Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Other Sector Events

The Tyranids, while suffering at the hands of the Eldar on Saim Lann, renewed their offensive on Betor on 1710.009M42, bursting from the earth and attacking from the sea and sky on the Island chains of south west Betor, Taken by surprise General Dempsey's poorly equipped PDF forces were slaughtered, soon losing Marsenberg to the aliens. Appealling for aid the defenders of Betor were relieved when a company of Reaper Angels arrived, but their counter assault against the Tyranid menace went horribly wrong, as half their force was destroyed in only a few minutes. The marines disengaged, leaving the defenders dispondent. Three days later Eigenfeld was overrun. With panic spreading in Lindesberg and small villages on the Sonnige Insel, it appeared the Tyranid menace was far from contained on Betor.

Menwhile the battles in the Shadow Worlds, while overshadowed by events on Bothorion, continued as 10.009M42 progressed. Chaos forces on an uninhabited world suffered badly when their expedition to recover something of great value on the barren world met unexpected resistance from Necron forces. Had they bothered to do their research they would have realised the world had been classified by the Imperium as off limits, and saved themselves the losses incurred. Fortunately for the rest of the sector, the waking of the Necrons did not appear to lead to a wider campaign by the strange aliens.

The forces of Chaos also suffered a reverse on Fort Sparcos, when their raiding force, attempting to loot the battered settlements clustering around the ruined fortress on Sparcos, ran into a full blown Ork Invasion force, led by Warboss Nazghat. The great Ork had become aware of the Fort's destruction by the Eldar and arrived in force, intending to add the planet to his possessions. If Nazghat could control both forts of the Mabb nebula, he would also control the main warp lanes to Kallack, the source of his armies. The battle was one sided and ended with the Chaos raiding force withdrawing from the planet, leaving Nazghat to pursue his war to overrun Fort Sparcos.

Battle of Bothorion

The Imperium did not have much time to enjoy their conquest of Bothorion. Nazghat, upon hearing the news of the loss of their base on the world, immediately sent a massive force to retake the system, which arrived on 1910.009M42, overwhelming the small policing fleet and landing over one hundred thousand Orks on the planet. The Dark Angels, leading three Guard regiments of some 30,000 men put up a determined fight, but were forced to abandon their new possession after only two days of fighting. By 2210.009M42 Bothorion was back in Ork hands.

The Orks however were not the only force to have its sights on Bothorion. Ever since they had been forced off the planet by the Imperium and Orks, the Claws of Lorek had not left the system, and on 2410.009M42 they returned with a significant raiding force. At the same time, a small fleet of Tau vessels entered the system, with Elan Ro apparently "coming to the aid" of the citizens of Bothorion. Since the planet had less than 4,000 actual inhabitants and was nothing more than a mining operation and military base, few believed the Tau motives.

Battlegroup Alexander, its naval force superior to any of the small enemy fleets in the Bothorion system (which numbered only five capital ships added together), was still supporting the colonists on Tyndareous, and unable to respond to the rapidly escalating war on the minor planet (although many observers also had the distinct impression General Alexander had no wish to embroil his forces in a confused four way battle). The Reaper Angels chapter however were able to send a strike cruiser to the system, and on 2610.009M42 the four forces met around the central spaceport and massive planetary generators.

Not surprisingly the Orks were not best pleased to see no less than three enemy forces arriving on their newly acquired (or re-acquired) territory, and a violent and confused battle soon erupted, with the Orks throwing themselves headlong at their enemies. The Claws of Lorek raiding force gleefully accepted, teleporting a huge number of Obliterators into the action. Meanwhile, while taking speculative pot shots at each other, the Tau and Marine forces preferred to sit back, awaiting events.

The marines however soon faced the fury of their traitor enemies, and took heavy casualties. Elan Ro too realised the battle was too violent, and too unpredictable to be worth continuing. Now was not the time to try to colonise Bothorion and, with their ships' holds full of more supplies, the Tau made a strategic withdrawal. The Imperial presence on Bothorion was also forced to withdraw, and the Reaper Angels strike cruiser abandonned the system on 3010,009M42, leaving the planet a raging war between Chaos and Ork forces.

