Saturday, February 22, 2014

The thin grey line

Wasnagga Bubbleboots and his green horde are quickly closing in to Hive Agnebergus and its space port. Countless of young soldiers of the planetary defence force has been sacrificed in effort to slow him down. To make it possible for the imperial guard to build a defence line.
In the rocky area known as Justy Cliffs just a hundred imperial miles outside the edges a long, but thin system of trenches has quickly been constructed. Manned by the few men of the Ferran Steel Eagles they make up the thin grey line that protect Hive Agnebergus from the green menace. All available forces has been confiscated to support them including a few warhounds en-route to the main fighting area in Holmus and an Emperor class battleship made available from the Imperial navy.

+++ The scenario +++

The imperial player had free hands to set up the defence works from available terrain, in this case it ended up with two sections of trenches. Then the imperial player had to set up three objectives. One at most 30cm from the imperial table edge, the other at least 30 cm away from the edge and at most 60 cm and the last between 60 and 90 cm away from the imperial edge. Each objective was worth one victory point. In addition of that Beat their spirit was worth one victory point.

The imperial guard could set up anywhere in the trenches, except for scouts that could set up anywhere on the imperial table half. The orks could set up two units eligible for garrison at the third  objective and the rest at the ork table edge. Victory points was to be counted at end of turn three and four as usual.

Imperial Defenders Iron Eagle first Legion.

Supreme Commander, 12 Infantry, 2 Ogryns, Hellhound Squadron (3 Hellhounds)
Commander, 12 Infantry
2 Baneblade, Tank Squadron (3 Leman Russ), Shadowsword
6 Rough Riders
4 Sentinels
Emperor Class
WARHOUND TITAN [275]  (Iron Jaws)
WARHOUND TITAN [275]  (Gold Fang)

Storming Orks 

4 Nobz, 12 Boyz, 4 Grotz, 2 Oddboy, 2 Big Gun
2 Nobz, 6 Boyz, 2 Grotz, 4 Battlewagon
2 Nobz, 6 Boyz, 2 Grotz, 4 Battlewagon
8 Gunwagon, 2 Oddboy
6 Warbuggy, 2 Skorcha, 6 Warbike
3 Stompa, 3 Dreadnought
12 Big Gunz, 2 Oddboy, Nobz
5 Big Gunz
4 Deth Kopta

+++ Setup +++

The Guard put the infantry in the trenches with the Basilisk behind in cover. The super heavy  company bolster the lines to the left and the warhound to the right. The sentinels and rough riders deploy to threat the ork big gunz.

The ork put their big mob and big gunz up from, hoping to let them bear on the defenders as soon as possible. They put the big blitz brigade and the stompas opposite the warhounds, judging that the right flank of the guard is the weak one. Putting lighter troops on the left.

+++ Turn 1 +++

The orks win the initiative
Wasnagga yells at his forward gunz to fire all they have at the 'humis in the trenches. Unfortunately isn't ork shooting their strong point and even with a sustained fire they only manage to kill five guard units. Including the commander and commissar however, but just failing in breaking the unit. If they had, the right flank would be open.

The rough riders charge forward like the light brigade into the still lingering smoke from the big gunz. Killing eight of the machines but loose three them self and break. The gunz was forced to flee forward toward the trenches to avoid nearby enemies.

The small ork blitz brigade doubles forward across the field and fire their gunz on one of the giant walkers. Failing to do any damage.

Meanwhile the Basilisk fire at the kult of speed in the ork rear. Killing three of the buggies.

The small mob on the ork left double up just out of range of the Iron Jaw warhound and fire at the sentinels. Killing one and almost break them.

The Gold Fang return fire at the blitz brigade that fired at it. Sustained and kill three of the ork gunwagons. The remaining tank flee behind the wood and will remain out of order for most of the battle.

On the other side of the battlefield has the mystic warp power of the wierdboy towers in the big blitz brigade gathered enough energy. The tanks advance into range of one of the warhounds and the wierdboys release the huge amount of stored energy. One of the arc make a huge hole in the ground and the other hits the Iron Jaw penetrate its shields and make smoking hole in the side of it.

The poor leaderless grunts in the trench behind it marshal its courage and remove all blast markers.

Meanwhile does the stompas double up the field but slow as they are does not have anything to fire at.

