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AMBUSH AT ALTAIR

CREDITS
Writer
Greg Lynch

CONTENTS

Introduction

Editor
Richard Ford

Cover Art
Anne Stokes

Games Mastering Ambush


at Altair
3

Internal Art
Sam Hart, Danilo Moretti, Philip Renne

RPG Manager
Ian Belcher

Shore Leave

Missions

License

32

Production Director
Alexander Fennell

Proofreader
Ron Bedison

Playtesters
Amelia Carter, Daniel Haslam, Mark Howe,
Daniel Scothorne, Michael J Young

Special Thanks
Special thanks to the citizens and UCF agents of Sony
Pictures Consumer Products.

Starship Troopers: The Roleplaying Game Ambush at Altair is TM & 2006 TriStar Pictures, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Mongoose
Publishing Ltd Authorized User. Starship Troopers: The Roleplaying Game The Arachnid Empire is released under version 1.0 of the Open
Game License. Reproduction of non-Open Game Content of this work by any means without the written permission of the pulisher is
expressly forbidden. See page 32 for the text of this license. With the exception of the character creation rules detailing the mechanics
of assigning dice roll results to abilities and the advancement of character levels, all game mechanics and statistics (including the game
mechanics of all feats, skills, classes, creatures, psychic abilities and combat) are declared open content. Printed in China.

INTRODUCTION
The Mobile Infantry
has many tools and weapons at its
disposal. Carried throughout the
galaxy by the power of the Cherenkov
Drive, armed to the teeth with the
most advanced weapons and heavily
armoured, the Mobile Infantry is a
devastating force indeed. Yet these
advantages pale in comparison to
the one thing that makes the finest
soldiers in the history of humanity so
very effective support.
A Mobile Infantry trooper has
access to a logistical support system
of nearly perfect efficiency. All the
ammunition, weaponry, supplies and
vehicles he needs for any mission are
automatically supplied to him. He
need not worry about ammunition
shortages, about his armour running
out of power, about any damage done
to his vehicle. SICON provides him
with a safety net of more ammunition,
more armour, more vehicles. In
Ambush at Altair however, the troopers
must learn to work without the usual
safety net.
Ambush at Altair is an extended series
of missions for a squad of Mobile
Infantry troopers, taking place
entirely on the planet of Altair V. At
the beginning of the scenario, the
Player Characters leave their ship, the
William Travis, for a few days of shore
leave on the one colonised world of
the Altair System Tango Urilla. The
William Travis is part of a larger task
force of four SICON vessels, here in
the system to fly the flag and enforce
security. While the William Travis
orbits Tango Urilla, the remaining
three vessels embark on a survey
sweep through the system, beginning
with Tango Urillas closest planetary
neighbour, Altair V. SICON believe
the entire system is devoid of any
Arachnid activity. SICON are very
wrong.

As the three ships settle into orbit


over Altair V, a sudden bombardment
of fire from plasma bugs on the
surface brings swift and unexpected
destruction. Only one of the ships
survives long enough to send a
message to the William Travis before
it too is consumed in fire.
Altair V is infested with Arachnids,
who have managed to keep their
presence secret with the aid of the
Tango Cloud, the ionic nebula
surrounding the entire system. Now
that their presence has been discovered,
the Arachnids will surely act soon,
and only the Player Characters stand
between the invaders and the 155,000
colonists on Tango Urilla.
Outnumbered, outgunned and cut off
from all SICON support, the Player
Characters face a series of terrible
battles on the inhospitable surface
of Altair V. The William Travis has
only limited supplies of weapons,
ammunition and vehicles, and the
troopers must find a way to make them
last. In Ambush at Altair, every shot
counts. The troopers are up against
a powerful enemy on unfamiliar
terrain and they are the only line of
defence the system has. If they fail,
the entire Altair system will fall to the
Arachnids.
Ambush at Altair is intended for a
group of four to six Mobile Infantry
Player Characters of 6th to 7th level.
Any kind of cross training will be
helpful, with the exception of neodog
handler (the atmosphere of Altair V is
toxic), but the Player Characters will
have their best chance at survival if
there is at least one field medic and
one engineer in their number.

Games Mastering Ambush at Altair

GAMES MASTERING
AMBUSH AT ALTAIR
Ambush at Altair is designed to be even more
tense and exciting than a normal session of Starship Troopers.
The Player Characters have extremely limited resources and are
pitted against a seemingly unlimited number of Arachnids. As
equipment begins to fail, as ammunition begins to run low, the
players should begin to feel the same levels of desperation their
characters are feeling.

SHORTAGES
Ambush at Altair requires little extra work on the part of
the Games Master. The Player Characters must work with
extremely limited resources throughout the scenario, and in
large part it falls to the Games Master to keep track of what the
troopers have available to them. At the end of this chapter is
a Quartermasters List, a complete inventory of everything the
William Travis has on board that the troopers may need. In
short, if it is not on this list, it is not on the ship. The troopers
must learn to make do with what is available to them.
The Quartermasters List is quite detailed, even going so far as to
list the total amount of ammunition available for the troopers
Morita assault rifles. If the Games Master would rather not be
quite so detail-oriented, he may feel free to ignore this number,
allowing the troopers as much assault rifle, pistol and shotgun
ammunition as they wish. However, a large part of the drama
of Ambush at Altair is the fact that resources are so very limited,
so the Games Master should be careful with just how much
latitude he wishes to give the troopers in this regard. For more
powerful weapons, such as missiles and grenades, the Games
Master should keep the troopers confined to the numbers listed
on the Quartermasters List.

DEPLOYMENT, RE-SUPPLY &


RETRIEVAL
The first mission of Ambush at Altair requires the Player
Characters be hot-dropped in capsules from the William Travis.
Most of the troopers dropped this way will be killed by a plasma
bug barrage, though obviously not any of the Player Characters
(see page 9).
Additionally, the Player Characters will not always be able to
leave the planet after a mission. There are far more Arachnids
on Altair V than there are troopers and the William Travis

cannot risk entering orbit or sending down its lone Viking


Landing Boat if there is plasma bug activity anywhere near the
troopers position.
Getting on to and off of Altair V is one of the most hazardous
parts of this scenario and, unfortunately for the troopers, it is
a hazard they can do little about. At the end of every mission
in Ambush at Altair (unless directed otherwise in the specific
mission), the Games Master should roll on the table below
to determine whether or not it is safe for the troopers to be
extracted. If the Player Characters have been extracted to the
William Travis, the Games Master should roll on the table to
determine whether they can be reinserted on the planet with the
Viking. The table should also be used if the Player Characters
request an emergency re-supply during a mission.

Plasma Bug Activity


D20
Roll
1-4
5-8
9-12
13-15
16-18
19-20

Plasma Bug Proximity


None Nearby
Small Group at
Distance
Large Group at
Distance
Very Small Group (12) Nearby
Small Group (3-6)
Nearby
Large Group (7 or
more) Nearby

Effect
Viking can land safely.
Viking has 10% chance to
be destroyed on approach.
Viking has 20% chance to
be destroyed on approach.
Viking has 50% chance to
be destroyed on approach.
Viking has 90% chance to
be destroyed on approach.
Viking will be destroyed
on approach.

If there is any chance the Viking will be destroyed on approach,


any Player Characters aboard the William Travis must be
capsule-dropped to the planet below. In order to protect the
troopers, the William Travis will simultaneously drop a number
of empty capsules, which will soak up the plasma bug fire and
allow the Player Characters to reach the ground safely (they
are Player Characters, after all, and dying in a capsule drop is a
poor death for them). However, the ship has only enough extra
capsules to do this three times. After the third such drop, the
Player Characters will not be retrieved from the surface under
any circumstances until the end of the scenario.

If there is a 10% chance the Viking will be destroyed, the


commanding officer of the William Travis may send it down
anyway, depending upon the situation. For example, if a number
of the troopers are wounded and all of them are running out of
ammunition, the boat will likely brave the plasma bug fire to
come to the rescue. If the situation is less dire, the Viking will
likely be kept on board and any supplies dropped in capsules, if
at all. The Games Master should use his discretion in this. In
truly desperate circumstances, the Viking may even come down
if there is a 20% chance of destruction.
In the case of a very small or small group of plasma bugs nearby,
the Player Characters may be tasked with eliminating them to
allow for a safe landing for the Viking. Again, this will depend
upon the health and current equipment levels of the troopers,
for which the Games Master must use his best judgement. In
the case of a large group, the troopers will certainly be ordered
to flee the area.

RECHARGING
Ambush at Altair requires the Player Characters to remain on
the surface of Altair V for days at a time, far longer than the
power supply of their power suits and Chickenhawks will last.
This makes recharging power suits, something many troopers
never need to consider, a concern of paramount importance to
the Player Characters. Fortunately, there are several ways for
them to recharge their suits while on the planets surface.

9 Hephaestus Station Power Core. In Mission 4, the


Player Characters find Hephaestus Station, a volcanic
research facility on the planets surface. The stations power
core, run on geothermal and solar energy, may be used
to recharge the troopers M-9 Marauder Chickenhawk
Assault Armour and M-1A4 power suits. Recharging a
suit with the Hephaestus power core takes half the time
the suits power reserves are down. Thus, if a suit has been
used for two hours, it will take one hour to fully recharge.
If it has been used for its full eight hours, it will take four
hours to recharge. The power core can recharge up to two
suits at a time. Unfortunately, the power core has only
limited excess power to expend this way. When at full
capacity, the power core can recharge up to 50 hours of
operational time. Once the excess power in the power core
is depleted, it will take two full Altair V days (76 hours) to
replenish itself.
9 MAC Hauler. Hephaestus Station has a single MAC
Hauler that may also be used as a mobile recharging facility.
Recharging a suit from the MAC Hauler requires one hour
for every hour that has been drained from the suits power
supply. Thus, if a trooper used a suit for three hours, it
would take three hours hooked up to the hauler to restore
the suit to full power.

9 GK-12 Gecko Armoured Personnel Carrier. Equipped


as a mobile command station, the Gecko is able to recharge
the M-1A4 suit (as well as a Chickenhawk suit, when the
time comes). Recharging a suit with the Gecko takes onequarter the amount of time the suits power reserves are
down. Thus, if a suit has been used for two hours, it will
take 30 minutes to fully recharge. If it has been used for
its full eight hours, it will take two hours to recharge. The
Gecko can only recharge one suit at a time.

TRAVEL
Obviously, use of the Plasma Bug Activity table means the
troopers will often be forced to remain of the planet for several
missions in a row, which requires them to travel from one
mission area to the next. On a planet full of Arachnids, this is
hardly a safe trip through the countryside.
For every hour the Player Characters spend travelling between
mission areas, the Games Master should roll 1d31 to determine
the number of Arachnid encounters they have during that
time. Of course, the Games Master may throw any amount

Games Mastering Ambush at Altair


or kind of Arachnids he wishes at the Player Characters, but
the following table offers a quick and easy way of determining
encounters.

Arachnid Encounters
D20 Roll
1-3
4-5
6
7-8
9-10
11
12
13-15
16-17
18-19
20

Encounter
1d3 hopper bugs
1d4+1 hopper bugs
1d2 tanker bugs
1d8 cliff mites
1d4 blaster bugs
1d6 blaster bugs
1d2 plasma bugs
1d4 warrior bugs
1d6 warrior bugs
1d3 rippler bugs
Roll twice and combine results

LAYING LOW
Because of the potential problems of putting the troopers back
on the surface of Altair V, they will often be ordered to remain
on the surface of the planet and lay low between missions.
This downtime both allows wounded troopers to heal some
of their injuries and recharge the ever-draining power reserves
of their armour. So long as the Gecko is intact (or the Player
Characters have some other means of recharging their suits
such as Hephaestus Station or the MAC Hauler) and the
troopers are not wounded to the point of incapacity or running
woefully short of ammunition, this is the preferred method for
passing time between missions.
If the Player Characters remain on the surface of Altair V
between missions, they can attempt to hide their presence and
reduce the risk of Arachnid encounters. A successful Survival
skill check (DC varies with mission) will reduce the chance
for an Arachnid encounter to 1d32 every four hours. As
these encounters involve a mobile group of Arachnids coming
across a stationary group of troopers, the Games Master should
disregard encounter roll results of plasma bugs.

REPLACING PLAYER CHARACTERS


Ambush at Altair is a dangerous adventure, even for the Mobile
Infantry. Vastly outnumbered and low on supplies, the troopers
on Altair V are in for the fight of their lives. For some, it will
likely be the last fight of their lives. The death of a Player
Character is always unfortunate, but in Ambush at Altair, it is
all but certain the Player Characters will suffer casualties.
Normally, fallen Player Characters can be replaced with ease,
but on Altair V, the situation is rather different. There are

no incoming squads of MI from whom to draw new Player


Characters. Obviously, no player should be forced to sit on his
hands and watch his friends have fun if he was unlucky enough
to have his character die in the early stages of the adventure.
Fortunately, the Games Master has several sources from which
he may draw new Player Characters when and if the need arises.
The William Travis has a detachment of Light Troopers aboard,
some of whom can be sent down to bolster the ranks of the MI
(though these Light Troopers, having no power suit training,
will be at a disadvantage). Likewise, the guards and personnel
at Hephaestus Station would make viable replacement Player
Characters, though they too will lack the superior training
of the Mobile Infantry. Lastly, the Games Master may allow
another trooper to have survived the plasma bug bombardment
in the first mission (Omaha Beach), struggling alone across the
surface of Altair V before joining with the remaining Player
Characters.

