Sunday, March 27, 2011

Apocalypse Battle Report: The Fall of Dominus Org

Version française

Dominus Org was an Imperial fortress that stood like a fist clenched arrogantly against the forces of darkness that sought to overwhelm her. Carved out of the bedrock itself on the far moon of Cardor III, it seemed impervious to humankind's foes. The walls of the outer structure were several hundred meters high and 1oo meters thick, enough to withstand heavy shelling from ordnance class weapons. The entranceway too was an engineering feat with doors made of meters thick reinforced ceramite and steel that towered above her defenders. By way of these mighty portals, a Thunderhawk Gunship could find easy passage to the interior hangers. Used primarily as a staging ground to set convoys off on scouting missions into the uncharted Bybulia system, Dominus Org had housed the best the Adeptus Mechanicus could produce and the finest warriors in the Imperium.

High Marshall Arkov of the 677th regiment of the Cardor Hellhounds presided over this magnificient fortress like a demigod, his armour draped in medals that were poor testament to the extent of his courage and service to the Imperium. His troops were doggedly loyal and every last man would have sacrificed himself in Arkov's honour. Housed within the hallowed walls of Dominus Org with a titanic Imperial Guard presence at his disposal, the High Marshall felt invincible. He therefore did not feel threatened by the elegant Eldar Farseer Aphalokte with her retinue by her side. Thus, he granted her audience in the fabled Hall of Commanders.

As the mysterious visitor walked solemnly towards the throne, Arkov bellowed at her, "If you waste but a second of my time, your head will be hanging from the parapets before the bodies of your companions are cold, so what say you witch?"

Aphalokte's eyes narrowed a flicker, but then she smiled icily and surveyed all the scowling faces. The hatred was palpable in their stares. Ugly beasts they were, malformed and brutal savages all of them. Aphalokte was seeking out one of them in particular. That was the clumsy brute that was pawing at her thoughts like a mewling infant reaching into a bowl of pablum. And then she found him. Judging by his pompous refineries, he was considered an accomplished psyker among these barbarians. However, by her council's standards, he was an incompetent neophyte. He was hiding amongst the crowd to her left and feeding the Commander whatever information he could glean from her mind. Her smiled broadened as she fashioned a decoy thought process for the fool to read. It echoed her words as she spoke for the Commander, "We come here in peace. We are in desperate need of your aid," all the while her voice was intentionally modified to quiver ever so slightly, suggesting her awe and respect.

The Commander reassured by his Astropath that he was hearing the truth, leaned forward in his seat. He felt it grand that he was intimidating this waif-like alien. To complete the spectacle, she fell to one knee and in a pleading tone continued, "Recently your ships entered the Bybulia system as you like to call it. There you happened upon a charred and blasted planet in the Nephactah sector in the twelfth quadrant. Deep beneath the surface in a subterranean vault of dark origins, you found an artifact: a green translucent gemstone that glows without shedding light."

Arkov laughed and sneered imperiously at Aphalokte. "You cannot have it witch, if this is your aim. It is now Imperial property whatever its origins."

The Eldar lowered her eyes and continued, "We would not dream of this your highness. We wish only to warn you that the gemstone is cursed. It will infect your men and draw the forces of evil to its sinister heart."

The commander laughed again, and in his booming voice challenged her, "What fear I of evil? Do I not command 100 platoons of the finest soldiers in the galaxy. Can I not smite down with my sword whoever stands against the Imperium?"

She stared him hard in the eyes, feeling her words piercing his composure like tiny infectious needles, "Respectfully, this is not an enemy you have faced before. They will come to you with the smiling faces of your friends and strike a blow to your back without honour. Even now, Corporal Klegg plots his advancement to your position."

She waved to the Corporal so named and demanded, "Tear off his flak armour and you shall see the nature of his heresy on his back."

The young but highly decorated corporal protested vehemently, demanding that the witch instead be silenced, but Arkov had now been made curious. He ordered the man stripped. Klegg cursed and screamed as he was seized and then began to tremble violently in the hands of his captors. As the flak armour was unbuckled and removed, one of the soldiers holding Klegg down suddenly screamed in pain. Klegg's back was a living infected mass that sank its teeth into the hapless guardsmen. Klegg and the soldier were soon put down in a hail of lasgun fire and then were incinerated by flamers. Arkov was out of his seat, weapon drawn, with his eyes bulging wildly at what he was witnessing.

Aphalokte stood tall and cried out, "Now is not the time for hesitancy Commander. He is but the first. The infection has dug deep roots in your lines. And of course, the others will be coming soon."

The Eldar witch now had the High Marshall Arkov's full attention.

The Inspiration
Ma Inspiration

Inspired by Chaos ludik, I decided to try my hand at planning another Apocalypse Match. The commentaries posted after the match indicated what people enjoyed and what people found lacking in their experience. In my design I tried to remove or correct what was criticised and emphasize what was highlighted as particularly enjoyable. Then of course I gave it my personal touch of Chaotic insanity because I am a Chaos player after all. The three key things I tried to correct was the lack of connectivity between the tables, synchronicity between the tables, and the redundant nature of the huge weapon on the central table. The first I corrected by physically connecting the two tables with a four foot doorway and a sewer system. The second I corrected by having timed turns (we only had two teams but the timing system would have worked just as well with multiple teams). The third I corrected by adding a doomsday device that would have a massive impact on the game, the destruction of the entire interior fortress table! What worked well at Chaos Ludik was the cumulative objective points, so I created a similar system. I wanted the battle to have a desperate feel though, as if the entire battleground was crumbling around our ears, so all the objectives were unstable. This pressured all the players to go for the objectives but each time they risked having them blow up in their faces or collapse on them. I then linked the objective system to the number of assets each team receives, and to the activation of the doomsday device, thereby increasing the pressure. The actual scenario is posted here in English and here in French.

The Battle
La Bataille

Seven more corporals were executed within the hour as Aphalokte helped root out the diseased. The air was ripe with the taint of Chaos so open civil war broke out in the fortress. High Marshall Arkov was convinced to leave the planet when the extent of the corruption became apparent. He retired to the outer atmosphere, hovering above in his cruiser with several platoons that somehow escaped the infection. Given the fortress' strategic position next to the Bybulia system, it was considered unacceptable to lose it to the heretical forces. The Inquisition was notified and within days, a full war host led by no less than Commander Apollo Diomedez arrived to quell the rebellion. Eldar reinforcements soon followed in a huge warship, the Vampire, and an alliance was forged out of necessity. The guardsmen were particularly uneasy with this turn of events, having waged countless campaigns against the Eldar scattered about the Bybulia system.

