The Dig Episode V – the Final Chapter

The relics on the planet are dwindling, and only a scant few remain!  The top four warbands will be making their way to the center of the jungle for an epic showdown, but first we have one final chapter remaining to see if anybody can catch up.

Episode V – the players will run a RANDOM scenario out of the book.  Roll a D6 and find the mission that corresponds with the number rolled.  Attackers will always be the player with the greater relic, and defenders will be the player with the fewest relics.  If tied, roll off.

Lord Syphalia vs the First Arkhan Recon – putting the money where the mouth is in the name of Grandfather Nurgle

Razak’s Roughnecks take on the 2nd Company of the Blood Angels’ scout squad

Mr. Salty’s Eldar take on the Space Wolves

The Rusted Claw try to finish off Fireteam Aristide

Shadow War Campaign – The Dig Episode IV – Ambush!

Moving into the halfway point of the campaign, we have an ambush!

Players with the lowest score are the attacker.  In the case of a draw in relic count, the players will roll off to determine who is attacker and who is defender.

Chris N (Plague) vs Cody (2nd Company)
Kevin (Alpha Team) vs Tyler (1st Arkhan)
Daniel (Rusted Claw) vs Brad (Twilights Wrath)
Jon (Fireteam Aristidae) vs Bradley (Thunderfang’s Stalkers)

We are coming close in figuring out what happened on this world…

The Dig Episode 3 – Into Enemy Territory

After a pair of engagements, the kill teams on world realize that they are not alone and that rival factions exist trying to recover relics as well.

After some tracking, base camps have been located and the factions that have proven to have secured the most so far are in the most danger as their rivals move in on their base camps.

Episode 3 utilizes The Raid scenario found within the Shadow War Armageddon book.  When playing out the game, the player with the most relics at game’s beginning is the defender and the player with the least relics is the attacker.  In the case of a tie in relic count, players will roll-off to determine attacker or defender.

Syphalia’s Plague Marines vs Fireteam Aristide
Mr Salty’s Twilights Wrath vs Fireteam Alpha
1st Arkhan vs Thunderfang’s Stalkers
The Rusted Claw vs 2nd Company Angels of Baal

Additionally – the 2nd Company and Thunderfang’s Stalkers missed Episode 1, and may play that mission against each other to catch up.

Mr Salty encounters Lord Syphalia in the Jungles

The heat of the sun pounded down and insects buzzed about the rotten helmets of Lord Syphalia’s crew.  Sergeant Bluto, the imperial guardsmen captured recently, shuffled mindlessly along Consumption ahead of the four plague marines.  His eyes had milked over and a thin streamer of blood flecked drool pooled from his mouth as he held the boltgun limply in his hands.

Blotches and bruises had appeared over the man’s body, and a stink had befallen him as his teeth began falling from his mouth.  The embrace of Papa Nurgle had begun.

Black Ghonorea chuckled, spitting a gob of blackened pus from his mouth which sat exposed from its corroded helm.

“The new recruit seems to be getting on just fine Syphalia.  He seems to have the grit that we need!”  Ghonorea roared with laughter as he chucked a rock at the shambling guardsman.  The rock bounced off the man’s skull, yet he did nothing and responded not a bit.

The four plague marines laughed harder.

“There be a lake according to my sensors ahead, and it appears to have signatures consistent with those ancient blocks that we found naught but a few days ago.”  Syphalia said as he walked, checking a rusted hand scanner which showed location points and crude numbers indicating height and other environmental readouts.

“Lakes be good for pissin in.”  The gunner Varitas said, gyrating his hips.  As he did so, flecks of orangish scum fell from his armor and sizzled on the ground, killing anything that it touched.

Laringatius pointed ahead, where sunlight glimmered off of pristine water.

“Its sickening isn’t it?  Up ahead.  Lets get these relics and get out.  I cant’ stand how clean it is here.”  The marine said, hefting his plasma gun up.

Unknown to the plague marines, Mr. Salty and his eldar were moving through the jungle toward the site as well.  The resulting firefight that ensued was short-lived, but epic.

