Vespera has finally recuperated from her injuries for real. Numerous assassination attempts and failed coup d'etats kept her on her toes and only served to cement her political prowess in the Kabal of the Rapturous Venom. The only downside to it all is that due to her injuries and the political intrigue, her beauty is tarnished by the lack of souls to feed upon. Despite her now-deceased dracon's attempt to stop the flow of souls, but she got enough to be in the political fight. Most importantly, her meetings with the human family under her protection intensified and the children are now no longer fearful of their captor. But there is a sense of distrust still lingering in the air and Vespera considered this as a token of improvement with her so-called 'pets'.
But now that her vacation is over, it is time to reap a bountiful harvest.
A foolish archon by the name of Archon Shalindir has decided that his Kabal alone will not be able to take the gargantuan agriworld, Serenade by himself and have lured many archons with the potential rewards of the planet, and the rewards are so great that he is willing to share the spoils with others within the Dark City. The enticing lure of the countless souls to be enslaved and tortured and immense amounts of wealth to be plundered are rewards in itself, but in Commoragh the only true currency is power and no self-respecting Archon or Succubus would willingly stand by while his or her rivals benefit from such a cooperative venture. But the price of a failed raid is such that the fear of failure is the only thing preventing the Eldar coalition from backstabbing each other.
She has joined the coalition with such an intention in mind, for her Kabal would benefit greatly from such a world. The Blue Anguish is one of the noble houses that shared an interest in hunting worlds with high population and have clashed with the Rapturous Venom over several of these worlds but this time, she is willing to work with this archon. The coalition of the willing has continued on growing until a grand total of 30 Kabals have united under the banner of the Serenade invasion. And now, the Archon of the Blue Anguish Kabal is briefing all the other great Archons of the other Kabals. She will play nicely for now.
"Greetings my esteemed guest, I guess you have answered my call due to the benefits that it can bring to all of us. This Imperial world is called Serenade, and it is a massive Agriworld with a total population of 300 billion souls that we could reap." 300 billion? Vespera is now quite interested as rarely does a agricultural world have such a massive population, and agriworlds are not as well defended as other worlds. She looked around and saw that the other Archons have the same thoughts as herself.
"This world is the food basket of the Achollas sector, and its fall will not only bring us lots of slaves, but also prestige and a generous estimation of at least 30 planets will be affected by its loss. This in turn would cause more trading vessels from outside the sector to come in to provide the necessary demand and would allow us to raid all the ships that are coming in and out of the sector. In basic terms, ladies and gentlemen, this means that this world will make us wealthy for a considerable amount of time after its demise..." As the archon rambles on, Vespera could see that something is amiss.
"Before you continue on, Shalindir...If this world is just an agriworld, why would you need us?" One of the archons questioned the motives of the fooolish archon, and Vespera is surprised that someone else is seeing what she noticed.
"Well, dear Archon Quedras I am taking advantage of a particular insurrection that is going on the world to our advantage. The world is in open revolt and has plunged enough systems that the Imperials have sent in their military might to suppress the revolt. Their might is the reason why I can never take it with my strength alone. However the reward is just too great to pass up and...." Vespera stood up, surprising everyone.
"This briefing is dull. Just give me the information and I will do my part."
I have the pleasure of gaming with a gamer named Jeremy who plays a very cool army that has the quite a lot of old school models, including the old school Land Raider (ZOMG THAT IS AWESOME!)!!!!!! I am not joking, it is the real deal, but with a slight conversion by the owner to keep it up with the modern standards of the game. He also got some of the old school Razorbacks too, which is a treat. He was in the process of painting it, and based upon the other mini he is painting at the time before we game, I can see that the army is in good hands and will look amazing.
My list for the day is;
Archon with Agoniser, Djinn Blade, Soul-trap, Haywire grenade, combat drugs, and shadowfield
2 Haemonculi with liquifier guns
3 squads of 3 Trueborns with blasters in Venom with two splinter cannons
1 squad of 7 wyches with haywire grenades and a hekatrix upgrade armed with an agoniser in a Raider with flickerfield
1 squad of 8 wyches with haywire grenades and a hekatrix upgrade armed with an agoniser in a Raider with flickerfield
2 squads of 5 warriors with a blaster in a Venom with two splinter cannons
2 squad of 5 warriors with a blaster in a Raider with flickerfield
2 ravagers with 3 dark lances and flickerfield
1 Razorwing with two dark lancers, splinter cannon, 4 monoscythe missiles and flickerfield
My list is somewhat balanced, with the capabilities to take out almost anything, from ork horde to GK if I so choose, with the main idea of my list is options. This is perhaps why I armed the Archon the way I did, as a djinn blade and agoniser together is expensive but allow me to hunt down guardsmen or if I rolled right on the drug roll, marine hunting.
