In case you were wondering, some of the parts to make my groovy Rough Riders were sculpted by Rob at Curious Constructs.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Sharpe’s Duty - A 40k Narative Skirmish

Lieutenant Richard Sharpe 
Lieutenant Richard Sharpe of the 95th Praetorian Rifles, Imperial Guard, stood at attention in Major-General (Margrave) Chretzo Sigenandus’ command tent. The young lieutenant faced the old stern general seated at his desk, while Colonel Ackland stood casually off to the side interjecting from time to time with remarks that were more whimsical than of any strategical importance. Sharpe looked taken back on receiving his mission. “He specially requested me?” uttered Sharpe with genuine surprise. Ackland chuckled mostly to himself while twisting the end of his moustache “Yes my dear boy, Major Sutherland - you know, tall grumpy chap, big scar down the right cheek. He requested you lead the escort.”
“Aye sir, I know em” replied Sharpe, “It was me that gave em the scar!”
“Arrr yes” continued Ackland looking off thoughtfully, “And a dammed ungentlemanly blow too I must say. Well Sharpy, all I can say is if I were cut off 30 miles behind the line surrounded by angry Green Skins I’d want the dirtiest fighter in this man’s army to come rescue me too, ha ha!”
Major-General Sigenandus
The General shifted in his chair and grumbled, giving off the feeling that he wished he was somewhere else. “Hmmm errr, well Sharpe, you have your orders, if there are no questions you are dismissed.”
“Aye sir” the young Lieutenant saluted and about faced to leave when the general added “Oh and Sharpe remember I need the intelligence that Major Sutherland has so do not go starting any foolhardy duels on the trip back. Sutherland’s from the ‘old school’ and cannot be expected to mind his manners with a commoner raised from the ranks, so make sure you mind yours.” Sharpe stopped but did not turn to face the old general. “Don’t worry Sir,” he replied gruffly, “I’ll do my duty.” 

Lieutenant Sharpe exited the tent with such disquietude that he cannoned straight into a ‘tin belly’ cavalry officer who was about to enter. The large Brimlock heavy dragoon was an immovable object and Sharpe staggered clumsily to the side. “Wow, steady there… arr, Sharpe isn’t it?” The Brimlock officer queried. “Who’s asking” Sharpe replied finding his feet. The officer persisted, “I wonder if I might I give you some advice - lieutenant to lieutenant?” Before Sharpe could reply the officer continued shrewdly “Soap. By the Emperor’s holly name you stink horribly man - it is quite ungentlemanly.” Sharpe gave a half grin “Nar, don’t use it. The Green Skins can smell a rosy officer a mile off, me however; I have ta tap em on the shoulder before they know I’m coming. I’ll sleep in the dirt and stay alive.” The Brimlock officer looked appalled and then laughed shaking his cuirassier breastplate “I’d rather be dead, ho ho!” With that, the Brimlock officer past Sharpe and entered he command tent. “Be careful what you wish for tin man” Sharpe muttered to himself as he went to find his men.  Sharpe knew he had many failings as an officer and a gentleman, but he was good at leading his men and killing Orks and that was all his duty ever required.

Battle Report
After a long journey behind the Ork lines Sharpe and his men eventually found Major Sutherland and his few survivors. They had been holding up in an old Wind Generatoriam but were now fleeing from a band of Orks. Sharpe spilt his force deploying the Redcoats on a rocky slope that overlooked the Generatoriam while he and his Chosen Men flanked the Orks and deployed on a small hill on the other side. His plan was to wait for Sutherland and his men to retreat up the valley and then cut down the Orks that pursued them. All was going to plan until another large body of Green Skins charged up the valley cutting off Sutherland's escape route. 
[This game was a 600 point a side 'Kill team' skirmish which meant that each model moved and fought independently. We didn't use any difficult terrain in the game to keep it fast paced. We did however measure vertical and horizontal distance when moving up and over the rock formations. This worked really well on my terrain] 
Sharpe and his Chosen Men.
The Redcoats on the other side of the valley.
One of the 10 Ratlings snipers strategically positioned all across the battlefield. 

A Sniper overlooking Major Sutherland from high up on the Wind Generatoriam. 
Sharpe eyes off the Orks.
[My good mate Muppet (above) won the deployment roll, picked his two deployment zones and chose to go first. I however seized the initiative and opened up on the advancing Orks with every rifle I had.] 
Sharpe fired first and blew an Ork apart with his custom double barrelled hand cannon [which we played as 'The Emperor's Benediction' Heirloom of conquest pistol].
The Ratlings also did well with their first volleys. Orks are notoriously hard to kill and when the dust settled the men had downed eight Green Skins and wounded the Ork Warboss.  

Muppet advanced the Orks up both ends of the valley. 

Major Sutherland and his men moved out to meet the oncoming Orks with great heroism.

Nobz began climbing the small hill whist under fire. 

Meanwhile, on the other side of the valley, Orks clambered up the rocks out of sight of the Redcoats. 

A horrible Green Skin shot the poor little Ratling trying to take cover. 

 In the first round of Ork shooting Sharpe took a round to his shoulder but kept fighting on. 

After turn one, a Redcoat, Sutherland's Sergeant and three Ratlings would need post-battle field-burials.

Sharpe was shot again, this time in the leg. As he clambered back to his feet an Ork ran at him to finish him off. Sharpe swung his hand cannon around and blew it's head off as it charged in. Amazing shooting Sharpe, but these Orks really have it in for you!

