This is a living post for narrative behind my recent 40k and Kill Team games.
It was too good to be true. Captain got those coordinates during our brief but profitable stay on Necromunda. In all honesty i belive that was the real reason we went there in the first place. Old, plain looking necklace containing hidden knowledge. It wasn’t cheap, but Archeotech never is. Still the price would so much higher if only those backwater troglodytes knew what was inside it. Information, visible only to those who know what to seek. Location of ancient ruins on the fringes of the Imperium. Who knows what treasure may await us there? According to our sources it could be a very profitable endeavour.
Getting to Bakka III took us few months, but it was a rather uneventful journey. We were able to verify quickly that the necklace was a real deal. After getting planet-side we located the site almost without effort. Away from praying eyes, in the middle of the dessert we have found the ruins. Excavation operations got set up quickly to uncover blocks of stone. Climate was not in our favour with high temperature, dryness and no place to hide against the elements. Empty, almost sterile place. Like all life would like to stay away from there. Some said it was bit creepy. Ive called them cowards back then.
Close to ruins we set up a small outpost where our brain guys team, we hired specifically for this assignment, got busy validating all that junk we dig up in the ruins. Thank the Emperor we had the Ambot with us. It speed up excavation work greatly. Back then I didn’t know yet how happy I would really be that we brought it along. All was going very smoothly until the seventh day.
At the break of dawn we were ending our shift at the dig site. We were digging at night to avoid this damn temperature. We got most of the monoliths cleared by now. Beautiful architecture, covered with many skulls and bones. Reminded me of home. We were finishing packing the equipment do containers, when suddenly we saw a group approaching our location from direction of the outpost. They were still far but we could recognise clothes and equipment of our research team. It still surprised us because there were no reason for them to show up there, especially in such a large number. They were walking very slowly, limping even. When they got closer it was clear they had some wounds and bruises, some maybe even broken limbs. We quickly realised something bad must have happened at the outpost. Accident or even attack by some unknown assailants. We started to run to them, asking loudly what happened. I don’t think anybody expected what has happened next.
I don’t know why we haven’t seen them sooner. Huge sonuvabitches. Came out from the crowd, guns blazing. Plasma and Bolter fire. Luckily there were only three of them and we were still spread all over the site. Old stones and railings took the most of the initial attack. It became painfully clear, that approaching group had hostile intents. Unfortunately they stood between us and our landing crafts which were still at the outpost. We didn’t had much choice anyway as the mob quickly rushed our way. My group evaluated situation rather quickly. We fired up the Ambot and send towards the enemy. Now from up-close we could see they really were our former associates, but… they were not humans any more. I did not know what happened to them, but no living thing could look so abnormal and twisted. Five of them charged the Ambot, which only further enforced my view they were no longer right in the head. They couldn’t even scratch it and it gave us time to run up the stairs on to the raillings above.
Rest of us on the other side of ruins were not that lucky. They were more exposed. Most didn’t even tried to fight and just started running away from incoming horror. Wanted to loose them among the containers I think, but it was too late as even that area was already crawling with those creatures. And among them was this hooded giant in big fat armour. Astartes I think. Big as a mountain. No one who come close to him stayed alive for long. Smaller creatures attacked our guys with clumsy but strong moves. They tried to slow them down, hurt. Those who avoided their filthy grasp was quickly cut down by the Hood. Not many of them made it. We were almost as unlucky too, as suddenly the other two of those big monsters climbed to the other side of the railing obstructing our path. They made short work out of two our boys, but they clearly didn’t foresee we had plasma guns of our own. Overconfidence was their undoing and when they moved out of cover Big Mo put them down with a well placed plasma burst. I don’t know if they were dead or only stunned. Nobody wanted to check as we all just started running to get the fuck away from there as quickly as possible. Down the stairs and away from this hell. Questions will come later. I doubt anything we found in those damn ruins were worth it.
We thought we got away from it all. We took off as soon as we reached the cargo hauler. Janus, first mate, who stayed on board with a skeleton crew did not needed much convincing. Dig site was overrun, and the outpost also did not respond to any contact attempts. It was only logical choice to get the hell away from there unless we will risk losing the rig too, along with our lives. Cargo holds were full of stuff we excavated so at least we were bringing something back with us. We didn’t know however what we were facing. We thought we had great bounty on board but in truth it was our doom.
