Monday, June 29, 2020

The Vitritian Interregnum: Game 3

Brother Sergeant Santius, strode over the discarded bodies of the Skitarii. The battlefield had a curiously perfumed smell, absent was the smell of blood and decay, replaced instead with the tang of hydraulic fluids and the cold stasis of long-dead flesh. It made his eye tick with the passionless nature of it, The Lamb, in particular, was despondent, as it riffled through the shattered corpses of the Mechancius footsoldiers looking for whatever its daemon addled brain judged significant enough to justify a ritual offering. He turned his attention from the possessed creature to the throng of human soldiery standing around the Cogitator Array that the Imperials had fought so hard to defend. It was an old piece of technology, a governing unit for this section of the outland promethium pipelines, it remained to be seen the significance of this seemingly innocuous terminal. 

"Report Lieutenant" Santius growled down at the leader of the Human throng. 

"My Lord, we have performed a cursory analysis of this Cogitator and noticed an abnormality. It appears this terminal is being used to mirror the signal output of a primary mainframe structure within the planet's former defense force headquarters. We are still trying to ascertain precisely why this terminal is running such a protocol, and have requested the honored Tech-Priests aboard the ship to send us specialists for this matter."  

"Very good, continue to fortify the area with reserve assets while we await the Mechanicus." Santius said to the human, mulling over the information he turned and began to walk towards the dilapidated bunker complex, when the Inter-squad vox erupted with the tectonic voice of Sergeant Ocan. 

"Santius, the 14th Rallen's pickets have reported massed Mechanicus armor moving a few kilometers away, with a speartip of specialist infantry advancing to the heights at marker 023045. I am already moving my squad to the location." 

"Affirmative Brother, we will join you shortly" retorted Santius, closing the link and grabbing the hilt of his chainsword


This is the third game of myself and Chris' slow-grow narrative campaign, we've bumped the points up a little for this game moving up to 750pts.  The mission this time is Search and Destroy with 4 Objectives, and a classic 12" up off the long table edge deployment zone. 

The Centurions of Innocence 750pts 

Daemon Prince of Khorne, with Wings, Warp Bolter and Talisman of Burning Blood

[Warlord] Chaos Lord with the Black Axe of Ul'occa and plasma pistol - Violent Urgency Trait

Exalted Champion with Berzerkers Glaive and Plasma Pistol

3x Khorne Berzerker Squads of 5 Men, Champion has a Plasma Pistol and Power Fist, Three Berzerkers with Chainsword and Bolt Pistol and one Berzerker with Plasma Pistol and Chainsword.

3x Mutilators 

Skitarii of Metallica Forge World 750pts

Techpriest Enginseer

Techpriest Manipulus 

3x 6 man Skitarii Vanguard units, Leader has a Taser-Goad, one man has a Plasma Culverin 

2x 10 man Skitarii Titan Guard Hoplites

5 Man Sicarian Infiltrators 

3 Sydonian Dragoons

I chose to deploy as far forward as possible for obvious reasons with the Daemon Prince nestled safely inside a bunker to avoid all the nasty Plasma fire and trying to be as wily as I could to not fall into the same baiting trap with my Prince as I could. Chris' Mechanicus are vicious in close combat, Hoplites have power close combat weapons and a 4+ Invuln in close combat, that paired with Vanguard's aura of -1 Toughness can be potent, and I couldn't risk having to deal with Dragoons on top of that. 

I consolidated my right most squad to hold my Homefield objective and act as a reserve if the Hoplites proved too much for the Berzerkers and Characters. All the other units moved boldly through the tight center alley of the table. The Daemon Prince smashed into the Dragoons, killing the brutal Mechanicus cavalry before they could tear a neat hole into the middle of my forces. 

Plasma fire and the Ranged attack from the Hoplites takes a gruesome toll on the advancing Chaos Marines. The Hoplites make a charge and attempt to assault as many of the Heretics as they possibly can finishing off several and dealing many wounds to the Chaos Lord, but unfortunately for the Mechanicus, I made a truly ridiculous amount of saves and the damage was not enough. In return, the elite Skitarii were put to the sword. 

