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Eye of Terror: From the Jungle to the Gate
Introduction <> Battle #1 <> Battle #2 <> Battle #3 <> Final Thoughts
Eye of Terror:
From the Jungle to the Gate--Battle #1 ("Take and Hold")
Arvaal the Heretic strode through the corridors of the battle cruiser Insurrection with the air of a man flush with power. Was he not a Chosen One of Abaddon, designated to be his emissary during the Black Crusade? Did he not, even now, have the power to launch waves of Traitors, Orks, and fouler creatures against the Sectors of the Imperium? To Arvaal, this was his just reward.
There was a time when he was a preacher in the Ecclesiarchy, and was considered a powerful orator and inspirational leader. Then, his name was Joshua, or Obadiah—some sacred name from the Old Tomes. He had forsaken his name and the Old Tomes long ago, and now that past was a distant memory of a time when he was weak. He thought of those days now as the butterfly views its time in the cocoon—a precursor to grandeur. Now he that knew true power, he reveled in the brutality of the forces he led and basked in the praise of those close to the Four Lords.
The Insurrection was headed away from the Eye of Terror, out towards the Maelstrom. In his former duties, Arvaal had traveled a great deal around the Maelstrom, proselytizing to the “heathens” that knew nothing of the Emperor of Mankind. It was not until years later, when Arvaal met Abaddon himself, that he came to think of himself as the heathen. Now he was to use his extensive knowledge of the areas around the Maelstrom to aid his master.
His first assignment was to secure a forge world to provide munitions in the upcoming campaign. To that end, Arvaal was about to negotiate for the aid of an Ork Warboss that was only too eager to help. Arvaal met his bodyguard—a pack of mutated Traitors, former Imperial Guardsmen from the planet Kente—at the teleport chamber on the Insurrection. As they prepared to be transported to the Ork Kill Kroozer a few light years away, Arvaal chuckled to himself. And so off to meet the mighty Sho-T BigHed, he thought. What a ridiculous name for a warboss.
In a twinkling, Arvaal and his men had materialized on the bridge—or the Ork equivalent of one, anyway—of the Kill Kroozer. The ship was a crude assemblage of metal and spare parts that looked like it would fall apart at the merest turbulence. Arvaal’s attention was drawn not to the Ork Warboss on his makeshift “throne,” nor to the burly greenskins that stood nearby, but on a spastic Ork with a wrench, scuttling around, mumbling to himself and stopping here and there to attend to some loose bit.
“’Bout time yooz all showed up,” Sho-T BigHed grumbled. The air was very hot and humid, and there was a dank smell, like wet, rotting moss. Arvaal adjusted his robes and stepped forward.
“Greetings, Lord BigHed, I bring tidings of friendship from His Excellency, Abaddon the Despoiler.”
The warboss spat on the floor and shifted his weight, enjoying the whine of his mega armor’s servo motors and the grinding of metal as he moved. “I don’ care two thaler coins ‘bout Abbadoon, or whatever yooz call ‘im,” he growled, “Da only reason we iz ‘ere is coz we wuz told dere would be guns an’ fightin’ to be had.”
Arvaal was momentarily taken aback by the Ork’s directness. He was used to the guile required to manipulate a planetary regent to betray his race, not straightforward love of brutality. “Of course. Mordax Prime is a forge world, and should be lightly defended while the Imperial forces are distracted elsewhere. Abaddon commands you to assault the planet and take control of a crucial power plant. You can keep whatever you find, we only want the plant—intact.” He added emphasis on the final word, knowing the Orks’ propensity for utter carnage.
Sho-T snorted, “Dat’s it? Feh, dat won’t take but a coupla days. An’ ‘ere I thought I was getting’ an extended vacation.” He chuckled at his joke. “Awright, we’ll do it. Yoo can pay me when I’z done. So howz long yoo want me and me ladz to sit on yer precious plant?”
“We realize that your time is very valuable, and that you and your…troops will want to move on to other targets—”
“Damn straight,” Sho-T growled.
