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Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Dominion Objective: Retake a communications array captured by Federation troops.  The troops must be moved off the array before reinforcements arrive.

Enemy Assets:
  • A Federation ground team, originally numbering 150 personnel and commanded by a captain.
Friendly Assets:
  • Cloaked anti-personnel mines that were set at the array before it was captured.
  • A ground base, and dozens of personnel (between 50 and 100 Jem'Hadar).
  • When Sisko and crew arrived from the Defiant, to deliver supplies, they find that Lieutenant Larkin is commanding the remaining 43 personnel after five months of repeated assaults.
  • After a random casualty, we find out about the 'Houdinis' (cloaked mines) that hide in subspace and reappear at random times.
  • Nog identified a group of Jem'Hadar while on a reconnaissance mission.  His unit was attacked; Larkin was killed, and he barely escaped with his life.
  • Ezra and the field engineer was able to detect and take control of the Houdinis.  At Sisko's order, they mined the valley that ran between the Jem'Hadar base and the array.
  • Surprisingly, the Jem'Hadar did what was expected of them, and walked through the valley.  Dozens of them were killed by the mines before they started their war cry and berserk charge.
  • The defenders set up behind a series of barricades facing the opening to their position.  This opening served as a chokepoint that attackers were expected to come through.  They tried to catch the Jem'Hadar in the chokepoint with withering cross-fire, but were unable to lay down sufficient fire to keep them there.
  • The battle devolved into a brutal melee combat where most of the defenders (and all of the attackers) were slain.  Reinforcements arrived not too long afterwards.
 Could the Imperial Guard succeed where the Jem'Hadar failed?
  • First, we must define their assets.  Since both sides had access to nothing but infantry weapons, the IG will be restricted to small-arms weapons.
    • The phase-cloaked mines are replaced with much better conventional mines.  This new minefield would slow down the Federation troops, and might actually prevent the capture of the array.
    • Heavy weapons teams will not be allowed to field mortars since the objective to capture the array, and not to damage it.
  • If we disregard that the minefield could prevent the situation altogether, we can assume the Federation eliminated the rest of the mines in the area after capturing the array.
  • The most straightforward answer would be to have the heavy bolters pin down the defenders in their barricades before blanketing the area with frag grenades shoot out of grenade launchers.  Anyone who survives the barrage is taken by the guardsman who rush the clearing when the barrage ends.
How would the Imperial Guard fare in place of the Federation?
  • First, we must define their assets.  The heavy weapons teams have access to their full arsenal.
  • Because they firing out of the area, they don't fear causing damage to the array.  Therefore, the IG can make liberal use of mortars.  With forward scouts, the mortar can continuously fire on Jem'Hadar positions.
  • Any attempt by the Jem'Hadar to rush the chokepoint will run into the waiting guns of the heavy bolter teams.  Another one or two heavy bolters posted outside of the clearing would fire as soon as those inside the clearing sound off; trapping the attackers in a perfect kill-zone.
Conclusions: The greater variety of infantry weapons and availability of small fragmentation weapons ensues the IG would have the advantage in either role.  In place of the Jem'Hadar, they have more options than a frontal assault.  In place of the Federation, their ability to fire indirectly and access to sustained fire weapons means they can hit the attackers without reprisal.

I give the Imperial Guard 2 for 2 points for this scenario.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Update 9/26/14

Hey guys, James here. It's been ages since I posted, I know. it will change soon. My old laptop has a fried motherboard, and a very hefty repair fee going on for it, so for now i'm using my 'acer Aspire 5515' and it is not the greatest. On top of that I moved and have a new job, it's been very stressful and time consuming. I work the night shift by the way. My plan for this weekend is to double down and get some more work done on my WH. Maybe do a squad or so. Truthfully when i look at my armies now, I cringe at just how much work I still have to do it. But with patience and a bit of hard work, I should be up and posting again in no time.


