Author Topic: [Battle report] Across the border - Bauhaus vs. Dark Legion (StarGrunt II rules)  (Read 5523 times)

Offline Horned Owl

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The Hussars had deployed in a staggered pattern, with the Jackal recon platoon on the right flank and the Company and Platoon HQs somewhat behind the troops, taking the center. There was movement all over the valley, and the Capitaine´s gut knotted with fear. This was not some skirmish: it was an assault in force. He turned to the soldier with the comm equipment, motioning for him to open the company channel. He would have to act fast to save the situation.

There was one cluster of enemy troops moving faster than the missing patrol on foot could have managed. He sent the Jackals skirting a rocky outcrop, their large tires throwing up sheets of snow as they turned. A rocket spiralled out of the darkness, briefly illuminating the faces of necromutants before exploding on the fender of a Jackal. The tank commander briefly looked at the blackened dent on his vehicle´s front before turning the pintle-mounted machinegun on the section. A necromutant was wounded. Meanwhile, the other tanks had identified the hostiles – a squadron of four Hellhound tanks, illuminated by the reddish flames licking from the ominous muzzles of their cannon. Clinging to their flanks like grotesque clumps of lice were hordes of Undead Legionnaires. The Homebuilder commanders called in artillery from the Grizzly tanks and mortars in a wide pattern and watched with satisfaction as the hellish tanks veered off and retreated. Even the Dark Legion could not risk this sort of barrage.

The other Legionnaires, under the command of their Centurion, advanced inexorably towards the Bauhaus lines. Capitaine Velasquez organised his forces, having them send second and third controlled bursts at the Legionnaires despite the heavy reurn fire from the Necromutant teams. The undead were dismembered. Gangrenous fluids and limbs were scattered everywhere, but still they advanced.

Then the horizon was lit with reddish flashes, and there was the whistle of artillery overhead. Already, Hussars started leaving the trench positions, not wishing to be caught in the projected blast of the Carronades.
"How was I supposed to know he was an unarmed man? His back was to me."

Offline Horned Owl

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The earth erupted as the Homebuilders´ mortar shells impacted on the Undead lines. One Hellhound was hit by a storm of flechettes which blew apart the Legionnaires clinging to its sides. A second later, it emerged unharmed, long gouges lining the flesh-like protuberances on its armoured skin. The other Hounds slowed down, allowing their unliving passengers to disembark – straight into the hail of bullets from the Hussars´ rifles.

The Jackals raced across the snow-covered valley and engaged the Hellhounds, under orders from the Capitaine. Two of the tanks exploded spectacularly under the tightly controlled cannon fire, while the second volley blew the tires out from under another. The necromutant crew bailed out of their burning vehicle, only to be caught in the open in the stream of tracers from a Hussar´s machinegun. The last Hound was hit on the turret, and the flamer nozzle was blown clean off.

The razides and necromutants had taken up positions behind clumps of brush and low walls, and laid down a swathe of suppression fire at the Hussars´ positions. Two soldiers were wounded when the squads who had just vacated their trenches were caught in the open on the hilltop. They hit the ground, pinned by the hail of Black Bullets, while their comrades ducked into the trenches, unable to help. Then the lead Jackal exploded from a necromutant´s rocket, bathing the scenery in a hellish light.

The survivors from the patrol stumbled closer to their own lines, finally recognised by the Jackals, but one squad had to hit the dirt when Centurion Gorgaz ordered one of the Legionnaire sections to fire at them. Though the fire was wide and sporadic, the disheartened men had to duck into cover and were pinned in the shadow of the burning Jackal.

Leutnant Korolev rode up to Branduari´s position, keeping low on her horse´s neck to avoid the necromutants´ fire. Together with the sergeant, she managed to galvanise the Hussars into action. Somewhat shame-faced, they mounted quickly and followed her as she drew her sabre and spurred her horse on towards the nearest position, held by a Razide and a group of necromutants.
"How was I supposed to know he was an unarmed man? His back was to me."

Offline Horned Owl

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Finally, the heavy shells from the Grizzlies made the ground shake and threw up huge clouds of dirt. They impacted on empty landscape, but the threat of being dismembered by the huge-bore cannon had split the Undead advance to the left and right, forcing them to take detours around the likely beaten zone, and sent the Hellhounds into retreat, where they were caught and defeated by the Jackals. On the other side of the battlefield, the carronnades churned up the deserted trenches and showered two Hussars with shrapnel wich pinged off their armour and left their greatcoats in tatters.

