Sunday, June 24, 2007

Apeh Subsector Map (Political)

Ravitane Defects to UFP

Today the Imperial govenor of Ravitane announced that following the recent defeats by he Imperial military, and the political vacuum now in evidence in the subsector, Ravitane's only future lay with the democratic UFP. Siegmund Deo, the govenor stated that this act was not heresy as the UFP venerate and worship the Emperor as the God of Mankind as any devout Imperial world. He said the UFP showed that membership of the Imperium did not mean oppression and blind faith and that the Imperial authorities themselves were at fault for not defending Ravitane citizens from Xenos threats, while wasting time fighting against fellow loyal subjects of the Emperor. The govenor avoided questions about the UFP's alliance with the Tau though called into question Imperial xenophobia.

This leaves the Imperial Worlds of Vornax, Carnaq 5 and Ciprex 3 vulnerable and cut off from their capital, Cerberex, currently under assault by Chaos and UFP forces. We can only hope they see sense and join the Union!

+++Tallaxian News Agency, Truth First!+++

Melberg - Tau assault halted, Atlas Prime bombed

Melberg Fleet Battle "Inconclusive"

The long awaited confrontation between the Tau and Imperial fleets over Melberg has ended with a material win for the Imperium but the overall result was inconclusive. The Tau fleet, pursued by the Imperial Battlegrop led by the flagship Iron Duke finally turned to give battle while a small escort group led the invasion of the planet. Though details are sketchy at this time the battle was exceptionally bloody and though the Tau fleet finally disengaged the Imperial vessels were in no shape to continue to the invasion of Melberg. The losses are as follows (note the Imperium have been able to take their hulks in tow)

Tau Losses
1 Merchant Class vessel
1 Protector Class Vessel
2 Warden Class escorts

Imperial losses
Iron Duke (Emperor Class Battleship) - hulked
Dreadnought (Overlord Class Battlecruiser) - hulked
Phoenix (Dauntless Class Light Cruiser) - hulked
3 Sword Class escorts
2 Firestorm Class escorts

Tau Ships Crippled
Vigilence - Custodian Class Battleship
1 Hero Class Cruiser
3 Protector Class Cruisers

Imperial Ships Crippled
Warspite (Dominator Class Cruiser)
Achilles (Dauntless Class Light Cruiser)

Undamaged Capital Ships
Ajax (Dauntless Class Light Cruiser)
Firedrake (Dauntless Class Light Cruiser)

Victory Points: 1311 - 1053 to Imperium

New Gothic Ship Classes!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Battle Of Cerberex

The battle of Cerberex was the largest fleet encounter between the UFP fleet and the Imperial fleet in the Aleph Sector. The events which led up to this titanic encounter were long and complex but the main reason was the UFP’s desire to conquer the planet of Cerberex itself.

Were Cerberex captured the Federation would control all routes into the sub sector, an excellent strategic position. They would only face a real threat from the Chaos forces on Kendrenec, but with the Zadoc reach and the Valitane run shored up, the UFP fleet could contain this with patrols and the mighty UFP fleet.

Haskel had arrived in the sector with eight cruisers, a grand cruiser and a Despoiler class battleship. Since then however he had added four new cruisers (two mars class and two dominator class) built at the shipyards of Tallax. Early in the campaign the light cruisers Romulus and Remus, with their Tallaxian crew, had defected to the UFP.

The Imperium was still stronger in the sector however, with four battleships and seventeen cruisers. However, in the middle of 007M42 the advantage was lost as external factors gave the UFP a golden opportunity to strike at the heart of Imperial rule in the sector.

The first blow was the Tau invasion of Melberg. This forced Admiral Jellicoe to move a substantial part of his fleet to defend the planet. While in transit the second blow fell on the Imperial defenders. Cerberex had always been defended by innumerable static defences, minefields, space stations and gun batteries which had turned the planet into a fortress. Only a truly massive fleet would ever be able to assail this position and the UFP could not afford the losses. Public opinion in the democratic Union abhorred wasted life.

