The action on Achilles 588 is but a footnote in the bloody kinstrife that thrice-cursed Horus unleashed on the nascent Imperium, lost in the colossal shadow cast by the events both immediately before and after it. By size it would rank as entirely unworthy of note or reflection in this most savage age, but its import lies both in its location and timing rather than in the disposition of forces involved.
Achilles 588 is one of the so-called Jupiter Trojans, a belt of asteroids located 60 degrees trailing of Jupiters orbit, Sol system. An unremarkable frozen rock lost amongst its million strong astronomical bretheren within sight of the throneworld. It’s strategic significance lay in its use as a comunication relay hub by the Praetorians of Terra, the VIIth legion (Imperial Fists) lying as it did at the outer edge of the 3rd defence sphere as ordained by Lord Dorn. Its location and function lending the Achilles 588 relay station disproportionate strategic importance within the mutually supporting defence spheres of Sol and therefore warranting its garrisoning a full Veletarius Terrico of the 23rd Saturnine Rams.
In the shrouded aftermath of the Battle of Pluto, all loyalist forces remained at high alert throughout the solar system, for although the Alpha Legion’s large scale attempt to prise open the outer defences through guile, subversion and, eventually, shocking force had been thwarted by Lord Dorn and his legion at a high cost, (Addendum: See file 478/55GH.667Rho ref. events on Pluto and its moons) a foe as subtle as the XXth legion was never to be underestimated, even in defeat. Perhaps especially in defeat.
The XXth legion was and is known to use an extensive number of human agents as both saboteurs and spies and events had proven that there were hundreds if not thousands of these turncoats abroad in the solar system. Efforts lead by the Imperial Fists to run down these Alpha Legion human auxilia were already afoot but the real danger turned out not to be the acts of fifth columnists, but by Legiones Astartes bearing the livery of the XXth legion. Perhaps an overview of the methodology of the Alpha Legion (Addendum: See file 228/20AO.666 ref. XXth Legion tactics) would enlighten the reader of this record but suffice to say that such was the reputation of Alpharius and his genesons that the appearance of mid-sized raiding forces of Astartes throughout the system led many to believe that their apparent defeat at Pluto had merely been a ruse, a cover or guise for the legion to split up and range at will within the outer defences and spread chaos and confusion before the coming storm of the Warmasters wrath. Such tactics would be in keeping with past Alpha Legion operations and resonate with the esoteric imagery with which they were at this point increasingly linked; the many headed hydra whose heads could be severed only for two more to appear in the originals place, or the serpent whose venom continues its malign work even after the serpent itself was despatched.
Whether Pluto was the objective or merely a deception is perhaps a debate for another time. This record focuses on the actions of the Alpha Legion as they ranged seemingly at will within the outer bulwarks of Terras innermost spacial defences; The Kuiper Belt massacres, the bombardment of the Makemake forge thanes, the Eris rebellion and others almost too numerous to count, the Alpha Legion visited ruination and instability into the heart of His realm. The attack on the comms relay on Achilles 588 would mark a change in the pattern of strike and fade in which the Imperial Fists had been at severe disadvantage. The perfectly executed surprise attack executed by a demi company of XXth Legion legiones astartes fell not upon the stated garrison of solar auxilia but upon a sizeable detachment of Imperial Fists led in person by first captain Sigismund himself.
Seemingly having learnt their enemies ways, the VIIth legion had turned the hunters into the hunted with a masterfully enacted ambush. Fully commited to their attack the Alpha Legion pressed on into the teeth of the Imperial Fists fire, to break off before such a foe at such close quarters would have led to frighteningly high casualties, or perhaps, being so used to dictating the course of events, so sure of their superiority in both inteligence and cunning, the Alpha Legion found themselves bested by the Imperial Fists ruse de guerre and found themselves momentarily robbed of the adaptabilty and maleability of command that usually served them so well in the prosecution of their wars and their attendant lies.
