Category Archives: The Invasion of St. Arkham

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

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 . . . 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.

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THE ATTACKERS

  • 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

THE DEFENDERS

  • 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

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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. Continue reading


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

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With a clank and a scrape the men mounted the heavy bolter behind the steel defence line and trained the stubby barrel through the fire port.  The lieutenant looked to his right and saw the enormous forms of the Gloominwald ogryns, grunting to each other and laughing.  He was close enough to see the crude runes scratched into their weathered armour plates.  Who knew what that stick-writing meant in the thing’s strange language?  The massive shotguns they carried reassured him though, as did the BONE Head’s huge bionic talons.

“They’re turning the las-maze on sir.”  One of the men said.  The lieutenant heard it snap into life, and then the hum of the ancient void shield.

“No going back then.”  He said to himself as the shadow of the enemy drop-ship loomed over them.

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THE ATTACKERS

  • 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
  • Brother Faustulus – Dreadnought, 2 twin-linked autocannons, extra armour, locator beacon, drop pod
  • Squad Octavian – Assault squad (5), flamer, combat shield, power fist
  • Squad Lucianus – Assault squad (5), flamer, combat shield, melta bombs, power weapon
  • Aquiline – Land Speeder Storm, heavy flamer
  • Squad Vorenus – Tactical Squad (10), flamer, lascannon, power fist, drop pod
  • Squad Gabriel – Tactical Squad (10), flamer, lascannon, power weapon, melta bombs, drop pod
  • Squad Castiel – Scout Squad (5), melta bombs, power weapon

Stratagems: Sustained Assault

THE DEFENDERS

  • Lt. Col. Khazak, 129th Cadian – Power weapon, bolter, 3 plasma guns, carapace armour, Master of Ordnance, chimera with heavy flamer and multi-laser
  • Lord Commissar Bock – Power fist, carapace armour
  • Gloominwald Ogryn Auxiliaries – BONE Head, 3 ogryns
  • Lt. Harlock, 44th St. Arkham – heavy bolter, commissar, power weapon
  • Squad Boxer – Infantry squad, autocannon, flamer, power weapon
  • Squad Coleridge – Infantry squad, autocannon, flamer, power weapon
  • Platoon fire support – 3 autocannon teams
  • 44th St. Arkham sharpshooters – Veteran squad, Bastonne, lascannon, 3 snipers, Forward Sentries
  • 129th Cadian “mech-wreckers” – Veteran squad, power fist, 2 meltaguns, heavy bolter team, chimera with heavy flamer and multi-laser
  • Hell’s Breath, St. Arkham 1st Armoured – Banewolf, hull multi-melta
  • Anathema, St. Arkham 1st Armoured – Leman Russ Demolisher, multi-melta sponsons, heavy flamer

Stratagems: Command Centre, Las-maze, Void Shield

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On Saturday Jay and I played mission two of Sign of the Aquila’s Fall of Corian IV campaign.  Again, we decided to go with one extra stratagem point each because more stratagems = more mayhem and destruction.

According to the mission, I had to defend one bunker at all costs, so I put my platoon and commissar lord inside and made it a Command Centre, then surrounded it with a Void Shield and a Las-maze and placed aegis defence lines in front of it with my ogryns and my platoon commander behind them as a first line of defence.  I thought that would be enough.  I then put my demolisher, coy. commander, sharpshooters and anti-tank vets in cover in nearby buildings to create a killing ground and rain fire down on the marines.  It seemed like a good plan, similar to my last one.  The initial firestorm didn’t do much, thankfully.  It just wounded an ogryn, stunned the demolisher and immobilized Khazak’s chimera.

It was then that the game started to go very badly for my boys. Keep reading . . .


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

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Lieutenant Colonel Khazak shaded his eyes and looked up at the furious sky.  There was a ship all right.  It looked Imperial in outline, but why would an Imperial ship be attacking this backwater world?  And why here?  Suddenly great black shapes fired from the belly of the beast, too quickly for his eye to follow, and rammed into the shaking ground.

“The Angels of Death.”  He muttered grimly.

“There must be some mistake sir?”  A young Arkhamite officer asked him, eyes wide.  He looked to the veteran Cadian commander for guidance.  Khazak assessed the incredible situation with his keen military eye and came to a quick decision.

“They’re not here for a cup of tea, lieutenant.  Get your sharpshooters onto that perch and prepare to hold the landing pad.  That’s what they want, and they’ll kill us either way.”  He slung his ivory-chased bolt gun from his shoulder and cocked it.

