Thursday, March 25, 2010

Assault on Veridian V (internal conflict between Saim Hann and Lileath-Aean Exodites)

Here is another installment of the ongoing battle between Nuadhunn's Saim Hann and Yvenaurael's Lileath-Aean Exodites.  I included the story so far.  It is a summary of the battles that have been fought so far (the Battle Reports can be found in earlier postings).  I hope you all enjoy.

Click on the images to enlarge them, just make sure you hit the "Back" button on your tool bar when you want to return to the report and not "X", or it will close the page.  

Assault on Veridian V

-The Dark Templar chapter of the Adeptus Astartes had been using an Imperial outpost on the small planet Veridian as a staging point for many of it's crusades.  In a state of meditation, High Warriorseer Sheandreal had foreseen one of their Maiden Worlds decimated as a result of these crusades.  After sharing this information with the Planet King Yvenaurael, a strike force was immediately assembled to disrupt the Space Marine force.  Yvenaurael called upon the warriors of the Saim Hann craftworld to assist in this campaign.  The Saim Hann have had close ties to the Exodite worlds since the fall, and they hold a particularly good relationship with Yvenaurael's Lileath-Aean Exodite Clan.  
The Saim Hann strike force was led by Nuadhunn Bale Gaze, the kinsman of Nuadhu Fireheart.  It was widely rumored that during his rites of passage Nuadhunn killed a Basilisk on the Exodite world Halathel.  This didn't sit well with Yvenaurael because Basilisks are considered sacred to the Lileath-Aean and are often drawn to, and ferociously protect, the World Spirit of the Exodite worlds.  To slay one of these magnificent creatures is an unforgivable crime in the eyes of the Lileath-Aean.  Despite the obvious anger in Yvenaurael's heart, his Lileath-Aean fought valiantly beside the Saim Hann.
The main focus of this attack was to take out a communication/power relay in the center of one of the main areas of the outpost.  This relay was absolutely vital to the Dark Templar's  crusades.  Cutting off this relay would leave the Templars in disarray, and open for attacks from Saim Hann naval fleets.  The strategy was to launch a small warpgate onto a remote section of the planet.  The Lileath-Aean would then send two Wyverns equipped with wraithgates through to drop them closer to the outpost.  The attack began with two ominous figures flying on the horizon.  The Imperial scanners classified these figures as organic creatures, so the post was not put on any high alert.  The creatures appeared to be ascending high into the cloud cover, and disappeared from sight.  Then, in a sudden dash, the creatures dropped out of the sky and made a quick low pass only to disappear back into the clouds as quickly as they appeared.  The Imperial soldiers were unaware that these Wyverns were carrying small wraithgates.  It is a common tactic for the Lileath-Aean to launch surprise attacks from these wraithgates.
Without the slightest hint of warning, the outpost was consumed with Eldar shuriken fire.  While Saim Hann tanks attacked from one side, the Lileath-Aean knights attacked from above on their wyverns.  The fire from the tanks caused the perfect distraction for the infantry to sneak through the city and wipe out unsuspecting soldiers.  The attack caused the Marines and Guardsmen to group up in the center of the city to protect their Comm relay, and this was the plan all along.  As the Imperial forces grouped together, Nuadhunn charged his Waveserpent into the heart of the group.  As the Marines and Guardsmen turned to counter, Yvenaurael sprung from shadows on his Basilisk and attacked the unsuspecting troops from their blindside.  Nuadhunn then dropped into the mass of disoriented soldiers and unleashed his deadly Bale Gaze upon them.  In a matter of moments, there was nothing but silence. 
The surprise assault was a complete success, all Imperial forces were either wounded or fleeing.  However, it is in this moment that the true conflict begins.  As Yvenaurael and Nuadhunn stood face to face, surrounded by hundreds of wounded, tension began to rise.  From atop his mount, Yvenaurael glared down at Nuadhunn expressing that if he had his way, punishment would be carried out at this very moment for his atrocities on Halathel.  Nuadhunn simply smiled, and said "on Halathel, I slayed a beast with only a crude spear.  If you and your cute little pet think they could spill even one drop of my blood as I stand before you, then I shall show you how greatly mistaken you are."   Nuadhunn's forces stand staring across at the forces of the Lileath-Aean, both sides clutching their guns fearing the outcome of this confrontation.  Yvenaurael, fully enraged, roared for his troops to send the Saim Hann crawling back to their craftworld.  Both sides lifted their guns and the battle was again raging on. 
After a quick regrouping, Yvenaurael had devised a plan to use the Comm Relay to have the Dark Templar fleet attack the Saim Hann navy.  The Lileath-Aean quickly secured a foothold in the center of the city and successfully drove Nuadhunn and his fellow troops back.  This didn't stop Nuadhunn though, he quickly reassessed the situation and devised a counter assault.  He sent his Striking scorpions around to outflank the Exodites while his pathfinders and Dire avengers would draw most of the attention.  The plan worked.  The Exodites were caught off guard and the Saim Hann force quickly regained foothold in the center, as well as control of the Comm Relay.  The Lileath-Aean did manage to keep control of the power cells to the Comm Relay during their retreat.  Nuadhun quickly came up with the plan to send a Kill Team to retreive the coveted items in the Exodite's possesion......          

