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Tooth and Claw
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Tooth and Claw: Battle #6 ("Reverse Dawn Assault") 
Dark Eldar vs. Space Wolves, 2000 points each 
By Patrick Eibel and Kenton Kilgore

In the shadow of the mountain range known as The Sleeping Brahman, Lars Ulrik lay on a bier and waited to be transported by Thunderhawk back to the starship Munnin. His body was laced with cuts and large shreds of his flesh were missing, only patches of synth-skin keeping his blood inside him. 

A column of Space Wolf Rhinos drove past him, into the tunnel that led under the mountains to Tharalon, the Dark Eldar city where Lars had been grievously wounded in the latest battle for Veda. Ferin Ironhammer, having been reactivated by the Iron Priest Skjall, strode over to his friend.  “Do not drink all of the ale on the ship,” he joked to Lars. “We will need some left to celebrate when we defeat the svartalfir.”

Lars coughed and a bubble of blood burst sending blood down his lips. “I am sorry I failed you, Ferin. I am not worthy to drink with—”

“Nonsense,” the old Dreadnought admonished. “You fought with honor, and you live to do so again. It is to my thinking that the Eldar have exhausted their bag of tricks. It is time to finish this, to send them to whatever foul gods they worship.”

“How? We have no more reserves to replace those who have fallen.” Lars’ voice was barely a croak. 

“Perhaps we can be of assistance,” said Fighting Tiger Chaplain Daksha Ram. He strode into the Space Wolf encampment, leading ten of his men. 

“Your timing could not be better, Tanadar Ram,” said Ferin. “We certainly could use the help.” 

“We have also brought you a present,” said Daksha Ram, indicating a large tank painted in the blue-gray Space Wolf  colors. “This Leman Russ Exterminator was sent to Veda by Commissar Acosta in gratitude for a Fighting Tiger saving his life. I understand from our datalogs that your tech-priests comprehend its operation and upkeep. We present it to you as a token of our thanks for all that you have done thus far.” 

“We accept this gift gladly,” Ferin replied. “It will serve us well in the upcoming battle.”

“Look what we found,” said Loganson, leader of Scout Pack Thunder, as he emerged from the tunnel with two of his men leading Fighting Tiger Captain Jirbu Ghosh. She was haggard and clothed in rags and the hot sun nearly blinded her, but she was alive and apparently unharmed. Ferin and Daksha Ram rushed to her, the Dreadnought bellowing for a medic. 

They laid her under the shade of a nearby tree. “All you all right?” Daksha Ram asked her. 

“Let me have some water, and some food, and I will be ready to fight,” she replied. “The heat feels good. It was very cold there, under the mountain.” 

“We found her in a cell near the heart of the city,” Loganson reported. “They had strapped her to some kind of table and just left her there with this,” he said, pulling a transparent bottle with a large, stoppered mouth from his backpack. Inside the bottle was a small, scuttling, scorpion-like creature. “Near as I can figure, this container has some kind of timer on it: when the time expires, the bottle opens, and this little bastard here comes out.” He tapped on the glass, driving the tiny monster into a frenzy, legs thrashing, claws snapping, twin tails lashing. 

“You carried that here in your knapsack?” asked Daksha Ram. 

“I ain’t afraid of any critter I can dropkick,” Loganson drawled. “Other than her, the cellblock was empty. Looks like some of our guys used to be there, but Garm only knows where they are now.” He spat into the dust. “We walked in and out of Tharalon without seeing a single Skinny. Scans show that they’ve pulled way back, to the other end of that big cave where the city sits. At that end of the cave are about a dozen tunnels big enough to stroll a Titan through. No idea where they go. The alfir are all just waiting there. Don’t know why.”

“Hmmm,” murmured Ferin. “If they mean to flee by those tunnels, why have they not done so? And if they mean to fight, why retreat so far back and allow us to enter their city unharmed?”

“And why abandon Jirbu Ghosh, when they took considerable trouble to capture her in the first place?” Daksha Ram asked.

“I do not know,” Ferin replied, “but we must be careful.” 

At the far end of Tharalon, in the lowest chamber of a nondescript stone tower that had stood empty for thousands of years, Archon Syryx Lynatharr blew the dust from a rune-studded panel and weaved the fingers of his left hand over it, disabling the locking mechanism. Noiselessly, a section of the stone floor vanished, revealing granite steps spiraling down into darkness. Just as the ancient records said, he thought. Here it is.

Looking over his shoulder to make sure that none had followed him, he descended, his boots tap tap tapping as he went. The red scorpion rune on his breastplate lit up, providing him with enough illumination to make his way down the stairs and through a long, narrow stone corridor. The ceiling was low, and he had to duck. Finally, he came to a pair of adamantium doors that parted as he approached.

Beyond the doors was an area that looked like the depths of outer space, with stars spread endlessly across the eternal void. Something small and twinkling floated nearby. Lynatharr stepped through the door and found himself floating, weightless, yet he could still breathe. Clearly this was not the vacuum of space, but an amazing simulacrum. He smiled. So this is what that reference meant, he thought.

