Saturday, November 23, 2019

Imperium suffers reverse at Mordecai

On Mordecai, General Kutuzov continued to use astartes forces as shock troops as he sought to break the chaos lines towards the strategically vital Abrax mines. In late 11.019M42 the Hammers of the Emperor launched a new offensive into the territory defended by the Death Guard "Host of Eschar", aiming to break through the chaos lines in order for Novgorod and Lycaon armoured columns to execute a strategic breakthrough.

The initial advance saw the Hammers take up strong positions overlooking the Death Guard, and the astartes poured fire into their enemy as the shambling horde of poxwalkers heralded the approach of the main nurgle force. At first, the astartes held their own and appeared to be inflicting a greater cost on the enemy as the Host of Eschar counter attacked the imperial positions.

The nurgle forces had actually taken the astartes by surprised with the ferocity of their attack, and their employment of a despoiler class knight proved to be a difficult opponent for the space marine force. Precious time was lost taking down the war engine, allowing the traitor astartes to close, and crucially ensuring the Hammers of the Emperor were unable to put sufficient fire into the nurgle war engines. This would prove costly.

As the battle progressed the nurgle force started taking losses, but the war of attrition was being won by the Death Guard. Astartes were gradually taken down by incessant fire from the enemy plagueburst crawlers, and the constant rain of pox riddled biological artillery drove even the space marines to despair. A lord of Contagion appeared in the rear of the astartes positions, and managed to fend off an entire squad of astartes while in the centre, despite taking down the leaders of Death Guard advance, the artillery kept on coming, and eventually the Hammers had nothing with which to respond.

The defeat of the Hammers of the Emperor then caused a general counter attack to develop along Kutuzov's eastern flank, and by 2911.019M42 the imperial general found himself on the back foot, having lost nearly 100 miles of territory in two weeks to a resurgent enemy force. The imperium still held the strategic system advantage, but the war on Mordecai Secundus was effectively stalled.

Genestealer cults in heavy fighting on Hexis

Of late the atmosphere within Kel Sandros' ruling council had become fractious, even by Aeldari standards. The T'au Empire had failed to capitalise on the advantages bought for them in Aeldari blood and a resurgent Imperium pushed back at the many threats that assailed it. Some argued that a change in the Craftworld's fundamental strategy was needed, that the end times and the Rhana Dandra were almost at hand and that no time remained in which to bring about the destruction of mankind and thus save the material universe from inevitable consumption by the warp.

Beneath crystal domes unlit by the light of any star seers consulted their runes and attempted to divine a stable path through the roiling tumult of future threads. To their frustration they obtained only brief and contradictory flashes of the future. An Imperial Inquisitor, sworn enemy of their people who might by necessity be friend, the Craftworld's dead united in a silent chorus and a fierce warrior promising salvation that danced with balletic grace amidst fire and destruction. But all these threads terminated in blackness, as if an impenetrable shadow cloaked all possible futures.

Tarquil feared what this might mean, fears only heightened by the reports reaching him from scouts and agents throughout the Aleph subsector warning of the rise of alien worshipping cults and a fresh Tyranid menace on the planet of Hexis. More information was needed, and if the gaze of Kel Sandros' seers was blinded it would have to be obtained by more mundane means.

Attempts to establish new webway portals on Hexis had been thwarted by the very Tyranid menace they sought to investigate, as if it understood it was being observed and moved to oppose the Eldar. Compelled by dire necessity a task force deployed out of the existing webway portals, now deep inside chaos territory, and made its way through the ever shifting ebb of war under cover of darkness and psychic cloaking, guided by the eyes of its scouts and the precognition of its seers.

On reaching the barren wastelands of the Tyranid infested zone the Eldar began hunting for suitable genetic samples, only to realise that they were the ones being hunted. Warbands of corrupted humans ambushed them from the rocky terrain,staging hit and run attacks on foot or on crude dirt bikes before retreating back to the shadows. The Eldar countered with rapid manoeuvre and focused aggression, surrounding and annihilating groups of attackers that over extended.

The fighting was close but the Eldar were unable to secure dominance over the area of engagement as further attacks materialised from areas they had only just secured. Unsure of the strength of the foe they faced and unwilling to risk attracting the attention of Imperial and Chaos forces that periodically surveilled every inch of the planet the war host was forced to withdraw.

Their efforts had not been entirely been in vain. The corrupted humans had been positively identified as Genestealer hybrids, their forms grotesquely mutated with extra arms and elongated muzzles. The Eldar had even secured a slain Patriarch for genetic testing. But they had failed to gain a proper assessment of the strength and intentions of the Tyranid threat, or to establish new permanent webway portals within the Tyranid infected zones.

Palantir secured for imperium

The end of the Alliance campaign against Palantir came in late 11.019M42, with a surprise attack from the Grey Knights. The tau force defending the last major space port open to alliance forces were savagely attacked by the astartes, in a move which caught the xenos entirely unprepared. Not expecting an assault from yet another faction of humanities finest, the tau forces were outmatched and overrun, while the Kel Sandros Aledari, fighting the alien genestealers on Hexis, did not have the military resources to be in two places at once.

The defeat of the tau on Dale left the small Federal alliance force stranded on the world, so the federal air force led a daring rescue mission to retrieve their compatriots from the surface. Using a light cruiser to approach the world, squadrons of Thunderbolts loyal to the "one true King Leto of Cerberex", broke through the atmosphere to escort the transports sent in to execute their mission. They were met in combat by the Librian XXVIII air wing, a "loyal" faction if the now federal system, but this did not appear to cause any confusion in the air. The loyalists fought the sepratists hard, but the federal air force's firing accuracy and weapon potency was superior, leading to a crushing victory for the alliance and the rescue of their military agents. Palanti however, was back in the hands of the Imperium.

Grey Knights take device room on Hexis

While the fighting above ground continued, the underground fighting in the tunnels of Praxis saw no let up in 11.019M42. These battles, in tight corridors and conducted by elite forces on both sides, the Heretek mechanicum battled the Grey Knights for control of the device room. In order to prevent the orks from funnelling into the device chamber, the imperial navy conducted raids against the ork positions in the southern regions of the ruins of Praxis, led for the first time by fighters loyal to the "one true king Boris" of Cerberex, deposed and exiled following the fall of Cerberex to the Federacy in 008M42.

The air raids against the orks successfully distracted the grenskins, defeating the ork air force and impeding their ability to intervene as the Grey Knights took the vital objectives under the city chamber by chamber from the Dark Mechanicum. Eventually, after bitter fighting, the Grey Knights secured the device room on 2411.019M42 although the keenly psychic astartes were unable themselves to enter the chamber. After the entrance was secured for the Imperium, the loyalist mechanicum were able to reach the device, and change its polarity. The Foramen Ignotum shifted, stranding several chaos transports in the madness of the Cicatrix Maledictum, and a passageway once again opened between Hexis and the Imperial bastion at Maccragge

Friday, November 22, 2019

Genestealers seen off by Astartes

Having defeated chaos on the plains of Hexis, the Imperium were still coming under regular attack from genestealer and tyranid forces, and much of north east Praxis was still under the control of the Xenos, meaning that functionally Konev's armies were split in two. The main contingent based out of north Praxis, was still separated from the Imperial armies in Menthoteph and the southern plains by an area controlled by cults and the emerging tyranid threat.

To rectify this, the Hammers of the Emperor moved in force against the Genestealer irregular forces holding the region of Grathos, separating the two imperial fronts. The Hammers moved in armoured columns into the ruins of Grathos, and were immediately attacked by organised resistance from the Xenos cultists. Savage close quarter fighting ensued, but the stalwart defence of their positions by the astartes ensured that as 11.019M42 came to the end the Imperium had reconnected their supply lines, holding open a narrow corridor between north and south.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Cult of the four wheeled emperor named

In late 11.019M42 the emergence of the genestealer cult on Mordecai Secundus began to have a significant impact on both sides involved in the ground campaign. The genestealer cults were up until this point believed to be a minor annoyance, poked out of hiding by the arrival of the Imperium, but on 1911.019M42 an organised band appeared out of the wastelands and attack the Death Guard near to the front lines on the western slopes of the Mekken plateau. The fighting was intense, and before the highly mobile xenos forces withdrew, they had badly mauled the Death Guard defenders.

Although this latest action resulted in a victory over chaos forces, Kutuzov spent no time rejoicing. These were not new allies, but a second force he now had to contend with, as well as evidence of an existential threat to the Imperium in the sector. Information was now badly needed. How prevalent was this "cult of the four wheeled emperor", and how long had it lain dormant in the squalid settlements and dilapidated factories of the Death Guard dominated planet? Was this a sign of a new rising tyranid threat in the region?

