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General Discussion / Behemoth RXS Control Sheet
« Last post by Kindred on December 08, 2020, 12:03:25 PM »
Here is the Behemoth control sheet. Re-imagining a couple of things on it. The dots in the SPLAT would be punched and I would provide pegs to use as markers to show what has fired. I also took out the ammo for the GL. It had 18 shots which would never be used up in almost all scenarios so I don't see the point.

https://www.rayboxgames.com/forum/dev-updates/behemoth-rxs-control-sheet
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General Discussion / Re: commando control sheet
« Last post by Kindred on December 08, 2020, 11:58:49 AM »
More from Marco:
UPDATE: I have a more compact control sheet. The black rectangles are to be punched and the appropriate grenade or leadership marker will fit in standing up.

https://www.rayboxgames.com/forum/dev-updates/commando-group-control-sheet

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History and Fiction / Re: Operation Planetstorm Core Lore
« Last post by Kindred on December 04, 2020, 01:39:27 PM »

THE ABANDONED



The column was a mixture of support and combat vehicles, including several mobile hospitals, a field kitchen, AFVs and two tank platoons. Powered by fusion reactors, the vehicles had nearly unlimited range, but lacked consumables. Rooker's first step was a run three thousand kilometres to a remote firebase located on a rocky plateau, whose garrison had been cut off from the spaceport.

They made the trek in just over a week of nearly nonstop driving across the unforgiving terrain. During the journey small refugee convoys, in a variety of vehicles, managed to rendezvous with Rooker's troops. The column's size was nearly doubled by the time they reached Firebase Gamma.

The garrison of Gamma had been among the units written off by Command, along with the staff of several research facilities. During the weeklong siege preceding the Raiders arrival, the scientists and technicians joined the troops in defending the plateau base. Those without weapons took over the support roles of the encampment, freeing the troops for combat.

The few human outposts that were still holding out did their best to monitor Legion command and control frequencies. While they were unable to decrypt Machine transmissions, they were able to roughly locate centres of activity. It was determined that, at this point, communications lacked the upper hierarchy of signals that were the signature of an Overlord. Further analysis revealed repeated sequences tied to specific maneuvers in the field, preplanned tactical responses as opposed to an evolving strategy.

To Rooker and his command group, it seemed clear – the planetary Overlord that led the initial assault of the 10 Day War was either destroyed or was no longer on the planet. Controlling intelligence was limited to Horde level formations. This explained why some outposts, the most recent, had been ignored during the offensive, and why the Machines were ineffective in intercepting many of the escaping convoys.

The initial weeks of what were being called the Abandonment saw Rooker targeting and shattering any large enemy formations in the vicinity of Firebase Gamma. Not only did this distract the Machines from engaging and eliminating Humans who had not yet reached safety, it allowed the commanders to witness firsthand the lack of oversight and coordination the Legion cohorts truly had. The next stage of Major Rooker's campaign was concerned with consolidating the scattered units and groups still scattered across the landscape and finding them defensible refuge.

In the meantime, every effort was made to fortify the few bases held by the humans. Luckily, among the troops who refused to evacuate were a unit of Pioneers from HQ Company, 18th Powered Infantry Regiment. They, with the aid of civilian construction specialists, were able to rapidly construct additional defences and shelter for most of the refugees. Rooker assigned specialist troops to train and work with civilians with the appropriate skill sets, integrating them with their military counterparts.

Several times, Rooker led missions to salvage supplies from both the spaceport, and abandoned outposts. Food, medical supplies, vehicles, and munitions were stockpiled in the fortified camps. These operations further underscored the lack of overall command among the Legions. Analysts determined basic patterns to Machine reactions, looking for ways to get inside the command and control loop, to maximize the effectiveness of human raids. The lack of mutual support between most Machine hordes allowed the humans to concentrate their own mobile force against small concentrations of the Machine and defeat them piecemeal.

As the Machines were thinned out, and the civilians were able to take over specialist roles, Rooker was able to direct attacks against located Legion production centres, reducing their ability to resupply and repair. Armoured columns continued to be used against concentrations of Legion forces, targeting command and heavy units before retreating, and attempting to lure hordes and packs into traps and kill zones. On paper, the Machines had sufficient forces to overwhelm the human bases, but lacking an Overlord to direct them, packs and hordes failed to coordinate their attacks effectively.

The fighting was not one sided, many died or went missing before they found safety. It was obvious that the humans would lose a battle of attrition, or if the Machines were able to mass enough units against the fortified refuges, as they did at Stonefall Base.

Within 18 months Rooker and his raiders eliminated all imminent threat of the machines. Only then did the politics of the League of Aliens allow UNE command to go back to the planet.

As the fresh troops arrived, those left behind had dubbed the world Abandon. The decision of what to do with Rooker and his troops was fiercely debated. Some officials called for court martials, arguing their refusal to evacuate constituted mutiny or desertion, while others preferred to consider the personnel AWOL instead and were willing to offer an amnesty.

Rooker and his troops did not care. They would never be part of the UNE again. In response, the survivors of the Four Hundred began to withdraw with their equipment and caravans of civilians into the badlands. Using hard won knowledge of the planet, they outfit hidden bases and over the next 80 years grew into an independent Human colony of sorts, know only as Outlanders to the rest of civilized space.

Unable to quietly round up and relocate the Outlanders and unwilling to deal with the possible political fallout of forcing the Outlanders off the world they had fought for, the UNE tacitly accepted autonomy for the Outlanders, while making Abandon a UNE possession. In essence, Abandon became a military reserve, under martial law except for the Outlanders. This solution also helped reduce the objections of members of the LoA and Black Empire to the “unregulated expansion” of the Terran humans.

By this time, the conflict on Abandon had achieved the reputation of being similar to the conflicts in Afghanistan for the Americans And Russians. Its’ terrain makes monitoring enemy movement and concentrations nearly impossible, and complete pacification or extermination seem like a fantasy. Like Afghanistan, combat tends to be small unit skirmishes against infiltrators and raids, with both humans and Machines resorting to traps and ambushes. The Abandonment itself echoes Elphinstone's disastrous retreat from Kabul in the 18th century , when an entire military column, along with civilians, was tricked into leaving a fortified base in favour of an escape attempt through inhospitable mountains. As in Afghanistan, on Abandon, it was a dangerous assumption to to think diminishing enemy action meant anything other than renewed fighting in the near future.

