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Battle Report (Red Scorpions vs Red Corsairs)

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The throaty roar of promethium engines and the squeal of tracks presaged the passing of the Red Scorpions convoy. Several rhino chassis’ vehicles advanced in line astern, razorback turrets and crew served stormbolters panning left and right in constant readiness. The high pitched whine of anti-grav drives accompanied the brace of landspeeders that skimmed around the convoy at breakneck speed in an endless circuit securing the convoys perimeter and scouting it’s flanks. Astartes bikers ranged far ahead of the main column acting as outriders, the convoys eyes and ears and it’s earliest warning to any would be ambushers lying in wait along its designated route. Invisible to all were the terminators awaiting the summons of their brothers far bellow on the planet’s surface as they stood, primed and ready, upon the teleportarium dais in their mighty battlebarge. All the components were in place, the plan in motion. Like a spear hurled towards a foe the convoy lanced it’s way into no man’s land keen to provoke a reaction. To tempt the enemy into laying an ambuscade, an ambush the Red Scorpions were all to ready for. An action they themselves were seeking. All the components were in place. The plan was in motion. All they needed was the enemy to do his part.

Deployment: In order to mess up Kevin’s return to gaming the SN master brain decided that narratively this would be an ambush on a convoy and that Irving should deploy the Red Scorpions as if traveling between battles along a road where the misunderstood Huron would be waiting to extract revenge. The mortal elements of the Chaos force would then deploy 6″ from the long deployment edge with the demonic allies in reserve. Chaos would get first turn unless the Adeptus Astartes stole the initiative…

Mission: No Mercy

Points: Red Corsairs (1750) – Red Scorpions (1850)

The calm serenity of this rural village is broken by rumbling and low hums as a Red Scorpion relief convoy approaches with a steady determination, purposed against the forces of Chaos . Dust in their wake and trembling rubble before them, their presence is not subtle. Maintaining formation, they grind to a halt after a command from the vanguard reaches the column. As the dust settles they feel something is amiss, all is far too quiet with the imperial citizens vacant from this village. A blanket of eeriness and suspense falls upon them like a spring shower and they realize they are not alone. Maniacal laughter and mumbling along with mechanical whirring can be heard – at first, like whispers in the wind, they then grow more and more intense until…
…the heretical host emerges into sight. The Red Corsairs! A Leviathan supporting a pack of cultists all led by a Lord emerge from between the buildings. The Red Scorpions prepare themselves to receive this ambush. Realising their vanguard must have been destroyed and their communication equipment hijacked, the Captain quickly conveys a message via the vox informing all Imperial forces in the region to ignore their frequency.
Here we get a chance to appreciate the fantastic paint job a little more. These Red Scorpions are simply beautiful, an excellent job by Kevin (40knerd on Instagram). In this image it also becomes clear just how thinly spread his forces are due to the nature of the convoy. Nevertheless the Red Scorpions’ precious cargo of veteran warriors are protected within the thick hulls of Rhino Tanks and they are covered by heavy weaponry fore and aft.
Deployment 

The nigh unstoppable mechanical monstrosities that are the Maulerfiends prepare to attack from opposite sides. The plan is to hit hard and fast, as if they were clapping hands to the fly that is the convoy. They have enough power to easily flip tanks turning them, and the infantry within, into an armored calzone.

Deployment

Intercepting the convoy right at the front, this group of cultists will surely be the first spotted. Hopefully their appearance will cause enough confusion to distract the Scorpions long enough for the rest of the raiding party encroach further.

Deployment

An aerial shot of the battlefield shows the Red Corsairs confidently taking up positions. Whilst the Scorpions are not yet all too startled at the number of the enemy, they are certain that more forces must be hiding or are on their way. They will just have to prepare for the worst.

Turn 1 (Red Corsairs)

The Leviathan locks onto the Rhino just across the war and takes aim. A loud thud, followed by the metal rattling of casings crashing to the ground is heard repeatedly as the war machine fires away. Projectiles buzz through the air until they impact the Rhinos chassis, penetrating its thick hull and dealing six wounds; severely damaging the vehicle as spoke begins to pour forth from a damaged carburetor.

Turn 1 (Red Corsairs)

Imbuing his faithful followers with unholy power, Huron demands the bikers be fire upon. Afraid to displease their Lord, the cultists obey immediately. In a hail of bullets, the lead biker is hit and his bike begins to slalom violently. The zig-zag becomes more violent as he loses control before impacting with the nearby building at incredible speed. Though disappointed, his fellow bikers barely break formation as they evade the debris and shrapnel.

