Horus Heresy Throne of Skulls Doubles – Part 2

As promised here is a follow-up post talking through each of the games we played over the course of the weekend.

Game 1 – vs Raven Guard and Iron Warriors

Mission: Dominion.

Deployment: Hammer and Anvil.

This was a really fun game, the Iron Warriors had a lot of artillery including a minotaur (which was ace to see on the battlefield) and the Raven Guard were all deploying from reserves/outflanking. Luckily for us with so many troops on the board we were able to deploy near a couple of objectives and hold onto them by the skin of our teeth! Our infantry took an absolute battering from their guns but we had too many for them to shake off in time.

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The Raven Guard player was very unlucky in his reserve rolls which helped us a lot as they were unable to arrive in enough numbers to overwhelm us at once. The poor autocannon squad got butchered by a tactical squad in a rhino and the leman russ got destroyed by their contemptor but our opponents were unable to match our scoring units.

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End result was a win for the 216th Expeditionary fleet! Our opponents were absolutely cracking guys, really good fun to play against, we couldn’t have asked for a better opening to the tournament.

Game 2 – vs Mechanicum and Mechanicum 

Mission: War of Lies.

Deployment: Dawn of War.

Neither of us had played mechanicum before and it showed in this game. We struggled to do much damage to their automata as we were systematically pulled apart by our opponents. The plasma mortar on the Thanatar is insanely good! Our heavy weapon teams were targeted early on and destroyed which meant we were lacking the necessary heavy firepower to make a dent in their army.

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My militia couldn’t even harm the Castellax as their lasguns were only s3! Our opponents used their list very effectively and we ended up with just artillery carriages on the board by the end. We didn’t really need to roll to see what the objectives were worth, as it was clear that we had lost the game. It was still good fun though, and we definitely learned lessons about the importance of protecting our heavy weapon teams!

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Games 3 – vs Iron Warriors and Sons of Horus

Mission: Tide of Carnage.

Deployment: Clash of the line.

Our opponents had brought a really interesting list, with the Sons of Horus being just 1 unit of Justaerin, a unit of veterans, a spartan and Horus himself. The deployment zone hampered us as we barely fitted our combined army in!

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The Iron Warriors managed to roll infiltrate for their warlord trait and deployed two contemptors right near our lines which hurt! Horus landed amongst our lines and the battle became a race between running our infantry squads up the board to take battlefield zones and trying to take down Horus. By the end of the game we got him down to 1 wound but just could not quite take him down.

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In the end the game came down to a single dice roll. One squad of Saoghal infantry were 6″ from our opponent’s deployment zone and, if they could run and make it in we would stop them scoring and win us the game. The dice took a long time to settle but came up a 6! So with a bit of luck we managed to win this game. We learned a lot about how immobile our army actually is though, with so many heavy support squads we struggled to get out of our deployment zone.

Game 4 – vs Death Guard and Iron Warriors

Mission: Onslaught.

Deployment: Vanguard Strike.

We were paired against a couple of good friends in this game which made it really fun. The Iron Warriors had a Sicaran Punisher which posed a serious threat to our poor infantry, taking it out was a priority. Our artillery was systematically targeted by our opponents in an attempt to force them to flee/destroy them. This proved very effective and we were unable to put out as much firepower as we needed.

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Despite looking cool my ogryns continued their trend of not really doing anything! They failed a couple of key charges and kept getting shot in the face by a neutron beam laser. By the end of the game the board was full of brutal combats between marine and militia, with both sides properly butchered. Sadly we ran out of time to see whether either of us could grab the dominion objectives, and having worked out victory points it came out a draw.

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A particular favourite moment of ours was the vexilla bearer from the grenadier squad who managed to take down astartes with his weaponised shovel. He is definitely in line to get some medals next time they are handed out!

Game 5 – vs Dark Angels and Ultramarines

Mission: Shatter Strike.

Deployment: Search and Destroy.

What a game to end the weekend on! We were up against a gorgeous Ravenwing list and a brutal artillery focused Ultramarine list. Our opponents were super nice guys and it was a fun game even though we got steadily blown of the board! Jetbikes with acid rounds are really nasty as, thanks to fleshbane, they were wounding our artillery on 2s which really hurt!

