Sunday, July 15, 2012

Rim World Campaign

While General Veers remained on the defensive in the Perseus Deeps, General Alexander was keen to go on the attack with his newly reinforced battlegroup. His invasion of Rhesius was going well, and the general was looking for new targets to assault, keen to clear the Rim Worlds of chaos presence before moving on to his cherished aim, the invasion of Grimlock. After this, Veers could continue the struggle against chaos and Alexander would move on to the Mabb Nebula, clearing the Orks and Tau settlements there and then finally allowing a renewed camapign against the Tau held Tarsis Major.

If Alexander remained in charge of the battlegroup which achieved all this, his heroic status as a mighty Imperial warlord would be secured, but as of 07.012M42 Alexander hadn't as yet managed to achieve his first objective. In addition he hadn't accounted for the renewed vigour of Hive Fleet Nemesis in the Zadoc subsector, but as yet this was of little concern. The war on Betor was dragging on and the minor splinter fleet which had obliterated chaos forces on Typhon were insignificant in Alexander's eyes. Even the loss of Betor, which had by now caused food shortages on Zadoc itself, was a minor inconvenience to the General, who above all wanted his own share of the glory.

To achieve his first objective, Alexander called a war council which included his regimental colonels and a Space marine captain of the Space Wolves chapter. Within hours the council had their plan, and Clinton-Baker's naval battlegroup began to move out of the Rhesius system en route to the new target of New Sparta.

The Prozan cavalry and a few units of Space Wolves were given the task of assaulting the capital of Rhesius, Simius. This they began on 1207.012M42, against determined Anticross resistance. The Imperial forces were then stunned to find themselves fighting Tau units, who had apparently arrived unseen by the Imperial navy, and deployed an entire hunter cadre to aid the forces of chaos. The cadre was deterined to be one reporting to the Tau commander Moonshine, and Imperial intelligence correctly determined the Tau plans. Clearly the Tau understood that after the Rim Worlds, an assault on the Shadow Worlds would follow. In addition the Imperial domination of the Rim Worlds and Grimlock would allow them to completely blockade Tarsis Major, putting the entire Aleph expansion sphere under threat. While the Tau had no love for the forces of Chaos, their occupation of the Rim Worlds had been little more than an annoyance, and the Tau ethereals reasoned that it was better to fight the Imperium on chaos held territory rather than wait until the fight came to them.

Even with this reinforcement, the forces of chaos were unable to stop the irresistable advance of the Prozan Cavalry. The guard regiment worked well with the Space Wolves, and after a day of heavy fighting, Simius had been cleared, the remaining Anticross survivors melting into the vast hinterlands of the world. Their Tau allies were less fortunate. Despite losing comparatively few troops in the actual fighting, most of the Tau were captured by the Imperium, only to be put to death for consorting with the great enemy. A lucky few made it back to waiting Mantas to be evacuated from Rhesius, leaving Tau command to question their new strategy.

While Rhesius was taken, the invasion of New Sparta was an abject failure which enraged the Imperial general. Imperial spies had failed to notice that the Tau were not the only ally the forces of chaos had managed to recruit. On Rhesius the Claws of Lorek were ably aided by a large horde of ork mercenaries, and no sooner had the Imperium landed than they were subject to a vicious and bloody counter attack, led by ork warbikes. The bikes in particular caused carnage in the Space Wolf ranks, before obliterating the guardsmen who had landed with them. Despite a spirited counter attack from Librian veterans, who managed somehow to gun down a charging daemon prince, and an effective if rather late flank attack from elite space wolf units, on 1807.012M42 it became clear that the imperial perimeter was compromised, and Alexander reluctantly ordered a withdrawl, his dreams of lasting glory at least temporarily put on hold.

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