Taking cover amidst the trees, the scenario had five total objectives.  Four of them were on the ground, two of which close to the plague marines, and two of which close to Mr. Salty’s eldar.  The remaining relic was high up in a tree.

This game would be won by either claiming three of the five relics and getting within 8″ of the table edge, or forcing the other side to bottle out.  To add to the mix, monsters in the jungle could emerge and take out fighters as well.

The battle opened up with one of those monsters coming out of the jungle and engaging Mr. Salty himself.  The exarch turned and fired at the creature, shredding it, but Salty could do nothing else that turn.  The remaining eldar would move forward in an attempt to capture the two closest objectives to them.

The disadvantage for Mr. Salty would be to overcome the fact that the plague marines had them out ranged with their bolters and red-dots which aided the entire plague marine squad and gave them a +1 to hit.

Lord Syphalia ran forward to the tree while a pox walker moved into the lake to grab one of the easier objectives.  On the other side of the table, Ghonorea and the guardsman Sgt Bluto moved to take the objective in the forest.

Veritas held his position in the rear with the plasma gun and prepared to go on overwatch.  The eldar were also sending a trooper to climb the tree as well.  It appeared to be a race to see who get to the top of the tree first!

Plague marine fire tore into the jungle, dropping one of Mr Salty’s men that was attempting to pick up one of the relics!

Syphalia climbs the tree, determined to win the day for Papa Nurgle while his men trade fire with the eldar below.

Mr Salty attempts to rally his men, who are falling to the plague marine fire.  A shriveled head comes soaring out of the treeline as Syphalia drops a blight grenade from above, knocking the missile platform gunner and anther eldar warrior at the base of the tree with the gross contents of the explosion.

The plague marines are sweeping to the other side of the battlefield, attempting to get into line of sight to shoot at the eldar.  The eldar warrior is almost to the top of the tree to claim the relic!

Off the side, the pox walker is attacked by a monster, holding him up for a turn before he can shamble into effective range and push the eldar back off the table.

Mr. Salty runs forward and picks up the relic that his downed warrior was attempting to hold.  Looking up at Syphalia, the eldar commander unleashed hell with his weapons.  Shurikens embedded themselves in Syphalia’s diseased flesh, doing no real damage by themselves, but causing the plague marine to lose his grip from the tree and fall to the ground.

The high impact hit would stun the diseased disciple of Nurgle, and in the following turn succumb to his injuries and be removed from the table.

Would it be enough? The eldar had taken heavy casualties up to this point.

Mr. Salty was alone with one of his remaining warriors, when the plague marines rounded the tree completely.  Varitas capped the remaining eldar warrior with his plasma gun, and Mr. Salty voluntarily chose to bottle out, giving the battle to the plague marines.

Battle Aftermath

Fortunately for the followers of Nurgle, Syphalia recovered from his injuries.  The plague marine Ghonorea gained the ability to fire his bolter while running.  The warband recruited yet another pox walker, Consumption, to their band, arming it with a bolter and red dot.

Resupplying saw the procurement of enhanced visors to the helms of the warriors, letting them hit their enemies in cover even better.

With their numbers swelling, Syphalia’s group pulls into a tie for first place with five total relics claimed.  Their lack of power armor, however, was also growing.  The plague marines themselves had gotten lucky and no one had been lost yet, but Syphalia knew he would have to soon tap into a relic to recruit another plague marine to his cause.  Pox walkers would only go so far…


Contact report REF enemy contact 20170710 vic DR 2836 6719 sector 7.

Alpha Squad was diverted from routine patrol to sector 7 to investigate possible orbital lander.

Upon arriving in sector PVT Gossard the squad designated marksman assumed an over watch position as SGT Bruto led the squad forward using fire team bounding over watch technique as per SOP. PVT Gossard reported movement to the front and engaged an enemy element of unknown size. As the squad maneuvered to engage we came under heavy and accurate Bolt Gun and Grenade fire. After sustaining 50% casualties SGT Bruto ordered the squad to fall back to the last known rally point and call for extraction. SGT Bruto and PVT Gossard provided covering fire as the squad disengaged.