“—so I have arranged for another force to relieve you after you have taken the plant.” While Arvaal was quite confident that Sho-T’s Orks would quickly overwhelm the power plant’s defenders, he was equally confident that they would soon grow bored and begin breaking whatever structures and fixtures hadn’t been destroyed in the initial assault.
“Izzat so?” Sho-T scowled. “And who has yoo lined up so as me and the boyz can go out and break some more heds?”
“My lieutenant should be finalizing those plans even as we speak,” Arvaal replied.
Rai Nagtrishul, former Fighting Tiger of Veda, finally allowed himself to relax. Though it had been decades since he had deserted his Space Marine Chapter and joined the Red Corsairs, though he had seen with his own eyes all the horrors of Chaos, he had still felt an almost uncontrollable jolt of fear when he had entered the underground desert lair, deep within the Maelstrom, of the Kabal of the Ozone Scorpions. For Rai, born and raised on Veda and learned in all its history and mythology, standing here, surrounded by the Dark Eldar, was like discovering that all one’s childhood nightmares and bogeymen were real—and within arm’s reach.
“Yes, the terms you offer are more than generous,” concluded the Scorpions’ leader, Archon Syryx Lynatharr. “We have recently returned from an expedition, but are willing to sharpen our blades and wield them in the service of Abaddon the Despoiler. My forces are at your disposal and shall be at the rendezvous site on the time and date that you require, to relieve Mr…BigHed, I thought you said?”
“Yes, Great One,” Rai replied. “My master, Arvaal, would like you to take over for the Orks there after they secure the power plant. Soon thereafter, my detachment of Red Corsairs will come and relieve you, allowing you to return here or, if you desire, to continue operations on Mordax Prime alongside Abaddon’s forces. We anticipate that there will be plenty of opportunities for sport, if you should so wish.”
“It will be a pleasure, my good fellow,” Lynatharr replied. “Please assure your master that—so long as the shipment of captives arrives here on time—the Ozone Scorpions will not fail to carry out his orders. You may go,” the Archon said, dismissing Rai with a wave of his right hand, mutated into a giant pincer.
“Arvaal—and Abaddon—will be pleased to hear that you have agreed to aid us,” Rai said, and bowing low, was escorted out of the stone chamber. As he left, two twisted Haemonculi, one male, one female, scuttled up close to Lynatharr.
“This is excellent, milord,” hissed Dr. Fybze, the male. “Our alliance with Abaddon the Despoiler need not end with this assignment. Now that we have an arrangement with him, we can leverage his considerable resources to return to our rightful prominence in Commorragh society. With Abaddon as an ally, what—”
Lynatharr shot him a withering stare. “You should learn to be more like Vulnayvya,” he said, indicating the female Haemonculus, who had sewn her own mouth shut years ago. “This failed Fighting Tiger is nothing more than the minion of a minion, who themselves serve nothing more than a minion of the Ruinous Powers. And the lot of them—Rai, Arvaal, and Abaddon—would have Syryx Lynatharr be their minion. No,” he continued, wagging his finger at Fybze, “Lynatharr serves no one but himself and his desires.”
“Your Wonderousness, please be reasonable,” stammered Fybze. “Abaddon is powerful, immeasurably powerful. This is our chance—”
“I shall not be reasonable,” Lynatharr snapped. “Abaddon thinks to purchase the allegiance of the Ozone Scorpions—all he shall buy himself is a sharp poke in his ‘Eye of Terror.’ Organize a strike team. Lead it yourself, and take your slattern here with you,” he said, pointing at the silent Vulnayvya. “Arrive at the rendezvous site unexpectedly and slaughter every Ork you find. When that cub Rai and his Red Corsairs arrive for their power plant, arrange a similarly unpleasant surprise for them.”
“You can’t be serious,” Fyzbe sputtered.
“I certainly can be if I want to. Will you do it, or shall I send Dr. Jheste in your place?”
Fybze stiffened at the mention of his rival. He turned to his assistant, Vulnayvya, who nodded. “Yes, milord. As you command,” he said.
