“The battle for the Achaeon Suburbs was the nastiest fighting I’ve ever experienced. Urban fighting against orks, up close and personal, with flamers and scorchas turning combatants into living pyres . . . the nightmares aren’t going to go away anytime soon.“—Post-battle debriefing of a 20-year veteran of the Imperial Guard
Imperial Losses Mount
Casualties were mounting for 4th and 6th Platoons, and it appeared the orks might break through. Neither platoon had sufficient anti-armor weaponry to deal with the ork walkers.
But there was a brief respite when the Deff Dread inexplicably abandoned its attack on the compound and sought to break through Imperial lines by walking down a wide thoroughfare to their left. The Killa Kans followed, perhaps believing the orks on foot could complete the capture of the compound without their help.
The Volunteers did their best to stem the tide. With the ork mob attacks broken before it, 4th Platoon, supported by the two Armored Sentinels, turned to their left to block the approaching greenskin walkers.
The Sentinels formed the first line of defense, standing in the street and physically blocking the ork advance. Around them, Volunteers took position in the houses on both sides of the street and fired, albeit ineffectively, at the walkers. One brave soldier attempted to advance and fire a meltagun but, although he managed to damage a Killa Kan, he was quickly incinerated by the walker’s scorcha.
Meanwhile, in the nearby compound, the arrival of a special weapons squad helped turn the tide for 6th Platoon. No longer threatened by the xeno walkers, the surviving Volunteers launched a counterattack—supported by flamers—that pushed back the ork mob and allowed Imperial troops to retake their original defensive lines.
Still, the battle balanced on a razor’s edge—there were few troops left in either 4th or 6th Platoon.
Attacks and Counterattacks
On the left, 3rd Platoon had cleared the Administratum building. One squad of Volunteers, supported by two Armored Sentinels, continued pushing forward, driving back a smaller, second line of orks.
Meanwhile, the Hellhound and the rest of 3rd Platoon shifted right to turn the ork flank. Several squads advanced to reinforce the defenses of the compound held by 6th Platoon, while another squad and the Hellhound slammed into a second wave of ork boyz that were advancing on the compound from the street.
The Imperial attack began to draw ork troops away from the seemingly certain breakthrough on the Imperial right flank. The Killa Kans left the Deff Dread to advance, while they turned to join the fighting in the center.
Behind enemy lines, the Veterans and Bullgryns soon were under attack by reserve troops. The Meganobz, which had been slow in their advance, had abandoned the ork attack going forward and turned to confront the “humie” interlopers within their lines.
Charging into melee, the Meganobz quickly wiped out the Veterans, but the Bullgryns proved a tougher foe. It was a battle of monsters, and despite repeated blows, the giant warriors battered at its other for quite some time without either side showing signs of giving ground.
The unexpected attack by 3rd Platoon led to horrific ork losses, and the greenskins fled, breaking the back of the ork offensive. By the time the Killa Kans arrived, the ork infantry was gone, but the Killa Kans continued to advance, apparently determined to fight it out.
On the right flank, the Deff Dread attempted to push its way through the remains of 4th Platoon. It used its two Power Klaws to good effect, taking out both Armored Sentinels.
But the handful of Volunteers refused to give ground. They charged at the giant walker, attempting to use shaped charges to bring it down. For about a minute, there was a surreal scene of the six-meter-tall, heavily armored walker surrounded by men who ineffectively fired lasguns and beat at the metal hull with the butts of their guns.
It was a heroic scene that would have proven tragic, except for the timely arrival of reinforcements. A Vanquisher tank appeared down the street and, once it began to fire at the walker, the Volunteers fled into the buildings and the Deff Dread withdrew.
The Killa Kans also called off their attack after they ran into heavy Imperial resistance and retreated, although they used their flamers to spiteful effect by flaming a number of Volunteers as they withdrew.
The last fighting took place out of sight of the rest of Alpha Company. Still deep inside the ork lines, the Bullgryns finally prevailed over the Meganobz, killing two and sending the remaining xeno fleeing.
Imperial V.P.—Five Primary Objectives (15 v.p.) + Slay the Warlord (1 v.p.) + First Blood (1 v.p.) + Linebreaker (1 V.P.) = 18 v.p.
Ork V.P.—Zero v.p. Nothing. Nada. Zip.
Overwhelming Imperial Victory!
TheGM: The Gaffer left his army in my game room, and I took advantage of the opportunity to fight a solo game and test some ideas I had about urban fighting against orks. (The last city fight against The Gaffer had been an unmitigated disaster for me.)
Imperial troops were a bit light in anti-armor weaponry, but my heavy emphasis on flamers saved the day. The terrain was so heavy that Imperial troops couldn’t shoot at the orks until they were already in charge range (not good for survival). So, flamers were the only hope the Imperials had.
It was pure luck that 4th Platoon, on the right flank, survived to the end of the game (it had three men left). But their incredible willingness to fight to the death stymied the ork walkers, who otherwise were all but invincible. The orks simply ran out of time to break through.
Of course, my Warlord Trait allowed me to outlflank with my Veterans and Bullgryns, and thankfully, they both arrived at the same time on the same flank. That allowed me to strike the orks from behind and gut their boyz where they were the greatest threat.
That, plus an unusually aggressive attack by 3rd Platoon on the opposite flank, proved very successful.
I “think” I played the orks with equal aggression and, by Turn 3, I was convinced the orks were going to break through easily. Then they didn’t. I’m beginning to realize that the Imperial Guard can, when used well, be a tough opponent.
Now, if I can only remember that when The Gaffer is leading his orks. The man’s tactical acumen scares me.
The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our gaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.
Categories: Hegira Campaign