Sunday, August 28, 2011

Week 2: Breakout!

The Expedition forces have set foot on Talassar, but are denied the secure landing zones they desperately need.  Despite the massive casualties inflicted on the Occupation, the ground war remains a stalemate into which no reinforcements can be safely landed.  Indeed, the situation is growing desperate for the outnumbered Expedition forces, as the fight for the landing zones quickly becomes a war of attrition.

The turning point in the initial strike came at the primary landing zone, where a strike force comprised of Space Marines of the Imperial Fists, Black Templar, and Space Wolves were tasked with the destruction of a strongpoint held by Traitor Guard forces.  The fight went well despite the unexpected arrival of a Tyranid swarm and and Ork warband on the Astartes flanks, until an aerial bombardment forced the Marines to withdraw.  The valiant vanguard action could not counter the loss of over sixty percent of the Imperial forces, including almost all of the command staff and the entire contingent of superheavy tanks.  The cultists were left in possession of the field.

After-action reports confirm that the crippling ordnance originated with Imperial forces.  Confronted with angry Astartes, Inquisitorial elements have launched an investigation.  Preliminary results show that the air strike order was issued properly through the Ultramarines cruiser Fidelis, despite Captain Fabian's insistence that he never issued such an order.

The only bright spot for the Expedition forces in the aftermath of the initial action is their success in denying the Defense Towers to the Occupation forces.  While the failure to hold the towers is still a setback, allowing the Occupation forces to access the systems would have compounded an already grim outlook.

Week 1 Results:
Primary: Occupation
Secondary: Tie
Tertiary: Occupation

Mission 2: Breakout!

The failure of Expedition forces to establish a beachhead has necessitated a change in plans.  Orders have come through to attempt a dispersal: though casualties will be high, command feels that preventing the Occupation forces from concentrating at the next dropsite is top priority.  Once the Imperial forces have scattered, forces can be landed at the lowest concentrations of enemy strength.

Primary Objective: Kill points.  Expedition players can move their units off the opponent's table edge.  Units moved off the table may not return, but they award kill points to the owning player instead of their opponent.

With the massive casualties already inflicted on both sides, leadership and direction may turn the tide of the coming battles. 

Secondary Objective: Nominate one HQ unit as your General.  You achieve this objective if your General is on the table at the end of the game and your opponent's is not.

As forces disperse from the initial battlefields, the Defense Towers are still denied to both sides.  Rather than waste forces on an attempt to break into the towers, Each side will attempt to destroy the facilities to deny them to their foes

Tertiary Objective: Before deployment, place a building with AV 14 in the center of the table.  The side who destroys this building will achieve this objective.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Week 1: The Purging of Talassar

The ocean world of Talassar has always been an Imperial bastion in the great void.  A shining Jewel in the Crown of Ultramar, Talassar is the cradle of many of Guilliman’s finest sons, including such warriors as Cato Sicarius, Captain of the Ultramarines Second Company and hero of a thousand battlefields.

But the shining beacon of Talassar has dimmed.  The Imperial Army’s Tithe delegate—a largely ceremonial position on the Astates worlds of Ultramar—was diverted to Calth after discovering that the dusky blue world was marred by the glowing fires of war, it’s spacelanes crowded by the vessels of Mankind’s numerous foes.

With the Ultramarines still recovering from the battle at Macragge or committed to other warzones, the lords of Ultramar are forced to seek outside aid for Talassar.  The Imperial Army has answered the call, along with nearly a dozen Astartes fleets and several Inquisitors operating nearbye.  Together the Imperial forces have mounted a great Expedition to Talassar under the command of Ultramarines Captain Mikael Fabian of the 3rd Company, charged with bringing death to their enemies and relief to the beseiged citizens.

With the void battle forced to a stalemate, thanks in part to the unlooked for intervention of an Eldar fleet on behalf of the Imperial forces, the time has come to take the battle to the surface.  Whichever side can gain control of the mighty Talassarian defense batteries can turn the tide of the space conflict and ultimately deny their foes the reinforcements needed for a ground victory.

But as the Expeditionary leaders prepare to make planetfall, many are plagued by doubts.  What foe has brought so much destruction to Talassar?  How did such a heavily defended world fall without even a single distress signal?

Mission 1: Beachhead

As Expeditionary forces reach Talassar, they must secure safe landing zones or be denied the bulk of their reinforcements.  The Occupation leaders have united in the common goal of denying a foothold on the planet's surface to the Imperial forces.

Primary Objective: Control the Field- Control more pieces of terrain than your opponent

The chosen beachheads are each home to one of the Defense Towers, part of Talassar's mysteriously silent orbital defenses.  Whichever side can control the towers will gain a significant edge in the orbital fight, and possibly clues to the circumstances surrounding the world's initial fall.

Secondary Objective: Investigate the Tower- After deployment, the Occupation player places a piece of terrain in his deployment zone.  This is the Defense Network Tower and cannot be controlled for the primary objective.  If, at the end of the Occupation player’s turn, the Expedition player has an unengaged HQ or Elite unit in base contact with the Tower, they complete this objective. If the Expedition player does not complete the objective before the end of the game, the Occupation player completes this objective.

In the early days of a campaign, moral victories are nearly as important as strategic ones.  Each side will unleash catastrophic destruction on the other.  No soldier can rest safe if he's a firsthand witness to the devastation his enemies can bring about.

Tertiary Objective: Break the Enemy- Each time an enemy unit loses 25% or more of its models in a single phase, you are awarded 1 objective point.  The player with the most objective points at the end of the game completes this objective.


Welcome to the new Merlyn's 40k Campaign!  I'll be using this site to distribute the missions and updates as the campaign progresses.  To submit a battle report, please leave a comment on that week's post with your first name, your opponent's first name, and which objectives you achieved during your game.  If you'd like, you may leave a short play-by-play or a fluff report, but please make sure I can quickly and easily find your report information. Please report your games by 6:00 each Saturday.  Late reports should be made, but may not count toward that week's objectives.

Here are the rules, if you need a reminder:

Each player will play one game per week, and their reported results will drive the mission choice and the storyline. Each Sunday, I will distribute the week's results and the next week's missions and objectives.

When you schedule a game, you'll need to work out a points value with your opponent. Realistically this will put the games somewhere between 500pts and ridiculous Apocalypse sizes, but if you agree on some other method of determining objectives you could run Kill Team or alternate force org games too. If you do something really cool, let me know and I might work it into the story.

Missions will have a Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary objective.
Here's how objectives will work:

Primary: The team that achieves the most primary objectives determines which path we move down the mission ladder.

Secondary: Completing secondary objectives will reveal extra information that may help your team win the war.  A team completes a secondary objective if more than 50% of the qualifiying reports from that team list the objective as complete.

Tertiary: These objectives will reveal further information, as well as affecting the "degree of victory" for each battle and the war as a whole.  A side completes a tertiary objective if more than 50% of the qualifiying reports from that side list the objective as complete.

You may play your games against people not involved in the campaign, or against players from your own side, but Secondary and Tertiary objectives will not count toward your side's total unless your opponent is a campaign player from the opposing side.  In the event that both sides achieve a side objective, it will not be awarded.