Wednesday, April 29, 2020

On the Eastern plains of Mordecai...

The Duneriders moved swiftly through the ruins of Ore Processing R-15. Fires within the outpost still burned from preliminary bombardments from orbit, but the hovercraft of the Mechanicum paid them little heed as they moved across the sand-swept compound.

<Targeting logic engines have located a massing of enemy units bearing ZERO-THREE-FIVE, ONE-HUNDRED-AND-SEVEN meters.> The Dunerider pilot servitor canted.


<There appears to be several units of Heretic Astartes designation Thousand Sons, sub designation Emerald Serpent. Readings indicate multiple Warp signatures, suggesting psyker activity. One Armoured unit detected.>


<Identifying. Identified: Heretic Astartes Rhino, designation Iron Warriors, sub designation Blue Steel.>

<They’re making this too easy. Commence attack.>

The Forgeworld Incus’ hoverboats surged forward. In a wave of steel, the craft flowed over the rubble, carrying the main body of the force. As they manoeuvred round the buildings, the heavy weapons of the Mechanicum took up positions. Skorpious Disintergrators positioned themselves behind cover. They aimed at the Iron Warriors’ vehicle, their armaments oblivious to even the most imposing obstacle, and fired. The combined firepower ripped through the ceramite plating of the Heretic Rhino and only the quickest of reactions from the crew saved it from causing a chain reaction. It was at this point the at the Iron Warriors Havocs disembarked. Flinging aside the corpse of their fallen brother, they took up positions on the first floor of a nearby building and levelled their weapons at the advancing Dunerider boats.

“They seek to stop us with Metal Boxes?” O’Tek Ra, said to his Iron Warriors counterpart.

The stoic Iron Warrior merely grumbled as his marines took up position.

“Let us indulge them.” The Thousand Son’s warlord said, with just a hint of relish.

With the advancing hoverboats getting ever closer, the Thousand Sons called forth the empiric tides of the Warp and shifted reality around them. Displacing themselves into a prime position, the silent warriors of Magnus awaited the command from their aspiring sorcerers. When the hovercrafts were finally in range, the Iron Warriors opened fire, rupturing the closest of Duneriders and severely crippling another. As the Electopriests disembarked, the ranks of Rubrics opened fire, shutting down the hopes of the left flank getting into melee combat.

Before the ranks of the Rubrics could move onto their next target, they were cut down by withering fire from 4 Kastelan Robots which had positioned themselves ready for the Rubric advance. The few remaining Rubrics, that had survived the salvo from the Kastelans, were punctured by rapid shots from the remaining Duneriders. O’Tek Ra looked upon the field from his vantage point, his gauntleted hands, cracking the rock edge which he leaned against. The Iron Warrior signalled the fleet in orbit. It was time.

<Thousand Sons squad destroyed. Reprioritising target. Warning multiple Warp signatures. Close Proximity. Enga->

The canting of the Kastelan Robots was cut short by the thunderous barrage of Warp tainted ammunition. A hail of anti-tank and anti-personnel fire raked the Mechanicum’s most impressive of machines and one by one, were slain. Fortunately, the saviour protocols of the machines would have their revenge upon their assailants as one of the Obliterators succumbed to the Robots’ shielding. Enraged at his brother’s death, the remaining obliterator charged towards the Skitarii infantry and began its bloody work, pulping several into bloody heaps. The Thousand Son’s Sorcerer and the Iron Warriors Lord, both whom which had arrived with the obliterators, smirked beneath their helms as they watched the carnage unfold. Their joy was short lived, however, as the remaining Duneriders disgorged their cargo of Secutarii Hoplites who wasted no time in charging into the ranks of cultists. Through sheer blind luck, and a nudge from Tzeentch, many of the Hoplites were cut down before even reaching their target. The swell of cultists making it nigh impossible to kill them all. The sergeant of the Hoplites detected a large anomaly that his sensors couldn’t quite fix upon, move towards his soldiers. He looked up just in time to see a Daemon Prince of Tzeentch slash down with its claws, tearing into the ranks. Barely ten seconds had past and the ground was soaked with blood and oil.

