Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Imperial Transmission - UFP intercept

+++Intercepted Communication+++
+++Aleph Sector+++
+++Station: TALLAX PR733+++
+++Time Index: 1215.0805.007M42+++


“I re-re-really must protest at you t-t-tone Inquisitor Le Pen. We are both-“

“Hathek you old fool, stop wasting my time.” [Subject identified: Sarko Le Pen Imperial Inquisitor. Politics: Unknown]. “My patience is fading faster than your support in the council. Now, answer me.”

[Frantic sound of papers rustling] “There have been several tangible gains to my policy over the past 3 years. [Subject Identified: Hadrian Hathek, Imperial Inquisitor. Politics: Heavily associated with current UFP cabinet] “Trade has increased by 2%, instances of violent conflict between the UFP and Imperial forces have decreased by 64% and the Premier of the UFP has personally guaranteed me that he will look over proposals for possible reintegration into the Imperium as soon as he can. He’s a bit distracted at the moment – you see it’s an election year but I really do thi-”

“By all that is Holy Hathek, just shut up. A decision-“

“Shut up?! How dare you?! I was hunting down radicals before you learnt to use a stunclub.”

“Nevertheless, Hathek, a decision has been reached within the council. The powers that be do not believe you’re in control of the Aleph situation. Now that Lord Xanthus has disappeared they don’t believe we have strong enough Inquisitorial guidance in the area. I am coming to relieve you of your post. I’m rendezvousing with the necessary Imperial forces and translating in-system in a matter of weeks. Be ready to be relieved”

“R-relieve me? Preposterous, I won’t have it, I’m providing fine guidance to Imperial forces! This is preposterous, I shall have words with the Higher council about you Le Pen. After my pudding… Treatus - WHERE’S MY PUDDING?!”

++Communication terminated from source++

Myrentas II - Sartosan Attack: The final nail in the Imperial Coffin

The Sartosan Rangers crossed the Ornz by boat in the middle of the night of 0405.007M42. Nearly half the regiment had crossed before they were detected and the mists which are so common in the Ornz valley in the spring saved most of the remainder from death as the Imperial heavy artillery opened up on the UFP troops. Over ten thousand men had managed to cross the river by daybreak and the Tallaxian engineers had bridge the river in a number of places.

The UFP attack came in the marshes in the middle of the Ornz valley and the Sartosan Rangers were the ideal troops for the job. The jungles and forests of Sartosa had conditioned the hardy fighters to difficult terrain and they quickly out manoeuvred the Librian 57th troopers. Sentinels gave the Sartosans close armour support while the Librian heavy tanks floundered in the mud, despite their rough terrain modifications.

The UFP attack came in the marshes in the middle of the Ornz valley and the Sartosan Rangers were the ideal troops for the job. The jungles and forests of Sartosa had conditioned the hardy fighters to difficult terrain and they quickly out manoeuvred the Librian 57th troopers. Sentinels gave the Sartosans close armour support while the Librian heavy tanks floundered in the mud, despite their rough terrain modifications.

The Sartosan performance did owe a lot to the UFP fleet advisors who were instrumental in guiding and aiding the Sartosan officers on the ground, particularly when the Sartosans, new to advanced warfare, struggled to keep pace with the rapidly changing face of the battle.

Even so the Sartosans had succeeded and even the most optimistic of Imperial generals realised the game was up. In the north even the Tau managed a spectacular advance against the Praetorian Guard, inflicting heavy losses. At 5:17pm local time on 0607.007M42 Lord General Lenord declared a full-scale withdrawal and prepared to leave Myrentas II with as many troops as he could. By now the remnants of the Praetorians, Librians and Scyllians were in full retreat, and the fall back risked becoming a rout as the Tau approached from the north and the Tallaxians, Sartosans and Hartak 7th Legion approached from the east. He needed time for his troops to disengage. Time which could be bought by the Blood Martyrs’…

Parataea - Tau Landing encounters hostile Eldar

Commander Whitefire’s Tau battle group faced an uncontested landing on the uninhabited forest planet of Cathasaea and in the weeks that followed the landing the earth caste were successful in setting up a large Tau base, extending the perimeter of their control to fifty kilometres in a few weeks. Much of the forest was cut down and plans began to build a colony on the planet in the same mould as the burgeoning Lucardium colony.

In 05.007M42, as colonists began to arrive on the planet, the Eldarattacked. At first no-one could understand their motives but there werethose in the UFP who had a fair idea. The Eldar had never attacked the Tau in this sector until now, and the attack did not appear to have a specific objective. Although the attack was beaten off by the Tau commander Whitefire, Tau high command responded by reinforcing the colony. Perhaps what the Eldar intended after all?

Either that or the Eldar were trying to prevent the Tau from expanding their Empire. If that were thes case they were unsuccessful as their attack failed and they took heavy casualties. Since then they have not been back and no-one in the Tau high command is sure whether they will return. To them the Eldar are a capricious and unpredictable race who’s motives are often part of an unimaginably complex purpose.

