Sunday, February 8, 2015

Flight To The Truth - Horus Heresy 7th Edition Battle Report

The opening stages of the Horus Heresy - Death Guard vs. World Eaters on Istvaan III

Last week Conscript Byron was kind enough to host a small gaming evening.  I wanted to continue with the recent Horus Heresy theme that has been dominating my painting efforts.  Byron has a small force of Legion-era Death Guard figures, and patched together with the various Legion bits and bobs I have painted so far we were able to get a small Horus Heresy game together.

The World Eaters (strung along the left side) need to make it to that Valkyrie model...should be a piece of cake, right?

We played a scenario from Forge World's "Horus Heresy Book One: Betrayal".  The scenario is called "Flight to the Truth".  It is set on Istvaan III, where Horus has launched his open rebellion against the Emperor.  The first stage of his plan is to purge his own Legions of "unreliables" - Marines who would never go along with his plan.  They are sent down to Istvaan III, ostensibly to suppress a rebellion, but they are stabbed in the back by Horus, who attempts to obliterate them from orbit, and then comes down to go after the survivors.

An imposing battle line of Legion Marines from the World Eaters

This scenario feature three "remembrancers", people who would be reliable witnesses of Horus' betrayal.  The Loyalist side is trying to get these three to a shuttle they have located, in the hopes they can travel through warp space and raise the alarm in the Imperium about Horus' dastardly plans.

World Eaters Centurion & command group
We played roughly 1,000 points per side using the 7th Edition Warhammer 40k rules.  Byron played the traitor side, with elements of the Death Guard and the Sons of Horus: Calas Typhon, a squad of "Deathshroud" Terminators, two 10-man tactical squads, a five man support squad with plasma guns and a five man heavy support squad with heavy bolters.

Sons of Horus bolster the Traitor cause?
Is it fun to have five heavy bolters in one squad? Turns out "yes"
I used my World Eaters to represent the loyalist side - a Centurion with a Legion Champion, an apothecary and a command group, two 10-man tactical squads, a 10-man support squad with volkite calivers and a five-man heavy support squad with multi-meltas.

A 10-man tactical squad - what could go wrong?
The table was a 4'x4', divided into quadrants. While the scenario calls for a ruined urban hellscape for terrain, we went with generic green just to keep things simple as we wanted to just try out the scenario.  The entire Loyalist force started the game on the table, while the Traitors only got a couple of units, with the rest coming in reserve.  I placed my Loyalists as close as possible to the Valkyrie model that represented the shuttle - my plan was just to plain bull right through.

Our one chance to open fire and bring down a few of the Deathshroud Terminators who have just warped in, visible at the top of the photo...
My plan didn't even make it to the first turn, as Byron stole the initiative - !#!#@#!!!  And we basically never recovered.  Both of my tactical squads were soon mulched, and once the super ominous Death Guard Terminators arrived, it was kind of over.  Oh, we fought a few turns and made it look all violent, but we didn't kill a single Terminator, and Byron's red-hot die-rolling didn't help!!

Very, very scary troops - Bryon did an amazing job on these figures
While Warhammer 40k remains a deeply flawed game system, I have to say this was pretty fun. Rules like "Fury of the Legion" make the plain tactical marines quite scary, and the configuration of the Space Marine Legion lists makes for some pretty over-the-top violence on the table - like five heavy bolters, just to take one example - ouch! It was five turns of brutal fighting, and it really had a good "feel" to match the period as you read it, if that makes sense.

So I guess our shooting didn't work out...but hey, I'm sure those huge, bulky power scythes worn't do anything in close combat, right?
Where did everyone go? See the blurry figures at the top right? Those are the Sons of Horus heavy bolters evaporating this tactical squad
This scenario specifies no vehicles on either side, so that is great, because between us Byron and I still have just one vehicle painted (Byron has finished one - not me).  I'm hoping to add vehicles to these forces (well, other than Titans or Knights) but for now there is still a lot more infantry waiting in the painting queue.

Death Guard tactical squad appears to help mop up...Byron's only bad rolling involved checking for these guys in reserves, and by the time they showed up their wasn't much for them to do
Big thank you to Byron for hosting - his Death Guard look absolutely fabulous, these photos don't do them justice.  His Deathshroud Terminators in particular look spooky as hell, very well done. Hopefully we can set this one up again sometime for the whole group.


Dallas said...

Great report and superb looking models! From the title, I was expecting more Carl Williams content though :-(

Anonymous said...

Did you ever finish the Chain of Command 40k homebrew rules?