Not long after the take off those stone monoliths started to vibrate and make strange noises. It made many of us nauseous. Suddenly, in a flash of light more monsters appeared. All over the ship. More of those walking dead and some even stranger, disgusting looking creatures. And among them two of those armoured giants. I felt chill through my spine at the familiar sight of the hood that one of them was wearing.
To our credit we overcome shock quickly and responded with gun fire. Janus always had reputation for brazen bravado. That guy must have balls of steel. He just put away his cigar and charged the hooded giant head on. Nobody had time to cheer for him as hell broke loose all over the place. In engine room it all got very close and personal as those creature materialised almost on top of us. One of them got close to the engine and started mauling it with some metal pipe. Guys that were there couldn’t stop him as they were fighting for their lives while assailed by more of those abysmal things.
Meanwhile in cargo hold firefight was taking place between our crew on the walkways and one of those astartes near the monolith. It was hardly a contest, that guy was immune to all we thrown at him and just picked the guys one by one with some strange grenade luncher. Other creatures were crawling around the monolith, obviously trying to do something with it. Destroy it, or maybe something that would bring even more of them on board. Whatever it was they had to be stopped.
It all looked very bad for us, until first mate Janus did the impossible. That bastard is full of tricks. Dirty tricks. His opponent tried to crush him with a power fist but force field prevented it from doing much harm. At same time Janus launched a counter attack with his monomolecule rapier, a scary weapon, very effective, but also well matched by that creatures unnatural resilience and reflexes. He anticipated the blow and countered it accordingly. They both tried to find opponent weakness, and the creature started to slowly gain the upper hand. That was the moment Janus waited for, using the overconfidence of his opponent he unleashed his hidden weapon. You dont want to know where he hides it, but it really took his opponent by surprise and with two blades out, one found its way under the giant’s hood. Its easy to underestimate our firs mate and that monster learned it the hard way.
That might have been the turning point if it happened earlier. Our morale went up but there weren’t many of us anymore. Cargo hold was overrun and struggle in the engine room was also desperate. Our men there hold their ground but that lone zombie creature near the engine finally hit some vital point. Whole ship trembled as alarms went on. We were still inside the gravity well of the planet below and without the engines running it started to pull us back in. It was over.
All who could, broke away from the fight and run for escape pods hoping there will be enough space for them inside. Running for my life i was having thoughts that we didn’t sign up for this. Big wealth, adventure on exotic planets and admiration those who didnt had the balls to do what we did. Thats how it supposed to look. Not some unnatural monsters, walking dead and strange warp magic. By the Emperor, if i will survive this i will never sign up for this Rogue Trader shenanigans ever again. Oh how little had i known back then.
Where could he be hidding that weapon?
Those who survived the demonic intrusion quickly run to shuttles and escape pods. It was every man for himself at this point. Cargo hauler was pulled back by the Bakka 3 gravity and started burning in the atmosphere on re-entry. Launching any crafts in this condition was hazardous at best, but we didn’t had any choice. Some escape crafts were destroyed during this desperate planet-fall, but few managed to reach the surface. With engines failing and multiple other systems turning off it was surely an emperors guidance that saved us through the crash landing. As i’ve slowly started to climb out of the wreckage i’ve seen a large field of debris lying around, with many fragments still falling from the sky.
Such catastrophe must have been visible for many many miles. As we were trying go figure out how many of us survived some vehicles appear on top of surrounding dunes. I’ve started praying expecting the worst. It turned out however that they belonged to a local mining colony. Miners noticed the crush and sent a small group to investigate and salvage what’s left. Considering the circumstances I cant speak of luck, but at least we were alive. There was something strange about those folks however. Couldn’t really say what at this point. They wore a lot of equipment to deal with the harsh environment. From time to time we could see a glimpse of skin flashing from under long cloths. It looked very pale but that’s a normal thing across the imperium where many man spent most their lives inside facilities covered in the dim artificial light.
