Sunday, January 11, 2009

Fort Aerin: Bloody Invasion

Fort Aerin first realised it was under attack when some one thousand "craft" of varied design and construction (often the construction varying wildly from the design) appeared in the outer reaches of the system on 0212.008M42. Quickly the commander of the base, Commander Ferrod, drew together his staff to predict the arrival date of the mass of ships. When they realised it was in under two weeks the Commander relayed a message to the Imperial Navy for immediate assistance.

Admiral Jellicoe reviewed the situation from Caitlen station but his forces, scattered and in action across the sector could not be brought together in force at Fort Aerin for at least five weeks. Any smaller task force would have little impact on such an enormous horde, despite the fact few were actually fighting ships. The defenders of Fort Aerin would have to face the Orks alone, until reinforcements could be found. At least, thought several strategists, they now knew where Nazghat and his formidible Waagh! were.

The initial invasion was uncontested but Ferrod, unable to know exactly where the Orks would choose to land, was forced to spread his forces around the complex, ready to meet an attack from any direction. In the end the Orks wrong footed Ferrod, choosing a violent assault on a narrow front, seizing the initiative from the Imperial commander and driving a wedge some 30 miles into the Imperial defences. After initially falling back the Imperial Guard regiments (10 in total, some 100,000 men and their equipment), began to fight heroically for every building in the settlement of Epaks, to the north of the main fortified area. Even so by the end of 008M42 losses had been heavy and some one million Orks had landed on the planet. Without reinforcement it seemed even the defences of Aerin would not hold. On 0101.009M42 Ferrod appealed to the Blood Martyrs for aid.

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