Bluddtoof here with a report on mission 3 of our narrative campaign; "Birth of The Beast - The Cypra Incident".
This Mission is called "Running The Gorklet" and sees Docs' Dicers recon force trying to escape from Ork territory with the intel they captured from mission 2 "Recon".
As Doc said in his write up of mission 2 we were totally surprised by the result and had to scrap the prep we'd done on the mission tree, so we re-wrote it and here's the new tree up to and including mission 4 possibilities;
This mission "Running the Gorklet" sees the Dicers recon force attempting to get back to Imperial territory with the captured data from mission 2 "Recon". To do this a light armoured convoy carrying the recon force and some reinforcements will have to escape past a Ork sentries and emplacements which ring the edges of Ork territory. The convoy will have to travel the length of 3 6x4 foot boards, each of which will have a small force of Ork units.
The Imperial forces were built with 1000 pts and were joined by the surviving recon force from mission 2. Doc had to secretly record any 3 models in his force which were carrying the 3 pieces of data, to be revealed at suitably dramatic points in the game.
The Dicers force;
The Ork forces comprised up to 500 pts on each board. I tried to theme each board to represent the forces which could reasonably be expected at each stage;
Board 1: Sleepy Sentries, it's nearing dawn as the Imperials make their escape run, they first come across an inner layer of sentries (remember they're moving away from the Ork base) comprising a battery of 3 kannons, a mob of 10 grots, a mob of 10 boys in a trukk, 2 kans, a big buggy, 3 bikers and a deff dread. They would be spread around a few emplacements and terrain pieces.
Board 2: The alarms are now sounding throughout the swamp, outlying camps are mobilising and the fastest units have moved to intercept the fleeing Imperials. The forces are; a dakkajet screaming in from its patrol space, a small sqwadron of deffkoptas, some buggies and a small mob of stormboys.
Board 3: The outer edge of Ork territory and a sentry position manned by da ard stuff; a looted wagon, a deff dread, a mob of lootas and some tankbustas.
We would play each board until either all Imperial forces had exited down its length or were destroyed/broken. Any surviving Ork units would go into ongoing reserves for the next board but could only enter from the Imperial entry short edge, to simulate them giving chase!
The new board would start with Ork sentries deployed and turn 1 would see the Imperial units move on in line with where they exited the previous board.
Mission ends with either All models carrying data exiting the far end of board 3 or being destroyed or falling back off board.
The Imperial convoy starts with its rear at the edge of the board, Ork units in scattered sentry positions.
Before we started we had a long chat about what we were expecting or were concerned by, Doc straight away raised concerns about the Ork walkers, they could get lucky and cripple the convoy before it had any chance to succeed. We agreed that as with previous missions we'd rewind and reset if needed and even alter lists if we'd got the balance wrong. So on with show.....
The Imperials spread out and go on the offensive right from the get go, (Docs plan I think was to obliterate all the Orks on each board before moving on) we discussed this and decided that if he could clear a board then for the next board he could repair any immobilised vehicles and embark/disembark as he wanted and he would move on to the next board in any positions he chose.
At the end of turn 1 the Ork Trukk is blown to bits and the boys disappear in a hail of bullets from the 2 Taurox and a Chimera leaving just a wounded Boss Nob to stagger out of the smoke. The Runtherd drives his Grots out into the path of the tanks, but kunningly stays hidden behind the walls! The buggies, bikes, kans and dread move to flank the enemy, wild shooting fills the air all to no effect.
The Imperials continue to advance slowly whilst peppering the Orks with a fusillade of las, stubber, bolter and melta fire, destroying the Deff Dread and 1/2 the Grots who threaten to break but after the Runtherds squighound eats the first to run they decide it would be better to assault the advancing tanks! Their target survives a volley of rokkits and weathers the flurry of ineffective blows from rifle butts and fists.
The Chimera on the left flank immobilises itself on the rocks as it tries to move up.
The Kan on the left flank peppers the convoy with wildly scattering grotzooka fire and then makes its charge and chops a chimera into bits, spilling the surviving guardsmen out of the burning wreck! Concentrated kannon fire shakes the adjacent chimera.
At this point Doc was getting a bit twitchy, with one tank destroyed and another immobilised, a kan romping in close assault and another advancing from the right to block the roadway, the bikers were moving around to attack from the much squishier rear and the kannons pounding the convoy with krak rounds, things didn't look good!
We had a little chat about tactics and options and off we went again.....
The Taurox move at speed to threaten the kannons and make a break for the end zone at the same time,...
At the same time the beleaguered Imperials pull out a cracking turn of shooting and take out 2 of the bikers, the kan and the buggy as well as a wound or two off the kannon battery and krew. The remaining orks manage to destroy another chimera in close assault but not much else.
