Blood for the blood god (and Nurgle)

It’s Queen’s Birthday weekend even here in the Republic of Northcote, so we marked the occasion as fits a monarch by waging some war.  James, Cam, Steef and I got together for some 40K. James and I gave the current Space Marine codex a last outing against a joint chaos incursion by Cam using Nurgle marines and Steef who tried out Khorne Daemonkin.

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Chaos mass in their deployment zone, waiting the signal to charge

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We used 3,000 points a side, with Dawn of War deployment and the maelstrom of war mission Deadlock, where the maximum number of tactical cards reduces each turn, starting from six cards per side.  We placed the six objectives evenly along the table. Imperial won the toss but let Chaos set up first. Knowing they were most likely to just charge across the table at us we wanted a chance to set up some clear lines of fire.
A plan that went awry right from the start as Khorne bikers arrived in our face on turn one.

Go get'em boys

Go get’em boys

Chaos hounds and bikers, along with the a Khorne lord on a juggernaught were all in combat in the first two turns, with charge and counter-charge defining this flank for the rest of the game.

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The chaplain gets a mention in despatches for successfully taking around 10 invulnerable saves

The Imperials held this flank, at some cost, but beyond a victory point for slay the war lord, there were no points to be won.

Chaos dominated the other flank. With plenty of big toys, including a very nice looking hell chicken, they slapped down, burnt and generally stomped on every loyal marine in the vicinity.

I forget what we played this as - not an imperial knight. It had a battle cannon and looked awesome

I forget what we played this as – not an imperial knight. It had a battle cannon and looked awesome

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The only marine in the village. “One, this is recon alpha, I need a bit of help over here”

The centre was tough. This was the key for the loyalists if they were to achieve their objectives and the Exorcists threw in all they had.

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Despite the carnage, Chaos held on and the Space Marine attack bogged down to contest but not seize the objectives in the centre.

It wasn't a game changer, but this mauler fiend still had a fun day out

It wasn’t a game changer, but this mauler fiend still had a fun day out

Imperial strategists cut their losses, leaving Chaos to win 12 VP to 6.

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So it appears that Chaos has returned to the offensive. Faith and Steel recommend that your emergency plans are current and to standby for further orders.

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The battle continues

As promised loyal citizens, here are some more photos of the Exorcist assault on the Marcharius Canal.

On the Word Bearers’ left flank things got rather interesting when a coven of Grey Knight terminators and an Inquisitor teleported in to deal with the Daemonettes that had manifested there:

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“Would you mind stepping this way ladies?”

 

However it wasn’t to be, as Slaanesh’s finest sliced through the Knights. Although the Inquisitor did banish a Herald of Slaanesh before being kebabed himself.                 Faith and Steel salute his sacrifice.

Seeing the trouble being caused by the daemons, an Exorcist Librarian used his psychic powers to teleport himself and terminator squad across the canal. kwai10 It was a bloody battle, with all of the terminators being killed before the Librarian stood his ground and killed enough of the daemons to cause reality to blink, sending the foul creatures back to the warp.

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Are you looking at me? Yeah! Take that!

In the centre the two Lords kept their eye on the main objective: take and hold the bridge. They punched on as two mighty warriors should, neither being able to land a blow. kwai14Some tac marines who had apparently missed the lecture on the danger of charging power fist wielding terminators decided to help out. They died, forcing a leadership check on the Exorcist Chapter Master and giving the Word Bearer lord a chance to fall back onto the bridge itself.kwai13

 

He proved very hard to dislodge, leaving the Word Bearers in control of the crossing.

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Running out of resources themselves and their chapter master falling to the dark magic of the Black Mace, the Exorcists called it quits to consolidate their lines on along the canal.

This campaign is far from over, with both sides digging in along a new front, it is now a race to replenish material to see who can launch an offensive first. And, never fear, our Faith and Steel reporters will in the battle space to make sure you see the latest dispatches from our loyal defenders of humanity.

