Having chosen to take personal command of this battle, Colonel August Klein was on the front lines—with a sweeping view of the battlefield … and a frightening proximity to the xenos who were rushing in his direction.
He was standing atop his command Chimera, binoculars in hand. At his feet, a head rose out of the vehicle’s top hatch, his adjutant waiting for orders.
“All commands are to open fire,” Klein ordered. “And tell that ordinance officer to call in some artillery … and try not to land it on my troops.”
As he scanned the horizon, the colonel listened as orders were issued by the voxcasters below, and within seconds, the entire front line erupted with gunfire. To his left, the sound was almost painful as his armored company opened up with battle cannons, targeting the Deff Dreads that clanked across the desert sand. Soon that fire was joined by the whine of overhead artillery rounds that landed in a satisfying cluster on a particularly large congregation of xenos.
“Lieutenant!” Klein shouted down into the Chimera. “Tell those flamers to get moving.”
Ork Turn Two
On the Imperial right flank, one squad of orks finally reaches the edge of the rough terrain and happily enters open ground. Now the humies will get it!
The mob behind them have had enough, though. They turn south and exit the rough terrain—and begin yelling for a ride. The yellow Trukk, seeing no advantage where it is, turns and drives “flat out” to pick them up.
In the center, the “Green Boyz” rally and consolidate around the Relic. The presence of the nearby Chimera—with its flamers—suggests that standing tough is a suicidal gesture. But these are orks, after all, and they’re going to fight! If any of them survives, they can seize the relic and make a run for it.
Speaking of flamers, the inferno cannon on the Hellhound is a horror. Knowing this, the yellow Trukk considers ramming the humie tank but instead goes “flat out” and positions itself between the Hellhound and the mob that just exited the rough terrain. If nothing else, the dim-witted driver thinks, he can shield the mob with the bulk of his vehicle.
Meanwhile, the remaining “Yellow Boyz” decide to have some fun. They charge the Imperials on the right flank. The guardsmen open up with their lasguns, but their Overwatch fire is inconsequential. The orks slam into the Imperial line, and while the humans manage to kill one ork, the last two kill destroy the squad.
In the center, the unit of Rokkit Launchas takes a shot at the Chimera, managing to put a hull point on the transport with a penetrating hit—but while the hull-mounted flamer is destroyed, the inferno cannon remains in action. The “Green Boyz” know their days are numbered.
The ork attack on the left flank begins to gather a frightening momentum. The Gretchin open fire and kill one member of the leading special weapons squad, while a mob of Boyz (the “Blue Boyz” because of their blue tunics) target the squad with sluggas. When their fire is complete, only one guardsman remains—and he runs.
This result utterly dooms the Imperial plan to use the squad as a “speed bump” against the orks. It was always expected that the speed bump would be destroyed during the ork melee phase, but that would leave the orks vulnerable to point-blank fire in the Imperial turn—and a subsequent charge by a horde of guardsmen.
But ork fire had, instead, wiped out the front Imperial line. With a roar, the orks charged forward. One caught the fleeing guardsmen, who disappeared under an avalanche of greenskin warriors, while other mobs bypassed this massacre and slapped into the second Imperial line of defense—with each ork having five attacks each and a +1 strength in the first round.
With 52 attacks pounding onto the “humies,” all that’s left of the Imperial second line is a big red stain on the Hegira sand. “First Blood”—and a victory point—goes to the orks.
The Warboss rolls for his reserves. Neither the ork DeffKoptas or the two Dakkajets arrive. His reserve rolls are so bad that the Imperial commander realizes he didn’t need his Fleet Officer.
That’s bad luck for the orks. At least a quarter of the ork points are tied up in these air units—and they’re missing the fight. Ouch!
Imperial Turn Two
On the Imperial left flank, a huge section of the Imperial line has been overrun. Thankfully, there is a sizable reserve—a special weapons squad of Skitarri moves up to drench the approaching greenskins with holy promethium.
Meanwhile, the Imperial armored contingent—a Lemon Russ tank—lumbers backwards six inches to keep its powerful front armor facing the xenos.
The tank fires but misses, but its heavy bolter—supported by the the fire of the Mechanicus and the nearby platoon command squad—are luckier with their fire, killing six Boyz.
In the center, the veterans in the Chimera open up with flamers on the Green Boyz and, not surprisingly, wipe them out. While the Relic is not in Imperial hands, there’s also no chance that the orks will run off with it.
On the right, the Imperium scores a powerful blow: The Hellhound moves up to the mob skirting the edge of the battlefield and, positioning itself carefully, manages to fire its infernal cannon and heavy flamer past the intervening Trukk and target the Boyz beyond. Nine of 12 become two-meter-tall torches of flame. The rest, surprisingly, hold their ground.
A little closer to the Imperial lines, the two remaining Yellow Boyz are shot down by Imperial troops.
