After Action Report: The Invasion of St. Arkham, part VII

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“My lord Inquisitor, I’m glad you could join us.”  Lord General Drake bent his knee and bowed his head before the metal giant.  It was for the benefit of the men – he and Borgez had already met last night, when the famous Ordo Hereticus agent had told him that the Ultramarines were refusing even to acknowledge his Inquisitorial rosette.

It was a bad sign.  It meant either that the marines had decided Borgez himself was tainted, or that he was incompetent and had failed to notice heresy on his own doorstep.

The ancient witch hunter’s voice rasped from the vox-cherub built into his battle suit. “We will stop them here Drake.  I guarantee it.”

The mighty cyborg swayed and creaked as the ground shook, drop pods raining down. Borgez’s face remained stony in the huge metal body, his beady eyes sharp and black. Drake made the sign of the Aquila and touched his icon of the Emperor to his mask in silent prayer as Kreig Death Riders cantered past him.  

Where were the bloody tanks?

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THE ATTACKERS

  • Brother-Captain Gaius – Space Marine Captain, digital weapons, artificer armour, jump pack, power weapon, bolt pistol, melta bombs
  • Squad Lucianus – Assault squad (5), power weapon
  • Aquiline – Land Speeder Storm, heavy flamer
  • Squad Ulixes – Tactical Squad (10), plasma cannon, plasma gun, plasma pistol, power weapon
  • Squad Vorenus – Tactical Squad (10), meltagun, multi-melta, combi-melta gun, power fist, drop pod
  • Squad Gabriel – Tactical Squad (10), flamer, missile launcher, melta bombs, power weapon, drop pod
  • Squad Castiel – Scout Squad (5), power weapon, melta bombs
  • Squad Telion – Scout Squad (5), Sgt. Telion, 4 sniper rifles
  • Brother Constantinus – Venerable Dreadnought, multi-melta, Lucius pattern drop pod
  • Squad Titus – Terminators (5), power weapon, cyclone missile launcher, in Diomedes – Land Raider Prometheus, extra armour, multi-melta
  • Leontius – Predator, lascannons
  • Nicephorus – Whirlwind
  • Squad Apollo – Devastators (10), 3 missile launchers, lascannon

THE DEFENDERS

  • Lord General Drake, commander-in-chief of Battlegroup Wyvern – Company Command Squad, Straken, medic, standard bearer, bodyguard, two flamers, chimera with heavy flamer and multi-laser
  • Lord Inquisitor Julius Borgez – Inquisitor Lord Karamazov (Codex: Witch Hunters)
  • Enginseer Rodan – Techpriest Enginseer, 3 servitors
  • Nemesis Coven, Psykana Auxilia – Psyker Battle Squad, 4 Sanctioned Psykers, overseer
  • 1337 – Eversor Assassin
  • Cadian 129th Grenadiers – Veteran squad, power fist, 3 plasma guns, chimera with multi-laser and heavy flamer, Grenadiers
  • 44th St. Arkham sharpshooters – Veteran squad, lascannon, two snipers, Forward Sentries
  • Order of the Revenant Maiden, St. Arkham convent –  Battle Sisters (10), melta gun, flamer, frag and krak grenades, veteran superior (power weapon)
  • 8th Kasrkin – 6 Stormtroopers, bolter, power weapon, 2 melta guns
  • Lt. Blake, 44th St. Arkham – Platoon command squad, bolter, heavy bolter
  • Squad Boxer – Infantry squad, grenade launcher, power weapon, commissar with power weapon
  • Squad Coleridge – Infantry squad, grenade launcher, power weapon
  • Platoon fire support – 3 mortar teams
  • Platoon fire support – 3 autocannon teams
  • 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
  • Storm Giant, St. Arkham 1st Armoured – Leman Russ Battle Tank, heavy flamer, pintle heavy stubber
  • Unknown designation, Cadian 8th Armoured sec. battlegroup Wyvern – Leman Russ Battle Tank, lascannon, heavy bolter sponsons

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The campaign’s getting down to the wire now.  I made a mistake last time – the mission we played was Implacable Advance not Trench Warfare.  This time it was Trench Warfare, and it was a doozy.  As always, you can check out the campaign we’re playing here at Sign of the Aquila.

