Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Battle Report: The Battle for the Vengeful Spirit



The metal decking of the Vengeful Spirit rang with the armoured footfalls of the Iron Warrior boarding party as they advanced on their objective which had been determined by their Primarch, Perturabo. The corridors and compartments they were moving through were virtually deserted, the human ratings long having fled from the Astartes tearing their way through the ship. The corridors were dimly lit with flickering emergency lighting, the sustained bombardment of the Iron Blood having knocked out main power in this section of Horus’ flagship; the decks shook as the Vengeful Spirit continued to receive fire from the Iron Warrior fleet.

Sergeant Pertinax fired his bolter on full auto at the sea green armoured forms ahead of him; the Sons of Horus were taking cover in a doorway and returning fire at the Iron Warriors who were advancing on them. Pertinax waved one of his marines forward and watched as the Iron Warrior threw a demolition charge down the corridor; barely a second later the Sons of Horus’ position exploded in a shower of debris and bodies. The Iron Warriors immediately broke cover and sprinted towards the Sons of Horus, dispatching the few survivors with close-ranged bolter rounds. Pertinax’s squad continued through the doorway into a wide chamber beyond, his Iron Warriors moved forward to secure the compartment without having to be ordered to do so. Pertinax went to the centre of the room and detached the locator beacon which had been mag-locked to his thigh; he placed it on the floor and sent a signal back to the Iron Blood.

A small nimbus of light formed above the locator beacon, growing in brightness and size as the air pressure within the compartment increased; there was a flash of light and a loud bang as the teleport was completed. Pertinax and every Iron Warrior in the room dropped to one knee as Perturabo, the Lord of Iron, stood before them. The Primarch was surrounded by a Terminator bodyguard, as well as Tyrant Siege Terminators and even two Dreadnoughts – Pertinax did not think that it was possible to teleport Dreadnoughts, but he had long ago learned never to underestimate his Primarch.

Perturabo's boarding party teleports aboard the Vengeful Spirit

Pertuarbo stepped forward and gestured for the kneeling Iron Warriors to stand, he had no time for formalities in the midst of a boarding situation; he knew that his brother Horus would already have arranged a counter attack and that speed would be the deciding factor between success and failure. He swiftly divided his strike force into sections and outlined their objectives; four power regulators which were essential elements of the safety systems that prevented the Vengeful Spirit’s warp drives from overloading. Destruction of these regulators would allow other boarding parties to engage the warp drives, causing catastrophic damage that not even a Gloriana class vessel could survive.

Perturabo turned to the Warsmith who had accompanied his boarding party, Astraeus Dyradon; The Bastard was not his preferred choice of second in command, however, Perturabo’s other officers were leading boarding parties throughout Horus’ flagship and Dyradon was the only senior officer available at the time – sometimes it payed to keep those you couldn’t quite trust close. Perturabo directed five of his Terminators to accompany Dyradon and to strike out for one of the power regulators, Pertinax would target the second regulator and the Primarch himself would lead the main thrust for the final two.

Perturabo's warriors advance throughout the Vengeful Spirit

Reports started coming in across the Vox network of black and red armoured Sons of Horus engaging Iron Warrior boarding parties; The Warmaster had clearly decided to commit his Terminator elite, the Justaerin, to blunting the assault on his flagship. Perturabo ordered his warriors to advance with alacrity; their only hope was to reach the objectives before the Justaerin had the opportunity to stop them.

Horus' Terminator Elite arrive to stop the Iron Warriors

Pertinax’s squad stormed down a corridor at full battle pace, the Primarch’s command ringing in the ears of every Iron Warrior; speed is essential to victory. The ship continued to shake from the void battle outside, but the Iron Warriors were making good time. As they closed on their defined objective the auspex pinged shrilly, it was picking up six life signs advancing on their position. As one the squad hefted their bolters and prepared combat attachments; the battle was sure to turn into a bloody melee if the Sons of Horus were going to try and stop them reaching their objective. As Pertinax rounded a corner, he saw the power distributor housing on one of the walls – he also saw six Justaerin Terminators advancing on his squad. As the remainder of the squad joined him, the Justaerin opened fire with their weapons. Pertinax voxed the Primarch to request an additional squad to assist in securing their objective and overcome the Sons of Horus who had appeared; Perturabo’s response was short and blunt, there would be no reinforcements and he expected Pertinax to destroy the power distributor by any means.

