In case you were wondering, some of the parts to make my groovy Rough Riders were sculpted by Rob at Curious Constructs.

Friday, 29 March 2013

The Defence of Complex 23

The Marine Commander swung his oversized Relic Blade up around his head and out in an attempt to decapitate Commissar-General Marwood. The old Commissar clumsily ducked and brought his Power Fist up to block the strike. There was a loud crack of energy discharge and the smell of ozone as the blade ricocheted off of his fist. In a fluid sweeping motion the Commander continued the flight of his blade around and down toward the Commissar. Marwood leaped backwards falling on his wrinkled rump and gasped as the sparking blade split the ground between his legs – narrowly avoiding a battlefield castration. Appearing from the blur of combat around them, Primaris Azzopardi swung his mighty Force Axe at the Commanders flank. In a display of mastery footwork and swordsmanship the Commander swiftly moved, parring the strike and followed with a series of quick slashes. As the Primaris defended with his large axe, Marwood was granted the few seconded that he needed. His hand disappeared into his coat pocket and reappeared grasping a glass vile of Fury. In a single well-practiced motion he thumbed off the cork stopper and drove the opening into the external stim port of his power fist. He instantly felt the strength, he felt the power, he felt the Fury. With agility thought to be long lost in his youth the old Commissar rolled to his feed. As the Commander swung his Relic Blade in a wide strike, Marwood, using his momentum stepped inside the swing. With unexpected speed, Marwood forcefully thrust his crackling power fist into the right side of the Commander’s back fracturing his elegant artificer armour. The Commander curled his torso like a school boy receiving his first kidney punch while his aslant continued the frenzied assault. With speed, Marwood punched high uppercutting the Commander’s helmeted chin, then across and down in a backfist, followed by an almighty forward punch square on his helmet fount. As the Commander’s head rebounded of the fist, Marwood saw parts of shattered eye lens and fragments of crushed vent explode outward from the blow. The commander’s body limply fell backwards collapsing into the dirt.
The Guard had this fight. Victory was all but theirs.
The sound of battle was curtly interrupted by a series of loud thuds. Marwood span on his feet to see large blast shields slam shut over the doors and view ports on both the Command Tower to his right and Fire Base to his left. External lights flickered back on and Marwood realised that the power supply, which the Marines had cut before attacking, had been restored. This would mean that the Troth troopers that he had stationed in the Fire Base could re-engage the security guns and gun down the few remaining Marines. Then, as something else caught his eye, Marwood felt his hart stop. He saw several Troth troops clubbing on the Fire Base bulkhead door with their Las guns – evidently the Troths were not inside. For some reason the Troths had left their post but there were a few surviving Marines left in the Bastion on the other side of the complex. The Marines had control of the complex defences, not the Troths. They had to get out of the complex – they had to get out now!
“Fall Back!” Bellowed Commissar-General Marwood and as he ran he hated them. They had cost him his victory. “Homo Sapien Verdantus” he spat into the dirt. “Damn those Abhumans. Damn them all to suffer eternal punishment in the warp: be forever damned with Chaos.” Although his words were harsh there was no denying the truth; the Guard had lost Complex 23 because Troths don't follow orders.
How it all played out...
For any new followers just logging in, this is a one on one campaign played with my RGB (Regular Gaming Buddy). We are not using a campaign map but are just linking our battles with a simple story keeping it easy and fun. We have added extra rules for experience points and incentives for playing with painted models (to actually get us painting!). The campaign is one game a month until the story plays itself out or we get board of it.
Getting up to speed on the story:
(Alternatively, check out the last narrative post)
Commissar-General Marwood, (my flawed hero), joins a small convoy of three frigates on a return trip to the segmentum HQ at Bakka. Whist on board we learn of his severe addiction to an immensely broad group of both legal and illegal drugs and psychotropic items. In a drug induced absent minded state he leaves some of these items unsecured and a few things go missing, the most important of which are some 'Flects'. In the Commissar-Generals words:

"The real problem is the Flects. They are psycho-active pieces of glass that have been exposed to the powers of a warp storm for several centuries. When one looks into the piece of glass they see a "reflection" of the Warp. I have them for the sense of euphoria I feel upon gazing into its surface but they have been documented as being able to drive a human being insane. They are extremely rare and exquisite objects that will draw serious attention. The sort of serious attention that warrants the cleansing of whole ships or worlds."

