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Sweep and Clear
A Jungle Scenario for Dirtside II By James F Clay

VTOL

The Introduction

...the sound of gunfire echoed across the jungle.

Commander Kaftan Harko of the Questron Federation occupational forces turned to his second in command, Ensign Lansna.

"Those rebels still holding out?"

"Yes, and we have a report coming in that they have set a base up at or near co-ordinates 344789."

"Set course for that location Ensign."

"Aye sir."

"Engage engines."

"Engines engaged, speed 15 kleptronica."

"Red alert."

The Questronnian riverine gunboat, ‘Hark VII’, powered through the muddy waters, creating a frothy wake. The crew of the rapid fire cannons took their stations, as armoured plates fell into place across the boat. The Guided Missile System sensor moved from side to side, reacting to any possible movement by an enemy threat.

It was sometime later that Ensign Lansna looked at her console, which was showing a tactical map of the surrounding area.

VTOL

"We have a threat warning. Unknown vehicles, possible riverine craft, within three kleptrons."

"Battlestations, ensign, hail command and request possible VTOL air support, I think we have found our hideaway."

The planet, known to the Questron Federation High Command as FT-531, was known to it’s inhabitants as home, and they called it Cixerona. For three (earth) years, the Questronnians have been attempting to quell the Cixerona people into submission and acceptance into the Questron Federation and "protect" them from Ginpeel influence. However they continue to rebel, sometimes with the questionable tactic of violence. This has resulted in a large Questronnian military presence on Cixerona. The variety of differing climates and vegetation has resulted in a strange collection of various Questronnian military hardware, and this included riverine gunboats for use in the Llepphac Delta, home to various resistance/terrorist groups.

This scenario includes information and statistics for Ground Zero Games’s Dirtside II, but is usable with other 1/300th Science Fiction Wargaming Rules.

The Background

The planet Cixerona is a small planet, the third of five in the Eno star system. Comprising of four continents, it has earth style climatic regions, polar ice caps, dry hot deserts and lowlands. On two of the continents there is heavy urbanisation and a large industrial base, and subsequent pollution. The Questronnians are attempting to clean up this damaging environmental hazard.

The Llepphac Delta is situated on the second continent and is home to just over six hundred thousand people. Covered in swamp and jungle with the odd field of the local crop, it is scattered with small villages. The river system is large and consists of small and large tributaries. Considering the tech level of the planet as a whole, the Llepphac Delta is backward and the people are mainly employed in argiculture. However though, the weaponry that is available and employed is far from backward. The Delta is only fifty miles from one of the largest cities on Cixerona, Yratilim. Yratilim is vast and has a population in excess of ten million. The Questron High Command is situated in the city and is the base for most of the military operations on Cixerona.

The Delta is home to one of the many rebel groups trying to rid Cixerona of the Questron Federation. It is the perfect hideout, expecially in its close proximity to Yratilim. Most of the clashes are terrorist attacks on various buildings and military bases.

The Questronnian High Command have responded with "sweep and clear" missions, which are called by the troopers "search and destroy" missions. These missions involve small squads of troopers travelling in riverine craft, or air dropped by VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) transports. Armed with various weapons, they always have the option of calling in air support, this is provided with VTOL air-support craft, or with high speed aerospace craft. The rebels respond with ambushes if they can, but more often than not they are surprised by the Questronnian forces and are forced to reatrat resulting in most of the missions been a success. The Questronnian invasion happened just under three earth years ago, however the Questronnians referred to it as a liberation from Ginpeel influence.

The Questron Federation consists of thousands of planets from hundreds of star systems. They employ starships of various sizes from huge dreadnoughts to small scout size ships. They arm various planets and provide military advisers especially to those systems near to the Ginpeel sphere of influence. The Questron Federation is allegedly democratic, with a President voted in by all the peoples of the Federation. However with misinformation, misleading advertisements and on some planets force of arms, the favoured candidate always seems to get "voted" in.