Finally, the Hydra, with no aerial targets yet, takes a “Hail, Mary” (Snap Shot) at the yellow Trukk in the distance and immobilizes it. The ork Boyz preparing to climb aboard and hurry to the battle suddenly realize with frustration that they’re going to have to “hoof it” for another couple of turns. The less dim-witted among them begin to think they’ll miss all the fun.
The Fleet Officer attempts to delay the ork reserves once again—and fails his roll. Were 20 points totally wasted on acquiring him?
Watching his front line collapse under a wave of orks was almost more than Captain Velaz could endure.
“Bring up the reserves!” Captain Velaz screamed as he drew his laspistol from its holster and fired a shot in the direction of the xeno lines.
He knew he was unlikely to hit anything given the range, but it felt good to do something more than shout orders.
To his left, the Lemon Russ tanks were edging backward. With their infantry support ripped to shreds to their front, it was essential the tanks withdraw and join with the reserves hurrying forward. Otherwise, the orks would swarm over the tanks and destroy them with hand-held bombs.
That wasn’t going to happen quite yet, though. Already, Vegas saw, a new volley line was forming—this time manned by Skitarri from the mine security forces. He could only hope it would be more successful than the first. If this second line didn’t stand firm, they were all doomed.
The ork commander rolls hopefully for his reserves but is severely disappointed. The DeffKoptas finally arrive, but neither Dakkajet is in sight!
The DeffKoptas strike deep behind Imperial lines and target the Hydra. Their fire is surprisingly accurate, putting two hull points of damage on the side armor and destroying the vehicle’s heavy bolter. But, significantly, the main anti-air weapon is still operational.
Success has its unintentional consequences. On the Imperial left flank, the first and second line of guardsmen are defeated, but the orks are now poorly position and unable to charge. The Blue Boyz advance to the rim-shaped entrenchments to their front and fire upon the platoon command squad. Their fire is terrible—only the loader of the lascannon is killed. The Deff Dread still has something to worry about.
The rest of the ork main advance continues forward, but all they can manage is a few ineffective shots at the reforming Imperial line
The Rokkit Launchas target the Chimera but miss. In desperation, they let loose their bomb-equipped squig in hopes that it will run under the vehicle and self-immolate. Alas, the squig’s bomb detonates early.
The Chimera is too huge a threat to ignore—not only does it dominate the Relic, but it could turn and crush the ork’s main assault with its heavy flamer. It must die. The Deff Dread plows into the vehicle. The Deff Dread is a dire threat with its powerful weapons—but it rolls a 1 on the attack.
The Warboss also is determined to kill something. He and his entourage charge in, as well. The two men with flamers are still standing at the top hatch of the Chimera, and they spray the orks with fire. One Nob is killed, and the Warboss takes a wound.
Yet the Chimera is doomed. The remaining Nobs and Warboss, equipped with a power claw, tear the vehicle apart. The Imperial Guard veterans inside barely manage to escape. They clamber out of the vehicle and find themselves standing atop the central entrenchments, just inches away from the Blue Boyz
On the right flank, the Green Trukk decides there’s no reason to stick around and get flamed. It runs “flat out” through the Imperial line, scattering men left and right. It has one ork warrior left, who fires erratically at the Imperial soldiers as he is thrown about by the weaving ork vehicle.
Imperial Turn Three
By happenstance, the loss of the Chimera forced the veteran troops inside to evacuate on the ork’s Turn Three, and their position leaves the Imperial commander with no doubts about what to do next. The squad turns and moves toward the ork main assault on the left flank—and fire 14 shotgun rounds, a heavy flamer, and two flamers at the Blue Boyz.
At the same time, the Skitarri also move forward and open up with three flamers, while the platoon command squad of Lt. Velaz also opens up on the orks. In the crossfire, the Blue Boyz—and, as collateral damage, the Gretchin—are decimated. Only a handful of both units survive—only to be charged and wiped out.
The ork main assault is no longer a threat.
On the far flank, the Hellhound continues to dominate its surroundings. It advances on the Yellow Trukk, where the disappointed orks are starting to move toward the Relic. Four greenskins are incinerated.
In the center, the Green Trukk—its Tank Shock complete—is flanked by a special weapons squad and the second platoon’s command squad. The units douse the Trukk with flamers, killing the last Blue Boyz, while a lascannon destroys the vehicle itself.
A reserve squad charges the Deff Dread in hopes of killing it with krak grenades. It doesn’t work. Instead, half the squad is killed by the walker’s flamers.
Another special weapons squad—with flamer-equipped Skitarri—work their way around the Deff Dread and target the wounded Warboss. The giant ork dies an ignoble death, unable to win a battle against burning promethium. The Imperium earns a victory point for “Slay the Warlord.”
The Hydra targets the DeffKoptas and kills two—just enough to force the orks to make a morale check. The DeffKoptas fail the roll and turn their barely functional aircraft away in an attempt to avoid the highly accurate “humie” AA fire.
The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our wargaming adventures in Games Workshop’s fantastical sci-fi universe.