Alphe Current

By 2010.009M4 General Percival had heard about the disasterous fleet action in the Alphe system. Fortunately for the Imperium the Space Wolves chapter of the Adeptus Astartes had managed to slip a company past the Chaos blockade of the system, and their presence made an immediate difference, as Catechism forces were once again removed from the region of Pryford Meadows, with the marines reaching Barren Bay after only two days of fighting. It seemed the Catechism had reduced their forces in the south, which could only mean one thing, a new offensive.

The new offensive began swiftly on 1910.009M42 with the employment of the Catechism's most elite astartes formations. These forces crashed into the poorly equipped Alphean PDF units defending Erishore, but Percival realised he was unable to send Librian or Astartes units to their aid, as these were all tied up on other areas of the front, and the Corellian Storm Guard were still recovering from their mauling at the hands of the Night Lords. In the end, the Porphyrian 17th regiment was thrown into the breach, but lacking in the experience of fighting the Catechism they were handled badly, and soon it became clear Erishore could not be rescued. On 2310.009M42 the whole of Oldmere Island was abandonned, and the Catechism arrived on Hulme Island soon after, joining up with their Chaos allies in the north. By now the Imperium had lost control of more than half of the planet's major settlement, and tacticae calculated the planet would fall under Chaos control in less than six months.

Tarsis Major Latest

Strongspear drives north

With the front line secured following Shadowstrike's victory over the Venorators, the Tau planned an immediate offensive on Tuva to regain the initiative and exploit the fact that following recent activity, Cunningham's forces were depleted and understrength. This indeed was true. The overall commander of Imperial forces on Tarsis Major had been forced to withdraw a number of units for refit and general rest. This meant that underequipped PDF and Porphyrian units had to be put into the front line.

Realising this Cunningham deployed two Porphyrian regiments, some 20,000 men, in the centre of the line defending the approach to Tarsis Prime, with strong Librian regiments on both flanks. He knew this was a risk, but hoped the densely wooded rolling hills of the Central Forest would prevent a major breakthrough by the Tau, at least until the Porphyrians could be supported.

Tau intelligence, helped by several deserters, also knew of Cunningham's dispositions, and invited Commander Strongspear, his troops fresh and ready to fight, to take the opportunity. Stronspear accepted and his forces drove deep into the Central forest before meeting any meaningful resistance, but eventually the Imperial Guard began to put up stiffer resistance some 150 miles south of Tarsis. Infantry units, supported by a few Leman Russ battle tanks, Griffon mortar carriers and som heavy weapons squads, tried to halt the highly mechanised Tau attakcks, but massed Hammerhead fire made short work of what armour the Porphyrians had and singled out their anti-tank guns for special attention. Within minutes of each encounter the Porphyrians often found themselves with little more than a few missile launchers with which to combat Hammerheads, crisis suits and devilgish.

Seeing the front cracking, the Porphyrian Guard commander ordered in a massed drop of his storm troopers behind the enemy advance. This suicidal mission he hoped would deflect the Tau and stall their forward momentum. The mission however went terribly wrong, and the Stormtroopers were dropped miles off course, most landing directly on Tau formations where they were cut to ribbons. Meanwhile at the front line many Porphyrian units chose to flee or surrender rather than face an overwhelming foe. Only sporadic attacks from Chimera borne veteran units made any real impression, and by 2410.009M42 Strongspear had come to within 40 miles of the Tarsis capital. While the government prepared to move to Coldside, Cunninghame moved his best units back to defend the city.

The rage of the Eldar

Following the establishment of the Federacy and their alliance with the Tau Empire Craftworld Kel Sandros had shifted its operations away to other sectors. Events were now in motion, the Imperium in the Aleph sector was critically weakened and the comming years saw planet after planet fall to the Tau Empire and other Xenos. Although Kel Sandros continued to monitor the situation closely through its covert intelligence cells no further direct intervention was needed.

The fall of Saim Lann came as a rude shock to the usually omnipotent Eldar. Cloaked by a shadow in the warp, the senister seers of Kel Sandros had completely failed to detect the progress of a Nemesis splinter fleet into the Shadow Worlds, bypassing the Imperial blockade at Betor. They had also failed to forsee the violation of Mael Kithlann by marauding Orks, an event which probably came as much of a surprise to the random and unpredictable Ork warbands as the Eldar.

The wholesale slaughter of the Exodite colonists on Mael Kithlann and the widespread rape of Saim Lann's ecosystem by Nemesis sent shockwaves through Kel Sandros. Enraged beyond reason the response was immediate. The Avatar of Keila Mensha Khaine was once more awoken within the Craftworlds core and warriors summoned from all corners of the galaxy as Kel Sandros prepared for war!

