Well, the first battle report. Bear with me as I get these pictures right, B&C is being a bit on the touchy side right now.
Sorry it ain't something more grand but we all gotta start somewhere, and I'm just toying with the BBC code and what works image wise. Anyhow, on to the show!
Istvaan III- Outpost D221, Day 52
-1,000 points EC vs. SoH, War of Lies
The rolling thunder of a heavily armoured column echoes through the now empty expanse of Istvaan, breaking the unnatural stillness that shrouds the dead lands. A small column of pale green slithers across the path that was once a road, now obliterated by the apocalyptic windstorms that ravaged the region. The shattered husks of aged buildings form an aegis over the low roadway, their blasted windows like empty sockets silently judging the sons of the 16th that thread their way through the drifts in the lee of the desiccated structures. It was once an industrial complex in a suburb of the city, now it stands as a ruined monument to a human culture seemingly long dead. That was not its only deception.
Two immense Raider tanks head the small search and destroy group, their squadron commander bobbing in the cupola as he surveys the blasted landscape around him. The troops perched on the lone rhino lingering in the rear of the formation are far more relaxed. The back hatch of the rhino splays open, weighed down by the half dozen armoured warriors seated on the rim, each staring out at the world behind ruby-red armourglass lenses.
“We're still outnumbered, you know.” A legionnaire mutters, the external vox amps spitting his words in harsh monotone.
“Where, here?” His commander glances over his shoulder, white crest whipped back in the breeze. “Nah, there can't be more than five or ten thousand left.” The short exchange pulls the astartes attention back to the ruined maze of wind-scoured industrial works to the south-west. He stiffens, attention drawn to something remote, barely glimpsed among the rickety lattice of conduit pipes.
“It's not that, Sergeant.” The trooper continues despite the pause, “I mean in this war. Unless we're at Terra in a month we'll be outmatched, outgunned, outnumbered, and they'll be coming soon. It's three against fifteen-”
Sergeant Artax Cythensus sighs and looks back at him, “Trust in the warmaster, Hexal. Trust in Horus, and trust in prov-” A whip crack scream is the only warning as a hypervelocity shell slams into the lead raider's armoured glace in a shower of sparks, followed swiftly by a shriek of discharging las bolts that turn the whirling ash and sand to glass.
“Contact!” The commander kicks the Rhino's frame with his heel as it drunkenly swerves to the right, pitching down into an imperceptible gulch. The astarte slips from the armoured carrier, barely breaking stride as the first kiss of adrenal stims flood his veins.
Sons of Horus 65th Company, Lacashrian Platoon led by Arnius Tybessus
-Centurion “Arnius Tybessus”: Thunder Hammer, bolt pistol (Warlord Trait: Master of the Vanguard)
-Seekers (5): 5 combi-plasma
-Land Raider Proteus “Astron Lead”: Dozer blade, Twin Heavy Bolters
-Combat Squad Primus (10): Sergeant Cythensus (Power Sword)
-Rhino: Dozer blade
-Combat Squad Secundus (10): Corporal Voris (Power Sword)
-Land Raider Proteus “Death's Note”: Dozer blade, Twin Heavy Bolters
Emperors Children 22nd Millenial, Remnants
-Centurion Deligatus “Limantes Kallus”: Master crafted power axe, plasma pistol (Warlord Trait: Conqueror of Cities).
-Veterans “First” (9): Sergeant Candecus (lightning claw), Rhino Armoured Carrier
-“Second” (10): 2 plasma guns, Sergeant Gaius (Power Sword), Rhino Armoured Carrier
-Predator Tanks (2), Apollo (Autocannon, Las Cannon Sponsons), Bacchus (Autocannon, Las Cannon Sponsons)
-Outrider Squad “Quicksilver” (3): twin linked plasma guns, sergeant Indemius (Power Sword)
Sons of Horus
The lance of armoured vehicles continue their advance on the north eastern reaches of the industrial complex. The column's Rhino advances flat out, and with a thud, sheets itself in layers of thick obscuring smoke. Squad Primus advances, dismounted, in the wake of the armoured carrier in a wide circuit to the north west.
1: 2 shots, 2 hits, 1 pen, 5 Autocannon destroyed
The lead Raider rolls down the old south road, lining its las-cannons up on the distant Predator nestled among the empty shipping containers in the shadow of a rusted catwalk. With a static crack, the bright ruby lances slice through the predator's autocannon, turning the barrel to molten slag1
Housed within his command rhino, Deligatus Kallus orders his armoured forces forward. Both APC's edge up to the ruins, providing a convenient screen for the small section of outriders behind them.
