The Siege of Oberon VI; Battletech Campaign

Clan Wolf forces wasted no time after capturing Elissa, moving on swiftly to their next target. The Elyssian citizens, oblivious as they were to the nature of the Clans and believing their captors to be some sort of exotic pirate company, were all too glad to describe nearby worlds in hopes that they would be able to go back to their normal lives after this “small band of ruffians” moved on in search of richer victims. So it was that the Wolves learned of the Oberon Confederation, the closest thing to a governing state in their invasion corridor. Rather than give this local power time to react and form resistance against the clans, it was decided that the head would be sliced from this snake while it still slept.

Oberon VI, capital of the confederation, thus became the next target for the Clan Wolf invasion in a daring move that stretched their logistical limits. In addition to the battlemechs designated as the invasion spearhead, reserves, garrison forces, and supply ships were launched simultaneously, all arriving at Oberon VI together and appearing as a much larger force than was truly present. The move paid off; the best that Clan Wolf had to offer hit the ground initially, cutting down a first wave of defenders like wheat before a scythe. As more Wolf dropships continued to land, the remaining local forces surrendered quickly, not knowing that most of the remaining ships carried supplies and personnel. The Wolves would have easily overwhelmed the locals’ resistance without such trickery, but the garrison would have undoubtedly been foolish enough to rely on their near equal numbers and “superior training” to win the day and attack rather than surrender, thus costing the Wolves ammunition that could be saved for later battles with more honor to gain.

What the Wolves hadn’t counted on was the presence of House Davion, or at least a small set of representatives thereof. The Oberon Confederation had recently become a minor trading power, and had arranged for the sale of surplus war material to Davion. Several newly purchased lances of mechs and vehicles were trapped on Oberon VI by the sudden appearance of the Wolves. One lance in particular realized that they could not stand against the invaders without reinforcements, and their only hope of that was reaching the planet’s Hyper Pulse Generator, a communications array capable of calling back home across the galaxy.

A lot of territory separated the Davion forces from the Comstar communications array.

Scenario: Chase

Attackers: House Davion, 5,000 BV
Atlas – 0 exp
Cyclops – 0 exp
Dervish – 0 exp
Saladin Hover Tank – 0 exp

Defenders: 10,000 BV
Timber Wolf B (Hammer) – 2 exp
Summoner D (Anvil) – 4 exp
Timber Wolf D (Hunter) – 0 exp
Nova A (Starlight) – 0 exp

Ill equipped for a chase, the Davion lance was both outgunned and slower than the Clan Wolf forces dispatched after them. Unable to run safely, the Davion mechs turned to fight, while the Saladin zipped away, as it was the only unit capable of outrunning the pursuing Wolves.

Top to bottom, left to right: Nova A (proxy), Summoner D (proxy), Atlas, Timber Wolf B, Cyclops, Saladin, Dervish, Timber Wolf B(proxy).

The hover tank didn’t make it far. Before it could zip out of range, Hammer vaporized its’ thin rear armor and interior with a pair of quick shots from his ER Large Lasers.

The Dervish met a similarly quick end, as Anvil stripped all of the armor off the lighter mech’s left side with an opening salvo, and an SRM shot at the end of the salvo detonated the full magazine of LRM ammo inside the Dervish.

Emboldened by these early successes, the Wolves encircled the remaining Davion mechs, setting their sights on the towering Atlas. Things looked grim for the inner sphere pilots, but they still had 190 tons of deadly force on the field, and the Cyclops made the Wolves answer for their aggression – As Anvil pressed the advantage and nimbly landed his Summoner on top of the building behind the Atlas, the Cyclops shredded his cockpit with a sharp blast from his AC/20. Shrugging off the damage taken from behind, the Atlas unloaded into the nearest Timber Wolf, causing a surprising amount of damage. Suddenly, this wasn’t just a mop-up operation; the clan pilots realized that they now faced a pair of battlemechs designed to be on the other side of a siege, and that couldn’t be taken down in a quick alpha-strike like all the smaller inner sphere mechs they had faced thus far.

Confident the enemy couldn’t outrun them, and now missing the hero of Elissa, the Wolves backed off to make use of their superior range and accuracy.

Beginning to learn the enemy’s capabilities, the Wolves backed away from the lumbering Atlas, daring it to give chase to one of them, and exposing its’ weaker rear armor to the others. Instead, the Davion pilot stood still and held down the trigger, blasting away equally at omnimech armor, buildings, and the ground. In his adrenaline fueled panic, the Atlas’s pilot failed to notice the beads of sweat gathering on his forehead as his heat levels steadily rose until they were at critical levels. The audible warnings from his on-board computer alerting of a minor engine breach were covered by the sizzling sound of PPC blasts washing over the mech’s armor and barrages of missiles falling like a hailstorm. A notable silence, however, rang through his ears loud and clear as the great siege engine’s reactor shut down, causing the behemoth to tumble to the ground.

Pro tip: Mechs function better when they are upright and powered on.

The Cyclops was struggling with heat management issues of its’ own as it tried to provide covering fire for his fallen ally. Pressing the advantage, the Wolves advanced once again – the Nova charged in toward the fallen Atlas; and the Timber Wolves lined up close range shots on the only enemy capable of returning fire. Standing still and out in the open, it was a trivial matter for the Timber Wolves to decimate the Cyclops with their full arsenals, triggering a catastrophic explosion by detonating the remaining ammunition for the Autocannon that had claimed their ally just moments before.

The Atlas powered back up and stubbornly climbed to its’ feet, determined to fight off the Wolves and reach the HPG array. But another pair of the distinctive blue orbs of death from the Nova’s PPCs mangled both of the Atlas’s arms, significantly reducing the threat presented by its’ attacks. Standing still and firing everything left in vain, the lone remaining Davion pilot presented the clan omnimechs with too big of a target to miss, and the Atlas was quickly reduced to a smoldering heap of metal that would yield no salvage, nor would it be removed from that spot so long as Clan Wolf held this world. The HPG remained silent, and House Davion and the rest of the inner sphere would not learn for many months what had happened on Oberon on this day. And in sharp contrast to the prosperity that came to this world as a hub and staging ground for the remainder of the invasion, the charred remains of the nigh-invincible Atlas remained as a reminder of the conquerors’ might and absence of mercy.

Stay tuned for future battle reports from our Classic Battletech campaign.

– The Tabletop General