The flyer tried to Jinx, but the autocannons raked across its hull. The small craft shuddered with the impact and small fires broke out where the heavy shells punched through.
The young courier clutched the data bundle. The wax seal on the dark red canister was stamped with the symbol of the inquisition and holy oils had anointed the canister. Their aromatic scent being over powered by the smell of burning wiring. As acrid smoke filled the hold, the courier realised the danger and activated the emergency transistor on the base of the canister.
“Brace, brace, brace” the pilot shouted over the intercom. As he prepared for the shock of an impact, the back of the craft exploded and the lander shock to the left. The nose started drop and the engine started to strain. The craft was losing altitude, heamorging smoke.
The impact shuck the courier in his harness, debris flying around the cramped cabin space. It was only a matter of time till something hit him ending his short life. The craft started to disinteregrate and on landing it shattered into shrapnel.
The courier was thrown from the craft, his life ended as his body hit the rocky ground. Still clutched in his hand was the data cylinder, his last act was to clamp his bionic arm around the it. Securing it with his dying breath.
Across the valley the skitarii of Gantz 31-23-alpha monitored the impact. With the efficiency of a well oiled cog the recovery team was dispatched and the investigation as the weapons used to down the craft began. Those responsible would want to recover evidence to, so the recovery team went armed for war.
To the west the patrol of 1st Albion regiment. Orders had been received. The data held in the craft must be recovered.
Game 1-intercept the courier.
Game 1 is a 500pts skirmish. The crashed lander has essential data that the albion 1st wanted. A small skitarii force, was in the area and saw the crash. They were despatched to investigate.
The mission played was relic over a 6×4 board. The relic was a data cylinder that contained the secrets of albion, discovered by a covert inquisition team. The guard of the 1st Albion regiment wanted it back, the skitarii having no idea what it contains wanted the knowledge. To add to the game, Lee had written the text of the message but I could not see it till I captured it with my skitarii.
Our plan for the game was to keep the armies a patrol forces not full combat units. So we keep them troop heavy with only light vehicles.
1st Albion. (Lee-imperial guard)
Lees list was a veteran heavy army 2 squads of vets supported by a command squad in a chimera. Supporting this was full squad of sentinel (Armoured) the force was an independent force self sustainable and ready to go to any fight. For his warlord, Lee got preferred enemy:skitarii for the warlord and his unit.
My army was a simple army to choose I only had a small force painted. So I took most of it! This was 2 vanguard units (10 with 3 arc and warlord and 7 with 2 plasma),10 rangers in 1 squad with 3 aquabus and the dragoon.
The skitarii got to deploy first, but with small armies, grand tactical plans aren’t really on the cards! I deoyed each unit in a long front with the central position taken up by the warlord. The dragoon was on the left flank.
The guard again held nothing back. They matched the skitarii deployment with the warlords facing each other. The most important deployment was in the left. 10 vets with an auto cannon set up in the woods just off center and took up a good defensive position to their left was the sentinel squad.
Lee was about to seize the initiative when he discovered that all skitarii have scout! The army surged forward in a hurry to take the relic. Rolling to seize the initiative, Lee failed the skitarii would start the campaign with the first shots!
This was my 1st ever use of this army and mistakes are bound to be made. We joked abut having a whole army with new model luck, but I think it worked in my favor.
The army surged forward in to weapons range and speed of the Martian troops took lee by suprise. Off to the left the rangers fired 1st killing a few vets in the trees. They went to Ground and mist were saved. In the centre the arc guns of the vanguard were in range of the chimera. Rolling 3 hits the tanks was in danger, but the 3 6’s on the heywire rolls was really unexpected. With arc of lightning flying from the hull, the machine died. 1st blood to the skittarii!
Wish confidence I boasted about the massive charge range of the dragoon and how lethal it was in combat. Firing the snap shots from a missile launcher, Las cannon and autocannon the dragoon dodged the incoming fire, but miss timed it’s charge. Failing to make the 7″ charge.
*since the game I have learnt that you can’t charge from scouting. As the charge had no impact on the game this didn’t matter to much.
In reply the comand squad advanced with 3 flamer weapons towards the vanguard. The other units took aim at the nearest units and let rip.
They killed 6 skitarii and I totally forgot the FNP rolls. All the leadership tests were passed. The skitarii warlord took a wound from the flamers.
The sentinel opened fire on the dragoon at full BS. The Las clipped the walker, but the Insense cloud saved it.
The central vanguard took the objective and we’re all in range of the command squad. The vanguard on the right also came into range, but had taken a few casualties in the previous turn.
Firing was brutal. The small vanguard killed the 10 vets on the right. The vanguard in the center killed the command squad and wounded the officer. The rangers finished the commander off, slaying him.
The dragoon made his second charge taking a glancing hit from an autocannon on the way in. In combat he killed the 1st sentinel with now damage in return.
The guard, staggered by the onslaught, still stood firm and avenged the fallen commander. The autocannon killed the skitarii warlord and the various other weapons killed a few more. The squad was down to its last 3 troops. But they held their nerve.
Combat saw another sentinel fall for no damage I return.
Turn 3 and 4
With the guard down and under gunned it was a matter of time till they all died.
The vanguard with the relic to the cargo out of the line of fire. The rangers and other vanguard mover in to a short ranged fire position and killed the vets. Not even the cover could save them.
This was followed by a few rounds of combat between the dragoon and the sentinel. By turn 4 the last guard had died, but the death of the dragoon was on the cards as the last attack of the Armoured sentinel just failed to glace the armour of its erstwhile cousin.
Game over-winner skitarii
The game ended with a clear skitarii win. The guards guns were silent and the skitarii took their prize.
Unbeknown to the followers of the machine god, the 1st Albion had got a final transmission off and their commander knew were the skitarii would go. All eyes turned to pumphouse 72. Could the data be recovered before it was sent to the inquisition? Would the small skitarii hold the pump station? Only game 2 will answer these questions.
Game one was lots of fun. The skitarii firepower took us both by suprise and the mid range killing field is a scary prospect. I made mistakes with them but all told, I liked using these new killers. The skitarii have the data cylinder and the message. What is on the coded disc.