Friday, February 16, 2018

Shadow War: The Raid

We got and third, and likely final, game of Shadow War: Armageddon game in before the Shadow War: Brind's World starts tomorrow! Stay tuned - after the weekend I should have a full report of the ensuing shenanigans!

I did finish up the second batch of cavern terrain last night, so The Girl and I decided we should play a game this afternoon while Finnegan was out playing D&D.


After the successful patrol and brief contact with the xenos (who were later identified as the dangerous "Tau") 2nd platoon was ordered to set up a Forward Operating Base in the caverns below the abandoned city. Sgt. Kassab's squad was tasked with setting up an Observation Post to the west of the Main FOB. The Squad found an acceptable location with good views of the various approaches - and more importantly a smallish cave below the main caverns that could be used as a bunker and cache for stores and ammunition. Privates Zakariya, Hamid, Wajdi, and Muktar were tasked as
sentries to watch over their new home-for-the-moment, while the rest of the squad marched back to the main FOB to ferry forward some more supplies...


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, Step Aside,
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
Pte. Muktar (Veteran Guardsman/Trooper) - Lasgun, Flak Armour, Knife, Camo gear

The Rainbow Warrior Contemporary Dance Company - Harlequin Kill Team
Fawkes - Troupe Master (Leader) - Power Sword, Shuriken Pistol, Harlequin Mask, Flip Belt, Holosuit
Stab Pants - Players (Trooper) - Harlequin Blade, Shuriken Pistol, Harlequin Mask, Flip Belt, Holosuit
Jade Lightning - Players (Trooper) - Harlequin Kiss, Shuriken Pistol, Harlequin Mask, Flip Belt, Holosuit
Bubblegum - Players (Trooper) - Harlequin Blade, Shuriken Pistol, Harlequin Mask, Flip Belt, Holosuit
Polkastripe - Mime (Recruit) - Harlequin's Kiss, Shuriken Pistol, Harlequin Mask, Flip Belt, Holosuit


We rolled "The Raid" scenario Harlequin's were to be the attacker. They were tasked with destroying our bunker/entrance and would only have a limited number of their troops for the raid. I in turn would only have a few sentries, the rest would be nearby and come on as reserves if the alarm was sounded. The Harlequins would win if they destroyed the entrance of the bunker (T6, 3 Wounds) and then exited off the table edge from which they came (or if the Astra Militarum voluntarily bottled after losing half my mens...).

I had to roll d6 to see how many figures I started with as sentries - I rolled 4. The rest had to be organized into reinforcement groups of one or more that I could dice for each turn after the alarm was raised - the bigger the group, though, the less likely they would come on (I had to roll higher than the number in the group on a d6 for them to arrive)

the Girl had to roll to see how many members of her team went on this raid - she rolled 4 as well (which is 80% of her team - she decided to leave behind bubblegum)


To start with we rolled on the "Hunt in the Promethium Sprawl" table

I rolled "Indomitable" - I could subtract -1 from all bottle tests... which was kind of useless as I was immune to bottle tests in this scenario - ah well... better than losing a guy for a game because he got lost!

The Girl rolled "Hidden Cache" - The winner gets +100 extra points to spent during recruitment and rearming.

Fancy new cavern terrain sections - these ones allow a bit more moving about - not-so-bottle-necky...

There were four entrances to the cavern that contained the entrance to their OP/bunker. Privates Zakariya, Hamid, Wajdi, and Muktar took it in turns to watch each of them while the others were ferrying more supplies to their new home. 

We said the stone pillar in the middle of the central cavern space could represent the entrance to the hidden bunker/OP

Harlequins deployed in the bottom right corner - objective in the centre of the table guarded by 4 sentries. Objective needs to be destroyed by causing three wounds and then exiting off the table edge they arrived on.

ROUND ONE - Harlequin's Turn

As the Harlequin's were the attackers, they got the first turn.

They all ran through the same cavern towards the objective in the centre of the table.

ROUND ONE - Astra Militarum Turn

Private Zakariya thought he heard something - a faint titter, as though at a deliciously vile joke. Maybe he just imagined it... but then he though t he saw something - a flicker in the darkness of the cavern beyond... He took a few steps forward. 

Wajdi, one of the new recruit hissed at him: "What is it?" and walked towards his new comrade. 

Zakariya turned to look at him and signed that he thought he had hears something. He turned again to peer into the darkness of the vast cavern...

Rolled for sentries only two moved, and I controlled them.

