Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Hammers of the Emperor raid Mordecai Primaris

With Mordecai Tersius retaken and this time properly secured, General Kutuzov pondered his options. Despite this success the forces he had under his command were largely exhausted, and there was no immediate possibility to invade the primary world - Morecai Primaris.


The Grey Knights and Imperial Fists made the most of this respite, engaging in training scenarios which proved that their newly arrived equipment was both effective and reliable, whilst showing that the Grey Knights themselves had tactical weaknesses they needed to address. Meanwhile the Novgorod Guard re-equipped and rested, but other than refitting, the problems with invading Mordecai Primaris were a lot deeper.


The astartes had previously destroyed the main spaceport and missile silos, but the planet still had other defences, as well as a nearby fleet base which would always need close blockade in any invasion. In order to even have a hope of a successful landfall, the planet would need months of "reduction", missions designed to reduce and eliminate key defensive capabilities of the world.


The Hammers of the Emperor chapter launched a raid with the destruction of artillery batteries in mind, landing in the deserts of the world and advancing on the chaos bases just after dawn. They had been detected however, and Cybixx himself had decided to intervene to counter assault the loyalist astartes. The main battle centred around a rise in the ground which led to the main transmitter of the void shields protecting the chaos positions. Both sides rushed this location, suffering horrendous casualties for both the imperial and chaos forces. Eventually the astartes withdrew, their mission unsuccessful, but the damage to Cybbixx's forces had been significant, and the arch heretek himself had been put out of action in the fighting.


The Hammers' assault had not achieved it's main objective, but in the end the capability of the chaos forces to defend had been reduced, thanks to the heavy casualties. The astartes knew however that raids would need to be more surgical in future. Kutuzov was still no nearer to setting a date for the invasion.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Emerald Serpent raid Dnatha

On 1608.019M42 the authorities at Dnatha were sent into a panic as warships from the Emerald Serpent appeared in the system. The target world was put on high alert, but General Percival, commander of imperial forces in the Hadron Expanse was initially unconcerned. The forces did not seem strong enough to take the world, but the reason for the raid remained a mystery to the Imperial forces. 

However, Percival was under pressure to respond to the threat, and dispatched House Corvus to interrupt the raid and protect the citizens of The system. The imperial knight household arrived swiftly and identified chaos forces roaming around in the northern hemisphere of the largest world. 

House Corvus launched an attack on the chaos forces, finding the enemy equipped with knights, while nurgle daemons swarmed around their titanic feet. The imperial knights’ initial firepower lacked accuracy, and though damaged, the chaos knight that took the brunt of the imperial ordnance remained standing. Despite this poor show of accuracy, the imperial force began to take down the three enemy war engines, but the time it took allowed the nurgle daemons to swarm over the centre of the battlefield. Having lost all their knights however, the chaos force was eventually surrounded and cut down, although House Corvus had their knight Errant put out of action in the process. 

After this initial engagement, the remaining Emerald Serpent forces abandoned the world, allowing House Corvus and General Percival to claim success. However, the imperial forces remained unaware that the delayed success against the chaos forces had allowed the Serpent to complete their mission, and what looked like a victory for the imperium was actually a defeat. 

White Scars launch cleanse mission on Hexis

On Hexis, by the end of 08.019M42 the raids by the tyranid xenos had not abated, and unable to launch an offensive against either the tyranids or chaos thanks to a strangulation of supplies, the White Scars chapter, en route to the Eastern Fringe, diverted from their planned course long enough to launch an assault on Hive Fleet R'lyeh, who by 2008.019M42 were threatening to break out of the ruinous wastelands and pose a severe threat to general Konev's already stretched forces.


The White Scars found the going tough in the barren ruinous landscape north of Menthoteph, but their bikes and bolter discipline were ideally suited to fight the initial swarms of genestealers. However, the larger beasts proved more difficult to take down, and the astartes lost many brothers in putting the aliens to the sword. By 2208.019M42 the White Scars withdrew, bloodied but satisfied the Xenos would not be in a position to threaten Konev's front lines for several weeks at least.