The sorcerer looked upon the devastation of the daemon and laughed. As he was about to turn his attention towards the remaining loyalist dogs, the world tumbled. Over and over and over, his vision flipped. Sounds were muffled and the edged of his vision darkened. He was on the ground and looked up to see an assassin of the Callidus Order standing next to a decapitated Sorcerer in terminator armour. Kuu’ga spent his last remaining moments watching the sorcerer’s body tumble to the floor, wondering whose body it was.

“I’ve had enough of these games.” The Iron Warrior growled.

“Finish this now, I grow bored.”

“So we shall. Deployed the Scarabs.” O’Tek Ra whispered. Thunderclaps boomed in the distance as terminator forces deployed én masse deep within the Mechanicum lines. O’Tek Ra smiled as he pulled out a gemstone of purest black. 

“I want to see this myself.” With a reality tearing howl, a portal opened in front of O’Tek. He stepped though and out, behind the terminators, watching the remaining Mechanicum infantry cut down under blistering fire from Inferno combi-bolters.

As O’Tek watched the death unfurl, fellow sorcerers encased terminator armour arrived. Paying little heed to the small arms fire around them they began their deadly work. The first, turned his gaze towards the assassin in the Thousand Son’s lines and with a simple flick of the wrist, set the assassin’s brain alight. As the assassin burned from within, the two sorcerers began to send deadly bolts of warp lighting and fire into the Mechanicum’s general.


The warning lights flashed in Camin Dominus’ heads up display. He dismissed them with a thought. Unnecessary distractions. Realising that the battle was lost, he turned to the remaining Dunerider. Despite the countless munitions that had been unleashed at it, the hovercraft floated defiantly in the face of the incoming fire. As the Dominus began to head towards it, the daemon prince, that had sown a bloody tally through the ranks of the Hoplites, burst through the main body of the tank, ripping out the few remaining crew and servitors.

<By the Omnissiah!> the Dominus canted.

As he turned to flee from the carnage, the lone obliterator came around the corner of a nearby sand defence embankment and levelled his fleshmetal weapons at the Dominus. Despite the heinous wounds that the Dominus had suffered, one of the few remaining systems that was still operational was the Solar Atomisor. With heavily augmented reflexes, the Dominus aimed and fired the weapon at near point black range. Despite automatically dimming to reduce the effects, the imaging receptors burst white due to the feedback. The brief moment of satisfaction the Dominus felt melted away as what should have been a killed blow, fizzled away into the Warp. The obliterator wasted no time to allow the Dominus a second shot and unleashed a torrent of killing fire.

With two remaining Skorpious Disintergrators being all that was left of the Mechanicum force, the Daemon prince charged in, oblivious to what was going on inside the vehicles.

<We cannot let the traitor forces gain control of weapon system.>

<Agreed. To allow them use of these machines would be an affront to the Omnissiah.>

<Commencing directive SIXTY-SIX.>

As the daemon prince dived into the last of the Mechanicum’s boats, the loyal servants of the Omnissiah enacted their last action. Overloading the capacitors of both machines, the Skorpious Disintergrators exploded in a ball of fire and shrapnel. The daemon prince, drunk with the slaying of lesser beings, was caught fully in the blast of both hovercraft. The sheer strain of defending itself from the explosions was too much, and the daemon prince’s tether to the materium was severed.

O’Tek Ra surveyed the battle. A victory. Another step. One closer to daemon-hood.

Grot Empire expands on Hexis

The greenskin threat from the grots on Hexis had by the end of 04.020M42 reached sufficient levels of concern that the Aeldari decided to take unilateral action. From their webway portal to the west of the ruined capital of Praxis, the eldar assembled a warhost from the Ul'Staer craftworld, crossing the largely deserted wastes to the south of the city and engaging the grots from the southwest. The concern the Aeldari had, was that the greenskins would end up gaining access to the underground ruins, enabling them to take advantage of the arcane necron artefacts still lying undesturbed for millenia. The power of these artefacts was known to be vast, and the eldar had begun to send forces to Hexis in order to secure them before the other races.
Hexis had become a wasteland occupied in pockets by the Imperium, eldar, necrons, chaos, tyranids and now grots. The greenskins despite being diminutive, were technically savvy and unusually disciplined in their approach to war, and the eldar found the firepower available to the enemy to be a significant surprise. The eldar warhost advance was first checked, before being reversed, as the gretchin forces counter attacked with surprising ferocity. Realising they had underestimated their foe, the eldar withdrew, and the grots expanded their control on Hexis to much of the southern districts of Menthoteph.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Mordecai: Imperium strike towards Festergax

