Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Shadow War: Brind's World Campaign Weekend (Part One)

This past weekend was my (usually) annual Wargaming Birthday Bash Weekend. It was actually held a week earlier than it previously has (my birthday is next weekend) to accommodate a couple of friends that were coming from out of town (though one of them didn't show up in the end...). The weekend has taken different formats, but the most successful have been the wargame campaign weekends. This year I hosted a Shadow War: Armageddon campaign.

As I lack the industrial terrain required for a campaign, the campaign took place on Brind's World - a setting I've been using for a bit of a narrative 40K campaign. The colony of Brind's World is less than 100 years old. The world was brought back into the Imperial fold by Rogue Trader Gaius Armonius Brind in 946.M41. At the time it was described as habitable, but devoid of sentient life. A colony of only a few thousand souls was officially established in 952.M41. Over the next decade the colony grew steadily. The primary industry has been listed as "Primary Resource Extraction". The Brind family has retained exclusive distribution rights and their monopoly has made them fabulously wealthy.

In 959.M42 as a new settlement was established on a new continent it was discovered that the initial assessment of "devoid of sentient life" was incorrect. A large number of seemingly indigenous Orks lived on the continent and have been in a constant low-level guerrilla conflict of raiding and harassment ever since. As the colony didn't have the population to form a defence force large enough to deal with this threat, the Brind family, at their own expense, has regularly brought in off-world mercenary forces to protect the settlements.

At one point the Imperial Navy was brought in to pinpoint the major Ork settlements and bombard them from orbit. Only a few surface settlements were discovered and they, and all land around them for 100Km were utterly destroyed. But the Orks continued to harass the colonists. It was later discovered the Orks make use of vast underground cavern complexes and tunnels. Whether these caverns are naturally occurring or were constructed by the Orks is unknown.

Early in 017.M42 the Astra Telepathica received a distress cry from Brind's World - settlements had been overrun by Xenos! The cogs of the great machine that is Adeptus Administratum began to grind to life and develop a response to this crisis and Imperial forces were eventually dispatched to the world. There they discovered something quite different from the "primary resource extraction" facilities the Brind family had claimed made them so wealthy. What Brind had actually found there was a planet that has once been inhabited by a highly advanced civilization, that had long since died out. Among the ruins of of the ancient race were great caches of forbidden archaeotech of the sort that was much sought after on the black markets of the Imperium. 

So for this campaign, rather than collection caches of Prometheum - as one does in Shadow War: Armageddon - we were collecting Archaeotech caches, for various reasons... The Imperial forces were collecting it to turn it over to the Adeptus Mechanicus for study and/or destruction. The Eldar were there to make sure it didn't fall into the wrong hands - and perhaps the Tau were there for the same reason - or to make use of it themselves. The Orks.. well they were just there and collected the stuff to hand over to their mad mekaniaks.

There are three main terrain types on Brind's World. There is the equatorial jungle filled with ruins of the ancient civilization. Beyond that are endless deserts filled with large deathly quiet cities made of mud brick. Below both are vast subterranean caverns. 

I actually ended up playing in this campaign. Usually I don't. I actually prefer NOT to for these weekends - I rather prefer to just run things, take lots of picture, be on hand to answer rule questions, etc. As there were an odd number of players I decided to play so everyone could play each round. I did find it difficult as people were still constantly coming to me for rulings on different things or to confirm how things were supposed to work and I often had to get up from my table and go see what they were talking about and then return and try to figure out what they heck I had been doing before. If I had a choice, I wouldn't do it again. I would like to play in extended campaigns - where we play over months - one game a week... But during and intensive weekend campaign - it's just too much. 

My Kill Team was essentially the same Tallarn Astra Militarum Kill Team I've been using the past week - rebooted, same names and everything... 

Sgt. Kassab's squad of 2nd platoon, 5th company 415th Tallarn Infantry Regiment
Sgt. Kassab (Veteran Sergeant/ Kill Team Leader)- Bolt Pistol, Chainsword, Flak Armour, knife - Voice of Command
Cpl. Talal (Veteran Guardsman/Trooper) - Lasgun, Flak Armour, Knife, Frag Grenades.
LCpl. Nazim (Special Weapons Operator/Specialist) - Plasmagun, Flak Armour, Knife
Gdr. Yakub (Special Weapons Operator/Specialist) - Grenade Launcher (Frag and Krak), Knife, Flak Armour
Pte. Daoud (Special Weapons Operator/Specialist) - Meltagun, Flak Armour, Knife
Pte. Zakariya (Veteran Guardsman/Trooper) - Lasgun, Flak Armour, Knife
Pte. Hamid (Guardsman/Recruit) - Lasgun, Flak Armour, Knife
Pte. Wajdi (Guardsman/Recruit) - Lasgun, Flak Armour, Knife

I didn't bother taking note of what was in everyone else's starting Kill Teams....

