Friday, May 29, 2020

Mordecai System


Ynnari raid the orks on Hexis

 - Steal clue

Astralis arises

General Kutuzov looked across his desk at the Imperial headquarters of the Mordecai Secundus campaign at the adjutant standing with the imperial psyker who had just delivered a bombshell to the general.
 
"Is there any physical evidence of this?" The general asked.
 
The adjutant looked across to the Logis Strategos adept who shifted on his feet a little before approaching the desk.
 
"Sir," the adept paused, his fingers nervously handing over the intelligence data slate. Kutuzov had a reputation for raging, but on this occasion the veteran general appeared calm. Nonetheless the adept seemed afraid of the information he was delivering.
 
"Analysis of enemy troop concentrations appear to suggest that there is a ring of forces being prepared around Kuneus. In addition there are Emerald Serpent forcess massing to the north west of the position. It appears as if something of great value is taking place at Kuneus, and that the forces of chaos are preparing for a massive attack. It is... Consistent, with my learned colleague."
 
Kutuzov stood, his height giving him added presence amongst those in his planning chamber. In the alcoves, several of his colonels stood and waited for his instructions.
 
"So, the traitors are planning a ritual. For what purpose we do not know, but it must be stopped. Have the astartes been alerted?"
 
"They have my lord", answered his adjutant, "but they are unable to respond at this time."
 
Quickly the general's eyes bore down on his colonels.
 
"What units do we have in the area?"
 
There was an awkward pause as the colonels looked at each other, as if waiting for someone else to take that question. Eventually the southern front commander stood forward, and cleared his throat.
 
"Sir, the only forces capable of responding in the timescale suggested are... The Librian 101st and 57th regiments."
 
The room fell silent. Least trusted in battle following the secession of the Librian system, and having a record as unreliable in combat, the Librians had been posted to rear areas and mopping up jobs. Now they alone could stop whatever ritual the chaos forces were planning.
 
Kutuzov briefly looked at the floor before addressing the room.
 
"So be it. And may the Emperor protect us all. Have an offensive drawn up immediately".
 
++++
 
The Librian regiments near to Kuneus received their priority orders on 2405.020M42. Tasked with immediately advancing towards a location where they were told forces of the traitors were "planning operations which could have a deleterious impact on the campaign", the Librians were simply given orders to advance and take specific locations. Nothing of the ritual was mentioned. Colonel Jefferies dutifully planned an offensive and less than a day later the Librians moved forwards from their start lines.
 
The reaction to the advance was rapid from the Emerald Serpent, who deployed their elite Thousand Sons against the Imperial Guard, using arcane powers to teleport their forces around the battlefield as they were required. The imperial bombardment from basilisks and manticores was heavy, and the battle soon hung in the balance. Dropping in from orbit, Scions of the 51st reinforced the tanks and guardsmen on the ground as they advanced, taking many of the imperial objectives. However, the use of psychic powers meant the numerically inferior traitor astartes were able to react to each threat, and despite many of them being reduced to dust, the Librian 101st regiment started to take heavy casualties amongst the infantry.
 
The Librian tanks soon followed, showing once again their alarming predilection towards explosive conflagrations, as the imperial right flank began to collapse. Although the Imperium still had ample artillery raining down on the Emerald Serpent and had taken the objectives on their left, the overall advance stalled. Two days later, with their main objective still not taken, the Librians were appalled to see a great flash of light stream up from the land in front of them, streaking into the night sky far into the Mordecai system.
 
Two imperial transports were annihilated by this psychic emanation, but worse was to come. As the imperial fleet detected an energy spike which blew out all their sensors, the warp itself exploded into realspace within the Mordecai system. With a psychic shock that every living thing felt, a daemon world forced its way from the immaterium in an obscene mirror of birth. Astralis, daemon world of the Emerald Serpent had manifested itself in the Mordecai system. The Librian attack was cancelled.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Craftworld Eldar take Fairmoor


Despite the eldar having taken the device, it was clear they intended to continue the war at Corticant until Veers' army and the entire human population was removed. Now cut off, the Librian forces at Fairmoor planned a breakout attempt while, they thought, the eldar attention was concentrated at the Excavation Site and at Violetwind Coast. However, as the tanks of the Librian Guard rolled up to their start line and prepared to start their offensive towards imperial forces at Lochford, they were suddenly and unexpectedly attacked by an armoured force from the Ul'Staer Craftworld which had not been seen before.

The surprise was total, as eldar falcons and fire prisms, supported by weapons platforms and night spinners, swarmed into view. The Imperium didn't get the chance to open fire before nearly a third of their tanks were reduced to wrecks by the eldar firepower, and the supporting infantry found themselves in the open with nowhere to hide. The Librian commander attempted to regain the initiative by ordering his artillery to open fire, but the eldar vehicles were too agile and the Librians failed to do any real damage. With no alternative, and with his tanks showing an alarming predilection towards detonating in spectacular explosions, the Librian colonel ordered in his airborne reserve force.

