The war council listened intently as Lucian Soulbinder, Chief Sorceror to the Castigators, addressed them.
“The corruption spread by Typhus to the acolytes has left the soul shrine unstable. The warp is seeping through the fracture now that the Mechanicum’s acolytes are no longer capable of holding it in check.”
“So the door has been opened….” interrupted Nestor “Can we make use of it?”
“We are too far away from the fracture and time is against us, my Lord…” continued Lucian “at least without some sort of catalyst to expedite matters.”
Nestor leaned forward, his interest piqued while the rest of the war council glanced at one another nervously. Many of them had had dealings with Lucian in the past and all realised that such services came at a price.
“And what form would such a catalyst take, my friend” enquired Nestor, relishing his war council’s discomfort.
“With the majority of Mechanicus acolytes dead the arcane technology holding back the rigours of the warp has started to degrade causing spacial and temporal distortions in the local vicinity. Imagine reality as a frozen lake and the soul shrine as a small crack in the ice. Along the web of cracks water seeps through. If one was to puncture the ice slightly, the cracks would spread rapidly to that point and more water would seep through…”
“Yes, yes, but without a sacrifice of thousands, which we don’t have, what could puncture reality?” said Nestor impatiently.
“Another Daemon could, my Lord…” replied Lucian. “Of course, such a thing would take a great toll on the Daemon, but reality is so thin here that it shouldn’t expend all of his energy.”
The relief of the war council was palpable. Smiles spread across their faces as they realised the reason that Korath was missing from the meeting.
Nestor sat back and contemplated the agonies that such a ritual would be for Korath.
“The experience of becoming a Daemon Prince would pale into significance compared to the exquisite torture that leeching him of his immortality would bring. I almost envy him.” purred Nestor
“Proceed with ritual, Lucian.”
“As it pleases you, my Lord” replied Lucian as he left the council…
Battle 3 – Breakthrough
Having found a weakness, the Castigators launch a full scale assault. The Death Guard immediately counter-attacks, stopping at nothing to stem the tide of the attackers
Battle 3 represents the winner of battle 2 having broken through the other side’s front line, and looking to consolidate their gains by taking defensible positions from which to make subsequent attacks. The Death Guard will not be sitting around idly of course, and will be launching an all-out counter-attack to prevent the positions falling to the enemy for good. Battle 3 is fought as a Crusade standard mission using the Vanguard Strike deployment with the following exception. The defender must deploy his entire army first and the attacker gets first turn.
The objectives are key positions both sides have been ordered to secure. Instead of placing counters each player must nominate building, ruins, soul-shrine as objectives to be fought over.
Gaining an Advantage
The winner of the third battle may choose the deployment type of the next game. This represents the winner gaining strategic advantage.
With the decension of Korath to mortality the Castigators have some allies.
The Castigators 1500pts
Nestor Lustheart – Chaos Lord, Mark of Slaanesh, Steed & Power Weapon.
Squad Sublime – 10 Noise Marines, 2 Blastmasters, 7 Sonic Blasters, led by Nephran Lustviper with Bolt Pistol & CCW.
Squad Divine – 10 Chaos Space Marines, MOS, 2 Melta Guns led by Darius Lewdgrip with Blot Pistol & Powerfist.
Squad Rapture – 5 Chaos Bikers, MoS, 2 Melta Guns led by Korath Vilehorn with Power Weapon.
Corruptus – Chaos Vindicator
Tantalus – Predator with Autocannon Turret & Lascannon Sponsons.
N’Kari – Keeper of Secrets.
The Soul Reavers – 17 Daemonettes
Festus Blightmaster – Lord, MoN, Bike, Burning Brand of Skalathrax, Sigil of Corruption.
Squad Contagion – 7 Plague Marines, 2 Plasma Guns, Aspiring Champion with power weapon.
Squad Pestilent – 7 Plague Marines, 2 Melta Guns, Aspiring Champion with power weapon.
3 Nurgle Obliterators.
Foulspawn – Daemon Prince of Nurgle, Wings, Armour, Mastery level 2.
11 Plague Bearers with Plagueridden.
Rob deployed his Soul Grinder and Daemon Prince behind the Soul-Shrine (Shrine to chaos-objective) with the Obliterators on top of it. His Plague Bearers deployed on the left ready to claim the ruins (objective) next to them. Lord Festus and his Spawn went in between them. One of the Plague Marine units deployed on the right close to the ruins (objective) and the other infiltrated behind the Mysterious Forest (objective). I lost the photo to his deployment but here is a top down view.
I deployed my Noise Marines in the central ruins with the Predator and Vindicator to either side of them. N’kari my Keeper of Secrets hid behind the Predator with my Bikers on the left. Nestor and his Chaos Space Marines went into reserve to do their tricksy outflank manoeuvre and the Daemonettes chose to deepstrike.
