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during the last run the runners ambushed a meeting between a rival NPC runner team and a Yamatetsu Johnson, along with his orc bodyguards. After having swiped the floor with them, they took off with the large helicopter the Johnson arrived with.
So, at the beginning of the next run, I want Yamatetsu to go after their property (they surely are able to track where their helicopters go) and move in with a group, SWAT-like, to take out the runners and retrieve their helicopter.
Unfortunately, I am out of ideas how to design this team. My thoughts so far include a stealthy member of the force with a datajack or rigger control to sneak at the helicopter and flee in the helicopter as the fighting continues. Also, as Yamatetsu is quite meta-friendly, the team might include a troll, maybe two.
The player team consists of a vehicle/drone rigger, a mercenary, an elven physical gunfu-adept, and an elven spy/face.
Any ideas?

Well, for starters, don't forget your combat mage. And don't focus on direct-damage spells... that's what guns are for. Never underestimate the value of spells like Chaotic World, Improved Invisibility, and one of my personal favorites, Hot Potato. Mages should never be used for directly dealing damage except in rare circumstances.

Also, don't forget the team's ingress vehicle... prolly another helicopter, possibly a light t-bird. While the retrieval team is fighting, there's nothing saying that their entry heli has to leave, indeed, a smart team's rigger would stay around with a door gunner and an LMG or possibly a chin turret gun until the fire got too hot. And make sure it's reasonably armored... an armor rating of 6 will pretty much guarantee that 99.9% of small arms fire will bounce off. Like I said, a door mounted LMG would be good, as would a Vindicator in a chin turret. Sling a Great Dragon or two under the fuselage just in case. Also, an idea my team and I had that worked really well when we stormed a place from helicopter... cover the underside of the thing with flashpaks, set to randomly discharge. Give your minions flare comp. Sure, a couple members of the PC team might have it, too, but boy, is it surprisingly effective...

As for the main team members, wire 'em up. Remember, Adepts are rare, and require much training, but all it takes is nuyen to wire someone to the gills and slot some skillsofts, and Nuyen is something that megacorps got in spades. Smartlinks are a must, as are at the very least low-light vision and possibly thermos. Skillwires are handy, but not necessary. Bone Lacing or dermal plating/sheathing is often worth its weight in Orichalcum, let me tell you. And never, ever, EVER forget your initiative enhancing cyber/bioware. The most wiz team in the world is nothing if they can't live long enough to get a shot off. Speaking of bioware, two words: Enhanced Articulation. For a tiny margin of Bio-index, you get an extra die to practically every test you make. Cerebral boosters are fun, too... though for a corp strike team, a bit excessive.

There's also the matter of armament. Try to keep things relatively standard, just to maintain credibility... no Corp strike team is gonna be armed with the hodge-podge most runner teams carry. Arm 'em all with SMGs or ARs, A good heavy pistol backup, maybe one guy with a shotgun, and a Troll heavy. Grenades are good... if your AR has an underbarrel, load 'em up. Concussion, smoke, HE, even the dreaded Willy Pete... grenades are good. And remember the Chunky Salsa effect! Explosion + Confined space = fun! One other thing... bayonets/melee weapons. Odds are that merc or physad are proficient in melee combat, and nothing's worse than when they charge in and none of your goons can fight in melee. Give 'em bayonets or stun batons...

Give them reasonable armor, too. This is a strike/retrieval team from a AAA Mega. Granted, Yamatetsu is one of the smaller ones, but that doesn't mean they're weak. Light Security armor is a distinct probability, even up to medium security. Remember, put the important team members in heavier... officers, heavies, and mages. Remember, this ain't D&D... mages can wear all the armor they want! Also, don't forget that security armor helmets can come with nifty enhancements to comms and vision an' stuff. Take advantage of this.. the team that can't communicate is easily destroyed. And, since this is the only armor they'll be wearing, feel free to give 'em Gel packs, unless those can't be combined with Security armor... I don't have my books handy ATM. And, if you wanna be REALLY vile, give 'em Ruthenium Polymer cloaks. They can't shoot what they can't see...

A lot of it depends on how bad they want their whirlybird back. They could get truly vicious... they are a AAA Mega. However, depending on the level of your PCs, this all is probably a bit excessive... I'm just thinking like someone with money to burn who REALLY wants his damn chopper back...
Hot Wheels
Allow for lots of EW, the corp will try and jamb the team rigger so his drones won't work and might even have more than one vehical coming in, the team escapes or is allowed to escape and then finds themselves being chased by mulitple gunships.