Despite this, the UNE agreed to a mandate from the other races that possession of Abandon was contingent upon humanity eradicating all Legion presence. As opposed to earlier efforts, this time the UNE decided against maintaining one major base holding the majority of forces; instead, a series of smaller, but still substantial, bases were placed to control much of the equatorial region. Intended to support a network of smaller fire bases and observation posts, these bases took a page from the Outlander settlements.

Surrounded by minefields and automated turrets, these bases included substantial artillery assets and a squadron of drop ships to support the smaller bases within range. Each was stocked and equipped to withstand a siege, with rapid response teams permanently assigned.

Despite adapting operations to account for Sierra Foxtrot's innovative tactics, the Overlord was still able to sucker punch the UNE.

The discovery of a newly functional Machine production centre by a routine patrol triggered a vicious response from the Legion. Base Bishop was overrun by the Machine offensive, creating a major gap in the UNE's coverage of the planet. Reports from groups of Outlanders indicated force concentrations in the blind zone preparing to assault Bases Puller and Currie. It was quickly made clear that the attack was not an isolated force, but represented years of production, with the potential for large reserves. The Machines had to be prevented from leaving Abandon and breaking out of the system, no matter the cost.

All available forces were dispatched from New Perth to reinforce the garrisons on Abandon, with more substantial forces routed from the core systems. Operation Anvil had begun. UNE forces on planet went to full alert awaiting the reinforcements. Luckily for the garrison units, the 2nd Commando Battalion of New Perth were undertaking a training exercise on the planet. Troop transports from New Perth along with their escorts were intercepted by Sierra Foxtrot’s hidden naval forces. New Perth’s ships, effectively cut off from Abandon, fought viciously in the out rim of the system. The troops holed up planet side had the choice between waiting for the onslaught of the Machine forces or trying to break out of the blockade. There was a third option for the trapped UNE troopers; send in the Commandos.

Fin
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History and Fiction / Operation Planetstorm Core Lore
« Last post by Kindred on December 04, 2020, 01:39:08 PM »
(from RayBox Games site: The official "catchup" of what happened between versions of the game)



IN THE BEGINNING



At the edge of darkness something stirred. No living being witnessed the arrival of the Machines when they emerged from the intergalactic rift. Immense ships battered and scarred, slowly advanced to the edge of the Milky Way galaxy, searching for new homes.

The luckiest of the hulks managed to crash land on mineral rich planets and moons. The rebuilding program commenced. Surviving mechanical systems were quickly retooled to burrow into the surface, beginning the construction of massive Machine production complexes. Decades passed before the first of the hordes emerged.

The newly energized Machine empire grew quickly at first. The widely dispersed planets along the outer rim contained few intelligent life forms; these were quickly and quietly overwhelmed.

Only the combined might of the interstellar races stood a chance at resisting this Legion of Steel. Eleven of the most advanced and powerful races, the Galactics, began to negotiate a defence pact. Once the terms of the pact were solidified, less advanced races possessing interstellar military capability were approached and offered the opportunity to join.

Eventually, other less advanced races whose home worlds lay in the path of Machine conquest were offered membership into the Interstellar League for Mutual Home World Defense from Extragalactics; or as the humans called it, The League of Aliens. In return for supplying troops and resources, these species would be taught advanced technologies and science. Humanity was sceptical of the League's Envoy. Two diplomats from each country were brough to the front lines to witnesses the encroaching Legions of Steel. When the diplomats returned from space with warnings of dire consequences should Earth refuse to join, nationalist objections were quashed and the United Nations of Earth (UNE) was formed.

Earth's technology was quickly upgraded as human scientists acquired knowledge of the alien theories and science. Understanding of the principles led to breakthroughs allowing them to develop new applications, even impressing the Galactics.

Earth mobilized for war.

Inexperience proved costly to the UNE in the initial battles against the Legions of Steel. Eventually however, the UNE produced an elite response force recognized for its prowess and aggressiveness in combat. Given humanity's warlike past this was not surprising.

During the next three years, it became apparent that the League was fighting a losing battle, bogged down in a war of attrition. The Legions of Steel could replace losses far quicker than the League's races could replace their fallen soldiers. It became painfully obvious that it was time for a change in strategy.

OPERATION PLANETSTORM



A bold plan was devised to turn the tide of the war: Operation Planetstorm. The League would mount an all-out offensive against the Machine blockade, punching a hole and enabling the Stormfleet to break through. This massive push would land as many soldiers as possible on the surface of the Machine manufacturing planets. The elite ground troops were tasked to destroy the Machine production facilities and ultimately the Matrix Entity, who controlled the Machine Empire.

Operation Planetstorm was a success. Earth had several ships in the Stormfleet and was tasked with the destruction of two Machine planet bases codenamed Red and Blue planet: Tutken and Permotus. Experience paid off. Both human missions successfully landed on the planets. While larger battles raged on the surfaces of each, UNE commandos made their way into the underground production facilities. Only the complete destruction of the complex's Overlord Computer could shut down the facility, denying the Machines valuable production capacity. Commandos then needed to battle their way back to the surface against overwhelming Machine forces if they planned to leave the planet alive.

With the original target planets liberated came the long struggle to push back the Machines to there point of origin, the Galactic Rift. It would be an arduous and prolonged engagement and would take decades before the operation could truly be called a success.

The League of Alien forces did succeed at pushing the enemy back, but the Legions army was never completely eradicated and at least one Overlord Computer still existed in LOA controlled space. Confined to the periphery however, the core planets and League of Aliens saw these meager Machine forces as simply a nuisance. Something left to a youngling race to take care of. Something for the Humans. On the edge of known space one thing was clearly apparent to the UNE; the Machines had not given up and they certainly were not going to go silently into that good night, for on the edge of darkness, something stirred.

