Tag Archives: Fluff

Battle Report: Imperial Guard vs. Blood Angels Death Company

I went to my local Games Workshop on the afternoon of July 13 planning to play a beginner league game. The person I was planning to play was already engaged in a game, but someone recommended I play Andrew’s Blood Angles at 1000 points. I was there and ready to go, so I accepted. I hastily added models to my army to make 1000 points. I should have examined what he was fielding…

This was actually my first battle of 7th Edition Warhammer 40,000. A good learning experience since I expect I’ll be facing a lot of Space Marines in the future.

My troops well entrenched within a ruined building
My troops well entrenched within a ruined building

My army consisted of the following:

  • Two Company Command Squads, one with a lascannon
  • Three veteran squads
  • Chimera
  • 6 Stormtroopers in a Taurox Prime
  • 9 Ratlings
  • 5 Rough Riders
  • Techpriest Engiseer
  • 2 Psykers (ML2)

Andrew fielded a very daunting Blood Angels Death Company Force

  • Reclusiam Chaplain
  • Librarian
  • 8 Death Company Space Marines
  • Dreadnought in Drop Pod
  • Land Raider
  • Vindicator

 

Imperial Guardsmen engage Blood Angels Death Company Space Marines. the close combat goes VERY badly for the guardsmen...
Imperial Guardsmen engage Blood Angels Death Company Space Marines. the close combat goes VERY badly for the guardsmen…

 

I wrote the following little bit of fluff for the Narritive League giving a more dramatic review of the battle.

 
Orders were orders. The Munitorum had ordered the Commander’s detachment to hold the square and eliminate any forces that tried to cross it. The square was the only clear path through what was left of the sprawling settlement, so it had been a strategic choke point against the enemy.

The square was now far back of the front lines, but the Commander’s Imperial Guard troops continued to follow orders. From well-entrenched positions, they attacked anyone who tried to cross it: Enemies, allies, and Imperial Citizens. The square was now logistically vital for getting supplies to the new front lines, but the guardsmen continued to follow orders.

This could have all been avoided if the Munitorum had rescinded or clarified their orders. But, the Imperium being what it was, the Guardsmen continued firing on anyone trying to cross the square.

The inglorious task of unseating these loyal yet foolish guardsmen fell to a detachment from the Blood Angel’s Death Company. Approaching quickly with a Land Raider and Vindicator, they seized the opportunity to attack.

An entire squad of loitering guardsmen were obliterated by the opening blast from the Vindicator’s Demolisher Cannon. These tanks were more like mobile fortresses and quickly eliminated the weapons that posed the greatest threat to them.

A dreadnought deployed by drop-pod caused havoc and confusion in the guardsmen’s lines. But it was brought down with by a torrent of disciplined fire.

The guardsmen had little time to lick their wounds or repair their damaged vehicles as the Land Raider deployed its deadly cargo of Death Company Space Marines. They brutally tore through a squad of guardsmen. The marines shrugged off dozens of lasgun blasts and surged forward, scaling a ruin to cleanse it of the troops entrenched within.

Meanwhile, the Vindicator  and seemingly invincible Land Raider continued to harry entrenched Ratlings and guardsmen. The Astra Militarum troops had the advantage of cover, but without a means to penetrate the heavy armour, it was only a matter of time before attrition took them all.

Finally on the roof of the ruin, the Chaplain leading the Space Marines challenged the Commander to single combat.

“I’m only following orders!” bellowed the commander.

“So am I,” the Chaplain coolly replied. With a mighty blow from his Crozius Arcanum, the Chaplain felled not only the Commander, but also his entire Command Squad.

From atop the ruin, the Chaplain had a clear view of the square. The remaining Imperial Guard forces were either fleeing or slain. The Chaplin’s thrill and satisfaction from the kill momentarily faded to melancholy. What madness must haunt the Universe for loyal Imperial forces to slay each other over an administrative error?

Looking over the ruins, the Chaplain quietly whispered: “You are relieved, Commander.”

