Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Melberg: Siege of Gwendelia lifted!

+++Breaking news+++

+++Colonel Jeffries links up with Whettis Army+++

+++Tau invasion split in two+++

+++Tickertape parade in Gwendelia+++

Wider Sector Events

Ork Raids in the Perseus Deeps
The Tau Empire was not only fighting on Melberg during 07.007M42. In the middle of the month the Orks attacked the Tau colony of Paratea, the smallest of the Tau possessions in the Perseus deeps. Landing in the hills around the Tau base the Orks led a ferocious assault the next Tau, looting and pillaging wherever they could.
The Tau commander on Paratea, replacing Whitefire, was not stupid however. He allowed the Orks to land and to attack the compound before launching his own counter-attack. Using the mobility of his Hammerheads and Devilfish the Tau commander wuickly had the Orks in a favourable position.

Railgun fire blasted apart their heavy armour (looted Imperial vehicles) and made a mess of their attack bikes. The Orks on foot faired little better as the tau weaponry blasted them apart, concentrating on keeping the Orks at arms length.

Where the Orks did reach the Tau the effect was devastating and the Ork warboss personally destroyed a Devilfish and its ten occupants in short shrift. The warboss however could see his raid had gone horribly wrong and withdrew from Paratea back to his fleet in orbit. Once again the Tau colony had defended itself successfully.

Hive fleet Triton reaches Libria
On 2307.007M42 the reports of Tyranid activity within the Librian system were confirmed as the alien creatures launched a ferocious assault on a small settlement in the equatorial region of Libria V. For months the Imperium had expected hive fleet Triton to make its next move and a number of analysts pointed to Libria as the next likely destination for the hungry alien beasts.

Libria, with its five populated planets and high population was ideal for the Tyranids to consume and grow. Without much in the way of a space fleet to protect themselves it was inevitable that the Tyranids would be able to land reasonable numbers of their warrior creatures on the outer planets without the defenders being able to stop them. The outermost worlds, Libria V and Libria IV were put on high alert in 05.007M42.

The first attack came swiftly with a concerted attack on the town of Kelaumar, with a population of 4,000. The inhabitants managed to get a message to the Librian PDF before being cut off, and the army arrived to find the town ravaged and its citizens devoured.

Then the hive attacked Libria’s armed forces, engaging in battle and taking many lives before finally being forced to flee. The Librians killed hundreds of the creatures but had severe difficulty harming the largest, winged, beasts. One of these foul creatures managed to escape and fled into the deeply forested polar regions of the planet.

As the Librians counted the cost of the Tyranid raid, more reports of Tyranid activity in the southern forests came in. Libria V was now infested…

Tallaxians breakthrough in the west

Imperial Commanders decided to attack the UFP flank across the Albert river where fighting had thus far been going heavily in the favour of the UFP. They planned to take advantage of the fact that the Hartak 2nd Legion had been withdrawn from the western front to counter the Imperial push in the north. This left the Imperial army, led by the 57th Librian, facing the supposedly inferior forces of the Tallaxian 9th and 16th regiment, making up the Tallaxian armoured corps.

On paper the armies looked very similar across the waterway, with the Librians and the Tallaxians both possessing mechanised infantry units supported by Leman Russ and Basilisks. Where the Librians had Demolisher siege tanks the UFP had Vanquishers, but apart from that the armies were comparable.

The decision to attack was based largely on Imperial intelligence suggesting the Tallaxians would break if attacked and would be unwilling to take casualties. Rather they would withdraw, allowing the Librians and Cerberex PDF to retake the vital towns of Gatineau and Albert.

General Von Paulus gave the order to attack on 1807.007M42 and very quickly found out the Imperial intelligence could not be more wrong. Instead of falling back when attacked by the Librian armoured columns the Tallaxian Mechanised regiments charged forward, meeting the Imperial armour in a toe to toe fight. Soon a swirling tank battle erupted all along the Albert river, a battle in which the Tallaxian gunners and Vanquisher tanks proved to be far more effective than the loyalist Imperial vehicles.

