Festus roared a curse as he mashed a great gauntleted fist into the smoking carcass of the soul grinder ‘dereliction’. The dead lights had faded from its eye sockets and rank smears of daemon flesh writhed and bubbled as they phased back into the warp. ‘Tosis Mire’ and his pale incantations had been unworthy of the Plague Fathers glory. His admonishment was long past due but the way he had almost bested Nestor in single combat had shown so much promise Festus would give him one more chance, but should he fail!!
Now the Castigators had a stronger position than ever it was all going wrong, Nestor should have been weakened in the eyes of his effeminate god, instead he had been risen and elevated in the pantheon of pleasure and thanks to the pervertions of the Castigators’ Chief Sorceror, had used this power to call upon a warp storm so vicious that air power was impossible
Now festus would have to meet Nestor in battle on his terms , not a good proposition, however by manipulating the pride of the dark princes puppet, certain constraints would be imposed, forcing a ground war would certainly favour the death guard art of war. The longer he could draw out this little engagement the less likely Nestor would remain……..unsullied.
Battle 4 – Beginning Of The End
The Castigators have reached the perimeter of the Death Guard’s main base, but they must strike the decisive blow. The Death Guard must repel the invaders.
The Castigators have now gained a solid enough advantage that they can launch a major thrust towards their enemy’s centre of power. The Death Guard have marshalled their forces to hold back the invaders and block the advance. Battle 4 is fought as the Emperor’s Will standard mission except the terrain is set up to represent the edge of the Death Guards’ base. I chose to use the Hammer and Anvil deployment set-up.
The Objective in the Castigators’ deployment zone is the Soul-Shrine used by the Castigators to call up the mother of all warp storms, while that in the Death Guards deployment zone is a communications relay vital to their defence.
Gaining an advantage
The winner of the fourth battle may once again choose the deployment type in the next game but also has a further advantage as detailed in the next mission.
Mission special rules
In an attempt to slow down the Castigators, the ground before the Death Guards’ position is strewn with mines. The Castigators’ advance will be slowed to a painfully slow crawl under the guns of the enemy, unless they can negotiate the minefield.
To represent the Castigators de-ascension of Nestor to feed the Soul-Shrine all flyers are grounded and the rules for fighting on a Daemon World from the Crusade of Fire campaign book are in use.
The Castigators 1500pts
Nestor Lustheart – Chaos Lord, Mark of Slaanesh, Steed & Lightning Claw, Burning Brand of Skalathrax.
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 – 13 Daemonettes
Festus Blightmaster – Lord, MoN, Bike, Burning Brand of Skalathrax, Sigil of Corruption.
Squad Contagion – 7 Plague Marines, 2 Plasma Guns, Toris Mire Aspiring Champion with power weapon.
7 Nurgle Havocs with 4 Autocannons.
3 Nurgle Obliterators.
I won the roll for deployment and set up my Noise Marines on the Soul-Shrine. The Soul Grinder went to the left with the predator and Vindicator to the right. The bikers deployed behind the Vindicator.
Rob deployed his Obliterators on his Bastion in the centre, behind them was his objective with his Plague Marines and a unit of Zombies guarding it. In front he deployed his Havocs with Festus and his spawn to the right and his Maulerfiend to the left.
Rob tried to steal the initiative and failed. The Soul Grinder and Vindicator moved forward 6″ while the bikers moved down the right flank to cir-cum-navigate the minefield.
The Predator opened fire on the Maulerfiend and with uncharacteristic behaviour blew it away! The Soul Grinder and Vindicator shot at the Nurgle Lord and killed a spawn and a Havoc. The Noise Marines added to the tally and killed two Havocs.
Lord Festus and his Spawn moved through the ruins ready to put some pain on the Vindicator.
