Thursday, 28 September 2017

Invasion of Scipio - Chapter 4 - Escape from the Power Plant

The battle for the Eastern Delta Valley is over for now and the Imperial troops have retreated to their perimeter. Their first attempt to liberate the valley was unsuccessful but they still surround the area and have the superiority in air and space. You can read more about the battle here:

The campaign narrative begins here:

The last stage of the battle saw the heroic stormtroopers retreat to the power plant while surrounded by enemies on all sides. Captain McDermitt, platoon leader of the stormtroopers, took the remainder of his squad inside the power plant to hide and await evacuation orders from HQ.
Stormtroopers at the end of the battle for the Eastern Valley
Captain McDermitt leading his squad to safety while surrounded
Reports from HQ indicate that the xenos have learned to use the energy generated by the power plant for their own activities. There is no detail on what these activities could be, but speculation from intelligence includes: spawning more troops, xenoforming the planet or powering their defensive batteries. Firing on the power plant from orbit could cause a chain reaction that would result in a nuclear fallout with devastating consequences for the entire planet, therefore this was not an option. Joint army and space command have thus decided to evacuate the squad and while tasking them with the mission of disabling the power plant.

Space Command relaying intelligence to the stranded stormtrooper platoon.
Captain McDermitt received a transmission from army command with his special assignment; firstly he is tasked with disabling the power plant by destroying the generators that power the electrical control systems leaving the nuclear core in tact but useless. Secondly he is to get his squad safely to the evacuation pod that has been dropped by space command. It is expected that he will encounter many xenos along the way, using rapid movement, firepower and stealth will therefore be key to his success.

Stormtroopers taking refuge in the power plant ready to get to evacuation site.
This scenario is played out using Shadow War Armageddon rules with a modification for random activation to facilitate solo play. The stormtrooper squad is tasked with blowing up each of the generators A and B with demolition charges and then getting to the evacuation pod. The xenos will appear randomly from the spots marked in a red circle based on a random die roll.
The squads were composed of the following:

Veteran Sergeant [265pts]: +1 Toughness, Boltgun [35pts], Carapace armour [20pts], Flak armour, Krak grenades [40pts], Power sword [50pts]
Veteran Guardsman [170pts]: Camo gear [5pts], Carapace armour [20pts], Flak armour, Frag grenades [25pts]
. Lasgun [60pts]: Hotshot laser power pack [15pts], Red-dot laser sight [20pts]
Veteran Guardsman [145pts]: Carapace armour [20pts], Chainsword [25pts], Flak armour, Frag grenades [25pts], Laspistol [15pts]
Special Weapons Operative [185pts]: Camo gear [5pts], Carapace armour [20pts], Demolition charge [50pts], Flak armour, Flamer [40pts]
Special Weapons Operative [210pts]: Carapace armour [20pts], Combat blade [5pts], Demolition charge [50pts], Flak armour, Flamer [40pts], Frag grenades [25pts]
Special Weapons Operative [245pts]: Carapace armour [20pts], Demolition charge [50pts], Flak armour, Frag grenades [25pts], Plasma gun [80pts]
Militarum Tempestus Scion: Lasgun, Krag Grenades

Total: [1220pts]

Tyranid Alpha [340pts]: Acid blood [20pts], Adrenal glands [10pts], Chitin carapace, Deathspitter [45pts], Extended chitin carapace [15pts], Pair of scything talons
Tyranid Warrior [290pts]: Acid blood [20pts], Adrenal glands [10pts], Chitin carapace, Deathspitter [45pts], Extended chitin carapace [15pts], Pair of scything talons
Tyranid Warrior [255pts]: Acid blood [20pts], Adrenal glands [10pts], Chitin carapace, Extended chitin carapace [15pts], Pair of scything talons, Pair of scything talons [10pts]
Total: [885pts]
Captain McDermitt's squad deploy in cover, they have no idea where the xenos will arrive from but know that they will have a fight on their hands.

The xeno alpha warrior and trooper, on the opposite side of the platform at generator A, ready to do some hunting.

Another xeno warrior arrives just next to generator B within line of sight of the stormtroopers.

Leeroy, the special operative tempestus scion, advances to investigate just as the xeno warrior advances and fires on the stormtroopers from behind cover.

The Captain orders the flamethrower specialist, Doug, to torch the bug. Doug duly steps forward and gives 'em hell. The xeno takes damage from the flames but it's chithin armour prevented it from becoming bug roast.

The damaged xeno is enraged and charges Doug with his scything talons. impaling and tearing apart the doomed trooper. Doug lets out one last scream before he becomes bug food.

Meanwhile, the two other xenos sneak up on the troopers from the other side.

Leeroy, seeking revenge for Doug's bloody demise throws a krak grenade at the xeno from behind. The grenade was faulty and bounces off the enemy harmlessly. Further shots from the plasma gun and sniper rifle fail to take it down.

The xeno leader appears around the corner and exchanges fire with Hassan, the second in command. The initial exchange was inconclusive and Hassan heads for cover.

It was now Captain McDermitt's turn to step up, he fires at point blank range while the xeno charges him with his talons. A ferocious melee ensues as the Captain himself.