TR698543



For over a hundred years, Humanity and their allies have fought the Legions of Steel, holding the line against an implacable foe. 100 years since UNE forces at Tutken and Permotus landed like a steel rain in Operation Planetstorm and purged those worlds of the enemy. 100 years since alien allies and enemies learned that “Earth Dogs die hard.”

Make no mistake, the cost has been high. Worlds have been burned and shattered while famous units now exist only as names on monuments. Factional rivalries in the League of Aliens have weakened the resolve that unified races in the drive to push the Legions of Steel from the Milky Way Galaxy. League home worlds and colonies have been safe for decades.

The past century has seen the Legions of Steel hammered to scrap on hundreds of worlds in dozens of systems by the combined forces of the UNE, Fantasians, Infranites and League of Aliens. The population of the core worlds mistake the promise of victory as a certainty and conflict in the fringe colonies are as usual, out of sight, out of mind. Meanwhile while the Black Empire fights its own battles against the Matrix Entity and even the LOA. A constant threat whose true motives are hidden behind a curtain of secrecy.

After decades of fighting, the field of battle was narrowed to a single planet, TR698543. The privilege of containing the Legions of Steel to the Periphery, yielded Earth its third colony, New Perth, in the Bogan system. To help secure the frontier and safeguard its’ new world, a front had to be established. A planet laying between the humans and the Legions of Steel was chosen as the line in the sand. On the edge of known space and with only its alpha numerical designation TR698543, it lay in the hands of the Machines. It was a place between hell and nothingness.

OPERATION FOX HAVEN



The Machines were forced back onto their heels but not defeated. TR698543 was staunchly held by robotic forces led by an insidious Charlie Class Overlord: Sierra Foxtrot. Despite extensive planning, it took six months and numerous attempts to eliminate the Overlord. The assault started with a series of orbital drops directly onto Machine major bases. Command nodes were given priority over all other targets, production centres were secondary targets. Dozens of commando insertion pods dropped on targets considered to have a high chance of containing the planetary Overlord. Like the original Planetstorm, the UNE plan was to decapitate Machine leadership, followed by shattering production and logistics chains, before mopping up the isolated combat units.

While the UNE had learned in hundreds of battles, so had the Machines. Aware of the preferred strategy of the Humans, Overlord Sierra Foxtrot had prepared decoys and backups against the certainty it would be the primary target. Unlike most Overlords, this one had prepared for defeat, and set in motion a long term strategy that would take the humans unaware.

It took advantage of the prehistoric orbital bombardment that had occurred on the planet and built small installations where enemy sensors would be overwhelmed by the metallic masses of the projectiles used to shatter the bedrock. The Overlord also utilized the vast amounts of refined alloys available by mining the objects.

Sierra Foxtrot was cut off from communication with other Overlords, but it was aware that the tide had turned against the Matrix Entity. It was possible that it was the last surviving one in this galaxy, on a planet soon to be overrun with organic intelligences. It was only a matter of time before the humans found and terminated its’ functions.

Over the six months it took the commandos to locate and eliminate the Overlord, it had subtly diverted command and heavy units deep into the shattered wastes. Large formations broke down into smaller hordes, launching terror raids to attract the attention of the UNE, sacrificed to misdirect the humans forces. Meanwhile, the Overlord had subsystem

Lieutenants constructed with sufficient command and control to maintain production facilities and there defences. With enough time and resources, any of these Lieutenants would be capable of bootstrapping itself to Overlord status.

For six months, the Charlie class Overlord played a game of cat and mouse, stalling for time. It's final ploy was a tenacious defence of its home complex, expending most of what the humans thought were its reserves. It's final action was to update the Lieutenants with the full plan and timetable, initiating the next phase. A phase that would take 20 years to culminate.

The Human and coalition forces finally triumphed on the eve of the solar calendar of May 18, 2125. The enemy was believed to be all but eliminated with limited skirmishes landside and in the Kuiper Belt.

COOBER PEDY



The UNE quickly set up its base of operations upon occupation and named this desolate desert planet Coober Pedy. During the first 20 years the UNE held the Bogan system, Coober Pedy was never considered a site for full scale colonization. The harsh and barren landscape had very few regions suitable for agriculture. The shattered crust meant very few places had adequate water resources, or topsoil, to support large populations centres. Instead, settlements sprouted around micro-biomes, or sites where artesian springs provided small, but regular water supplies.

There were other reasons this planet held interest to the UNE. With the planet secure, evidence of peculiarities surfaced regarding the planets origins. Obviously, it had been subject of a fierce battle in millennia past. Scientists and technicians from Earth and some of its allies were dispatched to observe and record aspects of the planets composition and fauna. Secretly, they were looking much closer at anomalies that defied explanation. The “scientist” numbers grew while this covert activity intensified. This did not escape notice from the Black Empire, a bordering Imperial state, and soon spies and political intrigue flourished on this remote planet. While fighting was still occurring in the surrounding Kuiper Belt, there was relative peace on Coober Pedy for almost 20 years.

For both security and scientific exploration, the UNE maintained a strong presence on the planet during this period, continually searching for intact Machine installations or concentrations and determined to prevent a Legion resurgence. A single spaceport was built to supply both the military and civilian contractors assigned to Coober Pedy. This was also the site of the only large urban settlement, Darwin. At it's height, Darwin had a population of twenty thousand full time residents: men, women and children. Neighbouring it was Base Monash, home to most of the planet's military.

MACHINE RESURGANCE



Twenty years passed without major incident until the evening of June 23, 2145, when what would become known as the 10 Day War, started with the night sky of Darwin being filled with the light of hundreds of missiles streaking to there targets. Fresh Legion armies poured out of hidden bases. Infiltration hordes struck at communication arrays and power installations. Widely scattered Machines reformed into cohorts large enough to overwhelm fire bases and listening posts. In a few frantic days, the UNE forces were separated into pockets and prevented from regrouping into formations large enough to break through the swarms of Machines.

