The Fall of Amphipon Station
“We owe the workers nothing, we have granted them much honour in allowing them to serve us.” -Tech-Adept Thurmann to unknown PDF commander
The world of Ketrin is the scene of a bitter conflict between the forces of the Mechanicus and the remnants of a long forgotten Waaagh. Long thought to be contained, after centuries of minor clashes and skirmishing, Ork attacks have flared to dangerous levels. Across the planet, warbands are forming and their predations threaten the holy work of uncovering the planet’s history and unearthing ancient knowledge. The civilian population and PDF have been left to their own devices as the Mechanicus focus on the defence of their own outposts.
At the heart of each warband, there can be found a warboss. Outside the recently conquered city of Amphipon, Warboss Grug stands atop his Gargant, revelling in the adulation of his newest followers. Ten mobs of Grots, four mobs of Nobs and fourteen mobs of Ork Boyz scamper alongside the warmachine.
His Mekboys have stripped the city bare of anything useful fulfilling their dimly-remembered duties and the fruit of their labours sees a mob of seven Stompas clanking into battle.
But the true strength of Grug’s warhorde lies in his veteran Blitz Brigades, three formations of Gunwagonz led by a pair of Oddboyz each. The orkish psykers add a deadly punch to the massed firepower of ramshackle tanks. These are the forces that have swept down through the barrier lines into the open plains. Three tribes can be seen, the red of the Speed Freaks, the yellow of the Bad Moons and the blue of the Deathskulls.
Facing this incursion is a lumbering defence force. The heart of the Mechanicus army is an ancient and deadly Ordinatus Majoris (Armageddon class), toting a spaceship killing Nova cannon. This godmachine, Blessing of the Omni-messiah is a revered icon of the faith and deploys alongside its dedicated escorts. Its Colossus assault robots keep the enemy at bay while a squadron of Avengers guard it from aerial threats.
All Mechanicus facilities maintain garrison forces. Amphipon Station is no different, having avoided the fighting in the city, an intact Sagitarii demi-century has been bolstered by the activation of a long-buried Minoris and Hydra.
Following a series of one-sided encounters in close, rugged terrain, the tech-priests have revealed their answer to Ork close combat ferocity. Praetorian combat servitors in a specialised Minoris transport have been assigned to the defensive effort to blunt any Ork assault.
Over the past weeks, losses have been high and mechanised formations grow rarer as the engine-seers focus on deploying and repairing more powerful and prestigious weapons in preparation for a grand counter-offensive One of the few combat-ready Skitarii demi-centuries has been assigned a troop of Chimedons and attached to the force.
A dedicated hunting group also join the battle. Three Macharius super-heavy tanks (named after the famed Imperial commander) are guided forward by a maniple of Crusader scout robots.
The opening stages of the battle sees the Orks concentrated and all indications are that they intend an advance north out of the city towards the Mechanicus facilities to the northeast. The Mechanicus force is spread out over a wider front, attempting to protect their assets outside the city.
The Ork infantry deploy on the right around the captured landing port and facing off against the Sagitarii dug in around the archaeological station and ancient ruins. The Stompas lumber into position, delighting the infantry rushing past their feet. In the distance, the Ordinatus Majoris looms over the ruins, skirting the edge of the forest.
In the centre, the Deathskull brigade idles under the shadow of the Gargant as Praetorians, Crusader scouts and the Macharius tanks filter through the forests. On the left, the Badmoon and Speed Freek brigades rumble through the city while the air defence post to the north harbours the Skitarii and Colossus robots.
The Stompas open the battle doubling forward, firing their cannons with more enthusiasm than accuracy, to everyone’s surprise, a unit of Sagitarii are caught on the exposed loading ramp and wiped out. But as a whole, the garrison weathers the fire easily.
Their small arms don’t threaten the Stompas but they are not defenceless. Return fire from the attached Minoris rips through one of the Stompas and detonates its magazine sending flaming wreckage back through the buildings, drowning out the Orkish roars.
The firefight does provide an opportunity for the humble footsloggers, Ork infantry use the lull after the firefight to infiltrate the station and close in on the garrison, moving through the buildings very quickly. Crackles of alarmed binary indicate that the garrison is trying to adjust their fire.
