So my buddy picked up the Dark Vengeance set a while back, and had been sorta lazily painting his way through it. Having been out of the 40K hobby for a while, we decided to play through the missions in the book, using the forces provided in the box. And, in the spirit of the idea of this being a "starter box" we decided to play it with minimal terrain. The thought had been to just use the crappiest terrain possible out of stuff lying around his house, but instead we dragged out some walls and rocks. And to round it off, some kind of building made from the packing cardboard of a wireless router he'd bought recently. Being a good friend, I took the side of Disorder.
We set about to learning the rules for our new armies. Haha. Just kidding. We just decided to play the scenarios in order and refer to the quick reference sheets and the mini rule book as we went along.
However, the GW fluff for the story sucks. Instead, I present you the first in the "Veteran Sergeant Plays" series... DARK VERNGERNCE
And with that, I shall amaze you with the tale of Alpha Legion warlord Kaldor the Grossly Incompetent and his nefarious plan to foment rebellion, and eventually take over the Imperial planet of Dynnurtabelis IV.
From the start, things had not gone well for Kaldor. His agents on the governor's council had struck too soon, decapitating the planetary government, and seizing control of the orbital shipyards. While many would have considered this a tremendous success, the political unrest and instability caused the merchant ship Bennajerius to turn back, taking with it the planet's yearly allotment of ice cream. This would leave the usurpers with only a month and a half's left of coffee flavored, which nobody liked except for Clarence. However, that was just the beginning of Kaldor's woes. Within a month, a Space Marine strike cruiser had arrived in orbit, delivering a small detachment of the illustrious Dark Angels, led by Brother Captain Tilamook.
Kaldor, sensing that his triumph could be ruined if the Dark Angels were to suspect this as anything more than a simple political coup, went to ground and instructed the planet's insurrectionist leaders to "act normal" and find out what the Emperor's finest needed. But it would not last long. The new Governor's wife just couldn't keep her mouth shut, and told Captain Tilamook, after a particularly heated debate about the terms of the new government keeping up with its Tithes, that her husband's friends would "show him". Immediately, Dark Angels forces went into action.
Despite the early setbacks, things began well for the rebels' military campaign. Ravenwing outriders, tired of the political interactions, decided to head out into the ash wastes on a training exercise. But they were ambushed by crafty cultists in the Winding Road Ravine.
Almost immediately, Sergeant Helvetica was shot off of his bike. Taking command, Battle Brother Lucida Sans tried to lead the other bike out of danger and reach higher ground where they could report back to the Dark Angel headquarters. However, they ran into follow-on forces, arrayed in a perfect L-shaped ambush. There would be no report. First blood had been struck, and Kaldor would rub his hands together and twirl his moustache.
Flush with victory, the cultist leader Frah Gel'Rohk and the rest of his band headed back to their camp to regale their buddies with their exploits, daring-do, and victory over the mightiest of the Imperium's warriors. However, they would be spotted by an airborne unit which was out searching for the missing bikers. Unwilling to wait, Veteran Sergeant Raphael and his Marines dropped from the Storm Raven to set up an ambush of their own...
Devastator Brother Awfail let loose with his plasma cannon, delivering a devastating barrage right on top of the lead group of cultists.
In a flash of light... nothing happened. Shaking their heads, the remaining Marines in Sergeant Raphael's squad opened fire.
Still drunk on their previous victory, and possibly the Orkish rotgut that Fritz had brought with him, the cultists advanced boldly towards the Marines' position.
Initially, it seemed that the Dark Gods had indeed smiled upon them, as two Marines would fall to the weight of their small arms fire. However, they had gotten too overconfident. Taking command of the squad, an action which came of great surprise to the squad's actual leader, Fritz declared a charge, and the cultists piled into the Marine's position.
And promptly ran away.
While the ensuing melee with the second group of cultists would lead to the loss of Battle Brother Beaker to a lucky blow, Sergeant Raphael and Brother Awfail (now wielding his trusty bolt pistol) chased down the last of the cultists.
This ended about the way you figure it would.
Revenge would be the Dark Angels'.
However, for some reason, Codicier Hipsterctomy decided to go for a walk on his own. Why he did so is somewhat baffling, however the consensus among the Dark Angels in the after action reports would be that Hipsterectomy had forgotten his Adderall on the ship, and had been, reportedly in his own words, "pounding some shots bro".
Wisely, Hipsterectomy hid behind rocks until Terminators from the Death Wing, in what was later considered the most ridiculous overkill of the war, teleported down to the surface to rescue the wayward Librarian.
Things looked bleak for the traitors. Kaldor felt that his only chance was to meet the Dark Angels in one decisive battle. Veteran of the Long War Rufus was heard to have enthusiastically received this plan with the the now-immortal words "You're *****ing me, right?"
Bolstered by the presence of their massive war machine, a Hellbrute named Margablarg the Magnificient, the forces of Chaos, possessing nothing in the way of heavy weapons aside from Margablarg's multi-melta, and only a single pistol capable of defeating the power armor of the Dark Angels, bravely chanted to the Chaos Gods. Khorne and Tzeentch took time off from their intense rivalry to sit down and have a beer and laugh at the shenanigans. While Captain Tilamook's once again reckless deployment of his bikers resulted in their destruction, and Codicier Hipsterectomy would fall to Kaldor's plasma pistol, the battle would be marked by Margablarg's ability to bring the devastating power of his multi-melta to bear five times, and kill a grand total of one Terminator. Rufus, in one last heroic act, managed to fell two more Terminators in righteous close combat before being bludgeoned to death by the fist of Veteran Brother Gabriel, who was heard to be humming something about sledgehammers to himself. Rufus's last words were reported by a fleeing cultist named Stan. "Who the hell worked out the point values for these scenarios?"
Kaldor himself would be the last to fall, brought down in a hail of fire, but not before Sergeant Raphael burned his own hand off with an overheating plasma pistol. He likes his new bionic hand better anyway.
Margablarg the Magnificent was last seem mumbling to itself as it disappeared into the ash wastes. The Dark Angels declined to pursue, stating in the after-action reports "It wasn't like it was going to kill anything anyway."
At any rate, we had a fair amount of fun playing this book. The starter sets had never been than well balanced, but at least this was better than 3rd Edition's Dark Eldar. We've contemplated getting a hold of Battle for Macragge, AoBR, and some of the other old campaign books to see what kind of other hilariousness there is out there.