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Admiral Stark chases down chaos fleet

If general Kutuzov was finding the going hard on the ground in the Mordecai campaign, one imperial commander who was enjoying unparalleled success was admiral Stark. Not content with his overwhelming victory against the Emerald Serpent and its allies, the aggressive admiral, clearly with an eye on promotion to overall commander of the Aleph Sector fleet, launched a pursuit action against the remnants of the chaos fleet.

Gathering up whatever intact ships he could, the imperial admiral set about finding the badly damaged chaos fleet, eventually bringing a smaller division to battle on 1711.019M42. The action that followed led to the loss of two more chaos capital ships, both devastation class, but Stark was unable to gain a second decisive victory, and lost six of his viper class escorts in the second action. Although the imperial fleet now dominated the system, Stark decided not to push his luck any further for the time being, as his fleet was now badly lacking in ammunition and barely had enough escorts to guard his flank and rear from a surprise assault from the ships that still lay under the guns of the mighty Mordecai fortress.

Death Guard in heavy fighting

The heavy fighting continued on Mordecai Secundus throughout 11.019M42 as it became obvious to Kutuzov that the invasion of the smaller remaining chaos world was still going to be a tough challenge. Several weeks into the campaign, the Imperial army had still not taken Festergax Primus, the Abrax mines or fort Abruphus, all targets for the first week of the invasion. Ever since landing the chaos forces, in particular the Death Guard forces, had put up stubborn and unyielding resistance, and their defences were far stronger than had been hoped.

The astartes were once again looked upon to provide the shock troops to break the enemy lines, with the Ashen Sons and the Grey Knights conducting surprise assaults on the chaos positions. The Grey Knights achieved their objectives, smashing apart a plague marine cohort and its support units and managing to further expand the Imperial bridgehead north and east of the landing zone.

Further south, the Ashen Sons were less successful. In an operation intended to break open the Death Guard defences protecting the Abrax mines, the astartes chapter faced heavy resistance from the traitor legion. and the attack at first stalled, then was driven back by superior forces. The Ashen Sons were badly mauled in the encounter and the Imperium had gained no strategic advantage. As 12.019M42 approached, senior commanders began to wonder whether the campaign on Mordecai Secundus was going to turn into another long drawn out affair.

Heavy fighting at Palantir

The war in the Hadron Expanse outside of the Lysis system raged on in 11.019M42, with General Percival's army finally getting the upper hand against the alliance forces. First, new Novgorod forces were deployed to the system, and immediately made an impact, devastating the Tau forces on Bree, and securing the planet's spaceport and defences for the Imperium once more. The increased Imperial Guard presence in the system allowed the Hammers of the Emperor to take up a more reactive position, never staying still long enough for the Tau forces to bring them to battle. This paid dividends at first, and the astartes began plans to attack Dale, the last alliance held world. However they were about to fall into a trap.

As soon as the space marines made landfall on Dale, they did not find the tau waiting for them. Instead they were ambushed by the Kel Sandros eldar, whose intervention for a second time showed their resolution to the alliance cause. In previous engagements, the astartes had brushed aside the xenos raiders, but this time the aeldari attacked with precision and ferocity. The landing force was soon on the defensive, and several squads of the Hammers of the Emperor were wiped out as the Imperium frantically raced to re-embark their invasion force. Dale remained in the hands of the alliance, and the ever changing fortunes of both sides at Palantir continued to frustrate either side's attempts to bring the campaign to a conclusion.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Genestealers uncovered on Mordecai

The Grey Knights had kept their knowledge of the genestealer presence to themselves and the inquisition. However the xenos infestation became more widely known amongst Kutuzov’s army when on 1211.019M42 a cultist force came into contact with Lycannon forces on the west of the imperial sector.

The battle developed immediately as the loyalist forces assumed the irregular army they were facing was part of the chaos pantheon. Only later, after the battle had been won, did the imperial guard realise they were facing something different. The information was passed back to Kutuzov who contacted his superiors for guidance. The Grey Knights did not reveal they already knew of the Tyranid threat.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Mordecai Secundus 1211_019M42

Intercepted message from Mordecai Secundus

+++Incoming Transmission++++
+++++Ident Confirmed ++++
++++Agent Cynack+++++
+++++Mordecai Secundus +++++++

Great and Benevolent Lord Inquisitor Hathek.
As per my most sacred duties that you have bequeathed to me, I have maintained vigil over the operations upon that most BLASPHEMOUS of places Mordecai Secundus.

