“Having advanced under cover of darkness, the orks expected Imperial fire to be ineffective. They were sadly mistaken.”—Analysis of first hour of battle, Second Battle of the Tarak Mines, History of the 728th Cadian Regiment, 700-800.M41 (Volume 1,892)
IMPERIAL TURN ONE
Beta Squad and the Platoon Command Squad targeted the Gretchin in the center and killed five, enough casualties to send the diminutive xenos fleeing for their lives.
On the far flank, the Ordinance Officer called in an artillery strike that killed four Slugga Boyz. To delay the inevitable ork charge, Alpha Squad withdrew at a run, while the 1st Special Weapons Squad advanced behind the Sentinels to create a crossfire with its flamers.
The advance of the Scout Sentinels was simple in its reasoning: Screen the Company Command Squad and force the Slugga Boyz to waste precious time either charging the walkers—or maneuvering around them.
The Snipers also took a shot at the Slugga Boyz, killing one, and then fell back at a run to stay away form the advancing orks.
ORK TURN TWO
A squad of Shoota Boyz charged the Armored Sentinels on the Imperial right flank. Although they lacked any weapons that could harm the combat walkers, they hoped their threat would delay the Imperial attack and buy time for the main ork body to charge home. It also prevented the walkers from using their heavy flamers to devastating effect.
In the center, a mob of Shoota Boyz advanced on Beta Squad, although having seen the Gretchin mowed down, they were less than enthusiastic about their chances. Their “run” roll was poor, and they failed to roll a successful charge. This was a disastrous turn of events for the greenskins.
In the center, the ork hesitated, realizing that the Imperial retreat now forced them to cross a lot of open ground under fire. This lack of enthusiasm took the momentum out of the ork advance. Only one group of Slugga Boyz “went for it,” charging the Scout Sentinels so they couldn’t fire their Auto Cannons at their buddies.
In the rear, the Warboss continued to cower, and his lobbas opted to rain death upon an open patch of sand 50 meters in front of the Imperial lines. A really big batch of Slugga Boyz (20 orks) marched onto the battlefield from the reserves and paid no attention to the Gretchin routing off the table.
IMPERIAL TURN TWO
The Imperial Guard slammed the ork horde hard. On the right flank, the Armored Sentinels took on their ork opponents but failed to cause casualties. But the 3rd Special Weapons Squad advanced past the fighting and targeted the other mob of Shoota Boyz with flamers.
That fire was joined by the advancing Beta Squad and Platoon Command Squad, who fired volley after volley into the greenskins until every xeno in that mob was dead.
In the center, two Slugga Boyz are squashed by the Scout Sentinels. Meanwhile, Alpha Squad, 1st Special Weapons Squad, and the Ratling snipers took out four Slugga Boyz on the left flank.
END OF DAY
The orks, who never seemed to have much enthusiasm for this fight, called it a day. Three units already were shattered, and the Shoota Boyz on the Imperial right flank were going to be overwhelmed by numbers. That would mean utterly destroy the ork left flank and open the orks to a devastating Imperial counterattack.
The ork center was still strong—but not strong enough that the orks believed they could cross open ground against an Imperial firing line that was unharmed and just waiting for their next volley.
With uncharacteristic wimpiness, the greenskins fled the mine complex and called it a day. First off the battlefield was Skarug Graverippah, who reported that his Boyz fought the good fight–but “humies” had them outnumbered 100-to-1. (Well, that was the idea. As Skarug can’t count to 100, he actually said, “Gosh, Boss, there were as many humies as there are gretchin in camp.”
STRATEGIC END GAME
For months, the ork horde had advanced steadily on Susa City. The Iron Spires fell. Then the Tarak Mines. Then Barad Mine. The orks were only stopped on the outskirts of Moscow … er, I mean Susa City, whose fall would likely have meant the end of the war and the loss of Hegira.
But the Imperial forces rallied and slowly have pushed the xeno menace back to the Iron Spires, providing breathing room for the Imperium.
The Gaffer chose an all-infantry force. I think he wanted one last experiment with an all-infantry army and a reliance on the WAAAGH! attack, and he got his test results—an utter slaughter. Of course, his experiment was flawed by the fact he forget to bring in his outflanking Kommandos on the table (or he just decided that it was too late to save the day).
Either explanation is fine with me. Although I’m certain that I’ll succumb again to my natural conservative play and hand the Gaffer the initiative, this battle saw me at my most confident. I had a good plan, and my forces did their jobs with assurance and deadly success. (And failing that charge by the Slugga Boy was HUGE !)–TheGM
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