Imperial Voxcast, 6 183 740.M41—The shadow world of Volana was the target today of a vicious raid by a traitor band of Astartes that call themselves the “Blood Wolves.”
Thousands of colonists were slaughtered by the raiders before Planetary Defense Forces (PDF) mobilized. As overwhelming numbers of Imperial troops marched toward them, the Blood Wolves withdrew, carrying off prisoners and valuable industrial equipment and technological gear.
No civilian survivors were found in the the devastated manufactorums seized by the traitors, but a battered PDF platoon—an element of the 2nd PDF Regiment that was bivouacked in the vicinity—stood its ground amidst the industrial ruins.
“The 3rd Platoon, 2nd Company, under the command of Lieutenant Tegan Markes, responded to civilian reports of raiders by advancing upon Manufactorum 17-87, a facility that Markes found in ruins from air bombardment by the traitors,” the Volana High Command reported. “Deploying his troops in the ruins, Markes advanced cautiously, encountering and engaging traitor Astartes.”
“Over the course of 30 minutes, 3rd Platoon stood strong against the powered-armor might of the traitors,” it was reported. “Severe casualties were inflicted on the raiders and, although not destroyed, the enemy force was stopped from continuing its heretical assault on Imperial citizens.”
According to military sources, 3rd Platoon had advanced halfway through Manufactorum 17-87 when it encountered the traitor force. A supporting Imperial Chimera armored transport swung around the traitors’ left flank, dropping off a veteran squad armed with shotguns while bringing the traitors under fire with multi-laser and heavy bolter fire.
Markes advanced down the center of the manufactorum with one squad and his command team.
The traitors took the veteran squad under fire from a tall building, while other traitors and a supporting Rhino attempted to turn 3rd Platoon’s left flank.
According to Markes, the traitors appeared more interested in seizing industrial and technological equipment than eliminating his forces.
“Although they brought my veteran squad under extreme fire, killing several and forcing their retreat for a time, the traitors seemed to put more emphasis on seizing a manufactorum pumping station and then attacking my command squad, which was occupying a building with a bank of cogitators that were still functioning despite the ruins about them.”
At one point, the Blood Wolves drove back Markes’ troops with boltgun fire, but the young lieutenant rallied his men and brought them forward again to hold the cogitator bank from the traitors.
At the same time, Markes’ second squad, hiding behind a ruined wall, revealed themselves by firing into the raiders’ flank.
“I was a close-run thing,” the lieutenant said. “Our lasgun fire had little effect on the traitors, but coming under flank fire did slow their advance. Then, thankfully, before they could recover, the sound of Imperial engines could be heard above our fire. Our reinforcements had arrived, and the traitors broke off their attack.”
The traitors quickly retreated. Soon after, the PDF captured a wounded raider left behind. Under interrogation, he told military investigators that the raiders’ warlord had been shot during the battle—a turn of events that likely had something to do with the traitors’ decision to withdraw.
Scenario: The Scouring
Imperial Victory Points: Three objectives of varying value (7 v.p.), First Blood (1 v.p.), and Slay the Warlord (1 v.p.) = 9 v.p.
Chaos Victory Points: Two objectives (4 v.p.) and Linebreaker (1 v.p.) = 5 v.p.
- Platoon Command Squad
- Veteran Squad x 2 (one armed with shotguns)
- Chimera with multi-laser and heavy bolter
Blood Wolves Forces:
- Traitor Warlord (treat as Space Wolves Wold Lord)
- Five-man tactical squad x 2 (treat one as Blood Claws, the other as Long Fangs)
- Rhino with heavy bolter
Note: Under Games Workshop canon, the Blood Wolves are a rogue warband of the Space Wolves that turned to Chaos. So, The Gaffer uses the Space Wolves Codex for his warband. Also, his warband is still on the painting table, so The Gaffer used Chaos stand-ins.
TheGM: This was a 250-point mini battle fought at our local hobby store. Although a small battle for Warhammer 40K, the tactics were the same, and I played a game of firing from cover and staying as far away as possible from the traitor Astartes.
At the end, one squad of Blood Wolves was marching toward the central objective on my side of the table, and I didn’t think I could hold out. In fact, my command squad routed at one point from incoming fire. But it didn’t run far and, when I rallied, I was able to reform on the objective.
My whole plan was to seize objectives, try to rout or otherwise delay the enemy, stay out of charge range, and hope the battle ended early. My lucky shots against the enemy warlord was a nice fluke of luck.
Thankfully, the game ended on Turn 5. In the next turn, The Gaffer’s forces would have forced a fight for the center (and high value) objective, and the battle would have been lost.
It’s not optimal to base your plan for victory on a short game, but when you face traitor Astartes with Imperial Guard (and no tanks), that’s the only path I think that works.
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