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Fear not, Gentle Visitor, the Jungle has not suddenly gone S&M on you. This battle report takes its title from the juvenile male tradition of physically pummeling one’s friends on their birthday. I don’t know how you all did it when you were boys, but everyone I knew got one punch on the arm for every year old they were (sometimes with a nasty “Indian burn” or something equally painful for the final year). Other people I know got actual spankings—but I won’t dwell on that. Impressionable children may be reading this….Da Boys: 2000 points of Orks
My friend Pat and I may have gotten
older, but we pretty much have refused to grow up (except for the part
that gets us into bars). So when asked by his wife what he wanted for his
birthday, Pat said he wanted to come out to my house and play 40K. Battles
between Pat and I are usually close, tense, and brutal: regardless of whose
birthday it was, someone was going to get a spanking….
Pat has declared 2004 to be “Da Year uv da Ork” and is devoting himself to his greenskins. For this battle, he brought:
The Drowboys: 2000 points of Dark Eldar
Above: Dr'zzllah is a very bad girl...
“Right dis way, sweetheart, right dis way,” Ferdguz said, beckoning to the snarling, wriggling captive held tight in his boyz’ mitts. His ladz frog-marched the chained female Scout up the last of the stone steps and out onto the parapet of the fortress that just a few years ago had been built by—and belonged to—the Fighting Tigers of Veda. The sun had gone down and the air was cold, but the moon was out and there was plenty of light for his prisoner to see what was to come next. Nice night for some brutality, Ferdguz thought to himself.
Ferdguz yanked back the ebon hair of his captive and leaned close, his broken fangs and fetid breath mere inches from her face. Ferdguz was glad that she didn’t shirk from him—he hated it when prisoners lost their nerve too soon. It took all the fun out of torturing them.
“Now, my boss, Sho-T, he done hates hisself spies, little missy,” Ferdguz hissed. “He’s on his way back here right now, and he’s gonna wanna know whatchu and youz little gurlfriends was doin’ snoopin’ around here. Yooz can tell me, or yooz can tell Sho-T—but you ain’t gonna like it much when he does da askin’, iffn yoo catch my drift.” Ferdguz chuckled and licked his cracked lips.
“I am Priya Jain, Tiger of Puchan,” she snarled, her dark brown eyes never wavering from Ferdguz’s beady red orbs. “This planet—Auros IX—belongs to the Imperium of Mankind. Release me and you shall be granted a merciful death.”
Ferdguz’s boyz howled with laughter. “Nah, I don’t tink so, sweetpea,” Ferdguz replied. He cocked his head towards the edge of the parapet and the Orks holding Priya Jain dragged her closer to it. Ferdguz allowed himself the pleasure of bashing her face against a granite merlon, breaking her nose but eliciting no scream of pain from her—yet.
“Let’s try dis again,” he growled, and his ladz bent her over the edge of the parapet. Fifty feet below, a gaggle of Gretchin milled about, supposedly keeping night watch. To Ferdguz, their torches looked very small from up here. He hoped the Tiger-in-training agreed.
“I’ve been around da block a few timez, I have,” Ferdguz said, an expression he picked up from his stint as a Gangsta Ork several years ago. “And Ize know dat yoo Space Maroonies are pretty tough. Yoo tink yooze tough enuff to handle a lil walk offn dis balcony here? Ize bettin’ yoo iz. Wanna find out? Or do yoo wanna tell yer good pal Ferdguz what Ize wants to know?”
Suddenly, there was a shimmer of blue light in the air, just above the parapet. The hologram of a lithe female appeared. Ferdguz had killed plenty of Eldar before, but never one who looked like this. Her hair was whiter than the moon, her skin blacker than the night, her eyes just as red and feral as his own.
“My name is Dr’zzllah, Queen of the Ozone Scorpions Kabal. You have something that rightfully belongs to me,” the hologram said, pointing to the Fighting Tiger Scout. “My servants and I will be arriving shortly to claim it and provide you with proper compensation. Your cooperation—while not essential—would be appreciated.”
Ferdguz’s ladz dragged the Scout away from the parapet’s edge. “Fug yoo, lady,” Ferdguz growled.
“Somehow, I knew that was what you’d
say,” the hologram said, and vanished.