This game I finally fielded my counts-as Karamazov in an attempt to repel the marines (hey, 2500 points is a lot!  I need every ridiculous special character I can get).

The game started out dramatically.  Come to think of it, it was a pretty dramatic game all told.  Lt. Blake’s heavy bolter team opened fire on sqaud Apollo and killed three devastator marines in the first turn.  Jay rolled three ones for their armour saves: the dreaded ‘mutant snake eyes.’  Brother Constantinus’ pod landed right in front of the St. Arkham platoon and he barreled into them.

Sgt Boxer, quite sensibly deciding that his men were not properly equipped to face a venerable dreadnought in assault, tried to fall back.  Unfortunately for him there was a commissar at his back.  The platoon ended up fighting Constantinus for almost the entire game until he finally broke them in the final turn.

Castiel’s squad assaulted and killed the Krieg Death Riders while they were still moving into position.  Almost the whole St. Arkham line fired on them in return, but Castiel miraculously survived to melta-bomb Anathema!  He didn’t do much though, and Inquisitor Borgez vaporized him with a multi-melta blast.

Space marines began to advance, and the Guard poured fire on them as best they could with their heavy support delayed.  The sisters of the Revenant Maiden clambered up into the building where sgt. Telion was hiding and engaged the Ultramarine snipers, eventually slaying them all.  Enginseer Rodan and his servitors bravely attempted to disable Brother Constantinus but the veteran dreadnought crushed them.

The Land Raider Diomedes drove onto one of the objectives and squad Titus lumbered out, charging Lord Inquisitor Borgez who was menacing the approaching tactical marines.  The cyborg Inquisitor held his own though and slowly ground down the Ultramarine elites.  It was turning into a bloody clash over the objectives.  The predator gunned down the Eversor as he stalked squad Ulixes, but then Lord General Drake charged into them and smashed three of the marines, his trusty bodyguard taking down another.

Captain Gaius leaped on the Arkhamite general but it was too late – Drake killed the remaining two tactical marines and the Cadian grenadiers mopped up the last of squad Gabriel, taking care of all the astartes troops.  My grenadier sergeant was now the only troop soldier left on the battlefield (after my own tank and mortars fragged his mates), but he couldn’t quite get close enough to claim an objective, so the game ended with none claimed.

This was a really fun game.  It seemed as though each turn it would go one way and then the other player would claw back on top. Borgez was whacky and fun, and for me Lord General Drake (Straken) was truly heroic.  As usual the assassin died uselessly.  I really have to stop using them.  My heavy support need a bit of a talking to as well – Storm Giant and the mortars nearly wiped out my grenadiers at a crucial moment.  But it all came good in the end.

Result: Draw.  Ultramarines 15 points, battlegroup Wyvern 9 points.

+++++

The last of the tactical marines toppled sideways, his head tumbling to the ground from the blade of Drake’s sword.  They were much larger than the Lord General, even in his heirloom power armour, but he was as quick as they were, and strong.  This was his world, damn them.  He whirled around, his massive blade dripping blood, and felt rather than saw a group of Ultramarines plummet from the sky and into his retinue.  

In seconds his faithful men were all down, and he saw an astartes Captain push towards him, his enhanced voice bellowing a challenge.   Drake leapt behind a wrong-footed marine and steadied himself.  He saw Borgez snarling nearby, his huge saw-weapon bisecting a Terminator as though the ancient armour were butter.  

“Come on then!”  Drake yelled at the space marine officer.  They circled each other warily.  Then, as though by mutual agreement, both generals began to edge back toward their own trench lines.

They’d done it.  They’d stopped them.  The marines clearly didn’t have enough troops left to hold no-man’s land, and the Captain’s charge had come too late.  The Ultramarine advance had been bludgeoned to a stand-still.

But no ground had been gained.  The war was coming to a head.  After a hundred and sixteen years in the Guard, Drake could feel it in his bones.

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2 responses to “After Action Report: The Invasion of St. Arkham, part VII

  • Blackmane

    Sounds like you had another great game. Its really good to see the campaign been played and that it seems to be fairly even so far. Good luck for the last few games.

  • James S

    Thanks! I’ll need it. Hopefully I can pull out some more draws in the last few. The Apocalypse game will be . . . titanic 😉

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