Khazak turned and took one last look at the battle raging behind him. He could see the dark shapes of a pair of leman russ tanks crawling through the dust and smoke, and his earpiece picked up the crackling voices of a platoon of the St. Arkham 44th. They were advancing to intercept the astartes who were beginning to surround his position.
“Sir?” The pilot’s voice was tinny inside his imposing full-face helmet. It was good to hear the Cadian accent.
“Lets go.” Khazak nodded. He strode into the roaring Valkyrie, and was met by his old friend Darkon. The man’s face was grim and his sabre was drawn and held loosely at his side. Darkon had saved Khazak’s life on many occasions, and had the scars to prove it.
“We’ll get you out of here, sir. I swear it. The Lord General will come back and wipe these traitors off the map.” Khazak closed his eyes and leaned back in the seat. Were the marines traitors? It didn’t seem likely. He supposed that in the end, it didn’t really matter. It was his duty to get out, to rendezvous with the Lord General, and it would be done.
- Brother-Captain Gaius – Space Marine Captain, digital weapons, artificer armour, jump pack, power weapon, bolt pistol, melta bombs
- Squad Lucianus – Assault squad (5), flamer, combat shield, melta bombs, power weapon
- Aquiline – Land Speeder Storm, heavy flamer
- Phrixus – Land Speeder Typhoon
- Squad Vorenus – Tactical Squad (10),meltagun, multi-melta, power fist, combi-melta, rhino
- Squad Gabriel – Tactical Squad (10), flamer, missile launcher, power weapon
- Squad Castiel – Scout Squad (5), melta bombs, power weapon
- Squad Telion – Scout Squad (5), Sgt. Telion, missile launcher, 3 sniper rifles
- Leontius – Predator, lascannons
- Invictus – Land Raider, pintle multi-melta
- Lt. Col. Khazak, Cadian 129th – Company command squad, bolter, power weapon, bodyguard
- Cadian 129th Grenadiers – Veteran squad, power fist, 3 plasma guns, Grenadiers
- Lt. Blake, 44th St. Arkham – Platoon command squad, 2 flamers
- Squad Boxer – Infantry squad, grenade launcher, power weapon, commissar with power weapon
- Squad Coleridge – Infantry squad, flamer, melta bombs, power weapon
- Platoon fire support – 2 autocannon teams, lascannon team
- Firebird, sec. 8th Kasrkin – Valkyrie
- Anathema, St. Arkham 1st Armoured – Leman Russ Demolisher, multi-melta sponsons, heavy flamer
- Storm Giant, St. Arkham 1st Armoured – Leman Russ Battle Tank, heavy flamer, pintle heavy stubber
The other day Jay and I played mission four of our campaign borrowed from Sign of the Aquila. Since I lost the last game I only had 1000 points to Jay’s 1500, so it wasn’t going to be pretty. I took a hard list (by my standards anyway) and borrowed Jay’s nicely painted valkyrie for the duration of the battle.
Since the mission required that I get my commander off the opposite end of the table, I put him in the flyer with a bodyguard and decided to just go for broke. The rest of my boys were to function as distractions, hopefully take out the biggest threats to the valkyrie, then assault as much as they could to tie the Ultramarines up while Khazak made his get away. I deployed on the most thinly covered table end and pushed the valkyrie on with my scout move, then trundled my two MBTs forward supported by my platoon, grenadiers and fire support. I figured I’d try to refuse as much of the superior marine force as I could by sticking to one side and keeping the terrain between us.
Anathema and Storm Giant pummeled the Land Raider Invictus early, stunning it and taking out one of the biggest threats to Khazak’s escape for one turn. Scout squad Castiel as usual threw a spanner into the works by zooming in and assaulting the grenadiers, sweeping them away before they could bring their plasma to bear. Lt. Blake ordered his platoon to fire on the now-exposed scouts and they were burned up by a hail of las.
In turn two Jay had horrible luck. He fired everything that he could at the valkyrie and achieved absolutely nothing. In my turn three Anathema wrecked the land raider, and Khazak’s transport made it to within a few inches of the edge of the table. This was Jay’s last chance, so again he fired everything he could at the gunship, and again achieved nothing. The very last shot of the turn Sergeant Telion hit the valkyrie’s rear, scored a penetrating hit . . . and stunned it. Which would have been perfect for the marines if the valkyrie’s standard extra armour hadn’t kept it moving.
In turn four Lt. Col. Khazak made it out of the town to freedom, escaping the Ultramarine’s trap, and victory was mine. Since the game had ended pretty quickly due mainly to Jay’s ridiculously poor dice rolling, we played on to see what would happen to Khazak’s outnumbered escort as they made a fighting withdrawal back to my table edge. From this point on the marine’s luck took a turn, and they quickly and efficiently captured and destroyed the retreating Guardsmen. Brother-Captain Gaius ploughed into the remainder of the platoon after weathering a hail of lasfire and took them on, breaking the command squad and killing the rest. Telion sniped Lt. Blake as he ran and then his men picked off two more of the fleeing Arkhamites, preventing them from rallying. The Ultramarine’s armour vaporized the weapons teams hiding in cover. The platoon commissar put up a brave (and lucky!) fight, leaving Gaius with one wound, but was eventually slain. Even the two mighty leman russes were stopped in their tracks by the vengeful marines. Storm Giant was wrecked and Anathema lost it’s main gun. But it was too late.
I’m really glad I won this game, not only because it’s nice to win, but because I did it with a disadvantage. If Jay’s rolls had been better at the beginning it would have been a very different story, but I still think my plan was good and I may have scraped through by the skin of my teeth. Maybe. Man of the match for me would have to have been my demolisher Anathema. It took out the Invictus, thereby getting two twin linked lascannons and a multi-melta off the valkyrie’s back. It then blasted away for the rest of the game, killing one or two marines a turn. The valkyrie was impressive. I’ve never used one and only fought against one once before. They’re insane for the points: fast, resilient and packing a punch. Plus it was really fun zooming it around the table! Next game the marines will be the ones fighting a losing battle.
Result: Imperial Guard Victory. Ultramarines 6 points, Battlegroup Wyvern 7 points.