His list is as follow;
Captain with power sword
Big Chaplain guy (resuliarch? I do not know how to spell this one) in power armour
Honour Guard with two power first and a Sanguinary priest (not the elite one, but the one that comes with the Honour Guard) in a Land Raider Crusader with extra armour and storm bolter
2 Furioso Dreadnoughts with Blood Talons
5 Assault Marines in a Land Raider with extra armour and storm bolter
2 squads of 5 Assault Marines with a power fist in a Lasplas Razorback with extra armour
2 squadrons of 2 Landspeeders with heavy bolters and typhoon launchers.
My opponent's list is a rather interesting Mechanized list, with an interesting combination of Dreadnoughts, speeders, land raiders and razorbacks and I can see that my choice of letting him start first is the right choice, as he would not want me to lance him to death.
Well, the game is done on a board without much terrain and thus seeing that the terrain is equal on both sides, it does not matter where we deploy to begin with. The main decisive factor would be what kind of mission it will be, as if it is an annihilation mission I am royally doomed. But as the dice gods were very nice to me for the day, the mission of the day is Seize Ground with three objectives. We roll off to see who places the objectives first and I managed to get the roll, and apparently we got similar plans; clump all the objectives to the central zone of the table.
The deployment style is nothing too special with Pitched Battle being the deployment of the game.
We then roll off to see who has the higher number to decide game order, and I managed to get it. But from the looks of it, the terrain is so bare that if I deploy everything on the table he will instead reserve his forces and proceed to lessen the damage of my forces and get the beta strike on me. Since I would prefer to be in the position of greater tactical flexibility to begin with, I decided to go and let him deploy first. Given the choice, he decided to choose the top deployment zone and deploy his forces accordingly (as seen in the pic that I took of his army, the golden coins are the objectives.)
We then go about doing our mandatory rolls, with him doing the red thirst and I went about rolling for the drugs. His Blood Angels did not have any units with the Red Thirst (Seriously this reminds me of Kool-Aid for some reason) and for me, I gotten what is perhaps my most favourite roll on the drug table; re-rolls to wound.
With that the game begins.
Turn 1 and 2
Captain Cesaro threaded the battlefield carefully for military intel have ascertain that the population of Turin's Well, numbering 100 million have suddenly ceased communications with the main Imperial authority in the area. Due to the mysterious circumstances and the nature of the current rebellion, it is assumed that perhaps traitor elements are present in the city. The request were made of Captain Cesaro's Blood Angels to protect the main trading route between Turin's Well and Glarandria known as the Heaven's Path to prevent a possible offensive by the traitors on Glarandria.
As his forces proceed to secure their positions on the path, he was certain that the rebels will not nave the necessary weapons to take down his forces. His predictions were shattered when several pulses of red beams cracked through the skies like vengeful thunderbolts upon his vehicles....
I rolled for my reserves and I managed to get the Razorwing, Ravagers, Kabalite Raider squads, 1 Kabalite venom squad, and two Trueborn squads on the table. With the exception of the trueborns, I went on ahead and move everything down my left flank.
During the shooting phase, My ravagers and Razorwings proceed to destroy one of the Land Speeders in the left squadron while my Trueborns did rather pathetically at shooting those Land Raiders. My Raiders did not do anything on the razorback on the left. My Venoms managed to gun down the Assault Squad that is sitting on the objective on his side of the table.
"FORWARD FOR SANGUINIUS AND THE EMPEROR!!!!!!" Captain Cesaro bellows in his vox as his forces proceed to target the incoming threat. His land raider driver have told him that the Dark Eldar are attacking them and despite the odd encounter, nonetheless his forces will need to purge the Xenos from this vital route. With extreme prejudice, he proceed to come out from the Land Raider and fires upon all those who stand in his way. His force descended upon the Eldar Raiders like a tempest and many vehicles of the Eldar raiders are damaged in one way or another.
