lördag 16 juli 2016

Battle 13: The March of the Faithful

After the defeat against Ilse of the Krieg and Tómas of the Crimson Fists, the generals of Zebaot tries to lead their remaining troops and cultists in a “tactical retreat”. A column of chanting cultists are led by their herdsmen towards the undercity. Their mission is to get as many units as possible across the sector. The Flesh Tearers have managed to intercept the troop movement, and hurries to destroy the column.

- Location: Sector Phlegethon, the desert city of Tartarus, Cerberus XIII
- Imperial: Adeptus Astartes: Flesh Tearers
- Chaos Forces: Traitor Legion: Word Bearers
- Points value: 1050 per side

Special Rules:

- Maelstrom Deck without objectives. Replace objectives with own codex mission
- Deployment on short sides, 24’’ in between forces
- Kill points for units destroyed.
- Zebaot (Word Bearers) choses a minimum of 3 units. These gives 2 VP if they enters the opponents Deployment, in which case they leaves the game at the end of the player’s turn.
- Zebaot may sacrifice D3 cultists/guards for an additional magic die.
- Flesh Tearers gets one VP per unit put in reserves at the start of the match. When they arrive they do so randomly 1d6: 1 – long side, 2 short side, 3 other long side, 5 other short side, 5, choose side, 6 arrive next round on side of own choosing.

Excerpt from the Chronicles of Cerberus, or the Lay of Adamna; Volume IX,

Ch.23:v.1 'And as the Servants of the Corpse God came to the city of Tartarus, as Bringers of Death they came. Hungry for the flesh of the faithful, hateful of the true Gods, servants of Lies and Tyranny they were. The slain of the Faithful lay in the streets of the city, unblessed and unburied, while the Angels of Death grew fat on the corpses of the People.'

Ch.23:v.2 'In those dark times, The Speaker of the Truths called out to the Faithful. And he called them to his side, in the bosom of the City, near the Heart of the Gods. And all came, even though the journey was hard, and they were hounded at all times by the Foes of Peace.'


Brother Hagenti, chaplain of the Host of the Flame of Truth, strode beside the commander of the 4thdivision of the Cerberus Defense Forces. He did not remember her name. He found her faith strong, but her command lackluster. The men looked more to their own friends and sergeants than to their commander. Naturally, he had built on that to foster their loyalty to himself, and to the Cause and their Great Teacher.
Times and places blurred. On a hundred planets, at a thousand times, had he done this. Walked with the faithful mortals, spurring them, inspiring them with words and shows of devotion. He hoped for a hundred, a thousand more, before he went to the Sprit Realm. Or, Gods willing, the end of the Long War.

The Long War, now a cause in itself to many of his brothers and sisters. He could hear their murmured voices in his mind and through the helmet vox. Sending their prayers to All Gods; Gods of War and of Death, gods of Passion and of Hate, gods of love and wisdom and perseverence, All the gods of the Warp, large and small.

Then a whisper roused him from his state of ambulatory meditation. There was a tremor in the warp, and disturbance in the vox chant. 'Foes are near. Hunting, chasing, hungry for flesh. Bastards of the ninth', the whisper said.

His amplified voice called out to mortals and his siblings alike. ”Wake, brothers and sisters! Our enemy is near! Hold your souls ready, for battle might be upon us!”
Sister Issachar's voice rang from the vox. 'Brother, contact ahead, foot and mounted'.
Then, from the sky, came the second arm of the attack. With a mighty thunder two drop pods crashed down behind their lines, disgorging marines in red and black, and on the other flank, a dreadnaught all in black. Melta guns blazed, shaking the tanks of the Defence Forces.

”Forward! Our hope is ahead!”


Later, commander Zidan and her second in command was hiding behind the wall of the cemetary. They were trying to find a corner where the fire from the two drop pods could not reach them. She was ashamed to admit that her courage had broken in the first moments of the battle. The Apostle of Truth had called out the alarm, but they had hardly formed up when the sky had betrayed them and dropped Angels of the False God upon their heads! Two of her staff and bodyguard had been shot down, and they had fled.

