Monday, March 18, 2019
At Vespae the eldar and dark eldar had been highly active, stealing or concealing many ancient ruins once part of a gigantic necron empire. The sorcerers of Tzeentch theorised that on the world may lie an exposed entrance to the webway, and this was confirmed by a patrol team. Realising the value of such a breach in the eldar domain, the Emerald Serpent sent a strong force to Vespae, moving into the webway en masse, searching for a "back door" onto Hexis that would end the imperial struggle and confirm chaos as the pre-eminent force in the Expanse.
Unfortunately for Ahriman, the eldar detected the blasphemous presence in their domain, and sent a strong force to oppose them. Bitter fighting ensued under a sunless light, as the webway recoiled from the violence, psychically attuned to the slaughter happening within. In the fighting, Ahriman was struck down and had to be evacuated by his remaining followers, while a unit of cultists, unseen by the eldar and forgotten in the chaos of the fighting, managed to slay the eldar commander before the rest of the xenos ejected the chaos forces from the webway. The fighting had been bloody, but the webway protected. The eldar resolved to fortify Vespae, using wards to conceal its presence from their enemies. The Emerald Serpent had failed, this time, to deal a decisive blow in the war in the Expanse, but they resolved to keep trying.
Saturday, March 16, 2019
In order to soften up the defences of Mordecai Primaris, which were significant, the Imperial Fleet of Admiral Dreyer was sent in against the chaos fleets patrolling the outer reaches of Mordecai. Dreyer took command of most of Hughes' torpedo armed vessels as part of an ad-hoc battlegroup, and closed to near point blank range with the Emerald Serpent fleet, supported by units of Tragean's force. The battle was a decisive victory for the imperium, crippling most of the Emerald Serpent's vessels and forcing Tragean to abandon Mordecai and retreat to Kendrenec. For the loss of only one capital ship, the Imperium had cleared the way for strikes to take place against the planet itself. The space docks, protected by a powerful space fortress, would also have to be dealt with, but first the missile silos and spaceport on Mordecai Primaris would need neutralising, or any invasion would be massacred.
The missile siloes were pounded for hours by Dreyer's fleet, but the spaceport, protected by energy shields, would need direct attention. The Grey Knights eagerly offered to help, knowing Mordecai was a hotbed of daemonic incursions and blasphemous rituals. Landing outside the space port, the astartes force faced the Emerald Serpent, who had deployed to defend the installation from this expected attack. However, early on in the engagement the Grey Knights destroyed the Emerald Serpent's renegade Knight, which detonated so spectacularly, that it very nearly levelled the space port by itself. Shattered by this turn of events, the Emerald Serpent force withdrew, abandoning the space port and having to watch as Mordecai Primaris' key link to the wider sector was ruthlessly torn apart by the victorious imperial forces. By the time the defenders had rallied a second defensive force, the Grey Knights were gone, leaving behind little more than burning rubble for the chaos lords to reoccupy.
With the offensive going well, Lord Maximus appointed a supreme commander in the Mordecai system, who now set about marshalling his forces for the full scale invasion of the second planet. Using Mordecai Secundus as a jumping off point, the General planned a two stage operation, simultaneously using the Imperial Fleet to knock out the space station and docks, while making a landing in force with mainly Novgorod Guard regiments, although the Imperial Fists, Grey Knights and Sky Lords all made commitments to the system. The war in the Mordecai system was entering a critical phase.
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Monday, March 11, 2019
Star: M1 V Red Dwarf
Mordecai is the most powerful system left in the Perseus Deeps of the once sector spanning empire. It has three major worlds - Mordecai Primaris, the main world, Mordecai Secundus - a hot inhospitable rock mined for its resources, and Mordecai Tersius, a small but important agri-world. The system is self sufficient and is home to the mighty warfleets of several chaos lords including Admiral Thok.
Mordecai Primaris is home to 1 billion citizens, forced to labour in forges and manufactorums to generate equipment and wargear for the chaos cause. Ruled independently by traitor technocrats, Mordecai serves as an important base of operations for any would be traitor warlord.
