Monday 31 August 2020

Crusade Battle Report - Adeptus Mechanicus vs Chaos Space Marines, round 2


Magos Vettius Thannek and the Helios Exploratory Crusade have returned for another go at the Emperor's Children of Prince Vaspasian the Profligate, and this time both sides are fighting over a priceless Heresy era artefact held on the body of a long dead traitor marine. Recent dust storms on this forgotten desert planet have unearthed evidence of ancient battles and lost technology - this conflict is merely another in a long line, stretching back ten thousand years, on these blood soaked sands. For game two of both Crusade forces, we once again played at 50 power level and rolled up the scenario The Relic!

I shuffled around my forces a bit for this one, taking a battalion featuring Thannek the Tech-Priest Dominus, an Enginseer, the Kataphron Breachers, Skitarii Vanguard and Rangers, two units of Kataphron Destroyers, the Serberys Raiders and the Kastelan Robots. Datasmith Decima got the day off, seeing as how he was probably still being put back together after the ending of the last game. I reasoned with the relic right there in the middle of the battle, I wouldn't need to go digging for Archeotech, so instead I took Reaper and Survivor for my agendas, choosing my warlord to try and keep alive.

The Emperor's Children force was unchanged, a patrol of Deamon Prince Vaspasian, 30 Cultists, 10 Noise Marines, 6 'Bikers', 5 Terminators and a Rhino. The agendas were also unchanged, the army competing for the glory of Reaper and Vaspasian looking to be the Lord of the Warp.

This time we correctly added up the Crusade points, and I gained an additional command point, which I used to put one of the Destroyer units into strategic reserves. The Terminators were also left off the board, and the Noise Marines were in the Rhino (behind the ruin on the right). No re-deployment shenanigans this time, as the bikers stayed in position behind the ruin on the left. 

The Emperor's Children claimed first turn and moved up the board, the snake-like 'bikers' zooming up the flank while the cultists marched into the killing fields and the Noise Marines deployed from their transport cagily. Their shooting killed off one of the Breachers, but the main job was to ensure none of the important units were target-able from my Destroyers in their raised position.

The Adeptus Mechanicus forces responded with some aggressive advances coordinated by Magos Thannek. The remaining Breachers rolling up to the relic and the Vanguard marching up to put some radium volleys into the Cultists. The Raiders also lined up a charge on the snake-marines and the Rangers shuffled around in the backfield to protect from a Terminator strike.

Using the Protector Doctrina Imperative the Vanguard cut a vicious swathe through the cultists, while the Breachers claimed the relic (and I remembered to play Acquisition at Any Cost on them.)

Shooting felled two of the snake mutants, one from a shot by the Raider Alpha's Archeo-revolver, but the charge was less successful. Still the unit survived the power fist attacks and held them in place for a round or two.

Turn two and the cultists melted back into the sands, only to be replaced by a Tide of Traitors popping up on the flank! Obviously they had been laying in wait for an ambush, concealed from our sensors by warp magics!

Prince Vaspasian and the Noise Marines made their move as well, encircling the forces of Ryza. Some serious firepower erupted from across the lines to removed the Destroyers from their defensive position, while the Chaos forces lined up to charge the Imperials...

And it didn't go well, the Rhino, Cultists and Noise Marines failing to make the distance, and the Prince only getting in on his 3 inch charge with a reroll. He did butcher the Breachers, and the remaining Raiders were cut down elsewhere, leaving me three units down, but with a bit of an opening. Ignoring the cultists, the Adeptus Mechanicus set up firing lines with the newly arrived Destroyers aiming at the daemon in the centre of the board, though the monster Vaspasian proved resilient, requiring every last available gun to be put down.

The robots, the Fists of Reverence, marched up to the Noise Marines, switching to Conqueror Protocols. They swung with calculated strength, but the quickness of the Emperor's Children meant the marines were able to strike before the robots could complete their program, felling one of them with their drug-fuelled ferocity. 

