I’ve been playing in a Planetary Empires Crusade campaign (see all the posts starting with “Crusade” hah?), and after the first phase it was time to expand onto the planets–including the emergence of a whole new planet for conquest. The map below shows where all the forces are located.
My initial starting area with the Drukhari was on Scylla Prime (as I was the LAST of the 15 players to get to choose hah), where my home base was the star port. That lets me more easily conquer tiles that are non-adjacent, so you’ll see in the first phase I spread my forces to take two other star ports: one on Glaucus and one on Phorcys, the newly revealed planet. Given that the Harlequins player Frank seized the Hive City on Phorcys, we’ve declared that “Elf Planet” and are determined to take more of it in the next phase (perhaps Steve’s Aeldari will be willing to help in the next expansion phase). I’m proud because at least my luck was strong on the planetary phase, and I’m currently holding 6 tiles (while every other force holds 5 or fewer). I’ve got my eyes set on expanding on Phorcys, because the lava paint scheme matches my basing of my models.
Managed to get three games in to this cycle of clashes, and the battle reports are below. I’m still toying with what my army should contain, as while I’ve been skewing a bit toward shooting I realize I might need to have a bit more melee punch.
Archon Vÿr was determined to re-establish leadership in his raiding force. What he needed was a target where he could out-maneuver the foe, and keep them guessing. No doubt the herd-like Tyranids would prove easy prey for this purpose, he mused. While his adjutants were nervous, Vÿr’s blusterous manner seemed to at least motivate the Kabalites if nothing else.
Vÿr unleashed his forces, ensuring that they struck at the leadership beasts of the Tyranids. His speeding Venom cornered the mind-beasts of the horde, driving a wedge into their command while his Ravagers opened up and decimated the Warrior caste beasts.
Meanwhile Haemonculus Oribraq was much more cagey with his forces, knowing just how violent and savvy the Tyranids could be. He committed his Talos pain engine to take out a massed group of Termagaunts and drive the attack into the Neurothrope behind the force. Disposable pain beast were better to commit than other warriors in this case, as the stinging attacks of the Tyranids surely took their toll.
Archon Vÿr rushed forward, desperate to get into personal combat himself. He cut his way to a hulking Broodlord, and engaged it in extended combat. His strikes eventually overwhelmed the beast, and while it cut at him frequently and with deadly force, his Shadowfield held and he went unscathed by the beast. With enough damage inflicted on the leadership of the throng, the various smaller beasts started to wander, and the Drukhari retreated with a victory. Archon Vÿr felt confident–that show of force would make his raiders cleave to him. This was all going to go well.
Still riding high from victory, Archon Vÿr took his forces to raid some mon-keigh industrial facilities, and take more prisoners. His Kabalites were echoing his elevated spirits, plunging into the buildings and fighting to assail the victims within with gleeful abandon.
The mon-keigh had reached out to their supporting forces, and in this case the call for help was answered by some of the most able warriors amongst their brutish enclaves: a different company of their corpse-god protectors the Custodes.
While the Drukhari outnumbered and out-speeded the Custodes, the insert strikes of the elite warriors took a dreadful toll. Archon Vÿr scrambled to call in reinforcements, but found his communications jammed while the Custodes controlled a set of Imperial command nodes that brought other forces in the area toward their site: great Imperial battleships and phalanxes of star warriors turned their eyes toward the spot where Archon Vÿr’s small group was operating.
It was an ancient warrior encased in a full tactical battlesuit that proved most disruptive of the Drukhari forces. It shattered the last hope of Vÿr’s force sending messages for reinforcements, downed two of his vehicles, and eliminated all the newly-recruited Scourges that he had recruited. Vÿr cursed them, as they were specifically equipped with vehicle-destroying weaponry and failed to take the marauding suit down. He once again sounded a retreat and fled from the force. Vÿr brooded in his quarters of their raiding ship, the lessons of the recent battles skewing his thoughts toward the need for he himself leaping into the fray to motivate his warriors in battle.
One of the forces of the mon-keigh that blocked his path may not have been arriving to help, but rather to attack the planet dwellers themselves. These augmented warriors were pox-marked and swollen, no doubt given to horrific disease. Even the plants of the area were wilting with the vaporous clouds of death emitted from their armor.
Vÿr had his forces stay at range best he could, even with his recent swell of bravado. These mon-keigh were almost no longer human, and worse yet, their bodies were so torn and broken that the damage done to them did nothing to help the Drukhari’s own souls in feeling release. At times clusters of splinter fire from the Venom and the Kabalites didn’t even seem to register with them when they pierced armor and shredded skin.
Vÿr hung behind his forces, waiting for a moment to strike–but was ambushed by a teleportation attack from the mon-keigh opponents themselves. A number of their hulking warriors, and no doubt the one that was their leader, appeared in a shimmer of energy and rushed his position and that of his warriors. The warriors were dissolved in spurts of acid from sprayers before being cleaved down by massive scythes the warriors hewed.
Vÿr fought desperately against the leader, but the Shadowfield’s protections from strikes were not able to protect him from the creeping poisons and disease that sprayed across him in the battle. Finally, with a sweeping strike the leader’s roaring, spinning-bladed axe caught his left leg, shearing it entirely off. Vÿr fell to the ground, and as he looked down even a moment saw the flies landing on the stump and laying their eggs. He dragged himself back as best he could, and called for assistance. As always, his faithful warriors managed to grab him and drag him aboard a transport. But as he lay there on the deck with strange diseases eating into him, a dread worry started to reach his mind. It was as if his soul was being spoken to, and the Great Deceiver whispered his name as his force retreated into the night. “Vÿr… I dine on your soul tonight.”
One unit to add to the painted list at least…
These Drukhari Scourges with Haywire Blasters were a lot of work to paint. Especially the wings. They took a lot more layers and blending than I normally do, and I’m really pleased with how they turned out. The effort was worth it, and while that slowed down my painting progress I’ve loved to see them on the table. Of course, they’ve been entirely underwhelming with their weapons hah. And their survivability is just the pits. So I’ve got to work on tactically supporting them better and positioning them in ways that they can be useful but not exposed.
Painting Challenge 2022 Progress
Warhammer 40k Aeldari 2022 Power Level Painted: 53/365
Warhammer 40k Genestealer Cult Total Power Level Painted: 64 / 365