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This battle found our heroic Lawbringers facing the treacherous Eldar. This is also my first attempt at adding a story to my battle, the straight up report is in normal text, story in italics.
HQ - Capt with ccw and bp
Tac squad x3 - Sergeant with ccw and bp, everyone else just bolters. 10 man squads.
Devastator Squad - One sergeant with a bolter, 4 missle launchers.
Scouts - 5 scouts with Sniper Rifles
Predator with heavy bolters and autocannon
Dreadnaught with Heavy Flamer and Assault cannon.
Eldar (bear with me, I know nothing about the Eldar)
Farseer with 4 psychic powers.
5 man Dark Reaper squad, Exarch with a missle launcher of some sort.
1 Guardian squad, 16 men strong with a Star Cannon.
2 Dire Avenger squads, 10 avengers in each.
Omega level Cleanse.
Roll for dawn or dusk, but we're fighting just after Dawn.
Terrain. The board was a forest, lots of tree filled terrain, with a hill right in the middle. (This ended up being an issue...I thought we had agreed that allt he terrain was woods, my opponent later stated it was only a hill...this leads to the terrible decimation of my scouts...just a warning to clarify all terrain!). Lots of cover everywhere.
Deployment. Since we were going for quarters, I deployed a tac squad near the edges of both the disputed quarters. The HQ links up with my southern most squad (or will officially on turn 1) Another Tac squad was behind some woods near the middle of my quarter, with the devastator squad close behind it. The Snipers were in the edge of the woods closer to the center. Since it was Escalation, the tank and dread were off the board.
The Farseer and the Reapers plopped into a small patch of trees on a hill near the center of the board. The Avengers both deployed near the same quarters as my tac squads. The Guardian squad was right in the middle, on the other side of the hill in the center. The Pathfinders deployed near one of the Avenger squads.
Scene set, lets play. She wins roll, I go first.
The sun had finally climbed above the tree-line. Captain Taranas peered through the trees, the sun slicing through the heavily canopied forest. There had been a strange energy source near the clearing up ahead, so he had volunteered to take a few Tactical squads out to investigate. He had a bad feeling about this place...everything seemed too quiet. There was a faint static in the air. He ordered the troops to hold back, and with a motion of his hand had the scouts continue forward. The young, would-be marines crept forward, vanishing into the trees ahead. It seemed like an eternity, waiting for anything to happen...
The young marine crept forward, up to the clearing. He peered through his scope, into the trees beyond. He slowly scanned the forest. Suddenly, something moved, ever so slightly. The Scout looked carefully...staring. It took him a moment to realize what he was looking at. The slender helmet covered an elongated head, ornate armor covering a lithe, wiry frame. It was an Eldar. He had heard of them, but never seen one. To his understanding, the Lawbringers had never themselves engaged this xeno. It was standing under a tree atop a small hill. Then he realized something...it was staring directly at him.
"Sir, xeno-sighted...I..I believe its an Eldar".
Captain Taranas grinned. The first contact with Eldar in this sector, to his knowledge the first for his Chapter, and he had the honor. He had 35 Marines with him, as well as the scouts. More than a match for any pathetic xeno.
"Squads 1 and 2, fan out. Eldar species xenos in the area. Request Heavy backup, numbers unknown. Devastator squad, on the Scouts target."
The Marines began to spread, wordlessly, to their tasks.
"The Emperor Protects..." prayed Taranas, "...now purge the witches".
1a. Both my tac squads advance along forest edges into the disputed quarters, not in the trees, but on the far side, so there is no los for anyone. The center tac squad advances forward. The snipers and the Devastators attempt to shoot the one visible avenger squad, but none can make the distance on the concealment roll. End.
1b. The Path Finders dash into cover as the Guardian squad moves up toward the hill. The one avenger squad by the pathfinders moves forward, on the inside of the tree line. The other Avenger group tries to enter the forest, but gets a difficult terrain roll of a 1 and a 2. They then fleet 1 more inch. At this point, the Reapers fire at the Scouts, much to my dismay as I thought they were blocked. The scouts are obliterated. End.