Cowardice, perhaps, but they were alive, which some of her troops were not.
They could hear the battle move away from them. Explosions and gunfire. Then, the heavy tread of giants in powered armor, close. Giants in black and red strode into the cemetery, straight for them! A vox-distorted growl could be heard, like an angered beast denied its prey.
They tried to run, but did not come far.


Hagenti was pleased as he tallied the survivors in his head. His brothers and sisters had taken almost no losses, injuries, yes, but nothing lethal. Of the mortals, only the mechanized squad had come through. But mortals died, it was their nature. All in all, he was pleased.
The Flesh Tearers had landed behind them, and while they were busy hunting the defense force tanks and troops, Hagenti, Volac and the Host of the Flame of Truth had charged ahead, taking out the predator tanks that had tried to stop them, and a battle group of loyalist marines. And then the way ahead had been clear.
After all, their test was to rejoin their Lord, not to do battle. With as many of their allies as they could bring.

Their time was near.

Win for the Word Bearers with 19-12 VP.


Additional images courtesy of the ECBE (Esteemed Conclave for Battle Evaluation), Astra Militarum.


torsdag 14 juli 2016

Battle 12: A lesson of fire

Chaos has a relic, an object with an obscure purpose. The Harlequins know about this and want to retrieve it for themselves. In sector Styx is a plaza where the relic hidden in a statue. T he game is about controlling the statue when the game ends. This relic will be of great importance in the next great game if the Harlequin have it in their possession. 
- Location: Sector Charon, the desert city of Tartarus, Cerberus XIII
- Independent: The Harlequin

- Chaos Forces: Sons of Horus, the Unhallowed 11:th
- Points value: 800 per side

- Combat rules: Eternal War + maelstrom deck without objectives. 3 Cards on hand, can discard one each round.

Special rules: 

- All Harlequins have Infiltrate + (written down how they are positioned, revealed when enemy is within 6'' or unit move. If not described how they are positioned, use deep strike formation. Cannot score points for "hold the line" and the like without being revealed.
- All Harlequins have Outflank
- The powers of Chaos are displeased with the failure of the last game. No buffs for Chaos. Instead Chaos have one debuff. -1 magic die. 
- The Sons of Horus are allied to Zebaots forces. +1 to reserves roll.

[Author: Torbjörn (battle report) Joakim A (Epilogue)]

Acolyte Keren’s arm-plates were dripping from Eldar blood, and the floor beneath him was getting more and more slippery by the forming pool. He shook the lifeless body of the painted Eldar leader one last time. Partly to make sure it was really dead, partly to show his minions what a formidable champion of the Gods he was.

The ambush had been a close fight. The Sons of Horus and their cultist militia had advanced in broad formation on the objective. Some sort of relic-sword was contained within a gilded statue in Sector Styx, and the Lord of the Unhallowed 11th had wanted it.

Brother Semenawi and his Havoks had been the first to notice the statue, and the shadows coalescing behind it. A small figure with a grinning masque and an over-sized rifle had gingerly stepped out from behind the statue, and let out a blinding barrage of shrieking projectiles. Brother Semenawi had just raised his voice on the vox
channel, as he and his head got cut off. The heavy weapons
squad had broken and ran. At the same time a skimmer-tank had closed in on the right flank and made short work of a Rhino, leaving a burning wreck. Brother Nakfa’s squad had spilled out of the smoldering wreckage, as eager for cover as for vengeance.

On the left flank, a lone Eldar psyker strode across the street, incanting some sort of alien magic cant. The psyker was abruptly interrupted by the charge of a Spawn and a score of cultists. The Spawn had grabbed at it’s staff, as the cultists had beaten and stabbed it to death with an assortment of bones, clubs and daggers. The leftovers quickly went down the Spawn’s gullet in one slippery bloody mess. Now well-fed, the Spawn started chasing the hooded Eldar speeding out from the shadows across the street.

Simultaneously, on the right flank, things did not go as well. First, Brother Nakfa’s squad set an Eldar transport ablaze with flamers, and the occupying Eldar were cooked inside, screaming out in terror and suffering. Their screams had been as fuel to the fire inside the Sons’ souls. But then the four jetbikes had fallen upon Nakfa’s squad like incandescent spears, thrust right through the marines, skewering and slicing power armour like as if it was wet paper.

