Battle Report – Siege of Thrax, Episode 3


Chaos Nurgle Lord Craxus the Foul and the brutal Ork Warlord Garm Skullcrusha have a stand-off and epic confrontation in the middle for the push towards the heart of Thraxan capitol. The orks, seeing a string of victories pile up and momentum for a Waagh of their own, are beginning to interfere with the plans laid out by the Forces of Ruin. Lord Craxus begins to become concerned that the Ork forces are pushing too fast into the loyalist lines, creating an over-extension threat towards the campaign as well as threatening the Sleeping Daemon’s successful rite of wakening. The two warlords agree to parlay in the middle of the campaign to sort out their differences and realign the Orks to the larger goals of the campaign. Are the forces of Chaos successful in bringing the Ork forces to heel, or do the Orks gain more fury in their rampage towards the final destination of the Thraxian capitol?

The Setting…

In the Siege of Thrax Campaign, the Death Guard contingent of the Ruinous Forces of Chaos, under the leadership of a council, Lord Typhus, Lord Craxus the Foul, and Lord Blightrus the Humongous, ally with the Ork Waagh Red Tide lead by the brutal Warlord Garm Skullcrusha. Thinking to outwit the greenskins and deploy them to their advantage, the pestilent bretheren of 3 seek to manipulate Garm into taking point in crushing the loyalist forces in their spearhead campaign into the heart of Thrax to awaken Zarandramelex , the sleeping Daemon Lord who is prophesied to tip the balance in the next Black Crusade.

But the Ork Warlord Garm, either through some keen spark of intellect or just sheer brutality, has exceeded all expectations on the campaign, slaughtering each foe before him in a sea of red, and pushing too fast into enemy territory. His rapid progress has caught the attention of the warlords, and concern grows that his powerful advance threatens the stability and the momentum of the campaign through over-extension and possible destruction of the much needed ally.

Typhus has sent Lord Craxus the Foul (aka the Feotid Raptor Lord) to parlay with Garm Skullcrusha, in an effort to convince Garm to slow his advance and bide time for the Forces of Nurgle and the Chas Marine cult of Arch Heretic Zyrana Haarlock, still deeply engaged with the Space Marines and Imperial Guard fronts to consolidate their forces and do one massive, epic strike with full force as they drive into the heart of Thrax. Does Garm Skullcrusha accept the parlay and decide to recommit to the cause, or does he see through the deception and assert his place within his own rightful Waagh?

The Scenario…

This scenario was fought slightly out of the campaign as we did not have quorum for all sides on our game day, but did a side mission, with other players making up missions. Wins for the Orks would go towards campaign points for the Forces of the Imperium, whereas a win for the forces of Ruin would stay on their side for campaign points. The mission was Vanguard Strike at 2 campaign points, normal deployment, but with warlords and retinue deploying on their table side but within 6 inches of the center, to simulate the sides in parlay. Each side’s turn would start with a roll of D6. On a 1 or a 2, the rolling side would determine it was time to strike. On turn 3, the Orks would decide that it was time to engage automatically (no roll required). On turns in which the parlay was still in effect, units could move or run, but not shoot or assault.

Victory conditions would be determined by kill points. No objectives. Slay the Warlord victory condition would be worth double (2 points). Linebreaker and first blood worth regular number of victory points.

Would the Orks decide they’ve had enough of the trechery, or would the forces of Nurgle decide it was better to strike first? Read on to find out!

The Battle Unfolds…


In turn 1 the Ork Warboss and retinue in the center fall back from the parlay while the rest of the army moves up to set the trap for the forces of Nurgle.


The two warlords in the center of the battlefield, stepping back after initial parlay to rejoin their forces.


The parlay concluding, as seen by the Ork Lootas.


Cultists take position in the ruins on the left flank of the center anchor of the Nurgle forces.


Ork vehicles on the west flank move up and into position to better assault the forces of Nurgle, waiting for their warlord to give the command.


Kustom Ork trukk getting ready to charge in.


Closeup of the Ork vehicles on the west flank, rocket buggies and battle wagon ready for the orders to assault.


Lootas in the center take position, trigger fingers itching for action.


Battle wagon and bikes on the east flank move up.


Nurgle autocannon havocs on the east flank stand ready to unleash torrents of high-caliber fire in case the Orks decide to move in.


Strategic view of Orks moving up and surrounding the forces of Nurgle.


Autocannon havocs move back as the Ork bikers on the east flank move up. Still well within autocannon range.


