The Mons Falco Escalation – the battles

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Since there wasn’t any sides in this campaign but everyone faced everyone once, the battles needed some fluff justification. It’s a campaign after all and not a tournament. Especially the Ultramarines clashing with Astra Militarum needed explaining. The second problem was finding a good structure for the campaign – who fought who and when. As we were five players this needed a more complexed structure than had we been an even number of players. The campaign was structured into five Theatres of War, with two battles in each.

Finally we needed a way to determine who won, we decided on Eternal war mission, book deployment and maximum of ten campaign points per game. Pretty straight forward. We randomly determined mission and deployment to each of the five Theatres of War before we kick off the campaign.

Blood on the Promethium Shores
Astra Militarum vs Eldar
Chaos Space Marines vs Tau
Mission: The Relic
Deployment: Hammer and Anvil

While the bulk of the Cadian forces continued to apply presure on the Eldar holding the Eastern Gate a sizeable Astra Militarum shock force rapidly redeployed to the north. They struck at the Saim Hann guarding the webway portal hoping to cut off the Eldar from their precious webway and leaving them stranded on Mons Falco. Once stranded the Cadians would be able to grind them down by the share weight of numbers.

At the same time the Chaos Space Marines advanced towards the Eastern Gate. The Tau observing them knew that sooner or later their alliance needed to end. Left unchecked the Lords of Ascension would present an unacceptable threat to the new colonies. Commander Deathrain had detested the alliance from the beginning, with the Ethereals blessing he caught the Chaos Space Marines in a deadly ambush. The initial attack was brutally successful for the Tau, but the Lords of Ascension would not go down that easily.

Battle Report:
The Tau army was something like this: Commander with drone, 4 Crisis Suits, Riptide, 12 Fire Warriors in Devilfish, 10 Kroot, 8 Pathfinder, 3 Hammerheads and 5 Piranhas. I played this army. Tau won the roll off and deployed aggressively along the forward line of his deployment zone. I deployed my nurgle bike on the right hand side together with my nurgle marines. Maulerfiend and slaanesh bikes on the left. Fire base in the centre.

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Within a turn or two more or less everything was in the middle fighting for the relic. My left flank collapsed immediately due to abysmal cover save rolls. My Helbrute dropped in and at least beat the commander to bits. I moved my Obliterators towards the relic too late and couldn’t reach it. The game ended with a Tau victory, I believe it was First blood that won Tau the game.

The Storm of Steel
Chaos Space Marines vs Eldar
Space Marines vs Tau
Mission: The Emperor’s Will
Deployment: Dawn of War

Despite being cut off from the webway the Eldar would not yield their ground. As their Farseers chanted incantations upon the archeotech construct the Chaos Space Marines broke through the Astra Militarum dead lock and engaged the Eldar. Örtug the Unholy, the first Daemon Prince of the Lords of Ascension, led the assault.

The Tau were scourging the south-western quadrant, methodically destroying pockets of resistance and the Forge World’s productive capabilities when the sky blackned and filled with a thunderous roaring of engines. The blue angels of death had arrived. Calgar himself led the attack on the Cadre of the Killing Blow’s main battle group.

Battle report:
The battle was fought at 1000 points, my friend had down period regarding 40k and didn’t want buy and paint enough for 1850 points. I brought a pretty relaxed list (with the exception of a nurgle daemon prince): lord with blind fury and 20 cultist, flying prince with black mace, Khorne marines in a rhino and a vindicator. He brought what he had basically: Spiritseer, Wraightknight, 3 jetbikes, 2 Wave Serpents, Dire Avengers and Fire Dragons. He seized and I started to pick models off the table.

My Prince single handedly held me in the game, at the end it was him alone against the Eldar army. He destroyed everything around the Eldar’s objective and held it. The Eldar took mine with the Jetbikes. Eldar won by a single victory point. Oh well, fun game.

Words that maketh murder
Astra Militarum vs Space Marines
Eldar vs Tau
I can’t remember mission and deployment.

