Category Archives: “Fluff” (Background stories n stuff)
So, to start off the new year and the gift of a gaming table (and garage space so that games can stay set up), my interest in gaming has renewed dramatically. The kids are also remaining interested, as long as they get breaks at the end of each turn to go and play outside or on the computer.
The plan then is to work through a Planetary Empires Campaign (some minor rule adjustments may arise) representing the Campaign for the Zavijah system.
There are some vagaries of the game because of the inclusion of Mr 8 and Miss 6. For instance, they wouldn’t have the board set any way other than the big hill right in the middle and the generals swapped sides so many times I lost count. My son started with Chaos and my daughter marines – by the end they had both played each side and were together as Chaos with me in charge of the marines.
A local insurgency against the governor of Zavijah was growing out of control and help was sent for from the Imperium. Local Chaos cults mere spreading, but rumours of power armoured warriors joining the fray led to the emergency call.
The Imperium took years to answer, but the Eldar from the craftworld of Nido’fal offered their support, which the governor agreed to. After two years of fighting, the 3rd Company of the Blood Guard arrived to assist (while the strike fleet passed through to deal with a Tyranid incursion). The Blood Guard were unimpressed to find the local population allied with the Eldar, but pragmatism and the confirmed prescence of the True Order (suspect renegade chapter:origin unknown) led them to ignore the situation for the meantime with the intent on dealing with the alien infestation later. The Blood Guard set their own campaign areas away from the Eldar for the time being.
Something in the stories captured the interest of the Angels of Wrath, who dispatched a strike cruiser with a Ravenwing and Deathwing detachments under the command of their Master of the Ravenwing, Asam. The Angels of Wrath are hostile to all parties.
At the same time, the outlying elements of Splinter Fleet Scylla have been making attempts to land in the system. The have had minimal success so far, but there is a minor infestation on the planet that has been helped by a local genestealer hive.
The Angels of Wrath are attempting to establish a forward base on the planet, with the intent of interrogating the locals about the Chaos warriors. A small force under Company Master Zhaak attempts to draw out the Chaos forces to allow the beachhead to be established.
Master Zhaak walked slowly and patiently to the Inner Sanctum of Wrath’s Crusade. The corridors here were sparse compared to the finery that adorned the Bridge and the Imperial Navy command areas. The further into the Inner Sanctum the plainer things became – Zhaak idly mused once again about how much further in the Inner Circle there was to progress – after the century of service he occupied some of his meditation time with estimating how many more of the hidden ranks there were in front of him by observing the rate of removal of luxuries from the areas that he had gained access to already.
Grand Master Asam was in one of the outer rooms of the Sanctum, along with Interrogator-Chaplain Evar and Veteran Sergeants Haldith and Trundior. Asam was a prim, meticulous man, and the dark green robes of the Inner Order that he wore seemed to somehow add to that impression. “Are your men prepared?” he asked without pre-amble.
“I have been to devotions with them all.” Zhaak replied. “Chaplain Itrandor spoke on the Lies of the Traitors, so they should be in the frame of mind required.”
“Very good. Proceed with the utmost caution, and never forget the Primary Target.”
Campaign – Victor can decide the Angels of Wrath starting tile on main map.
Battle is Purge the Alien, with 1000 points per side.
Initial Deployment has the Angels of Wrath (right) with a tactical squad on each flank, the Ravenwing in the centre and the Deathwing in reserve. Company Master Zhaak is with the Squad in the foreground, and Lexicanium Raal is with the squad in the background in the crater. Zhaark received the Furious Charge rule as his warlord trait. Raal received Life Leech and Haemorrhage from the Biomancy school, though checking the codes later Dark Angels haven’t got Biomancy listed – though I picked it because the DV pack gives the librarian the primaris power from that school – odd.
The True order threw a rough line together with the four cultist squads dispersed relatively evenly. Lord Petturi and the Chosen are in the foreground, Petturi recieved the Lord of Terror trait. The Helbrute and the Obliterators are slightly to the far edge of the board. The Chaos Terminators also chose to stay in reserve to Deep Strike later.
The first turn saw the Angels of Wrath manoeuvre forwards, staying out of main range or using the hill for cover.
Chaos’s contribution to the first turn was to advance across the whole battlefield and to kill two marines from the crater with the Obliterators.
The Angels’ second turn saw five cultists annihilated by a plasma cannon, which broke the weak morale and they fled. On the other side the plasma cannon took out four chosen, with Lord Petturi saved by his Aura of Dark Glory. The two Ravenwing combat squads split on opposite sides of the hill, with the squad containing Sergeant Trundior (two grey bikes) charging into the close combat cultists killing five outright before catching the rest with a sweeping advance – First Blood to the Angels before a quick regroup,
Chaos responded by aiming the heavy fire power of the Helbrute and Obliterators at the second Ravenwing Combat Squad, wiping them off the board. The fleeing cultists took heart from this and regrouped.