On the left, the Macharius tanks elevate their main guns and rake the Speed Freaks with deadly long range fire, destroying three Gunwagons and rocking the formation. In the face of a new foe, the Orks stop their squabbling and begin revving their engines.
Recognising the machine that claimed his predecessor’s Gargant, Grug orders the Deathskull Blitz Brigade to bring it down. Roaring along the edge of the woods, past the archaeological station, they close in on the Blessing. Massed shoota fire weakens the void shields but not a single round can penetrate the glowing protective fields.
Grug watches with alarm as a Minoris of unusual design roars from out of the forest. Hatches open, clawed, slavering machine-things pour out of the vehicle and begin skittering forward into assault range.
Facing the ingenuity of the Mechanicus, the Orks have long since learned that the new humie stuff should be shot first. The Gargant stumbles forward and lays down heavy fire against the servitors. As the dirt and smoke clears, the barrage of rockets and shells is revealed to have had no effect.
The tech-guard scurry over the flanks of the Ordinatus, readying its primary weapons. With a flash, a Nova cannon rakes through the leading line of Gunwagonz. Where it hits, tanks are reduced to little more than motes of dusts and steam. Three Gunwagonz vanish in a split-second.
As the fighting around the station dies down briefly, a second battle begins to the west on the far side of the forested area. The untouched Bad Moon Blitz Brigade rumbles out of the city towards the Macharius platoon. The speed of the advances wreaks havoc on the already poor Ork gunnery and they deal only minor damage to a single tank.
Their hasty advance sees them ambushed by Crusader scouts rolling through the trees into point blank range. The speed of the Ork vehicles, smoke from the inefficient weapons and chaotic layouts confuse their targeting system. The robots claim a single vehicle with short-range multi-melta fire and are unlucky not to claim more as the tanks shrug off melta hits.
The Speed Freaks Brigade have recovered from their earlier losses, stopped shooting into the air and directed their energy towards the enemy. They move up in support of the Bad Moons and their erratic, random fire successfully downs a single robot.
Away from the fighting, Colossus robots sneak into the city, making their way through the battle-scarred streets to retake the airfield control post from the Orks. They encounter no resistance as it becomes clear that any sizable Ork band has been drawn to the sound of fighting to the northeast.
Monitoring the nearby battle in the western forest, the Skitarii platoon see an opportunity to flank an entire Brigade. They abandon the air defence post but can’t quite get into position for a true cross fire. Their few accurate shots ricochet off the crude armour.
The Avengers make their first appearance diving into the clearing and claiming two more vehicles from the Bad Moon Brigade. The Mechanicus has total air superiority but few air assets with which to exploit their dominance.
Recognizing the deadliest threat, the larger Orks of the Deathskull Brigade manage to redirect their guns towards the Praetorians. The gunwagonz come crashing to a halt and vast quantities of dakka are sent into the advancing servitors. The stitching fire claims two squads but the formation remains active and dangerous.
Grug roars for more firepower and the Meks deliver. The Gargant manages to lay its big gunz on the servitors and two squads are claimed by a massive burst. Little-used overrides activate and the Praetorian formation withdraws under fire.
In the battle of the woods, the Skitarii successfully close the noose on the Bad Moons catching them in a crossfire. The results are disappointing, the heavy fire into a swirling mob of confused Orks claims only two vehicles.
Faced with threats from all sides, the Orks respond with traditional simple aggression, attacking the target directly in front of them. Through a quirk of Ork engineering a few of the guns appear more potent that expected. Rather than weather the rounds, the super-heavy tanks are utterly shattered. Two Macharius tanks are destroyed outright as the big guns punch clean through their armour and a series of damaging hits sends the surviving tank into full retreat.
On the other flank, the Ork warband makes the most of their successful infiltration. Breaking cover to charge across the few steps of open ground, their sheer numbers seem to overwhelm the light spattering of defensive fire.
Heavy axes bite into oily flesh and the fire dies away. The defending Sagitarii are wiped out, their vehicles overrun by stikk-bombers and the entire garrison is destroyed.
