Return to Felix Minor

In the dark grimoires recovered from a looted imperial palace, Sorcerer Lord Khenti of the Thousand Sons discovered a most wonderful gem of information.  Millenia ago, the Eldar had failed to fully seal a daemonic incursion on a planet orbiting the distant sun of Felix Minor.  Many had tried to settle there – the Imperium had tried 3 centuries ago, and the ruins still littered the planet.

Most recently the foolish upstarts known as the Tau had chosen to bring the planet to life, unaware of the dark threat in their midst.  Determined to gather sorcererous power from daemonic pacts by breaking wide the portal in the midst of the Imperial ruins, he led the Thousand Sons to war once more.

This scenario was designed for Chaos Marines and Tau, though most armies could play it through.  The Temple of skulls was placed in the centre of the board.  The defending army set up first, choosing their table edge, then setting up anywhere up to 18″ away from the Tau board edge.

The Tau set up second, up to 6″ from their table edge.

In order to win, the forces of chaos need to have a sorcerer on the temple of skulls for 4 turns – he can be in combat or wounded, but he must be on the temple.  This can be any character with sorcerous powers – the thousand sons have aspiring sorcerors in their units.

The terrain is mostly imperial ruins, with some trees to indicate overgrowth and the temple in the very centre.

Battle Report

The Sorceror Lord and a unit of Thousand Sons set up in the very middle on the Temple of Skulls.  A full unit of havocs squatted atop an imperial ruin with a commanding view of the battlefield, while a defiler lurked on a hilltop, ready to rain fire down on any challengers, while a dreadnought stood in front of him to hold the left flank.  On the right, a predator guarded a rhino full of another unit of Thousand Sons, ready to advance into the enemy.

The Tau set up with most of their Fire Warriors in the center, guarded by drones.  To the right was the broadside battlesuit, hoping to take out the predator, and to the right were the pathfinders, ready to add accuracy and rail rifle fire to the assault.

Turn 1

The Tau started strongly on the attack, charging forward across the board.  They hammered the Thousand Sons in the center, killing 5, despite their invulnerable save.  Unfortunately (as with every time he has taken the field), the broadside battlesuit missed with his rail guns, and the missile pods bounced off the heavily armoured predator.

The Thousand Sons lashed back.  The Predator annihilated the broadside with a lascannon strike, and the defiler wiped out almost a full unit of fire warriors, and half their screening drones.  In the centre,Lord Khenti smashed the pathfinders Devilfish with a bolt of change, destroying it and leaving nothing but a crater.  The dreadnaught advanced, hurling insane curses as its plasma fire further decimated the Tau left.

Turn 2

The Tau’s second turn saw the ferocity continue undimished from both sides, though the advanced Tau weaponry didn’t seem as effective as normal – perhaps some chaos wizardry at work?  Commander Farside dropped behind the dreadnought, opening fire with his plasma rifle, but failing to breach the sturdy armour.  Another crisis team dropped on the right flank, annihilating the rhino carrying the thousand sons, who survived the ferocious explosion unscathed and settled into the crater left behind.  The remaining fire warrior lashed at the thousand sons, for little effect.

In the centre, it was a different story.  Here the fire was accurate, and all of the remaining thousand sons in the temple were annihilated … and Lord Khenti himself wounded.  Deciding that discretion was the better part of valour, he quickly vactated the temple at the start of the chaos turn.

The dreadnaught charged Commander Farside after missing with his plasma cannon, only to find that Farside wasn’t the easy meat that most tau are in close combat.  He smashed into the dreadnaught for two penetrating hits and a glancing hit, beating the dreadnaughts initiative. Unfortunately for the Tau, that only managed to shake the Dreadnaught and destroy the plasma cannon, leading quickly to Farside’s destruction.  The defiler annihilated more troops, while the havocs took some shots at the distant pathfinders, causing a few casulties, diminishing the taus overall accuracy thanks to the markerlights.

The predator annihilated all but one of a unit of firewarriors, who remarkably refused to break!  The thousand sons in the crater fired firey bolter rounds into the crisis team who destroyed their transport, wiping out all three.

Turn 3

After the tremendous pace of the game so far, you think things would start to slow down, but instead, they sped up!  The Tau stealth team dropped in behind the temple, near the fleeing sorcerous lord, and blew him away.  The fire warriors continued to press the thousand sons trapped in the crater, while a unit of drones and firewarriors pressed fire into the side of the predator, destroying it!  Another unit of fire warriors destroyed the dreadnaught from behind, as it had turned to face Farside.

Suddenly realising thepower of tau weapons, but their weakness up close, the havocs made a brilliant choice – forgetting their heavy weapons, the 9 man squad poured forward firing bolt pistols, then smashing the stealth suits to pieces.

The defiler advanced down the hill, opening fire again with the siege cannon, but the scatter meant it caused only a couple of wounds, while the thousand sons advanced out of their crater and broke a unit of firewarriors with bolter fire before they could charge.

Turn 4

The last Tau reinforcements arrived as a unit of crisis suits dropped into battle.  With a whole range of any tank weaponry, they confidently unleashed a firestorm of epic proportions…. to absolutely no effect.  The pathfinders joined in, but to no avail.  A few remaining firewarriors and a single drone advanced towards the crisis suits, hoping to engage the rear or side armour if the crisis team fell.  To the right, the drones opened fire on teh havocs, hoping to pin them from charging, but with no success.

