The Imperial and Ruinous Powers Warlords march towards their large-scale confrontation in Episode 4 of 5, in this latest installment of the Siege of Thrax campaign. In this scenario, the armies combine forces for the first time in the campaign and take the field together as the Imperial Guard, Dark Angels, and Salmanders Space Marines compete with the forces of The Unchained and the Death Guard Chaos Space Marines to capture an orbiting Space Hulk and plunder the relics aboard to perhaps in some way tip the balance in the saga. How will the battle unfold? Read on!
The Loyalist forces clash head-to-head with the Ruinous Powers of Chaos in an effort to get the upper hand as the Ruinous powers are driving deep into Loyalist held territory, right before the Hive City of Thrax Primaris itself. The Ruinous powers have located a teleporter pad that can be used to transport troops into and from orbit with ease and precision. The Loyalist Forces, realizing that the powers of Chaos could easily get the upper hand by commandeering this teleportation platform, deploy their troops in force to meet the enemy head-on and stop them from gaining this vital strategic asset. As the forces make ready to mutally sieze this uncontested outskirts area of Thrax Primaris, a surprise is belched forth from the Warp… in the form of an ancient pre-heresy Imperial Strike Cruiser The Reclaimer – one thought lost for millennia. Seeing the opportunity that this represented in terms of potentially reclaiming powerful pre-Heresy relic technology, both sides redouble their efforts to capture the teleportation platform, both for the upcoming battle for Thrax Primaris as well as claim any spoils aboard the The Reclaimer.
This mission was a doubles game titled “Capture the Orbital Strike Cruiser”. Specific mission rules are captured here. In essence, the teams each are attempting to get on the orbiting strike cruiser space hulk and capture it before the Warp Storm sweeps it away. There are intelligence reports that indicate there are relics aboard. There were 2 tables for the game – the main game board and the strike cruiser board. The main board had a main objective in the center, a teleporter that allowed units to arrive from reserves onto the strike cruiser the next turn. There were also relic objectives, each worth 3 points each, on the strike cruiser (incentive to get on the cruiser and capture those objectives!). There were also a small number of single-point objectives on the main board as well. Victory points were awarded for objectives held, and the standard mission objectives of Slay the Warlord, Linebreaker, and First Blood, as normal.
The Battle Unfolds…
Check out the pictures below of the unfolding battle! Step by step narrative can be found under each picture.
Top of Turn 1. Chaos forces (Unchained and Death Guard) are deployed. Rhinos for the Death Guard are deployed forwards near the teleporter device in the center of the table and block line of site to other troops that will be advancing on the teleporter.
Another shot of Death Guard and Unchained Rhinos aimed at the teleporter device.
On the right flank, the the Unchained Chaos Space Marine Havocs hold the landing pad and the Nurgle Predator Tri-las tank makes to advance slowly, providing cover for the Marines on foot. Unchained Marines will advance slowly behind the armored column for protection.
Another shot of the length of the table after turn 1 movement phase. Teams intend to advancing towards the teleporter as well as giving covering fire from the platform and the tri-las predators on each flank.
The Imperial Forces are deployed on their table edge, with Imperial Guard covering the left flank and Salamanders Space Marines covering the right flank.
The Unchained cultists deployed on the left flank, who will advance into the ruin for cover, giving them safety from the fire from the Imperial Forces.
The Unchained Marines, deployed to advance behind the predator and taking cover from the ruins, on the deployment right flank.
The tri-las predator opens fire on an exposed Salamanders Rhino, doing a hull point worth of damage.
The Nurgle marines and the Unchained Chaos Space Marines advance on the teleporter objective and disembark. The Rhinos are situated to provide cover for the traitor marines. The Imperial Guard’s bullets ping off the Rhino’s hulls as the traitor legion troops prepare to embark on the teleporter pad!
The Nurgle tri-las predator lets loose a full volley of incandesent lascannon fire against a Salamanders Rhino, immobilizing it!
