(Image above by Yang Zheyy at https://www.artstation.com/zheyang)
“…from the perfidy of the alien, o Emperor, deliver me; from the wickedness of heresy, o Emperor, deliver me…”
By Confessor Mattias Elastor’s count, he had voiced the Benediction of St. Cyrus twenty-two times in the last hour alone, and the Hymnal of St. Thor at Gathalamor another fifty-three. He couldn’t remember when he had last slept, or for that matter, when he had last eaten anything—his fear had been overriding his hunger, and at some point it had turned into just a general, bone-hollow weariness. It was that, and the shrapnel that had lacerated his left leg, which had eventually forced him to stop moving and take shelter in the half-exposed second storey of this ruined Administratum office.
He clutched his rosarius all the more tightly, even though its power field had long since gone out. His once fine priestly robes were now nothing more than tattered, soot-darkened rags, and his beard was a scraggly mess. Propping himself up against a ruined desk, he took another glance up at the sky, smothered grey by the smoke of distant battlefields. Somewhere in the distance, he could hear the rumble of thunder. He wouldn’t be out here, he knew, if the Ork warplanes hadn’t intercepted the convoy that had been conveying him to the supposed safety of the capital city. It was only by a miracle that he had survived the destruction of the Chimera he’d been on when that Ork missile had struck it.
Upon reflection, it had to have been a miracle: clearly, it was only by the God-Emperor’s intervention that he yet still lived. It was through the God-Emperor’s protection that Mattias would live through this yet. At least, that is what he kept telling himself. As it was, lately he had been beginning to lapse in and out of consciousness. Blood poisoning, maybe, or hunger, or possibly both. He could no longer tell how long he’d been here.
He was about to take another sip from a canteen he’d taken off of one of the dead Guardsmen when an electronic snarl made him jump. It took him a few seconds to realize that it was the vox-unit lying on the nearby table. He had been trying to get a bloody signal out all throughout this ordeal: now, all of a sudden, he was receiving one.
“Convoy Theta, come in!” a female voice spoke from the other end. “Convoy Theta, if any of you are still alive, do you read?”
Hurriedly, Mattias snatched up the vox unit, almost dropping the damned thing as he fumbled with its activation stud. “I’m here!” he exclaimed, almost surprised at how hoarse his voice sounded. “It’s me! By the Emperor’s grace, I’m alive!”
There was a short silence on the other end before the voice spoke again. “Confessor Elastor, is that you? Please confirm.”
He nodded hurriedly, despite the fact that this woman obviously could not see the motion. He felt exhilarated just to be talking to someone. “Yes! I’m alive! E-everyone else died in the attack, but…I survived!” He tried to jump back up to his feet, only for the raw pain of his leg to cause a whine of animal pain to escape his lips. “Nnnnh…but…I’m also injured. Yes. I…I don’t think I can move any more.”
In the distance, the thunder grew louder. Elastor could almost feel it in his bones. A storm was brewing.
“Acknowledged, Confessor,” said the voice. “Keep your current position: a rescue force is on its way. Be advised, though, there is a sizeable enemy force moving towards your position.”
Mattias’ heart skipped a beat. “What?” He clutched the vox unit even more firmly. “Then we have no time to lose! We have to get to the capital!”
There was a tremendous thunderclap in the distance—one so massive it felt like it shook the ground.
There was a silence on the other end. “Confessor…the capital hive fell two days ago. And if I’m reading the signal right…you’re in enemy-captured territory.”
Slowly, the vox clattered from Matthias’ shaking hand. Again, he heard the thunder-clap—a tremendous, ear-splitting tremor that sent vibrations rattling through him. Next to him, the canteen he’d placed back on the table clattered to the floor with a metallic thud. Slowly, and wordlessly, he pulled himself up to the edge of a ruined window and peaked over it.
In the distance, past the edges of the ruined hab-complex, came a tide of bodies, hunched and muscular, with skin the colour of rotting leaves. Above them loomed a tremendous shape—vast and squat, with a gigantic saw on one arm, a fearsome multi-barrelled cannon in the other, and a lense-eyed head fashioned in mockery of a tusked Greenskin face. A walking mountain of metal plates was stomping its way towards him, crushing everything in its path.