The Nurgle Obliterators opened fire on the Slaaneshi Soul Grinder and although all three Lascannons hit and penetrated, only one got past its invulnerable save, stripping a hull point and shaking the mighty behemoth. The Havocs added their firepower to it, but the loss of three of their brothers upset their aim and the shot either failed to hit or failed to penetrate. Lord Festus and his Spawn attempted to charge the Vindicator and failed.
Lord Nestor and his Chaos Space Marines, the Daemonettes and the Keeper of Secrets arrived. Nestor and co came on the left and the Keeper of secrets attempted to deepstrike to the left of the Bastion but scattered into it suffering a mishap and killing itself…D’oh! The Daemonettes tried and faired much better. Movement saw the Soul Grinder shrug off the effects of the shaken result and it moved towards the Nurgle Lord. The Vindicator moved back slightly and the Bikers swung around to target Festus and his Spawn.
Nestor and his unit opened fire on the Nurgle Havocs, incinerating three of them. It all proved too much and the lone Havoc who fell back. The Soul Grinder, Vindicator and Noise Marines shot at the Nurgle Lord and his spawn and succeeded in killing two and wounding Festus and both spawn. The Daemonettes spread out to avoid the Obliterators’ flamers.
The Slaaneshi Bikers attempted to charge Lord Festus but failed to reach them thanks to Lord Festus’ Burning Brand of Skalathrax.
Rob rolled for his reserves but Typhus was obviously struggling to get much movement out of his Zombies and they failed to arrive. Lord Festus split off from the Spawn and moved over to the Slaaneshi Bikers. The Spawn moved up to the Vindicator readying themselves for the charge, as did the Zombies on the left in an attempt to hold up the Slaaneshi Lord and his entourage. The Plague Marines moved around the Bastion to target the Daemonettes. Lord Festus killed a Biker with his Burning Brand and the Plague Marines gunned down 4 Daemonettes. The Obliterators targeted the Slaanesh Lord with Plasma Cannons and in a spectacular round of shooting killed eight!
The Zombies tried to charge the Slaanesh Lord but failed to make it through the ruins. The Spawn charged the Vindicator causing a glance and a penetrating hit but only succeeded in stunning it.
Festus charged the Bikers and slaughtered three of them, it all proved too much for Korath and as he turned to flee the Nurgle lord smashed the Slaanesh Champion to the ground….
…And then Consolidated towards the Noise Marines.
The Vindicator moved flat out to get away from the Spawn. Tearing through the minefield and suffering no effects. The Soul Grinder moved over towards the spawn readying itself to charge. The Predator started the shooting off, causing a partial collapse on the Bastion. The Noise Marines, obviously enraptured by the power of the Soul-Shrine levelled their Sonic weapons at the Nurgle Lord and let loose with abandoned glee. As the smoke cleared the Nurgle Lord was no where to be seen and the Noise Marines had destroyed their own Vindicator as well!
Nestor and his two remaining Chaos Marines moved over towards the Zombies and Incinerated 4 of them with his Burning Brand. The Predator shot at the Bastions but failed to do any damage. The Soul Grinder charged the Nurgle Spawn and caused a wound leaving them both on one wound each.
The Daemonettes charged the Plague Marines, losing a couple from over-watch fire.
The agile daemonettes eviscerated two for three losses. This obviously displeased Slaanesh and they vanished back to the warp (rolled a 12 on my instability check!).
Nestor Charged the Zombies with Darius Lewdgrip, the Slaaneshi Aspiring Champion bellowing a challenge.
Nestor sliced apart three and Darius crushed the Zombie leader for no loss.
Rob rolled for Typhus and again he failed to show. The Plague Marines moved over towards the combat to try and help out the Zombies but they couldn’t reach this turn. The Obliterators shot at the Predator, stunning it and leaving one hull point on it. The combat between Nestor and the Zombies continued with Nestor and Darius slaughtering 5 between them while the Zombies dragged down a Chaos Marine.
The combat between the Spawn and the Soul Grinder continued with the later failing to hit.
