Saturday, 20 February 2016

The New Threat!

A few days ago, Mia’s flying hive tyrant took to the battlefield and hammered my forces badly.  All but my Warlord was wiped out by the end fifth turn.  I managed to take out her zoanthrope in my final attack (the only unit to be defeated on her side of the battlefield).  The score was still quite close though at a 4-2.

Some of the games events.

Below is my account of the events.

The New  Threat

Their unit had emerged from the Warp battered and torn. They had spent decades deep in enemy territory with no ally in sight. The corrupted and twisted wastelands were far from hospitable. What was left of the Swift Claws had developed blistered lungs and external boils. Their spirit and their questionable rituals were the only thing that saved them. Across their time in the belly of Chaos they had developed strange customs and their methods had changed. No longer did they hold the Imperium in high regard but neither did they succumb to the enemy’s will. The corruption had affected some more than others. Brother had turned against brother on many occasions, but what was left of them had remained loyal and strong.

A month ago the unit had managed to exit the perils of the Warp in an ancient vessel. It hadn't taken them long to regroup with their comrades. Unlike the other Chapters of the Imperium they were accepted by their brothers despite the changes they had gone through. The Swift Claws were not surprised that their numbers had dwindled, what used to be a Chapter ten-thousand strong now consisted of a mere five-hundred or so warriors.

Having found that Honodrios had lost his mind, Gustave had decided it should be him to lead the pack. Their new methods of survival and dubious tactics had managed to turn the tide against the forces of Chaos many times, so he was sure it would work for the chapter in less hostile environments.  Knowing that the time ahead of his chapter was going to be the toughest they had ever faced, he presented his case.  After the council of twenty was over they agreed to his promotion within their ranks.  The verdict was sound and absolute.

During the council, the leaders of his chapter had informed him with a heavy heart about the Aureus heavy losses against the Dark Angels and the destruction of their homeworld.  With no time to waste Gustave began drawing up battle plans.  They would strike the new xenos threat in their system and they would hit it hard.  If they could achieve this then the Aureus may be respected again, perhaps even feared.  Their origin was unknown but the reaction of certain extremist bewildered him. Heretics had begun worshipping the xenos threat. Some called them Angels of Death, others called them Sprites of the Warp but the most common name they were referred to was: Tyracorns.  Reports were coming in from across the system that these Tyracorns were harvesting planet after planet.  Unlike tyranid threats the Imperium had faced before they seemed to coat planets in a form of plant life, a form of organic grass linked to the hives core.  This seemed to be used to harvest the solar energy of the sun once the planet was eradicated of all other life.

Of course all of this was nothing but theory.  Gustave didn’t have time for theory and philosophy of xenos races.  He was a man of action, preferring the sound of his storm bolter and the cries of his foes under his mighty hammer.

Nominating Gudbrand leader of the Swift Claws, he took his position as the chapter's Jackal Lord.  His ceremony was brief.  He took Honodrios’ time-worn storm bolter and sacred thunder hammer with the greatest pride a marine could have. Scarred, blistered and full of Rage, his first command to the chapter was to launch an assault.  The xenos that had destroyed his homeworld had long departed but the new threat was an even greater bounty.

Leaving the Swift Claws to recover from their many decades of suffering he approached the assault teams that were ready and waiting to be deployed. Gustave knew he was ready for conflict. Despite the weeping and crusted wounds beneath his armour it felt good to be back.  Back in the familiar space he knew. So much had changed yet so much of it remained the same. They were the underdogs, everyone was still at war and there were now even more threats to humanity than before.

Giving the order to descend onto the planet below, the Jackal Lord was confident.  Ages’ unit had fared well against the xenos threat when saving the last survivors from their homeworld.  Confident in his ability and that of his chapter Gustave was eager to crush the xenos threat that awaited them.

Stepping out into the smog Gustave could feel the familiar burning deep down in his lungs. His torso rattled as he coughed up the thick ball of grit, blood and puss.  Being a stubborn old fool, he kept telling himself that it would all be okay. Whatever was happening within his body hadn't killed him yet. He was quite sure all the internal throbbing and bubbling sensations could wait a day longer.

Before them the battle had already been lost.  His sensors revealed no life but xenos existed in the blasted compound before them.  Above the chapter a huge gleaming figure came from the sky.  Bursts of needles came from it's impressive cannon as its mental powers blasted through the Dreadnoughts' hardy exterior.  The two ancient marines fell to the ground instantly, their thick external armour sparking and spitting a mixture of oil and blood into the war torn battleground.

Gustave cursed as all of the men around him were obliterated. The glowing genestealers had overrun the compound while the termagants were covering the relay signals, cackling with glee. He thought he had the drop on them but they had predicted their assault.

Towering over the battlefield a hive Lord came towards his unit firing brain leeches into the fray.  The marines beside him clawed at their armour in vain as the worms tunnelled deep within their skin and burrowed up into their brain.  Boiling with rage, Gustave stormed ahead leaving his dying brothers behind. Launching his body upwards with Honodrious' ancient hammer in hand, he connected with the Zoanthrope’s giant jaw. Flailing, it's mental barrier decimated it collapsed to the ground, letting out a shrill shriek as the Jackal Lord brought his hammer downward pulping the monstrosity into a sparkly green mess beneath him.

Above him he could see the winged Tyrant flying on to battle other forces elsewhere on the planet.  Gustave was certain that the winged beast was in charge of this planetary assault and he fully intended to bring it to the ground.

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