A panicked population rioted in the streets of Susa City this afternoon after hearing that ork forces had pushed closer to the capital city on Hegira. Nearly 2,000 rioters were killed and dozens of buildings destroyed as more than 3.500 Arbites, clad in riot gear, opened fire to suppress the civil unrest.
Planetary Governor Favious Syagrius declared a two-day-long curfew for private citizens and warned that execution squads would be patrolling the streets to ensure order.—Imperial Voxcast, 3 012 739.M41
Broadcast Date: 3 012 739.M41
On 3 010 739.M41, a massive ork attack was launched against the 6th Battalion of the 728th Cadian Regiment, to the southwest of Susa City.
After a four-hour battle, the courageous Cadians were forced back nearly 5 kilometers before redeployed artillery and air assets were able to target the orks with overwhelming firepower and bring their advance to a halt.
Imperial authorities emphasized that the ork advance was minimal, and that the defenses of Susa City remain strong and intact.
“There are more than 400 kilometers of trenches, in some places two kilometers thick, protecting the capital,” said Gen. Tiberius Vectrix, supreme commander of Imperial forces on Hegira. He spoke this afternoon at a press conference with the media.
“The orks are not going to break through.”
The ork attack began before dawn, under the cover of darkness. A highly mechanized force of Trukks, Battlewagons, and Looted Vehicles roared across the desert directly at Imperial lines, military authorities say.
Directly in the xenos’ path was the 6th Battalion of the 728th Cadian Regiment. Nicknamed “The Iron Sixth,” the battalion was supported by five PDF companies, the 17th Conscript battalion, two armored companies, and a heavy artillery battalion.
The firing began when the xenos apparently spotted, despite the darkness, a Hellhound in the Imperial lines. Well aware of the destructive power of the vehicle’s Inferno Cannon, a significant amount of ork fire was directed at the Hellhound, which was immobilized. At the same time, greenskin artillery, manned by the diminutive subspecies known as “Grots,” bombarded infantry positions.
The response of the Imperial Guard was courageous and aggressive. In the center of the Imperial line, a slew of armored vehicles advanced to block the ork advance. First blood went to a Russ Lemon Battle Tank, dubbed “Orkbane,” of the 2nd Armored Platoon, when it smashed a black Battlewagon racing directly toward the tank.
Supporting mortar and lascannon teams quickly targeted the surviving ork boyz that disembarked from the burning vehicle. All were killed.
To the north, an entire battalion of brave conscripts—the 17th Conscripts Battalion—advanced through rough terrain, seeking to show that even ordinary laborers are willing to stand up to the xenos. (These hastily trained soldiers were encouraged by dozens of commissars brandishing bolt pistols and power swords who brought up the rear.)
“This is how you deal with xeno scum,” one excitable conscript yelled at the sight of the orks being shot down. (Discipline was quickly restored when a nearby commissar pounded on the conscript’s helmet with his sword and ordered him to shut up and fire his lasgun.)
As the sun rose over the horizon, visibility greatly improved, and the accuracy of fire—and bloodshed—increased significantly.
As ork and human vehicles rammed one another and fired at point blank range, many were seen to explode in huge columns of fire and smoke. Ork artillery kept up a constant bombardment of infantry formations.
The battle shifted quickly when an ork flanking maneuver focused on the north flank. Although the conscripts prevented a major breakthrough, Looted Wagons, War Buggies, Deffkoptas, and jetpack-equipped boyz (Classification: Stormboyz) slammed into the conscripts.
During this fighting, tragedy struck. A volley of rockets targeted the command vehicle of the 6th Battalion, forcing the battalion commander and his headquarters staff to disembark. The commander was then set upon by a strafing Dakkajet, and the commander and his command squad were killed.
Despite this setback, 6th Battalion fought on valiantly. Racing forward to challenge a squadron of Killa Kans (ork walkers), a Veteran squad targeted the xenos with meltaguns and destroyed two. Nearby, an infantry squad supported by Scout Sentinels butchered an ork mob with lasgun and multi-laser fire.
