Saturday, 28 September 2019

Rogue Trader - Incident at Imperial Research Station Anotla

Mr Papafakis is back in the country so we gamed.

The hastily improvised scenario concerned an Imperial research station that had been razed by xenos raiders and in its death throes had released a spherical warp storm. This would move randomly warping all those who come too close. If marines suffered the sphere's baleful glare there was the chance that both their bodies and minds would be warped causing them to switch allegiance. 

The fall of the research station and subsequent warp 'leak' was the result of a raid by an unlikely alliance of chaos squats and orks. These xenos remained on site. Space marines had been mobilised to evacuate scientists on the scene. These scientists were hidden in the forest too scared to move out on their own. Meanwhile scattered around the landing zone were crates some of which contained teleport beacons that could be used by either side to bring in fresh forces.

The devastated research station with warp sphere looming overhead. Pic prior to deployment.
The xenos variant crusader bot would operate on remote until its programming could engage the enemy.
The infamous Ork fat bastard Kulo. Troll with meltagun in background along with some of the ladz.

The xenos line. Two ork squads, a troll, some chaos squats and a crusader bot.
Kulo heard the whine of jet cycles close by. The marines had arrived before he could finish the cowardly scientists off. He and one of the chaos squats fell back to the devastated research base to pick through the cargo looking for the teleport beacon. The rest of his troops lumbered towards the forest looking for the scientists.

The space wolf bullock jet cycles split up to locate the teleport beacon and missing scientists.

Brother Dorn swooped his cycle low over the forest. He spotted a ground car full of scientists. This was lucky as he had feared the evacuation would take some time. The scientists started the cars engine and slowly navigated through the woods. 

< First turn a ground car was discovered. There were 6 'wood' sections on the board with the odds of finding a ground car 1 in 6. >

The warp sphere moves towards the xenos.
The baleful glare of the warp sphere gifts long necks, scaly skin and poisonous flatulence.
The xenos line advanced. Back at the research station Kulo discovered a teleport beacon amongst the debris. Discovering this so soon had him roaring in triumph. In orbit above them Kulo's space hulk readied a variant crusader pattern robot for porting to the surface.

The warp sphere raced towards the xenos line causing chaotic transformations amongst the troops. 

<While initially a neat idea the warp sphere proved impractical in play. We rolled mutations using the mutation table in rogue trader for each model within 3d6 inches of the warp sphere. Most of the mutations were cosmetic and none had an impact on the game. In hindsight it would have been better to have the sphere blast out randomly with models killed mutating into primordial ooze.>

Me moving a bullock cycle into the ruins for cover.
The marine jet cycles kept a slow pace scouting the woods for the second group of scientists. While they didn't find them they did locate a teleport beacon and would be able to beam down a squad of Mk 1 Goodwin pattern terminators.

Brother Rogal powered down his bullock cycle guiding it into the cover of a ruined building before taking a pot shot at an advancing ork. The first shot fired in the game. He missed.

The second ground car full of scientists is discovered by the chaos squats.
A thorough search of the woods uncovered the glint of glass and metal. The second and final car load of scientists had been discovered by the chaos squats. Korgan the unburnt levelled his flamer as he moved in on the cars flank while the terrified scientists fumbled to start the engine.

The first car load of scientists is halted by a variant crusader bot freshly teleported in.
The orks on board Kulo's orbiting space hulk responded to the active teleport beacon by beaming down a crusader bot with unnerving accuracy. The droid collided with the front of the first scientists vehicle. Both the robot and the car sustained damage from the collision. The scientists found they had lost control of the vehicle's grav drive. The car was attempting to gain altitude but could not do so as the crusader bot had it pinned with its power claws. The vehicle would continue to struggle for altitude while being slowly torn apart.

<The bots programming was fixated on the closest target, which in this case was the ground car. This kept it locked down for the game slowly whittling away at the cars large pool of damage points, doing one or two damage each turn from the cars total of 25. It was going to be a long slog unless a lucky blow took out the fuel tank.>

The terminators port in and charge. The xenos flee. Sensible cowards!
Commander Russ could hear the screams of the scientists over the comms from the battle barge. A recently activated teleport beacon would allow him and his terminator brothers to intervene. The first group of scientists were lost given the damage to their cars grav drive. They would never make it to the evacuation point but the second car load of scientists might. He intoned the sacred rite and activated the teleporter.

Russ and his brothers arrived on the xenos flank. He called on his brothers to charge the stunted ones while he brought his righteous storm hammer to bear on the crusader bot. The xenos fled, their stunted legs pumping, leaving the terminators looking foolish and out in the open.

