Daemonkin vs. IG, Dark Angels & Officio Assassinorum (2000 points)

Santa Cruz Sector, Mythic Games: March 31, 2017

Frantic reports of daemonic incursions emanate from the agricultural hinterlands of the ninth planet in the Ben Lomond system.  Elements of the Dark Angels space marine chapter investigate and find several warp rifts to Khorne apparently opened by means of the ritualistic sacrifice of entire villages.  There is nothing left when they arrive but death, red mist, blood and horror.  Astra Militarum forces, garrisoning the planet, are air lifted to support the quickly beleaguered marines.  This is one of many desperate actions.

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Imperial armored forces cautiously take up positions surrounding the warp rift.

Captain L. Danielus  and I played the Warp Rift scenario.  This time we used the Superior Reconnaissance special rule.  As things turned out, we both agreed this balanced the scenario nicely for a shooting versus assault army and made for an enjoyable game.

The Khornate forces were a Slaughter Cult formation within a Bloodhost Detachment.  In addition to my usual host of uglies, there was quite a lot of small arms potential this time with three squads of extremely angry daemonkin space marines (not Angry Marines though).  The backbone of the imperial forces was mechanized Guard veterans, assisted by nicely painted Dark Angels tactical marines and terminators led by a chaplain.  An eversor assassin rounded out the loyalist forces.  Our good captain as usual led a Combined Arms Detachment into the fray.

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It isn’t too active now, but soon deamons will come screaming from the living stone!

The early stages of the fight didn’t look too promising for the Imperium.  A squad of possessed space marines clamored out of their rhino and up three floors inside a ruin where a Dark Angels devastator squad had taken up excellent firing positions.  Say what you want about possessed, but they are as agile as spider monkeys!  Predictably, after a sharp, gruesome fight, the possessed were in possession of the ruin and the devastators were but a gruesome memory.

Also, a mob of bloodletters erupted out the rift and made straight for Captain Danielus’ massed line of chimerae.  Despite focusing almost all of their considerable firepower on that single group, apparently the daemons were strong with the might of Khorne, for when the red mist settled the remaining daemons, reduced in number but still hissing and howling scuttled onward with their black swords held high.

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Dark Angel devastators take aim.

Still, the company commander and his men never give up, and of course Dark Angels know no fear (or if they do they are pretty good at hiding it, at least in front of a chaplain), so they stood fast, determined to close the rift or at least sell their lives as dearly as possible.  Not that they would appreciate the sentiment, but they earned a grim salute from your Sanguine Narrator.  Blessings to the Strong!

Only through heroic sacrifice and much blood spilled, mostly on the imperial side, were the loyalist forces able to hold the field.  Their grip was tenacious but weakening by the second.  As the rift energies peaked, shining like a coruscating red giant, disaster was at hand.  A towering bloodthirster strode out of the midst roaring with laughter.  He was unpainted but mighty nonetheless.

The few remaining veteran guardsmen were in no position to help.  They had their hands full with a particularly frisky chaos spawn.  It seemed to have become stimulated while in proximity to one of the glistening stone menhir, which needed to be seized if the gate was to be closed.

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Death Wing terminators teleport in to challenge the deamonkin terminators.

Everything pointed to a complete victory for the daemonkin.  In the end the mighty daemon prince stood alone controlling one objective.  He was busy cavorting over a grease spot that used to be an eversor assassin.  A vendetta gunship interrupted its dogfight with a heldrake and hovered over another objective.  To pick what what survivors they could, perhaps?

The plucky guardsmen almost broke against the chaos spawn, as it ate several more of their number.  The tentacled monstrosity seemed impervious to chainsword, krak missile, and that king of weapons, the lasgun.  Fortunately the spawn was so busy vibrating it didn’t notice a single guardsmen, who wasn’t taking part in the fight.  He placed his hands on the menhir and mumble an incantation.  The soldier exploded in a bloody mess but the red mist around the stone abruptly vanished.

Finally, the Dark Angel chaplain and his men advanced toward their objecrtive in the face of harrowing Daemonkin marine bolter fire.  Despite being almost under the bloodthirster’s gray hooves, the giant paid no heed to the angels in his exultation.

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Waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

“For the Emperor and Mankind!” the chaplain screamed as he slammed his crozius arcanum against the stone objective.  It exploded like a malevolent volcano.  Marines were thrown back in all directions.  The chaplain and a couple of men came to a few moments later.  The rift and all trace of the daemonkin were gone.

