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Bryce and I have been discussing creation of special terrain boards for 40K that are playable, but are also high detail and high concept. We had a long rambling discussion and some of the highlights I want to document. My plan for a while is to build a modular tables, with multiple levels for skirmish style games, but big enough to handle a normal or large game.
Necromunda-Style Table: The classic Necromunda table image can be found here.
Below was build with model railroad terrain pieces, but gives a great vertical feel. Found here.
Ork Aircraft Carrier Table: Bryce wants to build more true scale Ork aircraft carrier. Something like the Red Orktober below, but with a top deck. Red Orktober used as a display board at Adepticon provides great inspiration. Found at the BOLS article, specifically this pic.
Askari Legion on Mek’s Garage: 231 BW, bikes, koptas, nobs/flash gits, meganobz, tankbustas, trukks, artillery, grot tanks, walkers, skullhammas, superheavy tanks., and terrain | battles |Site: http://www.orkology.com/
During the various recovery of the Imperial databank missions on Daelus VI, the 141st Force conducted aggressive scouting and sweep missions with small teams of bikes and/or koptas. This battle exemplifies a typical outcome of these stealthy missions through the Imperial ruins on the island continent of Daelus Minor.
To sweep the Tau patrols from their constant patrolling through the ruins, we needed to disrupt their flow of operations. Similarities between some of the Tau tactical playbooks meant we decided to start with disrupting their patrols first, to determine their reaction.
This battle used our standard lure and ambush routine. Grot scavenger packs tasked with recovery of rare metals abandoned in the ruins would eventually draw the notice of the Tau patrols. The grot honcho signalled towed artillery to deploy in the path of their withdraw, near metal vapor processing unit 45AH. As we expected, our artillery fire caused the Tau fire warriors to stop and wait for their suit reaction force. By the time the Tau suits arrived, our biker unit arrived and started weaving through the ruins.
The density of the ruins combined with the relatively clear roads meant the bikers were able to stay out of sight of the Tau while still taking few risks of crashing. Once the Tau sighted the bikes, they started withdrawing, but too slowly. The bikes rushed the Tau as they consolidated their position, swept the Tau, and moved back into mobile reserve to cover other scavenger teams.
After Zach and I battled early in the day, as reported in Swimming with Sharks, of course when the event in the evening started, we would play each other again, first, on the same table! The evening event was a couple of combat patrols, using the Adepticon rules.
Players were divided into teams of 3. On my team was Jan playing Orks, and Michael H. playing Noise marines.
Orks, Derry: Unit of 12 warbikers led by bosspole/power klaw nob with attached painboy on bike, unit of gretchin, single smasha gun
Tau, Zach: (Estimate) 2 fire warrior squads, 3 crisis suits with dual plasma
This time Zach did not have the shark bombers and the setup did not favor his army, almost no matter what I brought. My warlord trait allowed me to infiltrate, so my entire army did. Zach infiltrated his suits first and they did a good job of limiting where my bikes could start. All my units started out of range or out of line of sight of the fire warriors. On the first Tau turn, the suits withdrew toward the fire warriors. On the first Ork turn, the bikes turbo boosted forward.
On turn 2, the Tau withdrew back further and the bikes turbo boosted forward again. On turn 3, the Tau withdrew to the corner and the warriors shot up a couple bikes. The Ork bikes moved up just in front of the suits and one squad of fire warriors, blasted them, and assaulted. We ended the game here, counting it as an Ork win.
[Voicelog Rabam] DagNuk, brother to DocNuk, commited his pirate fleet to the Askari Legion expedition into Tau space. The Askari legion seeks opportunity in this sector, by liberating humans under the heel of the Tau, and seizing advantage by allying with the Tau splitting from their main government. Decades will be spent surveying, scouting, and building rapport.
141st Force-Rabam arrived at the former Imperial planet of Daelus VI, now Fio’La Vash’ya as part of DagNuk’s Freebootaz fleet of pirates. Force Rabam has been developing an understanding of the forces and factions in the island continent of Daelus Minor. The Tau razed most of the official Imperial centers of government, but failed to destroy all of the databanks left neglected. Working with human freedom fighters, we got locations of possible surviving databanks and probable access codes for them.
