A Tale of the Sefirem Sector
1500 pt GK vs Orks
A place that is no place. A man who is no man. Words that are not words.
“Eleven. Not the Eight the forces of the Corpse-Emperor fear, not the Nine the lackeys of the Warmaster venerate. Close enough to praise the Dark Gods. Far enough to not alert the watchdogs of Terra. Eleven of the greatest champions to ever kill for the glory of Chaos.”
The man-thing clothed itself in iron and flesh.
“And you are worthless.”
A few reactions from the champions. The twisted face of Alvius contorted into something between a grimace and a smile. The Spinebreaker's daemontalons twitched at the insult. Nothing from the sorcerors, nothing from Varr or Bothrakos, a few subtle motions from the rest. The Crowfeeder raised an arm in challenge.
The arm was not.
“For you are each of you One. And One is the number of the False Emperor, of Horus who fell, of Abbadon who failed. One is the number of the doomed.”
The arm was.
“I will make of you Eleven. And here shall the task begin.”
A twisting, roiling coil of the Warp, an incoherent tangle of realspace and the Empyrean, no less dangerous from either side of reality. A ship, warded with the blind ferocity of the Waaagh! and the subtle genius of Those Who Are No More.
Ximax Astalder spoke, his high, aristocratic voice very much out of place among the harsh rasps of his fellow champions. “The Labyrinth, Lord Tobaal? We seek a shard of the True Power?”
The red-clad helm of Tobaal turned. After a long, slow moment, a single syllable. “No.”
The sorceror did not step back, but a note of confusion entered his voice. “Then what is our purpose, Lord?”
Tobaal turned to look at the champion in blue and green. “Explain, Son of Alpharius.”
The warp crackled around the daemonhammer in the champion’s hands in time with his words. “To test an untested force far from the eyes of the Dead God. To see if Ones-Who-Number-Eleven can be made an Eleven-Of-One.”
A nod from Tobaal.
“You seek a device valued by the Ork who captains this vessel, one he crudely uses to guide himself through the Labyrinth. You will turn this power against him. An ally aboard, a psyker who has been enlightened after his time in the depths of the ship, will be summoning us.”
“In light of your ambition, sorcerer, you shall be first to the fray.’
And the place which was no place was no more.
Lord Tobaal (Kaldor Draigo)
Inquisitor Lyr (3 Servo-Skulls, Psychic Communion)
Squad Anvil (5 Paladin Squad)
Ximax Astalder, Thousand Sons (Nemesis Warding Stave/Storm)
Il'thrax Crowfeeder, Lost and the Damned (Halbard//Storm)
Kharanos Spinebreaker, Night Lords (Falchions/Psycannon)
Destroyer Bothrakos, Iron Warriors (Daemonhammer, Psycannon)
Umathkar the Dread, World Eaters (Falchions/Storm)
Squad Hammer (6 Paladin Squad)
Covai Thrice-Blessed, Death Guard (Apothecary with Nemesis Warding Stave)
Apostle Omion, Word Bearers (Falchions/Storm)
Varr of the Black Hammer, Alpha Legion ( MC Daemonhammer/Storm)
Gothris Khaim, Black Legion (Falchions/Psycannon)
Prince Alvius, Emperor's Children (Halbard/Storm)
Sergeant Neth, Red Corsairs (Sword/Psycannon)
9x Warrior Acolyte, 6x Stormbolter and 3x Melta
Chimera, Extra Armor
1x Dreadnought w/ 2x twin-linked autocannon, psybolt ammunition
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 Killa Kans with Grotzookas
1 Battlewagon with Deff Rolla, Armor Plating, 2 Big Shootas
Setup: A central cathedral divides the board, with scattered walls and forests providing difficult terrain. Game type is Capture and Control, with a Spearhead deployment.
Inquisitor Lyr and his retinue deploy in their Chimera next to their objective in the Northeast, after scattering one servo skull north of the Ork’s deployment zone and one in the central cathedral. The Psyfleman dread provides support nearby.
The Orks, spotting the servo skulls, deploy to counter them. The shoota boyz squat across their objective in the southeast, with a wall of Kans and Lootas screening them from the servo skull. To the west, the Trukks and Battlewagon stack up, ready to charge around the building. A second squad of lootas sits nearby, to prevent the Dreadnought from getting any ideas.
Warhost Tobaal: Inquisitor Lyr, spotting the oncoming horde, begins the ritual to summon his Angels. The Dreadnought moves to avoid the Lootas and acquire a better firing lane on the Orks.
Waaagh! Krumptoof: With a roar of engines, the Ork’s vehicles formation moves forward. They don’t break cover around the wall of the cathedral, but they do get close enough to grab the central Servo Skull and stick it on their bosspole. Meanwhile, the defensive squad hunkers down and prepares to receive the inevitable attack.
