“Standby to land in 1 Mike.” The rattling and rumbling of the strike transport upped to a roar as the rear door lowered, presenting a nauseating view of the world as the craft shot down in a violent spiral.
“Landing in 30…15…10…5-” Before the countdown could finish, I’d sprinted and leaped out of the descending transport onto a nearby rooftop.
“-3…2…1 Out troops!” I turned to watch the rest of my team jump off the transport as it hovered at the edge of the facility. Tai Sheng gave me a disapproving glare before pulling her visor down and leading the rest of the Strike Team into position. Feng Bo just laughed and hefted his HMG as he stomped past below.
The transport began lifting up the moment the last remote clambered off the rear ramp. My two Liu Xing jump troops gave me a casual salute as the ramp closed on them and the transport rocketed up into the sky.
I turned to survey the battlespace, activating my Daoying’s suite of Camouflage technology. Sure enough, I spotted the unmistakable black diamond on the armour of the Druze creeping into position. Clearly unaware they were facing an IA Shǎndiàn Strike Team they’d foolishly clumped together behind a hangar.
I radioed one of the Liu Xing up in the transport, activating a hacking program to highlight his LZ. A few seconds later a screaming fireball landed in the midst of the Druze fireteam. I had the pleasure of seeing a Druze with a Shock Marksman Rifle blown bleeding and unconscious to the ground but the remainder of the veteran troops managed to survive the impact of the landing.
Unfortunately, the Liu Xing didn’t hold out as well. Fearless of the blast wave, the Druze had waited for the optimum shots as the drop troop came in. A blue dot disappeared from my tactical map as two missiles from the Tanko in their fireteam blew the Liu Xing to pieces.
Wary of the threat of the Tanko covering the Druze fireteam and their nearest cube, I ordered the Haidao sniper on my right flank to take him out. The Tanko wasn’t as distracted by the Liu Xing as I’d thought as he responded instantly to the Haidao shifting into a better firing position. Two missiles left a smouldering crater on the rooftop as I cursed my mistake.
I painted an LZ for the second Liu Xing, this time out of sight of the Druze and Tanko fireteam. The second fireball smashed onto the battlefield, luckily avoiding a hacking attempt from the Druze. I watched with satisfaction as 3 more red dots disappeared off my tactical map, the Liu Xing leaving a line of broken bodies with his Boarding Shotgun.
Once more, however, the Tanko’s Missile Launcher spoke death with tongues of flame, leaving little remaining of my last drop troop.
With the Tanko now separated from support I sent Tai Sheng and her fireteam forwards. Feng Bo used his servo-enhanced strength to wrench the Cube from the remains of the traitorous Imperial official as they stalked past his burnt corpse and the crash debris. I then watched him cock his hefty HMG jauntily before spinning around the corner of the hangar, unleashing a hail of bullets to down the solitary Tanko.
A squeal of motorbike tyres had me cursing, “Shit. Reposition for Close Quarters Combat, they’ve got Yojimbo with them.” A mix of terse acknowledgements followed as the fireteam repositioned the Haidao and Pangguling remote with the shotguns facing the direction of enemy threat. I watched my tac display as Yojimbo circled the hangar the fireteam was bunkered down in. Luckily his smoke grenades were ineffective due to the incoming storm winds and he held off his charge.
Using the distraction of Yojimbo on their left flank, the huge outline of a Daiyokai clumped out from cover, charging ponderously forwards. Despite the distraction Tai Sheng began firing rounds off at the behemoth with her Breaker rifle, scoring a wound on the juggernaut. The Daiyokai had its eyes on a different target though. It fired its Panzerfaust as it charged, the two missiles slamming down around the Son-Bae missile launcher remote. Tai Sheng’s wound must have knocked it off-target, however, as the remote only took minor damage from the mass of explosions, its systems crashing and freezing.
In a desperate last bid to halt the Zuyong fireteam Yojimbo races into base contact with the Pangguling. Without the cover of smoke, however, he didn’t stand a chance and I watched through the Pangguling’s sensors as the massed shotgun fire tore him and his bike to shreds.
I took stock of the situation now that Yojimbo had been dealt with and the Daiyokai halted. Tapping the tac display I ordered the Zhanshi engineer to send one of his Yaozao remotes to repair the Son-Bae. The engineer rebooted the Son-Bae remotely without a hitch, despite the Multi rifle rounds the Daiyokai sprayed towards the remotes.
With the remote back up and the fireteam back to full strength Feng Bo burst from cover towards the Japanese giant. There was no contest and the massed fires of the HMG left it a bleeding mess on the ground.
Tai Sheng led the fireteam to the pile of unconscious Druze, tagging one for extraction and tactical questioning. Pushing the team on further she knelt down by the splattered corpse of the Hexahedron agent, cutting its Cube out with her knife.
Only a Haris team of two Wu Ming and a Brawler remained on my tac display. I cautioned Tai Sheng to wait and sent the Pangguling in repeater range before the corner.
I ran a quick hacking program and was rewarded with the nearest Wu Ming seizing up. As soon as the program immobilised the convict, I ordered the Pangguling around the corner. With their rearguard immobilised the Haris team were helpless as the remote lay into their backs with its shotgun.
I was so focused on the tac display that I didn’t notice more of the Ikari scum cutting out Yojimbo’s cube and escaping the battlefield. I knew we’d see him again someday but at that point I couldn’t care.
I pulled off my helmet as I listened to Tai Sheng barking orders at the team to do a thorough security sweep of the area. Already I could hear the roar of our reinforcement and extraction transports approaching as I closed my eyes and ran my hand through my sweaty hair. An insistent beeping brought my attention to the Major’s icon flashing on my comm piece; sighing I looked at the still-smoking craters of the Haidao sniper and two Liu Xing before replacing my helmet to report the total and glorious victory we had achieved.
Final score: IA 10 – 0 Ikari Company
The game ended with my opponent, Alex, conceding at Round 2 Turn 2. With only 2 orders, LoL, Retreat, one wounded immobilised Wu Ming and another wounded Wu Ming left there wasn’t much point playing further.
We both had a great game, despite the crushing defeat of the Ikari forces, and enjoyed playing with new sectorials for the first time.
Alex borrowed a few of my JSA models and proxied some Haqq to see if he likes Ikari. He’s played a lot of vanilla recently and hadn’t quite adjusted to using fireteams again or Yojimbo but quite liked the raw power Ikari had to offer. He also underestimated the threat of my Liu Xing drop troops wiping out half his list which is something I doubt he’ll ever do again!
For me I found the order efficiency and resilience of the Zuyong fireteam to be incredible. I can’t wait for the IA starter to be released in Jan so I can get the Daoying and Haidao models. It also gave me an opportunity to discover why everyone hates playing against my fireteam Tanko ML