We must expect some variance in our projections – why, there could be double the number of expected bugs in each Drop Zone! While we could potentially leave this to the power suit Preparation for Invasion companies, consider the Invasion Companies to be a little added insurance. By removing power suits and other advanced equipment from these troopers’ standard issue, we have been able to gain massive savings in both supply and training. With increased recruitment proceeding according to our original projections, the resources we have saved has allowed us to absorb the huge number of new recruits with little trouble. The double-edged saving is that by removing the power suits, we have also been able to drastically cut the amount of time needed to train an MI trooper. Onefor-one it takes about half the time and resources to train a light armour trooper as it does a cap trooper. However, the economies of scale have allowed us to realise far greater gains than this and I am pleased to announce that over three hundred thousand fully trained troopers will be available to deploy into the Drop Zones in the ﬁrst phase of invasion. The objections raised against the Invasion Companies tend to follow one of two lines. First, it has been said that the entire concept of the Invasion Companies takes the mobile out of Mobile Infantry. Second, the life expectancy of a light armour trooper when directly faced with Arachnids is exponentially lower than that of a Cap trooper. Both of these are, in fact, false. The Invasion Companies are indeed mobile – nothing has fundamentally changed, as it would be foolish to alter this most basic of tenet of our military. What we have done is changed the emphasis. Powersuit and Marauder platoons all feature personnel trained and equipped with individual jump packs. With the Invasion Companies, we introduce a new concept. The increased resources available for this invasion have allowed us to create a sophisticated transport network utilising standard Vikings and Skyhooks. In this way we have changed the focus of mobility from a single platoon able to jump several miles in minutes to being able to deploy and re-deploy an entire super-sized company – to any single point on the entire planet! This allows us to position a crushing weight of ﬁrepower in precise locations in reaction to anything the enemy attempts. Counterattacks on their part will simply become a new battle line within minutes. As for criticisms of the Invasion Companies’ equipment, I ﬁrst have to point out that these troopers are using the same Morita assault riﬂe as the power suit platoons – they thus have exactly the same basic ﬁrepower. It is true that the ﬂak armour worn by the Invasion Companies can never equal the protection of a power suit but the larger squad sizes of the new troopers, as well as the increased number of squads that will typically be deployed in support of one another, means that it is unlikely that any Arachnid attack will get close enough for this to be a factor. Put simply, each squad will have the capability of kicking out so much Morita ﬁre that no bug swarm will be capable of reaching it. Added to this will be increased access to atomics and other advanced supporting weaponry. Given preparation and enough distance, we project that a single Invasion Company can actively attack a bug swarm of any size with a certainty of success. System Datafile: C911: Kle3 Target Name: Klendathu Classification: G (lightly irradiated) Klendathu: - Orbit: 227,940,000 kilometres (1.52 AU) from System Sun - Diameter: 6,495 kilometres - Mass: 6.1236e23 - Atmosphere: 75% nitrogen, 24% oxygen, with traces of argon, xenon, neon, carbon dioxide and hydrogen - Planetary Composition: Primarily silicon, iron and nickel Throughout the operation, the Fleet will be kept in low orbit in order to facilitate the transport network of the Invasion Companies, as well as ensure accurate landings in all three Drop Zones. Though there is a minor element of risk from launched bug plasma, I can assure you that it will be random and light. I wish to pass on the Sky Marshal’s congratulations to all department heads. It is Military Intelligence that has made the successful planning of this invasion possible. True, it will be the Mobile Infantry and Fleet who get all the glory on the day but we all know where the real heroes of the Federation work, eh? It is solely because of us that this battle has been won before a single trooper lands on Klendathu. Thank you for your attention. I’ll be scheduling appointments with all of you over the next few days, starting with Strategic Analysis and then Fleet Integration. 5 Timeline for Invasion TIMELINE OF THE INVASION D-0:22 First squadron, led by the Jutland, jumps into the Klendathu system. Followed by the rest of the Fleet’s orbital assets. D-0:06 Fleet assembles in ﬂight order and begins to enter Klendathu low orbit. Arachnid plasma response almost immediate. D+0:00 Primary Mobile Infantry waves (primarily Invasion Companies) begin drop. D+0:02 The destroyer Lionheart is the ﬁrst casualty of the intensifying plasma barrage, with all hands lost. D+0:04 Primary MI waves complete. The ﬁrst cruiser to be lost to the plasma barrage is the Manchuria. Out of control, it rams the Yom Kippur, destroying both vessels. D+0:05 Secondary MI waves begin drop. D+0:08 Primary MI waves land in assigned Drop Zones Alpha, Bravo and Charlie. Invasion Companies begin deployment and securing of beachhead almost immediately. D+0:10 Invasion Companies engage initial targets with atomics. Primary targets are plasma bug batteries. However, Captains in the Fleet have already begun to note that the heaviest concentrations of plasma barrages are coming from areas outside the designated Drop Zones. D+0:26 Acknowledging that Arachnid resistance is both heavier and better co-ordinated than expected, Sky Marshal Dienes orders the General Retreat. Company commanders are ordered to make their way back to their Vikings but many are already cut off by impassable swarms of warrior bugs. D+0:38 The Fleet has suffered heavily with over a dozen capital ships lost and many more seriously damaged. Many retreat from Klendathu orbit though this effectively strands the MI on the ground. A few brave Captains remain in orbit to await the return of Vikings and lend ﬁre support to the surface. However, by this time MI and Arachnid forces are so intermingled that no effective reprisal from orbit can be made. The plasma barrage is unimpeded. D+0:16 Warrior bugs begin massing in huge numbers, far in excess of expectations of Military Intelligence. First major clashes between Arachnids and Invasion Companies begin. D+0:57 The last of the Vikings leave the surface of the planet to be picked up by the few remaining ships in orbit. Many are shot down by plasma ﬁre as they slowly ascend through the atmosphere. The returning MI comprise mainly those Invasion Companies that dropped in the secondary and tertiary waves and did not have time to deploy far from their Vikings. The primary wave is almost entirely annihilated, with casualties exceeding one hundred thousand. Most power suit and Marauder platoons are still on the surface, having been tasked with wide-ranging patrols and therefore cut off from their transports. The Fleet begins to regroup in the shadow of Centipae, one of Klendathu’s moons, in order to remain sheltered from long-ranged plasma ﬁre. D+0:20 Tertiary MI waves land and begin deployment. This completes the initial invasion force – within twenty minutes, over three hundred thousand troopers have been deployed from orbit directly into the battle area. Already several Invasion Companies are standing by to be overrun by Arachnid swarms and are in danger of routing. D+1:12 Sky Marshal Dienes convenes an emergency strategic meeting with Military Intelligence ofﬁcers to discuss further options. At this point the death toll has run well into six ﬁgures. It is estimated that over forty thousand MI troopers are still on Klendathu, ﬁghting for their lives. D+0:12 First contact with massed Arachnid swarms. Initial MI casualties light, mostly due to inexperience or over-eagerness to join battle. Tertiary MI waves begin drop. D+0:13 Secondary MI waves land. 6 D+0:24 Number of Arachnids in main engagement zones begin to increase. power suit and Marauder platoons, deployed as patrols outside of the Drop Zones, begin to report massed swarms in their areas. The entire invasion force is effectively surrounded. MI casualties at this point have already passed twenty seven thousand. Many Invasion Companies have ceased to exist as ﬁghting units. Timeline for Invasion D+1:47 Fleet monitors increasing numbers of distress calls from trapped MI though communications interference from an unknown source based on Klendathu makes positioning these units difﬁcult. Sky Marshal Dienes reported as being out of contact as he continues to consult with Military Intelligence. D+2:24 Sky Marshal Dienes orders reconnaissance orbits with remaining destroyers and TAC Fighters to gain ﬁx on current MI positions on planet. By this time, the surviving Invasion Companies have created ﬁrebases from natural vantage points in the terrain. The power suit and Marauder platoons are now either in complete retreat across the surface of Klendathu or else are effectively engaged in a guerrilla war as they hit small Arachnid swarms in an attempt to relieve the pressure on the besieged Invasion Companies. D+3:58 Military Intelligence ofﬁcers complete their preliminary analysis of reconnaissance data. They advise the Sky Marshal to initiate drops in selected areas where Arachnid resistance is light in an effort to create retrieval points that MI on the surface can rally to. Though no one mentions it, power suit platoons out of communication and the Invasion Companies have effectively been abandoned. D+6:01 It becomes apparent that Military Intelligence has been far too conservative in its placement of retrieval points, as many are just too far away from the initial Drop Zones for the beleaguered units to have any chance of reaching them. The retrieval points themselves face few attacks and are strengthened by the retreating units that do manage to locate them. Less than ﬁve thousand MI are rescued in this manner but Military Intelligence is encouraged by their secure positions and begins planning for new drops to reinforce these locations and begin a new offensive sweep. D+14:11 Coming to the conclusion that any MI still alive on Klendathu are irretrievably lost, Sky Marshal Dienes orders the bombardment of Klendathu from orbit. The Fleet rains its entire arsenal down onto the Arachnids. The plasma barrage falters and then disappears altogether, encouraging Fleet Captains. D+16:11 After two hours of solid bombardment, Sky Marshal Dienes ceases the attack to launch TAC Fighters on reconnaissance patrols. They soon report massed Arachnid swarms appearing in the vicinity of known tunnel complexes. D+16:49 The bombardment from orbit resumes once more though few are conﬁdent in its success. Damaged ships begin to jump from the Klendathu system on a priority basis to be repaired at station Ticonderoga. Four ships are lost as they engage their Cherenkov drives and are never seen again. D+17:25 After leaving orders for rotation of bombardment and retreat from the Klendathu system, Sky Marshal Dienes retires to his quarters. He is not seen again until he returns to Fleet Battle Station Ticonderoga. The Fleet begins to leave the system, a ship at a time. The bombardment of the surface continues, as it seems effective at suppressing plasma barrages if nothing else. D+23:38 The last ship (the battlecruiser Dogger Bank) jumps out of the Klendathu system to rendezvous with the rest of the ﬂeet at station Ticonderoga. D+8:42 A steady escalation of Arachnid attacks around the retrieval points culminates in the heaviest bug offensive yet seen. Though better prepared than before, the MI units on the planet are soon placed under heavy pressure. For the ﬁrst time in the MI’s history, low morale becomes a factor. D+13:19 After several attempts to break through the attacking Arachnids, Sky Marshal Dienes once again orders a General Retreat in order to withdraw the remaining MI from Klendathu. While many units manage to board their shuttles and reach orbit, a mis-communication to the Fleet results in many ships being out of position to make the pick up. Hundreds of MI perish by plasma ﬁre in their transports as they languish in orbit. 7 Invasion! INVASION! The arrival of the Jutland heralded the beginning of what would be the greatest battle yet fought between human and Arachnid. Within moments, dozens more spatial anomalies resolved themselves into the rest of the Federation Fleet, bringing the vast host of starships and their precious cargo of troopers into the vicinity of Klendathu. This armada was ready for any eventuality – space superiority assured by the might of dreadnoughts and frigates while landing boats were fully capable of dropping thousands of troopers to the planet surface within minutes. The Bannockburn and Antioch were speciﬁcally outﬁtted with command and communications equipment while the Antietam and Shiloh had been reconﬁgured to provide ﬁre support to the planetary surface from orbit. The proud ﬂagship of the ﬂotilla was the Cold Harbor, serving as a supervising command hub and the personal transport for Sky Marshal Dienes. Onboard the landing boats, Mobile Infantry were hurriedly mobilising and preparing for the drop. The inexperience of the Invasion Companies was telling next to veteran Marauder and power suit platoons – recruits rushed onto their landing boats in a state of barely suppressed nerves and excitement while veterans entered drop capsules with practised ease. Morale was high as the Invasion Company troopers realised that in mere moments, they would be facing real combat and real enemies for the ﬁrst time. Reaction to the Fleet entering low orbit around Klendathu was immediate. As Military Intelligence had predicted, Arachnid planetary defences responded with glowing arcs of bug plasma. Hurled from the surface by plasma bugs, the emissions carved distinctive blue trails of energy through the atmosphere as they climbed towards the Fleet. 