With the fruits of their labor many and manifold, the limited facilities secured high in the mountains allowing physical landing has rapidly become too inefficient to please the Varda.
Domari scouts located an under-construction Orbital Transmat Hub and, with the Ghar backfooted in the area, a clear enough sky to use it. Those same scouts encountered a small force of Concord troopers, reporting its location to their own selfish masters.
In a race to secure the hub, both sides prepared to secure the hub using rapid insertion drop pods.
6’x4′ play area, 1000 pts using Narrative Scenario 6 in the core rulebook. Victory condition is to hold the central four block structure at the end of turn six. All forces are in reserve, with half deploying via scatter grid anywhere on table on turn one, second half deploying the same way on turn two or beyond.
It came to my attention after this game that Misgenic Rejects can’t be run without a Renegade NuHu. Future modifications of this list will pts swap them for the similarly priced Vardanari squad that’s been included each time.
Initial shard contact indicated the continuing superiority of Freeborn forces. With eleven dice to the opponent’s seven, initial drop forces would number six to four. The Freeborn utilized the Superior Shard Army Option to reduce the Concord’s deployment options to three.
Forced to drop first, the Freeborn pack of Misgenic Rejects suffers an early pin thanks to exhaustion, and another from a C3 Advance deployment.
Several lucky scatters and sheer weight of forces available helped the Varda quickly deploy several support teams, moving one into place in one of the buildings and moving the second into cover in the jungle, while a Freeborn X-Launcher team landed close enough to the central structure to Advance into a defensive position and immediately pin a deployed C3 Light Plasma Support drone team with a suspensor net.
Two squads of Meat Puppets (ferals) are landed, with one able to occupy another of the central structures while another takes position near the board edge, only to be flanked by a C3D1 squad that inflicted a pair of casualties.
All dice go into the bag, 11 to 7. The first die drawn is Concord, but the Freeborn player plays the Block Army Option and draws one of his own dice. The comfort of order superiority is a substantial one.
The Meat Puppets (ferals) who suffered casualties pass their order test thanks to Soma Grafts and sprint into yet another corner structure, followed by a Mag Light Support team that took up firing position along with them.
This fortification is stengthened further as the Vardanari squad drops and sprints deftly into yet another corner of the structure to take up positions.
On their first attempt, one C3 Strike Squad fails their Command test to enter the field, and remain in reserve for another turn, making the use of Superior Shard all the sweeter.
Striking back at the C3D1s, a squad of Domari enter the table and lay in mag gun fire, knocking out two shield drones before landing a solid hit on a D1 and bringing it to the ground.
It doesn’t take long for the C3 to rally and begin laying pins on the Domari, though, and they are quickly surrounded. Sky-Raiders come to the rescue, intercepting an incoming Strike Squad and killing three Strike Troopers with strafing runs of mag slugs.
The second Domari squad enters the table on the opposite edge, taking up a position in a secondary building where they’d stay for the duration of the engagement.
The previously netted C3D1 fails a Co check and goes Down, just in time for the X-Launcher to net it again, only landing one more pin but keeping the Drones in check. At the end of the turn, this Pin helped to ensure a failed Recovery order, leaving the squadron Down for another turn.
With the first draw going to the Concord, the Freeborn play their second copy of Block, returning it to the bag and drawing their own die to start the round.
The first draws see the Sky-Raiders Advance to finish off the C3 squad they’d been hammering, and an entrenched Mag Light Support finishing off the last of a C3D1 squadron. A Domari squad activates, firing at another, full strength C3D1 squadron, but both of their shots are intercepted by pesky Shield Drones.
The C3 Strike Squad previously stuck in reserve succeeds in deploying, landing just outside the main structure, and setting off the Ambush of a nearby Meat Puppet squad, who inflicts a single wound that kills the Strike Leader, his Hyperlight armor totally unprepared for the point blank shot from the oblivious mindslave’s mag gun.
Leaderless but unbroken, the C3 squad inflicted dire casualties on the exposed Sky Raider squadron, killing all but the leader, left on a single Sky Raider with a Light Mag Support, he was still a threat.
Across the table, an untouched Strike Squad, trying to avoid Ambush from the central structure, attempted to flank the Domari in the secondary building, inflicting a pin, but also moving into position for the Domari Spotter Drone to patch LOS to the nearby X-Launcher team, who promptly fired on them with a suspensor net, inflicting three pins.
The Misgenic Rejects, largely useless thus far, shambled and loped across the landscape with their inelegant, staccato gait, stealthy like bulls in china shops as they howled mindlessly, obeying directives from far above on the command ship, carrying them closer to a C3 strike squad caught in the open.
Immediately, the pins accumulated in the game began to strike hard. The remaining Skyraider, a C3D1 squadron, and a strike squad all failed Command tests, going down to wait out the turn.
Catching them flat-footed, some Domari wipe out a damaged C3 squad while two Meat Puppet squads in the central building open fire on the Strike Squad who cut down the Sky Raiders. Their combined fire inflict enough pins to kill one trooper and force the rest Down.
The cowering troopers aren’t left alone long as the Misgenic Rejects spot their quarry, sprinting exactly the distance required to assault, and striking first in each phase. The telepathically amplified shrieking of the beasts fell one trooper immediately, clawing at his own helmet in an attempt to not drown in his own blood as his brothers cut down one of the beasts.
Their efforts are not enough as the monstrosities use their nano-steel enhanced talons to peel the trooper’s hyperlight suits from their bodies just as they peel their flesh from their bones, howling victory at the cruel NuHu masters that controlled the feverish visions pumping through their Soma Grafts.
Not wanting to break cover and trigger multiple Ambush orders, the single untouched C3 Strike Squad took an Extreme Range shot at skirmishing Domari squad, killing a single soldier and prompting a string of profanities from her commander.
The battle raged around the central structure, several entrenched Freeborn units holding their ground firmly as Domari squads skirmished in the open, preventing the Concord forces from closing distance and inflicting pins or casualties where possible.
As the turn came to a close the outcome of the game became clear.
Concord forces desperately inflicted a final few casualties, mopping up a badly wounded Domari squad and finishing the last Sky-Raider, but the bulk of Freeborn forces were comfortably entrenched, waiting out the end of the turn with Down orders and ensuring victory
The Orbital Transmat hummed with energy and flared with light as heavily armed Vardanari began charging out of the blinding Transmat beam, their Plasma Carbines blazing at the fatigued Strike Squads.
Concord forces wisely beat a hasty retreat, seeking easier targets as the Varda began to secure and fortify the land surrounding their new travel hub.