+ Assault on Pradesh Novum Part I +
+ Imperial Fists versus Iron Warriors is a classic 40k trope, and being able to bring two painted armies to bear during the Siege of Terra was a real treat. +
Still, the Emperor's forces would not cower behind the walls. That way lay death – and dishonour. The centre of Pradesh Novum, formerly a well-connected communications hub, was too precious to give up without a fight. It had been reinforced; laced with mines and traps and fortifications. The outskirts... not so much. Not at all, in fact. And it was through these outskirts that the defenders expected the Warmaster's forces to pour, slowed only by the detritus of desperate refugees.
The defenders had reckoned on the Iron Warriors bombarding the centre. They had not reckoned on the bombardment being so fierce. A whole detachment of Imperial Fists, along with their allies from the Solar Auxilia and Lunar Hoplites, had been pulverised. The survivors were withdrawing, to link up with reinforcements, when they met the Iron Warrior's advance.
Drawing a battle line, the Imperial Fists realised that they had the drop on the Iron Warriors, who were advancing in a tightly-packed column. Letholdus, Praetor of the VIIth Legion, ordered the heavy armour to the front, with the lighter armour sheltering behind.
Spotting the Fists in the slowly-clearing air, Çjarn, a Champion of his embittered Legion, called the alert. The Iron Warriors infnatry scattered into the rubble of Pradesh Novum, while the armour and support weaponry bulled forward to bring their guns to bear.
On the flank, a mobile Fists squad raced forward, supported by a Contemptor Dreadnought.
They faced a formidable mirror force – a Land Raider carrying a Tactical Support Squad and a dread Leviathan.
The Iron Warriors armoured column was pressed into the narrow corridors – just as the fortifications had been placed to do. Ranging shots began ringing out as the IVth Legion's armour caught sight of the Fists.
Shield-Captain Hyperion and his Custodes advanced through the alleyways of the intact buildings, safely sheltered from the Iron Warrior's long-range fire.
The battle was afoot!
+ This shot shows the basic set-up for the board. We wanted a dense warren of buildings and walkways for this game, so we took some inspiration from the old Cityfight rules, which suggested using a 4 x 4ft (rather than the more common 6 x 4ft) board for the battlefield. This has the pleasant knock-on effect of making the terrain seem dense and claustrophobic, and enabling me to use Purefinder Chaunterwick as the basis. +
+ For those interested, you can read about how I made the board here:_Part I [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+];+ One of the nice things about 30k is that with what essentially amounts to mirror-matches (the difference coming much more from the background and visuals than the 'crunch'), any change you make to the battlefield will affect both sides approximately equally. Just check with the other player first – I can't imagine a themed artillery force would enjoy much of a chance against a jetbike assault force on such a table! +
_Part II [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+]; _Part III [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+]; _Part IV [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+], _Part V [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+].
The Fists armoured column pushed forward, the Land Raiders moving aside just enough to let the Predator sight its opposite numbers. Meanwhile, the Dreadnought strode purposefully to the walkway, aiming to get a prime position to provide support on the main thoroughfare.
The Iron Warriors moved forward with a purpose, making the most of the gradually clearing smoke.
+ The Night Fight rules were in effect – in my mind at least, this was represented less by the sun rising and more by the gradually dispersing cloud of nuclear smoke and dust. +
The Iron Warriors artillery ground to a halt and began firing. Their quantum graviton blasts proved extremely useful against the otherwise impenetrable Land Raiders. How would the Fists respond?
The lead Predator rounds the corner, its lascannons spitting fury at the VIIth Legion. A Muster of Iron Warriors used it as improvised cover to seize the comms-point at the triumphal arch.
Siegemaster Artabas advanced alongside his men, his keen gaze sweeping the area.
As the smoke clears, the flanking force of Fists debarks and scrambles forward into the cover of the walkway girders.
...only to be met by the snarling muzzles of the Heavy Support Muster. An exchange of fire sees the redeploying Muster reduced to two men, while in return their multimeltas claim but a single victim.
In response, Çjarn raises his axe in the air and bellows for his men to attack. The Iron Warriors lock step and advance cautiously, their boltguns hammering out a staccato beat.
With casualties at this early stage limited to the occasional luckless infantryman, the Fists score an important kill, reducing the lead Predator to a smouldering wreck. While not quite blocking the Iron Warriors vehicles, it further pinches the bottleneck.
Eyes aglow, and a song in their heart, the Custodes sally forth.
With the dust clearing, the two forces find themselves poised for a battle royale.