Sunday, 17 July 2016

079. Sharpes new blood, or Waaagh! (Reprisal)...

My mate Ray (Col. Ackland) popped round today for another smallish game which we have now plan to expand into a series of linked narrative games.  The first game saw my Orks try to take off a member of the Macharian Thunder Guard (Rays forces) who planned to defect and sell his secrets to me.  Rays Lieutenant Sharpe had ben sent to stop that action, with the subsequent battle resulting in my Warboss being wounded and taken back behind enemy lines for interrogation (and maybe the Ratlings supper!).

Today's game was the follow-up event, seeing an escalation to 750 points (776 in actual fact), with my forces attempting to take back my Warboss from within one of the Thunder Guards camps situated behind the main lines.  The narrative we built was that the Warboss had been taken back to a second line post where the big guns (in this game a matching set of Earthshaker and Medusa guns) were kept to fire on the frontline or other targets of opportunity.  The camp had been established in the ruins of Port Hynde, a small tech/industrial outpost brought to ruin during the fighting.  The Thunder Guard had set up a camp to bring some new recruits up to speed on the line (giving them a taste of the front from the safety of the second line), with Sharpe passing on some hard earned lessons.  As it happened, the camp was being visited by Major-General (Margrave) Chretzo Sigenandus, to look in on the troops and see how the interrogation was progressing.

Ghaz meanwhile had built up a small raiding party and sent them down from the hills and through the ruins and sewerage works, under the command of another, up and coming, Boss.  Their mission was to steal into the camp under the cover of darkness, silence the big guns, recover the Warboss and if the opportunity presented, take down Sharpe and the Margrave.

I took the same list as last time:

- Warboss with three Nobz as bodyguard toting Big Choppas and a Klaw; 
- Two large mobs (20 Boys) of Sluggas (Ray lent me one of this painted Zulu Ork squads so I could field a fully (or near enough) painted force)
- A mob of Shootas (10 Boys)

To this, I added my Killa Kans and the Deff Dread I have been working on, as well as added 'Eavy Armour to the Boss and Nobz.
Waaagh the Orks - ready for battle (Ray gave me a lend of some of his Zulu Orks so I had a near fully painted force - the Dread and Shootas are still WIP)
Being a base behind the main lines, Ray had opted for a force of foot as opposed to the mixed foot and cavalry of last game.  He had:
- A large Blob Squad (30 Guard) which Sharpe joined (again sporting a Lord Commissars stats and having a Warlord Trait which granted him the ability to issue one Order per turn)
- Two units of Melta toting Vets
- A Platoon Command for Sharpe (which he abandoned for the Blob squad)
- The Margrave and his mixed weapons Command team
- Three Heavy Mortars
- The crew for the two big guns
- 10 Sentries