At the end of turn two it looked like the Adeptus Mechanicus had secured the objective and cleared some of this biggest threats, but there was still danger lurking around the corner...

In turn three, the Terminators arrived to harass my backfield once again. Between them and the bikers my objective holding Vanguard were removed, and some wounds went onto the Destroyers as well. Suddenly the two Tech-Priests were looking a little exposed.

The Terminators charged through the ruined wall to cut through the Rangers and make contact with the Destroyers to shut down their long range shooting. Amusingly the servitors piled in and once again killed one of the Terminators.

Those sneaky cultists got in on the action as well, pilling around Kor Ondos the Enginseer. He stood firm against the mob, but they were now within touching distance of that relic! 

Things were getting a bit desperate for the Mechanicus once again! The last Kastelan had provided some relief by finishing off the Noise Marines, but it was badly damaged, and I really needed it to both kill the bikers and then have a good go at the cultists in turn 4 and 5 to push them off the relic. I dropped the Destroyers out of combat and made sure to save a command point for overwatch if the Terminators charged them. Finally Thannek joined the fray with the cultists to help his fellow tech-clergyman. 

Unfortunately for me, the Rhino was still active and I'd left just enough of a gap for it to charge the Destroyers and let the Terminators saunter in unmolested. The Destroyers were cut down, as was Enginseer Ondos, and finally the Kastelan Robot, after having killed all but the champion of the bikers. Spitefully it exploded, killing the snake champion.

That just left Magos Thannek himself alive, fleeing to try and survive (and get all that experience for doing so)...

Thannek's many legs scuttled as fast as they could as he tried to escape the battlefield. His sensors all registered that he was the only friendly combatant still active, and a glance with his ocular units confirmed that the relic was surely lost to the ruinous powers. A failure, but still valuable knowledge had been obtained, and the Magos knew that his survival and ability to convey this knowledge was now his top priority.

Bolt shells exploded in the sand around him, as his mechanical limbs tore up the edges of his robes in their haste. The blasted ground was not conducive to a quick retreat. The remaining organic section of his mind, under the effect of fear suppressors and shock protectors, wondered if this is what Sek had experienced in their last battle.

A brief warning of dangerously high temperatures flashed in his HUD as he felt the white hot impact of plasma blasts in his back, then only darkness as he fell to the sand.

Another Crusade game an a similar story, though this time I made John work for it. Some unbelievable rolls for the Slaaneshi forces, firstly those failed charges nearly costing him the game, then excellent saves for the Daemon Prince forcing my hand and some serious damage from the melee of the Noise Marines crippling the Robots. Ultimately though the chaos boys were victorious again, and make off with a sweet relic - an armour upgrade that Prince Vaspasian claimed and had modified for his own use. He also gained enough experience to become Blooded, becoming Terrifying to all those around him. On my side luckily their were no ones rolled once more, so everyone got some experience just for playing. The Fists of Reverence, the Kastelan Robots, picked up the reward for Reaper and were Marked for Greatness, so also became Blooded, being upgraded with Enhanced Shielding while being put back together, giving them +1 to their armour save against AP -1 and AP - weapons. A pretty good upgrade for the robots, who are already quite tough to remove!

I enjoyed this game more, we're definitely starting to get to grips with 9th edition and the Crusade rules, though I think we still made some mistakes here and there. I really hope more people are giving Crusade a go - it's a niche that 40k hasn't really had before, and even though it's not going to be everyone's cup of tea, I think it's definitely worth it's place in the rulebook and is looking like it might well end up being my 'standard' way to play ahead of matched play eternal war missions. Thanks for reading, and stay safe!

Thursday 27 August 2020

Turnips taking root - more Turnip28


I'm back with a little break in the 40k content to bring you more turnips! As a reminder, Turnip28 is a wargame in the making about a root-based apocalypse causing all kinds of problems and resulting in endless war in the mud with a mishmash of pre-1800s technology. I previously bought some Perry Napoleonic and foot knight sprues and bashed together a small batch of soldiers in this gloriously messy, dirty style.

