Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Zadoc offensive: The Southern Flank & Monte Cressino

In the south Brooke himself led from the front, an unfortunate decision which quickly led to his demise thanks to accurate Wave Serpent fire early on in the battle. Nevertheless the Imperial guard infantry marched confidently forward behind their smoke screen, supported by battle tanks and the space marines. Bravely over a million men faced off against titans and wraithknights, making their way over battle scarred ruins towards the enemy. And then the slaughter began.

The southern flank was marked by the level of slaughter. The Space Wolves became the focus of the eldar firepower, and on the imperial left flank where they were deployed in strength, the alliance advance was cripplingly slow, as the aliens focussed on the destruction of this dangerous force. On the imperial right flank the alliance made some progress, moving forward deliberately and carefully, refusing to act rashly and mopping up the imperial forces as they were hurled against their advance.

The imperial forces wavered briefly after Brookes' death, and the counter assault to be led by the astartes never materialised. Instead the left flank of the isthmus was simply picked apart by a mass of wraithknights, leading to the demise of the wolves, the loss of nearly all the Librian infantry and the capture of Logan Grimnar. This focussing of force did however delay the eldar, who spent far to much time getting to grips with the fortress of Monte Cressino itself. This left Skyfall's deep strike behind enemy lines unsupported and on their own, and despite causing significant damage, even destroying a Shadowsword super heavy tank, the tau crisis suits soon found themselves the focus of Brookes' reserves, and were wiped out.

Eventually the eldar did move forward into the Isthmus and towards the fortress itself. In the battle for Monte Cressino the great structure was torn apart by massive weapons, with only the central tower surviving. The Novgorod regiments, assigned to defend the centre, were torn apart, losing their high command in the process, while shadowsword heavy tanks failed to deal with the titan threats. Two revenants were eventually destroyed by massed imperial artillery fire and heavy weapons batteries, but the third remained and dealt with the rest of the defenders of the fortress. Brookes' forces retreated into Mascata, abandoning the fortress, allowing the tau to follow up and make good the eldar gains.

The tau had not made overwhelming gains in the south as they had hoped, but the eldar had got what they wanted. Quietly and without ceremony they retreated from the front on 0312.013M42, leaving nothing of the fortess behind them.

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