Ginpeel is a one state planetary system. They have quite a large empire, they conquer other systems into submission and impose their own governors. These planets then provide the Ginpeel Empire with raw materials, manufacturered goods and military hardware. In return they provide a decent education, a good standard of health care and enough food to alleviate poverty. Alledgedly they also sponsor resistance and terrorist groups on Federation worlds and supply them with weapons, explosives, ammunition and other aid. According to Federation intelligence hey have supplied the Cixerona rebels with weaponry and aid. The Questron Federation are not totally angelic, and have been known to supply weapons to freedom fighters on worlds in the Ginpeel Empire. One man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist.

The Questronnians have always been uneasy with Ginpeel, and the two sides have nearly come to full-scale war many a time. Starships from their huge fleets do clash in small conflicts on the odd occassion. These can be easily re-created using Ground Zero Games’s Full Thrust rules. These conflicts are normally between starships of Cruiser and Frigate size, though starships of Battleship size have often clashed.

VTOLs

The Current Situation

Commander Kaftan Harko is in charge of two riverine gunboats and are on a routine patrol of the Llephac Delta. They have received a tactical intelligence report from their High Command and they are on their way to "sweep and clear" a possible rebel hideout. An informer has given them the rough location of the base and intelligence reports that it is unlikely to be heavily defended, otherwise it would be picked up by military satellites. Harko has only a small force, as the Questronnian military are heavily stretched at the moment, he is remaining in communication contact with High Command, and is under orders to withdraw if he encounter too heavy resistance, whereupon a heavier strike force will be air-dropped in, backed up with a large force of riverine craft. There is always the possibility that the information is wrong, and there is no rebel activity at all in this sector. But, as the threat sensor lit up, Harko knew that there were terrorists in the area, time to fight.

Major Florinne Otan is the leader of a Cixerona rebel movement based in the Llepphac Delta. She use to be a major in the Yratilim Defence Force, before it surrended to the Questron Federation. The organisation she leads is quite a large rebel unit and have attacked many Questronnian targets, both military and civilian. When the Questron Federation first came to Cixerona, they used the weaponry which they had to hand, which was easily outclassed by the Federation. Then they had to rely on stolen hardware from the Federation, however, recently they have received sophisticated weapons and hardware from Ginpeel. Florinne also has access to reasonably good communication and radar array, and was able to see that two Questronnian riverine craft were nearing her base, time to respond and ensure that these invaders never saw the bright lights of Yratilim again.

The Game

The scenario is relatively simple, the Questron Federation forces must locate and destroy the rebel base, kill as many of the terrorists as possible, capture the leadership if they can for future interrorgation and get out before the rebels can call up any possible reinforcements. The rebels on the other hand must ensure that they survive and destroy all the Federation forces or make sure they are forced to retreat. The Questron Federation have access to VTOL air support, but the rebels do have anti-aircraft capability.

The Questron Federation win, if they destroy the Command Bunker and manage to get off the table with at least 50% of their forces intact. The Cixerona rebels win if they manage to force the Questron Federation to retreat or they destroy 75% of their forces. Any other result is a draw.

The Questron Federation forces must start in their start zone as shown on the map. The Cixerona rebels have a much wider choice in the placement of their forces and may place their forces anywhere in the playing area. The placing of these forces is essential to the defence of the rebel base. The only restriction is that the Command Bunker (the rebel base) must be placed as shown on the map.

Map A shows the location of the Llepphac Delta and its relative position to the city of Yratilim.

Map B is a more detailed map of the battlefield, it shows the location of the rebel base and the starting positions of both forces.

Most of the terrain on the battlefield is jungle/forest with a complex network of rivers and tributaries which will restrict movement and obscure line of sight for most weapons. This can be created using large sheets of blue/green/brown card placed flat on the table to represent the water, you could use a sheet/cloth instead of card. The islands can be drawn onto the card/cloth, or you could cut them out of green card. Various manufacturers produce senic terrain tiles made from polystryene and both green and blue tiles can be purchased, these same manufacturers also normally produce hill packs, which are ideal for the islands. This sort of terrain can be made as well, if you have an average level of modelling skills. The jungle/forest can be represented by commercial trees, you could try making your own or you can assume that there are trees there, but for ease of play they are not placed on the table.