The rebellion ended in stacks of heretic corpses reaching 15 stories high. Once set ablaze, the sky went black and the pungent odour of burning flesh filled each man's nostrils. Unfortunately, this was not the heaviest price they paid that day. Even were the dead to number in the hundreds of thousands, the loss would not compare to the travesty that had befallen the mighty doors that once sealed the entrance to the palace. They had been blasted from their hinges and the soldiers were uncertain how they would be reattached. Before the best and brightest from the Adeptus Mechanicus could begin planning the Herculean project, a new threat loomed.

The battle was a 21,000 point Apocalypse match, with 2 teams of 10,500 points each, each team further divided into 3 players who each controlled 3500 points. On one side it was the surviving defenders. They included 3500 points of Blood Angels, 3500 points of Imperial Guard, and 3500 points of Eldar. On the other side it was the invading forces, 3500 points of Death Guard, 3500 points of Chaos, and 3500 points of tyranids.

The Battlefield
Le Champ de Bataille

Just hours earlier reports came in of a massive disturbance in the warp, and a flyby confirmed that a warpgate had opened on the outskirts of the gas fields. Spilling from its orifice like pus from a sore, an army of infected zombie soldiers gathered en masse, driving Imperial vehicles that bore markings that were well over 5000 years old. A huge walker that may once have been an Imperial warhound was filmed stepping out of the gate by scouting patrols. Its armoured plates seethed and shifted with all the infected biomass that was oozing out its joints. If it ever had a crew, they were now unneccesary. The entire walker was possessed by a daemon of immense stature.

As if that was not enough, a second abomination followed on its heels, an ancient creaking siege tower fitted with a monstrous cannon. It was as Aphalokte had predicted. Father Nurgle had come to play.

The table itself was two 8' x 4' sections, connected in a Z as opposed to the original plan of a T. This change was necessitated by the shape and available space in the store where we were playing. We used a city/urban board to represent the fortress and a snow terrain board to represent the outdoors. The city board was very cluttered with lots of buildings and the outside board had only a few trees and the two snowstorms (see the scenario for full description of this mobile area terrain). Lastly, there were 6 objectives (6 gas & 6 looting) on each table for 12 objectives in total.

Team 1: Defenders
Équipe 1: Les Gardiens
Player 1: Blood Angels
Joueur 1: Les Anges Sanglants
Commander Dante arrives with a vortex grenade

Apollo Diomedez (Alias Dante)


Prête Sanguinien 2x avec Prête Galant +Réacteur dorsaux; Prête Gordian; Prête Uriel

Escouade Terminator Maximus 5x avec 4 marteaux tonner & bouclier tempête +1 griffes énergétiques

Chapelin Moriah
Death Company slaughtering Oblits

Escouade Tactique I Tarkus 10x avec Canon laser +Plasma

Escouade Assaut Thaddeus 10x avec Sergent +Gantelet Énergétique +fuseur

Escouade Assaut Damocles 10x avec Sergent +Gantelet Énergétique +lance-flammes

Esc Compagnie de la mort 9x avec Marteau tonner +épée énergétique +gantelet énergétique
Tough-as-nails predator
Heavy Support

Prédateur Anhililator avec Canon laser jumelé +2x canon laser

Vindicator avec bouclier siège
Legendary Units

Titan Warhound (Cerberus Légion Invita) avec Plasma Canon + Turbo Laser
Player 2: Imperial Guard
Joueur 2: La Garde Impériale

Command Squad with Creed, Veterans x2 +vox caster, Astropath, Officer of the Fleet

Commissar +power weapon leading infantry squad #1

Commissar Yarrick leading infantry squad #2
Stormtroopers hitting the battlefield
Les stormtroopers arrivent


Storm trooper Squad #1 with sergent +power weapon, 9 stormtroopers +meltagun & plasmagun
+valkyrie & airborn mission

Storm Trooper Squad #2 with sergent +power weapon, 9 stormtroopers +meltagun
+valkyrie & airborn mission

Storm Trooper Squad #3 with sergent +power weapon, 9 stormtroopers +plasmagun
+valkyrie & airborn mission
Yarrick swarming a trygon with his infantry squad

Infantry Platoon with:

a) platoon commander #1 with powerfist, guardsmen x4 +voxcaster

b) platoon commander #2 with powerfist, guardsmen x4 +voxcaster & lascannon

c) infantry squad #1 with Sergeant +power weapon, Guardsmen x32 +lascannon & voxcaster

d) infantry squad #2 with Sergeant +power weapon & meltabombs, Guardsmen x36 +melta
Sentinels outflanking
Les sentinelles débordent
Fast Attack

Scout Sentinel Squad x3 with autocannons x3
Fuzzy Leman Russ
Heavy Support

Leman Russ Demolisher
Emperor's Wrath Artillery Company
Legendary Units & Formations

Emperor's Wrath Artillery Battery

Player 3: Eldar
Joueur 3: Les Eldar
Seer Council on jetbikes

JetLock Council:
Farseer - Jetbike, Runes of Warding, Spirit Stones, Fortune, Eldritch Strom
Warlocks - 7 warlocks on jetbikes - powers: 5 - Destructor, 1 - Embolden, 1 - Enhance

Farseer - Doom, Fortune, Spirit stones

Prince Yriel
Harlequins attack the Chosen
Banshees x10 with Exarch (Executioner)
Wave Serpent with Scatter Laser, Spirit Stones

Harlequins x6 with Troupe Master, Power Weapon, 2 Fusion Pistols, Shadow Seer, 4 harlequin kisses
Wasp Assault Walker

Dire Avengers x9 with Exarch & Bladestorm
Wave Serpent with Scatter Laser, Spirit Stones

Storm Guardians x10+1 with Warlock, Enhance, 2 Flamers
Wave Serpent Scatter Laser, Spirit Stones

Wasp Assault Walker with Dual Scatter Laser #1

Wasp Assault Walker with Dual Scatter Laser #2

Wasp Assault Walker with Dual Scatter Laser #3
Heavy Support

Falcon with Pulse Laser, Bright Lance, Spirit Stones & Holo-Field

Warp Hunter with Spirit Stones & Holofields

Warp Hunter with Spirit Stones & Holofields
Legendary Units

Vampire Hunter

Team 2: Attackers
Équipe 2: Les Attaquants
Player 1: Tyranids
Joueur 1: Les Tyranides