Quietly, Mattias began to mouth the Benediction of St. Cyrus for a twenty-third time….
Welcome to my inaugural 40k battle report for this blog! Not too long ago I played my second ever game of 8th edition. I was (and to a degree still am) fresh with the rules, and I went into this game anticipating that I was going to make plenty of learning mistake. (Chances are, eagle-eyed readers will still spot more than a few rules errors that even I missed). I decided to give my Adepta Sororitas their second 8th Ed outing, and when I got to Sword and Board, arranged a game one of my LGS, and found myself in a game against Orks—an army that I had fought against maybe once in the past couple of editions.
I brought the following:
ADEPTUS MINISTORUM BATTALION DETACHMENT
Saint Celestine- 2 Geminae Superiae- 250
Canoness- bolt pistol, power sword- 49
5 Battle Sisters- storm bolter, heavy flamer- 66
-Immolator- Immolation flamer- 103
5 Battle Sisters- storm bolter, heavy flamer- 66
-Immolator- Immolation flamer- 103
5 Battle Sisters- storm bolter, heavy flamer- 66
-Immolator- Immolation flamer- 103
9 Arco Flagellants- 135
Ministorum Priest- eviscerator- 57
Callidus Assassin- 80
5 Dominions- 4 meltaguns- 114
5 Dominions- 4 meltaguns- 114
6 Retributors- 4 heavy bolters- 94
Back in 7th, this would be a more or less standard army build for me, minus the Retributors, Assassin and Arco-Flagellants. This army was really limited by my collection as well—as much as I wanted to field Repressors instead of Rhinos for the Dominions, I still hadn’t had any converted at this time. Beyond that, there were a few units that I was trying out for the first time, such as the Arco-Flagellants, and I tried to keep everything WSYIWG where possible, with the exception of some of my flamers masquerading as storm bolters. In hindsight, converting all of my storm bolters into (crappy-looking) meltaguns back in 7th was a poor decision.
My opponent, meanwhile, brought the following:
ORK BATTALION DETACHMENT
Big Mek- kustom force field
Big Mek- kustom force field
20 Boyz- sluggas and choppas, Nob w. power klaw
20 Boyz- sluggas and choppas, Nob w. power klaw
20 Boyz- shootas, Nob w. power klaw
Nob w. Waaagh Banner
Painboy- power klaw
Painboy- power klaw
Battlewagon- 4 big shootas, deffrolla
SUPER-HEAVY AUXILIARY DETACHMENT
I almost immediately jumped when I saw the Stompa. I had not experienced dealing with one outside of a single Apocalypse game back in 5th ed, and had only generally dealt with a super-heavy in a regularly-sized game once before (wherein I was lucky enough to melta a Knight to death in one turn). Given my lack of knowledge of Orks, I had no idea of what to expect of the Stompa, save that it probably had a lot of dakka and would probably be able to destroy my entire army on its own if left unchecked.
For the scenario, we rolled Dawn of War and The Relic, and I for the role of the relic I provided the Uriah Jacobus model. I figured that Uriah had been stranded (or possibly wandered drunkenly) into no man’s land, and both sides were trying to retrieve him.
I set up with as many of my transports behind cover as possible, hoping to avoid the worst of the Stompa’s fire on turn 1. I concentrated most of my units on the right flank (a dumb move, in retrospect, as I should have tried avoiding and isolating the Stompa instead). The Callidus Assassin was kept in reserve, in the hopes that she could appear and kill an isolated character or two later in the game.
The Orks, meanwhile, spread bodies all across the table in proper horde fashion. The Nob and both Painboyz lurked behind the central-most mob of Slugga Boyz, the Battlewagon went on the far flank, and a Big Mek went into each of the vehicles to give them some force field goodness.
For Warlord traits, I gave Celestine +1 attack, and my opponent did the same for the Nob, his own Warlord (he at first mistakenly thought that the Stompa could be his warlord, until realizing that it was not a character).