Monday, September 8, 2014

BATTLE SCENARIO: First Battle of Geonosis

Recently, I had re-watched Attack of the Clones.  During the battle at the end I kept wondering how the Tau could handle the situation in place of the Separatists.  Which is what inspired me to do this segment.

CIS Objective: Escape with as many ships and personnel as you can.

Enemy Assets:
  • Flotilla of Acclamators and warships.
  • Ground troops and armoured vehicles.
  • Couple hundred Jedi.
Friendly Assets:
  • Small flotilla of ships in orbit.
  • At least a million battle droids of various types.
  • Support of the native population.
  • Upon hearing news of Kenobi's pending execution, Mace Windu took a group of Jedi to Geonosis while Yoda headed to Kamino.
  • The Jedi attacked the stadium without word of their arrival reached anyone.  They proceeded to trap themselves in the arena surrounded by hordes of battledroids, and made no attempt to escape.
  • A fleet of Acclamators broke through the screen of ships in orbit so quickly that by the time anyone received news of the arrival, troops were already moving into formation on the planet's surface and LAAT-gunships were attacking several airfields and hangar bays in the area.
  • A tiny group of gunships (led by Yoda) saved the remaining Jedi at the arena.
  • The battledroids responded by rushing en masse from the underground factories to try and stall the clones on the plains while the rest of the Separatist escape the planet.
  • LAAT-gunships proceed to destroy much of the above ground infrastructure, enemy air units that do launch, armoured vehicles on the plains, and prevent more vehicles from reaching the battle.
  • SPHA-T artillery guns destroy one of the Trade Federation core ships and a few of the Techno Union commerce vessels.
  • Skywalker and Kenobi attempt to head off Dooku's escape.
  • Despite both of them and Yoda fighting against him, Dooku still managed to get off the planet.
  • The Grand Army of the Republic captures the planet of Geonosis and destroys the droid factories.
Could the Tau Empire succeed where the Separatist failed?
  • First, we must define their assets.  The Geonosians would be replaced with Vespid, Kroot replacing the regular battledroids, and everything else being with Tau.  Fleet assets are replaced with Tau Il'Porrui (Emissary) Class Cruisers, Demiurg Bastion Class and Stronghold Class Commerce Vessels.
  • Since the fleet assets are better equipped than in the original battle (not surprising considering the Separatist ships were converted freighters), the Acclamators would be delayed in reaching the surface. This gives time for a ship to give a warning to the ground forces.  Thus giving the Tau more time to evacuate their materiel from the planet.
  • The Jedi in the arena would probably be all dead by the time reinforcements came, as well as the three prisoners.
  • Because of the increased time for the Acclamators to land, the Tau would be able to engage the clonetroopers as they were disembarking.  The LAAT-gunships would also have a more difficult time in the air with planes already in the air.
  • Eventually, the clones would take the planet; but while also sustaining more casualties and stopping fewer enemies from escaping.
Flip side: How would the Tau Empire fare in place of the Clone Army?
  • First, we must define their assets.  Instead of the flotilla of Acclamators and other ships, the Tau Empire would have Or'es El'lauth (Custodian) Class Battleships and Emissary Class Cruisers.  Jedi are replaced by Ethereals, and the clones are replaced by Tau ground forces.
  • Simply put, this battle can not happen.  The sequence or events requires that one party makes a journey from the center of the galaxy to the Outer Rim.  This trip would take a Tau 20 years.  The other trip is to the Halo Stars region of a satellite galaxy.  Something that would take at least a century.  By the time any Tau units show up at Geonosis, it would either be a Forge World or abandoned.
Conclusions: The Tau Empire would certainly succeed in place of the Separatist, thanks to the strength of their fleet.  In place of the Republic, they wouldn't even be able to get to the planet for a battle to occur.

I give the Tau Empire 1 out of 2 points for this scenario.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Bit of Analysis

Needless to say that there has been a lot said about this flier since the Dark Angels got their new codex.  The ruling consensus about the Nephilim Jetfighter is that it is overpriced and ever bad at its stated role.  But, is it really?  That is what I intend to find out.