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The Dark Angels praetor was excited about the prospect of facing off against some beasts in the shape of the ogryns and proceeded to butcher them in a single round of combat. His moment was cut short when a medusa shell landed on his face and blew him up! The ultramarine leviathan was nasty, he just cut through so many militia men as he steadily advanced up the table and by the end we had nothing which really could harm it.

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By the end of the game we only had my basilisk and the Saoghal warlord on the board so another loss. It was such a fun game though and had several cinematic moments in it.

Overall Result

So with 2 wins, 1 draw and 2 losses out of 5 games we were pretty happy with our performance. We ended up ranking 5/66 teams which was amazing! Our lists definitely need tweaking and I think if we had been able to squeeze some practice games in we might have changed some bits around. We severely lacked mobility which definitely didn’t help.

I did buy a thunderbolt from the forge world store and am sorely tempted by an arvus, so expect to see some faster units amongst the Janizars sometime soon…

J

The Doom of Ieriche – Battle for Station Alpha-Alpha-0001

Hi everyone! A while back we said we were going to link some of our games together into a campaign to raise the narrative levels of our games. Well we have finally done so! We present to you War Zone: Ieriche

Ieriche Tactical Map

This campaign uses the rules from black book 4, we are using 4 strategic objectives and have 4 reserve points each (so the campaign will run for a total of 8 games). The rules are really simple to use and are great for adding a little extra detail to our games. The whole war zone has the Ferocious Storms special rule whilst each of the strategic objectives have additional rules. There is a risk of going over the top with these rules, so we have been careful to keep the extra stuff to a minimum. If this campaign goes well, we’re considering running one with our gaming group so fingers crossed!

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On Saturday we played our first game; the Raven Guard won the roll off and chose to fight on Orbital Station Alpha-Alpha 0001. This station was named when the planetary governor was so sure of Ieriche’s post-compliance prosperity that he believed they would need vast numbers of orbital stations and defence platforms. Sadly Ieriche’s history didn’t prove him right, and Alpha-Alpha 0001 was the only station every built. We decided to play 1,500 points of ZM plus a primarch. Here are our armies:

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It was a very intense game, with the Raven Guard choosing to deploy right next to the Emperor’s Children.

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The Emperor’s Children had the first turn, and seized on the opportunity, rushing ahead with all speed whilst the two Contemptors took out the nearby doors. Corax jumped ahead of his men, keen to engage the dreadnoughts and tie them up, blocking the corridor for Fulgrim and his accompanying band of psychopaths. He failed his charge however, leaving him out in the open and in charging distance of he Phoenician. Few palatine blades could make it into the combat but it did not matter as in a single round Fulgrim brought Corax down to 1 wound.

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Corax fled the combat and charged in with his dark furies, but they were unable to dent the artificer armour of the palatine blades and were butchered in return.

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With the main combat units of the Raven Guard destroyed all was lost for the loyalists, who were forced to withdraw and cede control of the orbital station to the sons of the Phoenician. Round one of the battle for Ieriche went to the traitors.

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It was a really fun game even if the Raven Guard did end up getting tabled, things could have gone very differently if Corax had got his charge off turn one! This was only round one of eight in this campaign so keep an eye out for more games on the horizon.

Ieriche will fall, it just remains to be seen who will be left standing on its ashes…

(the image of the planet is edited from a screenshot taken whilst exploring the Space Engine program, for personal use in this campaign only. See http://spaceengine.org/ )

Dicing with Death – Assault on Lapladia

Just before Christmas we ran an event themed around the forge world of Lapladia, owned by the maverick Magos Dominus S4nt4r. It was a fun event and awesome to get our gaming group together for some drinks and games. Here is some fluff on the event along with some pictures of the games.

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Both Traitors and Loyalists descended upon Laplandia, intent on claiming the planet and it’s resources for their respective sides. The loyalist forces claimed the initial beachead, furiously slaughtering traitor deployment elements, forcing the warmasters forces to a more hazardous dropzone further from the polar city. The Loyalists took the initial advantage.

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As fighting continued, both forces driving towards the polar city, the traitors sought revenge. Their fury was unmatched and the loyalist forces suffered catastrophically.

