View Full Version : Holding the Line: orks vs IG (2nd ed)

Commissar von Toussaint
16-01-2006, 15:26
Last night our group got together for the first battle of the new year.

First, the backstory: When the ork waaaaagh landed on Planet Argos Prime, the initial force to contain them was drawn from the Iron Defenders chapter. Quickly realizing that they sought a fusion reactor to bring in additional reinforcements, a small detachment successfully interceded, defending the reactor but at horrendous cost.

Accordingly, the Iron Defenders were pulled back from the line and Imperial Guard troops took up position.

The current situation: Heavy fighting in and around the capital city continues. The Imperial defensive lines have not yet stablized. To take advantage of this, a highly mobile force of orks is attempting to punch through the thinly spread the defenders.

Ork Mission: Dawn Raid. (Get units into Imperial deployment zone)
Imperial Mission: Hold the Line. (Clear enemy units from own half of the board)

The battlefield: The ruins of capital city look something like this:

__refinery_____ruined tower____ruined tower___
__light building____apartments____courthouse___

The Xs indicate a line of tank traps the divides the board roughly in half.

The orks held the top board edge.

Imperial forces consisted of two reinforced platoons. The left wing comprised two heavy weapon squads (heavy bolters), command squad with melta guns, ogryns w/ripper guns and one squad of rough riders.

All of these troops were concentrated in the light building save for the heavy bolter squad and rough riders, who were on the third floor and ground floor of the aparetnment building, respectively.

The right wing had two line squads w/heavy bolters, a line squad with lascannon and a command squad w/three plasma guns. All line squads also had a plasma gun. These squads were all veterans (Dead-eye shots, re-roll misses). All of them except the one with the lascannon were in the courthouse.

The lascannon squad occupied the top floor of the apartment building.

The company HQ had a missile launcher and autocannon and was on the top floor of the courthouse. Finally, behind the courhouse was a veteran rough rider squad (re-roll one die during close combat).

Each wing held a hellhound in reserve.

The orks deployed a shokk attack gun in the center ruined tower, and the rest of their army was packed between the two ruined towers. This consisted of a looted land raider, looted leman russ, dreadnought w/twin lascannon and heavy bolter, battle wagon, and two wartrack/buggy squadrons, mostly equipped with heavy bolters.

Finally, a squad of blood axe commandos infiltrated the second floor of the apartment block.

The orks went first.

The blood axes charged the heavy bolter squad on the floor above them, but failed to make much of a dent in them.

The main line of ork vehicles raced forward, firing as they went. Looking at the above sketch map may not clarify that the entire Imperial left wing was out of the fight and now had to shift (ever so slowly) to assist the embattled right. (I was the Imperial right wing).

Leading the assault was the land raider, which debarked a squad of nobs with flamethrowerers outside the courthouse. Despite heavy casualties, the veterans held fast until their hellhound could be brought up, at which point it gave the orks a taste of their own medicine and burned most of them off.

The survivors pressed forward their attack but were cut down with massed rerolled plasma gun fire.

Outside, the lead wartrack/warbuggy squadron was badly shot up, one buggy skidding to a halt just in front of the aforementioned nobs after its crew was killed. Noting that the twin-linked heavy bolter was intact, one of the nobs moved over to man the weapon, only to be shot down in the general crossfire.

The second wartrack squadron pulled up behind a barricade to offer fire support. They remained there for the rest of the game, slowly being picked at, but always a constant threat.

The hellhound's victory was short-lived as the battle wagon race past, the ork warboss hanging off the bow with a power claw. This destroyed it in a spectacular fashion, killing several of the orks in the battle wagon and even frying a gunner in the nearby land raider.

Meanwhile, the confused melee on the apartment building got even more confused. Splitting the lascannon team off to keep firing, the remaining squad members stormed downstairs and dispatched the orks - except for the nob, who cowered on the second floor.

The orks continued to direct a withering fire into the lascannon team, blowing up their Shokk attack gun and one of their traktor cannon in the process, but these two determined models remained at their posts, though the rest of their squad (that rejoined them) was killed.