Within a day much of the Librian armour was burning, and despite some limited success with their artillery the Imperial advance had stalled catastrophically. On the nest day the Tallaxian armoured and mechanised units burt through the gap created by the destroyed 8th and 9th companies’ demise and launched a swift counter offensive. Backed up by their air force and supported on the flanks by fast Hartak Mining Robot tank-hunter units, Army Group South once more found itself in deep trouble and retreated away from the Albert river to a safe distance.

By the end of 2507.007M42 the UFP had broken the latest southern defence line and were a mere 1500 miles from Venetta. There the attack stopped and Army Group South had time to pause and reflect on its latest defeat.

Much was made of the Librian’s lack of anti-tank weaponry and its reliance on artillery to take out enemy tanks. While fine against their usual foes, agains the highly mechanised UFP something had to change and one thousand Sentinel Tank Hunters, each sporting a lascannon, were ordered. In addition the Librian infantry quickly replaced their missile launcher support squads with more tank hunting las weaponry.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

UFP Defeated at river otter

Army Group Centre Smashes UFP advance on Feducia

It took the UFP until 1407.007M42 to consolidate thier hold on the south of Cerberex and begin their attack north, striking for the capital, Feducia. UFP high command had sweeping plans to cross the river Otter on a narrow front, bust through the Imperial defences and encircle the city. So far they had been unstoppable, and no-one in the Hartak 9th Legion, responsible for the initial assault, thought this offensive would be any different.

The UFP had been winning battles for years by this time, and alongside the natural confidence of a victorious army there was arrogance and even over confidenec. Even so, Admiral Haskell new the problems with the UFP army, particularly with regard to the small size of the Hartak legions. These elite formations were extremely tough and had won the Hartak war of rebellion, the Aleph war of liberation, the Ravitane incident and the Myrentas II campaign, but on occasions had been caught of guard and taken heavy casualties. Haskell knew these divisions were vulnerable and could not cope with a war of attrition, but the squat military leaders ignored his concerns and pushed on regardless. So far they had been proved right. Casualties were low and in the six weeks since landing on Cerberex nearly a third of the planet had fallen to the squats, with Tallaxian and Sartosan support.

General Von Rundstedt, commander of Army Group Centre, had been tasked to hold the central and most important sector of Cerberex. An area which encompased the vast central plain of the planet and the capital itself, Feducia. Von Rundstedt was also responsible for the defence of the mighty river Otter, a river which started in the south from many glacial streams, to a channel over a mile wide snaking its way through the lowlands of the planet. It acted as a defensive barrier with the UFP on the southern bank and the Imperium on the north. To attack Feducia directly, the UFP would have to come across the river in force.

Von Rundstedt knew that the river was not a total defence. In the north where the river emptied into the Caeralon sea, the channel widened from just over a mile to more than thirty miles. At the same time its depth decreased and the wide, deep river became a mass of swampland and narrow streams carrying the water into the sea. This area, although difficult to traverse, meant that the natural barrier was fordable for the last twenty miles of its length.

It was here than Von Rundstedt husbanded his forces in secret, under covers and in the marshes, while he made a big show of defensive force along the deeper river and in the south of his sector. The General had nearly one million troops guarding the sector and more than half of these were positioned to face the UFP threat. On paper the Imperial general had a 2:1 numerical superiority, but knew that this counted for nothing against the suat forces.

The UFP's advance began, as Von Rundstedt had hoped, with a blitzkrieg across the marshland on the extreme west of the front line. Very soon the squats had forced the Cerberex PDF defenders in the marshes themselves to flee, and the UFP advance was charging forward with its usual momentum. Then, as the Hartak 9th legion cleared the marshed Von Rundstedt ordered his commander on the spot, Colonel St. Aves, to counter attack with the newly refitted 3rd Aleph Veterans. St, Aves immediately prepared to ambush the confident squat army as it entered a hilly area to the north of the river.

