Battle for Vogen 02 – Rescue Mission

Previous battle can be found here: Battle for Vogen 01 – embers

M40.852
Planet: Khai-Zhann (Agri-world)
Location: Southern Rim – Outskirts of Ashshore hive

The porcelain cup slammed into the wall, shattering into a thousand pieces. The PDF runner who had brought the news cowered from the projectile. Captain Virko, commander of 1st company, 176th KZ-PDF, was furious at the news that his 3rd platoon had not only failed to crush the insurgents in Ashshore, Lt. Anderson and many of the men had even surrendered instead of dying heroically. Intel suggested the renegades planned a public execution of Anderson as a show of strength to the local population. 

“We cannot let these beasts hold our men prisoner! Especially not an officer!” He paced back and forth.
“1st platoon must immediately launch a quick and decisive infantry assault on their base of operations.”
“Should we not wait for reinforcements sir? 2nd platoon is reporting that they need reinforcements to hold back the insurgent attacks, they are claiming they will be overrun if we do not reinforce.”
Virko looked at his aide with contempt, such a weak man, no understanding of the finer points of honour and moving up in the ranks. Waiting for help would see an officer of the 176th executed by civilians, and would make Virko himself seem weak, it would mean he would never be more than a captain.
“I will lead the assault with 1st platoon personally, we will crush these peasants!” 

With the painful defeat of the 3rd platoon. The 176th 1st company launches a rescue mission to free Lt. Anderson and the other captives.

176th KZ-PDF, 1st Company, 1st Platoon

Captain Virko, plasma pistol, power axe
Drill sergeant, power maul
1st Squad (10), 2x flamer
Drill sergeant, power maul
2nd Squad (10), 2x flamer
Drill sergeant, power maul
3rd Squad (10), 2x melta
Sentinel, lascannon, scout
Sentinel, lascannon, scout

Insurgents

Commander, power sword, guerillia tactics, scavenger
10 Strikers, ccw, pistols
Commander, power sword, guerillia tactics
5 Rebels, 3x heavy stubber, camo-cloaks
5 Rebels, 2x flamer
5 Rebels, 2x flamer
Exalted Spawn, claws
3 Spawn, claws
Armoured Technical, twin rocket launcher
Armoured Technical, twin HMG

Turn 1 –

the table.jpg
There were five objectives, three on the insurgent side, representing two prisoner holding areas and the middle one representing the execution plaza. In the upper part of the field, the big blue building and the watchtower represented the points that controlled the road back to safety for the PDF. Each objective is worth 1VP, and in addition, if the PDF can rescue Lt. Anderson, who is randomly placed in one of the three prisoner areas at the end of the game, they get 1VP extra. If the insurgents can capture both of the objectives in the PDF area, thus cutting off the escape route, they get 1VP extra.

deployment.jpg
Insurgents mass up around the execution plaza, with most of the remaining force on the right objective. PDF infantry is deployed centrally, ready for to charge across no-mans land to crush the insurgent center before anyone can be executed. Scouting sentinels deploy in forward positions, ready to harass flanks and free prisoners.

IMG_20200319_2144561st Platoon has their work cut out for them. They have to advance without armored support into heavy stubbers, flamers, slobbering spawns and a technical with HMG´s. Not the best day to be a PDF guardsman. 40K_Vogen_PDF_infantry_advancing_under_cover.jpgVary of the firepower opposing them, the three squads of infantry move up cautiously, hugging cover as they ready for the charge.

IMG_20200319_220618“Advance!” Captain Virko shouted at 1st and 2nd squad. The men obeyed, moving up the road, gunning at some foul monstrosities running right for them. One of the beasts were felled, and another was hit several times, but kept coming. Virko yelled at his men to fire again and again. What were these monsters?
IMG_20200319_221008
However, the insurgents had heavy weaponry emplaced on the execution plaza, and bullets rained down on his men, making them more focused on survival than hearing his orders. Three men from 1st squad died in the hail of gunfire from the heavy weapons. Another two burned to death as insurgents with flamers moved up. Captain Virko was starting to realize that this might be more than a small worker riot.
IMG_20200319_221346
On the right flank, the sentinel pilot felt his heart beating faster in his chest as he saw a monster charging right for him, a squad of insurgents following behind. He didn’t even notice the technical hiding behind a building before the streaks of several missiles launched in his direction. Luckily, the both went wide, but they messed up his aim, making him miss the charging monster with his lascannon.

end_of_turn_1
At the end of the first turn, the lines are converging. Spawn and insurgents with flamers are moving up to meet the infantry assault. On the right flank, the exalted spawn is dangerously close to the sentinel. The left flank sentinel wisely keeps his distance from the strikers.