The Ultramarines were relentless, swiftly making way across the different warzones. Calgar knew that the element of surprise was fading quickly. Soon the war would adept to their presence and their mission fail. Unlike the local commanders the Space Marine knew that the tampering of the tech-priests threatened the stability of the warp anomaly and potentially leading to a warp rift. Unfortunatly the Cadian Command refused to see Calgar’s way. This was not the time for protocol or bureaucracy; the Ultramarines would retake the Eastern Gate and shut it down. Cadians holding the passage to the Eastern Gate had simply to back down or be destroyed. They did not back down.

The Saim Hann too had taken notice of the Tau’s desolation of the planet. That in itself mattered not to the Eldar but when Tau started to focus on a series of power relies connected to the Eastern Gate the Eldar launched a lightning strike. The air was clouded by shuriken blades and pulse rifle fire. Both sides suffered terrible losses as the Eldar defended the power relies from destruction.

A world of orphaned children
Astra Militarum vs Chaos Space Marines
Eldar vs Space Marines
Mission: The Scouring
Deployment: Dawn of War

The war on Mons Falco had already turned the planet into a graveyard of men and ruins. The dead could not be counted. After the unfortunate incident between the Ultramarines and the Astra Militarum the armies yet again fought as one against the enemies of Mankind. The Cadians attacked the Chaos Space Marines at the archeotech construct hoping to break them.

Meanwhile the Ultramarines launched a daring raid into the heart the Eldar positions. The Farseer reached into the mind of the Space Marine leading the assault. The Farseer’s words echoed unrelenting as the battle raged: “You fools, beneath us rests the oldest enemy. This is not a beacon to aid your crude ships navigate the warp. It is a prison.”

Battle report:
Astra Militarum: Pask Punisher with Battle Tank, Primaris, Manticore, Hydra, a couple of Chimeras, 10 ratlings, a blob, few more squads, veterans, scions. No fast attack at all, while I had two.

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I rolled shrouded and got first turn. My nurgle bikers where safe against all that barrage and high strenght fire. The first couple of turns went ok but it all changed at bottom of turn three. The filthy hobbits killed my sorcerer and two wound biker champion. My lord died to a battle cannon. The whole front collapsed. On turn four my helbrutes dropped in and went on a instant killing spree. One killed Pask on the following turn. The game went to seventh allowing the Astra Militarum to contest another objective. I lost yet again by a single point.

Only the dead will remember
Astra Militarum vs Tau
Chaos Space Marines vs Space Marines
Mission: Big Guns Never Tire
Deployment: Vanguard Strike

In an all-out attack the Tau pushed past the Astra Militarum and captured the last remaining space port on Mons Falco. The Cadian counter-attack was without parallel but the Tau held their ground. The future of the sub-sector was held in balance as the gruelling battle of attrition raged on.

The Ultramarines pursued the Lords of Ascension deep down into the Underforges connected to the Eastern Gate. The Chaos Space Marines were drenched in the blood of innocents and the sorcerers carved blasphemous runes into the archeotech construct when the Space Marines reached them. The ground shock and reality collapsed as brother fought brother.

Battle report:
Ultramarines brought a very cool list: Calgar with assault Centurions in a Land Raider, Devestator Centurions in Land Raider, Vindicator, two tactical squads in rhinos.

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I won the roll off and deployed defensively. I got invisibility on the first roll and rolled my other rolls on Biomancy getting Life leech and Enfeeble. Pretty good spells. I claimed first blood and just waited for the Land raiders to come close. Helbrutes dropped turn two. I rolled out and pretty much destroyed his army the following turns. Invisibility is just insanely good. Calgar charged a Helbrute and got killed in two rounds of combat. Narrative reforged. Solid victory. Finally.

It was a very fun campaign to play. But I made too many mistakes which costed me at least one game. Tau took first place and managed to decimate the imperial presence in the subsector and defend the new colonies.

The Mayhem pack Helbrutes are so much fun. They slayed the warlord every single game and as a formation always made their points back. A bit dodgy though as they aren’t very reliable due to Crazed.

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