On a backwater wilderness zone world somewhere on the Eastern Fringe, a transmat portal blinks into life, and a group of aliens, their kind not seen in the galaxy for aeons, emerges. The Slann have travelled from the past to scry what the 41st Millienium portends for their kind, and are horrified at what they find. Their world, so verdant and pristine when they left its pastures, is now a blasted wasteland, stained by the tread of base mortals. Evoking the transmat portal to return to their time, the Slann prepare to depart.
But others have noted their coming, and even as the Slann retreat, the hunters are closing in…
This game was fought using the Necromunda rules, but with psychics as described in Rogue Trader (Necromunda psychics rules are a bit mundane for our tastes!). The Space Slann force was devised using the profiles and points values in Rogue Trader, and these were multiplied by 10 to get an equivalent Necromunda gang rating. The Deathwatch Kill-team was put together using the stats, skills and gang rating of a Chaos Space Marine from the Outlanders supplement as a basis. The Deathwatch Kill-team came to a gang rating of 2500 with just the gear the models were carrying, so the Space Slann had to be loaded up with lots of exotic equipment to match, which was a bit of a balancing act as I didn’t want to overload the Slann player with unfamiliar rules. The Space Slann had a psyker, and the player would choose one power of each of the four levels.
In this scenario, the Space Slann deployed first, no model nearer than 8” from another (as they are still exploring the area). The Deathwatch then deploy onto a board edge of that player’s choice. To determine who goes first, the Slann each roll 2d6+Initiative; if there is a Space Marine within this distance, the Slann would go first, if not, the Kill-team went first.
The Space Slanns’ objective is to escape the ambush, and they must do so via the transmat portal. This will appear on a secret dice roll made by the GM, and would scatter 2d10” from the centre of the table. This the Space Slann player knew, but he didn’t know that once the portal had appeared he would have to keep it in place, by the nearest model making a Leadership Test – if failed, it would scatter again.
The Deathwatch Kill-team player knew only that he would be facing some form of alien, and wasn’t told anything about his foe or allowed to see their list once the game had started. His objective was to catch at least one alive.
So here’s the highlights of what happened...
Turn 1: The Deathwatch move in from the east, but the Slann psyker envelops three of their number in a Ectoplasmic Mist, slowing them down, and blocking the otherwise dominating position the heavy bolter had gained. The mist would stay in place for a random number of turns known only to the GM, which turned out to be seven.
Turn 2: The Deathwatch struggle through the mists, bolter and plasma round flying back and forth.
Turn 3 and 4: The Slann redeploy in the face of the Kill-team’s advance, and a shot from the heavy bolter causes a Displacer Field to kick in and displace the Slann right into the open.
Turn 5: The transmat portal appears, scattering just behind the Slann psyker (and almost taking him through it in the process).
Turn 6: The Slann suffer their first casualty, the Slann who was displaced into the open. The Assault Marine charges the isolated Commander Xix. The combat result was a draw, but Xix’s Initiative was higher, granting him a hit on the marine, who failed his save and died!
Turn 7: The Slann nearest to the transmat portal fails his Leadership test and it displaces, further to the east, meaning the remaining Slann have further to travel to reach safety. But, two Slann, including the psyker are near enough to flee, and they exit the table via the portal.
Turn 8: The Ectoplasmic Mist dissipates, opening up the heavy bolter’s field of fire. Wasting no time, the heavy bolter downs a Slann while another Battle-Brother captures himself a Slann (the Slann was down, so while the marine remained in base contact he had him subdued).
Turn 9: The transmat portal displaces again, this time ending up inside the giant skull, and closer to the remaining Slann.
Turn 10: The Slann pass their Leadership test to keep the portal in place. The heavy bolter wounds Commander Xix.
Turn 11: The heavy bolter continues its rain of death on the battle field, displacing another Slann in to the open.
Turn 12: Commander Xix guns down the Kill-team leader with his plasma pistol.
Turn 13: All the Slann make a bolt for the portal, and the heavy bolter slays Commander Xix.
Turn 14: Two more Slann escape, the Deathwatch close in a capture another.
The game ended with the Slann getting the majority of their war party away, but two of their number have been captured. Clearly, the next battle will see the Slann attempting to rescue their fellows from the alien autopsy tables of the Ordo Xenos!