Marwood suspects a senior Primaris Battle-Psyker by the name of Lawrenz Azzopardi who is also on board. However, it later becomes evident that they were stolen by the ship's navigator who used them whist the ships were transiting the warp. This attracted a warp creature which attack the ships and as a result the three vessels drop out of the warp and pull into orbit around planet designated HD85512B (aka Hotel Delta eight fifty five twelve, or simply "Hotel Delta"). It is an isolated single planet system 'in the middle of nowhere'.

Both Marwood and Azzopardi separably ended up on the plants surface with a small group of troops from the embarked regiment (the Prutenians also known as Teutons). On the surface they find a small group of Guardsmen on a survey mission; the Troths and some colonial troopers called the Van Diemen World Devils. At this point the story takes an unexpected turn. For unexplained reasons an Adeptus Astartes Strike Cruiser drops out of warp and fires on the three frigates. One is destroyed, one is damaged and falls to the planet’s surface and the surviving frigates escapes to presumably return with re-enforcements. The Adeptus Astartes then make planet fall and engage the small Guard contingent sheltering in an outpost - Complex 23.

Game 1: 2000p of Guard vs Space Marines

Complex 23 is a small outpost consisting of a ‘Fire Base’ Research Centre flanked by a small Imperial Bastion on one side and a Command Tower on the other.

Unfortunately before Commissar-General Marwood can prepare his defences a Fast Recon unit of Space Marines are already at the outpost. Two Scout Sniper teams take up position in the Eastward Bastion flanked by two more on the ridge line to the left and tree line to the right. They are supported by five Land Speeders kitted out with a mix of Heavy Flamers, Multi Melters and Heavy Bolters.
(As the Commander of this Marine force is a 'count as' Vulkan He'stan every flamer and melta gun is twinliked).

I love my old cardboard terrain.

At the opening of the battle Commissar-General Marwood had a much larger force but the Space Marines have reserves inbound.

(N.B. My opponent let my take a Multi Laser as a heavy weapon in my veteran squad)

Guard Turn 1
To start the game off the I stole the initiative and proceeded move the Troths up into the Fire Base so that I held 2 out of 3 of the objectives. In the shooting phase I destroyed 3 Land Speeders with a rocket from the Manticore. The Medusa targeted the Scout's Icarus Lascannon but strayed and (due to poor placement) killed the sergeant (a count as Telion). The squadron of Devil Dogs then cooked the Scouts hiding out in a forest on the left flank scoring First Blood.

Victory Point Score Guard:7 vs Marines: 3.

(Please excuse my silly drawings, it’s just me having fun!)
Marine Turn 1
The Space Marines answered by dropping two Drop Pods right on top of the Guard. A squad of veterans decked out with melta guns, accompanied by a Chapter Master (terminator armour, thunder hammer and stormshield) . They jumped out of their pod and destroyed the Medusa. From the 2nd pod an Ironclad Dreadnought disembarked and toasted 2 sentinels. The snipers from the bastion fired on various tanks but failed to do any damage.Also the 2 remaining Land Speeders moved around the Bunker but also failed to inflict damage.

Victory Point Score Guard: 7 vs Marines: 3

Guard Turn 2
My 4 remaining sentinels moved into positions to fire on the Ironclad Dreadnought. They striped 2 hull points and an arm but couldn't destroy it. The Manticore fired on the Bastion causing a structural collapse killing most of the Scouts inside it. The Devil Dogs finished off one of the Land Speeds while the Ogyns’s Chimera destroyed the other. My Chimera with the Veterans turned to face the Marines and Chapter Master. The embarked squad fired 3 plasma rifles, the multi laser and threw a demo charge, while the transport fired its heavy bolter and multi laser also. I also fired on them from with the Devils (Penal squad) from the Command Tower. The demo charge scattered backward and clipped the Chimera taking off a hull point, but all the other fire managed to kill all but the Chapter Master and Marine Sergeant.

Victory Point Score Guard: 7 vs Marines: 3


Marine Turn 2
A third Drop pod fell behind the Command Tower and another Ironclad jumped out. It killed one sentinel and assaulted the remaining two. The 1st ironclad destroyed the last sentinel to the left of the Command Tower.