Dropping in from high altitude the disciplined Scions of the Librian army landed in the midst of the enemy artillery vehicles, destroying one and pausing the eldar advance, at least for several minutes. Unfortunately lacking support, the scions were quickly mopped up by the superior aeldari firepower, and the remaining Librian units were systematically hunted down and eliminated. Eventually the colonel himself was killed by the eldar commander - a farseer riding a jetbike. Despite his refractor field saving him from the eldar spear, the eldar leader's gunfire put an end to the colonel and the last of imperial resistance in the west of Corticant. Fairmoor fell, and the eldar now had a secure front line against the Imperium from which they could launch an advance in a number of direction. The situation for Veers looked dire.


Monday, May 25, 2020

Imperium draw up new strategic plan

Justinian Flavius Maximus was at Vastrid when the news broke of the collapse of the Foramen Interdictum. Although this was a devastating blow, the Lord General Militant quickly established that astropathic communication across the rift was still possible, although at least for now, travel was not. Maximus contacted General Veers and Percival, confirming Veers in command of all forces in the Perseus Deeps and Percival in command of the Hadron Expanse. He ordered both to go over to the defensive until "the strategic situation improved" but ordered no evacuations or any withdrawals. The Imperium would fight for every last scrap of soil they held, to the last man if necessary. At Mordecai, Kutuzov continued to dig in, while Percival made provisions to defend Dnatha from the Tau and Konev from his myriad threats at Hexis.

Bova Magnus, his fleets now split on either side of the rift, pulled his fleets together to defend his most important assets. The fleets concentrated at Mordecai and in the Hadron Expanse at Awarath, to prevent a sudden and devastating invasion of the Imperial HQ in the subsection. General Konev, who had prosecuted the bloody campaign at Hexis for so long, was informed he would no longer have fleet support.

While the Imperium dug in in the Imperium Nihilis, the astartes were urged to seek and secure the one remaining necron device not accounted for. Lost by the inquisition while fleeing from the Emerald Serpent, the device was known to have phased out to its homeworld. Unfortunately, no one had a clue where that was. If it was in the Aleph Sector it needed to be found, installed and used to open a new Foramen through the Cicatrix, regardless of the "heresy" this would entail.

Lord General Maximus also ordered up plans to take the Hellheim system, consisting of the inhabited worlds of Donar, Cernunnos and Einmyrria, where the necron device holding open the Foramen Ancilla was located. Held be the Tau and Eldar forces, this would be challenging, and an advance from the Vastrid or Valitane subsectors would mean all out war with the Federacy, which the Imperium could ill afford on top of all its other woes. Instead, a plan to pacify the Tau at Parius then invading from the Nihilis side was drawn up. However, this would only be successful once the Bastien and Parthenope systems were hastily converted into fleet bases and supply centres, a project that could take months or even years.


Foramen Interdictum collapses


On 2605_020M42 the Ynnari performed a ritual on Corticant that deactivated the necron device. Immediately the Foramen Interdictum began to collapse. In both the Majoris and Minoris channels roiling warp currents began moving as two great waves of energy roared towards one another, finally crashing together in a vortex of incredible power. The shockwaves from the event were felt across the sector by psykers, with many suffering a sudden and unpleasant death as their minds imploded. Close to the rift itself planets were rocked by strange psychic phenomena. Plants withered and died, time briefly flowed backwards in some places and in others, many saw the ghosts of the dead walking for up to an hour.

Only one system, Paradorn, was caught between the crashing waves of the warp. However the eldar had already planned for this. Rather than being consumed by the warp, the system, now fully occupied by the Aeldari, simply vanished from existence, as the entire system was moved into the webway. Along the channels themselves however, it was those ships and convoys making the crossing that suffered the most dreadful fate. Hundreds of ships were caught in the warp itself as the Foramen collapsed. Badly needed supplies, mostly imperial, would never make it to their destinations. For the lucky few in the centre of the maelstrom the end came quickly as their ships were simply obliterated by the waves of warp energy crashing into them. Others were less fortunate as their Gellar fields simply collapsed under the pressure, and the denizens of the warp quickly entered the ships to feast on the souls aboard.

Within hours the storm had calmed and the Cicatrix Maledictum was once again an unbroken line from one end of the galaxy all the way to the last remaining stable channel - the Foramen Ancilla, held open for the Federacy and the Tau to maintain their forces by consent, at least for now, of the Aeldari. The device on Corticant, now inert, was taken by the Ynarri, who now had two of the five known devices. In the Perseus Deeps and beyond, Imperial forces were now in a serious position. Cut off from supply from the sector capital at Vastrid, the armies of the Emperor would now have to rely on local supply, but the Imperium lacked the number of major worlds to do this. Only Bastien qualified as a major supply hub, as the rest of the Imperium's holdings could only be described as outposts or minor worlds.

