Saturday, February 11, 2017

Raven's Fall part 1: Landing at Outpost 83Φ-1

Vigilator Vræl gazed at the unconscious Stormseer secured opposite him.  The White Scar psyker was a curiosity, albeit an exceptionally dangerous one.  The psyker had caused considerable damage on the Avis Caveum. The Stormseer seemed a potent psyker in his own right, his ferocious abilities in melee, especially when he lost control of himself were something to be seen.  Although he was far from the most skilled fighter in the Legionnes Astartes he could still devastate any foe foolish to come within reach of his Thunder Hammer.  That was not what interested him the most about this particular White Scar, what interested him the most was the devoted, almost fanatical loyalty his battle brothers had shown him.  The Bonds of brotherhood amongst the Vth were well known, but that so many of the Vth had recklessly thrown their lives away attempting to get the Stormseer off the doomed Avis Caveum was peculiar, even for the White Scars.  As the Darkwing they were in weaved its way to the surface of Deliverance Vræl pondered what this might mean for the fight ahead.

J'zargo and his Raven Guard escort Vræl and 3 Terminators

The Raven Guard:
10 Tactical Marines
10 AssaultMarines
6 Flamer Tactical SupportMarines
Deredeo Dreadnought
Deredeo Dreadnought

The White Scars:
Legion Champion
7 Outriders
7 Outriders
6 Outriders
15 Assault Marines

We played the Planetfall mission from Planetstrike with a few minor modifications.  The Raven Guard got Vigilator Vræl and the surviving Terminators from Escape from the Avis Caveum game for free in a Darkwing.  The Darkwing couldn't do anything other than fly on the first turn, land the second turn and jink.  Vræl and the Terminators could only overwatch, fight in an assault and move towards the base entrance.

Outpost  83Φ-1 prior to the orbital bombardment

 The White Scars got J'zargo free but he would be escorted by Vræl and the Terminators and couldn't do anything unless his escort were in combat, then J'zargo could fight or dead in which case he acted normally.  In addition 2 stratagems were added to the Planet Strike attacker's list:
1pt Wyrm Drop:  the attacker gets one extra Planetary Bombardment.  If this extra strike hits a unit or building and there is no further effect.  If there are no models or intact models under the template place a crater as normal and add one Burrowing Wyrm to all other games in the Deliverance lost Campaign.
2pts Steel Rain: as Wyrm Drop but the attacker gets D3+1 extra Planetary Bombardments will all the rules listed above.
Burrowing Wyrms:  at the start of any game using the Burrowing Wyrms rule roll 1D6 per Burrowing Wyrm, for each roll of a 5+ add a Steel Wyrm to the White Scar's army.  If the Steel Wyrm sufferes a deepstrike mishap the Raven Guard player may automatically place it and scatter as normal.  Should the Steel Wyrm suffer a Deepstrike mishap the white scars player rolls on the mishap table as normal.  Any instance of the Burrowing Wyrm rule is removed once the associated Steel Wyrm is killed.

After the Planetary Bombardment and Raven Guard Deployment.  2 Steel Wyrms were fired into Deliverance boring their way to sow destruction throughout the moon.

As the White Scars speed towards Outpost  83Φ-1 the Raven Guard open fire, the two Deredeos raining a hail of fire into the Astartes of the Vth.

The Darkwing with its valuable payload comes in for a landing.

The White Scars advance under heavy fire.

Outriders rush to destroy the base's defenses before tackling the Deredeo.

The first unit of Outriders hit the Bastion but their Meltabombs fail to cause any serious damage.

The Assault Marines slam into the second Deredeo and destroy the mighty Dreadnought

The White Scars are closing in as the Darkwing lands and the passengers disembark onto the landing pad.

The Flamer Support squad counter attacks the Outriders attacking the Bastion wiping them out.

The Deredeo comes under attack from the Outriders.

The Preator and Flamer Support squad move out after being attacked by and seeing off the nest Outrider squad.

The White Scars Assault squad, who are chanting J'zargo's name close in on Vræl and the Terminators.

Only to be intercepted by the Raven Guard Praetor and the remnants of the flamer Support squad.  The White Scars Legion Champion bellows out a challenge and is swiftly outfought by the Raven Guard Praetor.

The last surviving outrider unit destroy the Deredeo and speed over towards J'zargo.

Vræl and his last surviving Terminator drag J'zargo past the assault squad as the Preator holds them up.

The Outriders close the gap.

The Praetor smashes aside the broken forms of the Assault marines as they hurl themselves at him in an attempt to break past and reach J'zargo

The Raven Guard Assault squad drops in trying to cut off the Outriders.

