The Four Strands Modeling, Painting, Gaming and Storytelling

31Dec/140

The Sharpest Weapon: a short story followed by a battle report.

A low growl emitted from the Chaos Lord's axe.  The Daemon within had not tasted blood in quite some time.  He felt a pull on his emotions, but brushed the sensation aside.

Soon, my pet the Chaos Lord thought.  Hearing this, the axe increased the sensations of hunger.  The Lord once again crushed the sensation, but the axe continued to growl.  The growling increased as a Herald of Tzeentch approached.  The axe shifted and twisted in his hand.  He tightened his grip.

"You seek the artifact, mortal?" It spoke.  It's voice was both melodic and grating.  Worse, it could not maintain eye contact.  The eyes kept growing, moving, and disappearing.  One even went down the creature's gullet.

"I seek many things, servant of the Shaper of Ways.  This artifact is but one."

The Herald emitted a sound that may have been laughter.  "The artifact is sought by many.  Slaves to He Whose Light Brings Pain come.  Few in number but with a resolve to match your own."  The Herald's mouth twisted into a spiral grin.  "Astartes."

"Children."  The Lord answered.  "I have fought the Long War for ten millennia.  What have these lapdogs to the False Emperor ever accomplished?  All they have built will be dust.  I will stoop to honoring them by adding their skulls to the Skull Throne.  Then I shall take the artifact."

"Taking for you, yes, but secrets the artifact holds.  Dark secrets that bind this world."  The Demon's eyes became big, like a child full of hope.  "Perhaps you would share them?  I can be of much use."

"Enough prattle." The Lord swung his axe, pointing the head at the Daemon.  "Serve me and I will consider your request.  Cross me and my pet will feast on your essence for a thousand years."

The Herald grew a beard made of green fire.  It stroked the beard with a gnarled, clawed hand.  Thoughtfully.  Twice.

"Acceptable."  It gurgled.

"Good.  Show me where these Astartes are."

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"Advance patrol to His Hammer II."

"This is Captain Leonidas.  Go ahead."

"We have found the Archeotech.  The signal has led us to a ruined manufactorum.  However, there are Traitors here from the XII Legion.  They outnumber us two to one and are aided by foul demons."

"World Eaters?  Engage them at once.  The Emperor will be your shield, and I will personally come to your aid."

"Sir?"

"The World Eaters have taken many good friends from me.  I intend to pay them pack in kind.  One last order, Sergeant."

"Yes, my lord?"

"Make them mad."

"...am I to understand that you want us to anger them, my lord?"

"You heard me.  Taunt them.  Make them unable to see the visors over their own eyes.  This is not a request."

"...I think I have just the thing, sir.

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Smoke plumes from loyalist Rhinos approached.  Now was the time.  The Chaos Lord began to broadcast, as he had done so many times before, the last thing the loyalists would hear.

"Servants of the False Emperor!  Rejoice this day, for you shall find the greatest glory you have ever known.  Your blood will be spilled in glorious battle and your skulls will be placed upon the throne of Khorne.  For eternity, your skulls will join with the honored slain.  Come!  Spill blood with us!  Exult in the worship of Khorne!"

The Chaos Lord had given this speech to hundreds of thousands of opponents, adversaries, and victims.  He had been met with defiance, zeal, terror, and occasionally, delight.

He had never heard such derisive laughter.

Man and daemon screamed as one, creating an unearthly howl that would deafen a god.  The axe in his hand came alive with rage, and shook violently in his hand.

"CHARGE THEM!" He bellowed.

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Bozeman - Azure Flames Space Marines (Salamanders)

-Captain Leonidas of the 1st Company (counts as Vulkan He'Stan)

-Command Squad, Company Standard, Apothecary, Company Champion, Power Axe, Flamer, Meltagun

--Drop Pod

-Tactical Squad x10, Veteran Sergeant, Power Fist, Combi-Flamer, Flamer, Multi-Melta

--Rhino, Extra Armor

-Tactical Squad x10, Veteran Sergeant, Power Fist, Combi-Melta, Flamer, Multi-Melta

--Rhino, Extra Armor

-Ironclad Dreadnought, Ironclad Launchers, Chainfist

--Drop Pod

-Land Speeder x3, 3x Multi-Melta

-Stormtalon Gunship, Typhoon Missile Launcher

-Bike Squadron x3, 2x Meltagun

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Kyle - World Eaters with Chaos Daemon Allies

-Chaos Lord, Axe of Blind Fury, Blood Crusher, Mark of Khorne, Chaos Gift

-Bloodcrushers x3

-Land Raider, Combi-bolter, Combi-plasma

-Khorne Berzerkers x10, Power Sword, Chaos Gift

-Khorne Berzerkers x5, Chaos Gift

--Rhino, Dirge Caster

-Hellbrute, Multi-melta

-Cultists x20, Mark of Khorne, Chaos Gift

-Dark Apostle, Sigil of Chaos, Mark of Khorne, Chaos Gift

-Pink Horrors x11

-Herald of Tzeentch, Psyker Mastery 3, Disc of Tzeentch.  Psychic Powers: Mental Fortitude, Invisibility, Hallucination, Psychic Shriek

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Mission: The Relic

Points: 1500

Board Setup

Forces Set Up

Cultists in the Forest for first turn protection, ten Berzerkers in the Land Raider.

