A Tale of 5 Wargamers

Adventures in Wargaming - 5 very boring individuals record their exploits playing with little men. Favoured rules include (but are not limited to) WFB, WH40k & The Horus Heresy (30k), Epic, Bloodbowl, Infinity, Saga & Flames of War
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 First Battle Report! - The Scourging of Heraclitus

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Join date : 2015-10-22

PostSubject: First Battle Report! - The Scourging of Heraclitus   Fri Oct 23, 2015 3:20 pm

Despite the heroic, stalwart defence of the starport on Heraclitus (see the Epic Battle Report), the garrisoning Imperial Fists could not hope to withstand a full Grand Battalion Assault supported by a strike Cruiser.

What their resistance did was buy their command enough time to organise an ordered withdrawal from their forlorn position.

With the Iron Warriors now in control of the city, the loyalists, under the cover of pre-coordinated artillery barrages, managed to extricate themselves from full encirclement.  

As all of the traitor titans were destroyed or crippled, the Iron Warriors found the complete annihilation of their foe an almost impossible task.

The best way for them to eradicate the VII legion garrison was for the Cobalt Fire to move to close orbit, keeping away any of the smaller tonnage loyalist frigates and ensuring that all communications between the Fists and their fleet were blocked, thereby allowing the Iron Warriors to gradually bring home their superior numbers.

The surviving loyalist commanding officer, Captain Sallus Dess, made the decision to gamble on a rapid evacuation of the remaining ground forces.  The strategy was extremely high risk.  Various destroyers that were available to him would engage the Cobalt Fire in the vain hope of distracting the Strike Cruiser long enough to allow his largest ship, the frigate The Scutum to come into close orbit and make an extraction.

A major obstacle to this jeopardous strategem was the jamming-beacon network that the Iron Warriors deployed to disrupt loyalist communications and their ability to teleport.

It became apparent that for the Imperial Fists to have any chance of escape, a strike would have to be made on these beacons.  It would have to be done with the utmost precision, speed and co-ordination as the margin for error would be extremely narrow and could result in the remaining loyalist forces being exposed.  

Leaving the rest of the garrison in the hands of subordinates, who were tasked with creating diversionary attacks along the Iron Warriors' lines, Dess prepared a task force of his finest warriors available to him and readied himself - he would ensure victory by commanding the assault himself.....

The First Game

So, our first proper game of 30k!  Been looking forward to this for a while now.   Dan brought down his (Dark) Mechanicum with IW allies.

I suppose I should apologise in advance - the scenery was by and large undercoated only and  I had managed a mighty 2 marines painted, but did get everything glued.  Dan put in an admirable effort with about 15 or so painted troops, but some of his stuff wasn't glued as he prefers to paint things in pieces and put them together at the end.  So all in all, it was a bit rag tag.  But at least we had the right miniatures!

I should also get the excuses in early:

This was not only my first game of 30k but, shamefully, my first game of 40k 7th ed.  Looking back, I can't have played more than a handful of games since about 5th ed.

As for Dan, when he bought his army down he didn't really have any of the army lists (he'd left them all at mine!).

Right pair of duffers.

Anyway, the lists, as I remember them (Dan, feel free to amend or comment) - these are general.  I didn't have to go for the Pride of the Legion Rite of War, but I thought it would be fluffy to do so, to represent the handpicked strike force.  

Imperial Fists

Preator (Pride of the Legion Rite of War)
- Iron Halo
- Paragon Blade
- Artificer Armour

- Artificer Armour
- Bolt pistol & volkite serpenta

5 Tartaros Terminators
- Power fists
- Deep Strike

15 Tactical Marines
- Vexilla
- Sgt has Artificer Armour & Power Fist

5 Veterans (Sniper)
- Missile Launcher w/ web suspensors

1 Rapier (Laser Destroyer)

1 Contemptor with twin Kheres Assault Cannons and a Havoc launcher.

Mechanicum with Iron Warrior allies - rough outline:



2 x 3 Thallax with lightning guns

IW Allies:

- Artificer Armour
- Power fist
- Iron Halo


10 man tactical marines

6 man heavy support squad
- Each with missile launchers

I can't for the life of me remember our Warlord Traits!

We ended up playing The Relic mission from the 40k book.  The item to be recovered is the beacon jammer that formed part of a network of ECM set up by the traitors.  If this can be recovered by the Imperial Fists, the garrison will succeed in an evac from the planet.  

The battle would take place in one of the myriad of small mining colonies that scattered the surface of Heraclitus VI.

