Archive for the ‘ Battle Reports ’ Category

After Action Report: WAB 2.0 Mother of all Ancient Battles

Annals of Scipio Tyranus: Centurion Legio XX Day 32 Britannia Campaign 43AD

It is rare for the battle tested legionaries of Legio XX Valeria Victrix, to have to call on the assistance of less experienced Legio’s, but when we marched on the main barbarian confederation towards Noviomagus, our great legati, General Aaron Marcellus, immediately despatched riders to the nearest legion’s, requesting assistance, as our spies reported a veritable sea of rippling flesh and iron, a number of barbarians that even the blood thirsty blades of Legio XX could not hope to quench.

As I and the other centurions readied our legionaries for battle, the regimented footfalls of Roman Legionaries approached. Aid came in the form of a cohort from Legio XIII Augustae, accompanied by not only a substantial portion of their auxilia and Germanic Cavalry, but a unit of marines they had managed to collect along the way. The other Legion in the region, Legio III Augustae, itself under-strength due to constant harassment from the Barbarian Horde, was only able to despatch an under century to assist us; General Marcellus absorbed these units under his command for the duration of the battle. As the sun started to set, the general, along with the two Augustan Legion Tribunes drew up an order of battle, as we knew our barbaric opponents where surely doing the same.

The field of battle was for the most part flat, with a stream running down the eastern flank, and a modest hill rising on the west, from which our carroballistae were able to sight the entire battlefield; Legio XIII formed their ranks on the left, with Legio XX forming on the right, Legio III held the weakened centre of our lines, supported by Twenties archers, and a massed formation of Thirteen’s Auxiliaries.
It was at that point that the Barbarians decided to rise from their filth and meet us on the battlefield; massed warriors to the west, cavalry and chariots to the east, and raving fanatics beating their chests and exposing themselves opposite the rather raw Legio III at the centre, supported by an entire screen of skirmishers and slingers; from their vantage point atop the hill, the crew of the carroballistae informed sent word to the General that the entire western flank of the barbarian army, were in fact German mercenaries!

The first blood of the day was drawn by the carroballistae, as it skewered three German warriors with a single bolt, leaving their bloodied bodies held erect; unfortunately it would also be the only successful kill from it this day. As the carroballistae and archers of Legio XX continued to harass the barbarian lines, in fact their presence alone forced an entire unit of barbarian cavalry from the western flank, a move that would prove advantageous as the battle progressed.
The first Roman blood spilled this day was not even Roman, as a number of our Auxiliaries, and the marines, who were screening the Legionaries, started taking fire from massed formations of slingers and javelins, resulting in multiple deaths until they were able to return the favour in kind.

Uncharacteristically of the barbarians, but it seemed that their masters had reined in their blood lust, as for the most part, they managed to keep a single line, a tactic almost reminiscent of our own, but being the barbarians they are, they quickly reverted to their animalistic ways, with entire bodies of Celtic and Germanic warriors surging towards our ranks, only to recover themselves and form up once more.

This uncharacteristic move may have worried the less experienced legionaries on the western flank, but it did nothing against the veterans on the eastern line, as they wheeled and readied themselves for the inevitable charge by the Barbarian cavalry; orders quickly filtered down the lines that the Legionaries on the western flank needed to close the gaps between them, and engage the Germanic and Celtic Warriors en-masse, and to leave the cavalry to Legio XX. With the blaring of horns, the juggernaut that is the Roman Legion trudged forward towards the enemy; ahead of them, skirmishers and marines traded javelins with their opposing contemporaries until an almost unheard sequence of commands from the Marine Centurion sent his marines charging forth towards their barbaric adversaries, running off a screening unit of skirmishers, but sent them running head long into a unit of German fanatics.

