Mission Four: +++ Cleanse and Burn +++
Gothic Battle Cruiser: Morning Star
Com-Link Commanders: Imperial Brothers O’Keefe & Ward
Soundtrack: Danny Kreutzfeldt (numberground) and Amon Tobin
Divined by the enduring ministrations of the Council of Krupp.
Space Hulk detected in slow, disordered spin approx’ 150,000 Lks out and approaching the Krupp Nebula defence net. Extremis-Alarm initiated. Automated Obs-Bee’s triggered to intercept. First visual images received 37 hours later. The hulk appeared to be constructed of several vessels melded together. There was no apparent logic behind the configuration. Vessels were lashed together haphazardly; which strongly supported primary suspicion of a Genestealer incursion. Krupp space has not engaged Genestealers in over twenty years. All personnel involved in the original incursions were recalled and mission histories reopened. Consensus urged caution as previous historical data concerning Genestealer lethality was alarming. Imperium guidance urged.
“Praise be! In his infinite wisdom and selfless benevolence our beloved God Emperor has redirected the Gothic Battle Cruiser ‘Morning Star’ and her complement of Assault Marines in Tactical Dreadnought Armour to the Krupp quadrant.”
The Morning Star’s Commanders were convinced the hulk could be safely vaporized utilising Plasma Cones when in range, approx 90,000 Liks (72 Hrs). Regrettably, after detailed scrutiny of the Obs-Bee’s visual data one of the hulk’s component vessels was identified. The vessel, ‘The Kontagion’, a BWP (Biological-Warfare-Platform) was declared lost in the Warp over two hundred years ago. The vessels two research laboratories necessitated investigation. Biological weapons exposed to the Warp environ may have mutated. The use of Plasma Cones could potentially free warped particles to contaminate the Krupp quadrant with unknown consequences (NB The Eden Genocide). The risk was wholly unacceptable.
Commanders agreed. A new mission directive was announced. Two Terminator squads were to access the Kontagion’s laboratories and ensure no Warp mutagens were present. If none present squads were to flame the laboratories and escape. If mutagens were present the squads were to await further instruction. Brother Ward was put in overall command and promptly despatched a boarding-torpedo containing the two squads of Terminators : Squad A “Terror” & Squad B “Erebus”.
Both squads were standard issue configuration. Five Terminators (1 Sergeant), x4 Storm Bolters and x1 Heavy Flamer.
“Godspeed ferocious Erebus and Terror. Smite the monstrous flesh-heresy in its foul lair and return victorious!”
Intercept was without incident. Boarding not contested. Both Terror and Erebus safely deployed and at designated OTT corridors. A swift litany was whispered prior to the general advance order. CP =3. Terror advanced along the top corridor with the Heavy Flamer leading followed by Sergeant Boyle and remaining troop. Erebus likewise, with Sergeant Crowley growling directions, advanced along the lower corridor. The Hulk was devoid of sound and light. Tomblike. The squads utilised floating light-orbs for visual navigation. All surfaces were frail and prickled with hoarfrost. Motion sensors were eerily silent.
Moments of exquisite silence… then the gates of Hell slammed shut behind them. Two Genestealer blips converted off the board and clawed with inhuman haste towards the Terminators. The entry points were those closest to the Marine Deployment corridors. Three Genestealers from above and three from below. Brother Ward had not set Overwatch in the rear; an appalling blunder now wolfishly exploited by the Genestealers.
CP=3. In order to reorient the rear Terminators to confront the imminent Genestealer assault Brother Ward was compelled to spend many AP’s. Terror was able to eviscerate two Genestealers in the top corridor but Erebus below struggled and ordered Overwatch with the few remaining AP’s and CP’s. The Genestealers charged Erebus but after fierce Overwatch fire only one Genestealer survived . Frenzied the lone Genestealer charged evading all hostile fire and tearing into the Terminator at the cross-section. The Terminator was killed with fearful swiftness before the Genestealer turned on an adjacent Terminator and again annihilated without mercy. Erebus was effectively split in two.
Terror was now attacked by the remaining Genestealer in the top corridor. Again the damnable fiend evaded Overwatch fire attacking the Terminator at the upper cross section. This time the Terminator fought heroically to a standoff. Two Blips again converted off the board and clawed down the same two corridors. One above and three below.
CP= 5. Erebus, split in two, attempted to unite. The lone rear Terminator took three shots to kill the Genestealer blocking the cross-section. Sergeant Crowley coldly calculated their survival odds against completing the mission objective. He ordered the Heavy Flamer forward through the first set of doors and followed. The rear Terminator was ordered into Overwatch and left to his fate. Terror also pushed forward through the upper first set of doors ordering the two rear Terminators into Overwatch once the adjacent Genestealer had been eliminated.
The Genestealers now attacked. Erebus’ lone rear Terminator was quickly overwhelmed and devoured. His pitiful screams, recorded over the Com-Link, would later be used by the Propaganda Ministry to incite Imperial crusades against the Genestealer menace. The remaining two Genestealers launched their attack along the lower corridor coming within one square of Sergeant Crowley’s back. Terror Meanwhile was attacked by two Genestealers. The first was disembowelled by a burst of Storm Bolter fire but the second using the walls and ceiling grates evaded fire and engaged in close combat the rear Terminator. The Terminator was torn asunder allowing his comrade LOS to open fire and…miss. The Genestealer smeared in gore fell on the second Terminator with an almost raffish chuckle and devoured him unceremoniously.