Cathasaea - Eldar and Tyranids attack

On 0505.007M42 the new Imperial garrison on Yuki faced their biggest threat as the tendrils of Hive Fleet Triton appeared on Imperial sensors. At least the listening post was working. The Tyranids landed in strength but were held by a stalwart defence by the Dark Angels in their forward base. While the Librian 4th Mechanised Regiment awaited results of the battle at the forward outposts, the Eldar acted.

In a lightning assault the like of which has become so familiar the Eldar, this time a mix of Pirates and some from a previously unknown Craftworld, assaulted the Imperial garrison on Yuki with the obvious intention of destroying the listening post and allowing the Tyranids to wipe out the defenders. It was a two pronged attack.

One group assaulted the Dark Angels from the flank while many of their number were still finishing off the remnant of the ‘Nid attack, while another attacked the main Imperial garrison and base. The first attack was successful with the Eldar scoring a telling and rare victory against the Adeptus Astartes. The Marines took heavy casualties and were forced to give ground as the fast vehicles of the Eldar outmanoeuvred their opponents. Facing a desperate situation themselves the Imperial garrison was unable to help and the Dark Angels’ base was all but annihilated.

Meanwhile the Imperial garrison itself came under a ferocious assault from Craftworld Eldar, but very quickly things began going wrong for the aliens. The Librian mechanised regiment, having heard of the Eldar weaponry and ferocious charges, sensibly stayed inside their vehicles, firing their multi-lasers and heavy bolters. Supported by heavy Leman Russ tanks and lethal Hellhound flame-tanks the Eldar attack quickly floundered in the face of so much armour. Lacking adequate anti-tank capability the aliens withdrew leaving the Imperial garrison almost unscathed.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Battle of Myrentas Deeps

The Imperial and Tau fleets had been shadowing each other for several weeks as the ground war ground on in the Ornz valley. Neither commander was eager for a fight but with operation End Game the Tau commander was under orders to make sure the Imperial fleet was kept busy and did not interfere with the four UFP cruisers stationed above the planet.

The Tau commander of the fleet was quite concerned as the Imperium now had a significant force in the system including two battleships and five cruisers. This meant the Tau fleet would have to wait until the moment was favourable, or at least not suicidal, before moving into attack formation. Until then the Tau fleet would have to continue avoiding the Imperial fleet who were desperately trying to get the Tau to engage.

Fortune appeared to be smiling on Commander Cold Sight on 2804.007M42 when the ground attack began. This would be the moment he would have to turn and fight before the Imperial ships moved in to attack the UFP vessels around the planet while they were vulnerable helping the ground war. As the Tau fleet commander prepared his fleet the news came in that the Imperial cruisers Galileo and Imperious were not with the bulk of the fleet.

Rear Admiral Dreyer, commanding from the Bridge of Iron Duke had received intelligence of an unescorted Tau convoy from his picket escort during 2704.007M42 and had dispatched the two cruisers to investigate. Though the intelligence was false the crucial decision meant that two of the Admiral's most powerful cruisers, a Mars class carrier and a Tyrant class cruiser, would be unavailable for the coming battle.

The abrupt appearance of the Tau fleet cruising past his formation took the Imperial commander somewhat by surprise but the Admiral soon had his battle line in formation. Leading the line escorted by the light cruisers Ajax and Achilles was the dictator class Emperor's Wrath, followed by the two Imperial battleships.

The Tau fleet were also in some difficulty as they had not expected such quick detection by the Imperial fleet once they changed course. Commander Cold Sight found his fleet travelling away from the Imperial battle-line and his entire fleet in danger of being encircled. The Tau Kor'O ordered the fleet to come about but the poor manoeuvrability and slow speed of the Tau told early on as Iron Duke and Agamemnon poured fire into the cruiser Deep Fire. Venting atmosphere and burning the Tau Protector lurched out of the line crippled before the Tau fleet had even been able to form up a cohesive attack.

The Tau managed to turn their ships line abreast and were soon firing all their forward batteries at the Imperial fleet with the Pinafore on the right wing and the Ores'Au on the left. Guardian and Bright Hope, the inexperienced class Hero class vessel, made up the central vanguard of the Tau attack.

The Imperial fleet had successfully manoeuvred their battle line around the right flank of the Tau, punishing the Ores'Au with battery fire and lance shots. Meanwhile the Tau missiles seemed remarkably ineffective and unable to find their targets. At the same time Imperial fighters and massed turret fire kept the Mantas at bay.

Ajax and Achilles paid heavily for their forward positioning, both disengaging having taken heavy damage from the Ores’Au and escorting Castellans. As the battle reached a climax Iron Duke had her bridged smashed by railgun fire and was forced to withdraw, but not before the combined weight of her gun batteries and the lances of the Agamemnon had reduced the Bright Hope to a drifting hulk.