Before the Razide could unlimber its gun and train it on the Leutnant, the squad of Hussars dismounted from their horses and immediately opened fire, forcing the huge creature to bend double in an almost comical attempt to duck behind the low wall. A necromutant was hit in the eye and went down, which made the rest of his section hug the ground.

Under this covering fire, Korolev gallopped up and charged the Razide´s position in a desperate attempt to silence the Legion´s guns. She could see into the thing´s yellow eyes, smoldering with unholy fire, and her resolve wavered for a moment, but she steeled herself and spurred her horse into action. Her sabre cut through a necromutant who tried to spear her with the sharp edges of his Asnagaroth MG, her Hussars dispatched another. The platoon sergeant´s Hagelsturm bellowed, gouging great chunks of flesh and iron from the Razide´s superstructure, but the bio-technological horror drew itself up to its full height, and towering over the sergeant, smashed down with the bulky frame of its Nazgaroth. The Homebuilder was thrown from the saddle like a rag doll and lay limp. His horse rolled on the snowy ground with a broken back, whimpering piteously. A blow from the Razide´s fist felled the next soldier, who tried in vain to stab it with his bayonet. Over the thick carpet of bloody snow, the Razide glared at the Leutnant, who pushed a lock of hair from her face and raised her sabre with a shaking hand.

Down came the Nazgaroth, impaling the next Hussar on its barrel and pulling him off his horse, which kicked in terror at the Razide. Momentarily off-balance, it swayed, and Korolev leaped at it from her saddle. Her machine pistol stitched bullets across its belly, causing it to roar in pain. It lashed out, knocking the pistol from her grip. But when it pushed itself upright on its huge arms, the Leutnant´s sabre slashed across its face, extinguishing the hellish flame in the eye-sockets. The return stroke severed the pipes in its neck, spraying Korolev with a reeking greasy liquid. Gurgling and choking, the Razide fell – just as the mounted Hussars, on a command by the Capitaine, closed in on the position with fixed bayonets. They helped their Leutnant up as their comrades fired across the field at the other necromutants´ position.

Yet the damage had been done. The Undead Legionnaires were still near their original strength, though many limped and crawled along like grotesque roaches, and they had reached positions from where they could start a close assault the Bauhaus lines. Sporadic Kratach fire held down the defenders as Gorgaz regrouped his undead for the final push. The Carronades had fired, but the Jackals rolled out into the open, braving next turn´s artillery fire to relieve the embattled infantry.


In the middle of the field, the shambling remnant of the Legionnaires that had been blasted off the Hellhound´s back, all in various states of dismemberment, issued an ululating howl and charged the position of one survivor squad near the burning Jackal. The soldiers – fatigued and demoralised – had no reserve of strength or courage to face the undead. They scattered before the assault as the Legionnaires overran their position, leaving their wounded to the mercies of the Legion who grabbed them and started dragging them away.

Being left in the open, and having nowhere to turn to without getting closer to Legion troops, the sergeant threw down his empty shotgun, and surrendered his men to the mercies of the Legionnaires. The soldiers watched the shambling cadavers uneasily as they were ushered towards the rear, prodded by the Necromutant´s Sectioner bayonet. Already, the silhouettes of the Reaver carriers with the large iron cages rumbled ominously towards the lines.

This was a terrible blow to morale – watching their comrades being overrun and captured put the fear of the Cardinals into the tired Hussars. The line wavered. Sergeant Hardt called in med-evac, but the medics were needed elsewhere – the voice crackling over the comm unit told him to hold his position and wait. Hardt glanced at the soldier with the first-aid kit, who looked up at him and nodded, trying to put on a brave face though the Black Bullets were impacting all around them. Their comrades were field-dressed and would make it. If there was time.


« Last Edit: July 24, 2012, 05:55:24 AM by Horned Owl »
"How was I supposed to know he was an unarmed man? His back was to me."

Offline Horned Owl

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The Jackals rode through a hail of fire. Carronade shells exploded on the roofs, throwing one of the recon tanks on its side and killing the crew of another. The driver and gunner from the wrecked tank blew out the hatches and crawled painfully from the vehicle, but as they tried to get to the intact PzRV, they were pinned by a necromutant´s Belzarach fire. They went prone and fumbled for their sidearms as an undead section closed in on them, dragging along the captive Hussars. The Reavers passed within yards of the terrified crewmen and threw open the cages. The captives and wounded were ushered inside, and the bars clanged shut with an ominous tortured sound.