 A nob made it up the hill, look out men!!

A dirty Ork climbed up to the platform where a lone Ratling radioed his comrades for supporting fire.

The guardsmen defend their Major.

The Redcoats did a good job of dropping the advancing Orks but there were still more coming.

Another five Ork Boyz peppered Sharpe with rounds until he droped to the dirt. He was alive but slowly bleeding out. The Orks closed in to claim their trophy. 

Two more Ratlings on the tower were hit and killed by some very accurate Ork shooting. Things were starting to look really bad for Sharpe and his men!

At that moment while the battle swayed towards the Orks, Major Southerland drew his bolt pistol and shot one of his own men, point blank. He bellowed at the Ork Warboss "Let's finish this! Kill the others and take Sharpe's body!" 
The massive Ork roared in agreeance.
It had all been a trap!!

 A nob violently ended another Ratling and tossed his body from the small hill. 

Guardsman Cornish heroically shot one Ork, then another as it charged him and downed a third with his bayonet. Major Sutherland unceremoniously beheaded him from behind using both of his swords. Cornish will posthumously be nominated for a medal for valour. 
[During the whole game Muppet controlled Major Sutherland while I controlled his squad of survivors. I agreed to not target the turncoat Major until he made his treachery known.]

Sharpe rolled onto his back holding his wounds. He lifted his head expecting to see five Orks about to butcher him when instead three mighty cavalry Lancers leaped over him to engage the Green Skins. Another two rode around the back of the small hill to join the fight. It seemed that Colonel Ackland had anticipated Sutherland betrayal and had sent his cavalry in tip the balance once Sharpe had sprung the trap!

The Ork on the tower platform took a long shot at a Ratling on the top of the adjacent hill. A lucky shot knocked the little guy from his perch. Whoever said Orks can't shoot had not come across these boyz!

Another Boy fired on the newly arrived cavalry from the tower.

 From nowhere another five cavalry joined the battle! The Brimlock Officer that Sharpe had spoken to outside of the Generals command tent, galloped past Sharpe. "Still sleeping in the dirt I see!" he yelled at Sharpe as he past. Sharpe was too bloodied to reply. 

Another two 'Tin Bellies' push the Orks back from the Redcoats' hill.

The Three Brimlock Heavy Dragoons opened up with their Hot-shot lasguns and a melta gun. Both the Ork Warboss and Major Sutherland fell in a bloody mess. Nether were dead but both were seriously wounded and were out of the fight. 

The cavalry converged at the centre of the battle while the remaining Green Skins closed in.

Despite a valiant defence and accurate rifle fire, the green tide reached the Redcoats and they were jumped by Orks on both sides. There position looked dire.

 One of the Chosen Men reached Sharpe, hastily treated his wounds and draged him to safety. 
[While Muppet howled with scorn - his Orks were so close to having Sharpe!]

 The cavalry fought off a wave of Orks in the centre, wounded but defiant! 

Two Ratlings were still alive. One at the top of the Wind Generatoriam the other on the small hill.

The Ratling on the Wind Generatoriam took a long pot-shot at an Ork charging towards the Redcoats on the other side of the valley... and scored another kill!

Not to be outdone, the other Ratling attempted the same feat of marksmanship... and he too droped an Ork on the other side of the valley! 
 Inspired by these two shots, one of Sharpe's Chosen Men targeted another Ork with his Lasrifle... and killed it too!!!!
[Needless to say, Muppet was not happy about this insane marksmanship]

 Sensing the battle was over [the beginning of turn 6] the cavalrymen scoped up the wounded Major Sutherland and the Ork Warboss and rode off with them. Sharpe was also carried off to safety.

 The Redcoats fought off a few more Orks but finally were overcome by the last three (very angry) Orks.

 The survivors withdrew. 

 Close of battle. 

The survivors. 

Major Sutherland gave up his intelligence, under much duress and was sentenced to death as a traitor. He vowed to escape and kill Sharpe. 

Lieutenant Sharpe recovered from his wounds, determined to see Sutherland meet a nasty end.

The Ork Warboss was probed and interrogated by Ordo Xenos operatives. He was killed and handed over to the two surviving Ratlings who served a delicious ork stew at Colonel Ackland's 'Officers Dinner'.

[Ghazghkull heard of this and was competently enraged].

This was hands down the most fun I have ever had with 40k. Much thanks goes to Muppet for joining in and going along with my story-line.

Be sure to head over to Muppet's blog and check out his side of the battle. He also has much much better photos then me. I tend to get too excited in the game to take good photos!
Tally ho lads.


  1. Absolutely brilliant. Three cheers for Lt Wright (I don't know if you get Wright's Coal Tar soap down there, but its the soap of Empire) and his tinbellies.

    1. Ha! Cheers Zzzzzz. I had to google it but I'm sure he will have to be Lt Wright now. LOL

  2. That looked like such a fun game; those Ratlings did a great job and deserve a raise (you pay them with beer and meat pies, right?). Great scenery too!

    1. There were many drunk hobbits at camp that night.

      Cheers Marc, it was a great little game.

  3. This is just fantastic! brilliant effort and beautifully told. Thank you!

  4. Absolutely bloody brilliant, very nicely written, love it!

  5. Brilliant AAR & man did that table look sweet a great job well done.

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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