The Daemon-wracked earth opened up, great maws appearing and dragging a Nurgle Spawn to his doom (we had rolled at the beginning of every player turn but this was the first result that did anything). The Noise Marines targeted the Obliterators but failed to do any damage. Combat continued with Nestor killing another two Zombies while they in turn reduced Nestor to one wound. The Soul Grinder once again failed to hit the last remaining Spawn.
Typhus and his filth ridden zombies finally arrived over on the right flank to make a late bid for the Castigators’ objective.
The Plague Marines moved over to help out the Zombies. The Obliterators had no target in range this turn so the Plague Marines charged in with Tosis Mire bellowing a challenge which Darius readily accepted. Nestor cut down two Plague Marines and was knocked from his steed by the weight of attacks levelled against him. Tosis easily avoided the Slaanesh champions attacks and smashed him to the ground with his power axe. Their work done, the Plague Marines consolidated back onto their objective with the three remaining zombies shuffling along behind.
The Soul Grinder finally ripped apart the Spawn and consolidated back towards the Soul-Shrine.
I rolled on the Daemonic Hazards table and got Nurgle’s Garden (Pick an enemy unit, every model must then roll a toughness test or suffer a wound with no armour saves allowed. Then Rob had to do the same with one of my units). I chose Typhus and his zombies and out of 22 models he failed only 7. Rob picked my Noise Marines and I lost 4 including a Blastmaster. The Soul Grinder moved towards Typhus while the Predator turned on the spot to target them as well. Shooting from the Grinder, Predator and Noise Marines took them from this…
Rob moved Typhus and the Zombies towards the Soul-Shrine. The Obliterators fired 3 Lascannons at the Soul Grinder and reduced it to one hull point.
The Soul Grinder moved through the ruins towards Typhus.The Noise Marines opened fire on Typhus and his Zombies and killed a zombie and reduced Typhus to one wound. The Predator fired into them killing Typhus. The Soul Grinder fired as well but the shot scattered backwards onto itself, fortunately for the Castigators, it failed to penetrate. The Grinder charged into the remaining Zombies and tore them apart.
With the Obliterators weapons now out of range, we rolled to see if the battle continued and the the battle was over. We both had our objectives but the Castigators had first Blood….The Castigators sneak a win!
Festus was flung from his bike by a wall of sound, his bulk coming to rest in the filth and dust. The bike had taken the worst of the fusillade of noise and what was left of it promptly landed on top of him as a second tortured scream of tearing air shot past his head, tearing open the speeding vindicator that had been attempting to outflank him. The huge siege shells stored in its rear compartment detonated ripping open the tank and showering him with red hot fragments of metal and a cloud of vaporised earth.
From his restricted position he could see Typhus arrive behind the ruins to the left of the Noise Marines position but with so much ordinance and force available to the Castigators little was left of the zombie hoard he had brought with him and he melted away into the growing shadows. With the right flank exposed he realised his position was untenable and was forced to vox for an extraction to the holding position.
Back at the battle bunker Festus reviewed the campaign so far , all the little faints and withdrawals had worked perfectly drawing the Castigators on to the guns of his stronghold and a battle that they simply could not win.
Tosis Mire approached his lord and master striding across the rusted chamber floor with head held high.
“You summoned me.. My Master” his words careful and precise so as to avoid betraying any hint of emotion.
“Well well well Mire, it seems you have done … adequately this day, and the grandfather blessed you with a great gift for your deeds ….it has justified your continued involvement in our endeavour….for now”. Tosis could barely contain his glee at the obvious awkwardness in his Lords manner giving him such praise.
“Are all preparations in place for the defence of the bastions?
” Yes… Master.”
“Good, now leave me I have an urgent communication to make that will ensure all runs smoothly in the coming final confrontation.” Festus’ tone was curt, signalling that the conversation was over, and Tosis knowing better than to speak again simply bowed, turned and left him to his rumination.