The next turn saw the end of Orkish resistance however as the 2 disembarked guard squads polished off the Biker Boss and the Boss Nob on foot, the Taurox re-positioned and destroyed the last Kan in cloud of scrap and vaporised the runtherd with hot shot las fire,
All that was left was half a dozen grots manning the kannons who with the absence of any leadership suddenly remembered that they were needed urgently back at camp and scarpered!!
So Docs Dicers had cleared board 1 but with surprisingly severe losses; 2 transports destroyed and 1 immobilised! Only a couple of men lost in burning wrecks though and the data still intact. We agreed that the crew could repair the immobilised chimera and off the convoy set....
Board 2 Deployment
The Orks here were set up in as much cover as I could get, the 3 units advancing to intercept the Imperial convoy who moved on....
Only a little fire came at the Orks however at this point Doc remembered his master of ordinance!
Oops! Incoming barrage quickly vaporised the buggies with the help of fire form the advancing vehicles! So much for the cover! The Koptas advanced and a volley of rokkits damaged the Taurox in the trees. The stormboys stayed in cover, waiting for the enemy to advance to charge range.
Next turn saw quite a bit of action; the Imperials continued to advance whist pouring on fire; 2 koptas were lost to this barrage but thankfully the master of ordinance missed the stormboys...
In return the last kopta flanked the Taurox but even with a buzzsaw assault only managed to take another hull point! The Dakkajet however screamed in over the valley wall and riddled the other Taurox with super shoota fire, the doomed vehicle slewed to a halt and the surviving ratlings clambered out and made it to the safety of the nearby rocks.
Looking a bit grim for the Orks now, even with the Dicers having lost 1/2 of their transports, there was still no sign of the precious data and most of the infantry were still moving inexorably down the board length.
Concentrated fire took care of the last kopta and the surviving Taurox advanced quickly down the right flank trying to get out of the dakkajets sights. The dakkajet sprayed bullets wildly across the central chimera to little effect and the stormboys powered up there turbines and jumped for the nearby emplacement, in their haste one of the boys splatted into the plasteel wall! Once again the Taurox is threatened though!
Next turn saw the demise of Orkish resistance on this board though...
With the stormboys destroyed by the Taurox's guns and no realistic targets in sight the dakkajet pilot flips the Imperials the proverbial and screams off back to base! Board 2 clear but the convoy is starting to look a little ragged now!
Board 3; the Imperials reorganised their formation, putting the snipers in a new transport and moved on to board 3....
The Orks were now ready for this threat and were deployed in 2 defensive positions on either side of the roadway. As the Dicers moved on to the board they opened up with a massive volley which decimated the tankbustas but had little other effect, Once again the master of ordinance was less than accurate in his coordinates!
The Looted Wagon moved to get better line of fire and dropped a killkannon round into the guardsmen killing several but their nerve held. The Deff Dread moved towards the board centre so as to get in position to tackle the advancing Imperial tanks.
The Dicers pushed up the flank and kept pouring fire into both the tankbustas and lootas, the tankbustas were wiped out and the lootas took heavy losses.
The Lootas returned fire and destroyed one of the chimeras, spilling ratling snipers out of the back hatch, The Looted Wagon advanced into the woods and put another round in amongst the clumped chimeras and guard, killing all but 1 ratling who panicked and fled back the way he'd come straight into the arms of the Ork forces giving chase, along with the Data he was carrying! 1-0 to the Orks! Just 2 more pieces to find but the Imperials had other ideas!
The last Taurox moved at speed down the board edge in a bid to put itself out of harms way. The remaining chimera advanced on the lootas and hit them with a withering field of fire, cutting down another half dozen, amazingly they held! In response the Dread smashed through he trees and advanced on the chimera but its rokkit missed by a country mile. The Lootas turned there deffguns on the Taurox and a couple of lucky hits took its last hull point! The command squad inside survived though.
Now we entered the final moments of the game as the surviving Guard focused their fire and blew the Deff Dread to bits and broke the last few lootas!
A severely battered guard convoy limped out of the Orks territory to rendezvous with support elements and be whisked back to base to deliver the remaining 2 pieces of data which would be crucial to putting together a strategy for defeating the greenskin menace!
Result: Partial Imperial Win
Next Mission: Airbase Assault, with sufficient intel to identify the Orks main airbase and a plan being formed to eradicate the orks from the planet, the next move for the Imperials is to deny the Orks their air power. Thus the next mission will be an Imperial assault on an Ork held airbase.
We spent some time having a chat about this and what we wanted to see from it. we will both be increasing our flying units for this, the plan to have 3 flyers each and some ground units.
We'll also be making some new scenery for the mission.
All in all we had a blast with this mission, It got tense at times and there were a lot of fun moments and some surprises. I'd recommend this type of play without doubt, it's nice to put aside the competitiveness occasionally and play just for the story.
Stay tuned for more on the campaign and our work on new units.