After having bullied their way into the eastern Sathugar mines complex, the Imperium resolved to continue the pressure on the chaos front line, using their now large numbers to apply force at many points up and down the line, keeping the chaos forces off balance. The broad front approach was approved by high command, and while the Novgorod Guard continued to fight bitterly for the mines in the south, the Hammers of the Emperor planned a strike towards the strategic city of Festergax. Taking this city would unhinge the "red wall", a series of chaos fortifications preventing the Imperium from taking the Mekken Plateau and the escarpment that extended east to Festergax.
The Hammers of the Emperor found their enemy well spaced, as the Emerald Serpent had deployed across the front dispersed to avoid damage from sustained orbital bombardment. This allowed the astartes to perform a number of rapid assaults against these isolated positions, ensuring that early in the engagement the space marines made good progress on their objectives. The Emerald Serpent tried to use psychic powers to make a tactical withdrawal on their right flank, but the astartes librarian called on the power of the emperor to deny the magicks of Tzeentch. The resulting failure of the chaos withdrawal led to the swift demise of the daemon prince and further shifted the initiative in favour of the Imperium.
The Emerald Serpent did send in reinforcements, teleporting in Obliterators and terminators along with a powerful sorceror lord. The terminators on the right flank soon became bogged down, struggling to reach their loyalist enemies, while on the left the chaos forces were more succesful as a cabal of sorcerors managed to take back some of the objectives previously taken by the Hammers of the Emperor. The counter attack was too little too late however, and the obliterators were taken out after their initial destruction of astartes armour did not prove to be a decisive blow. The Imperium now had a position to the south and east of Festergax, and only two blood red lava rivers defended the city from the advancing Imperial armies.

Tau forcibly removed from Device chamber on Einmyrria

40K Gallery | Eldar vs TauIn 04.020M42, with the Cicatrix Maledictum still pulsing violently, the Tau remained somewhat shielded from its effects. Their alliance with the Kel Sandros Eldar had secured them the necron device on Eimyrria, and the Foramen Ancilla provided a stable route from the Tau Empire and the Federacy into the Zadoc Subsector and beyond. This passageway was vital to the Tau existance on the "northern" side of the rift, so when an eldar force turned up at Einmyrria demanding the surrender of the device the Tau were naturally less than willing to comply.

These were also not of Kel Sandros, but the craftworld of Ul'Staer, who by now even the Tau were aware were in close cooperation with the Ynnari, who they did not consider allies. The commander of Tau forces on Cernunnos, now being rebuilt as a colony, sent for guidance from Malkaor in the Hadron Expanse. The response was unequivocal. The device chamber and its precious artefact were not to be surrendered to any force, not even with a formal request from the Kel Sandros craftworld, which had stayed capriciously silent over the affair.

The tau on the ground at Einmyrria politely refused the Ul'Staer demand, and a few hours later the full fury of the Aeldari race was upon them. Fast moving jetbikes and wraith constructs swarmed over the Tau positions, and the younger race soon found themselves all but surrounded. Despite giving a good account of themselved in battle, the cadre realised that holding on would be a pointless last stand, and retreated in good order. The eldar had secured the Einmyrria device chamber for themselves, and banned any Tau forces from coming within 100km of the ancient tomb housing the device. The Tau watched and waited, but for now the Aeldari race seemed to only want control of the chamber, and the Foramen Ancilla remained open.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Mordecai: Frontal assault on Sathugar mines

