“We are outnumbered, outgunned, cornered; but we have two things on our side:


We have the ability to make them fight themselves.


We have the option to destroy this place… and take them with it.”

Imperial Fist Praetor, assigned to the defence of Orbital Station Meraki

Introduction

The second game in the campaign took place on 8th August 2020. Clearly this would be a socially distanced game, with face-masks worn. The game took place on the hottest recorded day of the year so far, with temperatures outside reaching 37 degree centigrade, adding at least 10 inside at 4TK Gaming in Colchester!

This game was supposed to be an assault on the Forge Complex that the Traitor forces reached in the last game narratively. However, due to other commitments we found ourselves drastically short of Loyalists. We had none in fact. Therefore I had to get schwifty with the narrative as to why four Traitor Legions would find themselves facing off against each other.

I’ll say now that whilst we do a turn summary video for our personal group non-attendees, this Battle Report might have a few missing or confused details – genuinely so much carnage occurring on the tabletop! it’s as accurate as I can make it!

Narrative – Battle For Survival, The Trap is Sprung

What follows is a direct extract from the rules pack i wrote for the game:

General Situation

1.         The initial gambit of the traitor forces to secure ORBITAL STATION MERAKI and proceed to bombard the Forge complex defence walls of TERMINON PRIME had begun in tandem with the planetstrike operation. After an initial foothold in the outer sections was secured, significant resistance was met by the traitors, forcing them to withdraw to the main dock and defence work areas.

2.         The main assault on the Forge complex of TERMINON PRIME has been delayed after a craft carrying the Life Eater virus was shot down causing the early release across the sector. This has allowed the focus of both loyalist and traitor forces to switch to ORBITAL STATION MERAKI.

Battlefield Layout

2.         The area is mostly brown arid ground, which is pockmarked with craters and artificially created rises. Bisecting the area is a large defence wall, housing the anti-ship systems; however this has since been neutralised with a Dark Mechanicum techno-virus and holed centrally along a third of its span by Iron Warriors forces during the initial invasion.

3. To the North and South, in each of the dock areas, several ruined HAB structures exist, previously worker accommodation and administration buildings. Centrally located in each dock is a refuelling, rearming and repair station; in the form of a hardened bunker with outrigging. The main berth for a single drop craft sits alongside in each dock.

Current Situation

4.         Forces of the Emperors Children, Alpha Legion, Death Guard and Iron Warriors are currently reconstituting in their dock areas ready to launch their respective assaults on the central accessway. Loyalist forces have withdrawn from the accessway and sealed the bulkheads behind them. Perturabo has assessed the hasty sealing as a significant block to the traitor forces and advised his brother Primarchs that there will be a 3-cycle delay as Iron Warriors breach through.

5.         As the second of five bulkheads is breached on the first cycle, tensions are running high with several small-scale combat actions occurring between traitor force elements. By the time the fourth bulkhead is breached the deaths from in-fighting has reached intolerable levels. The Primarchs, infused with power from Chaos gods and frustrated with the slow progress are outwardly rowing with each other.

6.         On the morning of the 3rd cycle a large explosion occurs in the accessway killing the Iron Warriors breaching team and the supporting assault element comprised from each of the Legions. Outright combat actions take place in large-scale between the two docks, with the Alpha Legion and Emperors Children facing off directly against Iron Warriors and Death Guard. The Primarchs bellow at and accuse each other of ordering the initial killing. Each pair of Primarchs return to their docks and reinforce them.

7.         As a new breacher team blow the final bulkhead they are greeted with a holographic display showing an unknown Imperial Fist Praetor repeating a message;

“Your efforts came to naught, the Vacuum imploder is active and will purge you from this place”

Game Rules

Game Length. Fixed, 5 Turns. In the event of a timeout occurring, the game will be snapshot and victory assigned at that time. Any unit not within 3″ of a Home Berth or the Outer Shield Control Room will count as attrition points to the opposing team.

Deployment. Dawn of War, in respective docks.

First Turn. D6 Roll off per team.

Objectives. Three Objectives:

            a.         1VP – Home Berth held (either Legion).

            b.         2VP – Outer Shield Control Room Held.

            c.         3VP – Opposing Berth held.

Special Rules. The following are in effect:

a. Attrition. Normal rules, 1VP per unit

         b.            Slay the Warlord. Normal rules.

         c.            Price of Failure. Normal rules (incl. LoW).

Force Organisation. Each player will bring a 4500pt army, providing 9000pts per team. Leviathan, Onslaught, Crusade and Matrix of Ruin Force Orgs are allowed. Local modification to allow 2x LoW choices max per army, ignoring the 25% rule all up – but remember the Master Rule. (This allows us to get our most favourite models on the table en masse and is a standing house rule).

D-Weapons. As this is a fun game, no Devastating hits will occur. (Ruins the fun if your Spartan and Terminators die in a single hit).

