“Defensive assets reduced by 25.4 percent. Security algorithms indicate that retreat is advisable if assets fall by another 9.5 percentile points.“—Analysis of Octavian c36, at 08:22 on the day of the nomadic raid
* * *
At this point, the commanding Alpha of the Skitarii contingent attempted to take position among a squad of Skitarii Rangers to his west— with the intent of leading them in an assault on the raiders. As he attempted to cross open ground, however, he was spotted by the raiders and subjected to heavy enemy fire.
He was forced to take cover.
At the same time, the advancing Servitors came under fire but, fortuitously, neither Servitor was struck.
Unable to resist the opportunity to “blood their knives,” two raiders broke from the cover of the southern mesas to charge the prone Skitarii wounded in the first round of fire. The Skitarii was quickly dispatched.
The Skitarii were undaunted by the tactical threat facing them. A well-aimed shot saw one raider fall from the rocks, and one of the Servitors closed with the raiders that broke cover. Although one of the murderers raised his bloody knife to defend himself, a well-placed blow by a Servitor’s servo-arm crushed the raider’s skull.
On the eastern perimeter, the giant mutant, who had fallen at the beginning of fighting, finally succumbed to his wounds—as did another wounded raider. Highly accurate Skitarii fire took down yet another raider, and the threat along this part of the site perimeter was contained.
On the southern perimeter, the fate of the battle remained uncertain. One of the Servitors was downed by enemy fire, but the other Servitor managed to bring down another raider.
A new threat arose, however, to the southeast. Two raiders used cover to approach the transport vehicles of the digging party. A nearby Skitarii stepped out from behind a Taurox and shot one raider, but the second raider charged into melee with Ranger and struck him down.
It was clear that the raiders’ attack had lost momentum. Most of the hostile raiders remained in cover and sniped at the dig site. But the Skitarii had suffered more casualties than expected, and both the leader of the raiders and Octavian c36 contemplated whether a withdrawal was warranted.
Yet, the fighting continued. A civilian guard charged the raider by the Taurox, and a hard-fought melee ended with the death of the guard. The raider still stood.
The Skitarii evened the score, however, by killing all but one of the few remaining raiders on the eastern perimeter. At this pointed, Octavian c36 determined that the time had come to counterattack, and his Skitarii moved forward. The raider by the Taurox fled when Octavian c36 began to spray the area with a heavy flamer.
On the southern perimeter, another raider was brought down by Skitarii fire, and the raiders decided they’d had enough. More than half their numbers had fallen and, given the accuracy of Skitarii fire, a battle of attrition could only end in annihilation.
The raiders withdrew.
Although the raiders were repulsed, it was determined that casualties among the defenders exceeded 30 percent. If the raiders could reinforce their numbers from surrounding tribes, they could return and seriously threaten the survival of the expedition.
After 12.3 seconds of analysis, Octavian c36 concluded that the dig site must be abandoned. It took 45.3 minutes to break down the camp and, at 09: 11, the expedition’s fleet of Taurox transports began the long journey back to civilization.
TheGM: I was in the mood for a quick skirmish game, and I had just finished painting a slew of tents. An archeological dig just came to mind.
This was a straight-up skirmish fought with Shadow War: Armageddon rules. It is a footnote in the history of the Corvus Cluster, but it made for a fun hour.
The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our gaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.