Tanit’s Talons – Car Wars

Sgt. Delxen had found out that a shady smuggler, Mr Knutsen, offered a rare car for sale on the black market. Maj. Tanit decided to pose as a rich noblewoman interested in purchasing the vehicle so as to find out if it was indeed the Hepper-Yotoshi. A small strike team would stand by to raid the place if Tanit could confirm the objective.

“Whoever laughs will clean the latrines!” – “Yes, Maj… uh, Milady!”

Maj. Tanit took Lt. Leekon along, who posed as her mechanic, as well as Sgt. Delxen, who was her contact to the smuggler. Using a civilian hovercar, they were admitted to an old warehouse,  where Mr Knutsen, accompanied by two bodyguards, met them.

“I’ve got something very special for you, Milady!”

Meanwhile, a civilian hovervan with Fire Team Able slowly approached the compound while a sniper climbed a nearby roof. The guards were loitering, still unaware that something was afoot.

“Floor the pedal, man!”

When Mr Knutsen presented the car to Tanit, the major smiled. “I think we’ll take it!”, she sweetly said. Then, in one fluid motion, she drew her hidden pistol and shot Knutsen right in the face. Leekon and Delxen also opened fire, taking down one of the bodyguards.

“I think we’ll take it!”

Outside, the hovervan was accelerating, intent on ramming the gate. However, attracted by the scream of the engine, guards were running toward it and starting to shoot. This caused the driver to panic and he hit the brakes. The fire team jumped out and took the guards under fire.

In the warehouse, Tanit and her companions took down the remaining bodyguard. Leekon ran to the Hepper-Yoshoti while the major and Delxen looked outside. Unfortunately, a guard who was covering the door and took a shot at Tanit, wounding her lightly. The rascal was taken out by an angry Delxen. He then worked his way into the back of another guard who had taken cover to shoot at the approaching fire team.

Leekon finally managed to start the Hepper-Yoshoti and carefully manouvred it out of the warehouse. Meanwhile, an enraged Ade had broken open the gate and the fire team charged the compound. Soon, the last resisting guards were disposed of.

Limping slightly, Tanit was moving around the compound as the Talons indiscriminately opened containers and boxes. Suddenly, she heard a shout: “Major, you wanna look at this!”, private Xrkn called. Sauntering over, she glanced inside the container and laughed. “Well, private, I hope you can fly a jet bike!”

The mission was a huge success. Not only was Tanit happy with how smoothly the operation went, she also could return the Hepper-Yoshoti to a happy Hon Reg. And, to top it all, the Talons could liberate a lot of valuable stuff from the late Mr Knutsen – one of it being a fully functioning jet bike!

Tanit’s Talons – Grand Theft Auto

The Hon. Reginald Whittlesworth bon Aubertin Xiao, a sector-wide known wealthy excentric, approached Maj. Tanit about a retrieval mission. The Hon. Reg, as he was known to friends and the yellow press, owned an estate on Cardenia Vc. Rosebud Mansion was hailed as one of the most authentic replicas of a pre-spaceflight earth noble’s estate. When it was overrun by aliens, the staff could flee, but they had to leave behind some valuables that had “sentimental value” to the owner. So he asked the Talons to recover the following items:

  • The Hepper-Yoshoti 2 G, “one of the fastest cars ever built”, parked in front of the garage.
  • A first edition of Kate Novak’s The Wyvern’s Spur, “one of the great classics of fantasy literature”, kept in the mansion’s library.
  • A specimen of the “Veiled Lily”, “a flower of singular yet unobtrusive beauty”, kept in the green house.

The chance to see the famous mansion and to possibly have a go at driving the Hepper-Yoshoti led to every single member of the Talons volunteering for this mission.

Again, the major commanded the mission personally. Of course she was not at all curious, she just wanted to make sure everything worked fine… Lt. Leekon, who was back from recruiting, was second in command. They also took freshly replenished Fire Team Able and Scout Team Zephyr. For support, a sniper joined them. Unfortunately, the client had forbidden to bring heavy weapons, as he was afraid of collateral damage to his precious estate.

