T-Minus 40: Training exercise and matching of blades by the Dawn Blades chapter master and the Brothers Noctis 2nd Company Captain Mulier.
"Tee minus 40 hours to Primaris Space Marine training exercise versus the Silver Sons and Brothers Noctis. All involved please report to Thunderhawk bay three. All Shinsengumi present, report to the Shogun's chambers at once. Repeat, Tee minus 40 hours...." The message repeated.
Shogun Kujo Kamakura glanced at his chrono (a gift from a proud father when he was selected to become a Dawn Blade), even though the machine spirit had just announced the time. He nodded; at least the old thing still worked.
He turned to the weapons and honors display that dominated the mantle. There lay four items of great importance to him: his plasma pistol, which had saved his life more times than he could count; his old right arm, which he had crafted a replacement for after it had failed to protect his Daimyo Stonetooth back when he was 4th company champion; his first combat knife, forged as a snake in the depths of the forges here on the Shogun's Might; and the Sunfire Katana, a powerful chapter relic that would kill anything that held contact with the blade for more than a second if they weren't wearing full Terminator plate, or its equivalent.
Fortunately, Kamakura wielded it by the hilt, and the Blood Helm and its accompanying suit of armor was easily as tough as Terminator plate, if not stronger as it was backed up by a powerful iron halo.
None of these relics would actually see battle that day, but Kamakura would still undergo his standard prebattle ritual.
Gesturing, he summoned his serfs. They armored him in the Blood Helm, and after fifteen minutes he was ready to begin.
He removed the knife first and touched it to his heart. “Ferrus Manus, forge me as I forged this blade, so that I may be as strong as steel.” The combat knife was strapped to his right leg, where it was easily accessible if needed.
Next the Sunfire Katana was taken from its resting place, and touched to his armored forehead. “Vulkan, grant me your fire so the enemies of mankind may know our wrath.” The Katana was scabbarded to his left hip, so as to be drawn quickly on the field of battle.
His plasma pistol came third, and touching the muzzle to his left hand he said, “Guilliman, guide my aim so I may bring down my enemy.” It was holstered just above his combat knife.
Then he gestured one final time, and as the serfs attached his jump pack, he spoke his final preparation words. “Solis-Imperator, grant me your speed and fury, so that my enemies shall know your mercy-that of a quick but painful death at the hands of your avenging angels.”
Flaring the engines, he muttered one last utterance to seal the vow. “As I have sworn in your eyes, so mote it be. Strike me down if I am unworthy.”
And with that, Shogun Kujo Kamakura of Dawn Blades strode to the door and left for the Thunderhawk deck, his serfs following quietly behind him.
At Tee-Minus 26 hours, the Thunderhawks arrived at the grassy world where the training exercise would take place. The elements of the two other chapters present-the Silver Sons and the Brothers Noctis-were present in-system for recruitment and a joint deployment, and had agreed to this training exercise to see how the Primaris fared in battle and to test their skills against another chapter.
At Tee-minus 3.5 hours, a joint spiritual service was held, in which the marines sat and listened to the Chaplains then meditated for a time.
At Tee-minus 1.5 hours, a lunch feast was held to promote comradeship and to share stories and songs.
At Tee-minus .25 hours, the marines left the tables to find themselves nonlethal versions of their standard weaponry before deploying.
Then, at Tee-minus zero hours, battle commenced.