His right hand had long ago mutated into a giant pincer. He reached out for the small twinkling object and grasped it easily. It was a small figurine, carved from a single blue gem into the shape of a grinning humanoid. As he touched it, some of the massive power contained within the figurine leached out and coursed through him. It felt good. 

Finally, after all these years, he thought. He wafted back to the doorway and stepped back into the corridor. The doors closed silently behind him as he made his way back, wondering what he would do with his new toy. He tucked it away in a belt pouch and began to hum a merry tune.

Dr. Jheste was waiting at the top of the steps as Lynatharr emerged, and for a moment, the Archon considered killing him where he stood. Then he read the confusion in the Haemonculus’ eyes and decided to let him live at least a little while longer. “There you are,” Jheste said. “What are you doing here, if I may ask?”

“You may not,” Lynatharr snapped. “Need I remind you that you work for me and not the other way around?” 

“Not at all, Great One, not at all,” he replied, hastily. “I only disturbed you to let you know that the Space Wolves are on their way back to Tharalon and that the first Fighting Tiger battle barges have been sighted entering the system. I fear that our time grows short.” 

“It doesn’t matter,” Lynatharr said. “Tell the others to carry out their orders. We’ve accomplished what we came here for.”

“Have we?” Jheste asked. “What have we accomplished?” Behind his silver mask, his eyes narrowed. “Why did we come here?” 

“If you were not my personal physician—and I did not have pressing demands on my time—I would tear you limb from limb for questioning me.” He sighed, as if having to explain something to a child. “We are here to prove a point. To remind these mon-keigh that this is our planet and we are merely letting them mind it in our absence, but that we fully intend to return one day.”

“Of course, my lord, I meant no— ” Dr. Jheste stammered.

“Oh yes, yes, I believe you did. But you are right about one thing: our time grows short.” He brushed past the Haemonculus. “Let’s go have some fun,” he growled, grinning like a shark. 

Dr. Jheste paused for a moment to peer down the stone steps. He frowned. What are you up to, Lynatharr? he wondered.

Then the Archon bellowed his name and Jheste hurried after him. 

Army Lists for the Final Battle
As Pat mentioned in the Introduction, the final battle would be 2000 points per player. At the beginning of the campaign, we had thought that when we go to this battle, we would merely add on to the lists that we had already been using. As Tooth and Claw went on however, we recognized weaknesses in our initial lists and gave ourselves the chance to remedy those at the end. Here's what we took.

Tooth: 2000 points of Space Wolves and Fighting Tigers
For the last battle, Pat and I agreed that it would fit the narrative of the campaign and provide an interesting challenge if he used a combined force of Space Wolves and Fighting Tigers. Pat dropped the Terminators and Long Fangs, added more characters and squads, and debuted a new Leman Russ Exterminator.

  • Ferin Ironhammer. Venerable Dreadnought w/ twin-linked heavy bolters, close combat weapon (ccw), storm bolter, extra armor and smoke launchers (163 pts)
  • Tiger of Varuna Daksha Ram. Chaplain w/ crozius arcanum, rosarius, artificer armor, master-crafted plasma pistol, purity seal, and melta bombs (130 pts)
  • Kshatriya Jirbu Ghosh. Space Marine Leader w/ plasma pistol and power weapon (60 pts)
  • Space Wolf Scout Pack Thunder. 5 Wolf Scouts: 3 w/ sniper rifles, 1 w/ heavy bolter, led by Njord Loganson w/ bolter and ccw (101 pts)
  • Wolf Guard Hodur. Wolf Guard Leader w/ power weapon, plasma pistol, frag grenades, and melta bombs. Leads Grey Hunter Pack Roskva (54 pts)
  • Wolf Guard Balder. Wolf Guard Leader w/ power fist, bolt pistol, bionic leg, wolf pelt, and wolf tooth necklace (Spoil of War). Leads Grey Hunter Pack Mimir (54 pts)
  • Pack Roskva. 9 Grey Hunters: 2 w/ bolt pistol and ccw, 1 w/ power weapon and bolt pistol, 1 w/ power fist and bolt pistol, 1 w/ flamer, 1 w/ plasma pistol and ccw, 3 w/ bolters and ccw. Led by Hodur (196 pts)
  • Rhino w/ extra armor, searchlight, and smoke launchers. Transport for Pack Roskva (59 pts)
  • Pack Mimir. 9 Grey Hunters: 2 w/ bolt pistol and ccw, 1 w/ power weapon and bolt pistol, 1 w/ power fist and bolt pistol, 1 w/ flamer, 1 w/ plasma pistol and ccw, 3 w/ bolters and ccw. Led by Balder (196 pts)
  • Rhino w/ extra armor and smoke launchers. Transport for Pack Mimir (58 pts)
  • Pack Fafnir. 9 Grey Hunters: 1 w/ power weapon and bolt pistol, 1 w/ plasma gun, 2 w/ plasma pistol and ccw, 5 w/ bolters and ccw (200 pts)
  • Rhino w/ extra armor and smoke launchers. Transport for Pack Fafnir (58 pts)
  • Fighting Tiger Squad Kumar. 5 Tactical Marines: Sergeant w/ bolt pistol and ccw, 1 w/ plasma gun, 1 w/ missile launcher, 2 w/ bolters (91 pts)
  • Razorback w/ extra armor, smoke launchers, dozer blades, searchlight, and twin-linked lascannons. Transport for Squad Kumar (104 pts)
  • Fighting Tiger Squad Marga. 5 Tactical Marines: Sergeant w/ bolt pistol and ccw, 1 w/ plasma gun, 1 w/ missile launcher, 2 w/ bolters (91 pts)
  • Razorback w/ extra armor, smoke launchers, dozer blades, searchlight, and twin-linked lascannons. Transport for Squad Marga (104 pts)
  • Linnorm. Leman Russ Exterminator w/ 3 heavy bolters, twin autocannons, pintle-mounted storm bolter, and extra armor (205 pts)
  • Kraken. Whirlwind
Total: 1999 points