Warhost Tobaal: Inquisitor Lyr’s prayers are answered - to a degree. A tendril of the Empyrean, its presence detected by Lyr’s servo skull, rips its way into reality to the north of the Ork’s objective. Ximax Astalder and the rest of Squad Anvil have become flesh once more. Their hellfire-powered weapons aim for the Kans and rip through their sheet metal armor, destroying one and stunning the other to silence their blast weapons. Meanwhile Elder Aurikon’s psycannons find a line of fire on the Ork’s vanguard, but its shells are deflected by the Battlewagon’s force field.
Waaagh! Krumptoof: Their targets now in sight, the Orks open up with reckless abandon. The five chosen of Tobaal disappear in a haze of sparks and cordite as the Lootas and Shoota Boyz empty their clips. The orks peer into the haze to see how dead their opponents are...but as the smoke clears the five champions still stand, with but a single wound among them. Meanwhile the vehicle vanguard makes its move, sweeping around the corner in a line and punching the accelerator to close distance.
Warhost Tobaal: The ground trembles as one of the named horrors of the Iron Grimoire returns to the galaxy. Lord Tobaal leads Squad Hammer out of the Warp to face the oncoming Waaagh! and defend their objective. The dreadnought’s psycannon shots dismount the Warboss and his nobs, allowing Tobaal’s sorcerous flames to damage them. On the other side of the map, Squad Anvil advances but makes a critical error. Though they judge they can do the most damage by targeting the Kans (and allowing the nearby Orks to be hit by the use of Holocaust), they forget that as a result the screening Lootas can’t be assaulted. By this mistake they leave themselves open to another round of firepower - a mistake made more bitter by their failure to destroy the standing Kan (though their templates take out several nearby orks).
Waaagh! Krumptoof: The orks take advantage of their reprieve by filling Squad Anvil full of more lead. This time the close range fire finally manages to deal enough wounds to fell one of the terminators, though it barely slows their inexorable approach. On the offensive wing, the warboss and nobs advance into difficult terrain to allow the Battlewagon a path towards the Dreadnought. It charges ahead, lowering its deffrolla, but does not quite reach the walker. Meanwhile the support trukk takes a western tack, hoping to assault from a flank.
Warhost Tobaal: Inquisitor Lyr springs his trap. His chimera rockets out of cover, allowing his melta-toting acolytes to ignite the fuel tanks of the onrushing Battlewagon. The vehicle explodes in a conflagaration, killing several ‘ard boyz despite their protective armor. Squad Hammer and Elder Aurikon lay firepower into the orks, the high-caliber rounds splattering several nobs and injuring the warboss. Squad Anvil finally reaches the first line of orks, their firepower and daemon weapons slaying the terrified Lootas and sending them fleeing. They consolidate behind cover, within a hair’s breadth of contesting the Ork’s objective.
Waaagh! Krumptoof: Faced with the terrifying power of the Warhost, the orks resort to Plan A - by running at it while screaming and waving an axe. The ‘Ard Boyz pile out of the wreckage of their battlewagon and declare a Waaagh!, running across open ground to crash into Squad Hammer. Despite the ferocity of the assault, the orks are no more dangerous to Tobaal than a wave is to a solid rock. The orks part against the terminators in a spray of blood, losing more than half their number before they get so much as a chance to strike. The warboss, hobbled by the difficult terrain, breathes a secret sigh of relief that he hadn’t been foolish enough to challenge the horrors. On the other side of the map, the Ork’s assault fairs slightly better. Surrounding Squad Anvil on all sides, the barrage of close-range firepower is the prelude to a massive scrum, joined by all except the watchful lootas. The powerklaw-wielding nob and Kan manage to crack another terminator, though Astalder’s defensive sorcery prevents more wounds.
Warhost Tobaal: A trukk full of boyz, who had been hoping to join a combat that ended shockingly fast, stood dumbfounded as Tobaal dispatched them with contemptuous ease. Meanwhile, realizing the danger on the far side of the map, Inquisitor Lyr kicked his Chimera into high gear and blew past the Warboss, who was busy taking casualties from the Dreadnought’s relentless firepower. Squad Anvil struck back against the mass of boyz around them, but found that for every ork they killed another took his place. The relentless energy of the orks dragged down another of Astalder’s charges.
Waaagh! Krumptoof: With the offensive crushed, the Warboss petulantly strikes out against the nearest foe. He charges the Dreadnaught and rips it apart in a snit. While hardly relevant, it’s the one thing in his reach that isn’t suicidal to charge. Meanwhile, the steadily decreasing numbers in the defensive scrum bring it down to only a handful of Orks, a immobilized Kan, and an injured Ximax Astalder. Though his sorcery still keeps the greenskins off of him, it’s only a matter of time before his warding stave shatters under the strain. Meanwhile, the idle Lootas notice the speeding Chimera and open fire, but their lazy aim does no damage to the oncoming vehicle.
The dice demand another turn.
