Titan’s Fall pt 3.1: The Titan Prime Campaign

MISSION 3.1: Insurrection

38

Mission Setup:
While the defenders of Rhea Hive are well dug in, the spaceport of Ares – situated just outside the second city’s defensive cordon – is only lightly garrisoned. Its prominent location high on a plateau above the city makes its defence as part of the urban mass of Rhea impossible. Any attempt to reinforce it from the city would take hours, and the fact that Imperial ships now control the space lanes above the planet mean the spaceport is currently idle and not deemed a key defensive position for the Tau.

Despite this, its geographical isolation and the inhospitable terrain surrounding the complex make it easily defendable against surface attack in its own right. As such, it is manned by a single Rebel Infantry Detachment and a small mixed Tau Force in support.

The Ultramarines have chosen Ares spaceport as their first on-world target, with the hope of pulling off a crushing victory on a supposedly inferior opponent in full view of the city below. Their intentions are clear – not only to annihilate the defenders, but also to set ablaze as many of the space ports facilities as possible, sending plumes of black smoke into the air to terrify the city’s inhabitants.

For the Tau, a victory is needed to sure up the support of their Allies. Much was promised about the superiority of the Tau technology, and the undeniable providence of the ‘Greater Good’. They cannot afford to have that belief shaken now.

OPPOSING FORCES
Tau Forces: Fire Warriors from the Setpworld of Fi’Rios 1000pts

Commander, Dual Plasma Rifle, Counterfire Defence System, NSJ, 2x Gun Drones, 146pts
Fire Warrior Team x 6, 54pts
– Devilfish Transport, 80pts
Fire Warrior Team x 6, 54pts
Kroot x 10, Sniper Rounds, 70pts
Stealth Suit x3, 90pts
Crisis Suits x 2, Dual Missile Pods, 104pts
Crisis Suits x 2, Dual Fusion Blasters, 54pts
Pathfinder Team x5, 55pts
Pathfinder Team x5, 55pts
Hammerhead Gunship, Ion Cannon, SMS, 125pts
Skyray Gunship, SMS 115pts (proxied as devilfish with no guns)

Imperial Forces: Ultramarines Space Marine Chapter 1000pts

Captain, Artificer armour, Bike, Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield, Auspex, 180pts
Scout squad x5, 5x shotgun,  55pts
– Landspeeder Storm, Heavy Flamer, 90pts
TAC squad x 10, Flamer, Missile Launcher, Sergeant with combi-plasma 170pts
– Drop Pod, 35pts
TAC squad x 10, Melta Gun, Sergeant with combi-plasma 160pts
– Drop Pod, 35pts
Bike squad x5, 2 x Grav gun, Sergeant with Power Fist, 145pts
Ironclad Dreadnaught, PF & HF, SH & MG 145pts
– Drop Pod, 35pts

Deployment:

The first exchange on soil of Titan Prime takes place in a spaceport, recently damaged by orbital bombardment. Damaged facilities, intact buildings and wrecked spacecraft litter the spaceport, which is surrounded by rocky outcrops and sheer cliffs – as such, no outflanking is possible but troops can arrive as normal from reserves on their own table edge.

3

Objectives are placed, one in each sector.

Tau win the roll off and decide to go first.  They attempt to stop the Drop pods getting in behind the vehicles by deploying across the table edge. Hammerhead and skyray set up centrally with good fields of fire to either side of central LOS blocking terrain, while devilfish with fire warriors embarked starts on left flank.  Commander and crisis suits start in reserve, with stealth and kroot infiltrating.

10

Marines deploy, with the bike squad and captain starting centrally.  Scouts grab objective on top of the wreckage and Missile Launcher TAC squad grab objective in the tower.

13

Kroot and Stealth Team infiltrate onto midfield objectives.  Marines roll to seize the initiative – and fail.

Turn 1:

Main Tau battle line does not move in anticipation of the drop pods, but the drones detach from the devilfishes and move forward on their own.   Ion cannon from hammerhead scatters off the bike squad, but the orbital barrage is on target and takes out two bikes.  Stealth suits have a pop at the Tactical squad, killing two. They would hold.

