This was a game played as part of the Fued of the Red Clouds campaign in 2012. This one is a campaign specific mission from the campaign booklet. It also uses scratchbuilt models.
The Tau forces based out of Station Ro have managed to put an air blockade of the outlying aerial platforms that support Station Severus. Without the supplies of harvested gas from these stations, it will slowly starve the production capacity of Severus. In addition, the loss of supplies to these outlying platforms will make them ripe for take-over by rival factions.
Reaalizing the threat, Magos Cy-Belle has requested that Mistress Mercievaux and her allies re-supply these stations. Mistress Mercievaux reluctantly complies with the mad Magos wishes, disappointed that the tau's tactics are distracting her from her plane twide assault and draining valuable resources from that effort.
After the failure of the Blood Squadron under Lord Vambros to resupply these outlying stations; Mistress mercievaux has turned to the Vend'Gho pilots of the Cabal of the World Walkers.
Kor' Kau'ui Sa'cea- Graceful Hunters
Barracuda 1- Pilot: Ki'ra
Barracuda 2- Pilot: An'lou
Swordfish 1- Pilot: Hutch
Swordfish 2- Pilot: Biggs
Cabal of the World Walkers
Hell Talon 1- Pilot: Krav'en
Hell Talon 2- Pilot: Gr'Taal'en
Hellblade 1- Pilot: Grav'en
Hellblade 2- Pilot: Raptore'
Per the rules of the Scenario, an Aerial platform was set-up on one of the short edges of the board centered 12 inches in and 24 inches from the side. It was at altitude 4. There were also three cloud banks along the approach, at 4, 3 and 8. Their heights were determined randomly.
The Tau were moving in on the platform edge with a hunting group of Barracudas moving at max speed and high altitude. On the opposite side of the platform was a hunting group of Swordfish moving much slower and mid-altitude.
The Cabal was coming in on the opposite board edge at max speed and high altitude. The Talons were leading the way, while the Blades were following close behind for support.
Both sides race forward. The Barracuda side slipping towards the center of the board. Meanwhile, the Hell Talons move to the Swordfish side of the board, protected by a single Hellblade, while the other heads towards the Barracudas.
The Hellblades and the Barracudas move to engage each other, with Barracuda 1 and both Hellblades moving to engage at extreme altitudes.
Meanwhile, Hell Talon 2 bursts through the cloud bank at altitude 8, and Swordfish 1 and 2 climb to engage him. It looks like the set-up for another head-to-head engagement.
Chaos have the initiative and get to shoot first, but the question is, who shoots and who gets sacrificed? Since this is a bombing mission, the Bombers must get through. Hell Talon 2 targets Swordfish 1, and opens fire at optimal range. However, his shooting fails to find a weak spot in the Gue'vesa's craft.
Barracuda 1, takes aim at Hellblade 2. His weapons ion cannon shots miss, but his Smart missiles detonate close to Hellblade 2. However, the explosion only singes the craft's paint. At optimum range, Hellblade 2 fails to even hit Barracuda 1 in return.
Swordfish 1 and 2 fire on Hell Talon 2. 1 misses with everything, but a seeker missile from Swordfish two manages to send shrapnel into the chaos fighter/bomber's fuselage. The machine begins to smoke pungent incense, but is not enough to down the plane.
Hellblade 1 also took aim and fired at Barracuda 1. Again, auto-cannon and tracer rounds find the craft, but fail to cause any real damage.
A whole lot of shooting, and not a lot of hitting!
Hell Talon 1 power dives and makes a break for the platform, trailing smoke. Swordfish 2 manages to wing over and follow him, getting into a tailing position.
Swordfish 1 moves to intercept Hell Talon 1, but the chaos bomber dives below him. Meanwhile, the Hellblades turn in to support the Talon attack, but this leaves their tails open to the Barracuda fighters.
Sensing that he isn't long for this world, Hellblade 2 sprays auto-cannon shells at Swordfish 1; but fails to hit home.
Swordfish 1 fires on Hell Talon 2 to try and take him out before he can complete his run. However, all of his shots fail to find their mark due to the altitude difference. For his part, Hell Talon 1 fires on Swordfish 2, but also misses.
Barracuda 2 fires at short range on Hellblade 2, but again the altitude difference means none of the shots hit home on the jinking craft. However, Barracuda 1 puts an few ion cannon bursts across the aircraft's front, but fails to hit cleanly.
Hell Talon 1 fires on Swordfish 2 and fails to hit anything.
Swordfish 2 fires on Hell Talon 2. The trailing fighter fails to hit anything.
Barracuda 2 fires at Hellblade 2. The drone cannons snag the Hellblade, but again fail to strike anything significant.
The Hell Talons both move to the target area. Meanwhile, Swordfish 2 tries to disengage, but is pursued by Hellblade 1.
Hellblade 2, Swordfish 1, and the two Barracudas end up in a race at altitude 7. However, it puts Hellblade 2 between both Barracudas drone cannons. Gulp!
Hell Talon 2 manages to get two Supply Drops on target!
Barracuda 1 manages to snag Hell Talon 1 with his Ion cannon, and causes the craft to begin to smoke. Meanwhile, her Drone cannons target Hellblade 2 and blow it from the sky. Raptore' the pilot is killed in the explosion, the boon of Tzeentch he had been living under has obviously expired. Turn 5:
Hell Talon 2 successfully power dives away from the aerial platform and disengages. Swordfish 2 also disengages and heads for home, her ammo bins dry.
Hell Talon 1 slows down and climbs in order to try to drop on target. This brings Barracuda 1 and Swordfish 1 swarming in on his tail. Hellblade 1 moves to try and engage the pursuers, but Barracuda 2 swoops in on a side attack angle.
Hell Talon 1 manages to hit the Aerial Platform with 1 supply drop.
Barracuda 2 fires his Ion Cannon and Smart Missile battery at Hellblade 1. A single missile finds its mark, and explodes inside the cockpit, killing Grav'en instantly.
Barracuda 1's drone cannons fail to damage Hell Talon 1. Finally, Swordfish 1 opens fire on the retreating Hell Talon. At that range, Hutch sprays the chaos craft with ionized plasma. The shots snags the planes engine, and it explodes in a spectacular ball of unnatural energy. The pilot consumed by the demonic eruption of power.
Conclusion: Tau Win!
Dang! What happened there? I hit the target and accomplished the mission, but I still lost on Victory points by a country mile! Plus, I lost 3 pilots, two of them had an aircraft kill a piece! Ouch.
Early in the game, it looked like no one could hit anything, but then the weight of the Tau's firepower started to show. Some poor maneuvering on my part, and a predictable flight path lead to me getting annihilated.
So, how did the Hell Talons do? They really suck at bombing stuff! Other than that, it was nice having an aircraft that could take more than 1 hit!