+ inload: Tzi'Na Crisis – Invasion of Cha'Anxi +


Por'bo wrinkled her face in distaste. There it was again. When the sea-breeze dropped, the faint tang of the ocean was replaced with a scent of corruption: a sour, bitter aroma. Hearing a comms-ping, she pulled her helm back on, feeling it slide down over her hairless grey-blue pate. As she ran a finger around the neck to check the seal, she hefted her pulse rifle. Whatever these invaders were, she didn't like the scent of them...

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The PCRC have been playing narrative campaigns for over a decade now. They've all helped to populate Sector Antona Australis, our far-flung corner of the 40k galaxy – and provided a great excuse to paint up models and get them on the ground. The Tzi'Na Crisis represents an invasion by Chaos forces (represented by the Curdling Armada [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+]) of a newly-settled region of Tau space, the Tzi'Na Enclave [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+].

+ Game type: Open Play
+ Mission: Blitz, 100 Power Level
+ Combatants: Apologist, commanding the Iron Warriors 242nd Footsore; vs Bob Hunk, commanding the Hunter Cadre Hun'k.
+ Battleground: A pair of newly-settled and highly-miitarised Septworlds, the twin planets Tsu'as and Or'na boast bountiful and beautiful oceans. Both have a population of little over a million each, with around seven per cent believed to be under arms. In Tau terms, these are essentially military bases, though to Imperial eyes the civilian population is relatively under-exploited.
+ Background: Tau of this Sept most commonly bear coral-coloured equipment and uniforms, though many exceptions exist according to the campaign and purpose. The armies are not experienced; though a core of veterans has been tasked by the Sept's military command with bringing the new troops to an elite level. This battle records the initial stages of invasion: the Iron Warriors have made planetfall in typical fashion, and are advancing on the regional capital in M'Kel Bay. With the Or'Na Defence Corps still fortifying the city itself, it falls to Hunter Cadre Hun'k to delay the advancing Astartes...

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+ Deployment and early turns +

+ The Blitz mission uses hidden deployment, so the Iron Warriors – a mixed force of tanks and infantry – deployed fairly evenly. The Armoured Column, spearheaded by a Land Raider, planned to swing round to the right flank, pushing through the ruins of the farm, while a cluster of infantry advanced beneath the cover of the cliffs to approach the bastion unawares. +

+ Iron Warrior deployment +

+ A short rush across open field would see the Iron Warriors safe in the dead ground beneath the hill – assuming the bastion itself was not too heavily defended +

+ The Tau forces were revealed as the air support swept over, dropping the pre-battle barrage. A number of crucial strikes were made, with Commander H'unk himself gravely wounded, along with a Broadside destroyed and a Hammerhead suffering heavy damage. +


+ Even as the fresh, clean breeze cleared the smoke and dust, the Iron Warriors were pushing forward, the Predators and Land Raider landing a number of punishing blows on the Hammerheads. In return, the Hammerheads badly damage a Predator; but even the canny deployment of an orbital laser strike fails to stop the advance. +


+ A drone squadron negotiated the steep hills, but quickly came under fire from advancing Iron Warrior infantry supported by a Predator tank. +


+ Casualties remained light overall, and advanced sub-repair systems kept the Hammerheads at full fighting capacity. Hun'k cautioned his force to be patient, waiting for the crucial time to strike. The Hammerheads and reserve mounted forces hovered in place. +


+ As Pathfinders guided their forces during the firefight, Iron Warrior infantry started to fall, and the damaged Predator was reduced to limping forwards trailing smoke, critically damaged. +


+ The return fire was all but undimmed, however, and the Iron Warriors armour continued to thin the Tau lines. A formation of Kroot, sent forward to pounce on Iron Warriors emerging from their wrecked transports, found themselves facing a wall of armour – damaged but unbroken! +


+ At this point, Hun'k springs his trap: the Hammerheads sweep forward to add steel to the Fire Warriors' line – and bail out their auxiliaries! The Rhino  cresting the ridge is halted as the damage mounts up, and the squad inside are forced to bail out. +


+ The Fire Caste of the Hunter Cadre are determined and experienced, veterans of campaigns against the orks of the Scallop Stars and the Imperial Guard of the region – but the Iron Warriors prove to be frighteningly tough. As the Space Marines close, their physical superiority begins to tell. +


+ The kroot launch a whooping, cackling assault on the squad evacuating the Rhino, but are pulled apart in short order by the ferocious Space Marines. Aghast but unbowed, Hun'k himself emerges, his missile pods striking down one of the monstrous Astartes – but more are emerging over the hill. +


+ The Hammerheads soak up firepower until first one, then the other, are sent crashing to the ground. Worse, one explodes in the midst of the Tau line, shredding Fire Warriors and painting the ground cyan with blood. +


+ As the Tau line wavers, the Iron Warriors push forward on the crumbling right flank. The Devilfish sweep in to bolster the centre, even as the Iron Warrior heavy weapons reach the top of the hill. +


+ At this point, the Iron Warriors' armour has broken through into the first line; but another turn or two will see them deep in the second line. +


+ Things look bleak for the Fire Warriors, but they dutifully keep fighting for the Greater Good. Every moment the invaders are held at bay is another moment their comrades can reinforce M'Kel Bay City. +



+ The burden of command is heavy. Hun'k wisely orders his Cadre's Orca to wheel round and begin an evacuation. At close range, pulse rifle shots start to tell; the valiant Fireblade getting the most out of the troops under his command. Iron Warriors start to fall... +


+ ... though not fast enough. The Iron Warrior armoured column brushes past contemptuously, gunning their engines for the border. Things look bleak for Hun'k as the Iron Warriors infantry make the line – and blood starts to flow. The Tau begin to fall back in good order – their officers stopping a retreat becoming a rout.  +


+ The battle is at risk of becoming an extermination, and Hun'k is relieved to see the Orca swooping down. A haptic motion detonates a pre-prepared series of blind-baffles, giving the few survivors precious moments to scamper to the Orca and escape. +


+ Result: Decisive victory for the invaders. The shadows begin to draw around the Tzi'Na Enclave; and a crucial foothold has been made on Or'Na.

1 comment:

  1. Good looking game and table! What is that..........towelling dyed the appopriate screen and sprayed with lighter patches?

    ReplyDelete

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