Author Topic: Assault on an Aztech Pyramid  (Read 484 times)

FatalVendetta

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Assault on an Aztech Pyramid
« on: (17:21:50/02-23-17) »
So in the Campaign I'm running, a players daughter who is a 3 year old Awakened was kidnapped by Aztech to use in an experiment. Now her father is planning a full frontal assault on their pyramid to get her back. What level of difficulty should the security be, given that I dont want the characters to straight up die in the initial assault? Any other tips on managing the scale of combat of this magnitude.

My party has 5-7 players, running the standard character builds from 5e. Please help.

EiraHaexa

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Re: Assault on an Aztech Pyramid
« Reply #1 on: (17:46:31/02-23-17) »
What is it with Aztech experimenting on mages? They did the same thing to my character, then years later turned around and did it to her daughter.

Watch out for blood spirits! Nasty fraggers those.
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MijRai

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Re: Assault on an Aztech Pyramid
« Reply #2 on: (18:47:15/02-23-17) »
A full frontal assault on an Aztech HQ/Temple?  Unless they have a LOT more than just the 5-7 players, that is in fact a suicide mission.  Have them call in favors, hire mercs, even the odds out somehow.  Otherwise, they'll get gunned down (or worse, Aztechnology is all about worse). 
Would you want to go into a place where the resident had a drum-fed shotgun and can see in the dark?

FatalVendetta

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Re: Assault on an Aztech Pyramid
« Reply #3 on: (19:40:50/02-23-17) »
What is it with Aztech experimenting on mages? They did the same thing to my character, then years later turned around and did it to her daughter.

Watch out for blood spirits! Nasty fraggers those.

Thats Aztech for you. If they cant get you, theyll get those close to you.

A full frontal assault on an Aztech HQ/Temple?  Unless they have a LOT more than just the 5-7 players, that is in fact a suicide mission.  Have them call in favors, hire mercs, even the odds out somehow.  Otherwise, they'll get gunned down (or worse, Aztechnology is all about worse). 

I'm pretty aware that its suicide, and my PC's are aware of it too. Thanks for the idea about the worse, I'll try come up with some ideas to give them a worse option.

Reaver

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Re: Assault on an Aztech Pyramid
« Reply #4 on: (20:04:05/02-23-17) »
As the saying goes, you can't fix stupid!

And a frontal assault on what is essentially a military complex IS stupid!


Time for your players to think like.... RUNNERS!!

They can't out gun them,
They can't out shoot them,
They can't out man them....


BUT, they can out think them! Come at the problem sideways and in smaller parts....

1: they need to get inside.
2: they need to find the daughter
3: they need the extract the daughter
4: they need to leave.

For 1: there is stealth, guile, subterfuge, and trickery..... (Have the team decker plant a repair request at them temple, the team pose that repair persons to get in.)

But really, PLANNING the mission is half the fun!!
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

MijRai

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Re: Assault on an Aztech Pyramid
« Reply #5 on: (21:49:45/02-23-17) »
Don't forget having others help you out.  Maybe contact a rival organization to the baby-stealing jerks, tell them you will do something in there for them if they support your operation.  Lots of people don't like Aztechnology, it won't be hard.  Then, when you have back-up, do a multi-pronged assault with heavy support. 
Would you want to go into a place where the resident had a drum-fed shotgun and can see in the dark?

Sphinx

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Re: Assault on an Aztech Pyramid
« Reply #6 on: (12:02:49/02-24-17) »
Assuming you mean the Aztechnology Pyramid in Seattle (a.k.a., Aztechnology North America Complex), remember that the street level is a giant shopping mall, open to the public, full of retail outlets, restaurants, and crowds of SINners from all over Seattle and beyond. Thousands of people come and go every hour, so the pyramid's base level is fairly open and accessible, with public parking on the first sublevel and token security at the main entrances and exits. Expect weapon/cyberware scanners concealed in the door frames, and conveniently placed security ready to escort potential troublemakers swiftly and discreetly to a private interview room. Extraterritoriality, remember ... Aztechnology rules.