For game purposes, none of the big guns nor Heavy Mortar gun crews would start with their weapons, instead being deployed behind the guns near the tents.  We had also agreed that I would be operating under raid conditions; in effect, we settled on using the old Night Fighting and Raid rules,  This meant Ray had 10 Sentries (we discussed later we could have trimmed this down) which operated independently of each other and for the first two turns would be able to 'see' 2D6.  Rays main force would start inside the barricades without an ability to act until the Raid alert was triggered.  This would happen if one of the Sentries saw my Orks, I shot a weapon, or I lost an assault.  I was able to deploy in a horseshoe around Rays centred forces.  In effect, I was so close the Raid rules weren't really used, as I had first turn and was able to steal a march on Ray and get onto his lines in turn 1.
Rays forces deployed inside their base - Big guns and Heavy Mortars at the front (top), the new blood in the centre on review, Vets on each flank (bottom left and right), and the Margrave and gun crews in the centre (white WIP bases are the scattered crews).  Outside the wire, the Sentries (white) are on patrol
The guns are silent as the sun sets - a folly, the young, inexperienced crews taking life easy on the second lines. Sharpes been brought in to shake them up a bit, and bring some experience to the force with his Vets
Sharpe (centre right) giving a rousing speech to the new blood, watched on by his Veteran Command element, with the Margrave walking in (centre left), and the Veteran Squads on watch on each flank.
As before we tweaked the terrain rules, ignoring area terrain, agreeing that difficult terrain only applied to the Razor Wire strands, else wise the barriers only slowed me down by reducing my movement by two inches.  We also agreed that the two big guns served no in-game purpose; however, if Ray could get the gun crew to them, then for each game turn they were manned they would be shelling up the line (this will come into play in our next game)
One of the Mortar crews keeps on eye on my (WIP) Warboss who I am here to recover
I deployed around the camp, with one flank taking my Kans and the Zulu Orks, the opposite flank having the Dread, Shootas and Warboss (with Nob bodyguard), and my final Slugga Mob heading up the centre
Forgoing shooting, I pushed everything forward and charged the closest sentries on the right flank with my Deff Dread and Warboss/Nobz - my goal was to silence them in combat, and use consolidation to pull me closer to the camp borders while the camp was still unaware of my presence.
My Boss took a wound from Overwatch on the way into silencing his first sentry
Deploying so close along the long edge flank, I was able to jump into the first line of unmanned weapon pits and silence the sentries within and consolidate deeper into the line
We decided the sentries would be tooled up with grenades so they had a fighting chance against the walkers as Ray had kindly taken no Tanks which tend to do for my Orks.  This proved a laugh as the Krak grenades proved a hit throughout the three turns played - here they took a hull point of one of the Kans as they charged a sentry.
Alerted by the dying screams of the Sentries, and bestial roars of the Orks suffering hits from the Guardsmen's flashlights firing on Overwatch, Sharpe leaps into action, starting to move his forces inside the camp.  The gun crews run towards their guns with two teams making it to their Heavy Mortars, while the Veterans start lining up their Meltas on the lumbering, clanking shapes wandering out of the dark.
We totally forgot about the Raid rules and Night Fighting and leapt straight into standard play, with the Vets on the left unleashing on the Kans and taking down one, and taking a hull point of another, shaking it such that it could only Snap Fire in the next turn.
The sentries behind the wall started to fire on the advancing Zulu Orks
Another sentry hugs cover and awaits his chance
Unpictured, the Vets on the right flank dig into the vacant emplacement and unload on the Dread with their Meltas and strip two hull points from it, but are not able to stop its advance at this time.
The kidlett wanted to play too so she got the dice bucket and started going to town with them
Turn two was all about the charge - and the woe.  This is my Warboss WAAAAGHing his way through the barricades with his bodyguard lagging behind.  The Shootas had a dismal run roll and stalled - I chose to run as the only viable target in range of their guns was the Blob squad I wanted to charge with my Boss.
Overwatch - so much sigh.  Sharpe, the clear-headed Veteran orders his charges to steady themselves and unleash on the charging beast!  45 rounds later....
Pop - down drops the Warboss, with a carryover wound onto one of the Nobs.  The 4+ armour upgrade wasn't enough - next time I'm stumping for the 2+.  That's two Bosses down in two games - Ghaz will not be happy.
The Nobz complete the charge and set about doing in for the 'Oomies, smashing 10 down in the first round of combat.  Unfortunately, with the Margrave watching on, the new bloods are fearless and stand to, ready to go another round toe to toe.
Meanwhile, the Boys running up the centre munch through the crew of the Medusa and consolidate towards the centre.  The Dread (top right) successfully flamed the Melta toting Veterans lurking in the sandbagged emplacement, killing all the Melta toting Vets and two las-gunners with its Skorcha.  It also pastes a sentry in combat.
Over on the left flank, the Zulu orks deal with the two sentries who had been lurking on the defensive line, although it took seven boys (and 28 attacks) to see off one of the sentries due to abysmal rolling.  Off shot, the Kans wade into the Vets on this flank, losing the one hull point Kan to another Krak grenade.
In response to seeing his Veteran buddies torched by the Dread, another Sentry lurking amongst the sandbags uses a Krak grenade to finish off the Deff Dread - those bloody Krak grenades were the bane of this game.
Or maybe not.  Forgetting Ray had gotten two Heavy Mortar crews on gun in the last round proved both costly and decisive.  He lobbed rounds at both flanks, both of which landed spot on target.  On the right the Shoota Boys (not pictured) were pasted, losing 9 out of 11 Boys, though the remaining two stuck at it.  On the left the Zulu Orks were also bracketed, suffering a direct hit and another 9 Boys down.  Ray also got the crew of the Earthshaker onto their gun.
Unlike their Shoota colleagues, the Zulus broke and ran.  I couldn't believe it.  Something that had looked so sure at the start of the turn, with plans to having 50 Boys running through the camp on turn three seeing off the last 20 or so Guardsmen, had become the start of a rout!
Fuelled by the sight of the rest of their clan lying torn to pieces and dead in the dirt, else wise fleeing like cowards, the Slugga Boys in the centre roared a mighty WAAAGH and charged into the fray, making a disordered charge into the new blood and Sharpe who had been fighting the Nobz, as well as both of the Heavy Mortar crews who had so effectively cut down the others.  Low initiative, and Sharpe and his cronies power swords were enough to see both remaining Nobz dead in the dirt for the loss of only two new bloods 
The Boys though were able to smash both gun crews and a few more new bloods
At this stage the battle rush took over and I forgot to take more pictures.  Suffice to say the Vets on the left, joined by yet another sentry, were able to kill off the last Kan using Krak grenades for the loss of the sentry.  The only thing in my favour on that flank was the fleeing Zulu Orks rallied and took a pot shot which missed at the Sentry who had been lurking at