Stuff got underway Friday evening....


...with Pizza! And some catching up... Paul drove here from Winnipeg (827km!) and Christian I rarely see (though he did make it out to the Tales from the Loop campaign I ran at the end of last year!). 

After the pizza and catching up things got underway. 


FRIDAY NIGHT - ROUND ONE 


My first game was against Amanda and her Tau in a straight-up Kill Team Fight scenario. For subplots I rolled "Indomitable" - I could subtract on from all bottle rolls, and Amanda rolled "Quiet" giving no special rules. She picked a side, we set up and I had the first turn. 


After landing on Brind's World and establishing a secure base of operations, the 415th Tallarn regiment started pushing out and taking control of the surrounding areas. Vast subterranean caverns were discovered nearby and the 415th's 5th Company was tasked with sweeping and securing them. Sergeant Kassab's section had their first contact with the Xenos deep within these caverns....


ROUND ONE - Tallarn


Auspex reading showed movement up ahead. Sergeant Kassab quickly and quietly moved his men forward, hoping to ambush whatever threat lay ahead... 

(They all ran...) 


ROUND ONE - Tau


The Tau ran as well! 

 
ROUND TWO - Tallarn


Sergeant Kassab's men took cover where they could to wait for the fast approaching enemy... Grenadier Yakub spotted some movement in the dark passage ahead and fired a grenade. The shot soared past the detonated far beyond his target. 


Corporal Talal took Private Wajdi and Lance Corporal Nazim down a side passage to ensure secure the squad's flank and ensure the enemy did no sneak around being them.

ROUND TWO - Tau


The Tau also took up positions in cover and started firing on the Tallarn - missing, of course, because they have a Ballistic Skill of 3 - which normally hits on 4+, but at targets in cover they needed sixes... 

ROUND THREE

After Yakub's grenade detonated all hell broke loose! Kassab's squad started taking fire; pulses of supercharged plasma started arching out of the darkness and crashing into the rock around the squad showering them in rock and dust. The squad returned fire with their lasguns and grenade launcher. amid the strobing effect of the fire in the dark cavern and all the dust kicked up from the impacts on the walls it was difficult to tell if their fire had any effect on the enemy.

(lots of shooting, lots of missing...)


ROUND FOUR

Intense coordinated aimed shots bought a brief slackening of enemy fire, but they quickly recovered and their return fire was just as intense. There was a cry as Private Zakariya was hit and went down! 

I scored a couple of hits (causing pins!). Both hits wounded - but were SAVED!? 

The Tau then, amazingly, recovered both pins at the start of their turn - rolling two ones (to recover from pins they had to pass an initiative test which required rolling 2 or less on a d6) and their return fire hit and wounded Pte. Zakariya... 


ROUND FIVE - Tallarn


Realizing he was in danger of getting bogged down in a protracted firefight against an enemy in good cover. The could very well have reinforcements on the way which could quickly overwhelm Kassab's small section.  He knew the rest of his platoon and company was widely spread out, and could not expect relief anytime soon. So something needed to be done to bring this skirmish to an end...

He called on his men to get up and charge, taking the fight to the enemy! Sergeant Kassab lead the way! He charged forward blasting away with his bolt pistol. The others followed. Private Daoud fired up his meltagun and unleashed it's might and fury against the enemy - the wave of heat tracked across the cavern wall - reducing rock to molten slag and then hit one of the enemy square in the chest sending it pitching down on it's back, miraculously it's armour seemed to protect it from the blast!? 

Seriously, that meltagun needed a 2+ to wound... you can see what I ended up rolling!? 


Cpl Talal, inspired by his Sergeant also decided to move out of his covered position and try to force the enemy from their position. He lobbed a grenade into a position held by the xenos and took two of them down. Private Wajdi followed fast on his heels blazing away with his lasgun. turning the corner he saw one of the Xenos cowering in a corner and shot it down. 

The Corporal's grenade took out one Tau and pinned the leader. Wajdi's shot hit and wounded a Tau, but it turned out to only be a flesh wound... 


Private Zakariya successfully applied some synskin and a field dressing to his wound and shot himself up with some stim. His squad had advanced ahead without him, but he would not let them down - he looked about for his lasgun and prepared to follow. 

