Monday, November 25, 2013

Zadoc: Hard fighting in the south. Calogne falls to chaos

The chaos-imperial front on Zadoc was becoming a slowly moving meatgrinder as the forces of chaos tried to fight their way around the narrow strip of land which ringed the southern ice cap. The main city in Mida was Calogne, and taking this city from the imperium became a key objective as 11.013M42 progressed.

The Arch Cleric and the Iron Warriors pooled their forces to the east of Calogne, with the Arch Cleric unleashing his elite forces on the Librians holding the defensive line in front of the city. While they did this the Iron Warriors outflanked the imperial lines and aimed for the city itself.

In the centre the Librians were easily overwhelmed by the Arch Cleric's forces. Despite being able to deal with the minor daemons incursions and the cultists following in the wake of the daemonic outbreak, the imperial guard struggled with the various larger entities the Cleric's chanting had summoned. Soulgrinders, forgefiends and all manner of flying monstrous daemons assaulted the Librian lines. For a while the proud guardsmen stood firm against this onslaught but they could not hope to prevail. When hell drakes arrived to finish the job the librian mechanised forces had already been reduced to scrap and the infantry massacred to a man. The remaining Librian defenders pulled back behind the city to reform the imperial line, while General Brooke put his faith in the astartes to hold the Calogne itself.

The Iron Warriors split their forces again as they approached the city. One force containing the bulk of Warsmith Stahl's elite astartes headed straight for the city. The other, swollen with cultists, moved even further north, attacking Calogne from the ocean side. The main thrust quickly encountered the Apocalypse Riders, while in the north, the Ultramarines stood between the Iron Warriors and the capture of another imperial city.

In the east the Apocalypse Riders launched an immediate assault, once again demonstrating a sometimes reckless attitude to assaulting their enemy, but this time the move was a considered tactic, with the Riders attempting to trap their enemy. Fortunately for the imperium the Iron Warriors took the bait. Stahl's troops rushed forward to meet their foe, pouring fire into the marine bikers before launching an all out close assault. The Riders however, a successor of the White Scars, proved adept and skilled at dodging incoming fire, twisting their bikes to and fro in a show of impressive skill. Then, just as the Iron Warriors committed to assault, the Apocalypse Riders showed their skills again, hitting hard before withdrawing at speed from the melee... Leaving the Iron Warriors totally exposed in no-man's-land.

The loyalist forces now committed their reserves, outflanking the Iron Warriors according to a pre-determined plan. Now Stahl's main assault was in serious trouble, with the enemy to the front and rear. The attack petered out and survival became the focus. Stahl called in air support to aid his troops' situation, and hell drakes appeared breathing death from the sky. Even so the arrival of the malign creatures was not enough to salvage the assault and those few Iron Warriors who still lived retreated from the city. The Apocalypse Riders had won a memorable victory, though the cost im blood was high.

Ultimately however the impressive defence of Calogne was in vain, as the second Iron Warriors' force moved against the Ultramarines. The loyalist marines faced the cultists with grim determination and succeeded in massacring almost all of them, but the larger enemy constructs proved difficult to kill and exceptionally dangerous to the Ultramarine armour. Maulerfiends in particular took down the marine vehicles, and more Hell Drakes, summoned to aid the attack on the city, caused havoc in the loyalist ranks. Bitterly disappointed but recognising the war could be won another day, the astartes retreated, informing a vexed Apocalypse Riders' chapter master that the city had become indefensible. After a week of fierce battles the forces of chaos had their prize and had inched slightly closer towards final victory on Zadoc.

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