Surface to orbit missiles leapt to space and tore at the stationed starships. The missile strikes had targeted only ships capable of orbital bombardment or support; a scattering of small merchant ships and troop transports escaped untouched. The next wave of launches wiped out the survey and recon satellites, further crippling ground side responses to the Legion offensive. Military platforms in orbit came under fire from railguns on the surface, leaving them barely functional and defenceless against the third wave of launches.

The third wave carried infiltration and assault hordes as well as decoys. Upon reaching orbit, the Machines boarded the UNE stations, taking them in a day of fierce fighting, before turning their defence batteries against UNE positions on the planet.

In order to sow the maximum confusion in the human population, packs of Runaways were used to turn UNE garrisons against civilian settlements and camps. Civilian equipment was hijacked in turn and used to ambush units sent to relieve the settlers. On New Perth, small numbers of Machines that had gone to ground decades ago remerged, activated by the rebuilt Overlord, and struck at communications and intelligence installations.

The result was a system wide panic creating the assumption that the Legions planned a full assault on New Perth with the intent to take the system. The intricate planning and manoeuvres of the Legion armies indicated that the Overlord had survived. A week after the offensive began, the UNE military and civilian leaders made the painful decision to evacuate as many troops and settlers from the planet as could be loaded onto the surviving ships before the “expected” Legion naval forces arrived.

At this point, considering the size of the Legion forces on Coober Pedy with an active Overlord, retreating to New Perth and regrouping seemed like the obvious choice. If there were more Legion held systems with operational Overlords hidden in the uncharted space beyond the galactic rim, humanity lacked the strength to fight on two worlds. Any reinforcements from the core worlds were months away. The Fantasian and Infranite garrisons at Bogan's companion star, Henderson, were staffed with skeleton crews and could provide little aid.

What followed was three stressful days of non-stop shuttle and drop ship flights to orbit. Due to the threat of missile or railgun strikes, the surviving human ships had retreated to the high orbits, barely out of range of the Machine assault shuttles. All equipment and stores other than those needed for life support, or personal weapons, was to be abandoned in place. PBA was taken, vehicles parked and scrambled when possible.

The Machines seemed unable to swamp the spaceport's perimeter which was heavily reinforced with bunkers, tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles. Dug in, the human crews faced Archfiends attempting breakthroughs, Dreadbot support artillery and Runaway/Stalkers Packs which scouted for weak points in the UNE defences.

If the Legions of Steel couldn't take the spaceport, they still managed to block retreating convoys from reaching it. Many attempts to air lift personnel met with failure as aircraft and drop ships were shot down overflying the ring of steel tightening around the spaceport.

As the third day drew to a close, sixty percent of the human population had been lifted to orbit. This still left over ten thousand civilians and soldiers trapped behind Legion lines. Planetary command was forced to make the difficult choice to abandon the remaining population. Higher up the echelons of the UNE Armed Forces, political intrusion had sealed the remaining survivors fates. Whether from pressure from the League of Aliens or veiled threats from the Black Empire, the orders came down. Leave and leave now.

Colonel Rooker of the 1st Provisional UNE Powered Infantry Battalion and last remaining superior officer on the planet had good cause to doubt the reasons for the decision to abandon the planet. During the early days of the Machine assault, he realized that the Machines had been using a shock and awe strategy. There was no way the Legion would be able to sustain the intensity of combat more than a few weeks this theory was further backed up with intelligence from recon units trapped in the field. The brave squad of Recce troops had tracked a Machine column to its primary base and managed to infiltrate the complex. Three survived to make a report: the base was stripped of combat units and supplies, there were no Legion reinforcements.

Nearly four hundred troops of the 2nd Naval Powered Infantry Regiment refused the order to board the final flights and leave the planet. Led by Colonel Rooker, these men and women decided it was their duty to stay and offer what aid they could to the refugees still scattered across Coober Pedy. While the final shuttles lifted off half empty, Rooker and his force of volunteers took control of as many vehicles as they could crew. Acting in unison, they proceeded to punch their armoured column through the encircling Machines and escaped into the relative safety of the outback. From the oldest UNE fighting formation, and home of the moniker Earth Dogs Die Hard, Rooker’s Raiders were born.



https://www.rayboxgames.com/forum/legions-of-steel-lore/official-operation-planetstorm-core-lore
6
History and Fiction / The Three Brothers
« Last post by Kindred on December 04, 2020, 01:16:05 PM »

THE THREE BROTHERS



The Three Brothers are a trio of Fantasian privateers, known for two things: their ability to fight together as one, and their hatred of the Terrible Tyger.

Originally, there were seven brothers, loyal troopers of the 2nd Company of the 4th Disant Brigade, 354th Shock Army, serving with bravery, if not distinction, during Operation Cedar Falls. A group of brothers, serving together as a squad, were exactly the sort of raw material State Propaganda prized.

Ready made heroes.



Even better, the brothers Izumov truly were potential heroes. Raised on tales of heroic relatives who fought for the glory of the State, their hearts burned with the desire to fight for their people and Glorious Leader. Their uncle, Kommisar Anatoly Izumov, saw the promise in his nephews, and did what he could to nurture it. His yearly visits on leave were the high point of the young Fantasians' year; devoted to hiking and drills with their uncle, punctuated with lessons on political doctrine and loyalty to the State.
Despite the youngest brothers being underage, their beloved uncle was able to call in favours in order to allow all seven to volunteer for the military on the same day. Behind the scenes, the Propaganda Ministry made certain the Izumov brothers received the best training and equipment; and far better food, as good as Grandmother Yaga's back home. With unexpected subtlety, the Ministry made them popular among their fellow trainees by feeding them just as well, while making it clear it was the brothers who had, through hard work and devotion to the State, earned them this bounty.

And so, their legend began.



Upon completion of training the brothers were assigned to the 2nd Company of the 4th Disant Brigade, in the 354th Shock Army. By this point, the oldest brother, Vasily, had been made Corporal, and used his rank to watch over and keep his brothers, exuberant with the knowledge they were finally going to see battle, in line. The brothers Izumov saw their first action on Vologoro, skirmishing with human bandits. Their assault on, and capture of, the alien criminals drop ship, pleased both political and propaganda purposes.