ROUND TWO - Harlequin's Turn

Out of the darkness before Private Zakariya flashed a sight of pure terror - a light creature of exaggeratedly long proportions all a shimmer of dazzling light and colour with a visage of pure horror. Surely this thing was a daemon spawned of the warp come to claim his pitiful soul!  

Zakariya soiled himself and turned to run but the thing punched something into his back - searing pain shot through his midsection like fingers quickly reaching out for something - when the creature retracted it's weapon, chunks of Zakariya went with it. Zakariya crumpled to the floor and tried to scream, but there was only blood spurting from his mouth and side. 

Polkastripe charged Pte. Zakariya who failed his Fear Test, as he fled the contact the harlequin got a free attack which wounded Zakariya and took him out of action.

To Private Wajdi's utter horror three more such creatures silently flooded into the room with inhuman speed! His Shouts alerted the others! 

Stabpants made it into contact with the entrance, but was unable to do any damage to it.

ROUND TWO - Astra Militarum

In the distance, Sgt Kassab and Grenadier Yakub heard Wajdi's faint shout followed by the faint report of lasguns being fired, and other sounds, alien sounds of xenos weapons. The dropped all they were carrying save their weapons and began to run! 

First reinforcement group arrives!

At Wajdi's shout Hamid and Muktar leapt into action - taking cover and firing at the Xenos threat that had already taken down one of their comrades! 

Shooting at the Harlequins, two hits were scored, of which one wound was scored, and dodged as their sneaky-beaky invulnerable save was passed.

ROUND THREE - Harlequins 

(in all the excitement, I totally forgot to take pictures this turn...)

Stabpants charged Private Hamid, who failed his fear check and fled - free hit failed to wound and Hamid made good his escape. Wajdi and Muktar passed their fear tests as they were charged by Jade Lightning and Polkastripe, respectively. It probably would have been better if they'd failed and fled. Jade Lightning hit Wajdi with her harlequin's Kiss - shredding his face and neck - two wounds, out of action. Polkastripe came at Muktar like a whirlwind of death causing FOUR WOUNDS - two of those were actually flesh wounds, but the others cut deeper and took him out of action...

ROUND THREE - Astra Militarum

Grenadier Yakub rounded the corner just in time to see half of Private Wajdi's face torn off and see his unconscious body slip against the wall smearing it with blood. Poor Wajdi, he though, he'd only been with the unit a couple of weeks. His Grenade Launcher coughed as he fired off a Frag down the corridor, but it ricocheted off a wall and into a crevice the blast filled the corridor with a shower of small stones and clouds of dust, but otherwise caused no harm. 

At the same time Sergeant Kassab rounded the other side of the pillar that Yakub was firing from and was just able to make out one of the Xenos creatures standing over the body of Muktar - he squeezed off a couple of shots from his bolt pistol - but only managed to get the creatures attention!

These creatures were clearly far more adept than the Tau they'd encountered only days before! 

Corporal Talal and Lance Corporal Nazim also heard the sounds and had sprinted to catch up with the Sergeant and Grenadier they knew were not to far ahead of them - they caught up just as they began to engage the enemy!

Private Hamid cowered in the cover he had gained, shaking uncontrollably - he'd heard the gurgling and coughing of his comrades as they were savaged by the foul xenos before they could even cry out. They were now all surely dead. How could he face the rest of the squad. They hadn't thought much of him - as they do of all the new recruits - and now he'd proved them right!  

ROUND FOUR - Harlequins

With the immediate threats neutralized, the harlequins set to their main task - destroying the bunker and all within - lacking demolition charged they simply shot up the place with their shuriekn pistol and slashed at things with their swords hoping to cause as much damaged as they could. The NINE attacks between them caused two wounds - one more and the bunker would be destroyed....

ROUND FOUR - Astra Militarum

Continuing to move up, the squad tried to bring more fire down on the foul Xenos that were trying to destroy their bunker. The Sergeant fired a few more shots from his bolt pistol - but the Xenos were in good cover and he could not hit them. 

Yakub found his range, however, and planted a fragmentation grenade at the feet of the one of the Xenos. The blast sent them scrambling for cover, but they seemed unaffected by it... 

The shot landed and pinned three of the Harlequins, but failed to cause any injuries...

Meanwhile, Private Hamid found his resolve and determined he would avenge his battle brothers or die trying, he steadied his lasgun and prepared to creep back to where he might be able to fire upon the xenos!