The skimmer-tanks had been moving about, trying to avoid the chasing Spawns, who had been
snapping and grabbing after the nimble Eldar vehicles with dirty appendages. The skimmers had mown down the last of Keren’s meatshield cultists, and wounded Keren himself in the leg.

“Assist me brothers!” Keren had voxed between gritted teeth, the taste of blood filling his mouth. The predator “Leaden Conqueror” had spun around on its massive tracks and fired on the jetbikes with heavy bolters and autocannon, shredding the meek Eldar constructions to ribbons.

Keren had looked towards the left flank, and saw his remaining cultists press on towards the solitary hooded Eldar, who had been moving straight towards him at an alarming speed. Surely the cultists could handle one Eldar, especially one so small, Keren had thought.

The cultists had surrounded the hooded Eldar, clubs and daggers wagging menacingly to and fro. As they started to chant their Litany of Hate, the hooded Eldar had simply spun around 360 degrees, blades lifted high, and the air had instantly erupted in a cloud of blood-mist. As the light-red air had cleared, the cultists all lay dead, and the hooded Eldar had already started moving towards Keren’s position with blinding speed.

“Your head will be fitted on my Rhino, xenos filth!” Keren had screamed desperately, as he had let one last mental shriek at the approaching Eldar. The Eldar had seemingly vanished from sight, and both of Keren’s hearts had almost stopped. Had it been that simple? As he had warily turned around, Keren had seen the hooded Eldar just a few steps behind him up on the second floor. Impossible, Keren had thought, as he had raised his flamer.
The solitary Eldar had then charged Keren, and as the air filled with the smell of promethium, Keren knew that if the Eldar reached him he would not survive the attention of the Eldar’s blades. Luckily for Keren, the Gods smiled upon him this day. The hellfire from the flamer had consumed and charred the flesh of the Eldar, who had fallen in front of him in a smoking crisp heap of cloth and meat.

The last Eldar to fall had been the pilot of the transport. A lone spawn had used it’s huge crab-claw to pull it downwards, and had then slithered a few sticky tentacles around the pilot’s small frame to pull him towards it’s hungry feeder-appendices. The screams had been muffled as the Eldar had been eaten alive.

Keren dropped the carcass of the solitary Eldar from the second floor, and as it met the cracked floor tiles below with a wet thud, he voxed:

“Rejoice brothers, for the Gods are smiling on us! I have given you victory this day. Round up the Spawn and secure the relic. Open a channel to the fleet for extraction orders and inform Lord Assab that we have the relic. Glory to the Primordial Annihilator!”


... And Lord Arawn screamed out in unimaginable pain and agony when his skin and hair caught fire and his bodily fluids started to boil. Next to him burned the remains of the small troupe who had been sent by the Laughing God to deceive the enemy of its price. When the screams stopped only the black, burnt and empty shell remained of the dark lord.

 -Wait! What? What is the meaning of this, Lord Arawn exclaimed. I'm standing right here in front of the narrator, alive and with my soul intact. You cannot write me out of the play yet, my destiny...
-Your Fate was predetermined, but in the honor of our god you have cheated that fate and forsaken your reincarnation.

-I sent a double, the Lord replied guardedly, because I did not deem the stage worthy. Burning inside my chariot without so much as a sentence to be recited in the script. And the topic of reincarnation does not belong on my scene, so keep it to yourself and out of the play!
-Well, if it is commanded, continued the narrator. But it has cost us the price, and now the enemy has a powerful weapon to wield against our involuntary allies who serve the undead human god. What's worse is that one of Cegorachs chosen has fallen and been devoured by she who thirsts. The play approaches it´s next crescendo. So if I may continue?

-I have an audience with Mirehn Bielann onboard the craftworld Biel-tan this evening, but until then I have time. Lord Arawn bowed deeply and gestured invitingly with one arm while the other rested gracefully at the lower back. Be my guest, do tell!
-All around the great city of Commorragh awoke dark minded eldar to a new calling. They donned their masks and walked out into the maze, ready to perform the Laughing god's command as newly born harlequins....

Additional images courtecy of the Commorragh gallery of depictive art:

måndag 11 juli 2016

Battle 11: The Chaos Pit

This battle represent the Imperials finally locating a major entrance to the darkness below the city. Chaos fortifies the center, Krieg and Crimson Fists deploy opposite each other.