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Daemonettes have their revenge on the Inquisitor

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Some sort of veteran dudes force a crossing and route the cultists

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Kombi of death does it stuff – bye bye vindicator

Bridge on the river (K)wai- not!

Citizens, after fierce fighting across the Northcote plain the Imperial offensive has apparently been checked. The forward momentum of our brave warriors stopped by ruinous powers on the banks of the fast flowing and now reportedly toxic Macharius Canal.

A strike force of Exorcist space marines came within minutes of seizing an intact bridge but have been stymied after desperate fighting by traitor marines of the Word Bearers.

Faith and Steel have secured pict images of this titanic struggle, including unconfirmed reports of a daemon incursion. (Well, the Inquisition was involved, who as we know make no comments about planet side operational matters).

Jim and I had a ripper of a game – 2,000-ish points each, with my Word Bearers defending and his Exorcists assaulting. The goal was to capture the bridge. To mix things up a bit, the Exorcists had to start off the table, deploying using the dawn of war rule from 5th ed (units moving onto the board in turn one, with reserves as normal). The Word Bearers had to leave at least half their units off the table, but started rolling for reserves from turn one. In addition there was an opening bombardment, but the prepared positions saw no casualties.
The river is toxic sludge, making it both difficult and dangerous to cross. kwai01The Exorcists emerge from the morning mist: kwai02

Fighting erupted quickly, with Chaos loosing their Landraider in the opening salvo forcing the enclosed Noise Marines to quickly exit the burning wreck:

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Hey! Where did our landraider go? There is nothing but a big crater where I left it!

More tomorrow loyal citizens – it is curfew here in the Republic.

D.

Word Bearers Can’t Take A Hint

Emperor be praised. The Exorcists have taken another step towards eradicating the foul presence of the Word Bearers that infect this corner of our Glorious Imperium.

Assisted by a detachment of Grey Knights, members of the Exorcists dealt a heavy blow to the traitor astartes, driving them from the field and taking possession of the strange relics found there.

The artefacts are now in the possession of the Inquisition, who deny all knowledge that anything was seized, that there were any Word Bearers here or that a battle even occurred.

Jim came over on Sunday for some Arc practice, 1,350 points of 40K goodness. We both used our Arc lists. Jim, his Exorcists with some Grey Knights and an Inquisitor; I used by Word Bearers.  We set up using dawn of war and played a variant of the relic where we placed three relics, one in the middle of each third of the table. The extra objectives were good, as it avoided the usual relic grid-lock in the middle of the table.

I conceded in turn six, given that in order to win 5 cultists had to rally and then take down his thunder hammer wielding chapter master to hold an objective to tie.  They didn’t rally.Cult02

The game was even for the first three turns.  Jim set-up rather spread out, which allowed me to hide from his somewhat diluted fire.  Highlight in the first half was my vindicator taking out a terminator squad in a text book pie plate spat!Ex_01Things unravelled in the second half: the word bearer terminators had a deep strike mishap, ended up back in the warp and ultimately arrived too late to affect the game. Then, the Exorcist general tore through, mashed and made life generally unpleasant to daemonettes, chosen, marines and cultists. Not a bad day’s work and earning his second MVP award this season. Well done that man:

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GK_02 The Grey Knights: “Move along please, nothing to see here”

Too late to change the list for Arc, but I think the army will work OK anyway.
No AA, so air will punish me, but I figure I will meet on the second day the half like me without flyers and then start dishing out some damage of my own.

cheers,
D.

Exorcists Save the Day

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:

World Eaters begin their approach

World Eaters begin their approach

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:

The first wave of the relief force arrive

The first wave of the relief force arrive

As expected, the Berserkers rushed the building and were soon breaking open the blue wrappers for the squishy treats inside:

The Beserkers work their way upstairs

The Berserkers work their way upstairs

A hellbrute throws its weight around

A hellbrute throws its weight around

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:

Exit the chapter master

Exit the chapter master

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:

Bloodletters make a final desperate dash to support the dying beserkers

Bloodletters make a final desperate dash to support the dying berserkers

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:

A beserker is torn a new one

A berserker is torn a new one

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.