Monday, March 5, 2018

Battle Report: Aeronautica Imperialis- Pitched Battle on Tokokai-5

A roar went up around Tokokai-5 as hundreds of engines roared to life. The walls defending the Ork fortresses across the planet had been breached.  The Varingyr immediately launched their armored assault forces towards the breach.  The Flayer-kin, either due to their war cunning or desire to fight; raced out in their crude buggies to do battle before the walls.     

The Feral Orks of Tokokai-5 had built their crude fortresses and settlements atop the old mine heads of the Tokokai Clan.  The Tokokai Clan’s allies from Irongard had arrived in orbit to establish if their Oath Brothers were hiding deep within their mineheads from the Ork invaders. 

A swirling battle erupted for control of the breach ensued.  

Varingyr Clanguard
Overlord Airship
-          Additional Weapon Load 3

3 Strike Eagle
-          Additional Weapon Load

Iron Eagle
-          Additional Weapon Load

Feral Ork Defenders
2 Flak Wagons

2 Waaagh! Bommaz
-          Additional Weapon Loads

 2 Fighta-Bommaz
- Additional Weapon Load

This is the Pitched Battle scenario from the Airspace Compilation.  In this mission each player sets up 10 vehicles on the board, at least 18 inches in from their edge, and 6 inches away from any other edge.  Victory points are only earned by destroying ground targets. 

I thought about sculpting up some ground units for this battle.  However, but the time I sculpted up and painted 20 ground targets, it would have been 2019!  Instead, we opted to use some All Quiet on the Martian Front markers instead. 

This battle is using the same board as the previous battle to represent the Varingyr armored forces trying to push through the breach created by the Warlord.  Rocks and the wall are all Altitude 1 so collisions/crashes can happen. 

The Ork ground forces are set-up as the orange blast markers, while the orange circles are Varingyr ground forces.  The Orks have cleverly placed their ground targets where they can be protected by their ground defenses.  The Varingyr are in a semi-circle beyond the Ork forces, but close enough where we might get a few low altitude tangles.  

The Varingyr aircraft are in two packages.  The north package is the Strike Eagles coming in hot at altitude 1, ready to strafe.  The other is the Overlord escorted by the Iron Eagle.  It is at mid-altitude as the Zeppelin ability will allow it to drop easily. 

The Ork Fighta-bommas are lined up to give the Strike Eagles some issues while they attack ground targets too.  They will be covered by the Falk wagons.  The Waaagh! Bommaz are looking to hit the fringes of the Varingyr ground forces. 

Remember, points are scored for taking out ground targets, and not enemy aircraft.  However, if you take out enemy strike fighters, they can not hit any ground targets!  

Turn 1:
Initiative: Varingyr

Both sides move towards the battlespace with speed.  The Orks look like they will be over the target zone next turn. 


Turn 2:
Initiative: Orks

Waaagh! Bomma 2 overshoots the nearest Varingyr tank, but proceeds forward towards the oncoming Varingyr forces.  The rest stay in formation, and it looks like they will go head-to-head but eh Orks are much higher. 

Waaagh! Booma 1 strikes first and drops two bombs on an enemy tank, causing 1 point of damage!  Not enough to destroy it. 

Strike Eagle 1 fires his rockets and Mag-cannons at an Ork truk and manages to reduce it to a single point of damage remaining as well.  Strike Eagle 2 opens fire and destroys an ork War Wagon in a similar barrage!  While Strike Eagle 3 misses its ground targets.   

The Ork flak wagons do not have the range yet. 

Turn 3:
Initiative: Varingyr

The Varingyr continues to press forward on the attack, with the Overlord trying to provide some air cover.  Meanwhile, the Orkaircraft streak over the Varingyr lines to bomb there targets.  As Fighta-bomba 1 turns over the front lines, Iron Eagle 1 swoops in on him to attack.  Also, the Ork Ground Defenses are now in range. 

In a moment of self-preservation, Srike Eagle 1 opens up on the nearest Flakwagon, and hits it for 1 damage.  It is still functional! 

Fighta-Bomba 1 drops his Bomb payload on a Varingyr tank and obliterates it. 

The Overlord uses a broadside of Mag-cannons to pepper Waaagh! Bomma 2, who manages to fly through the storm of shots unharmed.  He dropped a payload of bombs behind him on a Varingyr tank as well.  However, the little tank was made of sterner stuff and survived with 1 point of damage. 

Strike Eagle 2 and 3 open fire on two separate targets with rockets and mag-cannons, but only cause 1 hit.  Meanwhile, Figha-Bomba 2 and Waaagh! Bomma 1 unload thwi paloads, and destroy 1 tank and damage a second.     

Flak from Ork Ground defenses spray the Strike Eagles, causing Strike Eagle 2 to start blowing smoke. 

Finally, the Iron Eagle swoops in and fires on Fighta-bomma 1.  2 Hits but no damage. 

 Turn 4:
Initaitive: Orks

The Varingyr Strike Eagles continue towards the wall, but their main armaments are out, all they have left are nose mounted mag-cannons for strafing.  The Overlord moves low to use its strafing weapons on the ork vehicles left. 

Meanwhile, the Ork Fighta-bommas wing over to get their rokits into range.  Waaagh! Bomma 2 turns back to follow the frontlines, while Waaaagh! Bomma 1 misjudges a power dive and crashes into the ground taking the pilot with it. 

