Drop pods rained down on Cephian IV, braving the storm-wrecked skies as the powers of the Warp enveloped the planet in its diabolical embrace. They sped towards the surface, landing among the ruined spires of Hive Ulliter. The black capsules crashed into the earth at the foot of the Cathedral of Paean, erected in honour of the Chaos Gods, the lives of tens of thousands of the enslaved populace expended in its construction. Thousands more had been sacrificed on its altars by the 47th Word Bearers host, and millions would follow.
The pod doors slammed open, and the Storm Dragons 2nd Company lined up before the ruined hab-blocks surrounding the Cathedral. As an orbital lance strike briefly swallowed all darkness in a sea of white flame, the unholy church vanished in a beam of pure energy. The shock wave shook the very foundations of the city, but the Storm Dragons stood resolute in its pummeling force. With grim resolution, the Storm Dragons advanced into the hab-blocks, intent on rooting out all traitors still lying in wait among Ulliter's remains.
Mission: Capture & Control
Deployment: Dawn of War
47th Word Bearer host (commanded by Dark Apostle Ruben)
HQ - Daemon Prince (Warp Time)
Troops - 15 Lesser Daemons
- 10 Chaos Space Marines (Powerfist, Icon, 2 Flamers, Possessed Rhino)
- 10 Chaos Space Marines (Powerfist, Icon, 2 Meltaguns, Possessed Rhino)
Elites - 4 Terminators (Champion w/Claws, Champion w/Chainfist, Heavy Flamer)
Fast Attack - 8 Chaos Bikers (Powerfist, Icon, 2 Meltaguns)
Heavy Support - Defiler
Storm Dragons 2nd Company
HQ- Kor'sarro Khan
- Librarian (Avenger, Null Zone)
Troops- 10 Tactical Marines (Power Weapon, Flamer, Missile Launcher) + Rhino
- 5 Tactical Marines (Power Weapon) + Razorback (Twin-linked Assault Cannon)
Elites- 5 Assault Terminators (1xLightning Claws) + Land Raider
- Dreadnought (Lascannon, Heavy Flamer)
Fast Attack- 5 Assault Marines (Power Weapon) + Rhino (Dozer Blade)
- 3 Scout Bikers (Combi-Melta, Melta Bomb)
- 2 Land Speeders (Multi-melta, Heavy Flamer)
Heavy Support- Thunderfire Cannon
The Chaos forces deployed first, placing their objective centrally. I deployed mine in a ruin in my left corner. The Word Bearers then deployed their Daemon Prince and Flamer squad near my objective. I deployed nothing, outflanking my Razorback and Tactical Squad, as well as the Scout Bikers. The Speeders were going to Deep Strike.
Turn 1 - Word Bearers
The Chaos forces moved onto the board at speed, the bikers sweeping up the left flank, with the Melta armed Chaos Space Marine squad advancing centrally, flanked by the Defilers.
Turn 1 - Storm Dragons
My Land Raider moved up centrally, keeping its distance from the Chaos Bikers because of its meltaphobia. The Dreadnought and Thunderfire covered the Raider's left flank, as the Librarian and the Assault Squad took the right in their Rhino.
Nothing could be seen through the lance strike's afterglow, and the Dread popped smoke just to be sure.
Turn 2 - Word Bearers
The Lesser Daemons arrived and formed a rearguard for the Chaos advance. The Bikers lined up, ready to pounce on the Raider as soon as it advanced. The Melta Squad moved up to the centre of the board.
The Defilers aimed for the Thunderfire Cannon and Assault Squad Rhino but fortunately for me couldn't destroy them.
Turn 2 - Storm Dragons
The Razorback arrived on my left flank and snuck behind the Chaos lines, aiming for one of the Defilers.
I could already envision the cat-and-mouse game between the Raider and the Bikers dragging along all game but decided not to break the stand-off just yet, though the Raider did move up a little bit. The Thunderfire Cannon swung into action and fired a volley of Tremor shells into the Bikers, killing none but forcing them to pass dangerous terrain tests in order to move in their turn, as well as stopping them from turbo-boosting.
The Razorback opened up with its twin-linked Assault Cannon, scoring two penetrating hits on the Defiler, exploding it in a shower of daemonically possessed steel.
Turn 3 - Word Bearers
The Terminators teleported onto the field, next to my own objective (which ironically was only paid attention to by enemy forces so far!)
The Melta squad moved up in front of the Chaos objective, while the Bikers repositioned, at the cost of one regular and one Melta equipped Biker.
The remaining Defiler blew up the Thunderfire Cannon, tearing the dinosaur apart with its Battlecannon.
Turn 3 - Storm Dragons
The Scout Bikers arrived and went after the Chaos Marine squad armed with Flamers, which had parked near my objective.
The Land Raider moved up and the Khan and his Assault Terminator retinue disembarked, preparing to assault the Bikers. The Librarian and his squad moved up behind the Raider, as two Speeders deep struck onto the board next to the Melta squad's Rhino.
The Speeders blew up the Rhino, while the Dreadnought put a Wound on the Daemon Prince (with the aid of the Librarian's Null Zone power). The Scout Bikers did zip to the Flamer Rhino. The Khan charged the Bikers and wiped them out.