End of Second Turn – Victory Points Score – Angels 3, Chaos 1.
On the third turn, the Ravenwing squad turbo-boosted across the board, ending up right in front of the helbrute and obliterators. The plasma cannon shots missed everything.
Chaos responded by shooting everything at the Ravenwing squad, but the Jink and Ravenwing re-roll saved them all.
On the fourth turn the Deathwing teleported to the Ravenwing homer, unleashing a round of autocannon fire that removed two hull points off the Helbrute with glancing hits. One tactical squad abandoned thier crater and made a run for the centre hill, while the squad in the forest missed with it’s cannon (again). The Ravenwing wiped out the remains of the cultist squad, earning another Victory Point.
Chaos responded with their own Terminator deep strike behind the crater, killing three marines. The helbrute and obliterators killed one biker.
The Ravenwing spun around behind the Helbrute, the Plasma gun tearing through the rear armour as the Terminator Autocannon scored another glancing hit. The Ravenwing continued on to assualt the next cultist squad, winning the combat but failing to make a sweeping advance. The tactical squad made it to the hill.
Chaos responded by melting two Terminators with Obliterator lascannons, while the fleeing cultists regrouped and the Chosen, Lord and remaining cultists advanced over the next hill.
The game ended at the end of the fifth turn.
Scores – Chaos, 1 unit destroyed + Linebreaker: 2
Angels, 3 units destroyed + Linebreaker and First Blood: 5.
Interestingly, all the Angels’ points were scored by the one Ravenwing combat squad.
The Angels of Wrath now get their choice of starting tile, having distracted the Chaos forces sufficiently to establish their preferred foothold on the planet.
Veteran-Sergeant Trundior knelt in front of Grand Master Asam as Interrogator-Chaplain Evar recited the Litany of Repentance. Once completed, he stood to face the Grand Master, who handed him an intricately wrought miniature version of the censors carried by many Angels. Trundior bowed as he stood. “Come Brother,” Zhaak told him, “and hear the tale of the the Lion and the Knights of Lupus.”
Evar and Asam watched them leave. “He has done well” Asam said.
“Perhaps well enough to take your place one day.”
Asam considered that. “Maybe. He positively identified the secondary target amid all of his tactical prowess.”
Evar frowned. “It would be good to see the end of Petturi, but the primary target was not identified.”
“No. Perhaps still hidden.”
The Battle for Blake V
A planetary empires based 40k in 40 mins campaign pitting a Space Marine force against the Eldar.
Blake V is an agri-world that produces a vast amount of food to support the Cadian Sector of space. There is a very small inhabited area on the main continent, and the majority of food produced is harvested from edible varieties of sea weed and marine life from the enormous ocean mass.
Blake V has a single spaceport which also provides the majority of habitation for the populace. At various times in the planet’s history there have been cites built in the vicinity of the ancient spaceport, but one was destroyed during the Great Crusade by the Word Bearers legion as they entered the sector and the second was levelled by Abbaddon during a black crusade.
While small in population, Blake V is a key element of the logistics chain supporting the military activities in the Cadian Sector in any Imperial response to Chaos.
Space Marine Brief
In the early stages of response to the Black Crusade, Blake V suddenly stops providing food to the galactic left flank of the Imperial force. In order to restart the supply, Commander Dante orders a detachment of Space Marines who are en route to the force and are travelling through the area to divert to the planet to investigate the anomaly and restart the supply of food. A small force of marines under command of a Captain is sent to the planet.
On arrival, the marines enter the spaceport unopposed and find the entire population missing or killed. There is no sign of the aggressor. Astropathic orders are to identify the cause of the problem and identify what the Imperium needs to do to restart the process.
The Farseers identify a future threat which can possibly be addressed by the manipulation of the Mon’Keigh travelling through the region. They identify that an attack on Blake V will divert a force of Space Marines from the main battle group to the region. This will then mean that the human force will travel via a different space lane to reach the conflict zone, which presents an opportunity to lead them into a separate conflict on Mannasian III that is in the interest of the craftworld.
The Seer Council orders an Autarch to take a small strike force to the region and eliminate the human colony on Blake V. When the marines arrive, they are to engage and delay them from being able to leave for as long as possible.
All battles will be of 400pts, no model with more than 2 wounds, no 2+ saves, no vehicle with total armour exceeding 33.
Battles will be conducted on a 36” by 36” square board. Terrain on the board will be required to match the respective planetary empires tile being contested.
Blake V consists of 11 tiles, including the spaceport.
Each side selects 1000pts for the strike force. Only models from this force may then be used in the battles. This 1000pts does not include the two commanders (Captain and Autarch) as neither will take to the battlefield during the campaign for Blake V. Casualties are not cumulative, i.e. wrecking a Rhino out of the Marine inventory does not preclude it from participating in further combats.
Marines can only attack adjacent squares, starting from the spaceport. They cannot attack the same tile on two consecutive turns (if unsuccessful the first time). Eldar do not initiate combats, but only respond to the Marine advances.
