View Full Version : need tactics help to raid a military pay shipment.

2012-12-30, 02:30 PM
OK this is for an iron kingdoms game i am playing but general tactics can probably be warped to fit.

The gist of it is our mercenary charter has been working for the kadoran army for 2 months now and the last job they have given us before our contract with them expires is to steal a cygnaran pay convoy.

now we've been told that there is 1000lbs of gold coin being transported by what amounts to a 25 point warmachine list. so we will most likely be fighting a minor warcaster 1-2 lightjacks and about 20 soldiers.

our group rundown is as follows

Leader is an aristocrat/rifleman he does ok damage to infantry and he boosts all our attacks and dmg rolls by 1

elfman is playing an arcane assasin/ gunmage basicly the super sniper elf dude (has the best chance of 1shoting the warcaster if things get lucky)

dwarfy is an arcane mechanic/ im not sure new class. hes our only magic thrower but has awsome social skills thanks to the other class that i dont know

troll man a fellcaller/bounty hunter he hits things hard with his axe and can shout things to death also has regeneration abilities that make his super durable.

tankyman is our highest armor guy in the party he also can dish out a lot of damage doesnt have the regen of trollman tho

me im an alchemist/spy i have grenades (lots of em) and really good deception skills. and did i mention lots of grenades.

so far the scheme we have come up with

is to have me and leader have a stranded cart full of good quality ale. now i can forge documents saying said ale is being shipped to a commander we are familiar with in the cygnar military so we are hoping this might let us tag along with the convoy if we offer the higher ups our ale. also we were going to cripple the leg of the oxe hauling the cart as our reason for being stranded. this nets us 2 thing plausibility and a lot of fresh meat to offer to troops that are (hopefully) tired of trail rations.
the plan from there is me and leader drug the ale/food and knock out as many of the soldiers as possible hopefully starting with the higherups. (i have an alchemical concoction that will put anyone who ingests it into a coma like state for 8 hours at a very high save (needs an 11 on 2d6). meanwhile we have the arcane assassin in a good sniping spot a bit away with the order to not fire untill he sees the warcaster.
our next part of the plan is to steal the cortexes from the light jacks after they have been disabled (hopefully by killing the warcaster)

we figured if we fail its a capital crime and we die so we might as well make it a triple death penalty.

im just looking for any alternate plans or something we might have over looked.
we have 2 weeks till the shipment arrives and we will have notice of where it is 3 days before it will reach the town (possibly sooner if we put a scout ahead).

2012-12-31, 08:00 AM
Using a simple plan without depending on them letting you travel with them might be easier to pull off. Blocking the road with a broken wagon (preferably behind some obstacle so they don't see you from far away) and letting the dwarf and the troll argue in front of it you might be able to ambush them. The elf and the leader should make sure the enemy mage goes down in the first round (elf shoots, if warmage still lives leader shoots), while the troll tanks the second-in-commands. Meanwhile the armored guy blocks the rear of the convoy, while you decimate the soldiers with some grenades. Afterwards it should be mopping up the survivors and making sure nobody escapes. The dwarf acts as reserve to either (in order of importance) kill the warmage, help the troll or kill soldiers.
Note that I have no idea about your gaming system.

2013-01-01, 05:14 AM
I like your idea, but in my experience some GM's don't take it well when you attempt to bypass their carefully laid out battle . . .

If you can gather some intelligence about the size of the escort that would be a good starting point. At the very least ask the GM if you would know what size guard would be typical for such a shipment. (Or did you already do so?)

Also, purposely injuring an Ox seems unnecessary and cruel. A broken wagon wheel, or axle, would be a much better option, as you can be in the process of repairing it (spare axles and wheels were common equipment on wagon trains - although that's not necessarily true in RPGs). It might also give you an excuse to have unloaded the goods, making it more convenient to distribute them. ;-) It can also sweeten the bluff -- ask for help from the soldiers in exchange for plenty of ale! Don't be too anxious to get rid of a "precious" cargo. Have some excuse for needing to hurry, and possibly start by offering them too little. If you're really lucky they may threaten to destroy your cart to keep moving -- then you'll have an excuse to bribe them with a large amount. Afterwards don't even travel with them, just shadow them until they start drinking.

If you are hoping to feed the troops fresh meat, then your best bet would be to be in the process of cooking it, otherwise you may have to wait until they stop to cook. And if you are lacking an Ox to haul your wagon, how can you be certain that they will have spare draft animals? Or that that they would be willing to offer you one?

However, you are also going to have to gauge how cautious the escort will be. Factors that I would consider as a GM would include how much banditry occurs in the area, and the general fact that when any high-value cargo is being transported an unexpected event might always be viewed with suspicion. If you can find out what the standing (and ideally specific) orders are for escorts it might give you some idea as to how likely they will be to accept your gifts.

I would be prepared to fight them, and be ready to ambush in an area where the terrain will benefit you the most -- at least as a back up plan if they just ignore you (Quirp's plan sounds reasonable to me).

