Battle for Vogen 05 – Relief column

Previous battles:
Battle for Vogen 01 – embers
Battle for Vogen 02 – Rescue Mission
Battle for Vogen 03 – Assault on 176th FOB
Battle for Vogen 04 – Lost souls

M40.852
Planet: Khai-Zhann (Agri-world)
Location: Southern Rim – Ashshore district 13

“Command, this is sergeant Jeager, current commander of the 176th, 3rd company. Requesting permission to withdraw from district 14.”
Jeager put down the comms unit and waited for the reply.

How had everything gone so pear-shaped so quickly? What had seemed like a small rebellion had crushed the 176th. He was now leading a group of survivors, mostly comprised of 3rd company. All the officers were dead or wounded, and because of what had happened during the siege of the forward operating base, the men had looked to him as their leader.
He now had about a hundred people to protect and lead, about half of them wounded or civilians. He had to get them out of here before the renegades launched another attack.

A bullet from a sniper suddenly blew through a boarded-up window, interrupting his train of though. He picked up the comms unit again and keyed in HQ.
“I repeat, we are under heavy attack and have many wounded!”

“Negative 176. Hold position. 32/1 is enroute to reinforce.”
“But the rebels control the road! We must break out to meet them!”
“176, you have your orders. District 14 will be held.”

With the courageous defense of the FOB, the bedraggeled remains of 176th KZ-PDF still hold an enclave of order in the outer districts of Ashshore. If this base were to fall, the rebels would cut of the main land route from Ashshore to the rest of Vogen. As such, the PDF command in the city decided to reinforce the 176th with the 32nd KZ-PDF regiment. However, with several outlying districts already in rebel hands, the route to district 14 is not an easy one. In district 13, the convoy encountered a road block. Could it be an ambush?


32nd KZ-PDF, 1st Company

Captain Schneider, power sword
Lieutenant
2x SWS, 2x flamer, 2x melta, power maul, field radio
2x Cargo-6 APC, heavy stubber, field radio
Priest, eviscerator
Infantry Squad, 2x plasma, power maul, field radio
3x Scout sentinel, missile launcher
Scout sentinel, heavy flamer
Hellhound

176th, 3rd company
Veteran sergeant Jeager, chainsword, plasma pistol
Veteran squad, 3x grenade launcher, 1x melta, chainsword


Insurgents

Renegade commander, shotgun, power weapon, guerillia tactics
Renegade commander, eviscerator, guerillia tactics, hidden tunnels
Renegade commander, guerillia tactics
Rogue Psyker, level 2 psyker
3×10 Cultists, human bomb
3×5 Cultists, 2x flamer
10 Cultists, 2x missile launcher, 2x heavy stubber
2x Technical truck, rocket launcher
Technical truck, twin heavy tubber
2x Construction walker
3 Snipers
Pa`ku artillery
3 Spawn


1st Platoon, 32nd regiment KZ-PDF encounters a road block in district 13

I used an ambush scenario from the 4th edition 40k rulebook. The defender has to deploy his entire army in a 6″ wide column up to the middle of the board, with each unit being further back than the previous one. The attacker splits his force and randomizes one part that will start in reserve. The attacker can deploy from both long edges and the top short edge. The renegade force split in a 70/30 split, and the smaller part ended up deployed on the table.

Victory is decided based on kill count, with the attacker getting double VP for kills, and the defender getting VP for getting their units off the end of the board


Turn 1
Two Cargo-6 roll to a halt, defensive heavy stubbers scanning the nearby buildings
Dismounted scouts get ready to remove the road block when the enemy suddenly appears. An industrial walker clanks out of the alleys
Renegade forces flank the convoy. Their forces are limited however, and the imperial force decides to go on the offensive.
Snipers in the blue building spring the ambush. Picking out the sergeant and special weapon troopers, they rain death on the dismounted scouts. The sergeant goes down, but the heavy pipe saved the plasma gunners from the same fate
The heavy flamer sentinel lights up the snipers, taking out two of them and pinning the last
The hellhound spits flame at the rebel fire support squad, killing 5. A special weapons squad dismount and manage to kill a few more, pinning the unit.
Encouraged by the priest´s litanies of faith, the scout squad receives the order to fix bayonets and charge into the cultists, taking down half of them
The human bomb slashes his way into the middle of the scout squad…

“Charge!”
Private Tyrell felt adrenaline run through his body as he charged into the renegades. He ran straight into a hooded man, impaling him on his bayonet. Another man fired an autopistol, but he ducked, and the priest sawed the man in two with his shrieking eviscerator a second later. It was total chaos as renegades and imperial soldiers clashed. The cultists fought back viciously, but his squad was pushing them back.