But are too late as the Outriders zoom in and with J'zargo's aid fell Vræl and the Terminator!

The victory is short lived as the Assault squad quickly lep onto the Outriders butchering them and recapturing J'zargo, although not without some losses of their own.

Victory for the Raven Guard!

Although the White Scars managed to bloody the Raven Guard's noses quite severely and even free J'zargo breifly the lack of damage from the Planetary Bomnbardment hindered their progress.  Coupled with an exceptionally strong counter attack from the Raven Guard in the form of the Praetor and flamer squad who killed 2 Outrider squads and the Assault squad.  The Raven Guard Assault squad's late game actions saved the day for the Raven Guard. 

Vræl coughed up blood and pulled himself upright.  J'zargo caught Vræl unawares as the Outriders had roared in from behind.  Taking a Thunderhammer to the chest was something few could survive, even amongst the post humans of the Legionnes Astartes.  The Curiass of his Artificer armour was all but ruined from the blow.  Ahead of him Vræl could see the Assult squad dragging the once again subdued J'zargo into Outpost 83Φ-1.  As he strode towards the entrance of the subsurface base Vræl gazed upwards.  Devastation rocked the skies above Deliverance as the two fleets tore each other to pieces and as lander after lander streaked down towards the moon.  This fight was far from over.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Vigilator Vræl

During the Great Crusade it was a Raven Guard task force under command that lead the XIXth Legion's censure of the Vth.  Vigilator Vræl lead several strikes against the White Scars during this time, to such effect that the Raven Guard's involvement in the destruction of several detachments of the Vth's forces was totally unknown.  After the Raven Guard's fall from grace and during the subsequent Whit Scar assault on the Raven Guard's homeworld [re subject: Deliverance Lost Campaign] Vigilator Vræl was instrumental in the capture of Stormseer J'zargo Khan on the Avis Caveum and many of the subsequent actions on Deliverance itself.

WS5  BS5  S4  T5  W2(1) I5 A3 Ld9 Sv2+/5++
Artificer Armour
Power Sword
Refractor Feild
Melta Bombs

Coordinated Strike
Heroic Sacrifice

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Fall of Glavid Hive

Glavid Hive was the last hold out of the Imperialists on Mars.  From here they had seen off countless offensives from the Mechanicum and Secessionists both.  Seemingly inviolate and despite having been largely crushed on Mars the tenacity of the Imperialists, especially the Salamanders held Glavid Hive to the last. 

For this scenario we had 3 different objectives, one for each faction and they earned VPs based on those objectives.
Imperialists: Hold out for extraction, Imperialist units in their Deployment Zone grant VPs
Secessionists: Take and Hold, Kill Imperialists and get Secessionists into the Imperialist Deployment Zone
Mechanicum: Total Annihilation, kill everything.

Secessionist west flank all 3 Reavers are in sight although the Secessionist Reaver 'Rusty'is on the far side of the Imperialist Reaver.  Clearly a Pictographer will need a beating for that mistake.

 Perturabo paced his inner sanctum at the heart of the Cavea Ferrum. The Iron Circle stood on guard as the dim lumens cast flickering shadows. The Trident stood before the Lord of Iron. Forrix, Falk and Kroeger always felt uncomfortable after traversing the Cavea Ferrum. Its maddening geometry was beyond them.
“Well my Trident, tell me your thoughts.”
“Foolishness!” barked Kroeger.
“A plain talker as always Kroeger, explain.”
“Guilliman splits our forces in 2. The Emperor’s fools have had time to prepare for us. This all reeks of poor planning.”
“Not to mention that there is no non-aggression pact with the Mechanicum yet. We have potential enemies on 2 fronts” mused Forrix.
“Indeed” growled Perturabo. “We need the warriors of Mars. A fool fights a battle on 2 fronts.” He paused and came to a decision “we will not fire on the Mechanicum. I will see if we can forge some sort of truce from this madness.”
“But my Lord, what if they fire on us? They have done it before...” Falk looked to Forrix and Kroeger and could see they shared his concerns.
“We will focus on the true enemy here. I will not waste time fighting a potential ally. My orders stand – defensive fire only if engaged in close combat.”
It was never wise to question the Lord of Iron’s orders and the Trident stood in silence, each with their own doubts about this order.
“Forrix, you will lead the reserve force and secure my supply lines. Kroeger, you will take command of the fleet and destroy any of the enemy that escape us on the ground. Falk, I have a special mission for you. Yes, I think I will be sending you to Ryza if all goes to plan.”
“My Lord, I'm a warrior and I belong on the ground in the fighting!” Falk blurted out desperately.
“You belong where I say you belong my Triarch. Never forget that” Perturabo’s voice was on the edge of anger. “You are a Triarch now, when will you start thinking like one! I will take Golg with me. I need to be there and maybe I can show the Mechanicum that there is strength if we stand together. The Emperor’s madness must not spread or all we have fought for will be lost.”
“Of course, my brother may be there as well and whilst I humbled him once before, Vulkan is never down for long. This will be no chaotic retreat of rabble. He will lead a strong defence of those considered under his protection. Yes, I should be there...” His voice trailed off and the silence filled the room.