I have purposely not included the size of the table because this will depend on the size of table you have. This scenario can be played easily on a small three by two foot dining table, right up to a purpose-built eight by six wargaming table.

This scenario was specifically written for Dirtside II, but can be used with any other science fiction wargame rules, such as Wessex Games’s Hellfire, TBA’s OHMU or with a bit of work a historical set such as WRG’s 1950-2000 rules or TTG’s Challenger. You could also use the scenario and convert it into a fantasy scenario and use orcs, elves or another of your favourite fantasy races.

VTOLs

Information for Dirtside II

Dirtside II is a set of rules from Ground Zero Games. It is a completely redesigned game developed from the original Dirtside rules. These comprehensive generic rules are for simulating science fiction battles in virtually any background or future history. The system covers combined-arms actions from a few squads up to large scale battles. The system, lucky for us, already incorporates rules for riverine craft and so most of the hard work has already been done for us.

The Questron Federation Forces

Commander Harko has two Riverine Craft at his disposal, and these carry between them three elements of Line Infantry. These normally consist of two Rifle Teams and one Anti-Personnel Support Weapon Team.

The Hark VII - VERY LARGE Riverine Craft (class 5), Base Move 8, Chemical-Fuelled Engine, Armour 3, Two Fixed Forward Multiple Mounted Rapid Fire Autocannons (size 2) with Enhanced Fire Control Systems, Two Turret Mounted Guided Missile Systems (Light) with Enhanced Guidance Systems, Anti-Personnel Support Weapon, Superior Point Defence System. Also carries two elements of Line Infantry.

The Krow IX - VERY LARGE Riverine Craft (class 5), Base Move 8, Chemical-Fuelled Engine, Armour 3, Fixed Forward Mounted High Velocity Cannon (size 3) with Enhanced Fire Control System, Fixed Port, Starboard and Rear Mounted Rapid Fire Autocannons (size 1) all with Enhanced Fire Control Systems, Anti-Personnel Support Weapon, Superior Point Defence System, Local Area Defence System. Also carries an element of Line Infantry.

VTOLs

The Questron Federation player also has the option of calling in VTOL air-support, upon calling it in, it will take D6 turns to arrive. It will consist of two Eagle VTOL air-support craft and two Hawk VTOL air-transports. The Hawks are carrying four Line Infantry elements each. The Hawks normally carry two Rifle Teams, one Anti-Personnel Support Weapon Team and one Anti-Armour Team each, however the player does have the option of changing the choice of teams carried by each Hawk.

Eagle VTOL Air-Support Craft - MEDIUM VTOL Craft (class 3), Base Move 30, Fusion Generation Plant, Armour 2, Fixed Forward Mounted Rapid Fire Autocannon (size 2) with Superior Fire Control Systems, Two Fixed Forward Mounted Guided Missile Systems (Heavy) with Superior Guidance Systems, Fixed Forward Mount Anti-Personnel Support Weapon, Enhanced Point Defence System.

Hawk VTOL Air-Transport - LARGE VTOL Craft (class 4), Base Move 24, Fusion Generation Plant, Armour 1, Chin-Turreted Mounted Rapid Fire Autocannon (size 1) with Enhanced Fire Control System, Two Fixed Forward Multiple Mounted Anti-Personnel Support Weapons. It carries four elements of Line Infantry.

All of the Questron Federation Troops are Veterans and start the battle Confident (CO).

The Cixerona Rebel Force

Major Otan has a numerical advantage, but most of her equipment either badly armed and badly armoured or is pretty old. One big disadvantage is that she has no air support. On the ground there are a few fixed mount heavy weapons so that if an enemy does come into their respective fire arcs they do stand a good chance of getting a shot off.

One Mantis Class Gunboat - MEDIUM Riverine Craft (class 3), Base Move 12, Chemical-Fuelled Engine, Armour 1, Fixed Forward Mounted Rapid Fire Autocannon (size 2) with Enhanced Fire Control Systems, Turret Mounted Guided Missile System (Heavy) with Basic Guidance System, Enhance Point Defence System, Anti-Personnel Support Weapon. It may carry one Line Infantry element.

