Battle Report: Exspes Folley

Hello, everyone!  I know you have been eagerly awaiting this battle report.  Well, I know there’s definitely one person who has…

So, without any further adieu, I present:

Space Marines vs Blue Orks (640 pts)

Caution:  This is a big ‘un.

This time out, my honoured opponent was Justin and his uniquely painted orks.  Justin wandered into the store shortly after I did.  As I was still waiting for an opponent, we claimed the last free table.  Like me, it had been some time since Justin  had played. Some experienced players may note that some things were done incorrectly at points during the game, but later were done properly.  This came about as various interested spectators helped clarify rules as we fumbled around during tricky parts.

Oh, and to the real Brother Seth:  I am very sorry, I got you killed even faster this time around.


640 points isn’t a standard battle size.  Justin brought 1000 points, but I brought only 500 plus the Captain from Black Reach.  I threw in the Captain so the orks didn’t have to completely chop up the army list.  To save time, we also agreed the orks could forgo the normal force organization requirements of two troops choices and just bring one large mob instead.

Space Marines – The Brotherhood of Sleep, 5th Company

“We are the light against the darkness.”

-Excerpt from Battle Litany


Captain Exspes, with Power Sword, Digital Weapons and a Bolter with Hellfire Rounds

Brother Chaplain Seth, with Jump Pack, Digital Weapons and a Melta Bomb.


Dreadnought–Brother Crepitus, with Multi-Melta, Storm Bolter and Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon.


Squad Wilkinson: Actually deploying as two combat squads.

  • Sgt. Wilkinson with bolt pistol and chain sword, plus 4 Tac Marines (one with flamer)
  • Battle Brother Fulgo with missile launcher, plus 4 Tac Marines

Squad Tholus: Sgt. Tholus with bolter, plus 4 Tac Marines

 Orks – Mork’s Blue Cheeze

 “It is unknown if the blue skin tone is present from birth or comes later,
possibly due to some bacterial affliction.  For better or ill, apart from colouration, blue orks seem little different from their green brethren.”

–Master Caesitas, Magos Biologica


Warboss Grishnak ‘Ardsnippa, with Power Claw and Shoota.


Wakkabonka’s Boyz, with Wakkabonka (Nob with Big Choppa and Slugga) and 30 boyz armed with Choppas and Sluggas.

Fast Attack

Da Blyoo Skiez, featuring three units of Deffkoptas:

  • Skwokka and Flappa (two Deffkoptas with twin-linked missile launchers)
  • Bonzo and Zag (two Deffkoptas with twin-linked missile launchers)
  • Da Amazing Snurg (Deffkopta with twin-linked missile launchers)

Set Up

A warband of rare blue-skinned orks has occupied some ruins in the White Oaks region of the planet Londinium.  A detachment from the 5th Company of the Brotherhood of Sleep are sent in to eliminate the orks before the foul xenos creatures have a chance to fortify the area and turn it into a base of operations.


Annihilation.  Kill ‘em all.


Pitched Battle. Play is on a 4’x4’ area instead of the usual 4’x6’ so we could have a place at the side to keep books, boxes, dice and casualties.  In case you are wondering, the terrain is Warhammer Fantasy.  The 40K board was already in use by a group of Grey Knights and Blood Angels intent on eviscerating each other.

InitiativeOrks win initiative and deploy first.


  • Boss Ardnsippa joins Wakkabonka’s Boyz milling about beside Da Astronomony Tower.
  • Bonzo and Zag power up their deffkoptas behind Da Tower.
  • Da Amazing Snurg orders a second helping of braised squig, also behind Da Tower.
  • Skwokka and Flappa drift lazily well to the left.

The Orks Enjoy a Late Lunch


  • Combat Squad Wilkinson deploys far to the flank.
  • Captain Exspes joings Squad Wilkinson.
  • Combat Squad Fulgo locates itself centrally.
  • Squad Tholus deploys on the opposite flank to Combat Squad Wilkinson, across from the blue ork throng.
  • Brother Chaplain Seth deploys with Squad Tholus.
  • Brother Crepitus deploys behind the watch tower, to the rear of Squad Tholus.

Captain Exspes Orders the Marines to Spread Out

The Space Marines attempt to steal initiative, but the blessings of the Emperor are not on them this day.  The Orks move first.

Turn 1


“Wot’s da plan, boss?”

“We gets close and smacks ‘em.”

“Oooo – good plan.”

