THE RUSSIAN FRONT
So, were you thinking all Virtual Mekton arenas were light-hearted?
The map of this arena is HUGE. It is almost ten times as big as
the processing power of the standard VM servers and arena disk
carriages would allow! The trick is, the map is made of several,
simetrical patchs which are large enough (almost half as big as
the entire Flooded City arena) so as they don't look tile-work.
These patchs are simetricall with respect to their center, too,
in order to further sparing proccessing power and sheer data size.
The final result is a 500 Km x 500 Km extension of detailed terrain!
The center of the map is a large (300x200 Km) valley, streching
from North to South, surrounded by three sides (South, East, West)
by mile-high glaciar walls. These glaciars form a 50 Km wide,
'U'-shaped, naked glaciar mesa surrounding the valley. The third,
North side of the valley limits with a strech of ocean, and a
frozen one at it, surrounding both East and West sides of the
glaciar mesa (another 50 Km width) and streching 250 Km to the
North. It is covered with ice banks, but for a 10 Km ring begining
at from the coastline. Of course, on these ice-free ring there
are lotsa Icebergs coming from the glaciars.
If you didn't noticed so far, the simulated climate is COLD. Artic
protection is a must, since the environment penalties do apply
there each FIVE minutes, or two hours if you DO have Artic protection.
Players are advised to bring warm cloth into the pods, since the
simulated cockpit temperature may drop below 10 Celsius and stay
this way for a while. The snow covers everything, VMs included,
giving all units Basic Cloack (if you did pay for it, what a pitty)
and there is either a single hour of light and all the rest is
polar night, or vice-versa (this program doesn't have midd-terms).
Blizzards are also too common; on one of these, flight is almost
interdicted (1/3 MA, double knockback by the winds, anyone knocked
back plummets to ground) and the vision and sensor ranges are
restricted to 1 and 2 hexes (have you the sensors you wish!).
The valley is the tipical Siberian landscape, or so intends. High
evergreen forests alternating with flat stepes and some swamps.
(Of course, real-world Siberia is not this way, but what the...
this is a game). There is a very large, very wide, very frozen
river running throught the entire valley with several subsidiary,
lesser, no-less-frozen rivers at each side. The trees block LOS
at more than Combat range and do count as rough terrain, the frozen
stepes have spots that do count as slippery terrain (as per a
Slick spray), the swamps may have bogs VM-sized and the (deep)
rivers could collapse. So far, pretty normal.
The glaciars are another matter. They are so high and are so full
of crevices that they are almost impassable. (The GM is strongly
encouraged to be as cruel, twisted and just plain evil with these
crevices, gullies and hidden falls "you didn't spotted" as to
make sure no one wants to enter this area). The only thing of
interest there is that there are some few areas so reletively
plain and firm as to place airfields on them. There are somewhat
less than half a dozen of these areas on each side of the map.
The sea is no less dangerous. If you are near the glaciar, you
are begging for a newly-created Iceberg to fall on your head (arms,
legs, wings, tails, pods AND torso); if you are near an Iceberg,
you are begging for it to turn over (you); and if you are on the
banks, you are begging for a tidal crevice to form under your
legs / close over your head / both.
In the event you didn't noticed by the Arena's name, there is
a little war going on there , diddya know? There are two sides
on this simulated war, one centrated on each side of the valley
(and before you ask, yes, the mecha of the faction at the East
are painted brown and caqui and the ones of the faction at the
West are painted grey and black. No, they don't sport stars and
tools nor birds and crosses).
Acording with the scenary, each side has a variable military strength,
but on all scenarios both treat one third of the valley's width
as their "home" terrain and the central third as "no-man's-land".
Each side may or may not have placed minefields on their home
terrain and on the "no-man's-land", so watch your step.
The computer VMs of this arena are very variated. All do have
Artic Protection, of course. Most (about 4 out of 5) computer
units are tanks. LARGE tanks. The GM could use any tank he wish,
or use the Talos mechatank (MZ pag 70) stats for both sides. The
exact armament could vary (the tanks can load many diferent kinds
of ammo, from AP to BR to Scatershot to all of them) at the GM's
There are very few humanoid VMs, aside from the ones of the gamers.