Pertinax's Squad come face to face with the Justaerin

As Perturabo severed the vox link, he knew he had most likely consigned Pertinax’s squad to certain death, but the lives of ten Iron Warriors was a fair exchange for the opportunity to cripple Horus’ flagship. He and his Terminator bodyguard advanced on their two objectives, followed by the Contemptor and Leviathan Dreadnoughts that he had brought with him. Moving these war machines via teleportation was dangerous and risky, but had been the only option available to him to ensure that he had heavy supporting units on hand for his assault; the alternative would have been to have sent them in boarding pods with the first wave, most likely resulting in them being damaged and having their ammunition depleted prior to his arrival. The complex systems of The Logos, Perturabo’s masterfully crafted suit of armour, detected a nearby teleport flare; he knew that there were no more Iron Warrior units to arrive so surmised that it must be additional Sons of Horus forces. Deep down he had a feeling that it must be Horus himself; The Warmaster was given to dramatic gestures and his favoured tactic was the Spear Tip. Somehow Perturabo knew Horus would come for him before this battle was done.

In the flash of a teleportation flare, the Warmaster arrives to command the situation personally

Astraeus Dyradon advanced up another corridor with five Terminators. He was enormously pleased with himself for being handpicked by the Primarch for this mission; he would do all he could to prove himself to his lord and master. The auspex was picking up several life signs at the next junction, just as five Justaerin rounded the corner. The Justaerin were already firing, their Combi Plasmas slaying three of the Iron Warrior Terminators, and their Heavy Flamer adding insult, if little injury. Though Dyradon and his squad returned fire, the Justaerin were upon them in no time at all.

The Bastard and his Terminators are set upon by the Justaerin

Pertinax knew the situation was getting desperate; a thrown grenade had done little more than scorch the paintwork of the power distributor; clearly they were shielded against blasts. The squad advanced through the hail of fire the Justaerin were throwing at them, trusting their Mark III plate to hold back the worst of it. One of Pertinax’s marines reached the power distributor, tearing at the armoured housing before punching a grenade deep into the inner workings of the device; it exploded spectacularly. Though they had achieved their objective, Pertinax realised that they had been trapped by the Justaerin, who had launched themselves at the Iron Warriors. Pertinax’s marines fired their Bolters on full auto, however Cataphractii plate was virtually immune to small arms fire and nothing would stop the Sons of Horus veterans reaching the Iron Warriors now.

Pertinax and his squad open fire on the Justaerin

Perturabo was monitoring all his warriors' visual feeds as he advanced; he had dispatched five or his Tyrant Terminators to take an objective and they had been engaged by yet more of the Justaerin; there had been a brutal but ineffective firefight, and the squad was now engaged in close combat on the threshold between two compartments, limiting both sides ability to do harm to the other. Dyradon had engaged another squad of Justaerin in close combat, whilst Pertinax had secured his objective. The Primarch noted that Pertinax’s squad would not survive their battle with Horus’ Terminator elite unless he sent additional units – he closed the visual feed and vox link to Pertinax; he had no one to send, and Pertinax was no longer of use to him.

The Tyrant Siege Terminators provide fire support to their Primarch

The Leviathan that Perturabo had brought with him advanced around the corridor; Perturabo could see form the Dreadnought’s visual feed that his brother Horus had indeed arrived, with yet more Justaerin and even Dreadnoughts of his own. The Leviathan opened up with all his weapons, the incendiary fury of its Phospex Launcher burning through the plate of one of Horus’ bodyguards even as they charged down the corridor towards the Iron Warriors war machine. The Tyrant Terminators still with Perturabo sent a veritable horde of Krak missiles slamming into the body of the closest Sons of Horus Contemptor Dreadnought, causing the behemoth to explode even as it tried to draw a bead on the Iron Warriors Primarch with its Multi Melta.