Forces of Disorder: 1250 point Ork Army
Knowing that I would be the defender in this game, I asked Pat to put together a list with a lot of infantry (with which I hoped to outnumber, tie up, and overwhelm his forces) and speedy reserves. I’m no expert on Orks, but I think the list he came up with is really solid.
Above: The indomitable Warboss Sho-T BigHed
Forces of Order: 1250 point Dark Eldar
There was really no need to bring two Haemonculi—one would do—but I always pair these two in whatever background story they appear. Fybze is the implacable rival of my other Haemonculus, the sinister Dr. Jheste, and Vulnayvya is Fybze’s silent—but deadly—partner.
Dr. Fybze (left) and his assistant Vulnayvya (right) lead the double cross that targets Sho-T BigHed's boyz
Dark Eldar Turn 1
The Wyches and Raider Squads #3 and #4 dismounted, using Fleet of Foot to close with the Orks. The Raiders had a miserable turn of firing, only managing to kill a single Slugga Boy with a dark lance shot.
The Wyches assaulted the Shoota Boyz, killing six and losing none of their own. Raider Squads #3 and #4 also assaulted the Shoota Boyz, with RS #3 killing another Ork. The Orks attempted to fight back but inflicted no casualties. Losing the combat, they checked the size of their “danglies” and ascertained that yes, they are “big enuff” to stay in the fight.
Ork Turn 1
In the mass melee, the Orks managed to kill two Wyches and seven Warriors while losing three Slugga Boyz and two Shoota Boyz. The Ozone Scorpions held, and the brawl continued.
Dark Eldar Turn 2
In the scrum, Vulnayvya killed a Slugga Boy, the Wyches killed five Orks, and the four Raider squads killed a combined 13 Orks, losing four Ozone Scorpions. The Shoota Boyz lost their nerve and fell back 10", but the Slugga Boyz hung in there. Raider Squad #2 consolidated back toward their Raider and Raider Squad #3 managed to reach and board their transport.
Ork Turn 2
The Trukk Boyz charged Raider Squad #2, bringing down four Warriors and wounding Vulnayvya, who managed to kill a Boy. Raider Squad #2 fell back 8". The Trukk Boyz followed them with their consolidation move. Combat between the Slugga Boyz and the other Dark Eldar resulted in no kills for either side.
Dark Eldar Turn 3
In the Shooting Phase, Dr. Fybze opened the webway portal. Vulnayvya and Raider Squad #2 fired at the Trukk Boyz, killing six of them. Three of the four Raiders fired at the Trukk Boyz, with the disintegrator of Raider #1 killing two Boyz. Raider Squad #3 fired at the Trukk Boyz, killing another one and leaving only three Boyz left. Worse, the Raider belonging to the Silver Scorpions (the Wyches) fired its dark lance and blew Sho-T right out of his armored boots!
Things were not looking good for Team Green, and they didn’t get much better in the Assault Phase. The Wyches killed one Boy but lost one of their own. Raider Squads #1 and #4 killed three more Boyz and each lost another squad member. The Orks held, and the mass melee continued.
Ork Turn 3
The Stormboyz fired on Raider #2, managing to shake it and destroy its weapon. The two Trukks fired their big shootas at other Raiders, and one of them managed to destroy Raider #1. Getting rid of Raiders not only negates the Dark Eldar’s greatest strength—speed—but it also helps negates the Ozone Scorpions’ firepower, as the Raiders pack the biggest guns this army has.
In the Assault Phase, the Stormboyz could not leave well enough alone and charged Raider #2 and the Wyches’ Raider as well. They scratched some paint off the Wyches’ Raider but the Nob destroyed Raider #2 with his power klaw. In the resulting explosion, five Stormboyz bought the farm. Nertz! Some days, even the little victories are pyrrhic victories….
Elsewhere, the Slugga Boyz killed one Death Twinkie and lost two of their own. The surviving Nob tried to fall back, but was held in place by the Dark Eldar.