Out from the forest a sizable contigent of Eldar came advancing toward the hill, some sort of floating gun in their possession. Over their heads, a shrieking volley of shots tore toward the last posistion of the sniper team. To their credit, thought Taranas, there were no screams. He would mention this when he reported of their sacrifice later.
The Marines tracked along the treeline. Taranas figured they would stay hidden until he knew exactly what they were up against. The heavy support should be arriving any minute now...
2a. Let none call the Lawbringers tardy. Both the Dread and the Tank show up. The Dread comes in from the south, behind the tree line. The tank drives up behind some cover near the center. The Northern tac squad delves into the trees, hoping to sneak up on the pathfinders on the other side. Realizing they are exposed to the Reapers, the center tac squad pulls back behind trees. The Southern tac squad continues along the tree line, beginning to realize a clash with the Avengers is imminent. The Devastator squad fires at the Avenger squad, and kills 2. End.
Taranas felt, rather than heard, the arrival of his reinforcements. The Predator was just recently arrived to his chapter, and in every engagement had performed well beyond expectations. A true gift from the Emperor. Also Norek had arrived. Norek has been entombed only a century ago, and his service was welcomed by the Chapter. It had been said he fell while battling the Tyranid, and that he truly had no fear...a true model of a Space Marine. The others would be inspired by his faith.
Taranas peered through the trees ahead...brief flicks of light, of movement, on the other side, near the clearing. The silence needed to be broken. "Devastator squad, xeno movement South West side of the clearing. Drive them toward the forest". Rockets roared through the air, exploding out of Taranas's sight.
"Squad 3, report."
"Pinned down, sir. Heavy weapons of some sort. Their shots seem flawless."
"Not flawless, soldier. Xeno-witchery. Hold steady, protect the Predator. Find some cover."
"Sir...", the voice of Sergeant Jon Bardasius cracked in, "Squad 2 reporting, North east sector...I believe we've spotted enemy snipers."
"Bring them the light of the Emperor, Bardasius". Taranas had no worries, Bardasius was one of the most capable fighters in this company.
2b. The Guardian Squad moves up, half of them move to the top of the center hill. The Northern Avenger squad continues to move along the inside of the treeline. The Southern Avenger squad storms into the forest just north of the Southern Tac Squad. Shooting.
The Star cannon blasts the tuckus off of a straggling marine from the center tac squad that did not quite make it behind cover. The Avengers in the forest fire at the Southern Squad, killing one. Then, much to my dismay, the Northern marines in the forest are only 5 and 3/4 inches into the cover. The Reapers fire and kill 4 marines, who pass leadership. End.
Taranas caught the flare of xeno-weaponry to his east, toward Squad 2. Perhaps they had not reached cover fast enough.
His thoughts were derailed as a hail of shots came pouring around him, from the trees. The Devastators had done their job, the Eldar were in the trees just ahead, their outlines becoming apparent as they fired. Brother Mortos clutched at the joint between his chest plate and helmet, flying back against a tree. Taranas ran to his side, but it was too late. The shruiken had all but beheaded Mortos. At the same time, the voice of Bardasius came into his ear again.
"Four men down, sir, whatever those beasts on the hill are, their witchcraft is strong...we're pulling deeper into the woods." Taranas cursed. There must be a Farseer. He had heard about such beasts.
"All units, maintain cover, watch the hill North of the clearing." He would lose no more men to the witch until he could shoot back.
3a. The Dreadnaught moves out of the treeline to face down the advancing guardian squad. The Center tac squad stays behind cover. The Northern tac squad retreats further into the woods, and more toward the Pathfinders. The tank pulls up next to a patch of trees, and draws a bead on the northern avengers. Shooting.
The Dread and the Devastator squad open up on the Guardians atop the hill. 3 Frag missles and and Assault cannon later, only one guardian falls.
Things go better elsewhere. The Southern Tac squad fires into the advancing Avengers, killing 5. These Avengers fail leadership, and fall back 12 inches.
The tank fires on the Northern Avengers, and kills four. End.