The Leviathan opens fire on the Warmaster and his bodyguard

Dyradon brought his spear about himself, swinging the blade in wide arcs and punching it through exposed joints and cabling of the Justaerin warriors stood before him. His remaining two Terminators were doing little for him other than getting in the way; he had to push on to his objective. He had also been given command of a Tactical Squad who he had sent via a different route; he was hopeful that he could draw the Terminators’ attention for long enough to allow the line troops to secure the objective.

Dyradon and his Terminators fend off the Sons of Horus' assault

Pertinax knew the situation was desperate; half his squad was dead already and the Primarch had severed communication with him. His remaining men were throwing everything they had at the Justaerin, but to no effect; in reply the Justaerin were methodically killing the Iron Warriors one by one. Pertinax found himself facing a Terminator wielding a huge axe; he clenched his Power Fist and swung it towards the faceplate of the Son of Horus, but to little effect. In reply the Terminator cut low, the Power Axe easily slicing through his left leg, severing it midway through his thigh. Pertinax fell to the floor, just in time to see his last remaining warrior being shredded by a Justaerin with a pair of Lightning Claws. He tried to bring his bolter up to fire at the axe-wielding Terminator, but it was kicked out of his hand; the Terminator stood on his chest before levelling its Combi Bolter with Pertinax’s face. Pertinax could do little more than stare at the barrels of the weapon and curse his own Primarch for abandoning him to this fate before the weapon was fired.

Pertinax and his men prepare themselves for the end

Perturabo watched as a Sons of Horus Contemptor opened fire at the Iron Warriors Leviathan with its Kheres Assault Cannons, ripping the larger machine’s front armour open with apparently little effort. There was a sudden boom and the deck shook far more violently than it had done previously, the Iron Warriors fleet was clearly causing significant damage to the Vengeful Spirit. Many of the Iron Warriors and Sons of Horus stumbled at the sudden shaking, Perturabo’s charge faltering for the briefest moment. Horus capitalised on this sudden pause in events, directing his Justaerin to open fire on Pertuarbo’s squad, he and his men charged in and the battle was joined. Just before he dismissed all his visual feeds to focus on his fight with Horus, Perturabo could see that Dyradon was still fighting in close combat, and that the last members of the squad of Tyrant Terminators he had sent towards one of his objectives had finished their fight with the Justaerin, but were in no condition to advance and destroy their power distributor. It would be down to him.

The Tyrants and the Justaerin slug it out in the close confines of the Vengeful Spirit

Dyradon swung around and plunged the tip of his spear through the eye slit of one of the Justaerin before him; the warrior dropped as if poleaxed. The sudden shaking of the ship had cost his remaining two Terminators their lives as the lost their footing and were set upon by Horus’ warriors. He had not gone down, and had capitalised on the situation. He put a close range bolt round through the damaged chest plate of another of the Justaerin, and shoved his spear through the knee joint of the final Sons of Horus Warrior. As the red and black armoured Terminator fell to his knees, Dyradon activated his servo arm, manipulating the limb to grip the helmet of the injured warrior and to crush it with overwhelming force. He then set off towards his objective yet again, voxing through to the Tactical Squad he had been given command of to advance – he hadn’t even bothered to learn the Sergeant’s name.

 Covered in the blood of the fallen, Dyradon pushes on towards his objective

 Dyradon's Tactical Squad advances via a different path, hoping to avoid the Justaerin

Perturabo had known that Horus would come for him; the Warmaster charged in with his Justaerin and seemed to ignore the lesser Iron Warriors in favour of challenging his brother. Perturabo’s Terminators fought hand to hand with the Justaerin and even the badly damaged Leviathan came to support its Primarch. Horus swiped at Perturabo with his talon, spitting curses at his brother for betraying him. Perturabo tried to dodge backwards but the talon cut through his chest plate and severed some of the servos housed within, slowing the Iron Warriors Primarch slightly. He struck back with Forgebreaker, grimly aware that his warriors were dying around him; Horus deflected each of the blows with his mace. Suddenly there was a violent explosion as one the Justaerin plunged a Chain Fist into the power plant of the Leviathan; the resulting detonation killed yet more of the Injured Iron Warriors Terminators, leaving their Primarch alone with the Warmaster and his bodyguard.