Turn 2 –

IMG_20200319_221825With several immediate threats, the PDF decide that the most important is to make sure the spawn cannot charge into the infantry lines. 3rd squad moved up, and taking aim, they managed to fell both of the remaining monsters with autogun and melta fire.

IMG_20200319_222129Unfortunately, the sentinel pilot on the right did not have time for another shot at the incoming spawn. (bad luck with AI, they activated the one unit I had gambled on not activating) The whole machine screeched and buckled, rivets popping from armor plates as the huge pincer claws of the monster ravaged the machine. Shaken, but still alive, the sentinel launched a kick right into the beast, kicking it back and buying a bit of time.
IMG_20200319_222301
1st squad, having taken heavy casualties from the flamers, moved up to the ramshackle fortifications and returned the favor, dousing the rebels in promethium. All but one of them going down in flames. The last rebel cowered from the fire.
IMG_20200319_222541
However, the joy was short-lived, as the heavy weapons on the execution hill once again opened up, gunning down everyone except the sergeant, who ducked down behind the scrap wall.
renegade twin HMG technical gunning down PDF infantry
2nd squad charged up to the scrap wall, getting ready to lead the assault now that 1st squad was decimated. However, before they could get fully into cover, a twin HMG technical spun towards them, guns blazing. With the squad caught in the open, five men were cut down like wheat before the scythe. (the technical hit 5/6 5+ shots, and all failed saves)
202003201584692276633
Spotting the heavy gunfire of the HMG’s, the sentinel on the left flank took a long range shot at the technical. The laser beam cut through the cabin, vaporizing a crew-member, making the bail the vehicle. After the smoke cleared however, the technical was somehow still functional.

end of turn 2
End of turn 2, the infantry assault is seriously blunted. 1st Squad is down to 1 man, 2nd squad is half strength, the sentinel on the right is engaged in combat, and strikers are coming in from the left flank, in range to charge 2nd squad.

Turn 3 –

IMG_20200320_215016With time quickly running out, and strikers closing in on the flank, the infantry assault had but one way to go, forward! Both remaining squads charged up the field, firing all guns at the heavy weapons on top of the hill. It was effective, only the leader of the enemy force was left standing. The meltaguns however failed to hit the technical they aimed for.

IMG_20200320_211919That turned out to be an expensive miss. The technical gunned it’s engines and raced right into 3rd squad, impaling three men on the spiked front bars. The men were able to damage the vehicle in return, but the impact of the car shook them deeply, their spirit for bringing home the assault broken. To make it worse, the last surviving rebel flamer moved up and doused 2nd squad in flames, killing several and making the rest dive for cover. (both squads failed morale, making them useless in the next round – this changed the assault on the hill from fairly good odds to a moonshot)

IMG_20200320_212530The right flank sentinel snapped off a quick shot at the spawn, but once again, it missed. This time, the spawn ripped off several armor panels, exposing the pilot to the winds and the gruesome stench of the monster. He was still cool-headed however, and gritted his teeth as he maneuvered his sentinel free of the grappling claws.

IMG_20200320_211749Behind the now halted infantry assault, insurgents were swarming towards the command post of Captain Virko. Looking down at his men, the captain knew no help was coming. He aimed his plasma pistol at the incoming horde, blasting one of them into atoms, but they kept coming.

End of turn 3
End of turn 3. The PDF assault is failing rapidly. 2nd and 3rd squad are both pinned down by the technicals, leaving just the sergeant of 1st squad to do anything. On the right flank, the sentinel is down to it’s last wound, and the rebels are in range to capture the tower. The blue building is being overrun by strikers, with only Captain Virko to fend them off.

