Campaign: Phoenix campaign game 3
Mission: Strongpoint Attack
1st turn: Eldar
Location: Emerald Ridge (location 6), Tyro Peninsula, Kutch, Salazar systems
Background: Using the howling gales as cover, the Eldar launch a surprise attack on the Exigators communication array on Emerald Ridge. Fortunately for the Chaos Space Marines, Tchoi Guerez had ordered several squads to guard the Ridge.
Chaos Space Marines
- Chaos Lord Tchoi Guerez - Terminator Armour, Lightning Claw, Combi-Plasma
- Ppbhuln'naks - Greater Daemon (Great Unclean One)
- Squad Krall – 10 Chaos space marines, plasma gun, lascannon, aspiring champion with powerfist, icon of chaos glory
- Squad Brakar – 10 Chaos space marines, plasma gun, lascannon, aspiring champion with powerfist, icon of chaos glory
- Squad Hotep – 9 Thousand sons, Sorcerer with warptime
- Squad Scrementor – 8 Raptors, 2 flamers, aspiring champion with power weapon
- Squad Imber - 6 Havocs, 4 heavy bolters, icon of chaos glory
- Squad Abraxar – 6 Havocs, 2 autocannon, missile launcher, icon of chaos glory
- Lauthelias - Farseer runes of warding runes of witnessing, spirit stones, doom, fortune
- 5 warlocks, enhance, embolden
- Icareane - Autarch, Swooping Hawk wings, power weapon, fusion gun
- Laconfir - 8 Dire Avengers, Exarch with diresword, shuriken pistol, bladestorm
- Arroth - 8 Guardians, 2 fusion guns
- Saduras Clearsight - 6 Rangers
- Amost - 1 Falcon, scatterlaser, holofield
- Isenrain - 8 Warpspiders, Exarch with deathspinners, powerblades, withdraw
- Lothost - 5 Firedragons, exarch with fire pike
- Sheira - 7 Howling Banshees, Exarch with executioner + wavesepent with starcannon
We both came to the game with pre-written army lists but after discovering the mission we would play Gary had to change his substantially. Out went the Dark Reapers and Warwalkers and in came the Howling Banshees in the Wave Serpent. He also made some changes to his unit sizes but passed all the leadership tests to retain his experience points. My Exigators army fitted the force organisation chart without modification.
Terrain and Deployment
The game used Chaos sentries, patrolling the perimeter while the Eldar tried to sneak up closer to the Exigators. Guerez had ordered that a bunker complex be built to defend the communications array. This was occupied by the Havoc squads Abraxar and Imber. The complex consisted of two small bunkers linked by a single corridor.
Guerez was concerned that an attack on either flank would be unstoppable due to the limited lines of sight for the defenders so he deployed three sentries per flank. In doing so he hoped that the Eldar would make a frontal assault. It was not without risk because the Eldar could potentially advance quite a distance before being spotted. Guerez gambled that the combined firepower of his squads would compensate.
The Eldar took the bait and attacked from the front. The Eldar began their stealthy advance. The Rangers opened fire with their sniper rifles and silently killed the nearest sentry. The rest of the Eldar moved up behind a hill.
The Eldar Fire Dragons ran up the slope of the hill while the Farseer and his retinue skirted its base. Then the Rangers sniped at the second sentry. Disaster struck. The sentry survived the firepower and raised the alarm! The Warp Spiders took some potshots at squad Brakar in the outermost fortifications and killed two marines. Crucially their second jump only took them a short distance and more than half the squad were left exposed.
With the only visible enemy the Warpspiders, Guerez ordered the whole Exigators army to direct their fire at them. Six died, including the Exarch and the survivors fled the battlefield. The Chaos Space Marines hunkered down to see what else the Eldar would throw at them.
Braving the gales, a Waveserpent flew in on the left flank toward the bunker hiding squad Imber. The Howling Banshees remained in their transport for now. The Falcon was not so lucky and was struggling to arrive at the Ridge from reserve. Farseer Lauthelias was getting bad portents of the battle to come and had to fend off two attacks from daemons of the warp as he tried to use his powers.
Autarch Icareane led the attack upon squad Brakar. The Dire Avengers used their bladestorm to scythe down several marines with the Guardians lending support. The Fire Dragons also made their presence felt. The two survivors, including Aspiring Champion Brakar himself, decided to fall back to the next set of fortifications.
Now it was time for the Exigators to reply. The Waveserpent was largely hidden behind the bunker so all of the Marines faced front and forward. In a hail of sorcerous bolter shells squad Hotep incinerated the Fire Dragons. Squad Krall combined fire with Guerez himself to shoot down the Autarch. Both Havoc squads combined to paste the Dire Avengers.
