++THOUGHT: “No plan survives contact” Attributed to Germanii strategos, VnKlawswitch, circa M2, Terra.
++MESSAGE: This being an account of the lamentable and ultimately unnecessary counter-invasion of Stronos IV.
The heavy assault carrier Barrian’s Fist breaches reality at system edge trailing kilometers long exoplasmic residue after a tumultuous warp journey that has cost her 2 of her lighter escorts. Barely pausing to effect necessary repairs and to confirm location via stellar cartography, the mighty relic ship engages her oversized real-space engines and powers insystem. In her cavernous holds the Fighting 101st Elysian Drop Regiment (Colloquially known as the Firian Screaming Eagles for their aggressive and boisterous way of war) primed and made ready for planet fall. Segmentum command had retasked the Fighting 101st from Seg Quick Reaction Reserve to plug a gap blasted through the Merkava crusade by the forces of the archenemy. The 101st’s mercurial commander, Colonel Hiram Fredrik, ordered an immediate combat drop which is consistent with the Elysian way of war though a more prudent commander might have made a more cautious approach allowing his augur displays to reveal more of the situation on the ground. Direct link to segmentum command had been rendered impossible by the death in transit of all of the Barrian’s Fist’s astropaths due to psionic feedback from the “troubled” warp jump to the Stronos system. Thus deprived of communication with segmentum command, Col. Fredrik fell back on his last known orders and executed them as any Elysian drop trooper would, with copious speed and aggression. Barrelling past Stronos VI and V at flank speed, augurs desperately straining to pierce the electronic interference kicked up by her own engines, the Barrian’s Fist made orbit around Stronos IV 7 hours after lighting her drives. In her cathedral-like bridge, thousands of crew carried out the myriad of functions necessary to her operation, Col. Hiram Fredrik hovering arround the sensorium trying to form a clearer picture of what was on the surface. The augur screens remained stubbornly clear. Fredrik ordered immediate combat drop lest the element of surprise be lost to the heretics that he reasoned were hidding below behind some kind of technological or psychic augur baffles. He was half right.
Hidden within low polar orbit was the Raptors Battle Barge War Talon, her compliment of three full companies of Raptors Astartes deployed on the surface, their aloof nature and habitual penchant for secrecy and stealth staying their hand from contacting their imperial allies even though they had been aware of the Elysians approach. This is consistent with the independence (some would say arrogance) of the Astartes in not deigning to communicate to their Astra Militarum brothers that the Traitor forces on Stronos IV had already been eradicated by them. The crew of the Barrian’s Fist and the Elysians crowded into 487 Valkyries, Vendettas and larger drop ships that even now plumeted through the upper atmosphere were eager for battle (and likely at wits end after their travails through the warp) so it comes as no real surprise that they unleashed the full force of their fury on the first contact that appeared on their instruments. Perhaps the Raptors vaunted stealth failed them, perhaps they unmasked themselves on purpose to hail friendly forces but the end result was that a storm of fire was unleashed from both orbit and from the assault waves hurtling towards the ground. Perhaps the Elysians realised their mistake a split second before their ordnance hit home, perhaps they begged forgiveness from His Holiness The Emperor for firing on Adeptus Astartes. It mattered not. Brother Radagus, 3rd tactical squad, 2nd company was the first casualty of this most bitter and uneccessary internecine conflict. Being made for war the Astartes returned fire and made battle on their would be allies as a matter of course, prosecuting a vicous counter attack on the Elysian drop zone with all the bellicose fury than only superhuman killers can achive. The Elysians, initially despairing of their fratricide were forced to fight a battle not of their choosing because of the Raptors Astartes counter attack. So, we can now see, with the dubious benefit of hindsight, that a series of mistakes and ill fortune led to the tragic events on Stronos IV. The full account of the battle follows overleaf.
++APPENDIX: As a curiosity, I adhere the full vox transcriptions of both forces to the report. Note the lack of communication by either side to the other. It seems that once the first shots were fired and then returned both sides choose to engage in a set piece engagement.
