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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Arrakia: Outpost Judo

++Outpost Judo++
Seventy-six Kilometers from Leytan City. Roughly three years after the capture of the city, It remains engulfed in the warp spawned sandstorm. The command elements in the city have only scattered reports from garrisons outside the storm-wall. All forces are operating with only local command elements and support. 

++Fifth Platoon, eighth company, XII Regiment++
-Lieutenant Parker, four squads of ten men. 
-Support element of six Chimeras, four heavy bolter teams

It was another day of standing guard under the unforgiving suns of Arrakia. Private Fox stood upon the walls of Outpost Judo staring out into the endless sea of sand that surrounded the isolated post. The only thing he had to look forward to was the occasional pot-shots taken from Chaos cultists that were encamped a few kilometers out. Their 'raids' had been few and far between as of late, and Fifth Platoon showed signs of lowering morale as their boredom took hold. The Lieutenant attempt to curb this with daily physical training and drills, but the heat of the sun proved to be a strong deterrent even to the officer corps. Lack of communication, mail, supplies, and fresh equipment proved to be an issue as well, with some men openly beginning to modify their kit to accommodate the environment. While this practice was frowned upon by quartermasters, the regimental commander had authorized it directly for men who had been planetside for more than a year. Fox leaned against the bulwark of the permacrete wall, lighting a lho stick and staring down at the sand below, thinking about home and the hellish world he was on now.
A thunderous explosion rattled his teeth as a large chunk of the wall a ways down from his was reduced to rubble. The shock sent him hurtling across the ramparts and face first into the steel walkway. He removed his helmet and squinted into the desert. To his surprise, several plumes of exhaust and sand were being kicked up by rapidly advancing rhinos.
"Contact Eastern Wall! It's the Marines, all hands on deck!"
Alarms rang loudly as men rushed up the wall and into the rubble caused by the breach. The men waited in silence as the rhino's advanced. Lieutenant Parker quickly rushed up to Fox's position. "Status Private?" he inquired calmly
"Six Rhinos sir. Rapidly advancing" Fox replied with some hesitation.
Parker scoffed. "It's just like before, they'll stop about sixty meters out, fire on our position and realize they can't break through, then pull back." he turned to face his men. "Steady yourselves, we've all done this before. Keep discipline and fire once they disembark the vehicles."

The Rhinos roared forward at a breakneck speed not slowing nor stopping. The clouds of sand being kicked up behind them serving as a natural smoke screen only barely keeping up with the vehicles that caused them. Fox's eyes widened as he saw the insignia on the front of the lead Rhino.

"Uh.. Sir."
"Yes Private?"
He choked on his words. "Those.. Those are World Eaters."
Parker panicked as he saw the devouring fangs engulfing an ancient Terran like planet. "By the Emperor.."

With a great roar a Corrupted Land Raider tore through the cloud of sand and smoke toward the Outpost, quickly outpacing the Rhinos and smashing into the breach made by earlier artillery fire. The red and Brass of the tainted vehicle gleaming in the sunlight, Desecrated corpses and skulls littered the behemoth of a tank. Quickly, it's forward ramps dropped. There was a briefest moment of silence before the roar of a dozen chain axes filled the air. A single battle cry was the last thing the defenders of Judo heard.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Battle of Charger Pass pt. 2

Over a year ago, I posted the first part of the first major tank battle of the Arrakian Campaign.  Here is the prelude to the battle.

Fountains of dirt erupted aroundthe front vehicles of the ork column.  The leading battlewagon was disabled, though the turret was operational.  Warbuggies and Wartrakks pass by to continue up the valley road.  Buried mines activate and destroy them.

A silhouette of a turret was spotted over the top of a nearby hill as it rotated.  It fired at a trukk close to the front.  The resultant explosion send ork pieces and shrapnel flying in all directions. A nearby trukk had its tires shredded, and the blast pressure toppled it.
"Scratch two ruskets," Lieutenant Taylor stated.  While the driver and sponson operators cheered, the turret gunner loaded another AP shell.  Taylor looked back through the periscope.

Fire and dirt obscured his view.  The sound of the explosion drowned out all noise from inside the tank; even people talking over the headphone couldn't be heard.  When his view was cleared, Taylor saw the main gun on the disabled battlewagon aimed at them.

