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The Lion and the Maw: A Narrative Battle

Dark Angels Chapter Narrative Play World Eaters

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#1
Company Master Holden

Company Master Holden

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Hey guys! 

 

So I have not posted much but I am a hardcore lurker, and I want to say that of all the forums, I believe The Rock is the best. After all, the hospitality Stobz and his cell provides is second to none!

 

This post is to share a campaign that I designed for my friend and I in celebration of graduating with our M.A.'s a couple weeks from now and report the results! There are a few home brew rules, each of which are designed to contribute to the narrative and to make it more enjoyable. This isn't a competitive campaign, or even one that adheres 100% to the lore. Just something we designed to have fun in our hobby downtime!

 

I will attach in a post below this one the scenario, environment, and special rules that will go with the battle. The short version is that the Dark Angels 5th Company discovers an active Webway Gate that leads, of all places, to Holy Terra itself. (Once again, I know not entirely lore accurate, but our gaming community has a Webway Gate terrain feature that I have honestly been dying to use.) The Dark Angels were not the only ones to discover the Gate: a combined arms force of World Eaters and Renegade Traitor Militia have also located the Gate and seek to gain access to cause endless slaughter on Terra itself. The objective is simple: the Dark Angels must hold the gate at the end of Turn 5 to achieve victory, whereas the World Eaters must possess the Gate in Turn 5 to claim victory. Of course there is a twist: the battle will be conducted in the middle of a raging Warp Storm, thus giving us the opportunity to experiment with the Warp Storm rules in the Chapter Approved: 2017 book!

 

It is going to be a fairly large game, with each army clocking in at roughly 3,000 points. I tried to build a thematic army, and the units used as are follows. Also, the specific loadouts and points are not included because the army designs are still in flux, and a final roster will be released on this very thread soon!:

 

Greenwing: 

Azrael

Primaris Lieutenant 

Chapter Ancient 

Primaris Ancient 

Librarian 

Intercessors

Tactical Marines

Scouts 

Las Pred

Las Repulsor 

Hellblasters

Plasma Inceptors

 

Deathwing:

Deathwing Terminators Blob

Belial 

 

Ravenwing:

Ravenwing Bikers

Black Knights

Sammael 

 

On the World Eaters side, it is going to get a little hairy. Indeed, part of this post is to get your feedback on how to best handle the units I will be facing and tactics that ya'll use when facing an army like this. 

 

Khârn 

Large Zerker Wing

Havocs 

Spartan Assault Tank 

Autocannon Predator 

Leviathan Dreadnought (Heavy Storm Cannon Array)

Leman Russ Vanquisher

Leman Russ

Leman Russ Punisher

Vindicators

Cultists 

Imperial Guardsmen 

Tempestus Scions 

 

This will be a test for the Sons of the Lion and my fledgling tabletop tactics skills, but above all it will be a fun experience to celebrate an achievement my friend and I have worked so hard for these past two years. If you have any feedback or suggestions on conducting the campaign, please feel free to post!

 

For the Lion!


Edited by Company Master Holden, 20 April 2018 - 02:51 PM.

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T0x4MJd
 
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 Two sucker punches were thrown that day. Only one Primarch walked away.
"Imagine what it must be like to be so singular a creature...knowing that you are alone and that there will never be more of you...These beasts were not driven by hunger, they were insane, driven to madness by their own uniqueness."

 


#2
Company Master Holden

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The Sword and the Maw

During the Indomitus Crusade, half-whispered rumors of a sinister vision circulated throughout the upper echelons of Imperial Command. Reports garnered from half crazed Astropaths and the Emperor’s tarot spoke of death, carnage, and destruction. Though those days of darkness were certainly filled with their fair share of war, snippets gathered from the far reaches of Imperial space revealed the visions to all have one thing in common; an image of a giant maw, wreathed in flame, and a broken black sword shielding an Aquila from the approaching darkness.

