The Battle of Jebel Hafeet
A Warhammer 40,000 Battle Report at the Last Chancers club between Brian and Ross
In the cold of dawn rune priest Hrafn rechecked the Aegis lines’ AA guns one last time as scout squad Auga reported in marked targets. The last three months had been devastating for the inhabitants of the industrial world Sharujah. The greenskins’ invasion had pulverised their meagre orbital defences and the Imperial Guard were engaged in desperate actions and city defence battles across the world’s major continent. They were lucky the Guard responded at all mused Hrafn, since this world was hardly the jewel of this sector. But a fleet refitting sector named Praxis was relatively nearby and the Imperial Navy had managed to reinforce the main hives just in time to hold them, for now.
Fenris had heard of these events and fully intended to ignore them, trusting in the naval commander’s vast resources to throttle the upstart warboss. That was until reports of this particular alien’s tactics, successes and rapidly growing power. A number of servitor-thralls, slaved to the vast data banks of the Fang had raised red lights requiring the attention of sentient beings. This greenskin’s patterns of behaviour were distressingly similar to none other than Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka who had disappeared some decades ago.
The Great Wolf had convened a council of the Jarls within jump distance of the Fang at that time and selected Jarl Erik Morkai to lead the task force to Sharujah. The Blackmane and the Deathwolf were also available and both would certainly be better suited to liaising with humans, but Grimnar had decided this was to be purely an assassination mission. A more personable Jarl, exercising his autonomy, might have become bogged down in an attempt to save as many humans and hives as possible. Another Jarl might have preferred to give an example of Fenrisian might to create legendary stories that would last long after the campaign to inspire the survivors. Erik Morkai had barely concealed contempt for most humans and would not show his hand until the last moment when he would lead his men to cut the head off the greenskin warlord. Most likely, he would take that head himself. Then he would leave.
Identifying one alien warlord from another across the vast expanse of stars was extremely unlikely, but if it was Thraka the Wolves needed to kill him now. Grimnar had his doubts, that much was obvious by the limited deployment. But he also took precautions. Thus he sent Rockfist with Morkai. If it was any other man, Morkai would have been seething. But the taciturn old Jarl respected Arjac after fighting with him before. Both were as hard as Fenrisian basalt, although Arjac burned like a furnace from within, while Morkai was cold and utterly heartless.
“This is Auga. Enemy alpha spotted. Centre of enemy lines. Marking.”
“Let them come closer” replied Morkai across the vox net. “Keep the herd away from my flanks as I tear his throat out.”
It’s been a good long while since I did up a battle report and even longer since I last played a big game. Myself and Ross have been planning this one for a week and played yesterday Saturday 3rd May in The Hobby Shack Wicklow who are available for all your hobby needs and to provide an alibi for a price.
I don’t have Ross’ list to hand so I won’t run through either, sorry if you were looking forward to that. We only got to the end of turn three but decided the battle was resolved at that stage, so I’ll just run you through what happened in that time with some pics to add to it. My new phone isn’t such a good camera as my previous one so apologies for some of the photos.
Wolf scouts from squad Auga observe the battlefield from a vantage point in an old ruin
Ross deployed his Ork horde strongly on his right flank, with Ghazghkull in the centre, accompanied by nobz in a wartrukk. Just right of them was a nasty mechanised block of four kill kanz and one deff dredd. Right of these and even nastier were his nob warbikes, ten of them! Right again were two more killa kanz and on his far right another battle wagon with a big unit of boyz in it.
Left of Ross’ warboss was a very large unit of lootaz with their deff guns and then four more trukks containing boyz, mega nobz, boyz and nobz repectively. Interspersed amongst these vehicles were three or four deffkoptaz.
(See below for comparative photos of our deployments – apologies for the poor quality of the Ork pictures)
I have to say I was alarmed, since I knew if even half of this force got into combat it would tie up my ranged units and allow him to steamroll me easily.