The battle tank Apollo barely hesitates despite the loss of its main gun. The land raider heedlessly stumbles forward, prematurely triumphant. The Predator's las cannons pivot up, adjust a fraction, and fire. With a hiss and crackle, the distant trundling form of the Land Raider is struck. It briefly flickers then and bulges obscenely as billowing pillars of flame split it in half with an echoing thunderclap. Several armoured forms tumble out from the wreck, wreathed in smoke and unceremoniously scrambling away as a secondary explosions tears the vehicle to blazing scrap, raining molten droplets down upon the ashen wastes1.
1: 2 Seekers die in the inferno, Moral test
passed with a 6.
2: 3 autocannon hits, 1 pen results in shaken.
To the north, the Predator Bacchus
spots the distant form of the Rhino advancing upon the concealed nest. Boxes and tarps built up around it reveal only the slight curvature of the turret and little else. It pivots, tracking the distant carrier. The predator's juttering flurry of shells sheers through metal plates and buckles plate, but the vehicle emerges through the fog with little more than superficial scars2
Sons of Horus
“Advance, all forces advance!” The Lieutenant hisses into his microbead, almost fighting to free himself from the three Seekers pulling him back from the blazing wreck which set the hem of his cloak alight. He points to the distant shape of the predator as the second Raider grinds over the ruined wreckage of the first. Affirmations from Combat Squad Primus intone their compliance in the north1, while Corporal Voris's Squad Secundus responds with an affirmation click.
1: Advance roll of 5+1 for Master of the Vanguard
Their transport passes by then halts, guns blazing into the distance. Both bolts reach out to the predator, scrabbling across its hull, leaving neat black scars on the resilient lavender paint but little else.
As a well oiled machine befitting their legion's nature, the remnants of the 3rd legion let their plan unfurl. The pair of Rhino's cautiously skirt around the ruins, Deligatus Kallus stepping out into the harsh solar light that bakes the sand red as the dying planet's swirling clouds evaporate overhead in a whirling maelstrom. His outriders scream by behind him, hurling themselves across the gap towards the outer walkways, keeping to the shadows as they ready their trap.
1: 1 autocannon and 1 las hit, 1 glance,
1 penetrating hit wrecks the Rhino
The staccato bark of an autocannon echoes off the metal trappings and cold refinery stacks. 'Contact eliminated', sergeant Galvanus leading the Predator Bacchus
reports. Black smoke plumes spew into the horizon beyond the northern gantries1
“Good.” Kallus replies and points to the nearby pillar, a small simple thing etched with names of the architects of Istvaan's Imperial compliance. Kallus led his group of warriors out in challenge, seeing the distant forms of loping astartes in the distance. “It's as good a day as any to see off a few more of Horus's rancid mutts.”
Sons of Horus
“Now,” Lieutenant Tybessus orders his Seeker bodyguard forward as Squad Secundus piles out of the Raider and into the breach. Tybessus had spotted the damned leader of the ragged enemy column, “For Horus, for the hope of a better tomorrow! Show them no mercy, give them no reprieve!” His Seeker bodyguards dart out in front with the cheering squad of thundering astartes by his side.
1: grenade hits 5, wounds 2, 1 saves.
18 bolter shots, 11 wounds, 9 saves
2: Seeker plasma hits 6, 1 precision shot is saved
with Look Out Sir for Kallus. 5 wounds.
3: In a nice little end note, 5 long range shots
produce 2 wounds, 2 fails, destroying the squad.
Corporal Voris unlatched the first grenade pin, and pitches it into the assembling mass of chainsword wielding legionnaires. With a gutteral 'thump', the mass of boltguns blot out the squeal of armoured tracks in a roar of death. Scything curtains of bolter fire fell the first legionnaires even as the gory chunks of shattered armour and twisted limbs crash back to the ruined earth1
. Seeker plasma bolts add to the destruction as they slice through the enemy mass with contemptuous ease. Some of the Warrior Lord's retinue hurl themselves in front of their commander, only to die for their efforts. The scarlet plumed sergeant falls in a spasming mass as his head is wrenched from his shoulders2
. Dazed and disoriented, the last few warriors stagger only long enough to be caught by a renewed barrage of fire as Squad Primus advances upon the compound. In precious few seconds, only the black clad warrior is left. He stumbles back away from the scene of ruination3
“Run, coward!” Tybessus calls, a wicked grin on his face as the twisted wounded grasp at their leader for succour, only to find he had disappeared.
Even as the the 3rd legion's commander scrambled away from the destruction, his reserves roll forward. His second squad debarks in an efficient covering pattern, occupying the ruins. The bikes race by cover, circling around the walkways as the commander's rhino rolls forward to block off the walkways from the advancing squads of the 16th legion. The trap is sprung.
1: 6 shots, 5 hits, 4 wounds, look out sir passed
on sergeant. 18 bolter shots, 11 wounds, 9 saves
2: That 2 becomes a 1, and it becomes a dead
3: The Outriders, naturally, rolled for its moral
test and failed spectacularly while the Sons of
Horus Squad get Insane Bravery!