But it is then that a reavercraft pass by him and several more of the reavers proceed to charge his squad. Foolish on the part of the Eldar, but he soon noticed that one of them is unlike the others and notices that it is one of the foul Eldar Lords. The Eldar Lord, or to be exact Lady as he come to see proceed to pick him out among his retinue and engage him.
My mobile ravager with a gun destroyed proceed to get closer to the Land Speeder on the left.
My shooting phase is interesting as my lances did nothing much, with the only effective shooting is done by the mobile ravager as it managed to knock out the Typhoon launcher of the Land Speeder. The Haemonculus managed to use his flaming awesomenes to kill three of the assault marines from the land raider. With nothing much to do, I proceed to charge the wyches and the Archon to the Honour Guard for an epic HQ-on-HQ action. My Archon decided to use the Djinn blade and proceed to inflict two wounds on the Captain, while the Hekatrix managed to inflict a wound on the Chaplain. The other wyches managed to bring down another one of the Honour Guard. In return, he killed two of my wyches with his power fists. We proceed to get stuck in combat.
The arrival of Brother Allegrato to the swirling melee is only met with one of the Allegrato's blood talons being destroyed with a spinning acrobatic jump by one of the foul Eldar. Captain Cesaro could only see that the battle is now getting even more grim, as the Eldar reavers are fearless against his fellow brother Dreadnought and managed to damage it. Nonetheless his attention is primarily focused upon the Eldar Lady, for the foul being is actually his equal, or to be exact slightly better than him. The Eldar Lady darts around with the unnatural agility characteristic of her race and slowly but surely cutting through his defenses. But it becomes apparent that the Eldar Lady is actually toying with him, with several stabs of her eldritch blade just carving the Eldar language upon the livery that marks the Marine armour as part of the Blood Angels chapter. Enraged by the intentional defilement, he proceed to strike down upon the foul being, but a sudden veil of darkness envelops the foul Eldar Lady. As it dissipates, the Eldar waves her index finger at him, telling him that what he did is unwise indeed.
Before he could even spout his rage, he noticed that his view of the world is rolling upwards towards the sky, and to his utter horror, he could see his body standing among the melee while the rest of his honour guard battles with the wyches. Cesaro's head slowly descends back into the melee, but it was then that he notices that one of the ornaments of the Eldar is glowing with a malefic glow, and before he knew it he is now viewing the melee from an entirely different perspective. His view of the melee is now back upon the ground level, but his view is very fragmented like he is seeing the world from a crystalline structure.
"Space Marine, your soul is now mine." Cesaro could hear the Eldar Lady's voice and to his horror, he realized that his soul is eternally damned.
My opponent moves his speeders up my right flank and the Land Raider and Razorback moved to defend the objective, while his dreadnoughts proceed to get closer to the melee. His other land Speeder proceed to play a hide and seek game with my forces.
During the shooting phase, his Land Raider crusader managed to destroy two of my Kabalite and Venom and a Trueborn venom, causing them to disembark.
He assaulted my Haemonculus and his two Dreads moved to assault me, but then realized that only one of the dreadnought is able to join the melee as the other has the pointy part of the Raider blocking his path. So with that the Dread on the left charged into my Wyches and Archon while the other Dread charged my raider. The haemonculus went poof, and the marines consolidated themselves. The right dread did not do anything much as he could not hit my raider.
The big melee gets a little screwy for my opponent as I managed to kill off one Marines and destroyed one of the blood talons on the Dreadnought. But in return, he killed off two wyches. I lost by one casualty, but the leadership roll allowed me to stay in combat. The Archon decided to stick with the Djinn blade, but did nothing to the Captain. The captain failed to even hit my Archon.
The way I see the battle is that the battle is slowly becoming very desperate for the both of us and thus extreme measures need to be taken. I rolled for my reserves and my Wyches still do not want to come in.
I decided to move my warrior clump on my left flank towards the left bottom objective, while the Wych raider proceed to penetrate the lines to get a central position. The Kabalite warriors on the right decided to hop on another Venom and moved 6" behind the right Razorback. The disembarked Trueborns proceed to move out in a move to kill the second dreadnought, less it joins the combat and dooming my center offensive.
