c. Bethesda Softworks
Klaxons were blaring angrily all throughout Thule Omega district, accompanied by the customary, servitor-laden warnings for all civilians to stay in their homes. The entire district was going into lockdown, and patrols in the other districts were arming as well. At this rate, the whole bloody hive would be under martial law before long.
Not that it would do them any good, Arbitrator Stiner thought bitterly. The incursion in the underhive was moving too quickly for them to contain. When the reports of the incursion had first started filtering, everyone had asssumed that it was yet another gang-war between the scum who dwelt at the bottom of the hive. But gradually, more and more disturbing reports began to come through– of entire gangs massacred and left flayed, their bodies arranged in grisly runes. Reports of entire settlements depopulated, their inhabitants seemingly vanished. And then there were more and more reports of raids on populated areas, raids committed by shrieking, laughing creatures with poisoned weapons, figures too lithe, slender and impossibly fast to be anything human.
Within the space of two weeks, what began as a series of isolated incidents became a full-blown disaster as communications with the underhive were lost entirely. Two entire districts simply went dark. In response, an entire precinct– some two hundred and fifty brave Arbites– were deployed into the underhive to combat what by now everyone assumed was some sort of xenos invasion. None of them returned. Stiner still remembered the screams that had flooded their last transmissions.
Stiner had been patrolling the means streets of this hive for almost sixty years now, and during this time had performed had seen murders, psychopaths, and crimes that had made his stomach turn– and yet after all that, this was the first time since he was a raw recruit that he truly felt afraid.
He glanced at the rest of his squad as he braced himself against the hab-wall of the hi-sec zone, shouldering his combat shotgun as he waited for the orders from precinct command. Nearby, the elevator shaft to the lower level stood, inactive for now, though the activation rune on the door glowed ominously, as though daring Stiner to venture down and meet his doom.
If he listened closely enough, he could swear he heard sounds echoing up the elevator shaft. Sounds of sceams, and evil, inhuman cackling…
His vox crackled to life. “Stiner, report!” came the voice of Judge Okoro from precinct command. “Status on the underhive incursion?”
Stiner thumbed his vox bead. “Unchanged, ma’am,” he said. “We haven’t had any incursions our way yet, but we aren’t picking up any communications or survivors, either. For all intents and purposes…practically the entire underhive sector is lost to us.” He swallowed, not liking the feeling of not knowing what to do. “Orders, ma’am? Should we disable the conveyance elevator and seal the shaft?”
“Negative,” Okoro replied. “Hold your position, and let them through.”
Stiner raised an eyebrow under his helm. “Let who through, ma’am?” he asked. Okoro didn’t answer– the thump of heavy, armoured footfalls rattling the gravel answered for her.
The Arbitrator looked up– and nearly voided his bowels as he did so. Looming over him was a skull-faced giant, with eyes like blazing coalfires. There were five of them, each twice and again the height of a man, each wearing heavy ceramite armour of a dark green that reminded Stiner of the poison clouds over the hive’s main manufactoria district. No sound had heralded their arrival, no announcement had indicated their presence. They were just suddenly there, in all of their wondrous, terrible glory.
Everyone around them, Arbites and civilians alike, was gave these giant newcomers a wide berth as they strode purposefully towards the elevator. Stiner didn’t know what was more terrifying– their size, their baleful skull-helms, the fact that they had appeared seemingly from out of nowhere…or the fact that one of them was still staring down at him, the hellfires of its eye-lenses seemingly boring into his soul.
With the inevitably slowness of a glacier, the armoured giant reached down and took hold of Stiner’s shotgun. The Arbitrator didn’t even resist as the strange armoured behemoth took it from hands that Stiner only now realized had been quivering.
Wordlessly, the armoured giants stomped as one into the conveyance elevator. Stiner was almost relieved when the elevator door closed behind them, and the car began its ascent downwards.
“Attention all units,” Judge Okoro’s voice spoke on the vox bead. “The Slayers have entered the underhive.”
So a while back (before the new Elites book came out), I managed to get some games in for Kill Team. I had managed to get a few brief games in between then, and was slowly but surely getting a handle of the rules. I went to one of my LGS, where Kill Team Sundays were becoming a regular thing, and took on one of the players there.
For the scenario, we were testing a unique mission that the store had created. Essentially, each player had an objective in their home deployment zone that the enemy was trying to capture. as well as a flag in the centre to capture. Holding your own objective would be worth 1 victory point, capturing the enemy objective would be worth 2. In addition, if you grabbed the enemy’s objective, the model that grabbed it could then hold on to it until killed. Even better, the objective itself would turn into +2 strength, damage 2 weapon that granted a 4+ invulnerable save to the bearer.