Indeed, though their first three turns of shooting were ineffective, on turn four they lit up the land raider, causing a catestrophic explosion and many high-fives on our side of the table. :)

Meanwhile, the imperial troops on the far left raced to rejoin the main battle. The second hellhound entered the board and moved to outflank the ork attack - only to be immobilized by a haywire grenade dropped from the second floor of the apartment block! The blood axe nob had rallied and finally did something worthy before being gunned down.

Thus out of the fight, the left wing had little else to do.

On the right, things were grim. One squad was wiped out, the other reduced to just the weapon team. The command squad managed to avoid outright annihilation thanks to decent luck and good positioning, but it lost two of its five members.

Only the HQ was intact, but it was also irrelevant, with the autocannon and missile launcher accomplishing nothing during the entire game. :(

The leman russ rolled up to the outside edge of the courthouse (along the table edge) and began firing into the interior - without much effect, but further rattling the beleaguered inhabitants.

On the other side of the building, the battle wagon was firmly ensconced in the Imperial deployment zone and no amount of shooting could harm it.

The ork dreadnought held the anti-tank barrier and continued to fire away at the imperial troops whose weapons couldn't scratch its paint. (in retrospect, I think this was a mistake. The dread should have moved forward - the Imperial left was out of the fight).

Staring total defeat in the face, the imperial commanders committed their last reserves - the rough riders! First one squad and then the other slammed into the battle wagon, striving to kill the warboss. His mega-armor defied all attempts and even the ogryns, who charged forward in support could make no headway.

Seeing their charge repulsed, the right win rough riders disengaged and swung 'round to charge the looted leman russ. Their lances did their job marvellously, destroying the vehicle.

Now the Imperium had a chance.

Wheeling once again, they returned to skewer the warboss, but were again denied (this guy took something like 20 wounds and saved all but two on a 4+ :mad: ).

And there the combat ceased.

The victory points were added up. The orks got 500 bonus vps for the intact battle wagon in the Imperial deployment zone.

However, the cost had been prohibitive. For their 1287 vps the orks had lost 1360!

The Imperial line held. Long Live the Emperor.

This was yet another close battle and had many great moments. One of my favorites was the nob running up to take over the abandoned heavy bolter and getting cut down.

Of course, the fighting in the apartment block was hilarious as the orks bungled attack after attack. One would think commandos could take out a heavy weapons squad, but no, they failed.

Conversely, I absolutely loved the fighting in the courthouse. The orks were pouring fire into the building and when the nobs launched their close assault, it looked like the game was over. The timely arrival of the hellhound, the accurate shooting of the command squad and some decent luck for a change all created a highly heroic atmosphere.

Speaking of dice, the Imperial forces had some awful ones. A lascannon with re-rolls, an autocannon and missile launcher combined managed to take out one (1) enemy vehicle. :rolleyes:

Still, the penetration roll for the lascannon made up for it: I rolled three 6s - which added an exclamation point to the land raider's explosion.

Indeed, when the land raider went up, the Imperial side began to think it might pull this thing out. Then we took out the leman russ and might became a lot more likely.

All in all, a tense game that took about four hours to play, including set-up, random interruptions by children and lots of off-topic chatter.

If you haven't played 2nd ed, you should give it a try. Our first few games were tough as people learned the system, but since then, every game has been tense and highly enjoyable.

16-01-2006, 20:15
This makes me miss 2nd Ed. even more.

16-01-2006, 20:46
If I ever played 2nd ed, I would be more tempted to play with the Ere we go and Freebootaz lists than the horrible 2nd edition list... Hmm, might be interesting to try and find the old vehicle manual too for the vehicle targetting templates... they were more fun than the datafaxs if I recall.

Commissar von Toussaint
16-01-2006, 22:01
Nurglitch, if you don't like the style of my battle report, just say so.


17-01-2006, 01:09
You're missing the point, Herr Commissar. I'm complaining about how ill-suited 2nd edition Warhammer 40k is for battle-reports, not your writing style.