 

 

 

Though Guilliman quickly deduced that the maw represented the crazed brethren of his traitorous brother Angron, he did not fully understand the rest of the vision. Since the Great Rift opened up, World Eater war-bands had been seen in increasing numbers, rampaging and reaping skulls for their bloody master. The black sword, however, perplexed him; the imagery of the sword was common amongst Astartes and the Astra Militarum alike, and there was no way of knowing to which Regiment or Chapter it referred. This greatly troubled the Primarch, though he quickly found his attention drawn elsewhere. As with all things the Primordial Enemy sought to deceive, and this distraction could be willingly enacted to keep him from his duties.

 

 

 

The visions remained a mystery until a Dark Angels strike cruiser, the Penitent Warrior, began Warp translation en route to reinforce the Consecrators and aid in their campaign against T’au forces of the Sa’cea Sept. Containing elements of the 5th Company, Ravenwing, and Deathwing under the Command of 5th Company Master Hithram, the Penitent Warrior’s Gellar Field began to flicker and fail once in the Warp. Their astropaths’ minds became gateways for daemonic possession, and through the halls of the ship stalked unnatural, hellish creatures bent only on claiming the souls of the mortals onboard. Only through great effort by the Astartes of the 5th Company did the Penitent Warrior survive long enough to reach its destination. Upon realspace translation, however, a new problem made itself known.

 

 

 

Rather than heading to Ymcarl II to aid the Consecrators in their campaign against the upstart T’au, the Penitent Warrior found itself orbiting a Crone World, those worlds of the ancient Eldar’s Empire that was consumed by Slaanesh upon his birth into the Chaos pantheon. How this world, which was formerly located deep in the Eye of Terror, came to be positioned in Realspace outside of the Great Rift was a mystery to all on board. Realizing they were brought here by forces beyond their control, Hithram led his forces to the surface to establish a base of operations in the hope that they could contact Imperial forces about their sudden disappearance. During a recon of the area, Dark Angel scouts discovered an inactive Webway gate. Though initial auspex scans revealed that it lie dormant, the gate began to shimmer and shine with an unnatural light, and with a burst of energy it sprung into incandescent life.

 

 

 

Hithram, realizing that his options were limited, dispatched several squads of scouts into the portal. After what seemed like an eternity they returned with incredulous news; this webway gate led directly to a hidden gate on Terra, specifically in Hive City Golgotha, a city of immense importance in supplying penal labor to the immediate planets in the Sol System. Astonished, Hithram gathered his forces around the gate and ordered the Dark Angels to take up defensive positions while he met with members of his command to discuss his options.

 

 

From outside Hithram’s command platform, members from the 5th Company Veterans sounded the first alarm that this mission would be ill fated. Unnatural lightning flickered across the sky and an eerie mist rose like a tidal wall across the plain. Ethereal voices and whispers drifted amongst the hardened warriors of the Lion, speaking of power, glory, and death. Emerging from his command control center Hithram surveilled the perimeter, and as his robes bellowed in the unnatural wind he realized that his forces were going to be caught in a one of the fiercest warp storms that he had seen in his two centuries of service.

 

 

 

In orbit around the crone world, the Penitent Warrior lost contact with its ground forces as interference from the Warp storm jammed all their communications. Due to the nature of the 5th Company’s discovery groundside, almost all of the Astartes and their vehicles and equipment had been deployed to the surface. All that remained on board were the mortal crew, at least the ones that survived the warp journey, and a small force of Assault and Tactical Marines to guard the ship. As they watched the massive eye of the warp storm form and head towards Hithram’s position, their warning glyphs and runes lit up. With barely a chance to react, an ancient white strike cruiser from the time of Heresy made translation on its starboard side. In one instant the devastating broadside from the new arrival obliterated the Penitent Warrior, and all those upon it died in fire.