The other squad of Skitarii moved to engage the daemon prince and would attempt to kill the rampaging Chaos monster, only to be answered with a handful of casualties for their trouble

The Mutilators Deep Strike at the start of Turn three to threaten the secondary Mechanicus home Objective

The Daemon Prince, Champion, and Lord alongside the two remaining Berzerker Squad Leaders sweep into the Vanguard, Hoplites and Techpriest Manipulus, freeing the Daemon Prince from his being pinned in combat, killing the Techpriest and tearing a vanguard unit to pieces. 

With my Command Cadre and Mutilators in his deployment zone, and a fresh unit of Berzerkers in my backfield to counter the arrival of the Infiltrators the Mechanicus Concede the game.

Centurions of Innocence Victory

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Sector: The Praeses Vahlandia

The Praeses Vahlandia is the name of a now-defunct Oath of Defense between four Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, who's Homeworlds are (were) present within the Vahland Sector. Using the Cadian Gate's "Astartes Praeses" as a model, there were high hopes that attempting to use similar models on the Sector/Sub-Sector level would be a boon to Imperial control, and would significantly improve military response times, as well as go a long way to curtail potential insurrection and piracy. It is likely though that regardless of its eventual result, adoption of similar cooperatives would have been rare at best throughout the wider Imperium or even on the Eastern Fringe. Vahland Sector has long been influenced by progressives and moderates in the Administratum and Militarum, due mostly to its close proximity to Ultramar, and the sometimes willfully independent nature of Sectors on the Rim of Imperial space, this alongside the generally affable relationships of the local Astartes chapters made the Praeses Vahlandia experiment a viable option. 

Created only a short two centuries before the Breaking of the Cadian Gate and the onset of the Cicatrix Maledictum, the Praeses Vahlandia was born to much pomp and circumstance, during the Triumph of Sanhorn, following the successful eradication of the xenos Septimanian Empire. It was comprised of the Imperial Dragoons, Centurions of Innocence,  Hammers of Ornus, and Radiant Blades' Chapters. Of these only, the Imperial Dragoon's would remain in the Emperor's Surface by the time of the Indomitus Crusade and the Primarch Guilliman's return, with the others missing, dead, or become slaves to darkness. 

For the short period of their operation, before the beginning of the Noctis Aeterna, the Chapters of the Praeses Vahlandia, were able to coordinate on a number of different fronts, suppressing the spread of lesser alien species along the frontier, destroying reaving warbands of traitors, and aiding in the destruction of insurrectionist elements. When the call to defend Cadia came, less illustrious Chapter's on the extreme edge of the Imperium were tasked with holding the territories together as men and material were redeployed to halt the Black Legion and their allies at the gate. The shock and confusion that descended on the Imperium in the aftermath of the 13th Black Crusade's attack, is well known and the scope of the calamity is still far from comprehensively understood. In Vahland Sector, the Noctis Aeterna, was typified by raging warp storms, major actions by Insurrectionists, and Heretic Cults the Sector over, and not least of all predatory attacks of opportunity by bordering aliens. With inter-sector communication non-existent, and in sector astro telepathy not much better, Imperial forces moved to bulwark what systems they could. 

The Imperial Dragoons withdrew to their Chapter's Homeworld, where they reinforced an already formidable joint Astartes and Knight holding into a stellar fortress, a system of six worlds, defended by 25 million Knightly Armsmen and Defense Force Militia, 2/3rds of House Trask, and 845 Astartes of the Imperial Dragoons, as well as their associated Navy Assets and the Chapter Novitiates who were organized into rapid reaction units.  The entire system was cut-off four months into the preparatory work by Warp Storms, which did not abate for almost a century. When the Indomitus Crusade arrived, the systems fourth world had partially turned into a mass of eyes and undulating flesh, apparently, the Chapter's Librarium had been directly responsible for halting this process in what they only refer to as The Twelfth Sight Conjuction, which they stubbornly refused to provide any details on. The Armsmen and Militia had been nearly annihilated by unceasing decades of attack by daemonic hordes, and the Chapter now numbers barely over three hundred non-primaris brothers. It was the most fortunate of the Praeses Vahlandia 