Then using a blasphemous Necron device the fleet of Kendrenec led by the Warsmith Gallowfen was able to breach this fortress. All systems in the Cerberex area failed as the Necron device somehow interfered with the machinery of the Imperium. The fleet, disabled, was able to get clear, but a lane of defences had been rendered useless. Once the Chaos ships landed their troops on the planet they retreated, fearful of a devastating response from the Imperium. The UFP however hastily formed up an invasion plan of their own.

The Imperial fleet had now been reduced to something comparable with the UFP fleet. Battlegroup Tallax were still on station at Myrentas II, which was unfortunate, but the federal government voted overwhelmingly to invade Cerberex as soon as possible. The planet they coveted could not be allowed to fall into Chaos hands.

Admiral Haskel himself would lead the task force consisting of over one hundred vessels, mostly transports and fuel tankers. Only ten capital ships were available, but with the forces at his disposal the Grand Admiral was confident of victory.

Capital Ships in the UFP Task Force

Hand Of Freedom
Radiant Light
Stellar Vengeance
Pride Of Sartosa
Pride Of Hartak
Errant Marauder
Radiant Light

Capital Ships defending Cerberex

Sword Of Damocles

Prelude to Battle

Grand Admiral Haskel arrived in the outer reaches of the Cerberex system in good time. He decided to leave the transports in the Empyrean while the fleet dealt with the approaching Imperial defenders who had been alerted to his presence by the UFP task force’s massive warp signature. He would engage the Imperial fleet, destroy it or force it to flee, then escort the troop transports to the planet for landing.

The strategy was not without risk and was time critical. Haskel knew he only had a day before the transports would have to jump into real space or risk being wisely scattered on the warp currents. This would leave them easy prey to the Imperial fleet if he had not succeeded in committing them to a decisive engagement. Fortunately for the UFP Grand Admiral the Imperial defenders were not aware of his plans and were about to gift him the perfect opportunity.

Admiral Craddock had no intention to let the UFP get close to the capital of the Imperium in the Aleph Sector and as soon as the UFP ships were detected he ordered the fleet to the system’s jump point, intent on surprising the UFP task force and destroying the heavily laden troop carriers.

When the UFP ships did jump into real space his scouting escorts soon reported the presence of nine capital ships, but no transports. Craddock realised the Grand Admiral’s plan too late and was unable to avoid a fleet action. Grudgingly the Imperial commander formed the fleet into line ahead and approached the enemy, his two battleships leading the line.

Haskel also detected the Imperial battlefleet as he dropped out of the warp. Initially there was some concern among the UFP officers that they would not have enough time to form up before the battle. This would give the Imperium a stunning victory through sheer luck. Fortunately the Grand Admiral had just enough time to order his ships with the slaughter class vessels to the fore, before setting the fleet onto an intercept course.

As the two fleets approached each other in line astern both admirals prepared to pass each other to deliver the maximum broadsides. At 01:00 on 1606.007M42 Admiral Haskell turned the UFP fleet slightly towards the Imperials as he approached and the distance began to diminish rapidly. Craddock, aware the Grand Admiral was attempting to close with his fleet as quickly as possible attempted to open the range by turning two points to port. Craddock wanted to keep the UFP at long range for as long as possible, but by 01:07 it was clear that any further turns risked the Imperial fleet being surrounded from the rear. Travelling on parallel courses the two fleets approached. Hand Of Freedom opened fire at 01:22 and the battle of Cerberex had begun.

The Battle

The initial salvoes from the ships with long range weaponry were out of range at 01:30. Grand Admiral Haskel ordered his fleet to turn to starboard and close with the enemy. The three slaughter class cruisers did just that and increased speed while the rest of the fleet turned in more slowly. In front of the fleet Haskel’s six excort vessels also followed the order to close, though there remains some doubt as to whether the order applied to them.

Never-the-less the six Iconoclast raiders charged the rear of the Imperial line but their firepower was ineffective. The Sword class escorts of the Cerberex battlgroup counterattacked and the Iconoclasts were lucky to withdraw with four of their number still operational. The first strike of the day had been made by the Imperium.