We played at my house, on a 6' x 4' table using desert terrain. The mission was “Take and Hold,” with the Orks defending. For story purposes, we decided that, in the aftermath of the Blood Deserts of Auros IX Campaign, the Fighting Tigers have sent several Scout squads back to the planet to spy on and harass the forces of ruler Sho-T BigHed, whose Orks hold Auros IX. One Tiger squad was found and a captive was taken, but before the Orks can extract any information from her, the Ozone Scorpions, the Tigers’ oldest enemies, have come to claim the prisoner. The Scout would be the “objective counter” for the mission.
Another feature of this battle was
that we decided to use the gargantuan fortress
that I had recently built out of Castlemaster Building Blocks. Because
it’s so big, we decided to apply the various rules to Codex: Cityfight
Above: The fortress, with a Land Raider Crusader for scale. Big, iddnt?
The objective wound up being on the front parapet of the fortress, so Pat assigned the duty of guarding it to his Shoota Boyz. His Slugga Boyz, Burna Boyz, Gretchin, Killer Kans and Dreadnought (the mighty R2Ork2) formed a wall of green in front of the castle, right outside the gates. His Warboss, Skarboyz, their Battlewagon, and the Boarboyz started in Reserve.
Faced with a waiting horde, I decided to do the proper Dark Eldar thing: avoid it like a gutless coward. Keeping the Taloses inside the webway portal, I zipped my bikes and four of my seven Raiders 24" up the right side of the board. Three Raiders flew 12" and fired their disintegrators at the Shoota Boyz, but the fortress provided 3+ cover saves, and only two greenies died.
Pat’s reply was to shift his forces towards mine and open fire with what he had. His Killer Kans targeted the Raider carrying my Silver Scorpions, which I stupidly left exposed. Their big shootas gunned it down, killing five Wyches and leaving the rest with no hope of reaching the objective, where I was counting on their hand-to-hand prowess.
On Turn 2, I continued to move everything that I could 24" up the field, hoping to loop around the fortress, avoiding the mass of greenies ensconced in the front. I figured that once I got behind the castle, I could attack the Shoota Boyz from the rear, with Dr’zzllah and her Handmaidens carving a path through them. Then I’d unleash my Taloses to hold off Orky counterattacks. That was the brilliant plan, anyway.
The problem was that no one had told Warboss Sho-T BigHed about that. On Turn 2, he and the Skarboyz Mob he was attached to arrived in their Battlewagon and promptly attacked the front of my column, laying into the Reavers and forcing both squads to fall back. To add insult to injury, one mob of Gretchin assaulted my Silver Scorpions: elite Dark Eldar warriors up to their eyeballs in goblins—how ignominious!
On Turn 3, the Reavers continued to fall back, the Silver Scorpions kept dancing around with the Gretchin, my Raider Squads and Handmaidens used their transports to avoid Sho-T and the Skarboyz and/or go for the castle. Three squads fired at the Shoota Boyz, killing a total of eight of them, but the boyz held. More importantly, Dr. Jheste was able to land on a parapet, where, in Turn 4, he would be able to open his webway portal.
On Pat’s turn, the Shoota Boyz and Sho-T’s contingent tried to return fire on the Raider Squads, with limited success. The Gretchin lost seven of their number to the Wyches but hung in there, and the rest of his army had to content itself with taking pot shots at retreating Reavers, who would play no useful role in the battle.
On Turn 4, the Dark Eldar unleashed more fire into the Shoota Boyz, followed up by a furious charge from Dr’zzllah and the Handmaidens that killed all but one boy.
While the Dark Eldar had seized the objective, their victory was short-lived, for on Pat’s turn, he counterattacked with a horde of Slugga Boyz and Burna Boyz. The Boyz wisely fired their weapons before they charged, exploiting the Wyches’ appalling lack of armor vs. shooting attacks. The boyz then easily mopped up Dr’zzllah and the few surviving Handmaidens and took back the objective. Sho-T and the rest of the army took shots at the remaining Raider units.
Turn 5 saw the Taloses arrive from the webway portal; two of them engaged the Slugga Boyz, one went after the Burna Boyz. The big metal scorpions had mediocre rolls, killing only five boyz among them, and the Slugga Boy Nob crushed one with his power klaw—ouch! Down on the ground, the Gretchin (remember them?) finally ground down the Silver Scorpions and moved on. Wyches, defeated by Grots—oh, the shame of it!