-excerpt from tactical discussion between
Wakkabonka and Boss Grishnak ‘Ardsnippa

Orks Move

With much yelling and abuse (and some cracking of heads), Wakkabonka gets his mob moving towards Squad Tholus’s position.  Boss Grishnak moves with the mob, surrounded by battle-maddened troops who, when the time comes, will also serve as convenient shields against enemy fire.

Da Blyoo Skiez split into individual groups.  Bonzo and Zag swoop around the side of Da Astronomony Tower along the flank of Wakkabonka’s Boyz.  Skwokka and Flappa head around the far side and launch themselves at the still distant Squad Wilkinson.  Da Amazing Snurg remains behind the tower, finishing his lunch.

Orks Shoot

Wakkabonka’s Boyz continue to run, eating up the ground between the orks and the Marines.

Skwokka and Flappa are at the extreme edge of the range of their rokkits and let fly with an impressive volley.  The ground around Squad Wilkinson erupts with explosive force, but only a single Marine is actually hit.  A stray shot ricochets off his armour without wounding the battle brother.

The Smell of Explosives in the Morning

Orks Assault

The orks are still to far away to vent their rising fury on the Marines.


“Bolters ready, brothers!  We must rob this wave of its strength
if it is to break against us.”

-Brother Chaplain Seth

Marines Move

Under the direction of Brother Chaplain Seth, Squad Tholus steadies weapons for long range fire.  Brother Crepitus moves out from behind the watch tower to join them.  Across the battlefield, Squads Fulgo and Wilkinson do the same.

Marines Shoot

Squad Wilkinson fires a volley of bolter shells at Skwokka’s and Flappa’s deffkoptas.  The few rounds that find their mark detonate harmlessly against the haphazard armour plating.

Brother Fulgo targets the distant shape of Zug with an armour-piercing krak missile, but the shot goes wide.

The augmented vision of Brother Crepitus spots movement through the copse of trees that stand between the orks and the Marines.  Squad Tholus and the dreadnought open fire.  Bolter rounds and melta beams set the trees alight but fail to find their targets in the mob of orks beyond.

Marines Assault

None.  The orks are well beyond the reach of the Emperor’s Righteous Vengeance.

The End of Turn One

Turn 2



– Wakkabonka’s Boyz

Orks Move

Skwokka and Flappa decide they are close enough to Squad Wilkinson and hold position.  Fulgo’s missile caught Zag’s attention,  He and Bonzo peel away from Wakkabonka’s Boyz and barrel towards the Marines.  Da Amazing Snurg enjoys a light dessert.

Wakkabonka’s Boyz round the blazing copse of trees and head for Squad Tholus and Chaplain Seth.

Orks Shoot

Skwokka and Flappa cut loose with another volley at Squad Wilkinson.  Rokkits impact everything in the strike zone… except the Marines.

Bonzo and Zag fire on Squad Fulgo, with better luck.  A rokkit hits a Tac Marine squarely on the chest, blasting through his power armour and killing him instantly.

Finally replete, Da Amazing Snurg emerges from behind Da Astronomony Tower and surveys the battle.

On the flank of the field, Wakkabonka’s overexcited Boyz break into a headlong rush towards the Marine emplacement.  A wordless battle cry sounds from the orks…


…And the full fury of the mob is unleashed.

Orks Assault

The Blue Wave

Wakkabonka’s Boyz plow into Squad Tholus.  The Marines receive the charge badly.  Chaplain Seth fells an ork before the Marines are overwhelmed in the onslaught.  Squad Tholus is slain to the last Marine, and Chaplain Seth vanishes beneath a wave of blue.


“By the light of the God-Emperor, blueskin blood will spill this day!”

-Captain Exspes, 5th Company

Marines Move

Across the battlefield, it becomes apparent that the ork deffkopas are coming no closer.  Captain Exspes decides to take the fight to the orks, and Squad Wilkinson advances.

Squad Fulgo maintains position, having now gotten range on Bonzo’s and Zag’s deffkoptas.

With a loud bellow of rage, Brother Crepitus moves to meet the deluge of orks.

Marines Shoot

Squad Wilkinson fires as they advance.  Most rounds go wide or fail to pierce the flying machines’ armour.  Captain Exspes looses a Hellfire bolter round.  It impacts near the cockpit of Flappa’s deffkopta, splashing vehicle and pilot with corrosive acid.  Flappa bellows with pain as his right arm goes numb, but his machine stays in the air.

Bonzo and Zag’s headlong charge puts them well within range of Squad Fulgo.  Tac Marine fire riddles both deffkoptas.  Smoke billows from the machines.  Brother Fulgo finds his mark with a krak missile.  Zag’s machine erupts and plunges from the sky.  The ork perishes, as does Bonzo’s will to fight.  He breaks and retreats all the way back to Da Astronomony Tower with no signs of slowing.

Brother Crepitus bathes the ork mob with firepower.  The storm bolters play across the xenos creatures with no visible effect, but the multi-melta reduces an ork to ashes.

Marines Assault

Brother Crepitus Wades In

The dreadnought pistons into Wakkabonka’s Boyz.  One ork is crushed underfoot while another comes apart in the vengeful grip of Brother Crepitus’s close combat weapon.  The ork boyz surround the Imperial machine, but despite their fury, they lack the strength to penetrate the armour.

Wakkabonka and Grishnak ‘Ardsnippa shove their way to the front of the fray.  Only they are strong enough to stand a chance against Brother Crepitus’s righteous fury.  Bellowing warcries, Wakkabonka brings his massive axe down in a mighty two-handed swing.  It bites into the war machines armour, but for all its force the blow fails to inflict any real damage.

Boss Grishnak comes in from the side.  Instead of attacking directly, he reaches his power claw down and shreds the dreadnought’s hip joint.  Brother Crepitus is immobilized.

End of Turn Two

Turn 3


“Ya gots t’eviscerate it all delicate-like, or it’ll ‘splode.”

-Boss Grishnak ‘Ardsnippa, Personal Memoirs

Orks Move

Skwokka and Flappa hold position against the advancing Squad Wilkinson, jockeying their deffkoptas for a better shot.

Bonzo flies his deffkopta at speed between the twin spires of Da Astronomony Tower and off the battlefield.

Da Amazing Snurg watches him go, munching thoughtfully on a last bit of roast squig, then turns his attention back to the battlefield.

Boss Grishnak, Wakkabonka and the rest of his boyz are locked in combat with the immobilized dreadnought of Brother Crepitus.  Nobody is going anywhere

Orks Shoot

The deffkoptas prove to be more dangerous at closer range.  A volley of rokkits from Skwokka and Flappa strike Squad Wilkinson, blowing apart two Tac Marines.  A short distance away, Da Amazing Snurg spies the wreck of Zag’s deffkopta, and beyond it Squad Fulgo.  He cuts loose with a few rokkits of his own.  One finds its target, felling one of the battle brothers protecting Brother Fulgo.

Orks Assault

Brother Crepitus lurches around on his bad leg to face Boss Grishnak.  The dreadnought swings its close combat weapon, but Boss Grishnak ducks out of the way.

Wakkabonka takes another swing with his enormous axe, but again inflicts nothing more than a gash in the armour.  Boss Grishnak throws his weight against the dreadnought, rocking it back.  The massive ork tears through the lower part of the armour with his power claw, shearing away plating, power cables and part of the dreadnought’s innards marked “power core.”  A moment later, Brother Crepitus detonates with a powerful explosion that sends orks flying—six of them in more than one piece.  Wakkabonka and Boss Grishnak both survive.  They rally the warband in the lee of the watch tower, out of sight of the Marines.


Marines Move

Squad Wilkinson continues to close on the two ork deffkoptas.  The three surviving members of Squad Fulgo, aware by the blast that their brothers on the leftmost flank are gone, falls back towards Squad Wilkinson.

Marines Shoot

On the move, Squad Fulgo cannot indulge in the luxury of the carefully-aimed long range shots necessary to hit Wakkabonka’s Boyz.

Squad Wilkinson readies assault weapons for a charge against the deffkoptas.  Sergeant Wilkinson takes a quick shot with his pistol as the special weapons brother hoses his flamer at the low-flying craft.  Neither weapon hits.

Marines Assault

Deffkoptas Can Be Charged...

With a cry of “The light of the God-Emperor!” Captain Exspes leads Squad Wilkinson into a close range engagement with the deffkoptas.  Skwokka and Flappa bob and wheel about as the Marines pelt them with pistol shots.  Skwokka takes a run at the armoured figures, trying to mangle the battle brothers with his rotor blades.  Sergeant Wilkinson takes a deep gouge of the aircraft with his chainsword when it passes close by.

Under a relentless barrage of small arms fire, Skwokka and Flappa break from the fight, gun their engines and flee.

“Let them go, brothers.  The xenos filth move too fast, but they are cowards.  We will not see them again.”

-Captain Exspes

End of Turn 3

Turn 4


“Move in, boyz!  We gots ‘em onna run!  Har!”