The Invasion of Saim Lann

With Kel Sandros long dormant within the Aleph sector its warriors were spread throughout the galaxy fighting in numerous covert and overt wars. The Tyranid violation of Saim Lann required an immediate response before the planets ecosystem was irreperably damaged. In desperation Kel Sandros sent what warriors it could, even pressganging the rangers and civilians of its local intelligence cells into the military effort. Bursting forth from the webway, their rage made manifest in the form of the Avatar of Khaine itself, the Eldar struck at the tyranids as they fed upon the planets biosphere. Initially things went poorly for the Eldar, massively outnumbered as they were by hordes of ravening biokillers. Through the carnage the Avatar of War strode, an invincible vision of death and destruction, single handedly turning the tide back in Kel Sandros' favour. When the clamour of war faded the Eldar had secured the webway portal, exterminated hordes of tyranid creatures and destroyed numerous tyranid reclamation pools, but at a catastrophic cost in Eldar lives.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fleets clash in Deeps

+++Transmitted: Captain Pelham
+++Date: 1010.009.M41
+++Monitoring Station: Gamma tertius, MabbXVII
+++Astropath: Quintus Arians
+++Security Clearance: Cruxius
+++Ref: SCTR.RPTS.034801/B
+++Received: Imperial Naval Base: Caitlen Station
+++Subject: Chaos fleet battle
+++Thought for the day: Loyalty is its own reward




Sunday, October 18, 2009

War in the Shadow Worlds

While Bothorion was liberated, the Blood Angels also agreed to lend a hand to the fighting in the Mabb nebula. For a month the Eldar sacking of Fort Sparcos had gone unanswered. Then on 1710.009M42 the Imperium struck back with a lightning landing by the space marines. the fighting was tough, but utilising a great weight of mechanised assets, including land speeders, the Blood Angels were able to drive off the Eldar from the settlemets, now ruined, which surrounded the fort itself. From the shadow of the broken bastions of the Imperial fort, the Blood Angels considered their next move to eradicate the xenos taint from the fortress world.

Elan Ro continued his fight to establish colonies in the Mabb Nebula, with the full blessings of the ethereals. For the greater good his hunter cadres travelled into the Rim Worlds, raided the small Chaos world of Typhon and returned with much needed raw materials for the new colony on Memnon. His losses were minimal, but Typhon, falling under the jurisdiction of Raziel's Night Lords, reported the raid to their liege lord. While these interdictions were profitable, the Tau now worried that Elan Ro may provoke a sleeping giant.

At the same time the Praetorian regiments in Task Force Alexander, stationed on Tyndareous in order to protect the colonists, felt that they were not being utilised enough to smote the emperor's enemies. However the accidental uncovering of yet another Necron tomb on the world and the subsequent outbreak of slaughter and destruction gave them their chance. They held the Necrons, just, but Imperial high command tried desparately to ignore the increasing clamour from their advisors that the Necron presence in the Mabb Nebula, for now dormant, may have been massively underestimated.

Imperium gain Bothorion

Following the successful founding of Coronus by the refugees of Cerberex, there was more good news for the Imperium later in the month, with the founding of the Tyndareous colony and the capture of Bothorion.

Tyndareous saw ship after ship of would be colonists flooding in during 10.009M42, as the planet was declared ready for colonisation, and settlements, bare and prefabricated at first, began to take shape. The Dark Angels were there as well, and were much needed when a raiding party of the Claws of Lorek arrived unexpectedly. The Chaos forces were quickly dealt with as soon as they were detected.

The reason that the Claws of Lorek were raiding was that their base on Bothorion had been destroyed. Simultaneously a company of Space Wolves, a force of space marines known as "the Castaways" and a regiment of Corellian Storm Guard landed on the planet. Task Force Alexander had arrived and was determined to see off the Ork and Chaos armies on the minor world.

The result was a resounding success. Nazghat's Orks were defeated in short order by the aggressive Space Marine attacks, while a two pronged assault by the Space Marines and Imperial Guard soon overran the Claws of Lorek Base. In ten days the planet was rid of the Imperium's enemies, and the Storm Guard regiment was tasked with the hunting down and destroying of the remaining enemies who had fled to remote parts of the planet.