The Unchained legion cultists advance full on into the protection of the ruin, taking positions to lay down suppressive fire against their loyalist counterparts.
Remanbrancer aerial drone view of the unfolding conflict below…
Loyalist forces take a few casualties from the heavy weapons fire from the Havocs on the traitor’s side right flank, as well as the Havoc Launchers on the Nurgle Rhinos, raining down deadly rocket fire onto the guardsmen.
The traitor forces preparing to embark on the teleporter pad to beam up to the orbiting strike cruiser.
Nurgle Marines taking cover awaiting their turn on the teleporter pad, getting cover from their recently disembarked Rhino.
Salamanders Space Marines disembarked from the rear of their wrecked Rhino.
Bottom of Turn 1 – Loyalists forces turn. The Dark Angels Knights deep strike immediately to the Space Hulk, avoiding having a mishap by having Belial at their side. The Knights survey the hulk around them and make plans to head towards the objective.
Another squad of Deathwing Terminators deep strike immediately onto the hulk, preparing to claim the objectives as theirs!
The Deathwing Knights and Belial make formidible adversaries, and have already staked a claim to the drifting, orbiting hulk.
Back on the planet’s surface, another squad of Deathwing Terminators deep-strike into the Chaos Space Marines backfield, threatening the destruction of the Death Guard and Unchained Chaos Space Marines from entering the teleporter. Will they do enough damage to stop the traitor forces from gaining access to the hulk?
The advancing Inquisition Land Raider attempts to destroy the Nurgle Rhino to gain line of sight to the Death Guard – but the Rhino ends up getting a wrecked result! The Rhino stays in place, now as permanent cover for the advancing traitor legions.
Another angle of the wrecked Rhino, and Death Guard awaiting the teleporter platform.
The Land Raider gains a victory point for destorying the Rhino as it rumbles forward to destroy all traitorous scum in it’s path!
Imperial Guard and Salamanders Space Marines advance and fire on the traitors hiding in the ruins.
The Deathwing terminators unleash a fusillade of firepower at the Plague Marines, cutting one down before he can make it to the teleporter.
The game progresses and the next set of pictures aren’t until bottom of turn 2 (sorry!) – the Plague Marines and the Unchained squad get through the teleporter and are now on the Hulk. The Inquisitorial Land Raider is hull pointed to a wreck by concentrated fire from inbound Nurgle Obliterators, tri-las predator fire, and lucky shots by the havocs on the landing pad. The Inquisition assassination squad gets out and heads towards a second unit of Plague Marines who have disembarked near the teleporter squad but fail to make it into close combat.
The 2nd Death Guard Rhino blocks the fast approach to assault the Death Guard Plague Marines near the teleporter. The assassination squad will weave it’s way in between the Rhinos to attempt assault next turn.
A 4th Death Guard Rhino filled with Plague Marines disembarks on the right flank near the teleporter as well, and the Unchained marines continue to advance. The Imperial guard on the other side of the Rhinos continue to pour fire into the line of sight blocking Rhinos but fail to explode (and remove) any Rhinos; which continue to provide cover to the Traitor’s advance.
Another shot of the Traitor’s advance from the right flank perspective – well protected behind their armored Rhino shields…
The Plague Marines, cultists, and Obliterators opened fire on the Deathwing Terminators, reducing their number by 2. The lone Deathwing Terminator remaining advances and fires his storm bolter into the Plague Marines, killing one.
The aerial Remembrancer drone takes another shot of the battlefield, this time with the conflict escalating over the teleporter pad.
The Remembrancer drone panning around the battlefield and getting behind the Imperial lines and the Inquisitorial Land Raider.
A recovered shot from the Nurgle Tri-las predator’s gun camera, as it takes aim at the remaining Deathwing Terminator. This signal was intercepted by nearby spies loyal to the Inquisition.
An Imperial Guard squad making haste towards the teleporter, attempting to cut off the foul forces of Chaos.
This shot was taken via Remembrancer observer drone during the early stages of the battle on the planet’s surface. The loyalist forces are attempting to intercept the forces of Ruin before they embark on the teleporter.