 

 

 

On the command deck of Red Steel, a warrior clad in the color of spilt blood felt the rage creeping up the back of his neck as he watched the Penitent Warrior breakup under the punishing broadside. He had been promised eternal slaughter by an Eldar witch in exchange for her life during his last campaign. The witch spoke of a gateway that would lead to Holy Terra itself and the millions of souls that occupied it. He had immediately eviscerated her of course, and armed with her information he made haste to the location described by her. Now that he was here it seemed he had been tricked, sent to a backwater planet of no importance, with nothing but the pathetic sons of a dead Primarch to slaughter. He turned away from the doomed ship, cut the head off the nearest cultist, and headed away from the command deck to the drop pods. With nothing but the raising of his fist, he committed the Astartes of the World Eaters and their Renegade Militia to a planetside attack. After all, the Blood god cared not from whence the blood flowed.

 

 

 

As the atmosphere, already writhing with unnatural lightning, lit up with the tell-tale streaks of drop pod entry and low altitude landing craft, Hithram realized they were not alone. All attempts to raise the Penitent Warrior were met with silence. It was only then that Hithram realized that some of those streaks were part of the Penitent Warrior’s hull breaking up in atmospheric re-entry. Dark Angel scouts spotted columns of armor and infantry, all adorned with skulls and the maw of the World Eaters, moving towards their position. And it did not take binoculars or the Astartes’ modified hearing to recognize the sound of superhuman voices repeating the same phrase over and over; Kill, Maim, Burn.

 

 

 

World Eater Renegade Militia forces drew up in practiced and regimented battle lines; Leman Russes thundered their projectiles towards the Dark Angel defenses, Las-Guns flashed in devastating fusillades, and the Astartes of the World Eaters charged forward with their Chain Axes revving, screaming in anticipation of the coming slaughter. In turn the Dark Angels stood resolute, contempt upon their faces for these bezerkers. Plasma melted men to dust and armor to slag, Ravenwing Bikers circled the enemy and picked them apart like the raptors of old, and the Deathwing arrived in brilliant flashes, weapons raised and storm bolters roaring.

 

 

 

Thus the battle of Hive Golgotha came to pass. Hithram realized that the Webway gate could not be lost to the World Eaters, while the commander of the Blood Tide, realizing that the Xenos witch had spoken true, sought to carve a bloody path to it. Hithram did not wish to sacrifice the bulk of the 5th Company willingly, and his Librarian and second in command Turmiel was already working on a way in which the Dark Angels could fall back through the portal and essentially short circuit it on their way out. However this required time and the survival of Turmiel to complete. Hithram, though optimistic, realized that if they could not survive they would destroy the Webway gate, thereby sacrificing their lives for the greater good of the Imperium.

 

 

 

On advanced the relentless horde of the World Eaters and their allies, the giant maw emblazoned in blood upon their arms and armor. Raising his black Heavenfall blade high, Hithram, clad in relic Cataphractii plate adorned with the broken sword indicating service to the Deathwing, raised a cry of defiance. Thus did the two armies clash over the fate of Hive City Golgotha in the eye of a ferocious warp storm, and the vision of Guilliman made manifest. Could the Dark Angels hold the World Eaters at bay? Or would the Sons of Angron claim victory for the Blood God?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Objectives and Win Conditions

Unlike other campaigns conducted throughout the universe, this one remains simple. The Dark Angels must hold the Webway Gate at the end of Turn 5 to earn a victory whereas the World Eaters must hold the Webway Gate at the end of Turn 5 to earn a victory. At the end of Turn 5, the player whose turn it would be next can roll a D6. On a 4+, the battle continues for one more turn. This dice cannot be rerolled through the use of Command Points.

However, there can be a major victory achieved for each force.

World Eaters

  • Major Victory: The player controls the Webway Gate at the end of Turn 5 and killed Turmiel before the end of Turn 4. Turmiel’s death ensures that any attempts made by the Dark Angels to retreat will fail, their deaths ensured as only a matter of time.   

Dark Angels

  • Major Victory: The player controls the Webway Gate at the end of Turn 5 and Turmiel survives through the end of Turn 4. His survival ensures that the Dark Angels can retreat through the Webway and short-circuit it, leaving the World Eaters to howl in desperate madness as their prey and opportunity slips through their grasp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deployment and Environment

The two armies will be deployed upon the long edge of the board using the alternating deployment method. Because the Dark Angels had prepared their defensive positions ahead of time, the Dark Angels player will go first and deploy one unit within 9” of their deployment zone, and then the second player will place one unit within 9” of their deployment zone, and so on and so forth until one player runs out of unit. The first player to do so gets to go in the first Turn, and at that point the second player finishes deploying their forces.