=][= End Pre-battle Lore =][=
The Armies (both are roughly 1250 points)
Jack’s Brothers Noctis:
Captain With power sword and master-crafted boltgun
Terminator Captain with storm bolter and power sword (warlord with the Adept of the Codex trait)
Predator with Twin linked Lascannon and twin heavy bolters
Dreadnought with Multimelta and powerfist with inbuilt stormbolter
Dreadnought with powerfist with inbuilt stormbolter and assault cannon
Tactical squad with plasma gun, missile launcher, plasma pistol, and power sword (squad 1)
Tactical Squad with plasma gun, missile launcher, and no sarge equipment (squad 2)
Tactical squad with plasma gun, missile launcher, and power fist and (i think) plasma pistol (squad 3)
X4 sniper scouts and one missile launcher
Lenoch’s Dawn Blades:
Gravis ‘Captain’ Ceticus Stormmoon (standard loadout)
Primaris Lieutenants, one with autoboltgun (1) and one with power sword (2)
Intercessor Squad 2 (bolt rifles, aux grenade launcher)
Intercessor Squad Tiberius (stalker bolters, aux grenade launcher)
Hellblaster Squad (assault plasma incinerators for some reason...I would regret this later)
Single tactical marine with multimelta
Shogun (chapter master) Kujo Kamakura, armed with the Burning Blade and a plasma sword...nabbed the Tenacious Warlord trait for +1 wound and an extra roll to ignore damage
Primaris Lieutenant Shonar: Stalker Bolt gun and bolt pistol
Lieutenant with twin lightning claws, bolt pistol, and jump pack
Lieutenant with power sword, plasma pistol, bolt pistol, and jump pack
Lieutenant with grav-pistol, power axe, bolt pistol, and jump pack
Lieutenant with power sword, plasma pistol, bolt pistol, and jump pack (Saisho-shinsengumi)
Front-line assault deployment, Capture and Control (two objectives), the Brothers Noctis have first turn. He holds two combat-squadded tactical squads in reserve. I hold all jump-equipped units in reserve. Scouts infiltrate to my left flank in a building.
He takes first turn and advances his forces, taking potshots with his long-range weapons. One of my hellblasters takes a wound, and Intercessor squad two takes one casualty.
Intercessor squad 2 advances to the trenchwork on my side of the map and opens fire to little effect. Squad Tiberius, accompanied by Lt. Shonar, take out most of one of the combat squads near his objective.
I drop my four jump pack Lt.’s down behind his forces with the intent of distraction and blending his forces. Shooting takes a few wounds off of his armor all around, and the infantry (with the exception of one of the combat squads holding the objective) take no casualties. I only make one charge, and predictably it is against a dread with another dread within charge range. All Shinsengumi take overwatch fire and lose wounds.
His two reinforcement combat squads walk on, in range of pretty much all of the Shinsengumi they can see.
I think we messed up at one point when I let him shoot across the board at a Shinsengumi even when there was a closer character he could shoot at. (How does that work, anyway?) It may have affected the game to a fair degree, as that krak missile hit the wolverine Shinsengumi and hurt him enough overwatch was able to finish him off, but it doesn’t matter that much.
His forces advanced in the center to take the breastwork and opened fire once more upon my Intercessors in the center, but all his firepower bounced off their armor.
At some point in this turn two hellblasters died to shooting (probably because I moved them from cover).
Firing Range Trenchwork
The two dreadnoughts smashed the single Shinsengumi in melee, after I spent two command points to go first (and after he died I spent two more to get some extra hits in).
The two Intercessor squads advanced and opened fire, with Squad Tiberius killing the single plasma marine left on that flank and squad one killing a single marine in the center. My hellblasters advanced out of the building and opened fire at -1 on the predator, dealing an extra wound.
(Recommend Powerwolf’s Amen and Attack to listen to whilst reading this bit)
To begin the assault phase, I ate a bunch of overwatch that knocked out two Shinsengumi and had the one remaining one down to one wound. When charging, squad 1 charged the center, and heroic interventions brought his captain in. Maybe one marine died in the center and one on my right flank (his left). 3+ to hit and 4+ to wound with a power sword doesn’t equate to many hits, but I guess it’s better than 4+ to both.
And here we have Tactical Devastator Antreas sitting behind the statue, aching to take a shot at something.
At the start of turn three, by agreed-upon rules breaking, both myself and my opponent deployed our warlords on the battlefield, right in the center of the map. No one shot at them; they didn’t shoot at each other either. It would come down to bladework (okay, there was one plasma pistol overwatch shot. So sue me).