Access to the upper (and lower) levels would be strictly controlled, mainly through a central trunk of elevators and stairwells behind a security checkpoint. No one leaves the public level without an Aztechnology corporate SIN (or a good fake) and/or a really good reason, probably including an appointment and an escort. Expect secondary stairwells and elevators near the corners of the upper pyramid tiers, off-limits to the public but used by building maintenance and security. The runners need to enter the pyramid, ascend to the right level, find the right lab, rescue the girl, and get away. The public mall is the obvious entry point, but not the only one. There are landing pads on the "step" levels if you can obtain or fake a convincing clearance.

The Aztechnology Pyramid has 72 floors above ground and 10 below; corporate labs are on 45-46. There's a battalion of Leopard Guards stationed on 64; any trouble that ordinary security grunts can't quickly handle draws priority military response within a few combat turns. You can find SR4 stats for Leopard Guards in Artifacts Unbound (p.48) or Jet Set (p.55); they could be updated easily enough if you need them.

Possible strategies for rescuing the kidnapped child:
  • You might try to draw out and ambush a security team, take their gear and vehicle, copy their biometrics and RFID tag implants. Arrange some distractions back at the pyramid (e.g., gangers or NPC shadowrunners loose in the mall), infiltrate during the confusion as part of the security response, blend in with panicked crowds on the way out.
  • You could blow up a car in the parking garage, wait for all the excitement to die down, then once the police tape and plastic tarps are up and security clears the scene, you quietly move in, ambush the maintenance/cleanup crew, and borrow their identities.
  • Hacking the pyramid is probably out of the question, but local contractors might be more vulnerable. Even the Big A can't handle everything in-house. You could watch the service/delivery entrances and identify some promising local business, hack their much smaller, weaker system to obtain a legitimate cover, and get in and out that way.
  • Why target the pyramid at all? Find a senior member of the research team (or someone with authority over them) who has family living outside the pyramid, kidnap a parent or sibling or child, and offer to trade.

Some references to review, if you have them:
SR5 Seattle Sprawl box (Emerald Shadows, p.15; Ruling the Queen City, p.32)
SR4 Seattle 2072 (p.45)
SR4 Runner Havens (p.74)
SR3 New Seattle (p.90)
SR1 Seattle (p.50): includes a rough floor directory, from the ten sublevels to the temple at the top.

Kincaid

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Re: Assault on an Aztech Pyramid
« Reply #7 on: (12:26:57/02-24-17) »
To add a little perspective, a battalion of Leopard Guards (let's assume they follow the same structure as USASOC for the moment) is three companies of 7 ODs each, a C&C element, and a support company.  That's 18(!) ODAs (216 shooters!!) who, using the edition conversion guide, have Agility 8, Automatics 7 (+2) and the Stealth Group at 10. This is to say nothing of the generic rank and file guards.  This building holds one-quarter of the strength of a SF Group, which are generally assigned to a continent. 

No one "plans" a frontal assault on a target like this.  They may think about it, fantasize about it, or even briefly do it.  If planning is involved, then the frontal assault aspect of things goes out the window.

Sneaking or social engineering are your best bets.
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Ghost Rigger

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Re: Assault on an Aztech Pyramid
« Reply #8 on: (12:51:05/02-24-17) »
Honestly, the best plan of action here is to trick Aztechnology into shipping the girl to a different location and intercepting the courier, thus circumventing the challenge of assaulting the pyramid altogether.

farothel

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Re: Assault on an Aztech Pyramid
« Reply #9 on: (13:58:48/02-24-17) »
If I were GM and my players would do that, I would just rip apart their character sheets without rolling (maybe just roll to see how many enemies they would take with them before they bit the big one).  I try not to have my players die due to a bad die roll, but if they are stupid, they get what they deserve.  If they burn edge, they live but get the 'worse' mentioned before.  In any case, that character is never played again.