To the surprise of those around them, the marines, actually held their own against the fanatic’s despite being outnumbered 2-to-1, they managed to hold the line until reinforcements in the form of Legio XIII legionaries arrived to assist them.
By the time the sun had reached its height, the battle had been joined on the entire western flank, reaching as far as the veteran legionaries of Legio XX’s first Century with mixed results running the length of the line. XII’s legionaries held the German tribesmen at the extreme edge of battle, but experienced problems closer to the centre against Celts, where III’s century managed to steel their resolve when staring down at the face of fanatics howling for their blood, in fact gaining the upper hand a number of times, against both them, and the Barbarian Warlord.

While Twenties Legionaries seemed somewhat un-needed at this point, it soon changed, as the Barbarian Cavalry seized a somewhat flagging battle, and attempted to strike at the very heart of Legio XX; with chariots charging IV Century, at the centre of our line, with first Century engaged with Celtic warriors, and II Century repositioning itself to deal with an approaching cavalry threat, it seemed that things were not going well for us; until it seemed Mars smiled on us, as General Marcellus, who had taken command of the auxiliary cavalry, boldly counter charged units of Celtic Light and Noble Cavalry. This move seemed to be the lynchpin of the battle, and where things started to go wrong, not only for the barbarians, but for our already tested flank.

General Marcellus led the charge deep into the mass of Celt Cavalry, the sound of horses colliding with each other echoed throughout the battlefield. As if blessed by the God of War himself, our auxiliary cavalry actually managed to break the Celtic Noble Cavalry, forcing their immediate retreat! Such unprecedented act caused the entire eastern barbarian flank to falter, from the skirmishers on the extreme edge of the battle being penned down by our own auxiliaries, to the chariots that charged IV Century turning their tails and running, despite the wounds they sustained on our men.

The same success could not be said for our brothers in Legios III and XIII, as not only the marines they brought with them break, Legio III’s century broke, and XIII’s entire formation of auxilia that they used to supplement losses they had already sustained in the campaign were slaughtered to the man, causing panic to run through the inexperienced troops throughout the centre up to Twenties archers who stood firm even as the centre started to falter; one very lucky and gifted archer actually managed to skewer one of those one-in-a-million shots, killing a Germanic Fanatic, through two manoeuvring units of Roman infantry.

As Legio XIII held the extreme western flank, and Legio XX comfortably held the east, forcing entire cavalry units to flee before us, before turning our attention to the beleaguered centre; Legio XX’s first Century started to feel the strain, a lucky break on the western line caused a sizable chunk of the Germanic and Celtic horde to flee, including their warlord. It was this point which allowed General Marcellus the opportunity to isolate and destroy those Barbarians that still held firm, but in an odd sign of compassion to the misguided horde, he let the Barbarian warlord and chieftains the chance to escape. We retired from battle, bruised, blooded, but otherwise victorious; the raw legionaries of Legio III and XIII gained their first exposure to the Celtic menace we have been dealing for an entire season.

4000 point Imperial Romans vs 4000 point Celtic/Barbarian Horde 3 v 3
Result: Decisive Roman Victory (Battle Points)

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Defence of Aquillias VII

The Imperial World of Aquilias VII’s a lightly guarded world at the heart of the Imperium, one of those pretty idyllic Eden’s that the humans seem to forget needs protecting, which for the bloodthirsty warriors of the Kabal of Perpetual Darkness, means one and one thing alone…a Slavers Paradise.

Once the cities Guard Garrison had been suppressed, Archon ordered the raiding party to search the city, it would seem that the Dark Lord had the intention of taking every single piece of worth from this verdant cesspool. As a result, it was little surprise to me was the appearance of the Jagged Scimitar, Archon Sethalis’ personal Slave Barge. However what was a surprise was the appearance of both the Soulflayer, and the Tormentor, both fresh from their rebuilding at the hands of the Kabal’s Haemunculi. 

