Monday, February 5, 2018

Battle Report: Aeronautica Imperialis- Drop Intercept on Tokokai 5

After the failure of the Varingyr’s recon attempts on Tokokai 5, Azuki Helmsward of the Highguard reassessed her War Council’s strategy.  Her people had come from Irongard to assess if her Clan’s old allies were still hidden deep within their buried mine heads.  On arrival, the Irongard forces soon realized that the planet’s surface was now populated by feral orks.  The greenskins lacked the necessary technology to attack the Varingyr fleet in orbit, but they could harass air operations and be a nuisance on the ground. 

Further analysis found that the greenskin hovels had been built amongst the ruins of the Tokokai Clans’ surface settlements.  Therefore, they could not simply be bombarded into dust as that would also potentially ruin the only way to reach the Tokokai’s below ground strongholds.

After the failure of the Recon forces attempt to locate hidden entrances, there was only one way forward.  Troops would need to be landed and the Orks pushed out.  The Varingyr War Council therefore reviewed the planetary scans, the historical records, and other data to try to locate the best way forward to reclaim the mine heads and enter the stronghold of the Tokokai Clans. 

The Clanguard began to prepare for the inevitable ground landing.  The ranks of the Clanguard dutifully loaded into the Overlords, Warlord, and the Strike Eagles.  Then, the space fleet dropped into low orbit and began to deploy their assault forces.  Not surprisingly, Ork aircraft moved to attack them.  That was the way of the Flayer-kin, always attack.   


Varingyr Clanguard Combat Drop
1 Warlord Super-Heavy Airship
2 Iron Eagles
-          Additional Weapon Load

Feral Ork Defenders
1 Grot Buzza
3 Ork Fighta
2 Fighta-Bomma
1 Dakkajet

Per the Campaign Tree, this will be a Drop Intercept mission.  The Varingyr are trying to land their transports within a 12 by 12 square in the center of the table.  The Orks are trying to stop them from landing.  Technically, the Varingyr do not have any Orbital Landers.  However, for this mission we will use the Warlord Airship as the Lander.   

We deployed several rocks across my brown wasteland looking table cover.  As usual, the rocks are 1 Altitude high per level.  Therefore, if a plane comes in contact with these terrain features but isn’t high enough up they could crash with a failed Pilot Check.  Last game, terrain played a major role. 

We placed the 4 markers to map out the corners of the 12 inch by 12 inch square landing/drop zone. 

The Varingyr deployed on a short board edge at altitude 9 and max speed per the rules of the scenario.  They are coming in hot, with the Warlord planning to land in the Drop Zone.  The Warlord is towards the left of the board edge, and the Iron Eagles are heading straight on. 

The Orks are clumped up at low and mid altitude and looking to swarm over the Landing Zone to stop the Varingyr from landing. 

Turn 1:
Initiative: Varingyr

The Iron Eagles turn to the right and drop altitude to avoid going head-to-head with the incoming Ork aircraft.  For their part, the Orks spread out to cover the board at various altitudes.  The Warlord power dives right to make the approach to the drop zone.

None.  No one is in range.

Turn 2:
Initiative: Varingyr

The Varingyr continue their descent.  They are closing into engagement altitude at 3, where many of the Ork planes are in the same height.  However, the Orks have fanned out across the board, while the Iron Eagles are on the far right. 

None.  Everyone is still out of range.

Turn 3:
Initiative: Varingyr

The Warlord is lined up on target, and drops to altitude 1.  Now, he just needs to slow enough to land!  Meanwhile, the Orks press in to attack, with a few going straight at the Zeppelin.  The Iron Eagles try to swoop in from the side to engage, but the Dakkajet gets the drop on Iron Eagle 2. 

The Warlord’s limited forward firepower fires on the incoming Fighta 3 but fails to scratch it.  The Ork pilot returns the favor, but hits only armored plate.  Fighta-Bomma 2 joins in and causes a single hit!  Only 14 more to go!  

The Dakkajet also peppers Iron Eagle 2 and causes him to blow smoke. 

Turn 4:
Initiative: Varingyr

The Warlord sets up to land next turn unless the Orks can stop him.  As a result, the Ork aircraft swarm into the landing zone.  Fighta 3 and Fighta-Bomma 2 manage to get into a tailing position on the Warlord.  Iron Eagle 1 looks like he has a shot on Fighta-Bomma 1. 

The Warlord lights up the sky with its broadsides firing all across the sky at the swarming Ork fightas.  Despite the Mag-cannon point defenses firing like mad, only the Dakkajet starts smoking. 

The Warlord takes a pounding from Ork Aircraft has it is reduced from 14 hits to 9 hits.  However, it was lucky as attempts at Sustained Bursts largely failed.  The Warlord only needs to weather the two Trailing fightas barrage to land!

Iron Eagle 1 fails to find the target of Fighta-Bomma 1 due to range.

Turn 5:
Initiative:  Orks

Tailing Fire:
Fighta 3 fails to Sustain Burst, but peppers the Warlord.  Three hits are knocked away by the ships armored plates.  Fighta-Bomma 2 does get a sustained Burst and fires with 12 dice at the same altitude.  This is it!  2 Hits strike home, but it is not enough to down the Super-Heavy airship. 

The ork aircraft all try desperately to wing over or Half-loop to stay with the main target.  However, most are out of position despite swarming the landing zone.  The Iron Eagles spiral to get in and try to get targets of opportunity.  Meanwhile, the Warlord gently lands and begins to unload her cargo. 

Fighta-Booma 2 fires on Iron Eagle 1.  The spray of bullets swats the Iron Eagle from the sky!  The Ork plane is out of ammo and will need to return to base to re-arm.   

 Iron Eagle 2 misses the Dakkajet.  The Dakkajet then strafes the landed Warlord causing point of damage.   

Turn 6- Disengagement Turn
Initiative: Varingyr

Iron Eagle 2 decides to gain altitude and bug-out. 

Meanwhile, the Orks try to get in position to strafe.  In the chaos, two Ork aircraft actually crash into the ground by choosing the wrong maneuver!  They wing-over into the ground.  The pilot of the Fighta-Bomma 1 walks away feeling a bit follish, while the pilot of the Dakkajet was decapitated in the crash.  Woops!

Fighta 3 and the Buzza try to strafe the landed airship, and manage to take 2 more hits off of it.  Still not enough to take out the Super-Heavy airship!  Return fire from the landed airship is ineffective.

The Clanguard quickly set-up a perimeter of Multi-launchers to dissuade additional air attacks.  A few initial bursts cause the swarming Orks to break-off and return to base.  The unloading process continues and the skeleton of a defensive perimeter and a forward operating base begin to take shape in minutes.  The Varingyr are on the ground.  Soon, follow-on forces in Drop Egles begin to descend on the base to bulk up its strength.

Well, the slow movement of the Warlord was a big asset in this Drop Intercept.  I was not too worried about over-shooting the target zone since the Warlord was nice and slow.  However, its own point defenses were next to useless in this battle and the Iron Eagle support ships were too far outnumbered to be a factor.  The Orks lost more aircraft to bad flying than anything else. 

Now onto the next battle….

…. It looks like it will be a Wall breaker mission.  That is one I really wanted to play!  Look out for Warlord action soon! 

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