The campaign is set on the affluent world of Valerephon (pronounced like in the Amy Winehouse/Zutons song), an Imperial held planet, at the start of Abaddon’s 13th Black Crusade. Chaos forces have been sent to distract the Imperium and ensure at least part of their resources are taken away from the main focus around Terra and the Cadian Gate. All the other armies are invited to the party too! Anyway, if you haven’t already read the story what are you doing here? Read the earlier blog below first!
So on to the mission. We’re going to be using missions from various Echoes of War/Altar of War set already available, but modified to suit our needs. In the planning process, what’s most startling is the sheer wealth of material out there- It’s stunning! And this is why I’m looking forward to the campaign so much. Each mission should be completely knew. We’ll see the game being played in a narrative style to try and replicate some of those scenarios we’ve all read and loved in the lore. We’ve also placed an emphasis on Just For Fun, so with that in mind it’ll provide everyone with a way to relax and roll some dice, knowing that if you do end up getting tabled in turn two, you can blame your dice, or the mission, or your cold, or your opponents face instead, because you know it won’t be that their list was too strong!
Last night we tested a mission intended for Chaos vs Tyranids, but with me being an Imperial Mint it meant I was effectively committing heresy. DILIGAF. Chaos have entrenched themselves across the planet, so naturally we included Fortifications. Instantly, I’ve no doubt this will mean something new for lots of players. Martin has kindly donated his extensive collection of Buildings and Terrain for use during the campaign. I chose Two Vengeance Batteries and an Aegis. I like big guns and it was the most aesthetically pleasing fort I could imagine within the points I wanted to spend! I also got to place the terrain. I knew straight away that playing ‘Nids would mean an endless assault from both sides so I attempted to barricade myself in and create a shooting gallery. It achieved what I intended, and that was to force him to come at me from the front. However, I forgot that I’d left my Crisis Suits and Riptide at home, so just shooting him off may not have helped.
The game began as you’d imagine, Martin’s Termagants all running up in unison, gaining a 3+ cover save along the way. But then turn 2 saw every single one of his reserves come on. All Seven Units. This moved the game dynamic from ‘Sit and Wait’ to ‘Get Stuck In’ very quickly. My Batteries helped blow holes here and there, but the monsters stayed strong. Particularly the Flyrant! My Templar blob of Crusaders and Chapter Master enjoyed purging through two lots of gants, whilst the Flyrant blew up my Vindicator, scaring off most of my boltguns and eventually smashing through my Dreadnought… And to think I was expecting a shooting gallery! That said, having access to some big guns was definitely a bonus.
Thanks to the strategy points we’ve included there were some interesting attempts to reroll dice that were subsequently blocked by the opponent, and this made for a very fun affair. Not letting Martin reroll his deepstrike for his Marloc helped a lot. Also thanks to the mission rules, both sides had a bonus to their game. I had Fortifications with some big guns, did I say I like guns? And he had the chance to respawn units that had been wiped. Now, initially, I was concerned that I’d end up having to kill units three times in order to get anywhere, but maths does not come into this game at all! Instead the ruleset was pretty well balanced. I eventually lost 3-1, but had I not had a really good final two turns, it may have been much worse. My Chapter Master ran into combat with the Tervigon hoping to be released in my following turn. The Crusaders hopped back into their Land Raider that was trundling around on one HP after being bitten by same Tervigon. And the batteries whittle down some Cultists. My Chapter Master did not finish the combat in the Tyranid turn as planned, and needed one more of mine, during which the Crusaders attempted to take 4 wounds off the Mawloc even though there was just 6 of them remaining. Ultimately the game was won by one 4 armed Cultist sitting behind my Aegis Defence Line and securing the deciding objective. Nevertheless, I played my strategy points well enough to ensure I would have maintained a decent amount going into my next game, (if it was the true campaign) whether that was against a Chaos-Ork Alliance (corks), Tau-Eldar Connection (TauDar), or more Tyranid/Genie Gribblies.
I’m really looking forward to start of Round 1, which is on Tuesday February 7th (Not 3rd or 4th like Dean and I thought… See you Saturday Dean!), and hope everyone who’s able to turns up to make the whole campaign a huge success. Ave Imperator!