“An Imperial attack across the Sea of Dust was repulsed with heavy losses today, Imperial authorities on Hegira report. Assailed by what guardsmen call ‘Speed Freaks,’ the 2nd Battalion of the 728th Regiment fought a highly mechanized greenskin force near the famed Illyrian Mesas . . .” — Imperial Voxcast, 3 178 738.M41
The Imperial plan called for burying the orks with bodies, so the Imperial Guard packs its troops into the lower-right corner of the battlefield.
The intent is to confront the main ork attack with regular infantry, then counterattack with veteran infantry with flamers and melta guns.
With a large concentration of mesas in the middle of the battlefield, it was believed the orks would concentrate their attack on one flank—and only threaten the opposite flank with minimal forces. These would be met with the reserves.
Although it is impossible to truly understand the alien mind, it appeared that the orks decided on an all-or-nothing charge on the wider left flank of the Imperial Guard.
In a new sign of the increasing strength of the ork industrial base, the ork army would be spearheaded by Battlewagons that screened Trukks that followed behind.
Surprisingly, no orks were deployed to attack the right flank of the Imperial Guard. Instead, a rusty, decrepid fortification (abandoned Imperial bastion) held the ork flank, defended by a Mekboy with a surprisingly powerful Shokk Attack Gun.
Imperial Turn One
Recognizing the ork attack would hit the left flank, infantry squads redeploy to strengthen that part of the line. As possible, units are deployed to create lanes of crossfire, while veteran units move up behind the front line to counterattack.
With all orks deployed under cover (in vehicles or the Bastion), the Wyvern mortar has no viable targets—and this powerful weapon is temporarily neutralized.
The company command squad’s lascannon and a Sentinel’s multi-laser target a Looted Wagon and cause glancing hits.
Ork Turn One
The ork mechanized force races across the desert at full speed, foregoing any fire to close with the “humies.”
The MekBoy proves to be the most dangerous unit in the battle, firing its Shokk Attack Gun. Suddenly, a horde of terrified Snotlings materialize atop a veteran squad, the tiny greenskins killing six infantry before the panicked xenos are killed. The sheer insanity of the attack breaks the squad’s morale, and the veterans ignobly rout off the table.
First Blood and a destroyed unit gives the orks 2 victory points.
Imperial Turn Two
For the first time in the Hegira campaign, the Imperial Navy provides ground support to the Imperial Guard. A Lightning-class naval fighter sweeps over the battlefield and strafes the Looted Wagon, causing a glancing hit that destroys the vehicle and forces its ork passengers to disembark.
Spotting its first viable target, the Wyvern targets these orks but all shots go wide. Even with the prescience of an Imperial-sanctioned psyker, the mortar again proves impotent.
All other heavy weapons target the approaching Battlewagons, but the xeno vehicles’ heavy armor proves impenetrable.
Ork Turn Two
The Battlewagons advance to charge range, but the xenos opt not to disembark in the face of the strong Imperial firing line. The disembarked orks from the Looted Wagon advance under the cover of the larger vehicles.
Although they do not charge, the greenskins open fire from their open-topped vehicles. Ork fire kill three infantry; the Grots kill one “humie.”
The Mekboy fires his Warp-powered weapon again, but most of the terrified ammunition is lost to the Warp. One one Snotling makes it to an infantry squad—and materializes inside the chest of a soldier. Needless to say, neither target nor Snotling survive.
Imperial Turn Three
The ork tactics stymie the firewpower of the Imperial Guard commander. His ranks of infantry have no targets, and the army’s host of multi-lasers and auto cannon are useless against the powerful front armor of the Battlewagons.
The Lightning turns and strafes one Battewagon, and its twin-linked lascannons manage a penetrating hit. But the vehicle is only stunned. The orks inside laugh heartily at the sound of explosions unsuccessfully battering their vehicles’ front armor.
The Wyvern’s twin-linked mortar misses time and again, managing to kill only three orks from the burning Looted Wagon.
Ork Turn Four
The orks hit the the Imperial line in force. One Battlewagon “tank shocks” a veteran squad, which surprisingly fails its morale and routs off the battlefield.
The fleeing veterans flee with all their precious melta guns designed to stop the ork armor.
A Dakkajet roars onto the battlefield, targets an infantry unit, and wipes it out.
Grots dismount from one Battlewagon, and their fire kills four infantry. They charge and, despite their diminutive size, they shockingly wipe out the remainder of the squad.