I deployed my main strength facing the nob bikers, after painful experiences in the past. Two squads of long fangs, Aegis line with quad gun, two rune priests, two vindicators, lone wolf scout snipers and wolf priest in terminator armour. Quite a collection, but I felt with night fighting in effect, I’d only get one chance to hit the nob bikers and it would have to count!
In my centre opposite Ross’ warboss was my wolf lord with Arjac in a land raider with ten grey hunters. No subtlety about that. My right flank was there to take hits, hold and probably fall, since they were heavily outnumbered. But if they distracted Ross, and those trukks full of orks didn’t swing across the half way point and pile into my centre I could hold out I was sure.
This right flank consisted of a whirlwind, a lascannon razorback, six hunters in an assault cannon razorback, ten hunters in a rhino and nothing else.
Orks vs Space Wolves – my games against Ross have been the most consistent and most enjoyable over the last year
With a great roar of bikes, engines and beasts the Orks attacked in the pre dawn darkness. No restraint was shown as the horde advanced on all fronts. Deffkoptas performed scout attacks on my right flank, knocking hull points off razorbacks and my whirlwind. The lootaz poured fire onto my long fangs too but the darkness saved all but two missile launcher armed veterans. Ghazghkull drove right up to my centre in the cover of a building, within striking distance of my guns, but also of my counter assault from my wolf lord.
No more damage was caused. But I knew the darkness would now work in Ross’ favour and it was just what I didn’t need.
On my right I stood still and took out the mega nobz transport with my long fangs, making them a lot less dangerous considering my mobility. The same squad failed to destroy Ghazghkull’s trukk. In response, my other long fang squad fired four missiles at it and still failed to kill it. The land raider drove right up to the vehicle and Erik Morkai and his squad jumped out, using close range melta guns to crack it open. Because of its ramshackle rule his orks got out and I was worried my assault would fail.
On my left My rune priest used Jaws of the World Wold to kill three nob bikers, while the hunters with him took out tow more. Then the vindicators struck, killing all but three and breaking the elite ork unit – this was the biggest success of my first turn.
A drop pod screamed down from orbit and landed with precision right in the middle of Ross’ lootaz. Wolf Guard terminators got out and the heavy flamer killed three and long fangs killed four more. They broke and nearly fled right off the table.
The orks advance
Then the assault phase began. It’s end result (by the end of turn two) would decide the battle. Luckily my men made their charge through cover. This is where things stopped going well. Despite my wolf banner, I lost all ten of my grey hunters! They managed to kill only one nob and wound another. Incredibly I won the combat however. Arjac won his challenge, killing one nob, but Erik Morkai was a monster and killed four nobz himself (a total of eight wounds). We won but the orks held, even though they were using their lower leadership value due to Morkai’s intimidating presence. We won, but turn two was looking like it would be my general’s last…
The greenskins fought with all the mindless power Morkai expected. Many were semi-mechanised he noted as he killed the first instantly with his thunder hammer Wyrdmaker. His own bionic arm swung the massive weapon with unnatural speed and accuracy. He noted Rockfist beating a huge ork to the ground with his own Foehammer while holding off three more behind his Anvil Shield. But the rest of the pack were being pulled apart. He gritted his teeth as he waded in breaking the spine of one greenskin, then took the head off one more. Yet another swung a massive chain axe at the Jarl, but it ricocheted off his armour. He jammed his weapon under its jaw and the power field took it right off. The ork kept fighting, even with no face. Morkai rammed his wolf claw straight into its heart and ripped it in half as he drew it out in a gout of blood and gore. His path to the greenskin leader was clear now.
The great assault in the middle of the battlefield. Note the doomed grey hunters atop the wrecked trukk.
The orks had my general by the balls now it seemed. Arjac was pursuing his policy of challenge all comers which left Morkai on his own vs the rest. Added to this three kill kanz were close enough to make a charge this turn, which would spell the end of all hope. And don’t even mention that deff dread right behind them. These units sprinted towards the assault, but only one kill kan makes it thankfully.