The havocs, in their turn, fell upon the drones like starving wolves, while the thousand sons picked off the few stragglers of the fire warrior units from that flank.  The defiler charged into the crisis suits, killing a couple, but not breaking them, forcing them to stay in close combat, saving the defiler from weapons fire.

Turn 5

The fire warriors and drone on the left flanks moved to both sides of the defiler, guaranteeing one a shot once the crisis suits fell, which they did in their own assault phase!  The pathfinders couldn’t see anything to shoot at, and the firewarriors on the right opened up on the havocs who had just destroyed their drone screen, hoping to break them, but causing no casulties!

The havocs charged forward again, almost raptor like in their approach to combat this day!  They quickly annihilated the fire warriors, tearing them limb from limb, while the three remaining thousand sons finished off a lone survivor of another unit.

No Tau were left on the right flank at all!  On the left the defiler turned and shot the firewarriors creeping up on it, but that exposed its rear armour to a single drone….

Turn 6

The defiler was surprised when the drone got a glancing hit, and blew its heavy flamer off!  The pathfinders tried to find a weak spot in its front armour, but to no avail.

In the chaos final turn, the defiler tried to use its siege cannon on the remaining pathfinders, but the shock of being shot by a drone must have thrown it off, and it scattered the blast zone well away from any Tau troops. The  havocs moved around the temple, but were too far away to intervene.

Result

Both sides claim victory – 4 turns with a sorceror on the temple was the victory condition for chaos, and they hadn’t managed that or a wipeout.  On the flip side, the Tau were losing badly by the end of the game, and a sorcerer was left to perform the ritual in the thousand sons on the right flank.  A tactical draw was agreed (though both claim bragging rights!)

The Warp Portal of Felix Minor

In the 35th millenium, upon the Eldar maiden world of Connaught Luthia, orbiting the star known to the Imperium as Felix Minor, the very gates of reality burst open.

Daemons sprang into being through the tortured air, but they were not alone. Eldar from the bright craftworld of Rulanthia had arrived. Every major breakout was contained by the wraithlords and aspect warriors, but one last rip appeared to test the stretched eldar warriors. Responding to the need of his kin, the Avatar of Khaine led the remaining guardians from the craftworld to face the dark threat.

This is a 1000pt scenario.   The recommended combatants are Eldar and Daemons, but any two forces can work.

The Daemons are the defenders, trying to prevent the Eldar from reaching the centre point of the table.  In addition to deep striking, they can also move in from the warp gate or altar that marks the crack in the reality as if entering from a standard table edge.

The attacking Eldar set up and move first, but the Daemons can steal the first turn.  Although this is often not advisable for Daemons, in this instance it potentially blocks the Eldar path to the centre of the table and can turn the game.

The setup is a 4×4 table area – a full 6×4 gameboard as a valley treating the hills as impassable works well.

Terrain should be natural items only except for the centre, reflecting the unspoilt maiden world.

For the Eldar to win, a unit needs to spend a full turn touching the rift without being engaged.

Battle Report!

The Eldar fielded the Avatar of Khaine with a unit of swooping hawks and 4 whole units of guardians for 1000pts.  The Daemons fielded a Daemon Prince, a Lord of Change, some flamers, some daemonettes, and some plaguebearers, as well as a unit of pink horrors.

From the start, the game went to the Daemons.  Having lined up for an early charge, the Daemons stole first turn, materialising in from of the eldar force, and blocking the various units lines of site.

The first half of the army was mostly troop based, consisting of the Masque of Slaneesh and her daemonettes, the plague bearers and the pink horrors.

Of course, on arrival, the Daemons couldn’t charge, and most had no ranged weapons, so except for a few cursory bolts from the pink horrors, the Eldar went relatively unscathed.

The Eldar’s turn began, and their numbers were hamstrung slightly by their lines of fire.  Huge numbers of shuriken opened up at the plaguebearers in the centre, but their toughness and invulnerable saves shrugged off most of the attacks, leaving several to withstand the Avatar’s charge … who failed to kill any of them!

As turn two began, lucky reserves rolls saw the majority of the Daemons arrive, except for the lord of change, who was maintaining a crafty distance from the battlefield.  The flamers dropped in near a unit of guardians and totally annihilated them, while the daemon prince arrived and advanced.  The daemonettes were fleet and reached close combat, and while they might not have succeeded against marines, lightly armed guardians were a different matter!  Foolishly, the eldar general took a wound on his warlock, counting on the 4+ invulnerable save to pull him through … but a roll of a 1 left the squad leaderless, reeling, and massacred by the faster daemonettes as they tried to flee.

On the eldars return, the swooping hawks arrived!  Dropping a grenage on teh pink horrors, killing several, they promptly scattered into an enemy unit, suffering total destruction on the deepstrike table.  The Avatar continued to be locked in combat with the plaguebearers, with terrible rolls to hit and wound, while thje remaining guardians advanced, wounding the Daemon Prince.

By Turn 3 it was clearly all over with the arrival of the Lord of Change.  As the Avatar remained trapped in place and the other daemons massacred guardians up close, the daemon’s closed in on the trapped shard of khaine!

