He’d climbed aboard his yellow Trukk before dawn, eager to fight and looking forward to smashing the humies. But all had gone wrong.
Riding impatiently in the back of the Trukk, he’d seen the Killa Kan explode—and then the Deff Dread. Then his Trukk had overturned, spilling him roughly into the sand, and as he’d risen, several of the warriors around him had been torn to shreds by the humie fire.
“Face me!” the ork screamed. “Come forward and let me bash you!”
Several lasgun rounds struck home, and a some tiny portion of his brain noted the pain that arose from his chest. The mighty xeno ignored it, though. His sole thought was to fight, and he started forward at a trot, waving his war axe over his head and bellowing a war cry.
As he ran forward, it seemed as if the humie fire only seemed to get thicker and louder.
ORK TURN THREE
There was little left of the orks in the center and west flank, and the few survivors began a reluctant but determined retreat.
Only on the east flank were the orks still aggressively pursuing the attack. The Dakkajet, lacking the ability to turn and target the Valkyrie, focused its attention at Ceti Squad, letting loose with its supa-shootas and killing three guardsmen.
The looted wagon, to support the Warlord’s belated charge, targeted Alpha Squad with a flamer that killed three. A moment later, the warlord plowed forward into the guardsmen, killing one with his slugga before cutting down two more with his choppa.
But the determined humies would not run. They grimly fought on.
It had happened so quickly. When the orks charged the Imperial line in the dark, Velaz had imagined the worse. Now, at mid-morning, it was over.
Looking to his front, hundreds of greenskin corpses were sprawled across the desert sand—and, except for the east flank, not a one of the ork bodies was within 80 meters of the company’s defensive line. All had been stopped short by the intensity of Imperial fire.
In the distance, where the black smoke of burning xeno vehicles didn’t obscure visibility, the exhausted captain could make out a few stragglers loping away to the south. A battle cannon roared, and the shell landed amidst a small group of xenos. As the fiery explosion rose into the air, so, too, did clumps of dirt and bits of green flesh.
All around him, he could hear the troops cheering. It was a reaction that suggested a breakdown in command control, but morale needed to be maintained, so Velaz decided to ignore the minor lapse in discipline.
Behind him, Sergeant Bannon stuck his head yet again out of the top hatch. “Captain? Red Squadron report the xenos are in full retreat. The Valkyries intend to harass them with missile fire —just to make sure they don’t get any ideas about coming back.”
“Very good, sergeant,” Smith said, raising his binoculars to his eyes. A hint of a grin appeared on his lips. “Very good, indeed.”
Where is everyone? Mugthug wondered as he put his fist through the chest of a humie who’d just pricked him with a bayonet.
As he swung his choppa and sliced another humie in half, the ork warlord glanced around. His kommandos had been fighting the humies to his left, but all he could see were green corpses on the ground—being bayoneted by more humies.
A humie aircraft roared past overhead, and he turned in time to see a swarm of missiles shot from the wings and land amidst the Boyz who’d been following him. They disappeared in a cloud of smoke and flame as the missiles hit home.
“Do I have to do everything by myself,” Mugthug muttered. But, being a bit more cunning than the average ork, he also took note that there were a lot humies still standing—and very few orks.
A humie to his right raised a lasgun and fired at the warlord’s chest. Looking down, the giant ork examined the bleeding hole that had appeared. In a fit of pique, he reached out and tore off the humie’s arm and beat him to death
“Well, I can’t hog all the fun,” he muttered. Turning, Mugthug trotted back towards his camp, ignoring the patter of lasgun fire that slammed into the rear of his body armor.
By the end of Turn Three, the orks had had enough. Significant ork reserves remained off table, but the guts of the ork army had been torn to shreds.
What’s more, the Imperial firing line was unthreatened, leaving them ready to target the ork reserves as soon as they appeared. The ork commander saw the writing on the wall.
The results of this battle would prove less significant than originally believed. Sadly, the GM re-examined his army sheet and realized he’d badly miscalculated the point total of his forces. Instead of a 1,200-point army list, he had topped 1,400.
So, while the battle is recorded in the “history” of the Hegira campaign, the victory will not transfer the initiative back to the Imperium. To be fair, the orks will be given another opportunity to attack the Barad Mine.
TheGM: Curses! I knew I should have finished that third-grade math course. I really messed up, even though I’d rechecked my math several times when putting together my army list.
The truly bitter irony is that my extra 200 points had no impact on the game—most of the points never left my reserves.
Still, they were lined up for all to see, and their presence probably convinced the Gaffer there was little hope in continuing the battle. So I can’t righly claim a victory. Oh, to have such a wonderful victory snatched from my grasp!
The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.