PACING
In some of the missions of Ambush at Altair, the amount of
time that has elapsed since the previous mission is explicitly
stated. In others, no time elapses at all as one mission segues
into another. However, there are a number of missions that do
neither.
These missions allow the Games Master to give the Player
Characters a little extra time to heal, to repair equipment or
perform any number of other time-consuming but necessary
tasks while stranded on the surface of Altair V. The chance to
take an extra day or two in the safety of Hephaestus Station
may certainly mean the difference between life and death for
the troopers. On the other hand, the Games Master should be
careful not to let the troopers become complacent. Altair V is
home to a great many Arachnids, and they are not inclined to
tolerate a human intrusion on their home ground. The very
real fear of being wiped out by superior numbers at any given
time is one of the strengths of Ambush at Altair, and the Games
Master must balance his pacing between giving the troopers a
better chance at survival and losing the sense of fear that makes
the scenario so gripping.

ALTAIR V
The planet of Altair V is almost habitable, but has no intrinsic
value to make the immense cost of terraforming it justifiable to
SICON. Like the rest of the Altair system, it is very young.
Altair V is, essentially, a big brown rock with a great deal of
volcanic activity. The planet is slightly larger than Earth,
generating a higher amount of gravity. The gravity is not
so high as to qualify as a high-gravity environment (see the
Starship Troopers Roleplaying Game core rulebook) but it does
impose some penalties, as follows:

9 Carrying Capacity: A creatures normal carrying capacity is


reduced by one-quarter on Altair V. Thus, a character who
could normally carry 200 pounds of gear can only carry
150 pounds. In addition, characters take a 5 penalty on
any Strength check made to lift or move a heavy unsecured
object.
9 Long-Term Effects: A character that spends 200 hours
or more on Altair V will take 1d3 points of temporary
Dexterity damage upon returning to normal gravity.
The atmosphere of Altair V is thin and toxic with various
gasses. The usual penalties for breathing in a thin atmosphere
(see the Starship Troopers Roleplaying Game core rulebook)
apply. Additionally, anyone breathing the atmosphere must
make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 14) every hour or suffer
1d2 points of Constitution damage.
The average daytime temperature on the surface of Altair V is
135F, subjecting exposed troopers to standard damage from
hot environments if they are exposed to the elements. Altair
V has a slow rotation, requiring 38 hours for a full revolution.
Approximately half this time is daylight. At night, the surface
temperature averages 70F.
Altair V has a single moon in low orbit. The moons primary
role in Ambush at Altair is to provide the William Travis with a
convenient place to hide from the plasma bugs on the surface.

QUARTERMASTERS LIST
This list represents the entirety of the equipment aboard
the William Travis, minus the basic equipment carried by
each trooper (see the Starship Troopers Roleplaying Game core
rulebook).

Weapons
Weapon
Brunham TW-102-s
Peacemaker Pistol
Brunham XW-103-S7 Shotgun
FedCom SW-402 Triple GL
Grenade Launcher
FedCom SW-403 Thud Gun
Rocket Launcher
FedCom SW-404 Javelin
Missile Launcher
FedCom XW-110-G1 Grenade
Launcher
Morita TW-202-1 Sniper Rifle
Morita TW-203-a
Voight & Gromann TW-221-f
Tinderbox
Voight & Gromann TW-226-f
Hel Heavy Flamer
Wyman Arms CC-176-ER
Combat Prod
Yinimina MW-X29 Scythe

Quantity Ammunition
15
2,000
20
3

800
See Grenades

See Missiles

See Missiles

See Grenades

10
50
10

120
14,000
35 canisters

20 canisters

18

900

240

Explosives
Grenades
M-901 HE Grenade
M-902F Frag Grenade
M-909S Fog Grenade
M-291 Fragmentation Round
TOAD Charge
Missiles
M-711A1 Scatterjack Rocket
M-719A1 Plasma Rocket
M-666C5 HEAT Missile
M-714S2 Firecracker Missile
M-998A1 Pee-Wee Missile

Weapon
FedCom SW-402 Triple GL Grenade Launcher, MW-209 Trip Hammer
Grenade Launcher, SW-411 Spud Gun Grenade Launcher
FedCom SW-402 Triple GL Grenade Launcher, MW-209 Trip Hammer
Grenade Launcher, SW-411 Spud Gun Grenade Launcher
FedCom SW-402 Triple GL Grenade Launcher, MW-209 Trip Hammer
Grenade Launcher, SW-411 Spud Gun Grenade Launcher
FedCom XW-110-G1 Grenade Launcher
None
Weapon
FedCom SW-403 Thud Gun Rocket Launcher
FedCom SW-403 Thud Gun Rocket Launcher
FedCom SW-404 Javelin Missile Launcher
FedCom SW-404 Javelin Missile Launcher
FedCom SW-404 Javelin Missile Launcher

Quantity
60
35
200
100
4
Quantity
10
12
15
8
6

Games Mastering Ambush at Altair


Vehicles & Armour
Vehicle
Bullfrog Combat Dinghy
GK-12 Gecko Armoured
Personnel Carrier
M-1A4 Power Suit
M-9 Marauder Chickenhawk
Assault Armour

XM-550 CHAS Unit

Quantity Weapons
5
None
1
MW-5050 (x2)

Ammunition

4,000

20
3

None
MW-265 Electric Eight

3,000

SW-219-f Inferno Support Flamer


SW-411 Spud Gun Grenade Launcher
SW-490 Blizzard Missile Launcher
Twin Morita TW-203-s Ape Special
Voight & Gromann TW-226-f Hel Heavy
Flamer
FedCom SW-404 Javelin Missile Launcher
MW-209 Trip Hammer Grenade Launcher

90
See Grenades
108
See Morita TW-203-a entry
See Voight & Gromann TW-226f Hel Heavy Flamer entry
See Missiles
See Grenades

Miscellaneous
Equipment
Ammunition Bandoleer
Communications Set
Demolitions Kit
Electrical Toolkit (deluxe)
Field Rations
First Aid Kit
Lizard Line
Mechanical Toolkit (deluxe)
Medical Kit
Multipurpose Tool
Surgery Kit
Cybernetics
Bionic Eye
Prosthetic Arm
Prosthetic Leg

Quantity
35
5
3
3*
300 man days
23 *
50
1*
3*
20
6*
3
2
4

* At the Games Masters option, more of this item might


be created by raiding the shipboard facilities of the William
Travis.

SHORE LEAVE
Ambush at Altair begins peacefully, with the Player
Characters receiving a few days of well-earned shore leave in
Altair City, the capitol of Tango Urilla. They were promised
a full ten days of shore leave as a reward for recent missions,
but will find their time in the colony cut short after just three
days.
The Games Master may read or summarise the following for
the Player Characters:
Your ship, the William Travis, is part of a four-vessel task force
entering the Altair System. While the other three ships, the
Trafalgar, the Flanders and the Coral Sea embark on a survey
mission of the entire system, the William Travis will make orbit
over Tango Urilla and put you down for ten days of uninterrupted
shore leave in the colony. Tango Urilla may not be Zegama Beach,
but it is certainly better than any other place you have been to for
longer than you care to remember.
After three days in Altair City, the troopers receive an urgent
message informing them shore leave is cancelled immediately
and they are to rendezvous at the citys spaceport within an
hour. Upon arriving at the spaceport, they will see the William
Traviss lone Viking Landing Boat warmed up and waiting
for them. The pilot refuses to explain anything to the Player
Characters, telling them they must wait for their briefing.
Aboard the William Travis, the scene is one of barely-contained
chaos. The Player Characters, along with the rest of the Mobile
Infantry platoon assigned to the ship, are quickly shepherded
into a briefing room.
The Games Master may read or summarise the following for
the Player Characters:
Your commanding officer enters the room with a bleak look on his
face, steps to the lectern and takes a deep breath.
This morning, at 08:53 hours, the Trafalgar, the Flanders and
the Coral Sea came under attack while surveying Altair V. It was
a plasma bug bombardment from the surface. The Flanders and
Coral Sea were destroyed almost instantly; the Trafalgar managed
to fire off two shots and send us a warning before it too was
destroyed.
SICON had informed us there was no bug activity in the Altair
System but it looks like SICON was dead wrong. Somehow, the
bugs have set up shop next to one of our colonies.

The William Travis is the last SICON asset in this system. We


have sent word to SICON regarding what has happened here, but
we cant expect the cavalry to come riding over the hill any time
soon. If the bugs take us out, theyve got a red carpet to crawl their
way right onto our colony, and Ill be damned if were going to let
that happen. This platoon is all the Mobile Infantry within five
light years.
There is only one way to deal with this, apes. We have to put
boots in the dust on Altair V. The William Travis has no nukes
aboard and it would be destroyed if it entered orbit. We only
have one Viking, and we cant risk it until we know whats going
on planetside. This leaves only one option: a capsule drop into
unknown terrain.
Now for the bad news. We havent been re-supplied and our
stocks of guns and ammo arent what youd call overwhelming. Im
handing out a list from the ships Quartermaster its an inventory
of everything weve got. Your first drop youre going in with standard
equipment only. After that, Ill make you a deal. You go easy on
the bullets and make your shots count, and Ill go easy on you when
you requisition more. Remember, this is it. Take good care of your
gear. You break it and you just might buy it on that rock down
there. Now, go get ready.
The Games Master should lower all Requisition DCs in Ambush
at Altair by five, with the following exceptions:
9 M-9 Marauder Chickenhawk Assault Armour: This
may not be requisitioned until the Hephaestus Station
mission, and even then only one will be released. If
one is requisitioned, only one-third of the appropriate
ammunition will be given out. The other Chickenhawks
and remaining ammunition will not come into play until
they are assigned as part of a mission. Thereafter, the
Player Characters may keep them.
9 XM-550 CHAS Unit: Like the Chickenhawks, this item
will not come into play until it is assigned. Thereafter, it
may remain with the Player Characters.
9 FedCom SW-404 Javelin Missile Launcher: The Player
Characters may requisition one of these (at an unadjusted
DC), but the other will be kept aboard the William Travis
until it is assigned.
9 M-998A1 Pee-Wee Missile: The Player Characters may
requisition three of these (at an unadjusted DC), but the
others will be kept aboard the William Travis until assigned.
The Player Characters must have at least one of these left
for Mission 10: Under Pressure.

Missions

MISSIONS
MISSION ONE: OMAHA BEACH
Experience Points: 300 experience points
Mission Type: Drop, search and report, clearance
Mission Duration: Six hours
Terrain: Rocky plains
Special Equipment: None, standard only
Available Support: None
Enemies: Hopper bugs (2), plasma bugs (10), warrior bugs
(15)
Mission Briefing: All right, apes, youre about to make planetfall
on Altair V. This is going to be a high-orbit cap drop, then the
William Travis is pulling back behind the moon, in case any of
those plasmas down there survived the Trafalgar. The two shots
the Trafalgar managed to get off have kicked up a lot of dust down
there, and the Tango Cloud is playing hell with our sensors, just
as much as usual, so we dont have a clear picture of whats going
on under our feet. When you hit ground, you kill everything that
crawls, and you recon the area. We need to know whats happening,
whether those bugs are just getting started on Altair V, or whether
theyve turned it into Bug Central. We cant risk the Viking until
we know its safe to send it down, so make sure you scrub the place
clean.
Mission Breakdown: This mission begins with a capsule
drop of the entire Mobile Infantry
platoon to the surface of Altair V.
Unfortunately, the plasma bugs on the
surface below were not all killed by the
Trafalgars two missiles, and a fusillade
of plasma fire will arc upward from the
dust cloud below to greet the incoming
capsules.
Games Masters should
describe the sound of explosions (once
the capsules breach the atmosphere)
and the screams coming in over the
comm unit as the members of their
platoon are slaughtered. By the time
the capsules hit the surface, only the
Player Characters are left alive.