With no hope of reaching the altar (and little of surviving), the remaining Eldar fled for the webway!

Chavana III

On the world of Chavana III, deep within the Vulpes Astra subsector, a monastary is used to hold psykers for the Black Ships of Terra. the Retinue of the Red Dawn have broken the Imperial defences. Unknown to them, the Dark Eldar seek the same rich prize, for the suffering of psykers goes so much furtyer in their dark pits. Both sides are advancing implacably, willing to take any cost for such a rich prize!

The Dark Eldar are facing Chaos Space Marines in an Implacable Advance scenario from the battle missions book. This post will be updated with photos and a battle report after the game, but you can see tweets through the game (fodgaming)

Turn 1

The beserkers and possessed streamed forward towards the center of the battlefield, hoping to gain the monastary early, after securing their first objective, the shrine of St Alun of Chavona. The havocs overestimated their lascannons, as the dark eldar cowered out of range!

Overcoming their xeno cowardice the dark eldar advanced towards the center. The Archon and his incubi dismounted, opening a webway portal for the rest of their dark kin.

Turn 2

The Chaos forces continued their advance, heading towards the centre of the table. Lascannons flared to no effect, and the night lords impaled themselves on the monestary walls. lesser daemons ripped apart incubi, and an obliterator blew a weapon off a ravager.

In return, wyches and mandrakes poured through the portal, and the reaver jetbikes hurtled through the chaos lines on their turbocharged machines. The mandrakes and archon butchered the last lesser daemons while a ravager and reaver annihilated the obliterator. The other ravager advanced towards the chaos reserves, opening up with its disintegrators, killing several.

Turn 3

The beserkers on the left flank charged the ravager that had killed three of their number, but both their plasma pistols misfired! Dark Eldar witchery at work!

The havocs were out of range of the strange curse, and the heavy bolters and lascannons blew the skimming tank out of the sky. The beserkers led by kharn opened fire in the jetbikes, but left one alive as prey for the possessed, who torn the poor eldar to a thousand pieces.

The other ravager charged forward, while the raider headed for cover down the left flank. Wyches headed for beserkers for an awesome conflict. The ravager and raider opened up on the decimated beserkers, but failed to hit even once.

Turn 4

Both units of terminators arrived, turning the tide of the battle, annihilating lilith hesperax and an entire unit of wyches, as well as forcing the Archon round the left flank of the monastary. Without reinforcements, the wyches facing kharn, beserkers and the possessed were whittled down faster and faster. Wihout lilith and the remaining cabal troops hanging back, it eas a punishing turn for he dark eldar.

Two more raiders arrived, opening up on the terminators for comparatively little effect, as mandrake charged the slaneeshi termibators, ony to be surprised by their snake like speed and simultaneous strikes. The mandrakes broke and were pulled down by the slaneeshi, bellowing in pleasure and pain.

Turn 5

The terminators took down the remaining raiders, and proceeded to start butchering the cabal soldiers who emerged gasping from he wreckage. Kharn charged forward with the possessed, while the remaining beserkers regrouped in cover.

The Archon massacred the remaining beserkers on the left flank, before taking cover behind the ruins of a raider. The cabal troops were massacred by kharn, but those facing tzeentchi terminators ran clear to regroup in the distance. the last raider arrived and the troops took the comms bastion.

Turn 6

Terminators proceeded to exchange fire with the remaining soldiers, and kharn closed in for more butchery. The archon was punished from afar by the havocs, but his shadowfield saw him rough he worst of it.

The archon sprinted into the shrine of st Alun, but as he wasnt a scoring unit, he couldnt rescure the objective.

Turn 7

With the battle largely over, the Archon stayed in cover within the Shrine of St Alun. The terminators continued to whittle down the last cabal, while the comms bastion continued to pour its information through the webway.

As the beserkers couldnt get close enough to the tower to take he monastary, the game counts as a tactical draw! the forces of chaos largely ruled he battlefield, but the archon arguably had the moral victory by lurking at the chaos starting objective while holding their own.

Thoughts and comments

The dark eldar are much more of a force to be reckoned with. Both armies played riskily, with large numbers of reserves and deep strikes. Luck turned for the chaos forces, arriving earlier in the battle, and with the exception of the raptors, appearing perfctly to tun the tide of the game. If Lilith had turned up a turn earlier, with the cabal raiders, the game would certainly have gone the other way! Great game, and lots of fun, with Kharn butchering his own side, plasma pistols blowing up on a regular basis, and sneaky sorcerers suffering the wrath of the warp!

Abandoned Imperial City Garathon VI – Remembrances Lost

    Eldar militia face the might of the Thousand Sons

At the borders of Imperial Space, the Eldar Farseer Jaleneth bent his mind to the future, and saw disaster for the sector. the evil lord Khenti had located a long lost trove of grimoires, recorded by remembrancerers as long ago as the Great Crusade, even before Horus fell to darkness.

With no option but to use the craftworld militia, bolstered by a few wraithguard and dark reapers, the farseer moved to war.

I wanted to try a different approach with the eldar, and fielded 6 troop units, 4 of which were guardian squads, with some Dire aAengers and some Rangers, upgraded to Pathfinders.  Backing them up (to reach the 2000pt limit) were the Farseer, 2 Vypers, and a unit of Wraithguard, a Wraithlord, Dark Reapers and Guardian jet bikes.

