Monday, February 17, 2014

Eldar cleared from Corticant

A week after the defeat of the Imperial Fists General Veers received significant reinforcements to his army on Corticant. The base on Corticant, under siege now from two hostile alien forces, was a strategically vital lynchpin of the Perseus Deeps and front line against the Xenos of the sector. Titus Luthor recognised this, and so did Inquisitor Lord Natalia Vorushko, who pursuaded the Carcharadons, having eliminated all trace of the Tyranids on Bastien, to make the short warp hop to the Corticant system.

The Carcharadons decided to use their small force where it would be tactically most useful, and to this end allowed General Veers to plan his new offensive against the eldar. Veers had little choice other than to engage in an obvious offensive aimed up the Iron Road, and the eldar were ready and waiting for him. Thirty thousand imperial guardsmen, mostly Librian, advanced towards the enemy positions, and at Arenhal Junction, met fierce resistance.

The terrain and landscape of Corticant prevented any tactical flair, as there was no method of outflanking the Junction, without an airborne assault. Veers couldn't spare enough airborne units and against the eldar would struggle to maintain air superiority in any case, and the Disciples of Ynead, backed up by their Corsair eldar allies, knew this all to well.

At Arenhal the eldar had massed their strongest forces and the bulk of their army. Despite having a clear numerical superiority and some of the best imperial equipment, Veers had no super heavy battle tanks or titans at his disposal. The eldar however, did. Early on on 1302.014M42 at least one Scorpion and one Cobra were spotted around Arenhal Junction, hiding amongst the installations which had seen the demise of the Imperial Fists a few days previously. Veers pressed his attack anyway, hoping the Carcharadons would pick an appropriate moment to come to his army's aid.

The destruction wrought by the eldar Pulsars in the ensuing action was brutal. Leman Russ were simply vaporised, while the imperial HQ, sheltering behind an Aegis defence line, found their defences no match for the Cobra. One crack of the eldar weapon and the imperial command were simply gone. Even so the Librians marched forward into Arenhal Junction, and on the right flank Librian veterans and hellhound flame tanks found some success against the Corsair eldar. An artillery bombardment killed their commander while their infantry were mercilessly burned by the hellhounds' weapons. This assault was backed up by Carcharadon land speeders and scouts, and only dogged fighting by the Corsairs prevented the eldar left flank from collapsing. In the middle of the fighting the guard were losing. Their advance had stalled and the casualties were spiralling out of all control. Just before Veers was about to call a general withdrawal, the sky overhead was suddenly filled with contrails. The Carcharadons had arrived.

The elite astartes warriors deployed right in the centre of the action, determined to take on the primary eldar fighting the battle, the disciples of Ynead. Ignoring the giant eldar skimmers for the time being, the Carcharadon terminators waded into battle against the Wraithguard protecting the Ynead Farseer, engaging in a long lasting and brutal hand to hand melee, joined by a few Librians swept up in the battle.

After a protracted fight the eldar were eventually cut down, although a misjudged orbital bombardment from the Carcharadon's almost cost the imperium their momentum, causing a number of avoidable casualties amongst their own centurion unit, saving the Cobra from certain destruction. The eldar Farseer attempted to withdraw, but was caught by - of all things - two regular librian guardsmen. One simply stuck out his bayonet as the Farseer fled from the giant astartes warriors, impaling him.

The eldar did make some temporary inroads into the imperial advance into Arrenhal, but Librian reinforcements of Chimera borne veterans eventually downed the Wraithknight, the single biggest threat to the Veers' advance after the super heavy grav tanks. On the imperial right the remaining scouts juat managed to escape annihilation from the eldar pulsars, and two days into the advance the tide was turning against the eldar. Although their two super heavy tanks were still operational, their power reserves were running low, and their troops had been slaughtered. If they didn't withdraw now the Carcharadons would be able to add two valuable eldar skimmers to their tally of kills.

The Carcharadons pursued the fleeing eldar back down the Iron Road, ready to engage them when they chose to turn and fight, but hostilities on Corticant were never renewed. When Boargrius himself reached Ironhaven the eldar were gone, as well as the former inhabitants of the city. The space marine captain could only assume the eldar had abandoned the fight on Corticant, perhaps deciding that the cost to their kin was too great, and the resolve of the imperium too great. Or perhaps they would come back later. Of the population of the town nothing was ever found, although the rumour of eldar slavers persisted.

No comments: