Thursday, October 23, 2014

Libria III: Rebels launch offensive

While the alliance continued to fight on Libria V, the librian separatists continued to fight alone with the resources they had to hand. Fortunately the rebels still held the northern province of Ljung Juin, which contained the vital industrial complex at Shenzen. With this strategic asset the rebels were able to continue production of Leman Russ battle tanks and other military vehicles at a prodigious rate, which had the effect of prolonging the conflict, which since the opening moves had degenerated into a bloody stalemate.

The imperial commanders, their HQ currently based on the loyalist Libria IV, were able to send only meagre forces to Lord General Josiah Garrett in command on Libria III, thanks to the continued alliance blockade of the system. Despite this iron grip, the UFP and tau fleets couldn't be everywhere at once, and admiral Jellicoe allowed a small number of fast escorts, mostly cobra class destroyers, to run the gauntlet of the alliance forces. A steady if small stream of imperial ground forces therefore trickled into Josiah's theatre of war, the most recent arrivals being two regiments of Vanaheim guard. Along with these forces Garrett received an additional boon when the adeptus mechanicus managed to smuggle in a small force of their own.

Seeing this slow build up, the Librian rebels decided to launch an offensive against these untested forces, and in mid 10.014M42 they attacked without warning into South Vale towards the megacity of Lazarus. Rebel General Waltham, in command in the south, threw his highly mechanised forces into the fray, attempting to split the loyalist forces in two at the Varus Isthmus. In this they were succesful, as their armoured thrust proved difficult to stop for the Vanaheim army, despite the support of Mechanicum equipment.

The Vanaheim forces made a number of inexperienced mistakes, such as their infantry being caught in the open against oncoming Leman Russ, but the rebel artillery support from their basilisk batteries proved the decisive weapon. Coming under sustained and accurate bombardment as the rebels advanced, the Vanaheim troops were unable to mount a significant counter attack. The Mechanicus forces acquitted themselves well, accounting for a high casualty rate amongst the rebels, but by 2210.014M42 the rebels had reached the Genedal Sea and were shelling the outskirts of Lazarus itself. Back on Libria IV, there wasn't much General Abrahams could do about it. Even so, without external intervention, the war on Libria III looked like lasting a very long time indeed.

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