NOTEZ FROM DA UNDAGROUND
A TALES OF THE SEFIREM SECTOR CAMPAIGN
“All da orks ov Manos fly yer banner, Kommanda. Dere ain’t any orks what won’t follow you to Waaagh! ‘Cept fer dose odd boyz what live in da Undaground. But da doks ain’t even sure if dey IS orks....”
“I didn’t ‘ear it hit. Do annuver sounding.”
Skullkrunk peered over the precipice and into the bottomless darkness of the forge stack’s effluence hole. It had been hard to find an entrance to the Undaground big enough for his purposes. The ability of the Sewer Muties to crawl up out of anywhere and cause havoc had always angered him, just as it had scared the boyz of Manos. Many mobs carried a burna just to flush out anything that caused a sound in the many pipes and sinkholes that pierced the surface of the ruined forge world. Skullkrunk figured it was finally time to take the disgusting mutants out on his terms.
Dunk interrupted Skullkrunk’s seething as he readied the sounding device. “We’s ready, boss. Dis one’s lively, we’re sure ta hear it go.” The unfortunate grot struggled and chewed at Dunk’s hand desperately, emitting squawks whenever it came up for air. Dunk casually tossed the creature over the edge of the pit, and the gathered orks all strained to hear its echoing shrieks as it was swallowed up by the blackness.
“I fink I ‘eard it hit dat time,” said Dunk. “I’ll run it by da meks, dey’ll get da cranes ready.”
“Just make it fast,” growled Skullkrunk. “I ain’t gonna wait all day for dis.”
Dunk shuffled off, elbowing his way through the horde of boyz that mobbed the ruined factory space around the effluence hole. Over the din of the orks, Skullkrunk’s keen ears caught the grumbling engines of war machines parked outside. The surface and the sky of Manos were under Kommanda Shinbash’s control, and it was his job to ensure the orks of the Undaground bowed to his warboss’s command.
A sibilant hiss, almost hidden under the ambient cacophony of the orks, echoed up from deep within the effluence hole. Though the psychic warning it bore was not heard by Skullkrunk’s dim mind, its threat was unmistakable. A chill ran up Skullkrunk’s spine as the noise faded - a twang of fear that quickly shifted to rage.
A nearby grot found itself hoisted in the air, inches away from Skullkrunk’s terrifying eyes and rusting iron gob. “GET ME MY STIKKBOMMS!” The nob’s bellow covered the cowering creature in spit. He flung the grot in the general direction of the gun pile and snarled at the darkness of the pit. “I’m gonna clear da drop zone.....”
Though Kommanda Shinbash has taken control of Manos, the Tyranid threat still lurks in the bowels of the Forge World. Tired of fighting the half-ork half-genestealer mutants, the Kommanda dispatches his lieutenant Skullkrunk to lead an invasion of the Undaground in the hopes of flushing them out. But he underestimates the power the Tyranid hold in that dark realm...
Skullkrunk’s Invasion Force
Warboss with Powerklaw, Cybork Body and Bosspole
Big Mek with Kustom Force Field
5 Nobs with 2 Powerklaws, 2 Big Choppas, 1 Mad Dok, Cybork Bodies
14 Lootas (2 squads of 7)
30 Shoota Boyz with 3 Big Shootas and Nob (Powerklaw, Bosspole)
19 ‘Ard Boyz with Nob (Powerklaw Bosspole)
12 Choppa Boyz with Nob (Powerklaw, Bosspole)
2 Deffkoptas with TL Rokkit Launchers
1 Battlewagon with Deff Rolla, Armor Plating, 2 Big Shootas
The Hungering Shadow
Hive Tyrant with Venom Cannon, Hive Commander
Genestealers with Broodlord
20x Termagaunts with Fleshborers, Spore Pod
3x Pyrovores with Spore Pod
Setup: Two buildings set up in the south; one cathedral and some forests set up in the north. Gametype is Annhiliation, with Pitched Battle deployment.
Tyranid deploy with the Hive Tyrant in the far northeast and the Harpy lurking behind the northern cathedral. Everything else is kept in reserve. Orks deploy with the Shoota Boyz central, the trukks, battlewagon and koptas forward, and the two squads of lootas on either side of the mob.
Tyranid: The Hive Tyrant fires a Venom Cannon shot that goes astray, while the Harpy moves into position while staying out of line of sight of the orkish firepower.
Orks: The lootas have deployed in a way that they can catch the Hive Tyrant in a crossfire. In a storm of firepower from stolen heretek weapons, the mighty beast is caught off guard and reduced to a single wound. Uttering a warcry, the rest of the Ork forces surge forward, hoping to catch the Harpy and finish the fight.