His combat squadded tactical squad moved left and right, the one with the plasma gun coming over to kill the Saisho-shinsengumi after their brothers fell back towards the monument.
His dreads and tank moved up the flank, and at this point he pretty much forgot about the snipers because they didn’t have line of sight to anyone (and in fairness I forgot about them too). Opening fire, the armor killed another Hellblaster. In melee, Kamakura knocked two wounds off of 2nd Captain Mulier, despite the fact that Mulier charged first and thus attacked first.
The sword Lt. held his own for a while against Captain Foxworthy but eventually died in my melee phase.
In my turn little happened except in the melee phase (though devastator Antreas took a shot at one of the dreads, it missed. If I had any more command points I would have used them to reroll that; I really needed that shot to connect. Oh well).
Once in melee, Kamakura took three wounds off of Mulier, though he lost two (2 6+’s to avoid wounds only works so well). I charged my Hellblasters and my autobolter Lt. into his predator and tied it up for the rest of the game (we had forgotten about falling back out of combat). The Gravis character (Ceticus Stormmoon) had finally made it into combat with the tactical squad, and promptly went into a duel with Foxworthy that took the rest of the game as well (this one, I think, was a glory thing. Which characters were better swordsmen?).
Volleys from the squads on the left killed two Intercessors from squad Tiberius (one was already wounded), and another combat squad opened fire on my now-unengaged (by virtue of killing everything within one inch) Intercessor Squad and killed the sergeant (who was also wounded by a power sword earlier in melee). His assault cannon dreadnought opened fire and knocked out Antreas with a lucky shot...i saved four wounds. The fifth got through. (This may have been turn five though; it's hard to remember.)
In melee, Kamakura defeated Mulier and consolidated into the other deployment zone. The power sword sarge finally died and my Hellblasters and Lt. almost took a wound off of the predator, but not quite. His Predator wasn’t able to kill anything.
Squad Tiberius ended up killing all the models they could see and still charge, so I couldn't make the charge to get in close and potentially contest his objective, despite being in range. Kamakura moved on to mince (but not annihilate) a squad of tacticals with the help of the two remaining members of squad two. Hellblasters and autobolter Lt. actually managed to wound the Predator (but only one would).
At this point photos begin to degrade in regularity. Apologies.
End Turn 4 photos
At this point we are just mopping up. I had a hard departure time, and it was rapidly drawing near...so we ended up calling after turn five. That changed a little bit, but mainly it killed my chances at winning now Antreas was KO’d. We were just having a central bloodbath now.
His remaining unengaged central tactical squad moves toward the center and prepares to charge Kamakura and his remaining entourage. His leftmost squad manages to completely wipe out squad Tiberius when I get supremely unlucky at save and IH FnP rolls. Only Shonar is left on my right flank (He was actually the only character with full wounds, including sergeants).
In my turn, Kamakura wipes out 4 marines in 5 attacks with one swing of the Burning Blade, and the rest do laughably little in melee on either side.
In the end, it ended up being 4-2 in Jack’s favor; he had his objective and First Blood, and I had Slay the Warlord and Linebreaker.
(I know this is doubled-this was the end-of-game match.)
He and I both had fun, and I definitely think I have some things to learn. Now for the unit grading and review.
A is exemplary, B is good, C is meh, D is bad, and F is would not play again unless I had to.
Gravis Captain: B. Good anchor, but slow.
CM with Jump pack+Burning Blade: A+. Excellent blender and when given Tenacious Survivor is a monster to shift in melee (ever, honestly) when backed up with an Iron Halo. Ended up having effective 9 wounds-+1 from Tenacious Survivor and 3 saved 6+’s.
JP Lieutenants: D+, but that’s mostly how I played them. Dropping them individually with no screen got them killed (and probably cost me the game) before either they or I knew it. Overwatch ate them alive. Definitely running an Assault Squad or Inceptors to screen them.
Intercessors with Stalkers: A-. Oh Throne YES! Amazing at killing MEQ’s, and at 2 ppm an ultimate steal. Shonar gets the same grade and reason.
