Saturday, 16 February 2013

Campaign mission 4 - hunt for the Fallen

As an aside, this mission was voted unanimously as the most fun mission we'd all played in a long time. Commissar Bob, Old Two Eyes and myself were joined by Alex (From the Fang) for two on two.

Mission 4 - Hunt for the Fallen

Following the failure of Inquisitor Lothar and his team to stop the Tyranids broadcasting the psychic beacon to the hive fleets, the war for Omega has escalated. In the wake of this disaster, Aeris, the adjutant of the late Inquisitor, contacts the newly arrived Grand Master of the Dark Angels Deathwing claiming to have a personal message for him from Inquisitor Lothar. Reluctantly, Grand Master Belial grants the adjutant an audience. Aeris conveys his gratitude to the Grand Master and reveals the message canister for his eyes only left by Inquisitor Lothar upon his death. The scroll inside is inscribed with a set of coordinates and a single name…..Cypher. Belial questions Aeris as to what he knows of the matter to which the young adjutant denies any knowledge. His does however report that the coordinates stated are the site of an Imperial garrison where suspected genestealer cult activity has been reported. Whether the garrison harbours a Fallen Angel, a malevolent Xenos cult or a battalion of dedicated Imperial Soldiers is unknown. But in these desperate times, if even the slightest chance of a Fallen Angel being amongst them exists, Grand Master Belial has no choice but to persecute them with maximum lethal force.

The normal rules for 40k apply. The points level for the game is 2500.

The traitor revealed:
The Imperial guard player must take 3 company command squads but otherwise follows the force organisation chart as normal. The Dark Angels player must not directly kill any of the company command squads using ranged weaponry before the treachery can be revealed – if they do then the game immediately ends in defeat for the Dark Angel player. Instead, they must attempt to engage each squad in close combat. When a command squad is engaged in close combat roll a D6:

1 – Genestealer Magus
2-5 – nothing
6 - Cypher

If a 2-5 is rolled resolve the combat as normal. If a 1 or 6 is rolled, replace the company commander with the appropriate model. Once a 1 or 6 is rolled there is no need to roll on the chart again – the traitor has been revealed!

GENESTEALER MAGUS                  4 / 3 / 3 / 3 / 2 / 4 / 2 / 10 / 5+

Unit:                                                                    Wargear:
·         Infantry                                                                 Laspistol
·         Independent character                                            Flak armour
                                                                            Force staff
Special rules:                                                       Psychic powers:
·         Psyker (ML3)                                                        Hypnotic gaze
·         Shadow in the warp                                                Leech essence
·         Warp field                                                             Aura of despair
·         Eternal warrior
·         Revered figure
·         For the swarm!

Revered figure:
The Magus is a figurehead to all of the brood brothers around him. While still alive, all friendly units within 12” have both the counter attack, furious charge and fearless rules. (not the magus himself)

For the swarm:
The magus is of vital importance to the plans of the hive mind. If threatened, many of the creatures higher up in the hierarchy of the genestealer cult will attempt to intervene. As soon as the Magus is revealed, immediately place 2D6 Ymargl Genestelers within 6” of the Magus. They may immediately engage in close combat with the foe who revealed the Magus, though both sides count as having performed a disorganised charge that turn. 

CYPHER                5 / 6 / 4 / 4 / 2 / 5 / 3 / 10 / 3+

·         Infantry                                                                    Wargear:
·         Independent character                                                 Power armour
·         And they shall know no fear                                       plasma pistol
·         Fallen Angel                                                                       bolt pistol
·         Divine protection                                                             frag and krak grenades
·         Gunfighter

Cypher's skill with his exquisite pistols are legendary. His shots wound on a4+, regardless of the victim's Toughness. Such is Cypher's skill that wounds caused by his shooting attacks are allocated by his controlling player, rather than the opposing player. His pair of pistols fire together as a single ranged weapon with the following profile:

X (4+)
Assault 4

In addition, Cypher continues to fight with his pistols in close combat. He counts counts as being armed with a power weapon and gains the +1 Attack bonus for being equipped with two close combat weapons.

