(Mild retcons due to player availability. I ask that you simply go with it, as I have to and I don’t like retcons).
Taking a break from my original fiction (going to be a post about that real soon!) to write this. It’s the fluff part from my game over the weekend. Taken a bit of licence here; I do not know if I “won” the campaign and therefore “did my objective” which was to destroy the Tyranid psychic beacon, but it makes so much sense in the fluff. The mission was 5000pts Imperial + 3000pts Eldar vs. 8000pts Tyranids with the Emperor’s Will mission. Our objective was the Imperial command post, their objective could have been the psychic beacon (we were the “attackers”). That’s how I’m writing it, anyway. The Imperial commanders of the battle did an amazing job at holding the objective, I honestly thought that we were going to lose our objective to a horde of bugs, but they managed to hold them back. I spent most of the game moving, as opposed to shooting, but I ended up almost doing a circuit of an 8′ x 6′ board!
Also, I assume that I “won” the campaign, or at least did damn well, because I only lost 2 games total, and those were both when doubles were introduced. I think my overall win/loss is… 10 wins and 2 losses. Or 20 wins and 4 losses when accounting for how we transitioned into and treated doubles games (we doubled all of my previous game results as my partner was new to the campaign and counted each game as 2 games afterwards). With that kind of win:loss ratio, I think I can safely assume that I did pretty well 🙂
Farseer Lireia pulled her armoured vehicles next to the Imperial position. Members of the Space Marines, the human elite super soldiers, had started to entrench themselves, concentrating on what looked to be a command post. In front of them were a line of human vehicles and behind them were two crude looking artillery pieces. To the left was another line of tanks and a handful of Space Marines who had taken up a commanding position in a ruined building, a couple of jump pack wearing members on the bottom floor. One instantly gunned his jump pack into life and made his way towards the Eldar vehicles.
“I hate dealing with Mon-keigh…” Lireia groaned before exiting from her Falcon tank, leaving her Warlock bodyguards inside. The Space Marine commander landed with a heavy thud, primitive plasma pistol in hand and a large sword in the other.
“Give me one good reason why we should not open fire on you alien filth here and now,” he growled through the vox grill on his helmet at the smaller Eldar woman, eliciting a mere point to the side.
“Because there is a mass of far less sufferable alien scum across the ruins from here. If you open fire on us then we will all become biomass for the Tyranid horde,” Lireia put in a very matter of fact tone. She could tell that this human wanted her dead, she could feel the murderous intent, however she knew that he would not. Not yet anyway.
“Stay out of our way, witch, and we will not be forced to fire on you,” he replied, gunning his jump pack to life again and returning to his troops. She could see that her forces were already being watched by the xenophobic, suspicious humans. If any shot was fired at her, she was confident that her warhost would react in kind, these primitives would not live long enough to see a drop of Eldar life spilled.
She cast her gaze out over the battlefield. Her acute senses picked up the Tyranid presence, though her psychic senses had long since picked them up. This was the beacon that they were supposed to find, she was sure of it; such a mass of Tyranids would not gather for any other reason. She looked again at the Imperial forces, then to her own. This was not enough if her estimates were correct on the magnitude of the Tyranid forces at this location.
“Isha give me strength,” she muttered sinking slightly and resting on her spear heavily. She could feel the weight of the Tyranid presence on her psyche, whispers seeking to drive her mad which she could not get rid of. She took a deep breath and made her way back to her Falcon, the other seers were feeling the effects too. “We will draw the Tyranids onto the Imperial lines before manoeuvring around the flank to investigate the centre of the psychic presence,” she addressed her warhost, about to continue on.
“We are ready to move on your order,” came another voice, one that she recognised, but from far away. She felt multiple presences, Eldar presences fast approaching but before she could tell who it was, a Space Marine drop pod crashed down near her lines. The Tyranids had already started to scuttle over the battlefield with alarming speed which gave Lireia little time to concentrate on who was approaching. The Imperial guns thundered, her own warhost mobilising to shoot the Tyranids that approached, felling the initial wave. From behind, Fire Prism class tanks fired into swarms of Hormagaunts, additional Wave Serpents supported by Vyper jetbikes zipped onto the field, bright lances piercing through into larger creatures. The Tyranid horde responded, organisms dropping from the sky and coming up from the ground just in front of the Imperial lines. The Tyranid firepower had already been strong, biological projectiles flying into the vehicles to little effect, but felling Space Marines on the flank.