Now a bit of time has passed, I managed to get a few more sprues and put together this force of the 69th Mordby Mudcrabs:

I used the same methods and paints as before, though after some feedback I added a bit more colour and contrast with some selective areas of extra rust with orange and then the venerable chestnut ink, and some shiny silver highlights - mainly helmets and breastplates. Since the rules of the game aren't yet set in stone, I can't say for sure this is a 'finished' army, but it does fit with the current unit sizes that are being talked about in the playtesting. Let's have a look at them...

These guys are the Chaff - lighter skirmishing units who will be tasked with harassment and distraction. As the name suggests they will probably be pretty expendable. At the moment they come in units of three, so I put together two units of them. They are based on the Perry European infantry mercenaries.

Next are the Brutes, these are supposed to be heavy hitting elite units, that may or may not have been more heavily mutated into root monsters or whatever. I chose to have mine as relatively 'standard', made from Perry Agincourt English foot knights - the Mudcrabs are a fairly practical bunch of scavengers that don't go all in on this 'holy root' worship.

Then we have the Fodder - the regular soldiers, currently coming in groups of 12. I added 8 more to the original 4 to get a full unit, making sure half were firing/poking/reloading and half were shouldering their weapons so I could present the unit as marching forward into position as seen here. These are a fair bit more armoured than the 'standard' Turnip28 Fodder - usually Napoleonic bodies and/or legs with knight helmets, so they might end up becoming Brutes, depending on how the rules end up working, or it might just be for the aesthetics. The armour is so rusty it probably doesn't give much protection anyway!

These three characters are Toadies - the assorted hangers-on with the army that will provide some kind of buffs to your units, or generate more turnips or something. I chose to theme them with each of my unit types, so I've got a big armoured guy with an axe, a moustache and a roughly turnip shaped helmet, a lighter scout type in some kind of medieval camouflage cloak,  and a standard bearer, showing the symbol of the Mudcrabs. I'm particularly pleased with how that came out, I initially mocked up a turnip crab with my very poor digital artistry skills, and Mr Turnip himself Max FitzGerald took the idea for a coat of arms to feature as dressing in an upcoming article, and made an awesome little picture of it, with a skull-faced back to boot. I then copied that for my banner, and I think it turned out pretty well.

The final figure is the leader of the force, the Toff. I figured he would have some delusions of grandeur, wearing a tattered green cloak and a crown of roots. He also fancies himself as a swordsman, though depending on how the rules work, this might not be reflected in his actual ability to fight off hungry root-mutants with muskets!

And there we have it, the (for now) completed force. Aside from adding to any units that get their sizes changed during playtesting, I might eventually add in some cavalry units or artillery, as the rules get expanded upon. I am quite interested in some rusty cannon that's been dragged out of the mud being added to the force, some artillery piece that is just as likely to decimate the opposition as it is to explode and kill it's crew. Anyway, I'll leave you with some more pictures of the assorted minis, including another attempt at copying the marching artwork from the Pateron page. Hope you enjoy, and stay safe!

Monday 24 August 2020

Narrative Wargamer Podcast


Bit of a different one this - I was on a podcast! I stumbled upon the Narrative Wargamer Podcast while finding stuff to listen to when travelling to SorcererDave for a battle report. I figured it would be worth a go, since I was indeed going to play a narrative game of 40k, and that's pretty much what they talk about - they aim to fill the somewhat empty niche when it comes to talking about narrative play in 40k and focus on stuff like running campaigns or specific narrative scenarios.

Fast forward a bit, and I contacted them about appearing on the show - a little narcissistic perhaps but I feel like I had something to offer and participating in the wider Warhammer community is something I'm a fan of (hence why this blog is here and not just a series of private documents just for me.) After a somewhat cursed first attempt, we finally recorded something, and here it is: Cleanse the Hull (can also be found on assorted podcast sources) - a podcast discussing the scenario of the same name from Saga of the Beast, which is not about cleaning a certain city north of the Humber, but is in fact about fighting over breaching sites on the outer hull of a star ship.