In the recovery phase, Zakariya rolled a "flesh wound" when he checked his condition the injury table and rolled over, pinned

ROUND FIVE - Tau

The Enemy did not waste this opportunity to catch the Tallarn in the open. A massive blast of energy from bacon the shadows caught Yakub in the chest and pitched him to the ground as he charged forward. Another pulse of plasma caught Daoud in the shoulder which brought him down. This was too much for Private Hamid, who broke and ran!  

Around the other tunnel Wajdi was also hit and downed. Corporal Talal, realizing they had entered the hornets nest and their position was untenable, beat a little-too-hasty retreat - right past Nazim! 

The Tau hit by the melta gun recovered from being pinned (what's with all these successes at recovering pins!?) 

ROUND SIX - Tallarn


Sergeant Kassab realized the only way out of this mess was forward, he hoped to throw the enemy off balance and compel them to retire. He charged the neared enemy blasting at it with his bolt pistol and revving his chainsword. The bolt pistol hit it in the side knocking it off balance another two steps brought him within search of his chansword, which he brought down on the xenos scum with all his might. The creature slumped to the ground spurting dark ichor. Kassab turned to find his next opponent... 

(Totally forgot to use the 2" follow-up which would have brought the Sergeant into contact with that next Tau....) 

Nazim was shocked by his Corporal's retreat, he was about to follow when, thought he flashes of enemy fire, he spotted Wajdi and realized he was not yet dead! He looked as though he was severely wounded, but still conscious and crawling into cover. nazim decided to try and give his squadmate some covering fire. He cranked his plasmagun up to maximum. Blinding light lit up the cavern as he unleashed a torrent of of super-heated plasma, which arced across the cave and impacted on the rocks across from him, behind which the enemy had sought cover. The Rock was melted and splattered all over the place leaving glowing red globules everywhere when the initial blast of plasma finished. 

Realizing his men had not followed, Cpl. Talal stopped and steeled himself to go back and see if he could recover the situation and at least get Wajdi and Nazim out of there! 

Zakariya recovered his lasgun and clambered to his feet and reoriented himself. It was hard to make out what was going on in the darkness, punctuated by occasional bursts of light. He figured which why to head, but then a panicked Hamid came sprinting back to his position shouting; "They're gone! They're all gone! Dead!" 

ROUND SIX - Tau

The shock and awe of the Sergeants assault had indeed thrown the enemy off balance - without a sound, they simultaneously turned and scarpered into the dark - dropping a few dazzling photon grenades to cover their retreat... 

The Tau had two out of action at this point and bottled... 

POST GAME

Daoud made a full recovery from his wounds, but Wajdi's recovery was slow and painful and he would miss the next action. During all that time in the medicae cot he brewed a bitter, bitter hatred for the Tau - especially that one that had shot him down... 

The Tau cut down by the chainsword likewise had a painful recovery and developed a bitter hatred for the Tallarn sergeant. The other had a severe head wound which left him a little off-balanced in future engagements (gained the Frenzy ability).

The Tallarn recovered two cases of Archaeotech in the caverns, while the Tau made off with one during their retreat. 

The Sergeant gained the Combat Master skill (no bonuses against him for being outnumbered in melee) and the Tau Leader gained the Marksman skill (re-roll misses when shooting!) 

The squad received a replacement - Private Muktar - a veteran armed with a lasgun. 

Really, it was pretty much a draw - I only won because Amanda's team bottled first. She's learning - quite a different game from our last one


Elsewhere on Brind's World During Round One


John's Adeptus Mechanicus Skitarii Rangers faces Other Tim's "Moar Orks" - also fighting in the caverns beneath the surface of Brind's World. 


The played the Scavengers scenario. 


I think there may have been only one or two Loot Counters - and there was bitter fighting over them! 


Other Tim's Ork horde swarmed the Skitarii - chucking grenades all about - half his starting kill team was Yoofs armed only with knives and grenades. 


Eventually the Skitarii were overcome by the Orks numbers... 



Paul's Grey Knights met The Girl's Harlequins in a deserted city on the edge of the vast northern deserts. The also played the Scavengers scenario. 


It was a hard-fought battle - and Paul's only defeat of the weekend. The victory was largely Pyrrhic for the harlequins as their troupe lost Bubblegum. Dead. Considering there were only four to begin with that's 25% gone forever and hard to replace... 



Christian, with his borrowed Eldar, took on Finnegan's Orks amid the jungle ruins of the ancients. 


I think they played the Ambush scenario.


Orksies swarming forward to smash the stinking fancy-pants Eldar! 


They played a REALLY LONG GAME.... later we found out they hadn't been pinning people and weren't counting downed fighters for determining bottle tests... Eventually the Eldar bottled. 