Questions remained as to the wisdom of retaining an Imperial presence on Hexis, without equipping it with the forces required to cleanse both the Tyranids and the chaos forces. However, while the ruinous powers faced a significant enemy on Hexis, they were unable to fully make use of the Foramen Ignotum, and total collapse of Imperial rule in the Hadron Expanse was kept at bay.


Saturday, August 03, 2019

The end on Mordecai Tersius. At least for now

General Kutuzov made his final push to finish the campaign on Mordecai Tersius in early 08.019M42. The Imperial Fists, eager to make up for their defeat just weeks earlier, prepared to assault the capital, now garrisoned by strong Death Guard forces, while the imperial guard under Kutuzov assaulted the Iron Warriors forces still in the hinterlands. 

The astartes assault centred around the key objective of the power generator in the centre of Slaydon. The battle was grim work, as the Imperial Fists, unable to outflank the Host of Eschar forces, had to engage the enemy in a frontal assault against their elite forces. The fighting was brutal, as the Fists found themselves beset by hordes of Poxwalkers, blight drones and the dread weapons of the Death Guard, all the while being bombarded by the chaos tainted artillery. 

The loyalists gained the upper hand simply by engaging in a war of attrition against their brethren. Although many space marines fell there were more Primaris marines to take their place, and the firepower of the Fists’ dreadnought and Repulsor Executioner thinned our the pox ridden swarms before ripping into the plague marines themselves. Finally the battle ended when the nurgle daemon prince Gavinus was banished, and the lords of Contagion were brought down in savage hand to hand combat. The Imperium had secured Slaydon, now Kutuzov just had to prevent the Iron Warriors from counter attacking. 

The battle on the plains was fought at a much larger scale than the battle for Slaydon. Thousands fought in the scrubland and ruins surrounding the capital as Stahl’s men tried desperately to break through the imperial lines and retake the capital. However the Novgorod, having fought the Iron Warriors on Minos and Tarlius we’re not about to break easily. Using massed artillery to harass the enemy command units, the imperial army managed to disrupt the chaos assaults, although were forced to accept heavy casualties in the process. By 0408.019M42 it was clear to Stahl that while his army could not be beaten in the field, neither could it break through to the capital and spaceport. 

Retreating from the imperial lines overnight, the Iron warriors successfully disengaged from the battle, and Kutuzov expected the mopping up phase of the campaign to begin the next day. However, as dawn broke on the shattered agri-world the chaos army was nowhere to be found. Once again Stahl has used the chaos tainted device to open a portal and escape with his armies. Thousands of chaos warriors had retreated in good order, and were now readying themselves for the inevitable imperial assault on Mordecai Secundus. Stahl meanwhile had other plans.  

Palantir invaded by alliance

The alliance had taken their time to organise their next assault in the Hadron Expanse, however on 0108.019M42 the combined forces of the Federacy arrived in the Palantir system. 

Lord Percival, Commander of all armies in the Hadron Expanse, had not expected an attack on Palantir, instead concentrating forces at Dnatha and Arawath. This meant the defenders on Hobbiton were caught off guard, and the planet was quickly overrun. The garrison on Dale had time to raise the alarm, but the only force able to respond were the Grey Knights company in the Expanse. 

The astartes immediately attempted to rescue the citizens of Dale, to stop the Federacy from consolidating their hold on the system. However they soon encountered a new Knightly House, identified as House Chardonnay, fighting in the ranks of the federal force. Declaring themselves loyal to Vornax, a minor forgeworld in the sector which had turned against the emperor. The Grey Knights soon found themselves in bitter fighting as the war engines loped towards their positions. Although the astartes initially held out, blunting the federal advance, they had little answer to the overwhelming firepower that House Chardonnay had. 

On 0408.019M42 the planet was abandoned, leaving the abhumans of Palantir once again under the domination of the Imperium’s enemies.