1819

Marine’s First pod comes in straight on top of the objective in the Tau DZ, while the Ironclad comes down in front of the skyray. His pod scatters just out of scoring range of the objective. Bikes move forward and turbo boost.

2021

Ironclad shoots at the skyray, which jinks and survives. The meltagun and a krak grenade both hit home on the hammerhead, causing a glance and crew stunned result. The other TAC unit and drop pod both fire at the pathfinders, who go to ground. Only one survives, but he holds.

2425

Turn 2:

All reserves come in for the Tau. Fusion suit drops in behind the Ironclad, while the Commander drops in to help out the hammerhead.  Missile suits come in centrally and the Hammerhead gets out of trouble by moving flat out forward. Devilfish and Skyray both try to get away from the ironclad too.

262729

Fusion suit fluffs both shots against the Ironclad. Missile suits try to cover for him, but only manage a single pen and crew shaken result.  Commander and pathfinders try to shoot the TAC squad off of the objective, but only manage to kill three marines. They would hold.

3233

Final pod comes in, this time to challenge the kroot for the centre right objective. LSS fails to come in, while the bikes move towards the stealth team.  Having held three objectives for a whole turn uncontested, they are all destroyed for 3 VPs.

3842

The bike squad lose a marine to dangerous terrain and the captain takes a wound in overwatch, but they manage to destroy the stealth team for First Blood.  The flamer makes short work of four kroot who break and run, while the ironclad makes short work of the fusion suit .

464748

Turn 3:

Tau are reeling under the Ultramarine blitzkrieg.  Commander and drones move up and fire on the marines, reducing the TAC squad to one. He would hold.  The skyray fires all six missiles into the ironclad, destroying it.

5354

The hammerhead then turns its Ion cannon on the TAC squad, scattering again but still killing four. The sergeant would hold. Fire warriors disembark form the devilfish, and attempt to form a screen with the drones in front of the oncoming bike squad.

5557

For the marines, the LSS wipes out the fire warriors squad with its Heavy Flamer.

62

The bike squad make the charge but the fire warriors only lose combat by one and hold their ground.   While the remaining TAC marines assault the hammerhead with krak grenades but fail to do any further damage.

6364

Devilfish makes a run for the objective, while the hammerhead backs off the TAC marines and warms up the ion cannon, only for it to fail a gets hot roll and destroy itself.

6669

LSS jinks like crazy and survives with just one glance from the crisis suit, and Combat would remain a stalemate again. Go fire warriors!

7071

Turn 4:

LSS jumps up onto the objective, While the skyray gets a krak missile up the bum from the TAC Missile Launcher, getting a crew stunned result.

7273

the TAC remnants have a go at the missile suit but fail to hurt him, and the Fire warriors lose another man but still manage to hold on for a third straight turn!

7475

Skyray manages to finish off the LSS before the objective is destroyed, While the fire warriors finally capitulate, allowing the bike squad to consolidate towards the devilfish

7677

Turn 5:

Another krak missile of double out doom hits the missile suit, taking him out.  The bike squad assault and wreck the devil fish

7880

With their force mauled and no hope of winning as to many objectives have been destroyed, the remaining Tau forces concede the field and withdrawal

81

Result:  Ultramarines win 6:2, destroying many of the key facilities at Ares Spaceport

Decisive moment: When the marine player called the tau bluff and stuck with the drop pod assault. Without any interceptor or counter assault units, the Tau player had no answer to the threat overload presented and no way to clear the Ultramarines off of the objectives before they blew (very poor shooting rolls did not help either). Tau also should have claimed the objective in their DZ from the off rather than worrying too much about the drop pods.

Tau MVP:  No one really stood out for the Tau – fire warriors did well to hold the bike squad in combat for three turns, but the skyray probably contributed the most taking out an ironclad and LSS, as well as stopping an objective going up in flames with the latter.

Ultramarines MVP:  TAC squads. By virtue of the drop pods and Tactical doctrines, these guys arrived and disrupted the Tau game plan from T1. Took out two squads of pathfinders, two hull points off the hammerhead and blew two objectives. Even caused the hammerhead to self destruct in pure fury. The humble TAC squad is most certainly back under the new codex.

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