However, the second player can attempt to seize the initiative.

  • If the World Eater player ends up being the person chosen to go second in the first battle round, that player can roll a D6 to seize the initiative. Due to the savage nature of the World Eaters, instead of only seizing the initiative on a 5+ they seize it on a 4+
  • If the Dark Angels player ends up being the person chosen to go second in the first battle round, that player can roll a D6 to seize the initiative. However, because the Dark Angels have dug in to defensive positions, instead of seizing the initiative on a 5+ they seize it on a 6+.

The battle will take place during a Warp Storm, and thus will be subject to the rules and results present in the Chapter Approved 2017 Book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Rules and Clarification

Each force will be approximately 3,000 points in strength.

For this battle, there will be a few special rules to represent the narrative campaign.

  1. Ethereal Dispersion: The raging Warp storm plays havoc upon previously reliable equipment. Those that are brave enough to deep strike or grav-chute into the battlefield are subject to the whims of the denizens of the warp. Unnatural claws scrape across their armor and nightmarish hellscapes dance before their vision as they attempt to land where they are needed most.

 

Roll a D6 when a unit arrives from reserves upon the battlefield. Units in reserve are those units that are not deployed upon the battlefield Turn 1 but arrive through deep striking or a similar rule.

 

On a result of 4-6, nothing happens and they arrive normally.

 

On a roll of 2-3, the deep strikers are dispersed. Roll a D6 and a directional dice; this represents where they would land measured from the spot chosen for them to land originally. If for some reason they cannot land because of enemy units or terrain features, put them as near as possible to the original point to where they can maintain unit cohesion. Disputes will be settled amongst the platers. Please note that this can result in them landing closer than 9” away from enemy units, though they may not be closer than 1” from an enemy unit.

 

On a roll of 1, the deep strikers are attacked by denizens of the warp. Repeat the above process. Additionally, the unit also suffers D3 mortal wounds and suffers a -1 penalty to shooting, charge distances, and fighting. This is cumulative for other modifiers for reinforcements, such as the -1 for shooting heavy weapons after arriving. Thus a terminator with an Assault Cannon would be hitting on 5+ instead of 4+ due to the -2 modifier.

 

  1.  Battle-Hardened Resolve: Despite Warp interference, the fearless leaders of the armies stand fast and do not waver. Deep striking is second nature to them, and coupled with their iron will nothing will deter them from landing where they are needed most.

 

Characters are never affected by Etherial Dispersion and always arrive normally deep striking. However, this also means that the character in question cannot choose to be dispersed with his squad, and separation from those he commands is a calculated risk when battling the enemy.

 

  1. Psychic Powers: Smite beta rules apply during the game. However, unlike the beta rules you can still attempt a psychic power that failed with a different psyker.

 

For example, if Turmiel attempts to manifest Righteous Repugnance and it fails, Turmiel cannot attempt to manifest Righteous Repugance a second time. However, a second Dark Angels psyker can attempt to manifest Righteous Repugance. If this psyker succeeds, then no other psykers can cast Righteous Repugnance. If that psyker fails, he cannot attempt to manifest the same power again but another one can, so on and so forth.

 

  1. Deep Striking: In addition to Ethereal dispersion, this game will adhere to the Deep Striking beta rules.

 

  1. The Rule of Three: Due to the nature of the game, the rule of three will restrict the ability to create a thematic and fluffy army that fits the narrative play. This rule will be ignored. 

Edited by Company Master Holden, 20 April 2018 - 02:55 PM.

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T0x4MJd
 
Covenant Of Caliban 2 Banner
 Two sucker punches were thrown that day. Only one Primarch walked away.
"Imagine what it must be like to be so singular a creature...knowing that you are alone and that there will never be more of you...These beasts were not driven by hunger, they were insane, driven to madness by their own uniqueness."