I rolled to seize the initiative…and got it! And with that, the Sisters of Battle went first.
SISTERS TURN 1
With the initiative now mine, my Order sprang into action. Rolling for my faith, I got a 1. Deciding that I really wanted to test out Acts of Faith in this game, I used a Command Point to reroll…and got another 1. My Imagifier, similarly, failed to net me a faith point. At this point, I figured it was going to be one of THOSE games.
Starting things off, I shuffled my Exorcists to get line of sight on the Stompa. I also tried to move the Retributors on top of the nearby building, but stopped when I realized that they didn’t have enough movement to make it to the top. A free move from a Faith point would have been REALLY helpful for that. On the left flank, my Dominions moved up towards the centre of the table in a rapid redeployment towards the right. I figured that the lone Battlewagon wasn’t too big a threat, and I really needed to get as many meltaguns as I could in range of the Stompa. The leftmost Immolator similarly hid behind the building, ready to move toward either flank as needed. On my right flank, however, there was a general advance, with two Immolators gunning towards the enemy with Celestine following just behind. The Dominions’ Rhino, similarly, moved up, just within rapid fire range of the Ork mob.
My general plan, at this point, was to lure the Orks into a charge. Hopefully, my transports would survive, and/or my Sisters would be able to disembark from their wrecks in good enough order to unleash short-ranged shoooting in reply. Celestine (and if necessary, the Flagellants) gave me decent counter-attack options. If the Stompa came this way, of course, all the better– my Dominions’ meltaguns would be in range to do major damage.
In the shooting phase, I unloaded with my Immolators on the right flank…and found that I was narrowly out of range. I had greatly overestimated the range of my Immolators’ fancy flamers. It was only after the battle that I realized that I could have advanced with them in the movement phase to ensure that they were in range. The Rhino, at least, rapid fired its storm bolter and plinked off two Orks. The Exorcists combined their fire and managed to deal 5 or 6 wounds to the Stompa (honestly, it became impossible for me to keep track after a while), and the Retributors opened up and mowed down 5 of the central Ork mob. Even after having moved, I found that my heavy support units were still hitting fairly accurately thanks to my Canoness’ reroll 1’s bubble.
ORKS TURN 1
In the Ork turn, the Greenies responded as I anticipated…mostly. All across the board, the Ork mobs moved up, with the centre and rightmost mobs advancing as well while the Battlewagon did the same. What took me by surprise, though, was when the Stompa moved and ended up mere inches away from my Immolators. I had had no idea that the Stompa had a movement of 12. Where I had originally hoped I would have a turn or two to deal with the big ugly, it was now right in front of my advancing Sisters.
In the shooting phase, I was given a none-too subtle reminder about assault weapons and advancing as the entire Ork line opened fire. The leftmost shoota Boyz managed to 1 wound to an Immolator, while the Battlewagon unloaded its big shootas on the Dominion Rhino and did 2. On the right flank, the Slugga Boyz fired their pistols inneffectially at the other Rhino. And then the moment I was dreading began as the Stompa opened fire…
…and to my surprise, didn’t do that much. Despite unleashing a storm of fire with gigashootas, rokkits, skorchas, deffkannons and a whole bunch of other Orky ordnance (Orknance?), I got off lightly, with 5 wounds done to the rightmost Rhino and no damage done to any of my other vehicles. The -1 to hit imposed by the Immolators’ smoke launchers really helped in this instance.
To cap things off, the Big Mek riding the Stompa proceeded to heal one or two wounds off the the big ugly. It would be doing so consistently throughout the game, making the Stompa just that much more of a headache.
Before I could breathe a sigh of relief, however, the Orks charged. The rightmost mob charged my Rhino…and to my horror, rolled high enough on their charge move to completely surround it. This meant that not only could the Rhino not break away from combat, but also that my Dominions and their precious meltaguns would be trapped and destroyed along with their transport. The Stompa, similarly, dual-charged both of my Immolators, though it took a few wounds from overwatch in the process.