The fluff says that the Jetfighter only started being used by the Dark Angels in late M40 when they found an STC for an improved engine (which they have since starting calling the 'Lionheart engine').  It does make you wonder how bad the old engines if the "improved" ones still don't give the plane the 'fast' special rule like most other fliers do.

Over the skies of Piscina 4, three of these planes managed to kill over 48 Ork planes.  On the world of Kundra, the Jetfighter provided cover for the Ravenwing by blasting apart various tanks and jet-bikes of the Eldar.  So, the intended role of the Nephilim is that of a multi-role air superiority fighter/ground-attack craft.  Seems like either the Space Marines or the writers never heard of dilution of focus.

For the stated price of 180 pts, you get a AV 11 HP3 flier with the starting wargear: Twin-linked Heavy Bolters (36",S5,AP4,Heavy 3), Twin-linked Lascannon (48",S9,AP2,Heavy 1), and six Blacksword Missiles(36",S6,AP4,Heavy 1).  The only option available for it is to replace the lascannon with an avenger mega bolter (48",S6,AP4,Heavy 5).

Since most fliers in the game have AV10 or 11, these weapons seem good enough to contend with them.  It appears that anything AV 12 or above is something the Jetfighter should not be shooting at.  So, it is a bit baffling that the plane comes loaded with a lascannon (whose sole purpose is to take down heavy armor, something this plane has no business going up against).

Now, if I could make a very un-Space Marine-like suggestion.  Focus on what the plane is actually good against and never take a lascannon.  Sure, you'll miss out on being able to cause an explosion with a single shot; but against AV 10, you only had an 11.2% chance of that happening.  Instead, what you should be focusing with this thing is trying to immobilize enemy vehicles.

Why immobilize?  Because two immobilized results means the vehicle is wrecked.  Also, because the Nephilim has the Unrelenting Hunter special rule: When shooting at enemy vehicles, a Nephilim can choose to treat any Weapon Destroyed results as Immobilised.  Most people would want to ruin a weapon on the vehicle, but it doesn't lead to it dying any faster.

So, which one sounds better for that goal?  A twin-linked heavy 1 shot, or a heavy 5 weapon?  Add in two missiles and the heavy bolters, you have seven S6 and three S5 shots to wreck a light vehicle in a single shooting phase.  That sounds something to believe in, unlike a single die roll.

Plus, the avenger mega bolter has another advantage over the lascannon.  If there aren't any vehicles left for the Nephilim to shoot at, there are always infantry mobs.  With anything that has 4+ armor, you have five potential kills vs. just one with the lascannon.

Back to the question from the top of this article.  Is the Nephilim as bad as most forums make it out to be?  No.  There are a lot of people who compare it to the Stormraven Gunship, but that is where their arguments fall apart.  Stormravens are heavyweights who have a whole slew of options to focus on very different targets.  The Nephilim's main priority should be solely on light armor.  Which it can excel at (if you leave the lascannon in the box).

Is it orverpriced?  Yes.  About 20 or 30 pts too expensive for its limited role.  But, who knows, maybe all the over fliers will cost more in the future.

So, just remember, the Nephilim can wreak havok on light armor; and if you have it leap from target to target, it will prove to be a reliable support for the men on the ground.  And, never, EVER, take lascannons on this plane.

Sunday, August 10, 2014


It's been a few months since my last post here.  I have been busy with other writing projects.  Now that I'm back I'll try to keep to a regular weekly schedule.  So, some time today or tomorrow be on the lookout for the first of an article series called:  Bit of Analysis.
In it, I'll be examining the fliers of the 41st Millennium; and how they translate to the tabletop.  The very first article of this new series: Nephilim Jetfighter.  See ya'll then.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Awful, Awful news

A few days ago, my PC suffered a fatal crash. Only today was I able to recover it, but not without doing a complete system reboot. Everything is gone. All the pictures. All my rough drafts. All of it. So, it will be a while before I can post again. Sorry folks. This nonsense was out of my control. ((P.S)) I just discovered when placing the picture eon this blog (See below) that I still have several of the old pictures uploaded to the Blogger site. Including the Next few Arrakian Accord parts. So. Cheers, I suppose.