Tyranid: Hearing the angry cries of She-Who-Sees, the rest of the hive awakens in fury. A swarm of Hormagaunts and Genestealers led by their Matriarch (Broodlord) appear on the ork’s eastern flank, while the Ymgarl genestealers crawl out of the building directly to the west. Retribution comes swift for the lootas, as they are summarily devoured by the swarms of hungry monsters, leaving the mass of shoota boyz they were protecting surrounded and terrified. Meanwhile the Harpy makes its move, swooping out of cover and using its venom cannon to blow up the trukk full of boyz.
Orks: Ignorant of their rearguard’s trouble, the battlewagon full of ‘ard boyz and the nobs see their target clearly. While the battlewagon moves within range of the Harpy, the nobs speed towards the reeling Hive Tyrant and leap out of their trukk. Unfortunately, their hopes for a real fight are stymied when the Deffkopta’s rokkits impact with the Tyrant, finishing it off. In the backfield, the shoota boyz decide to engage their eastern flank, and move to shoot and charge the screening hormagaunts. Unfortunately for them, their guns do enough damage to send the Hormagaunts fleeing, denying them a charge and opening them up for a counterattack by the Genestealers lurking behind them. Meanwhile, the trukk boyz charge the Ymgarl genestealers in the hopes of holding them off from the main forces. However, what they hoped was a brave attack turns out to be suicidal, as they are devoured summarily. Things are not looking good for da boyz.
Tyranid: The genestealer’s noose clinches on its target. In a storm of hissing teeth and claws, the Matriarch’s Coven and Ymgarl genestealers descend on the hapless boyz. Their gruesome work is over swiftly. Reinforcement also arrive in the form of a spore pod full of Pyrovores, who land sadly off target and away from the fight. Meanwhile, the harpy’s venom cannon explodes the Battlewagon and causes it to disgorge its squad of boyz. Intent on not giving the orks the initative, the monstrous creature slams its way into the orks in an assault. Despite losses taken to the creature’s claws, the orks manage a good counterattack and injure the creature.
Orks: While the fight with the Harpy continues, the fleeing hormagaunts catch the attention of the nobs. Not letting a good kill point go to waste, the warboss orders his nobs to move and support the fight, while he charges to chop up the hormagaunts before they can get any further. Meanwhile the Deffkoptas spot a tasty target and blow up the Pyrovore’s spore pod in a shower of gore. With a final strike of his powerklaw, the nob Dunk manages to take out the Harpy.
Tyranid: Unfortunately the ‘ard boyz warcry is cut off by a blast of acid from the Pyrovores, cutting their numbers to twelve. To make matters worse, the genestealers have finished their meal and are making their way up from the backfield, and a spore pod full of Termagaunts slams down to the north of the warboss. The gaunt’s fire pummels the arrogant warboss and takes him out of the fight.
Orks: Though the deffkopta’s firepower gibs one of the Pyrovores, the orks have to react fast to get out of this jam. The ‘ard boyz, their numbers reduced, leap into the idling trukk left by the Nobs and escape from the reach of the Pyrovores. It drives north, attempting to ram the synapse-less gaunts and cause them to break, but the creatures prove resilient and hold despite the car full of jeering greenskins. The nobs also move north to engage the swarm.
Tyranid: In a hissing mass, the gaunts move to engage the nobs, showering them in living firepower. However the mad dok’s elixirs prove effective against their poisons, and the nobs hold. They meet the swarm in assault, and drive the wave of tyranid back, breaking their morale and causing them to flee. They use their consolidate move to retreat back towards the Deffkoptas, which have been caught in assault by the lurking Ymgarl genestealers. Though one has been grounded, the other holds against the Lost Maidens (whose numbers have been reduced by combat with the previous orks).
Orks: The nobs rush to defend their deffkoptas, knowing that they can’t allow many more casualties if they want to stand a chance. Their assault knocks the remaining Ymgarls out, allowing the deffkopta to escape - but the Matriarch’s coven, uninjured in any conflict, lurks behind them. The nobs form a line to prevent the genestealers from going any further. Meanwhile, the ‘ard boyz take the easy killpoint and rip apart the termagaunt’s spore pod.
The dice roll demands another turn.
Tyranid: The nob’s last stand proves to be just that, as the hissing genestealers and lumbering pyrovores descend on the foolishly brave orks. The greenskins refuse to die quickly... but nevertheless, they die. As a final insult, the fleeing termagaunts refuse to leave the field of play, the glimmer of the Hungering Shadow causing them to take their time in their retreat. With icy cunning and more than a little cheek, the Gaunts fire upon the nearby trukk - causing it to detonate in an explosion lucky enough to cause a failed morale test on the nearby boyz.
