Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Shadow War: Brind's World Campaign Weekend (Part One)

This past weekend was my (usually) annual Wargaming Birthday Bash Weekend. It was actually held a week earlier than it previously has (my birthday is next weekend) to accommodate a couple of friends that were coming from out of town (though one of them didn't show up in the end...). The weekend has taken different formats, but the most successful have been the wargame campaign weekends. This year I hosted a Shadow War: Armageddon campaign.

As I lack the industrial terrain required for a campaign, the campaign took place on Brind's World - a setting I've been using for a bit of a narrative 40K campaign. The colony of Brind's World is less than 100 years old. The world was brought back into the Imperial fold by Rogue Trader Gaius Armonius Brind in 946.M41. At the time it was described as habitable, but devoid of sentient life. A colony of only a few thousand souls was officially established in 952.M41. Over the next decade the colony grew steadily. The primary industry has been listed as "Primary Resource Extraction". The Brind family has retained exclusive distribution rights and their monopoly has made them fabulously wealthy.

In 959.M42 as a new settlement was established on a new continent it was discovered that the initial assessment of "devoid of sentient life" was incorrect. A large number of seemingly indigenous Orks lived on the continent and have been in a constant low-level guerrilla conflict of raiding and harassment ever since. As the colony didn't have the population to form a defence force large enough to deal with this threat, the Brind family, at their own expense, has regularly brought in off-world mercenary forces to protect the settlements.

At one point the Imperial Navy was brought in to pinpoint the major Ork settlements and bombard them from orbit. Only a few surface settlements were discovered and they, and all land around them for 100Km were utterly destroyed. But the Orks continued to harass the colonists. It was later discovered the Orks make use of vast underground cavern complexes and tunnels. Whether these caverns are naturally occurring or were constructed by the Orks is unknown.

Early in 017.M42 the Astra Telepathica received a distress cry from Brind's World - settlements had been overrun by Xenos! The cogs of the great machine that is Adeptus Administratum began to grind to life and develop a response to this crisis and Imperial forces were eventually dispatched to the world. There they discovered something quite different from the "primary resource extraction" facilities the Brind family had claimed made them so wealthy. What Brind had actually found there was a planet that has once been inhabited by a highly advanced civilization, that had long since died out. Among the ruins of of the ancient race were great caches of forbidden archaeotech of the sort that was much sought after on the black markets of the Imperium. 

So for this campaign, rather than collection caches of Prometheum - as one does in Shadow War: Armageddon - we were collecting Archaeotech caches, for various reasons... The Imperial forces were collecting it to turn it over to the Adeptus Mechanicus for study and/or destruction. The Eldar were there to make sure it didn't fall into the wrong hands - and perhaps the Tau were there for the same reason - or to make use of it themselves. The Orks.. well they were just there and collected the stuff to hand over to their mad mekaniaks.

There are three main terrain types on Brind's World. There is the equatorial jungle filled with ruins of the ancient civilization. Beyond that are endless deserts filled with large deathly quiet cities made of mud brick. Below both are vast subterranean caverns. 

I actually ended up playing in this campaign. Usually I don't. I actually prefer NOT to for these weekends - I rather prefer to just run things, take lots of picture, be on hand to answer rule questions, etc. As there were an odd number of players I decided to play so everyone could play each round. I did find it difficult as people were still constantly coming to me for rulings on different things or to confirm how things were supposed to work and I often had to get up from my table and go see what they were talking about and then return and try to figure out what they heck I had been doing before. If I had a choice, I wouldn't do it again. I would like to play in extended campaigns - where we play over months - one game a week... But during and intensive weekend campaign - it's just too much. 

My Kill Team was essentially the same Tallarn Astra Militarum Kill Team I've been using the past week - rebooted, same names and everything... 