The Taloses continued to try to kill or break the Slugga Boyz, but the greenies held in there long enough for Pat’s Dreadnought and Killer Kans to make their way into the fray. Once the Taloses were down, I had no hope, and the Dark Eldar fled the field.
Post-Game Analysis by Patrick Eibel
“We represent the Lollipop Guild, the Lollipop Guild…”
That is what I imagine the Gretchin were singing as they engaged the Wyches in close combat. It doesn’t really make sense, but it is a funny image.
My plan for this battle was pretty straightforward: start with as many of my troops on the board as I could so that Kenton would be hard pressed to make a dent in their numbers, and use the reserves as a counterstrike element to keep the pressure on. My plan was nearly foiled when he managed to get the portal open and pop out the Taloses right on top of the objective, but some quick maneuvering and well-placed power klaws helped save the day.
Some of the choices we made for this battle ended up being very critical to the outcome. For instance, the use of the City Fight rules for combats in the castle meant that combats on the objective were particularly lethal, while those outside the walls tended to be drawn out. Because of this, the combat involving the Wyches and Gretchin was determined through attrition, with the Grots winning through superior numbers (they started with 30 to the Wyches’ 5). This also meant that a unit merely needed to make base contact with a model holding the objective to force squad vs. squad combat. Again, the Orks, with the superior numbers, were able to whittle down the Dark Eldar in combat.
I will now turn
over commentary to Kenton, but don’t let him tell you that he sandbagged
the game to let me win for my birthday…..
Post-Game Analysis by Kenton KilgoreTwo factors contributed to my defeat. First, Pat played very smart. The scenario limits the defender to Troops and Heavy Support, so Pat sunk the huge majority of his points into those categories and dared me to do something about it. He had so many guys, and they were so densely packed around the objective, that he hardly needed Sho-T and the Skarboyz. After the second turn, he forgot to make Reserve rolls for the Boarboyz—they never showed up, but that didn’t matter at all.
The second factor, as Pat alluded to in his post-game analysis, was the fortress itself. It was so horken large that it took me several turns just to maneuver around to the back of it, but big as it was, I still couldn’t get as many squads as I wanted near the objective. The 3+ cover save was invaluable to Pat: I couldn’t kill enough Orks by shooting, so I had to go in and fight them hand-to-hand, which is what the Orks want from the get-go.
This battle, coupled with my Dark
Eldars’ dismal showing in a tournament earlier
this year, prompted me to re-examine my basic strategy for the
Drowboys. Since I started them, I’ve been doing something I call “Zip,
Snap, and Drop,” where I rush one side of the other guy’s army and
get into hand-to-hand combat ASAP. This strategy enjoyed some success early
on, particularly in the Tooth and Claw Campaign,
but has endured some spectacular defeats, especially lately. Only time
will tell if my evil plotting and re-strategizing will reward the Ozone
Scorpions with victory….
Warboss Sho-T BigHed, ruler of Auros IX, stomped onto the parapet where lay the broken and burned bodies of his Shoota Boyz and the Dark Eldar. He hauled the severely slashed body of Ferdguz to its feet and was rewarded with most of the Nob’s innards falling out onto Sho-T’s boots. “Old Ferdy looks like ‘e fell into a barrel of scissors, yoo tink?” Sho-T said to his ladz, who roared with laughter.
“Wat’s dis?” the Warboss muttered. The Fighting Tiger Scout had been thrown to the parapet floor during the battle and Ferdguz had fallen atop her. Unharmed but still chained, she glared defiantly at Sho-T. “Yoo must be dat spy what Ferdy’s boyz caught. Yoo is wut dem Deff Twinkies wanted so bad?”
“I am Priya Jain, Tiger of Puchan,” she snarled. “This planet—Auros IX—belongs to the Imperium of Mankind. Release me and—”
“Bite me, wench,” Sho-T growled.
Raising his kustom shoota, her blew her head off, and his boyz laughed
long and hard again.
© Copyright Kenton
Kilgore and Patrick Eibel, August 2004
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