Kill Team 
After the Lileath-Aean ducked out with the power cells, Nuahdunn devised a plan to retrieve them.  He would send a small elite group behind enemy lines to try and snatch them without notice.  The following report is how this plan panned out.
This mission was played with the Kill Team scenario in the new Battle Missions codex.  Brandon and I each had to make a Kill Team totaling 200 points.  The hardest part I found with this was abiding by the squad minimums.  You are given the option to give up to three models a special rule from the Universal Special Rules list, no choice can be duplicated though.  Another unique thing about Kill Teams is that after you purchase your team, each member counts as an independent when the game starts.  It is a very interesting twist on the play.  The Kill Teams were as follows: 

Saim Hann Kill Team

 8x Striking Scorpions, one with Furious Charge special rule.

6x Dire Avengers, one with Feel No Pain special rule,and one with Fearless special rule.

Models with special rules

Lileath-Aean Kill Team

6x Dragon Knights ("counts as" Howling Banshees), one with Furious Charge special rule, one with Feel No Pain                       special rule.

7x Royal Guardians ("counts as" Dire Avengers), one Exarch with Fearless special rule.  

Models with special rules

The victory conditions were to drive your opponents Kill Team off the table.  There are two ways to do this.  One is to cause them to flee.  This is similar to "bottling out" in Necromunda.  After you have lost 50% of your kill team you have to take a leadership test at the beginning of your turn, if you fail you lose.  This test is subject to a -1 modifier for each model under your 50% mark.  This is why both of us put the Fearless rule on the models with the highest leadership.  The second way to win is to kill all the members of your opponents Kill team. 

On with the action ......

Deployment was as follows:

Both of us divided our kill teams into small battlegroups.  

Lileath-Aean Deployment,
 I had two more small groups below the Exarch that are not shown

Saim Hann Deployment

We were counting everything as difficult terrain.  My Lileath-Aean ended up getting first turn....

Turn 1-
I moved two of my groups down toward the tall center building.  I was hoping to outflank his scorpions and break through to "The Fearless Leader".  I then repositioned my units in the building to hopefully get some shots off.  

In my shooting phase only two of my Royal Guardians had range to fire on one of the Scorpions.  I caused two wounds that the Scorpion easily brushed off.  
No charges were made this turn, so it was time to see how the Saim Hann reacted.  

Brandon broke his Scorpions away form the Dire Avengers and sent them in opposite directions.  His Scorpions moved up to try to get to my flank, while his Dire Avengers took cover in some rubble in the center of the street.  His other unit of scorpions moved along the lower buildings to try and counter my Dragon Knights that were attempting to flank him on the bottom edge.  

The Dire Avengers in the rubble were the only unit in range to fire, and that they did.  They fired into my Exarch (my "Fearless Leader") causing three wounds.  Luckily I was able to shake off all three wounds and send them a little smirk as a reward.   
we were still out of charge range, so it was off to turn two.

Close up pics of turn 1
One of my battle groups waiting patiently to run to cover

Looking down the street

The "Fearless Leader" reading to pump some shots into whomever peaks their head around a corner.

Saim Hann Scorpions assesing their foothold....

...but with the Lileath-Aean watching, moving out of cover might not be the best idea.

These Dire Avengers are ready for any foe to reveal themselves.

This battle group is itching for some action.

These Scorpions are getting ready for the Exodites that are trying to outflank them.

Turn 2-
I started this turn by sending one of my groups into the building on the bottom.  I hoping to get some good difficult terrain and fleet rolls so I could charge the Scorpions waiting on the other side.  I sent another group down towards the building as a backup unit.  I didn't roll too well, and they only moved about two inches.       

I attempted to fire at the Dire Avengers with my battle group at the bottom, but I was about two inches shy.  I did, however, have range from both groups in the upper building.  I opened fire with my Exarch and three Royal Guardians.  Out of ten shots only five hit, causing four wounds.  The Dire Avenger armor fared pretty well and only one of the four wounds caused a casualty.  
In the assault phase, my battle group in the building barely made it into combat.  The group charged through the door and attacked the group of Scorpions.  The outcome wasn't what I had hoped for.  I only managed to take out one Scorpion, and the Scorpions retaliated by taking out one Dragon Knight and my Royal Guardian.  This left my Dragon Knight (the one with Furious Charge) outnumbered three to one.