Turn 1 (Red Corsairs)

The cheering conjured by their successful kill quickly turns into a war-cry as the cultist champion initiates a charge into the biker unit, with all of them following without question. The Scorpions are outnumbered at the front for now, but with their vastly superior gear they definitely stand a chance. Seeing the mob swarm in, Kevin’s captain heroically intervenes.

Turn 1 (Red Corsairs)

Both behemoths build up speed, becoming literal wrecking balls crashing into the sides of the Rhinos and rattling the Marines inside. They are both very eager to get to the squishier interior within these hard shells.

Turn 1 (Red Corsairs)

The Maulerfiend quickly blows a hole in the side of the tank and pries it open with its tendrils. Frantically, it reaches in for a Marine wrapping around it like a constrictor before ripping him in two. The Leviathan leavers its weight down onto a tank, crumpling it like paper. Inside, one of the Marines is crushed in an attempted escape from the destroyed vehicle.

An overview of the battlefield shows us how the Corsairs have managed to hit pretty hard on their first charge – taking out two Rhinos, wounding a third and thinning the numbers of infantry and bikers on the ground. How well will the Scorpions retaliate?
Here, another angle helps us gain a feel for the disorder caused by the ambush. 4 cultists flee the battlefield due to moral!
Turn 1 (Red Scorpions)

The figure of the Red Corsairs leader appears on the Space Marine’s scanners. The Bikers and Speeder hone in on the target lookign to cut the head off the snake. They form a crescent as best as they can, maximizing firepower which should be more than enough to rid them of Huron himself.

Turn 1 (Red Scorpions)

Kevin concludes that he must do as much damage as he can this turn in order to withstand the second wave. Following this conclusion, he disembarks the remaining troops ready to fire.

Turn 1 (Red Scorpions)

Losing no time after their hasty disembarkation the Devastators fire at the Leviathan, barely giving themselves enough time to set up. The outcome stands testament to this as only one succeeds in penetrating the war machines armour, dealing 3 wounds; the -1 for movement really making a difference here.

Turn 1 (Red Scorpions)

The huddled cultists make the perfect target as the marines catch them off guard. Barely needing to take aim, the Marines make quick work of the poorly protected fanatics, gunning them all down in an instant.

Turn 1 (Red Scorpions)

As awesome as it is to see Whirlwind on the tabletop, its slightly less impressive to see them fail miserably. Here, the crew take aim and fire. The shower of missiles fall down all over the Maulerfiend’s grid reference on the targeting computer. But a miscalculation sees the ordnance fall wide, the edge of the blast zone is not quite powerful enough to damage it.

Turn 1 (Red Scorpions)

The lone Biker charges at Huron thinking the Apothecary next to him would join too. Unfortunately for this Biker, his comrades bike seems to have malfunctioned causing him to fail the charge of a mere 5 inches. In the panic of finding himself alone in combat against such an adversary, the Biker frantically swings at Huron but fails to land any solid hits and fails to wound him. Insulted that he would make such an futile attempt at his life, Huron effortlessly finishes the assailant in one fell swoop. The pain, however, does begin to set in as Huron suffered and almost deadly barrage of fire in the shooting phase.

Turn 2 (Red Corsairs)

Flickering into existence and pouring out of warping portals, demons begin to appear. Hounds and Bloodletters felt blood being split and could simply not miss out. The smell of warpstone begins to fill the air as a storm begins to form unnaturally quickly. The clouds swirl violently in their myriad of colours and static surrounds the area, what started as pleasant day quickly becomes the stuff of nightmares.

Turn 2 (Red Corsairs)

The forces of chaos maneuver to break up and disorientate the Space Marine lines further in preparation for the arrival of their demonic allies into the fray.

Turn 2 (Red Corsairs)

Shrieking howls penetrate through to the very core of even the hardiest among the Space Marine ranks. Then out of the deep haze caused by the Warp portals, emerge packs of hungry Flesh Hounds which snap and bark at the Marines before them.

Turn 2 (Red Corsairs)

Maddened with rage at the damage he has sustained, Huron is able to convert the immense bodily pain he is suffering into a tearing bolt of pure psychic energy. He channels it into the nearby Apothacary Biker then sends a stream of red hot, almost lava like, flame into him. The Space Marine is overwhelmed with pain and succumbs to his injuries.

