It's my pleasure to present the first real post on 2nd City Warzone. This is a story based on a game on Nick, Eric, and I played on Monday, 4/27. It was my last game played with the old Imperial Guard Codex. Nick set up the board and found a scenario to take advantage of the setup. It ended up being a pretty classic match up: My Varrian 10th and Eric's Crimson Fists against Nick's Orks. For more detailed info on the game, and pictures, you can go to Nick's blog, Redemptors of Golinar .
I hope you enjoy the story. Comments and critiques are appreciated!
Major Erich Caius of the Varrian 10th took a moment to make the sign of the Aquilla as he passed the ruined chapel. The Crimson Fists had pushed the Orks out of the town with impressive speed, and now the 10th had arrived to hold the city of Irodu and support further advances as the forces of the Imperium cleansed this planet of the Orks infesting it. The 10th had disembarked from their troopships earlier that morning, and while a base was established in the center of town, Caius was leading two platoons to secure the north gate. A contingent of the Crimson Fists accompanied the guardsmen, their plans and objectives a mystery to the Major.
Caius passed underneath a pedestrian bridge, and the north gate came into view. A massive wall rose above the city, running east to west and pierced by a tunnel through which ran the road Caius currently stood on. At each end of the wall stood what had once been a large watch building, but was now little more than rubble with a few walls still standing. Already, guardsmen of the 10th were taking up positions in those buildings as their comrades moved up behind them. To Caius’ right moved the Crimson Fists, following a road parallel to the one he stood on and ensuring that the buildings they passed were truly clear of the greenskin filth. Two Demolishers passed under the bridge and moved up on Caius’ left, as squads of Guardsmen advanced along side them. Caius prepared to move up, when the master vox carried by Trooper Corus crackled into life.
“Squad 17/1 to command, Orks are massing at the city limits. Do you copy? Repeat, Orks massing and advancing at the city limits. Do you copy?”
Corus had barely turned when Caius took the vox horn and responded. “Copy, 17/1. We are reforming behind you. Hold the line.”
“Copy, Command.” Before the vox signal cut off, Caius heard the distinctive sound of bayonets being fixed, and a curt order to “Kill them all…”
“Caius to battlegroup, we have enemy contact. Squads 17/1 and 42/1, hold your current positions. The rest of you, find cover and firing lines on the gate entrance. We hold them at the bridge. The Emperor protects.”
A new voice came in over the vox as the Crimson Fists joined in. “We will hold the right flank, Major. In the name of the Emperor, kill anything coming through that gate.” Major Caius responded, and his words were echoed up and down the Varrian 10th line. “The Emperor protects…”
The Imperial forces had barely gained cover when a hideous screech signaled an Ork artillery assault. Despite the noise, and the dirt and rubble thrown up by the explosions, there were few casualties. As the dust settled, the firing started. Sergeant Severus of 17/1 cursed his men into action, and las fire lashed out of the ruins at the oncoming Orks. The strangely small xenos fell, and their advance faltered, until the largest of the oncoming group smashed one of his charges into the ground and the rest decided they would rather face the Guardsmen than their leader. More intimidating than the oncoming xenos, though, was the massive shape looming to their right, advancing into the gate tunnel.
Caius bit off a curse as the first of the Ork vehicles came into sight. Two smaller and faster vehicles turned off before entering the gate, content to allow the massive wagon behind them to force the gate entrance. Glancing at the lascannon one of his adjutants was manning, Caius spoke. “Cato, do me a favor and kill that thing!” Not bothering to respond, Trooper Cato sighted, fired, and a white bolt from his lascannon slammed into the Ork construct. It exploded, and a cheer rose up from the Varrian 10th. Cheers faded, however, as through the smoke could be seen a few dead bodies and many more live Orks climbing from the wreckage. Orders rang out along the line, and the 10th opened fire. Heavy bolters mowed down more Orks, and each Demolisher put a shell into the gate opening. The Crimson Fists added their fire to that of the Varrian 10th. Another Ork vehicle exploded, and a few more of the xenos fell.
Despite the weight of fire, the Orks came on. They poured through the gate, to be met with torrents of las and heavy bolter fire. The last visible Ork fell just short of the Imperial lines, his body joining many others piled in the gate. As the firing ceased, cries could be heard. Triumphant shouts from the right flank, where Sergeant Severus and Squad 17/1 had turned back the grots and their leader, gave way to cries of dismay as a crude Ork Trukk smashed it’s way through a ruin on the right flank, and two large squads of Orks appeared out of nowhere behind the Imperials. Turning, Caius caught sight of the two groups. At the center of each was a strange Ork, brandishing a staff and cackling madly.
