The commander of Alpha platoon watched his troops as they advanced, three squads setting up ahead of him behind cover as the other squads moved up on his right flank in a leapfrog manouver, covering each other as they scouted out the terrain around them. The storm clouds overhead made the afternoon so gloomy it was hard to see more than a hundred yards in front of you, though an ominous rumbling sound from the darkness implied the presence of armour.
"This place is supposed to be deserted" muttered commander Piett "Squads, illuminate the target"
The troopers took to this task with gusto, the tracer rounds from their autocannon briefly showing a vehicle before the billowing smoke concealed it once more.
"Well that's not supposed to be there" stated Piett "Send some more fire in that direction, to suppress whatever infantry is escorting it" The troopers continued to fire, with typical accuracy for them.
Return fire started to come from near the wreckage, the pinpricks of light as missiles were launched highlighting the enemy position briefly. The missiles flew wild, some causing casualties and some far from the troopers lines.
"Shoddy fire discipline" rued Piett "Rebellious scum perhaps? Though I do have scout reports of some primitive natives, but I doubt they are any threat to us... Have you still not got that vox working trooper? I'm trying to give orders here!"
As the storm intensified and lightning strikes started to batter the troopers positions, infantry started to emerge from the murky cover.
"Send forward the penal scum"
"Are you sure sir?" asked the vox trooper "I think I can see a flamer in that squad"
"Oh I see the flamer... but that's what those scum are for"
As the penal legion advanced on the unknown foe, they were for the most part roasted alive as not one but two flamers swept over them.
"Oh well" said Piett "No matter. Keep firing"
With a roar the mystery foe was in amongst the troops slashing and hacking all around them. Lesser troops may have fled from such a foe, but these troops know the price of failure and fought on. Sadly this bravery saw their comrades unable to get a clean line of fire at them, though a howl of pain that cut through the storm suggested their shooting into the darkness had had some effect. As the butchers bathed in blood and advanced on the final bastion of fire, Piett had but a moment to wonder what mad men were in these forests, before he was beaten down and left unconscious. The vox link finally crackled into life, just as a chainsword cut it's bearer in two.
Piett regained consciousness back at the bunker. The wounded had withdrawn and returned to sweep for survivors and found him then. Luckily there were still plenty of troops available to him, but as long as he was unaware what was in these forests he would be fighting blind. He needed the 501STs scout troops here asap, and would have to dispatch a signal to that effect. Just as soon as that damn vox was fixed...
This was quite a close game, and seemed to be heading for a draw. I made a bit of an error with my penal legion squad (I honestly only spotted the one flamer, and hoped their sacrifice would whittle down the squad enough that disciplined fire would finish them off - of course after two flamers the few that survived were butchered in combat without getting the chance to try to get some rending hits in) but what seemed to be worst for me was Leadership tests. My troops stubbornly refused to pass a single Leadership test for the orders (FRFSRF) until the fourth turn... by which point I only had one lasgun trooper left! So after failing three LD8 tests, I then had to take an Ld6 test to avoid falling back - something I wanted to fail so I could fire at the enemy assault unit. Nope, THAT one I pass. He beats me in my combat phase, ready to advance in his next turn. He charges a four man command squad, surely this time I'll get to shoot him on my turn. Nope, THEY hold firm as well. Irritating!
Admittedly I don't expect to do too well with this army in kill point missions, though I did reduce it to 4 for this game. I perhaps should have reduced it to three instead but I wanted a bit of flexibility with what I fired at. Of course with killing the razorback on turn 1 I had very little to trouble me so I ended up shooting at the same target most turns anyway, so should have gone for the 50 man blob. Oh well, you live and learn.