Imperium pushed back at Violetwind Coast

As the Imperium concentrated on the device chamber, their forces elsewhere reduced. The inevitable result of this was that when the eldar launched an attack against Violetwind coast, the Imperium were less than prepared. Craftworld eldar forces fell upon the city, routing the imperial forces there and pushing Veers' army south along the coast of lake Hartford towards Lochford. Although the Aeldari now had what they came for, it seemed as if they would not stop until the world of Corticant was taken from the Mon-keigh.


Blood Angels fail to retake Device chamber


On Corticant, general Veers knew he had to retake the device chamber, at any cost. If he failed, the Ynnari would almost certainly deactivate the necron artefact, leading to the collapse of the Foramen Interdictum with disastrous consequences for the imperial campaign in the Imperium Nihilis. With all haste, the Blood Angels launched a direct strike against the excavation site, hoping that the might of the astartes would break the Ynnari defences long enough for Imperial Guard forces to follow up and drive the xenos back north.

The plan fell apart almost immediately. As the Blood Angels closed with their enemy, their own standard bearer was taken out by the xenos forces, shattering the astartes morale. The elite forces of the venerable space marine chapter seemed to become paralysed by indecision, an the Ynarri force simply tore them apart. This disaster at the excavation  site was swiftly followed by a similar disaster as the guard, expecting their enemy to have their hands full dealing with the Blood Angels, sent in their attack unaware that the astartes attack had been a failure.

The result was predictable and horrific. What became known as the Massacre of Arid Plateau saw an entire astra militarum regiment simply wiped out. Veers was said to have wept at the news, as his army was forced onto the defensive to protect Lochford and Arenhal Junction. Any chance to retake the device chamber had now been lost, and Veers could only watch as events unfolded beyond his control.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Astartes stabilise the line at Mordecai


On Mordecai general Kutuzov was facing difficulties. Supplies were low and he had lost much of the territory gained in the offensive against the Saguthar mines and the strategically vital refining city of Kuneus. The Imperium were certain the forces of chaos were planning a new offensive and sought aid from the astartes to delay this inevitable outcome for as long as possible.

The Blood Angels and Hammers of the Emperor conducted two missions against the chaos forces in the south, with the astartes targetting key locations where chaos forces were mustering. The Blood Angels successfully achieved their objectives, disrupting supply lines leading to the front line, while the Hammers of the Emperor launched a mission deep into nurgle held territory.

The Hammers once again launched a narrow armoured thrust into chaos held territory, where the forces of nurgle and tzeentch attempted an ambush. Possessed marines rushed the column, causing some damage, but were brutally cut down by the intercessors as they disembarked. Following up with their hammers in hand, the loyalist astartes ripped into their enemy, as the chaos forces' psychic powers deserted them. Their ambush now blunted, the chaos forces were torn to shreds, allowing the space marines to raid their supply bases and return to their own lines relatively unscathed. The traitor forces ability to launch a full scale offensive had been reduced, at least for now, allowing Kutuzov to dig in his guardsmen along the front line.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Showdown at Corticant - Outcome

The failure of the Imperial assault on the Excavation Site came as a bitter blow to general Veers and all the operational commanders involved. The entire area had been almost completely levelled, and the surface of the world was a ruined and battered landscape. The sheer amount of storm eagle rockets fired would have seen off most enemies, but the Ynnari had not been removed. The Imperium hadn't even been able to sever the eldar supply line to Bymarsh thanks to the intervention of the eldar air wing, and now Veers knew it was only a matter of time before the eldar would be able to switch off and steal the necron device, plunging the Imperium into a new crisis in the Perseus Deeps.

This outcome had to be prevented at any cost. Now Veers turned to the astartes and implored them to retake the device chamber. The activated necron artefact holding open the Foramen Interdictum and the centre of bitter wars since 017M42 could not now be allowed to fall into aeldari hands.


Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Showdown at Corticant - Veers attacks the Ynnari

Basilisk | Warhammer 40k | FandomWith his plans for an offensive destroyed by the sudden southern rush by the Ynnari, general Veers quickly converged his forces on the Excavation Site now occupied by the eldar. With a titan, an enormous amount of artillery and support, the Imperium vowed to remove the eldar, or level the entire region with their firepower.

The advance on the site did not go as fast as Veers wanted however, as a combination of terrain and harassment from the eldar air force slowed the progress of the Novgorod Infantry. To counter this, Veers moved his super heavy battalion in a position to threaten the giant Vampire Hunters. The imperial behemoths were able to take one of the monstrous flyers down, at the cost of one of their own Shadowswords, and the Adeptus Mechanicus were instrumental in using techno warfare to confuse the aeldari communications traffic, nullifying the initial advantage held by the enemy in the air.

