< Auspex reports indicate the approach of enemy forces. Counteroffensive measure 832-a7 is now in effect. Aggression algorithym Beta-Pi authorized. Praise the Omnissiah. > Transmission of Magos Nexius Gallick at beginning of battle
* * *
Imperial Voxcast (6 957 741.M41)—On the desert world of Morkai, a reinforced mutant army seized the Tomada Drill Site today, forcing its Skitarii garrison to retreat after suffering heavy losses.
The mutant victory—just a few kilometers from the Tomada Oasis—places the Chunik Plateau region entirely under the control of rebellious mutants, who claim their leader, the Haruspex, will overthrow Imperial rule.
“That the mutants claim to control a vast swathe of the northern desert means nothing,” the planetary governor, Grand Elector Fabius Nemetorius, proclaimed in a written statement released a few hours ago.
“A few hundred rebels defeated a small Skitarii garrison deployed to deal with bandits,” he said. “Such a small, pitiful group of scum cannot claim to control of 1,000 square miles of barren desert. It’s preposterous.”
Despite this official stance, military authorities are reluctant to explain how a “few hundred” rebels defeated an equal-sized Skitarii force—Imperial troops widely known for their machine-like efficiency in battle.
“Dismiss the mutants if you want, but they are winning battles,” said one military officer who insisted on anonymity.
The battle began at dawn, with the mutants advancing on the Skitarii, who did not hesitate to advance in response.
The mutants deployed a handful of ramshackle tanks, which appeared to be constructed from the wreckage of abandoned industrial haulers and mining equipment, reports say. The mutants cleverly deployed these vehicles behind low rock outcroppings, shielding the tanks’ front armor in a technique called “hull down.”
Given the difficulty of striking these vehicles with long-range fire, the Skitarii’s Armigers, Onager, and Kastelan Robots retargeted their weapons on mutant infantry wherever possible, causing significant casualties against the rebellious scum.
“Initial enemy casualties were significant, but the mutants went to ground—simply disappearing from our auspices and appearing later in an entirely different area,” one military officer noted. “It’s amazing how the mutants can cross a seemingly barren desert without being seen.”
A force of Sydonian Dragoons and a Skorpius Dunerider carrying Sicarian Infiltrators launched an outflanking maneuver on the Mechanicus left flank, targeting one of the mutant tanks.
This maneuver was countered by the mutants, who deployed war bikes and an armored transport carrying horrifically mutated troops.
This part of the battle continued for some time, with the Dragoons using their taser lances in repeated charges until they finally managed to penetrate the mutant tank’s defenses and destroyed it.
Meanwhile, the Infiltrators met the mutants’ most disfigured scum in an epic fight that saw the mutants slaughtered to the last rebel.
In the center of the battlefield, the mutants moved aggressively to strike at the advancing Skitarii infantry. Some mutants waited until Mechanicus troops were only meters away before tossing aside their sand-covered canvas sheets and opening fire at point-blank range.
As the Mechanicus troops reeled from this surprise attack, Goliath industrial haulers raced forward. As they screeched to a halt and began disembarking scores of hideously deformed, six-armed mutants, the vehicles swept the Skitarii line with an industrial flamer.
Immediately afterward, the mutants charged the reeling survivors. Fiere hand-to-claw fighting ensued, but even the impressive Skitarii Vanguard could not hold back the mutants. There were no Mechanicus survivors.
As the battle turned against them, the Skitarii attempted a desperate, all-out attack against the mutant’s left flank. It was spearheaded by an Onager, two Amigers, and two Kastelan Robots.
But squadrons of Sentinel-sized walkers, armed with multi-lasers, appeared from behind the sand dunes and raced forward to challenge the Imperial effort. The battle degenerated into point-blank-range firefights, as well as hand-to-hand fighting between Skitarii and mutants who sought to kill one another while avoiding being crushed by the rampaging walkers.
In the end, despite significant casualties on both sides, the Skitarii line was shattered and, with more mutant troops appearing in the distance, the Skitarii commander, Magos Nexius Gallick, ordered the retreat. The promethium drill site was abandoned.
Postscript: According to the most recent reports, the mutants are not pursuing the fleeing Skitarii force, which has begun a long march to the southeast and the safety of the Charcharoth hive city.
Army Size: 1,800 points
Imperial Victory Points: First Blood (1 v.p.) + Linebreaker (1 v.p.) = 2 v.p.
Mutant Victory Points: 3 objectives (9 v.p.) + Linebreaker (1 v.p.) = 10 v.p.
Major Mutant Victory
* * *
TheGM: After fighting the Thar Desert Basin campaign last year with a mix of Tallarn and Mechanicus troops, I was wondering what would happen if the mutants fought against a purely Mechanicus army.
Well, I found out. The mutants won both battles.
My mutant army consists of a well-balanced mix of infantry, elite, fast, and heavy units. My Mechanicus army is not as well balanced—and I could have used a bit more infantry and heavy units, particularly those with longer-ranged, anti-infantry weaponry.
I guess I need to spend more time at my painting bench.
Still, it was an interesting pair of battles, and it “moved the story forward” as the mutant rebellion on Morkai gathers steam. (So far, the mutants have won six victories , while the Imperials have won only one.)
The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our gaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.
Categories: Morkai Campaign