. . . decryption complete
896M41 St. Arkham Dispatches: Battlegroup Wyvern 3 Batt., Lt. Col. Winter Psykana Auxilia commanding.
Attn: Lord General Drake, HQ
From: Lt. Col. Winter, commander Psykana Auxilia Nemesis Coven
Lt. Col. Khazak Cadian 129th reports Ultramarines advancing on town of Coldwood. Recon confirms.
Psykana Auxilia Nemesis Coven located 14 clicks from town.
Lt. Col. Winter assuming command, co-ordinating defence of Coldwood with elements of St. Arkham 44th, 673rd Krieg Lancers, Cadian 129th and SP Nemesis Coven.
Have dispatched Lt. Col. Khazak with intel. to rendezvous with HQ, requested assistance from 8th Kasrkin.
The Emperor Protects.
- Brother-Captain Gaius – Space Marine Captain, digital weapons, artificer armour, jump pack, power weapon, bolt pistol, melta bombs
- Brother Constantinus – Venerable Dreadnought, multi-melta, heavy flamer, extra armour, Lucius pattern drop pod
- Squad Lucianus – Assault squad (5), flamer, combat shield, melta bombs, power weapon
- Squad Vorenus – Tactical Squad (10), meltagun, multi-melta, power fist, drop pod
- Squad Gabriel – Tactical Squad (10), flamer, missile launcher, power weapon, melta bombs, drop pod
- Squad Castiel – Scout Squad (5), melta bombs, power weapon
- Aquiline – Land Speeder Storm, heavy flamer
- Phrixus – Land Speeder Typhoon
- Nicephorus – Whirlwind
- Severinus – Whirlwind
- Leontius – Predator, heavy bolter sponsons
- Lt. Col. Winter, Psykana Auxilia – Primaris Psyker
- Captain Harlock, HI, 44th St. Arkham – Company Command squad, power weapon, lascannon, sniper, medic
- Psykana Auxilia, Nemesis Coven – Psyker Battle squad, 9 Sanctioned Psykers, chimera with heavy flamer and multi-laser
- 8th Kasrkin – 7 Stormtroopers, bolter, power weapon, 2 melta guns
- Lt. Blake, 44th St. Arkham – heavy bolter, power weapon
- Squad Boxer – Infantry squad, autocannon, grenade launcher, power weapon, commissar with power weapon
- Squad Coleridge – Infantry squad, autocannon, grenade launcher, power weapon
- Platoon fire support – 3 autocannon teams
- 129th Cadian Grenadiers – Veteran squad, power fist, 3 plasma guns, chimera with heavy flamer and multi-laser, Grenadiers
- 861st Krieg Lancers – 6 Death Riders, power weapon
- Hell’s Breath, St. Arkham 1st Armoured – Banewolf, hull multi-melta
- Anathema, St. Arkham 1st Armoured – Leman Russ Demolisher, multi-melta sponsons, heavy flamer
If you’ve just tuned in, my friend Jay and I are playing through a campaign borrowed from Sign of the Aquila. We just fought the third battle in the Ultramarines invasion of the shrine world of St. Arkham, the home of my Imperial Guard regiment.
I changed my list quite a bit this time around. I’ve never been really happy with the way my mechanized melta-vets have performed. Despite internet wisdom, I find they just don’t have enough reach and resilience to take out more than one enemy AV before dying. I suspect you need more than one squad to be effective but whatever, I’m over them.
I’m determined to find a way to get melta into the back of my opponent’s lines that works better for me, and I thought I’d try out storm troopers. I know, I know, they’re expensive and everyone says they suck, but two melta guns, carapace armour, and accurate deepstriking for fewer points than my mech-vets seems worth a try. So I gave my Ogryns a rest, changed up my anti-tank vets for grenadiers with plasma guns, and added the Kasrkin and a psyker battle squad. I decided to go with a bit of a psyker theme and broke out old Lt. Col. Winter too. I also fielded my Rough Riders as Kreig Death Riders using Imperial Armour rules for the first time ever . . . and it was good.
So, I knew from experience with the Guard that to spread them out and try to defend the table edge wouldn’t work – the marines would punch through the line easily at every point. My plan then was to put my boys as close together as I could in roughly the centre of the field, to make a tough core that could reach out no matter where on the table Jay put his marines. I think it took him by surprise a bit at the beginning and there was a sharp engagement in the first few turns when his drop pods landed, resulting in the death of my platoon and Lt. Col. Winter, the crippling of the venerable dreadnought Brother Constantinus, and a bit of a stalemate. Scout squad Castiel escaped off the field, which to be honest I was glad of. They’re always a thorn in my side.
I ended up being really pleased with all of my new additions. The Kasrkin landed exactly where I wanted them to and managed to take out both Whirlwinds, thereby making back their exorbitant points cost. The Death Riders powered in and caught Captain Gaius and sergeant Lucianus in a charge when they were one measly jump away from freedom, annihilating them and suffering no casualties in return. Then squad Vorenus dropped in, smashing down in front of my Death Riders, who were supported by my grenadiers. The marines opened fire, utterly shredding the cavalry, but then Captain Harlock ordered the grenadiers to return fire and they cut down seven of the ten marines! Anathema, which had solidly thudded away at the marines all game, finished off the last of squad Gabriel, meaning the only Ultramarines still on the table were squad Vorenus and Constantinus, who was immobilized. Jay had seven models on and seven models off, and only three marines stood facing down ten plasma-armed grenadiers.
With not many options left, the three battle brothers charged the veteran Cadians, and managed to overwhelm them and sweep them away. Jay then rolled a six for his consolidation and pushed off the table. Unbelievable.
This battle was great fun for both of us. We didn’t really know what to expect with the mission, as it was unlike anything we’d played before, but it turned out really well. The fact that the attacker’s casualties didn’t count toward the totals meant that Jay wasn’t shy about throwing his guys straight in there. It was awesome when his last squad chose to deep strike in front of my lines and try to smash their way through – and then pulled it off. My Death Riders were brutal, and my grenadiers and even the much-maligned stormies came through with the goods. Mission four is going to be pretty tough for me now, but I’m not one to shy away from a one-sided battle.
Result: Space Marines victory. Ultramarines 6 points, battlegroup Wyvern 2 points. Next game will see the Imperial Guard outnumbered and outgunned as they try to flee the town.
“Fall back!” Harlock roared into the vox-piece. He cursed. The astartes had smashed through and were quickly gaining a foothold in Coldwood. Thank the Emperor the civilians had been largely evacuated. He did not like to think what the Angels of Death would have done to them. The swiftness and violence of the Ultramarine’s push had been bewildering, and Harlock could make out the profiles of Leman Russ battle tanks ahead of him, still trundling along in the wake of the enemy blitzkreig, too late.
“Report!” He demanded of the vox. A voice crackled through.
“The Nemesis Coven are done for sir. And there’s nothing left of the Lancers. They charged the astartes officer” the voice said, awestruck. “Then the other marines blasted them to hell. Lt. Col. Winter is in a critical condition, the medics have stabilized him but he’s . . . badly hurt.”
“Damnit!” Harlock spat. He put his hand over the vox and turned to Hobbes, the old medic. “If that bloody bolt magnet had left the soldiering to the real soldiers he might still be walking around. We’d better tell Khazak they’re on his tail.”