The orgy of bloodletting caught the attention of Ppbhuln'naks the greater daemon and he possessed the body of the fleeing Brakar to enter the material plane. The Exigators had dealt a severe blow to the Eldar force and had a formidable army to defend the bunkers.
The remaining Dire Avengers and Guardians charged into the Thousand Sons. Casualties fell on both sides and the combat continued, though the Guardians were beaten off. Farseer Lauthelias continued his implacable advance upon the bunkers. Still the Banshees remained in their Waveserpent, awaiting the breaching of the bunker so that they could attack the units within.
The greater daemon assaulted the Dire Avengers and slaughtered them all. He then dared the Farseer to attack him. Squad Hotep kept a wary distance behind.
Finally, the Falcon made it through the maelstrom and breached the nearest bunker with its pulse laser. This allowed the Banshees to charge in and butcher squad Imber to a man. Simultaneously, the Farseer led his squad into combat with the daemon. Despite taking several grievous wounds the daemon battered several Warlocks to the ground. Hotep tried to cast Gift of Chaos on the Farseer but the fabric of reality was weak and a spectral claw emerged to drag him screaming into the warp.
The Eldar had hung on grimly and they still had a slim chance to carry the day. If the Howling Banshees could somehow hold the bunker and the Farseer could banish the daemon they might win the battle.
It was not to be.
In the nick of time the Raptors made it onto the ridge and used their flamers to scour the bunker. Firepower continued to pour in from squads Krall, Abraxar and Hotep and the Aspect warriors were obliterated. The Raptors retook the bunker.
The Farseer and retinue, for so long a thorn in the side of the Exigators, were charged by Guerez himself. Between the Chaos Lord and the greater daemon the Eldar were crushed. Faseer Lauthelias turned to run but was cut down contemptuously by Guerez.
The Exigators still held both bunkers and had shattered the Eldar force.
- Chaos - Greater Daemon
- Eldar - Rangers
The sentry surviving the volley of fire from the Rangers.
- This was another thoroughly enjoyable game. The campaign is great because we are using unusual missions which allows sometimes marginal units to shine (such as the Eldar Rangers). The sentry rules were fun and made for a very tense start to the proceedings. It was risky of me to place them on the flanks but my gamble paid off and I got what I wanted - a frontal assault by the Eldar. I then got lucky when my sentry managed to raise the alarm and I caught the Warpsiders in the open. The Eldar were on the back foot after that.
- We both got appalling reserve rolls in this game. Gary only got the Falcon on his last turn of the game while I got my Raptors on my last turn. The problem for Gary was that the Falcon had the best gun to breach the bunker; the pulse laser. My Raptors were less of a problem for me because they arrived just in time to cook the Banshees with no danger of being attacked themselves.
- Psykers. Three perils of the warp tests in one game! The Farseer survived his two thanks to the Ghosthelm while the Runes of Warding did for my Thousand Son Hotep. Next time Lauthelias, next time...
Chaos Space Marines
- +450 Chaos Lord Tchoi Guerez - Terminator Armour, Lightning Claw, Combi-Plasma
- +120 Ppbhuln'naks - Greater Daemon (Great Unclean One)
- +250 Squad Krall – 10 Chaos space marines, plasma gun, lascannon, aspiring champion with powerfist, icon of chaos glory
- -100 Squad Brakar – 10 Chaos space marines, plasma gun, lascannon, aspiring champion with powerfist, icon of chaos glory
- -50 Squad Hotep – 9 Thousand sons, Sorcerer with warptime
- +370 Squad Scrementor – 8 Raptors, 2 flamers, aspiring champion with power weapon
- -250 Squad Imber - 6 Havocs, 4 heavy bolters, icon of chaos glory
- +450 Squad Abraxar – 6 Havocs, 2 autocannon, missile launcher, icon of chaos glory
- +560 Lauthelias - Farseer runes of warding runes of witnessing, spirit stones, doom, fortune
- 5 warlocks, enhance, embolden
- -200 Icareane - Autarch, Swooping Hawk wings, power weapon, fusion gun
- -300 Laconfir - 8 Dire Avengers, Exarch with diresword, shuriken pistol, bladestorm
- +350 Arroth - 8 Guardians, 2 fusion guns
- +810 Saduras Clearsight - 6 Rangers
- +550 Amost - 1 Falcon, scatterlaser, holofield
- +520 Isenrain - 8 Warpspiders, Exarch with deathspinners, powerblades, withdraw
- -300 Lothost - 5 Firedragons, exarch with fire pike
- +100 Sheira - 7 Howling Banshees, Exarch with executioner + wavesepent with starcannon