Campaign: Phoenix campaign game 10
Mission: Bunker Assault
1st turn: Eldar
Location: Emerald Ridge (location 6), Tyro Peninsula, Kutch, Salazar systems
Background: The Eldar attack upon the Weapons Testing Area was a just a feint; the real attack was, inevitably, upon Emerald Ridge. Tchoi Guerez's command bunker was the primary target. If the Eldar could drive the Chaos Space Marines off the ridge once and for all, the peninsula would finally be theirs.
Chaos Space Marines
- Tchoi Guerez - Chaos Lord, Terminator armour, Lightning Claw, Combi-plasma
- Ppbhuln'naks - Greater Daemon
- Squad Krall – 10 Chaos space marines, plasma gun, lascannon, aspiring champion with powerfist, icon of chaos glory, Rhino with Extra Armour
- Squad Brakar – 10 Chaos space marines, plasma gun, lascannon, aspiring champion with powerfist, icon of chaos glory
- Squad Kanker - 7 Plague marines, plasma gun, flamer, aspiring champion with power weapon, personal icon
- Arableuerakiar - 8 Lesser daemons (Furies)
- Squad Scrementor – 8 Raptors, 2 flamers, aspiring champion with power weapon, Icon of Chaos Glory
- Squad Hotep – 9 Thousand sons, Sorcerer with Gift of Chaos
- Lauthelias - Farseer runes of warding runes of witnessing, spirit stones, doom, fortune
- 5 warlocks, enhance, embolden
- Laconfir - 8 Dire Avengers, Exarch with diresword, shuriken pistol, bladestorm
- Nazrain - 10 Guardians, starcannon
- Saduras Clearsight - 5 Rangers
- Amost - 1 Falcon, scatterlaser, holofield
- Isenrain - 9 Warpspiders, Exarch with deathspinners, powerblades, withdraw
- Sheira - 7 Howling Banshees, Exarch with executioner + wavesepent with starcannon
- Lothost - 5 Firedragons, exarch with fire pike
- Moradon - Wraithlord
- Lothcirith - 3 Dark Reapers
We used our biggest piece of terrain, a large ruined temple, as the centrepiece for this, our last game. It counted as two adjacent bunkers with a 4+ save. A ruined shrine lay on the Chaos left flank while a three storey ruined hab block was located on the right flank.
The Eldar refused the Chaos left flank entirely. Their centre consisted of their long rang firepower in the shape of Dark Reapers, Rangers, the Guardians with their Starcannon. The Farseer deployed behind the Wraithlord which could also contribute Starcannon shots as it advanced. The Howling Banshees, Warp Spiders and Falcon made for a strong force on the Chaos right. The Fire Dragons began in the Falcon.
The Exigators ignored the far flanks and deployed in and around the bunkers. Squads Brakar and Krall held the bunkers with Terminator Lord Guerez. The Plague Marines and Thousand Sons held the fortifications outside the bunkers. The rest of the Chaos units would be called in from reserve.
The Eldar began to advance upon the bunkers. A withering hail of fire fizzled in and Squad Hotep took heavy casualties. Lascannon and plasma gun fire lanced back at Moradon the Wraithlord which was rocked on its heels. The survivors of the Thousand Sons moved behind the ruined building on their right.
Squad Brakar was punished as the Eldar came on. On the right, the Warp Spiders appeared behind the ruined hab block.
Squad Hotep moved into the ruins and killed several Aspect Warriors with their Inferno Bolts. A lascannon shot crumpled the Wraithlord. Aspiring champion Krall succumbed to the whispering in his head and the Greater Daemon manifested in the bunker. Lord Guerez discharged his combi-plasma into the Falcon and stunned the driver. He was simultaneously screaming into his communicator for the Raptors to join the battle, but they were nowhere to be seen. Similarly, the Furies were conspicuous by their absence. Surely no Eldar would dare to try and contest the bunker against a Greater Daemon and a Chaos Lord?
Still the Eldar came on. The Howling Banshees lithley leapt through the hab block and slaughtered the Thousand Sons. The Warp Spiders appeared on the far side of the ruin and combined their fire with the Dire Avengers, Rangers and Dark Reapers to destroy Squad Brakar. Farseer Lauthelias revealed his impetuous nature once again as he led his retinue into close combat against the Greater Daemon. The Falcon also gambled and made a bold, low-flying swoop forward and pushed the Plague Marines out of their fortifications. The Fire Dragons emerged from the Falcon and obliterated Lord Guerez.
Squad Krall moved over to the right of the bunker and rapid fired the Howling Banshees into oblivion. Squad Kanker made it back to the foremost bunker. The epic combat between the Greater Daemon and Farseer continued.
The Warp Spiders poured more fire into Squad Krall but caused few kills. The Dire Avengers, Guardians, Rangers and Dark Reapers poured shots into the Plague Marines but they shrugged most of it off. Still the fight raged on between the Farseer and Greater Daemon.
The Exigators made a last desperate attempt to repulse the Eldar. Leaving the Greater Daemon to determine its own fate, they attacked on all fronts. Finally the Raptors made the field. They swooped down on the Warp Spiders and doused them in promethium flames. The few survivors were hacked down in close combat. Squad Kanker charged down the steps of the bunker and into the Dire Avengers. A brutal fight developed. Squad Krall ran up and over the bunker to face off against the Fire Dragons. Their firepower proved largely ineffectual, though, as the Aspect Warriors survived the barrage.
