Hegira Campaign

Orks break through Susa City defenses – Part 3

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Veteran guardsmen, armed with meltaguns, make a suicidal charge at the Stompa. They do significant damage with their powerful weapons before they are literally “stomped to death” by the giant walker.

For the troops defending Bastion 19A-6, the tactical situation was a nightmare. They were slaughtering the orks by the thousands, yet there seemed to be an endless  number to replace the fallen. No such relief was available, however, for the defenders.  The ork warlord, Rumlar, had planned with great cunning. The vast majority of greenskin artillery was falling behind the redoubt, creating a killing zone that cut off all attempts at reinforcement.

A sense of doom began to fall upon the Aproxi Munitorum Militia. They knew they would meet the Emperor that day.“—Excerpt from “War on Hegira: Memoirs of a Soldier,” published in 785.M41.

* * *

Turn Three

Although the Imperials had destroyed more than half a dozen units, all return to the tabletop this turn—a new Tarlord in a Battlewagon, Trukks, a Burna Bomba, a new Shokk Attack Gun, and a Warkopta. They all race across the battlefield to join the fighting.

One Burna Bomma targets the inner trench line, held by the reserve company of conscripts. A bomb drops in the center of this mass of ill-trained men, wiping out dozens, and the survivors panic and flee the table. Half of the Imperial reserve is gone.

Near the Firestorm Redoubt, the Stompa and a Battlewagon plow into the 73rd Armored Company. The Battlewagon rams the surviving Chimera and destroys it, and the Stompa ravages the disembarking Veterans with fire from its Supa-Gatler and Big Shootas. The Veterans die a heroic death.

The ork walker next targets the Imperial tanks to its front.  A Deffkannon takes out a Lemon Russ Battle Tank, while a Supa-Rokkit puts a second hit on the Imperial Vanquisher tank.

TheGM: The Stompa’s firepower is beyond belief! If not stopped, it will destroy the right flank of the Imperial line all by itself!

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Enginseer Marxa Aurilleus X78-B3 proved his fealty to the Omnissiah during the battle. Protected only by a modest force field, the Tech Priest ignored the shells exploding around him and ensured that the Vanquisher tank’s powerful cannon-—damaged at the beginning of the battle—was repaired. Alas, the Enginseer, as well as the tank he so dutifully served, die without having any significant effect on the battle.

Near the Bastion, orks and grots battle it out with the conscripts in the trenches, and it is a bloodbath. The grots are killed, but the orks wade into the conscripts and, within minutes, only a handful of terrorized soldiers still hold their position. That any still live is a miracle.

While the reserve company of conscripts has fled the table, the conscripts that held the center trenches—and fled on Turn One—finally rally. So there is some hope for the Imperial center. But orks already are clambering over these trenches, and some manage to break out and attack a platoon command squad.

Its gallant officer and men are overwhelmed in seconds.

It is time for the Baneblade to prove itself a Lord of War. It targets the Stompa and, supported by the lascannon of the Firestorm Redoubt and a Basilisk at the inner trench line, Imperial shells pound the greenskin walker. The construct is engulfed by a cloud of fire and smoke.

Yet, it survives. It walks out of the deadly barrage, standing tall despite everything the Imperials could throw at it. Still, it is clearly damaged, with gaping holes in its armored hull. (In fact, it has but one hit point left.)

The Vanquisher tank commander screams into his vox, calling for his squadron’s Enginseer to repair his powerful cannon. He is the top ace in the regiment, and he has yet to fire a single round at the enemy!

The Tech Priest works under the most appalling conditions, his own repair protocols working non-stop as he is pummeled by shrapnel from all the shells exploding around him. But his prayers to the Omnissiah are answered, and the cannon is repaired!

Finally, the tank ace gets to target the enemy . . . and promptly misses. (Even with a reroll. Agh!)

(TheGM: Two-thirds of the trench line has now fallen—and it’s only Turn Three. I have botched the first turns. I didn’t get my speed bumps forward of the trenches, and I allowed my armored assault to “freeze” in place out of intimidation at the Stompa’s quick advance. Now, the Stompa has my armor ‘s advance blocked, and my mobile armor are simply fixed gun positions.

I’m still in the fight, but It’s painful to realize that my decisions in the early turns may have cost me the battle.)

Victory Points — Imperial: Grots destroyed = 1 points (9 v.p. total) — Orks: One Lemon Russ tank, one Chimera, one Veteran unit, one conscript unit, and one platoon command squad destroyed = 5 v.p. (7 v.p. total)

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Orks begin to cross the trench line. They are still contained by reserve firing lines, but the Imperials are beginning to feel the pressure of the sizable ork force.

Turn Four

Knowing that it will fall soon, the Stompa does what damage it can. The walker opens up on both remaining Lemon Russ tanks on the table. Its Deffkannon scatters, striking itself as well as both tanks.