I hope you enjoy listening (and if so, they have a bit of a back catalogue now which might be of interest) and stay safe!

Sunday 23 August 2020

Battle Report - Tyranids vs Astra Militarum


Another game of 9th edition 40k, and another new opponent. This time I brought out the Tyranids of Hive Fleet Goliath to play against James P's Astra Militarum force on his beautiful table. (Check him out on Instagram - jp_wh40k.) We played a 2000 points Strike Force game, the mission was Scorched Earth - 6 objectives and 'dawn of war' style deployment.

I took a Battalion and a Super Heavy Auxiliary detachment, using the 'official' Goliath custom traits: Prey-sight (+1 to hit in the first round of melee for monsters) and Metamorphic Regrowth (everything gains a wound back at the start of my turn), though sadly these no longer apply to the Auxiliary detachment - though I was able to give Dermic Symbiosis (5+ invulnerable and double wounds for brackets) to the Scythed Hierodule. For my secondary objectives I selected Thin Their Ranks, Engage on All Fronts and Assassinate.

HQ: Old One Eye, Neurothrope (Norn crown, Catalyst), Malanthrope (warlord)

Troops: 3x 3 Ripper Swarms, 3 Warriors (2 Deathspitters, Venom cannon), 29 Termagants (all devourers)

Heavy Support: 2x Tyrannofex (Acid spray), 2 Carnifex (Talons, venom cannon, spore cysts, enhanced senses, adrenal glands, scythe tail)

Lord of War: Scythed Hierodule (Dermic Symbiosis)

James took his guard as a custom regiment with a trait that boosted the range of all 24+ inch heavy weapons by 6 and allowed him to reroll one die on the number of shots for each weapon being fired. He also took a couple of tank ace abilities to make his Basilisk a flat 3 damage and his Punisher -1 AP. This was all pretty tasty! His secondary objectives were Thin Their Ranks, Bring it Down and Raise the Banners High. His list was a Battalion and a Patrol I think:

HQ: Tank Commander (Demolisher, lascannon, plasmacannons), Tank Commander (Punisher, lascannon, plasmacannons) Tank Commander (Battlecannon, lascannon, plasmacannons), Primaris Psyker (+1 to saves psychic power)

Troops: 6x 10 Guardsmen

Elites: 8 Bullgryns (combination of shields), Priest, 2x Platoon Commanders

Heavy Support: Basilisk, 2x Thudd Guns

Transports: 2x Chimeras (heavy flamer/heavy bolter)

In deployment I opted to put the Termagants in strategic reserve and James stuck a couple of Guard squads in the Chimeras, but everything else was placed on the board. With way more units than me, I was fully down before James had placed his really big guns, so I had to guess which road to go down with my bigger blob of monsters, choosing the left flank, with the Carnifexes taking the right. The Guard castled up behind the terrain in the corners and the centre, leaving me limited targets with my limited long range shooting. I won the roll off to go first, and after a long thing, decided to go second, reasoning that in my first turn I'd not have anything to charge and I'd leave myself open. In hindsight this was probably a mistake, but I was hoping all my -1 to hit effects would keep me fairly safe.

Astra Militarum rolled into turn one, bringing the Chimeras up one flank to grab an objective and otherwise shuffling a few tanks out of their obscured hiding places. James sent the units in the middle to his left, my weak right flank, and opened fire. Both the Carnifexes fell to one of the Tank Commanders, but the -1 bubble kept my big monsters largely safe. I thought I had survived the shooting phase well enough, but the presence of the Bullgryns marching down the road meant I probably wasn't going to make much progress there!

My turn one and everything moved (slowly) forward. Poor advance rolls meant I wasn't on any additional objectives, limited shooting meant I wasn't pushing the guard off any either. Old One Eye was left exposed, so I put Catalyst on him and sent him after a Chimera just to do something before he got shot to pieces, the Warriors taking his place on a home objective.