Turn 2 (Red Corsairs)

Another eruption of flame sees three more marines felled as the Leviathan passes its Hellflamer over the tactical squad in front of it. It then directs its Butcher cannon into Razorback and delivers heavy rounds into its target. Most explode on impact and are absorbed by the vehicles hull, however, two penetrate through the armour and remove four wounds.

Turn 2 (Red Corsairs)

The cultist champion directs his devoted followers towards the Captain on Bike. They open against him with their Autoguns but the Captains armour proves too resilient for their crude weapons and the bullets are deflected and scatter over the ground.

Turn 2 (Red Corsairs)

The Leviathan sends its great mass crashing into the Tactical Squad. Steven has taken note of the squad’s Lascannon and wishes to remove it before it can deal any damage to his heavier units.

Meanwhile, in a nearby section of the battlefield the Red Corsairs warlord, while observing the Leviathans charge into combat, catches the Red Scorpion’s captain within his gaze. The enormous daemon of Khorne has found his target. The Bloodthirster raises his vast wings above his shoulders and beats down with them once. The immense volume of air captured by the beat is enough to send the daemon soaring through the air before thunderously crashing into the earth at the head of the Scorpion’s captain and warlord, stopping him in his tracks. The Captain braces himself to receive a heavy blow.

Turn 2 (Red Corsairs)

The Flesh hounds continue their bounding advance and glide into combat with the the recently disembarked Tactical Squads, their jaws snapping and claws fully extended.

Turn 2 (Red Corsairs)

After the Leviathan crushes two Tactical Marines with its Siege Claw, Kevin spends two command points to interrupt Steven’s combat and attack with his Captain. This was a clear rookie error on Steven’s part which could potentially put his warlord at risk.

Turn 2 (Red Corsairs)

The Captain seizes this opportunity and engages the Bloodthirster with all his ferocity. In an attempt to blind his opponent, the Captain begins to circle the Bloodthirster and creates a great dust cloud which covers his opponent. He then zooms past its legs, Power fist fully charged and extended. The first blow damages the Bloodthirster’s left knee causing the daemon to lose its balance allowing the Captain an opportunity for a second attack. Having heard the story of the Ork Warboss “Tuska the Daemon-Killa”, the Captain makes for the gap between the great daemons legs. In a similar fashion to the Warboss, the Captain hauls his heavy Power fist above his head and delivers a simple but powerful strike to his opponent’s nether region. The intense pain of this strike is enough to bring the Bloodthister to its knees as a total of seven wounds are lost from the two blows.

Roaring in frustration, the Bloodthrister strikes back at the Captain with the Great Axe of Khorne. Several blows are met by the holy aura of the Captain’s Iron Halo, and those which do penetrate are lessened in damage by the Captain’s Shield Eternal. In total, two wounds are removed; not the result Steven was looking for.

Turn 2 (Red Corsairs)

Steven’s bad luck in combat continues onto the Flesh hounds. He fails to punch as hard as he had expected and only two Marines from each squad are removed from play after a series of bad dice rolls.

Turn 2 (Red Scorpions)

A bright beam of white light cuts through the warp storm and illuminates a section of the battlefield. With a heavy but graceful thud terminators begin to materialise and probe for enemies. A veteran Captain arrives among their number, lightning surges through the head of his Thunder hammer as he uses it to aid his landing. Like a blessing from the Emperor himself; some much needed relief.

Turn 2 (Red Corsairs)

The Tactical Marines re-embark their Rhino transports in the hope their the vehicles armoured chassis will provide some safety from the lurking daemons in their vicinity. He can be seen which models have embarked which tanks.

Turn 2 (Red Scorpions)

The Landspeeder counters the movement of the Bloodletters on its flank and also moves to peruse Huron Blackheart. Heavy bolter rounds and Typhoon missiles finish off the severely wounded Chaos lord. Nevertheless, Huron proved troublesome for the Marines and has left his dent in their line.

Turn 2 (Red Scorpions)

The Terminators and Captain try their luck against the Leviathan, which is now very much alerted to their presence. Alas, the lack of anti-armour weaponry begins to show its detriment. The Storm Bolter fire and even the Assault cannon simply cannot penetrate the colossal dreadnought’s armour.