Dark Eldar Turn 4
Elsewhere, the Wyches began to clamber across the objective (treated as difficult terrain). They managed a measly 2", then used Fleet of Foot to go 2 more inches. Their Raider moved 12" and fired at Trukk #2, missing it with its dark lance.
Raider Squad #3 continued to fall back with no hope of rallying. Raider Squad #1, meanwhile, moved 6" forward to assist Raider Squad #4 in battle against the Slugga Nob. The Dark Eldar quickly polished him off in close combat and both squads consolidated 3" toward the objective. Raider #4 moved 12" and fired on Trukk #1, destroying it.
Both Taloses charged Trukk Boy Mob #2 and each killed a single Trukk Boy. The Boyz tried to bolt, but the Taloses caught them for further fun and games in the next Assault Phase….
Ork Turn 4
The surviving Stormboyz hurtled 12" toward the Wyches and fired at them, killing three Silver Scorpions and causing the rest to fall back 8". Because of the direction the Wyches took as they fell back, the Stormboyz were able to assault them. The Wyches were forced to make a Leadership check (as they were assaulted while falling back) and failed; thus they were wiped out. The Stormboyz consolidated back toward the objective, well pleased with themselves. Extra rations all around, boyz!
Unfortunately, things did not go so well for the Trukk Boyz, who were quickly torn apart by the Taloses (which then consolidated 3" closer to the objective as well). Before that, though, Trukk #2 had fired its big shoota at Raider #4 but managed to miss each shot. Nertz!
Dark Eldar Turn 5
Post-Game Analysis by
Going into this battle, I knew I did not want to get into a shoot-out with the Dark Eldar. Even though the Ozone Scorpions are set up as an assault army, they can still crank out quite a bit of firepower. So I deployed as close as I could to Pat’s table edge, hoping to engage his forces in hand-to-hand combat as soon as possible.
To that end, I set up the Shoota Boyz in a ring around the Slugga Boyz and kept the figures with big shootas towards the back. My strategy was to have the Dark Eldar engage the Shoota Boyz, who would bear the brunt of their charge and hold them in place for the untouched Slugga Boyz to launch a back-breaking counterattack. Meanwhile, the Orks with big shootas would amble 6" toward the melee, firing their weapons at those ridiculous kites the Death Twinkies call “Raiders.”
That was the plan. But when it came time to implement the plan, the question came up of whether, under the new assault rules, unengaged models could shoot at another unit while they made “Pile In” moves. I couldn’t find the answer, and it seemed against the spirit of the rules, so I didn’t argue the point. So much for my brilliant plan. I found out later that, of course, they could. Nertz! Ah, well. Chalk that up to inexperience with the new assault rules.
I have no excuse for not discarding a single Trukk Boy and letting Warboss Sho-T take his place with the Trukk Boy mob, thus giving my baddest brawler a ride into combat. That was simply a dumb oversight on my part, and Pat made sure I paid dearly for it. Had Sho-T actually got into the fight, he probably would have thrown his considerable weight around and collected a lot of Twinkie scalps. Nertz!
No post-game analysis would be complete without a whine about dice rolls. Reserves rolls are the bane of many a player, and while mine weren’t awful, they could have been better. Probably the most irritating batch of rolls was when the Stormboy Nob ripped apart Raider #2 with his power klaw and managed to kill a heap of his own ladz in the resulting explosion. It would have been amusing if it had happened to someone else. Nertz!
Post-Game Analysis by
Once again, the small size of the board worked to Kenton’s disadvantage as the Wyches and two Raider squads were able to engage the Shoota Boyz on the first turn. It is unfortunate that he forgot about firing with his unengaged models, but with Ork shooting it probably wouldn’t have made much difference.
This battle was particularly fun
because we switched armies. You gain a new respect for your opponent when
you play their army. Man, those Twinkies are nasty! I highly recommend
that you swap armies with your regular opponent for a change of pace sometime.
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© Copyright Patrick
Eibel and Kenton Kilgore, July 2003
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