However the attack had left the four sword class vessels extremely vulnerable as the Errant Marauder, Arbitrator and Pride of Sartosa, with their faster speed, accelerated away from the rest of the UFP vessels and bore down on the escorts. The result was inevitable as the Swords were torn apart. Only one survived the initial onslaught.

Meanwhile the van of the UFP fleet had approached to within weapons range of the battleships and heavier cruisers of both fleets. Admiral Cradock ordered his battleships to turn 45 degrees to starboard and fire at the nearest enemy cruiser. The luckless target was the Pride of Hartak, a carnage class cruiser which had strayed just a little to close to the Imperial line.

The order was given to open fire and Colossus and Sword of Damocles soon had the enemy vessel straddled. Despite her attempts to avoid the incoming fire the ship was hit on her starboard side, the shot penetrating her armour and causing ruinous damage to her thruster array. Critically robbed of her manoeuvrability the Pride of Hartak received several more hits and was crippled before she could lurch out of line behind the cover of the rest of the fleet.

The UFP response was swift. While the two Imperial battleships were pouring fire into the rear of the UFP line the three slaughter class vessels had turned towards the Imperial fleet and were now involved in an unequal duel with Galileo, Invincible and Conquerer, Supported by longer range firing from the Warlord which was struggling to keep up.

The three Imperial ships were unable to concentrate their fire while the UFP vessels poured shot after shot into the rear of the Imperial line. Too far from the enemy Titan couldn’t help out as the shields of her consorts flared with impacts. Invincible was soon crippled as was Galileo as both ships took the brunt of the enemy firepower. Weaving to dodge the incoming fire the two ships had also inadvertently closed with the UFP and now the fate of both was sealed as bomber waves from the Hand Of Freedom approached to finish them off.

Conquerer was luckier, using the moon Paraxtas as cover before heading for a nearby gas cloud to escape. She too though was seriously damaged and never returned to the fight. Invincible meanwhile was facing a full bomber wave from Hand of Freedom as Intrepid, at the head of the Imperial line, had had trouble launching her fighters and they were still out of range. Despite the fierce anti-aircraft fire the Invincible was left a burning wreck as bombs penetrated her armour from bow to stern.

Worse was to follow. As the internal fires reached her plasma drive the propulsion unit overloaded and the ship detonated in a cataclysmic fireball which produced a shockwave strong enough to inflict further damage as it bathed the Galileo in fire and shrapnel. Barely recovering from the effects of this blast a wave of bombers from Stellar Vengeance arrived leaving the ship a burning wreck. Unable to regain control the Galileo’s surviving crew suffered an unfortunate end as the ship vaporised when she impacted with the nearby moon.

The loss of the two cruisers in the centre of the Imperial line was a devastating blow to Craddock’s battle plan. Now Titan was cut off to the rear as she was pursued by the three slaughter class vessels and the remaining Iconoclasts. Craddock immediately ordered a 90 degree turn to starboard for the remaining four lead ships, allowing Colossus and Sword Of Damocles to engage the entire UFP line.

Grand Admiral Haskel meanwhile was exceedingly pleased, realising that total victory lay in his grasp. He remained unconcerned when the entire Imperial fleet turned towards him and started opening fire on the nearest UFP slaughter class vessel.

On Errant Marauder things were rapidly turning into a shambles as they paid the price for being the lead UFP slaughter class in the fleet. Fire from Colossus, Sword of Damocles and Repulse was simply too much to bear as the starboard side of the vessel suffered multiple impacts, killing hundreds of men and starting hundreds of fires. In an attempt to shield their comrade the four remaining Iconoclasts rapidly closed with the two mighty Imperial vessels, but the manoeuvre was in vain. The Imperial battle line switched its fire for a few minutes, destroying the remaining escorts, before returning to the destruction of Errant Marauder at 03:40.

At the same time the Intrepid, up till now unable to bring her guns to bear, had turned sufficiently to allow her Nova Cannon to become active. With a blinding flash a lucky shot detonated on the Radiant Light, crippling her and sending her careening towards the Imperial line. Admiral Craddock smelt blood in the water and immediately ordered a torpedo run by the under pressure Titan to finish her.