Predictably the Chimera was smashed apart with the crushing claws, but the troops got out onto the objective so no real gain other than a few points for secondaries. The question was if I could survive the second guard shooting phase and get myself into the game after that? 

As it happened, Old One Eye with Catalyst proved very durable, eating a huge chunk of the firepower before perishing, allowing the warriors to hold the objective with one wound left and leaving my big blob untouched - untill the Demolisher landed a couple of solid hits and knocked off 10 wounds! Elsewhere in the guard turn the Bullgryns moved up, continuing to look scary, and the last Chimera zoomed around into my deployment zone, presumably ready to dump troops on my objective. Banners were also raised and points were scored. Into my turn 2 I picked up 10 for the Primary but I was behind and on the back foot.

The stratagic reserve Termagants turned up on the weak flank to provide some bodies and wreck the Chimera - I really wanted to come in from a flank but thanks to the smaller board size, terrain placement and James' units spread all over the board, there were no good spaces. Instead I settled for this spot and used Single-minded Annihilation to (just about) turn the Chimera into Swiss cheese.

On the stronger side the blob split to hold objectives and put some Acid Spray into some guardsmen and the Bullgryns (killing, I think, two of the former and one of the latter). I also put Rapid Regeneration on the Hierodule who raced up the board, still acting on full profile due to Dermic Symbiosis.

Shooting a psychic done (the Neurothrope put catalyst on itself to try and hold the home objective), we moved on to the all important charge phase. The last warrior scuttled into the guardsmen on the objective to deny a banner and be annoying, then the big event. I measured an 8 inch charge for the Scythed Hierodule onto the Demolisher Tank Commander. James opted to overwatch, and played Defensive Gunners to hit on 5s. The lascannon whiffed, the Demolisher failed, but the plasma sponsons put 4 wounds on, reducing the Hierodule down to 4. I opted not to reroll a save, keeping my CP reroll for the charge. Even on 4 wounds (counting as 8) I was fairly confident the big bug could tear down the Leman Russ and then provide some targetting issues for the Guard in turn 3. But, even with a 3d6-drop-the-lowest charge, and spending that CP on the reroll, the Hierodule was agonisingly short.

Realistically, that was the end of the game as a contest, but we played a couple more turns to see if I could score more points.

Turn 3 and the mopping up started, the artillery removing all my Termagants and that Demolisher polishing off the Tyrannofex that had strayed out of the Malanthrope's aura. The Bullgryns tore through the Ripper shield to make it into melee with my Neurothrope, who amusingly stuck around for a few turns thanks to his 3+ invulnerable save, Catalyst and regaining wounds in my turn, but he eventually, inevitably fell.

My turn 3 was realistically my last, so I grabbed a few points here and there. Tunnelling Rippers popped up for Engage on All Fronts and the last Tyrannofex melted the Priest who had been left behind by the Bullgryns. Then in turn 4 the guard tanks cleaned up, leaving me with just the brave Neurothrope defiantly holding on until he got a maul to the brain.

We didn't play out the last turn, but with everything added up the scores ended roughly 90 to 40 in the favour of the Astra Militarum. Ouch - the bugs got splattered!

Overall an interesting game, and still an enjoyable one. Always nice to go and play a new opponent, especially when they have a great looking table and army, making for some nice pictures. James did say he's used to playing against Space Marines so he felt he has to take the three tank commanders etc to compete, which I fully understand (and if they had been regular Leman Russ tanks with BS4+ my -1 might have given him a much harder time). I don't think my list was too bad given my model selection (still no Hive Guard or Exocrine) but it was very reliant on the Hierodule performing, which he didn't. I also think for this game I should have taken the rupture cannons on the T-fexes to give me some ranged, anti-tank firepower. The Acid Spray looks like it'll be a great choice in 9th - able to own the mid board, fire into combat and make a mess of marines, but it wasn't what I needed for this list really.

