It's finally time for the Bad Moons (and associated clans) to march to Waaagh!
Matt and I were both breaking in new armies for 2nd Edition 40k (although technically, he had used his once before). We played a 1000 point game and both ended up drawing the Dawn Raid mission, which meant getting across the board.
I immediately regretted not having painted up a battlewagon.
My Ork horde for the battle would feature everything I had painted so far and my army list was as follows:
- Ork Warboss (Kustom Shoota, Kustom Force Field, Power Fist)
- Gretchin Battle Standard
- Mekaniak (Kombi-Flamer)
- Runtherd (Power-Fist)
- Bad Moon Mob (9 Bolters, 2 Flamers, 2 Heavy Stubbers)
- Goff Mob (Nob, 9 Skarboyz)
- Deathskulls Mob (6 Missile Launchers, 2 Kustom Mega-Blasters)
- Nobs Mob (3 Nobs, 1 with Power Fist)
- Gretchin Mob (1 Autogun, 5 Autopistols, 6 Blunderbusses)
I lost the roll for deployment and decided to deploy in a big mob in the centre in order to benefit from my Warboss and the Battle Standard boosting the morale of the horde. They would move through the abandoned Mechanicus refinery to get cover from enemy shooting.
The Katapult and the Deathskulls would remain behind to hammer the enemy lines and also try to protect against any attempts to get units across the board.
Matt was breaking out his newly 3d printed army for an ancient grudge match. Enter the Squats...
I'm not exactly sure what he had in his army, but this is a pretty fair assessment:
- Warlord in Exo Armour (the one with the shield)
- Living Ancestor in Exo-Armour (level 4)
- 2 Hearthguard (1 with bolter, 1 with plasma gun)
- Thunderer Squad (3 Lasguns, 1 Plasma Gun, 1 Heavy Bolter)
- Thunderer Squad (2 Lasguns, 1 Missile Launcher, 2 Lascannons)
- Bike Squad (5 Bikes)
- Weapon Team (Mole Mortar)
Matt deployed in cover, aiming to hold the line with heavy weaponry and psychic powers, whilst he deployed the bike deep, intending them to make a flank run towards the Ork deployment zone - which was actually his only option for completing the mission as Squats can't actually get across the board in 4 turns.
Gotta love 2nd edition.
ORK TURN 1
Taking advantage of the Orks' Waaagh rule, I took the first turn and the horde surged forwards, heading straight for the cover of the refinery.
Meanwhile, my heavy weapons laid down a barrage for the ages. The Squig Katapult took aim at one of the Thunderer squads and thanks to a fortunate scatter, the buzzer squigs landed smack dab on Squat Warlord and one of the warriors, killing the Warlord outright, despite him having the protection of exo-armour.
The last words heard from his comm-link were, "Not the bees!"
That had to sting.
Then, not to be outdone, and with nothing else really to shoot at, the Deathskulls opened up on the Mole Mortar crew. 8 frag missiles and 2 mega-blasts left nought but a smoking crater.
SQUAT TURN 1
After withstanding punishing fire, bike engines roared to life and the bikers sped towards the flank, keeping the refinery between them and the Ork horde. Their mission was simple. Survive and get to the Ork deployment zone.
Meanwhile, the Squats returned fire, but were unable to register any telling blows, killing only a couple of screening Gretchin.
However, the Living Ancestor did succeed in summoning a force dome which obstructed the progress of the Bad Moon mob and slowed their overall advance.
ORK TURN 2
With their path blocked, the Bad Moons were forced to move away from the rest of the horde, but the Warboss still urged the main body forwards, keeping himself and the Nobs safe behind the Gretchin cannon fodder.
The heavy weapons opened up again but were unable to make any real impact against the Squats.
SQUAT TURN 2
With the main horde having passed them by, the Bikers saw the unprotected rear of the tightly packed Goffs and roared in the hurl grenades at them. However, a desultory series of explosions succeeded in only killing a single Ork.
On the plus side, the Biker on the other side of the crate took aim at the Katapult and killed a Gretchin, causing the other to flee.