After short conversation they’ve packed some of our men on trucks and told they will take us back to nearest encampment. Meanwhile more trucks have come as the scouting party informed base of the situation. For them it was an accidental crash but we know the truth. We tried to warn them of the grave danger that may still threat us all. If they found us so quickly then the others may as well. It wasn’t easy however to describe our predicament in any coherent way. There was no time to give them full story and the short version sounded like a rumbling of a madmen, and thats probably how they saw it considering the circumstances. Enough to say that they politely ignored our warnings. Just few hours after their arrival i’ve heard first shots behind the nearby dune. Those demonic astartes have caught up with us. Probably still looking for those pieces of the monument that have fallen down with us. To their credit our saviours responded quickly. Without any signs of fear or shock they’ve armed their weapons and started firing back. And so did we. Still it was not enough. They’ve caught us largely unprepared. This time our adversaries also brought a flying drone which sprayed some acidic liquid. It all quickly turned into a massacre and an order to fall back have been given.
What was left of our forces climbed on the remaining truck and drive away amidst the gun fire and screaming of people liquefied alive by this flying monstrosity.
Its not hard to imagine most of us were well over their mental capabilities to contain this situation. Strong tough guys were crying like whelps all around me, praying and yelling words of fear and rage. Our rescuers were much more stoic though. Maybe because they weren’t through all this hell that we were. But they gave me an impression there was something else there. More sinister. They tried to calm us down with comforting words, saying that all this nightmare will be over soon and we have nothing to fear. „You are under the protection of the Great Burrower now”. Whoever that is.
Im back. Its been tiring five months but i feel its finally time to get back to gaming.
Well i wasn’t exactly away from the hobby but definitely took it slow. Not playing any games got my priorities changed from painting models i need for the game to models i want on the shelf to sit and look pretty. Now however with the lock-down gone and an advent of 40k 9th edition i feel its time to finish the narrative campaign we started many months ago before moving on. I really liked how this changed my approach to collecting and painting an army. I was really more into competitive gaming in recent years but now i feel that was something that makes me lose interest in Warhammer. This campaign got me back into more narrative and hobby focused play-style which feel very satisfactory. Im really looking forward to how this is going to be supported in new edition. Smaller combat patrol games and narrative crusade system really looks like a nice framework for this kind of gaming. Hopefully Kill Team will also get an upgrade as it will fit nicely to this approach. Campaign for Bakka 3 originally started as a continuation of Necromunda campaign i was playing with my old Orlock gang „Offworlders”. Ive got inspiration from classic 80’s movies and books about space faring groups of crewmen, engineers and other contract workers that got stuck in some dangerous business. Nostromo crew from Alien is the archetype here. Normal guys trying to do their job and survive in unforgiving space.
Its definitely something i want to build upon later when ill try to expand them into Rogue Trader force. Those few games we played themed around some fishy treasure hunt opportunity that turned out really bad and led into flight and later destruction of my crews vessel was some of the more intense gaming experiences i had in recent years. Not because of the game mechanics or challenging scenarios but because of this narrative element. It brought back memories about what i really liked about this hobby. Competitive play which i did in the past had good sides too, but really lacked this feeling of immersion. I would definitely want to have more of that in the future. This campaign was an experiment as i and my friend wanted to play some kill team as a comeback to 40k universe. We played few different skirmish games in last few years as we took a break from 40k. Kill team sounded like compromise so we decided to try it out. During the Necromunda campaign ive started to write some battlereports and background pieces about my gang and i wanted to continue doing it here. It quickly grew into a more or less coherent story that gave focus to our games. We also wanted to use Kill Team as a slow reintroduction to 40k that will give us time to get some new 40k armies and enjoy some games even at this early stage when we dont have much staff painted yet. My pal got himself a new nurgle force while i was finishing with my Necromunda gang an continued with Genestealer Cult that ive already started few months earlier. Now after those few months of Kill Team it feels like our forces grew enough to try some small 40k games again. We made decision to not keep this campaign up and running indefinitely as its already loosing the momentum. We want to have some satisfactory ending soon, so probably after 2-3 more games we will wrap it up. Now storyline also took a turn into new direction to support this. With the Rogue Trader crew bitten we needed a new challenger to contest Plague Marines plans. I had few ideas how to do this but finally decided on introducing a mining colony controlled by the cult on the same planet. So now the story looks like this: Death Guard took back most of the parts from ancient ruins that got stolen previously. However cult rescued some survivors and also got their claws on remaining artefacts. How crucial those items are is still to be decided but lets say its important enough for Nurgle forces to pursue the colonists and try to get it back. To their surprise they’ve run into an unexpected resistance.