Turn 4 - Word Bearers
A monstrous Defiler moved up to take on Khan and his Terminators, belching foul smoke as it lumbered forward.
Lending support, the Melta squad rapid-fired into the Terminators and killed two Thunderhammer dudes. The Lesser Daemons leapt at the Speeders but could only Shake one.
The Scout Bikers disappeared beneath a shower of flamer templates.
The Defiler charged, slaughtering another Thunderhammer Terminator. The remaining Thunderhammer-equipped veteran than went into a mad spree of destruction and exploded the Defiler.
Turn 4 - Storm Dragons
With that lucky turn of events Khan and his Terminators prepared to assault the Melta squad. Meanwhile the Rhino-borne Tactical Squad arrived on my left flank, preparing to wrest control of my objective from the Word Bearers there, as the Razorback sped up to support.
The Librarian cast Null Zone and ordered the Rhino to advance towards the Storm Dragon objective to aid in its capture. The Speeders repositioned and fire their available heavy flamer into the Daemon squad, killing a handful.
Khan charged into the Melta squad.
Turn 5 - Word Bearers
The Daemon Prince cast Warp Time and moved to intercept the Razorback. With my Troops temporarily isolated and vulnerable, the Word Bearers quickly grabbed their chance and the Flamer squad and Terminators surrounded my Rhino squad.
On the other side of the table the Daemonettes charged in to support the remains of the Melta squad against Khan and the Lightning Claw Terminator.
The Daemon Prince wrecked the Razorback and the Tactical Squad disembarked next to the raging, warp-spawned monstrosity.
Fortnately for them, the other Tactical Squad's Rino exploded, allowing them to disembark between the Terminator and Chaos Space Marines (I guess 'fortunately' is only relative).
The Daemonettes couldn't stop Khan and the Terminator from killing the remaining Chaos Space Marines from the Melta squad, but killed the last Terminator. Khan Hit & Ran towards the Chaos objective.
Turn 5 - Storm Dragons
The Librarian and his Assault Squad moved up in their Rhino and disembarked, hoping to kill enough of the Flamer squad to allow the trapped Tactical Squad to destroy them.
The Daemonettes surrounded Khan, but were suddenly attacked from behind by a forgotten combatant: the Techmarine previously manning the Thunderfire! He killed a couple of Daemons with his flamer and plasma pistol and prepared to charge the gibbering horde.
The Librarian killed two Word Bearers, and the Tactical Squad charged, hoping to consolidate towards the objective. Of course, they could not defeat the Chaos Marines, and both sides piled in.
The Techmarine charged, and Khan assaulted the Daemons from the other side, both Marines hacking a way through the daemon swarm towards each other. Khan suffered a wound, but the Daemons lost another four of their number.
With no objectives claimed by either side, we rolled to see if the game would continue, and it did.
Turn 6 - Word Bearers
The Daemon Prince crashed through the ruined hab with ease, and charged the terrified Space Marines hiding inside.
Eager to finish off both my Troops squads in this turn, the Chaos Terminator charged my other Tactical Squad.
The Terminators and Chaos Space Marines absolutely slaughtered the Tactical Squad caught between them. The Daemon Prince, however, could only slay one Space Marine, but at least suffered no wounds in return. The squad stood their ground, however, and was sure to die in my turn!
The Daemons again wounded Khan but lost another two of their number. Khan Hit & Ran again, moving to stand beside the Techmarine still holding off the Daemons by himself.
Turn 6 - Storm Dragons
With no Troops available to claim objectives, I would have to destroy all remaining Word Bearer units, but that did mean my fourTactical Marines would have to kill a Daemon Prince, that would strike first!
The Librarian charged the Chaos Space Marine squad, killing one with the Avenger. He subsequently whiffed his attacks in close combat, killing only the remaining regular Marine, and simultaneously caught a knife in the guts even before the Powerfist struck!
The Assault Squad charged the Terminators, losing three but leaving only one Terminator standing!
Khan assaulted the Daemons, killing another two but dying in the process. The Techmarine remained, facing a single Daemon!
The Daemon Prince, finally, killed a single Marine in an impressive bout of bad dice rolls! To make matters worse, the Sergeant and one battle-brother succeeded in wounding the creature, and of course it failed both saves! We both took a moment to reflect on the poor creature's sad fate here.
Again, the game continued.
Turn 7 - Word Bearers
With two models locked in combat and the remaing Powerfist champion hiding beneath my objective, we moved straight to close combat.
The Terminator died before it could strike, and the Daemon dodged the Techmarine's battle-axe and servo-arms but couldn't penetrate his artificer armour either. The Powerfist champion wrecked the Assault Squad's Rhino.
Turn 7 - Space Marines
My Tactical Squad moved up to grab my objective, while the Assault Squad and Dreadnought ganged up on the poor Powerfist Champion and crushed him. The Techmarine finally killed the last Daemonette and with that, the Word Bearers were wiped out!
Victory for the Storm Dragons!
An intense game! I thought I was a goner turns 5 and 6, with my Troops beleaugered and isolated from my army through my own mistakes. Against all odds one squad survived and thanks to the game going on till turn 7 I won, talk about luck!
Ruben is a fantastic player all-round and taught me to play in my first forays into 5th edition, and our games are always close affairs. This time, the Storm Dragons came out on top, we'll see how things will go next time!