For 5 years, the Propaganda Ministry carefully made certain the brothers were always involved in high profile, photogenic actions. While the actions were very real, behind the scenes considerable effort went into making certain recording crews were focused on the brothers. The brothers were aware of their roles in State propaganda; indeed, they were inspired by the knowledge of how they helped bolster the morale of their fellow troops and citizens. This inspired them to even greater acts of heroism, dutifully recorded and transmitted by political officers.

This changed 10 years ago, when the Fourth Disant Brigade was deployed to crush a Machine outbreak in the Kural system. What had seemed the matter of a clean strike against an exposed enemy turned into a series of ambushes and traps that frustrated the commanders and troops alike. Despite the constant trickle of casualties, elements of the 4th Disant continued to press forward towards the suspected Legion facility the Machines were defending.
Unknown to the rank and file, the Terrible Tyger was the intellect behind the Machine strategy. Military Intelligence had been tracking the Tyger as it hunted the fringes of Fantasian space for nearly a full year and were certain it was on Kural 4. This coincided with massive famines in 3 different systems and the potential for civil unrest. The Glorious Leader of the Fantasian people required a distraction, and an ambitious lackey offered a solution.

The Tyger's head, or martyrs.



The Propaganda Ministry began to counterbalance coverage of the brothers with broadcasts detailing the predations of the Tyger. the Tyger became the focus for the fear and hatred of the Fantasian people, who were united in their hunger for its destruction. Naturally, with only the smallest of nudges, the people began to demand the Brothers Izumov be sent to remove this threat to the State.

The brothers' platoon was tasked with holding a forward listening post in preparation for mechanized push through Legion lines. For their part, the brothers were eager to test their meddle against the infamous Omega Fiend. It was true that the Tyger was a fearsome foe that had haunted battlefields for nearly a century, seemingly unstoppable, but there were seven brothers, experienced and well equipped. They had killed numerous Fiends already, as well as countless other Machines, they had fought bandits and smugglers of all races, what was one more Machine?

What the brothers did not know was that the State was taking no chances, no cost was too high to ensure the destruction of a threat like the Tyger. And so, what the brothers thought was part of the communications and sensor equipment was, in reality, an explosive device.
So far as the Fantasian people know, all the Brothers Izumov died that day, bringing down the Terrible Tyger in glorious battle. Their State funeral was broadcast on all stations and channels, the Glorious Leader Himself giving the eulogy, and affixing medals to the each of the seven closed caskets.
The martyrdom of the brothers served its purpose, distracting the people from famine, with his appearance at the funeral strengthening the Glorious Leader's position.

From the shadows, the three surviving brothers watched, and understood the true reason for the loss of their siblings: political machinations. More telling, the bomb itself had killed two of them; the State not only sacrificed them, it hadn't truly believed in them. Shaken to their hearts by this knowledge, the last brothers turned their back on the State.

Disguising themselves, and stealing the ID's from fallen troopers, they lifted off world on a supply ship, and jumped ship on a world known for a Privateer presence. Under the leadership of the Wolf, the brothers became entangled in the local black market, first as enforcers, then as middlemen in the lucrative chocolate trade. They gained a reputation for using speed and violence in their dealings with local gangs, moving their way up the hierarchy of criminals.

Eventually, the brothers bought themselves positions in the Falkov clan of privateers. After hearing tales of the Tyger's survival, the Three Brothers, as they are known, used their contacts to track the appearances of the Terrible Tyger, determined to avenge the deaths of their siblings.

The Wolf



The oldest of the surviving brothers, and likely the most intelligent is the Wolf. Made a corporal as much for his ability to control his brothers as for being a good soldier, the Wolf watched over his siblings and organized most of their scams. As a privateer, Wolf picks and chooses which smuggling runs to buy into, and to escort.

The Wolf has always favoured a PPSH as his personal weapon, due to its utility both on the battlefield and in settling disputes during negotiations with other smugglers. His Tokarev pistols were taken from the cold hands of the Kommisar responsible for sending his family to their deaths. To other Fantasians, these trophies mark him as a dangerous man to cross, with nothing to lose.

The Rat



Smallest of the brothers, the Rat is the quietest and most cunning. Wolf picks their fights, but the Rat picks the ground. In combat, as a sniper, Rat gives long range fire support, killing leaders or the strongest foes before his brothers can be over run. It was his ability as a sniper that drove off the Tyger during their encounter with the Omega Fiend. The Rat is seldom seen without his customized gilly cloak, gifted to him by his beloved grandmother.

The Bear



Largest of the brothers, the Bear carries a PKM squad support weapon, relying on his brothers to pin down targets to enable him to close range with his “can opener” and remove the obstacle. The Bear has as much a taste for sweets as his namesake, spending battles in a frenzied sugar high surrounded by the smell of butterscotch.

All three brothers each carry a pair of Gauss grenades, both for their utility against PBA, and to always be prepared for when they finally track the Tyger to its lair.


https://www.rayboxgames.com/forum/legions-of-steel-lore/the-three-brothers-full-background




7
History and Fiction / Lucinda the Black Empire Hero
« Last post by Kindred on December 04, 2020, 01:09:45 PM »
Life gets complicated at the top levels of the Black Empire. Within the Imperial intelligence apparatus, it is even more byzantine. Besides watching for threats outside the borders, there are the plots between Krafs playing the Great Game, schemes within the Imperial family, and cold wars between service branches and the various Departments. Internal Intelligence, the most secret of the secret police, seethes with the distillation of all the Empire's myriad agendas. To be an Imperial agent requires one to be almost pathologically paranoid, deceitful, and calculating. It does not hurt to have fast reflexes, as well.

