Monday, 2 April 2012

Battle Report: Sons Of Horus VS Minotaurs Space Marines

Welcome to the first 14th Legion Warhammer 40,000 battle report. This match actually replaces the originally planned game I posted about last month; sadly that game never came to pass due to some issues that occurred  on the day; but hopefully this battle report will make up for it. The intention is for this to be the start of something more regular and hopefully will result in battle reports featuring monthly on the blog. The game features a new army from a gamer some know as Wolf Lord Mjolnir; I know him as Dave (of Gondor) and we actually started collecting and playing against each other some 20 years ago or more at school and all the way up through college/six form. The points limit was 1000 and our lists extremely un-competitive, the intention was to move away from the mass tank battles that are common and move towards having to think and rely on the common foot soldier, as a result our lists are infantry centric back up by dreadnoughts at the most. This is a trend I am intending on continuing as the months go by and if all goes well we will eventually include Forge World characters and units. A slight warning here, this is a long post with lots of pictures and some story telling, and if I have it my way the starts of a narrative campaign. 

++The Armies++

David brought along his latest project; the 17th Chapter of the Sons of Horus Space Marine Legion; this is his second pre-heresy army and comes loaded with almost as many Forge World bits as my own beloved Minotaurs. The army is led by Chapter Master Trajun Nerva.  For this game he used the Space Marine Codex:

Chapter Master 'Trajun Nerva'Relic Blade, digital weapons
Dreadnought - Twin-linked lascannon
Dreadnought - Plasma Cannon & Missile launcher
Tactical Squad (10) - Missile launcher, Melta-bombs, power weapon, meltagun
Tactical Squad (10) - Missile launcher, Melta-bombs, power fist, meltagun
Devastator Squad - 2 x lascannon, 2 x missile launcher

This was my first game of 40K in almost three years and the debut my Minotaur Space Marines. I decided to field a infantry force spearheaded by Brother Librarian Lycurgon and his Veteran tactical Terminator squad 'Gorusias'. I really like Tactical Terminators so I jumped at the chance to field them in this game, there is something almost nostalgic about seeing Tactical Terminators backed up by Dreadnoughts and Tactical Space Marines on the table. For this game I used Codex Space Marines.

Librarian 'Lycurgon' - Terminator armour & storm shield, Psychic Powers: Gate of Infinity & Vortex
Terminator Squad 'Gerousias' - Cyclone missile launcher
Dreadnought 'Ajax Breaker of Walls' - Twin-linked auto cannons, twin-linked auto cannons
Dreadnought 'Theokoles Shadow of Death' - Twin-linked auto cannons, twin-linked auto cannons
Tactical Squad 'Araios' (10) - Meltagun, combi-melta, missile launcher
Tactical Squad 'Dorusas' (10) - Meltagun, combi-melta, lascannon

This battle takes place in the current time line (on Davids very nice Realms of battle board) on a distant planet long abandoned by Imperial forces, a emergency transmitter relay had suddenly activated despite being silent for almost 100 years,  a Minotaurs strike force had been sent by Lord Molloc under orders from the High Lords of Terra to secure the station, purge any organisations that may inhabit it; Imperial or otherwise; and to silence the transmitter relay permanently thus preventing any future disturbance. Under no circumstances are the Minotaurs to enter or allow to be entered the primary security levels leading to underground labs below. The Sons Of Horus are a vanguard force of the 17th Chapter led personally by Chapter Master Trajun Nerva, the 17th are a splinter group who have absconded Ezekiel Abaddons Black legion reforms. Having evaded Abaddon and avoided the self destructive power struggles of the in-fighting legions for 10,000 years, they have settled in a well protected asteroid field in local neighbouring system. From here they have formed the basis of a succesful piratical faction, preying on rogue trader merchant ships and Imperial convoys to further amass resource. Having obtained information of an ancient Imperial experimental weapons lab from local merchants, Trajun Nerva has tasked himself and his chapter to search and obtain any weapon caches that would give them advantage to resist Abaddon, should he ever attempt to annex their chapter in the future. The potential key to the survival of the 17th Chapter of the Sons of Horus lay somewhere underneath the crust of this barren planet and more than likely within the abandoned installation.

Mission: Annihilation/Pitch Battle - KILL POINTS


The Sons formed line trying to gain as much coverage of the board as possible, the Devastators and Dreadnoughts formed a lethal killing field that covered the centre. Anything foolish enough to attempt  storming the hill would be annihilated by missile, lascannon and plasma fire. Each flank was protected by combat squads of tactical marines who took cover behind various defences. Trajun Nerva attached himself to a combat squad on the right flank, opposite the hill ready to lead the charge.

