Monday, December 18, 2006

The Battle For Whiteridge Begins

The Battle For Whiteridge began with a massive artillery barrage of the city's defences by the Scyllian 12th Armoured regiment's Basilisks and Griffons. The attack was devised by Major-General Lenord and his advisors, commander in chief of all Imperial forces on Myrentas II. This now consisted of six Imperial regiments, two of which were armoured.

The plan was relatively simple. A massive barrage of artillery would destroy the enemy defenses in the city. Once lifted the bombardment would be followed by simultaneous assaults by the Librain 101st and Librian 57th Regiments, both infantry. Only once this massive assault had taken the city would the armour of the Scyllian 12th Regiment and the Librian 4th Armoured Division follow up into the dense terrain of Whiteridge.

At 06:00 on 1612.006 M42 the artillery began a bombardment lasting 2 hours. At 08:00 the Librians attacked, 20,000 men committed to driving the few hundred Iron Warrior defenders out of their defences. Things started to go wrong immediately as the dense rubble terrain slowed down the imperial advance. By 10am the attack was well behind schedule. Things came to a head around 2pm when the Librian 101st encountered stiff resistance as they attempted to take a vital road crossing.

The Librian infantry were flung into the attack taking horrendous casualties but the Iron Warriors were slowly forced back. The imperial forces brought up Leman Russ and Basilisks in close support but these were vulnerable and many were destroyed by concealed havoc squads hiding in the ruins. To make things worse the traitor legion would sporadically attack with its attack bike squadrons, taking heavy casualties but throwing the Librians into panicked retreat, cutting down anyone who got in their way. Meanwhile several chimeras rushing to support the assault found the going tough and bogged down in the difficult ground.

By the end of the day the Librians had taken 7450 men killed or wounded, lost 64 tanks and 15 artillery pieces. The attack had stalled in the city suburbs and the imperial forces were forced to dig in in their new positions. Only a quarter of the day's objectives had fallen and many of those now faced imminent counter attack. As night fell the armoured regiments were finally brought up in assault but the attack had been a failure.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Disaster at Jotunheim!

It started when the Imperial fleet, now composed of the Imperious, Galileo and Ceres identified Tau transports entrering the system near the ice planet of Jotunheim. The imperial cruisers raced to intercept with Galileo making contact first, encountering two protectors escorting three transports into the Hellheim system.A brief firefight flared up with the Galileo coming of worst. Crippled and drifting towards an astreroid belt her consorts arrived too late to save her and the protectors reduced her to a hulk.

Worse was to follow for the imperium as the protectors wheeled around an asteroid field and caught Imperious before she could defend herself. Crippled she was forced to withdraw. Ceres was last to feel the Tau wrath as the Tau battleship, nicknamed "Pinnafore" arrived to deal a devastating bomber attack. Ceres blew up a short time later with the loss of all hands.
During the battle the Tau were incredibly diciplined and handled their ships very tightly. This minimised the damage to some scorh marks on one protector and the loss of one transport, destroyed by a lucky nova cannon shot.Admiral Sturdee handled his ships roughly and paid the price. His ships failed to disengage, their shooting was inaccurate and ineffectual and their coordination poor. Sturdee himself survived the battle but was later "found wanting" by an imperial agent. He would never command the fleet again.

The battle is a great victory for the Tau who now control the Hellheim system undisputed. Imperious will have to return to Cerberex for repairs. Meanwhile the Imperial fleet is now forced to go on the defensive with fewer ships now than the UFP. The battle of Jotunheim is a black day for the Imperium which has left the imperial guard on Myrentas II over exposed. 6 more regiments attempted to run the Tau blockade and reinforce the Imperial forces. 3 made it, 2 were destroyed by the tau fleet and one regiment surrendered.

The Iron Warriors on Myrentas II

"Reliance on others is strength for the weak, but weakness for the strong."

Such is the maxim of Lieutenant Gallowfen, commander of a few hundred malcontent Iron Warriors, currently stationed on Myrentas II in the Perseus Deeps.

When the Iron Warriors control upon Aleph IV was shattered, the forces mostly retreated to Kendrenec. The Chaos forces felt betrayed, their alliance with the Dark Exterminators being the main cause they blamed for their downfall. Some imagined a betrayal that ran far deeper. Commandeering a transport vessel, Lieutenant Gallowfen took the men under his personal control away from the rest of the retreating fleet. He believed he had been betrayed by the other Iron Warrior generals, who had shown their weakness in the operations upon Aleph.

