Saturday, July 12, 2014

Libria V: Astartes retake initiative

Following the defeat of imperial forces and the establishment of an alliance bridgehead on Libria V, General Abrahams' mood grew dark. So-called Crusade forces of the Carcharadon Astra and Raven Guard chapters had disappeared without warning allowing the alliance to consolidate their gains. Abrahams appointed General Andries Groenewold of the Librian guard in overall command of the situation, hoping the steadfastly loyal officer would ensure no more Librian units betrayed the imperium. Opposing him was another Librian general, Argen Koyt, who had firmly sided with the Federacy. The two men had grown up together and trained at the same time at the Librian military academy, but the two former friends were now bitter enemies.

Loyalist general Groenewold received some much needed aid in early 07.014M42 with the arrival of a Dark Angels strike cruiser and a similar vessel from the Ultramarines. The two astartes chapters announced they would put right the "dishonour" of the astartes and help win back the world from the alliance. Most assumed the dishonour in question was aimed firmly at the Carcharadons and Raven Guard, suggesting that sides were being drawn within the astartes fraternity. Some observers even privately speculated that another Badab war could erupt, but were mindful to keep such thoughts silent.

The newly arrived astartes chapters soon entered the fray on Libria V, assaulting the heavily defended settlement of North Springvale in a frontal assault. The defenders were made up of tau forces under the command of commander Skyfall, and Librian rebels commanded by Koyt's lieutenants. The defenders were well equipped and competent soldiers, but the astartes attack proved ferocious.

The first marine charge, by the Ultramarines fast bike units, was torn apart by the alliance firepower, while on the loyalist right flank the Dark Angels suffered heavy casualties as well. As the Librians defended the loyalist left, it seemed that the imperial counter attack might falter, but in the centre the decisive battle erupted. Wave after wave of marines poured into a gap in the alliance line left by a shattering bombardment of the alliance positions which almost broke the tau command units. What was left was soon engaged in bitter hand to hand fighting which would only ever result in an astartes victory. The Librian units were then cut off from the remnants of Skyfall's troops and within a few days North Springvale had been retaken for the imperium.

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