FRIDAY NIGHT - ROUND TWO

Christian had a 40-minute drive so he bailed and went home. I took this as an opportunity to NOT play in the round and just watch the games and help out. 

John's Skitarii Rangers faced Paul's Grey Knights in the caverns. They again played the Scavengers scenario. The game was so fast, I didn't even get a picture of it!?  The basically ran on, grabbed as many of the Loot counters as they could and scarpered back towards their baseline. Paul got there fastest with the mostest and claimed his first victory! Not a shot fired. Makes sense, I suppose... they're both Imperial forces, why would they shoot at each other...?


Other Tim played The Girl, his cunning Orks setting up a clever ambush for the Harlequins in the Jungle. 


Like any good commander facing an ambush, The Girl did not wait around for the Orks to strike, but rather took the fight to them - isolating groups of Orks and utterly annihilating them. 


I wondered if the Orks numbers might get the better of them, but the Harlequins were just so fast and devastating in close combat. 


AT one point I think two of them were downed and it looked like it might go south for them, but they rolled "flesh wound" in one of the recovery phases and got right back up and started kicking ass again... 


This too was a long battle - simply because there were soooo many Orks to take out before they would bottle... 


But eventually they did and the Harelquins scored their second victory of the evening. 



Elsewhere Finnegan's Orks Encountered Amanda's Tau in a mud brick Ghost Town deep in the desert. 


This was another Kill Team Fight - That and the Scavenger scenario seemed to be the most played over the weekend - along with a few Ambushes. I don't think anyone rolled a raid or a rescue mission...? 


This too was a longer battle - involving a long shoot out between combatants with crap Ballistic Skill shooting at enemies in hard cover. 


Part way through this game we realized they weren't pinning fighters who had been hit, but weren't wounded and hadn't been counting downed fighters to determine when total a bottle test.


In the end Finnegan voluntarily bottled just to end the game and go to bed and get some sleep!

I don't know how many caches everyone had at this point, but in terms of wins and losses it was:

The Girl - Harlequins - 2-0
Other Tim - Orks - 1-1
Paul - Grey Knights - 1-1
Finnegan - Orks - 1-1
Amanda - Tau - 1-1
Myself - Tallarn - 1-0
Christian - Eldar - 0-1
John - Skitarii - 0-2


Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Stay tuned for Shadow War: Brind's World Campaign Weekend (Part TWO) - covering the next two rounds of action on Saturday Morning! 

After that will be Part Three - covering the final two rounds of action which we played in the afternoon and early evening. 

Finally I should have a final battle report for the weekend covering a game of The Pikeman's Lament, which Paul and I played on Sunday. 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Eldar and Other Assorted Sci-Fi Goodies

Just a few last items I'm finishing up before the Shadow War Campaign Weekend begins this evening.  actually two of them were finished ages ago, I just didn't want to include them in posts about other stuff... I don't know..



Eight Eldar Guardians from Games Workshop - though all long out of print. Actually only seven of these are newly painted - the older guy in the back left, I painted him ages ago. I painted these up to be used as "recruits" in an Eldar Kill Team for Shadow War: Armageddon. They'll also see use as the core of an Eldar Guardian Squad in 40K - I just need to finish up the weapon platform to go with them (which I COULD have also used in SW:A... but it required assembly - these were already based and primed when I started them three days ago...)



Two little token I though we might make use of in the Shadow War campaign - on the left is a hatch that, I think, came with an old Grenadier Traveller miniature boxed set...? Marines...? or Adventurers...? I can't remember. Bought it in the 80s... had it sitting around primed since then and never bothered to paint it - realized it would be useful in The Raid scenario and got it done. The box on the right is from the Lead Adventure Miniatures Astropolis II Kickstarter - it's a "Tech Crate" I thought could be used as an "Archaeotech" token... I wish I'd gotten more of these done... alas...



This is figure Amanda is using for her character in the Rogue Trader campaign. The miniature is from   Hasslefree Miniatures.



Finally another GW mini - an old Valhallan Sergeant. An eBay seller I was buying some stuff from had him in their stock and he wasn't outrageously priced so I added him onto the order. I have a Valhallan squad and it only had nine... though I think it already has a sergeant... so.. maybe this guy will be the corporal...? If ever I was to build ANOTHER Astra Militarum force, it would TOTALLY be Valhallans...

Warlord Games currently has a "From Russia with Love" deal on - any napoleonic or WW2 Russian stuff is on sale 3 for the price of two. I briefly considered picking up THREE boxes of their Soviet Winter Infantry and finding some lasguns to convert them to Valhallans... but then I wised up and realized that would be daft - considering all the other stuff I have to paint at the moment...


Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog: 

The Shadow War: Brind's World campaign kicks off this evening - expect a report of the ensuing action at some point... Could be Sunday... Could be Monday...? Maybe I'll post a few teaser pics tonight before I crawl into bed...?

Shadow War: The Raid

We got and third, and likely final, game of Shadow War: Armageddon game in before the Shadow War: Brind's World starts tomorrow! Stay tuned - after the weekend I should have a full report of the ensuing shenanigans!

I did finish up the second batch of cavern terrain last night, so The Girl and I decided we should play a game this afternoon while Finnegan was out playing D&D.

4-125018M41

After the successful patrol and brief contact with the xenos (who were later identified as the dangerous "Tau") 2nd platoon was ordered to set up a Forward Operating Base in the caverns below the abandoned city. Sgt. Kassab's squad was tasked with setting up an Observation Post to the west of the Main FOB. The Squad found an acceptable location with good views of the various approaches - and more importantly a smallish cave below the main caverns that could be used as a bunker and cache for stores and ammunition. Privates Zakariya, Hamid, Wajdi, and Muktar were tasked as
sentries to watch over their new home-for-the-moment, while the rest of the squad marched back to the main FOB to ferry forward some more supplies...

FORCES

Sgt. Kassab's squad of 2nd platoon, 5th company 415th Tallarn Infantry Regiment
Sgt. Kassab (Veteran Sergeant/ Kill Team Leader)- Bolt Pistol, Chainsword, Flak Armour, knife - Voice of Command, Step Aside,
Cpl. Talal (Veteran Guardsman/Trooper) - Lasgun, Flak Armour, Knife, Frag Grenades.
LCpl. Nazim (Special Weapons Operator/Specialist) - Plasmagun, Flak Armour, Knife
Gdr. Yakub (Special Weapons Operator/Specialist) - Grenade Launcher (Frag and Krak), Knife, Flak Armour
Pte. Daoud (Special Weapons Operator/Specialist) - Meltagun, Flak Armour, Knife
Pte. Zakariya (Veteran Guardsman/Trooper) - Lasgun, Flak Armour, Knife
Pte. Hamid (Guardsman/Recruit) - Lasgun, Flak Armour, Knife
Pte. Wajdi (Guardsman/Recruit) - Lasgun, Flak Armour, Knife
Pte. Muktar (Veteran Guardsman/Trooper) - Lasgun, Flak Armour, Knife, Camo gear

The Rainbow Warrior Contemporary Dance Company - Harlequin Kill Team
Fawkes - Troupe Master (Leader) - Power Sword, Shuriken Pistol, Harlequin Mask, Flip Belt, Holosuit
Stab Pants - Players (Trooper) - Harlequin Blade, Shuriken Pistol, Harlequin Mask, Flip Belt, Holosuit
Jade Lightning - Players (Trooper) - Harlequin Kiss, Shuriken Pistol, Harlequin Mask, Flip Belt, Holosuit
Bubblegum - Players (Trooper) - Harlequin Blade, Shuriken Pistol, Harlequin Mask, Flip Belt, Holosuit
Polkastripe - Mime (Recruit) - Harlequin's Kiss, Shuriken Pistol, Harlequin Mask, Flip Belt, Holosuit

SCENARIO

We rolled "The Raid" scenario Harlequin's were to be the attacker. They were tasked with destroying our bunker/entrance and would only have a limited number of their troops for the raid. I in turn would only have a few sentries, the rest would be nearby and come on as reserves if the alarm was sounded. The Harlequins would win if they destroyed the entrance of the bunker (T6, 3 Wounds) and then exited off the table edge from which they came (or if the Astra Militarum voluntarily bottled after losing half my mens...).

I had to roll d6 to see how many figures I started with as sentries - I rolled 4. The rest had to be organized into reinforcement groups of one or more that I could dice for each turn after the alarm was raised - the bigger the group, though, the less likely they would come on (I had to roll higher than the number in the group on a d6 for them to arrive)

the Girl had to roll to see how many members of her team went on this raid - she rolled 4 as well (which is 80% of her team - she decided to leave behind bubblegum)


THE GAME

To start with we rolled on the "Hunt in the Promethium Sprawl" table

I rolled "Indomitable" - I could subtract -1 from all bottle tests... which was kind of useless as I was immune to bottle tests in this scenario - ah well... better than losing a guy for a game because he got lost!

The Girl rolled "Hidden Cache" - The winner gets +100 extra points to spent during recruitment and rearming.



