Battle for Stones River - Game Two

Assault on Greentoof Ford

Colonel 'Blitzkrieg' Caine looks on at Greentoof Ford, as the Ork caravan bears down on the Coriscan position.

"We hold here men! Do not give the greenskins a single inch! This is where we fight! Onward to glory, to victory!"  - Colonel Caine, prior to leading the charge into the river crossing that would be known thereafter as 'Greentoof Ford.'

When Big Mek Greentoof's rok landed on the planet of Kauro it ignited a Waaagh that would threaten to engulf the entire planet.  That is, until the Corsican 523rd arrived.  Greentoof Ford, named after the defeated big mek, was a key crossing point of the Siene River.  It had been a place of conflict between the local planetary defense forces and the feral ork tribes for centuries.  

Colonel Caine chose this shallow crossing as the place where he would break the back of Waaagh Greentoof.  He drew his battle lines here, and no ork, mek or otherwise, would make it alive across the Siene River. 

 Game two of the Battle for Stones River put my Imperial Guard against a mechanized Ork list, something I was very familiar with.

My list can be found here: Battle for Stones River - Game 1

From memory the Ork list was as follows:

Ghazghkull Thraka
Big Mek with 'eavy armor (4+ save?) and Kustom Force Field

~20 'Ard Boyz
They would ride with the big mek in a Battlewagon, not with a deff rolla though, instead it had a Kannon.

~7 Nobz in 'eavy armor(4+ saves), they had some kind of medic and mild wound allocation.  They would ride with Ghazghkull in a trukk.

~12 boyz, Nob with a power klaw, in a trukk.

~12 boyz, Nob with a power klaw, in a trukk.

7 Lootas

40 points worth Gretchin with a runt herder.

Deff dread

Commandos with Snikrot

The deployment was pitched battle, and the objectives for scenario two were:

Primary: Hold the most table quarters with a unit or undamaged vehicle completely in the quarter, and no enemy units in the quarter.

Secondary: Grab and hold the 'floating' objective.  This objective would float from right to left down our table, moving 2d6" each turn.  Neither of us even made it close to capturing this objective.

Tertiary: Destroy your opponent's LEAST expensive scoring unit (his gretchin) while keeping yours alive (my Platoon Command Squad with 3 flamers).

He won first turn and deployed to my left with his entire army.  His three trucks were packed around the battlewagon, along with his Deff dread.  The lootas took position in a ruin in the center of his deployment zone, and the gretchin deployed on the bottom level of the ruin, tucked into cover for safe keeping.

I deployed my five starting chimeras directly in front of his motor pool, on my left flank, hoping to bait him into driving straight at me.  I deployed my Vendettas and my Manticore on my right flank, so I could get side shots on the battlewagon.  I knew I could pop the trucks fairly quickly, even with the KFF, but I would need to attack the battlewagon from the side to make sure I stopped it early.  I wanted to keep my Manticore moving as well, since I knew snikrot would be outflanking and coming straight for it.

KFFs can be annoying, but for my they just give me free rein to take shots at vehicles that would otherwise be in cover anyway.  Case in point, I went after Ghazghkull's trukk first, even though it was on the far side of the battlewagon, and would gain cover from the battlewagon being in the way.  This didn't matter to me since all three trukks would gain cover from the KFF regardless.

This picture shows the initial position of the Manticore, and the position of the Vendettas after their scout moves.

Going for the primary objective, I thought if I could demech the Ork force early on, I could pin them into their starting table quarter, and easily secure the remaining 2-3 quarters.

He took the bait and began driving his vehicles straight towards my parking lot.

This picture was taken during his turn 1 movement phase, but is a good shot of my chimera's starting positions.  He would move all three trukks, the battlewagon, and the deff dread towards my chimeras, stopping just short of the river.

His lootas rolled poorly for their shooting, only getting one shot a piece, and would do no damage this turn.

My turn one, in anticipation of a turn 2 assault, I turned my chimeras 90 degrees to the right and drove 12" with everyone except for the veterans' chimera.  They would lag behind and try to put a multilaser into the weak armor of a trukk.

As you can see in the picture above, the front trukk was destroyed, and its ramshackle roll sent it flying straight towards my fast moving chimeras.  I thought he MIGHT have been in range for a charge on turn 2, but now he would certainly be in range.  Of course, this squad of boyz now found themselves over extended, and unless they caused massive damage in their next turn, they wouldn't last much longer.

All three trukks would be destroyed by my turn 1 shooting.  Ghaz's would explode, and the other boyz' trukk would remain a wreck.   The Orks were nearly demech'ed now, and my battle plan was unfolding rather smoothly.
'Straken Cam'
Colonel Caine surveys the damage caused by his aerial units, and readies his men as the first of the green skins appear to his left.

