Saturday 6 January 2018

Narrative 40K: Retrieve The Fallen Brother Scenario Play Test

Hello Commanders; welcome back to the Vault.  Today's post is a quick After Action Report (AAR) of a recent run through of the Retrieve the Fallen Brother 40K Narrative Play Scenario. There's some pictures (apologies for the lack of paint; the models are pretty though), supporting words, a brief digression into some of the more unusual aspects of 40K that Narrative Play lets you explore, and then a final wrap up on my feelings on the scenario.

The story behind the scenario is that a Deathwatch mission to destroy an alien artefact has gone terribly wrong, resulting in the death of most of the Kill Team, leaving only a seriously injured Black Shield Marine who the Dark Angel Chapter suspect may in fact be one of the traitorous Fallen.

Both the Deathwatch and the Dark Angels dispatch forces to recover the fallen Deathwatch Veteran, and finally destroy the Xeno device.

The full scenario can be found here, but the deployment map is shown below just to give you a rough idea as to how the battle field is set up:

Two elite forces were assigned to the mission. The Deathwatch Task Force comprised a compact but lethal detachment:
  • Watch Captain
  • Librarian
  • 4 Veteran Kill Teams
  • Terminator Squad
  • 2 Land Raider Crusaders
  • Corvus Black Star Flyer
The Deathwatch commit to a forward deployment, whilst the Terminators remain in reserve
The Dark Angels deployed members of the secretive Inner Circle
  • Black Knights
  • 2 squads of Death Wing Terminators
  • 3 squads of Company Veterans
  • Devestators
  • Land Raider
  • A Deredeo Relic Dreadnought
  • A unique Predator Tank 
The Dark Angels establish a firebase on their Extraction Point whilst the Veterans prepare to advance

The Dark Angels Predator covers the left flank, whilst the Death Wing prepare to teleport to battle field
The square building in the centre of the board represented the Xeno artefact, whilst the fallen Black Shield, Brother Jaro remained trapped within: 

We are coming for you!
A unit would need to make contact with the artefact to begin to place the charges or pull Jaro to freedom/captivity. 

40K Narrative Play digression number one: Having a back story for the mission added another level of engagement to the game for me. This scenario is essentially "The Relic" with a twist, but the game felt a lot more immersive when we were playing it!

40K Narrative Play digression number two: Kanan, our resident Dark Angel aficionado loves to kit bash and convert unique models. Narrative Play is a perfect opportunity to use such models which of course don't have "proper" rules for matched play.  The Double Dakka Predator (which is a name I've just made up for it) has twice the fire power of a regular Predator with 2 Autocannons on its turret, and an additional pair of heavy bolters! 

The Double Dakka Predator

That is a lot of firepower!
An interesting question is how do you define the Power Level for a model like this? I think in this case it's quite easy; it has the fire power of two tanks, but the wounds of only one. A Power Level one and half times a basic Predator would therefore be a sensible guess; so 13-14 Power.

Meanwhile, back on Keonides IV...

The Dark Angels took the initiative; the Veterans moved cautiously forward whilst the Black Knight Bikers advanced along the left flank, under the cover of heavy fire power directed towards the opposing Land Raiders.

The Deathwatch Kill Teams advanced into the ruins; Kill Team Alpha made contact with the artefact and began the process of setting Demo Charges.  The Land Raiders and Corvus Black Star moved to the flanks and began to lay withering fire power down into the advancing Dark Angel Veterans.

Pew Pew!

Zoom Zoom!
The venerable Tassitus One stomped forward to draw a bead on the Corvus whose pilot deftly avoided being blown out the sky. Sadly the first Crusader was not so lucky, and was blown to pieces under the continuing hail of fire from the Dark Angel guns. Kill Team Charlie took casualties from the Devestators perched in the far ruins.

Move! Move! Move!

+Targets acquired+

Setting the fuses under heavy fire. Remember the mission!
Undaunted by their losses the Deathwatch continue to undertake their assigned tasks; Kill Team Alpha finished setting the melta bombs and Kill Team Charlie pulled Brother Jaro to safety! The remaining Deathwatch units killed the Dark Angel Company Veterans, and prepared to make their withdrawal to the designated extraction point.

+Enemy Engaged+
 Alas at this point we had to call time on the game. Although the Deathwatch were in a commanding position and were declared the winners, there was still a lot to play for; the two Death Wing squads in reserve and the lurking Black Knights would have made the extraction of Brother Jaro more complicated. And all the Dark Angel heavy guns were still fully operational, whilst the Deathwatch were beginning to suffer severe damage to their tanks and flyer.

Final thoughts:
  • The scenario could do with a final tweak to make the central exclusion zone slightly larger (12" rather than 9"); this will make it a bit more challenging to reach the centre.
  • We need longer to play the scenario to conclusion. There's a lot of banter, piccie taking, laughing when things go wrong (my armour saves were terrible), and quite frankly something this fun needs to play to it's natural conclusion. Kanan and I will be arranging to play this mission again, with more time than the normal club session allows. 
  • Narrative Play is a refreshing change to traditional Matched Play; however it really needs preparation to shine. I enjoyed both writing the scenario, and playing the game! If any of my other 40K friends would like to try something similar (i.e. a custom scenario and game) then please let me know as I'd love the opportunity to write another scenario for two specific factions.
What are your thoughts on Narrative and Open Play? Feel free to comment below and as always thanks for reading!

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