Once more, the Crimson Fists broke into the Varrian 10th vox network. “Major, take down the enemy on our right rear. Our battle brothers will deal with the other group shortly.”
“Caius to battlegroup. Squads 17/1 and 42/1, move to the right flank and bring down the bastards in that truck. All other units fall back to the pedestrian bridge and give the xenos hell!”
“Xenos flying machines, coming over the gate!” Lieutenant Tonius of 17th Platoon broke in. “Opening fire…” A krak missile lashed out from the 17th’s command squad, and one of the machines turned into a fiery ball. “One Down. Three machines remain. Displacing to pedestrian bridge.”
As the Varrian 10th fell back, Caius watched as Squad 17/1 raced to join 42/1 and reinforce the right flank. With a shriek, the Ork flying machines raced over the ruined buildings, throwing something at 42/1 as they went. A second later, further explosions rocked the battlefield, and 42/1 reported casualties over the box. “Three men down, sir. We are holding here. Orks incoming.”
Firing erupted at the rear of the Imperial lines, and as the guardsmen mounted the bridge and searched for targets, additional Crimson Fist marines arrived, moving into the battle. Several Orks fell to their fire, and as the guardsmen looked on the Fists charged into the Orks and wiped them out. The Ork leader was the last to fall, his staff crackling with strange energy as he flailed at the marines before a marine bearing a power sword took his head.
The left flank was now secure, but fire and screams echoed from the right flank as the Orks forced their way into the city and exchanged fire with the Crimson Fists and Guardsmen. Caius winced as reports of more casualties from 42/1 came in, but slowly the Orks fell to the combined fire power of the marines and Guardsmen. Crimson Fist Devastators brought down the remainder of the flying machines, and multiple squads of the Varrian 10th joined the Crimson Fist veterans as they closed in on the last remaining Orks, who had found cover in the same ruined chapel Caius had paused in before the battle.
As the guardsmen prepared to open fire, flame suddenly splashed one end of the pedestrian bridge. Having overwhelmed a squad of Crimson Fists, camouflaged Orks sprang from a rubble choked alley. The first volley of pistol shots and flamers killed several guardsmen, Trooper Corus dropping his vox caster as he fell to the ground, his chest blown open. The Orks charged, and more guardsmen fell to their crude weapons. Caius swept his chainsword up to meet them, and with a strike that took all of his strength cut one of the beasts down. Before he could give voice to his triumph, an Ork axe crashed into his side and threw him to the ground. His last sight before loosing consciousness was of las fire and heavy bolter tracer fire crossing overhead and slamming into the attacking Orks.
Hours later, Erich Caius awoke on a cot in a makeshift medical center which had been set up in an abandoned Adeptus Mechanicus building. Waving off the medics who attempted to force him back down, he sat up and returned the salute of the approaching Lieutenant Tonius. “Good to see you up and around sir. We thought that last bunch of Orks had gotten you.”
“I’ve survived worse than that. You remember Andelon… at least here our allies stayed for the fight.”
“I do indeed sir. I’ve got the scars to prove it.”
“Enough of the past. What’s our status here?”
“We're dug in just outside the city wall and in the gate tunnel. We were able to turn that Ork vehicle Cato brought down into some effective barricades. They won’t be getting back in easily. Prepared positions within the city, so we have somewhere to fall back to. Mortars and basilisks are pre-sited. If they come back, sir, we’ll hurt them again.”
“And the Crimson Fists?”
“No idea, Major. As soon as the last of the Orks were dead, they formed up and moved out. Headed to the northwest, but didn’t tell us their objective or their plan.”
“Nothing new there, then. Thank you Tonius. And my compliments and thanks to the men. They did well today. Get me Colonel Paulus on the vox, and detail someone to be my vox operator. I’ll need to replace Corus.”
“Aye sir. I’ll have Trooper Bertrand here momentarily.”
As Tonius saluted and walked away, Caius touched his bandaged wounds and silently mourned Corus. A small Ork force had almost forced their way back into the city, and Emperor knew there were many more out there. This planet would get much bloodier, and more of the Varrian 10th would die, before it was returned to the rightful control of the Imperium.
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