But then he saw him. A man strapped head to toe in grenades and explosives. The man was fighting with no sense of self-preservation, pushing himself alone in between the imperial soldiers, taking several telling hits. but still managing to push into the imperials.
Tyrell saw the red blinking buttons on the front of the man´s vest. He tried to scream a warning, but it was too late. With wide, crazy eyes, the man smashed his fist against the buttons on his chest.
The world disappeared in a bright flash, and he was thrown away by a shockwave. When Tyrell staggered back on his feet, three of his comrades were gone, pulled apart by the maniac human bomb.

However, he had no time to mourn his friends, as the surviving cultists charged in, and the swirling melee continued.

The melee turns bloody as the human bomb detonates, both sides are down below half strength, but neither side buckles under the pressure

On the northern flank, the sentinels light up the construction walker with missile launchers, getting two hits past the heavy armor, blowing the walker up before it can act. One sentinel spots an artillery unit firing from behind a ruined residential house, and moves up to engage.

Except for half the scout squad, casualties are light for the PDF force in the opening phase of the ambush, with just some light damage to some of their armor. The renegades on the other hand have three squads below half strength, two of them pinned, and one walker is a burning wreck. However, focusing on fighting the renegades also mean that the imperials have not moved any closer to the exit point.


Turn 2
Turn 2 brings lots of reinforcements for the insurgents. Another walker, a LMG technical, spawn and two cultist squads.


Jeager knew the convoy had little chance of making it unscathed to the FOB. Once he had received the news, he had quickly gathered a group of volunteers to link up with the reinforcements. They had snuck through enemy lines and made it to district 13 without incident, and were now covering an important roadway from a derelict gas station. They had spotted the roadblock as well as small insurgent units moving in the area, but they had been too late to warn the convoy.
“The convoy is under attack! Engage the insurgents at will!”

Jeager’s veterans goes on the offensive, engaging insurgents near the exit point
A small cultist unit is almost exterminated by the surprise attack
Near the ruined chapel, the scouts and cultists continue their brutal melee, both units being whittled down, with neither side giving any ground. Preacher Mattis bleeds from a serious wound, but his eviscerator keeps inflicting horrendous damage on the renegades
A repurposed construction walker with a jury-rigged rocket launcher hits the hellhound from ambush, damaging the tank and shaking the crew. Artillery, rockets, snipers and machine guns start taking their toll on the exposed column.
The hunter becomes the hunted. The Pa’ku artillery turns from an easy target for the sentinel with the arrival of a group of hideous spawn. The sentinel pilot decides that he should rather stay with the group, and turns around, leaving the artillery to keep pounding the column.
With renegades swarming out of the nearby buildings, threatening to envelop the PDF force, the imperial commander orders a swift push forwards to get out of the killzone and link up with the 176th. Both APCs punch the throttle, one of them smashing its way through the road block, taking some damage, but limping through.

With the renegades getting a ton of reinforcements in turn 2, the imperial strategy of engaging to kill suddenly didn’t look so good, especially when the renegades managed to stun the hell hound and a sentinel and wear down the scout squad. A big squad of cultists also made it unscathed to the road block, threatening to charge any unit in the convoy. As such, the APC’s tries to get out of the trap, risking damage from dangerous terrain.


Turn 3

Turn 3 – more insurgents show up as the column is getting split up and bogged down. Spawn are closing up the rear, while walkers, technicals and infantry assault the convoy from the sides. The exit point is contested, with Jeager’s veterans engaging enemy infantry
The brutal melee continues, leaving only three men standing, and Preacher Mattis on his last wound
Jeager’s men engage enemy infantry, but are unable to seriously damage them
A special weapons squad dismounts to protect the column. They light up the renegades in their midst, killing all but the brute commander. He charges them, swinging his huge eviscerator in big arcs, but they manage to push him back
The stunned hellhound is unable to get out of danger fast enough. With a great clanking noise, the enemy construction bot charges forward. The massive crushing claw rips at the smoking hellhound. First buckling armor and sundering the tracks, before finding exposed promethium pipes. With a massive blast, the hellhound goes up in flames.
The sentinels focus fire at the spawn, making two of the vile beasts explode into nasty smear. The last one is stunned by the destruction. However, one sentinel had to take up an exposed position to fire, and an insurgent technical launches several rockets, blowing it up. Another is taken out by flamers and lmg fire, the exposed pilot torched in his seat.
One of the cargo-6s eyed the opportunity to speed forwards. It made it to the gas station, but then reality itself was challenged. A rogue psyker is amongst the insurgents! Blue light streamed out of his eyes and mouth, turning into a bolt of lightning that struck the APC hard. Autoguns, snipers and pistols joined in, and the APC slid to a halt, driver dead, and on fire. The passengers bail, but a private with a flamer gets stuck. A second later, the promethium tank blows up, turning the already burning APC into an inferno. The squad is pinned from the destruction.
With great effort, Preacher Mattis drove the eviscerator into the last remaining cultist.
Mattis was bleeding from multiple wounds, and only one soldier remained standing with him. He saw more heretics ahead, and took a step forwards.
“Preacher, no! We need to stay with the convoy!”
He realised that the trooper was right. He could do more for the emperor by staying alive now.