Taranas looked up at the advancing aliens and silently raised his bolt pistol. Nine other bolters followed suit. The Emperors justice blasted forth, chunks of wood splintering as Eldar screamed and thrashed against the bright background. Taranas saw one start to turn and flee. There would be no escape. His pistol barked again and Taranas saw the silhouette of the Eldar's helmet shatter, and the body pitch forward.
At the same time, Taranas heard the boom of the Predator's Autocannon. He had faith. More xenos had meant their end.
Strangely, the Guardians seemed to continue to pour over the center hill unabated. Where was Norek?
3b. The Southern Avengers regroup and charge back toward the marines. The Northern Avengers move forward into the edge of the forest. The Guardian squad contines to spill up and over the center hill, into my quarter.
The Northern Avengers fire at the marines, and kill 1. The Reapers and the Star Cannon all fire on the Dreadnaught, but manage only to shake the crew. End.
Bardasius continued to creep through the woods, the Snipers ahead still oblivious to their presence. A sudden zipping sound caused him to drop to the ground.
"Down!" he shouted as a volley of shots tore through the trees. A group was outside the tree line, and firing in. The whole group hit the ground, but there was a strange sound as Brother Raron dropped. Bardasius looked over at Raron, the back of his helmet, and its contents, had been scalped. Bardasius growled.
Taranas picked out the lumbering form of Norek as he moved toward the Guardians. A hail of fire smashed into the side of the Dreadnaught, but Norek continued on.
"Sir, the group ahead, they are regrouping."
"Good. It would shame us to leave any alive."
4a. The Southern tac squads rolls a 6 for difficult terrain and charges into the forest. The Northern Squad rolls a 5 for difficult terrain and moves close to the forest edge (though still out of sight of the reapers). The Dread lumbers toward the guardian squad. Shooting.
The Southern tac squad tears into the remaining 5 avengers, wiping them out. The Northern Squad fires at the Northern Avengers and kills 4, leaving that squad down to 2, who pass leadership. The tank fires at the same Avenger squad, but they make their saves. In the middle, the Devastator squad fires again, killing 4 Guardians. Assault.
The Dread charges into the Guardians, of whom only the Warlock with the spear is a threat. He kills one guardian.
"Strong advance, Charge!", Taranas lept forward into the tree line, firing on the advancing Eldar. His squad followed suit, leaping through the thick trees as if they weren't wearing Power Armor...like the famed Catachan fighters. Pride beamed through Taranas, the Emperor was with them today. They burst through to the edge of the treeline, catching the Eldar flat footed in open terrain. Bolter fire tore the remaining troops to shreds.
It was then that Taranas saw his foe. Atop a small hill, on the Northern part of the clearing a tall, elegant, Eldar stood among several others with impossibly complicated firearms. These were the ones causing the damage. But between him and them was certain death. The thought struck him, if he could see them....
Bardasius sprang to his feet, raising his pistol. With a roar, he and the rest of the squad fired at the aliens that took their brother. All but a few jerked sporadically and fell, the remaining two drawing slim blades. Bardasius held up his hand.
"If they wish to test our mettle, who are we to deny them?"
Norek advanced toward the charging guardians...the last volley had left his cannon spinning uselessly as it tried to regain its trigger. But guns were not the only way to visit the Emperors wrath upon xeno scum. He advanced toward the Eldar. Rockets whizzed past his sensors, but he barely noticed. They had been fired by his Brothers, and their aim was true. The hillside exploded in front of him, sending aliens in every direction. The one in front was actually looking at the damage and did not notice Norek till it was too late. A massive powerfist closed around the head of the xeno. The resulting crunch caused the rest to take notice...
4b. The two remaining avengers charge toward the tac squad in the trees. Nothing else moves.
In annihalating the southern avenger squad, the Reapers were able to get los on that tac squad, as are the pathfinders. 4 marines die, leaving five. On to assault.
The dread manages to kill one, the warlock misses. The Eldar fall back, and the Dread cannot catch them. Up north, one avenger dies, one marine dies, leaving four. The one avenger falls back, and is able to escape the wrath of the advancing marines. End.
"Back!" Taranas shouted, as the first shots began to richochet among the trees. A terrifying volley of shots slammed into his squad, and he noticed several go down. Brother Oton was severed into 3 pieces. "Behind the trees!".