In the ensuing close combat phase, the Stompa effortlessly wrecked one Immolator, forcing me to spend a command point to avoid an explosion, though two of the girls inside were killed. The Ork Boyz, on the other hand, by some miracle only inflicted 3 wounds, leaving the Rhino clinging to life, albeit no less doomed.
SISTERS TURN 2
With the Stompa now practically breathing in my girls’ faces, I needed to deal with it, and fast. As my mind frantically raced for a plan, I initiated my faith powers; Celestine and her Geminae moved over on top of the building, giving them options to go after either the Stompa or the central mob. The Retributors, meanwhile, got to shoot out of sequence, mowing down another four of the central mob despite their nearby Painboy. (In retrospect, I should have given them an extra move to advance up on top of their adjacent building, but oh well). Finally, the recently de-Rhinoed Sisters used their Faith move to move away from the Stompa…for…some reason I can no longer remember.
In the movement phase proper, the Arco-Flagellants and their attendant Priest disembarked to go say hi to the central mob, while their Rhino swung around to support the right flank. The idea at this point was to buzzsaw through the centre with them, then turn them around to deal with the other Boyz and take the relic. The other unit of Dominions and leftmost Immolator moved further up to the centre, while on the right flank, the surviving Immolator disengaged with the Stompa, its passengers content to stay inside for now.
Finally, realizing that I had nothing else that could hold the big guy up, I sent Celestine and the Geminae around towards the Stompa’s rear, ready to buy time with their (constantly respawning) lives.
(Pardon the boring, unpainted and unfinished Arco-Flagellants in the background)
Oh yes, and being the dummy I am, I forgot to reveal the Callidus Assassin this turn. Moving on.
In the shooting phase, everything I had unloaded on the Stompa, Exorcists, Retributors, my lone Immolator that could shoot and even Celestine all firing up into the metal behemoth. I can’t remember exactly, but I think I did something in the range of ten to fifteen wounds to the big lug. Both my opponent and I were fairly impressed by the damage output of the Exorcists.
Then came the big moment as I declared my charges. In the centre, the Priest charged into the central Boyz mob first, surviving overwatch unscathed before her pet murder-cyborgs followed after her. The Arco-Flagellants proceeded to unleash 52 rerollable strength 5 attacks into the Greenskins and ground them into a fine green paste, much to my opponent’s shock. From this point on, I have resolved to call my Flagellants “the Lawnmowers,” because they cut the grass so well. (Get it? Grass? Because Orks are vegetable based and…never mind)
Victorious, the Arco-Flagellants consolidated into the the Painboy and Banner Nob who had been lurking behind the Boyz. This, however, turned out to be a bad move, as the aforementioned characters, now that they were engaged, proceeded to smash down three Flagellants, with a fourth spontaneously combusting in the Morale phase. Hmm, that could have gone better.
In the centre, Celestine and her Geminae charged fearlessly into the Stompa, and, despite all the firepower it unleashed in overwatch, somehow made it into combat unscathed. Unsheathing her Ardent Blade, Celestine proceeded to hack four wounds off of the Stompa. Incensed, the Stompa swung wildly with its giant killsaw, hacking down both Geminae and leaving Celestine to face the Orks’ blasphemous idol on her own.
(Note, by the way, that both my opponent and I forgot that the Stompa CANNOT be locked in combat, as its rules allow it to move, shoot and charge normally after leaving combat. We would only remember this rule after the game.)
Finally, the Orks surrounding my Rhino laid into it with their choppas…and failed to do any damage whatsoever. Laughing that he would show his Boyz how it was done, their Nob revved up his power klaw…and missed with every single one of his attacks. The Rhino, for its part, failed to run down any Orks. Somehow, my Dominions were still alive, but they were still unable to escape with their vehicle surrounded, and so were still quite doomed. At this point I was really beginning to miss the old tank shock rules.
ORKS TURN 2
With only a few units unengaged in close combat, the Orky movement phase was short, but significant. Climbing the central building, Shoota Boyz advanced up and narrowly managed to grab the relic/preacher. The Battlewagon, meanwhile, circled around my flank to continue making a nuisance of itself.
