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The Fall of Marsala: Planetstrike - November 25, 2009 - 1700 points
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Old 26 Nov 2009, 18:43   #1 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 306
Default The Fall of Marsala: Planetstrike - November 25, 2009 - 1700 points

Date and points in title please
Boneguard


(This battle’s background is a continuation of the story from the previous battle:
http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=208746)


It had been a long week, Isobel thought bitterly to herself, since Inquisitor Caledon had left them at Grenwich and gone galloping off to do Emperor-knew-what. Far be it from the Inquisitor, Isobel thought, to get her hands dirty or to share in the trials and tribulations her Sisters continued to endure. She immediately chastised herself for the thought: though they did indeed suffer trials and tribulations, they did so gladly in the Emperor’s service.

After their battle against the Tyranids, and after that green pillar of light had shot into the sky, the Inquisitor had hurriedly requisitioned a coach and abandoned them without any explanation or further recourse. In the week since then, the last of their fuel reserves had run out, forcing them to use mules and horses to pull their immobile tanks. The column of refugees they had picked up had swelled further, but, hungry, starved and weak as they were, they had assisted the Sisters as best they could, Emperor bless their humble souls.
The last few days had been a harrowing test of faith for all of them—for the Sisters, and the citizens whom they were protecting. Between the unnatural darkness, sporadic attacks by the Tyranids, increasingly dwindling supplies of food, fuel and ammunition, and the fact that many of the refugees had fallen sick, it was by faith alone that they had managed to endure this far. And endure they had: even the planet’s unnatural slide into perpetual darkness had done nothing to diminish their spirit.

It was only yesterday that they had reached Wynn’s’s Keep, one of the PDF’s primary outposts and supply depots on Marsala. It had been built upon the ruins of an old pre-Imperial castle, with a landing pad and adamantine bastion built alongside an old stone keep, and for this reason had often been seen by Marsala’s people as symbolic of the mixing of old ways with modern Imperial ones. The Sisters had gone there in the hopes of not only finding fuel and ammunition, but also PDF soldiers willing to help them take care of the refugees. The Emperor, blessed be His name, had granted them the former, as the sub-levels of Wynn’s Keep were packed enough ammunition and fuel stores for an entire Imperial Guard regiment. The latter, however, was less than forthcoming: the ancient halls and posts of Wynn’s Keep were empty, the resident soldiers having long since left the outpost as they were recalled to deal with the planet-wide chaos. Only a handful of servitors and a Techpriest named Ward remained, faithfully maintaining the outpost’s machines and vital systems alone and unbothered. It was Ward who had greeted the Sisters to Wynn’s Keep, and while he had been reluctant to allow the refugees in, fearing that they might “aggravate the machine spirits,” the Tecphriest, upon seeing the state of the Sororitas’ vehicles, had immediately offered to conduct repair and refueling measures upon them.

Even now, Isobel stood in thecavernous sub-level of Wynn’s Keep as Ward and his servitors conducted repairs upon her Commandery’s Rhinos and Exorcists. Plasma torches crackled and electro-hammers chimed as the repair crew welded armour plates back together, re-cast ruined treads, and re-worked vital systems. Around them, refugees huddled around the empty spaces of the sub-level, sleeping and conversing. Her Sisters did their best to tend to the sick and dying, and Isobel was thankful that the PDF had at least left food and medicae kits behind. But they could not stay here for long: with only a handful of Sisters left from her original command, they could not hold the walls of this outpost against the myriad horrors that now infested the landscape. They had to get to Averhaven as quickly as possible.

“How long until they’re ready?” she asked Ward, her arms folded. Her armour had seen better days, and the Techpriest had indicated as much, but she had told the Techpriest to worry about the tanks first.

The red-robed Techpriest turned to the canoness, his metallic face a mess of glowing green ocular implants and twitching wires, making him look more like some mechanical insect than a man. Spindly mechandentrites snaked out from his back, completing the insectoid look. “The machine spirits of your noble vehicles should be re-awakened within the hour, Canoness,” came his reply, his voice a droning monotone conveyed by an artificial vox-unit attached to his mouth and throat. “I have already restocked their supplies of fuel and ammunition.”

Isobel nodded. The sooner their Rhinos were ready, the sooner they could continue their journey. “What of the comms-arrays?” she asked. “Have you ever been able to figure out the nature of this planetwide blackout?”

“Unfortunately, no,” Ward replied. “Whatever is causing this anomaly is somehow overriding all major communication systems on the planet. At the very most, I can postulate that it is a corrupted machine code of some sort, one specifically designed to target communications and information systems.”

“A corrupted machine code?” Isobel knew little of the workings of machines and technology, preferring to entrust such things to the Techpriests. “Could the blasphemy of the Necrons be behind this somehow?”

“It is possible,” Ward replied, turning back to his repair work. “I calculate a 66.527% likelihood that the xenos are involved, though the such are the vaguaries of Necron technology that I could not postulate on how.”

