Mission 2.1: Boarding Action
The Ultramarines, buoyed by the arrive of the rest of the Task Force, have decided to press home their advantage and attempt to capture the Mining Station intact. Not willing to risk their fleet in a full frontal assault, they have identified the crippled bay doors as the Achilles heel of the station defences.
A series of simultaneous boarding actions by craft small enough to evade the stations defence turrets will attempt to overwhelming the Tau defenders, as well as their treacherous human allies. Initial breaching teams will attempt to establish beachheads, and once primary objectives have been captured more reinforcements will be sent to help cement the hold they have.
Tau forces, outnumbered and unable to defend all bays simultaneously, have placed part of their force into a mobile reserve. Once enemy units have been committed and engaged, provided the initial defenders can hold their ground for long enough, reinforcements will be committed from the mobile reserve to try and repulse the attack, before being reassigned elsewhere.
While all three targets are crucial to the capture of the mining station, the fight for the Passenger Ferry Terminus, located in the Worker Accommodation Sector, is particularly vital as the docking facilities will permit the Ultramarines to establish a larger beachhead more rapidly, allowing them to push on and join up with the boarding teams in the other two sectors.
Tau Forces: Fire Warriors from the Setpworld of Fi’Rios 964pts
Fireblade ‘Darkwave’ El’Or’Es 60pts
Fire Warrior Team x 11, 99pts
Fire Warrior Team x 11, 99pts
Kroot x12, 72pts
Gue’Vesa team x12, 72pts
Stealth Suit x3, BC x3, ATS, 93pts
Stealth Suit x3, BC x3, 90pts
Crisis Suits x 2, Plasma Rifles, VRT 114pts
Pathfinder team x6, Rail rifle x 2, 108pts
Broadside Suits x 1, TL HYMP, TL SMS, Conterfire Defence System, Bonding Knife 71pts
Broadside Suits x 1, TL HYMP, TL SMS, Drone Controller, Missile drone x 2, 98pts
Imperial Forces: Ultramarines Space Marine Chapter 975pts
Librarian Brother Herbort, Level 2 Psyker, Force Stave,, 90pts
Scout squad x5, 2x shotgun, 3x CCW, Camocloaks 65pts
TAC squad x 5, Flamer, Veteran Sergeant, Power Axe 100pts
TAC squad x 10, PG, ML, Sergeant with combi-plasma 180pts
TAC squad x 5, PG, Sergeant with combi-plasma 95pts
Sternguard x 5, 120pts
Terminators x 5, Cyclone Missile Launcher 225pts
ASSAULT squad x 5, Sergeant with Power Axe 100pts
Mining Station Zebra is a cluster of hollow asteroids linked together by walkways, containing heavily damaged facilities and ruins. To represent the cluster of small asteroids and link bridges, 2’ x 2’ boards were be used.
Out of the 1000 point force only 500 points was allowed to be deployed at the beginning of the game, with the remaining 500 points being placed in reserve. These could only be introduced into the battle as per the reinforcement’s special rule – one unit for every two objectives you held. Units arriving as reinforcements could not exceed 100 pts in value each. Objectives are placed in line with the mission rules, in the centre of each asteroid enclosure. If you would like more information on the mission special rules, please read the campaign booklet.
Ultramarines won the roll off and decided to go first. They deploy the Sternguard and Terminators just short of objective 1, while the scouts infiltrate onto objective 2
Due to rolling ‘master of ambush’ on the warlord traits, the Tau deploy nothing as everything will be infiltrating. They infiltrate Fireblade, crisis suits and a broadside onto objectives 1 & 3, while the kroot and stealth suits infiltrate into supporting positions
Tau player rolls to seize the initiative – and failed
Very quick turn for the marines – Terminators and Sternguard move and run to capture objective 1, while the scouts stay put in cover on objective 2
A quick turn for the Tau too – Stealth teams and Crisis suits move in and try to shoot the scouts off of the objective, but they go to ground and only take one casualty
Another quick turn for the marines – the assault squad comes on from reserves, and joins the terminators in coming forward, while the scouts hang on in the ruins once more
The Tau bring on some fire warriors from reserves, while the suits have another go at the dug in scouts – they kill three more, but it is not enough to dislodge them
A tactical squad comes on for the marines, while the assault squad makes a dash for the link bridge. The terminators try to relieve the pressure on the scouts, but only manage a wound on the crisis suit in shooting
Pathfinders arrive for the Tau who, along with the fire warriors, double time towards the front lines. Crisis suits move in on the terminators and give them a volley of plasma, forcing them to go to ground but still killing one. The stealth team also finishes off the last scout and jump in to grab the objective
No reinforcements for the marines as they don’t hold enough objectives. The Terminators can only snap shoot having gone to ground but manage to take out a stealth suit anyway. The assault squad also cross the link bridge, and charge the kroot. They lose two marines to over watch, but easily sweep them in combat and consolidate into the ruins
The Gue’vesa come on for the Tau, and move on to objective 1, while the fire warriors move forward to link up with the broadside. The Crisis suits move into the ruins and manage to kill two more terminators, who them fail their moral check and fall back. The broadside also manages to kill two more marines from the assault squad, but the last man would hold
Once more no reinforcements for the marines – they need to get another objective fast! The Sternguard decide to move forward, while the terminators rally and get back in the fight. Shooting from them kills a stealth suit and a crisis suit, while the lone assault marine survives the Broadside over watch and makes it into combat, which would be a draw this turn
Broadside comes on for the Tau, while the fire warriors link up with the stealth and crisis teams. Shooting kills another terminator, but they would hold. Assault, and the broadside actually beats the marine, and then consolidates back towards the objective and the newly arrived pathfinders
The Marines decide to abandon the push on objective three, instead moving the sternguard towards objective 2. The last terminator and the Libby charge the stealth team, easily defeating them in combat They then consolidate up to the objective and contest it
The Tau move in for the kill. Stealth suits, crisis suit and the fire warriors move to get the angle on the terminator and librarian. With the weight of fire bough to bear, the result is inevitable – they are utterly destroyed. The crisis and stealth suits them move up to claim the objective once more
With the marines reinforcements cut off, and no real hope regaining momentum, the marines begin to fall back and the game is conceded
Tau win 5:1, repelling the Ultramarines attack on the Ferry Terminus
Decisive moment – rolling on the warlord traits. Master of Ambush gave the Tau a huge advantage over the Ultramarines. While the Tau strategy was always to maximize the amount of infiltrators to challenge for objectives, being able to infiltrate everything meant a lot more pressure could be bought to bear on the Ultramarines from turn 1.
Tau MVP: Lots of contenders, Stealth teams were good as usual and the crisis suits helped deal with the terminators, but the man of the match has to go to the broadside for almost single handedly ending the assault squads push on objective 3, topping it off by showing his hitherto unknown prowess in combat. Brillz.
Ultramarines MVP: Terminators. While the Assault squad got more kills, the termies soaked up enormous amounts for fire, and kept the marines in the game while all other units were faltering. Given more support, they would have proved invaluable.