Sunday, 12 November 2017

The Invasion of Scipio - Chapter 6 - The Battle of Flavius

The Delta valley was a ruin and most of the cities were wiped out by nuclear weapons deployed by both sides in an attempt to deny the other territory. You can read about the state of the invasion here:
The only two cities left in tact are Theseus and Flavius, both of them would have to be evacuated in the short term to avoid the effects of the nuclear fallout but could be saved and eventually rebuilt. Flavius was of particular importance for it's industrial and energy infrastructure. Xeno droptroops are assaulting the city while the Imperial defenders have dug in and are lined up to oppose them. 

The battle lines are drawn around Flavius with the Xenos having landed and consolidated their position in the north-west commercial sector and the Imperial defenders still holding onto the damaged industrial sectors in the south-east.
Map of the Flavius showing battle lines.
View of Flavius battlefield showing the deployment of the troops, damage caused by the orbital bombardment is evident in the industrial ruins in the top right of the photo.
This battle would be played out using Epic Armageddon, each side has three objectives on their half including the blitz, 1 point would be scored per objective held at the end of three turns. Lists used were the following:
The war drums of the Imperial machine are beating as the final battle in the campaign begins. Imperial troops ready their lasguns as the xeno horde positions itself for a final assault.

Xeno Dominatrix war engine taking position ready to assault the Imperial lines.

The Imperial armour lined up to oppose the attackers and counter-attack at the first opportunity.

 Xeno troops lined up using the cover of the buildings, ready to assault the Imperial defenders.

Imperial infantry company with heavy fire support have bunkered down in the middle of the table to provide a strong point for resistance.

Firing opens on the xeno right flank, the dominatrix and the shadow sword exchange shots from their large guns, each of them taking damage as a result but neither destroying the other.

On the opposite flank Imperial Chimeras and infantry attack a swarm of genestealers as they advance, they manage to surprise the xenos and force them to retreat out of the warehouse.

Both sides pour more troops into the middle of the field, Imperial tank regiment advances down the middle as Xenos spread out amongst the warehouse and silos.

On the other side of the battlefield, the xeno orbital bombardment fails to arrive at the designated time. The scouts of both sides skirmish off against one another, the genestealers charge the sentinels and wipe them out in one round of combat.

Imperial troops fire on the xenos and advance once again into the warehouses at close range, they overwhelming power causes losses on the bugs as they are forced to retreat.

Meanwhile the tank regiment and bombards fire upon the bio-titan and surrounding troops causing damage and shock.

The carnifex and hive tyrant finally make an assault on the tank regiment, however, they take fire from the infantry regiment bunkered up in the middle of the table. As a result their strength is reduced and their assault against the tanks flounders.

On the other flank, Once again the xeno orbital bombardment fails to land, robbing the xenos of their offensive power. The Shadowsword is forced to retreat due to fire from the Dominatrix, the xeno swarms advance through the power plant and onto the objective. The resulting assault ends in both sides taking heavy losses as one swarm is wiped out and the chimeras are broken the objective remains contested.

In the middle of the table the swarms have taken heavy losses from their failed assaults and from Imperial artillery. The Imperial armour advances taking the objectives on their opponent's board.
In the final move of the game, the Shadowsword lines up the bio-titan and finishes it off with it's macro-weapon, the resistance on this flank has collapsed.

The game ended on turn three, the xenos were contesting one objective in enemy territory but had lost the objectives on their own side of the table. The Imperial player was very clever with assaulting out of the Chimeras early to prevent the xenos getting their assaults off. Furthermore, the orbital bombardment failed to activate twice while the Imperial bombards were devastating in their effect.

Flavius was saved and the xeno threat has been wiped from the Delta Valley. The cost for the planet was high as three cities and untold millions have been wiped out completely but now the rebuilding process could begin. There was still work to do to hunt down the remnants of the invasion fleet and whatever bugs had managed to survive the nuclear fallout...........
The ruins of Flavius, now purged of xenos.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

The Invasion of Scipio - Chapter 5 - The Second Wave

The Imperium was suspecting a second invasion, Imperial intelligence had rightly estimated that the first invasion was a reconnaissance in force to test the planetary defences.
As the Xenos ships approached to retake the Delta valley the Imperial ships lined up in formation to meet them. This would be the final to determine the fate of planet Scipio. 
Xeno ships approaching in formation.
The Eastern part of the Delta Valley is still held by Xeno forces after the Imperial troops failed to liberate the area following with a hasty counter attack. You can read about the battle here:

This game was played using Dropfleet Commander with 1250 points per side, the fleet compositions are as follows:
The invasion fleet and the Imperial fleet are arrayed in their battle formations facing each other.

Close up of the Xeno fleet deployed in line ready for action.

The Imperial defenders have deployed to meet them while making sure the cities they control and their troops have cover from space.

The Xeno ships use their speed to approach quickly to keep the defenders off balance. They drop off reinforcements at Barca to shore up their defences.

Two Xeno Strix light cruisers and the Basilisk battle cruiser advance to use their close action weapons (CAW) against the Imperial troopship squadron.

The squadron disappears from one round of shooting, the Xeno CAW weapons are devastating. The Atlantis battle cruiser returns fire and shoots down a Strix damaging the squadron.

Meanwhile on the other side of the board the two Imperil light cruisers use their burnthrough lasers to seriously damage the carrier Hydra, but not before it launches it's bombers.

The Atlantis and Basilisk get into close quarters and exchange fire, the Atlantis manages to fire first and causes more damage, eventually taking the Basilisk down.

Meanwhile on the far flank, a Xeno battlegroup has managed to get around the Imperial ships and is heading for the undefended city of Flavius.

With the Xenos having lost their carriers and heavy cruisers the Imperials have a firepower edge in the middle of the board and they proceed to cut down enemy ships.

Meanwhile the Xenos make a last ditch effort at capturing Flavius and drop troops on the city. It is obvious that they are losing the battle and are becoming desperate.

However, the Imperial oversight and their exuberance to cut down enemy ships has cost them. A lone Hydra carrier that is badly damaged manages to get within range of Gnaeus and drops the ultimate weapon......
In an instant Gnaeus goes up in the flame of a mushroom cloud as the Xenos deploy their version of a nuclear weapon. Imperium command's oversight in has cost them thousands of lives and the entire city.

The shocked Imperium troops gather their courage and rush back to finish off the rogue cruiser while overwhelming the remaining Xeno ships. 
The Imperial ships now surrounded Gisco which was Xeno held. Their last attempt at liberation of the city had failed and it was unlikely any civilians remained, to allow the Xeno land troops to remin entrenched would enable them to spread throughout the valley and eventually the planet....
This left only one logical conclusion for both Gisco and Barca..............

Gisco and Barca were immediately made inhabitable, the Imperial leadership is hoping that the nukes were enough to wipe out the bugs once and for all.

This left only the fate of the city of Flavius in doubt. Xeno ships were bombarding the defenders and began to drop their own troops.

The Xeno invasion was repelled once again but the Delta valley is in ruin, only Flavius and Theseus were left untouched. Both of these cities would eventually have to be evacuated due to the nuclear fallout but the valuable infrastructure could be salvaged in time. The only battle left to fight would be to save Flavius, if the defenders couldn't hold on here it would also be subject to nuclear extermination.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

The 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.