As if that wasn’t enough, of course, the scenario also granted +2 movement to all models on the board….which meant that my fast Wyches would become extra fast.
For the game, I brought my Drukhari and I ran the following, nameless bunch of spikey pscyhopaths:
Sybarite- splinter rifle, Leader
Hekatrix- agonizer, Combat
Kabalite Gunner- dark lance, sniper
Kabalite Warrior- splinter rifle, Comms
Kabalite Gunner- blaster
Wych Fighter- shardnet and impaler
Wych Fighter- shardnet and impaler
(Note: because there was a mix-up with my models, my Succubus (old Wood Elf Shadowdancer model) would be used as my Hekatrix, while my actual Hekatrix model with agonizer would be used as a shardnet Fighter).
For my pre-game combat drugs, I rolled +2 movement for the Wyches…which, given the +2 movement already granted by the scenario, meant that my Wyches would have a basic move of 12! Insane!
My opponent brought a unique Deathwatch Kill Team, modelled on the Marines from Doom:
The Doom Slayer- Reiver Sergeant w. combat knife, Leader
Carver- Reiver w. combat knife, grappling hook, Combat
Rook- Reiver w. bolt carbine, Demolitions
Ghost- Reiver w. bolt carbine, Comms
Flynn- Reiver w. bolt carbine
While I was admittedly happy to not see things like frag cannons, infernus heavy bolters, etc, in this list, by the same token I had yet to fight Primaris Marines in Kill Team (and Reivers in particular), so I had no idea what to expect going forward.
For this scenario, we both had a boxy central deployment. I was forced to place all of my units centrally, in the shadow of one of the ruined buildings.
(Note: there will probably be a lot of details, including stratagems, etc, that I forget about this battle. I apologize, as it was quite a while ago).
Right off the bat, Rook readied, as did Ghost, while the Doom Slayer and Carver initiated a cautious advance towards the objective, with Carver in particular using his grappling hook to zip down into cover close to the centre, and Flynn moved down the left flank.
In response, Sniper and the Comms-bearing Kabalite moved up onto the roof, to get a clear vantage point upon the advancing Marines…
…while the blaster Kabalite and Hekatrix moved into the further cover afforded by the building.
In the shooting, Rook tried to go for a Decisive Shot, as did the Sniper. Rook won the roll-off, however, opened fire…and missed! Boosted by the Comms Kabalite, the Sniper had no such issues, and landed a dark lance hit on Rook in return, vaporizing him on the spot!
Elsewhere, the blaster tried to fire on one of the distant Doom Marines, but missed. Return fire from assorted bolt carbines dealt flesh wounds to two Wyches in reply.
Unsheathing his knife, the Doom Slayer launched himself into a charge against two Wyches and the blaster-armed Kabalite. Seeing the charge of the Reiver, the Kabalite landed with his shot…but at the last minute, the Slayer twisted in his charge, and the bolt of darklight only singed his armour! (Translation: rolled a 1 to wound). The Reiver dove headlong into combat with two of the Wyches, eager to rip and tear the xenos.
In response, one injured Wych charged Carver, evading his overwatch, while two other Wyches, one of whom carried a shardnet and impaler, charged Flynn. The Hekatrix also tried to charge into the fray, but fell short in her charge.
Elsewhere, the blaster-armed Kabalite moved back to hold onto the Drukhari’s home objective, and Ghost, not wanting to share Rook’s fate, dropped down to the ground and advanced, keeping the buildings between him and the dark lance, ready to support the Doom Slayer if need be.
Shooting from both sides was a dismal affair, with assorted pistols firing to no effect. In melee, however, the Doom Slayer lived up to his name and disembowelled the shardnet-armed Wych his was fighting.
Flynn, however had less luck, with a knife sliding under his shoulder pauldron and wounding him.
Finally, Carver and his opponent fought to a standstill, slashing and evading in a deadly dance with their knives.
Seeing a worthy opponent, the Hekatrix raised her blades and charged into the Doom Slayer, along with one of her sisters. Carver, however, had had enough of his fight and fell back, to the jeers of his opponent. Ghost, meanwhile, stood his ground, readying his bolt carbine to provide fire support against the Drukhari ensconced in the cover of their building.
Ghost and the dark lance Kabalite quickly traded fire, and while Ghost failed to hit his well-perched opponent, the enemy Sniper had no such difficulties– it was only by the barest of luck that Ghost managed to dodge at the last second, the dark lance scoring a deep burn across his armoured thigh. (Translation: rolled a 1 for the number of wounds). The Wych who had been fighting Carver, however, added injury to his insult by firing her splinter pistol at him as he retreated, piercing his armour and drawing blood. In reply, however, Flynn spun, and managed to blast down the shardnet-armed Wych he had been fighting with his own pistol.
