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    Member ChaplainCaedfel's Avatar
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    Evacuation of Hive Sybilla Primus

    ((Decided to try a more narrative approach, ala forum mates Forsaken and Grimm. Starts “in the action� instead of “turn 1�))

    Brother Sergeant Andreas leaned up over the battlement, taking in a quick glance at the chaos below. His helmets autosensors gave him a view of the fighting below with greater clarity than a normal mans eyes, and he did not like what he saw. To the far left of his field of vision were ranks of foul Plague Marines of the Death Guard, coming to grips with the poorly led remnant of Medusan PDF that defended that flank. More to his center were the hordes of mutants, traitors, and things he could barely recognize, a living tide of filth and excrement slowly making their way through the ruins of the hive. Flamer tanks and tracked assault guns grumbled along side them, giving them protection. To his right, picking their way through a ruined Administratum building, were Chaos Marines of a warband Andreas did not recognize, but many among them bore the mark of Khorne.

    Horribly outnumbered? No. This was merely a target rich environment, Andreas thought with a grim smile, hidden by his helm. Next to him, Brother Issakus crouched, lascannon ready as Andreas spotted for him. The motionless forms of their other four squadmates lay around them, dead. The air around them was alive with the sounds of battle: the crack of lasguns from the Imperial Guardsmen in positions around them, the throaty roar of bolters, the bang and hiss of missile launchers. The moans of the dying. Above, the encroaching warp storm was a baleful purple haze; soon, Medusa V would die. A xenos fighter zipped through Andreas’s vision, his autosensors straining to keep the picture clear. An Eldar craft of some kind. As Andreas watched, it dove upon a different Imperial Guard position, fired, and then tore back into the purple sky. As it left, a large gout of flame and smoke came upward from where Andreas knew a Basilisk position was. Or had been, he thought.

    Andreas risked another look over the wall. Below, he spotted what he had been looking for. “Brother Issakus—target in the open, Traitor dreadnought, four o’ clock low.� Issakus voxed a terse response and took aim. A blinding line of azure flame leapt from his lascannon, punching right through the Traitor dreadnought, penetrating right through the mark of Khorne proudly emblazoned on its chestplate. For a moment the dreadnought teetered forward, then came apart in a spectacular explosion. “Dreadnought down,� Andreas voxed.

    Chaplain Caedfel, the blessed warriors of the Death Company, and Assault Squad Gasparus waited in the ground floor of the building that virtually all of Task Force Falchion now held. Tactical Squads Andreas, Benedictus and Davidus were situated on each of the other three floors of the ruin, and were belting out disciplined fire into the ranks of the Archenemy in the streets outside. The thunderclap of the boltguns formed a constant wall of sound, and spent bolter cartridges clanged down from the upper levels off the black power armor of the Death Company. Chaplain Caedfel had arrived with Task Force Falchion, along with other Imperial formations, to help support Army Group Astrum in the evacuation effort. They knew full well there was no chance to actually “win� this fight. They were to hold as long as possible, then withdraw. Fellow Astartes of the Iron Hands, Black Templars, and even Blood Angels were present, along with several Imperial Guard units and a group of Adeptus Sororitas. Arrayed against them were all the foes of Mankind: the xenos Eldar and Tau, the Tyranid monstrosities, the Orkoid, and of course, the Traitors.

    His immediate left flank was poorly held by a group of Medusan PDF that were steadily falling apart, some even breaking for the rear. The left flanks only saving grace was a group of strange Space Wolf Astartes, ones even more feral than usual. They were throwing themselves against the oncoming mutants and Traitors as best they could, but were not enough. The right, however, was more securely held by Imperial Guardsmen of a regiment he did not recognize in battered red combat armor, and by Astartes of the Black Templars. At least two Tau hunter cadres opposed them, but so far both the Guardsmen and the Black Templars had proven almost impossible to shift; the Templars counter charging those who came in close, and the Guardsmen thinning out the Tau ranks with precision las and solid slug shots. That would all change, however, if the Khornate Traitor Marines got to them. Task Force Falchion’s job was brutally simple: the Tactical squads would take out targets of opportunity among the mutants and cultists, while Caedfel and the Death Company would do their best to slow down the Traitor Marines. Tactical Squads Jacobus and Marcus were only now arriving, having to fight their way through Alpha Legion kill teams, along with Assault Squad Barnabas, but they would also try to slow down the Traitor Marines.

    “The tide of damnation is about to sweep over the Medusans, Reclusiarch,� voxed Veteran Scout Sergeant Josias, the canny infiltrator and Caedfel’s friend. Caedfel risked a look through the ground floor window. Sure enough, the horde of mutants and heretics, some so bloated and muscled to be twice the size of a Space Marine, were preparing to join the Death Guard in wiping out the PDF and the odd Space Wolves, cutting of Task Force Falchion. Then Brother Sergeant Andreas chimed in on the vox channel. “The Khornate Traitors are exiting the ruins; they’re making for the right flank.� There was a loud shriek over the vox as Issakus’s lascannon fired on the rooftop. Caedfel nodded to himself. “Josias, Gasparus…we have to stem that tide. You know what to do. Andreas, Benedictus, Davidus, give us covering fire! We take the fight to the Traitors!� There was a chorus of acknowledgements on the vox channel, and Task Force Falchion went into action.