The Mechanicum Reaver 'Unicron' supported by 2 households of Knights

The Secessionist east flank, viewing the Imperialist Reaver.

Warmaster Guilliman and his command group look out onto the Imperialist position.

The Imperialists are well dug in but that is a considerable force heading their way.  The Salamanders favour an proactive defence as Vulkan's Land Raider rushes to meet the Iron Warriors

The Imperialist Reaver sights up Unicron and the Knights, The Skitarii and Legio Cybernetica troops forgotten amongst their titanic allies.

The Knights of House Taranis and Legio Cybernetica advance from the north

Imperial Fists and Iron Hands face the west flank.

The Merc with a Mouth, still active over 27,500 years in the future lines up his next shot whilst Legio Cybernetica forces stream past the legs of the God Machines of Mars.

The Ancients take up a defensive line.

Vulkan and Pyroclasts launch into the Iron Warriors as Puertuabo watches on.

When the order to withdraw was recieved by the vast Salamanders force involved in the fighting on Mars it was largely met with disbelief. Had they not proven themselves worthy in the the many battles so far and held firm against the enemy counter attacks?
Many spoke of not only holding the territory they had bled for, but launching a new offensive and pushing their enemys back further to prove the folly of the orders.
All talk of this was silenced however when Vulkan addressed the Legion en' mass telling them how proud he was of his sons, and that while they had done well their brother legions had not fared so well in the fighting.

With many of his brothers withdrawing from Mars to safety Vulkan organised his legion into multiple forces to undertake different missions.
Many of these forces were sent out to rescue any civilians who wished to leave, and also any remnants of legion and militia forces that he believed hold true to his own ideals (or those who agreed to surrender their arms and be taken to safety).
Those who fought them or who had undertaken the slaughter of innocents were to be put to the flame or left to their fates at the hands of the vast mechanicum army that was quickly retaking the surface of mars.
The remaining forces of the Salamanders, and any of their allies who wished to stay in the fight, were to hold their ground until the rescue forces returned. Then they were to undertake a fighting withdrawl back to an evacuation zone, giving the fleets time to evacuate everyone before being evacuated themselves.
There were many from the XVIIIth that did not survive the fighting that followed, but given such purpose by their gene father they refused to be found wanting and many innocent lives were spared as a result.

The evacuation was almost complete.
All that remained was a small force of Salamanders lead by Vulkan, who was to be the last of his legion to leave the surface of Mars, along with the remnants of a Solar Auxilia cohort who had refused to leave their rescuers to fight alone. Standing alongside those who yet remained from other legions still loyal to the Imperium, watching as the armies sent to wipe them out approach and waiting for the time to come to leave this forsaken red dustball.

Secessionist Lightnings swoop down over the battlefeild in perfect formation.

Imperialists mover out to the outer defence ring as the Secessionists close in.

Fire Drakes advance on Unicron

Fire Drakes start taking fire from all sides.

The Ordo Reductor open fire and devastate the Imperialist positions northern defences.

A Taranis Knight takes on Rusty.

And the Reaver with no Name falls to the massed fire.

The Knight Lancer outflanks the Iron Warriors and Alpha Legion on the west flank.

Two units of Thalaxii deepstrike into the Imperialist position, and one unit is brought down as they land.

Tanks, Fighter, Knight and Titans battle above even the mighty Legionnes Astartes.

More Taranis Knights close in on Rusty.

In what is sure to be used as propaganda for the Mliitias 3 Lightning sweep over the blasted Imperialist position.

More Knights and Skitarii  advance between the buildings.

In a sudden change of events the Militia  under the charge of the Alpha Legion turn against the Warmaster. Even Rusty under unknown commands attacks Guilliman, who survives the onslaught!