The Captain falls in combat heroically, as he takes a fatal blow his power sword manages to cause more damage to the bug but not enough to quite stop it.

Frank, the trooper standing next to the doomed Captain looked at his bloody mess of a body and the xeno, he couldn't take it any longer and loses his nerve. He runs away back toward the entrance, the stormtroopers are in disarray.

Leeroy, however, didn't lose his nerve, this is what he has been training for his whole life. He steps up grabs another krak grenade and this time knocks the xeno down with it's impact.

The xeno was down but not quite dead, Hassan, now the leader of the squad, personally avenges the Captain and chops off the bugs head to complete the job.

While the attention was on the Captain and the recently dead xeno, another bug charges specialist plasma gunner, Charlie, from behind. A scythe right through Charlie's chest turns him into a martyr and robs the team of another heavy weapon.

Leeroy is not perturbed, the mission comes first and stormtroopers are not meant to grow old. He runs to generator B and places the demolition charge.

As the rest of the xenos overwhelm the remaining troopers, Hassan orders Leeroy to get to blow the demo charge and get to the evacuation site. There was no time to blow the second generator and someone has to get back to HQ to report on the heroic sacrifice of the stormtroopers.

Leeroy makes a mad dash for the evacuation pod, behind him he hears gunfire and the screams of his fellow troopers as more xenos surround them. There is no doubt about their fate.

As the pod takes off, Leeroy sets off the demo charge destroying generator B. Smoke from the power plant indicates that part of it has been taken offline, albeit generator A is still in tact leaving the power 50% operational.

This mission was only a partial success, hopefully the damage will slow down the activities of the xenos. The sacrifice of the stormtroopers was only a small part of this ongoing conflict, a hope for a quick victory and repulse of the invasion is now lost , certainly the civilian casualties are immense and beyond measure. The Imperium makes it plans for a final push to liberate the remaining cities before the xeno threat can expand further.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

The Invasion of Scipio - Chapter 3B - The Battle of the Eastern Valley

The stage has been set and the troops are in their positions, you can read about the scenario and setup here:

Today is the day of the liberation or destruction where the fate of the Delta Valley hangs in the balance;

The Imperium troops prepare for the assault.
Image of the Eastern valley showing cities and objectives.
The deployment of troops, the xenos are lying in ambush in the captured cities while the Imperial armour advances on the edge.

Imperial mechanised infantry on the right, super heavy tanks and war engines advance from the North simultaneously.

In the first turn, the xeno Trygons pop up and assault the Imperial Basilisk artillery. The help of the Imperial support tanks, Hydras didn't save the Basilisks from being wiped out in the first turn.

The xenos have hidden amongst the fortifications in the military zone and ruins, their heavy guns hiding out of site of the approaching troops. In the first turn, an Imperial orbital bombardment lands on the airfield at the top of the image scattering and shaking the bugs hiding there.
Without warning a formation of genestealers jumps out of the fortifications and assaults Imperial mechanised infantry.
The infantry doesn't have a chance to fire before they are engaged in close range combat with the genestealers, the results are not pretty and the majority of the Imperium troops that faced the assault are wiped out.

Meanwhile the super heavy tanks take fire from the long range guns of the Xenos and move out of engagement range of those genestealers. The Imperium forces were not expecting such a heavy onslaught this early, the xenos seem to have learned from their mistakes.

Meanwhile in the South, the Imperial Tank regiment finds itself surrounded as the Hydras are wiped out and the big bug comes out to hunt. They exchange fire with the Dominatrix while taking evasive manoeuvres.

Up North, the War Engine takes more shots and breaks, the Super Heavy Tanks are assaulted by another Trygon swarm that they manage to fend off. The Imperium is looking shaky and needs a morale boost.

The rumbling of distant helicopters can be heard and gradually build, just in time the Stormtroopers in their Valkyries are being deployed to save the day.
The stormtroopers land in the middle of the table to take an objective and clear out the enemy troops garrisoning it easily.

In the South, the tank regiment sees enemy closing on all sides and continues to take fire, they decide to retreat before their formation is broken.
The Valkyries release their rockets and break an enemy formation, the stormtroopers however are surrounded and assaulted by enemy xenos. 
The stormtroopers are in a fight for their life, they manage to hang out and throw back the waves of enemy bugs, just managing to hold onto their position. 

The thunderbolts in the centre right are sent in to provide fire support to the storm troopers, helping to break another enemy formation and provide an avenue for their escape.

As the game draws to a close, the tank regiment has met up with the war engines in the north as the combined force begins their retreat, the Imperium only contests two objectives while the Xenos still hold the majority of the cities in the Eastern Valley.

The stormtroopers have a brief respite where they abandoned their hopeless position and managed to capture the power plant. They have no supporting formations so their best hope is to hold on and take cover and wait for an evac.

Quiet falls over the Eastern Valley as the Imperial troops withdraw. Their air superiority and bombardment wasn't enough to kick out the dug in defenders who had apparently learned from their last encounter with Imperial troops. The fight for the Scipio valley will continue...

