Naval Battles

Astartes retake mining station – Part 2

Warhammer 40K blog

Captain Navarre brings reinforcements to help a beleaguered tactical squad as it fights off a larger force of orks.

Orks are a menace. They’re a cancer. Once they enter into a star system, they spread across planets, lurk in asteroid fields, propagate in dank caves and dark forests. They’re almost impossible to stamp out. They’re vermin—three-meter-tall, heavily muscled, insanely violent and dangerous vermin . . . and I’ve got them in the Sculptor System.“—Commodore Gadea Hennard, commander of Fleet Corvus

Continued . . .

Boarding Action

The boarding action of the mining base began before the naval battle finished. As the Astartes ships raced around the asteroid field, they briefly came within range of the space station and launched boarding torpedoes.

Thus Nevarre and the majority of the 4th Company were boarding the station as the ork escorts were being destroyed.

Entering the station near the central command nodule, the Knights split into separate fire teams and raced toward their objectives. Ork resistance was fierce, and the Space Marines found themselves in hand-to-hand combat several times as they advanced.

At one point in the battle, disaster almost overtook the mission.  Although one fire team managed to fight its way to a key plasma generator, subsequent ork assaults were relentless and nearly overwhelming in number.

Fortunately, Navarre’s fire team had seized its objective and, with ork counterattacks well in hand, Nevarre led a handful of Astartes to reinforce the beleaguered Marines at the generator.

Along the way, he was ambushed by a a dozen orks that struck from the shadows of a side corridor. In the fighting that followed, Navarre was nearly disemboweled by an ork with a  power klaw. But Nevarre used a small, arm-mounted flamer to good effect.

Forced back by the flaming  promethium, the orks were temporarily disorganized, and Navarre took advantage of the moment to thrust a lightning claw through the lead ork’s skull. With the support of his fellow Astartes, they made short work of the rest of the xenos.

Soon after, Navarre and his men reached the generator room and reinforced the Marines fighting desperately for their lives. The greenskin assault was thrown back, and the generator remained firmly in Astartes’ hands.

Victory and Assessment

With more than 800 orks aboard the station, it took nearly 24 hours for the 80 warriors of the 4th Company to clear the ship of xeno taint. Only one Marine was killed, and two received serious but recoverable wounds.

The damage done to the mining base was far more serious, Speakeman said.

“Of the 15,000 crew and mining staff, only 400 were found alive. All were locked in a cargo bay without sanitation facilities. They were malnourished, many had been beaten badly, and nearly one in four exhibited signs of extreme trauma at the violence and threats of torture and death that the xenos engaged in for their sickening amusement.”

The damage to the station was equally horrific. Although the orks were on the station for only a few days, they had ransacked the ship’s machinery and equipment. A great deal was missing, apparently torn from their housings and taken aboard their warships.

“The Mechanicus representatives that viewed the damage were apoplectic,” Speakeman said. “The randomness and sheer perversity of the damage to machinery and equipment was an affront to their Omnissiah.”

What wasn’t stolen was vandalized to a degree that makes repair problematic, he added.

“The weapons system is largely destroyed. The majority of plasma generators are non-functioning, and the command, communications, and ore-processing systems are inoperable. Too much was simply stripped away.”

Given the vulnerability of the station—with both orks and Tau warships operating in the asteroid belt—the viability of the mining operation is in doubt, Speakeman concluded.

“The station has fallen twice to xenos. While recapturing the station was essential, the question arises: Can we fortify it sufficiently to continue operations? Should we activate its self-destruction protocols? Or do we shut it down and leave it as a hulk until the xeno threats have passed—and then hope what’s left can be recovered in the future?”

— End Broadcast —

TheGM: This is a brief description of a two-battle campaign that was fought. With only six ships on the table, our Battlefleet Gothic battle didn’t last 20 minutes. But it was satisfying to see the Space Marines win handily. After all, the Astartes are exceptional in the books, so it’s nice to see them dominate the game table.

The boarding action also was fun. We played the same scenario twice: Once using the Shadow Wars: Armageddon rules, and once introducing ourselves to the Necromunda rules. Both worked fine, but we’re going to stick to Shadow Wars, as it plays a bit faster—and we can always steal a few ideas from Necromunda if it adds some flavor to a scenario.

I have to say I was impressed with Captain Navarre. Hitting the orks with  a flamer (and, while they’re pinned, slamming into them with a squad armed with power swords, lighting claws, and chainswords . . . well, it was fun for me. The Gaffer, playing the orks, might disagree.

Oh, sorry for the lack of good photos. We got so caught up in the fighting, I forget to get a good shot of orks and Marines battling it out.

If you’re wondering about the first time the station was captured by xenos (Tau), click here.

Click here to return to the beginning of the battle.

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

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