Armored Warfare features a storyline you can participate it by playing the Special Operations mode.
The Black Sea Incursion story arc is now fully available. Learn what happened in this exciting flashback, as narrated by Magnus Holter!
Before the Storm
The world of 2042 is a broken one with corporations usurping much of the world’s resources and former superpowers like the United States of America are but a shadow of their former glory. This is a result of decades of deterioration, greed and unbridled exploitation of the most powerful consortiums, some of which are wealthier than entire continents combined. These corporations control private mercenary armies, equipped with all kinds of weaponry short of nuclear. Entire divisions of armored vehicles are at their disposal, ready to do their master’s bidding – not out of patriotism or loyalty, but for Credits – the universal currency of the new world. To read about the world of Armored Warfare, please visit our dedicated article.
In the late 2030s, a series of conflicts that would eventually become known as the Corporate Wars devastated large portions of Europe and the United States. Several major corporations including the British Clayburn Industries and the German Lodestar GmbH engaged in conflicts that left massive territories in corporate hands. Mercenaries, private security forces and rebel militias fought each other all over central Europe and the Balkans. The years of strife culminated in the 2039 Seahawk Rebellion when an entire battalion-sized unit of Clayburn Industries rose up against orders to commit genocide.
Unbeknownst to them, the uprising was in fact a clever ruse prepared by the mastermind behind the Clayburn Industries Corporation, Andrew Clayburn, to gain more influence across the world. Employing the services of a Corporate Wars veteran Sebastian Grimm known for his campaign against Clayburn’s rival, Lodestar GmbH, Clayburn’s plan worked almost flawlessly, resulting in thousands of dead enemies and a massive territory and wealth influx for the company, including a portion of the former American south. The handful of surviving Seahawks retreated to Istanbul, reduced to a life in shadows.
Now, two years later, you, commander, are amongst the mercenaries tasked with protecting the Clayburn Industries facility in the Mojave Desert against unknown assailants...
The Caribbean Crisis
Chapter 1 – Attack
- Date: September 6, 2042
- Location: Mojave Desert
Your mercenary unit was hired by the ISD (an international security organization overseeing the legal mercenary groups) to investigate a Clayburn Industries facility deep in the Mojave Desert, which suddenly felt silent. You find the facility abandoned, save for a mysterious group of assailants, led by a man who introduces himself as Magnus Holter. While investigating the area, it becomes clear that the mysterious enemies are trying to loot it for chemical weapons. Despite your best efforts, Magnus Holter escapes with enough chlorine to wipe out an entire city.
Chapter 2 – Pursuit
- Date: September 15, 2042
- Location: Panama Canal
The mysterious mercenaries from Mojave escaped with the chemical payload, but you are hot on their trail. Summoning an ISD-provided transport ship equipped with a Zubr landing craft, you pursue the assailants to the Panama Canal only to find the sluices blocked and protected by the same forces that previously attacked the Clayburn Industries plant. You defend the Zubr while opening one sluice after another in order to allow it to pass through while looking for clues. You find out that the mercenary ship you are pursuing made its way through the canal without any trouble on its way to Jamaica, only to be ambushed by Clayburn Industries security! Could the mercenaries be actually working with Clayburn?
Chapter 3 – Threat from the Sea
- Date: September 17, 2042
- Location: Port Antonio, Jamaica
Arriving at Port Antonio, you find out that the area is occupied by two unmarked enemy warships. The Zubr landing craft drops you off at the far side of the town but you soon find that the beautiful, tropical beaches of Jamaica are far deadlier than anyone would have thought. The town is occupied by mercenaries who not only have considerable forces stationed in the area, but also operate sophisticated equipment never previously seen on any battlefield, such as anti-aircraft lasers. The Zubr craft is taken out, leaving you only one way – forward. It turns out that the plan of the enemy commander, Magnus Holter, is, for reasons unknown, to destroy the town using a warhead made using the chemicals from the looted Clayburn facility.
You take the city after a tough fight and now it is the enemy commander who is left with no choice but to evacuate to a nearby island where the last of the mercenary forces are seemingly entrenched. In the midst of a heated battle to take the AA positions on the island, you see three Clayburn Industries fighter jets arrive and take out the enemy warships, followed by a forced landing of a Clayburn Industries kill team. It’s clear you’re in for the fight of your lives.
Chapter 4 – Exfiltration
- Date: September 17, 2042
- Location: Port Antonio, Jamaica
By a strange twist of fate, you find yourselves on the side of your former enemies with a Clayburn Industries kill team having arrived to wipe you all out in an attempt to leave no witnesses alive. It’s now clear that there is some deeper connection between the enemy commander and Clayburn Industries – something the corporation definitely doesn’t want you to find out.