Sgt. Kassab's squad of 2nd platoon, 5th company 415th Tallarn Infantry Regiment
Sgt. Kassab (Veteran Sergeant/ Kill Team Leader)- Bolt Pistol, Chainsword, Flak Armour, knife - Voice of Command
Cpl. Talal (Veteran Guardsman/Trooper) - Lasgun, Flak Armour, Knife, Frag Grenades.
LCpl. Nazim (Special Weapons Operator/Specialist) - Plasmagun, Flak Armour, Knife
Gdr. Yakub (Special Weapons Operator/Specialist) - Grenade Launcher (Frag and Krak), Knife, Flak Armour
Pte. Daoud (Special Weapons Operator/Specialist) - Meltagun, Flak Armour, Knife
Pte. Zakariya (Veteran Guardsman/Trooper) - Lasgun, Flak Armour, Knife
Pte. Hamid (Guardsman/Recruit) - Lasgun, Flak Armour, Knife
Pte. Wajdi (Guardsman/Recruit) - Lasgun, Flak Armour, Knife

I didn't bother taking note of what was in everyone else's starting Kill Teams....

Stuff got underway Friday evening....

...with Pizza! And some catching up... Paul drove here from Winnipeg (827km!) and Christian I rarely see (though he did make it out to the Tales from the Loop campaign I ran at the end of last year!). 

After the pizza and catching up things got underway. 


My first game was against Amanda and her Tau in a straight-up Kill Team Fight scenario. For subplots I rolled "Indomitable" - I could subtract on from all bottle rolls, and Amanda rolled "Quiet" giving no special rules. She picked a side, we set up and I had the first turn. 

After landing on Brind's World and establishing a secure base of operations, the 415th Tallarn regiment started pushing out and taking control of the surrounding areas. Vast subterranean caverns were discovered nearby and the 415th's 5th Company was tasked with sweeping and securing them. Sergeant Kassab's section had their first contact with the Xenos deep within these caverns....

ROUND ONE - Tallarn

Auspex reading showed movement up ahead. Sergeant Kassab quickly and quietly moved his men forward, hoping to ambush whatever threat lay ahead... 

(They all ran...) 


The Tau ran as well! 

ROUND TWO - Tallarn

Sergeant Kassab's men took cover where they could to wait for the fast approaching enemy... Grenadier Yakub spotted some movement in the dark passage ahead and fired a grenade. The shot soared past the detonated far beyond his target. 

Corporal Talal took Private Wajdi and Lance Corporal Nazim down a side passage to ensure secure the squad's flank and ensure the enemy did no sneak around being them.


The Tau also took up positions in cover and started firing on the Tallarn - missing, of course, because they have a Ballistic Skill of 3 - which normally hits on 4+, but at targets in cover they needed sixes... 


After Yakub's grenade detonated all hell broke loose! Kassab's squad started taking fire; pulses of supercharged plasma started arching out of the darkness and crashing into the rock around the squad showering them in rock and dust. The squad returned fire with their lasguns and grenade launcher. amid the strobing effect of the fire in the dark cavern and all the dust kicked up from the impacts on the walls it was difficult to tell if their fire had any effect on the enemy.

(lots of shooting, lots of missing...)


Intense coordinated aimed shots bought a brief slackening of enemy fire, but they quickly recovered and their return fire was just as intense. There was a cry as Private Zakariya was hit and went down! 

I scored a couple of hits (causing pins!). Both hits wounded - but were SAVED!? 

The Tau then, amazingly, recovered both pins at the start of their turn - rolling two ones (to recover from pins they had to pass an initiative test which required rolling 2 or less on a d6) and their return fire hit and wounded Pte. Zakariya... 

ROUND FIVE - Tallarn

Realizing he was in danger of getting bogged down in a protracted firefight against an enemy in good cover. The could very well have reinforcements on the way which could quickly overwhelm Kassab's small section.  He knew the rest of his platoon and company was widely spread out, and could not expect relief anytime soon. So something needed to be done to bring this skirmish to an end...

He called on his men to get up and charge, taking the fight to the enemy! Sergeant Kassab lead the way! He charged forward blasting away with his bolt pistol. The others followed. Private Daoud fired up his meltagun and unleashed it's might and fury against the enemy - the wave of heat tracked across the cavern wall - reducing rock to molten slag and then hit one of the enemy square in the chest sending it pitching down on it's back, miraculously it's armour seemed to protect it from the blast!? 