Recovery of the data is our primary mission. Due to the multi-phase surveillance net the Tau installed all over Daelus Minor, we might get detected even with the advanced jamming equipment installed in our wagons. Ground teams will the sweep the area looking for the databanks, while mobile forces will provide support in case of detection. Our maps of the underground levels are incomplete, but might be useful in case of deployment of cadres larger than we can avoid or fight.
Our ground teams consisted of full platoons of boyz with a couple specialists attached with portable jammers and scanners for both the databanks and the multi-phase tau sensors. If a ground team got in trouble, they would signal for the reaction group, consisting of meganobz in trukks and flashgitz in battlewagons. A few koptas acted as outriders to find, slow, and confuse enemy forces in the area.
Warlord Rabam led a team that recovered two databanks, but my team also was also the one a force from the local Tau base reacted to. We set jammers to high gain, dispersed in the ruins, signaled the reaction force, and readied for the fight. Our first surprise was the outrider koptas reporting a riptide battlesuit. Accompanying the riptide were three crisis suits packing mega-armor-warboss-killing dual plasma rifles. Teams of fire warriors in skirmish lines swept through the ruins looking for us.
The suits and fire warriors crept toward us with boldness. At least until their sensors finally detected the simultaneous arrival of our reaction force of outriders, flashgitz, battlewagons, and meganobz. As the reaction force rushed the Tau, the boyz and I ran forward to catch up to the action. As the reaction force hit the Tau, our second surprise appeared in the form of three Tau bombers.
The meganobz rushed a squad of fire warriors and got stuck in, after getting DocNuk’s trukk busted again. Despite suppressing a pair of tetras, they successfully designated the meganobz and the plasma crisis suits blasted them. In short order, the bombers disabled the wagons and the flash gits out. Flash gits blasted the riptide, the suits, and another fire warrior squad. Drones from the bombers blasted most of the boyz, despite the “care” from Doc Rekkfist. At this point, the remaining Tau withdrew, we repaired the vehicles, and we transmitted the recovered databanks. The boyz and nobz got loaded quickly, but gathering the gretchin took many painful hours.
What went poorly: Intel from our human allies, the outriders, and kommando scouts failed to reveal the extent of the responsiveness and support the local cadre force had. We pulled three battlewagons and a dozen trukks for this mission and while all were rated 1A status, three-six and three-seven were fine, but three-four battlewagon had a wheel drive failure on both! wheel axles, and I had to sent it back less than a day into the mission. Big Mek Garbunak will have some answering for this once we return. When the cadre force reacted to our presence, their roving drone patrols caused some of the gretchin scouring for scraps to scatter, and it took almost 30 hours until we gathered them finally at the tertiary rally point.
What went well: While the Tau detected us and reacted in force, we data-captured the phases they used to detect us and should be able to be much stealthier until they change up (about 400 hours if they follow their manual, almost as bad as Imperials.) Despite taking forever to gather the grots, they recovered much from the ruins, including 47 units of iridium. Most important, our understanding of which playbook these Tau use, is coming into much better focus. Soon, our teams of kommandos can deploy in safer conditions.
Orks, Derry: 2 units of 10 flashgits in battlewagons with rams, kannons, 4 rokkits each. Trukk with 3 meganobs, one with killsaws and bosspole. 4 deffkoptas with rokkits. Mega armor warboss with bosspole and painboy leading 30 shoota boyz (3 big shootas) with PK and boss pole.
Tau, Zach: (Estimate) 2 fire warrior squads, 3 crisis suits with dual plasma, riptide, 3 bomber formation, 2 tetras
Orks seize and move the trukk of meganobs and the flashgits battlewagons flat out. First Tau turn shooting did very little. On the second turn, the flashgits/battlewagons moved slightly forward while they blasted most of the main fire warrior squad. The meganobs assault, kill most of the other fire warrior squad, and chase them back a little.
