Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Big Game - Norway!

Norway was the first foreign country that we got to join The Big Game.  I was at Warhammer World in November when they were holding their "Throne of Skulls" tournament and I started talking with another Yank.  His name was Kag Sawyer and he asked me if I played tournaments and I told him no, I only played Apocalypse.  He then asked me if I knew about the Apocalypse40K forums and I laughed and that was the start of a great friendship.  He and his friends and I hung out the whole weekend and we had a blast talking about Apocalypse and they decided they needed to be part of The Big Game.   So here is their report.


Imperial reinforcements, designated the 7th army group, had made a timely warp jump and were inbound with the righteous fury of the Emperor. The group consisted of Imperial Guard regiments from Catachan, Mithas and Dessaria. Furthermore, they had been joined by Astartes task forces of the Silver Skulls and Dark Angels chapters.

The 7th army group had been tasked with establishing a landing site on the southeast peninsula, and conducted the drop with efficiency an aggression. The intent of the strategy was to establish an Imperial force that would push opposition towards the larger group of allied forces fighting in the north. Initial opposition was far lighter than expected, but shortly after the drop representatives from the Silver Skulls chapter vehemently advised an offensive push beyond the ruined city Imperial forces were holding. New intelligence revealed an enemy plot that had to be averted at all costs. The commander of the Silver Skulls Astartes would not divulge where he had got this information from, but his plan was stoically (and surprisingly) supported by the Dark Angels commander.

Imperial lines formed their first wave of armor up on two honored Baneblades and began to push towards the ruined city's limits. Immediately upon reaching that limit, the enemy came into view. A daemon device, a chained cube seeming to barely contain its infernal energies, hovered just beyond the last of the tall ruins. Sorcerers in the livery of Alpha Legionnaires were spotted manipulating the hellish device, and the Silver Skulls commander ordered the attack. As soon the first guns opened across no man's land warp rifts appeared all across the battle lines, bathing the entire area in waves of unnatural darkness, unnerving the Emperor's lesser men and disrupting line of sight. Through these rifts daemons of the warp began to pour, their heretical laughter drowning out the roar of the many corrupted Rhinos racing forward with assault troopers from the Alpha Legion and World Eaters.



In the middle of the battlefield, there was a sound of doom as an extraordinary rift was torn by clawed hands each the size of an Astartes, through which An'ggrath, daemonic champion of Khorne, strode forth. The Imperial lines faltered for a moment, as two Greater Brass Scorpion of Khorne skittled forward to flank the figure of hate incarnate. A moment of doubt fled through the men of the Empire. Recognizing this pivotal moment, the commander of the Silver Skulls punched the release of his Land Raider's Assault Ramp and charged out towards An'ggrath. He had no chance to reach the daemon in time to carry the surprise and initiative, but the sight was not lost on the Imperial men. Inspired by the honored silver armor racing across the overgrown ruins, defiantly facing damnation, the Baneblades unleashed their own hell - and the Imperial men answered.

The close range firefight was joined by the eruption of landmines cleverly hidden by advance elements of Catachan regiment. Several ancient Rhino APCs of the renegade marines were left torn and battered, and the Brass Scorpions' advance was faltered by intense fire from the Baneblades' holy weaponry. The Silver Skulls commander and his honor guard tore into the gargantuan daemon, but An'ggrath stood ready along with a lieutenant, daemonic prince elevated from the Alpha Legion that was currently warband pushing up the western flank. One by one the honor guard fell as they fought against the fury given form. An'ggrath and his daemonic prince slew with roars of rage until only the commander stood against their terrible will. His doom was imminent, but definitely the commander stood his ground and struck An'ggrath a mighty blow. He would not fall. Not yet. The Imperial lines needed more time.



Behind the epic fight taking place, daemonic engines and insane dreadnoughts of Chaos appeared. They had been hidden by camouflage and sorcerous energies in the very ruins the Imperial tanks were grinding through, and at point blank range they ripped into and through the armored might of three Imperial Guard regiments. Heavy air support attempted to move in to assist, but was driven off course by the energies being unleashed by all the tears in the fabric of reality. The shadow that fell across the dying Imperial lines seemed to symbolize the fate of the Emperor's men, but again heroism would inspire the common soldiery and ensure that they held their ground.

