This game was played using some homemade rules (M.I.S.S.) so as to allow us to play through a short campaign utilising many of my painted miniatures from "The Ion Age" range by "Alternative Armies", and took place upon a 36" x 28" "Deep Cut Studio" playmat. The battlefield was populated with a variety of "Battlefield in a Box" scenic ruins by "Gale Force Nine".
“The story so far… The Warmaster, Horus Lupercal, has treacherously decided to murder the Emperor, and replace him as sole ruler of the Imperium of Mankind. However, in order for his plan to succeed the Traitor Legions must first take the Red Planet and this world has already been fortified by the loyal Imperial Guard. Realising that the Sons Of Horus might not be strong enough to be victorious alone, the Warmaster summons demonic reinforcements, and launches an attack upon the planet's already bombarded capital..."
The Imperial Guard started on the eastern side of the battlefield. It's forces consisted of two units of infantry and a heavy weapons team to the south-east, a command unit with a heavy las-cannon tank at its centre, and a unit of infantry with two heavy weapons teams to the north-east. Across from their position, along the western edge, stood two units of demon warriors, a Sons of Horus command unit with accompanying tank, and a combined unit of Sons of Horus space marines with (more) demon warriors.
The ruin-covered tabletop had five strategic locations, each worth an unknown number of victory points from one to six. These would only be revealed once they had been discovered during the confrontation and could only be claimed by an unopposed unit being in direct contact with them at the end of Turn Six.
The Emperor's forces won the initiative and all moved west towards Objective One [Northern Villa] and Objective Five [Southern Villa]. In the south-west the demon warriors marched towards Objective Four [Insulae], whilst the Sons of Horus command unit sought shelter just south of Objective Two [Domus]. The Warmaster's tank fired towards the loyal soldiers heading towards Objective Five, but were out of range.
The demon warriors continued their advance east to capture control of Objective Four [Insulae] and claim six Victory Points. Determined to hold the position they formed up in line in front of it. The Sons of Horus and demon warriors to the north performed the same manoeuvre with Objective Two [Domus] to size a further Four Victory Points. Realising that he now simply had to hold these positions until the battle's end, Horus moved his tank up alongside his main body of demon warriors.
In response the Imperial Guard captured Objective Five [Southern Villa] and Objective One [Northern Villa] for Five and Three Victory Points respectfully. The soldiers also managed to overcome their 'fear' of the demon warriors to wound one of the units stood beside the Sons of Horus tank. First blood to the Emperor's forces.
The Imperial Guard infantry continued to fire upon the demon warriors, and those who didn't fail to keep their terror in check managed to score more injuries upon the cruel denizens of the Warp. However, it was clear that they still needed to claim more objectives, so led by their commander, some of the heavy weapon teams pressed further west towards both the enemy's lines and Objective Three [Ruined Tower].
The demon warriors were unable to call replacements from the Warp, so simply took comfort in gunning down some of the soldiers before them. In addition, Horus ordered his tank up to the south-west corner of Objective Three [Ruined Tower] to attract the fire of the Imperial Guard. To the north, the combined force of Sons of Horus space marines and demon warriors brought the supposedly safe Imperial Guard command unit, which was partially-shielded by the Ruined Tower, down to just a single wound.
One of the Imperial Guard heavy weapons teams reached the top of Objective Three [Ruined Tower] and to their dismay discovered it was only worth a single Victory Point. This meant the Emperor's forces had to stop Horus from claiming one of the two objectives his army already held. As a result, the Imperial Guard to the south started whittling away at the armour of the Sons of Horus tank, whilst the heavy weapons teams in the north rather riskily pushed further west right out in the open.
This proved catastrophic for the Emperor's forces, as once the combined cannons of the Sons of Horus tank and his demon warriors had fallen silent, neither of the brave human heavy weapons teams in the north remained. To makes matters worse, the Sons of Horus space marines and accompanying demon warriors also scored a couple of debilitating hits upon the infantry just behind the massacred heavy weapons teams.
Putting their faith in the Emperor, and their losses aside, the Imperial Guard units made another mad dash west towards Objective Four [Insulae] and Objective Two [Domus]. Astonishingly, their las-cannon tank miraculously destroyed the Sons of Horus space marines in the north, and actually made it momentarily appear that the Warmaster's forces might be broken.
However, the south-based Sons of Horus tank suddenly trampled over the advancing Imperial Guard infantrymen approaching its position. This allowed the Traitor Legion's commander to establish himself near Objective Four [Insulae], and gave the demon warriors in the north an opportunity to reposition themselves by Objective Two [Domus].
In the final turn of the battle, the Sons of Horus command claimed Objective Four [Insulae] for Six Victory Points, and then watched with glee as their tank killed the Imperial Guard's commander. To the south, the demon warriors rejoiced as reinforcements arrived from the Warp, and helped them score two more hits upon the soldiers assaulting their position.
Incredibly though, Horus had miscalculated, and stared in horror as the Imperial Guard's dwindling forces still had enough units to retain ownership of Objective Five [Southern Villa], Objective One [Northern Villa] and Objective Three [Ruined Tower] for a total of Nine Victory Points, and then still reach Objective Two [Domus] with some infantry to contest the position, and resultantly deprive the Warmaster of its game-winning Four Victory Points. The Imperial Guard had won... for now at least.