Saturday, August 18, 2007

Cerberex - Feducia falls, Chaos advance on Gulan

The Hartak 9th legion prepared for their assault on Feducia with an intenseartillery bombardment followed by Air Strikes by the Tallaxian Navy AirForce (TNAF). The city itself was reduced to rubble and many of the inhabitants fled rather than face the constant air raids and destruction of their homes. Weeks after the attacks on the capital began, and having consolidated their bridgehead over the river Otter, the 9th legion began to move cautiously into the ruins. At first they met little resistance and many began to believe the Imperium had abandonned the capital to take up more defensible positions on the farside of the Sea of Aeron. They were wrong. Once the squats had penetrated deep into the urban morass of twisted rubble the Imperium attacked.

The Blood Martyrs had taken up defensive positions in the ruins, correctly predicting the most likely path of advance of the squat army. Though tough and hard to beat the squats were nothing if not predictable. An intense firefight broke out aroud the Basilica Ordenatus, an ancient structure dedicated to the veneration of the Emperor and His worship. From their positions in the carved ruins Blood Martyrs terminators poured fire onto the invading squats. The Hartak 9th legion, to their credit, did not waver in the face of the new enemy and immediately began inflicting losses on the Adeptus Astartes.

Marine vehicles were soon turned into burning wrecks as the Squats accelerated their charge into Feducia. The Blood Martyrs lost a Vindicator and Whirlwind early on and were soon facing a horde of squats disembarking from their transports, covered as ever by Land Raider lascannon and heavybolter fire.The Squats knew that their precious heavy tanks would be vulnerable in the city and kept them at arms length, preferring to rid the city of its defenders by engaging in vicious hand-to-hand combat.

It was here that the Squats lost a number of key assets, including the commander of the 9th Legion who fled the battle after his squad was all but wiped out by a counter charge by the Blood Martyrs' Chaplain and assault squad. In the end however the firepower of the UFP told and the Blood Martyrs'company commander realised that fighting on would be a waste of lives. He withdrew his remaining forces from the city, setting the settlement ablazeas the Space marines fell back across the Sea of Aeron.

By the evening of1508.008M42 the city was in UFP hands. Few noticed the cowelled figures robed ion black as they removed the representation of the world from the hands of the statue in Feducia main square...

As Model's Army Group Centre retreated across the Frank river following their loss of the Cerberex Capital, Army Group East under General Kluge faced a renewed assault from the Chaos forces towards Gulan. Moonface had become alarmed at the seemingly unstoppable advance of the UFP and became ever more frustrated at his Generals' lack of success.

Urging them ever onward the next attack came through the strategically important crossroads town of Vandergrim, a small but significant settlement some five hundred miles south of Gulan. The Chaos generals intended to wipe out Imperial resistance and sweep round to the east of the Imperial city.The Chaos marines fell upon the town with their usual speed and brutality. However the Librian 8th had implemented the changes requested by Kluge and now included far more tank killing heavy weapons.

These proved their worth almost immediately as the lead Land Raider exploded in a fireball of metal, dust and smoke. More fire poured from the defenders who had occupied the ruins of Vandergrim which had been pounded to rubble by the Chaos artillery and airforce. Marines fell to massed firepower unleashed from Hellhounds, Basilisk artillery, Demolisher tanks and armoured fist squads, but it wasn't enough. The Chaos troopers weathered the storm and closed with their enemy, cutting down Imperial Guardsman in brutal close combat attacks.

Finally Chaos bikers breached the defenders' flanks and Kulge ordered a general withdrawal from the town. The forces of Moonface had paid heavily for their gains, and the overall strategic objective to outflank Gulan had not been acheived. Even so the traitor army had closed to within one hundred miles of the planet's second city and the populous prepared for its desperate defence.

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