Primary operations are covered in the main reports submitted to your most holy office, however, I wish to appraise you of an unusual development outside of expected operations.

On 0911.019M42 picket stations around Mordecai Secundus received a transmission from incoming Astartes vessels demanding they move aside and clear area x-3549431 y-68461 planet side. While the ident codes were valid and fully up to date neither the Chapter nor the vessel data pulsed identification. The picket vessels allowed the Astartes Strike Cruiser to pass after said vessel began firing warning shots at the picket vessels! An aside sire: I naturally I have had the crews of the offending picket vessels flagellated and mind scrubbed for Arco implantation for such gross laxity in duties! Rules are rules as the God-Emperor decreed!

Aerial shots and Pict Servos captured the Astartes in question, well that is to say tried when the when the Astartes in question did not shoot at them to avoid identification. The Astartes were in crossed Magenta and Teal livery. The coordinates in question placed them in range of the Death Guard traitors under the local command of a Heretic Astartes known only as the “Bloat-Bringer”.

From pict captures, the Astartes were clearly targeting the traitor leaders carrying significant sniper arsenal.BIt appears that the Astartes successfully encircled the Death Guard and were exterminating the commanders, killing the “Bloat-Bringer” with 3 placed sniper shots through the skull, ending the blasphemous creatures miserable existence.

Low drop Interceptors (that shot another pict skull during drop!) completed the encirclement of Death Guard forces. However, whoever had taken command in the wake of the Bloat Bingers death was far more capable than that creature, using the Death Guard armour to physically block the kill box and advance of the mysterious Primaris Astartes.

Once the mobility and misdirection of the Primaris was curtailed, the resilience of the Death Guard prevented the creation of the kill box that the Primaris were attempting, who were in turn pushed back by the traitors.

As casualties mounted the Primaris Astartes retreated, leaving the battlefield to the Death Guard, but not before bombarding the site from strike cruiser.

Sire the bombardment was odd as it appeared they were targeting areas of their own fallen rather than bombarding the Death Guard directly. Furthermore, the Death Guard, rather than being hurled into confusion by the loss of their commanders have become bolder, seemingly led by a far more aggressive and competent creature than the Bloat-Bringer. What this means for the overall campaign is unknown. My Lord Inquisitor I am concerned for what these Astartes intend

Your most humble servant
Thought: Victory needs no explanation; Defeat allows none.

++++++++++++++++Message ends++++++++++++++++++

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Emerald Serpent fail to halt imperial advance

With the Emerald Serpent Forces now pinned in place by the Hammers of the Emperor to their east, and the Lycannon Guard nearing down on them from the north west, the chaos forces loyal to Magnus the Red needed to act quickly in order save themselves from being surrounded on the plains of northern Mordecai Secundus.

The Emerald Serpent chose to attack rather than withdraw, which turned out to be a costly error. Their forces found the Lycannon and house Eagleclaw to be both numerous and well equipped, and the battle of the north plains was ultimately a solid victory for the imperium. With the Emerald Serpent defeated, Kutuzov’s army was able to establish a new front line that outflanked the chaos defences, while more than doubling his zone of control on the planet. Now the imperial general began his plans to move south towards the strategically significant locations on the world.

Mordecai Secundus: Astartes secure flanks

While the Lycannon Guard and the knights pushed west, the job of the astartes was to pin the main line defenders near to the beachhead so they were unable to respond to the main assault. To further sow confusion in the chaos lines, the space marines took on this task. This suggested that the outflanking manoeuvre by the guard was merely a diversion, as the chaos defenders would be expecting the space marines to lead the main assault.

The Hammers of the Emperor launched such an aggressive attack against the chaos defenders that they were totally fooled. In addition, the attack itself gained significant ground against their enemy, but the space marines were careful to maximise the destruction of enemy forces over the taking of territory. The Death Guard defenders were severely battered, but the Hammers also made sure that the chaos forces had no opportunity to regroup, while making sure they did not leave the range of their air and artillery cover. Overall the marines executed their task to perfection, and now the elite forces of the Emerald Serpent would face the imperial attack alone.

Lycannon and House Eagleclaw move westward

With the space around Mordecai Secundus firmly under imperial control general Kutuzov’s army no longer had to worry about interference from space, and the newly landed Lycannon Guard and the knights of house Eagleclaw began their advance.