The Chapter Master and Marine Sargeant moved next to the Fire Base (contesting it) then fired on the Ogryn's Chimera. The Melta gun blew it up and the Ogryns disembarked under sniper fire from the Bastion. The snipers managed to score a hit on the Veteran's Chimera and a Devil Dog. Both lost a hull point and the Chimera was stunned.

Victory Point Score Guard: 4 vs Marines: 3

Guard Turn 3

The Manticore targeted the Bastion again and killed all but a single Scout left holding it. The Devil Dogs moved and one of them fired on the damaged dreadnought but the shots missed. The Ogryns Fired on and then assaulted the Chapter Master and Marine Sergeant. They only dented their armour and then ran away with casualties. The Dreadnought in close combat behind the Command Tower failed to hit the Sentinels and the Sentinels did not have weapons strong enough to wound the Dreadnought. A pretty dismal turn.

Victory Point Score Guard: 7 vs Marines: 3
Marine Turn 3

Free of the Ogryns, the Chapter Master moved on the Devil Dogs and destroyed one of them. The snipers couldn’t see any targets and the Dreadnought behind the Tower killed one more Sentinel. Still alive, the damaged Dreadnought assaulted the Manticore and removed it from play. The drop pod fired on Ogyrns causing a wound.

Victory Point Score Guard: 7 vs Marines: 3
Guard turn 4

The Veterans Chimera swung around the drop pods and fired on the Chapter Master wounding him and killing the Sergeant. The last Devil Dog finally killed the damaged Dreadnought. The other dreadnought took a point off the last sentinel but the combat continued.

Victory Point Score Guard: 7 vs Marines: 3

Marine Turn 4

The last drop pod finally arrived falling between the Command Tower and Fire Base!  

A Veteran Squad of Space Marines and a (count as Vulkan He’stan) Commander climbed out and flamed the Command Tower. The multiple flamers and heavy flamers (twin linked) had no trouble killing every one of the Van Diemen World Devils inside!

Next the Chapter Master assaulted the Veteran's Chimera and destroyed it. The troops, Marwood and Azzopardi jumped out of the back ready for a fight! on the other side of the Tower the Iron clad finally finished off the last Sentinel.

Victory Point Score Guard: 4 vs Marines: 3

Guard Turn 5
The Devil Dog headed for the Ironclad but couldn't get line of sight. The Troth Sargeant saw a chance to get rid of the Marine Chapter Master, who was now down to one wound. He took a gamble and moved his unit out of the Fire Base (off the objective) to assault the Master.

The Guard Veterans and Ogryns fired on the Marines. Then Orgyns assaulted the Marines first- to soak up their over watch fire, (We think that's how the rules work?) followed by the Guard. Unfortunately the Vet Sergeant’s plasma pistol overheated killing him. His power axe was sorely missed in the close combat!

No challengers were issued but by the placement of the models Marwood and the Primaris took on the Marine Commander (Vulkan), while the Orgyns and veterans were matched off against the Marines.

The Orgyns, Veterans and Marines all took wounds but the characters on both sides skilfully dodged blows for the first round.

By sheer luck the Troths struck a blow between the Chapter Masters terminator armour and took him out the game. They then consolidated back to the Fire Base to claim the objective (but were just out of reach).

Victory Point Score Guard: 1 vs Marines: 3

Marines Turn 5

With the Ironclad finally free of the Sentinels it moved around the Command Tower and also charged into the ongoing combat. The Ogryns and Marines both took wounds and the Veterans took revenge on the dreadnought with Melta bombs. Azzopardi, Marwood and the Commander duelled it out (as described by the narrative at the top of the post) but surprisingly Marwood took Vulkan down despite his 3+ invulnerable save! This gave him Slay the Warlord. Things were looking good for the Guard, all I had to do was kill the last scout in the Bastion, finish off the combat to clam the Command Tower and put the Troths back on the Fire Base.

Victory Point Score Guard: 2 vs Marines: 3

But opponent rolled to continue to turn 6 and it was game end!!!
The Troths weren't close enough to the Fire Base to claim it (about 10mm too far away!) So the score was:
Guard: 2 vs Marines: 3
(Guard: First Blood and Slay the Warlord  versus Marines: holding the Bastion)
Win for the Marines!
As the Troths approached the Fire Base door power to the complex was restored! The wounded Scout in the Bastion engaged the security override which sealed the faculty’s blast doors and engaged the automated weapons. Marwood had no option but to disengage his forces and run!

