Monday, October 26, 2020

Operation: Hemlock- Aeronautica Imperialis: Platform Attack

As conventional Ork counter-attacks have been ineffective in stopping the Imperial advances in Da Deff Islands Warboss Skarbash has had to turn to less conventional ways to counter the Imperial troops.  Ork submarine raiders had largely been stymied.  That meant that the warboss was going to need to lean on the less conventional arms of his mobz.  The only effective forces so far had been the Ork Air Waaaghz against the Ammoriss Air PDF so he quickly made plans to utilize them to take the pressure off of his troops retreating back to the Green Zone.

“Snaz” Boomgob along with Skarbash devised a cunning plan.  The submarines had failed to stop Imperial supply ships from getting to Ommie Island (Grig’s Island).  However, there was more than one way to kick a grot.  Ork air boyz deployed from the Green Zone in large waves and raided the nearby platforms in the approaches.  These platforms were mostly abandoned or had only a skeleton crew of workers on board.  They would prove to be easy picking for the Ork drop troops…. If the drop troops put boots on the platforms. 

When Commodore Miles of Taskforce: Chalice saw the augurs light up across the board with contacts, he ordered an immediate scramble from all Air PDF bases.  In addition, he reached out to the Imperial Navy, and fighters from the 95th Fighter Wing swooped in from orbit to help engage the enemy. 

If the Orks got a foot hold in the Approaches, resupplying the Imperial troops would become much more difficult.  Ork aircraft and Submarines could use these platforms as staging areas for convoy raids.  Plus, cleaning up the platforms would be a difficult and costly military task. 

This will be a V1Aeronautica Imperialis using aircraft from the core rule book and the Airspace Compilation set during Operation: Hemlock.


Taskforce: Chalice
4 Sentry Interceptors with Skystrikes
2 Sentinel Interceptors    
2 Imperial Navy Lightnings with Skystrikes
1 Hydra on the Platform

“Snaz” Boomgobz Boyz
2 Fightas with Rokits
2 Grot Buzzaz
2 Fighta-Bommaz
2 War Kopters with Troops
2 Buzz ‘Ards with Drop Troops

The board has a large platform close to the Imperial short board edge, about 24 inches in and 12 from a long board edge.  This is the drop target for the attack.  The Orks are trying to drop/land as many troops onto the platform as they can.  The Imperials are trying to stop them. 

The game is being played on a 6x4 table.  It is primarily over the ocean so there is no other terrain present than the drop target. 

The Imperials have a Hydra platform on the Platform to help defend it.  The Imperials have the Sentries in the center at mid-altitude and speed.  The Sentinels are together on the left flank at mid-altitude and full speed.  The Lightnings are together on the right coming in from Orbit. 

The Orks have the Kopters coming in low on their left.  Then the Buzz’Ards at mid-altitude in the middle.  They are protected by a clump of Ork aircraft at various altitudes and speeds.

Turn 1:
Initiative: Imperials

For the most part, the two sides simply close in on each other.  The Imperials stay in their groups, with the Sentinels seeming to drop towards the Ork Kopterz.  The Lightnings are also trying to bleed off height to get into the fight.  The Sentry pilots just gulp as they realize how hard it is going to be to bring down those Buzz'Ards.  

The Orks kind of fly all over the place.  However, their key troop carrying units seem pretty set on moving to the drop zones.  Their escorts just sort of splurge out into an expanding bubble of dakka. 

Turn 2: 
Initiative:  Imperials

The Sentries stay in a tight formation as the Buzz'Ars and their escorts come straight for them.  The Orks are not being shy in the teeth of Oomie firepower.  They feel confident they can dish it out as well as take it.  

The Sentinels race in with the leader dropping low to engage the Kopters, and th esecond staying high as an interceptor.  The Buzzers move to engage, but do not have great heights.  Fighta 1 tries to dash in from the side, but has the wrong angle and ends up in the kill zone of Sentinel 2.  

Meanwhile, Fighta-Bomma 2 goes up to meet the two Lightnings coming down from orbit.  

Auto-cannons, Big Shootaz, and Skystrike missiles fly out.  The lead Buzz'Ard starts blowing smoke from two hits.  However, in return, 2 Sentry fighters are shot out of the sky.  Both pilots manage to eject in time to be picked up by the Navy later.  

Sentinel 2 engages Fighta 1 witha spray of stubber fire, but fails to cause significant damage.  Sentinel 1 is fired on by the War Koptaz, but flies through the tracers and opens fire.  No one gets taken out.  

Lightning 2 fires on the approaching Fighta-Bomber 2, and his auto-cannon and Las-cannon are enough to blast the Ork plane from the sky!  No parachute is seen from the crashing plane.  

Turn 3: 
Intiative: Orks

The damaged Buzz'Ard with its Fighta-Bomma escort plows straight towards the target.  The Fighta-Bomma tries to gain some height as he approaches.  Buzz'Ard two swings out wide as the Lightnings try to turn into the attack, but they are still out of position.  The Sentries wing over or Half Loop to pursue, but Fighta 2 is all over them as well.  

The Sentinels and the Koptaz and escorts are in a wheeling furball of their own.  However, the Koptaz turn in to make a bee line for the platform.  

Fighta 2 sprays down Sentry 1, and blows the plane from the sky.  The pilot never had a chance.  