The system has extensive space docks and defences, and although the Imperium have tried to establish a bridgehead on the outer world of Mordecai Tersius on a number of occasions, each time the power of the system defences and chaos fleets has repulsed them, until 019M42, when combined Novgorod and astartes forces, led by the Imperial Fists, finally took the agri-world. Now Lord Commander Justinian Flavius Maximus is looking to conquer the Chaos capital of the Perseus Deeps.
Type: Terrestrial World
Orbital Radius: 3.13 x 107 km (0.21 AU)
Period: 1.46 x 103 hours (0.17 earth years)
Physics: Large iron/silicate
Gravity: 15.35 m/s2 (1.57 x earth)
Hydrosphere: 10 % water, 16 % ice
Atmosphere: Thin corrosive
Classification: Chaos World
Pop: Approx 1 Billion
Hive sprawls spread across the barren landscape, as little in the way of life still remains outside the cities. Polution and the natural harsh conditions on Mordecai Primaris prevent anything more than scrubland and other desert plants from surviving. Fauna is limited to insects and small reptiles, many of which are deadly to humans.
The population of Mordecai Primaris live int the cities. The main cities ring the north pole of the world, surrounding a giant needle like artefact known as the warp spire. Bolts of aetheric energy constantly bridge the void between the needle and poleward pointing spires that dot the hive cities of the ring. Although Hamen is the largest independent city, there are three hive spires representing the major factions of the chaos pantheon in the Aleph Sector, as well as abandoned and ruined spires from previous chaos warlords.
Stahl's fortress is the Iron Warriors dwelling on Mordecai, a slab sided brutal structure, contrasting with the gleaming spires of the Crystal Citadel, home of Lord Tragean when he visits the world. Admiral Thok does not hold a dwelling on the planet's surface, preferring to maintain quarters in the docks that orbit the world. The Emerald Serpent are currently constructing a spire, while the ruins of Lorek's fortress, destroyed in a petulant rage by the Iron Warriors, remain as a testament to the uneasy alliance between chaos forces on Mordecai.
Closer to the equator the hivesprawls and their cities are home to slave lords who are responsible for the production of much of the chaos wargear and equipment in the sector, and Mordecai Primaris is second only to Charybdis in the Enceladus subsector in terms of power and production.
Saturday, March 09, 2019
The war against chaos prosecuted by the new Lord General covered the entire sector, as Maximus declared “total war” on the traitors. On Hexis, new deliveries of nuclear ammunition allowed Konev to continue “degrading” chaos positions, destroying Warsmith Stahl’s fortress in the Shifting Sands. The continuation of the nuclear war had begun to turn the surface of Hexis into a poisonous radioactive hell, something Konev’s troops were less equipped for than the forces of the enemy. The astartes forces on Hexis raised their concerns but for now the General insisted the nuclear bombardment continue.
At Mordecai Maximus conducted a carefully planned raid of the second world, testing its defences and setting down an entire regiment of Novgorod Guard. The Emerald Serpent reacted quickly, and the appearance of elite terminators and daemon forces almost caused the complete failure of the mission. However the guard forces managed to hold their line long enough for the attached adeptus mechanicus forces to destroy several orbital assets on Mordecai Secundus, as preparations for a full scale invasion began in earnest.
At Paradorn the appearance of the Eldar became a grave concern, as Lord Maximus surmised that a combined chaos-eldar Coalition was working against the imperium in order to deny them access to the vital Foramen Interdictum. Despite the loss of Paradorn I to the xenos, the lord general ordered full scale defensive preparations, with the imperial guard digging in fortifying the third planet, as it became clear that Paradorn III would be the eldar’s next target. Paradorn must be held at all costs.
Wednesday, March 06, 2019
The violence on the dark side of Hexis escalated as 03.019M42 progressed. The Sisters of Quartz arrived after the Federacy showed no signs of pushing any further into the catacombs. Worried that the forces of chaos would find the necron artefact behind the energy signatures, the eldar first had to overcome a squad of skittarii who were guarding a new adeptus mechanicus expedition intent on investigating the distant ruins. The Sisters charged the Mechanicum force, overwhelming them and gaining access to the inner chambers.
Down below, the Sisters of Quartz soon encountered the Majnun Medjai in the catacombs, and a violent and bloody encounter ensued. The Sisters managed to push forward and hold key objectives, but they were soon pinned down and struggling to extricate themselves from the situation. After hours of fighting the Sisters were forced to pull back, unable to dislodge the Thousand Sons warband. Reluctantly the eldar harlequins decided to investigate elsewhere, and hopefully deal with the chaos interlopers later.
Deeper in the underground ruins, amidst the crumbling tunnels and warren of passageways, the harlequins found an even more frightening threat. Lurking deep beneath the ground the tyranids infested the passageways. The Sisters of Quartz charged, but the aliens proved a difficult enemy. Despite their acrobatic ability, the eldar warriors struggled to deal with the horde of hormagaunts, backed up by Tyranid warriors and a lictor. Once again the eldar were driven off, forced to look for alternative passages towards the centre of the necron maze.
Narrative games gain both sides +1 campaign point for their game size. So a 1500-2000 will yield the winner 6 points (plus positive modifiers if any) and the loser 1 point.
Many narrative games have an attacker and defender. Once a game has been arranged the attacker may choose to have more points, up to a maximum of 1/3 of the defenders points. So this might be 2000 vs. 1500. If the attacker chooses to do this, then after the game they must give one of their campaign points to the loser should they win. Thus the winner would get 5 and the loser 2.
Should the defender win, the points are as normal and no reallocation occurs. This represents the greater strategic effort involved in the attacker’s mission.
Narrative games should be chosen relevant to the campaign, but the attacker could be either side - for example a planetary invasion could result in the campaign “attacker” defending a bridgehead from a counter attack. Use your imagination!
Narrative games should be chosen before army selection, and for some missions some units may be inappropriate. It is up to players to use their judgement and often the mission will suggest units that may be more fitting.
Saturday, March 02, 2019
As 019M42 progressed, the war on Hexis became even more grim, as the Imperium began shelling the enemy positions with atomic weaponry from their newly created nuclear artillery in the deserts of Calth. The use of the weaponry was still controversial, as although it proved effective at reducing chaos fortifications, there were two worries. First, irradiated zones risked the lives of loyal imperial guardsmen, or more accurately, increased the resource cost of retaking these regions. Human resources, although not difficult to replace, could become difficult to command if they became aware of the dangers of the radiation they were being sent into. For now however, General Konev was concentrating on military objectives, namely the destruction of enemy fortresses and supply bases. The second fear was that the forces of chaos would retaliate in kind, or worse, use warp spawned weaponry against the hundreds of thousands of guardsmen now defending the imperial lines.
Three salvoes were fired at chaos positions in early 03.019M42, exhausting the current imperial nuclear arsenal but meeting with significant success. The fortifications in Old Town were obliterated, with mass cultist casualties, while in South Praxis, the warp beacon set up by chaos to guide in ships was similarly annihilated. In West Praxis, the region of Hakhor was bombarded, destroying chaos supply dumps and killing the defenders in that part of the city. The Imperium were unable to follow up the success by taking ground, but that wasn't the point. Konev was determined to grind down the enemy and destroy their ability to fight, before pushing into the city of Praxis itself.
Fielding a mix of daemonic entities backed up by Darrantine Guard regiments, the Emerald Serpent proved difficult to overcome, and Novgorod casualties soon began mounting. However, the imperial force knew that defeat here would probably mean the loss of the system, so the imperial force stubbornly pursued their objectives despite horrific losses. More men were pushed into the front, and the beachhead was eventually secured. Fighting raged over key installations for days, but eventually the imperium pushed the chaos forces to breaking point first.
By 0403.019M42 the Emerald Serpent had lost much of their daemonic support, and the planet could no longer be held. The remaining useful chaos forces were evacuated by Stahl and Thok's fleets, while the remainder were slowly mopped up by the exhausted invaders. Paradorn 3 had been retaken, but the situation in the system remained difficult.