The orks pushed into the Imperial line with animal savagery, but the Imperial troops gave as well as they got. Although the Looted Wagons and Warbuggies to the north hit the conscripts with wave after wave of fire, killing dozens of these new soldiers, the conscripts held.
Orkbane was struck by a rocket from a Deffkopta, but its camouflage netting helped misdirect the fire. A weapon was shot off one of the Scout Sentinels, and a strafing run by a Dakkajet nearly wiped out an infantry squad.
But the Imperials were fighting back. Scores of ork boyz were shot down, blown up, or engulfed in the holy promethium of infantry-held flamers. Meanwhile, Imperial artillery finally identified the location of the Grot artillery and pummeled the site, practically eliminating the xeno threat.
Alas, as the battle wore on, the momentum of the ork attack began to quicken. A Looted Wagon rammed a Chimera, forcing it back and creating a gap that ork Deffkoptas exploited, sweeping into the infantry lines. Dozens of guardsmen were killed.
A mob of Rocket Boyz disembarked form a looted wagon and targeted a Chimera, then let loose with their bomb-laden squids. One squid, with a bomb on its back, ran straight into the Chimera and set it ablaze.
Elsewhere, a mob charged and overwhelmed a squad of Veterans in the center of the Imperial lines. Witnesses report that their last sight of the squad was a single Ministorum Priest, standing atop a pile of corpses, swinging a power sword as he was surrounded by orks.
Not all went the xenos’ way. To the north, another squad of Veterans targeted a rampaging mob of Stormboyz and wiped them out with shotguns and meltaguns. The conscripts, meanwhile, held their own. Despite heavy casualties, they would not break, holding up vast numbers of orks in a tactically senseless fight that greatly restricted the ork opportunity to break through.
A final push by the orks begin to break the Imperial lines. First, a half dozen Dakkajets staffed the center of the human lines and killed dozens of brave guardsmen. Into the gap created by these casualties, a number of Deffkoptas, Looted Wagons, and Warbuggies pushed through.
The final act of the Imperial defense was the advance of a red-colored Battlewagon, which stopped in front of Orkbane and disgorged scores of ork warriors. Led by a nearly three-meter-tall ork—clearly the Warboss of the attack–the orks swarmed over the Lemon Russ Batle Tank. In the end, the Warboss raised his Power Klaw and cleaved the tank in half.
With ork warriors slipping through gaps all along the line, and Deffkoptas and Dakkajets roaring overhead, the 6th Battalion finally was forced to withdraw. The last defensive position to hold was a Firestorm Redoubt, which courageously held out for another 30 minutes before falling.
Despite heavy losses, the 6th Battalion gave ground slowly..
“This was critical to our defense,” Gen. Vectrix later noted. “Instead of panicking, they withdraw in good order, buying our reserves time to redploy and saturate the ork advance with artillery and strafing attacks. The end result was a slaughter of xeno scum.”
Despite this optimistic assessment, civilian authorities expressed alarm that the orks managed to penetrate the Imperial trench system. “They’ve been boasting that our defenses are impenetrable,” complained one official who insisted on anonymity. “Yet, with their very first attack, they broke through both the main trench system and the reserve line.”
Defeatist talk is cause for summary execution, warned Commissar-Major Dracos of the 728th Cadian Regiment.
“Citizens and soldiers alike have no need to discuss–let alone think—about the strategic situation,” he told reporters. “The military will defend Hegira to the death. There is no need for fearful conjecture.”
Imperial Victory Points: First Blood (1 v.p.) + 1 Objective (3 v.p.) = 4 v.p.
Ork Victory Points: 4 Objectives (12 v.p.) + Slay the Warlord (1 v.p.) + Linebreaker (1 v.p.) = 14 v.p.
Massive Ork Victory!
TheGM: This was the first big 40K battle that The Gaffer and I have fought in a while, so we didn’t “count it” for determining the fate of Hegira. I was generally pleased with how my forces did, although I had deployed too many infantry squads and needed more mid-strength (S 5 to S7) firepower. I will reconfigure my forces accordingly, and I think this will allow me to better deal with The Gaffer’s growing force of vehicles and aircraft.
The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our gaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.