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  AN ONGOING NEWSLETTER September 2008


Virgin MegaCorp
A Mystery wrapped in an enigma
by Dave Barker

Virgin MegaCorp is one of the oldest and most well established corporations in the world. Yet it is known mainly for Ricardo Branson-Pickle.

Although accurate records have been lost, Virgin is rumoured to have been founded in the 20th century by a charismatic businessman. Whatever the truth, Virgin MegaCorp is now one of the biggest players in the fields of transportation, media and entertainment.

As well as worldwide assets including some of the biggest names in the media, television and radio channels and road, rail, sea and sky links between the more stable parts of the fractured globe, Virgin MegaCorp also has a significant number of suborbital and lunar assets, several Martian colonies and a Venusian colony.

There are also unconfirmed rumours that Virgin MegaCorp has mastered FTL travel and is founding interstellar colonies in their own name; however most of the world dismisses these ideas as conspiracy theory and nonsense.

What is known is that the corporation is led by the charismatic leader Ricardo Branson-Pickle.

He not only owns the company outright and makes the big deals with other corporations; he is also known as a flamboyant showman. He has even been known to lead strike teams in the field against the corporationís enemies, personally.

No-one knows why such an important executive would take such a large risk with their own life, but Branston-Pickle is known to have a sense of adventure completely different from any other known corporate executive.

Virgin MegaCorp maintains a larger armed force than most corporations of a similar size because they need to protect their transport systems against gangs and marauders (and rival corporations) and to provide protection to their passengers.

The standard squad size for the Virgin MegaCorp is five troopers. Three squads form a Platoon; and for those really large games, Five Platoons form a Company.

Although typical examples of the different types of Squads are given in the following section, not every squad is identically armed: Virgin MegaCorp has the resources available to equip its combat teams with just about whatever is needed for a particular mission.

Use the standard points system to modify the costs for the squads if using non-standard squads.

He not only owns the company outright and makes the big deals with other corporations; he is also known as a flamboyant showman. He has even been known to lead strike teams in the field against the corporationís enemies, personally.

No-one knows why such an important executive would take such a large risk with their own life, but Branston-Pickle is known to have a sense of adventure completely different from any other known corporate executive.

Virgin MegaCorp maintains a larger armed force than most corporations of a similar size because they need to protect their transport systems against gangs and marauders (and rival corporations) and to provide protection to their passengers.

The standard squad size for the Virgin MegaCorp is five troopers. Three squads form a Platoon; and for those really large games, Five Platoons form a Company.

Although typical examples of the different types of Squads are given in the following section, not every squad is identically armed: Virgin MegaCorp has the resources available to equip its combat teams with just about whatever is needed for a particular mission.

Use the standard points system to modify the costs for the squads if using non-standard squads.


Squads

Tactical Squad - 189 points

These squads are the typical squads deployed to protect Virgin MegaCorpís transport system. They are also regularly deployed against the corporationís enemies. Armed mostly with rifles and the standard corporate Combat Suits, if you come across a Virgin Trooper, he is likely to be a member of a Tactical Squad.

Rank QualityArmour WeaponsEquipmentPoints
Sergeant (Leader)VeteranCombat SuitAuto Pistol, Fragmentation GrenadeComm Unit42
Corporal (Sub Leader)AverageCombat SuitAssault Rifle, Smoke GrenadeComm Unit39
TrooperAverageCombat SuitAssault Rifle, Smoke Grenade Comm Unit36
TrooperAverageCombat SuitAssault Rifle, Smoke Grenade Comm Unit36
TrooperAverageCombat SuitAssault Rifle, Smoke GrenadeComm Unit36

Assault Squad - 195 points

These squads are deployed in built-up, indoor and close-to environments where the action is expected to get heated. Armed mostly with lighter weapons, but still with the standard corporate Combat Suits, they are the most experienced and courageous Troopers available to corporation. If you come across a Virgin Assault Trooper in anger, then Virgin MegaCorp probably wants you dead.