The situation turns desperate as the Warmaster intervenes in the fight

Perturabo prepares to fight his brother

Dyradon grunted as Plasma shots from yet more Justaerin burned into his chest plate – How many of them were there? He stumbled slightly and five more Terminators were upon him. Dyradon shoved his spear through the heart of one of the Justaerin, bringing it out and using the energised edge of the blade to cut through the arm of another, surely crippling the warrior. He turned to face the third of Horus’ warriors when he felt a sudden cold pain in his chest; he looked down to see another of the Justaerin had plunged its Lightning Claws through his back, the points of which were protruding from his breastplate. Dyradon lost strength in his legs and dropped to his knees, letting go of his spear. He coughed up blood and brought his head up in time to see the black and red armoured Terminators closing in around him, energy fields around their weapons flaring into life.

Astraeus finds himself outnumbered by another squad of Justaerin

Perturabo knew his boarding action was at risk of failing; his body guards were dead and his injury was sapping his strength. He lashed out again with Forgebreaker striking the Warmaster on the shoulder with the flat of the hammer, forcing him back, visibly concussed. Perturabo was joined by more of his warriors as the Tyrant Terminators who had been supporting his advance threw themselves at the Sons of Horus with reckless abandon. The Justaerin and the Iron Warriors tore chunks out of each other until only a single Tyrant Terminator emerged.

 Horus and Perturabo fight on bitterly while the Contemptor tries to stop the Justaerin from assisting the Warmaster

The fight between Primarchs continued, Perturabo swinging Forgebreaker again and again at his brother, injuring the Warmaster further. Horus was not idle however, and was using both his claw and his mace to deflect blows and counter attack wherever possible; both Primarchs were taking hits, but Perturabo dared to hope that he could kill his brother and stop this terrible situation from developing any further. He heard the roar of Assault Cannon fire from behind him and spared a glance at the Iron Warriors Contemptor; the Dreadnought was attempting to hold back yet another squad of Justaerin who had appeared. In no more than a glance, Perturabo had assessed the threat and noted the squad markings of the Justaerin; these were the warriors that had engaged Pertinax, clearly the Sergeant had either died or fled. He turned back to Horus in time to see the Warmaster crush the chest plate of the final Tyrant Terminator, leaving just the two Primarchs fighting alone. As Perturabo went to swing Forgebreaker in an overhead arc, Horus punched his talon through Perturabo’s chest. Perturabo’s world exploded into pain, and he dropped his war hammer; Horus dragged him close and whispered “Do you think this changes anything? I will still sit on the Throne of Terra, and you could have been at my right hand. All you have done is killed yourself by defying me”. With that, the Warmaster withdrew his talon and let Perturabo slide down to the ground. His last sight before everything faded to black was of Horus stepping over him towards the Contemptor which was still trying to hold back the Justaerin.



 Horus ends the boarding action by caving in the Contemptor's torso with Worldbreaker

*****

Perturabo sat back in his seat in his workshop, staring at the data pad in front of him for a long time.

Yet another failed simulation; yet another defeat.

In a fit of sudden rage, he grabbed pad and launched it across his workshop, causing it to shatter against one of the bulkheads. He seethed, balling his fists and slamming them on the table. Every time he ran a simulation of attacking Horus’ flagship the same thing would happen; his brother would employ his Spear Tip tactic, teleporting directly into the fray to challenge him personally. Perturabo knew the odds of him winning a duel with his brother were slim, but surely he would be able to out-think him. Warfare was nothing more than a mathematical calculation, but Horus was an anomalous variable which always proved disastrous to Perturabo’s finely balanced equations.

Every time, he teleported in to deal with Perturabo’s assault himself. Every time.

Perturabo paused, a slight smile forming on his face as yet another scenario popped into his mind; he reached for the stack of empty data slates, ready to begin another calculation…

*****


Well I hope you enjoyed reading that battle report as much as Darien Vasco and I enjoyed creating it! We both had a day off so decided to make the most of it by heading to Warhammer World and using their fantastic Zone Mortalis table. We wanted a fairly sizable game, so agreed to take lists around 2600 points each, which worked out to be a great army size for a 6' x 4' Zone Mortalis table. 