Ferin IronhammerTiger of Varuna Daksha Ram
Above: Ferin Ironhammer (left) and Fighting Tiger Chaplain Daksha Ram (right) lead the Marines into battle 

Claw: 2000 points of Dark Eldar
My entire collection of Ozone Scorpions weighs in at just above 2000 points, so I was able to bring most of it to this battle. I stripped the scaling nets from the Raiders and left the webway portal at home because I didn't think I'd need it. I brought along my Archon, gave him an extra Reaver as a bodyguard, added a Warrior Squad and two more Taloses, and sprinkled in some agonizers for additional hand-to-hand goodness. 

  • Syryx Lynatharr. Archon w/ Reaver jet bike, power weapon, combat drugs, shadow field, tormentor helm, hell mask, and trophy rack (175 pts)
  • Dr. Jheste. Haemonculus w/ stinger (30 pts)
  • Silver Scorpions. Succubus (Blygos) w/ agonizer and splinter pistol. 7 Wyches w/ Wych weapons, 2 w/ shredders (178 pts)
  • Sky Scorpion. Raider w/ dark lance and horrorfex. Transport for Silver Scorpions (60 pts)
  • Warp Beast Pack. Beastmaster Wormwood and 5 Warp Beasts (75 pts)
  • Flyte Alyval. Sybarite Vhlondryll w/ poisoned blades, splinter pistol, and trophy rack. 1 Warrior w/ blaster, 1 Warrior w/ splinter cannon, 7 Warriors w/ splinter rifles. Sky Scorpion (Raider) w/ disintegrator (171 pts)
  • Flyte Moryl. Sybarite Kharynydia w/ agonizer, splinter pistol, and trophy rack. 1 Warrior w/ blaster, 1 Warrior w/ splinter cannon, 7 Warriors w/ splinter rifles. Sky Scorpion (Raider) w/ disintegrator (186 pts)
  • Flyte Tormtyr. Sybarite Eylservs w/ agonizer, splinter pistol, and trophy rack. 1 Warrior w/ blaster, 1 Warrior w/ splinter cannon, 7 Warriors w/ splinter rifles. Sky Scorpion (Raider) w/ dark lance and horrorfex (186 pts)
  • Flyte Despyna. Sybarite Relonarr w/ poisoned blades, splinter pistol, and trophy rack. 1 Warrior w/ blaster, 1 Warrior w/ splinter cannon, 7 Warriors w/ splinter rifles. Sky Scorpion (Raider) w/ disintegrator (171 pts)
  • Flyte Noqyr. Sybarite Eklavdrah w/ agonizer, splinter pistol, and trophy rack. 1 Warrior w/ blaster, 1 Warrior w/ splinter cannon, 7 Warriors w/ splinter rifles. Sky Scorpion (Raider) w/ dark lance and horrorfex.(186 pts)
  • Warrior Squad. 17 Warriors w/ splinter rifles (136 pts)
  • Lynatharr's Guard. 2 Reavers w/ bike-mounted blasters; 3 Reavers w/ bike-mounted splinter rifles (145 pts)
  • Jheste's Joy 1. Talos (100 pts)
  • Jheste's Joy 2. Talos (100 pts)
  • Jheste's Joy 3. Talos (100 pts)
Total: 1999 points

Archon Syryx LynatharrDr. Jheste
Above: Syryx Lynatharr (left) and Dr. Jheste (right) mean to claim Veda for the Scorpions 

Turn 1
For the first time in its long history, light had come to the underground city of Tharalon. 

It was not the luminescence of cave fungi, nor the soft red or amber glowstones that were used in Tharalon’s dwellings. No, this light was as bright as the sun from which the Dark Eldar hid. This light was a searing white burst that arced high over the city, dispelling every shadow, revealing every hiding place. Every member of the Kabal of the Ozone Scorpions averted their eyes and knew fear in their black hearts. 

