Space Hulk Encounter
Sword of Damocles had once been the pride of the Imperial fleet in
the Danubian sector; flagship of Admiral Hortaxus, an Imperial dreadnaught
capable of withstanding the combined onslaught of 20 or more
battlecruisers, it had fallen foul of forces of Chaos while passing
through a warp storm in the vicinity of Chymera II, managing only to issue
a brief distress call before vanishing into the murky void. For some
9 years nothing had been seen or heard of the ship when the the long range
sensors of the trading sloop Pelican picked up the feint image of a
derelict space hulk drifting in an obscure quadrant of the Spiral Arm.
Closer inspection revealed the battered remains of the once proud Sword
of Damocles, a gaping scar in its side out of which hung, like
scorched entrails, the cabling that had long since ceased to carry the
electrical impulses of command. Now is was the lair of that
insidious pestilence: Genestealers, the vermin of space!
days later the Avenger class Imperial cruiser, Lament of Orion,
materialised out of the warp a mere 600 klicks off the bow of the Sword
of Damocles, on board a fighting complement of Imperial Space Marines
here to avenge the death of their brethren by cleansing the Damocles
of that abomination, the filth that had infected its very core.
plan formulated by commander Cierpikus at the pre launch briefing had been
simple. Two companies of Terminators, Blood Angels and Ultramarines,
supported by one light company of Grey Wolf Space Marines, would storm the
main deck of the Damocles and would seal the 6 bulkheads leading to
other parts of the ship, thereby denying access to the Tyrannid
host which was expected to attempt to repel the boarding.
Technicians would then reactivate the computers on the bridge, enabling
the warp drive and allowing the ship to return to friendly space where the
remainder of the ungodly spawn could be thoroughly cleansed from the dusty
corridors and chambers of the Damocles.
an hour later, three puffs of escaping steam in the starboard side of the Orion
signalled the launch of boarding torpedoes, each carrying a company of
the Imperium's finest, which spiralled in unison towards the hulk of the Damocles
before slamming into its side and ejecting Imperial troops thirsting
initial phase of the game was tense and bloody with dozens of Genestealers
falling before the first Imperial loss, a Blood Angel Terminator on turn
3. By turn 4, two of the bulkheads had been secured, one by the
Blood Angels, the other by the fast moving Grey Wolves. Arriving Tyrannid
reinforcements were bottled into their entry points by flamer fire and
were unable to break out and attack the Marines at close quarters.
The Ultramarines quickly secured the bridge and reactivated the computers
while losing but one man, unfortunately their captain, on turn 6. On
turn 7 the third Terminator fell, a Blood Angel, being gored by a Genestealer
that met its doom shortly thereafter. A third bulkhead was
secured by the Blood Angels on turn 10, however, rapidly reducing supplies
of ammunition, particularly for the heavy flamers, was causing the Space
Marines some grief, two more Terminators, a Blood Angel Sergeant and an
Ultramarine flamer fell the same turn.
Pressure began to build as a variety of Tyrannid creatures, Termagents,
Hybrids armed with pulse weapons, leaping Hormagaunts, bone
sword wielding Tyrannid and spore spitting Bivores began
appearing, spewing out of the remaining bulkheads in quick succession.
By turn 14, when Commander Cierpikus was felled by a spore mine, the
Imperial forces had lost another five men, including a Blood Angel
Sergeant and a Grey Wolf Librarian. The arrival of the chameleon
like Lictor that materialised behind the Imperial forces causing
havoc in the ranks of the Grey Wolves before finally being eliminated,
further decimated the Space Marines. By game's end, when the
remaining bulkhead had finally been secured, the Imperium had lost over
50% of its attacking force, including its Commander, 2 Captains, 2
Sergeants and 2 Librarians - a pyrrhic victory indeed . . .
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