Here then lies then the account of the Battle of Achilles 588…
Mission: War of Lies
This Battle Report is dedicated to the memory of Alan Bligh, who brought the Horus Heresy out of shadowed myth and made it real for all of us. Be at peace. 1974-2017
Quad Launcher With Shatter Shells
5 Terminators 3 Powerfists, 2 Chainfists, 5 Combi Meltas, Power Dagger on Sgt
10 Marines, Extra Combat Blades, Sgt with Powerfist Power Dagger Artifcer Armour,
Rhino with Multimelta and Dozer Blade
10 Marines, Sgt with Powerfist Power Dagger Artificer Armour,
Rhino with Multimelta and Dozer Blade
Javelin Attack Speeder with Multimelta
Javelin Attack Speeder with Multimelta
Vindicator with Laser Destroyer Array and Dozer blade
5 Man Heavy Support Squad Sgt Nuxio Vox and Aurgury Scanner, 4 Autocannons
Legion Destroyer Squad
Jump Packs, Artificier Armour, Missile Launcher with Suspensor Web, Melta Bomb
Legion Quad Launcher Support Battery
Legion Terminator Squad
4x Legion Terminators, 4x Power fists
15 Marines, , Sgt with Powerfist, Artifcer Armour,
15 Marines, , Sgt with Power Sword ,Artifcer Armour,
Leviathan Siege Dreadnought
Armoured Ceramite, Cyclonic Melta Lance, Leviathan Storm Cannon, Phosphex Discharger, Twin-linked Volkite Caliver, Twin-linked Volkite Caliver
So here we are! The first Horus Heresy battle report on our awesome and newly revamped site, only for the eyes of our subscribers. And what a treat we have in store for you today, feast your eyes on this fantastic board, setting a perfect atmosphere for a Horus Heresy report. Today we have a special guest, all the way from the UK representing www.gftw.co.uk, Ryan Kemp. Bringing with him his astonishingly painted Alpha Legion, he’ll be facing our studio Imperial Fists, making for two amazing armies being represented on the battlefield. Speaking of the battlefield, seeming as we will be playing on our fortress board, we thought what would be more appropriate than using the Ambush deployment and war of lies mission, having the Fists set up in the centre with the XX’s Legion attempting to besiege and infiltrate them. TO BATTLE!
For all of you who know enough about Alpha Legion, it is know that they like to mess with their enemy’s comms, whether it be by destroying…or hacking them. For this reason we have used comms relays to represent the objectives.
A view of another of the objectives. A great kit bash using lots of vehicle bits. The things we to make the reports that extra bit special…
Needing a fifth point to represent the last objective, we added a satellite dish to one of the statues making for a more stealthy relay?
Due to the scenario, we gave Steven the first turn as we felt that it made most sense with him being the defender. He begun deploying, making the best use of the fortresses battlements. He also boldly deployed what is supposedly the “heart” of his army, The Leviathan, in his front ranks.
Wow! What a sight! The second fifteen-man marines squad deploys on the highest level of the fortress, gaining a viewpoint to provide all the covering fire their comrades may need.
The deployment phase got Steven thinking plenty as with his units in the centre of the board, Ryan would easily be able to surround him. Not only was he approaching from two sides, but also had a lot of potential outflankers and infiltrators. Sigimund, Stevens warlord, leads his Cataphracti Terminators on the complete opposite flank to the where the Leviathan is positioned. He hopes to form a formidable defence by splitting his two most elite and impactful unites to cover as much space as possible.
Finally the Quad Launcher support battery sets up atop an enclosed battlement. With this overview of Stevens army we can really get a feel for how his Fists must feel, knowing the Alpha Legion is approaching but hearing nothing but crackling noises over their comms as their brethren hopelessly attempt to communicate with each other.
Here they come! The Legion Vindicator Laser Destroyer comes into sight first, setting its sights straight on the biggest target, the Leviathan.
