Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Forges of Ghorok Campaign Scenario 1 - The Scrapyard


~ Please also read the Prelude for this campaign for context ~

The Ark Cruiser, Primus Code under the command of Magos Ulivaras managed to establish an orbital beach-head above manufactorum complex Assembly Alpha. She had penetrated the Orks' outer defenses with an unexpected charge, blasting the larger vessels with her substantial broadsides. She carved the multitude of Ork scout vessels with her lances and lighter batteries. Now, she held the rest of the Ork fleet at bay, daring them to approach, and making the glorified garbage scows regret it with her white-hot lance batteries. For hours, naught but smoking slag sailed across the Primus Code's bow.

The stalemate in space would only last so long however. Eventually, the Orks would gather enough conscious thought to come at her in a single charge and break her in half. Ulivaras was calculating the proper responses to an all-out attack from an Ork Battle Fleet when the Blood Ravens Battle Barge translated from the Empyrian just outside the system.

"Praise the Omnissiah. Now we fight," she said in the Gothic tongue for no reason in particular. Not for the first time, the Magos cursed her meat brain for her very human predilection for muttering her thoughts.

The long-range vox crackled to life, "Battle Barge Carrion Crown to Arc Cruiser Primus Code. Respond."  A deep voice. Human lungs and vocal chords rarely produced a voice quite like that. Astartes, of course. They rarely put humans in command of their Battle Barges.

"We read you, Carrion Crown," the Magos replied. Her voice over the vox was her own, recorded centuries ago, and stored for future use. It always surprised her to hear it. The implant on her face crackled with static and had a hollow, tinny quality, so she rarely used it for electronic communications which were sometimes difficult for unaugmented humans to understand anyways, particularly in a warzone. "What is your E.T.A.?"

"Full acceleration burn will bring us to you in three standard hours."

"The Orks are gathering beyond each pole, Carrion Crown." She avoided transmitting the Chapter Master's name over the vox. It likely didn't matter with the Orks, but protocol was protocol. "They are beyond my line of sight, but it seems they intend to both make a run at us with a twin-pronged approach. It will be costly for them, but they will overwhelm us if they are able to gather enough vessels for the cause."

"We need that beach-head, Primus Code."

"We will hold. We will make them regret their actions against the Omnissiah this day, Space Marine."

The vox crackled. His silence belied his respect.

"Know this. Manufactorum complex Assembly Alpha is experiencing rather strange radiation bursts and gravimetric anomalies. This is to be expected when Orkoids desecrate holy places. In addition, the Void Shields are once again operational. You will not be able to safely insert troops in the Manufactorum proper."

"I understand there is a scrapyard surrounding the complex."

"Affirmative. It is approximately five clicks wide and encircles the Maufactorum. If you land in the verge of the territory, you should be able to penetrate their defenses on foot largely unmolested."

"We will devise a plan around that data. I should say no more, but thank you, Primus Code."

Sentiment. She appreciated the Astartes chapters who did not engage in that particular human behavior. Why couldn't it have been Dark Angels? She chose to ignore it. "The Orks will not destroy us outright, Astartes. They will want to board us. This should offer you some time, but I will need my Skitarii to put up a proper defense. However, expect some assistance from a handful of operatives I have been able to deploy while we awaited your arrival."

"Understood, Primus Code. Good Luck."

"Luck," she replied, "is a myth."


While the Mechanicus are tied up with the Ork battle fleet, the Adeptus Astartes Drop piecemeal in a ring around the Manufactorum's vast scrapyard. Operating in many small teams, it is the goal of the Astartes to wade through the Ork defenders and arrive somewhat simultaneously to break through the Manufactorum's outer defenses.

If you wish, in addition to this mission, you may also depict the boarding actions of the Orks upon the Ark Cruiser, pitting Skitarii forces versus Orks in any number of Zone Mortalis scenarios.