Without much time to pick the list, i used the default tricked out units from my total 5000pt list, which wasn’t really a good option for the horde – fewer special additions and more numbers would have better!

Aidan went with a defiler, two rhinos, a large unit of havocs, three units of thousand sons, a greater daemon, lesser daemons, a chaos lord, a chaos sorcerer and a unit of terminators.

We were playing on a 4′ by 4′ battleboard, which didn’t leave much room for maneuver!

The scenario was capture & control, and the deployment was Dawn of War. Both of us cursed as our cunning deployment plans were scuppered by only deploying a hq unit and two units of troops.

Aidan won the rolloff for first turn, and deployed agressively up to the centre line with one unit of thousand sons, while his other unit and sorcerer hunkered down to guard his objective.

The Eldar were forced to the rear of the table, though the pathfinders used infiltrate and scout to move up to guard the eldar objective.

    Turn 1

The forces of chaos stormed onto the table as fast as possible, with all but the daemons and terminators entering at once. Moving as fast as possible, the rhinos headed for the front while havocs ran along the eastern hill line to take up firing positions. With little to fire at, they ran forward towards the bewildered eldar. The advanced thousand sons tried to hit the snipers, byt heir cloaks hid them from all five shots on target.

Unlike the chaos forces, all of the Eldar entered play in the first turn. Dark Reapers moved to take up positions opposite the havocs, while the Wraithguard and Wraithlord moved to support the Farseer and the Dire Avengers in the centre. The jetbikes hurtled down the eastern flank, vypers on the west, while two units of guardians entered on both the east and west. Shooting had very little effect – a single havoc fell.

    Turn 2

The second turn started to rapidly swing the tide towards the forces of chaos! The lesser daemons arrived, summoned right by the front lines, ready to assault the eldar pathfinders. The rhinos continued to advance, while the defiler set up to fire its ordanance cannons … and annihilated a full unit of guardians and most of the dire avengers, while the thousand sons in the center butchered the jetbikes. Without many long range weapons and the chaos forces advanced towards the center, the defiler had the Eldar at its mercy. The daemons annihilated the pathfinders in close combat, taking the eldar command point.

In return, the eldar wraithlord countercharged the daemons after flaming them heavily, and destroyed the whole unit! The guardians with bright lances on the west destroyed on of the rhinos, but the vypers were ineffecive against the defiler. The Dark Reapers and guardians on the right exchamged fire against the havocs, causing one or two battlebrothers to fall, but for no real effect.

    Turn 3

The arrival of both the greater daemon continued the unstoppable advance of the Thousand Sons. Ripping apart an aspiring champion who had run out of the burning remains of a rhino, the guardians on the west were facing a grim future. The defiler annihilated one of the guardian squads on the west and stunned one vyper, exploding the other, while the marines opened up with bolters and wiped out most of the other.

The wraithlord moved to engage the greater daemon, for very little effect, while the dark reapers attempted to annihilate the thousand sons in the center, but their invulnerable sorcerous saves blocked all casulties. the wraithguard continued to advance down the center, with the surviving exarch of the dire avengers.

    Turn 4

The arrival of the terminators effectively finished the game. The Grater Daemon and wraithlord exchanged blows to little effect, while the terminators and wraithguard faced off. The defiler missed for the first time, scattering the ordinance off the board, but the marines advanced down the left, finishing the remaining guardians and taking the eldar command point. The Thousand Sons finished off the remaining vyper, while the havocs fired ineffectively yet again.

The eldar failed to do anything with the wraithguard, the dire avenger exarch charged a marine unit to hopefully assainate on or twombefore falling, and instead fell instantly himself, and the wraithlord fell to the greater daemon! With just three battered units left, and no weapons to harm the daemon or defiler, and the objectives in the hands of chaos, the Eldar Farseer fled the battle to summon more elite troops….

A clear win for the Thousand Sons! Interesting attempt to see what Eldar can be like with lots of troops instead of elite types, but not particularly successful!

Warhammer 40K – The Battle for Alpha Canus VI

[Well, a brief game of 40K was played over the weekend, though it was unfortunately cut short by time constraints after just three turns!  Chaos Spaces Marines took on the Eldar in a annihilation game, with the Dawn of War scenario.  Photos will be added later – there were a couple of live tweets and photos at the time 🙂

Initial Setup

Both the Thousand Sons of Lord Khenti and the Eldar forces made planetfall, and sent out scouting parties during the night.  The Chaos forces reached the abandoned imperial settlement first – a unit of Thousand Sons roared forward in their trusty rhino, while Lord Khenti, the Daemon Prince, lurked in the shadows and another unit of Thousand Sons settled into secure fortifications.  Shortly afterwards, the glowing form of an Avatar of Khaine illuminated the darkness in the centre of the battlefield, while a veritable horde of eldar guardians prepared to pepper the Chaos forces with their starcannon, and Pathfinders deployed on a hill to destroy the enemy from afar.

