Monday, August 31, 2009

Sector Fleet Inventory

A summary of the relative strengths of space fleets in the sector.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Zadoc Subsector...

As 09.009M42 began, the Zadoc subsector remained at war, but the outlook had improved markedly for the Imperium in the previous six months, and with the imminent appointment of a Warmaster to look after the entire sector, the mood on the Imperial worlds of the subsector, at least on those who knew, or cared of goings on off world, was improving.

Hive fleet Nemesis had been all but broken on Betor, thanks to Inquisitor Hathek’s timely intervention and call for aid. Imperial Guard units and at least four Astartes chapters had turned the tide of the war and the Tyranids it seemed, were a spent force.

In the Shadow Worlds Coronus and Tyndareous had been returned to the Imperium, while Bothorion looked to follow. The Ork Empire, once so strong in the Mabb Nebula, had reached an apparent Nadir, and General Thaddeus Roover hoped to launch a campaign against Kallack as soon as it was expeditious to do so. Admiral Jellicoe, commander of the Imperial fleet (Zadoc), was less than enthusiastic however, as he desperately wanted to hunt down the hive ships of Nemesis, and he hankered for a showdown with the Tau, if they could be brought to battle.

Tarsis Major remained a warzone, but both the Tau and the Imperium had scaled back their efforts to “finish the job”, and the Tau fleet had no wish to be brought to battle against the numerically superior Imperial fleet. While this meant the Imperium were able to supply Cunningham in his war on the ground, fresh troops and supplies had been re-routed to Betor and the Shadow worlds. Tarsis it seemed had become a secondary priority.

The Tau meanwhile were concentrating on shoring up their holdings in the Shadow Worlds as they knew that losing these meant losing Tarsis, so badly needed supplies did not reach Tarsis. The war had entered a static phase, for now.

On Alphe the capricious Moonface and his Catechism had not launched an offensive since their defeat to General Percival’s Imperial forces, but Percival had not been resupplied since the Tyranids had invaded Betor, and his army lacked the fuel or equipment to carry out further advances. Here too Roover intended to win a victory for the Imperium, but it would have to wait until Betor had been finished.

Inquisitors Hathek and Huron, the senior Inquisitors in the sector had their own goals. Hathek had squeezed supplies to other warzones to feed the forces on Betor, while Huron moved to the Shadow Worlds to investigate the recent outbreak of Eldar activity, something which was concerning, if not an immediate threat.

So as 09.009M42 began, although the Imperium appeared to be in the ascendant, there were serious problems to be overcome, not least the obvious division of objectives between the Inquisition, the Imperial Navy and the Imperial Guard. At the same time the Adeptus Astartes, active and numerous in the subsector, followed their own objectives. Meanwhile the Imperium’s various threats, followed their own...

Imperium lands on Bothorion

While the Imperium were gaining ground on Betor against the Tyranid threat, Lord General Thaddeus Roover, keen to impress his superiors before the appointment of a Warmaster to the Aleph Sector, was adamant that the successful prosecution of the war in the Shadow Worlds was a priority. He managed to use his influence to convince a small company of Space Marines to affect a landing on Bothorion, which still remained in Ork hands.

The landing went well, with the Astartes forces backed up by a substantial naval battlegroup, led by the carrier Illustrious under Commodore McManners. With several Imperial Guard units following on, the Orks were quickly outflanked and out fought, with the marines pivotal in taking one of the greenskins' main bases. By the end of 08.009M42 much of the Ork settlements had been razed to the ground and the planet looked like falling to the Imperium - the last gasp of the Ork Empire in the Shadow worlds. If Bothorion fell, only Kallack and Fort Aerin remained, and Roover had ambitions to take both.

Betor Current


Deliverance. That is the only word I can think of to convey the change of fortunes on Betor. Just five days ago I received at my headquarters the captains of three separate Astartes chapters. Each had arrived in system with a strike cruiser and fresh troops following my call for aid. Immediately the gods of battle had the desired effect. The overall commander of the Imperial Guard and the governer of Betor were somewhat difficult however, as they felt pushed aside in decision making. I made sure they understood that I would have none of it, and gave them both a stern talking to.

The Space Marines fought hard and side by side with a co-operation I have rarely seen amongst Guard units. In the north they fell upon the centre of the Tyranids, disgorging troops into the heart of the alien hive node, destroying it utterly. All the regular troops had to do was mop up the few survivors, and I made sure that every cell of every xenos being was burned, lest the material infect the planet. At 2pm this afternoon I was happy to declare northern Betor cleansed of the Tyranid menace.

In the south the Astartes set about their task with relish, inflicting horrific casualties on the alien beings as they pushed them out of Eigenfeld and then, by the end of 2908.009M42, clear of Magdeburg. We have them on the run, I feel sure their force is spent. Thanks to the arrival of the Adeptus Astartes the world is saved.

