Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mission 55 Theta - clearance of space hulk 'Revenant of Despair'

So we decided to play a game of Zone Mortalis where 700 points of ordo xenos inquisition would attempt to purge a sector of the space hulk 'Revenant of Despair' clear of 700 points worth of tyranid infestation. The primary objective being the hive queen or 'tervigon' to give it it's correct designation. The queen would birth 2D6 plus 3 broods of termagants per turn and would not 'burn out' as per the standard codex tervigon rules. The aim being that the hulk is infested with tons of little gribblies and it is up to the inquisition to blast their way through to reach the hive nest and torch the queen.

Both sides would be using blip markers to represent their different units and squads (only themselves knowing what was under each one). Interspersed amongst the blips representing termagant broods were the 700 points worth of tyranid elite units which comprised of genestealers both ymgarl and standard, a brood of two lictors and a brood of venomthropes. We also decided that the lictors and the inquisitions eversor assassin could traverse the map via the airducts which we represented using the tops of the walls.

Finally, we agreed that the game would last the full seven turns and the unstable void ship damage table would be in effect. (My apologies for the use of the same blip markers to represent the tyranids and the inquisition. It might be confusing for readers but we knew what was going on).

The layout of the hulk - tyranid blips appear throughout the hulk with blips to represent the breaching ordo xenos troops in the foreground

The view upon first breaching the outer hull of the 'Revenant of Despair'

Inquisition forces move down the central and right corridor either side of an unknown contact...

Meanwhile another squad advances down the left-hand side towards a signature return

Number 2 bulkhead is raised

Squad Damocles encounters the first tyranid forces. Flamers lead the way clearing as they go
 Wicked bursts of promethium wash the corridors and incinerate swathes of termagants leaving little alive. This auto-pict feed captures the aftermath.
 Even as the first room is cleared by squad Damocles, more termagants pour from adjacent rooms and swamp them
 Marius Narmosian wades into battle cleaving left and right with his thrice blessed heavy chainblade. He would fall in battle aboard the 'Revenant of Despair'

The situation at turn 2. Contact has been made so far with termagants only, first blood to the inquisition.

Pict feed 07a8/b captures a blurred image of something in one of the former arming chambers aboard the 'Revenant of Despair. Later analysis would determine that this was a battle between a lictor and what some postulate as an inquisitorial assassin attached to the battle group. However, no record of the Officio Assassinorium despatching an operative on this mission was mentioned and no body was ever recovered.

Turn 3. The inquisition forces have cleared the immediate danger albeit at a cost. Their forces return to being blips on the board and they advance further into the hulk. The blips to the left, centre and right in the middle of the picture are the ordo xenos squads while the other blips are tyranid
 Inquisition squads line up to breach another door while something moves in the airducts above them...
 Another bulkhead is breached but this time genestealers of the ymgarl genus burst upon them. Notice the genestealers perfect camouflage with their surroundings. Years, maybe even decades aboard this hulk has allowed them to adapt
 Pict feeds capture the ymgarl stealers rushing from their hiding place to swarm the inquisition

 Inquisitor Severin Lock stands fast and puts a bolt round through the face of the first stealer through the door.
 Elsewhere on board, Coteaz and his retinue come face to face with more termagants but this time supported by venomthropes...the toxic fumes almost overwhelming a number of them

 As another bulkhead rises Coteaz stands firm in the face of insurmountable odds.
 Inquisitor Lock's squad Damocles has been slaughtered all around him. Only he stands alone against the xenos tide. He fells a great many but is ultimately slain.
 Squad Claymore encounters a handful of lesser genestealers in one of the eastern companionways, The devastation of the corridor would suggest that earlier flash fires tore through this section of the ship and killed a great many tyranids before the inquisition came into contact with them.

Having been hunting them from the shadows a lictor (possibly the same one from an earlier pict feed image) emerges and assaults squad Claymore

The situation on turn 4. Severin Lock is the last man standing in the central corridor while veteran squad Claymore is assault on both sides in the lower corridor. To the top of the picture Coteaz and retinue stand fast in the doorway.

In the eastern dorsal corridor squad Claymore dispatches the few genestealers that assault them with disciplined volleys of overwatch fire. But cannot prevent the lictor from springing it's trap
 This overhead pict feed captures the moment v.sgt Laphonne's flamer sputters and dies at precisely the wrong time...

Coteaz prepares to charge the last obstacle between him and the hive room

More termagants pour from the ducts to shred squad Claymore with fleshborer rounds and then tear into them with razor sharp claws and teeth. This is the last sighting of the squad.

Coteaz and his retinue while taking casualties wade into battle with the venomthropes and termagants, making short work of them

The survivors brace themselves for the next wave...

Termagants scuttle up one of the crossing passageways towards Coteaz

The door to the hive room opens to disgorge even more termagants at Coteaz

From the direction of the initial hull breach remnants of the ymgarl genestealers emerge to assail the last remaining ordo xenos forces. It was at this point that Coteaz knew Severin Lock was slain...

The calm before the storm...beset on all sides Coteaz prepares for battle.

The stealers and the lictor attack at once and while they are ultimately all slain they manage to take down the remainder of Coteaz's retinue and reduce him to but a single wound. The lack of an invulnerable save proving costly against the deadly rending claws of the genestealers.

With nothing but termagants standing between him and his final objective Coteaz ploughs onward clearing the bulkhead doorway.

 He is wounded, poisoned and bleeding from multiple deep lacerations but he alone has reached the hive queen's lair. With time running out and the hulk of the 'Revenant of Despair' about to collapse he prepares for the final battle.
 The hive queen!

Both striking at the same time and both with weapons that can kill in an instant Coteaz and the hive queen lock sabres. The queen charges and while Coteaz valiantly parries most of the blows she manages to land one deadly strike and impale him on her talon. Dying, Coteaz attempts to take her down with him but his strength finally fails him and he slips into darkness...

With Coteaz slain the brood closes in to feed and absorb his bio-matter into the hive fleet....
 ...but just as they start rending him limb from limb a small signal is pulsed from his armour and moments later the 'Revenant of Despair' is atomized by ceaseless broadside bombardments from the Inquisitorial battle-barge 'The Indomitable' which had been standing on station ready to annihilate the hulk should the mission fail.


  1. A Note from the Inquisition:
    This expedition was doomed. Had the feel of a mission which has been subverted. Gene stealer cult members somehow alerted the Hive Mind. A purge of crew members is currently been meted out by members of the Ordo Xenos.

    And complaints have been sent to the Ordo Assinorum about the shoddy standards of the new graduates from the Schola Eversor.

  2. Absolutely brilliant battle report. The 'pic-feeds' and blurred shot between the Eversor & Lictor were amazing. The blue-gooey bio-matter was a nice touch also. Sorry to hear of the Inquisition's botched mission. But everyone knows that tactical dreadnought battle plates are essential when boarding a space hulk. LOL... looked like a wicked game...

  3. Yeah I agree Louis, space hulk clearance isn't a job for humans. Send in the post-human, TDA wearing space marines!

  4. Looks like you guys had a lot of fun. I'd like to try a zone mortalis game but I get the feeling Dark Eldar arent really right for it. Have to think about what armies to use.

  5. I think dark eldar would be great... Close combat, speed. All they lack is armour. Otherwise blood angels would do well.

  6. and the shooting that Dark Eldar can do would be devastating in zone mortalis....yowzah! O_O