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Finally, the forces reached the inner polar city. The Iron IVth and betrayed sorcerers of Prospero formed a defensive line on the western flank, and despite the withering attacks of the Fists of Dorn and the Emperors Angels, the traitor line held.

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Meanwhile, the Sons of Angron and Emperors Children faced off against the Emperors Wolves, with the losses of previous fighting delaying the main Raven Guard force. The Wolves charged violently into the traitors guns, and a savage trick played out via the Perfect legion, delivering annihilation upon the Emperors Executioners.

The Raven Guard forces arrived in haste, and wrecked havoc upon the traitor lines in furious vengeance but alas, it was too late. Both sides took horrendous losses, however Dorn deemed the loss to great, and ordered his forces to fall back. The Traitors had taken a foothold in the Thirteen Realms and gained a staging point to push forward onto the Loyalist homeworld of Chogoris and Nocturne…

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Dicing with Death – Clash of Jakverk Refinery

Taking advantage of the Easter bank holidays, we managed to squeeze another couple of games in. Here are the armies we used in the 2k game (we got a bit carried away and forgot to take a photo of the armies we used in the second game! Both of us used the 2k list and then added a few bits):

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IMG_0338Jakverk had declared for Horus and valuable promethium from the planet was being sent to traitor fleets across the galaxy, aiding their war effort. A detachment of Emperor’s Children had been garrisoned on the planet to protect this resource from any threat. They had quickly grown bored of this task though, and began to use the civilians as their playthings more than guarding the pipelines. A small detachment of Raven Guard, sent behind lines by Corax to destabilise the traitor supply lines, saw Jakverk as a perfect target. A strike team personally led by Shadow Captain Kraai was assembled and descended quickly to the planet. Their aim was to take out the Braat Pipeline, shutting down the transportation of the promethium and stopping Horus’ armies from accessing this valuable resource.IMG_0340The Emperor’s Children reacted quicker than Kraai expected, stealing the initiative and moving aggressively towards the Raven Guard troops on the ground. Little did they imagine what was even now hurtling through the atmosphere from Kraai’s strike cruiser in orbit…SLAM!IMG_0344Two drop pods smashed into the Emperor’s Children deployment zone and squads of Raven Guard burst forward, laying down a hail of fire that crippled the Emperor’s Children. The plasma support squad obliterated the volkite caliver squad, leaving behind only a pile of goo and purple armour. The Land Raider Pursuit of Ecstasy drove forward, locked its lascannons onto Honoured Brother Kynaeus and blew him up. The lighting fighter Zorya’s Claw arrived and unleashed a volley of missiles and shots at the Pursuit of Ecstasy but only managed to immobilise it; the venerable hull withstood every other shot.IMG_0349Hipparch Anthame, commander of the garrison, stepped from the land raider’s ramp and charged with his bodyguard of palatine blades into the Raven Guard assault squad. Fresh from having massacred an Emperor’s Children tactical squad, the assault squad were caught unawares and were butchered by the beautiful blade work of Kreon and his swordsmen.IMG_9390Fuelled by this fresh victory, Anthame and his squad moved against the plasma support squad. Demanding vengeance for Galbeon and his volkite support squad, they cut the Raven Guard down in one swift round of combat.IMG_9391It was too little too late though as the Raven Guard cleaned up the Emperor’s Children’s deployment zone with more tacticals arriving by drop pod and engaging their enemy in brutal hand to hand combat. This turned into a slog as more marines piled into the melee. The Emperor’s Children fought back to back but were eventually slain.IMG_0350Kraai faced down Legion Champion Eurydeon and his skimmer relief force which arrived on the Raven Guard’s flank. Eurydeon had chased the Raven Guard throughout their 98 days on Isstvan V, making use of his sky hunter phalanx to constantly harass the Raven Guard. When Kraai realised that such a hated foe was on the planet, he made an oath that he would kill him. Although he was successful at neutralising the jetbikes, Kraai was knocked out of the combat by a pair of javelin speeders who murdered his unit with krak missiles from their cyclone launchers. IMG_0346The Raven Guard carried the day and took control of the prometheum refinery. The Emperor’s Children withdrew and regrouped with units that were moving up to reinforce the shattered garrison. The Raven Guard, leaving behind units to sabotage Braat Pipeline, pressed their attack on the retreating Emperor’s Children, and battle was met again in a windswept valley a few kilometres away. Kraai was determined to avenge his fallen brothers by killing Eurydeon, no matter the cost, and fulfil his oath.IMG_0352In order to kill his hated foe Kraai deployed the last of his reserves from orbit. Three more drop pods descended quickly and landed across the Emperor’s Children deployment zone. Augury scanners had predicted their precise arrival though and the Emperor’s Children turned to target the new arrivals. Thermal blasts from the volkite squad proved deadly and the entire plasma squad was gunned down before they could fire.IMG_0357Other elements of the Raven Guard army raced up the board, with the lascannon team glancing The Pursuit of Ecstasy on the Emperor’s Children right flank.

