Battle Report - Planetary Assault Battlefleet Helian vs Chaos


Nov 10, 2022
Lord of the House Dandolo overlooked the system he just entered. The Rogue Trader had provided enough proof that the planet had to be set free of the vile followers of Chaos. And after several years of using his flagship the Abbracio del Sol to have 'negotiations' with lesser house... only arriving at the planet was enough to sign the contracts, it was time to show how strong his House was. A swift victory would ensure the other house would not dare to oppose him. He smirked as he saw the blips of the Echoes, a Dominion cruiser of House Mocenigo, and the Longinius' Star of House Corfiote arrived next to him. He would show them... buf for now he had to coordinate the attack plan.

The fleet lists of Battlefleet Helian and Chaos
Battlefleet Helian
Lord of the House Enrico Dandolo

Leviathan Class Battleship Abbraccio del Sol
Dominion Class Battlecruiser Echoes
Dictator Class Cruiser Crescente Prime
Lunar Class Cruiser Longinius’ Star
Helian Assault frigates (firestorm) x3 Venere

Rogue Trader Cruiser The Rogue Trader (this name was set by organizer)
Recommissioned x3 Tigre
Transports Celica, Nagi, flying cloud, kyrenia, Walter I, Walter II

The chaos fleet
Warmaster Amon Din

Despoiler Class Battleship Dark Treachery
Acheron Class Heavy Cruiser Chaos Eternus
Devestation Class Cruiser Emprean
Murder Class Cruiser Rotblut
Slaughter Class Cruiser Count Larchavre

Idolator Class Frigates x3 Piercing Pain
Iconoclast Destroyers x3 Deathskill I

Minefield, System ships, airbase and land battery platform.

So let's go. Leadership rolls... Both the crescente prime and echoes rolled leadership 9 so my carriers got covered. Both also managed to roll same crew skill: elite pilots. Chaos had it worse with the Devestation going on a 6. And Despoiler getting 8 only because of +2 from the Warmaster.
The helian fleet setup with the Battleship, Dominion and lunar taking centre. Rogue trader and transport on one flank. Dictator and other transports on other side.

Chaos, as said, lacking experience but lucky I only got to setup the iconoclast otherwise it would be even worse!

But through this inexperienced effect I saw exploits of this scenario for the defender.



Helian fleet started the game (phew). I saw a nice line and what better time to test the Firedrake cannon and thus lined to the lunar. AAF on only one transport worked.


Blastmarkers be placed. But poor murder got fire from the leviathan Battleship and Dominion.
Crippled... Brace be failed.

To close. Bombers be deployed. And no torpedo wave. .. only the Rogue Trader had them. Ha.
So chaos, moved forward. But aside some incidental blastmarkers not much happened.


In ordnance phase bombers attacked the Slaughter and murder for damage points.
It starts

.. into turn two we go.

The Lunar lined up for another FireDrake shot, the Leviathan turned on Lock On and the Dominion turned prow towards the planet. The flanks sluggish moved forward. And the Firestorms turned towards the Slaughter class.

The Firedrake now was in shorter range and as such managed to exceed the shield strength of the crippled Murder and it inflicted further damage. At long range the Firedrake dropped another shield on the Despoiler but that's of no importance. Subsequent Lock on from the Leviathan destroyed the Murder (blazing hulk). So further shooting could be directed at the Slaughter. And again with some poor Braces it got also crippled. The incoming Acheron remained untouched.


Chaos was no in real dire trouble from the opening turns. The Slaughter moved forward, The Acheron kept its course with Lock On and the Despoiler started to snipe some long distance while the Idolators unfruitful tried to attack the escorts on one flank. The other flank saw the Devastation on intercept course.

This time damage point where dealt to the Lunar and Dominion. But still not enough.

As seen above the Helian fleet further advanced and albeit close to destruction the Slaughter remained at 1 hitpoint and refused to explode. The Acheron again only suffered shields down, the Leviathan and Dominion lances going dudd this time. The Venere Assault Frigates managed to remove an Idolator, the Dictator failed in being effective. It's bomber wave hit nothing versus a crippled strike cruiser.
Now the Despoiler started to come full in and managed to place a large assault boat squadron in the pathway of the Lunar and Dominion. Effective firing from the braced and crippled (!) Slaughter plus Acheron managed to inflict damage points on the Leviathan battleship. The Devastation inflicted three critical hits with assault boats on the Rogue Trader cruiser... everything was repaired (sad chaos noises), though it did destroy a transport. The Lunar did again suffer some damage from long range Despoiler shooting


More shooting and booms
.... and ofcourse in this round, despite high leadership I frigged the Special Orders... and the Lunar went right through the assault swarm: thrusters, port and prow be gone. The Dominion was so bold to try and be a distraction and went across the bow of the Despoiler. The Leviathan headed on while the flanks continued going forward. Again shooting was far from eventful....

