Saturday, June 19, 2010

Perseus Deeps Raids

While the war on Bastien continues, and with Lorek in the ascendency, the Anticross, chastened, pursued their own goals in the Perseus Deeps. An attack on the Tau colony of Minos launched from Parthenope was successful, and yielded a number of vital raw materials for the Chaos faction. A similar scouting raid on the known tomb world of Gamador faired less well as the Anticross found that the Necrons had not returned to their slumber. The forces of Chaos were attacked as soon as they landed and after an inconclusive firefight the Anticross left the planet to the strange alien race.

Meanwhile the Dark Angels continued what the Blood Angels had begun on Cathasaea. Using ancient technology under the guidance of the Adeptus Mechanicus the space marines systematically hunted down the Eldar forces hiding out on the planet. The Mechanicus were able to locate the planet's ancient wraithbone infinity circuit, and the Dark Angels would lie in wait while Mechanicus and Ministorium work parties attempted to destroy the circuit's nodes. Forced to protect it, the Eldar rushed in and were duly were surprised by the Dark Angels again and again, and by late 06.010M42 only a few pockets of resistance remained.

Guard regiments withdrawn

In 06.010M42 the Perseus Deeps crusade received a slight setback when sector and segmentum priorities saw several regiments under Veers’ command removed and redeployed to other duties.

The Groznian 1503rd were seconded into the service of Inquisitor Rogerson and were to be away on an extended mission of extreme importance to the imperium (to wit Rogerson was pursuing a rogue psyker through a series of barely inhabited planets and the Groznians were to be used to scour those planets and force the psyker out of hiding that Rogerson could confront him).

In addition the breaking point of the Porphyrian regiments in the Aleph sector had been reached. General Ibrahim had to inform Imperial Command that all remaining Porphyrian units in the sector were to be demobilised and hence no longer available for combat duty for at least a year.

At the end of 06.010M42 command of Operational Ground Forces on Bastion was passed from Major General Petraeus to the Cerberex Guard following Patraeus' redeployment. Crusader-General Mallius Maximus Veers, Knight Commander of Corellia retained his position as Overseer of the Crusade, but now with a substantially reduced force. The war on Bastien would not be over quickly now.

Bastien: Chaos counter attack

06.010M42 finally saw a meaningful counter-attack on Bastien. Following Lorek’s victory over the Anticross he was able to wield his authority over Bastien’s forces, and an organised counter attack soon followed. The Claws attacked in the north, where they had recently lost ground to the Porphyrians and Groznians. The latter had been withdrawn and the front line had been weakened. When the attack came Lorek unleashed his daemons once more and the Dark Angels rapidly moved to block them.

The Marines however suffered badly for once in their encounter with the daemonic legions of Lorek. Taking heavy casualties they withdrew, allowing the Claws to move rapidly along the coast of the boiling sea, outflanking the Damnation defence line and leaving the Porphyrian Guard dangerously exposed.

The Porphyrians, veterans in fighting chaos and daemonic armies could have been expected to hold firm and stop the counter attack, but their commanders knew they were about to be demobilised for refit and many saw no reason to waste Porphyrian lives needlessly. Much to the irritation of General Veers the Porphyrians withdrew to the Imperial base to the north of Imperius and left the crusade. The Claws of Lorek were stopped at the gates of the city, but much of the strategic depth of Veers’ northern defence had been lost.

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Valboris Map

Valboris: Nemesis overruns Trinity

As the full scale of the Tyranid infestation on Valboris became apparent the planet's chaos overlords desperately sought for a way to stem the tide. With the majority of the traitor legions engaged in the defence of Bastien and the Catechism notable only by their absence the warlords were left with no choice but to treaty with the Gods of Chaos themselves for aid. Through week long rituals of blood and sacrifice and the promise of immortal souls the Dark Gods at last saw fit to gift their repulsive minions with the presence of their power made manifest.

