This battle took place as part of a stand-alone mini-camapign in 2015. It uses custom aircraft and rules that can be found in my Aeronautica Imperialis review here.
After initial reconnaissance flights of the planet were complete, Mistress Merciveaux knew where to pinpoint her attacks. However, the Orks were now alerted to her presence and were digging in. Any attempt to land on the planet's surface would be heavily contested.
Therefore, early on the third day after her arrival, she launched a wave of fighters into the upper atmosphere. As they raced towards planet, the Ork defenders were alerted and took to the skies. However, they could not converge on a single point of defense, as their was no clear target. At the last moment, the Chaos forces skimmed the lower atmosphere and springboarded back to their Mistresses' command ship.
Not all of the Chaos forces peeled off. Tactical strike forces of chaos planes moved to the sites with identified warpcraft signatures. The Orks who had mobilized for a large scale offensive were mostly caught out of position as small spearheads raced to their targets below. The first wave of the surprise attack was to swoop in and destroy any established Ork air defenses that could hinder the oncoming ground assault on identified sources of warp energy.
One such site, designated as The Hovels; was situated amidst an Ork village. A strike package from the Cabal of the World Walkers was assigned with clearing out the Greenskin vermin from the site.
Air Defense Suppression
Cabal of the World Walkers
1 Hell Fury
1 Hell Fury
1 Herald Strike Fighter
+ Weapon Load
1 Hell Hammer
+ Weapon Load
1 Hell Hammer
+ Weapon Load
1 Eavy Flak Kannon
1 Traktor Kannon
2 Grot Bomb Launchaz
1 Grot Buzza
1 Grot Buzza
Total= 113 Points
We set-up the Ork village in their half of the board about 2/3rds of the way down. Their were several shacks and buildings that were set-up clustered around two temples and an Arch of ancient origins. There was also a line of altitude 1 rocky cliffs crossing the board diagonally.
The Hovels looking to the East
Ork Ground Defenses were set-up around the village. A Grot Launcher flanked each side of the village and was covered by a Flakwagon. The Heavy Flak Kannon was behind the village was also covered by a nearby Flakwagon. The dreaded Traktor Kannon sat in a position to cover eastern side of The Hovels.
To represent the surprise nature of the attack, all Ork aircraft were placed in reserves. Any Ork Reserves would enter the board on the short board edge closest to The Hovels at any speed or altitude.
The Chaos forces would enter on the opposite board edge at max speed and altitude 9 to represent them coming in hot from orbit. They came in a line centered by the Herald, with a Hellfury and Hell Hammer on each wing respectively.
The Chaos forces power dive in from the upper atmosphere. The Herald heads towards the west, while Hell Hammer 1 goes East. The rest go straight. Not great power dives, and most craft only drop 1 or two altitude and keep going at full speed.
Everyone is out of range.
The Chaos attack continues to power dive into range. They cover the distance to the Hovels very quickly, and better power dives put them into the range of the ground defenses. However, the Cabal are still mostly too high and fast to attack properly.
The Flakwagons on the rocky ridges to the East open fire on Hell Hammer 1. They manage to bracket the craft and send it crashing down trailing smoke. However, the Pilot manages to eject safely.
Hell Hammer 1 is downed by the Grot Gunnerz
A Flakwagon on the West makes Hell Fury 1's approach a bit rough, but fails to damage the craft. Distracted by the Flakwagon, Hell Fury 1 fails to see the Eavy Flak Shell smash through his canopy and kill him instantly. Another Chaos planes goes down!
Grot Gunnerz strike again. Hell Fury 1 is obliterated in a puff of smoke!
A Grot Bomb launches from the Eastern Launcher and buzzes over the Hovels.
Ork Reserves fail to arrive, but so far it doesn't look like they need them!
The remaining Chaos craft race over the Hovels, but poor flying puts them in bad positions. The Grot Bomb tries its best to chase after them.
The Cabal of the World Walkers buzzes over the Hovels at low altitude
Chaos has no shots! Oh no! That's what I get for sending Dregs instead of Vend'igo to do the flying.
The Eavy Flak Kannon fires on the Herald. It looks like a clean hit, but the craft Viffs away at the last moment. However, the Western Flak Wagon manages to snag the Herald and pepper it with shells. The Chaos craft begins to blow smoke and incense.
Grot Bomb 2 launches and easily catches the low flying Herald, but misses the plane. Perhaps the little Grot was blinded by all the smoke?
An Ork Fighta and Grot Buzza race in from the South!
The Chaos craft rush forward. Hell Fury 2 realizes he won't get an attack angle on the Western Flakwagon and pulls up hard, racing above the wagonz firing range.
The Herald also overshoots his target, and in return is swarmed by the Grot Bombz! Grotz everywhere!
The Hell Hammer manages to try to Dive Bomb the Traktor Kannon, while the Fighta and Buzza try to move to prevent it.
The Hell Hammer's bombs drop free from the specially designed bays. As the plane rockets away, they saturate the area and the extra damage finishes off the Traktor Kannon and Grot Krew.
The dreaded Traktor Kannon goes up without firing a shot.
Grot Bomb 2 misses the Herald again! Grot Bomb 1 manages to detonate close to the smoking plane, but fails to cause damage with a roll of 1!
The remaining Ork reserves do not show up.
Hell Fury 1 cuts back and tries to line up a pass on the western Flakwagon. Meanwhile, Fighta 1 lazily flies over and waves at the Krew on the Flakwagon below.
The Hell Hammer and the Herald both seem to be interested in taking out the Eavy Flak Kannon and are in line on the tower mounted gun.
The Herald goes Weapon's Hot with its Deathshead missiles. A few seconds later, the Eavy Flak Kannon is nothing but a smoking ruin! Take that Grotz!
The Western Flakwagon sees what the Hell Fury is up to and opens fire. However, the shots go wide.
No new ork reserves.
The Hell Fury overshoots the Flakwagon. Worse, Fighta 1 does a perfect wing over to give him a shot at the Hell Fury. However, for some unknown reason Hell Hammer 2 starts going straight down the Ork Fightas throat!
The Herald peels off and aims for the Eastern Flakwagon. Buzza 1 is in a good position to intercept except for being too high. However, the herald is doggedly pursued by Grot Bomb 2 with its last bit of fuel.
Fighta 1 has to deal with the Hell Hammer in his face! The Hell Hammer pilots ejects as the Ork plane slowly dismantles the Chaos fighta with accurate Big Shoota fire.
The Herald uses its last Deathshead Missiles to take out the Eastern Flakwagon. That's for shooting me up before!
Grotz in a Flakwagon get what is coming to them.
Meanwhile, the Western Flakwagon methodically cuts down the Hell Fury that overshot it. The pilot manages to eject safely as his plane streaks into the ground and explodes.
The Valley of Death as Cabal of the World Walker planes fall from the sky as wreckage.
Finally, the Grot Bomb uses the last of its fuel and attacks the Herald. The little Grot lines up and..... misses. The Bomb drops from the sky like a brick.
Turn 7:- Disengagement Turn
The remaining Or Reserves come in from the South.
The Herald slows down to try and strafe the Grot Launcha, but overshoots the target area. In the meantime, Ork Fighta 1 and 2 race to catch the last Chaos craft.
Fighta 1 and 2 spray fire at the Herald but miss.
The pilot of the Herald finally realized how lucky he was and gunned it out of there to a nearby ground base. Of the five aircraft in the flight he was the only one making it home, and his plane was smoking like a hot house fire. However, did they complete their mission?
It was Air Defense Suppression and the game started with 7 Air defense installations. The Chaos attack managed to take out 3. Granted, they were the dreaded Traktor Kannon and a Eavy Flak Kannon, so some heavy hitters; but ultimately their mission would be deemed a failure.
How did the aircraft do overall?
Herald- This guys did a good job at his role. Fly low, fly relatively slow, and blow things up on the ground. The Deathshead Missiles did their job nicely. The added Hit was also very helpful for weathering the storm while coming in. I made the Hell Hammers as extra Ground Sttack as I was out of missiles, I forgot that a Herald can be armed with more than just missiles. Maybe next time I will addd a Herald or two instead.
Hell Fury- I included these guys in the strike package to strafe and take on enemy aircraft. They did neither and instead just died. Bad flying with them on my part.
Hell Hammer- Well, the first one didn't get a chance to do much. The Dive Bombing worked as intended and obliterated the ground target when Hell Hammer 2 got a chance to use it. Other than that, I again didn't really get to use them to their full potential.
This game I was just not with it. Bad piloting and choices on my part left my pilots in bad spots, and I could not get the angle for the ground attacks right at all. Oh well, good thing the next battle at the Hovels will be a Bombing Mission. Too bad they still have plenty of Ground Defenses to contest the Bombers.