The dust cloud created by the Trafalgars attack is already


beginning to dissipate in the thin atmosphere of Altair V, but it
will remain a concern for the duration of this mission, reducing
visibility to 200 feet.
The Player Characters will have a few minutes after they touch
down to collect themselves and find each other in the dust,
which is easily accomplished. Any attempt to contact other
members of the platoon meets with static; the troopers are
alone. The troopers can communicate with the William Travis,
though the ionic interference of the Tango Cloud creates a large
amount of static. If asked, the William Travis can confirm they
are not receiving any communication from other members of
the platoon, and that all but the Player Characters are presumed
lost.
Even with their vision obscured by the haze of dust, it is easy
for the Player Characters to tell this is a drab and featureless
planet. They are on a rocky plain near the planets equator,
with the ground rising in a slight elevation toward the north.
Scattered about are the barely-recognisable corpses of plasma
bugs, almost turned to dust themselves by the last strike of the
Trafalgar. Here and there around the plasma bug corpses are
dark smudges on the rock, marking the spots where warrior
bugs and other Arachnids died in the bombardment. Bits of
newly minted glass, born of the heat the Trafalgars attack,
crunch underfoot.
Though the dust cloud and the ionic interference make it
impossible for the William Travis to perform a detailed survey
of the mission area, there is some information it has gathered.
By analysing the trajectory of the plasma fire coming from the
surface, the William Travis can inform the Player Characters

how many plasma bugs are nearby (10), as well as their


locations at the time of the capsule drop. Those locations are
marked on the mission map; the plasma bugs have not moved.
The troopers orders remain the same to recon and secure
the area.
Several hours have passed since the destruction of the SICON
ships and the bombardment of the surface, and the Arachnids
are beginning to move back into the area. Just as the Player
Characters set out toward the coordinates of the first plasma
bug, they will be attacked by a force of five warrior bugs moving
down from the northeast. Once this threat is dealt with, the
troopers may resume hunting plasma bugs.
This mission is not nearly so lethal as it may seem to the
troopers tasked with carrying it out. There are indeed ten live
plasma bugs out there they must find and kill, but these plasma
bugs are hardly the picture of health. Rather, they are the few
survivors of the Trafalgars attack, and all of them are at deaths
door. Their speed is reduced to a pathetic 5 feet (one square),
their hit points are reduced to 40 and even their damage
reduction is reduced to four, half of what it normally would
be. Moreover, as only plasma bugs survived the bombardment,
almost all of the remaining plasma bugs are unprotected. If
the troopers are clever, they will be able to dispatch each of the
plasma bugs from a distance, without ever coming under attack
from one of them.
Should the Player Characters begin to run very low on
ammunition at any point in this mission, which is a distinct
possibility considering the number of enemies, the Games
Master may take pity on them and allow them to find the
ruined remains of one or two of the downed capsules, with
the dead troopers gear still intact. Grisly as this may be, it
is likely the only serendipitous discovery of more ammunition
the troopers will make on Altair V.
The troopers will be able to deal with the seven plasma bugs
closest to the capsule drop point (those on or below the first
10 elevation) without being molested by any other Arachnids.
However, once they move on to the last plasma bugs, that
begins to change. As soon as the troopers come up to the level
area where the last three plasma bugs wait, the Games Master
should call for Perception (spot) skill checks from each of
them (DC 15). Success allows a character to notice two flying
objects at the edge of his visibility. A second Perception (spot)
skill check (also DC 15) allows the character to realise the two
objects are actually a pair of hopper bugs, hovering in the dust
and apparently content to merely watch the Player Characters.
If the hopper bugs are fired upon, they will retreat into the dust
cloud, only to return a few moments later and resume their
vigil.
The southernmost of the three remaining plasma bugs is as
unprotected as the first seven, but when the Player Characters

10

approach the two northernmost, they will discover the


Arachnids are beginning to send in reinforcements. For both of
these plasma bugs, a group of five warrior bugs will arrive from
the north just as the troopers enter firing range of the plasma
bug in question. The hopper bugs will continue to hover at the
edge of visibility and observe for the first of these two fights,
after which they will turn and fly away to the north.
There are two points on the map marked as collapsed cave
entrances. Nearly 30 feet across, these points mark where
the Arachnid warrens opened to the surface, and where the
plasma bugs the troopers spend this mission killing originally
came from. Both entrances are hopelessly collapsed now
the Arachnids could surely dig them out in short order, but
it is certainly a task beyond the abilities and resources of the
troopers.
Mission Objectives: With the destruction of the last plasma
bug, the mission is officially over. The Player Characters
receive their experience and move directly to Mission Two:
Man Down.
At this point, there are no plasma bugs in the area, and it is safe
for the Viking to land. If one or more of the Player Characters
is badly injured, they may all be evacuated to the William
Travis. If none of them are badly injured, however, they should
stay on the planets surface.

MISSION TWO: MAN DOWN


Experience Points: 200 experience points
Mission Type: Search and report, rescue, clearance
Mission Duration: Three hours
Terrain: Rocky plains
Special Equipment: GK-12 Gecko Armoured Personnel
Carrier (see below), any other successfully requisitioned
equipment.
Available Support: None
Enemies: Hopper bugs (7), warrior bugs (20)
Mission Briefing: Good news, apes. You got rid of the plasmas,
so its safe to send the Viking down. And its bringing you more
goodies than Santa has in his sleigh. Most important, its bringing
you the Gecko, which is whats going to let you recharge your suits
on that rock. We even painted it to match the ugly landscape down
there. Shes the only one we got, so take good care of her. Shes
loaded down with more weapons and more ammunition for you
too, but dont spend it all in one place we dont know when well

Missions
be able to re-supply you if more plasma bugs show, so were trying
to play it safe.
Now for the mission itself. We got more good news. Looks like
someone else survived the drop. Were picking up scattered and
intermittent signals from one of the capsules we believe it is
Sanchez about 30 miles to the northwest of your position. Best
guess is her capsule got sideswiped and blown way off course. As
I said, the signals intermittent, so we cant get a precise fix on her
location, but we can put it in the ballpark for you. When the
Gecko arrives, saddle up and go find her.

GK-12 Gecko Armoured Personnel


Carrier
Beginning with the second mission, the Player Characters have
access to the William Travis sole Gecko. So long as the vehicle
is not destroyed, it will be with them for the rest of the scenario,
and will almost certainly prove invaluable.
When delivered to the Player Characters via the Viking, the
Gecko will have all equipment the Player Characters have
successfully requisitioned aboard, as well as the following:
Bullfrog Combat Dinghy (1)
Morita TW-203-a Assault Rifle (one per trooper)
Morita TW-203-a Assault Rifle ammunition (3,000 rounds)
Brunham XW-103-S7 Shotgun (one per trooper)
Brunham XW-103-S7 Shotgun ammunition (200 rounds)
FedCom SW-402 Triple GL Grenade Launcher (1)
M-901 HE Grenades (20)
Voight & Gromann TW-221-f Tinderbox (5)
Voight & Gromann TW-221-f Tinderbox ammunition
canisters (10)
MW-5050 ammunition (4,000 rounds)
TOAD Charges (2)
M-1A4 Suit (one per trooper)
Demolitions Kit (1)
First Aid Kit (10)
Surgery Kit (4)
Electrical Toolkit (deluxe) (1)
Mechanical Toolkit (deluxe) (1)
Medical Kit (1)
Lizard Line (one per trooper)
Ammunition Bandoleer (one per
trooper)
Field Rations (50 man days)
Communications Set (2)
Spare tracks for Gecko (6)

able to recharge the M-1A4 Suit (as well as a Chickenhawk


suit, when the time comes). Recharging a suit with the Gecko
takes one-quarter the amount of time the suits power reserves
are down. Thus, if a suit has been used for two hours, it will
take 30 minutes to fully recharge. If it has been used for its full
eight hours, it will take two hours to recharge. The Gecko can
only recharge one suit at a time.
One non-standard piece of equipment aboard the Gecko is a
set of six spare tracks for the vehicle. If a track is destroyed in
combat, it can be replaced with one of these, a process requiring
20 minutes, a deluxe mechanical kit and a Repair skill check
(DC 15). The Gecko can operate at normal speed so long as it
has at least four of its tracks, and at half speed so long as it has
at least two. If reduced to one track, the Gecko cannot move.
The Games Master should be certain he deletes the equipment
aboard the Gecko from the Quartermasters list. Though the
troopers might wish for a Marauder suit or two by now, the
three Chickenhawks aboard the William Travis are not yet even
halfway through their warm-up sequence.
Mission Breakdown: Like the first mission, this one is fairly
easy, particularly now that the Player Characters have access
to the Gecko. With the Geckos speed of 200, moving across
trackless plains, it will take the Player Characters about an hour
to reach the possible location of Sanchezs capsule. Games
Masters should remember to roll for potential Arachnid
encounters during this time (see page 5).
About five miles into the journey, the pair of hopper bug
spies will return. By now, the troopers are moving out of the
increasingly thinning dust cloud, restoring visibility range to
normal. The two hopper bugs will hover about 500 feet away
from the troopers, continuing to observe them. If fired upon,
they will retreat, only to return again a few minutes later. If
pursued, they will gain altitude and continue moving away.
Now that the dust is no longer a concern, the hopper bugs can
be spotted with a Perception (spot) skill check (DC 10).

In addition to the windfall of


much-needed supplies, the
Gecko provides one service the
Player Characters desperately
need. Equipped as a mobile
command station, the Gecko is

11

After travelling for 15 miles, the troopers come under attack


by a force of ten warrior bugs moving down from the north,
apparently coming from the search zone where the troopers are
hoping to find Sanchez.
Once the Player Characters arrive at the search zone, they have
two options open to them. They may begin an exhaustive
search of the region to locate Sanchezs capsule, or they may
attempt a Computer Use skill check (DC 25) to break through
the interference and lock on to the damaged capsules signal.
Obviously, the second way is much quicker. The search zone is
a round area about four miles across, making an extensive search
an exhausting prospect. If the troopers come within half a mile
of the capsules location, they may attempt Perception (spot)
skill check rolls (DC 20) to notice it. If they come within a
quarter mile, the DC of the skill check drops to 10.
The Player Characters are not the only ones looking for the
capsule. As they approach its location, a swarm of five hopper
bugs will fly down from the north. If the troopers have decided
to start ignoring the two hopper bug spies, they may be in
for a tremendously unpleasant surprise when these five begin
attacking immediately.
When the Player Characters locate the capsule, there will be
two warrior bugs already there, picking at the wreckage. One
round later, eight more warrior bugs arrive from the north.
Whether or not Trooper Malu Sanchez is alive when the Player
Characters reach her is entirely up to the Games Master. If
one of the Player Characters has been killed and a replacement
character is needed, this is a perfect opportunity. Also, if the
Games Master believes the Player Characters may need a little
extra help, she would make a worthy addition as a Non-Player
Character, presumably specialised in whatever the Player
Characters themselves may be lacking. Of course, if the Games
Master believes neither of these are necessary, he may simply
say that Sanchez is already dead, killed during the descent or
by the two warrior bugs who beat the Player Characters to the
capsule.
Mission Objectives: Locating Sanchezs capsule is worth the
full 200 experience point reward for this mission. If the Player
Characters rescue Sanchez herself, the Games Master may wish
to award an additional 50 experience points.

MISSION THREE: NORTH PASSAGE


Experience Points: 1,000 experience points
Mission Type: Search and report
Mission Duration: 12 hours

12

Terrain: Rocky hills


Special Equipment: Remaining equipment from previous
missions; any newly requisitioned equipment which could be
delivered.
Available Support: None
Enemies: Hopper bugs (10), tanker bugs (3), warrior bugs (?),
worker bugs (112)
Mission Briefing: We got some interesting news for you, apes.
Between the coordination of the plasma bugs and the pair of
hoppers that have been dogging you, the consensus up here is that
theres a brain bug on the planet maybe more than one. The bad
news is that, according to everything weve got on bug colonies, you
havent even scratched the surface down there. Best guess is theres a
population of a million or more bugs squirming around under your
feet. Just means more targets for you.
If they do have a brain down there, it means theyre definitely
up to something. We want to know what that is. Every mobile
bug youve seen so far has come down from the north, so thats the
direction youre going. To your north is a low range of hills, backing
up to some small mountains. Were reading multiple cave openings
in the area. Theres nothing like it to the south, so that must be
where the plasmas came from. Head up there and see what you can
find, following the path were uploading to your map. Remember,
this is a sneak and peek, not a stand-up fight. Dont let them box
you in. Keep reporting in and well update your mission as needed.
Good luck.
Mission Breakdown: This mission, which takes place a full
Altair V day after Man Down, is intended as a reconnaissance
assignment.
Throughout the course of this extended mission, the Player
Characters are likely to come close to a great many Arachnids.
If they try to fight them all, they will probably be overwhelmed,
and in any event will be expending precious ammunition
unnecessarily.
Though sneaking about in a Gecko may seem counterintuitive,
it is actually much easier than it sounds. The thin air of Altair
V does not carry sound well, meaning that any Arachnid more
than 200 yards away will not be able to hear the Gecko as it
travels (the sound of the twin 5050s firing, on the other hand,
easily carries for half a mile). Additionally, with the Gecko
painted to match the landscape, it imposes a 5 penalty on any
Perception checks to see it.
Locations A, B, C and D are all in the low hills leading up to
the mountains. Worn smooth after years of being buffeted by
the wind, these hills pose no particular challenge to the Gecko.
Locations E, F and G, on the other hand, are in the mountains.