His battlewagon moved straight towards my chimeras once more.  The boyz on his right side fell back to try and protect the gretchin, while Ghazkull and his nob bodyguard shuffled around due to poor difficult terrain rolls.

His turn two shooting would be slightly better.  His lootas actually blew up my far Vendetta.  And finally the boyz that had been catapulted straight into my front lines ended up multi-charging two chimeras, blowing one up, and killing 6 of the guardsmen inside.

My turn two saw Marbo arrive and chuck a demo charge onto the Ork boyz that were protecting the gretchin.  A handful of gretchin, and more than a handful of Ork boyz would die from the blast.  Marbo died next round from a volley of Ork pistol fire, followed by a volley of gretchin blasters.

Al'rahem also showed up.  I drove one infantry squad 6" and put a meltagun shot into the side of his Deff Dread.  Despite the KFF, the Deff Dread would be wrecked.  Leaving this squad as bait for Ghazghkull to munch on, Al'rahem and the other infantry squad drove 12" along his back table edge, heading straight for the gretchin.  In hind sight I perhaps should spent more time focusing on the primary and secondary objectives, rather then the primary and tertiary objectives, but lesson learned.

The two craters shown here are the remains of the ork trukk and the chimera the boyz blew up.  Absent from the picture are the boyz themselves, thanks to heavy flamers and lasgun fire.

You can also see the huge mob of boyz that piled out of the battlewagon after it blew up.  Casualties were light thanks to their 4+ saves, but the Ork force was now completely foot slogging.

'Straken Cam'
Colonel Caine eyes the Ork horde, and orders his men to advance on the crippled greenskin force.
No more pictures were taken, as time was running short and the game was getting close.

On turn 3 Ghazghkull would charge the lone chimera I gave him, blowing it up, and causing the 6 men that got out to run back to my table edge.  His lootas stunned a Vendetta as well.  The big mob from the battlewagon advanced towards my lines.

The 6 men running from Ghazghkull would continue to run during my turn 3, but thanks to an order from Straken they regrouped within the center of the river.  Straken, my veterans, and the remaining ten man infantry squad moved 12" towards the river, while the Platoon Command Squad moved 12" and crossed the river, eyeing both the floating objective and the gretchin.  They would make it to neither.  The Manticore did take a direct shot at the lootas, aiming at the top level I direct hit the top 4 lootas twice, caused 8 wounds, and he failed all 8 cover saves, wiping the unit in one go.

On turn 4, our last turn, the battlewagon mob lined up a multi-charge on my 3 chimeras (Straken, Veterans, Infantry Squad), and the 6 man infantry squad wading through the river.  Little damage was done to any of these squads, and the boyz would then consolidate towards the 6 man squad they were now engaged with.

One key move he made here was declaring Ghazkull's Waaagh, which in turn made the gretchin fearless for the rest of the turn, meaning they wouldn't run when Al'rahem flamed them during my shooting phase.

With the battlewagon orks splashing around in the river, Straken dismounted, along with the veterans and the ten man infantry squad, and all three units charged into the mob, taking it from around 16 boyz down to 3 boyz and the Big Mek.  It was an epic ending to well played game.

I won the primary, taking 2 or 3 quarters to his zero quarters.  I can't remember if the battlewagon mob actually made it into my starting quarter or not.

Neither of us won secondary or tertiary.  Had the game gone to turn five I think we both would have lost our least expensive units, and neither of us would have been in position to take the floating objective, so the outcome would have remained the same.  

Sharp readers will notice that the commandos with Snikrot never made it onto the table.  He failed the rolls on turns 2 and 4, and forgot to roll on turn 3.  I'm not sure that their arrival would have made much of a difference.  Most of my force was fighting towards the center of the table, and I had a Vendetta blocking the back of the Manticore most of the game.

It was a good game against a good opponent, and it was nice to see a plan through from beginning to end. The only thing I would have done different would have been to make a break for the objective around turn 2 or 3, but I still scored 11 out of 20 points, 5 points more than I scored from game one.

"Fix bayonets!"  The clatter of metal against metal could be heard as two dozen guardsmen reacted in unison to secure their combat blades to the end of the rifles.  A fluid set of movements for a soldier in the Coriscan 523rd, the art of preparing ones rifle for close quarters fighting was one that was drilled over and over through basic training, and again on the transport ships as they floated for months at a time in between deployments.  As Colonel Caine often says,"There is no greater honor than to engage your enemy in single combat, and being the one to grant him a soldiers death, save that of being granted a soldier's death yourself."  'Old Death and Glory' as he is sometimes known behind his back...

"Show them the strength of Imperial arms!"  And with that, Colonel Caine gave a nod to his First Sergeant, passing the honor on to him to give the call.

"CHARGE!", came the order from First Sergeant Fenix, and into the muddy water they went, to finish the bloody business of the day.

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