List talk aside, I'm enjoying 9th and it's mission format - though just playing the standard matched play missions will probably get old fairly quick since they are so similar. The terrain also came into it's own here, forcing the battle to take place on two fronts, and in some cases granting -1 to hit where it wasn't already provided by my special rules. We did have a question here though - does dense terrain effect weapons that don't require line of sight? Seems like, as written, it does, but it's a bit weird if the unit isn't actually in the terrain. We ruled for this game that it wouldn't effect those shots unless the unit was actually in the dense terrain, but I'd be interested to see if there is an FAQ on this out there (or will be soon?) Anyway, hope you had fun reading, and stay safe out there.

Wednesday 19 August 2020

Crusade Battle Report - Adeptus Mechanicus vs Chaos Space Marines


This is the first game of the Helios Exploratory Crusade, the story of Magos Vettius Thannek's quest to recover lost knowledge and archeotech relics and rise up to become an Archmagos. In the first game (and probably in a fair few more games to come) they came up against Prince Vaspasian the Profligate of the Emperor's Children, who's aim is merely to become a legendary name in his legion to rival Fulgrim himself. This was a 50 power level game against fairly regular opponent John, the mission was Supply Cache - granting the winner an invaluable additional requisition point.

I picked a patrol made up of Magos Vettius himself, Skitarii Vanguard, Kataphron Breachers and Destroyers, a maniple of Kastelan robots (with fists) with their Datasmith minder, a Dunecrawler and the new boys, the Serberys Raiders and Pteraxii Sterylizors. At the Incursion sized games each player picks two Agendas - I chose Search for Archeotech, which seemed narratively appropriate but would be difficult to accomplish because it requires an infantry unit to make two actions in the enemy deployment zone in order to get bonus experience points, and Kingslayer, as I thought it again fit the narrative of that Daemon Prince trying to be a legend. 

John's force featured Prince Vaspasian, obviously, who had a relic and warlord trait already. He was bringing a patrol of 30 Cultists, 10 Noise Marines (pumped full of combat drugs - this started John on 4 Crusade points to my 2 in his list, which we missed - should have awarded a bonus CP to myself) in a Rhino, 6 'Bikers' (actually snake tailed mutant marines) and 5 Terminators in the warp. His Agendas were Lord of the Warp, which would give experience to Vaspasian if he casts more powers that anyone else (so, one), and Reaper, which would be bonus XP to whichever unit kills the most enemy units - which felt appropriate for an army trying to compete with each other for glory.

Here's deployment. Point to note, we opted not to reduced the board size any further since we were at the top end of the Incursion power limit, we didn't feel the board was too big or anything. Having more units meant I could 'win' deployment, putting my Neutron laser staring down the Rhino and my Destroyers eyeing up the bikers. I was however outfoxed as the Emperor's Children used a stratagem to reposition the bikers to the other side of the board, leaving the Destroyers to aim at the cultists. We rolled off, and the forces of Ryza went first.

Turn one, the Mechanicus forces moved up the board, getting into range of 3 of the objectives. I also changed the protocols on the Kastelans to the Conqueror setting for next turn. In shooting the Destroyers incinerated a swathe of cultists and the Onager got a lucky shot to take out the Rhino in a single round. The Raiders managed to chip a wound off Vaspasian with their Galvanic carbines, but were perhaps a little exposed after that...

Charge of the light brigade! Unsurprisingly the Raiders were cut down, along with a couple of the Breachers on the central objective and some damage on the Dunecrawler. I regretted not using Acquisition at all Costs on the Servitors, which might have kept more of them alive. None the less, when the smoke cleared I was still holding 2 objectives to John's 1, putting me into an early lead.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a unit of Pteraxii Sterylizors, coming in to see if they can last less than a single player turn on the board! I had a grand plan to burn away enough of the Noise Marines (and probably lose the Pteraxii in the process when the fired upon death) that the Onager could shoot Vaspasian in his Profligate face. Sadly thanks to their combat drugs they were at toughness 5 and only a few were cut down. In their return fire they killed off the last Breacher.