8 WE’RE GOING IN WITH THE FIRST WAVE. MEANS MORE BUGS FOR US TO KILL. YOU SMASH THE ENTIRE AREA, YOU KILL ANYTHING THAT HAS MORE THAN TWO LEGS, YOU GET ME? with their landing boats. Though tragic, these minor losses were almost irrelevant in the grand scale of the invasion and it was an unfortunate fact that even random ﬁre from the surface would eventually hit something. Military Intelligence remained conﬁdent that planetary defences were incapable of any coordinated attack on the Fleet. Minutes later, the attacks claimed their ﬁrst victim amongst the orbiting Fleet craft. Surging up from Klendathu, a blast of scintillating blue plasma hit the Lionheart amidships, melting straight through the hull and burning into the interior structure of the craft. Those few crewmen who survived the plasma onslaught were killed by decompression as the remaining atmosphere vented into space. Twisted and fused pieces of metal from the shattered ship began to impact on nearby craft in the densely-packed ﬂight order and Fleet captains were forced into breaking formation to avoid further harm to their own vessels. Though a surprising loss, Military Intelligence ofﬁcers judged it as acceptable at this point, even as the plasma continued to intensify and become more accurate. While the bulk of the ﬁrst wave would be made up of the Invasion Companies aboard landing boats, drop capsules were launched to carry their elite cargo towards the planet surface at incredible velocity with the aim of securing initial beachheads. Exhilarated light armour troopers were now experiencing their ﬁrst actual drop into a live combat zone as they plummeted through the atmosphere, morale buoyed up by an unshakeable belief that the battle before them would be over quickly with decisive victory. As the last elements of the ﬁrst wave left orbit, the Manchuria became the second vessel to be lost. The direct hit that struck it was not enough to cripple or destroy the vessel but it did succeed in reducing the starboard engine to slag. As the vast ship careened out of control, it rammed the Yom Kippur, destroying both ships and losing all hands on board to the burning heat of the explosions or the cold void of space. With more and more plasma blasts arcing up from the surface to gouge great furrows across Federation ships, leaving trails glowing with red-hot metal and clouds of venting atmosphere, many Fleet captains did not wait for orders but took evasive action on their own initiative. The carefully arranged formation broke down completely. The ﬁrst Mobile Infantry casualties of the invasion were suffered as their forces dropped towards the surface of Klendathu, before a single trooper had touched the ground. Under increasingly intensive ﬁre from the plasma bugs below, one Marauder company was annihilated as it descended in drop capsules and several platoons of light armour troopers were vapourised along Below, Marauder and power suit platoons were the ﬁrst to hit dirt, scything through token resistance present in the landing areas. By the time the Vikings touched down, veteran troopers were already on the bounce towards Drop Zone perimeters, scouting and securing the outlying regions. Using plasma charges and demolition gear, power suit troopers collapsed what Invasion! tunnel entrances they encountered but in Drop Zone Bravo the Hellﬁre Marauder platoon reported such an unexpectedly large number of tunnels that Military Intelligence concluded the area must be riddled with a natural cave network, as the estimated numbers of bugs present would have no need of such an extensive arrangement. At the secure landing sites, Invasion Company troopers poured out of their landing boats like a tidal wave of humanity. As well as the mass of recruits, specialist platoons had also landed in this wave – power suited platoons of combat engineers set about constructing ammunition dumps and very basic fortiﬁcations at Drop Zone Charlie while ‘bughunter’ SICON agents blessed with mental powers of perception moved out with the Invasion Companies to track down and eliminate elusive concentrations of Arachnids. Modiﬁed Marauder suits with specialist communications equipment came down on board Slingshots rather than being risked in drop capsules, providing mobile command posts and information relays for company commanders. Capture teams were also brought down, small bands of troopers and SICON scientists armed with chemical and nonlethal weaponry to hunt and capture any Arachnid stragglers they could catch for later examination in SICON labs. Supremely conﬁdent of victory, the Invasion Companies paused only for cursory organisation before beginning the real offensive onto Arachnid-held soil. Showing little battleﬁeld discipline, troopers banded together into dense mobs and rushed forth to secure the areas surrounding the drop sites, immediately encountering ﬁerce but erratic resistance from warrior bugs that had been missed by the outbound veteran platoons. Charging from hiding places among rock formations or out of gulches in the broken landscape, the aliens threw themselves recklessly at troopers. Faced for the ﬁrst time with an angry warrior, many green recruits simply froze in fear or panicked and ran. As a result, these rogue Arachnids managed to both cause casualties before they were put down by overwhelming ﬁrepower and hamper the advance. In Drop Zone Charlie, Werfel’s Wolves lost their captain to the savage assault of a loitering warrior bug, throwing his subordinates into confusion for minutes and stalling the entire company from making serious progress. Events like this were repeated across all three Drop Zones as troopers pushed forward but the seemingly random and uncoordinated Arachnid presence was conﬁrming Military Intelligence’s analysis of the bugs’ defences and giving no real cause for concern. Deploying their atomic assets with abandon, the Invasion Companies still advancing now began to engage and destroy 9 Invasion! their priority targets – the plasma bugs hammering the Fleet. The lumbering, living artillery pieces and their protective swarms of warriors were easy targets for Pee-Wee munitions and all defensive ﬁre from the Drop Zones was rapidly quelled with nuclear ﬂame. In Drop Zone Bravo, the few plasma bugs not annihilated in this ﬁrst wave of attacks were sighted being hustled into yawning cave mouths by their warrior minders, apparently aware of the impending danger to their charges, and Military Intelligence issued wide-scale orders to collapse the tunnel mouths with demolition charges. Despite this success, strategic analysis by the command ships above was revealing a worrying twist – even with the defences in the three Drop Zones nulliﬁed, the bulk of the ﬁre from the planet surface continued unabated. Not only were the surviving plasma bugs from those regions being redeployed by the Arachnids with remarkable speed, other concentrations were being detected further out. Attempts to eliminate these distant clusters with ﬁre support from orbit was proving equally difﬁcult as the broken terrain of the planet surface hid a myriad of valleys and ravines for the bugs to take shelter in. As the dust settled around the charred corpses of plasma bugs in all three Drop Zones, SICON special talents in charge of monitoring subterranean bug movements began to report what looked to be a mass retreat by swarms in the tunnel networks below. Morale rose as troopers on the ground saw the contrails from the secondary wave of Vikings descending through the atmosphere and Military Intelligence judged the situation to be safe enough for the specialist capture teams to be deployed into Drop Zone Charlie. With sporadic ﬁghting still evident around the perimeters of Federation-held ground, the capture teams entered the tunnel networks to ﬂush out potential prey. As the teams progressed deeper into the deserted tunnels, the quality of communications to the surface rapidly degraded until only garbled reports were reaching company commanders above. In the dark and alien Tunneling on Klendathu Arachnid tunnel networks on Klendathu stretched far deeper than Military Intelligence had suspected. Although no living human has seen what might lie in these deep tunnel systems, scientists theorised in the wake of the Klendathu disaster that on planets the bugs have inhabited for long periods of time, ‘tunnel highways’ might be excavated – immense tunnels stretching across entire continents, within which even huge creatures like plasma bugs could be moved rapidly from location to location without struggling through the labyrinthine smaller networks created by worker bugs. 10 world they found stretching for miles down, far beyond even the enhanced senses of the bughunter special talents, the capture teams realised they were on their own and running virtually blind with their inadequate sensor equipment. Within a minute of the specialist teams dropping out of contact, evidence of what fate befell them was made starkly clear. Special talents reported a huge resurgence of bug activity in the tunnel networks. A sudden rush of warrior bugs began to boil out of tunnel entrances in all three Drop Zones. Even as the secondary wave touched down at the ad hoc base camps around the landing sites, the Invasion Companies of the ﬁrst wave were ﬁnding themselves engaged by swarms from multiple directions simultaneously and some outlying platoons were overrun almost immediately. Even as the new wave hurried over the arid landscape to reinforce the embattled troopers, warrior bug swarms continued to escalate to far larger numbers than Military Intelligence had calculated. Warrior bugs were now emerging in the outlying regions of the Drop Zones and gathering into huge swarms before moving in towards the landing areas, with the obvious intention of blitzing their way through the confused Invasion Companies to the landing boats. The veteran platoons deployed to the perimeters of Drop Zone Alpha were the ﬁrst to report this activity but initially the information was ignored by Invasion Company captains who found themselves too busy dealing with the enemy currently facing them. Some Military Intelligence ofﬁcers actually refuted the information outright as it conﬂicted with their predictions about Arachnid numbers on the planet. Though lacking numbers and resources, the veteran platoons began to engage oncoming bug swarms to whittle down their numbers but the vast waves proved single-minded and unstoppable in their purpose. Entire platoons simply disappeared in the space of minutes. The Arachnid hordes ploughed into the densely packed and unprepared Invasion Company troopers of Drop Zone Alpha with horriﬁc results. Suddenly outnumbered and outmanoeuvred by an enemy that knew the terrain far better than they did, troopers often responded with panic, spraying ﬁre at their assailants with no thought of ammunition conservation or accuracy. This inefﬁcient behaviour combined with a lack of any appreciable training in where to hit a warrior resulted in vast amounts of wasted ﬁrepower and thousands of lives being lost. In many cases, troopers tried to advance directly over the ‘corpses’ of warrior bugs they had brought down with ﬁre only to be torn apart by the crippled aliens. Drop Zone Bravo was faring even worse. The surrounding terrain was particularly rugged and difﬁcult for humans to traverse and the sheer weight of warrior reinforcements was breaking the Invasion Companies into fragments forced apart by ravines and ridges. These natural barriers funnelled the Mobile Infantry into dead ends and Arachnids pouring out from tunnels Invasion! platoons found themselves under heavy suppression as they tried to move further out from the perimeter. Engaged in bitter combat with swarms of hoppers, Marauder platoons pushed free of the Arachnid containment in Drop Zone Bravo only to transmit reports of something even worse to the company commanders. More massed swarms of warrior bugs were streaming towards the Drop Zones, with Fleet assets conﬁrming fresh and unexpected hotspots of Arachnid activity appearing across the planet surface to converge on Federation forces. With so many incoming hostiles, the zones became entirely encircled and within each noose the endless streams of warriors from below continued to butcher Invasion Companies. In Drop Zone Alpha the situation was so dire that Marauder and power suit platoons still in contact were being called back to support their light armour comrades from the overwhelming hordes. The ofﬁcers on the ground knew the landing sites were their lifeline to the ﬂeet – if those fell, they would be entirely isolated. and scuttling down canyon walls easily overran isolated pockets of troopers. Up to this point, Drop Zone Charlie had suffered the least of the three regions as the Invasion Companies took advantage of more favourable terrain to set up kill zones. An entire ﬂood of warrior bug reinforcements was abruptly cut off when a bughunter talent located one of the major tunnel routes they were using and Kleiner’s Jackals platoon used demolition charges to collapse it, killing dozens of aliens below and stalling the endless tide. However, even as the Arachnid tunnelling assault faltered, the skies began to ﬁll with the ﬂitting forms of hoppers and soon swarms of the ﬂying bugs had been sighted in all three drop zones, mainly harrying power suit and Marauder platoons on the bounce to force the veterans to stay on the ground. Even with the third wave of troopers, the mounting death toll was daunting. The primary invasion force of over three hundred thousand troopers had been transported from orbit directly into contested regions within twenty minutes, which would have been an astounding validation of the Sky Marshal’s planning had not those men been suffering casualties at an equally extraordinary rate. From just this initial assault some Invasion Companies had been reduced to half strength or worse, mostly in Drop Zones Alpha and Bravo, while power suit and Marauder The battle line faltered further in Alpha as a spearhead of warrior bugs drove through a gap in the defensive coverage left by the loss of a company in the initial drop. The swarming bugs nearly split the Mobile Infantry presence in two, halted only by Loewe’s Lions who successfully broke the assault through their sheer determination and heroism, using grenades and ﬂamers to hold the enemy off. In Drop Zone Bravo, large numbers of tanker bugs began to emerge from the tunnels riddling the rock to assault isolated bands of Mobile Infantry corralled in the treacherous terrain, burning them out of their hiding places with searing ﬂame. Tankers also began to emerge from under Mobile Infantry positions in Drop Zone Charlie, collapsing tunnels to drag infantrymen from the surface into the subterranean network. Invasion Company captains across all three zones could no longer dispute the sheer overwhelming enemy presence they now faced. Twenty-six minutes from the ﬁrst drop, the command staff came to a decision that was becoming increasingly hard to delay any further. Undeniably, Arachnid resistance was not just heavier in terms of numbers and troop strength than expected but they were acting with alarming co-ordination and an uncanny knack for exploiting tactical conditions on the ground before the Mobile Infantry were even aware of them. With no end to Arachnid reinforcements in sight, the Invasion Companies could not conceivably survive as a ﬁghting force for much longer. With a heavy heart, Sky Marshal Dienes now ordered the General Retreat. It was too little, too late – on the ground, many company commanders found that whatever the Sky Marshal’s orders might be, there was no way to implement them and no way back to the landing boats. The Arachnids had encircled them, cut them off, outwitted and outfought them. The complete destruction of Sky Marshal Diene’s grand war machine had come. 11 General Retreat GENERAL RETREAT Even as the Mobile Infantry on Klendathu began the desperate struggle back to their landing boats, the battered Fleet was also suffering heavy losses. With burning plasma still being ﬁred from the planetary surface, over a dozen capital ships had already been completely destroyed. A signiﬁcant number of vessels had suffered heavy crew losses and crippling structural damage with only a few surviving completely unscathed. Engineering teams frantically fought to keep the raging ﬁres and failing systems under control but as long as the Fleet remained in low orbit, they were merely delaying the inevitable. The determination of the Fleet captains began to crumble under this assault as they realised that the General Retreat had been ordered. Many vessels retreated out of low orbit to a prudent distance from the planetary surface, breaking what vague formation still existed in a rush to reach sanctuary from burning plasma. A number of captains did hold their ground rather than desert the Mobile Infantry below but after the Copenhagen and Iwo Jima were reduced to slag, only the bravest and most foolhardy continued to hold orbit. The last of the Vikings were already departing the surface, loaded with demoralised Invasion Company troopers. The speed of their evacuation was down to the later deployment of the Communications Interference & Arachnid Broadcasting As Arachnid concentrations increased on the surface of Klendathu, MI communications and transmissions continued to degrade with frightening speed and no discernible cause. It was suspected the Arachnid’s own communications were the cause of this and that the interference comms ofﬁcers were picking up on the ground was actually Arachnid battle chatter or brain bug transmissions. Other hypotheses claimed the degradation was caused by massive subspace disruption from the mental activity of a theorised ‘queen’ bug, perhaps in opening a psychic link to other Arachnid colonies to request aid or send warnings. 