So it was a 3-1 win for the Imperium.  The warp rift was closed and a great swath of civilization saved.  Huzzah for the loyalist’s Objective Secured!  Without that special rule the game would have ended in an unsatisfying 1-1 tie.

The Blood God was pleased because, as I told (in an appropriately mock serious tone) one skeptical onlooker who innocently wandered over between rounds of Magic, “Khorne cares not from whence the blood flows, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!”

Let Hate and a halfway decent set of abs be our armor!

Still, the architect of this appalling heresy remains unaccounted for.  Who knows where he will strike next?

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IG vs. Daemonkin (1850 Points)

Santa Clara Sector, Mountain View Game Kastle: March 17, 2017

Commissar Alex and I played the Warp Rift scenario for the first time.  We used the Rift Gate as well as the Tactics and Mystics (maelstrom cards) optional rules.  My army was 1850 points of Khorne Daemonkin.  I ran a Blood Host Detachment with a Slaughter Cult formation, as well as a CAD.  Alex, playing Imperial Guard, ran a CAD with an Emperor’s Wrath Artillery Company formation.

Commissar Alex wrote the summary for our game or rather the good General Nesson did.  I’m not revealing how I got my hands on it, though rest assured I have my sources!

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The blue boxes were the objective markers.  The warp rift is the tower.

The forces of chaos struck once again against the Imperium, attacking an imperial planet in the Segmentum Ultima.  [Name and location of planet withheld under security edicts.] The local planetary defense forces were no match for the traitors and after just a few months the planetary defense force had no presence outside of a few major cities.

After several more months the Imperial navy arrived, bringing with it the forces of the Imperial Guard. After a few weeks the traitors were driven back towards the equator by our numerically superior forces.

However the deaths from all the fighting caught Khorne’s attention and the vales between realities weakened. Using this to their advantage, the forces of chaos enacted obscene rituals and the sacrifice of an entire village to break open a warp rift, which allowed daemons into material space.

IG vs. Daemonkin March 17 2017 Synchronized Bloodletters and Demolisher

Synchronized Summoning ought to be an olympic sport!

The ritual was successful but only allowed for a few daemons to come at a time; however the deaths of guardsmen and traitors fueled the warp rift and soon the trickle became a stream. As the rift grew our commanders realized that if they wanted to have any hope of preventing [name of system redacted] from becoming a daemon world they would need to seal the rift before it enveloped the entire planet.

In a desperate gamble they headed directly towards the rift hoping either the priests or sanctioned psykers attached to the regiments could find a way to close the rift before it was too late.  As they approached it reality began to distort and madness reigned.

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Vendetta on an attack run against a Chaos Space Marine rhino.

While the exact events are unknown what is undeniable is that the imperial guard forces failed to seal the breach. After a few hours the rift began to grow rapidly and soon enveloped the planet in just a few days. Imperial command on the planet sent reports to orbital assets for as long as they could but the last transmissions degenerated into gunfire and maddening screams. The planet in question is currently under quarantine by the Imperial navy.

— Administratum Summary based off the final reports of Imperial General Asher Nesson

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As a sort of post script, we found this scenario gave a bit of an advantage to the assault-based army, all other things being equal.  I have to say this was not unexpected.  So we came up with the following optional rules and I added it to the scenario page.

Superior Reconnaissance:  The daemon player’s board edge for purposes of moving reserves onto the battlefield must be the same as the board edge she picked for deployment on turn one.  This is to help balance the scenario, since assault armies seem to be advantaged over shooting armies, all other things being equal.  If further balancing is needed, the daemon player must declare her board edge before the enemy player deploys.

The Emperor’s Tarot:  This is used with the Tactics and Mystics optional rule to help balance the scenario, if needed.  The enemy player deploys and draws his tactical objective cards before the daemon player deploys.  The enemy player may then decide to roll off to see who takes the first turn if he likes the look of his cards, or if both players agree the enemy player can take the first turn without a roll.  Note there is no Seize the Initiative rule in this scenario.

Scarbag’s Saga: Curse of the Red Git!

Santa Cruz Sector, December 2016.

Senior Lieutenant Scarbag Flashboy was given the mission of helping by dropping his stormboyz into the front lines and attacking heavy support targets of opportunity in one of the many battles in the Santa Cruz Sector against the Imperium.  In the target rich environment of a general Imperial Guard advance, the target in question turned out to be a manticore.

Everything went according to plan.  Their air assault went perfectly.  Actually it was 11 inches off target and another half inch would have dropped the entire squad into no man’s land, but it all worked out so that is what counts.

