Two long months since my last game. No models painted, either. 8th has some virtues, but it also has some (as I see them major) flaws, and I'm certainly not ready to jump into it at this point. That being the case I had to wait for someone to fight me with a Heresy army for a 7th edition game. 1500 points of World Eaters, to be precise.
This is effectively a continuation of reports and stories collected in some other threads, primarily Celestine and Friends:http://www.bolterand...ne-and-friends/
Faith thought about Malleo. The captain had been hit hard by his leader's rejection of the saint, a rejection that threw in her face the fact that she had brought him back from death itself. Amazing how much glowering contempt a silent helm can express...
Of course, this was after she herself had been restored. She wondered whether her sacrifice had been the catalyst for the fall of the daemonic knight that had cut so many of her allies down. It didn't seem so, but who could deny that she was back, and that she would continue to do the Emperor's work?
But, in moments of pensive solitude that she had spent musing on the Taarakia campaign, she had to admit that the Theta Sigma battle leader was in some ways right. Humility wasn't her strongest characteristic, and the confidence in her own abilities had proven the, albeit temporary, undoing of her allies. Now, in the context of bitter experience, she had to ask herself some difficult questions, both of her own abilities, and how much the Emperor really did put his trust in her. There was a price for hubris.
She found herself leading a form of penitent crusade. As many as she could persuade to follow her from the forces that fought beside her to cleanse her homeworld, gathered under the auspices of her faithful inquisitorial ally, Leopold. With his ability to requisition men and resources, she could take her campaign of vengeance to the stars in earnest. And who to take that vengeance out on but the forces of Khorne, whose warriors and machines had cut her down and caused her path to diverge from that of powerful allies?
She'd bade farewell to most of the space marines that had fought at her side, Blood Angels who had paid her great honour as much as Theta Sigma whose leaders expressed nothing but scorn. Only Malleo – who had requested from Leopold that he use his mandate to tithe the captain and his closest warriors to inquisitorial service – stayed. Malleo even suggested that a drop pod be requisitioned, along with a vessel that could be retrofitted to launch it. Leonidas, the Theta Sigma commander, was evidently unhappy – although not as icily furious as Iskander. Nonetheless, he acceded to the request – perhaps, Faith considered, allowing the Mechanicus-aligned leadership to place spies in the midst of the force.
Faith didn't care. If they succeeded it could only remind the witnesses of the miraculous power she bore – and if she fell, permanently this time, those seeing her final doom would have memory of her sacrifice. She tried not to think of the possibility that she might be led into a trap, for some senior magos biologis to take the opportunity to carry out a vivisection...
So, my first 40k v 30k battle for some time. The guy I was playing had used a lot of pretty chessy lists in previous games, such as shooty flyrants at 750, biker nobs, marine siege lists, etc, and I know pretty much zilch about Heresy armies, so I was a little concerned. We would be playing battleforged, and since he couldn't take formations I chose not to either. But given his propensity for power lists I decided to use a detachment I knew that I could rely on – Castellans with Celestine.
I'd taken similar forces twice before at 1500, both of which had been very successful. Knowing that I was facing marines meant that I'd cut out Harker and the other heavy bolter from the veterans and replaced them with three plasma guns, taken the Litanies of Faith away from the priest to give him Desvalle's Holy Circle (from GS1) so I didn't need an inquisitor with retinue, and upgraded the marine command squad to have a pod and quite a lot of other toys for first-strike capabilities. Malleo was upgraded with digital weapons – with only 3 attacks he could be a bit unreliable even if wounding on 2+ in addition to the Gorgon's Chain, hammer and artificer armour. I had 40 points spare, so put them into a techpriest instead of my usual choice, some form of extra inquisitor.
We would be fighting over objectives, where they were secretly worth 1-4 points. Having Coteaz (a.k.a. Leopold) gave me Objective Secured with troops, so four squads with their transports made me fairly confident in that regard. Malleo, my warlord, rolled Fearless as his trait, most appropriately.
After speaking to wise sages about the worlds near Taarakia – and through not a little use of the Emperor's Tarot to glean where the assailants had hailed from – the planet they found themselves fighting for was practically dead, having evidently been taken from the Imperium years or even decades ago. They'd found collections of skulls in pits among dilapidated, rotting buildings, and very few signs of life in the grey landscape. With much of the plant life gone the atmosphere was de-oxygenating – soon it would be a poisonous wasteland.
For now it was a fitting place for Faith to serve her penance. There was evidently little in the way of population or industry; the wrecked world was just a staging post to launch attacks from, for the Khornates to take their captives back to torture on, and to sit on and plot their next atrocities. As such there seemed to be no central authority and no orbital defences to speak of – the inhabitants were various unruly warbands, waiting for the opportunity to fight for a place on warships that would turn up from time to time, carry them off to the slaughter, and then return with holds full of torture victims and whatever booty the Blood God's followers considered worthwhile.
As such, the loyalists had set down unmolested, establishing a defended base camp while Faith and her followers looked for enemies to slay. It didn't take them long to discover a motley collection of renegades.
