Tag Archives: Mortar

Hewitt’s Hog Rides Again

Patron: Army Officer
Required Skills: engineering, electronics
Required Equipment:  Engineering tools
Location: Roia (Foreven 0919) C573873-7

Players’ Information:

Roia (Foreven Sector 0919 in Anika Subsector) is a small, arid world wi th a population of 400 million. Though nominally under the control of a central world government, the reality is that local governors and satraps wield the real power and pay little more than lip service to the capital. Constant infighting between them sometimes spills over into open warfare.

About ten years ago, the government brought in offworld mercenaries in an effort to bring some of the more independent regional governors to heel. Many of these governors hired mercenary units of their own, and several years of bitter fighting followed. The exhausted and cash-strapped factions recently concluded a ceasefire, which did little to change the local status quo. Though the mercenary companies are gone, local militia forces with improvised armored vehicles and cast-off weapons continue to eye each other over mine-strewn no-man’s lands.

The team is contacted by Captain Richtoph, an ambitious officer serving a minor provincial governor in the distant outback. He is seeking technical advisors to repair a damaged vehicle abandoned by one of the departed mercenary units.

Richtoph produces a series of photos of the wreck. The vehicle in question is a TL-10 armored mortar carrier. Its name, Hewitt’s Hog, is stenciled in faded letters on the hull glacis. Its air-cushion suspension and drive fans are wrecked beyond repair. The turret and 18cm RAM mortar are intact, however. Richtoph believes that they can be used if supplied with a functioning power plant, and he has already acquired a supply of ammunition on the black market. He intends to mount the hulk on a wheeled heavy-equipment transporter, strap it in place, and use it as a sort of improvised self-propelled artillery piece–with a weapon far more advanced than any possessed by his local rivals.

Richtoph will provide transport to the wreck site outside the provincial capital of Korsten, as well as a heavy wreck crane, a transporter, and a detachment of militia for security. He would like the team to recover the wreck and repair its powerplant and weapons. He will pay each team member Cr. 10,000 to load the hulk and deliver it to the militia base in Korsten, and an additional Cr. 10,000 if they can get its weapons working again.

Mortar
The Mortar – Image from wikimedia – CC-BY-SA 3.0
(Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-695-0424-15A / Leher / CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Referee’s Information:

Recovering the wreck is not that easy.

1. All is as represented. The wreck is long-abandoned but despite the damage to the air-cushion skirts the hull is intact. With the proper skills and some parts sourced from the planetary starport, the powerplant can be repaired and the turret weapons made functional.

2. All is as represented, but the powerplant was badly damaged by the mine blast and must be completely replaced. A replacement is not available on-world. It will take weeks to order one from Ereidlier (Pieplow 0818), the nearest source.

3. Hewitt’s Hog is junk and cannot be repaired, but its mission computer contains mercenary data logs and encrypted communications codes, which may be valuable off-world. Captain Richtoph has only a superficial understanding of computers and will not stop the team from taking the storage banks if they do so discretely.

4. All seems to be as represented, but the work around Hewitt’s Hog has attracted the attention of a neighboring warlord, who recognizes the threat it poses to his own militia forces if repaired. A team of his agents, posing as laborers recruited for the task, seek to sabotage the recovery effort and destroy the Hog. They have access to small arms, grenades, and an explosive charge. Captain Richtoph’s militia will prove nearly useless in their security role, so it will be up to the team to detect and stop these agents.

5. As above, but the rival warlord launches a platoon-sized military raid to destroy the Hog, or even capture it for himself. This force will be mounted in wheeled heavy trucks with improvised armor, recoilless rifles, and machineguns. As above, the warlord also has one or two agents among the laborers working on the project, who will keep him advised by radio of the team’s progress.

6. The governor who Captain Richtoph represents is far more brutal than the team initially understood. Upon arrival it becomes obvious that he rules his province with an iron hand and a powerful secret police force. He intends to use Hewitt’s Hog to shatter the hill-forts of his regional rivals, consolidating power in his own hands and greatly increasing his holdings. Whether the team wants to help provide a powerful and destabilizing weapon to such a warlord is up to them.