Seriously, that meltagun needed a 2+ to wound... you can see what I ended up rolling!? 

Cpl Talal, inspired by his Sergeant also decided to move out of his covered position and try to force the enemy from their position. He lobbed a grenade into a position held by the xenos and took two of them down. Private Wajdi followed fast on his heels blazing away with his lasgun. turning the corner he saw one of the Xenos cowering in a corner and shot it down. 

The Corporal's grenade took out one Tau and pinned the leader. Wajdi's shot hit and wounded a Tau, but it turned out to only be a flesh wound... 

Private Zakariya successfully applied some synskin and a field dressing to his wound and shot himself up with some stim. His squad had advanced ahead without him, but he would not let them down - he looked about for his lasgun and prepared to follow. 

In the recovery phase, Zakariya rolled a "flesh wound" when he checked his condition the injury table and rolled over, pinned


The Enemy did not waste this opportunity to catch the Tallarn in the open. A massive blast of energy from bacon the shadows caught Yakub in the chest and pitched him to the ground as he charged forward. Another pulse of plasma caught Daoud in the shoulder which brought him down. This was too much for Private Hamid, who broke and ran!  

Around the other tunnel Wajdi was also hit and downed. Corporal Talal, realizing they had entered the hornets nest and their position was untenable, beat a little-too-hasty retreat - right past Nazim! 

The Tau hit by the melta gun recovered from being pinned (what's with all these successes at recovering pins!?) 

ROUND SIX - Tallarn

Sergeant Kassab realized the only way out of this mess was forward, he hoped to throw the enemy off balance and compel them to retire. He charged the neared enemy blasting at it with his bolt pistol and revving his chainsword. The bolt pistol hit it in the side knocking it off balance another two steps brought him within search of his chansword, which he brought down on the xenos scum with all his might. The creature slumped to the ground spurting dark ichor. Kassab turned to find his next opponent... 

(Totally forgot to use the 2" follow-up which would have brought the Sergeant into contact with that next Tau....) 

Nazim was shocked by his Corporal's retreat, he was about to follow when, thought he flashes of enemy fire, he spotted Wajdi and realized he was not yet dead! He looked as though he was severely wounded, but still conscious and crawling into cover. nazim decided to try and give his squadmate some covering fire. He cranked his plasmagun up to maximum. Blinding light lit up the cavern as he unleashed a torrent of of super-heated plasma, which arced across the cave and impacted on the rocks across from him, behind which the enemy had sought cover. The Rock was melted and splattered all over the place leaving glowing red globules everywhere when the initial blast of plasma finished. 

Realizing his men had not followed, Cpl. Talal stopped and steeled himself to go back and see if he could recover the situation and at least get Wajdi and Nazim out of there! 

Zakariya recovered his lasgun and clambered to his feet and reoriented himself. It was hard to make out what was going on in the darkness, punctuated by occasional bursts of light. He figured which why to head, but then a panicked Hamid came sprinting back to his position shouting; "They're gone! They're all gone! Dead!" 


The shock and awe of the Sergeants assault had indeed thrown the enemy off balance - without a sound, they simultaneously turned and scarpered into the dark - dropping a few dazzling photon grenades to cover their retreat... 

The Tau had two out of action at this point and bottled... 


Daoud made a full recovery from his wounds, but Wajdi's recovery was slow and painful and he would miss the next action. During all that time in the medicae cot he brewed a bitter, bitter hatred for the Tau - especially that one that had shot him down... 

The Tau cut down by the chainsword likewise had a painful recovery and developed a bitter hatred for the Tallarn sergeant. The other had a severe head wound which left him a little off-balanced in future engagements (gained the Frenzy ability).

The Tallarn recovered two cases of Archaeotech in the caverns, while the Tau made off with one during their retreat. 

The Sergeant gained the Combat Master skill (no bonuses against him for being outnumbered in melee) and the Tau Leader gained the Marksman skill (re-roll misses when shooting!) 

The squad received a replacement - Private Muktar - a veteran armed with a lasgun. 

