Raider Ariya Damji had been dirtside for over 165 standard cycles and hadn't yet seen action. While other members of the battlegroup had seen action against various Xenos threats that inhabited this Emperor forsaken world. Damji's service on the planet had consisted of cleaning things and endless patrols through the desert - sometimes escorting assorted Imperial Agents of one faction or another deep into the desert to investigate some far off ancient ruin for the Emperor-knows-what!?
When first he had arrived he was terrified. This was his first deployment and the prospect of dying alone on this distant and dusty world devoid of any sort of life, for no apparent reason, seemed utterly... pointless. There were rumours of the battles other regiments had been in - one had lost an entire squadron-sized reconnaissance force - the first to make planetfall!
But as the days and weeks rolled by and other elements of the saw action - with relatively light casualties - and he saw the honours and rewards given those that had seen action, his main worry shifted from dying a pointless, horrible death on this Emperor-foresaken world to deploying to the world and not seeing any action at all.
At the start of the day, it seemed like it would be another boring day of tromping around the endless desert in the blasting heat "escorting" a group of Battle Sisters and a Pyker from the Scholasta Psykana. They were apparently heading out to recover yet another "vital" piece of Archaeotech supposedly located in yet another ruin far from any of the "hot zones"....
Amanda finally got a chance to roll out with her new(-ish) Sisters of Battle this past Saturday! I came up with a very simple scenario that would involve all four of our factions - my Imperial Guard Tallarn, Amanda's Battle Sisters, Finnegan's Orks and The Girl's Harlequins! Initially I'd planned for three of us to "gang up" on Finnegan - he would have a larger force, and there three of us would have smaller forces that, combined, would match the Power Level of the Orks. But then I decided that the Adepta Sororitas would never fight alongside the Harlequins, so I changed it into a sort-of three way battle...
4.553.018.M42 - Brind's World - Northern Desert Operation Area
At the ruin of Bassal Buttar there is an archaeotech device of great power with terrifying effects. It is imperative that it not fall into the wrong hands - or, in the case of the Orks, it would just be fun to have and make use of. There was a single objective marker in the centre of the table. The game was to be played to a random turn length (rolling at the end of turns 5 and 6 to see if the game ends instantly - or ends at the end of turn seven if game end was not rolled on either of the previous turns). Whoever controls the objective at the end of the game wins - or if one side tables all opponents before game end. Pretty simple and straightforward.
We still went with the Orks having Power Level equal to the combined forces of all the others. We figured with an overwhelming force of Orks arriving on the scene that the other opposing forces would generally ignore each other to deal with the greater threat and any survivors could duke it out for the objective...
Warboss Blitzagg - HQ - PL 4
Weird Boy - HQ - PL 4
Boyz (10) - Troops - PL5
Boyz (20) - Troops - PL 9
Boyz (30) - Troops - PL 13
Meganobz (3) - Elite - PL 10
Lootas (5) - Heavy - PL 8
Warbuggy - Fast Attack - PL 4
Total Power Level: 57 - Battalion - 8 Command Points
The Rainbow Warriors Contemporary Dance Company (Harlequins)
Troupe Master - HQ - PL 4
Shadowseer - HQ - PL 7
Death Jester - Elite - PL 3
Troupe (5) - Troops - PL5
Total Power Level: 19 - Patrol - 3 Command Points
Forces of the Imperium
Adepta Sororitas - Order of the Sisters of Mercy
Canoness - HQ - PL 4
Canoness - HQ - PL 4
Imagifier - Elite - PL 2
Dialogus - Elite - PL 1
Battle Sisters Squad (5) - Troops - PL 4
Battle Sisters Squad (5) - Troops - PL 4
Total Power Level: 19 - Patrol
Astra Militarum - 1st Platoon, 5th Company, 382nd Tallarn (Desert Raider) Regiment
Lt. Anwar Al’Saphira (Company Commander) - HQ - PL 2
Primaris Psyker - HQ - PL 2
3x Infantry Squad (10) - Troops - @PL 3 = 9
Command Squad (4) - Elite - PL 2
Lord Commissar Galdawarn - HQ - PL 4
Total Power Level: 19 - Battalion
Imperial Forces Total Power Level: 38 - 8 Command Points
It was the Primaris Psyker from the Adeptus Astra Telepathica that lead the mission. A man named Jalawatti, if such a creature can be called a "man". After leaving the transports on the far side of the ruin the Sisters lead the way - directed by Jalawatti. The Guard platoon formed a cordon around the Psyker, along with Lord Commissar Galdawarn - the Regimental Commissar.
