It has been a war of devastation and destruction, but the Konor campaign is drawing to a close as we prepare for the final battle…
The Daemon Primarch Mortarion has hurled the Death World of Loebos through the Konor system to leave nothing but desolation in its wake. The Marines Errant must stop at nothing to destroy the world before the Realm of Ultramar is dealt a blow from which it will never recover. However, the Death Guard have placed a suicide force on Loebos to foil the Imperium.
The Marines Errant are using a light but veteran task force to activate the vengeance bombs that will destroy Loebos, so we are setting this battle at a round 60 points.
Death Guard (Battalion)
Daemon Prince of Nurgle (Revoltingly Resilient, Suppurating Plate, Miasma of Pestilence)
Lord of Contagion
Malignant Plaguecaster (Miasma of Pestilence, Blades of Putrefaction)
Poxwalkers x 20
Plague Marines x 7 (Power Fist, Plasma Gun)
Cultists x 20
Helbrute (Twin Lascannon, Hammer)
The Death Guard have brought some heavy equipment in the way of two Helbrutes and a Bloat-Drone, padding out their force with Cultists and Poxwalkers. However, they have a powerful triumvirate leading them, in the shape of a Lord of Contagion, a Malignant Plaguecaster, and their warlord, a Daemon Prince of Nurgle.
Captain (Chapter Master)
Venerable Dreadnought (Assault Cannon)
Tactical Squad (Missile Launcher, Flamer)
Assault Squad (Lightning Claws)
Terminator Assault Squad (Lightning Claws)
The Marines Errant have chosen to have a tiny force deployed, with the main bulk of their army waiting in reserves to drop down onto the Death Guard positions.
Mission: Death of a World
This battle takes place on a Death World, so we have placed as much exotic (and deadly!) vegetation on the battlefield as possible! There are also three detonators for the vengeance bombs that the Marines Errant must activate, all within Death Guard territory. They will gain a major victory if they can activate all three and a minor victory if they get just two. Any other result is a victory for the Death Guard (and will cause serious problems in Ultramar!).
The vegetation of Loebos is really angry at the intrusion of both the Marines Errant and the Death Guard, and all ranges of Deathworld Forest terrain are doubled for this batt;e
The mission itself has two new Stratagems for the Death Guard – Plague Horde allows them to freely summon Daemons of Nurgle, while Blessing of Nurgle allows the Death Guard to avoid the effects of the Deathworld Forest. For their part, the Marines Errant can use Incendiary Grenades to clear areas of vegetation .
The Fate of Konor campaign also introduces yet another Stratagem (Spontaneous Outbreak) which deals mortal wounds to all models who get too close to the shrubbery.
The Death Guard army looked huge compared to the tiny force of Marines Errant who strode onto the battlefield – just a Tactical Squad and Venerable Dreadnought, led by the Chapter Master of the Marines Errant himself. However, the Daemon Prince warlord was not fooled in the least and he ordered his own units to spread out to cover the detonators that would trigger the destruction of Loebos.
All too ready to fight, the Death Guard mobilised as soon as the Marines Errant made their presence known, catching the Chapter Master off guard. One Helbrute went into a terrible Fire Frenzy that sent many Lascannon beams lancing across the battlefield, but none found their target. The second Helbrute took a more direct route and raced towards the Venerable Dreadnought, putting both it and the Chapter Master in immediate peril.
The Venerable Dreadnought back-pedalled quickly, escaping the worse of the Helbrute’s attacks, before lashing out with its own Power Fist, wrenching huge plates of armour off its enemy.
Spinning ponderously around, the Venerable dreadnought backed away from the Helbrute, filling the daemonic machine with Assault Cannon shells until it toppled to the ground. Close by, the Devastator Squad spied the Foetid Bloat-Drone flying towards them and scored several direct hits with Krak Missiles – unfortunately, the Bloat-Drone simply shrugged the missiles off with its superior resilience.
Undaunted by incoming fire, the Bloat-Drone flew over the Deathworld vegetation of Loebos, before swooping down upon the Devastator Squad. Its Plaguespitters belched a tidal wave of filth that consumed four Marines before they could react.
Raising his sword high, the Daemon Prince called upon Grandfather Nurgle and a horde of Plaguebearers winked into existence around him, strengthening the forces around two of the detonators.
A short distance away, the remaining Helbrute entered another Fire Frenzy which this time blasted the Venerable Dreadnought apart. The Helbrute started to track onto the Chapter Master as he fled the explosion, and a bright flash from the Conversion Field of his Iron Halo signalled one of the shots had found its mark.
Seeing the marauding Bloat-Drone, the Chapter Master dove into the middle of the Devastator Squad, who trained their Missile Launchers on the approaching enemy. This time, the Bloat-Drone exploded in a shower of filth as multiple warheads detonated inside it.
A Thunderhawk Gunshop swooped low over the battlefield and, from its hatches, an Assault Squad dropped to land behind the Cultists assigned to guard one of the detonators. Bolt Pistols roared, and three Cultists were torn apart by the explosive shells.
At the same moment, in a coordinated manoeuvre, Terminators teleported onto the battlefield. One squad appeared in front of the Plague Marines while the other materialised behind the Poxwalkers and Plaguebearers.
However, if they had intended to stride straight into battle, it was a plan that failed as their sudden appearance had confused the Marines for a few vital seconds – and that might be all the time the Death Guard needed to react.
The Plaguecaster threw a Miasma of Pestilence over the Cultists, knowing that the Marines Errant would be only too happy to target the weakest unit in the army, while the Lord of Contagion lumbered around a rotting tree in his Cataphractii Armour, intending to tear the Assault Squad apart single-handed.
