Jim, Steef and I assembled as planned. We played a modified version of the All Round Defence where a relief column has to battle its way through the Chaos hoards to the besieged Ultramarines trapped in the middle. The set-up is in the earlier post: A bastion too far?
I set up in middle of the table, with 800 points of Ultramarines – no HQ, Captain Varus died in the overnight raid that established the fire base deep within the Chaos lines. The rest of my force, basically Lysander and some assault termies were to be part of the relief effort. Early intelligence proved faulty as the rebel guard were not present but rather a concentration of World Eaters. As dawn broke, things did not look good for the Space Marine defenders as shoulder to shoulder Berserkers emerged from the mist:
Fortunately the world eaters took time to build, but the only hope for the Ultramarines was the arrival of Jim’s Exorcists, who having fought their way through chaos lines began to arrive:
As expected, the Berserkers rushed the building and were soon breaking open the blue wrappers for the squishy treats inside:
It wasn’t all one way. A bloodthirster went down under concentrated fire but the berserkers, now supported by hellbeasts, were soon well into clearing the Ultramarine strongpoint.
The Exorcists, having made it this far begun to have a rather bad day, with the arrival of a hell chicken (exit Chapter Master, RIP) and a bunch of bikes:
There was widespread carnage at the Exorcist entry point, which kept a lot of both armies well away from the objective.
In the end, fire discipline from the Exorcists plus some nice blade work from the honour guard saw a narrow victory to the Imperium, despite a final feral fling from a contingent of old skool daemons:
There was a nice cameo from some devastators, who managed to tear a new hole or two for the Berserkers who managed to reach top:
There wasn’t much left at the end: no Generals (Lysander went down after several turns of a bloodletter blob – a close thing, with only three of the latter left, but only after squashing Steef’s close combat monster general in one round! Kharn had a bad day, with only a thunder cannon before he tried to play catch with a krak missile), hardly any troops and barely a vehicle left running.
We had to call time after 5 turns, but it was unlikely that Chaos could have turned things around if we had gone on.
Not that Khorne would have been too worried – there were plenty of skulls to go around today.
So, with the encircling chaos siege broken it looks like we can return to more open warfare. A chaos loss will initially see them go over to the defensive. This can be easily accounted for by the Imperium having turn one in the next round (with Chaos stealing the initiative, if they can).
Thanks to Jim for saving my blue bacon – Huzzah! the Exorcists – and to Steef for putting a world of Khornish hurt in the way. A top day. Thanks.