With a whopping ten hours to spare, here are my terrain piece entries for the month of February. I had these put together for a while, I just hadn't had a chance to get to painting them until the very last minute. Enjoy...
Master Tracto's armored gauntlet smashed into the console, sparks flew as wisps of smoke crept through the newly formed cracks. It was the only outward sign of frustration he would allow himself. His head was low and his eyes closed as if in prayer. Those about him on the bridge stood solemnly at his side, the losses that day had been heavy. A Thunderhawk Gunship was on its way back to the Dark Angels command barge in orbit. The remains of Tracto's handpicked interdiction force aboard, some alive, as well the manyvdead of those bodies that could be retrieved.
The motionless body of Librarian By-Tor also lay in a stasis chamber, his armor torn asunder, and a pulsing mass of thickly scaled tentacles seemed to have erupted from the hole in his chest. His future was uncertain. He had been laid low before the marines ever began their combat action. A Hive Tyrant's Venom Cannon arced over a screening squad of tactical marines and shredded the Librarian's ancient power armor as if it were a Guardman's flak vest, flinging him to the ground before he ever sighted in the enemy.
Tracto watched the grainy, monochrome image of Scout Captain Winter on the holosphere. Winter's snipers fired round after round into a swarming mass of advancing Genestealers, but to no avail. It was sickening to watch as the clawed horrors bounded up the building's side and engaged the scouts in bloody melee. The last image was of a lone Winter, fighting impossible odds, combat knife in one hand, a Genestealer's throat in the other, being dragged down under the weight of half a dozen chitinous murderers.
Across the field of battle, another group of scouts charged from wooded cover, shotguns blasting, into a swarm of Termagants...only to fall moments later. A jump-pack equipped assault squad engaged the swarm's Hive Tyrant to avenge the fall of By-Tor, but to no avail. This wasn't a simple loss, it was slaughter. A lone tactical squad emerged somewhat victorious, their rapid fire boltguns destroying a swarm of Termagants as well as a swarm of what looked like nothing more than, well, swarms. The remainder of these tactical also expertly engaged the Hive Tyrant, tying it up for the rest of the battle.
The Dark Angels don't fling themselves carelessly into battle, every military action is carefully planned. Although the interdiction force sent out to engage the Tyranids was outnumbered, it was determined that the strength of the Dark Angels was evenly matched to the foes arrayed against them. Oddly enough, the battle did not play out as evenly matched as planned. The Tyranid swarms appeared to teem with even greater numbers than originally thought.
The saving grace of the battle was Assault Squad Icarus, who had been waiting in reserves. They were able to deep strike behind enemy lines and lay waste to the flanks and rear of many Tyranid elements. Flamethrower, bolt pistol, and chainsword were all used to extract vengeance in the name of the Emperor. Icarus' veteran sergeant Obduro saw his men eventually get cut down, but he carried on. Singlehandedly he cut down the Biovore monstrosities that had been lobbing spore mines the entire engagement. He also slew the remaining Genestealers. He carved out a victory on the field of battle using sheer willpower.
Trooper Joynes thirsted. He had marched, he had fought, he had worried, he had hungered, he had feared, he had prayed, he had run. Now, his thirst was all encompassing. The hard rock he sprawled across no longer dug into his side, and he had long ago shed the heavy pack which had dug into his back and slowed him down. His lasgun had helped him hobble through the orange soil, but it had rattled down the slope and out of site when he had slipped. His empty canteen he had cursed and hurled after it.
The cool air was no comfort as it rasped down Joynes parched throat. Water was what he needed. Water! The coughing fit seized him again and he clinched his body in agony, sending orange foam spattering across the rock. Once over, once the memory of the agonizing pain had left him, his dull eyes lighted on the orange spittle, and he tried to will his unresponsive muscles into clawing him over to it, to lick at the poisonous moisture, however slight.
His mind was foggy, but Joynes knew the end was near. There was no time, no time, no time. He could hear the other soldiers in his company hacking and crying out for water and dying, as though they were there with him now and not dead back at the camp then. Joynes had not gotten away in time. There was no time left. His drooping lids did not shield his eyes from the cowled figured of the Reaper of Death who rose blackly before him. Maybe a hallucination. Maybe not. He knew his time had come.
Scout Captain Winter had been dirtside on Trucidos since the beginning. He and his hand-picked sniper team had many engagements, but they were fleeting, as the Space Marines constantly stayed on the move. By the time the Dark Angels chapter had fought in two major battles, Winter and his scouts had covered, surveyed, and documented enemy movement / positions in excess of hundreds of miles. It was his team that originally determined the Imperial Guard was indeed Cadian, and not traitor as originally suspected. The past few weeks, Winter has been tracking a strain of Tyranids operating in the area. Patiently stalking the Tyranids, Winter found their lair, marked by towering Mycetic towers. Coordinates were called in to Captain Othniel, who set about immediately organizing a small kill-team. The Dark Angels will move in swift, and lay waste to anything of an unnatural shade that moves.
Having been the winner of month two's game, I was able to gain the campaign perk of being able to choose the scenario in month three. I knew I'd be fighting either Tyranids or Necrons; we only play each opponent twice, and bad luck of the draw meant I fought Ray's Imperial Guard twice in a row. This was a good thing, since we fluffed it out that the 'good guys' probably wouldn't be duking it out anyway. We blamed the "fog of war" for both engagements.
The only other caveat to my army selection is that I don't choose for "maximum" competition, far from it actually. I like to field themed forces, or just neat models that I like the look of. Also, if I had just finished painting a unit or squad, chancing are that they will see tabletop action sooner than later; I'm eager to put them out and see what they can do. This is certainly the case for this month, but with only 750 points for the army, there's not a bunch of wiggle room.