Game 1 – Purging the Hive
Mission: Purge the Alien (kill points)
Opponent: Adeptus Astartes (Salamanders)
Librarian - Terminator Armour, Force Axe, Divination
Tactical Squad - 4x Marines with 1x Grav Cannon, 1 Sergeant with Power Sword, Drop Pod with deathwind missile launcher
Stormtalon - Twinlinked Assault Cannon, Twinlinked Lascannon
Vindicator - Siege Shield
Cultmaster Saren watched the Vindicator as it cleared a path through the rubble of the ruined hive of Chatswood Primus. Much to the dismay of the invaders many of the inhabitants had evacuated during the initial uprisings so casualties were disappointingly low. Now the only ones in the outer sectors of the Hive City were the rebels, the Imperial forces and, if the reports were to be believed, a number of small xenos forces.
Saren’s sect moved stealthily through the ruins, behind them stalking six hulking forms in power armour, their red armour slick and shining like spilled blood. Open warfare had been replaced by hundreds of smaller scale skirmishes and ambushes, and Saren’s Warpbringer Sect were posed to ambush the foolishly bold Salamanders vehicle. Supported by the Sorcerer and his mighty war machines how could they lose?
Suddenly an ear piercing screech shattered the still. Neither living, nor daemonic nor machine – the sound chilled Saren to the core. The two huge forms of the Forgefiend and Helbrute surged forth from the clouds of dust and debris behind him, Hades Autocannons hammering out a staccato of death towards the Astartes vehicle. Warp infused rounds punched holes through the armour and caused severe damage to the Vindicator but it responded in turn with its booming demolisher cannon.
The shot went wide, narrowly missing the cultists. They began to panic and rushed forwards into the cover of an intervening ruin. Perhaps it hadn’t noticed them? They would not be so lucky…
Fhanados shook his head in disgust. These people were cowards. They were useless. Even the spineless dogs of the Emperor would make better minions than this. Surely they would be able to overrun this one pathetic tank? Even as he gathered the powers of the Warp around him he was again interrupted. A burning comet streaked down from the sky, crashing violently into the ground in an eruption of fire and dust. Through the smoke the outline of an Astartes Drop Pod was obvious, as were the armoured figures that disembarked. More than this, the powerful psychic emanations surrounding a lone figure in Terminator Armour were as visible to the Sorcerer as night and day.
The corner of the Librarian’s mouth turned upwards in a spiteful smile.
“We’ve been expecting you Sorcerer,” the words were a psychic projection, not spoken, tinged with an uncontained malice and glowing with the self-righteous zealotry the Imperium instilled in its slaves.
Before he could respond the warrior next to him crumpled in on himself, the terrible scream of the Chaos Marine’s final agonising breath ringing in the air. Quickly Fhanados recalled the forces of the Immaterium even as he felt his armour crushing him and with a burst of white flame he vanished.
With the Sorcerer dead Aspiring Champion Konahn took command. This was his time to prove his worth. Lofting his axe he charged forward at the head of the remaining Chaos Space Marines. They bellowed a bestial war cry as they rushed towards the Salamanders Tactical Squad. Inspired by their masters the cultist sect joined the charge.
The moment battle was met was punctuated by another booming shot from the Vindicator, crippling Bother Avaris. The Helbrute roared in impotent fury, struggling to get to grips with the Salamanders in the raging melee.
A Stormtalon gunship had entered the fray, strafing the Forgefiend with Lascannon and Autocannon fire. The Daemon engin roared and returned fire, the exchange a terrifying trade of deathbringing munitions.
Konahn roared a challenge in the Dark Tongue, hoping that the Librarian would come to the fore. Instead the squads Veteran Sergeant drew his sword and stepped between the Champion and his prey. Konahn managed to deflect the Sergeants swift blows and decapitated the foolish pawn with a lumbering backswing of his great axe. Around the duel casualties built up on both sides, but Chaos had the upper hand. Victory, it seemed, was his.
Librarian Skarrun hacked down another vile traitor. His axe was slick with heretical blood. As the last power armoured assailant fell he turned on the Cultists. They had fled, and in their wake the ground was littered with the dead of his unit. None had survived. A single red-armoured enemy had survived the carnage, an axe wielding monster with armour adorned with bones. With a demeanour bordering on casual it tossed something to him. The head of Brother Sergeant Argiel rolled to a stop at his feet. Skarrun drew all the psychic force he could muster and infused himself with incredible power.
“You,” he growled “You die now.”
The Forgefiend trampled over the ruin of the Stormtalon. Daemonic resilience and unholy rate of fire had outmatched the manoeuvrability and precision of the gunship. Now it stalked the Vindicator, prowling through the ruins after its quarry. A thunderous boom and the screams of dying and fleeing cultists gave the beast all the information it needed. Just beyond the ruin lay its prey. Hades cannons began to whirr to life as the mighty Melnatron prepared to strike.