Below:  Deployment of the two forces.  The Iron Warriors set up first and went first.  The objective can be seen more or less in the very middle of the shot as a black pylon just outside of the doors of the grey barracks building.

Reports of a giant floating pint of cider were dismissed as hallucinations caused by battle fatigue....

Below:  The battlefield from the Imperial Fists' deployment perspective.  Just out of shot, to the right was Sallus Dess leading a squad of 5 veterans (who can be seen in the second picture):

Below:  The Traitors' deployment - the tactical unit , led by their praetor, takes the middle, slightly to the left of the heavy weapons support and the Mechanicum.:

The opening phases of the game saw little of note - the Iron Warriors heavy support managed to take a hull point off the dreadnought (it has 3) with krak missiles but their tactical squad, who moved to the cover of the nearby bunker in anticipation of a firefight, managed little by way of damage caused.   On the Traitors' right side, the Thallax coldly marched on to the objective, controlled closely by their archmagos.

As they did so, Galvus Kreuz, the Imperial Fist moritat burst out of his position in an attempt to assassinate the traitor archmagos.  Unfortunately, fate did not smile kindly on the loyalist, and he only managed to muster 4 shots from his bolt pistol and Volkite Serpenta before the Archmagos responded by closing in for combat, making short work of the astartes.

Below:  At the end of turn 2, the Fists held their position and the dreadnought caused havoc on the IW tactical squad with its assault cannons.  The Dark Mechanicum have moved up under the cover of the garrison building, to within striking distance of the relic.  At the bottom of the picture, Dess can be seen advancing with the veterans.  There is still no sign of the deep striking terminators, who have been disrupted by the ECM of the Cobalt Fire.

Below:  Finally the terminators arrive.  They deep strike behind the Mechanicum and pour fire into them.  The mechanicum turn to face the new arrivals, allowing the Fists' tactical squad to move ahead and seize the objective.  The dreadnought advanced to support the tactical marines.   As it poured fire into the IW tactical squad (killing a further 6!), the IW heavy support squad managed to take another hull point off the behemoth.

To the right of the shot, the Iron Warriors tactical squad, led by their praetor was charged by Dess and the veterans.   The battle was bloody.  The preators duelled as their men fought one another.  A disastrous attack by Dess, saw him only manage one wound on his opposite number, who also managed a hit back.  However, as that hit was a power fist, the Iron Warrior dispatched the loyalist with ease and then turned on the last surviving veteran sergeant.  The traitor commander was the only survivor of the melee!

Below - the Thallax tough it out, but the sustained fire from the tactical squad is too much for them and the surviving robot takes cover behind the garrison.  The Archmagos and the Iron Warriors Preator have little choice but to link up and charge the loyalist tactical squad:

Below:  The tactical squad are forced to drop the objective and take on the combined assault of the traitor commanders.  Miraculously, the loyalists hold allowing the terminators and dreadnought to join the fray.  Meanwhile, the lone Thallax tried to sneakily flank around the garrison building and take the objective, but unfortunately for him, the Archmagos and Praetor were dispatched just in time!:

Victory for the loyalists!   Great game and a lot of fun - I did feel a bit cheesy having the Contemptor, but Dan did manage to take off 2 hull points.  It was that that swung the day, I think.

Tactical Strike Mini-Campaign

After this, we decided to have a crack at a small campaign.  There's rules in the 3rd Heresy book for a Vengance is Victory campaign.  It's a cool idea that works with the Tactical Strike Rules.

Bascially, it works like a Kill team game - firstly you choose 150 pts of characters (not a whole lot!) and they're your leaders.  They gain skills and what not.

Then you decide who is the exterminator and who is the hunted.  It represents pockets of loyalist survivors hiding out after the Isstvan V massacre and them fighting a guerrilla war as the traitors weed them out, but it would adapt perfectly to our narrative as the last stragglers of the Imperial Fists that couldn't make it to evac have to survive in the hope of rescue or sell themselves as dearly as possible.

The campaign rules give you a certain amount of supply points to spend before each game.  The points you spend affect the points you have to play with, and whether your armour starts to conk out or you run out of ammo!

Tactical Strike - Game 1

In the first game, we both had 300 pts.  If either of us rolled a 1 in shooting we had to pass an ammo save to be able to actually shoot.  Dan's save was a 3+ and mine was a poor 4+.  Also, I was experiencing trouble maintaining armour and so had to roll 3 dice when charging, running or following up and discarding the highest.

