“It was the influx of more heavy weaponry that won the day. The orks took the trenches a few weeks ago because we relied too much on infantry. We needed mechanized forces—tanks, Sentinels, Chimeras, and Hellhounds. We learned that lesson, and our forces now are cleaving through the ork lines like a hot knife through butter.“—Major Vernetta Cunnane, intelligence officer for the 728th Cadian Regiment.
Final Ork Push
The last great threat to the Imperial attack was directed at the 4th Mechanized Company on the southern flank of the Imperial advance.
A black Battlewagon roared forward and rammed a hastily built Aegis Line where the majority of the 728th’s anti-air assets were deployed. A large mob of boyz disembarked and stormed the fortified position, slaughtering the defending garrison and destroying an Icarus Lascannon and a Hydra squadron.
This action essentially left ork aircraft free to strafe and bomb with impunity for the rest of the battle.
Responding to this threat, two Lemon Russ tanks raced to the scene, quickly destroying the Battlewagon and then targeting the rampaging boyz. Addition support came from a squadron of Scout Sentinels and a Chimera armed with a heavy flamer and transporting a squad of veterans, who dismounted and charged the orks with shotguns and meltaguns.
Although the Imperial anti-air assets were lost, the position was retaken.
A Warlord Falls
By mid-afternoon, the ork line finally began to crack. In the north, another force of orks charged the 17th Conscripts, only to be slaughtered by a mix of gunfire and hand-to-hand combat.
The Rokkit Launcha-equipped boyz threatened a number of vehicles, but they eventually come under attack by a Wyvern battery that destroyed them in a heavy bombardment.
Soon after, a bright red Battlewagon bearing the ork warlord came under attack—by a Chimera bearing the the regimental commander, Colonel August Klein. A veteran guardsmen opened the transport’s top hatch, drew a bead on the massive ork vehicle, and fired a meltagun shot that penetrated the Battlewagon’s front armor and caused a massive explosion.
Out of the burning wreckage staggered the two-and-a-half-meter-tall Warlord with a small bodyguard. As the orks’ huge size clearly indicated their role in the ork leadership, every Imperial weapon in range opened fire on the half-dozen greenskins, and the orks were soon vaporized.
By 04:00, Imperial commanders sensed the ork line was wavering and all troops were ordered to advance with all possible aggression.
Across the line, Imperial tanks and Chimeras advanced, followed closely by infantry and supported by ongoing artillery fire. A Looted Wagon was destroyed, while two mobs of orks were shot to pieces after disembarking and attempting to charge the advancing 17th Conscripts.
The orks did not yet give up the fight. A Blitza-Bomma roared overhead and targeted a platoon command squad, wiping out the young lieutenant and his support team. Another score of conscripts died to ork artillery fire, and a Sentinel stumbled and fell after being hit by a big shoota.
The last ork counterattack was led by a Battlewagon. Its attempt to hit the flank of the 2nd Armored Company was stymied, however, by a single Chimera transport. The transport blocked the ork vehicle’s path, then disembarked a squad of Veterans armed with meltaguns and shotguns.
Destroying the Battlewagon, the squad then fought a vicious melee with the disembarking ork boyz. The squad suffered heavy casualties but ultimately was victorious against the ferocious greenskins.
The ultimate goal of this attack was to retake the extensive trench lines that the orks had seized on 3 010 739.M41. This mission was accomplished at 07:15 when 1st Platoon of the 17th Conscripts stormed the last ork-held trench line on the northern edge of the Imperial attack.
The 2nd Armored Co., 4th Mechanized Co., and 6th Infantry Battalion advanced as much as two kilometers past the trench lines in pursuit of the orks. The purpose of this dangerous maneuver was to hunt down and destroy as many ork warriors as possible while they were fleeing in confusion.
As new ork reinforcements arrived, and resistance began to stiffen, all Imperial forces were ordered to fall back to the trenches. A second full-fledged battle, with troops tired and sunlight fading, would have been a disaster. By nightfall, all Imperial troops were safely deployed in fortifications, and the fighting faded with the arrival of darkness.
Recovering the trenches was a significant victory, shoring up the defenses surrounding Susa City and reassuring the populace that the capital city could be held. For the guardsmen in the trenches, however, the situation was not so reassuring. Significant portions of the trench line had been destroyed or vandalized by the greenskins, and ork hygiene being as it is, the trenches themselves were befouled and unhealthy. Dysentery became a serious threat to troops forced to man the trenches.
Scenario: Big Guns Never Tire
Imperial: 3 x objectives (9 v.p.) + First Blood (1 v.p.) + Slay the Warlord (1 v.p.) + 3 x Heavy Support Destroyed (3 v.p.) = 14 v.p.
Ork: 1 x objective (3 v.p.) + Linebreaker (1 v.p.) + 1 x Heavy Support Destroyed (1 v.p.) = 5 v.p.
Major Imperial Victory!
TheGM: After taking a beating in our last ork-Imperial Guard fight, I took a hard look at my forces. I had too many infantry squads that did nothing in the last battle (except die at the end), and although I liked the Redemption Fortress, it was a bit pricey. So I dropped all of this to put the points somewhere else.
What I needed was more shooting, particularly by Strength 6 to 8 weapons, that could start firing on Turn 1 and just keep at it. So, I added three Armored Sentinels with multi-lasers, a second Wyvern, and added more Chimeras, with veterans and the Command Squad equipped with meltaguns. My goal for the meltaguns was to get in the face of the orks and blast away their vehicles and tougher units.
It worked! The orks advanced into a firestorm, and vehicles began exploding left and right. Meanwhile, my conscripts have proven a major roadblock for the orks. Units get mired in melee, and they can’t get out. Indeed, my conscripts are proving exceedingly hard to kill.
I probably was not as aggressive as I could have been. I tend to sit back and shoot. I tried to advance this time, but with two 2,000-point armies on the table, there wasn’t a lot of room for maneuver. Alas, the one place where I had the room to advance, there was an obstacle blocking my line of sight, and I chose to keep firing my armor than waste a turn advancing around the obstacle. Still, if I had advanced, I might have turned the ork flank.
This game didn’t “count” in determining the fate of Hegira. I think The Gaffer needs to tweak his forces to counter my now-awesome unit mix, so I think the fate of Hegira will remain uncertain a while longer.
The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our gaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.