Battle Report (Tabletop)

Imperial Guard retakes Iron Spires (Part 3)

Iron Spires III end game minis1

End Game: Despite 80 percent casualties in the center of the battlefield, night falls with a pocket of resistance that stops the ork attack in its tracks.

Disaster strikes! The honor of rolling for game’s end is offered to the ork commander, who rolls low—the battle goes another turn. Drat, thinks the Imperial commander.

TURN SEVEN

Iron Spires III Turn 7In the ork deployment zone, the Warlord arrived to take his revenge. His Rokkit Boyz deployed and fired upon the Imperial Chimera, wrecking it.

The Veteran Squad was forced to disembark, making themselves vulnerable to an ork charge. As they were out in the open, they opened up on the Slugga Boyz—but the orks were tough and made too many cover saves. Only two orks died.

Near the ruins, the battle-crazed orks continued to batter the Imperial line. Alpha Squad finally fell to the last man, leaving only the Command Squads to hold the objective.

The Gretchin consolidated their hold over the west-central objective. Having dispatched the conscripts, the Trukk in the southwest moved north to cover the Gretchins’ flank.

But the Imperium still held the advantage. The Imperium held two objectives and contested one; the orks held but one objective. If this was the last turn, the Imperial Guard had won.

TURN EIGHT

Iron Spires III Turn 8To the consternation of the Imperial commander, the die roll dictated the game would continue one final turn. It seemed the dice gods were determined to snatch victory from the Imperial Guard.

The Warboss, the Rokkit Launchas, and the Sluggas to the north all charged the Veteran squad. Despite unleashing a devastating volley of flamethrowers and shotguns into the xeno ranks, the Imperial troops were slaughtered. That cost the Imperium a contested objective and their victory point for having troops in the enemy deployment zone.

To the southeast, the Imperial Guard still held its hard-fought objective. The Platoon Command Squad was wiped out, and a lucky die roll allowed the Killa Kans to break out of the ruins and get in range of the Company Command Squad. That charge was a blow, for if the squad is forced to retreat—or the army commander is killed—the game is lost. Fortunately, the squad holds its ground and keeps the orks just outside range of contesting the objective. The Imperial commander is wounded but still alive.

Finally, to the southeast, Ceti Squad, the conscripts, returned to the table using the “Send in the Next Wave” rule. The unit moves six inches onto the table, and then the Imperial commander sweats the die roll to run the unit forward. If he does’t roll high, he won’t seize to the objective.

Thankfully, he rolls a six. He snatches the objective at the last moment, giving the Imperium its first victory of the Hegira campaign.

END GAME

Iron Spires III END GAMEIt was a close-fought game. The Imperial held three objectives worth three victory points each—a total of 9 points. The orks held two objectives, as well as earning victory points for “First Blood” and “Linebreaker.”  That gives the orks 8 victory points.

If the Killa Kan had killed the Imperial’s commander in Turn Eight, the Imperium would have had to settle for another draw. If the Killa Kan had won the engagement in the center, it could have consolidated and seized the Imperial objective.

So close. But the Imperium held on. After three losses and two draws, the Imperial Guard on Hegira finally wins—and pushes the xeno army out of the territory. It is such a glorious victory—with the game going into a tense two extra turns of overtime–the Imperial Guard commander simply falls to the floor in relief.

Such a drama queen.

TheGM: I am not a drama queen. But TheGaffer is a darned fine player, and I was beginning to get an inferiority complex. Heck, the man started coaching me on how to play 40K so I could be competitive.

I was so proud of how I had managed to control the game—almost from the beginning. And when Turn 6 came around, I was confident of victory. But then we had to play another turn. Fine, I figured I still had it won—only to see the game go yet another turn. Was I going to have victory snatched from me? Oh, the agony! 

Still, I’m pretty tickled with how I played. Going for human waves of troops—and using multiple lines as “speed bumps”—went exactly as planned (and my plans seldom work). My use of the “Send in the Next Wave” rule also worked to perfection. All in all, I think I actually deserved this win.

(And I’d better enjoy it, as it’ll probably be my last for a while.)

The Gaffer: I have to admit, I was out-generalled. The GM did a fine job from the beginning of the game. He chose his ground very well in the set up, dividing the field with terrain that negated my mobility. Coupled with a few good die rolls and a mistake or two on my part, the GM won a close victory, but a victory none the less. As we paint more figures and up the points for the battle (700 for this game), the Imperial strengths are becoming more apparent. Ironically, the GM used orky tacktiks against the orks with his “human” wave attacks! It’s time for Rumlar to call in his meks and get them to work. The “Happy Times” are over!

Click here to return to Part I — or click here to go back to Part 2.

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