You are Ricky Montana, Sergeant in the UNSC Army, 14.11.2552, currently assigned to 13th AD, 45th Bat, as a Tanker.
And you find yourself staring across the plains on a beautiful morning, with the sun casting long shadows across the ground, and the scent of dry grass wafting through the air. A couple hours earlier, 93rd Cav had brushed past, apparently on a reconnaissance mission. Covenant forces had drastically increased overnight, and UAV surveillance had become nearly impossible.
A burst of static alerts you to a transmission over Company comms. "This is Razor. Have word from Division. Wait.
> You are too engage Covenant forces in the town and act as a base of fire for the maneuvering elements to approach from the South and cripple their forces. 93rd Recon Battalion will cover the Northern approach. Once the maneuvering elements have entered the town you are to move in with Company B, Company C will move North and assist 93rd. Artillery is in position and standing by."
> You are to hold position and dig in with the Mechanised infantry and halt the Covenant push while the 45th and 46th maneuver. Artillery is in position and standing by."
"You are too engage Covenant forces in the town and act as a base of fire for the maneuvering elements to approach from the South and cripple their forces. 93rd Recon Battalion will cover the Northern approach. Once the maneuvering elements have entered the town you are to move in with Company B, Company C will move North and assist 93rd. Artillery is in position and standing by. Over." The low-band clicks off and you contemplate your orders.
Force Tracker is already showing the friendly units that have moved up and are now running parallel to your position. 93rd, A Company is already North of the town. As soon as your Company makes contact all the wheels are going to be set in motion.
You toggle Platoon wide comms and call the other Platoon Leaders for a chat.
It doesn't take long for them to arrive at your briefing area. A small white board indicating the coming battle.
"As far as we know, the majority of the Covenant forces are in this town. Recon estimates about 400 vehicles and 11,000 mixed infantry judging from the amount of Hydrogen shacks and average Covenant force composition." You indicate to a junction just in front of the town, this is where we will halt before splitting off. The other Battalions should have entered the town by then." You make eye contact with the Commanders to ensure they understand the plan so far. "You've all got the channels for artillery. Make sure your squad knows it in case one of you goes down. Artillery has predesignated targets. After the first salvo they'll hit the front of the town, that's when we go in. There won't be much room, so if you call in a strike, it'll be danger close."
> Your Platoon is on point as you move into town
> Ghostface is on point as you move into town
> Inspector is on point as you move into town
"My Platoon will take point when we enter." You point at the map to where the the MSR splits. "We'll move down A23. Hopefully the other Battalions will have already moved through. We'll deal with whatever kept their heads down." Mechanized will be moving with us, so it won't be too hairy. We'll push through and establish a perimeter between the MSR and the ASMR to the North and repel any Covenant reinforcements."
With the briefing over you return to your tank and begin the pre-battle checks. You toggle your microphone. "Stepping of in 15 minutes. Do whatever you need to do."
"I'mma take a shit then," Kelly crackles back.
Silence follows as the Platoon contemplates when she stopped being female. Must have been years ago. All the testosterone leeching into her brain.
"Well I'm up," Ryan says enthusiastically. "Triple checked everything. Shit. I'm ready."
"Easy on the uppers. I can hear it in your voice," Gordon says, "you'll be too twitchy."
The 15 minutes pass. Kelly has come back from taking a shit and the Battalion prepares to moves out.
You're 5km out from the town when a salvo shatters the still morning air. As far as you know the town has been cleared of Civilians, either taken as slaves by the Brutes or killed.
Mushroom clouds fill the sky as the Grunt methane tents erupt into flames, scorching everything around them. An alarm sounds in the distance, the first sign of Covenant resistance.
> Move into a line
> Move into an echelon
"Start moving into an Echelon. 10m spacing. Keep an eye on your buddies for boarders." You hang back as they move into position. If this were a low intensity fight, you'd gladly join them, but right now you need to keep an eye on the overall battlefield condition and monitor the channels to see if anything changes.
A second salvo tears through the sky and rolling thunder soon follows with it.
You're 3km out when you make first contact. A troop of Ghosts approach, 10 in total, most likely a scouting force. So far no Banshees have entered the fray.