The young officer nodded and turned, bellowing to the shaken troops:  “Right lads!  As you know, the Emperor loves St. Arkham.  But Him on Terra particularly loves that bloody landing pad!  Don’t let the heathens get their hands on it, or we’re lost!”

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THE ATTACKERS

  • Brother-Captain Gaius – Space Marine Captain, digital weapons, artificer armour, jump pack, power weapon, bolt pistol, iron halo, melta bombs
  • Squad Titus – Terminators (5), cyclone missile launcher, power weapon
  • Squad Octavian – Assault squad (5), flamer, power fist
  • Squad Vorenus – Tactical Squad (10), multi-melta, meltagun, power fist
  • Squad Gabriel – Tactical Squad (10), missile launcher, flamer, power weapon, melta bombs
  • Hellrain – Deathstorm drop pod

Stratagems: Forward Observer

THE DEFENDERS

  • Lt. Col. Khazak, 129th Cadian – Power weapon, bolter, 3 plasma guns, carapace armour, chimera with heavy flamer and multi-laser
  • Lt. Harlock, 44th St. Arkham – heavy bolter
  • Squad Boxer – Infantry squad, autocannon, grenade launcher, power weapon, commissar, power weapon
  • Squad Coleridge – Infantry squad, autocannon, grenade launcher, power weapon
  • Platoon fire support – 3 autocannon teams
  • 44th St. Arkham sharpshooters – Veteran squad, lascannon, sniper rifle, Forward Sentries
  • 129th Cadian “mech-wreckers” – Veteran squad, power fist, 2 meltaguns, heavy bolter team, chimera with heavy flamer and multi-laser
  • Anathema, St. Arkham 1st Armoured – Leman Russ Demolisher, multi-melta sponsons, heavy flamer

Stratagems: Command Centre, Power Supply

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So Planetstrike was really fun.  It was pretty brutal!  If you want to see the rules of the mission we played, they are here at Sign of the Aquila.  Basically it was Planetfall, and as the defender I was not allowed any bastions, only a landing pad I had to defend.  I chose the Command Centre stratagem, keyed to the landing pad itself, and the Power Supply stratagem keyed to some ruins where I deployed my veteran St. Arkham sharpshooters for re-rolls to wound.  We decided to allow two stratagem points each instead of the one the rules suggested because, well . . . carnage!  Jay couldn’t take any of his beloved tanks due to mission restrictions, which was good news for me.

The bad news was that his initial bombardment immobilized my demolisher and one of my chimeras, as well as killing a few infantry, and his Imperial Armour drop pod wreaked quite a bit of carnage on my troopers – all that before his marines even dropped in.  The Forward Observer was a really good stratagem for him to pick, as it made his initial blast templates horribly accurate.

The game was pretty straight forward so instead of giving a blow-by-blow account I’ll just comment on some decisive moments and mention units that performed interestingly, one way or the other. Read on . . .


The Invasion of St. Arkham

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In late 896M41, the small shrine world of St. Arkham was attacked by the 2nd company of the Ultramarines.  At the time of the mysterious invasion Lord General Drake’s battlegroup Wyvern was on-world, recovering from a prolonged and costly war against the xenos Tau and presenting their various regimental colours for blessing at the mighty Basilica of St. Arkham.

Initially, battlegroup Wyvern was disoriented by the speed and ferocity of the Space Marine’s planetfall, but Lord General Drake was a native Arkhamite and a pious man, and on the advice of the Ecclesiarch of St. Arkham he resolved to defend the holy world at all costs from the invaders, no matter who they appeared to be.

If the under-strength and weary battlegroup Wyvern had been the only warriors on the world the Space Marines may have had a swift victory. They were not however.  In a secluded citadel in the mountains west of the capital, the small but battle-hardened Order of the Revenant Maiden trained and fasted, ready to protect the sacred planet with their lives.

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My friend and regular opponent Jay and I have been wanting to play a campaign for a while now, and last week after he bought a flash new gaming board he suggested we finally kick it off.  As we are both busy people, we are using the excellent Fall of Corian IV campaign from Sign of the Aquila.

I’ve never played a Planetstrike game before (I hadn’t even read the book till yesterday!), but the first mission is a 1000 point Planetstrike game.  I like what I see in the book – it looks brutal and fast-paced, which is exactly how I like my 40k.

In keeping with the nature of our armies, Jay’s Ultramarines will be the death from above and my Imperial Guard will (no doubt literally) be the bodies on the ground.  I’m really looking forward to the first game, and I’ll post a battle report as soon as the invasion has begun . . .


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