Both ships, heavily damaged, approached each other head on. Titan managed to loose her full compliment of torpedoes at the UFP battlecruiser before being pummelled by the UFP battle line and reduced to a hulk, Arbitrator firing the decisive shot which sheared off the Imperial vessel’s bridge superstructure and port engines. Titan’s guns fell silent.

Against the odds Radiant Light dodged Titan’s death run and survived just long enough to drift into the sights of Sword of Damocles. Recognising the importance of the UFP battlecruiser the Imperial battleship switched her fire from the devastated Errant Marauder to reduce Radiant Light to a hulk. The ship drifted powerless through the void but unlike the Imperial vessels, did not explode.

By 03:50 the greater manoeuvrability of the pre-heresy ships had allowed them to take up a favourable tactical position to the rear and to the starboard side of the remaining four Imperial vessels. Having lost four cruisers (three destroyed and one disengaged) to two and one crippled the UFP were also numerically superior. That advantage grew when the Repulse, now at the rear of the Imperial line, faced concentrated fire from the entire UFP line. She was crippled in short shrift and her captain decided to ignore Craddock’s “to the death” signal and disengaged, masking his retreat using a nearby gas cloud.

The Imperium now had three ships facing seven, and though powerful the retribution class vessels could in no way stand up to the weight of fire Haskel could now bring to bear. Despite crippling the Stellar Vengeance the Imperial ships’ fate was sealed. Intrepid was the first to go at 04:10, once again detonating as her plasma drive overloaded. Sword of Damocles faced a similar fate when the UFP fleet closed to an almost suicidal range and the ensuing explosion caused significant damage to Ravager who withdrew briefly to lick her wounds.

Colossus was soon the only ship left but Admiral Cradock refused to surrender. Fire from Ravager, Pride of Sartosa, Warlord and Arbitrator crippled the vessel before Haskel ordered the Hand of Freedom to close to within boarding range. The UFP flagship fired the final shots into the stricken Imperial battleship before boarding her. After a brief firefight the Imperial flagship surrendered and the battle of Cerberex was over.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Melberg - Strategic Map

Chaos assault on Gulan repulsed

The Chaos assault on Gulan, Cerberex's 3rd largest city, was led by the Devourers Of Worlds traitor legion who unleashed unprecedented horrors on the defenders, led by the Librian 5th mechanised company. Before and during the battle the defenders, as well as a significant proportion of the civilian population suddenly became afflicted with horrific diseases, signifying the presence of the corrupting power of the Lord Of Pestilence. The battle for the city was bloody and violent with the plague marines throwing themselves on the defences of Gulan. Finally, after countless assaults the Librians counter attacked with their armour, but the marines held on, led by their unholy lord and his retinue of foul terminators. By the end of the assault both sides had suffered horendous casualties but the city of Gulan remained in Imperial hands.

CERBEREX campaign map - initial invasion

Blue - UFP
Red - "Gallowfen's" chaos forces
White - Imperium
Grey - Iron Warriors

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Fleet battle in the Cerberex system

+++Breaking news! UFP fleet destroys Imperial Cerberex battlegroup in deep space! UFP invasion of Cerberex imminent!

Battle losses:

Sword Of Justice
Errant Marauder

6 Iconoclast Raiders

Sword Of Damocles

4 Sword class escorts

Ships Crippled

Pride Of Sartosa

Stellar Vengeance


Undamaged/Lightly damaged - UFP
Hand Of Freedom
Pride Of Sartosa

Tallaxian News Agency - truth first! +++

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Chaos Invade Cerberex - 06.007M42

Imperial Intelligence knew the chaos forces from Kendrenec were planning a new crusade weeks before the eventual hammerblow fell. The psychic disturbance created as the invasion fleet entered the warp clearly showed their intended target was Cerberex. Even then the Inquisition and Imperial Navy were unworried by this turn of events. If the forces of Chaos wanted to immolate themselves against the Imperium’s chief fortress world then so be it. The star forts would get plenty of target practice.

