Titan’s Fall pt 3.2: The Titan Prime Campaign

MISSION 3.2: Supply & Demand

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Mission Setup:
A series of lightning strikes against smaller, less well defended outposts in the outlying regions of Titan Prime by the Ultramarines have begun the slow process of sowing discord amongst the rebels and their Tau Allies. The dull thud of ordnance and the crackle of gunfire now echo sporadically throughout the planets verdant countryside.

Rumors of mutinies by Rebel Commanders are just that – the disgruntlement grows and the morale falters, but it is a long way from breaking yet. The lure of the Greater Good – or perhaps the fear of Imperial recriminations – keeps the Alliance in sway for now.

In an attempt to further fan the flames of discontent , the Ultramarines have decided to target the power distribution node that supplies over a third of the planets urban areas with energy from the Geothermic generator stations located at the planets poles. Situated between the hives of Hermes and Cronos, the node will be well defended – or so the Ultramarines Commander hopes.

A surprise attack will give the Ultramarines the advantage to enable a crushing victory over the Tau that will shake the defenders confidence to the core – the more that die, the better. As well as wholesale destruction, it is hoped that cutting the power to some of the major hive cities will be the last straw for some citizens used to a comfortable life.

OPPOSING FORCES
Tau Forces: Fire Warriors from the Setpworld of Fi’Rios 1350pts

Commander, Dual Plasma Rifle, XV8-02 Iridium Battlesuit, Shield Drone x1, 152
Fireblade ‘Darkwave’ El’Or’Es, 60pts pts
Kroot x 10, Sniper Rounds, 70pts
Fire Warrior Team x 6, 54pts
Fire Warrior Team x 6, 54pts
Gue’Vesa team x10, 41pts
Gue’Vesa team x10, 41pts
Crisis Suits x 2, Dual Missile Pods, 104pts
Crisis Suits x 1, Dual Fusion Blasters, 52pts
Riptide, Ion Accelerator, Plasma Rifles, EWO, 190pts
Pathfinder Team x4, 44pts
Pathfinder Team x4, 44pts
Pathfinder Team x4, 44pts
Hammerhead Gunship, SMS, D-Pod, 140pts
Broadsides Team x2, High Yield Missile Pod, SMS, EWO, 140pts
Broadsides Team x2, High Yield Missile Pod, SMS, EWO, 140pts

Imperial Forces: Ultramarines Space Marine Chapter 1445pts

Chief Librarian Tigirius,  160pts
Techmarine , Servo Harness 90pts
TAC squad x 10, MeltaGun, 150pts
– Drop Pod, 35pts
Scout squad x 5, 45pts
– Land Speeder Storm, Heavy Flamer 40pts
Rhino, 35pts
Land Raider Crusader, 250pts

1st Company Strike Force Formation
– Assault Terminators, 4x TH & SS, 1x LC, 215pts
– Vanguard Veteran Squad, Jump packs, 2 x LC, 1x TH & SS, 1x PA and Grav Pistol 185pts
– Sternguard Veteran Squad x10, HF 230pts

Deployment:

The second exchange on the soil of Titan Prime takes place in a small cluster of buildings, facilities and machinery. The Distribution node is placed in the centre of the board.

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Distribution node

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The missions special rules mean it is a null deployment for the marines. Tau units setup their defensive perimeter, unsure as to which direction the marines will come from. Right of centre, broadsides and pathfinders go in the tower, while hammerhead, riptide and a unit of pathfinders go on the ground floor of the ruin.  Left of centre, the other unit of broadsides and the crisis team occupy the ruins, while the pathfinders sit in the bunker. Kroot go out on the far corner, trying for the ambush.  In the centre, both units of gue’vesa, pathfinders with the cadre fireblade and Crisis Commander wrap up the objective, with pathfinders sat atop.

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Deployment overview.

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Turn 1:

As per mission rules, Marine player rolls for land reserves – and they all arrive T1. Huge boon for the ultramarines. Deep striking units also arrive automatically.  Drop pod comes in left of centre as a distraction, but scatters away from its target area between the ruins. It disgorges the TAC squad into the open

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The LSS with scouts also goes for a risky deep strike in the centre of the ruins, but scatters and mishaps. The marines player then rolls a 1, killing both units and giving the Tau First Blood and two VPs. This also wipes out the Ultramarines 100pt advantage from the last mission.