Lord with Bloodcrushers central, 5 Berzerkers in Rhino, Horrors hiding behind terrain.

Bikes on my right (picture left), Tatsquad with combi-flamer in Rhino, Tatsquad with combi-melta in ruins.

Land Speeders on the right, opposite enemy forces.

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Turn 1 - Chaos

Lord and Bloodcrushers charge forward, bypassing the main objective.  Land Raider and Rhino move flat out.  Hellbrute moves up right side.  Cultists run after the Land Raider.  Herald advances and casts Invisibility on the Rhino and Mental Fortitude on the Lord and Bloodcrushers.

SKULLS FOR KHORNE!

A wall of hate advances.

Turn 1 - Azure Flames

Land Speeders pop out and explode the Land Raider, killing one Berzerker and five cultists.  Ironclad Dreadnought arrives via Drop Pod.  Melta and bolter fire kill the Bloodcrushers escorting the Chaos Lord.  Bikes move up and cause one penetrating hit on the Hellbrute, stunning it.

Pop goes the Raider!

The Lord gets a new friend!

Turn 2 - Chaos

Cultists and Berzerkers charge and destroy the Land Speeders.  Chaos Lord charges the Ironclad, causing two glancing results, but is killed outright in the process.  Five man Berzerker squad and Rhino take lucky bolter shots and kill the two Bikes with meltaguns. The Tzeench Herald fails to cast Invisibility on the Lord.

Land Speeders are chopped to bits!

The Dreadnought played too rough with his new friend, and so goes looking for new ones.

Turn 2 - Azure Flames

Leonidas and the Command Squad arrive by Drop Pod and bake a few Berzerkers and Cultists.  Ironclad kills a Berzerker with a melta shot, then charges and whiffs all his attacks.  Lone bike glances the Chaos Rhino with a Krak Grenade.  Tactical Squad in the ruins advances on the objective.  Stormtalon arrives from reserves and kills the Herald of Tzeentch. Multi-melta firing from Rhino Hatch explodes the Hellbrute.

Leonidas gets into the thick of it.

The Ironclad treats these new friends with care.  He doesn't kill a single one!

The Herald dead, the Objective is clear.

Turn 3 - Chaos

The Berzerkers and Cultists charge Leonidas and the command squad.  UNBELIEVEABLE overwatch kills 5 of the 9 Berzerkers.  Sub par attacks and amazing armor save and feel no pain rolls save all but one Command Squad member, and kill about a third of the Cultists.  Rhino backs up to menace the objective.  Ironclad kills one Berzerker.

CHAAAAAARGE!  ...wait, uh oh...

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP...

Oops!  One friend down...

Turn 3 - Azure Flames

Combat rages as Leonidas kills several Berzerkers.  Tactial squad in Rhino moves up.  Tactical squad by objective secures the objective, and pops the Chaos Rhino.  Turn not pictured.

Turn 4 - Chaos

The Pink Horrors emerge to try to get the objective.  Ironclad kills another Berzerker.  The fight with Leonidas continues, as more Berzerkers and cultists die.

Horrors, AWAY!

MOAR HUGS!

Turn 4 - Azure Flames

Leonidas and the squad finish the Bererkers and cultists.  Tatsquad and Stormtalon finish the Pink Horrors.  Ironclad finishes the Berzerkers.  Tabled.

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Post Game Analysis: I haven't had a victory this one-sided since the old days of Mary Mayo when playing against Lexington's Orks.  Kyle had an ABYSMAL time on the left side of the board.  He should have been able to kill Leonidas and the Command Squad, and then menace the Tactical Squad as they holed up in their Rhino (that was my plan).  Instead, the Command Squad broke the Khornate wave and survived with one casualty.  I also got lucky when Invisibility failed, making the Khorne Lord actually killable by the Ironclad.  The only thing Kyle should have changed is that the Pink Horrors should have been right behind the Lord to go get the Relic.

Stay tuned: there will be painting done soon, as well as (hopefully) batreps from AFK.  Keep an eye out next month, as I'm going back to Highland for BATTLEFLEET GOTHIC!  You heard right!  See you then!

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