Friday, 26 November 2010

Battle Report 1 : Landing at Haxtes

I've had a load of these battle reports laying around since we launched our Lalinta Prime campaign several months ago and in the ongoing war to reclaim my office/painting area (greatly inspired by Ron's recent post over on FTW ) I decided to launch another offensive against scraps of paper.

So here is the first of my battle reports, it features the five player (the whole League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen) opening game of our campaign; Eldar, Ultramarines and Blood Drinkers on one side, each with 1000 points and an opposing force of Tzeentch and Nurgle Chaos Marines each with 1500 points.

The game was a basic annihilation match and being the deluded writer that I am, I opted to turn the report into a narrative rather than just a blow by blow account of dice rolls; as for me anyway, it's what the battles are all about. Warning, have a cup of tea or a good strong coffee on standby, as you know me by now, this will get a little lengthy.

Landing at Haxtes

The Battle for Drop Zone AlphaWith the naval engagement lighting the heavens, the combined strike forces of the Ultramarines and Blood Drinkers descend from orbit; close on the heels of the dreaded Death Guard. Due to the limited trajectories afforded by their respective fleets actions; the assaults land almost on top of each other and a vicious firefight commences around the Imperial designated Drop Zone Alpha in the Haxtes district on the continent of Novus Colonia, Lalinta Prime. Thousand Son and Eldar forces already present in the area but scattered and engaged in small unit actions, converge on the DZ in the hopes mustering their own forces and joining up with possible allies.

Turn One Imperial / Eldar AllianceA Blood Drinker Stormraven Gunship sweeps across the centre of the Drop Zone, delivering its payload of frenzied Evocati Warriors and an Immortal into the enemies midst. As it pulls up and away, its keen eyed pilot spies the imposing and corrupted form of a Daemon Prince of Nurgle, Bile the Eviscerator advancing in the van of his Death Guard. The Raven launches a Bloodstrike Missile and Bile stops and watches seemingly unconcerned as the warhead screams towards him. At the last moment the Daemon steps to his left as the ground to his right is torn apart by the thunderous detonation. A splinter of molten rock shrapnel slices through the necrotic flesh on Bile’s belly wounding him; he simply hacks and spits a pulsating wad of mucus into the smoking crater and moves on.

A volley of missile fire from Ultramarine Devastators dug in on the far side of the Drop Zone covers the Blood Drinker assault. Their Krak Missiles streaking the air above the heads of the Drinkers with contrails and pounding at a Chaos Defiler as its giant hybrid body of flesh and steel bears down on them. The explosions tear open the monsters armoured hide and buckles a number of its claw like legs; bringing it to a shuddering and lopsided halt. The bound daemon inside roars with rage through its Vox grills and swivels about frantically for a target.

Above the daemons hoots of anger comes the clattering of armoured tracks and the armoured bulk of a Death Guard Land Raider emerges from the smoke swathed Chaos lines to reinforce their centre. Barely breaking its stride as it barrels towards the massing enemy troops; the Evocati Immortal pivots on its central axis and fires a superheated burst from its melta gun. The mighty tanks hull armour spares it the worst of the blast but the vital track assembly sheers off in molten rivulets and it swerves to a halt immobilised alongside the enraged Defiler.

With spearhead of the Chaos advance becoming mired the Marines attempt to secure the vital Drop Zone appears to be working. But pressing danger is suddenly revealed on their left flank as more Chaos armour rumbles forward; a Thousand Son Vindicator turns in place, leveling its cavernous Demolisher Cannon at the Ultramarine positions. As the Marines brace for the murderous barrage that is surely only moments away; the tall and elegant form of an Eldar Wraithlord alights the field of battle seemingly from nowhere. Directed by the Spiritseer Eminielle, its Bright Lance stabs a focused burst of silent, blinding laser energy into the Vindicator’s hull and detonates the tank with a thunderclap explosion and flash like summer lightning.

Despite their reservations at fighting alongside these Xenos, the Marines let out a resounding cheer at the timely demise of such a threat and welcome the emerging Eldar into their ranks.