Our lists were roughly as follows:


Perturabo
Warsmith with Terminator Armour
10 Tactical Marines
10 Tactical Matines
5 Terminators
5 Terminators
5 Tyrant Siege Terminators
5 Tyrant Siege Terminators
Leviathan Dreadnought
Contemptor Mortis Dreadnought



Horus
6 Justaerin
6 Justaerin
6 Justaerin
5 Justaerin
5 Justaerin
Contemptor Mortis Dreadnought
Contemptor Dreadnought


We used a custom mission where the attacker (Iron Warriors) had to destroy d3+2 objectives (We rolled 4 total), and the defender had to protect them. Darien was pretty sneaky with his deployment of the objectives, meaning that I had to split my army into distinct groups to try and cover them all; this was compounded by the fact that we both could only deploy half our army and the rest had to go in reserves. Perturabo mitigated this for my by allowing me to roll for reserves on Turn 1, whilst Horus allowed Darien to Outflank his Justaerin!

The battle was hard fought, made all the more difficult for me by Darien's apparent inability to roll 1s for armour saves when I really needed him to. Horus is a beast in combat, and though Perturabo gave it his best shot, he couldn't compete with the Warmaster when it mattered.

The final result came down to objectives; I destroyed one and Darien preserved the other three. A sound victory for the Sons of Horus, and back to the drawing board for Perturabo!

Cheers!

Ikthelion & Darien

20 comments:

  1. This was really fun - I hope you guys do more of these! Always nice to see well painted forces going at it

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    1. Thanks! We had a great time playing the game, and plan to do many more!

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  2. Glad you folks put the report together in the end. Shame I was rooting for the team that lost but ah well.

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    1. Thanks! I'll have to see if I can wrangle a win next time!

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  3. Top battle report! Lovely looking models.
    I have an Iron Warriors/Shattered Legion question - where would be the best place to ask this?

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    1. Fire away with your question, I'll try and answer if I can!

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    2. Thanks. Is it possible take a domitar-ferrum in a Shattered Legion force?! As it's an elite choice not a legion specific unit! I just really love the model and want to take one!!

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    3. I think they're Legion specific to Iron Warriors, but I thought the shattered Legions were able to access Legion specific choices if they take the right combination of army choices - sorry, I don't have a copy of the rules for that!

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    4. I believe you need a preator from the legion in order to access unique units in a shattered legion force, so if you had a IW preator then the Domitar should then be accessible!

      If not then use it anyway! It's a shattered legion making use of the tools available to it!

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    5. Cheers. My reading was that it was an elite choice and therefore I didn't need an IW prateor or centurion to take one. If I wanted to take an Iron Circle variant then obviously I would (as would be legion specific like Tyrant seige terminator)
      I think it might go for the prateor or centurion as well just to avoid any potential rules issue.
      Or I might get one and convert to be a "Salamanders" contemptor repaired and reused after Istaavan by a Salamanders forge lord!!
      Decisions decisions!!

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  4. Great report and narrative. Something that you can really imagine Perturabo doing as well! He's a Primarch I've come close to liking so many times but then he does something wankerish in the fluff.
    He clearly needs his Iron Circle to take on Horus though.

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    1. Yeah, I may have to get the Iron Circle... that'll sort Horus out!

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    2. Pfft Iron Circle what a load of rubbish! Horus will easily shrug them off...maybe!

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  5. I loved the narrative - really brought the game to life. Nice one guys!

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  6. Fantastic report. I wonder how the Sons of Magnus would fair against the warmasters sons...

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    1. I don't know but I would like to find out!

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  7. Fantastic! You really got Perturabos character there. The ending is such a thing he'd do. amazing. Pls do more of them! Iron within!

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  8. I played on the same board just yesterday! Its a really fun board to play on. Looks like you guys enjoyed it as much as we did!

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    1. It is an awesome board and it was a great game! Zone Mortalis is great fun, I'm going to be putting my own together soon!

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