A small warband of the traitorous Thousand Sons legion attempted to enslave the faithful on the insignificant monastic planet of Zusammen 2-19. No chaotic incursion can go unchecked, however, and a kill team of Eremoi descended to the surface to fight the sorcerous betrayers in the streets of this tiny shrineworld’s capital, Aprilis.
My six man team featured both available scouts with missile launchers, as I was eager to try out that build. The whole team consisted of:
– Scout Sergeant: sniper rifle & camo cloak, Leader
– Intercessor Gunner: auspex, auxiliary grenade launcher, Comms
– Scout Gunner: missile launcher & camo cloak, Heavy
– Tactical Sergeant: combi-plasma, Sniper
– Intercessor Sergeant: auto-bolt rifle, power sword
– Scout Gunner: missile launcher & camo cloak
My brother-in-law Will commanded the Thousand Sons, bringing five Rubric Marines and an Aspiring Sorcerer. His specialists were Combat, Demolitions, and Sniper. One standard Rubric bore the Icon of Flame.
Will’s writing up a tactical review of the Thousand Sons, so keep an eye out for that in the days ahead.
The mission was Recover Intelligence, which we usually play. It seems the most balanced of the Core missions and usually leads to dynamic games.
Will won the initiative and camped half his forces at each of the two objectives on his side of the board. I secured the objectives near my deployment zone, but also rushed the middle with my Tactical and Intercessor Sergeants.
Will’s psybolt put a licking on my Intercessor, who nevertheless stood tall due to his two wounds. I took out a Rubric with a krak missile and another with an overcharged plasma blast…
… that also wiped out my Sniper when he rolled a one on his reroll! I chose not to use Death Denied in order to ensure the survival of my wounded Intercessor.
I didn’t need it, as Will managed a flesh wound but didn’t put him out of action. I thus scored five points to Will’s two in the first battle round. But for the self-immolation of my plasma gunner, things were looking good.
Round two featured more sharp shooting from the Astartes, as my Leader (who was safely tucked away in cover with his camo cloak draped around him) managed a mortal wound of his own when he rolled a six to wound on a Rubric Marine. That might be the first time I’ve ever procced the sniper rifle’s special rule, and it felt pretty sweet!
My Intercessor Sergeant did go down in the second frame. He suffered a second flesh wound at the hands of the sorcerer and succumbed to a shot from an inferno boltgun. I chose not to preserve him with three wounds, and so gave up a chance at another three points. I hoped my substantial lead would hold up. I nearly came to regret this decision!
Turn three was a huge turn for Will. The Thousand Sons now prepared to take the offensive…
… and quickly seized the center objective.
I moved my leader into line-of-sight and readied up the rest my team, confident I could eliminate most, if not all, of the enemy forces. I expected to force a break test, at the very least.
Instead, the Emperor withdrew his guiding hand and the good guys whiffed on everything. I had four command points to start the turn and used two to Deny Death when it came for my Comms specialist.
Because my leader made a critical error and unnecessarily surrendered control of his objective when he drew a bead on the Aspiring Sorcerer, I only scored one point in round three to Will’s four! We went into the final turn (we’ve been following LVO rules and ending on turn four) tied at eight points apiece.
After strongly considering another round of shooting, as I did have two missile launchers and a grenade launcher, I finally decided to trust in the Emperor’s protection and storm the central objective with my three nearby units. I knew my brave soldiers wouldn’t get a chance to shoot, and the Thousand Sons, already in prime position, readied to fire across the ruins at us.
Will took my Comms Intercessor out of action with a psybolt, but I Denied Death and turned it into a flesh wound. In the shooting phase, my one readied model, a missile launcher scout posted up on Will’s flank, rolled a one to wound on a krak missile fired at the Aspiring Sorcerer. I was sorely tempted to reroll, but made the safer play and kept up two command points for another Death Denied in the shooting phase. On Will’s second roll he wounded the staggering Intercessor with a inferno boltgun. At AP-2 I needed a five up to save, and…
… the Master of Mankind’s light shone down upon his beleaguered son! I got the five, which sealed the win. Even had Will’s last Rubric Marine taken a Dark Angel down, I had the command points for Death Denied and the models to control the center objective.
In a very tense and tactical game, I came out ahead, 12-9. The result could easily have swung in Will’s favor if the fickle dice gods had smiled upon his wicked plans in the final turn.
I was largely pleased with how my strategy played out on the table. I used Primaris models to soak mortal wounds from the Sorcerer and leaned on Death Denied to keep my models on the high value objective in the center of the board.
My missile scouts kept to cover and only permitted long range shots, dropping the Rubrics’ chances to six up. The non-specialist found an ideal perch and never moved, while the heavy specialist kept maneuvering himself into optimal position to control an objective while hammering away at the far corner.
One advantage to a roster without a heavy bolter is the ability to spam Death Denied. I used it twice and kept it in reserve on the final turn, and the tactic proved the difference today. With the heavy bolter, the temptation to throw out mortal wounds with Hellfire Shells – especially against Rubrics, with their All Is Dust two up save – is very high.
We had a great time fighting a bitter skirmish. In the end, the valor of the Astartes proved superior to the mystical machinations of the Thousand Sons. Though the reverent millions of Zusammen 2-19 may never know the danger from which the Eremoi saved them, the mighty space marines have once again proven the inevitability of a galaxy lit by the Emperor’s holy light.