Determined that he could succeed by himself, and that to stay with the other Iron Warriors commanders would be to invite defeat, Gallowfen took only those warriors that had served under him in the Aleph campaign, and headed somewhere this small force could make its mark.

This place ended up as Myrentas II, in the Peseus Deeps. The whole system was a haven for pirates, with no centralised government and therefore no organised defences. It was perfect for Gallowfen, who launched a lightening raid on Myrentas II’s city of Whiteridge. With almost no resistance, the Chaos Warriors took the city, and began its reinforcement against a retaliation. The citizens were mostly kept alive and allowed a life, of sorts, working in the factories to produce defences and munitions.

So Gallofen set up his operation, and bided his time. Ork warbands roamed the lands between the cities of the planet, but they proved ineffective in any of their small raids on Whiteridge. The government of the planet seemed strangely comfortable to allow the Chaos their city. With no great threats to pressure the Iron Warriors, they were content to slowly build their power and plan an attack on the planet’s closest city Rockwell. Coincidentally, by the time the Iron Warriors were ready to raid Rockwell, Imperial Forces arrived in the sector.

Gallowfen and his forces are now in a dangerous position. Should the Imperium bring all of its might against the Iron Warriors, the Chaos army will surely be crushed. But Gallowfen rejects ideas of sending for aid, to call upon others would be to show weakness. Instead the Iron Warriors prepare to sell their lives dearly, each step the Imperial forces get closer the Chaos will make them pay the cost of a thousand men.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Operation Sunstrike Begins

The Tau operation Sunstrike began with the "securing" of the Cernunnos facility, where nearly half a million tau now lived and worked. Commander Longstride met with his advisors and planned their strategy. It became obvious that bases on Tantalon V, Lucardium and Myrentas II would provide the logistical links which they needed. Three task forces, each with a number of hunter cadres on board set out for these systems.

Lucardium, a hot and sparsely inhabited desert planet with few resources put up no resistance to the Tau arrival. After arriving in the planet's one and only city the Tau emissaries quickly established relations with the few human settlers and the planet became part of the Tau empire without a fight.

Tantalon V
Things did not go as well for the task force sent to the forest world of Tantalon V. Instead of an uninhabited world teeming with natural life the Tau found a lifeless ball of rock devoid of life or even atmosphere. Intrigued the Tau landed at the former Imperial outpost and found it in ruins. Before they had time to investigate further they were assaulted by a ferocious tyranid horde and forced to flee. The Tau lost several hundred in the attack and were forced to abandon their heavy equipment on the planet.
The commander of the task force realised the tyranids on the planet were nowhere near enough to overwhelm the planet. Where were the rest of the aliens? Had a new hive fleet been born? Unable to send out further scouting forces, these questions had to wait.

Myrentas II

In the pirate system of Myrentas the Tau had more success. Dropping their fleet into the system the Imperial supply fleet was forced to flee before superior firepower. This meant vital fuel supplies failed to reach the Imperial armies on the ground and the offensive against Whiteridge had to be cancelled.
Meanwhile the Tau water caste sent diplomats to the besieged pirate city of Rockwell. An agreement was quickly reached. The pirates would join the Tau empire in exchange for protection from the Imperium and the Iron Warriors, who now had a third of the city under their control. Not all the pirates were happy with this authority over them, while the ork forces were told their services were no longer required.
Upon landing the Tau immediately took positions around the city and secured the spaceport. They even made gains into the Iron Warriors' territory before a determined attack halted the aliens and prevented them from taking the westgate.

The Eldar Learn the Truth

Meanwhile the eldar, worried by the Tau findings on Tantalon V visited the system for themselves. It was a dangerous reconaissance mission and a number of the eldar did not return. Still the tyranid assaults were driven off and the eldar learned the real truth on Tantalon. A new hive fleet had been created from the life which once thrived on Tantalon. It had split in two. Half headed to Lucardium and the new Tau base, the other half toward the 10 billion souls living in the Zadoc sector. Their first target the massively populous system of Libria...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Penetrators

Formerly known as the Alpha Legion 7th Grand Company

The Alpha Legion 7th Company operated deep behind imperial lines and often was left without orders for decades at a time. Naturally, this did not faze the Company at all and they pursued their own agenda looking for worthy adversaries to better their own martial skills.