The squad fell back and set up a defensive perimeter and was extracted via Valkyrie. The squad suffered 2 WIA (return to duty) and 1 MIA (SGT Bruto). PVT Gossard confirms 3 enemy KIA from plasma and sniper fire. It is believed that the enemy force were from a Chaos Plague Marine element.

CPL Richard Lacroix now assumes duties as squad leader.

Note: SGT Bruto was last seen standing in the face of withering enemy fire shouting FOR THE EMPEROR as he lay down effective covering fire. Without a doubt his actions that day saved the lives of every man and woman in Alpha squad. SGT Bruto is being recommended for an award for valor.

(admin edit:  SGT Bruto is now serving the Grandfather faithfully as a pox walker)

The Dig Episode 2

A fierce wind ripped across the surface of the lake, generating a series of ripples that bounded out and crashed into the shore.

Standing over the lake was a tall stone monument that at one time could have been a structure built by the civilization that had long died.

Scouting revealed the site and now your squad moves through the thick jungle underbrush to be the first to get at it and any secrets that it may possess.

Not surprisingly, as you emerge from the gloom of the jungle, you can see opposing forces also moving in from the opposite side.  The sound of charging weapons fills your ears as your men take position before the firefight begins.

The battle for the ruined structure and its contents begins in earnest…

Mission:  Scavengers (p.91)
The Death Guard – Chris – (3 relics) vs Mr Salty’s Eldar – Brad – (2 relics)
Razak’s Roughnecks – Kevin – (1 relic) vs Fireteam Aristide – Jon – (1 relic)
1st Arkan – Tyler – (4 relics) vs 2nd Company – Cody – (0 relics)
The Rusted Claw – Daniel (1 relic) vs ??? – Bradley – (0 relics)

Reports from the Front – A Malady for Sergeant Brutto

The forests were alive with the sounds of screeching animals, and not long after the sound of bolter rounds exploding caused all of that fauna to abandon their homes with a quickness.

The plague marines under Syphallia chuckled as they moved through the underbrush.  New prey had been spotted in the form of imperial guardsmen, and Grandfather’s children did so like to play.

“I wonder if they have wings?  Do you think they have wings Syphallia?”  The cankerous and bloated marine Laringatius asked, his hand sliding lovingly over the glowing frame of the corroded and rusted out plasma gun that he carried.

“I’m thinking not, the men of the false emperor lack the despair required to appreciate such fine things like wings my friend.”  Syphallia noted, his voice grattling and choked from his rotted vox caster.

A loud gunshot rang out through the jungle, and Laringatius fell to the leafy ground.  Thick blood that more resembled motor oil as opposed to something that would be found in a living creature, fountained up from a ragged tear in the plague marine’s throat.

A wet laughing rasp issued from Laringatius as he pulled himself back up.

“Sniperssss.”  Black Ghonorea pointed his bolter in the general direction where the shot rang out and fired a burst of explosive rounds.

The plague marines all chortled as they advanced, taking cover in a stand of spruce trees.  Their pet zombie shambled forward, aiming an autogun mindlessly at the direction of the shots.  Its ratta-tat echoed through the jungle canopy.

Syphallia saw the sniper in the bough of a giant tree eighty yards from their position.  He motioned up toward the tree with his plasma pistol, and Black Ghonorea laid into the trunk with his bolter.  The guardsman in the tree held on as the tree shook violently from the explosions.

A bolt of blue-white plasma rocked into the treestand, knocking Syphallia back.  Smoke and ash rose from the ruined chestplate of the plague marine, but again the children of Nurgle are difficult to truly harm and the plague marine champion pushed himself back to his feet.

“These are needing some extra spice and flavoring.  Laringatius, be using the gifts of our Grandfather.”  Syphallia grated.  The plasma gunner grinned under his helmet, rotted teeth showing through missing flesh as he ambled forward to take cover in a knotted old tree.

His hands reached down and pulled a shrunken head from his belt.  The eyes, nostrils, mouth, and ear holes were all sealed with putrid wax.  Something foul sloshed within the bag of flesh, and the plague marine threw it in the general direction of the guardsmen.