Damji had only seen the Lord commissar once before - during a inspection parade aboard the transport that had brought them to this world - but he had heard many stories. He had summarily executed three men from 2nd Company on just such an inspection parade - because their boot laces weren't laced correctly!? This Jalawatti character was obviously important and/or dangerous if the Lord Commissar himself was brought along to escort him along with the platoon. Damji tried his best to stay out of the sight lines of either of them.
The formation was called to halt. The Sisters has spotted something ahead. Damji tried to keep his eyes on his field of fire, but kept glancing over his shoulder to see what was going on ahead. It seemed as though brightly coloured shimmering shapes were dancing across the horizon. The Battle Sisters were taking shots at these shapes.
One of the shapes stopped and Damji recognized that it has a vaguely humanoid shape. It stood standing it's attackers and gestured towards the hills to the east, as if trying to warn the Sisters of something... or distract them... As quick as it stopped it moved on as the Sisters continued their fire unabated. Then Damji heard it.
It started a dull roar - like a distant Mukalli heard on stampede. It grew louder and Daaji swore he could feel the earth vibrating. Now no one in his section was watching their field of fire - all eyes were fixed on the hills to the east. A horde of Xenos crested the hill with a mighty war cry...
The orks set up in a line just cresting the hills to the east.
The forces of the Imperium set up in the southwest quarter.
The Harlequins set up in the Northwest corner.
The Orks horde ready to fall upon their foes and seize the loot!
Joining the cacophony of wild screams and bellows came the sound of further gunfire - not unlike the Sisters bolters - but there were many, many more and unlike the Sisters tight aimed bursts the orks fired constantly and in every direction at once. It was almost as if they fired it more for the noise it caused than to cause any harm to their foes - hundreds of solid slug bullets fell among the imperial troops, kicking up the find distilled of the desert all around them, but with little other actual effect. Someone in 1st section went down.
Later Damji leaened it was Sajjad, a soldier he had trained with back on Tallarn. It wasn't a bullet that had hit him though, it was a rock. A wild shot from one of the larger calibre weapons the Orks had unleashed on them had hit a rock on the ground , propelling it into the air and into Sajjad's face, shattering nose and facial bones and knocking him quite unconscious for the rest of the battle.
Finnegan started things off my moving his orks forward and unleashing a terrifying amount of dakka at us.
For all those buckets of dice rolled, however, he only managed ONE casualty in the Tallarn's First Squad...
...and forced Amanda to use a Command Point to re-roll her armour save to prevent one of her Battle Sisters from falling on the first turn.
The Harlequins all advanced towards the orks - on their flank. The Shadowseer smiled the Meganobz for two damage - just one short of killing one of them!
Forces of the Imperium Turn
Lt. Anwar Al’Saphira started barking orders at the first and second sections to move up to the cover of a dune that was in between where they were standing in the open and the charging orks. Damji's Third Section was ordered to stay back and watch the flanks and rear. Fire orders were given and the First and Second Squads started firing on the rampaging Orks. Each time DAmji glanced over his shoulder it seemed the horde of charging orks had grown smaller. Perhaps they weren't all that terrible and dangerous...
First and second Sections were give the "Front Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire" orders - as the Horde of 20 Orks was within half range of one full squad and half of the other I got a LOT of lasgun shots at them. And I got some insanely lucky rolls.
Like this one:
Seven guys armed with las guns that had become Rapid Fire 2 weapons (thanks to the "Front Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire" order) meant I had 28 shots. Of course the Guard only hit on 4+ and I ended up with 11 hits - a little less than average... then I rolled to wound - only a 5+ was going to wound because of the lasguns weak Strength of 3 and the Orks toughness of 4... Of course when you roll like that pile above, it's going to leave a mark!!! The rest of the Squad and the second squad made more average (or below average rolls) and only scored three or four more wounds. A few were saved, but the Orks unit lost TWELVE in the one round of firing - mostly to lasguns! Then they lost another 7 in morale - leaving the unit with ONE ORK!