Those that do exist are of two kinds; the basic "grunt" unit (use
the Grunt #1 sheet, substituding a same-stats projectile gun w/
30 Shots for the beam rifle) and the "heavy support" kind. These
are no-frills, sturdy VMs carying lots of firepower, mainly projectile
guns and missiles, so watch out. (If the GM owns the MMM2 game
suplement, the mecha he should use are the Support Rapier for
the East side, the Gorgon Beta for the West side, and the Gunther
MK II for both sides; design notes needed for these three mecha
versions of the ones found on the MZ rulebook repoduced at bottom
for ease of reference. Other mecha from the game suplements that
could find his niche here if the GM feels funy are the Volos Vertank
and the Deathstalker Cannon from MMM1, the Guardian and Gun-Guardian
from MMM2, and all the humanoid mecha except the Interceptors
On the way of air power, both sides use diferent crafts; the West
side uses mainly fighter-bombers (MW Torso and wings with SP 2
armor, MV -2, MA 36; linked pair of torso-mounted 2K AP, WA +2,
Range 6, 2 x 10 shoots, BV 6 cannons, two wing hardpoints for
8K, WA +2, range 10, 2 x 6 shoots, seeking 3 skill 12 missile
ordnance) and the East side uses mainly attack-transport chopters
(MS torsos, two wings, tail and pod with SP 4 armor,MV -1, MA
12; 3K AP, WA +2, range 6, 25 shots, BV 3 torso cannon, missile
wings crammed with 2 x 4-shot Heavy Missile (from the MZ rulebook)
racks and 2 x 20-shot 5K, WA -2, range 8, BR 1 rockets, pods crammed
with load / passenger spaces, liftwires, spotlights, damage controls
and the like), but both sides have some of each type. All aerial
craft have Spotting Radars with 70 Km range.
There are also lots of infantry (mainly masses of soldiers getting
outta the way of the tanks and mecha, but sometimes one of them
draws an Anti-Mek missile or mine), field artillery ranging from
10K to 200K (yes, each gun has as many Kills as it deals) towed
by 60 SDP trucks, anti-armor artillery ranging from 2K to 20K
(and many times cleverly hidden - counts as if Stealth and Cloacked!),
rocket-launcher trucks with missile loads of all sizes and flavors,
10K minefields cleverly hidden, and "The BigGunz."
These are wet-naval (Boatform) ships of Corvette and Ship scale.
All them use the Crew rules, all the Corvette-sized use standard
CIDS, all Ship-sized use Deluxe CIDS, all carry guns ranging from
10K to 2000K, sometimes with radius, and none has Long Range guns
(fortunately). None of them carry mecha. The ice that covers the
sea makes neccesary the use of Ice-Breaker Ships - these are MW
Ships w/ MW armor, MA 4, weaponless, but able of breaking a path
on the ice for The Biggunz to close to the shore to blast ground
units or to the other Biggunz to blast each other.
This is War, remember? Either all the gamers are on the same side
or they aren't, either all the gamers on the same side are on
the same "unit" or they aren's, either the gamers command their
units (and each other) or they don't. That simple. According with
the programmers' whim, the scenarios could be any old belic movie
plot, from commando-style attacks to "stop that ships from bombing
us" to simple old all-out fights.
By the way, any gamer "being on command" can call artillery and
air strikes as per the Power Ups, by rolling Cool+Leadership+1d10
(diff 15). (See below for details).
Dark as it is, this arena has many powerups. It is almost ladden
with The Infamous Bomb(s), and has lots of Repairs, Reload and
Increased Damage. There is also Artic Protections and IFF codes.
Also, the players have these spetial P-Ups:
- Artillery Attack: the gamer can make a far-out artillery piece or Biggunz to attack
a position he designates on the map. The exact size of the salvo
is not of the gamer's wish, however; it ranges from 1 to 10 rounds
of 2 to 200 K (1d10x2, if another 1d10 rolls a '10' the damage
is upscaled!) with a Blast Radius (scaled, of course) of 1d6/2.
