Friday, August 23, 2013

Zadoc: Assault on Celliano results in chaos victory

For more than a month Imperial and chaos forces on Zadoc had been existing in an uneasy stalemate as both sides kept behind their defence lines, occasionally raiding each other, mainly at night. Despite having overwhelming air superiority the imperial navy conducted few air raids, finding few targets of value and as yet unwilling to level the great city of Celliano. As 08.013M42 approached however, Lord General Montgomery was anxious to make a fresh attempt on the removal of chaos forces from the city. This wasn't Hylas or Tyranteous, but the subsector capital itself.

By 0808.013M42 the imperial armies on Zadoc had swelled in size, with Librian and Corellian regiments flooding in from all parts of the sector. The imperial fleet, originally en route to Tyranteous, instead arrived in force over Zadoc, readying itself to play its part in the coming assault. By 1208.013M4, with over a million men and a staggering amount of munitions, General Montgomery was ready to start a fresh assault on Celliano.

On the eve of battle the Imperium received an unexpected boon, as a hooded and cloaked representative of the alien eldar race made himself known to the imperial command. He offered substantial aid, warning that the imperium had woefully underestimated the forces they faced, and that they faced annihilation in the morning. Somewhat reluctantly the imperial commanders accepted the eldar help, rather insulted by the aliens' presumption that they didn't know what they were doing, and on 1308.013M42, the second battle for Celliano began.

Initial progress by the imperial forces was swift, as the tank regiments assigned to the assault made easy progress across the fertile Zadocian plains. However upon reaching the city itself, the advance slowed, as the imperial guard began sweeps of each street supported by their heavy and super heavy vehicles. The eldar were in evidence as well, the imperium being treated to the rare sight of three wraithknights stalking the ruins of the city.

On 1508.013M42 the imperial scouts detected a large mass of chaos forces moving to counter their latest offensive, and Montgomery was able to take the chaos forces by surprise. On the advice of his eldar allies the imperial forces immediately opened up on the advancing chaos forces, although the initial bombardment by Librian artillery and other ordnance was poor and inaccurate.

The forces of chaos, led once again by the Arch Cleric and elements of the Word Bearers, were severely outnumbered initially, but in line with earlier encounters their army was soon swelled by ranks of other-worldly entities. Daemons of all the major powere suddenly spawned themselves onto the battlefield, ripping holes in space time and clawing their way out of the emperean to assault the imperial lines.

As if this wasn't enough to deal with the imperium soon realised the true horror of the situation in Celliano. Fully half the population had somehow been mutated into the service of the chaos gods, and now the same effect which had turned them began to turn their own forces against them. Without warning the eldar suddenly opened fire on their own side with their super heavy skimmers, destroying the super heavy tank "Lance of Divinity" in an awesome pyrotechnic display. Worse was to follow as the Baneblade "IronJaw" similarly turned on its comrades, its crew momentarily ovetaken by the power of the warp.

Instances such as these began to be reported along the entire front, and the imperial advance stalled just three miles into the city proper. The eldar found themselves assaulted by greater daemonic entities, and even more of these began to pour from portals across the settlement, engaging the allied forces in a deadly close combat slaughter which saw the destruction of both Librian Super Heavy vehicles.

Montgomery, realising this was a serious problem, threw in his reserves and ordered the imperial navy to bombard the city. The sky lit up with fire as Celliano was lanced from above by Jellicoe's fleet, the heavy weaponry reducing much of the city to molten slag and the rest to rubble, but the effect on the enemy's ability to fight was minimal. Still the daemons came on, supported by Word Bearers and cultists, and after three days of intense fighting Montgomery realised the assault would have to be halted.

Ordo Malleus agents then informed the imperial commander that the area around the city was becoming increasingly unstable, and as more and more daemons poured from the warp, the eldar informed Montgomery that all was lost, and that they would be leaving. This withdrawal left the remaining Librian and Corellian units int he vicinity of the city without support, and within just a few hours they were surrounded and utterly annihilated by the uncontrolled orgy of violence now ravaging the entire region.

The defeat soon became a rout, and the entire northern half of the continent Ascobabria was abandoned, the city of Chemart falling to the Arch Cleric and his followers by the end of 08.013M42. The uprising, unlike the one on Tyranteous, had now secured a solid foothold on Zadoc, and the imperium were in full retreat.

Order of Battle

Imperium & eldar allies
11th Corellian Armoured Regiment
27th Corellian Mechanised Infantry
9th Super Heavy Tank company
- Stormsword "Lance of Divinity"
- Stormsword "Divine Intervention"
23rd Librian Armoured Regiment
114th Librian Mechanised Infantry
12th Librian Super Heavy Tank Company
- Baneblade "IronJaw"
- Shadowsword
Rillietan Eldar forces

Arch Cleric forces
Covenant of Damnation
Word Bearers

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