Lord Inquisitor Drusilla Kyros has summoned her Deathwatch Kill Team to execute another mission for her, this time deep in the jungles of Xoxigar Tertium! The Inquisitor has obtained intelligence that a band of Aeldari have been operating in a area centered on an ancient ruin of some sort. the Kill Team has been tasked with demolishing one of the central edifices - to see if that dissuades the Aeldari from remaiing in the region, so close to where a regiment of the Astra Militarum are operating.
Finnegan and I played another game of Kill Team last night - expanding on our campaign on Xoxigar Tertium. We rolled for a random scenario in the Octarius and tried to build a scenario around it.
The scenario we played was Mission 2.2: Saboteurs - our of the Octarius book. The attacker (Deathwatch) had to plant explosives on a "Vital Installation" - the Ancient Aeldari Arcane Ruins - Victory points for both sides were determined by how many damage points worth of bombs were planted during the game. No bombs planted meant 0VP for the attacker and 12VP for the defender, 1-3 Damage Points of bombs planted meant 4VP for the attacker and 8VP for the defender, 4-6 Damage Points of bombs planted meant 8VP for the attacker and 14VP for the defender, 7+ Damage Points of bombs planted meant 12VP for the attacker and 0VP for the defender.
If bombs were planted on TOP of the thing it did two Damage Points, using Melta charges (special mission equipment available to be purchased) also caused more damage.
Now experience (XP) in a campaign is gained from completing mission actions or through doing things that gain you VP. There was no indication how many XP were to be gained through for the defender. I mean, for the attacker it's clear - if you do the Plant Explosives action, you gain an XP... but the VP gained by the defender are just from preventing the enemy from doing the things...? Which is a little harder to quantify. We kind of just did the reverse - if the attacker gains 12VP - defender gets 0XP to distribute, if the attacker gains 8VP - defender gets 2XP to distribute, if the attacker gains 4VP - defender gets 5XP to distribute, if the attacker gains 0 - defender gets 7XP to distribute...?
Also, only half of the defenders start on the table. The other half can dice at the beginning of the 2nd Turning Point to see if they arrive, any that don't arrive at the beginning of the third.
- Sergeant Laescos Coranos - Deathwatch Veteran Watch Sergeant - Xenophase Blade and Storm Shield
- Brother Borealis Issolis - Deathwatch Veteran [Heavy Gunner] - Infernus Heavy Bolter
- Brother Nasirdan Cannistus - Deathwatch Veteran [Warrior]- Stalker Pattern Bolt Gun
- Brother Icasos Scamedes - Deathwatch Veteran [Warrior] - Deathwatch Shotgun
- Brother Benatos Diodexious - Deathwatch Veteran [Gunner]- Combi-Plasma
- Maesenir (Ranger - Leader - Ranger Long Rifle and Fists)
- Ylessar (Ranger - Warrior - Ranger Long Rifle and Fists)
- Aurelyc (Ranger - Warrior - Ranger Long Rifle and Fists)
- Klorandos (Ranger - Warrior - Ranger Long Rifle and Fists)
- Lechanna (Ranger - Warrior - Ranger Long Rifle and Fists)
- Kaedoreth (Ranger - Warrior - Ranger Long Rifle and Fists)
- Tallariel (Ranger - Warrior - Ranger Long Rifle and Fists)
- Jairyllian (Ranger - Warrior - Ranger Long Rifle and Fists)
I decided the best chance to deal with this was just to harry and snipe at the Deathwatch as they tried to approach the ruins and leave the Dire Avengers in the Webway to rest and recuperate - as two had gained Battle Scars in their last action - and resting gives them a bonus to recovery rolls (to remove battle scars!)
Though he'd played with the Kill Team before, Finnegan hadn't really filled out cards and a Data Slate and picked equipment or a Spec Ops campaign or Strategic Assets. He Spent his four requisition points on two supply drops (2 Suspensors - one for each of his Operative with Heavy Weapons - and 2 sets of Frag grenades) and two Strategic Assets (Med Bay and Tactical Uplink)
I had to re-sort some of mine... I'd written down different things down in different places - on teh data slate itself, I had one Spec Ops written down... but had noted that I had completed objectives for a completely one...!? I couldn't really remember what I'd been thinking or if I'd made a decision one way or another... so changed the Spec Op the Data Slate said I was working on to match what I said I'd accomplished. Narratively, none of the Spec Ops really fit what this team is up to... So I went with what they CAN do and selected the "Breakout" Spec Op...
Table and teams set up and ready to go...
Unfortunately, as defender I had to set up first and had no idea where Finnegan would set up his guys. I wasn't sure where they would be. I tried to set up, hoping his guys would beeline for the objective and I could work on some Tac Ops to gain some bonus VP (and XP) before his guys got close to the Ruins, where I'd hoped to pick them off as they came out of hiding to plant explosives... there were a few problems with this plan....
Ehhhhh... whoopsie... I guess Aurelyc is not charging into THIS quarter to grab points any time soon!
Other Deathwatch Marines all set up and ready to go.
Ylessar hiding. Waiting.
