This weekend we completed the first part of the first phase of the Badab War as we completed the mini-campaign that made up the initial landings on Bellerophon’s Fall of the Mantis Warriors and Salamanders.
The Salamanders had been forced back to their landing zones and were forced to quickly construct some hasty fortifications, while the Marines Errant had driven forward through the defences of the Mantis Warriors and were laying siege to one of the industrial centres.
For these battles, we used the All-Round Defence mission from the old Battle Missions book, with the Mantis Warriors as the attackers on one table and defenders on the other – to make things more ‘interesting’, we decided these battles would be played simultaneously, side-by-side and turn-by-turn!
In the industrial centre, the Marines Errant quickly surrounded the Mantis Warriors with Tactical Squads, Terminators and an Assault Squad, while Devastators took the high ground to pound the Mantis Warriors’ bastion with missiles. The Marines Errant stole an early lead by destroying the Mantis Warriors’ Stormraven while it was still on the ground.
Very quickly, the Mantis Warriors were under extreme pressure.
The Rhinos sacrificed themselves to hold up rampaging Assault Marines and Terminators, giving the Mantis Warriors time to formulate a response. While the Relic Deredo kept the heads of two Tactical Squads down and hunkering within buildings, the Tactical Squads inside the Bastion and Firestorm Redoubt maintained a steady rate of fire on the attackers, until they could be relieved by the Dreadnought and Captain.
The battle hung in the balance for perilously long minutes and things looked lost when the Devastator Squad finally brought the Bastion down in a shower of debris and rubble. However, the Mantis Warriors managed to rally and finally broke the back of the Marines Errant, leaving just a couple of Tactical marines to flee the battlefield.
Around the landing zones of the Salamanders, things were also going well.
A Land Speeder, Attack Bike Squadron and Dreadnought had been scouting out the landing zone and quickly found a valley in which the Salamanders seemed weakest. Sending comms back to the Librarian leading the attack force, heavy support soon arrived.
The Salamanders quickly found themselves under severe pressure as a Land Raider Crusader and squadron of Vindicators drove into the valley and began pounding the Bastion. They started taking serious losses and then the worst happened – a direct hit from the Relic Vindicator Laser Destroyer tore through the Bastion, crushing four Tactical Marines under the rubble.
The Salamanders led a spirited counterattack against the Land Raider Crusader and the Terminators it had disgorged, finally driving the Mantis Warriors away from the landing zone.
An exciting weekend of battles! And the moral of the story – bastions are bloody hard to attack!
The Mantis Warriors managed to finally stall the seemingly unstoppable thrust into their territory by the Marines Errant but, in turn, were unable to force the Salamanders off of Bellerophon’s fall. The war for the industrial moon is now going to progress at a slog, as neither Loyalist nor Secessionist have managed to deliver a knockout blow yet.
For that, we are going to be spending the next few months on a sort of map-based campaign, with the fast-moving Mantis Warriors constantly striking at the Loyalists who are trying to deliver a telling strike. This will be resolved using the ‘rules’ presented for map-based campaigns in Age of Sigmar’s Generals Handbook.
However, that is not all that is going on – very soon we will be launching boarding actions on the Karthan Convoy, with the Mantis Warriors taking over merchant vessels and conducting fighter sweeps.