As the Plague Marines traded fire with the Terminators who had teleported in front of them, dropping one with a burst of Plasma Gun fire, the Daemon Prince bellowed at the Plaguebearers to follow him as he stomped towards the Assault Terminators.
Moving with deceptive speed, the daemons reached the Terminators in just a few strides, and the Daemon Prince’s sword sliced through one with ease. Rallying quickly, the Assault Terminators attacked the Daemon Princebut were dismayed to see their Lightning Claws simply skid off his Suppurating Plate – this turned to horror as the daemonic armour sprayed them with a spray of corruption that dissolved another Marine in his armour.
Wary of the Lord of Contagion, the Assault Squad nonetheless gunned their jump packs and dived into the Cultists and Plaguecaster. A few Cultists were cut down and more ran, but the Plaguecaster proved too tough for Chainswords to hurt and two Assault Marines were killed in the first few seconds of the fight.
Meanwhile the unengaged Terminators, after raking the Cultists with their Storm Bolters, lumbered into close quarters battle with the Plague Marines, but the Deathworld vegetation snaked out to grasp their already unwieldy Power Fists and only one Plague Marine fell to their blows.
By this time, the Marines Errant were putting two of the detonators under pressure but their third attack, spearheaded by the Assault Terminators, had completely stalled in the face of Daemons of Nurgle.
With the destruction of the Bloat-Drone, however, the Devastator Squad was now free to rain missiles down upon the Death Guard force, something the remaining Helbrute just could not tolerate. Bellowing with a strangely organic voice, it brushed past Barbed Venomgorse to stampede towards the Marines.
Summoning the power of the Warp, the Daemon Prince hurled a bolt of filth at one of the Assault Terminators, blasting the Marine apart. Across the battlefield, the Plaguecaster did the same thing against the Assault Squad, summoning even greater power to annihilate three Marines before they could respond. However, the Plaguecaster had grown too greedy and ambitious, and he attracted the attentions of a massive Warp predator.
A gateway to the depths of the Warp opened above him and massive tentacles descended to drag the Plaguecaster away, along with a single Cultist and three more Marines! The Lord of Contagion grunted at seeing this – the Plaguecaster had served his purpose and between his Smite and the Warp predator, the Assault Squad had been all but smashed. Hefting his axe, the Lord of Contagion cleaved the last two Assault Marines apart.
With the Cultist’s detonator now safe, the attention of the Death Guard now focussed on the centre where the Plague Marines had met their match in the Terminators they now fought. Fortunately, help arrived quickly in the unlikely shape of the shambling Poxwalkers who fell upon the Terminators, pulling one down – only for him to quickly rise again to join their ranks.
By this time, the Assault Terminators had been reduced to a single Marine and, seeing no chance in fighting the Daemon Prince, he activated a Teleport Homer and materialised near the Chapter Master – just in time to launch himself at the oncoming Helbrute.
The Assault Terminator was brave, and his Lightning Claws managed to deliver a shallow rake to the Helbrute, but a single swing of the Helbrute’s hammer drove him flat into the ground.
Behind the Helbrute, the last Terminators fought their way clear of the mass of Poxwalkers and Plague Marines, shooting their Storm Bolters as they went, though to no avail. The Devastator Marines took this opportunity to launch a flurry of missiles into the mob, one of which found its mark to blast apart a Plague Marine.
The Poxwalkers stumbled around the Terminators, cutting off any further escape but, in the press, no one could deliver a telling blow.
Across the other side of the battlefield, the Helbrute bellowed in triumph as it finally reached the Chapter Master.
The Chapter Master raised his Power Sword to parry a blow, but the Helbrute’s hammer easily crashed through his defence, to knock him several metres away. Picking himself up, the Chapter Master knew he had been wounded, but he was still in the fight.
Seeing no choice, the Chapter Master retreated as far as he could from the oncoming Helbrute, hoping the missiles of the Devastator Squad would finish it off. They let fly at point blank range and the Helbrute erupted in an explosion that claimed one of their lives.
In the crush around the last contested detonator, the Poxwalkers dragged another Terminator to the ground before rending him apart – and now, the Daemon Prince was getting close to joining in.
The last Terminator fell to a bolt of filth summoned by the Daemon Prince, securing the detonator. As the Plaguebearers began stumbling towards the Devastator Squad, the Chapter Master of the Marines Errant saw the battle had been lost. Giving the signal, both he and the surviving Devastator Marines left the field of battle.
A major victory for the Death Guard, all detonators remained intact, and the Konor system is going to have some major issues as the planet Loebos crashes through it – all in all, not a good day for the Imperium!
This was a brave attempt on the part of the Marines Errant, and their plan could have worked. The Devastators, with four Missile Launchers, formed a strong fire base that could have ravaged the Death Guard from afar if they had not been constantly hindered by Helbrutes and the Bloat-Drone (in hindsight, sacrificing those three machines was a good move by the Death Guard).
After that, the Marine reinforcements went after all three objectives at once, which allowed the Death Guard to take them on piecemeal.
Now, a word about that; I think this was intentional on the part of the Marines Errant player (James), who (I think) did not intend to take all three objectives – he was aiming for two, initially at least, giving him a minor victory that he could then build from with a final assault on the last objective.
This was a good idea (or would have been, if it had worked…) but the Assault Terminators got bogged down by the Plaguebearers, while the other Terminators did not get to the Plague Marines in time and failed to do a great deal when they got there.
However, the turning point of the battle, I think, was with the Assault Squad. They should have been able to take that objective and finish off the Plaguecaster and Cultists in very short order. It was the Plaguecaster getting a powerful 3 wound Smite off, then suffering Perils that claimed another three Marines that finished any possibility of getting that objective (and, by extension, moving on to aid one of the others). When James saw what had happened he did say that I was, quote, ‘a complete dick’.
It was, perhaps, a fair assessment.