Our exit back to the Dark City was a webway gate on the very lip of the city, an ironic place considering its place inside the former Guard Base. Within the area around this strategic asset was Urien Rakarth, Master Haemunculus, who seemed at home, digging through the mass of information the fleeing Guardsmen left when we ran riot of their defences. Along with Rakarth in that sector, the warriors of the Bladed Talon, some of the Kabal’s most trained slavers, unknown to the rest of the command staff, Sybarite Tikaral Shidarn had ordered her warriors to scour the sector, though I would find out later on that she just wanted to get away from Sybarite Uries Saldan, who seemed intent on acquiring her as a mate. Along with the Bladed Talon, two Ravagers, a Reaper Lance Platform and a Redeemer Support craft where in the sector, as well was Sythra and her Crimson Shadows Wyches.

The first I had heard of anything being amiss was a burst transmission from Urien Rakarth; now this alone caused me pause, as Rakarth was the Master Haemunculus for the entirety of Commoragh, there was very little that could cause concern in the crazed man.
“Tyranids, Hive ship in orbit, assistance required,” was all I comprehended before the Archon ordered that the Jagged Scimitar was returning to the Dark City, even though it had the capacity for even more slaves inside its expansive hull.
I had learnt of the Tyranids from Drazhar, Master of Blades, who during my training and understood, especially when Archon ordered the Titan’s Soulflayer and Tormentor to return to the Webway Portal.

Reasons known only to the Imperial Commander that deployed them, and the Hive creatures that decided to land there, but a human minefield, a device that was wasted on the entirely anti-gravity capable Raiding force, seemed to be perfectly suited in dealing with the ravenous hordes of the Brood; forcing the Tyranids to spread out, making dealing with them a easier task for our Lancers.

As we travelled back to the portal, our Raiders returned in flights, landing upon the massive surface that was the Jagged Scimitar, with the expectation that we would be fighting our way back to the Webway Portal, it would seem that the Tyranids were expecting weak human opponents, not the battle ready Raiders of the Dark Eldar; as their forces seemed geared towards flesh and flak vests, not tempered Drakarium.

Be it by chance or design, but Archon had ordered the Sybarites of the raiding force (With the exception of Tikaral Shidarn who has the right to act of her own accord) to stay with the Jagged Scimitar until we arrived, meaning that the organic components that the Brood required were denied them.

As the Brood uncharacteristically made its cautious way across a now drained river that the Guardsmen had mined, bogging down in the mud, slowing their advance; our Lancers, taking cover within ruined buildings, or aboard Ravagers and Reapers patrolling wreckage strewn streets, picked off Synapse creatures with impunity, forcing the ravenous swarm to bunch together, making it easier for our Raven’s flying high overhead strafed their lines, almost without any recourse.

The Tormentor and Soulflayer arrived on the battlefield well before the Jagged Scimitar, who was forced off by a swarm of airborne spores. The arrival of the two Titans caused an increased morale boost in those warriors along with the two Talos that they brought with them, as it would seem that at that time, a number of the Brood’s heavy hitters, Carnifexes and Tervigons, even a Biovore Titan forced their way through lines of Hormagaunts, Gaunts and Gargoyles into the wall of Dark Eldar Warriors.

It was at that point where the clear advantages of the terrain that turned the battle in our favour, as Human buildings, in particular the many Water processing plants that were scattered throughout the city. Our warriors managed to hold two of these plants, with the knowledge of they who control the water controls a planet and the battle hardened Wyches of the Crimson Shadows held off over thirty Gaunts for most of the day. Even the discovery of Liches in the same building as Tikaral’s Everseeing Eye who were providing over watch for warriors engaging the Tyranids on the ground proved advantageous to the Sybarites warriors, felling all three Liches with minimal loses to her squad.

The appearance of a Trygon behind our lines caused concern for only a moment, until the Soulflayer Titan which was operating within the area descended upon it, tearing its blades into its carapace with little regard to the large Tyranid that caused the rout of one of our Raiding teams, likewise occurred on the other side of the battlefield with the Tormentor and one of the Archons prized Talos tore through a swarm of Gene Stealers, that managed to bypass our defence lines.

