Saturday, August 11, 2012

2nd Battle for Ehdiciun VI

Kharsis led his warband across the scattered plains of the isolated world.  His maw still tasted the sweet victory in crushing the Imperial minions and chasing them away.  No meaningless soldiers of a doomed empire were going to stop the Chaos Lord from building his.  Knowing that they had kloms to march, Kharsis looked back at the warriors and screamed for them to move.  Even 'Mouth', the Defiler, picked up the pace.

Far away and long ago a Farseer, named Xi'Saryk, drew the lines of fate to an imminent catastrophe for his craftworld.  He had seen that a monstrous follower of the Dark Gods had attained enough power to open a warp-storm in realspace and destroy dozens of systems and anything in between.  This included the massive world-ship he and his kind existed in.  Having only just finished a campaign against mon-keigh of the most brutal sort, he mobilized some small forces to disupt the fateful deployment of the Chaos Marines.  Using the ancient webways and navigating across light-years in mere instants, he and his small force intercepted the Daemon Prince and his warband while on the march.  Xi'Saryk, still healing himself and without massive forces, planned only to kill the Daemon Lord and delay for the 'Dark Angels'.  Even these forces are affected by the machinations of the Eldar...

The 1st Coterie had deployed in some ruins facing a wooded area, finding a squad of Guardians lurking in the shadows of the branches.  Little did the renegades realize that those Guardians were accompanied by the great Farseer himself.  The 2nd Coterie found themselves hidden in trees on the opposite end of the battlefield, but they had their flank guarded by the massive Defiler.  As the squad maintained the west end of the line, the Defiler could advance on the center and get anywhere it needed to go.  Kharsis himself decided to remain behind, finding a tall hill away from the battlefield to view all the action and pray to his patrons.  The Daemon Prince did, however, order his Possessed to join the 1st in the ruins, and found his mutated Raptors to pray with him.  As he and his grotesque bodyguard surveyed the ambusing line of space elves, he saw a massive battletank behind the woods where the weaklings hid, he saw a grav-tank hovering behind a hill to the west and south of the Defiler, and he sensed the Farseer's location.  This battle was going to be easy, thought the Prince.

The battle began as the cannon boomed from the Defiler and struck the thin frame of the Wave Serpent, dealing no damage.  The 1st Coterie Fired at the shadowy Guardians, successfully killing the Warlock and ending their 'concealment' voodoo.  The Possessed leapt foward from the ruins and began charging across the battlefield.  Xi'Saryk cast his psychic wards, giving his Guardians the protection of Fortune and the foretelling of Guidance.  Using these powers, the Guardians fired their Scatter Laser into the advancing Daemon-kin and killed a couple.  The Falcon and Wave Serpent skimmed from cover towards the center of the battlefield and took aim at the Daemon Engine.  The Wave Serpent was still adjusting after being shot and so was ineffective, but the Falcon managed to blast a massive chunk of armor off.  Unfortunately, the Defiler continued to advance...

Kharsis was far too bloodthirsty to sit back and observe the battle for long.  Seeking only the briefest of prayers, he beat his massive wings and arced to the battlefield.  The Farseer was no fool and had anticipated this, summoning a blast of wind and batting the Daemon Lord down before he wanted to.  This same blast of wind kept the Raptors from joining their lord.  Misfortune struck those who payed too little homage, and Kharsis cursed himself for forgetting such.  He bellowed the howl of war which was answered by the Possessed, still dashing across the open ground towards the woodline.  The 1st responded with another Frag Missle and some shots into that treeline, but the Farseer's Fortune led to everyone being safe at exactly the right moment.  The 2nd finally decided to advance behind the Defiler, but the gun-laden Wave Serpent convinced them to move cautiously.  While the Word Bearers army watched, the Eldar suddenly multiplied and appeared from everywhere.

A unit of Warp Spiders rended their way into reality just in front of the racing Daemon-kin, causing the Possessed to halt in surprise (even their Rage taken away for a moment!).  Unleashing their mysterious Spinners, the Aspect Squad obliterated two of the last three creatures.  Laughing, they watched the remaining Possessed grow angry yet stand still to gather strength for a moment.  Meanwhile, the Guardians moved through the woods easily, coming to the line facing the towering Deamon Prince.  At exactly the same moment, the Wave Serpent dropped a squad of indigo Dire Avengers and sped off to spin and face back again, and the Falcon disembarked a squad of bright Fire Dragons and then jetted over the Deamon Prince's back and settled directly in the path of the Defiler.  The Chaos force felt the eternity of all this simultaneous action and crawling reality of tactical genius, yet it all took mere seconds in real time.  It was Xi'Saryk at work, and Kharsis unblessed!  With barely a sound at all, shurikens filled the air, bright balls of plasma energy and vaporized atmosphere sped into targets with expert guidance.  The Defiler was the first victim.  First, a beam of dark energy pierced the thick armor followed by a Krak Missle which detonated inside the turret.  The explosion lit the entire landscape and even resulted in the death of a Chaos Marine who stood too close.  Unfortunately, the favor was returned when the 2nd charged the grav-tank and wrecked it with grenades.

