Last week’s game of One Page 40k (soon to be replaced by Grimdark Future, whenever we decide to make the change) took place in Jericho Station, the main city on Caluphel Prime, our homebrew 40k campaign setting.
We set up a three-player game in the ruined urban tenements of Hab-Block Fenax, a sub-sector of Jericho Station. The game featured Jim and his son Alex commanding the forces of the Imperium (Imperial Guard for Jim and Space Marine Salamanders for Alex) versus my Chaos Space Marines.
The game’s narrative picked up shortly after the first Imperial explorator teams landed on Caluphel and began to explore the lost colony world. Even as the Imperials reinforce their position on the peculiar planet, fragmentary intel suggests that they are not alone…
Here’s the handout I provided to Jim and Alex to set the tone for the game.
To: The Emperor’s Vanguard on Caluphel
From: Fleet Commander Valsit Uberon
Re: Reconaissance Operations in the Outskirts of Jericho Station
Date: 3 81 945.M41
Recent skirmishes have confirmed that a sizable enemy force is moving to occupy a ruined hab-block on the outskirts of Jericho Station. Although our tactica officers have not determined exactly why the enemy is seeking to seize this sector, we must assume it offers some tactical advantage.
Consequently, you have been tasked with blunting the enemy’s advance and, if possible, counterattacking and destroying the invading force. The rushed nature of this operation, coupled with our imprecise intel about this hab-sector, means you may lack information as to the enemy’s disposition and deployment. Trust in the Emperor, then, and do your duty.
The Emperor Protects.
We had a good chuckle about this game briefing, as it is really just a clever way of saying “you’re on your own.” Typical Imperium!
We placed three objective markers on the battlefield, and I distributed three hidden objectives on folded-up pieces of paper to each player. These were optional objectives that could be completed if possible during the game. Fun stuff!
After that, we got moving. Jim was playing an armored platoon (his entire force consisted of 5 vehicles and 5 infantry figures, I think) and so he spent some time agonizing over the best route for his tanks through the ruined hab sector. The placement of terrain coupled with the limitations on vehicle movement in 1p40k meant he didn’t have quite as much flexibility. Ultimately he decided to move forward on his left flank while the right flank laid down artillery fire to support Alex’s Space Marine squads.
Note the satellite dish in the picture above…Jim’s secret objective was to secure the satellite dish and transmit a message about the battle to the explorator fleet waiting in orbit. Since the Imperium’s campaign on Caluphel is still in its infancy, this sort of intel could be crucial to the burgeoning war effort.
Alex, Jim’s teammate in this battle, sent his Salamanders into the rubble as well.
Alex’s secret objective was to assassinate the enemy commander, so he was watching carefully as my Chaos Night Lords moved out of their deployment zone. Here they go!
The first major clash came as Jim’s battle tanks closed on my Helbrute, which was stampeding toward the central objective (a fueling depot near the center of the table).
Eek! Nobody wants to be down-barrel of a Leman Russ battle tank! Luckily my Helbrute got off a couple blasts with this multi-melta before he himself was torn to pieces by the tank’s fearsome firepower.
Elsewhere my daemon prince flapped his gnarly wings over to perch atop a ruined building. Jim and Alex were absolutely terrified of this guy, and for good reason — he is an absolute combat monster. So he attracted quite a bit of firepower as he surveyed the battlefield from his perch.
And then my daemon prince saw a likely target … a squad of Alex’s veteran Salamander Space Marines! “Fresh meat” he thought, and prepared to swoop in for the kill.
He was quickly swarmed by green-armored Space Marines. No big deal, I thought. My daemon prince is unbelievably tough! But … the Space Marines were armed to the teeth, and after several rounds of vicious combat, they proved to be more than a match for the pink-skinned daemon. Here is his final hurrah before he was banished back to the warp.
But while Jim and Alex poured men and material into the battle to stop my daemon prince, I was able to bolster my position elsewhere. In particular, my squad of Plague Marines advanced into the ruins and seized one of the victory objectives — a pair of ancient computer cores. Who can say what lost, arcane knowledge is stored in their sub-quantum crystal memory arrays?
The Plague Marines were joined shortly by Estebohr Bruton, my Chaos Lord. He arrived just as a lucky shot destroyed Jim’s Chimera troop transport. We couldn’t help but giggle whenever a vehicle would get destroyed, because that meant we could put another tuft of colored wool onto the battlefield. Little effects like this really made the game come alive!
Over by the fueling depot in the center of the table, a desperate close-quarters battle was raging. The depot was atop an elevated terrain piece, which allowed only limited room for models to cluster around the objective marker. The area turned into a meatgrinder as both Alex and I poured reinforcements into the skirmish. Ultimately I prevailed, allowing me to seize the objective.
On the last turn of the game, my Chaos Raptors finally arrived via deep strike. I placed them close to Alex’s command squad, which was enough to keep the Salamanders from forcing my Night Lords away from the fuel depot.
And with that, our game was over! I squeaked out a win by holding two objectives by the end of the game.
We all agreed that this was an excellent game with plenty of exciting and dramatic moments. The defeat of my daemon prince, as well as the back-and-forth battle at the fuel depot were both highlights of the evening. Thanks to Jim and Alex for a great game!
We’ll play again in a month or two. For our next game, I’ll have to come up with a suitably fun scenario that includes some of the after-effects of this game. For example, my Night Lords were able to stop Jim’s Guardsmen from sending that all-important satellite message to the orbiting fleet. What will that mean for the next scenario? If you’ve got a great idea, leave me a comment!