Surprisingly, both Imperial tanks survive, although the Enginseer behind the Vanquisher tank is vaporized by the powerful blast. But the badly damaged ork walker has had enough;  the xeno construct collapses—a victim of its own aggressiveness.

Ork aircraft continue to strafe Imperial troops with impunity. Completely ignoring the few Imperial aircraft, Dakkajets and Burna Bommas kill half a dozen soldiers with Shoota Guns, and another dozen with a Burna Bomb. Meanwhile, one Dakkajet manages the incredible feat of taking out a Basilisk with highly accurate Supa-Shoota fire.

Another Shokka Assault Gun targets the Baneblade. The shot penetrates, killing a crewman and leaving the rest of the crew stunned.

A brief dogfight erupts in the skies as a Lightning Strike Fighter targets a Dakkajet. Smoke billows from the xeno aircraft, and it turns and flees the battlefield. Meanwhile, the FireStorm Redoubt fires its  lascannon upwards and shoots down a Burna Bomma.

Near the Imperial Bastion, the orks finally kill the remaining defenders of the trench line. It is a tragic loss of men, but their deaths do delay the greenskins’ advance a little longer.

Back at the Redoubt,  the Vanquisher tank fires at a Trukk but only manages a glancing hit. The Lemon Russ targets a mob of of orks and kills eight. Alas, the mob’s morale holds.

TheGM: The Imperial line is crumbling. Two-thirds of the outer trenches are now held by the orks, and only the Redoubt and Bastion remain under Imperial control. The Stompa is down, but while its self-inflicted death is amusing, I know it will re-enter the battle next turn. Yet what most alarms me is that the Imperial lead in victory points is razor thin.

Victory Points — Imperial: Stompa and Burna Bomma destroyed = 2 v.p. (11 v..p. total) — Orks: Basilisk, one infantry squad destroyed =2 v.p. (9 v.p. total)

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The surviving troops on the Imperial right flank (near the Redoubt) gather around the Aegis Line. They know the orks will break through to their position soon enough.

Turn Five

A new Stompa “stomps” onto the table and races toward the Imperial line. A Dakkajet targets a squadron of Armored Sentinels, destroying one and putting one hit on the other.

The new Shokk Attack Gun targets a heavy weapons squad on the Firestorm Redoubt, killiing all but one weapons team and sending the rest scurrying for cover. 

The orks swarm past the Redoubt. Some charge the surviving Lemon Russ, and one greenskin manages to rip open the rear engine hatch and disable the vehicle. Tearing at it with all their might, the other orks eventually break into the crew compartment and slaughter everyone.

In the center of the trench line, a new Warlord arrives in a Battlewagon, dismounts, and charges the Baneblade. Despite the mighty tank’s thick armor, the Power Klaw of the monstrous Warlord is unstoppable. He begins to tear great holes in the armor of the vehicle, and the Lord of War is left with but a single hit point.

At the Bastion, another Battlewagon manages to cross the trenches, taking damage in the process. But there is an Armored Sentinel barring its path, so the ork transport accelerates and slams into the walker. The Sentinel staggers backwards but survives the mighty blow.

To the left of the Bastion, the orks consolidate their hold on the outer trenches and begin to move forward. . They are met by a small squad of infantry that bars their path. The greenskins quickly slaughter them, but the squad’s sacrifice again slows down the ork advance.

The lascannon of the Firestorm Redoubt fire upwards and destroy two more ork aircraft: a Dakkajet and Burna Bomma. As the xeno crafts crash in flames, a cheer rises among the beleaguered defenders.

Confronted by the sheer ferocity of the ork Warlord, the crew of the Baneblade guns its engines and backs up. Breaking free of the fight, the tank commander takes a desperate risk: it fires its main gun at point-blank range. 

Alas, the shot misfires, exploding in the barrel and sending an explosive fireball through the crew compartment. The shock wave detonates a shell in the main gunnery center, and the mighty Lord of War explodes, killing the crew and a lot of surrounding orks but leaving the ork Warlord only dazed.

At the Bastion, the Imperials are outraged at the fall of their comrades and fire devastating volleys into the ork lines. They kill many, but not enough. The order is giving to fix bayonets.

TheGM: Really? The Baneblade also dies of a self-inflicted wound.? What is going on here?  Only the troops in the Aegis Line are still in the fight, plus my thin firing line near the Bastion. Can they hold? Only with luck.

I notice the Battlewagon that’s crossed the trenches. It could “tank shock” through my firing line and seize the high-value objective behind the second—and now undefended—trench line. I must prevent that. I order my Valkyrie, which has been shooting at ork infantry, to fall back and hover over the objective. If the game ends on Turn Seven, and my gunship can keep the orks more than 3″ away, I might pull off a win.

Victory Points — Imperial: A Dakkajet and Burna Bomba  destroyed = 2 v.p. (13 v..p. total) — Orks: one infantry squad and one Baneblade destroyed = 2v.p. (11 v.p. total)

Click here for the conclusion of this battle.

Click here to return to Part 2.

The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our hobby adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.

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