Friday, 29 November 2013

Kallidus IV Campaign Week 6 - The Last Stand

Well, we've come to the end of our campaign. This week is a little different. There are no Campaign Points up for grabs. The scenarios are written to fit the narrative, and each game is different. So, here goes.

The PDF had withdrawn to defensive positions around the main planetary spaceport in Karlsberg. Shuttles had flown in from all of the surviving population centres on the planet and for the past 48 hours, spaceport and Navy personnel had been working solidly to evacuate the civilian population as quickly as they could. Overcrowded shuttles launched every twelve minutes, destined for the Transport Ships of the Imperial Navy. Naval squadrons had been enough to deter any attacks on the evacuation, at least so far.
General Erasmus was exhausted. He had continually moved from position to position, keeping morale up, keeping the men focused. If things went according to plan, they would be on the last shuttle, the plan was to fall back methodically when the crowded spaceport was emptied enough. The Dark Angels contingent under Interrogator Chaplain Alain Condrenus, Forgemaster Filius Zu's Iron Hands, the Black Templars under Emperor's Champion Ralphus, and Rune Priest Hanlus and his Space Wolves each supported the defenders of one side of the spaceport, held back as mobile reserves.
Inquisitor Silas Kendall made his way through the ruins of the largely abandoned city. He found the co-ordinates sent to him over the voxcaster. Here was a largely intact warehouse. He decided against entering the main door, drawing his combat shotgun and loosening his Daemonblade in its scabbard. He could feel the blade's bloodlust flow through his system, and had to use his willpower to regain control of the weapon. He activated the infrared function of his bionic eye, but there was nothing to be seen. He carefully made his way between the stacked crates, into an open area. As he moved across the floor, he walked into something invisible, but solid. A shimmer of multi coloured light crossed his vision, and suddenly 40 armoured giants stood all around him. Thousand Sons Sorcerer Johannes Slowe stepped forward to greet the Inquisitor......

In the end, we only had six players available for the final week. I had been hoping for more, but several of the players had other commitments on the evening, so here's the final games from Kallidus IV.

Special Rule : The planet is starting to come apart. As a result, no terrain piece is safe. At the end of each game turn, roll a D6 for each terrain piece on the board. On a 5+, it becomes damaged. Increase the terrain's cover save by 1, it becomes Dangerous Terrain, and any model in the terrain must pass an Initiative test or take a S4 AP5 hit with the Ignores Cover rule.

Ronan Kelly (Tau) vs. Kevin Conrad (Chaos Space Marines/Chaos Daemons)

Scenario - Escape.
Ronan's Tau have decided to abandon the planet to its fate. They attempt to reach their Manta transport to leave, but as they approach, they are ambushed by Kevin's army.

Deployment - Split the table into two halves by drawing a line between the middle of the long table edges. The Tau deploy first, anywhere in one half of the table. The Chaos army then deploys in the other half, anywhere that is at least 24" away from the Tau models. The Chaos army goes first. The Tau may not Seize the Initiative.

Objectives - The Tau must escape from the board. They do so by moving their units off the short table edge of the Chaos player's table half (they may not return). If more than 50% of the Tau units escape, the Tau win. If between 25% and 50% of the Tau units escape, the game is a draw. If less than 25% of the Tau units escape, Chaos wins.

Tau Commander O'Ronan led his forces awaited the arrival of their Manta transport in order to leave the forsaken planet of Kallidus IV. When he arrived at the agreed rendezvous point, there was no sign of it. He reached the Air Caste crew of the Manta, which had been hit by a missile and suffered engine damage, requiring it to set down a couple of kilometres away from his position. Repairs were underway, but it would be an hour or so before it was ready. Tau Commander O'Ronan formed his army up into a marching column and set out for the Manta.
Chaos Lord Konrad the Bloodsoaked smiled to himself. A good shot from one of his Havocs had damaged the Manta's engine, and he saw it set down in the swamps. He weighed his options and decided he could get some of the faster elements of his army into position along the route the Tau would need to take in order to reach the downed flyer.