Prohibited Weapons. No Divining Blades. (Overpowered Meta gaming weapon – again, ruining the fun).

Master Rule. This is a fun, narrative themed game. Armies should have an underlying narrative that is lore reflective and ultimately, players should be applying the don’t be a WAAC bitch rule to themselves.

Armies

Clearly with all of the forces being Traitors, this was always going to be a victory for the Loyalists. However, each of the armies certainly played to it’s lore. It was pre-determined to be Iron Warriors and Death Guard on Team 1, with Emperors Children/Ruinstorm Daemons and Alpha Legion on Team 2.

Simon – Death Guard. 4,500pts using The Reaping Rite of War, led by Mortarion and Calas Typhon.

HQ

Calas Typhon: Rite of War (The Reaping) 200

Siege Breaker in Terminator armour: Terminator armour (Cataphractii); combi-bolter; thunder hammer; rad grenades 150

Troops

10 Tactical Space Marines: Tactical Sergeant (artificer armour; rad grenades); 9 Tactical Space Marines; bolters; chainswords 165
• Rhino: pintle-mounted multi-melta 50

10 Tactical Space Marines: Tactical Sergeant (artificer armour; rad grenades); 9 Tactical Space Marines; bolters; chainswords 165
• Rhino: pintle-mounted multi-melta 50

10 Heavy Support Marines: Heavy Support Sergeant (artificer armour; rad grenades); 9 Heavy Support Marines; missile launchers 305

10 Heavy Support Marines: Heavy Support Sergeant (artificer armour; rad grenades); 9 Heavy Support Marines; missile launchers 305

Elites

5 Deathshroud Terminators: Terminator armour (Cataphractii); melta bombs; rad grenades 245
Land Raider Phobos: armoured ceramite 245

Heavy Support

10 Grave Warden Terminators: Chem-Master (chainfist; rad grenades); 9 Grave Warden Terminators 390

• Spartan Assault Tank: armoured ceramite; flare shield 370

Leviathan Pattern Siege Dreadnought Talon
• Leviathan Pattern Siege Dreadnought: Leviathan siege drill; Leviathan storm cannon; 2 × torso-mounted heavy flamer (chem-munitions); armoured ceramite; phosphex discharger 320
• Leviathan Pattern Siege Dreadnought: Leviathan storm cannon; 2 × torso-mounted heavy flamer (chem-munitions); armoured ceramite; phosphex discharger 315

Vindicator Siege Tank Squadron
• Vindicator: Squadron Command Tank; armoured ceramite; machine spirit 200
• Vindicator: armoured ceramite; machine spirit 165

Mortarion the Reaper: Rite of War (The Reaping) 425

Typhon Heavy Siege Tank: 2 sponson-mounted heavy bolters; armoured ceramite 435

Force Organisation Chart: Crusade

Legiones Astartes: Death Guard; Traitor

4,500 points

Ash – Iron Warriors. 4,500pts using The Hammer of Olympia Rite of War, led by Perturabo.

HQ:

Siege Breaker [135pts]: Combi-Bolter, On Foot, Power Fist
. Cataphractii Pattern Terminator Armour: Terminator Armour
. Consul: Siege Breaker

Warsmith [190pts]: Combi-Bolter, Digital Lasers, Lightning Claw, Mastercraft a Single Weapon, On Foot
. Cataphractii Pattern Terminator Armour: Terminator Armour
. Warsmith: Cortex Controller

Troops

10 Tactical Space Marines [150pts]: Bolters, 9x Tactical Space Marines, Legion
. Tactical Sergeant, Legion: Artificer Armour, Power Fist

10 Tactical Space Marines [150pts]: Bolters, 9x Tactical Space Marines, Legion
. Tactical Sergeant, Legion: Artificer Armour, Power Fist

20 Tactical Space Marines [225pts]: Bolters, 19x Tactical Space Marines, Legion
. Tactical Sergeant, Legion: Bolter

20 Tactical Space Marines [225pts]: Bolters, 19x Tactical Space Marines, Legion
. Tactical Sergeant, Legion: Bolter

Elites:

‘Iron Circle’ Domitar-Ferrum Class Battle-automata Maniple [410pts]: 2x Domitar-Ferrum Class Battle Automata

Apothecarion Detachment [100pts]:
. Apothecary, Legion: Augury Scanner, None (Infantry, Power Armour), Power Armour
. . Chainsword or Combat Blade: Chainswords/Combat Blades
. Apothecary, Legion: Augury Scanner, None (Infantry, Power Armour), Power Armour
. . Chainsword or Combat Blade: Chainswords/Combat Blades