Not all the Claws were eliminated. Despite the presence of an Imperial fleet, a fast moving traitor strike cruiser was able to evacuate a portion of the Claws of Lorek, and its mere presence, detected as it headed for the system jump point, indicated that these traitor marines were more than a raiding warband. For now however, General Alexander looked on with satisfaction as the recent Imperial campaign yielded the third planet in the Mabb Nebula, putting the Imperium in overall control of the Shadow Worlds.

The Battle of Alphe System

Finally in 10.009M42 a full naval battlegroup led by Illustrious under Commodore McManners arrived in the Alphe system. He knew his force, which included three cruisers as well as his flagship should be superior to the known forces of the Night Lords, which were orbiting the planet.

However, two days after his arrival hos astropaths reported a new force in the system. A patrol group of Swords sent to investigate reported that Admiral Thok had come to the invading powers’ aid, sending four cruisers, Jormungandr, Rheingeld, Naglfar and Skoll. This was terrible news. The Chaos ships were closing and McManners had no option but to give battle. The Night Lords fleet, and general Percival would have to wait.

The Chaos cruisers attacked head on, rapidly closing with the Imperial fleet and not keeping together, fearful of the Imperial fleet’s powerful Nova Cannon. McManners was pleased at this and gave the order to fire the Imperium’s most powerful fleet weapon. Sadly both Illustrious and Repulse were woefully inaccurate in their shooting, and failed to do any damage.

Even so the Chaos fleet was spilt up, with the carnage class Rheingeld far ahead of its consorts on the starboard bow, while Naglfar and Skoll skirted round to the port flank of the Imperial fleet. Meanwhile the grand cruiser Jormandandr approached sedately in the centre.

McManners deployed his two gothic class vessels, Hogue and Cressy on the port wing of his formation with Illustrious and Repulse deployed further back, screened by the Sword squadron. McManners planned a torpedo and lance strike on Rheingeld followed up by broadsides from his other vessels, before turning his attention to the grand cruiser. By then the other two Chaos vessels would be to the rear, but the Imperial fleet would have ample time to turn and deal with them, as they would be outnumbered and outgunned. The Imperial fleet had yet another battle with Thok sewn up.

Then disaster struck. With almost the first long range salvoes of the battle, Rheingeld got a lucky hit on Hogue. To the disbelief and horror of Imperial onlookers the gothic class vessel’s engine signature stuttered and died and the vessel was left dead in space. Almost immediately Thok had regained the initiative in the most unlikely of fashion.

McManners was sure however that Rheingeld, isolated and alone, would pay the price, but luck was not on his side. The torpedo salvo from his other gothic was confused by radiation and debris from Hogue and all six failed to acquire their targets. The carnage class escaped with minor damage.

Jormungandr was less lucky, and the combined broadsides of Illustrious, Repulse added to the firepower of the Sword squadron caused severe damage. Somehow despite the attention of bombers launched from the Imperial carrier she still manages to disengage and limp home.

25 minutes into the battle McManners had evened the odds, but Rhiengeld once again managed to evade certain death from the broadside of Repulse and the firepower of his battlecruiser, and she circled round to the rear of the Imperial fleet. Her escorting Idolators were less fortunate and were obliterated. McManners however was about to suffer the ultimate disaster.

Naglfar and Skoll had seen the damage wrought on Jormungandr, and together with Rheingeld they poured all their fire onto the Imperial carrier. Illustrious was hit again and again. Desperately she tried to disengage but with her bridge smashed and her thrusters damaged, she was unable to conduct evasive manoeuvres. With an eerie similarity to the destruction of her sister ship Ark Royal, Illustrious exploded, killing her entire crew and the commander of the Imperial taskgroup.

By now it appeared the Imperium had lost the battle, and Repulse and her escorting frigates rapidly fled the scene of destruction. The battle was almost over.

Cressy however distinguished herself well. Turning to port she saw the Skoll and Naglfar in the distance, well out of range. Rheingeld however, her crew inexperienced and impetuous, was inviting the Imperial cruiser into a one on one duel, despite being damaged. Cressy accepted, locked on to the Chaos vessel and then engaged in a twenty minute duel with Rheingeld. Very soon the Chaos captain regretted his rash action, as concentrated lance fire ripped into the starboard side of his vessel. He didn’t regret it for long however as a well placed salvo of superheated plasma ripped off the vessel’s conning tower.

