+++Argh. SCRAPSHUNT title error. Could akindly mod please correct 'Plantestrike' to 'Planetstrike', please?+++Sebastus Tertiary. Iceworld. Dustbowl.
'Short-range surveyors have detected void-shielding on the icemoor, Housecaptain.' The naval officer's voice was reedy and nervous. As well he might be
, mused the Imperial Fist. The Heresy was fragmenting the galaxy. Planets were declaring for the Warmaster; for the Emperor; for independence; for secession. They were raising armies.
Until recently, it had seemed the discipline of the Imperial Fleet was made of sterner stuff. However, the past year had seen nearly a third of the Navy defect or reveal itself as openly rebellious. Even on those ships nominally loyal, the near-feudal cultures that boiled in the underdecks ensured that surliness and slackness permeated the guncrews and ratings. More than one Imperial ship had engaged only to find its gun decks erupting in bloody rebellion; or its ordnance fired fuseless or without payload.
The ships overseen by the Imperial Fists were an exception. Few unaugmented humans dared disobey a Fist. Few that did had the luxury of anything beyond a term in the brig – or through an airlock.
The Captain narrowed his eyes, and he spoke. 'Signal the housecompany for deployment, Lieutenant – and prepare the teleport decks. I mean to show this Sedirae the error of his ways.'
Rules used: Tempus Fugitives' Age of the Emperor
expansion and The War in Golcanda
Apologist's Sons of Horus (defenders) vs. Bob Hunk's Imperial Fists (attackers)
We took a few shots, but this is mostly done from memory – apologies in advance for any minor inaccuracies.
The battlefield: Plains of Error, Sebastus Tertiary
The Sons of Horus declared a Planetary Convocation would occur in turn 2, and had void sheilded the main bastion (left of image). The Imperial Fists declared the drop zone to be the far side of the table (as seen above)
The Imperial Fists proved as capable attacking a fortress as defending it; their firestorm generating 7 ordnance blasts and tearing the secondary bastion to pieces. All of Warlocked Tactical Squad emerged unharmed, but were pinned in the wreckage.
Sabotage? The Imperial Fists Terminator squad teleported too close to the void-shielded bastion and scattered into it. A teleport mishap resulted in the squad being destroyed (Bob Hunk assured me they emerged into a locked basement).
Some unfortunate reserve rolls saw only half the Fists arrive. One Land Raider and one Battle Armour Dreadnought marched on. The Land Raider deployed a Tactical squad, and they all opened up on Warlocked Tactical Squad.
The shooting phase saw four Sons of Horus veterans downed; and the Dreadnought assaulted the remainder, killing one. Sergeant Noctua reached up with his power fist and tore out some vital wiring on the leg, immobilising the enemy.
In return, the Sons of Horus managed nothing in the shooting phase. The assault phase saw the Veterans place a number of krak grenades and melta bombs on the Battle Armour Dreadnought, turning it into a smouldering wreck.
The Planetary Convocation came into effect, which meant that the second Land Raider still didn't arrive! However, the second Battle Armour Dreadnought stomped on from the drop zone and advanced on the Sons of Horus Veterans.
The Fist Tactical squad moved up to claim the Bastion and the Dreadnought smashed Noctua and another veteran to the floor, eager to avenge its fallen brother. The remaining Veteran failed to hit with his krak grenade.
In the Sons of Horus turn, the heavy bolter Contemptor emerged on the far side and ran towards the main Bastion. Captain Sedirae rushed on from the Fists Drop Zone and engaged the remaining Battle Armour Dreadnought.
Some desultory fire from Aximand's squad saw an Imperial Fist Tactical marine felled. The assault phase saw the final Veteran downed, with Sedirae unable to damage the Dreadnought with his relic blade.
The second Imperial Fist Land Raider arrived and drove on 6in. Everything opened up on the Bastion, but succeeded only in destroying the Void Shield.
Sedirae and the Dreadnought continued their duel, neither landing a blow.
The Conversion Beam Contemptor arrived far from the drop zone, and moved on while the Heavy Bolter Contemptor rushed forward to cover the main Bastion's door.
The Conversion Beamers charged up, and from such a distance they grew incredibly powerful. In concert with fire from the main bastion, and despite the BS5 Contemptor missing with one shot(!) the bunched-up Imperial Fist Tactical Squad were torn to pieces, leaving the Bastion undefended.
The empty Land Raider drove up to the broken bastion and claimed the objective, while the full one advanced on the Bastion. The lascannon blasts from both struck the bastion, destroying the Icarus Lascannon.
Neural Fibre bundles saved the Dreadnought as Sedirae desperately lunged under its heavy power fist and immobilised it, his Iron Halo warding off a blow.
Unable to target the full Land Raider, the Conversion Beam Contemptor reduced the empty one to a bubbling mass of metal.
Luc Sedirae was tiring, and failed to land a blow; merely avoiding the damaged Dreadnought's return strikes thanks to his Iron Halo.
The Imperial Fist Tactical Squad leapt out of the advancing Land Raider and opened up on the Contemptor, their melta gun missing spectacularly.
The Sons of Horus leapt out of the Bastion and, together with the Heavy Bolter Contemptor, opened up on the Imperial Fists. Six Fists fell and the Sons sustained a casualty as their plasma gun overheated.
In the assault phase, the Sons of Horus killed three for no return, leaving a single Fist standing.
The Lone Land Raider swung wide around the combat as the Battle Armour Dreadnought shot the Bastion, causing no damage.
Aximand desperately dispatched the last standing Fist in the assault phase, then led his brethren after the speeding Land Raider as the Contemptor advanced to confront the Battle Armour Dreadnought. Descending over the rough terrain, there was now little chance it would arrive in time to claim the objective.
Aximand's squad were unable to get a melta charge set on the moving Land Raider.
Sedirae finally fell, smashed to one side by the furious Dreadnought.
The Land Raider moved forward and opened up on the Bastion at point-blank range. A critical hit touched off the magazine and the bastion fell! The Lander Raider was now so close to the Conversion Beam Contemptor that the Dreadnought's weapons were less powerful, so it reduced Sedirae's erstwhile opponent to scrap with long-range blasts.
It was all down to Aximand's squad. They leapt forward, and with a single shot from the melta pistol, Aximand detonated the Land Raider, ending the Imperial threat and winning victory laurels.
+++Thoughts of a Dying Atheist
The rules held up really well. The man of the match was the Conversion Beam Contemptor, but at 300+ points, he probably should have been!
The Planetary Convocation
stratagem was fantastic, and comes highly recommended. While it doesn't look like it did much, forcing the Fists to reroll sixes ensured I sustained less damage, and they took relatively more. It also delayed his reinforcements arriving, allowing me to deal with those present.
Two bastions was definitely a good idea, forcing the Fists to split their forces somewhat, and while I stand by the notion of a void shield; the fact my army was so compact and elite meant that the unshielded bastion was almost certainly going to be destroyed in the Firestorm...
I was very lucky that Warlocked Tactical Squad survived as long as they did – had there been even one more accurate firestorm shot, I could have lost quarter of my forces very quickly!
Chris had some bad luck with the dice; particularly on his teleport and reserve rolls, and it could very easily have gone the other way. I think that's a consequence of me taking an army like this – very small and compact, in contrast to my usual strategy of loads of basic infantry – but it resulted in a fun game, so that's the main thing