2013-01-01, 11:24 AM
our dm is more of a here is the obstacle overcome it.

we have no hope of wining in a stand up fight. if the warcaster doesn't go down in the first turn or two we will lose. he will most likely have 2 light warjacks (think steam powered robot/golem) under his control that will very much hurt us in a stand up fight.

basicly we got the outline of our next assignment then he asked if we wanted a week irl to plan. if we can come up with a way to kill every troop without even seeing them he will roll with it the problem is just coming up with a cunning plan that works.

2013-01-04, 03:30 AM
Find somewhere on the path which is a choke-point, barriers on either side of the road (left and right), so they can't swerve off to escape. Ideally, it'll be a narrow pass with high rock walls on either side, from which you can toss nasty things like grenades, flaming oil, and burning logs. Block both sides (front and back) with a broken cart or something. Disabling the convoy's wheels seems like a great idea if it isn't already trapped, keep it from running. Have your own transport nearby, so you can just load the gold in in case the military one is rendered immobile. Melee should hide in brush at/near the ambush site.

If your DM has reasonable enemies who know when they're beaten (and who try to run and/or surrender), then try to force a surrender or rout once you take out a few of them, have someone make Intimidate checks or whatever equivalent exists in the system.

I recommend fashioning your lots of grenades into roadside bombs, or mines. Remote detonation is ideal. Either way, set bombs to blow when the convoy passes. This should either disable the convoy, or take out some men. Maybe you can load a ton of explosives (or just boxes of gunpowder :smallbiggrin:) into a cart, then drive it into them, and have someone shoot the cart to detonate, thus killing some enemies. Any means of getting bombs into their ranks (illusions can help here) are good. Then signal your melee to rush out of the bushes and start clearing soldiers as fast as they can. You should all be set to "go nova" from the fight's start.

Your army is crazy, they can't expect 7 men to take ~22. Get a bunch of NPC warriors to come along for the ride; they should at the very least provide a few more bodies for the enemy to target, if not contribute your damage output and intimidation credibility. Friendly mooks can maneuver obstacles into position, push boulders/logs onto the convoy, drive explosives-filled carts at them, and throw some of your grenades for you.

2013-01-04, 04:16 AM
With your current plan, why not have the Dwarf in your deceptive party? You said he has great social skills, put 'em to use! You don't need to be there to poison them, do you? Just put the poison in the stuff ahead of time. You are going to be hcucking grenades anyway. Don't you want to be off the trail, in the woods, behind cover? Plus, what is more convincing than a Dwarf with lots of ale? Anything special about the environment that could help with trap layout?

2013-01-04, 10:56 AM
I like your original plan, but spice it up a bit, with the right tools and some luck you might be able to avoid combat altogether. I'm thinking if you can somehow swap your party's cart with the payload cart you can slip it away unnoticed, but that's dependent on a lot of information I don't know.

If you can find out what sort of cart this caravan is using to transport the gold and the procedures around accessing it's payload, you can take advantage of this. Things you'll want to look for:
- What model is it and can you get one?
- Is the gold locked up? Does someone check it regularly or is it locked up and hidden away from even the highest ranking officers present? What model, make and color of locking mechanisms are in use?
- How is the cart painted and decorated? Is it a special design? Is it specific to the military? Is there a way you can make your cart the same without arousing suspicion?

Essentially, you'll want to infiltrate the group, as planned (As long as it's IC for your characters not to get upset about the Ox, don't sweat cutting that detail, it's a good plan) and travel with them. One thing you'll need to make sure is that whomever infiltrates the convoy does not seem combat capable at all, the soldiers should want to protect you and think you're utterly useless in a fight.

Meanwhile, your remaining party will need to split into two factions:

First faction will supply a second diversion, somewhere down the road with the primary goal of luring soldiers away from the caravan (momentarily). Maybe your dwarf (who you said has great social skills) plays a panicked messenger from a nearby village which is in the process of being raided by bandits? See if you can figure out a reason for them to drag the mage along. If you've played the first part right, your infiltrators will be left with a significantly reduced army to deal with (ie: we don't want to bring the useless merchants along to a fight).

Your second faction will attack the remaining convoy from range in a manner which should trick the soldiers into thinking this could be a followup bandit raid. This attack should take place after enough time has passed that the mage and co-horts can't simply jog back (teleport?) to assist. Your aim here is to distract the rest of the soldiers, possibly force a retreat. Since your infiltrators will be seen as useless they'll be sent wherever the gold cart is sent while the soldiers deal with the attack. Ideas to help here:
- Naturally, attack at night, and with lots of cover. If you have a forested area you can use, that will be best.
- You need to fool the soldiers into thinking there are a lot of bandits, enough that they feel they can beat them but still request a tactical retreat from the useless cart driving merchants. Attacking from range and cover helps this illusion but anything you can do to help will also be useful. Can anyone set traps? Torches placed apart from each other in the distance (if it's dark) will help this illusion.
- Explosions and other loud noises creates confusion. If you can get explosions involved, especially ranged, it will also give the soldiers more reason to force the carts to retreat.