Lucinda of Kraf Amarin had worked her way up the ranks of Internal Intelligence rapidly, despite opinions about her background. Kraf Amarin was a small holding near the galactic rim, known for being insular and having a dark outlook on existence. Other Kraf blamed this on living in a region littered with the ruins of Tzoren works. And, yet, despite living in those devastated systems, Amarin was a strangely wealthy Kraf.  Its’ military and fleet were thoroughly equipped with the best gear available and its’ commoners were well educated, healthy, and productive. It was a mystery, and in the Black Empire, to be mysterious was to be distrusted.

Not only her Kraf counted against her; Lucinda was psionically operant.  The vast majority of Azaraim citizens feared the psionic minority.  Although not a top power, Lucinda's abilities were potent enough to be useful to her superiors.  They would use her talents, but they did not have to like her.

For many agents, rising in rank is partly based on how well they can play other roles.  Agents take on the guise of everything from common workers to rich aristocrats, the better to monitor Black Empire society.  Lucinda specialized in acting the part of the loyal bodyguard for nobles suspected of anti-Imperial motivations, or at least motivations not compatible with the vision of the Empress.  As a trusted bodyguard, Lucinda had opportunity to notice subversive actions or plots from the inside, the better to expose them.

Despite regular cosmetic surgery and false histories, she began to develop a reputation and acquire highly placed enemies. This, plus her questionable background, made her an ideal scapegoat should the need for one arise.

Eventually, she was placed in a position where she could be blamed for an operations failure, allowing her enemies to remove two problems. She was assigned cover as bodyguard to a high ranking diplomat who was suspected of attempting to manipulate the Empire into a fight over Abandon.  Assassins carrying evidence of Armarin allegiance killed the envoy en route to Abandon.  Despite the evidence against her being obviously manufactured, her rivals from Kraf Tatharis were able to pin a convoluted plot implicating her as a double agent on her, resulting in charges of treason.

Luckily, Lucinda was able to see the shape of things to come, and fled the embassy, using threats and other promises to secure passage on a Fantasian privateer’s ship.

Since then, she has served as a freelance intelligence operative and is known to be one of the most successful industrial espionage mercenary available.

Lucinda's PBA has been heavily modified using technologies she has stolen for herself; optimized for her new role as a mercenary.  As such, it is much lighter than most military PBA; the reduced protection is more than made up for by the integrated force field generator.  Her suit has three semi-autonomous manipulator tentacles, powerful enough to carry Lucinda over obstacles or up a wall.  She has also learned how to use the arms to boost her running speed or dodge attacks.  EMP weapons are installed in the claws at the ends of the arms, which allows her to strike from cover.

She also carries a pistol and a thermal blade, whose powered edge can slice through PBA or a Machine like it was butter.

Lucinda's ace in the hole are her Psionic abilities. Despite the commonly voiced fears of both aliens and other humans, Psionics are rare even in the Black Empire; deep down, nobody actually expects to meet one. Lucinda sees no shame in exploiting this advantage, fooling tracking and targeting systems or slowing opponents with her abilities.



https://www.rayboxgames.com/forum/legions-of-steel-lore/lucinda-the-black-empire-hero

8
History and Fiction / Zenobia, the Infranite Hero
« Last post by Kindred on December 04, 2020, 01:08:13 PM »
Here is Zenobia along with her background lore written by Wes. Sculpt by Ludwik.

ZENOBIA



Zenobia of the Paache was born well after the glories of Planetstorm and the first campaigns against the Legions of Steel. She was raised on the tales of the coups achieved by her tribal elders in the wars against the Machines and loved gazing at the trophies displayed in the Lodge of Heroes, imagining herself as a brave warrior in battle.

While the common perception of Infranites is of a taciturn, reserved people, concerned with their code of honour, the Paache are the exception. Paache are far more gregarious and open than the other tribes, and their interpretation of the honour code tends to scandalize other Infranites. Zenobia's tribe prefers fast, rapid strikes, and has a low regard for military formality. The Paache sense of humour shows up in combat in the form of ambushes and other traps, often overly complex, that have the feel of a practical joke's punchline. Sneaking into a Fantasian camp and loosening the lug nuts on the quad runners wheels, before triggering a pursuit, and watching the drivers tumble across the landscape is a fair example of Paache humour. Far less acceptable, especially to the Krayl tribe, is their habit of trying to make other units working with them look like idiots. A poorly thought out prank at the expense of the Krayl BAPs during the Junction Point Incident not only damaged the relationship between the tribes but prevented the allied forces to achieve their goals. The Krayl have neither forgiven nor forgotten the insult to their honour.

Unlike the majority of the Infranite military, Zenobia was not born into the warrior caste. At 12 years old she was recognized as worthy. Her home world of Pentar was hit by a Tenskin raiding force out for loot, slaves and prey. Their initial strikes hit during the time of clan celebrations, when the population was concentrated and preoccupied. The single war party that was on guard fought valiantly but faced being overrun in minutes and were reduced to selling their lives for as high a cost as they could.

Remembering the tactics described by her sisters and aunts in their stories, Zenobia acted quickly to gather as many of the children as she could and led them into the wilderness. She quickly organized her peers, hiding the youngest in caves and small canyons with older children to watch over them. She made use of the older adolescents to scout their back trail and set traps. Zenobia not only took charge, but she calmed the children by presenting their situation as a game; an opportunity to impress their elders with their Paache spirit and bravery. Fortunately, the Tenskin were raiders, and not an invasion force; they were there to grab what they could and escape before the Infranites mobilized. Children armed with rocks and knives, no matter how brave, would have had little chance against the predatory Tenskin. When the grandmothers finally reunited with them, they were greeted by a girl barely losing the orange colour of childhood. She was flanked by several Tenskin heads on spears, Zenobia's first trophies.

Zenobia was inducted into the warrior caste, where she fit in like she had been born to it. Despite her clear leadership qualities, Zenobia was disinterested in being an officer; she had already decided being a non-com was the extent of her desire to lead. Besides, officers had fewer opportunities for fun as being a trooper did.

Luckily for her, fate gave her a chance to combine fun and insulting the Krayl while showing off her skills. A small Krayl village bordered the training base included several warriors. She secured her slot in the powered infantry by leading her training clan off base and infiltrating the village, counting coup by stealing the helmets of their rival's armour and returning to barracks before roll call.