The Hydra opens fire and tracer fire stitch into the sky looking for the Ork transport.  

Turn 4: 
Initiative: Imperials

Tailing Fire: Tailing fire from Sentry 4 causes Fighta-Bomma 1 to blow smoke.  

The smoking Buzz'Ard flies over the platofrm, while its companion opts to dive near the ocean and just misses the platform.  Fighta-Bomma 1 also smoking, dives over the platform.  They are being pursued by Sentry 4 and Lightning 2.  

Meanwhile, the slower Kopta attack force proceeds to the landing area with Sentinel 2 trying to get in a firing position.  However, their slow movement makes them hard to get a good angle on.  

Due to a orders mix-up, Fighta 1 is flying away from the air battle.  

Lightning 2 fires everything it has at Buzz'Ard one at optimal range.  The auto-cannon strikes home, but is not enough to down the craft.  Ork Storm Trooper eagerly begin to bail out of the back and sides of the Ork transport.  many of them are killed by the near miss and explosion of the Imperial skystrike, and some just miss the landing zone.  Only 1 Ork unit successfully lands.  However, blasts from the Hydra manage to take the big plane out of the sky and the last remaining drop troops down with it. 

The Crew of the Hydra have no time to cheer as the Ork Fighta-Bomma unloads their bombs across their position.  The gun emplacement is destroyed with loose ammunition firing off around it.  Sentry 4 fires the last of its ammo at Fighta-bomma 1, but misses.  

Sentinel 2 fires on Buzzer 1, but fails to hit the nimble craft.  

Turn 5: 
 Initiative: Orks

This battle is not over yet!  

Tailing Fire: Sentinel 2 fires on Buzzer 1 and misses again. 
Fighta-Bomma 1 is satisfied with his work and disengages off the board.  Out of Ammo, Sentry 4 gains permission to return to base, and makes for safety as well.      
The War Koptaz have to begin to slow as they approach for a landing.  The Buzzers try to stay with to protect them while Imperial aircraft close in. 

Meanwhile, the last Buzz'Ard, still full of jump troops; tries to turn back but it looks like the Transport will have to disengage soon instead.  

Buzzer 2 managed to slip behind Sentinel 2 as the Imperial pilot closed in close on the Koptaz.  The grot opened fire and took the PDF plane out of the sky.  Sentinel 1 tries to get revenge on Buzzer 1 leading the approach, but misses.  Lightning 2 also fails to find Buzzer 1. 

With the loss of Sentinel 2, the PDF receive orders to disengage and leave the Platform to its fate.  Casualties have been too high.  

Turn 6: Disengagement Turn
Initiative: Orks

Buzz'Ard 2 managed to stay on the board and started circling.  Eventually theymight be able to move into position to drop their troops! Sentry 4 skee-daddled off the board and back to base. 

The Kopterz moved in slowing even further to land.  The Buzzerz stayed with them as a Linghtning ot in close.  The Sentinel and Lightning 1 were also in firing position.  

Fighta 2 left the board to head to home too.  

Buzzer 2 fired on Lignthining 2, but failed to shake the Imperial Navy pilot.  However, Lightning 2 missed his shots at Kopter 1 as he raced past in the blink of an eye.  Sentinel 2 and Lightning 1 also took shots at the Ork forces, but failed to find their targets. 
The Orks lost 1 Fighta-Bomma to the Imperial Navy and 1 Buzz'Ard to a combination of shooting.  The Imperials lost 3 Sentry fighters, and 1 Sentinel.  Not great.  

Plus, the Buzz'Ard landed 1 Jump troop and it can be safely assumed the 2 Kopterz would have landed unopposed.  The other Buzz'Ard would probably have had to return home to refuel.  That means 3 Ork units made it to the target.  Ork stormboyz would have made short work of the few workers and servitors on the platform, after all it had even been bombed too!  

No need to add up the points for this one.  The Orks won and managed to push the perimeter of Da Deff Islandz out further into the Approaches.     

The Buzz'Ard is pretty hard to bring down with 4 hits, at least for low firepower planes like the PDF.  As I have found before, low and slow can be surprisingly hard to take out!  The War Koptaz made it to the target unharmed, and I struggled to get guns on them.  Finally, the PDF planes were simply not tough enough and I had poor firepower rolls.  The PDF can throw out okay firepower, but I couldn't get any of it to stick.  I really need to stop going head-to-head against Orks with PDF planes.  It never works out.  

Commodore Miles clutched clutched his wrists as he stood rigidly watching the battle unfold.  As he watched blue PDF lights blink out across the Approaches, his heart sank.  They were going out twice as fast as the green Ork lights.  It was clear that the PDF pilots were taking the brunt of the Ork offensive yet again.  

It was clear, that the momentum was with the Orks.  He gritted his teeth.  Another defeat for his Taskforce.  Admiral Travers and the Naval PDF were stealing all the glory, and that was almost as bad as losing to the greenskins. 

"Officer on the Watch, please have the Air Controllers call for a general disengagement," Commodore Miles ordered with a firmness he did not really feel.  

Commodore Miles adjunct approached slowly and saluted crisply, "General Kurtz requests an update on the battle Commodore."  

Commodore nodded.  He clenched his wrist even harder.                    

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