Sunday, July 29, 2012

Nemesis advances on Alphe

In late 07.012M42 the tyranids on Alphe once again resumed their murderous advance on the planet. By now most of the life on the world had been disolved by pervasive airborne viruses, and vegetation had been reduced to thick pools of nutrient ooze across an otherwise barren landscape. Some farming communes in the far south had so far escaped, but from space much of Alphe was now a brown wasteland.

Food shortages were avoided however, as Alphe was no longer able to export its surplus since the hive fleet came, and so the troops and remaining civilians on the world huddled in the southern cities eating, often for the first time, the riches of their own world.

General Percival had deployed his armies across the lowlands of Farthing plain, a vast region of flatlands raised on a slight plateau. His strongest forces were in the east, as Percival expected a manouvre aimed at joining up the two main areas of infestation in the east and north west. Unfortunately for Percival the tyranids don't think like Imperial Generals and promptly attacked in the west, aiming a ferocious assault at the next nearest centre of population, the city of Valgate.

the Praetorians defending Valgate were unprepared to meet the fast moving tyranids, and simply couldn't kill them quickly enough before their thin lines of red coated guardsmen were overwhelmed by a sea of alien creatures. Biting, hacking and clawing the Tyranids smashed through the Praetorian lines, devastating a whole division of Percival's defence force. The city fell after less than a day, which led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians who were unable to escape the hive mind, but there was nothing Percival could do.

In the Valgar valley, just to the south of the city, Percival retreated towards his Librian strategic reserve, and for once, Nemesis made a strategic mistake. The Tyranids eagerly pursued Percival's army into the broad rolling hills of the Valgar region, which rose gradually towards the south. Here, on the hill crests, waited the Librian 40th Armoured regiment, supported by dug in infantry. With a commanding view over the plains, the verdant forests reduced to twisted skeletal husks, the Leman Russ of the 40th regiment poured fire into the hordes of Nemesis. The tyranids were halted in their tracks, their flying beasts brought down by concentrated lasgun fire and finished off by Chimera borne veterans with plasma weapons. To add to the tyranids' misery, Hellhound flame tanks were then sent in, reducing much of the swarm to ashes.

Thousands of shells reduced the hive minds forces to soup, allowing Percival to retake Valgate, or at least its charred ruins. Shortly afterward the eldar appeared, committing themselves to aiding the Imperium in their struggle to rid the sector of the voracious aliens. However, no sooner had Craftworld Iyanden sent reinforcements to Percival's aid, than the tyranids attacked again. Vicious fighting followed and the eldar were soon trapped, then exterminated defending the ruins of the Imperial city. Valgate fell once again and by early 08.012M42 Percival was desperately trying to draw a new defensive line across the Neck.

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