Following the success at Kuneus, General Kutuzov made immediate plans to exploit the breakthrough and start advancing on the strategically vital Sathugar mines. By late 04.020M42 the chaos supply lines were in better shape than those of the Imperium, so Kutuzov resolved to keep up the pressure by continuing the offensive in the south.
To make the charge on the east of the mining complex, a Valdorograd Guard Motor Rifle regiment, equipped with large numbers of Chimeras raced west from the city of Kuneus, at first meeting little resistance. Howeverm soon the lead scouting elements found that ahead of them the Death Guard had completed their rituals and summoned a large army of daemonic plaguebearers to bar the imperial advance.
Fortunately for the Imperium and Kutuzov's plans, plaguebearers are not known for their speed. The daemonic horde shambled forward to engage the Imperial attackers, giving the guard regiment enough time to soften up the approaching masses. A daemon prince did cause some alarm as it utilised the warp to close the distance more rapidly, but unsupported the daemon thing was banished back to the warp by massed imperial firepower.
As the plaguebearer host came on, the Valdograd general enacted a flanking attack, deploying his fast chimera forces to the right flank and disembarking the highly trained guardsmen, using flamers and lasguns to unleash a storm of fire on the enemy mass. This seemed to be going well, until the skeins of reality themselves began to buckle in the centre of the daemonic mass, engorging the numbers of endlessly droning one eyed plague monsters.
Fear gripped the imperial general briefly, then resignation to the fact this battle would now be decided in a bloody and unpleasant melee between his army and the daemonic host. The battle became a hell for those involved, and most of the infantry, thankfully, died in the fighting, as any who had survived would likely have been "liquidated" in any case. They did however reduce the numbers of the plaguebearers, and once the confusion cleared, the back line of imperial artillery and tank support reigned a devastating barrage on the remaining daemons in the host, and by 2404.020M42 it was clear that the Death Guard gamble had failed, and the daemons began to flicker out of existance entirely.
Despite high casualties, the Valdograd regiment had secured the outer facilities of the Sathugar mining complex, denying their use to the enemy and slowly swinging the strategic advantage in favour of the Imperium. The hard slog however would continue, and casualties would continue to rise.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Aeldari make sweeping advance on Destino

Eldar of Craftworld Iybraesil image - KiM | Warhammer 40k ...Destino 3 taken in one massive raid
The Aeldari weren't long in following up their assault on Destino VI. The most well defended planet, Destino III, was nonetheless vulnerable to an eldar assault, as the forces of chaos remained burdened by the war at Mordecai. This time, the Ul'Staer Craftworld materialised from unseen webway portals on the world, and immediately attacked the major chaos installations.

The raid at Destino III did however take more time to achieve given there were a number of chaos installations and defences to neutralise, and this allowed the Emerald Serpent to organise a coherent defence. Led by a powerful chaos sorcerer, who some claim was Ahriman himself, the Emerald Serpent prepared to meet the craftworld eldar in a final showdown at the planet's capital.

The Aeldari threw everything at the final chaos stronghold, and their numbers and power were overwhelming. The Emerald Serpent were unable to prevent the world falling to the enemy, but the Ul'Staer craftworld, seeing an opportunity to hasten the demise of the sorcerer, concentrated their firepower against the leader of the remaining resistance.

Shining Spears and Wraiths launched everything they had at the  chaos sorcerer, but despite their efforts the enemy had the protection of the god Tzeentch. Somehow thee sorcerer evaded death, and although the planet duly fell to the Aeldari invasion, key command elements of the chaos forces were able to slip away. In any case the world of Destino II came under Aeldari control, with only a remnant chaos force now to clear from the system.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Tau take back ground on Hussaria

After weeks of quiet, the Tau Empire launched a new offensive on Hussaria against the Imperium. Ever since the space marines had re-invaded and taken most of the settled surface of the world, the Tau had planned to strike back, but the arrival of a warhound class titan on the world brought forward their plans. Detecting that the Warhound would be somewhat isolated on the the island of Narke for a short period, Tau commander Malkaor put together a fast moving strike cadre of warriors and vehicles, and in mid 04.020M42 landed on the coast using the cover of night and low flying shielded Mantas. To conceal their intent, stealth teams attacked guard forces and drew off the astartes on the main continent of Orebro, ensuring the titan was all but alone when the attack came.
Malkaor's forces ripped into the titan with all their firepower, and despite fighting back valiantly the war engine, taken by surprise before its supporting units were put in place, was unable to fend off an entire hunter cadre on its own. After several hours of fighting the imperial god machine crashed to the ground, defeated, spreading panic amongst the garrison of Narke.
Malkaor was quick to follow up, sending in his reserve forces to overrun the island chain and even landing a force on the Orebro continent before the astartes could disengage from their wild grox chase in the north and wheel to face the new threat. By 2204.020M42 the tau had established a defensive perimiter of drones and sensors, and now the tau would have to be forceably removed by the Imperium once again, while the tau prepared for their next operation to take Orebro and end the Hussaria campaign for a second time.