Contemptor-Mortis Dreadnought [190pts]: Extra Armour, Twin-linked Lascannon x 2

Heavy Support

Land Raider Battle Squadron, Legion [855pts]: Squadron Command Tank
. Land Raider Phobos: Armoured Ceramite, Auxiliary Drive, Extra Armour, Frag Assault Launchers, Heavy Bolter, Hunter-killer Missile, Shrapnel Bolts, 2x Twin-linked Lascannon Sponsons
. Land Raider Phobos: Armoured Ceramite, Auxiliary Drive, Extra Armour, Frag Assault Launchers, Hunter-killer Missile, Shrapnel Bolts, 2x Twin-linked Lascannon Sponsons
. Land Raider Phobos: Armoured Ceramite, Auxiliary Drive, Extra Armour, Frag Assault Launchers, Hunter-killer Missile, Shrapnel Bolts, 2x Twin-linked Lascannon Sponsons

Leviathan Siege Dreadnought Talon [665pts]
. Leviathan Siege Dreadnought: Armoured Ceramite, Cyclonic Melta Lance, Heavy Flamer, Heavy Flamer, Phosphex Discharger
. . Leviathan Siege Drill
. Leviathan Siege Dreadnought: Armoured Ceramite, Leviathan Storm Cannon, Leviathan Storm Cannon, Phosphex Discharger, Twin-linked Volkite Caliver, Twin-linked Volkite Caliver

Predator Strike Armoured Squadron, Legion [345pts]
. Predator Tank, Legion: Auxiliary Drive, Extra Armour, Heavy Bolter, Heavy Bolter Sponsons, Predator Cannon, Shrapnel Bolts
. Predator Tank, Legion: Auxiliary Drive, Extra Armour, Heavy Bolter, Heavy Bolter Sponsons, Predator Cannon, Shrapnel Bolts
. Predator Tank, Legion: Auxiliary Drive, Extra Armour, Heavy Bolter, Heavy Bolter Sponsons, Predator Cannon, Shrapnel Bolts

Tyrant Siege Terminator Squad [295pts]: 4x Tyrant Terminator

Lords of War

The Primarch Perturabo [490pts]: After Istvaan

Fortification

Defence Line [80pts]

Force Organisation Chart: Crusade

Legiones Astartes: Iron Warriors; Traitor


4,500pts

James – Emperors Children/Ruinstorm Daemons. 4,500pts using Maru Skara Rite of War, led by Fulgrim and Lord of Sorcery.

HQ

Champion: paragon blade; melta bombs; refractor field; sonic shrieker; Scimitar Jetbike 170

Chaplain: artificer armour; power fist; refractor field; sonic shrieker 130

Troops

10 Tactical Space Marines: Tactical Sergeant (power fist); 9 Tactical Space Marines 140
• Rhino: pintle-mounted multi-melta 50

10 Tactical Space Marines: Tactical Sergeant (power fist); 9 Tactical Space Marines 140
• Rhino: pintle-mounted multi-melta 50

10 Tactical Space Marines: Tactical Sergeant (power fist); 9 Tactical Space Marines 140
• Rhino: pintle-mounted multi-melta 50

Elites

8 Palatine Warriors: Palatine Prefector (artificer armour; Phoenix power spear); 7 Palatine Warriors; artificer armour; 4 × power sword; 3 × Phoenix power spear; sonic shriekers 314

6 Phoenix Terminators: Phoenix Champion; 5 Phoenix Terminators; sonic shriekers 320

Contemptor-Cortus Class Dreadnought Talon
• Contemptor-Cortus Dreadnought: Dreadnought close combat weapon (meltagun); Dreadnought close combat weapon (meltagun) 165

Fast Attack

Storm Eagle Assault Gunship: hull-mounted twin-linked multi-melta; 2 wing-mounted twin-linked lascannon; armoured ceramite 285

5 Jetbike Sky Hunters 205

Heavy Support

Spartan Assault Tank: auxiliary drive; armoured ceramite; flare shield 380

Leviathan Pattern Siege Dreadnought Talon
• Leviathan Pattern Siege Dreadnought: cyclonic melta lance; 2 × torso-mounted twin-linked volkite caliver; armoured ceramite; phosphex discharger 335
• Dreadnought Drop Pod 100

Lord of War

Fulgrim the Illuminator 380

Allied Daemons of the Ruinstorm

HQ

Ruinstorm Daemon Lord: Lord of Sorcery (Mastery Level 3); Emanations of Horror (Rift Barb); Emanations of Horror (Flensing Talons); Emanations of Horror (Daemonic Wings) 320
• 3 Ruinstorm Daemon Brutes: Emanations of Horror (Crushing Claws); Emanations of Horror (Daemonic Wings) 180

Troops

10 Ruinstorm Lesser Daemons: Emanations of Horror (Crushing Claws); Emanations of Horror (Flensing Talon); Emanations of Horror (Quicksilver Speed) 230

10 Ruinstorm Lesser Daemons: Emanations of Horror (Crushing Claws); Emanations of Horror (Flensing Talon); Emanations of Horror (Quicksilver Speed) 230

