Sunday, October 07, 2012

War on Hylas

In early 10.012M42 General Gault contacted his superior, Brooke, to demand more troops to prevent the orks from conquering a world which had only recently been liberated. Since 005M42 Hylas had been subjected to invasion by the forces of chaos, orks and the tau, and Gault, a veteran of war with the greenskins, was determined not to let the latest incursion steal Hylas back. He found himself ill equipped however, and when warboss Snazgubbins threw in his lot with Na'Porkleon and Uzfang, the defence of the world seemed doomed. However on 0610.012M42 the first imperial reinforcements arrived.

Gault now found his two Librian and one Zadocian Guard regiments bolstered by the arrival of the fully equipped Praetorian 42nd regiment, who had been refitting on New Cerberex following the evacuation of Tarsis. In addition, responding to calls for help, the Red Angels and Space Wolves both sent half a company of astartes warriors.

The Praetorians immediately began doing what they do best, building a line of fortifications from the swamps west of Collingwood to the Eden Sea. This they knew was the only route into East Hallen for the orks, and so did warlord Na'Porkleon. Before they were finished, the orks sent a huge force of well equipped boyz to overrun the defences. In a battle that lasted two days the orks found themselves in difficulties from the start. Accurate artillery fire took its toll on the ork Lootas on foot, and although the greenskins enjoyed air superiority and at least one battlewagon was able to get to the Praetorian lines, the ork attack was beaten off by the guardsmen, who counter attacked using hellhounds and flamer squads. Some mega-armoured nobz took a little more time to deal with and inflicted considereable casualties, but the Praetorian line held, much to the irritation of Na'Porkleon.

Warlord Uzfang, in overall command, probably enjoyed the failure of Na'Porkleon in the east, ordering that "even bigga" fortifications be set up overlooking the Praetorians. This was duly done, but Gault realised the majority of Uzfang's forces were now sweeping west into Beng. Quickly the imperial general made a bold move, redeploying half the Praetorians to Berkeley and Benger, travelling right the way around the continent sized Flynn plateau to do so.

The redeployment was just in time, as the Space Wolves in Beng found themselves utterly out gunned and out fought by the orks, abandonning the city on 0810.012M42. General Gault ordered a counter attack, which the Praetorians duly carried out, but Uzfang's forces met them hed on, crushing much of the Imperial force on the plains outside Berkeley. The Praetorians retreated as best they could, a tiny force of Red Angels forming a rear guard in the city.

Uzfang's forces did not follow up their victory over the Praetorians however, and the city remained in Imperial hands for now. Realising the orks were not advancing, the Red Angels moved south with the intention of finding away around the ork horde's southern flank. If a weakness could be found, the Imperial Guard would be able to follow up a lightning assauly, potentially encircling Uzfang and seperating his forces from those of Na'Porkleon in the east.

Unfortunately for the Imperium, the Red Angels patrol ran straight into another advancing force of orks, this time belonging to Snazgubbins, who were positioned in Beng deliberately to counter such an imperial move. Displaying remarkable strategic awareness, the orks had foiled the imperial plan, and now charged headlong into the Red Angels scouting force. Immediately however the astartes scored the early success, killing the ork warboss in charge of the army with well aimed bolter fire, the greenskin and his two wheeled contraption he was riding disappearing in a ball of orange flame. If the astartes thought this would stop the ork charge however, they were mistaken. The orks, excited by the prospect of bloodshed and motivated by the obvious opportunity of leading the army, ploughed headlong into the Red Angels lines, causing carnage. The astartes held their line for some time, but eventually the orks overcame them, butchering all but a handful of the marines and driving deep into the region of Beng.

General Gault was now firmly on the defensive, with Berkeley now on the front line. He draw a halt line in the map, hoping that he could defend the north and east of the main continent of Hylas by building fortifications around the sump sea. Frenetic work began, but it was now a race against time before the orks regrouped and swung north.

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