The Hammers of Ornus joined with Battlefleet Vahland, and defended the Sector Capital world of Hiser Marina, from an armada of Word Bearers and Kytixi (a chaos tainted faction within a local xenos species) The Chapter spent its resources in the orbital war, allowing portions of Battlefleet Vahland to withdraw from the fighting once the battle turned against the Imperium. The last of its Battle Brothers are thought to have been slain in glory aboard its last surviving vessel Ender of Recalcitrance, the 4th Companies Battle Barge, as it dueled with several Word Bearer vessels before being obscured by the blast wake of a dying Kytixi ship.  During the Liberation of Hiser Marina by the Indomitus Crusade, the remains of several of the Chapter's vessels, and the desecrated bodies of only 14 of its Brothers were recovered. The vessels were destroyed and cleansed with flame, by order of Robute Guilliman for fear of the taint of Chaos. A continent on Hiser Marina is now named Ornus in the chapter's honor, their little remaining war gear was given to the Imperial Dragoons who were in attendance at the Liberation. There are currently no plans to refound the Chapter.

The Centurions of Innocence attempted to safeguard refugees fleeing from poorly defended outer worlds, as the forces of Chaos began pouring into the Sector. Prevailing moods in the Ecclesiarchy and Inquisition tended to feel it was much safer, to simply annihilate these refugees columns than allow a possible vector for internal corruption. This went against the sensibilities of the Salamander's descended Chapter, who shepherded millions into their Homeworld,  The Sink of Erasmus, even going so far as to engage in a skirmish with members of the Adepta Soritas over the issue on one occasion. Puritanical members of the Ordos Vahland, took this as a sign of the Chapter's straying from the path, that they would engage in internecine conflict when the galaxy was in such turmoil.  The Centurions gathered their allies together to safeguard their Homeworld and nearby Forge Worlds, hoping to secure as much manufacturing infrastructure and as many citizens as possible during the Crisis. It is not well understood what happened next, because of the chaos that was to follow, but it is believed that the Chapter suffered an ideological split, and fractured. With a portion of the Centurions skewing the Chapter's version of the Promethean Cult, into the worship of Brass Drake icons, minor bloodletting and obsessing over martial pride and improving their ability to protect their domain at any cost. A force, seeing the signs, attempted to stamp out the signs of Corruption in their ranks, but failed and were ultimately ousted from the Sink of Erasmus.  This group of loyalists fought as Gurriellas in the Sector for years, until the Indomitus Crusade arrived, these former Centurions of Innocence were apprehended and sentenced to death for their brethren's crimes. The Sink of Erasmus, has never been liberated, due to the outbreak of the Plague War in Ultramar, and the Pilgrims of Rust's Insurrection in Vahland. 

The Radiant Blades are the greatest enigma in the sector, as they moved to hold the Shrine World of Vahl, the holiest site in the Sector. As darkness fell and the other Chapters of the Praeses Vahlandia fought against the madness, something occurred on Vahl, members of the Inquisition believe that the entire planet was taken entire into the warp, though the Ecclesiarchy and the Adeptus Astra Telepathica suggest this is unlikely because of the sites spiritual significance. There are Rouge Traders who claim to have heard from alien merchants beyond the fringe of the Imperium that the world rests now in the Interstellar void, emitting powerful radiation and orbited by a roughly equally sized stellar body, made of an unknown material, the blackest of black in color. It is unknown what occurred precisely, but investigations are still ongoing.  When the Indomitus Crusade arrived at the location of the Vahl system, the planet was simply gone, no warp taint could be detected, no debris indicating an orbital battle was found. The only clue was the detached Sarcophagus of Brother Ancient Calena, the venerable ancient unfortunately had died in the void, he had lashed to his case with bolter straps, a single cache of viable gene seed, which it seems he sacrificed his power reserves to keep at a stable temperature. His entire combat log had been deleted and replaced with a single line of code reading 

{{ref://loc/forsen_1;  hashLogneedsOverride!  678-999-0013}}

The Praeses Vahlandia fell in glory, mystery, and ignominy, and with their actions have shaped the Vahland Sector for thousands of years to come.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Jornath [The Woodcutters Due 3]: Marauder's Crossroad

The Orks hit the men of 2 Platoon, 56th Lumberman's Guildmuster hard, with critical casualties reported across all units, and large groups of greenskins funneling through the gaps in the line. Communications to Regimental Headquarters have deteriorated, and even squad level coordination has begun to breakdown, as alien big guns hammer the scattered and beleaguered guard elements. As the sun rises on a fierce battle already hours old, scattered survivors attempt to rally, and destroy what enemy they can. 