The last of the Jackals opened fire in desperation, and the shell impacted on the Reaver. Two of the captives and a Necromutant were thrown upon the bars and died from the shock, but the vehicle was unharmed. Trailing smoke, it executed a sharp turn and headed back to its own lines.

There was no Bauhaus artillery – far in the back, the Grizzlies spoke to a different part of the line, their thunder could be heard rolling along the forest. The Hussars said a last prayer and steeled themselves against the assault.

His face a grinning mask, Centurion Gorgaz organised his troops for the assault. He had the Necromutants and remaining Razide pouring salvo after salvo into the terrified defenders, pinning them down and preventing them from shooting back. Then the Legionnaires broke into a loping run, levelling their Kratachs at the Hussars.

The howling horde terrified the soldiers of squad Gerbrand. They could not hold and fell back, while the Undead swarmed the hill in pursuit. Hardt held his men together and stood his ground, and within a minute he was surrounded by a desperate melée. Hussars stabbed with their bayonets, one man impaling two cadavers before caving in the face of another with the butt of his rifle. Hardt fired short bursts with his Hagelsturm, beset on all sides by the shambling creatures. A man went down under the press of reeking undead bodies. Then the soldiers had enough. They broke and ran. Hardt brought up the rear and faced the Necromutant, who raised its Belzarach to fire. He snapped off a burst into its face, watching it fall.

Then suddenly, all was quiet. A look over his shoulder told Hardt that the Undead did not pursue. They stood motionless on the crest, swaying slightly. The loss of their leader had left the section without a will of their own. Something moved between the Legionnaires; the Hussar who had been wounded in the melee feebly lifted his hand. His eyes were wide, imploring, and Hardt stared helplessly. He slowly shook his head, then turned around and ran after his men for the trenches. The image of the wounded man he had abandoned to his fate would haunt him for the rest of his life.

Capitaine Velasquez watched his front crumble and his positions being overrun. He nearly ripped the comm unit from a dead trooper´s back and called Leutnant Korolev, who immediately took stock of the situation. Still white-faced from her close encounter with the Razide, her short blonde hair smeared with blood, she sent the riders of Branduari´s veteran squad towards the lines at a mad gallop. Not bothering to dismount, they poured Panzerknacker fire into the Legionnaires on the hilltop, salvo after salvo. The Bauhaus musketry´s renown was justified; accurate fire scythed through the cadaverous troops, sending rotting limbs everywhere. Velasquez heaved a sigh of relief and switched channels. He had to shout at the artillery aide until he got a mortar mission confirmed – aimed at the nest of Necromutants and Razides threatening his last men with their heavy weapons.

The Legionnaires in the rear charged the Jackal crew and overran them. The Dragoons emptied their magazines, killing many of the undead, but they went down under the assault and were clubbed mercilessly with the butts of the Kratachs. Wounded and pale, both managed a last look at each other before they were dragged to their feet by rotting hands and pushed towards the Legion´s lines.

The remaining survivor squad hunkered down in the cover of a patch of light scrub, too frightened to move out. They stared, wild-eyed, as their comrades were captured and led to an uncertain fate, but did not dare to raise their rifles for fear of calling attention to themselves. Their fighting spirit was entirely gone.
"How was I supposed to know he was an unarmed man? His back was to me."

Offline Horned Owl

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When the mortars came through, they enfolded the Necromutants and Razide in a huge cloud of shrapnel. Two wounded Necromutants staggered from the beaten zone, and when the smoke cleared, the Razide rose bellowing from one of the flechette-strewn craters. Green fluid poured down its flank, but its self-repair systems had kept it on its feet despite having been in the beaten zone of three mortar rounds. It bellowed and fired its Nazgaroth into the smoke where it assumed the mounted Hussars´ position, but the tracers went wide.

Behind it, the Reavers made their retreat with their living cargo, disappearing into the snowy night.

Velasquez and Korolev continued to co-ordinate the mounted Hussars´ efforts. The soldiers fired at the Razide to keep it busy, then lined up for a close assault – the only way to rescue their captured Dragoon comrades. The horses shied when they smelled the rotting stench, but the veterans steeled themselves and charged the Legionnaires. Sergeant Branduari fired his shotgun into the Necromutant´s face, and his men quickly dispatched the Legionnaires with thrusts from their bayonets. Sliding from the saddle, two Hussars eased the wounded crewmen onto the backs of their horses as Branduari regrouped the squad.