The Dark Treachery went full onto the Longinius' Star Lunar class and through the maniac enthusiasm failed their reload (the suffering, could've be crucial if they had shut down the Dominion!). But 7 lances tore the Lunar class apart and turned it into another blazing hulk. To further slow the Imperial advance the Acheror again gave display of ace crew by hitting all versus the Leviathan and the two Idolators didn't miss a shot either! Again damage on the behemoth!



Determined for retaliation Lord of the House Dandolo moved his flagship in front of his opposing warmasters' flagship. Turning all batteries on maximum load it shredded shields and hull and with support from the Dominion the Dark Treachery started blazing but was not yet crippled!



Not impressed by the Imperial gunnery the Warmaster pushed his ship forward but due braced no reload or ramming attack were a possibility.


The Acheron long range fire took care of many shields and the braced Despoiler managed to bring the Leviathan down to 8 hitpoints.
The leviathan moved forward for another broadside on the despoiler..... and this time it crippled and faltered as the Dominion also lend its firepower... 1 hitpoint left...
Meanwhile the flanks did move forward by the way with the Rogue Trader going AAF to get away from the Devastation leaving the transports to their fate... which was annihilation.



Kaboom and breakthrough

The next turn the Levianthan made its way through the asteroid field while the rest of the Helian fleet made way for the planet. The Despoiler (my son didn't want to disengage and tried to get the ship going, after three turns it managed to repair a thruster damaged and finally got going again.... went Tigre squadron somehow wanted typical Rogue Trader famous stuff and after three turns of going around it finally managed to destroy the Chaos Battleship! The resulting plasma overload was sad as only on escort took more than 1 hit and got destroyed. The Acheron, Devastation and Slaughter all turned around and tried to AAF as much as possible to come back to de planet defences. It was the Rogue Trader which first arrived at the planet. And the Venere assault frigates managed to destroy the Slaughter just before it could enter low orbit.




With all capital ships going in low orbit (oh, two more transports got destroyed as well by the Devastation) the attention went to the low orbit table (and I got a reminder why I don't like the whole low orbit thing. I dunno, I just find it not cool. Maybe we should think about scoring assault points from the regular tabletop).

As the Helian fleet was early assault points could be added quickly and after a couple of rounds 10 where met. But due some horrendous dice Chaos did manage to cripple both the Rogue Trader and Leviathan! That Acheron was on fire (not the critical hit)!


And with that landing troops where deployed and now it is up to other players to do their Titanicus and Epic stuff!
But at one point something weird happened during the battle.... All sensors went astray and the Helians feared there might be something lurking far worse in the sector


(No minis or phenomena were touched or moved!)

Sooooo! What a long game it was. And if that Despoiler would have made that reload next to the Dominion who knows what would've happened.
The game shows why the Slaughter is 165 points. As long as you don't Slaughtercore and play narratively is has a hard time on its own. Its AAF back to the planet was quite impressive, even when crippled.
The Acheron was a masterpiece for Chaos with the Despoiler and Devastation doing good stuff as well.
But I really can see merit of just deploying far forward in this game as an option. Bit more planned and experience, who knows.
On the Helian side the Dominion was just to easy to use and I really will think of just giving it 280 points in any imperial fleet. The FireDrake did stuff but can't swing a game at 150cm distance (nice), plus, since it is, like the armageddon gun, a straightforward shot you need to position your ship exactly and thus may lose better tactical positioning. The NC just has the whole front arc.
The Firestorms did a good job during the game. The Dictator managed to do little but also saw little. It's fighters essential in keeping the minefield at bay.
The Rogue Trader cruiser did some low orbit stuff, repairing critical hits was best stuff actually.
The Helian battleship, now it follows the XR broadside pattern (strength 18 at 45cm) and adds 4 lances (+1 to XR Retribution) but it loses 9 torpedoes but has one extra hit and reinforced prow. For +20 points. Now in two turns that broadsides really did something, in other turns it just didn't.
As it has no prow weaponry you need to zigzag somewhat more.
So far I think 365 is a fine cost for it. But if other people use it and see different results I'm not opposed to increasing it a bit.

Hope you enjoyed
Great report and lovely looking ships. Thanks for sharing.

Love an Acheron. They're brilliant ships, particularly vs Imperials and paired with something with a bunch of batteries for stripping shields.

Leviathan sounds fun. More of a close range brawler than a standard Retribution and missing that deadly 9 torpedo "shotgun". Are the lances also 45cm l/f/r or are they 60cm like a normal Retribution?

How were you running the Firedrake?
  • Like
Reactions: horizon
Great report and lovely looking ships. Thanks for sharing.

Love an Acheron. They're brilliant ships, particularly vs Imperials and paired with something with a bunch of batteries for stripping shields.

Leviathan sounds fun. More of a close range brawler than a standard Retribution and missing that deadly 9 torpedo "shotgun". Are the lances also 45cm l/f/r or are they 60cm like a normal Retribution?

How were you running the Firedrake?
I was running Battlefleet Helian from Book of the Void 2:

Lunar had the FireDrake cannon.
And the Leviathan has 45cm lances.
  • Like
Reactions: Tiny