Prologue: The Enemy Without
Some duties are heavier to bear than others. Guarding the Astropathic Temple of the Benevolent Listeners based on the planet Eccebestus is one many guards of the Beelraphon system aspire to. The planet is as peaceful and welcoming as the task and the Astropaths are dull.
It is such a quiet life here, it almost looks odd. Some would even wish for problems to occur to make it look more "normal". The answer to this might have arisen when an Astropath collapsed this morning without any explanation. His last words were "Don't let them take ANY of us with them...". From the agitation outside it seems there's another matter too. Things are getting way too "normal" all of a sudden. That's one hell of a report you're going to have to send to HQ...
My good friend JB (aka Asslessman) has conceived an international, multi-game system narrative campaign, incorporating games of Rogue Trader, Space Crusade, Space Hulk, Space Fleet and possibly others. I believe some of these games will be played at Bring Out Your Lead 2017 at Wargames Foundry in July. JB asked if myself and another good friend, Graham, would like to start off the whole thing with a small scale skirmish using the Inquisimunda rules. Of course we would!
Graham: Eleven 1st and 2nd generation Genestealer hybrids, armed variously with pistols and rifles. Two hybrids carried heavy stubbers, while another carried an RPG launcher. Graham also had one with a flamer and a 'leader' with a meltagun.
Me: Six sturdy Adeptus Arbites, with shotguns or bolters. The Marshall carried a bolt pistol and a maul, and one trooper carried a grenade launcher. In addition to the Arbites, I controlled five weakling Astropaths. The Astropaths could project a psycho-sonic attack in the form of the Psychic Choir. This was more powerful, with greater range, the more Astropaths that were active.
JB sent us the table layout and deployment. Main focus of the game looked like it would be the Astropathic temple!
|The forces deployed|
|Another quiet day guarding the Astropaths. Troopers RBT-01 and Mursch gaze idly at the early morning mist.|
|The Benevolent Listeners emerge blindly into the dawn for Prime.|
|Hearing reports of a collapsed Astropath, Marshall Friedl is suddenly alert. A report of movement amongst the civilian buildings sets the Arbites on edge.|
|Out of sight, sinister hunched figures are gathering.|
|A pack skitters into the lee of a shack.|
|Suddenly the unnatural figures break cover.|
|Trooper RBT-01 exchanges shots with more making their way through the mechanic's yard.|
|But they keep coming!|
|The Astropaths draw on the surging psychic power of their choir, and several hybrids are downed. But the creatures are getting close enough to initiate combat. Marshall Freidl bravely steps forward, but is felled!|
|Fearing the power of the Psychic Choir, the hybrids turn their attention to the Astropaths.|
|Trooper Henning braces for assault!|
|The left flank is overrun. Trooper Mursch goes down and Trooper RBT-01 is junked.|
|Desperately, the Astropaths attempt to fend off their captors, but the psycho-hypnotic abilities of the hybrids render the Astropaths subservient and helpless.|
|It's bitter close quarter combat - claws and fangs versus boots and rifle butts.|
|Trooper Henning falls, leaving Trooper Mayer alone to try and prevent the Astropaths from being captured.|
|As Trooper Mayer falls, the hybrids simultaneously loose their nerve. They flee the temple complex with just one captured Astropath. But one is enough...|
Phew, what a tense game. I had the upper hand early as Graham engaged in a long-ranged firefight. The Pyschic Choir was devastatingly effective, and my Arbites were in cover and equipped with better armour and armaments. Graham admitted he'd fallen into a bit of a trap - because his hybrids were armed with plenty of weapons, he sat back and tried to outshoot the Arbites. But realising his error, with a potential defeat looming, he adjusted his tactics. He took out a couple of the Astropaths, nullifying the Psychic Choir. At the same time, he pushed forward with all his hybrids in a very aggressive couple of turns, which overwhelmed the Arbites through sheer number of tactics. And of course, as soon as he started taking on the Arbites in combat, the defensive line folded in on itself. I managed to do some sequential shooting which freed up a couple of Astropaths, but in the end, even though Graham failed his bottle test and ran away, he had managed to ensnare one of the Astropaths. The scenario was very enjoyable indeed - thanks to JB for pulling it together for us.
Precantor Peytor felt as if he was in a dream. His old, blind body was being forcibly led away from the Monastery, yet it was as if he was floating on clouds. His companions...no, his captors, were treating him gently. Their grips on his arms were firm, but he was not being bruised. Yet he was not being held with hands. Or the vice-like servo arms of a servitor. He was being held by something more organic. He couldn't recall what they were now. It was all so fuzzy. Yet at the back of his mind, there was a psychic presence. A dark spiky itch. One he couldn't scratch. Peytor felt the fear begin to rise in him...