Table of Contents (links):
Imperial Designation: Archon 7
Type: Class AT84.9 – atmosphere supports human life, non-sustainable, low-level life supporting infrastructure required
Imperial Calendar: 1 756 422 M41
- Farseer Iyanna Ariennel, the Spirit Seer of Iyanden
- Shadow Spectre Phoenix Lord Irillyth, The Shade of Twilight. Army Warlord.
- Corsair Captain Alianna Voidwalker, counts as Prince Yriel
- Wraithseer Elthariel
Imperium of Man:
- Magos Caleb Decima, Lord of Ruin, Siege Adapt of the Ordo Reductor
- Captain Crigus Falco, Captain, The Emperor’s Hammer
- Lieutenant Commander Xander Elmind, Chief Navigator and Executive Officer, The Emperor’s Hammer
- High Lord Sepsis Virilius, Chaos Lord and high Captain of the Death Guard. Army Warlord.
- Leprosius Vort, Sorcerer of Nurgle
- Dericius Flox, Plague Marine Champion
- Virius, Chaos Obliterator cultist
- Battux Zilth, Archon 7 Hab Block 43A inhabitant, leader of Hive City Irrijian Cult
In orbit over Archon 7, Present Moment
The Emperor’s Hammer had left warp less than an hour ago, and yet her captain and crew still felt the unease that comes with being in the Empyrean. Already making orbit around Archon 7 within the last quarter of an hour, the crew had been commanded to make ready for battlestations and orbital bombardment. Normally the crew would be in orbit for weeks, if not months, before such a course of action was issued; parlaying with the world’s government and inhabitants, before that final step just short of complete Exterminatus was given. It was clear that Captain Falco was moving with great speed to carry out his orders from the High Lords of Terra with a swiftness of purpose.
Captain Falco was seated at his command chair on the forward bridge of the Emperor’s Hammer, surveying the hurried crew, making final preparations to make low orbit for bombardment. The Retribution-class Battle Cruiser was near the pinnacle of the Imperial Navy, and to summon one, with all supporting ships and personnel, was no small matter. It was through that lens that Falco observed his crew. The orders were strict – no one outside of the executive officers were to know of the destination, the mission, or the implications should they fail. This sector has been dormant for nearly a millenium, and it was inconceivable to so many that suddenly there was so much activity in this sector. Nevertheless, the Ordo Hereticus spies’ pict-viewer recordings were accurate – no less than 2 xenos species had infiltrated into the desert world, and had been uncovered in the last few months. Additionally, the nature of the rapidly escalating conflict made the directive clear – flatten the Irrijian sector on Archon 7. There was no room for misinterpretation. If victory wasn’t secured within hours, the mission was to be scrubbed and Exterminatus to be ordered.
“Lieutenant, status report”, said Crigus Falco cooly. Falco’s XO, Xander Elmind, had his back to him, yet he was already collating the report.
“Crew has prepped decks 9 through 27 – all orbital strike cannons ready to fire” reported Elmind. “We will make geosynchronous orbit with Irrijian in 20 minutes.”
“Very good, maintain approach and keep me briefed. Any word on Decima’s detachment?”
“None yet sir. Still under Communications Protocol 8”, replied Elmind. Falco knew that the secret nature of the Adeptus Mechanicus’ involvement in this mission would require strict lack of communication, but he feared the worst since their deployment almost a week ago with little support from the Imperium. The damned Eldar were almost as bad as the Heretics they’d come here to annihilate.
“Very well.” Falco said. He began a train of thought regarding the ramifications of the intersection between the Mechanicus and the reported Eldar contingent when suddenly a klaxon rang with blaring clarity.
“Report!” barked Falco instinctively. The entire snapped quickly to their consoles and began chattering back and forth, to each other as well as over the inter-deck vox channels.
“Contact at two-one-seven mark tow-nine-four!” shouted the navigation officer. “One contact, clear signal! Silhouette does not match any current known configurations. Hull size – roughly battle-cruiser class. New contacts now, estimate two dozen silhouettes of smaller configurations, likely support vessels. On intercept course and closing!”