Turn 1

The forces of chaos pressed forward, with the rhino hurtling forward, allowing the Aspiring Sorcerer to call on his psychic powers to smash at the pathfinders with a bolt of change, while a marine opened fire with his bolter, killing two of the rangers.  The other aspiring sorcerer and the Daemon Prince Khenti both tried the same on the Avatar of Khaine, causing a single wound to the red hot form.

In return, the Avatar charged forward, looking to close on the arrogant marines.  The pathfinders tried desperately to find a weak point on the rhino closing on their position, but the machine, after 10,000 years of fighting, was invulnerable to their best efforts.  The starcannon, manned by the Eldar guardians, killed a single marine.

Honours were on the chaos side, but nothing definitive had swung the battle as yet.

Turn 2

The chaos powers made themselves known, as almost the entire chaos force arrived this turn – the only hold out was a greater daemon, still summoning its powers in the warp.  Another rhino, with the Chaos Sorcerer Amun and a unit of Thousand Sons, roared onto the battlefield.  A unit of lesser daemons, guided by the icon of chaos, appeared in front of the Avatar of Khaine, blocking his advance.  A defiler stamped onto the hill on the east of the field, opening up with his Autocannon to kill an Eldar guardian.  Terminators materialised near the lead rhino, as the thousand sons on board disembarked after it advanced with their own icon.  Raptors dropped from the sky, hoping to annihilate the remaining 15 Eldar guardians, but unfortunately the wind gusted, shifted them a little too far away.  Havocs charged onto the battlefield, looking for a position to deploy and annihilate the eldar with heavier weapons.

The lead Thousand Sons and Terminators annihilated the pathfinders, while the raptors killed three more guardians.  The fortified thousand sons and the daemon prince lashed out at the Avatar of Khaine … and brought the Eldar god down!

However, the chaos advance had scattered their forces across the table, and eldar reinforcements began to arrive. Karandras, the Shadow Hunter, arrived with 8 Howling Banshees in a wave serpent, moving on to face the terminators and thousand sons, as a unit of wraithguard and a wraithlord arrived in support.  Dire avengers moved up to support the guardians against the closing lesser daemons and raptors.  Swooping hawks dropped from the sky, only to hit the same winds that affected the raptors, and dropped into the woods, with two of their number falling prey to sharpened branches in the trees.  Only the firedragons in their falcon and one of the wraithlords stayed hidden, waiting for the opportune moment to strike.

The wraithguard, banshees and wraithlord opened fire on the terminators, managing to kill just a single one!  The forces of tzeentch strengthened their armours with eldritch sorcery!  The dire avengers and guardians annihilated the raptors, in revenge for the fallen Pathfinders.  The situation was mixed – the forces of chaos were more dispersed on the battlefield, compared to the eldar solid contingent, but their early blood letting gave them the weight of firepower.

Turn 3

The terminators, wary of their firepower, charged forward, opening fire on the wraithguard before charging into close combat, intent on selling their lives dearly.  The champion of the havocs writhed in pain, and burst apart, as a Greater Daemon entered reality through his flesh, while his men scatted forward, intent on the foe.  Lord Khenti left the shadows, and led the summoned lesser daemons on an advance toward the weak mortals.  The thousand sons near the front opened fire on the swooping hawks, slaughtering a further two, leaving only the Exarch.  The terminators slew two of the wraitguard, but the nearby wraithlord stood ready to join the combat.  The defiler opened fire with his ordinance, but the massive shells again caught in the wind, and spun off the battlefield.

Another wraithlord strode onto the field, but the eldar falcon and fire dragons had suffered difficultieswith the choking winds and still had to arrive.  The eldar guardians managed to wound the daemon prince heavily before charging into close combat, hoping the warlocks witchblade could finish him off, but the guardians fell in droves as the unfamliar weapon twisted in the warlocks hands.  The dire avengers slew two lesser daemons, but their eldritch nature was suprisingly resilient to the shurikens spinning through the air.  Wave serpent and wraithlord opened fire upon the leading rhino, but failed to hit in the duststorm caused by the tempest in the air.  Another two terminators fell to the intervention of the other wraithlord, but they continued to hold out.  The eldar forces were proving unusually ineffective!

Summary

The forces of Chaos managed to annihilate the Avatar and the poor pathfinders, while losing only their raptors in return, giving the dark powers the technical victory.  Arguably the tactical situation favored the Eldar, and the battle may have been turned if the eruption of a warp storm had not required both forces to retreat off planet, and a draw was declared, with both sides looking to settle the score at a later date.

Battle Report – The Thousand Sons encounter the Tau

Another battle raged in the galactic north, as the Thousand Sons (led by the dark sorcerer, Saint Aidan) encountered a new, young race – the Tau (led by the Aun’shi Kipper)!

Scenario

Dawn of War with Capture and Control were used for the mission – so night fighting first turn, setups to the halfway point of the table, and just two objectives – one for each sides CCC point.  House rules were active, in that chaos daemons could be used from the Chaos Daemons codex, but had to be summoned on as per the Chaos Space Marines codex, and took up a slot in the force organisation table.

Deployment

The Tau won deployment, for what it was worth – only a HQ choice and two troops choices can deploy in the scenario – all the rest wait in reserve!  Commander Farsight deployed with a unit of 12 fire warriors in a Devilfish in an aggressive posture, while a unit of 6 fire warriors held their Command point objective in a crater at the landing point.