Hive Tyrant with Bonded Exoskeleton; Synapse Creature; Lash Whip & Bonesword (x1); TL Devourer w/Brainleech Worms (x1); Wings;
Leech Essence; Paroxysm

Tyranid Warrior Brood #1 x 3 with toxin sacs

Tyranid Warrior Brood #2 x 3 with toxin sacs

Tyranid Warrior Brood #3 x 3 with toxin sacs

Tyranid Warrior Brood #4 x 3 with toxin sacs
Picture Blurb

Zoanthropes x3
Termagaunts about to get zapped

Tervigon #1

Tervigon #2

Termagant Brood #1 x30

Termagant Brood #2 x30
Picture Blurb
Fast Attack

gargoyle brood x30 with toxin sacs
Trygon behind enemy lines
Heavy Support

Trygon #1 with toxin sacs

Trygon #2 with toxin sacs

Trygon #3
Legendary Units Hierophant Bio-Titan
Player 2: Chaos
Joueur 2: Chaos
Typhus with Retinue


Daemon Prince with wings, mark of Nurgle, Nurgle's Rot
Summoned Greater Daemon
Chaos Terminator Retinue

Chaos Terminators x5, power fist x3, power weapon x2, mark of Nurgle
Plague Marines about to die

Plague marines squad #1 x8 with champ, powerfist, icon, plasma gun x2

Plague marines squad #1 x8 with champ, powerfist, icon, plasma gun x2

Khorne Berzerkers x10 with champ, powerfist
Obliterators in a bad place
Heavy Support

Defiler #1

Defiler #2

Predator with twin linked lascannon and side sponson mounted lascannons

Obliterators x2

Obliterators x2

Land Raider (transport for Berzerkers)
The Nurgle Plague Tower
Legendary Units

Nurgle Plague Tower
Player 3: Death Guard
Joueur 3: La Garde Morte
This guy did not do much

Daemon Prince with Wings, Mark of Nurgle

Greater Daemon
Chosen barbecuing Devastators

Chosen Squad #1 x7 with champion, powerfist, meltabombs, 4 flamers
+ Rhino with Dozer

Chosen Squad #1 x7 with champion, powerfist, 4 flamers
+ Rhino with Dozer

Chosen Squad #1 x7 with champion, powerfist, 4 meltas
+ Rhino with Dozer

Chaos dreadnought (Bucky) with extra close combat weapon, heavy flamer
+ Dreadclaw
Plague Marines assaulted by assault troops

Plague Marine Squad #1 x7 with champ, powerfist, meltabombs, combi-flamer, 2 flamers, icon
+ Rhino with dozer

Plague Marine Squad #2 x7 with champ, powerfist, combi-melta, 2 meltas, icon
+ Land Raider with dozer

Plague Marine Squad #3 x5 with champ, powerfist, meltabombs, 2 flamers, icon
+ Rhino with dozer

Chaos Space Marine Squad x5, icon of Chaos Glory
+ Rhino with dozer

Lesser Daemon Squad #1 x7

Lesser daemon Squad #2 x7
Spawn joins the fray
Fast Attack

Chaos Spawn
Havocs lining up
Heavy Support

Havoc Squad #1 x7 with 3 autocannons, 1 missile launcher

Havoc Squad #2 x7 with 3 autocannons, 1 missile launcher
Legendary Units

Warhound (Chester) with Turbo laser Destructor & Plasma Blastgun


The Imperial defenders felt dread building up in their guts. Ever since they could remember, their fortress doors stood as an immense shield against the nightmares that populated their universe. Now they faced these foes with just simple flak armour. The Blood Angels at their side gave some comfort but the Xenos allies were unsettling in their faceless masks. How many battle brothers had they slain in border skirmishes in the Bybulia system? How could they be trusted?

To add to their discomfort, a snowstorm was whipping up on the battlefield concealing the advance of their enemies in a wintry haze. Sensing the unease in the ranks, Commissar Hahknahm reassured the troops by giving a rousing speech and publicly executing a private who dared tremble in fear. Visible enthusiasm instantly returned to the troops as they readied themselves for the conflict ahead.

We intentionally decided to throw the bid for deployment by bidding the maximum time allowed for deployment (22 minutes 30 seconds). The other team did the same so after a fierce roll off, we (the forces of evil) finally won and we gave them the initial deployment. Our thinking was that we could seize objectives this way at the end of the turn and not have to worry about being bumped off before the tally. They used most of their time placing everything very carefully, and we... placed nothing! Our plan was to grab as many points as possible in the first turn, get flank march, and run the tyranid titan into their ranks as the Chaos forces stormed the gates. This plan was flawed for several reasons:

a) We failed to get Flank march.

b) We started from our deployment edge, the edge of the ice table, instead of in the center of the ice table, so our close assault troops were rendered null. One example was the hierophant. It could have caused major hell for the defenders had we deployed it from the beginning on the front line with as much as possible backing it up. Instead it got tangled up in skirmishes outside the fortress, instead of lending its weight to the interior fight.

c) We gave the fortress, its objectives, and its corresponding protection to the other team.

d) Lastly, we would soon discover we were sadly lacking in enough deepstrikers/outflankers to take the fortress.

The Fortress
La Forteresse

This would be a hotly contested objectif
Cet objectif aurait vu beaucoup d'action durant la partie

War Walkers


I would have liked to hit this Land Raider with a destroyer shot but I never got around to it
J'avais aimer éclaté ce Land Raider avec un tir de Destroyer mais j'ai jamais éssayé

Les GI

Turn 1
Tour 1

Deep beneath the fortress, Kolofaye, a striking scorpion, padded up to the vault door, concealing herself in the shadows. There were 3 guards, Blood Angels, all in tactical gear. It was a light defense.

One of the guards, Brother Arthal, noticed a small silver bauble roll towards them and stepped close to investigate. There was a brilliant flash and his sight was gone, replaced by a resonating sheath of white. Seconds after he heard the buzz of a chainsword and heard the grating screech of metal being rent apart. Then came the clanking thud of his fellow marine's armoured corpse hitting the floor, and his second battle brother soon joined the first.

