Sunday, September 27, 2009

Disaster at Fort Sparcos

While Imperial hugh command under General Thaddeus Roover planned his new offensives in the Shadow Worlds, Tarsis Major and Alphe, his intelligence completely failed to recognise the signs of an imminent disaster. On 1409.009M42 contact was lost with Fort Sparcos on the edge of the Mabb Nebula. Very little attention was paid to this, as temporary losses of communication with outlying settlements were common. However, when three badly damaged supply ships arrived at the docks at Caitlen station on 3009.009M42 their story came as a terrible shock. Fort Sparcos had been lost in a single day.

The survivors, who had just managed to escape from the clutches of the Eldar fleet, or had perhaps been allowed to escape, told of the sudden and unexpected attack by elite alien forces, led, at dawn on the 26th, by powerful Wraithlords and the cream of the Eldar war machine.

The Eldar had synchronised their attacks on the main military bastions and the spaceport itself, so Colonel Anderson was unable to shift his forces to meet the threats in turn. The battle was brutal and exceptionally bloody, with the Eldar vanguard forces taking heavy damage from the Imperial Guard weapon implacements within the fortified positions, and suffering badly at the hands of the Imperial Leman Russ tanks.

In fact, the Eldar plan had gone badly wrong from the start. The attack was late, and the night which protected their initial advance on the fortress was soon lost. In addition the Eldar forces arrived in two distinct waves, rather than the one which their planners had devised. Finally, the outlfanking move by Strikin Scoprion aspect warriors had gone the wrong way, and these shock troops had turned up in the wrong place, totally unable to affect the outcome of the battle.

Despite these shortcomings, the overwhelming force employed by the Eldar had been decisive. The Imperial defenders put up a poor show of firepower initially, and the Eldar had done their homework, employing a large number of anti-tank weapons and fearsome Wraithlords, led by the Avatar of war itself.

After a day of heavy fighting, the resitance of the Imperial Guard had been broken. Many Bastion defences were destroyed by Fire Dragons, reducing the mighty defences to burning slag. Before the end of the day there was very little left of the fort itself, and the remaining Guard soldiers were mopped up by Eldar forces. Very few humans escaped the carnage.

After the loss of the fort, which had been thought of as impregnable, there were a number of questions to be answered. Why were the Imperial forces so underprepared to face an attack at night? Why had their been no warning? The Eldar had arrived by ship and the lack of an Imperial Navy defence demonstrated a fort is no fort at all without control of space and the air. And finally, why had the Eldar attacked at all? And what would happen now to Fort Sparcos itself?

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