The blight grenade exploded with pus and gore, covering three guardsmen that were huddled together and spreading its glorious contagion.

The leader of the reconnaissance group ran forward, shouting orders.  Laringatius greeted him with a plasma blast of his own.  The man fell to the turf like a sack of rotten fruit, and the remainder of the guardsmen fell back quickly in retreat.

 Chuckling to himself, Syphallia and his men walked to the fallen man.  Gasping for air, the sergeant pawed at the earth weekly trying to push himself away from the gross superhuman plague marines.  Sphallia planted a corroded boot on the man’s chest, pinning him to the ground.

“We has a very special present for you guardsman.  You are goings to be promoted into our special club.”   Syphallia motioned for the plague zombie to move forward.  Shambling forward, the creature stood over the fallen guardsman.  The man’s terrified visage was etched in anguish as the plague zombie knifed its guts open and the rotten soup boiled out of its chest cavity, slopping all over the fallen man.

“You are going to walk with us… forever.”

Black Ghonorea chuckled at that, and soon Sergent Brutto’s strugglings ceased as the living dead pox of the plague marines took hold.

Post Battle Rolls
Black Ghonorrea gained the ability to re-roll ammo rolls
Guardsman Corporal LeCroy was promoted to sergeant and is now squad leader after Brutto has been lost to the enemy.  He gains +1 Toughness.

The Plague Marines gain Zombie Brutto as a new recruit.  Zombie Brutto was given a boltgun with red-dot sights.

The Guardsmen recruited two new troopers and supplied them with las rifles.  Rico and Dizzy were given a red-dot sight as well.

All is consumed

One year ago our mining crews uncovered the relic. Not the usual ore that our people toil to harvest, it was an ancient piece of technology from a time before the weak humans had even begun scratching two twigs together for warmth. The relic was brought to Magus Godivus for examination and upon examination, he was struck with a prophecy of the coming of The Old Ones.

Godivus recited a well-known tale of an ancient power washing through their star system, wiping out the original civilization. It was then that he foretold the return of this all-consuming entity. The tarnish of every coin, the rust that devours every vehicle, the all-consuming emptiness of the void, all is devoured in the end and thus is the creed of the Rusted Claw. Godivus knew that if enough of these relics were to be amassed, surely The Old Ones would take notice and return to elevate his brethren to their rightful place among the stars.

The Rusted Claw then bode their time, knowing that the relic was something of value. They remained hidden, still infiltrated deep within the society of the weak humans who still worship a dead emperor. Their operatives intercepted transmissions from many groups, converging on Prime IV to collect more relics, those groups seeing the relics of as little importance as something to be traded, like a cheap commodity.

Primus Mundo had had enough. He pleaded with The Starchild, our all-knowing Patriarch, to become the aggressor. It was his intention to send out a vanguard, a squadron of elites to intercept these groups and collect as much relics as possible. The Starchild approved with a simple nod and Mundo then began assembling our squad.

The small force, led by myself, Ripley, were given passage aboard a cargo ship headed toward Prime IV, disguised as miners.  As we arrived on the planet it soon became apparent that it was vastly different than the mining tunnels and city streets of our homeworld. The massive trees and thick vegetation were completely alien to my team and we would have to adapt quickly.

No sooner than when we had arrived on this lush world we caught word of a troop of humans close to uncovering a cache of relics near us. I immediately assembled a team comprised of myself, 2nd Claw Vasquez, 3rd Claw Hicks, 3rd Claw Hudson, 3rd Claw Gorman and five privates to intercept the humans and retrieve the relics.

Though the terrain provided enough cover for the perfect ambush, my crew was not used to fighting in such dense vegetation. Vasquez ended up being separated from the rest of the group, pinned down and unable to return fire, but he was able to crawl to safety. In the midst of the crossfire, Hudson took a nasty head wound from one of the filthy humans’ plasma guns. After grabbing only one of the humans’ relics we were forced to retreat. I won’t let this setback hinder us, however. Next time we will hone our skills of stealth and get the better of our adversary…

Gunship Dropship

Scarlet lights pulsed throughout the vendetta gunship. Sirens began to sound, and a series of metallic clanks and pneumatic hisses served as an announcement for the impending decoupling and inevitable drop.  Darius Strab always thought that the lights fit the occasion, as shortly the aircraft would burn a bright red on its entry into atmosphere. In the meantime he was preparing his mind for the mission to come.

