With the fall of the Sentinel, the path forward was open to close with the humies. Blakfang led the charge, rushing past the remaining Sentinel to refocus his boyz on closing with the more vulnerable—and squishy—infantry.
“At ’em, boyz!” Blakfang yelled, moving forward as fast as he could. The other Sentinel didn’t interest him right now. Slaughtering the humies in the open would win the fight.
Slowed by his armor and power klaw, Blakfang was somewhat irritated as the other boyz ran past. All the knocking ‘eads would be done before he caught up!
But he was mistaken. The humies had fallen back, keeping their distance from the greenskins. Formed in several lines, the guardsmen took turns firing, volley after volley. Their weapons weren’t particularly powerful, and most orks could take several hits without difficulty, but the rate of fire was having an effect.
One ork fell. Then another. Then two more. His boyz were dropping fast.
Screaming in outrage, Blakfang pushed himself faster. But 10 meters from the humies, he realized he was the last ork standing. He didn’t hesitate for a moment. He kept coming. One humie. If he could kill one humie before he died . . . .
It was not to be. Just as he got close enough to swing his power klaw, a lasgun round punched through his left eye and buried itself deep into his brain.
All went black.
A Mysterious Wreck
Not far away, Mersen could see his young lieutenant standing resolutely, timing the firing of each rank with a precision that was hard to maintain off the parade ground.
Then came the order: “Cease fire!”
He scanned the battlefield. The ork mob to his front was decimated. Their warlord the last to fall. In the distance, the Chimera had reached the greenskin artillery, and he could see streams of holy promethium raining down on the xenos. It appeared the grenadiers had things well in hand.
To his right, he saw the Stormboyz launch themselves from the ruins and join the remaining mob, which was attempting to wrestle the wreckage out of the sand.
What are the greenskins doing? Mensen wondered. It was the wreckage of a long-downed ork aircraft, but it was nothing more than a battered hull half-buried in the sand.
Clearly there was something there the orks wanted, and it was his job to prevent them from achieving their aims.
“First Platoon! Swing to the right and advance on the enemy. Independent fire!”
For yet a third time, Mensen turned to his voxcaster. “Tell the special weapons squad and Sentinel to bring those orks under fire.”
Victory, at least
It was over. The orks fought fiercely to defend their prize, but when the remaining Sentinel charged into their midst, the orks lost all interest in anything but attacking the walker.
As their weapons pounded uselessly against its armor, every lasgun of Mensen’s command opened fire, and the orks were quickly routed. Yet, fleeing across open desert, they were defenseless against the volume of fire that 1st Platoon poured at them. Not single one of the greenskins managed to escape.
Later, Mensen stood in the shadow of the mesa, scanning the horizon with his monocular. He heard footsteps approach and turned to the sound. It was Lt. Paulso.
The young officer saluted smartly, which Mensen returned. “Well?”
“We’re ready to return to base,” Paulso said. “Wounded and dead are loaded onto the Chimera. Everyone is accounted for.”
The captain nodded wearily. “Did you find out what was so damned important in that wreckage.”
Paulso shook his head. “You won’t believe it. We found a chest in a storage compartment. It was full of ork fangs.”
Mensen laughed. Seeing Paulso’s confusion, he explained. “Teeth are a form of currency for the greenskins. For all we know, an entire chest of fangs could be a small fortune.”
Paulso shook his head. “That makes no sense.”
“No, it doesn’t,” Mensen said. “But the mind of the xeno is inexplicable. We don’t need to understand. Just get the men marching back. I don’t want to be outside the city’s trenches after dark.”
“Oh, one more thing. Have someone flame that chest.”
For historical scholars, this minor skirmish took place on 3 433 741.M41.
TheGM: Although we recently got together for a small skirmish game , this was our first full-fledged battle of Warhammer 40K in more than a year. So, to “warm up,” as it were, we kept the fight small—just 600 points a side.
Still, there were a lot of tactical decisions to make, and I made some good ones. I had a plan, and it worked perfectly. I was particularly happy with how my Armored Sentinels, spread between a copse of palm trees and a rocky mesa, held up the ork WAAAGH! for a turn, allowing me to order “First Rank Fire! Second Rank Fire!” There’s nothing like targeting 10 orks with 90 lasgun rounds.
Of course, I was helped enormously by The Gaffer’s poor Turn 2 roll for reinforcements. No reinforcements arrived, and that meant one-third of his army wasn’t on the table at a critical moment. That gave me a tremendous advantage, as I didn’t have to split my fire against multiple threats..
Just so you know. The scenario was “The Relic,” and that’s why so many orks were more interested in the wreckage instead of smashing humies. If the orks could have dragged the objective away, they’d have won the battle on victory points, irregardless of ork casualties. Alas for The Gaffer, it was a valiant effort that failed.. (Hee, hee.)
Now we need to develop a narrative story to determine the fate of Susa City. It’s been under siege for nearly two years. It’s time for a resolution. Will the capital—and thus the moon of Hegira—stand courageously against the xeno threat? Or will Hegira fall?
The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our gaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.
Categories: Hegira Campaign