Despite being close to Hexis itself, the Hexis moon showed no signed of Necron activity, and it was believed that the ancient race did not bother to settle the world. Its lack of immediate strategic significance had seen little action on its surface, but the Imperium soon found out that the forces of chaos were setting up a large installation on Hexis moon, creating a secondary base which could mean the constant support by the traitor fleets would no longer be as necessary. Realising the strategic threat, the Sky Lords sent in their first company of terminators to deal with the chaos forces. Unfortunately for the astartes as soon as they made landfall they found the heretic base defended by Death Guard terminators of Mortarion's own first plague company.
The Sky Lords sent in their elite against the traitors, and they had the numbers advantage. Leaving the scouts to secure their own objectives and protect the flanks, Chapter Master Potitus led his terminators against the chaos force, who were now slowly marching forward to the Sky Lords' positions. The imperial force had a firepower advantage, but the blight lord terminators and the death shroud proved hard to defeat with guns alone, and the commander of the astartes knew his force would have to take on the deaths shroud in close combat to deal the traitors a decisive blow. Aiming to strike first, he ordered his own combat squad supported by power fist armed terminators to perform a double charge on the enemy force that was still lumbering forward. Despite his commands and the use of psychic forces from his own librarian, the charges failed, and the Sky Lords were now stuck in the open against the full force of the Death Guard host.
The loyalist terminators withstood much of the withering firepower, but pinned down, the first company of the Sky Lords had no chance when the remaining death shroud terminators struck home with their fearsome plague weapons. Millennia of experience and the blessings of Grandfather Nurgle saw the traitor marines make short work of Potitus' elite squads, and despite an energetic charge by his remaining warriors on the space marine left flank, the Death Guard could not be held. The chapter master ordered a retreat, narrowly avoiding the fate of his lieutenant, who was cut down by a Death Guard chaos lord, but the plague marines eventually caught up with the Sky Lords' chapter master, bludgeoning him to the ground. Only later did Potitus manage to escape, seriously wounded, once his scouts had been evacuated.
The mission to secure Hexis moon had failed, and the forces of chaos, led by the Death Guard, continued work on their installations, creating a thorn in General Konev's side which would be extremely difficult to remove.
The Squat Confederacy was the final success of the Federacy on Hartak. Combining ancient Imperial designs with tau and Tallaxian scientific knowledge, the squats of Hartak had finally mastered how to re-engineer the MIU of titan machine spirits in order to wield these mighty war engines in battle. In their first engagement, the success of the project would be tested to the limit, as on the Alliance target world of Hussaria, the Titan Legion Gryphonnicus had been deployed at the request of Vorushko , as the Imperium found themselves strategically overstretched with their wars on Hexis and the Foramen.
The squat titans engaged Legio Gryphonnicus on the plains of the major world after the Federal Fleet, assisted by Shadowstrike's tau vessels, outran Stark's fleet to reach the key planet of the Hussaria system. The initial landing caught the imperial defenders by surprise, but near the city of Svartån the Imperial titan legion but up a stubborn defence. However the loyalist titans suffered several misfortunes, having their warhound scout titans annihilated and their reaver blown apart by the might of the squat war engines. By 0303.019M42 the federal invasion had destroyed the imperial defences and taken Svartån, putting the imperium firmly on the defensive in the Hussaria system.
In early 03.019 newly appointed admiral Gorshkov, taking over from the late admiral Kanin, led his fleet back from the Hadron Expanse to the Perseus Deeps following a hurried refit at the makeshift orbital docks at Awarath. Ordered to return and sort reinforce imperial battlegroups at the Foramen Interdictum, Gorshkov got intelligence that the Emerald Serpent fleet, still recovering from the battle at Destino, would be making a warp jump to Mordecai. The imperial fleet set off and managed to intercept the chaos battle group before it had a chance to make the jump.
The ensuing engagement was an indecisive affair, with both sides losing a capital ship. However, the Emerald Serpent suffered heavy damage to several vessels and were effectively destroyed as a fighting force. Rather than pursue the remaining vessels, Gorshkov allowed the Emerald Serpent fleet to make the jump to Mordecai, where they faced weeks of repairs at the docks. Meanwhile Stark ordered fleets to Mordecai, to prepare for an invasion of the critical chaos world.