By this time the remaining Tau vessels had managed to manoeuvre around to the rear of the remaining Imperial battleship but found their weaponry ineffective against the vessel's powerful void shields. In addition the return fire from the Agamemnon quickly crippled the Ores'Au and she was also forced to withdraw. As the Agamemnon and Emperor's Wrath turned back into formation the remaining Tau cruiser realised the game was up and fled leaving the Imperial fleet as the victor.

The battle itself was a defeat for the Tau who lost a valuable cruiser and had three other capital ships - battleships - crippled. The Imperium had two light cruisers crippled and the Iron Duke badly damaged but the Tau fleet had taken more damage and had been forced to disengage. However it could have been a lot worse. Analysis showed that while the Tau missiles were far less accurate than usual, the accuracy of the heavy lance vessel Agamemnon was extremely poor, except for the salvo which almost destroyed Deep Fire. Had the battleship's fire been better the Tau vessels may have lost more than just on ship.

Positionally the Imperial fleet had got their tactics right, engaging the Tau abeam, presenting their broadsides while making themselves a difficult target. However the loss of Novem squadron in the opening minutes of the battle was unfortunate - the frigates were nowhere near where they were supposed to be!

The return of the Imperious and Galileo bolstered the Imperial fleet and they began to move in system towards the UFP vessels stationed above Myrentas II.

Opposing Fleets


Iron Duke Emperor Class Battleship Crippled
Agamemnon Apocalypse Class Battleship
Emperor’s Wrath Dictator Class Cruiser
Achilles Dauntless Class Light Cruiser Crippled
Ajax Dauntless Class Light Cruiser Crippled
Nexum Squadron Three Sword Class Escorts Destroyed
Vagrim Squadron Three Firestorm Class Escorts Destroyed


Pinafore Custodian Class Battleship Crippled
Ores’Au Explorer Class Battleship Crippled
Deep Fire Protector Class Cruiser Crippled
Guardian Protector Class Cruiser
Bright Hope Hero Class Cruiser Destroyed
Vre’Aun Messenger Class Escort
- 2 Castellan Class Escorts
­- 3 Castellan Class Escorts Destroyed

Fortress Whiteridge breached by Eldar!

While Pattonson was attacking in the south the Eldar were back in the north, attacking the Chaos fortress of Whiteridge in the second raid in as many weeks. The unexpected attack came as a boon to the Imperial and Coalition forces alike as the aliens tore down the defences and caused havoc inside the city. The Iron Warriors were forced to commit their finest troops to the battle and suffered heavy, perhaps terminal losses. The city of Whiteridge had been made ready for the taking by this second Eldar assault but before anyone could thank them or ask why the mysterious aliens had vanished.

Myrentas II: Allentown Breakout - The squats attack.

Following the aborted landings by Tau forces around the Imperial base at Gethsemane, general Pattonson did not immediately show his hand, choosing to wait until the Blood Martyrs were fully committed to dealing with the Tau threat before launching his assault. This he was confident had occurred on 2804.007M42 and he gave the order to start the second phase of operation End Game.

The overall objective for Pattonson’s elite Hartak 7th legion was to break the Imperial defences wide open and strike North West. The plan had an ambitious timescale, with Gethsemane surrounded in just 10 days. This called for the squat forces to forge ahead, taking around 40 kilometres every day. Even more ambitious were the objectives of the Tallaxian Armoured Brigade, following on behind, who were expected to advance over 800 kilometres in 12 days.

The overall coalition commander knew the required schedule would be tough and that he needed to break through the Librian lines quickly, surrounding them in a lightning encirclement. There was a brief bombardment by the Tallaxian air corps before the land raiders and rhinos of the Hartak 7th Legion rolled forward out of their bridgehead in Allentown.

Initially progress was poor as well placed defensive positions of the Librian 101st regiment took their toll on the Hartak forces, destroying or immobilising the lighter troop transports in the crowded streets of Allentown itself. Pattonson knew that success lay in breaking out of the town and into open country, but twelve hours after the attack had started the advance had stalled in the suburbs. The lightning assault was now massively behind schedule.

Salvation came when the general committed his reserves. Fierce hand-to-hand engagements proved the Guard were no match for the squats at close quarters and the deployment of fifty land raiders brought much needed firepower to the attack. Soon Allentown was littered with the wrecks of Imperial tanks and the majority of the defenders were falling back.

24 hours after the attack had started the Hartak 7th legion were free of the crowded streets and breaking out into the open countryside of the Ornz river valley. However, with 390 kilometres between them and Gethsemane, the squats were already 30km behind where they should have been, though casualties had been light. Now everything depended on the Tallaxian armoured brigade and the success of the Sartosan Rangers in the north.

Intercepted Necron Communication