Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Libria III: Bernadette changes hands, twice

With Santo retaken the crusade piled on the pressure in late 08.015M42 as Vorushko's regiments poured into Vedrick north of the three cities of Parth, Regina and Santos. The offensive forced a number of withdrawals, as Skyfall in particular found his forces outmanoeuvred by the latest push north. Forced back against the west coast of Vedrick, Skyfall attempted to halt the advancing crusade forces by emplying yet more experimental riptide suits and other technologies. The attempt failed, as the tau focussed too much on the Sisters of Battle, not fully realising the devastating potential of the larger Vannaheim vehicles, and a disturbing percentage of tau casualties met a fiery death to Malcador Infernus tanks. Within days the plains of Vedrick had fallen. Skyfall managed to evacuate by ait, but the majority of his tau force holding the line north of Parth were destroyed before they could be evacuated.

While Vedrick fell, the Apocalypse Riders pushed towards Bernadette on the east coast between Heanor and the dividing highlands between Heanor and Vedrick. In poor weather and snowstorms the Riders attacked the rebel Librian positions just before dawn, using the poor light and clouds of snow to confuse and disorient their opponents, allowing them to get to lethal range before the largely armoured Librians realised they were under full scale attack. Despite being well equipped and used to the weather conditions, the Librians had little answer to the furious assault of the bike borne chapter, and once the Apocalypse Riders were in amongst the Librian lines the battle became a massacre. Unable to disengage the Librian regiments in the hills around Bernadette were simply erased, and on 3008.015M42 the crusade entered the city.

The Crusade now had an unbroken front from the east to the west coast, cutting the alliance on the western continent in two. However the alliance realised that the crusade were now spread thinly, and would be unable to hold their entire stretched front line. The Iron Warriors, unable to launch yet another counter attack, could nevertheless call on another of their elite formations in the form of the adeptus mechanicus loyal to Apollo. With this elite force, the alliance forced a counter attack on the city of Bernadette, slamming headlong into the Adeptus Sororitas and Vannaheim regiments, who made up more than 70% of the manpower in Vorushko's army.

The alliance took heavy casualties, but in the end the superior firepower and equipment of the alliance mechanicus levelled the settlement and destroyed the Vannaheim regiments deployed to hold the city. on 0309.015M42, just three days after it had been taken, Bernadette, or its ruins, changed hands once more. In two weeks of heavy fighting the crusade had managed to extend their control across Vedrick and extend their supply lines at the same time. No major reversal of the alliance had been achieved, while on Libria IV the loyalists were in full retreat. Vorushko realised that a war of mere conquest would no longer suffice and called a council of her generals and advisors. The war on Libria III was about to turn a great deal more dirty.

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