Rob tried to steal the initiative but failed. The Vindicator moved forward 6″ to bring the Obliterators into range and the Bikers turbo’d around the the old imperial shrine (objective) and headed towards the Plague Bearers on the left. The Vindicator opened fire on the Obliterators and the shot scattered backwards to cover the Daemon Prince, Lord Festus, an Obliterator and the Soul Grinder :-). The Daemon Prince and Festus made their saves but the Obliterator and Soul Grinder weren’t so lucky, even with the re-roll from the shrine. As the smoke cleared an Obliterator was gone and the Soul Grinder was nothing but a smoking hole! The Noise Marines targeted the Spawn and succeeded in killing one with their Blastmasters.
Lord Festus moved to the left to stop the Slaaneshi Bikers from charging the Plague Bearers. The Plague Marines moved into the Mysterious Forest to claim the object while the other squad moved up behind the barricades. Foulspawn, Rob’s Daemon Prince leapt into the air and moved over towards the Vindicator.
The Obliterators opened fire on the Vindicator, blasting it apart with both Lascannon shots. Lord Festus fired his Burning Brand at the Bikers frying one of them to a crisp. Not content with that he then urged his Spawn on to charge into the beleaguered Bikers. The bikers failed to wound them and although Festus was too far away to challenge they still managed to drag a Biker down. It all proved too much for them and they fled 12″.
Lord Nestor and his entourage arrived along with the Heldrake this turn. The Heldrake smashed into the Nurgle Daemon Prince with Vector Strike causing two wounds and knocking him to the ground, then lined up a shot on the Plague Bearers.
Lord Nestor arrived over on the right flank behind the Plague Marines manning the barricades.
The Bikers regrouped on the left, while the Keeper of Secrets moved towards them to offer some help. The Noise Marines opened fire on the downed Daemon Prince blasting it apart and sending it back to the hell it came from. Nestor and his squad shot at the Plague Marines and killed two. The Predator fired at the Obliterators but failed to hit. The Bikers shot at the Spawn hoping to hit something with their twin linked guns but failed miserably. Finally the Heldrake cooked 6 of the Plague Bearers.
Lord Festus split off from his Nurgle Spawn moved towards the predator while the Spawn moved towards the bikers ready to finish them off. The Plague Bearers spread out in the ruins to take control of the objective. The Plague Marines in the Mysterious Forest spread out, painfully aware of what the Noise Marines’ Blastmasters could do if they targeted them. The Plague Marines manning the barricades turned around and marched towards Lord Nestor and his unit.
As we were both using Daemon Allies and because we were fighting on a Daemon World, we were both rolling on the Warp Storm table. Up to this point nothing had impacted on the game but in Rob’s shooting phase he rolled ‘The Dark Prince Thirsts’ and wouldn’t you know it, the only unit to be effected was my Keeper of Secrets who lost two wounds! The Obliterators shot at the Heldrake and glanced it. Both squads of Plague Marines opened fire on Nestor and his Chaos Space marines killing four of them. The Spawn and Lord Festus charged the Bikers with Festus issuing a challenge to Korath. Festus made short work of the aspiring champion and the spawn wiped out the rest, but not before taking a couple of wounds.
The Daemonettes arrived and dropped in between the Plague Bearers and the Obliterators.
The Heldrake banked left flying over the Plague Bearers hiding in the ruins and tearing one apart with its metal claws. The Keeper of Secrets moved towards the Spawn and the Predator turned on the spot to line up a shot on the Nurgle Lord. On the right Nestor and his lads moved up to the Plague Marines and readied themselves for the charge. Shooting started with the Heldrake bringing the Plague Bearers down to three models. The Daemonettes ran towards the Obliterators on the Soul-Forge, drawn by the power issuing from it. The Predator opened fire on the Nurgle Lord but his Sigil turned both wounds aside. Lord Nestor and his Chaos Space Marines blasted away at the Plague Marines killing another two. The Noise Marines, with no other target, fired at the Plague Marines in the Mysterious Forest and killed one. N’Kari the Keeper of Secrets charged into the Spawn, tearing one apart for no loss.
Nestor and his unit charged into the Plague Marines. Nestor issued a challenge and then proceeded to fail to wound with his 6 attacks! The Aspiring Champion of Nurgle hit back and caused a wound. The Slaanesh Marines traded blows with their Nurgle brothers, each losing a man.
Lord Festus moved alongside the Predator carefully positioning himself so the Noise Marines couldn’t target him. The Obliterators moved to the edge of the Soul-Shrine and morphed their weapons into heavy Flamers. The Plague Marines in the Mysterious Forest opened fire on the Noise Marines cooking one with their Plasma gun. The Obliterators hosed the Daemonettes with promethium, killing seven of them. The Spawn and the Keeper of Secrets combat continued with another Spawn dying and the Keeper taking a wound. Lord Nestor charged the Predator and blew it to smithereens with a Melta bomb. The Aspiring Champion of Nurgle bellowed his challenge to Nestor and once again Nestor failed to wound the Champion while taking yet another wound! The Slaaneshi Marines finished off his squad but not before losing another man, reducing them to five models.