In the shooting phase, I managed to explode the right Dreadnought, and the explosion killed one of the Marines (even with FNP) and my lances from the immobilized ravager and razorwing managed to destroy the Razorback on the left flank. Once again, the mobile ravager, with the help of the center raider tried to kill the speeder on the left, but failed. A blaster from the embarked Kabalite managed to shake the other Razorback. The venom killed off the remaining Assault Marines.
In the assault phase, I managed to kill off all of the Honor Guard and my Archon decides to switch weapons, finally kills the Captain with the agoniser. I rolled for my leadership and managed to suck the captain's soul, increasing my strength to 6.
Brother-Chaplain Luciano and Brother Allegrato saw the demise of their captain, and in their rage attempted to avenge their captain's death, managing to kill a few more scores of Eldar reavers. But alas, the one that killed the captain is imbued with sorcerous energy and with a single swing from her sword, she sliced the chaplain into half, and to the dreadnought's horror the dangling crystal skull of the Eldar Lady glows and the dreadnought could swear that a wisp of gaseous manner emerges from the Chaplain's corpse and enters the skull. Suddenly the dreadnought realized that the battle is indeed lost, for the puny being before her has a presence that is so unbearably monstrous that a single stare of the puny Eldar only serves to solidify the Dreadnought's unrealistic notion that she could take him down if she wanted to. But before he could even take the initiative to charge at her, she is already in front of him and proceeds to slice away the arm of the dreadnought with her blade, and with another stab, she destroys the servo motors of his leg, causing him to fall upon the battlefield. The Eldar Lady then points her blade at his sarcophagi and speaks to the now humilated dreadnought.
"Your leaders are gone, and you can and will die my my wishes. But my wish is for you to live, to forever suffer the humiliation that you are unable to protect your leaders, their souls eternally trapped with me and your enemy sparing you upon the battlefield. Oh...let me add more salt to your wounds. You will also suffer the humiliation that you have failed to protect the route to the city, where my forces will come in and enslave and pillage your city of Glarandria, all 600 million of its defenseless inhabitants and 300 million from the city of Turin's Well as well. Enjoy your day."
As she walked away, the Dreadnought could only curse and bellow his rage at the Eldar. He swore that one day, she will pay for her crimes.
For my opponent, he really need this turn to be really effective and proceed to not move anyting save those of his speeders. During the shooting phase, he finally kills the mobile ravager with the combined firepower of lascannons from the Land Raider, heavy bolters of the Land Speeder on the left. His other squad of Land Speeder fires all its weapons upon the Kabalite warriors in the Trueborn venom, but I managed to make..........
10 flickerfield saves. This is unnaturally bad for my opponent, but extremely good for me.
As for the assault phase, I managed to kill the Chaplain with a str 6 Djinn blade, and managed pass the leadership to suck his soul. This brings me an unforeseen and extremely rare circumstance; my Archon is now a Str 10 juggernaut with 7 attacks, which I could reroll to wound. The wyches failed to do anything to the dreadnought, but by my turn, the dreadnought will most likely be doomed.
With that inevitability in mind, I pile in upon the dreadnought.
In this turn my wych squad finally comes in, and since the battlefield is now a big mess, I proceed to move the wych raider to the center again, and deploy the wyches out towards the direction of the lone razorback. I proceed to move the Archon raider towards the other objective in his deployment zone, and moved the Kabalites towards their respective objectives.
My shooting phase is dismal as I failed to kill the center land raider, but my kabalite in the venom managed to destroy one of the weapons of the Land speeder typhoon and poof goes the Typhoon launcher on one of them. The raiders attempted to bring down the land raiders, but they failed as well.
In the assault phase, my archon managed to rip the other arm off the Furioso, Immobilized it and stunned it to hell and back. The wyches did nothing to the Dreadnought. The wyches that just arrived upon the table charged the stationary Razorback and managed to kill one of the marines in the ensuing explosion.
With me having a presence on one objective while all the other objectives are being contested, this is the best turn for the game to end for me. As for my opponent, he would want a 6th turn as he needs to rip my presence away from the objectives to even have a chance to win.So in more ways than one, the game is now down on a single dice roll; the roll to see if the game continues on. The die is cast and the roll is......
A 2. With that the game ends.