The first the squats knew of the concealed counter attacking units was the sudden explosion of their lead Land Raider as the Basilisk artillery opened fire. Soon a rhino was burning too as AVR tanks rolled over the hilly grond and began attacking the UFP spearhead. The action soon intesnsified with squat bikers charging forward, attempting to commit the Imperial defenders to a close assault where the squat troops excelled. Although they were partially successful the Colonel continued with his plan, keeping his distance and pouring heavy fire into the squats from his mechanised companies. The squats soon found themselves pinned down and unable to move.

Some squats tried to break the deadlock, getting out of their transports and marching on the enemy. Mining robots appeared near the Imperial front line but were soon made into scrap metal. Though some squats made it to the Imperial lines, Colon St. Aves made sure the losses were one squat for every guardsmen. Alarm bells went off in UFP high command as the Hartak 9th legion's advance faltered, then collapsed. Within days the whole 9th legion was retreating, covered by the Tallaxian air corps who harried the pursuing Imperial Guard. Colonel St. Aves would not let the squats get away this time thoug and requested reinforcements from Von Rundstedt. The General agreed and soon three more regiments were pouring into the hole left by the retreating 9th legion. By the 20th the Imperial Guard had crossed the Otter and established a beachhead. Still the 9th legio were unable to halt and consolidate thier position as Colonel St. Aves ruthlessly pursued his foe.

By the end of the 25th Lester, taken a few weeks earluer by the UFP breakout, fell without a shot to the 3rd AVR. Only then, having exceeded their supply lines' ability to keep up, did the Imperial advance come to a halt. It was the biggest advance of the war so far and the first reversal in UFP fortunes for three years.
Much was made of the victory by the Imperium who broadcast the advance to an exultant crowd. Medals were awarded and promotions given, while captured squat "mutants" were paraded before a baying mob before being executed. The UFP meanwhile underplayed the reversal, describing it as a "temporary setback". The commanders on the ground now awaited each others' next move.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Melberg Strategic Situation

+++Breaking News+++

+++Tau assault on Gwendelia stalls+++

+++Vicious and bloody streetfighting continues+++

+++Casualties very high on both sides+++

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Cerberex 1207.007M42

Chaos forces strike for Rideau

Meanwhile the Chaos forces were about to strike north and west over the Great South River towards the strategically vital city of Rideau on the eastern side of the Great Villian Plains. At the same time Moonface was putting the finishing touches to his abomination in the city of Calormain. The populace of the city would now become the unwilling sacrifices to the hungry machine known to the Imperium as “The Device”. A similar one had been destroyed on Myrentas II but with a sudden shock which awoke all psykers in the system from their sleep the newly built machine came online, connecting the City, albeit intermittently, with the Chaos fortress world of Kendrenec. In one stroke the UFP blockade was rendered useless.

The strike north began on 1007.007M42. In the month since the landings the defenders had heavily fortified the marshy ground north of the Great South River and augmented the natural defence of the waterway with bunkers, pillboxes, trenches and obstacles on the far side. Mordock the Invincible, former leader of a Dread Legion grand company, was given overall responsibility for breaking the Imperial line and driving north to Rideau.

It would not be an easy task. Mordock had one remnant company of crack space marines under his command and three divisions worth of indentured slave trrops, armed with lasguns. Armour was hard to come by and the traitor leader had no obvious way of crossing the river, which was two miles wide in places.

Eventually Mordock settled on an amphibious assault using captured boats. They would offer little protection for the slave troops, not that he cared, but it would provide the defenders with something to shoot at while his crack company opened a gap for others to follow.

The plan was simple. The Chaos Marines would blitz through the Imperial line which was situated behind marshy ground north of the river while his supporting legions of traitor guard made diversionary and suicidal attacks on either flank. Then once opened the hole in the Imperial line would be widened and his traitor divisions race through. Mordock kept an armoured regiment in reserve to exploit the breakthrough. Now he just needed to break the Imperial line.