Heavy Support

Ruinstorm Daemon Behemoth: Emanations of Horror (Quicksilver Speed); Emanations of Horror; Emanations of Horror 315

4,629 points

Force Organisation Chart: Crusade

Legiones Astartes: Emperors Children; Traitor

Alex – Alpha Legion. 4,500pts using Pride of the Legion Rite of War, led by Alpharius and Armillus Dynat

HQ

Armillus Dynat [200pts]

Praetor, Legion [190pts]: Bolt Pistol, Chainsword or Combat Blade, Digital Lasers, Mastercraft a Single Weapon, On Foot, Paragon Blade, Power Dagger
. Cataphractii Pattern Terminator Armour: Terminator Armour

Saboteur [100pts]: Artificer Armour, Bolt Pistol, Chainsword or Combat Blade, On Foot, Power Dagger
. Consul
. . Saboteur

Troops

Lernaen Terminator Squad , Compulsory [815pts]
. Harrower: Power Axe, Volkite Charger
. Lernean Terminator: Power Axe, Volkite Charger
. Lernean Terminator: Power Axe, Volkite Charger
. Lernean Terminator: Power Axe, Volkite Charger
. Lernean Terminator: Power Axe, Volkite Charger
. Lernean Terminator: Power Axe, Volkite Charger
. Lernean Terminator: Power Axe, Volkite Charger
. Lernean Terminator: Power Axe, Volkite Charger
. Lernean Terminator: Power Axe, Volkite Charger
. Lernean Terminator with Special Weapon: Plasma Blaster, Power Axe
. Spartan Assault Tank, Legion: Armoured Ceramite, Dozer Blade, Flare Shield, Quad Lascannon Sponsons x2, Twin-linked Heavy Bolter

Tactical Squad, Legion , Compulsory [220pts]: 9x Tactical Space Marines, Legion
. Additional Wargear: Additional Chainswords/Combat Blades
. Rhino Armoured Carrier, Legion: Auxiliary Drive, Dozer Blade, Extra Armour
. Tactical Sergeant, Legion: Artificer Armour, Power Weapon

Tactical Squad, Legion , Compulsory [285pts]: 19x Tactical Space Marines, Legion
. Additional Wargear: Additional Chainswords/Combat Blades
. Tactical Sergeant, Legion: Artificer Armour, Melta Bombs, Power Dagger

Tactical Squad, Legion , Compulsory [215pts]: Bolters, 9x Tactical Space Marines, Legion
. Rhino Armoured Carrier, Legion: Auxiliary Drive, Dozer Blade, Extra Armour
. Tactical Sergeant, Legion: Artificer Armour, Lightning Claw, Melta Bombs, Power Dagger

Tactical Squad, Legion , Compulsory [190pts]: Bolters, 14x Tactical Space Marines, Legion
. Tactical Sergeant, Legion: Artificer Armour, Bolter, Power Dagger

Tactical Support Squad, Legion Flamer Plasma Gun [190pts]: Flamer, Plasma gun, Support Squad
. Sergeant, Legion: Artificer Armour, Bolt Pistol, Melta Bombs, Plasma Gun
. 4x Space Marines, Legion: 4x Bolt Pistols, 4x Frag and Krak Grenades, 4x Power Armour

Elites

Apothecarion Detachment [130pts]
. Apothecary, Legion: Artificer Armour, Power Sword
. Apothecary, Legion: Artificer Armour, Power Sword

Contemptor-Mortis Dreadnought [180pts]: Kheres Pattern Assault Cannon x 2

Veteran Tactical Squad, Legion [280pts]: Melta Bombs, 3x Veteran Space Marines, Legion, Veteran Space Marines, Legion, Veteran Space Marines, Legion, Veteran Space Marines, Legion, Veteran Space Marines, Legion, Veteran Space Marines, Legion, Veteran Space Marines, Legion
. Missile Launcher and Suspensor Web: Flakk Missiles
. Plasma gun
. Veteran Sergeant, Legion: Artificer Armour, Bolt Pistol, Lightning Claw, Plasma Pistol, Power Dagger

Fast Attack

Jetbike Sky Hunter Squadron, Legion [330pts]: 4x Heavy Bolter, 2x Multi-melta, 6x Space Marine Sky Hunters
. Additional Wargear: Melta Bombs
. Upgrade One Model to a Sky Hunter Sergeant: Bolt Pistol, Lightning Claw, Melta Bombs, Power Dagger

Seeker Squad, Legion [315pts]: 8x Seeker Space Marines, Legion
. Additional Wargear: 8x Combi-weapon: Plasma gun
. Strike Leader, Legion: Artificer Armour, Combi-weapon, Melta Bombs, Power Dagger, Power Fist

Seeker Squad, Legion [315pts]: 9x Seeker Space Marines, Legion
. Additional Wargear: 9x Combi-weapon: Plasma gun
. Strike Leader, Legion: Artificer Armour, Combi-weap

Lords of War

Alpharius [415pts]

4,370pts

Deployment & Seize

Only one player from each team would roll off for deployment, with Ash from Team 1 rolling off against Alex from Team 2. Initially both rolled sixes! This forced another roll to occur, with Ash rolling five and Alex rolling a 2. Deploy first/Go first was therefore given to Team 1, with the Iron Warriors deploying in a layered defensive position on the left flank and Death Guard in a layered assault posture on the right.