A kopta shook one of the tetra pair, and shook both because of the squadron rules, but they still got two markers on the meganobs, allowing the plasma crisis suits to roll hot and blast all three meganobs. The shark bombers swept in and put some damage on the wagons and two drones from the bombers killed about half the boyz over two turns.
The final turn we played (due to following event coming up) had the battlewagons, flashgits, and a kopta all fail to finish off the main fire warriors squad (failing to get the 3 malestrom VP.) The VP were 2 to 2, so we called it a draw even though the Tau were getting a little thin.
Bulk of Tau force
Turn 2 view of final battlewagon positions. Warboss and boyz in the background
Arrival of the sharks, blasting the battlewagons
Sharks after disabling both wagons, before the remaining suits and the riptide were blasted
Information about our battle on Ghul Jensen Manufactorum Facility LV 426: http://www.orkology.com/2016/09/02/battles-of-the-askari-legion-clearance-of-facility-lv426/
Flash! Boom! The sky lit up from horizon to horizon and only moments later we felt the rumble of the strikes. My whole body pulsed with Waaagh energy and the same feeling brought great cheers from the boyz and even the grizzled meganobz. Across the sky sparkled a grand meteor shower, revealing both the beauty of this world, but also the awesome power of the Red Waaagh fleet. Our fleet overhead delivered the precision strikes we needed and this mission began to feel like another triumphal conquest of another of these endless fortress complexes.
Six hours before, I stood together with the War Council of the Askari Legion Sanctus Reach of the Red Waaagh. Our War Council was in the bridge briefing room of the Battlekrooza Gutrippa, part of a fleet of a thousand ships and millions of Orks. Glorious Waaagh energy pulsed throughout the fleet and each of us. A detachment of the Legion joined the Red Waaagh and our detachment fights in the Sanctus Reach. Once again, I have been entrusted by the Askari Legion to lead force of awesome capability. For this mission, my kommand consisted of forces specialized for destruction of fortress complexes, my confidence remained high of our success. Engaging in battle with the enemy warms my heart much more than the months of remote machinations with the various knightly houses of this doomed world.
Through the darkness we crept our vehicles close to the fortresses, after a bumpy but uneventful planetfall. Swiftly we traveled, to easily slip under the defensive umbrella of these fortress complexes. FC-XLI, this target fortress complex, as our scouts, intercepts, and intelligence predicted, garrisoned by Cadian Imperial Guard with a most excellent bodyguard of Ogryn, was a precious target. We finally found the same Ogryn that smashed us in a skirmish on the Agri world of Squire’s Rest, months before the invasion of Alaric Prime. I arranged a fat bounty of teef to motivate everyone and ensure destruction of the Ogryn. I gave assault kommand to Doc Ruzgrum while I coordinated fires and reserves for our multiple simultaneous assaults on four fortress complexes from a hide in a mountain nearby. Doc lacks the panache to lead a force long term, but I remained confident his aggressiveness would carry the force to success.
After I gave the signal, the sky screamed and flashed with endless strikes from our orbital fleet. Doc ordered theFC-XLI force forward and they surged from positions which the previously eased vehicles were hidden in (as did the other assault forces too.) The FC-XLI assault force consisted of meganobs and docs in trukks and boys in battlewagons. Our rehearsals focused on rapid overrun, destruction, and seizure of fortresses.
Assaults on other fortress complexes earlier and the rehearsals meant the assault on LV426 went as smoothly as these things can go. The defenders could not react until the Meganobs had already deployed from the trukks and almost were upon the south central fort. Assault by meganob skirmish line against the LV426 fort and defender mix matrixed acceptably in our simulations, but the uncertainty and variance was high enough to aversely affect mission success. The boyz in battlewagons provided the local reserve and weight to the assault, but were later ineffective due to Imperial artillery coverage, but I am getting ahead of myself.