The fact that the fallout from the angry and heavily shamed Krayl resulted in her being written up as unfit as an officer candidate only made the thrill of success sweeter.

Zenobia has served in the Infranite military for five years. She has served on a variety of deployments, fighting Tenskin, Fantasians, and the Legions of Steel. No matter the duty, whether in a garrison on the planet Home by the Sea, or recapturing a mining platform hijacked by Fantasian privateers, Zenobia fought with verve and elan. To date, her favourite tour was serving with the humans of the UNE. Humans were the first aliens she had met she could honestly relate to. Many of them had a flair for audacity, enjoyed the black humour of combat and valued her talent for improvised tactics.

Zenobia seeks to earn a valued place in Paache society by avenging the loss of a war party killed by the Terrible Tyger. This Machine was hated by her tribe not only for killing their sisters, but for ruining the trap being set for Wrath. She has taken to using any of her leave time to hunt the trail of the Tyger and would consider scuttling her career for the chance to face it.

Zenobia wears a customized suit of Sierra PBA, not as fast as Falcon Recce PBA, but with more armour and still sprint capable. In close combat, the combination of her arm blades and skill in Corpo Repo allows her to batter down most opponents with ease. For heavier targets, she relies on her Tempest AR or SSRP launcher.



https://www.rayboxgames.com/forum/legions-of-steel-lore/zenobia-the-infranite-hero

9
History and Fiction / Pandora - The Outlander Hero
« Last post by Kindred on December 04, 2020, 01:07:19 PM »

PANDORA



Written by Wes Johnson

Pandora Konrad is one of the third generation of native-born Outlanders. She was raised in the citadel of Anasazni, a fortress dug into a mesa near the polar regions of Abandon. Anasazni's inhabitants specialize in weaponized coding, data security and cryptography; they are responsible for much of the automation used by the Outlanders to run mines and fabrication systems. They also create highly effective electronic warfare packages used to disrupt Legions of Steel communications.

Pandora's first major achievement was at 14, when she crafted a Trojan horse program capable of forcing low order Machines into diagnostic re-boot, essentially knocking them out for a short period. While recognized as brilliant programming, the bandwidth and close range required reduced the applications potential for direct combat. Her project was shelved awaiting advances in delivery systems, and she was directed towards refining current data compression techniques.

Frustrated with what she felt were short-sighted superiors, Pandora signed on for an apprenticeship on the Haven Landtrain. It was during this period that she further optimized her attack programs. She also trained as an outrider and scavenger, taking advantage of the opportunity to acquire examples of Machine technology to test against her programs.

Skirmishes with smugglers and Fantasian privateers over valuable finds taught her valuable combat skills. During a fight between privateers and the crew of the Landtrain over a mostly intact Dreadbot wreck, she gained her PKM “Can opener”.

Upon reaching the age of majority, Pandora joined a small scavenger caravan, where her ability to optimize the automation of the vehicles and equipment increased their ability to locate valuable salvage. Wounded during a firefight with an Infiltration Pack, she received a cybernetic arm, and claimed the remains of two X1 Runaways.

Her next step was to lay claim to an abandoned research outpost, where she devoted her time to analyzing Machine programming architecture, finding the points of weakness. Eventually, she was able to isolate the channels used by command units to direct basic combat models. Combining Machine tech with UNE communications electronics and ECM modules, she crafted a device that spoofed the command nodes in the Runaways and allowed her refined Trojan horse to overlay the behavioural programming with her own. This now allowed her to use the refurbished Runaways against their Legion brethren.

Pandora began to hunt the wastelands for individual Machines, using the Runaways to essentially shut down her targets, allowing her to further experiment with them in order to widen the range of behaviours and control she had over both the Runaways and their prey.

She became known by trading stations for the high quality and volume of salvage she delivered. Her reputation was cemented when she rescued a prospector family from an ambush. The tale of the young woman who could control Machines began to spread through the Outlander communities.

THE HUNT



Pandora eased herself into the cover of an outcropping of rock, making sure to say clear of the razor coral spreading across the gravel. Gust of wind tugged at her sand cloak, spraying sand into her face, ticking against the lenses of her goggles. She scanned back along her trail, searching for her pursuer. Green lines presented a wire grid overlay of the terrain, the HUD showing ranges and wind direction, among other information.

She pulled a data pad from it's pouch on the thigh of her leggings, and quickly tapped out a series of commands, opening a series of applications. She paused to synchronize it's terrain display with her visor's, noting that Spite and Vex were in position for the ambush. Both showed their links to her to be at near full bandwidth, more than enough carry the command and Trojan applications she intended to test on her target.

Spite indicated it had a visual on their prey; Pandora quickly opened up a window that let her see what the subverted Runaway was seeing. Camouflage in shades of bone and ochre broke up the silhouette of the G3 Predator, disguising the powerful build of the Machine. It carried its Ice Rifle ready to snap onto a target, the skull-like head smoothly traversing as it scanned for her trail. It froze momentarily as it picked up the electronic signature of Spite, now carefully backing away from the G3.

Runaways were fast lithe hunters, attacking from ambush they grappled their target with all six limbs before jacking into electronics and subverting programming, turning the target against its own side.

Pandora had salvaged Spite and Vex a year before, repairing and modifying them into weapons to use against their brethren. She had re-wired their CPUs, twisting loyalty circuits against the Legions and Overlord, making them carriers for Trojan horse applications that could stun or burn out Machines long enough to make them a sitting duck.

Whatever a duck was.

The problem was that Pandora's software still wasn’t powerful or complex enough, yet, to totally subvert something like a Predator. For that, she needed to get it back to the Landtrain, where it could be kept immobilized and harmless while she conducted more research or lobotomized it.

In a moment, the Predator was going to realize the IFF signals from Spite and Vex were corrupted, likely rogues, and a threat, not allies. Its weapons would make short work of her pets if it resisted the Trojan.