Some of the sisters also moved up, while others stayed in the cover they had deployed in. Their fired wasn't nearly so effective.
Tehy also forgot to use their "Acts of Faith" at the beginning of our turn - wouldn't let THAT happen again!
DAmji crouched in the sand, memorized watching the whole scene unfold. One group of Orks rained up on the hill pouring down (largely ineffective) fire on the Tallarn position. Tariq in Second Section took a bullet to the thigh and bled out a short while after, screaming for the Emperor's mercy. The larger unit that had been charging First section was completely annihilated before they even made contact. These Orks weren't so tough...
The orks continued to surge forward onto the objective.
The Weirdly rolled an 11 to manifest SMITE on a unit of Battle Sisters (which would have caused d6 mortal wounds). Amanda used the Purity of Faith Stratagem to say "NOPE!"
The solitary Ork left from the unit of twenty charged blazing away with its shoota! He died in a blinding array of lasgun overwatch fire...
All of the shooting caused a few losses - one Harlequin Troupe Player, one Battle Sister, and one Tallarn infantryman from Second Section.
All (except the Death Jester) advanced again in the direction of the Lootas - who were sitting on the hill in the corner of the tableted Shadowseer leading the advance smiled the Lootas - making one of their heads explode. The Death Jester unleashed it's shrieker cannon on the Meganobz and took out TWO of them - the Shrieker cannon's single shot finished off the one (who had only one wound left) and then the cannon's special ability kicked in - if it took out at least one member of the unit with it's initial shot, it did d3 mortal wounds against the rest of the unit - she rolled a three which took out the second one. That was a HUGE victory for our side as they were definitely the toughest unit out there!
Forces of the Imperium Turn
First section continued exchanging fire with the Orks up on the hill, but the massive ork horde off to the left was advancing rapidly on the Sisters position so Second Section turned its fire on them. Members of Third Section were even able to get an angle on the surgeon mass between second Section and the Sister's position and squeezed off a few rounds in their direction. Damji swore he hit one with one of this shots and saw it fall, but in the dust and confusion who could say for sure...
Tallarn firing on Orks on the hill and the Orks charing past the objective towards the Sisters.
The Sisters tried to play a little more aggressively and ran up on the dune they'd been taking cover behind to try and get close enough to get some shots off at the Warboss and Meganob with their Metlagun and Inferno Pistols before the mob fell upon them and the weapons became useless...
It might have been a smart move if, y'know. Amanda could actually HIT anything!?
She was wearing her Sisters shirt, which one would have thought would bring her just a LITTLE luck!?
With a terrifying crash and howls of both pain and delight the Orks fell upon the sisters. Damji could not tell how things were going. The Sisters had been entirely swarmed by them. The Orks seemed to pause there for a moment and fight - so the Sisters couldn't have been entirely wiped out and overrun...
It DID go poorly for the Sisters, however.
They did wipe out the Battle Sisters Squad and one of the Canonesses (Though a Martyrdom Strategum/Act of Faith brought her back, briefly, with one wound...). Their unbeliever unlock continues. The Canoness with the Eviscerator had four attacks on the Warboss - with 6 Strength, -4 AP and d3 damage, all she had to do was hit and it would mess that Ork up... all ones and twos to hit... It was like that for all of them.
The Harlequins, who had been advancing towards the Lootas, under fire for the last three turns, were finally close enough to assault... only to watch them crumble to dust before their very eyes as the Shadowseer killed all the four remaining Lootas with a very effective Smite!
Forces of the Imperium Turn
The all was confusion. It looked as though a few Battle Sisters fell back from the grand melee with the Orks - though not nearly as many had been swallowed by the ork horde when they charged. Lt. Anwar Al’Saphira and his veteran command squad rushed up and along with Second Squad poured some blistering fire into the Orks Horde, downing many of them. Damji saw Raider Zidan, the Rocket Gunner from second squad fire one of his missiles into the mob. It struck the remaining mechanized monstrosity - part robot, part Ork, part tank. The missile struck sure and then detonated with an earsplitting CRACK and bits of the giant armoured cybork flew in all directions!