The Space Wolves under Venerable Dreadnought Ferin Ironhammer had come. And they had brought the light with them. 

Ozone Scorpion deployment

Above and below: The Ozone Scorpions deploy, awaiting the Wolves and Tigers

Another view of the Dark Eldar deployment

“The flares will not last long,” Ferin told his men, as he lumbered forward, Pack Mimir and their Rhino following him. “And then the svartalfir will again have the cover of darkness. While we have the initiative, fire at will.” Twin rockets from the Whirlwind “Kraken” detonated above the Warp Beasts, sizzling shrapnel slaying all of the horrid arachnoids and their mutated master as well. 

On Ferin’s left, a veritable wall of tanks—the Space Wolf Exterminator “Linnorm” and two Fighting Tiger Razorbacks—targeted the Taloses lurking in a large building nearby. Wolf Pack Scout Squad Thunder and Fighting Tiger Squad Kumar joined fire as well. When all five units had finished, two of the three mechanical scorpions had been destroyed. 

Space Marine tanks open fire
Above: Space Marine tanks of the combined forces open fire on the evil Dark Eldar

“Excellent work, men,” Ferin called. His heavy bolters tracked the Raider of the Silver Scorpions, Wyches by another name. He fired, and grunted in satisfaction as he shot off the dark lance on their transport. While the Silver Scorpions were still far from defeated, they would a least enjoy no support fire from their craft.

Pack Thunder and Squad Kumar
Above: Squads Thunder and Kumar. Pack Fafnir is in the Rhino.

“Brace yourselves!” Ferin bellowed, as the tide of Ozone Scorpions swooped upon the combined Space Wolf/Fighting Tiger forces. The Wyches and four full Raider squads rocketed to the right, toward the relatively fragile line of infantry deployed outside their transports. Following them were the Archon Syryx Lynatharr and his cackling bodyguard on Reaver jetbikes. The sole surviving Talos lagged behind, firing indiscriminately and managing to kill the plasma gunner of Squad Kumar. The Dark Eldar had not yet reached the Marines, but they would very soon. 

Bring on the bad guys!
Above: The Ozone Scorpions hurtle towards Pack Thunder and Squad Kumar

Ferin adjusted his photoreceptors and saw that a huge squad of Dark Eldar on foot, led by the silver-masked Dr. Jheste, were hunkered down far from the fighting. What deviltry are they plotting? He wondered. Best not to find out. He was reloading his heavy bolters to deal with them when a lone Raider flew out of nowhere, dropped off a squad of Warriors behind some rubble, and fired its disintegrator at him. Fortunately, it was out of range.

First things first, Ferin decided….

Turn 2
 “Someone douse that damnable light, already,” hissed Dr. Jheste, and as if on cue, the Space Wolf flares faded, glowing embers falling to the cave floor as darkness resumed its place in the huge underground cavern that housed the city. “That’s better,” he said. “That’s much better.”

The Warriors surrounding him were silent and stayed low, unsure if the Space Wolves had detected them. Their mad Archon had ordered them to take this building and hold it, but none of them knew why and all of them knew better than to ask. Jheste didn’t know either, nor did he understand why Lynatharr had given him the task of leading this squad so far from the enemy lines. While Jheste was in no hurry to engage the Space Wolves, this assignment was an insult. True, he had seriously underestimated the Space Wolves in two encounters, but had nevertheless defeated the Wolves soundly on the other three occasions, including the last battle. So why was he so far from the action now?

Perhaps he’s just jealous of my leadership, Jheste thought. Yes, now I understand his plan: allow me to place myself in harm’s way and fight his battles while he sits safely on his throne. But I was a bit too good a general for him. That’s why he overrode my strategy, tasked me to baby-sit this unit, and allowed the mon-keigh to invade our city. Now that I’ve worn down the Space Wolves, he intends to finish them off in front of all our people and take all the credit. The popinjay. 

Jheste surveyed the battlefield with his nightviewer, which used the natural glow of the cave fungi and the muzzle flashes of weapons to allow him to see as if the cavern were flooded with moonlight. What he saw did not please him. 

In previous battles, the Space Wolves had tried to engage the Ozone Scorpions as soon as possible. Now they were keeping their distance and relying on heavy weapons. While the Dreadnought Ferin plodded along, a Rhino full of Grey Hunters tailing him, Pack Fafnir disembarked from their transport and moved into the safety of a nearby building. The rest of the Marines held their ground.

Searchlights snapped on as the Marines began to fire. The “Kraken” tried to target the Raider squad that had dismounted near Ferin, but the gunner could not see that far in the dark and the shot whistled harmlessly past. Ferin and Pack Roskva’s Rhino attempted the same, the Dreadnought’s heavy bolters cutting down two of them. 

At the other end of the field, the “Linnorm” scored seven hits on the last Talos, but none of them struck anything vital. One of the Fighting Tiger Razorbacks brought down the Wyches’ Raider, killing six of the elite warriors. The Marines poured fire into the survivors, with Squad Kumar gunning down one and Pack Fafnir and their Rhino killing one each. In a twinkling, only Blygos the Succubus was alive, and he ran as the other Ozone Scorpions roared past him. 