It had been estimated by logisticians that to overcome the minefields, deadfall torpedoes, defence monitors and space stations around Kendrenec would need at least twenty capital ships. If they even managed to break the defences then Cerberex could rely on its standing fleet of Navy interceptors and missile silos. The fleet which set sail from Kendrenec numbered barely a dozen capital ships. The fleet would not even be required.

Even so Admiral Jellicoe made sure Cerberex had adequate fleet power to back up her defences, should the Chaos vessels somehow make it through to the planetary orbit. The battleship Colossus and the cruisers Intrepid, Dreadnought, Repulse, Titan, Invincible and Conqueror were kept in high orbit above the planet. Meanwhile the Dark Angels kept a battlebarge and two strike cruisers behind the planet for an ambush. The Chaos forces would be annihilated.

It wasn’t until Jellicoe lost contact with his outermost defence monitors that the Imperial onlookers realised something was amiss. One by one as the Chaos fleet approached Cerberex’s defensive measures failed. Deadfall torpedoes didn’t fire, minefields were navigated with no detonations and defence monitors stood silent as the Chaos fleet, led by the flagship Eater Of Worlds approached ever closer.

Cursing the Dark Angels and their promise of solid defences Jellicoe set sail to meet the Chaos fleet on 0306.007M42, knowing his fleet would face a stiff test against the fleet of Lord Traegen of Kendrenec. What he got was worse than all his nightmares combined.

As the Colossus approached the Chaos fleet the mighty ship noticed strange readings emanating from the Chaos ships. As they neared the energy readings spiked off all known instruments and crewmen reported a blue haze covering all the consoles onboard. Servitor synapse links sparked and died, the cyborgs flopping uselessly at their posts. Then, as the bridge crew on the mighty warship prayed to the Emperor all power was lost and the Colossus fell into a terrifying silence.

One by one every Imperial vessel which came too near suffered the same fate, power systems shutting down leaving the vessel drifting in space, naked and vulnerable to the enemy guns. It was a miracle the fleet wasn’t destroyed that day as the vessels of the dark Gods slipped by the drifting hulks of the Cerberex Battlegroup, but the enemy did not fire, simply slipping past quietly and maintaining their course and speed with only a few impatient Khornate worshippers launching ill fated and uncoordinated boarding attacks on the stricken Imperial ships.

Unknown to the Imperium the Chaos fleet couldn’t fire even if they wanted to. The same arcane technology which had rendered Kendrenec’s defences inert was only kept operational by the combined shield strength of the fleet. To maintain the energy field around them the Chaos vessels were unable to use their weapons. If they did they too would succumb to the ancient device.

The device was created by the Necrons millennia ago though little more is known of its purpose. It was picked up by the Iron Warriors led by “The Cowboy”, on Scallius and Cathasaea and now their hard work was paying off. Once the Chaos fleet passed well out of weapons range the Imperial ships sprung back into life as if nothing had happened. Jellicoe transmitted an urgent warning to the Dark Angels of the fleet’s affect on them and warned the Imperial defence commanders on the ground to expect a hostile fleet.

The Dark Angels immediately understood the message and pulled their ships well out of range, angry at their inability to intercede at the critical juncture. Instead the commander of all Dark Angel forces teleported to the planet’s surface to oversee the missile silos and defence lasers. Even now the invasion could be stopped before it had begun…

The Chaos forces new they could not use the Necron device to neutralise the planetary defences. Even if the device could penetrate an atmosphere, which it could not, the effect would render their craft ineffective and no landing could take place. They had to accept a contested landing but hoped that the portents they had been given by the Gods of “unexpected deliverance” were true.

They were. Just as the Chaos fleet entered high orbit over Cerberex on 0906.007M42 the missile silos and defence lasers directly in the path of the Chaos landings came under ferocious assault from Eldar forces. This completely unexpected attack threw the Imperial Commanders off balance and they were powerless to interfere as dreadclaw drop pods and a myriad of transport vessels streaked into the Cerberx atmosphere.