Without any opposing infiltrators, the Alpha Legion units were free to set up sneakily. Most could be placed anywhere as long as they were 18 inches away, or 12 if out of line of sight. Dynat and his retinue of Cataphracti make use of infiltrate and sneakily make their way forwards.
That which Steven should fear most enters the battlefield towards what Steven would consider the rear, the Whirlwind Scorpius is now in sight. This nasty piece of work packs a menacing punch with multiple AP3 barrage blasts. Ouch!
One of Ryans Rhinos sets up on the other corner. Full of troops, its mission is to quickly deliver them to the enemy.
The second Rhino, along with the autocannon support squad set up only 18 inches away as they both infiltrated. Sneaky…
Ryan picks up a dice and looks at Steven. Tension builds as Steven knows he so very desperately needs the first turn to stand a chance. Ryan rolls his dice and fails on the roll of a three. A sigh of relief is heard over from Stevens side of the table.
Turn 1 (Imperial Fists) The Leviathan seeks out its first targets and locks on. As it moves towards them we can almost hear the sound the tons of metal would make, one step after another…an impending doom?!
Turn 1 (Imperial Fists) The Terminators move down the ramp, closing the distance to the Rhino as the Marines move along the top, towards the objective.
Turn 1 (Imperial Fists) The first of what should have been many more casualties. The Leviathan opens fire with his vast array of weaponry, more than capable of wiping a unit clean off the board. Alas, Ryan’s saving throws prove us all very wrong as only two Terminators perish under the heavy fire.
Turn 1 (Imperial Fists) Calling out the position to his partner, the quad launcher gunner turn its attention to the biggest threat, the Whirlwind Scorpius. Loading four shattershells into the launcher, the volley is quickly released towards the tank. Only two make contact, but with sunder allowing for penetration re-rolls, it should be enough. Surprisingly enough Steven fails his rolls even after re-rolling both. This could spell disaster for his marines.
Turn 1 (Imperial Fists) The autocannons are the next targets. With only six marines in range, Steven opens fire and manages to take out the autocannon support squad sergeant.
Turn 1 (Imperial Fists) The Marnies stood atop the fortress open fire on the terminator unit. Ryan is confident that Dynat can take the hits with his 2+ but sadly one round makes it way through his armour and wounds him. At the end of the phase, Ryan rolls and passes his leadership test on a 7.
Turn 1 (Alpha Legion) Here’s Ryan, sporting his Greeting from the Warp polo. He begins his movement phase where one of the Rhinos makes its way forth towards one of the flanks.
Turn 1 (Alpha Legion) Unfazed by the wound he has just taken, Armillus remains at the front to continue tanking those shots. Armed with enough firepower to put a decent dent in the Leviathan, the terminators move towards it bravely, ready to deal some damage.
Turn 1 (Alpha Legion) Ryans Rhino moves through the challenging terrain and has to roll for dangerous. He gets a one but thankfully passes on the re-roll thanks to his dozer blades.
Turn 1 (Alpha Legion) The Alpha Legions autocannons put to use their knowledge and experience, unleashing hell towards the highest battlement of the fortress as they know this is where the Imperial Fists biggest guns will be as they would get the best vantage point. Along with some help from the Rhinos melta, they succeed and leave only the support crew alive.
Turn 1 (Alpha Legion) The laser destroyed overcharges and fires at the Leviathan, a worthwhile risk in the eyes of both generals. A total of two penetrations and one glance are sent Stevens way, however, thanks to his 4++, the glance is the only thing to get through. Ryan now rolls for his gets hot and takes a hull point. A worthwhile trade?
Turn 1 (Alpha Legion) The other Rhinos melta takes a shot at one of Stevens terminators, hitting him square in the chest. The wound roll is passed…this is going to hurt…and Steven fails his invulnerable! One terminator down, unlucky.
Turn 1 (Alpha Legion) The Whirlwind has enemy co-ordinates relayed to it and adjust their turret accordingly. They open fire but mange to scatter a massive nine inches, luckily, he can use the multiple barrage rules to just about clip one marine, removing it from play.