The Chaos Marines set in a more defensive postion, with a large unit of Thousand Sons marines by their Command location in a crater, and a rhino with a Chaos sorcerer and another unit of Thousand Sons ready to roll next to them.  Over half the Chaos army was already on the board, while less than a third of the Tau could deploy!

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Turn 1

The Tau started tentatively, advancing the devilfish, and launching a few cautious shots at the unit in the crater from Commander Farsight’s team of Crisis suits to little effect.

The Chaos troops were incensed by Xenos filth on their planet of secrets, and the Rhino rolled out, unleashing pshychic shooting attacks from the top firepoint!  Bolts of change lashed out, dropping two of the crisis suits instantly, with instant death and failed vulnerable saves taking their toll!  Commander Farsight was exposed and vulnerable!

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Turn 2

Reinforcements began to arrive, with the addition of a unit of fire warriors, drones and a Broadside Battlesuit to the Tau forces.  The Fire Warriors, drones and Commander Farsight moved to head off the advancing rhino, with Farsight’s plasma rifle immobilising it!  The devilfish dropped off its unit of 12 fire warriors near the centre of the table, preparing to flank the Thousand Sons, and then advanced towards the enemy CCC post.

The Thousand Sons struck back with some decisive moves – a unit of raptors charged onto the table, and were able to catch the unit of Fire Warriors for an assault, butchering them all to the last man!  The troops in the immobilised rhino disembarked, pouring forward towards the Tau attack, and finishing Commander Farsight with a psychic assault.  A unit of terminators appeared, summoned near the Tau CCC post by chaos sorcery, only to scatter back towards the Tau offensive troops, where they promptly damaged the Broadside battlesuit, and killed all but one of the advancing firewarriors.  Things looked bleak for the Tau!  A Chaos Lord arrived, and bolstered the defences on the Chaos CCC post, strengthening their overall position.

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Turn 3

Reinforcements continued to arrive!  In a desperate move to change the game, a unit of drones and a unit of stealth warriors dropped into the Chaos stronghold, in an attempt to take their objective in the crater in the north west.  Opening up with a tremendous amount of firepower, almost half the defending marines were annihilated, but as fearless, souless automatons, it wasn’t enough!  In the south east, the Tau defenders of their HQ opened up on the raptors, killing four, but the sole survivor refused to break.  A unit of crisis battlesuits arrived, and moved to block the terminators from the CC post, opening fire with huge numbers of weapons, but failed to kill a single terminator!

In return, the terminators annihilated the crisis suits and moved back towards the objective, while the chaos troops and sorcerers near the rhino held their ground and annihilated the broadside suit with further psychic strikes.   A unit of flamer daemons materialised near the crater where teh Chaos CCC post was esstablished, and annihilated the chaos drones in a tremendouse wave of fire, while the defending chaos troops and chaos lord hurled sorcerous bolter fire at the stealth suits, cutting them down with ease.  The Tau strike force was wiped out!

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Turn 4

More Tau reinforcements poured on – the last unit were the pathfinders, who should have been leading the way, and instead turned up late to the party!  Equipped with heavy weapon railrifles and markerlights, none of them could fire as they moved into a defence of the troubled CCC post.

The last of the Thousand Sons reinforcements also arrived – a Predator tank, equipped with Lascannons and heavy bolters.  Rumbling 6″ onto the board, it opened fire on the scout devilfish, immobilising it!  The terminators unleashed a hail of fire on the Pathfinders, quickly annihilating them as they advanced towards the objective.  Summoned lesser daemons (Flamers of Tzeentch) hurtled up the field, destroying all but one of the remaining drones, while the troops from the Rhino, realising time was running short, ignored the single fire warrior and drone to run towards the Tau objective.

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Turn 5

The Tau were on a last ditch, desperate defense of their CCC post, with their few remaining troops mustering a last ditch defense.  The devilfish and fire warriors poured fire onto the terminators, but were unable to cause a single wound, with over 15 successful armour saves! 

In return, the chaos troops continued their desperate advance, with the flamers and troops hurtling up the field, ignoring scattered survivors of squads to run towards the command post.  The chaos terminators advanced around two gun drones from a devilgish, and annihilated one of the two units of defending fire warriors!  The predator opened up with a heavy bolter and lascannon against the firewarriors, but cover saves saw them through with a single lost man.

In a shock roll at the end of turn five, the game ended! 

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Summary

Both players still had their starting objectives, so a technical draw, but certainly a moral victory to Chaos, who would have contested the Tau objective by turn 6, if not held it outright.

The game favored the Chaos troop types with the scenario – the higher value troops gave the Thousand sons a much greater initial force than the Tau, and the piecemeal reinforcements made the structured defensive tactics needed to maximise Tau firepower almost impossible to push together.  In addition, the Tau are geared up to pin troops and break units from shooting – the largely fearless thousand sons made most of their special weapon advantages worthless!  Having said that, tactical errors, like leaving units in charge range of raptors, and the awesome chaos saving throws, particularly for the terminators (not one save, including 5+ invulnerable saves against fusion blasters were failed, while for the Tau not one invulnerable save for 4+ shield generators on crisis suits was passed!)  More mobility – perhaps another Rhino would have been needed for the Chaos to be able to switch from defense to offence more effectively.