A few weeks ago Darius and his squad were on Arkan killing drug farmers, and heretical mutants within the dense forests native to the world. After one such mission, he and his squad were approached by their superior officer, and were told that they had been reassigned and were handed a letter. The letter was sealed with a sweet smelling wax reminiscent of the kind of candles that the ecclesiarchy burned within the churches to the eternal God Emperor. While the wax may have come from an ecclesiarchy candle, the letter itself was not. In the center of the seal was a great I and on its sides were paired two great wings of the mighty Aquilla. This letter was from the emperor’s holy inquisition. The contents were brief, but specific. He and his squad were to be given a vendetta gunship along with two pilots. They were then told to find a rogue trader passing through by the name of Vandus Aurellian, board his vessel and allow him to take them to their destination, Prime IV. There they were to collect a series of artifacts through any means necessary. Anyone in possession of these artifacts was to be considered heretical and traitorous. The letter was signed by one Inquisitor Lukas Vincencius.

Suddenly Darius felt a sense of weightlessness and an upheaval in his stomach tore him from his thoughts. Next to him, Forbin, one of the eccentric plasma specialists was whooping in excitement as if this was an entertaining ride aboard a grav-coaster. The vendetta had finally decoupled from its ferrying craft and was currently hurtling toward the verdant surface of Prime IV.  Before anyone had a chance to recover from the sudden drop, the craft began to shake so violently, that you could almost hear the chattering of the squad’s teeth as they vibrated. The belly of the craft was already cast a dark crimson red, but the entry into atmosphere burned so brightly, that it seemed as if they were in the middle of one of Mar’s renowned dust storms. Slowly the red light began to dim, and as it did so it changed hue first to purple, then to a brilliant sky blue. The gunship was no longer shaking, and the occupants let out an audible sigh as if to thank the emperor for their safe passage.

The windows of the squad’s vendetta revealed a world that looked much like their own, covered in wilderness and forest it looked like the largest emerald they had ever seen. As the Squad began to prepare their gear for landing Darius thought to himself how he would ever be able to find so many proverbial needles in this haystack. In any other circumstance, he probably would have aired his grievances with his commanding officer, but he was not one to challenge the inquisition, nor did the letter give him any means of contacting them anyway. All he knew was that he had to get the relics, and wait for extraction.

Again Darius’s thoughts were interrupted by a cacophony of sounds and an arrangement of lights. The pilot sounded over the com’s system that his onboard auspex had picked up a strange reading and that they were going in to investigate. Darius knew that this was it, and while his fears of finding the relics were alleviated, he now feared just how easily the relics were to find.


This, this is some badass bush, thought Veteran Sergeant Francis Brutto. With deployments to half a dozen worlds The P was some of the worst terrain he had seen. After fast roping from a hovering Valkyrie into the triple canopy jungle his squad had been on patrol for 3 days and all members were soaked from sweat and the constant downpours and their muscles ached from carrying heavy packs.

His company had deployed to this world, Red.GP10291-IV, or Prime IV or just simply the “P” as the troopers were now calling it, 3 standard weeks ago with the mission of locating and claiming for the Imperium ancient xenos ruins and artifacts believed to be found here. Working from a Forward Operating Base blasted from the jungle the troopers had conducted near continuous patrols. So far the patrols had turned up nothing.

After receiving a Vox transmission from the Tactical Operations Center located on the FOB, SGT Brutto was directed to move his squad to the location of a landing spot of a possible spacecraft. The TOC was unable to determine if the blip on their screen was a landing craft or more space debris impacting in the jungle. His squads mission was to confirm if it was more harmless space junk or someone or something else laying claim to the Emperors new world.