The on the far right continued, with Flynn and the last Wych failing to hurt each other. The Doom Slayer, however, took a grievous wound as the Hekatrix’s agonizer bit deeply through his armour. A second later, the other Wyches descended on him, stabbing deeply with their knives. Surrounded, the Doom Slayer fell, overwhelmed by the sheer number of foes, even his legendary tenacity and rage no match for Drukhari venom.
Exultant from having slain the Doom Slayer, the Hekatrix charged onwards, launching herself into combat with Ghost. The other Wyches advanced forwards, aiming to take the enemy objectives where they could.
One of the Wyches grabbed the flag that served as the Deathwatch objective, and was suddenly filled with unheard-of strength as the accursed banner flooded her body with arcane power.
In response, Carver moved back up towards the centre of the battlefield, wanting to take the fight back to the xenos. He advanced, and did so far enough to reach the wall of the building housing the Drukhari objective, managing to get out of line of sight of the enemy Sniper in the process!
The only shooting this round came from splinter pistols pinging harmlessly off of power armour. In melee, the Hekatrix managed to slash a wound off of Ghost, while Flynn and his opponent continued to trade knife-jabs to no effect.
Not wanting to let the Astartes get a moments rest, the Wych now carrying the banner charged Flynn, while another Wych charged into the ongoing fight between Ghost and the Hekatrix. Carver, meanwhile, continued to move on the Drukhari objective, readying himself for a gunfight that would end either with a glorious victory or a blazing end. In response, the Sniper moved to the edge of the building to get line of sight to Carver, while the blaster-armed Kabalite moved out of his cover to confront him as well in a classic Necromundan standoff.
In the shooting phase, the Sniper fired on Carver…and, fatally, missed, despite being bolstered by Comms. Carver didn’t let him live long enough to appreciate his mistake, raising his carbine and nailing the Sniper with a hellfire round, taking him out of action.
Vengeance was swift, however, as the blaster-armed Kabalite drilled a hole through Carver’s abdomen, felling the noble Reiver and ending the Deathwatch’s chance to grab the Drukhari objective.
The Deathwatch were not going down easily, however, as Ghost drew his bolt pistol and managed to nail the Hekatrix with a headshot, felling her in turn!
In the ensuing fight phase, the Wych who was now carrying the standard, empowered as she was, could not get past Flynn’s armour, while the other Wych similarly failed against Ghost. With their raiding party starting to suffer losses, two Wyches actually failed their nerve and huddled, taking whatever cover they could.
At this point, the sheer amount of pain flooding the battle-site was driving the Drukhari to a state of invigorated madness. Another Wych howled as she charged Ghost, who in turn tried to exit combat– the entangling weapons of the Wyches, however, prevented him from doing so. Flynn, however, had no such difficulties and managed to fall back from the Wych he was fighting.
He fell back just in time to see Ghost finally fall, his armour sliced open by Drukhari blades and his carbine falling from nerveless fingers. Realizing that the situation was untenable, Flynn broke from the engagement and fled the battlefield. Swearing an oath under his breath, Flynn retreated, leaving the battle-site, the slain bodies of his brothers and the blood-crazed cackling of the Wyches behind him….
Thoughts: Holy crap that was a crazy game! I went into this battle thinking that my Wyches were going to get blown to hell and back by the Deathwatch’s nasty special-issue ammo. Instead, however, most of my Wyches managed to get into combat fairly unscathed. From that point on, everything just devolved into a series of close-ranged fights: I think my dark lance only fired twice all game, given how much close combat was going on across the board.
That being said, the extra 2″ of movement from the scenario really tilted things in my favour, as it allowed my Wyches to pretty much dominate the movement phase, setting up prime charges on turn 1 and then just pouncing on the Deathwatch at every opportunity. There were many instances where I was reliably able to take on the Deathwatch with 2-3 Wyches at a time, and between my sheer number of attacks and my opponent’s lousy saves (plus some timely darklight weapons), I was able to rapidly gain the upper hand.
That’s not to say that I had it easy: even when outumbered, the Reivers proved hard to kill, and gave as good as they got. However, the Deathwatch simply didn’t have the numbers to win a battle of raw attrition like this, and, without much room to maneuver or bring their firepower to bear, they were eventually overwhelmed. In the end, the superior numbers and speed of the Drukhari won the day for me.
After all was said and done, though, my opponent was a great guy who was incredibly fun to play against. I have no doubt my Drukhari will be on the receiving end of some revenge before long…