In these few seconds Arthal grew aware of his environment in ways he had never thought possible. Weeks later, analysis of his cerebellum would reveal latent psyker ability. Although the attacker stepped with the care of a tiny feline, he clearly heard her steps and constructed a mental image of her position in relation to his.

As Kolofaye made her move, Arthal countered with his chainsword and jammed his bolt pistol under her chin. Her head exploded in his face but not before she succeeded in blowing a hole through his midsection with her mandiblaster. With his life spilling out on the floor and coughing up blood, he managed to gargle out, "Traitor! You shall not pass," before he succumbed to his wound.

Having nothing to shoot at, Team 1 moved their stuff around, grabbing 6 objectives, and used their 30 minutes to plan for the battle ahead.

Orbiting in the outer atmosphere above the fortress in his Imperial Cruiser, Commander Arkov was dreadfully bored. The reports were confused and contradictory coming from the surface. Had there been contact with the enemy? What was happening with his beloved fortress?

He deeply regretted allowing himself to be convinced to leave the battlefield by that Eldar witch and his advisors. Now he could only play a waiting game.

When his frustration peaked, he hollered out, "Fire!"

The gunnery crews were perplexed and asked, "On what, Sir?"

Arkov grinned and said, "Anything that moves, son, anything that moves."

Team 1 also rolled first on the Random Shit Table, and got a 1.

First roll on the Random Shit Table: Trigger Happy Commander
Premier rouleau sur le tableau de désastres aléatoires:Commandant à la gâchette facile

After an interminable wait, the enemy reared its ugly head. It was far worse than they could have imagined. Not only were the early reports of a Chaos army confirmed to be true, but they seemed to be joined with a swarm of infected tyranids who were running at their side. Perhaps worst of all, a beast nearly the height of the Palace doors loomed out of the obscuring snowstorm. It scuttled insect-like but shook the earth with each step. Hell had come to their doorstep.

Awesome plague tower scratchbuild
Tour de la peste impressionnante

We just walked on when it came around to our turn, but I soon realised the error of our ways when I took stock of what had happened. By letting team 1 deploy inside the fortress, we were now fighting a siege scenario without the benefit of any kind of assault bonuses (such as overwhelming numbers) and we were stuck outside with no cover. We also had no targets because almost everything was deployed deep in the fortress. We grabbed as many objectives as possible in our movement phase (5 in total), using mostly cannon fodder, and our super heavies took a few potshots at what we could see.

I took the opportunity to hit the IG player's basilisks with a few destroyers so I could cut down on the long range punishment we were in for.

Chester took out two basilisks to curb their long range firepower
Chester a éclaté deux basilics pour réduire leur armement à longue portée

This attack popped one and disabled another, but in retrospect, it would have been better to hammer the lascannon squads protecting the objective just in front. This objective was worth double points for them and helped contribute to team 1 taking a massive lead in the first turn that just increased as the game progressed. It didn't help that every single one of our objectives blew up in our faces whereas team 1 had no accidents and rolled high for their points everytime. First turn, 19-1 for the good guys. Ouch!

"Take what you can from the vaults, anything that will give us an advantage," Diomedez ordered as his troops rounded the bend in the underground passage. There he saw the corpses of his men and their Eldar assailant. Quickly appraising the scene, he announced, "Ensure that this soldier is venerated for his bravery and that his geneseed is preserved. We will deal with the traitorous witch after we have secured the fortress. Open the vault, now!"

Team 1 grabbed Flank March and Disruptor Beacon for their assets and we got nothing as we had not even succeeded in getting 5 points. Without the ability to flank march inside the fortress proper and by having our outflanks and deepstrikes hampered by the disruptor beacon, we were seriously screwed.

The good guys get a huge headstart
Les bons prenez un bon départ énorme

Turn 2
Tour 2

Turn 2
Tour 2

Aphalokte looked out across the snow and ice beyond the entranceway, feeling the whispers of her ancestors' distressed spirits all around her. Cardor's farthest moon had become a surrogate craftworld, as her own had been compromised centuries previous. Her ancestors had created a wraithbone core at the center of the moon itself, cloaking it in powerful magic so prying eyes would never disturb the slumber of the ancients. Generations of the bravest warriors the Eldar had ever known still lived on in spirit far below the surface.

The Imperial forces arrived nearly two decades previous, and immediately started blasting the bedrock to prepare for the foundation of Dominus Org. Although their geologists informed the commanders that the moon was honeycombed with caverns beneath its seemingly solid surface, they were oblivious to the fact that thousands of miles beneath their feet existed one of the greatest marvels of their age, a delicately evolving wraithbone forest. When the gas mining operations began, the intricate caverns began to collapse, and routes the Eldar had used to deliver the spirit stones of their dead became impassable. Worse still, situated directly over the access tunnels to the infinity circuit, the dig site cut off Aphalokte's access to the Dome of Crystal Seers, a bio-dome many miles across where the Wraithbone core broke through to a massive central chamber in the moon and formed a forest of Wraithbone trees. No longer could she find solace in the wisdom of the ancients in times of desperation. The sacrilege was unfathomable, but her people could never avenge the slight, being too small in number to challenge the Imperial forces directly.

Aphalokte could not rest. The agony of not knowing whether or not the sacred chambers had been compromised was unbearable. She conducted frequent ambushes, killing lone scouting teams of guardsmen, and using guerilla combat tactics to pick off stragglers. It was never enough though. The Imperial forces would repopulate endlessly. Finally she took a more desperate measure.

Across her lap rested the daemon weapon, Dach-shi Mah, the glaive of infinite woe. She knew of its curse when she first discovered it amongst the relics of her ancestors. Impossible to relinquish, it bonded itself to her grip and never released her, acting as a homing beacon for all that was diseased and filth ridden in this plane and the warp. It was a beacon that would strengthen once the blade drew blood.

From the moment she took the weapon in hand, Nurgle tirelessly hunted her through his minions. Although none so far could equal her skills in combat or best her in psychic warfare, she was being worn down by the relentless nature of the pursuit. And even if she herself survived, her friends and companions were often hurt as a result of just being in her proximity.

She wondered now if the price she had paid to execute her plan was worth it, but ultimately she knew these thoughts were irrelevant. The barbaric humans who had defiled the resting place of her ancestors had to be destroyed, and if that meant unleashing the horrors of the warp to do so, so it had to be.

