Santa Cruz Sector, Mythic Games: March 31, 2017
Frantic reports of daemonic incursions emanate from the agricultural hinterlands of the ninth planet in the Ben Lomond system. Elements of the Dark Angels space marine chapter investigate and find several warp rifts to Khorne apparently opened by means of the ritualistic sacrifice of entire villages. There is nothing left when they arrive but death, red mist, blood and horror. Astra Militarum forces, garrisoning the planet, are air lifted to support the quickly beleaguered marines. This is one of many desperate actions.
Captain L. Danielus and I played the Warp Rift scenario. This time we used the Superior Reconnaissance special rule. As things turned out, we both agreed this balanced the scenario nicely for a shooting versus assault army and made for an enjoyable game.
The Khornate forces were a Slaughter Cult formation within a Bloodhost Detachment. In addition to my usual host of uglies, there was quite a lot of small arms potential this time with three squads of extremely angry daemonkin space marines (not Angry Marines though). The backbone of the imperial forces was mechanized Guard veterans, assisted by nicely painted Dark Angels tactical marines and terminators led by a chaplain. An eversor assassin rounded out the loyalist forces. Our good captain as usual led a Combined Arms Detachment into the fray.
The early stages of the fight didn’t look too promising for the Imperium. A squad of possessed space marines clamored out of their rhino and up three floors inside a ruin where a Dark Angels devastator squad had taken up excellent firing positions. Say what you want about possessed, but they are as agile as spider monkeys! Predictably, after a sharp, gruesome fight, the possessed were in possession of the ruin and the devastators were but a gruesome memory.
Also, a mob of bloodletters erupted out the rift and made straight for Captain Danielus’ massed line of chimerae. Despite focusing almost all of their considerable firepower on that single group, apparently the daemons were strong with the might of Khorne, for when the red mist settled the remaining daemons, reduced in number but still hissing and howling scuttled onward with their black swords held high.
Still, the company commander and his men never give up, and of course Dark Angels know no fear (or if they do they are pretty good at hiding it, at least in front of a chaplain), so they stood fast, determined to close the rift or at least sell their lives as dearly as possible. Not that they would appreciate the sentiment, but they earned a grim salute from your Sanguine Narrator. Blessings to the Strong!
Only through heroic sacrifice and much blood spilled, mostly on the imperial side, were the loyalist forces able to hold the field. Their grip was tenacious but weakening by the second. As the rift energies peaked, shining like a coruscating red giant, disaster was at hand. A towering bloodthirster strode out of the midst roaring with laughter. He was unpainted but mighty nonetheless.
The few remaining veteran guardsmen were in no position to help. They had their hands full with a particularly frisky chaos spawn. It seemed to have become stimulated while in proximity to one of the glistening stone menhir, which needed to be seized if the gate was to be closed.
Everything pointed to a complete victory for the daemonkin. In the end the mighty daemon prince stood alone controlling one objective. He was busy cavorting over a grease spot that used to be an eversor assassin. A vendetta gunship interrupted its dogfight with a heldrake and hovered over another objective. To pick what what survivors they could, perhaps?
The plucky guardsmen almost broke against the chaos spawn, as it ate several more of their number. The tentacled monstrosity seemed impervious to chainsword, krak missile, and that king of weapons, the lasgun. Fortunately the spawn was so busy vibrating it didn’t notice a single guardsmen, who wasn’t taking part in the fight. He placed his hands on the menhir and mumble an incantation. The soldier exploded in a bloody mess but the red mist around the stone abruptly vanished.
Finally, the Dark Angel chaplain and his men advanced toward their objecrtive in the face of harrowing Daemonkin marine bolter fire. Despite being almost under the bloodthirster’s gray hooves, the giant paid no heed to the angels in his exultation.
“For the Emperor and Mankind!” the chaplain screamed as he slammed his crozius arcanum against the stone objective. It exploded like a malevolent volcano. Marines were thrown back in all directions. The chaplain and a couple of men came to a few moments later. The rift and all trace of the daemonkin were gone.
So it was a 3-1 win for the Imperium. The warp rift was closed and a great swath of civilization saved. Huzzah for the loyalist’s Objective Secured! Without that special rule the game would have ended in an unsatisfying 1-1 tie.
The Blood God was pleased because, as I told (in an appropriately mock serious tone) one skeptical onlooker who innocently wandered over between rounds of Magic, “Khorne cares not from whence the blood flows, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!”
Still, the architect of this appalling heresy remains unaccounted for. Who knows where he will strike next?