He won both the side and first turn, so I watched him put down two rhinos full of men, one on each side, a rapier on his right flank, a lascannon squad with medic on his left, and, rather disconcertingly, Khârn with some terminators equipped with axes and chain fists in the centre. He had a squadron of six plasma bikes in Reserve, ready to outflank. Didn't like the look of them, either.
I set up my immolators on the flanks, one chimera to the left, one to the right, and Celestine to the centre-right with Leopold. I was looking forward to a first turn without too much enemy shooting, but I wanted to Seize, if only to get my retaliation in first, as it were (and to ensure that I could be ready when that horrid biker squad turned up). And the Emperor was with me – I didn't even need to use the Coteaz re-roll!
As soon as enemies came into view Faith leapt forward. She left Leopold behind, determined that her overconfidence wouldn't cost the lives of others as it had before, secure as she was in the support of her Geminae. She had not counted, however, on Malleo, who had been watching events transpire from orbit; he'd ensured that the force below had been fed the location of the enemy warband even as he'd been charging for the pod, and his men landed on the left flank, close to a strategic position – but also near the enemy terminators.
Seeing the risk he had taken, Faith shouted her frustration at the heavy weapon team she had been heading towards. The heavens split, and a bolt of holy fire cascaded from the skies, obliterating most of the squad, sending the few survivors fleeing. Cheers from her warriors heartened her, and ignoring the rhino nearby, she leapt over an intervening building in order to provide Malleo with some support.
First Blood! An excellent first turn for me. Although I didn't get rid of the rapier with Malleo's squad's shooting, the placement of the weapon and my Deep Strikers made it somewhat less effective. The inevitable charge from Khârn's unit against the command squad and my opponent's reduced support fire would allow me to transport my weaker infantry safely to where I would need them instead of getting butchered by terminators or lascannon.
As predicted, the enemy fire was concentrated on Malleo's squad before the charge came. Khârn didn't make the distance initially, but he had a re-roll. Well, I'd gambled on the resilience of the Iron Hands, and they proved to be tough guys all right; half the squad survived a phenomenal flurry of power axe attacks thanks to two storm shields and decent Feel No Pain, and Malleo smashed down Khârn (I did warn my opponent about the hammer, but he declared a challenge anyway, for style's sake, which I greatly appreciated). However, my leader had taken two wounds in the process, but at least I achieved Slay the Warlord.
Faith could see that she wouldn't make it to Malleo. However, she chose not to rest on her laurels, as one of the immolators destroyed the nearest rhino, spilling out a full squad of traitors. The saint and her escort opened fire, with support from the chimeras, cutting down a couple of the World Eaters before a blistering assault, although Sophia fell to the enemy guns in the process. However, the women broke their morale; the rest were slaughtered as they tried to flee. On the other flank the rapier was melted by the second immolator.
Malleo was hacked down by the terminators, furious at the loss of their captain, but he killed one of them, and one of his vanguard smashed another. However, two terminators against one veteran and an apothecary didn't look like good odds.
The World Eaters were definitely on the back foot now, compounded by the bikers not arriving this turn. The remaining tactical squad leapt out of their rhino and activated Fury of the Legion, killing the other Gemini and doing three wounds to Celestine. Of course, three wounds is enough to put down many characters, but this particular lady is another matter. The Khornates' fate was sealed…
On my left, the close combat was an almost-hilarious draw, my fist-armed marine slaying both terminators as he was cut down along with the apothecary. It was only after this that my opponent remembered that his force should have had hatred (to be fair, so should mine, although it would have benefited him more, of course).
Fury swelled in the saint's chest as she saw her faithful ally fall; she flamed the marines who had shot her as Isobel returned to the combat almost immediately, again with supporting fire from the chimeras. Faith smashed into the remaining traitors like a thunderbolt; like their brethren they broke and she cut them down.
From behind her there was the gunning of engines, whining plasma and the crunch of a vehicle crashing – followed shortly by the swift disembarkation of battle sisters ready to avenge the destruction of their transport. However, before the women could even level their weapons the bikes turned and sped off, carrying out skilled evasive manoeuvres against the few shots at their retreating forms – evidently the lack of the presence of their comrades made them fear for their lives.
Forming up defensively, the force provided Faith with the respite she needed to tend to her injured comrades, unaffected by whatever curse the champions of Nurgle had afflicted her with on Taarakia. She was back at the height of her powers, and it would take more than dozens of fanatical followers of a god of war to stop her...
Well, perhaps I shouldn't have gone for Castellans, as I hadn't intended on a turn three win due to my opponent giving up – but it did seem like a fair bit of vengeance for all of his nasty lists in the past.
Of course, I’d forgotten numerous rules, including Saintly Blessings as well as Hatred, but I evidently didn't need to worry about it! We decided that we'd arranged the mission for our next game in advance; we'll be playing the Maelstrom that lets you steal your opponent's numbered objectives. I might be bringing out the Deathwatch for that...
Edited by Brother Sefiel, 01 November 2017 - 10:28 PM.