– Mission successful Lord Pandemius. Scavengers vessel was destroyed and all fragments of The Monolith have been retrieved from the crash site. Some stragglers managed to escape with an unexpected help from local colonists. They arrogance will be punished. Colony settlement has already been located and a suitable strike force dispatched. Final victory is in our grasp. Glory to the Lord of Decay. May his blessing fall on us all.
Here we played a small 40k game of 500p per side. We didn’t want to make it too time consuming especially that we needed to relearn the rules. It was surprisingly fun. Yes, we expected less out of it because our experience with last months of 7th and switching to 8th was rather bad. This game just don’t compare well to other offerings on the market, especially board games or some smaller skirmish games (x-wing for example). They have much more solid rules and interesting game-play. Warhammer hobby have however something that those others don’t. Experience of collecting, customizing and painting your army is really something special and i think this is a part we neglected last time we tried 40k. We focused too much on competitive play which no longer holds a candle to other options available out there. Now however with this „reinvented” experience it felt very satisfactory. This requires a bit more preparation to make each game feels special. All miniatures have to be painted. We use lot of detailed terrain to keep it aligned with quality of the models. We also try to decide on the scenario details before choosing forces. That’s still something we need to do better i think. Im always too lazy to get some names for the units and characters but i think i will get back there eventually. Anyway our first game of 40k since start of 8th edition was very brutal with nurgle forces marched over and incinerated cult forces that tried to save survivors from the crash site. Encouraged by such easy victory Death Guard pursuit remnants into a colony facility. Here the fight took a definitive turn as some hybrids and genestealers led by a magus showed up and made a brutal statement which species is an apex predator here. That was also a short 40k game focused on close fight in tight corridors and very dense terrain. Probably too dense for 40k mechanics but that’s a lesson for the future.
„I bring troubling news my Lord. Attack on the settlement was prevented by an overwhelming enemy presence. Xenos. Combatants identified as Tyranid hybrids. May they flesh rot. Threat level requires estimation. Remnants of strike force fell back and await further orders.
Those are troubling news. Xenos presence may interfere with the ritual. Eliminate with utmost urgency. Our allies in the warp allowed us to detect their weak point. Within colony lies a science facility. Infiltrate it, kill the bio-technicians and bestow Nurgle blessings on all organic matter that you find. Your success will poison their forces and provide us with sufficient time. Do not fail again. ”
To take a break we got back to Kill Team for this mission. Sabotage mission – one where attacker needs to find out which one of three objectives on board is most important and then destroy it while controlling it. Selected strike force deep strike into a facility where Biophagus run his shop. Its a kind of medical facility that also provided upgrades for the entire force. I wanted to go deeper into the „mad scientist and his insane creations” theme and picked a force made entirely from abberants and the Biophagus who was just sitting in his lab and upgrading them one by one each turn. Plan half worked as most of the fighting took place in the lab itself. Smart scientist decided to evacuate to the lower parts of the facility as soon as the fight got intense. Some Abberants took a stand fighting off nurgle force close combat specialists while Biophagus climbed down the ladder chased by plasma fire. In some other parts of the lab group of abberants ambushed another plague marine and soon most of the combatants an all sides were locked in mele. Its quite common in our games that models are dying very slowly and instead acquire lot of flesh wounds. Here it went exactly the same and quite few guys ended up with 2 or even 3 flesh wounds on them. Fortune changed few times during the game but after some lucky re-rolls cult forces gained the upper hand. Mission ended after 4 turns which gave little time for attackers to succeed. So it looks like Death Guard attack was repelled.
What’s next? They will probably fall back to the ruins to get themselves dug in and try to complete the ritual. Cult forces will be in pursuit this time and try weaken them down before the final battle.
