Sunday, August 05, 2018
In 08.018M42 the Grey Knights returned once again to Tarlius, this time at the head of an astartes force which over time was planning operations in order to retake Tarlius from the forces of Chaos. Before this could begin, the astartes recognised that the system had been heavily fortified by the Iron Warriors, with gun emplacements, forts and space ports established on most world. The outermost of these was a small but powerful defence laser on Tarlius 5.
Dropping a small squad of Grey Knights onto the laser emplacement itself caused a great deal of havoc as the chaos defenders struggled to respond to the sudden appearance of super humans in their midst. At first, the Grey Knights found the going easy, slaughtering the local slave workers and Dark Mechanicus. However, the planet was not undefended, and a small force of Death Guard supported by expendable pox walkers attempted to break through the Grey Knight's small perimeter as the loyalist adeptus mechanicus began putting the laser silo out of action.
Despite a lone pox walker breaking through the Grey Knights' cordon and infecting the mechanicum adepts, their sacrifice was not in vain. As the Grey Knights teleported back to their orbiting escort vessel they looked back in satisfaction as the entire installation detonated, destroying it as a defensive position and leaving only a crater. Once again a small astartes strike team had got past formidable defences and dealt a powerful blow to the forces of chaos. Now the astartes would follow up with a full scale invasion, while the Iron Warriors - dealing with "situations" on Mordecai - were unable to defend their gains.
Monday, July 23, 2018
Sunday, July 22, 2018
Admiral Barham moved in strength on the Dnatha System, escorting an entire company of Imperial Fists, recently arrived from the Perseus Deeps. Their intent was to remove the weakened Librian forces from Dnatha following their extremely costly "victory" over House Eagleclaw to claim Dnatha Prime.
Since the battle for the main world the Imperium and Librian forces had been skirmishing on the ice world of Dnatha II, as the small federal fleet attempted to establish dominance over the imperial forces now based on the outer worlds. These forces had recently been reinforced with elite Librian and Tallaxian mechanised regiments in order to tackle the rough ground and freezing temperatures of Dnatha's outer systems.
The Imperial Fists were hoping for a simple return to Dnatha, but with the presence of the Federal fleet at Dnatha Prime, they knew that a landing would prove difficult and would be unlikely to deliver a knockout blow at the Federal position. The Astartes could not afford a long drawn out engagement, so instead decided to secure the outer worlds, effectively besieging Dnatha Prime. Meanwhile Admiral Barham's fleet and the federal battlegroup maintained their stand, neither side yet willing to risk their ships.
On the ground the Federal force defending the Dnatha II base was well prepared, but the initial bombardment from the astartes strike cruiser destroyed much of the static Librian defences. The Imperial Fists then made a text book night attack, assaulting the federal positions in bitter cold and pitch black conditions. The Space Marines, immune to the cold but somewhat easier to spot in the darkness made good progress, until a concealed Librian Baneblade annihilated their Spartan command tank as soon as the imperial force came into range. The astartes knew this battle would now be all the more difficult.
Despite the darkness and cold neither side withdrew, and a fierce firefight developed outside the ruined base. Heavy weapons soon eliminated the federal baneblade, which detonated, causing severe damage to nearby Librian buildings, and doomed one unit of Primaris plasma gunners as the huge Baneblade turret flew off, scattering onto their unfortunate position before they could so much as look up.
Despite these losses the durability of the space marine infantryman once again made the difference. The Librian tanks did inflict damage on the Fists, as did the basilisk artillery battery, but their shooting was often eratic and hampered by the cold dark conditions. In addition, a high proportion of the Librian armour caught fire and exploded, once again raising concerns over the safety of these vehicles both in manufacture and maintenance. After the battle the Federacy ordered an inquiry by the Federal Health and Safety Board (FHSB).
With the main base overrun and the Librians having lost all their heavy equipment, the scramble was now on to rescue what they could before the cold ended all hope of escape. Several large shuttles were able to leave for Dnatha Prime and the safety of the Federal Fleet, but hundreds of Librians were not so lucky.
The smaller scale action was nonetheless strategically important for the Imperium, as Barham's fleet began its blockade of the Dnatha System, while the Imperial Fists instructed their enginseers to begin work on "Gregopolis" - a set of fortifications and defence lasers on the second world securing it from light orbital assault. The Imperium would dig in, and plan its next move to conquer the system.
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Ceti lay on the main warp route between Vanir and the Echo cluster, and Barham needed a base in the system to ensure continued and uninterupted monitoring of the Necron threat. Currently hibernating, should the necrons awaken without warning and intercept the fleet at Ceti the result would be disastrous.
