Kharn vs. Loken
In this Battle Report we tried to mirror one of the most crucial events at the beginning of the Horus Heresy on Isstvan III, the battle between Kharn and Garviel Loken. Of course the novel “Galaxy in Flames” by Ben Counter had a huge impact on us. Therefore you’ll get to read an excerpt from it now:
‘Kharn!’ said Loken as the warrior attacked. Kharn paused in his attack and, for the briefest moment, Loken saw the noble warrior he had spoken with in the Museum of Conquest, before something else swamped it again – something that twisted Kharn’s face with hatred. That second was enough for Loken, allowing him to dodge back behind a fan of broken stone jutting from the edge of crater. Bullets still carved through the air and somewhere beyond his sight, Torgaddon was fighting his own battle, but Loken could not worry about that now.
‘What happened, Kharn?’ cried Loken. ‘What did they turn you into?’ Kharn screamed an incoherent bellow of rage and leapt towards him with his axe held high. Loken braced his stance and brought his blade up to catch Kharn’s axe as it slashed towards him and the two warriors clashed in a desperate battle of strength ‘Kharn…’ said Loken through gritted teeth as the World Eater forced the chainaxe’s whirling teeth towards his face. ‘This is not the man I knew! What have you become?’
As their eyes met, Loken saw Kharn’s soul and despaired. He saw the warrior who had sworn oaths of brotherhood and pledged himself to the Crusade as he himself had done, the warrior who had seen the terrors and tragedies of the Crusade as well as its victories. And he saw the dark madness that had swamped that in bloodshed and betrayals yet to be enacted.
‘I am the Eightfold Path,’ snapped Kharn, his every words punctuated by a froth of blood. ‘No!’ shouted Loken, pushing the World Eater away. ‘It doesn’t have to be this way’ ‘It does,’ said Kharn. ‘There is no way off the Path. We must always go further,’ The humanity drained from Kharn’s face and Loken knew that the World Eater was truly gone and that only in death would this battle end.
As it was clear that the main protagonists would be Kharn and Loken, Flattervieh and me agreed on a low points match (750 points each side). We made sure that there were no other big shots around like more characters or Contemptor Dreadnoughts. This was supposed to be only a short blink of the whole battle on Isstvan III. This match was the first one to take place on Flattervieh’s new board.
Kharn the Bloody
Legion Centurion (Artificer Armour, Consul Chaplain)
Legion Tactical Squad (Chainswords or Combat Blades, 18x Legion Tactical Space Marines, Legion Vexilla, Legion Tactical Sergeant, Power Weapon)
Legion Tactical Squad (11x Legion Tactical Space Marines, Legion Tactical Sergeant)
Apothecarion Detachment (Legion Apothecary)
Legion Tactical Squad (18x Legion Tactical Space Marines, Legion Vexilla, Legion Tactical Sergeant)
Apothecarion Detachment (Legion Apothecary)
Legion Veteran Tactical Squad (10x Legion Veteran Space Marine, 2x Plasma Gun)
Legion Rhino Armoured Carrier (Dozer blade)
After a short look into “Book One – Betrayal” we chose the last featured mission “Extermination” as it was just fitting the bill best:
Between traitor and loyalist there was no quarter given or asked, and once committed to battle neither desired anything but the utter destruction of their enemy.
The dice decided to let us deploy along the “clash of line”:
Whew – this was the match both Flattervieh and me waited for quite some time. Thanks mate, it was a real blast. I am well aware of the fact that it might not look as appealing to a spectator as it actually did. After all it was just some Marines running into another bunch of Marines having a huge close combat till the end, right? While this is mostly true (even though getting the World Eaters in range wasn’t as easy for Flattervieh as it may seem) we really enjoyed the epic battle between the loyalists and the henchmen of the Warmaster, especially as this was so close to the background.
Of course it was the battle between Kharn and Loken that got us riled up the most. They cost almost the same (just 5 points difference) and I think this was determined to be an interesting fight. And boy, it really was. I was quite shocked as Kharn immediately took away all three wounds from Loken without him doing anything. Luckily I managed to get the dice roll of the “Born Survivor” rule straight. Then it was Lokens turn, but it really took him some time. The Iron Halos of both combatants did a good job. But as we know Kharn has his own rule “marked by dark fates” and he will certainly come back. The most funny thing about this was the fact that there was a Sons of Horus Rhino around. Could have taken Kharn right on his dozer blade, hu?
Well what’s next? First I unleashed Abaddon and now Loken. It’s the Warmaster’s turn next I guess. Haven’t found the courage to start painting him yet though. Right after Smaug he’s the most intimidating miniature I have lying around here. I guess we’ll all have to wait and see…