Monday, April 20, 2015

Launceston's Loyalists make gains

By mid 04.015M42 the Crusade forces were becoming seriously over stretched and under pressure. This was particularly true of the force in South Vale, which with alliance on both flanks and the loyalists in Lazarus to the north, had to be continually supplied via the Riker Sea, a shallow and treacherous stretch of water for shipping and a practical no-fly zone for crusade airborne forces, such was the superiority of the alliance air power in that region. It came as no surprise to Inquisitor Vorushko and her commanders whent General Launceston began an offensive driving down from the Varas isthmus into South Vale.

Vorushko, knowing her forces would capitulate without help, called on the Minotaurs. This highly mobile force was able to strike without warning from space, and then withdraw, the damage done, before the alliance space forces in the vicinity of Libria III had time to react. However, the Minotaurs would have to strike decisively and in a limited time frame.

the operation started well, with the Minotaurs force evading alliance and loyalist airborne forces and landing directly in contact with the lead element of the Novgorod Guard regiments at the front of Launceston's offensive. The Minotaurs intended to smash a hole in the loyalist line in order for Vorushko's reserves to counter attack, putting the whole of the loyalist plan into jepoardy. However the plan soon went wrong.

As violent as ever, the Minotaurs were simply unable to kill enough guardsmen quickly enough, a fact General Launceston had counted on, and as the blood of the Novgorod guard stained the countryside red, the rest of the loyalist meatgrinder pushed on into South Vale. Nearly 24 hours later, the Novgorod regiments facing the Minotaurs were almost spent, but by now the combat was irrelevant. The critical time had past and the astartes force had to disengage. Casualties were enormous, but Launceston accepted those as the remainder of his force outflanked then routed the remaining loyalist forces in South Vale, returning the region to loyalist control.

The loyalists were also enjoying steady gains across the other side of the planet, in the remote region of Waneria. For weeks Launceston's forces had been slowly pushing the rebels south, out of Hodor, and now the Wanerian mountains had been taken and the whole of the plains to the south lay open to the advancing Lycaon Guard.

The Shattered Silence kabal were asked by the alliance to put a stop to the imperial offensive, and after protracted negotiations, a price was agreed. However the dark eldar force found the imperial armour tough to deal with, and once again the Lycaon Guard regiments proved to be a difficult foe. The struggle, a series of violent skirmishes between xenos and imperial forces in the Wanerian plains, lasted almost a week, but at the end of that time the forward momentum of the loyalist army had not been slowed and the city of Belleron now lay at risk, outflanked to the west.

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