Monday, September 21, 2015

Welcome to the Aleph Sector

The Aleph Sector: Introduction

The Aleph Sector is a region of Space in the far east of the galaxy in the Ultima Segmentum, close to the Tau Empire. It is the home of the University of Sheffield Wargames Society's 40k campaign and has been since 2001.


The sector is divided into four sectors, Aleph, Vastrid, Zadoc & Valitane, but there are vast tracts of space in between such as the Perseus and Aurelis Deeps, areas of old stars lying between the populous sector worlds in the main galactic spiral arms, and other wilderness areas such as the Hell Stars, The Scarrion and the Hadron Expanse. The Imperium nominally controls each subsector, although the Aleph subsector has been lost to the seperatist Federacy, and the worlds of the Zadoc subsector are rapidly being invaded by orks & tau, or being devoured by tyranids.

The Aleph Sector: Factions

The Alliance
The Alliance is made up primarily of the Federacy, an empire created from the imperial worlds of the Aleph subsector by Admiral Haskell, an advocate of the original imperial creed lost in the warp since the Horus Heresy. Now the Federacy have been joined by their own astartes, original Iron Warriors similarly trapped in the warp then released some ten thousand years later. Still loyal to the emperor but not regarding him a god, legion commander Apollo now leads his marines in the name of an organisation of a dozen worlds committed to the heretical ideas of democracy, learning and progress.. Allied to this human empire is the tau, although the xenos would much rather incorporate the federacy into their empire. The eldar too are committed to a tau/federacy victory in the sector, as they see this as the easiest way to safeguard their own worlds.

The Crusade

The Crusade is led by the powerful Inquisitor Lord Natalia Vorushko. She has judged the sector, particularly the system of Libria as guilty of treason. She has observed the decline of the imperium to the alliance, as world after world has fallen to the encroaching tau and federal territories. To counter this unstoppable momentum Vorushko has enlisted the help of some of the more ruthless and single minded astartes, including the Apocalypse Riders, Sky Lords and Minotaurs. With these chapters at her disposal she intends to exploit then raze Libria - and any other system in the path of the tau advance - enslaving the population and denying the world's resources to the alliance. Inquisitor Hathek is diametrically opposed to this scorched earth policy, and his opposition has directly led to the three faction war in the Libria system.

The Loyalists

The loyalist forces are those imperial forces specifically engaged by Inquisitor Hathek against both the alliance and the crusade forces of Natalia Vorushko in the Librian campaign. They are largely imperial guard formations, although a number of astartes chapters including the Crimsons Fists and Blood Martyrs do not accept the edicts of Vorushko, as they largely overrule and contradict what had already been established by another Inquisitor Lord - Hathek himself. Largely suffering defeats, having been removed from Libria III, the loyalists are none the less supplied by the imperial fleet, although the fleet itself is neither crusade nor loyalist, as yet.


Led by Warsmith Stahl of the Iron Warriors the forces of chaos are actively engaged on a number of worlds. Over the years many forces and leaders have come and gone, with the position of "Master of Chaos" in the sector changing hands many times. Moonface, Shaidar Haran, Lorek, The Arch Cleric the Anticross and Warsmith Gallowfen have held the title, but now it is Stahl who looks on in dismay as the power of chaos once more enters a decline. Years of campaigning have taken their toll on the forces of chaos, but Stahl has built great defences on Zadoc and Minos, and his forces are well dug in. Now he seeks reinforcements to restart his campaign and retake the once vast chaos realm.

Other Xenos

The Orks remain an ever present threat in the Aleph Sector, but have never been numerous enough or united enough to pose a real threat. At present their wars on Hylas and Fort Sparcos provide the greenskins with enough sport, and the chances of a significant Waagh! at present seem remote. Hive fleet Nemesis, once a potent threat which ravaged the Rim Worlds and annihilated three major systems in the Zadoc subsector, has apparently disappeared, the hive mind having moved away from the sector into the vast inter-sector space. The Necrons, having re-established the Harakhty Dynasty in the Perseus Deeps, are now inward looking and fighting amongst themselves.