Isobel swore under her breath. The thought of the Necrons shutting down all communications and bringing endless dark to this planet made her stomach churn. Once she delivered the refugees safely to Averhaven, she thought to herself, then she would personally see these deathless abominations purged from this planet.

Her train of thought was interrupted, however, by the sudden wailing of klaxons. She jumped in alarm, while all over the sub-level, the refugees were looking around anxiously on the verge of panic.

“What in the Emperor’s name is that?” she exclaimed.

Ward cocked his head upwards. “The main scanner has detected multiple unknown aerial signiatures,” he said, his toneless voice betraying no panic. He paused. “There also appear to be multiple signiatures descending on this position from low orbit.”

The Canoness swore again before activating her comm. link. “Sisters, to the walls!” she barked. “Prepare to receive orbital bombardment!”

This was hardly an ideal time or place for a battle, she knew. She and her Sisters excelled at open, mobile warfare, not defensive battles, and right now they had minimal vehicle support and were about to receive an orbital bombardment behind the walls of a crumpling fort. If they got through this day, she knew, it would only be through the Emperor’s providence.

But then again, that was what had kept them alive so far…




The following batrep is one for a battle I played ages back, when Planetstrike first came out. I was going to post it sooner, but various real-world factors vying for my attention diverted it away from this batrep, and so its been sitting idly in my hard drive ever since. Hence, Ive finally decided to just post it already.

This battle was fought between me and my friend (Bluefox of 40konline) at our local game store. Bluefox had proposed that we play a 1700 point Planetfall mission, with my Sisters defending and his Guard attacking. I agreed, as I was eager to try the planetstrike rules myself. So, after a quick look through the Planetstrike book, I modified the following list:





ORDER OF THE BLESSED DAMSEL


Canoness Isobel- jump pack, inferno pistol, blessed weapon, Cloak of St. Aspira, Book of St. Lucius, frag grenades- 136
10 Battle Sisters- flamer, heavy flamer, VSS Arias w. Book of St. Lucius- 151
10 Battle Sisters- flamer, heavy flamer, VSS Celeste w. Book of St. Lucius- 151
10 Battle Sisters- 2 storm bolters, VSS Solemnas w. Book of St. Lucius- 134
10 Battle Sisters- 2 storm bolters, VSS Esperanza w. Book of St. Lucius- 134
7 Seraphim- 2 hand flamers, VSS Fatima w. eviscerator & Book of St. Lucius- 208
7 Seraphim- 2 inferno pistols, VSS Serenita w. eviscerator & Book of St. Lucius- 224
6 Retributors- 4 heavy bolters, VSS Charmian- 145
Exorcist “Holy Rites”- 135
Exorcist “Emperor’s Lance”- 135
Exorcist “Vengeful Choir”- 135

Total: 1688


Defender Stratagems: Ammunition Stores, Escape Hatch, Minefield


Because my Sisters were defending, I left the Rhinos at home and took advantage of Planetstrike’s unique force organization chart to use all of my available Heavy Support choices- in this case, three Exorcists and my oft-neglected Retributors. These, along with two squads of Seraphim, would come in from reserve to hit the attackers from behind/the sides, while my Battle Sister squads held the line. I also changed the layout of my Battle Squads, with half of them being equipped with storm bolters for increased long-range firepower, and the other half being equipped with heavy and regular flamers for dealing with the enemy infantry who would inevitably be getting up close and personal. Finally, I kept my usual Canoness, figuring that she could use the Escape Hatch stratagem to pop up in the middle of the enemy lines to wreak havoc when the need arose.



Bluefox, meanwhile, was fielding a different army than I expected for a Planetstrike game:


CELESTIAN “OBSIDIAN REGIMENT”

Company Command Squad- Commander Soban w. power weapon, Master of Ordnance, carapace armour
Squad “Thunder Run”- 10 Veterans w. 2 plasma guns, lascannon, Grenadiers
-Chimera- hull heavy bolter, pintle heavy stubber
Squad “Road Warriors” -10 Veterans w. 2 plasma guns, lascannon, Grenadiers
-Chimera- hull heavy bolter, pintle heavy stubber
Squad “Wolf Dragoons”- 10 Veterans- 3 meltaguns, Grenadiers
-Chimera- hull heavy bolter, pintle heavy stubber
Squad “Dark Stalkers”- 10 Veterans w. 3 meltaguns, melta bombs, demolition charge, Major Adafold (Harker)
Squad “Shadow Pack”- 10 Veterans w. 3 sniper rifles, lascannon, Forward Sentries
Devildog “Inferno of Hades”- hull heavy bolter
Leman Russ Demolisher “Nightwolf”- hull lascannon, sponson plasma cannons
Leman Russ Exterminator “Vigilant”- hull heavy bolter, sponson heavy bolters, hunter-killer missile, Captain Cobalt (Pask)

Attacker Stratagems: Drop Supplies, Sustained Assault, Dawn Assault

Lots of Chimera-mounted elite infantry, rather than the hordes of deep striking Guardsmen that I was expecting. This would certainly be an interesting game, seeing as both our forces seemed more or less even in terms of numbers.