12 MI DOES THE DYING, FLEET JUST DOES THE FLYING. secondary and tertiary waves of the drop as these troopers simply had not had time to move far from the landing zone before the General Retreat was called. Even further out, the remaining power suit and Marauder platoons were completely cut off from any hope of retrieval. The removal of the last Mobile Infantry concentrations by landing boat only served to further condemn the remaining troops on the ground, as the Arachnids were able to focus their forces on surviving pockets of resistance. Fifty-seven minutes after the ﬁrst drop, the General Retreat had been completed and yet thousands of Mobile Infantry were still on the planet’s surface. Well over a hundred thousand troopers had died already, butchered by warrior claws or incinerated by tanker bugs. Reports on the failed invasion later noted the lack of injured and wounded survivors – those who encountered the bugs either survived or died, a powerful testament to the ferocious efﬁciency of the enemy. One by one, the defeated ships of the Federation rocketed out of the system, many bearing the scars of plasma ﬁre and carrying thousands of grim-faced troopers. The last few specialist bombardment vessels ﬁnally let up on their barrage and left orbit to follow the rest of the Fleet, the surface of Klendathu remaining quiet as if the Arachnids realised their enemy was gone for good. The last straggler to leave was Dogger Bank and, in the wake of its departure, Sky Marshal Diene’s defeat was complete. YOUNG PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE GLOBE ARE JOINING UP TO FIGHT FOR THE FUTURE. THEY ARE DOING THEIR PART – ARE YOU? JOIN THE MOBILE INFANTRY AND SAVE THE WORLD. SERVICE GUARANTEES CITIZENSHIP. A New Strategy A NEW STRATEGY The lessons of the Klendathu Invasion were apparent for all to see. The incompetence and sheer arrogance of Military Intelligence and the upper echelons of SICON command were laid bare and many were certain that if things continued in this vein then the entire war would be lost. Sky Marshal Dienes was left with no choice but to resign. His successor, Sky Marshal Meru studied the failures hard in order to formulate her battle plan, even as Federation scientists debated to explain the seemingly intelligent military actions of the Arachnids. The utter failure of Military Intelligence was clear and for a short time a witch hunt was conducted during a series of enquiries designed to lay unequivocal blame on several high-ranking ofﬁcers. Intelligence had woefully miscalculated on a number of key issues. 9 Arachnids were present on Klendathu in far greater numbers (by at least two orders of magnitude) than had been guessed. 9 The assumption that Arachnids possessed no communications jamming capability had been proved false though whether this was down to a new species of bug or unique atmospherics on Klendathu has yet to be ascertained. 9 There had been those in SICON that had suspected the Arachnids were capable of using their antennae to track communications transmissions. After Klendathu, few doubted it. 9 The utilisation of the light armour troopers as a strategicbased infantry force was possibly the single greatest error in terms of loss of life. In addition, the lack of equipment and training proved telling when battle began. 9 The use of plasma bugs gave the Arachnids a formidable anti-orbital response, fully capable of breaking up a ﬂeet in tight formation. 9 Standard orbital bombardment was useful for temporary suppression but could fulﬁl no deﬁnite strategic purpose. 9 With a total of nearly two hundred thousand dead and very few wounded from the invasion attempt, it was clear that Arachnids did not take prisoners. 9 Arachnids may be bugs but they were much smarter than anyone had given them credit for. The tactical and strategic co-ordination of the Arachnids could easily put even experienced Mobile Infantry commanders on the back foot. WE THOUGHT WE WERE SMARTER THAN THE BUGS. Sky Marshal Maru therefore instituted many new directives of engagement for both the Fleet and Mobile Infantry as well as new policies for Military Intelligence. There was a general belief that SICON as a whole had become lazy after a series of easy successes during the Road to Victory, with commanders presuming they were facing a primitive or ‘dumb’ enemy. That was to change immediately so many standard procedures were reactivated. This included communications protocols – while the Arachnids were not likely to intercept and decipher SICON trafﬁc, they could certainly home in on transmissions, putting Mobile Infantry in the ﬁeld at great risk. The Sky Marshal’s central philosophy was to begin understanding the Arachnids. From now on, Federation scientists would no longer simply explore new ways of killing Arachnids. They would also begin study into how Arachnid society functioned and why the bugs did the things they were observed doing. Military Intelligence was instructed to begin thinking like the Arachnids when planning a response to their actions. Though these steps would inevitably take time to come to fruition, Sky Marshal Maru was left in the unenviable position of having a battered force close to enemy territory and a government screaming for a victory, any kind of victory, in order to justify the incredible loss of life. The decision was therefore made to press the offensive home in the Klendathu system but instead of attacking the homeworld of the Arachnids immediately, the Mobile Infantry would start on the outlying planets of the system. Taking one world at a time, attacks would start with TAC Fighter sweeps to hunt down and bomb Arachnid swarms on the surface that would otherwise retreat underground from massed orbital ﬁrepower. Only then would troopers be sent in. The aim was keep the Arachnids under pressure (and thus, hopefully, divert their attention from Earth and another Buenos Aires) but also to use these smaller engagements to begin studying the bugs during ‘controlled’ battle scenarios. However, there was another goal Sky Marshal Maru was keen on pursuing and this was to be a reawakening of an old Military Intelligence operation. For the ﬁrst time, missions would be endorsed to capture, alive and intact, one of the rare brain bugs. With this 13 A New Strategy creature to study, SICON could surely learn a lot more about the Arachnids and so develop effective counters that would prove decisive. It was Sky Marshal Maru’s intention to completely disband the Invasion Companies after the ﬁrst invasion but as they still represented a sizeable portion of her overall military strength, this was simply not feasible. Instead, she began to integrate power suit platoons as supporting forces to the Invasion Companies, allowing them to counter fast moving Arachnid swarms before they gained a position of advantage. ANOTHER NEW SKY MARSHAL Unfortunately for Sky Marshal Maru, her strategy was to eventually fail though she managed to retain her position for ﬁve months. While SICON learned a great deal about ﬁghting the Arachnids and even managed to capture a brain bug, she was unable to successfully clear even a single planet in the system of its bug infestation. The hammer ﬁnally dropped on her career when Arachnid activity began to spring up all along what had once been the Road to Victory. Soon after the capture of the brain bug on Planet P, Arachnids began to appear in huge numbers on many worlds, even some previously deemed clear of infestation. Lightly garrisoned planets were soon overrun and those with a stronger SICON military presence were soon hard-pressed to stem the Arachnid hordes. In less than a month, the entire Klendathu operation was under threat of being cut off from the Federation completely. Sky Marshal Maru had no choice but to withdraw from the campaign and tender her resignation. She was replaced by Sky Marshal Keats who, under tremendous political pressure, instituted a complete reversal of the strategy ﬁrst laid out by Sky Marshal Dienes. With the Arachnids literally erupting from dozens of worlds, the Federation was running a very real risk of being forced to ﬁght a war on multiple fronts. This was something the Arachnids could clearly afford to do, as they seemed to possess limitless numbers. Mankind had no such luxury and rumours began to spread that an age of personal consent (the age at which a civilian could apply for Federal Service) of 16 was being considered for the future. The Arachnid threat was a very real danger to humanity and it was understood throughout the Federation that this was a battle of the species – any possibility of a live and let live policy had long since vanished and there could now be only one victor to claim dominance of the galaxy. Sky Marshal Keats therefore proposed an almost complete withdrawal. Until the losses in both equipment and manpower suffered at Klendathu could be recovered, SICON would be hard stretched to simply protect Earth and the colony worlds. Both 14 Sky Marshal Dienes The architect of the Road to Victory and the ﬁgurehead of the Federation’s military in those dark days after the destruction of Buenos Aires, it seemed for a time that Sky Marshal Dienes was destined to go down as one of the greatest heroes in Federation history. Citizens and civilians alike yearned for vengeance and Dienes’ ﬁery rhetoric and commanding style in the wake of such a disaster gave the Sky Marshal instant appeal and the unveiling of his Road to Victory plan proved one of the most popular acts of any Sky Marshal. Alas, this would be all forgotten in the wake of the quite simply disastrous invasion of Klendathu. Dienes’ subsequent resignation, whilst fulﬁlling perceived military honour and sparing the Sky Marshal some considerable embarrassment, ultimate relegated him to nothing more than an unimpressive footnote in history. the Fleet and Mobile Infantry would be recalled to Federation space, abandoning the countless staging posts constructed during the Road to Victory. Only then would they begin to take the offensive to the Arachnids once more. More importantly, they would only attack Arachnid-held territory one or two systems at a time, ensuring the infestation had been completely wiped out before moving onto the next. The Road to Victory would be set among the stars once more but this would be a slow and methodical process rather than the blazing trail it had once been under Sky Marshal Dienes. This policy would effectively lock Mankind into a struggle against the Arachnids for many years but would also serve to expand the Federation, system by system. As more worlds came under human control, the Federation would grow and gain more resources. With each newly commissioned colony world, the SICON military would become a little stronger. In return, the forces of the Arachnids would slowly diminish. In the end, it was believed, this new battle plan would not only ensure Mankind’s survival against the Arachnids but also guarantee his ascendance throughout the entire galaxy. That, at least, was something many in the Mobile Infantry felt was worth ﬁghting for. Invasion Companies INVASION COMPANIES The Invasion Companies were the brainchild of Sky Marshal Dienes and became central to his plans for total victory on Klendathu. They were to be the key to success and the solution to Mankind’s domination of the galaxy. Though Sky Marshal Dienes had access to Military Intelligence estimates of Arachnid strength on Klendathu, he was wise enough to know that these were indeed just estimates, born from experience of the Arachnid presence on other worlds. The numbers of bugs present on the Arachnid homeworld could vary from this greatly. In addition, Dienes was not just looking for victory in the coming conﬂict. He wanted complete annihilation, a victory so complete, devastating and fast that the Arachnids would have no chance to respond effectively, no matter what their true numbers were. As well as sparing the lives of many troopers, Dienes would also gain political momentum from having led such a bloodless campaign (as far as humans were concerned) and yet achieving success so quickly. The Arachnids had already proven resilient to orbital bombardment on many worlds, simply digging under the planet’s crust until troopers were sent down to gauge the success of the pounding, and then attacking in strength. Clearly, it would be the Mobile Infantry that would bear the brunt of the invasion, not the Fleet, and in order to succeed as Dienes planned, they would have to be present in massive numbers. This would be a problem. While the Mobile infantry’s ofﬁcial strength was something in the region of eight million troopers, Dienes would have far less than this to use in any major engagement. Many within this number would still be taking part in training, some would be rotated back to Federation space on leave or reinforcement duties, while others were already actively engaged in battle against Arachnids and other alien races elsewhere in the galaxy. Most were garrisoning planets on the Road to Victory that either still had an Arachnid presence or had recently come under renewed attack from the bugs. It was readily clear that the Sky Marshal needed a wholly new force of troopers, freshly recruited and trained for the invasion. He would be able to use a large number of veterans from previous engagements but the core of his force would be this new army. Knowing that it takes a large investment in both time and money to train each trooper, Dienes looked to the militia of far ﬂung colony worlds for inspiration. The average militia force of a small colony world has nothing so sophisticated as power or Marauder suits, nor do they have the incredible training of the Mobile Infantry. Instead, they tend to be little more than volunteer riﬂemen, electing to take a short term of part-time military service in order to defend their homes. Aside from the higher ranks of command (and few militia warrant any rank higher than Captain) most militia would have full-time occupations within their colony, only taking to arms for weekend practice or when trouble actually arose. Dienes noted that despite this lack of disciplined training, colony militia forces had been able to withstand light attacks from Arachnids and Skinnies, sometimes holding off larger invasions until the Mobile Infantry could arrive. What might such a force achieve if it had Mobile Infantry training? Sky Marshal Dienes resolved to build a new army of nearly a million troopers. Ofﬁcially, they would be Mobile Infantry but they would not be equipped with power suits, nor would they be trained in 90% of the equipment that cap troopers were expected to use. Simply taking the use of power suits out of the new troopers would create massive savings in resources and shorten training time exponentially. Furthermore, by using Viking drop boats and similar craft, time could also be saved by eliminating the costly drop capsule training that gives cap troopers their name. This new breed of trooper would be well trained with a riﬂe and his instincts honed to act within a unit, rather than be as independently minded as the average cap trooper. Training camps could achieve an incredible throughput of recruits in record time, allowing the new Invasion Companies to swell in size during the Road to Victory. By equipping these troopers with little more than a Morita riﬂe and ﬂak armour, the equipping of new light armour platoons, as they were to be called, matched the rate at which they could be trained. As well as providing for large numbers of Invasion Companies, this also allowed each formation to increase in size. A light armour platoon at full strength would be somewhat more numerous than the equivalent platoon of power suited cap troopers. FRANKLY I FIND THE IDEA OF A BUG THAT THINKS OFFENSIVE. 