The Aleph Sector: Current Warzones

The Librian System +++See Libria: Current State Analysis+++ 

Hylas (Orks vs. Imperium) 
Invaded by the orks in 012M42 the front line between General Van Dorn's imperial forces and the greenskins has drifted back and forth for years. Now in 015M42 the front has stabilised into grinding trench warfare. With the war on Libria taking much of the attention and resources, it looks unlikely that the war will be resolved soon.   

Grimlock (Chaos vs. Tyranids) 
More than half of Grimlock is a barren wasteland occupied by nightmarish creatures who periodically come out to feed on the devotees of chaos who defend their lines against the alien threat. Since the invasion in 012M42, the tyranids of Hive Fleet Nemesis at first made rapid progress, before the hive mind withdrew entirely from the sector. Now mindless and directionless creatures remain, but the chaos forces have been unable to reconquer their former territories. 

Fort Sparcos (Tyranids vs. Orks) 
Hive fleet Nemesis arrived on Fort Sparcos at the height of the tyranid power. The swarm of aliens had alreaded ravaged the rim worlds and Valboris, while reducing the fertile imperial worlds of Betor and Alphe to barren husks. However the hive mind gradually moved on, leaving vast numbers of tyranid creatures on Fort Sparcos, where the orks defended their holdings more and more ferociously. Now as the creatures dwindle many of the orks have left too. Instead of moving forward to wipe out the remaining Xenos threat, the orks have simply lost interest, preferring instead to allow the tyranids to regain their strength from time to time so they can have a good fight... 

Corticant (Necrons vs. Imperium) 
Corticant was in the hands of the ruinous powers for centuries, before General Veers' crusade swept across the Perseus Deeps and made it his HQ. Then the Harakhty Dynasty of Necrons awoke in the Deeps, re-establishing its aeons old empire and creating a new power in the region. Corticant was the last to be invaded, but after taking outlying settlements the attacks stopped. Veers declared the western hemisphere out of bounds and established a patrol network, but lacked the resources for a full scale counter offensive. Now the imperium and Nectons co-exist uneasily on Corticant with frequent flare ups and border raids. Meanwhile within the Harakhty Dynasty the old political rivalries which plagued the old empire have resurfaced, effectively ending the opening crusade of Overlord Khasu-en-amen's reconquest. 

Zadoc (Chaos vs. Alliance) 
In 013M42 the forces of chaos came to Zadoc, quickly followed by the alliance. As the imperial forces crumbled a race developed between the two invading forces and in 014M42 the Imperium were defeated on the subsector capital, signifying their almost total loss of control of their second subsector since 001M42. Now the war on Zadoc has become a stalemate. The chaos forces are exhausted and attempting to rebuild their strength, while Warsmith Stahl attempts to regain his possessions in the Perseus Deeps as a priority. Meanwhile the alliance are too busy in the Libria system. 

Minos (Chaos vs. Imperium) 
For months the imperial guard on Minos have been holding out, barely, against Warsmith Stahl's elite vanguard forces. Hundreds of thousands have been slaughtered by the Iron Warriors but continued campaigning has severely depleted Stahl's astartes. Now Stahl holds his lines in defence while seeking reinforcements to restart his campaign. The Guard however receive meagre support from imperial HQ, who are pre-occupied with the goings on in the Libria system. 

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Libria: Current state analysis

By 09.015M42 the Librian war had been going on for 18 terran months. Following the collusion between the Librian rebels and the Alliance had been uncovered and Lord Inquisitor Vorushko issued her now infamous edict, judging and condeming the entire system to purgatory, the most important planetary system in the Zadoc subsector had been in turmoil. At first it had simply been a civil war on the most populous planet, Libria III. Then the alliance intervened. First the tau, eldar and federal forces, now including Apollo's astartes, had tried to invade Libria V to set up a waystation, before Vorushko made her move.

Inquisitor Vorushko gathered her own forces, mainly hard line space marine chapters and the adeptus sororitas, and declared anyone who was against her edict was against the imperium. Unfortunately another lord Inquisitor - Hathek - *was* against it, and attempted to nullify it, taking control of the imperial guard hierarchy to create the "loyalist" faction.

Vorushko acted fast, landing on Libria III and attempting to knock out General Launceston's command, while simutaneously landing on Libria V to prevent the alliance from establishing a base. Meanwhile the "crusade" took Libria I in just a few weeks, crushing the loyalist opposition. Hathek urged the loyalists to resist both the alliance and the crusade, and a three way war developed. The alliance, taken by surprise, were removed from Libria V, but on Libria III it was Launceston's loyalists who were eventually defeated, with the battle now in the balance between Vorushko's crusaders and the alliance.