However, a prolonged cut off period from the intelligence and chain of command has forced this company to more and more pursue their own agendas and use their own methods. Following Alpharius’s teachings, the 7th company became self reliant and used every tactic available to them to bring destabilisation to which ever area they were in. Over a period of centuries, they became their own entity, and called themselves the Penetrators.

Although the vast majority follow Alpharius’s detailed combat doctrine, the Penetrators are renowned for using all methods available to them. There are reports of bloody and carnal sacrifices left in the sites this chaos legion has scourged. Imperial experts have quickly pointed out that these rituals are often employed by agents of Slaanesh. There are further reports of illness and disease following the legion’s activities. Perhaps this is a coincidence; perhaps it is indicative of something darker.

The Penetrators often engage in subterfuge and infiltration, they seem to revel in causing destabilisation everywhere they go. They will actively seek to turn a planet’s population against the Imperium. And while the brave forces of the Imperium battle with these blood thirsty mobs, the Penetrator Chaos Space marines pursue their true objectives unhindered, only to abandon the planet without a trace once this has been completed.

As yet, the Legion’s true objectives are unknown, and it isn’t known how they are replenishing their numbers. They are led by a mysterious daemon prince who is known simply as ‘Mr. Dandy’. Although Mr. Dandy’s death has been confirmed on numerous occasions, he always appears to return at a later battle, in a different location. Very little is known about ‘Mr. Dandy’, other than his evil cunning and lethal skill with a cursed blade.

Mr. Dandy has several Lieutenants who he trusts implicitly as Alpharius did Mr. Dandy. Many of these ‘Lieutenants’ are daemon princes in their own right, yet Mr. Dandy insists of giving them absurd yet menacing names. Mr. Joy, Moonface, Giggles are ones which have been recorded (often at the expense of our scouts’ lives).
When confronting the Penetrators one should be prepared for anything, for they have proved that they are capable of any type of assault and are brave enough or insane enough to attack any fortification, no matter how well defended.
It seems that they thrive on battling against strong opponents, and although they can be beaten in battle, this serves merely to tighten their resolve for dominance.


Possibly a splinter fleet from Hive fleet Behemoth. Little is known about them and they seem to be similar to every other abomination the Tyranids have launched at us. Code named Bahumut.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Dark Angels Continue Crusade

While this was going on the Dark Angels still appeared to be following their own agenda rather than following the cardinal’s plan. To Sheriden’s displeasure the Dark Angels’ fleet slipped anchor and disappeared four weeks before Clean Sweep was about to begin. It was then discovered that the space marine chapter had again been waging its own war in the Aurelis deeps near the Valitane run, on planets mostly overrun by tyranids.
To Cardinal Sheriden’s concern it was noticed that the planets attacked by the Dark Angels were the same worlds that the Cardinal had served on in his time in the Tallaxian Imperial Guard… This had to be more than coincidence.

Battle of Cernunnos (fleet battle)

Operation Clean Sweep 0112.006M42

Operation Clean Sweep began on 0112.006M42 with a simultaneous landing by the Blood Martyrs 3rd company and a fleet action in the Hellheim system. By the end of the day the Imperial military hoped to have crushed the inexperianced Tau fleet and to have landed in force on Cernunnos.

The Fleet Battle
The Imperial fleet (Sword Of Damocles, Imperious, Defence, Fearless, Galileo and Ceres) had finally managed to pin down the tau and a confused engagement took place in the asteroid belt.
It started with the Sword of Damocles engaging two protector class cruisers. The battle was uneven and things were going badly for the tau until the arrival of an Emissary class and three escorts from the Damocle's other flank began to pressurise the battleship. then things swung violently in favour of the imperium as the Imperious and escorts appeared behind the Emissary, crippling her and crippling a protector with her Nova cannon. It seemed that Admiral Jellicoe would have his crushing victory!
Crippled and venting atmosphere one of the two Tau protectors made a last gasp gambit, powering her engines to maximum and hurling herself at the imperial battleship. The Sword Of Damocles was powerless to manouvre out of the way and the protector's shileded prow impacted against the battleship's port side, crippling her. After this the great ship was forced to disengage.
The Tau however were in a serious situation. The Emissary had been hulked and her escorts destroyed by the battlegroup led by the carrier Imperious. Defence and Fearless, two brand new gothic class cruisers had arrived to the stern of the Tau protectors, destroying both of them. With only one newly arrived protector in range it seemed the Tau had been defeated.
Just then the Custodian Tau battleship loomed into view headed directly for Fearless and Defence. High on confidence the two new and inexperienced gothic cruisers headed straight for their enemy in close formation. It was a fatal mistake. This left the two imperial ships moving away from another protector class vessel which launched a salvo of tau torpedoes. Meanwhile the Custodian and three wardens opened fire on the gothics, launched torpedoes and eight squadrons of mantas!
It was more than the Fearless could take and she veered into the path of Defence before blowing up in an enormous warp drive implosion. The shockwave blew the Defence into the asteroid field where she broke in two before her plasma drives detonated, converting the ship into dust and gas.
When the blast cleared the remaining ships, isolated from one another, saw that two of their newest capital ships were gone. They disengaged allowing the Tau to recover their three hulked cruisers.