In the shooting phase, the barrage of shootas and big shootas once again rang out, only to ping harmlessly off of my vehicles’ armour. The Slugga Boyz fired into combat against my Rhino, and similarly failed to do anything.
In close combat, though, things took a different turn, as the second Painboy charged in to join the big scrum against the Arco-Flagellants in the centre, and proceeded to crush two of my murder-cyborgs with his power klaw. In the rest of that ensuing melee, the Arco-Flagellants did a wound to one of the Painboys, while my Priest hefted her eviscerator and hacked the newly-arrived Painboy into bloody bits, only to be crushed in return by the other one. Finally, the Nob swung his (surpisingly deadly) Waaagh! Banner again, and managed to smash down another two Arco-Flagellants. Only one of the cyber-lunatics remained…and by some miracle, he passed leadership and remained in combat with the last Painboy. Woot!
Elsewhere, the Slugga Boyz once again hacked into the Rhino, only for their choppas to bounce off ineffectually. For a moment I thought the vehicle was going to survive another round, until the Nob remembered how to turn on his power klaw, and smashed off the Rhino’s last few wounds, destroying it and killing all of the Dominions inside. Despite my hopes to the contrary, the Rhino did not explode in the Orks’ faces.
Finally, in the big title fight in the centre, Celestine swung at the Stompa, but this time failed to do any damage to the big lug. The Stompa then swung wildly with its oversized choppa…and when all was said and done, had done 5 wounds to the Living Saint. Despite everything, Celestine was still standing and still fighting against the giant mechanical Ork idol…although I had been hoping that the Stompa would kill her this round, both so that she could resurrect out of combat and go contest the objective, and so that I could shoot the Stompa some more. Alas.
SISTERS TURN 3
At this point, the Orks were on the relic, and, more fool I, I had nothing that could go claim it in time (for some reason I did not think to disembark any of my squads to go contest it, although I still would have needed a fairly hefty advance roll to get onto the roof of that building). In the Faith phase, I had the Retributors climb halfway up the building in front of them to get better line of sight, while Celestine healed a wound. In the movement phase proper, meanwhile, I disembarked a squad of Sisters on the right flank, and, together with the survivors of the other squad and my assembled transports, moved to confront the Orks that had just killed the Rhino. The Dominions, meanwhile, disembarked and moved up, seeing that the Nob was standing out in the open now (I’m not sure if we played this right, by the way. Should the Nob not have been able to consolidate back into the ongoing melee with the last Arco-Flagellant?)
In the backfield, my Callidus finally remembered to show up, and popped up near the ongoing melee. Oh yes, and a Geminae came back to life, giving me the opportunity to hold the Stompa up even longer.
In the shooting phase, the Retributors and Exorcists fired into the Ork Boyz holding the relic, killing some 8 or 9 of them with extremely good rolling. In the centre, the Callidus fired her neural shredder at the Nob, popping a wound off of him and giving him a migrain, before the Dominions levelled their meltaguns and turned him into a molten green puddle.
Finally, on the right flank, Battle Sisters, an Immolator and a Rhino all fired into the Ork Boyz, flaming and boltering down and impressive 13 of them. Oh Immolation flamers, how I love ye.
In close combat, the last Arco-Flagellant (who I dubbed One Armed Larry, on account of some mid-battle breakage) decided to give the Painboy a dose of his own bad medicine, unleashing a crapload of attacks and reducing him down to one wound. Stunned at this display of unsanctioned surgery, the Painboy whiffed his return attacks. Go One Armed Larry!
Finally, in the ongoing title fight, Celestine once again flubbed her attacks. In reply, because wounds had already been allocated to her, all of the Stompa’s return attacks went onto her instead of onto the Geminae. I was forced to roll my saves one at a time. Naturally, I failed the first one, and Celestine instantly went squish… and then, as per her special rules, spontaneously resurrected again next to her faithful Geminae…who then took a giant chainsaw to the everything and died. Nonetheless, Celestine then saved all of the remaining wounds, and the combat continued to drag on. My opponent at this point was quite bewildered at just how seemingly impossible to kill Celestine was.