    Andreas watched from his perch atop the ruin as Squad Gasparus charged through a hail of lasgun fire, the sheer weight of fire from the cultists and mutants taking a toll before Gasparus and his surviving squad mates hit the line of the Lost and the Damned. Andreas cursed bitterly as the twisted servants of the Archenemy eventually swallowed them up and they disappeared from view. Squad Davidus, unable to control themselves at the sight, charged out of cover into the ranks of mutants and heretics. Soon, they too vanished, simply being buried under weight of bodies, along with Josias and his scouts. All to slow down the enemy. Andreas turned his attention to the right flank, firing off a quick bolter shot at a Traitor Marine whose flailed his arms briefly before falling. Chaplain Caedfel and the warriors of the Death Company tore into a large unit of Khornate terminators, slaying all but two of them, Caedfel rending armor with his blue flaming crozius arcanum, the Death Company simply tearing them limb from limb.

    There was a howl of engines as a Traitor Bike unit came into view. “Target in the open, Bike squad, five o’ clock low!� In response, boltguns, missile launchers and heavy bolters hissed and chattered, taking the squad apart to a man, leaving only one for Assault Squad Barnabas to finish off. Andreas returned his view to the hand to hand combat involving Caedfel and the Death Company. Dismounting from a hideously malformed Rhino, Khorne Berserkers—true members of the World Eaters, unlike the other members of the warband, threw themselves into the combat, along with the leader of the warband and a group of Obliterators that had been sheltering in the ruins. The bitter foes proceeded to tear each other to shreds.

    Yet another squad from the Khornate warband emerged from the ruins, boltguns held ready, preparing to join the wild melee in the streets. Their squad leader pointed towards the fight, only to be punched off his feet by precise boltgun shots. On the ground level, Squads Jacobus, Marcus and a landspeeder finally added their weight to the battle. The enemy squad fell back, returning fire as best they could. In the center, a ruined storage building fell apart as a Traitor Hellhound flame tank rumbled forward, soaking the Blood Angel positions in promethium. The survivors of Squad Barnabas took flight, landing beside it. One squad member, armed with a plasma pistol, attempted to shoot the side armor of the tank, but tragically died as his weapon malfunctioned. Enraged, Veteran Sergeant Barnabas jumped onto the tank, bodily ripping off the flamer from its turret with his power fist. The vehicle jerked suddenly backwards as the crew desperately tried to pull away from the vengeful Marine, and Barnabas toppled off. All around him, he saw the ranks of the enemy. Wisely, he jetted backwards, regrouping with Squads Jacobus and Marcus, spitting out curses against those who had felled his battle brothers.

    Spattered with the blood of his foes, Sanguiniary High Priest Lucas finally made the battlefield. A brief spout of vox traffic told him all he needed to know. The evacuation of this part of the hive was complete. It was time to withdraw. He turned to Veteran Sergeant Jacobus, who was directing his squads fire against the Traitors positions. “Brother Jacobus…our task here is done. It is time to retire.� Jacobus looked back, a look of incredulous disbelief on his face. “Brother-Chaplain Caedfel struggles against the foe! We cannot leave now!� Lucas turned to face him fully, glowering down at him. “We have no choice. We all knew the risks of this last mission. The Chapter will need us elsewhere, and this worlds time is done. We leave now.� Jacobus seemed about to argue further, then clamped his mouth shut. He looked away, closed his eyes, and growled into his collar vox unit. “All squads! Break off, break off! Redeploy to rally point Abrogation!� With that, the surviving Blood Angels fell back in good order to their Thunderhawks, along with the other Imperial Guard and Astartes. The job was done. But at such a cost.

    ….

    The Valhallan Guardsmen watched the two Astartes in the corner of the bulk lifters cargo hold curiously. “Blood Angels,� said a voice next to him. He looked up to see his platoon leader against the wall of the crowded hold, nodding in the direction of the super humans. “The one was unconscious; the other brought him aboard. No idea where the rest of their unit is.� The first Guardsmen nodded wearily. Another mystery whose answer would probably remain unknown. They had escaped the hellworld of Medusa V; that was enough for him. He had no idea how the rest of Hive Primus had fared, and, in truth, he supposed he didn’t care.