The Imperial Guard advance on the teleporter relic.
Meanwhile, aboard the hulk, the Deathwing terminators make their way to the objectives.
The forces of Chaos, in the form of The Unchained Terminator squads, materialize on the decks of the orbiting hulk, in search of Deathwing prey…
Another shot, from the on-board surveillance equipment, of the arriving Chaos Terminators.
Deathwing Terminators, lead by Belial, make their way down the dimly lit passageways of the hulk.
Back on the planet’s surface, surveillance drones capture images of the Inquisition allies making their way up the battlefield to contest the teleporter objective.
A few seconds later, the same drone snaps a shot of the Salamanders Space Marines move up as well. Imperial guard creep up through the ruins trying to get a shot at the advancing Chaos Marines.
The Inquisition forces make contact with the Nurgle Chaos Space Marines. They butcher the pestilent marines nearly to a man. The hulking Nurgle Chaos Lord, later dubbed “Humongous”, stayed steady in the combat.
Turn 3 – Nurgle Obliterators materialize from the Warp, ready to do battle.
Ground surveillance cams embedded in the rock formations on the surface get this lucky close-up shot of the pestilent obliterator marines.
The combat continues with the foul Lord Humungous.
Incoming Chaos small arms and heavy weapons fire cuts down some of the Imperial Guard’s finest. Many survive due to gaining cover in the intervening ruins.
The forces of the Imperium continue to advance on the west flank, finding cover in the ruins.
Chaos havocs continue to pummel the Loyalist forces from the Sky Shield. Even with incoming fire from loyalists on bottom of Turn 3, they survive and continue to punish the Loyalists with withering fire.
Top of Turn 4 – the Obliterators gun down deep striking Deathwing Terminators and watch on as Lord Humongous continues his fight with the Inquisition squad.
The battle continues to rage in the center of the battlefield as the Inquisition slowly whittle away the life force of Lord Humongous.
The stalwart Salamanders, even having been reduced in numbers dramatically, continue their advance implacably towards the teleporter relay.
The Imperial Guard cautiously advance on the west flank. At this point, most of the Chaos forces are on or in transit to the orbiting hulk. But they remain wary of the foul agents of Chaos as they approach the objective…
Advancing in support of their Inquisition allies…
Back on the orbiting hulk, the two opposing forces have met and begin to cross swords in battle. The Chaos terminators charge the Deathwing Terminators and wipe them out to a man! The Plague Marines, who have just arrive, begin their advance towards the objectives…
The Slaaneshi Terminators, locked in mortal combat with their nemesis, and bring them low…
The Plague Marines of the Death Guard, advancing…
The Deathwing Terminators, lead by Belial, back into an objective room to defend it.
Bottom of Turn 4: Imperial Guard troopers deep-strike teleport onto the Hulk in support of their Deathwing allies!
Ready for BATTLE!
The battle rages on at the top of Turn 5. The Imperial Guard, who where stalking up to the ruins, are cut down by Chaos Marine fire.
Servo skull cams capture the smoking ruins of wrecked vehicles strewn about the battlefield…
The Inquisition assault squad cut down Lord Humongous and embarked on the transport last turn. They will arrive this turn on the hulk!
The Havocs continue their deadly volleys of firepower, now aimed at the Salamanders marines…
Aboard the hulk, Chaos Space Marines continue to arrive to put pressure on the Loyalist marines….
And in the bottom of 5, the Loyalist forces get aggressive and strike out from their location, looking for Chaos prey…
Overview of the raging battle against the two forces, aboard the hulk.
The Plague Marines of the Death Guard continue their implacable advance. The Slaaneshi Terminators of The Unchained see their next quarry in the form of the Inquisition forces, recently boarding the hulk.
We called the game at the end of Turn 5 due to dice roll for end of game. The result was a stalemate – each team had equal number of victory points. The game was a draw as neither could conclusively manage to wrest control of the hulk!