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The Blood Deserts of Auros IX
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The Blood Deserts
of Auros IX: Battle Summaries (Battle #14)
Battle #14: The
Need for Speed (2000
points per side)
Ever since Speedo and his band of Speed Freeks had slipped through the Fighting Tiger cordon and joined what was left of Sho-T’s army, he had been running his yap about how zoomy his Boyz were, how shiny his ride was, and how he clever he was. “Only stuff I can’t fix is stuff I ain’t made yet,” he liked to brag. He and his Boyz had gone off half-cocked and attacked the new Tiger base without asking Sho-T’s say-so, and though they had wrecked a bunch of stuff and killed some more Stripeypants, they hadn’t taken the base. Nor had they been any damn help in securing the oasis—Sho-T had had to see to that himself. Not to mention that Speedo had put Sprokkits in a snit and now Sho-T’s old Mekboy was starting to get that scary look in his eyes like he always did when he was thinking of messing with something REALLY dangerous.
Sho-T certainly didn’t need two Mekboys, but his choices were unappealing: Speedo and his mouth like a Catachan Crocodile or Sprokkits, who was quietly bonkers. I’ll worry ‘bout dat later, Sho-T decided, after I’m ridda dese damn Tigerz.
For several months now, he had been frustrated as the Tigers kept his army encircled, hemmed in and unable to mob up with the few loyal Nobz (and their Boyz) that he had left outside the cordon. He knew that if he could only break the cordon, he could win this war. Speedo had gotten through the cordon once—perhaps he could do it again? And if he did, perhaps the rest of Sho-T’s army could follow? The rest of his army wasn’t as fast as Speedo’s Freeks, but Sho-T knew without a doubt that they were too fast for the Tigers.
Worth a try, Sho-T thought, an’ if it don’t work, maybe Speedo will get hisself kilt an' at least I don’t gotta lissen to his mouth no more. He grinned and hollered for someone to go bring him Speedo. “Speedo, my boy,” he would say, “I gotta job only yoo can do….”
WHAT WE DID DIFFERENTLY: Rather than re-run another mission (I mean, how many times can we play “Strongpoint,” anyway?) Pat asked for a chance to give his new Speed Freeks army another trail run with a scenario (“Blitz”) where they’d truly be in their element. In addition, I had a few things I wanted to try out. So in this battle we experimented with several new things:
If you’ve been following the campaign so far, you know that Pat and I are fighting a series of battles and weaving a story out of the results. By using the “Blitz” mission, we’d obviously have to adjust the objectives and the campaign narrative if Pat won. But while using “Blitz” kept the campaign fresh, it also created some problems.
In Battle #5 (“Amputation”), I had achieved the objective of “cutting off the Ork main force from reinforcements,” and in the vignettes that introduce each battle summary, I had described this as the Tigers surrounding Sho-T’s army and containing him.
After winning the last battle (“Midnight at the Oasis”), Pat had the initiative—which, according to the “ground rules” of the campaign, meant that if he won this game, he should secure another objective (the fourth of five needed to win the planet). But as this was a new mission, what would that objective be? And how would it affect the story thus far?
To mesh this with everything that had already been written, I decided that if Pat won, his Orks would finally break through the Tiger cordon around Sho-T’s army. Pat would have the objective he deserved, but I would get to keep the one I had claimed in Battle #5, with the idea being that while the Tigers had Sho-T’s main army surrounded, they had also inflicted massive casualties on the rest of the Orks of Auros IX. All these planned adjustments would be academic, of course, if I won.
Speed Freeks:Pat has a new detachment of Orks headed by a Big Mek named Speedo (perhaps the only creature in the galaxy named after swimwear). These Orks can be used independently or with Sho-T BigHed's army. For this battle, Pat used the following:
Speedo (Big Mek; accompanies 'Ard Boyz)The list above is not exhaustive, of course--red paint jobs, grot riggers, and nasty wargear for Nobz were plentiful, but I think this short list gives you a good sense of the army without burying you under tedious detail.
Fort:As “Blitz” allows the defender to use fortifications, I had the chance to test out a horkenly large piece of terrain I’m working on, an Imperial fort. As you can see from the photo below, it’s BIG. How big? That’s a Predator tank parked in front of it.
New Heavy Support unit: I also scrounged up a model that Pat had made for me out of an old Earthshaker gun (left over from a 2nd Edition conversion) and applied the new Vehicle Design Rules from White Dwarf #251 to make it into a Vedic Siege Gun. Despite my reservations concerning the new rules, one can never have too many Ordnance templates when fighting Orks....
So what happened?
POST-GAME ANALYSIS: So, what did Pat and I conclude about the new elements we had used for this battle?
"Blitz": It's a fun mission, but on a 4' x 8' table the attacker has to go 65" in 6 rounds to get the bonus Victory Points. Even a swift army like Speed Freeks has trouble doing that and surviving the hail of fire thrown its way by the entrenched defender. In the end, Pat managed to get a single Wartrakk behind my lines for a bonus 300 points.
By the way, for a mere 30 points, the Fighta Bomma Raid allows the Speed Freek player to enjoy TWO Preliminary Bombardments at the start of "Blitz"--this nicely softens up and pins even Space Marine Squads.
Speed Freeks:Basically, about half of the army moves at 24" a turn, the other half moves at 12" a turn (various vehicle upgrades and special rules can affect this). The Speed Freek player is placed with a dilemma: keep the army moving at the same speed and suffer more incoming fire? Or move all units at top speed and risk creating two "waves" (one moving around 24" a turn, the other moving around 12" a turn) that the enemy can attack piecemeal? Not quite as easy an army as people may think....
We were both very impressed by the resilience and firepower of the Dethkoptas: despite me throwing an obscene amount of heavy weapon and Ordnance fire at them, the last one didn't go down until Turn 6.
The various Boyz in transports were the key. The Burna Boyz went down before they could get to the fight. The Tankbustas also lost their ride early on and were stuck on the edge of the board with the unenviable job of simultaneously dealing with a Razorback, a Predator Annihilator, and a bunker full of Marines. The 'Ard Boyz had the more durable transport (a Battlewagon) but didn't manage to get into hand-to-hand combat until Turn 4.
Fort:This monstrously large terrain piece (20" wide, 12" long, and 13" at the highest points) had it's good and bad features. On the one hand, it was like an enormous wall that Pat's Freeks had some trouble maneuvering around. Because Pat didn't have a lot of heavy weapons that needed me to use the 4+ cover save the fort provided, the biggest use I got out of this piece was the good height advantage and the ability to hide vehicles in and behind the fort (remember, "Blitz" uses Hidden Setup).
On the other hand, the very bulk of the fort gave me problems late in the game. As Pat's army approached, I had to move units on the two higher battlements (thus negating their heavy weapons) closer to the edges of the parapets to re-draw lines of fire. Once he got in close, Pat also cleverly used the fort's high walls to shield his units from hostile fire from the other side of the board. And he managed to negate the defenders' height advantage by assaulting them with his Stormboyz and Dethkoptas. Pat may play Orks but he's no dummy....
weapon rocked! I set it up on one side of the board to create an enormous
"kill zone" in front of the fort. The Gun nailed a squadron of buggies,
a HUGE mess of Stormboyz and 'Ard Boyz, and would have done even more damage
had I not a) parked a Rhino in front of it on one turn (DOH!), and b) accidentally
blown it up with an errant shot from my Vindicator (DOH!). Well worth the
points, and it may change my mind about the Vehicle Design Rules.
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© Copyright Patrick
Eibel and Kenton Kilgore, January 2001
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