To solve this most useful solutions have been given, but I would go with fake orders to bring the girl to somewhere else (decker, do your thing) and then ambush the convoy (they know where and when they would be).  In the orders they can put that stealth is more important than show of force (and really, what's a 3 year old girl going to do, awakened or not).  That way they have less security.  Say one car, a driver, security guard and a mage in the back to keep the girl calm.  Should be doable for a shadowrun team.
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GloriousRuse

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Re: Assault on an Aztech Pyramid
« Reply #10 on: (18:58:28/03-05-17) »
Bearing in mind that stealth, social engineering, changing the battlefield to somewhere else, or virtually any option that does not involve assaulting the pyramid is infinitely preferable from a tactical sense, and certainly from a long term consequence sense, if you HAD to go the assault route - and again, as many others have mentioned, this is a very not good idea - here is the dynamic:

-There are a ton of guards of all varieties, shooty, decky, magic, etc. there. Your only advantage in a fight with them is that they are spread out all over the building, and probably aren't just sitting around waiting for today to turn into a bloodbath, and will need some time to react. There is probably a small force ready for a quick reaction, but not everybody is going to instantly glom to where ever the runners are. Eventually they will, but that requires coordination and time. As such...

-Once the shooting starts, the runners need to be fast. No getting pinned down, no taking two minutes to pick a lock, no "oops, guess we'll have to run up ten flights of stairs because we got the wrong floor", no "thirty seconds to discuss this ethical dilemma" - nothing but steady movement punctuated by gunfire, grenades, breaching, and spells. And if anything stops them, they die. Lockdowns happen, guards converge, and it becomes an unwinnable battle. At that point you might offer them a surrender option...and if they don't take it...well, everyone always has a few good char ideas in their head, right?

-Chaos will have to be their friend. When this kicks off, neither the average guard nor the command center types know what is going on. If the runners start bee-lining forward, speed will help keep them inside the security's OODA loop, but their intentions and the nature of the crisis will quickly become identifiable to someone. At that point, big A has all the advantages because the runners are no longer inside the decision cycle, and vast resources are now being applied against an identified single problem.

The runners need to overload who is coordinating security's ability to think and comprehend the situation, and make it seem like the world is coming apart with no direction to the average guard. When this starts, there are going to be some guys in their bunks watching trid porn, and their first reaction is going to be "huh? Whats going on? I should find out what's happening or maybe shelter in place here until its clear." There are guards at checkpoints and stuff who, in the absence of outside direction, will just decide to hold their part of the building until someone clears this up. The runners need to keep those guys confused, cut off, and unmotivated to go looking for trouble as long as possible. At the same time, central security needs to be receiving garbled, contradictory reports about multiple problems, painted an unreliable picture, and even once they get the picture straight, it shouldn't be clear where to focus their efforts. You want to task overload their decision making capability - which includes fooling the analytic AIs. How to do that is up to the runners, but it will assist in preventing units from coalescing and central from massing against the runners. It may even have the first reaction teams head the wrong direction to go deal with one of the several other problems.

-A different way out. This should be obvious, but presumably as the lockdowns go into effect, the way the runners came in is no longer going to be viable..

-Legwork. Tons and tons of legwork. Because every step has to be near perfect to overcome the defense even before everything begins to track the runners, because you need to confuse the hell out of the guys with all the cards, and because you have no time to make or try a plan B before the wrath of big A exterminates you, the intelligence picture needs to be near perfect.

Do all that, and maybe, just maybe, they have a chance tactically. Of course, long term they're still dead unless they've got the a helluva bail out plan. There's no way they aren't being ID'd, and big A is not going to let them ride off into the sunset after the run is done.     

Sphinx

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Re: Assault on an Aztech Pyramid
« Reply #11 on: (11:45:43/03-13-17) »
So, FatalVendetta, how'd it play out?

Thanael

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Re: Assault on an Aztech Pyramid
« Reply #12 on: (20:23:13/03-15-17) »
In Ernest Hogans excellent High Aztech - which is a must read IMHO for Aztechnology/Aztlan flavor and lingo - there's an excellent scene where the protagonist enters a Pyramid/Mall/Arcology and is promptly gunned down by an auto turret with a gel/stick and shock(?)/dmso? machine gun/minigun. That's Aztech standard security for you.