Army Group Centre, led by the able General Von Rundstedt, defended the Great South River and the approaches to Rideau. On the front line Demolisher siege tanks and Leman Russ battle tanks were concealed along with a number of heavy weapons platoons, waiting for the attack. In the month since the landings Von Rundstedt had seeded the defences with razorwire and tank traps, hoping to prevent any breakthrough. That line was about to be tested.

The Chaos attack began with a preliminary bombardment which cleared some of the razorwire and tank traps but otherwise left the defenders unmolested. Following the artillery strike the traitor guard units began crossing the river, with predictable results. The Librian 4th Regiment and the Cerberex 1st Guards regiment manning the defences were heartened as the boats were quickly sunk by a rain of Basilisk shells and heavy weaposn fire. Less than 50% of the attackers made it to the opposite side, where they were immediately pinned down in the marshes. This however was a cynical diversion…

Mordock’s assault came next at the shallowest point in the river where armoured vehicles could just about cross. Plague marines had infiltrated behind the lines overnight and now began to harass the defenders. Meanwhile Mordock led the assault personally and the battle for the Imperial line reached a climax at the centre of the Chaos assault. Traitor Marines riding in a land raider rushed forward out of the marshes, supported by two predators, attack bikes and a squad of havocs.

Against this foe the Imperial defenders had real trouble, despite heroic attempts to hold the line. As a nearby Demolisher exploded in a hail of shrapnel, followed by a neighbouring Leman Russ, Colonel Akarev realised he needed reinforcing and signalled high command. HQ immediately directed more resources to Akarev’s sector where the fighting was intensifying.
Chaos Marin bikers were rushing around destroying the tank traps and obstacles while their tank support rolled up behind them. The land raider rushed forward, releasing its deadly cargo and cutting down the Librian stormtroopers who had found their Chimera immobilised by a lucky shot. The Chimera had the last laugh however, eventually cutting down the supporting Havoc squad whi had stayed in the marshes.
Meanwile Akarev’s left flank was taking a heavy pounding from a Predator, the Land Raider and its squad of Chaos Marines. Somehow, in a blizzard of incoming fire, his Missile Launcher squad held firm, firing back and disabling the Predator. Akarev knew reinforcements were coming, but needed to buy them time.

Sensing it was time to make a difference the Colonel charged into the fray, cutting down three marines single handed before being dispatched by a mighty Power Fist. He was later honoured for his bravery.

Unfortunately Akarev’s sacrifice was not enough to halt the Chaos assault. The Land Raider survived a charge from another squad of stormtroopers who were then cut down in turn. Basilisk shells ricocheted of the traitor tank’s armour, while on the left flank the Imperial defence collapsed utterly. Soon more wrecked Librian vehicles indicated that the line had been breached and Mordock called triumphantly for his armoured regiment to exploit the gap. It was his last command as at that moment a Chimera drove over the ridge he was sheltering behind and laid down a fusillade of multilaser and heavy bolter shots. Previously wounded from the Demolisher detonation Mordock the Invincible was killed, but he had opened the gap for his followers to exploit.

The breach was steadily widened over the next day as the Imperial line found itself outflanked. Wearily von Rundstedt ordered a retreat to the next line of defence outside Rideau itself and soon the entire Army Group was in retreat as the Chaos forces secured and widened their bridgehead across the river. By the end of the week the line was deserted and the Chaos legions were struggling to keep up with the Imperial defenders. Three hundred miles south of the city Von Rundstedt turned to fight and the battle for the city began.

At the Tau high command...

“The Blood Martyrs?”

Commander Longstride’s voice was steady, but his wide eyes betrayed his anxiety.

“Yes, Shas’O, we intercepted their landing ships not five decs following the Imperial assault.” Kor’vre Shi’fa shifted uneasily as he continued. “We managed to down one of the transports, but at great cost to our airforce; many fine pilots were killed in action.”

There was a murmur of consternation from the general staff gathered in the Command Centre. The airforce was invaluable to winning the war on Melberg, yet they continued to suffer losses that were not easily replaced.