“On viewer!” barked Falco. The XO nodded to the visuals officer, and as the blast doors came down over the large portages of the foredeck, a holographic pict viewer snapped to life in the center of the bridge. The viewer was showing a mass of ships approaching their position. The sickly green hue of the holographic ships was of a familiar but non-standard configuration, and only took Falco and Elmind moments to recognize the profile.
“Chaos – Plague Fleet…” whispered Elmind. The renegades had shown their hand and now were on full intercept course to engage. They must have been hiding in the sun’s corona to avoid detection. But a fleet this size should have been easy to spot. But they must have been here for some time if confrontation was escalating. It was of no matter now, they were here and present and must be dealt with, he reminded himself.
“Sir, recommend stay on-target with mission objective and use our momentum to carry us over target site while we turn abroad-sides to engage incoming fleet.” Elmind’s mind possessed tactical genious, and was always ready with a quick plan even under the tightest of pressure.
“So noted – proceed!” snapped Falco as he sat back down in his command chair. He was quite astonished that he had managed to stand to observe the holographic pict viewer, and hadn’t realized he left his seat.
The Emperor’s Hammer was no shuttle capable of turning on a coin, so precious minutes would be spent getting the massive ship into alignment and adjusting speed to address both threats, all while the enemy was making their own preparations for attack. As the ship made its way towards geosynchronous orbit and presenting broadsides to the oncoming fleet, the reports started rolling in of the Plague Fleet’s weapons coming to bear and in range. The minutes passing waiting for optimal positioning were excruciating to Falco, and he couldn’t imagine what the crew was thinking at this point.
“Sir, we’re in position – broadsides presented and will be in geo-synchronous orbit in 3 minutes!” announced Elmind finally. “All port side decks report weapons ready and on stand-by, targeting solutions ready and await your command as well as synchronous planetary bombardment.”
Falco took a slow, deep breath. He knew what must be done. He couldn’t run with the Emperor’s Hammer, not now. The mission had too much at stake. But he also knew that while the crew and the ship were some of the finest in the Imperium, they could not withstand a protracted naval battle with a Plague Fleet of this size. He also understood the horror that awaited him and his crew if they were to be captured – he could not allow that to come to pass. He glanced over to Elmind with knowing yet sad eyes, and the XO’s return gaze immediately demonstrated understanding. ‘Prepare the engines self-destruct sequence’ his glare said – no words need be passed. Both men understood.
“Fire…” said Falco.
On the surface of Archon 7, on the outskirts of Irijian Hive City, Three weeks ago
“You should learn to embrace the pain, brother”, remarked Lord Sepsis, with a chilling indifference. The tone of his voice as well as the modification of the sound as it passed through his vox unit made the sound of his statement all the more ghastly. The pain plug that Battux had installed his chest was causing fiery jolts of pain to wrack through his system, as well as increasing the size and spread of the noxious pustules that were spreading even now over his torso. He now feared that even though the mission had been successful to locate the archeotech from the Corsairs had been successful, Lord Sepsis would not allow him to live with the knowledge of its existence. Even with his newfound devotion to the Father of Entropy.
“Embrace the agony and accept the weakness of your flesh – become one with the suffering, and you might survive – if survival is what you desire. Is it what you desire, Battux?” said Sepsis, with the slightest tinge of amusement creeping into his ghastly voice emanating from his vox grille. The Plague Marines stood with stoicism behind him, as well as a contingent of Obliterators. They all watched the display passively as Battux kicked out the remainder of his miserable existence before them. Battux’ pain was of no consequence to them. The nearby Obliterator Virius could be seen to form a twisted grin as the pain amplification unit continued to perform its unholy duty.
Battux had gone beyond the point of screaming, his body so wracked with pain and rapid-spreading disease that he could no longer form sounds. He kicked and twisted in the sand, a bloody froth now foaming from his mouth and spilling into the loose dirt, his life force now spent.
Battux had lead a cultist contingent to seek out the archeotech that the Corsairs had brought to Archon 7 over a week ago. Little did he know that the Corsairs were not dealing with him and his gang directly, but with Sepsis, behind the scenes. When Sepsis knew where the archeotech relic was and how to claim it from the Corsairs, the rest was academic. Overwhelming force had claimed the lives of most of the astonished Corsairs, as well as the technology he sought. And now the cultists were done being “handled”.