After the surgical strike on cult laboratories Death Guard forces were falling back across the dessert. They intend to reach old ruins site to start the ritual which was their goal all along. Cult forces are in pursuit.
Thats the last battle before the grand finally. We played a 1000p 8th edition game with random objectives drawn from cards. It was fun, but 4’X4′ table is definitely too small for this kind of points. For many of you its probably small setup but it was our biggest game of 40k in few years so we were still not sure how it will turn out. But it was really cool and we will try something even bigger for final battle. Campaign was ment mostly for Kill Team geames so something like 1500p 40k game would be an apocalyptic size conclusion to it.
Forces of Nurgle won the day so final battle will be about cultist forces trying to interrupt the ritual.
– Lord Typhus, Xenos forces were repelled for the time but they are amassing for final assault. It seems they understand what is at stake here.
– This is of no consequence. Those mining colony rabble lack the strength to interrupt the ritual. Once its finished we will deal with them once and for all. Prepare defences.
As Death Guard forces prepare for colonists attack something stirs under the sands. Some alien intelligence is very well aware of the danger that Nurgle forces are bringing to its world. And it don’t like it at all…
Final clash to stop the ritual is over. Here is the summary of last game and the whole campaign.
That was a really enjoyable battle. Not very big, only 1250p but with many models on the table.
There weren’t any special scenario this time. We just played ‚take and hold’ with tactical objectives. It really took us long time to get back to 40k and we still didn’t had much enthusiasm to dive into its more complex parts. That’s why we decided to keep it simple and not spend too much time on getting a fancy scenario. Especially that it was also our last game in 8th edition. It was fun, it was bloody and gave us a satisfying ending. Main goals for us were as follows:
– Get new armies during the campaign from zero to a medium size force. Checked. Ive got Genestelaers Cult while Pawel got his Deathguard, both worth around 1500p now. Fully painted and ready for more action.
– Play narrative campaign that will get us into story driven games vs tournament meta games that we got used to in the past. Also checked. It was fresh and very enjoyable approach that gave us motivation to paint armies and make some terrain.
– Play some fun games of Kill Team and maybe get back into 40k. Again checked. Kill Team was fun, however not as engaging as I’ve hoped. I prefer Necromunda. However KT allowed us to start new armies and test some cool ideas (like playing rogue trader crew) that would not be possible with other systems. I
We really took the lightweight approach and didn’t even planned the story line for the whole campaign. It was evolving from one battle to the next but turned out pretty coherent. Started with band of rogue trader smugglers excavating some ancient stuff on a remote planet. Of course it want bad, as any meddling with ancient things in 40k would go. They were chased off by demonic forces and crash landed again on the planet after failed escape attempt. When all seemed lost a rescue came from unexpected side. Local mining colony. Expected twist was that colonists were actually Genestealer Cultists. From this point campaign was about Death Guard trying to push back new adversaries, retrieve all pieces of ancient relics and complete a mysterious ritual that will undoubtedly bring them absolute victory.
Final battle was about the Cult desperately trying to interrupt the ritual and break the Death Guard forces. We wanted some big climatic ending so that had to be the biggest game in the campaign with new centrepieces for our armies. Pawel went for Typhus and I’ve painted The Great Burrower – a Trygon Prime secretly worshipped by my cult forces.
Neither of them done anything in the game (well, typhus actually killed the Trygon. Then got shot to pieces by mining lasers) but they were great focus points on the table.
„- Lord Typhus, Xenos will attack soon.
– Excellent. We are ready for them. Take all terminators and deep strike behind their lines. They will be brought down from both sides. No one will escape!
– Will you be ok alone my Lord?
– Of course, what will they possibly do to me?
– Are you sure my Lord? They still may present some threat
– Nonsense. They are just some pathetic Rabble with mining equipment. Ill be perfectly fine
– Are you sure?
– Yes yes, now go and prepare the ambush
– As you wish… So are you completely sure?
– Oh for Nurgles sake, yes! Now get out of here!
I imagine this discussion took place before the battle. Typhus ended up as the nearest target for all my vehicles and took few mining laser shots to his face. Would live much longer with his terminator escort.
Campaign ended with a big bang and now we think about next one with new armies. Probably also with the crusade system form 9th edition.