The remaining battle sisters fellback from the melee, allowing the other Sisters and the Tallarn to pour fire down on them. Again the Tallarn's fire was more than effective - downing nine of the remaining orks in the giant mob and taking out the remaining Meganob - with a Krak missile. I think that's the first time I ever damaged anything with a Krak Missile!!! Two orks on the hill were also taken down by First Section.
Undaunted the Orks toured forward, catching up the Sisters once again. Out of nowhere an ork buggy, festooned with rockets, roared out of the ruins behind them and also attacked the sisters. For a moment there was little Damji and his companions could do but look on in horror! Then in the melee the ork swarm spread out and charged a few of the other members of Third Section. Sergeant Hamid beloved at them to move up and help their comrades. They held of the Orks, briefly, deflecting their wild blows, but were unable to land any of their own...
Finnegan continued to move his Orks forward, keeping up the pressure on the Sisters.
Wazdigg's Warbuggy came roaring in from the rear to attack the sisters as well... He took out one Battle Sister in the ruined tower with his rockets before piling into the Sisters command.
During the assault the ork pile-in move or consolidation move brought them into contact with Three Section (Damji's section) so the section piled in and took their own swings at the Orks - with little effect.
The Sisters didn't fair so well. Both Canonesses were taken out in this round!
The Weirdly successfully manifested Smite at the Death Jester, but the Shadowseer said "NOPE!" with a successful "Deny the Witch" roll...
The harlequins then turned their sites on the Orks down in the valley - the closest being the Strange and bizarre Weirdly, who stood by their objective drooling and mustering nonsense - even by Ork terms... The Shadowseer made the Weirdboy boil from the inside. It briefly popped like a giant corn kernel before melting in to the sands below...
Forces of the Imperium Turn
"FALL BACK! FALL BACK!" bellowed Sergeant Hamid. It was clear they stood no chance in melee against the hulking, brutish xenos scum. Third section aided the remaining sisters in falling back, in good order, to the relative cover of a nearby ruin. Once again, after falling back the rest of the platoon was able to bring down withering fire on the foe...
Raider Zidan fired another rocket at the warbuggy. the shot his square and the buggy went up in a ball of greasy black smoke and roaring fire.
The Imagifier and Dialogus - the only sisters to survive the melee, fell back into the ruins with Third Squad.
Second Section and the Command Squad finished off the last of the Boyz and the Missile Launcher team from Second Section - the same that took out the Meganob - blew up the warbuggy! That team is like a sniper with a missile launcher - if they survive the battle, I declared, they would surly be given medals!
Soon there were only two of the Ork-xenos-scum left! The hulking behemoth that was their leader and the sole survivor of the unit that had skulked on the hill pouring fire down on the Tallarn platoon. But Orks don't ever just give up... The two charged the nearest foes. The one charging down of the hill attacked Second Section and died in a torrent of lasgun fire. The Brutish leader charged into Lt. Al’Saphira's Command Squad and utterly wiped them out!
Sole serving Ork Boy charges Second Section, and dies.
Wazzdigg charged Lt. Anwar Al’Saphira and his Command Squad - and wiped out the Command Squad.
The Harlequins moved in to take control of the objective. Seeing part of the Tallarn platoon maneuvering to take up a firing position to bring down fire up them, they fired a few warning shots... which wiped out the section... (I think it was actually a mix of the Shadowseers smite and hallucinogen grenades and the Death Jesters shrunken cannon...).
Forces of the Imperium Turn
After seeing his command squad shredded by the gigantic Ork, Lt. Al’Saphira fell back shouting "TAKE IT DOWN! TAKE IT DOWN!" First and Third Squads laid down some fearsome fire with everything they had. When the dust settled, the giant Ork was down.