The Imperium had started well and severely damaged the Tau fleet. The Tau were left with just on Custodian, three wardens and two protectors in the Hellheim system. Their other three capital ships were evacuated to the Tau empire for repairs, which would take at least 6 months. However the imperial fleet had to send the Sword Of Damocles back to Cerberex for a refit, leaving just one battlecruiser and two cruisers in system. This was not enough to defend against the Tau and protect an invasion force. Clean Sweep had failed.

The Blood Martyrs landing
The Imperial plan for Cernunnos was simple. Lacking any droptroops the Imperial Guard would suffer huge casualties on landing unless they had a secure dropsite. The Blood Martyrs 3rd company was entrusted to secure this site and defend the perimeter while the Imperial Guard landed their men and equipment.
Torment launched her thunderhawks and thunderhawk transporters carrying the Blood Martyrs 4th company into the atmosphere of Cernunnos at 01:30 local time. Barracudas were scrambled by the Tau but the landing took place far enough from the main Tau base for the thunderhawks to unload and escape before the Tau fighters arrived. The blood Martyrs, fully equipped with their support tanks, now made the 60km journey to the Tau perimeter.
The marines faced little resistance until they approached the Tau main base itself when they met fierce resistance from a Tau hunter cadre at 03:00 local time. The night attack had been planned by the marines to confuse the Tau, but they were ready. Soon the marine, suffering more in the darkness than their opponents, found themselves outgunned. Before long most of the marines' tanks had been taken out and the 3rd company was forced to withdraw.
Worse was to follow. As the surviving Blood Martyrs made their way back to their defence perimeter they were ambushed by a force of Dark Eldar. The ensuing bloody fight saw the aliens take high casualties, but the ambush turned the marine retreat into a rout. When the Blood Martyrs took off in their Thunderhawks they returned with just 42 men from the original 120, and just 15% of their equipment. These were serious losses.
The plan to establish a bridgehead on Cernunnos had failed, leaving the 6 Imperial Guard regiments in orbit around the planet with nowhere to land.
Then the news of the fleet battle arrived. Torment and her flotilla of troop carriers immediately turned and set course for the safety of the base on Einmyrria. Operation Clean Sweep had failed.

Imperial Plans
With Clean Sweep a total failure operation Caterwaul now looked in jeopardy. The imperial fleet had been reduced in strength and the Tau still occupied Cernunnos. Imperial High Command immediately re-planned. The fleet and the 6 regiments of Imperial guard (60,000 men plus equipment) would be redirected to Myrentas II. This system at least would be taken in the name of the emperor.
Meanwhile back in their secluded craftworld the Kel Sandros Eldar were fairly pleased with the outcome. Their new allies had forced the Imperium off Cernunnos and the eldar had avoided casualties. Myrentas II was being reinforced instead so the eldar needed to make sure the imperium had more enemies than it could cope with. The attack on the orks a week ago had been nullified when the Blood Martyrs had assassinated an ork mekboy, and now the orks were simply standing ready in Rockwell. They needed herding towards the imperium.
The eldar quickly devised a lightning hit and run raid to herd the orks out of the city. However they hadn't reckoned on a new (and competent) ork warlord taking charge. The ensuing battle did not see the orks herded towards the space marines, and the eldar took and uncomfortable number of casualties. Deciding to cut their losses they quit the planet and contemplated letting events take their own course on Myrentas II.