Battle Report – Surprise Attack

The Badab War begins! While the Secessionists launch an ambush on the Karthan Convoy (and we’ll be coming to that soon enough!), the Loyalists target the industrial moon of Bellerophon’s Fall, a vital navigation and supply point held by the Mantis Warriors.

Using the campaign tree we created, we can see we are starting off with the Surprise Attack mission (drawn and adapted for the latest edition of 40k from the old Battle Missions book).


The Story So Far

The Maelstrom Warder Chapters had been guardians of the Badab region of space under direct charter of the High Lords of Terra. Led by the Astral Claws, they had provided an effective barrier against the horrors of the Maelstrom. The Chapter Master of the Astral Claws, Lugft Huron, was aggressive in safeguarding against all threats to the Imperium that entered his territory and when a civil war erupted on Badab itself, his marines crushed it brutally and installed himself as effective planetary governor – Lugft Huron began styling himself as the Tyrant of Badab.

This was not without precedent, as the Warders Charter gave him great scope to act and, far across the galaxy, the Ultramarines ran their own fiefdom. However, friction rose with Terra when Huron refused to pay the tithe of Badab, citing a complete lack of support from the Administratum in providing resources to properly protect the Maelstrom Zone – if Terra was not going to give him the required support, he would have to provide himself from the resources of his worlds.

The High Lords of Terra did not see it that way, and dispatched a fleet to take the tithe by any means necessary. This grand fleet, the Karthan Convoy, was ambushed by the Warder Chapters as it voyaged between Vyaniah and Khymara. Ready for hostilities, Loyalist chapters gathered and began invading the Maelstrom Zone – civil war between Space Marines had begun.

As the Karthan Convoy was attacked, Loyalists started hitting at holdings of the Secessionists, starting with the industrial moon of Bellerophon’s Fall. An important supply and navigation point, it was garrisoned by the Mantis Warriors. The Salamanders and Marines Errant launched a series of landings with the aim of creating a beach head from which they could then combine their forces and defeat the Secessionists.

The Salamanders were the first to touch down, quickly deploying their lead elements and heading for a small refinery known only as Alpha-Six-Gamma. The Mantis Warriors had been using the refinery as a staging post during long-ranged patrols and the small force there was completely unaware that the Salamanders were closing in on them.


The Forces

We have only recently painted up these forces, so everyone is a little lacking in choice for their forces, but both Salamanders and Mantis Warriors have put together 1,500 points for this opening fight.

Mantis Warriors
Librarian (Lexicanium Seawa): Level 2 Psyker, Meltabombs, Digital Weapons
Tactical Squad (9 marines): Veteran Sergeant (with Power Sword and Meltabombs), Grav Cannon, Graviton Gun, Rhino (with Extra Armour)
Tactical Squad (10 marines): Veteran Sergeant, Plasma Cannon, Meltagun, Rhino
Dreadnought: Twin-linked Lascannon
Dreadnought: Multi-melta
Land Speeder: Multi-melta
Land Speeder: Multi-melta x 2
Vindicator Squadron (3 tanks): Siege Shields
Stormraven: Multi-melta, Lascannon, Searchlight

The Mantis Warriors have opted for a normal Combined Arms Detachment, preferring flexibility to formation benefits. This means they have few infantry but can back themselves up with Elites and Heavy Support – most notably that squadron of three Vindicators which could give the Salamanders a real headache.

Captain: Artificer Armour, Lightning Claw, Primarch’s Wrath
Tactical Squad (10 marines): Multi-Melta, Flamer, Rhino
Tactical Squad (10 marines): Multi-Melta, Flamer, Rhino
Tactical Squad (10 marines): Multi-Melta, Flamer, Rhino
Ironclad Dreadnought: Heavy Flamer
Assault Squad (10 marines): Veteran Sergeant (Lightning Claw, Meltabomb), Jump Packs, Flamer x 2
Devastator Squad (8 marines): Lascannon x 2, Missile Launcher (Flak Missiles) x 2
Stormtalon: Skyhammer Missile Launcher
Predator Destructor: Heavy Bolters


The Mission

Surprise Attack is a fairly easy mission. The Mantis Warriors start strung out across the battlefield, having been taken unawares. The Salamanders take the first turn, moving onto the table from any and all edges, as they desire. Any Deep Strikers the Salamanders have can arrive on the first turn, while the Mantis Warriors are very familiar with their home ground, and so have Move Through Cover and Stubborn.

Victory is determined by Kill Points – 1 point for a Troops unit, 3 for an HQ and 2 for anything else.



The Mantis Warriors had scant time to react when they saw the Salamanders strike force appear. One Tactical Squad leapt into its Rhino, while another (led by Lexicanium Seawa) took cover within the refinery as its Rhino reversed  into position.


The Land Speeders were already spooling up their engines, but the Stormraven remained on the ground, its greater mass needing more time to become airborne. Meanwhile, the Dreadnoughts and Vindicators gunned their engines and prepared to repel the assault.