In the confusion, the rest of the platoon had lost track of where Second Section had gotten to. It seems after receiving the charge of the wild, lone ork, they had spotted the other xenos moving in on the objective and, operating user their own initiative had advanced on the, only to be wiped out by their fearsome weaponry. The few survivors could barely even speak of the attack - some said deamons of the warp were unleashed on them, others spoke of giant insects coming up from the ground and trying to pull them down into the sand, others were simply blinded by the blood coming out of their eyes and could not even describe the sounds of terror that surrounded them as their comrades died in agony.
All firing upon the warboss. He died. maybe.
Rolling for the game end at the end of Round Five - game over. The Harlequins were the sole holders of the objective and won the game... They retrieved and secured the archaeotech item and disappeared through the web ways while the Orks and Humans were busy fighting each other. Clever those harlequins.
When the dust cleared and all the orks were dead. It was then that they realized that the platoons Second Section had been wiped out by the other xenos - and while no one was looking, they'd made off with the item they'd been sent here to retrieve...
Tabled - all wiped out.
Having lost their opportunity to recover the archaeotech artifact and fearing a larger force of Ork reinforcements were on the way, the Imperial forces were pulled out with their wounded and did not finish the job of burning all the Ork bodies (as per standard operating procedure when facing orks - to stop the spread of their spores). So it is possible there were survivors among the Orks left for dead...
One player from the harlequin troupe - Polkastripe - had been wounded by a stray bullet from the orks. She apparently recovered quickly and would be back in the show before their next performance!
Forces of the Imperium
Raider Sajjad of First Section had been hit in the face by a rock that had been hit by a stray bullet. He survived, but had to have considerable reconstructive surgery and was out of action for some time....
Second Section had all ended up casualties. Three were killed in action - including Raider Zidan, the missile launcher gunner that had taken out the bossnob AND the warbuggy with single shots! Three others were seriously wounded, some spending months recovering from their injuries. the remaining four, including Sergeant Bashar, got off lightly and were patched up at the regimental aid post and were returned to duty (though the mental scars haunted some of them to the end of their days....).
One of the veterans in the command squad was torn in two by the Warbosses Power Klaw and died instantly, another lost a leg to the brutal mechanical pincers. Being a veteran, he would eventually return to the squad with a cybernetic replacement. The other two survived their ordeal with relatively light wounds.
One of the Adepta Sororitas Canonesses died of her wounds and would become a martyr of the Brind's World campaign. The other survived her ordeal at the hands of the Xenos-Ork-scum and only made her hatred of all xenos burn hotter.
The Squad that was taken out in the melee survived their ordeal as well - it was the putrid of their faith in the Emperor that kept them alive (well... and their power armour) most were able to fight again in the next action, though the sister superior and one of the others in the squad overrun by Orks would take a bit longer to heal and recover and receive their cybernetic replacements for limbs/organs lost... The Sister that had been hit by Wazdiggs rocket had apparently just been knocked unconscious by the explosive's concussion.
Another fun game! It took a little longer than I'd expected/hoped. We're all maybe getting a bit rusty on the rules and spent a little too much time joking and narratively describing what was going on. And there was a lot of explaining (and re-explaining) of the rules to Amanda - though I think she was finally catching on by the end (use the WEAPON's strength to determine wounds for firing, use the MODEL's strength to determine wounds in melee seemed to be the hardest to grasp...? which is odd as she's played a LOT of Shadow War: Armageddon this year, and years ago had played in a long Mordheim campaign...). I'd really like to see some MORE bigger games like this going down - as the Tallarn forces are getting bigger and I have more fun stuff I'm trying to finish up (the Imperial Knights!) - though I think that may all be put on hold with the release of Kill Team later this week...
Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:
Probably a painting update will be next, though I'm not entirely sure what it will be...? More Modern Micro armour? Space Hulk Terminators? Mice & Mystics miniatures? the last of John's Shadspre minis (for now)? something else!? There are a LOT of different things crowding my painting desk all calling out for attention.
About a week from now I'll probably have a post about all the games we've played since our vacation.
I'm sure there will be Kill Team game reports starting up shortly after that... or maybe even BEFORE!? It's not like I don't have a PILE of miniatures and terrain that I COULD use with Kill Team right away - no need to get all the minis and terrain that comes with the box painted before we can play!