Saturday, 11 April 2009

Secrets of Curwen - Turn 4, Troop Insertion

Although the target had been successfully destroyed, the air raid had cost more valuable aircraft than the Imperials could afford but the Tau were also suffering. Both sides started to lay plans for aggressive patrols to try and force the conflict to a head.

However, before Imperial Commander Hood could launch his offensive, an urgent communique was received from the Adeptus Mechanicus mission attached to the fleet. Orbital surveillance had revealed the ruins of a large man-made structure near the planet's northern pole. The terraforming had not taken in the area, which also showed elevated radiation levels. The Tech Priests believed that the structure may hold the answer to the fate of the human colonists and insisted on inserting teams to investigate or, if necessary, deny the site to the Xenos. Although the Commander little needed the distraction, particularly with the losses he had taken, standing orders gave him no choice but to comply. Cain and Able, the task force's two Valkyrie gunships, would insert the mechanicus teams and their Drop Trooper escort, under cover of the remaining Lightnings (Hans High and Sum Yung Gai) and four Thunderbolts (call signs Danny Boy, Cardinal, Wilf and Charlie).

As the Imperial forces drew near the target their worst fears were confirmed, the Tau had got their first and clearly understood the importance of the site, establishing a defensive position covered by Barracuda fighters and even the Tau Commander himself, in his Tiger-Shark command aircraft with it's escorting Drone Fighters.

[Cain and Able Carry the Mechanicus Teams into the battle]

[The Imperial and Tau forces close on each other]

The human and alien fighters clashed ahead of the slow moving transports. Wilf was shot down after himself taking out a Tau Barracuda, while Charlie and Danny Boy rapidly racked up three kills against the Tau fighters between them. Cardinal had to hit the silk after his Thunderbolt took massive incoming fire, although Hans was not so lucky, plunging earthwards still at the controls of his burning Lightning. Sum, flying the second lightning, got the Imperial's first kill against one of the new Tau Drone Fighters since they were first encountered on Typha 4. However despite the Escort's best efforts the Tau were already closing on the Valkyries, damaging Able.

[A sprawling dogfight develops]

Danny Boy's victory was short lived, his Thunderbolt falling to a Barracuda. The damaged Able took out the Tau ground defences with rockets just before being downed itself, Cain being destroyed shortly after, but not before droppings its passengers within the target area.

Reduced to under half strength, the Imperial forces had no choice but to withdraw. Lacking air cover, aircraft to retrieve them, or the troops to hold the ruins against any Tau counterattack, the Remaining Mechanicus task force took the only option left to them, detonating the micro-nuke that they had brought with them in case they were unable to hold. The survivors set out back to the imperial lines on foot but, in the harsh environment, with no cover, their future looked bleak.

- Adding up the points, it was another victory to Matt's Tau, bringing the Campaign points to 4-3 in Matt's favour. Even though I had achieved my objective of landing troops on the target, once again I'd lost too many aircraft to maintain the success. Worst still, I was now down to only three fighters!

Faced with no real choice, I decided to spend one of my Campaign points on reinforcements, leaving the final score at 4-2. A lucky roll of six gave me 100 points to spend on any aircraft, but what to choose...


  1. During you next mission against the Tau, use your Thunderbolts at long and middle range during your attack. Stay away from them at short range. Try your best to stay at middle range and behind him. If you have Lighting escorting the Thnuderbolts, use their high agilty to your advantage to split the Tau fighters. That may help. Long live the Imperialis

  2. Cheers for the advice. I was trying to stay at medium range, honest! But Matt's getting a bit good at predicting my moves! I may invest in more lightnings though, I like the agility, and they're cheaper. Seems to be these escort missions I'm struggling with.

  3. Here is a brief battle report of a an air Patrol. I hope you enjoy it.

    As the Bone Crusher Squadron patrols grid section G7, the listening post reports an unknown contact. Bone Crusher One directs the Squadron to split into two separate groups. Bone Crusher One with it Wingman Bone Crusher Two splits off to the right, as Bone Crusher Three and Four split off to the left in an attempt to locate and identify the unknown contact.
    After performing Rolling High G Turns, both pairs of Thunderbolts close in on the unknown contact. Before Bone Crusher One and Two could transmit a warning, that it’s not one unknown contact, but three Tau Fighters, Bone Crusher Three and Four leveled out of the High G Turn and overshot the contact. Bone Crusher Four’s warning lights and alarms started to go off, but it was too late. The Tau Fighter had a weapons lock and fired. Bone Crusher Four was gone. He did not even have the time to eject.
    As Bone Crusher One and Two witness the destruction of their comrade, they leveled their Thunderbolts and fired, without having a weapons lock. A waste of precious ammunition, but it was worth it. One of the Tau Fighter broke formation from the other two. Taking the initiative, Bone Crusher One and Two pursued, as Bone Crusher Three hit his after burners and gained attitude to avoid the other two Tau Fighters.
    During the pursuit of the lone Tau Fighter the Thunderbolts were able to get weapons lock and fired. The Tau Fighter was damaged but managed to out maneuver the Thunderbolts. During this out maneuvering, the Two remaining Tau Fighter managed to position themselves in weapons range of Bone Crusher Three. The Tau Fighter locked on and fired at Bone Crusher Three. Bone Crusher Three took several hits, and sustained damaged.
    Bone Crusher Three transmitted his damage report to Bone Crusher One, who advised him to take evasive action and to proceed back to the airbase. Bone Crusher One, then maneuvered for a weapons lock along with Bone Crusher Two. The Weapons system showed intermitting locks. Bone Crusher One transmitted to his wingman and advised him to fire his weapons instinctively, rather then relying on the weapons system. Apparently the Tau Fighters were jamming their targeting systems.
    As Bone Crusher One and Two positioned their Thunderbolts at their Tau adversaries they fired. Both Thunderbolts scored hits on their adversaries, damaging the fighters, but it was not without cost. Both Thunderbolts sustained hit as well, with Bone Crusher Two sustaining damage.
    The Two Tau Fighter broke off and accelerated after Bone Crusher Three. Bone Crusher One and Two fuel was low and transmitted the situation to Bone Crusher Three and wish him luck on his return to base. As there were heading for home as well.
    With that Bone Crusher Three observed the Tau Fighter closing on his position. As Bone Crusher Three looked for the second time he saw his chance for revenge. The Tau fighter performed a wing over, with that Bone Crusher Three hit his after burners performed a Rolling High G Turns that positioned his Thunderbolt for a direct shot at the rear of the trailing Tau Fighter. Bone Crusher Three let loose with all weapon systems, with weapons lock or unlock on his target. As result of this bold move the trailing Tau Fighter detonate in the air. Vengeance for Bone Crusher Four was returned.

  4. Thanks for the report Ovalrunner, sounds like a good game, feel free to post any more if you want!