Team 2 deployed, with the Alpha Legion putting down a few Rhinos and a Spartan; the rest was put into reserve. Emperors Children similarly dropped Rhinos and a Spartan and a squad of jet bikes. The Daemons portal went in on the Cratered hole in the wall on the Death Guard flank.

With both sides deployed it was time for the seize. In order to keep balance, Neither army for each team could take bonuses from the other. It wasn’t needed however as Alpha Legion can seize on a 4+ and did.

Turn One – The Portals Maw Opens and Engulfs the Death Guard

With Turn One going to Team 2, this opened the way for the Emperors Children and Daemons to gain an early foothold. With the Spartan advancing forwards, the portals maw opened and birthed a Lord of Sorcery, Ruinstorm Brutes and several squads of troops into realspace. Adding to the drama, the Emperors Children dropped a Leviathan Dreadnought down right in front of the Death Guard. Meanwhile the Alpha Legion forces moved up on the left flank.

The Lord of Sorcery managed to Perils in the Psychic phase, however a 6 was rolled – making it better!

The Emperors Children Leviathan dreadnought targeted the Heavy Support missile squad on the first floor of a building and opened fire with its Grav Flux Bombard – removing them from play. A good exchange; being 335pts and killing outright a 305pts squad.

The Alpha Legion opened up on the Iron Warriors and stripped two hull points from one of the Land Raiders.

Retaliating, the Typhon was first to speak. Dropping a Massive Blast template down on to the portals maw, it wrought destruction that would have seen Legiones Astartes wiped clean from the game, especially when the two Vindicators opened up on them too. However, the re-rollable 5++ invulnerable the portal provides Daemons ensured that even with the concerted fire; around 15 of the Troops remained and very little damage was done to the Brutes and Lord of Sorcery.

Multi-meltas on the two Rhinos opened up into the rear of the Emperors Children Leviathan doing very little, however the Iron Warriors Predator Squadron took some hull points from it. Finally, it was killed off in melee by one of the Death Guard Leviathan outfitted with a Siege drill. The second Leviathan charged into the Daemonettes in an attempt to roadblock the masses of daemons spilling forth.

Prior to the Emperors Children Drop Pod and the Daemon Portals maw opening.

The Iron Warriors pushed forward, but unfortunately failed to put any pain on the Alpha Legion.

All in all, it was an excellent first turn for the Emperors Children/Daemons, with the Alpha Legion taking advantage of the wayward fire from the Iron Warriors. It was certainly less successful a turn for the Iron Warriors and Death Guard, with the former unable to co-ordinate fire into key Alpha Legion targets effectively and the latter struggling to cope with the tide of rapidly advancing and hugely powerful units.

Turn Two – Pain & Minimal Gain

The Alpha Legion kept the momentum going in turn two, quickly removing two Death Guard Vindictors with minimal fuss. The Emperors Children and Ruinstorm Daemons reinforced themselves, moving Jet Bikes and a Champion over the wall to corner a Death Guard Tactical Squad between them and Alpha Legion Seekers. Furthermore, the Ruinstorm Daemons Behemoth turned up and began to move forwards toward the embattled Death Guard Leviathan Dreadnoughts.

The Death Guard Grave Wardens, Typhon and Mortarion dismounted from their Spartan, with Mortarion leaving the squad and using Shadow Step to get up close to the Alpha Legion Jet Bikes. The Death Guard repeated their concerted fire into the Daemons that were not tied in combat in an attempt to further remove more of the hateful Daemons. Meanwhile the Death Guard Tactical Squads opened up on the Alpha Legion Seeker Squad ready for one of the squads to charge and engage in melee. The Iron Warriors poured their fire into the Alpha Legion Spartan with minimal effect due to some unlucky rolls, but they did put significant distance between themselves and the Seeker squad that destroyed the Mortis in the previous turn. The Death Guard managed to immobilise the Emperors Children Spartan with fire from the Mk II B Landraider.

Finally, it was Primarch time for Team 1. Perturabo and the Tyrant Siege Terminators dropped deep into the enemy lines besides the Emperors Children/Alpha Legion Home Berth and began to tear open Emperors Children Rhinos and the Squads inside. Meanwhile, Mortarion made his disordered charge into the Jetbikes, successfully destroying them with Silence before consolidating back towards the Grave Wardens.