The primary armies at war on Ghorok (the world formerly known as Shatara) are the Adeptus Astartes and the Orks. The Astartes are the Attackers (and use the Attacker Zone Mortalis Force Organization Chart) and the Orks are the Defenders (and use the Defender Zone Mortalis Force Organization Chart).

The Astartes may be accompanied by any variety of Adeptus Mechanicus or Mechanicum. These represent forces sent by the Primus Code to assist the Space Marines and any surviving denizens of the Manufactorum.

The Orks may take allies representing humans left behind by the Imperium whom the Orks call "Diggaz". These are scrapyard-dwellers who have survived here even under greenskin rule. They have proven themselves to be useful scavengers and cunning in the arts of jury-rigging. These forces can use the rules for Renegades in the Imperial Armor 13 book. Rules for human auxiliaries also appear in the Siege of Vracks and Horus Heresy Book 5: Tempest.

For this game, we used the Barren Wasteland F.A.T. Mat from Tablewar. We think it worked perfectly for an Ork Scrapyard.

Doug Johnson, the creator of the F.A.T. Mats and President of TABLEWAR™, generously gave us 6x4 Industrial and 6x4 Underforge mats for this campaign. You'll see and learn more about those in upcoming missions. TABLEWAR™ has been developing innovative products for the hobby industry since 2010. Best known for the popular F.A.T. Mats that are now ubiquitous with tabletop gaming as the gaming surface of choice, they also carry a full range of products for the Display, Storage, and Light Transport of hobby miniatures. Check out the full line of TABLEWAR™ products at www.tablewar.com or the F.A.T. Mats at their marketing and distribution partner’s site www.frontlinegaming.org.


This scenario is played on a Scrapyard Zone Mortalis battlefield. If you don’t have a custom-made Scrapyard table, you can simulate one by bringing as many vehicles as you can and arraying them in a Zone Mortalis layout. If you have time, you could raid your bitz box, spray them brown and drybrush them silver for additional piles of scrap.


Each army deploys within 6” of their table edge. Roll off to determine who chooses which player deploys first.


Place an objective at the center of the battlefield.  Starting with the player deploying first, take turns placing 4 more Objectives, each 12” from the center Objective.


Troops and Elites units are Scoring units for this mission.  Orks score 1 Victory Point for each Objective they hold at the end of the game and 2 Victory Points for each enemy unit destroyed at the end of the game. Space Marines score 3 Victory Points for each unit they have at least partially within the enemy deployment zone at the end of the game. Slay the Warlord and First Strike are also in play for 1 Victory Point each.

Mission Special Rules

Zone Mortalis, Reserves, Night Fighting

High Position: This Zone Mortalis is made from junked vehicles and random trash. Models may climb on top of the walls of junk.  To do so, simply make a Difficult Terrain roll and measure vertically to reach your position.

Exposed: It is incredibly dangerous on top of the junk. If any of the Attacker's units is standing on junk rather than in the trenches at the end of their movement phase, then the Ork player may choose one of the following for each exposed unit: either Suppressing Fire or Off-Board Barrage. If targeted with Suppressing Fire, your exposed unit is struck with 2d6 str 5 ap 4 hits originating from any point along your opponent’s board edge (their choice). Use a regular infantry model at the originating point to determine Line of Sight if any terrain questions come into play. In the case of an Off-Board Barrage, your opponent may target any location within 6” of the exposed unit with a Str 5 AP 6 Heavy 3 Blast Barrage.

Jumping Over Walls: Units with the ability to move over terrain (Jump Infantry, Jetbikes, etc.)  may jump over walls in this game. If the unit is in the Attacking force, then they suffer the same dangers as a unit occupying Open Ground except that with Suppressing Fire, cover and line-of-sight are ignored.

Fire Over There!: If a unit from the Attacking force fires a Barrage weapon, they have exposed their position and the enemy may call an Off-Board Barrage on them.

Catastrophic Damage: Although the Catastrophic Damage table is appropriate for a Trench network, subtract 2 from the result.

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