Despite the attention of the Imperial Navy Vincennes and Dividian fell on the first day of the assault. By the end of 1006.007M42 the chaos forces had landed in two places and were threatening the city of Gulan. Only the timely and decisive intervention of the Dark Angels prevented a rout and stabilised the front lines. A week later the Imperial forces on Cerberex, mostly PDF units, had stopped the first airborne Chaos assault on the capital, Feducia.

Meanwhile in space the Necron device finally gave out and for the first time the Imperial fleet could engage the enemy. The stage was set. The battle for Cerberex was about to begin…

Tau plan Invasion of Melberg - 06.007M42

While the Imperium was suffering internal strife the Tau planned their next move. With three bases secured in the Aleph Sector, Cernunnos, Parataea and Lucardium, the Tau knew that continued expansion required them to take a system between the Aleph Sector and Tau Space. The Aurelis crossing was still too dangerous and long to keep the virgining colonies supplied.

There was only ever going to be one target for the invasion, Melberg. Sitting out on its own, halway between the Zadoc subsector and Tau space, the Imperial human society of Melberg was the ideal dropping off point for Tau convoys on their way to the Perseus Deeps and the new Tau colonies there. With a population of 1.9 billion however, the Tau knew that conquest of this world would be one of their largest undertakings in recent years.

Melberg had been the target for diplomatic missions for many years but every time the governor had rejected the Tau overtures. Govenor Ernest Schroeder knew that with a well equipped PDF numbering close to one million men, and with the Blood Martyr’s homeworld only a week away, the Tau would have to mount something special to take the planet.

Given the strategic importance of the system the Tau were planning something special and put together a massive invasion force. Unfortunately for the Tau this huge force needed a huge fleet, and as soon as the armada left Tau space and started its slow jumps towards Melberg, its enormous warp signature was picked up by every astropath within one hundred light years, even being detected as far away as Cerberex.

It was clear from the size of the fleet and its direction that an invasion of Melberg was imminent and the Imperial response was swift. Knowing the Imperial fleet to be up to five times faster than the Tau, the Imperial high command had some time to consider their options. One strategy favoured attacking the Tau before they invaded but this was deemed risky as the Tau fleet may evade detection in the crossing of the Melberg Deeps, the northern end of the Aurelis Deeps.
A second strategy proposed allowing the Tau to land and then sending a massive counter invasion force but this plan was also rejected. Lord Xertes did not want the Tau to be allowed to fortify the Melberg system before his forces’ arrival.

The final plan was to send what forces that could be mustered to bolster the Melberg PDF. Then the fleet would await the Tau arrival and contest the invasion. The forces available were scarce, but the regiments being evacuated from Myrentas II were the first to be earmarked for the defence of Melberg, along with others transferred from other nearby garrison worlds. These would be reinforced later by new regiments arriving into the Aleph sector at the request of Inquisitor Lord Le Pen. The Blood Martyrs 5th, 7th and 8th companies also responded to the threat and had arrived in system by mid 05.007M42.

Sunstrike’s Call to Arms
+++General communication from Commander Sunstrike to the Fire Caste warriors of
the Aleph Expansion+++

Brothers and Sisters of the Fire Caste, hail.

We have struggled on behalf of the Empire for many kai'rotaa, and though we have met with setbacks the Aleph Mission has been an overall success; three colonies now exist in the sector, the Aurelis Deeps have been opened to the Kor'Or'Vesh, and trade with the our allies continues to grow.

Now comes a great challenge; the planet of Melberg is all that stands between our fledgling colonies and union with the Empire. To bring this world into our sphere would consolidate and make safe all that you have fought so hard to achieve.

I call upon you, my borthers and sisters, to steel yourselves in furthering the effort to bring the Aleph Sector under the dominion of the Empire. The imminent invasion of Melberg must be undertaken with vigour and relentless determination. Commander Longstride has been newly appointed to oversee the operation, and after her recent successes on Parataea, Commander Whitefire will spearhead the invasion.

