Sunday, August 05, 2012

Eldar gains on Ares

The eldar campaign on Ares had stalled for several weeks bit the news from Calliden spurred the aliens on to complete their campaigns as quickly as possible. Seeing the "grand alliance" as unattainable, the eldar instead sought to conquer the worlds they needed to secure for safe passage of their craftworld, and in addition conquer and hide all the worlds they felt at risk from the Necrons.

With a swift conclusion to events on Ares in mind, the Rillietan pushed south towards the capital, Ares city, down the Ulluana valley. alarmed by the sudden appearance of the Eldar on a large scale, the commander of the ground forces on Ares send in the Prozan Cavalry to deal with the threat. However the Prozans, despite being highly mobile and commanding significant firepower, lacked strength in numbers on the ground, and were unable to shift the Eldar defenders when they attacked. The result meant the Prozan's were forced to withdraw and Colonel Sanders' Librians were now tasked to halt, and reverse the eldar gains.

The Librians moved forward into the Ulluana valley and quickly encountered the lead elements of the craftworld eldar fighting alongside the Rillietan. Sanders immediately attacked, sending in his punisher Leman Russ variants and veteran squads of infantry, which very quickly had an effect on the eldar, whose advance came to a sudden halt. The eldar then reinforced with swooping hawks and warp spiders, but the Imperial Guard firepower tore the eldar forces to pieces.

The Imperial Guard had battered the eldar advance, and now the Blood Martyrs, who had sent a company to Ares, now took the fight to the enemy, assaulting the Eldar centre and butchering a squad of Harlequins overseeing the battle for the Rillietan. However they now found themselves isolated from the Imperial Guard forces, and marauding eldar jetbikes caused a great deal of casualties, before the final marine was cut down in heavy hand to hand fighting in one of the many wooded areas of the battlefield.

Even with the Blood Martyrs' attack failing to completely wipe out the eldar forces, Colonel Sanders should have achieved a decisive victory, but sloppiness and insufficient attention to detail cost him victory. For a start he failed to concentrate on the remaining warp spiders who still threatened his rear areas, so that the material victory over the eldar could not be exploited. Secondly he failed to inform the Blood Martyrs land raider commander that he was exceptionally close to a key eldar objective, and had the land raider been made aware of this fact, the eldar supply line would have become compromised, and the aliens would have been forced to abandon their recent gains.

Sanders failed to do this. In the heat of battle he had forgotten the strategic mission and focussed instead on killing his enemy. The result meant that despite the eldar taking horrific casualties, they were able to stabilise their line and prevent the Librians from breaking through. An opportunity to fatally undermine the eldar invasion of Ares had been missed, but Sanders kept his job.

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