The voice-piece in her suit made a low activation signal, and her battle companion, the warlock Penete, spoke in her ear, "Aphalokte, we have the first shard, but we failed to secure the spirit stone. Kolofaye failed in her mission."

Aphalokte felt pressure building up inside her. Every piece of her plan was synchronized. It was imperative that they secure the diathium shards, it was imperative that they destroy this horrible palace and drive the vile humans away, and it was imperative that they recover the spirit stone of Naphalei the Autarch. The consequences of failure were unbearable to imagine.

The Doomsday Device (as well as the disruptor beacon represented by the radar dish)
Le Dispositif de Fin de Monde (ainsi que la radiobalise perturbatrice représentée par l'antenne parabolique)

The good guys started bringing on the pain. First they popped the plague tower and then Chester took some abuse when he lost his two void shields and had his movement halved. That actually didn't bother me since I don't usually move him much anyways. The important thing was that he was still able to shoot.

We were down one super heavy by the end of turn 2 but Chester and the hierophant were still in the game
La tour de la peste était éclaté mais Chester et le Hierophant étaient encore dans la partie

2 of Team 1's super heavies: a warhound and a baneblade
2 des lourds super de l'équipe 1: un Warhound et un Baneblade

Things got cramped in our setup zone, so I started to panic. I threw caution to the wind and outflanked my three squads of Chosen. Two of them got through despite the disruptor beacon and so I immediately moved them into position to contest the two side objectives. Unfortunately my melta dudes were sent packing so I couldn't deal with all the armour I was facing. I left one squad camping in their rhino and the other hopped out and flamed the havocs hiding in the cover around the objective. 4 flamers were only enough to kill four dudes so a lone survivor held on. At least we were contesting. My teammate sent in a Trygon next to my Chosen but I'm not sure it actually ever got to do anything.

My Chosen flamer squad avoid the disruptor beacon and join the first wave that outflanks/deepstrikes into the fortress
Mes Élus avec des lance-flammes évitent la radiobalise perturbateur et ils viennent avec la première vague des unités qui font le manoeuvre débordement et deepstrike dans la forteresse

2nd Chosen squad makes it onto the opposite side of the table and contests another objective held by devastators
Ma deuxième escouade des Élus arrivent à l'autre côté de la forteresse pour contestent un autre objectif protégé par des dévastateurs

Trygon comes crashing in by deepstrike to support the Chosen
Le Trygon arrive par deepstrike pour soutenir les Élus

Meanwhile my dreadclaw shot forward and grabbed the center objective. I would have liked to have gone deeper into the fortress and taken advantage of the fact the dreadclaw is an assault vehicle, but it did not make sense to me that drop pods could drop through the reinforced roof of the fortress.

My Dreadclaw grabs the center objective
Mon Dreadclaw saisit l'objectif en milieu

The hierophant spat 16 shots at the Eldar flyer and actually managed to bash it up a bit. My impetuous teammates were not as intimidated by the vampire's reputation as I was.

The near impervious Eldar flyer (requires 6's to be hit and then it gets a holofield save)
La volant quasi imperméables des Eldar (il nécessite un 6 pour être frappé, puis il obtient un sauvegarde holofield après)

As for Chester, he incinerated a trio of sentinels that were trying to outflank with his plasma blastgun and knocked a structure point off the baneblade with his destroyer shots.

Sentinels outflanking
Les sentinelles débordent

This turn we did better at contesting although Team 1 still had a crippling lead. They scored another 8 points to our 4, bringing the score up to 24-5 for the good guys. I let my teammates choose and they wisely took the asset Replacement.

Turn 3
Tour 3

Turn 3
Tour 3

"Diomedes, we have found a vortex grenade! The men lifted it out from among the countless treasures buried in the vault."

Diomedez inspected the fabled device after accepting it from one of his warriors, turning it over in his hands. He imagined the glorious sight of the massive Tyranid beast being sucked into the depths of the warp in one felling blow, and he could not help a smile tracing across his lips. To cast back the nightmare from whence it came, how fabulous would that be for his men to witness, they who on this day have seen only terrible hardship? It would be a rallying cry for the Imperial forces to strike back as one unbroken, determined fist. He was so pleased by this new development, he temporarily forgot about the Eldar treachery.

"We are saved Brothers. Suit-up your jet packs for now we enter the battle!"

The action really heated up in turn 3, as the two sides had now drawn much closer. They started using their outflanks and deepstrikes in earnest, bringing an assault squad, a death company, and a vortex wielding Diomedez to our doorstep. Meanwhile Chester got KOed and went nuclear. In the heat of the moment we messed up the spectacular nature of that explosion though. He should have exploded 6x d6 inches but we only did 3x d6 inches because we only looked at the explosion chart instead of at the warhound's particular rules. Besides Chester, my Chosen were wiped out by a blast from a vindicator and my other Chosen were shot up by a predator. Typhus was also Nerfed before he even deployed by a blood angel power. Lastly, my dreadclaw along with Bucky were blasted into smithereens, taking the objective from us.

I was a bit out of it due to sleep deprivation (my usual insomnia allowed me only 2 hours of sleep the night before) and the 30 minute time limit was starting to wear me down. I had been timing the turns since the beginning of the game, but it was really only in the third turn on that this began to make everyone really tense. Team 1 was not able to do their close assaults because some of their team members were still shooting when the timer ran out. This cheated their units out of their charge bonuses. Needless to say, people were not happy. I had to clarify the rule so that it was crystal clear to avoid any bad blood, namely that:

Attack dice had to be rolled for the close combat to be considered activated. This made it permissible to finish past the 30 minute time limit.

It got really tense when in our turn, a similar situation arose. There was a close assault that had begun, dice had been rolled, but an extra unit had joined the fight. The players who had been denied their close assault the turn before did not think this extra unit should be allowed to complete its assault. Anyways, it was not particularly fun when the players began to argue, so I ruled the unit could not attack. I think I might relax the time limit in the future or make sure everyone is very clear on the rules in advance.

Diomedez landed in a cloud of smoke and flames to cause maximum confusion in the enemy ranks. There he lobbed the vortex grenade and it ricocheted disappointingly a bit off target. Although the tear in warp space manifested as expected in a whooshing globular total absence of light, the monstrous hierophant did not die.

To add to his grief and shame, his unit suffered terrible casualties. The enemy foot soldiers, all decaying humans whose corpses were held together by their power armour, shambled towards him and bathed his retinue in flames. Then the ground shuddered as Diomedez' quarry, the Tyranid monstrosity, came for him instead. It cut him in two, rending apart his power armour and scattering his innards. The news of the Eldar's treachery would die with him.