(P.S. I apologize in advance for the very poor quality of many of the photos. For some reason, a lot of the pictures just turned out badly.)


DEPLOYMENT/TERRAIN:






FIRESTORM

As ancient sirens wailed, the Sisters rushed into defensive positions. Squads Celeste and Arias took up position behind the fortress’s main barricades, preparing bolters and flamers to repel any enemy assaults. Behind them, Squad Solemnas took to the rooftop of the rightmost bastion to man its quad gun, while Isobel stayed within its walls, standing ready by the building’s escape hatch to launch a surprise assault on the enemy if need be. Meanwhile, Squad Esperanza stayed inside the leftmost bastion, trusting in the structure’s walls and their faith in the Emperor to see them through. At the centre of the fortress, Sister Superior Charmian and her Retributors took up a commanding position atop the landing pad and its ammunition stores, ready to deal long-ranged death to any enemy
foolish enough to get in range of their guns.

No sooner had the Sisters gotten into position, however, when the sky above them suddenly lit up. Gazing upwards, the Sisters cried in alarm as a salvo of orbit-to-surface missiles came shrieking down upon them. One missile slammed home against the leftmost bastion, shaking the building violently, while another impacted just behind the bastion, throwing up a massive fireball and leaving a charred crater in its wake. Two more warheads came shrieking down, one narrowly missing the landing pad and another impacting just to the right of the stone bastion, their explosions rocking the ground. A final missile came plummeting down directly ahead of Squad Arias. Though the Sisters ducked just in time, the explosion still obliterated a section of the barricade they were sheltering behind, and one Sister died as she was caught in the explosion.

As suddenly as it had begun, the bombardment subsided. The Sisters picked themselves back up, shaken but not broken, as they readied their weapons and prepared to meet the inevitable assault to come.



IMPERIAL GUARD TURN 1



The assault was heralded by the distant rumble of approaching tanks. The Sisters looked over the battlements just in time to see a host of armour trundling in on the left flank: two Leman Russ tanks-- a Demolisher and an Exterminator-- appeared over the horizon, with a lighter Devildog attack tank moving up between them and a Chimera following behind. The rumble of Celestian armour was accompanied by a shriek of jet exhaust as a Valkyrie flew low overhead. Before the Sisters could react, a ten-man Veteran squad was grav-chuting down, touching down close to the rightmost bastion. (Note: I forgot to use the interceptor guns at this point) The Sisters gave vent to curses when they recognized the hated colours of the traitorous Celestian Rangers. What they were doing here, light-years away from the Vulpine Sector, the Sisters did not know.

With the enemy dead in his Exterminator’s sights, Captain Cobalt, the Russ’ commander, let loose with his tank’s autocannon and frontal heavy bolter, churning two Sisters of Squad Arias into a pulpy red mist. As Cobalt dealt with the ground troops, both the Devildog and the Demolisher swivelled their main guns on the left bastion. The white –hot blast of the Devildog’s melta cannon , however, only caused superficial damage to the bastion’s thick walls. The Demolisher followed up, the massive boom of its siege gun blasting chunks of adamantium and plasteel from the bastion’s wall. The building shook under the impact, throwing the Sister inside off their feet, but the wall held firm under the blast. Frustrated, the Demolisher’s crew fired their hull lascannon at it, but the beam of light only succeeded in leaving an ugly scorch mark across the bastion’s surface.



Seeing that the armour was having difficulty on the right flank, Adafold took his chances on the left. Although he knew they were out of optimal range, he instructed his closest melta gunner to fire on the stone bastion. The gunner’s mark was true, sending a white hot beam scouring into the side of the right bastion. Against all odds, the beam somehow struck a critical support and liquefied it. With a terrible groan, the entirety of the stone tower teetered and then came crashing down in a thunderous cascade of white stone and mortar. Adafold’s men cheered at their success—a cheer that died down when they saw Squad Solemnas and Isobel herself pulling themselves free from the tower’s wreckage, battered and covered in dust, but otherwise unhurt.




Isobel coughed and retched as she pulled herself free of the stone wreckage, the whining servos of her armour casting blocks of granite and concrete aside. Blood trickled from an ugly bruise on her scalp, she was feeling incredibly dizzy, and she felt horribly bruised under her armour, but she was alive. Around her, the Sisters of Squad Solemnas were picking themselves up as well, their white armour stained even whiter by the dust. Steam was rising from where sections of the bastion had been completely liquefied.

“Report!” Isobel barked between coughs.

“No casualties, Canoness,” Sister Solemnas said back. “Only a few broken arms here and there. We’ll live.” The Sister glanced at the rubble around her. “I can’t say the same for this bastion, however.”

Isobel swore. “We can’t let these traitors within melta range of any of the other fortifications,” she said. “Fan out ant prepare to—“

At that moment, her comm. bead suddenly chimed. “Canoness, this is Fatima, come in!”

Isobel immediately tapped the bead. “Isobel here. What’s your status?”

“We’ve finished aerial patrols and are zeroing back on your position,” the Seraphim Sister superior replied. “And I have good news: we brought friends.”

