“Bastion 19-A6 was a powerfully armored but still small tower in an empty desert of sand and trenches. To its right and left, similar towers rose from the desert, only 200 meters away yet too distant to provide any reassurance of support. It was manned by 2,000 men of 2nd Company, 3rd Battalion, of the Aproxi Munitorum Millitia.”
“At 06:00, on 3 801 741.M41, a force of orks—5 million strong—attacked. Bastion 19-A 6 was directly in front of the tip of this attack—and the target for nearly 100,000 greenskins . One can only imagine what these 2,000 men thought as they looked out on the desert and saw a carpet of screaming xenos advance on their position.“—Excerpt from “War on Hegira: Memoirs of a Soldier,” published in 785.M41.
* * *
The battle begins at dawn. A massive horde of orks race across the desert. Most are embarked in Trukks and Battlewagons that move forward at reckless speed. Above the black smoke billowing from these ramshackle vehicles, one can make out a Warkopta—a previously unseen greenskin war machine—moving forward about 30 meters over the desert floor.
The most horrific sight, however, is a 18-meter-tall Stompa making its way toward the trench line. Clearly built out of scrap metal, and clumsily shaped like the primitive idols of the ork gods, the gigantic walker moves with astonishing speed.
It advances quickly, and Imperial troops watch in horror as a plethora of shells and missiles arc away from the monstrosity, evidence that the ork construct is armed with a massive number of weapons.
The Imperial armor takes the brunt of the early ork fire. The 73rd PDF Armored Company, assigned to support the bastion, is peppered with missile fire—one missile disabling the powerful cannon of the company’s command Vanquisher.
Not far away, a blessed Baneblade tank, Fortitude of Man, is struck by a mighty shell. Although it does not penetrate the vehicle’s front armor, the shell’s explosion leaves a sizable crater in the hull..
Greater insult comes from an insane greenskin weapon, often called a Shokk Attack Gun, that attempts to teleport grots inside the Baneblade. Thankfully, the weapon is wildly inaccurate, and the diminutive xenos splatter onto the tank’s front hull, leaving a large green stain.
Imperial troops return fire with every weapon at their disposal. Given the mass of greenskins to their front, it is hardly necessary to aim—even a missed shot hits something. The main goal, of course, is to stop as many vehicles as possible, preventing the orks from disembarking and charging the trenches.
A Battlewagon explodes, rolling over the orks that are thrown out of its rear troop compartment. A Trukk loses a wheel and veers into a tank trap, tearing its engine compartment to shreds.
Despite intense ork fire, the 73rd Armored Company advances with the intent of blocking part of the ork advance. All three Lemon Russ tanks fire at the Stompa, causing some damage.
Meanwhile, the conscripts are ordered forward to sacrifice their lives by charging into the orks and distracting them while the militia keeps shooting. That plan doesn’t work out. In the center of the trenches, a shell lands atop the conscript unit’s commissar and, without his ever-ready executioner’s pistol, the entire unit panics and flees.
Meanwhile, near the Bastion, the commander of another conscript unit (TheGM in command) is intimidated by the massive, if wildly inaccurate, amount of enemy fire. The order is given to “go to ground” and cower in the trench lines.
TheGM: Already, the Imperial plan is beginning to fall apart. The Stompa has partially blocked the 73rd Armored Company’s advance, and the conscripts have not moved forward. The orks will be at the outer trenches on Turn Two.
Victory Points — Imperial: First Blood + a Battlewagon, and Trukk destroyed = 3 v.p. — Orks: 0 v.p.
A massive fleet of ork aircraft appear in the skies, and the Imperial air force is outnumbered by a sizable margin. The enemy flyboyz immediately begin to strafe Imperial troops.
TheGM: Ork aircraft were extremely dangerous. Even if only half their shots hit, the AP value of Big Shootas and Supa-Shootas negate armor saves for regular guardsmen. If not for a 4+ cover save from the fortifications, the aircraft could have won the game by themselves.
The Stompa has yet to reach the trench line, but despite some damage from the firing Lemon Russ tanks and Baneblade, it marches within reach of a veteran-embarked Chimera that seeks to distract it.
The transport isn’t much of a distraction. Without even slowing, the ork walker raises a foot and kicks aside the transport. Praise the Emperor, the vehicle survives the attack, although worrisome black smoke began to billow from its engine compartment.
The walker next turns its weapons on the armored column. The Hellhound explodes in a ball of fire that kills every ork and man within 30 meters, and a powerful shell strikes a Lemon Russ tank and gouges a sizable chunk of armor out of its side hull.
It was assumed that there were no survivors of the destroyed Battlewagon. Not so. A massive ork—clearly a Warlord of some kind—appears out of the smoke and flames and activates his Power Klaw . Around him, a bodyguard of Nobs (rather battered admittedly) form around him.
The warlord charges the second Chimera, plunging his weapon deep into the front hull of the transport. Before the xeno is done, the veterans inside die a horrible death.
Near the Bastion, a number of Trukks reach the trench line, and hundreds of orks and grots disembark and charge the Imperial trenches. The cowering conscripts fire a ragged volley, but they soon find themselves in hand-to-hand combat with the greenskins.
The fighting is too close-and-personal for supporting fire from nearby troops. So, militiamen on the roof of the Bastion fire at the rank of orks behind the fighting. Other troops appear out of the back of the Bastion and begin to form a firing line behind the trenches, which they fully expected to fall.
Joining these reserves are two Armored Sentinels. which move forward and take a position in front of this firing line. Now the orks will have to fight through two more ranks of troops before they can break through.
Imperial aircraft arrive. But they are outnumbered by more than two to one. Still, they give a good account of themselves. A Warkopta breaches the first trench line, but a Lightning Strike Fighter shoots the ork aircraft out of the sky. A Valkyrie gunship strafes an approaching mob of orks.
Imperial artillery drops a sizable bombardment on a mass of orks surrounding the Shokk Attack Gun. The strange xeno device is destroyed, and a very satisfying crater is created where the orks once stood.
Around the Stompa, the fighting is fierce. One Veteran squad with meltaguns races to the feet of the giant walker and punch a series of holes in the walker’s ramshackle armor, but it is impossible to see how much damage is done. The Stompa is just so damned big!
A handful of orks are destroyed when a Burna-Bommer is shot down by the Quad Icarus Lascannon of the Firestorm Redoubt and crashes among the greenskins.
The Warlord and Nobs have revealed themselves, so half a dozen Imperial heavy weapons open up on them. The massive greenskin and his entourage disappear in a cloud of smoke and flame.
Victory Points — Imperial: Slay the Warlord! One Trukk, a Burna Bomma, a Warkopta, and a Weirdboy are destroyed = 5 v.p. (total 8 v.p.)— Orks: One Chimera and a Hellhound are destroyed = 2 v.p. (total 2 v.p.)
Click here to read Part 3 of this battle.
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The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our hobby adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.
Categories: Hegira Campaign
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