Mission: Crusade (4 Objectives)
Deployment: Dawn of War
Combined Arms Detachment – Elysian Droptroops: Imperial Armour vol.3 2nd.ed The Taros Campaign.
Company Command Squad: Carapace armor, 2xFlamers, Missile Launcher, Officer of the fleet
Commander: Powerfist …
Company Command Squad: 3xMeltaguns
Stormtrooper Squad: 1xMeltagun
Veteran Squad: Grenadiers, 3xPlasmaguns, Heavy Bolter
Veteran Squad: Grenadiers, 3xPlasmaguns, Heavy Bolter
Veteran Squad: Demolitions, 3xMeltaguns, 7xShotguns
Veteran Squad: Forward Sentries, 3xSniper Rifles, Missile Launcher
Vulture Gunship: Chaff Launchers, Twin-linked Punisher cannons
Vendetta Gunship: 3xTwin-linked Lascannnons
Tauros Squadron: 2xTauros Assault w/ Heavy Flamers, 1xTauros Venator w/ Twin-Linked Lascannon
Formation: Emperor’s Talon Recon from Mont’ka
3xArmored sentinels: 3xLascannons, 3xCamo Netting
3xArmored sentinels: 3xAutocannons, 2xHunter Killer Missiles
Captain: artificer armour; storm shield; Space Marine bike, The burning Blade
Librarian: Psyker (Mastery Level 1)
4 Tactical Marines: + 1 Space Marine Sergeant (combi-melta)
• Razorback: twin-linked lascannon
4 Tactical Marines: plasma gun; + 1 Space Marine Sergeant (combi-melta)
• Razorback: twin-linked assault cannon
4 Tactical Marines: + 1 Space Marine Sergeant (combi-melta)
• Razorback: twin-linked lascannon
4 Tactical Marines: heavy bolter; + 1 Space Marine Sergeant (combi-melta)
4 Scouts: + 1 Scout Sergeant
Stormtalon Gunship: Typhoon missile launcher
4 Space Marine Bikers: 2× grav-gun; + 1 Biker Sergeant (combi-grav)
2 Devastator Centurions: 2× grav-cannon and grav-amp; + 1 Centurion Sergeant (grav-cannon and grav-amp; missile launcher; omniscope)
4 Devastator Marines: 2× missile launcher (flakk missiles); 2× lascannon; + 1 Space Marine Sergeant
And here we are, as promised, the first of two battle reports which were played at our exclusive No Retreat event. With so many beautiful armies to choose from we were really spoilt for choice. But when else would you be able to play against a pure Elysian army, and what an army it was, all the way from Sweden. Fredrik from Scattered Dice Gaming would face off against Steven and his Raptors. Excited to start, we set up on this amazing industrial factory-style board, making good use of some of our amazing scenery and awesome mat by GAMEMAT.eu with both players eager to start we rolled for night-fighting and then rolled off to see who would start. Fredrik won the roll off and opted to start. Buckle in, this is going to be a good one.
Steven starts by placing the first of four objectives. Making good use of the factory’s high roofs knowing that he has infiltrating units which will be capturing them before the game even starts. (Sneaky!)
Fredrik then places one of his two objectives within his deployment zone and immediately begins deploying, placing one of his sentinel squads right next to it.
A true sight to behold! An absolutely beautiful army! Fredrik begins his deployment.
Let just take a quick moment here to really take in and appreciate how awesome these Forgeworld models really are.
Most of his army deploys on this right flank with not much cover, he places units close together, providing each other with some support.
Steven now begins his deployment, positioning his Razorbacks behind good cover. The rest of the army also deploy attempting to make the most of the pipelines and other areas of cover on his side of the battlefield, thinking ahead strategically of where his infiltrating units will go.
Steven keeps his bikes and captain in reserves whilst making the most of Lias Issodon’s warlord trait allowing him to infiltrate three units as well as himself. He perches the chapter master along with his devastator squad atop the factory’s highest point looking out over the entire battlefield. They can run, but they can’t hide.