15 Invasion Companies New tactics had to be devised for the use of the Invasion Companies but here Dienes felt he was on sure ground. While tactics had continued to evolve for the mobile nature of cap troopers, he believed the Invasion Companies could rely on a more historical model of deploying by air in massive numbers and concentrating ﬁrepower into speciﬁc target areas. His plans called for an initial drop of three hundred thousand troopers onto Klendathu and by the time the Road to Victory was nearing completion, it was clear that the vast majority of these would be formed from the over-sized Invasion Companies. The power suit and Marauder companies would be used to support the light armour troopers, rather than forming the spearhead as they had done in engagements before. As it turned out, the invasion of Klendathu did not happen as Dienes had planned and it cost the Sky Marshal his career. Many felt that it was not simply the strong Arachnid response that was to blame but the actual nature of the Invasion Companies themselves. Put bluntly, these troopers well too ill-equipped and trained to deal with an enemy as strong as the Arachnids. 16 The Invasion Companies, some broken down into their constituent light armour platoons, would continue to exist for many years more, however. Though each individual trooper was comparatively cheap, the creation of huge numbers of them represented a massive investment. It was perhaps ironic that the key to victory on Klendathu would become simply too expensive to put to rest once it proved less than adequate. Light armour troopers were thus sent to many parts of the galaxy, mainly to regions where the ‘regular’ Mobile Infantry would be an overkill but occasionally formed into mass numbers to repel full blown invasions. A few distinguished platoons, such as the renowned Roughnecks, were trained into cap troopers but most were not as lucky. That said, they have certainly enjoyed their successes as well and it was a light armour platoon that ﬁrst succeeded in capturing a live brain bug, a task cap troopers had been unable to achieve since the start of the Road to Victory. Light Armour Platoons LIGHT ARMOUR PLATOONS Collectively forming the massive Invasion Companies used on Klendathu, a light armour platoon consists of non-cap troopers in ﬂak armour and armed with Morita riﬂes and a few other tactical weapons. They are not quite as ﬂexible on a tactical level as power suit platoons but they mass a great deal of ﬁrepower and retain manoeuvrability on a strategic level through access to large numbers of Vikings and Skyhooks. If you want to ﬁeld an army that can mass an astonishing amount of ﬁrepower in one place and have the possibility of even outnumbering the Arachnids, then a light armour platoon is for you. A light armour platoon in the Starship Troopers Miniatures Game comprises three or more Light Armour squads and a commanding Light Armour lieutenant, though it can swell to include two NCOs and six more squads! Remember, you must decide which platoons to use before choosing any forces. You cannot choose to ﬁeld more than one platoon for every 1,000 points of your entire army. For example, Officers In the MI Army List, only NCOs, Lieutenants and SICON Military Intelligence Agents are considered to be ofﬁcers. a Mobile Infantry army in a 2,000 point battle may ﬁeld either one or two platoons. You are free to mix different types of platoon in larger games, so in a 2,000 point game you may use two light armour platoons or a single light armour platoon supported by either a power suit or Marauder platoon. Every platoon is made up of several units, each of which has a points value that counts towardss the total value of your army. Units often have various options you may choose to take, such as adding extra models or equipping them with special weapons and equipment. These options will all increase the total points value of the unit. Sky Marshal Maru Although free of any blame for the failed invasion of Klendathu, Sky Marshal Maru was nonetheless faced with a huge challenge upon becoming SICON’s ﬁfth Sky Marshal in less than three years. Maru took up the post after the resignation of Sky Marshal Dienes and was immediately faced with the task of bringing a new direction to the Federation’s war with the Arachnids. All of this, of course, was conducted under the scrutiny of an expectant citizenry, still shocked at the destruction of Buenos Aires and which, while perhaps unaware of much of what happened on Klendathu, expected much of its more military and its leadership. In this difﬁcult period, Maru founded her reputation on thorough scrutiny of all military matters, both internal (ordering constant reviews of an organisation many had come to view as lazy) and external (instituting a new policy of study, observation and ultimately understanding of the enemy). Maru’s reforms achieved her basic aims of creating a more considered, intelligent SICON but her leadership and her determination were brought into question by a period of relatively unimpressive military operations during her tenure. The subsequent erosion of her predecessor’s gains on the Road to Victory led to Sky Marshal Maru’s somewhat inevitable departure. Light armour platoons use all the rules detailed in the MI Army List, found on pages 68-71 of the main rulebook. The one exception is the use of Emplacement Assets. Light armour platoons tend to be very well supported at a strategic level and can count on a great number of emplacements when forced onto the defensive. A light armour platoon may choose to use double the number of Emplacement Assets found on page 71 of the main rulebook. A light armour platoon may therefore choose to use 0-8 Reliant Emplacements, 0-8 Ammo Dumps and 0-4 Bunkers. 17 Light Armour Platoons Lieutenant 1 per platoon 70 points You must include one Light Armour Lieutenant in your Light Armour platoon. Light Armour Lieutenant Type Light Armour Lieutenant Value 70 Size 1 Move 4” Close Combat D6 Target 3+ Save 6+/6+ Kill 5+ Traits Independent Weapons/Equipment: A Light Armour Lieutenant is equipped with a TW-203-a Morita Assault Riﬂe with XW-110-G1 underslung G/L. Only the M-290 Flechette Grenade may be used with the underslung G/L. Special Rules A Light Armour Lieutenant is subject to the following special rules. Condensed Training: All TW-203-a Morita Assault Riﬂes lose their Auto trait. Options A Light Armour Lieutenant may purchase the following options: Lieutenant Rank Insignia Markings Go Career: The NCO may be bought heroic traits up to a total value of +50 points. Weapon Options: M-902F Frag Grenades may be purchased for +5 points. NCOs Helmet Markings Shoulder Markings 0–2 per platoon 55 points Your Light Armour platoon may include up to two Light Armour NCOs. Light Armour NCO Type Light Armour NCO Value 55 Size 1 Move 4” Close Combat D6–1 Target 3+ Save 6+/6+ Kill 5+ Traits Independent Weapons/Equipment: A Light Armour NCO is equipped with a TW-203-a Morita Assault Riﬂe with XW-110-G1 underslung G/L. Only the M-290 Flechette Grenade may be used with the underslung G/L. Special Rules Light Armour NCOs are subject to the following special rules. Condensed Training: All TW-203-a Morita Assault Riﬂes lose their Auto trait. Options Light Armour NCOs may purchase the following options: Sergeant Major Rank Insignia Markings Go Career: The NCO may be bought heroic traits up to a total value of +50 points. Weapon Options: M-902F Frag Grenades may be purchased for +5 points. 18 Helmet Markings Shoulder Markings Light Armour Platoons Light Armour Squad 1-3 per officer (minimum 3 per platoon) 120 points You must have at least one light armour squad for every ofﬁcer in the platoon, with a minimum of at least three light armour squads in the platoon as a whole. Your platoon may include more than this if you wish, up to a maximum of three squads per ofﬁcer. Light Armour Squad Type Light Armour Trooper Light Armour Corporal Light Armour Sergeant Value 10 35 50 Size 1 1 1 Move 4” 4” 4” Close Combat D6–1 D6–1 D6–1 Target 3+ 3+ 3+ Save 6+ 6+ 6+/6+ Kill 5+ 5+ 5+ Traits — — — Unit Size: Every Light Armour squad consists of one Sergeant (unit leader) and seven Light Armour troopers. Options Weapons/Equipment: TW-203-a Morita Assault Riﬂe and XW-110-G1 underslung G/L. Only the M-290 Flechette Grenade may be used with the underslung G/L. Go Career: The squad Sergeant may be bought heroic traits up to a total value of +25 points. Special Rules Light Armour squads are subject to the following special rules: Condensed Training: All TW-203-a Morita Assault Riﬂes lose their Auto trait. Split Firing: A Light Armour squad containing only a sergeant may not split ﬁre. A Light Armour squad containing both a Sergeant and a Corporal may split ﬁre into two ﬁre zones. An ofﬁcer joining a light armour squad allows the creation of an extra ﬁre zone. Light Armour squads may purchase the following options: Unit Options: Up to four extra Light Armour troopers may be added to the squad at +10 points each. One trooper may be promoted to Corporal for +25 points. One trooper may be given Medic training for +15 points. One trooper may be given a comms pack for +25 points. One trooper may be replaced by a FedNet reporter for +20 points. Weapon Options: Up to two troopers may replace their TW203-a Morita Assault Riﬂe and XW-110-G1 underslung G/L with any of the weapons listed below. 9 9 TW-201-l Morita Sniper Riﬂe and XW-110-G1 underslung G/L (with M-290 Flechette only) for +5 points. SW-401 Longbow Missile Launcher for +35 points. 19 Light Armour Platoons FedNet Reporter 1 per squad Special One trooper in each Light Armour squad may be replaced by a FedNet Reporter, as described in the Light Armour squad unit entry above. FedNet Reporters may never be purchased separetly, and this separate unit entry is included only to provide the characteristics and special rules for the model. FedNet Reporter Type FedNet Reporter Value 30 Size 1 Move 4” Close Combat D6–2 Target 3+ Save 6+ Kill 5+ Traits — Weapons/Equipment: None. Special Rules FedNet Reporters are subject to the following special rules: He’s Our Pain in the Butt: After having faced many dangers alongside the squad he is embedded with, the Reporter sometimes becomes a symbol of luck for the troopers. In other cases, the troopers are simply all too aware that they are constantly on ﬁlm. So long as the Reporter is present, any one model in the unit may re-roll one of its shooting or close combat dice in every action. Hey Mom!: For better or worse, a good Reporter gets everything on ﬁlm. This has the sometimes side effect of causing troopers to ‘act for the camera’, causing them to ﬁght with a bravado that might not normally exist. So long as the Reporter is still alive, any model in the unit can opt not to ﬂinch. Making a FedNet Reporter FedNet reporters are unit upgrades adding to light armour squads, so the easiest way to indicate a FedNet reporter is by using the camera included on the light armour squad sprue, and giving it to one of the troopers in place of a weapon. The model on the left is an example of this. Adrian Walters, studio ﬁgure painter, has converted a more elaborate FedNet reporter model, as you can see on the right. He did this by choosing a suitably posed set of legs and torso from the light armour squad sprue, along with a bare head to mark the reporter out from the helmeted troopers. The microphone was made by taking the Pee-Wee munition from the sprue and scraping away the detail to leave a smooth, bulbous end. An aerial was also added to the backpack by drilling a hole in the communications backpack and inserting a short length of wire. Finally since the reporter carries no weapon, the free hand was cut at the elbow and at the wrist and then carefully repositioned. Sky Marshal Keats Succeeding Sky Marshal Maru, Keats proved able to at last break with events of the past months and order a complete reversal of the strategies implemented by Sky Marshal Dienes. Some argued that Maru herself had earlier wished to adopt such a policy but feared besmirching Dienes’ record and was therefore tied to his policies. Keats however was able to make this bold U-turn in policy and now used SICON’s immense propaganda network to recast the war with the Arachnids as a battle of the species, a ﬁght for mankind’s survival, no longer the righteous crusade which Dienes had painted his Road to Victory. Survival was the byword for Keats’ new policy, playing upon fears of the human race’s demise and under his leadership military operations took a more defensive approach. Garrisons were set up to ensure colony worlds could properly defend themselves, while the ﬂeet patrolled endlessly to keep open the shipping lanes that connected these vital and far ﬂung worlds. The success or failure of Keats’ policies have yet to be determined. 20 Light Armour Platoons LIGHT ARMOUR PLATOON SUPPORT Like other Mobile Infantry Platoons, light armour platoons make use of support units, equipment and weapons deployed from other elements within the MI. In the case of light armour platoons, these assets come in two forms: Command Assets and Fleet Assets. points value on assets. This limit includes all assets, both those bought from Command and from the Fleet, so the value of these assets combined must never exceed 50% of the army’s cost. The exact assets available depends upon the chosen Priority Level of your force, so a Priority Level Two army can only choose Priority Level Two assets, either from the Command Assets list, the Fleet Assets list or both. You are free to choose assets from both Command and the Fleet as you see ﬁt, as long as they are chosen only from the appropriate Priority Level. Atomic Protocols In order to choose any atomic weapons, a model with access to Atomic Protocols must be in the platoon. The presence of a Lieutenant with SICON Military Intelligence Training (see the Heroic Traits chapter of the main rulebook) or a SICON Military Intelligence Agent both fulﬁl the Atomic Protocols requirement. Regardless of your Priority Level, you can spend no more than 50% of your army’s total FLEET ASSETS LIST Priority Level One At Priority Level One, ﬂeet assets are not available to a Pathﬁnder Platoon. Skyhook Retrieval Boat 125 points Viking Landing Boat 195 points 0–2 per platoon 0–1 per platoon Priority Level Two At Priority Level Two, you may choose from the following ﬂeet assets: Skyhook Retrieval Boat 125 points Viking Landing Boat 195 points 0–3 per platoon 0–2 per platoon Priority Level Three At Priority Level Three, you may choose from the following ﬂeet assets: AGM-716 Flamberge Heavy Missile 0–1 per platoon 50 points EOM-1A1 Sarissa Space Combat Missile 100 points Skyhook Retrieval Boat 125 points Viking Landing Boat 195 points F-76 Thunderbolt TAC Fighter 250 points 0–1 per platoon Any number per platoon Any number per platoon 0–1 per platoon 21 Light Armour Platoons COMMAND ASSETS LIST Priority Level One At Priority Level One, you may choose from the following command assets: SICON Military Intelligence Agent 80 points 0–1 per platoon M-781A1 Falcon Missiles +20 points Any SW-401 Longbow Missile Launchers can be given M-781A1 Falcon AA Missiles. M-998A1 Atomic Pee-Wee Munition +300 points 0–1 model per platoon may be equipped with an M-998A1 Atomic Pee-Wee munition (only if model with Atomic Protocols is in platoon). Priority Level Two At Priority Level Two, you may choose from the following command assets: SICON Military Intelligence Agent 80 points 0–1 per platoon M-908P Plasma Munition +20 points 0–1 ofﬁcer per platoon may be equipped with an M-908P plasma munition. M-781A1 Falcon Missiles +20 points Any SW-401 Longbow Missile Launchers can be given M-781A1 Falcon AA Missiles. M-998A1 Atomic Pee-Wee Munition +300 points 0–3 models per platoon may be equipped with an M-998A1 Atomic Pee-Wee munition (only if model with Atomic Protocols is in platoon). Qualities or Training up to +25 points 0–1 model (may not be an ofﬁcer) per platoon may purchase up to 25 points worth of Qualities or Training heroic traits. Priority Level Three At Priority Level Three, you may choose from the following command assets: SICON Military Intelligence Agent 80 points 0–3 per platoon M-908P Plasma Munition +20 points Any ofﬁcer may be equipped with an M-908P plasma munition. M-781A1 Falcon Missiles +20 points Any SW-401 Longbow Missile Launchers can be given M-781A1 Falcon AA Missiles. M-998A1 Atomic Pee-Wee Munition +300 points Any number of models may be equipped with an M-998A1 Atomic Pee-Wee munition (only if model with Atomic Protocols is in platoon). Qualities or Training up to +25 points 0–1 model (may not be an ofﬁcer) per squad may purchase up to 25 points worth of Qualities or Training heroic traits. 