Monday, November 12, 2012

War on Hylas

Despite defeating the forces of Thrugnik in 10.012M42, large forces loyal to the ork warboss made planetfall in early 011M42, after the imperial navy was forced to return to Hylas reach naval base following their defeat at the hands of the tau. Without enough naval presence in the Hylas system, the orks had almost free reign to reinforce the world with fresh troops whenever they wished.

Thrugnik's forces, though fewer in number than they would have been if it hadn't been for the Blood Angels raid, nevertheless made a significant impact in the war on Hylas very soon after they had landed. Gault had already lost Berkeley to Uzfang some weeks earlier, so the renewed assualt on the West Coast region of Hylas didn't come as a surprise to the Imperial General.

The imperial forces found it difficult to defend on the open plains, validating Gault's strategy of creating bottlenecks to fight the orks, but his attempt to retreat Sarin and Tennys Coast, where the ground was more favourable was denied. Short sighted imperial officials decreed no scrap of ground would be surrendered to the enemy and that the imperial guard must die where they stood. At least in this the guard followed orders.

While Gault's troops did manage to halt the orks west of the Sump Sea, the drive north was opposed by the Librian 212th regiment, a force hastily cobbled together from remnants of other regiments. The force itself was adequately equipped, but lacked any form of air defence. Without any anti-aircraft guns and no cover from the navy, Thrugnik's forces took full advantage. Attacking the Librian positions on the Eton road on 0811.012M42, the battlewagons of the orks rumbled forward. Heavy guns and tanks on the imperial side stopped some, with the demolisher pattern variants proving the most effective against the greenskins. Basilisk artillery was also emploed in force, and when accurate, caused much destruction in the ork ranks.

Shortly after dawn however the first ork air attack came in. Flying low over the battlefield squadrons of ork "Dakkajets" strafed the imperial lines, focussing their attacks on the undefended artillery. The imperial guard were powerless to intervene as their artillery was annihilated in under an hour. Now with their firepower severely curtailed, the Librians were unable to prevent the remaining ork heavy tanks from reaching their lines. Deathrollas, improvised ramming weapons, proved extremely deadly, crushing man and machine as they rolled over the lines. By mid afternoon the imperial line was a scene of carnage, as unable to retreat, the Librians were cut down in close quarter fighting with Thrugnik's Waagh!

The Librian 212th was all but detroyed in the fighting, and West Coast quickly capitulated anyway, despite the imperial orders. Gault prepared his next "halt" line, but without a swift reversal of fortune on Hylas, the world would be lost in a matter of weeks.

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