This is the 3rd Scenario in a Solo Play Campaign, in the ongoing narrative setting of Jornath. These games were played with a live AAR in Facebook Messanger, the contents of that AAR are posted here for posterity.  In this scenario, I went with something I would consider a "Classic Normandy" style game, with two fireteams of Imperials moving along hedgerows around a rugged rural intersection, framing a farm field in which an Ork armored piece is tracked and being repaired, but making use of its forward gun to shell nearby Guard forces. The Orks are attempting to hold back the Imperials, and get their tank working once more.

Assex dans le bois. Usamiljen Foothills. Jornath.

Dawn has risen over the line, the Ork assault is grinding into Imperial lines and the PDF are suffering for it, but for all their casualties the men of the imperium are holding the line. The 2nd platoon of the 56th Lumberman's Guildmuster along with Brother Klethos of the Mortifactors 3rd company are attempting to regroup. Along the way Lieutenant Hoffens command group, encountered the walking wounded of 4th squad and Klethos, attempting to ambush the dismounted crew of an immobilized Ork battlewagon which is shelling local forces. It must be destroyed to buy the platoon breathing room

End of turn 1. Imperial forces move forward cautiously, and meet with woefully bad shooting. The orks respond with more accurate fire, stripping brother klethos of his "transhuman physiology" wound. The lone boy left working to retrack the battlewagon takes 1 point off the damage tracker leaving 11 points remaining until the vehicle is repaired

End of Turn 2:. The imperials continue to advance but again struggle to find their aim. Only knocking down one grot. The orks retaliate with lots of hits but only knocking one of Lieutenant Hoffens two wounds off. They proceed to charge the command team but surprisingly wiff in combat. Only for Lieutenant Hoffens to slay one of the orks in close combat! And for one man to render another grot 'knocked down'

End of Turn 3:. The Imperials advance rapidly and finally dial in their aim with brother klethos slaying one of the boys working on the battlewagon in a spray of bolt fire. And lasgun fire killing one grot and stunning another. The imperial luck continues into combat with Lieutenant Hoffens proving how he got his rank by hewing yet another Ork down with a mighty sweep of his chainsword. The wagon commander finally remembers how to krump things and is kills one guardsman and stuns another in each combat phase. While the lone boy left, finally begins rolling higher than a one for the repair roll, bringing the points down to 8.

Brother Klethos moves to slay the Ork leader but is stunned for his trouble. The rest of the guardsmen sweep around the tank, attempting to close in on the last Ork boy and finish the fight. Lieutenant Hoffens, moves into combat with the alien commander and nearly causes a wound to the nob, but the beasts armor proved effective.

Both Lieutenant Hoffens and the guardsman are knocked down as the nob goes ballistic. By the tank, the last boy is shredded by fully automatic lasfire.

Fully 4 lasguns, a bolt gun and a plasma gun tear into the nob. In a shower of flame and gore the beast is annihilated. The last grot is quickly dispatched as it attempts to scurry into the bocage. The alien tank is permanently disabled. Imperial victory!

As the force begins to catch their breath and see to their cuts and bruises, trooper Anek hooks the platoon vox into the communications array from the disabled Ork vehicle. A cacophony of pleas pours out from the radio in short order. Apparently in the night the Precpian Air Cavalry was deployed to stymie the alien advance, but found themselves cut off and surrounded for their trouble in the confusion of the night drop,. A squad of these brave men is nearby and requesting assistance. But also, a nearby prior and a small band of the faithful are sheltering within a chapel, being plagued by orkish siege. Splitting the force at this point would be a poor choice. But which group should the unit aid?

Popular vote of those in the Facebook chat opted to go forward to Save the Precpian's from their plight and if possible move to secure the chapel once the airmen have been secured.