The Crusade remain in control of Libria I, while its binary companion Libria II remains neutral. Libria III is contested by the crusade and the alliance while the alliance themselves attempt to wrestle Libria IV from the loyalists. Libria V is a face off between the crusade and the loyalists, who still refuse to bow to Vorushko's edict. Meanwhile in space, Appollo's Iron Warriors fleet holds command of the system. At the end of 09.015M42 the Librian heresy is a confused affair, but so far the imperial split had been limited to the Librian system. This was about to change...

Libria IV: Alliance make gains

Having established a secure perimeter on the eastern half of the main island on Libria IV, the alliance began to pour in reinforcements, unhindered by any imperial naval intervention. Commander Skyfall was given overall command of the Libria IV mission, and he was assigned a detachment of alliance mechanicus by warsmith Apollo to aid the assault. In Late 08.015M42 the alliance began their march across the big island towards the capital, Porthaven. Porthaven itself was a large sprawling low lying city, which the alliance knew would be difficult to attack and perfect for the imperium to defend. Despite the small population of 88 million, more than two thirds lived in the massive settlement, and Skyfall wanted to avoid wholesale carnage by levelling the city.

First however the alliance had to reach the city limits. This they achieved by mid 09.015M42 after a series of engagements in the plains to the west of the city. In the open, Skyfall was able to use his experimental equipment with full effectiveness, and a series of brutal battles between the tau and loyalist Librian forces pushed the imperial defenders back to the city limits in the southern sector. In the north, the alliance Adeptus Mechanicus made short work of the loyalist Novgorod defenders, and by 2009.015M42 the city of Porthaven was effectively besieged.

Libria V: Apocalypse Riders halt Novgorod offensive

While the Cusade and Alliance battled for supremacy on Libria III, the loyalists began a new offensive on Libria V. Close to the warp jump point and easy to supply even with the Alliance blockade of the system, Libria III was the theatre in which the loyalists could bring their numbers to bear.

The new assault was a continuation of the offensive the Sky Lords had barely contained on 1908.015M42, and every day new Novgorod regiments arrived by troop transport to replace losses. An overwhelming assault retook Daralon on 2208.015M42 and the Minotaurs were sent in to dislodge them. The orbital assault failed however, as the Minotaurs were unable to match the sheer numbers of men on the ground as the loyalists could maintain. Worse still the momentum of the Novgorod offensive hadn't even been blunted. The loyalists began moving in force towards Jutesberg on 2408.015M42, and defeated a significant crusade force of Adeptus Sororitas and Vannaheim guard.

Something had to be done by the crusade before they let Libria V slip out of their grasp. It was an annoying distraction compated to Libria III but Vorushko could not have Hathek sympathisers in control of the furthest planet in the system as this was the gateway to Libria. If Libria V fell to the crusade, Vorushko would be able to blockade the Alliance on Libria III and IV, without having to worry about the loyalty of the fleet. In addition it would almost certainly lead to the capitulation of Libria II.

To prevent the loyalists from rolling inexorably forward, the Apocalypse Riders sent a company to blunt the imperial offensive. The elite bike units landed in Crusade controlled territory and launched a ferocious counter attack on 0209.015M42. The astartes quickly got in amongst the imperial lines where they completed their slaughter, terrorising the guard formations and almost causing a general rout of the loyalist forces on the Jutesberg front. By 0509.015M42 the front had been stabilised. The crusade had lost Daralon but the loyalist offensive had been brought to an end.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Libria III: Bernadette changes hands, twice

With Santo retaken the crusade piled on the pressure in late 08.015M42 as Vorushko's regiments poured into Vedrick north of the three cities of Parth, Regina and Santos. The offensive forced a number of withdrawals, as Skyfall in particular found his forces outmanoeuvred by the latest push north. Forced back against the west coast of Vedrick, Skyfall attempted to halt the advancing crusade forces by emplying yet more experimental riptide suits and other technologies. The attempt failed, as the tau focussed too much on the Sisters of Battle, not fully realising the devastating potential of the larger Vannaheim vehicles, and a disturbing percentage of tau casualties met a fiery death to Malcador Infernus tanks. Within days the plains of Vedrick had fallen. Skyfall managed to evacuate by ait, but the majority of his tau force holding the line north of Parth were destroyed before they could be evacuated.