It was then that Isobel heard the rumble of distant tanks. Looking in the distance, her heart suddenly leaped when she saw flocks of Seraphim descending behind the traitor forces on wings of flame, while Exorcists painted in the livery of the Blessed Damsel rumbled proudly onto the field.

“The cavalry is here, Canoness.”




SISTERS TURN 1


The reinforcements were quick to arrive. At the northmost part of the battlefield, two Exorcists, Holy Rites and Emperor’s Lance, rumbled forwards. On the right flank, meanwhile, Seraphim Squads Fatima and Serenita descended like a heavenly host, with a third Exorcist, Vengeful Choir, following in their wake. Knowing that they had to press the counter-assault, Squad Arias abandoned their positions and charged towards the oncoming enemy tanks, while Isobel, coughing up dust from the tower's collapse, took to the air, flying to the left to join Squad Celeste while Squad Solemnas held the line.



The three Exorcists tried to fire on the distant Celestian tanks, but thanks to the insufferable gloom, not one of them could draw a proper bead. The Seraphim, however, had no such troubles as they lowered their pistols at Adafold’s squad. In an instant, the entire squad perished under a sheet of roaring flame, and those who did not burn to death were swiftly gunned down by accurate bolt pistol fire. Only Adafold was left standing amidst the charred bodies of his soldiers. Cursing bitterly, the veteran sergeant fell back, disappearing off the field under cover of darkness.



Crying for the Hand of the Emperor to give them strength, Squad Arias charged towards the Exterminator and Devildog. The Emperor had obviously heard their prayer, as, to the horror of the Celestians, the Sister began to tear into the tanks’ hulls with their bare, power-armoured hands. Swarming the two vehicles, Squad Arias managed to wrench the autocannon off of Cobalt’s Executioner, while the crews of both tanks were left badly shaken as the furious assault of the Sororitas rocked their vehicles back and forth.
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Old 26 Nov 2009, 18:44   #2 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 306
Default Re: The Fall of Marsala: Planetstrike




IMPERIAL GUARD TURN 2



As searchlights lit the battlefield, the Celestians' leader, Commander Soban, decided to play his trump card. At his signal, more Celestian reinforcements arrived on the battlefield: on the left flank, another squad of Veterans ran onto the field, led once again by the embittered Adafold, who took up firing positions even as the nearby Grenadiers dismounted from their Chimera and the tanks backed away from the Sisters’ assault. More important, however, were the arrivals on the right flank: two full squads of Chimera-mounted Grenadiers, accompanied by Soban and his own hand-picked veterans, arrived and disembarked behind the Sororitas reinforcements, catching them completely by surprise. In an instant, the Sororitas counter-attack had been counter-attacked.

Acting on the surprise of their attack, the Celestians fired at will. Thunderbolts swooped overhead as Lt. Captain Gravis, the Flight Coordinator attached to Soban’s squad, called for an air strike on Emperor’s Lance. The Thunderbolts dropped a payload of bombs on the Sororitas tank, but their aim was off, and their bombs scattered off target to explode harmlessly on empty ground.

Ignoring Gravis’ curses, Soban ordered Squad “Thunder Run” to unleash ranked fire into the Seraphim of Squad Serenita, who were praying for the Spirit of the Martyr to protect them. Although Soban’s order was lost over comm.-static, the squad nonetheless managed to blast an impressive three Seraphim out of the sky with coordinated lasgun and plasma fire. The squad’s Chimera added to the tally by gunning down two more Seraphim lasgun fire. with its multilaser and heavy stubber, leaving only two Seraphim airborne. The Wolf Dragoons’ Chimera, similarly, fired to deadly effect on Squad Fatima. Once again, the sheer volume of fire made a mockery of the Sisters’ armour, and three Seraphim were shot out of the sky, sending the scattered survivors flying off in retreat. Finally, the Wolf Dragoons turned their meltaguns on Vengeful Choir from directly behind, fusing its tracks and destroying its missile launcher, leaving it both immobile and weaponless.

On the right flank, the Demolisher’s lascannon once again succeeded only in scorching the bastion’s walls, but the roaring Demolisher cannon did better, sending a shell screaming upwards to shatter the bastion’s lascannon. Despite this bombardment, however, the walls of the bastion remained standing. Squad Arias, on the other hand, found themselves caught out in the open in front of fresh Celestian reinforcements. They didn’t even have time to run for cover before they came under intense fire from Adafold’s new squad, the Road Warriors’Chimera, and the Exterminator. Heavy bolter and lasfire tearing into them, and in seconds, the concentrated volley scythed down the entire squad. (Author’s note: those were some horrible armour saves in my part.

With the way now clear, the Road Warriors broke into a run towards the left bastion. Unfortunately for them, they wound up running right into a minefield that the Sisters had prepared, and two Grenadiers were blown apart as they stepped on explosives. The rest of the squad advanced more cautiously, carefully prodding the ground for any further mines.