 


#3
Kasper_Hawser

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Really awesome man, but can you edit the post so that the font is bigger? I had to copy and paste into a Word Document to see it. the small font really hurt the eyes.


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"The 6th Legion has a reputation." said Bear.
"All the Legions Astartes have reputations," replied Hawser.
"Not like ours," said Ogvai "We are known for our ferocity. We are thought to be feral and undisciplined. Even brother Legions consider us to be wild and bestial."
"And you're not ?" asked Hawser.
"If we need to be," said Ogvai. "but if that was our natural state, we'd all be dead by now."
He leaned down towards Hawser like a parent addressing a child.
"It takes a vast amount of self control to be this dangerous" he said.

 

Excerpt from "Prospero Burns" by Dan Abnett


#4
Lhorke The First

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Add two vindicators to that World Eaters army, assuming you don't mind that I proxy a Medusa as a vindicator.


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You wish to see a unified Twelfth Legion, yes? -Khârn


#5
Berzul

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I am L O V I N G this campaign!!! :D

As a fellow player that likes campaings, narrative play, and all things related to it, this was a blast to read! THANK YOU!! Please report the results!!


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#6
Company Master Holden

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Really awesome man, but can you edit the post so that the font is bigger? I had to copy and paste into a Word Document to see it. the small font really hurt the eyes.

 

Thank you! I just edited it so that the font is bigger! I actually had a PDF file with the text in there and pictures scattered throughout. It looked really cool but I could not appease the B&C machine spirit quite enough to get the PDF uploaded so I ended up copying and pasting from the original word document lol 

 

Add two vindicators to that World Eaters army, assuming you don't mind that I proxy a Medusa as a vindicator.

 

Speak of the Devil and he shall appear! msn-wink.gif I have edited them into your list! If you want to copy, paste, and modify this post for the World Eaters forum feel free to do so! I tried uploading the PDF and I could not figure out how to do it, so this will probably be the best way to share that information. 

 

I am L O V I N G this campaign!!! biggrin.png

As a fellow player that likes campaings, narrative play, and all things related to it, this was a blast to read! THANK YOU!! Please report the results!!

 

Thank you so much! If I am being honest, your thread on your game against the Necrons pushed me to share this campaign and post on the forum! I like you really enjoy the narrative component of 40k. I do understand the draw of competitive gaming, but there is something about forging a unique narrative that blends elements of narrative, open, and matched play together. But I will definitely keep you updated and will try my best to remember to take pictures of the game while it is in progress! biggrin.png


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T0x4MJd
 
Covenant Of Caliban 2 Banner
 Two sucker punches were thrown that day. Only one Primarch walked away.
"Imagine what it must be like to be so singular a creature...knowing that you are alone and that there will never be more of you...These beasts were not driven by hunger, they were insane, driven to madness by their own uniqueness."

 


#7
Berzul

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Please do!

#8
Kasper_Hawser

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@ Company Master holden - Much much better, thank you. May your crossdressing brethren deny Khârn and his parpelgic god his kills and blood.


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"The 6th Legion has a reputation." said Bear.
"All the Legions Astartes have reputations," replied Hawser.
"Not like ours," said Ogvai "We are known for our ferocity. We are thought to be feral and undisciplined. Even brother Legions consider us to be wild and bestial."
"And you're not ?" asked Hawser.
"If we need to be," said Ogvai. "but if that was our natural state, we'd all be dead by now."
He leaned down towards Hawser like a parent addressing a child.
"It takes a vast amount of self control to be this dangerous" he said.

 

Excerpt from "Prospero Burns" by Dan Abnett


#9
Interrogator Stobz

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Excellent work Brother Holden, keep toiling in the Lions name.
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Be Pure, Be Vigilant, Behave.

 

gallery_4664_5295_5937.gifgallery_33968_5962_11035.jpg
Belial by 'Michael'
Stobz'z DAngles


#10
Company Master Holden

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Thank you everyone for the kind words! We are slowly building towards the actual event and our armies (and some last minute painting and assembly) are forming for what should be a good battle and fun event!

