500 Drukhari Vs Sisters of Battle: EncircleThe broken columns of the desecrated shrine were like a human ribcage, flensed and left for carrion birds to peck at. Looking at it, Palatine Agatha Sarpath felt a hollow fear gnaw at her intestines. No less that four days ago, this shrine had been an active pilgrimage site, brightly lit and echoing with soft voices raised in worship to Him on Earth. Now, there was nothing. Not even any bodies to bury - as though this ruin before her had been abandoned for centuries.
"Something terrible has happened here," Agatha said.
Canoness Urquille did not answer her, instead, she spoke into her microbead. "Battle Squad Argent, any contacts?"
Agatha could just make out the silhouettes of her sisters in the wood to their left, searching for clues in the predawn light. "We have something." Sister Superior Enolia said over the channel. "A cogitator bank. Looks like something that may have been in the shrine."
"Can you access it?" Urquille said. "It may tell us who we hunt."
"Stand by," Enolia said.
There was a sound on the wind--a high-pitched hum, like the whine of an engine. Agatha squinted into the gloom, but saw nothing. "Canoness, I believe something is coming."
"Defensive positions." Urquille said, calm and collected. "It might just be a transport from the nearest town. The Retributors in their party took cover, readied their weapons. Urquille and Agatha's bodyguard unlimbered their weapons.
The black ships, sleek and ungodly fast, came skimming from the shadows a mere meter or two off the ground, their prows gleaming with blades and stained with blood. Before Urquille could speak, they were all around them. A single beam, so dark it was more the absence of light than anything else, streaked from the ruins and incinerated Sister Talia, giving her barely time to shriek.
"Canoness," Superior Enolia said over the vox, "the databank is empty. Deleted."
"It's a trap!" Agatha shouted.
"Sisters, form up on me!" Urquille shouted.
But it was too late. Urquille voice was drowned out on all channels by the shrill, vicious laughter of alien voices as they circled in for the kill.
I played a game of 40k! First time in almost a year, I think, and it was fun! Got to try out my fledgling Drukhari force against Roboknee's new Sisters in a small Combat Patrol mission. Here were our army lists:Cult of the Cursed Blade PatrolHQ
Succubus w/Archite Glaive, Blast Pistol, Adrenalight, Traitor's Embrace (Warlord: Quicksilver Fighter)Troops
5 Wyches w/Adrenalight, Painbringer (Hekatrix w/Blast Pistol, Power Sword)
5 Wyches w/Serpentin, Painbringer (Hekatrix w/Blast Pistol, Power Sword)Fast Attack
3 Reaver Jetbikes w/Heatlance, Painbringer
5 Scourges w/4x Shredders Transports
Venom w/Splinter Cannon, TL Splinter Rifle
Raider w/Dark Lance Blood Rose Patrol
Rite: +1 Move (whatever it's called)HQ
Canoness w/Beneficence (Warlord: Righteous Rage)
Palatine w/Power Sword (Saint in the Making: Indomitable Belief)Troops
10 Battle Sisters w/Boltguns Elites
5 Celestian Sacresants w/Hallowed Maces (Superior w/Spear of the Faithful) Fast Attack
5 Zephyrim w/Power Swords (Superior w/Zephyrim Pennant)Heavy Support
5 Retributors w/2x Heavy Flamers, 2x Multimelta, 2x Armourium Cherubs Terrain, Mission, and Deployment
We played on a slightly-larger-than-regulation board for a Combat Patrol (48"x36"), mostly because the 44"x30" thing seems RIDICULOUSLY small, especially for my army--there is, like, nowhere to hide for the enemy.
Anyway, we made it up to look like a ruined shrine. There was a large ruin at board center that was *just* tall enough (we decided) to be Obscuring, a smaller non-obscuring ruin in the NW and SE corners, a big forest along the west edge, a smaller one at board center in the east, and a park in the center-south, featuring a statue we said would count as Imperial Statuary and grant the Inspiring trait to the sisters. That had a small wall along the southern corner. In the NE corner were two big statues that also had the Inspiring trait.
In keeping with the Encircle mission, the objectives were strewn about in no-man's land. For secondary objectives, I picked Assassinate, Encircle (the mission-specific one), and Herd the Prey (a Drukhari specific one that gave me points anytime the enemy was kept out of a table quarter). The Sister chose Engage on All Fronts, Download Data Servers, and Grind Them Down.
I got Defender, so I picked the northern deployment zone and threw down the Reavers, Venom, and Raider between the statues in the NE and behind the ruins, thus out of sight. The Scourges would drop in from above later from reserve. The Raider contained the Serpentin Wyches and the Venom carried both the Succubus and Adrenalight Wyches.
The Sisters deployed their Battle Sister squad south of the big forest, aiming to claim the objective at its edge quickly. The Canoness and Palantine went board center with the Sacresants and the Retributors held down the eastern flank, hunkering behind the wall at the southern tip of the park. The Zephyrim would drop in later.