22 Platoon Armoury PLATOON ARMOURY Below is a summary of the weapons used by the light armour platoons, along with new equipment unique to their forces. SW-401 Longbow Missile Launcher: The forerunner of the more capable Javelin, the Longbow was brought back into service for the Invasion Companies as any colony world with a suitable manufacturing base could build them in the huge numbers required for Klendathu. The Longbow has the added advantage of using the same missiles as the Javelin, including Pee-Wee atomics and the recently developed Nighthawk AA missile but without an automatic loading facility, its rate of ﬁre is noticeably lower than that of the Javelin. M-781A1 Falcon AA Missile: The huge numbers of hopper bugs present throughout the Road to Victory campaign convinced SICON that dedicated Rapiers, while having their place, did not grant the versatility to individual squads required when facing an Arachnid swarm of multiple species. The Falcon was designed to be a smaller warhead that could be used in a standard Javelin or Longbow with minimal extra training. Though it lacks the guidance capabilities and hard punch of the Rapier’s Birdbolt warhead, the Falcon can still provide a squad with a measure of anti-aircraft cover. GENERAL ISSUE EQUIPMENT Comms Pack: Worn as an armoured harness and requiring very little extra training in its use, the comms pack is used to bind individual squads to higher echelons of command. This has the dual beneﬁt of allowing squads to act autonomously, much in the same way as power suit squads are trained to do, and also to keep troopers ﬁghting effectively even when losses have started to impact on a force’s command structure. Even if all ofﬁcers have been eliminated, a junior rear echelon ofﬁcer can still guide a squad though this is never quite as efﬁcient as having an ofﬁcer on the battleﬁeld to make split second decisions. A squad with a comms pack is always treated as having a 6” command range even if no ofﬁcer is present on the battleﬁeld. In addition, a squad with a comms pack may always take beneﬁt from the Promote and Retrieval Point special actions, even if there is no Lieutenant in the force. It can simply take a Ready action and have a trooper promoted or a retrieval point set anywhere on the table. However, Arachnids and other races have grown adept at interfering with Mobile Infantry communications. The Promote and Retrieval Point special actions may only be used on a D6 roll of a 4+. If the Mobile Infantry player rolls less than this, the Ready action is wasted. Power Suit platoons may equip a Javelin armed model with Falcon warheads in addition to the normal Firecracker and Holepunch warheads at a cost +20 points, at any Priority Level. Light Armour Platoon Weapons Weapon TW-203-a Morita Assault Riﬂe TW-201-l Morita Sniper Riﬂe TW-201-s Morita Carbine M-290 Flechette Grenade SW-401 Longbow Missile Launchers – M-714A2 Firecracker HE Missile – M-766A1 Holepunch HEAP Missile – M-781A1 Falcon AA Missile SW-414 Rapier AA Missile Launcher – M-780A5 AA Birdbolt Missile M-902F Frag Grenade Range 20” 30” 15” 8” — 60” 60” 60” — 60” 8” Damage 2xD6 D6 2xD6 D6+1 — 3xD6 D10 D10 — D10 D10 Type Squad Squad Squad Pack — Pack Pack Pack — Pack Pack Traits Auto* Accurate Auto Underslung Ready LZ (2”) Accurate, LZ (1”), Piercing/2 AA. LZ (1”) — AA, Accurate, LZ (2”), Piercing/1, Ready LZ (1”) *Note that the Condensed Training special rule causes the loss of this ability. 23 Platoon Armoury NEW MOBILE INFANTRY RULE Nukes Down Bug Holes As a member of the Roughnecks once said – shoot a nuke down a bug hole, and you’ve got a lot of dead bugs! Such careless abandon with atomic weapons was frowned upon by the higher ranks of Military Intelligence during the Road to Victory but the relative proliferation of weapons of mass destruction during the Klendathu invasion opened the way to completely new tactics. By literally shooting a nuke down into the Arachnid’s tunnel network, nuclear ﬁre could travel a great distance, ﬂooding the tunnels with death and clearing out all but the most determined bugs. Only a light armour or power suit trooper carrying a Javelin or Longbow missile launcher with a Pee-Wee nuclear munition may attempt this tactic. Marauders and CHAS units do not have the manoeuvrability to deliver a missile accurately enough at the limited ranges required for this attack and guidance systems have not yet been developed that are fast enough to compute the course needed for a missile to ﬂy down a tunnel system when launched from a TAC ﬁghter or other aerial platform. The attacking model must be within 6” of a Tunnel Entrance, Nest Entrance or Bug Central and be able to target it in order to deliver this attack. It must also spend a Ready action computing the missile’s course down the twisting tunnels immediately before the Shoot action required to actually launch the Pee-Wee. This Ready action may be the same as used to prepare the weapon for ﬁring, if a Longbow missile launcher is being used. The missile will ﬂy a short distance into the tunnel and then explode, spreading nuclear ﬁre throughout the Arachnid’s domain. Every tunnelling model within 18” of the target point of the PeeWee (the Tunnel Entrance, Nest Entrance or Bug Central targeted) will suffer a single D10+2 Flame, Killshot, Multihit attack. Remember, damage rolls of 1 are ignored as usual. 24 trooper Marcus Clido A Buenos Aires native, trooper Clido is the epitome of the light platoons. Employed overseas in civilian work at the time of the destruction of his hometown, Clido was immediately impassioned to join the MI and take the ﬁght to the enemy. With Sky Marshal Dienes’ mass recruitment drive underway at the same time, Clido, like so many of his peers, was quickly drafted into the newly formed light armour platoons in order that they could be quickly trained, equipped and deployed to the front line. To some, such a history represents the worst of the MI and the light platoons – a young recruit driven by his own emotional reaction to the attack on Buenos Aires, rushed through training and posted, ill-prepared, to the front line. However, Clido more than overcame any doubts about the quality of such troopers, singlehandedly carrying his wounded lieutenant several hundred metres across tunnel infested territory for medical evacuation. After this display of bravery, Clido was honoured with citation for power suit training – an honour he rejected, instead favouring a promotion within the light platoons. The Arachnid Response THE ARACHNID RESPONSE It was during the invasion of Klendathu that the Arachnids ﬁnally became recognised as a true military force to be reckoned with, rather than simple-minded alien bugs to be exterminated simply because they were an affront to the human race. Whole swarms of bugs withdrew under heavy attack, regrouped and then ambushed their pursuers. Others created traps that swallowed entire platoons whole, while the fate of the Fleet against co-ordinated plasma bug ﬁre is well known. Once these tactics and stratagems were revealed on Klendathu, Arachnid forces across the galaxy began using them within a few months, making these aliens a lot more dangerous to the unwary trooper. In this section, we present some new additions to the Arachnid army list that reﬂects the increased military capabilities of the bugs after Klendathu. ARACHNID CAVE-INS It soon became clear that Klendathu was riddled with a network of tunnel systems that not only allowed the Arachnids to withstand any bombardment but also permitted them to move at great speed under the surface of the planet in order to reinforce areas under attack. As the invasion began to grow in pace, many in the Mobile Infantry realised that the Arachnids were adept at tunnelling extremely close to the surface so that any heavy movement could bring small sections of otherwise stable ground crashing down into the tunnel system. Though this rarely caught more than a single trooper out at a time, the fate of one man in an Arachnid tunnel was inevitably short and this had the effect of panicking units and turning entire regions into no-go areas. Cave-ins are purchased as Tunnel Assets. 0–1 may be bought at Priority Level Two and 0–3 at Priority Level Three. Each Cavein costs 25 points and may only be used once. For each Cave-in purchased, the Arachnid player may choose one enemy unit that has at least one model within 12” of any Tunnel Asset at the start of any one of his turns (if a Camouﬂaged Tunnel Entrance is used for this, it is revealed). One dice should be rolled for every model in the unit. On the roll of a 6, the WE CAN ILL AFFORD ANOTHER KLENDATHU! GODDAMNED BUGS WHACKED US! model is removed as a casualty immediately as he falls through the weak crust and is pounced on by a warrior bug or some other, equally nasty, Arachnid. A Dodge save may be made to avoid this fate but normal armour is of no use. Models of size 2 or larger are immune to Cave-ins, as are air units acting in the Air Phase. AMBUSHES While warrior bugs tend to amass in huge swarms, Klendathu saw the use of single warrior bugs ranging far ahead of the main swarm. Their task was to secrete themselves in an expected battleground and then pounce on troopers who ventured too close. This was dangerous enough to a trooper on patrol but if it happened while he was engaged in direct battle, it could spell disaster for his entire squad. An Arachnid player may buy 0–1 ambushing warrior bugs at Priority Level One, 0–2 at Priority Level Two and 0–5 at Priority Level Three. Each ambushing warrior bug costs 25 points. Ambushing warrior bugs never use the Workers & Warriors or Endless Tide special rules. Before the start of the game, the Arachnid player may select one terrain piece for each ambushing warrior bug he possesses that is not in the enemy’s deployment zone. He should note where each Ambushing Warrior Bug is hiding. An ambushing warrior bug may be revealed at any time (even after the opposing player has just completed an action) by placing it anywhere in contact with the nominated terrain piece. It is always considered to be out of command unless it is able to join a swarm, using the normal rules. Under normal circumstances, therefore, an ambushing warrior bug may only make Alert Status reactions – it cannot take full actions itself unless part of a swarm. Note that if an ambushing warrior bug is placed after an opponent completes an action, it does not get an Alert Status reaction if within 10” of the activated models – it only gets to react to actions taken within 10” of it after it has been revealed. 25 Klendathu Invasion! A rare success – a Light Armour squad earns their stripes by capturing one of the fabled brain bugs. Keep ﬁlming! A FedNet reporter captures the opening moments of the invasion, even as the bugs close in. 26 Klendathu Invasion! Battle Stations: Light Armour troopers rush to join the fray as the bugs attack. Nowhere to hide – bugs erupt from all over Klendathu’s surface. 27 Klendathu Invasion! Surrounded! The bugs attack from all sides. The MI are forced on to the back foot as the Arachnids attack their hastily constructed ﬁeld base. Man the barricades! 28 Klendathu Invasion! Invasion! The Arachnids surge forwards in numbers to greet the ﬁrst wave of Invasion Companies. 29 Fighting on Klendathu FIGHTING ON KLENDATHU Anyone who has seen the Starship troopers movie or read the previous chapters will know just how badly the Klendathu Invasion went for the Mobile Infantry and the terrible death toll amassed that day. However, this will not be enough for most fans of the Starship Troopers Miniatures Game. Sure, the Mobile Infantry lost hundreds of thousands of lives during this action but what really matters is how your company of troopers matched up against the odds. Were they simply swept aside by the rampaging Arachnid swarms? Did they put up a valiant ﬁght before being overrun? Perhaps they recovered from the initial onslaught quickly and managed to ﬁght their way back to a retrieval boat. Or maybe they are still on Klendathu, ﬁghting a hopeless war – avoiding constant Arachnid swarms, knowing they will never be rescued. The following rules and scenarios will allow you to create an entire Mobile Infantry company and then, using your tactical wits, ﬁght the Klendathu Invasion from their perspective. CREATING A MOBILE INFANTRY COMPANY You begin the campaign with 6,000 points chosen at Priority Level Three, with which you must purchase at least three platoons of Mobile Infantry. Purists may want to select just one platoon type (power suit, Marauder or Light Armour) for their entire company, but you are free to mix and match types according to the usual rules if you wish. You may not select any Emplacement Assets. Whenever you play a scenario in the campaign, you may only choose units within your company. Be sure to pay a lot of thought to the composition of your company as this is what is being loaded into the landing craft as part of the ﬁrst wave of the invasion. Once battle begins, you will not be getting any reinforcements! Throughout the campaign, you must keep track of the casualties your units sustain but you will also have the opportunity to see your troopers and ofﬁcers become more experienced as time goes on, making them true veterans. THE ARACHNID PLAYER The player of the Arachnid forces has an altogether easier time during the Klendathu Invasion. You will have unlimited 30 resources to draw upon as literally millions of warriors and other bugs swarm up from the subterranean tunnel network to engulf the Mobile Infantry landing zones. The points totals of each scenario played in the campaign will usually be decided by the Mobile Infantry player who must carefully marshal his forces in an attempt to escape your trap but you will often have the tactical edge. No matter what the Priority Level of scenario you play in this campaign, you may always choose to use the Endless Tide rule for your warrior bugs if you so wish, though you must pay the additional points as normal. This represents the huge number of bugs that lie in wait on Klendathu. PLAYING THE CAMPAIGN The campaign begins with the Beachhead scenario, representing the ﬁrst wave of landings the Mobile Infantry make on Klendathu. Whether they are coming in by Viking or Drop Fighting on Klendathu Capsule, hundreds of companies are taking their ﬁrst steps on this alien world to discover they have a real ﬁght on their hands. The Beachhead scenario is always played using 2,000 point forces for both the Arachnids and Mobile Infantry. Follow the special rules listed in the scenario and gauge the level of victory for either force. The Progress of Invasion Chart is then consulted, following the victory attained in the Beachhead scenario to discover what scenario should be played next. This scenario is then played and the victory conditions determined to discover the third scenario to be played and so on. This continues until you reach the