Really, it was pretty much a draw - I only won because Amanda's team bottled first. She's learning - quite a different game from our last one

Elsewhere on Brind's World During Round One

John's Adeptus Mechanicus Skitarii Rangers faces Other Tim's "Moar Orks" - also fighting in the caverns beneath the surface of Brind's World. 

The played the Scavengers scenario. 

I think there may have been only one or two Loot Counters - and there was bitter fighting over them! 

Other Tim's Ork horde swarmed the Skitarii - chucking grenades all about - half his starting kill team was Yoofs armed only with knives and grenades. 

Eventually the Skitarii were overcome by the Orks numbers... 

Paul's Grey Knights met The Girl's Harlequins in a deserted city on the edge of the vast northern deserts. The also played the Scavengers scenario. 

It was a hard-fought battle - and Paul's only defeat of the weekend. The victory was largely Pyrrhic for the harlequins as their troupe lost Bubblegum. Dead. Considering there were only four to begin with that's 25% gone forever and hard to replace... 

Christian, with his borrowed Eldar, took on Finnegan's Orks amid the jungle ruins of the ancients. 

I think they played the Ambush scenario.

Orksies swarming forward to smash the stinking fancy-pants Eldar! 

They played a REALLY LONG GAME.... later we found out they hadn't been pinning people and weren't counting downed fighters for determining bottle tests... Eventually the Eldar bottled. 


Christian had a 40-minute drive so he bailed and went home. I took this as an opportunity to NOT play in the round and just watch the games and help out. 

John's Skitarii Rangers faced Paul's Grey Knights in the caverns. They again played the Scavengers scenario. The game was so fast, I didn't even get a picture of it!?  The basically ran on, grabbed as many of the Loot counters as they could and scarpered back towards their baseline. Paul got there fastest with the mostest and claimed his first victory! Not a shot fired. Makes sense, I suppose... they're both Imperial forces, why would they shoot at each other...?

Other Tim played The Girl, his cunning Orks setting up a clever ambush for the Harlequins in the Jungle. 

Like any good commander facing an ambush, The Girl did not wait around for the Orks to strike, but rather took the fight to them - isolating groups of Orks and utterly annihilating them. 

I wondered if the Orks numbers might get the better of them, but the Harlequins were just so fast and devastating in close combat. 

AT one point I think two of them were downed and it looked like it might go south for them, but they rolled "flesh wound" in one of the recovery phases and got right back up and started kicking ass again... 

This too was a long battle - simply because there were soooo many Orks to take out before they would bottle... 

But eventually they did and the Harelquins scored their second victory of the evening. 

Elsewhere Finnegan's Orks Encountered Amanda's Tau in a mud brick Ghost Town deep in the desert. 

This was another Kill Team Fight - That and the Scavenger scenario seemed to be the most played over the weekend - along with a few Ambushes. I don't think anyone rolled a raid or a rescue mission...? 

This too was a longer battle - involving a long shoot out between combatants with crap Ballistic Skill shooting at enemies in hard cover. 

Part way through this game we realized they weren't pinning fighters who had been hit, but weren't wounded and hadn't been counting downed fighters to determine when total a bottle test.

In the end Finnegan voluntarily bottled just to end the game and go to bed and get some sleep!

I don't know how many caches everyone had at this point, but in terms of wins and losses it was:

The Girl - Harlequins - 2-0
Other Tim - Orks - 1-1
Paul - Grey Knights - 1-1
Finnegan - Orks - 1-1
Amanda - Tau - 1-1
Myself - Tallarn - 1-0
Christian - Eldar - 0-1
John - Skitarii - 0-2

Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Stay tuned for Shadow War: Brind's World Campaign Weekend (Part TWO) - covering the next two rounds of action on Saturday Morning! 

After that will be Part Three - covering the final two rounds of action which we played in the afternoon and early evening. 

Finally I should have a final battle report for the weekend covering a game of The Pikeman's Lament, which Paul and I played on Sunday. 


  1. Replies
    1. Well I had fun. And it certainly seemed like most others had fun as well! Thanks!

  2. Looks to have been an excellent & fun weekend!

  3. Well the Tau seemed to have learned from their first combat! Looks like a blast, the underground cavern sections work really well visually, have a good birthday!
    Best Iain