On the surface of Archon 7 on the eastern outskirts of Irijian Hive City, Present Moment
Iyanna Ariennel surveyed the muster of the Eldar with great anticipation.
The Eldar were too few to commit lightly to an operation of this size, but all knew the stakes involved,
and she herself had seen the ramifications if the forces of the Great Enemy could not be stopped here.
The arrival of the mighty Phoenix Lord Irillyth was an unexpected boon.
He hadn’t been present for the initial fighting, but the omens had drawn him here.
Iyanna had surrendered command of the gathered Eldar forces to him without comment, and he had quickly
divided the hastily assembled army and sent them out into the field.
She remained with the Wraith forces, her immense psychic ability assisting to root the constructs in this world.
The Pathfinders had reported a small force of the mon-keigh had arrived from the orbiting fleet.
The Voidwalker, having spent a milennia as a Corsair Captain, had volunteered to parlay with this new element.
She had been gone for some time, but Ariennel had read the skeins of fate, and was not surprised when she
felt the Voidwalker was to appear before she emerged from the Webway in a flash of light.
“The newly arrived Mon-Keigh are not hostile, as of yet, but they are drawn here the same as we.
They made it obvious that they are still investigating our presence, as well as that of our Great Enemy” she said.
“It will proceed then. Treat the Mon-Keigh as non-hostile, at least for now.
We must end this quickly, and be on our way. We must be careful of our actions,
they will be watching us as closely as we watch them, but would prefer dead Mon-Keigh to sacrificing
our own people”, Ariennel replied.
“Agreed. I need to finish coordinating the army”, Voidwalker vanished once more into the webway.
The Voidwalker currently followed the Path of Command, and Irillyth had appointed her to coordinate
his strategy with the disparate army elements, something she did with ruthless efficiency.
Ariennel saw movement from further down the slope. The Plague Marines were always accompanied by
noxious clouds of gas and toxins, and she could see the unmistakable green haze filling the valley below.
As if on cue, blazing fireballs fell from the heavens, exploding around her. The humans had restarted
their bombardment, they were tracking the Death Guard as well.
She turned to the constructs under her command and sent out a mental command “It is time”.
Her force entered the webway.
Near the landing site, Magos Caleb Decima visibly winced after finishing his discussion with the Eldar.
Adapt Thanos had stood nearby, mentally linked to the Thallax Cohorts nearby in the event the Eldar
“I have never had a conversation with the Eldar that I didn’t immediately regret”
Decima said to his subordinate.
“Then the Eldar are non-hostile?” Thanos asked.
“For now. Regardless of the Eldar intent, their agenda is certainly preferable to that of Chaos.
Both the Eldar and the Chaos forces are far too strong for us to engage,
so by the Omnissiah, we’re now forced to take sides. Ideally, we can use this opportunity to
ascertain if the Eldar know of the new technology. And raise Iaksis, we’ll soon need air support.”
Iaksis was a veteran pilot of the Mechanicus, hastily drafted for this mission.
Decima boarded the “Iron Dominator”, his personal transport, a Land Raider. The battle would soon be joined.
On the surface of Archon 7 on the western outskirts of Irijian Hive City, Present Moment
The corroded grille of Dericius’ vox unit cracked, hissed and sputtered, and then produced vocalizations.
“My Lord, the drones are reporting in… the Eldar and the False Emperor’s minions are taking position on the eastern edge of the rubble of sector 8A of Irrijian”
“Indeed,” remarked the terminator lord. “And you’ll also find that the Emperor’s lapdogs have just made orbit. Our bretheren in the fleet have just made orbit themselves and are engaging. We shall retrieve our spoils and be done with this world.”
“Yes My Lord,” replied Dericius. He had longed to see his Lord have his prize. For nearly three weeks Lord Sepsis’ forces had laid in wait, patiently, for the Eldar to try to recover the artifact. He was beginning to think that the Eldar’s patience was vastly greater than his own and his Lord’s. Minor firefights broke out over the last weeks, but the stalemate had grown tiresome – when the Death Guard would ready to mount an assault, the Eldar would feint and fade into the shadows, as ever they would. It was enough to test the patience of Mortarion.
