“This is Third Company. We are being overrun. Xeno walkers have destroyed our armored support and are attacking our position. We had no anti-armor weapons still in service, and we cannot stop this attack. We need reinforcements now or — ” [Last known voxcast of Third Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Iconia PDF Regiment]
As the flanks began to collapse, the center came under threat. One by one, the Sentinels were brought down by the mob of orks that assailed the walkers from all sides, distracting them long enough for a larger ork [Classification: Ork Nob] to attack with a power klaw at a vulnerable spot in the Sentinels’ armor.
The warlord himself reportedly destroyed two Sentinels by himself, using a power klaw attached to an arm nearly as thick as a man’s torso.
With the Sentinels destroyed, and the flanks being “rolled up” by walkers, the 1st Battalion finally broke as a second wave of walkers struck the infantry firing line at the field’s edge. Lasgun fire proved ineffective against the walkers’ armor, and all Imperial anti-tank support was targeted by an arriving ork “Blitza-Bommer” that also managed to destroy a Hellhound tank with an accurate drop of anti-tank munitions.
Ultimately, the 1st Battalion was shattered into small groups of survivors who fled the field. A final communication from the battalion commander indicated that ork walkers were overrunning the farm compound and engaging his command squad in hand-to-hand fighting.
Communications with Iconia remain intermittent, but authorities say that the few astropathic reports that have managed to reach Belliose in recent weeks suggest other PDF units are suffering similar reverses.
“At this time, we are unsure of the tactical situation on Iconia,” Commodore Antonius later reported in a written statement. “It does appear that the planet’s initial effort to stem the ork threat has not been entirely successful.”
Readers will note that this report is dated 3 827 739.M41, nearly four months after the events on Iconia. According to authorities, news of the invasion did not reach Belliose Naval Base until yesterday.
The reason, officials say, is that Iconia is situated only 30 light years from the Heart of Darkness, a turbulent warp storm that can cause temporal anomalies and cause near-instantaneous communications to be delayed by days, weeks, and even years.
Indeed, communications with Iconia are so difficult that a small naval detachment has been send to the Patara System to assess the military situation.
Meanwhile, military scholar Khrysdam Alrod has observed that current reports look grim for the citizens of Iconia.
“The PDF’s best opportunity to stop the xeno threat was immediately after the crash, when the xenos were still recovering from the trauma of their arrival,” he said. “If the PDF is being pushed back at this stage, then the orks, with their prodigious ability to propagate, will quickly gain the upper hand.”
What’s particularly ominous for Iconia is that the Imperial war machine is severely challenged on many fronts, which makes it questionable whether adequate reinforcements will be available to challenge the ork invasion.
“The bottom line is that more important worlds are threatened right now,” Alrod said. “The orks may take over the entire planet before help can arrive, but more importantly, it will take years, likely decades, for the orks to build up a sufficient population on Iconia to support the building of new voidcraft.”
“That means the ork threat is contained right now,” he added. “That’s a tragedy for Imperial citizens on Iconia, but the reality is that a world so close to the Heart of Darkness is expendable. If the military situation in the Corvus Cluster improves, there will be plenty of time to organize a military crusade to retake this beleaguered world—and avenge our Imperial brethren—in future years.”
TheGM: Although much distracted by my major terrain project for the Shorehammer Convention in November, I did find time for a small solo game. The Gaffer had loaned me his orks, as I wanted to get a feel for them from the commander’s perspective. This small solo game was a perfect opportunity.
Whether such experience will help me in future contests with The Gaffer isn’t clear. My tabletop success may continue to depend more on Dakka than tactical acumen.
The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our gaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.
Categories: Battle Report (Narrative)