ORKS TURN 3
By this point, the Orks were starting to run out of models, and so started to focus on winning the game. The Shoota Boyz grabbed the objective and withdrew, hoping to escape with the preacher. The remnants of the Slugga Mob moved after the Sisters that had so injured them, and the Battlewagon angled around again to be annoying. Everything else at this point was either dead or in close combat.
In the shooting phase, everything either missed or bounced off of armour, and then we went straight to combat. The last of the Slugga Boyz charged the three-girl Sisters squad, losing two to overwatch from their heavy flamer. Even so, they made it in, and the last three Boyz were more than enough to hack the last three Sisters to power-armoured ribbons, before consolidating into the other Battle Squad and nearby Immolator and Rhino.
In the backfield fight, One Army Larry once again went first, but this time inflicted only two wounds. My opponent held his breath as he made one T-shirt save…and then rolled a 6 for Dok’s Tools! The Painboy remained standing, and then swung back, inflicting two unsaved wounds and crushing the last Arco-Flagellant to pulp. And thus endeth the tale of One-Armed Larry, Hero of the Ecclesiarchy.
Finally, in the big ongoing fight, the Stompa went first. This time, Celestine’s luck finally ran out: after failing a bunch of invulnerable saves, the Living Saint was finally crushed, dying for one final time. Given how long she had held up that Stompa, however, I wasn’t too displeased.
SISTERS TURN 4
By this point, I realized that I had foolishly let the Orks grab the objective right from in front of me. With my faith points, I immediately the engaged Sisters swing in close combat, killing an Ork. I then zoomed my leftmost Immolator (and the Sisters therein) across the flank to hopefully intercept and burninate the shootas, while my Exorcists angled to try to get line of sight to the blocking Battlewagon. My Callidus, meanwhile, went after the Painboy, and the Dominions, finally in sight of their big target, moved to engage the Stompa.
In the shooting phase, the Dominions (who I realize should have fired with Faith) shot at the Stompa…and after some abysmal rolling on my part, only did 3 wounds to it. The Callidus tried to mortally wound it with her neural shredder, but discovered that Stompas have a really high LD value. My rightmost Exorcist, at least, managed to plink a few more wounds off of it, while my Immolator, Retributors and other Exorcist all did something like 5 or 6 wounds to the Battlewagon. Not bad, but not great, either.
In close combat, the Callidus Assassin charged the Painboy, and proceeded to poisoned blade the last wound off of him. Without breaking stride, the Callidus consolidated after the retreating Shoota Boyz. As unlikely as it seemed, my sole chance of winning the game now seemed to rest on this one Assassin.
Elsewhere, the combat on the right flank ground on, with the Orks killing a Battle Sister, the Battle Sisters killing the last Boy, and the Rhino (or the Immolator, one of the two) running over the Nob a little and wounding him.
ORKS TURN 4
In the Orky turn, the Shoota Boyz continued to fall back, while the Stompa turned towards the meltaguns that had so irritated it last turn. In the shooting phase, the Battlewagon managed to do a wound to the nearest Immolator with its big shootas. The Shoota Boyz meanwhile unloaded everything they had on the Callidus, and managed to plink a wound off of her. The Stompa finally got to shoot again, and did so…unimpressivley. Its super-gatler mostly just pinged off the nearby Dominion Rhino, and its rokkits made excited whooshing noises and little else.
Its skorcha, however, unloaded into the Callidus, managed to do 4 wounds to her…and I proceeded to botch every single save. My Callidus was instantly reduced to a blackened heap, and my chances of retrieving the relic suddenly became much less likely.
In close combat, however, things got even worse. The Battlewagon charged the Immolator, taking a wound from overwatch, but still maging it in; it proceeded to demonstrate the power of its deffrolla by grinding two wounds off of the Immolator. More importantly, though, it had just denied my Immolator its ability to burninate Orks next turn.
