Sunday, March 09, 2008

Libria: Fighting continues

In the southern sector of fighting the Imperial Guard were left to mop up after Hive Fleet Megalogon's attempted assault on Yellowdale was thwarted by a lightning attack led by a force of Inquisitorial troops. However the Librian units, defending their own land, were too aggressive in pursuing their alien foes and the Tyranids retreated back into settlements in the hinterland of Thornvale.

When the Librian 12th regiment attempted to clear a mining facility in the remote region of upper Thornvale, the Tyranids launched a ferocious and savage counter attack. The fighting was bloody but the Librians, hampered by the terrain, were forced to flee after taking havy casualties. The Tyranid threat had not been eliminated from the southern continent.

In the north Hive Fleet Triton was still bottled up in the Acronia Valley, centred around the now abandonned city of Daralon. The Librian commanders decided to attack the aliens here and were partially successful. The strategy they followed was set to become the standard Librian response to the Tyranids. Move into defensible positions and wait to be attacked.

This strategy allowed the Librian Guard to score a tactical victory against the aliens, though at a high cost. Those alien creatures who made it across the intersecting fields of fire butchered all who stood in their way. The battle was further complicated by a random wormhole, created by the Librian scientists in Daralon, which had been allowed to "escape" since the sacking of the city. The alien creatures were even seen making tactical use of the portal to move their troops across the battlefield. It didn't always work out in their favour however.

Daralon remained infested with Tyranids, but by the end of 0903.008M42 the Tyranids had barely a foothold on Libria V.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Cunningham surrounds Corunium

The Tau commanders on Melberg did not have long to celebrate thier victories in the centre of the battlfront as General Cunningham's army group south prepared their long planned operation to surround the battered city of Corunium. The surprising ease with which "the bulge" collapsed in the previous weeks of fighting may have been partially down to the unseen concentration of force being developed in the south.

Overall commander Lenord was aware that the fleet bringing vital surplies to the Imperial forces was only a few weeks away, and to survive until then the oilfields in the south would be vital. With this in mind he attached the Librian 57th and 101st regiments, some of the most veteran units on the planet, to Cunningham's forces, leaving the newly deployed Praetorian 42nd to defend against Shadowstrike in the north.

Cunningham was not surprised when the over-confident Commander Elan Ro launched his own offensive, spearheaded by mobile hunter cadre units, bound for the capital. This was clearly the Tau preliminary assault leading to the main thrust against Atlas Prime, and it ran headlong into the Librian units preparing their own offensive.

Supported by Leman Russ mainn battle tanks, Hellhounds and upgraded lascannon Sentinels, the Librian 57th Grenadiers poured masses of fire into the highly mobile Tau units. At first the battle seemed to be touch and go for both sides, until the Imperial units utilised their anti-tank firepower, downing hammerheads and devilfish, forcing the Tau infantry to bail out of their wrecked skimmers.

At this point the Imperial commander in the thick of the heaviest fighting withdrew his Sentinels, now that the skimmers had been downed, and deployed his Hellhound flame-thrower tanks, massacring the Tau footsoldiers. With his forces in dissarray Elan Ro tried deep striking his Crisis suits, but the Tau veterans threw their lives away in futile attempts to destroy the Librian army. Very soon the Tau were forced to evacuate all the way to the western bank of the river Stridius, leaving a number of units cut off, beseiged inside the ruins of the strategically vital city of Corunium.

As the Imperial warfleet bore down on Melberg the Tau ethereals considered their position. The Imperium had successfully resupplied and were turning Melberg into an increasingly static attritional battle, something the Tau could not live with. If they could not defeat the incoming fleet and take the capital soon, the Melberg campaign would be over. The simple fact was the Imperium didn't have to win, they just had to avoid losing.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Elan Ro squashes bulge

At the same time as Shadowstrike struck the Praetorians in the north, Elan Ro pushed northwards, attacking the southern flank of the Imperial bulge. Though the Tau took heavy casualties and faced stiff resistance against the Librian 57th, the Imperial units were obliged to withdraw and by the end of 0303.008M42 the two Tau forces had met in the small state of Ethis in west Whettis. The encirclement was complete and the front line had been shortened by more than 500 miles.

Shadowstrike pushes south

In the first serious activity in the new year, as the spring thaw began to set in in the north of Melberg, the mysterious Tau commander Shadowstrike launched a limited offensive to pinch out "the bulge" in the front line. The Praetorian 42nd regiment had taken over from the Librian 57th as the major force defending the Imperial centre, and they were anable to halt the Tau as they pushed south from Albor and took Russetica with little resistance.

It looked likely that Shadowstrike would inflict a shattering defeat on the Praetorians and encircle much of the bukge, taking the remaining Imperial territory in Gwendel and Terris Kingdom. However the veteran guard regiment, backed by Ogryn auxilla and Leman Russ units, halted the Tau offensive in Pelagur, keeping a narrow corridor open to the positions in the far west.