ROUND FIVE - Harlequins

As there was one unpinned Harlequin present - they all immediately recovered from being pinned at the beginning of the turn. As recovering from pinning requires a Initiative test on a D6... and their initiatives are all 6 or 7 - it was pretty much automatic... (a six would fail - but The Girl didn't roll any of those!). So they set about trying to destroy the bunker again....

And succeeded - causing a further three wounds.. (they had only needed one more...).

ROUND FIVE -  Astra Militarum

At this point I really should have just said, screw it, the game is lost - I'm not going to take out enough of them to stop them from winning - and just let them leave with their win before suffering any more casualties... Oh, I wasn't about to voluntarily bottle or anything (in this scenario if I did it would mean losing one of the caches I already had and giving it to the Harlequins!)

The remainder of the squad carried the fight forward - as the fragmentation grenade hadn't worked, Yakub switched to Krak and fired one off at the Leader, but missed - the ear shattering blast as it hit the wall nearly deafened all present, but caused no other harm. The Sergeant had a good line on one of them and blasted away at it with his Bolt Pistol - there was no way he could have missed at this range, but it was like the creature could see the bolts coming and simply danced out of the way of them!  Corporal Talal lobbed a hand grenade over his comrades head - it bounced and landed right among the Xenos as they cowered by the entrance of the ruined bunker. They dove for cover and it seemed to make them keep their heads down... this might be their chance!

Private Hamid had crept forward back towards the cavern with the bunker entrance - he was able to bring down fire on the Xenos from the other side, where they had not cover from. It must have ebeen all the smoke and dust and their translucent flowing forms, because Private Hamid just could not score a hit on one! 

Of course, I also forgot that Hamid should have spent a turn PINNED after recovering from Broken! Not that it mattered - he couldn't hit anything to save his life!

ROUND SIX - Harlequins

As all four of them were pinned, no one could recover at the beginning of the turn and they all basically lost their turn. During the Recovery Phase at the end of the turn they all recovered.

ROUND SIX - Astra Militarum

This was it, this was their chance - Sergeant Kassab jumped up and called out; "GO! GO! GO!" and charged the Cowering Xenos. Yakub and Nazim followed charging another of the Xenos. Cpl. Talal got up to charge them but caught a glance of their terrible visage and his knees froze and he could propel himself no further...

Sergeant Kassab charged the Xenos with his bolt pistol blazing and his chainsword roaring - a veteran of scores of battles - he was no stranger to close combat... but the way that creature danced out of his way, made him feel like a clumsy child. Despite his attempt to parry, the creature caught him in the side of the head and all went black. 

(...and now, as I'm typing this report I'd come to realize I TOTALLY FORGOT ABOUT SERGEANT KASSAB'S SPECIAL "STEP ASIDE" SKILL!?! GAH!? I KNEW there was a reason I wanted to try and get him into melee - to try SOMETHING out!? Other than just his fancy chainsword!?)

Yakub and Nazim charged another of the creatures around the other side the entrance. It stepped into meed Yakub first and with a flash of it's sword utterly eviscerated him. Nazim was sloshed with Yakub blood and viscera. He completely lost his nerve and turned and ran - just downing the Xenos creatures follow-through attack. He ran right past Corporal Talal, screaming all the way! 

In the confusion, Hamid took a few more shots at the Xenos. He swore he'd hit one, but then it didn't...  The speed of these creatures was uncanny and their constant movements bizarre and unpredictable!? 

ROUND SEVEN - Harlequins 

Polkastripe recovered from being pinned and they all decided to scarper.

They flashed past Hamid in a translucent blur of light and colour.

ROUND SEVEN - Astra Militarum

Private Hamid turned to fire at the prismatic blur flashing past him, but couldn't say if he hit anything or not. If he had, they seemed not to care at all and just continued on their way!

Private Daoud finally made it to a position where he could bring down fire on the fleeing Xenos scum with his meltagun. He fired his gun at the quickly disappearing blur and was equally unsure it made any difference at all... 

ROUND EIGHT - Harlequins

And off the table they went....

As the sound of battle drifted off into the distance, Corporal Talal started to make his way forward through the dust and smoke to see if he could find any survivors. He encountered Hamid and Yakub. Hamid was helping Yakub shuffle forward and Yakub concentrated on holding in what was left of him innards. 

Tallal stopped them and shouted - half deaf from the grenade blasts, and wanting to be heard over the cacophony of munitions cooking off inside the bunker; "WHERE'S KASSAB!? WHERE'S KASSAB!?"

