The orders from Vice Admiral Travers had been brief and to the point:
"Reliable Class Cruiser Warhorse, proceed to coordinates 456Beta-Epsilon. Accompany Faithful class escort squadron Dagger 456. This squadron will mine the harbor. Protect from Ork vessels."
It was too bad for Captain Brahn that the Orks had chosen the exact same time to try and make a break from the Deff Islands, and they were planning on using the very same harbor he was trying to mine.
Captain Brahn watched the ugly Ork ships plodding there way through the narrows in an attempt to make open ocean. They were wreathed in smoke and ash. Their bows plowed through the waves, smashing the ocean aside. The small green forms of Ork and gretchin crew could be seen scampering around the deck.
Captain Brahn lowered his Monoscope. The orks were an affront to his sense of nautical pride. By rights, those tubs shouldn't even be able to float much less sail.
"Clear for actions," the Captain snapped. "I don't want one of those getting out alive."
Klaxons began to wail all over the Warhorse as crewmen scrambled to their battle stations.
Scenario: Blockade Run
Attacker: Orks- 750
Big Dakka Boat- Smokescreen, Nobs, Ram- Toofsmasha
2 Drilla Killaz- RuffnTumble
5 Gun Tubz- Grutz Raiderz
1 Sneaky Git- Badknife
2 Grot Subs- Runty and Smallfry
Defender: AN- 400
Reliable Class Cruiser- Warhorse
2 Faithful Escorts- Dagger 456
Board Size: 4x4
Ork battle line
Imperial battle line
Initiative: Orks win
The ork surface fleet decides to Waaagh! in an attempt to make speed off the board. The force stays line abreast as it moves forward.
The Warhorse turns towards the Ork battle line! The escorts attempt to complete their mining mission.
The Badknife and Smallfry come to firing depth in the open ocean ahead of the Imperial battle line. They prepare to scatter the Oomie formation with torpedoes.
Toofsmasha activates and trains its weapons on the Warhorse. The Ork craft had gone all ahead full, so her firepower will be halved and can not launch Ordinance. The Reliable waits, expecting to unload a Broadside into the Xeno craft, bracing would reduce the power of the attack. As a result a single shell smashes through her deck armor reducing the Warhorse to 7DP.
The Warhorse activates. Her Forward macro-cannons open up on the approaching Gun Tubz. Despite their small size, the firepower is deadly accurate. Two are reduced to smoking hulks, while one's armor saves it from a near miss. A third Gun Tub is sent to the bottom be a torpedo hit from the Reliable's bow tubes. All three of the damaged Gun Tubz received critical hits and sank immediately. The stern batteries swivel to starboard, and fire on the Drilla Killa squadron. One saves, but the other is turned to floating wreckage.
The two remaining Gun Tubz are eager for vengeance, but the Reliable is just out of range of their heavy guns. Their smaller, but longer range deck guns miss.
The Faithfuls dutifully drop their mines behind them, but they do not have any other shots.
Drilla Killa activates, but has no target.
Badknife activates, and fires a torpedo spread towards the direction of the Imperils. Grot Sub 1 decides to hold fire until he is in a better position.
The torpedoes from the Sneaky Gitz just come into contact with the Reliable. The ships PD destroys two of the torpedoes, but the remaining two ram home. Despite bracing, one manages to cause considerable damage. The Reliable is reduced to 6 DP
The AN Torpedo races harmlessly into the shallows.
The hulked DrillaKilla drifts into the path of its squadron mate.
Mines drift towards the orks.
Wake marker removal: 1 Imp, 4 Ork, all wake removed.
Initiative: Imperials win
Reliable moves into the Gun Tub formation.
Gun Tubz cannot Waaagh! Without hitting mines or other escorts. They move forward and attempt to parallel the Faithfuls.
Faithfuls, the escorts see the threat of the Ork Gun Tubz and veer away.
Big Dakka Boat goes All Ahead Full, and blasts through a set of mines. His speed is sufficient to allow him to pass without being struck by the exploding devices.
The last Drilla Killa collides with his drifting comrade, and the two ships sink beneath the waves.
Sneaky Gitz and Grot Sub1 move closer to the Imp Escorts. The second Grot Sub fails to appear.