Great fun was had by all, and another dubious draw by Kipper 🙂

Photos

Easter Battle – Thousand Sons vs Eldar

Easter wouldn’t be complete without gaming, so the Thousand Sons (guided by Ahriman and Kipper) went to raid Moonbase Gamma Epsilon, while the Eldar of Iyanden craftworld (guided by the notorious Farseer Tazman) read the signs in the warp, and moved to block them.

The scenario was seize ground, as the Thousand sons moved to secure sites of mystic power, and the Eldar moved to block them.  Patrols in advance of the main force first encountered their enemies, as a dawn of war rose on the small moon.

The Thousand Sons deployed with a small contingent of Rubric warriors led by an aspiring sorcerer, some khornate beserkers to distract the civilised Eldar, and Lord Ahriman himself.  The Eldar patrol consisted of the Avatar of Khaine, leading a unit of Dire Avengers, a squadron of Eldar Guardians, and some sneaky Rangers which snuck onto the battlefield.

Starting with a quick offense, the beserkers charged the guardians, who’d set up a little too close! their charge was less effective than you’d expect, with Khorne failing to hear their feeble prayers, and a quick counter charge by the avatar ensued, cutting them all down, while thousand sons and dire avengers exchanged fired from the cover of some craters.  Though the crater minimised the effect, the snipers were luckier, picking off a couple of the thousand sons.

Turn two began, with reinforcements beginning to arrive.  A chaos dreadnought stormed onto the battlefield, along with a rhino containing a squad of havocs, and a squad of chaos bikers all poured forward, while raptors soard forward to lurk behind a building, ready to pounce.  The Eldar reinforcements all poured on, led by their farseer and a wraithlord geared for close combat.  Two vypers hurtles towards the enemy, opening up on the dreadnought and Ahrimans contingent, while fire dragons poured on to face up against the Rhino.  More shots were exchanged, with the snipers continuing to do a sterling job from the distance.

Turn three was when the blood really started to flow.  The terminators arrived, teleporting into the heart of the Eldar lines, and opened up on the fire dragons and snipers, killing two of each, but the eldar remained unbroken, and two wraithlords charged into the terminators!  With a power fist, one of the terminators caused a single wound, but the terminators were slowly cut down over the next few turns, managing to last till turn five!

However, the tide was definitely turning in favor of the Eldar.  With the Chaos troops being whittled down, their ability to hold objectives was being severely diminished, and the wraithlords were an unstoppable force in the centre of the battlefield.

The Raptors immobilised the falcon in a gap between buildings, halting the Eldar advance, and then assaulted the eldar guardians, only to fall prey to the Avatar.  Hit and run was applied to flee clear, and finish off the dire avengers, taking an Eldar objective, but the Avatar caught up with them and finished them off.

The dreadnought charged headlong at the wounded wraithlord, slaying it in close combat, but perishing in an explosion in the process!

With only a predator, a few bikes, two troops and a heavily wounded Ahriman (thanks to continual sniper fire), the game should have gone to the Eldar, but the Farseer made a tactical mistake, ignoring the objectives, and piling in to try to finish the hated enemy once and for all!

In the end, each side held only one objective each, though the Eldar were at over 2/3rds strength, and the Chaos were almost obliterated – a tactical draw, but a clear real victory for the Eldar (though a moral victory for the Chaos!  Wraithlord down!!!)

Xmas Sheffield Battle Report – Eldar vs Thousand Sons

In the wintery depths of sheffield, the long dormant eldar stirred themselves for the first time in over a decade at the Chaos incursion of the Thousand Sons, as Tazman took over the Eldar and faced Kipper with the Chaos Space Marines!  Yes, for the first time I had to face the unstoppable Wraithlords … who lived up to their reputation!

Both sides fielded 1000pt army lists for a straightforward game of Annhilation.  The Eldar squeezed in not one but two Wraithlords, as well as a Vyper for fast attack, with a Farseer general, Dire Avengers, Fire Dragons, Howling Banshees, Guardians and a squad of Guardian jetbikes.  Facing them were two squads of Thousand Sons, defended by mystical spells and flaming bolters (4+ invulnerable saves and AP 3 bolters!), led by Aspiring Sorcerers, under the overall command of a Chaos Sorcerer.  Heavy support was provided by a squad of Havocs in a Rhino, and an awesome Chaos Predator, while a unit of Chaos Raptors was there to break the enemy assault.

Although the Eldar won the roll for first turn, they decided to go second, leaving the Chaos Marines to set up first.  Hunkering down on the left in a crater, they set up advance on the right, with the rhino and predator being followed by the Sorcerer with a loyal body guard.

The Eldar set up to counter the threat, with a unit of Fire Dragons crouching in a crater, ready to ambush the tanks, a heavy weapon equipped wraithlord, dire avengers and a farseer ready to hold the line, and a close combat wraithlord, howling banshees set up to charge the Thousand Sons defending the left.  The guardian squad with their heavy weapon platform lurked at the rear of the table to provide them with fire support.

From the beginning, the Wraithlords dominated the game, though they caused very little damage!  The Predator and Rhino charged forward, while the chaos sorcers worked dark rites to hit the wraithlords with powerful magics.  Unfortunately, both psychic tests failed  with two rolls of 11, (10 or under needed!), and the predators lascannon caused no damage.  On the left,the psychic power (str 8, AP1) was used successfully, but failed to damage the Wraithlord there, wasting all of the bolter fire as well.