Missions

While the path laid out for the troopers takes them through the
easiest terrain, it is still a challenge. The Gecko is reduced to
one-quarter speed while navigating these areas.
Location A
This location is devoid of Arachnid activity. Close inspection
of the area reveals nothing aside from a shallow, wide-mouthed
cave, apparently dug out of the hillside by wind erosion.
Location B
This location is a shallow, bowl shaped valley in the hills.
Within the bowl are 60 worker bugs, busily digging multiple
niches in the sides of the hills. Though there is no way for
the Player Characters to know this with any certainty, the
niches are designed to contain plasma bugs, essentially acting
as foxholes for the enormous Arachnids. No other openings
are apparent. Obviously, the worker bugs will not attack, but
unwise and trigger-happy troopers might waste a great deal of
precious ammunition slaughtering them.
Location C
This location is the first real battle of this mission. As the
troopers approach within 200 yards of the cave, the Arachnids
in the ground beneath sense the Gecko rumbling overhead.
The ground erupts 50 feet to the right of the Gecko as eight
warrior bugs spill out of the tunnels to attack. Five rounds
later, another six warrior bugs emerge, followed seven rounds
later by a tanker bug breaching the surface 50 feet to the left of
the Gecko. Once this battle is over, the Player Characters have
a few minutes of peace to investigate the area. The emergence
of the Arachnids from underground effectively collapsed the
tunnels around them, leaving the troopers with no means
of exploring past the rubble-strewn holes left behind. If the
troopers insist on lingering in the site, another 2d6 warrior
bugs will arrive ten minutes after the fight, with another 2d6
arriving every five minutes thereafter.
Location D
This location may once have been an opening into an Arachnid
warren, but it certainly is not one now. A trail of rocks spills out

of the opening of the 20foot-wide tunnel, choking


it completely. When the
troopers report this in,
they are ordered to get out
of the Gecko and take a
closer look. A successful
Perception (search) skill
check (DC 18) reveals that
this tunnel was not blocked
by a random landslide or
collapse. Instead, it seems
massive chunks of stone
were deliberately placed
to close it off. There is
nothing more the troopers can do here without commencing
excavation operations, so they are ordered back into the Gecko
to resume the journey.
This is also the location where the two hopper bug spies show
up again to resume their observation of the Player Characters.
Location E
See Mission 3E: Back Door below.
Location F
See Mission 3F: Peeping Toms below.
Location G
See Mission 3G: Underground below.

MISSION 3E: BACK DOOR


Mission Briefing: Careful coming up on this next site, apes.
Its the biggest bug hole weve located so far on this planet, and the
welcome might be more than you can handle. Dont let them pull
you into a straight-up fight. If it gets bad, beat feet through the
canyon to the north. You might want to prep some TOADs to blow
the canyon walls if the bugs get too friendly.
Mission Breakdown: After several sites containing light
resistance, if any, the troopers may be feeling overconfident
by the time they arrive at this location. All that is about to
change.
The tunnel entrance the troopers are tasked with investigating
lies about 75 yards off the path laid out for them in the mission
briefing. The path approaches the tunnel from the west, then
abruptly veers due north through a narrow valley, closed in on
either side with nearly vertical cliffs towering 100 yards into
the air. The sides of the cliffs are ragged and crumbling, while
the ground between them is composed primarily of fist-sized
stones.

13

If the avalanche is successfully triggered, the


warrior bugs will give up their pursuit. The
two hopper bugs, however, will remain with
the troopers.

MISSION 3F: PEEPING


TOMS

As the troopers approach, there is no sign of life in the tunnel


itself. However, there are Arachnids waiting inside. When the
Gecko comes within 50 yards of the cave entrance, or veers
north to follow the path (heading away from the cave), the
Arachnids inside will strike. In the first round, eight warrior
bugs will come boiling out of the tunnel. Two rounds later,
another four will follow, with four more coming every two
rounds afterward. If the troopers try to fight it out, they will
be quickly overrun. Moving through this terrain, however, the
Geckos speed is reduced to 50, meaning the vehicle cannot
outrun the Arachnids now pursuing it.
Fortunately, there is a way out of this predicament. A single
TOAD charge placed on either cliff will be enough to cause a
landslide 50 yards in either direction, as will a M-998A1 PeeWee Missile fired into either cliff. Alternatively, each M-901
HE grenade fired into the cliff has a 20% chance to trigger a
landslide extending 25 yards in either direction. If the troopers
try to simply outrun the warriors, the Games Master may wish
to have their commanding officer order them to plant a TOAD
charge.
Planting a TOAD charge in the crumbling cliff takes only
one minute, as there are multiple apparent flaws in the stones
integrity. The cliff is, in fact, so unstable that placing a TOAD
device in it allows the character to take 10 with his Demolitions
skill check. However, setting
the detonator to go off at the
correct time (crushing the
maximum number of pursuing
warrior bugs), rather than
too early (merely creating a
roadblock for the Arachnids)
or too late (allowing more than
five warrior bugs to make it
through the avalanche zone
after the explosives are set)
requires a Demolitions skill
check (DC 18).

14

Mission Briefing: Nice work on that canyon.


The warriors might be able to climb over it, but
Ill be damned if any of them survived having
a mountain fall on them. Now, I think those
two hoppers youve got on your tail have seen quite enough of your
pretty faces. They may be hanging back out of range of the Geckos
5050s, but that doesnt mean you have to let it stay that way.
Coming up just before Site F is a hairpin curve in the valley youre
moving through. After you go around the turn, I want at least two
of you to detail off, get out of the Gecko and set up a friendly little
ambush for our peeping toms. Have the Gecko continue ahead,
and when the hoppers come around the corner, blast em.
Mission Breakdown: Sometimes, splitting forces can be an
effective tactical tool. Other times, it becomes a liability. This
mission encompasses both of these.
The hopper bugs tailing the troopers have steadfastly remained
at least 500 feet away from the Gecko at all times, which is
exactly what the mission briefing is counting on. Which
troopers get out to set up the ambush is left entirely to the
Player Characters, unless the Games Master wishes to choose
which troopers are ordered out.
Once the Gecko has moved more than 500 feet past the bend
in the canyon, the two hopper bugs will fly around the corner.
They are only flying about 40 feet off the ground, which should
put them in easy range for the ambushing troopers. Because
of the geography of the canyon, the hopper bugs cannot use
their Deadly Pass (see the Starship Troopers Roleplaying Game

Missions
core rulebook) or Lethal Pass ability (see The Arachnid Empire)
while inside of it, unless they fly far enough past the ambushing
troopers to put themselves in range of the Geckos guns.

How this mission begins depends in large part upon whether


or not the Gecko is still operational. Ambush at Altair assumes
it is.

Unfortunately for the troopers, their presence in this part of the


valley has not gone unnoticed. The same round in which the
pair of hopper bugs come around the corner into the ambush,
another eight hopper bugs come from the northwest, swarming
over the top of the cliff toward the Gecko. The troopers in
the Gecko have two rounds to respond before the hopper bugs
arrive.

As the Gecko enters the depression, the ground beneath


it begins to give way as the Arachnid tunnels just under the
surface start to collapse. If the driver can make a Drive skill
check (DC 30), he will be able to get the Gecko free of the
crumbling area. Otherwise, the Gecko and all its passengers
go down the hole. This is not a straight fall. The ground gives
way in stages, dropping the Gecko 25 feet to the floor of the
tunnel below in a jarring, but ultimately harmless landing.

Three rounds later, warrior bugs begin to boil out of the cave
entrance ahead of the Gecko, though it will take them five
rounds to reach the troopers. The warrior bugs emerge from
the cave at the rate of four every two rounds for ten rounds.
After those 20 warriors have emerged, the troopers will have
five minutes of grace before another group of 20 warriors begins
to come out.
Ten rounds after the first warrior bugs emerge from the cave,
a tanker bug breaches the surface on the western side of the
valley, just out of range of the Gecko. Five rounds later, a
second tanker bug comes out on the eastern side.
In the midst of this ferocious battle, the troopers who staged
the ambush on the two hopper bugs must somehow make their
way back to their companions. Even when the fighting is over,
the Arachnids are not willing to give up. The Player Characters
will need to put at least a mile of distance between themselves
and the cave before they can take the time to repair any damage
done to the Gecko (which hopefully survived the battle).

MISSION 3G: UNDERGROUND


Mission Briefing: I know that was a rough one, apes, but you
arent through it yet. Youre on the downhill side of the mountains
now, though, with only one more spot to check out. Stay alert and
stay frosty. We havent logged any bug activity around this last site,
but theres no telling whether or
not theyre hiding out under the
surface.

As the dust begins to clear, the troopers find themselves in


a section of Arachnid tunnel that, for now, is mercifully
uninhabited by Arachnids.
Just a few dozen yards to the west of where the Gecko fell
through the surface is the access to the cave mouth in the
hillside above. However, that access is a vertical shaft some 30
feet deep easy for the troopers to escape through with their
lizard lines, but impossible for the Gecko to reach.
Assuming the troopers report in to the William Travis as
ordered, they receive the following communication:
Hell of a way to knock on the front door, apes. My hats off to
you. You say you cant get the Gecko back out? I believe we have a
solution for that. Weve got a reading on another cave about half a
mile east of your current position. You should be able to take those
tunnels straight to it. Now, as long as youre down there, Id like
you to take a look around. We cant afford to lose the Gecko if we
dont have to, so dont be too bashful about using your ammo to
bring a hurt to anything you meet up with down there. We may
lose comms when youre in the tunnels, but stick to the mission.
Stay cool, stay focused, and well see you on the other side.
If the troopers managed to pull the Gecko back from the cavein before the vehicle was dumped into the tunnels below, they
will still be assigned to explore the caves. In this case, obviously,

Mission Breakdown: By the


time the troopers reach this
site, they will be coming down
out of the mountain range
into the foothills. The cave
entrance they are to investigate
is a massive hole in the side of
a cave, opening into a wide,
bowl-shaped depression some
200 yards across. There is no
sign of movement outside.

15

they will have to leave the Gecko behind and come back for it.
When they do, they will find four warrior bugs poking at it
experimentally.
If the troopers Gecko has already been destroyed and they
reached this area on foot, they will still be assigned to enter the
caves and investigate. In this case, there will be no cave-in, and
they will have to descend through the cave mouth with their
lizard lines.
In either of these cases, the Games Master may consider reducing
the number of Arachnids encountered inside. Considering
the tight quarters, troopers without the benefit of the Geckos
weaponry may be overwhelmed.
The tunnels in this Arachnid nest vary between 15 and 25 feet
wide, enough for the Gecko to pass through easily enough,
though the troopers must find an intersection if they wish to
turn around. The tunnels are all about 15 feet tall. When
running encounters within these tunnels, the Games Master
should remember that many Arachnids can travel on walls or
ceilings nearly as well as they can on level ground, and will not
hesitate to use this ability when attacking the troopers.
The Gecko itself would make an effective weapon in here, if the
Player Characters choose to use it to ram oncoming Arachnids.
However, that tactic would not stand up for long before the
Gecko itself was destroyed by the damage of the impacts (see
the Starship Troopers Roleplaying Game core rulebook).
When running encounters within the caves, the Games Master
should play things a little loosely. The Arachnids listed in
the encounter areas below will not sit quietly waiting for the
arrival of the Player Characters (except for those in Location
4). Instead (with the exception of the worker bugs) they will
seek the troopers out. Depending upon how long the troopers
spend in the tunnels, and what they do while they are in there,
they might find all the Arachnids coming to them.
Location 1
Only a minute or so after the troopers and the Gecko fall
through from the surface, probably just a moment after the
incoming orders arrive, the first Arachnids show up to greet
the troopers. Emerging from the tunnels just north of this
position, a wave of eight warrior bugs comes to attack the
intruders. Four rounds later, another group of seven warrior
bugs arrives from the south (Location 2).
Location 2
This large chamber was, until the Player Characters arrived in
the warren, filled with 12 warrior and 12 worker bugs. Ten
rounds after the wave of seven warrior bugs arrives at Location
1, five of the warriors from this room will move to Location 1.
Four rounds later, six more will arrive. The 12 worker bugs, on
the other hand, will make their way toward Location 3.

16

Location 3
The tunnels near this location continue on in the direction of
Site F (near the Peeping Toms mission). Currently, they are
being used by more Arachnids coming to combat the intruding
humans. Fortunately for the troopers, the Arachnids in this
stretch of tunnel are rather spread out, and it will take some
time before they can arrive in overwhelming force. The first
group of Arachnids to arrive consists of 11 warrior bugs. A
minute and a half (15 rounds) later, another group 14 warrior
bugs and a tanker bug arrive. This location should only be used
if the troopers actually come in this direction first, rather than
travelling east as they were instructed. Otherwise, the Games
Master should have the Arachnids come up from behind the
troopers as they investigate the tunnels.
Location 4
The troopers first hint that something is unusual here will
likely come from the realisation that the Arachnids inside this
cavern have not come in search of them. Instead, they seem to
be guarding the contents of this cave. This cavern is perhaps
the most important point in Ambush at Altair, as the discovery
to be made within is the linchpin of the rest of the scenario.
Inside this immense cavern are hundreds of round stones, each
about a yard wide and with a surface that is nearly as smooth
as an egg except for a single hole bored into the side that
reveals the centre as hollow. The stones are arranged in fairly
neat piles.
The stones are not actually stones at all. Instead, they are secreted
organic matter, organic matter that forms the backbone of an
Arachnid spore packet. These stones are being prepared for
launch at the nearby human colony at Tango Urilla, awaiting
only the insertion of the Arachnid eggs before the attack begins.
Of course, there is no way for the troopers to know all this yet,
though they should certainly suspect something is very odd
about these stones. If they do not try to acquire one on their
own, the Games Master should feel free to drop hints about the
potential value of these items to SICON.
Guarding and tending to the future spore packets are ten warrior
bugs and ten worker bugs. Once the Player Characters enter
this cave, all the Arachnids (even the workers) will attack.
Location 5
Both locations marked 5 indicate an abyss that falls away into
the earth below. These deep pits (too deep for a lizard line)
connect these caves to the larger Arachnid warrens below. They
also offer a nearly endless source of enemies for the troopers.
Ten minutes after the troopers fall through from the surface,
warrior bugs will begin emerging from these pits at the rate of
two every three rounds, continuing until the Player Characters
flee the area.