Despite horrendous casualties the Dire Avengers first pulled down a Plague Marine and then Laconfir personally disemboweled Plague Champion Kanker with his Diresword. Laconfir was the only survivor from his squad, but he waved the Guardians on toward the bunkers.
The most important conflict of all was decided at the same moment. Farseer Lauthelias uttered ancient words of power as he executed another attack. The Greater Daemon crushed three Warlocks with his fists but the Farseer ran him through with his Witchblade. It's body crumbled to dust and blew away on an unnatural breeze.
The Fire Dragons slagged several of Squad Krall. The rest of the Chaos Space Marines charged in to avenge their dead. Despite the ferocity of the Exigators attack, Lothost inspired his Aspect Warriors to fell the enemy. He emerged victorious from the struggle with the enemy dead at his feet.
The Raptors felt the full force of the Farseer's rage. Squad Scrementor fled before the onslaught and were cut down.
The Furies were summoned to the battlefield by the last Marine from Squad Krall. The Daemons fluttered into the bunker to deny the Eldar at the last.
The Exigators had prevented the Eldar from taking the bunkers but only at the cost of their entire army.
- Chaos Space Marines - Squad Kanker
- Eldar - Farseer and retinue
Poor reserve rolls for the Exigators.
- What a bloodthirsty game to end the campaign with! The Eldar caused so much carnage that they made up for the 750 point victory point deficit as the Furies captured a bunker, and the game ended in a draw. That means that both the Eldar and Exigators withdraw from Emerald Ridge and by my reckoning the Eldar win the entire campaign by the narrowest of margins; holding five locations to the Exigators four, with one uncontested.
- There were a few factors that conspired to help me lose this game. The first was that I had built my list and tactics in advance around the mission in the book but we changed the rules just before the game. I had planned on putting down two small bunkers in a corner of the table, surrounding them with fortifications a certain distance apart and refusing the rest of the battlefield. I had thought that this would reduce the Eldar mobility advantage and allow my units to support each other. Just before the battle Gary suggested we use the ruined temple as the centrepiece, counting as two bunkers. The clear terrain on the top meant we only gave it a 4+ save and it meant that enemy units could charge straight into it. The temple is so large I could only put it in the centre of my deployment zone and I had to clump my units on and around it. It's size also meant that it divided my forces; units on one side of the temple could not support those on the other side. I couldn't even place the fortifications in decent locations. While the changes we made undeniably helped the storyline and aesthetics of the game it posed me some tactical headaches.
- It wasn't all about the mission and terrain, though. Gary surprised me by changing the dynamic of his army by including more 'shooty' elements, like the Dark Reapers. He had a significant advantage in the 25"-48" range bracket and used it well to pummel my troops. Being able to move and shoot with the Wraithlord, Guardians and Falcon, as well as the Warp Spiders, meant I had suffered heavy casualties before the assault hit home.
- My reserve rolls were shocking. I got the Greater Daemon early, when I didn't need him, and then got the Raptors on turn five and the Furies on turn six! I especially needed the Raptors a couple of turns before to threaten the Fire Dragons on one side of the bunkers or the Banshees and Warp Spiders on the other. In the event the Eldar could concentrate on taking out one or two of my units at a time while I had little to throw back at them.
- I might still have scraped a win if some of my combats had worked out better. I had a decent chance of the Greater Daemon instantly killing the Farseer but I fluffed his attacks and/or the Farseer saved them all. My two Plague Marines were wiped out by the Dire Avengers and then the Fire Dragons killed three charging Chaos Space Marines! If even one of those combats had worked out in my favour I would have squeaked ahead.
- I was also feeling strangely listless before the game. I don't know whether I was bored of the campaign, sick of playing with Chaos Space Marines/against Eldar, uninspired by the table or just plain tired, but I really wasn't as psyched up as I could have been.
Chaos Space Marines
- +350 Tchoi Guerez - Chaos Lord, Terminator armour, Lightning Claw, Combi-plasma
- +1310 (Tank Killer) Ppbhuln'naks - Greater Daemon
- +250 Squad Krall – 10 Chaos space marines, plasma gun, lascannon, aspiring champion with powerfist, icon of chaos glory, Rhino with Extra Armour
- -250 Squad Brakar – 10 Chaos space marines, plasma gun, lascannon, aspiring champion with powerfist, icon of chaos glory
- +460 Squad Kanker - 7 Plague marines, plasma gun, flamer, aspiring champion with power weapon, personal icon
- +230 Arableuerakiar - 8 Lesser daemons (Furies)
- +170 Squad Scrementor – 8 Raptors, 2 flamers, aspiring champion with power weapon, Icon of Chaos Glory
- -250 Squad Hotep – 9 Thousand sons, Sorcerer with Gift of Chaos
- +1180 (Tank Killers) Lauthelias - Farseer runes of warding runes of witnessing, spirit stones, doom, fortune
- 5 warlocks, enhance, embolden
- -850 Laconfir - 8 Dire Avengers, Exarch with diresword, shuriken pistol, bladestorm
- -150 Nazrain - 10 Guardians, starcannon
- +950 Saduras Clearsight - 5 Rangers
- +1550 (Reinforced Armour) Amost - 1 Falcon, scatterlaser, holofield
- +730 Isenrain - 9 Warpspiders, Exarch with deathspinners, powerblades, withdraw
- +400 Sheira - 7 Howling Banshees, Exarch with executioner + wavesepent with starcannon
- -600 Lothost - 5 Firedragons, exarch with fire pike
- -200 Moradon - Wraithlord
- -50 Lothcirith - 3 Dark Reapers