Similarly, in what could be described as a hideous round of shooting, the entire Squat line opened up and managed to kill a single Gretchin...with a lascannon.
ORK TURN 3
So far, things had been going well for the inaugural outing for the Orks. However, I was about to learn some very valuable lessons about being an Ork.
Orky Lesson 1: Don't stop to shoot.
The Bad Moons paused their advance to fire at the Squats to zero effect. A move that ultimately meant that they could no longer reach the Squat deployment zone. They should have either charged off to the empty flank, or charged towards the Squats to overwhelm them on turn 4.
Orky Lesson 2: Orks ain't all that in a fight.
The Goffs saw the opportunity to swarm the Bikers. To my inexperienced eyes, this looks like a good situation.
Indeed, the Orks did succeed in killing two of the Bikers, but did manage to lose the Nob and 3 of the Boyz in the process. Squats are tough.
Then, to add insult to injury the two out of control bikes roared through the Goffs, dispersing them and exploding, killing another 2. Fortunately the Goffs passed their leadership test, but had totally failed to stop the Bikers, who were still above half strength and able to complete the mission.
SQUAT TURN 3
Orky Lesson 3: Pay attention to the cannon fodder
Aware of the the intact Thunderer Squad off to the right , I'd put the Gretchin in the open to ensure that the lascannons couldn't shoot up my Warboss and Nobz. However, I hadn't clocked that with the Bad Moons stopping to shoot, the Warboss was now the closest target in the open to the Squats directly in front of him.
Matt had clocked this and proceeded to shoot him with a plasma gun, a heavy bolter and two lasguns. The Kustom Force Field failed on the second hit and the Ork Warboss was ultimately felled by lasguns.
Meanwhile, the remaining Bikers carried on their merry way into the Ork deployment zone, still above half strength, and poured twin-linked bolter fire into the Deathskulls, killing two of them.
Orky Lesson 4: Don't rely on Leadership 7.
The Deathskulls promptly failed their test and ran to hide behind the hill.
ORK & SQUAT TURN 4Orky Lesson 5: Get some transport
Even running every turn of the game, starting behind the Gretchin, the path through the refinery, and the delay caused by the Force Dome meant that I had no Orks capable of completing the mission.
The Gretchin could, but I was fully aware of what their survival chances were.
Therefore, the Bad Moons opened fire, literally. There flamers gushed their incendiary contents towards the Squats and, combined with bolter and stubber fire, frustratingly killed all but one of the squad in front of them.
However, not to be outdone. The Squats returned fire, with lascannons once again trained on the Gretchin, atomizing them.
Additionally, the Living Ancestor managed to Dominate the Mek and make him pour flame all over his own troops, wiping out the Nobz.
Orky Lesson 6: Get a Weirdboy
Although the Living Ancestor was curtailed by there only being one psychic die being rolled each turn, as with the Marines, this wasn't enough to fully stop him from doing whatever he wanted to and although he only successfully used three powers in the game, they were very significant.
Meanwhile, over on the other side of the battlefield, the remaining Goffs chased after the Bikers and fired their bolt pistols, managing to kill one rider, causing it to crash into another, which then veer off into the Bad Moons.
They'd succeeded in stopping the Squats from completing their mission, but the failure of the Deathskulls to rally (all 300 points of them) meant that the battle was still lost.
Final Score: Squats 10 - Orks 6
Despite being a really fun game played with what we had rather than all the best stuff, there was definitely a turning point in the middle of the game, and I think that was when I stopped to fire with the Bad Moons. A lot of the other things that happened were just luck and that was affecting both of us.
If' I'd carried on running with the Bad Moons, I would have been able to secured another five points and possibly the Warboss would have been a bit more protected. The Deathskulls being 300 point unit failing two leadership tests was the nail in my coffin.
However, playing Orks is fun. I enjoy the randomness of the Katapult and Kustom Mega-Blasters, and knowing that even a lost fight is a good fight and so technically a win for the Orks.
I also now have a clearer idea of what I want to add to the army: a Weirdboy, a Battlewagon, more silly Gretchin weapons and a Dreadnought (just because).
In the grim darkness of my immediate future, there is definitely more WAAAGH!