Titan’s Fall pt 2.3: The Mining Station Zebra Campaign

MISSION 2.3: Lock Down

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Mission Setup:
The heavy thud of bolter fire and sharp crack of pulse rounds reverberate around the cavernous interior of the mining station, only broken by the leaden boom of explosions and the screams of the dying.

The Tau do not have enough forces to cover all three landing zones, and have embarked on a risky tactic. Rather than meet the assault head on as they have in the other two landing zones, here in the Ore Holding Sector they have pulled back from the loading bay in an attempt to invite the invading forces away from the landing zone and their reinforcements. They know the Space Marines are headstrong and fearless, and are relying on their characteristic lack of caution to be their undoing.

However, it is a desperate tactic. The Ore Loading Bay located in the Ore Holding Sector is a vital target for the attacking forces, as it not only provides a beach head for further landings, but will also give the victorious forces access to the adjacent power generator section. Inviting the enemy so deep into crucial territory unopposed will prove disastrous if they are not defeated.
With the flick of a switch, the invading forces can silence the external defence turrets keeping their fleet at bay, and an all-out frontal assault could be launched crushing the Tau resistance once and for all.

OPPOSING FORCES
Tau Forces: Fire Warriors from the Setpworld of Fi’Rios 1049pts

Commander, Dual Burst Cannon, Counterfire Defence System, Drone Controller, 2x Gun Drones, 142pts
Crisis Bodyguard, Dual Flamer, NSJ, Onager Gauntlet, 49pts
Fireblade, 60pts
Fire Warrior Team x 11, 99pts
Kroot x 10, Sniper Rounds, 70pts
Gue’Vesa team x 6, 25pts
Stealth Suit x5, BC x5, 150pts
Crisis Suits x 2, TL Plasma Rifles, VRT 94pts
Crisis Suits x 2, TL Plasma Rifles, VRT 94pts
Drone Squad, 5x Gun Drones 70pts
Drone Squad, 7x Gun Drones 94pts
Drone Squad, 7x Gun Drones 94pts

Imperial Forces: Ultramarines Space Marine Chapter 1150pts

Librarian Brother Herbort, Level 2 Psyker, Terminator Armour, Auspex, 130pts
Scout squad x10, 5x shotgun, 4x CCW, Camocloaks, Teleporter Homer 145pts
TAC squad x 5, Flamer, 75pts
TAC squad x 10, PG, ML, Sergeant with combi-plasma 180pts
TAC squad x 5, PG, Sergeant with combi-plasma 95pts
Terminators x 5, Cyclone Missile Launcher 225pts
Assault squad x 5, Sergeant with Power Axe  100pts
Bike squad x3, Sergeant with Power Fist, 98pts
Bike squad x3, Sergeant with Power Fist, 98pts

Deployment:

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.

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Note: Setup is slightly different from that outlined in the mission document, mainly because we couldn’t fit the tiles on the table in that arrangement.

Out of the entire force only 500 points was allowed to be deployed at the beginning of the game, with the remaining points being placed in reserve.  These could only be introduced into the battle as per the reinforcement’s deployment special rule – one for each objective you held. Units arriving as reinforcements could not exceed 100 pts in value each. Objectives are placed inline 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.

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Tau are in the ascendancy and decide to go first.  Fireblade deploys to capture objective 1, while the Commander with attached drones looks to get into the centre asap.  Marines start with a null deployment so we go straight on to infiltrators.

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Kroot grab objective 2, while the scouts bag objective 3.  Stealth team then gets right into the marines faces by grabbing objective 4 form under them.  This forces the scouts to deploy behind the ruins (there is just enough room!) but they then scout move on top of them for a better shot.

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Marines roll to seize the initiative – and fail

Turn 1:

Fireblade moves to grab objective 1, while the commander get in position to breach next turn.  Kroot manage to pick off a scout, as do the stealth team.  Tau hold three objectives.

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Terminators come in for the marines, using the scouts teleporter homer to arrive safely in the middle asteroid.  The librarian gets invisibility off, but all the marines shooting only kills one kroot, which does force them to go to ground.

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Turn 2:

Tau get three reinforcing units and bring in all the crisis teams, who move towards the middle.  Commander breaches and moves to support the kroot.  Their shooting does nothing.  The stealth team abandon the objective and move in on the scouts, shooting and assaulting to wipe them out for First Blood.

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Marines bring in a tactical squad as reinforcements.  They move towards the stealth team and shoot, but don’t manage any kills and also lose their own plasma gunner to gets hot.  Terminators move towards the kroot and kill seven more in shooting, but they would hold.

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Turn 3:

Tau bring two units of drones on as reinforcements, while move up towards the middle.  Crisis teams breach the centre, while the commander takes down three terminators with his shooting and his drones supporting fire.  The stealth team shoot and assault the tactical squad, killing 3 more but staying tied up in combat with the sergeant.

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Marines are being starved of reinforcements due to a lack of objectives being held.  Only one unit of bikers arrives this turn, who move to support the centre.  The librarian and terminators wipe out a squad of crisis suits nearest to them, while the scouts kill a single kroot, causing the last one to fall back.  Combat between the stealth team and the sergeant remains a draw.

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Turn 4:

With the kroot abandoning the objective, only one unit comes in from reserves – the fire warriors, who link up with the fireblade.  In the centre, the surviving  kroot rallies to recapture the objective.  Shooting from the commander and another crisis team kills the Librarian for Slay the Warlord, and reduces the terminator squad to just one.  The stealth team loses a suit in combat but holds firm.

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Another unit of bikes come on for the marines, who turbo boost towards the centre. The last terminator manages to kill a bunch of drones and put a wound on the commander with his frag missiles.  The sergeant is finally beaten in combat though and the stealth team consolidate down out of the ruins.

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Turn 5:

Tau commander and drones move in to finish off the last terminator, while the crisis suits and drones also manage to annihilate both the scouts and bikers.  They then assault jump to capture the objective.  The stealth team back off as far as they can to get line breaker and put some distance between themselves and the remaining bike squad.

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The bikers move up to grab the objective, but they need to survive the Tau turn before any more units can come on for them.

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Turn 6:

The stealth team go for the kill, focusing al their shots on the bikers. The marines fail just enough saves, and the squad is wiped.  With the last unit gone, the games ends.

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Result: Game ends in a total Tau victory, with the space marine forces destroyed.   Part 2 of the campaign ends 2:0 in favour of the Tau, which leaves the overall campaign score at 2:0 to the Tau also.

Decisive moment: There were a couple of bad moments for the Ultramarines – losing the final three bikers to below average rolling, or the loss of the plasma gunner to ‘gets hot’, but probably the biggest moment was the Tau Rolling to go first. This, combined with the marines null deployment / Infiltrator deployment start mean that the Tau had first pick of three objectives. This gave them the reinforcement boost from the start, as well as putting them in a position to intercept arriving forces.

Tau MVP:  Stealth Team – not only did they destroy TWO (yes, TWO!!!) units in assault, but they also delivered the killing blow than ended the game. These guys are on a mission to change the reputation of Tau in combat, one game at a time…

Ultramarines MVP:  Libby. Lead the turn three fight back by annihilating the plasma crisis squad, which almost had the tau on the back foot – until the drones arrives.

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