Two Blips were detected moving along upper and lower corridors coming from the second set of Entry Points along the schematic.
CP= 1 . Erebus Squad was now down to two Terminators: the Heavy Flamer and Sergeant Crowley. Crowley ordered the Flamer to rush the lower laboratory and self detonate while he held back the Genestealers attacking from the rear. The Flamer Terminator was recorded shouting inexplicably, “Dearest mice, I love you all!” Before rushing headlong down the corridor. Crowley turned and used the one CP to take a shot and miss. His remaining 2 APs put him into Overwatch.
Terror had no choice but to push forward towards the next cross section. The rear Terminator reorientation and Overwatch cost him his 4 APs.
The Genestealers assault was swift and ruthless . Erebus’ Sergeant Crowley fought like a lion killing the first Genestealer in close combat. Exhausted, he faced up to the second Genestealer screaming foul obscenities as it advanced. Sergeant Crowley will be sadly missed. Erebus’ one surviving Terminator had advanced to the second set of doors before running out of AP’s. His mind enraged by battle-lust (or Bagpus?) he had neglected to check his Motion Sensor. The blip concealed in the first lower room converted and three Genestealers rushed forward. Afterwards, his entrails hung from the ceiling grates like swollen, pink vines. Squad Erebus was annihilated.
Two Blips detected moving out of first and second set of Entry Points and moving to intercept remaining Terminators.
CP=5. Terror was now alone and down to three Marines. The Flamer advanced and flamed the first upper room incinerating the two Genestealers within. Oily, black smoke filled the corridors and markedly reduced visibility. Terminators snapped to infrared. The Flamer taking advantage of the high CP turned and flamed the lower corridor effectively blocking the assaulting Genestealers progress. Sergeant Boyle advanced up to the Flamer’s position and set Overwatch. The rear Terminator clunked backwards and went into Overwatch for 4 AP’s.
The Genestealers frontal assault was successfully blocked by the flames, albeit briefly. The rear Genestealers though were free to advance. A blur of razor-sharp claws and gnashing fangs flashed along the corridor. Overwatch fire blazed dementedly shattering carapace and bone before puncturing the soft tissue within. Reddish plumes of Genestealer viscera sluggishly gyrated in the gravity-free corridor, whirls of particles coalescing silently with the hoarfrost. Four Genestealers were annihilated by the rear Terminator the remaining stuck in limbo as their AP’s ran out.
CP=2 (Cripes!) Sergeant Boyle ordered the flamer into the upper room and followed. Crunching over the steaming, carbonised remains of the incinerated Genestealers Boyle instructed the Flamer to stand in the bottom left corner while he took up a Overwatch position facing the Entry Point corridor. The rear Terminator was ordered to kill until killed and put into Overwatch. He began to sing “Up above the streets and houses rainbow rising high…” again, beyond all credible explanation.
The Genestealer assault was again merciless and succinct. The rear Terminator bravely blazed away killing a further two Genestealers before his Rainbow litany was silenced for all eternity. Sergeant Boyle desperately attempted to protect the Flamer blazing away with his Storm Bolter pumping round after round into the wave of flesh-heresy pouring from the Entry Point. Heroic but doomed. Killing two Genestealers in Overwatch and a further one in close combat his polygon luck faltered. Boyle did not tremble or cry out, he simply, enigmatically, winked as the Genestealer tore out his bowels.
The lone Flamer Terminator clenched his mailed fists and watched the carnage with detached amusement (Boyle had never recognised his potential and had blatantly snubbed him at a charity dance some years back…apparently). No matter how he calculated the odds he came out deceased every time. The Genestealers taunted him with their obscene, purple tongues as they gathered for the final kill. “Time for a MacReady?” He asked his soulless killers. The Genestealers were momentarily puzzled then rushed forward. Screaming, ”Screw you!” the Terminator self-detonated his Flamer canister with the last 2 CP’s available. A temporary firestorm engulfed the section incinerating the virtuous along with the soulless.
+++++Post dissection +++++
The mission was a horrendous failure. The two laboratories were not breached let alone flamed! All Terminators despatched to Eternity. I had forgotten how tough this game was. Tellingly, at one point we discussed using the flamer as a blocking tool but agreed this was a waste as no Genestealers would be eliminated. Afterwards I grudgingly realised how wrong this thinking was. Next time I will block more (I have a vague memory of this strategy from 15 or so years ago).
Anyhow, it was tremendous fun and I look forward the next incursion…unlike the Terminators I command!
This is Kyoshi, our adopted Shiba Inu.
Out freakin' standing!
Cheers! I used to play Space Hulk like mad with my brother about 15 or so years ago. I still have the Mission Reports I devised then in order to give more depth and urgency to the gameplay. They pretty much resemble this one in that I would spend ages fleshing out the scenario and giving all the Terminators names and histories only to have them all wiped out somewhere between the fourth and tenth turn, ho hum.
So glad I kept my copy of Space Hulk though. Reading BGG inspired me to start playing the darn thing again. Will be playing the C.A.T. Hunt scenario today...and it's going to get 'flaming' hot in there!