The campaign lasts a maximum of ten rounds, with one combat per round. Successful combat is the sole determinant of tile ownership – no further roll as per the normal planetary empires rules is required.
Victory is achieved if the Marines gain control of six tiles other than the spaceport.
Marine force selection for the campaign is generic; they are not aware they are facing an Eldar threat.
Victory is achieved if the Marines do not achieve control of six tiles within ten rounds of combat.
Eldar force selection is made specifically with the knowledge they are facing Marines via a hit and run campaign.
Having laid out all of my Space Marine strike force comprising almost the entire Third Company, I am in a “fluff” mood. This has been prompted a bit by my wife walking past and asking why there is a hole in the middle (for the squads that aren’t built yet) and then asking why I hadn’t gotten around to building the remainder of the assault squads. Part of the problem is that I haven’t quite figured out what I am intending to do with them yet, as a whole, and I like to have a good understanding of what I’m doing before diving in with the glue and regretting my actions.
I hope to give a bit of individual character to each of the squads (much like the Ultramarines Second Company from the Codex), which is what I started with the first squad. They have a skull theme going through the whole squad, primarily in their torsoes, where there are no aquilla – just skulls. I carried this through a bit more into the selection of the Death Company and Sanguinary Guard legs to use in the squad as well. What I didn’t have was a bit of a background story to make sense of it all, but I figured that I would develop one later (which I have to some degree). What I’ve also done is bed down some of the plans for the remaining squads and the characterisations that I’m going to use for them. I’ve also included the translation of the latin name that I used for each Sergeant.
Each of the squads in the Third Company has a specific role associated with the Sergeant, in a similar way to how the Chapter assigns duties to the Captain of each company.
First Squad “Tribunes of Baal”, Sergeant Decursus, Master Sergeant
The first Sergeant has always been the primary tactical advisor to the Captain of the Third Company. This role then led over the centuries to the first squad recruiting members with tactical acumen in order to assist the Sergeant in fulfilling this role. Members of this squad have often served in dispersion, with the Sergeant staying with the Captain as a tactical advisor while his squad mates took command of various elements of the Imperial forces in the region. Most members of the First Squad have more frontline experience as a regimental commander than many Imperial Guard Generals. They are most easily identified by the Iron Skull awarded to each member, which has now become a pre-requisite skill set for promotion to the first squad.
decursus -us m. [a running down]; milit. [a manoeuvre , a charge, attack]. Transf., [the completion of a course]; rhet., [rhythmical movement].
Second Squad “Annalists”, Sergeant Bellicus, Staff Sergeant
With the Master Sergeant providing the main tactical advice (and often away on duty), the Staff Sergeant of the company is responsible for the organisation and administration of the fighting force. While marines are generally more organised than the ordinary, there is still inevitably a plethora of administrative procedures involved in the organisation of a fighting force, and the liaison with the wider Imperial machine. The second squad also maintains the official records and history of the company. The squad name, in an ancient Terran language, is a pun on the analytical skills required in administration, and in the historical role of the individuals. Members of Squad Bellicus can be identified by the scrolls that each one carries.
bellicus -a -um [of war , warlike]. N. as subst. bellicum -i, [the signal for march or attack].
Third Squad “Long-sighted”, Sergeant Tueor, Watch Sergeant
As Watch Sergeant, Tueor is responsible for the training of ballistic skills in the company, and the security of the various bases and stations. The men of his squad pride themselves on their marksmanship, with each using carefully adjusted sights to ensure maximun effectiveness.
tueor (or tuor) tueri tuitus and tutus dep. , and tueo -ere, [to look at, regard]; esp. [to look after, watch over, guard].
Fourth Squad “The Sealed”, Sergeant Tutelae, Sergeant at Arms
When Reclusiarch Admantis departed on an urgent mission in 900.M40 he took the Fourth Squad as his guards. After he was fatally wounded on Gestranth VII, he blessed each member of the squad with a set of purity seals, and charged them to continue the mission that he had started. None of the marines from that time ever told of the content of their charge, instead swearing each new member of the squad to upkeep the original promise. They are easily identified by the purple seals adorning their weapons and armour. As Sergeant at Arms, Tutelae is the disciplinary officer for the third Company, when the need occasionally arises.
tutela -ae f. [protection , guard, charge]; esp. of wards, etc. [guardianship, tutelage]; concr., act. [protector, guardian]; pass. [the person or thing protected].
Fifth Squad “Knives of Campunaga”, Sergeant Impugnatio, Drill Sergeant
During the Campunaga Campaign the Fifth squad came under such heavy fire that they exhausted their ammunition supplies. Nevertheless, they had opened up a gap in the defenses of the rebels and so charged the fortress with their combat blades. Members of the fifth squad continue to wear a combat knife on all occasions in honour of the victory.
impugnatio -onis f. [assault , attack