“The Blood Martyrs…” repeated Longstride, staring down blankly at the conference table. His voice was wistful, quiet. To the aides and commanders it almost seemed as if he was unconcerned at the losses of the Air Caste. In his mind, though, the memories of previous encounters with these Gue’la weighed heavily.

“They cannot hope to prevail,” declared Commander Quicksword, brimming with the confidence that only a junior commander could possess. None round the table had ever experienced the full fury of the Gue’la finest. Except Longstride. He knew all too well.

“Our forces will overwhelm them before they can secure a foothold,” continued Quicksword. “We have amassed more than enough of the Fire Caste to sweep them aside...”

“No.” Longstride’s interruption caused an awed hush. Quicksword looked to his commander, clearly frustrated, but gave a nod in deference to the will of his superior officer.

“These are unlike the Gue’la you have already faced. They fight with a resolve and fervour unlike that of any other foe.” The Commander’s words resonated across the room. An air of disquiet had taken hold of the High Command. They could see that their commander was deeply troubled. None seemed sure what to suggest.

Commander Whitefire broke the silence. “What is your decision, Shas’O? How shall we proceed?”

“We shall continue as planned.” Longstride rose to his feet, leaning over the table to activate the projector. The strategic holo-map of Melberg expanded into view until it covered the table. “Now that the Gue’la armoured forces have been halted, we shall complete the siege of this city,” he pointed to the heavily urbanised area to the south-west, “and secure our supply lines. We must not be distracted from our purpose, not even by these new arrivals.”

The High Command looked at one another and murmured with approval.

“Commander Sunshield, mobilise your urban task-cadres. I want the city taken as swiftly as possible.”

Gwendelia would pay the price for its resistance to the Greater Good.

As the general staff busied amongst themselves around the map and tactical read-outs, Longstride re-seated himself and gazed to the window, to the rolling countryside outside. To look at, it seemed so peaceful. “The Blood Martyrs…” he whispered to himself, breaking a wry smile. The battle for Melberg would prove more difficult than anyone had first thought.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Cerberex 0707.007M42

Gulan Siege Lifted

Following Bladderack's ill-fated assault on the Imperial city of Gulan and his legion's subsequent redeployment, it fell to the Children of Steel, an enormous formation of Chaos infantry supported by artillery, to take the city. In manpower the Chaos cultists outnumbered the defenders by nearly 4:1, though the Imperial forces had more tanks and transports. On 0107.007 M42 the odds were stacked against the defenders.

Artillery 2:1
Tanks 1:5
Troops 3.6:1

Even so General Graham was confident that his force of 50,000 men,comprising of Cerberex PDF units and the Librian 4th mechanised Regiment,could hould out aganst the 200,000 strong legion facing them. Led by a renegade Tech Priest the commander of Gulan's defences new they would be facing all kinds of arcane technology even if the attackers had few armoured vehicles.

The Children of Steel began their attack on 0207.007M42 and the battle raged intensely for a week. Both sides suffered losses and the city was reduced to a wasteland by massed artillery fire. The Librians lost hundreds of tanks and had many more put out of action. Meanwhile the Children of Steel attacked with wanton abandon, teleporting dedicated attack squads deep into the defender's territory.

This tactic was to cost them. Despite wreaking havoc on the defenders,particularly gun emplacements and concealed tanks, the teleporting squads were cut down without the support of their infantry. The Legion's Rough Rider cavalry shared a similar fate, decimated by a hail of multi-laser and heavy bolter fire.

Luck also played a pivotal role as the Chaos forces found it harder and harder to destroy the Armoured Vehicles of the Imperial defenders.

On the fourth day of the assault, with the Chaos forces floundering in the outskirts, Graham launched his counter-attack, throwing the Librian reserves into the fray and causing havoc. Territory was quickly retaken andthe Children of Steel were forces to retreat from the city or face encirclement.

By the end of 0707.007M42 the Librians, supported by the Cerberex Imperial Guard, had extended the front lines nearly three hundred miles from the city as the Chaos defenders fled across the plains to more defensivepositions. The Imperium had finally scored a success on Cerberex.