Turn One Chaos Undivided
Through the ground shaking enemy fire storm Bile the Eviscerator turns to bellow orders at his Death Guard to keep pace, only to see them embroiled in close combat with the black armoured berserkers of the Evocati and his armoured support unmoving. Enraged, Bile points into the smoke filled sky at the arrogant Stormraven that dared strike him and deliver these unbelievers into his midst; shouting orders for vengeance as the assault ship begins to climb away on flaring thrusters.

The smoldering Land Raider raises its Las Cannons and a unit of Thousand Son Chosen takes aim with their meltas from the abandoned PDF section house they have stealthily occupied in the centre of the DZ. The volley of heavy weaponry punches holes in the Raven’s wings exploding its remaining Blood Strike Missiles on their hard points; the secondary explosions tearing gaping holes across the fuselage.

With alarms wailing and fire engulfing the transport bay, the Stormraven is sent spiraling towards the ground, its wounded pilot feathering his remaining thrusters to bring the craft in hull side up for a jarring crash landing. His deliverance is short lived though as Bile strides though the burning pools of fuel , the Daemon Princes leering maw is the last thing the crew see through their shattered cockpit as he swings his daemon blade, scything through their trapped bodies, tearing open the armoured transport like a ration tin and exploding it.

As Bile gives voice to his victory from within the inferno the Thousand Son’s own Daemon Prince Ducor the Deceiver enters the fray eager to upstage the Nurgle worshiping upstart. The shadow of the Immortal falls across him and Ducor looks up into its death skull visage with a cruel smile, a suitable sacrifice, raising his blade in a salute he lunges forward to attack with blinding speed.

The mind of the ancient marine entombed within the Dreadnought armour is wracked with the Black Rage causing dark visions of times long past. In Ducor’s place he sees a much viler foe; the Traitor Horus himself, and he Sanguinius can end his brothers treacherous rebellion right here and now.
With its dual Blood Talons raised and spinning, the Immortal meets Ducor’s charge head on, the rapid cuts and parries of the Prince’s daemon blade do little to stem the onslaught of the crazed giant and he begins to question who will be the sacrifice to great Tzeetch this day as the savage talons tear mortal wounds into his flesh again and again.

Despite injuries which would have been enough to kill him many times over in his former life before he found true enlightenment; Ducor deftly dodges another sweep of a whirring talon and slides beneath the Immortals legs, cutting upwards with his blade as he passes under it. Sparks shower from the thick armour and several hydraulic pipes rupture and spurt fluid; the Immortal shouts in frustration as the strike immobilises his legs and cuts power to his right arm.

Turn Two Imperial / Eldar Alliance
Another barrage from the Ultramarines missile launchers seers across the battlefield and finds its mark; this time on the far right flank, a Chaos Dreadnought has its legs immobilised.

Ducor swiftly gains his feet and charges the back of the immobile Immortal, his sword raised for the coupe de grace but as the tip bears down on the hull, it swivels about to face, bringing its left arm round in an arc with talon blades snapped shut to form a razor sharp arrow which punches into Ducor’s chest below his raised arms. The daemon blade finds its mark cracking the skull face of the Immortal and puncturing the amniotic casket beneath. Ducor laughs in triumph but then coughs great gouts of blood that spill down his armoured chest plate, smearing its fine filigree.

As his systems go critical, the ancient marine sees himself as his dying Primarch lying at the feet of the laughing Horus, his eyes fall upon the crack his blade has gouged in the Warmasters armour and he smiles. The purest and most beautiful light fills his vision as his father the mighty Emperor draws near.

The Immortal explodes, throwing Ducor’s ruined body far across the battlefield.

Turn Two Chaos Undivided
After the initial shock of the Marine and Eldar assault, the forces of Chaos steady themselves and the intensity of their return fire increases. Seeking to disable the lethal Wraithlord the Chosen still haunting the bunker unleash another devastating salvo from their meltas at the Spiritseer Eminielle. She is struck several times and the searing heat cooks her in her armour; she falls severely injured and the link to the Wraithlord is severed.

From the belly of their crippled Land Raider, Death Guard Terminators burst forth spitting a lethal hail of fire from their plasma guns of their combi weapons, directing it at the massive molten form of the Eldar Avatar as the fearsome giant bears down on them seeking to visit the wrath of Khaine upon the Great Enemy.Despite the ferocious storm of fire the Avatar is merely wounded a portion of his fiery armour falling blackened to the ground.

