Monday, February 26, 2007
Though the Iron Warriors are present in the subsector their largest strength has not been encountered for sometime. Instead splinter groups, often those left behind on Aleph 4, have sprung up in the Perseus Deeps. The most notable is in Whiteridge on Myrentas II where the self styled "warsmith" Gallowfen holds out against the combined force of the Imperium and Tau Empire. Recently however all sides have gone on the defensive, with air raids the only signs of conflict on the planet.
Lord Tragean's hordes
Lord Tragean still holds sway over the largest chaos force in the sector. Based on the fortress planet of Kendrenec he sits lord over several billion souls and commands an army of millions. Since the fleet took serious damage in the invasion of Hartak a few years ago the lord of Kendrenec has not ventured forth from his fortress home. Both the UFP and Imperium maintain standing convoys and listening posts however, ever on the lookout for a sudden breakout of the most despotic regime in the region.
The Penetrators appear to be everywhere in small numbers, but their most recent activity has been centred on the planet of Scalius where they are defending two ruined towns from Tyranids and Orks. Why they are doing this is a mystery to the Imperium and Tau alike. Penetrators marines have also been sighted on Myrentas II in league with the Warsmith Gallowfen.
Though known aboput for years the Imperium has done nothing about the mysterious Norsfire empire, a tzeentch based coven of worlds in the Aurelius Deep. Situated between the Imperium and the Tau Empire, the Norsefire stars have been very low on the Imperium's list of priorities, particularly since their not insignificant fleet intercepted and severely damaged a Tau fleet en-route to Myrentas II over the weekend, destroying one protector class cruiser and crippling every other vessel, forcing them to turn back for Tau space.
There are four key systems in the empire, with a total population of just under one billion souls. Odin is a former penal colony, who's inhabitants turned to chaos during the 38th millenium. Thor is a mining world and the notional capital of the chaos empire. Freyr provides food for the other chaos planets and is the least corrupted of all the worlds while Loki has no habitable planets but is home to the vast naval dockyards required to maintain the Norsefire fleet which includes at least six capital vessels.
The Aurelius deeps are notoriously difficult to navigate, even while in the empyrean. Electromagnetic fields and dust confuse sensors and scatter the psychic light of the astronomican. Very few mortals can successfully run a passage through the Aurelius deeps. The Norsefire fleet occasionally raids other vessels which get to close but until now they have not appeared in strength. Despite attacking the Tau the Imperium have describe this event as "worrying".
Meanwhile the Imperial forces on Yuki did not encounter any alien forces as they expanded their "airhead" on the rocky world. The diameter of Imperial controlled Yuki is now some two hundred miles and work has already begun to establish the permanent base and listening post in the remote system.
In the city centre the eldar made their stand and the fighting was bloody, both sides taking extreme casualties. Teleporting Blood Martyrs from the 1st company of terminators caused much of the damage, but they also took horrendous casualties in the close in fighting.Though the Blood Martyrs were unable to breakthrough the eldar defences, the aliens quickly realised that the Imperium, now with its foot in the door on Selimac, would easily win the war of attrition. After several hours of viscious fighting the eldar withdrew, leaving a scarred and tortured city populous wondering why it had taken the Imperium so long to help them...
Sunday, February 18, 2007
The Tyranids in the Aleph Sector are code named "Miranda" but consist not of one but many individual hive fleet splinters. The most voracious and largest of recent years was Hive fleet Morph, before its eventual destruction over Orvicare. However, this was not before it had lain waste to at least seven Imperial worlds.
Recently the Inquisition has identified three separate hive fleets now known to be active in the Aleph Sector. This treatise will describe them and determine the threat posed by each.
HIVE FLEET PROMETHEUS
Little is known about this hive fleet splinter, though sightings have placed the tyranid menace drifting in the southern reagion of the sector, in the Aurelius Deeps. Fighting between the Imperium and this splinter fleet has been sporadic, with the Dark Angels having made a number of assaults on the tyranid presence south of the Aleph subsector. The threat level posed by the splinter fleet at present is low.
