A surge of optimism swept through Velaz as he watched the initial volley of Imperial fire rip apart the ork battle line. Everywhere he looked, Trukks and ork walkers were burning.
The only worrisome development was on the eastern flank. His guns had rightly targeted the greatest threats, but this had left the orks relatively untouched on the flank. And they were advancing quickly.
“Sergeant!” he shouted. When the non-com’s head appeared, the captain added, “Let’s retarget some guns to the east flank. The herd over there needs thinning.”
Bannon smiled—the smile of a predator spotting prey. “My pleasure, captain. Woudn’t want any greenskins to feel ignored.”
IMPERIAL TURN TWO
On the eastern flank, Alpha Squad was well aware that orks were advancing quickly, and its autocannon crew was desperately pouring fire at what appeared to be an old Lemon Russ tank that the orks had found on some battlefield and clumsily restored to working condition.
The looted wagon repeatedly slewed to the right, and oily black smoke billowed out its exhaust pipe, but the thick armor of the human-made tank still resisted the Imperial fire. Despite a clear hit that dented the front hull, the xeno-controlled tank continued its inexorable advance.
To Alpha Squad’s right, firing from the top level of an abandoned gantry, a squad of Ratling snipers targeted the Lootas on the far side of the battlefield, whose position was partially exposed despite the orks’ efforts to hide behind a nearby Trukk.
Three of the well-armed orks fell to ground as heavy-caliber rounds blew out their brains. The survivors decided to withdraw from the battle.
In the center, the Imperial fire was not as successful. As Velaz began issuing orders, the smoke arising from the nearby tank’s battle cannon sent him into a coughing fit (I rolled doubles on giving an order—The GM) Without the captain’s guidance, the die rolls that followed accomplished nothing.
There was better luck on the west flank, as a reserve roll allowed two Scout Sentinels to enter the battlefield in the ork deployment zone—and the walker’s multi-lasers killed two warriors.
At the same time, Gamma Squad advanced with the goal of supporting the Sentinels and catching the orks in a crossfire. Another consideration was that a spread of troops on the flank would discourage a flank attack by ork reserves.
Despite repeated calls for air support, the regiment’s Valkyrie squadron failed to show up.
“Let’s bash heads!”
Mugthug, scourge of the Thorox Sector, bellowed his encouragement to the warriors that surrounded him.
To his front, shielding him from humie fire, his looted wagon moved up and dropped its forward hatch, and he watched with satisfaction as his warband of kommandos charged out and slammed into the humie command squad.
As much as he wanted to join that scrum, there were more humies to his front—and they were a tad closer. And, as his boyz were behimd him, he’d be the first to reach them.
“Time to bash heads!” Mugthug cried out and started running, firing his pistol erratically in the humies’ general direction. He ran and ran—and it suddenly occurred to him that those humies were a bit farther away than he’d realized.
Ah well, he thought. Can’t blame an ork for wanting to smash heads
ORK TURN TWO
The orks also were expecting reserves—sizable reserves—but only some of the air arm appeared. A sole Dakkajet roared across the battlefield, targeting Beta Squad in the Imperial center and killing five guardsmen.
If that wasn’t bad enough for the Imperium, a Deffkopta swept forward and charged the beleaguered squad, and a bitterly fought melee resulted that left a casualty on both sides.
On the east flank, the looted wagon advanced and dropped off a small contingent of Kommandos, who promptly charged First Platoon’s command squad. Two orks were killed by lasgun fire as they approached, and a third was killed in melee—but the remaining orks stood their ground and continued to fight.
Meanwhile, the warlord also attempted to charge—but rolled poorly. To his dismay, he would have to endure another round of fire before he closed.
In the center of the battlefield, the remaining Trukk and Deff Dread, which had been suppressed in the early moments of the battle, finally appeared to shake off the effects of Imperial fire and began to move forward.
The exposed Lootas, their numbers greatly thinned, failed to recover their morale and retreated from the battlefield.
Spitting out a thick wad of smoke-filled phlegm, Vegas began bellowing out orders. The Imperial fire had slowed after he’d choked, and it was imperative that the now-moving ork center be wiped out.
“Tank Beta-One: Target that walker to your front,” he shouted into his vox-caster. “Heavy Weapons Team Charlie and Delta: Stop that yellow Trukk!”
Looking about, he was pleased with how much of the battle was going, but the fighting was hand-to-hand on the east flank, and guardsmen never had an easy time in melee with the greenskins. Things were getting dicey over there.
A large explosion to his front jerked him out of his deliberations. A large ball of flame was rising from the Deff Dread, and the metal monstrosity slowly toppled to the ground. A second later, the front wheels of the ork Trukk were blow away, and the front bumper of the xeno vehicle slammed heaviy into the sand.
“Sergeant Bannon! All heavy weapons are to turn on the east flank. The battle is won in front of us.”
IMPERIAL TURN THREE
Behind ork lines, the Scout Sentinel squadron was relieved to see the ork Lootas, with their heavy weapons, fleeing the battlefield. With their flank secured, they opened up on the ork warriors to their front with their multi-lasers, killing two greenskins.
So successful was the battle going that Gamma Squad stopped its advance. Scouts were warning that ork reserves could appear on either flank, so the squad reversed course, spreading out in a skirmish line to ensure that no ork reserves showed up in the Imperial deployment zone.
In the center, Imperial fire was devastating. An autocannon shot blew up the Deff Dread, whle the command Chimera’s multi-laser immobilized the ork Trukk to its front. As its passengers disembarked, other Imperial fire killed four warriors.
The bitter melee between the Deffkopta and Beta Squad finally resolved itself, with the now-devastated guardsmen standing wearily if victoriously over the dead ork pilot.
Such determined valor also was seen on the east flank. The First Platoon’s command squad managed to defeat the kommandos.
Despite the ork warlord’s slow approach, Alpha Squad’s fire was atrocious, doing no damage at all to the two-and-a-half-meter-tall xeno. The ork warband behind was not as lucky, as a Valkyrie arrived from reserve and wiped the xenos out with a barrage of missile fire.
The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.