Battle Report – Pillage

The Mantis Warriors failed in their attempt to throw the Salamanders off Bellerophon’s Fall, but that does not mean they do not have some other nasty tricks up their sleeves!

 

The Story So Far

The Salamanders had begun their landings on Bellerophon’s Fall, but they were hardly unopposed. A Mantis Warriors counter-attack had been blunted but the Secessionists were now splintering their armies and fading into the wilderness of Bellerophon’s Fall. From hidden bases and through the use of long-ranged patrols, the Mantis Warriors came back time and again to hit the Salamanders where the Loyalists least expected it.

Setting up a small staging post to continue their advance to more valuable targets, the Salamanders gathered supplies and ammunition in preparation for their next push. Seizing their chance, the Mantis Warriors attacked, with the dual aim of depriving the Salamanders of much needed equipment while adding to their own armouries with weapons and ammunition taken from their enemies.

This was an important part of the Mantis Warriors’ overall strategy, as even now the Marines Errant were moving into orbit to start their own landings, and both Codicier Senufu and Captain Fulani led the raid.

 

The Forces

The Salamanders have taken a (very) similar force to the last battle, but the Mantis Warriors have removed a small handful of units and replaced them with a Captain and a Terminator Librarian, leading a whole squad of Terminators!

Mantis Warriors
Librarian (Codicier Senufu): Level 2 Psyker, Terminator Armour, Storm Bolter
Captain Fulani: Artificer Armour, Power Sword, Storm Bolter, 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
Terminator Squad (6 marines): Assault Cannon
Dreadnought: Multi-melta
Land Speeder: Multi-melta
Vindicator Squadron (3 tanks): Siege Shields

With this force, the Mantis Warriors are looking to bring the fight to the Salamanders in a more convincing fashion, teleporting the Terminators in to seriously disrupt any plans.

Salamanders
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
Centurions (3 marines): Hurricane Bolters
Centurions (3 marines): Hurricane Bolters
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

The greatest punch among the Salamanders remains the two squads of Centurions, though their Tactical Squads have proven quite hard to shift in the past battles…

 

The Mission

In Pillage, a random number of objectives are placed on the battlefield (three, in this battle), each representing a supply cache or ammunition dump. Any unit that is close to the objective, that is not also engaged in close combat or running away, gains a Supply or Loot point at the end of their opponent’s turn. Both armies start with just two Troops units and one HQ on the table, with everything else arriving as Reserves.

Victory is determined by the number of Supply or Loot points gained when the game ends. The force with the highest total wins.

 

Deployment

The Salamanders had grouped their supply caches together, so there were only three sites for the Mantis Warriors to target. By the time the Salamanders had realised what was going on, the Mantis Warriors had already parked a Rhino next to one of the caches and started loading weapons and ammunition on board under the watchful eyes of Captaihn Fulani.

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The Salamanders massed their Tactical Squads in an offensive line that shielded one of the other caches, but a third was between the two forces and ripe for the taking!

 

Turn One

As the Tactical Squad led by Captain Fulani began loading their Rhino with ill-gotten gains claimed from the Salamanders, the second Tactical Squad raced forward in its own Rhino to claim another cache, conscious that the Salamanders were very close.

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The Rhino’s Storm Bolter chattered, but its shells simply sparked off the armour of a Salamanders marine, and the Loyalists started to salvage what they could from the cache closest to them before the Mantis Warriors could steal it.

However, one of the heavy weapons marines among the Salamanders had the presence of mind to stop salvaging for a moment to take a shot with his Multi-melta at the Rhino. The super-hot beam burned through the transport’s armour in a fraction of a second and its fuel tanks detonated in a bright explosion. With their squads already on foot, the Salamanders’ Rhinos then sped forward to provide cover and force the Mantis Warriors to reconsider their attack.

 

Turn Two

Now the Salamanders’ supplies had been located, Captain Fulani gave the order for the Mantis Warriors reinforcements to arrive and lend their weight to the pillaging operation – a Dreadnought, Land Speeder and the Vindicator squadron all appeared and started to move towards the battle.

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The Vindicators opened up almost immediately, destroying both of the Salamanders’ lead Rhinos in one titanic series of explosions. Captain Fulani had disembarked from his transport with his Tactical Squad, thinking they would have to leave the shelter of the silo they had taken cover behind to deal with the Rhinos. He smiled when the smoke cleared and saw his task had already been completed.

Meanwhile, the Salamanders had been desperately calling for their own reinforcements and, already alerted to Mantis Warrior activity in the area, they appeared quickly – another Tactical Squad, Devastators and Centurions.

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The rest of the Loyalists concentrated their fire upon the Tactical Squad in the open, the prefabricated bunker next to them providing scant cover. Bolter and melta fire rained down upon them, and casualties were extremely high. A few marines, however, managed to weather the storm and stubbornly refused to give up on the supply cache their squad had taken.

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Turn Three

Lightning crackled behind the Salamanders’ line and, when the flash had cleared, six Mantis Warriors Terminators were standing, led by Codicier Senufu. The squad seemed quite disorientated by the teleportation, and their fire went wide of the Tactical Squad closest to them, knocking down only two marines, while the Librarian could not focus enough to manifest any psychic powers.

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The rest of the Mantis Warriors were out of range, but they advanced confidently as the Salamanders had come to respect the raw firepower of the Vindicator squadron.

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The Salamanders second Centurion Squad finally arrived on the battlefield, along with an Ironclad Dreadnought and their Assault Squad, bringing the Demi-Company up to full strength. The second squad of Centurions followed their Ironclad Dreadnought in a flanking manoeuvre that threatened to trap the newly arrived Terminators.