HIVE FLEET MEGALADON
Even less is known about this splinter fleet but sightings have been made of large tyranid vessels, not associated with other tyranid hive entities, to the galactic east, close to the Tau empire. Threat level very low.
HIVE FLEET TRITON
This fleet is the most active of all the Tyranids in the sector, recently laying waste to the planet of Tantalon V in the Perseus Deeps. Elements of the fleet were defeated on Einmyrria but the penetration of the Hive's tendrils seems large. Scalius, an ork planet in the Deeps has now been infested by the creatures, though in recent actions it seems that the orks are defending themselves well against the alien menace. In addition it appears the tyranids blundered across a Necron tomb, where they were given a bloody nose by the defenders.
Never-the-less Hive fleet Triton poses an immediate risk to Imperial concerns in the area, notably the densely populated system of Libria. I recommend increasing defences in the area and watching carefully for the next move of this very dangerous hive fleet. Threat level moderate-high.
The Hartak 7th legion, though delivering results, are suffering some of their highest casualties in recent years. How long before the have to be withdrawn? Meanwhile the Librian 57th regiment are cut off east of the river. If they cannot breakout or be rescued the Imperial force on Myrentas II will be seriously compromised.
Monday, February 12, 2007
IRON WARRIORS LAUNCH BOMBING RAIDS
In a surprising development the Iron Warriors in Whiteridge (or "fort Whiteridge" as it has become) have launched a series of air raids against inmperial and tau targets. Supported by Helldrake fighters a single Hell Talon bomber destroyed an oil refinery just north of Gethsemane in the imperial pocket. The bomber was damaged however and several chaos fighters were shot down by Thunderbolts and Lightnings.
Meanwhile a similar raid on a Tau airbase near Rockwell saw several Tau Baracudas shot down by the agile Helldrake fighters. Though limited, the chaos air threat has now proved to be very real.
PRAETORIANS BREAK THROUGH AT ALLENTOWN
In a protracted and bloody action the Praetorian 42nd regiment have managed to break through the Tau defensive lines at Allentown, retaking the town and its vital bridge across the Ornz. The regiment followed this up with the destruction of several Huntre Cadres, allowing the Librian 4th armoured brigade to begin a breakout across the river. It is reported that commander Longstride has been replaced as Tau commander by the more defensively minded Commander Lightfoot. With the Tau falling back on the Imperial front his appointment may be significant, indicating a shift in tactics on the part of the Tau.
UFP HARTAK LEGION BREACH CHAOS DEFENCES
The Hartak 7th legion, recently disembarked from their transports were immediately thrown into heavy fighting on the northern front of the Tau sector on Myrentas II. In bloody fighting the squats of the crask legion managed to breach the Iron Warriors' formidable defences and pushed the chaos armies back. The squats took the first redoubt situatued on Hemeln hill, east of Whiteridge and are presumably preparing for a further attack into the Whiteridge defences.
IMPERIAL AND TAU FLEETS CLASH
In the Myrentas II system the fleets of the Imperium and the Tau empire have clashed once again in an action that allowed the UFP task force to land unmolested on the planet. The Tau fleet took heavy damage in the fighting, losing three protector class cruisers hulked or destroyed, while the Imperium lost just the dauntless light cruiser Achilles and the venerable Warspite. Iron Duke received only minor damage while the two Blood Martyrs cruisers were forced to disengage after taking heavy damage. Despite the reduced losses the Imperial fleet was obliged to surrender the battlefield to the tau after it became clear the Tau had the better tactical position. This enabled the two Tau cruiser hulks to be taken in tow and returned to Cernunnos for repairs.