Turn 4 –

IMG_20200320_213138
With very few chances left, the 176th still did not give in. Sergeant Rickfield of the 1st squad sprinted up the hill, vaulting the emplacement and squaring up with the masked enemy commander. (he had to dash to make it into contesting range, if he could live, the objective would be nulled out)

IMG_20200320_213321
On the right flank, a miracle happened, as the spawn failed to inflict the last wound on the sentinel. Sensing his chance, the sentinel pilot kicked out with an armored leg, sending the spawn flying, splashing into a tree. Not really believing his own eyes, the sentinel pilot saw that the monster was dead. It was too late to stop the enemy infantry from occupying the control tower, but it was not too late to rescue the prisoners. He pushed the machine all he could, just making it in range of the prison cage. (suddenly a win is in range as imperials control 3 objectives)

renegade technical firing 01
However, as he was about to blast the locks on the cage, he heard the roaring engine of the enemy technical. Before he could react, a rocket streamed from the launcher and obliterated the barely functioning sentinel.
IMG_20200320_214621
And on execution hill, brave sergeant Rickfield met his match. He could not face the furious assault of the enemy commander and was cut down.

IMG_20200320_214153
FUBAR! Everything had gone to hell. His men were not listening to his brilliant orders, the enemy were way too numerous and well armed, employing monsters and heavily armed vehicles. It was all Anderson’s fault. He was probably in on it all. Virko gritted his teeth. They would not get him alive! He roared at the top of his lungs as he charged into the mass of enemies below. (did a desperate assault, if he could live, the strikers were too far away to grab the objective in the blue building). He cut down the first man running towards him, his power axe cleaving right through the man like he was not even there. Before he could lift the axe again, several of them were upon him. He got another straight in the face with his plasma pistol, removing the man’s head from the universe in a nano-second. death of captain virkoBut then he felt the sharp pain of a knife piercing his leg. A club hit his gas mask, knocking him to the ground. The last thing he saw was the muzzle flame of an autopistol unloading into his prone body.

end of turn 4
End of turn 4. The imperial force is utterly defeated. Rebels have closed off both escape points, and still hold two of three prisoner areas. Lt. Anderson was on execution hill, which denied the imperials also of that VP.

With the loss of their captain, and being totally surrounded, the remaining guardsmen dropped their weapons and threw their hands up. Maybe the rebels would spare them if they changed sides? Their previous commander was after all the idiot that had sent them into this hellhole, and Governor Kadulus was not a man that inspired loyalty.

End summary –

Well, that didn’t turn out so well for the imperials. Another loss to the AI for me, this time it felt like an even worse loss. It ended 5-1 to the renegades, and the mission was a resounding disaster. At least there were some valiant actions in the last round, which could have turned the tide had I gotten lucky, and Captain Virko got to go down with the ship instead of being captured. I think the renegade list was better, with more useful units overall. It also hurt the imperials a lot that not a single order got through this game. I think I will try a list without an officer for the next outing of the 176th, and next time I bring one, I will also buy vox-casters, as the 6″ range was limiting both deployment and movement options.

The KZ-PDF forces need some additional options. I have a ton of heavy tanks that they will eventually get to play with, but I want to keep them out of these initial low intensity insurgency actions. Since I have sold off all my chimeras, I will have to make some other units that give the PDF a bit more options. Some mortars will be coming up at least, and I also got some carapace veterans almost ready to go. I might also get some grenade launchers up and running, which seem like very good weapons in Grimdark Future. My guardsmen are mainly armed with flamers, meltas and plasma, which have always been good weapons in 40k, while in GDF, snipers, stubbers and grenade launchers are suddenly very useful too. Especially the plasma seems like the least useful weapon option in GDF. Heavy flamers for the sentinels is also an option that I might get done, as they can then grab a chainsaw upgrade and become a threat in close combat as well.

Epilogue –

With the total destruction of two full platoons of the 176th, and several public executions to show strength to the local population, the rebels in Ashshore outskirts are growing in numbers and are ready to end the imperial presence in the area and isolate the city. The next battle will see the remains of 176th and local law enforcement come under heavy assault as they are encircled by renegade forces.

 

 

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