Much to Kraai’s frustration, Eurydeon had not appeared on the battlefield yet, and he vented his anger out on the volkite support squad, butchering them to a man in a flurry of blows from the dark furies’ raven talons.f35a201d-0d50-4849-b235-9902cfcd7d1cIt was then that the Emperor’s Children hidden blade appeared and Eurydeon showed himself. Appearing behind the Raven Guard lines, the jetbike squad deleted the lascannon team with shots from their heavy bolters and volkite culverins.IMG_0360Zorya’s Claw zoomed onto the battlefield, locked onto The Pursuit of Ecstacy and wrecked it with its kraken missiles. Anthame and his blade squad were then assaulted by Honoured Brother Yiraka who managed to kill three palatines before being ripped apart by Chaplain Athenion’s power fist.f579a9ad-206a-4530-a175-09b927bfacffShadow Captain Kraai, Hipparch Anthame and their bodyguard units met in the centre of the battlefield for a brutal combat that lasted mere seconds but saw many butchered on both sides. The Raven Guard came out on top, as when the dust settled not one marine in purple armour stood to oppose Kraai and his dark furies.IMG_0364Having suffered greater casualties than he expected, and failing to kill Eurydeon, Kraai ordered his force to withdraw. His attack had also served as a diversion and had given the saboteurs enough time to blow the Braat Pipeline. Kraai brooded over the battle whilst sitting in his personal thunderhawk. He was not one to break an oath and before the war was finished he would have Eurydeon’s head…

We played two games and decided to link them narratively. The first mission was Shatter Strike, representing the Raven Guard trying to take ground and capture the pipeline. The second game was Bad Blood from the shadow war missions. We hadn’t used them in a while but are big fans of the different feel those missions have; they’re much more personal and bitter than the normal missions. All in all was a fun day and a victory each for the Raven Guard and the Emperor’s Children.

J

Dicing with Death – Battle of Solarurbs

Solarurbs was an industrial staging world; acres of storage yards and miles of pipelines held resources vital to the war effort throughout the Great Crusade. With the outbreak of the heresy, controlling the world and its supplies became an important task for both sides. Fulgrim personally arrived to ensure the planet remained loyal to Horus. To his surprise an armoured contingent of Iron Warriors was already planet side by the time the Emperor’s Children arrived. Fulgrim dispatched his herald Kopheon in the Thunderhawk Marvellous Revelation to make contact with a force he thought fought on the same side. To his horror the Marvellous Revelation was shot out the sky under a hail of fire from various sicaran tanks and crashed amidst an oil field to the north of the planet. Enraged at this betrayal Fulgrim immediately deployed with the XXII Millennial to avenge his fallen sons and make the Iron Warriors pay…

IMG_9350 Moving up quickly, the Emperor’s Children tacticals managed to secure Kopheon’s corpse and his banner. Civilians working in the nearby factories tried to flee at the sight of the two armies engaging, but still ended up embroiled in the battle. Securing civilians for use as workers or slaves became a secondary objective for both sides. Early firepower from the Emperor’s Children proved devastating for the opposing armoured column, as the crew of the sicaran arcus were forced to bail out when the deredeo punched several holes in the side of the vehicle.