The corp will use spells not designed to kill but disorient and capture, net guns, drugs, maybe a couple of air elementals to engulf. The corp is pissed, they don't just want bullet riddled bodies on the ground, they want these people in a Yamatseu court room, prison facility and then, maybe, execution chamber, unless we can sweeten the deal for you.
All that armament to get their helicopter back? Don't you think that if they went to the trouble of going after it, they'd try to make sure that they could get it back in one piece? smile.gif

I'd also suggest a mage with combat capability, but I'd actually make sure that his abilities are stacked to be much sneakier. Someone with really good Control Thoughts, Stun, Improved Invisibility and Silence spells, for example. Maybe an air elemental or two in his service on top of that.

As for the rest of the team, I'd suggest two riggers; they'd want to assume that they can get their gear back, and one of them has to drive the helicopter as well as their original vehicle back to base. smile.gif

A negotiator (face) with combat, perhaps also sniper, capability (SWAT/hostage negotiator background?) would also be prudent. Whether he's magical or cybered doesn't matter.

If there's going to be any "work" for them on the ground in relation to the shadowrunner team, then an adept of the Invisible Way could help. Otherwise, I personally wouldn't bother unless they're some sort of gunnery or flying adept (in place of your second rigger).
Hot Wheels
I'd guess they want the whirly bird back, but they also want to set an example. For many years AZT had a pretty harsh rep and people were nervous about hitting them.
i'm all about having a tactical commander, with SUT 6 and a tac-comp. i'd also give these guys BattleTac, cyberlinks where possible.
first, a Hughes Stallion is 265,000 (one Johnson, six bodyguards and six children which had been subject to matrix experiments were originally supposed to be transported in the helicopter... long story), so Yamatetsu will do their math whether the use of 2 soldiers, two riggers, an artillery troll and a hermetic will cost them less than a quarter million nuyen, which I believe.
Second, Hot Wheels got the other major point, they want to set an example. Of course Yamatetsu is able to buy all the Stallions they will ever need, but if people start just taking their stuff, it's bad for their reputation (Aztechnology is a great example for a feared corporation - is there any corporation with a similar reputation?).

As my runners are quite inexperienced, I settled for the following plan, which keeps costs, runner skill and psychology in mind.

As the runners are assembled at the rigger character's home, the phone rings and a computer generated voice starts counting down from 10 (kind of cheesy, but it's a new group so they are not that spoiled yet).
On 0, the windows on one side of the apartment are shattered and a couple flashbangs on the side of the helicopter are fired, so a few of the characters will be quite blind for a while.
Then, 2 soldiers with remington smartguns and military armor enter the room through the window and start the fun. The troll gunner stays in the helicopter hovering in front of the window and soaking most of the apartment with lead. A hermetic will give supporting sorcery from good cover.
Meanwhile, a Yamatetsu rigger will sneak towards the parked Stallion, which will mostly not be located in the rigger's living room and in the heat of the action fly the Stallion away. When this succeeds, the Yamatetsu troops retreat.

What do you think?

A Hughes chopper is really pocket change to a corp like Yam.

The real question is, how badly mangled do you want your players at the end of this? Are you trying to kill them? Scare the living hell out of them?

Is Yam looking to make an example out of the morons who whacked a Johnson?

Right now, it's less an issue of how to make the team and more of how you want your players to end up after this blender?

In a situation like you suggest, there's no reason for any Yamatetsu operatives to actually enter the room, or for anyone to give warning. Just have the chopper helo outside hose down the room with bullets until it resembles a sieve, and have three or so people covering the doors with assault rifles containing APDS rounds or shotguns. Boom, your runners are dead, and there's almost nothing they can do about it unless they have a few ATGMs in their living room.
If you're going to use that kind of force, be prepared to accept the fact that nothing but a plot contrivance of some variety is going to allow the runners to survive without having lost more or less everything. I suppose I could see a lucky character managing to make a break for it, but all gear is lost, most of the team is dead, and if they try to make a stand, all of them are.

It might also be fun for Yamatetsu to want to capture the runners. (Make yer own reasons for it based on the campaign. Maybe they know something.) If ya just want to have them try and kill 'em snipers and spirits would get the job done.