“Take heart, Dericius,” chided Sepsis. “The Emperor gives to both his lapdogs and to us on this day. The impending bombardment will force our enemy’s hand – they call ill afford to tarry whilst the shells of our greater enemy fall – they have not the constitution for it.”
Dericius knew the truth in the statement. The bombardment was sure to force the Eldar out and into conflict, as well as be the signal to vacate the area. With both fleets converging on this sector, it seemed a foregone conclusion. Even still, Lord Sepsis had taken precautions to ensure that if he was not able to procure the archaeotech, then no one would. The doomsday device, left in orbit, was ready to be deployed. It would certainly keep the device out of the hands of the Imperium or the Eldar, but that was not their goal.
At that moment, a wretched, disfigured power armored figured approached Lord Sepsis and Dericius. Having spent much time in the warp, Leprosious Vort had begun to meld with his armor, as well as burst forth from it in several places. His rotting, cankered, and fetid flesh was awash with pus and oozing sores, as flies buzzed incessantly around him. Truly Leprosius was gifted in the eyes of Father.
“My Lord,” said Leprosious, “the ebb of the warp energies surrounding this sector are coming to peak levels. If we are to strike, now is our most opportune time. We should not delay any longer.” Leprosius’ helm had long since disintegrated, leaving only his corpulent, disfigured face to deliver the wetly spat words through spurts of vomitous pus.
Lord Sepsis paused for a moment as if he were deep in thought, then his attention returned to Dericius and the sorcerer Leprosius. “Return to your vehicles. We make ready for engaging. Leprosius, ensure that our engines are ready for battle and signal our Obliterator cult brethren to make haste and prepare for teleportation. I am getting reports of orbital bombardment from the Imperials is impending – if what you say is true, now is the time for us to engage.”
And as he said that, the sky over Irrijian opened up with bright fireballs of incoming shells, and began to find their range, even though the bombardment seemed random, the shells started to fall uncomfortably close.
“Prepare to engage,” Sepsis gurgled low under his breath. He would not be denied this day. Centuries of patience, cunning, and brutality had brought him to this time and place. He would not allow the frail Eldar and the cursed loyalist scum deny him his treasure, so close within reach.
The scenario for this battle report is as follows:
- Warhammer 40k 6th Edition
- 6000 points per side
- Eldar w/ Adeptus Mechanicus allies vs. Chaos Space Marines (Nurgle)
- Mission Objective: Death and Glory – This scenario uses kill points. Additionally, subtract one from your score for each of your units that has fled or is broken at the end of the game.
- Scenario Set-up: Standard Deployment for Apocalypse rules.
- Game Length – Set at 6 turns, or until one side is wiped out.
- Raging Inferno – At the start of each players shooting phase, the controlling player places an inferno marker (a 40 mm round marker, ideally painted fiery). Once placed, roll for scatter exactly as if the shot was a blast weapon with a ballistic skill of 0. Any model within 6″ of the marker suffers a Strength 5 AP – hit. The marker remains in play and will have the same effect in each subsequent shooting phase. Additionally, if the marker ends up on or in a city ruin or building, the entire ruin or building is considered ablaze. Any model within the building at the beginning of any shooting phase will immediately suffer a hit as above.
Report & Pictures
Well, we got to about the end of Turn 4 when we had to call it a day. There was still a fair amount of fight left in both sides at that point, so it would be hard to call the game either way. Here’s some pics and commentary along with a few videos of the battle. Enjoy!
Video for the table set-up.
Video for Apocalypse deployment zones.
Video for team Chaos (first turn) – deployment.
Video for Eldar deployment.
Turn 1 (top) – Nurgle moves up, kills the Pathfinders with amazing rolls from the Chaos havoc launchers.
Turn 1 (bottom) – Eldar move up and strike back at Chaos.
Turn 3 (top) – video recap.
No pictures for Turn 4 as we were starting to get rushed a little bit. Overall great battle, tons of action. We just needed more time. Perhaps another day with a rematch!