 

So I wanted to ask for some advice for unit choice and general tactics to keep in mind. I will provide a short list of the units he plans on bringing below for easy reference and then ask some questions. 

 

Units he is considering are:

 

Khârn 

Large Zerker Wing

Havocs 

Spartan Assault Tank 

Autocannon Predator 

Leviathan Dreadnought (Heavy Storm Cannon Array)

Leman Russ Vanquisher

Leman Russ

Leman Russ Punisher

Vindicator Laser Destroyer

Cultists 

Imperial Guardsmen 

Tempestus Scions 

 

So the plan, based on some previous experiences playing his armies and some conversations [we should probably stop telling each other what we are planning to do strategically lol], I imagine his plan is as follows. Flood the board with as many Guardsmen as possible and back them up with a solid Leman Russ Tank line. Advance the Spartan up the board with Khârn and the Zerkers inside to contest the objective while Havocs and his Astartes tanks (Predator, Vindicator Laser Destroyer, and Leviathan) move up and provide fire support. 

 

So I have to deal with simultaneous threats of:

1) Chaff

2) Powerful Armor with good range

3) High strength shots with good AP and BS from the Leviathan, Spartan, and Havocs

4) Elite CC units that will wreck whatever they get their hands on.  

 

My prototype list is as follows:

 

Azrael

Primaris Lieutenant 

Chapter Ancient 

Primaris Ancient 

Librarian 

Intercessors

Tactical Marines

Scouts 

Las Pred

Las Repulsor 

Hellblasters

Plasma Inceptors

 

Deathwing:

Deathwing Terminators Blob

Belial 

 

Ravenwing:

Ravenwing Bikers

Black Knights

Sammael

 

So, my questions are:

 

I. Deathwing vs Ravenwing Blobs: My original list factored in having a full squad of 10 termies with Belial and a Ravenwing contingent of 5 Bikes, 3 Black Knights, Plasma Inceptors (technically not Ravenwing but they'd be hanging out with them after deepstriking) and Sammael. I was going to have the Ravenwing move up, blunt a thrust of his attack, have the bikers cut through chaff and possibly have the Black Knights, combined with Sammael, deal with one armored threat using WotDA. Turn 2 drop Inceptors near the Ravenwing (if they are still alive) and have then continue fighting while dropping the Termies in with DWA and deal with more chaff, once again blunting more of the attack. All the while my gunline continues to pour out fire on the advancing units, destroying high priority targets, and holding until Turn 5 for the victory. The only bad thing is that the Deathwing aspect of it costs so many points that I could pour into more gunline units or more Ravenwing. I love the Ravenwing, but last game we played his Leviathan scrapped my 3 man Bike Squad and Black Knight squad in two turns of shooting. So my question becomes this: which side of the wing should I include more of? Should I abandon the Deathwing completely in favor of more Ravenwing? Or vice versa? Or strengthen my gunline?

 

II. Flyers: I own two Dark Talons and one Storm Raven, though I have not put them in the list in favor of my Predator and Repulsor. Should I consider bringing them in, knowing that if I go second in T1 much of that will be destroyed? I also own two Ven. Dreads, one with a Lascannon and the other an Auto Cannon that I can shove in there for more anti armor.

 

III. Suggested tactics: This one is the broadest question of the three, but I have never faced a mixed army of both World Eaters and Imperial Guard together before. Are there any tactics that ya'll would suggest for dealing with his units? It is very rare to face an army that can bring Chaff, a sizeable contingent of armor, and a blob of elite infantry CC units and elite vehicles all to bear at the same time. 

 

Thanks again for following this, and any feedback is much appreciated!


T0x4MJd
 
Covenant Of Caliban 2 Banner
 Two sucker punches were thrown that day. Only one Primarch walked away.
"Imagine what it must be like to be so singular a creature...knowing that you are alone and that there will never be more of you...These beasts were not driven by hunger, they were insane, driven to madness by their own uniqueness."

 






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