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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Marksavian War Part 1: Get to the bunker!

After the initial assault, Captain Sendini decided that they must secure the Comm Bunker and make contact with the 'Sword of Calisto', the Blood Angels' strike cruiser orbitting the planet. 

Forces and Mission
The Blood Angels' force consisted of:
-Captain Sendini with a jump pack and thunderhammer
-Epistolary Librarian with jump pack, infernus pistol, 'Shield of Sanguinius', and 'Unleash Rage'
-Sanguinary Priest with power weapon and jump pack
-Furioso Dreadnought with extra armor
-Tactical Squad 4 with power fist, meltagun, and lascannon
-- Rhino 4 with extra armor
-Tactical Squad 6 with flamer and multi-melta
--Rhino 6 with extra armor
-Assault Squad 8 with thunderhammer, flamer, and meltagun
-Stormraven with twin-plasma cannons, typhoon launcher, hurricane bolters, and extra armor

The Eldar force consisted of:
-Farseer Xi-Saryk with runes of warding, runes of witnessing, spirit stones, 'Guide', and 'Fortune'
-6 Fire Dragons with exarch, firepike, and 'Tank Hunters'
--Dragon Wave Serpent with twin-starcannons and spirit stones
-10 Striking Scorpions with exarch, biting blade, and 'Shadowstalker'
-6 Rangers
-10 Dire Avengers with exarch, shimmershield, and 'Bladestorm'
--Avenger Wave Serpent with twin-bright lances and spirit stones
-10 Swooping Hawks with exarch, sunrifle, and 'Skyleap'
-5 Dark Reapers with exarch, missle launcher, and 'Fast Shot'

Each army comes out to nearly 1500 points, with the Blood Angels having three 'scoring units'.  The mission was simple- Spearhead Deployment, with the objective being for the Blood Angels to have control of the bunker (a scoring unit within 3") by the end of turn 6.  The Eldar would recieve the first turn unless the Blood Angels stole the initiative.

Deployment
The Eldar set up first, choosing the southern table edge.  The Dark Reapers and Farseer hid deep inside the woods, hoping to ambush the Space Marines as they closed with the bunker.  The Fire Dragons deployed in their Wave Serpent behind the hill on the far left, while the Dire Avengers deployed in their Wave Serpent behind the woods to support the Dark Reapers.  The Striking Scorpions and Rangers would infiltrate while the Swooping Hawks were held in reserve to deep strike later.

Next came the Blood Angels' deployment.  Both Tactical Squads deployed in their Rhinos on the northern table edge, with squad 4 hiding behind the hill and squad 6 lining up along the flank.  The Stormraven was held in reserve to deep strike later and carried the Furioso Dreadnought, while the Captain, Librarian, and Sanguinary Priest all joined the Assault Squad that had chosen to deep strike later as well.

For the 'Infiltration Phase', the Rangers deployed in the woods opposite the bunker to keep overwatch, while the Striking Scorpions deployed in the ruins in front of the Rhinos- hoping to ambush the Marines as they disembarked their vehicles.  With deployment finished, the Blood Angels attempted the 'steal the initiative' and failed with a roll of '4'.  It appeared the Xi'Saryk had properly forcast the moves of the mon-keigh.

Turns 1 & 2
-Xi'Saryk took some time and checked the skeins of fate, attempting to determine the moves of the clumsy humans.  Confident in his forecast, he ordered the Striking Scorpions to move back into the ruins with an average 3" terrain check and await the disembarking Marines.  The Dark Reapers saw an opportunity to target the Marine vehicles but had to move foward 5" in order to gain a better line of sight out of their woods.  With the protection of the Farseer's 'Fortune' on them, the Reapers felt the surrounding trees and their own heavy armor would protect them from the mon-keigh's crude weapons.  The Avengers' Serpent then moved foward 12" to line up a bright lance shot at the leading Rhino- hitting but only rolling a '2' to penetrate the armor and failing to cause any damage.  The Dragons' Serpent jetted 24" from behind the hill to hide behind the trees and support the Rangers in case the mon-keigh came that way...

-Meanwhile, the Sergeant for Tactical Squad 6 moved his Rhino foward 12" between the hills and ruins and popped a smokescreen, while the squad disembarked on the opposite side to protect themselves from any xenos missles firing in their direction.  The other Rhino, full of the tank hunters, stomped the accelerator and zoomed 18" behind the ruins and closed with the shadows lurking in the crumbled buildings.