IMG_0332The Iron Warrior tanks responded with matched aggression, immobilising the Spartan The Magnificence which forced Fulgrim and his bodyguard to dismount. The plasma predator squadron deleted the entirety of tactical squad Iosephon, who were protecting Kopheon’s body, which meant the right flank of the Emperor’s Children all but disappeared. Orion’s Guardian, the Emperor’s Children sicaran, exploded in a fireball when the Iron Warrior spartan targeted it with its laser destroyer array.IMG_0333At this point the Emperor’s Children flanking force burst onto the battlefield and unleashed a staggering amount of firepower on the predators. Four vehicles were left smouldering wrecks and the Iron Warriors were forced to turn and counter this new threat.

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A large unit of tyrant siege terminators stepped from the Spartan, locked onto and destroyed the land speeders; jinking proved ineffective against so many shots. Accelerator autocannons from the remaining sicarans shot at the jetbikes and managed to whittle them down to just the Legion Champion Anthame.

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By this time Fulgrim had managed to move up and charge the siege terminators. The combat was short but bloody as the Blade of the Laer cut into the Iron Warriors with lethal effect. One lone siege tyrant stood against the odds, with insane heroism he refused to flee from Fulgrim but held his ground and ensured another round of combat.

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The Iron Warriors were forced to retreat from the unbridled rage of the Emperor’s Children and their primarch. Kopheon’s body and the standard he carried were removed from the battlefield and brought to the Pride of the Emperor with honour. The day belonged to the Emperor’s Children.

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Had a fun game making use of some of our newly painted scenery. I got very lucky with the first turn and taking out the arcus. I’ve played enough games to know that the arcus is incredibly deadly against my skimmer heavy army so it was the priority target.

J

Dicing with Death – Battle for Sithis Prime.

Following our casual 30k event on the weekend I thought I would write up a story of the battle between World Eaters and the Raven Guard.  It is more of a fluff write up rather than a turn by turn break down.  I have another write up to do so I’ll mix it up in the next one.20180304_112657-1

The battle for Sithis Prime: On the outskirts of the Istvann System lies Sithis Prime, a world ravaged by the civil war, all that stands is the Hive City of Kraventus.  The surviving populace of Sithis Prime have been journeying to Kraventus, the last safe haven, to seek shelter from the war that surrounds them.

Unforntuatley for the populace of Kraventus, a World Eater war ban lead by Kharn the Bloody have had their fill of legion on legion slaughter and have turned their butchery towards the nearest civilisation they can reach.  Spartans filled with raging tactical squads and the sound of roaring thrusters carry across the empty air as the World Eaters advance through the empty ruins putting anyone they come across with a swift and bloody demise.

Luckily for the populace of Kraventus, Shadow Captain Kraai of the XIX Legion, II Btn, VII Chapter, had been perusing the World Eaters fleet since the Drop Site Massacre.  Seeing the slaughter unfolding on the planet’s surface, Kraai decided to intervene and draw the World Eaters away from the city of Kraventus, thus allowing the populace to escape.

The world Eaters advanced across the battlefield mounted in Spartan Assault tanks which shrugged off most of the Raven guard fire power.  Crashing to the surface the dreaded hulk of a Leviathan painted in white and blue stormed into the Raven guard ranks determined to cut the head of the snake and kill Kraai before the battle had even begun.  After many casualties inflicted on his body guard of Dark furies, Kraai decided to withdraw and shelter in some nearby ruins.

Things were look bleak for the Raven guard, until reinforcements arrived.  Drop pods filled with plasma support teams and tactical squads smashed into the dirt of Sithis Prime, lightning’s unloaded their payload into the lead Spartan, obliterating it and leaving its occupants lying face down in the mud.  Seeing this opportunity Kraai broke free from the shelter of the ruin and began slaying all who stood before him.  Impaling two World Eater marines with his mighty paragon blade.

Kharn, enraged by this sudden turn of events charged out of his Spartan at a nearby tactical squad who had recently disembarked from their drop pod.  The onslaught of Kharn was undeniable and the panicked Raven guard tactical squad emptied their bolters to try and cut him down, but to no avail. Just when the tactical squad was about to perish, Kharns body was hit by a plasma round and was projected into a nearby wall. 