With her command gone and her fire flagging the Rheingeld was doomed, at the mercy of the Imperial cruiser who showed her enemy none. Naglfar tried to help, sending in a wave of bombers against the Cressy, but these only inflicted minor damage. Only once the Rheingeld had exploded in a shower of flaming debris did Cressy disengage. The battle of Alphe system was over.

The battle was a material victory for chaos and a devastating loss for Admiral Jellicoe. He had lost both his heavy carrier cruisers and meant he would have to request a new mars class vessel from Kar Duniash. Fortunately Glorious was available and arrived several weeks later.

Thok had his victory, but largely due to luck. His fleet had approached spread out, and McManners’ plan, had he been able to enact it, may well have delivered another famous victory to the Imperium. The loss of the Hogue to a lucky shot and the fortunate escape of the Jormungandr were only two events of many which ensured a Chaos victory.

The failure of the Imperial nova cannons and torpedoes and the inability of Illustrious to disengage meant the Imperium could not have realistically achieved victory. Even so the victory remained minor thanks to the petulant behaviour and subsequent loss of Rheingeld. Given the sway of events, Thok’s fleet may well have been disappointed that the opportunity for an annihilating victory was passed up.

Although the Imperial Navy tacticians were satisfied with the way McManners conducted the battle, none of this meant anything to the beleaguered defenders of Alphe. The fleet had been sent packing, Thok had won and the defenders of Alphe now wondered if they could hold off the tide of Chaos for much longer.

Imperial Losses
Illustrious exploded
Hogue hulked

Chaos Losses
Jormungandr crippled
Rheingeld exploded
3 Idolators destroyed

Alphe: Major Chaos advance

On 1310.009M42 General Percival redeployed the badly mauled Corellian units to the west, reinforcing the recent assault and deploying most of the battered units to Linshore, hoping they would have some time to rest and refit. He could not have been more wrong.

Just two days later the Night Lords unleashed their forces on the Imperium, attacking furiously on Springbay and, at the same time, mounting an unexpected amphibious assault on Redkeep Island. The Corellian defenders were appauled to see Chaos rhinos and land raiders emerging from the Seaton Sea and soon found they were supported by the elite forces loyal to Raziel.

The battle was short, brutal and totally one sided. Linshore fell within a day and by 1710.009M42 the forces of Chaos had secured Redkeep and were Island hopping towards the mainland. Those remaining Corellian forces on Snowwald Island were rapidly evacuated and the shattered remnants arrived Summerbridge Crossing battered and despondent on 1910.009M42.

If this wasn’t bad enough for General Percival, a new, previously unknown Chaos army began attacking in force from the north. Traitor Legion forces assaulted the PDF forces on Hulme Island and began rapidly advancing south towards Westlake. By 1210.009M42 the Librian 43rd had been rushed to the area, and a fierce battle erupted around the city.

Both sides took heavy casualties as the Librians took the Chaos marines by surprise, blowing away their formidable Vindicator support before they could even reply. Gradually however the robust rhino borne troopers and the timely teleportation of obliterator units into the Librian lines turned the battle. Four days later, amid scenes of utter carnage Percival allowed the Librian 43rd to pull out. Westlake fell and the Chaos forces now looked likely to surround the remaining PDF units in Hulme Island. Percival however had bigger problems.

In the south the legions of Catechism loyal Guard regiments had broken out and were heading towards Merridale. It seemed now that the forces of Chaos had decided, somehow, to renew their offensives simultaneously. Unable to reinforce the south with his limited resources Percival gave permission for the Imperial regiments facing the new Catechism onslaught to withdraw to Oldmere. Meanwhile the Blood Angels, recently arrived thanks to Inquisitor Nikopolidis’ influence, agreed to take on the Catechism.

The Blood Angel intervention was to no avail. By the end of 2010.009M42 the space marine company sent in to stop the offensive was in full retreat, and a landing on Oldmere Island had been successfully carried out. Percival was retreating on three fronts and desperately needed more forces to deal with his enemies, or Alphe would surely fall.