Grots continue to ravage Hexis

In mid 04.020M42 the battlefields of Hexis were a shambolic and confused ruin of irradiated landscapes, craters and dust storms, but while the Hexis campaign had been deprioritised by Imperial command, sheer stubbornness meant there was no immediate prospect of the war there ending. By now, the planet had an infestation of tyranids, several ork and chaos warbands that had become detached from the overall command structure of the traitor forces, necrons in the west, eldar in Praxis and, latterly, an uprising of the diminutive grot greenskins.
The "grot uprising" had caused surprise and bewilderment amongst chaos forces before turning towards the Imperium, who to be fair had the nicer ruins to sleep and shelter in. This was therefore the direction of the next advance by the surprisingly organised and numerous gretchin "army". Their next attack fell upon the Adeptus Mechanicus excavations in south Menthoteph, the city lying to the west of the capital Praxis. Unprepared and taken by surprise, the Mechanicum forces were simply overwhelmed by the numerous greenskins and their contraptions, finding themselves pounded by artillery before being overrun by angry little green men.
By the end of 04.020M42 a defined "Grot sector" of Hexis had formed, stretching from the west of Praxis along the southern perimeter of the city of Menthoteph. General Konev was unwilling to call in the astartes just yet, for fear of the embarrasment, but the grot uprising was now the single biggest threat to the campaign on the planet.

Titans fail to take Kuneus but Novgorod break the lines

Warhound Scout Titan - Warhammer 40k - LexicanumOn Mordecai Secundus, despite the difficulties with interstellar travel and fleet battles in the system, general Kutuzov was keen to continue the campaign against chaos. By now the advance on the planet had become more steady, although was way behind the original estimates. Now, Kutuzov predicted, it may take a year or so to take the planet, with perhaps a million casualties, however this was deemed acceptable by the command of the sector, and the operation to take Kuneus, the besieged city acting as the gateway to the Sathugar mines began.
Kutuzov was fortunate by now to have the aid of a titan legion, and the warhound titan Lunae Spiritus Procellarum, commanded by Princeps Lady Constance de Coverlet made itself available for the upcoming mission, along with two regiments of Novgorod Guard. Analysing the enemy deployment, Kutuzov could see the city itself was defended by the dreaded death guard, but to the west were highly mobile and dangerous Emerald Serpent forces, positioned to react to any imperial move on the city. Kutuzov quickly came up with a plan.
Lunae Spiritus Procellarum would force its way through the Emerald Serpent units, using its devastating firepower to disrupt and disperse the highly mobile elite chaos forces. Then, sweeping back west, the god machine would provide a flanking assault as the Novgorod had the unenviable task of fighting street by street against the Death Guard. Casualties were projected to be moderate, but acceptable. Unfortunately, Kutuzov was unaware of two things. First, the warhound titan was not yet supported by any skitarii warriors or other Ad Mech formations, leaving the titan dangerously exposed. Second, the imperial general could not have been aware that in the Emerald Serpent forces, a great cabal of psykers had been assembled.
As the operation went into effect, the inevitable happened. Unsupported by any other ground forces the lone titan put up an impressive display of firepower, but was very swiftly overwhelmed by extreme use of psychic powers by the enemy forces. Bolts of energy tore into the war engine, taking down its void shields, before the titan itself toppled and fell, brought down by mastery of the warp. The swift destruction of such a powerful asset shocked the imperial command, but the Novgorod advance could not be called off. Now all would rely on the Imperial Guard being able to take the city in a frontal attack against the Death Guard.
Fortunately the Novgorod were well prepared for their mission, massing seige tanks and artillery flattening everything in their path and forcing the death guard, led by the manifestation of Mortarion himself to charge the imperial attackers in a last ditch attempt to get to close quarters with the guard. Had they succeeded, the battle would have turned into a massacre, as following up were hordes of pestilent poxwalkers which would have rendered the entire Novgorod regiments "unfit" for further use, their exposure to the pox requiring their immediate "liquidation".
The Death Guard however were unable to get to grips with the Novgorod line. Knowing if their enemy got close they would all die a horrible death, the footsoldiers of humanity unleashed a terrifying fusilade onto their enemy, bringing down mortarion and destroying the plague marines' heavy support. Cheered by this, the Imperial Guard gleefully set to work firing disciplined volley after volley into the poxwalkers. The carnage was unpleasant to watch, as the guardsmen realised the entire population of the city had been turned into a shambling infectious horde of plague creatures, and while a few specimens did manage to reach the Novgorod lines, their weapons were useless against the wall of steel the Novogord now pushed forward into the city as their infantry fell back.
By 2304_020M42 the city of Kuneus fell to the Imperium. Barely ten percent of the population remained, and most of these had to be "liquidated" for fear of infection. Now the Imperium set to work transforming the city into a new forward base of operations to carry on the campaign south, their next target the Sathugar mines.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Craftworld Ul’Staer make gains