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Death and rude gestures from above courtesy of the semi-mysterious Red Git!

The manticore blissfully continued to fire its gigantic storm eagle missiles at distant ork units as the stormboyz prepared for their attack.  Bundles of grenades were checked, rokkit packs dialed to full throttle red line, and Scarboy himself produced a steel bar to jam into the tank’s track.

A few guardmen ran in their general direction but they were apparently retreating from general ork mayhem and soon disappeared in the fire and smoke.

Suddenly a deffkopta roared overhead in a red streak, spewing oil, gears, and stikbombs in its wake.  The ground vibrated under the stormboyz’ feet.  As they stood watching aghast, their now useless weapons falling from their hands, the deffkopta pilot corkscrewed a pair of rokkits into the missile tank.  The remaining two storm eagles detonated in a hellish fireball.  All that was left of the manticore was a burning crater.

Naturally Lieutenant Scarboy found himself stand alone, dumbfounded and patting out flames on his uniform, with all of his boyz laying dead around him.  Those who hadn’t been vaporized of course.

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The distinct red deffkopta flew back and hovered over Scarboy.  It was shedding even more parts than before after being damaged in the explosion. Clearly the only thing keeping the increasingly grotesque machine in the air was the pilot’s invincible belief in his own airmanship.

‘You! Ya you, da stoopid grot dat be on fire. Zog off an’ die, mate, cause I’m da bestestz an’ I’m da fastestz too!  ‘Cause I’m da Red Git!’ the pilot screamed.

‘Wot?’ The stormboy looked up.

The pilot replied with a rude gesture and tossed a ticking melta bomb at Scarbag’s feet.  He zoomed off cackling into the sunset.

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‘We need ta talk,’ the drone said.

Lieutenant Flashboy became introspective as the ebb of battle drifted away from him.  He woke up when the melta bomb laying in a nearby puddle of mud and fuel misfired with a depressing fizzle rather than the usual white hot boom of coruscating light.  The ork sighed and kicked some muck onto his now smoldering boots.

A universal drone trundled up to him on squeaking treads.  Waaagh! Hungry has always made good use of the ubiquitous drones as ammo carriers, mobile bombs, soldiers (remote-controlled or sporting a primitive AI), and especially for recon.

A tinny voice come from a crackling speaker on top of the drone.  “My name iz Big Mek Fixxit an’ we need ta talk if yer lookin’ fer revenge.”

‘Revenge?’ Flashboy asked.  The drone had his full attention.

“They Came Out of the Storm” Scenario

Our first game was piratical marines using a blizzard to launch a surprise attack on IG in a ruined village.

This is a narrative scenario where one side attempts to achieve surprise by attacking an entrenched opponent in the aftermath of a storm.  Players should cooperate with terrain or have a third party set up the board.  The defender’s table half should contain a village, industrial works, supply depot, trench works, or some other such theme.  The attack’s side should probably contain less terrain, though this depends upon how the list match up.  Perhaps they are attacking out of sand dunes or from the edge of a jungle.

Of course one can vary terrain density depending upon the army and list match-ups to make for a fair game.  For example, a terminator force lining up against defenders who are light on AP 2 weapons may not require any cover at all, whereas a force of light infantry against say a typical Tau list probably should not be forced to walk across a bare board.

Use “Dawn of War” deployment where each player sets up within 12″ of his long table edge. The attacking player automatically sets up and takes the first turn, though the defender may attempt to seize the initiative. Night Fighting takes place automatically on turn one without a die roll. Secondary objective changes are noted below in the victory conditions. The game ends as per the normal rules.

Six objectives are placed in the defending player’s half of the table.  We found it best to set up the objectives collaboratively. This resulted in a more thematic placement and also because it can be difficult to legally set up six objectives on one side of the board if both players aren’t cooperating.

The storm could just as easily involve sand rather than snow.

Infiltration and Scout Moves work as normal but there is no deep striking allowed by either side in this scenario, unless both players agree to it. Thus units such as drop pods, which are required to enter play via deep strike, may be limited in number or even completely disallowed.

The attacker’s outflanking units must be positioned so the entire unit, including transports, are entirely within the owning player’s deployment zone on the turn the unit arrives. (This also applies to units with unusual special rules such as ork kommandos with Snikrot.)  The defender may not outflank units. Other reserves for both players are allowed but they enter play from each player’s long table edge.