On the right, Gorgaz had the remaining section leader reorganise the last few undead. The hill was strewn with decomposing bodies. With grunts and bellows, the Necromutant pushed the survivors of both sections into line. Then, at a nod from Gorgaz, they streamed down the hill at the Hussars cowering in the trenches. Both squads, with their backs to the wall, could not flee and surrendered. The Legionnaires took six as hostages (as many as they could guard) and quickly killed the others. Gorgaz´ smile widened.

He turned when he heard the roar of the Jackal´s Vinciano-Traffaux diesel engine. Skidding to a halt shortly before the Centurion, it sprayed his position with its machinegun. The Centurion jerked as the bullets tore through his body, raising his Skalak in a last gesture of defiance before collapsing into the snow.


The Legion were down to a Razide and a Necromutant with a handful of Legionnaires, most of whom were wounded. To reach their own lines, they would have to break through the mounted Hussars and the Jackal, whose turret turned ominously in their direction. They had lost their leader, and their enemy still had two officers to keep them co-ordinated.
Still, the Homebuilders could not fire at the Legionnaires without risk of hitting the captives, and their morale was at a low ebb. There was always a chance that they would not have the courage for another close assault.
"How was I supposed to know he was an unarmed man? His back was to me."

Offline Horned Owl

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Staring at their adversaries across a blood-soaked snowy landscape, the Undead Legionnaires began to move straight at the terrified survivors, grinning through rotting lips. Their captives were mercilessly driven through the hip-deep snow. Capitaine Velasquez and his command squad moved closer to the mounted Hussars, and Leutnant Korolev drew her sabre. She shouted encouragement at the men, who took heart and gripped their rifles tighter.

The Jackal´s driver threw his tank into reverse, backing up until he could see the Razide through the underbrush. The turret swung around, and then the gun spoke. When the smoke cleared, the Razide was spread across a wide circle, some of the pieces still trying to move with a life of their own.


« Last Edit: July 20, 2012, 10:38:34 AM by Horned Owl »
"How was I supposed to know he was an unarmed man? His back was to me."

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Before the Legionnaires could storm the survivors´ position, the mounted Hussars rode up. But they were tired and terrified, and they had seen more than their share of fighting with a horrid enemy. Their courage broke, and they stood by helplessly as the Undead rushed the squad. The demoralised Hussars surrendered and were killed where they stood with bursts of Kratach fire.

That galvanised Leutnant Korolev, who spurred her exhausted mount into action. Tears streaming down her face, she rode down the Necromutant and turned at bay, swinging her sabre in a wide arc. The last Legionnaires rushed her, but were cut down by Homebuilder steel.

She dismounted and set her foot on the Necromutant´s broken body. The thing was still quivering, clinging to life with an unholy strength, and its eyes glared hatefully at her. She put her sabre´s tip to the creature´s neck.

"You... will all die... human", the Necromutant gurgled. "And be reborn... to serve my master... the Apostle of War. You... cannot win... if you war on Him... who is... war itself." There was a sound like a dry chuckle, which was cut short when Korolev pushed the tip of her sabre into its neck. The Necromutant´s body thrashed and shook.

It took a terribly long time to die.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2012, 05:52:49 AM by Horned Owl »
"How was I supposed to know he was an unarmed man? His back was to me."

Offline Petru5

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This truly was how the battle unfolded?  I can't wait to hear the summary.

Wonderful batrep!

So all in all, how did you like using Stargrunt II rules?  I've owned them for years, but haven't played them.  I like how they are universal...adding in the Warzone weapons and unit names is easily (and well) done!
"Game over, man! Game over!"
-Private Hudson

Offline Horned Owl

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Well, this was, by and large, how it went. As with most Stargrunt II games, this one was over quickly, but packed with action. Activating and firing by squads speeds up things considerably.

I really like playing StarGrunt II. I love the cascading morale system; and having served in the military, I appreciate the "realistic" feel of the game when it comes to aspects of small-arms combat such as treatment and carrying of wounded, suppression by fire, close-assaulting positions, taking and holding ground, and so on. Like in no other game, you get into the action and start thinking like the soldiers would – in the last rounds of this battle, for example, I could have dispatched the Legion troops with ranged fire or artillery, which would have been much safer than trying an assault with demoralised troops – but that would have placed the captives in the line of fire. The Hussars wanted to free their comrades, not to deny the enemy victory points. SGII quickly gets you thinking along those lines.

