Saturday, September 17, 2011

Week 5: Evacuation

With the common men and women of Talassar at risk, the Expedition forces have shown a remarkable strength of purpose.  Space Marine raiding parties led by the Imperial Fists, Space Wolves and Angels Encarmine executed an operation designed to hamstring the Ork hordes.  Eldar spearheads fell upon the cultists of the Ruinous Powers, who had been tempted out of the battle lines in their clamor for innocent blood.  All the while, Inquisitorial forces including a cohort of mysterious Grey Knights fought a bloody rearguard against the deadly Tyranids, buying time for their allies in blood.  The Expedition forces have successfully relieved the siege on Talassar's urban centers and made contact with the remaining civic leadership.

The strikes on Occupation communication nodes were another resounding success.  Expedition leaders have fragmented the enemy forces, and the apparent leak into the Imperial Strategium network has been silenced.

Autarch Morningchild sends word that the Eldar devices have quieted the psychic storm somewhat, raising hopes that Imperial reinforcements can be contacted and that the investigation into the warp disturbances might bear fruit.

Week 4 results:
Primary: Expedition
Secondary: Expedition

Mission 5: Evacuation

With the relief of the Talassarian cities and the restoration of Astropathic communication, Imperial leaders have decided that a protracted war on Talassar is winnable.  In order to prepare for a long ground war, the orbital conflict must be resolved.  To this end, Talassar's remaining orbital defenses have been activated.  Every minute the gun facilities remain active increases the chances of successfully evacuating Talassar's noncombatants and bringing the inexhaustible might of the Imperial war machine to bear.  Expedition forces have been redeployed to defend these facilities, and the Occupation hordes will make them pay in blood for every shot the orbital guns take.  These final battles will determine the ultimate fate of Talassar: eternal battleground or recovering Imperial colony.

Primary Objective: Place an objective in each table quarter.  At the end of each game turn, each player is awarded one Objective Point for each objective he controls.  The player with the most objective points at the end of the game wins.

The long and bitter war on Talassar has created many hatreds and rivalries.  The leaders on both sides will take any opportunity to settle the score with their opposite numbers personally.

Secondary Objective: If at the end of the game, your opponent has no unwounded HQ units on the table, you achieve this objective.  Both players may achieve this objective.

While delaying the Imperials has always been important, none of the Occupation leaders ever truly believed they would be allowed to hold Talassar.  While some may have come simply for the opportunity at bloodshed, many of the Occupation warlords had much more sinister goals in attacking a Jewel of Ultramar.  While the ground war may take a heavy and destructive toll on the Imperium, it is now inevitable that Talassar will eventually return to Imperial control.  To obscure the psychic traces of their activities, Occupation leaders have turned to the surest method of causing psychic turmoil: bloodshed.

Tertiary Objective: Before the game, count the number of models in both players armies.  At the end of the game, if the combined total number of models destroyed is 75% of that number or greater, the Occupation player achieves this objective.  Otherwise, the Expedition player achieves this objective.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Week 4: War of Attrition

 Despite a concerted push, Expedition forces were unable to turn the Occupation flank.  Showing an unprecedented level of coordination, Tyranid and Dark Eldar forces were able to meet the push and turn the quick strike into a protracted battle.  Despite the setback, the Imperial forces were close to attaining victory when the failure of several disruption missions left large detachments of Traitor Guard free to reinforce the Occupation lines.  The failed missions were without exception planned by Captain Fabian, and in the backlash of the tactical disaster he has stepped down as Imperial commander, leaving the fleet in the hands of a cabal of Inquisitors.

With the failure to break through the Occupation lines, Expedition leaders have been forced to focus on keeping their units intact, and have been unable to deny the supply depots to the enemy.  While the Occupation gained significant reserves of promethium from the seizures, the information implied by the drops might be more valuable.

Week 3 results:
Primary: Occupation
Secondary: Occupation
Tertiary: Tie

Mission 4: War of Attrition

The time for maneuvers and subterfuge is over.  The besieged underground cities of Talassar have made contact with Expedition forces, begging for aid.  With starving citizens rioting in the streets, the liberation of Talassar’s cities must come quickly, or the would-be saviors will find Talassar devastated from within.  To further increase the atmosphere of desperation, Occupation units have started disengaging and making for the population centers.  Questions about how the Occupation could know of the civilians’ weakness are troubling, but they must wait.  Each side is aware of the situation and the stakes: they must bring the enemy to a battle of annihilation and destroy his ability to interfere in the Talassarian sieges.  The race is on!