“Now, my warriors, push to the left!” Lireia ordered her armoured column, along with the new support, spearing through the left hand side as the Tyranid swarm fell upon the Imperial lines ferociously, the tank commander’s vehicle being ripped apart as Imperial air support made its way up the battlefield, strafing the Tyranid horde with all manner of projectiles before being brought down themselves. One Vyper jetbike was brought down as homing projectiles slammed into its hull, wrecking the vehicle, but not causing an explosion. She had no time to check on whether the crew survived, praying that they had avoided death in the crash. Lireia, however, was unable to or unwilling to bring her Falcon around with the rest of the warhost. She remained on the right flank, her Falcon punching laser and plasma shots into the Tyranids that encroached upon the Imperials.
The warhost slowed ever so slightly, sending another wave of fire power into the encroaching Tyranid horde; Lireia did not want her warhost to be overrun, which was highly possible considering the low number of Eldar on the field.
From above a group of turquoise clad warriors dropped into the heart of the Tyranid lines as the second wave of Imperial air support arrived, strafing the Tyranid mass once more. Things looked bleak for the Imperials, but the lives of primitives were an expendable asset. Accompanying the turquoise warriors, who dropped a large payload of grenades into the nearby Tyranid beasts before seeking cover in what appeared to be an infested Imperial fortification, were a group of orange warriors, teleporting onto the battlefield with another familiar presence, clad in dark green heavy aspect armour and wielding a blade that burned with blue, psychic fire.
“This is Autarch Thalinia, we have landed near the beacon and will secure the location from these pests as the rest of your forces move in.” The familiar voice caused Lireia to smile as her warhost picked up speed again. A large portion of the nearby Tyranids immediately turned on Thalinia and her Warp Spider escort, dropping spore mines all over their position and sending tiny bio-projectiles crashing into the unit. Four of their number had fallen before Farseer Lireia brought her Falcon around to the flank and disembarked along with her seers, firing pistols and psychic fire into any Tyranid creatures that were nearby. Thalinia had taken cover behind the infested fortification, which had stopped moving and pulsating, fleshy tendrils hanging limply from the walls. She had not felt the psychic feedback of Swooping Hawks dying inside, so they must have been able to restart the Imperial technology inside or sever the Tyranid infestation. Or both.
Lireia contemplated greeting her older sister, though she decided against it whilst there was still a battle to be won. She was happy that she was there, though.
The Tyranid horde had thinned considerably, the Imperial lines still holding. The War Walkers, slower than the skimmers that bore the rest of the warhost, had very quickly distanced themselves from the Imperial lines. Lireia did not trust the humans to not start firing upon her warriors the moment the Tyranids had been routed. There were still organisms that were hurling themselves at the Imperial lines, some out of bestial instinct whilst others were being driven on by a few synapse creatures that remained.
Now Aspect Warriors and Guardians had started to pile out of their transport, armoured figures establishing a perimeter around the seers and beleaguered forces behind the fortification, shuriken and heavy weapons fire spilling out into any creatures that tried to intervene.
“Is this what we were looking for?” Thalinia briefly asked, firing her fusion gun at a nearby Tyranid Biovore organism, punching a hole straight through it before it could disgorge more spore mines onto their position. Lireia inspected the bulging, fleshy construct, allowing herself a smile. It was definitely psychic in nature and Lireia could feel that it was calling more and more organisms to the field of battle. They did not have time to waste, the signal was strong, perhaps strong enough to span entire systems. Lireia turned to her sister and nodded.
“It is. I want this beacon destroyed,” Lireia ordered, though almost instantly as she spoke, Fire Dragons spilled from the back of a Falcon tank and made their way over to her position, melta charges ready. As they finished placing them around the beacon, carefully guided by their temple Exarch, Lireia ordered her forces back into their transports. The Tyranids were far from spent in this location, though her Craftworld’s job was done.
As quickly as they had arrived, the Eldar forces gathered the soul stones of those Warp Spiders that had died on first contact, got into their vehicles and sped off, quitting the battlefield. Behind them, melta charges detonated and the psychic signal was gone.
Lireia could return to the Craftworld with her head held high. It had been rocky, an uneasy path that she had walked, but successful regardless.
We had to end on turn 5 (just before I could do all of my getting out of vehicles), but I believe the score at the end was 8 for the Imperials and Eldar (3 for holding our objective, 1 for First Blood, 3 for each Slay the Warlord and 1 for Linebreaker) and 2 points for the Tyranids (1 for Slay the Warlord on the tank commander and 1 for Linebreaker). If it had gone onto turn 6, they might have contested our objective, but they would not have been able to stop my full 3000pts army (I took 5 casualties. 1 Vyper and 4 Warp Spiders) from stealing their’s. Massive props to them for sticking with it (and not getting too unnerved by my very odd play style!) and massive props to the Imperial players who managed to hold on despite the perfidious Eldar abandoning their defensive position without a word. I hope everyone had as much fun as I did (and I didn’t even do much beyond move all the tanks to all the places!).