1500 Vostroyan AM Vs Orks: Firesweep (The Second Battle of Arendt)The Punisher-pattern Leman Russ Battle Tank "Chainsaw Heidi" rumbled over the crater-pocked concrete of the main boulevard, flanked by platoons of infantry, their lasguns ready, their eyes searching the pitted ruins on either side of the street for enemy activity. Word had spread quickly through the 314th--a large force of greenskins, huddled near Victory Park. The ork's main force. This was it--this battle, this point in the line. The edge on which the war teetered.
Lieutenant VanFuur was in rare form, his eyes glued to the periscope, his tongue out to one side. Every cell of his body seemed to sing with the vibrations of Chainsaw Heidi's mighty engines. This was what he lived for. This was what living truly was.
"Movement!" Durst, left sponson gunner called out. "Sixty-two degrees left!"
"Mark it!" VanFuur shouted. "Pivot on my mark. Clear your weapons for action, but hold your fire, damn your pale hides!"
The tank shifted left. Around them, the infantry were moving--taking up firing positions. Sergeants were bellowing. Inside the belly of his steel juggernaut, VanFuur couldn't hear anything but Heidi's growl. His girl was hungry.
He saw them--there! Five-hundred meters and closing, a tide of hulking green orks, their crude autoguns cradled in their hands, were climbing through the desecrated ruins of Victory Park. They were already firing, the beasts--stray bullets pinged and whanged off Heidi's armor.
His crew sounded off. "Forward bolter, locked and loaded!"
"Left bolter, locked and loaded!"
"Right bolter, locked and loaded!"
Behind VanFuur in the turret, his loader Strassel fed a heavy belt of fat shells into the Punisher cannon's breach. "Punisher Cannon, locked and loaded, Praise the Emperor!"
VanFuur flipped the safety off. He traversed the turret four degrees, peering down the telescopic sight. "We are the Hammer of the Emperor!"
The crew shouted as one. "YES SIR!"
"We are the Pride of our Forefathers!"
"We are the storm that shall cleanse the world!"
"This tank weighs 65 tons, boys. Five of those tons are ammunition." VanFuur centered his crosshairs on a particularly large ork, howling and bellowing as it charged towards them.
"Let's lose some weight." He pulled the trigger. The rest was noise.
This battle marks the culmination of the Vostroyan effort on Orthos IV to reclaim the industrial hub of Arendt on Orthos IV - in other words, the third battle in my first campaign arc against the orks. You can read all about it [url-http://www.40konline.com/index.php?topic=230749.msg2771842#msg2771842]here.[/url] Suffice to say that Field Marshall Van Grune has executed a flawless encirclement and assault this far, despite the AdMech interference. Now we just need to take the city quickly. The Orks, meanwhile, are hoping to draw the conflict out and smash the city before leaving, robbing the humans of their prize.
Here are the lists:Vostroyan City Siege BrigadeHQ
Company Commander w/Bolt Pistol, Power Maul (Warlord: Grand Strategist)
Company Commander w/Plasma Pistol, Power Sword
Company Commander w/Power Fist, Laspistol, Armor of Graf ToschenkoTroops
Infantry Squad w/Flamer
Infantry Squad w/Flamer
Infantry Squad w/Flamer
Infantry Squad w/Flamer
Infantry Squad w/Flamer
Scions w/2 Melta, Plasma Pistol
Scions w/2 Plasma Gun, Plasma PistolElites
Command Squad w/4 Plasma Guns
Command Squad w/4 Plasma Guns
Command Squad w/2x Sniper Rifles, Autocannon
Special Weapons Squad w/ 3x Meltaguns
Astropath w/Laspistol (Psychic Barrier)Fast Attack
2 Armored Sentinels w/Plasma Cannons
Scout Sentinel w/Autocannon
Scout Sentinel w/AutocannonHeavy Support
Leman Russ Punisher w/Heavy Bolter Sponsons
Leman Russ Executioner w/Plasma Cannon SponsonsOrk Shooty BattalionHQ
Warboss w/Power Klaw, Attack Squig, Shoota (Warlord: Tenacious Survivor)
Big Mek w/Kustom Force Field
Weirdboy (Da Jump)Troops
30 Shoota Boyz
30 Shoota Boyz
30 Shoota BoyzElites
10 TankbustasFast Attack
3 Warbuggies w/Twin Big ShootasHeavy Support
5 Killa Kans w/Big ShootasMission, Terrain, and Deployment
This was a Cities of Death match, and all that that entailed (though we didn't build our armies on Power Levels and we used Matched Play rules). The Mission--Firesweep--simply meant we needed the most guys in the most key ruins as possible. That's it--no points for First Blood, Linebreaker, Warlord, nothing. Just who had the most ground claimed at the end of the game.