The scout squad infiltrate as close as possible along the left flank. Hoping to use their “Legendary Marksman” rule that the Raptors chapter tactics give them. More information on the Raptors here: https://www.forgeworld.co.uk/resources/fw_site/fw_pdfs/Warhammer_40000/Forge_World_Space_Marine_Chapter_Tactics_V2.pdf
Lias Issodon makes quick work of a sentinel even before any movement thanks to his special rule “Infiltrate, Isolate and Destroy” A roll of a D3 results in two haywire hits and then glances making for a wrecked sentinel, the closest one from its squadron.
Turn 1 (Elysians) Fredrik begins moving his forces forwards, marking Steven’s central tactical squad with his Emperor’s Talon Recon formation giving preferred enemy to his sentinels when targeting that unit.
Turn 1 (Elysians) The auto-cannon sentinels open fire towards the razorback which they can only just about see on the other side of the battlefield, managing to glance the tank twice.
Turn 1 (Elysians) This squad targets the scouts in front of them hoping to score first blood. Leaving just a single scout alive and therefore forcing a leadership check which was luckily passed. The remaining scout stands brave.
Turn 1 (Elysians) The second sentinel squad, armed with lascannons, fire at another razorback also removing two hull points and shaking the vehicle and its crew.
Turn 1 (Elysians) Fredrik tries his luck with a krak missile at the closest razorback in the hopes that he might remove its final hull point, but the projectile failed to damage the tank’s armour.
Turn 1 (Raptors) Strike from the skies brothers! Steven has his Centurions and Librarian drop in and land directly in front of Fredriks army. I’d be scared of such a sight. This could throw a seriously big spanner in Fredrik’s works.
Turn 1 (Raptors) Steven moves his razorback forwards onto the objective also drawing line of sight to Fredrik’s lascannon sentinels.
Turn 1 (Raptors) Stevens librarian casts Prescience onto his unit for some re-rolling goodness. Fredrik, unable to deny the witch accepts the oncoming doom.
Turn 1 (Raptors) The centurions turn towards the sentinels and unleash hell. Needing 6s to glance and immobilise, Steven rolls five 6s, wrecking two of the auto cannon sentinels and leaving the last on one hull point.
Turn 1 (Raptors) Those Centurions did well and they know it. This picture captures the wake of destruction these bad boys can leave behind. “Before seeking victory, first make yourself invulnerable to defeat.” Primarch Corax
Turn 2 (Elysians) “We’re in the pipe, five by five…” Fredrik rolls for his reserves adding a +1 bonus thanks to his officer of the fleet….but Lias minus’ 1 resulting in an straight roll of a 3+ once again. Fredrik pulls off some great rolling leading to all of his units arriving this turn.
Turn 2 (Elysians) BY THE EMPEROR!!! Look at these incredible models! I’d say some of the best we’ve seen from Forge World. Fredrik outflanks his Tauros squadron into a great position just behind one of Steven’s razorbacks.
Turn 2 (Elysians) BALLS OF STEEL! The Kaskrin Stormtrooper squad tries their luck by deep-striking inches away from Lias and his unit. Will they succeed…..?
Turn 2 (Elysians) Mission accomplished! A perfect drop sees the squad land with pinpoint accuracy. This forces Steven to think again about his plans. Remember, they are packing some AP3 firepower.
Turn 2 (Elysians) Now air superiority is his! Both flyers tear up the skies above as they enter the battlefield ready to wreak havoc below.
Turn 2 (Elysians) The sentinels peek round the corner, excellent shooting results in the razorback bursting into flames.
Turn 2 (Elysians) The demolitions veteran squad fire their melta guns, easily removing a single centurion from play. A fair amount of fire power lost there.
Turn 2 (Elysians) Following the time-honoured 40k tradition, the brave soul wielding the plasma gun has it explode right in his face, taking his life. Poor guy, who’d have thought that’d happen in the year 40,000….
