Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Hylas: Salamanders' new offensive blunted by Da Verminator

By late 012M42 the greenskin assault on Tennyson had petered out on Hylas, and the war once again settled into a familiar pattern of minor probing attacks and skirmishes. For over a month the front line moved very little, and all the while more reinforcements arrived to bolster Gault's men.The imperial general called a war council consisting of the Salamanders, Raven Gaurd, Legio Gryphonicus senior princeps, and the colonels commanding his principle guard units. Together they agreed a plan which would be led by the astartes and titan forces, which would see a massive hammerblow of force applied to the heavily defended ork sector near Berkeley.

Sitting in a narrow strip of flat land between the steep sides of mount Flynn and the marshy brackish waters of the Sump Sea, the settlement of Berkeley had already been the scene of many battles since the orks invaded. Unable to take the city, warboss Uzfang had erected "fortifikayshunz" to the south and east of the city, blocking easy access too the plains of Beng and preventing an imperial breakout which would threaten the ork territory in Birego further east. If Gault could force a passage here, he could cut off the orks threatening Tennyson and bottle up the greenskins into Beng and West Hallen.

The new offensive started on 0102.013M42, as the Raven Guard mounted a fast moving assault against the fortifications. Uzfangs forces were present in large numbers, but the flexibly armed astartes were more than a match for the greenskin defenders. Within a day the line of ramshackle forts and gun emplacements had been torn down, and the lay way open for the next phase of the plan, the breakout to the south.

The titan legions led the way, followed by the Salamanders space marines. Together these elite forces attempted to drive a decisive wedge between Uzfangs boyz and the massed forces of Da Verminator, the only significant force now standing between the imperium and the settlement of Benger, some two hundred miles south east. Once this force was defeated, the elite forces would drive on to Benger, while the Imperial Guard surrounded Uzfangs forces, trapping them against the highland plateau which dominated the centre of the world.

Da Verminator's forces however proved stubborn to shift. The more firepower and forces the Salamanders and Adeptus Mechanicus poured into the crucible of war which had erupted in the south of the once populous city, the more the orks seemed to reinforce it. For hours the line barely moved as both sides took increasingly horrific casualties. As the hours became days it became obvious by 0302.013M42 that the meatgrinder which had developed would surely rob Gault of his most precious forces, so the attack was scaled down. Uzfang had lost his fortress and Berkeley had been made secure, but the much wished for breakout had failed to materialise. Both sides had taken staggeringly high casualties, but the front line had barely moved.

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