Monday, February 04, 2013

Imperial advance halted on Mordecai Tersius

With the bridgehead established on Mordecai Lord General Veers appointed General Van Dorn to co-ordinate the push on the small agri world. Van Dorn set about the task with the required sense of urgency and began to push east with five regiments of Librian and Praetorian Guard, with a further five in reserve. The remainder defended the bridgehead the Imperium had created, while reinforcements began the relatively short warp jump from Corticant.

By 0402.012M42 the main advance had raced some fifty miles east, enlarging imperial held territory, and there had been no sign of a further chaos battlegroup leaving the heavily fortified docks at Mordecai Primaris. This was a surprise, as the imperial navy had assumed Thok and Lorek would put up a vigorous defence of the outer reaches of their own system, but it seemed that after an initial foray they had returned to port or dispersed into the outer reaches of the system. The latter was a worry for Admiral Beattie, whose ships would be vulnerable when arriving in the Mordecai system after exiting the warp. Reinforcing Van Dorn on the ground would become very difficult if the imperial vessels were ambushed on arrival.

However, this did mean the imperial forces already landed ought to face a weakened defence. Unfortunately this turned out not to be the case. On 0502.012M42 the imperial advance ran into extremely stiff resistance from forces observed to be Catechism in loyalty. The array of forces apparently available to Moonface was staggering. Although not there in person the chaos force comprised of regiments of Catechism troops, led by an impressive number of Leman Russ battle tanks and super heavy tanks. Surprised by this highly mechanised force the Librian infantry regiments suffered badly, picked apart after their armoured support was badly mauled by high velocity tank rounds and an array of shells fired from a devastating battery of artillery.

For once the Librians found themselves outgunned, and even a Reaver titan was not enough to tip the tide of the battle, as its void shields failed under the onslaught of massed battle cannon fire. Its loss was felt keenly to the campaign, but even more so by the Adeptus Mechanicus.

Moonface's forces halted the imperial advance in its tracks and wrestled the initiative back from the Imperium. Once again his forces had utilised the mysterious device to transport their forces from far and wide, and the knowledge stolen from the forges on Cerberex had been put to good use in the manufacture of high quality imperial vehicled for use by the Catechism's own armies. For several years these forces had been husbanded, only now unleached on the Imperium. Now the Catechism had the numbers as well as the elite units of traitor marines, and on Mordecai Tersius this was in evidence. Van Dorn halted the offensive as the losses mounted, and dug in awaiting reinforcements. The forces of chaos would not give this world up lightly.

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