Regular Intercessors: B-. Decent enough but I made the mistake of removing the aux grenade launcher first. *headdesk*
DI Primaris Lieutenants: B. Good anchors but lacking in survivability for their points (ie. no invuln, but that’s just me whining).
Hellblasters with plasma incinerators: C-, maybe D. If you had a plan to utilize these guys with these weapons and remembered it (spoilers: I didn’t), then you were okay. Otherwise go with regular incinerators or the heavy plasma incinerators, or regular plasma devastators, who are cheaper and more reliable but not as powerful.
Tactical Devastator Antreas: C. He’s a one-wound model worth 40 points and only cover for survivability; what should I have expected? Did his job well enough until he died; he’ll be joining his squad soon where he’ll be much more effective.
Overall, I had fun and learned quite a bit about Primaris and my Shinsengumi. This list will probably be modded to include supporting elements and some heavy armor (read: a pair of Land Raiders and Dreads) to make it better.
=][= Begin Post-battle Lore =][=
“End of training exercise. All personnel please clear the area so cleanup may begin. Repeat. End of training exercise. All personnel please clear the area so cleanup may begin.” The voxcast droned on for a while before a Techmarine who got annoyed with it shut it off.
As the marines began to clear the field, they began to chat amongst themselves, discussing the battle they had just been in and offering advice to each other.
Kamakura observed this from overhead, hanging off the spar of a Land Speeder Storm that had recorded the battle in video. The Shinsengumi were being brutally teased and mocked for getting themselves-ALL of them-cut down by overwatch fire. Even the pair who had made it through had been either been cut down when his opponents had fallen back or been ‘pulverized’ after a few blows from a dreadnought (or rather, a combat servitor that had sophisticated electronic warfare machinery that allowed the two dreadnoughts to participate in the fight). Kujo grimaced. His Arrows would all need a stern talking to about getting overconfident and careless in the face of a milk run or training exercise.
In the aftermath of the training exercise, there was much camaraderie and mutual respect to be had between the warriors of either chapter. Unsurprisingly, the green Primaris troops had made their mistakes, rookie mistakes, but that was what scout training was for, and the Primaris would, by consensus of all assembled personnel from all chapters involved, be forced to undergo the same exact training regimen that 13 year olds did; vat-sim time didn't equate to time under a drill sergeant with two centuries of battle and another century of training experience under his belt.
What was also not entirely a surprise was that the Dawn Blades had superior blade skills. Kamakura had bested Captain Mulier of the Brothers Noctis in combat, and after the exercise was over the captain had approached the Shogun and congratulated him on his amazing swordsmanship, to which Kamakura had replied that beating him had been no mean feat-and that was about the best praise the Shogun gave when it came to melee.
What had amazed more than one person, though, was that one of the Primaris Lt.’s had almost beaten Captain Foxworthy in a duel-and the Lt. was still green. He would bear watching for any emergent skill, and training to become part of a training cadre for snakes. Foxworthy had already commended the Astartes for his skill, and was already being praised by some of the Techmarines who had experience with bladework.
There was a second feast going on now, and the marines were intermingling. Kamakura lazily drifted down from the Land Speeder, gesturing for the pilot to follow, and landed next to Mulier.
“It was a good fight, yah?” Mulier said, not looking at the Shogun. Kujo walked up next to him.
“A damn good fight. You've got good men.”
“Thank you. I'll…consider these Primaris. We’ll see about them.” Soon Captain Foxworthy came besides them.
“Foxworthy,” they replied.
“I am afraid my forces must leave now; our Chapter Master has recalled us.”
“Then give him my respects,” Kamakura said, and Mulier indicated the same.
“I shall. Perhaps we shall fight side by side at some point.”
“Indeed.” And with that, Foxworthy walked away, his forces falling in behind him. Soon Mulier left too, troops trailing like so many ducklings.
And only the Dawn was left to leave, and when they did so came with them a brand new day.
More photos may follow later in another topic, and I may correct the format later to make it look better-at this point it's just links to the photos unfortunately.