    Chaplain Caedfel came to and looked around the cramped hold of the bulk lifter, dimly lit by lumin strips on the ceiling and walls. His augmented body and power armor started glanding chemicals and hormones to stave off the pain he felt upon waking. How had he gotten there? The last thing he remembered was struggling against the Khornate terminators. “Managed to get you on board. I don’t think they wanted to make any room for us, but I was…convincing.� Caedfel turned his head to the side, and looked at the speaker. Veteran Scout Sergeant Josias winked, the motion twisting the bloody and ruined side of his face. Josias? Here? “How…?� began Caedfel. “That, my old friend, is a long story,� sighed Josias, leaning back against the cold metal of a bulkhead.

    ((Megabattle in which the Imperial side started on the board with 1000 points each, and had 500 in reserve. Xenos/Chaos forces had 2000 each, all on the board. No one could really explain why WE had our stuff in reserve for a “last stand,� and they didn’t (could have represented them coming in wave after wave). Oh well. We actually managed to win the game (scoring buildings were only in the Imperial “zone,� which was 24 inches out from our table edge), 13-6. I managed to give the Khorne player (not World Eaters only, as he told me) a serious bloody nose through the course of the game, and slowed up the Lost and the Damned, which was the best I could hope for given that my two allies on my table were pretty much done by turn 3. I had taken casualties from them blowing up my building (dangerous ruins). The squads that were taken out by Lost and the Damned? In one assault phase, the LaTD player rolled NINETY TWO dice (several squads ganging up)! Even then, Veteran Sergeant Davidus didn’t go down until the last turn, and even then it came down to a powerfist hitting him twice and rolling a 1….and a 2 The other tables did better, with the Imperial Guard generally making a VERY good showing (Cities of Death + Cameoline=happy Guardsmen). It seemed that Marines basically acted as speed bumps, countercharge units, and hit and run forces, with the Guard holding buildings. All in all a fun game. To those who have read my other reports…yes, I couldn’t bring myself to kill off Josias and Caedfel. The other “named� sergeants you’ve seen who fell..well…yep. They’re dead The mega battle was a fun end to the campaign!))

    "Wife! You are abusing that Leman Russ model!"

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Forsaken2544's Avatar
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    Rock on!

    The ending to my campaign was not nearly so glorious. The T'au and Eldar teamed up to push the Mon-Keigh away from the webway portal. The densely choked ruins were brutally effective at choking off lines of fire. And Hellhound tanks RUIN both Tau, and Eldar.

    We have one more night, but I have three straight losses, and I think my spirit is crushed.

    I am glad to hear that you did well. I particularly like the "Target-Rich environment" Excellent batrep.
    * "I'm Significant!" -screamed the dust speck
    * "Call me old fashioned, but an evil ascension to power just isn't the same without someone chanting faux Latin in the background."

  4. #3
    Member ChaplainCaedfel's Avatar
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    Thanks for the comments, but sorry to hear about the three losses! Was it a matter of the other commander just being plain better, or the dice being all manner of bad to you? Or somewhere in between?

    You said you had one more night. How has it all gone?

    The campaign has been great fun. But now there doesn't seem to be much to link Bartholomew, your farseer, and my chaplain in the future, heh
    "Wife! You are abusing that Leman Russ model!"

  5. #4
    Senior Member Forsaken2544's Avatar
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    Sure there can be a link. The Galaxy is a big place, but we don't traverse the whole thing. I'm sure Ulthiam that they may meet up again.

    Even if it is just reports from our underlings to the commanders. I'm sure Ulthiam will want to keep tabs on Bartholomew, and I know the astartes work together on occasion.
    * "I'm Significant!" -screamed the dust speck
    * "Call me old fashioned, but an evil ascension to power just isn't the same without someone chanting faux Latin in the background."

  6. #5
    Member ChaplainCaedfel's Avatar
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    Hmm. Quite so. 40K is going to wind down at our store now that MV is more or less over, and Fantasy will be on the upswing. Hopefully I can crack out some new batreps once it starts to wind "up" again at the shop.
    "Wife! You are abusing that Leman Russ model!"

  7. #6
    Senior Member Chaplain Grimm's Avatar
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    My end to the campaign went straight downhill. Not a bad thing though. I needed it kinda. Hehe. Ulthaim came at me one last time and was crushed, again. He just couldn't take my Deathwing for some reason...dice hated him...SO hated him. Then I went with the fluff I had developed going after my Sgt Malachi being held by the Tyrannid swarm of one of our clubmates. Thrice I went for him. THRICE I got my rear handed to me. The last game we played was against Tyrannid/Tau, with Forsaken's Unforgiven and my Deathwing. Bunker assault, we were attacking, we lost, even though we probably killed off 3/4 of both their units. Just wasn't enough to win.

    So Malachi was lost, Uriel is tempting Chaos, and Lot is Lot. Same old grim chaplain. My first time participating in a whole campaign. Made me love my Deathwing again, and boy did I ever kick up some AWESOME fluff for my army.

    Here's to more meetings in the future between Task Force Falchion, and Battlefleet Redemption.

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