Welcome Back to the Labyrinth

"We have been away far too long, my friends," Ashoka declared, his face lit by the eldritch green glow of his staff. "But we have finally returned to the labyrinth whence our adventures first began."

"Just imagine the treasures that lie within," said Yun Tai, flexing his mighty muscles. "Wealth enough to live in luxury the rest of our days."

"And arcane artifacts of great power," added Ashoka his words dripping with avarice. "All ours for the taking!"

"Umm...guys?" Nysa interrupted. "Do you hear something dripping?"

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Assault on Angelis: Round Three - Massacre at Kryalis

Dark Angel Grand Master Azrael studied the map of Kryalis.  His scouts had found the Imperial crypto-transmitter in one of the outlying ruins and had discovered some tyranid pheromone spore sacs concealed in a nearby building - the bioweapon techs would be glad to have those to study.  The city was in ruins after the Dark Angels had been forced to retreat from the advancing broods.  But they were back now to salvage what they could.

His vox operator called to him.  "Sir, scouts report a large force of orks entering the southern edge of town; looters by the looks of them, searching the ruins for tech."

Azrael ground his teeth in frustration.  If it wasn't one thing it was another.  This whole damned planet was crawling with xenos and traitors and his men had been back-pedaling ever since hitting dirt.  It was time for some payback.  He ordered his command land-raider forward into the city along with the other armoured vehicles while his tactical squads took up firing positions in the ruined buildings.  "Dark Angels, all units.  On my mark, fire."

Boss Deffstryker looked up as the koptas soared past, heading into the city to scout the ruins.  "Lotta abandoned gizmos and watnotz in dose buildins," Big Mek Lugnutz observed.
Deffstryker grunted in agreement.  Maybe enough to bribe Kaptin Badruk to promote him to warboss of the Freebootas.  Warboss Gahzbag was still laid up from his fight with that Hive Tyrant; maybe it was time to retire him, permanent-like.

He jumped in the back of the trukk with his Nobs and pounded on the roof, pointing towards the city centre.  Before the driver could even start the engine, three of the koptas exploded raining burning debris into the streets, while the remaining two veered off and fled across the horizon.  A keening whistle was the only warning Deffstryker had before a shell impacted directly into the trukk, destroying it.  All around him the boyz were dying from a combination of artillery barrage and bolter fire.  The only choices were to advance or run away.

"Have at 'em, ladz!" he roared, then led the charge into the city.

Minutes later it was all over.  He and one of his retinue hunkered down in the building behind the carcass of the dreadnought he had gutted with his power claw.  In the streets below, two remaining killa kans were all that remained of his force; they fired on the space marine command squad - the grot pilots were too caught up in the fight to recognize their doom.  Bolter fire from the tactical marines across the way ricocheted around Deffstryker's head as all the Dark Angel tanks brought their weapons to bear on his building. 

And thus ended the most humiliating defeat I have ever suffered.  Orks vs. Space Marines is a pretty one-sided battle at the best of times, but when the Space Marines begin the game in an entrenched position and get the first turn, the orks are in for a very grim time.

The first turn of Space Marine shooting saw the complete annihilation of my entire squadron of koptas, plus the destruction of my trukk and a the whittling down of a good number of my boyz.  My turn was very short, consisting only of moving forward to try and get within assault range as quickly as possible.  The second turn of Space Marine shooting saw off most of the rest of my army and I had not yet gotten a chance to attack.  By the third turn it was all over, and all that was left of my huge mob of orks was two killa kans, my warboss and five nobs, but we decided to keep playing so long as I still had models on the table because I wanted a chance to at least roll some dice during the game.

The warboss and nobs did manage to assault into a building and kill a dreadnought that was hiding in the ruins like a sniveling grot.  They then went to ground in an attempt to maximize the cover provided by the building and try to hold onto the objective within until my Storm Boyz could enter the game from reserve via Deepstrike.  One of the really cool things about 40K is that no matter how grim things look the game can always turn around and often does.  The dice were against me, however, and I kept botching my roll to deploy my reserves.  Each turn the target number improves by one and by the fourth turn, when I really needed those Storm Boyz, I only needed to roll a 2+ on 1d6 to deploy them, but of course, I rolled a '1'.

They deployed automatically on turn 5, when all that I had left on the table was a single nob still hunkered down holding the objective and being shot at by almost the entire Dark Angels army (which was still virtually unscathed having suffered only three casualties).  Boss Zagstruk led the assault on another defended building containing a necessary objective, and my forlorn hope was that if I could drive the space marines out I could at least force a draw, but only if the game ended before the space marines got another turn.  Sadly, although I managed to win combat, the dice were against me again.  Boss Zagstruk hit three times with his dreaded bionik claw legs, which needed only a 2+ to wound and would cut through the marine's power armour like a hot knife through butter.  My rolls to wound resulted, unbelievably, in three '1's.  The space marines fell back out of close combat and then, in their turn, opened fire, wiping out all of the Storm Boyz.

This was a massacre the likes of which I have never witnessed before, and it made the debacle at Little Big Horn look like a stale mate by comparison.  The Dark Angels destroyed my entire ork army while remaining virtually unharmed in turn.

When you get your ass pummeled this badly you have to take your pleasures where you can, and for me it was seeing the look of unbridled joy on the face of my opponent as he reveled gleefully in the slaughter.


David Larkins said...

I played an Ork army back in the days of Space Marine (before it was Epic 40K) and used to regularly play against an Orc army in Warhammer. I think one of the fun things about Ork/Orc armies is that when they lose it tends to be rather spectacular, but so it goes for their victories as well.

I'll be starting an Ork army for 40K this year. Can't wait.

Sean Robson said...

I love my orks, they are so much fun to collect and paint and they look terrific.

I have a very boy-heavy army as I tend to rely on basic troops to carry the day, but I think I'll need to invest in some Tankbustas to deal with the outrageously armoured Space Marine vehicles.