Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Ultramarines with More Cowbell

Librarian Tigurius looked at the data slate handed to him by a command servitor. Ultramarines 3rd Company and the 555th Regiment "Triple Nickles" had arrived in the Lagan System on the Eastern Fringe to confront a Tau "expansion" and liberate the system back to the realm of mankind.

The Battle had been very brief. Tigurius had been watching 3rd Company spearhead run towards the primary settlement on Lagan Prime, and his all-seeing visions had identified where the Tau commander would be attempting to blunt the Ultramarine assault. Rather than watching things unfold, Tigurius had determined to join 3rd Company and had arranged a rapid assault of the tau lines.

The battle would play out in Artman's Forest in the middle of the day. As the Ultramarines drew near the Tau force, 3rd Company's 2nd and 3rd Squads advanced in their Rhinos seemingly oblivious to the Tau threat. Their route and flanks, however, were coved by supporting elements of 9th Squad's devastators, 7th Squads Landspeeders, a Stalker AA tank, and Venerable Dreadnought Severus. An Ultramarines Stormtalon, 3rd Company 1st Squad, and Tigurius' bodyguards - 1st Company 4th Squad, were in reserves, ready to deploy deep into the Tau lines.

Tigurius had joined Sergeant Signatus of 9th Squad in a ruined building where the Devastators could cover the advance of the tactical squads. Tigurius had placed a psychic shield over the squad to protect them from enemy observation and enemy fire. Tigurius could sense as well as see that the Tau were taking the bait - Tau Fire Warrior teams left their positions and moved forward to get the Ultramarine units in range.

The Tau as expected, started the firefight. A Broadside and a Tau Tank fired railguns at the advancing Rhinos, but with the woods providing cover, there was no damage to the advancing tanks. A Tau Stealth Suit squad and drones disclosed itself on the Marines front.

The 3rd Company vehicles moved forward cautiously at first and then with a burst of speed, the 2nd Squad's Rhino burst forward through the woods, as the Sternguard's Drop Pod slammed down into the middle of the Tau battle line. 3rd Squad's Rhino, however, suffered a malfunction, the Techmarine working furiously at the controls trying to get the veicle mobile again. The landspeeders moved to the marine right flank to deal with the Stealth Suits. The Sternguard quickly charged out of their drop pod split into two combat squads, eliminating the Broadside fire support unit as planned.

Other fire from 9th squad began to pour into Tau infantry on foot to the fron of 2nd Squad. As the Tau continued to advance, the Railgun fired another round, this time exploding 2nd Company's Rhino.

Simultaneously, the Tau commander and his bodyguards, as if from the Codex, themselves struck deep into the Ultramarines line. Tau reinforcements - kroot mercenaries and buzzing groups of drones appeared to bolster the Tau lines.

In short order, the Tau eliminated the Hunter AA Tank, and half of 2nd Squad was injured causing them to withdraw back into the woods. Half of the Sternguard were also down.

At this time, when the Tau thought their assault was going well, 1st Squad's drop pod arrived adjacent to the beleagured Sternguard. Sergean Ovatius recovered 2nd Squad and they moved swiftly with 3rd Squad and Dreadnought Severus to respond to the Tau Commander's appearance in the Ultramarines line. This coupled with the arrival of a fast moving, straffing Stormtalon, the Tau lines began to waver and then broke completely.

As quickly as it had started it was over. The Ultramarines furious ambush caused the Tau to flee back towards the city to regroup.

Tigurius was troubled however. He felt another presence on this planet he had not encountered in years...He could sense...Necrons...and they were...stirring....

He'd have to get the word out to the Commander of the 555th Regiment swiftly. Although that 555th was very experienced, they'd had no dealings before with the Necron race.

There was time to prepare them...

[This game had me changing up the list to replace a Razorback with a Drop pod and some additional things, I'll have to go back and create a formal list and verify the points.  In this game both of us were using around 1750 +/- 50 Points]

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