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The Assault Squad, however, chose to drop out of an over-flying Thunderhawk and land right next to Captain Fulani’s squad, intent on decapitating the Mantis Warriors force and taking back the supply cache that had by now been heavily pillaged.

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As they landed, two Assault marines opened up with a torrent of fire from their Flamers, catching the Tactical Squad off guard as several marines were toasted inside their power armour.

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Meanwhile, the rest of the Salamanders focussed on the two biggest threats, the Vindicator squadron and the Terminators. Most of the Devastators’ heavy fire went wild, doing little more than dent a Vindicator, but two Terminators succumbed to sustained fire from Tactical Squads.

 

Turn Four

Taking care not to expose itself to heavy fire, the Land Speeder took a long and circuitous approach around the Ironclad Dreadnought. Its Multi-melta did little more than slag thick armour, but it reminded the Ironclad’s pilot that he could not simply ignore it, and he was forced to make a decision to either chase the Land Speeder, effectovely taking him out of the battle, or continue forward to the Terminator Squad and risk exposing his side and rear armour to a devastating attack.

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Both the Vindicators and Terminators began an advance that would enable them to seize the remaining supply caches and crush the remaining Salamanders resistance. Codicier Senufu blasted the minds of a Tactical Squad with a Psychic Shriek, forcing two marines to sink to their knees as they clutched their heads, while the Vindicators let loose a mighty roar as shells landed amidst another Tactical Squad. The Salamanders had no choice but to leave their dead and retreat under this firepower.

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Voxing his warcry, Captain Fulani charged the Assault Squad who had immolated his marines, and was joined by not only the surviving members of the Tactical Squad, but a Dreadnought too.

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The Assault Squad was hit hard, leaving the survivors no choice but to retreat and regroup.

The Salamanders were starting to take serious casualties but they realised that if they could just neutralise the Terminators and Vindicator squadron, they might still be able to save enough of their supplies to continue the war effort in this sector.

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With this in mind, their last surviving Rhino gunned its engines and sped forward in an effort to block the fire of the Vindicators.

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A brave but foolhardy move.

The Assault Squad collected their wits and threw themselves back at Captain Fulani and his marines, more confident now the Mantis Warriors Dreadnought had departed to reinforce the battlefield’s centre and support the Vindicators. Captain Fulani ruthlessly cut one marine down as he came into reach of his Power Sword and the melee erupted once more.

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Turn Five

The Salamanders’ own Captain ordered the Tactical Squad he had been leading to train fire upon the approaching Terminators, as they were now close enough to engage him. However, the Salamanders collectively cried out in a mixture of fury and dismay as the Mantis Warrior’s Librarian cloaked the Terminators in the energy of the Warp.

The Salamanders could now see only shadows approaching them, but their Captain had seen the Librarian’s Force Staff glow with barely restrained power before he disappeared.

As the Vindicators unleashed another salvo at the Tactical Squad they had battered earlier, Codicier Senufu led his Terminators in a charge against the bunker the Salamanders had taken cover within, and immediately sought out their Captain, challenging him to face the fighting skills of the Mantis Warriors.

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The Salamanders’ Captain fought well, but he could barely land a single solid blow upon the Librarian. He did not see the Force Staff swing  until it was too late, and his soul-shrivelling shriek was heard across the battlefield. The other Terminators clambered onto the bunker and made short work of the few surviving Tactical marines.

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The Mantis Warriors had taken the bunker and, with it, another supply cache that they immediately started to pillage.

Determined not to let the Mantis Warriors take a single shell more than could be helped, the Ironclad Dreadnought and two Centurion Squads closed in on the Terminators.

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However, only one squad was close enough to reach the Terminators and, despite going in without any support, they charged.

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This fight was extremely brutal and short-lived as the Centurions smashed through the flimsy bunker with their siege weapons, the Terminators desperately trying to avoid being crushed by the mechanical monsters.

However, once again it was Codicier Senufu who saved the day. Maintaining his concentration on the cloak of Invisibility that wreathed his Terminators, the Centurions mighty swings could not find a target. Unseen by the brutes, Senufu leapt down from the bunker and laid about himself with his Force Staff, quickly snatching the souls of two Centurions while the third was pummelled by a Power Fist to the chest.

As Captain Fulani dispatched the last of the Salamanders’ Assault Squad, he looked up to gauge how the rest of the battle was going – and it seemed very much in his favour. Knowing that the Salamanders would move more reinforcements into the area very quickly, he gave the signal to retreat, his Mantis Warriors weighed down with supplies stolen from the Loyalists.

It had been a good battle for the Secessionists.

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Conclusion

The Mantis Warriors managed to pull a victory in this battle, with just one more Loot point than the Salamanders had Salvage points – the Secessionists had claimed a small but early lead in the battle, and managed to maintain it throughout.

The Vindicators, once again, more than proved their worth, and I have a feeling the Salamanders will be moving up some serious heavy support in future battles in order to deal with them! The Terminators and Librarian made good account of themselves too, though I am not sure they could have held back the second Centurion Squad, much less that Ironclad!

 

The Story Continues…

The Mantis Warriors have managed to severely deplete the front line supplies of the Salamanders, which will greatly slow down their assaults across the entire moon of Bellerophon’s Fall – their advances will be blunted until they are able to bring down replacements from orbit and then transport them to the front line. However, the Mantis Warriors are masters of this sort of warfare, and you can be sure they will be targeting any supply train their scouts can find…

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2 Responses to “Battle Report – Pillage”

  1. patrickwr Says:

    Great stuff! Very inspiring. Always a treat to see fully painted 40k armies clashing on the tabletop.

  2. Anon Says:

    Nice report. I really like that blue terrain piece.


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