SISTERS TURN 2



With both flanks on the verge of collapse, Isobel urged her Sisters to fight on. Squad Fatima immediately rallied, while the last two Sisters of Squad Serenita flew towards the Celestian reinforcements in a suicide run. Isobel, similarly, flew on her own towards the Celestian left flank, knowing that the heretic tanks had to be stopped no matter what. To the rear of the battlefield, the surviving Exorcists angled to get better shots on the rear armour of the Celestian tanks. Everywhere else, the Sisters grimly held their ground and prepared to fire with everything they had.

With their visibility vastly improved by the dawnlight, the Exorcist crews eagerly trained their launchers on the rear armour of the Celestian tanks. Emperor’s Lance sent two missiles slamming into the tail end of the Road Warriors’ Chimera, tearing off its tracks and obliterating its multilaser. The Devildog was not spared either, as missiles from Holy Rites screamed in from behind and shattered its melta cannon, rendering its main gun utterly useless. Isobel, meanwhile, flew close to the the Exterminator, firing her inferno pistol into its front armour. Her range was poor, however, and the shot failed to even score glancing damage on the lumbering behemoth.

In the middle, the Retributors, rejoicing now that they had visible targets, unloaded their firepower on Adafold’s squad. Explosive rounds tore men into blood slabs of meat as the Retributors scythed them down, aided by the targeters of the landing pad’s ammo stores. In seconds, only Adafold remained, once again standing alone over the bodies of his squad. The aged veteran spat, promising himself that his boys wouldn’t have died in vain. On the right flank, the remnants of Squad Serenita swooped down on Thunder Run’s Chimera, the inferno pistol-armed Sister firing her pistols into the transport’s side armour. Her aim was true, and the white-hot beam quickly reduced the transport to a wrecked, burned-out husk.





With the Exterminator dead in her sights, Isobel lunged at the traitor tank,
swooped down upon the traitor tank from above, praying for the Hand of the Emperor to give her strength. Cobalt’s vehicle tried to bring its hull heavy bolter up to track her, but Isobel was quicker, swinging the Blade of Tyr with such force that the weapon was sheared cleanly from its mounting. Shocked by the inhuman strength of this Sororita, Captain Cobalt screamed for all guns to be brought to bear on the Canoness.







IMPERIAL GUARD TURN 3



As the battle intensified, another Celestian Valkyrie swooped low over the battlefield, sending another squad of Veterans parachuting behind the Sororitas Exorcists. Landing close to a treeline, the Celestian Veterans quickly ran into cover to set up their lascannon and take up sniping positions. Elsewhere, the Road Warriors moved cautiously through the minefield, this time managing to clear it without any further loss of life, and Adafold advanced relentlessly towards the Sororitas positions, readying his heavy bolter for some payback. (Note: pun on Harker’s heavy bolter not intentional.)

Once again, Gravis tried to coordinate an air strike on the two remaining Exorcists. Once again, however, the Thunderbolts’ bombing run succeeded only in obliterating a small cluster of trees, leaving Gravis to unleash another string of curses at his incompetent pilots. Squad Thunder Run, however was quick to rectify the pilots’ error, sending a lascannon shot, shot tearing through Holy Rites’ wheel axles and immobilizing the Sororitas tank. On the right flank, Soban, seeing the threat posed by the remaining Seraphim, ordered the Wolf Dragoons to unleash ranked fire upon them, but once again found his orders thwarted by comm static. Even so, the Veterans and their accompanying Chimera rained melta, laser and heavy bolter fire down on Squad Serenita. Once again, the Sisters prayed for the Spirit of the Martyr to protect them, and the Emperor delivered: though inferno pistol-armed Sister fell as she was riddled with shots, Sister Serenita stood tall, the Celestians’ firepower bouncing off of her radiant white armour.

On the other flank, the Demolisher once again hammered the bastion, sending a Demolisher shell slamming into its side and badly shaking up its residents. The Devildog, now deprived of its melta cannon, turned and fired its heavy bolter at Squad Celeste, but their armour deflected the shots. The rest of the Celestians focused their firepower on Isobel, and the Exterminator, Chimera and Adafold all fired at will on the Canoness. An endless number of heavy calibre rounds bounced off Isobel’s armour, and the Canoness grunted as a heavy stubber round punched through her shoulder, while a heavy bolter shell tore across her thigh. Although the Canoness was now bleeding heavily from several wounds, she remained standing, determined not to be brought down by these heretics as she cleaved her blade again into the Exterminator. Her wounds must have been sapping her strength, however, as this time she failed to even dent the tank’s thick armour.




SISTERS TURN 3

Knowing that she was in a bad position, Isobel engaged her jump pack and flew back, landing between the Demolisher and Exterminator, while the remaining Seraphim of Squads Fatima and Serenita similarly flew up to engage the Celestian reinforcements. At the rear of the battlefield, the two Exorcist tanks maneuvered to gain better line of sight to the rear of the Celestian armour, while at the same time trying to avoid exposing their own rear armour to the enemy snipers.

