+++ PROCESSING CAMPAIGN DATA +++
Last month our group played the first two turns of our introductory narrative campaign. The campaign takes place near the outbreak of the Horus Heresy and follows the Sons of Horus, Blood Angels, Thousand Sons, and Iron Warriors as they fight a war of reconquest on Keopsis VII- an important staging system on the fringes of Ultima Segmentum. Keopsis uses rules based on the Horus Heresy Conquest campaign system, but has been modified to emphasize a narrative focus including unit mustering, character advancement, unique abilities, and hidden objectives. Each player was given a sealed envelope to be opened at a later time. What secrets lie inside?
+++ OPEN DATA ARCHIVE: ZD/9546 +++
Nearly a year before the death of gods and angels, the fated hour of mars, and when worlds became ashes. Before all hope had died, the cries of men went unanswered, and that Angels of Death walked amongst the living. Before all this there was Keopsis VII. Its history buried, distant, and forgotten.
Located on the proximal fringes of Ultima Segmentum, no records exist of colonization predating the Age of Strife. Despite this, the surface is pockmarked with ruins of unknown origin. A semi-feudal population holds much superstition over their construction and their eventual decline. When the system was finally declared compliant, the Excertus Imperialis decreed its remote location ideal for a future Crusade mustering site. The plans were approved and the engineering forces of the Great Crusade put to work slowly converting the system to support the will of Mankind. In time attention shifted to closer systems, resources diverted, and construction ground to a halt. Conditions slowly deteriorated. Isolated as it had always been, Keopsis became increasingly difficult to reach by astral-telepathy or navigation. Reports spoke of rising civil disorders, of imperial servants being murdered, and of unexplained outbreaks of violence in the cities.
108.005.M31. A desperate telepathic message finally reaches the light of Terra. The planet is in open revolt, the imperial government collapsed, and the governor assumed dead. Estimates indicate the message is between three and seven years old. By the Warmaster’s command, all nearby Astartes elements are ordered to muster and form a reconquest fleet. Led by a First Captain from the Sons of Horus, the armada consists of nearly a hundred vessels together by happenstance- a Thousand Sons element underway from Prospero, a Blood Angels detachment pursuing distant Ork incursions, and a Sons of Horus taskforce on routine assignment. The single largest force in the sector, the self sufficient 112th Expeditionary Fleet of the 13th Grand Battalion, fails to muster. Famously unreliable and last seen months away, the reconquest fleet sets out without waiting. The Warhamster’s orders are simple: The Imperium’s punishment must be swift and harsh. Keopsis VII must be brought under control, a bloody example made, and a chance made for true loyalty to take hold.
+++ DATA DOWNLOAD COMMENCED +++
[url=http://i.imgur.com/A43i2ma.jpg]Click for Massive[/url]
Campaign Turn 1:
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Location: Uqia Plains, Keopsis VII
Details: 750 points per player, 5 unit muster
Sons of Horus, Thousand Sons, and Blood Angles make planetfall near Uqia Plains under the cover of night. Legion forces target the planet’s central agro distribution centre- well defended but critical to control of the planet’s population. 4500 points of models clash. Renegade forces make a stubborn stand, but are routed. Heavy local causalities. Astartes casualties minimal. Planetary food distribution disrupted.
Campaign Turn 2:
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Location: Trodutov, Keopsis VII
Details: 1000 points per player, 7 unit muster
Legiones Astartes, reinforced from their orbital fleet, make a direct push against the planet’s cultural capitol. A large local resistance force musters in defence. The Battle for Trodutov takes place on the city outskirts. 6000 points of models crash into each other. Resistance is desperate. Rengeade artillery exacts a heavy toll, but the defenders are overwhelmed. Resistance vanquished. Astartes casualties acceptable. Pacification of local population begins.
+++ RETRIEVING HISTORICAL INFORMATION +++
Our group is working on custom terrain project so our first games are on stopgap terrain. The goal was to give people experience playing heresy games while getting their armies together so there are a number of proxies for the time being. I played as the renegade militia forces and brought lots of infantry backed by some artillery. Hixson, Panascope, and Stanyer played as their respective legions in their first 30k games ever. They brought lots of bodies and a mixture of armour. From here you’ll be able to watch our meta unfold.
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+++ Clash at Uqia Plains +++
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The opposing sides clashed head-on after a triangle deployment. The primary objective was to gain and hold majority control of three different sectors of the board (represented by the little yellow flags). Despite the swiftness of the Astartes assault, the Renegades opened up with artillery well before the Legions could make any actions. The renegades committed everything up front with a strong infantry line supported by artillery and a single heavy tank.
