Sunday, 11 August 2019

Narrative Campaign Day One: Krieg Battle Report

Trying something a little different to go with the 40k Narrative Campaign we are running over the next 3 months. This is a recap of the first two games, and since Scott has put so much work into the narrative elements, seems rude to not lean into that and do a narrative recap of the battles!

I'll do better at getting photos next time....

Pooch

Excerpt from the personal log of Captain Keller. Commanding Officer, B Company, 377th Krieg Siege Regiment deployed on Torak.

The 377th Krieg Siege Regiment was spent.

Over two years in the mud, defending a minor Forgeworld from the predations of Chaos had expended much of their seemingly unlimited manpower and material.

Torak was meant to be a recovery, a place to meet reinforcements being supplied from Krieg herself, a staging base before being sent to the next siege. Barracked on the northern side of Gurenja Hive, the Krieg soldiers had quickly found the local populace to be unfriendly at best.

Perhaps that was why I wasn't surprised when the Lord Commissar Krause entered the container serving as my command post. Local workers rebelling, needed to be put down before they caused problems to the factory output. We needed to secure a key pipeline, and ensure that any traitors were introduced to the sharp end of a Mk42 Entrenching Tool. She used all of the right words to get any Krieg soldier ready to fight- talk of heretics, rebellions and the foul taint of chaos. I haven't had a chance to ask her whether she knew what we were really going to be up against.

We mobilised quickly, a "show of force" was required against the traitors. As I watched the long, loping strides of the Armiger Arcus of House Hawkshroud on our flank, it took all of my experience to not begin thinking about what sort of "protein" my aide would be able to rustle up to add to the rations for our evening meal.

As we approached the factory district, our radios died. No voice, no static, no nothing. Just silence. Ahead of us, the factories were shrouded in fog, the silence emanating from there further adding to my sense of unease. I deployed squads to secure the right flank of the pipeline, and pushed our scouts forward.

Forward deployment in the factory district
The stillness was broken by two bright spears of light, coalescing on the hull of one of the scout sentinels. As it crumpled to the ground, Arcus begain firing, and I saw the shapes emerging from the fog. 

Barely audible over the Arcus' booming cannons was the sound of battle emerging from our right flank. I never saw what happened, but what little I could discern from the leader of our Jager squad Sgt. Fischer were of a monstrous demon emerging out of the fog, slaughtering third squad and most of the Jagers. Quite how he managed to not only survive, but kill the beast is something I will never quite be able to comprehend.

I never saw the right flank because of what had emerged from the fog. Shambling forward in ruined Manufactorum and PDF uniforms came what seemed to be a hundred of the enemy. The remaining sentinels strode forward, belching flames at what was now clearly locals who had given themselves over to the god of plague and pestilence. Wreathed in fire, the pox walkers continued on, surrounding the sentinels.

Honoured are those who sacrifice.
Thankful for the distraction, we poured the fire on to the enemy. Arcus' cannons cut swathes through the enemy, only to have the gaps in the ranks filled immediately with yet more of the enemy. 

First one, then another sentinel was dragged down under the sheer weight of bodies. The detonation of their fuel cells barely registering on the horde of bodies that now swarmed past them towards our defensive line.

The Lord Commissar ordered the withdrawl, apparently when Fischer killed the big demon some of our vox relays came back. Once we had established contact with command, my second call was to the nearest Basilisk battery with range to our location. We were almost at the end of our phased withdrawl when the first earthshaker rounds began landing on top of the position we had just vacated. We used the cover from the battery to begin our withdrawl.

It was from the commander of that Basilisk battery that I learned that this wasn't an isolated incident, but rather the opening moves in something far worse. Our withdrawl orders were to return to, and secure the Astropathic Choir Hall, a suitably gothic sounding name for a bleak, monolithic structure. The Astropaths were critical to send communications out to nearby starships and planets for reinforcements. We were the lucky ones who were the closest to it, so we had to secure it.

Lucky us.

We didn't get to within two clicks of the Choir Hall when the enemy sprang their ambush. Our orders were clear, we had to push through the ambush and reach the Choir Hall.

Deployment to repel the ambush
It was Arcus' cannons that once again welcomed the battle, tearing apart an enemy walker with it's heavy shells. Seeing a large, winged beast looming behind some ruins, I ordered Fischer's Jagers, my command squad and 2nd squad to bring it down. The characteristic whine of the plasmagun sounded wrong as the four gunners prepared to fire.

As each soldier pulled the trigger, their weapons exploded. Four veteran soldiers, with reliable plasma weapons. Killed by plasma cells created by workers who bore secret allegiances to dark gods. It was not without a large amount of trepidation did I fire my own plasma pistol, only to have it fizz and sputter- but thankfully not detonate.

We brought that monstrosity down eventually, but not before it had killed all of my command squad, all of 2nd squad and brought down most of Fischer's men. I think it was Fischer himself who brought it down, his hot-shot laspistol bearing none of the power cell problems of the plasma weapons.

Caught up in my own private war, I had missed watching the spectacle of Arcus dueling with two monstrous demonic beasts which could summon weaponry from their very person.

I missed the sacrifice of our Special Weapon Squad, Specialist Weber holding the demolition charge tight to his chest as the enemy sorcerer impaled him, killing both in the ensuing fireball.

I missed the heroism of those who left the sounds of battle, and screams of the dying to ensure that Krieg were the first to reach the Choir Hall.
Veterans leading the charge to the Choir Hall
I did not miss watching the Lord Commissar duel the traitor Space Marines. Unnaturally quick, the enemy charged through the defensive fire, one succumbing to a krak missile fired at point blank range. The remaining two drove straight at the Lord Commissar, one catching her in his immense powerfist, squeezing her and then tossing her aside with a sigh of what could only be described as disappointment. 

I was there to witness the Lord Commissar stand up. I saw her rise as a divine instrument of the Emperor's wrath.

I was there to watch her level her bolt pistol and shoot both traitors in the head as they slaughtered the last members of first squad.

And I was there to steady her as she almost fell again.

I am writing this from the defenses we have erected around the Choir Hall. From my position I can see the remaining squads attempting to cobble together their ammunition. Arcus is lit up by the lights of welding torches, great rents torn into it's armour by the day's battles. I don't know what fresh horror tomorrow will bring....

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