edge of the Progress of Invasion Chart which will show you how your Mobile Infantry Company has fared! As will become readily apparent, the results of the Beachhead scenario can have a large effect on the campaign as a whole. You Mobile Infantry Captains 1 per platoon You are free to use a lieutenant or even NCO to lead your Mobile Infantry company, representing a formation that has its commanding ofﬁcer(s) reassigned to staff duties, leading other important operations or maybe even killed during the initial landings on Klendathu! Most Mobile Infantry companies in war time, however, will be commanded by a captain, with lieutenants heading individual platoons. If you wish to use a captain to lead your force, use the roster entry below. If you have at least one Light Armour platoon in your company, you may choose to use the Light Armour Captain. If you have at least one Power Suit platoon in your company, you may Special choose to use the Power Suit or Marauder Captain. If your company has only Marauder platoons, you may only choose to have the Marauder Captain. You may only ever have one Mobile Infantry Captain in any company during the Klendathu Invasion campaign. In regular games, you may use a single Mobile Infantry Captain so long as you have at least two platoons in your army. A Mobile Infantry Captain is considered to be an ofﬁcer for purposes of selecting the army (so, in a power suit Platoon, a Mobile Infantry Captain would entitle you to 0–2 power suit Squads, in a Light Armour Platoon the Captain would require 1–3 Light Armour Squads and so on). Mobile Infantry Captains Type Light Armour Captain Power Suit Captain M8 Marauder Captain M9 Marauder Captain Value 90 140 245 245 Size 1 1 3 3 Move 4” 4” 4” 5” Close Combat 2xD6 2xD6+1 3xD10 2xD6+1 Target 3+ 4+ 7+ 6+ Save 6+/5+ 4+/5+ 3+ 3+ Kill 6+ 8+ 11+ 10+ Traits Independent Independent, Jump/12” Hits/4, Independent, Jump/8”, Piercing/1 Hits/3, Independent, Jump/10” Weapons Options Light Armour Captain: TW-203-a Morita Assault Riﬂe with XW-110-G1 underslung G/L. Only the M-290 Flechette Grenade may be used with the underslung G/L. Power Suit Captain: TW-203-a Morita Assault Riﬂe with XW-110-G1 underslung G/L. Marauder Captain: IW-203-a Morita Ape Special, IW-422 Hellseed Y-Rack, MW-206 Derringer Light Rotary Cannon, MW-209 Trip Hammer Mortar. Go Career: The Captain may be bought heroic traits up to a total value of +150 points. Special Rules Command Abilities: All Mobile Infantry Captains gain all the special command abilities of lieutenants (such as the special Lieutenant Only actions), as described on page 69 of the main rulebook. Mobile Infantry Captains are ofﬁcers. Marauder Captains: Marauder Captains gain the Autoloaders and Lock and Load special rules described on page 79 of the main rulebook. Light Armour and power suit Captains: Lizard Line may be purchased for +5 points, WASP Pack for +10 points. Light Armour and power suit Captains: M-902F Frag Grenades may be purchased for +5 points, CC-176-ER Shock Stick for +5 points, one M-908P Plasma Munition for +20 points. The XW-110-G1 underslung G/L may be replaced with an XW-137-A3 Trench Sweeper Laser for +10 points. Marauder Captains: A Lizard Line may be purchased for +10 points. A Marauder Captain may be placed inside an M9 Chickenhawk Marauder suit for no extra points cost. He gains all the special rules and weapon options listed on page 80 of the main rulebook. 31 Fighting on Klendathu 32 Fighting on Klendathu may be able to pull victory out of the jaws of defeat later on but a strong offensive at the start will make the life of the Mobile Infantry just that little bit easier. Unless otherwise stated, the Mobile Infantry player will always decide on the points value of any given scenario (in multiples of 250 points), which allows him to commit a lot of forces to an important engagement or conversely pull back most of his company to let a rear guard sacriﬁce themselves against the Arachnid onslaught. However, he must specify at least 1,500 points in each scenario – there is no maximum and he may risk his entire company in one battle if he so wishes! Before each battle, you select units from your company up to the total points value you have chosen for the scenario. You are free to mix and match units from different platoons as you see ﬁt as company commanders on Klendathu often found their forces became hopelessly mixed when they made contact with the Arachnids. It is entirely possible that the Mobile Infantry will not be able to ﬁeld enough units to make up the points total of the next scenario. In this case, the Mobile Infantry must ﬁght on as normal but with a reduced force! If the Mobile Infantry is unable to ﬁeld any units, they automatically lose the entire campaign – they have been wiped out! If the Mobile Infantry player is reduced to 500 points or less he can choose to concede the campaign to the Arachnid player, assuming his troopers have been hopelessly scattered by the last conﬂict. The Priority Level of all Mobile Infantry forces is three, regardless of which units are actually being used in a scenario. The Priority Level of the Arachnid forces are determined in the individual scenarios. Neither side uses the tactics described in the Engagements chapter of the main rulebook, as the special rules of each scenario replace these. The layout of the battleﬁeld and deployment zones for each side is shown in the map for each scenario. CASUALTIES AND VETERANS Ordinarily, the Mobile Infantry can rely on a great deal of support, reinforcement and re-supply from the rear lines during a campaign – this was never the case on Klendathu and many companies were reduced to less than platoon strength before they were able to rendezvous with a retrieval boat. On the ﬂip side, many of the troopers in the ﬁrst wave of the invasion had never seen heavy combat before and were soon to gain a great deal of experience in a very short time. Casualties Whenever you lose a trooper or piece of equipment, cross it off of your company record sheet, adjusting the points cost of the unit as necessary. These losses are permanent and will not be replaced during the campaign so, as you can see, a careless action may doom you! As the campaign goes on, you may ﬁnd that you are forced to use under-strength units with increasing frequency, even those that are theoretically not ‘legal’. During this campaign you may use, for example, a Power Suit squad reduced to just a Corporal and one trooper. When ﬁelding under-strength units, add together the value of all remaining members, plus any options taken to calculate the unit’s cost (that is, you do not have to pay the unit’s full original cost once it becomes depleted!). Any model promoted to become a unit leader during a battle retains this status between ﬁghts. If a unit has no unit leader at the end of a battle, you may choose one of the unit members to become its leader automatically. Such unit leaders will have the rank of acting corporal but gain no other beneﬁts other than being the unit leader. Veterans Though the Mobile Infantry must contend with losses as the campaign goes on, you will have a chance to improve the abilities of individuals within your company as time passes by giving them heroic traits. Every time you ﬁght a battle, you may give one surviving model a free trait, subject to the rules below. The maximum points cost of this trait is the points total of the battle divided by 50 (rounding down). So, for example, if you fought a 1,500 point battle, you may award one trooper a 30 point trait. This trait does not, however, add to the model’s individual points cost, nor are you in any way limited in the maximum number of traits you can give to any one single model – this is a free bonus! 33 Fighting on Klendathu If you win a battle, you may instead award a free trait to one model in every unit that survived the ﬁght, subject to the maximum points values described above. There are, however, some rules as to which traits can be awarded to whom. 9 A model may never be given a Training trait as a result of surviving battles – they may only be purchased as normal before the campaign as there is simply not enough time to train your troopers! 9 A model may only be given a Talent if it had at least one purchased as normal before the campaign began – troopers do not spontaneously become psychic (as much as SICON may want them to. . .). 9 A model in a Marauder suit may not take traits normally denied to it. 9 The following units never earn traits: CHAS, TAC Fighter, Slingshot, Skyhook, Viking, missiles. ONE SHOT WEAPONS Weapons noted as being One-Shot! or otherwise ‘limited’ in nature (such as the AGM-716 Flamberge Heavy Ground Attack Missile or the ordnance of TAC Fighters) remain limited throughout the campaign. Though the MI had planned to resupply their units quickly, the failure of the invasion precluded this and many units were actually stranded in enemy held territory. Once you use these items, they are gone for all future scenarios. Drop capsules may only be used in the Beachhead scenario. ARACHNIDS Arachnids never mark down casualties, nor do they gain veterans. However, the Arachnid player effectively gets a new army during every scenario and will never run out of units. As the Arachnid player, it is your role to crush the Mobile Infantry and ensure they never leave Klendathu. You are heedless of casualties as you do this and even brain bugs are ten-a-penny on your homeworld! 34 CONTINUING THE STORY If your company survived the baptism of ﬁre on Klendathu more or less intact, it is entirely possible that you will have grown attached to the various characters and heroes that have arisen during hard fought battles. There is no need to say goodbye to them after the campaign is complete and you can follow their future adventures as they continue to ﬁght for the Federation. Whether they were stranded on Klendathu or managed to ﬁght their way back to a landing craft, you can write further scenarios or campaigns to chart their progress. You could have them returned to the Klendathu system to ﬁght on Planet P and other worlds under the direction of Sky Marshal Maru or perhaps they will be withdrawn further back into Federation space to ﬁght the Arachnids on the colony worlds. You can draw up individual scenarios to play through your company’s most famous battles or you can construct an entire campaign using the Klendathu Invasion as a guideline, marking the course of war for a whole planet. Though we will be covering various campaigns in future supplements, you might like to base your own games on the various volumes of the Roughneck Chronicles on DVD. Each is based around a single campaign and you can use the episodes as inspiration for each scenario. Whatever course you choose, the troopers in your company will begin to take on a life of their own as heroes grow and are lost to the enemy over time. Drop by the forums on our web site and let us know how your Mobile Infantry grow and develop! Scenarios SCENARIOS The following scenarios are to be used in the Klendathu Invasion campaign as you follow your company’s victories and defeats on the Progress of Invasion Chart. However, you can also use them in one-off games instead of using the Engagements chapter in the main rulebook, allowing you to pursue very speciﬁc objectives in a battle. Simply set a points value between yourself and your opponent, choose a scenario and begin playing! BEACHHEAD The Mobile Infantry commences the invasion with its ﬁrst wave of drops, aiming to hit the Arachnids hard and begin landing more forces on the planet. The Arachnids rise from their hiding places to throw the Mobile Infantry attack into chaos. Mobile Infantry Brieﬁng This is it, trooper – the long Road to Victory is at an end! You are going in with the ﬁrst wave of drops. Your orders are to smash the entire area and kill anything that has more than two legs. By clearing the landing zone, you will be able to push further forward to create a perimeter and make ready for the reinforcing second wave. 9 This is a 2,000 point battle. 9 If you have any drop capsules in your force, they may be used in this scenario, using the normal rules. 9 Drop pods and air units enter as reserves. 9 You deploy second and take the ﬁrst turn. Arachnids Brieﬁng Having monitored their progress while gathering in orbit, you are well aware of the ﬁrst wave of Mobile Infantry drops and your hordes are waiting. Hit them hard and disrupt their formations – give them no time to recover. 9 You may select a force of any Priority Level. 9 You deploy ﬁrst and take the second turn. 9 You have one Nest Entrance free of cost, placed as shown on the map. You may not purchase another Nest Entrance or a Bug Central. Scenario Length The battle will continue for ﬁve turns or until one army has been completely wiped out. Victory Conditions Mission points are used to calculate the victor of this mission. Both sides gain the full value of every enemy unit reduced below half strength. Both sides gain double the value of every enemy unit wiped out. If the MI have more mission points than the Arachnids, they gain a minor victory. If they win by more than 1,000 points, they gain a major victory. Either way, the Create Perimeter scenario is played next. If the Arachnids have more mission points than the MI, they gain a minor victory. If they win by more than 1,000 points, they gain a major victory. Either way, the Escape scenario is played next. 35 Scenarios BUG HUNT Having fended off the initial Arachnid attacks, the Mobile Infantry company attempts to follow its original orders by slowly closing off every bug hole in the area. With their tunnel networks crippled in this manner, it is hoped the Arachnids are going to be far less mobile and therefore easier to locate and destroy. Mobile Infantry Brieﬁng Up and at ‘em, trooper! We’ve taken some losses but we are still here and you still have a job to do. You have to shut down these bug holes in double time or the Arachnids will be all over the Mobile Infantry, taking back the ground just gained. 9 You deploy your force after the Arachnid player has placed all of his tunnel entrances, nests and bug central. 9 You take the ﬁrst turn. Arachnids Brieﬁng A small number of Mobile Infantry groups have broken through your trap and are now starting to work on your tunnel assets. However, you have more than enough bugs to divert to these 36 attacks without interrupting the main slaughter going on in the landing zones. Mop these troopers up and ﬁnal victory will surely be yours. 9 You deploy your tunnel entrances, nest entrances and bug central ﬁrst. 9 You deploy your force after the Mobile Infantry. 9 For every 500 points or part your army is worth, you receive 100 points to spend on tunnelling assets. These are the only points you may spend on tunnelling assets – you may not use points from your main army allocation to buy any tunnelling assets at all. Scenario Length The battle will continue until the victory conditions are met. Victory Conditions The Arachnids gain victory if they manage to destroy every Mobile Infantry model. The Mobile Infantry gain victory if they manage to destroy every tunnel asset except tunnel markers Scenarios CREATE PERIMETER Having been more or less successful in their landing, the Mobile Infantry companies attempt to push forward their area of control to create a stable perimeter that will allow them to begin bringing down larger drops and supplies. Unfortunately, this is when the Arachnids launch their main offensive. Mobile Infantry Brieﬁng Everything is going according to plan. Now the landings are complete, you can hear some other companies in serious combat but you have been ordered to create a perimeter that will relieve the pressure on them and allow this invasion to get under way! 9 You deploy ﬁrst. 9 You may choose to take the ﬁrst or second turn. Arachnids Brieﬁng A few Mobile Infantry groups managed to land successfully – now is the time to launch your full weight of numbers against them. 9 Regardless of the points value of the battle, you are Priority Level Three. 