Norek took some satisfaction, the Eldar were pulling back, up the hill. He advanced after them.
The two Eldar came racing toward Bardasius and his squad, through the trees. Bardasius was on the first one, his chainsword buzzing, his pistol in his other hand. The xeno came straight for him, and he fired at the right leg of the creature. It pivoted amazingly fast, but that was what Bardasius expected. It pivoted directly into the path of his chainsword. The armor of these aliens was tough, but not very strong. The sword ate through the armor, and the Eldar, in a matter of seconds. Bardasius turned to the other...but it was gone. Brother Carus was standing oddly, then, slowly fell to his knees and pitched face first onto the forest floor. Bardasius could not even see the wound.
"After it!", he shouted, taking off into the woods.
5a. The Southern tac squad falls back behind the trees, out of everyones los. The northern group charges toward the fleeing avenger. The Dread chases the Guardian Squad. Shooting.
The Devastator squad fires at the fleeing guardians, killing a couple. The Dread fires with his flamer, killing several more. The Squad is down to four guardians and the Warlock. They pass leadership. The tank fires at the Pathfinders, who are able to find enough cover to avoid the onslaught. Assault. The northern tac catches and kills the last avenger, and consolidates just short of the Pathfinders. The Dread charges forth, but cannot get through the terrain, and ends up fractions of an inch short. End.
Norek watched the Eldar slowly climb the hill as more rockets exploded among them. He lifted his arm and with grim satisfaction activated his flame thrower. A shower of fire enveloped a mass of Guardians, their screams sounding tinny and far away from within his metal shell...
Bardasius could not catch the Eldar, it was too fast. "Fire!" he shouted, and the remaining marines took a knee and let fly, their bolters tearing apart the murdering alien. Bardasius turned...he could see the Snipers now...and he could almost feel their eyes boring into him. The rest of the squad felt it too. But there was no fear. Marines know no fear. With a roar, they got up and charged even as the snipers drew their beads...
5b. Nobody moves. The pathfinders fire into the frighteningly close tac squad, killing 3 of the four, leaving only the sergeant. The Reapers fire at the Dread, destroying its Flamer and Powerfist. The Farseer uses Eldritch Storm to spin the Dread, whereat the Warlock, from less than an inch away, throws his spear, penetrating, and exploding the dread. The resulting blast killed the 4 remaining guardians, leaving only the warlock. End.
Bardasius readied himself as the snipers shot. He felt the bullet graze his exposed cheek, tearing the ear from his head, but he did not break stride. His chainsword whirred to life as he closed the distance. At some point he became aware that he was all that was left. No matter. Through the Emperor's Grace, one man could destroy the world.
Norek felt the shock of the impact, but felt no pain. He could not remember pain. His footing tore loose and he spun, an odd energy seeming to have a hold of him. His vision cleared, but now he was staring at the Devastator squad that had covered his charge. They knew what was coming. They had been trained well, and graced by the Emperor. If this was his last battle, what greater sight...to be carried to the Emperor in the Company of His Angels...
6a. The Lonely Sergeant moved even closer to the pathfinders as the tank floored it from its cover to the Northern forest. The Devastator Squad, annoyed at the loss of their Dreadnaught, fire at the warlock and wipe him off the board. The Sergeant fires his pistol once, killing a Pathfinder. He then charges in, and kills another. End.
Taranas watched Norek explode and grief tore at him. The killer stood there, alone on the hill top. "Devastators...", Taranas did not need to finish. The Warlock did not even try to flee. The rockets slammed into the hill, erasing all signs of its existence.
Bardasius charged the five snipers. One raised its rifle up only to catch a round of the Sergeant's bolt pistol between the eyes. The other four charged in and surrounded the marine. Slim blades flashed in and out, at each thrust turned away by either the thick power armor, or the biting sting of the Chainsword. Finally, as Bardarius parried a blade the attacker left his side open. He jammed his pistol into what should be the creatures ribs and rapidly pulled the trigger. The Eldar jerked with each bang of the gun. Bardarius whirled his blad 360 degrees, slamming it into the base of the xeno's neck. The other three froze, sizing up the marine. Bardasius pulled the trigger of his sword, severing the head of the Eldar. Their fury obvious, the remaining Eldar rengaged the Marine.