Post-game and Afterthoughts
Vespera is able to plunder to her hearts content, and as the city is wisped of its inhabitants and its treasures, she received word that the foolish archon is slain in combat by a 'friendly' fire incident. Thankfully, her objectives are modestly simple as a result of the simmering animosity of Archon Shalindir to her. Her reward may be small by comparison to the other Archons, and her mission pits her against the human's finest but the reports are coming in that among the coalition of 30 Kabals, she is one of only three Archons who are getting out of this alive with riches beyond their wildest expectations. Ironically enough, the archons that are reaping the best rewards from this situation are the Archons whom Shalindir have assigned what is considered suicidal missions.
But this is why the political intrigue of Commoragh is so exquisite, for behind Shalindir's back she and the other two Archons have decided to leak some of the information to the Imperials via messengers and told them that their biggest cities are under threat from 'Xenos invaders' causing the great fortification of the defenses of the main cities of Serenade. Those cities that number well above several billion are armed to the teeth and as proven by the calculations of the three archons, those are the cities that are assigned the best defenses.
The three Archons may be forced to fight by themselves against locations that are guarded by fortifications that are initially though to manned to the best of their abilities, but the political intrigue made those exact cities more vulnerable and allow them to take advantage of the ensuing lack of a monstrous defense.
"Archite, it seems that our plan worked very well. We suffered casualties but not Kabal-crippling like the other fools." One of the Archons, an Archon by the name of Harandrir speaks to Vespera using a holographic communicator. Another archon came upon the live conference as well, Archon Illas of the Bloody Laughter is laughing to his heart content.
"Well, it is nice working with you gentleman. And now, shall we part ways?"
"Definitely. This is an alliance of convenience after all. We will go our separate ways once we are out of the system." The feed from Harandrir turns off, as Vespera turns her attention to the other Archon.
"I really enjoyed this backstabbing indeed. Fully half of the Kabals that are vanquished are my direct competitors.Have a nice day.....*human man screams* Oh, quiet you Mon-keigh, just bear with me as I write my latest joke on your skin...." Illas cackles with glee as his feed is offline.
At least Illas is right. She is now in her best condition, beautiful and without any blemish. With the riches in her arm, and the prestige of killing a Space Marine Commander on the other, this is proving to be a very nice day indeed....
Dark Eldar: 1
Blood Angels: 0
Dark Eldar victory!
The initial lance volley from my forces are dismal, and the resulting counterattack caused a moderate setback upon my plans of taking all the objectives on the left flank and forced me to think smaller. The way I played my forces in this situation is the best I could come up with, as I forced my opponent to take care of all the other nonsensical elements of my list rather than the one that really counts; the troops.
If there is a pivotal moment in the game, I say it is the arrival of the Archon's raider. This single unit, with its compliments of passengers allowed me to turn a downward spiraling game to a decisive lynchpin of my counteroffensive. By clever positioning, I am able to do a few things
1) Engage with several forces at once: The Archon's and the wyches presence only serve to make him do what I wanted him to do; to divert the left Furioso from marching towards my flimsy disembarked Kabalites and killing all my scoring units. The Haemonculus also managed to severely reduced the Assault Marines that it is weak enough to be killed by a single Venom volley.
2) Forced my opponent's land raiders to be extremely restricted, especially those of the crusader : The Wych raider become both mobile obstacle, bait, gunship and moving cover to everything that the Land Raiders wanted to shoot at and forced his attention to this pest of a Raider.
3) Making the illusion that my forces are actually having the initiative: My opponent did not realize that he already have a great advantaged over me by immobilizing my heavy weaponry, and still assumed that I am at an advantage. The Archon raider push only served to cement this notion in his mind, while in actuality I am just bluffing. The bluffing in return became a self-fulfilling prophecy for my opponent as his desire for a solid defense actually allowed me to take the initiative and force him at a corner despite the superior firepower of my list. The Land Raiders are always shooting at the Archon's raider, which actually helped me.
As for my opponent, I think the movement of all my forces caused him to lose sight of his objectives, and allowed me to pick apart all his scoring units one by one. In addition, his earlier moves to kill off the Trueborns with his Assault Marines and Honour Guard only opened an opportunity for me to counter his counter and forced him to commit more than he wanted to. Another thing I noticed is that his Land Speeders are not as aggressively utilized and did not take full advantage of their weaponry against my forces.
It was a close game of "Stare Master" but my opponent blinked first.