Other Rangers waiting. Silent. Patient.
I figured I had it covered from both sides - any that approached would be caught in a crossfire.
Aurelyc, the picket, passing on information to the others about the intruders dispositions and desperately calling for the others to return to the site!
Wow, I took a lot of pictures of the set up...
FIRST TURNING POINT
To start things off, I used revealed the Triangulate Tac Op (Operatives can take a "Triangulate" special action within 3" of a Kill Zone edge - if two edges are Triangulated they gain 1VP. If a third is Triangulated they gain an additional VP)
Deathwatch moved first. Brother Benatos Diodexious was the first to advance on the ruins. Though he tried to be sneaky, he wandered directly into Ylessar's sites...
The shot came, seemingly, out of no where... Benatos was advancing on the ruins, which seemed to be abandoned, then he was down and bleeding and in paint.
The shot cause 8 wounds. Brother Benatos was seriously injured but the high wounds and Marine armour saved him from being taken out.
Shooting at Brother Benatos was a bit mistake on MY part. He had done his movement. He wasn't going anywhere. Ylessar could have taken his shot ANY time... what I SHOULD have done was activate Aurelyc! Triangulate and shoot... Triangulate and get out of the way... Shoot and get out of the way... ANYTHING!?
Because not doing so meant they would not be used in the game! Brother Borealis Issolis, with his Engage Order, just marched out of cover to a place where Aurelyc DIDN'T have cover and blasted them out of the game with his Infernus Heavy Bolter.
Ah well, live and learn... or, in my case, live a life full of regrets and keep making the same damned mistakes because I CAN'T seem to remember these mistakes and learn from them!?
As a torrent of explosive bolter rounds came pouring into the trees where Auralyc thought they were secreted, shattering heavy trunks and kicking up a cloud of branches, leaves and splinters, they went to ground and ramined there for the rest of the action. letting the Marines pass them by hoping to catch them with a shot in the back. But after the marines had passed by, they realized that their long rifle had been damaged and were unable to take a shot. Being of no further use, they slunk away from the skirmish in despair.
Maesenir took a long-ranged shot at Brother Nasirdan Cannistus - but cover and marine armour meant it did little harm - 3 wounds. Maesenir spent his other action Triangulating.
Brother Scamedes and the Sergeant, hearing from the others that they were not alone in these woods, was a little more careful to remain in cover as he advanced. (and with a Conceal order, was thus not a viable target).
Klorandos, not having any viable targets, and not wanting to rush out to a point where he could actually shoot at Marines - and dangerously expose himself. Patiently waited in cover and triangulated the area.
Brother Cannistus rushed forward to join Brother Borealis
Because the aeldari Rangers started with fewer figures on the table, They actually got one turn of Overwatch fire - and Ylessar used it to take a second shot at Brother Benatos, finishing him off. His transhuman physiology would save him, but he was down for now, and out of the action.
1 VP for me for Triangulating at two of the edges of the Kill Zone...
SECOND TURNING POINT
Leachanna arrived on the scene.
As did Jairyllian.
Lechanna was able to Triangulate another edge of the Kill Zone (Which would score me a second VP from the Tac Op) and then shot Brother Borealis, dealing them 8 wounds!
Brother Borealis charged Lechanna's position and damaged her slightly... but he was slowed by the wounds caused by the Ranger's shot and she was able to put him down with a few lightning fast moves, going for gaps in his armour...
I guess we're BOTH still learning. Close Combat is nasty and deadly. I pointed out, Finnegan would have probably been better off just moving to within 2" - where Lechanna would no longer benefit from being concealed in cover, and unloading with either of Brother Borealis' weapons. I think, for MOST of our Kill Teams, this is the best option. Unless they are warriors that are BUILT for close combat - Drukhari Witches, Genestealers, Assault Marines... better to just stand-off and shoot where they can't hit back!
Ylessar dashed around to a corner where they could get Brother Cannistus in their sights and took a shot. Again the Marine's excellent armour saved them...
Brother Cannistus rushed forward into the ambush until they could see who was shooting at them, firing as they advanced. Ylessar was obliged to retire and call it a day.
Sergeant Coranos rushed up to the ruins and started planting demolition charges.
Brother Scamedes followed and did the same.
(in between these two activations, I simply had to pass... as there were no visible targets and no way to move that wouldn't dangerously expose my own troops....)
And so we come to the OTHER problem with my initial plan, of picking off Marines as they came out of cover to plant bombs on the ruins... The Marines did not HAVE to take engage orders to plant bombs - they could remain concealed, AND there were lots of Obstructing bits of cover/terrain about that ruin... so even when they GOT to it, there were few angles that I could easily get a clear shot to one of them!?
THIRD TURNING POINT
Tallariel and Kaedoreth finally turned up.
Tallariel took a quick shot at Brother Cannistus - the third shot taken at the Marine - and STILL could not take him down. Realizing the shot had drawn his attention, Tallariel dashed completely out of view.