Elsewhere, the left flank moved up, killed more cultists and got into position to possibly search for Archeotech next turn. The robots advanced up to line up a charge next turn, and the Pteraxii failed their charge, losing one to overwatch.

Terminators in the back passage - could be a problem! Their shooting was fairly underwhelming, as were the Noise Marines for once (lack of CP for their big buffing stratagems). The Sterylizors unsurprisingly had their wings clipped, while the Bikers tied up the Onager and nearly killed it in melee. The Terminators charged in to Thannek, stopping the Destroyers from shooting, and taking two casualties themselves from the Magos' axe and the Kataphron's tracks. They did manage to fell the warlord though.

Not much shooting left for me in turn three, the Destroyers and the Onager fell out of combat, the Vanguard killed all but one cultist (who didn't run!), and Datasmith Sek Decima starting rummaging around for Archeotech. The Fists of Reverence - the Kastelan Robots, charged into the Noise Marines and catching Vaspasian, who heroically intervened. Now it's 9th edition that meant the bots got to swing some fists at him as well! He survived the first round of attacks, then interrupted before the Conqueror protocols could kick in, killing off one of the robots, which exploded. In a chain reaction, the nearby Onager was destroyed, and I played Machine Spirit's Revenge to have it explode as well!

When the dust settled, the Prince took a fist from the last bot, before the Noise Marines dragged it down. Going into their turn 3 the Emperor's Children had taken the right of the board and were racking up the points.

Some long range shots and the firepower from the remaining terminators diminished the Destroyers and picked off some of the Vanguard, before the Terminators charged the last servitor to finish off the unit. With not much left on the board, that was pretty much game over in terms of the objective, but I still had my agendas...

Sek Decima continued to scan his auspex array over the area, guarded by the last of the Vanguard, the fear centres of their brains overridden. At last, a blip, a find! He reached into the dust with his powerfist, gingerly pulling the strange item into his eyeline. No time for a thorough scan, as the Emperor's Children cut down his bodyguards with their blasphemous sonic weapons. Over his shoulder he could see the corrupted Terminators approach, barely recognisable after uncounted years in the warp.

He uttered a prayer to the Omnissiah, and placed the strange item into a teleportation capsule, flicked the switch and watched as it flashed away into the ether. The mission may have been failed, but Sek knew that it had been worth it, they had found what they had come for. He steeled himself, cutting off any last traces of emotion in his enhanced mind, as he waited for the inevitable. He could only hope that when the recovery team scoured the planet's surface, they would find his cranial casing intact and he would be able to see for himself the archeotech he had recovered.

And that was the end of the game. A win for the Emperor's Children, granting them an extra requisition point and a whole load of experience points across the board. The Noise Marines picked up the Reaper agenda, putting them over the mark for Blooded, becoming Veteran Warriors for their Battle Honour. Thankfully I didn't roll any ones for my units, so all of them gained the experience for playing the game. Datasmith Decima picked up some bonus experience for finding some Archeotech and I awarded him the Marked for Greatness bonus, putting him into the Blooded category. In line with my goals to collect ancient relics, and because he literally just dug it out of the ground, I rewarded him with a Crusade Relic - the Laurels of Victory - granting me an additional 2 command points while he is alive. In my mind it is some kind of rare cortex cogitator upgrade that spouts out tactical advice into his brain.

Overall we had fun with Crusade, playing in a nice narrative spirit. It does have maybe a bit more admin than it really needs during the game, and we made a few mistakes along the way, but I think this will become easier to deal with over time, so we're definitely going to give it another go. We found the real meat of the narrative in this stage of the Crusade came from the agendas we picked - once the mission was won or lost it was still important for us to keep playing to see who among the Emperor's Children would be showered in glory, and if Sek would managed to return with that archeotech. I imagine the experience would be reduced somewhat by just picking purely the 'strongest' agendas for levelling up your units every time. (I certainly don't think it was 'smart' to pick the ones I did, but it made sense!). Hope you enjoyed this look at Crusade in play, and stay safe out there.