- Location: Sector Charon, the desert city of Tartarus, Cerberus XIII
- Imperial Forces: Marines of the Crimson Fists, Imperial Guard of The 602 siege regiment Krieg
- Chaos Forces: Wordbearers and Sons of Horus
- Points value: total of 1200 points on each side, 600 points per force
- Combat objectives: Slay the Warlord. Annihilate the enemy.
- Special: the side controlling the tunnel entrance at the end of the game adds 5 VP to their score. No points if contested.

[Authors: Mattias - prologue and battle, Torbjörn - End of Massawa, Jon - Dreadnought epilogue]

A well earned rest?

The space marines of the Crimson Fists had their orbital surveillance trained on the vast urban wasteland. After months of city fighting, there were few sectors of the desert city of Tartarus that still were left untouched, and fires raged unhindered everywhere. The Crimson Fists had set up camp in a group of undamaged factoria, where Chapter Master Pedro Kantor had ordered a respite in the advance. The equipment and vehicles were in dire need of more permanent repairs and a welcome refitting would give them time to locate the enemy main force.

Battle Brother Antonio exited the makeshift HQ, a datapad in his armored hand. ”We just received the latest report from the orbital survey, Chapter Master. The scans show enemy movement in sector Styx and sector Charon. Lesser forces, only a few platoons, some scouting vehicles. Nothing more.” Pedro removed his helmet. “That is good to hear, Brother. It gives us time to restock and coordinate operations with our Brothers of the Fleshtearers and the Dark Angels. Nothing will escape the Emperors Wrath.” He savored the chill evening breeze upon his bare skin, despite the acrid smell of acres upon acres of burning industrial complexes. Something moved in the distance, approaching fast.

The vox crackled in his removed helm: “Incoming vehicles my Lord, transponder code identifies as the Dark Angels.”
“Very well, let them through!” Pedro Kantor strode into the open, his sternguard falling in behind him as he waited for the messenger to report.
     A marine in the grim armour and skull mask of a Chapter Chaplain made the Aquila and bowed. “Interrogator Chaplain Isiah Wrath, Dark Angels 3:rd, at your service Lord Chapter Master. Our force ran into a chaos warband – traitor legionnaires. We broke through the sector, but we discovered something out of the ordinary. There was a great pit, into the bowels of the undercity. I cannot explain it better, we saw daemons, foul chaos sorcery and horrible machinery. The enemy was led by ancient elite and mighty champions.” The chaplain hesitated. Pedro Kantor steadied the Angel with his arm, and looked him in the eyes. “Tell me, Brother Isiah, so that we know what must be done. I see your hesitation, but there is no dishonor here.”
     The Chaplain drew a heavy breath. “We were decimated, our wounded had been picked up by ship, so we couldn’t remain to reengage the enemy. The site must be important, I came to you because you have your force within fast striking distance. We ... you cannot let the legionnaires complete what they are up to. Act fast.”

Pedro Kantor grew cold. This couldn’t have come at a more inconvenient time – almost the whole mechanized force was receiving repairs and refitting. He had barely a handful of vehicles operational, and couldn’t leave the whole camp without means to regroup or withdraw in good order if the enemy actually had sizeable forces in the vicinity. He could spare two Rhinos, transport for three or four squads, at best. It would never be enough, but could they really wait for another day or two?

A soft voice interrupted his thoughts “The Death Korps are ready and eager to march, whenever you give the order, my Lord.” Kantor looked up at the expressionless breather mask of a Krieg kommissar. Had she been standing there all the time? Ilse Herzog was her name. Of questionable loyalty. After her repentance, he had been persuaded - against his own judgement - that demotion would be a sufficient punishment. She did loyal service in the subterranean assault upon the Daemon hordes of Zebaot earlier this month  though, so perhaps it had been a wise choice. The Emperor knew they had a shortage of competent officers for the support troops in this operation.