The salvo falls with a acuraccy of gamer's Int+Tactics+1d10 vs
Diff 25; for each point of diference betwen the roll and the diff,
the salvo deviates 1/10 of the distance betwen the gamer and the
intended target on a random direction (remember, if the salvo
were to fall BEHIND the gamer, it hits him instead!). All the
rounds after the first scatter from the point of impact using
1d10 on the MZ pag 97 table. The attack comes 1d6 turns after
it is called.
- Air Strike: Same as above, but it is instead two planes dropping 2d10 bombs
of 2 to 20 K, all with Blast 1 and Incendiary, falling on the
hex designated by the gamer (he must have LOS to the target) using
standard deviation rules (using the Int+Tactics+1d10 vs Diff 25
as an attack roll). The strike comes 1 turn after it is called.
Note that the target may have a chance of destroying the planes
the turn they arrive...
Arena created by Isabel Gutierrez.
The Support Mecha.
These are reproducted from the Mecha Manual 2: Invasion Terra Files, for ease of reference only.
MV -4, Land MA 3, Flight MA 8, weight 66.5 Tn, cost 227.2 CP.
Remove leg-mounted weaponry. Add +1 Verniers to each leg. Move
back-up sensors to Torso. Add Artic Env. protection. Upgrade Torso
armor to SP7. Remove twin autocannons and add linked shoulder
Weapon configuration #1: twin mass-driver cannons (each is WA
+0, range 9-81, Dmg 9K, 9 Kills, Hypervel) w/ 30 shots of HE ammo
and 10 shots of AP amo on Torso.
Weapon configurations #2: twin missile racks (each is WA +2, range
9-81, Dmg 7K, shots 10, 5 Kills). 62.3 Tn, 217.3 CP
MV -5, land MA 3, flight MA 8, weight 72.5 Tn, cost 249.8 CP
Change arm shields by 2 x LW, DA 0, SP 6, DC 1 shields, move backup
sensors to Torso, add +1 Verniers on each Arm, add twin linked
anti-personnel guns (each is WA +0, range 50-500m, Dmg 30h, shots
10, 1.2 Kills, 1/10 Scale) on Head, remove missiles and bazooka,
add 2 weapon mounts on Torso. Rpelace Space protection by Artic.
Weapon Configuration #1: twin X-linked Rail Guns (each is WA -1,
range 110, Dmg 6K, shots 20, Hypervel, Long Range)
Weapon Configuration #2: SR Missiles x2 (each is WA+0, range 7-49,
Dmg 4K, shots 35, 9 Kills). 73.4 Tn, 244 CP.
Weapon Configuration #3: LR Missiles x2 (each is WA -1, range
576, Dmg 12K, shots 5, 4 Kills, Long Range). MV -4, 68.8 Tn, 250
MV -8, Land MA 2, GES MA 9, weight 89 Tn, cost 481 CP.
Add QCMs to pods. X-link arm guns. Add TM-5 targeting computer.
Add gunner seat, passenger space for four, a 6-space cabin and
1 Tn of storage on Torso. Add manipulators (non-quick Hands) to
arms. Add GES w/ 1000 Km fuel to legs. Remove the heavy beam cannon
and add a WM w/ a railcannon (WA +1, range 8-64, Dmg 8KAP, 8 Kills,
Hypervel) and 30 shots of AP, Tracer ammo on Torso. Add Artic
Standard Missile Load: the listed 40 Missiles (4 salvoes of 5
Optional Missile Load #1: Long Range Cruise Missiles (WA -2, range
100, Dmg 9K, Shots 4, Smart 1, Long Range) x2 (one launcher per
Optional Missile Load #2: Anti-Ship Missiles (WA +0, range 120-1210,
Dmg 100K, Shots2, 13 Kills, x10 Scale) x2 (one launcher per pod).
Optional Missile Load #3: Mekton-Buster Missiles (WA +2, range
16-256, Dmg 20K, shots 6, 8 Kills) x2 (one launcher per pod).