The Clayburn forces quickly overrun and rout Magnus Holter’s forces, leaving only pockets of stragglers. Desperate to get out of there alive, you gather whatever’s left of your former enemies, saving one of his top lieutenants, Andrey Zaytsev, in the process. Pushing towards the Clayburn Industries landing, you take out an entire armored company sent against you and commandeer one of the massive Zubr hovercrafts they arrived in. Desperate to stop you at all costs, the entire Clayburn force descends at you as you realize you’ve just become an enemy of one of the most powerful corporations in the world. Following the battle, Magnus Holter welcomes you to his side and starts to explain his past in Clayburn Industries...
Black Sea Incursion
Chapter 1 – Meeting in Batumi
- Date: September 14, 2041
- Location: Batumi, Georgia
A year before the events of the Caribbean Crisis, Magnus Holter, then a commander of the Clayburn Industries security service, was sent to the capital of Georgia, Batumi, on a mission to resolve a situation where valuable cargo was allegedly damaged by Clayburn forces. Georgia, once a teeming holiday resort with all the attraction a discerning tourist might crave for, was hit hard by the events of the 2030s, becoming a nest of rogue mercenaries, criminals and wannabe revolutionaries. Even so, the mission was expected to be nothing more than a formality – after the Corporate Wars and the enormous influence gains during the Seahawk rebellion, Clayburn assets were all but untouchable.
Holter and his small escort arrived in Batumi to meet his contact in a nearby seaside hotel. His colleague and friend, Aleksandr Cortez, the commander of the Black Eagle mercenary company (at that time in Clayburn service), was in the meanwhile dispatched to the other side of the city to guard the cargo. The hotel turned out to be a trap. The place was empty but Holter’s guards were attacked by unknown mercenaries. Holter quickly found out that the entire city had been emptied and fortified – something very wrong was going on. To top it off, Cortez came under attack by the same mercenaries and was having a hard time repelling their assault.
Upon having his forces search the hotel thoroughly, Holter decided to go to the regional Clayburn HQ not far from the hotel. The HQ was emptied as well – it looked like everyone had left in a hurry. The approach to it was, however, heavily fortified with the mysterious mercs fighting Holter every inch of the way. Upon seeing the scale of the enemy mercenary presence, Holter decided to unite his men with Cortez and wait for extraction on a nearby beach. But he was too late – before he could get to him, Cortez’s units were overwhelmed and captured. The cargo itself was destroyed. Fighting off yet another wave of enemy mercenaries, Holter was successful in holding the beach until a Clayburn landing craft arrived to pick his forces up. Holter decided to report the incident to the CEO of Clayburn Industries, Sebastian Grimm. An investigation into what had happened was launched.
Chapter 2 – Tkvarcheli Siege
- Date: November 5, 2041
- Location: Tkvarcheli, Georgia
As Holter had predicted, Grimm was furious. He wanted the culprits found and punished. Clayburn Industries’ intelligence network found them rather quickly – the mysterious mercs were a local band called the Evocati. They were known for taking pretty much any job, no matter how dirty, although no evidence of anything illegal had ever been found – the Evocati didn’t like or leave witnesses. Under the Bordeaux Treaty and the Orleans Treaty, they were legal, but just barely.
The Evocati had a base in an old mining city of Tkvarcheli. Tkvarcheli was a relic from the Soviet era, its golden days long gone following the decline of its coal mining industry – a perfect hideout for a group of mercenaries who were supplied by the few locals left living in the area in exchange for “protection”. Their leader, Douglas O’Reilly, had a well-deserved reputation for ruthlessness and brutality.
Grimm tasked Holter with leading an invasion to teach the Evocati the price of crossing Clayburn Industries. The whole operation was technically illegal – such faction wars were specifically prohibited by the Orleans Treaty, but Clayburn Industries was an influential company and it made sense that it would get away with such an (arguably justified) breach.
It turned out that the Evocati controlled a vast amount of manpower and vehicles. What was supposed to be a small-scale punitive operation turned into a massive battle, the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the Corporate Wars, involving dozens of armored vehicles and heavy artillery. The Clayburn Industries forces advanced on the city center where most of the Evocati mercs were holed up. Halfway through the battle, Holter was contacted by badly wounded Aleksandr Cortez, who alone was able to escape captivity in the chaos. Cortez tried to warn Holter of something and told him to get out of there, but he was interrupted by radio jamming.