Fancy new cavern terrain sections - these ones allow a bit more moving about - not-so-bottle-necky...



There were four entrances to the cavern that contained the entrance to their OP/bunker. Privates Zakariya, Hamid, Wajdi, and Muktar took it in turns to watch each of them while the others were ferrying more supplies to their new home. 

We said the stone pillar in the middle of the central cavern space could represent the entrance to the hidden bunker/OP



Harlequins deployed in the bottom right corner - objective in the centre of the table guarded by 4 sentries. Objective needs to be destroyed by causing three wounds and then exiting off the table edge they arrived on.


ROUND ONE - Harlequin's Turn



As the Harlequin's were the attackers, they got the first turn.



They all ran through the same cavern towards the objective in the centre of the table.


ROUND ONE - Astra Militarum Turn



Private Zakariya thought he heard something - a faint titter, as though at a deliciously vile joke. Maybe he just imagined it... but then he though t he saw something - a flicker in the darkness of the cavern beyond... He took a few steps forward. 

Wajdi, one of the new recruit hissed at him: "What is it?" and walked towards his new comrade. 

Zakariya turned to look at him and signed that he thought he had hears something. He turned again to peer into the darkness of the vast cavern...



Rolled for sentries only two moved, and I controlled them.


ROUND TWO - Harlequin's Turn



Out of the darkness before Private Zakariya flashed a sight of pure terror - a light creature of exaggeratedly long proportions all a shimmer of dazzling light and colour with a visage of pure horror. Surely this thing was a daemon spawned of the warp come to claim his pitiful soul!  



Zakariya soiled himself and turned to run but the thing punched something into his back - searing pain shot through his midsection like fingers quickly reaching out for something - when the creature retracted it's weapon, chunks of Zakariya went with it. Zakariya crumpled to the floor and tried to scream, but there was only blood spurting from his mouth and side. 

Polkastripe charged Pte. Zakariya who failed his Fear Test, as he fled the contact the harlequin got a free attack which wounded Zakariya and took him out of action.



To Private Wajdi's utter horror three more such creatures silently flooded into the room with inhuman speed! His Shouts alerted the others! 

Stabpants made it into contact with the entrance, but was unable to do any damage to it.


ROUND TWO - Astra Militarum



In the distance, Sgt Kassab and Grenadier Yakub heard Wajdi's faint shout followed by the faint report of lasguns being fired, and other sounds, alien sounds of xenos weapons. The dropped all they were carrying save their weapons and began to run! 

First reinforcement group arrives!



At Wajdi's shout Hamid and Muktar leapt into action - taking cover and firing at the Xenos threat that had already taken down one of their comrades! 

Shooting at the Harlequins, two hits were scored, of which one wound was scored, and dodged as their sneaky-beaky invulnerable save was passed.


ROUND THREE - Harlequins 

(in all the excitement, I totally forgot to take pictures this turn...)

Stabpants charged Private Hamid, who failed his fear check and fled - free hit failed to wound and Hamid made good his escape. Wajdi and Muktar passed their fear tests as they were charged by Jade Lightning and Polkastripe, respectively. It probably would have been better if they'd failed and fled. Jade Lightning hit Wajdi with her harlequin's Kiss - shredding his face and neck - two wounds, out of action. Polkastripe came at Muktar like a whirlwind of death causing FOUR WOUNDS - two of those were actually flesh wounds, but the others cut deeper and took him out of action...


ROUND THREE - Astra Militarum



Grenadier Yakub rounded the corner just in time to see half of Private Wajdi's face torn off and see his unconscious body slip against the wall smearing it with blood. Poor Wajdi, he though, he'd only been with the unit a couple of weeks. His Grenade Launcher coughed as he fired off a Frag down the corridor, but it ricocheted off a wall and into a crevice the blast filled the corridor with a shower of small stones and clouds of dust, but otherwise caused no harm. 

At the same time Sergeant Kassab rounded the other side of the pillar that Yakub was firing from and was just able to make out one of the Xenos creatures standing over the body of Muktar - he squeezed off a couple of shots from his bolt pistol - but only managed to get the creatures attention!

These creatures were clearly far more adept than the Tau they'd encountered only days before! 

Corporal Talal and Lance Corporal Nazim also heard the sounds and had sprinted to catch up with the Sergeant and Grenadier they knew were not to far ahead of them - they caught up just as they began to engage the enemy!

Private Hamid cowered in the cover he had gained, shaking uncontrollably - he'd heard the gurgling and coughing of his comrades as they were savaged by the foul xenos before they could even cry out. They were now all surely dead. How could he face the rest of the squad. They hadn't thought much of him - as they do of all the new recruits - and now he'd proved them right!  


