Saturday, July 23, 2011

Nemesis advance on Alphe

In 07.011M42 the tyranids of hive fleet Nemesis continued to make probing attacks around the system of Alphe. The resurgence of the alien menace in the Alphe system also drew other parties into the area. Raids by the Dark Eldar increased, and at least one raid was spectacularly successful, with the Dark Eldar capturing a large number of varied monsters to entertain their brethren in Commoragh.

Later in the month the Imperium, under General Percival, launched an all out attack against the Tyranids at the Peraph base in the outer reaches of the Alphe system. A whole regiment of Islandawandans was thrown against Nemesis, but the Imperial guard soon found themselves in deep trouble. The fighting turned desperate and the ISlandawandans were barely able to hold the Tyranids long enough to mount an evacuation. By the end of 07.011M42 all remaining Imperial forces had been evacuated from Peraph, and the base was firmly in the hands of hive fleet Nemesis.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lamenters punish "disloyal" Librians

With a significant Tau presence now confirmed on Tyndareous, the forces of Inquisitor Lord Xanthus now had to ensure that other Imperial forces on the world remained loyal to him, and carried the fight to the Tau. Almost immediately after the Tau launched their assault the Librian 271st mechanised infantry regiment sent messengers to the Tau to try to halt the fighting. Xanthus moved swiftly, declaring the Librians traitors from a traitors' world and asking the Lamenters to eliminate them from the Tyndareous battlefield.

The Lamenters launched an immediate attack on the Librian positions at dawn on 1607.011M42. As the sun rose the mechanised marine forces of the Adeptus Astartes moved into range of the Librian guns, but the Imperial Guard opening barrage was woefully inaccurate, and the Lamenters were able to get within murderous close range before the Librian fire began to take its toll. In the end the Librians gave a good account of themselves, but virtually all the infantry were slaughtered by the Astartes or fled the field, while the armoured units took heavy damage.

By 1807.011M42 the Librian forces on Tyndareous had been broken, with all their equipment lost and their soldiers either captured or fled, some to the Tau. The Lamenters had taken out the Librians as a threat to Xanthus' war, but at great cost to themselves. With much reduced forces on Tyndareous, many now wondered if the Tau invasion could be stopped.

The governor of Tyndareous was outraged at the events, and the people of the world also began to look ever more suspiciously at Xanthus and his "loyalist" forces. Xanthus had broken the treaty Hathek had negotiated, at least in the Mabb Nebula, but appeared as isolated as ever within his own Imperium.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Xanthus provokes war with Tau

In early 07.011M42 Inquisitor Xanthus once again attempted to break the Tau-Imperial peace agreement and this time he succeeded. Xanthus had previously tried to break the treaty by provoking the Tau, but with little success. His opponent, Hathek, had always managed to box in his forces and smoothe over Tau anger whenever he did manage to land blows on the alien empire.

Xanthus realised that while he was close to Hathek's powerbase in the Perseus Deeps, he would never materially influence the course of events, so he moved in secret to the Mabb Nebula in the Zadoc subsector.

With the help of the Dark Angels and Blood Martyts, Xanthus managed to move a small portion of his forces to New Cerberex, a fiercely puritan Imperial colony. On 0407.011M42 the Dark Angels launched an attack on Hylas, inserting a small force of just a few marines, killing Tau colonists indescriminately and capturing a Tau ethereal.

The Grey Knights, loyal to Hathek and the crusade council, uncovered Xanthus' plan and rushed to New Cerberex to attempt to capture the puritan inquisitor. After being unsuccessfully ambushed by a squad of Blood Martyrs, the Grey Knights then attempted to rescue the Tau diplomat, but the Dark Angels were not above killing their fellow astartes. The Ordo Malleus force was unable to penetrate the Dark Angels' base perimeter, and the Tau captive was tortured and murdered, his head sent back to the Tau as a warning, or statement of intent.

By 1107.011M42 Xanthus' plan had borne fruit. The Tau, unknown to the Inquisitor, had contacted Hathek. The peace treaty in the Perseu Deeps would hold, but such attacks in the Mabb nebula could not be tolerated. Hathek was told in no uncertain terms that since he could not deal with his fellow Inquisitor Lord, the Tau would.

The next Tau move was to deploy a small scouting force to Tyndareous, who were accidentally discovered by a patrol of Blood Martyrs marines who had arrived with Xanthus some weeks before. Xanthus knew the Tau would attack either New Cerberex or Tyndareous, so posted forces of marines on both worlds. The Tau were able to defeat the Blood Martyr's patrol, and before the astartes could get warning to other Imperial forces on the planet they launched a sizeable strike on the planet's main airbase.

The Tau arrived without warning, a tiger shark and several baracuda air superiority fighters screaming in low over the plateau on which the base stood. Taken by surprise the Imperial base was almost defenceless, but a squadron of Prozan Cavalry valyries and vultures still scrambled to intercept their enemy. The battle was utterly one sided. Without taking any damage, the prozan aircraft were smashed from the sky, and the Imperial base was heavily damaged. War with the Tau was well and truly joined.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Grey Knights fair badly

The Grey Knights, who had been concentrating on furthering the Imperial Crusade in the Perseus Deeps, moved their attention to focus on the Vastrid sector during 06.011M42. This was mostly in response to the increased chaos presence in the Cerrack Nebula, which presented a thread to the major populated centres of the subsector. Their first mission in strength came on 3006.011M42, where they deployed a significant force on Hogan's Fall to root out reports of daemonic incursions in the chaos forces which had invaged the Imperial outpost.