Outrider bikes sweep in close in front of the Land Raider, chancing its wrath as they fire point blank into the mass of legionnaires now cut off from their objective. Hurtling forward, plasma bolts repeat the scene unleashed moments before, cutting down legionnaires left and right as they cluster together to protect their leader1. Something goes wrong, and with a flash, one of the bikes explodes, the front half disintegration and spinning end over end in a flurry of mangled parts2
As the Raider guns its engine, the bikers break off, retreating away from the beast at top speed . Jeering cries of galvanized legionnaires greets their retreat3.
The crackle of heavier weapons cuts the silence, but no further pronouncement greets Kallus's ears, just the sharp cry of recall from the outrider's leader.
Sons of Horus
The Sons of Horus advance stalls. As the Predator Bacchus turns its weapons on Squad Primus, Cynthesus draws his troopers into cover, with just one or two emerging to snap shots out at the shadows flitting among the ruins.
1: Squad Secundus advances up the ladder a total
of 11 inches
2: Seeker's short range plasma predictably kill
the bikes, even if they jink.
3: 2 thunderhammer against an already damaged
Rhino. It didn't explode, though
“Lieutenant?” The Seeker looks to their commander, and gets a nod at the unstated question. They peel off quickly, getting to open ground and kneeling as their illum sights target the retreating bikes. Squad Secundus, blocked by the enemy rhino, backtracks to the ladder and one by one, ascend to the gantry, hoping to get better shots at the foe within the industrial maze1
Even as the Raider's las bolts electrify the dead air leading to more whirling as the gyroscopic mounts attempt to correct their aim again, the sharp 'crack' from the Seeker's report is evidence enough that their task was complete2.
Tybessus shoulders his thunderhammer, letting the immense metal hulk crackle with power, and hurls himself bodily at the Rhino, “You're in my way!” With a wild two handed swing, he throws his whole body into it. The weapon discharges with a cataclysmic boom that sends up a sheet of dust, and a secondary crackle. Amid the coughing, hacking fit of the rhino's dying engines, it rolled forward a fraction before a second thunderblow caves in the whole right half of the driver's side compartment. With a final splutter, the engine dies. Haphazardly, the lieutenant gazes into the open rent where the thunderhammer tore open the armoured carrier, seeing the spattered remains of the driver across half the cabin3.
*1: Despite cover, a mix of long and short range,
and Going to Ground, the Emperor's Children kill 4
of the last 5 legionnaires including the sergeant.
*2: Predator fire kills 2 more astartes in Squad
Primus. Both line squads flee.
The remaining 3rd legion squad spreads out among the ruins, finding ideal firing spots to repulse any ground attack, setting sites and awaiting the inevitable.
As the first of the Warmaster's forces crest the ramparts, shielded by a morass of pipes and conduits, they had already sighted in the ranges. In a flurry of precision fire, the Sons of Horus fall in droves, caught completely by surprise. Amidst the scream of shot and shell, armoured bodies thunder to the dust below, tossed from the ramparts in bloody ruins1.
The Bacchus picks out the few movements with aquilline precision, and in a juddering thump of autocannons and las bolts herald another announcement. 'Lord Kallus, the advance has been halted. Enemy forces withdrawing.'2
Sons of Horus
“Trooper!?” Tybessus rushes past the one trooper down the ladder, seeing the warrior check on his commander. There was hesitation, but a sharp gesture quickly directs the warrior further to the south, though he keeps low and away from obvious fire lanes. A signal of intonation tells the lieutenant what he already knew, his short advance had been halted, Cythensus reported falling back towards the refinery stack. It was just in time, he crouches in the lee of a distillation tower next to a trio of dark armoured forms.
1: After 4 turns of shooting, not one but two
shots slip through and both were 'explodes'. 'Can
you do that? Can you explode twice?!'
With a bestial roar, the second line Raider rolls forward. It twists its immense las-blackened bulk, settles in, and spits another pair of ruby lances at the distant predator. A cacophonous blast rips the turret from its rings, slamming it against the walkway as billowing clouds of soot and ash erupt from the rapidly contorting wreckage. 'This is Death's Note, target destroyed.'1
1: The predator autocannon kills 2 astartes, and
squad Primus promptly fails its moral again. They
fall back to Objective 5.
Sensing the demise of its sibling, Bacchus
roars forward, splintering the sand-packed boxes that protected it thus far and turning on the squad that had halted their flight. The clatter of autocannon shells detonates, sending pieces of power armour flying in chunks across the plains and scattering the squad further1
The last remaining rhino spots the lone shadow of Squad Sencondus through the tangle of rampart stanchions, and after a dull blurt of bolter fire, loses track of the figure.