The map of the Delta Valley remains unchanged, the xenos have managed to hold onto the Eastern cities while the rest of the valley is in Imperium hands. Though the Imperial troops have lost this battle this was just the first hastily assembled assault, they are now assembling their reinforcements and orbital support to make another attempt at liberating their cities and relieving whatever citizens may have survived the horror.

Final thoughts: I played the Imperium this time and there were a few things I did wrong:
- First off my list didn't bring enough durable infantry to be able to survive the continuous assaults from the xenos. My opponent played very deftly and used the terrain to his advantage.
- Secondly, I had some really awful rolls on rallying which meant my thunderbolts, warhounds and super heavy tanks didn't get to really leverage their firepower.
- Lastly, in the previous game with a similar scenario, I gave the Imperium a bigger advantage in points to account for having to assault fortified positions.  I also forgot to give the defenders a +1 to hit for being in cover.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

The Invasion of Scipio - Chapter 3A - Preparations in the Eastern Delta Valley

After the surprise invasion by the Xenos captured many key cities in the Delta Valley:

The town of Gnaeus was liberated, by the Imperial troops who managed to secure superiority in air and space:

Now it's time to launch the counter-offensive on the eastern section of the Delta Valley to liberate the cities of Gisco and Barca and finish off the remaining invaders . Time is of the essence to launch this offensive while the defenders are isolated and without reinforcements from the hive fleet. The Imperial troops have gathered their Planetary Reserve forces supplemented by the heavy troops of the Imperial Rapid Response force.

The Imperial troops gather in their staging areas, while the titans conduct live fire drills in the background
This will be co-ordinated attack focused on liberating the eastern zone of the Delta valley, highlighted in red below. Xeno troops from Gisco and Barca will be able to support each other, therefore it is imperative to isolate each of these key locations and conduct the attack simultaneously.

The Imperial troops use dropships to quickly surround Gisco, however, during the invasion the xenos landed defence batteries in Barca preventing troop drops in the vicinity. Therefore the approach on Barca will be from the north by troops travelling overland.

Picture of the table set up based on the map above.
The scenario has 5 objectives, each is worth 1 victory point for the side that controls it at the end of Turn 3.
  • If the game is tied after Turn 3, regular EpicA rules apply for determining Turn 4 and a tie breaker
  • The Imperial troops have the initiative in this battle having complete air and space superiority, to represent this:
    • They can deploy anywhere in the designated blue areas, 15cm from the table edge.
    • Imperial troops can keep up to 1/3rd of their formations off-table and arrive on any table edge at the beginning of each turn. They don’t need to mark this in advance.
    • They have been given a 150 point advantage for an Lunar class orbital bombardment.
  • The Xenos are defending and can deploy anywhere in the infested areas highlighted in purple.
  • The defensive battery is immobile, and has a 45cm, AA5+, MW with the stats: DC2, 4+, RA. It is deployed next to an objective and is able to count towards capturing it.
  • Other rules follow the regular EpicA deployment procedure.

The hive mind has learned from the defeat and Gnaeus and is putting their troops into position to ambush the attackers

Army lists used for this battle are as follows:

Steel Legion, NetEA 3150 POINTS
REGIMENTAL HQ [525] - Supreme Commander, 12 Infantry, 7 Chimera, Chimera
TANK COMPANY [650] - 10 Leman Russ
SUPER-HEAVY TANK COMPANY [500] - Baneblade, 2 Shadowsword
STORM TROOPER PLATOON [350] - 8 Storm Troopers, Valkyrie Transport
ARTILLERY BATTERY [250] - 3 Basilisks
FLAK BATTERY [150] - 3 Hydra
ORBITAL SUPPORT [150] - Lunar Class
THUNDERBOLT FIGHTERS [150] - 2 Thunderbolts
THUNDERBOLT FIGHTERS [150] - 2 Thunderbolts

Steel Legion Infantry mustering for battle

Armour checking their comms and last minute maintenance checks.
Stormtroopers are ready for boarding onto the Valkyries

Tyranids, EpicUK, 3000 POINTS
NORMAL ASSAULT SWARM [225] - 2 Tyranid Warrior, 8 Termagant
NORMAL ASSAULT SWARM [225] - 2 Tyranid Warrior, 8 Termagant
NORMAL ASSAULT SWARM [225] - 2 Tyranid Warrior, 8 Termagant
BIG BRUTE SWARM [350] - 2 Hive Tyrants, 6 Exocrines
DOMINATRIX SWARM [500] - 1 Dominatrix
GENESTEALER SWARM [150] - 6 Genestealer
GENESTEALER SWARM [150] - 6 Genestealer
SPORE MINE SWARM [150] - 6 Spore Mine Clusters
SUBTERRANEAN SWARM [250] - 1 Trygon and 2 Raveners
SUBTERRANEAN SWARM [250] - 1 Trygon and 2 Raveners
SUBTERRANEAN SWARM [250] - 1 Trygon and 2 Raveners
NEST SWARM [275] - 4 Termagant, 4 Biovore

The hive is ready for upcoming onslaught
The report and results of the battle are given here: