Sunday, April 15, 2018

Eldar complete search on Einmyrria

...Tarquil gazed out over the frozen wastelands of Einmyrria. The demented mutating aurora of the Cicatrix coloured the ice fields in a nauseating display of garish pinks, blues and purples. The aged Farseer couldn't shake the feeling that this planet was testing them. First had come the servants of the Dark Prince. After them the children of decay. Now arrayed before them were the diverse minions of the Changer of Ways. Tarquil vowed if they were to be tested at the perverse whims of the chaos gods then they would not be found wanting...

The Aeldari's intense interest in Einmyrria had not gone unnoticed. Magnus the Red was determined to find out what was so precious it could draw the Eldar to a barren daemon world and claim it for himself. His body blurring with warp gifted speed he leapt into the middle of the Eldar warhost and with a single effort of will ripped the heart from it, slaying the Autarch and her bodyguards with a single thought. The Aeldari witches, normally masters of the psychic domain found their sorceries denied by the will of Tzeentch and were unable to stop Magnus' murderous rampage. But something was wrong, the pacts Magnus had made were betrayed and the daemonic host he had bargained for did not materialise. Quickly recovering from their shock the Aeldari warhost moved to envelope daemonic primarch and brought the full weight of their firepower to bear. With a roar of fury at the treachery done to him Magnus was banished from the material realm and the resurgent Eldar moved to mop up his leaderless minions.

...Tarquil felt a sickening lurch in his stomach as the fabric of reality was torn asunder and the twisted forms of daemons materialised onto the battlefield all around the warhost. Baying their hatred these daemons served the Lord of Skulls. The fourth and final test was upon them...

Racing forwards and fuelled by all the fury of their dark patron the daemons of Khorne washed over the outlaying elements of the Eldar warhost and massacred it in seconds. Tarquil realised there was only one way to save what was left of the host and ordered all units that were able to to fall back and establish a new firing line. Those that could not were to press forwards and meet their fate in whatever way they saw best so that the rest might live. Stranded amidst the baying daemons Tarquil himself knew that this was the moment of his death. Drawing his witch blade he accepted his destiny and stepped forward to meet it.

...Frantically Tarquil hacked at the tide of daemons that surrounded him, determined to die with honour despite the futility of the situation. With a scream of jet engines the sleek craft of a Crimson Hunter soared overhead, its weapons spitting death. Suddenly Tarquil felt the power that denied him communion with the warp lifted and knew that whatever had drawn Tzeentch's blessing to this place was now banished. With the last of his strength he cloaked himself in mystifying warp energy and stumbled injured through the snow before collapsing into the entrance of an ice cave. He could still hear the roars of the daemonic host outside along with the distant sound of Aeldari weaponry as the battle continued. Gazing towards the back of the cave he recognised the unmistakable markings of a Necron obelisk. As the last of his strength left him he realised that their search was over. He had found the key they sought...

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Thok destroys Jellicoe at Glaurung

For years Admiral Thok had stayed with his fleet at Mordecai, happy with his success over Admiral Craddock but rueing the fact that his main foe, Admiral Jellicoe, who had smashed the chaos fleet at Bastien many years before, had never given him the opportunity to exact his revenge. Jellicoe had stayed at Vastrid, protecting the Imperial spacelanes to Terra following the coming of the Cicatrix Maledictum, and Admiral Thok had to be content with raiding, and the all important work of maintaining his fleet at Mordecai docks. With the opening of the Foramen, the mad admiral once again sensed an opportunity to defeat his nemesis, but without a secure space lane and control of both Paradorn and Tarlius, any attempt at a breakout into the Zadoc subsector would be suicide. Even thok wasn't that mad.

Then, in 04.018M42 Thok was shaken out of his despondency upon recieving news of an exciting development. With Lord Tragean moving on Tarlius, Admiral Jellicoe had been forced to reinforce the Imperial fleet in the Foramen, and it came to his attention that Jellicoe was with his fleet, in person, at Paradorn. Thok now needed a plan to lure Jellicoe away from the defences at the Imperial base, and into the guns of his waiting fleet. He knew there was one bait which Jellicoe would be unable to resist. The Gotterdammerung.

Imperial intelligence recieved unwelcome news shortly after the fleet had arrived at Paradorn. The Gotterdammerung, based on Abaddon's "planet killer", had been sighted cruising around the Mordecai system, clearly fully operational. This came as somewhat of a shock to the Imperium, who hadn't counted on the Mordecai space docks being able to repair the ship so quickly after it had been reduced to a hulk at Libria, although the ship had been sighted partially repaired in 016M42, when Thok had annihilated Admiral Craddock's fleet.

Jellicoe held a counsel with his officers. He suspected a trap, but if the Gotterdammerung were to appear at Paradorn in the company of the entire chaos fleet, the entire system could be lost, and with it the only reliable route between Farport and the Imperium Nihilis. The Imperial fleet would have to take the bait, and destroy the planet killer, at any cost.

Jellicoe's fleet formed up and headed for the moon of Glaurung, close to the star of Hespidies, where the mighty chaos vessel had last been tracked. Splitting his fleet up, although risky, would maximise the chance of finding the Gotterdammerung, and Jellicoe was confident that the planet killer itself was not supported by the rest of Thok's fleet, which had been reported as at the space docks at Mordecai. Unfortunately for the imperial admiral, this was a lie, spread by Thok's agents in order to encourage Jellicoe to search for his flagship. His fleet would be waiting in the shadows ready to pounce. Aboard Skoll, an elite company of traitor marines had been deployed, ready to board the imperial flagship Iron Duke, and take prisoner of Thok's most hated foe.

At 14:20 local time on 1404.018M42 the Gotterdammerung was spotted by the cruisers Hogue and Repulse, who immediately closed on the giant vessel, hoping to take it by surprise. Unfortunately, after ineffective nova cannon and torpedo fire, the chaos flagship immediately responded with a crippling strike on Repulse. The imperial vessel's shields held against the conventional firepower of the mighty vessel, but the armageddon gun easily ripped through void shields and armour, badly damaging the imperial vessel.

Straining at maximum power, Jellicoe's flagship Iron Duke simply made for the flashes of gunfire, and arrived within range at 14:34, although the opening salvoes were hampered by the glare of Hespidies, and the initial wave of Shark Assault boats did little to reduce the effectiveness of the giant chaos behemoth. At 14:53 the second volley from its primary weapon ripped through Repulse, sending her spinning off blazing from prow to stern. The Gotterdammerung then replied with her main batteries against the Iron Duke, instantly crippling her engines and leaving her drifting slowly. This was only thought to be a minor setback however, and with the rest of his fleet heading towards the moon of Glaurung, Jellicoe was confident that although he may suffer losses, Thok and his blasphemous flagship would finally be dealt with.

At 15:05 however, Jellicoe recieved a nasty shock. Powering up almost dead astern, the slaughter class Skoll suddenly arrived, and Hogue reported that another chaos vessel, identified as the powerful Acheron class Beowulf, had been detected. The intelligence had been wrong. Thok was here with his fleet, and the trap had been sprung. Skoll closed to boarding range, with the traitor astartes teleporting across to Iron Duke. However the crew of the imperial flagship fought back valiantly, and though the fighting was heavy, the traitor legion were unable to get past the defenders and capture the admiral. As Skoll drew alongside, Iron Duke opened up with her port battery, and a lucky shot penetrated the main belt of the chaos cruiser, setting off multiple internal explosions. In one salvo Jellicoe had evened the score.

On the Gotterdammerung Thok flew into a rage at the failure of his Astartes and the loss of Skoll, but as the planet killer approached the moon, its firepower, coupled with terrifying lance salvos from Beowulf, soon reduced Hogue to a smoking wreck, as Repulse finally succumbed to internal fires and blew herself up. Cobra class escorts arrived for the Imperium, but did little damage before Beowulf contemptuously smashed them to wreckage. Iron Duke meanwhile had finally fixed her engines and was slowly getting underway. 

Thok now resolved that if he couldn't capture his enemy, he would kill him. Using the gravity of Glaurung, the Gotterdammerung swung round the moon, aiming its devastating weapon at the now badly damaged imperial flagship. He would have only one more shot of the armageddon gun before it had to be fully recharged, so this one would need to count. Powering up to maximum, the super-weapon tore into the Iron Duke, but although crippled, the imperial flagship remained operational. Fearing his quarry would once again escape, he ordered in his escorts. At 15:43 a wave of torpedoes from the Jotun squadron crashed into Jellicoe's ship, detonating her plasma reactor. Thok leapt out of his admiral's chair with glee, silhoueted against the death throes of the Iron Duke. 

Aboard Illustrious, Captain D'Oyly-Hughes was alarmed that he was no longer getting a response from the ships in action at Glaurung. After a few minutes of deliberation, he ordered the remaining Imperial vessels to cease pursuit and regroup at the warp jump point. The rest of Jellicoe's fleet duly obeyed the Mars' class commodore's orders, not wishing to suffer the same fate as the Iron Duke. Believing Jellicoe to be dead, the imperial fleet fled.

Jellicoe however was not dead, and Thok watched as escape pods from the aft half of the wrecked Iron Duke spiralled into the thin atmosphere of the Ice Moon of Glaurung. Elated, the chaos admiral realised he may have his reckoning after all. The rest of his fleet managed to recover Skoll and take the wreck of Hogue as a valuable hulk. Sending for recovery ships, the rest of his fleet now transited to Paradorn, while search teams began looking on Glaurung to recover his most precious prize. Admiral Jellicoe himself.

The Hadron Expanse

The Hadron expanse lies to the galactic east on the eastern rim of the galaxy. Some postulate that the Cicatrix has an end, and that finding this end will allow safe passage around the warpscar. Others believe there are hidden passages or "fords" across the raging maw, but there are many parsecs of space to cover, much of it barren wilderness, and until recently completely inaccessible to warp travel.

For millenia, warp storms have raged around the Expanse, and the area has been effectively cut off from exploration. For the Imperium information is scant, but it is known that human colonies lie beyond the storms waiting do be rediscovered, if they survived. The Tau view the area as untapped resource, while the eldar webway, while extending to planets in the Expanse, has been shut off with psychic wards, warning all not to break the seal.

What exactly lies in the Hadron expanse is unknown, but with the coming of the Cicatrix Maledictum and the Noctis Aeterna, the warp storms raging about the Hadron expanse stuttered, then became completely calm. The Hadron expanse was once again accessible to the rest of the galaxy, but initially the factions of the Aleph sector had bigger things to worry about. The Hadron Expanse went un-noticed.

The Hadron Expanse now lies in the Imperium Nihilis, an area of the galaxy where the astronomicon no longer shines. Through the Foramen Interdictum however, a weak shaft of the emperor's light pierces the darkness, illuminating the Imperium's last holdings in the sector, and shining faintly towards the Expanse. With the war over the Foramen reaching stalemate, the Imperium are now seeking a second path across the Cicatrix, but they are not alone. The Tau, encouraged by the eldar, are seeking their own path to reconnect their scattered enclaves, cut off by the warpscar, while the forces of chaos are eager to exploit this new realm in order to encircle the Imperium. There is much to discover, and from mid-018M42 onwards, expeditions of exploration and conquest began to be assembled to cross into the Hadron expanse.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Inconclusive engagement at Destino

A week after the action at Tarlius Admiral Enkvist had recovered the Kirov, which was now hiding in the outer reaches of the Tarlius system as it was prepared for a warp jump back to the naval docks at Farport. The ship would fight again, but not for a significant time period. Meanwhile Enkvist himself joined the fleet in Leipzig, now ready for their transfer to Destino, where Admiral Barham had reported some strange readings from the outer system.

Enkvist's journey took less than a standard week using the Foramen, and he arrived on 1204.018M42. Initial investigations of the outer reaches detected nothing of interest, until a previously unmarked asteroid field drew the attention of the tech adepts aboard Leipzig. Not only should the asteroid field not be there, but it was behaving in a decidedly unnatural way. This was soon confirmed as the imperial fleet approached, as the asteroids opened fire upon them. Rather than an asteroid field, Enkvist had stumbled on the Bork.

The Bork fleet were a previously known force of space dwelling orks, who had been known to assist other warbosses invasions of worlds, by design or by accident. They had been present in the battle of Calliden in 011.M42, and now they had turned up in force at Destino. Aboard Leipzig Admiral Enkvist chose to attack, but as jellicoe himself had found at Farport, it was far from easy to deal with the massed Rok formations, within which other ork vessels and carriers lurked. Charging into this hornets nest Enkvist was able to deal some damage, but eventually the admiral withdrew rather than wasting precious ammunition on the orks. Once he had disengaged he was alarmed to notice the remaining orks forming back up into an asteroid field, and simply using traktor beams to reassemble their broken roks. It now seemed Destino had an ork infestation which would be difficult to remove.

Tragean defeats Enkvist at Tarlius

For many months the fleets in the Foramen Interdictum had avoided serious clashes. Apart from the occasional convoy or supply raid, the fleets of the various forces maintained a careful distance from the major worlds of conflict, knowing that to risk direct conflict with one of the other factions would be to give the advantage to a third power. So the fleets in the Foramen mostly kept apart.

This stance changed as 018M42 began, as the threat from the Federal fleet and tau empire receded. The alliance abandoned their attempts to establish a path through the Foramen, and began searching to the far east of the galaxy for a way through the Cicatrix. With the Eldar mostly using the webway and the Crusade fleet concentrating on supporting Vandrax, this left the forces of chaos and the loyalists the only two major naval factions contesting the Foramen. Realising this, Jellicoe made plans to reinforce his battlegroups and give his forces much needed naval support on the ground.


However, while Jellicoe was carefully reorganising his fleets, the forces of chaos acted. Lord Tragean agreed to move his fleet to Tarlius, Allowing Stahl to keep his in the defence of Minos. Meanwhile Admiral Thok began threatening moves from Mordecai, pinning down the crusade fleet at Vandrax and forcing Admiral Barham to cover Destino. Admiral Pendragon's force was still shadowing the crusade at Vandrax, leaving Tarlius and Paradorn somewhat at risk of a chaos strike. Jellicoe resolved to move a battlegroup led by himself to Paradorn, while Admiral Enkvist was selected to deal with Tragean at Tarlius, before relieving Admiral Barham at Destino.


Lord Tragean had moved his fleet to the inner Tarlius system, and by late 03.018M42 was supporting his forces on the ground with devastating bombardments and air strikes. His fleet, consisting of Irredeemable Apostate, the Desolator class flagship, two Carnage, two Devastations and a Hades class cruiser, was significant, and Enkvist would only be able to meet him on equal terms, as his flagship, Leipzig, would not be battleworthy for more than a week. Jellicoe couldn't wait that long.


Collecting the force he had, Enkvist sent a sub commander aboard the Retribution class Kirov, towards the chaos fleet near Tarlius II. The imperial force comprised of an awesome assembly of torpedo capable vessels, with a large squadron of missile dedicated Viper class destroyers escorting two gothic class and a dictator class cruiser. As the imperial fleet approached the chaos lord aboard the Desolater seemed contemptful of the danger, as the chaos vessels lazily formed up into formation to meet the inbound threat.


The loyalist admiral ordered all ahead full, and the subsequent massed torpedo wave caused panic in the chaos lines. The imperial force made a good start, crippling Rapturous Agony at 13:56 local time, and forcing the leading Carnage class vessels to shear out of line. In addition the entire screening force of Iconoclast class escorts simply vanished in a roiling cloud of plasma as the Vipers' payload hit home. The initial success of the loyalist strike however had been more visibly dramatic than material. Although Tragean had lost his escorts, the screen had detonated an enormous torpedo wave which did not penetrate through to his capital ships beyond. Now Tragean struck back, destroying the escorts and pouring his entire fleet's firepower into the Kirov at the head of the line.


At 14:07 the massed bombardment of the loyalist flagship had badly damaged the vessel, but the imperial admiral still came on, eventually ramming the chaos battleship at 14:26, causing considerable damage. By now the two fleets were practically intermingled, and both sides launched teleport attacks, with the Imperium even launching an ill advised boarding action against the Pestilence at 14:49. Taking significant close range punishment, the two Carnage vessels fleed, crippled, but the next blow was dealt by Tragean, as the two devastation class carriers finished off the Kirov and reducing her to a burnt out floating hulk at 14:44. No longer under her own power or control, the ship drifted aimlessly shedding her atmosphere. To avoid a similar fate, Tragean aboard the heavily damaged Irredeemable Apostate follwed his Carnage's into the inky blackness of the outer reaches of the Tarlius system, while his remaining cruiser force crippled the gothic class Narv at 15:05.


The two fleets now drew apart, three cruisers remaining on both sides. Tragean had three capital ships badly damaged, including his battleship, but the damage to Enkvist's force had been more significant, with Kirov reduced to a wreck. Eventually the imperial fleet made for the jump point, while Tragean returned to orbit over Tarlius II. The attempt to remove Chaos dominance of the system and the skies of the contested worlds had been a failure.

Fleet movements: Enkvist's Journey

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Aeldari maintain presence at Tarlius

In the aftermath of the battle for Tarlius II the Eldar now controlled an enclave of territory in the planet's equatorial region. Frustrated by the meddling Xenos' intervention Stahl vowed to crush the pocket with fire and blood.

To this end he dispatched his most brutal instruments, frothing beserkers of the World Eaters who screamed benefactions to the God of blood and skulls, and alongside them uncountable multitudes of cultists, scum and corrupted humanity.

Constrained by the dense maze of the industrial zone that blocked their approach the attack began to break up, the mechanised World Eaters pulling away from the thronging mass of humanity that accompanied them. As their mechanised column emerged into sunlit open ground the lead transports instantly exploded in showers of wreckage under a meticulously prepared crossfire of lethal missiles and laser beams.

Their rage no longer held in check the Beserkers disembarked from their transports and ran screaming towards the Aeldari positions which were focused around an ancient Imperial bunker on a commanding hilltop. Rapidly closing the ground Khorne's favourites began tearing their way through the thin screens of aspect warriors that were all that stood between them and the bunker.

Not trusting in the World Eater's brutally direct method of war alone Stahl unleashed his second wave. Holes were ripped into the fabric of real space and obliterators emerged onto the flank of the Aeldari's position, their heavy weaponry spitting death.

For all the assaults fierce brutality all was proceeding as the Eldar had forseen. At a signal from their Autarch yet more warrior aspects plummeted from the skys or emerged from secret entrances to the webway. In seconds the attack on the bunker was completely surrounded, its beserk warriors gunned down mercilessly at point blank range. On the open field the obliterators found themselves ambushed and pinned down by swift moving grav vehicles and the bounding, graceful forms of Banshees who channelled all of their hatred for the servants of She Who Thirsts into their paralysing screams. Only a single warrior made it to the bunker, hacking down the Autarch leading the warhost with all of his hatred and rage before being annihilated by the vengeful xenos that surrounded him. Leaderless and seeing that all was lost the cultists scattered back into the dense maze of piping of the industrial complex. 

Despite the obvious opportunity presented to them by the failure of the attack the Aeldari made no move to exploit it. They seemed content to control the ground they already had, seeing no purpose in throwing precious lives away in the grinding trench warfare favoured by the Iron Warriors and Imperium. This planet was worthless to them. For now it was sufficient that the Aeldari presence here pushed the conflict towards a stalemate and denied any side full control of a world that was strategically critical to them both.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Iron Warriors return to Tarlius II

Following the successful operation to take Tarlius I from the crusade, the Iron Warriors resolved to return to Tarlius II, which had been so recklessly lost by the Thousand Sons - at least according to Stahl. This time Stahl decided to land in the northern hemisphere, largely unopposed, as he was now supported by the Grand Fleet of Lord Tragean of Kendrenec, who had offered to station his fleet at Tarlius for a share of the spoils.

The main force landing on Tarlius II, unfortunately for the Novgorod defenders, was the "Covenant of Rust", an element of Stahl's warhost which had been increasingly seen in engagements with the Iron Warriors. Keen to avoid losing valuable astartes to the hordes of guardsmen employed by Patreus on Tarlius II,  Warsmith Stahl responded with his own horde, a plague of disgusting, shambling poxwalkers.

The Novgorod Guard attempted to mow down the horde of diseased and bloated cultists as they advanced on the Imperial lines, but the more they killed, the more simply re-animated as hideous parodies of living flesh, willed on by the force of Nurgle himself. Very soon the Imperial lines were in disarray, as they were overrun by a seemingly endless tide of rotting flesh, and Patreus, shocked, ordered a retreat. Now the central snowfields of northern Tarlius II were once again occupied by the forces of chaos, and a plague of disease swept through the General's forces, putting further strain on his resources. Cut off from reinforcement, things looked bleak for the Imperium at Tarlius II.

Tau defeat Sky Lords at Andar

In the Mabb Nebula, the war on Tyndareous became somewhat static as the Lycaon Guard dug in, waiting for reinforcement. Meanwhile the Sky Lords continued to carry our raids across the sector, attempting to wreck the Tau infrastructure and prevent a coordinated response to the Imperial invasion.

The Tau however, emboldened by their defeat of the Sky Lords at Waystation 233, put together their own plan. They identified Andar Mining Station, on the main stable warp route between Tyndareous and Tyranteous - both Tau held - as a significant strategic objective. General Van Dorn was also aware of this potential weakness, but was initially surprise by the ferocity of the Tau invasion of the station, and the garrison was quickly overrun.

In response the Sky Lords simply diverted from their planned raid and made landfall on Andar, finding the Tau secured in the former Imperial base. A key objective was the fort at Abu-Khim, which overlooked the main mining complex and provided the Tau with a commanding view over the plains.

The Sky Lords prepared a frontal assault, a plan which seemed highly questionable even at the planning stages, but the astartes were confident that they would simply smash through the Xenos lines. The Sky Lords prepared their land raiders and made their way to Abu-Khim, finding the defences manned and the Tau well prepared.

The Sky Lords employed significant power from the air and from space. First conducting a rather unsuccessful air strike with Stormhawk interceptors, followed by a rather more successful orbital strike from the cruiser Peregrine. However the damage was minimal and the Tau remained entrenched in their positions.

The Astartes force now charged up the hill towards the fort, lascannons from the land raiders and flamestorm cannons from the Redeemer causing carnage amongst the kroot, and inflicting some damage to the Tau Ghost Keel battlesuits. However, the Tau response was rapid, coordinated and overwhelming. Massed firepower flashed out against the Sky Lords from a seemingly endless array of powerful weapons, and the Tau quickly obliterated the Sky Lords' land raiders. It was almost as if the Tau had anticipated the Imperial response and planned and equipped accordingly.

Having dispatched the heavy armour, the Tau commander gave the order for a general counter-attack, the xenos battlesuits moving into deadly medium range and wiping out the remainder of the insertion force. The only survivor, rather suspiciously, being the accompanying Sky Lords Tech-Priest, who was duly captured by the Tau. Following the crushing defeat the Sky Lords abandoned Veers in the Mabb Nebula, having been somewhat crippled by their engagements with the Tau and in desperate need of a refit.

The Tau meanwhile consolidated their hold on Andar station, opening up a new route of reinforcement from Tyranteous. The Imperial force at the Tyndareous bridgehead now looked more isolated than ever.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Apocalypse "Special Mission" results

Emperors children: Slaanesh’s favour: every game played by the emperors children gains an additional campaign point, regardless of result (applied after). 
Slaanesh rejoices in the bloodshed and pain of Tarlius, and the performance of his favoured sons.

Iron Warriors: Iron Within: if the Iron warriors are defeated they can only ever lose a maximum of 2 campaign points. 
Stahl overlooked the battlefield of Tarlius I. "We must fortify these positions" he bellowed.

Emerald Serpent: Favoured of Tzeentch. Regardless of who wins, the Emerald Serpent always decide how campaign points are spent. 
Pleased with his children's manipulation of the Warp, Tzeentch will now play a larger hand in the unfolding events.

Necrons: ancient artefact: Necrons ignore all modifiers whenever they do not lose their warlord.
Despite their defeat in alliance with chaos, the Necrons had retrieved what they came for, despite the meddling of the Eldar. 

Thousand Sons: Slayer of the Farseer: any game where Thousand sons kill an Eldar warlord automatically counts as a 3pt win (no modifiers)
The Kel Sandros Farseer was dead. Now to complete the "decapitation" of the Eldar intervention.

Grey Knights: Daemonslayer: If the Grey Knights kill a daemon character in a game they automatically inflict a -2 global modifier on their enemy. 
Despite defeat, the Grey Knights had banished a major foe. Now to continue this holy mission against the denizens of the warp.

Crusade Mechanicum: Archeotech: any game where Cybixx is present the crusade count as having a minimum +1 modifier over the enemy. 
Cybbix smiled, as much as a technologically modified being with no real face could. The Crusade had lost Tarlius I, but he had found the lost STC template.

Vostroya: Boots on the Ground: Vostroya Crusade armies count defeats as “one point” defeats (plus modifiers).
Thousands of Vostroyans had died, but their morale was boosted by their stalwart performance in holding their objectives in front of the foe.

Current battle modifiers

Battle for Tarlius: Aftermath

The battle or battles for Tarlius had seen the greatest bloodshed and loss of life by far in the battles for the Foramen Interdictum thus far. Overall the forces of Chaos had been moderately successful, taking the strategic base of Tarlius I and removing most of the Crusade forces from the system. This had come at a price however.

The Imperium still held on to Tarlius II and III (also known as Gregland II), and although these were not heavily fortified, they still posed a significant thorn in the side of the plans of Stahl and the other chaos warlords. They now needed to follow up on this result and remove the remaining Imperial - and now Eldar - presence from the system.

Stahl's fleet could not stay in orbit for long. The use of the Cicatrix had allowed him to circumvent the Imperial blockade, but if his fleet stayed at Tarlius, he knew Jellicoe could bring an overwhelming force to bear, delivering a blow from which he could not recover. The fleet moved back into the shadows once more, playing the by now familiar game of cat and mouse with the Imperial fleet in the outer reaches of the system.

Stahl resolved to fortify, as any good Iron Warrior would, denying a counter offensive and readying his forces for the next strike. Would his brethren listen to him this time? Perhaps not, but for now the factions of chaos were united in their will to claim Tarlius - and the northern end of the Foramen Majoris - for themselves.

For the Imperium the results at Tarlius were almost catastrophic, but Patreus had held on, thanks largely to the timely intervention of the Eldar. Now however they needed to fortify themselves, and it was unclear what the Eldar would do next. Would they remain allies?

The Crusade suffered the most devastating blow, although the Grey Knights had managed to leave somewhat intact, and Cybixx, despite losing half his expeditionary force, was able to return, brooding, to Vandrax. Only the Dark Angels small outpost on Tarlius II remained in Crusade hands on Tarlius, and now Vorushko had to decide her next move. Wage war on the loyalists? Or unite with them at Tarlius to fight her real enemies - the heretics and xenos.

