Monday, October 13, 2014

Imperium: Zadoc "almost certainly lost"

The response by the forces of chaos to the new offensive by the alliance on Zadoc was swift, but didn't involve an immediate attack on tau or eldar forces. Instead a large force of Emperor's Children, Iron Warriors and Word Bearers was assembled on the chaos held Ascobabria. On 1010_014M42 they launched a major assault over the Saregri Ocean, utilising their daemonforge located in the north to construct hundreds of airborne engines which swiftly carried their armies over the sea. Blanketed in blasphemuos fog and daemonic energies, the task force was attacked en route by the imperial navy, to little effect. Within hours the forces of chaos had made their landing on the south of Riontas and were driving towards Rodenze.

Wavell, alarmed at the failure of the navy to prevent such a coordinated attack, deployed his guard regiments on the obvious routes of advance to the imperial capital.The Raven Guard also joined the imperial defenders at the Garviel installation, a massive manufacturing complex which provided almost ten percent of the planet's imperial tithe on its own.

The forces of chaos did indeed make Garviel a focal point of their advance, and concentrated elite forces to take the installation, while cultist and traitor guard forces confronted the imperial army, now mainly consisting of the Zadoc PDF, defending Rodenze. At Garviel traitor marines of the Emperor's Children and Iron Warriors legion went into battle personally, while the Arch Cleric unleashed a host of daemons who eagerly joined the fray.

The Raven Guard, expecting this, launched their own pre-emptive strike against the purple liveried Emperor's Children, attempting to separate their forces from the rest of the host. Meanwhile the Librian and other guard forces marched forward bravely towards the Iron Warriors.

Unfortunately for the imperium, the Raven Warriors' strike was unsuccessful, and the daemons of Nurgle thwarted the attempt to gain a key objective on the left flank of the imperial line. While the Raven Guard attempted to push home their attack, suffering ever increasing casualties, on the imperial right, Iron Warrior forces accompanied by Emperor's Children terminators scythed throught the imperial lines. Thousands of guardsmen were massacred and the Librians began to break, many throwing down their weapons and running for their lives. The armoured units suffered badly as well, as Iron Warrior Mauler Fiends strode over the ruined shell of Garviel complex, seemingly immune to massed melta, lascannon and vanquisher cannon shells. Eventually both monstrous engines were felled by overwhelming firepower, but not before the imperial forces had been well and truly dislodged from the installation.

By 1210.014M42 the Garviel complex was lost, and the imperial retreat cut by fast moving daemonic forces. The imperial force had fought bravely, but in vain, as the overwhelming pressure on the defence lines around Rodenze finally collapsed. General Wavell disappeared, his fate unknown, while the remaining imperial forces on Riontas attempted to flee or surrender to the alliance. Few were able, as flying daemons soon made hiding impossible, and there was much consternation as the tau on the northern coast simply watched as the massacre unfolded, judging the risk too high and any gains too small to justify intervening.

By mid-10.014M42 the remaining city belonging to the imperium on Zadoc was Montene, itself a ruin, defended by a few regiments of Guard and a few hundred space marines who themselves were considering whether or not it made sense to continue fighting in this way on Zadoc. On Vastrid, Titus Luthor recieved the grim news but refused to send reinforcements while the situation was still so volatile on Libria. It was now almost certain that Zadoc would be lost to the imperium, at least for the time being - the second subsector capital of the sector to slip out of the imperium's hands.

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