The fifth week of the Antares online campaign saw Fartok’s Rebel army track-down Karg’s slave pits in order to liberate more Outcasts, and to bolster their ranks in search for vengeance against Battlegroup 10.
However, it wasn’t just Ghar-on-Ghar action this week – the Landing Zones continue to prove a scene of bitter fighting as reinforcements attempt to land, meanwhile the Boromites saw a huge boost amongst both the Builder Ruins and the Tunnel Complexes beneath the surface…
Let’s take a closer look at some of the highlights from the penultimate week’s action!
lastakodo (Algoryn) vs. chope (Boromites) – see original post here
Xiail heard the happy chirruping of the targeter probe before she saw her first contact. The recon element had been sent to follow the retreating Boromites after the Eclipse had taken their mountain staging point. Ordering her squad into position Xiail reviewed the feed from the targeter probes, a work gang equipped with some form of mining aparatus and an X-launcher team. Never one to be too cautious she sent the contact to the commander calling in reinforcements before ordering the attack.
The Infiltrator squad lay down suppressing fire on the enemy X-launcher as Xiail watched one of the probes get crushed into oblivion, mining equipment or not she made a note to respect what those weapons could do. Infiltrator Kreel drew her attention to Boromite reinforcements, arriving much sooner than Xiail had expected. The reinforcements were armed with Mag Guns and were running to the cover of a patch of jungle. Xiail gave the order to fire, noted that the work gang seemed to trading shots with the AI X-launcher, who would have to hold their own until this flank was dealt with. The gang fighters were caught unawares by the massive volley of fire that cascaded into them, felling one and and causing the rest to bury their heads.
The sharp crackle of plasma and a scream from one of the Infiltrators announced the arrival of the Boromite Overseer to the battle. Infiltrator Kreel had taken the hit, burning straight through her side. Kreel’s suit was already administering sedatives and medical aid, she’d survive but was definitely out of the fight. Turning back Xiail was relieved to see some reinforcements of her own. Commander Tara’kh’s squad came on hammering the Overseer’s squad with plasma fire killing one and destroying their spotter drone, as explosions from an X-launcher rained dirt on both squads.
The Infiltrators primed their solar charges and advanced on the Overseer’s squad, and watched amazed as the last Boromite in the squad leaped forward, shielding the Overseer from the worst of the blast. A look of sudden rage crept across the Overseer’s face as he held the shattered body of the ganger… the gang fighters traded fire with the AI command squad -picking-off a Medi-drone, before deciding once more that taking cover might be more prudent.
On her feed Xiail noticed the rapid approach of the work gang, and looking over saw them unleash 3 vorpal charges. Eager to be as far away from the roiling balls of barely contained antimatter Xiail lead the infiltrators to charge the Overseer. The Overseer was quickly subdued with Solar charges, although one of the dangerous weapon had misfired taking the arm off of one of the infiltrators. Xiail’s combat feed showed her that the AI squad had arrived on the far flank and drawn away the work gang, assuring the AI would take this flank, so long as the Vorpal charges that busily annihilated paths through the jungle didn’t turn towards them. As she thought this Xiail watched the in horror as a Vorpal charge moved strait towards the AI Command squad, who were pouring fire into the fighters dug into the undergrowth. At the last moment one of the bodyguards spotted the Vorpal charge and shoved the Commander clear as the bodyguard’s head, torso and and left arm were annihilated by the device.
The Commander was quick to recover and he and his surviving bodyguard rushed the 2 beleaguered gang fighters. Xiail looked on as the bodyguard was brought down by Mag fire before the two heavy set Boromites brought down the Commander. The infiltrators immediately unleashed a furious cavalcade of fire on the gang fighters who scurried back into the undergrowth, but the damage was done – the commander lay broken and unmoving.
Rage overtaking her, Xiail sprinted into the undergrowth, determined to get revenge for her Commander. Mag rounds blazed in that patch of jungle. Bloodied, the infiltrators came back out – their work done. Checking her feed Xiail saw that the AI squad (battered though it was) had held the flank, and the Boromites were in full retreat. Gathering their wounded and leaving a small guard until they could be evacuated, Xiail pressed her forces on, sending the call for reinforcement once again.
After the previous battle where the Algoryn had defeated the Concord in the tunnels beneath Xilos, they had taken my captives and force marched them to the Algoryn HQ for internment in the slave pits that the Ghar had evacuated recently.
The Concord launched a rescue mission, as opposed to a diplomatic mission to retrieve these prisoners, due to the relatively huge need for troopers while the battle on Xilos raged. They sent a mixed strike force of troops and drones, including one of the C3M4 drones recently received on Xilos.