Magdeburg is intact, though devoid entirely of all life. Once again I have ordered every building searched in turn, and every room of every house torched, lest some contaminant remain. Now there remains the hive node in the south, the last bastion of Tyranid infection on this world. I do hope the Astartes will remain to finish the job. Further afield I still have no reports of Tyranid activity, and the shadow in the warp has lessened, I am able once again to communicate with the rest of the sector through my astropath.

We must not let up here on Betor however. One hive node remains, and all life in the region of their infestation has been stripped bare. Nemesis still has enough biomass for one last offensive, so we must remain vigilant. There also remains the question of the Hive Fleet itself. Where has it gone? Was this truly a mere splinter of a larger fleet or were the assurances I received actually the truth? I hope I will not be accused of "crying wolf" over the Nemesis threat... Though I do hope I was wrong.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Subsector Latest

Betor Current

Note, Eigenfeld is 1/3 (3 out of 6 points) infested.

Personal Journal Entry of Inquisitor Hathek 2508.009M42

Personal Journal Entry of Inquisitor Hathek 2508.009M42

It has been a trying and difficult few weeks. About a month ago we thought the end for the aliens on Betor had come. The north-west had been cleared and the other two zones of infestation were under control. Thanks to the support (and welcome numbers of Imperial Guard) supplied by my Hereticus colleague Nikopolidis, I felt sure we would soon be rid of the threat posed by the Tyranids. Especially as I had been given assurances over and over that "Nemesis" was but a tiny splinter.

Fighting in the north has been brisk. At times the xenos break out from their hive node strongpoints and cause a great deal of destruction. When these outbreaks occur I have sent in fresh troops and we have always been able to turn the tide. Twice already Imperial forces have destroyed what appeared to be an important Tyranid "installation", which the Magos Biologis is referring to as a "hive node".

The recently arrived Venerators chapter, though mysterious and less than forthcoming about their purpose in the subsector, have been very helpful and have provided much needed elite support. In the north they have destroyed a hive node under construction and are pushing on to the final nests near Bielaupbrook. I am confident that the Tyranid threat here will be cleansed very shortly. The Imperial Guard would not have held on and Langenhofen would have fallen were it not for the timely arrival of the Astartes.

In the south the news has been less good. Only a few days ago the southern Tyranids launched a major attack on Marsenberg. The city was defended by PDF forces who fled in the face of the terrifying Xeno-warriors deployed by the hive mind. Worse was to come however, as a force of Dark Angels was left trapped with their backs to the sea. Of the half company that remained in the city, not one survived.

Barely had I received the news of the destruction of the city, then reports that Eigenfeld had become infested reached my command post. Fighting is street by street and of the most desparate kind. Re-invigorated, the Tyranids in the south have cut off Sonnige Insel and the city of Lindesberg, which can only be reached now by sea or air. It is imperative that we hold on to these settlements.

I have requested aid from Jellicoe's fleet. Perhaps if we can destroy the hive ships in the system the hive mind on the surface will be broken. It is still very difficult to get messages out and we are having to use runner vessels to take messages to Alphe for wider transmission. Further afield the Tyranids appear to have gone dormant, at least I have not heard of further attacks in the sector. For that at least we can be grateful.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Long drawn out affair

By 08.009M42 the war on Tarsis was approaching its second year. The forces of Chaos and greenskins had been defeated and eradicated from the planet, but the war between the Imperium and Tau seemed to edge towards stalemate every day. Despite a better strategic position, holding tow of the three vital industrial zones and Sapphire Harbour, as well as the outer planet Tarsis Minor, the Tau could not force the Imperium into final surrender, at least not quickly.

The Tau, now with Shadowstrike in overall command, faced a number of problems. The Imperium was united and had a strong leader in General Cunningham. They faced re-invigorated Imperial Guard formations with the Librians, Cerberex Guard and the Praetorians all showing improvement since the start of the campaign. This in turn fed down to the larger PDF formations. In effect, Cunningham had a united, effective army which he did not have in Melberg.

During the Melberg campaign the system's proximity to the Aurelis Crossing had meant supply lines had been short, and it was possible for the Tau to gain Space superiority in the system. With the elongated supply lines in the Tarsis Campaign and the need to defend their bases in the Mabb nebula, the Tau could not claim the same, allowing supply convoys on both sides to get through to the armies in the field.

Both sides on Tarsis maintained the ability to produce the weapons of war. The Tau had successfully converted the human factories to Tau war production, while the vast industrial power of the Sartano river valley and the Tuva Plain allowed the Imperium to churn out tanks and guns at a steady rate. It did however limit the scope of offensives on both sides.