In return, the fire dragons wrecked the rhino on the left, spilling the Havocs out in front of the Dire Avengers, the guardian jetbikes swooped in and broke the Chaos Raptors in a hail of Shuriken fire, while the Wraithlords strode forward.  One wraithlord managed to get a shot at the Predators side armour, but fortunately failed to penetrate the heavy armour, while the other strode forward bravely, though away from the farseer.  The Howling banshees advanced on the other side, managing to run a further 6″, while a star cannon blazed away at the Thousand sons, but their cover saves saw them through.  Not a great start for the Chaos forces!

Turn two, and the Chaos troops tried to regroup.  The raptors regrouped at the edge of the board, but out of coherency, and wasted their movement.  The predator swerved to face the oncoming wraithlord, and opened up with everything it had … to do absolutely nothing. The Havocs opened fire, only to have their plasma gun explode and wound themselves.  Nearby, the Chaos sorcerer and Thousand sons hit the same wraithlord for no effect, while the aspiring sorcerer on the left managed to wound a wraithlord!  One wound of three down, but it again cost the unit all of their bolter fire.

The eldar started of with some unfortunate news – having moved away from the Farseer, the Wraithlord on the right had to test for wraithsight, and was lost in visions of the dead.  However, the supporting Banshees moved forward, ran another 6″, and then assaulted the Thousand Sons in the crater, protecting their slumbering giant from any attacks.  On the right, the wraithlord opened up again at the Predator to no effect, but the Fire Dragon tank hunters finished it off, while the dire avengers massacred most of the remaining Havocs.  The Eldar vyper sped down the now open left flank to swing around behind the Thousand sons on the right.  Unfortunately, the guardian jetbikes advanced to tackle the Chaos Raptors again, but failed to hurt them.

By the start of turn 3, things looked truly grim for the  Chaos forces.  The left of the table was tied up, with thousand sons engaged in close combat – hardly ideal.  On the right, the tank spearhead was in flames, and the Eldar forces were entirely untouched!  Jumping forward, the raptors eliminated the jetbikes entirely, through a mixture of flamers, plasma pistols, and finally chainswords!  Again, the sorcerers tried to take out the wraithlord on the right, but the leader failed his psychic test again, and the other missed the shooting attack!  The remaining havocs opened up on the wraithlord, but achieved nothing. 

The Eldars turn 3 was the final blow to any chance of recovery.  The assault continued to rage on the left flank, with the wraithlord joing the combat at last – though the faster banshees butchered the last marines before the imposing figure could even raise its wraithblade.  The fire dragons finished off the Havoc, while the Dire Avengers opend up on the Chaos Sorcerer and his Thousand Sons retinue, wiping out all of the normal troops despite their mystical shields.

Turn 4 found the battle almost over, but there was still pride to fight for.  Having killed just two banshees and some jetbikes, the Chaos forces went all out to try to take down the Vyper and the wounded wraithlord.  Running from the right flank, the two sorcerers hit the wraithlord with foul magics, forcing another wound … but failing the other, leaving the wraithlord in charge range.  The last raptor jumped forward to try to take out the Vyper with his plasma pistol … only to have the plasma pistol explode in his hand and slay him!

The Eldar opened fire slaying the last raptor and the Aspiring Sorcerer, leaving the wraithlord to hurtle into combat with the Chaos Sorcerer, and butcher him like a helpless lamb.  The battle was done in just four turns, with the Chaos forces slain to a man!

Blood Angels vs Thousand Sons Battle 2

After the first battle, we changed the forces around a little.  The chaos marines went fully Tzeentch, with Thousand Sons marines and the mark of Tzeentch on the ruling sorcerer, leaving them with many fewer heavy weapons.

However, as the game progressed, the lack of heavy firepower was made up for by psychic strikes and the invulnerable saves of the Tzeentch marines – power fists and swords went glancing off 4+ invulnerable, mystical saves, leaving force swords to take their toll even of the emperors finest in Tactical Dreadnought armour.

A second win for the Thousand Sons!

Blood Angels vs Thousand Sons

The first battle in Sheffield!  Kipper vs Saint Aidan, with the noble Imperial Blood Angels battling the sorcerous Thousand Sons!

Its not the most perfect setups, as terrain was largely improvised, and the Blood Angels are pretty much just basecoated, but it was a great game.   As it was Aidan’s first game, we used just 750 points a side, and played on a small 4 x 4 field.

The game started on a fairly even keel, with the Blood Angels taking the offensive.  The Imperial forces charged forward, firing at the exposed chaos marines, but did very little in return.  The chaos marines retaliated with a hail of heavy weapons fire, taking down the imperial dreadnought, and with it the majority of the Blood Angels heavy firepower.

Imperial terminators arrived, but got hit by a team of havocs, taking them down quite quickly.  The lack of heavy firepower made the Chaos Dreadnought unstoppable, and the librarians attempt to stop him with a plasma pistol ended up in immolation as the plasma pistol exploded.

By turn 5, every imperial marine was annhilated!  A clear victory for the forces of chaos.