On the right flank, the vengeance of the Sororitas was swift and deadly. Swooping down, Fatima unleashed flamer and bolter fire on the Wolf Dragoons, slaying seven of the heretics with righteous vengeance, before the remaining three were gunned down by long-range fire from Squad Solemnas. Though the Wolf Dragoons had been dealt with, however, their Chimera was still a mobile threat. The Retributors took it upon themselves to deal with this heretic tank, sending a volley of heavy bolter fire tearing in to its vulnerable side armour. One shot hit the tank’s fuel stores, causing the transport to explode in a brilliant fireball that sent debris flying out in all directions. One Sister of Squad Fatima, unfortunately, died as a piece of metal debris struck her in the skull.

On the other flank, Holy Rites found it difficult to draw a target now that it couldn’t manouver. Emperor’s Lance, , seeing the priority threat of the Demolisher, fired at it, but the crew must have displeased the machine spirit somehow, as the tank fired only a single missile that went wide. Isobel, on the other hand, had no difficult firing her inferno pistol at point blank range into the tank’s turret, melting its Demolisher cannon into a lumpen, useless slag.



Gripping her sword tightly, Isobel charged the Demolisher, but once again, her furious sword-swings failed to dent the tank’s thick armour.



Sister Serenita, on the other hand, commended her soul to the Emperor as she hefted her eviscerator and charged Soban’s command squad. The traitor commander reacted quickly, drawing his power sword and slashing at the Sister, but Serenita was ready, parrying the heretic’s sword with such force that it shattered against the spinning teeth of her eviscerator, and redirecting her swing at the Commander himself. One of his subordinates leapt into the path of the weapon, and was brutally ripped in half as a result. Shocked, the remaining bodyguards acted quickly to save their commander, throwing down flash-bang grenades that left Serenita reeling and blinded. With the Seraphim incapacitated, the bodyguards grabbed Soban and dragged him off the battlefield, ignoring his struggles and curses as they did so.




IMPERIAL GUARD TURN 4

With their right flank assault slowed to a crawl, and their commander having left the battlefield, the Celestian attack floundered. Deciding to concentrate on the objective instead of worrying over the Canoness, the Demolisher gunned its engines forward, parking itself directly at the base of the bastion, while the Devildog trundled up alongside it towards the landing pad. The Exterminator, meanwhile, drove forwards, the Chimera Exterminator maneuvered to deal with Isobel.

With its main cannon ruined, the Demolisher switched targets, firing its sponson plasma cannons into Squad Celeste, though thanks to the cover provided by the barricades, only one Sister was killed by the plasma blast. Knowing that the Canoness was too dangerous a threat to be ignored, the Celestians on the left flank concentrated their fire on Isobel. The Chimera fired its heavy bolter and stubber at Isobel, while Cobalt added his tank’s own heavy bolters to the fusillade. For all the intensity of their fire, however, the Canoness seemed blessed by the Emperor, as all of their shots rebounded off her armour.



That is, until Major Adafold, spitting oaths of vengeance, leveled his own heavy bolter at Isobel from behind. Accurate explosive shells tore into her armour’s weak points, shattering her tech-wings and ripping into her back in a welter of blood. With a look of wide-eyed shock, Isobel toppled to the ground in a bloody heap, while Adafold simply slammed a fresh clip into his heavy bolter and set off to find more enemies.

Further behind, the newly-arrived Sniper Veterans fired into the rear of Emperor’s Lance. Although their rifles could pick out none of the tank’s weak points, their lascannon sent a powerful blast slamming into the Exorcist, spinning it to the side and leaving its crew stunned. On the far right flank, meanwhile, Sister Serenita, staring down the gun barrels of Thunder Run, gave one final benediction to the Emperor before she was cut down in a volley of lasfire.




SISTERS TURN 4



With the Demolisher now dangerously close to the bastion’s entrance, Squad Celeste ran towards the enemy tanks to launch a counter-assault. Squad Fatima, meanwhile, flew over to engage Thunder Run, and Holy Rites once again angled for the best possible shots against the Celestian tanks. The remaining Sisters continued to resolutely hold their ground,

Once again, the Sisters delivered brutal vengeance upon the Celestians. Picking out the Road Warriors as they clambered out of the minefield, the Retributors opened fire, churning the squad into a bloody mist with a single volley. The bastion’s automated heavy bolters fixed onto the bastion, meanwhile, tracked Adafold and fired, sending the veteran Guardsman crumpling to the ground as heavy-calibre rounds tore into him. Further down the battlefield, Holy Rites sent another volley of missiles screaming into the flank of the Exterminator. Once again, however, luck was on Cobalt’s side, and all the missile impacts did was badly shake the Exterminator. On the far right, Squad Fatima, singing prayers of Vengeance, swooped down on Thunder Run and burned down three of the Grenadiers with their flamer, though the Guardsmen’s nerve held.


Note: I have no idea why there are four Seraphim in this pic instead of 3.


