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Turning the Tables

Gorillas vs. The Toads
"After several months of redesign and outfitting, we're ready to roll. Our strike platoon has trained hard, and I'm impressed with the results," Clovis Holstein said, patting the suit of battle armor. "The results are impressive, yes," said Morgan Hasek-Davion, "but our power suits are still not as effective as the Clan battle armor."

"You're right, Field Marshal, the Clans are ahead of us technologically. This is the best we can produce in any quantity at this time, but Dr. Banzai's research looks hopeful. Within five to eight years our suits should be equivalent to what the Clans field." If we have that long, Hasek-Davion thought as he inspected the suit. Aloud, he said, "what kind of limitations do our troopers face wearing these?"

"Blackwell Industries tells us that the conventional light armor plating we use is only 50 percent as effective as that of the Clan system they use. Also, where the Toads are able to support up to three weapon systems, including SRMs, our gorilla suits, as the men have begun to call them, can support only a single primary weapon. The one good thing is that our weapon systems are modular, which allows us to modify them to fit the needs of a particular mission."
   "So we're ready to test these gorilla suits, correct?" Hasek-Davion said. "Yes, we've pulled together a strike platoon with some fresh troopers from the NAIS. WE have several companies of troops trained in this gear ,which we hope to sue as a training cadre to get the suits to the front-line units. The platoons is ready to go. All we need is your permission."

Morgan looked at the map projected on the wall, tracing his fingers along the border of what had been the Free Rashalhague Republic only a year and a half before. "It looks like the world of Planting may be the place to do it. The planet is deep inside the Jade Falcon occupation zone, but there's a feisty guerrilla resistance there. They've been giving the Jade Falcons headaches, but supplies and firepower are getting low.
   "Send this new platoon to Planting to make contact with our forces there, resupply them, and evacuate those that need it. This operation should give these new battle armor suits the kind of test they need. If all goes well, Blackwell Industries can start full production."
   Clovis saluted the Field Marshal, who did not lift his gaze from the wall map. Knowing time was short, with much to do, he did not linger, but turned quickly from the room and went down the hall.

Planting, Kuwait Highlands, 15 October 3051
The technology and sophistication of the Elemental battle armor was at first beyond the technological grasp of the Inner Sphere. But once the Combine and the Federated Commonwealth had each captured some suits, they combined it with information supplied by the Wolf's Dragoons to develop their own versions. Though not as sophisticated as the Clan suits, the Inner Sphere version did not offer significant advances over the mere jump packs and standard combat armor. Known as power suits, their improved strength and anti-'Mech capabilities made them worth their weight in C-Bills.

Resistance groups formed on almost all planets in the Clan occupied zones, though a lack of supplies hampered many of these operations. Such was the case on Planting, where several companies of infantry carried out constant raids against the Jade Falcons, while always remaining out of their grasp.

Planting gave the Federated Commonwealth an opportunity to field-test the new battle armor, plus provide some relief to the resistance forces on that isolated world. Field Marshal Morgan Hasek-Davion wanted to strike before a new Clan offensive erupted, hoping that would help the guerrillas tie up even more of the Jade Falcon force. The operation would be quick. A small JumpShip would deploy a Leopard Class Dropship to Planting from a pirate jump point. Once there, an elite team specially trained in the new battle armor would strike at the Falcons, make contact with the resistance fighters, and provide them with needed supplies. They would then make their getaway before the Jade Falcons could fully respond.

The battle went better than expected. The jade Falcon defenders did not commit enough troops to combat the newly outfitted Team Banzai strike force. This overconfidence was their undoing as the first squad of the FC strike team crushed the lone Point sent out to capture them. Within several hours, the team helped move than eight tons of supplies into the nearby mountains and evacuated several dozen seriously injured resistance fighters off-world. Planting continued to be a thorn in the side of the Jade Falcons for months to come.

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