Warhost Tobaal: One greenskin is the same as any other to Lord Tobaal, no matter how big he looks. The Warboss dies a swift and most unsatisfying death - hardly the fight his orkish soul would have wished for. While Inquisitor Lyr’s chimera makes all speed towards the ork’s objective, Ximax Astalder preps the incantations needed to return to the Warp.
Waaagh! Krumptoof: As the sorcerer disappears in a flash of light, the Orks quickly shift to protect against the new threat. If the game continues, the Chimera has a chance of contesting their point and losing the game. The idle Lootas open fire but fail to impede its progress, while the boyz consolidate to block the transport’s path to the point.
The game goes on!
Warhost Tobaal: Inquisitor Lyr does not stop for greenskins. The chimera tank shocks its way into contesting range of the point, crushing the powerklaw-wielding Nob who chose Death when he meant to choose Glory. If the ork’s guns cannot stop the chimera, it’s game over.
Waaagh! Krumptoof: The shoota boyz surround the Chimera, and all available guns fire upon the vehicle. The lootas and Kan do no damage, and it comes down to the very last big shoota to get a lucky hit on the vehicle’s rear armor, resulting in the luckiest result - Wrecked. With nowhere to go but into the orks, the Chimera’s passengers disappear without a fight, saving the objective at the last possible moment. \
Final Score: Warhost Tobaal 1, Orks 1. Tie game.
Wu’s Thoughts: Oof, man. Paladins. Paladins without any means of long-range AP2. Even the powerklaws I got into melee were stymied by the Nemesis Swords and Warding Staves. I probably made a mistake in splitting up my army - I might have had better luck focusing my entire force on his. Then again I’m not sure my entire army could have done much to Draigo and his melee squad.
Lao’s Thoughts: This fight taught me that a melta-chimera, while neat as hell, is not worth it if it means a Paladin squad has to objective-sit. LESSON LEARNED.
Guv’s meaty fingers darted across the panel, twisting dials and flipping switches. He held up the speaker to his ear and grimaced as the machine spirits squawked in protest before swiftly changing some settings. Gradually the encoded gibberish of the intercepted communications gave way to High Gothic, its precise meaning obscure to the Mek but its inflections and urgency unmistakable.
“I fink dey’s started da fight,” Guv reported. “I’m hearin’ explosions an’ all sorts of hollerin’.”
Kommanda Shinbash’s constant finger drumming on the arm of his kaptin’s chair stopped as his expression of impatient aggravation evaporated into a grin. “Now’s our chance. Full powa ahead!”
The enhanced engines of the kroozer Not Yerz No More flared in the darkness of the moon’s shadow. As it exited its hiding spot, the ship was quickly swallowed by the sun’s flare - and by the chaos of the space battle happening before it. The impossibly massive bulk of Warlord Krumptoof’s flagship, the Bloodspitta, had just engaged the hastily assembled Imperial defense line that protected the world of Fentiman. Macrocannon broadsides and lance batteries slammed the huge battleship, but the Imperial ships were hopelessly outclassed. Even if they managed to cripple the heavyweight vessel, they had no chance of stopping the vast fleet that lurked behind it, sitting back to allow their arrogant warboss to handle the picket line himself. The Bloodspittas guns could sink an Imperial ship in one rippling broadside, and their gun crews were obviously happy to have their pick of targets.
It was just the distraction Kommanda Shinbash was counting on, as the Not Yerz No More increased its pace to ramming speed.
He grabbed the gob box and set it to address the crew. “Listen up, ya gits!” His amplified voice echoed through the cavernous troop bays and modified engine rooms that had been added to the former Imperial picket ship. “I chose you all cuz yer da best and biggest orks of Manos. We’s about ta strike Warboss Krumptoof right where he don’t expect it an show dis whole sector what a REAL legend looks like! Who’s ready fer da biggest fight of yer lives?!”
Guv’s concerned face detracted from the raucous cheer that shook the ship’s deckplates. “‘Eads up, boss. Krumptoof’s ship’s takin’ more damage den we expected. I’m seeing plasma fires in da left-side engine wotsits.”
The fires flared in a section where no Imperial ships had caused damage - sure signs of a boarding party. Unknown to the onlookers, Tobaal and his warriors had succeeded in their murderous objective. A massive explosion ripped a hole in the Bloodspitta. Strange powers, unbound from the xenos artifact Krumptoof had plugged into his engine, created shimmering energy fields that spilled from the hole and created a tessaract pattern in the space around it - which quickly formed into an unmistakable rift in the Warp. The Imperial ships fired their engines in a panic to escape, but the Bloodspitta began to unstoppably sink into the vortex
Guv sprang up and shoved the squealing navigator grot away from its console. “Stoppin’ engines and turnin’ us around. We’re far enough away we can....”
Shinbash’s huge hand grabbed the throttle lever and ripped it from its console. Guv looked up with mild shock to see the warboss with uncharacteristic rage on his face.
“FOLLOW DEM!” bellowed the Kommanda. “I’M DIS CLOSE TA KILLING KRUMPTOOF! DON’T LET ‘IM GET AWAY!”