Seeing that the rest of his forces are still mired in combat in the centre, the Plague Marines of his Death Guard locked in a tumbling melee with the Blood Drinker Evocati with wounds and casualties equal on both sides. The Fecal Lord guns the engines of his attack bike and roars down the enemies left flank dodging withering fire and explosions as he goes. His speed and ferocity sees him safely into the opposing lines and he smashes his bike into the ranks of Dire Avengers attempting to harry him with their shuriken catapults, felling one warrior instantly beneath his wheels and sets about them with his daemon blade.

Bile emerges from the guttering flames of the Raven crash site and also seeks to resurrect the Chaos forward momentum. He charges an Ultramarine Tactical squad moving up the field attempting to bring its bolters to bear on the bunched ranks of the traitors. The first pass of his daemon blade decapitates two battle brothers, the return swing cleaves another in half and then a savage thrust impales a fourth through his sternum. As Bile kicks the still struggling marine from his thirsting blade and crushes his helmeted head underfoot like an over ripe Pentha fruit; the other marines attempt to fall back from the implacable foe. Bile takes advantage of their broken ranks and sets about the survivors like a butcher in a slaughterhouse, in moments the entire squad lies in bloody and rapidly putrefying pieces.

Turn Three Imperial / Eldar Alliance
With a bright flash, a loud crackle and the smell of burning ozone a Blood Drinker Terminator Assault Squad teleports into the Chaos lines to bolster the attack and keep up the pressure in the centre. They are led by two mighty heroes of the Chapter, the Reclusiarch Crixus and Sanguinary Priest Varro.
The Ultramarines Librarian focuses his powerful mind and unleashes a Null Zone that envelopes the central battlefield nullifies the dark powers of the Warp protecting the Chaos forces by turning aside many killing shots and blows.

Eldar Fire Dragons stalking up the right flank put a fiery end to the raving and immobile Chaos Dreadnought, their fusion guns melting its corrupted armour plating and igniting its power source; the ensuing explosion utterly consumes it.

Despite the loss of its guide the Wraithlord still sees the battle before it and its spirit perceives a foul champion of the Great Enemy gloating over the maimed bodies of his fallen enemies. The graceful fighting machine unleashes a burst of fire that catches Bile unawares and sends the Daemon Prince reeling from multiple lacerations to his bloated hide. The Wraithlord’s fire directs the attention of an Ultramarine Devastator squad to the fate of its fallen bothers and their response is instant and unequivocal; a salvo of Krak missiles carries their rage across the field to Bile, the explosions further staggering and wounding him.

But the Champion of Nurgle is still not done and despite gushing yellow ichor from huge rents in his smoldering flesh, he slowly gets to his feet once more; laughing at the futility of his opponents blows.
A Dark Reaper squad spies the arrogant Bile and unleashes their own volley of Krak missiles, Bile turns towards them in the last moment still laughing but this time there is no side stepping the explosion. The blast vaporizes the prince and his mocking laughter fades with the smoke.

The Ultramarines begin to pour more heavy fire from their positions into the Chaos line both their Predator Tank and Dreadnought scoring kills on the Death Guard Terminators.

As the Terminators steady themselves from the multiple hits form the Marine Las Cannons the Avatar of the Bloody Handed God thunders into their midst. He grabs one of the hulking warriors by the head lifting him high above the ground and shaking him as though he were a doll; the power of his molten grasp cracks the armour like an egg shell and ignites the flesh beneath making it drip with fiery gobbets.

In his other hand he wields the Wailing Doom which sings its mournful song through the heat rippled air and cuts another Terminator in half effortlessly; the glowing seam of melted ceremite from the blades passing sliding apart as the Terminators legs crumple and his torso tumbles forward to the floor.

Turn Three Chaos Undivided
With another rending flash and crackle Tzeetch Obliterators teleport into the ferocious battle for the centre of the landing zone. And the Thousand Sons summon a Lord of Change a Greater Daemon of Tzeetch into existence.
The Chosen unleash another volley of molten death from their vantage point this time cutting down one of the newly arrived Blood Drinker Terminators. Another squad of Death Guard join the attack also turning one of the Terminators into molten slag.