Hoping to draw away a larger Ork formation, the Crusader scouts abandon the fighting in the woods and make a quick march for the Ork ammo cache in the city outskirts.
The Stompas, denied the joy of treading small squishy infantry underfoot, turn away from the archaeological station and begin a march towards the Ordinatus Majoris. Their frustration effects their gunnery and their projectiles sail harmlessly past the Ordinatus or vanish against its shields.
The scout robots find that they have been overly successful. Tracked by an entire Speed Freeks Brigade, they are forced to turn at bay and are wiped out to the last, within striking distance of their intended target.
For the crew of the Blessing, the Stompas present a target worthy of their weapons and they bring it to bear. The deadly beam weapon fires a fraction too early but it still has the power to destroy two Stompas utterly.
Fresh from the massacre of the Crusader robots, the Speed Freeks Brigade reappears behind the Skitarii. They now find themselves surrounded by the Orks, in turn. One Chimedon is raked, takes a hit to its generator and burst into flames.
The Ork Gargant, switches its attention to the beleaguered Skitarii, claims another Chimedon through sheer weight of fire.
Caught between multiple formations, the footsoldiers of the Machine-God prove resilent. They focus fire on the priority target, hoping to eliminate at least one angle of attack. Their fire is disappointing, killing another gunwagon.
The Orks respond angrily, shootas hack down those within close range and destroy another transport. Although still numerous, the Skitiarii are hopelessly outgunned at this point.
As the western battle approaches its end, the Avenger flight is ordered to support the Blessing and prevent a total rout in the east. Their attack run is impressive in its daring as they roar in above the treetops but their guns can only claim a solitary tank.
The Deathskulls ignore the aircraft and fire on the Blessing. The tech-adepts squirt amused chatters of binary as gunwagon fire patters harmlessly against their void shields, a few rounds penetrate but have no noticeable effect.
They continue to focus on the better target. The moment of quiet that precedes a Nova Cannon shot is broken by the crackling hum of plasma as it fires. Four Stompas are blasted into chunks of smoking metal and vapour as a perfectly aimed shot claims the entire Stompa formation.
Their victory is marred as the Ork warband bursts from the station and attempts to board the Ordinatus. Teams of tech-adepts throw back the initial attackers but weight of numbers forces a panicked retreat. The leading wave of Orks is cut down as the machine churns backwards to safety. The mob stagger to a halt as their target outpaces them in its flight. The station has fallen.
The Bad Moons manage to gun down another squad of Skitarii but as ammunition runs low, their firepower is diminished. Even the Oddboyz can’t marshal their usual level of destructive weirdness.
But under attack from all sides, the randoms spray of gunfire begin to tell, with Chimedons being knocked out one after the other. In the face of an untenable position, the Skitarii break out towards the air defence post, making little effort to defend themselves.
In the east, the Deathskulls Blitz Brigade spread out into the woods and chase down broken formations fleeing the battle. They claim a heavy transport but to their frustration, the surviving enemy slips away.
The hunters become the hunted as a rallied Ordinatus sights them and claims an additional two vehicles. The army might be crumbling around it as the front line disintegrates but it remains active and deadly.
The skirmish marked the end of the battle proper. The eastern defensive line has utterly ruptured and there are few formations left to resist. The Blessing of the Omni-messiah has successfully disengaged but around it, the remnants of shattered units are in full flight.
In the West, the surviving Skitarii rout towards their jump-off point. The formation pushing into the city now risks isolation as larger Ork formations threaten to cut them off from the retreating army.The only consolation is that much of the force could escape as the Orks are diverted by the joys of looting a Mechanicus site. Already, flares can be seen in the distance as they indulge themselves in “experments” with captured tech.
The Mechanicus deem further defensive efforts to be impractical and withdraw their remaining assets from the region. Their forces have suffered badly in open terrain as greater Ork mobility allow them to isolate and surround their formations. However the Blessing of the Omni-messiah continues to evade destruction and has been responsible for more than half of the losses suffered by the Orks, adding six Stompa kills to its Gargant kill and adding to its impressive tally of smaller kills.
Final score: Orks: 1785 Mechanicus: 425