I'll save myself the trouble of describing the terrain by simply saying it was very, very dense--buildings and ruins all over the place. There were two main roads running from the SW part of the board to the NE. Most of those had razorwire, tank traps, rubble, and craters obscuring them. There was an objective ruin in the NE, one at the South Center, one in the middle of the board, one about middle in the West, one in the middle in the north, and finally one that was just west of the center one.
We rolled off for deployment (since we didn't exactly "place" objectives) and I won (on a roll of a 2--go figure). I picked the SW quarter and my opponent, therefore, had the NE. In this scenario, there was *no* minimum distance you had to stay away from each other, so I decided to deploy my forces at least 20" back from the enemy quarter, as I assumed my opponent would be right on the line ready to assault me. The Lascannon team occupied the western objective building with the mortar team just behind it. The Leman Russ and the Armored Sentinels anchored the SW corner and the infantry fanned out in a rough half circle in front of them, backed up by the officers and astropath. The Command Sniper squad went atop a ruin in the SE part of my zone and one scout sentinel secured that flank by scouting ahead that direction. The other scout sentinel ranged ahead of the infantry and the Ratlings hit in the northern objective ruin. The Scions would do a HALO drop and the two Plasma Command Squads and the Special Weapons Squad all took to the sewers, ready to pop up where needed.
The Orks put one 30-boy mob in the sewers (I like to think there was this whole *other* firefight going on the sewers during this whole time) and outflanked with the Warbuggies. Two 30 boy mobs went along his DZ's western edge, the Lootas went in the NE ruin, the tankbustas hid in a ruin as well, and the Killa Kans held the southern edge of his DZ. The three HQs took up the rear of the two big mobs.
DeploymentThe Vostroyan cornerMortar Teams prepare to fireLascannons securing the buildingRatlings in HidingOrks crowding the ruinsThe Ork backfieldBehold, the whole city center!Turn 1
The orks went first, as they finished deploying an ice age or so before I did. They begin by immediately exploiting a gap in my lines--I had moved the northern Sentinel too far east and not north enough, meaning 30 shoota boyz emerged from a sewer just north of my DZ. The Sentinel also caused a bit of an issue since one of the other big mobz advanced so that it was close enough to go for a charge. Then
to make things even worse, the Weirdboy used Da Jump to teleport the Tankbustas into easy range to my Punisher. This meant 70 orks were on my doorstep right away
and, even if I weathered the encroaching attack well, I still had 70 orks to get rid of before they tore right through my army.
In the north, the sewer shootas shot down a whole infantry squad and charged the other, wiping it out as well beneath a mountain of attacks. They were able to consolidate into one of my Company Commanders. In the east, the shoota boyz fired on the Sentinel, doing no damage, but then charged it (at 10" away--my opponent just *never* fails charge rolls. It's infuriating) and did 6 wounds exactly. I burned a CP for a Command Re-roll that saved its life and kept the boyz from consolidating any closer. The Tankbustas used the Dakka Dakka stratagem on the Punisher, but really choked on their to-hit rolls and the tank escaped with having lost only 6 wounds (a lucky break). The Lootas killed two infantry in the easternmost infantry squad and the Killa Kanz stomped around the corner of the main street and knocked a wound off my other Sentinel with their big shootas.