Diomedez arrives with Vortex Grenade
Diomedez arrive avec la grenade Vortex

In our turn, my plague marines waylaid Diomedez with flamers while their rhino shot forward to grab the objective. The hierophant stuck a toe into the fight and helped as well. It wasn't long before Diomedez got beat down, and I did the chaplain with my fist. Meanwhile my spartan plague marines (only 5 in the squad) did surprisingly well against the assault marines, killing a few and remaining for a few more turns.
The death company was just mashing their foes, though.

My plague marines take on some assault marines
Mes Marins de la Peste se battent contre les marins d'assaut

The Chosen on the right side of the board that had eaten the vindicator shot had only a champ remaining so I switched him out with a greater daemon. I did not expect it to do much but I was hoping to be able to contest the objective a little longer.

Chosen about to get hammered by a vindicator
Mes Élus s'apprêtaient à être martelé par un Vindicaor

With only one Chosen champ left in the squad, I decided to throw my demon into the mix
Avec seulement un Champion qui reste dans l'escouade des Élus, j'ai envoyé mon démon majeur

My lesser daemons came in as well to try to help out against the death company and the assault marines. It was my first time using them and they died in a feeble fashion, convincing me that they are totally not worth their points.

Through coordinated efforts, the alliance succeeded in blasting the daemon infested walker into a twisted pile of scrap metal. Their cheers died in their throats though as the metal began to bend and reform around an amorphous blob of infested puss and biomass. It was the blob itself that seemed to be collecting the parts and quickly bashing them back onto itself. With a few contented punches to shape the head/cockpit somewhat, the walker was fully formed again and ready to battle once more.

Chester comes back with Replacement after being KOed in an Apocalyptic explosion
Chester est ressusciter avec le stratagème Remplaçant

My teammates gave me a nice surprise, granting the replacement asset to my warhound. Chester's stunt double stepped in and fired away on the tanks in the corner, missing with the scatter. I wanted to fire on the baneblade but the hierophant had his butt in my face, blocking LOS. I checked the rules for LOS after and it says you can shoot over and around big things, so shooting under is indeed prohibited. I have to be careful deploying around a friendly hierophant in the future.

I'm not sure what else happened this turn with my teammates units like Typhus, etc. as I was not able to keep track of it all. However, I did notice the Khorne berzerkers and gaunts tearing forward via the sewers and was happy the optional rules were being put to good use.

Typhus lands with his retinue, despite being slightly Nerfed
Typhus arrive avec sa escorte même si il est légèrement Nerfed

Havocs finally get to shoot without much effect; you can see the amazing foam scatter dice in the background
Mes Havocs tirent mais inutilement; vous pouvez vois le dé de dispersion spectaculaire en mousse en arrière

Predator firing on my first Chosen squad
Le Prédateur tire sur mes Élus

End of turn 3 left the score at 30 to 9 for the good guys. Nobody got assets, but it was clear we were not going to win. However, I was really enjoying the carnage. I was particularly curious if my teammates would succeed in downing the flyer.

We finally got an asset: Replacement
On a gagné un stratagème enfin: Remplaçant

Turn 4
Tour 4

Turn 4
Tour 4

The tear in the warp generated out on the gas fields by Diomedez's vortex grenade and the blast fired from the Eldar warp hunter deep in the fortess caused an instability in reality and the space/time continuum. The ground beneath the ancient, rusted and decaying rhino that had ferried Nurgle's Chosen deep behind enemy lines suddenly churned. In an instant it was gone along with the chunk of earth it had been sitting on. It soon reappeared though out on the gas fields near the vortex.

One thing that was particularly disappointing in the game for me was that some of the more interesting results on the Random Shit Table were never rolled. In particular nobody ever got Playing for the Wrong Team which I think would have added immensely to the insanity of the battlefield. However I was happy when team 1 rolled landscaping and moved the entire scenery piece with my rhino from the fortress to the icefields.

Landscaping got rid of this problem for the good guys
Aménagement paysager a réglé ce problème pour les bons

Turn 4 was more of a resolution turn, wrapping up or continuing assaults that had already started. Team 1 sent a squad of terminators to mop up the Trygon and my greater daemon in their zone...

Lost this objective for good to termies and a vindicator

...and harlequins dove into close assault with my surviving Chosen flamer squad.

Chosen still holding the line
Mes Élus sont encore vivants

Everybody was more conscious of the time limit and so no assault went unturned. The Imperial Guard player did an outflank with an impressive number of guardsmen. They rushed a Trygon on our side, and completely surrounded it. He also delivered three valkyries into the fray.

Trygon gets outflanked
Le trygon était débordé

In our turn I rushed the guardsmen with my melta Chosen squad that was redirected by the disruptor beacon, and my last squad of plague marines poured into the assault as well, delivered from reserves in a land raider.

I roll my plague marines and 3rd Chosen squad into the mess finally wiping the Guard out by the fifth turn
Mes marins de la peste et mes Élus ont sauté dans la bagarre, et mettaient à mort les Gardes durant la cinquième tour

Again, I'm not sure what else happened this turn as sleep deprivation was really getting to me at this point. Anyone who wants to add their fondest memories can write them down below in the comments section.

The score at the end of turn 4 was 44 to 14 for the good guys. Yes, we were getting destroyed, but we did get to take one more asset. Once more, I let my teammates choose this, our last asset for the game: Precision Strike. Team 1 got another asset as well, Eldritch Tempest. It was cool because it used one of the rarer templates, the Apocalyptic barrage template.

Eldar use their asset to zap these little guys
Les Eldar utilisent leur stratagème pour tuer ces petits gars

We get another asset: Precision Strike
On gagne un autre stratagème: Frappe Prècis

Turn 5
Tour 5

Turn 5
Tour 5

Aphalokte looked up in horror to see the pride of her craftworld, the mighty Vampire flyer dip and crash thunderously into the ground. For a moment her morale was broken and she surrendered to despair. Pelete saved her from oblivion though when his voice burst though her suit's comlink again, "We have the shards, and the spirit stone! We are ready to activate the artefact at your command."

