Wednesday, April 26, 2017

30k Rogue Trader Battle Report

Anti-Horus terrorists strike! The travails of the Horus Heresy...

As noted in our previous posting here on the blog, our great friend Curt was in town for a short visit over the Easter long weekend.  We staged an Epic 30k game that saw Byron's newly painted Death Guard get their first taste of action on the gaming table. The game was great fun, another opportunity to enjoy a great game in a great setting with some excellent friends! But the gaming wasn't finished - Curt was back briefly on Easter Monday before he and Sarah had to return to Regina, so we had a chance to push the toy soldiers around the table one more time!

The poor Sons of Horus column has been hit by vile so-called "Loyalists"...what will happen next?

Curt and I really enjoy the 30k setting, and we also have great memories of Rogue Trader, the original rules for 28mm sci-fi skirmishing from Games Workshop. So I thought I would set up a little Rogue Trader game set in 30k for Curt and I to play that night.

Survivors of an Astrates-sized IED...probable some vile thing devised by the Mechanicum...

Sons of Horus Chaplain prepares to lead the Scribe (hidden among the Marines) to safety, no matter how pissed he is that some Loyalist dopes blew up his ride...

While the current edition of the 28mm 30k/40k game really tries to be a mass-battle game (and hey - it looks like GW will try again...let's reserve comments on that for another time...) but what is so fun about Rogue Trader is that a very small force can offer a very engaging game. That is what I hoped to set up for Curt. An extra twist - I set the game up to be cooperative, where Curt and I would play on the same side against random actions by the opponent.

The Raven Guard move out, keen to get some measure of revenge...oh, and defend the Emperor, I guess...
The scenario envisioned an ambush by Raven Guard Marines against a Sons of Horus armoured column, on an un-named, but presumably somewhat road-to-Terra-adjacent planet.  As keen followers of the setting will know, the Raven Guard were one of the Legions trapped in the "Dropsite Massacre".  But Horus couldn't kill ALL the loyalists...some Raven Guard survived, joined isolated garrison units etc. to fight on as a so-called "Shattered Legion" - fun and entertaining for a scenario, part of why I love 30k so much...

The Raven Guard move in to mop up...

Horus' own Legion goes down fighting in close assault!
So for this game, we imagined a detachment from the "Shattered Legion" of the Raven Guard landing on some planet to cause some trouble for the Sons of Horus.  The Warmaster's XVI Legion happened to be transporting a high-value persona - represented by Curt's wonderful tribute figure painted for me during the 2015-16 Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge - and they are ambushed by a small force of vengeful troops from the XIX Legion, the Raven Guard.   The numbers of figures on each side were small - 20 Raven Guard tactical Marines, with a high-ranking hero to lead them (probably a bitter survivor of the, er, "incident" on Isstvan V) and 15 Sons of Horus with the Scribe, who fought only with the goal of getting the Scribe off of one of the long table edges, and dying properly for the Warmaster, humanity's last hope...overall, this would be almost nothing for a 7th edition game, but plenty of models for a Rogue Trader game.

Curt and I each took command of some Raven Guard...

The Chaplain plots the escape...
The Raven Guard have other ideas...

The game opens with all of the vehicles already knocked out by cunning IED-type devices placed by the Raven Guard force.  The Sons of Horus realize they are being attacked by pro-"Emperor" terrorists, and try to organize an escape for the Scribe (he has important information the Warmaster needs to have his dark Mechanicum allies drain from his skull, uh, "preserve"...yes, that's it) while the Raven Guard move in to capture the Scribe, get a little revenge for events on Isstvan V, and escape before the heavy reinforcements from the Sons of Horus arrive...

Meanwhile, a point-blank gun battle develops...I love Rogue Trader...+1 to hit at this range! Suck it, Warmaster!
So Curt and I played some basic Rogue Trader as the Loyalist side, with the Sons of Horus moving randomly against us.  Our goal was to capture what Dave V would have referred to as "The Potato" - the Scribe - and kill a bunch of Horus' lads in the process!

On this night the Loyalists were successful. They slaughtered the Sons of Horus down to the last Marine, and captured the Scribe for their own purposes.  They paid a high price (about 50% casualties), but given their level of motivation, I've no doubt these Sons of Corax were pleased to have delivered a small counter-blow against the followers of the Warmaster.

Loyalists...so fixated on anger...if they would just chill, this whole Heresy wouldn't have needed to kill billions...but anyway....

Things end poorly for this acolyte of Horus...
The Sons of Corax achieve a measure of revenge...but the memory of Isstvan V will endure...
In all the game lasted about an hour-and-a-half.  It was basic, not-too-detailed, but tons of fun. I just love Rogue Trader, and I love 30k, and the two work well together.  Is Rogue Trader flawless? Well, or course not...the more narrative you can be, the better the game will be. And with Rogue Trader, less is more - in this game, everyone was carrying bolt guns other than the officers.  But it can still be a lot of fun, and I hope to run a variant of this scenario sometime for the broader Fawcett Avenue group!

It was great to have this little bit of fun with my great friend Curt. Until next time! Horus for Hope!

5 comments:

Michael Awdry said...

Now that looks like tremendous fun.

john de terre neuve said...

It does look like you guts had a great time.

John

JamieM said...

Excellent idea to mix the setting and the ruleset. I still have my Rogue Trader book stashed in the loft....

Curt C said...

The game was an absolute hoot, especially with it being cooperative and I loved that the scenario featured the terrified Imperial Archivist. I can imagine he petulantly filed a OHS claim after the battle, decrying the unsafe working conditions being suffered by Imperial civil servants.

Dallas said...

Great report dude! Lovely models and terrain too!