The Ghosts of Chanticleer

As mentioned in the previous post, my Arqualan Mechanized Cavalry are about to run into a nasty ambush at a river crossing, at the (many, many) hands of Jeff’s Northern Federation of Miners. Since the ambush coincides with a stunningly successful surprise attack on the planet’s satellite network, my forces will be hard pressed to call for air or orbital support.

In a stirring example of hastilude, we eschewed points calculation entirely, allowing Jeff to field the bulk of his army (officially from the Genestealer Cults line), including two converted mining vehicle, a dune buggy, a biker squad, and numerous large squads of mutants equipped with demolition charges and mining lasers, all hidden for ambush. He also had four troops disguised as MPs (a dastardly warcrime!) and their captured hovercraft.

Pitted against them was my much smaller force including a squad of clueless Armavantz (Stormtroopers) mounted in an armored truck (towing a Thudd Gun), three small squads of dismounted infantry (a mix of Wargames Atlantic Eisenkern and Anvil Industry models), a small remote artillery piece, a Sentinel warwalker, and a Sirrush heavy tank (a Reptilian Overlords Caiman tank).

In a stirring example of miniature terrain accumulation, we constructed a board of GeoHex tiles with a cellophane river in the middle, crossed by a single Sarissa box-girder bridge and a set of home made roads. On the near side of the river was a forest and a pair of hills that blocked line of sight to anything farther than 2″ from their border, and afforded cover to units on them. On the far side of the river was the “abandoned” ruins of Chanticleer, made up of a mix of home made buildings and Malifaux card terrain.

Offsetting our stirring examples of hastilude and terrain accumulation was an embarrassing lack of planning, as we had not agreed upon nor refreshed our knowledge of an appropriate ruleset to use. Without enough time to relearn the particulars of Xenos Rampant or Stargrunt II, we resorted to using One Page Rules, with Russ administering the Game Masterly duties.

The game: One Page Rules Grimdark Firefight. No points. Arqualan Mech. Cavalry (Feudal Guard with modifications) vs. Northern Federation of Miners (Soulsnatcher Cults)

Win conditions: Grievously surprised and outnumbered, the Arqi had an advantage in win conditions. A decisive victory could only be achieved by crossing at least one unit to the other side of the board and exiting the table. However, a minor victory could be achieved by having at least one unit survive four game turns with the bridge still intact. At that point, the next Arqi column would arrive with superior numbers and firepower, obliging the miners to withdraw into the night.

For the Northern Federation of Miners, a major victory would be achieved by the elimination of all Arqi units on the table, or failing that, a minor victory could be achieved by destroying the bridge across the Whisper River. Several units were equipped with demolition charges for this dangerous job.

Highlights: The miners won the roll for initiative, which was to decide essentially whether the Arqi Lt. arguing with the MPs would put 2 and 2 together first, or if he’d be caught flatfooted while the miners deployed. Too slow on the uptake, Lt. Vortigo was shot in the face, but survived to kill his attacker in close combat. Meanwhile, the stunned Armavantz in the truck wasted no time gunning the accelerator, squishing the other two MPs, but getting stuck on the bridge.

Undeterred, the Northern Federation of Miners gunned their converted lorries and unfurled their “Miners Lives Matter” banners as they surged from the ruins. Wave after wave of hardsuit wearing miners rushed the bridge (“Sarge, why do they have three arms?” “Shut up and keep shooting, private!”), forcing the Armavantz to disembark and fight a delaying action while the infantry on their flanks set up in firing position on the hills and the forest.

It was a brutal exchange, but eventually the Arqi were forced to give ground as the bikers rushed on. Meanwhile, the crazed miner leader, blasting hardbass from his back-mounted stereos, commandeered the abandoned hovercraft and made a suicidal ramming attack on the Sirrush tank. His last voxcast was: “GIVE US THE GUZZOLINE!”

Withering fire from the NFM mortars and massed rifles and mining lasers in the buildings tore through the infantry on the hill, forcing the survivors to rout. Return fire from the tank, powered armor infantry, and scout walker eventually cut down enough of the miners to force them to make a morale test, which they failed.

At the start of turn four, it became clear to Jeff that my Arqi were not going to be able to be cleared off the table in time, so he made a run on blowing up the bridge. However, all of his attempts to plant charges failed and all of his human bombs were either swept from the bridge by my power armored troops in the forest or blown up by fragmentation cluster munitions.

Outcome: A bloody affair, but a minor victory for the Arqi, as several units survived and the desperate attempts by crazed, mutant miners to blow the bridge were thwarted by Arqi counterfire and their own poor explosives skills.

Most of the reinforcements would reach Camp St. Barbara later that evening, reinforcing the frontier and spreading the word of the revolt of the highland mining guilds. The colonial administration in Stellamaris has dissolved all native trade unions for the duration of the revolt, while condemning random native civilian settlements for reprisal raids to “spread a lively terror” and tamp down enthusiasm for the revolt.

It’s a bold hearts and minds strategy, Cotton. Let’s see how that works out!

3 responses to “The Ghosts of Chanticleer”

  1. Great report! If I may, the image gallery you’re using doesn’t allow me to click to expand the image, nor right click to open the full image in another tab while on desktop. I’m stuck with the puny gallery view which doesn’t do your images full justice nor allow me to closely examine models and paint schemes I wish to see more closely!

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