ROUND FOUR - Harlequins



With the immediate threats neutralized, the harlequins set to their main task - destroying the bunker and all within - lacking demolition charged they simply shot up the place with their shuriekn pistol and slashed at things with their swords hoping to cause as much damaged as they could. The NINE attacks between them caused two wounds - one more and the bunker would be destroyed....


ROUND FOUR - Astra Militarum



Continuing to move up, the squad tried to bring more fire down on the foul Xenos that were trying to destroy their bunker. The Sergeant fired a few more shots from his bolt pistol - but the Xenos were in good cover and he could not hit them. 



Yakub found his range, however, and planted a fragmentation grenade at the feet of the one of the Xenos. The blast sent them scrambling for cover, but they seemed unaffected by it... 

The shot landed and pinned three of the Harlequins, but failed to cause any injuries...

Meanwhile, Private Hamid found his resolve and determined he would avenge his battle brothers or die trying, he steadied his lasgun and prepared to creep back to where he might be able to fire upon the xenos!


ROUND FIVE - Harlequins

As there was one unpinned Harlequin present - they all immediately recovered from being pinned at the beginning of the turn. As recovering from pinning requires a Initiative test on a D6... and their initiatives are all 6 or 7 - it was pretty much automatic... (a six would fail - but The Girl didn't roll any of those!). So they set about trying to destroy the bunker again....



And succeeded - causing a further three wounds.. (they had only needed one more...).


ROUND FIVE -  Astra Militarum

At this point I really should have just said, screw it, the game is lost - I'm not going to take out enough of them to stop them from winning - and just let them leave with their win before suffering any more casualties... Oh, I wasn't about to voluntarily bottle or anything (in this scenario if I did it would mean losing one of the caches I already had and giving it to the Harlequins!)

The remainder of the squad carried the fight forward - as the fragmentation grenade hadn't worked, Yakub switched to Krak and fired one off at the Leader, but missed - the ear shattering blast as it hit the wall nearly deafened all present, but caused no other harm. The Sergeant had a good line on one of them and blasted away at it with his Bolt Pistol - there was no way he could have missed at this range, but it was like the creature could see the bolts coming and simply danced out of the way of them!  Corporal Talal lobbed a hand grenade over his comrades head - it bounced and landed right among the Xenos as they cowered by the entrance of the ruined bunker. They dove for cover and it seemed to make them keep their heads down... this might be their chance!

Private Hamid had crept forward back towards the cavern with the bunker entrance - he was able to bring down fire on the Xenos from the other side, where they had not cover from. It must have ebeen all the smoke and dust and their translucent flowing forms, because Private Hamid just could not score a hit on one! 

Of course, I also forgot that Hamid should have spent a turn PINNED after recovering from Broken! Not that it mattered - he couldn't hit anything to save his life!


ROUND SIX - Harlequins

As all four of them were pinned, no one could recover at the beginning of the turn and they all basically lost their turn. During the Recovery Phase at the end of the turn they all recovered.


ROUND SIX - Astra Militarum




This was it, this was their chance - Sergeant Kassab jumped up and called out; "GO! GO! GO!" and charged the Cowering Xenos. Yakub and Nazim followed charging another of the Xenos. Cpl. Talal got up to charge them but caught a glance of their terrible visage and his knees froze and he could propel himself no further...



Sergeant Kassab charged the Xenos with his bolt pistol blazing and his chainsword roaring - a veteran of scores of battles - he was no stranger to close combat... but the way that creature danced out of his way, made him feel like a clumsy child. Despite his attempt to parry, the creature caught him in the side of the head and all went black. 

(...and now, as I'm typing this report I'd come to realize I TOTALLY FORGOT ABOUT SERGEANT KASSAB'S SPECIAL "STEP ASIDE" SKILL!?! GAH!? I KNEW there was a reason I wanted to try and get him into melee - to try SOMETHING out!? Other than just his fancy chainsword!?)

Yakub and Nazim charged another of the creatures around the other side the entrance. It stepped into meed Yakub first and with a flash of it's sword utterly eviscerated him. Nazim was sloshed with Yakub blood and viscera. He completely lost his nerve and turned and ran - just downing the Xenos creatures follow-through attack. He ran right past Corporal Talal, screaming all the way! 

In the confusion, Hamid took a few more shots at the Xenos. He swore he'd hit one, but then it didn't...  The speed of these creatures was uncanny and their constant movements bizarre and unpredictable!? 