Missions
Location 6
This tunnel narrows at these locations to only five feet wide,
much too small for the Gecko to pass.
Location 7
This location marks the cave leading out of the Arachnid
warren, back to the comparative safety of the surface. The
troopers will be pursued by any remaining Arachnids, but with
the increasingly level ground, the Gecko will be able to outrun
them.
Mission Objectives: The North Passage mission is a long and
gruelling haul for the troopers and, fortunately for them, by
the time they reach the end point of the mission, they will be
far from any plasma bugs and can be returned to the William
Travis by the Viking.
Simply surviving this ordeal is worth the entire 1,000
experience point award. If the Gecko is still operational at
the end, the Games Master should award an additional 100
experience points. If the troopers had the presence of mind to
take one of the spore packets from the Underground mission,
the Games Master should award an additional 100 points to
every character, and 200 points to the one who first mentioned
retrieving the packet. If the characters had to be coaxed into
collecting a spore packet on the other hand, they should receive
no additional experience. If the troopers were wise enough not
to waste ammunition slaughtering worker bugs, the Games
Master should grant an additional 50 experience points.

MISSION 4: HEPHAESTUS STATION


Experience Points: 400 experience points
Mission Type: Keep and hold
Mission Duration: 90 minutes
Terrain: Installation, lava plains

new intel from it. Were still scratching our heads over that round
rock you brought back, but we have a few ideas. Lets just say I hope
were wrong. In the meantime, I have something of a surprise for
you. Turns out you werent the only humans on that rock. Theres
a research station not too far from where we picked you up last
time. We had assumed it was abandoned, but it turns out we were
wrong. I dont know why the bugs have been ignoring it, but youve
stirred them up pretty good, and theyre not ignoring it anymore.
About half an hour ago, a few warriors showed up to poke around
the walls, then retreated. Now, it looks like theyre coming back.
Were not willing to give up our last toehold on that rock, not until
we know what the bugs are doing, so youre going back down to
defend that station. The Viking will take you in, along with your
new gear, and pull out all the nonessential personnel from the base.
There will be a few of them staying behind, like Dr Yolanda Grier
and Dr Samson Ybarra, the two high foreheads running things
there but dont let them forget youll be the ones in charge now.
Now, you do have a few aces up your sleeve on this. Hephaestus
Station is a volcanic research facility, and its sitting on top of a lava
plain. About 20 feet underneath it is a sea of lava, so you dont
have to worry about bugs digging up from under you the heat
would fry them. Its also built out of some high-grade composite to
survive a brush with molten rock, so the bugs will have a hard time
coming through the walls at you. Plus, Im giving you the Scythe
lasers we got on board for this. Now, have fun.
Mission Breakdown: This mission takes place three Altair V
days after the last one. If the Gecko managed to survive the
previous missions, it will be repaired and dropped off with the
Player Characters. All equipment that came with the Gecko
when it was first dispatched will be replenished (if possible
for example, there simply is no more MW-5050 ammunition).
The Player Characters also have the opportunity to requisition
new equipment. Even if the Gecko is destroyed, the equipment
will still be replenished and dropped off in crates along with the
troopers (see the MAC Hauler on page 4). If the troopers do
not already have these items, they will also be given a FedCom
SW-404 Javelin missile launcher and three M-998A1 PeeWee missiles.

Special Equipment: 2 MWX29 Scythe lasers


Available Support: None
Enemies: Hopper bugs (12),
rippler bugs (3), warrior bugs
(100)
Mission Briefing: Good work
in the North Passage mission,
apes. I know it was no cakewalk,
but you handled it like you
should, and we have plenty of

17

The MAC Hauler


Hephaestus Station has a single MAC Hauler in its vehicle bay,
which the troopers are well within their rights to commandeer.
Considering its purpose on this planet, which often involves
going through exceptionally rough terrain, the MAC Hauler
has been upgraded with additional armour, raising its Damage
Reduction as follows: chassis 12, crew 8, wheels (6) 4.
If the Gecko has been lost, the MAC Hauler can be used as a
replacement vehicle. Mounting a weapon on the MAC Hauler
takes one hour and a Repair skill check (DC 15). Additionally,
the hauler can be modified to allow the troopers to recharge their
suits from its power supply, though the vehicle is not designed
for this and any such recharging will be far less efficient than
was the case with the Gecko. Recharging a suit from the MAC
Hauler requires one hour for every hour that has been drained
from the suits power supply. Thus, if a trooper used a suit for
three hours, it would take three hours hooked up to the hauler
to restore the suit to full power.
There are eight spare wheels in inventory at Hephaestus. The
hauler can operate normally with as few as four wheels intact,
and can operate at half speed with three wheels intact. If
reduced to two wheels, the hauler is immobile.
It is possible for the troopers to upgrade the MAC Haulers
engine, providing the vehicle with enough speed to give it a
chance against the Arachnids. Doing so requires eight hours
of work, a deluxe mechanical kit, a deluxe electrical kit and a
Repair skill check with a base DC of 15. A successful skill check
against DC 15 will increase the vehicles speed to 70. More
impressive skill checks result in more speed from the engine.
For every full increment of five over the base DC, the haulers
speed is increased by 10. Thus, beating a DC 20 increases the
speed to 80, while beating a DC of 25 increases the speed to 90.
The haulers speed cannot be increased past 120.
Once the Player Characters arrive at Hephaestus Station,
they will have to move quickly to prepare for the Arachnids
impending arrival. The station has an internal power supply,
generated by a combination of solar and geothermal energy,
which is suitable for powering the two MW-X29 Scythe lasers
that have been assigned for this mission. There are four spots
on the roof of the research station where the power supply can
be accessed, making them the best points to deploy the lasers.
Setting up a Scythe and rigging it into the stations power supply
takes 20 minutes and a Repair skill check (DC 15).

Hephaestus Station Power


The troopers will likely have two uses for the power supply of
Hephaestus Station. First, it can be used to power the Scythe
lasers. Second, it can be used to recharge power suits. Of
course, as with all things in Ambush at Altair, it is not infinite.

18

The stations power supply remains more or less fully charged


during normal operation. When extra drain, such as firing
lasers or recharging suits, is put upon it, it begins to run out
of juice rather quickly. Fully charged, the power supply can
provide energy to fire the Scythe lasers 500 times, or recharge
50 hours worth of power suit operating time. Thus, firing a
Scythe 100 times leaves the power supply with only 40 hours of
suit operating time left in it, while recharging 10 hours worth
of suit time leaves only enough energy to fire the Scythe 400
times.
The power supply will recharge itself automatically, but it takes
two full Altair V days to do so. Note that the power supply
will automatically shut off such external functions in favour of
keeping the base operational.
After the nonessential personnel are evacuated by the Viking,
there will be seven people still in the station, not including the
Player Characters. There is also one unwelcome guest. Dr
Samson Ybarra, one of the two lead scientists of the facility,
is currently under the thrall of a control bug. The seven
remaining humans are all 2nd level civilian scientists, manifestly
ill-equipped to defend themselves against the oncoming
Arachnids. While not completely unarmed (they do have four
Morita TW-201-s rifles and 120 rounds of ammunition), they
are hardly up to fighting a warrior bug.
Fifty minutes after the troopers arrive at Hephaestus Station,
the battle will begin. A force of warrior bugs is the first to
appear, moving up from the southwest. The first enemies to
arrive, however, will be a flight of six hopper bugs coming from
the northwest, followed one round later by six more. They
will attack and fly back out again the way they came to make
another attempt at using their Deadly Pass ability. On the third
round of combat with the hopper bugs, a flight of three rippler
bugs swoops in from the south east, potentially striking the
troopers before they even notice the rippler bugs approach.
Ten rounds after the first attack of the hopper bugs, the first
warriors will reach the 25-foot walls. As mentioned in the
briefing, the walls of Hephaestus Station are exceptionally
tough, making it difficult for Arachnids to dig through.
Instead, they will simply climb the walls to attack the troopers
before using the three roof access points to enter the facility.
A warrior bug can break through any of the roof hatches with
only two rounds of effort. The warrior bugs arrive in waves of
ten every ten rounds, but once they are defeated, there is no
sign of any more Arachnids.
From this point on, Hephaestus Station is a safe haven for the
Player Characters. It will come under attack again in later
missions, but will never be the target of purely random attacks.
They may pass the time between missions peacefully here.

Missions
Mission Objectives: So long as the Arachnids are repelled, the
mission is considered a success. However, the troopers might
be penalised if they allow the Arachnids to get past them, break
into the facility and start killing civilians. The Games Master
should deduct 25 experience points from the total for every
civilian killed. Note that Dr Samson Ybarra will not be killed,
as he is currently hosting a control bug.

MISSION 5: ANTHILL
Experience Points: 300 experience points
Mission Type: Assault
Mission Duration: Four hours

taking the eggs up. Id give my meat arm for a good Senser right
about now, but we all got our crosses to bear.
What I want you to do is pretty simple this time out. Theres a
likely bug hole about 40 miles out from the station. Go over there
and give them my regards. Youre authorised to use a Pee-Wee if
necessary.
Mission Breakdown: As the man said, this mission is pretty
simple: create a diversion. The troopers must pass between two
large fields of magma geysers (though with about 10 miles of
clearance, this should be easy for them) to reach the targeted
nest. For the first 30 miles of the journey, whether it is by
Gecko or MAC Hauler, the troopers have a peaceful ride. Ten
miles out from the target, they encounter their first resistance
in the form of a flight of six hopper bugs striking the troopers
at full speed.

Terrain: Lava plains, rocky hills


Special Equipment: None
Available Support: None
Enemies: Hopper bugs (14), rippler bugs (5), tanker bugs (2),
warrior bugs (?)

As the troopers approach within half a mile of the target


location, another flight of eight hopper bugs swoops in to attack
from behind. Four rounds later, the first wave of ten warrior
bugs comes into view to the south, charging the troopers. Five
rounds after the first wave, a second wave of ten charges up
from the south.

Mission Briefing: All right, you apes, I hope you like the food at
Hephaestus Station, because its your home for a while. I got some
bad news for you. Seems that rock you brought back from the bug
hole was actually a bug spore meteor. The bugs put their eggs in
these things and blast them to nearby planets to start a new colony.
Considering how many there were in just that one location, and
what little we know about bug eggs, it looks like theyre planning to
replace us on Tango Urilla with a few million bugs.

Once the troopers approach within 600 feet of the target


location, the resistance stiffens. Lurking underground nearby
is a pair of tanker bugs, who will emerge from the ground 100
feet to either side of the troopers. Two rounds after the tanker
bugs attack, the first wave of warrior bugs charges from the cave
entrance. Every three rounds afterward, five more warrior bugs
will emerge and attack. Only by collapsing the cave entrance
(whether with a Pee-Wee, TOAD charge or other means) can
the troopers stop the constant stream of enemies.

Theres more. If were right, that means its not just a brain bug
down there running the show, it means theres a queen. No ones
ever seen one of them before, and odds are we wont now. Shell
be buried so deep in those tunnels it would take an army to reach
her. So, if we cant get to her and take care of things directly, weve
got to do something else to keep them from firing those spores into
our colony until Fleet shows up and glasses the planet. Thats your
next job.

The Arachnids are not done with them, however. Though the
troopers may have slain the defenders and destroyed the bug
hole, other Arachnids are inbound. The first wave of attackers
hits when the Player Characters are withdrawing from the site
of the battle. Swooping in from the north is a flight of five
rippler bugs, flying low to make a Deadly Pass at the troopers.
Once these foes are dealt with, the troopers only have a few
minutes to collect themselves before the first wave of warriors

Your other job is more fun. We want some


eggs. The big brains at SICON have a few
theories about bug eggs, but the bugs dont
share real well, and SICON hasnt gotten
the quality samples they want. Youre going
to fix that problem. The queen may be
buried deep, but they got to bring the eggs to
the surface if they want to load em and fire
em. While youre out stirring up trouble,
were going to take all the readings we can,
see if we can find the path the Arachnids are

19

comes into view. Attacking from the northwest are two waves
of warrior bugs 10 in the first wave, 15 in the second wave
that arrives one minute after the first. Once these foes are dealt
with, the troopers can return to Hephaestus Station in peace.
Mission Objectives: The only real goal of the troopers in this
mission is to stir up trouble. So long as they do so and return
alive, they are eligible for the entire experience point reward.