"Gabby!  Two-point-five degrees left, minus fifteen degrees azimuth." The hand-crank was used to rotate the turret and another adjust the vertical.  Two beeps alerted Taylor it was ready to fire.  He clicked the talk toggle in response.  The recoil from the gun shook the entire tank.

Their target exploded with such that the turret flew off of the vehicle.  Another trukk close by lost its driver when the barrel of the flying turret smashed into it.  The battlewagon was engulfed in a fierce fire.

Shells rained down around their Leman Russ, the WyrmSlayer, but only a few came close to hitting.  Battle cannons lobbed shots over from the hills on the other side of the highway.  The orks tried to leave the way they came, but their retreat was blocked by the arrival of a company of Malcador Heavy Tanks.  Leading them were the three Thunder Dragons' Predators.

A volley of fire launched from the flanking attack.  Vehicles at the rear of the ork column were torn apart.  This stopped the greenskins from moving.  At the same time, Captain Kaga called in an airstrike.  Marauder Bombers streaked in and unloaded their payload.
Ork tanks that were destroyed pulled out to either side of the road.  A Fire Prism rolled past the first line of hills on the tracks salvaged from a Baneblade.  Prism Cannon aimed quickly and killed a Russ in one shot.  After it cleared the way, buggies and trakks zoomed ahead.
 WyrmSlayer was already taking aim at the orkified tank.  Signal gave, and the shot was fired.  The shot went wide; slamming into the ground some ways away.  "Ken, get us out of here," Taylor yelled.

Back in the periscope, the enemy moved behind while elevating its main gun to hit them in the rear.  With a jerk, the tank ran towards the tank.  Taylor's face bashed into the viewer.  It happened again when the Russ impacted the Prism.  An energy beam was heard firing overhead.

Things went tilted as the tank went forward and over the side of the hill.
A round zoomed right below the main cannon of the Prism from behind.  The Prism turned around; the Malcador was running full speed at it.  An energy beam reached out; a sizable portion of the tread was blasted off.  The rest of it fell off, halting the Malcador.

Its muzzle blasted another shell.  The impact was against the side of the turret, but the shell bounced off and exploded some distance away.  Another impact, and subsequent explosion, rocked the tank.  But, the shot failed to penetrate the hull.

A second beam hit the underside of the Malcador's turret, and blasted it off.  The vehicle was engulfed in flames.  A second explosion soon tore apart the rest of it.

With that, the cannon on the Fire Prism rotated as the vehicle turned.  A Leman Russ was backing out of its pit, and another shot came out.  It struck the hill off to the side.  The Prism retaliated with shots of its own.  Multilas secondary guns shot off the front-mounted lascannon, while the main gun melted the gears for the treads.

Engines roared as it sped by the disabled enemy.  The Prism ran over the burning husk of a warbuggy, and back onto the highway.  Its turret tracked the movement of WrymSlayer up ahead.  Two shots later, and the Leman Russ was set ablaze.

A woman hopped out of the cupola, and ran for cover.  The multilas gunner ended her flight.  At the bellowing of the Tank Nob, the vehicle roared on as its fastest speed.

It only stopped at the sight of a mighty Baneblade, Hammer Against The Horde.  All weapons on the beast of a machine quickly trained on the Fire Prism and unleashed the barrage.  The orks inside their looted tank never had a chance to return fire.
The ambush of the ork armoured column worked out better than the Captain had planned.  While the brunt of the greenskin's armoured might was stymied; it was not without great cost.  Of the thirty Malcadors sent in to box the orks in, only twelve survived the attack.  Fifty-four Leman Russes and over 600 Guardsmen lost their lives.

An estimated 180 ork vehicles and over 9,000 greenskins were killed.

Sunday, April 5, 2015


Systems Alliance Objective: Protect the beacon.