Your Platoon fires without a second thought, scratching 4 of the Ghosts. The other Platoons soon follow suit. The final tally is all 10 of the ghosts destroyed.
5 balls of plasma lift into the air as your Platoon charges towards the town. The other Companies have already begun engaging enemy vehicles to the North and South. The rounds splash down a couple hundred meters short of your Company. Closing swiftly behind them are packs of Light Covenant vehicles.
> Hold the course and engage enemy vehicles
> Try to change course while engaging vehicles
The lines are the other companies who will be fighting offscreen
>Hold the course and engage enemy vehicles
Can we try something a little different? I say we try to stretch out our lines a little further and have our wings try to swing around their flanks
You quickly coordinate with the Ghostface and Inspector whom are taking the North and South wing respectively. Their Platoons maneuver while laying fire down on the incoming Ghosts. Tungsten shot lashes out again and again, tearing through their purple hulks. Though they're firing on the move, the Scorpions of your sister Platoons put on a good show, nearly finishing them off.
Their advance unchecked, the Choppers race towards you.
Your Force tracker bleeps, along the crossroad you pick up the signatures of the Wraiths, another salvo is going to be launched imminently.
As far as you can tell, they're firing indirectly from behind a set of buildings, Thermals are having trouble picking them out through the rising smoke.
> Try to take the Wraiths out with your guns and guesstimating their position
> Call artillery on them while you engage the Choppers and Ghost remnants, which may deprive other units
> Ignore the Wraiths for now and engage the Choppers and Ghost remnants
"Platoon. Front. Choppers. 1 klik. Platoon. Fire." The Choppers burst through the Ghost wreckages wreathed in flames just as you finish the sentence. The two surviving Ghosts begin moving towards the flanks as your Scorpions open fire.
"This is Method. Requesting fire mission on the 6 Wraiths. Coordinates are as follows. 3 6 November Foxtrot Juliet 5 2 6 Negative 6 0 2. Over."
"This is Battle Axe. We copy. 12 rounds in effect. 1 second delay. Over."
Your attention turns back to the battlefield as a pack of Choppers move in from the South past B Company. Inspector is gonna have his hands full.
The Wraiths fire again, their shots already in the air as the Artillery barrage begins. Flashes of Cyan light bursts from behind the buildings as the superheated Plasma in their reactors is unleashed. Your attention switches back to the Plasma that was just fired, it would be unfortunate to meet your end here. "Platoon. Halt," you shout re-actively. The Platoon comes to a grinding halt, tracks skidding across the long savanna grass, the Plasma balls falling well short of you.
A Scorpion in Ghostface's Platoon isn't so lucky, the front right trackpod is reduced to a hunk of slagged metal and melted rubber. As a testament to his tenacity the Scorpion continues firing, sending round after round in furious retribution.
> Engage the Choppers to the Front
> Engage the Choppers to the South
"Keep hammering on those Choppers to the front. Take 'em down before they get close."
Your Platoon responds by laying it down. Under such a barrage the Choppers wither into hunks of scrap metal and broken dreams.
A ball of Plasma erupts from one of the houses, descending in a slow arc towards your lines. You watch as it anticlimactically falls short of the Platoon. Seems like one of the Wraiths survived the Artillery fire, you'll be on it soon enough though.
The remaining Ghosts engage Inspector's Platoon, their plasma fire glancing off the Scorpions ineffectually. The Southern Choppers plow on towards the Scorpions and take advantage of the hole between Charlie Company and Inspector's Platoon. Some make it through due to potential friendly fire between the two Companies.
Inspector Actual begins engaging the two Choppers on his own while the rest of the Platoon continues to push and fire on the enemy.
To the front the true strength of the Covenant is beginning to show as the heavy weapons are brought out. The Force Tracker lights up with more contacts. Locusts and Wraiths begin to advance on your lines, while light vehicles stream between them. Weapon emplacements within the town begin spewing plasma fire, and you can see the Locusts begin to glow as their weapons charge.
Call in another artillery strike and simply lay down a barrage on the perimeter of the town with cannon fire to keep the enemy force at bay and penned within the shelling.