-Boss Grishnak ‘Ardsnippa

Orks Move

Skwokka and Flappa continue to flee towards the edge of the battlefield.  Da Amazing Snurg realizes he’s the last deffkopta engaged engaged in combat, and moves cautiously towards the moving shapes of Squad Fulgo – but not too close.

Boss Grishnak sees Da Amazing Snurg heading in and orders Wakkabonka and da Boyz around the corner of the tower after Squad Fulgo.

Orks Shoot

Da Amazing Snurg fires a volley on Squad Fulgo.  Explosions fling dirt and debris everywhere.  Only one rokkit actually hits, but it fails to detonate.

Skwokka and Flappa, angry at the damage to their flying machines, fire a parting volley at the distant figures of Squad Wilkinson.  The Marines dive for cover, but one is too slow and is torn apart in the fusillade.

Orks Assault

None.  Boss Grishnak judges the Marines are too far away for a quick charge, and the deffkoptas are well out of reach.


“Look to our brothers!”

-Captain Exspes

Marines Move

Captain Exspes withdraws Squad Wilkinson to rendezvous with Squad Fulgo in the hopes that together there may be some chance for survival.

The Marines of Squad Fulgo see Wakkabonka’s Boyz closing fast.  Squad Wilkinson appears around the corner of the ruins, but Brother Fulgo knows his men will never make it that far.  He orders the squad to stand its ground and readies his missile launcher.

A Last Stand

Marines Shoot

Squad Fulgo fires on the advancing orks.  The bolter fire causes no wounds, but forces the lead boyz to to duck and dodge just enough for Brother Fulgo to pick out Boss Grishnak in the mob.  The stalwart Marine lets fly with a frag missile.  It hits an ork just in front of the Boss, blowing the blue beast to bits along with another nearby ork.  Boss Grishnak is unharmed.

Marines Assault

Wakkabonka’s Boyz are too far from Squad Wilkinson for the Marines to intercept.  Brother Fulgo orders his team to be ready to receive a charge.

End of Turn 4

Turn 5


“Flappa, wot we runnin’ from?”

“We’s… er, hrmm.  I dunno.”

“Den why we runnin’?”

“I dunno.”

“Den mebbe we otta go back.”

“…Yeh, okay.”

– Skwokka and Flappa, Deffkopta Pilots

Orks Move

Out of sight of Captain Exspes, the fleeing deffkopta pilots rally.  Skwokka and Flappa veer their wounded machines around and speed back towards Squad Wilkinson.

Da Amazing Snurg slows to a halt, spotting Squad Wilkinson rounding the ruined tower.

Wakkabonka’s Boyz surge towards the waiting Squad Fulgo.

Orks Shoot

Squad Wilkinson is taken completely by surprise when a volley of rokkits from Skwokka and Flappa strikes from behind.  The special weapons Marine and Sergeant Wilkinson die as armour-piercing missiles puncture their power armour.

Da Amazing Snurg sees Captain Exspes stagger out of the smoke and dust clouds and fires another slavo.  The captain reels under the new fire, but no real damage is done.

Wakkabonka’s Boyz fire slugga pistols wildly as they move towards Squad Fulgo.  Even Boss Grishnak ‘Ardsnippa looses some rounds from his shoota.  Nothing hits.

Orks Assault

The ork Boyz reach full speed and charge into the Marines.  Brother Fulgo slays two orks before the squad falls to a rain of choppa blows and short-range pistol shots.  Captain Exspes watches with impotent rage as the Marines are washed away by the blue wave.  He is the last Marine left alive.

When Confronted with Failure...


“The Emperor will steady my blade,
The Light of His Wisdom will guide my hand,
The Fury of His Vengeance will…
Ah, to hell with it.”

-Captain Exspes, Final Words

Marines Move

After witnessing the last of his battle brothers fall, Captain Exspes advances on Wakkabonka’s Boyz.

Marines Shoot

The Captain is intent on shedding ork blood up close.  He has no weapons he can fire without losing his charge.

Marines Assault

With a final yell, Captain Exspes assaults the orks.  Mustering all his might and skill, thumbing his power sword to maximum, he launches a series of attacks against the xenos foe.  Not a single sword thrust tastes ork flesh.  The Captain`s eyes grow wide as he realizes the Emperor is not with him this day.

The ork boyz launch their own counter-attacks, but the captain regains enough of his composure to dodge and parry the choppas.  Wakkabonka lands a blow with his massive axe, but the wound is nowhere near enough to stop Exspes.

