Sunday, January 25, 2009

Tarsis latest

The Powers Plan

300th post!

The winter on Tarsis Major brought rainstorms across all continents, as the planet swung away from its parent star and the heat in the atmosphere gave way to a general cooling. The bad weather and warp storms around the system brought a comparative lull in action on the ground as all sides went on to the defensive and planned their campaigns for the Tarsis Spring.

This was not true of Nazghat's Orks. Having secured a strong beachhead on Fort Aerin the Ork Warboss began planning the next phase of conquest. First he needed to secure the fort. opening a route from the south to the Ork world of Kallack. On Kallack Nazghat planned to assert his dominance, creating an even bigger Waagh! to take Fort Sparcos and dominate the Mabb Nebula and the Shadow worlds. If he achieved this the Tau on Melberg and the Imperium on Alphe would be in serious trouble.

Meanwhile back on Tarsis Major Snazzteef refused to give up on his dream of taking Tarsis Prime. To do this he secured the services of a (quite mad) big Mek who had delusions of grandeur. Imperial agents were quite concerned in 1901.009M42 when they discovered plans for a "Grate Big 'Uge Pully Beam" and frantically began risk assessments on the number of asteroids in the vicinity of Tarsis Major itself.

The Tau were by early 009M42 being largely led on Tarsis Major by Commander Shadowstrike and his influence. Sunstrike already hated the venture but Shadowstrike's influence with many in the Ethereal caste meant his strategic decisions were given greater weight and the war on Tarsis Major would continue. Shadowstrike and his subordinate commanders agreed on a policy of "Imperium first", taking the southern part of Tuva while performing a holding action against Chaos and acting strategically against them.

The plans of the Catechism, and the Night Lords remained to take Tarsis - and quickly. By early 009M42 the alliance of the Night Lords and the Catechism had already become strained with the Catechism's continued use of Daemon armies and the Night Lords' apparent inability to make progress against a tough Imperial defence. The Chaos cause suffered another blow early in the year as the Night Lords fleet was decisively beaten in a skirmish with the Imperial fleet, delaying supplies and allowing a reinforcement convoy to land nearly 100,000 more troops on Tuva.

While Moonface prepared his army to strike at the heart of Imperial power on Tarsis, it was becoming increasingly obvious that his forces may not be able to control the daemons indefinitely. Already the Chaos marines had been forced to attack their own daemon allies and now ominous portents were growing in indicence. Milk spoiled for no reason, the mutation rate skyrocketed, several statues began weeping blood and strange storms were seen in the skies over Merrin. In addition astropaths began having fits and Navigators travelling to the system reported unnerving experiences sent to them from the warp. One described perceiving a huge vortex centred around the planet and another a giant maw opening up and engulfing the planet in its gape. Overall the signs were bad and even mortal generals serving the forces of Chaos began questioning the wisdom of using daemons as allies.

The Imperium, though disturbed by the daemonic portents, kept to their attritional plan, attempting to throttle the Tau and Ork reinforcements while pitching their main offensives in 009M42 against the forces of Chaos. General Du Prez admitted he would most likely sacrifice Merrin and Sartano, while building up the defences on Tuva to make an "unbreakable bastion" against which the Tau, Chaos and Orks would exhaust themselves. However some began planning the "final solution", should the daemonic incursions get any worse.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Tarsis Major Current

Eldar ambush Ork Supplies

While the Orks were invading Fort Aerin the bases of the Orks in the Mabb Nebula such as Coronus and Bothorion were left in the hands of one of Nazghat's lesser commanders. The wisdom, or lack of it, in this decision was soon evident when the Eldar appeared on Bothorion through an unseen webway portal. Still celebrating their victory the Orks were unprepared for this new raid and by the time they responded several thousand tonnes of supplies had been destroyed.
When the local Ork commander finally committed his speed freaks to attack the Eldar, who were by now falling back to their webway portal, it was too late, and the blundering Orks fell straight into a well placed trap. Thousands of Orks were slaughtered before the Eldar disengaged, and Nazghat was enraged by his subordinate's failure. Only time would tell whether the incident would have long term implications.

Fort Aerin: Bloody Invasion

Fort Aerin first realised it was under attack when some one thousand "craft" of varied design and construction (often the construction varying wildly from the design) appeared in the outer reaches of the system on 0212.008M42. Quickly the commander of the base, Commander Ferrod, drew together his staff to predict the arrival date of the mass of ships. When they realised it was in under two weeks the Commander relayed a message to the Imperial Navy for immediate assistance.

Admiral Jellicoe reviewed the situation from Caitlen station but his forces, scattered and in action across the sector could not be brought together in force at Fort Aerin for at least five weeks. Any smaller task force would have little impact on such an enormous horde, despite the fact few were actually fighting ships. The defenders of Fort Aerin would have to face the Orks alone, until reinforcements could be found. At least, thought several strategists, they now knew where Nazghat and his formidible Waagh! were.

The initial invasion was uncontested but Ferrod, unable to know exactly where the Orks would choose to land, was forced to spread his forces around the complex, ready to meet an attack from any direction. In the end the Orks wrong footed Ferrod, choosing a violent assault on a narrow front, seizing the initiative from the Imperial commander and driving a wedge some 30 miles into the Imperial defences. After initially falling back the Imperial Guard regiments (10 in total, some 100,000 men and their equipment), began to fight heroically for every building in the settlement of Epaks, to the north of the main fortified area. Even so by the end of 008M42 losses had been heavy and some one million Orks had landed on the planet. Without reinforcement it seemed even the defences of Aerin would not hold. On 0101.009M42 Ferrod appealed to the Blood Martyrs for aid.

Eldar in Action

Towards the end of the year the wider sector saw a renewal in serious actions between Eldar and Necron forces on planets across the Mabb nebula. This was cause for concern to the major powers as many feared a resurgence in Necron activity could impact their lines of supply to the theatre on Tarsis Major. However, by 2412.008M42 it appeared neither side had managed to gain the upper hand in a string of inconclusive battles.

Daemons wipe out remaining orks

While the Orks in Merrin met their demise a similar fate befell those besieged and beleagured on the Island of Sartano. After a series of battles against Catechism forces the greenskins had been forced back into a narrow pocket, following the collapse of their defences and their resolve. Moonface decided to deliver the coup-de-grace through the use of his daemon allies, and following their summoning every Ork on Sartano was ruthlessly slaughtered.

Again the fragile alliance with the Night Lords was strained, but no-one could dney the success of the Catechism and its daemonic hordes.With the Orks beaten and the new front line against the Imperials in southern Sartano about to open, Moonface and his allies were extremely critical of the prosecution of the invasion by his Night Lord allies in the southern portion of Tuva. Here, unlike on Merrin or Sartano the forces of Chaos had known defeat. Moonface was determined to remedy this in the coming year.

Tau wipe orks from Merrin

As 008.M42 drew to a close the remaining Orks on Merrin were finally eliminated by concerted efforts by Tau forces led by StarFire. The sequence of skirmishes saw the Tau take the Merrin industrial heartlands and the Imperial Guard, less than a hundred miles away, were powerless to stop them. The commander on Merrin knew that the fast moving Tau would take the opportunity to decimate his forces if he left his defences and by 2312.008M42 all Ork territory had been taken by the Tau. Very few Orks survived the slaughter.