Only War: First mission introduction session
I was recently, as some of you may have seen, playing a game of Deathwatch. Though after playing with that system briefly I realised I wasn't the in the mood for Space Marines, what I really want to play as was a guardsmen. So I started reading up a bit on only war, which is the new 40k rule book from fantasy fight games, and after getting the basics of what they've changed I decided to just jump in.

I'm including my short write up, detailing my regiment. I also have the squad sheet with all other nine members of my squad, each with a demeanour so hopefully I can feel like I am part of a proper squad full of personality.

The 54th Klaxrah Airborne
‘Our body to the flame! Our life to the Emperor!’
Klaxrah VI

Klaxrah is a gas planet fortress world. Though it has a solid core which is inhabited by imperial colonies, the atmosphere is thick and dense with valuable gases that can often ignite in great fire storms. Huge mining operations took place on this planet, before it was reinforced heavily to defend the valuable recourses. Now the mining operations continue but are plagued by constant attacks from the Tau. In an unlikely and uncommon situation, the planet is constantly under siege from a near by planet controlled by the Tau empire. The imperial guard that defend this planet spend most of their time on huge ships floating through the gas clouds, never seeing the ground. Fighting takes place upon the hulls of great ships and through their dark corridors and in the skies between nimble fighters. The men that defend this planet are highly trained as drop troops and fighting on hazardous terrain such as the sides of these ships, hanging by lines attempting to destroy drones and other Tau warriors.

The regiment has seen more prosperous days though they are not at their worst, being recently inducted into the imperial guard and given all new gear and purpose. Their numbers maybe rather small compared to other regiments though they are well supplied and highly trained. The 54th Klaxrah Airborne are a force to be reckoned with.

Mission Log

Tilvius Hansteen:
The 54th Klaxrah Airborne
Journel date 3 715-825.M41
I was sitting with my squad in dead silence when the order was given. Our captain slowly made his way down the middle of the freighter, between each row of my squad mates and instructed us we were being assigned to a new mission. We were waiting with baited breath ready to leave our home world for the first time before we were told this.
During recent months we had seen plenty of fighting, being recently inducted from our planetary militia into the imperial guard to protect our planet against full scale invasion. The fighting had been fierce but quick. The war was short and we were about to head off to combat new threats we had never even heard of. And yet, before our ship even powered up to take us to the imperial cruisers, our new orders were given.

Our platoon was being fielded in a particularly strange part of our home planet of Klaxrah VI. The gases in that area were at particularly low temperatures which caused the entire zone to be a cold, ice ridden cloud of fog.
There was an alarm raised there which we were to answer, a small scale attack on one of the larger mining operations was taking place. The Tau had come, seemingly out of no where. The local militia thought they had mopped up everything in that area, though more then likely this was a new threat. The Tau always would strike with utter precision, until they came to a grinding halt attempting to fight on our planet. It is a hard world, unforgiving as are the men who fight for it. With a small rock core at its center, the planet is comprised of a hugely thick atmosphere made of precious gases which are harvested for the imperium.

The call just came through, we are landing in five minutes. They have said we wont be in the midst of the fighting yet, we are being set down on a large platform to aid in the defence of it before we are sent to our next task.
Tilvius Hansteen signing off....

Mission start

When we arrive at the platform, is the rest of the platoon there?


As we crowd out of our small freighter, we are met by the sight of another ten small craft unloading the same cargo. There stands one hundred of our men, all to attention, awaiting instructions from our commanders. Does our captain speak to us?

No, and...

The entire squad stands dead silent, the mood is grim. Though we were wary of leaving our planet for the first time, we were excited indeed, and now we have to fight in this frozen haze for lord knows how long. What do our commanders order of our squad?

Return / Evil.

The order is given that our squad among a few others are to be simply positioned in the bunkers to return fire at the enemy when they strike. Our captain leads us in the direction given. I mutter to the man next to me, Laelianus Bierkortte. "Firing squad? We're being fielded as a firing squad? We're the 54th! The locals should be in those bunkers." How does Laelianus respond?

Inspect / Pain.

"Well I don't particularly want to get shot up just before we leave and be another one to fall to the core" He says with a slightly stern tone. I laugh softly under my breath "Thats true indeed. We all want to see the stars. And I don't want to see any more of our men fall this war" I can still imagine the looks of the men I fought beside as they fell through our planets clouds, all the way down to the core. Is it far to the bunker?

No, and...

We reach the bunker in a few minutes. This platform is relatively large but most in layers heading downwards. Each level isn't very wide. Is there fighting already happening?


We crowd into the bunker and ready our weapons, not exactly sure when the tau are going to attack. Does our captain say anything to the squad?


Decrease / Adversities.

Sergeant Jae Adelizzi addresses the squad "Men, I know you aren't happy about sitting in a bunker but those are our orders and at least we should be safe in here. I'm not going to see any of you fall today!" A resounding "SIR" is given off by the squad. Does the squad have any heavy weapons at this point?


