Wednesday, 11 May 2011
This is it. Sort of. There was a lot going on and I’ve slept since:
The Cadian Recce unit deployed into the ruined Administratum building. Two Wolverines covered the landing field whilst the third and the Weasels covered the built up area to the south. A detachment of Preatorians arrived immediately to the west of their position. The Cadians remained wary of the Preatorians, who had been conspicuously absent during the last year as the Cadians fought their guerrilla action.
Their reasons were well founded. The Preatorians did not make contact with the Cadians, waiting in cover in the adjacent city block until the first PLA presence made itself felt, immediately to the East.
A Platoon of Tigers arrived, creeping along in search of the Cadians who had spent the last week evading them. As the hidden Cadians, including their snipers, engaged the Tigers, dissuading them from advancing any further, the Preatorian’s armour arrived. Meadusa siege guns and MBTs rolled into place and the Preatorian infantry began to fire and manoeuvre towards the ruined Adminstratum.
17 Div’s mobile reserve, C Coy of the Cadian 2/24, trained in the light role, landed en masse in a huge Valkyre lift in the square that used to be home to a weekly market and holy day morality plays. The ankle deep blanket of rubble and rubbish was hard on the infantrymen, but the open space was good for the Valkyre pilots, who landed everyone without incident, the vast clouds of dust thrown up keeping the airframes from serious AA fire.
A Tigers ML sentinel opened fire on a Wolverine. Which was a mistake, the Wolverine gunned its engines and hurtled forward, to crush the walker. The sentinel and its two HF fellows were still in action, all four vehicles thrashing about in the space between a tower and an empty basilica. The Preatorian Armour opened up on the weasels, destroying two of them as their infantry swept into attack. A Wolverine shot at one of the meadusae, knocking it out.
Elsewhere, the Tigers hesitated and the QRF shut their eyes and held hands over mouths and noses as 50 TLW dusted off, leaving them controlling a lot of ground with precious little cover.
Lead elements of the PLAs 79th Tank Battalion rolled into town; of the Cadian 2/24th had control of Freeman’s Square itself only moments before, they were joined by an ominous and threatening shape as a Baneblade entered the NW corner of the square with its MBT escort.
The 79th Tank Bn chewed its way through the Cadian relief force as the rouge Cadian guardsman Bomar jumped off the bell tower where he had been hiding and took on the Tiger’s Sgt Harphur and his remaining vets in an epic brawl that ended with Guardsman Bomar victorius. A similarly epic punch up went on in the shadow of Zarathusa’s tracks between a Preatorian Grenadier and an Arcomet Psyker, each of them the last of their respective units.
Epidemus, the Tallyman of Nurgle, arrived to anchor the Tiger’s right flank and two other Major Deamons of Nurgle arrived before Zarathusa and its escort of Arcomet Armour and promptly laid into them, chomping into the structure points available.
Turn Four and Five
Mechanised units from the Cadian 1/24 began to arrive. Griffin mortar carriages opened fire on PLA units threatening the square. One PLA LRMBT lost its main armament to an assaulting lone Cadian sentinel. PLA tank fire continued to keep the Cadians heads down. A lone Marauder Destroyer from the PLA’s air brigade hurtled over the scene firing its autocannons and loosing off a barrage of Hellstrike missiles at Cadian targets, scoring hits on many of its mechanised assets. Desparate meltagun fire and a curtain of flak from a damaged hydra took down the Marauder.
Arcomet units, scrambled as the Cadian QRF left to succour the 144th, began to arrive. Their elite PBS, veterans of many fights against Orks, found themselves in desperate HTH with Preatorian Grenadiers.
Behind the Tigers, the Arcomet Stormsword arrived, to counterpoint the arrival of the Cadian’s Lucius Pattern Baneblade ‘Zarathusa’ in the SE corner, threatening the Preatorians. As the Preatorians charged the Cadian’s position, the platoon were countercharged by a single special weapon squad, who held them up for an unfeasibly long time without going down.
At this point things started getting much worse for the Liberation Force, as deamons of Nurgle appeared. Nurglings and Plaguebearers assaulted the remains of the Cadian 144th. Melta teams from the Cadian 2/24th worked their way through the 79th Tank Bn’s tanks whilst their veterans faced off against the Tiger’s Colonel Strapon and his supporting Ogryn. The Tiger’s redoubtable CO only took down only two vets, but took almost all of the Cadian’s fire power for two or three turns before eventually going down.
The Deamons finally took out the Zarathusa, the ensuing explosion clearing a good two square feet of space in that corner of the board, the only survivor in the area was one of the Major Deamons. Unfortunately for ‘it’, the explosion had removed the building between it and a squadron of ASL Tank Hunter Sentinels and promptly took a Las Cannon to the face, sending it back to the warp.
The Cadian 1/24 arrived and drove into the fray, committing everything they had to clearing the Plaguebearers off the 144th’s scanner with its vital data.
Technically, the objective was still being contested at the end of the game. In narrative terms, the Cadian 144th lost all but three of its men, Major Budget (OC of the 144th) lasting on his own until the very turn that the deamons were banished.
So the Imperium has possession of the scanner, but there is every chance that the cogitators are full of plaguebearer slime. We’ll have to wait a while to find out.
My thanks to the participants, Admiral Drax and Kartias. Especial thanks to Soviet Space, who’s obvious experience of Apoc and keeping things running along at a good pace possibly saved us from a three day game.