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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.

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