+ inload: Ambush at Kalkriese part I pre-amble +

+ Ambush at Kalkriese: battle report pre-amble +

+ Theoretical +

+ The events of the Calth Atrocity were only made possible owing to the circumstances that led the bulk of two Astartes Legions, two Titan Legions and countless Imperial Army reserves to gather on the fleet base. But what could possibly warrant – or justify – such a force being gathered? +

+ The answer to that was the Ghaslakh Campaign – or the war that never was. The ork warlord Ghaslakh had established a petty empire to the Galactic East, just beyond the borders of the Five Hundred Worlds, with a stronghold rimwards of the Golsoria system. + 

+
 One of Warmaster Horus' first orders was for the Ultramarines to fight alongside the Word Bearers to crush the greenskins in a full-scale campaign of extermination. +
+ Many amongst the Ultramarines and their allies wondered at the heavy-handedness of the decision – while the orks were doubtless a powerful foe, they surely did not warrant the deployment of two full Legiones Astartes. +

+ The order came to be seen as a wily move by the Warmaster; a chance to soothe the prickly – if not outright hostile – relations between the two Legions via a comparatively straightforward campaign against a brutal but simple foe. If it were not for treachery, perhaps this is what might have been. +

+++

+ Golsoria +

+ Golsoria itself was a system that had been brought into Compliance scarce decades before by the XIIIth Legion. Containing three rocky planets and seven gas giants (official designations 12–877–12-887the humans of the system had regressed during old night, but the kingdoms of the two inhabited worlds had maintained a shared level of sophistication, and the new Imperial Commander was making great strides in pushing the Feudal-class world towards Civilised status. The orks threatened this all. A tiny garrison of Legionaries had previously driven off tentative probes of the orks, and the commander had alerted the Legion to the potential danger. +

+ As a result, even before Lorgar and Horus' betrayal became clear, the Ultramarines had been planning for an extermination campaign with all the thoroughness for which they were famous. Naval patrols had been increased near Espandor drawing the ork's picket lines corewards, and advance scouting elements and seeded recon teams infiltrated the Golsoria system from Salem and the Zur Mortalis expanse.  +

Ghaslakh's forces were believed to be threatening Golsoria.
+ Greenskins had been a notorious foe for the Imperium since time immemorial; tough, resourceful and hard to demoralise. In addition to their traditional strengths, it became clear that Ghaslakh's warriors were possessed of experience – hard-won in their own inter-xenos wars with the Khrave – and a precociously high technology level. Initial reports suggested Ghalsakh commanded a force of between 80,000 and 150,000 warriors plus an unknown number of mercenaries and freebooter sell-swords; a substantial – and increasing – threat not just to Golsoria, but to the systems around it. Ghaslakh did not constitute an existential threat to Ultramar, but it was a real and growing danger. +

+++

+ Bellum Interruptus +

A force including elements of three Chapters – nearly 23,000 marines – had been ear-marked before the Warmaster's orders, and stood ready to depart from staging posts around Iax. These had already begun to engage the orks and allied warbands in a number of inconclusive strikes across the borders of Ultramar before the Warmaster's orders arrived and the bulk of the Army Group was recalled for the larger muster at Calth. +

+ As history tells us, the campaign was never fully launched – Ghaslakh's eventual demise came at quite a different time. Despite this, there were a number of relatively large-scale deployments – notably the Nemesis Chapter's brutal defeat of the warband known as the Red Knives, the bloody events of the Starbeach Landings, and the humiliating defeat of the 77th Company on the shores of Cresta – before the order to redeploy was given. +




+ Fighting with orks was always brutal, and many Imperial Space Marines parted with Ghaslakh's warriors sporting wounds and grudges that they ached to settle with the xenos. For their own part, the orks were – perhaps predictably – spoiling for a fight. Reinforcements were starting to move in from the surrounding areas, and a number of internecine battles were fought as beta-warlords fought for Graslakh's favour. +