Here's a picture to hopefully help:

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Liebster Award!

Hey Folks! I got nominated for a Liebster Award, Courtesy of Colonel Scipio. From what I gather the award goes out to blogs who are small, and still in development to try and help them get up and out there. My thanks goes out to the Colonel, and all the support he has shown me in the months that I've known him. Seriously guys, he put up with about a thousand questions about this, that, and the other thing whenever I was confused. Thank you again, Colonel!

There are some guidelines for what an individual who is given a Liebster is supposed to do.
  • Copy and paste the award on your blog linking the blogger who has given it to you.
  • Pass the award to your top 11 blogs with less than 200 followers by leaving a comment on one of their posts to notify them that they have won the award and listing them on your own blog.
  • Sit back and bask in the warm fuzzy feeling that you have made someones day.
  • There is no obligation to pass the award on to someone else but it is nice if you take the time to do so.
My Nominee(s)

1. Sippin' on paint water


Sorry folks, I don't follow many blogs :/

Ten Truths about me.

1. I graduated high school a year early

2. More than once I've gotten into a fistfight over sporting events.

3. I enjoyed reading so much in school, I was barred from bringing out of class texts into the classroom, for fear that I'd be distracted.

4. I plan on going to the U.S. Navy to study Aircraft Engineering.

5. I've a bit of an addiction to WWI poetry.

6. I have flags from Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, United States, and Canada in my room. Trying to collect the whole WWII cast via flags, the UK is my next purchase.

7. As a dare once, I jumped into glacial water in Alaska. Got a free hotdog for it. (I was ten, guys..)

8. My biggest phobia is to wake up and have a ghost staring at me.

9. I almost didn't have this blog because I couldn't think of a name.

10. My Space marines were originally called "Children of Horus" and had a Brazen Claws style colouration of red/purple
You can just make out the Colour Scheme

                                                                   The Q & A bit
  1. Why did you start blogging? I saw a bunch of other mini's on the internet and thought: "Why not my minis?" That and I found that once I started blogging, organization came easier.
  2. If you could change one thing about the wargaming hobby, what would it be? Remind people that wargaming is about having fun, not about being the meanest, loudest, SOB on the board.
  3. What is best in life? The little moments that make you smile.
  4. Do you want to live forever? Can't say I do. Only good thing would be to see how the world changes.
  5. Fame or fortune? Fortune. I can share it easily with others and share the wealth
  6. What miniature are you most proud of having painted? Umm.. My Thunder Dragon's Chapter master. I put a lot of work into it and it came out very proud.
  7. How do you deal with burn out? I try and switch up what I'm doing. Currently, I'm working on my Space Marines over anything.
  8. Why is a raven like a writing desk? Both are sturdy, and constantly making noises when you use them
  9. Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Trek TOS, or the Star Wars EU. Grand Admiral Thrawn For the Win.
  10. If you could only buy from one miniature company from now on, which one would it be? Games workshop. Fire Matt Ward, lower the cost of miniatures, and watch with happiness as more people come in and start up the hobby.
  11. What is your favorite take out? Taco bell. I don't know if it counts as take-out, but I can't get enough from the stuff.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Luther's Finest: Behold the Thunder Dragons! *Fixed*

Finally, after a long period of delaying and procrastinating, I have completed 3/4ths of my Space Marines: The Thunder Dragons. In Total, I have roughly 80 Marines. I only have about 50 painted, and only 35 are present in the picture to the right.
I have names and ranks for them, I will fill out the list complete wit pictures when I finish my remaining Astartes.