-Xi'Saryk, believing his skeins to be solid, attemped to summon the Swooping Hawks but rolled a '2', leaving the birdlike warriors in reserve.  Disappointed, he cast 'Fortune' and 'Guide' on him and his Dark Reaper bodyguard, using the power of the Spirit Stones to protect and enhance the heavy weapons squad.  With the prescience of their Farseer, the Dark Reapers launched a salvo of missles at the concealed Rhino tank- hitting every single time!  After only causing two glancing and one penetrating hit, the smoke saved one but resulted in the destruction of the storm bolter and a shaken crew.  The Striking Scorpions tried to sneak closer to the other Rhino, now dangerously close to the ruins, but only rolled a '3' for their difficult terrain test and failed to get close enough to assault the vehicle or squad- rolling double '1's for the assault move!  They chose not to waste their opportunity and shot their pistols at the disembarked Marines- causing two out of three hits and wounding on both, but the power armor was too much and saved both mon-keigh warriors.  The Avengers' Serpent dropped its cargo off and moved 12" towards the bunker to get a more clear shot at the lead Rhino.  Hitting with the bright lances, the smoke proved the saving grace negating the penetrating hit altogether.  The Dire Avengers now moved 6" behind the ruins, ready to support their Scorpion brothers.  The Dragons' Serpent sped another 18" towards the hill and ruins where the Marines had formed a solid wall, preparing to spray hot plasma death at the squad in subsequent turns.  Finally, the two Rangers that could see from their woods found pinhole shots at the disembarked Tactical Squad- scoring two hits and a wound and felling a Marine!  First blood had gone to the Eldar but the squad passed their Leadership check and refused to be pinned down.

-With the Eldar's onslaught coming to a close, the Sergeants called for support.  The Stormraven reported that there was too much turbulence in the air and rolled a '2', staying in orbit for a little longer.  The Captain, Assault Squad, and other characters were all too happy to arrive and kill some xenos, rolling a '6'.  With Sendini's trademark skill at Deep Strike tactics, his unit dropped directly behind the woods where the Dark Reapers were hiding.  Finding that they were directly behind an empty Wave Serpent, the squad's meltagun hit the rear armor, rolled a '4' to penetrate the weak armor, and then a '6'- causing the xenos skimmertank to explode and leaving a smoking crater behind.  Tactical Squad 6 moved 6" to take cover in the ruins and ran another 3" to ensure that they made it.  Seizing the moment, the drivers of Rhino 4 charged 12" straight into the Striking Scorpions.  Such a shocking maneuvre caught the infiltrators off-guard and, failing their leadership check with an '11', fled 8"  directly away from rampaging transport.  The Blood Angels then piled out of their Rhino and fired at the fleeing Scorpions- hitting 9 times with 6 bolters, wounding four, but only dropping one, then adding the weight of the squad's meltagun to turn another to slag!  Their Rhinno added its own storm bolter to the cause and killed another Scorpion.  Rhino 4, now empty, decided to leap into action and drove foward 18" straight into the Avengers and fleeing Scorpions.  Just like their cousins, the Avengers failed with a Ld roll of '11' again!  The Avengers ran away 5" while the Scorpions fled another 2". 

 At this point, my brother looks at me and says, "Okay, so far..."  Understatement of the game...

Turn 3
-Xi'Saryk, sensing that the battle was getting out of control, again tried to summon the Swooping Hawks.  Sadly, a roll of '2' again, the Hawks were still not close enough to lend support.  He quickly cast 'Fortune' on himself and 'Guide' on the Dark Reapers, hoping that he could change the fate of this battle before it was too late.  Determined to sacrifice himself if necessary, he moved through the woods 5" towards the Assault Squad to hold them up.  As the Farseer positioned himself, the Striking Scorpions fled eight more inches to get closer to the table edge, but snapped off 3 pistol rounds- wounding twice but failing to kill anyone.  The Dire Avengers fled 7" off the table, leaving that flank completely unguarded.  The Dragons' Serpent moved 12" closer to get some starcannon shots off at the Assault Squad.  The Librarian, sensing the incoming doom, attempted to cast 'Shield of Sanguinius' and was successful with a roll of '9', overcoming the interference of the Farseer's runes of warding.  Despite the new force bubble protecting them, it wasn't in time to save two of the Assault Marines from dying a fiery death as the plasma rounds incinerated their power armor.  Only three of the Rangers could see from their vantage point in the woods, but shot at the Assault Squad anyway.  They capitalized by hitting, wounding, and killing one Marine, however the targets again refused to be pinned by passing their check with a roll of '7'.  With no other targets, the Dark Reapers shot at the closest Rhino.  Even with the guidance of the Farseer's power, they still only hit it with seven rockets causing one glancing and one penetrating hit.  Unfortunately, the ruins and woods saved the vehicle completely.