Kraai called to his master of signals to evacuate the city of Kraventus, however before he could issue the command his comrade was beset upon by a vindictive assault squad.  Cutting him into pieces and soaking their chain axes in his blood the assault squad laughed and jeered at Kraai.  Kraai left his dark furies to continue their assault and charged into the bloody slaughter to avenge his comrade.  Smashing into the combat with his mighty jump pack, he swiftly cut the blood thirsty World Eaters into pieces.

The remaining world eaters seeing their army butchered and their leaded broken retreated allowing Kraai to signal the evacuation.  Kraai was also bloodied from the battle and regrouped his forces, and withdrew with the citizens of Kraventus.

Hope you enjoyed the write up

~ T

Dicing with Death – Battle of Kursche IV

The event which came to be known as the Kurschean Genocide was only discovered during the Scouring when Imperial administrators noticed the system had failed to deliver its tithes for many years. A task force of tithe-grabbers, archivists and data-scriveners were sent to claim the backlog of resources, men and weapons. When they arrived all they found was a dead system, the world aflame and the capital city a bombed out ruin. Using the few remaining satellites and data retrieval servo-skulls the task force were able to establish the following events…

Two large traitor fleets arrived in system within hours of each other and both raced to Kursche IV, smashing aside any orbital defences the planet had. The slender purple and gold ships of the Emperor’s Children launched Stormbirds and light landing craft immediately whilst the lumbering cruisers of the Iron Warriors spat out bulk craft that descended slower, but contained heavier cargo. The first message the inhabitants of the planet received was a blistering bombardment reducing much of the city to rubble. It is only possible to establish now that the two forces were after a stockpile of deadly weapons locked away since the Dark Age of Technology. Quite why the forces came to blows when they both fought on the same side is unknown, but it is speculated that each commander wanted the prestige of bringing the weapons to the Warmaster themselves.

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The Emperor’s Children force was the first to arrive at the site of the weapons. It was the XXII Millennial, who had made a name for themselves on the blasted plains of Istvaan V. With them was the venerable chassis of the Glaive tank ‘The Tyrannicide’ and they were led by Lord Legate Antigonus Chlorus.

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Against them was amassed a battalion of tanks formed up in an impenetrable wall of iron. Pict logs show the Iron Warriors were led by Rhommal, a praetor renowned for his genius at commanding tank squadrons and deadly accuracy with his personal Sicaran’s autocannon.

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Despite arriving last to the battlefield the Iron Warriors managed to steal the initiative and with a roar of engines the armoured spearhead advanced.

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With pinpoint accuracy the predators cut through the Emperor’s Children infantry in the open, but struggled to get rid of the marines dug into the large ruin on the left flank. The Iron Warriors Spartan tank opened up on its opposite number and the Emperor’s Children Spartan went up in flames. Antigonus and his terminator bodyguard stepped out of the ruined vehicle, now having to advance on the enemy on foot without the protection of his transport.

The Iron Warriors dominated the battlefield whilst the Emperor’s Children waited for their outflanking force to arrive. Tyrant Siege Terminators stepped from their Spartan and took great chunks out of The Tyrannicide, detonating its core and causing a titanic explosion. They all walked from the nuclear blast unharmed, wreathed in smoke and making for their next target.

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Things were looking dire for the Emperor’s Children when the distinctive whine of anti-grav vehicles could be heard over the explosions and screams of the dying. Emperor’s Children reinforcements had finally arrived behind the Iron Warriors and they trained their weapons on the enemy tanks…

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Predator after predator blew up under a hail of mult-melta fire and crushed by the effects of grav weaponry. Even Rhommal was forced to bail out of his Sicaran after a pair of javelins launched krak missiles into the rear of his tank.

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Ultimately it was too little too late and the Iron Warrior’s Arcus Strike Tank took down most of the speeders with its deadly warheads. Legion Champion Anthame, the rest of his squad dead, attempted to destroy the remaining Sicaran using a melta bomb in a last ditch attempt to even the field. However the bomb failed to clamp to the tank and so Antigonus ordered his forces to retreat from the battlefield and the planet.

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Having acquired the weapons the Iron Warriors retreated into orbit and bombarded the planet until nothing stood. So life ended on Kursche IV but this would not be the last time that events in the Horus Heresy brought war to the world…