Command Squad 'Praetorians'
Lord Hector Apophys
Honoured Brother Gabriel
Honoured Brother Jeremiel
Honoured Brother Michael
Honoured Brother Rafael

II Tactical Squad 'Lupus'
Brother Sergeant Dante
Brother Sirus
Brother Homer
Brother Desolae
Brother Klaus
Brother Yule 
Brother Enri  
Brother Maximillius  
Brother Yongir
Brother Augustus

III Devastator Squad 'Hades'              
Brother Sergeant Virgil           
 Brother Machiavelli                  
Brother Marx                              
Brother Ingles                                
Brother Ester                                      
Brother Vex                                       
Brother Jevai
Brother Karl                                        
Brother Hongirr                                

IV Tactical Squad 'Jericho'
Brother Sergeant Bismark
Brother Dale
Brother Uriel
Brother Lucifer
Brother David
Brother Mica
Brother Jevai
Brother Sammuel
Brother Gablia
Brother Delphos

Venerable Brother Solomon                                          
(Entombed M.36)    
Predator Tank
Land Speeder

The Fluff: Long ago in M.31 when the Lion ordered the Destruction of Caliban, A select few of Luther's followers were ordered to leave the planet and spread to the farthest reaches of Imperial Space to bring unite the true followers of the Emperor to be witness to the traitorous actions of the First Legion. Their Leader, Hector Apophys, acted as a shepherd to the lost flock that was now called "The Fallen", uniting them into a singular force that quickly vanished into the unknowns of space. It wasn't until M.38 in Abbadon's Ninth Black Crusade that an unknown Astartes Chapter was seen fighting alongside Imperial forces on Corillia against the traitor marines. These Astartes wore blood red power armour with white trim, white streaks in a warpaint fashion, and deep sea blue eye visors. In the field of battle these Astartes were fearless in their assaults on Abbadon's forces, often going to suicidal lengths to destroy their enemy. The only battle cries they cried were for a man named "Luther."
At the end of the crusade when Corillia was finally relieved by the Ultramarines, the Astartes vanished from the planet without a single trace of their being there.
In various conflicts following the Ninth Crusade, these same Red Warriors would appear and smite the enemies of the Imperium. It wasn't until M.40, when questioned by an Astartes from the Black Templars about their Origin that the a Red Warrior finally spoke to an outsider. "Who are you, Brother?" The Templar was said to ask.
To which the Thunder Dragon replied: "I am a Thunder Dragon, and I fight in the name of Truth and Revelation."
The Templar was confused. "Thunder Dragon? Who do you follow?"
The Thunder Dragon stood tall. "I serve the Emperor, and follow my Lord Hector."

 These are the two pictures I have. To the right is a picture of my 'Hades' squad. The front four marines are 2nd or 3rd edition marines courtesy of Colonel Scipio. The picture is a bit bright due to the flash, but you can just make out the detail on them. Each one has a purity seal on the right pauldron to help distinguish them from the rest of the squad.

My Chapter Master is equipped Artificer armour along with a Thunder Hammer. I wanted him to look more unique, so I used Grey Knight bits along with a Commander kit to formulate a special appearance. I trimmed him with gold and silver, and added a great many purity seals and other small trinkets that I feel really bring out the model. The banner to his left I hand painted, attempting to make a Watcher in the Dark holding a sword. Considering the freehand, I feel it turned out nicely. The man to his right is my Chapter Champion. I used a Deathwing shield and a Grey Knight sword to give the appearance of an old 14th Century knight. The two guys behind the Shield-Bearer and the Standard carrier are just holding Halbards, not finished painting at the time of this picture.

Anyway guys, hope you enjoyed the pictures and the fluff. Any questions, comments, or recommendations just leave a comment and I'll get back to you. Stay frosty out there!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Been keeping busy

During my absence, I've been quite busy, although not with writing. Sorry folks. To the right is a little something I threw together using spare parts. I don't have a name for him yet, although he could be used as an Inquisitor or as an Primarch. Originally it was my attempt at a Primarch, but The size ratio isn't right..