+++

+ The terrors of the TeknOrkracy +


+ One of the final acts of the aborted war was the Ambush at Kalkriese; a conflict between elements of the 15th Chapter Praetors of Calth, an Ultramarines Chapter who were still recovering from a hard-fought Compliance campaign further rimwards, and the so-called TeknOrkcracy, a tooled-up warband under the command of a brutal and cunning aspiring ork leader known as Gashbag. +

+ Gashbag had good reason to hate the 15th – his rise to power had been stalled by an earlier close defeat at the hands of the Praetors of Calth on the plains of Asal Utter, and he was keen to gather the heads of those responsible. Gashbag had repaired and re-armed his forces; the unsuspecting and mauled Ultramarines would surely be easier prey this time – and if nothing else, a victory would put thoughts of internal treachery out of the minds of his elites... +


Clash at Asal Utter

+ The ork warboss was nothing if not thorough, and further cemented his chances of victory by drawing the unsupecting Ultramarines into an ambush at the port town of Kalkriese. He sent marauding forces to engage the holding force of Calth IVth soldiery, resulting in a large portion of the town being flattened and the populace displaced. Gashbag was relying on the Ultramarines insisting on being hte last line of defence – and was not disappointed. + 

+ Captain Orpheus, commander of the 15th, was in the midst of preparing for evacuation when the news came. Torn between abandoning the world and falling back to Calth, Orpheus dispatched a holding strike force under the command of the newly-promoted Lieutenant Holion to see the safe evacuation of both the remaining military assets and the civilian populace from the ruins of Kalkriese. Little did they suspect that the orks would return – and in larger numbers... +

+++

+ Practical +

+ As mentioned in an earlier inload, I'll be fighting a battle against Bob Hunk's awesome ork army. This will be a 3000pt battle using the Age of Darkness expansion. We'll be fighting the Blood Feud mission with the Ultramarines being ambushed. +


+++

+ Army lists +

+ Praetors of Calth, Ultramarines 15th Company +

HQ

Centurion artificer armour; Legatine axe; frag grenades; krak grenades; melta bombs; boarding shield

Master of Signal cognis-signum; nuncio-vox; artificer armour; power weapon (maul); frag grenades; krak grenades; Consul: Master of Signal

Chaplain Crozius Arcanum; artificer armour; frag grenades; krak grenades; melta bombs; jump pack; Consul: Chaplain

Troops

14 Tactical Space Marines power armour; bolters; bolt pistols; chainswords; frag and krak grenades; nuncio-vox; legion vexilla
+ 1 Tactical Sergeant artificer armour; bolter; chainsword; bolt pistol; frag and krak grenades; melta bombs


14 Tactical Space Marines power armour; bolters; bolt pistols; chainswords; frag and krak grenades; nuncio-vox; legion vexilla
+ 1 Tactical Sergeant artificer armour; bolter; chainsword; bolt pistol; frag and krak grenades; melta bombs

10 Breacher Space Marines power armour; boarding shields; power swords; bolt pistols; frag and krak grenades
+ 1 Breacher Sergeant artificer armour; boarding shield; bolter; bolt pistol; frag and krak grenades; breaching charge; melta bombs
·   Land Raider Proteus 2 twin-linked lascannon; searchlight; smoke launchers; machine spirit; twin-linked heavy bolter; explorator augury web

Elites

Contemptor Dreadnought Talon
·   Contemptor Dreadnought multi-melta; dreadnought close combat weapon (twin-linked bolter); extra armour; smoke launchers; searchlight
·   Contemptor Dreadnought twin-linked heavy bolter; dreadnought close combat weapon (twin-linked bolter); extra armour; smoke launchers; searchlight
·   Contemptor Dreadnought twin-linked heavy bolter; dreadnought close combat weapon (twin-linked bolter); extra armour; smoke launchers; searchlight

Apothecarion Detachment
·   Apothecary artificer armour; bolt pistol; chainsword; frag grenades; krak grenades; narthecium; augury scanner