Cheap homing missile launcher.

Trubert Sollander is carrying a personal missile launcher on his shoulders. It may prove extremely useful. Is there more platform in front of the bunker?

Yes, but...

A small landing pad is situated infront of the bunker. I say loudly "How are the bastards planning to land enough on that to take this thing?" What is the response?

Passion / A plot.

Victrus Ibram says sternly "They'll have a plan. Don't get cocky, they'll fight hard" I nod, though slightly smirking as I turn my head away from him. I look down onto the landing pad, they'll attack soon i'm sure.

I like this story's 'Larger than the PC´ aesthetic. It's very gritty, and I look forward to the second session.
It is unbecoming for young men to utter maxims.
Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)
Here is the rest of the mission so far. I'm not playing as much as I would like but hopefully i'll pick up shortly.

How do the tau approach attacking us?

Betray / Goals.

New orders are received over the vox caster slung on Ulman Schuler;s back, "The Tau are attacking from the main deployment zone! Our initial reports were wrong" Comes the voice of a guardsmen in panic. Do the Tau still attack this landing pad at all?


What does Jae order?

Inquire / Bureaucracy.

"Get the commander on the vox! We need to know what he wants of us" Barks the Sergeant. Does anyone object?


Can Ulman contact the commander?

Yes, and...

A clear signal comes through, with the commander detailing our orders. What are the new orders?

Decrease / Outside.

"All guardsmen to move towards the center of the platform. The outer defences are of litte importance" comes the orders. The squad hurries out of the bunker and moves back towards the deployment zone. Do we meet hostility before we reach the landing zone?


Where do we meet the enemy?

Secret starport.

As we run towards the deployment zone, we spot the enemy moving from a smaller landing zone that we were unaware of. "There! A flanking manoeuvre!" I shout. Does Jae order us to attack?


Is there any cover the squad can use?

Yes, but...

There is limited cover, only comprised of thin low walls. "Trubert, I'll assit you! Heavy weapon move to cover!" I call. Does Trubert move up with me?


We both reach the low wall and I crouch next to him. Is his weapon already loaded?


I look for targets to call out, Awareness test to assess the best target.

19 = 19[d100]

What do I see that can aid our attack?

Carelessness / Environment.

"There" I shout pointing at a support beam that is obviously damaged. "Aim at the supports!" Does Trubert hit the beam?

No, but...

It misses the beam but hits near by, shaking the platform the tau are standing on. Battle Actions:

NPC Action.



My squad shouts out over the roar of the explosion "Our body to the flame! Our life to the emperor!' as the tau are shaken by the attack.

Critical Injury: Requires immediate attention; clearly life-threatening if not immediately deadly.

Several tau fall under concentrated las gun fire as my fellow soldiers push hard after having their morale boosted.

I quickly reload the missile launcher as Trubert takes aim again. Does Trubert hit the tau?


The shot flies off past the Tau. Battle Actions:

NPC Action.



Numerous shots from the guardsmen wound the Tau but don't kill.

Minor Injury: Largely superficial; painful and distracting, but not life threatening.

Several Fire Warriors duck their heads down as they clutch at wounds or as their heads spin from the incoming fire.

Negligible: Nick/Scratch/Bruise.

A couple of shots skip of Guardsmen flak armour as poor shots are fired from the Tau. I know we must count our selves lucky however, if not for that missile shaking the Tau their superior weapons would be tearing us apart! I raise my body above the cover and fire off a semi-auto burst at the squad,

74 = 74[d100]

my shots fly wide and I duck back down. Battle Actions:

PC negative.


The spiritual.

Ulman throws his body around cover to take a better shot at the Tau, prayers can be heard under his breath. Ulman being the most religious of us all often works himself up when battle goes well for us, distracted by thoughts of the light shining on him as he destroys our enemies. As he shouts 'For the Emperor!', a pulse round finds its mark!

Minor Injury: Largely superficial; painful and distracting, but not life threatening.

A surface wound appears on his shoulder and he shouts in pain! There is blood oozing down his arm though he manages to pull himself back into cover. "Death to the enemy!" I shout reloading Tuberts missile launcher, he fires at the Tau again.


This time it hits and an explosion goes off in the middle of the Tau!

Critical Injury: Requires immediate attention; clearly life-threatening if not immediately deadly.

Most of the enemy falls before the blast with only three remaining but all of them wounded. Do the wounded fight on?

Yes, and...

The tau send a final hail of fire at us, hitting several members of the squad.

Severe Injury: Incapacitating and may become Critical if untreated.

A second hit finds Ulman, this time hitting his leg while another shot finds Jae in the stomach, bringing him to the ground.

Severe Injury: Incapacitating and may become Critical if untreated.

The remaining Tau are shot down though even as they score these hits. My fellow guardsmen push hard and finally they all fall.

I haven't played Warhammer 40k, but this made me want to play it. Great tension build-up and combat, and the gas planet setting was vivid and very cool :]

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