-Captain Sendini reacted to the Eldar's final acts of desperation by summoning the Stormraven Gunship with a roll of '6', which descended from the skies to land between the woods, where the Rangers were hiding, and the bunker.  As soon as it arrived the gunship unleashed its weapons at the targets.  Despite scoring 2 wounds with the plasma cannons, a wound with the typhoon launcher, and 12 hits and 6 wounds with the hurricane bolters, only three Rangers died as they deftly ducked behind trees and cover.  Their morale stood strong with a roll of '6'.  Using its Machine Spirit, the Stormraven also launched a hellstrike missile at the Dragons' Serpent, rolling a '4' to hit but a '1' to penetrate the armor.  The Wave Serpent would live to fight another round!  Under the punishing support of the Stormraven's guns, Tactical Squad 4 remounted their Rhino, which moved 12" around the ruins towards the woods.  Taking the lead of the other tank, Rhino 6 crashed 6" through the woods, passed its dangerous terrain check on a '6', and attempted to push the Dark Reapers out.  With a roll of '4', the Reapers simply stepped to the foward edge of the treeline, believing themselves to be safe and failing to see the danger.  Unfortunately, the Librarian, Sanguinary Priest, and Assault Squad left the Captain behind to move 7" towards the woods and assault the Reapers.  After moving 4" into the trees, they made contact with the heavily armored Eldar.  The aliens' speed allowed them to strike first- hitting 3 times, but failing to wound the tougher Marines.  Swinging 11 hits, the Blood Angels wounded five times, killing the exarch but leaving the rest of the Reapers alone.  Then the Squad's sergeant swung his heavy thunderhammer- hitting and killing two of the Reapers.  Proud, the Marines waited for the Reapers to flee.  However, the Dark Reapers stayed to fight with a roll of '3'!  Captain Sendini, confident that his Assault Squad would make short work of the xenos, fired his bolt pistol at the Farseer but caused no damage.  With a silent prayer, he charged straight at the Eldar leader.  The alien was able to hit and wound the Captain once, but his power armor was too tough for the witchblade to pierce.  Returning the favor, Sendini swung his mighty thunderhammer, hitting twice and wounding both.  The Farseer's wraithbone armor and the 'Fortune' spell proved too resilient as the thunderhammer blows were easily deflected.



 Turn 4
-The Swooping Hawks finally joined the battle on a roll of '4'.  As they screamed across the battlefield they dropped grenades on Tactical Squad 6- hitting three and wounding 2, but only one Marine fell.  As they made their final descent, they attempted to land near the mon-keigh- only to scatter 9" and instead end up on the hill overlooking the carnage.  The Hawks unleashed all the firepower they could at the same Tactical Squad- hitting fifteen times and only wounding twice!  The power armor again saved them and the Marines laughed at the attempt.  Xi'Saryk, now locked in mortal combat with the massive Blood Angel Captain, again cast 'Fortune' on himself and hoped to survive the melee.  He tried again to fight the Captain off, only the wound and see the blade bounce off the power armor again.  Sendini's return was brutal.  With his thunderhammer he hit and wounded all three times, and even wraithbone and magic couldn't save the Farseer.  With a mightly thunderclap the Eldar's body was destroyed utterly and the Marine Captain stood victoriously over his latest trophy.  The final two Dark Reapers, still battling the Assault Squad and accompanying characters, were cut down mercilessly by power weapons from the Sanguinary Priest and Librarian.  The now unengaged Assault Squad consolidated 4" towards the bunker.  Seeing the last hope dying away from their vantage point in the trees, the Rangers dashed from cover 6" to get close to the bunker.  Meanwhile, the Fire Dragons finally dismounted from their Wave Serpent and moved directly underneath the hovering Stormraven.  Firing their fusion guns, they only scored three hits, but rolled 2 '6's to penetrate.  Unfortunately, the gunships ceramite armor provided sufficient protections as the Dragons rolled double '1's and only shook the crew.  The Wave Serpent lent its starcannons to the barrage- hitting but rolling a '3' to penetrate the armor and doing no damage whatsoever.  Farseer Xi'Saryk's plan had completely failed just as his life was extinguished. 
 
