“To take offense that the PDF troops are used as human shields is a violation of logic. Skitarii are far superior in firepower and discipline to unaugmented troops, so it is a militarily effective to expect the PDF to weather the brunt of enemy fire.“—Dominus Kazzim-Aleph-1, commander of the 4th Cohort of the Charcharoth Home Guard
These grievous losses did not diminish the fanatical intensity of the mutant attack. The surviving enemy hordes continued their assault, with some mutants conducting suicidal attempts to engage the Kastelan Robots in hand-to-hand combat—with the goal of stopping the automatons from using their heavy flamers.
All such attacks failed miserably. The Kastelan Robots easily dispatched their attackers, whose hand weapons had no effect on the robots’ powerful armor. Meanwhile, as the screen of PDF troops held the line, the surviving Skitarii ruthlessly shot down each wave of charging mutants.
The only serious threat to the Imperial army came when the mutants’ elite Atalan Jackals appeared suddenly in the Imperial rear and raced toward the screening PDF troops. But, just before the bike-riding mutants charged into the lines, a force of Skitarii Rangers marched to the crest of a nearby sand dune and fired, eliminating the threat.
Battle for the Array
The toughest fighting centered on the satellite array. In what had became a race, both armies had sent forward a vanguard of armored transports determined to seize the prize.
The mutants won the race by seconds. Several transports braked to a halt just meters from the array, and hideously deformed mutants disembarked from the vehicles—but cowered behind the vehicles to avoid Imperial fire.
This force was challenged by Duneriders transporting elite Sicarian Infiltrators, and Chimeras filled with veteran grenadiers, who opted to remain safely within their vehicles—and rain death on the enemy using their firing ports.
Heavy mutant fire from approaching mutant walkers began to turn the tide. Within minutes, the Duneriders were burning wrecks, forcing the Infiltrators and Dominus Aleph-1 to disembark.
They were soon targeted by the heavy flamer of the mutant transports and then charged by a mob of mutants led by their warlord, Chakir Suleiman, and a psyker who used witchfire to sap the strength of the Infiltrators.
Both the Dominus and his elite infantry strike force fell (although the wounded Dominus would be recovered alive after the battle).
Wave After Wave
What followed was a horrific fight where attacks of charging mutants were met by desperate counterattacks by Imperial troops.
The mutant warlord and his mob were soon dispersed by the heavy flamers of the Chimeras and increasing fire by Skitarii advancing to reinforce the grenadiers.
This was followed by a charge of hiddeous four-armed mutants, whose attack through the nearby mesas was stopped by several Chimeras who blocked the pass through the mesas with their armored hulls and the flames of their heavy flamers.
As the sun began to set, hundreds of killed and wounded covered the sands around the communications array. The vast majority of casualties were mutants, however, and the surviving traitors finally withdrew, leaving the Imperials with victory.
Scenario: The Relic
Imperial Victory Points: Slay the Warlord (1 v.p.) + First Blood (1 v.p.) = 2 v.p.
Mutant Victory Points: Slay the Warlord (1 v.p.)
Primary objective was contested.
TheGM: I finally won a battle with the Imperials!
The fight wasn’t as close as the victory points suggest. By the end of the fight, there was only a handful of mutant figures left on the table–and the only Imperial unit destroyed was the unlucky Infiltrators.
The plan to put all my Skitarii into the Imperial army, and use the PDF to screen these elite troops worked wonderfully.
Unable to charge the more dangerous Skitarii, the mutants attempted to shoot them–but the Mechanicus troops have a 4+ armor save. Despite heavy losses, the Skitarii stayed on the table and fired back, along with all the PDF that hadn’t been targeted.
It was a bloodbath.
For the mutants, it didn’t help that the scenario had only one primary objective. That allowed the Imperials to remain their tight–and highly effective–formation, and it allowed them to concentrate all their immense firepower in one direction.
It also didn’t help the mutants that they rolled up ALL their reserves on Turn 2. The Imperials were still too close to their edge of the table, and there wasn’t enough terrain to conduct a Cult Ambush with any cover. The mutants were committed to a straight-up fight–and it didn’t go well.
But at least I’ve proven that I can beat myself with the Imperials . . . finally. My only concern is that the mutants are just that much closer to Charcharoth. What does that mean for the future?
The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our gaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.
Categories: Morkai Campaign