The meganobs hit hard across the entire south face of the complex and with the killsaw refits, easily took down the south central fort and swept the entire southern trench line. One battlewagon of boyz got lost due to following the wrong marker trail, but I noticed in time and got them into battle after a reroute. These late boyz arrived just in time to push toward the center of the fortress complex to seize it. Once the south central fort got sawed down, the Ogryn counter assaulted and although bloodied by my initial orbital strike, the brutes capably engaged and bloodied the meganobs. The Ogryn held them for quite some time before being overcome.
About this time, artillery fires from a Manticore battery and two Basilisk batteries made it untenable to the boyz to deploy from the battlewagons to sweep the fortress. While this slowed the consolidation, Doc Ruzgrum swept the complex quickly enough and quite thoroughly. The post battle wrap up went well, and we left most of the stragglers to flee to spread knowledge of our arrival, as per standard Blood Axe procedure. The Legion’s policy is to reach out to our Ogryn brothers and have them tell the other Ogryn about the opportunities for friendship with the Legion. We left our Askari Legion death cards on the corpses of these Ogryn and I paid the teef bounty to Doc Ruzgrum and his surviving meganobs. Note: Our simulations over counted the losses among the meganobs, especially calculating afterwards all the heavy artillery strikes. Some assaults get lucky and the assault on FC-XLI was one such assault.
Post battle analysis revealed excellent precision of our initial strikes. Surely the endless strikes on the Ghul Jensen hive world, the outrageous number of training classes, and countless simulation runs all made a difference. Unfortunately, Mek-quant Chodbrar still reported our performance as 2% under performing, and the ordnance loading crew for battery B34 and I both underwent additional training. Aargh!
Doug and I plan to fight through the entire Red Waaagh (Santus Reach) campaign. This was our first mission, The Red Waaagh Descends. This planet strike mission has a different force organization from normal missions.
Orks, Derry: 3 Painboy each supporting a 5 meganob unit in trukks as part of Ghazlghkull’s Bullyboyz, 3 units of 20 boyz each with PK and boss pole nob in battlewagons with rams and 4 rokkits.
IG, Doug: (Estimate) 3 auto cannon heavy weapons units, 4 IG squads, 3 Ogryn with priest, 3 wyvern, 2 basilisk, manticore, 2? command squads
Mission is planet strike and goal is to take the center of the fort. Imperials set up and must garrison each defensive structure. We set up the map just like the book showed. All Orks arrive from reserve and go first. Both sides roll for reserves from the first turn. Six orbital strikes put two wounds on each Ogryn, destroyed on wyvern, destroyed the half the mortars on another wyvern, out a hit on the south central fort.
I got all units except one battlewagon of boyz (which arrived turn 3.) The three trukks moved and deployed all the meganobs in a line. the battlewagons of boyz went flat out on the flanks. The initial shooting took out only about 3 meganobs out of the 15.
On turn 2, all the nobs swept forward, killing the two IG squads on the southern walls and destroyed the south central fort (with killsaws on two meganobs, destroying the fort was highly likely.) On the IG turn, the Ogryn and priest charged the meganobs and held them for two turns.
On turn 3, the other nobs swept forward and destroyed heavy weapons squads, taking a couple more meganob losses over the turn, mainly due to lasgun fire. One of the flanking meganob units destroyed a wyvern.
On turn 4, the battle ended with a few more losses. The two basilisks and manticore fired on meganobs the entire time and did 15-20 wounds which would have instantly killed any meganob that had two wounds. Of the 20 or so of these wounds suffered during the battle, all but 2 were saved and all two were on meganobs with one wound already. None of the feel no pain rolls were missed on the plasma gun shots (and there were only two plasma guns.) Easily 5 or so more meganobs should have been killed during this battle, but good luck made a hard situation for the defenders much harder.
Summary: Orks win with 5 points for objective and both players got 1 point for slay the warlord.