Enemy Assets:
  • Unknown number of Geth.  Estimates place them between 1,000 to 6,000 mobile platforms.
  • Intelligence resources of the SPECTRE office via Saren Arterius.
  • Sovereign, a 2 km tall Reaper.
Friendly Assets:
  • Unknown number of Alliance marines.  Estimates equate their numbers in the area to around the same as the Geth.
  • Team of commandos lead by an N7 agent and a SPECTRE, Nihilus.
  • Normandy SR-1, a stealth frigate.
  • Archeologists uncover a working Prothean beacon.  The Systems Alliance is informed who, in turn, inform the Citadel Council.
  • Saren Arterius learns of this from his position as a SPECTRE.  He tells Sovereign, and gathers a task force of Geth.
  • Upon entering the Utopia system, comm buoys are destroyed.  The colony is attacked in complete surprise.  Geth landed via shuttle, ambushing squads near the beacon and secure the area.
  • The Normandy SR-1 exits the Mass Relay station with stealth systems engaged.  They pick up emergency transmissions from the planet showing the fighting.
  • Normandy lands a commando team who head to the beacon at the cost of a marine and Nihilus.
  • Saren uses the beacon, and orders bomb set up to destroy it.  He leaves shortly afterwards back to Sovereign.
  • The commando team defuse the bomb and the leader also uses the beacon.  It blows up right after that.
 Could the Imperial Guard succeed where the Systems Alliance failed?
  • First, we must define their assets.  Systems Alliance marines are replaced with PDF troopers and their full array of ground equipment.
    • This includes armoured vehicles and artillery.
    • The planet is replaced with an Imperial world of similar importance.  It has multiple deep space augurs in orbit.
    • The Normandy and her crew are replaced with a small Imperial frigate and an Inquisitor with acolytes.
  • The augur stations in space will give advanced warning of Sovereign's approach, allowing for the troopers groundside to not be caught unawares.
  • Since Geth protection is optimized against kinetic impactors they will prove easier for the lasguns to kill than Necrons.  Their lack of armour will also be a hindrance against the Leman Russ tanks or even the Chimera-based light tanks of the Guard.
  • Needless to say, if the Geth don't reach the beacon in the opening stages of their landing, they will not get to it.  The PDF could hold them long enough for the Inquisitor to retrieve the beacon and leave.
How would the Imperial Guard fare in place of the Geth?
  • First, we must define their assets.  Geth are replaced with Guardsman, Saren with an Inquisitor, and Sovereign with a transport ship.
  • Comms buoys are destroyed (just like in the original battle) during the ship's approach.
  • The landing would be conducted with wings of Valkyries.  This ensures they can land wherever they want, and have close-in aerial support for their assault.
  • Their rapid insertion guarantees their ability to secure the beacon.
  • After the Inquisitor uses it, they can use the Valkyries to withdraw to orbit.  Then, the orbiting ship would conduct an Exterminatus on the site to destroy the beacon and anyone in the area.  This ensures nobody else could use it, and might cover their trail.
Conclusions:  Their particle weapons make things easier for the infantry to dominate their counterparts; and their combined-arms tactics make it easier to achieve their objective, no matter which side they're on.  The early warning system in orbit will make sure they aren't surprised by the attack, and the ability for rapid insertion and rapid relocation is their best weapon on the attack.

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

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Fire Over Leto Highway

Segmentum Tempestus 997.M41

System: Harkonnen; Planet: Arrakia

Location: Leyton City

Hundreds of planes roared through the sky on their way to attack the capitol of Arrakia.  Formations of Lightnings were ahead of the Thunderbolts and Avengers, who themselves flew tens of miles in front of the Marauders.  The 59th Estrucian Air Regiment comprised the center  of the first wave.  Air Wing Veri was leading the assault.

Tarquin noted the massive black line snaking its way through the desert towards the horizon.  As they flew ever closer to the capitol, Leto Highway turned from a single line to a complex of roads shooting out in all directions.  "Rookie!  Keep to formation!" he heard over the channel.

He found his plane was drifting to the right.  "Sorry ma'am."  The plane was eased back into place.  "The highway is impressive, though.  Wouldn't you say?"

"Yeah, it is; that highway is what keeps life going on this planet.  Leyton City is the only place on this world with a spacep..."  There was silence on the line that seemed an eternity.  "Command, we have a break-out attempt by Chaos!  I'm spotting Rhinos, Vindicators, and Predators in the dozens with a far larger number of Chimeras."

