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A Time of Ice and Fire

A Time of Ice and Fire
Story information
Author Jason Schmetzer
Pages 8
Type Short story
Product Alpha Strike Quick Start Rules
Era Succession Wars era
Timeline 23 - ca. 26 March 3015

A Time of Ice and Fire is a BattleTech short story by Jason Schmetzer that serves as intro fiction for the 2015 Alpha Strike Quick Start Rules free PDF publication (and the 2019 corrected release, titled Alpha Strike Quick Start Rules: Commander's Edition Update).

Narrating the final assault of Wolf's Dragoons (and Natasha Kerensky's command in particular) on Anton Marik's fortress on New Delos, the story harkens back to one of the oldest BattleTech board game scenarios which was first published twenty-nine years prior in the 1986 publication The Spider and the Wolf.

Plot summary[edit]

Duke Anton Marik has turned against his mercenaries and executed the hostages he held, including Colonel Jaime Wolf's wife and two daughters and Wolf's brother Joshua Wolf who was also Captain Natasha Kerensky's lover. In response, Wolf's Dragoons are descending on Anton Marik's base on New Delos to exact revenge.

In Kerensky's special company of misfits and troublemakers, Shadow Hawk pilot Willard Andrews is a recent addition. Initially uncomfortable with his assignment, he comes to respect and appreciate the elite skills of his comrades as the company drops right into the near-impassable forest fires that were supposed to guard the enemy flank.

Among the ducal defenders, Stalker pilot Sergeant Adam Powell, disenchanted with how things turned out but loyal to his oath to Duke Anton Marik, has his 'Mech shot out from under him in a mere forty-three seconds in battle with the mercenaries on 23 March 3015. Rescued by a Pegasus hovercraft, he is assigned a replacement Stalker on the following day. Together with two Warhammers and two Crusaders, his reserve force ends up facing Natasha Kerensky's company—the future Black Widow Company—when they break through the defense lines by going through the fire. They are vanquished, but Powell is jubilant because he lasts almost two minutes this time before ejecting. Powell arrives at the palace on foot to witness the destruction the irate Wolf's Dragoons inflict there.


  • This story depicts the events somewhat differently from the 1986 graphic novel The Spider and the Wolf:
    • A recent addition to Kerensky's command piloting a Catapult and noted to be "not even on the rolls yet" features in the story but made no appearance in The Spider and the Wolf. Andrews cannot remember his name, juggling Bartlett, Barton, Bixby, and Barnes. At least the former two names feature prominently in another BattleTech sourcebook, McCarron's Armored Cavalry (scenario pack).
    • In the scenario The Bigger They Are... in The Spider and the Wolf, the defending Stalker, Warhammers and Crusaders are powered down at the beginning of the fight and need to be started up first to join the fight. In this story, Powell and his lance are actively investigating reports of a breach of the fort's rear walls in their 'Mechs and engage Kerensky's company there.
  • The original scenario was dated 22 October 3015. A Time of Ice and Fire has two timestamps, one on 23 March 3015 when Powell ejects for the first time and one on 24 March (the following day) when he receives a replacement 'Mech. However, when he ejects for the second time he notes it is the second time in three days, suggesting the actual final battle takes place on 25 or 26 March.
  • The Memory of Pain, also by Jason Schmetzer, depicts this same battle, but told from Natasha Kerensky's point of view. It details some of Natasha and Joshua Wolf's relationship as well.