When making the strike team, remember, Yamatetsu is THE player when it comes to cyberwear. No other corporation comes close! So, for them, cyber at cost is pretty cheap. A strike team's probably going to have beta class cyber.

1: you'll need a rigger to fly the chopper back. Give him drones to use for the strike. Have him use the drones to follow escaping runners and use him as the leader/coordinator. Small Unit Tactics would be a good skill for him.

2: you'll need a mage type. Probably a level 1 or 2 initiate with the shielding metamagic technique. He'd be protecting the rest of the team with his spell defence.

3: your mage will have spirits on tap. Use 'em.

4: a bunch of sammy types equal in number to the runners. AAA's don't fool around when they send a message. Give 'em all smartlink 2's with rangefinders and some level of bone lacing. Flare compensation's a must! Cyberwear radios are a good idea too. Finally, initiative boosing cyber (probably wired reflexes 2 with a reflex trigger) to round it all out. With this all as beta you can keep their essences at about 3 so the mage can heal 'em with a spell if need be. If ya feel like being real mean, make it delta grade.

As for gear, SMG's and shotguns are appropriate. Light security armour and ruthemium polymers are a good combination. This would be a cool place to introduce the savior advanced medkit, too. If the idea's to take 'em alive, capsule rounds would be great. Use your favourite knock out drug. Narcoject is always a favourite.

Skills...a strike team would have generic combat skills of 6 or 7 and a stealth of at least 5. The players' best hope is that they don't get caught off guard. I hope your players' mage is smart enough to use watcher spirits at all times or they're good and screwed!
If the stolen chopper is rigged for remote-control, Yamatetsu may have planted "back door" passcodes into the system which lets their rigger regain control of it or which orders it to fly on autopilot back to base. The "autopilot back to base" mode can be built into a chopper for when a pilot thinks he might pass out or the chopper detects the pilot is incapacitated.

If the chopper is in the Barrens, Yamatetsu could use the stolen chopper as an excuse for a major training exercise. After receiving permission from the Metroplex to use military grade weapons, they could land with 150 ground forces and sweep over 3 or 4 blocks of the Barrens just for practice. Officially its to "reclaim their property", but really it is to increase the readiness of their troops, perform live fire exercises against uncertain opponents, test equipment, etc.

If they want a live exercise to test out some cyberware, they could send in a small team with experimental cyberware to see how it performs. This team is expendable. The chopper is just an excuse. They can mount a real extraction later. They may be willing to "use up" very expensive cyberware (and cheap people) to find out how it works under real conditions.

But if they simply want to reclaim their chopper and set an example, I think they'll come in overwhelming force and attempt to have ZERO of their people injured. Five astral magicians (perhaps 1 pulled from each security shift) with elementals will recon the target location and take out any spirits, dual-natured opponents, or astrally-perceiving shadowrunners. Once they command astral space a few stay to observe the shadowrunners (and report surprise changes in the situation) while the rest go to backup the ground forces. The ground forces (35 or so with guns) will lay down such covering fire from concealed positions that no one will come out to mess with those actually climbing into the chopper. Bomb detection equipment will be used on the Chopper before any personnel risk their lives in it. The hideout will be riddled with bullets, but killing all the shadowrunners is not their objective. Making sure the runners are killed would mean sending personnel into an unknown building that may be wired with explosives or booby traps. In fact they want someone left alive to spread the word that no one should mess with Yamatetsu.

Think of the various options the corporation has from the point of view of the corporation, and then pick the one that is best for your campaign.
Frag-o Delux
Our Gm always feared when the team was together, we were pretty unstoppable together as a team. But we never hung out together all the time, deckers usually hang with deckers, riggers with riggers and so on.