The Necrons meanwhile had suffered a defeat, and the retrieval of the ancient necron artefact - promised to them by Magnus, had been more costly than had been anticipated. Nevertheless the Necron lords now had something with which to protect their dwindling empire that had been shattered and sliced in two by the coming of the Cicatrix.

The massive battles had seen the worst violence at Tarlius, but it would not be the last. The war on Tarlius was far from over.

Battle for Tarlius II & III (Gregland II)

General Patreus knew there was something afoot on 2203.018M42, as he had reports from his commanders that the forces of chaos were leaving. Contacting his naval attache, Patreus was informed that a large chaos fleet had been detected in the inner worlds, having bypassed the imperial blockade. Patreus was to "expect hostilities", but by 2303.018M42, reports from "New Gregland" suggested that there at least, the chaos forces had completely vanished.

Patreus remained on high alert, but began the process of sending regular patrols against the chaos sector. Finding nothing of note, Patreus readied his Novgorod regiments and began an offensive against the remaining chaos forces, finding little in the way of resistance, save for scattered bands of poorly equipped cultists. Something still didn't feel right, so Patreus requested the support of the Imperial Fists, who agreed to support his offensive. All seemed to be going well, but Patreus had been right. It was a trap.

The Necrons arrived without warning, along with an elite force of Thousand sons led by Magnus. Horrified, Patreus sent distress calls, but then learned of the chaos invasion of Tarlius I. The Grey Knights and their Crusade allies were under massive assault, while Jellicoe's fleet were unable to help, having an entire chaos battlegroup now keeping them out of the inner system. Patreus and the Imperial fists were alone, and desperately outnumbered by their enemies. Then the eldar arrived.

Without communicating with the humans, the aeldari force, accompanied by an avatar of Khaine, appeared behind the embattled imperial lines, having used their knowledge of the web way. Believing this to herald a total defeat, Patreus prepared to end his own life, lest he be captured by the multitude of Xenos now facing him, but to his surprise and the dumbfounded guardsmen, the Eldar force simply pushed passed the imperial lines and headed straight at the Necrons. Patreus didn't need an official invitation, and battle was rejoined with greater fervour with these new found allies.

Despite the arrival of the Aeldari, the battle was far from certain. In the mountainous terrain of the Tarlius II badlands, the fighting became furious and at times brutally bloody. The Imperial Fists held the right flank, but had lost a venerable Fellblade in the initial assault. The Novgorod held the left, but in the centre the Eldar came face to face with the might of the Necrons and Magnus the Red himself... or at least one of his shards. Bitter fighting for the strategically vital mountain summits ensued, and the central peak changed hands over and over. Magnus and the Eldar Autarch died in the fighting, as the battle swung back and forth. Eventually however a concerted push by the Eldar and Novgorod, along with a valiant defence by the Imperial Fists, forced the Necrons and the remaining chaos troops off the commanding summits.

Their position compromised and losing men rapidly as the Imperial Guard dug in and established firebases on every summit, the Necron-Chaos alliance ended. The Necrons, satisfied that they had retrieved their ancient artefact and no longer showing much interest in the fight, disappeared as quickly as they had arrived, leaving the chaos force, now leaderless and scattered, to be mopped up by Patreus's forces as the defeat turned into a rout. The eldar however did not leave. Instead they took up positions in the equatorial region of the world following the battle, still remaining silent after preventing Tarlius II from falling to chaos. Wary, Patreus waited for the Xenos to make the first move.

Battle for Tarlius 1

On 2303_018M42 the full force of the Iron Warriors fleet appeared in orbit around Tarlius I. The Imperial Navy considered intervening, but with its fleet scattered on blockade duty, Jellicoe reasoned that any intervention would be too little, too late, and lead to a potentially catastrophic defeat. Once again the forces of chaos had used the Cicatrix Maledictum to escape detection, and deliver a massive force into the heart of the system. The Imperium meanwhile were restricted to travelling the narrow lanes of the Foramen.

The Imperial force had been bolstered by the arrival of the reaver titan, but as the massive chaos force made landfall in front of the Grey Knights base, the mighty titan was still unloading from its drop ship, and would not be available for the start of the battle. Defending the base at the outset was Cybixx and his mechanics along with the Vostroyan Guard. The Grey Knights waited in reserve for an opportune moment to counter strike.

The forces of chaos, led by a mass of cultists, consisted of daemons and marines of the Emperor's Children, a host of daemons from the Emerald Serpent, and might vehicles and war engines led by Stahl himself. Despite fielding significant firepower, the crusade forces were penned back by the chaos horde, and though they cut them down in short order, there were always more to replace them. Very soon the Grey Knights realised they had to intervene, Reaver Titan or not.