FC-XLI with garrison, surveillance views
Fort center after orbital bombardment
End of Ork turn 2
Turn 3 view of the battlewagon pushing for the center
Also interesting is the 3D service bureau locator, called https://www.3dhubs.com/
Narrative: Clearance of Facility LV 426
Ghul Jensen Manufactorum Facility LV 426, class 4 manufacturing facility on the Ghul Jensen hive world. The mission of Udrad Slayfist was to seize the planet and convert the facilities to production. [Slayfist? Yeah, because the human auxiliaries love it. Got to keep them happy.] Due limited Askari Legion forces in Sanctus Reach and the currently limited space transport, arrangements were made and the Wudurk Pirates transported the war party, and the Pirates joined the fight to clear the planet.
Facility defenders consisted primarily of the local Imperial Guard force, reinforced by Adeptus Mechanicus, and a local space marine chapter (probably Obsidian Glaives or remnants.) Quick planetary bombardment and rapid descent to the planet meant most of the fighting occurred in ruins outside the manufacturing areas. The speed of the arrival from space and assault left most of the Imperial defense limited to ad hoc and scratch forces to fight off the invaders.
The following battle report represents a typical action during the clearance phase. Of particular note is the arrival of an Imperial squadron of escorts that bombarded the planet during the clearance phase at the time the Ork pirates were refueling at the gas giant.
Imperial defenders were not prepared for the Ork onslaught and small bands of mixed forces valiantly failed to stop the Orks. Udrad Slayfist as leader of this Askari Legion force used all the tactics typical of the Legion: attack using strategic and operational surprise, using cover of darkness, carefully, and methodically; all the while focused on the strategic goals.
Conclusion, the many small bands of disorganized Imperial defenders were cleared in the initial battles on Ghul Jensen by Warlork Udrad Slayfist
Orks: Derry, mega armor warboss with lucky stikk, painboy, 30 shoota boys with power klaw bosspole nob, 2 units of gretchin, 3 meganobs in trukk, 2 units of 10 flashgits in battlewagons with rams, kannon, 4 rokkits
Imperials: Nik, command squad, autocannon heavy weapons squad, platoon command squad with heavy and two flamers, IG squad, plasma priest and veteran squad in chimera, Leman Russ punisher with plasma sponsons, Valkyrie with rockets, Skitarii squad with plasma, anti aircraft dunecrawler, space marine speeder with assault cannon, space marine scouts on speeder
Orks went first with night fighting due to warlord trait. Imperials got 3 units with infiltrate and put leman russ, veterans in chimera outflanking in reserve, with both speeders and valkyrie.
Initially, most of the orks rushed forward the first turn to close in the range. The big mob of boys escorting Warboss Udrad were able to shoot at the skitarii that infiltrated too close. The first Imperial turn shooting was mostly ineffective due to limited number of units, cover of darkness effects, and the tanking ability of the Warboss (with lucky stikk.)
Second turn, the flashgitz in battlewagons closed in and began blasting the command squad, heavy weapons, and normal squad off the table. The Garkam’s meganobs moved up to center in order to go to fight either direction. The Udrad and his boys moved up to blast the rest of the skitarii squad from the table. Imperials concentrated missile, lasgun, and other fire to all bounce off the Warboss.
Turn 3 got Udrad and his boyz in close combat with the priest, veteran squad, and their chimera. The meganobs charged into and IG squad, and the flashgitz blasted the command squad and the heavy weapons squads. The Imperials dropped the platoon squad of 1 heavy and two flamers to burn off over 10 boyz, due to Udrad not being up front after the close combat, after boyz in the front get burned away, Udrad takes his first wound due to volume of fire (and not unlimited luckiness of the stikk.) The scout speeder deployed the scouts and failed to hit a battlewagon.
By turn 4, even though the battlewagons were all shot up, they still fought on. One worked on the Leman Russ punisher that outflanked but failed to kill it turn 3. The other battlewagon blasted the scouts and storm speeder away. Udrad and the boyz moved up to exact sweet revenge on the terrible flamers, and get the dunecrawler too. At this point it was late and pretty much over, but we played on because Nik needed a final chance at some revenge. Sadly little revenge happened. Great draws allowed the Orks to score six more points, making the score 12-4
Summary: 4 malestrom turns played, score 12-4, Orks win