Rather than tackle the heavily defended chaos lines to the south and east, Kutuzov ordered his army to move westward then south, in order to encircle the Emerald Serpent forces imperial intelligence suggested were deployed on the heights to the south west. If the Emerald Serpent could be dealt an early blow, the cohesion of the chaos defence may be compromised. In any event, a move west and south would greatly expand the area of Kutuzov’s control and firmly establish the invasion.

The first forces to contest the combined imperial force were Death Guard, but these were swept aside by the ferocity of the Lycannon attack and the overwhelming firepower of house Eagleclaw. However, as the imperial army pivoted south resistance became stiffer, as nurgle forces known as the Host of Eschar put up a solid defence which saw the Lycannon bog down. Suffering heavy casualties, the imperial guard were forced to rely on the heavy firepower of their knight support, but even these suffered casualties at the hands of a dogged defence. Only the Dominus class knight, an asset the Death Guard could not match in terms of firepower, saves the imperial advance. The failure of the nurgle forces to deal with this mighty war engine ensured the chaos defences were eventually cracked open, and by 1011.019M42 the chaos defenders north west of Kutuzov’s Landing zone were in danger of being encircled.

Fleet action over Mordecai Secundus

From the start of the invasion of Mordecai Secundus the chaos fleet had not interfered with the steady build up of troops on the innermost world of the system. This changed at the beginning of 11.019M42 as the forces of chaos masses a full three battlegroups, detecting that the imperial fleet at Mordecai was significantly weaker and could result in a major victory for the traitors. However, as the ranks of chaos capital ships made their way in system, their approach was detected, and from the other side of the system the Dark Angels fleet suddenly appeared.

This had always been admiral Stark’s plan. He knew that if he maintained obvious parity in strength to the chaos fleet they would not dare to leave the safety of their formidable space docks. Stark wanted to bring the chaos fleet to battle, so hatched a plot with the Dark Angels to feign weakness. Then when the chaos fleet were committed to the attack, the astartes fleet would spring the trap.

The imperial plan worked almost perfectly. Above Mordecai Secundus a furious fleet battle developed and the imperial fleet under Stark was characteristically aggressive. This led to some losses on the imperial side, with several escorts destroyed and two capital ships reduced to hulks. However, the chaos fleet was badly mauled, losing six capital class vessels, with most of them exploding catastrophically, irreparably damaging the traitor forces’ ability to contest the Mordecai invasion. The remaining chaos vessels limped back to the Mordecai docks, safe once again under the cover of the vast fixed fortress defences. However, Stark had won a crushing victory, which tipped the balance of the ground campaign well into the favour of the loyalist forces.

Chaos losses 
1 Despoiler class battleship
1 Styx class heavy cruiser
1 Hades class heavy cruiser
1 Devastation class cruiser
1 Murder class cruiser
1 Slaughter class cruiser

Imperial losses
1 dominator class cruiser
1 dauntless class light cruiser
Several escorts

Hexis: Tunnel fighting continues

As violent battles raged across the surface of Hexis, vicious fighting continued in the tunnels beneath. The Ashen Sons chapter of astartes, helped by the Adeptus Mechanicus had penetrated deep into the tunnel complex, moving around to the east and south of the chaos positions. The Mechanicum launched their attack on the device room first, and were able to briefly clear the way to the chamber itself, despite the frenzied defence of Orks, who were still active on Hexis as part of the "chaos pact".

The Ashen Sons were following up in order to secure the device chamber itself, but the green tide kept coming, flooding the chambers with orks and overwhelming the astartes in the close confines of the underground caverns. The imperium had come agonisingly close to retaking the device room, but had been held off, for now.

Further east, the Aeldari had returned to Hexis in order to secure a second webway portal on the planet, now that the original one had been overrun by Imperial forces. The Kel Sandros eldar wished the second portal to be somewhere anonymous, so began to scout out various potential locations. However on one of these scouting missions ran headlong into the Xenos of Hive fleet R'lyeh and were quickly driven off, suffering a number of casualties. For the time being efforts to establish another portal on Hexis were abandoned.