Turn five can be summed up in four words: WE KILLED THE FLYER! Actually it was all my teammates doing, but it was cathartic to see, even if I have no idea how they did it. My suspicion is that it was with the hierophant's 16 shots a turn and the zoanthropes. There was a bit of confusion as to whether or not they could even fire on a flyer since with the -12" to their range, they only shoot 6". However, they were right underneath it, and the shot is traced to the base of the model and not upwards to the flyer. End result, the tyranid player got a superbly lucky shot and zapped the vampire out of the sky. Not so invulnerable after all, it would seem.

The impossible is achieved! The Eldar flyer is dead!
L'impossible est accompli! Le volant Eldar est mort!

Before that happened, a lot of other insanity happened however. The plague marine/assault squad tar pit was finally resolved with the blood angels coming out on top.

My plague marines did alright as well, holding off an entire assault squad even though they were short one man; it was cool fielding the spawn again
Mes marins de la pestes ont performer bien même à court de personnel; et il était marrant jouer avec mon Spawn encore

Aphalokte felt strengthened by the news and unbuckled Dach-shi Mah, her daemon weapon. When Khorne Berzerkers came surging out of the sewers, she met them head on, slaking the daemonblade's lust for blood by skewering and decapitating them one by one. Each kill caused Dach-shi Mah's aura to wax ever greater, and the Chaos hordes were driven into a frenzy, all of them scrambling across the ice plains to close the distance. She laughed hideously as only one who is possessed could manage, and her companions recoiled in shock as she no longer restrained the daemon that clung to her soul.

"Come to me, come all of you. It is the time of reckoning," she screamed at the approaching hordes, and her body grew and transformed, her skin bursting with hundreds of pustulent boils. Soon Aphalokte was so large and obese that the Earth shuddered under her tread, and yet she continued to swing the glaive, cutting down the daemonic tide in a bloody harvest. It felt good not to resist.

The Khorne berzerkers somehow lured the seer council into a sewer fight, and seemed to be doing quite well. As far as I know, the combat was still ongoing when the game ended. The harlequins however squashed my Chosen.

My chosen held onto this objective for four turns in our adversaries deployment zone before the Harlequins finally bumped them off; not bad
Mes Élus ont contester cet objectif durant quatre tours avant que les Harlequins l'ont tué; pas mal

The death company butchered everything in close with them and were ready for more as the game ended.

These oblits met their maker via the death company
Les oblits était tué par la compagnie de la mort

My daemon prince was shot to hell and whittled down to 1 wound but he was still standing when our turn rolled around. With nothing left to lose I decided to ignore the objective and have him do something fun instead. He rushed the predator, hit five times, and inflicted four penetrating hits, but somehow managed to bungle them all. The predator was stunned and missing some lascannons, but it was still in the game.

Pretty tough Blood Angel Predator: would survive four penetrating hits from a daemon prince
Prédateur dur des Anges Sanglant: il aurait survécu à quatre attaques pénétrant d'un Prince Démon

The valkyries emptied their cargo who then went ahead and killed some plague marines and melted their land raider. They had an asset as they were part of a formation that allowed them to split their attacks. I put them down with a pair of shots from Chester's plasma blastgun.

Stormtrooper strike force arrives in a Valkyrie
Un force de frappe Stormtrooper arrivent en Valkyrie

Takes out a squad of plague marines
Ils tuent une escouade des marins de la peste

And then meltas a land raider before Chester wipes them out with his plasma blastgun
Et ils éclatent un Land Raider avec des meltas avant que Chester peut les éliminer avec son fusil de l'explosion plasma

The remaining guard stared at the spectacle of corpses piling up around Aphalokte, and at the Farseer herself who was quite obviously possessed of a daemon.

Their Commissar, Orville "Phuzz" McGee, pursed his lips and said, "Take her down."

Before the order could be executed, though, the Baneblade Hammerfell III, pride of their company, suffered another blast from the infected walker's turbo laser destructor. The hull buckled and exploded as the ammo inside detonated. While still reeling from the shock, an expertly coordinated Eldar ambush hit the center of their ranks from the sewers. The striking scorpion assailants made short work of their flak armoured foes, gutting them with chainswords and mandiblaster shots. In his last few seconds of consciousness clutching his slashed throat and falling to his knees, Orville could have sworn the earth was rumbling beneath his feet.

Chester's last TL Destructor destroyer shots also took out the baneblade finally. All in all, a nice end to a spectacular Apocalypse experience.

The final score: 48-18 for the good guys.

Final Score: 48-18 for the good guys
Le score final:48-18 pour les bons


I cannot speak for the others but I really liked the experience of this game with all its alternate rules, breakneck pacing and mass carnage. Even though we lost horribly, the match retained its 'fun' factor because we were never paralyzed and we were still able to lay on some hurt.

So what worked? I think I succeeded in creating an adrenalin fuelled battle experience. The timed turns made a brutal schedule that made the players pressured and driven. This amplified the intensity of the match but it nearly blew up in our faces as the tension got so high we almost had a nasty dispute. People are human and crack under pressure.

I also need to know my rules backwards and forwards if I am going to design matches like this. There is no time in game to check rules when you are moving at this pace. I even forgot some of my own rules which I had made (the size of the blast for a #1 result on the Random Shit Table is a case in point)!

As for connectivity between the tables, the sewers and the doorway worked well, although I am not sure that I would play it again with the tables in a Z shape, or I would at least change the deployment zones. It gave too much cover in the fortress whereas my original intention was that no part of the fortress would be hidden if you were standing in front of the door. I really liked what was happening with the sewers as it added another dimension, under the table. The rules have been playtested before but it seemed increasingly clear in this game that they are well balanced and probably could be used in any game.

There was some discussion after about banning assets like Flank March, Replacement, etc. I did not find any of these assets gave any huge advantage to either side in this case. The blood angels Flank Marched into our quarters but we just swamped them for the rest of the game. To be honest, my units probably would not have done much in that corner of the table besides eat destroyer hits had I not been engaged by the assault marines, so it made for a more interesting match. Chester coming back was not such a huge deal either as it is fairly easy to drop a warhound with the amount of gear that was on that battlefield. These assets could be Nerfed quite easily though if they are deemed abusive. Flank March can be limited to only being able to outflank 500 points of units, and replacement likewise could be fixed to only bring back a unit that does not cost more than 500 points.

What did unbalance things was that formations began the game with assets. One of these doubled the value of one objective and that gave a big lead to team 1, on top of their incredible luck (the spouts never blew up in their faces!). I will definitely remove any assets gained from formations in the future as it goes against the spirit of the Assets Arms Race. It is not a race if one side begins with a few already.