Deployment: The Drukhari Lay Their TrapThe Sisters Take Up Defensive PositionsThe Battlefield as a WholeTurn 1
I won the roll off for first turn (lucky break for the first two roll-offs!), though in truth I would have been okay with second, as that would likely have resulted in him getting closer to me without having to reveal myself.
Anyway, my secondary objectives stressed board-control, and that was what I aimed to achieve. I send the Reavers into the ruins at the center of the board and used their heat lance to incinerate a heavy flamer from the Retributors. The Raider joined them on their eastern flank, floating just outside the ruins and disintegrating another
heavy flamer in the Retributors. Honestly, I was happy with the result--no heavy flamers means nothing much stopping me from charging them next turn, barring a bad run of dice on my part.
The Venom swung west, aiming for the battle sisters in the woods. It fired its splinter weapons and did nothing (fun fact: just about none of my splinter weapons did anything to anyone all game - always hit, never wounded).
Top of Turn 1:I strike from the east!And the west!Just thought this angle looked cool
In the bottom of Turn 1, the Sisters generally all advanced, which is more-or-less what I hoped they'd do. The Battle Sisters advanced to claim the westernmost objective and start downloading their data or whatever. The Retributors walked to get into melta range of the Raider, but in doing so netted a -1 to hit. We also forgot that penalties are capped
at -1 and so I used Lightning Reflexes to give them another penalty. Even if we'd done it the right way, though, Roboknee's dice were pretty bad and, even with the Armourium cherubs letting him take 8 shots, he only hit once (I think if he had only had a -1, it would have still been only, like, 2 hits). Anyway, the multimelta failed to damage, so with a dreadful giggle, the Wyches aboard sharpened their knives and got ready to slay.
Oh, and the Sacresants and the characters moved a bit, too, but I think mostly just to keep the Retributors inside their aura abilities. My opponent scored no points this round, but was set up to score next round.
Bottom of Turn 1:The Retributors line up their shot, but chokeThe Sisters flip their URL cord a couple times before fitting it into the portTurn 2
With my forces unharmed and the foe laid out like a fine banquet, it was time to feast. The Wyches in the Venom along with the Succubus and the Venom itself charged the battle sisters and completely wiped them out, though the Succubus choked something awful (Only 1 hit on 9 attacks! 1!). Meanwhile, the Wyches from the raider helped gun down the Retributors (with some help from the Reavers) and then charged the Canoness, causing the Palatine to use a Heroic Intervention to get in there, too (more on this fight later).
The shooting phase was rounded out by the Scourges, who dropped into the SW corner of the board and absolutely obliterated the Sacresants with a whopping 21 Shredder shots. The Venom had picked off a pair of Sacresants earlier with a solid Splinter Cannon volley (my only successful splinter volley all game), so I played Prey on the Weak to re-roll 1s and it got UGLY. I scored, like, 17 hits and forced about 15 saves, wiping out the unit.
This meant the combat between the Raider Wyches and the Palatine/Canoness was critical--if I killed both (not impossible), I'd table him and win the game. He used a stratagem, though (the name escapes me just now) which forced me to focus all attacks on the Canoness, which I did. She went down screaming, leaving only the Palatine, whose swordmanship, while admirable, was not sufficient to kill even a single Wych.
While all this killing was going on, I moved the Reavers to secure an objective and the Raider back into my Deployment zone to score Encircle. All told, I scored 5 VP for the primary, 3 for Assassinate, 6 for Herd the Prey, and 5 for Encircle, for a total of 19 points on the round (wow!).
Top of Turn 2:This is gonna hurt...The Drukhari crash the LAN partyBIIIIRRRDMEN!A slaughter, part 1Part 2The Palatine Stands Alone
In the bottom of Turn 2, it's fairly clear this game is over. BUT, the Sisters want a little revenge before throwing in the towel. The Zephyrim drop in and charge the Reavers, wiping them out, though the Reavers manage to use Only the Strong Will Thrive from the Cult of the Cursed Blade to do 2 mortal wounds in response, knocking the Zephyrim down to 3. Meanwhile, the Palatine has no luck killing any Wyches, who have her totally outclassed, but they only manage 1 wound on her, so the battle is a draw.
At this point, bereft of almost any way to score points, my opponent concedes.
Bottom of Turn 2:Vengeance Will be Theirs!Drukhari Dirty Tricks!This Palatine is tough, I'll give her that.Final ScoreDrukhari: 19 VPsSisters of Battle: 0Post-Mortem
Not too much to glean from this battle--it was a total blowout, which I find is relatively common in Combat Patrol (or maybe I'm just not that good at making Combat Patrol Lists). Anyway, the board was too small to give my opponent any breathing space - I was all over him almost right away, and then he died, because Wyches hit like a TON OF BRICKS. Seriously, it's shocking how deadly those little 5-elf squads can be! As long as I can keep the enemy off balance and deliver them to targets mostly unharmed, the assault phase becomes a horror show for whoever they're aimed at (well, often - there are exceptions).
What's more important here is that I'm once again inspired to get back to expanding my force, modelling and painting. Also, despite the drubbing, Roboknee had a blast, too, and we are going to play more. Expect to see more games in the future!
Thanks for reading and thanks, as always, to my opponent!