Shadowstrike saves Ol Cha

Following the overwhelming success of Operation Triton the Tau held the majority of Tarsis Major’s land masses and major infrastructure. Shadowstrike immediately submitted further plans for a push on the planetary capital that would effectively break the Imperium on Tarsis, but was frustrated to find his plans blocked by the ethereals. The wars on Melberg and Tarsis had already consumed vast quantities of material and resources. With threats to the Tau Empire growing these resources were now needed elsewhere and despite Shadowstrike’s influence within the ethereal caste the war on Tarsis was downgraded to a low priority. Without the re-enforcements and supplies needed for major offensive operations Shadowstrike had no choice but to secure his gains and wait.

For the most part the Imperials were also content to settle down and regroup but with the arrival of the Venerators they finally made their long expected counter attack, taking Silverbrook with a combined air drop and mechanised assault and cutting off large quantities of Ol‘Cha‘s forces from supply.

Unwilling to abandon these troops to death or capture Shadowstrike ordered the Tau air caste to fly in supplies allowing the desperate remnants of Ol‘Chas Cadres to hold out against the fierce Imperial attacks. This bought Shadowstrike the time to organise a counter attack. Just before dawn Ol’Chas forces advanced on Silverbrook and secured a beachhead on the cities outskirts just as Mantas began launching from hidden underground air bases in the Tuvan Industrial Zone. As the sun broke the horizon these forces dropped directly into Silverbrook’s suburbs and drove like a lightening bolt for the cities heart. Expected an attack from the south the massed ranks of the Imperial Guard were completely wrong footed. Only the Venerators were able to respond in time to offer significant resistance.

As fierce fighting erupted near the cities central administrative hub the Venerators drove straight into the Tau guns. At first things appeared to go well for the Emperor’s finest as the chapter’s terminators and assault troops ripped into the Tau, destroying many of their most valuable assets. But they had failed to spot a stealthy flanking manoeuvre lead by Shadowstrike himself. Even as the veterans of the first company slaughtered all before them they were oblivious to the stealth troops and fire warriors closing in on their rearmost positions. Too late the Venerators realised the danger as their rearguard came under fierce assault.

As they prepared to retreat to their transports and counter this new threat there was a scream of jet engines and a brilliant flash as their land raiders exploded, leaving them isolated and impotent as the Piranha skimmers retreated into the distance. Without aid the Venerator’s rearguard of tactical marines was unable to repel the Tau attack and the Venerators were forced to withdraw or face being surrounded and annihilated. Seeing the city fall the Librian Guard regiments had no choice but to retreat back to their original lines or be cut off.

Shadowstrike’s operation had succeeded but at a high price. Once again Shadowstrike sent petitions to the Ethereals to once more prioritise the war on Tarsis, emphasising that the planet could not be considered secure until the capital was in Tau hands.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Eldar in full retreat

Things went from bad to worse in early 10.009M42. With Hylas and Memnon not under their control their three exodite worlds of Saim Lann, Shelwe Agir and Mael Kithlan were not hidden from the prying eyes of the other races, and two extremely predatory ones seeon had their eyes set on the weakly defended worlds.

The Orks were the first to arrive, landing somewhat accidently on Mael Kithlan. Following recent reverses on Bothorion and faced with a declining empire, Nazghat needed to go on the offensive just to avoid being deposed by ambitious Nobz who thought they could do a better job of leading his vast army.

With this in the forefront of his Orky mind the greenskin tide arrived in force around the lightly defended exodite world of Mael Kithlan, falling upon the hapless defenders with wild abandon. The Eldar did have a small group of warriors in their midst however, a group of outcasts who had settled on the three Eldar worlds of the Mabb nebula following the destruction of their craftworld. Until now they had been safe, but the tide of greenskin warriors proved too much for them and by 1810.009M42 they had lost all but a fifth of the habitable settlements to the Orks.

Much worse occurred on Saim Lann as the tendrils of Nemesis appeared in the system. The Eldar here fought bravely, but were unable to prevent the Tyranids from slaughtering their populace and overruning the entire world in just a week. Those who could, fled using the webway, abandonning, at least temporarily, the exodite world.

More refugees flooded into the webway as the Eldar considered their options. A reaction to the Tyranid threat would have to be swift as the aliens began to feed on the biological resources of the planet.

Colonies founded on Danelloth and Coronus

In 10.009M42 two new colonies were founded in the Shadow Worlds. After much work and toil the planet of Coronus finally became "New Cerberex", a haven for the defeated remnants of the Cerberex war. Over a million settlers flooded in and new settlements, including a city, began to take shape.