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1st Company Strike Force arrives and goes straight for the objective. Land Raider containing tech marine, Tigirus and assault termies, Rhino with combat squaded sternguard and vanguard vets with jump packs come on.

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Tau interceptor fire kicks in, but it takes both Missileside squads HYMPs to take down the Rhino due to some poor rolling, but at least gives the Tau another VP.

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The riptide also scatters off with the IA blast, completing a poor interceptor effort from the Tau

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TAC squad drowns the pathfinders in bolter rounds thanks to the tactical doctrine, but only manage to kill two due to the pathfinders going to ground.

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They still fail their moral check and break though, moving towards the nearest table edge

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Tigirius gives the Land Raider rending (Warlord trait) and it fires at the Riptide, but causes no damage

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Not much movement for the Tau as most units have a target. Commander jumps out to get into rapid fire range of the sternguard

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The gue’vesa reposition from the other side, while the hammerhead backs off for a clear shot on the land raider

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Pathfinders fail to regroup and continue retreating

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Hammerhead has a pop at the land raider but only manages a glance

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Kroot rapid fire the TAC squad, but only manage to kill one

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While everything that can see them shoots at the Sternguard, killing three from each squad, They hold due to fearless. Two vanguard vets also go down to fire warrior fire.

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Failure of the Hammerhead to take down the land raider leads to the riptide doing something rather rash. It moves forward to hit it with the fusion blaster, but misses. As a result, it lines up the smash……but only scores a glance! It is now in a very precarious position come next turn, as is the commander who rolled a 4″ assault jump move and failed to get back into cover

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VP – Tau 4:0 Ultramarines

Turn 2:

Turn overview

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Sub par shooting by the Tau puts the marines in a good position. Assault Termies and Tigirius pile out of the Land Raider, looking to assault the riptide along with the vanguard vets. Land raider then turns its attentions to the exposed commander, while the remaining sternguard vets move either side of the wrecked rhino

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The TAC squad decide that the kroot are worthy of their attentions, and also line up an assault

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Psychic phase, and Tiggy casts Hallucination on the missilesides, reducing their BS by 1 amongst other stats

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He also gets shrouding off to cover multiple units

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as well as hitting the fire warriors with psychic shriek. With a -2 leadership modifier due to the 1st Company Strike Force special rule, a good role will easily destroy them… but Tiggy fluffs it and only dispatches one

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Shooting phase, and Tiggy once more gives the land raider rending. It goes after the commander, but is only able to take out the shield drone and a single wound off the warlord

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The kroot are decimated by bolt pistol fire from the TAC squad and break, but only fall back two inches

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Assault terminators and vanguard vets get into assault, with no over watch losses. They should make short work of the Riptide..

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…but unbelievably don’t, with some bad whiffs from the marines and great invulnerable saves from the riptide. Combat remains locked

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TAC squad assaults the falling back kroot, killing only two and taking one casualty in return. Kroot pass their moral check and combat remains locked here also

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Tau roll for reserves and the solo fusion suit comes in. He lands on target, within melta range of the land raider

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Commander gets out of the land raiders field of fire, heading for the drop pod

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While the Tau situation on the right flank goes from bad to worse. In a misguided effort to help the beleaguered Riptide, the fire warriors and both units of gue’vesa line up to join the combat

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The riptide also attempts to Nova charge for the 3++ save, but fails and takes a wound instead

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In shooting, there is a distinct lack of targets due to all the units locked in combat. The missilesides and commander do however manage to take out the drop pod for another VP

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But the hammerhead whiffs against the land raider

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As does the solo fusion suit

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Combat, and only one unit of gue’vesa make it into combat with the assault terminators

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To make matters worse, the Riptide also fails his fear test

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As a result, the riptide is easily beaten by the Termies and Vanguard vets, giving the Ultramarines their first VP

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Tiggy them kills two gue’vesa, forcing them to break but he cannot sweep them as he is attached to the terminator unit. The gue’vesa fall back towards the objective

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Disastrous round for the Tau, the solo crisis suit jumps into the crater for at least some cover save against the land raiders inevitable rending wrath

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VP – Tau 5:1 Ultramarines

Turn 3:

Turn overview

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Tiggy and Termies head for the objective, while vanguard vets move towards fire warriors

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Psychic, and Tiggy gets hallucination off on the broadsides again for another -1 BS penalty

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And shrouding for his unit too

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AND psychic shriek, which hits the retreating gue’vesa and kills seven

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The tech marine riding in the land raider also manages to regenerate a hull point

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Tiggy then gives the land raider rending, and it proceeds to annihilate the fusion suit, giving them another VP

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Assault, and the vanguard vets charge the fire warriors. They lose a man on over watch, but kill three warriors in the close. They would however hold

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Termies and Tiggy also make it into assault with the fire warriors and cadre guarding the objective. They lose four warriors, but again hold the combat (all these locked combats are costing the Tau valuable Targets in the shooting phase! Curse you brave fire warriors!)

