James Pinnell's attempt to make a solo cap on a Terran base goes horribly wrong.
By James Pinnell on September 27, 2012 at 2:26 pm
It’s dark. Desolate. The distant patter of machine gun fire sounds in the distance, cloaking my sinister intentions. The bright red glow of the Terran Republic insignia, the mark of my enemy, pulsates through its glass frame, threatening to reveal me if I stay in one place for too long. I hug the walls of the facility, avoiding doorways, open spaces and vehicle spawn points.
Even though the area seems deserted, previous experience has shown that it doesn’t take much noise before the cavalry start spawning in. My objective isn’t far away; the console taunts me with the possibility of a hack, begging for a change of allegiance. The dull roar of an Galaxy jumpship streams overhead in the dark, moving fast, shielding its intentions. I wait until it’s out of earshot – the last thing I want is to be around if that transport drops troops.
I check that my weapon is still locked and loaded, knowing that I could get jumped at any time. I hop up into the first floor of the command centre and complete a quick sweep of the area, silent as a ghost. It’s quiet, completely dead. My heart suddenly leaps into my throat when I spot a soldier, back towards me, facing the wall motionless. Has he seen me? He doesn’t move at all. I take the chance, creeping up behind him and pumping a few shots from my suppressed rifle into his head. His body hits the ground with a thud.
I hope he was just AFK, or I’ve just created a problem for myself. I move up towards the second level and towards the console, standing there long enough to capture the facility quickly. Checking the map, I notice the battle raging a few hexes away has started to edge closer to my location. Time to move.
I drop back into cloak and walk out onto the balcony of the top level, surveying the area briefly through my scope. The tiny blue splotch I’ve created on the vast swathe of red territory will certainly upset a couple of folks, so I need to work quickly. I jump across to the adjoining building, running past a recently spawned enemy, ignoring him for the moment in my rush to grab more influence before the war reaches my location. But I’ve spoken too soon — the roar of drop pods splits the air, three or four slamming into the ground around my immediate area. Assault troops spill out of their cocoons, shooting wildly, just in time to see me vanish into the next facility.
What little surprise I had on my side was spoiled by my opportunistic kill — it seemed my prey had respawned with a couple of friends.
I ran up to the top level of the building, enemy hot on my heels, and found a good vantage point to camp the stairs as I tried to capture the facility on my own. I could hear tank and machine fire thundering outside, and assumed (or hoped) my allies had decided to make an appearance.
One of my pursuers ran up the stairs and was quickly dropped by some well timed shots, although he also managed to lob a grenade at my feet before he went down, and I couldn’t get out fast enough. Damn.
As the map appeared on screen I could see my one-man stealth mission had become a full blown warzone. Changing my class to MAX (Mechanical Exo Skeleton), I dropped back into our little warzone. It was a now a good deal noisier.
A friendly Galaxy transport had parked just outside the base, creating an easy spawn point for reinforcements, while much of the enemy had also spawned in and begun to place portable turrets around the facilities. A friendly tank sat pounding the troops inside the building, while our foes attempted something resembling suppressive fire. I crawled my bulky mech up the small hill toward the back of the base, using my grenade launcher to clear out any unseen ground forces on the way up.
A couple of fellow troopers, a medic and an engineer, ran alongside to eventually overtake me, using my bulk and firepower as cover while we tore an entrance back into the fray. A Liberator suddenly swung into place over the base, peppering the enemy troops with fire, killing many while a few ran back inside the building. Unfortunately, our air cover lasted about 30 seconds before a few well aimed rockets brought it down.
I trudged back towards the vicinity of my original death as fire rained down on us from all sides. My armour was beginning to take a hammering. My weapons cache was running low. The engineer was dead and a more enemy tanks were arriving every minute. But the brief appearance of the Liberator had cleared out the enemy manning the turrets, leaving only a couple inside the base. We burst in, spraying and praying that we hit something, someone. We ran back up to the top of the facility, determined to make the capture; a single, admittedly insignificant aim thanks to the flood of local enemy and a distinct lack of available friendlies.
It was not to be. Reaching the top step felt like a slow-mo execution sequence in a movie, as we were cut in two by the waiting crew of support troops, bolstered by the flood of comrades into the area we hadn’t spotted before. I felt defeated. But luck and sheer firepower aren’t going to be much help against 4 heavily armed and waiting enemy.
The map flashed up again, throbbing with battle, waiting for me to enter the thick of it. But I had other plans. Class? Infiltrator. Instant Action? No thanks. I spawned on the edge of friendly territory and started walking north, cloak on, in search of another target.