The Mekboy targets the company command squad. The commander and several veterans are killed. The orks earn a victory point for Slay the Warlord and another for a destroyed unit.
Greenskin reserves arrive: A Trukk with Grots.
Imperial Turn Four
The Lightning turns and targets the Dakkajet, forcing the ork aircraft to jinx to safety.
With the orks still safely embarked in their Battlewagons, the Imperial infantry still have few targets. They wipe out the Grots, but with their veteran troops destroyed, they no longer have the melta guns to deal with the Battlewagons.
The mortar cannot fire at the orks from the Looted Wagon. In addition to being screened by the Battlewagons, they also are too close to the Imperial line to risk the use of the Wyvern’s mortars.
Such proximity does not stymie the Sentinels, which target these orks and kill three.
Ork Turn Four
The orks manage to curb their lust for combat and do not disembark. Instead, the Battlewagons slowly advance, while their passengers open up on the Imperial infantry line from the safety of the Battlewagons and 11 Imperial Guard are killed.
The Mekboy fires again. This time, his Snotlings land squarely on his target, and an entire infantry squad disappears under a mob of Snotlings. Yet another victory point for the greenskins.
The Dakkajet opts to fly off the battlefield. The remaining orks from the Looted Wagon charge the Sentinels in hopes of tying them up. They are killed.
Imperial Turn Five
The Imperial Guard remain stymied. They no longer have the heavy weaponry to deal with the Battlewagons, and the ork infantry refuse to show themselves as targets.
With the help of the psyker, an autocannon takes out the Grot Trukk, forcing the small greenskins to dismount. With a target, the Imperial firing line manages to kill a few.
At this point, the Imperial line already has suffered the destruction of half its infantry, and the ork Boyz inside the Battlewagons are untouched. Disaster is inevitable, and with the Imperial warlord dead, the Imperial army retreats in disorder.
Imperial Victory Points
4 v.p. for two destroyed vehicles, a mob of Grots, and a mob of Boyz.
Ork Victory Points
6 v.p. for destroyed infantry squads, 1 v.p. for Slay the Warlord, 1 v.p. for Linebreaker, and 1 v.p. for First Blood: Total: 9 v.p.
Ork Overwhelming Victory!
Scenario: Purge the Alien
- Company Command Squad w/Autocannon)
- Platoon Command Squad
- 1 x Primaris Psyker
- 5 x Infantry Squads (one with Autocannon)
- 3 x Veteran Squads (one with Lascannon)
- Scout Sentinel Squadron (2 Sentinels with Multi-laser, Heavy Flamer)
- 1 x Wyvern Mortar
- 1 x Lightning-class Fighter
- Mekboy with Shock Attack Gun
- 10 x Boyz with …, 10 x Grots, 1 x Nob with Boss Pole and Armor (in Battlewagon)
- 10 x Boyz with Shootas and 1 Big Shoota, 10 x Grots with Runtherder, 2 x Nobs (in Battlewagon)
- 10 x Boyz and Nob in Looted Wagon with 3 flamers
- 10 x Grots in Trukk
- 1 x Dakkajet with extra Big Shoota
The GM: Well, I didn’t follow my plan. I wanted to be aggressive this time around, running right at the enemy and swarming all around them.
Instead, I held back. My plan called for shooting the heck out of Trukks. Two Battlewagons surprised me, and I thought I’d take a turn or two to fire at them with my heavy weapons—then close in.
Alas, as I’d planned on Trukks, I’d taken more autocannon and multi-lasers than lascannon, and I was unable to stop the Battlewagons from getting close. Then, the orks surprised me by refusing to dismount and face my powerful firing line. Charge the orks could, but there was so much infantry, the survivors would have ripped the orks apart.
That obviously didn’t happen. The orks didn’t dismount, and their fire (particularly from the MekBoy and Dakkajet) quickly whittled down my forces. Even a mob of Grots brought down a squad, and a tank-shocking Battlewagon routed a Veteran unit off the table.
By the end of the game, my forces were decimated and in disarray, and the orks had yet to dismount and melee. It was a very one-sided battle.
Still, I take this is a good sign. The Gaffer is filling in the holes in his troop diversity, allowing him to engage in more sophisticated tactics and better leverage the strengths of an ork army.
I will, of course, now respond in kind, revising my force and tactics in order to meet the rising greenskin threat. So, more troop diversity is in order—and when it comes to Dakka, I’ve always had the edge. My painting brush will be very busy in the days to come.
The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our wargaming adventures in the fantastical universe of Games Workshop.