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Combat continues with the kroot also, who lose another man but still hold their ground

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With so many units locked in combat, Tau targets are very limited for yet another turn. All the surviving geu’vesa move towards the fire warriors in combat with the vanguard vets, in another vain effort to help the struggling Tau and their tiny fists of fury. In the background, the Hammerhead has another crack at the and raider and once more fluffs his lines

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Elsewhere the broadsides, despite being delirious, manage to wipe out the last of the sternguard veterans for another 2VPs

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While the Vanguard vets lose a man to the tide of gue’vesa, but single-handedly sweeps a gue’vesa unit and the fire warriors for two VPs, leaving a sole survivor fleeing for his life (who will eventually run off the board). The vanguard consolidates towards the pathfinders in the tower

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The termies and Tiggy also kill off the remaining fire warriors and fireblade for another two VPs

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While the kroot are also swept by the TAC squad for another VP. Tau have shipped 6 VPs in their own assault phase, a huge turn around for the Marines.

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Commander jumps out of danger and hides in the tower with the crisis team

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VP – Tau 7:8 Ultramarines

Turn 4:

Turn overview

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Land Raider gets rending from Tiggy again, and this time goes after the missilesides hiding in the tower but to no effect

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Tiggy takes a wound from perils casting shrouding, while the TAC marines move up and fire on the crisis team

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And cause one wound

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The last vanguard veteran charges the pathfinders in the ruined tower, but is cut down by missileside supporting fire for another Tau VP

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While Tiggy and termies try to charge the pathfinders atop the objective, but fail the distance (they are on second floor internally, not ground floor as shown)

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Crisis team and commander come forward to shoot on the termies in the building

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Along with th broadsides they only mange to down one due to a bucket load of 2+ saves

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The hammerhead lines up the land raider for the fourth time…

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…and fails to hit again!

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Commander jumps back into cover

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VP – Tau 8:8 Ultramarines

Turn 5:

Turn overview

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Commander wasn’t hid quite well enough, and takes a wound under bolter fire from the advancing TAC unit

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While the Termies close in on the pathfinders for an easy charge

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Which they make, easily dispatching them for a VP as well as capturing the main objective!

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Tau throw everything they have at the Termies to try to dislodge them, but they weather the storm of fire very well, only losing one termie to another bucket full of dice. The game might end this turn, so the commander jumps up to contest the objective

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If the game doesn’t end now, the Commander will be minced meat in the next assault phase. We roll to see if it ends, and it does!

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Result:  Ultramarines win 9:8, with neither side managing to capture or defend the Distribution node

Decisive moment:  when the riptide charged the land raider, followed by the piling in of the gue’vesa. This was stupid for a number of reasons. Firstly, the land raider was not actually than much of a threat with its load out, so I’m not sure why I was so obsessed with taking it out. Secondly, the smash attack – failed or successful – left the Riptide right where my opponent wanted him, whereas what I should have done was backed off and kited the termies, hitting them with IA blasts all game. Thirdly, the pilling in to help him only served to remove the meat road block that was the gue’vesa from around the objective If they had held position, it would have taken the termies a lot longer to chew their way through all the units guarding it.

Tau MVP: Hammerhead. Ha ha ha, no wait he was easily the biggest villain. The Commander proved a constant thorn in the enemy’s side, and even though he didn’t score many points he did manage to contest the main objective on the last turn, helping to change a crushing defeat into a close one.

Ultramarines MVP: Assault Terminators. As soon as they left the land raider, they went in relentless pursuit of the objective an chewed through everything in their way to get there. They scored 4pts on their own, and also weathered a phenomenal amount of fire to hang on to the main objective, If the game had carried on one more turn they would have easily dealt with the commander and scored 7 VPs, turning the game into an absolute massacre.

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