After days of trekking through the fetid heat of the Great Fungus Forest, MegaBoss Zaghul Krataha and the Greenskin Expeditionary Force finally arrived at the edge of the Myconid River. There, in the distance, could be seen their destination: the legendary Lost City of Cojones. The ravages of time and the exuberant growth of the verdant jungle had claimed much of it. However, amid the ruins there could be seen the Great Cojonian Ball of Power–still glowing blue with the unimaginable ancient energy it contained. Nearby, several smaller Balls of Power still lay, intact, on ancient pedestals. As loot went, it was quite the find.
Before the GEF could advance further, however, there was a high-pitched shriek, followed by dozens of bright flashes in the distance. A Necron army, materializing on the planet’s surface! No doubt it was here to seize the Balls of Power, and use them to upgrade a new generation of unstoppable cybernetic evil (version 2.0).
The pitiless machines needed to be stopped. Plus there was all the loot to consider too, of course. Zaghul Krataha (distant cousin of the famed Ghazkul Thraka) spat his wad of chewing-grot onto the floor of the forest, and turned to his troops. (Above right: The Ork bosses plot their strategy)
“Wez gunna be breaking thingz today, boyz!” the huge Ork bellowed, pounding his massive exoklaw for emphasis. A cheer went up from the Greenskins. Breaking things was what Okies did best!
Forces: 1,500 points, Orks versus Necrons.
Mission: Seize Ground with four objectives (the main Ball of Power in the centre of the battlefield, and three others).
Special rules: Little known about the metal dish surrounding the Great Ball of Power. When the first unit attempts to cross it, roll a D6: on a 1-3 it is difficult ground, on 4-6 it arcs with electricity and is considered dangerous ground. In either case it provides a 5+ cover save.
The Necrons deployed first, to the northwest edge of the battlefield. Two units of Warriors occupied the ground and upper floors respectively of the northern ruin. Immediately behind them a Monolith was deployed, and with it that most fearsome of C’tan: Nightbringer. Two additional units of Warriors would secure one of the objectives to the Necron rear, while Destroyers and Immortals were deployed to the Necron left and right flanks respectively, the later augmented by a Necron Lord with a Veil of Darkness.
(Picture, above right: Necron warriors look down at the smaller Ball of Power in the ruins to the south of them, while troops in the rear secure another. A Necron Monolith–looking for all the world like a bug lantern with a flashing red bicycle light inside it–hovers menacingly in the background.)
Seeing the Necrons deploy, the Greenskin Megaboss drew up his own plans. Mad Doc X (a former orderly of the famed Mad Doc Grotsnik) would lead a large mob of Choppa Boyz up through the center, and assault whatever they might find. While the ranged fire from the enemy would likely be heavy, their fungusbrew-induced Feel No Pain would reduce casualties. More importantly, the whole formation would draw the enemy’s attention. While this was occuring, two Trukks—one containing the Megaboss himself and four MegaNobz, the other containing a unit of Ard Boyz—would move forward on the left, shielded by the Orc foot-sloggers. When the chance arose, they would race forward and disembark their boyz, who would rush forward to assault. A unit of Stormboyz would similarly look for an opportunity to rocket forward into the attack. On the right, a mob of Shoota Boyz would advance on foot, providing covering fire and also drawing fire from away from the Trukks. A small unit of Grots was held in reserve at the back, and were ordered to secure and hold the nearest objective.
Necron unit commander 17778-X-11 looked down from the ruins at with a cold steely gaze. Some 1100001 green target-units were approaching (in binary terms, of course). He sent a report to the cybernetic network, and the machine-god that commanded them. Moments later, his orders were received: His warriors would stand their ground, and engage the green target-units with gauss-blaster fire. Destroyers would move up on the left, and the Immortals would teleport forward on the right. The God would bide its time… the C’tan knew something about time, after all.
(Picture, above: Necron Warriors look down from the ruins at the approaching green target units, and beep even more menacingly.)
The Necron Warriors fired, as did others. Many of the green target units fell. Many, however, seemed to get up again, and continue their advance, grinning maniacal, toothy grins and shouting various obscenities (most of which, in a literal sense, did not compute). One in particular seemed to be waving a surgical saw, and frothing at the mouth. The anomaly was duly noted.
The Ork plan required getting into assault as fast as possible, so that’s what they did. Mad Doc X and the Choppa Boyz ran forward. The Shoota Boyz marched forward, and opened fire on the Destroyers to the northwest, downing three of them with some lucky shots from their Big Shootas.
The Stormboyz ran forward to the edge of the large metal contraption surrounding the Great Ball of Power… only to find that it still harnessed deadly energies. One Stormboy died, and the others backed off carefully. Finally, the two Trukks moved forward, into positions from which they could launch assaults the next turn.
(Picture right: The Green Tide sweeps forward.)
The Necrons Destroyers teleported back to Monolith, repairing all of the units in the process. The other Necron units fired on whatever Orks were in range, dropping a few more. The Immortals managed to hit the Trukk of Ard Boyz, which careened forward towards them before tipping over, disgorging its load of greenskins.
The Orks responded by launching their attack, suffused by the primal power of a mighty Waaagh called by MegaBoss Zaghul Krataha. The MegaNobz raced forward, disembarked from their Trukk, and simultaneously assaulted both Necron units in the ruins. Mad Doc X and his Choppa Boyz ran forward to do the same. The Ard Boys ran towards the Destroyers and assaulted. The Stormboyz rocketed forward to the southern ruins. Soon, three Necron units would be stomped into little living metal pieces….