Turn 2 (Red Scorpions)

The Terminator unit fail to engage their target in combat. The Captain, however, in an effort to aid his fellow officer musters the strength to haul his tactical dreadnought armour across the distance and into combat with the Bloodthirster. After such exertion, the Captain now swings his Thunder hammer delivering a powerful blow against his opponent which removes three wounds. In return the Bloodthirster brings his Great Axe of Khorne crashing down on this new opponent. Kevin fails three of his 3+ invulnerable saves, granted by his Storm Shield, with a roll of three ones. This could only lead to a horrific death… The biker Captain, somewhat shaken by the slaughter, fails to strike the daemon for any damage, with Steven passing his 4+ Armour of Scorn saves.

Turn 2 (Red Scorpions)

… The Bloodthirster’s powerful muscles drove the Great Axe of Khorne cleanly through the Terminator Captain and “unseamed him from the nave to th’ chops”.

Turn 2 (Red Scorpions)

The Maulerfiend continues to hound and claw at the Rhino it engaged previously. Its fists make short work of the armour causing the vehicle to explode. Two wounds are dealt on the beast in return.

Turn 2 (Red Corsairs)

On the Scorpion’s right flank the combat with the Fleshhounds sees a minor victory. No casualties are sustained and one hound is sent hurtling back into the warp after a hard strike with the but of a Bolter cracks the skull of one of the dogs.

Turn 3 (Red Corsairs)

Here we can see the completion of Steven’s movement phase. As we can see he is pressing his advantage. On the convoys left flank he moves his Chaos Lord to support the Flesh hounds in their combat against the Tactical Squad, he surrounds the Landspeeder with the Bloodletters, and moves against the Whirlwind with a Maulerfiend. On the right flank he moves against the Razorback with the same Maulfiend with destroyed the Rhino in the Scorpion’s Turn 2, moves toward’s the Terminators with the Leviathan and applies pressure on the final Rhino and Whirlwind with the Flesh hound packs. Steven aims to strike decisively this turn and achieve a swift victory over Kevin.

Because this game is a special mission, it is important to note we are leaving the destroyed convoy vehicles in their place, we feel it both aids and improves the visual quality of the battle; particularly in aerial shots like this one.

Turn 3 (Red Corsairs)

A view of Steven’s movement from a different angle.

Turn 3 (Red Corsairs)

Steven begins his shooting with the Leviathan. The dreadnought’s Hellflamers remove the remaining Tactical Marines which stood to its right. The Butcher cannon array is then purposed towards the Terminators. Enormous thuds deafen all in the vicinity as the powerful cannons send shells hurtling into the Emperor’s finest. Two Terminators are slain by the explosive rounds.

Turn 3 (Red Corsairs)

Almost like rabid dogs, the Fleshhound’s madly claw at the Rhino in hope of reaching their juicy targets within. They manage to remove two wounds from the tank as they bite and pull the exhausts from the tanks right wall.

Turn 3 (Red Corsairs)

The Chaos Lord engages the Tactical Marines and shows the daemonic hounds how it is done. With disciplined blows in the right locations with his Power fist, the Lord is able to remove all three remaining marines in one fell swoop.

Turn 3 (Red Corsairs)

The Maulerfiend which had so easily destroyed the Rhino in the previous turn lays into the Razorback making short work of it also. Kevin disembarks his Tactical Marines behind the wreck in the hope for some protection against the daemonic host.

Just a little up the convoy the Leviathan and Cultists engage the three remaining Terminators. With the Cultists failing to wound, the Leviathan crushes one Terminator within its Siege claw. Two wounds are dealt in return to the dreadnought.

The warlord combat sees no wounds exchanged and both combatants seemingly poise themselves for the next round of combat.

Turn 3 (Red Scorpions)

In a desperate attempt to secure some form of control over the field, Kevin moves his Landspeeder well out of combat range and uses it to cover the front portion of the convoy, he also sends the remaining Rhino off the road and well into the left flank disembarking the Marines to cover the rear portion of the convoy, and finally he moves the Marines which bailed out of the Razorback onto the nearby building to cover the center of the convoy.

Turn 3 (Red Scorpions)

After an inconsequential shooting round, we shall move straight into combat. A further two wounds are removed from the Leviathan with another Terminator slain by the dreadnought in return, leaving only one.

Turn 3 (Red Scorpions)

After an uneventful previous phase, the dramatic combat at the very center of this ambush continues. The Captain, perhaps succumbing somewhat to the pain and exhaustion of the combat only manages to land a single blow on the Bloodthirster. This does, however, bring the daemon down to a single remaining wound. The Bloodthirster fails to strike the Captain in exchange.