Sunday, July 15, 2018
Unfortunately for the alliance, the Imperium had left considerable strength behind on Dnatha, as not only was there a garrison of Lycaon Guard, but a significant force belonging to House Eagleclaw, which the Imperial Expedition had added to their force following the detente between the Crusade and Loyalist factions in the Hadron Expanse.
Now acting as a somewhat unified force, the Imperial defenders soon arrived to prevent the federal tanks from crossing the river between their landing zone and the small city-base. A bloody battle ensued, and although two of the giant war engines were taken out by the Librian Shadowsword, they were unable to stop the largest Knight, a Valiant, from getting to the federal lines.
The awesome close combat weaponry of the Imperial construct - something the Federacy had no access to, now tore through the Librian tanks, wrecking even the baneblade that tried to smash into the giant walker. Desperation set in, as the Librian infantry ran for cover, until at the last second the general stepped forward. Yelling "for freedom" at the top of his lungs, General Chamberlain ran to the base of the towering monstrosity, using his ancient heirloom power sword to hack away at the cables around the base of the Knight. Almost unbelievably the attack worked, as the loss of power to one of the war engines titanic feet caused the Valiant to topple over, crashing into the almost wrecked baneblade, detonating both of their plasma reactors in an explosion rivalling a nuclear blast.
Not surprisingly Chamberlain did not survive. However his sacrifice destroyed the remaining heavy unit defending the base, and despite having no vehicles left of their own, federal reinforcements quickly surrounded the imperial base, leading to its surrender. Although the Librian losses were immense, shocking the alliance planners, they now had a base at Dnatha, and at least one captured Knight pilot. The controller of a Crusader was quickly put into a coma before he could commit suicide, while the heretic tech-adepts of Tallax began trying to unravel the technological mystery of the war engine and its MIU.
In orbit the federal fleet could not remain however, as they received news that Admiral Barham, having dropped off a force at Ceti, was now inbound to the Echo Cluster. Uncertain of his intentions, the Hand of Freedom was forced to return to the Federal base at Mimir, leaving a small garrison on the newly won base at Dnatha Prime. Whether the Librian Sacrifice had been worth it would remain to be seen.
Sunday, July 08, 2018
The invasion of Dnatha went extremely well. Finding that the tau had begun to colonise the outer worlds, the imperial battlegroup bombarded the smaller bases from space, utterly destroying them. At the world of Dnatha itself the imperium found a much stronger force of tau and began a concerted invasion by land. The tau, commanded by one of Skyfall's devotees, were well equipped with Riptides and giant Storm Surge battlesuits. These the tau placed carefully around their primary base, where they felt their firepower would be more than enough to repel any imperial attack.
Initially the Tau faced the Knights of House Corvus, and the tau scored an early success bringing down a Knight Errant as the imperial army moved in range of the massive tau firepower. The tau were unaware however that Legio Dominus had sent a Warhound titan to aid the invasion, and the arrival of the scout war engine caused dismay in the tau ranks, who had been unaware of how fast such an imperial war engine could be. Very soon the Warhound Titan "Warspite" was amongst the tau forces, using its apocalyptic weaponry to simply obliterate its foes. A storm surge was simply vapourised in one shot by the titan's Quad Turbo-lasers.
Alarmed by the giant war engine, the tau called in their reinforcements, concentrating their entire firepower against the imperial war machine. This paid dividends, as the Warspite's void shields were quickly overloaded and the massed firepower blasted against the scout titan's armour. Within minutes this punishment resulted in an ominous glow from the Warhound's engine housing, then in the middle of the battle, Warspite's reactor detonated in a runaway reaction that was visible for hundreds of miles. The damage from the explosion was severe. Although the tau base itself survived, many tau were killed or wounded and several battlesuits took heavy damage.
The concentration of firepower on the warhound allowed House Corvus and its support forces, notably a baneblade supplied by the Imperial Guard, to close on the tau lines. Kroot infantry were massacred and although several Knights were toppled, the tau based was overrun. Lacking in numbers to reclaim the installation, the remaining stealth suits and tau infantry disappeared as best they could amongst the rivers and swamps of the nearby oasis, hoping to evacuate by piranha during the hours of darkness. Some managed this, as the Knights were unable to easily prevent nocturnal small unit movements in the wilderness. The tau base however had been taken, allowing the Imperium to land guardsmen and members of the administratum on all the planets of the Dnartha system. The tau attempt to dominate the Echo Cluster was now under threat from the Imperium as well as the traitor forces.