Having spent weeks hiding in the mining installations pockmarking Heraclitus, the Chaplain, Dolmus Mainz managed to gather about him a small force of stragglers and troops otherwise cut off from the main evacuation.  Mainz himself had volunteered to remain on the planet as part of a rearguard diversionary strike team that had subsequently been reduced to all but a handful of men.  Mainz had decided that the only option left to him was to sell himself and the men that rallied to him as dearly as possible, in the hope of buying time to let others escape.

The first game was an ambush mission, representing a hit and run attack by my forces, with me deploying in a circle around Dan's men.  There were three objectives to capture.

I had 3 cataphractii terminators, the chaplain in cataphracti, 6 tac marines (with sarge with solarite power fist) and 5 breachers.

Dan had a praevin, 3 thallax and 6 tactical marines and a tartaros terminator.

Below: Deployment as follows.  The objectives were the black markers outside of the grey radar building at the top left of the pic, in the middle, next to a crater and at the side of the black building on the bottom right of the pic:

Below: Things were going swimmingly at first for the loyalists - they had full encirclement and were well placed to capture the objectives.

Below: The battle for objective 1 came down to a gunfight between tactical marines.  The Fists' BS 5 with bolters was a telling advantage:

...And it came down to close combat as the Iron Warriors charged. It was a battle of the painted men!:

...But the Imperial fists had the advantage in combat too, having a sergeant with a power fist, who smote all before him....

Below:  Meanwhile, the loyalist breachers played a game of cat and mouse with the Thallax and Praevin (as in the background the traitor terminator seizes an objective):

I failed to get may pictures of the rest of the game in all the drama,but basically, the Fists chaplain and his terminator entourage came out of hiding and made straight for the traitor leader (the Praevin).  They should have made short work of him and the Thallax but a disastrous roll meant hits were limited and no damage was done.  Then, to make matters worse, the chaplain only managed two hits (I forgot IF characters get to re-roll misses in a challenge).  Still two hits might have been enough.  Only it wasn't!  To be fluffy, I'd bought the chaplain a power maul, probably the worst weapon he could have in this situation!  With a basis save to have, the Praevin passed easily and bit back with a power weapon, causing a wound (terrible invul roll).  To add insult to injury, I then failed a LD test and ran!

As the Fists had low resources and problems with running in their deteriorating armour, the Iron warriors easily caught the fleeing Cataphractii terminators and that was that!!

The Breachers tried to charge in out of desperation more than anything but they were gradually annihilated and finally, the last Imperial Fist sergeant made a daring last stand next to his objective, but it wasn't to be:

So after that, I had reduced resources to spend for the next battle:  25 pts less (50 pts less in total).  I also couldn't afford to maintain my ammo (for the next game I make save rolls for ammo on a 5+) or run!  The next game was going to be tough for the straggler loyalists!

To make things worse, the consequence of the defeat (and his fleeing from battle) was, with the chaplain's already fragile mind, to send him to the edge of psychological breakdown. The enormity of what was occurring weighed more and more heavily on the leader.  Doubting himself and his actions led to indecision in his command that would gradually worsen - the next game he would roll LD tests at -1!

Tactical Strike - Game 2

The next game was a murder raid, where victory points were allotted for opposition units destroyed.

The forces were similar to the previous clash, but with the fists having less tactical marines.  The loyalist Cataphractii terminators carried Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields (giving a 2+ and a 3+ invul!).  The Chaplain stuck with the power maul....

The traitors, made hay with their superior resources and brought 3 Tartaros terminators with power swords, 6 tactical marines with an Apothecary, 3 Thallax and the Praevin commander.

Deployment of the forces were also encirclement (rolled randomly) the same as the previous mission - as the :

After a promising opening by the loyalists, disaster was to befall them again!  The Chaplain with his terminators attempted to dislodge the Iron Warrior tactical marines from the open bunker, but their charge fell short (2d6 roll of 3!  Made worse by having the armour problems!).  

The traitor terminators attempted to shift the loyalist tactical marines that were dug in into rubble, by assaulting them - made easier as the loyalists were dangerously low on ammo and could only snap shot.  

The IW Praevin and his cortex controlled Thallax bodyguard attempted to break the Fists' Breacher unit, who were also in cover (and who had a graviton gun that could do harm to the Thallax).

After two turns, the battle looked like this:

... As can be seen, the chaplain and his squad finally got to grips with the tactical squad in the bunker and killed half of them.  The rest fled (the Cataphracti are unable to do follow up moves).

