Captain Pangloss of the Bwendi Levy was engrossed in his book when the alarm call came; he loved reading about his ancestor in Old Earth history books.
"Captain," yelled Sergeant Candide through the commlink, "We've got incoming. Unidentified space skimmer approaching. We don't recognise the type or the markings. Looks like it might not be ADF this time."
"Very well," responded Pangloss, "Sound the alarm and get your men deployed to meet them. They could be friendly but let's not take any chances."
The Levy stumbled over each other as they took up positions, but Pangloss was not too worried. The men might be green but they had the best of all possible commanders in Candide and Pangloss. Sgt Candide had taken half the men and was covering the left flank from the roof of one of the supply huts, while Pangloss and the rest of the men occupied the main command hut, which provided both good lines of sight and a comfortably fortified position from which to observe the approach of these newcomers. They did not have long to wait. Gunfire from Candide's position indicated that the newcomers were indeed hostile. Then the gunner spotted one of the enemy, as did Pangloss. Blimey, these were proper aliens and of a type that he had never previously encountered. They were huge and heavily armed. Pangloss opened fire at the alien, scoring multiple hits but it just kept coming until the gunner stitched a burst of fire all the way across its head. (click the pics for larger images)
Over the intercom, Pangloss could hear the shouts of Candide's men and Candide's orders. It all sounded rather chaotic, but that was for the best because, if it were not chaotic there, it would have to be chaotic somewhere else, as likely in Pangloss' ad hoc command bunker as anywhere else! As he thought this, suddenly a hail of automatic fire ripped into the walls of the hut and several shots came through the window, tearing chunks out of the gunner and his number two. Both men dropped in a pool of blood. Pangloss immediately raced over to grab the gun and keep it in action. It's firepower could be crucial. Then Private Thunder-Ten-Tronckh collapsed in another welter of automatic fire. Their position had been flanked and the troopers Pangloss had left outside had been dispatched rather too quietly. Over the commlink he could hear Candide rallying his men, who had lost their courage in the face of overwhelming enemy firepower. Candide was now manoeuvring to assault the enemy again. Perhaps he could flank them as Pangloss had been. Still, it was just as well that Pangloss had been flanked because otherwise it would have happened somewhere else and Pangloss was better able to deal with such a situation.
Candide's men were now moving into position as Pangloss sought out the cause of the problems round his own command. It turned out to be a single alien with two unfeasibly large machine pistols. Pangloss was impressed despite himself. Surely those must be the best of all possible machine pistols! That did not stop him letting rip with the LMG though. His burst of fire tore visible holes in the alien's armour and made it duck for cover. Unfortunately it did not appear to be hurt.
As Pangloss adopted a suitable firing position, the alien suddenly appeared at the window again. Private Cunegonde was frozen with fear and the alien dropped her where she stood, with her weapon unfired. Pangloss was alone in the hut. Over on the other flank, the cries of the wounded could be heard, as were the exhortations of the routed. It sounded like Candide's command was running for its life. That was probably for the best. Pangloss dropped back into the corner of the hut and prepared to resist the aliens when they came for him. He was the last of his command and in this situation going down with his ship was the best of all possible outcomes. The end did not take long. The big alien stepped into the window and stood there as Pangloss opened fire until his gun clicked empty. With unfeasibly large machine pistols opened fire and Pangloss collapsed on the floor. As blackness overcame him he reflected that he had at least held the best of all possible commands in the best of all possible mining outposts.
Steve decided to field some aliens for a change and I had been making some 15mm terrain using the WWG Mars Station set, so we agreed a 1500 points battle and bought figures accordingly. He had 4 aliens using the Grath template. I had a 14 man levy squad, most of whom were Rep 3. The game progressed rather predictably. I did manage to hit the aliens but could not get the OD results I needed to kill them, except in one case. My efforts were not helped by the vast number of 1s I rolled to hit. I also spent half my time rallying my troops, instead of having them shooting back. Steve's shooting was much more effective. I think he has loaded his dice or something! It was a fun if frustrating game that saw my star (Pangloss) getting captured. I wonder what the aliens will do with him, and is he important enough for my troops to rally and try to rescue him? Half of them survived by routing very soon after the aliens started shooting, and a few could test for recovery if the aliens did not gather up the wounded and take them off to be probed.