Death Company Space Marines about the scale the ruin
Death Company Space Marines about the scale the ruin

 

 

 

The less fluffy version of the story? Bad news:

  • The Vindicator destroyed 9 of 10 models in a squad with one shot! Woah! (I’m getting one for my Imperial Fists Army…)
  • The Space Marines tore through my guardsman in close combat like tissue paper!
  • The Land Raiders AV14 armour seems almost impenetrable. Strength 3 lasguns don’t stand for much.
  • Space Marine power armour can take an obscene amount of punishment
  • My plasma weapons caused more damage to me than my opponent
  • Psychic phase is very random. I don’t think the ML2 psykers casting Precedence was worth the points, especially since veterans hit on 3+ anyways. I also rolled for the Misfortune power which causes Rending, but even that doesn’t add much.
  • The Tempestus Scions (stormtroopers) were almost useless. AP3 is nice, but it’s only Strength 3, and the Death Company had Feel No Pain anyways, so it was like they still had an armour save.

Good Lessons Learned

  • Because of their stealth, Ratlings in ruin get 3+ cover save. Very nice! And as infiltrators they can camp and harass infantry throughout the game.
  • The Rough Riders were surprisingly effective at close combat. I regret holding them in reserve.
  • Orders worked quite well. The Vox-casters came in handy.
  • My vehicles were surprisingly sturdy. I should have let my troops hide in there much longer in hopes of avoiding death by CC!
  • Techpriest was handy: Power of the Machine Spirit was nice for restoring full BS to an extra vehicle weapon. And he did constant repairs to the Chimera.

If I were fighting such an armour heavy army again, I’d equip a squad or two with the Demolitions doctrine so that they could use Melta Bombs against tanks. The Rough Riders could have caused a mess with Melta Bombs too.

At one point I had a squad set off a torrent of 21 twin-linked lasgun shots (7 lasguns, rapid fire, rank fire order, precedence). Regrettably, that caused only 1 wound! Rather disappointing. Perhaps a less tough infantry-based army would suffer more from the onslaught…

Hope you enjoyed the report!

Fluffy Capes

I was looking at my Inquisitor and Space Marine Captain Models beside each other and this piece of fluff kind of wrote itself. 

Forces of the Imperium were hastily responding to an urgent call for help. Small units were mustering in the ruins of a manufactorum for the coming battle.

An Imperial Guard commander talked quietly with his senior advisors. Not far away, an Inquisitor stood silently while his golden robes fluttered in the breeze.

The quiet was broken as a dozen Space Marines stomped into the manufactorum. The Commander recognized the bright yellow power armour of the famous Imperial Fists Chapter. It was a blessing from the Emperor that a unit of Adeptus Astartes were able to respond to the call for help so quickly.

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Inquisitor, Imperial Fists Space Marine Captain and Imperial Guard Forces in discussion

The Commander spied who appeared to be the leader of the group: Based on his ornate armour, Iron Halo, and flowing crimson cape, the Commander assumed it was a Space Marine Captain. The Captain’s eyes quickly set upon the Inquisitor and the Captain stomped purposefully towards him.

In the haste to assemble this mission, the Commander realized it had not been decided who would lead this ragtag group of soldiers. Should it be himself, because he commanded the most forces? Should it be the Inquisitor, who called all of them here? Or should they defer to the hardened battle experience of the newly arrived Imperial Fists Captain? The Commander assumed the Space Marine Captain was going to discuss that with the Inquisitor. Based on his brisk pace, the Commander worried the discussion may become heated.

The Inquisitor noticed the Captain and turned to examine him. A moment later, the two men stood a pace apart, quietly looking each other over. The camp became very quiet and tense.

A young sergeant near the Commander reflexively drew his laspistol. The Commander shot him a derisive look. Did the sergeant intend to interfere in a fight between a superhuman warrior in power armour and a powerful psychic Inquisitor?

The Inquisitor’s Gold cloak and Captain’s crimson cape fluttered in unison. Their standoff had the undivided attention of the entire camp.

Finally, the Inquisitor broke the silence: “You have a lovely cape, Captain.”
A small but pleasant smile crept across the Captain’s face as he replied: “You have a fine cape as well, Inquisitor.”

The Inquisitor’s retinue exploded with laughter. The camp immediately relaxed, except for the young sergeant near the Commander. The sergeant was fuming inside about the tension surrounding this “fashion show.”

The commander paused and made a mental note: If he survived this battle, he would requisition for a fine cape for himself too.

Epic (yet impractical capes), Space Marine Captain (left) and Inquisitor (right)
Epic (yet impractical capes)

So, it’s much lighter than my last ‘fluff‘ post.

