Modeling and Conversions in the Warhammer 40K Universe by a Marine Corps Veteran Sergeant
Heroes of the Aturi Cluster – Mission: Disable Sensor Net
Episode IV – Disable Sensor Net
With the Rebel operatives safe, the dangerous nature of their mission, and the high value target it had presented was revealed. A secret, and heavily guarded refueling station secreted inside an asteroid field. However, to reach the refueling station, a path through would need to be cleared. Not of asteroids, but a complex and concentrated sensor net.
These sensors were not only small, but affixed to the drifting asteroids, making them incredibly difficult targets. And the Imperial presence in the area was high. However, capturing the refueling station was going to be of paramount importance if the Rebels were to continue their efforts in the Aturi Cluster. So a dangerous mission was launched.
X- Wing Brown 5 – “Koiogran” Crassus – Daredevil young pilot known for his affinity for Koiogran turns.
X-Wing Brown 6 – Unnamed Pilot
Y-Wing Brown 7 – Unnamed Pilot – Ion Cannon Turret
Y-Wing Brown 8 – Unnamed Pilot – Twin Laser Turret
Things went wrong almost immediately, and Brown Squadron was detected as it entered the field and TIE Fighters converged on their position. While they had adopted a tight formation to concentrate their fire, this had not worked as planned. The first two sensor beacons were destroyed, but a third was not, and its alerts brought a nearby TIE Interceptor into the fray.
The TIEs descended upon the Rebels, breaking up their formation. Brown 4 was forced to evade the onrushing fighters, and became separated from the group. Brown 5 and 6 pushed on ahead, trying to avoid the sensors, but two more TIE Interceptors entered the asteroid field. Brown 6 was able to pick off one TIE Fighter, and Brown 4 another, but the Rebels’ situation was quickly getting out of hand.
TIE Interceptors were all over the battlespace, and Brown Squadron was in dire straits. Separated from the group, Brown 4 tried to wheel back into the fray, juking and dodging pursuers as he tried to take out the sensor nets in his area without tripping more alarms. Brown 7 and 8 in their Y-Wings had slowed down to drop in behind the TIE Fighters pursuing the X-Wings of Brown 5 and 6. But a prototype TIE Avenger with a stealth device dropped into the fight, putting Brown 8 in extreme jeopardy.
Meanwhile Brown 6 couldn’t shake his pursuers, his R2 unit working overtime to keep his ship from being destroyed as he narrowly avoided an asteroid. Pushing his throttle full speed ahead, Brown 5 accelerated past the sensor net as it was destroyed, trying to swing around the next target. Brown 6 managed to throw his pursuers briefly, but Brown 5’s maneuvers put him right into the path of a third flight of TIE Interceptors. Caught with nowhere to go, Little Crassus turned his X-Wing into the closest enemies. His cannon fire felled an Interceptor, but his fighter was destroyed by its wingman.
The mission looked out of reach. With the TIE Avenger on his tail, Brown 8 had nowhere to go. Encouraged by his wingmates to retreat, his R2 unit dialed in a hasty hyperspace course, and jumped out of the area just as his shields failed and his craft began to be blasted by cannon fire. Brown Squadron was down two ships now.
Fortunately, his isolation had allowed Brown 4 to take out two more sensor beacons, though his ship was being relentlessly struck by fire from his pursuers. Putting one TIE Fighter into an asteroid, Lieutenant Hesh was able to reduce the odds slightly, but there was no shaking the other two. His shields were gone, and his craft had already sustained hull damage. But there were just two beacons left. Brown 4 swooped in on one, taking it out.
Brown 7 had been harrying the TIEs with his ion turret, and while he had done significant damage, it hadn’t thinned out the TIE herd by nearly enough and his console was alight with damage reports. The Avenger, with his target escaped, came around to pursue the remaining Rebels. With only three fighters left, and all of them significantly damaged, it was going to take extraordinary heroism for the mission to succeed. Facing near-certain death, the last three members of Brown Squadron angled in on the final sensor beacon.
Executing simultaneous koiogran flips, Brown 4 and Brown 6 tried desperately to buck pursuit for just a little longer while angling in on the last beacon
Hoping to be able to dial his lasers on the beacon, Brown 7 decelerated. It turned out to be a fatal mistake. Screaming into the battle at full throttle, the Avenger caught him and Brown 7’s ship came apart as he cried out “They came from behind!” over the squadron frequency.
Brown 6 knew his time was running out, as he crossed the path of the fighters pursuing Brown 4, But he heroically accepted his fate, and blasted the final sensor beacon. Despite the odds, the mission had succeeded. Laser fire from the approaching Interceptor destroyed Brown 6 just as he exhaled in relief.
The mission might have been a success, but Lieutenant Hesh was now trapped in a massive group of TIEs and escape looked impossible. Having just restored partial shield power, Brown 4’s R2 unit plotted an escape course as the Rebel pilot tried to hold the craft steady for long enough to escape.
The Avenger pilot’s cannon fire sliced through his shields, and the X-Wing was nearly crippled.
But the R2 unit had accomplished its job, and the coordinates were set. Against the odds, Lieutenant Hesh pushed the craft into hyperspace, leaving the stunned Imperial pilots to dodge themselves.
The mission had succeeded, even though just barely. But not without a cost. Brown Squadron had lost three valuable ships, and Imperial forces were sure to be in hot pursuit.
The Veteran Sergeant’s After-Action Report:
This mission, on the other hand, was a near-loss for us. In fact, I’m still shocked we didn’t lose. This mission actually gets significantly harder the more players you have, as the number of dice rolled each turn to alert patrols keeps going up. Spawning 6 Interceptors (and then an Elite Interceptor as part of the mission) was brutal, and it looked like we didn’t have a chance. Pretty much everyone accepted that we were likely to die on that last turn, but taking out the last beacon would win the scenario for us. The Elite Inteceptor (TIE Avenger model) did double Straight 5s across 2 turns to scream across the map and kill Brown 7 before he could fire, and Brown 6 koiogran turned right into the path of the Interceptor that Brown 4 had been only narrowly avoiding. Only the grace of the red dice allowed Lieutenant Hesh to escape.