Top of Turn 1All those orks came from the sewer. Can you imagine how they smell?The northern infantry squads are overrunOrks advance up the board centerMy sentinel gets caught!
Okay, so now I've got my work cut out for me. My opponent has committed early--which he pretty much has to do. The question now is if my counterpunch is strong enough to turn back the tide. My original plan was to drop the plasma command squads along with the scions by the NE ruin to take out the Lootas and hopefully hold the building. I elect to divert those command squads, however, to assisting my defense. Both squads emerge ironically from the exact same sewer tunnels the shoota boyz had come. My remaining three infantry squads move to get rapid-fire range on as many ork mobs as possible. The ratlings pop out of hiding to take a few key shots and the special weapon squad climbs out of the sewers behind the southern objective ruin. Finally, the scions drop as the plan originally laid out--just north of the NE ruin in range to take out the Lootas.
The Astopath put a psychic barrier on the Punisher and the intrepid crew put out fires and spliced wires to get back a wound (Jury Rigging Stratagem) so that my anti-horde tank would be at full capacity. Then I set about managing a very complicated shooting phase.
The objective had to be to cripple both big mobs of boyz *and* kill the tankbustas. There was no way I could kill everybody, so I needed to knock each squad below half-strength so that morale would do its work and the Mob Rule ability wouldn't negate it all. Overkill, then, was not an option. I split my fire thusly: the Command squads and one infantry squad along with the officers present and the mortars would all fire on the sewer shootas that had already broken through my lines. The other two infantry squads and the Ratlings, Punisher (using Firstborn Pride for a BS boost), and the sniper command squad targeted the other large mob. The Executioner, Armored Sentinels, and Scout Sentinel all shot the tankbustas.
When the smoke cleared, the sewer boyz lost 23 orks, though more than half of the plasma command troopers overheated and died (though the Astropath, blind though he is, somehow managed to shoot an ork dead with a laspistol!). The other mob of shoota boyz also lost a good 24-25 guys. The Tankbustas were knocked down to 4 boyz, too. I then charged two infantry squads and the powerfist officer (and the other officer--though I shouldn't have! He fell back, but I had forgotten--didn't much matter in the end) into the Sewer Boyz, killing them all. The other big group of boyz evaporated to morale, but my opponent paid for Insane Courage to keep the Tankbustas around. That was okay, though, because the Ork Assault was blunted!
In the backfield, the Scions knocked out 6 of 10 Lootas (and the Lootas lost another guy to morale, if memory serves). The Ratlings scooted back into hiding rather than be shot by orks.
Bottom of Turn 1Just imagine all of them bayoneting orks they've just shot.Turn 2
After a seriously intense first turn, turn two was a bit of a lull. The Ork Warbuggies came on in the north, gunning down the unfortunate ratlings as they arrived. The last big mob of shoota boyz advanced and shot down the damaged Sentinel (to which the Imperial general gave a weary shrug). The Weirdboy smote a couple Scions and the Lootas shot a few more, but there were still two teams of 3 Special Forces dudes still on-task. The Tankbustas only scored one damaging hit on the Punisher this time and its psychic barrier save paid off (after a Command Re-Roll, of course). They then tried to charge the nearest infantry squad and they were flamered and then bayoneted to death. Finally, the Killa Kans came around the corner and tried to take out the Sniper Command squad, but they Took Cover and that, along with the boosted City of Death save, made them nigh invulnerable to the orky firepower.
Top of Turn 2Green tide? I'm sorry, more like Gray Tide. Not close enough to do much.