MISSION 6: PRE-EMPTION
Experience Points: 300 experience points
Mission Type: Interception
Mission Duration: Two hours
Terrain: Lava plains, rocky hills
Special Equipment: None
Available Support: None
Enemies: Hopper bugs (17), plasma bugs (4), warrior bugs (?)
Mission Briefing: I know youve been wanting to hunt some big
game, apes. Well, heres your chance. Were tracking four plasma
bugs and their little warrior bodyguards that just came out of a
hole 35 miles northwest of your position. I want you to go over
there and kill them.
They had to make the surface because the area theyre about to
cross is just a thin sheet of rock over a river of lava just like the
lake of lava Hephaestus is sitting on top of, only hotter, if you can
believe that. Theyve got about two miles to go to get to the hole we
think theyre heading for. Now, I know youre thinking about how
many bullets those things take to put down, but we got a plan for
you. I got a would-be engineer up here who thinks if you plant a
TOAD charge in the ground in the plasmas path, you can set it off
while theyre waddling over it and give them and the warriors a

nice warm bath in the lava thatll spew up from below. Your map
should show the approximate area you need to set the charge in.
Sounds good to me but take enough bullets to do the job the oldfashioned way if it comes down to it. Dont use a Pee-Wee unless
theres no other choice.
Those plasmas move slow, but you got some ground to cover to get
to them, and I wont be happy if they make it underground before
you show up to throw them a party. So saddle up.
Mission Breakdown: This mission begins with a long trek
across the lava plains toward a cleft in the mountain range to the
northwest. After 25 miles of travel, the Player Characters will
come under attack by a flight of seven hopper bugs swooping
in from the east.
Games Masters should keep in mind a general idea of how
fast the troopers are travelling, compared to the speed of the
four plasma bugs that are their primary target in this mission.
Chances are excellent the troopers will arrive at where they
need to be in time to stop the plasma bugs, as it will take the
enormous Arachnids two hours to cross the distance between
where they emerged from the ground and where they will
descend again into the tunnel network. If the troopers are too
slow and too cautious, however, they may arrive at the site only
to find they have failed the mission.
The troopers have a general idea of where the TOAD charge
should be set, but it will take some time to find the perfect spot.
The troopers will require 20 minutes to locate the optimal
site for the explosive, which can be reduced to ten minutes
with a successful Knowledge (physical sciences) skill check
(DC 15). Actually setting the explosive correctly requires a
Demolitions skill check (DC 25). If the check is less than this,
the oncoming plasma bugs and their warrior vanguard will not
be killed (though the Games Master may wish to wound them
reducing the hit points of each Arachnid in the group by
half ).
Naturally, the troopers will have some unwelcome visitors to
deal with in the meantime.
One minute after the troopers
arrive at the detonation area,
they will come under attack
by two waves of hopper bugs,
five in each wave, with the
second appearing five rounds
after the first. Games Masters
should note that this region has
some intense thermal vents,
creating very sudden updrafts
that prevent the hopper bugs
moving more than 120 feet in
a round, and likewise prevent

20

Missions
Mission Briefing: Looks like you made
an impression, apes. Weve got long-range
tracking on a whole world of bugs coming
down on Hephaestus Station. Got to love
those lava plains keep the bugs from
burrowing and theyre easy to spot. We need
to hold on to that base, so get those Scythes
mounted up and get ready for a storm.

them from using their Deadly Pass ability. After five minutes in
the detonation area, a group of six warrior bugs will come into
view to the southwest, having emerged from the cave there. A
minute later, another six warrior bugs come into view.
For every minute after ten the Player Characters spend in the
area (before the explosion), the Games Master should roll 1d3.
On a result of one, 2d4 warrior bugs emerge from the nearby
cave and attack. After the explosion, the Arachnids become
even more unpleasant. Warrior bugs begin to swarm from the
cave at the rate of 1d6 every three rounds. They will pursue
the troopers for up to a mile before suddenly giving up and
retreating back to their warrens.
Mission Objectives: If all the plasma bugs are destroyed,
the troopers are entitled to the full experience award. If they
managed to kill the plasma bugs using a TOAD charge (or
other explosive) in the manner prescribed, they should each be
given an additional 50 experience points, except for the trooper
who laid the charge, who gains 100 instead.

MISSION 7: WOLF IN THE FOLD


Experience Points: 450 experience points
Mission Type: Keep and hold

Mission Breakdown: The troopers are


likely to start this mission thinking it
will be a replay of the original assault on
Hephaestus Station. They are very wrong.
It does, however, begin normally enough. Half an hour after
they receive their briefing, troopers will see a flight of five
hopper bugs sailing in from the northwest to start the fighting.
Two rounds later, a group of 11 cliff mites swarms up the walls
at the northwest corner of the station, and troopers on lookout
will spot a large number of warrior bugs moving up from the
southwest.
Six of the cliff mites race straight for the Player Characters,
while the remaining five head for the southernmost roof access
hatch and begin trying to chew through it. It will take the five
cliff mites five combat rounds to make it through the hatch.
For every mite killed, the Games Master should add one round
to the time needed.
When the first wave of 15 warrior bugs approaching from the
southwest is two rounds away from reaching the facility, the
Player Characters should (Perception skill check DC 10) notice
another group of 10 warrior bugs approaching from the east.
They will reach the station in five rounds. There is no way
for the troopers to know this at present, but a number of the
warrior bugs are serving as transports for control bugs, meant
for the humans inside Hephaestus Station.
At this point, things turn bad. A sudden crackle of static in
their ears announces to the troopers that they are receiving an

Mission Duration: One hour


Terrain: Lava plains
Special Equipment: None
Available Support: None
Enemies: Cliff mites (13), control
bugs (one for every human),
hopper bugs (10), warrior bugs
(80)

21

incoming message from the William Travis, which the Games


Master should read to the players:
Troopers! One of the civilians we took off that rock just tried to
detonate our power core! He had a control bug on him check
each other, check the civilians! Check the power core; check the bay
doors. Make sure youre not dealing with another!
Of course, the troopers are dealing with another control bug,
holding Dr Samson Ybarra in thrall. Probably the best course
of action is for the troopers to detail off one Player Character
to go down into the facility and inspect the civilians, but time
is short. Fifteen rounds after the Player Characters receive the
warning from the William Travis, Dr Ybarra will open the bay
doors from Location 17, letting the warrior bugs and control
bugs into the facility.
At this point, the Games Master will need to use the map of the
interior of Hephaestus Station. The locations marked on the
map are as follows:
Location 1
Vehicle bay. This bay contains the MAC Hauler when not in
use, as well as the stations mechanical tools and large spare
parts. It is outside the stations airlock system, meaning the air
within is the same as the atmosphere of Altair V. The ceiling
has a roof access point.
Location 2
Storage bay. This bay contains a variety of large items that need
not be protected by the stations airlocks.
Location 3
Dormitories. These spartan rooms serve as
dwelling space for the staff of the station (except
Dr Grier and Dr Ybarra, who have their own
rooms). The easternmost dormitory has a roof
access point.
Location 4
Dr Griers Quarters.
Location 5
Dr Ybarras Quarters.
Location 6
Dr Ybarras office.
Location 7
Dr Griers office.
Location 8
Infirmary and general storage.

22

Location 9
Volcanic sample storage. Rock and magma samples collected
by the scientists are stored here.
Location 10
Kitchen.
Location 11
Food storage.
Location 12
Mess hall.
Location 13
Common area.
Location 14
Air and water purification and conditioning equipment.
Location 15
Main research area. The majority of the stations work takes
place in this room.
Location 16
Containment core. This area is actually a pit through the
thin crust of the plains to the lava beneath. A powerful set
of magnetic fields keeps the pressurised lava from creating a
volcano inside the facility and prevents the temperature of the
lava beneath from turning Hephaestus Station into an oven.
The scientists use this well and a collection basket to gather

Missions
materials for experimentation, or to perform tests on other
materials by placing them in the heat below.
Location 17
Power core. Hephaestus Station is powered by solar and
geothermal energy, gathered together in this power core. The
room also contains secondary switches for most of the facilitys
functions, from opening the bay doors to regulating the
operation of the air and water purification and conditioning
equipment. It is in this room that the Player Characters must
recharge their suits assuming they use the stations power to
do so.
Location 18
Toilets.
Location 19
Showers.
By now, the Player Characters should know their way around
the facility fairly well. The problem, of course, will be finding
out Dr Ybarra is the thrall and stopping him before he can
open the bay doors and the adjoining airlock. At the time the
Player Characters receive their warning about a control bug,
Dr Ybarra has already slipped away from the other civilians
gathered in Location 13 and is in Location 17, donning one
of the troopers spare power suits. While he does not know
how to use it (he will suffer appropriate penalties see the
Starship Troopers Roleplaying Game core rulebook), it will offer
him protection against both attack and the toxic atmosphere of
Altair V when he opens the airlock to admit the warrior bugs
and control bugs. If the troopers did not leave any power suits
laying around, he will use one of the basic environmental suits
(no armour protection). Ten of these hang in each airlock.

A second flight of five hopper bugs from the northwest arrives


five rounds after the second wave of warrior bugs comes up
from the southwest.
If the Arachnids manage to breach the facility, the troopers are
in for a nasty fight. Instead of merely slaughtering everyone
they find, however, the Arachnids will attempt to grapple and
pin their enemies, allowing a control bug to place the character
in thrall.
Mission Objectives: The main objective of this mission is to
hold on to Hephaestus Station. So long as they do this, they
are entitled to the full experience award. However, if they are
able to stop Dr Ybarra without killing him, they are entitled to
an additional 50 experience points.

MISSION 8: PRIZE FIGHT


Experience Points: 400 experience points
Mission Type: Drop, clearance, capture
Mission Duration: 20 minutes
Terrain: Lava hills
Special Equipment: M-9 Marauder Chickenhawk Assault
Armour (3), XM-550 CHAS Unit (1), Bullfrog Combat
Dinghy (2). Ammunition on Chickenhawks and CHAS is
limited to two full loads for each weapon.
Available Support: None
Enemies: Plasma bugs (10), warrior bugs (80)

When one of the troopers opens a roof access hatch, any


remaining cliff mites on the roof will be certain to take
advantage of it.
While the troopers hear the disturbing news of the control bug
aboard the William Travis, the Arachnids outside the station
continue their assault. The waves arrive as follows:
The warrior bugs coming from the southwest
arrive in waves of 15 every ten rounds, for a
total of four waves (60 warrior bugs in total).

Mission Briefing: Grab your gear, apes. The Viking is inbound


to get you and bring you back to the ship. We got a reading on a
group of plasmas massing on the surface. In about an hour, theyll
be in a perfect position to fire their spore packets at Tango Urilla.

The warrior bugs coming from the east arrive


in three waves ten in the first wave, followed
by two waves of five every five rounds (20
warrior bugs in total). The control bugs riding
these warriors will be in the first waves.

23

Were going to cap drop you just north of their position. You go in
there and kill everything you see, and you get your hands on at least
one of those spore packets we want the eggs. Were busting out
all the stops on this one, apes. Youre going in with all three of our
Chickenhawks, and Im even sending the CHAS along for the ride.
I know you dont need all that hardware, but might as well show
the bugs what theyre up against.
One more thing. Just because you got the big toys is no reason to
go crazy on the ammo. If we cant pick you up its a long walk back
to Hephaestus.
Mission Breakdown: This mission is exactly what it seems
a knock-down fight against a large number of very tough
Arachnids.
Within a few minutes of arrival, the Player Characters come
under attack by a group of ten warrior bugs rushing down the
nearby incline. These warriors are followed five rounds later by
ten more warriors.
Upon climbing the first elevation, the troopers should be able
to see the first plasma bugs a few hundred yards southwest of
their position. As they approach the cleft between the two
inclines, they will come under attack again, this time by a flight
of five rippler bugs soaring in from the southwest.

As soon as the Player Characters ascertain there are no eggs


to be had and report that fact, they will receive the following
communication.
Looks like we may have jumped the gun, damn it all. Id order
you into those caves, but with the tanker sealing them off, youd be
jumped by a swarm long before you could get in there. OK, apes,
heres what you do. We cant get the Viking in there now, so youll
need to take the scenic route back to Hephaestus. Its about 20
miles west of your position, so better get cracking before your power
runs low. Ill be in touch when you have new orders.
The troopers will not come under coordinated attack on their
way back to Hephaestus Station, a trip that takes them over
plains and hills for a total of 25 miles, but the Games Master
should remember to roll for random encounters during their
travel time (see page 5).
Mission Objectives: Although the Player Characters cannot
complete the mission by seizing an Arachnid egg, this is due
to unfortunate circumstances, not to any fault of their own.
Survival of the mission guarantees full reward.

MISSION 9: SPECIAL DELIVERY


Experience Points: 200 experience points

The sounds of battle so close will attract the attention of the 40


warrior bugs escorting the plasma bugs. Ten rounds after the
rippler bugs attack, the first group of these warriors will be in
melee range of the Player Characters. More warrior bugs will
continue to arrive in groups of four every two rounds until all
40 have been killed.
Once the warrior bugs are dealt with, the troopers still have ten
plasma bugs on their plate. If they are wise, they will stay back
from them and kill them at range. However, the plasma bugs
will not remain unprotected.

Mission Type: Pick up


Mission Duration: One hour
Terrain: Lava plains
Special Equipment: None
Available Support: None
Enemies: Hoppers (8), warrior bugs (25)

Five rounds after the Player Characters make their first attack
on a plasma bug, more warrior bugs will begin appearing from
the cave entrance in the southeast corner of the map. Coming
out in groups of five every five rounds, a total of 20 warrior bugs
will arrive to defend the plasma bugs. Once the last warrior
bugs is killed, the troopers will see something very strange. A
tanker bug erupts out of the ground just inside the cave mouth,
but it does not attack. Instead, it collapses the tunnel, sealing
it off from the Player Characters. This tanker represents the
last Arachnid in the immediate area, however, the troopers have
only to finish off the rest of the plasma bugs before time runs
out.
Unfortunately for the troopers, none of the plasma bugs had
yet been loaded with a spore packet, so the final element of the
mission cannot be completed. Yet.