The Evocati forces were finally pushed to the brink of annihilation when the Clayburn forces received an order to withdraw from an unknown source. Holter and his closest allies were left stranded along with the surviving Evocati. Just as the fighting was dying down, the entire area was suddenly surrounded by ISD forces led by Fedor Volkov, declaring the operation illegal. Additionally, Douglas O’Reilly, clearly allied with the ISD, arrived in his AC-130 gunship. The regular Clayburn forces retreated from the area, leaving the blame solely on Holter’s shoulders.
Chapter 3 – Tkvarcheli Trap
- Date: November 5, 2041
- Location: Tkvarcheli, Georgia
The International Security Department (ISD) was a multi-lateral body, established following the end of the Corporate Wars to oversee any large-scale mercenary operations across the world so that such a major conflict would never happen again. The Orleans Treaty that ended the fighting specifically prohibited such aggressive corporate assaults.
However, the whole world also knew that some parties to the Treaty were more equal than the others. The ISD would never do anything that would openly cross the interests of Clayburn Industries and was effectively a corporate puppet, existing to give the semblance of lawful oversight to the masses tired by constant warfare.
The fact the ISD forces conveniently appeared in Tkvarcheli just as the fighting was almost over only meant one thing – they acted with the consent of Clayburn Industries.
Fedor Volkov, commanding the ISD operation, was an old acquaintance of Holter’s back from the days when the ISD and Clayburn Industries had cooperated on regular basis. From his intercepted radio transmission, Holter learned that he had been stripped of his Clayburn Industries security commander rank and that he was to be taken – dead or alive.
Realizing what that meant, Holter refused Volkov’s appeal to turn himself in and a battle ensued with the ISD forces. During the battle, Douglas O’Reilly supported the ISD forces with his AC-130. He was ultimately shot down by Holter’s forces, but not before revealing that Sebastian Grimm, the CEO of Clayburn Industries, was behind the order to throw Magnus Holter to the wolves. Hearing that, Fedor Volkov realized it was all a set-up and pulled his battered forces back to regroup, allowing Holter half an hour to escape...
Chapter 4 – Stronghold
- Date: November 6, 2041
- Location: Gori, Georgia
Instead of running, Magnus Holter and his remaining forces decided to make an aggressive move and assault the Clayburn Industries regional headquarters in Gori, some 60 kilometers north-west of the old Georgian capital, Tbilisi, hoping the catch Sebastian Grimm, the Clayburn CEO, off-guard.
Ditching most of their heavy equipment in order to make the best time possible, Holter’s forces made it just in time to be welcomed by all the Clayburn forces Grimm could muster, including a whole tank company Scores of Clayburn Security Forces men (soldiers in all but name) took their positions around the city, armed to the teeth with anti-tank guided missiles. The mission seemed hopeless but, seeing no other option, Holter decided to launch a desperate attack anyway. In a private radio conversation, Grimm told Holter of his motivation, how Holter had become too powerful and popular for his own good, threatening Grimm’s position – he had to be removed, but not before being discredited as a rogue mercenary, a war criminal who had broken the Orleans treaty.
Advancing under the cover of a snowstorm that grounded the local squadron of assault helicopters armed with guns and rockets, Holter and his forces fought their way to the base dominating the city, defeating platoons of Clayburn tanks and clearing one street after another of enemy combatants.
The snowstorm cleared halfway through the battle, allowing Grimm to reinforce his faltering units in the city with helicopters and long-range artillery strikes – but to no avail. Magnus knew about the base’s weakness and disabled its external power supply before breaking down the gates and entering the base itself.
Searching one bunker after another while evading constant enemy strikes, Holter’s forces reached the top of the base only to watch Grimm escape in a fighter jet, powerless to stop him. The situation seemed hopeless – dozens of remaining Clayburn armored vehicles were amassed outside of the base and were readying themselves to re-take it. Clayburn helicopters pounded what was left of Holter’s men to oblivion. In desperation, Holter called out to an unknown ally – a choice he knew would come with a hefty price tag in the future. A stealth bomber with previously unseen cloaking technology was dispatched to drop an EMP bomb over the entire city, knocking out the power in every vehicle on the battlefield. In the chaos that ensued, Holter was able to escape the encirclement.
And so ends Holter’s story of how he became a “war criminal” – betrayed by the man he had trusted and left for the ISD to deal with. Extending an invitation, he is ready to welcome you amongst the ranks of his followers.
His quest for vengeance will continue in the next story arc of Special Operations, coming in the future...