As reality stretched thin a tear in the fabric of the material realm opened, vomiting a stream of gibbering daemons into the heart of the Tyranid swarm. Their target was a massive winged Tyrant who seemed to be directing the attack. The Tyranids, incapable of fear, responded with single minded purpose attacking the daemons head on. Despite succeeding in bringing down the Tyrant the cost to the forces of chaos was impossibly high and all the daemons were banished back into the warp, barely slowing the waves of Tyranids that washed over them. The warlords of Valboris would need to make further sacrifice to stand any chance of stemming the tide, and next time the price demanded by their capricious gods would be higher still.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Tarsis Major: Battle of Fort Frontera

After a long period of stalemate the recent gains on Tarsis had been lost to a renewed Imperial offensive. As it began to gather momentum the Tau coalition on Tarsis received fresh re-enforcements. The Ethereals had decreed that whilst the Tau held overall control of Tarsis the continuing low level war was becoming a drain on the Empire's limited resources and that the Greater Good could best be served by bringing the war to a swift and decisive end.

With the material to launch a significant offensive at last at his disposal Commander Shadowstrike devised a plan to turn the Imperium's successful offensive against them. Predictably the humans, with their obsession on claiming territory and locations of political significance were grinding towards the planetary capital, Tarsis Prime. The drive was horribly vulnerable to encirclement but the Tau were prevented from exercising their air power by a newly constructed defence laser silo surrounded by a defensive bunker complex called Fort Frontera.

A contingent of Shadowstrike's own cadres and Commander Moonshine's newly arrived forces were tasked with capturing or eliminating the complex. An initial bombardment of guided seeker missiles destroyed some of the complex and forced its evacuation before the Tau attack commenced. As one of Shadowstrike's Emergent Crisis Cadres made its way through the ruins of the complex, one of Moonshine's more heavily equipped Heavy Blocking Cadres attacked across the planes to the south.

The attack began well as a blizzard of incoming missiles and railgun munitions suppressed the fort's garrison. But then orbital satellites and surveillance drones picked up an incoming wave of Valkyrie and Vendetta gunships scrambled to help the beleaguered garrison. The air caste were unable to intercept the attack whilst the fort was still active leaving Shadowstrike helpless to intervene. The initial blow was heavy as the airborne attack, Imperial commandos hiding within the ruined complex and fire from the heartened Librian's destroyed or incapacitated much of Shadowstrike's tank support. Shadowstrike's Kroot auxiliaries who had been spearheading the attack also suffered heavy casualties and were forced to retreat or face annihilation.

Just as it seemed that the attack would surely fail Moonshine's cadres responded. As they roared towards the bunker complex the Prozan's ran into a virtual wall of railgun and missile fire. Maintaining fire discipline the Tau brought down the Prozan gunships one after another whilst the Librians also began to suffer heavy losses to their tank formations. The fighting within the complex became brutal as Shadowstrike's suites and fire warriors, largely untouched by the Prozan attack, fell upon the confused survivors without mercy as they tried to escape the wreckage of their crashed gunships.

But despite the massive casualties taken by the Prozan cavalry and Librian tank regiments they had succeeded in blunting Shadowstrike's attack, allowing mechanised units of veteran Librian infantry to recapture the bunker housing the defence laser. Although they were trapped within the bunker by the resurgent Tau forces Shadowstrike knew the attack faced failure if the defence laser could not be neutralised. Understanding his duty to the greater good, the commander of one of Shadowstrike's last remaining hammerhead gunships rammed the defence laser itself, damaging it.

It wouldn't take long to repair but the Imperials would never get the chance. Mantas waiting at air bases around Silverbrook took to the skies to deliver their assault cadres to strategic points throughout the region. With the majority of strategic positions around Fort Frontera in Tau hands and the complex itself compromised the Librian's and last remnants of the Prozan cavalry withdrew rather than face encirclement and capture. Soon the Tau had regained the ground they had lost to the Imperial offensive and once more threatened the Grenton mines.

The Voice of Freedom!

In an attempt to bring the war to a swift end and secure support amongst the civilian population and weary guard regiments the Tau water caste have launched “Vox Freedom”. Despite constant attempts by Imperial intelligence to jam the transmissions Vox Freedom continues to broadcast its unique mix of news, current affairs, music and documentaries about the amazing lifestyle enjoyed by the citizen's in Tau occupied territory.

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