Skarrun cursed in his native Norcturne tongue as the Chaos Champion deftly evaded another attack. Even with the blessings bestowed upon him the Librarian struggled against this vicious foe. Again and again they struck at one another, warp-tainted power axe ricocheting off the pure white force weapon. The Chaos Champion ducked under the Librarian’s guard and lashed out and Skarrun felt the burning bite of tainted steel in his side. The Salamander’s Terminator armour was too cumbersome to react in time – the wound was deep. But he saw his chance.
Konahn saw the strike coming. He knew he was doomed, but he would not falter. He would not fail the legion. He leapt backwards, away from the ruin and into the open area created by the Vindicator’s bombardment. The white hot axe caught him in the chest, cleaving through his armour, bone and flesh as though it were not there. The force of the impact sent him sprawling further into the clearing. This was it. This was the end.
Skarrun strode forward into the clearing, eyes fixed on the renegade. He placed an armoured boot on the traitor’s chest and shifted his weight. Bones snapped with a sick wet crack and the Word Bearer screamed in agony. The scream tapered off to a blubbering gurgle. So pathetic was this creature that it wept at its own demise. No… that’s not right. This is not weeping. He was laughing. But why?
Finally Brother Avaris saw something to kill. He desperately wanted to crush it in his fist and feel the blood and flesh warm against his form. He wanted the hot viscera to spray his face, to taste the death. But fate had cursed him, his legs were a ruin. He could not move. But by the Dark Gods how he wanted to move! The fury built up hotter and hotter within him. Hotter and hotter within his weapon. It grew until he felt like he was going to explode and he unleashed it in a beam of terrible destruction accompanied by a barely-human roar.
“DIE! KILL DIE BURN! BURN!!”
Too late the Librarian realised the trap that had been sprung on him and he died in a cloud of fire and ash.
In the ruins the Daemon Engin had stalked the Vindicator to a standstill. If either one revealed themselves they would be subject to the punishing fire of the other. A daemonic spark of intellect had overcome the contraption’s bestial urge to hunt and now it remained hidden, lying in wait. Its gambit would be for nought. The squat solid Vindicator revved its engines and changed at full speed headlong into the ruin, ploughing through the wall and bringing the structure down around it. Melnatron turned to face it, but it was too late. Point blank it could not miss and this time the boom of the Demolisher Cannon was accompanied by the unholy indescribable noise reality ripping asunder as the Daemon returned to the Warp.
Salamanders: Slay the Warlord, First Blood, 4 units destroyed. Total 6pts
Word Bearers: Slay the Warlord, 3 units destroyed. Total 4pts.
This was a really fun game. I wasn't really prepared for facing a flyer but I got lucky and it didn't end up being a problem. Likewise the Vindicator didn't hit much, but it did end up being the deciding factor that forced my Cultists to fall back off the table.
In combat my Cultists did the heavy lifting. With my Sorcerer dead from turn 1 Grav Cannon shots I thought it would be unlikely my Champion would do anything, but he managed to kill a sarge and put a wound on the Librarian - which was great! It allowed me to kill him off with a Multimelta shot from the crippled Helbrute (which was facing a really inconvenient direction).
Standout unit of the game for me was the Forgefiend. It downed the Stormtalon, pinged a point off the Vindicator and killed a marine or two (which I forgot to mention in my little story. Ah well). Most useless thing ever award goes to the Sorcerer. I thought he could at least pass one Look Out Sir! roll, but no.
Really really fun game. Really nice opponent and even though I was off to a rocky start things didn't turn out as bad as I thought they would, so good game!
Saren and what was left of the Warpbringer sect finally stopped running. For some daft reason he had thought to challenge the Librarian, and was brushed aside as though he weren’t even there. He doubted the Astartes even noticed the challenge. Scant few of them had survived the melee. Despite bringing down the Salamanders they saw no chance of victory, and without the Sorcerer watching their every move what time was better than now?
At that moment one of his fellow cultists collapsed to the ground in a fountain of blood. It was a horrifying, unnatural death. A familiar one that left Saren cold to his very soul. The blood pooled and began to bubble. Slowly an armoured figure grew from the crimson pool and Fhanados stood before them once again.
“Ah! Dear Saren. So glad we could… encounter… one another like this.”
“You… you were dead?” Saren stuttered.
“Not quite, my malevolent little minion. Now, turn your little band of rebels around and go back to where we came from.”
“But why my lord?”
“Brother Avaris is lonely and the Melnatron is missing some parts. Come. We have work to do before the others arrive.”