The glorious charge !!! .....
..... Okay, it wasn't very glorious. 

In Brandon's turn, he continued to sneak his Scorpion unit around the top to infiltrate my main building.  He sent his Dire Avengers further into the center to fire upon some of my Royal Guardians.  

In his shooting phase he had one Dire avenger fire up at one of my Royal Guardians.  Both of the shots hit and wounded, my armor didn't hold and the Guardian went down.  His second Avenger fired down the alley and took out my Royal Guardian in that group as well.       
In his assault phase the two Scorpions left out of the battle charged back into battle with my Dragon Knight.  the three Scorpions ended up causing four wounds and my Dragon Knight failed to cause any.  Luckily enough for me I saved all by rolling two 6's and two 5's.  Brandon's jaw dropped and he said, "what the hell is Dragon Knight armor made of"?  
A pic of the armor saves, I saved on a 4+.

Close up pics of turn two
My Royal Guardians opened fire n the Dire Avengers below.

The Striking scorpions continue to sneak behind my main building.

Unfortunately I was just out of range to fire upon the Avengers.

Turn 3-
In Turn three, I started by moving one of my battle groups down to help out my lone Dragon Knight.  I sent another unit across the top to try and counter the Scorpions that were sneaking in through the building.   

In the shooting phase, I fired one of my Royal Guardians at one of the Dire Avengers.  I ended up causing a wound, and the Avenger failed his save.  My other Royal Guardian fired at the "Feel No Pain" Avenger, he felt no pain and shrugged off all hits.  My Exarch, however, fired four shots into him and caused him a lot of pain.  I caused three wounds that he couldn't escape from, center was now clear. 

In the assault phase I attempted to charge the Scorpions flanking me, but only one of my Dragon Knights made it in.  I missed with all of my attacks, and the Scorpions made quick work of that Knight.  On the bottom of the table my lone Dragon Knight ended up taking out two of the three Scorpions, but he fell to wounds in the process.  

Brandon began this turn by moving his lone Scorpion up to back up his remaining Dire Avengers.  He then split his Scorpions at the top into two pairs.  He sent one pair up into the higher levels and the other straight toward my Dragon Knight that failed his charge.  He then went straight to the assault phase and charged my Knight.  My Knight failed to wound the Scorpions, and the Scorpions shredded him up with their chainswords.

This Dragon Knights was no match for the Scorpions.

Close up pics of turn 3
My Dragon Knights moved in for some action, but were destroyed.

The Dire Avengers looked on, ready to fire.

These two Dire Avengers didn't last long against the Royal Guardians.

This Scorpion moved up to back up his "Fearless Leader". 

These two Scorpions were looking to jump across the building and charge my Exarch.

Turn 4-
I am realizing that I might be in some trouble.  This had to be big for me, I had four Scorpions closing in quickly and I was outnumbered on the other side of the field too.  I ended up moving my lone Royal Guardian back to a defensive position by the Power Cells.  I moved my Exarch back to distance him from the Scorpions on the upper level.  I then moved my Dragon Knights through the bottom building hoping to have rang to charge on my next turn.  

In the shooting phase I fired everything I had at the Scorpions.  My Exarch fired four shots at one of the Scorpions and caused three wounds.  I was stoked, until Brandon made all three of his saves.  I then fired six shots from three Royal Guardians at the Scorpions.  The shots ended up causing three wounds, the Scorpions shrugged all of them off.  The Scorpions armor was resilient as ever!
I didn't have any charges, so it was Brandon's turn to put the hurt on.

Brandon started turn four by moving his Dire Avengers up into the top level of the building.  He then moved his lone scorpion back to a defensive position.  His top Scorpions moved to the edge of the building to position themselves for a leap across the buildings.  His lower Scorpions positioned themselves to charge my Royal Guardian on the lowest level.
The Scorpions ended up firing two shots at my Guardian and missing both, they then charged.  This was probably the most interesting close combat I have ever been involved in.  The Scorpions outnumbered my Royal Guardian two to one, and they had a total of eight attacks to my one.  I can't even put this into words, so i am going to let the pictures do the talking ..... 
The Scorpions charge, getting a total of eight attacks......

Needing a 4+ to hit, this is what Brandon rolled ......
Needing a 3+ to wound, this is what Brandon rolled ....