Recently I've acquired Dark Eldar, and some substantial upgrades to my Space marines. Including Five older model space marines, courtesy of Colonel Scipio, which have been folded into my Astartes quite well. Additionally, I've expanded my guard slightly, but I still have quite a bit to paint.

Anyways, I'm keeping busy, and hopefully next time I have a chance I'll upload some pics of my Dark Eldar. This is just a small post to keep you all semi-updated, so enjoy. Adios Amigos, Stay frosty out there.

Friday, January 31, 2014

A brief look into last weekend: A collage

For those of you who don't know, I play airsoft actively. Airsoft is a military simulation sport in which two teams of multiple people use tactics, communication, and strategy to best the other team.
Our squad (that's myself, Cameron, Alex, Taylor, William, And Jokob) Were assigned to 2nd platoon for the course of the game. The objective of 2nd platoon was essentially search and destroy.  I'm not doing an after action report, just sharing some pictures. Hope you all enjoy

Jakob, Cameron, William, Myself, Alex
The game was taking place at an old farm. Around 250 acres to play on, about a hundred players. Fifty players each team. Two day game with night-fighting allowed.
A river divided the farm, and thick forest overgrew around the fields of the farm. There were a few abandoned buildings within the forest as well.

Me on the horn with the platoon lead
letting him know we've setup a position
across from an old barn

2nd Platoon Medics relaxing after a firefight

2nd Platoon scouts pinned down in an old Animal pen

                                                      This guy was our platoon leader

Myself in the back of the truck our team used
to get around quickly

2nd Platoon holding up on a trail while waiting for
the rendezvous with 1st and 3rd platoon.

Me enjoying a tactical snack while our squad took
a fiver. This was during the first day after a nice, hour long firefight with the other team. 

Taylor Crawling under a barbed-wire fence that ran
Parallel to the river.
Myself and Another returning to our Forward HQ for the night.
This was my favourite picture. Anyways. Hope you all enjoyed the pictures
Things will be posted soon, I know I keep saying that but I keep getting distracted. This time I'll make sure things are done.

Friday, January 24, 2014

A little Fluff: Vatarian Plate

This post is born from a discussion we had during Dark Heresy after getting spaced. Several times. It goes into light detail of the various suits of Vatarian plate Armour. On a side note, expect more posts soon.

Mark I-A - The Vatarian Mark I-A suit of armour is a reliable design from early M.37. It is expensive, but is durable, easy to maintain, and strong enough to withstand most types of ballistic weaponry.Additionally, the power cables on the suit are covered by a light carapace coating. The joints are also reinforced with additional padding to protect the wearer from shrapnel. It's internal systems give it the ability to track targets, provide multiple vision settings to see in a higher spectrum, and allows the wearer to patch into local computer and navigation networks. More recent upgrades have increased the vox range to nearly a kilometer without having to tap into an external vox link.

The suit also has capacity to go into space for limited time. The wearer can comfortable stay in an airless/toxic environment for about forty five minutes without having to find another air supply. Along with the internal air unit, the suit also has mag-boots to allow the wearer to walk in a Zero-G area. This is the suit preferred by spacers, assassins, and units on long-range missions that expect little to no supply.

Mark I-B - The Mark I-B suit has all the aforementioned capabilities, with the edition of an improved logic engine. This suit can track multiple targets at once, provide an improved HUD for the wearer, as well as increased motor units that allow the wearer to better move around and fight.

Mark II - The Mark II suit loses some of its internal systems, but has gains in mobility. Now unable to track more than one target at a time, it now can allow the wearer to run faster, just higher, and have overall better gyroscopic control.

The upgrades also mean that Zero-g movement has become much simpler with the addition of Mag-gauntlets. However, this comes with a sacrifice: The suit is only able to operate in airless environments for half of an hour. The power consumption of the suit is also led to exposed power cables along the chest and back. Normally the wearer of the suit would be a scout, a medic, or a light infantryman.