When the team entered the estate, they were shocked by the damage caused by the proliferation of the alien brambles. Also, motion sensors showed that the place was crawling with critters.

Soon, they were charged by hordes of the ghastly green creatures. From then on, it was a blurr of desperate close-quarters fighting the survivors won’t ever forget. The vicious combat, often hand-to-hand, quickly led to casualties. The sniper was ambushed and went down, as did a member of Fire Team Able. 

The scouts, who had advanced towards the green house on the right flank, reported heavy enemy activity. They also stated that the green house was in a pretty bad shape. Maj. Tanit decided to concentrate the efforts on the car, as the other objectives were completely overrun by critters.

The Talons worked their way forward, fighting all the time and taking casualties, when they suddenly registered a small group of humanoids in nearby bushes. Those guys charged towards the car, dispatching several aliens in the process. It seems that the Talons had competition – a rogue group of bandits wanted to steal the Hepper-Yoshoti!

Tanit however was more concerned with the survival of her team than the car. Concentrating their fire on the alien beasts, they managed to keep them in check but lost the race for the Hepper-Yoshoti. They had to watch it lift off and accelerate towards the horizon.

Out of options and under heavy pressure by more and more aliens, Tanit called the Harpy for evacuation. Fortunately, the drop ship arrived quickly. The Talons’ few survivors made it to the ship in the nick of time. Several monsters tried to board it, but the pilot managed an emergency lift off.

Holding fast while the drop ship maneuvered to shake off some aliens clinging to the Harpy’s hull, Tanit uttered a string of curses. This definitely didn’t go as planned!

Back at base, she took stock of casualties. While the members of Fire Team Able were only lightly wounded, Scout Team Zephyr was more or less wiped out. Ade, who had fought ferociously, had been knocked out but was soon back to form. The worst news was that the Harpy took damage during the hasty lift-off and the struggle with the critters. The drop ship would have to undergo repairs before she could be used again.

Tanit confered with Lt. Leekon. They came to the conclusion to not yet tell the Hon. Reg about the mission’s failure. They would stall and meanwhile try to find out who stole the Hepper-Yoshoti. They knew that Sgt. Delxen had contacts to the local underworld, and they also knew that such a rare car was hard to sell on the black market. Hopefully, they could steal it back and return it to their client.

My Sources for 15mm Sci-Fi

As I’ve had some question about the figures I use for my sci-fi solo campaign, I want to give those of you interested a quick overview.

Several of my figures are from Alternative Armies, who offer some great choices for characterful individuals. Maj. Tanit is from there, as are many of the alien civilians, such as scientist Nehden Sho. Tanit’s sidekick, robot Abe, is from Clear Horizon Miniatures, as is the human drone operator. The goaty hacker seen in the image is from Irregular Miniatures, while the drone itself is from Ground Zero Games.

The mixed species Fire Teams are from Khurasan Miniatures, the Quar are from Zombismith (sadly, they no longer seem to offer them in 15mm) and the raptors are from Loud Ninja Games, distributed by Alternative Armies.

The green aliens are again from Alternative Armies.

I have other figures and vehicles from CP Models, Critical Mass (now distributed by Ral Partha Europe), Brigade Models and The Scene. Hopefully you will see them in futher adventures of Tanit’s Talons. 

I really like to mix and match stuff. Although size differences can be considerable, I don’t mind with sci-fi. With aliens, who’s to tell, and with humans, I can always rationalise the larger guys as coming from a low-gravity world and vice versa. There is a large variety of figures out there and the ranges complement each other well.