Victory Conditions

Players score 3 victory points for each objective they control at the end of the game.  Secondary objectives are as normal except Line Breaker.  If the attacking player has more units completely within the defender’s deployment zone than the defender at game’s end, then the attacker receives one point for Line Breaker.  If the defender has more units then he receives 1 VP.  If a tie then neither player gets a point.  The defender cannot receive points by ending the game in the attacker’s deployment zone.

Alternately, you could play this scenario using the Maelstrom of War missions with the tactical cards, but if you do then I would remove the prohibition against deep striking, and also ignore the scenario restrictions for outflanking.  Otherwise the attacking player may find himself not able to score any cards until turn three at best!  If I did want to play a maelstrom scenario without deep striking, I’d probably use “Tactical Escalation” where the cards each player receives and can hold increases with each passing turn.

Our “They Came Out of the Storm” Games

 Space Wolves vs. IG (1500 Points, August 2015): A bloody game with the marines walking out of a blizzard in order to attack IG positions in a shattered village.  The defenders successfully held until turn five, but Legion VI-XIII was able to turn the battle around with a healthy dose of luck and several well-timed curses laid by a random shield maiden who wandered by to watch our game.

Steel Legion & Officio Assassinorum vs. Orks

The orks have seen a lot of battles versus the Imperial Guard, especially lately, though this is the first time we’ve lined up against this particular officer.  We played 1500 points and decided upon the “Big Guns Never Tire” scenario from the Eternal War series.  The goal here was to hold objectives at the end of the game and destroy your opponent’s heavy support units while preserving your own.

He had two battle tanks as his heavy support.  Other vehicles included four or five chimera and a valkyrie gunship with embarked storm troopers.  His troops were all (or at least mostly) veterans with those scary-looking german helmets and gas masks.  (We imagined that our battle was a small part of what happened during the Third War for Armageddon.  Perhaps the vindicare assassin was dispatched to kill Ghazghkull Thraka, who apparently was elsewhere.) The orks opted for a slight variation on Colonel Fixit’s Command Group list.

An ork rok hurtling in for a landing accounts for the over exposure in this picture.

Early Game: The orks had more than their share of luck in the beginning stages, which sort of set the tone for the evening. They charged ahead and despite a hail of battle cannon shells, laser fire, and volleys of grenades all of the ork vehicles were still rolling.  No one was more surprised by this than the greenskins.

Guard tanks exchanged fire with ork artillery, causing light casualties among the zzap guns.  The humans maneuvered, stacking their armor and mechanized infantry on their right flank to meet both advancing squads of trukk boyz.

Things look bad for the Vindicare Assassin but he’s all right … for now.

Mid-Game: The imperial right flank crumbled with surprisingly light ork casualties.  By the time the greenskin troopers were a spent force, they had broken through and wrecked the command chimera, Den Mother.

A valkyrie gunship reinforced the battle and along with the assassin tried to stop the nobz battlewagon rolling down the center of the field.  The half track shrugged off multiple lascannon hits, but a turbopenetrator round finally blew off a wheel and temporarily stopped the wagon.

Meanwhile a strike squad of ork jump infantry rocketed into the fray, surrounding the assassin. The assault sergeant popped a red flare and called in an air strike.  Captain Daniel, the Steel Legion company commander, ordered a nearby squad of veterans to focus fire on the stormboyz and eliminated this distraction, though the storm nob took cover and guided in the aircraft for as long as he could. The assassin, laying on his back behind some 50 gallon drums, managed to score a perfect if unlikely shot right into the MIG 15’s engine as it flew over him. Trailing oil and black smoke, the pilot returned to base his strike mission (as far as he was concerned) completed.

Looks cool but the real reason is I forgot to pack my flight stand. 😦

End Game: Despite the heroics of the vindicare assassin, a late gravchute insertion attempt by the storm troopers, and the coolness under fire of Captain Daniel, there was no stopping the orks this time.  The ork big guns fell silent.  Artillery goblins watched through periscopes and field glasses, chattering excitedly back and forth on their radios, as a greenskin ring of infantry closed around the remaining imperial platoon.  In the end the assassin spent his seventh life and died to a stray nob shoota bullet as he bravely held his position awaiting an extraction order, which never came.  Someone at the Office of Assassins will want answers to some hard questions!

We ended the game with the orks in possession of five of the six objectives and both Steel Legion heavy support tanks were burning hulks.  Hopefully the rest of the Third War for Armageddon doesn’t go as badly for the Imperium as it did here today.  Otherwise Commissar Yarrick is not going to be pleased!