An iridescent drizzle of acid rain hissed off the crumbled machinery at the chem station. Nearby, a small knot of poxwalkers was unfazed by the caustic precipitation; the mindless zombies simply stood sentry and awaited orders, even as their flesh slowly melted away under the relentless rain.
The squad of Plague Marines overseeing the zombies showed more agency, surveilling the perimeter of the chem station and keeping an eye out for interlopers. The Maggot Magnates legion was visiting the shrine world of Pestus Maximus for a specific purpose, and they would not dither any longer than necessary on the accursed planet.
Suddenly, the vox crackled with a whispered warning, and the unmistakable roar of engines drifted in from beyond the perimeter.
John and I got together towards the end of summer for another game of Grimdark Future. John was trying out a list built around a specific expensive, high-powered model (an Imperial assassin) and so we set up a game focused on delivering the assassin to wipe out a high-value target — my Death Guard Lord of Contagion, Brasque Krakmarrow, aka the Grave-Wurm of Endymion-Delta and the Gift-Giver of Vortulai Hive. A truly vile chud if there ever was one!
The game began with John’s Taurox transport motoring into the chem station, where it was met with a trio of Myphitic Blight-Haulers and a small mob of poxwalkers. Inside the transport was a well-equipped squad of inquisitorial acolytes led by a very capable inquisitor.
As the Death Guard moved in to engage the Taurox and its scrappy occupants, a smaller group of Imperial agents crept through the rubble near the chem station. The agents included a pair of acolytes escorting a psyker, who was carrying a teleport homing beacon that would be used to deploy “the asset” — the assassin!
The inquisitor led his acolytes into the comparative safety of the chem station, where they would attempt to hack a data terminal while the Death Guard’s attention was focused by the imminent arrival of the assassin.
When the assassin arrived via the teleport homing beacon (anytime after turn 1, per the Grimdark Future rules) John was immediately presented with an agonizing decision: where to deploy his shiny new toy soldier?!?
Gentle reader, I cannot tell you how much time the two of us collectively spent trying to analyze and strategize the best possible placement of his assassin. Empires rose and fell, seas evaporated into dust, and still John was second guessing about where to put his little man.
Ultimately he plopped him down within easy charge range of my 5-man squad of Plague Marines, which had been camped near an objective for most of the game while they harassed the advancing Imperials with accurate heavy weapon fire.
Across the battlefield, the Death Guard army was doing an admirable job plugging the gaps in their defensive line. The three Myphitic Blight-Haulers motored up to the chem station and began pouring on the fire. This led to a head-smack moment for John as he realized his guys are armed with swords, not guns, and so he sent them clambering down from the chem station’s parapets so they could assault the Myphitic Blight-Haulers.
This proved to be a fairly indecisive battle that dragged on until the end of the game.
The psyker with the homing beacon, his life’s purpose complete now that he had called in the assassin strike, was dragged down and dismembered, along with his escort, by a staggering mob of poxwalkers. He will be remembered in the Tome of Heroes!
What’s left? Oh yeah, the assassin! Having dealt with the squad of Plague Marines, the red-robed killer pivoted toward his true target: the Lord of Contagion! This set up an epic clash of for the ages.
Lumbering behemoth versus spritely death machine! We traded blows for a turn before, stunningly, the Lord of Contagion hefted his might plague axe and cleaved the assassin in twain, casting side the ruined body and grinding the warrior’s entrails into the dust with his massive steel-shod boots.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that the assassin represented half of the entire points value of John’s army. Without that unit, he didn’t have much left to oppose me, and we agreed that the forces of Chaos had won the day.
And so John’s intensely focused army list had shattered like a glass torpedo on the rusted armor of my Chaos army. The Imperial landing party slunk off to lick its wounds. With any luck, they’ll be able to piece the assassin back together from the gore-slicked pieces that were recovered from the battlefield on Pestus Maximus. Stay tuned for more!