9 You must select the Endless Tide option for warrior bugs. 9 No tunnel entrances may be placed in the Mobile Infantry’s deployment zone. 9 Up to half of your units may be kept in reserve and brought in from any table edge detailed on the map as belonging to you. Scenario Length The battle will continue for seven turns or until one army has been completely wiped out. Victory Conditions Mission points are used to calculate the victor of this mission. Both sides earn half the value of every enemy unit reduced below half strength. Both sides earn the value of every enemy unit wiped out. The Mobile Infantry player loses 50 points for every Arachnid model in his deployment zone at the end of the battle. He gains a +250 point bonus if there is at least one Mobile Infantry unit in the Arachnid deployment zone and no Arachnid models. 37 Scenarios ESCAPE One by one, the Mobile Infantry companies are beginning to be over-run. This scenario will determine the fate of one Mobile Infantry company caught by the Arachnid trap. Fighting desperately, the troopers are determined to escape the claws of the bugs. Mobile Infantry Brieﬁng The messages coming over comms are not encouraging and it seems every company is hip deep in Arachnids. Just as you thought things could get no worse for your troopers, you ﬁnd yourself surrounded by bugs! Fight for your lives and try to escape – anywhere! 9 You must choose to use at least 2,000 points in this battle. 9 You may not use any ﬂeet assets. 9 You deploy ﬁrst and take the ﬁrst turn. Arachnids Brieﬁng Close the trap. The Mobile Infantry have been divided into small pockets of resistance and all that remains is to crush them on by one without letting any escape to later regroup. 38 9 You deploy after the Mobile Infantry. 9 You may not choose the Endless Tide option for any of your units – the MI are ﬂeeing away from the densest areas of bug occupation and the long board edges described in the Victory Conditions, below, instead take into account the perils of endless warrior bugs swarming towardss the beleaguered MI. Scenario Length The battle will continue until no Mobile Infantry models are left on the table, having either been destroyed or escaped. Victory Conditions Mission points are used to calculate the victor of this mission. The Arachnids earn half the value of every enemy unit reduced below half strength and the full value of every enemy unit wiped out. The Mobile Infantry only earn mission points for moving units off the table. They gain double the value of each unit that is moved off the table, no matter how many models remain. However, the long table edges represent areas of high Arachnid concentration. Roll a dice for every unit moved off one of these edges – on the roll of a 1 or 2, the unit is automatically destroyed as it caught and killed by roving bugs. Scenarios GENERAL RETREAT The landings have been a disaster, with the Arachnids responding in huge numbers. Many companies have already been wiped out and the immediate future does not look bright for those who remain. As the order for General Retreat comes over the comms, the Arachnid lines must be broken to clear a path to the retrieval points. Mobile Infantry Brieﬁng You cannot believe it. The once mighty Mobile Infantry has been ordered into retreat and there is a real danger of this turning into a rout with the bugs snapping at your heels. Do not get bogged down by the bugs and give yourself enough room to regroup. Victory is still possible! Arachnids Brieﬁng Victory after victory has seen your bugs crush the Mobile Infantry landings. A few companies are trying to retreat back to their original landing zones – they could become a threat if they are given enough time to regroup. 9 If you select the Endless Tide option for warrior bugs, they may only be brought on from the Mobile Infantry’s long table edge. Scenario Length The battle will continue until the victory conditions have been met. Victory Conditions 9 You deploy ﬁrst. 9 Any air units are kept as reserves but may not be brought onto the battleﬁeld until the fourth turn. 9 No unit may start the game within an air unit. 9 You take the ﬁrst turn. The Mobile Infantry gain victory if they can move at least 1,000 points of models off of the Arachnid’s table edge. Air units do not count towardss this total though any units carried within them do. The Arachnid player wins if he can stop this happening. 39 Scenarios LAST STAND A lone group of Mobile Infantry have been cut off without any hope of reinforcement. Trapped and surrounded by a large swarm of Arachnids, they prepare to sell their lives dearly. Mobile Infantry Brieﬁng This is your last stand. The invasion has gone horribly wrong and you have been left to fend for yourselves as Arachnids break through the entire landing area. Cut off and alone, you have no choice but to ﬁght to the last. Perhaps you will buy enough time for other platoons to regroup and reach their retrieval points. Maybe a drop boat will arrive at the last minute. However, the time for miracles is likely over. 9 You must use every unit remaining in your company. Calculate how many points this now represents and let the Arachnid player know. 9 You may not use any Fleet Assets – they ﬂew off a long time ago! Arachnids Brieﬁng You have nearly swept the humans off this planet and their whole formation is in disarray. You have located a tiny group of Mobile Infantry cut off from the rest of their army, ripe for you to race forward and annihilate them! 40 9 You may choose any Priority Level. 9 You have twice as many points to spend on your force as the Mobile Infantry player. 9 You may not choose any tunnel assets as you have not had time to prepare a functioning tunnel network. 9 You may choose two units to move onto the table from any edge in the ﬁrst turn. 9 At the start of your second turn, roll one die for every unit not yet on the table. On the roll of a 4 or more, the unit will move on from a random table edge as shown on the map below. 9 At the start of your third turn, any units that have not yet moved on to the table are brought in from a random table edge. 9 You take the ﬁrst turn. Scenario Length The battle will continue for seven turns or until the Mobile Infantry have been completely wiped out. Victory Conditions The Arachnids gain victory if they destroy every Mobile Infantry unit before the end of turn seven. The Mobile Infantry gain victory if they have at least one model left on the table after the end of turn seven. Scenarios RESCUE A Mobile Infantry platoon has been split off from the rest of its company by an Arachnid attack and the last remaining squad has taken to hiding while the bugs search. A company faring a little better in the invasion is dispatched to rescue the beleaguered troopers. Mobile Infantry Brieﬁng Though you have fought hard and done well thus far in the invasion, other troopers have not been so lucky. The Arachnid presence is weaker in this area (no doubt due to your efforts) and so you have been asked by another Captain to locate a squad that was split off from the rest of his troopers. 9 You gain a ten trooper Light Armour squad for free. Up to 50 points of upgrades from page 19 of this book may be freely taken for this squad. 9 The squad is deployed in Deployment Zone Alpha. They must be placed within a piece of terrain. The squad is in hiding and so long as they take no action, may not be attacked by any means by the Arachnids. 9 The rest of your army is placed in Deployment Zone Bravo. 9 You may hold up to half of your force in reserve if you wish. They enter from the table edges around Deployment Zone Bravo. 9 You take the ﬁrst turn. Arachnids Brieﬁng Just one Mobile Infantry squad to kill and this entire sector is yours! Not even the humans would be mad enough to stage a rescue while you mass your forces for attack. . . 9 You may not select the Endless Tide option for warrior bugs. 9 The Light Armour squad of troopers is in hiding. You may nominate one unit within 12” of their position to attempt to locate them every turn – they must spend two Ready actions to do this. At the end of every turn, roll one dice. On a 6, you have located the squad and may freely attack them from this point onwards. Scenario Length The battle will continue until the hidden Light Armour squad is either destroyed or is moved off the short table edge of Deployment Zone Bravo. Victory Conditions Mission points are used to calculate the victor of this mission. Both sides gain half the value of every enemy unit reduced below half strength. Both sides gain the value of every enemy unit wiped out. The Light Armour squad in Deployment Zone Alpha is worth triple its usual points value if wiped out by the Arachnids and double if it is reduced to less than half strength. For the Mobile Infantry, the squad is worth triple its usual points value if it leaves the short table edge of Deployment Zone Bravo above half strength, or double if it has been reduced to less than half strength when it leaves. 41 Scenarios RETRIEVAL A small number of Mobile Infantry companies managed to ﬁght their way clear of the Arachnid trap relatively unmolested. They were the lucky ones. Every trooper boarding a drop boat knew, by this time, that he was leaving thousands upon thousands of comrades behind. Mobile Infantry Brieﬁng It is time to get off this rock – the bugs can have it! Gather your forces and ﬁle up neatly to board the drop boats. Just pray the Arachnids do not show up to spoil the party. . . 9 You must use every unit remaining in your company. Calculate how many points this now represents and let the Arachnid player know. 9 You start the battle with one free Skyhook for every unit in your force. You may also have one free Slingshot for every six (or part of ) Marauders in your army. 9 All air units start in reserve. Those paid for by your own company may appear from turn two onwards. Those that are free will appear one each turn, starting from turn three. 9 You deploy your army ﬁrst. 42 Arachnids Brieﬁng Klendathu remains yours but some of the Mobile Infantry have managed to slip through your claws and are boarding drop boats even now. Your victory will not be complete until every human who set foot on Klendathu is dead. 9 You may select a force of any Priority Level, regardless of the points set by the Mobile Infantry player. 9 You take the ﬁrst turn. Scenario Length The battle will continue until there are no more Mobile Infantry models left on the table. Victory Conditions Mission points are used to calculate the victor of this mission. The Mobile Infantry gains double the points cost of every unit above half strength that is removed from the table by an air unit. They gain the normal points cost if the unit is half strength or less. They gain nothing for the actual air units themselves. The Arachnid player gains the points cost of every unit reduced to half strength and double that if the unit is wiped out, including air units. Scenarios STONEWALL Those Mobile Infantry companies not smashed apart by huge bug swarms were placed in an unenviable position. With little possibility of reinforcement or resupply, they were told to hold the line at any cost, while the Sky Marshal desperately searched for a miracle that would relieve them and turn the invasion around. Mobile Infantry Brieﬁng You have fought well to get this far, while so many other companies now lie in tatters. The fate of your own company now hangs in the balance as you draw a line in the dust of Klendathu. The largest bug swarm you have ever seen is mounting up for a major assault. If you can stem the tide, maybe some of those retrieval boats will wait for you. Otherwise. . . 9 You must use every unit remaining in your company. Calculate how many points this now represents and let the Arachnid player know. 9 The resources of the entire company have been pooled for this assault. You gain one Ammo Dump for free which may be placed anywhere in your deployment zone. 9 You deploy ﬁrst. Arachnids Brieﬁng All over the Mobile Infantry landing zones, your forces reign supreme. Human bodies lie everywhere and their smashed equipment burns ﬁercely. One company lies ahead, having managed to regroup sufﬁciently to mount a defence. 9 You may select a force of any Priority Level, regardless of the points set by the Mobile Infantry player. 9 You must select the Endless Tide option for warrior bugs. 9 You may not deploy any tunnel assets in the Mobile Infantry’s deployment zone. 9 None of your models start on the table. Your whole army moves on from your table edge in the ﬁrst turn. 9 You have the ﬁrst turn. Scenario Length The battle will continue for eight turns until one army has been completely wiped out. Victory Conditions Mission points are used to calculate the victor of this mission. Both sides gain the full value of every enemy unit reduced below half strength. Both sides gain double the value of every enemy unit wiped out. 43 Scenarios WINNING AND LOSING THE CAMPAIGN After you have played four scenarios, you will have reached the end of the Progress of Campaign Chart. The level of your victory or defeat is variable, however, based on just which scenarios you managed to win and at what point during the campaign. A strong start might put you in good stead but a string of defeats thereafter will end your career quickly enough. . . Consult the entries below to ﬁnd out just how well your Mobile Infantry Company did during the invasion and whether they managed to get off Klendathu intact or were cut off by the Arachnids and have been left behind by the ﬂeet. Mobile Infantry Major Victory This is a dark day for the Mobile Infantry. Scuttlebutt says that over one hundred thousand troopers died in the ﬁrst hour of landings. Looking out of the portal of your transport, it looks like the Fleet got badly mauled as well. Still, at least you and your own troopers are all here to congratulate one another – you survived Klendathu. There is a lot of work ahead of you but your company has proved itself in the baptism of ﬁre. Next time, the dirty bugs will pay for what they did here today. Mobile Infantry Minor Victory You survived. That is about all you can say. A lot of your troopers are dead. Your company still retains its status as an active unit Lieutenant Mark Kowalski Famed for his successes in the Road to Victory, Lieutenant Mark Kowalski was a hero of the Mobile Infantry long before the invasion of Klendathu had begun. Showing his characteristic tenacity, Kowalski launched successive assaults in an attempt to consolidate the woefully inadequate landing site with which he and his men had been tasked. In this, Kowalski failed, though bravely. Like so many of those who died on Klendathu, it was their orders which were to blame and not the courage with which men such as Kowalski struggled to carry them out. Seven times decorated for Meritorious Service, Kowalski was one of the most experienced and decorated ofﬁcers lost in the entire invasion. 