Sunday, 6 March 2016

Return to Grimdark

As with most gamers, I originally got into the hobby with Games Workshop's games. These used to be all the rage, and I even worked as a GW salesman for some five years during my studies. Slowly, other games infiltrated my hobby time and my massive Fantasy and Warhammer 40K collections haven't seen any action for the past 3-4 years. It was high time to return to the Grimdark!

We decided to play a 1.500 point game of Warhammer 40K with a good friend, whom I originally met via 40K some 15 years ago. Fortunately he'd been playing the game recently and could inculcate me in the newest set of rules. The scenario pit my loyal Space Marines against traitorous Chaos Marines and their Daemonic allies. The Chaos Marines had desecrated the ruins of an Imperial temple and opened a portal through which they had begun to summon all manner of hellish fiends. My objective was to capture and close the portal. Secondary objectives were to rescue a downed Space Marine pilot and extract a portable monitoring station.

My force consisted of a demi-company of marines from the Raptors chapter (50 space marines following "Codex" organization) led by Chaplain Kerberos. Due to the unholy nature of the mission, this task-force was reinforced by Librarian Nestor and a squad of Terminators, who would be arriving from deep-strike. A squad of Chaos Marines, Keeper of Secrets, Dreadnought and a Maulerfiend were deployed within the temple. Plenty more Chaos filth would be arriving from the warp.

Unholy rites taking place within the desecrated temple

Not a man left behind!

I started the game by rushing forward with most of my army. In the centre, two Tactical squads raced forward in Rhinos, while a squad of Assault Marines hovered closely behind. A third Tactical Squad advanced on my right and rapidly formed a perimeter around the wounded pilot. My Devastators had been split into two 5-man squads and took up good firing positions on either flank.

Devastators take up firing positions

Rhino transports advance under a smoke screen

As soon as my loyalists approached, the forces of Chaos spewed forth from the temple. The Keeper of Secrets took to its wings and started casting nasty spells on my forces. The daemonic war-engines rushed for my marines, with the Maulerfiend ripping open one of the Rhino transports. A second Rhino was fortunately protected by the smoke screen.

Chaos monstrosities spill forth and rapidly wreck the one of the Rhinos

Unperturbed, my marines raced forward to secure the temple. Supported by Nestor's deep-striking terminators, a squad of tactical marines and a squad of assault marines stormed the temple and knocked out the Chaos Dreadnought and most of the Chaos Marines. Purple fires flickered and black shadows flashed at the edge of the marine's vision as reality was ripped asunder. In an instant, these shadows had materialized into a might Daemon Prince and a great score of lesser daemons.

The daemons unleashed horrible psychic attacks on the marines, who stood their ground and unleashed a storm of sanctified bolter rounds and flamer gushes at the daemons. This did not deter the unholy daemons, who assault the loyalist marines both within the temple and near the secondary objectives.

Space Marines storm the temple

Daemons emerge...

... and more daemons ...
... and more daemons!

Furious combat erupts on the objective

In a few graceful strides, the Daemon Prince was upon Nestor and his bodyguard. The ancient Space Marine Librarian knew what was coming, said a few blessed words and readied his force axe and storm shield. The Space Marine hero parried the Daemon's strokes, but that was all he could do. The Daemon moved with unholy speed and even with the gift of psychic foresight, the Librarian was hard pressed to keep up. The parries were becoming ever more sluggish, until the revered Space Marine hero finally missed his mark. The Daemon Prince's blade sliced through Nestor's armour like a knife through butter. At first, the cut seemed pleasant, even rapturous. The caress of the daemonic sword was fickle though and, in the blink of an eye, the sensation became one of utmost agony. The Librarian died screaming.

A struggle of titans

The lesser daemons infesting the temple were eliminated after a short combat, after which the remaining marines turned to assist the beleaguered Librarian. The succour came too late and the marines were forced to watch as their champion was struck down. With a savage scream, Chaplain Kerberos led the tactical and assault marines against the Daemonic monstrosity. The Daemon Prince struck down a great many of the marines, but there were simply too many of the Emperor's Finest. In the end, the daemonic monstrosity was overwhelmed and sent back to the Warp.

The Daemon Prince is overwhelmed

The Daemonic incursion had been repelled in other sectors as well, and the Space Marines now controlled most of the battlefield. The few remaining Chaos Marines fled the field and the Space Marines proceeded to despatch the few remaining daemons from this world. Chaplain Kerberos hurriedly closed the Chaos portal and started the arduous process of re-sanctifying the temple with blessings and holy seals. This incursion had been stopped before it could get out of hand, but where would the arch-enemy strike next?

No comments:

Post a Comment