On my right the deffkoptaz took out the whirlwind and one razorback, while on of Ross’ trukks released its twenty (I think) boyz to counter assault the wolf guard terminators. To make matters worse for these guys, the lootaz rallied and prepared to shoot them to pieces also. The other trukks sped towards my troops in ruins here. If they made it they would annihilate these men in seconds.
On my left two killa kanz scaled the tall building to assault my sniper scouts – a terrifying sight! A battlewagon full of boyz bore down on my left flank – a very dangerous flanking force. A lone figure moved stealthily through the ruins to intercept them.
Shooting by the orks was negligible this turn, though not from lack of trying. My Wolf Guard Terminators got shot up something fierce. The lootaz for one thing fired all they had and killed none, though to be fair I only had five wounds to save. But then the ork boyz shot forty rounds into the five man squad. I lost two men, including the heavy flamer and then they were charged by the massive horde, plus my guys failed to counter attack.
What followed was so unexpected it attracted attention from everyone nearby. Firstly, my squad won the combat. It was ridiculous. Terminator armour is all I can say. The wolf Guard killed six orks and lost two men so the orks lost and failed their morale test.
*** note we both forgot about the mob rule which would have made this an almost definite ork win – come on Ross get it together!! 😉 ***
Because the orks were right on Ross’ table edge, he had no choice but to keep using his bosspole to beat his troops into not running. But he needed to roll a 3 on 2d6 – which he failed to do, repeatedly, twelve (or whatever) times until the unit was dead. My head hurt from laughing so much after this. Ross was feeling differently.
Then for the big assault in the middle. Arjac cracked the skull of his opponent for no return. Erik Morkai meanwhile took the brunt of the damage. He killed a few nobz and took only one wound from the warboss in return. The killa kan also failed to hurt him! The orks held. Bloody business.
On the rooftop, my sniper scouts tried to fight the killa kanz but were dismembered. The kanz consolidated right back down to the ground floor, job done.
Then it was my turn.
Hundr was shouting orders and relaying coordinates to the rest of the army. His brothers were sniping away at greenskin targets of opportunity and he was preparing an anti-tank round for his missile launcher. Below him it was bedlam. Wolves and aliens were hacking each other to pieces with abandon. He was about to sight up on the massive alien walker below when his pack felt a sudden vibration beneath their feet. Spinning around he saw a huge claw grab the edge of the burnt out rooftop. An instant later another appeared, then two more. Two crude robots heaved themselves up on to the rooftop.
“fire, fire, fire!” he screamed just before they were engulfed by shrapnel and hit the deck. A mistake perhaps, he thought, as the heavy footfalls of the machines got closer and closer. He popped up to snap off a missile at the things and a fifteen foot long arm seized him daintily by the throat and tossed him back to the following robot where he was caught mid air and torn in two.
His pack brothers howled and charged, but were silenced moments later.
On my right I took out another deffkopta, and deployed my six hunters to shoot the mega nobz, killing one. Another was taken out by long fangs. My wolf scouts arrived but were uselessly on my right flank, so they ran into the ruins for a linebreaker point. Two land speeders deep striked beside the lootaz, breaking them properly this time with their heavy flamers.
On my left a lone wolf broke through the ruined walls and charged the blood soaked kanz, wiping them out. A squad of sky claws failed to deep strike properly and went back into reserve. My grey hunters protecting my long fangs in the centre broke from cover to move up and hopefully get into combat with something and make a difference. My two vindicators tried their luck at targets of opportunity. One kill kan was felled, which could prevent the unit making it into contact with the combat between Morkai and Ghazghkull. The long fangs blew the Deff Dread to pieces.
The centre combat moved on to a new phase. Arjac killed his latest opponent easily. Morkai meanwhile fought on bravely. He took down the second last nob but then Ghazghkull let loose a vicious assault. Morkai made only one save against three wounds and was killed. We still won the combat because of wounds inflicted, but now Arjac was alone against the warboss, a final nob and a killa kan.
With the Deff Dread (see left) killed, only one more killa kan could get into this combat. Anything else that could get its hands on Arjac was bad news but there was little I could do.
