With the masters of the Varda glutted on a haul of Builder technology, the Freeborn house began sending out larger expeditions to salvage the ancient, precious technological secrets hidden on Xilos.
With the chaos of the planetary landings, it was only a matter of time before they’d cross paths with another armed force, and as it so happened the Concord strike force that had challenged their previous expedition met them on a chance encounter…
6’x4′ table, 750 pts using Scenario 3 from the core rulebook. Deployment took place half on/half off in a narrowly defined zone, with the goal of getting units off the enemy table edge.
Ghar Outcasts were proxied for Ferals, as the models I’m using are presently being painted. Instead, the Freeborn Varda made use of some captured Outcasts jacked with Soma Grafts to serve as meat puppet cannon fodder.
The sheer weight of dice made a huge difference in this battle, and have me considering running even further stripped down Feral squads. They themselves didn’t do much but having them as a threat along with the extra dice left me in a good position to react to enemy movements.
With the forces arrayed, it became quite clear that the Freeborn were the dominant Shard, with a whopping nine order dice in the bag compared to the Concord’s six. The Freeborn began with an X-Launcher team deployed well behind cover and a pair of Mag Light Support teams positioned to charge forward into positions with maximum field of fire.
The first several dice went to the Freeborn, who fired off a net round from the X-Launcher, targeting the opponent’s own X-Launcher team but failing to land a hit. Both Mag Light Support teams advanced into cover, overlapping their Batter shields to guard the advance of the Vardanari between them and peppering the Concord with long range fire, inflicting pins on one flank while the high-velocity slugs scored a lucky hit on the other flank, taking out a buddy drone and an unlucky C3 sergeant who failed his leader roll.
In response, the C3 advanced, and their X-Launcher fired their own net at the Freeborn launcher team, hitting them with four pins and initiating a break test they thankfully passed.
The small pack of shambling Misgenic Rejects on the left flank sprinted forward on horrifically misshapen limbs, all the while screaming in incoherent agony at the pain of their existence, with a C3 strike squad running wide in an attempt to stop their advance next turn.
The C3 Strike Squad on the left overplayed their position, getting close enough for the howling Misgenic Rejects to charge them around a corner, letting loose an unearthly howl that ruptured the eardrums of the closest trooper before liquefying his brain, triggering a break test and forcing the Strike Squad to take a Down order just in time for the Rejects to strike first in hand to hand, their misshapen claws prying open the strike troopers’ helmets to vomit sizzling bio-acid into their faces.
The Freeborn Mag Light Support team on the right peppered another squad with fire, inflicting a pin but no casualties.
As the Concord began to issue orders, they attempted to mirror the Rejects’ path, breaking one squad wide toward the right flank to flee off the Freeborn board edge, just as a pack of C3 Interceptors took the field and shot out 20″ to follow in the squad’s path and escape the Freeborn patrol.
The Misgenic Reject pack was left exposed as another strike squad took the field and, following an Advance order, eliminated all but a single Reject, who only passed his break test by the grace of his Soma Graft.
The Freeborn X-Launcher team Rallied to shed their excessive pins, shaking off the last remnants of the Concord suspensor net.
Alarmed by the speed of the Concord Interceptors, and noting that his opponent had failed to retain his Run order from the previous turn, the Freeborn began the turn by opening fire with the newly freed X-Launcher. Patching into a nearby Spotter Drone for Line of Sight, they rolled a natural 1, pinning the Interceptor squad three times and forcing a break test that was failed on a 10.
The Dice Gods had spoken, and the suspensor net tangled around the speeding Interceptors, causing them to veer off course and crash into rolling fireballs that cooked the Xilosian undergrowth.
The Strike Squad that had attacked the Rejects had left itself exposed, a fact seized upon by the Vardanari who moved into the ruins near the center of the table and annihilated all but one of them with a salvo of concentrated shots from their Plasma Carbines. The strike squad engaged them in a firefight, but only succeeding in killing one of the Guardsmen in return.
Left with a single man and pinned in place, the nearby Domari were able to finish off the lone Strike Squaddie, their mag gun fire ripping him to shreds at short range as his armor failed to harden in time.
The Concord continued to break a single squad for freedom as they skirmished with the Freeborn in the open.
The battle nearly won, the single remaining Strike Squad attempted to assault a squad of soma grafted Ferals who had nearly escaped, but their assault triggered an Escape reaction that put the ferals safely off the board and put the squaddies in the open where they were peppered with mag gun fire for the rest of the turn.
At turn’s end, the Concord rolled and failed an Army Break test, fleeing the field and yielding the path to the victorious Freeborn expedition.
The day won on the back of some truly amazingly awful rolls by his opponent, the Freeborn commander rendered a respectful salute to the Concord Mandarin (Whose face shall never be shown), even as the cur swore to return with X-Howitzers.
The Battle for Xilos has only just begun.