Thursday, April 26, 2012

PREDATOR 2: Battle Narrative, Part 2

Continuing the battle narrative...

The battle board featured two bunkers, some rocky outcroppings, a couple patches of trees (really nice looking ones too, fall colors on them), a couple of narrow ruined towers, and a big Imperial landing platform.  The Eldar were positioned in the southwestern corner, all drawn back together to allow some long-ranged fire on the slow moving Space Wolves, with the Dark Reapers on the high platform where they had a better view from which to rain down death.  The Wolf cavalry and Logan’s grey hunters were clustered behind scenery as close to mid-board as they could get, with the rune priest casting his living lightning from the view slits of a bunker and the long fangs in a back corner tower (a little too far back corner—their range was strained for the first few turns). 
The Eldar took the first turn, firing what long-ranged shots they had, the reapers maybe taking a hunter or two down in the first round.  The night spinner tank launched clouds of monofilament webbing into the air where it drifted down to decorate trees and a bunker for Halloween (like I said in the last entry, I forgot to reroll for twin-linked!  Dammit!).  The xenos figured they had all day to shoot down the enemy as they walked across the field.  They were wrong.  On wolf turn one a drop pod slammed down in their midst.  Five wolf guard in terminator armor lumbered from its blown hatches, all targeting the flaming insult to the Emperor’s faith: the Avatar.  Arjac flung his mighty hammer, a cyclone ML launched two krak missiles, a combi-plas fired two bolts of green fire, and bolter rounds exploded against its molten metal hide.  All for naught.  The burning god stood impervious to their attacks and roared a fiery battle cry.  (He made all his saves, armor and invuln, in complete defiance of their onslaught of shots.)  Finally the rune priest’s called lightning struck down from the heavens and inflicted a single wound on the monster.  The drop pod’s deathwind ML sprayed a huge burst of missiles at the crowded eldar, specifically targeting the Harlequin troupe (successfully spotted them despite the Veil of Tears psychic screen).  The large blast deviated just enough to hit four harlies and one of the jetbikes waiting behind a bunker.  Two harlies died, as did the biker.  With that one biker death, the warlock turned his jetbike around and sped his cowardly guardians off the field!  (Failed my morale check and they were only inches from the board edge, an easy jump to safety for the chickensh!t bikers.  Had I taken the warlock power Embolden instead of Enhance I could have rerolled that.  Now I know better.)  Finally, from the distant corner, four krak missiles streaked from the long fangs’ tower, harmlessly exploding against the night spinner’s hull. 

Then it was the Eldar’s turn.

Karandras and his band of striking scorpions outflanked onto the board, deciding to aid against the terrible terminators instead of coming out behind the long fangs (though they might have taken the long fangs, they’d have spent the rest of the game walking to find another victim).  As much as I wanted my Avatar to engage Arjac in combat, he was the only model I had with much chance of taking out the deadly drop pod (I didn’t want another large blast hitting my collected troops!), so the Eldar squads unloaded everything they had in the shooting phase.  The dire avengers blade stormed 27 shots (none of which got past the termies’ armor), the scorpions fired their pistols and catapults, the harlies danced toward the enemy and unleashed their shurikens, including the death jester’s shrieker cannon, and the warp spiders appeared to spray razor-sharp webbing at the wolves.  In that blizzard of shurikens and razorwire, finally the last terminator, the mighty Arjac, went down (after many successful armor saves).  The harlies were prepared to assault if they’d survived, as was the Avatar (scorps were still too far away).  With that substantial threat neutralized, the Avatar cast melta-fire from his burning sword and then attacked the drop pod, rending its missile launcher from within and reducing the vehicle to an empty hulk (wrecked it).  The reapers and night spinner harassed Logan and his foot solders as they jogged across the board, reapers taking a few, the tank spraying silly string into the trees (“See how the light glints off the razor wire?  Looks almost like Christmas!”).

About this time the Thunder Wolf Cavalry made their way in close.  The Eldar huddled back trying to stay just out of charge range of the giant wolves, but weren’t quite far enough.  The TWC charged the Avatar alone, inching the scorpions and phoenix lord out of the fight.  The Eldar god of war took the initiative and cut down one or two before the cavalry leader’s frost axe could take a bite out of the metal monstrosity.   Then the rune priest opened the skies and struck down a couple scorpions with lightning from above.  In the next turn Karandras led his warriors into the fray.  A few more scorpions died in the fight but the Eldar were victorious and all converged towards Logan Grimnar and his grey hunters (the Avatar with but one wound remaining).

The night spinner tank, meanwhile, suffered several hits from missiles and meltaguns, destroying the doomweaver weapon.  Now even more useless, the tank could only position itself in Logan’s path to slow his progress.  The warp spiders teleported just inside weapons range and spun a few webs into the hunters.  Bringing their melta and plasma weapons to bear again, and assisted by long fang missiles, the wolf force finally brought down the Eldar hover tank.  But once the vehicle was lying lifeless on the ground, pinwheels of color came dancing over its dead hull.  The harlequins, ignorant of gravity or terrain, leaped with ease over the wreckage, spitting shurikens and spinning right into combat with the grey hunters.  Those few grizzled wolves who had survived the long ranged attacks were wiped out by the mysterious Eldar troupe.  Only Logan remained, and his deadly axe cut down three of his enemies with one mighty swing, leaving him facing off against the Harlie Master, Shadowseer, and Death Jester. 

*  *  *

By this time (about the end of turn 4, I’d say), there were casualties on both sides but the Eldar were outnumbering the Space Wolves by quite a bit.  Logan was the last wolf on the forward end of the battlefield, engaged by Harlequins with the Avatar, Scorpion Lord, and striking scorpions closing fast.  And the Eldar’s other forces were still numerous, the Dire Avengers, Warp Spiders, and Dark Reapers had yet to take a single casualty.  But a wolf is most deadly when wounded, and the Sons of Russ were not done yet...

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