Imperial forces have invaded an ork-held system in the Santa Cruz sector and for this battle our company level microscope focuses in on a fuel dump/refinery garrisoned by a big mek. Lots of walkers, a couple of trukks of boyz, some grots, and a big unit of artillery made up my starting forces.
This was a surprise attack by the Sisters, so I started more forces in reserve. These represented whatever assets the orks could scrape together and get to the battle in a timely response to the mek’s frantic pleas for reinforcements. So I chose accordingly from my collection: A single outflanking deffkopta, a warboss (more of an under-boss really) on a bike accompanied by a few nobz, and a dakkajet.
The Adepta player’s forces were in his words “a typical list” and I have to agree though I haven’t played against Sisters since 5th edition. A couple of exorcist tanks, which he had converted to look like missile tanks, and a couple of immolators formed the core of his armored forces. A bunker with lots of heavy bolter-armed infantry. They had the usual troops with plenty of melta and flamers, and jump infantry. St. Celestine put in an appearance though his warlord was a priest.
The mission was the Maelstrom mission, “Deadlock,” where each side starts out with six tactical objective cards and the number decreases by one each turn until turn seven where each side can only have one card.
Early Game: Although the orks knew there was jump infantry facing them, I guess they were used to seeing those bulky Astartes jump packs. They completely missed the fact that the seraphim were threatening their right flank and consequently the artillery. The walkers, which should have been protecting the right flank were merrily off chasing tactical objective points mid-board instead.
The Sisters’ troops took fairly heavy casualties early from the artillery and especially the big mek’s shokk attack gun. By turn two, however, the jump infantry had rolled up the ork artillery, along with the big mek. Other ork forces tried to stem the tide as best they could. A sergeant tried to hussle his grots into some semblance of a screening line, but the goblins were having none of that. They tough but not suicidal! A truckful of boyz arrived just in time to get mopped up themselves. Although the seraphim lost their lives to a woman, and St. Celestine spent one of her lives taking a rokkit to the back of the head, their spearhead cleared the way for the priest and his large force of battle sisters to crush the ork right flank.
Mid Game: The orks did try and make a battle of it, doing their best to throw back the advancing imperial forces. The right flank, near the fuel tanks, belonged to the Sisters the entire battle, despite a counter-attack by boyz supported by a ground attack fighter.
A biker boss on the left flank did manage to cause some concern, when he motored up to a bunker an Adepta heavy bolter squad was using as a strongpoint. He smashed out one side of the building in a brutal charge. The remaining sisters conducted a fighting retreat, in accordance with orders, since overall there seemed no reason to sacrifice themselves with things otherwise going so well.
End Game: With the right flank secure, the imperial forces were able to concentrate their fire on the threatening bikers along with a group of armored boyz, backed by a deff dread. The deff dread originally was the leader of a large group of killa kanz, but over the course of the fighting they had done little more than soak up missile fire while running back and forth, occasionally taking an ineffectual pot shot here and there. The walker did manage to crush an immolator, before it could toast the armored orks, only to fall before a criss-crossing white web of meltagun fire.
When the dust settled at the end of turn seven, the only orks remaining was the armored orks trukk that had gotten its rear axle hung up in a ruin and immobilized itself. They gamely shot targets of opportunity with their heavy machine gun until they looked around and realized they were alone. The driver and gunner looked at each other and jumped out opposite sides of their trukk screaming, “Leeegggg itttt!” As they dodged their way through the ruin, one of them turned as their trukk exploded.
Post Script: The orks are going to have to remember next time that not all jump infantry look like assault marines, and deploy accordingly. With the loss of their fuel depot, this will hamper their offensive efforts greatly, forcing them to adopt a siege mentality against the invading imperial forces. The Adepta forces were well led and competent. Throwing them back will take all of the cunning and focus the orks can muster if they are to be successful in the future.
Still, there was one bright spot for the orks in the battle. The actions of the assault ork sergeant, Scarbag Flashboy, were of a character to mark him a hero and thus worthy of his own Saga, which will be my next blog post.