In the centre, meanwhile, the Stompa multi-charged both the Dominions and their Rhino (somehow, in overwatch, the Dominions managed to miss the building-sized Ork walker coming right at them). The Stompa proceeded to crush and pulverize four of my five Dominons…but then, much to my surprise, the Rhino managed to wound it in return! Somehow, my last Dominion then passed her leadership test, keeping the big guy locked in combat. Well, that was…unexpected.
Finally, on the right flank, the Nob swung and crushed another Battle Sister, before the Rhino hit, wounded, and ran him over. All of my engaged units consolidated up the right flank, but this was ultimately a small victory in a losing battle.
SISTERS TURN 5
Everything was getting desperate at this point: the Orks were getting away with the relic, and there was little I could do save kick myself for having let them get it in the first place. In the Faith phase, the Dominions regrew a Sister, but beyond that, everything I would have liked to shoot at was embroiled in close combat. In the movement phase, though, my Sisters re-embarked in their Rhino and zoomed up the right flank. My last hope, at this point, was a long flanking manouever around the Stompa to hopefully get at the retreating Shoota Boyz. To this end, I kept my Dominions and Rhino locked in combat with the metal behemoth, resolving to tie it up for as long as possible. This time, I remembered to advance with both tanks. My Immolator engaged with the Battlewagon, however, had no such resolutions, and left combat to try to skirt around after the Shoota Boyz again.
In the shooting phase, I recognized the problem that the Battlewagon posed, and so fired everything I could into it. Both Exorcists and the Retributors fired into it, and managed to reduce it to five wounds or so. Despite my best efforts, though, the damnable thing was still up and running.
In close combat, the Stompa, predictably, stomped the last two Dominions, before wailing on the Rhino with its oversized chainsword. By some miracle, however, the Rhino survived on two wounds, and continued to hold the Stompa up.
ORKS TURN 5
The Ork movement phase was short and simple: the Shoota Boyz continued to retreat to their board edge, and the Battlewagon wheeled around to have annuva go at the Immolator.
With nothing to shoot, the close combat phase was short and brutal. The Battlewagon once again charged the Immolator, and once again, its deffrolla did its grisly work, reducing the Immolator to a handful of wounds. In an encore, the Stompa crushed the Rhino (to my chagrin, it did not explode), and then consolidated…
…right into the surviving Immolator that had been trying to sneak past it! Argh! I had fatally forgotten about that three inch consolidation move, and now another of my vehicles—and my chances of winning this game—were about to be gone.
The game, at this point, seemed to decide that I had had enough. The random game length came up as a 1, and the game ended in a decidedly Orky victory.
VICTORY TO THE ORKS!
Well, it was a loss, but given that it was only my second ever game of 8th edition, I’m going to cut myself some slack. Looking back, I can narrow down three main reasons why I lost this one:
- I forgot about a lot of the new rules. In particular, I forgot that enemies can now consolidate into combat, that I can advance and fire with assault weapons (and that this rule extends to vehicles as well), and that casualties are no longer removed closest to closest– a fact that also came into play when I was firing everything I had at the Shoota Boyz to reduce their distance to the relic.
- I took my eyes off the prize: I made the classis blunder of getting so caught up in killing the enemy army that I neglected to go after the relic, or more importantly, to position a unit to be able to counter-attack any unit going after the relic. This ultimately cost me the game, and was a dumb mistake on my part. I had originally aimed to have the Arco-Flagellants clean up the Orks in the centre and then double back to deal with any Boyz taking the objective, but I had seriously under-estimated how tough Ork characters are (or alternatively, overestimated how tough Arco-Flagellants are)
- I was too reckless with my Dominions. I guess that in 7th, I was far too used to outflanking as opposed to scouting with my Dominions, and so I could never accurately judge how far was “too” far when moving up with scouting Doms. This cost me, as on the one hand, I wanted to position my Dominions to be a serious meltagun threat to the Stompa; on the other hand, I wanted to keep them out of potential charge distance of the Slugga Boyz. I ended up fatally miscalculating on both counts.