Five Dragonfly Class Patrol Craft - SMALL Riverine Craft (class 2), Base Move 15, Chemical-Fuelled Engine, Armour 0, One Fixed Forward Mounted Rapid Fire Autocannon (size 1) with Basic Fire Control System, Anti-Personnel Support Weapon. These Patrol Craft may carry two elements of Line Infantry.

Five Wasp Fast Attack Vehicles - VERY SMALL vehicle (class 1), HIGH MOBILITY WHEELED Base Move 10, Chemical-Fuelled Engine, Armour 0, One Turret Mounted Rapid Fire Autocannon (size 1), Anti-Personnel Support Weapon.

Three Emplaced Enhanced Zone Air Defence Systems Armour 1.

Three Emplaced High Velocity Cannons (size 3) with Basic Fire Control Systems Armour 1.

Command Bunker (the rebel base) is defended by a Superior Area Defence System and has an Enhanced Zone Air Defence System.
Armour 4.

Twenty Five elements of Line Infantry.

Major Otan also has quite a large contingent of infantry at her disposal, the Cixerona player may decide what sort of teams she wants, however at least ten of them must be Rifle Teams. The rest can be a combination of Anti-Personnel Support Weapon Teams, Assault Teams (for close combat), Anti-Armour Teams and/or Local Air Defence Teams. She can then combine these Line Infantry elements into squads. The maximum size of a squad is five elements, the minimum size is one element. The Wasp Fast Attack Vehicles are of limited use because of their inability to cross the waterways, however, they do make reasonably mobile gun emplacements. The Emplaced Weapon Systems may be placed anywhere on the playing area by the Cixerona player.

VTOLs

Models and Figures

A couple of years ago the choice of models available in 1/300th scale was very limited, however, since then the number of ranges and models has increased somewhat giving a much wider choice.

For this scenario you can of course use any models you have in your collection, or even make card counters, but included are some possible models you could buy and use in this scenario.

Copelands Models (now sold by Ground Zero Games) are the one manufactuer, that I know of, that produce Science Fiction Riverine Craft, they produce four models, a Gunboat, a Patrol Boat, a Tactical Assault Boat and a Heavy Gunboat. The two Gunboats are ideal for the Questron Federation, whilst the Patrol Boat and the Tactical Assault Boats can be utilised by the Cixerona player. The Drum, produce some resin 1/200th monitors, gunboats and landing craft from the Vietnam War, which though big, could be used and would be useful to any gamer wanting to expand and game further battles between the Questron Federation and the Cixerona Rebels. For the VTOL craft, again Copelands come to our rescue, the Tigi AV-4 Gunship VTOL is ideal as the Eagle VTOL and the Boxcar VT-40 Transport VTOL makes an ideal Hawk VTOL Transport. For future scenarios Copelands also produce a rnage of Aerospace Craft and a wide selection of Armoured Fighting Vehicles. For the WASP FAVs, Scotia Micro Models produce Modern American FAVs. For the Emplaced Zone Air Defence Systems and the Command Bunker, Ground Zero Games produce a range of resin Firebase modules that would be perfect and Snapdragon also produce some delightful models that would look perfect. You could make your own bunkers and emplacements out of card and plasticard as well. For the Infantry we go to Games Workshop and utilise their plastic range for Space Marine, of which I used the Imperial Army figures.

Conclusions

Sweep and Clear is an ideal introduction to the conflict between the Questron Federation and the Cixerona rebels, from here you can recreate further battles between the two sides. A rebel attack on a Federation Army Base, with FAVs and jury-rigged civilian vehicles. An ambush by the rebels on a convoy, the convoy could be road vehicles on a highway, or a small flotilla of riverine craft. Further sweep and clear missions to oust the rebels from the Llephac Delta, this time only air-dropping the troops in, and assisted by VTOL air support. Switching to Ground Zero Games’s Full Thrust rules, we can then recreate conflicts between the Questron Federation and the remainder of the Cixerona starship fleet, and what of Ginpeel...

What I hope to have achieved to show here is that there is more to 1/300th Science Fiction Wargames than big armoured conflicts and that you do not need huge numbers of figures and tanks to have an interesting and enjoyable game. Let’s be careful out there people...

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