Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Hylas; victory and defeat

The breakout of a major war on Tyranteous had an almost immediate effect on the strategically less important world of Hylas as 02.013M42 drew to a close. General Gault was stripped of several imperial guard regiments as well as two companies of space marines from the Raven Guard and Salamanders chapters, and secretly wondered how long it would be before his defences crumbled.

The ork breakout happened on 0203.013M42, with warlord Uzfangs elite "nobz" leading the charge against the imperial guard defenders of Berkeley. The dawn attack, led by fanatical boar riding orks, infiltrated the outskirts of the city during the dark, with a significant number of ork "kommandos" managing to slip through the imperial lines overnight, which cost the Librian regiments dearly in the following day's battle. Despite being well equipped with chimeras, hellhounds and Leman Russ battle tanks, the Librian defenders found the boarboyz a difficult and tough nut to crack, and they were unable to deal the orks a decisive blow before the greenskins closed the range and charged the librian lines.

Brutal hand to hand fighting engulfed the city, with the kommandos assaulting from behind. Eventually the infiltrators would take horrendous casualties, but by then they had already neutralised the imperial mobile infantry. As the day wore on the Librian casualties mounted, and even a precision air strike by imperial navy thunderbolts was unable to turn the tide. By now Uzfang's nobz were in amongst the Librians, and only the ork supporting units could be targetted by the imperial aircraft.

General Gault tried to stabilise the situation but soon reports were coming in of waves of greenskins moving north around the eastern portion of the city. Where the Salamanders and Legio Griffonicus had saved the situation before, there was now just Hylan PDF, and these fled before Uzfang's offensive. Rapidly the imperial general ordered the Librians to abandon Berkeley, and by 0503.013M42 the Imperial line was in full retreat. Much of West Coast had now fallen and the imperium was in danger of being cut in two in the north.

Further west however the imperium was advancing. Just as Uzfang broke through the "Berkeley Gap", between the Sump Sea and the central massif of the Hylan plateau, a full four companies of Dark Angels arrived in the system. To take the pressure off the imperial defenders they immediately launched a swift assault against Da Verminator outside Tennyson. The fast moving Dark Angels force immediately put an end to the siege of Tennyson and the front became mobile once more. Da Verminator's forces inflicted casualties on the astartes, but soon found their trenchworks and defensive positions around the city untenable, and were forced to retreat hundreds of miles across the Birego plains, with the astartes in hot pursuit. Just as the orks had made one breakthrough they had suffered a setback. Despite the lack of imperial war resources, the war was not over and opposition to a greenskin dominated Hylas would continue.

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