Pedro looked down at the small woman. “Very well, Kommissar. I hereby reinstate you as senior officer for this assault. Since your forces already are ready to march, you will go north and approach the sector from the west. I will put Chaplain Tómas in charge of the main force – he will take the direct route to the eastern border as soon as ready. We attack from two directions simultaneously, and crush the traitors like a hammer and anvil.” The Kommissar did the sign of the Aquila and bowed low “The Korps is grateful for your confidence, my Lord, and is honored to die for the Emperor. We will march at once.”

The boots kicked up little clouds of ashes as the Kriegsmen marched in silence over the burned cityscape. Centaur tractors towed what little artillery they have manage to bring this far from the main deployment, while the men took turns to rest inside the crew compartments. As they neared the Charon Sector Ilse signed for the convoy to stop. She gathered her officers for a brief recap of the tactical plan “We wait here for the signal to attack. Keep the artillery towed. We all advance together and untow the artillery when within range – main platoon stay to protect the Quads. The Engineers mount their assigned Centaurs and scout up the flanks - here and here - to prevent enemy vehicles to reach the artillery. Set up a medical station within hab block C, I stay with the command squad as bombardment begins”.

The officers breathing masks showed no emotion, but she could FEEL how they all took heed, how they watched her, how they put their confidence in her. Ilse closed the folder and put the plans under her arm. “That is all, soldiers. Today we might all die for the Emperor.”

As the officers turned to their own troops laying up squad tactics, Ilse allowed herself a deep breath. Back in command, at last.

The Chaos Pit

A deafening hail of explosive bolter fire smashing into his chest plate and helmet hindered verbal communication, but the powerful sensors of his Terminator armor gave Chaplain Tómas information from his forces, which were all advancing as quickly as they could in order to get in cover further down the city block.
     The enemy was fortified within several buildings, with missile launchers positioned high in a tower, overlooking the whole battlefield. In the center of the main street, the legionnaires had dug a huge crater, steam rising from deep within the bowels of the city. That was the target, secure and hold, leave no enemies alive. Report to base.

Tómas gave orders to the troops: ”Hernando with the fifth, take the fortified building on the right, do not let their tanks skirt the rim. Santiago, lead the sixth down to the left. Draw enemy fire.” His order was drowned in a high – pitched scream, his suit shutting off the receivers, but still he could feel the scream within his mind. “Sorcerer – there! Quick advance!” As he continued to rush towards the ruins he saw Santiago's rhino him go up in flames, the squad spilling out from doors and evacuation hatches. The missile launcher in the tower got off another missile, but was brought down from intensive bombardment from the Krieg Artillery

On the northern flank several Chaos Dreadnoughts were in frenzied combat with the Imperial forces, wrecks lying in smoking ruin everywhere. The whole flank were crumbling, but the chaos forces didn’t dare to advance. They were protecting the pit. As the regular marines took care of the sorcerer and the sorry remains of his artillery-shattered squad, Tómas turned his Terminator elite towards the objective. A grinning chaos obliterator fell them in the back, it did little but slowing them down “Forward – for the Emperor”

Ilse stood rigid as her men fell around her. Traitor marines had killed the squads protecting the northern fortification, and she and the rest of the infantry were forced to retreat into cover of a building to the south. The field artillery was still intact, however, and the crews fed shell after shell into the hot barrels of the quad launchers. Despite the enemy’s advance, their attack had been slowed by the furious rain of shells – even power armour couldn’t cope with that amount of barrage fire, and the Death Korps knew it.

“Grind them down but leave time to destroy the quads before retreating if they get to close”
As the artillery turned the enemy fortifications into craters filled with red-hot shrapnel and torn bodies, Ilse led the remaining infantry through secure cover, realizing time was running out. They needed to take control of the hellpit while they still had the men to hold it. As the Korpsmen charged, she realized they came too late - Chaplain Tómas was hard pressed, trading blows with the Chaos General. Artillery shells rained death on friend and foe alike and Tómas stood alone as his brothers died around him. As the smoke cleared, they all saw the chaos general strike his unholy blade deep into the chest of their commander. Ilse screamed in the vox “Artillery – turn that pit to gravel - bury them! Fire at will” 

Everyone ran for cover as indiscriminate bombing destroyed what was left of the plaza and the buildings around it.

Eventually the quad launchers ran out of shells and the surviving imperials could approach the disintegrated street and caved in entrance. Could ANYTHING have survived down there?

