This one is a long standing entry on the wargaming "bucket list" to do: Star Gruntz. With my 15mm Yaeter painted it was time to go adventuring!
Planet-fall on AZ3499-Q: Yeater Recon Mission: Advance to Contact
AZ3499-Q is a sparsely populated humanoid mining outpost. Orbital sweeps have detected low to middle tech organic resources probably of "militia level"; kinetic and simple energy weaponry. Planetary communication systems were at one time present but now have degraded capability. The low setting sun stirs soft shadows on the arid terrain of a selected 'inhabited' outpost. The ramshackle dwellings are prefabricated with a low energy signature. Artificial Intelligence (AI) assessment: Low to Medium probability of civilised habitation. Lack of detectable external movement and static infrastructure indicates this is at best an out-reach settlement possibly deserted for part of the annual cycle. The red sand is barren and infertile; there is no sign of enclosed agriculture micro pods - you take what you need to eat and drink (see below):
Low level drone passes detect nothing of particular interest but seem to confirm the AI prediction (see below):
The few low level energy signatures are assumed to be from primitive maintenance or robotic activity. The corrugated metallic structures show extremely heavy wear and tear by exposure to the elements but are still structurally intact (see below):
An advanced Yeater recon probe settles down on the "dust-pad". The detected energy signatures confirm the drone's initial remote analysis. However unbeknown to the Yaeter the probe's landing has been detected by remote sensing equipment left behind by the primitive warring factions that remain in this region of the planet (see below, yes it is an Airfix Apollo Moon Lander cast off from the Saturn 1B kit that has now fulfilled its wargaming destiny):
Which causes an alert to the local "New Polish" forces who have to travel "on-foot" (see below):
And also the more mechanised "Zard" detaching a mobile scout force (see below):
Both sides suspect the others involvement. Technically the "Zard" are in ownership of the settlement but ownership is ninety nine hundredths of the law on AZ3499-Q. Both local militia sides are completely unaware of the Yaeters planetary operations. A Yaeter combat "Away Team" are sent to inspect the semi-deserted settlement.