Overall, a good turn for the Death Guard and Iron Warriors, successfully repelling the assault on the flanks and continuing to delay the Daemons and Spartans. The Alpha Legion suffered minimal losses – the Jet Bikes had certainly done their job by removing the two Vindicators, whilst the Emperors Children and Ruinstorm Daemons were finding the Death Guard resiliently holding them off at a distance.

Turn Three – Rip & Tear.

The turn began with the Alpha Legion bringing their remaining forces into the fray. Mortarion, having removed the Jet Bikes in the previous turn, found that he had simply made space for Dynat, an Apothecary, a twenty man Tactical Squad and a ten man Veteran Tactical Squad. On the Iron Warriors flank, the Alpha Legion occupied the space created by the movement of the Iron Warriors to reinforce the wall and Home Berth. This was a similarly sized force. The Alpha Legion then opened up on Mortarion with virtually everything they’d brought to the battle on that flank – unbelievably only removing two wounds. On the Iron Warriors flank, Alpharius and the Learnan had begun to reap a bloody gash in the front lines, destroying a Leviathan and all of the Iron Circle Domitar before advancing towards the Land Raider Squadron.

The Emperors Children Jet Bikes and Champion moved back over the wall in order to engage Perturabo and the Tyrant Siege Terminators, whilst they Outflanked their Contemptor-Cortus dreadnought in place in the Death Guard lines. This promptly wiped out the remaining Rhino transport, though it had already disgorged its cargo. Fulgrim disembarked and moved towards Perturabo from the Spartan, which promptly repaired its Immobilised result with the Auxiliary Drive and fired at the Death Guard Mk II B – removing a Hull Point. Meanwhile the Ruinstorm Daemons removed a further Hull Point from the Leviathan in contact with the Lord of Sorcery, trading blows to no effect with the second. The Emperors Children Storm Eagle dropped in on the Iron Warriors flank, ready to unleash the Palatine Blades.

The Death Guard responded with outright fury, dropping a huge blast on Fulgrim from the Typhon Siege Tank. It effectively killed the majority of the Phoenix Terminators supporting Fulgrim. The Deathshroud Disembarked from the Mk II B and moved forwards to join the fight with the Daemons. The Mk II B immediately re-immobilised the Emperors Children Spartan with a Lascannon shot. In the rear, Typhon detached from the Grave Wardens, who moved off towards the huge amount of Alpha Legion Tactical Marines. They lent their fire in on the twenty man Squad, though only three of them could successfully fire. This had the unwanted effect of making Mortarions Charge distance significantly longer. Using The Lantern, Mortarion added some extra weight, removing the Squads Sergeant. Finally, the charge phase saw the Deathshroud get into combat, losing one to the Brutes and suffering poor rolling on their strikes and doing no wounds. Mortarion was significantly better – offering the challenge to Dynat, who died instantly to Silence – causing wounds to spill over. This was enough to see the remaining elements of the Squad run, but Mortarion also failed to sweep them by one – though he did regain a wound.

The Iron Warriors came back equally hard against the Alpha Legion, with the rear quarters conducting Fury of the Legion into the newly arrived forces with good effect. At the front, the Learnan Terminators were whittled down to a man, leaving Alpharius standing amongst their corpses. Perturabo and the Tyrants stood alone, fighting hard to survive the heavy fire dropping in on them from the Jet Bikes and the Tactical Squads of the Emperors Children. By the end of the turn, the Tyrants were reduced in number to two. Consolidating the position in readiness to deal with Alpharius, the Iron Warriors were set to stem the flow of carnage on their flank.

Turn Four – Critical Juncture

The Alpha Legion moved their two Rhinos and Contemptor Mortis towards the central Outer Shield Control Room in an attempt to rout the Iron Warriors from their hold there. Meanwhile, the fleeing squad regrouped and looked to turn to snap fire shots at Mortarion. Advancing on the Iron Warriors flank to assist the Emperors Children, they whittled down the tactical Squads with concerted bolter fire, despite the presence of the Iron Warriors Apothecary. Alpharius wrecked the remaining two Land Raiders, with the Seeker squad killing off one Tactical Squad and the Veterans Killing off the other.

The Emperors Children dismounted from the Storm Eagle and prepared to charge the defence line. The Jet Bikes and Tactical Squads directed their fury at Perturabo and the remaining Tyrant Terminators, forcing a horrific 91 bolter shots onto them. With the first round felling one of the Tyrants, the next one tanked a huge 46 wounds before his armour gave up and he fell at his Primarchs feet. Perturabo took some more wounds from this fire – and Fulgrim closed in. The Jet Bikes, leaving the Primarchs to fight each other hopped back over the wall to reinforce their Contemptor and the rapidly falling Alpha Legion force number. The Emperors Children Spartan disabled the Mk II B right hand Lascannon in a withering fusillade. The Lord of Sorcery, in a rage managed to kill the Leviathan that had charged it turn one, but still found itself facing a second Leviathan and a reduced squad of Deathshroud.