Turn 4 (Red Corsairs)

The nearby Bloodletters move to assist their daemonic overlord in his combat against the Captain.

Turn 4 (Red Corsairs)

A Maulerfiend charges into the Whirlwind and finally removes it from play. The Flesh hounds engage the recently disembarked Tactical Squad in the background.

Turn 4 (Red Corsairs)

After a reasonably long combat, the Flesh hounds remove the final Marine from the Tactical Squad which was forced to emergency disembark when the Maulerfiend blew up their transport. The daemonic hounds begin to feast on their victims remains.

Turn 4 (Red Corsairs)

Kevin successfully passes all his 5+ invulnerable saves which were made against the Leviathan’s attacks; the final Terminator is clinging to life on one remaining wound.

Red Scorpions (Turn 4)

With few options available to him, Kevin attempts to re-position his thinly spread forces to gain some form of board control.

Turn 4 (Red Scorpions)

The last remaining Terminator falls back from combat with the hope of potentially escaping his heretical pursuers.

Turn 4 (Red Scorpions)

In what has now become a combat heavy battle, the Landspeeder releases its weaponry into the nearby Maulerfiend. The ring of bolter fire and whistle of rockets fill the ears of the remaining Marines on the battlefield. To the Captain, who sees the rounds pass over his head, the shells are more than a simple sinew of war, in this moment they symbolise for him the sturdiness of his chapter and continuous resilience and courage of the Marines in his company. As the rounds strike the encroaching Fiend’s hide, removing three wounds, the Captain musters his last ounces of strength and prepares for combat with his daemonic foe; if his brother’s are still fighting it is his duty to lead them!

Turn 4 (Red Scorpions)

The Tactical Squad towards the rear of the convoy push back the Hounds attacking them. They slay three in a final stand.

Turn 5 (Red Corsairs)

The Maulerfiend now engages the Captain, Kevin manages to pass all his 3+ invulnerable saves, however. Seizing this second opportunity Kevin allows his Captain one final chance on the Red Corsairs warlord, he uses his final two command points to interrupt the combat and strike with the Captain. With an adrenaline filled final wave of energy, the Captain rises from his saddle and is able to deliver a final blow to the Bloodthirster’s chest. This sends a shock-wave into the daemon which travels through to its heart rupturing all the chambers and vessels within it. The Bloodthirster of Khorne slumps to the ground at the Captain’s feet; in his eyes, his honour has been secured.

Turn 5 (Red Corsairs)

The Captain accepts his fate and falls, peacefully, into the frantic flailing blades wielded by the Bloodletters.

Summary

With the game looking more and more like a tabling, Kevin concedes to Steven. The surviving Landspeeder zooms off to the front to let the Imperial forces know that they will not be receiving any relief and warn them about the flanking forces of Chaos. Red Corsairs Victory!

Kevin: There are times when you look at your army, then you look at the scenario, and then you look at your opponents army, and you realize that you don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of securing a victory. This was without a shadow of a doubt one of those occasions. But on the positive side you are in great company, playing on an awesome looking board and you have the opportunity to either undertake one of the greatest upsets ever or at the very least forge an amazing narrative by making each death count. And that’s what I tried to do here, my own target was to not get tabled (which I think I would have been if we had gone the distance) whilst taking out his warlord and the arch traitor Huron. In the words of Meat Loaf, two out of three ain’t bad! And narratively i can just imagine that the pain of the Red Scorpions following their losses would be slightly mitigated by the news that the Tyrant of Badab has been slain and the land speeder crew would be hailed as heroes of the Imperium! And that bike captain, what a guy, taking out a Bloodthirster in combat, here’s hoping he will also be remembered in the chapter’s histories! Thanks again to Steven and the SN crew for setting up another game for me since my proper return to the hobby. The table and atmosphere was top class as always and although I got well and truly beaten I still had a great time and I’m looking forward to a rematch!
Steven: Firstly I have to say how good it felt to have Kevin back at the studio and back in the hobby, and secondly, how good it felt to beat his Red Scorpions 😉 I got beaten sooo many times in 7th edition by them haha! Loved the mission and how it all looked, you could really sense this actually happening whilst we were playing and could not stop thinking how terrifying it would actually be to be stuck in that situation. I think this mission was a bit one sided which was something we didn’t really anticipate when we planned it out. I think a simple Red Scorpions start in turn one would have made things more interesting but then again I guess that’s what makes it fun. Again thanks Kevin for the great game! See you all soon.

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