Well, that was the theory. Suddenly the sky darkened, as a great Etheric Tempest formed on the battlefield. The Ard Boyz and Choppa Boyz were pushed back, leaving only Zaghul Krataha and the higher-strength MegaNobz in the fray. What evil was this? The Ork MegaBoss hadn’t fought Necrons before, and was unprepared for the power of the C’tan. To take his mind off of the difficult tactical problem that this presented, he and his MegaNobz idly pulled the metal heads off the twenty or so Necron Warriors in the ruins, while the cyborgs pounded futilely against the greenskins’ heavily armoured exoskeletons.
Towering above the ruins, the C’tan watched as the snipped metal limbs of his guardians were casually thrown out the windows by the Ork MegaNobz. This would not do. He would show them. He, who had defied time and space, who had known the downfall of the Old Ones, would feed on their very souls.
Silently, the C’tan passed through and into the building, swinging his scythe at the foe. Two MegaNobz were instantly killed. The Orks struck back, however, harder than he would have imagined, and wounding the Nightbringer too.
Meanwhile, the Monolith fired on the Choppa Boyz, but once against the fortifying effects of fungusbrew inoculated most of the Orks from serious damage. The Immortals and Destroyers turned their sights on the unit of Ard Boyz that had been thrown back from combat by the Nightbringer’s Ethereal Tempest. They all were shot down.
The Choppa Orks once more surged forward, with Doc X and the unit Nob joining the melee with the dark Necron God. The Orkish Megaboss was wounded in the fight, and two more wounds were put on the Nightbringer.
On the greenskin right, the Shoota Boyz continued to advance, engaging the Necrons on the northwest hill with long-range Big Shoota fire.
The melee continued to swirl in the ruins, pitting the C’tan against now fewer than four powerklaw-eqipped foes. Well, make that three: Zaghul Krataha was decapitated with a scythe. He would soon be avenged by Mad Doc X, however, who did surgery of his own on the towering god. With a silent cry, the Nightbringer collapsed—then exploded in a flash of ethereal vengeance, killing the last remaining MegaNob. (Picture below: The victorious Orks in the northern ruin.)
One of the two remaining units of Necrons was repaired, and gated to the base of the Monolith. The Destroyers advanced rapidly, turboboosting and hoping to challenge the Grots and their control of one of the smaller, oddly 20-sided, Power Balls. A few grots fired at them with pistols, but missed.
Meanwhile, the Stormboyz rocketed out of the southern ruins, and attacked the Immortals. The Immortals, and the Necron Lord with them, were all destroyed, for the loss of three of the Orks. The Shoota Boyz moved forward again, firing and contesting one of the smaller Balls of Power.
The Necron cybernetic network rapidly adapted to the loss of their god, with the remaining units firing upon both large groups of Orks. Several Shoota Boyz and a few Choppa Boyz fell. The Stormboyz were less lucky, with the remnants of the unit cut down in a hail of fire from the Destroyers and Monolith. (Picture below: Shoota Boyz preparing to charge)
Far from satiating Mad Doc X’s bloodlust, all of this only seemed to increase it. He charged the Monolith and the unit of Warriors beside it. The Shoota Boyz emptied much dakka into the Warriors by the hill, and charged them too. The Grots steeled themselves to having to face the Destroyers. (Picture below: Doc X and his Boyz rush to assault, forgetting in their enthusiasm the Doc’s need to charge the nearest opponent as well)
But it didn’t happen. As choppaz swung and Necrons fell, there was once more an eerie sound and then flash of living metal dematerializing. Stochastic predictions and dynamically computed algorithms had determined that the Necron force had less than a pi-squared-to-one chance of prevailing, and the entire army phased out of existence.
Postscript and Post-Mortem
My strategy from the start had been to kill Necrons until the army reached its phase-out point of 75% casualties. My forces had been configured to present so many greenskin targets that it would overwhelm the superior Necron firepower, and get my boyz close enough to disassemble the enemy in close combat.
Still, it had been a close-run thing. When the Nightbringer had first used its Ethereal Tempest, I had thought the game lost. How could I possibly win if I could only assault with the Nobs? I certainly wasn’t going to do much damage with shooting, and Mad Doc X seemed destined to assault (and be blown back) in an endlessly-repeating loop.
Fortunately, the C’tan—eager to cut down my troops with his formidable melee powers—did not reuse the Tempest. That allowed me to get two more powerklaws (from the Doc and a Nob) into the fight at a crucial time. Still, losing an expensive warboss and a full unit of MegaNobz to the Necron god was very costly indeed.
As planned, Mad Doc X’s Feel No Pain proved essential in allowing the Choppa Boyz enough resilience to survive considerable Necron shooting. The requirement that the good Doc move towards the nearest unit and assault it is a considerable handicap, and can certainly be exploited by the opposing player. Then again, greenskins should remember that a Mad Doc unit is free to assault other units as well, as long as it assaults the nearest—and can often win such multiple assaults.
What would I do differently, now that I’ve encountered an Ethereal Tempest? Tactically, the Ard Boyz could have charged the Immortals and killed them, rather than their futile attempt to get to the Destroyers (where they were within range of the C’tan). Strategically, I could have bought some decent shooters who could have whittled down the Warriors (such as Lootas with Deffguns), or template weapons that could kill massed Necrons when they huddled near the C’tan for protection. Then again, a greentide relies on force of numbers, and too many fire support units could have compromised that.
* * *
The disappearance of the Necrons meant that there were no cyborg parts to loot. The Cojonian Balls of Power, were quite the prize—powerful enough to power several new Ork Roks, as the greenskin Waaagh continued.