The Ordo Malleus Astartes arrived with their customary ferocity, and on the chaos left flank they held, then turned the chaos advance, cutting down swathes of Thousand Sons and tzeentch daemons. However, toward the centre, Cybixx's electro priests were unable to get close enough to engage their enemy in close combat, and were swiftly dispatched by a chaos knight. The Imperial Baneblade of the Vostroyans kept the chaos assault at bay, despite coming under the sights of an Iron Warriors Shadowsword. The traitor super-heavy missed its shot, allowing the Baneblade to reply in kind. The Imperial war engine did not miss, wrecking the Shadowsword and securing the right flank.

On the left, the situation was well under control, until the arrival of a chaos Warhound titan. Now the forces of chaos had a towering war engine, and the Warhound soon made its presence felt, causing significant damage to the Adeptus Mechanicus forces. With the Imperial left flank in danger of total collapse, the timely intervention of the Reaver Titan was welcomed by the Imperial force. The giant war engine unleashed a devastating volley of fire just as the Vostroyans landed their Scions in the midst of the chaos lines. The Warhound however was not bowed, and the huge energies of the Reaver Titan's weapons were deflected by its void shields. In response, the Warhound levelled its turbo-lasers at the Reaver, but again titanic void shield held in the face of this violent onslaught. The titans had cancelled each other out.

While the Titans duelled, the Grey Knights realised that if the centre of the battlefield remained in chaos control, the battle would be lost. All available firepower was levelled at the cultists swarming over the front gates to the compound, but despite the carnage wrought, the traitor forces did not waver. In desperation the Grey Knights launched their assault, but despite heroic bravery their charge proved in vain. By late 2403.018M42 after a day of non stop bloodshed, it was clear the chaos invasion could not be stopped.

The Reaver and the Adeptus Mechanicus made an ordered retreat back to the space port, holding one area of the base long enough for Cybixx's forces to retrieve an item of significance; his experiments and research on a suspected STC. The Vostroyans too fought bravely, coming dangerously close to the Warhound titan and distracting it long enough for the Reaver to land some telling shots. However, neither Titan was put out of action.

On 2803.018M42 the Imperial rear guard action reached the spaceport, allowing the Crusade's important assets - the Mechanicum and Grey Knights, to escape into orbit, where a Mechanicum cruiser and the Grey Knights fleet were anxious to leave orbit before the invasion fleet detected them. Tarlius I had been lost, and Stahl with his allies had achieved an important victory. The Iron Warriors began fortifying their new base, while the daemons of Slaanesh enjoyed some "sport" with the remaining Vostroyans.

Battle of Tarlius: Prelude

At the end of 03.018M42 the war on Tarlius intensified with massive battles occuring across the system. By now, Warsmith Stahl had completed his fortifications on the outer two worlds and was watching with some dismay at the failure of his Chaos "brethren" to inflict a decisive blow on the Imperium. He identified the Grey Knights' base on Tarlius 1 a key target for assault, but even with his fleet and manpower the other forces of chaos were unwilling to aid him, given they were still bogged down in wars of attrition on Tarlius II and III. Stahl needed more men.

Stahl however had contacts. Ever since his humiliating defeat at Calliden the Warsmith had known of the necrons and their plans for the sector. Following the coming of the Cicatrix the Harakhty Dynasty had been shattered, and now Stahl decided to send an olive branch to his enemies. Contacting the emissaries of the Harakhty and Charnovokh dynasties, one of his messengers finally met a receptive ear in the necron court. The necrons were aware of the wars in the Foramen, but lacked the manpower to intervene. Here however there was an opportunity. In exchange for their aid to Warsmith Stahl's campaign, the Necrons merely requested that they be allowed to retrieve something from Tarlius II. His extra forces secured, Stahl began planning the major assault on the heavily defended Imperial base on Tarlius I.

The eldar of the Kel Sandros interpreted the skeins of fate with dismay. Stahl would probably achieve his goal and the Tarlius system would be added to the chaos empire, cutting off the Imperium from their bases in the Perseus Deeps, and almost certainly setting in motion a wave of chaos assaults on all the worlds in the Imperium Nihilis. Worse, the Necrons were interfering, which could only mean they had something to gain. Farseer Tarquil once again readied his warhost. They would go to battle, this time alongside the Mon'Keigh.

The Crusade had expected such an assault on the base at Tarlius I, and Cybixx and Vorushko had reinforced the base itself with Vostroyan Guard and Cybixx's Adeptus Mechanicus forces. More however would be needed, so the Grey Knights sent a distress call as far as they could. With barely hours to spare before imminent invasion, the Legio Ultima agreed to lend one Reaver titan. Only one, but its power was immense. All sides prepared for war.

Tarlius Strategic