Hamid shouted back "SARGE IS GONE, LET'S GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!" and continued shuffling along his way.... 


AS part of the scenario special rules, if the attacker managed to destroy the bunker/entrance the defender (me) had to roll a d6 to see if I LOST one of my caches... I did not.

Checking for injuries...

Apparently the Regimental Medicae Detachment was freshly deployed and fully operational, but as the campaign was just beginning they were not overly burdened by excessive casualties, all received immediate topnotch treatment. Only Private Wajdi would miss the next mission as his face was painfully put back together (he gained a HATRED of Jade Lightning). Private Zakariya actually gained a skill for his troubles (That Which Does Not Kill You...) and now has the Jump Back skill (may attempt to break off from close combat..)

All except for Sergeant Kassab - No trace of his body could be found it is presumed he was CAPTURED!! I guess the Harlequins thought he might be useful - one of them scooped him up under their arms and spirited him away when they left!

Astra Militarum 1, Harlequins 2 - plus they got the bonus +100 points for winning - from the "Hidden Cache" result on the "Hunt in the promethium Sprawl" table at the beginning of the game.

Corporal Talal gained the AMBUSH skill
Stabpants gained the COMBAT MASTER skill

Wajdi and Hamid got one more check on their mission boxes - one more mission away from Veteran status! Polkastripe, the new harlequin Mime, likewise got to tick off her first box.

Recruit and Rearm
The Girl was definitely going to add another Harlequin to her troupe - with the bonus points she might even be able to do so without expending a cache.

I'm not sure what I could do - if your sergeant DIES you don't get any re-supply as you reorg you team and promote one of your current number to Team Leader status... however, Sergeant Kassab wasn't DEAD - he was captured... Does that mean I should have gotten a regular recruitment or rearm  in the resupply phase...? Not sure it really matters. We'r'e going to start again tomorrow evening with new Kill Teams for the weekend campaign.

The new cavern terrain squares worked out well, I think.

I think my take-away from this is: Just don't mess with Harlequins in close combat - Best defence: No Be There! Long Distance: The Next Best Thing to Being There! Of course that 4+ invulnerable save means that the few shots that actually hit and wound are likely to just be dodged out of the way of at the last microsecond....

Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I did finish up the Eldar Guardians so an Eldar Kill Team COULD be fielded this weekend - though only one person is actually needing to borrow one from me. I'll probably post pics of that tomorrow morning (or... I guess... LATER this morning - as it is already the wee hours of Friday as I madly try to finish off this report!)

After that there should be a report of the weekend's campaign - there are are eight of us participating Myself (Tallarn), Amanda (Tau) and the Kids (Orks and Harlequins) , along with John (Adeptus Mechanicus Skitari)i , Other Tim (MORE Orks), Christian (possibly Eldar? he has to borrow one of mine!),  and Paul (who is driving all the way from Wimmipeg to play with his Grey Knights - 827Km!). Hopefully we'll get a couple games in tomorrow night, a couple Saturday morning, a couple in the afternoon and possibly a couple more in the evening - if required.

As the next week is a school break around here - all of our activities are cancelled so I was planning a  WEEK OF GAMING following the Shadow War campaign - I hope to get a game in every afternoon and evening all week! Hoping to finally try out Terraforming Mars, maybe get in a game of Railways of the World... maybe Nations and/or Viticulture... London?  The kids are hoping to play Super Dungeon Explore, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle, Sentinels of the Universe and Star Wars: X-wing... I'm sure at some point I'll post a report of how that all went down as well!


  1. Excited to heard about the weekend campaign. Hogwarts is pretty easy to pick up and play, especially if you have played dominion before.

    1. Thanks Jonny!

      We've played through the first few games of Hogwarts... but we're stuck on, I think, Game Four... We've played it three times an just can't beat it...

  2. Great report and new cavern tiles! Seems like the Harlequins were well-suited for that mission.

    1. Harlequins seem well suited for EVERY mission. We later realized she should have had one less on this raid, but honestly I don't think it would have made any difference. Also there was no way I could have pinned her those times that I did - they aren't pinned by anything but high-impact weapons (of which I had none... well... maybe the meltagun - or the plasma gun on high power...). In the campaign so far she is 2-0 and has four caches collected. By the end of the day I think we could very well be calling her champion. Not JUST because harlequins are "too good", she's just played them very well...