12 December 2000 1800H. New York City. Vicinity of Madison Square Garden.
While the Away team was struggling to extract itself from their forward position, the Bivouac group came under fire.
The local gang, well-armed by the Gurkhas, approached from the south and west, and both sides began trading fire. Rhonda Lowery’s friend Stan had marksmen with hunting rifles atop the nearby buildings. In the bivouac itself, Lowery had part of her team present. Plus there was DeAngelo Pratt and Doc Schultz from Maks’ crew.
The gang was clearly getting the worst in the firefight, especially when Pratt manned the Mk19, pummeling the fighters with propelled grenades exploding among them.
We haven’t used the Mk19 much – if at all – in the campaign til now. As played with Twilight 2000 rules, the belt-fed grenade launcher was devastating. I question whether you’d be getting so many direct grenade hits on personnel in an actual firefight… but hey I’m no expert.
Gangmembers appeared inside the nearby buildings; some had taken up positions at windows overlooking the intersection. They poured more fire down on the circled vehicles, which were taking an alarming amount of shots. Most hits were cosmetic, but some gear was getting wrecked.
DeAngelo Pratt, the group’s mechanic, had found his moment. He was wounded not once, but twice. [both times he was not “knocked down”! … “I ain’t got time to bleed.”]
When the gunmen appeared in the windows, he raked them with 40mm grenades.
The window gunmen had partial cover. On the spot, I had to determine the armor value of the cover. I estimated it as two bricks’ worth of cover – they’re older buildings in this part of town.
Twilight 2000, v2.2 (DriveThru link) has a handy Armor Equivalency table on page 219.
We calculated an AV of 5. The 40mm HVHEDP grenade has a Penetration of 4C. The “C” stands for “Constant”, which means you roll 2D6 and add that to create the final Pen value.
The cover didn’t matter. The grenades were blasting right through the walls, slaying the gunmen behind.
It was too one-sided. The surviving gunmen broke contact and fled.
The Away team (Wojciech, Barna Aron, Grant Derek William, and Linda the Hammer) made its way back to the bivouac. They encountered no opposition, as the battle to the north had drawn all the gunmen in the area. They had only to hide while the gangmembers fled back down the street.
It was a bittersweet reunion. Big BA could finally set down Maks’ body, secured in his poncho. Doc Schultz and Rhonda Lowery debated a plan she’d come up with.
She and her XO, Jack, knew Broadway was clear, as of 2 days ago. Her plan was to head east, then south on Broadway, finally cutting back west, approaching the Penn complex from a different direction. They knew, that far out, it was unlikely the Gurkhas or the gang would hold positions there: Too much area, too few personnel.
With any luck, the opposition might think they’d fled during the lull in the fighting.
Darkness had fallen. Rhonda’s team and Maks’ team were still discussing the plan. Her people were still trapped in the collapsed Madison Square Garden. Wojciech was committed to seeing this through for his fallen friend, but he wasn’t thrilled with the plan.
He pointed out that the convoy – arriving from the south of the complex – would still come under fire from the snipers on top of the hotel, even in darkness.
Lowery asked Wojciech if there was any way they could suppress or eliminate the roof shooters. He was reluctant to climb the dark stairwells of the highest buildings in the vicinity, confronting the marksmen directly. They’d had quite enough of that in Atlantic City. The opposition would certainly be watching their stairwells.
He looked at the map, inquiring about building heights. If they could find “higher ground”, they could bring fire down on the hi-rise shooters. Frustratingly, the Penn tower was the highest in the immediate area.
Wojciech traced the map with his fingers… He looked up at a tall shape in the distance, silhouetted in the faint moonlight.
The Empire State Building.
Wojciech turned to Grant Derek William, the group’s marksman, pointing to the observation deck of the magnificent skyscraper. “Can you make that shot?” GDW measured the distance from there to the Penn tower. 800 meters, give or take.
“I’ll miss more often than I’ll hit, and I’ll need a spotter. Good news is that I’m shooting down, so that works in our favor.”
Wojciech nodded. “That’s fine. There is little cover up there on the roof, and if the snipers are taking cover, then they’re not harassing our ground team. They could go down a couple of floors, punch out a few windows and shoot from there, but that’ll slow them down, and it’s a less useful vantage point for them, more restricted.”
Wojciech checked the map again, calculating angles, realization dawning on him: “Sunrise will be behind you! The Sun will be in their faces!”
He pointed at BA and GDW. “You two must get to the Empire State Building observation deck tonight.” BA and GDW looked at each other. It would be exhausting, climbing a hundred floors of stairs.
To the rest, Wojciech pointed at the map. He signaled a change in approach vector. From the top of the skyscraper, the marksmen team would have a commanding view of the approach down those parallel streets: 33rd and 34th.
“We’ll drop off these two and wait for them to take their position. We strike at dawn.”