Seeing your troops carry their wounded has you feeling for the men you send into the teeth of enemy fire, and there are plenty of heartbreaking scenes where fleeing troops have to abandon their wounded to the mercies of the enemy. When you see a shaken tank crew disembark from their immobilised but still serviceable vehicle you may swear if it disrupts your battle plans, but you can still understand their fear. This is the great merit of playing SGII, in my opinion.

The gallantry of Lt. Korolev aside, Warzone in general has a much more "heroic" feel, and is therefore more suited to the Mutant Chronicles background than SGII. Usually, trying individual heroics won´t get you far with SGII, and I fully expected to lose the Leutnant in that rash first assault. I was rather surprised that I didn´t, more thanks to an incredible streak of dice results than any tactical superiority *cough*.
"How was I supposed to know he was an unarmed man? His back was to me."

Offline Horned Owl

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The young soldier´s eyes stared up sightlessly at the night sky. He had lost his helmet, and the sandy-brown shock of hair was smeared with blood. Most of him was there, had been found by the soldiers and gingerly put together in a pitiful puzzle: The Undead had dismembered those who they could not carry away, literally torn them apart. Poor boy, the Capitaine thought. He suddenly felt terribly old, and had to fight down a pang of guilt. He looked at the body for a long minute, then gently reached down with a gloved hand and closed Nyberg´s eyes.

Something silver glittered in the breast pocket of the boy´s armour, and without thinking, he reached out for it, picked it up. He cradled it in his hands and stared blindly at it.

"Herr Capitaine, Sir."

Velasquez turned wearily. An exhausted Leutnant Korolev, still in her battle-scarred and bloody suit of armour, clicked her heels and stood rigidly at attention. Her face was a mask of pain and misery.

"Report."

"I´ve lost you over half the platoon. My only excuse is inexperience. This is my fault, sir." The voice was terse, but the pained undertone said it all. Those men had meant something to her, and now they were lying in the snow, torn to pieces, under the merciless Venusian moons. And six were still missing, taken to the enemy´s lair for a fate that was certain to be worse than death.

Velasquez´ hands shook. He clasped them behind his back, trying to get the numb feeling out of his spine. He felt a painful cough coming up.

"Nonsense, Leutnant." He had expected hope, or belligerence, any emotion at all, but her expression did not change. He tried another approach. "An officer´s function is to lead, not to follow personal glory. You might have been killed in that assault, and that would have left your men without a leader."

She did not flinch. "Yes, Herr Capitaine."

"Still, you led from the front, as a Homebuilder officer of lineage should. You and your sergeant silenced the monsters´ guns, and you set a fine example for your troops with your courage. You single-handedly saved eight men from being captured and subjected to – whatever they do to those they capture." He cleared his throat uneasily. "I know you care for your men. But they died to spare others from the same fate – those helpless civilians we are sworn to protect."

"Sir."

"So, at the end of the day, you did well. Don´t let your impetuousness get the better of you, but try to preserve that courage. I´ll send a recommendation to your family, and the report will probably get you a medal. I don´t believe you will let it get to your head, Leutnant. But don´t get cynical about it, either."

"Thank you, Herr Capitaine." But she did not sound thankful at all. Velasquez sighed. "Dismissed."

"Sir." She turned on her heel, swaying slightly with fatigue, and left.

Capitaine Velasquez turned back to the trench lines. The weary Hussars were digging graves. Already the relief platoon had started to trickle in – more scared young boys with pale faces. He would have to speak to their officer, issue a warning. Just now he could not bring himself to look at them.

He flipped open the flat silver box and mechanically withdrew a cigarette. Placed it between his lips, then fumbled for his lighter. He greedily inhaled the smoke as he walked, suppressing the cough that constricted his chest. He joined Korolev in the dugout.

"All quiet so far, Herr Capitaine."

"They will come back", he said. She nodded. "I´ll talk to the relief officer. He needs to know."

Korolev nodded again, then turned to the Capitaine. "I thought you had stopped smoking. Sir."

He turned the silver cigarette box in his hands and slowly nodded. "So I had."

"With due respect, Herr Capitaine, those things will kill you, with your condition."

