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Avdnm

Mission objectives during a Tyranid invasion.

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First of all, to my player who read this forum: read no further, or I will have to make everything even more brutal!

 

Now that we are in private, my fellow GMs, let's talk about Tyranid invasions.

 

I'm planning on my third mission that includes a Tyranid invasion, and I'm looking for ideas to make it not only a 'hold the line' mission. This thread might also serve as a collection of events that might happen during a tyranid invasion

 

The first mission("The green storm - suffer not the Xenos to live") was pretty much 'hold the line' on a factory world, with a little 'protect the shield generator' sidekick that also included a couple of fights and interaction in the streets. As this was one of my first GM experiences and lacked creativity, I don't wanna go that much into detail, but it ended with the KT killing the hive ship(kinda leaned to the free mission from FFG) to disturb the hive mind and give the imperials a tactical advantage.

 

In the second mission("A ride on the tyranid wave") I tried to diversify a bit more. It took place on one of three agri worlds, which are essential to the crusade and would give the tyranids a huge amount of biomass if lost. Basically if the first falls, the other two would just be a question of time, that's why a huge contingent of the Deathwatch was sent to stop the Tyranids. It started by dropping the Marines right into the front lines of the invasion, kicking tyranid asses till they reached a magnitude threshold. Besides fighting I used this situation for a lot of interaction with the imperial guard. Then I started triggering random events, which included:

- Evacuating a VIP commander(in this case a relative of some high aristocrats) from an overrun part of the frontline(which he refused to accept, because he's a ******* hero). Nice situation for a more personal interaction.

- Hunting a Lictor who spread terror behind the lines

- Purging a broodnest in a farm complex, including taking gene samples and killing a random major synapse creature hatching as the KT reaches the nest. A littlebit investigation on that part, as the nest was hidden.

- Saving artillery from a venator + hormagaunt attack

 

Now I'm looking for new ideas to start the third mission. The setting is a fortress world, that if lost would leave a lot of imperial worlds in a weak spot to the enemys of mankind. The KT will be deployed with several other KTs to support the defense of a fortress complex. Ideas I've had so far:

- Overloading the generator of a fortificated base that got overrun. Might be accessed via tunnels to circumvent the hordes(but not the symbionts/venators/whatever lurkes in the dark ;) ).

- Destroy a bridge to support a fallback of the imperial guard, maybe including gargolyes that try to pull the KT off the bridge

- I also thought of some kind of air combat, like destroying tyranid pillars, defended by harridans or something else, with a thunderhawk/stormraven. Problem here is speed - tyranids get no where close to imperial speed when it comes to air combat.

 

Besides that I've kind of ran out of creativity for further events, which is why I posted. A tyranid invasion is pretty much an all time combat, so I'd be extremly grateful for events that include interaction/investigation/etc besides fighting. But that doesn't mean that I won't be happy for other creative combat only ideas ;)

Edited by Avdnm

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[Contact Lost] - There have been a spate of murders inside the upper fortress levels, and an officer has disappeared. Initially dismissed as a man gone psychotic under the strain, the Deathwatch swiftly recognise the signs of one or more lictors loose inside the fortress. Not only are they lethal killers, but the memories of those they kill might fall into the Hive Mind's possession if allowed to escape. The team must use investigation to figure out how they got in, stealth and cunning to hunt them down and tech use, tactics and demolitions to plug the hole.

 

[Titan Killer] - Long-range auspex has detected a brood of massive tyranid bio-forms leading a swarm out of the jungle. Bio-Titans; scythed hierodules bred as living battering rams to run the gauntlet of defensive fire and breach Primus Gate. They are several days away - hopefully giving the Kill-team enough time to come up with a plan to engage them.

 

[battlesmith] - The last assault breached the outer curtain wall, and all that can reach it before the next wave hits is the Kill-Team. Tactics checks, tech-use, trade armourer and Charm/Command tests might help improvise a defensive barrier of soldiers, rubble and half-repaired vehicles long enough for a mobile reserve to arrive.

 

[Orbital Assault] - The fortress is under continual spore bombardment from orbiting hive ships. Its own anti-orbit batteries are good but not enough to fend off the number of bioships in orbit. A daring hit-and-run assault to cripple the cruiser co-ordinating this might buy them breathing room to recharge void shields, and to turn those batteries on the bio-forms on the surface.

 

[Revolution] - A gate has suddenly opened, and tyranids are pouring through. Even worse, they are ignoring the guardsmen on that section of walls, and those guardsmen in turn are firing on nearby bastions! Clearly, an undetected 'stealer cult has infested the regiment. Firstly the situation needs to be contained, but also it is critical to identify who was infected and how to ensure that no surviving cults are hidden within the fortress's defenders - or elsewhere in other imperial armies.

 

[supply Run] - An outlying fortress' stores are running low. The battle-brothers could head out there with supplies in their stormraven gunship, which is fast enough to be all but uninterceptable (barring the immediate airspace of the fortress), but the transport capacity of a stormraven is negligible. To make a meaningful difference to the beleaguered guardsmen, one or more Onero Heavy Transport Aircraft needs to make the run, laden with corpse-starch rations, lasgun packs and grenades by the tonnes. These bulky craft, however, are slow and vulnerable and need escorting by the fortress' precious few remaining fighters - and the best top cover available; the Astartes gunship.

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A few rough ideas off the top of my head, without too much elaboration:

 

[Fifth Column] A genestealer cult somewhere behind the Imperial lines sabotaging vital equipment. An investigation subplot, if you will.