While Vedrick fell, the Apocalypse Riders pushed towards Bernadette on the east coast between Heanor and the dividing highlands between Heanor and Vedrick. In poor weather and snowstorms the Riders attacked the rebel Librian positions just before dawn, using the poor light and clouds of snow to confuse and disorient their opponents, allowing them to get to lethal range before the largely armoured Librians realised they were under full scale attack. Despite being well equipped and used to the weather conditions, the Librians had little answer to the furious assault of the bike borne chapter, and once the Apocalypse Riders were in amongst the Librian lines the battle became a massacre. Unable to disengage the Librian regiments in the hills around Bernadette were simply erased, and on 3008.015M42 the crusade entered the city.

The Crusade now had an unbroken front from the east to the west coast, cutting the alliance on the western continent in two. However the alliance realised that the crusade were now spread thinly, and would be unable to hold their entire stretched front line. The Iron Warriors, unable to launch yet another counter attack, could nevertheless call on another of their elite formations in the form of the adeptus mechanicus loyal to Apollo. With this elite force, the alliance forced a counter attack on the city of Bernadette, slamming headlong into the Adeptus Sororitas and Vannaheim regiments, who made up more than 70% of the manpower in Vorushko's army.

The alliance took heavy casualties, but in the end the superior firepower and equipment of the alliance mechanicus levelled the settlement and destroyed the Vannaheim regiments deployed to hold the city. on 0309.015M42, just three days after it had been taken, Bernadette, or its ruins, changed hands once more. In two weeks of heavy fighting the crusade had managed to extend their control across Vedrick and extend their supply lines at the same time. No major reversal of the alliance had been achieved, while on Libria IV the loyalists were in full retreat. Vorushko realised that a war of mere conquest would no longer suffice and called a council of her generals and advisors. The war on Libria III was about to turn a great deal more dirty.

Libria III: Apocalypse Riders return, Santo retaken by Vorushko

With the alliance on the advance once again the return of the Apocalypse Riders to Vorushko's army could not have been more timely. Immediately the fast moving astartes chapter were asked to return stability to the front and reduce the capability of the alliance to launch attacks with impunity.

To meet this objective the astartes force divided into two. One force was sent on a sabotage raid on Lazarus, which if successful would break the land link between the east and western fronts, something crucial to the rebel librian forces and key to the alliance ability to flex their forces from one front to another. It wouldn't adversely affect the Iron Warriors or Tau, but would be detrimental to the alliance ability to hold ground conquered by the elite alliance forces. At the same time another astartes force would be sent into Santo to dislodge the recently arrived alliance forces. Vorushko was keen that any success by the alliance was quickly countered to demonstrate the crusade resolve to stand against the xenos and their collaborators.

The assault on Santo was a success, with the manouverable bikers quickly defeating the federal guard forces posted to defend the city after it had been won by Apollo's legion. Even a surprise counter attack from the eldar was quickly dealt with, and Santo - or rather its ruins - was back in Crusade hands by 2608.015M42. In the south however, the raid on Lazarus was a debacle. The Apocalypse Riders landed a recon team on 2408.015M42 and were quickly ambushed by overwhelming eldar and dark eldar forces. Unable to secure a landing site and their surprise ruined, the Riders withdrew, leaving their advance party to their fate.

Libria III: Apollo pushes ahead, taking Santo back from crusade

Having taken out the loyalists on Libria III the alliance were quick to redirect the Crusade attention back to the western hemisphere. This was important as it would give the alliance time to reorganise in the east, sort out the large volume of prisoners from Launceston's surrender and shore up their new front line against the crusade. to do this the Vannaheim Guard, led by the order of the Crimson Veil were targetted on the Vedrick front, as Apollo's Iron Warriors made use of the alliance superiority in the air to rapidly redeploy a large force from east to west.

The Iron Warriors advance came as a shock to the Vannaheim & Sisters of Battle. In a bloody encounter, the crusade forces were rapidly pushed back, and the city of Santo returned to alliance hands on 2208.015M42.