STARSHINA SMALL-ARMS TACTICAL HANDBOOK
Congratulations, Citizen, on your recent promotion to Starshina, the highest non-commisioned rank in the military. Although we are aware that in order to achieve this position you must already have substantial combat experience in the field, it is none the less advisable at times to review the theories behind the practice. Keep this pamphlet with you, and review it before your unit is dropped into a hot landing zone. It may save your life.
PART I: KNOW YOUR WEAPONS
GAUSS GRENADE: This is the weapon that sets you apart from your enemy. The most versatile grenade in existance, proper use of your unit’s Gauss Grenades can mean the difference between objective success and the complete annhilation of your unit. Remember that in FIELD mode the Gauss Grenade offers the greatest protection from diagonal shots that pass through it from corner to corner, and that even in this mode it’s weak EMP effect can deny territory to the enemy. Also remember that its PULSE effects are most devestating against targets that are already slightly dazzled by previous electro-magnetic pulses. A very successful strategy is often to wait until a target tries to pass through a Gauss FIELD, becomes DAZED, and then to hit the target hard with a succession of GAUSS PULSES until the target becomes completely burned out.
PPSH: The standard Stormtrooper weapon, the Ppsh was chosen due to its effectiveness at assassinating prisoners at close range. Three inches is its optimal range for heavy armor-penetration, though it is still effective out to fifteen. Beyond fifteen you are probably better off protecting yourself with a Gauss Grenade, unless your target is very lightly armored.
PKM: Your unit’s only true armor-penetrator, the PKM heavy-caliber rifle is one of the greatest creations of our Industrial-Military complex. These weapons are expensive and deployed sparingly, so don’t waste them. Remember that the PKM’s greatest advantage lies in its ability to penetrate armor out to a full 25”, and that it’s optimal range in comparison with enemy rifles is between 16 and 25”.
SS-2000: Fantasians have strong tradition of slash and burn tactics. We have learned that denying territory to the enemy can be as important as winning it for ourselves. The SS-2000 is simply a small-arms extension of this overall strategic doctrine. Try to use this as a defensive, rather than offensive weapon. Deny enemy access to your flanks and rear with bursts of flame. And place the flame in strategic locations where hostiles will have to become exposed to the heat for the greatest length of time if they wish to pass through it. An SS-2000 burst centered on a Gauss FIELD can prove a very effective deterrent to all but the most heavily armored hostiles.
PART II: FIRE-TEAMS
As a Starshina, you will lead an elite D-Squad of Stormtroopers on missions ranging from bunker-busting to hostage rescue to factory-penetration. The D-Squad has been carefully designed to operate independently from a commanding unit, and it is useful to further sub-divide the squad into individual two or three-man fire teams. The three most common types of teams are described below:
DEFENSE TEAM: A defense team is lead by a Stormtrooper armed with a Ppsh and 2 Gauss Grenades and backed-up by a Stormtrooper armed with an SS-2000 and 2 Gauss Grenades. The primary mission of this team is to protect the D-Squad’s flanks and rear from hostile activity. Standard tactics are for the leading trooper to run within line of sight of an access corridor, kneel, and toss a Gauss Grenade in FIELD mode. The back-up trooper immediately follows-up by squirting a burst of flame from the SS-2000 into the very center of the Gauss FIELD. Even if the SS-2000’s shot is made wild by the FIELD’s effects, the flame will not scatter far from the objective. Subsequently, the lead Trooper SUPPRESSES the area to further deny it to enemy activity, while the back-up trooper continues to fire SS-2000 bursts, alternating with more Gauss FIELDS as the original fades out. The combination of the Gauss EMP FIELD, the Ppsh suppression fire, and the SS-2000 afterburn will deny access to this corrider to all but the most psychotic hostiles.
Alternatively, the defense team may also be used to assault suppressed positions. In this mission the lead trooper displaces a Gauss Grenade in FIELD mode to interrupt the suppression before stepping into the line of fire and kneeling. The back-up trooper steps behind him and blasts a shot from the SS-2000 onto the suppressing enemy. The SS-2000 will most likely miss, due to the effects of firing through a Gauss FIELD, but the shot will not scatter far, and still has an excellent chance of landing right on top of the suppressing hostile. Even if it does not kill the hostile with the first shot, further bursts from the SS-2000, including its afterburn, will most likely force the hostile to abandon its position and its line of suppression.
ATTACK TEAM: The Attack Team is led by a Stormtrooper armed with a PKM and 2 Gauss Grenades and backed-up by a Stormtrooper Corporal armed with a Ppsh and 2 Gauss Grenades. This team is used to inflict high-priority kills on heavily armored opponents such as Assault Fiends or Storm Angels. The most important quality of this team is patience. PKMs are rare and are the only weapon truely capable of inflicting kills on these enemies, so this team should be very careful not to expose itself to enemy fire. The perfect execution of a kill would be for this team to line up just out of line-of-sight of an enemy. Then, the PKM gunner WALKS into line-of-sight. Just as the hostile uses covering fire the Corporal commands the PKM gunner to jump back out of line-of-sight. The PKM gunner now steps back into line of sight, fires a shot at the hostile, and then steps one inch forward. The Corporal follows-up right behind the PKM gunner, and immediately throws a Gauss Grenade in FIELD mode right in front of them to protect them from return fire.
The described action is, of course, a best-case scenario. It is recommended that the Starshina dedicate strong attention to an Attack Team preparing to hit a high-priority target. With the Starshina’s extra leadership on both the PKM gunner and the Corporal, this team might be able to accomplish a second attack in the single instant of opportunity, and at the very least could protect itself more abley from covering fire and return fire.