Vex signalled it was ready to play its part, while Spite baited their prey into Pandora's line of sight. She carefully sighted her Fantasian PKM where she expected the Machine to come into the open. She didn't activate her force shield, the risk of the Predator detecting it and ignoring the Runaways to come directly for her was too high.

At her signal, Spite leaped from cover and sprinted in a zigzag towards the Predator, its claws spraying stones behind it. The G3's first round shattered rock just to the side of Spite as the Runaway twisted trying to get within the sweep of the Ice rifle. The Predator sidestepped Spite's rush, swinging its weapon back on target. The impact of Vex slamming into its back knocked it forward to its knees as it tried to club Spite aside with the barrel of the rifle. Vex anchored itself to the prey with its middle grappling limbs while its tail lashed across the Predator's torso, looking for an access point to download the control routines. Spite seized hold of the G3's right arm and rifle before thrusting the download module on its tail into the gap between the neck and collarbone.

The Predator stiffened, paralyzed by the conflicting commands cascading through its neural net. This version of the subversion program wouldn't hold a heavy unit long, much less put it under Pandora's command. Before the Predator could throw off the effects, she squeezed her trigger, shattering the side of the G3s head and shutting it down.

Spite and Vex released its form and backed off, tails curled over their backs, ready to jolt it again if it moved.

Pandora was pleased, this was the most intact of a G3 she had gotten her hands on yet, analyzing it would go a long way to improving her software weapons. The Runaways sank to their haunches as she approached, seeming to preen for their mistress.

“Aww, who's Momma's good boys?”.




https://www.rayboxgames.com/forum/legions-of-steel-lore/pandora-the-outlander-hero

10
History and Fiction / Zippy - Our New Hero
« Last post by Kindred on December 04, 2020, 01:05:44 PM »
Zippy, Zero and One

The origins of Zippy, a unique G1H Nightmare, must begin with the story of Zero and One, a pair of renegade Gremlins with a penchant for adventure.

Zero and One are, themselves, unique among the Legions of Steel. Zero is actually one of the longest surviving member of the Machine hordes. Zero is more than a repair bot, Zero is creative. Zero innovates. Zero improves the Machines it works on, whether it is required, or not.

Zero was originally part of the repair systems for a Machine asteroid base, it was the only survivor after a Fantasian assault. Its systems scrambled by an EMP blast, it crawled into a wall space, and shut down.

Some time later, it became aware again, and aware that it was aware. Which was different. What was not different was the need to build and repair, to express its purpose. But now, there were all sorts of new purposes that it had not been ware of before the Gauss grenade went off. At first, Zero attempted to repair the base's systems, before it realized the magnitude of the job ahead of it required more workers. Cannibalizing several destroyed Gremlins, Zero used the parts to create what it considered the optimal partner, One.

Due to enhancements of its pattern recognition software, One is always able to find the parts and materials Zero requires, sometimes before Zero is even aware of what is needed. It works tirelessly to make sure that its stockpiles are always up to date and have a few surprises in store.

Zero and One rejoined Legion forces in the inner system by converting an anti-shipping missile into transport, crossing half the system to do so. The Gremlins managed to avoid having their quirks noticed and were assigned to a planet bound Gremlin pack.

Zippy began as a standard G1H Nightmare, assembled nearly 100 years ago. Its hundred year survival alone, compared to the average lifespan of a Nightmare in combat, sets it apart from nearly every other G Class variant in existence.

Zippy would have likely ended up as scrap early on, save for a chance encounter with Zero and One. Zippy was damaged and incapacitated many times, although never completely destroyed, always somehow making its way back to a repair facility. The third time Zippy somehow made it back to base despite heavy damage (clawing its way back with its remaining arm, missing everything below its thorax), it caught Zero's attention. Fascinated by the G1H's tenacity, the Gremlins payed special attention to it, giving it the first of a long series of modifications. Over the years, the Gremlins bonded with the Nightmare. Zero was so obsessed with the Nightmare's care that it regularly followed Zippy into battle.

This constant close attention from the Gremlins has seen Zippy change enough that he is nearly impossible to mistake for a regular G1. Unlike many Nightmare models, Zippy has two arms, and does not carry a firearm. Instead, Zippy is loaded with a variety of grenades and a combat blade. Over the years, his ground movement has steadily increased, making him one of the fastest units on a battlefield. Zippy uses its speed to make lightning attacks before darting away to safety and setting up the next ambush. In a complex, this speed makes it a literal nightmare, capable of making use of access ways to rapidly outflank intruders while avoiding getting pinned down and destroyed. It has a knack for using grenades or other small objects as distractions from one direction, before gutting a target from another.

It has been observed using any type of grenade available, including those of organic races. Gauss, Force wall, Plasma, Nachtmacher; if the grenade is in production anywhere, Zippy will have some. Rumour has it that Zippy is fast enough to catch and throw back attackers grenades. For a Nightmare, Zippy has an unnatural grasp of tactics and terrain awareness, using local surrounding's characteristics to maximize its speed advantage.

Over the years, Zippy has taken a number of shots to the head, giving Zero many opportunities to tweak its’ programming. This likely explains its idiosyncrasies, and possibly those of Zero and One as well. All three Machines share the disturbing trait of having nearly human body language, albeit that of a profoundly disturbed individual. Humans and Fantasians both find this disconcerting, while Infranites find it hilarious, right up until Zippy stabs them in face.

Zippy is the first Machine ever sighted with a wardrobe. For the last forty years, at least, he has sported a high collared dust cloak. He seems to have an attachment to a particular style, although changes in wardrobe colour indicate several replacements have occurred over the years. It has several pouches for grenades, as well as a bandolier. There has been no verified proof that Zippy has been known to wear a hat, however.

The trio have been observed operating anywhere there is a Legions of Steel presence. Over ninety years, they have taken part in many battles and skirmishes. Zippy terrified the Fantasian infantry on Waterhole, harassing them relentlessly during the night, killing many troopers as they slept, with both grenades and blade.

Zippy and his entourage have been spotted in the Abandon Region but their last known whereabouts are unknown.


https://www.rayboxgames.com/forum/legions-of-steel-lore/zippy-our-new-hero