The eldar deployed multiple fast moving airborne units and bikes to constantly distract and pin down the Imperial forces. Although the Imperial Navy was on hand, the harlequin biked proved particularly difficult to deal with, and the all important Scion drop to cut the aeldari off from their supply was pinned down by aggressive attacks from the eldar air wing. Veers was never able to close this supply line, and over three days of heavy fighting, despite wearing the Aeldari down, they were unable to remove them from the Excavation Site.

By the fourth day, the action began to wane. The Imperial force had not been destroyed but was low on ammunition and simply couldn't keep up the bombardment. The eldar, battered and having lost their commander and several powerful war assets, were nonetheless still fully in control of the Excavation Site and the strategic prize of the necron device.

Showdown at Corticant - Craftworld Eldar repulsed

As the Imperium reacted to the sudden move by the Ynnari, the Gregorian regiments to the south west of Violetwind Coast suddenly found themselves under a determined assault by Craftworld eldar attempting to reach the Hartford Lake and cutting off their supply. Supported by Wraithknights the eldar pushed the imperial force back, but the Gregorians were able to call on their mobile airborne reserve and their Knight support.

The appearance of the Knight onto the battlefield was pivotal. As a Wraithknight turned its attention to the dangerous imperial war engine, its charge was halted by a well timed and well aimed shot with the Knight Valiant's Thundercoil Harpoon. The damage to the eldar wraith construct was devastating, and the battle turned after that, as the scions counter attacked, using their airborne units to outmanoeuvre their enemy and pushing forward with their taurox mounted units. The eldar were caught in an hellish vice, forcing them to retreat. The imperial force was able to pursue, routing the eldar and preventing the all important cut off against Lake Hartford. Now Veers had a real chance to deal a fatal blow to the exposed Ynarri force at the Excavation Site.

Showdown at Corticant - Prelude to battle and early Ynnari advance


Eldar Corsairs Review: Vampire Raider | Frontline Gaming
While general Veers was planning his grand assault on Corticant to take ground and hunt down the webway portals, he was unaware of the opposing forces' building up against him. The Ynarri and their eldar allies were able to completely disguise their military build up by hiding their forces in the webway. The force the aeldari were about to unleash on the Imperium in order to take the evacuation site and device chamber was massive, and almost equal to the forces employed by the xenos at the battle of Sentinel many years before. 

On the Imperial side, Veers planned a simple but brutal advance using his Novgorod and Valdograd regiments, supported by a warhound from the Legio Titanicus, as well as a full battalion of super heavy tanks. From his start points this force would  fan out into the wastelands, harrying and pursuing any eldar forces in order to throw a defensive ring around the inhabited zone, while systematically destroying the access the eldar enjoyed to the world.

On 1905.020M42 the Imperium began moving its forces into position, but before Veers even got to start the attack, the Ynarri struck. Pouring from the webway the Ynarri raced south from their remaining positions on Corticant during the night with no regard for consolidation of their positions. The massive concentration of force included massive Vampire Hunter aircraft, a full spearhead of Fire Prisms and an entire Wraith Host.

This awesome eldar army simply smashed through Veers' screening line and before the Imperium could react, the Excavation site had been secured, along with Bymarsh and Blackhollow. Now the Aeldari had to hold on, long enough for them to deactivate and make safe the necron device. Long enough for the Imperium to respond.

To prevent an their enemy from launching a two pronged attack, the Aeldari used their Craftworld allies to launch a spoiling attack north east towards Lake Hartford. If the eldar could reach the shore, the Imperial Army would be sliced in two, and badly needed resources would need to be redirected north to counter this immediate threat to Veers' HQ. If successful, this diversion would prevent the Imperium from even being able to counter attack in strength at the all important Excavation Site. The scene was now set for the Showdown at Corticant.


Showdown at Corticant Order of Battle

Imperium

Valdograd Super Heavy Tank Battalion (Shadowswords)

Legio Titanicus Warhound Scout Titan, 

3 Valdograd Artillery Regiments

2 Novgorod Armoured Regiments

6 Novgorod Infantry Regiments

1 Fraeteli Militia Regiment

14th Corticant Air Wing (Imperial Navy)

16th Stormtrooper Regiment


Aeldari (estimated by Imperial sources)

Yvraine, the Yncarne and the Visarch

Wraithguard

Grotesques and razorwings

At least 30 Harlequin bikes

Eldar rangers

Dire avengers in wave serpents

Fire dragons in wave serpents

Spearhead of fire prisms

Air wing of Crimson Hunters

2 Vampire Hunters