It was not without trouble however. While excavating foundations a group of Cerberex workmen accidently uncovered a Necron tomb and the thousands of Necron warriors who poured out of their slumber massacred almost an entire regiment of Cerberex Guard before the Dark Angels, continuing to show great respect and admiration from those who chose a life of exile rather than join the UFP, turned up in force and destroyed the alien threat.

Meanwhile the Tau colony on Danelloth was officially founded at roughly the same time, following Elan Ro's raids on Fort Aerin which brought back much needed supplies to the new Tau world. The Ethereals formally recognised the Tau colony as the newest member of the Tau empire on 1610.009M42. A half hearted assault by the Adeptus Astartes followed, but this was easily seen off by Elan Ro's forces.

Elan Ro had secured his pet project, to found a new world in the Shadow worlds. However much would need to be done to secure this new prize, as dangers nearby and a suspect line of supply meant the new Tau colonists would be living on the ragged edge for some time yet.

Shadow Worlds: Bothorion Standoff

As 10.009M42 began the Imperial hold on Bothorion became increasingly tenuous. Alexander's battlegroup was forced to withdraw some forces to face an emergent Necron threat on Coronus, unaware that the Dark Angels were already in position to face them. This left just two regiments and a two companies of space marines to hold the Imperium's recent gains on the planet.

An initial Ork attack was held by the Venerators company as Nazghat's followers tried to remove the Imperium from their one remaining hold in the Shadow worlds, and severe casualties were inflicted on the greenskin forces. Then, the Claws of Lorek arrived in force.

Leading a large force of traitors and heretics the Claws of Lorek chaos space marine chapter arrived on 1010.009M42 with several capital ships of unknown origin. Before Alexander could turn his ships around and return to the system, the traitor legion had inflicted a severe defeat on the other space marine company, forcing the Imperial Guard regiments to flee back to the relative safety of their fortified landing base.

At the same time the forces of Chaos attacked the Orks, encountering Da Verminator's warband and heavy fighting ensued. The battle was bloody but ultimately inconclusive. However numbers told and the Orks were able to force the new arrivals to retreat back to their landing zone. Now Bothorion was a tense three-way stand off, and as the fleet of Battlegroup Alexander raced back to the system, a showdown was inevitable...

Crisis at Silverbrook

As 10.009M42 began, Cunningham received some welcome reinforcements in the shape of the Venerators space marines. Immediately the Adeptus Astartes and Imperial forces began planning an attack to retake Silverbrook and encircle a great swathe of Tau troops. The plan was simple. The Imperial Guard would advance south on the Tau positions from the desert on the eastern slopes of the Barrier mountains, into territory known to be held by the forces of Ol Cha.

Meanwhile the Venerators, using Thunderhawks and drop pods from their orbiting Strike cruiser, would land to the west of the city, linking up with the Imperial advance, led by the highly experienced Librian 57th regiment.
The operation began on 0710.009M42 with a text book landing by the Venerators. The space marines had taken the Tau by surprise and soon had Silverbrook surrounded. Meanwhile the Librian 57th, leading several divisions of Tarsis PDF began their assault south, some four hours later than scheduled thanks to delays in the rear.

While the Venerators made good gains, Ol Cha's forces fought well against the Librians, using the terrain to shield their forces from the worst of Imperial firepower. However, the experienced guard outfit soon began making inroads, choosing to seek out Tau formations and destroy them rather than following orthodox territory taking tactics which had failed so badly in previous months.

Leman Russ battle tanks and chimera borne veteran squads took their toll on Ol Cha's highly mechanised forces, forcing the Tau to retreat. As expected the Tau fell back towards Silverbrook, only to find the Marines waiting for them. By 1610.009M42 the Tau found themselves isolated and surrounded in a pocket to the south of Aeron river, relying on supplies brought in by Manta and Orca. The next phase of the Imperial operation, to destroy the pocket and advance south would soon begin.


In early 10.009M42 the Imperium was in the ascendent on Alphe. In the north the Dark Eldar had reportedly abandonned their pact with Chaos and left the world. This emboldened General Percival and the recently arrived Corellian Storm Guard were assigned to the front line with orders to push the forces of Chaos back further, out of Hulme Island into the east of North Reach.

Unfortunately the Chaos forces had reinforced this sector following the loss of their allies, and reinforcements apparently travelling with the Night Lords' fleet, which still remained in the system, launched their own attack. The fighting was brisk with the Storm guard taking heavy casualties. Their defeat lost ground for the Imperium and Percival's forces were forced to withdraw towards Westlake.