Turn 2 (Elysians) The Storm troopers up top opened fire at Lias and his unit with a barrage of AP3 shots. Even though Lias has a 2+ armour save Steven choses to play it safe and look out sir all six of the wounds made. With only shrouded to save these marines from certain death, Steven rolls and only fails one! Tremendous rolling.
Turn 2 (Elysians) The vendetta finishes off the closest razorback, wrecking it, as it was on just a single hull point. At the back we can see the other unit that also disembarked from its transport thanks to the sentinels shooting. Now both units are sat out in the open without much protection (…ehem…power armour…)
SN Battle Reports Published by Steven Pardo Page Liked · October 13, 2016 · Edited · Turn 2 (Elysians) The flyer unloads its 20 shots into a unit of 5 raptors who are out in the open and manages to kill four of them. Awesome flyer with the rules to go with it!
Turn 2 (Elysians) The Tauros’ heavy flamers fail to do any damage to the rear of this razorback, however, the lascannon rips through the armour making the tank snapfire in its next turn. A narrow escape for Stevens razorback here sees it live on to another round.
Turn 2 (Raptors) The captain and his unit appear via outflank here ready to prey on the Tauros squadron. SURPRISE! The bikes manage to wreck one of the Buggies in the shooting phase after firing all they’ve got in the form of grav and bolter fire.
Turn 2 (Raptors) The Stormtalon zooms onto the battlefield heading straight towards the Vendetta. Fredrik opts to jink and luckily for him that saves him from taking any damage whatsoever.
Turn 2 (Raptors) With nothing much in range, Steven choses to split-fire. The sergeant fires at the vendetta, needing 6s but with rerolls thanks to prescience once again, whilst the other centurion fires at the veteran squad in front of him. He removes four veterans from play two of which were wielding melta guns (Happy Steven!)
Turn 2 (Raptors) Lias detaches himself from the dev-squad and charges in to the stormtroopers slaying three in a single deadly slash of his power sword. Winning the combat, Lias chases down the unit finishing them all off single-handedly. EPIC! “My sword is at the Emperor’s command. I answer to no other man, living or dead.” Tu’Shan
View of the table at the end of turn two. What a game so far!
Turn 3 (Elysians) Fredrik starts his third movement phase, starting off by moving his lascannon sentinels forwards into prime positions hoping to bring some more important units down.
Turn 3 (Elysians) Fredriks’ Vulture moves forwards, making great use of vector dancer allowing him to pivot an additional 90 degrees after he moves. This granted him line of sight to four different units.
Turn 3 (Elysians) The two sentinels open fire at the threatening centurions but some awful rolling from Fredrik sees only one hit and a failed to-wound roll of a one.
Turn 3 (Elysians) Once again, in true 40k fashion, a plasma gun claims another victim as the unit fire at Lias atop the factory tower. Fredrik rolls causing four wounds to the chapter master who is now standing alone. Thanks to the cover between them, Lias passes all his 2 ups and is therefore unharmed.
Turn 3 (Elysians) The vulture opens fire at one of the Marine squads wounding 14 times which proved too much for Steven as the full 5-man squad is removed from play. Big blow.
Turn 3 (Elysians) The veteran plasma squad moves forward in a very tactical approach making good use of the elevated crate drawing perfect line of sight to the Centurion and Librarian squad…..will this be the end of the Centurions??? Noo! The dice gods are not on Fredriks’ side this time and only one of the plasma shots manages to hit and wound removing only a single wound from the deadly centurions…… Not what Fredrik wanted, he really needed this unit to be removed from play.
Turn 3 (Elysians) The Tauros seek revenge as both heavy flamers target the bike and Captain squad hitting and wounding 8 times in total! The captain steps up to take all the wounds….Steven feeling lucky with his 2+ artificer armour! And wow, he passes all but one, great choice by Steven.