Admittedly I don't like the style of your writing. We are both well aware of that, I should hope. But I'm not talking about your writing style. I'm talking about how well 2nd edition W40k translates into battle reports without regard for the particular style used. However you polish a ****, it's still a ****.

Trust you to take such a comment personally, eh?

Commissar von Toussaint
17-01-2006, 02:17
Actually, I find 2nd edition much better for traditional battle reports. The action makes sense and flows in a narrative form. As 40k has become more abstract, battle reports are harder to follow. Instead, you get an account of some dice rolling that makes little narrative sense, either within the context of the game universe or the battle itself.

Indeed, compare the 40k Battles compilation with any White Dwarf report of the last two years - you will find the battles make more sense, use more terrain and the reports themselves are better written.

Of course the thing I still can't get past is given your dislike of my writing style, why you felt the need to read the post - and comment on it.

There are lots of threads on this site that I don't much care about. I have the respect to leave them alone.

Simply popping up to say "You all suck," is rude and honestly, a bit pathetic.

All of which is a distraction from the main point of this thread - that once again I had a satisfying, tense and generally awesome game of 2nd edition.

When we saw the force selection, my Imperial team mate and I were pretty depressed. We were going against a tank-heavy force with 1 lascannon and one missile launcher out of 2,000 points.

Worse than that, blood axe commandos had already infiltrated the building with the lascannon. It looked like this was going to be an ugly and short game.

The strength of 2nd ed. is that it really rewards good tactics. Luck is always a factor, but the side that keeps the objective in mind can win even if the force selection is stacked against them.

Our opponents fought a tough game, but they made two critical errors that had nothing to do with luck.

1. They let the ork dreadnought get side-tracked into trying to finished off the crippled hellhound rather than moving forward into the Imperial deployment zone. Had they done this, they would have won.

2. A squad of regular orks basically sat out most of the game, slowly trudging behind the doomed Leman Russ. Because the Imperial defenses were already being inundated, they should have set off at a run to reach the deployment zone. They had the time to do so, and the danger of crossing open ground was neglible due to the fact that the courthouse garrision was fighting for its life.

As in all games, hot dice matter, but these two units didn't need to get lucky and taken together, they could have turned the game into a total rout.

Instead, we got the narrowest of victories in a superbly well-fought battle.

17-01-2006, 04:24
Of course the thing I still can't get past is given your dislike of my writing style, why you felt the need to read the post - and comment on it. Because you might have something interesting to say, or you might be involved in an interesting discussion, obviously. I commented on your writing style in #6 to make plain the fact that I wasn't talking about your writing style in post #4.

Simply popping up to say "You all suck," is rude and honestly, a bit pathetic. So "Wow, the old 2nd edition didn't really lend itself well to battle reports, did it?" means "You all suck" now? Good work.

All of which is a distraction from the main point of this thread - that once again I had a satisfying, tense and generally awesome game of 2nd edition. Congradulations. I've had similar experiences, though not with 2nd edition W40k.

Actually, I find 2nd edition much better for traditional battle reports. The action makes sense and flows in a narrative form. As 40k has become more abstract, battle reports are harder to follow. Instead, you get an account of some dice rolling that makes little narrative sense, either within the context of the game universe or the battle itself. Okay, and I find 2nd edition to be as poor at providing structure for battle reports as 4th edition. I've found Epic Armageddon, Blood Bowl, and Warmaster to be much better systems for structuring battle reports. Hence the comment: "Wow, the old 2nd edition didn't really lend itself well to battle reports, did it?" Warhammer just doesn't story-board well.

I figured that, you know, since we're here to share our feelings I'd share mine. I think 1st-4th editions of W40k, and incidentally 1st-6th editions of WFB, provide poor narrative structure compared to just about every other game in existence. Excepting perhaps Pekka and Tjekka!.

Narrative is one reason I like Inquisitor, and probably the only reason I like it. Whatever else you can say about it, Inquisitor emphasized the importance of story-telling and narrative in wargaming. You're using the system of rules as a skeleton upon which to drape a story. The problem with the warhammer system, and similar games, is that the resulting story isn't a good story.