Turn 2 (Imperial Fists) Sigimund and his Cataphracti press on, slowly making their way to the Rhino, shame they can’t run. The Marines behind them decent one level, securing the objective for now.
Turn 2 (Imperial Fists) The Leviathan keeps moving towards its target. After moving, Steven realises that this isn’t his usual load-out and doesn’t actually have any close combat weapons…oops! Oh well. Opening fire, Steven knows that this is his turn. The Leviathan unleashes its full fury onto the terminators, including the one use only phosphex launcher. Not wanting to risk it, Ryan opts to look-out-sir everything, resulting in three dead terminators.
Turn 2 (Imperial Fists) With only three Marines in range, Steven fires at Dynat and removes one more wound from him. Great shooting! Times like these make Fist players grateful for that +1 BS when firing Bolters
Turn 2 (Imperial Fists) The large squad on the lowest level open fire at the autocannon squad. Due to most being out of range, only one more is taken down. Slowly but surely.
Turn 2 (Imperial Fists) A dreadful roll sees the Leviathan sat there all alone. He only needed about seven inches to get into combat but rolled snake eyes instead.
Turn 2 (Alpha Legion) The Alpha Legion marines see that they are now close enough and deem it the right time to disembark from the Rhino. The fire up into the battlements and cause a few wounds. Don’t we all just love seeing bolters vs bolters.
Turn 2 (Alpha Legion) An instant threat appears on Stevens flank as one of two Javelins make it in from reserves.
Turn 2 (Alpha Legion) Creating as much distance as they can between themselves and Sigimund, the Alpha Legion marines disembark to one side of the Rhino.
Turn 2 (Alpha Legion) What Steven was dreading. Not to anyone’s surprise, the laser destroyer overcharges again and unleashes its three shots into the Leviathans armour. Three penetrations prove to be too much as they past even its reinforced shielding blowing the Leviathan sky-high.
Turn 2 (Alpha Legion) In an attempt to remove as many marines from the objective as possible, the Javelin opens fire on the Tactical Squad with its multi melta and missiles managing to score three kills. Just a reminder, as the terrain is being used as a fortification, models must be obscured in order to receive cover unlike ruins.
Turn 2 (Alpha Legion) The marines on the low ground fire up into the fortresses lower levels with a volley of bullets. A tremendous ten wounds are inflicted but Steven gets lucky and rolls even better. Only two casualties are suffered!
Turn 2 (Alpha Legion) Hoping for some better luck than last time, the Scorpius crew can draw line of sight to an Imperial Fists head in the distance meaning that it will not need to scatter fully. Sadly for Ryan, it’s not the Whirlwinds day as once again it scatters way off only managing to clip one marine. At least he takes it out with ease but that could’ve gone a lot better.
Turn 2 (Alpha Legion) The disembarked marines down below open fire at the fists in the battlements. In a cacophony of whirling metal and clanging ricochets two of the Imperial Fists fall to their bolter fire.
Turn 2 (Alpha Legion) The Quad Launcher loads its Shattershells and decide to show the Fists who’s boss. In a proud display of skill, they open fire and take the life of the lone crewman who was previously manning the opposing Quad Launcher.
Turn 3 (Imperial Fists) Finally, Stevens destroyers decide to join the fight. Regardless of its poor prformance so far, Steven still respects the Whirlwind and dedicated this unit to take it out, hopefully, with some help from their melta bomb. Steven known that if those shots manage to hit, it will wipe out a large chunk of his army and put him in a position that would be hard to recover from. Worst case scenario, the destroyers will serve as a distraction.
Turn 3 (Imperial Fists) Sigmund detached himself from the terminator unit. As the terminators seem to target the Rhino, Sigimund makes his way towards marines.
