Monday, July 06, 2015

Libria III: Crusade sweep through Cartasia

The assault on Cartal was swiftly followed up. Utilising their full orbital strike capability, a sweeping and complex operation lasting nearly three weeks swung into operation. Strike cruisers from the Sky Lords and Minotaurs chapters supported the push north through the centre of Cartasia, with the Minotaurs and Order of the Crimson Veil launching an aggressive offensive towards the city of Grisk and the important industrial heartlands of the south.

Performing multiple drops the astartes were able to continuously outflank and outmanoeuvre their opponents, which were mad up of Apollo's retreating Iron Warriors and elements of rebel Librian and even novgorod guard. Unable to counter the Crusade's ability to redeploy rapidly, Grisk soon fell, and Apollo was already warning of worse to come, with the three cities of Regina, Parth and Santos now under dire threat from the Crusade army, which was rapidly exploiting its breakthrough.

Vorushko wasn't about to let the opportunity go begging. Knowing her astartes forces were not going to suffer from fatigue, the Sky Lords now joined in, deploying their forces by Thunderhawk for the assault on the three cities. The Sisters of Battle and Vannaheim Guard went for Santo, the closest of the cities and one which did not require orbital support. Simultaneously the Minotaurs prepared a drop on Regina in the centre, while the Sky Lords, supported by the Minotaurs, focussed on Parth.

In the event Parth fell relatively quickly, with Minotaurs astartes ripping apart the kroot and Riptide formations defending the city. The Iron Warriors' mobile forces were able to intervene, destroying a number of Sky Lords' Land Raiders, but never looked likely to retake the city itself. Further east the Sisters of Battle and Vannaheim Guard had a sporadic engagement with Skyfall's tau forces in Santos, but it was in the centre where the main fighting took place.

Both sides had bet that Regina would be the key to the battle, and both sides focussed their efforts their. Imperial Knights were wielded on both sides, and Apollo committed his heaviest tank forces to the engagement. Initially the losses, particularly on the left wing of the Adeptus Sororitas formation were severe, as combined armoured firepower ripped through the crusade forces. The Minotaurs then intervened, dropping their lethal dreadnoughts from strike cruisers, with almost all of them surviving their decent and ripping into the Iron Warriors' armoured forces.

With the battle in the balance the Sky Lords mounted Thunderhawk support missions, delivering thunder hammer equipped terminators into the fray, and lack of air cover once again proved decisive as the crusade were able to dictate the flow of the battle. Despite heroic stands by the elite alliance forces, they were unable to hold and on 0607.015M42 the crusade had effectively captured all three cities. The crusade had inflicted a devastating reversal on the alliance, but overall the tau, Iron Warriors and rebel forces still held more than half the planet.

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