The Purging of Dontoria – narrative game

The sound of screams pierced the compartment as the landing ramp began to open. Standing ready with chain sword in hand, Captain Hills of the 9th Gallia Yeomanry stared at his men. How many would make it through today he wondered as he watched them perform their final checks.

“Lads!” he bellowed. “And ladies!” came the interjection from the hive gangers. “Alright, lads AND ladies! We fight alongside almighty warriors of the Emperor’s wrath today, so don’t make me look bad, or I’ll kill you myself!”

The ramp reached the ground with a thump. “Up you dogs. For Cadia!!!”

Some twenty seven years after my first 40k game in a Games Workshop store, I returned to the field for a 500 point narrative game at my local GW in Swansea.

I was filled with trepidation as I wasn’t sure if it would be full of meta chasing net listers or worse, baying children wielding their beleaguered parent’s wallets. Thankfully it turned out that neither scenario was the case, instead I was introduced to the company of some other gamers who seemed much like me.

As there were limited tables available, we ended up doing a 1,000 point doubles game, with my Guard teamed up on the Imperial side with some Crimson Fists, while our opponents were the heretic Chaos Astartes and the xenos Tau Empire (who also happened to get their new codex today).

My 500 points of Guard were as follows:

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Astra Militarum) [25 PL, 500pts, 3CP] ++

  • Configuration [3CP] +

Battle Size [3CP]: 1. Combat Patrol (0-50 Total PL / 0-500 Points) [3CP]

Detachment Command Cost

Gametype: Matched

Regimental Doctrine: Regiment: Catachan

  • HQ [14 PL, 265pts] +

Company Commander [2 PL, 35pts]: Chainsword, Display Astra Militarum Orders, Frag grenades, Laspistol, Relic: The Laurels of Command, Warlord

Tank Commander [12 PL, 230pts]: Battle Cannon [5pts], Display Tank Orders, Lascannon [20pts], Stat Damage (Leman Russ Commander), Weapon Expert
. 2 Heavy Bolters [30pts]: 2x Heavy bolter

  • Troops [9 PL, 185pts] +

Infantry Squad [3 PL, 60pts]
. 8x Guardsman: 8x Lasgun
. Guardsman W/ Special Weapon [5pts]: Plasma gun [5pts]
. Sergeant: Chainsword, Laspistol

Infantry Squad [3 PL, 65pts]
. 8x Guardsman: 8x Lasgun
. Guardsman W/ Special Weapon [5pts]: Plasma gun [5pts]
. Sergeant [5pts]: Laspistol, Power sword [5pts]

Infantry Squad [3 PL, 60pts]
. 8x Guardsman: 8x Lasgun
. Guardsman W/ Special Weapon [5pts]: Meltagun [5pts]
. Sergeant: Chainsword, Laspistol

  • Elites [2 PL, 50pts] +

Command Squad [2 PL, 50pts]
. Veteran w/ Special Weapon [5pts]: Flamer [5pts], Frag grenades
. Veteran w/ Special Weapon [5pts]: Flamer [5pts], Frag grenades
. Veteran w/ Special Weapon [10pts]: Frag grenades, Meltagun [10pts]
. Veteran w/ Special Weapon [5pts]: Flamer [5pts], Frag grenades

++ Total: [25 PL, 3CP, 500pts] ++

Created with BattleScribe (

You may note the less narrative choice of flamers and melta for the command squad. I have no excuses for this, but in the end it didn’t really make any difference.

The mission was The Purging Of Dontoria from the Vigilus Alone book, with the Imperium as the attackers.

This mission appears heavily in favour of the defenders, with the attackers trying to gain control of objectives in area terrain and set them ablaze. The terrain was biased toward the defenders as well, with the Chaos side well entrenched.

I was left to deploy pretty much in the open on the left flank, while the Crimson Fists dived into cover in order to assault the objective placed on the second floor of the bridge across the battlefield.

The game went well, our collective rules knowledge getting us through. We played without stratagems, save for allowing overwatch to one unit per turn.

Welcome to planet bowling ball…

My Guard got nearly wiped out over the course of two turns, losing men to Tau gun line fire and a charge by Khorne berserkers. I was left with a Company Commander and a melta gunner by turn 3.

Next time, it’s 750 points.

2 thoughts on “The Purging of Dontoria – narrative game

    1. One of the benefits of playing in store I suppose 🙂 In spite of the unequal nature of the terrain and mission, it felt right as a narrative game. Not everything has to be fair after all!

      Liked by 2 people

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