Divine Protection:
If Cypher is ever affected by an attack that would cause Instant Death or remove him from play, he only takes a single wound from the attack. If Cypher is reduced to 0 Wounds or would be removed as a casualty for any reason, don't remove him from the battlefield -- just place the model on its side to note his location. At the beginning of his controlling player's turn, roll a D6. On a 1, 2 or 3, Cypher is removed from play without a trace. On a 4+, he has cheated certain death again, scrambling into view of his attackers, bloodied but unbowed. Cypher is restored to 1 Wound and may be placed anywhere on the battlefield within 12" of his current location. He can move and fight
normally in the turn he reappears.

Victory conditions:
    If no traitors are revealed, the game counts as a minor victory for the Tyranids regardless of the outcome. (due to the innocent blood spilled)
·        If a genestealer magus is revealed, the game counts as a minor victory for the Imperials if he is slain or a minor victory for the Tyranids if he survives the game.
        If Cypher is revealed, the game counts as a minor victory for the Imperium should he be slain. (as only the Dark Angels interests are served) Should he be revealed and not slain, no victory points are awarded to either side and another game must be played with Dark Angels Vs Chaos Space Marines to determine the outcome of the hunt for Cypher. 

Imperial Guard deployment

Dark Angels deployment
A loyal innocent, vile Magus or ancient enemy???

Turn 1
The Ravenwing deploy behind the shelter of the building in the left hand corner and manage to avoid taking fire from the IG gunline. They then turbo boost out of cover to get in position and teleport in reinforcements. The land speeder typhoon strips some hull points from a chimera.

Turn 2
With their newly arrived vendetta and demolisher, the might of the Imperial guard gunline relentlessly hammers the Ravenwing, destroying both land speeders and the RWAS, as well as killing 2 black knights. However, the remaining Knights do their job well and the Deathwing arrive – 5 squads led by Belial and an Interrogator Chaplain, as well as the rest of the RWAS. While the ravenwing attack squad with plasma turbo boosts along the backfield, the Deathwing and rest of the ravenwing mercilessly gun down the Imperial guard infantry, choosing to concentrate their fire and presence rather than spreading themselves too thinly across the battlefield. A decision which may cost them dear.

The arrival of the Deathwing takes the Imperial Guard by surprise

The battle begins to take shape

Turn 3

On the lefts of the table, 3 Sentinels outflank, whereas on the right a second vendetta swoops in. Veterans armed with meltaguns disembark from the damaged chimera and once again the mighty Imperial Guard gunline opens up. The attack bike and 4 terminators fall to the hail of shells and las blasts, but most remain unscathed thanks to the mighty storm shields and standard of fortitude blessing them. In retaliation the Nephilim arrived and damaged the second vendetta, while the black knights destroy the sentinels and the ravenwing attack squad continues to race across the back of the board. The Deathwing knights charge and wipe out an imperial guard squad gaining good ground, while the rest of the Deathwing tear apart two of the leman russ tanks, the demolisher and the damaged chimera as the veterans flee. A lucky shot from the cyclone launcher also cripples the nearby vendetta forcing it to hover. The Deathwing now begin to sweep across the board towards their quarry.

Imperial Guard reinforcements arrive to combat the Deathwing
But the dark angels have reinforcements of their own
The Implacable Deathwing advance, while the Black knights combat the sentinels

Turn 4

Despite the loss of half their armour, the Imperial Guard retaliation is swift and brutal with a second squad of melta veterans disembarking a chimera and slaying the squad of terminators who tore apart the leman russ tanks. The vendetta damaged by the Nephilim chooses to disengage and leaves the board, while much of the rest of the army pours firepower into the implacable Deathwing knights, who miraculously survived unscathed. The Dark Angels fight back with the Nephilim wrecking a chimera to begin and the ravenwing attack squad from the backfield outmanoeuvring the leman russ tanks, destroying one with their plasma guns. The Deathwing knights slay two squads of imperial guard with ease, while Grand Master Belial and his squad avenge the loss of their brothers by killing the melta veterans. One of the other Deathwing squads held back to finish the crippled valkyrie, while the cyclone manages to kill 2 lascannon teams atop the central building.