Knowing that they had to stop the enemy from claiming the bastion, Squad Celeste prayed for the Hand of the Emperor as they charged both the Devildog and the Demolisher. The crews of both tanks were startled as the Sisters began charging them and attacking them with fists and rifle butts, but, for all of their divinely-blessed strength, the Sisters could not pierce the Demolisher’s armour. The Devildog, on the other hand, proved to be much less resilient, as the Sisters began to tear its hull open with their bare hands. Watching as horror as the Sisters tore their way through the hull, the Devildog’s crew, in a last act of defiance, overloaded their thermal reactor. The Devildog was annihilated in a massive fireball, sending debris and Sisters were flying in all directions, and killing one Sister in the explosion..



Sergeant Alenko of Thunder Run cursed between clenched teeth as he saw the Devildog explode in the distance. Throne damn it, it had taken them months to get that tank off of a stray Munitorum shipment! The rest of the attack force wasn’t faring so well either: all of the other squads had either been wiped out or were under-strength, and he had even seen Old Man Adafold go down—a fact that was shocking in itself, given that the hoary veteran had gained something of a reputation for his resilience. None of them had expected to find the Sororitas guarding this ammo dump, let alone the same Sororitas who had kept attacking their home system. As it was, they had advanced right into a killing field. But they couldn’t give up now, he knew. They had to get this fuel back to the fleet, otherwise that damned Hive Fleet would catch up with them.

Suddenly, over the shouts, the explosions, the whizzing crisscross of bullets, his comms crackled to life with. “Obsidian Regiment, withdraw and pull back into orbit,” Commander McKnight’s stern voice cut in. “We’re reading Sororitas Rhino transports en route to your position, ETA eight minutes. Get the frag out of there.”

Swearing under his breath, Alenko tapped his comm. unit. “Sir, what about the fuel?” he asked. “Without it, we’re lunchmeat for the Bugs!”

“Leave it, Alenko,” the commander replied. “We’ve taken enough losses already in this assault. We’ll have to see if there are any other fuel sources in this system before we pull out. Head for the surrounding woodlands: we’ve earmarked a clearing five clicks to the west of your position for pickup, and the Valks should be there in five minutes.”

Alenko knew damn well that the chances of them finding another fuel depot in this system wasn’t very likely. “But sir—“

“Do I sound like I’m in the mood to argue right now, Alenko?” the commander suddenly snapped, almost causing Alenko to jump. “I’m not about to lose half of my veterans in a single botched drop assault. Pull back now, that’s an order.” The commander’s tone softened a little. “Don’t worry, Sergeant, we WILL get back to Celestine, even if we have to break out oars and paddle our way there.”

The Sergeant gave a solemn nod. “Aye aye, sir,” he said, cutting the comms. He turned to his squad. “You heard the man, pack up and head for the woods!”

Voxing the affirmative, Squad Thunder run ghosted off into the distance, leaving the field of charred bodies and wrecked vehicles smouldering behind them.





(At this point, Bluefox had to leave, so we simply tallied the points and called it a game)




OBJECTIVES CLAIMED:

Sisters of Battle- 2 (stone bastion & landing pad)
Imperial Guard- 1 (steel bastion)

RESULT: SISTERS OF BATTLE VICTORY!
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Old 26 Nov 2009, 18:46   #3 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 306
Default Re: The Fall of Marsala: Planetstrike

THOUGHTS:

Going into this game, I expected to be under pressure from the get go, and that is precisely what happened. From turn 1 onwards, my army had tanks and meltaguns right in their faces, and a lucky meltagun shot was all it took to bring one of my bastions crashing down. In future, I’ll be sure to give all of my Sister Superiors meltabombs when I’m playing Planetstrike (whether as attacker or defender), since the game’s unique reserves systems means the Defender can expect enemy armour to get up close and personal really quickly.

My plan, from the get go, was to use my reserves (particularly my Seraphim) and Canoness to keep Bluefox’s main forces occupied, if not destroy them altogether. Although they didn’t quite succeed in this last part (though they came pretty close), then did perform the first job admirably, keeping the Guard away from my objectives for several turns. I wound up losing a full Battle squad, my Canoness, one squad of Seraphim and most of another in this endeavour, but it wound up working like a charm.If not for them, more of Bluefox’s Guardsmen might have been able to contest my bastions in the end.

That’s not to say, however, that Bluefox had it easy either. His Guard really had to bleed to get close to my objectives, and this game was a good indicator of how tough a Planetstrike game can be for the Attacker. That said, he probably did the sensible thing in bringing his armour in close from board edges instead of giving in to mass-deep strike madness. His coordinated armoured attack very nearly claimed both my landing pad and my remaining bastion, and if my strength 5 Battle Sisters hadn’t exploded that Devildog, it probably would have cost me the game. Personally, I’m just glad that he didn’t take any of the nastier stratagems like Crash and Burn or Laserburn. But then again, I could have responded by taking a turreted bastion...

All in all, this was an extremely fun game, and an interesting and new way to play at that. Planetstrike definitely merits more exploration from me in the future, perhaps next time as the attacker.


MVP My Retributors really shone in this game, wiping out Adafold/Harker and his squad, a Chimera, and another squad of Grenadiers quite handily. Their Ammo Dump strategic asset made them an absolute terror for Bluefox’s Guardsmen, especially when they couldn’t get into cover quickly enough.

