“Seven times seven is the goal you seek. Please the Plague God with this many victories without fail, and you shall rise to daemonhood. Fail but seven times, and the Lord of Decay will show his displeasure.“—a warning by the sorcerer Necrosious to the Chaos lord Ghaz Tak
* * *
Continued from Part 1
Holding the Line
Although the center of the Knights’ line held, the right flank was sorely pressed. For more than three hours, loyalist and traitor armor had traded fire, and both lines were thinning as casualties mounted.
At the same time, the Death Guard infantry that had disembarked from their destroyed transports moved off the main boulevard and advanced under the cover of the narrow surrounding residential housing, taking advantage of the area’s maze of alleys and narrow residential streets.
To respond to this threat, the Knights advanced their infantry, deploying within the houses and setting up a series of defensive positions that the traitors were forced to storm.
This led to significant close-in fighting. Time and time again, the traitors would rush at a defended house, suffer casualties from point-range defensive fire, and find themselves unable to force their way into the houses. Traitor casualties mounted.
Finally, the traitors turned to melta guns and krak grenades, using them in a series of costly assaults designed to simply destroy the stone and plascrete buildings and bring down the roofs upon the defenders. Although this met with some success, even these successful attacks cost the traitors’ precious time and men.
The Last Gasp
The high tide of the traitor attack was, ironically, led by mere cultists. Driven mad by their unholy worship of the Archenemy, and heedless to their casualties, the cultists infiltrated deeper into the city. Unstopped, they could have gotten behind the Imperial lines and struck at the Knights’ defenses from the rear.
It was not to be. Assault squads in reserve rushed to the scene. Jumping from rooftop to rooftop on their jetpacks, they found the vanguard of this infiltration and descended upon the heretics. Wielding chainswords and bolt pistols, they decapitated and dismembered all before them.
The cultists broke. But none escaped. The noble Astartes chased down and slaughtered every heretic.
The Enemy Outflanked
The end of the battle came in the west. With the destruction of the Defiler, the Knights’ armored column tore through a pair of Forge Fiends and began to turn the Death Guard’s flank.
One major obstacle proved troublesome: In a bid to stymie the Knights’ advance, a squad of Death Guard and scores of shambling Poxwalkers formed a defensive position around a large building comnplex.
It took multiple rounds of fire from the Knights’ tanks, along with a charge by Terminators wielding powerfists, to bring down the complex and allow a score of Vanguard Veterans and Sternguard, as well as two squads of Terminators, to slaughter the traitors.
After that, the armored column continued its advance. The traitors finally broke when the “Tide of Wrath” stopped and unloaded its cargo: Captain Galba and his company champions.
Racing down the vehicle’s loading ramp, these fell warriors of the 1st Company charged the final enemy lines, which collapsed under the ferocity and nobility advancing upon them. Supported by the Land Raider’s weaponry, and the scores of loyalist Astartes rushing to the scene, the traitors began to retreat.
The battle belonged to the Knights of Altair.
After-action reports indicated that the Death Guard had suffered a massive defeat. Casualties among the enemy were huge, while the Knights of Altair suffered less than 15-percent casualties and only three battle-brothers killed.
Given the extent of the victory, the Dozerian High Command ordered an immediate advance by all available Imperial forces. Against an enemy thrown into disorder by their defeat, this attack was highly successful. Within days, traitor forces had been driven 30 kilometers from the city.
By the end of the next week, when logistical issues forced a halt to the advance, Imperial forces had pushed back the enemy more than 110 kilometers. The immediate threat to the city was over.
Imperial Victory Points: 4 Objectives (12 v.p.), First Blood (1 v.p.), and Linebreaker (1 v.p.) = 14 v.p.
Chaos Victory Points: Linebreaker (1 v.p.) = 1 v.p.
Overwhelming Imperial Victory!
TheGM: What a battle. An Armageddon-sized fight of 3,000 points on each side, fought in a City of Death setting of 30 buildings. Urban warfare at its worst (or best, given your perspective).
This was a solo game, but I’m not sure why the Knights did so well. It may have been the lone Predator tank on the east flank. Every turn it fired, it killed a Death Guard vehicle—blowing up tanks and immobilizing transports.
So, essentially, that Predator gutted the main Death Guard attack. And, while there was considerable traitor forces to the east, they could not stand up to the Land Raider, Vindicator, two squads of Terminators, Sternguard, and Vanguard that slammed into them.
In that part of the battle, the Defiler died almost instantly to a lucky shot and, through the well-timed maneuver of a Land Speeder with homing beacon, two squads of Terminators teleported atop two defending Forge Fiends and took them out.
The most interesting aspect of the game was the role of buildings. All the buildings were intact, which meant that, under the 7th Edition rules I use, the defending troops are considered to be “inside” a transport. That meant that any attacking force had to destroy the building before they could harm the defenders within.
That’s a bit abstract. But it changes the tactics of urban fighting. Ruins can be entered. Intact buildings cannot. For the Death Guard, trying to advance through the city—with buildings occupied by loyalist Space Marines—was very costly and time-consuming.
For the Knights of Altair, thankfully, the Death Guard put all their bets in defending one powerfully constructed building to stymie the loyalists. It took three turns for the combined might of a Land Raider, a Vindicator, and the power fists of a squad of Terminators to bring it down. But bring it down they did.
(Once if fell, the Terminators, supported by Sternguard and Vanguard troops, quickly wiped out the 30 defenders in the area, and the battle was effectively over.)
What a great fight!
The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our gaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.
Categories: Dozaria Campaign