Faithful's activate. Fail to Reload Ordinance. They fire on the Big Dakka Boat with their turreted cannons to port. They miss.
Gun Tubz activate. The Faithful's are out of range of their heavy gunz. They miss with their lighter weaponry.
Reliable Activates. 1 Gun Tub is in the rear arc, and another is in the port arc. The Reliable brings all of her weapons to bear. The Tubz fail to Brace. Both are turned into wreckage.
The Big Dakka Boat activates, but it was going All Ahead Full. The Starboard weapon battery attempt to target the Faithfuls. They Miss.
Sneaky Gitz Activates and re-loads Ordinance. It fires a blast of Torpedoes in to the Imperial escorts. Only one of the four locks on in time, and hits the rear escort. The Faithfuls fail to Brace, and the rear one is destroyed by a torpedo.
Grot Sub Activates and fires a torpedo at the remaining Faithful. It falls short, for now.
The Sneaky Gitz remaining torps streak by in front of the Big Dakka boat.
The torp from the Grot Sub is destroyed by the Faithful's PD.
Two sets of Mines drifts into the Big Dakka Boat. The kroozaz PD misses, and the a mine finds a weak spot in her armor and detonates. The Big Dakka Boat suffers 1 DP (9DP)and receives critical damage to her screw. Her speed is reduced by 2 inches! Worse the Mines remain in play to strike again!
The Hulks of the Gun Tubz and Faithful 2 drift harmlessly. The faithful explodes.
The Grot repair crews aboard the Big Dakka Boat quickly get the screw fixed.
Wake: Imps 1, Orks 1. Imps remove one touching the Faithful. Orks remove wake from exploded Faithful.
Initiative: Imps Win
Reliable realizes he could be way out of position, and Tries to Come to a New Heading, but fails.
Big Dakka Boat. However, there is still the matter of two Mine markers to deal with. Pd detonates one marker. Second fails to cause damage. However, the Krooza can not Waaagh!due to the wake marker.
She steams ahead. Next turn will take her to safety.
Faithful 1 moves. She cuts across in front of the Ork Krooza to position herself to launch mines into its path. This puts her at great personal risk.
Grot Sub starts heading for the board edge and safety.
The Sneaky Gitz sails away into the safety of the open ocean.
Faithful activates. Reloads Ordinance and drops mines in front og Big Dakka Boat. Fire from its deck gun goes wide. PD destroys one. Neither of the other two cause damage.
Big Dakka Boat goes next. The Port cannons fire on the Faithful, but fail to find their mark.
Reliable fires. The Big Dakka Boat is in the cruiser's starboard broadside arc and moving away. However, it moved quickly. The Ork ship is close to moving out of range. The Ork goes on Brace for Impact. Three shells slam home, and two do significant damage to the Ork ship. It is reduced from 9DP to 7 DP.
There is no other shooting this turn.
Mines drift around. One batch drifts right through the Big Dakka Boat, but fails to detonate.
Ork torpedoes head off the board.
The two remaining Gun Tub hulks drift,
Wake Markers: Ork 5, Imp 5- All are removed.
Initiative: Orks win
Big Dakka Boat goes All Ahead Full! This makes them touch some Mines, but the PD removed the threat. The Krooza leaves the board.
Reliable: Come to New Heading. The ship comes about and starts to steam back out of the channel and towards open ocean.
Grot Sub 1: Leaves the board.
Faithful: Goes straight towards the nearest board edge.
Grot Sub 2: fails to come into play.
Gun Tubz Drift.
Orks get 11 DP off the board and lose 8 DP. Per the rules of the scenario, the Orks win as they got more DP off the board than were lost.
"Sir, the Ork Krooza is steaming away faster than we can pursue," the Augur operator reported.
Captain Brahn nodded. He was standing over the shoulder of the Weapons Officer, and could clearly see that the Ork ship was escaping. He didn't let his frustration show to the other officers, but inside he was fuming. None of those blasted creatures should have escaped alive.
"Good work everyone. Sound the All Clear. Some fine shooting today," Captain Brahn congratulated the Weapon's Officer.
The Captain wondered how Vice-admiral Travers would react to the news?