The Death Guard started a small tactical shuffle. The Typhon rolled its bulk forwards and dropped a short shot onto the Seeker Squad and the Jet Bikes – causing both to cease to be. The Spartan rolled forwards and took a shot at the Storm Eagle, blowing it out of the Sky in concert with the Iron Warriors Predators. The Mk II B struggled to bring its remaining Lascannon to bear and just couldn’t kill the Spartan. The Grave Wardens and Mortarion opened up to full effect on the Veterans and remaining element of the Tactical squad, wiping the Veterans in a chemical haze and forcing the Tacticals to flee again. Mortarion once again failed to sweep them, however regained a wound. The Leviathan killed the Behemoth with support from the Deathshroud.

The Iron Warriors directed withering fire down on Alpharius, who survived without immense issue. The more pressing issue of the Palatine Blades was temporarily subdued, with them failing their charge and suffering some light overwatch.

Fulgrim had charged Perturabo however. The ensuing battle saw the Primarchs battle, however Perturabo suffered four wounds and needing to save two of them to survive and strike out at his brother, Perturabo rolled three ones and a two. Collapsing ignominiously at Fulgrims feet, the air around the Iron Warriors changed perceptibly.

Overall, it was a terrible round for the Iron Warriors, losing their Primarch to poor dice rolls. The Death Guard attempted to clear their flank one final time, but the Daemons kept the other ranged platforms tied up and suffering. As such, the Grave Wardens and Typhon just didn’t have the range or accuracy to remove the last few Astartes from the flank – though they did assist the Iron Warriors with the Storm Eagle. The Emperors Children by far dominated this turn – earning VP and removing a significant threat from contesting their Home Berth.

Turn 5 – This Is The Way The World Ends.

The Emperors Children consolidated their position on the Home Berth, with Fulgrim, two Tactical Squads and Rhinos, the remaining Phoenix Terminator and the Jetbike Champion lurking on the objective. The Contemptor dreadnought charged Mortarion in the attempt to tie him up and caused two wounds. The Palatine Blades finally made their charge and began to rend Iron Warrior limb from limb, however, their progress was stunted by their own success – finding themselves out of combat and facing down a sea of bolters. The Lord of Sorcery killed the Deathshroud by instant death by doubling out their invulnerable save, but the Leviathan stood strong.

The Alpha Legion moved their forces closer to the Outer Shield Control Room, but could not remove the entrenched Iron Warriors. Alpharius could not get close enough to the next unit to make a charge and therefore found himself too far out from the Home Berth to contest. The remaining Alpha Legion exchanged bolter fire with the Iron Warriors squads not engaged with Palatine Blades.

The Typhon spoke. The shell screamed into the enemy Home Berth that was positively overflowing with Emperors Children, killing the Palatine blade, injuring the Champion and wiping a Tactical Squad and damaging their Rhino. The Spartan, rolling up onto the top deck of the access ramp on the friendly Home Berth and took a long range Lascannon shot to the rear of the Champion, killing him outright. The Mk II B, smoke pouring from its hull, with no Heavy Bolter and the right hand Lascannon disabled fired the left Lascannon once, holing the enemy Spartan, destroying it. Mortarion, locked in combat was unable to do any further damage to the Contemptor. The Grave Wardens relinked with Typhon and attempted to move closer to the berth, but alas were too far out.

The Iron Warriors fought the Palatine Blades to the last man in the Defence Line, successfully holding them off. Similarly, the Predators and Tactical Squads took aim at Alpharius and the Alpha Legion remnants and opened up with everything they had. Minimal losses occurred, but they remained held at bay. In the Outer Control room, the Iron Warriors held their ground and contested the objective successfully.

As the Vacuum Imploder started up its apocalyptic machinations, two drop craft land on the Berths. The Iron Warriors and Death Guard abandon the Typhon to its fate; unable to crawl up the access ramps in time. They board the Dropship with a Heavy Support Squad, Spartan, Mk II B and a large Tactical Squad. Mortarion, Typhon and the Grave Wardens activate teleport transponders, but are waylaid in the transit and counted as temporarily displaced (dead for attrition rules). Alpharius and his straggling force are similarly lost amongst the fury unleashed on the Orbital Station. One Tactical Squad of the Iron Warriors and one of the Alpha Legion runs from the Shield Control room to their respective Berths and board the dropships. Fulgrim swaggers aboard his dropship, watching as his last two Tactical Squads and their rhinos roll aboard, smiling at the devastation he has wrought to the enemies lines.

Orbital Station Meraki begins to shudder. Huge sections break apart and begin to collapse in on themselves. The Daemon warp portal grows with gravametric distortion, adding to the carnage. The two Dropships lift from the berths almost simultaneously – las fire stitching their sides from the opposing Dropship defences. They struggle to pull free; with Fulgrim forcing a warp jump and the Death Guard/Iron Warriors ship overloading its engines to break the expanding gravity well. The Station ceases to be.

