The Deadly Deserts of Ghaziben

No one knew how long it had been there, buried deep beneath the trackless deserts of Ghaziben. Ten thousand years? A hundred thousand? Longer? However, when a massive sandstorm finally revealed the long-forgotten pyramid, it didn’t take long before the local inhabitants notice something. It bore the mark of the Ancients.

The Ancients themselves were a mystery, wrapped in several other mysteries, and generously coated with mystery-sauce. It was known that they were responsible for the many ruined gothic cities, strangely medieval fortifications, forgotten scrap-yards, and most especially the sundry pyramidal objects found scattered throughout the Goatronium Expansions. Some said that they had harnessed the very power of Goatronium to make themselves god-like beings. Others asserted that their civilization had been destroyed in a vast accident when they tinkered one too many times with the volatile material. Some said they various resembled bipedal badgers. Some just made up outrageous things about them in order to sell large but scientifically-questionable coffee table books, or to appear on the various daytime videoshows. The point is, no one really knew. But such was the appeal of the legends that they were known and repeated throughout known space , in a thousand tongues, and even in places where the local inhabitants had no tongues at all. The stories gave rise to great books and famous plays. One popular fast-food restaurant chain even took an Ancient pyramid as its name and corporate logo.

Would this newly-uncovered pyramid reveal the secrets of the Ancients? Did it contain, perhaps, some long-forgotten energy source of unimaginable power? A massively destructive weapon of some sort? The secret of eternal life? A horde of badger-sized clothing?

Scores of adventurers descended on the nearby village, hoping to be the first to uncover the truth. The scoffed at the warnings of the local villagers. They trekked into the desert. Few were ever seen again.

The deserts of Ghaziben, you see, were particularly dangerous. Powerful sandstorms that blotted out the sun could descend at a moment’s notice. Venomous sandspiders stalked the expanse. Most terrifying of all, giant sandworms could swallow whole any being unfortunate enough to encounter one.

Yet when all these risks were calculated by the hybrid cybernetic consciousness of Necron, the utility function appeared positive: even if some warriors might be damaged beyond the limits of repair, the potential repository of information in the pyramid could well be worth the risk and anticipated losses. Accordingly, a Monolith was dispatched to secure the Ancient construction for closer inspection. The organic life forms inhabiting the nearby village would be little impediment, nor would the local fauna be allowed to interfere. They would simply be exterminated.

The Necron did not know, however, that another force was also headed to this same location: a large mob of Orks, fresh back from raiding several Imperial colonies. The Orks, ironically, were not lured by the possibility of Ancient riches, secrets, or technology. Rather, they had understood this particular pyramid to be one of those similarly named fast-food outlets, and were merely headed to Ghaziben for a snack.

Scenario Special Rules

1,750 points per side. Dice for game type as normal. However, Ghaziben is a notoriously hostile world, so each player must also roll a D6 at the start of each turn:

  1. Deceptively quiet. Nothing happens—any sandstorms end, sandspiders scuttle away, and the sandworm vanishes beneath the dunes.
  2. Mysterious tracks in the desert—what could they mean?
  3. Ominous clouds in the distance!
  4. Sandspider. Randomly select an area of rocky terrain, and place a venomous sandspider anywhere within it.
  5. Giant sandworm! Place the sandworm anywhere in the area of soft sand.
  6. Sandstorm! Use the night-fighting rules. If sandstorm is rolled when one is in effect, the storm ends.

Creatures

Next, any creatures should be moved 2D6 in a random direction. Sandworms will vanish instead if they encounter a patch of rocky terrain , the pyramid, or the green area. Sandspiders will vanish if they encounter a patch of soft sand , the pyramid, or green area.

If the creature ends up with 4” of a unit (or another creature), it assaults such target.

  • Sandspider: WS 3 BS 0 S3 T3 W2 I4 A2 SV 5+ poisoned weapon.
  • Sandworm WS4 B0 S8 T6 W4 A2 SV 3+ monstrous creature

There is only one giant sandworm—once killed, it cannot reappear.  There is no limit to the number of sandspiders.

Terrain

  • Palm grove: 4+ area cover, difficult terrain
  • River: difficult terrain
  • Buildings, pyramid: impassable
  • Rocky terrain:  5+ area cover, difficult terrain
  • Soft sand: dangerous terrain

Battle Report

Greenskin Big Mek Havaspanna Zyblot, having heard very bad things about Necron C’Tann, decided to deploy a very shooty army against the cybernetic enemy: a Shokk Attack Gun, loads of Slugga and Shoota Boyz, plus Deffguns, Lobbas, a Battlewagon, and squads of Kommandos and Stormboyz. The plan was simple: dakka da Necrons before they could do much damage. If the didn’t work, Quite-Old-But-Not-So-Old-as-Zogwort was along to turn the Necron god into a squig, if need be.

The game type was a pitched battle/seize ground. There were three objectives: the pyramid, the second near the Ork lines near the patch of soft sand, and the third near the Necron lines in the desert by the village.

The sneaky Necrons (and their sundry “counts as”) had clearly computed the risks of deploying in the open, however, and instead clustered behind cover near the village and behind their large (strangely icey) Monolith. They also didn’t bring a God with them, they stole the initiative, and a brief sandstorm blanketed the opening moments of the battle and prevented long-range shooting. By Mork and Gork’s smelly socks, what bad luck! (Above: Slugga Boyz, Shoota Boyz, and Deffguns deploy in the desert. One objective can be seen just in front of da Ork Rokkers)

The Necron Destroyers and their Destroyer Lords were slightly damaged by da Stormboyz, but managed to punch through them and kill Havaspanna Zyblot and his Grot bodyguard. The Battlewagon did not last long. The Kommandos enjoyed some success on the flank of the Necron force, but the beeping metal ones showed an annoying propensity to either resurrect or teleport out of danger. The Deffguns were uncharacteristaclly poor shots as the Necron Warriors advanced behind the cover of the fearsome and deadly monolith. Da Boyz moved forward, harassed by the occasional desert creature. (Above: Da Big Mek and Battlewagon search for a clear target as the Necrons use cover to full advantage.)

While the Slugga Boyz held on to one objective (the central pyramid), the Necrons overran the Lootas and Shoota Boyz, thereby securing two objectives. (Above: The Monolith and Warriors advance, with one objective secured to their rear. Below: The killing machines advance relentlessly. Beep!)


And thus did the desert planet Ghaziben succumb to the command of its new machine overlords…

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