Three Raiders screeched to a halt before the buildings where the Space Wolves and Fighting Tigers were holed up. Three full Raider squads sprang out, ready for the kill. The fourth Raider followed behind, not quite reaching striking range. The Reavers and their Archon swept over the Marine defenses as the Talos brought up the rear.

Dark Eldar attack
Above: The Ozone Scorpions swarm over the Tigers and Wolves

In their haste to engage the enemy, the Dark Eldar unleashed a dismal display of fire. The three Raider transports fired at the nearby Marine Rhinos and Razorbacks and missed. The Raider squads that had dismounted had a bit more luck, managing to gun down a total of four members of Grey Hunter Pack Fafnir. The Talos fired its sting at Pack Fafnir as well, but none of its hits succeeded in penetrating the Marines’ powered armor. The Reavers’ two blasters had no effect on one of the Fighting Tiger Razorbacks. At the other end of the field, Vhlondryll’s Raider unleashed its disintegrator at Ferin, but also missed. 

Dark Eldar fall on Pack Mimir
Above: Grey Hunter Pack Fafnir comes under attack

As his driver bore down on the Space Marines below, Lynatharr stood on the back of his modified jetbike and raised his giant pincer-hand over his head. “It’s showtime!” he screamed, and as one, the Dark Eldar charged. High on combat drugs that jacked up his strength and made his blows more accurate, Lynatharr butchered three Scouts from Pack Thunder before they could draw their chainswords. His Reavers followed along behind him, killing another member of Pack Thunder and smashing into Fighting Tiger Squad Kumar, where an unpleasant surprise in the form of Chaplain Daksha Ram struck down two of them. Nevertheless, Pack Thunder and Squad Kumar were forced back, and the bikers pursued.

It's showtime!
Above: It's showtime as Syryx Lynatharr and his Reavers strike

Meanwhile, only one of the three Raider squads successfully managed to reach the building that Pack Fafnir occupied. Relonarr’s squad assaulted the Grey Hunters, striking down two of them and losing one of their own. Pack Fafnir fell back and the Scorpions pressed on, harrying their foes. 

Turn 3
Daksha Ram quickly realized that he and the retreating Space Marines had no chance of outrunning the Dark Eldar Reavers. “Behind me!” he yelled, turning to face Archon Syryx Lynatharr and his blood-crazed myrmidons. He had no fear for his own life—nor did he expect to keep it. But he did fear for the lives of his men. Vishnu, grant me the strength to strike down the foul general of the Dark Ones, he prayed, not for my sake, but for the sake of those you have entrusted to me.

The Marines—Space Wolves and Fighting Tigers—were moving up to crush the Ozone Scorpions that had made contact. Pack Mimir and Squad Marga, named after the hero recently fallen against the Dark Angels, disembarked from their transports. With Squad Marga was Kshatriya Jirbu Ghosh. At the other end of the field, Ferin trudged forward and Pack Roskva disembarked from their Rhino, which moved up without them. The battle shall be decided now, Daksha Ram told himself. We shall perish or triumph based on this moment.

The “Kraken” lobbed an airburst right above the Reavers, blasting one off his bike. Daksha Ram snapped off two shots with his plasma pistol and incinerated the last two Reavers as they bore down on Squad Kumar. Ram’s men fired as well, but the rest of their shots were absorbed by the Archon’s shadow field. The Space Wolves’ Exterminator brought all its weapons to bear on Lynatharr, to no more effect than Squad Kumar’s bolters. Truly, some fell power looks over this monster, Daksha Ram thought, as he gripped his crozius arcanum tightly. 

The two Fighting Tiger Razorbacks fired at Raider transports but missed. Jirbu Ghosh and Squad Marga and Pack Mimir and their Rhino gunned down eight of Kharynydia’s ten-man squad, who nevertheless held their ground. Packs Thunder and Fafnir unloaded on Relonarr’s squad, killing four of them with close-range fire. Elsewhere, Pack Roskva shot down Vhlondryll’s Raider. Ferin unleashed his heavy bolters at Vhlondryll’s squad, killing three of them, and Roskva’s Rhino killed another svartalf from that squad.

Squad Roskva attacks a Raider
Above: Grey Hunter Pack Roskva attacks a Raider

“For Veda!” screamed Jirbu Ghosh, brandishing her war axe. Squad Marga echoed her cry, and the Tigers charged Relonarr’s squad of Ozone Scorpions. Though the Dark Eldar struck first, they were no match for the Marines, who easily defeated the aliens without losing a single man of their own. Jirbu Ghosh hacked off Relonarr’s head and threw it at another Raider squad nearby. Meanwhile, Pack Mimir charged Relonarr’s transport, Balder’s power fist smashing right through its hull. His men threw themselves to the ground as the craft exploded into burning fragments.

