Feeling very pleased with myself after finally getting some terrain painted, albeit liberally smeared with fake blood and sponged-on battle damage to cover up my artistic deficiencies, it was time to finish up chapter one of Campaign Paradiso with my Neoterran Capitaline Army. Seeking to prevent me from scoring precious XP were the artichoke-headed stench-sniffers, the Tohaa.
This was an objective room type mission with added sprinkles of Campaign Paradiso complexity. Mission summary here.
Knowing that rolling a 20 in the objective room would result in instant death, and also knowing that, due to Sod’s Law, this was bound to happen, I opted to enlist the much-maligned Bolts. Despite their Vegemite-like speed, these Aussie commandos possess Bioimmunity, making them impervious to Shock and allowing the use of their impressive 6 BTS instead of their measly 2 ARM against any queer ammunition types. Doubly useful against the Tohaa, with their tricksy viral weaponry. The cunning as a dunny rat plan was to sneak the bonza Bolts into the objective room, slap a Location Beacon on the Target, drop some dropbears, and back in time for shrimps on the barbie and amber nectar all round. Fair-dinkum.
Deployment was mad as a cut snake, with the forces equally split between randomly selected corners. My dice chose the corner to my right followed by the zone diagonally opposite. Winning the WIP roll I opted to go first, hoping for a boil over, or, in English, an unexpected win.
Neoterra Turn 1
First on the to-kill list was the Nikoul sniper, and I knew just the man. The Swiss Guard sidled up to the edge of the building, staying in cover as he sighted on the alien sniper. Declaring Shoot as an ARO, the Tohaa marksman immediately released a pheromone cloud smelling of regret with the realisation that he needed 3s to hit due to Surprise Shot, TO: Camo and Cover. Outclassed, the Nikoul’s symbiont armour was penetrated with ease, the sniper succumbing to the heavy machinegun shells.
With the main threat eliminated it was time to turn to the other corner of the table. The Bolt missile launcher cautiously climbed the stairs of the hab block, bringing the Chaksa Auxiliar with HMG into sight. Despite his hotwired brain granting him enhanced Neurocinetic reflexes and 360 vision, the Chaksa was soon turned into chump by the explosive missiles.
The way now clear, the Bolts moved up to the objective room and the Target inside. Lacking enough orders to secure the building this turn, the missile launcher Bolt reloaded her weapon and sighted on a Tohaa triad below the sniper tower that was now decorated with a dead Nikoul.
Despite attempting to Dodge out of the way of the blast, the triad was soon decimated by the deadly Neoterran. The remaining orders were spent alongside a Command Token to put the cheerleaders on Suppressive Fire and re-camouflage the Swiss Guard. So far so good.
Tohaa Turn 1
After an bit of a brutal first turn it was time for the Tohaa to get to task. The Chaksa with Smart HRL climbed to the roof of a building to gain better lines of fire while the Baggage Chaksa advanced towards the dropship.
It was time for the next Tohaa triad to try to get to the Target, with the link advancing on the titty bar. Hoping to bring the Neoterran specialists into sight, the trio climbed onto the roof of a nearby building.
Unfortunately for the Tohaa triad they misjudged the distance between themselves and an Auxbot. The next scent to perfume the air was that of roasted artichoke as the aliens were barbecued.
Neoterra Turn 2
The Bolts opened the door of the objective room, scoring them the easiest VP they’ll ever see.
Neoterra 1 – 0 Tohaa
Oozing with confidence the finest soldiers in the whole of the Human Sphere successfully stabilised the Target on the first try, before staking their claim by sticking a Tracking Beacon on the Target.
Neoterra 4 – 0 Tohaa
All that remained was to deactivate the Security System.
*ROLLS A 20*
For…fuck’s…sake. I knew this was going to happen as soon as I read the mission. This was no more surprising to me than John Snow coming back from the dead or Jimmy Saville being outed as a kiddy fiddler, but nevertheless disappointing. Compounding the misery were four failed armour saves, sending the best part of the Bolt link straight into the arms of Space-Jesus.
Then I remembered. Bioimmunity! Thank you slowly decaying and much abused by alcohol brain for telling me to take the Shock resistant Bolts! With the armour buffed to BTS 6 the damage was limited to only two of the precious veteran troops.
Given another chance at life the Bolt hacker was more careful this time, successfully disarming the Security System to bring the RAS Consoles online.
Neoterra 5 – 0 Tohaa
With the Target secured it was time to kill some more vegetable-heads. The Auxbot advanced around the corner of the building, sighting on the invitingly lined-up Tohaa triad. A pungent cloud of terror was emitted by the aliens before the odour of napalm and burning flesh masked the pheromone cloud.
The remaining couple of orders were spent on the Bolts, the hacker opening the door, shots from the link sending the remnant of the barbecued triad on the roof of the nearest building Prone, before a dropbear was laid by the entrance.
Neoterra 6 – 0 Tohaa
Tohaa Turn 2
Seriously low on orders and the writing firmly on the wall, the Tohaa turn was over in a flash. The alien on the building stayed prone and advanced forwards a couple of inches to detonate the mine while in Total Cover, avoiding any damage. A Gao-Tarsos then dropped in, blasting my Trauma-Doc with his boarding shotgun. With that the Tohaa were out of orders.
Neoterra Turn 3
All that remained was to mop up the final VPs. The forgotten Swiss Guard opened up on the exposed Tohaa by the H-shaped hospital, putting them down with heavy machinegun shots to the back of their houseplant-shaped heads.
Arnold ‘Dutch’ Stallone, the Spec-Ops, then used his newly acquired hacking device to secure the right-hand RAS Console.
Neoterra 8 – 0 Tohaa
Annoyingly, the Goa-Tarsos was right in the bloody way of me securing the last RAS Console. Fortunately for me the Tohaa player was, by now, more interested in revenge than victory, gunning down my missile launcher but leaving the hacker to programme the last RAS Console with the final order.
Neoterra 10 – 0 Tohaa
For the Hyperpower!
Probably my most comprehensive victory to date, I felt like I played pretty well. Other than the slight speedbump of my Bolts being electrocuted, it went suspiciously to plan. Rob was a great opponent, and I really enjoyed playing the Tohaa, who have a very distinctive style with lots of tricks. It was also a privilege to play a fully painted force, although my shamefully still-basecoated Neoterrans remain a disgrace and constant source of chagrin while I plow through my Haqqislam.
There were a number of candidates for MVP, including the Swiss Guard and the Bolt link. However, it has to go to the Aux-Bot, who accounted for five kills, leaving the Tohaa critically short of orders. Good on ya you little ripper!