Monday, February 05, 2007
On 0302.007M42 the battle began. Employing twenty hunter cadres with limited air support commander Longstride’s forces struck out northward into the Scyllian defences. The imperial guardsmen were forced to pull back and in the first hours of the attack the tau made significant gains. However as the tau pushed forward the arable land around Gethsemane favoured the defenders as every hedgerow and copse became a fortified position.
The hunter cadres began taking casualties as they ran into concealed gun positions and tanks, hidden by the terrain. Hammerheads and Devilfish had no reply to the well hidden Demolisher tanks and Basilisk batteries and soon the wrecks of tau vehicles littered the battlefield. Longstride’s battle plan was falling apart.
Lord commander Lenord sensed a great victory was at hand and ordered the Librian 101st to strike northward towards Allentown. Bursting forth from their trenches under a massive artillery bombardment seven thousand men supported by tanks and armoured transports poured into the tau left flank. The aliens were soon reeling under the ferocity of the Librian attack and fell back towards the bridgehead. At Allentown the tau lost hundreds of troops and crisis suits in a desperate last stand, realising that to lose the bridge would see Longstride’s forces west of the Ornz encircled.
It was an uneven battle. Using Valkyries to drop storm troopers behind the tau lines the Librians overwhelmed the garrison at Allentown and raced north, joining up with the Scyllians early on 0502007.M42. Two days after the attack on Gethsemane had begun it had failed, leaving 1800 tau dead and a similar number captured. Over a hundred armoured skimmers had been lost and the remaining pockets of resistance west of the river were quickly mopped up, despite some daring rescue missions by the tau air cadre.
Longstride was seriously affected by the defeat. As the tau retreated the tau ethereals considered his replacement, while welcoming UFP reinforcements in the shape of the crack Hartak 7th legion, the Sartosan rangers and the Tallaxian engineer corps. First however these troops would have to get past the imperial fleet. Meanwhile the tau were firmly on the defensive on Myrentas II.
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Last Hope really was aptly named. With supplies dwindling following the successful tau prosecution of the space war, the situation in the imperial guard sector on Myrentas II was becoming desperate. On 0302.007M42 the Blood Martyrs chapter agreed to a daring raid on the tau supply dumps, vulnerable since the alien assault across the Ornz the previous week.
Three thunderhawks and as many transporters crossed the river, evading tau air forces, landing close to thousands of tonnes of badly needed supplies. Tau forces were quickly overwhelmed and a perimeter set up around the dump. The marines held onto the territory tong enough for twenty Arvus lighters to liberate enough supplies to keep the imperial army going for weeks, while the tau were forced to pull back several hunter cadres to respond to the attack.
This allowed several thousand men of the Librian 101st to escape from the Allentown pocket, and when the tau reinforcements arrived the supplies, and the Blood Martyrs had already left, leaving a trail of destroyed hammerheads, devilfish and tau battle suits.
Longstride’s Gethsemane gambit
Losing precious supplies commander Longstride acted quickly to end the war against the Imperium on Myrentas II. Realising the key was the HQ in Gethsemane he planned a lightning assault to capture the imperial base, it’s supplies and the vital airstrip, bypassing the new defensive line by swinging around them in a northward thrust, before diving south east onto the settlement of Gethsemane.
Perseus Deeps activity increases
Scallius saw bitter fighting between the Penetrators traitor legion and ork warbands on 0302.007M42 as the marines fought for a hold on the planet. Meanwhile the 13th company of the Space Wolves, pursuing the Penetrators in their quest for information on Abaddon the despoiler, were caught by surprise by the lead elements of a tyranid swarm. The new target for the tyranids following the destruction of Lucardium became clear as thousands of alien warriors descended on the planet. By the end of the day the Penetrators were also embroiled in battles with the tyranid vanguard.
While the Imperium struggled on Myrentas II the Dark Angels, now free of their hated cardinal decided to enter into the struggle in the Perseus Deeps, brushing aside ork warbands and setting up a forward base on Cathasaea.