I can see how capes could be a liability

Cape fail
All was well, another day saved, when… [Thunderhead’s] cape snagged on a missile fin!
More cape fails...
Stratogale! April 23rd, ’57! Cape caught in a jet turbine!
Ouch...
Metaman, express elevator!
Splashdown, sucked into a vortex!
Splashdown, sucked into a vortex!
Edna Mode disapproves of Capes

My Warhammer 40k Personality

I used to play Space Marines as part of my Warhammer 40,000 army. Specifically, I used to collect an army of Ultramarines. I’ve since lost interest in them. I find them a little too lawful neutral, like Javert from Les Miserables. At other times, they are a little too lawful good (or lawful stupid) being painfully adherent to the rules of the Codex Astartes. When I was little, I used to be so goody-goody and blindly follow the rules. I guess as I grow, my interpretation of morals changes too.

Now I see why the fandom calls them the Ultra-Smurfs
Now I see why the fandom calls them the Ultra-Smurfs

Of the Astartes and Primarchs, I find myself recently more drawn to Rogal Dorn and the Imperial Fists. They’re more neutral good, like me (I consider myself a Type II neutral good). They also seem unusually somber and serious. And the resounding trait they inherited from their primarch is stubborn determination, and must learn when to back off.

Imperial Fists Space Marines painted by me
Imperial Fists Space Marines painted by me

Here’s a great quote from the Sentinels of Terra Space Marine supplement that really struck a chord with me.

Those who encounter the sons of Dorn are often left with the impression of somber and cheerless warriors. Those that know them better recognize the passion that all Imperial Fists keep under tight rein through adherence to protocol. This continual mortification is necessary, for pride has ever been the Imperial Fists’ greatest weakness.

But, in general, it’s a little hard to relate to Space Marines. They’re genetically and technologically enhanced super-soldiers that have been through rigorous psycho-training and live only for combat. In a grimdark future of technological and daemonic monstrosities, how does a normal human stand up? 

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That’s one of the things I find most appealing about the Imperial Guard Astra Militarum: It’s regular humans facing the horrors of the future. They have flak armour and lasguns, but in this setting it’s the equivalent of cardboard armour  and a flashlight.

I suppose the Inquisition could apply too because many of them are just super-trained men.

Anyways, if when I ever play a game, I’ll report on how regular men fare in the grimdark Warhammer 40,000 universe against the horrors that appear there.

Bit Of Fluff

I’ve joined a Facebook group of Warhammer 40,000 players. It’s called a narrative group, but will be based around narrative games. In a fit of inspiration last week, I wrote this as a grimdark introduction to my army and posted it:

” These are dark times indeed.

It was quiet in the cargo hold. Inquisitor Pyradius paced slowly in a dark corner. He muttered quietly to himself as he reviewed the dataslates. His mood was dour, and new news didn’t help.

The Inquisitor and his retinue preferred to stay in cargo holds, engine rooms, and other utility spaces away from the crew. It was as much for their safety as the crews. His retinue did not suffer strangers warmly.

He examined his retinue closely packed but sprawled across the floor of the cold, dark room. They were exhausted from their last encounter, but it would be foolish to assume they were resting unprepared. The Inquisitor spied a melta-gun pointing at the cargo bay door, a half-slumbering acolyte ready at a moment’s notice to defend what was left of the eclectic band.

The group had just returned from a battlefield. They fought valiantly, but we’re forced to quit the field. An exterminatus order was executed to purge the enemy and purify the planet. It didn’t feel like a victory.

The Inquisitor turned his thoughts from his recent foray and back to his dataslate. Reports of incursions in the sector were becoming so numerous that he was starting to lose count. The messages were so frequent and jumbled that it was no longer clear who the agressor was: Heretics? Daemons? Xenos?

He spied his daemonblade resting against the bulkhead. It still bore entrails from the recent battle. Pyradius could also sense the restlessness of the lessor demons entrapped within the massive weapon. He was always nervous using such arcane powers, but he relished using it against the Emperor’s enemies.

The door to the cargo hold burst creaked open. The Inquisitor reflexively pointed his weapon at the door. He quickly lowered it when he spied the regimental commander. His regiment of Imperial Guardsmen had been raised specifically to support the Inquisitor’s activities. It had been whiddled down to but a few squads of hardened veterans over the years. They were sporadically reinforced, but their numbers always remained low.

No pleasantries needed to be exchanged between the two men. After years of shared battle, typical Imperial formalities were no longer necessary. Inquisitor Pyradius gave the commander a morose look. Without a word, the commander understood. He nodded gloomily.

These are dark times indeed.”

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