44 but, in truth, you are going to need a lot of reinforcements to get back up to full strength. You just pray that SICON does not throw you back at the bugs until you are ready. Hopefully, they will have a better plan this time. Arachnid Minor Victory You fought hard to reach the retrieval point but the drop boats are now gone. Gathering what remains of your company, you examine your critically low ammunition stores and wonder whether the area is safe enough to begin scavenging the mounds of dead troopers for new supplies. Abandoned on Klendathu, you resolve to keep moving, hitting the Arachnids wherever possible. Surely SICON will send a Viking down to take your troopers home soon. Arachnid Major Victory You watch forlornly as the last drop boat rises into the sky over a kilometre away. Even the plasma trails of the bugs assault on the ﬂeet have begun to diminish in frequency. You feel utterly alone – the last of your troopers died under the claws of a warrior bug minutes ago and your hike to the retrieval point has failed. Gripping your Morita tightly, you eye up the swarm of bugs beginning to surround your position. Sighting the nearest bug, you open ﬁre as they begin to charge. . . Heroes of Klendathu HEROES OF KLENDATHU As SICON has said in many FedNet broadcasts, there are too many heroes of Klendathu to name. Many of those heroes found their deaths on the Arachnid’s homeworld but a few, at least, managed to escape and ﬁght the alien menace on other battleﬁelds. Listed here are a few of the more famous (and infamous) units that took part in the Klendathu Invasion RAZAK’S ROUGHNECKS Ofﬁcially retired but a fully qualiﬁed cap trooper nonetheless, Lieutenant Razak volunteered for leadership during the build up to invasion and was rewarded with command of a Light Armour platoon within one of the Invasion Companies. To many of his peers, this was as a self-imposed demotion, while others held Razak up as an example to all, hailing the extraordinary sense of Lieutenant Razak duty that prevented him from watching from the sidelines while young troopers went into battle ill-equipped and ill-prepared. Still more pointed to the death of his wife and children during the Arachnid attack on Buenos Aires as the likely motivation for his re-enlistment. Whatever the truth, Razak took on the Roughnecks and made them his own, becoming one of the ﬁrst Light Armour units to be classiﬁed as combat ready. The Roughnecks were one of the few Light Armour units to be deployed in serious combat before the invasion of Klendathu and, under the Lieutenant’s command, always acquitted themselves commendably, coming to be famed for a ferocity which allowed them to achieve objectives often failed by power suit platoons. It was the Roughnecks who successfully destroyed the growing tunnel networks threatening Star City, as well as rescuing Colonel Redwing during the Arachnid assault on Drake’s Bay. They were the poster children Unique Character 195 points If you wish to ﬁeld the Roughnecks as a Light Armour platoon, you may choose to use Lieutenant Razak as detailed here instead of a normal Lieutenant. Aa a Unique Character, a Mobile Infantry army may only ever include one Lieutenant Razak. Lieutenant Razak Type Lieutenant Razak Value 195 Size 1 Move 4” Close Combat D6+1 Weapons/Equipment: TW-203-a Morita Assault Riﬂe with XW-110-G1 underslung G/L. Only the M-290 Flechette Grenade may be used with the underslung G/L. Special Rules Lieutenant Razak is subject to the following special rules. Target 4+ Save 5+/4+ Kill 6+ Traits Independent Options Lieutenant Razak may purchase the following options: Weapon Options: M-902F Frag Grenades may be purchased for +5 points. Atomic Protocols: Lieutenant Razak fulﬁls the requirement for Atomic Protocols. Cyborg: Lieutenant Razak has a mechanical arm, giving him a +1 bonus to his armour save (already factored into the save above). Heroic Traits: Lieutenant Razak has the Dirty Fighter, Heroic Surge!, Rallying Cry, Sniper, and True Grit heroic traits. Strong Leader: Lieutenant Razak’s command range extends to 12”. 45 Heroes of Klendathu of the Invasion Companies but, for all their successes, Razak steadfastly refused to be a tool of SICON. When the invasion of Klendathu began, the Roughnecks were absent, having been posted to Zeguma Beach on the Hydoran colony but were quickly moved following Sky Marshal Maru’s appointment. Maru resolved to ﬁght, not just on Klendathu itself but the other worlds of the Klendathu system and the Roughnecks were duly tasked with Whiskey Outpost, on Planet P. It was here that the now legendary Razak ﬁnally succumbed to the Arachnid enemy – a tanker bug tunnelling under the outpost collapsed much of the outpost’s perimeter, plunging Razak and several other troopers to their doom. Despite the loss of their lieutenant, the Roughnecks were later instrumental in the capture of the ﬁrst brain bug, thus achieving one of Maru’s main objectives for the campaign. The platoon then went through a succession of ofﬁcers before being cited for retraining as a power suit platoon, something for which many of the Roughnecks were grateful and to which many more of the Light Armour Platoons aspire to, albeit mostly without success. THE SABRES Veterans of the Road to Victory, the Sabres were typical of many other power suit platoons dropped onto Klendathu during the invasion. Led by Lieutenant Jane Jefferson, they were tasked with supporting the 121st Invasion Company. Halting bug swarms as the light armour troopers deployed, the Sabres then protected their ﬂanks as nearby plasma bug positions were attacked. Even though atomics were deployed during these strikes, the Arachnids recovered with incredible speed and soon even Jefferson found herself in the middle of a pitched battle as swarms of warrior bugs surged forward over the bodies of their slain comrades. The plasma bugs were destroyed but the 121st were rapidly hurled back from their newly gained positions and Jefferson was faced with the very real possibility of the bugs simply reinforcing the area with yet more plasma bugs emerging from tunnels. The Sabres’ own M9 Marauder squads were able to create a stable ﬁrebase to which the 121st could rally as, one by one, their squads broke and ﬂed under the Arachnid onslaught. Though the Chickenhawks’ Blizzard rocket packs were soon depleted, sustained ﬁre from their other weapons stalled the advance of the warrior bugs. The Sabres and their light infantry counterparts could certainly not make any further advances but they had at least prevented the bugs from re-deploying plasma bugs to these vital positions. As the entire Mobile Infantry formation was now concentrated in a small area near the Vikings, the troopers were well positioned when the order for General Retreat was issued. As the 121st boarded their landing boats for the trip back into orbit, the Sabres formed a ring of steel around them, utilising the mobility 46 of their jump jets to keep the approaching Arachnids off balance and hitting the aliens whenever they began to mass in greater numbers. Only a handful of Sabres lost their lives in this action and the rest were able to withdraw and board their own craft when the light armour troopers began to take off. Their departure, too, was greatly aided by the lack of plasma bugs in the area, something for which many nearby formations were equally thankful. Their stern defence of the Invasion Company during retreat earned Jefferson and eight of her troopers records of Meritous Service. KOWALSKI’S CUTTHROATS Lieutenant Mark Kowalski had already earned seven commendations for Meritorious Service during the Road to Victory – on Klendathu, he would earn greater awards. With distinctive red ﬂashes painted around the cockpits of their Marauders, the Cutthroats were immediately recognisable as they dropped outside of the main landing zones to assist in the perimeter building of the light armour platoons, before being scheduled to move outwards in a series of hunt and sweeps. That, at least, was the plan. Intense ﬁre from plasma bugs brought down many of the Viking landing boats carrying the light armour troopers, leaving the rendezvous point woefully undermanned. The plasma ﬁre also had the effect of badly Heroes of Klendathu disrupting the lines of Vikings as they descended from orbit, leaving the light armour platoons cut-off from each other and dispersed over a wide area. Dropping by capsule, the Cutthroats were able to avoid a lot of the plasma ﬁre but when they deployed, Kowalski and his men immediately found themselves under serious pressure from swarms of warrior bugs. Taking the initiative, Kowalski attempted to break through to the surviving light armour troopers during no less than seven assaults, each repulsed by increasing numbers of Arachnids. Kowalski numbered some successes, here and there breaking through to isolated platoons before withdrawing to launch another assault, the Cutthroats now aided by the relieved light armour platoon. These successes were few, however, and with contact from the light armour platoons becoming increasingly erratic, the Cutthroats were eventually forced onto the defensive, using their jump jets to create enough space to regroup. Contact was lost with the platoon during the bombardment of Klendathu from orbit and it was presumed they were destroyed by friendly ﬁre or otherwise overwhelmed by warrior bugs. The invasion companies which Kowalski had so valiantly sought defend fared no better and almost all of the light armour platoons were lost, surrounded by bugs, cut-off from their allies and completely unable to retreat. BLACKBURN’S RAIDERS While it is relatively common for individual platoons to adopt an unofﬁcial tag, perhaps for use a call sign or shorthand between troopers, it is rarer for larger formations to do so. The Raiders, though, is actually the nickname given to a full company – the company led by Captain Elizabeth Blackburn, one of the ofﬁcers who enjoyed a fast track progression to ofﬁcer rank following intensive SICON psychological screening and proﬁling. Though many serving cap troopers begrudge the presence of ofﬁcers who have not proven themselves in the ranks before leading men into battle, the rapidly growing Invasion Companies required a huge number of ofﬁcers to lead them – more in fact than the Mobile Infantry could easily supply. Even after many retired ofﬁcers had been called back to service there was still a substantial deﬁcit, one that Sky Marshal Dienes chose to ﬁll with the best and the brightest light armour troopers he could ﬁnd. boot camp. To their credit, they managed to hold the company together where others might have turned and ﬂed back to the drop boats and their continued resistance bought enough time for other companies to move forward and begin expanding the perimeter. Continued plasma bombardment soon whittled their numbers down and a ﬁnal charge by warrior bugs soon silenced their guns. It is not known whether any Raiders survived this assault but none were recorded as survivors after the General Retreat. Regardless, the example of Captain Elizabeth Blackburn, a fast tracked ofﬁcer who led such an undoubtedly courageous assault, was one SICON were quick to pick up on. Her story was carried across FedNet and, while the diehards amongst the troopers would probably never accept the wisdom of fast tracking ofﬁcers, many grudgingly gave Blackburn her dues and noted her bravery. THE PATHFINDERS Trained and equipped to be the elite of the Mobile Infantry, the ﬁrst Pathﬁnder Company was ofﬁcially deployed during the Klendathu Invasion. Led by Captain Barrington-Wallis, they were tasked with ranging ahead of the landing zones to reconnoitre enemy dispositions and quickly overcome highvalue targets such as plasma bug batteries. It is possible that SICON intended the Pathﬁnders to be the real heroes of the invasion, the Mobil Infantry’s shiny new poster boys and SICON certainly made great use of FedNet in introducing this new type of trooper to the Federation. For all this, and despite the best intelligence being made available to them, comms were lost with this advanced company less than six minutes after landing. As with so much of the Klendathu invasion, the Pathﬁnders initial mission proved to be a failure, though the role has not been abandoned. Several new Pathﬁnder companies have been inaugurated and new equipment has recently been designed speciﬁcally for such reconnaissance missions, while several new training regimes have been implemented in light of the lessons learned during the failed invasion of Klendathu. The Pathﬁnders remain ready to prove their worth on battleﬁelds across the Federation, wherever the Arachnids might strike. While there is little doubt that the Raiders, like any company, might have been beneﬁted from an experienced ofﬁcer, few can say that the company did not ﬁght to the best of their abilities. One of the ﬁrst companies to touch down in the ﬁrst wave, Blackburn successfully engaged the Arachnid swarms rushing to meet the landings and even created a stable perimeter as more Vikings landed. It was when a plasma bug diverted its anti-orbital attacks to the Raider’s dug-in positions that disaster loomed. The ﬁrst strike vaporised Blackburn and her lieutenants, leaving the entire company in the hands of its sergeants, men and women who had earned their position by becoming squad leaders in 47 Light Platoons Reference LIGHT ARMOUR PLATO0NS REFERENCE Light Armour Lieutenant Type Light Armour Lieutenant Value 70 Size 1 Move 4” Close Combat D6 Target 3+ Save 6+/6+ Kill 5+ Traits Independent Light Armour NCO Type Light Armour NCO Value 55 Size 1 Move 4” Close Combat D6–1 Target 3+ Save 6+/6+ Kill 5+ Traits Independent Size 1 1 1 Move 4” 4” 4” Close Combat D6–1 D6–1 D6–1 Target 3+ 3+ 3+ Save 6+ 6+ 6+/6+ Kill 5+ 5+ 5+ Traits — — — Size 1 Move 4” Close Combat D6–2 Target 3+ Save 6+ Kill 5+ Traits — Size 1 Move 4” Close Combat D6+1 Target 4+ Save 5+/4+ Kill 6+ Traits Independent Light Armour Squad Type Light Armour trooper Light Armour Corporal Light Armour Sergeant Value 10 35 50 FedNet Reporter Type FedNet Reporter Value 30 Lieutenant Razak Type Lieutenant Razak Value 195 MOBILE INFANTRY CAPTAINS REFERENCE Mobile Infantry Captains Type Light Armour Captain Power Suit Captain M8 Marauder Captain M9 Marauder Captain Value 90 140 245 245 Size 1 1 3 3 Move 4” 4” 4” 5” Close Combat 2xD6 2xD6+1 3xD10 2xD6+1 Target 3+ 4+ 7+ 6+ Save 6+/5+ 4+/5+ 3+ 3+ Kill 6+ 8+ 11+ 10+ Traits Independent Independent, Jump/12” Hits/4, Independent, Jump/8”, Piercing/1 Hits/3, Independent, Jump/10” Light Armour Platoon Weapons Weapon TW-203-a Morita Assault Riﬂe TW-201-l Morita Sniper Riﬂe TW-201-s Morita Carbine M-290 Flechette Grenade SW-401 Longbow Missile Launchers – M-714A2 Firecracker HE Missile – M-766A1 Holepunch HEAP Missile – M-781A1 Falcon AA Missile SW-414 Rapier AA Missile Launcher – M-780A5 AA Birdbolt Missile M-902F Frag Grenade Range 20” 30” 15” 8” — 60” 60” 60” — 60” 8” Damage 2xD6 D6 2xD6 D6+1 — 3xD6 D10 D10 — D10 D10 Type Squad Squad Squad Pack — Pack Pack Pack — Pack Pack *Note that the Condensed Training special rule causes the loss of this ability. 48 Traits Auto* Accurate Auto Underslung Ready LZ (2”) Accurate, LZ (1”), Piercing/2 AA. LZ (1”) — AA, Accurate, LZ (2”), Piercing/1, Ready LZ (1”) The homeworld of the Arachnid menace has been located and the Mobile Infantry has been moved into position to strike – are you ready to join the greatest battle Mankind has ever initiated? For months, the Road to Victory has lead the Mobile Infantry across the galaxy to the ultimate confrontation between Man and Arachnid. This is a battle of the species on the desolate world of Klendathu, the culmination of every skirmish and campaign yet fought in a hundred systems. Three hundred thousand Troopers stand ready to drop, dedicated to defend the human race with their own lives. Within an hour, a third of them will be dead. In less than a day, the Mobile Infantry will have retreated light years back to its own territory and Earth will face a crisis greater than it has ever known. The very survival of Mankind will suddenly be in doubt. Klendathu Invasion is the largest combined Fleet and Mobile Infantry operation of the Arachnid War to date. Within These Covers: Invasion: The story of Starship Troopers continues, from the initial preparations for invasion to the final retreat. Army Lists: The Mobile Infantry gains the use of the huge Invasion Companies, while the Arachnids fight back with cunning traps and tunnel systems. Fighting on Klendathu: Determine the fate of your own Mobile Infantry company during the invasion in a complete campaign. Klendathu Invasion is a sourcebook for Starship Troopers: The Miniatures Game.