Primary Objective: Destroy your opponent’s ability to make war.  This objective will be determined by kill points, with Heavy Support choices worth 3 kill points each.
With the ground war rapidly developing into a massive pitched battle, communications have become the key to a defeat in detail.  An element without a direct line to the main forces can be isolated and destroyed.  Additionally, Occupation leaders who capture Imperial communications equipment may be able to tap into the Strategium communication networks for valuable tactical information.  Expedition leaders are likewise eager to capture communications apparatus in order to discover the source of the Occupation’s unprecedented coherency and organisation.

Secondary Objective: At the beginning of the game, nominate a single Elites or Troops unit.  For the duration of the game, that unit may re-roll all Leadership, Morale, and Pinning tests (but not Psychic tests!)  If you destroy your opponent’s nominated unit and they do not destroy yours, you achieve this objective.

The psychic disturbances speckling the planet’s surface have started to develop into something much more disturbing.  Bizarre manifestations are appearing with greater frequency and spreading across the planet.  Eldar Seers have developed a temporary solution to the disruptive phenomena in the form of psychic “lighning rods” that will hopefully contain the disturbances.   Unfortunately, the psychic chaos works to the advantage of the warp-spawned and tainted in the Occupation ranks, so all Occupation forces are ordered to destroy these devices wherever found.

Tertiary Objective: After deployment, the Expedition player places an objective marker in his deployment zone.  Psychic powers used within 18” of this marker have their range reduced by d6”.  If, at the end of the Expedition player’s turn, the Occupation player has an unengaged HQ or Elite unit in base contact with the marker, they destroy the device and complete this goal. If the Occupation player does not complete the objective before the end of the game, the Expedition player completes this objective.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Week 3: Flank March

The fight to contain the Expeditionary forces at their dropzones has been brutal and close, but ultimately fruitless.  The fragmented nature of the command, with decisions made by field commanders rather than Strategia in orbit, has allowed the Imperials to disperse across the continent and prepare enough landing zones to receive significant reinforcements. 

Occupation leaders had hoped that the Tyranid-infested countryside would prove difficult to move through, but Eldar scouting forces were able to guide the bulk of the allied troops away from the alien swarms.  This came as cold comfort to the already decimated Space Marine forces acting as the vanguard: the tremendous casualties sustained have indicated that the Swarms may well be the most deadly foe on the planet.

In the confusion of the breakout, many of the leaders on both sides were incapacitated.  While neither side managed to gain an advantage in this fashion, the thinned ranks among the elite bear some interesting implications to the ongoing war.  With fewer rivals in play, the warlords of the occupation have banded into something resembling a true alliance, with Daemon Princes negotiating with Archons and warp-witches influencing the roiling tides of the Tyranid swarms.  The already united Imperials have suffered from newly born dissension in their ranks, with the hardline supporters of Captain Fabian’s strategies affected the most by the massive casualties.

In order to focus on the retreating Expedition troops, the Occupation was forced to destroy the Defense Towers in and around the drop zones.  With easy access to Talassar’s orbital defenses denied to both sides, the Occupation can focus on the ground war, which favors their heavily entrenched forces.

Week 2 results:
Primary: Expedition
Secondary: Tie
Tertiary: Occupation

Mission 3: Flank March

With new forces on the ground and turmoil in the upper echelons of the Expedition’s command, the next step falls to the field commanders.  The prevailing opinion is that the Imperial forces defending Talassar’s underground cities should be relieved as soon as is practical, but the dispersed landing has left the Expedition forces stranded in an isolated wilderness.  In order to break through to the populated regions, strategists have identified what they believe to be the least cohesive flank of the Occupation forces.  Taking ground will be key to turning the flank.

Primary Objective: Have more units in your opponent’s deployment zone than they have in yours at the end of the game.

Automated code signals indicate that a strategic intelligence and materiel dump was hidden by the retreating Talassarians somewhere in the area.  Retrieving it may be useful, but more importantly will deny whatever resources are contained to the opposing side.

Secondary Objective:  Place five objective markers at the beginning of the game.  Whenever an objective becomes controlled, roll a d6 and add the number of objective rolled for so far.  On a 1-4, the unit that controls the objective takes d6 S8 hits with no AP as they trigger a trap.  On a 6, remove all other objectives from the field.  The player who controls the remaining marker achieves this objective at the end of the game.

The battle field has been identified as a particularly active psychic location.  Whether this is indicative of a Daemon incursion, a past event or a freak alignment of natural forces, either side will be desperate to investigate.

Tertiary Objective:  Nominate one piece of terrain on the table’s center line at the beginning of the game.  This is the centerpoint of the psychic disturbance.  All psychic tests taken within 18” of this terrain will incur perils on any roll of doubles.  To investigate the disturbance, a psyker or independent character must spend one full game turn in contact with the terrain without taking any voluntary actions.  If both players have investigated the phenomenon before the end of the game, this objective is a draw.