Turn One

The Salamanders announced their presence with the arrival of an Assault Squad, jetting down from an overflying Thunderhawk – landing straight into trouble, next to the Tactical Squad led by Lexicanium Seawa.


As the Devastator Squad ran to take cover and set up a superior firing position, Rhinos roared onto the battlefield, each carrying a Tactical Squad.


Fire from the Salamanders was light as they moved into position, with shots from the Devastator Squad going wide and the Bolt Pistols and Flamers claiming just a single marine from Lexicanium Seewa’s squad.

Realising they were under attack, the Mantis Warriors turned to face their enemies as the Stormraven took off on screaming jets. Seewa consulted his runes and passed a word of forewarning to the Vindicators and fed power into his Force Axe to ready himself for close assault.


The Vindicators hurled three massive shells at a Rhino, blasting it apart and seriously injuring four marines inside., while the Assault Squad was mauled by the Tactical Squad, a Land Speeder and the closest Dreadnought. The Stormraven claimed a second Rhino with its Multi-melta, while a charge from the second Dreadnought destroyed the third and brought it very close to the Tactical Squad who staggered out of the wreckage.


Turn Two

The Salamander’s reinforcements turned up, in the form of a Stormtalon, Ironclad Dreadnought and a Predator Destructor. As the Stormtalon swooped in on the Tactical Squad threatening its Devastators, the Ironclad and Predator approached the Vindicator squadron from the rear.


The Assault Squad raced towards the Tactical Squad within the refinery, but got caught up in its defences and failed to reach their targets, leaving them right in the open with little cover.


Aside from a Tactical Squad shooting down a Land Speeder, losses for the Mantis Warriors remained light as they moved to engage their enemies.


The fifth Tactical Squad moved up to pound graviton fire into the Devastator Squad at point blank range, and the Salamanders’ casualties started to mount up. Meanwhile, the Stormraven and surviving Land Speeder swooped round to launch fire into the flank of the Predator, destroying it instantly as they were joined by a Dreadnought, though they inflicted only light damage on the Ironclad.


However, when the Vindicators lined up on a Tactical Squad, their powerful blasts shredded power armour, kill seven marines instantly. Meanwhile, a single blast from a Plasma Cannon finished off the few remaining Assault Marines near the refinery.


Turn Three

Slowing down, the Stormtalon engaged its hover jets to engage the Tactical Squad, its Assault Cannon claiming the lives of two marines, even as the Tactical Salamanders just behind it immolated the Dreadnought threatening them with a Multi-melta.

Near the refinery, the Ironclad staggered through the firepower being directed towards it, and punched through the armour of a Vindicator, detonating the shells inside.

As the Land Speeder disengaged form the Ironclad to confront the Stormtalon, the Stormraven hovered closer to the Dreadnought to unleash its full firepower, aided by the Dreadnought close by.


However, when the smoke cleared, the Ironclad was still up and fighting!


Turn Four

The Stormtalon’s pilot caught sight of the Land Speeder jetting towards him, and directed his Assault Cannon onto it, shredding the light vehicle. Meanwhile, the Ironclad could tell the Stormraven was now flying far too low and while its pilot nimbly jinked a Multi-melta blast aimed at it, he failed to see the massive claws of the Ironclad until they dragged him down from the air.

The Dreadnought let loose a loud electronic war cry as it charged into the Ironclad, and both veteran machines tore chunks off one another in a furious battle of metal against metal.


When they were done, neither machine was functioning well enough to continue fighting.


Turn Five

Seeing his chance, the Stormtalon pilot swooped low to engage the Tactical Squad Lexicanium Seewa was leading. Three marines died from his Assault Cannon and missiles, but the Librarian was untouched as the shots rained down all around him.


As the last surviving Vindicator gunned its engines in an effort to reach the two Tactical Squads who were now duelling on the other side of the battlefield, Lexicanium Seewa called upon mighty psychic powers to Forewarn his Tactical Squad and grant them Prescience – however, the powers were a little too mighty, and the resulting Warp Surge left him reeling and unable to fight.


By this time, both armies had suffered heavily and were forced to withdraw, but it was clear the Mantis Warriors had completely blunted the Salamanders’ initial assault.



A good opening battle for the Badab War!

The Salamanders put in a very good show, lagging behind only a single Kill Point – that rampaging Ironclad certainly did a lot of damage, and Lexicanium Seewa facing the Perils of the Warp did not help the Mantis Warriors at all.

Still, a win is a win at this stage of the campaign, and we will now be moving onto a Mantis Warriors counterattack!


The Story Continues…

We now continue down the campaign tree for the Salamanders landings on Bellerophon, and can see that with a victory for the Mantis Warriors, we move onto the Dawn Raid mission as the Secessionists take advantage of the stall in the Loyaists landings and try to hit back!


One Response to “Battle Report – Surprise Attack”

  1. imperialrebelork Says:

    Great report, great models and great terrain. Loved it.

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