The Iron Jaw puts its mechanics at work and succeed in restoring the shields. Meanwhile it get a few shoots at the exposed big gunz killing the rest of the fleeing orks.

The small big gunz battery doubles up the field but lack anything to fire at.

On the guard right flank the sentinel tries to sneak through the forest but one of the machines get stuck in a fallen tree and crash to the ground. This is enough for the rest of the pilots to lose morale and break.

The remaining mechanized warband double up the field try to hide behind a hill and fire at Gold Fang, making one of its shield to short circuit.

The Iron Eagle supreme commander have his troops to advance in the trenches to get a better angle at the orks behind the mountain and kill two unit of orks and a unit of grots.

This is what Wasnagga has waited for and order his big mob of orks to double up fire the big rockets supplied by his meks. The rockets hits badly however and only kill two units of the guards. Wasnagga personally reprimands his meks with a big stick.

The guard commander order his superheavies to advance from their position on the flank and fire away at Wasnaggas mob killing five units of orks and a few weedy grots.

The Kult of speed however decide to not try to match the superheavy tanks and instead double over to the opposite side of the field putting pressure on the badly damaged company on the guard right flank.

End of turn 1

Most of the units rally and remove most or almost all blast markers except for the broken small blitz brigade and the sentinels.

+++ Turn 2 +++

Orks take the initiative again.
Wasnagga order his artillery in the big mob to sustain fire at the guardsmen in front of him, but first doesn't the rockets ignite (reroll) and when they finally does they hit wide killing only a single unit. Wasnagga is deeply disappointed with his meks.

On the other side of the trenches does the basilisks roar after some target problems (reroll). Hitting the small mob on the right flank killing one unit of nobs, one orks and one grots.

The wierdboys has recharged their mighty towers and sustain fire at the Iron Jaw hoping to take down the big machine clearing the way for the orks waiting to flood the guardsmen in the dykes. But Mork is not with them (or Gork) and they only strip a shield of the warhound.

Gold Fang sustain fire at the kult of speed and destroys another two buggies.

The small mobs with their battlewagons double up, reaching the objective outside the trenches on the guards right. Meanwhile fire at Iron Jaw but miss every shot.

Iron Jaw return the fire much more precise killing two units of orks and one grot.

On the guards left flank does the small unit of big gunz double forward and fire a few shells at the superheavies missing them all.

Since the Iron Jaw fail to break the stubborn orks now in engage range of the second company they fire all they have at them. Killing two units and make the orks flee behind the woods.

The Kult of speed tries to engage the rough riders but the command fails to reach all vehicles and does instead regroup and get back in full order.

Meanwhile does the superhevies drive closer to Wasnaggas warband and fire all their gunz. The ground explode around the orks. Shell frags and bolter burst slaying orks to the left and to the right. The commander of the most forward leman russ could report back that only a handful of orks survived the attack and fled into the woods and he could not see any of Wasnaggas banners or the mighty Wasnagga himself among the fleeing orks meaning that the dreaded warlord probably was laying dead in the corpse littered field in front of them.

While Wasnagga and his big mob was cut down almost to the last ork did the stompas double up at full speed firing at Iron Jaw. The wobbly construction of a stompa moving at full speed does however leave much to wish when it comes to accuracy. The shells hits all around Iron Jaw but none did strike the warmachine itself. The constant fire from several units of orks had however worn down the courage of the warhound pilot and they decided to flee over to the left flank where things where considerable quieter.

The brave rough riders did not lack courage and charged the advancing stompas head on. They did however got stuck on the screening wall of dreads. Killing one of them with their lances and cutting down another with their sword only one remained. But only a handful of Rough riders was still alive. They circled the machine confusing it. But one got to close, caught by the dread iron klaw, snapped in two, giving an unknown hero the chance to throw him self onto the dread. Clinging for his life with one hand driving his chainsword deep into the innards of the machine. Striking the heart of the ork controlling it. The machine crashed to the ground. The hero rise from the smoke, only to be cut down together with his comrades by the heavy bolters of the stompas. The loss of the screening dreads, and probably the slaughter of Wasnagga was to mush for the nobz in the stompas and they break into confusion if they should retreat or advance.