Still, I was happy to see that much of my army worked exactly as intended. My firebase of Retributors + Exorcists did a lot of damage each round (especially to the Stompa—my opponent revealed after the battle that I had done 25 wounds to the big thing), especially with the Canoness and Imagifier bolstering them. My Battle Sisters, once they worked in tandem, were able to do a lot of damage to the Ork Boyz, as did the Immolators (oh how I love those Immolation flamers). The Arco-Flagellants, even though they died to the last, were beautifully destructive. The Callidus was recurring headache throughout the game, constantly forcing my opponent to roll double command points or forfeit using them—her ability came into play so often in fact that I quickly felt dirty for using her. And Celestine, was, well, Celestine—easily the killiest and most durable thing in my army, and even though she was horribly outmatched against the Stompa, I am really impressed at how long she held up the big thing. The only letdown in my list was the Dominions, and that’s more because I feel like I misused them.
Ultimately, I’m going to cut myself some slack over this loss: it’s still my second game of 8th, and I’m still getting the hand of this game. Ultimately, this game was good practice, and my opponent was fun to play against. I just need some more games, and maybe some changes to my list—as of writing this, I currently have Repressors and Penitent Engines in production….
Today had been a good day, Cogzog thought to himself as he hammered another rivet back in place. The horde had gotten into a good and proper scrap, and while a lot of the Boyz had been torched by the crazy armoured ‘Umie women, there were a lot more where they came from. What was far more important was that the Stompa, his beloved creation, had performed wonderfully in its first field test, crushing ‘Umie tanks and riddling scores of ‘Umie bodies with its godly amount of dakka. But most impressively of all, the Stompa had crushed that winged glowy ‘Umie—the one that all of the captured ‘Umie prisoners had called a “Living Saint” or something like that.
That had been no mere ‘Umie. Her eyes had blazed like those of a Weirdboy, she had a strange burny choppa that had cut through flesh and steel alike, and every time she or one of her girl-Nobz died, they would come back to life in a shining pillar of light. The ‘Umies had believed this glowy git to be blessed by their god, by their “Emperor,” and it had seemed invincible for a time, even cutting a lot of deep gouges in the Stompa itself. But nothing was invincible—nothing, that was, except the power of the Waaagh!
“Oi! Pass me a spanner!” Cogzog ellowed. A few seconds later, several of his Grot attendants came, carrying a large, rectangular lump of iron between them, straining under its weight. “Naw, not that, one of the bigga ones!” he growled, kicking several of the Grots away with an iron-shod boot. As the runts scampered away with a series of curses, Cogzog sighed and stepped back, taking a wider look at the hulking shape of the Stompa—and more importantly, of the many holes that had been blasted and scoured into its jagged hull.
They had hurt it. The very thought filled Cogzog with righteous anger. The ‘Umies had damaged his beautiful creation in that last battle. But what the pink-skinned weaklings failed to realize was that this was no war machine—it was a great and terrible idol, a walking avatar of Gork (or possibly Mork). And all the dakka in the universe was nothing compared to the wrath of a god.
Cogzog’s features split into a hideous grin. Soon, the Stompa would be up and running again. With it, the Waaagh! would conquer this world, smash the ‘Umie cities, loot the ‘Umie factories, stomp the ‘Umie armies…and raze, burn and annihilate the ‘Umie churches. By the end of this war, the ‘Umies would realize that their fancy Emperor had nothing on Gork and Mork…that a dead ‘Umie on a fancy chair was nothing compared to real gods.
He heard a muffled voice from inside the Stompa. The bigshot ‘Umie priest was still in there, reciting his idiot prayers over and over again as he hung shackled inside the great belly of the Stompa. Just like all of the other ‘Umie priests Cogzog and his warband had captured– left to languish, rot and die in their new metal prison, as food for the idol of Gork and Mork. He always got a laugh over how these gits always expected their Emperor to save them, and their Emperor never did.
“Speak up, ‘Umie, I don’t fink ‘E can hear you!” Cogzog laughed, before scowling and turning back in the direction of his Grot assistants. “Now, WHERE’S DAT SPANNER?!”