“For Veda—and the glory of the Space Wolves!” Balder howled.

The Marines bend but don't break
Above: The Marine lines bend but don't break under the ferocious Dark Eldar onslaught

But the Ozone Scorpions were not through yet. They converged on the Marines, firing as they came. Three of Balder’s men fell, and across the field, a Grey Hunter from Pack Roskva was perforated by a full splinter cannon burst. Fortunately, the Dark Eldar Raider transports were not nearly as effective, missing the Exterminator “Linnorm” and one of the Fighting Tiger Razorbacks. 

“More, more, more, more, moremoremoreMORE!” howled Syryx Lynatharr, as he injected himself with a fresh dose of combat drugs. His driver swerved around Daksha Ram and threw the bike into the midst of Squad Kumar. Lynatharr’s pincer tore the heart out of Sepoy Sanjay, beheaded Dinesh, disemboweled Murli. Daksha Ram swung wildly but could not connect, and the Archon giggled. Ram yelled for Persa, the last squad member, to fall back with him.

Lynatharr spied Jirbu Ghosh and pointed her out to his driver. “I want that one, and I want her now.” The driver nodded, and the bike screeched forward.

“Hold! Hold!” Balder bellowed, as he saw the tide of enemy warriors threatening to swamp his men. Two squads, led by Kharynydia and Eylservs, fell on Pack Mimir, stabbing with their bayonets and agonizers, bringing down six of Fenris’ finest. Balder threw Kharynydia off him, then whirled to see the Talos right behind him.

Above: The vile Dark Eldar and their horrid Talos seals brave Balder's fate

“Come on, then!” he roared. The mechanical scorpion snipped off Balder’s arms and scooped him up. Hofmund, the only other pack member, ran to Balder’s aid, but the Talos decapitated him before he could save his sergeant. 

Blood gushed from the stumps of Balder’s arms and he wriggled in the metal monster’s grasp. He knew he had just seconds left. Leaning over the beast, he spat, his acidic saliva melting part of the Talos’ carapace. Balder began a curse in Fenrisian, and then the arachnoid jammed its tail sting through his chest, killing him instantly. Brave Balder’s blood spattered like rain on the beast’s armor. 

The Talos threw Balder’s corpse aside and began to search for fresh meat. 

Things look grim for the Marines
Above: As the Talos and Syryx Lynatharr converge, things look grim for the Marines

Turn 4
The huge underground cavern that held Tharalon was almost pitch black and the report of weapon fire was deafening. The Marines were converging where Archon Syryx Lynatharr, the Talos, and the surviving Raider squads were battering their line. The fighting was so fierce that it would be a wonder if either army survived. Nevertheless, Lynatharr was having a grand time.

His driver was steering the jetbike toward Jirbu Ghosh, and in seconds, the female Fighting Tiger Captain would be his. Out of the corner of his eye, he spied the Space Wolf Exterminator targeting him, and he smirked. What does such a magnificent creature as myself have to fear from—he thought, and then the tank’s weapons opened fire, a heavy bolter round shorting out his shadow field and an autocannon shell exploding into the fuselage of the bike, disintegrating the driver and blasting the vehicle into thousands of tiny shards. Lynatharr was thrown dozens of yards by the explosion and crashed in a tangled heap among the ruins of a building recently demolished by gunfire.

“How unsporting,” he gasped. Suddenly, it was very hard to breathe. I’m broken inside, he thought, very broken. He injected himself again and again with his combat drugs, and though they did little to ease his considerable pain, at least he stayed conscious. From his vantage point in the rubble, he could see clearly what else was going on. 

The Wolves and Tigers were pouring a lot of firepower into the Dark Eldar. A Razorback’s lascannon disabled the grav engine on Kharynydia’s Raider and it plowed into a nearby tower, setting it ablaze. Two squads of Fighting Tigers opened on Kharynydia’s squad, and though Jirbu Ghosh’s plasma pistol melted in her hand, the squad was lost to a man, Kharynydia’s head blown off by a bolter round. 

Another Razorback shot off the dark lance on Eylservs’ transport. Ferin, the Chaplain Daksha Ram, Loganson (the lone surviving Space Wolf Scout), and Pack Fafnir’s Rhino all fired on Eylservs’ squad, but only the Dreadnought managed any real hits, killing three Dark Eldar. 

Seeing the Talos bearing down on them, Grey Hunter Pack Fafnir stood their ground, rapid-firing their weapons. Their prayers were answered when the squad’s plasma gun brought down the monster, and a great cheer erupted. With the Archon down and the last Talos destroyed, the Dark Eldar could not hope to win.

Above: Without Archon Lynatharr and the Talos, the Scorpion attack falters badly 

“Oh, my,” Lynatharr muttered. “Jheste,” he called. “Can you hear me? Jheste, are you there?”

“I hear you, my lord,” replied the silver-masked Haemonculus, “but I cannot see you. What has happened?”