6b. The Reapers and Farseer cannot see anything. The Sergeant and the Pathfinders continue to fight, but neither side is able to wound. End.
"Sir, we cannot hold back any longer. Give us the word and we shall rush their leader. If nothing else, we shall provide you cover". Squad 3 was getting impatient. Watching the death of Norek had made them unbearably so.
"Hold your position, I believe they are pulling back." Taranas watched the small figure of the Farseer in the distance. She surveyed the field. Though their own losses had been great, there were no Eldar on the field...only corpses. She turned, and motioned to the gunners at her side. They slowly backed down the hill, and out of Taranas's sight. "All teams hold positions and report...I believe the day is ours, Emperor be praised".
Bardasius could tell his opponents were getting tired...these delicate creatures were not meant for physical combat. Still, the numbers were wearing on him. If he made one mistake...
He stopped himself. He was a Sergeant. He did not make mistakes.
Suddenly, as if by some unseen order, the snipers disenganged, and vanished into the woods. Bardasius gave chase, but could not catch them. He slowed to a walk as Captain Taranas gave orders. At the tree break, he saw the Eldar making a slow retreat...their heavy guns still facing the battle. Bardasius had lost his entire unit, he would not be chasing them this day. But what a fight.
Taranas took stock. He had lost 15 marines and 5 scouts. Devastating in and of itself. But the loss of Norek as well was inexcusable. There was no reason for the Eldar to be on this planet. There had been no indication of their presence. No, they were not supposed to be here, and he would insure they were rooted out and burned from this planet. Next time, he would be more prepared.
We roll for extra turns, none take place. Game.
At the end, I had my Tac squad still at half strength in the southwestern Quarter, by themselves. The Devastator squad and 9 man tac squad were still at full strength in the middle. The tank was 3/4 way into the northern quarter, but not fully. So perhaps im wrong, but I dont think that is enough to dispute the North Eastern quarter (please correct me if im wrong). The Sergeant was still engaged, but nonscoring.
The Farseer and Reaper Squads were in their original deployment zone. The Pathfinders were at 3 of 5, so were still scoring in the Northeastern quarter.
Draw on objectives.
Totaling victory points, the Lawbringers had 27 more victory points. Draw overall. Moral victory to the Lawbringers.
I had never faced the Eldar going into the this, and didnt know what to expect. Especially since I was trying a new list, going for more bodies than guns. Since I drew the Eldar, I think it was probably pretty lucky. I should have been a bit wiser with that central Tac squad, especially since they did not shoot the entire game, I should have at least been moving them north to capture the quarter.
More than anything, the Reapers shaped the game. I was living in terror of them. I hid my tank, the devastator squad, and the tac squad most of the game to stay out of los. And when they DID fire, it always rocked me.
At the same time, my opponent was frustrated that 1/3 of the points of her army, the reapers and farseer, were effectively taken out of the game by cover usage, whereas my devastator squad and tank were still able to fire. We were both convinced that it effected us worse than the other.
I felt that my tank was held back, though it did mow down the one Avenger Squad. In addition, one full tac squad was stuck, and the scouts were crushed. So that was about a third of my points tied up as well.
All in all, it was a really fun game. All rule disputes were settled amiably, and it was the closest game ive ever played. Had its share of 'wow' moments as well, especially when the Dread exploded. Good times.
Please feel free to give me any comments, eithe ron the game or on the story!
nice mate, generally on the question of Eldar, I would give the list at most 6 out of 10, it is trying but seems to have swathes of iff or old codex stuff still in there
Everything you have been told is a lie!
Seems the game was close on both sides, and I can see the moments where things hung in the balance. Annoying to lose the scouts so early on, but then you payed 'em back with nice use of cover.
I can't wait to hear more of Taranas's adventures! A nicely written story and I enjoyed the format of the report, a comprehensive list of things that happened.
Do you take notes as you game or do you just remember things? I tend to note down little things like casualties and maybe draw a small diagram of troop movements.
Your fluffraping hurts my eyes. - TehDarkPredator