“We interrupt our regular programming to report that our honorable Imperial troops are engaged in battle with a massive xeno attack through the Iron Spires. Military authorities assure us that, while the fighting is intense, they have every confidence the threat will be contained. The public need not be alarmed. Additional information on the battle will be made available as it is released. We now return to our regular programming.“—Initial public report of the Fourth Battle of the Iron Spires, 3 010 736.M41.
Two Dakkajets roar onto the battlefield, a stirring sight that brings a bellow of bestial approval from the Boyz. They know the carnage that these aircraft can do.
Sure enough, the aircraft open up with their supa shootas, and the Imperial Guard’s Alpha Squad is wiped out to a man. First Blood goes to the orks.
In the middle of the battlefield, the Tankbusta’ Boyz take cover in the abandoned outpost and open fire on the Imperial line—and accomplish nothing but an impressive fireworks show as their rokkit launchas misfire and explode mid-air.
Much of the main ork force takes an un-orky direction. As the Warlord’s two Trukks have failed to arrive from reserve, he orders his advancing Boyz to slink behind a rocky butte and use cover to limit the effectiveness of Imperial fire. This order is met with great protest from the Boyz, who smell blood, but the Warlord wins the debate after clobbering “a bit of sense” into a few of the loudest complaining Boyz.
Imperial Turn Two
Horrified by the awesome firepower of the Dakkajets, the Imperial commander orders every weapon possible to target the ork aircraft. Even the Leman Russ tanks open fire, despite the threat of the approaching orks.
Despite the odds, a lucky lascannon shot scores a hull point on one aircraft—and the pilot is stunned. (At this time, neither player understood the evade option available to a zooming aircraft.)
Most of the infantry recognizes that their lasguns will bounce off the ork aircraft’s powerful armor, and they instead target what orks can be seen. Abysmal firing means only three orks are killed. The ordinance officer’s coordinates must have been inaccurate, as the incoming round from off-board artillery lands harmlessly behind the ork troop concentrations.
One of the ork Trukks arrives from reserve and r0ars towards a rocky outcropping on the Imperial left flank. The ork Warlord and his Boyz charge the Mechanicus troops on the same flank. Two orks are killed by Overwatch fire, and one more ork dies happily during the melee. The orks kill five Tech Priests, but the Mechanicus troops are inspired by the Omnissiah and stand their ground. The melee continues another round.
So that both Dakkajets can coordinate fire, the one fully operational ork aircraft foregoes his fire, and the two xeno aircrat turn and line up for a deadly—and coordinated—strafing run next turn.
On the far flank, the Killa Kans and a band of Slugga Boyz continue to advance on the Imperial right flank, threatening one of the objectives that the Imperial Guard is determined to hold.
Imperial Turn Three
The Imperial commander orders all his troops to open up. A volley from Beta Squad kills one of the Tankbustas, routing the unit, and the Boyz pull out of the outpost.
One lascannon puts another hull point on the previously damaged Dakkajet, but the pilot evades (we figure out the rules). Still, the pilot will find the accuracy of his fire greatly affected next turn.
Off-board artillery once again falls harmlessly on the battlefield. The ordinance officer is beginning to scream into his vox mouthpiece.
Observing the advance of the Killa Kans and Slugga Boyz, the 2nd Special Weapons Squad begins to move forward to meet the threat, their three flamethrowers ready for action.
Having waited in reserve, Ceti Squad charges forward to join the Mechanicus troops in their melee against the Warlord and his Boyz. In this fight, the humans come out slightly on top (five orks killed versus four humans), and the Warlord fails his Leadership test. He retreats but is caught in the Imperial advance and brought down.
The Imperial Guard earns 1 victory point for Slay the Warlord!
Another Trukk comes onto the table and moves flat out toward the central rock outcropping. There’s a sense that the puny “humies” are intimidated by their greenskin opponents. Instead of attacking, the Boyz will just seize the central objective next turn.
The Tankbusta Boyz rally and move back into the abandoned outpost. Their fire is inconsequential.
The Trukk on the right flank continues with unorky “taktiks,” foregoing an obvious fight as the driver puts the Trukk in reverse gear and slips behind the cover of a rocky outcropping. If the “humies” want a fight, let them follow.
The Dakkajets make a strafing run. One aircraft can only Snap Shot, but it manages four hits—although only one casualty is taken by the Platoon command squad. The other aircraft does better: Its supa shootas penetrate the armor of the Chimera, with the veteran squad inside. The vehicle blows up, killing six veterans. The survivors flee.
Imperial Turn Four
Beta Squad, the Platoon command squad, and 2nd Special Weapons Squad recognize the threat created by the advancing Killa Kans and Slugga Boyz—and all three units advance to meet the greenskins.
A Leman Russ tank manages to target the latest Trukk on the battlefield and shoots off a wheel. The Trukk skids to a halt, immobilized, but no harm is done to the Shoota Boyz inside. They dismount and use the Trukk as cover.
The auto cannon-equipped heavy weapons squad finally gets a target lock on the undamaged Dakkajets and shoots it out of the sky. Meanwhile, a lascannon takes off the wing of the other, heavily damaged ork aircraft, bringing it down and ending the ork threat from the sky.
The Imperial infantry line opens up on every target in sight, but all its good fortune apparently was spent on its anti-air fire—more than 30 lasgun shots fail to cause a single casualty.
The Corvus Cluster is a hobby blog that focuses on wargaming adventures in the Warhammer 40K universe.