By the time that the Jagged Scimitar arrived at the Webway Portal, spotters announced that the Biovore Titan had taken residence on top of the portal beacon, effectively cutting us off from a direct path back to Commoragh. This was also truncated by reports from our Raiding fleet in orbit of the presence of an Imperium of Man Battle group heading towards the planet, ready to either relieve the conquered humans, or exterminate the planet. At the urging of Urien Rakarth upon his arrival aboard the Jagged Scimitar, Archon Sethalis ordered all outbound warriors to return to the Scimitar as it soared over the battlefield laying down supporting fire from its batteries of Splinter Cannons and Dark Lances.

Once all forces had been accounted for, timed poisons were released into the water supply of the planet, killing those humans who survived our hunt, and starving the Tyranids the bio-organic material it required.

As the Jagged Scimitar berthed aboard the Archon’s Command Ship, the Wrathful Vengeance, our fleet withdrew from the system, heading back to the Dark City bruised, but otherwise better from the encounter.

3000 point Apocalypse Game Dark Eldar vs. Tyranids. Result Tyranid player forfeit at turn 4, victory point’s victory to Dark Eldar 

First Battle of the Atrican Outlands

Atrica, is a picturesque idyllic agricultural world, on the very lip of Imperium Space, definition: large under defended world filled with lovely terrified humans to do with as we see fit. The Perpetual Darkness’s raiding parties have visited this world a number of times through countless generations, seeding rumour and legend about our existence amongst the dim-witted populace.

Because of this almost ritualistic visit, it came to a surprise to myself at the rest of the Retinue, when our Raiding Party returned quickly, and without slaves, when the pilots of the Raiding craft were brought to the feet of Archon, Punishers at their necks for such dereliction, did they report that the reason they had returned empty handed, was the presence of a Space Marine Detachment on the planet, and they did not possess the arms to conduct a successful raid.

Archon immediately ordered a second Raiding force to be mobilised, though not before putting the original pilots to the blade, Marines or no, their return empty handed was still a grievous dishonour. Relying on intelligence gathered from those raiders we let live, it was decided that a second Ravager would join us, however, instead of our normal loadout, this Ravager, would be running its original configuration of Dark Lances as there was no time to replace them with Disintegrators, this craft would be joining the Scourges that Archon had recently taken a shine to, considering the human tendency to compensate their inferior biological forms with tempered steel; we would counter their steel with Dark Lances.

We ambushed the forces of the garrisoned Shadow Forge Legion, on the outskirts of the only city on the planet; a dried creek bed separated our warriors and theirs. Archon positioned our warriors and machines perfectly, ensuring the element of surprise up until the point that the Dark Lord permitted the Ravagers to open fire.
The whine of Disintegrators and Dark Lances broke the still of an otherwise peaceful day, one Ravager wrecked the Marines only tactical armour, their Predator, while the other Ravager managed to immobilise a Rhino, stranding its loaded Infantry on the opposite side of the creek.
In an odd move, Archon ordered the Retinue to stay behind the lines, as he had discovered an odd creature on the planet, one never seen before, intrigued by it, he ordered us to capture it, so it be studied by our Master Homunculi back on Commagrah.

Perhaps in an attempt to rally their troops, a Marine Captain, with an accompaniment of Terminators, broke into the clearing, only to be picked off by the Dark Lances of the Scourges, positioned on the remains of a bridge, again earning Archons praise, the final blow however, was delivered by a squad of Warriors on the bank of the creek below, I doubt that even they were aware that they had killed the Garrison Commander of the Space Marine forces on the planet.

Our steady progress was not met by setbacks, our Talos came under fire almost immediately and was superficially damaged, it would seem that word of its brutal efficiency had gotten around. Archon was concerned of the presence of a Dreadnaught on the battlefield, and sent our lone Raider to deal with it; unfortunately, it was grounded as soon as it arrived on the perimeter, thanks in no certain way to the Dreadnaught that it was sent to deal with.

It wasn’t until the Marines had a chance to reorganise, following the complete annihilation of their Command staff, that I had my doubts as to if we were going to be able to make it out of here in one piece…it was punctuated, when the newer Ravager was driven into the side of the same bridge that the Scourges were using to pick off Marine infantry, thanks in no part to the use of a Laz-cannon mounted Razorback.