Well, the enemy has nibbled at the edges of my army, but very little damage has been done to its heart. I'm in a good position now--the Scions easily kill the rest of the Lootas and the special weapons squad claim an objective ruin and their meltaguns along with the Executioner, Armored Sentinels, and Lascannons kill 4 out of 5 killa kans in the killing zone I basically set up at the start of the game (I'd been hoping the Kanz would walk around that corner and my opponent obliged me). My infantry took up positions in the objective ruin just outside my DZ--one squad in front, bolstered by the Astropath's Psychic Barrier, the other in the back and on the upper floors. They were joined by two officers. Those squads, plus the third infantry squad, the Punisher, the mortars, and the remaining command squads all pounded the remaining orks, but they were under the protection of the Kustom Force Field, which stopped about a third of the damaging hits from getting through (as it should), meaning about 12 orks were left after the smoke cleared. The Warboss then crushed the first weedy git who thought about running away and they kept going. Oh, and another
plasma gunner overheated and died--a real theme this game.
Bottom of Turn 2Moving into the buildingHere stand the men of Vostroya. Let history record the day.The Kans walk into a kill zoneTurn 3
The game is most probably over, but the orks have one last assault left in them to try and turn the tide. The warbuggies, boyz, and warboss shoot the southernmost infantry squad to death and then charge the forward squad in the ruin (the one bolstered by psychic energy). Both officers get a Heroic Intervention to try and stem the tide. I lose nine men in the ten-man squad (counting morale), but the flamer trooper is left standing. The plasma/powersword commander is wounded three times by the buggies, but manages to do a wound in return and is still standing. The warboss tries to smite the powerfist commander, but fails to get through Graf Toschenko's antique armor. The commander then turns around and does 6 wounds (!) to the Warboss, who is only saved by his unnatural resilience (he feel-no-pained 2 of those 6 wounds, leaving him with 2). The orks may have won the assault, but enough of my men were still standing to make sure this would be their last hurrah.
In the north, the last Kan turns around and makes for the scions, shooting one with his big shoota, but then fails his assault (for once!).
Top of Turn 3Desperate, hand-to-hand combat!
As should not be surprising, my two officers and last guy fell back from combat so the other infantry squad and the Punisher could completely obliterate remaining boyz, the Executioner and plasma gunners could take out the buggies (though both plasma gunners overheated and died--that meant *all 8* died from overheats!). The lone flamer trooper, ordered to Get Back In The Fight, fixed his flamethrower on the big warboss and burned him to ash. A couple lascannons did for the Big Mek next. In the northeast, the scions occupied the building and a meltagunner shot down the last Kan. This left only the Weirdboy who, try as I might, I just couldn't wound (and one of my armored sentinels blew itself up trying to kill him, too!). With a mighty ork curse, the big greenskin vomited a rift in spacetime and escaped. Game over.
Bottom of Turn 3Final Score
Vostroyans: Control 4 ruins
Orks: Control 0 ruinsPost Mortem
That first turn was a doozy. I was walking a narrow line in trying to neutralize all three of those targets at once--too much or too little firepower here or there, and I would still have a mob of boyz to deal with. Interestingly, I was shortchanging myself on all my first rank/second rank orders--I was taking 3 rapid fire shots with my lasguns, not 4. I could have made it easier on myself, I guess, but things worked out fine. The Punisher was pure gold in this game, knocking down 9-10 orks every turn. It held on by its fingernails in that first turn, too--I was damned lucky that the tankbustas choked at that crucial juncture.
I think my opponent was a trifle demoralized that I turned the tide so decisively, but that is also how the go-big-or-go-home strategy works--sometimes you go home. I think his deployment wasn't really ideal and he got bogged down in terrain a little, plus the large size of his mobs made it really hard for him to take advantage of cover, even in a cityfight game--there was always *somebody* who was out in the open, and that killed them. Of course, if he kills the Punisher turn 1, it becomes a different game. I would have had a lot harder time without it, that's for sure.
As usual, nobody in my army really disappointed me. I still think Armored Sentinels are overpriced for what they do, but they did okay. Scions, Command Squads, and Infantry Squads continue to be my workhorse and never disappoint. The Russes are my heavy hitters and, while they can be streaky, they did pretty well today.
This was a fun game--especially that first turn--but it does showcase the need for the orks to get some new toys and stratagems and such to better compete. Thanks for reading and thanks, as always, to my opponent!