By 08.009M42 the Imperium and Tau both had their eyes fixed on events in the Shadow Worlds, as hive fleet Nemesis threatened their bases and the Eldar became resurgent. Tarsis was downgraded in the priorities of both the Tau Empire and the Administratum on Terra. The war's outcome would have to wait.

This suited the Imperium more than the Tau. For weeks the war cooled off with little more than bombing raids and skirmishes. The Tau sat back, using automated defences which the Imperium would occasionally probe. Then, on 1008.009M42 the Praetorian Guard launched the next major offensive of the war from their bridghead on Merrin.

Since landing on Merrin the Praetorians had been stuck behind and to the north of the Mertock Mountains, their positions overlooked by Tau sentries. This often brought sudden death and destruction from a seeker missile launched from the other side, guided by a stealth team markerlight. These long range seeker missile attacks were causing havoc so the Imperial commander decided to remove the Tau from the mountains.

The Praetorian Guard launched their attack, sending wave after wave of men, supported by Ogryn assualt squads and heavy tanks, up the steep slopes of the mountains. the fighting was brisk and a number of furious firefights errupted in the cragy terrain, which in places reached 7000ft above sea level. Gradually the Praetorians forced the Tau to give ground. The Tau hadn't stationed large forces in the mountains, but now their preferred method of reacting to Imperial moves went awry, thanks to some careful tactical planning.

The Imperial Navy, though inferior in numbers and lacking the ability to challenge the Tau for air superiority, did have a large number of Valkyrie, Vendetta and Vulture gunships. In the mountainous terrain, flying low, these were almost impossible to track by the aliens and they soon found their mobile hunter cadres, called in to deal the counter blow, shot to pieces by gunships hugging the terrain.

The Imperial Navy, though few in number, delayed the Tau reserves, allowing the Praetorians to advance fifty miles south and entrench themselves in the mountains, this time in strength. By 1508.009M42 the attack was being scaled down as the lead elements of the Praetorians reached the plains of Merrin and faced an onslaught of Tau fire. Now however the tables had turned, with the Tau positions overlooked by Imperial artillery, which started shelling the towns of Medulla and Stockton, forcing the Tau to abandon them as forward observation posts and making the lives of the inhabitants a living hell

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Venerators

Along with the Warhawks, the Venerators were believed wiped out during the fifth Black Crusade in 723.M36. Their presence in the Zadoc Subsector is therefore a mystery.

They were first seen on Betor. Whilst Planetary Defence forces had wiped out one of three Hive Fleet Nemesis landings on the planet, elsewhere Imperial commanders were retreating in order to buy time and shore defences. As the Tyranids advanced Venerator Thunderhawks arrived, disgorging marines to halt the tide. The Venerators appeared unsuccessful, though taking a chunk out of the alien advance many warriors fell and the marines were forced to retreat. They left with no communication with the Imperial forces.

The second sighting came on Coronus, recently reclaimed by the Imperium from Ork warlord Da Verminator. The planet came under sudden attack from Eldar raiders. Dark Angel forces already on the planet were able to repel the attackers and return to overseeing the construction of fortifications. Eldar were also spotted in sparser populated areas, and reports suggest that Venerator marines arrived to fight the alien menace. Though casualties were inflicted the marines again withdrew, slowing the Eldar attack but not halting it.

So far all attempts at communication with the lost chapter have been unsuccessful. Imperial forces are both welcoming of increased support in the war town subsector, and suspicious of the Venerators' motives.

More Eldar Raids

Eldar activity ramped up even further in late 07.009M42 as attacks from at least two apparently separate bands of Eldar took their toll on the Imperial base on Coronus. Adeptus Astartes troops from the mysterious Venerators chapter countered the appearance of the aliens near the northernmost outlying settlement and prevented significant damage from the marauding aliens. The commander on the ground welcomed the intevention, but had not asked for it, nor received any communication from the Marines. Even so the aliens were not beaten and withdrew after having inflicted major casualties on the Venerator's troops.

Meanwhile the Dark Angels countered a second alien incursion, launching from the Strike Cruiser Silent Hunter, currently patrolling in the Shadow Worlds to support our recent conquests.Eldar raiders had attacked the southern settlements on Coronus, slaughtering the inhabitants and destroying the infastructure. Responding to a distress signal a retaliatory strike was lead by Company Commander Angelus El'Zurias, who at the height of the battle personally slew the Eldar Farseer leading the raiders in single combat, having seperated from his command squad which had fallen back to clear a vital supply dump of xenos scum who had sneaked around the flank. Apothecary Kaleal tended to the wounded and harvested the gene seed of the fallen.

Inquisitor Huron soon arrived in the Shadow Worlds, attempting to understand the motives behind the Eldar attacks, which had so far baffled all Imperial tactitions and Logis Magi. The Tau too had been assaulted, though the overall plan to which the capricious aliens were working remained a complete mystery as 08.009M42 began.