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Result : 2 Tau units out of 9 escape. Chaos victory.

Chaos Lord Konrad the Bloodsoaked grinned as he slid off the back of his Juggernaut. The Tau had not been slightly prepared for his assault, and although many of his brothers had fallen under the Tau guns, the slaughter had been great after the Tau had come within reach of his blade.
The Tau Manta crew finally got the engines up and running and lowered the entrance ramp. The Tau survivors of the Chaos assault began to filter in. Commander O'Ronan waited as long as he could, but when he realised the planet's stability was no longer to be trusted, he ordered the Air Caste pilot to take off. The Manta quickly accellerated through the now-this atmosphere of Kallidus IV and made it's way back to the ship which had brought his cadre here......

Alan Condren (Dark Angels) vs. Ger O'Brien (Chaos Space Marines)

Scenario - Break Through
Ger's army assaults the spaceport during the evacuation. Alan's Dark Angels respond to the attack, supported by General Erasmus and elements of the Kallidus IV PDF.

Deployment - Place a piece of terrain to represent the Spaceport wall in one corner of the table. An Aegis Defence Line or other barrier is perfect for this. The Dark Angels deploy entirely within 24" of this table corner. The Chaos army then deploys anywhere outside of 24" of the Dark Angels and PDF. The Chaos army goes first, the Dark Angels are not allowed to Seize the Initiative.

Objectives - The Chaos player must get his forces into the Spaceport. He can do this by moving his units off the board in the area behind the Spaceport wall (they may not return). If 50% or more of the Chaos units move off the board, Chaos win. If between 25% and 50% of the Chaos units move off the board, the game is a draw. If less than 25% of the Chaos units move off the board, the Dark Angels win.

Special Rules -
The Imperial defenders add General Erasmus' PDF units to his army. This consists of General Erasmus' Command Squad (4 Veterans with Plasma Guns, General Erasmus is a Company Commander with a Bolt Pistol and Chainsword) and a Veteran squad (with 3 Plasma Guns). See Codex:Imperial Guard for rules and statistics. The PDF forces will not voluntarily cross the Spaceport wall. General Erasmus may issue one order to each PDF unit per turn as long as he is alive, the required leadership test is passed automatically.
The Chaos army gains the Sustained Assault rule. Any destroyed Chaos unit may re-enter the game using the rules for ongoing reserve at the start of the next Chaos turn. In addition, the Chaos player may voluntarily remove any of his own units at the end of any of his turns, counting it as destroyed. A unit which leaves the board beyond the Spaceport wall is not destroyed, and does not return to play.

Angerus Furyfist studied the auspex unit. It seemed all of the remaining lackeys of the False Emperor had gathered here in a futile attempt to escape the planet. He believed he had located a weak point in the Spaceport defences, and if he could smash his way through, the slaughter could be great indeed.
Interrogator Chaplain Alain Condrenus approached General Erasmus. While the Astartes had no need for sleep, the humans did, and it was even apparent to Alain Condrenus that the General needed to get some sort of rest. He began to suggest that the General withdraw for a few hours, when the first shells came raining down on their position. The General drew on every last ounce of adrenaline remaining in his body, and began to issue orders to his men. Alain Condrenus mounted his Land Raider alongside his Deathwing brothers, and prepared to sally out as the Chaos Space Marines came into view.

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Result : 3 Chaos units out of 9 break through. Draw.

General Erasmus was spent. There was no end to the Traitor Marines hurling themselves at the wall. The bodies of his PDF troopers lay scattered around the wall of the spaceport. Several Dark Angels lay dying just outside the wall, mingled with the fallen bodies of the Chaos soldiers. Several squads of the Chaos Marines had broken through to attack the refugees hidden behind the wall, he could only hope the mobile reserves behind the wall could intercept them before they reached the remaining refugees. General Erasmus loaded the final clip into his Bolt Pistol before raising his head over the wall. The purple beam of light in the distance seemed to be growing brighter and brighter, and looked as if it was starting to expand........