In Rays turn, he brought both the Margrave and his command, as well as Sharpes command element into the fray against the Boys in the centre.  The combined assault of the Margrave, two command elements and Sharpe and the remaining new bloods left only two Boys, who promptly failed their Morale roll but were unable to break off and were dragged down and killed.  The Earthshaker gun also got its first round off of the match, having been crewed at the end of the last turn.

I was sullen and moping by this point, ruing not taking out the gun crews earlier.  I wanted to call it but Ray suggested I see what the Zulu Orks could do.  The dice were with me and I got enough on the roll to make it into combat with the Earthshaker crew, losing a Boy to Overwatch on the way in.  I consolidate the Boys into cover.
We called it here.  My Boys (hiding effectively behind a sandbag wall just above the Earthshaker platform) are surrounded by a near complete Vet squad (top left), the Margrave and his flamer toting command squad and Sharpes command element (centre left), Sharpe and the remaining new blood (centre right), with the dregs of the other Vet Squad within rifle range (top right).
My wounded Warlord, a prisoner following our first game, remains in the hands of Imperium, destined for some Ratlings cook pot it seems.
It was another cracking, narrative driven game.  Aside from the enjoyment from playing itself, Ray and his banter are always worth having around.  I admit freely I struggle to keep rules in my head, and jumble the various editions together into some horrible rules mash-up, which led to Ray forlornly quipping at one point that I was 'editions behind'.

Next game we plan on a larger fight, more towards the front lines - either a full on attack by my Orks on Rays front line (narratively serving as a diversionary attack while this raid took place), or else a full attack on my camp by Rays forces.  That Earthshaker shot that Ray got off in turn 3 will need to land somewhere, only time will tell its impact!  In either scenario, Sharpe and the Margrave will have to be absent, though on my side the big man himself Ghaz may finally put in an appearance.

In other news, I finished off the Chaos lads I had shown as WIP last time out and started on the Shoota Boys and Deff Dread used in today's game.  They need finishing off and then its a toss up between the last 20 Slugga Boys or another unit of Chaos.
Completed Daemon Prince, Renegade Guard, and Nurgle Lord
WIP Deff Dread, Shoota Boys and Casualty
As ever, happy hobby all.

Liam