Imperium win a pyrrhic victory: Victory Points 32 (Imperium) - 31 (Chaos)


The End Of Massawa

Massawas heart rate surged as he regained consciousness. His ears were still ringing from the intense close combat with the Crimson Fist Terminators and their Chaplain. The smoking ground around him was still shaking with incoming artillery from the Thudd guns, so the need for urgency forced his post-human glands to react - within milliseconds his body started pumping out pain suppressors and adrenalin into his blood stream. Massawa sat up with a jerk, surveying the battlefield from within his now broken helmet. One eye-lens was shattered, and much of his seemed to be lodged in his skull. Massawa blinked away the clogging blood, and focused on the shapes around him.

The battle had been hard fought, and many had fallen on both sides. Massawa had led squad Invictus  to the left flank, against mere human infantry. No glory there, just methodiacl mowing of the meek. "The Emperor Protects" they had called. "Not today weaklings!" had been Brother Adi Qala's response before he sprayed most of them full of burning prometheum, laughing as they ran and burned.
 After the flank was secure, he had assisted Lord Assab who went for the subterranean entrance in the adjoining street. The street was already littered with the dead and soon-to-be-dead. Near the deep hole the enemy stood waiting. Three lumbering Terminators, led by their Crimson Fist Chaplain, full of false notions of glory.

Squad Invictus and Lord Assab had charged the Loyalists, and in the melee Massawa had fallen against the Terminator Sergeant. The tip of a power sword had been driven straight through one of his lungs, and he had hit the ground. Before he lost consciousness he had seen Lord Assab felling the Chaplain with a mighty over-hand swing from his force axe. The Daemonic energies which imbued the old axe "Soul Sucker" glimmered and shone as the blade bit deep into the ceramite and unerlying flesh of the Loyalist fanatic. With a roar Assab had lifted the Chaplain, embedded axe and all, and tossed the mighty Terminator into a nearby wall. The Crimson Fist leader hit the wall with a booming crash, and slid to the ground like a wet rag.
Now everyone was gone, and dark forms shuffled around him. Friend or foe, Massawa thought, as he tried to activate his power fist. As the fist started to hum with power, something heavy pressed down on he arm, and his arm went limp. Massawa looked up, and saw a huge red fist reach down for him. He was hoisted into the air, and hanged dangling like a green-armoured bloody rag-doll, from the power fist of a wounded Crimson Fist Terminator.

"Sir! We have a survivor here. A Son Of Horus by the looks of him. I did not think they were around anymore?" the Loyalist called with a voice much too loud. Probably shell-shocked, Massawa thought as he tried to find his mag-locked combat-knife to stab his captor in the face-plate. Before he could reach the knife, he was thrown to the ground again, and got a heavy foot planted on his chest. No getting up now, Massawa thought, and tried to remember if he had reloaded his bolt pistol.

Another Crimson Fist closed in, looked at Massawa and muttered "Their leader, Assab, I think, crawled down into the underground along with the Word Bearer Dreadnought. We will follow.".

"What of this one Sir? the Terminator asked.

"No prisoners. said the other voice.

The Stormbolter lit up, and Massawas once beautilful Cthonian face became one with the gory ferrocrete on the ground.

The escape

As Volac the Blessed retreated down the tunnel, his missile launcher fired missile after missile into the roof of the entrance, until it collapsed and blocked the tunnel behind them.

His sarcophacus swiveled to face down the path and his heavy steps began to echo.

"Our Lord will wish to hear the details of the battle. Preparations will have to be made." His voice hissed and echoed.

Damage indication runes flickered in his sight. Cracks in the carapace. Autocannon feeds damaged. There was a flicker in the sensors that indicated further damage to his systems that failed to show up in the runic signs. Repairs were necessary.

The victors

Ilse unstrapped her breather mask and sat down on a piece of twisted metal that once was part of a rhino. Or perhaps a dreadnought. Or an abandoned washing machine.

“Send request for a hades drill. And report back to main camp that we’ll fortify the site. Then we will drill downwards until we get a breach, before following through”

Ilse wiped the grime out of her eyes. “May the Emperor protect us.”


Additional images contain images of heavy losses and theological monstrosities. Unsupervised viewing could imply a curious mind open for heretical thought.