Chaos titans crushed by overwhelming force on Hexis

In early 11.019M42 the chaos forces finally responded in strength on Hexis, launching a massive counter attack in the south led for the first time by an entire traitor titan legion. Fielding a mighty Warlord class as well as several smaller titans, Konev's army was expected to buckle then collapse in the south, having been severely disrupted by the awakening of Hive Fleet R'Lyeh just weeks before. Konev however had spies, and he had known for some time that the chaos forces intended to unleash a full titan legion against him.

To counter the attack, Konev placed his own titan legion - Legio Dominus, to the south of his lines, waiting in ambush for the chaos assault to begin. When it did, his main line would fall back, while the titans punched north west, encircling the chaos attack. Once this move had been completed, a combined force of Imperial Guard, Knights and astartes was held in reserve to move forward and rush the titan attack.

The entire plan worked perfectly for Konev. In the south, Legio Dominus launched a very successful counter attack against the traitor legion, severely damaging or destroying several chaos engines for loss of none of their own. Meanwhile the central forces fell back, giving ground before the Warlord, a reaver and two warhounds came up against the Imperium's main defensive line. Initially the firepower of the titans wrought havoc amongst the imperial lines, destroying several knights and tanks with single volleys from their awesome weaponry, but these were acceptable casualties. As Konev's own titans swept around the chaos attack's rear, the Grey Knights dropped from orbit, engaging the enemy war machines at point blank range. At the same time, a new force of "irregulars" joined in the attack, launching their own highly mobile squads of bikers and infantry against the titans.

The irregular forces were in fact the genestealer cult that had risen in worship of their good "R'Lyeh", and were part of the tyranid menace that had overwhelmed Konev in the north. However this was all part of Konev's plan. In his initial retreat, the imperial general had deliberately retreated into locations he knew were sites of genestealer cult infestation, and he made it clear to his own forces that they should not engage the xenos worshippers. Now, as the cult released their purestrain monsters on the enemy titans, his wisdom became clear. The warlord was brought low by the combined efforts of the Grey Knights and the xenos cult, while the hive mind itself overwhelmed the Warlord's mind impulse units, causing the war engine to flail around and shoot its own brethren in its death throes. This aided in the destruction of the Reaver, and having lost one warhound early on to the entirety of Konev's battle line, the remaining Warhound fled the field.

Very few of the chaos titans escaped the battle, and on 0911.019M42 the chaos line shattered, and in the plains of the south Konev's army ruthlessly pursued their enemy, surrounding the remnants of the chaos forces on Hexis who now sheltered in the ruins of Praxis around the device chamber. This was a great victory for Konev, but the forces of chaos still held the device chamber, and the tyranid threat on the planet remained.

Grey Knights raid Mordecai Secundus

In order to support Kutuzov's new invasion of Mordecai Secundus the Grey Knights posted a company to aid in the overall expedition. The astartes were particularly interested in the daemonic forces aiding the traitor world's defence, and reports of a highly mobile force of light infantry or even cavalry on the plains to the north of Kutuzov's landing zone drew the attention of these elite inquisition forces. Such fast and mobile forces were out of character for the chiefly nurgle defenders of the world, and the Grey Knights wondered if the denizens of Slaanesh had joined the cause.
The space marine forces dropped directly from orbit on the last known coordinates of these last forces, and were soon attacked not by daemonettes, but by irregular forces largely mounted on bikes and buggies. This was unexpected, but the Knights dealt with them just the same, crashing into their enemy and utterly annihilating them. After the engagement, samples and corpses of the dead were taken back to the Imperial base of operations, where they were passed to the Ordo Xenos. After a few hours of testing, it was confirmed that this was indeed a genestealer cult, with a genome similar to that of Nemesis, but which also had evidence of interbreeding with the R'lyeh tyranids of Hexis. The information was kept from Kutuzov, who was simply informed that a new "chaos cult" had been discovered as part of the pantheon on Mordecai. Meanwhile, the Ordo Xenos were contacted and requested to send a new inquisitor, since Lord Huron had disappeared.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Mordecai Secundus - Current Positions