The Wave Serpent fired its Starcannons and joined the Avenger Shurikens, Fusion bolts, and Guardian Shurikens that all targetted the too-near Daemon Prince.  Wound after wound openned as the cursed flesh flashed with damage.  Most of the impacts were deflected or immediately regenerated, but Kharsis suffered terribly by the time the shooting stopped.  With the Falcon dead behind him and the remaining Possessed charging straight into the Warp Spiders, he stood staring at the balance of the xenos force.  Rage overtook him again and his pain disappeared, compelling the Lord to scream a challenge and charge the Dire Avengers.  Out of ammo, the plumed warriors had to accept the charge and pray that Asuryan watched them that day.  It was no good as the Exarch declined the challenge and watched three of his battle-brothers die suddenly, but they held and stood their ground nonetheless.  The Warp Spiders saw the Possessed leap straight past them and into the woods, ripping into the oblivious ranks of the Guardians.  Their laughing ceased immediately as they realized they, ancient masters in the art of war, had been outwitted by this daemon-thing.  With the odd sense of inferiority, they engaged their teleporters and winked away from the woods.  The Guardians fought bravely, but the curse-forged skin fo the Daemon-kin was too tough.  The resolve of the Guardians broke and they fled, the Farseer forced to chase after them and leaving the battlefield.  This was irony, thought the Farseer. 

The 2nd Coterie, now free of the rough terrain of their woods, ran and assaulted the hovering Wave Serpent.  The Aspiring Champion turned and winked across the battlefield at the 1st Coterie, thrilled that the other squad had chosen that moment to leap out and charge the suddenly appearing Warp Spiders.  All the tactical genius in the galaxy meant little when facing the Legionnaires of the XVIIth!  The Wave Serpent was quickly wrecked and the Warp Spiders faired only slightly better, being slaughtered completely after only killing one in return.  Now the horde of renegade Marines advanced across the battlefield, intent on clearing this ambush the only right way- with a blade!

The Dire Avengers continued to lose but stand their ground and brought a sense of pride to the sneaking Fire Dragons.  After seeing their Farseer flee the battlefield, the Exarch decided that redeploying away from that position would be wise, and standing ready to finish the Daemon Prince with their Fusion Guns was the primary concern.  Watching their Aspect-cousins, the Dire Avengers, stand for so long against this daemonic lord was impressive and held their attention...  for too long.  They didn't notice the daemon-infested Raptors land west of their position, and they realized far too late that the pistols and flamer from that squad were their death.  The screams died away just as the final Possessed, pumped by his slaughterfest across the battlefield, joined his lord in the combat against the remaining Dire Avengers.  Daemon-blade and daemon-claw rended and chopped the remaining eldar warriors apart, leaving a quiet battlefield marred by unsatisfied howls of anger from unnatural mouths...

The Eldar army was no more, just as quickly dispatched as they'd arrived.  Although the battle had been brief, it was just long enough to give Mazarius time to heal and rally his forces for the next battle.  Xi'Saryk wept for his lost warriors, but his strategy had proved successful and arguably aspirational.  He took his force back through the webway, marching across space in slow steps of grief, other concerns requiring his attention.  This would be the only part the Farseer would play in this conflict, but it would not be the last time he faced this Daemon Lord...

For this battle, we kicked our armies up to 1,000 points.  I wanted to show my brother what it was like to play something other than Space Marines and he was surprised at how different it was.  I was proud of the way the Eldar laid the hurting on those Chaos Marines, but surprised by the inability to cause that last wound and finish off anything.  The deadly Daemon Prince and the fanatic Possessed should have died a few times, but neither seemed vulnerable once I had gotten them down to the last wound or last model.  The Word Bearers ultimately won by a score of 5-1, but they were barely a half dozen casualties/wounds from being a drawn game.  It was close, but damn that last wound!!!

The best part of the game was Turn 3-4, when all the 'tactical genius' played out.  It started with the bottom and the Eldar turn, and suddenly position and shooting was perfectly timed and obviously lethal.  But some great luck on saves started the Chaos Comeback, where everything went perfect for him and the Eldar army was instantly neutralized.  It was awesome!

Another batrep to come soon.  Happy Gaming!

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