The sun rose on another day but shadows still dwelled within the steep rocky sides of the valley. It was known to locals as the Gates of Ferrugo Pass. Guarded by Rustmen, armoured servitors and a powerful archeotech energy field. Only those with the correct arcane words would be allowed to pass through.
Daktov and his team approached cautiously. even though they were returning home, they knew that they were not entirely safe. The Rustmen that guarded the Gates were ancient and their Machine Spirits were bitter and angry.
This was a modified version of the Sweep and Clear mission. Our Deployment Zones were changed to 9" squares in the corners of the same (long) edge of the board. The 4 objective markers were placed on the opposite edge, 5" apart. The large Rustmen were used as moving scenery - they each moved a random amount (using an old Artillery Dice) toward our deployment edge at the start of turn 1. Then at the start of turn 2, and subsequent turns, we used a Scatter Dice and an Artillery Dice to move each of them. They blocked line-of-sight and movement but didn't have any active weapons. We also had control of a "small" Rustman each - represented by Old Boiler Plate and GH-0U1. They had Ogryn stats and did not count as part of our Kill Teams for anything except VP for killing enemy models.
The Sentinel was crewed by an Engineseer and a Ddatasmith as it's Machine Spirit had long since gone mad. The Vulcher was a hunter: aggressive and predatory.
Sumpcrawler ticked and whirred and scanned the horizon - it was known to be easily distracted and contemplative but fiersome when it's temper was provoked. The Dragon stood vigilant and silent in the distance.
Anomaly Protocol did their best to keep out of sight as they approached the Gate: They were too aware that the Custodians who guarded it could not be trusted to see them as friends!
Daktov recited the Holy Litanies of Sufferance and hoped that the Rustmen were in a good mood today.
The Purebred did not know the holy words needed but they planned to pass through the Gates when the Custodians were distracted.
The Rustmen strode forward when they detected the presence of intruders in the area of the Gate.
The Vulture passed the Para-Skitarii by, stalking across the rust coloured sands between the obsidian and basalt outcrops.
They watched it carefully, fearful of its sudden and wrathful ire.
Hastun and Decima walked slowly forward. Gudget, Tybar and Daktov sprinted to get behind the Sentinel, trying to get the attention of the Skitarii crew.
Old Boilerplate roared in angry - he fired at Snapper the dusthound and brought the beast down!
Data signals transmitted between the Rustmen were detected by Daktov - he warned his team that combat servitor GH-0U1 was targeting them for attack! At his word Decima and Hastun fired at it and damaged it.
Did the Rustmen instinctively know what was occurring? They all moved back toward the Keys, but Sumpwalker did not stop when it reached them, and powered off into the valley of Ferrugo Pass. The energy field shimmered and allowed him to pass.
The Vulture watched Old Boilerplate and GH-0U1 closely. There contradictory actions seemed to confuse it.
Daktov signalled the Sentinel but the crew either did not receive it or they chose to ignore him.
Warfather Jax started firing - he sprayed long bursts of large caliber bullets at Old Boilerplate.
The sniper team fired at Warfather Arun but the Purebred Leader's crude scrap-metal armour saved him.
Gudget, Tybar and Daktov all pressed forward to get to the Keys of the Gate.
Gudget fired on GH-0U1 but the servitor's armour deflected most of the plasma.
Old Boilerplate was fired upon repeatedly but it's ancient armour protected it, time after time.
Jax fired on Gudget at long range. The para-Skitarii jumped back but the rain of lead just kicked up the sand around him.
The Sentinel finally acknowledged the signals from Anomaly Protocol then turned and trudged off into the hills.
Hastun thought he hit Mahela but her armour must have saved her.
Gudget and Tybar readied the codes to trigger two of the Keys - they hoped to open a small portal in the energy field to allow them to pass, but keep the Purebred out.
Decima rained fire into GH-0U1 again and brought it down.
Warfather Arun and Mahela attacked Old Boilerplate. They were unable to damage the Rustman but it wounded Arun with one of its Omnisire-blessed fists!
As Gudget and Daktov secured the first of the Keys, Gudget shot the Purebred's flamer, Dev.
Tybar secured the second Key and Anomaly Protocol were able to pass the Gates and enter Ferrugo Pass!
The final scores were:
Anomaly Protocol 9VP (2x3VP for Objectives and 3VP for kills)
The Purebred 2VP (kills)
Anomaly Protocol scored their first victory of the campaign!
Viktor's side of this adventure (and the next!) are here.