All we could do was say, WOW, did that really just happen?  Both of us were pretty stunned.  I failed to hit his Scorpions with my one attack, but I was still alive.

Close up pics of turn 4
None of my Royal Guardians could do any damage to these Scorpions.

The Exarch then looked on at the other group of Scorpions quickly closing in.

Turn 5-
I was getting pretty worried about things at this point.  I couldn't punch through the Scorpions armor, and I had two more coming up on our flank.  I ended up moving my Exarch back a bit (keeping him in range to fire of course) and I moved my Dragon Knights up into Brandon's main building.  I was hoping to charge his leader and possibly make him run at the beginning of his turn.  I also positioned two of my other Royal Guardians to counter charge the Scorpions in my main building.  

The only shooting I did was with my Exarch.  I fired four shots at the Scorpions across the building.  I ended up hitting and wounding with all four shots!  I was thinking, "he has to fail at least one of these", but the Scorpions shrugged off all four wounds.  I couldn't wound these Scorpions for the life of me!  
In the assault phase I charged my Royal Guardians into his Scorpions, and My Dragon Knights charged the Dire Avengers in Brandon's main building.  Fortunately for Brandon, my Dragon Knights only killed one Avenger (and it wasn't his Leader).  Fortunately for me, his Dire Avengers failed to wound anything.  In my main building things went a little different.  The Scorpions ended up killing one Royal Guardian, but not before one of them fell to my attacks as well.  The combat was drawn, so we stayed tangled up.  However, my top Guardian was free to move away due to the fact all models count as Independent Characters in Kill Team missions.    


The only moving Brandon did in this turn was to jump his Scorpions across the gap to my building (we incorporated a house rule that in Kill Team missions you have to pass an Initiative test in order to jump gaps.  If the test is failed you fall to the lowest level and take a wound).
 No shooting went down, but Brandon did try to charge with his Scorpions.  Lucky for me both attempts failed.  In our assault in the other building, I ended up killing his "Fearless Leader", and losing one of my Dragon Knights.  It was interesting the way it worked though.  Since we count as Independent Characters this combat left us both out of combat, and free to move.  The other combat wasn't as good for me.  The Scorpion killed my Royal Guardian and Brandon rolled a 6 for consolidation, he used this to move up to the second level closest to my Exarch. 

Close up pics of turn 5.
This Scorpion used his consolidation move to put pressure on my Exarch. 

These Scorpions leaped across the buildings looking to spill some blood.

Turn 6-
The only thing I could do at this point was to try and survive the round.  I moved my Exarch down, and my other Royal Guardian up to the Second level.
I was hoping to, at the very least, take out the lone Scorpion.  On the other side of the board I rolled to move My Dragon Knight, but failed to move down more than one level.  I also rolled a 2 for Fleet and got stuck in the building.  I was open to get charged (I should have just charged the Dire Avenger and took the charge form the Scorpion).  
I had my Exarch fire at the Scorpion closest to him and wounded with three of his shots.  The Scorpion passed all of it's armor saves, again!  My other Royal Guardian fired on him as well and caused one wound,....... he saved..... I have no idea what these Scorpions did to their armor but it worked (at this point these Scorpions have made 14 saves in a row against my shots!!!!).  I had no other choice but to charge the Scorpion with both my Exarch and Royal Guardian.  This would prove to be a bad decision though.  I failed to wound the Scorpion (Imagine that) and my Exarch went down.     

At the Beginning of Brandon's turn he had to take the first "bottle test" of the game, and as you can imagine, I was hoping he failed it cause I was in trouble, ...... he passed.  His turn was real quick, he killed my remaining Dragon Knight with fire from his Dire avenger and Scorpion, Then he killed my Royal Guardian in that round of combat.

Final closeups.
My Exarch was hoping to wipe out this lone Scorpion....

....If not, certain doom was waiting just around the corner.
This Dragon Knight was trying to retreat, but was cut short, and cut down.

With the death of this Royal Guardian, victory was sealed.

Victory to Nuadhunn's Kill Team.  They successfully retrieved the Power Cells and headed back to their sector of the city.  Yvenaurael was not pleased, and as you can imagine, is already plotting his next move.

If I could have done anything different it would have been to group my troops together more.  I spread my whole team to thin.  If I was to play this mission over, I would take six Harlequins (Keepers of Dreams in my army) with a Shadowseer, Troupe Master with a Power Weapon and Fusion Pistol, all with Harlequin Kisses and one more Fusion Pistol.  I think they would have fared much better, especially through the difficult terrain.  

Thank you for tuning in.  There will be a continuance to this story posted shortly.  I hope you all enjoyed it,

-The Man Behind the Mask- 

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