Hearing the frantic chatter of Marauder Destroyer squadrons failing to make an attack run, Brother-Pilot Angelus called all Navy Valkyries to form on him as he set his Caestus Assault Ram on a course straight into the terrifying dark cloud of hell unleashed. Trusting in the Emperor and the Astartes pilot, each Valkyrie dropped into the battlezone at combat speed, and as guided by Emperor himself; each and everyone came in with pinpoint accuracy and deployed their passengers safely as they poured their fire into the rear of the advancing Brass Scorpions. The brave drop troops rallied around the commander of the Mithas regiments and pushed towards enemy forces, trying to create a gap around the daemonic doomsday device.

Brother-pilot Angelus made his peace with the Emperor, and continued to guide his Caestus Assault Ram true towards the primary objective. Even as his ship was torn apart by Alpha Legion Havocs, his veterans passengers followed the Dark Angels commander out into the heart of the enemy. Behind them, guardsmen died as they faced Terminators, Blood Crushers, Defilers and terrifying Soul Grinders - all responding to the Imperial intrusion. Their doom would have been sealed in an instant were in not for Guardsman Marbo, appearing out of a small, dark pool of marshwater; His demolition charge was aimed to slay the force of Chaos Terminators, but after the explosion three still remained. Understanding his duty, the lone guardsman charged.




In the ruined remains of the imperial battle lines, all seemed lost. Although some had fallen, Blood Slaughteres and Dreadnoughts still rampaged through Imperial lines, and a large formation of Chaos Terminators arrived by teleportation right into the heart of battle. The Silver Skulls commander stood his ground, but he stood alone. However, as An'ggrath and his prince finally struck him down the commander smiled, for he heard the engines of the second wave of Imperial armor. They had arrived, pushing through the wrecks of their brave comrades - guns, flamers and cannon alight. Along with that second wave, three Land Raiders rumbled directly towards the heretical Terminators. In response Uraka himself appeared through another rift, along with seemingly numberless masses of Bloodletters. On the eastern flank, men of Mithas sacrificed themselves to stop the rush of a couple crazed Bloodthirsters. The two fought their way through ruins and wrecks, casting aside the battered hulks of Imperial armor, but were rendered down into nothingness as imperial reinforcements rumbled into weapons' range.

Back on the western flank, Uraka's hate-screaming hordes were answered by the roaring battle call of Catachan jungle veterans. Having faded away after placing their traps earlier, they now re-appeared. Led by old Iron Hand himself, a whole platoon of deathworlders fearlessly charged into the daemonic formation. As a berserk missionary screamed his fiery oratory, Catachan guardsmen sacrificed themselves with faith and fury. There was no mistaking their doom, but nor was there any mistaking their intent. With cries to the Emperor they fought themselves into a wedge aimed straight at Uraka himself, and in devotion they tore him down even as Bloodletters feasted on their remains. The Missionary was the last to fall, impaling his staff, bearing the book of his faith; into the sizzling remains of the notorious daemon as hellblades hacked him to pieces.



Alpha Legionnaires fell upon Iron Hand and his command squad. Standing amidst a platoon of support weapons, the grim Colonel tried to rally his men but the elite enemies of mankind tore them apart mercilessly. Hearing his angry curses, however, a lone Marauder managed to triangulate and follow his rather unpleasant vox transmissions in. Auto and Assault Cannon fire strafed the Alpha Legion marines as the large bomber screamed by overhead, but their only thanks was a last "about Emperor-damned time, soft Navy sissies" as Iron Hand went down amongst the squads of blue and silver. The Chaos Terminators nearby assaulted the Land Raiders, and rendered blasphemous amounts of damage.

Massed Imperial fire was slowing and weakening An'ggrath and the Brass Scorpions, which in turn was holding up the advance of several squadrons of Khorne Berzerkers. However, the battle still hung in the balance. While the second wave was pouring massive amounts of fire into the enemy lines, it still seemed as if their break-through was imminent. The line must be held! At this, the Silver Skulls Epistolary committed to the field of battle along with a full squad of marines in Tactical Dreadnought Armor. The Terminators arrived via teleport right into the lines of battle amongst the ruins on the eastern flank, braving hellish amounts of fire from the 60 renegade guardsmen dug into the ruins alternating ranks of fire. One my one the Terminators fell as the thousands of shots finally began to find weak points in their armor, but they managed to protect the Librarian who strode on in the middle of the squad.