The Astartes deployed aggressively forward with the Sons of Horus Preator’s and Justaerin bodyguard acting as the tip of the spear. To the left flank Hixson’s 10K provided anti armor support while Stanyer’s melee oriented Blood Angel supported the right flank (in hindsight I wish they had different color schemes because it’s hard to tell them apart sometimes). Panascope held his Reavers and Hixson kept his land speeders in reserve.
Well placed Artillery rained down for the first two turns, but the Legionaries advanced without breaking. The 20 man Astartes blobs proved resilient, but vulnerable to the large AP3 pie plates.
The casualties didn’t stop the advance.
By turn 3 a struggle had broken out on the bridge leading to the renegade lines that blocked the rest of the Astartes assault elements. Renegade grenadier squads and heavy bolters fired volleys of pre-dark age bolts from the flanks while a large squad of Ogrins moved to cork up the bridge. A unit of SOH Reavers deepstruck into the backfield and destroyed the only militia battle tank. Despite their successful shooting, the advanced equipment of the nearby grenadier squad whittled them away. The following charge, led by a charismatic local warlord, broke the Reavers morale. They were cut down in the fighting, leaving the right renegade flank secured.
The bridge turned into a desperate battle as the Justaerins clawed their way through the first of the cult levy horde trying to buy time for the militia artillery. The ogrins remained in reserve, held in control by the shock chains of their task master. The 10K sons advanced into combat and inflicted heavy casualties on a Levy squad trying to advance on the opposite bank of the dried up river. Next turn would see the Blood Angels enter the fray.
The weight of the Justaerins and reinforcing Blood Angels crushed the few remaining Levys on the bridge. A counter charge by a full squad of Ogrins slew a Blood Angels sergeant and the last of the Justaerin bodyguard. Despite their rage and physical strength, the skill of the Astartes in close combat would whittle them down to just a few models.
The Grenadier squad that had successfully defeated a squad of Reavers in close combat now charged into the oncoming force of 10K Sons. Their commander, skilled in close combat in strong in spirit, challenged and wounded the 10K sons centurion leading the squad. His efforts, however heroic, were the last successes of the militia. With most of the board firmly in control by the Astartes, the last of the Ogrins blocking the bridge collapsed. Nothing standing between them and a marine assault element, the nearby militia support squads broke and fled the scene, leaving their guns behind. The battle was over.
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+++ Battle for Trodutov +++
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A massive battle on the outskirts of the capitol, there are less records of this battle due to alcohol consumption. The renegades mustered more artillery, armor, and inducted Levy squads and would exact a heavy toll on the slowly advancing Astartes. In turn the Astartes deployed much better spaced out, included more mechanized elements, a Volkite support squad, and more deepstriking Reavers.
As before, it took almost 4 turns for the Legions to chew through 120 or more fearless cultists. The Ogrin held their line successfully, but it was not enough to turn the tide of the battle.
Aggressive use of Hixson’s land speeders proved successfully in breaking the morale of several rear line fire support units who dropped their weapons and ran for their lives.
The battle was decided after just 5 turns and the aftermath clear from the picture- a total route to the renegade forces with majority board control for the methodical Astartes. Despite the victory, the pile of Legion vehicle wrecks stands as testament to the effectiveness of militia artillery. As in every game since 4th edition, the Sentinels did absolutely nothing.
+++ STANDBY FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION +++
From the very first engagement, it was clear that the renegade militia had been driven to levels of abhuman degeneracy. Hordes of fanatical infantry, frothing at the mouth and chanting gibberish, swarmed the Legionaries. Better armed soldiers, perhaps remnants of the original planetary garrison, fought reluctantly behind them- forced into the depravity by explosive collars chained to their necks. Fearless and with no regard for their own lives, the first major battles on Keopsis proved to be bloodbaths for the cult hordes.
With Trodutov and the primary means of food distribution secured, the revolt was seriously hampered. While troubling in nature, the fanatical resistance of the renegades indicates a strong influence of cults long marginalized by the mainstream population. Historical documents point to an upsurge of this activity after excavation efforts in a remote region five years ago. Orbital scans reveal a labyrinth of canyons with deep fortified ruins of unknown origin. Local intelligence suggests a possible cult base of operations. Under command of the First Captain, the Blood Angles detachment is ordered to commit their forces as the vanguard of a large orbital assault on the location. With still no contact from the 13th Grand Battalion, the Iron Warriors are assumed delayed at best, and at worst unable to respond. Their involvement in any future actions is questionable. Major fighting is expected to be finalized within the month. Full recompliance expected 2-3 months after major strategic objectives are secured.
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+++ TERMINAL SHUTDOWN +++