Summary

Again, this game shows what narratively driven forces with a solid group of gamers can do to showcase the beauty and fun of Heresy. An amazing game that see-sawed the flow of control as the turns elapsed; players experienced almost certain destruction at the hands of their enemies that swiftly turned into victorious plays on their part.

In hindsight, the Death Guard choice to charge and hold up the Daemons within invulnerable save distance of the portal was somewhat a poor decision. However, frankly, conceding further ground would likely have found them trapped between the encroaching Alpha Legion at their backs and a Daemon horde to the front. Additionally, holding them off allowed the Typhon to speak; something that would have been a key target for the Daemons if they had closed the gap, thus reducing the ranged firepower considerably. The Typhon was effective at helping to clear the Death Guard flank, but also at reducing the effectiveness of Fulgrim and his retinue as they advanced on Perturabo. Unit of the match is a tie. On one hand there’s Mortarion, who simply refused to die and took several units worth of scalps with Silence and the Lantern. On the other hand, we have the Grave Wardens, who were absolutely instrumental in clearing the flank of Alpha Legion forces with their insane amount of poison firepower. Critically, the Alpha Legion and Emperors Children movements ensures the Death Guard were largely out of place by the end of Turn 5, giving up 13 VP in attrition as the Graviton Imploder began its devastation; two of those Lords of War (Mortarion and the Typhon).

The Iron Warriors suffered their own private war on the left flank, with very little assistance spare from the Death Guard aside from the odd missile squad or Lascannon shots ranging in against key targets. Despite this, they successfully contested the Outer Shield Control room and reinforced the Home Berth location, holding off Alpharius and his Learnan Terminators and the rampaging forces of Alpha Legion and Emperors Children Troops and Elites that had emerged from reserve there. Perturabo dropping in at the enemies Home Berth saw great success. Screaming through tactical squads and creating a huge distraction that the Emperors Children simply had to deal with. The loss of Perturabo was a shock – rolling three ones out of four was certainly an ignominious way to die. Unit of the match for the Iron Warriors was the lone Tyrant Terminator (now officially known as Jeff) supporting Perturabo; taking 46 saves from a defilade of fire that saw the rest of his squad die from four shots. By the end of the game the Iron Warriors were similarly displaced, having to fend off rampaging forces on the Left flank. They did however have forces contesting the Outer Shield Control Room. As such the Iron Warriors lost 15 (with the loss of Perturabo adding Warlord) units to Attrition and Price of Failure.

This brought the total losses to attrition to 26VP, which would be awarded to Team 2.

The Emperors Children/Ruinstorm Daemons dominated the battlespace from deployment. Forcing the hand of the Death Guard in committing their forces to deal with the Daemons successfully restricted the firepower available to decisively deal with the Alpha Legion upon arrival. With the Death Guard fully engaged early on, the arrival of reserves in the form of Palatine Blades in a Storm Eagle Gunship were fairly free to scythe their way through the Iron Warriors troops in the rear defence line screen. However this dominance came at a cost. Spread thinly across the battlespace several of their powerful units were slowly destroyed by targeted fire. By the end the Emperors Children/Daemons had lost 15VP through direct attrition and being out of position for the drop ship extraction as the Station collapsed around them.

The Alpha Legion had minimal board presence initially before arriving through outflank to overwhelm both the already embattled Death Guard and Iron Warriors. Whilst the Iron Warriors managed to whittle them down through Fury of the Legion attacks, the Alpha Legion managed to sow carnage. The Seekers destroyed the Contemptor Mortis and Alpharius managed to destroy a Leviathan and began carving a red swathe through the Iron Warriors. Despite this, and reinforcement from the Emperors Children, the left flank remained strong and kept the Alpha Legion from contesting the Home Berth of the Iron Warriors and Death Guard. On the right flank they struck hard, with their Jet bikes destroying the Vindicator Squadron in its entirety and a Rhino in their opening salvo. Unfortunately this initial surge of vicious and effective momentum could not be carried and the Grave Wardens and Mortarion cut a bloody path through the Tacticals, Veteran Tacticals, Dynat and supporting Apothecaries. This counter strike eventually caused the Alpha Legion to flee. With the Right Flank Assault now failed, the Alpha Legion attempted to rout the Iron Warriors from the Outer Shield Control room. Although this failed; they contested it, denying victory points for the Iron Warriors and Death Guard. With the losses mounting in the second half of the game, the Alpha Legion found themselves similarly displaced and too far out from objectives to be save, accruing 15VP in losses.

The combined losses for Team 2 were 30VP in attrition, with Martial Hubris providing a further 1VP to Team 1.

With both teams holding their Home Berths and contesting the Outer Shield Control, adding The Attritional losses to the score brought about an Iron Warriors/Death Guard Victory 32VP to 27VP. Once again another close game that swung in favour seemingly every turn!

The next game is due for December and will be Zone Mortalis. Narrative to follow.