In finding the daemons the Grey Knights were succesful, but in defeating the abominations they were not, and the daemons proved to be more dangerous and tactically adept than the Grey Knights had expected. The Imperial assault was unsuccessful, and in repsponse the chaos forces mounted a counter attack which saw the Imperium lose ground on Hogan's fall. By 0707.011M42 the Imperial base was besieged and the world had all but fallen to the ruinous powers.

To make matters worse early 07.011M42 saw the Grey Knights mired in the inquisition dispute once again, this time coming to blows with the Lamenters chapter of space marines on Zog. The Lamenters had deployed to the world in order to assess the risk of the Necron presence, before carrying out an unknown mission. The Ordo Malleus astartes chapter had received intelligence that the Lamenters had declared for Xanthus and were planning a strike on Parataea or Skera, both Tau worlds, and that their real reason for deploying in the Perseus Deeps was this, rather than the official explanation.

The Grey Knights arrived in the Zog system and demanded the Lamenters "explain themselves". Once again however the aggressive arrogant display did not have the desired effect, and the Grey Knights were requested to leave the system. When they refused fighting once again broke out, and after several hours of sporadic skirmishing the Knights realised they had no choice but to leave, allowing the Lamenters to carry out their mission - "traitorous" or otherwise.

Eldar stir up hornet's nest

During 06.011M42 the Eldar became more and more active in the Aleph sector, appearing from time to time and in a number of places, attacking and raiding all sides apparently at random. Inquisitor Huron began to take an acute interest in the appearance of the Eldar, and he had already identified that it was the same group attacking forces across the sector. Now he had to find out why.

The latest attacks all occurred on Valboris, a chaos world now infested by Tyranids. Concentrating on Betor, the Tyranids had considered Valboris somewhat of a second front, and progress had been slow, but steady. Now the extra-galactic xenos found themselves under attack from the Eldar. Nemesis was caught off guard by the surprise attack, and the fast moving Eldar were able to inflict considerable damage on the aliens before withdrawing to the webway.

The hive mind was clearly angered by this attack, and began offensive moves once again, potentially to uncover and block of the webway portals and defend itself against this new avenue of attack. As they moved towards Main Crossing however, the chaos defenders summoned a horde of daemons to block their progress. In a bloody battle, the daemons carved through the Tyranid menace, allowing other chaos forces to exploit the breach and take back Silston from the alien creatures.

It appeared the Eldar were interested in stoking up the fires of war on Valboris, but the daemonic success may have been unexpected, as the Eldar found themselves with daemonic forces between them and the webway as they prepared to depart. Faced with no other choice the Eldar, led by their harlequin troupes, launched themselves at the forces of chaos. The fighting was bloody, but neither side could force the other to withdraw. The daemons however could not maintain their existence in the material world indefinately, and the Eldar were able to wait their enemy out, leaving Valboris a much hotter warzone than when they arrived.

Meanwhile Nemesis' tendrils began fanning out across the Zadoc subsector. With Betor apparently consumed the location of the hive fleet remained unknown, but xenos vanguard creatures began to appear on various planets in the Mabb Nebula. A particularly large force of Tyranids manifested itself on Hylas, the smallest Tau colony in the region. Fortunately for the Tau their forces, led by a protege of Shadowstrike, were prepared for the attack, and defeated the scouting Tyranid forces. The Tau high command decided to fortify all its bases in the sector, identifying Hylas as a priority.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Tyranids appear in Alphe system

It had been months since anything had been heard from the Betor system. Psykers still reporting nothing but a thick all encompassing psychic fog emanating from the region, and to attempt to penetrate it caused seizures and even death. The Imperial defenders on the world had been left to their fate, but it wasn't until 06.011M42 that the final fate of Betor became apparent.

The tyranid warp shadow began to wane in late 05.011M42, but when astropaths tried to contact Betor, they got no response. They sensed nothing from the world and the Inquisition and Imperial High Command had to accept the total destruction of one of the emperor's worlds. As the warp impression died however, the Imperium lost track of the tyranid menace as the vast hive fleet was swallowed up by the even more vast blackness of the void.

Then, in mid 06.011M42 the Peraph asteroid base in the Alphe system sent a garbled and unintelligable message before falling silent. Five thousand Imperial workers had gone quiet and no one from the base could be raised. Responding to the distress call a half company of Blood Martyrs diverted to the area and set down two squads near the base to investigate.

On landing they found the base a wreck, but couldn't find a single shred of biological matter to confirm what had happened to the Imperial workers. Then, a firefight broke out and within minutes contact with the Blood Martyrs had also been lost. A single word from the sergeant leading the expedition brought fear to the Alphe system "tyranids".

The Blood Martyrs were anguished that their gene seed had been lost and was now available to the monstrous alien menace, but were unable to send in more troops quickly. Fortunately by now a small force of Space Wolves had arrived and quickly recovered much of the precious gene seed before too many tyranids appeared.

Alerted to the two Astartes chapters however, the hive mind of Nemesis began to mount stronger and stronger responses, and very soon the small force of Blood Martyrs and Space Wolves found themselves hemmed in. A bitter and bloody struggle followed while the space marines made plans to evacuate the four squads of marines.

No quarter was given and both chapters slaughtered more than their fair share of xenos abominations. after hours of valiant fighting the tyranids were almost exhausted, the blood of their kind soaking the soil of the former Imperial base, corpses piled high. Time however ran out for the marines, and the last man standing, a Blood Martyr caught in the full flood of the blood rage, was mind shrieked to death by a Zoanthrope as he attempted to charge it down in single combat. The Asteroid base had fallen but the Imperium now knew where Nemesis would strike next.