-Your Favorite Madman-

Sunday, June 14, 2020

The Vitritian Interregnum: Game 2

The air was still aboard the precisely climate-controlled bridge of the Ark Mechanicus' Belator Aux Om, the thrumming modulation of hundreds of cogitators reverberating with the slow and steady heartbeat rhythm of the ships' warp reactor. It was a type of hymn to the crew, a sort of sarkic subliminal mantra which, by rights of its source produced the most pristine serenity of thought, which the host of cybernetic transhumans that lived, worked and died in service aboard this ship felt was a loadstone for the successful completion of their duties. Though for one member of this congregation of metal men, the calming aspect of the ship's mechanisms was proving insufficient to quell an all too human feeling of trepidation and anger.  The error-abort code screeched out into the stillness of the chamber, and Drahlikar Thrume Prime Hermeticon of Metallica Exploration Mandate MT045-371 turned from his ministrations at the data lathe and moved on multiple sets of metal limbs over to the communications cradle, and bending forwards to draw his sculpted inhuman face closer to the cogitator screens collating streams of incoming Skitarii Communications from the planet's surface. Submerging his consciousness into the data, Thrume quickly found the source of the Error-Abort,  Techpriest Jeremiah Azule, working in the shattered Prime Fabrication complex to dredge the ruined mainframe stacks there for any hint of their prizes location. Going into the backup archives of Azule's Digital Hippocampus, Thrume discovered the tiny hint of useful location data his forces discovered, and carefully picked apart biometric information about his Skitarii, analyzing registered trauma, adrenal response and damage telemetry, all collated by Azule in the lead up to the Error-Abort. 

"Locals?" mused Thrume, the feudalistic societies of degenerate mutants, descended of the planets few thousand survivors were rather hostile, but hardly a threat to the faithful of the machine-god. He dug further, finally accessing the squad level communications, and a shot of fear struck him as he saw that hateful word suspended in noosphereic information.



Its game 2 of our slow growth Mechanicus versus Chaos Marines campaign. We have kept the forces the same from game 1, and we opted to use a newly purchased neoprene gaming mat to explore the Dead Lands outside the primary fabrication complex. Riddled with pipelines, storage containers and hardened bunkers, its sure to be a delightful environment to fight in. 


This time around we rolled "The Relic" mission from the main rulebook, with diagonally opposed deployment zones.  A fairly straight forward mission, the relic features a single objective placed in the center of the table, that can be picked up and moved by whichever side is in control of it. The winner is the side in control of this relic by the end of the game. 

Centurions of Innocence. [500pts]

Daemon Prince [Dark Mechanicum Bio Assault Drone]  with Wings, Warp Bolter, and Talisman of Burning Blood.

Chaos Lord with Black Axe of Ul'Occa,

2x Khorne Berzerker Squads,  Champion with Power Fist and Plasma Pistol,  Marine with Plasma Pistol, and an Icon of Wrath for each squad.

10x Cultists.

Adeptus Mechanicus Skitarii of Metallica Forge World [500pts]

Techpriest Engineseer

Techpriest Manipulus (represented by an Infiltrator Alpha figure)

Sicarian Infiltrators 

3x Skitarii Vanguard Squads

Sydonian Dragoons Squadron.

The Centurions deploy amidst the pipeworks, with the characters in cover and the formation led by Khorne Berzerkers.

The Mechanicus, deployed with the vanguard staggered to spread their de-buffing capabilities liberally across the lines, with the Infiltrators bringing up the center, and the Dragoons placed far enough away to dissuade the Daemon Prince from delivering a blow against them before they've gotten a chance to get stuck-in.

Of course, I only realized the bait after I was on the hook, with the Prince smashing into the Infiltrators and killing the squad, only to be himself crippled by the fearsome counter-assault of the Dragoons.

The rest of the Centurions move up the center.

The proud Skitarii of Metallica, consolidate ready to receive the Khornate charge 

With the air rippling with rad-waves, and tormented by the roar of chainswords the battle lines crashed together

But sadly for the scions of the Machine God, the fight twice rules for Berzerkers are ruthless in close combat.

The Cultists secure the Relic as the rest of the Centurions force charges into the Dragoons

As the dust settles, the last Dragoons falls to the blades of the Chaos Lord and the Berzerkers, leaving the game a victory for the forces of Chaos. 