Turn 3 increased the heat on the imperials, with two sentinels, an APC and a hellhound being taken out. However, they did manage to push forwards, and the scout squad finally finished their opponents. They also all but cleared the insurgent infantry in their midst and stalled the spawn.


Turn 4

PDF forces are linking up with the 176th, gaining advantage at the exit point. However, the rear of the column is under serious pressure.
The clanking construction bot eyes a new target. The sentinel is still mobile however, and manages to dodge the flailing cutting claw.
The special weapons squad finishes the job. Splitting fire, the meltas light up the brute, while the flamers torch the enemy flamer unit. The gamble pays off, with both cultist units annihilated.
At the exit point, both infantry squads and the heavy flamer sentinel focus fire on the insurgents in the open. Only the leader and the psyker weather the storm, and even they are shaken by the carnage.
Preacher Mattis and the surviving scout jumps into the still running APC, and it spins up the road. A quick moving enemy technical tries to intercept, launching several rockets that luckily go wide.
The lagging sentinel sees that it is left behind, and sprints forward through burning wrecks. Enemy fire and the dangerous terrain damages the machine, but it makes it through. Just as it catches up to the convoy, a technical swerves out of an alley and rams the sentinel, damaging it further.
The pilot keeps his nerve, knowing to stop is to die.

Turn 5

At the start of what might be the last turn, the imperial column is on the verge of breaking through, but they are still taking casualities, and they need another turn to get any units off the board
The Pa’ku artillery has, luckily for the imperials, not been on target. It rains another salvo down on the imperials, this time causing a few casualties
Insurgent mechanized units snap at the rear of the convoy, destroying the sentinel
The rear guard explode the lmg technical while slowly moving up the road
With few armoured targets, one of the technicals ram into Jeager’s men, killing three. They respond in kind, easily slagging the lightly armoured vehicle with their melta
Missiles and another ram-attack reduces the rear guard to just the lieutenant and sergeant. The carnage pins the pair

Turn 6

Luckily for the imperials, they get another turn. The exit point is in imperial hands. Now it is only a matter of extracting as many as possible. The stunned APC is not fast enough, a missile tearing it apart.
The rear guard stands! While two squads, the preacher and a sentinel continues on to the FOB, these brave men manage to weather sniper fire, ramming attacks and missiles coming their way, still standing at the end.

End of game

Imperials: 1985VP
Renegades: 1979VP

DRAW


What a battle!
The old 4th edition scenario worked perfectly for the kind of game I had envisioned. There were lots of great moments, like the hard fought close combat and subsequent escape of the scouts, the heroic last stand of the rear guard, and the desperate attempted escape of the APCs.
I will certainly try out more of the non-standard scenarios from older editions of 40k. I never played any of them back in the day, always ending up with one of the standard ones like “Cleanse”. I think the more lopsided scenarios really help with creating a great narrative for a game.

Several characters are forming among the loyalist forces. Now “veteran” sergeant Jeager, the hero from game 3, managed to continue his legacy, doing a great part in securing the exit point with his veteran squad. Preacher Mattis sawed his way through lots of cultists and managed to escape the ambush at the end, so he will surely be back for more smithing of the heretics at a later point as well.

It was a hard fought game, and the end results shows how incredibly close it was. Had it ended in turn 5, the renegades would have taken a comfortable win, but with turn 6, the imperials were able to pull a lot of units off the board. The rear guard staying alive also saved the draw, keeping over 200VP from the renegades.

With a draw, the 176th is neither rescued nor defeated. Now other happenings in Ashshore will decide their next course of action.


Sergeant Jaeger led the remains of the convoy back to the security of the FOB.
Surveying the sorry state of the base and the 176th, Captain Schneider quickly understood their predicament. With his own force having lost practically all their transports and heavy material, there would be no further push to reassert imperial rule in the outer districts. Ashshore was cut off from the mainland. Now all they could do was to ensure that as much as possible of their strength was conserved for the battles to come. He knew that this bloody ambush was just the beginning of a long struggle for Khai-Zhann.

5 thoughts on “Battle for Vogen 05 – Relief column

  1. great creativity and fun narrative, enjoyed reading that, hoping to get my own campaign up and running even if its only a one player campaign sometime soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I am currently building a ton of terrain, so the continuation might take some time. Rules depend on what ruleset you use. For 40k, I would stat it as a rhino. With grimdark future, I used the point calculator and statted it as a def 3+ fast transport

      Like

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