So we have now started our Deathwatch game proper. After character creation we have ended up with:
Ultramarine Assault Marine
Blood Angels Assault Marine (Who wasn’t actually here for this session, but nevermind)
Dark Angels Devastator Marine
Storm Warden Librarian
Black Templers Tech Marine
For the first full mission, we are playing through Extraction, which is detailed in the back of the core rulebook. I started with the mission briefing, stating that the moon of Tantalus, an Imperium ‘forge world’ has been subjected to a tyranid swarm, and is about to be completely overrun. However, stationed on Tantalus at the time of the attack, was Magos Vyakai who has a data core with vital information about the Tyranid threat contained within. Unfortunately, the shuttle carrying the Magos crashed and now he needs rescuing from the jaws of the Tyranid hordes. Therefore, the kill-team’s primary objective is to retrieve that data core, and if possible, rescue the Magos himself.
The players then tooled up for the mission. I gave them 30 requisition points that they could use to get ammunition, weapons and equipment above their standard gear. Since this is the first time we had used the requisition rules, there was a bit of confusion about what items they were allowed to take. It was obvious they could not take anything that cost more than 30 req, but I had never previously explained the concept of Renown. None of the players are considered to have any renown within the Deathwatch (this being the first time they have served) and were trying to requisition things they could not. Once this was sorted and the players were satisfied with what they had chosen, the task of selecting the team leader could begin. After some discussion (along the lines of ‘I’m not doing it, you do it’), it was decided that the Ultramarine would be leader. He selected his oath (effectively choosing what squad modes they could use) and we worked out the team cohesion (wrongly as it turned out, since I forgot he is an Ultramarine and so gets an extra point), then the mission began in earnest.
The kill-team was drop-podded to the location of the crash site to begin the search for the Magos. When they got to the shuttle, it was beyond repair and the emergency bolts of the entry hatch had been activated. The team managed to track the party away from the shuttle, but came across the area where they had been ambushed by some ‘nids. There was no sign of the Magos among the corpses, and further attempts to track his movement were unsuccessful. The Techmarine tried to plug-in to a servitor that had been destroyed in the ambush, but was unable to determine anything of use. However, he was getting a signal over his vox unit, which he managed to boost and determine that there was a manufactorum nearby and that would be the most logical place for the Magos to head for. As they started moving out, they heard a screech from above, and two Tyranid Shrikes dived out of the sky to attack them. One went for the Librarian, who had managed to get a shot off, and the other was attacking the Devestator, preventing him from bringing his Heavy Bolter to bear. The Devestator was joined by the Assault Marine, who charged the tyranid and drew it’s attention away from the Dev. The Techmarine had switched to his Hellfire rounds (which ignored natural armour) and began peppering the other ‘nid with his bolter shells. After a couple of combat rounds, the ‘nid attacking the Librarian gave another screech and flew into the sky in an attempt to escape, but the Techmarine had been taking careful aim at him and fired a full-auto burst into the beast’s foul hide. The Tyranid Warrior had flown straight up, and what comes up must come down. The Librarian, seeing the problem, attempted to dodge, but stumbled. The Techmarine, seeing the problem, lined up his servo-arm and batted the creature in an impromptu game of rounders. Not only did he successfully smack the creature outside its head, he managed to direct it into the path of the other Tyranid, still currently engaged with the Assault and Dev marines. It is now stunned, and can’t move since its mate is a literal dead weight on its back. The Dev tries to kill it with his combat knife, but doesn’t quite have the strength, thereby giving the Assault marine the killing blow (he wasn’t best pleased by this, but that’s the way the dice had fallen).
Continuing on to the facility, they soon came to the top of a cliff. Seeing a communications tower to the left of them, they concluded they would have to go there at missions end to set off the signal beacon and call a Thunderhawk for extraction. They also saw a horde of tyranid attacking a small group of buildings, and reasoned that was where the Magos would be hiding out (spoiler alert: He isn’t).
The plan they came up with was the Assault marine would run around the outside whilst the others distracted the tyranid horde. So he set off with his jump pack, whilst the Devestator unleashed his heavy bolter on the horde. The other two decided they need to get down to the bottom of the cliff, and do so fairly quickly. Since there was a steep, but not shear cliff face, they decided to try sliding down the cliff face whilst firing their bolters. It was a nice idea, but the Librarian couldn’t keep his balance, and rolled down the hill, the Techmarine also lost balance, but used his servo arm to right himself and ski down the hill. Suffice to say, the Devestators heavy bolter made mince meat of the horde, and had obliterated it before it could reach the two at the bottom of the hill.
Whilst that was going on, the Assault marine reached a small ravine containing an overturned land hauler that contained a number of Imperial Guardsman about to be swamped by another bunch of ‘nids. Heroically, he jumped into action and pretty much single headedly, with chainsword and combat knife, saved the majority of the guards within the land hauler. The grateful Commissar then offered any help he or his men could, but didn’t have any information on the whereabouts of the Magos.
Ordering the guards to form a perimeter around the small complex, the Space Marines entered and did a thourgh search of the buildings. Whilst searching, they were attacked by a small number of Hormaguants (which didn’t even scratch their power armour), but didn’t find the Magos. Fortunately, there were a number of storage containers within the facility that contained an Auspex, which they think they can use to pinpoint the Magos location.
This is where the session ended. Will the Space Marines complete their mission? Will the Magos and the datacore be saved, or will they all be turned into Tyranid Scooby snacks? The next session is not for a month, but be sure to come back and discover how the Deathwatch will try to kick more xenos backside.