It was when the Mandrakes finally decided to surface, that I finally realised that we had this battle won. Deploying in two groups instead of one, they managed to decimate two squads of Infantry, as well as deploy their entrusted Webway Portal, bringing in our Wych Cult Strike Team, the Crimson Shadows. Sythra herself was quite pleased that she was able to rend her Agoniser into the flesh of unsuspecting humans.

With our enemy broken, our Warriors broke contact with the enemy, and joined the Retinue in capturing the creature, while the Crimson Shadows, charged a cowering Marine Squad, who took shelter behind a Venerable Dreadnaught, however, victory had been declared, we had more than enough slaves to satisfy Slanesh, and we had brought fear into the hearts of the Shadow Forge. They will think twice before interfering in our hunt.

It felt good to bring definite victory back to the Kabals chambers, to long the bitter taste of clemency had soiled my mouth, Archon proclaimed at return that this would be the first of many great victories of the Perpetual Darkness, this was the first time that I genuinely believed him.

1vs1 1500 Points per side, Objective game. Outcome: Dark Eldar victory

The Second Battle of Perceus Major

Normally the Archon would have recalled our forces to Commoragh, to enable us a chance of respite, and to prevent our newly acquired slaves from returning to their garrison. It was quite the opposite, instead of withdrawing our forces, the Webway Portal was opened, and a Ravager emerged to replace the Hellieons we lost in the first battle, along with another detachment of warriors. While a squad of Wyches, and their accompanying Warpbeasts did venture through the Portal, my Dark Eldar brothers were in this for the long haul.

While our forces were still on Perceus, the Archon had all our vehicle mounted Dark Lancers upgraded with Disintegrators, an odd move, considering that we had a Ravager on world, and our Kabal always made sure that they ran with Disintegrators, but the Raider as well? Either Archon was paranoid, or he was expecting hostile armour, and considering the Archons past battle record, I would steer towards his precognitive abilities.
There was only one point when I had my doubts to the sanity of my Archon, which was when the forward guard of the Saim-Hann, portaled in, not only were these red armoured warriors not from our Kabal, they weren’t even Dark Eldar, but the forces of our Kindred Eldar, while the Kabal previously met this same army in battle on the Sigmus Ridge, and promptly annihilated them, their conduct in battle was as such, that a treaty was signed between the Kabal and the Saim-Hann. It was told of me later, that the Saim-Hann were to cover our weakened western flank, however we would be doing a bulk of the grunt work as their famed jetbikes would never actually see battle, having being caught in webway.

Thankfully it would seem that Typhus decided to withdraw from the region following the losses he sustained, and we were assured a swift hunt, had it not been for the arrival of the Thousand Sons on the world, and a misguided Imperial Guard Detachment under the command of Yarrick, a quick raid, was quickly becoming a pitched battle.

Almost assuming the same positions we held in the previous campaign, our lone Raider for this attack managed to score a quick and decisive blow on the sole Imperial Guard Leman Russ in the city, disabling its battlecannon, and leaving the area open for a lightning blitz by Sythra, and her Elite Wych guard; the Crimson Shadows, a group of Wyches that Archon takes great pride in bringing with us on campaign. They managed to assault the Leman Russ, and wreck it in almost customary Crimson Shadows fashion. While their victory was impressive, it was short lived, as a Guard Infantry Battalion ambushed them, Sythra herself was seriously wounded, but will survive to fight another day.

While we dealt with ‘Yarrick’s favored Ones,’ Lelith was once again directly attacked, but this time, by the Terminators of the Thousand Sons, had it not been for the positioning of our Talos, and our Scourges, resuming their old positions in the buildings, she might have been in some trouble. Were it not for the fact that for reasons unknown it either us, or the Kindred Eldar, a Necron force pulled itself from the dirt and started to fight with us against the Chaos Forces.