 

[Vying for Glory] A different Space Marine force moves on the same objective. This either kicks off a rivalry when one team accuses the other of kill-stealing, or the rivalry already exists - e.g. the Kill-Team's last objective was also secretly contested by that second group without the knowledge of the PCs, and now they try to get back to them by beating the Deathwatch this time. The Storm Warden Scout Sergeant on p. 30 of the Achilus Assault is a good candidate here.

 

[bring Me the Head of St John the Baptist the Hive Tyrant] The team is seconded to a DW Apothecary (Master Apothecary Kregor Thann, p. 140 of tJR, comes to mind), Ordo Xenos agent, Magos Biologis or other xenobiologist, to develop toxins or other countermeasures against the 'nid strain - this is an oldie, but it works well for giving out subplots, especially the "stealth behind enemy lines" and/or the "test this new weapon which may or may not work" variety.

 

[Tiger Hunt] An influential Rogue Trader (possibly Diaz Lan from p. 27 of the GM's kit or some other member of his family) decides to hunt down a major Tyranid creature for trophy. As he is too important an ally for the DW to lose, a Kill-Team is assigned as a bodyguard.

 

That's it for now, but I'll keep thinking.

Edited by musungu

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@Magnus

Thanks a lot, I really like your ideas. Some of them seem to work perfekt to temporarly take the KT out of direct fighting actions into something more advanced, exactly what I was looking for :)

 

I think the Orbital Assault could act as a nice opening when the KT arrives at the scene, and the Titan Killer seems like a nice finishing to an adrenalin packed session! I might as well inform them about the bio titans right after landing, but throw other urgent events to disrupt their planing. Wanna use artillery/batteries to fend them off? Bam! They are under attack, defend your assets, or think of something else.

 

@Musungu

The rivalry with another Space Marine team will definitly get worked into the plot. Opens up for a lot of interaction, I like that.

 

 

...I guess even if I can't work all your ideas into the plot, I might as well use them for radio transmissions, to give the KT a nice atmosphere and a feeling of a bloody tyranid invasion.

Edited by Avdnm

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Indeed. Awesome as they are, a Deathwatch Team doesn't really fight in the 'main battle line' so it's good to pull them off it for special duties.

 

I love the idea of a Rogue Trader (presumably in a pith helmet with an archeotech lascannon and targeting monocle) trying to bag a Hive Tyrant's skull 'for the trophy cabinet'....

 

You could even work that in directly - the Kill-team is being shuttled to the war-zone by said Rogue Trader's ship. It's a well-armed frigate, and would really help in orbital defense or ground bombardment, but the Lord-Captain is loath to risk his Dynasty's most prized possession. Unless....you know....you might help him with a small favour.

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a Rogue Trader (presumably in a pith helmet with an archeotech lascannon and targeting monocle) trying to bag a Hive Tyrant's skull 'for the trophy cabinet'....

 

Oh boy, that mental image... :D Now I want to do it too :)

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There is also the old standby of trying to bring a zonethrope in alive for an inquister

could be scaled back a bit in that the watch fortress wants to restock some of the lesser beasts for training

 

Ripped this on out of a short story; the kill team receives a distress beacon from inside a local hive ship, the signal is astartes ( preferably a chapter one of the players belongs to) the are the only space marines who can respond before the hive ship moves away, however if they do the section of wall they are guarding will surly fall to the hoard. 

 

my favorite, the killteam's watch captain lost a relic blade while fighting a carnifex many years ago, recently reports have come in that the same carnifex has reappeared,  and the blade is still lodged in it's hide! the kill-team is to escort the captain so that he may re-claim his honor, this demands he best the beast single handily.  How far will he go? and what will happen if the team sees him losing the fight? 

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Bring 'im back alive! A brilliant or desperate member of the ordo xenos has a tantalizingly plausible idea: If a tyranid hive tyrant could be taken alive it could be forcibly used as a conduit to monitor the activities of the hive mind or perhaps even to influence or disrupt it. Multiple high level psykers have been assembled nd wired into an arcane psi device that should unite and amplify their psi powers to a degree equal to any tyranids. Now a living hive tyrant is needed. An ordo xenox kill team is assigned the task. Given the priority if the mission they have nearly unlimited requisition points and aid in the form.of stormtrooper squads, assassins, perhaps even a squad of terminators ffrom a chapter in the sector.

Edited by Professor Tanhauser

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 Free adventure from FFG, Final Sanction, isn't bad. If you just omit the beginning (exploding ship and such), you can give players objective of finding Inquisitor or Magos who disappeared in a small city far from the front line, and then it goes crazy.
I made a one big adventure, spawning Final Sanction, Oblivion's Edge (another free adventure) and Core Rulebook starting adventure, to make such invasion.

  Players start by dropping to Lordshold, play through Final Sanction (although you need to at least double the amount of enemies for more experienced Kill-Teams, if not quadruple, aside from Genestealers, they are horrible monstrosities anyway, if you play them smart). But instead of finding their target's body, they find only remains of a hastily made escape.
 Then they play the first part of Oblivion's Edge, the evacuation from falling city. Let them see unending tide eating through the city, the desperate defense and retreat and trying to protect important people in the meantime. I would at least quadruple the size of enemy forces there And when evacuation arrive, tell them that their target escaped city earlier, but his shuttle crashed, so the do not evacuate and instead drop near to broken shuttle, beginning the Core adventure.
And Core adventure is easier than the free starting adventure, so you should also up it a notch. A lot, probably, although it depends on how formidable are your players and their characters.

 

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You know, in some cases even deathwatch marines can't save much or do much asides from not letting their lives and talents be wasted. I wouldn't put it past some GMs to set up a situation where the layers are hit with more than "hign command" expected and rteally can only save themselves and reort on what happened. Sometimes that is the best you can do, and the players need to remember dying without purpose is no service to the emperor, Sometimes the best you can do is live to fight another day.

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