Mark III -  The Mark III suit was developed in mid M.38 as a replacement for the aging, and flawed Mark I and II suits. It has an extended battery life to allow to the wearer to operate for several days without having to recharge. It's internal systems were improved to allow the wearer to track multiple targets at once, have an integrated HUD system that connects directly to the user's weaponry, improved communication and navigations modules, and a wireless logic tool that can hack into various frequencies and signals. The power cables on this suit have been covered by several layers of Carapace plating, and the joins have been reinforced with flak/carapace fibers to protect the wearer from explosive and ballistics damage.

This suit also has external hardpoints to mount various devices and equipment, further freeing the wearer from having to carry cumbersome bags and pouches. There is also an optional Vox Caster unit that can be mounted on the back of the suit, but this would definitely limit the wearer's mobility and maneuverability. This suit is preferred by Commanders, Vanguard Units, and Technicians.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Battle of Charger Pass Pt. 1

Planet: Arrakia
Location: 170 km northeast of Leton City; 15 km away from Dusse Port

A week after Leton City fell to a surprise attack of Black Legion and ork auxiliaries, the last vestige of still-loyal citizens was decimated.  The PDF on the planet were still reeling, and unable to effectively coordinate a counter-attack.  This opportunity was seized by the ork forces who fractured into individual warbands.  They started reeking havoc across the main habitat region between the Sawtooth Mountains out west and the east coast of the Wave Dune Ocean.
By the time an encircling army was finally able to contain the enemy to the capitol, the orks had spread beyond the local area.  The most immediate ork concerns for the defenders was a massive horde of greenskins headed north to where the Field Marshall's last known position.  The Thunder Dragons send a force up north to lead the regional PDF in intercepting them.
They risked the only five Predators their chapter still had to eliminate the main ork assault estimated to contain close to 300 tanks.  Captain Kaga of the 4th Company decided the best course of action was to set an ambush at Charger Pass along the stretch of Leto Highway.

The dust plumes rose high above the stretches of the Red Mane Plains.  Through the rangefinders, the Thunder Dragons' three Predator tanks (Prophet of Truth, Prophet of Mercy, and Prophet of Regret) spotted the bikers ahead of the battlegroup.  "Regret, begin the attack," the commander of Truth stated.
Regret was the only Annihilator-pattern tank the chapter possessed armed with sponson-mounted lascannons.  It roared towards the highway the orks were using.  Constant adjustments to their targeters ensured that they were ready to fire as the tank slid to a stop over a kilometer away from the road.
As soon as the bikes were within range, autocannons opened fire followed by a salvo of energy bolts.  Three of the four shots hit true; the bikers raced off the pavement in pursuit.  Regret moved back while the guns continued to blast away; more bikes exploding along the way.
Now in range, the other two fired their autocannons.  When the orks got close enough, the heavy bolters started shooting as well.  Regret passed the others and turned around.  Its guns swivelled around to continue their barrage.  Mercy and Truth proceeded to follow whilst keeping the autocannons trained on the bikers.  Unfortunately for Mercy, orks caught up with it and started pounding the treads and sides of the tank.  One nob armed with a power klaw snapped the support for one of the heavy bolter sponsons.  It was quickly forgotten in the chase.
Back at the highway, smoke screen provided by the bikes dissipated.  A massive armoured column of ork tanks rolled out of the dust cloud.  They barrelled on ahead even as the road became a valley in a dense region of hills.  An explosion on the underside of the lead tank took them by surprise.  Shots boomed from the surrounding hillsides and plumes of flame and dirt leapt up all around them.
Cries of WAAAAGH!!! were drowned out by the volley by explosions in their midst.  The orks started wildly firing their guns every-which-way they could.  Thus, the first major armoured battle of the Arrakian Campaign began.