Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Librians hold eldar advance on Ares

On 1911.012M42 the Shattered Silence kabal of dark eldar resumed their attack on Ares City, attacking along the Hephath Valley in a lightning assault in the early morning darkness of the Ares night. Despite their speed and advanced weaponry, one thing the dark eldar didn't have was surprise. General Orkar Vassilevsky had been expecting a renewed attack on Ares City, as it was the key objective and the capital of the minor world. Control of the capital would isolate the key settlements of Caeralon and Sindon Station, as well as take out the most important spaceport on the planet.

With this in mind Vasilevsky had prepared well. Aegis defence lines now ringed the city and basilisk artillery sat concealed behind buildings, trained on the forests and plains beyond the settlement's limits. When the dark eldar came, they were met with an accurate and devastating barrage of shells which quickly blunted their attack. With the attack pinned down the imperial general ordered a cautious advance, veteran squads in chimeras accompanied by Demolisher battle tanks and hellhounds, ready to finish of what remained of the Shattered Silence kabal. Then the dark eldar airforce arrived.

Unfortunately for Vasilevsky, in the opening salvoes of the attack the dark eldar had very carefully and deliberately eliminated their enemy's anti aircraft capability, destroying them with modified chemical compounds fired from their usually toxin firing weaponry. This initial strike proved devastating, as although the dark eldar ground forces were in disarray, their aircraft swept over the imperial lines facing determined but inaccurate ground fire from the Librian defenders. The alien craft quickly targetted the basilisk batteries, destroying a few but making it almost impossible for them to maintain effective accurate fire.

As dawn broke over the battlefield the fight was in the balance. The dark eldar had mauled the imperial forces with persistent air strikes, but the aliens were lagging behind on the ground. Brutal close quarter firefights broke out infront of the Librian lines as the dark eldar inched forward. Withering fire from veteran squads and battle tanks kept most of the eldar warriors pinned to the open ground, but somehow the aliens managed to make the most of every undulation of the ground to take cover. Another day of hard fighting followed, but the imperial defenders would not budge. The defence lines had held, although the alien aircraft continued to take their toll on equipment and men alike. By the evening the fighting petered out and the Shattered Silence retreated back into the forests of the Hephath Valley. On paper Vasilevsky had achieved a victory, but in reality his troops had taken a battering in a war of attrition the eldar simply lost the stomach for. The imperial general began reviewing provisions for air defence and requested more squadrons of imperial navy thunderbolts to deal with the threat from above, while waiting for the next inevitable strike from the aliens.

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