Escape from Silk Dragon Base

A Space Marine confronts a pair of Tyranid horros

Another battle report from the intrepid Richard Rohlin and his daughter. Now that’s raising them right! I’m hoping we will get a few verses from the Litany of the Shining Eyes in the near future. Read on!

“Quintus and Sextus, take the right flank. Primus, left. Secundus, with me. Clear the courtyard.” Lieutenant Nilus barked a series of short, clipped orders into his fox as around him, four templars of the Order’s Ossuarii fanned out, moving deeper into the complex of the now unsealed Silk Dragon Base. Lieutenant Nilus could not guess what horrors the Technocrats of the Xia had hidden here, but Grandmaster Nikephor had tasked him with investigating the ruins of the base, securing any other points of egress, and detonating them to insure that whatever weapons the Colonial Holy Court had banned under the provisions of the Pax Dei remained sealed within its vaults. To accomplish this task, four members of the Ossuarii had been placed under Nilus’ command. Clad in bone-colored suits of plasteel power armor, the Ossuary Guards were armed with short-range heavy bolt guns and Bone Saws—chainswords edged with monomolecular teeth spinning a thousand times a minute. 

With one of the Ossuarii at his back, Nilus expertly sliced the corner around a low blast wall, and the two templars entered a cramped courtyard in front of one of the vaults. There were two gaping wounds in the titanium and duracrete structure. One, in the side of the vault, had clearly been made by an expertly placed breaching charge. The other, a more dramatic hole in center of the roof, appeared to have been made by something clawing its way from the inside out. 

Something clawing its way through three feet of titanium-reinforced duracrete

But Lieutenant Nilus did not have time to consider the implications. All at once, his vox screamed to life, and the sensors in his helmet pinged several minor disturbances in the subsoil around him.  

“Lieutenant!” It was Quintus, the squad’s designated marksman. Equipped with a heavy bolter and a sophisticated targeting array, he was the exception proving the rule that the Ossuarii preferred to fight in close quarters. By now, Quintus would have already found elevation, giving him command of the southeast corner of the quadrant. “I have multiple contacts with unknown hostiles. They’re coming—they’re coming from the ground—”  

Quintus broke off as a roar of bolter fire erupted somewhere off to Nilus’ left. A horrible, inhuman scream briefly overloaded his auditory sensors as something leaped over the blast wall to his north, a tangled of limbs and keratan blades. Nilus squeezed off a rapid burst from his bolter carbine before drawing a pair of gleaming combat blades. He ducked and rolled as one of the scything limbs snicked out at his neck, jamming the tip of one blade in through a join in the legs of one of the xenoforms. There were two of them, he realized now, and they were trying to pin him up against the duracrete wall to his left. Behind him, something came up out of the ground, and he could already hear Secundus’ Bone Saw whirring.  

Nilus’ enhanced senses registered everything: the acrid, corrosive breath of the creatures, their preternatural response time; the screams of something inhuman dying to the thud of Sextus’ grenade launcher in the distance; a blur of wings and teeth screaming and reeling from a bolt of light as air filled with the distinct smell of ozone from Primus’ plasma pistol. Then the huge bat-shape dropped down again, and Primus disappeared behind one of the blast walls in a tangle of flapping wings and rending claws. 

Something snagged one of Nilus’ feet, and he found himself thrown up violently into the air. He twisted around to find himself falling right into the snapping jaws of one of the huge xenoforms. He raised both combat knives above his head and began to subvocalize the Litany of the Shining Eyes. If he was going to the afterlife, he would at least come bearing trophies. 

The game: One Page Rules Grimdark Firefight. 300 pt. Hive Swarm (Xenoform Arsenal) vs. 250 pt. Battle Brothers (Order of Our Lady of Jade). 

Win conditions: The battlefield had four objective markers, representing egress points and biological samples which the Templars needed to secure. At the end of the fourth round, if the Templars could secure 3 out of 4 objectives, they would win. 

Outcome: The templars of Our Lady of Jade realized initial success, beating back the xenos and significantly wounding the hive leader. However, the numbers of the swarm and their resilience proved too much for the individual templars, spread and surrounded as each of them were. They fought bravely, but the end of Round 4, the Xenoforms were in control of 2 out of 4 objectives, winning the engagement.   

As the Ossuarii fought on bravely in the ruins of Silk Dragon Base, swarms of predatory xenoforms broke loose to rampage across Xiandao. They are ancient. They are hungry. And they are coming.

More scenes from the battle:

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