Fast Attack

9 Seekers power armour; 9× bolter (kraken bolts; scorpius bolts; tempest bolts); bolt pistol; frag and krak grenades; nuncio-vox 
+ 1 Strike Leader artificer armour; bolter; bolt pistol; frag and krak grenades; power weapon; melta bombs
Rhino searchlight; smoke launchers; twin-linked bolter

9 Seekers power armour; 9× bolter (kraken bolts; scorpius bolts; tempest bolts); bolt pistol; frag and krak grenades; nuncio-vox
+ 1 Strike Leader artificer armour; bolter; bolt pistol; frag and krak grenades; power weapon; melta bombs
Rhino searchlight; smoke launchers; twin-linked bolter

Heavy Support

Deredeo Pattern Dreadnought twin-linked Anvilus pattern autocannon battery; twin-linked heavy bolter; atomantic pavaise; smoke launchers; searchlight; extra armour

4 Heavy Support Marines power armour; heavy bolters; bolt pistol; frag and krak grenades
+ 1 Heavy Support Sergeant artificer armour; combi-weapon; bolt pistol; frag and krak grenades; augury scanner





+ Gashbag's TeknOrkracy +

HQ

Boss Gashbag (Warboss in mega armour) Da Lucky Stikk; twin-linked shoota; power klaw; stikkbombs; mega armour; bosspole;
cybork body
Mek kustom mega-blasta; choppa; Mek's tools; stikkbombs; grot oiler
Big Mek kustom force field; power klaw; Mek's tools; stikkbombs
Big Mek kustom force field; power klaw; Mek's tools; stikkbombs
Painboy 'urty syringe; Dok's tools; bosspole; cybork body; grot orderly
Weirdboy Psyker (Mastery Level 2); Weirdboy staff

Troops

20 Boyz shootas; choppas; stikkbombs; 2× big shoota
• Boss Nob shoota; power klaw; bosspole
20 Boyz shootas; choppas; stikkbombs; 2× big shoota
• Boss Nob shoota; power klaw; bosspole
20 Boyz shootas; choppas; stikkbombs; 2× big shoota
• Boss Nob shoota; power klaw; bosspole
30 Boyz sluggas; choppas; stikkbombs
• Boss Nob shoota; big choppa; bosspole
10 Gretchin grot blastas
+ 1 Runtherd slugga; grabba stikk; stikkbombz

Elites

4 Meganobz 4× twin-linked shoota, power klaw; mega armour; stikkbombs
• Boss Meganob Infantry (Character); 'Ere We Go!; Furious Charge; Mob Rule
Battlewagon zzap gun; 3× big shoota; grot riggers
10 Kommandos sluggas; choppas; stikkbombs; 2× big shoota
• Boss Nob slugga; power klaw; stikkbombs; bosspole
5 Deffkoptas 5× twin-linked rokkit launcha; choppas
Dakkajet 2× twin-linked supa shoota; twin-linked supa shoota; flyboss

Heavy Support

Deff Dread 2× big shoota; 2× power klaw
Deff Dread big shoota; skorcha; 2× power klaw
3 Killa Kans 3× grotzooka; kan klaw
15 Lootas deffguns; stikkbombs
Battlewagon kannon; 2× big shoota; grot riggers


Note that a planned Gorkanaut stalled on the starting blocks, and has been replaced with a Looted Wagon, boarboys (bikers) and some additional wargear.

3 comments:

  1. I almost did a double-take when reading this post, because Kalkriese is a village situated about a ten minutes' drive from where I live. Did you choose the name on purpose? Because the Romans lost a colossal army to the Germanic tribes at Kalkriese, which I think doesn't exactly bode well for your Ultramarines ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're too sharp-eyed for me! Yeah, the reference is to the battle between the Germanic tribes and Romans at Kalkriese. I'll have to be a bit more cryptic in future historical nods :)

      Delete
    2. You're too sharp-eyed for me! Yeah, the reference is to the battle between the Germanic tribes and Romans at Kalkriese. I'll have to be a bit more cryptic in future historical nods :)

      Delete

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