The immobile Defiler proves that it is still very much in the fight, its daemon venting its frustration by hammering a set of ruins sheltering an Ultramarine Scout Squad. The Reaper Cannons explosive shells punch through the masonry walls, sending them tumbling and exploding five scouts like ripe fruit.

The static Land Raider also announces it is not yet done, its Las Cannons lancing into the Dark Reapers and repaying them for their audacity at striking Bile. Two are felled by the high energy beams.

The encircled Dire Avengers fire blindly into the thick black smoke enveloping their position, chasing the constant throb and throaty roar of their foes mount as the sound echoes about them. The Fecal Lord dashes out of the smoke once again, tearing across the Eldar line with a blur of speed and a crimson shower as his dark blade bites and drinks deep of its victim’s blood. One after the other he dispatches the embattled Eldar warriors until eventually in terror they break and run. With relentless hunger The Fecal Lord cuts them down as they flee.

Calling on their great patron to swing the battle for them, the Death Guard summon the aid of a Great Unclean One, the Greater Daemon Blarg whose giant bloated decaying form bursts impossibly from the body of the Death Guard Champion embroiled in the stalemate with the Evocati. His massive cleaver dripping with disease quickly fells three of the Blood Drinker berserkers; but the fearless and crazed marines strike back, landing a wounding blow to the monster.

The Avatar sees the Greater Daemon, a much more worthy foe for a living God and turns to make his way towards the fight. The last of the Death Guard Terminators turns to strike at his retreating opponent; what little remains of his Marine psyche, stung by the insult of being ignored. As he stalks away the Avatar absentmindedly backhands the Terminator imploding his skull and sending his scorched remains clattering across the hull of his Land Raider transport.

Turn Four Imperial / Eldar Alliance
The missiles launchers of the Ultramarine Devastators and Eldar Dark Reapers speak again, the Reapers wounding the hulking Obliterators and the Ultramarines blasting gaping holes in the newly formed Lord of Change.
An Eldar Fire Prism tank joins the barrage blasting apart a couple of Thousand Son’s advancing alongside their Daemon.

Blarg and the Avatar set about each other in a mighty clash of titans, the air around them distorts with hurricane eddies of hot winds and swarms of filth laden flies. The sky above darkens and arcs of lighting stab down splitting the ground as a mini warp storm forms. Blarg’s cleaver cuts deep into the shoulder of the Avatar rending his molten armour and allowing a furnace like jet of pure energy to blast from the open wound. The Avatar rallies and smashes the pommel of the Wailing Doom into Blarg’s leering jowls , bursting mountains of puss filled welts and cooking the necrotic flesh.

About their feet, the remaining Death Guard and Evocati continue their own lethal struggle.

Having stymied the dark powers hand in defending its servants, the Ultramarine Librarian forges forward and launches himself into the throng of Obliterators; despite being dwarfed by these monstrosities, his crackling force sword punishes them.

The Blood Drinker Terminators seize on the distracted Lord of Change as it dampens down the smoldering feathers of its missile damaged wings. With speed and agility defying the bulk and weight of his tactical dreadnought armour Crixus leaps towards the Greater Daemon and lands a skull shattering blow with his Crozius Arcanum. The daemon reels from the impact grasping at its ruined head as Priest Varro ducks in close and disembowels the beast with his power sword. With an angry squawk the daemon backs away and then collapses, its body going into bone cracking spasm as it repeatedly folds in on itself, throwing up puffs of feathers and arterial sprays of blood until with a pop the still shrinking lump of gristle winks out of existence, returning to the Warp.

Turn Four Chaos UndividedAs the spirit sight of the Wraithlord drifts from the ensuing battle, the tall figure halts and becomes a statue amongst the maelstrom. The embedded Chosen need no further encouragement and their lethal meltas claim another victory as they blast apart the wraithbone sentinel.

The Battle Cannon of the Defiler spits a crippling barrage across the drop zone and pummels a Fire Dragon squad into oblivion.