We can no longer treat and parly with our enemies, as we did on Myrentas; they have shown themselves to be ruthless and arrogant in their abilites. There can be no respite in the assault on Melberg, no amnesty granted to the foe; the time for diplomacy is over, too much Tau blood has been spilled... Now is the time for conquest!

I know that you will all fight with skill and courage as you have so many times before. The hearts and minds of everyone in the Empire go with you. Do not rest until the entire planet submits to the Greater Good!

Commander Sunstrike.

+++Communication ends+++

The End on Myrentas II

Lightfoot crosses the Ornz - 1205.007M42
While the Librians were retreating in the south Commander Lightfoot made an uncharacteristically dashing assault in the north, catching the Praetorians and Scyllians off guard and quickly establishing a bridgehead across the Ornz river. Realising the danger Lord General Lenord immediately order a withdrawal from the suburbs of Whiteridge and the town of Besserbia. Several thousand troops managed to escape the pocket before the Tau reached the western mountains, trapping the remaining Imperial Guardsmen and their equipment against the west bank of the river.

To cheers of triumph from the assembled Tau Lightfoot took the surrender of Colonel Estefan of the Scyllian 4th, signalling the demise of the regiment and the loss of another 3,000 troops. Soon after ceasefire was negotiated and Lord Commander Lenord agreed that troop transports only would be arriving to pick up his troops... A general ceasefire occurred at 14:15 on 1305.007M42

Tau enter Whiteridge - 1205.007M42
While Commander Lightfoot’s forces dashed across the Ornz other Tau units made their first tentative steps into Whiteridge, finding it heavily booby trapped. Soon they found more than they bargained for as units of Iron Warriors, apparently looting the area, clashed with the Tau lead elements. Caught by surprise and unable to respond the Tau were severly mauled and retreated behind their defensive lines. Meanwhile the Iron Warrior looting continued until a series of detonations rocked the city. A final blast caused an earthquake of magnitude 6.5. This shaking of the ground destablisised the high mountains above the city and much of it was destroyed in an avalanche of rock and dust, ending the chaos occupation once and for all.

Dark Angels’ Revenge - 1205.007M42
While the Imperial Guard retreated and the Coalition troops celebrated victory, a Dark Angels strike cruiser shot past the Imperial fleet and dropped a company north of Gethsemane. In a treacherous act not sanctioned by the Imperial Guard the Dark Angels tore a swathe through the Tau under Lightfoot's command and killed the commander himself before retreating back to their space vessel.

The UFP ordered an immediate attack and the Tau troops also assaulted Gethsemane spaceport, leading to mass loss of life in the retreating Guard armies. Gethsemane spaceport fell at 08:00 1405.007M42. The planet was now in the hands of the UFP and Tau. The news of the Dark Angels attack caused uproar on Tallax and Hartak where support for moderates has sharply declined and a mood of war settled over the populace.

Intercepted Communication

Sir, one of our listening posts around Cerberex has picked up the following. The second voice you'll hear is a Lieutenant Bladderack, I suggest a cross reference with file 'ref.Devourers of Worlds'.

The first voice is more peculiar, the communication identifies the voice as War Smith Gallowfen, however the speech pattern recognition programmes did not quite match earlier communications from that individual. I'll let you decide what it means, sir.


"Lieutenant Bladderack, the blessing of the Dark Gods are upon you."

"It is an honour to serve you in this campaign, War Smith Gallowfen."

"Yes. Yes. The Gods have sent me a sign, Bladderack, that you are to lead the assault. You must act quickly, spreading your diseases amongst the unprepared armies and citizens. I expect a hundred thousand infected by the time the accursed traitor marines arrive. If we have not made enough ground then the Blood Martyrs, or worse, the Dark Angels, may be able to regroup the armies of the Imperium."

"A million dead will be my greatest pleasure, the Fly Lord permitting. The streets shall run with filth. The air will be thick with the groans of the dying. I shall lead the assault personally, War Smith, and I shall vomit a hundred contagions upon the enemy."

"Indeed. Do not let us down. Prove yourself, and the Plague Lord Nurgle shall reward you with immeasurable blessings."

"Hail the War Smith!"