Setbacks at Mordecai Secundus

The invasion of Mordecai Secundus had so far gone to plan from the Imperial point of view, and general Kutuzov was able to add to that success as the Grey Knights joined in, dropping and destroying enemy positions in the hills to the south west of the imperial landing zones. Cybbix had been massing forces here, and the disruption of the heretek's plans were critical in ensuring the safety of the landing zone. Kutuzov now had a secure base of operations and a perimeter large enough to prevent enemy artillery or raiding incursions. The build up of Imperial Guard forces now began in earnest, as well as the landing of several knight houses.
The next phase of operations saw the Imperial Fists launch an attack south towards the mines, which were still on Kutuzov's list of objectives to be taken within a month of the initial landing. However, although the Imperial fists scored some remarkable early successes agains the Death Guard, the imperial assault quickly found itself in difficulty. Crucial shots were missed, and the Death Guard were able to close to the range they preferred to operate at. The battlefield then became extremely bloody, and the Imperial Fists tried as best they could to hold onto their gains, but by 0511.019M42 the astartes had been repulsed from the chaos lines. It now became clear that the chaos commander on Mordecai Secundus was constructing several defensive lines and entrenchments, around the southern portion of the Imperial landing area. The enemy did not have the power to force the Imperium off the planet, but they had now made any prospect of quick progress by the Imperium an unlikely scenario. The war of attrition had begun.

Escalation At Palantir

The fighting in the Palantir system between the Alliance and the Imperium escalated in late 10.019M42, as both sides committed extra forces to the campaign. The Imperium, now under the direct command of General Percival, who had been admonished for his lak of action, recieved reinforcements in the shape of a Cadian regiment, in order to aid the Hammers of the Emperor, who were able to strike at Alliance targets, but unable to hold territory. Time and again the alliance had simply walked back in after suffering a defeat at the astartes hands.
On the alliance side, the small Tau expeditionary force was joined for the first time by the Kel Sandros eldar. Having realised that indirectly aiding the tau was not yielding results, the Aeldari now committed their forces in strength in order to bolster the tau forces. The Knight house loyal to the Federacy continued to garrison Dale and secure Alliance rule, at which time the Imperium chose to strike in force, at Hobbiton.
The invasion of Hobbiton was led by the Imperial Guard. Knowing the Tau forces were relatively small the battle for the capital of the world - the only settlement of real significance, was a finely balanced affair. The tau defended effectively, but were unable to stop the larger Guard force from overunning their positions and taking the city and spaceport, also known as "Hobbiton". Just as the Imperium were securing their newly won ground however, the eldar attacked, moving in from the north of the city where it was believed a webway portal was hidden. The Imperium had been waiting for this, and immediately the Hammers of the Emperor reacted as Percival had intended.
The battle between the astartes and the Kel Sandros was bloody and intense, but early on the Hammers of the Emperor established battlefield dominance and used their high mobility to good effect. The eldar fought furiously but were unable to break through the imperial cordon and so could not prevent the Imperial takeover of the world. Now the Alliance were back down to controlling only one of the three worlds in the Palantir system.

Saturday, November 02, 2019

Bitter fighting in the tunnels under Hexis

With the chaos base on Hexis now in ruins, the Imperial forces on the planet now focussed their attention on the main objective, namely to capture the device room from chaos forces in the heavily fortified tunnel system underneath Praxis. This was no easy undertaking, and small teams of elite forces were needed to clear rooms and corridors one by one, and to force their chaos enemies out of the maze of passages and chambers that covered an area the size of a large city.
The Grey Knights had already cleared many of the tunnels under north Praxis, and now small teams of these elite astartes pushed deeper, soon encountering a robust response from the Death Guard. The nurgle devotees held off the imperial force for quite some time, as they used hideous poxwalkers to block tunnels and hold shut doors. Eventually however the Grey Knights were able to bring their formidable psychic powers to bear, even in the close proximity of the necron device. The Grey Knights suffered no casualties, and were able to force back the enemy to within a few kilometres of the device chamber, although this still meant more hard fighting ahead.
As the Grey Knights struggled with Death Guard forces, the Imperial Fists sent their own teams into the warren. First they encountered traitor mechanicum troops, specially skilled at tunnel fighting. However the Fists dealt with this initial encounter with relative ease. The Death Guard were a different proposition however, and the loyalist astartes had tremendous problems dealing with a security lock down in the underground chambers, meaning they were unable to gain easy access to several chambers. This allowed the Death Guard to outflank and compromise their positions, and the imperial force had to withdraw.
To the east of the device chamber the Sky Lords also encountered traitor mechanicum forces, but were able to use their overwhelming firepower to blast apart their enemies in the narrow underground passageways. The Mechanicum did manage to engage the Sky Lords' squad leader in combat, but the veteran astartes finished them off with his chainsword. By 0511.019M42 the imperial underground front line was within mere metres of the device chamber, but were still unable to launch a final assault.