In a daring move later applauded by myself and the other members of the Retinue, is that we actually went on the Offensive, Archon informed Drazhar to prepare to move, after a close call from an Imperial Mech, but instead of relocating to a safer location, Archon led us on the offensive, striking one of the three Guard Infantry units, while a Beastmistress led her Warp beasts to attack another. Both results resorted in the total destruction of the cowering Infantry, and added to a general rout of Guard forces, who not only promptly fled the battle, but boarded their little ships and left the planet, but not before we took many slaves.

Lelith was equally successful, in a bold strike against armoured Terminators, she and her Retinue, managed to not only defeat the five Terminators, but their Commander as well. While the continued Artillery strikes from our Ravager on their positions failed to break their resolve, our Scourges slipped into the role of sniper, picking off their infantry. Archons Crucible of Malediction was also instrumental in the death of one of the Thousand Sons’ lesser Psykers, which paid no special part in a party from the remaining forces, seeking to parlay with Archon. Once again the Kabal of Perpetual Darkness had broken an enemy, but our generous leader decided to spare their lives.

I honestly think Archon is too soft on our enemies.

750 points per player 3v3 End Result: Draw (Point Victory Dark Eldar)

The First Battle of Perceus Major.

The Kabal of Perpetual Darkness landed on the Space Marine world of Perceus Major with the intent of yet another profitable slave raid, however, it would seem that the Chaos Marines and Chaos Daemons had already claimed the planet for their own perverted actions. While normally we Dark Eldar would leave the other followers of Slanesh to their own devices, but the Archon promised his warriors battle, Even drawing Lelith Hesperax and her Eternal Eclipse Wyches out to join in the hunt, and following a number of stalemates, the Kabal was becoming to grow irritable, even my fellow Incubi would have had difficulty in holding back the torrent.

It was decided that we would raid the Capital of Perceus Major, that morning, Chaos Marines or no, Slanesh would have his souls from his own ranks if need be.
The battle was quickly joined, with the Archon personally overseeing the battle, even if I would have preferred it if I or Drazhar ran the campaign. Our combined armies clashed with the Chaos Marine forces under the banner of Typhus’ Nurgle Wraith, and a Daemon horde previously un-encountered by our Kabal, however, initally we where not even aware of their presence until they deepstruck our flank. While these elite forces in proper combat would have spelt doom for us, we caught them unprepared, as a result, their forces were not in adequate fortifications befitting a Slave raid.

This had not been the first time our Raiders engaged a Defiler of the Nurgle Wraith, and as like our past interactions, it was quickly rendered immobile and its battlecannon disabled; for reasons unknown to our Dark Lancers, the Nurgle Wraith prefer that their Defilers have the shock and awe of the Battle cannon, but neglect to arm it with a secondary ranged weapon. For the price of that one Defiler, we lost a detachment of Hellieons, but as they live how they fight, I do not think they are complaining.

The Plague Host was another story entirely, deciding to target Lelith Hesperax directly, there was nothing that we Dark Eldar could do to assist her other than send a squad of Scourges to a nearby rooftop. However it would seem that there was little reason for worry, as she, her Retinue, and a nearby squad of Wyches, managed to take care of the hulking beast Ku’gath that threatened the safety of our flank. The Nurgles, the beast released were also quickly mopped up, at the expense of four of our Wyches and a Warpbeast.

Despite the tactical situation favoring our pressing the advantage, both forces had overextended their supply lines, and in our case, our Raiders were full of slaves, it was in the best interests of both forces to withdraw, our great Archon, feeling charitable for probably the first time, contacted Typhus, and offered his remaining men a chance to live, by conceding this day, the ever prideful fool initially refused, but an agreement was finally reached and both forces withdrew from the field of battle. While the Warrior caste was not happy with the decision to cease hostilities, it was a favorable move, and considering the losses the Chaos forces suffered, we were victorious in the end anyway

750 points per player 2v2 end result: Draw (Victory to Dark Eldar on points)