Now, I'm sure you had fun playing a game and don't care whether the narrative wasn't very good from a literary perspective. I'd suggest it's pretty obvious that creating literature was not your intention when you decided to record this game. Call it a hunch.

I just think that you could have written a better battle report simply by writing it using a different set of rules.

17-01-2006, 04:50
@ CvT: I like the report. It makes me think back to the times when I played IG in 2nd ed (I still play IG, but couldnīt find anyone who still plays 2nd. My mates wonīt as 40K has become a better beer and pretzel game with 4th(which isnīt bad, either) and I seem to have lost the rulebook - which is funny, I still have all the cards and they were loosely packed in a box which gets thrown about almost any time I open the trunk.

I also agree that 2nd batreps make more sense actionwise
than 4th ed batreps, as everything is more involved. (I canīt remember how many ork vehicles I destroyed with ratlings by shooting the crew).

17-01-2006, 05:14
i liked it i dont care what anybody says. always good to go back to the classics

17-01-2006, 07:40
people, chill, seriously its a WARGAME.

17-01-2006, 09:41
Oh, a sign of life from the Commissar which equals a sign of life from 2nd edition.

Thanks for the battle report which was entertaining and interesting to read, even without pictures and diagrams which are a thing that is vital to batreps in my opinion, as otherwise it's often just plan boring to read. This one, on the other hand, kept me reading.

Keep up your gaming group and your work, CvT, and 2nd edition will never die.;)

Commissar von Toussaint
17-01-2006, 20:32
Thanks for the love. :)

Next time, I will try to grab the digital camera. I was going to do it, but I forgot what with the kids and everything else going on.

That's the thing about our gaming group: we're mostly married guys and our gaming sessions tend to coincide with play dates for the kids. Mostly it works out: everyone has fun. But that does mean we get a series of: "So-and-so's being mean" disputes to iron out, which does disrupt things.

If nothing else, I think you would benefit from seeing the board we play on, to give you a frame of reference.

And I wish I had a picture of the desperate fighting in the courthouse. The ork boss in mega armor poised to slaughter the garrison before being cut down by massed plasma fire was awesome.

Our group also makes liberal use of cotton to act as smoke for wrecks and to track various hits. If a track gets blow off, we put some cotton under the track to indicate it. Same for weapons and such.

That fact that I could write a reasonably coherent story about the battle and didn't have to resort to turn by turn descriptions of dice rolls OR fundamentally alter what was going on indicates to me that 2nd is simply a better system to write about.

Some of you may be aware that I've written a new set of rules for fantasy. I've no such ambition because 2nd edition is pretty much what I want in a shoot-em-up kind of game.

17-01-2006, 21:00
the battle report was great, and to be honest I thought so before even knowing what edition it was


Commissar von Toussaint
18-01-2006, 02:10

One thing I left out was how the orks tried to use the traktor cannon to kill the lascannon team.

As you old-timers know, the traktor cannon worked by dragging models apart.

In this case, it was used to pull the squad, one man at a time, off the fourth floor and to their deaths. :eek:

2nd edition was the best. :cool:

18-01-2006, 07:49
That was a awsome read. I wish you would post more of these.

I think one of my all time favorite battle reports is from a 2nd edition miniature cataloge. The one with the dark angel on the front, mostly black. I think it was 96'. I was just getting into 40k then having just sold all my orcs and gobbos. I always remember some of the scenes in that one, like when the Leman Russ came rolling outta reserves and ran over a bunch of infiltrating Blood Axes. Ha ha, funny, just realized it had the same two armies. Or another when the lobbers (who ended up "lobbin'" all their crew away later) made the roof fall in on a unit of guard in a building. Then the comander was killed by setting off a virus bomb or something. Ahhh good ol days.

I too played the imperial guard. I think what i miss most is what the comm-link did. That always felt so cool to call down a barrage, not this lame Ld stuff now. I mean, when was the last time you saw a movie that had the troops taking casualties, then the radio comes on saying "keep up the good work, hang in there" instead of "fastmovers inbound on the given co-ordinates".

So keep up the good work Commissar.