-Sendini engaged his jump pack and leapt to intercept the Rangers.  Charging into combat, the Captain killed two of the Rangers instantly and suffered no damage in return.  The final Ranger decided to sell his life dearly and passed his morale check on a roll of '5'.  The rest of the Assault Squad leapt towards the now empty Wave Serpent and fired their meltagun at it, missing the graceful grav-tank altogether.  Then the Librarian levelled his infernus pistol at it, rolled a '6' to hit, a '5' to penetrate the armor, and a '5'- destroying the vehicle's hover engines and crashing it to the ground.  Tactical Squad 6 rushed out of the ruins 5" and closed the distance to the Swooping Hawks.  Firing their flamer and bolters, they caused 14 hits, 7 wounds, and ultimately killing three Hawks.  The Hawks were fresh and valiant, staying on a roll of double '3's.  Tactical Squad 4, mounted in their Rhino, bounced across the battlefield 18" to support their battle brothers.  The Stormraven, with its shaken crew, dropped the Furioso Dreadnought and sped away 18" to take up overhead patrol duties.  The Furioso, anxious to fight, shot the meltagun and storm bolter at the Fire Dragons in front of it- melting one of the unit to slag.  As it charged into the Dragons, the Eldar placed one meltabomb on its carapace.  Unfortunately, they rolled a '4' total, causing no damage.  The Dreadnought swung wildly with his blood talons- scoring three hits and two dead, which caused two more hits and two more dead, and finally another hit and another dead.  The Furioso had quickly dispatched the anti-tank unit and was left standing there with no opponents. 



Turn 5
Seeing the last Ranger about the die a gruesome death, the Swooping Hawks decided to escape the battlefield and fled, leaving the one remaining Eldar scout to suffer the wrath of an unscathed Marine force.  The Blood Angels established a security perimeter in case the xenos decided to return, entered the bunker, and activated the comm device.  It was a fatal day for the Eldar and a stunning massacre by the Blood Angels...

++Report:  Situation resolved.  Casualties:  5 battle brothers.  Enemy Casualties:  all.  Objective:  Secure++

The Eldar had no luck.  The dice rolls were horrendous, half the army fled from the table before a shot was even fired, and the hard shells of the Space Marines proved too much.  My army certainly made a poor showing of itself today, but the dice tell the story.  The Emperor smiled on his sons this day, and the Eldar will need more than arrogance and woods to win the next one...

Also, congrats to my brother for having played his first real game of 40k.  He did fantastically, remembered the rules surprisingly well, and completely kicked the crap outta me.  Good job, bro!  As always, let me know what you guys think.  This is the first time I've ever written up a battle report, so constructive feedback is welcome.  Happy Gaming!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Marksavian War

 In the year 927.m41, Sector Lords dispatched the Blood Angels to investigate the planet Marksavia.  This planet was recently colonized, but contact with the settlement had been recently lost.  Fearing the worst, the authorities decided that a Space Marine force would be more efficient and faster than a full Imperial mobilization.  Two weeks after the request, a Strike Cruiser carrying a detachment of the Blood Angels' 5th Company arrived in system.

Intelligence indicated that the planet was a lush, verdant world untouched by industrialization and devoid of any indigenious sentient life.  Although discovered by Imperial cartographers millenia ago, it had only been colonized within the last century.  The system was very lightly populated and the planet's resources had yet to be catalogued.  More importantly, the sytem was near enough to many warzones and the Sector Lords felt the planet may have some strategic value. 

The Blood Angels were charged with investigating why contact had been lost and, if necessary, pacify the world and bring it back to Imperial control.

The Space Marine advance force found the planet completely silent and, upon planetfall, found almost no traces that mankind had ever been there.  Besides some bunkers and scant Imperial ruins, the world seemed untouched.  Of the colonists and original settlements nothing was found at all.  Before the Marines had a chance to report their findings, they were attacked.  The attack was sudden and brutal, as though the enemy had simply appeared from the mists like rabid animals.  Unlike the colonists, the Blood Angels withstood the attack and determined that the enemy was the perfidious Eldar.

Little did the Imperium know, this world was an Eldar Maiden World.  The human colonization was an affront to the xenos' plans for the planet and were exterminated.  Unfortunately for the Eldar, the Imperium cared little for such things and tasked the Blood Angels with clearing the planet of the alien taint and reclaiming it for colonization once again.  So started the Marksavian War...



This starts a new series of posts that I'm working on now.  I've constantly preached about the aspect of 'fluffy' gaming versus competitive, so I figured that I should back up my words with action.  Following shall be battle reports between the Eldar and Blood Angels in a storyline campaign.  My brother has the glory of playing as the Blood Angels 5th Company in their war to reconquer the planet while I will be playing the Eldar of Craftworld Toryenni attempting to keep command of their Maiden World.  Enjoy!