Brother Cannistus ran the OTHER WAY around the clump of vegetation and caught Kaoreth just arriving and still trying to get her bearings and locate the intruders. Finnegan had used the Bolter Discipline Strategic Ploy, so Brother Cannistus was able to unload into Kaedoreth twice. She quickly retreated from the scene to regroup with Ylessar and Aurelyc.
While Brother Cannistus was focused on blasting away at the trees hoping to kill the Aeldari hiding within, Jairyllian was able to sneak up behind and put a couple shots into the marines back- putting rounds through both the Power Armour's stabilizers and Marine's spine, dropping him to the ground in agony.
FOUR shots to take him down. Wow... These were definitely NOT the Genestealer cultists they'd previously faced.
Sergeant Coranos and Brother Scamedes planted more bombs on the edifice to the hated ancient Xenos.
Realizing there wasn't much they could so in the positions they were in, Maesenir and Klorando relocated
This was a move to try and score a few VP via the Overrun Tac Op - 1 VP if they had one Operative in each quarter of the Kill Zone and not within 3" of the center. They did score 1VP this way. If they could score a second, it would mean the game ended in a tie. The marines had planted four bombs - which meant they'd be scoring 8VP and the aeldari would score 4. There were only two of them left on the table which meant there was NO WAY they could plant three more - which would put them in the next bracket of 7+ bombs planted (for 12VP and ZERO for the Rangers). If the Rangers could score 4VP from Tac Ops and deny the Marines from scoring any more... the game could be tied up.
I can't remember what my third Tac Op was... Mark Target...? I guess I forgot about that possibility!? I mostly just wanted to get everyone out of the way.
FOURTH TURNING POINT
Realizing his shooting down of Brother Cannistus had drawn the attention of the two remaining Marines. Spotting a shadow of movement, Sergeant Coranos gave chase. Sergeant Coranos IS built for Close Combat and cut entire trees in half with his Xenophase sword in pursuit of the Ranger... the shear violence of his onslaught caused the Ranger to disappear into the jungle and trouble them no more!
Brother Scamedes also went hunting and caught one of the Aeldari moving in the open. A few blasts of his shotgun encouraged the Ranger to vacate the scene.
Masenir made one last act defiance before withdrawing from the skirmish. He leapt our from cover and peppered Scamedes with monofilament shuriken-like projectiles from his pistol. The marine was seriously injured and before he could respond, the lithe Aeldari had vanished.... Gone to check on the rest of the team - continuing this engagement would be fruitless as the damage had been done and the Marines themselves were ready to vacate the Kill Zone.
It was a VERY close game ending with the Marines winning 10-9.
Going through the Post Game Sequence...
Among the Death Watch, Brother Borealis Issolis, Brother Benatos Diodexious, and Brother Nasirdan Cannistus had been taken out of action. Checking to see if any of it was serious, they FAILED TWO casualty checks. One was able to be re-rolled (thanks to the Medbay) but Brother Nasirdan Cannistus ended up with a Critical Impairment of some sort - which means he will not be able to perform Dash actions or increase his APL.
The Aeldari all passed their Casualty checks, their wounds were minor and easily dealt with back in their webway retreat.
We did add in the Experience the Deathwatch Kill Team would have earned from their first game against the Harlequins. With the XP gained in this game, both Sergeant Coranos and Brother Scamedes made it to 6XP and, thus, Veteran status. Finnegan said he'd look through the options for the various Specialisms and the skill they can gain later.
The Aeldari gained very few XP... but Ylessar did gain one and that brought him to six and made him a Veteran. I haven't decided what to do with him... don't just want to give EVER YONE the same things...
Take Recovery Tests
The Death Watch didn't have any Battle Scars, but the Aeldari sure did! Talariel did not recover from their Sapped Strength - but who could expect them to, running around in the bush instead of resting. The two Dire Avengers, having sat this one out, got a bonus to their rolls. The Bonus helped Naermenyl recover from her Lingering Ailment - some rest was just the thing to help her body adjust to the regrown leg! Zelanys is still suffering from her Sapped Strength.
Complete Operations (Spec Ops)
The Aeldari did gain VP from both Triangulate and Overrun - two of the Tac Ops that need to be completed in a game to move forwards in their Spec Op.
The Deathwatch did not succeed in any of their Tac Ops.
Neither Team gained anything from the Mission's Spec Ops Campaign Bonuses.
Strangely, only the Missions in the Octarius book have Spec Ops Campaign bonuses - bonuses if you happen to be doing certain Spec Ops campaigns AND achieve a certain objectives.
For this one there was bonus requisition point if the attacker scored 3 or more VP from Infiltration Tac Ops or the Defender scored 3+ VP from Security Tac Ops AND/OR a team could reduce the number of games required for their respective Spec Op if the defender was currently undertaking either Honourbound or Secure District Spec ops and NO DAMAGE was done to the Vital installation or if the attacker was currently undertaking the Demolition or Infiltrate Spec Ops and the installation suffered 7+ damage.
None of these applied to either of our Kill Teams...
After a few games into a couple campaigns... I've had some thoughts about the campaign system - and miniature skirmish campaign systems in general... but I think I'll save those for another post...