Ratomir stood at the outskirts of what the Imperial Secondus grounds on Mars. He had spoken in depth to the Iron Warriors prior to the battle, and was sure he had an ally. The Warmaster had outgrown his usefulness, and the time to discard him had come. He was sure that the Primarch of the Iron Warriors had been convinced - the time was now. If the Warmaster was unable to secure the allegiance with the Mechanicum, it was time for him to step aside. Since their time on Mars began, no-one had managed to forge a long lasting allegiance with the Mechanicum. With the weapons they could bring to bear, it was no longer advantageous to hold out against them. Make a deal, or leave. Nothing else was an option.

And then, after the battle had begun, the Warmaster's voice echoed over all channels on the Vox, loud enough for even the Imperialists to hear, it was time to eliminate any traitorous men. Unsure as to who had spoken to the Warmaster, The attack on Ultramar's forces did not go according to plan. A small attack was made on the Scions of Guilliman, but when the Iron Warriors did not contribute, Ratomir knew he had to step up the attack. Before long, his Lightning Squadron had begun the attack against the Scions, and the Imperial Militia made a direct move on the Warmaster himself, combined with their new ally of a Freeblade Knight, and even the Reaver Titan designation "Rusty" opened fire.

But just when Ratomir thought success despite heavy casualties, and the Mechanicum nearly stepping upon them, the Warmaster plucked from thin air more allies. Allies enough to destroy the remaining forces of the Alpha Legion. With a price worth more than Ratomir thought worthy of paying, he withdrew his forces. Using the cover of battle, Ratomir gathered his remaining forces of Alpha Legion, Militia and the Freeblade, and left the Forgeworld, vowing vengeance upon the Warmaster.

Vulkan and Purturabo battle it out as their warriors look on in awe.

Secessionist Reinforcements arrive as the Secessionists try to establish who is friend and who is foe.

The Knights reach the Imperialist lines.

The ruimation can be seen all round as all the armies have been utterly wrecked.

Ultimately the Imperialists took the day managing to buy enough time with their lives to secure the Imperialist evacuation from Mars.  Moving to regroup back at Terra whilst the Secessionists and Martian Mechanicum continue to fight over Mars.

Perturabo sat alone. The room was silent and cold.

His jaw tensed and his fist tightened as he dwelt on the battle's outcome.
The Imperials had made an effective withdrawal. Despite losing their Reaver titan, they had managed to hold off the attackers and escaped with the bulk of their forces intact.
The Mechanicum had refused to listen to reason and had not answered any request for cooperation.
Even so, the battle had been in the balance until the Alpha Legion's betrayal.

Perturabo thought back to the conversation with Alpharius' envoy before the battle. Ratomir had spoken of dissatisfaction with the Warmaster, something Perturabo understood. His brother had not been seen on the battlefields of Mars in some time but the duties of leading the Secession had kept him occupied. Unfortunately, Perturabo had misunderstood the Alpha Legion's intentions. He allowed himself a slight smile at that thought. When did anyone know Alpharius' true intentions...

He remembered the moment of treachery clearly. He was approaching Vulkan. If his brother could be brought down again, the Imperials would lose their nerve and the defences would crumble. Instead, his stride had faltered as he saw the Ultramar Sicaran tank explode. It's slayer had not been an enemy.  He traced the shot in an instant and looked to their own Reaver Titan. Could it have been a mistake? No, the Alpha Legion was attacking Guilliman directly.

Again, madness seemed to grip the battlefield. Perturabo momentarily lost his focus as the assault floundered. His warriors were an extension of his will and they had paused as the Lord of Iron had seen the attack stagger and fail. His own terminators had failed to destroy an Iron Hands Fellblade. Such a thing was unthinkable...
Vulkan had taken advantage of the moment and pummelled him with Dawnbringer.

Guilliman had called for the death of the traitors and had then gone silent. The Alpha Legion had disappeared into the fog of battle. More Marines appeared, Raven Guard and Luna Wolves reinforced the attack but the warriors of Mars fell on them in cold fury.

From that point the outcome was sealed. Perturabo gave the order to withdraw. The Imperial position was too strong now and needless resources would be lost digging them out.

He drained his goblet of Olympian wine and considered the future. Politics and treachery. He detested them both. Mars had made it's intentions clear. The Alpha Legion had vanished and who knew where they would resurface or on who's side they would fight. Sending Falk to Ryza had been a good idea after all (even if it was for the wrong reason). The Mechanicum would never leave the forge world in enemy hands.

Enemy hands...
Such a thought had been inconceivable during the Great Crusade. Humanity's conquest had seemed unstoppable and now it lay in ruins.
Guilliman was not a perfect leader but he was the Warmaster. Perturabo decided to see his brothers plans succeed. The Emperor's madness needed to be stopped. Humanity's fall lay that way, he was sure if it.