The Algoryn didn’t fare well in the first turn – losing both their Plasma Cannon and Light Mag Support to plasma fire from the drones and strike squads. This would hamper their ability to defend the pits as they had to focus on assaults against the large drone hovertank.
The infiltrator squad had forward deployed and made excellent use of Solar Charges, pinning the M4 drone. The assault squads came on the field and moved up, but were not enough to save the Algoryn prison area. The strike squads broken free by the Concord troops helped level even more firepower against the Algoryn forces.
At one point the Concord did manage to free a Gulper by accident… they were certainly scared, but the Gulper first went after Algoryn troopers, slaying an entire assault squad. After that, the Gulper tunneled straight into a Concord strike squad, but the disciplined plasma fire coordinated by the leader felled the giant beast!
After that, the Algoryn were fighting a losing battle. They were heavily outnumbered and had to retreat. The prisoners could be given back to the Concord forces in a show of good faith – at least that’s what the HQ told its subordinates.
The train rumbled along in the distance. It wouldn’t be long now. Sgt Feyen of the 319th infiltration regiment finished placing the last of the charges along the bridge and signaled her squad to pull back. The work had been slow since they’d had to be careful to dodge the Boromite patrols in the area. They’d just settled down behind an old rock wall when the train crested the rise and began chugging along the straight. Just ahead of the train ran a pack of huge rock monsters ridden by large gruff looking Boromites.
The infiltrators opened fire on the rock riders bringing one of the beasts down and causing the others to roll to the ground flinging their hapless riders to the side.
The attack had begun, first blood scored by the infiltrators. The high pitched zip of mag rounds began piercing the air from behind them now as the rest of the Algoryn force joined the fight. They charged from their concealed positions within the jungles and charged for the train. The Boromites reacted in slow motion. They leaned out the windows trying to see what was going on and slowly began bringing up their rifles to stop the charge the of the Algoryn forces. The train’s mag gun blew off in a shower of sparks as Commander Kurar vaulted onto the train. The first Boromite in his way didn’t stand a chance.
The Boromites fought hard but they couldn’t hold. Kurar flung the last of them from the back of the moving train as the infiltrators also clambered aboard. “Hold on to something!” Sgt Feyen yelled as she pulled herself aboard. They were about to pass under the bridge.
Ter Ri led his squad up the walkway exchanging fire with the Pack Master on the far end of the platform. They had just drawn into assault range when the Lavamites that had been milling around the overseer charged towards his squad. Ter Ri smiled as he watched the train pulling closer to the platform. Explosions went off. The solar charged planted to the bridge rocked the platform as the bridge and the Lavamites on it went up in a flare of light and noise. There was a loud shriek from below as the bridge smashed into the front of the train, bringing it to a sudden halt. Ter Ri continued up the platform towards his objective.
Kurar couldn’t understand the controls before him. He pressed buttons trying to make out the strange Boromite symbols. The blood pouring into his eyes from the gash on his head didn’t help. He’d knocked it hard into the bulkhead when the train had stopped. Then, finally a green light came on and the chamber began to activate. In the next compartment he heard the chamber activate as the infiltration squad had also figured out their console. A dark shape loomed up from the darkness. Kurar was now fairly sure he’d hit the wrong button.
The infiltrators dragged Kurar through the jungle away from the fighting. The Algoryn raid had managed to rescue some of their prisoners and steal a decent supply of Boromite weapons, but the sudden appearance of the gulper had forced the retreat of the army before they could finish off the Boromite forces. The commander bled from a dozen wounds and Feyen wondered if the already battle scarred Algoryn could take much more before he’d need a freshly cloned body. In the distance a lone assault trooper held the platform allowing the rest of the army to retreat. The roars of the gulper still sounded far too close for Feyen’s comfort. The raid had been a partial success at least, but the true battle was yet to come.
Karyle watched intently from his posted position in the ancient, crumbling tower as the train seemed to inch towards them. The Boromites favored mag lift technology in any available situation, but because of the heightened conflicts on Xilos with literally every threat they could potentially face, the thinkers up high had convinced the Guildesses to stay decidedly low-tech. They had lain the tracks in matter of hours across the relatively short distance, but the heavily armored train was still probably the slowest means they had available.
He had chosen only his X-Launcher team, useless in the confined underground bunker, and Leroy’s lavamites to accompany him. Leroy was training a new batch, recently grown up from a swarm of hatchlings, and had requested the assignment because of the extra time in the field it would allow him. The Rock Riders lumbered along beside the train below, the boromites clearly struggling to control the Locomite mounts in the lush and alien terrain. His weapon crew was positioned far off from the train on a hill, while Leroy had his lavamites on the overhead loading platform, the sound of his electro lash cracking throughout the valley as he ran the mites through their drills.
