The Orks of Arddab Da Obzezzt hit Arbos like a hammer. However, after making landfall, they were relatively quiet. As war torn across Arbos, the Orks went about building up their strength. The Kaptin knew that the beasts of the White Wyrm seemed to be concentrated around St. Abelgard's Island. The best way to get a lot of his boyz over there was to build big boats, so that is what he did.
However, as he began to ferry his troops across the oceans, the Swarm of the White Wyrm descended on the craft, eager to keep them away from their base.
Swarm of the White Wyrm
2 Virago with Synapse Link
2 Harpy with Synapse Link
2 Spined Harridans (Bomber Variants)
1 Dakkajet- On Your Six
1 Fighta- Bomma
1 Fighta- Bomma
Per the rules, I used a group of Ork warships from my Aquanautica Imperialis fleet to act as the Destroyer. I didn't have a suitably large template, so I spaced the fleet out to cover the same approximate area, and placed one ship for each hit the Destroyer could take. My opponent placed it close to the east edge of the board as close as he could, putting it in the corner.
Flying cover were a pair of his Fighta-Bommas at mid-range and low speed. Then flanking them was a clump of Fightas at low altitude and mid-speed. Finally, at the center of the board and anchoring the flank was his Ace in the Dakkajet. I knew that guy could be pretty deadly.
I lined up my Harridans to head straight for the target at high altitude and max speed, a whopping 3! Escorting them were the Virago. The Harpy were behind a screen of Hags, all at mid-altitude and max speed Tyranid speed.
For the most part, the Tyranids fly forward and maintain course, content to see what the Orks are up to. The Orks begin to shift towards the ships and move to intercept head-to-head. The Dakkajet and 1 wingman fighta go out wide the opposite way.
The Main ork force and the Tyranid bombing force looked like they set-up to go head-to-head.
The Hags turned slowly to try and screen the Harpy's from the flanking Dakkajet and Fighta.
Fighta-Bomma 1 popped their Grot Bombs, but has no other shots due to altitude. Harridan 2 finds that the closest Ork fightas are still just out of range. That means everyone is still out of range since both sides tend to lack long range firepower.
A chaotic furball shapes up where the Orks either swooped in or half looped to try and get behind or to the side of the oncoming swarm. Notably, the flanking Ork aircraft swoop in behind the Hag defensive screen, but are put into danger by the Harpy. Fighta-Bomma 2 half-loops into a good position on the Harridan, but they Harridan 1 furiously beats its wings and rises above the Ork craft. Meanwhile, Fighta-bomma 1 swoops in and is swarmed by a Virago and Harridan 2 up close.
Fighta-bomma 1 is base-too-base with Harridan 2 and desperately opens fire to survive! The short range blast rips into the great beast, and it screams in pain and rage as it begins to weep blood. 3 hits out of 4 down!
Harpy 2 uses its Venom Cannons on Fighta 4 but misses. In return Fighta 1 opens fire on Harpy 2 and takes it down at mid-range with an accurate burst of fire. First blood to the Orks! Fighta 1's victory is short lived as Harpy 2's venom cannons rip him from the sky, killing the pilot.
Fighta 3 fires a burst and blasts through the last damage point on Harridan 2 and it tumbles from the sky like a brick. It splashes into the waiting ocean below. That could be a problem for the Nids as 2 of their 4 bombers have been shot down.
Virago 2 tears Fighta-bomma 1 from the sky with its Talons. The pilot is eviscerated in the attack!
Fighta-Bomma 2 opens fire on Virago 1 but fails to cause any damage. Fighta 4 targets Harpy 1 but fails to damage anything.
That is all the shooting. Pretty brutal turn overall.
The Hags try to dive towards the hard deck and head towards the Ork ships. Fighta 4 moves to intercept, but finds himself engage up close by Hag 2, and in the sites of Harpy 1 and Virago 1. Gulp!
