To test it out, we both drafted armies and had a go. Since we were both playing loyalist forces, I suppose we'll call the battle a training exercise?
This'll be a bit barebones, but still, it was a fun game, and hopefully will make for a fun read. This'll be a two-parter; the army lists and intro, and then a summary of the battle proper.
As always, please leave a comment and tell me your thoughts, especially about the fluff!
THE BRIGHT LORDS: (Imperial Fists w/ Space Wolf allies)
- SM captain with power sword, storm bolter. (Warlord)
- Knight-Lieutenant Matthias (Wolf Guard battle leader with frost blade, storm bolter)
- Silverhand Reliquary Squad (7x Sternguard)
- Ancient Mordecai (Venerable dreadnought w/ TL autocannon, power fist, SB)
- Ancient Malachai (Venerable dreadnought w/ 2x TL autocannons)
- 6 man tactical squad with flamer and vet. sgt. w/ power sword and stormbolter
- 6 man tactical squad with flamer and vet. sgt. w/ power sword and stormbolter (Can you tell I like stormbolters?)
- Matthias' Errants: 10 man Grey Hunter squad with 2x plasma guns.
- Predator Destructor (Autocannon w/ SB sponsons)
- Matthias' Devastators (Six long fangs with 2x heavy bolters and 3x rocket launchers)
THE RAVEN GUARD:
- Shadow Captain Kaayvan Shrike (Warlord)
- 5x Vanguard Veterans, 3 Storm Shields.
- 10x Sternguard, 2 combi-flamers, 4 combi-meltas, Drop Pod
- 10 man Tactical Squad with 2x missile launchers. (He'd misread the special/heavy weapon allowance rules. He realized this midgame, but I let it slide.)
- 10x Scouts with sniper rifles and camo cloaks
- 10x Scouts with sniper rifles and camo cloaks
- 5x Assault Marines, sergeant w/ power sword
"Hail, Astartes! Your livery is unknown to me. Name yourselves, Chapter and Primarch, that I might know you as friends or foes of the Emperor."
Knight-Lieutenant Matthias looked warily towards the command bridge's viewscreen, showing the unearthly pale features of the Raven Guard captain whose battle-barge had just dropped out of warp to hove alongside the Lantern Knight; dwarfing the much smaller Strike Cruiser with its ominous sable-and-argent presence. The newcomer's words were terse, almost insulting in their implications... but the Raven Guard were a Founding Legion, ancient and revered. It would not do to respond angrily, and risk giving offense to such an old and influential chapter.
"Hail, Astartes," the red-haired Marine replied with a calm he did not quite feel. "I am Knight-Lieutenant Matthias, a warrior of the Bright Lords; scions of the Fortress of Dawn, Bearers of the Candle, and loyal servants of the Emperor. We are sons of none, but our founder was once an Imperial Fist, and so we honor Dorn first amongst the loyal primarchs, in his honor. All know of the Raven Guard, but I am afraid I do not know you. What business do you have with us?"
The coal-haired apparition before him chuckled darkly, ink-black eyes shining with a cunning, predatory glint. "Few indeed have survived seeing my face long enough to recognize it, but you may have heard of me. I am Kaayvan Shrike, Shadow Captain of the Third. They say, and say truly, that the best way to know the soul of a man is to fight him. Tell me, foster-child of Dorn; Think you that your Bright Lords could stand against the might of the Raven Guard in battle?"
Matthias bristled, furrowing his brows and fighting back a snarl. "Is this how a captain of one of the great Founding Chapters acts?" he hissed, one hand drifting absently to the hilt of his chainsabre, its pommel emblazoned with the candle-and-halo of the chapter's sigil. "Leaping out of the void-dark at his younger cousins like a boogeyman, to deliver crass threats and insults? To goad those he thinks he can bully? No, 'Captain' Shrike... You may be more lauded than I, have more friends in high places, but it will not stand. I would expect such behavior from a Storm Hound, perhaps, or a White Scar spoiling to prove himself... The honor of the Bright Lords can weather your insults, but the dishonor such behavior brings to all Astartes must be answered for."
Those cold black eyes blazed white-hot with fury for the barest of instants, then smoothed over and returned to their cool, lurking gaze. Matthias prepared himself for the worst. Instead, he got a thin smile, and the barest inclination of that chalk-skinned head.
"Well said, Bright Lord. Worry not; things are not as I have lead you to think. I am not here to provoke a fight, but to issue an invitation. It will be many weeks yet before my company reaches our destination. In that time, I wish to learn more about a Chapter I know but little, and I wish that my men keep their battle-skills sharp. A wargame between us..."
"Would kill two birds with one stone," Matthias finished, relaxing his stance and enjoying Shrike's twitch of irritation at his turn of phrase.
"Even so, Bright Lord. Even so."