Although his protection began to falter, they had brought him to where the psyker needed to be. Calming his mind and calling upon his faith in the God-Emperor of mankind, his father's father, the librarian faced the charging Greater Brass Scorpion of Khorne and deployed his Vortex Grenade. Slowed by the pummeling of two Baneblades, pinned and disrupted by strafing fire of the single Marauder Destroyer than had found the battlefield, the daemonic engines was unable to avoid the lethal device as it open up a rift back into the warp which tore the immense engine apart.

Deeper behind the lines of battle, Marbo used all his craft to find weaknesses in his opponent's armor while avoiding fists of crackling power and roaring chains, and one by one managed to bring the last three terminators down. The victory emboldened the drop troops, who held their position against the terrors that tore them apart, giving the Dark Angel commander enough time to fight his way through massed enemy fire and assault the crackling doomsday device. In the heart of the enemy, the commander tore into the cursed device, ripping apart its chains with his might power fist, and unleashing the hellish energies contained within. With a wild scream of rage and torment whatever was contained within the heretical cube tore free, and a storm crashed across the battlefield. Unholy lighting struck across the field of death at random, the screech of their passing momentarily paralyzing men and marine alike. The Baneblades were too of targets to avoid the lightning, however; and suffered greatly from their empyrean energies. One even ground to a halt, barely intact and its main armament burned out from within. The crew of the other struggled to contain and control the damage, and keep their holy iron charge operational.

When the shock of the release passed, combat resumed. Mithas and Dessarian reinforcements rumbled forward and poured their fire into the dug-in renegade cultists, Catachan siege vehicles assisted those company's remaining tanks of the center, battering the Chaos Terminators that had in their fury broken so many Astartes tanks. The final push came down to the roaring World Eater Rhinos, finally free to surge forward where the Brass Scorpion had blocked their bath.


As the last Terminator fell, the Silver Skull Epistolary stood alone in the gap where the Berzerkers came, instinctively recognizing the weakest pot in the Imperial lines. The Doomsday Device had been destroyed, but all could still be lost if the forces of Chaos managed to overrun the Imperial lines. Guardsmen bravely rushed forward to support the lone Astartes, but they would not reach him in time. Their fire tore the Rhino apart, but that barely slowed the furious champions of Khorne. The Epistolary quietly said his prayers as the squad of red traitors bore down upon him, and calmly assumed his combat position just as the enemy reached him.

Dozens of Guardsmen watched in despair as the librarian vanished amongst a sea of blood red, vox-amplified roars of rage and screaming chainaxes all but drowning out their senses. Soldiers cried out in frustration as they lost sight of their silver hero, their grips on their guns slacking as dread seeped through their limbs, into their shaking fingers. However, with a sonic boom the Terminator re-appeared, a dozen yards closer, his silver armor splattered in blood, static of power still dancing across his armor after the psychic gate, but his stance still strong and determined. The Berzerkers rushed him again, but as they did the number of their dead left behind became apparent. The guardsmen took to their arms and rushed forward with a cheer, Chimeras rumbling beside them, and as they advanced they watched in admiration as the Epistolary faced his attackers with martial perfection, his force weapon cutting down traitor after traitor, his blessed armor fending off every swipe of their angry axes.

The librarian cut down the last of the Berzerker squad, and before the doomed traitors could be reinforced, brave soldiers of Mithas and Dessaria took up position to meet their charge. The Imperial line of defense was again complete, strong and determined.


An'ggrath was on his final wound, the second Brass Scorpion at its final structure point, it was late and the commanders were hungry. Turn five saw the game called and the final result was a Imperial victory by 1 point. There were even more situations of note, but I believe I have - in summary - given you the gist of the game. Of course, history is written by the victors - had that one point swung the other way the narrative might have been written in accordance with quite a different interpretation of events, but such is the way of war. Defeat allows no explanation, victory needs none.




Battle Report by Kag Sawyer.

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