The chaos arcano-engine buried for millennia beneath the surface of Bonner's Reach has erupted, felling mountains and diverting rivers...and armies now meet in final apocalyptic battle to attempt to control it.
On the first front, a plaguelord of Nurgle called upon representatives of Khorne, Slaanesh and Tzeentch and a great Waagh of Orks to take the field against a united Imperium and Eldar allegiance. A Plague Tower of Nurgle, a Tzeentch-Baneblade Tank of Change, a Tzeentch Traitor Warhound Titan, the Avatar of Khorne and an Ork Mekboy Stompa Titan clashed with three Eldar Revenant Titans, three Baneblades, an Eldar superheavy Tempest, an Imperial Warhound Titan and an Imperial Reaver Titan over five key objectives--two pieces of arcano-engine machinery which regenerated damaged war engines nearby, two chaos reactors which intensified and channelled the ambient psychic energy, and an Imperial shrine imbued with supernatural power as it resisted the Chaos takeover.
Led by Apocalypse formations such as the Host of the Daemon Forge and the Dethkopta Choppa Squadron, Chaos attacked aggressively, seizing four of the five objectives in their first turn. The Imperium rallied by doing what they do best--shooting one of them (the shrine, which became defiled by the daemonic presences occupying it) into oblivion. Imperial Space Marines led by the appearance of a mysterious librarian swept the Thousand Sons from one of the reactors in Turn Two, to draw the claimed objectives even, and in the final turn Eldar psykers skimmed in to claim the other, then a Revenant blasted the first from existence when terminators of Tzeentch tried to reclaim it. Despite both sides' spectacular final attempts to wrest each remaining objective in the opposing deployment zone from their enemy, the defending Stompa on one side and the Reaver on the other proved proof against any shot or assault they could muster...and the first day ended an Imperial victory by the slimmest of margins, 2-1.
There were magnificent moments on both sides: the back-and-forth over one objective between Thousand Sons, Chaos Terminators, plague marines and a Keeper of Secrets and first the Eldar court of the young king and then the space marines kept the final result in doubt until the Revenant took action and obliterated the objective itself--and them all--entirely; the Plague Tower in the center of the Disorder line taking round-after-round, seemingly interminably--then blowing the whole center of the table clear when at last it went down; the Avatar of Khorne surviving everything the Imperium and Eldar could throw at it through an entire turn of shooting on its final wound, then trading blows with the Reaver--only to fall to Mordant 13th Colonel Jago Kallowen and the High Command itself, charging to the great Titan's rescue; the Reaver 'cleansing' the corrupted Imperial shrine--and the daemons upon it--with six consecutive ordnance barrages; and the heroic performance of the 'bullet sponges,' the rank-and-file lowly Imperial Guardsmen, whose aim was pretty horrifically bad throughout the entire battle, but whose heroism, in never faltering as Chaos/Orks came on, holding up first dethkoptas, then Soulgrinders, then bloodletters, then juggernauts, then spawn in close combat, sufficiently slowed the initial Disorder advance to allow the Allies their last-round recovery. Kudos to them--especially Lt 'Baldy,' who grew so frustrated with their outrageously incompetent shooting that he charged a sixteen-strong unit of bloodletters with herald singlehandedly, in his towering rage: his death spurred (or perhaps shamed) the survivors to a heroism which insured their victory...
Thanks go out to Disorder players Aaron, Ashley, Chris and Gama, and Order players Matt, Jack, Paul and especially Ray, the Guardsman, who stepped in when the final scheduled Allied player failed to show, or call, or anything else; all were models of sporting attitude and exemplars of the Apocalypse maximum of having a good time and telling a good story first, and we couldn't have gotten through three turns with well over 30,000 points on the table in under eight hours without them. Kudos...today's event is what Apocalypse is supposed to be about.
And with the Mordant 13th securing this crucial battlehead for the Imperium, the yearlong struggle for Bonner's Reach, the chaos arcano-engine beneath it, and the Fate of the Lucky 13s enters its final stage tomorrow, with a decided advantage for the Allies.
Stand Fast, Lucky 13s!