A bunch of little teams going after one team member simultanaisouly was usually how he screwed us up. For some reason I always managed to escape beaten badly but a live. A few of our team didn't, so it took a while to re-intergrate a new member. If you are not on a run, are you going to be carring all your normal run gear? To me it usually ment 2 Man Hunters, a knife, and a shot gun in the car, with little armor. Now that is nothing compared to 5 guys with Security armor, AR's and grenades. Throw in a mage or adept, possibly a sniper for covering the kick team. Hell one guy on our team had an unnatural fear of dogs, so the revenge team brought an animal handler with a few dogs to chase him down. All the corp does is sit back with some eyes on the stashed helo, then build a file on all the people who come and go. Revenge is best served cold, if the team just stole the helo they maybe waiting for an attack. If Yamatetsu waits for them to do another job they can jump them on the way out. Pinch them between the Yamatetsu team and the "corp X" security. Hell the revenge team could set off the alarms them selves everytime they go on a job. Once your rep as a bumbling team who has to shoot their way out everytime, A) they'll get crap jobs that will eventually lead to their death, B) someone will hire the as a distraction team which usually means death, or C) no one hires them anymore. Or you can catch them one at a time, hold them so you can get the helo back after the Yamatetsu rigger has a chance to check it to be sure the thieves didn't boobytrap it or put spy gear in it themselves, then that leaves you with a few options back of the head shots for everyone, they sing up for that new expirmental ware, or just become a regular team for Yamatetsu which leads to their death any way. If the team members are by them selves then a team tailored against their strengths will have no trouble taking them out.
If you're feeling particularly malevolent, don't kill the runners. Capture them, using CS/tear gas, gel rounds, Narcoject, or whatever... Let them make a fight of it. Who knows? Some of them might actually succeed in getting away. Next, have those who were captured wake up strapped to chairs, with bandages on the backs of their necks and bright lights staring them in the face. Have a darkened figure behind the lights walk forward, revealing the Yamatetsu logo on his breast pocket, and politely explain to the runners that they have made a nuisance of themselves. To make amends, they must perform a particularly risky and deniable mission for Yamatetsu... and if they choose to lie about accepting and make a run for it, well, surely the cortex bombs that have been implanted in their necks with tamper-resistant triggers will reveal both their lack of honor and Yamatetsu's displeasure with those who anger them.

It could be an excellent opportunity to provide certain characters with the "mysterious cyberware" flaw, as well.
Kurukami: no reason to. No deniability whatsoever, as if the run gets fragged the runners might squeal in time. If, on the other hand, we remove the logo and say that the runners were removed by a "third party" (which could still be Yamatetsu, they just aren't owning up)...
Oh, and don't tell them about the bombs. It's bad form. Just have them be warned and if they stray, have one of their heads explode. If they still don't follow, the rest die.

Yes, I run a very lethal game.

QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
Yes, I run a very lethal game.

As one of his players, I must randomly comment that yes, he does.
Kanada Ten
(Aztechnology is a great example for a feared corporation - is there any corporation with a similar reputation?).


MCT has a nasty reputation for runner prevention. They invented the Zero-Zero zone and their drones (both human and non) are always set on lethal, never stun.
I agree with OurTeam that a corporation that has decided it will send its own security in to retrieve the helicopter will send in enough forces so that it can retreive the helicopter with no further losses.

This, of course, wouldn't be a very fair fight for the runners. smile.gif

However, if Yametetsu decided it would be worth a 100,000 gamble to get back their 400,000 NuYen helicopter they might hire another Shadowrun team to get it back. Maybe they'll offer a hefty bonus if they also capture the thieves so they can be "dealt with". This allows you to design a team that might or might not take out the runners. If the runners prevail, they will feel happy that they overcame a very strong threat. If the runners are captured, the GM can use that as a plot device for the next run.
It's amazing that corporations never make "fair fight" an objective for one of their operations. Is that something only GMs do?
Kanada Ten
QUOTE (OurTeam)
It's amazing that corporations never make "fair fight" an objective for one of their operations. Is that something only GMs do?

And sometimes dragons wink.gif
Keep in mind, if a corporation wants you dead and your name isn't Harlequinn or Lofwyr, then you better start writing your will.

Here's what I would do. The characters are most likely going to have to sell the chopper. Everytime they look like they are getting close to selling it, the buyer is killed by Yamatetsu. If they keep on trying, eventually their contacts will dry up when it becomes apparent that they are dangerous aquintences to have. Then one day have the phone ring, the person on the line proclaims that Yamatetsu is taking back their heliocopter and expects payment for the 'rental' period the runners had it for. If the character starts to give them shit... have one of the players notice a little red dot on the person's forehead. Then have the person on the phone explain how they have "just the right job' for the characters to perform to pay back Yamatetsu for "renting" their helicopter.
Frag-o Delux
One thing I just noticed is that everyone is focusig to much on the Helo. Why would any corp care about it. I think the main reason for revenge is that they screwed with the Johnson. Have a bunch of their contacts screwed with and that should settle the score. The Helo means nothing, a trust worthy Johnson that the corp has groomed for years to be in that position is worth his wieght in gold.
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