Turn 3 (Raptors) The Storm Talon moves up the table immediately targeting the veteran squad in front killing 5 troopers in total. The Centurions just beside them try their luck and fire at the two Lascannon Sentinals before them, managing to remove a hull point and immobilise the closest sentinel. Could have been worse but some good cover saves by Fredrik thanks to the pipeline saved the unit of being totally wiped out.
Turn 3 (Raptors) Fredrik then goes on to fail his Veterans leadership test which sees them run off the board leaving the Objective uncontested!
Turn 3 (Raptors) The bike squad and Captian split up. The bikes, trying their luck and firing at the back of the Vulture, fail to do anything whilst the Captain charges into the Taurus unit blowing one of them up with ease using his S7 burning blade.
Turn 4 (Elysians) Again, Fredrik moves both of his fliers making good use of the vector dancer rule with his Vulture. The Vendetta moves forward over the factory. An amazing scene! “The enemy commanders think themselves safe from the Emperor’s Wrath behind kilometres of fortifications and legions of warriors. They did not account for us. Make your peace with the Emperor, men—we drop in two minutes.” Colonel Johanna van Meer, Elysian 13th “Helldivers” Drop Troops
Turn 4 (Elysians) With the Vendetta flying over the factory (and Lias!), the unit inside seize the opportunity and jump out thanks to the rule “Grav Chute Insertion”. A very risky move from Fredrik once again….. ….but thanks to yet another perfect roll on the scatter dice, the veteran demolitions squad lands square on the factory tower. More fodder for Lias to deal with again or will they finish the job with their three meltas and 7 shotguns.
Turn 4 (Elysians) Fredrik again moves his veterans forward. This time you could feel these guys meant business and they were determined to bring those centurions and librarian down! This will be a game changer if they actually do. Done like said…. Some amazing plasma shooting does their job as the centurians and librarian are removed from play with ease. Wow this is getting so tight! Very tough unit but when fired upon with ap2 or ap1 weapons they certainly need their cover saves to survive.
Turn 4 (Elysians) The tauros who luckily survived himself from being a pile of metal in the previous turn moves up towards the single heavy bolter that is capturing the objective 1 great wound roll followed by a missed save by Steven see’s the Heavy Bolter removed from play. Sorry to mention it again but what an awesome model!
Turn 4 (Elysians) Not this time Lias! The Veteran squad are too much for Lias this time as one of the Melta Guns pierce the tough artificer armour and instantly kill the Chapter Master . Job done! Now this is getting interesting, very good shooting turn by Fredrik brining down some key units and getting a point for Slay the Warlord. Lets see what Steven has in store for us in his next turn.
Turn 4 (Raptors) And here we go, Steven’s very important turn 4! With so much gone from the table now and so many things up in smoke… seriously you should see the amount of stuff that’s wrecked! Awesome sight for those watching the game live. Steven moves his Storm Talon forward making use of the hover mode to get a perfect position on those recently deep struck on the top of the factory tower. Will the storm talon seek revenge on their fallen Chapter Master? …..Boom that’s what I call shooting! The storm talon fires it’s full load on the bunched up Veterans making good use of his frag blast and assault cannons hitting and wounding with every shot! Totally wiping the unit out! That’s how you get the job done awesome shooting and what a way to seek revenge.
Turn 4 (Raptors) With not much else on the table to shoot at, this tac squad moves forward towards the Taurus. All it takes is a shot from the sergeants melta gun which penetrates perfectly through the engine blowing up the Taurus in a massive fireball which was seen from afar. What a shot.
Turn 5 (Elysians) With one of the closest games I have witnessed in a while this is make or break for both armies in this turn. Frederik starts by moving his Vulture into a perfect position to fire at the Storm talon in front. With 20 re-rolling S5 shots this is bound to do the job……or will it? He opens fire at the Storm Talon, Steven opting to jink as he needs this unit alive to move into objectives if needed in his last turn. An amazing 17 times the Vulture hits the back of the Storm talon, but only manages to glance 4 times of which Steven passes 3 thanks to his Jink saves! So the Storm Talon is left to fly another day with one Hull point remaining! Could this have decided the game???