Tarquin looked back down at the ground.  Large bands of dust clouds partially obscured those vehicles behind the front line.  Some of them appeared to possess quad-barrelled turrets.  He noticed that those turrets turned to look at them.  "Ma'am we have Hydras!"

"Damn!  We have let the Thunderb..."  Flak clouds erupted in their vicinity.  The planes scatter.  Tarquin sends his into a climb.  After levelling out over two thousand meters higher, he searches the sky for others from his wing.  Multiple smoke trails told of Lightnings shot down.  He spotted another with red-striped wings just before the engine exploded; its head tumbling to the ground, the pilot unable to eject.

A plane rolled over him, belly up.  Tarquin's attention snapped to the noise.  The pilot of the other Lightning waved at him.  He recognized the plane as Sethra.  As she completed the roll to level with him, Tarquin spotted several glints of sunlight approaching them.  They were to the right and above the Lightning's position.

He pointed to them, directing Sethra's attention.  She saw them and indicated back to him with a thumbs up.  Her plane climbed while banking into a roll to the right.  Tarquin kicked his craft to follow.

While they were belly up, the approaching could finally be identified as Hell Blades.  The enemy craft fired their Autocannons.  Tarquin tried to ignore the intense increase of comm chatter as other pilots cried in horror of the enemy attacking from multiple angles.  Soon, Sethra completes her roll behind the Hell Blades.  She unleashed her lascannons as soon as she could; Tarquin close behind.

One exploded into a fireball, and the second loses a wing.  Everyone else in the formation dispersed as their compatriot spins out of control.  The one Tarquin was about to shoot turns to the left into Sethra's fire.  Another Hell Blade turned into a fireball.

Tarquin followed as Sethra pursued an enemy turning to the left.  They went in a circle two times hoping to get the enemy in their gunsight.  Tarquin noted that the Hell Blade was making its turn tighter with each consecutive circle.  It was only a matter of time before that could be used to get their turn, and ultimately on their tail.

Another circle happened, and another.  The Hell Blade came closer to their backsides.  Halfway through the next, Sethra inverts and dives for the deck.  Tarquin sends his plane into a climbing roll to the left; when his belly is up, he also goes into a dive.  A hail of fire erupts during the manoeuvre; a number of impacts slam into the body right behind the canopy and trail upward to the tail.

The Lightnings pull out and begin their climb with less than three hundred meters to the ground.  Their opponent climbed opposite them, the pilot looking viewing them from his canopy.  Both groups fly up as far as their planes can go, the Hell Blade peaks at slightly above them, before their arc brings them back into a dive.

It was then that another two Hell Blades streak out of the clouds above to fire at them.  None of their shots were close, but Sethra banks to the left and hits the afterburners after levelling out.  One of the new arrivals pulls a banking right climb into a dive to chase her done.  The other does an inverting roll to make its dive parallel to Tarquin.

Tarquin had to immediately pull his plane back into a climb to avoid getting shot.  His opponents took some seconds to react accordingly.  The new Hell Blade hit its afterburners after starting its climb.  Autocannon shells impacted tore off the tip of a wing before the plane came, uncomfortably, close and passed Tarquin.  Despite how easy a target the Hell Blade became, Tarquin resisted the temptation to shoot it.

More Autocannon shells whizzed by his cockpit.  He looked back to see the other Hell Blade keeping up with him through the manoeuvre.  They went back into the dive.  A single lascannon shot blew apart the Hell Blade that tried to kill him just seconds ago.  He rolled the plane to avoid the explosion and shrapnel.

The other enemy proceeded on, and pulled back into the climb at the same level as Tarquin.  Both planes continued on through two more rounds.  Heading into the third, Tarquin's plane was loose in its transition back to climb.  The enemy zipped on ahead, and ended up above him.  The Lightning continued the turn until it pointed the Hell Blade and fired.

An explosion tore the opponent in half; the pilot managing to eject beforehand.  Tarquin managed to evade the explosion, but shrapnel could be heard pelting all over.  He levelled out, and checked his instruments.  One of the tail rudders was inoperable and the fuel was leaking.  Tarquin called it a day and flew out of the combat zone without incident.