Arjac was fighting two fights at once. On his shield side, a crude robot clanged away at his Anvil Shield. It’s angled arms could actually reach around the shield and snap at his armour but it lacked the power to shift the massive warrior. To his right a greenskin lieutenant duelled with him. It swung its chain axe upwards from below while blazing away with its huge gun at close range. Arjac pulled his hammer arm across his face, deflecting the shells with his armour’s shoulder guard while at the same time body slamming the ork. It’s axe was useless at such close range and now he swung Foehammer vertically downwards onto the aliens’ massive head, which crumpled with the blow. Its entire body broke with the force of the disruption field – blood turned instantly to steam, bone burned, skin hissed and cracked and the huge creature fell to its knees.
Defending against the machine, Arjac chanced a look to his right to see Morkai raise his hammer hand against the warboss. The alien sheared it clean off and then sliced the Jarl’s side open with its massive power claw. It was a mighty blow. The Jarl fell, lifeless, to the ground and the warboss stood over him.
“Fenris hjolda!” Arjac roared and, shoving the robot off his shield side, he threw foehammer at the creature and charged in before it even hit home.
My right flank was now in serious trouble. The holding action was about to fall (top left) as the horde of orks virtually untouched now ranged in on my army. The marines out of their tanks you can see there all died in a vicious assault and the hunters in the closest rhino had to bail out. On my left flank a dakka jet (top right) screamed in and one on my right flank also – but it was shot down by the rune priest. The grey hunters who broke cover, now don’t look too clever with a ground assault jet plane bearing down on them.
Perhaps we should have stayed behind the wall…
On my left and centre though, apart from the foolish hunters out in the open, things are calming down – kind of. A full battle wagon of orks are still waiting to stomp on my face – although now they have to take the lone wolf into consideration. The dakka jet lets rip on the hunters, but I got lucky and only lost two or three men.
On my right the ork horde crushes the hunters there, and cracks the rhino open. The marines inside bail out as far away from the orks as they can – the land raider beside them looks like a much more inviting place to be next turn!
And then we have the assault in the centre.
One more killa kan makes it into the combat. Finally the ork warboss issues his own challenge and Arjac accepts. Arjac is wounded, but the warboss is killed instantly by the Fenrisian duellist. The ork nob, seeing his idol broken, flees immediately. Arjac is still stuck with what is now two killa kanz but cannot be hurt this turn due to the challenge. As I begin my turn, we’re out of time and Ross concedes, but not before Arjac wipes out both kill kanz and survives once again!
Arjac stepped over the sparking ruin of one more xenos machine. As he looked down a tiny terrified greenskin slave stared up from a ruin of wires, cables and pulverised metal sheeting. As he walked past it he spat a gobbet of phlegm into its eye. A wild squealing erupted from inside the machine but he paid it no attention. A huge mound of green flesh and crude bionics was bent backwards over a pile of bodies. The warrior heaved the creature over so he could inspect it closely. Have I done it? He thought to himself. Have I killed the Green Beast? He wasn’t at all certain. Morkai played his part, but even so he doubted if he could slay Thraka essentially by himself. Who could say? The corpse would accompany them back to Fenris for examination. He broke off one of the creature’s huge tusks. A keepsake. This is what happens to cattle who play with Wolves.
Sifting through the dead greenskin scum, he finally located Morkai. The Jarl’s armour was destroyed – torn wide open laterally, all power systems were dead. It was covered in sacred Fenrisian blood, long clotted. Morkai’s face was like marble, his beard matted in blood, his eyes closed, his left arm torn off once more and his chest open to the air. Not death, but the Red Dream. Arjac grunted with satisfaction. It will take more to kill this one.
Morkai’s eyes opened weakly in narrow slits.
Arjac smiled and leaned down, placing the tusk in Morkai’s right hand.
“Sorry brother. I don’t think it was him. You’ll have to live in obscurity a little longer” he joked.
Morkai passed out once more. Probably for the best thought Arjac. All around him the greesnkins were in full retreat. The battle was over. The war was somebody else’s problem.