Turn 5 (Elysians) The last remaining mobile Sentinel makes sure to get into Linebreaker objective area and fires at the Tactical squad hiding behind the pipelines, hitting and wounding but a good cover save by Steven sees the marine unharmed.
Turn 5 (Elysians) The Veteran squad below finally removes this squad from play after 4 turns of consecutively shooting at them. Great placement by Steven at the start of the game using good use of Lias’ shrouding and infiltrating rules made them withstand a lot of firepower. Now this makes things interesting again as now they are 1 objective apiece so at the moment its a draw with one certain turn for Steven left.
Turn 5 (Elysians) The vendetta opts to fire at the last remaining Razorback before it moves forward onto the Objective in front. The three twinlinked cannons prove to strong again and the tank blows up into a wreck of scrap metal. Fredrik trying his best to stop Steven’s units from capturing the objectives in his next turn and its going very well as at the moment Steve is holding no objectives to Fredrik’s contesting one.
Turn 5 (Raptors) The Raptors begin their guaranteed last turn. How lucky was Steven to still have his Storm Talon in play? This will probably be the decider as Steven moves it up onto the Factory tower and captures the objective. That Vulture bringing this bird down was a must as I think Steven now has the game in his bag.
Turn 5 (Raptors) Steven moves two of his last remaining tactical squads into objective range capturing the objective with two units just to make extra sure he now hopes the game will end and if it does he has won the game…..
Turn 5 (Raptors) ……and with a roll of a 2 the game ends! Wow wow wow that was so close and such a game changing closing fifth turn, with barely anything on the table Steven takes the win in his last turn taking control of 2 objectives. Steven: 7vp (2 objectives, LB) Fredrik: 5vp (1 objective, LB, SLW)
Steven: Well what can i say! One of the tensest and best games I have had in a while! Every turn made the game change from winning to losing with units on either side deciding the game in the last couple of turns. Was amazing to finally play an Elysian army and wow what an army it was, both visually and tactically it was awesome. My centurions for me were the game changer, they hit hard for two turns and luckily survived for more turns than I expected. Was also very cool and cinematic to see Lias at the top of the factory tower and swiping that Kaskrin unit with ease as he detached himself in a true CM fashion and defeated them. So many unlucky rolls on Fredrik’s behalf did change the game in my favour on a couple of occasions. All in all a fantastic game of Warhammer 40k. Thanks again to my friend Fredrik from Sweden for being awesome and bringing this lovely army to our No Retreat event. Make sure you go and visit his FB page Scattered Dice Gaming . Well that makes it 4/4 wins for my raptors in the last month slowly getting used to how they work on the battlefield…… and this force will be growing… WIP soon!
Fredrik: This was an unexpected blow! I was fairly confident when I went into this game since I have plenty of mobile firepower and reserve units that could grab objectives late in the game. My initial plan was to push up the table in the centre and on the left flank, concentrating fire on his transports to slow down all those tactical marines. I knew my flyers would cause havoc among his back lines wherever they got a chance, but after I failed to kill the centurions (I shot two rapid fire salvos with three plasmas, and one salvo of three meltaguns but still didn’t manage to take them down!) I had to halt the ground advance. As the turns went on it became obvious that we would only be able to hold one objective each, so I went for winning the secondary objective by killing his warlord. No-one got first strike and both could claim line breaker so I really had to commit to take out Lias Issodon from his vantage point. Stormtroopers and veterans deployed very tactically and cinematically by deep striking right behind the chapter master to focus melta and shotgun fire into his back. In the last turn I failed to take out the hovering Storm talon with my Vulture which meant he actually got two primary objectives to my single one, and snatched the victory from my Drop troops! I really enjoyed this game as it was a bloody knuckle fight from the start, and with all the flyers zooming around the beautiful board really made it visually stunning as well.