Turn 3 (Imperial Fists) Steven orders his marines down on to the lower levels of the fortress to assure that as many of them are within rapid fire range of the oncoming Alpha Legion marines as possible. This move doubles up as way to have more bodies close to that all important objective.
Turn 3 (Imperial Fists) With his marines laying down some suppressing fire behind him, Sigmund charges headlong into combat ready to slash away at the enemy. Some lucky shots see three of the Alpha Legion marines fall to bolster fire before the arrival of Sigmund.
Turn 3 (Imperial Fists) As the Terminators charge towards the Rhino, the thundering sound of their footsteps become louder and faster until they arrive in clash of armour.
Turn 3 (Imperial Fists) Not being able to stand there and fire any longer, the Fists take the initiative and charge over the battlements into the Alpha Legion marines who were now too close for comfort. An epic scene!
Turn 3 (Imperial Fists) Now in combat, Sigmund must call out the enemy sergeant. He quickly makes an example of him in what turned out to be, not much of a “challenge”. He then moves onto the marines and takes one of their number.
Turn 3 (Imperial Fists) Their heavy blows shake up the transport and rogue spark shoots off from a scraping hit, igniting a fuel line and setting off a spectacular display of fire and smoke.
Turn 3 (Imperial Fists) As they charge in, the enemy is quick to react. A volley of hip-fire is sent their way and one of the Fists is lost to overwatch.
Turn 3 (Imperial Fists) Astonishing! Even with charge bonuses Steven finds a way to lose combat by one! That was unfortunate. Better still, he then fails his leadership test. Thankfully however, he passes it after the re-roll provided by the Auxilia.
Turn 3 (Alpha Legion) Ryan begins his turn by moving his Laser Destroyer forwards in order to more eaily aquire new targets. Somewhat risky driving out into the open but its has already done its job, anything more is just gravy.
Turn 3 (Alpha Legion) The Rhino makes its way down the flank. A reminder for those who perhaps only play 40k, in Horus Heresy only troops may capture objectives, this does not include dedicated transports.
Turn 3 (Alpha Legion) Catching sight of the melta bomb in the sergeants hand the Whirlwind know that the unit before him will be attempting a charge soon enough. With this information, the tank crew decide that they must take them out before it is too late!
Turn 3 (Alpha Legion) The Whirlwind crew open fire, but as is tradition, the shot scatters wildly. This time Ryan was lucky enough to land three hits however, which unsurprisingly led to three dead marines.
Turn 3 (Alpha Legion) A simple enough task now falls onto the Javelins shoulders. Terminate the two remaining destroyers. With a frightening arsenal at its disposal, Steven was quite certain they’d be dead. Amazingly enough, only one of two twin-linked missiles land a hit, and the melta fails entirely. The hits wounds and makes for one more dead marine but the victory point is not awarded yet as one of the squad still remain.
WOW! What a turn of events. After all of that, the destroyer fails its morale check and flees 3D6…off the board! What a shame, such an expensive unit. Its a pity these amazing models are not seen on the battlefield more often.
Turn 3 (Alpha Legion) The largest combat continues as marine faces marine. This time, Steven manages to win the combat by two, however, Ryan rolls a 3 for his leadership and is more than happy to stay put.
Turn 3 (Alpha Legion) Sigimund minces the remaining Alpha Legion marines with his troops cheering him on from the battlements. He consolidates towards them, ready to receive his praise.
Turn 4 (Imperial Fists) Steven moves his squad as close to Ryans warlord as possible whilst still remaining within the range of the objective.
Turn 4 (Imperial Fists) A cloud of bolter fire zooms towards Ryans warlord. Such great shooting, they must have been inspired by Sigimunds performance, having only been sat on only one wound, the warlord falls.
Turn 4 (Imperial Fists) The combat here continues but not much happens this round….nothing at all actually.
Turn 4 (Alpha Legion) Finally, the last Javelin arrives and it opts to further reinforce his flank.
Turn 4 (Alpha Legion) With not other targets in sight, the Laser Destroyer fires at the marines in the fortress killing two.