Orks: At this point the game is over. Though the ‘ard boyz rally, they are out of range to get revenge on the gaunts.
Final Score: Tyranid 8, Orks 6. The termagaunt’s refusal to leave the game board, and subsequent destruction of the trukk, prevented this from being a tie.
Final Thoughts: This game was a lot closer than it should have been, mostly because I got some easy kill points off of spore pods. With a few changes, this kind of genestealer-heavy list is really nasty for da boyz.
“Mek’s say da power’ll be on in a jiffy, boss,” said Dunk from somewhere near the back of the mob. If he could have seen him, Skullkrunk would have swatted him with his power klaw for an inane comment like that. They had been fighting in the blackness for what seemed like hours, and for all Skullkrunk knew they weren't even under the hive any more. For once though, Dunk's habitual overconfidence bore fruit, as with an enormous series of clacks the emergency floodlights switched on.
For the first time since they’d left the powered conduits Skullkrunk could see his army in full. The sullen muck-covered orks, blinking in the sudden light change, were an infuriating sight. Skullkrunk would need a lot more hands to be able to count the number of losses his forces had suffered since entering the twisting tunnels of the Undaground.
“Looks pretty good, boss!” said Dunk, surveying the miserable scene.
“Go find out how many boyz we got left, ya git,” snapped Skullkrunk. “We ain’t gonna be able ta come back da way we came, not unless da walls stop coming alive.” Skullkrunk turned and peered into the echoing darkness of the cave, which slowly came into focus as the grots maneuvered the spotlights.
It was one of the boyz that first noticed it. “Cor....” Staring up in wonder, the army stood still and just gaped.
In stark contrast to the cramped tunnels of the forge world’s sewer and power conduits, this chamber opened up into a vast space. The cavern was clearly carved by natural forces from bedrock, its crumbling and tunneled walls kept supported by the rusted foundation beams of the hive above them. The sound of running water resolved into an underground river of toxic runoff, fed by a waterfall of oily waste from a broken pipe above. Large pillars, left standing by the erosion and covered with moss of questionable origin, loomed in the shadows.
Atop one of these pillars, unnervingly close to the assembled mob and dramatically lit in the spotlights, stood a single robed ork.
“OY!” bellowed Skullkrunk, jabbing a finger at the stranger. “GET DOWN FROM DERE ‘FORE WE SHOOT YA DOWN!”
The strange ork looked up and removed its hood, ignoring the threat. It was rather obviously one of the Sewer Muties, though its face was refreshingly ork-like despite its unfamiliar orange warpaint. As its robe fell open, however, Skullkrunk was unnerved by the small arms that attempted to hold the folds of the robe closed. Probably just a helper grot, he thought to himself. With claw-arms. That’s grafted to his chest. Probably.
The facepainted Sewer Mutie spoke, his voice gargling. “Wot’re ya doin’ in Warboss Murdread’s stompin’ grounds?”
Skullkrunk grunted a chuckle. “Warboss Murdread? He’s dead, ya git. Got scragged by da humies ‘fore da Kommanda eva set foot on Manos. You gits gonna join the Waaagh! or we gonna have ta make ya?”
The strange ork gargled what might have been a laugh. “Da Kommanda? Does he fink he’s da biggest on Manos? Da Sisters of da Hungerin’ Shadow know betta. Dey know ALL.”
Now Skullkrunk was downright confused. “What da zog are you on about? Yer gonna be ground inta chow an’ fed to da squigs once I get my hands on....”
Skullkrunk cut himself off at the sound of a strange echo that had been building at the edge of his hearing. That same sibilant hiss he’d heard before, but this time cut with the familiar sounds of orkish war cries. It built louder and louder in the giant chamber, causing Skullkrunk’s boyz to ready their weapons and search the shadows for fights.
“Yer in our territory now,” said the warpainted ork, his voice stronger and more confident. Skullkrunk gaped as an arc of green electricity slid across the ork’s head. “And yer gonna be fed to US!” In the shadows of the cavern, the walls came alive with hissing, screaming xenos. The warpainted ork raised his hands, feeding off the combined energy of the Waaagh! and the psychic choir of the Hive Mind to produce a storm of horrendous electrical fire.
“KILL IT!” bellowed Skullkrunk to his panicking army as he raised his big choppa in defiance. The muzzle flares of shootas lit the Undaground, their racket punctuating Skullkrunk’s warcries.
“SHOOT EVERYTHING! KILL ‘EM ALL! WAAAAAAAAGH!”