ROGUE TEAM: The Rogue team consists of the Starshina and two Stormtroopers. The Starshina should position himself in the rear of the team, to best protect himself from hostile fire, unless enemy reinforcements are expected in the rear, in which case the Starshina should position himself between the two Stormtroopers. The Rogue team’s mission is to accomplish particular mission objectives, such as the destruction of computer terminals, or to harass the enemy’s flanks. In a head-on combat situation, it is the Rogue team’s mission to feel-out the soft spots in the enemy’s defenses and hit them there hard. The Rogue team must be prepared to constantly react to changing battlefield conditions.
T85/34: If you are fortunate enough to have one of these attached to support your Squad, you should probably attach it to either your Rogue Team or an Attack Team. It’s height allows an excellent range of fire in tight corridors where the first trooper can be kneeling, the second trooper standing, and the T85 standing behind the second trooper, all firing down the corridor without getting in each other’s way. Furthermore, the T85/34’s mini-shilka can serve as added protection for the Starshina if attached to the Rogue Team. The only disadvantage of the T85/34 is its slow speed in relation to the rest of your squad. Often T85s find themselves lagging behind where their significant firepower can not be brought to bear. Constant orders and threats shouted by the Starshina can help alleviate this problem by forcing the T85’s pilot to move in double-time.
PART III: The Battlefield
The D-Squad is specifically designed for close-assaults in interiors, such as bunkers, factories or subversive meeting halls. If you are assigned to rat out subversives your task is very simple--bust down the door and open-up with your Ppsh’s. Soon the cowardly capitalists will be hitting the dirt and begging for the State’s mercy. It is your job not to give them any. If you are fighting within a commercial building, such as an office tower, try to remember that its walls are thin. Your weapons are designed to penetrate Powered Armor, and can easily punch through dry-wall. The interior partitions of these buildings are little more than paper. Don’t restrict yourselves to the paths that the architects designed--if it’s convenient smash through a wall, and if you detect someone on the other side of it, simply shoot through it. Think of walls in these buildings as heavy smoke rather than actual barriers.
Bunker-busting and factory penetration are much more dangerous occupations. Their corridors are narrow and sight-lines are short. They often are formed into mazes of inter-locking rooms that can easily cause disorientation. Never enter a hostile sector blind--always download maps into your on-board computers and count on your support staff to keep you updated on enemy movements.
MOVING INDOORS: Your T70 armor is faster and more agile then most of the armor you will be facing. Use this to your advantage. As soon as an enemy appears immediately identify the tactical points of contact, and move as quickly as possible to reach those “choke-points”. Officers should be constantly on the case of the lead troopers, barking orders, threats and insults at them to make sure they are moving double-time and not clogging up the works. If enemy contact is not imminent, try not to waste time opening doors; simply blow them open instead.
Your movement should be led by your Defense Teams, who can peel off to cover your flanks as soon as they reach their strategic choke-points.
If enemy contact is imminent, immediately slow to a walk. Your weapons are generally not accurate enough to fire effectively on the run, and obstacles can be negotiated much more easily at a walk. Furthermore, your ability to side-step and snap-fire while walking is very important. You should never run to attack an enemy. If it seems as if a Trooper can not reach an objective fire lane at a walk, try to “motivate” him--you will find that with the proper threats Troopers can achieve the impossible.
CLEARING A ROOM: In order to take a room you must have overwhelming surprise and force. Try to line up assaults in at least two different entrances to the room to force the occupants to split their fire. Then follow these steps:
1. Start with a grenade. If you are walking into a line of suppression use a Gauss Grenade in FIELD mode to protect your movement. Otherwise cook it off in PULSE mode to try and daze or stun the room’s occupants.
2. Rush the room. As soon as the grenade blows the first person should rush the room, spraying it with Ppsh fire. Try to spread-fire among as many targets as possible. Don’t rush into the center of the room where you can’t protect your back and you become an easy target. Simply enter the room and slide to your right, keeping your back against the wall, and allowing others to come in behind you. A second trooper should rush in behind and mirror your actions, spraying the room, or in the case of a SS-2000 gunner, lighting it up with heat, and then sliding to his left. A fourth trooper, preferably a PKM gunner, should enter the room just in front of the door and kneel, popping off any survivors or covering the entrances for potential enemy break-ins. He should be backed up by a Corporal who stands in the actual doorway and also covers with his Ppsh (see Fire Teams, above). If the storming of the room failed to dislodge its occupants, and enemy activity is still strong, then the Corporal should cook of a Gauss Grenade in Field Mode to protect the teams from return-fire instead of covering.
3. Secure the room. Check hiding places. Make certain all hostiles are incapacitaated, and not within reach of weapons. Get hostages out of the area, but check to make sure that no hostiles are slipping out with them.
OUTDOOR HAZARDS: As mentioned before, your squad has been designed for maximum efficiency indoors, where sight-lines are very short. Only your PKMs have decent range in the open field. If for some reason you do find yourself among hostiles out in the open, your first priority should be to protect your squad. Cook-off Gauss Grenades around you in FIELD mode to create a passage to the nearest cover. If you are forced to move stick to river bottoms, gullies or woods where you will receive some protection from incoming fire. In urban areas move through buildings rather than in open streets.
FINAL NOTES: Remember that combat is a situation of fluidly changing circumstances. You should only allow this document to guide you insofar as its methods actually work. If you find yourself in a strange situation improvise. And so long as you always keep your focus on the objective you might be able to fight through seemingly overwhelming odds.