Kill Team: Horrifying Grace (Fiction and Battle Report)

Colin and I have been building up Ur’veil (it started here), an Imperium planet that was recently conquered and renamed by the T’au, as a setting to play some games in. During the week we finished up a three-game mini-campaign (campaign rules, and brief reports for Games 1 & 2). Here’s a short story concluding the campaign followed by a brief synopsis of Game 3.

Horrifying Grace

Father barked orders and the brethren surged forward. They abandoned all thoughts of personal safety. Their fervour and zeal was unbounded as they fought along side the Grandsire, the progenitor of the Brotherhood. Neophytes, acolytes and even purestrains fell to the enemy’s fire, but their Patriarch was unrelenting. Its speed was unmatched by any of its followers. It tore into the ranks of the armoured enemy. Father couldn’t take his eyes off of it. It was a blur of muscle, chitinous armour and intelligent aggression. Father was in awe.

***

This was not like the previous times. The aliens had shown caution before, but not now. Now they surged towards the T’au line. Ne’wo Sha had taken over command of the team, setting up a defensive line, directing the Stealth Suits to cover the approaches from atop the container. Ni’loc resented the new commander. Ne’wo did not understand how this enemy fought. That said, witnessing this uncharacterful headlong charge, Ni’loc wasn’t sure he understood them either.

***

The right flank dissolved in a hail of fire, but things were very different on the left. The Grandsire was into the enemy, limp armoured bodies being flung into the air. The enemy’s shock was palpable. Father’s reverie was a psychic reflection of the Patriarch’s. He had only know the Grandsire as a patient, guiding hand, developing the Brotherhood and their machinations. Now, it was as if it had been unshackled. Father knew the destructive potential of a purestrain, but he had never witnessed such violence before.

***

Comm signals began to turn to static. Once the initial onslaught had been quashed there was only sporadic shooting in front of Ni’loc’s position. The XV25 Stealth Suits began to reposition. He could see Ne’wo inquire as to what was going on. A strained look of apprehension came across his normally calm features. “We need to reposition!”, he shouted into the comm, “Something is coming.”

***

Father lost sight of his Patriarch as it delved into the enemy ranks. The armoured warriors on the right began to move, attempting to put distance between themselves and the slaughter. They were moving quickly towards Father, but he was rooted to the spot, transfixed. The Grandsire was using his eyes to observe the enemy. The feeling was exhilarating… transcendent. Enemy shots began to fall around him. He knew would die, but he didn’t care.

***

Move and fire. Move and fire. Just like they had drilled, but Ni’loc never imagined they’d fight a foe like this. It moved with horrifying grace and preternatural speed. It was all teeth and claws. It was imbued with an alien ferocity, belied by that mesmerising grace. The T’au had wiped out its followers, but they were now being hunted down and shredded by this abomination. When they entered this underground complex he thought they were the hunters… he could not have been more wrong.

***

Father didn’t move. He didn’t want to move. His life, his service to the Grandsire and Brotherhood was about to end. In his final moments he witnessed a sight of pure glory. The superiority of his multi-armed brethren was undeniable. The Grandsire was coming to him, murdering the enemy with astonishing speed. Father was lost in this vision as the projectiles struck his body. He slumped against a container. His eyes fading. His service was complete.

***

Ni’loc lay on the ground, blood pooling about him. The abomination had flung him aside without breaking stride. Ni’loc believed in the Greater Good. He believed the T’au would overcome this foe and transform Ur’veil into a paradise the Imperium couldn’t even imagine. With his fading sight he saw Ne’wo brought down by the beast. Then it slipped away into a large vent. Ni’loc’s eyes closed as he lost consciousness.

Game 3

This game was played with the Cut Off The Head mission (P108 of Kill Team: Commanders), but I had gained a couple of advantages form my previous games: my Cult Ambushes would be on a 4+ and one model could make a free Veteran-style advance before the game. I also opted for Take Forward Positions in the Scouting phase. The plan was simple: close as quickly as possible with the T’au to limit their shooting. It was only partially successful…

Despite having a 4+ Cult Ambush I really didn’t succeed with that many. However, and importantly, my Patriarch got up nice an close. If I could keep him in combat for the whole game the T’au would really struggle. Colin set his troops up to offer mutual ‘Greater Good’ support. I went for a ‘full court press’ in the hopes that he’d only Flesh Wound some of the models. It didn’t go well… he killed 4 models in the first shooting phase. Though my Patriarch was engaged in melee and started killing off his team bit-by-bit.

Colin’s shooting remained hot and he quickly broke my team, and then killed everyone… except the Patriarch. He hopped from melee to melee, using Heroic Intervention to avoid overwatch as much as possible, and he ended up killing 8 T’au, including the Commander and Leader. The rest of my team only managed one kill. One of Colin’s Firewariors killed a purestrain in melee! His T’au seem to have had more combat training than most!

Staying in combat kept the Patriarch safe from the shooting and he survived the game. I kept a CP back every turn to autopass his Nerve test (after the team broke) and he cast Iron Arm on himself every Psychic phase mainly to boost his Toughness.

So? Where to next? Well, the Genestealer Cults will need years to rebuild towards an uprising. In the meantime the Imperium may seek to retake Ur’veil and restore its former name.

Until next time,

Owen

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