The traitor terminators dealt with the tactical counterparts of the loyalists, and slowly whittled them down to nothing.  The Breachers held on, but were gradually becoming pulverised by the power fist of the Praevin.

The skirmish was still in the balance by turn 5...:

The Praevin and his Thallax had finally managed to defeat the Breachers, who broke, and the traitors chased them to the far right of the shot, however, they paid dearly for this victory and all Thallax were killed in the fight.  

The loyalist terminators pursued the traitors and charged them.  The Iron Warrior terminators dealt easily with the IF tac marines and maneuvered to assist the Praevin.  Meanwhile the fleeing traitor tactical marines recovered from their mauling by the Chaplain and his terminators and rallied behind cover some way away.

What happened next would go down as another error by the beleaguered Chaplain.  Attacking the Praevin, no hits were caused by their wild flailing (all 4 terminators and the chaplain did no wounds!).  The traitor commander replied with a swift power fist blow causing one wound.   With the LD penalties the Chaplain had, he and his terminators fled - the battle fatigue of over a month of guerrilla fighting had finally caught up with them and they were easily slaughtered by the pursuing traitor Praevin.

So a second defeat for the Fists!

This led to even more resource difficulties and for the next battle, the loyalists would only have 250 pts.  Worse, with the Chaplain's psychological breakdown, for the next battle he and any friendly unit within 6" would roll 3d6 LD tests (discarding the lowest) and have a -1 LD!

Tactical Strike - Game 3

The last game was a lost cause for the loyalists, so I decided to try a few new units.  It was clear that the chaplain had lost it and was left to wander around on foot, while I went crazy and bought assault marines, jump pack destroyers and a veteran or two.

The game was another murder mission:

To summarise briefly, it was a complete, embarrassing rout.  As can be seen from the pic, the loyalist basically charged en masse but were cut down in a hail of fire and were then repulsed after the charge.  It was over very quickly!


So in all, the big game was won by the Loyalists and the traitors won the mini tactical strike campaign.

I have to say, I'm loving heresy battles - it seems like the bigger the better!  

That said,  I also really like the tactical strike campaign.  It's cool just having a handful of figures, and had I seen this before I started collecting, I would have just painted up a small force for this as it's so easy to do (but with loads of list permutations to make it interesting).  I can see how it would be really really fun with 4 or 5 players on each side, with every game making a difference.

Anyway, tactical strike seems like a great, cheap way to get into the game (if a little rule heavy) - Hint, hint Don!

Next up: now the bulk of the loyalists have escaped to space, maybe a desperate boarding action against the Cobalt Fire is in order - break out the Zone Mortalis!
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PostSubject: Re: First Battle Report! - The Scourging of Heraclitus   Fri Oct 23, 2015 3:31 pm

They brought a Contemptor!
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PostSubject: Re: First Battle Report! - The Scourging of Heraclitus   Fri Oct 23, 2015 3:32 pm

...to a gunfight!
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PostSubject: Re: First Battle Report! - The Scourging of Heraclitus   Fri Oct 23, 2015 3:33 pm

Wont happen again! Embracing the filth..

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PostSubject: Re: First Battle Report! - The Scourging of Heraclitus   Fri Oct 23, 2015 3:35 pm

Crying cheese tears!

TBH, it's quite hard not to filth a Legion List as there's plenty in it like contemptors!

Bring it on - anything goes!
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PostSubject: Re: First Battle Report! - The Scourging of Heraclitus   Fri Oct 23, 2015 3:36 pm

(bump for the finishing off of the batrep)

Phew, that was a right wall of text!

And I forgot to mention, I got these in the above games for my special (needs) friends, but as they were not about, I'll let you lot use them:

That should stop you moaning sods. There's one each and I have another on the way. They're also different colours so we can see which thieving bastard is taking them all.....
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PostSubject: Re: First Battle Report! - The Scourging of Heraclitus   Fri Oct 23, 2015 3:36 pm

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PostSubject: Re: First Battle Report! - The Scourging of Heraclitus   Fri Oct 23, 2015 3:37 pm

Cool reports, I like the sound of the small games especially - seems a bit like necromunda crossed with old rogue trader?

Your board looks a lot lighter now Gilly or is it the photos mainly?

I'll need 2 boxes of dice for eldar, honestly I will Smile
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PostSubject: Re: First Battle Report! - The Scourging of Heraclitus   Fri Oct 23, 2015 3:38 pm

Yeah it is a bit like old 40k. You can have 1 man units if you want, so it's more like that.

Don wrote:
Your board looks a lot lighter now Gilly or is it the photos mainly?

Check Here!
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