The Heldrake Banked left again swooping over the Nurgle Lord and putting a wound on him with Vector Strike.
The Daemonettes thought better of charging the Obliterators and moved towards the Plague Bearers claiming the objective ruins instead. The Noise Marines opened fire on the Plague Marines but both Blastmasters scattered off target while the Sonic Blasters failed to wound.The Heldrake flamed the Nurgle Lord and put another wound on him. The Daemonettes succeeded in charging the Plague Bearers, thanks to their fleet ability, killing two for two losses and leaving the Plagueridden to fight on alone.
The Keeper of Secrets eviscerated another Spawn and left the last one on one wound, but it didn’t save him as the Spawn sent him back to the warp. Nestor once again issued a challenge and in a spectacular display of incompetence failed to wound the Nurgle Champion again…even though he had rolled 5 hits! Rob picked up the dice and was about to roll then he remembered that Nestor was being cheered on by 5 Chaos Space Marines….he had a re-roll. Picking up the dice and rolled…..a five!! Rob still had his Feel No Pain but the gods had forsaken him and he failed. To add insult to injury I rolled on the rewards table and Nestor was granted Daemonhood 😀
Lord Festus moved over to the Noise Marines and the Spawn moved to support him. The Obliterators moved across the Soul-Shrine to target the newly arrived Daemon Prince. The Plague Marines left the Mysterious Forest and headed over to the ruins on the right. Lord Festus opened the shooting phase with his Burning Brand and incinerated 6 Noise Marines. The Obliterators shot at the Daemon Prince putting 2 wounds on him. The Plague Marines opened up on the Chaos Space Marines killing two, but they passed their leadership check. The Spawn attempted to charge the Noise Marines but it was gunned down by over-watch fire. Lord Festus also attempted but thanks to his near annihilation of the unit with his Burning Brand, failed to reach them.
The Chaos Space Marines moved into the ruins on the right to claim the objective and the Ascended Nestor moved towards the Plague Marines. The Heldrake moved across to the right flank, Vector Striking the Nurgle Lord and taking him out of the battle. The Noise Marines made a dash for the Mysterious Forest but it was clear that they wouldn’t make it this turn. Using it’s mighty Baleflamer, the Heldrake targeted the Plague Marines killing 5, leaving the Champion alive.
The Chaos Space Marines shot at the lone Aspiring Champion but failed to wound. The Daemonettes gutted the Plagueridden and spread out into the ruins to claim the objective. Nestor the Ascended tried to charge the lone Plague Marine but failed.
The Plague Champion moved into the ruins occupied by the Slaanesh Chaos Space Marines and the Obliterators targeted the Heldrake but missed. The lone Champion charged into the Chaos Space Marines hacking two down and leaving one who stubbornly refused to run.
The Heldrake swooped across the Soul-Shrine Vector Striking the Obliterators but it failed to penetrate their thick armour.
Nestor the Ascended moved to the edge of the ruins to help out in the combat with the Plague Marine.
The Noise Marines ran towards the Mysterious Forest but it was evident they wouldn’t make it. The Heldrake flamed the Obliterators but failed to do any damage. Nestor charged into combat with the Plague Champion and tore him limb from limb.
With only the Obliterators left Rob targeted the Chaos Space marine and and all that was left to show was a smear on the wall where the Chaos Marine used to be.
The Heldrake went into hover mode and flamed the Obliterators but caused no damage.
The Noise Marines tried their luck but the Blastmaster shot flew wide.
In a final act of defiance, the Obliterators moved over to the other side of the Soul-Shrine and fired at the Daemonettes, consigning two back to the warp.
As the smoke cleared it was evident that the Death Guard must give up more ground to the decadent Castigators.
“Energy coursed through his body, filling him with a sense of enormous well-being. More and more entered him, lifting him from the ground, Nestor felt as if he was capable of anything. A nimbus of light surrounding him, heightening his ecstasy and threatening to overload his senses. Still more energy poured into him and ecstasy turned to agony in a heartbeat. Nerve endings screamed as they struggled to contain the power that surged through his body. Flesh stretched to breaking point and split asunder as Slaanesh tore apart his mortal frame and rebuilt it in a more pleasing aspect. Nestor teetered on the edge of oblivion screaming his devotion into the abyss, he leapt, forever praising her name….and landed amidst the battle. Joy filled his soul as he strode forward to give bloody praise to She Who Thirsts.
In the distance Lucian smiled. “Truly you are blessed my Lord, that which you envied, you shall soon experience.” he thought to himself.