Boss Grishnak ‘Ardsnippa knocks aside a few of his boyz and lunges with his power claw.   Captain Exspes fails to parry the mighty blow, and the hydraulic, energy-sheathed claws close around his head.  For one hopeful moment, the captain’s energy shield holds against the tremendous cutting pressure…  But only for a moment.  The field emitter in the captain’s iron halo overloads and the claws close.  Captain Exspes’ head rolls free in three messy slices.

Captain Exspes Pays for His Mistakes

Victory to Morks Blue Cheese.

Lessons Learned

I misjudged several things in this combat.

Poor Deployment

I should have deployed Squad Wilkinson (with the flamer and the melee sgt.) where I deployed Squad Tholus, and put the Captain and the Chaplain both in with Wilkinson.

Squad Tholus should have been deployed nearer to Squad Fulgo, where the longer range firepower would have been better against the Deffkoptas.

I think this mistake was made all the more grievous by the fact that I deployed second.  I knew where the enemy’s forces were positioned when I set up.

Fleeing Does Not Mean Fled

The quote attributed to Captain Exspes was exactly what went through my head when the second unit of deffkoptas broke and ran.  I assumed it was gone, and that the low ork leadership made it unlikely that the unit would rally and return.  Oops.

Play More Aggressively

It was going to come down to Da Green/Blue Tide.  That was obvious pretty much from deployment, with that large mob on the board.  It would probably have been more prudent to try to hit the ork mob before it had a chance to charge, robbing it of some nasty bonuses.  I am not entire sure how I would have set this up, however, apart from positioning the Marines in such a way that a 6” ork advance plus random 1”-6” running distance would have left them just too far away to charge me but allow me to close and make the charge myself.  This means that I would have needed to be 19”-24” away from the orks at the start of the ork move.  Looking back at the pictures, I might have been able to do this if I backed Squad Tholus up to where the dreadnought was positioned.

I hope I remember that for next time.


Looking back over this report, I saw several places where I should have run my Marines, especially in Turn 4 when Squads Fulgo and Wilkinson had nothing to shoot at (no targets in range).  It would have brought them closer together, and it would have got Squad Wilkinson out of line of sight from the unexpected return of the deffkoptas.

Dice Suck

Again, I am amazed how my dice failed to roll when I needed it.  Exspes is Latin for “hopeless” and the Captain earned it as a name when his spectacular final assault rolled nothing but 1’s and 2’s, completely failing to hit anything.  That was pretty much his story for the entire game except for that one hit against the deffkopta.

About the Brotherhood’s Names

In case you were wondering, some of the characters were named (for this particular battle report) based on the shenanigans that took place…

Captain Exspes:  Exspes is latin for hopeless.

Brother Crepitus:  Crepitus is latin for explosion.  In both the games I’ve played, the dreadnought did the most damage to the enemy by spectacular, catastrophic power core failure.

Battle Brother Fulgo:  Fulgo is latin for flare in honour of his missile launcher and for having the highest deliberate kill total of the Marines in the game (1 deffkopta, 4 orks).

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5 Responses to Battle Report: Exspes Folley

  1. Justin says:

    I’ve read the report a few times now, and i still chuckle when i read swokka and flappas dialogue. Very enjoyable writing throughout. I got table by a league vet. on wednesday, he was playin chaos. I didn’t like finding out i was playin a seasoned gamer when i showed up on beginners night to learn the game with other wargaming apprentices, but hard lessons are the best ones learned. I’ll be at GW, on wednesday. I was gunnah bring a five hundy point list with two smaller mobs, here’s hopin a couple other noobs like myself show up.

    • War Disciple says:

      Thanks for the compliments! Ouch with the tabling… I suppose it is a hard lesson, but nobody likes getting the tar beat out of them on the second night of class.

      Sorry, but due to a work thing I won’t be around for a rematch next Wednesday. It’ll have to be the week following before the Brotherhood takes to the field again.

      • justin says:

        ‘ello there, i was at GW for wednesday, I got a game goin with Blood Angels army, it was a real close quarters/hack’em up, but in the end my Warbass Stink Klaw(the warboss on a bike that I converted from a deff koptah) table my opponent by killing a Dante character last, although a few turns before the same Warboss popped a furioso dreadnaugh yeilding a 6 inch strength 3 blast that yet again dealt no wounds,I have to find a way to kill these warboss’, he heh

        • War Disciple says:

          That’s hilarious – it seems that blue orks are blast-resistant. I think you should model your warboss with scorch marks.

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