Sunday, October 25, 2009

Battle of Bothorion

The Imperium did not have much time to enjoy their conquest of Bothorion. Nazghat, upon hearing the news of the loss of their base on the world, immediately sent a massive force to retake the system, which arrived on 1910.009M42, overwhelming the small policing fleet and landing over one hundred thousand Orks on the planet. The Dark Angels, leading three Guard regiments of some 30,000 men put up a determined fight, but were forced to abandon their new possession after only two days of fighting. By 2210.009M42 Bothorion was back in Ork hands.

The Orks however were not the only force to have its sights on Bothorion. Ever since they had been forced off the planet by the Imperium and Orks, the Claws of Lorek had not left the system, and on 2410.009M42 they returned with a significant raiding force. At the same time, a small fleet of Tau vessels entered the system, with Elan Ro apparently "coming to the aid" of the citizens of Bothorion. Since the planet had less than 4,000 actual inhabitants and was nothing more than a mining operation and military base, few believed the Tau motives.

Battlegroup Alexander, its naval force superior to any of the small enemy fleets in the Bothorion system (which numbered only five capital ships added together), was still supporting the colonists on Tyndareous, and unable to respond to the rapidly escalating war on the minor planet (although many observers also had the distinct impression General Alexander had no wish to embroil his forces in a confused four way battle). The Reaper Angels chapter however were able to send a strike cruiser to the system, and on 2610.009M42 the four forces met around the central spaceport and massive planetary generators.

Not surprisingly the Orks were not best pleased to see no less than three enemy forces arriving on their newly acquired (or re-acquired) territory, and a violent and confused battle soon erupted, with the Orks throwing themselves headlong at their enemies. The Claws of Lorek raiding force gleefully accepted, teleporting a huge number of Obliterators into the action. Meanwhile, while taking speculative pot shots at each other, the Tau and Marine forces preferred to sit back, awaiting events.

The marines however soon faced the fury of their traitor enemies, and took heavy casualties. Elan Ro too realised the battle was too violent, and too unpredictable to be worth continuing. Now was not the time to try to colonise Bothorion and, with their ships' holds full of more supplies, the Tau made a strategic withdrawal. The Imperial presence on Bothorion was also forced to withdraw, and the Reaper Angels strike cruiser abandonned the system on 3010,009M42, leaving the planet a raging war between Chaos and Ork forces.

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