Sons of Horus
1: Tempest shells and frag grenade add up to an
incredible 42 hits, killing 6 legionnaires
including both plasma gunners. They retreat.
2: 1 obscured shot penetrates and shakes the APC.
As the Raider moves to reposition itself, the seeker squad and their lieutenant dart into the expanse. The hunkered down forces of the third draw a bead at the charging figures, about to fire as the first flurry of tempest splinter shot explodes among their ranks with a flurry of guttural roars. The tempest fills the ruins with a rain of death: shot after shot sending up plumes of dust, pulping power armour, and mincing flesh with reckless abandon. A grenade from Tybessus churns up a mass of near liquefied legionnaires, turning the defensive redoubt into an abattoir. Despite the cries of their Deligatus, the veterans reel back, dragging him with them1
The Death's Note sends a scintillating beam of fire roiling across the void, impacting against the stationary Rhino, turning its track guard to slag. The vehicle rumbles forward before it can solidify on the tracks, spitting molten metal like a waterfall2.
1: Rhino attempts to tank shock the Seekers, and
after a passed Moral test, Death or Glory is
Chosen. The Lieutenant's thunderhammer connects,
causing the rhino to explode.
2: 1 Las cannon shot hits, a look out sir it
passed on the sergeant, and one seeker is turned
inside out. Moral test passed.
Kallus halts his squad, sending them into cover, edging up towards the old entranceway towards the rhino in case they had to fall back. Back and forth his warriors were already assessing their possible withdrawl vectors.
Rocking forward, the Rhino guns its engines as it swings towards the crested warrior and the trio of elite warriors. The armoured carrier's driver slams the accelerator, seeing the undaunted foe. Lieutenant Tybessus shoulders his hammer, letting the vehicle come to him. He swings in a final note of utter contempt. And, with an unearthly crash, the hammer descends on the front glace, splitting it in half in a guttering explosion as the ruptured fuel tanks ignore on contact with the molten metal. The Rhino explodes in a roar of detonated fyceline leaving a quartet of figures standing in the heat haze1.
The remaining predator attempts to dominate it as the figures stand in stark relief. The Seeker's sergeant is shoved aside, one of his remaining warriors bisected at the waist by a las cannon bolt while the rest rattle off hardened ceramite as the 16th legion commander braves the lethal storm2.
'Fall back and consolidate ground.' Hexal's orders flashed over his visor. He crouched in the dust at the base of the dull beige refinery stack, boltgun held at the ready. The legionnaire could still hear the groan of the predator tank nearby, and could have spat when they were sent reeling from the monstrous beast. The oily smoke of smouldering armour and components filtered through his helmet, but he refused to seal his armour. Something about it felt like it should be something remembered. The first real test against astartes, like a hammerblow in the back of his head, he felt this had significance.
The legionnaire was so lost in his thoughts and immediate visual scans, that he only vaguely registered footsteps behind him. “Haxal.” Cythensus said, his power sword unpowered as it lay across his shoulder. “Displace if you see that damned tank again. You're in charge here, I'm taking Torrax and Fairanks to see if the driver's dead or not. Death's Note will be here in a few seconds, keep an eye out and report anything.”
Haxal nodded, looking around for sign of renewed ambush. It felt hollow, not gallant, but like he was bleeding out into the sand without reason or gain. Tilting his head up to the sky, he watched the errant breezes mixing the smoke from a number of vehicles, not all of them belonging to the 65th... “I wonder if they feel the same.”
Death Toll: +5
Obj 5: +2 VP, Obj 4: -3 VP
Death Toll: +2
Obj 3: +1
65th Victory 4-3
Okay, so... like, that felt new. This does feel like it's building on my real thought that 'I like troops!' but also, man, 30K is still gonna be more complicated than I recall. It's fun, it's not that bad, but the sequencing is still gonna take a little bit. I almost feel like I didn't do the tempest bolts right, but they're just like any other blast weapon, and... is there a reason people don't take them? They might not be strong but yeash, on Bs5 troops they aren't bad against legionnaires. I do feel I basically contractually need the vexillia after so many failed leadership checks, more were failed than passed.
Anyway, it's a weird break from 8E and Kill Team, requires some readjustment. I know that I looked up at my opponent when the close combat squad tumbled out, saying "you sure?" Again, she said the same thing when I brought a line squad up onto the ramparts and got them blown to pieces. Lot of those here, we both wanted more troops but that requires, y'know, more points and we wanted a more or less mirrored grouping here.
Bit of a rules question: The Deligatus's squad was killed to the last man, leaving only him alone in the unit: so as the unit no longer exists he doesn't have to take a test as an Independent Character, correct? Just checking.
Beyond that, it was just an intro game, but I had fun. Hey, hopefully I'll get a chance to get in some more full fledged games and post up some more reports.
Edited by Vykes, 24 October 2018 - 05:54 PM.