24

Mission Briefing: Sorry about the sightseeing tour, soldiers, but


youve really got those bugs in a lather down there. Were seeing
movement over half the surface of the planet right now. I know
you need supplies, but we cant get the Viking down safely, and a
big hunk of burning metal falling on your heads wont do anyone
any good.
If theres one thing we MI can do though, its improvise. Were
rigging some of our few remaining capsules with a wing and prayer
guidance protocol, and were going to drop new gear to you that
way. Well bring them down as close to you as we can get, but
without a person piloting them, dont expect it to fall in your lap.
Whats in these caps is what we got left, apes. Be careful with it and
make it last, cause theres no more bullets until Fleet arrives. Oh,
and if you find an empty, dont worry. Were sending down some

Missions
Mission Objectives: This mission
is very straightforward. If the
troopers retrieve their gear and
return to Hephaestus Station alive,
they receive the experience.

MISSION 10: UNDER


PRESSURE
Experience Points: 700 experience
points
dummies to distract the plasmas. Now, look up. Ten minutes and
we fire them off.

Mission Type: Keep and hold, nuclear deployment, evac


Mission Duration: One hour

Mission Breakdown: The mission briefing had it right the


capsules do not land at Hephaestus Station. In fact, as the
troopers watch multiple capsules breach the atmosphere,
they will see plasma trails launch up from the far side of
the mountains to the west, arcing straight for the incoming
equipment. They will see several capsules go up in flames as
the plasma charges strike them.
The capsules land scattered over a three square mile area about
ten miles to the southwest of Hephaestus Station. The troopers
will need to go to the area and search through the capsules to
retrieve the equipment, and would be well-served to bring a
vehicle of some kind (whatever they have left to them, even if it
is only a few combat dinghies) to haul the gear back.
A total of 12 capsules made it down, six of which contain gear
and six others which are empty fired off from the William
Travis as dummies for the plasma bugs to shoot at. Those
capsules containing gear are marked on the map with a cross.
Ambush at Altair assumes the gear-laden capsules all make it to
the surface, though the Games Master may certainly have some
of them destroyed. Before doing so, however, he should read
the final three missions to make certain he is not depriving the
troopers of something they will absolutely need to survive.
The Arachnid presence in this mission is fairly light, compared
to what has come recently, but is still nothing that can be
ignored. As the troopers open their third capsule, a flight of
eight hopper bugs will swoop in from the mountains to the
northwest. As they open their fifth capsule, warrior bugs
will arrive from the south in three waves of five, at five-round
increments. Lastly, as the troopers get to their eighth capsule,
two waves of five warrior bugs will arrive from the west, the
second coming three rounds after the first.
Once these Arachnids are dealt with, the troopers are free and
clear. They can collect the rest of their gear and return to the
station unmolested.

Terrain: Lava plains


Special Equipment: None
Available Support: None
Enemies: Blaster bugs (?), hopper bugs (20), tanker bugs (20),
warrior bugs (?)
Mission Briefing: Hope youre not too attached to that station
down there, apes, because youre about to leave it behind. Get
your gear loaded up and get ready to leave. Were coming around
the curve of the planet now, and Im looking at the plains just
west of you. The ground is crawling. Like I said, I want you to
pack up everything youve got and get ready to make a holy
hell. Troopers, we can see your north, south and east now. Youre
surrounded, and theyre all inbound on your position. All right,
heres what I want you to do. Load up everything you cant stand
to leave behind and get ready to resist an attack. Well work on a
way to get you out of there.
Mission Breakdown: Like the man said, the troopers are about
to face truly overwhelming odds. By the time the mission ends,
Hephaestus Station will be in ruins. The question is whether or
not the troopers are still in it when it happens.
From the end of the mission briefing, the troopers have ten
minutes before the first of the oncoming Arachnids reach
weapons range, which is almost certainly enough time to load
their remaining supplies into a vehicle, be it the Gecko or the
MAC Hauler. If both these vehicles are destroyed, the Player
Characters will have to rely on Bullfrog combat dinghies to
move their gear, their wounded and any remaining civilians in
the facility. In other words, they will have significant problems.
Though the gear can probably be loaded in this time, it is not
enough of a window to remove both Scythes from the roof of
the facility and mount them on a vehicle. However, if two

25

troopers work together, and both succeed with a Repair skill


check (DC 20), they can mount one Scythe.
Five minutes after the briefing ends, the troopers will receive
another transmission:
All right, apes, we got your plan. Let them come. Thats right, let
them get right up on the walls. If you head out now, youre sure to
be overrun on the plains. So heres what you do. Give them hell.
Keep them from breaching the walls while you carve a path in them
away from the bay doors. Once youve thinned them out around
the exit, head out of there as fast as you can. But youre leaving a
surprise behind. We want you to rig up one of the Pee-Wees with
a detonator, and leave it behind in the station. That thing will
vaporise anything within 120 feet when it blows, including the 20
feet of rock thats holding the lava below you in check. We think
the explosion will bring up enough lava to kill everything within a
500 foot radius. That should give you enough of a diversion to get
away. Were sending the modification specs for the Pee-Wee now.
Good luck.
Of course, there is a better way than simply leaving the PeeWee inside the base. If it is placed in the collection basket
in containment core and lowered into the magma itself
before detonating, the Pee-Wee will create a much larger
zone of destruction. The Player Characters may think of this
themselves, but if they do not, the Games Master may wish to
have them make Demolitions or Knowledge (physical sciences)
skill checks (DC 20) to realise that putting the Pee-Wee down
into the lava will result in a much larger zone of destruction,
as the pressure created by the subterranean explosion will cause
the ground to rupture in a much wider area. Of course, if
none of the Player Characters think of it, the Games Master
could have one of the civilian scientists in Hephaestus Station
(assuming there are any left) recommend it to the troopers. A
Knowledge (physical sciences) skill check (DC 20) allows a
rough guess at the zone of the devastation from this plan of
action everything within approximately half a mile will be
destroyed. Ambush at Altair assumes the troopers lower the
Pee-Wee into the containment core.

26

With the specifications in hand, modifying the Pee-Wee


with a timed detonator requires five minutes of work, and a
Demolitions skill check (DC 20). By the time this happens,
the first Arachnids are entering weapons range.
The Arachnids enter weapons range as follows:
On the first round, 10 warrior bugs come from the west. They
will be followed by 10 more every other round for the next two
minutes, when their numbers increase to 20 every other round.
Two minutes later, this increases to 40 every round.
On the second round, five warrior bugs come from the east.
They will be followed by five more every other round.
On the fourth round, 10 blaster bugs come from the northwest.
They will be followed by ten more every three rounds.
On the ninth round, five warrior bugs come from the north.
They will be followed by five more every other round.
On the twelfth round, five hopper bugs arrive from the
northeast. They will be followed by five more every ten rounds
until a total of 20 have arrived.
On the fifteenth round, two tanker bugs come from the west.
They will be followed by two more every two minutes until a
total of 20 have arrived.
Obviously, the troopers cannot hope to stand against this
onslaught, particularly as there is almost no end to the number
of blaster bugs and warrior bugs attacking the base. The best
they can hope for is to hold them back while they clear out
some of the warrior bugs attacking from the east to secure an
escape route.
The escape requires some flexibility and quick thinking on the
part of the Games Master, as there is no way to predict exactly
how many Arachnids will be at the walls when the troopers
make a break for it, or how much time they put on the PeeWees detonator.
Assuming the troopers made a large dent in the number of
Arachnids on the bay door side of the facility, however, and
assuming they put enough time on the detonator for them to
travel half a mile to a mile, there is a good rule of thumb for their
escape. Every round, the operator of each vehicle (including
the Chickenhawks, which obviously cannot fit into either the
Gecko or the MAC Hauler) must
make a Drive skill check (DC
15) to avoid obstacles and stay on
course. Each round, the troopers
will pass through 1d31 warrior
bugs, which will attack any vehicle
they can reach. This will continue
for at least half a mile, with the total
number of combat rounds dictated
by the speed at which the troopers
are travelling.

Missions
When the Pee-Wee detonates, the destruction is predicated
upon how it was deployed. If it was simply left on the surface,
it will create a zone of destruction with a 500-foot radius, killing
everything inside. If it was lowered into the containment core,
it is far more devastating. The explosion rips a hole one mile
wide in the rocky crust of the lava plain, and ejects a huge plume
of magma into the air. This magma creates an immense wave,
rushing outward at a speed of 200 for half a mile. After half a
mile, it continues at a speed of 100 for another half mile before
petering out entirely. Anything within this radius is utterly
destroyed, which includes the troopers if they do not beat feet.
Of course, even after all this, the troopers are not completely
in the clear. They will continue to be pursued by 2d10 warrior
bugs and 1d4 hopper bugs, but once these foes are dealt with,
the troopers will be home free. Though now, they are trapped
on a hostile planet with no base to fall back on. Still, they are
alive. When the last of the bugs is defeated, the troopers will
receive orders to head due east.
Mission Objectives: Survival is the entire point of this
mission, and making it through alive entitles the troopers to
the full experience point award. If one of the troopers comes
up with the idea of placing the Pee-Wee in the containment
core without any outside help, the Games Master should award
that character an additional 50 experience points.

bugs are confused right now, and more important, theyre spread
out. So we got an opportunity to do some good work without too
much trouble from the locals. Remember that bug cave the tanker
collapsed to keep you out? Well, theyve opened it up again, and my
guess is theyre planning to take another crack at spraying spores at
our colony. Go show them what we think about that. This time,
get me an egg. And it probably goes without saying, but if you find
more than one, grab a few and torch the rest.
Mission Breakdown: The number of Arachnids in this part
of the world has been reduced significantly by the destruction
of Hephaestus Station, a fact that makes this mission possible.
The troopers have a 15 mile trip to the east to make, but the
decimation of Arachnids in the area means the Games Master
should only make a random encounter check every three hours
(see page 5).
Though the Arachnids numbers are reduced, they are hardly
gone. When the troopers arrive at the mouth of the cave (see
the map for Mission 8: Prize Fight) they will meet their first
resistance in the form of blaster bugs. When the troopers come
within 200 feet of the cave opening, five blaster bugs will rush
out to attack, followed three rounds later by five more.

Experience Points: 800 experience points

As with Mission 3G: Underground, the Games Master should


remember that the bug cave in Belly of the Beast is not a static
place. The Arachnids will react to the sound of intruders unless
stated otherwise. Assuming, however, that the troopers make
their way through the caves carefully, the location key below
should serve as a reliable guide of when and where encounters
occur.

Mission Type: Assault, pick up

Upper Level

Mission Duration: Six hours

Location 1
Entrance. The only guardians at this point were the blaster
bugs the troopers dealt with as they approached.

MISSION 11: BELLY OF THE BEAST

Terrain: Underground
Special Equipment: None

Location 2
In this chamber are 27 worker bugs, busily digging a new
pit. Currently, the pit is 35 feet deep, and is angled to allow

Available Support: None


Enemies: Blaster bugs (15), cliff
mites (12), plasma bugs (4), tanker
bugs (1), warrior bugs (?), worker
bugs (27)
Mission Briefing: All right, you
apes, I know youre tired, but we still
have work to do. Your little stunt
back there at Hephaestus Station
knocked the bugs back on their hind
legs were estimating at least 10,000
dead in that fireball. That dont mean
its time for you to take it easy. The

27

Arachnids that cannot wall-crawl to traverse it. The worker


bugs will not attack unless they have no choice.
Location 3
When the troopers reach this point, they will encounter a group
of 15 warrior bugs moving to investigate the sounds of battle.
The warrior bugs come in waves of five, three rounds apart.
Location 4
At first glance, this chamber seems empty. However, there is a
single tanker bug lurking just beneath the surface here. When
the troopers approach within 20 feet (or when it is apparent
they intend to bypass this chamber) the tanker will breach the
surface and attack.
Location 5
When the troopers reach this point in the cave, the Games
Master should call for Perception skill checks (DC 20). Success
indicates the trooper feels a vibration under his feet. If the
CHAS is present, a Perception skill check (DC 15) will be
enough for it to hear a sound like frying bacon. One round
later, the ground falls away into a pit running from wall to wall
and 20 feet long. Any troopers standing in that section must
succeed in a Reflex saving throw (DC 18) or fall 20 feet into
the embrace of the warrior bugs below. There are currently five
warrior bugs at the bottom of the pit, which is actually just one
end of a new tunnel running to Location 6.
Location 6
This large chamber is currently home to 20 warrior bugs,
which have just dug a new tunnel to assault the troopers. Five
of these warrior bugs are at the bottom of the pit when it opens.
Five more will move to join them by travelling along the new
tunnel, while the other ten will use the main tunnel to fall upon
the troopers from above (or attack any that avoided the pit).
Location 7
This large pit falls 150 feet to the lower level of Belly of the
Beast.
Location 8
This immense cavern is sparsely populated. There are 11 cliff
mites clinging to the wall above the
entrance, which will drop on the
troopers the moment they enter.
Standing near the pit in the southern
end of the cavern are five blaster bugs,
which will move to attack as soon as
the troopers come into view.
Location 9
This large pit falls 70 feet to the
middle level of Belly of the Beast.