“I’ve taken a bit of a spill, here. Feydrah was a poor driver, so I dismissed him from my service,” Lynatharr said. “I need you and your men to get up here right away. We have some prisoners I’d like you to talk to.” A lie, but any Archon worthy of the title spent most of his time lying, anyway. “Hurry, though: the prisoners are in bad shape and only you have sufficient skill to keep them alive until they’re not needed.”

“Your Greatness, you are truly wise to trust in me, and I appreciate your faith in my abilities,” Dr. Jheste answered. “My men and I will obey at once.”

Fool, Lynatharr thought.

Idiot, Jheste thought, as he snapped off his communicator. Does he really think me so gullible? He glanced across the field, where flames rose from the once-proud city and over them could be heard the screams of the dying. Turning to the Warriors under his command, he said, “Our orders stand: we are to wait here until Archon Lynatharr has need of us.” Under his mask, Jheste grinned. 

Jheste adjusted his viewer and observed what was going on. On the right end of the field, only two Dark Eldar units were still in the fight: Eylservs’ Raider squad and Eklavdrah’s. The latter had not engaged the enemy; the former were battling and defeating Fighting Tiger Squad Marga in hand-to-hand combat. Loganson, the lone surviving Space Wolf Scout, rushed to Squad Marga’s aid and managed to kill one Dark Eldar before being driven back. Still, there would be no escape for Eylservs and his squad: the Marines would move in and overwhelm them. 

“Get out of there, Eklavdrah,” Jheste whispered, and as if she heard him, she and her squad wisely retreated to the safety of their Raider. The craft rocketed away from the Marines, joined by Eylservs’ weaponless Raider transport. Eylservs and his crew managed to kill another member of Squad Marga and continued their doomed fight.

Turn 5
Fighting Tiger Kshatriya Jirbu Ghosh screamed and held her right arm tight against her. Her plasma pistol had misfired and exploded, melting the black power armor on her arm. She lay on the cold stone cavern floor, curled into a fetal position, as the battle swirled around her. No, no, no, no, she begged her gods. Please do not let me die like this. Not as a victim to a stupid accident.

Suddenly, someone grabbed her and hoisted her to her feet. “Your arm is cooked pretty bad, kid,” said Loganson, “but I think the docs can save it. Let’s get you out of here.” The Space Wolf Scout led her away from the battle, pausing every now and then to fire off a bolt pistol shot at any Ozone Scorpion that strayed too near. Soon they were safe, and Loganson left her with a Tiger of Savitri, an Apothecary by another name.

Loganson propped himself against the side of an ancient tower and wiped his brow. Lord, it’s hot in here. The way those fires are burning, this fight won’t last too much longer, he thought. The air will run out and then the svartalfir will rabbit the way they always do.

Little hope of victory...or escape
Above: The Dark Eldar have no hope of victory and little hope of escape

As he watched, the noose tightened around the Dark Eldars’ neck. Ferin’s heavy bolters killed more of Vhlondryll’s squad. Marga’s Razorback hit Eklavdrah’s Raider with its lascannons, destroying it and killing most of its passengers. Squad Kumar’s Razorback attempted the same with the other surviving Raider, but did only minimal damage, and the Exterminator missed with its autocannons as it, too, moved up. 

The mop-up begins
Above: The Marines mop up the last of the Scorpions

Meanwhile, Daksha Ram led the remnants of Squads Marga and Kumar and Packs Roskva and Fafnir against Eylservs’ squad. Daksha Ram singled out the frenzied Sybarite and crushed his torso with a mighty blow from his crozius arcanum. The others finished off the rest of the Dark Eldar and began to cheer their victory.

“Do not celebrate yet,” Daksha Ram cautioned them. “There is still much evil that the Ozone Scorpions may do.”

Across the field, Vhlondryll’s squad edged closer toward Pack Roskva’s Rhino and fired at it, the blaster of their squad hitting the tank but not damaging it. Upon seeing this, the Warriors under Jheste’s command began to retreat. 

“Lord Ferin,” called Daksha Ram, “we must make sure that none of the enemy escape.”

“Agreed,” Ferin replied. “None shall escape.”

Turn 6
Where is Jheste? Lynatharr wondered. The Marines were relentless advancing, and in moments they might find his hiding place. This will not do, he thought. This will not do.

While Lynatharr tried in vain to hail Jheste, Ferin fired on Vhlondryll’s squad, blowing a hole through Vhlondryll’s recently healed leg and killing the rest of her unit. Searchlights found the last, crippled Raider and the “Linnorm” gunned it down. Eklavdrah’s squad was also detected, and Squad Kumar’s Razorback killed one of them with its lascannons. 

It doesn’t matter, Lynatharr thought, as all of the surviving Dark Eldar fled the field. None of it matters, not really. With the last bit of his strength, he clutched the blue figurine he had found deep beneath the ancient city. I have what I came for.

With that, Archon Syryx Lynatharr vanished like smoke. 