With the left flank secure, the Deathwing advance on their quarry

The Imperial guard prepare to defend their commanders to the death
The Dark Angels wrath is swift and brutal

Turn 5

The second vendetta returned to seek vengeance upon the nephilim, stunning it and forcing it to disengage from the battle. The imperial guard continued to retreat in good order seeing that the tide of the battle was turning against them. Hails of fire killed four of the Deathwing knights, their fortitude finally failing them. The Black Knights screamed across the battlefield to support their brothers while the ravenwing attack squad finished the job they started by destroying the last leman russ. Belial’s command squad destroyed the last chimera then engaged and slew the first of the enemy commanders, revealing him to be nothing more than a mere human. The Interrogator Chaplain and sole Deathwing knight engaged the second command squad only to find the same. Could it be that the whole battle was based on misinformation and that their opponents were actually loyal servants of the Imperium?

With two of the enemy commanders despatched, the Dark Angels rush to eliminate the third
Turn 6

With little to do but try and stall for time, the Imperial Guard poured the last of their fire into the Dark Angels, but to little avail. In return, the Dark Angels wiped out the last of the infantry, save for the remaining command squad in the far corner. Would they be able to make it in time?

Any resistance is short-lived however

Turn 7

The Vendetta managed to kill two black knights while in return it was stripped to one hull point by the cyclone and ravenwing attack squad. The last two black knights manage to engage the command squad in combat, only to find that the enemy commander, is in fact, CYPHER! With time almost gone they can only despair as the Unforgiven Angel survives the assault and manages to escape once again.

In the battles closing moments, the arch-traitor Cypher is reveled

Belial pulled the sword of secrets from the man’s body with a sharp twist. He had not come here to slay men, but to bring low the nemesis of his chapter: Cypher. Many of his brothers were gravely wounded, perhaps dead already, and now Belial was faced with the grim reality that this lead could have simply been yet another false trail. Except this time it had led to bloodshed amongst their own forces, and though it was a small price to pay to bring the nefarious Cypher to repentance, it would be a grave stain upon his honour should that not be so. He looked across the battlefield to Interrogator Chaplain Seraphicus, clad in his grim, baroque terminator armour. Seraphicus struck down his opponent, the second target. Their eyes met, and Serpahicus slowly shook his head, inidicating to Belial that he too had killed a mere man. Belials heart sunk, all thoughts of glory and vengeance now overcast by that of failure. A tank exploded somewhere to the right of him and a group of black knights sped past on bikes, being hounded by a Guard gunship. One of the riders fell, then another, cut down by crimson beams. Belial, intrigued all of a sudden, cast his gaze to where the Ravenwings relentless hunters were so desperate to reach that they would make themselves so easy a target. Behind some pillars and ruins, Belial could just make out the outline of a standard, flapping in the breeze. The third target. But something else caught his eye and without thought he felt his lip curl and his heart race. There, affront the standard, was an outline too large to be human. A figure in black armour and tattered robes similar to those Belial himself once wore. In each hand was a pistol, and over one shoulder, the hilt of a sword so large only a demi-God would wield it. As the Black knights engaged the enemy, Belial raced to assist them. He opened the general vox to his men. One word was all that was needed. Cypher.


What a game! From the outset it played very cinematically, with the ravenwing making their brave sacrifice to bring in the Deathwing on target, then the Deathwing making their implacable advance across the board devastating all in their path. The scenario was great fun to play and to get the Cypher reveal in the final turn was a great twist. Good contenders for man of the match could either go to the black knights for revealing Cypher and generally performing well, or the command squad for providing the banner that helped keep everything alive. Ultimately though, I think it has to go to the Deathwing Knights who literally weathered an entire armys worth of shooting without a scratch and really took the fight to the enemy early on – you cannot hide!

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