Rank QualityArmour WeaponsEquipmentPoints
Sergeant (Leader)VeteranCombat SuitAuto Pistol, Sword, Fragmentation GrenadeComm Unit 44
Corporal (Sub Leader)VeteranCombat SuitAuto Pistol, Sword, Fragmentation GrenadeComm Unit40
TrooperVeteranCombat SuitAuto Pistol, Sword, Fragmentation Grenade Comm Unit37
TrooperVeteranCombat SuitAuto Pistol, Sword, Fragmentation Grenade Comm Unit37
TrooperVeteranCombat SuitAuto Pistol, Sword, Fragmentation Grenade Comm Unit37

Support Squad - 241 points

These squads are put into the field when lots of heavy fire support is required. Armed with heavy weapons and the standard corporate Combat Suits, they can take the carnage right to the enemy.

Rank QualityArmour WeaponsEquipmentPoints
Sergeant (Leader)VeteranCombat SuitAuto Pistol, Fragmentation GrenadeComm Unit42
Corporal (Sub Leader)AverageCombat SuitAssault Rifle, Fragmentation Grenade Comm Unit40
TrooperAverageCombat SuitMachine Gun, Fragmentation GrenadeComm Unit53
TrooperAverageCombat SuitAutocannon, Fragmentation GrenadeComm Unit53
TrooperAverageCombat SuitMissile Launcher, Fragmentation Grenade
5x HE Missiles, 1x Smoke Missile,
Comm Unit53

Rookie Squad - 173 points

Virgin Troopers need to gain experience somewhere, and these are the squads where new Troopers gain experience. Theyíre armed just like a regular Tactical Squad.

Rank QualityArmour WeaponsEquipmentPoints
Sergeant (Leader)VeteranCombat SuitAuto Pistol, Fragmentation GrenadeComm Unit 42
Corporal (Sub Leader)GreenCombat SuitAssault Rifle, Smoke GrenadeComm Unit35
TrooperGreenCombat Suit Assault Rifle, Smoke GrenadeComm Unit32
TrooperGreenCombat Suit Assault Rifle, Smoke GrenadeComm Unit32
TrooperGreenCombat Suit Assault Rifle, Smoke GrenadeComm Unit32

Officers

Leading platoons and larger organisations of Virgin Troopers is the Virgin Officer Corps. This corps is made up of the most experienced Troopers who have also passed through Virginís Officer Training College. As the most valuable military personnel available to the corporation, every effort is made to keep their skills and experience, so as many as one in three of them have visible cybernetic replacements for their old wounds, and a few of them are practically cyborgs.

For the cyborg officers, use the rules for TaskM Alpha or TaskM(F) Alpha automatons, as given in the Combat Zone Chronicles

Rank QualityArmour WeaponsPoints
Hero (Virgin Officer)Elite (Hero)Combat SuitAuto Pistol, Fragmentation Grenade109
Cyborg MaleHero (Virgin Officer)See TaskM Alpha profile
Cyborg FemaleHero (Virgin Officer) See TaskM(F) Alpha profile

Ricardo Branston-Pickle

Ricardo is the chief executive of Virgin MegaCorp and when he takes to the field leading his troops, he rides in his custom-built battle chair. As well as incorporating the latest in weapons concealed in the bubbles around the base of the chair and the latest in armour and magnetic defence shielding, the chair also incorporates a prototype teleport homer that will transport Ricardo back to his base hospital in the even of critical damage.

In terms of the rules, Ricardo should be treated as a machine, as per the machine rules on p.19 of the rulebook, with the exception that he is of Elite quality.

Rank QualityArmour WeaponsEquipmentPoints
Ricardo Branston-Pickle(Chief Executive / General)Elite (Hero)Battle Chair (Combat Suit)Recoilless Rifle, 2x Smoke Launchers Battle Chair, Auto-Repair, Targeter, Teleport Homer250

Ricardo Branston-Pickleís Battle Chair.

The Battle Chair counts as a Combat Suit in terms of armour, due to the highly armoured base and the defensive magnetic shielding protecting the occupant of the chair. A recoilless rifle is built into the base of the chair, which is also fitted with two smoke launchers. The chair incorporates a targeter linked to the rifle and has an auto-repair system.

Because Ricardoís life is more important even than those of his most veteran officers, a prototype teleport homer is built into the chair to recover him from the battlefield in the event of a problem. Whenever he takes Critical damage, or any kind of Software damage (after all no-one trusts software!), the teleport system is triggered and Ricardo is returned to his hospital, removing him from the battlefield.


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