Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Adepticon 2012: The Battle for Piscina IV

I'll get to my tournament reports later, but for today I wanted to talk about another event that I attended, this year's narrative event.

Put on by the gentleman behind 2nd City Warzone, this year's event concerned the Belial v. Gazhgkull beat down that took place in GW's Storm of Vengeance campaign, which is also detailed in the BL novel The Purging of Kadillus, which is a terrible, terrible, novel.

Anyway, for this event we each had to choose a particular special character to lead our forces to victory. I chose Veteran Sgt Naaman, a scout sergeant who through his questioning of Belial's decidedly terrible command decisions managed to save the campaign and put an end to Gazhgkull's assault on the planet.

I've already detailed the forces that I hastily painted up here, now let's get to the battles!


It was early in the morning when the alarms started ringing in the barracks. A training regiment had failed to report on time, and then long range scanners picked up a large mass of  infantry heading towards the capitol.
"Wake up ladies, we have incoming!" roared Commander Heinrich as his Lieutenants rallied their squads as quickly as they could. Flak jackets were hastily thrown on and rifles unlocked from storage.
"What could possibly have overrun the outer barracks? How the hell did an invasion fleet get passed our sensoriam?" Heinrich asked the watch officer.
"Orks, sir, and I have no idea, but they're charging into the square as we speak!"

The hastily assembled troops charged on to the scene, flamers and grenade launchers at the ready. Commander Heinrich barked out orders.
"Commissar Sebastian, have first platoon hold the center! Lieutenant Julian, peel off four flamers and move up the right, try to sneak up on the sons of bitches! Stormtroopers, move to support the LT! I'll take the high ground, get a better idea of what we're up against."

Heinrich clambered up the ruins, Pvt Edelson and the rest of his command squad close behind. What he saw wasn't encouraging. Ork bikes belching noxious smoke were careening down the middle while mobs of Boyz were smashing their way through the ruins of what used to be the outer barracks. Heinrich snarled and primed his plasma pistol. Even if he didn't have the manpower to stop the green tide he'd make these monsters pay for invading his world.
The vox crackled open with urgent communications from one of the Dark Angels commanders that had come with the recruitment team, the Chaplain Boreas. The situation was growing dire indeed, Heinrich mused, if the even the mighty Astartes were encountering difficulties.
"But why the generators? It's not like they are the fuel reserves." mused Heinrich. But the onrushing Orks quickly pulled the commander back to reality, and he offered up a silent prayer to the Emperor to give him strength.
In a blaze of blue light Heinrich's prayers were answered. Standing in the square were a squad of the mighty Deathwing, led by none other than the third company Captain himself, Belial. The men of Piscina let out a mighty roar of thanks and bounded forward with redoubled fervor at the sight of the mighty Astartes. These cheers grew even louder as two more squads of noble Astartes joined the fray, taking up firing positions along the main square.

Heinrich smiled. "Now we have a fight on our hands. Privates Edelson, Matthews, there's some Greenskin hiding in that ruin over there. Would you kindly be the first to drive the enemy from our shores?" The privates grinned, and the air soon rang with the sounds of fragmentation grenades exploding among the approaching Greenskins.
Belial and his command squad shared the feeling, sending fragmentation rounds from their Cyclone Missile Launchers into a herd of Grots, causing the tiny greenskins to panic back towards the Ork lines despite the urgent thrashings of their handlers.
The rest of the Orks, however, weren't fazed. If anything, their bloodlust was only increased by the sight of the grots blood flowing on the cobblestones. Their whoops increased in volume, and the engines of their bikes revved up for the inevitable assault.

The Vox crackled again, the sounds of close combat coming through in patches. The Chaplain's exhortations sounded heroic, but even from this distance Heinrich could tell that the battle was not going well. At that moment the Orks on the ground floor opened up with their Shootas, killing privates Edelson and Matthews. Their hearts already lowered by the news of the Marines' impending defeat, Heinrich's squad fell back from the upper floors.
In the square the Orks' charge was devastating. Deciding that the "really 'ard Beakies" were the prime targets for their bloodlust, the Bikes and Boyz crashed into Terminators with terrific force. Having weathered their shooting, the Deathwing attempted to hold their own but the Orks were simply too many, even for the vaunted First Company. Three of their number fell to the onslaught, Belial and his two remaining veterans pushed back by the sheer force of the Green Tide.

Seeing that the heroic captain was in danger, Commissar Sebastian exhorted his squad to join in the combat. Meanwhile the Dark Angels chaplain led his squad into the assault as well, their combined force chopping down the marauding Orks. Seeing this Heinrich and his squad rallied, and Lieutenant Julian and his flamer squad roasted two outflanking mobs of Boyz.

The Orks attempted to sally forth again, their numbers coming in an unending tide. Another of the Terminators was cut down along with four noble Astartes of the Tactical squad. The Stormtroopers charged in to assist, prayers to the Emperor on their lips and helped vanquish the marauding beasts. Belial himself stood toe to toe with the Ork Warboss, eventually defeating the massive leader in single combat with a beheading sweep of his Heavenfall Blade.

With their leader defeated the remaining Orks fell back to their lines, no doubt to toast Gazhgkull's victory at the power plant. First platoon cleared out the stragglers with lasbolt and flamer and reclaimed the docks from the invader. Heinrich lowered his plasma pistol wearily, its power cell burning hot. His men had gotten off light, only losing seven of their number, but the Astartes had lost four of their elite and nearly half of their Tactical squad, not to mention the losses they had no doubt suffered at the power plant.

"If even the Angels couldn't hold back the Beast of Armegeddon," muttered Heinrich, "what chance do we mere mortals have?"

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