ROUND SEVEN - Harlequins 

Polkastripe recovered from being pinned and they all decided to scarper.



They flashed past Hamid in a translucent blur of light and colour.


ROUND SEVEN - Astra Militarum



Private Hamid turned to fire at the prismatic blur flashing past him, but couldn't say if he hit anything or not. If he had, they seemed not to care at all and just continued on their way!



Private Daoud finally made it to a position where he could bring down fire on the fleeing Xenos scum with his meltagun. He fired his gun at the quickly disappearing blur and was equally unsure it made any difference at all... 


ROUND EIGHT - Harlequins

And off the table they went....

As the sound of battle drifted off into the distance, Corporal Talal started to make his way forward through the dust and smoke to see if he could find any survivors. He encountered Hamid and Yakub. Hamid was helping Yakub shuffle forward and Yakub concentrated on holding in what was left of him innards. 

Tallal stopped them and shouted - half deaf from the grenade blasts, and wanting to be heard over the cacophony of munitions cooking off inside the bunker; "WHERE'S KASSAB!? WHERE'S KASSAB!?"

Hamid shouted back "SARGE IS GONE, LET'S GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!" and continued shuffling along his way.... 


END GAME

AS part of the scenario special rules, if the attacker managed to destroy the bunker/entrance the defender (me) had to roll a d6 to see if I LOST one of my caches... I did not.

Checking for injuries...

Apparently the Regimental Medicae Detachment was freshly deployed and fully operational, but as the campaign was just beginning they were not overly burdened by excessive casualties, all received immediate topnotch treatment. Only Private Wajdi would miss the next mission as his face was painfully put back together (he gained a HATRED of Jade Lightning). Private Zakariya actually gained a skill for his troubles (That Which Does Not Kill You...) and now has the Jump Back skill (may attempt to break off from close combat..)

All except for Sergeant Kassab - No trace of his body could be found it is presumed he was CAPTURED!! I guess the Harlequins thought he might be useful - one of them scooped him up under their arms and spirited him away when they left!

Caches
Astra Militarum 1, Harlequins 2 - plus they got the bonus +100 points for winning - from the "Hidden Cache" result on the "Hunt in the promethium Sprawl" table at the beginning of the game.

Advances
Corporal Talal gained the AMBUSH skill
Stabpants gained the COMBAT MASTER skill

Wajdi and Hamid got one more check on their mission boxes - one more mission away from Veteran status! Polkastripe, the new harlequin Mime, likewise got to tick off her first box.

Recruit and Rearm
The Girl was definitely going to add another Harlequin to her troupe - with the bonus points she might even be able to do so without expending a cache.

I'm not sure what I could do - if your sergeant DIES you don't get any re-supply as you reorg you team and promote one of your current number to Team Leader status... however, Sergeant Kassab wasn't DEAD - he was captured... Does that mean I should have gotten a regular recruitment or rearm  in the resupply phase...? Not sure it really matters. We'r'e going to start again tomorrow evening with new Kill Teams for the weekend campaign.

The new cavern terrain squares worked out well, I think.

I think my take-away from this is: Just don't mess with Harlequins in close combat - Best defence: No Be There! Long Distance: The Next Best Thing to Being There! Of course that 4+ invulnerable save means that the few shots that actually hit and wound are likely to just be dodged out of the way of at the last microsecond....


Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I did finish up the Eldar Guardians so an Eldar Kill Team COULD be fielded this weekend - though only one person is actually needing to borrow one from me. I'll probably post pics of that tomorrow morning (or... I guess... LATER this morning - as it is already the wee hours of Friday as I madly try to finish off this report!)

After that there should be a report of the weekend's campaign - there are are eight of us participating Myself (Tallarn), Amanda (Tau) and the Kids (Orks and Harlequins) , along with John (Adeptus Mechanicus Skitari)i , Other Tim (MORE Orks), Christian (possibly Eldar? he has to borrow one of mine!),  and Paul (who is driving all the way from Wimmipeg to play with his Grey Knights - 827Km!). Hopefully we'll get a couple games in tomorrow night, a couple Saturday morning, a couple in the afternoon and possibly a couple more in the evening - if required.

As the next week is a school break around here - all of our activities are cancelled so I was planning a  WEEK OF GAMING following the Shadow War campaign - I hope to get a game in every afternoon and evening all week! Hoping to finally try out Terraforming Mars, maybe get in a game of Railways of the World... maybe Nations and/or Viticulture... London?  The kids are hoping to play Super Dungeon Explore, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle, Sentinels of the Universe and Star Wars: X-wing... I'm sure at some point I'll post a report of how that all went down as well!