Once you're retreating you can have one of your infiltrators off the other cart driver and make the swap (provided the opportunity is there). If this works, the infiltrator will also need to injure him/her self so nobody gets suspicious. This is assuming you don't have much of an escort sent back with you though.

It's only bare bones, but you'll need more information before deciding if it's feasible and where tweaks need to be made.

edit: Forgot about your poison. You could work that in after the second decoy does his job since I can assume the rest of you will be sitting around waiting. Your infiltration team feels generous and shares their ale with the remaining soldiers. This will help even the odds quite a bit.

2013-01-05, 02:53 PM
Let me suggest a couple of ideas:

1. Bribery - through this you can obtain information and maybe convince a mercenary captain/military leader to lessen his escort size. You don't even have to let him in on that you're planning to rob a caravan. Just convince him that you really need a larger escort for your "caravan" (destination no where) and that you would be willing to compensate him for his consideration. Tell mercenary captain/ military leader to send the escort to meet up with your caravan off in the boonies. Meanwhile, some nefarious parties will rob the payroll convoy.

2. Road blocks - a felled tree or a stranded cart is so cliche. You need to spice things up. A stranded cart transporting pitch on fire? There's a road block. If you can sneak someone into the convoy they can yell "Stay away from it! That's pitch, it could explode at any moment!" Thus guaranteeing that no one will move the cart until it has burned down.

3. Time - A good number of military special operations happen between 3-5 in the AM. Everybody is tired or asleep and wishing that they didn't have to pull guard duty. If the watch shift is small enough and you are quick and stealthy enough, you might could pick them off one at a time until you're free to take the convoy. If you insist on taking the convoy while it's traveling you might consider attacking at the end of the day. This will at least give any wizards in the convoy an opportunity to use their spells. There might also be a way to ensure that they use all of their spells by the time the day is over.

4. Tactics - It might be possible to ambush the convoy at a fork in the road. The whole convoy is going one direction, you pick off the last couple of wagons stealthily and turn the wagons down the other road.

A false raid to draw off guards might help you with a quick get away. Hire a few local toughs to stand on a nearby hill and throw giant boulders/shoot arrows down on the convoy. The guards take off after the thugs who then turn tail and run. While the convoy guards are pursuing the thugs, you pick off the wagon drivers and abscond with your ill-gotten lucre.

5. Cover your escape - If you try anything like the false raid gambit there, you'll want to cover your escape so that guards can't follow you easily. Escape into a canyon and collapse the canyon behind you. Run into a tunnel/cave with another entrance and collapse/flood the tunnel behind you. Run into the forest and set the forest ablaze behind you. Bribe a toll booth/customs official to cover your escape by not letting the guards pursue you without being inspected.


6. Lie - convince a customs official that someone is smuggling contraband in the convoy. Arrange for these officials to show up right after you escape with their goods.

2013-01-05, 05:30 PM
The poison plan might work, but I think it’s too risky. The leader might not fall for the ruse, or since that shipment is going to a cygnar commander, they may not want to risk crossing him by taking it. Soldiers tend to not want to piss off their commanding officers.

I think a better story would be that you had a falling out with the buyer for the booze, and now you need to off load at least some of it. Especially since you’ve gotta fix this broken wagon before you can get to a town to offload your goods. The soldiers would likely be interested in buying some of it. That should take out a fair portion of the soldiers, the rest you can hopefully take.

Other than that, I’d say go for an ambush.
Find yourself a choke point and catch the convoy there. A bridge is great, or baring that a narrow road though the forest (think The Patriot or Last of the Mohicans for reference). Superior positioning (cover and clear firing lanes) and accuracy can win against numbers.

You’ve seem to have a good grasp of tactics, take out the warcaster first so you don’t have to deal with him and his ‘jacks. Then pick off the officers, then everything else.

2013-01-06, 02:44 AM
thanks for the advice. most of our clever planning was for naught as we discovered a much easier way to ambush them. We found out what section of their journey was travel via the rail and derailed their train.
It turned nasty there as they only took a few casualties from the derailment but i managed to get close enough to lob some bombs into the car full of the trench troops taking out 10 or so with ease. The other car had the warcaster, 3 light jacks 6 gunmages and 2 heavy warjacks.

the way they were positioned was our best stroke of luck as the crash toppled the 2 heavy jacks into the squad of gunmages killing all but 1. we managed to take out 2 of the light jacks and the caster through judicous use of grenades and our ogryn axe fight doing same amazing chopping while the rest of the group killed some stragglers on the roof and the remaining gunmage.
the most horrible part was there was an enemy ogryn on the roof with a chain gun that could not roll less than a 5 on a d6. it was horrible we took 75% of our casualties from that 1 guy because every time we put him down he would tough back into firing form.

so in all we did great the dwarf was the only person to drop but he got brought back easily with an energy cookie and we forced the civilians to load our loot for us.

next week we just have to survive traveling through the forest of doom with our 6000lbs worth of currency oh we also managed to get 2 intact cortex's so we made out like bandits if we survive. unfortunatly the train had several cars worth of livestock that got horribly mangled and now we have every trollkin within 10 miles converging on that area.

tldr:) fun was had victory is near