Also, the assets arms race itself was perhaps a partial failure. Nobody got to 50 objective points so the fortress never blew up. I think if I play the game again, I would make objectives worth 1-6 points each instead. Then the fortress can be blown in the third turn and really have an impact on the game.

Despite these misgivings, I felt the experience itself was really interesting, and I learned a lot about game design from it. I would like to thank all the participants for being courageous enough to try a scenario with such experimental rules. My scenarios will get better and better as I practice which is only possible with willing guinea pigs. lol

When she had first arrived to parley with the Imperial barbarians, as a show of good faith, Aphalokte had offered the aging commander Arkov a gift. It stood six feet in height with an hour glass form, although the bottom section did not physically connect with the top. They just hung suspended in mid air with a ball of icy cold translucent blue flame between them. It acted as a discorporate bearing. The commander found it pleasing to look at and ordered that it be placed in the fortress' central courtyard for all to see. However, it was more than just a pretty bauble.

It was in fact an Eldar military artefact with a troubled history, namely Gahlyu, the Ark of End Time. The weapon was a work of mad genius, synthesizing the Eldars' profound understanding of warp technology to produce an explosive device the equivalent of hundreds of nuclear weapons.

To function, it required diathium, a rare mineral found only in the far reaches of the Bybulia system where no human had ever been. A considerable cache had been discovered by Imperial miners when the digging operations began. Even if they never succeeded in harvesting the mineral themselves, they had acquired five shards by accident.

While the battle raged upon the surface Aphalokte's battle companions had scoured the vaults until all five shards had been recovered. They were now inserting them into the Ark in order that it should activate. Each shard caused the ball of blue flame to grow and spin ever faster. Even the wisest among the Adeptus Mechanicus were never able to understand the utility of the substance despite extensive experimentation, but they were about to receive a clear demonstration of its potential as an armament.

Meanwhile, Aphalokte had utterly forgotten whatever she had been before as the daemon seethed within her blood and humiliated her flesh with its grotesque form. She did not even recognize the warlock, Penete, as he stood beneath her and held a small green stone aloft.

His voice rose above the clamour of war, crying out, "In our darkest hour, when our purest has been consumed by a nameless fiend of Chaos, it has been..."

His breath was smashed out of him as Aphalokte smacked him backhanded into the ruins behind her. He struggled to his feet again, and raised the stone once more towards her, wincing as his crushed rib cage threatened to collapse in on itself, " has been foretold, that Naphalei will restore that which has been undone."

The fist sized stone began to throb and glow more brightly in Penete's hand, and then shattered in a burst of light. Aphalokte howled like a horde of Banshees, for her body had become a battleground unto itself. The spirit of the ancient Autarch Naphalei and the relentless daemon Dach-shi Mah were wrestling for control of her soul.

Gahlyu, the Ark of Doom, was activating as the struggle waged on. Penete felt the ground trembling as the terrible device drew power from the diathium. There was no time to await the outcome. With his warlock companions, they chanted until a temporary warp gate opened between them. The vacuum of anti-matter inhaled their farseer and the warlocks with her, projecting them miles away from the fortress in mere seconds. They appeared well beyond the gas fields, out on the far reaches of the snowy desert.

The detonation of the Ark sent shock waves that forever changed the topography of the moon. The warlocks felt it more than heard it, for despite their distance from the fortress, it instantly deafened them all. In a flash Dominus Org was no more, and with it, the Imperial presence in their galaxy. Guard forces would try to return, but now they had lost their foothold. It would be much easier for the Eldar to drive them out from then onwards.

Commander Arkov, humiliated at being cast out from his home, would try to reclaim his honour by waging constant war on the Eldar of the Bybulia system. He would eventually lose his life in one of numerous campaigns to retake the moon.

As for the farseer, Aphalokte, her screaming and thrashing finally quietened to weeping and gasping. The daemon had been overcome, dragged back to the warp by her ancestor. She would live, and would go on to become a great hero for her people now that she no longer was burdened by the curse of Dach-shi Mah.

Then when many moons had passed and the acquired wisdom of centuries began to rest heavy on her shoulders, Aphalokte's sojourns into the Dome of Crystal Seers became more than brief communions with her ancestors. She longed to be joined with friends and family long lost. As the eldest Farseer, her responsibilities were immense, and this kept her from surrendering to the promised embrace of the wraithbone. However, as of late, there were those among the adepts who showed great promise. Her old comrade in arms, Penete, had become very accomplished at his art and had risen to the status of a farseer. She saw the concern in his eyes when he witnessed the difficulty she had getting to her feet. She also saw his uneasiness. All the stiffness in her bones reminded him daily that soon he would need to assume her position, and hers were very large boots to fill.

On the fateful day, he helped her one last time, and she held his hand with her feeble grip. It would have been easy enough for her to use a transporter but she wanted to walk with Penete holding her arm. They would be her final moments and she wanted to savour them with her old friend. He was accomodating and accompanied her all the way to the chamber where the corpses of their ancestors had crystalised.

Walking among the silent statues, Penete was overcome and she put a comforting hand on his shoulder. Theirs had been a tenuous existence, ever threatened by the burgeoning forces of evil in the universe, and still they had persevered. She had been the pillar of strength for her people for nearly a millenium now, but it was time for her to rest. Before she gave herself up to the infinity circuit, though, she wanted Penete to know he was ready for the challenge of defending their Craftworld. She leaned on him for strength, and stared long into his eyes, until his tears stopped and he drew himself up to his full height. He would rise to the occasion and be the hero the Eldar needed.

They wandered further into the garden of crystal, hand in hand, until Aphalokte stopped and simply said, "Here."

He squeezed her hand and then bid her farewell before retreating from the chamber. She already seemed lost in a dream as he let her hand fall limply at her side. The voices of her loved ones, the ancients who had counselled her in the darkest of times, were strongest where she stood. She felt compelled to stay and listen, and so she did, so long that her feet became rooted to the spot. There her body began to crystallize and grow transparent, her lower body transformed while her upper torso still lived, creeping upwards until only her head was still flesh. Finally her body turned entirely into transparent crystal. Once her metamorphosis was complete her consciousness flowed into the Wraithbone core where Aphalokte could finally join her ancestors in the infinity Circuit. Her time of rest had been well earned.

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