The other Orks move to intercept the Harridan and have a great angle and staggered altitudes. A terrible power dive by the Harridan puts in a terrible position, with Fighta-Bomma 2 in a trailing position. Things look bad for the harridan too. Grot Bomb 1 tries to angle in on it but just overshoots the target and will go off the board harmlessly next turn.
Hag 3 tears and beats at Fighta 4 causing it to blow smoke and oil, but not enough to bring it down. In return, the Ork opens fire desperate to snag the beast, and blasts its wing apart. Hag 3 plunges from the sky screaming in rage.
Fighta-Bomma 2 opens fire on the Harridan, but the beast manages to evade them all! How is that possible!
Virago 1 tears Fighta 2 from the skies and kills the pilot.
Dakkajet Ace and Fighta 3 fire at mid-range and fail to cause damage on the Harridan as well.
Harpy 1 fires on Fighta 4 and misses with its Venom Cannons. Virago 1's devourers also miss the Ork plane.
The Ork Warships open fire on the Harridan and manage to take a point of damage from it! Something all those big shootas failed to do!
Fighta-Bomma 2 gets Tailing Fire on Harridan 1. This time taking out one more point of damage from the beast.
The Very High maneuverability of the Harridan pays-off as it manages to dodge behind the pursuing Ork aircraft to try and survive long enough to get to the target area.
The Hags move to strafe the Ork ships, while the harpy closes in on Fighta 4. The Viragos flap around trying to get the bead on the pursuing Ork fightas.
Harpy 1 manages to snag Fighta 4 with the venom cannons and sends him spiralling down into the ocean below. Another dead Ork pilot! With that, it brings them below half!
The AA from the ork ships manages to hit the Harridan again! Reducing it to one hit left!
Virago 1 misses Fighta- Bomma 2 with its Devourer.
Grot Bomb 2 falls harmlessly from the air and into the ocean.
Turn 6:- Disengagement Turn
The Ork air cover bugs out leaving the Ork ships to weather the Tyranid assault. The Nids all close in on the Ork ships, but the Bombers can't get over them.
The first AA Hydra opens fire on Hag 3 to try and fight off its Talon attack, but misses. In return, the Hag causes 1 point of damage to the ship with its talons.
The Next Ork Hydra AA brings down the battered Harridan with a salvo of shots. The big beast crashes into the ocean with a giant splash!
The final Manticore misses the Harpy.
The Tyranids failed to sink the Ork ships so this one is going down to the Victory Points.
Orks killed- 48 points worth of Tyranid Critters
Tyranids Killed- 70 Points worth of Ork gear
The first victory for the Tyranids! A narrow victory but a victory none-the-less!
Now, let's talk about how the Tyranid aircraft performed. As I expected, the Venom Cannons are much better at killing things than the Devourers.
The Grot Bombs let the Orks pretty much match me in numbers and neutralized some of my swarming tactics for a few turns which was a surprised and allowed my friend to get some good positions on my Harridan bombers. Only a few bad rolls kept the Ork aircraft from downing it earlier. However, if they can't find a target you are giving away free VP. I'm not sure they are a good investment or not.
The Harridan's slow speed is a liability when you are trying to get to a target defended by AA. It gives the ground defenses plenty of time to hit it as it closes in. However, with four hits they proved to be fairly resilient. Its ability to do Very High maneuvers also allows it to shake enemy fighters in a pinch.
The Harpy did surprisingly well. Again, the killing power of the venom cannons help it. However, it was pretty fragile to enemy fire.
Talon attacks again proved to be useful and possible! The only thing I messed up was getting in front of Ork craft for a Talon attack when they had the Initiative. That allowed them to shred the attacking Tyranid at close range.
Overall, a fun game and an interesting scenario from the first Airspace Campaign; The War Over Zephyrus. I'm glad I finally got a chance to try it out. Plus, it gave me an excuse to bust out those Aquanautica Imperialis models I made a few years back.