The chaos squats, who had recently fled, turned and fired at the terminators. Their rounds bounced harmlessly off the marines terminator armour. Korgan the unburnt lit up the car sheltering in the woods causing the scientists to slam the now blazing vehicle into reverse.

<When charged you can stand and shoot or run away. Running away looks like a smart option with no downside. At least from our read of the rules.>

Commander Russ hammers into the back of the bot which does not flee as it has WS 8! Korgan the unburnt watches on.
Commander Russ realised he was outmatched as the Crusader bot turned to face him brandishing its power claws with obvious skill. However the Captain had the Emperor on his side as he hammered into his robotic foe. The Captain's hammer smashed the servo's in the bots leg while he took a solid blow in return. Despite the wound he pressed on with righteous fury somehow landing blow after blow on his foe destroying the bots cannon. His righteous armour stopping all but the bots first blow.

<The Captain shouldn't have won this duel as he was outclassed. I got luck and rolled lots of 6's to hit. Bots are very hard to kill. Reducing them to 0 damage just means each subsequent damaging hit causes a malfunction where you roll on a table and need to get lucky to put the bot down. The table is too fiddly requiring you to keep track of lots of little things as bits are slowly damaged or destroyed.>
Kulo dodges heavy flamer fire.

The bots programming sees it wailing on the ground car instead of more important targets.
Fragile jet cycles lit up by an ork flamer.
With the scientists located the jet cycles roared towards the xenos line hoping their speed would see them avoid ground fire. The squats and orks shrugged off the cycles bolter rounds and returned fire. Flames and bolter shells engulfed the bullock cycles causing their tanks to explode spectacularly. The flaming wreckage of three bullock cycles crashed into the forest starting a small blaze.

The warp sphere re-entered the board and warped the carload of terrified scientists.
The warp sphere had drifted off the field of battle earlier as it floated past the xenos line and across the ocean. It returned to a largely abandoned quadrant where a crusader bot was slowly tearing apart a ground car full of scientists. 

The terrified screams of the scientists changed to garbled chaotic gibbering and feral snarls. The scientists inside the car were warped into monstrosities and tore each other apart within the confined space. All the while the bot continued rending and tearing at the vehicle that steadfastly refused to blow up.

After a failed charge Kulo is 'terminated'.
Kulo barrelled towards the terminator holding the heavy flamer. As he ran he bellowed a challenge "Fight me puny marine. Kulo will crush you!" The marine retreated before the corpulent ork. He had learned from the squats earlier cowardice. With Kulo hung out to dry the terminators formed a line and tore the ork warlord apart with a withering hail of storm bolter fire.

A crusader bot was knocked to the ground by the terminator Commander Russ. With damaged sensors it was 'out'.
Commander Russ finally felled the crusader bot. With sensors damaged it toppled forwards. The crippled leg servos could not right it. It lay thrashing futilely in the mud. Meanwhile the two remaining bullock cycles rounded on Kurgan the unburnt. They felled the stunty with a burst of twin linked bolter fire.

The second carload of scientists reversed their flaming car to the teleport beacon and escaped.
The xenos troll shrugged off his bewildered state and along with a handful or squats turned his attention to the reversing and still burning car full of scientists. The squats gunfire did little other than dent the vehicles body. The trolls melta gun landed a lucky blow severely damaging the cars structure but not significantly enough to cause a malfunction. 

The scientists reversed the car to the ruins that housed the teleport beacon. This was no small task as the vehicle had been burning for some time after being hit by Kurgan the unburnt's flamer. The flames finally died down as the scientists scrambled into the ruins and huddled around the beacon. High above them the Imperial battle barge activated the teleporter whisking the scientists to safety. They had been evacuated. The forces of the Imperium were triumphant. The remaining leaderless xenos scattered into the ruins.


Here's what I learned:  

  • We did the jet cycle rules wrong. When reduced to 0 damage they should roll on the malfunction chart and not simply blow up. That should make them more resilient. 
  • The warp sphere was a non event. It had the potential to deny zones to the marines with its threat of corruption but its random movement saw it play no real role. 
  • Robots and vehicles are hard to kill. The malfunction charts don't escalate in severity when high amounts of damage is inflicted. The dreadnought malfunction tables are better thought out. 
  • Finally running from a charge seems to be a sensible tactic with no down side. Who knew.


  1. Great batrep Bob! The game had a lot of cool little elements to it. We're just so damn creative it hurts. With a bit of tweaking this could be a pretty solid scenario. Might write it up.....maybe.

    Till next time:)

  2. Nice write up my friends and game,
    Love the the Primus Termie conversions ....
    You do know that Kulo in Italian means Arse ( culo ) ? Or don't you ? well now you know & it is a fitting name for an ork worth his salt ;).

    Keep it up.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.