The mechanized mob hiding behind the hill on the empire left flank looks in horror at how the fire from the superhevies engulf Wasnaggas warband. They hurry into their battlewagons and speeds just in front of the super heavy tanks that is cheering their victory over to the other side of the battle field fire all they have at Iron Jaw, failing to do any damage.

End turn two

The lone gunwagon of the small blitz brigade succeed to rally. So does the super heavies. All other does however fail. The remaining three units of orks from the big mob flee to the relative safety of the ruins on the orks table edge.

+++ Turn 3 +++

Orks win initiative again. They still control one objective in the centre of the board and the guard has two.

The warband that just speeded across the battlefield away from the super heavy tanks continue to double away. Around the flank of the empire fortification into the very trenches. Loosing one battlewagon in the mud. But contest the nearby objective. Making it 1-1

The remaining big gunz double again fire at the superheavies putting a blastmarker on them.

Suddenly does the sky grow dark. The huge shadow of the Imperial Battleship darken the sun. A enormous array of rockets fire at their designated target spot. That, if the big warband still would been alive would hit them hard, but now only kill a few buggies in the kult of speed.

The big blitz brigade try to advance but without Wasnaggas leadership they fail to coordinate the advance with shooting and just move up the field.

Also the Gold Fang has problems with getting the orders through, the advance and fire order was interpreted by the pilot at fire at the advancing Kult of speed. They do so and kill five of the small vehicles, breaking the unit and free the fuel depot from ork control.

The commanding nob Hassanotagutta in the lone gunwagon from the small blitz brigade has been hiding in the forest the entire battle and realize that if he return from the battle now he will forever be known as a coward. He order full speed ahead and drive forward into firing range of the super heavy tanks and fire the gun. Missing.

The super heavies see the lone gunwagon coming speeding towards them and throttle up their ancient engines advancing towards it. Fire all their guns. The mighty cannon of the shadow sword spew out its deadly beam, misjudging the speed of the lone tank, fire way above it. The gunner of the one of the baneblades has however a better aim, striking true with its battle cannon. But the shell  just pass through the gunwagon without stopping it. In pure panic does the other gunners in the revenant superheavy tanks fire all they have at the rapidly closing wagon. All miss. It not until one of the leman russes place a well aimed lascannon shot in the side of the gunwagon it flips over and become a burning wreck. The commanders of the tanks open the hatches and looks at the burning wreck, rising their view following the trail of smoking craters leading up to it. Wondering what drove that single gunwagon to such a crazed attack? Nobody will ever call Hassanotagutta coward.

Over the tank commanders heads the shells from the Basilisks was screaming across the sky, flying over the battle field coming down like an avenging angle over the three units of ork remaining from Wasnaggas big mob, hiding in a ruined house, killing them all. Beating the orks spirit.

The only fighting remaining on the battlefield is in the rightmost part of the trenches where the second company still is in a bitter firefight with the orks that succeeded in getting a foothold.

But that does not matter the orks has been stopped and they day belong to the Emperor.

Guards: 3 Vp (2 objectives and BTS)
Orks: 0 Vp

+++ Aftermath +++

The orks not only failed to breach the thin grey line. The leading tank command could also report that Wasnagga most probably had been killed in the battle. The teams that had to search among the huge amount of carcasses that piled up in the center of the battlefield could not however identify his body. But since many of the orks was blow into atoms from the huge explosions that devoured the warband it did not prove the opposite. And since both forward spotters as well as the super heavy tank company that was in the front reported that no orks from Wasnaggas warband left the battlefield alive imperial commanders assumed that with high probability is the warlord dead.
The battle took however a hard toll on the defenders and there where no troops to spare to pursue the retreating orks. The immediate threat against Hive Agnebergus is nevertheless thwarted and it will take a while for the orks to reorganized lacking a strong warlord that can unite them.

Back in the western suburbs of Hive Agnebergus a statue of the unknown rough rider that took down the dreadnought was erected and among the tank crew a tale quietly spread about the ghost gunwagon that could not be stopped.

It is a though job to attack a fortified position the orks got quite a beating but if the ork bombardment just had succeeded a little bit better it could have been done. The plan was to try to avoid getting to close to the superhevies something the big warband did and paid dearly for it. They hit hard, but they are fortunately rather slow.

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