Only War Episode Two

Tea of the Session: I still do not have a bloody thermos and so was drinking Sainsburys Cranberry and Raspberry. A fine drink, but not tea.

Recording: Again Recorded but as it was not recorded at Cult headquarters not of sufficient quality to cast.

Where last session was taken up getting all of the characters acquainted, this session was mostly spent preparing their grid square for combat. First however they had to get there, and the Imperial guard had laid on a wonderful transport in the person of a Grox Manure Scow. Having been bolted into it, with the Operators Sentinel Bolted to the bottom of the ship, it dropped out of the transport and hurtled down towards Sinanphos.

They got a sense of a desert world, covered in a world spanning selection of Shrines, cathedrals, and statues. The northern part of the continent they were dropping towards seemed to be on fire, huge pyres throwing up choking black smoke into the atmosphere. They passed swiftly through the atmosphere and smashed through the smoke layer before enacting a punishing deceleration over their grid square. The Scow set down and under command of the Commissar the Players and their three squads of Mooks leaped out of the scow and deployed into the nearest buildings, leaving the loading servitors to dump stuff out of the back of the scow into a pile.

The Scow then took back off, rose about 40 meters in the air and was immediately struck by an anti-air missile in the left engine causing it to scream off southwards on a descending trajectory  Quickly followed by sounds of crunching and crashing.

With boots on the ground they leaped to prepare their defenses  With a 60 meter wide square in the middle of the grid square to the north of both the priest dormitory, and the cathedral they decided to concentrate their forces there. On the Western side of the square, Squad 1 (npc) dived into the thick walled Tithery and set up a position, while Squad 2 (npc) headed over to the Primarcherie and started filling the gaps between the thick marble columns. The final squad Squad 3 (npc) dragged the supplies into the Priest dormitory then set up in the first floor windows. On the North side of the square between the Statue of Dorn and the Paupers Chapel they lifted the flagstones dug out the earth underneath to fill sandbags, and then set the flagstones back up as simple traps.

On the Southern side of the square they set the Heavy Bolter up in the pump house of the Fountain that was on the north side of the square. They also found out that the pump house connected to a number of tunnels that seemed to run to all of the buildings in the grid square. They quickly shut down the two servitors who were pumping the fountains water, and used some flak board to build a machine gun nest. Between the pump house and the huge obsidian statue of Sanguianius they also put flakboard barricades up. It was behind these barricades that the command squad set up, with the Sentinel parked behind the statue to keep it out of sight.

Then began the waiting.

There is a famous quote about War being long periods of boredom interspersed with short bursts of activity. Trying to emulate this in RPG form is somewhat difficult, as the periods of boredom either have to pass quickly, or you have to actually bore the players. Neither of which is good. Instead I decided to add a few non-combat encounters first.

On the first night they heard the sounds of chanting off in the distance, and the Commissar not willing to risk it stood everyone to, until it died out at dawn, leaving everyone exhausted. Well everyone except the Heavy Bolter gunner who went off to have a nap.

On the first day they began to hear the sounds of tanks coming from behind them. Following a slightly worried Vox to their command they were informed that the 421st Peladeons, supported by the 41st Paladeon Armoured Fist had been ordered forward to engage the enemy. Which was exactly the opposite of what was supposed to happen, as they were supposed to fill the inner ring of steel for the Onion of Defense  The Peladeons seemed in high spirits, but the Commissar missed his chance to question them on anything else. He did however get a present of Four Anti-tank mines, vastly increasing the amount of Anti-vehicle power that they had. They did however remember to warn the tanks not to go in the direction of their pit traps.

The Peladeons roared off north, and later that afternoon could hear the sounds of heavy Leman Russ guns and las fire receding into the distance. Cheered by the sound they spent a pleasant day in relative inactivity.

The Second Day started at 4am, one hour before dawn, with the blaring of some mighty horn to the south and what seemed to be an earthquake going on. Everyone was ordered out of the buildings as the techpriest with a wild look in his eyes ran over to the Commissar and yelled something in his ear…

It was unnecessary as shortly after two Legio Jupitarus Warhounds resplendent in Red Black and Silver loped over the cathedral and across the square, cracking the plaza under their weight and deafening everyone. Seeing friendly Warhounds sprinting towards the front did not have the expected effect on Morale. Instead everyone began to wonder… why were the Titans heading off at such high speed.

We ended the session there, so far no enemies have actually been contacted, no shots have been fired (apart from the one that took out the garbage scow), and the tension is really ramping up. They know combat is coming but they don’t know when, and it’s making them nervous.

Flying the flag at the RP society seems to be working, the game regularly has people just listening to what is going on. As I was missing a player this week I enlisted one of the watchers to take part. I may even begin an extra game next term (Spirit of the Century Gangsters in Chicago a test of which I ran last week) on the weeks when I am not running Only War. People are starting to get the hang of the system, but I think it will be when combat happens for the first time people will start searching for their positive mods which really is necessary in any 40K rpg

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