The Fecal Lord having broken through an Ultramarine Devastator squad despite suffering a wound at their hands. Tears alongside the marines advancing Predator and swings his sword down with a jarring impact, sheering the Las Cannon sponson from its mounting.

The Ultramarines Librarian seeks recompense and exacts it in the destruction of two Obliterators smashing their fused bodies of machine and flesh with his force sword and sending them whirling to destruction.

The Avatars speed and grace begin to tell against the lumbering Blarg whose powerful cleaver strikes find nothing but hot air as its flaming adversary stalks around his bloated mass like a Gyrinx toying with its prey. Suddenly the Avatar plants his legs either side of him, crouching, spreading and raising his sword arm and dripping bloodied hand to his sides and unleashing a super heated roar from his hate twisted mouth.

Blarg accepts the opening and with a gleeful chuckle swings his cleaver two handed in towards the Avatars lowered and unguarded head. As the arc of the infected blade closes, time seems to slow as the Avatar powers his body into the air bringing his legs up tight to him. The blade passes a hairs breadth beneath the leaping giant, sheathing itself in curling flame and as Blarg’s shoulder and head follow the swing the daemon realises his folly; his bloodshot and rheum encrusted eyes rolling upwards to see his fate descending.

Still hanging in the air the Avatar brings the Wailing Doom shrieking downwards in a single handed strike parting Blarg’s head cleanly from his shoulders; as his dumbfounded face smashes into the dirt, his stubby arms grasp at his opened neck loud belches of putrid gas erupting from it as his massive body wobbles and deflates.

The Avatar lands with an earth cracking shudder and strides off in search of further prey.

Turn Five Imperial / Eldar AllianceThe steady and sure aim of the Ultramarine Devastators continues to exact a steady toll on the now utterly stalled Chaos advance. They cut down two Death Guard Plague Marines and wound the Fecal Lord once again.

The crew of the Eldar Fire Prism sight the Sorcerer Lord Scelestus Proditor attempting to rally the faltering Chaos line with foul curses and promises of eternal torment to those that fail him. They’re focused laser blast clips him, the powerful Sorcerer deflecting the worst of the blow with his arcane magic but still he staggers at its impact. As he recovers his composure and is about to berate his minions further, Lord Proditor senses the terrible heat of fury behind him.

He turns slowly, knowing full well what he will face but is still awed by the sun bright intensity of the burning God. The Avatar towers above him a scant pace away, the enraged face glares down at him swirling with eddies of shimmering haze.

The Avatar stabs the Wailing Doom through the Sorcerer’s guilt and jewel encrusted breast plate, igniting his fine robes and then withdraws it with an ember swirling snort of derision. Lord Proditor falls silently to his knees as multi color flames rapidly engulf him and then slumps onto his side; as the Avatar gazes down at him the Sorcerer lets out a knowing laugh which carries on a mist that rises from his smoking and crumbling ashes.

With most of their leaders destroyed the forces of Chaos begin to withdraw from the drop zone their attempt to secure it having failed. The Blood Drinker Terminators slaughter a Death Guard Plague Marine squad as they attempt to fall back and the Ultramarine Librarian completes his utter destruction of the Obliterator squad.

Turn Five Chaos Undivided
As Chaos depart they still have a sting in their tail, a Thousand Son aspiring champion batters the Ultramarine Librarian with an arcane blast of Winds of Chaos. The Librarian is bloodied but unbowed by the brightly colored and jabbering storm that assails him.

The deadly Chosen continue to snipe at the victorious allies killing four Blood Drinker Terminators but fate at the last proves a fickle mistress, a shot from the Defilers battle cannon goes wide striking their position and causing the only death in their ranks.

The knife of fate also stabs at The Fecal Lord, his treacherous daemon blade turning against him, struggling from his grip, knocking him from his bikes saddle and impaling him as he crashes to the ground. Such is the whim of the thirsting Gods.

And so Drop Zone Alpha was secured by Imperial and Eldar forces, a small action in a war that would prove far greater than any of its combatants had ever envisioned.

Pictures featured 'Death Guards Furious Charge' by Nehrist , 'Lord of Change' 'Ultramarines' 'Avatar of Khaine' & 'Drop Pod' all GW copyright 2010.


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