Closeup of the Foul Lord Craxus and Nurgle Raptor retinue. A comradeship most putrescent.


The Chaos cultists move up to get better position in the ruin.


The Ork Warboss and retinue, ready for action.


Ork rocket buggies on the west flank see the Nurgle Rhinos ahead of them fall back slightly.


Another shot of some Ork trukks, moving into position.


Close-up of a Kustom Ork Trukk with supa-exhaust and mega-blowa engine.


The Ork battle wagon crunches the terrain below it as it advances.


Close-up of the Ork bikers advancing on the autocannon havocs.


Top of turn 2 now – warlords still not ready to engage. Orks continue their advance to get into good charge distance.


Ork forces view of their advance on Turn 2 on the west flank.


Ork forces view of their advance on Turn 2 on the east flank.


Ork warlord retinue continues to fall back as Lootas move up a bit to get a few more yards of range on the Nurgle targets.


Bottom of turn 2 – warlord engage roll still indicates not ready. On turn 3 it is auto-on. Unfortunately for Nurgle both obliterator squads deep strike in but are under orders not to fire! This unit deep-strikes in in the backfield to cause some disruption.


Wider angle on those obliterators – the intent was to distract the bikers! Turns out they distracted those bikers all too well…


Bikers are like – huh?


Lord and retinue continue to fall back – one of the Rhinos moves east to redeploy to bolster the eastern flank’s strength.


Closeup of the evil Lord Craxus the Foul and retinue.


The other unit of obliterators deep strike in on the west flank, near the Rhinos filled with Plague marines.


West flank strategic angle shot. This ended Turn 3 movement and turn, no shooting from Nurgle. Turn 3 starts with the Orks opening up their battle cry and charging the forces of Chaos!


Top of Turn 3 – the Orks charge! The bikers on the east flank redirect and make haste towards the newly arrived Obliterators. Their twin-linked shootas put one wound on one obliterator before they charge in.


Battle wagon and trukks move up on east flank.


Ork warboss in center decides – no more positioning! It’s time to get stuck in!


Waaaagh! Garm Skullcrusha attempts to charge the Chaos Lord, but fails the charge!


Ork trukk splitting off from east flank and coming down the middle to support Ork warboss.


The middle starts to get interesting.


West flank – the Orks move up!


The ork buggies and boyz open fire! The twin-linked rokkits and shootas level tremendous firepower at the obliterators and wipe them out.


The bikers on the east flank assault! One obliterator is brought down and the other wounded. The obliterator fights back and kills one biker nob with his power fist. The combat this round is a draw.


Chaos Lord and retinue take a lot of fire from trukk big shootas, the lootas, and boyz. 2 Raptors are taken down in the fusillade of fire.


Warboss Garm Skullcrusha ready to tear into some Plague Marines!


Overhead view of the developing battle – top of Turn 3 shooting phase.


Overhead view of center of battlefield at the Top Turn 3, shooting phase completed.


What a mess in the middle of the battlefield!


A view of the ensuing carnage in the middle of the battlefield, as seen by an ork in the top hatch of a Battle Wagon.


Bottom of Turn 3 – Nurgle forces return fire! On the east flank, the remaining autocannon havoc and champion lay into the bikers, bringing down one.


Biker nobs finish off the last obliterator locked in close combat and consolidate a few inches back towards the battle.


Plague marines pile out of one of the Rhinos and open fire with rapid firing bolters and plasma guns, along with the Lord and retinue with melta guns and Burning Brand of Skalathrax and lay low 3 of the Warboss’ retinue – hard targets for sure! In the next turn, the ork boys in the center will be hacked to pieces by the Plague Marines, but the Plagues will be killed by the warboss and retinue.


Lord Craxus’ view of the unfolding of the middle of the battlefield. Lord Craxus attempts a charge but fails!


What the Lootas saw as the titans of battle moved towards each other in epic combat.


On the other side of the battle field, the Plague Marines open up with rapid fire from two squads, wiping out the rocket buggies and destroying one and immobilizing two wartrakks. Havoc launchers on the Rhinos all target the Orks holing up in the ruins, killing a few.


Another shot of the Plague Marines on the west flank.


And another. Once the Plague Marines get out the transports, the destruction begins!


Finally the Chaos Lord, now having all his retinue blasted away by fire from Lootas, Ork Trukk big shootas, and various battle kannon shots, charges Warboss Garm Skullcrusha for an epic confrontation! Both combatant hit one another but armor and invul saves save them both from being wounded. The Ork warboss’ power klaw is Strength 10 – 1 hit will insta-kill the Chaos Warlord! Both combatants are down 1 wound…


Another shot of the warband leaders, locked in epic, mortal combat!