Turn 4 (Alpha Legion) In an attempt to remove marines from the objective, Ryans Quad Launcher manages to scatter off onto Stevens Terminators. Although he scored three hits, none of them were caused any wounds.
Turn 4 (Alpha Legion) Finally an outcome! Steven wins combat and the Alpha Legion turn tail and run.
Turn 5 (Imperial Fists) Sigimund joins up with some of hos troops atop the battlements and stands tall, ready to lead them all to victory.
Turn 5 (Imperial Fists) The Fists that had just won combat move back into cover and open fire at the remaining Alpha Legion marines taking one down.
Turn 5 (Alpha Legion) The Javelins turn their attention to Stevens Terminators, trying to get them off of the objective. The missiles are not too effective as the are only AP3. The meltas do their job though, taking down two…leaving only one.
Turn 5 (Alpha Legion) AGAIN?! Shockingly enough, the Whirlwind scatters once again and just when we think it couldn’t get any worse, it lands on one of the Javelins. This cant be! Are we sure the Fists aren’t infiltrating the XXth?
Turn 6 (Imperial Fists) Sigimund, attaches himself to the lone terminator to make sure that it will capture the objective. As any true captain would, Sigimund is ready to take some shots for the terminator.
Turn 5 (Alpha Legion) The marines open fire at the same target once more and the fleeing Alpha Legion squad have another member gunned down.
Turn 6 (Alpha Legion) The Javelin moves in fearlessly for the kill. The squad proves more resilient than anticipated however and is only taken out with the help of the autocannons in the distance.
Turn 6 (Alpha Legion) In a last ditched effort to get the Fists of the objective, Ryan’s Quad Launcher fire at Sigimund and the terminator. The Cataphracti armour proves to be too strong and no wounds are caused despite landing four hits.
PHEW! The games ends. Steven and Ryan shake hands after an amazing battle between two epic legion. May the hobby always be the winner!
Final scores. Alpha Legion had 4 kill points and 1 point for line breaker for a total of 5 VP. The fists also had 4 kill points, 1 for Slay the Warlord bringing him to 5 VPs as well. The decider was the roll on the War of Lies table for the objective. All Steven needed was 1 more point, so the roll of a 1 or 6 wouldn’t have done it. Steven however rolled a 5 securing him a total of 8 points. Imperial Fist Victory!
Ryan: Wow what a game, I really enjoyed that, can we do it again…please? Tactically I could have played the mission better but we where just having too much fun and I think the excitement got to me haha. I could have maybe left a unit of marines in a Rhino on the objective in my deployment and jumped out turn 6, or have another outflank and go for a less defended area of the battlefield. But with the fluff, battlefield and armies I just had to surround the Imperial fist, damn that lone surviving terminator 😂 I also placed my Whirlwind so it had no line of sight, big mistake again by me which ended up really hindering the outcome of the battle. I think over the game it shot every turn and only killed 4/5 marines in total form different units. Lesson learnt for sure. As you can see SN set up a beautiful battlefield, it was my favourite board at No Retreat 3, however I didn’t get to play on it so it was really nice to finally get my chance. The 6 objectives where really cool, the attention to detail is what makes a good game great. Thanks for having me SN, until next time…Rematch?
Steven: Finally! I won a game with my Imperial Fists haha After 3 consecutive losses to World Eaters and Custodes, the time was here to get my first win and what a better way than the army being led by Sigimund on his battlefield debut….well, you know, my battlefield lol. The team layed out an amazing battlefield which made the game extra special and on a great occasion to with the arrival of Ryan who had made his way down from up the coast just for this game. I really loved the mission and the deployment as it captured both armies very well. My tactics worked but only with the help of the scatter dice gods. Time after time those all important scatter rolls were failed by Ryan. This actually changed the game quite a lot and very much in my favour. Again thanks to Ryan for the great game and for being an amazing sport. Yes Ryan rematch accepted! For Dorn!