Santa Cruz Sector: Mythic Games, November 17, 2017
We played the domination variant of Only War, where each side received victory points from turn to turn for controlling objectives. The Tau consisted of a single 41 power point patrol detachment, which faced a 40 point Tyranid battalion.
“Several years after Jormungandr’s apparent defeat, reports begin to drift in … telling of Tyranids bursting forth from the earth, overrunning defences and killing at will.”
— Codex Tyranids
Outgoing transmissions cease from a research base (and listening outpost) on the edge of Tau/Imperial space. Oddly garbled reports from supply vessels inbound to the Zeta system only obfuscate the situation. An small, highly elite reconnaissance team is dispatched from the nearest Tau military base.
Our investigating soldiers find the base completely abandoned with no signs of a struggle. After combing through much of the complex, they come upon a wild-eyed scientist cowering behind a wall of boxes in a supply closet. Her confused tale is one of their equipment detecting mysterious tremors beneath the base; gradual disappearances, hideous scuttling noises, and glimpses of lurkers in the darkness.
The commander decides to gather what data and salient equipment they can, return to base, and let the earth caste people figure it all out.
That’s when three kinds of hell breaks loose with enormous, four-armed monstrosities erupting from multifarious hiding places and leaping to the attack. Their coordination and tactics bespoke not simple beasts but instead a sinister intelligence….
The recon team beats a hasty retreat with the earth caste civilian (as represented in-game by an ethereal) and what precious data they can recover in tow. Despite a growing tide of clawed horrors erupting from every building, tunneling up out of the earth … seemingly everywhere at once, the heroic sacrifice of more than one pathfinder squad as well as the intervention of their heavier crisis elements allow the Tau to board the last available lander.
The lander blasts off into space with hormagaunts and termagaunts hanging all over the hull, trying to chew their way through hatches and view ports. More of the creatures die horribly as they attempt to clog the ship’s flaring exhaust nozzles with their burning bodies.
From space, Tau Zeta Mythic appears as a hideous ball of worms — writhing, consuming everything, even each other in their feeding frenzy. The Tau commander hoped the information he bore would count in the balance for more than the loss of the moon. Though there were many questions yet to answer, one thing was obvious: this was nothing to do with the humans.