Thursday, October 11, 2018

The Imperium: A strategic nightmare

By the middle of 10.018M42 the Imperial strategic position in the Aleph sector had become extremely complex. Sector Commander Titus Luthor demanded an overview from his staff in order to provide a coherent strategy across the sector. The major ongoing theatres of war were understood. The Imperium needed to control and maintain the Foramen Interdictum in order to supply worlds the on the wrong side of the Cicatrix Maledictum. In addition with the rumours of the Foramen Ignotum and the opening up of the Hadron Expanse it was critical that the region be both exploited and protected from Xenos domination, especially against the Tau-Federal Alliance who sought to establish hegemony over the human worlds so long cut off from the Imperium.


Luthor had been in personal audience with Roboute Guilliman in order to get a judgement on the Inquisition war which had torn the Imperium apart since the Librian crisis. Guilliman's response had been clear. He was not going to intervene in petty disagreements and if the sector commander couldn't manage the problem of two Inquisitors then perhaps he should not be a sector commander. Fortunately for Luthor, with the renewed assault on chaos, the loyalist-crusade split had drastically calmed down, although the bad blood and disagreement had not been resolved and continued to boil up every now and then.


Of primary concern to Luthor was the active fronts against chaos near the Perseus Deeps. The successful taking of Paradorn from chaos had shorn up one end of the Foramen Interdictum, and the Imperium controlled Destino and technically Vandrax in the Foramen Minoris, giving effective control of both arms of the channel. Only Tarlius held out, heavily fortified by Stahl, but the Imperium had made a joint "crusade-loyalist" invasion effort, since Vorushko called a halt to Crusade offensive operations against the loyalists in late 09.018M42.


This declaration of a truce between Hathek and Vorushko was mainly motivated by Vorushko's wish to carry the war to the heretical forces of chaos. She was still adamant that the Foramen Minoris would have to be destroyed, but her control over Vandrax through Archmagos Cybixx all but assured that, or so she believed. The truth was a war between imperial forces in the Foramen only aided chaos, something neither Hathek nor Vorushko were prepared to accept.


In the Hadron Expanse Admiral Barham and General Chuikov led the main effort against chiefly the Alliance in the Echo Cluster. Small units did make forays into the Depths of the Expanse in order to search for the Foramen Ignotum, and it was here that the Crusade/loyalist situation would flare up again, as neither side wanted the other finding the ancillary channel. Vorushko, not surprisingly, was seeking to eliminate the extra channel.


The truce between the two sides of the Inquisition conflict was mostly holding however, despite the Grey Knights consistently conducting purges against Hathek's loyalist guard regiments, drawing the ire of General Patreus at Tarlius and General Cherenkov, head of the Novgorod regiments. then, in early 10.018M42 the Grey Knights, Space Wolves and Imperial Fists, with the agreement from General Cherenkov and Admiral D'Oyly-Hughes, made a full scale invasion of Mordecai Tersius. This opened up a second front against chaos but put Imperial resources at full stretch.


To cover both the Tarlius and Mordecai wars, with Stahl's fleet at Tarlius and Thok at Mordecai, two battlefleets were needed to maintain the operations. D'Oyly-Hughes at Mordecai and Collingwood at Tarlius. This however meant that with Enkvist's fleet in the Expanse all but destroyed by the Dark Eldar, Admiral Barham could not be reinforced and would have to face the Tau and federal fleets alone. Pendragon and Somerville could not be spared from their duties protecting the Vastrid and Valitane subsectors, and this arrangement already left Destino and the entire Zadoc subsector without capital ships.


Luthor also wanted a single commander in charge of ground forces (except astartes) and raised up General Cherenkov to be overall commander of Imperial Guard forces: Perseus Deeps. This irritated General Veers on Bastien and Patreus at Tarlius, but the Novgorod regiments formed the bulk of the fighting capability of the sector, and Titus could not afford to affront them. The Grey Knights agreed to waive their objections to the remaining Novgorod regiments, providing they were not exposed to the daemon threat, and a war council was convened for the "Foramen Front" - comprising of the invasions of Mordecai and Tarlius.


Foramen Front War Council

•             General Patreus: Commander of operations at Tarlius

•             General Cherenkov: Overall commander and commander of operations at Mordecai

•             Imperial Fists Captain Ajax

•             Lord inquisitor Hector Rex

•             Admiral D’Oyly-Hughes: Mordecai

•             Admiral Collingwood: Tarlius


A separate council was created for the Hadron Expanse Campaign. the addition of Vorushko to the Expanse council and the omission of Hathek seriously annoyed the Lord Inquisitor, but Luthor had had enough of Hathek, advising that he should busy himself looking for Heresy within rather than playing strategist. Vorushko, with her contacts at Terra and her position far away in the expanse all but guaranteed her involvement in the hadron planning.


Hadron Expanse Council

•             inquisitor Vorushko

•             Admiral Barham 

•             General Chuikov: Overall commander, ground forces


By the middle of 10.018M42 Sector Commander Luthor felt he had established control over the strategic situation, however he was about to be severely disappointed.

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