Ork Ground defenses spray skyward but fail to connect.  Varingyr Strike Eagles also fail to connect with their Mag-cannons on ground targets.  The Overlord’s broadside fails to damage the war truk on the ground, and some Hearth missiles reach out and damage another Ork vehicle but fail to destroy it.

Turn 5:
 Initiative: Varingyr

The Varingyr strike crast try to spin around to re-engage, however Strike Eagle 2 is too close to the wall and crashes, killing the crew.  Meanwhile, the Orks swoop down around the battlefield and attack targets of opportunity.  The iron Eagle tries to chase down Fighta-Bomma 1. 

Fighta-Bomma 1 fires his quad big shootas and tears apart an all ready damaged Varingyr tank. 

The Strike Eagles use the last of their Mag-cannon ammo on two ground targets but fail to damage them. 

The overlord opens fire on multiple targets and manages to send 1 Ork War Wagon to Gork N Mork.  Ork Ground Defenses are unable to harm the big ship.  In addition, Fighta-Bomma 2 fails to hit Strike Eagle 3. 

Waaagh! Bomma 2 hits a ground target for 1 damage.  Then, Iron Eagle 1 manages to snag Fighta-bomma 1 with Mag-cannon shells and cause him to blow smoke. 

Turn 6:
Initiative: Varingyr

The Strike Eagles move to disengage since they are out of ammo.  The Overlord tries to turn to use its broadsides on the Ork vehicles.  Meanwhile, the Iron Eagle tries to chase downt he Fighta-Bomma 1.  Fighta-Bomma 2 half loops to get back into the battle, and the Waaagh! Bomma comes in low to strafe more Varingyr tanks. 

The Overlord manages to smoke an Ork ground vehicle with its broadsides at mid range.  The Waaagh! Bomma’s big shoota shells ping harmlessly off the side of the Varingyr Tank. 

Both sides half inflicted 3 destroyed vehicles.

Turn 7:
Initiative: Varingyr

The Strike Eagles get to the board edge and head back to base.  Next turn will be a disengagement turn.  The Overlord drifts up and over the Ork wall.  Meanwhile, the Ork Fighta-bomma and Waaagh! Bomma overshoot their targets as they are going way too fast.  Fighta-bomma 1 turns back sharply and lines up on aa Varingyr tank, while the Iron Eagle stays in pursuit. 

Fighta-bomma 1 needs 2 hits to damage and win the game and is lined up on target.  However, Iron Eagle 1 gets to fire first due to initiative.  He rolls 6 mag-cannon dice for 2 hits, and rolls for damage…. He gets 1 6.  Fighta-Bomma 1 is knocked out of the sky!

Turn 8- Disengagement Turn
Initiative: Orks

Fighta-Bomma 2 tries to do a high G-turn to strafe a tank, but just overshoots and gets an Iron Eagle on his 6 for his efforts.  The Waaagh! Bomma has better luck, and finds a damaged tank in his sites at medium range. 

The Waaagh! Bomma needs to get 1 damaging shot to win the game.  He lines up and rolls his dice.  3 hits.  He needs 1 5+ to damage.  He succeeds and blows the Varingyr tank sky high. 

The Iron Eagle does shoot up the Fighta-bomma, but causes 1 hit.  The grot in the turret misses his return shooting. 

With that, the remaining aircraft head for home. 

That went down to the wire, but ultimately the Orks win this scenario by dusting 4 Varingyr tanks to 3 Ork War Wagons. 

Let’s talk about some of the aircraft performance.  The Strike and Iron Eagles are very underwhelming overall.  They do not have much punch.  Perhaps I should have gone with different weapon loads for them.  The Overlord did fine, but I definitely picked the wrong weapon load here.  It is not maneuverable enough for forward firing rockets and Hearth Missiles and once I was out of the combat zone, I could not bring it around fast enough.   On the Ork side, we are having a hard time using Ork Rokits as they were getting way too close to the targets and then could not use them!     

Meanwhile, both of us had issues flying today.  We both lost a plane to bad flying.  He power dived into the ground, and I crashed into a wall!  This whole mini-campaign was characterized by some bad flying.  I guess terrain can still matter in a flying game, if it involves lots of ground targets.  That made it a bit more cinematic. 

Overall this campaign was a Minor Varingyr victory.  The Warlord Super Heavy was the star of the campaign and allowed for the Varingyr to win the 2nd and 3rd scenario.  The Orks won the first and last battle.  Overall, a pretty balanced campaign tree.

After fierce street-to-street fighting, the Clanguard managed to batter their way into the feral ork settlements.  Once inside the perimeter, Engineers from the Guild were able to verify which settlements were built on Varingyr ruins.  If it was a pure Ork settlement, the Clanguard fell back and let the fleet bombard the Ork settlements into oblivion. They were then re-routed to support their fellows around active mineheads. 

Where Engineers found Varingyr relics they pushed forward to locate access points to the Tokokai Clan mines.  Once there, they set up a perimeter and the Engineers began to re-active the ancestral spirits to open the mine heads.  The Clanguard of Irongard were able to send in reconnaissance teams into the Tokokai mines to locate their old allies.  Instead, they found nothing but abandoned and ancient tunnels.

Unable to locate any Tokokai Clan members alive, Azoki Helmsward called off the attack.  Using air cover and select orbital bombardment, the Clanguard was recalled back to the fleet.  The War Council was saddened by the discovery that their old clan allies were lost to them.  Instead, Azoki marked the planet for later re-conquest by the Helmsward Clan.  Her fleet turned to explore the next former Tokokai Clan stronghold.  Tokokai-5 was lost…. for now.  

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