Most of my terrain is scratch built. I’ve got some MDF houses from Red Vectors, now distributed by Minibits, and from the sadly defunct Mad Mecha Guy. I’ve also been looking at the town houses offered by Blotz – while there are a lot of habitation modules of one kind or another out there, it’s not easy to find futuristic-looking large buildings. But I’ve already built a high-rise out of cardboard, maybe I’ll make more of those. But my really big project for the coming holidays is a space port…

Tanit’s Talons – Mission 3: Rescue

Sgt. Delxen has received a letter from his family, who lives in an impoverished colony settlement on Cardea Vc. The settlement has recently come under attack from strange alien life-forms and the family is becoming increasingly desperate. While many well-to-do beings have left Cardea Vc, poor inhabitants have no other choice than to stay and fend off the invasion as well as possible.

Maj. Tanit decided to improve the reputation of the company and, at the same time, bolster the esprit de corps by mounting a rescue operation. Although she undertook the mission at her own cost, she hoped that it will move the Talons into the spot light and lead to further contracts.

She decided to spare no expenses and organised a large force: Fire Teams Bandit and Cyla, Scout Team Zephyr, Sgt. Delxen, CWS Ble-Kha and a drone, as well as Cpl. Vyrox with a flamer for support. Maj. Tanit led the operation personally, accompanied by her trusty ADCbot and body guard Ade.

Drone images showed a settlement surrounded by fields. Sensors registered movement, but no direct sign of the inhabitants – they had probably barricaded themselves in the houses. Tanit’s plan was to secure the site and establish a perimeter before actually looking for the civilians, so as to reduce the risk of harming them as much as possible.

The teams entered the area from the east and immediately spotted movement. Strange green aliens approached fast! On the left flank, Fire Team Cyla and Scout Team Zephyr advanced cautiously. On the right flank, however, Fire Team Bandit was ambushed from behind.

“Watch out, behind you!”

With the help of the Major and Ade, who took down several of the beasts, they managed to fend off the attack. However, suddenly another group turned up right behind the command group, charging Tanit, Ade and Ble-kha. “Sneaky bastards,” Tanit hissed between gritted teeth as she watched Ble-kha being overwhelmed. Ade fought for a while before also succumbing to the ferocious monsters. Fortunately, with the help of Fire Team Bandit, those aliens could also be neutralised.

“Sneaky bastards!”

Meanwhile, a large group of monsters had gathered in the center of the settlement and moved towards the Talon’s left flank. The Quar and the Raptors poured everything they had into the mass and managed to stop the onslaught. However, they lost “Smokey” Vyrox, the laid-back Ixilian with the flamer.

More blips were turning up on the left flank, but the settlement was clear for the moment, so Tanit ordered Fire Team Bandit to search the buildings.

“Follow me if you want to live!”

They soon found groups of survivors and led them to the central place, Tanit personally helping to guide the frightened civilians.

“Stay together, people!”

She also called the Harpy, the Talon’s drop ship, for evacuation. On the left flank, the Quar and the Rapors formed a line to scure the perimeter, as even more monsters were approaching.

“Pack up, Talons, we’re moving out!” she shouted as the roar of the drop ship’s engines filled the air. As soons as the civilians were aboard, the Talons embarked, the teams guarding the left flank retreating slowly and covering the landing site.

Tanit was the last on board before the Harpy took off. While Sgt. Delxen calmed the passengers, Ade and Ble-kha slowly came to – it seems they were only knocked out and otherwise unharmed. Maj. Tanit looked around the crowded cargo hold, grinned and shouted over the engines’ din: “Well, Talons, wasn’t that a fun field trip?”

The major had good reasons to be happy: Her mission was a resounding success. Rescuing all twelve of the settlement’s inhabitants made her and the Talons heros, especially among the poorer parts of the population. She was approached by a government official, who offered her a contract to rescue more people. She also got a message from a wealthy individual who wants a precious object to be retrieved from his villa on Cardea Vc. And then she also heard a rumour about another abandoned villa on the moon, where it was said that valuable objects were left behind… With a smile on her face, she asked Ade to call up a map of the moon and started planning.