This article originally appeared in the November/December 2016 issue.
A mercenary company defends crews repairing a dam from insurgents.
Mission Type: Security
Unit Size: Company
Setting: Any world with a breathable atmosphere, Hydrographics 3+, and Tech Level 5+.
This world has been plagued by a rising insurgency against the planetary government for some time, sparked by protests that began as small, scattered affairs that quickly grew as the underlying problems remained unaddressed. The unrest has recently flared into open hostilities, marked by armed skirmishes between government troops and scattered ragtag rebel elements.
During the term of a previous (unpopular) leader, a hydroelectric dam was built as part of a project to modernize the power grid in an important but rural province; and incidentally, as a political boost. The dam’s construction didn’t save the leader from being overthrown several years later. Worse, it was subsequently found that, thanks to corruption and kickbacks, it was shoddily built with substandard materials. The few experts who’ve had an opportunity to examine the structure have found that it’s close to giving way, flooding the valley and several towns beneath. Indeed, they marvel that it hasn’t already done so.
After many contentious debates, the government has agreed to fund repairs to the dam. Crews have been hired, and materials gathered, but the area surrounding the site has become a hotbed of insurgent activity and a danger to repair crews. Government troops are spread thin fighting rebels elsewhere and cannot be spared as guards.
The planetary government offers a company-sized unit Cr750,000 for a twelve-week, success-only Security contract to guard the dam repair crews and repel any rebel attacks. The mercenaries must supply their own weapons and equipment.
The insurgents certainly notice all the new activity at the dam. Their activities for the first week consist of espionage, with the rebel commanders trying to uncover as much intel about the newcomers as possible. Success (on a throw of 9+) adds +1 to the commanders’ Tactics skill. Each week thereafter, the referee should throw 8+ for the enemies to attack the dam with the aim of killing the construction crews and seizing it. However, if the throw comes up as a natural 12, an attack is just a feint to provide cover for a team to plant explosives and blow up the dam.
The insurgents pose little threat to the mercenaries in a stand-up fight, but they rarely resort to such tactics. They’re mostly raw recruits with a sprinkling of veterans (planetary army defectors) serving as commanders. They typically attack in units the equivalent of Commando squads, but they will commit the numerical equivalent of a section if they have a critical objective. They rely heavily on guerilla fighting tactics and aren’t above using hostages, making suicide attacks (typically with explosives), or committing atrocities. They’re equipped to the planetary Tech Level minus 1, including surplus and captured heavy weapons and vehicles, but have many members adept at jury-rigging weapons or using pre-technological weapons. They have an average Morale rating of 8 (which includes a bonus for their general fanaticism) regardless of unit size.