“We have arrived. Let the people of Tophet know this. Let our enemies know this. The Knights of Altair are here, and we will face the xenos on the field of battle . . . and we shall destroy them.“—High Marshall Adrias Ioculus, Knights of Altair Space Marine Chapter
By the beginning of 741.M41, the Necron invaders of Tophet controlled approximately half of the planet’s surface. The fighting had killed more than 50 million Imperial citizens. Another 100 million had become refugees, wretched souls who’d fled their homes to avoid the genocide of the mysterious, cybernetic xeno warriors.
This war against the Necrons already had raged for more than two years. For much of that time, Tophet had fought alone, communications with the Imperium cut off by arcane xeno technologies. But although slow, the Imperium response to the Necron threat was deliberate, and by late 740.M41, the first Imperial reinforcements had arrived to bolster the valiant efforts of the Tophet Planetary Defense Force (PDF).
A formal supplication for assistance from the planetary governor of Tophet, supported by a plea from the admiralty of the Nguyen Naval Base at Belliose III, was presented to High Marshal Adrias Ioculus of the Knights of Altair on 6 892 740.M41.
Outraged by the invasion of an Imperial-held world, and somewhat curious to assess the threat of this new xeno species, Ioculus himself gathered elements of the 1st and 2nd companies and led them to the Dryillian Quarantine Zone.
On 6 028 741.M41, the Knights of Altair launched their first attack against the Necrons, smashing directly into the vanguard of a new xeno advance on the critical Cappadocia Manufacturums
The battle was fought in the outer edges of the Cappadocia Manufacturums. The terrain was flat and relatively dense with structures, most commonly promethium refineries, manufactorum facilities, abandoned industrial buildings, and worker shanties.
The scenario, Emperor’s Will (7th Edition Rulebook), required an objective in each army’s deployment zone. As the game was fought with deployment zones running diagonally across the battlefield. Each army placed its sole objective in a building in the far corners.
The Necrons deployed first. Their strongest units, including almost all armor, was deployed to strike at the Space Marines’ objective. Only a squad of Immortals and Tomb Blades screened the Necron left flank, although one squad of Necron warriors was positioned in the middle of the deployment zone to reinforce either flank as the battle continued.
Aircraft, a squad of Immortals, and a unit of Destroyers were held in reserve.
The Knights of Altair deployed to counter the Necrons. Much of the Imperial armor was positioned in the center of the table, in a manner that provide the Knights’ tanks with maximum lines of fire (LOS).
One Crusader Squad and one Tactical Squad were deployed in the Rhinos to support a direct charge against the main Necron force. It was reinforced by the Land Raider, in which High Marshal Ioculus and his honor guard sat.
On the far side of the battlefield, a Vindicator and a Crusader Squad held the right flank. The only reserves were the Assault Squad.
In this scenario, the Knights were treated as Black Templars. So, for example, Marshal Ioculus sued the rules for High Marshal Helbrecht, and scouts and full Marines were mixed into Crusader Squads.
Standing on the throne of his Command Barge, the Necron Overlord known as Agamunzu studied the war-torn landscape of primitive buildings, refineries, and ruins.
A little more than a kilometer away, a thin line of light-gray vehicles and a few dozen primitive warriors barred his path to the center of the human industrial zone. These troops were unlike those he’d faced in recent months. They were larger men and encased in some form of power armor.
It was of no matter. He felt nothing but contempt and hatred for primitive species. These humans had invaded his dynastic fiefdom. That he’d slept in the depths of the planet for 60 million years, or that these humans had no knowledge of his previous claim to this world, mattered not to him.
They were but insects to be swatted aside.
With a wave of his warscythe, his troops began their advance. Following ancient battle protocols, his warriors advanced under the protection of the scattered ruins and industrial debris that littered the battlefield.
Nearby, a Triarch Stalker skittered up the side of a nearby building, much like a spider would climb a tree branch. From the building’s roof, the Stalker scanned the enemy vehicles to its front and transmitted a stream of data on potential targets and their possible threat level.
Although largely devoid of emotion, Agamunzu still retained enough of his former self to experience a mild sense of excitement as he issued a new series of commands.
+ + Protocol X-19c is initiated. Units 381 to 417 will echelon right, concentrating forces down the human transport path. Units 281 to 291 will advance on the drill tower. Remaining units will hold in reserve. + +
All around him, his small army began to fire. Thin beams of energy from gauss flayers and blasters lit up the battlefield, while heavier ordinance—particle shredders and telsa cannons—pummeled the enemy. The ground began to shake as explosions erupted all along the human defensive line, blossoming into clouds of smoke and tossed soil.
To his right, a Doomsday Ark fired its powerful cannon , a white-hot beam of raw energy streaking across the battlefield to strike a large human tank. Surprisingly, the primitive vehicle survived the direct hit, its armor scorched and pitted—but still intact.
Interesting, Agamunzu thought. No human tank had yet survived a direct hit from a Doomsday Cannon, the most powerful weapon in his army. Perhaps today the enemy will provide me with a worthy fight?
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The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our gaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.
Categories: Tophet Campaign
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