As far as the battle went it was a loss, but virtually nothing survived on the Space Marine side - if the game had gone for one more turn the Guard would have had it in the bag. If it had gone on for two more turns none of the Marines would have been left. The Guard survivors took a hammering but a few units earned some valuable experience points. One more game and they might have a battle honour to show for it!

Marwood and Azzopardi waiting for some paint to be applied before their next battle.
Experiences points:

(See my previous post about how these are calculated in our campaign)

Taking out three enemy units as well as scoring First Blood, I’m awarding my ‘Medals and Unit Citations’ Experience Points to the Squadron of Devil Dogs – they were clearly my best performing unit.

Commissar-General WILHELM MARWOOD, Overall Commander of all forces on HD85512B
Fought in Battle +150XP
Wiped out an enemy unit (Forgefather Vulkan He’stan) +100XP
Achieved Mission Objective (Slay the Warlord)+100XP
Total = 350XP

Primaris Battle-Psykers LAWRENZ VALENTIN LEONARDU MARJANU AZZOPARDI, Acting Commander 7th Rayzor-Winged Hassar,  Prutenian Iron Horse.
Fought in Battle +150XP
Total = 150XP

19th Ogryn Unit assigned to 7th Rayzor-Winged Hassar,  Prutenian Iron Horse.
Fought in Battle +150XP
Wiped out an enemy unit (Squadron of Land Speeders) +100XP
Leader Killed -100XP
Reduced to below half strength (-D3x 100) -100XP
Transport lost 3 hull points (-3x 50) -150XP
Total = 0XP (can’t have a minus XP)

Stürmen Squad, Veteran Squad, 7th Rayzor-Winged Hassar, Prutenian Iron Horse.
Fought in Battle +150XP
Wiped out 2 enemy units (SM Veteran Squad & Ironclad Dreadnought) +200XP
Leader Killed -100XP
Reduced to below half strength (-D3x 100) -100XP
Transport lost 3 hull points (-3x 50) -150XP
Total = 0XP

5th Schmelzen Squadron, Devil Dog Squadron, 7th Rayzor-Winged Hassar, Prutenian Iron Horse.
Fought in Battle +150XP
Wiped out 3 enemy units (SM Scout Snipers, Squadron of Land Speeders, Ironclad Dreadnought ) +300XP
Achieved Mission Objective  (First Blood) +100XP
Squadron lost 4 Hull points (4x50) -200XP
Medals and Unit Citations (10% of game points) +200xp
Total= 550XP (Halfway to their first Battle Honour!)

“Troths”, 7th company, 185th Verdantus Imperial Garden Regiment.
Fought in Battle +150XP
Wiped out an enemy unit (SM Chapter Master) +100XP
Total = 250XP
My next battle is tomorrow - A massive force of Praetorians come in to save the day!
It’s going to be a big 7000p a side game.  Apocalypse rules but no super heavies, apocalypse formations or strategic assets – just a straight up game. So for me that means more than 300 Praetorians and nearly two dozen vehicles! Should be fun!


  1. Can I just say that I love the narrative story telling on your blog? It's very entertaining and quite well written. It kind of reminds me of some of Sandy Mitchell's earlier Ciaphis Cain novels.

  2. Yeah, what he said. Love your narrative, still cheering for Commissar Mirkwood.

    And the little explosions, arrows and flames only serve to make the report clearer and somehow more immediate. Superb !

  3. White dwarf take note, that's how you report a battle!

  4. Thoroughly enjoyable read sir. Lots of little touches that made it more "story", rather than "report".

    Will say though that your poor Guard squads are going to find it hard to get any honours being as squishy as they are. :)

  5. Great read that Colonel, enjoying your story driven campaign so far. Winterborne is right, if WD battle reports were half as interesting (and had maps!) I'd bother to buy it.

  6. Fantastic report, looks like a great game - love the old school narrative style :D Wish WD still wrote them like that.

  7. @Everyone,
    Thanks all, there is some really high praise there! I'm not sure it is all totally deserved - but it was fun to write it up! I hope you all enjoy the next battle too :)