Table Quarters held, Space Wolves: 2
Table Quarters held, Ozone Scorpions: 0
Table Quarters contested: 2

Winner: Space Wolves

Post-Game Analysis by Kenton Kilgore
Kenton KilgoreHaving won the last battle, I claimed “Spoil of War” F, which allowed me to pick the terrain. I chose another cityfight, in the heart of Tharalon, which would be the perfect setting for final battle. Originally, the mission was to be Dawn Assault, but as Tharalon is underground, that didn’t make much sense. So when Pat and I started playing, we did Dawn Assault in reverse: the first turn would have normal lighting (from flares fired off by the Space Wolves) and the other turns would run under the Night Fighting rules. 

Each army in the final battle would have 2000 points, so I kept the core of my army and made a few adjustments. Out were the scaling nets from my Raider transports (which had been nothing but trouble) and the webway portal—I didn’t think I would need it for this battle. In were the Archon (of course), another Reaver, two additional Taloses, and a big squad of Warriors, whose sole job was to grab and hold a table quarter. Though I didn’t really need Dr. Jheste, I kept him in for the sake of the story. 

As with the last game, I plotted my strategy using the Battle Plan Sheet. In our games, Pat usually sets up the terrain, and he did another great job with the odds and ends of things I have in my garage (I really must devote myself to making some scenery). Even though it doesn’t necessarily look much like an alien city in the photographs, it certainly felt like one while we were playing. 

So what happened? Pat put together a really good, interesting list and just plain outplayed me. He and I have often teamed our Marines together against opponents, usually coasting to easy victories: the combination of Space Wolf assault capability and Fighting Tiger firepower is nigh-unbeatable. But more than that, Pat altered his strategy, relying on his heavy weapons to methodically take down my heavy-hitting units: the Warp Beasts, the Taloses, the Wyches, the Archon. He had me struggling from Turn 1. 

My Dark Eldar looked like they might overwhelm his guys on Turns 2 and 3, but some miserable shooting on my part and inherent Space Marine resilience kept him in the game. I couldn’t knock out his tanks, and once my Archon and the last Talos were down, the fight was over but the shouting. All those searchlights certainly paid off for him—I tried to grab table quarters in Turns 5 and 6 to force a tie, but he lit up my Raiders with his Rhinos and used his big guns to shoot them down, claiming the “W” for the good guys. 

Despite the fact that we had used Cityfight rules several times in this campaign, we botched a few things in this battle. The most egregious error was that we permitted squads to perform Sweeping Advances—doh! Towards the end of the game, I got visibly frustrated, but that was only because my well-laid plans fell apart, not because of anything Pat said or did. I thought I had brought my “A” game, but Pat brought his “A+” game, and he certainly deserved to win. 

Post-Game Analysis by Patrick Eibel
Looking over the notes for the last battle, it occurs to me that I unwittingly cheated. By that I mean that I created an unfair advantage for myself, although I did not set out to do so. When we decided to rewrite the army lists for the last battle, I thought it would be neat from a story perspective to have Fighting Tiger units support the Space Wolves. Kenton agreed with the concept and so I set about creating an allied force. The advantages of a Space Wolf/Fighting Tiger force have only become fully clear in retrospect.

Patrick Eibel

First, a 2000 point Space Wolf force is required to take three HQ units. For the sake of the story, I wanted to include Daksha Ram and Jirbu Ghosh, two of the central Fighting Tiger characters. While these characters are cheaper than their Space Wolf equivalents, this was not a huge advantage, as I would have otherwise taken two 90-point Battle Leaders. 

The real advantage was gained from taking Fighting Tiger Tactical Squads. By taking two small squads with missile launchers and their Razorbacks, I was able to increase my number of heavy weapons without using a Heavy Support slot. This fit my strategy, which was to thin out the Dark Eldar with shooting and then assault what was left with Space Wolves. That is also why I brought the Leman Russ Exterminator (a new addition to my Space Wolf army): when stationary, it can unleash thirteen shots in a round! Booyah!

My plan worked for the most part, but almost failed because Kenton quickly realized its weakness– assault the Fighting Tigers. Only the stalwart heroics of Daksha Ram kept my left flank from totally collapsing. The one extra round he kept Syryx Lynatharr tied up in close combat allowed me to get my Grey Hunters into position to engage his assault. Once the combined forces of Grey Hunters and Tigers hit his lines, the Dark Eldar were pretty much defeated. 

As the final game in a campaign, this certainly had everything you could want: characters performing heroically (or not, as the case may be), tense close combats that could sway the entire battle, and constant changes in momentum as one side or the other takes the upper hand. 
Next page: Final Thoughts on the Campaign
Previous page: Battle #5
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Tooth and Claw
Preview <> Introduction <> Army Lists
Battle #1 <> Battle #2 <> Battle #3 <> Battle #4 <> Battle #5 <> Battle #6 <> Final Thoughts

Related Pages
The Gray Tiger: Ozone Scorpions infiltrate Veda
Ferin Ironhammer (Space Wolves)
Kabal of the Ozone Scorpions (Dark Eldar)

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