The swirling melee in the middle of the battlefield.


The Ork Loota’s view of the ensuing clash of the warlords.


Strategic shot of the battlefield after bottom of Turn 3.


Top of Turn 4 – Orks continue to advance in!


The Warboss and his remaining retinue member advance on a unit of Plague Marines – and wipe them out to a man!


Ork onslaught continues on the east flank. East flank for Chaos crumbles as the autocannon havocs are wiped out. They are however bolstered by a unit of plague marines, who in the bottom of their next turn will make short work of the bikers, now out of cover. Three are brought down by withering bolter and plasma fire. The rest will flee after failing their morale check.


On the west flank, the two Plague Marine squads take casualties from the immobilized wartrakks and the lootas, but continue to advance forward. Between them and concentrated Rhino Havoc Launcher fire, the Ork boyz on the western flank start to crumble.


Another shot of the center, bottom of turn 4. The cultists (unpainted) continue to advance cautiously into the ruins where another Ork boy unit is holed up, causing a few causalities in the close-quarters fire-fighting.


Ork bikers, having crashed through the ruins, find themselves facing a gun line of rapid firing plague marines. A few are brought low under the withering fire.


Ork view of the bikers crashing through the ruins to get at more Plague Marines.


The melee in the center continues. The trukk that had diverted to the center now disgorges it’s cargo and charge a waiting unit of Plague Marines. The Chaos Champion challenges and the battle is waged, neither side giving or gaining ground this turn. The warlords continue to trade blows but none of the hits landed causes any damage.


In the next turn, the epic confrontation comes to it’s dramatic end! The foul Chaos Lord Craxus lands a solid blow but Garm’s mega-armor turns his blade. Garm ripostes with a massive swing of his power klaw, which Craxus’ Sigil of Corruption fails to turn, and lays low the Foul Lord Craxus! Lord Craxus is down! Victory to Garm Skullcrusha!


The Orks and the Cultists trade fire in the center ruins at this late stage of the battle. The orks are inspired by their great leader’s single combat victory!



Top of Turn 5 – the Orks have had enough of those pesky Plague Marines and their inconveniently placed Rhinos! The Ork battlewagon t-bones the Rhino! No damage to either vehicle.


Plague Marines on the west flank continue their implacable advance towards the center and the Ork deployment zone. In the earlier combat, this squad of Plague Marines slaughter the Orks that they were in close combat with and continue to advance up the center.


The Plague Marines on the west flank, after cutting down all the orks before them, start their implacable advance towards the center of the battle field to continue to bring Father Nurgle’s gifts to the savage Orks.


The Plague Marines on the west flank advancing up, as seen by the Ork forces. The powerfist champion would later be affectionately (?) dubbed “Sargeant Cousteau” by the Ork forces.


Warboss Garm, triumphant after his victory over the Chaos Lord! He lurches forward with his last remaining member of his retinue to engage more of the putrescent Plague Marines.


Plague marines in the center advance up, looking to take vengeance for their fallen lord.


Warbikers, fresh from glancing the Rhino into a wreck, look on as the Plague Marines advance.


Another shot of the center of the battlefield. The Ork battlewagon strains to free itself from getting wrenched and locked into a crash with the Rhino, as the Plague Marines continue marching up the middle of the field, bolters blazing.


Strategic overhead view of the battle field and the end of Turn 5.


Another overhead shot of the battlefield at the end of the encounter.

Conclusion

Final outcome: Ork victory, 12 to 8.
Orks gave up 8 kill points, Nurgle gave up 7 kill points. Orks got First Blood (+1), Slay the Warlord (+2), and Line Breaker (+2).

Aftermath

Lord Craxus, gravely wounded but touched by the hand of Father Nurgle, crawled his way to out of the rubble that he was smashed into by the Ork Warlord’s massive power klaw. The Orks had loaded up into their vehicles to make a tactical withdrawal to continue their Waagh unabated, while the forces of Nurgle fell back with covering fire to retrieve their warlord and gather their strength. As the forces of Nurgle fell back off the battlefield, new plans began to formulate on how best to channel the Orks to achieve their bloody ends…

Elsewhere on Thrax…

Lord Blightrus the Humongous fights the Salamanders Space Marines in the ruins outside Thrax Primaris!




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