Seeing a glimmer in the bushes at the last instant, the fire streamed across the front of the train before Karyle could react and warn the Rock Riders below. A hail of mag repeater fire hammered into the Rock Riders, killing one and sending the others to the ground for cover. The automated mag gun on the train centered almost immediately on the nearby threat, its return fire eliciting a feminine scream from the brush. Karyle’s eyes lit with understanding. “…Infiltrators! The sneaky bastards beat us here. Defensive positions! Pin them down!” Karyle and his guards slammed down into place beside the barricade, bringing their plasma carbines to bear on the Infiltration squad, killing another.
Seemingly all at once, AI squads began streaming out of the jungle on the other side of the tracks, blasts firing consistently between the Gang Fighter defenders on the train and the advancing Algoryn. The automated mag turrent exploded in a ball of fire almost immediately, never even managing a second shot. Micromite probes streamed from the back of the main engine towards the AI, barely visible except for their blinking diodes above their bodies scuttling through the undergrowth. The boromite defenders managed to turn back two of the advancing AI squads with their constant fire and a few well placed shots from the X-Launcher team, but the AI Assault Command Squad pushed through to the engine of the train. Boarding easily, the Assault Commander cut down every last Gang Fighter aboard the engine with dire efficiency. From his position, Karyle could do nothing to help the conflict inside the train; his attention was drawn to the Assault Squad rapidly advancing up the ramps on the other side of the loading platform. They were headed directly towards Leroy’s lavamites, a shockingly idiotic move in an otherwise excellently planned attacked. Unless…
Realization dawned on the Overseer a moment too late.
“Leroy, FALL BACK! DO NOT ENG-” ***BOOOOOOM***
The Overseers words were lost in the massive explosion of the lavamites clattering into range of the Infiltrator’s Solar Charge mines that had been placed on the underside of the platform’s bridge, the chain of explosions instantly obliterating Leroy and his squad. Worse, though, was that the explosion had brought down a part of the structure itself, crashing below directly onto the train as it passed underneath and stopping it dead in its tracks.
Light flashing across his vision and a powerful ringing in his ears, Karyle signaled his weapon crew and his guards to concentrate all fire on the Assault Squad. The Assault Squad was shot down completely with the sole exception of their leader, a man so determined to complete his mission he would not falter under the heavy fire. The leader made it to the containment device at the top of the platform and activated it, freeing a Vorpal Charge in the direction of the Boromites on the ground below before being cut down by the continued fire from the boromite Overseer’s squad.
Below, the Assault Commander in the train had managed to free one squad of Algoryn, but they had collectively met a sudden end upon opening the other container in the engine compartments and meeting the vicious specimen of Xilos contained within. Their screams were as deafening as the continued explosions.
All other Algoryn squads had either been slain or fled the field with the remaining Rock Riders in pursuit; the sudden quiet of the aftermath jarred the Overseer as he scanned the field for survivors. It had ended as suddenly and abruptly as it had begun, the entire conflict taking only a few moments’ time. Sighing heavily, Karyle signaled for a comms patch back to base. They would have to wait and guard what remained of the cargo until a clean-up crew of engineers arrived to get the train moving again. They’d likely have to free the Xilos beast now resting inside.
The Algoryn would be made to regret this…
At the end of week five, here are the overall scores;
Ghar Empire – 139
Concord – 122
Boromites – 111
Algoryn – 96
Freeborn – 57
Isorians – 56
Ghar Outcast Rebels -33
There’s been a huge push by the Boromites, who have seen a huge surge – now contesting control of the Builder Ruins, Tunnel Complex, and the Slave Pits… the Concord forces seem to have hit a speed-bump, and the Ghar Empire seem to have struggled amongst the Tunnel Complex and Slave Pits over the past couple of weeks…
As we move into the final week, the spacial fluctuations deep within the planet of Xilos have grown ever more unpredictable – and communications to the planet’s surface have become all but impossible. A blanket Comms Blackout has taken effect – the last confused messages suggest a panicked wave of activity as the forces scramble to escape the planet with the precious builder artifacts which they acquired.
What surprises might be in store during the final week?
As forces advance upon the Builder Ruins, and fights break-out as they struggle for control – urgent support is required! – all sides need reinforcement and resupply – so be sure to sign-up to the campaign and show your colours now!
If you’ve already signed-up and have taken-up the cause – why not share the link around to your gaming buddies and other friends in order to rally support!
Don’t forget that there’s loot on offer – each week we’re picking a bunch of winners to receive all sorts of exclusive Antares-related prizes.. take a look here for details!