Sunday, June 08, 2014

Libria V invaded by alliance forces

With the Crusade forces well on their way to annexing Libria I and the war on Libria III stalled, the forces of the Alliance were preparing for another war. This time it was the Federacy who were keen to advance the pace of the invasion. They had already broken the imperial blockade and Libria had long been on their target list of acquisitions. The tau had also planned to take Libria from within, but the uncovering of their plot had brought their covert operation into the open, and now the system had devolved into civil war. Worse still the imperium seemed to be forming factions, which could complicate matters even further.

After much deliberation the tau decided to commit their forces to the Librian campaign, even though the job on Zadoc was far from over. They were finally enticed to commit by the eldar, who agreed to send their own forces to aid the alliance in their initial invasion of Libria, so long as the target was Libria I and the landing ground was in the northern hemsiphere. Why, no one asked, but the help was accepted.

On 0606.014M42 the tau fleet arrived, and quickly took station above the outermost Librian system. The alliance hoped for a short war to take the world and establish a bridgehead for further operations. The eldar massed at the north pole meanwhile, using their webway portals, and immediately began eliminating any loyalist patrols checking the area.

On the imperial side the loyalists had been using Libria V as a staging post. The planet had quickly been overpowered by the imperial reinforcements under General Abrahams, and had been acting as a supply depot ever since. Without Libria V the war on Libria III would be severely affected, while the loss of Libria I to the crusade forces would become inevitable. Knowing this Libria V was heavily defended by Lunar guard, Novgorod guard and the Imperial Fists chapter of the adeptus astartes.

Aboard the cloaked Inquisition Vessel Absolute Judgement, Inquisitor Vorushko watched the unfolding events with alarm. Although her crusaders were now in action against the loyalists on Libria I, the loss of Libria V could quickly lead to capitulation of the loyalist forces on Libria IV and III before her own forces were sufficiently built up to contest them. Libria would be lost to the alliance just as she had predicted.

Vorushko summoned her astartes captains. The Raven Guard accepted the Inquisitor's logic and began planning a counter strike against the now ongoing tau-eldar invasion of the world. By 0906.014M42 the battles raged around North Springley, and several Librian regiments had already gone over to the rebel side. The Carcharadons protested strongly but eventually acquiesced to assisting the loyalists. It was something they would regret and turn the Space Sharks violently against the loyalists for the rest of the war.

The Imperial Fists and Lunar guard, as well as a warhound titan and Novgorod infantry, were already heavily engaged with alliance forces when the Carcharadons and Raven Guard arrived with no warning. Oblivious to events on Libria I the loyalists hailed the reinforcements, who targeted their attacks on the right wing of the large imperial army defending Jutesberg. Rather than worry about the Librians, the Carcharadons went straight for the eldar forces who dominated the wooded hills around the industrial city, leaving an armoured thrust of loyalists and Raven Guard to break the alliance right flank, mostl made up of rebel forces and tau units.

On the imperial right the fighting became bloody very quickly, with both sides suffering heavy casualties. The alliance forces reeled at the impact of the astartes, but gradually recovered, their reserves isolating pockets of astartes resistance and slowly wiping them out.

On the left the armoured thrust intended to halt the rebel advance on Jutesberg was soon blocked by imperial heavy weaponry. Shadowsword fire and artillery crippled the imperial vehicles and only a few astartes made it to the rebel lines, where a dogged defence critically delayed the Raven Guard and allowed the tau to reinforce the wavering rebel lines.

In the city itself the alliance forces continued their advance, felling the warhound and taking their objectives, combining advancing rebel infantry and tanks with deep striking tau and eldar elements. By 1206.014M42 the imperial counter attack was utterly spent, and the long retreat from Jutesberg began. On 2006.014M42 alliance forces were at the suburbs of Timberhill and had a strong foothold on Libria V.

As soon as it had become clear that their intervention had not stopped the alliance invasion, the Carcharadons and Raven Guard abandonned the loyalists to their fate, returning battered to their mobile base in the outer asteroid fields. The Carcharadons vowed never to work with the imperial guard again, and pouring scorn on any astartes chapter that would do so, citing the Imperial Fists as particularly weak and pathetic. The Inquisitor Lord was obliged to listen to the rants of Boagrious, for she could not afford to lose the support of the Carcharadons. From now on the crusade forces would act as an astartes only force and should any "loyalist" forces get in the way of their agenda, then they would be eliminated. libria would burn.

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