The Minotaurs took a far more conservative route taking advantage of cover and staying well out of sight. Ajax and Theokoles held the right flank with support from squad Dorusas' lascannon team . Tactical squad Araios took cover on the left flank behind defensive walls opposite the smaller bunker, while Terminator Squad Gerousias led by Librarian Lycurgon held the honour of leading the left flank assault as spearhead of the Minotaurs attack. 

++Turn 1++

The Minotaurs had positioned themselves very effectively staying out of line of sight thus forcing the Sons to reposition, some units running in a last ditch attempt to gain advantage. The lascannon armed Dreadnought and left flank combat squads moved to the centre in support of the Devastators, while the Mortis Dreadnought advanced to the top of the hill and begun raining ordinance on Araios missile squad. Despite the fortifications, two of battle brothers perished in plasma fire, yet the survivors stood firm.  Trajun Nerva ordered his combat squad to open fire with a krak missile on Theokoles but the ancient warrior absorbed the hit and stood firm. Trajun Nerva then played his trump card early and ordered an Orbital strike on the Minotaur's positions, if successful  Ajax, Theokoles and the Dorusas lascannon team would be incinerated in one fell swoop. However the fates conspired against him as co ordinates had been confused and the bombardment flew wide much to the frustration of the Chapter master.

Having weathered the first wave fire of the Sons of Horus, the Minotaurs begun the advance. Ajax, Theokoles and Araios melta squad all advanced, all taking great care to avoid falling in line of sight of the Sons heavy weapon teams. Lycurgon opened a gate into the warp taking the Terminators with him, one brother was lost as they traversed the warp maze but they eventually found their way back to real space, directly next to the small bunker and finding themselves in striking range of the Mortis Dreadnought. Both Gerousias and Araios missile squad combined fire on the traitor Mortis Dreadnought; immobilising and stunning it in an attempt to reduce the Sons retaliatory fire power. On the right flank Ajax, Theokoles and Araios lascannon team, reduceed the Sons of Horus combat squad ahead of them to two men. The Minotaurs has successfully gained ground and inflicted significant casualties whilst reducing the Sons of Horus ability for return fire. 


++Turn 2++

With the Devastator Squad and lascannon Dreadnought still out of position and the Mortis Dreadnought stunned, combined with how well dug in the  Minotaurs were, left little for the Sons to do. Combat squads again repositioned behind some barricades in preparation for the closing Minotaur assault while on the right flank Trajun Nerva again order his missile team to fire on Theokoles, this time under his baleful eye the team landed a solid hit, enough to shake the ancient warrior.

Lycurgon and Termintor squad Gerousias continued the advance on the left flank finding targets within stormbolter range. The unleashed fire power combined with the wrath of cyclone missiles tore into a traitor missile squad killing four of the five members and leaving the missile launcher alone, but despite the horrendous casualties the surviving Son planted his feet and firmly stood his ground. Theokoles raged at his metal body being stopped but could nothing but launch smoke to reduce the risk of further damage, while Ajax sensing his brother's anguish marched forward pounding Trajun Nerva's missile squad with round after round of auto cannon fire. Such was the ferocity of shelling that Trajun himself was wounded in the exchange.


++Turn 3++

The Sons of Horus were beginning to feel the pressure of the Minotaur's furious assault, they had to react quickly if they were to have any chance of claiming victory. A melta team advanced towards the smaller bunker and opened fire on the Terminators of Gerousias squad with melta and bolt gun, yet the Crux Terminatus held firm absorbing all the tank killing shots while the thick armour plates deflected round after round. The Mortis Dreadnought had finally recovered and again opened fire on Araios missile squad, however this time both the plasma and krak missile flew wide of the mark. Anger rising, the Chapter Master Trajun Nerva left the sole survivor of his missile squad, drew his Relic Blade and charged headlong at Ajax, despite raining a flurry of blows he could not wound the ancient warrior.

(David's response to Gerousias squad passing all there 5++ saves)

The Minotaurs momentum continued to increase, Theokoles recovered from the shelling he had taken earlier and advanced towards the large bunker, methodically firing his twin-linked auto cannons, he killed the last surviving member of Trajun's missile squad. On the left flank Araios melta squad  advanced to the small bunker keeping out of line of sight of the Mortis dreadnought and waited for the right moment to strike, while Dorusas melta team advanced to the base of the hill, again hidden from sight. Araios missile team again traded shots with the traitor Mortis and was rewarded as they managed to to stun the traitor Dreadnought yet again. Lycrugon and Gerousias squad having survived the earlier melta atack seized the initiative and charged the offending traitor squad; the combat was short and bloody with one Terminator being brought down; however Lycurgon and the terminators put the entire enemy squad to the sword and wiped them out.  


++Turn 4++

The Sons of Horus Left flank had now been completely caved in under the furious terminator assault. In a attempt to redress ranks the remaining Sons melta squad and lascannon Dreadnought fell in beside the Devastators forming a deadly firing line. With 10,000 years of battle hardened discipline, the Sons of Horus opened fire en masse pouring lascannons, krak missiles, melta and bolt gun rounds into the Minotaur Terminators swallowing them in fire and smoke. However to their dismay the large bull dog headed  Veterans marched resolutely out of the smoke, scorched but unharmed. No Terminators had fallen, what few lascannon shots that had landed, had been deflected again by the mighty Crux Terminatus. Trajun Nevra continued to battle against Ajax but with increasing frustration could not pierce nor escape the mighty war machine as his strike force was dismantled.

While Ajax continued to battle Trajun Nervas, Theokoles swung around the large bunker and began pouring suppressive fire into the remaining traitor combat squad, the completion of his flanking manoeuvre signifying the end of any resistance on the right flank. Two more traitors fell Theokole's massed auto cannon shells but the rest held firm and prepared themselves for the inevitable charge of Lycurgon and squad Gerousias. Sensing the time was right Araios melta squad broke cover from the small bunker and charged towards the Mortis dreadnought, opening fire on the battered, immobilised Dreadnought. The Mortis had already taken a severe beating and could take no more, exploding from Araio's melta assault. The blast engulfed the battered remains of the traitor combat squad, but they emerged from the shrapnel unscathed. Lycurgon could sense the end of tis battle nearing and sounded the charge, leading squad Gerousias, they barrelled into both the Devastator squad and last Sons melta squad. The combat was again short and brutal with another Terminator falling for the loss of entire traitor Devastator squad, seeing all was lost,  the last three members of the traitor combat squad fell into retreat. 


++Turn 5++

With the Terminators too close, the last three Sons of Horus Space Marines fled from the field leaving the lascannon Dreadnought to cover the retreat. Trajun Nerva was still engaged in a stalemate with Ajax with neither combatant able to fell the other. The lascannon Dreadnought fired its engine and roared maniacally as it charged into Lycurgon. The Dreadnought tried to break the terminators and fell Lycurgon but his trusty Stormshield and the Crux Terminatus of the Terminator armour spared the unit from the aggressive assault. Despite having to focus on his combat with the Minotaur Dreadnought Ajax, Trajun Nerva was very aware that his troop assets were vanishing at too fast a rate. His attempt to secure this relay station was over and had been extremely costly this day. Indicator blips showed that the Imperial Space Marines were now in full advance with at least a dozen swarming towards his position, while the few pitiful survivors of his own war band were in full retreat, only a lone Sons of horus Dreadnought stood ground preventing the loyalists from pushing towards their drop site.

Finally it seemed like the Terminators momentum had been halted. The traitor Dreadnought managed to strike down both remaining members of Gerousias squad, their Crux Terminatus' finally overloading from the strain of crushing dreadnought fists.  Only Lycurgon remained as he continued to deflect the massive fists with his Stormshield. Lycurgon could not hurt the metal beast but the metal beast could not seem to land a solid blow on the Librarian. In the distance Araios and Dorusas melta squads had begun to advance upon Lycurgon's position. Ajax's combat with Trajun Nerva ended again in stalemate and having decided enough was enough, Trajun ordered himself teleported out.

At the end of the battle, the Minotaurs were decisively victorious having put all the traitors to the sword. All that remained was to secure the relay station and silence the emergency beacon so that no one would be lured to this place again. And yet perhaps something more still lurked within it's depths...