-Your Favorite Madman-

Thursday, June 4, 2020

The Vitritan Interregnum: Game 1

Vitritus is a former Imperial Manufacturium planet on the extreme eastern borders of the Urient Sub-Sector. It was rendered a dead world by Capital class weapons 450 years ago, by the expansionist Xenos Empire of the Septimanians. That perfidious alien race was rendered all but extinct by the might of Imperial retribution forces, but internal divisions about resettlement rights, and a century-long disagreement between the Sub-Sector Administratum and the Mechanicus over the proper composition, resourcing requirements and leadership of a recolonization and exploration fleet to rebuild those worlds devastated by the Xenos attacks allowed the planet to slip into the ever-growing sphere of influence of the so-called "Skinner Worlds" a clutch of Ork infested systems. With the sub-sector Navy not willing to kick the proverbial hornet's nest, without a significant build-up of military force to take on the likely tidal wave of Ork's responding to an incursion, Vitritus was left to rust away on the peripheries of Imperial space, until resources could eventually be sourced to return. 

When the War for Jornath erupted, threatening the Sub-Sector's primary trading conduits, the Imperium and the Orks of the Skinner Worlds poured resources into the fight, leaving the peripheries of their respective territories, empty of patrols. Opening these regions to predators of a far darker kind, the myriad forces of Chaos, led by the Renegade Chapter the Centurions of Innocence, wormed their way into the poorly guarded zones. In their reaving they learned of a small Mechanicus mission to the ruins of Vitritus, to revive a supposed piece of immensely potent archeotech to turn the tide of the war against the Greenskins.  It was no time before the 2nd Company of the Centurions of Innocence, and a strike cruiser packed with scum and traitors the sector over found itself in the sensor shadow of the Vitritan Sun...


I wanted to take a bit of a break from the Orks, and work on a smaller more elite force to play around with. My immediate thought was to make one that was more ranged oriented, but alas the viscera of close combat took hold and I've made a choppy Chaos Space Marine force, around the World Eaters faction trait. 

My opponent for this slow grow league/campaign/narrative thing is my arch-nemesis Chris and his fearsome Metallica Adeptus Mechanicus forces. 

My Centurions of Innocence Strike Force.

Daemon Prince [Dark Mechanicum Bio Assault Drone]  with Wings, Warp Bolter, and Talisman of Burning Blood.

Chaos Lord with Black Axe of Ul'Occa,

2x Khorne Berzerker Squads,  Champion with Power Fist and Plasma Pistol,  Marine with Plasma Pistol, and an Icon of Wrath for each squad.

10x Cultists.

Chris' Adeptus Mechanicus of Metallica 

Techpriest Engineseer

Techpriest Manipulus (represented by an Infiltrator Alpha figure)

Sicarian Infiltrators 

3x Skitarii Vanguard Squads

Sydonian Dragoons Squadron.

The Ruins, of the Vitritan Capitol Fabricatorum Complex. 

We are using the Cities of Death rules from Chapter Approved 2018 for this game, and we rolled the "Decapitation" Mission from the same book which is a combined deployment map and objective overview. It felt appropriate, as it seemed reasonable that the Marine's first goal on the planet would be capturing/killing a Mechanicus ground commander to ascertain their progress in finding the archeotech, or just to cause havoc while the renegades begin their own search.

The Cult Mechanicus set up in the center field, I deploy the forces of Chaos in cover and close together to benefit from the Lord of Chaos aura ability while my berzerkers close in.

My Daemon Prince swiftly crashes into the Sydonian Dragoons, killing two of the clanking machines and wounding one. All other Chaos units advance towards the enemy.

The Mechanicus respond by surrounding the Daemon Prince with Vanguard, and the Manipulus lowering his toughness (a Vanguard special ability) and placing a character threat into the mix. The Sicarian Infiltrators and the Vanguard gun down the Cultists and move into the street.

The Last Sydonian Dragoon deals considerable damage to the Daemon Prince which is quickly finished off by Rifle Butts and Iron Mechadendrites. The Khorne Berzerkers hit the Vanguard and Manipulus and quickly exact a bloody revenge. The Chaos Lord engages the Sicarian Infiltrators in close combat and gains the upper hand thanks to the mortal wounds from his daemon weapon.

With Power Armored Madmen closing in, the Enginseer blurts out an Error-Abort Code onto the Skitarii Cohorts Noospheric Network. Chris Concedes at this point and Game 1 goes to Chaos.

-Your Favorite Madman-