Paul Quigley (Tau) vs. John Stowe (Thousand Sons)

Scenario - The Ritual.
Inquisitor Silas Kendall and his Thousand Sons allies have arrived at the location of the beam of warp light, where an altar of Chaos is located, where they attempt to complete an arcane ritual. The Tau set out to stop them.

Deployment - Place a terrain piece to represent the Chaos altar, in the centre of one of the long table edges. The Thousand Sons deploy anywhere within 18" of the centre point of that long table edge. The Tau then deploy anywhere on the table at least 24" away from any Thousand Sons units. The Tau go first, the Thousand Sons may not Seize the Initiative.

Objectives - The Thousand Sons must attempt to protect Inquisitor Silas Kendall as he completes the ritual. The Tau must kill him before he can do so. The normal game ending conditions are ignored, play until Inquisitor Silas Kendall completes the ritual or is killed. The game ends when either of these events occur.

Special Rules -
Add Inquisitor Silas Kendall to the Thousand Sons army. He is an Ordo Malleus Inquisitor (see Codex:Grey Knights for rules and statistics) with Power Armour, a Shotgun, a Bolt Pistol, a Daemon Sword (Power Sword with the Daemon Weapon rule) and the Cloak of Change (this grants Inquisitor Silas Kendall with a 3+ invulnerable save against shooting and the Eternal Warrior USR. In addition, he may re-roll invulnerable save rolls of 1).
The Ritual - At the end of each Thousand Sons turn, if Inquisitor Silas Kendall is within the Chaos altar terrain piece (and not Gone to Ground or Locked in Assault), he may attempt the ritual. The Chaos player rolls a D6. In Turn 1, he succeeds on a 6. In Turn 2 and 3, he succeeds on a 5+. In any later turn, he succeeds on a 4+. If he succeeds three times, he completes the ritual and the Thousand Sons win.

Tau Commander O'Quiglos had been informed of the movements of the Thousand Sons thanks to the efforts of his Pathfinder Cadre. They had been tracked to the location of the strange beam of purple light. The integrity of the planet's surface had begun to disintegrate, and with no chance of an extraction in time, Commander O'Quiglos force marched his army to the location of the Thousand Sons. He had no idea what they were doing, all he knew was he had the feeling he had to stop it somehow.
Inquisitor Silas Kendall stood on the altar chanting. Thousand Sons Sorcerer Johannes Slow positioned the squads under his command where they could defend the approaches to the altar from anyone who tried to stop them. This plan had been decades in the making, and was so close to fruition. Any minute now. 

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Result : John rolls three sixes in a row to complete the ritual. Chaos victory.

Tau Commander O'Quiglos pushed his force forward at full speed, firing everything they had at the altar of Chaos. Thousand Sons fell under the weight of Tau firepower.
Inquisitor Silas Kendall continued to chant. He could barely hear the gunfire behind him, his concentration was so intense. He did not see or notice Sorceror Johannes Slowe fall, he barely felt the bullets that struck him. His face contorted into a strange grin as the beam of warp light began to glow brighter and brighter, from purple, to pink, to off white, and finally to pure white. It slowly began to expand, engulfing Inquisitor Silas Kendall, the remaining Thousand Sons, the forces of the Tau, and within thirty seconds the entire planetary surface. The shaking stopped abruptly, and then with a massive sucking sound, the entire planet of Kallidus IV fell into the warp, Daemons cavorting across its surface. Tzeentch was pleased.

And that concludes our campaign. A big thank you to all of the players for their efforts. Running the campaign was a lot of effort and very time consuming, but it's a lot of fun and ultimately very rewarding. I hope the players had as much fun with it as I did, and I hope you enjoyed reading.

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