He nodded again, frowned, and took a short puff, staring off into the distance. "Maybe they will, Leutnant. Maybe they will."



"How was I supposed to know he was an unarmed man? His back was to me."

Offline Horned Owl

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We counted coup at the end of the day. Andreas had lost the whole of his Legion force, and carted off a measly 3 living and 2 dead soldiers. His Nepharite superior was not available for comment, but usually well-informed sources from the Citadel´s inner circle hinted at him being "not amused".

If the final Homebuilder assault had not come through, things would have been quite different. Morale had been a deciding factor, and I had kept my force back (to hammer the Legion with the Bauhauser´s long-range rifles). This reluctance to advance nearly spelled disaster for me, as the enemy quickly captured both elements of my missing patrol, causing my units´ morale to drop sharply. When the undead reached my lines, two squads of Hussars could hardly put up a fight in the face of the Legionnaires´ terrifying assault. They broke down on the spot and surrendered. Had they still had their morale up at that time and stood their ground, they would probably have made short work of the cadaverous troops (since most of those were already half-dismembered by the Homebuilders´ rifle fire by then).

Speaking of dismemberment – there is something terrifying watching a squad of undead take a spate of wounds but carry on regardless without even breaking stride, the wounded just getting up and shambling after the others. And I had the worst infernal luck allocating hits – not one single shot of that storm of lead ever so much as nicked a necromutant leader. Halfway through the game, I would have gladly exchanged all my troops for a single pair of snipers.

Of course, Lady Luck more than made up for this with my Leutnant´s performance. Korolev pulled off two close assaults which had pretty low chances of success. The first one was a rather rash attack on the Razide which deservedly cost me the platoon HQ section almost straight away. Facing down a Razide definitely crossed the line from gallantry to folly. Counting as a power armoured troop, its Close Combat score was doubled – witness the way it dispatched three Hussars in a single go. I was incredulous when Korolev emerged victorious.

The second assault was a last ditch try to rescue the eight soldiers captured by the Undead. If the exhausted Leutnant had not made her morale check to attack the Legionnaires (which had a pretty low chance at that time, what with her being demoralised and the Undead´s terror effect), they could have left the table with their quarry unhindered, and the Legion would have won.


That said, the Bauhaus side did not feel very victorious. The platoon was in tatters, more than half were dead and wounded. The Capitaine, Leutnant and mounted Hussars were all at SHAKEN, while the rest were BROKEN or ROUTED. The fatigue level had dropped to EXHAUSTED, which meant this platoon would not be going anywhere unless they got some R&R.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2012, 01:38:50 PM by Horned Owl »
"How was I supposed to know he was an unarmed man? His back was to me."

Offline Horned Owl

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One fun part of SGII is the reorganisation of troops after the battle. This wasn´t a campaign, but I did it anyway for the heck of it. Rolling for replacements, I was provided with two horsemen and five troopers – green recruits – to be assigned to the understrength units.

I promoted the mounted Hussar´s sergeant to platoon sergeant and seconded him, with two of the mounted troopers, to HQ, then filled up the gaping hole in the squad´s TO&E with the two mounted replacements. The corporal who now was acting sergeant of the squad was a bright chap (actually turning out to be a better leader than his old sergeant had been), but with the new replacements, the squad´s overall quality sharply dropped from VETERAN to REGULAR. On the positive side, Lt. Korolev was now backed up by a VETERAN HQ, which I found quite appropriate.

The rest of the replacements would probably drag the average level down anyway, so I recombined the remnants of the two Hussar squads into one REGULAR squad, under Sergeant Gerbrand, while Sergeant Hardt got all the new recruits, for a GREEN squad. The HMGs and disposable launchers of both squads had been lost.

The tank platoon had two serviceable vehicles left, and a third could be salvaged and its suspension repaired. The difficulty was getting enough men into the tanks – the two surviving Dragoons were hospitalised for a few days, and even after they returned, that would still leave me one tank crew short. So the salvaged tank was dismantled, and its HMG given to squad Gerbrand.

There would be several days´ time until squad Gerbrand would be at any strength – most of its troops were wounded in hospital, and severely traumatised. The platoon would have to be rotated to the rear anyway, and I also figured that the regiment´s Brotherhood advisors would want to check those men who had been hit by Black Bullets, and found that one had succumbed. He started foaming and raving, but was quickly put out of his misery by the Inquisitorial aide.


"How was I supposed to know he was an unarmed man? His back was to me."