28

Middle Level
Location 10
This is the bottom of the pit marked as Location 9 on the
upper level map.
Location 11
This gigantic cavern holds one of the strangest sights the troopers
are likely to see subterranean plasma bugs. How these vast
and very slow insects are moved about inside Arachnid tunnels
has long been a mystery to SICON, but it is a mystery that is
unlikely to be solved today, as the troopers survival is surely a
higher priority. As well as four plasma bugs, this cavern is home
to 20 warrior bugs, currently gathered near at Location 13.
Location 12
This tunnel slopes sharply upward before ending abruptly, as
though the Arachnids work on it was suddenly abandoned.
Location 13
When the troopers first arrive in the cavern, there will be
20 warrior bugs milling about near this point. They will
immediately move to attack the troopers, arriving in groups of
five just one round apart.
Location 14
This was once obviously a wide passageway, but now it ends in
a pile of tumbled stone.

Lower Level
Location 15
This is the bottom of the pit marked as Location 7 on the
upper level map.
Location 16
At this point in the tunnel, the troopers run into stiff resistance
in the form of 20 warrior bugs (or 5 guard bugs, see The
Arachnid Empire). They come at the troopers using the floor,
ceiling and 25-foot-tall walls to attack.
Location 17
This location marks the entry point of more warrior bugs,
burrowing up to defend the eggs in Location 18. A total of 15

Missions
strength is enough to support the robot.
The lines rewinding mechanism, on
the other hand, cannot cope with the
CHAS units weight.

warrior bugs emerge from this new hole, coming out at the rate
of three every other round.
Location 18
This is it the egg chamber. In this huge cavern, eggs brought
up from the queen through the tunnel at Location 20 are
tended by breeder bugs and prepared for installation in the
empty spore packets piled around the walls. Currently, there
are thousands of eggs in here, as well as two score of breeder
bugs. The troopers do not have long to celebrate their success,
however, as they have company on the way. Two minutes after
the Player Characters arrive here, waves of enraged warrior bugs
will begin issuing from Locations 19 and 20.
Location 19
This tunnel descends sharply toward another part of the hive the
troopers will never see. Two minutes after the Player Characters
reach Location 18, warrior bugs will begin emerging from this
tunnel at the rate of three every three rounds.

Of course, the CHAS may use its jump


jets to reach the top of a pit, but only if
it has fuel remaining. The CHAS can
use a line to climb, but at the end of
the mission, it may not have the time
to do so. If this is the case, the CHAS
will voluntarily remain behind, fighting
the warrior bugs by itself to buy the
troopers time. It will try to give them as much as 10 rounds to
get clear of the caverns before activating its Deathwish Circuit
in the egg chamber if possible and effectively cutting off
any further pursuit.
When the troopers break free of the caverns and report their
success, they are immediately ordered to head due north and
continue moving until they receive further instructions. They
do not know it yet, but their long ordeal on Altair V is very
nearly at an end.
Mission Objectives: The most important aspect of this
mission, more important than survival, is the acquisition of
a viable Arachnid egg. So long as this is accomplished, each
trooper is entitled to the full experience point award.

MISSION 12: FOND FAREWELL


Experience Points: 500 experience points

Location 20
This wide tunnel makes a long, slow descent, eventually
reaching the chamber of the Arachnid queen. As the troopers
were warned long ago, however, the queen is impossible to
reach. Two minutes after the troopers reach Location 18,
warrior bugs will begin emerging from this passageway at the
rate of five every two rounds.

Mission Type: Clearance, evac


Mission Duration: One hour
Terrain: Rocky hills
Special Equipment: None

Once the troopers have the egg in hand, they would be wise to
beat feet, as the Arachnid response is certain to be overwhelming.
Warrior bugs will continue to issue from Locations 19 and 20
until the troopers are either dead or their pursuit is blocked.
Unless the troopers find some way to cut off pursuit (such as
collapsing a large part of the complex), the warrior bugs will
pursue them until they run the troopers to ground, determined
to retrieve the stolen egg.

The CHAS in Belly of the Beast


The CHAS unit, if it is still functional, will be tremendously
helpful to the troopers in this mission, but it does have one
disadvantage its weight. The half-ton CHAS can use a lizard
line to descend the two pits in this mission, as the lines tensile

Available Support: Viking Landing Boat for evac


Enemies: Blaster bugs (10), hopper bugs (8), plasma bugs (3),
rippler bugs (4), tanker bugs (2), warrior bugs (?)
Mission Briefing: Troopers, I have never been this proud in my
life. Youve delivered everything Ive asked of you and more on that
nasty piece of real estate, and youve done it on the bounce. Those
eggs you now have should do the war effort a world of good; I can
feel it. Now, I got one more thing to ask of you survive.
See, theres good news and bad news, apes, and the damnable part
is theyre both the same. Were not on our own any more. Fleet

29

terrain here prevents the troopers


from seeing the oncoming warriors
bugs until three rounds before they
reach melee range. Four rounds
after combat with these warrior
bugs begins, a group of ten blaster
bugs comes from the south, in two
waves of five, the second arriving ten
rounds after the first.

just hit the system, and they aint coming for a tea party. The news
about the bugs and their plans to make a summer home on our
colony didnt sit too well with SICON, and Fleets orders are to
cleanse that planet immediately whether a few troopers are still
on it or not.
You got one hour till Fleet gets in range and turns that whole
planet into glass and ash. You will get out of there apes. You will
make a hole the Viking can get through and you will get your ugly
faces back up to this ship. Were sending you the latest scans of
your area now, complete with the location of the plasmas in the
neighbourhood.
Now, here comes the order youve been waiting for. This is it, apes,
so dont be bashful with the ammo. The Chickenhawks cant fit on
the Viking, but I dont want you loading that ship down with any
unspent bullets. Fire them dry, apes. Dont count on the Viking
when it shows up, we already gave you all the ammo for its guns.
Give those damned bugs a parting shot, and get back up here so I
can buy you a drink.
Mission Breakdown: As the players might expect, the last
mission makes sure Ambush at Altair goes out with a bang. The
intelligent Arachnids of Altair V have discerned the position of
the troopers, and even as the Player Characters move to take out
the last obstacles to their escape, Arachnid forces are moving to
bring bloody vengeance on the human intruders.
Which enemies the troopers encounter first depends on which
position they move in. There are three plasma bugs that must
be destroyed before the Viking can make its approach, each of
which is guarded by three warrior bugs.
The plasma bug to the northwest is in a flat area just beyond
the hills. After three rounds of combat with this plasma bug
and its warrior bug guardians, another group of ten warrior
bugs will charge in from the north, coming in two waves of
five, spaced four rounds apart.
The plasma bug to the southwest is still in the hills. After five
rounds of combat with this plasma bug and its warrior bug
guardians, a force of seven warrior bugs will move up from
the southwest, attacking as a single unit. The nature of the

30

No assistance comes to the plasma


bug to the southeast until it is too
late. Ten rounds after combat with
this plasma bug and its warrior bug guardians ends, a flight of
four rippler bugs swoops in from the east.
Once the three plasma bugs are dispatched, the Player
Characters are ordered to move to the evacuation point so the
Viking can be sent it to retrieve them. Just because the plasma
bugs are dead does not mean the fighting is over.
As the Player Characters reach the evac point, a glance skyward
will show them the glorious flash of the Viking as it breaches
the atmosphere on approach still five minutes out. It will also
show them the flight of eight hopper bugs descending from the
north. Five rounds later, a tanker bug bursts from the earth
100 feet to the east of the troopers. Five rounds after that, a
second tanker bug emerges from the earth 50 feet south of the
troopers.
With two minutes left to go before the Viking hits the ground,
the troopers will see a line of warrior bugs racing south toward
their position. The evac point is actually on the tallest hill
in the vicinity, allowing the troopers to see the warriors eight
rounds before the first of them arrive. The warrior bugs arrive
in slowly increasing numbers, first in waves of three, spread four
rounds apart. After 20 rounds, if the troopers are still here, the
warriors will arrive in waves of four every three rounds. Twenty
rounds later, it becomes five warrior bugs every other round.
The greatest problem standing in the way of the Player
Characters escape may be the Chickenhawks. Far too heavy to
be taken aboard the Viking, any remaining Chickenhawks must
be discarded on the surface. Emerging from a Chickenhawk
is not difficult, but it does require four rounds, during which
the character may not attack. Once the Chickenhawks are
abandoned and the troopers board the Viking holding off
the attacking warrior bugs with the last of their ammunition
as they do so Ambush at Altair comes to a close. The Viking
lifts off, clambering out of the planets gravity well and making
straight for the William Travis. Looking out the windows at
the planet below, the troopers will see the surface light up with
the first blooms of the intense nuclear bombardment Fleet is
unleashing on the infested world.

Aftermath

AFTERMATH
In truth, SICON would prefer to deny the events of
Ambush at Altair. The reality that Arachnids were able to infest a
planet right beside a major UCF colony, considering everything
that has happened since Pluto, is a fact SICON would rather
not become public knowledge. Writing the devastation of
Altair V off as a geological instability run amok, or as the result
of a rogue asteroid collision, would make certain no one had
reason to doubt SICONs ability to protect humanity.
However, too many people are aware of what actually did
transpire for SICON to hope it will remain a secret, so SICON
will instead embrace the second-best solution the truth.
Every war needs heroes after all, and surviving the carnage of
Ambush at Altair certainly makes the Player Characters good
candidates for that title.

THE TROOPERS
Each trooper involved in the action of Ambush at Altair will be
recalled to Earth, where the Sky Marshall will personally (in
an event covered by FedCom) award them each the Veteran
Combat Medal, with an added ribbon for the newly-minted
Order of Altair.
In addition to the medal, each trooper will receive a bonus of
+3 to his Prestige. Last but not least, the troopers shore leave is
reinstated and increased to a full month. They may take it on
the planet of their choice.
Following this well-deserved leave, the troopers will report back
to the William Travis for their next tour of duty in the ongoing
war. They will find themselves the old men of the ship now,
their fallen comrades replaced by fresh new recruits just out of
boot. Though they will likely be the subject of a fair amount of
hero worship upon their return to duty, the Player Characters
will find this fading over time, as the war grinds on and new
heroes are made and killed.
At the Games Masters discretion, the troopers may even be
able to keep the CHAS unit that served with them on Altair V
as a member of their squad.

THE ARACHNIDS
The annihilation of Altair V should be the death knell for all
the Arachnids on the planet. However, if the Games Master
wishes to have the adventure continue, it is simple enough to
do so. Perhaps the Arachnid queen was actually buried so deep
beneath the planets crust that Fleets awesome bombardment

was not enough to kill her. In time, the queen and any other
surviving Arachnids would be able to tunnel their way back
to the blasted surface of Altair V, repopulating the planet and
preparing for another attempt at the Arachnid colonisation of
Tango Urilla.
It may only be a few short months after leaving Altair V behind
that the Player Characters are drawn back to the system again,
this time to hunt down and destroy the first inklings of an
infestation on Tango Urilla itself.

THE CIVILIANS
Needless to say, Hephaestus Station is no longer a going
concern after the Under Pressure mission, and it is not likely to
be rebuilt any time soon. The surface of Altair V will be offlimits to civilians for the near future, until SICON is certain (as
certain as possible, anyway) that the Arachnid menace is well
and truly ended.
Dr Samson Ybarra may or may not have survived the Wolf in
the Fold mission, depending upon the actions of the Player
Characters. If he does survive, his life will undergo some radical
changes. He was in the thrall of a control bug for some time,
and Special Services will have a variety of questions and tests
for him to undergo before he can resume his academic studies.
Even upon his release, the fact that he was under the sway of an
Arachnid will remain a black mark on his professional life.

THE EGG
When Ambush at Altair ends, so too does the involvement the
troopers have with the Arachnid egg they recovered. It will be
whisked away almost immediately upon the troopers return
to the William Travis, conveyed at maximum speed to Earth
where SICON will pull it apart molecule by molecule.
Obviously, SICONs aim is to use the egg to create a new
weapon for use against the Arachnids. As any Arachnid egg
is capable of developing into any known form of Arachnid,
SICON hopes the egg contains the keys allowing it to create a
biological weapon designed to target the base genetic structure
of the Arachnids. Whether or not these efforts bear fruit is
something which will certainly be unknown for some time.
Despite the troopers role in retrieving the egg, SICON firmly
believes their part in the story is over. Any attempts by the
troopers to find the location or status of the egg will be met
with silence.

31

OPEN GAME LICENSE Version 1.0a


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32

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15. COPYRIGHT NOTICE
Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000,
Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
Modern System Reference Document
Copyright 2002, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.;
Authors Bill Slavicsek, Jeff Grubb, Rich
Redman, Charles Ryan, based on material by
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System Reference Document Copyright 20002003, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors
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Starship Troopers: The Roleplaying Game
Ambush at Altair is TM & 2005
TriStar Pictures, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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