Sons of Horus - 1 Minotaurs Space Marines - 6

++Minotaurs Victory++

Two figures fought on the darkening horizon, explosions of purple and blue energy crackling as giant fists struck shield. Both figures were giants, but one was more so than the other, a great beast made of ceramite flesh and cabled organs. Lycrugon breathed heavily as he battled his foe; a Chaos Dreadnought bearing the ancient colours of Horus the Traitor. It's attack had been ferocious, raining down heavy blows that had killed his fellow brother Terminators of Squad Gerousias. On more than one occasion he had almost joined the honoured dead as fists meant to pummel him to dust had at the last second been deflected by his shield, it was obvious that the exertion had drained his strength and despite the commendable efforts of his Stormshield he knew it would not be able to take much more. Even now, red warning indicators blinked furiously at him as the power cells of his shield threatened to overload, venting blue light, while tiny crackles of energy sporadically flickered down deep cracks on the shield itself. Two more thundering blows swung out at him, he dodged the first but was too slow to avoid the back swing which struck his shield full on. There was a moment of silence then an ominous, dull detonation as the shield exploded into blue light and plasteel shards, Lycrugon was thrown to his back by the impact and his vision swam as the warm metallic tang of his own blood filled his mouth, he tried to force himself up but was violently struck down. He felt as if the snow beneath him was slowly swallowing him up and roared in pain as tonnes of pressure ploughed into his chest plate splintering his fused ribs and squashing organs, the dreadnought was stepping on him and was slowly forcing it's full weight down upon his armoured form, a malicious mechanical voice echoed a laugh at him.

"Pathetic dog of a dead corspe! Who are you to stand against me? I have fought for 10,000 years against warriors beyond your low breeding. WE are the inheritors of the stars, the Gods have promised this and you are nothing more than cattle to be culled at our leisure."

Lycurgon roared in pain as the crazed mechanical beast piled more pressure on to him, cogs and gears whined with strain as his armour fought to resist the dreadnought. Through gritted, bloodied teeth he brought up the strength to speak.

"Traitor filth, the Emperor protects and you are far from his light! All those who stand against it will burn in its magnificence." Despite the pain, raw zeal emanated in from his words.

Lycurgon's bold words did little but to infuriate the ancient and the dreadnought roared in rage, raising it's foot in finality to finish the fallen Librarian, but before it could bring down its anvil like feet, it was knocked off balance, a dull hiss and thud echoing in the air. A second hiss and thud blew the dreadnoughts arm off, spinning it side ways and leaving nothing but a smoudlering molten stump. Looking at where it's arm used to be, the Dreadnought looked almost confused before regaining composure and marching on Lycurgon once again.

Squad Araios had descended the hill, having dispatched the enemy Mortis dreadnought. Squad Dorusas' melta team was not far behind and they had been ordered to move in support to Araios securing the hill and installation. Squad Araios had been charged with locating Brother Librarian Lycurgon having lost  communications in the heat of battle, Some form of intense electro static had occurred during the fight  isolating the spearhead and its reports indicated it's origins as; the installation. The Librarians tracer signal had flickered back to life once Squad Araios had crested the hill but had pulled the squad beyond the outpost and into the makeshift enemy defences held by the enemy. All that remained now were scores of fallen traitors; those who had broken their oaths to the Emperor; Lycurgon's assault had left obvious evidence of it's success. Among the bodies Squad Araios had managed to locate one of the fallen members of Gerousias Termiantor Squad, a fist sized hole where the left eye lens used to be, the co-ordinates were relayed back to command so that the ancient suit could be recovered by Servitor support units, to lose even one suit of terminator armour was a shame that no space marine could bare, but to lose five would bring shame on the entire chapter. While searching the remaining bodies squad Araios managed to pick up faint traces of sound over static, it sounded almost like laughter but had a mechanically distorted frequency to it. They advanced in caution, weapons raised at the ready towards the source of the sound. To their shock they discovered the presence of yet another Chaos Dreadnought and to their dismay the missing members of Squad Gerousias,  worst of all they had found Brother Librarian Lycurgon on his back, his arms straining to force back the foot of the crazed metal beast. Squad Araios broke into a headlong charge, hurdling make shift barricades towards Lycurgon and the Dreadnought. At almost point black range they unleashed a volley from their meltaguns into the metal beast, knocking it sideways and smelting one of it's arms. Squad Araios formed up and continued to pour volleys of disciplined melta shots into the dreadnought, each shot melting deep holes into the hull, fusing joints and smelting circuitry.  Again and again the metal beast was knocked back in confusion until finally it fell backwards heavily on its back, a smoking wreck. Forming a circle around the fallen Lycurgon and Squad Gerousias, the brothers of Squad Araios called in their location and requested for support units.  

Brother Librarian Lycurgon was alive but barely, the missing suits of Terminator Armour had been recovered and awaited extraction. New orders were issued to all squads, rally at the Installation...

Thanks for reading,

The 14th legion

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