LVP: I really don’t have an LVP for this battle, as all of my units did their jobs quite satisfactorily. Then again, I would have appreciated it if my Exorcists had actually killed something in this battle…[


Opponent’s MVP: The award easily goes to Adafold, who kept displaying incredibly dodgy luck in this game. First, he and his squad brought down a bastion with a lucky meltagun glance from 12” away, something neither Bluefox nor I was expecting. Even after I roasted his Squad, he came back with another one thanks to Sustained Assault, and after losing this second squad, finished off my Canoness with a lucky heavy bolter shot.





Isobel woke to agony, feeling a throbbing, burning pain in her midsection. Her head felt like it was swimming, and all around she heard the dull, reverberating echoes of the battlefield. Slowly, Isobel’s eyes opened. She could make out the blurred outlines of several figures standing over her, blurry against Marsala’s night sky, and she could hear the dull murmur of their voices, which were steadily becoming clearer and clearer.

“Well met, Sister Isobel,” a familiar voice said as Isobel’s sense of sound became clear again. “I see you haven’t lost your love of dramatic heroics since your solo charge at Tyr.”

As Isobel’s vision cleared, the shapes surrounding her resolved themselves into the familiar forms of her Sisters. Sisters Solemnas, Esperanza and Charmian stood over her, relief written on her faces, and she could see the shawled figure of a Sister Hospitaller who, she realized, was kneeling over her and patching up a sizeable bolter wound in her abdomen. The most surprising figure of all, however, was the tall, dark-skinned woman kneeling over her, an ornate chainblade hanging from her waist and the livery of a Canoness adorning her pristine white armour.

Isobel allowed herself a dry laugh. “I do what I must in His service, Sister Ophelia,” she muttered weakly, “What of you? Do you still have that infamous temper of yours?”

“Only in battle, Sister,” Ophelia chuckled. Isobel had been friends with Ophelia Arcadion since her first year in the rank of Canoness. At first the two of them hadn’t gotten along well, with Isobel’s open-minded, gregarious personality conflicting with Ophelia’s gruff attitude and caustic temper. After doing a few missions together, however, the two Canonesses had quickly developed a healthy respect for one another that had quickly turned into friendship.

“That’s a reassuring thought,” Isobel rasped, wincing as the Hospitaller began to apply
stitches. “But what are you doing here on Marsala? And more importantly, what of the
battle?”

Solemnas saluted sharply. “We held the line, Sister,” she said. “The heretics turned tail
and ran the moment Canoness Arcadion’s main forces arrived, though they managed to
escape in Valkyries before we could overtake them.”

“And as to your second question,” Ophelia added, “we’re coming to your rescue, of course. Your friend Inquisitor Caledon requested aid from the Order just before the comms-blackout fell. I have no idea what she thought was going to happen, but she obviously wanted some troops on hand. Prioress Invigilata saw fit to send me and a portion of my Preceptory here to help you.”

Isobel’s face soured, half out of pain, half at the mention of Inquisitor Caledon. “Ah. Well, ‘friend’ is a bit of a strong term when applied to the Inquisitor, Sister Ophelia,” she muttered. “But I am glad to see you and your Preceptory are here, Sister Ophelia. I take no shame in saying that we could use the help.”

“That’s putting it lightly,” Ophelia said with a nod. “Your Sister Superiors filled me in on the situation while Sister Ingrid was healing you. Between having most of your vehicles in repairs and having a long train of refugees to watch over, you’ll need all the help you can get. Nevermind that this entire planet seems to be descending into anarchy, heresy and worse.”

Ophelia knelt closer to Isobel and patted her heartily on the shoulder pad. “But enough of that. Once Sister Ingrid here gets you back on your feet,” she said, motioning to the silent Hospitaller, “—and once that Technomagos who runs this place fixes your tanks, we’re going to bring the Emperor’s light back to this planet.”

Isobel weakly held up a hand. “Not so fast, Sister,” she said. “First, we need to take care of the refugees. We can’t keep watch over them and cleanse the evil from this planet at the same time.”

The other Canoness nodded. “Agreed. We’ll have to think on that, then. But we’ll wait until you’re fully healed first. Then we’ll discuss strategy.”

Isobel gave a weary nod. “Amen to that, Sister,” she said. “By the way, out of curiosity…where is Inquisitor Caledon?”

Ophelia’s face suddenly twisted into a solemn frown. “Yes…about that…”


To be continued...
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Old 30 Nov 2009, 10:05   #4 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 2,920
Default Re: The Fall of Marsala: Planetstrike - November 25, 2009 - 1700 points

Good to see that your still writing battreps; its been a while. Planetstrike is a very different monster than regular 40k, and you really have to change tactics and unit loadouts. Melta weapons, MCs, and dreads are so good at taking out bastions its ridiculous. Defending is quite hard, and each game I've played the attacker has won. I came close as a defender once, but I learned. Can't wait for the saga to continue.
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