A lack of Krak grenades was blamed for the poor performance of the Corellian's poor performance, and the Adeptus Ministorium was given a severe dressing down by Percival at his HQ in Deepsnow. Such a basic mistake in provisions would not be repeated.

Meanwhile another recent arrival, a company of Venerators space marines, launched a major assault by drop pod and Thunderhawk gunship, on the Night Lords positions on Snowwald Island. After several hours of fighting the Venerators narrowly secured tow bridgeheads and forced the Chaos forces to retreat towards Springbay. Imperial Guard regiments then followed up and prepared to besiege the Chaos held city.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

New Aleph Sector Wiki

The new wiki is now online and abpit 50% complete. I'll be adding more content soon, marshalling all the background and history together. The blog will still be updated as normal however.

If you want to contribute to the wiki, apply to be a writer (and let me know who you are!)


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Major Chaos Raid

While the Imperial bases in the Shadow Worlds were facing attacks from the resurgent Eldar menace, the last thing they expected was to face a renewed threat from the forces of Chaos. For months the Chaos forces had been absent in the Mabb nebula, chosing to consolidate their unquestioned domination of the Rim worlds and concentrating on their campaign on Alphe.

However in late 09.009M42 several convoys were attacked by Chaos raiders, and on 2809.009M42 Tyndareous reported a significant force of enemy troops landing on the far side of the planet. Admiral Dreyer immediately made for the Tyndareous system, but when he arrived the Chaos fleet had already disappeared. Scattered in the rocky terrain of Tyndareous’s far side, the fleet was unable to provide an effective bombardment, so Dreyer’s formidable war fleet set off in pursuit of the Chaos fleet. Meanwhile on the ground the Imperial commander knew he was facing a significant force of Chaos troops. Then some remarkably unexpected help arrived.

The Tau arrived on Tyndareous on 0310.009M42 and were welcomed by the Imperial forces. Higher up in the Imperial command structure, someone was turning a blind eye to this, while the Tau had no issues whatsoever with fighting the Imperium on Tarsis and helping them on Tyndareous. The Tau were suffering increasing losses to Chaos raiders and saw an opportunity to devastate their common enemy with an alliance. Besides, the Tau and Imperium had been operating an unofficial non aggression pact in the Mabb nebula for months.

The Tau commander was new to the Aleph sector, but was clearly a colleague of Elan Ro with his open and apparently honest demeanour. The combined force of Imperial and Tau troops then set out to defeat their enemy. Unfortunately for the alliance the Chaos forces on Tyndareous were even stronger than they had imagined, and the overwhelming force sent to deal with them turned out to be of only equal size.

Despite this the Imperial and Tau commanders considered their chances good, and launched their attack. The Chaos forces responded, attacking in force and summoning daemons into the lines of their enemies. This tactic was highly successful and following moderate losses the alliance withdrew to defence lines closer to the Imperial settlements.

Eldar ravage Coronus

The next sign of Eldar activity following their spectacular seizure of Fort Sparcos came on 0110.009M42 when the Sons of Ultramar base on Coronus was raided by a significant force of aliens. The Eldar took the space marines by surprise, wrecking their equipment and seizing or destroying their supplies. Imperial reinforcements eventually meant that the Eldar were obliged to withdraw, but the damage inflicted on the Imperial base ensured the Sons of Ultramar would be in no position to interfere with Eldar plans for at least a month.

Space Marines aid push south on Merrin

The static war on Tarsis Major finally began moving again in 10.009M42. The towns of Medulla and Stockton, overlooked by the Mertock Mountains which had been in Imperial hands for over a month, were the next ideal target for the Imperial advance on Merrin.

A number of senior commanders on Tarsis Major, and the Tau themselves, felt the second front on Merrin to be an unnecessary distraction, which was precisely why General Cunningham kept the front open and supported, denying the Tau a simple war.

On 0110.009M42 the Praetorian Guard commander, supported by Adeptus Astartes troops who had recently arrived on the planet, launched their attack. The Space Marine force made the difference, battering the Tau defenders in Medulla and forcing the Tau elements defending Stockton to withdraw. 10 days later the Tau had been forced to yield the coast of the Merrin Strait, and the Merrin mines now began looking increasingly vulnerable to the Imperial second front.