40K: The Defence of Wæliscbæc.

Astra Militarum vs. Ældari, 800pts at Bristol Vanguard.

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Colonel Kentigern grimaced as the sea air gusted again, full of salt and fish. Before him, the giant salt plains of Wæliscbæc stretched on, a great white expanse punctuated only by the clusters of processing plants and workers’ habs that marked the industry here. It was a well-chosen beachhead, far from the prying eyes and colossal defence batteries of St Augustine’s, and had the local workers not raised the alarm, it could have been weeks before the alarm was raised. But now the Iskan 31st were here, and the perfidious xenos would pay for their temerity.

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Tonight’s mission saw both teams compete to control three equally spaced objectives, scoring 1VP a turn for the closest objective, 2VP for the middle, and 3VP for the furthest from their deployment. The Iskan 31st fielded a mechanised company backed by light artillery.

TURN 1:

The master of ordnance’s artillery salvo proved underwhelming to say the least, failing to inflict a single casualty. He came in far more handy supporting the Wyvern, which alongside the mortar section next to it succeeded in wiping out most of a unit of Rangers camped out on a hab-block overlooking Objective 1. A flurry of sniper fire finished off the rest; First Blood and 2VP to the Iskan 31st. Once again, Guard sniper squads prove surprisingly useful for their points cost. Captain Ansgar’s Executioner advanced on the second unit of Rangers in the hab-block, inflicting a couple of casualties and providing some mobile cover for Section 112. Nearby, Squad 111 advanced to secure Objective 2 for an additional VP.

On the right flank, Section 113 and Captain Bevyn advanced towards the central objective behind the cover of a hab-block. Steve’s Waveserpent had been protected by all manner of incantation and sorcery which meant that despite the sheer volume of fire poured on it by Leman Russ Aeron and a Hellhound, it proved remarkably tricky to wound. This would become a recurring theme.

Steve’s turn, and the Waveserpent advanced to disgorge a bevy of Wraithblades, who promptly proceeded to charge and rip great chunks out of Aeron’s hull. Luckily the Emperor protects and the Leman Russ survived the onslaught. Always potent in the psychic phase, one Farseer left Captain Bevyn wounded, while the other made the Wraithblades even more deadly and unkillable. On the left flank, the surviving Rangers started to chip away at the Guard advancing on their position, scoring a few kills in Section 111. The Eldar now secured Objective 3, netting them a handy 2 VP.

AM 3 : 2 Æ

TURN 2:

Guard artillery helped clear up the Rangers overlooking Objective 1, as Ansgar’s Executioner moved in to finish them off, opting for the quick VP over directing fire at the jetbike-mounted Farseer overseeing the Eldar left flank, in retrospect perhaps a mistake. On the right flank, the Wraithblades continued to be incredibly difficult to kill, shrugging off entire volleys of lasfire, and only beginning to take wounds under close-range tank fire and being charged by Ogryns. While the Ogryn’s charge didn’t acheive spectacular results against the Wraithblades, they at least bought some time for Aeron to withdraw and bring her armament to bear.

Having dropped its deadly cargo, the Eldar Wraithserpent circled back to Objective 1 and unleashed a furious volley of Shuriken fire on Section 111. With a crack, a unit of Guardians supported by a weapons platform emerged from the Webway, opening up on the survivors of Section 111 and driving the Guard off Objective 2.

AM 4 : 5 Æ

TURN 3:

Guard vengeance for Section 111 was swift; the sniper section quickly put the weapons platform out of commission with a flurry of mortal wounds, before the combined frag rounds of the mortars and the Wyvern turned the surviving Guardians into flesh confetti. Captain Ansgar turned the full might of his Executioner on the Wraithserpent, but failed to bring it down, leaving it hovering on a single wound. The honour went to a corporal from Section 112 with a plasma rifle, who put both rounds through it at close range. With the left flank clear, objectives 1 and 2 were both open.

On the right flank, the Ogryns didn’t last too long, but without all of the Farseer’s power, wounds were starting to claim the Wraithguard, with the last one falling to a point-blank headshot from Aeron’s lascannon as they attempted one last charge.

With the Wraithblades down, the Farseers used the pyschic phase to unleash their full might, tearing through Squad 113 and causing casualties among Col. Kentigern’s command squad.

AM 7 : Æ 7

At this juncture, although the VPs were level, the Eldar were down to just their two Farseers, while the Guard were about to claim at the very least objectives 1 and 2, to net 4 further VPs, and still had all their armour and artillery, and a good chunk of infantry left on the field. Steve chose to concede honourably, leaving the Guard in command of the field while the Farseers slipped back into the Webway to ponder their next move.

ASTRA MILITARUM VICTORY

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Kentigern looked down at the dying Eldar and spat into the salt. Around him, the air was filled with the moans of the wounded and the bustle of the medicæ as they hustled to and fro, tending shuriken wounds and lacerations. Nearby, a section of guardsmen whooped and cheered one of their comrades as they clustered around the smoking wreckage of the xenos tank. Kentigern allowed himself a smile, the fight had been hard but his men had done well. The ground around the western habs was strewn with the bodies of at least a score of xenos.

“Sir?”

Captain Bevyn appeared, his face wan from the greivous psychic shock he had received. Still, he’d found time to light another cigar.

“The witches escaped back into the Webway, Throne curse them.”

Kentigern nodded.

“So I expected, but at least they left their men behind. The enemy took heavy losses here today. The company did the Emperor proud and taught the xenos an important lesson; this is Imperial territory, and we intend to hold it.”

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