Battle for Vogen 01 – Embers

kharzann

M40.852
Planet: Khai-Zhann (Agri-world)
Location: Southern Rim – Outskirts of Ashshore hive

Lieutenant Anderson of the 176th regiment of the KZ-PDF surveyed the decaying ruins ahead as his column rolled to a halt. The 331st Arbites Precinct had reported being under assault, and all communications had stopped four hours ago. His orders were to secure the area and re-establish communications with the arbites.

“Disembark!” he ordered his platoon. With precision, the men exited the APCs and stood at attention. He walked the line, inspecting his platoon. It was a significant force meant to brutally crush the insurgents and restore order. 3 squads of well armed infantry supported by an armoured sentinel. This would be over very soon. He ordered his men to take up strategic positions, garrisoning a fuel station, a watchtower and an important intersection. Secondary targets included the second watchtower and a tall blockhouse. The men quickly secured the three targets, 1st squad fortifying the fuel station, taking a commanding view of the area.

“Sir, armed civilians mobs are moving on our position!”
“Engage at will, secure the forward objectives.”

I used to play a lot of 40k, but really lost interest with the launch of 7th edition. 8th looked promising for a while, but then that too got too hard to keep up with. However, I still love the look and fluff of 40k, and have been missing it. I was tipped about the Grimdark Future (previous onepage40k) ruleset, and reading the two page basic rules and looking at the force lists, I looked very promising. It even has AI rules allowing solo play, so I decided to jump right into it and try it out myself. As I am becoming a bit of a fluff-bunny, any game I play will be roped into a Vogen-based storyline, with this kind of smaller skirmish being a part of the opening stages of the rebellion.

The force lists cover all 40k armies, and it was easy to build a couple of lists for a small skirmish. The below lists are 785pts.

176th KZ-PDF

3rd Platoon
Lieutenant, plasma pistol
Drill sergeant, power maul
1st Squad (10), 2x plasma, lascannon
2nd Squad (10) 2x melta
3rd Squad (5), melta
Special weapons squad (5), 3x flamer
Sentinel, multi-laser

Insurgents

Insurgent commander, shotgun, power sword, guerrilla tactics
Insurgent strikers (10), ccw + pistols
Insurgent commander, shotgun, power sword, guerrilla tactics
Rebels (5), 3x mini-guns
Rebels (5), 2x flamer
Rebels (5), 2x flamer
Spawn (3), rending claws
Obliterator, multimelta

Turn 1 –

20200303_224727
1st Squad secured the fuel station objective and fired at the incoming spawn. However, they barely grazed the foul beasts, taking off a single wound. Lt. Anderson shouted angry orders at the men, and they fired another round off, this time blasting one of the foul spawn away.

2nd squad engaging insurgents2nd Squad moved up and secured the playground objective with the plan to move up to support the middle after they had cleared the small group of rebels on this side of the field.20200303_2247323rd Squad secured the watchtower, while the SWS moved up to counter the incoming spawns. The sentinel engaged the obliterator, but quickly realized the futility as it only got in a single wound with the multilaser, while the return blast from the multi melta obliterator would end the sentinel in a single hit. Luckily, the obliterator missed the first shot. 

The rebels moved up, securing the tall building and the watchtower, and moving up aggressively towards the fuel station. The mini-gun squad let loose on 1st squad, tearing through an impressive four guardsmen with the guidance of their commander.

Turn 2 –

IMG_20200304_221016
Realizing the danger of the mini-guns, the sentinel switched targets, even though it was still then in range of the multi melta obliterator.
IMG_20200304_221020
The multilaser lit up, gunning down three insurgents in the mini-gun squad, and pinning the remaining. The return fire from the obliterator once again missed thanks to the cover of the shipping containers.

IMG_20200304_2203372nd Squad totally failed in their attempt to down the small squad of insurgents, and got badly burned by the double flamers of the rebels in return, evening out the odds in the fight over the playground objective.

IMG_20200304_221408
1st squad in a very real danger of being overrun in close combat

Turn 3 –

end of turn 2 overview
End of turn 2

The battle was starting to really heat up, with the rebels swarming towards the fuel station objective in the center, both strikers and spawn now ready to engage in brutal close combat. IMG_20200304_222512With two brutal close combat units in striking range of 1st squad, it was time for the SWS to shine. Lighting pilot flames, they moved up and covered the full strength strikers in promethium, killing 6. Under the threats of their leader however, the rebels continued their advance. IMG_20200304_221625Luckily for the imperials, the insurgents chose to not activate the strikers (random AI activation), which gave Lt. Anderson the possibility to order the SWS into action once more, this time, they turned their flamers on the remaining spawn, finally ending the foul creatures. IMG_20200304_223445Even with the heroic efforts of the SWS, it was not enough to stop the insurgent assault. The remaining strikers and their commander charged into first squad, killing all before them, putting the fuel station in the hands of the rebels.

IMG_20200304_223036Insurgent reinforcement took revenge on the SWS, killing three and pinning the remaining two, taking them out of the game.

IMG_20200304_222634In the playground. the firefight continued, and once again the imperials were on the losing end, but luckily they were not pinned. However, the insurgents were able to move up and take over control of the playground objective.

Turn 4 –

IMG_20200305_144742
End of turn 3. Insurgents in control of 4/5 objectives. Imperials need to retake the playground and the fuel station with their limited remaining forces

Hearing the screams of 1st squad and dodging an eviscerated falling body from the roof of the fuel station, Lt. Anderson was shook to the core. His platoon was a mere shadow of its former self. The vox was filled with screams for reinforcements and help. He knew the rebels were in control of the field. However, he saw he had one way to turn the looming defeat into a victory, with shock and awe. He grabbed his vox-caster and shouted “All units, fix bayonets and charge!”IMG_20200305_145245In the playground, the remnants of 2nd squad did as ordered, engaging the insurgents in bloody hand to hand combat.
IMG_20200305_145437
The sudden charge took the insurgents by surprise, leaving 2nd squad in control of the blood-spattered and torched playground.IMG_20200305_150125As the sun was setting, 3rd squad and Lt. Anderson both vaulted the roof of the fuel station, charging into the insurgent strikers. However, the strikers were tough opponents, driving off 3rd squad with casualties on both sides. The lieutenant dueled with the rebel commander, firing his plasma pistol at the man. The man was too quick however, and Anderson was slashed across his arm, making him drop his pistol. As he dropped to his knees, clutching his arm, more insurgents scaled the building. He saw 3rd squad drop their weapons and throw themselves at the mercy of their enemy. One look at the grinning mask of his opponent told him the battle was lost.

End summary

It ended with a 3-2 win for the rebels, with only 9 men and the sentinel left standing on the imperial side. It was very close, if the last assault had gone the way of the imperials, the fuel station objective could have been reclaimed. It was not to be however, as the strikers with commander support held off both units.

I really enjoyed the basic ruleset, it is easy and intuitive and feels like 40k, but without a lot of the extra stuff that bogs down the game. Alternating activations was great, and the game played very well for a small skirmish. I will do a more indepth review of the ruleset when I have played some more games.

The AI mechanisms worked surprisingly well, even though they were very simple. I did see some possibilities to abuse the AI mechanisms if you play them very literally, but with some common sense decisions added for the AI (like the obliterator trying to fire at the sentinel even though it was not in the way of an objective), it worked well.

With Lt. Anderson and several guardsmen being captured by the rebels, the next battle will see the 176th venturing into rebel-controlled territory on a rescue mission.

4 thoughts on “Battle for Vogen 01 – Embers

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