The sacrifice of the Hammers of the Emperor chapter on the outskirts of Bymarsh had bought the Imperium time to deploy into prepared positions, but the craftworld of Ul'Staer had learned a lot about it's enemy since it's warhost first appeared on Corticant. On 1304.020M42 the Aeldari once again launched an attack into the city, and this time they were successful. In a textbook advance, the eldar took their objectives with precision and alacrity, allowing the Adeptus Mechanicus defenders of the settlement no opportunity to mount an effective counter assault.

By 1404.020M42 the entire settlement had been overrun by the craftworld eldar, and Veers was now staring at the stark reality that the excavation site would soon come under attack by the eldar once again. Should this be lost, and the device lost, the entire Foramen Interdictum would collapse, isolating the Imperium on the dark side of the great rift, jeopardising the Mordecai campaign and the very existence of imperial rule in the Hadron Expanse and Perseus Deeps.

The great grot uprising

bad_moons grot nebezial orks | Warhammer, Warhammer 40k, Warhammer ...For the orks, the war on Hexis had always been a mercenary affair. A chance for fighting and a chance for growing their "teef" collections. However as conditions on Hexis deteriorated and their chaos overlords became less and less interested in the campaign, the fighting became less and less organised. The orks, never interested in defence, began launching their own uncoordinated assaults on whatever enemy they could find, which increasingly ended in disaster as the independent roving greenskin warbands were cut down by the imperium, the tyranids or even the necrons. By 04.020M42 the ork forces were dwindling, but there was no way off the planet.
While this state of affairs didn't particularly bother the orks, the grots, effectively enslaved by their bigger kin, were growing worried. If the orks kept getting massacred what would happen to them? How would they escape this hell hole and help the ork race elsewhere? The grots began discussing the problem amongst themselves, and this discussion started to become alarm as their ork overlords became fewer and fewer.

The grots decided to solve the situation in the only way they knew how. Seeing the chaos forces as the root of the problem, and their larger kin unable to overcome the remaining worshippers of the dark gods, the grots armed themselves. Helped by the extra time they now had not waiting on as many orks, the grots built themselves their own army, then openly challenged their chaos employers to come and fight them. At first, the sight of thousands of diminutive greenskins dressed in ill fitting armour or clanking around in frankly ridiculous mechanical constructs gave the chaos forces a great deal of amusement as they shambled across the shattered plains of Hexis.

The laughter began to tail off however, as the chaos lords slowly realised just how numerous this horde was. Suddenly the grots stopped shambling and charged at the first chaos warband - formerly part of the Claws of Lorek - as the rest of the chaos army looked on in confusion. The chaos warband itself was paralysed in shock and disbelief that these ork slaves were actually intending to attack them, but it wasn't a dream.

The grot army slammed into the chaos army and swarmed all over them. Meanwhile grots suddenly appeared in the enemy camps, slitting the throats of many chaos generals and generally spreading confusion and disarray amongst the chaos forces. With the forces of Lorek completely overwhelmed, the rest of the chaos army beat a hasty retreat, abandoning the outskirts of Praxis and withdrawing to the relative safety of the denser ruins. The great grot uprising had begun.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Ynnari move on Bymarsh

All 40k's New Eldar Psychic Awakening Rules Revealed - Spikey BitsThe next assault on Bymarsh was not long in coming. The Ynnari continued their push from Blackhollow and slammed straight into General Veers front line just days after the loss of the settlement further north. The Hammers of the Emperor were prepared for the onslaught, but despite holding the Ynnari on their left flank, they were swiftly forced back on the right. Then the flocks of razorwings swamped the astartes in the centre, and despite putting Yvraine out of the fight, the Yncarne then showed it's deadly hand. Using eldritch powers to manifest wherever it was needed, the avatar of death overwhelmed the imperial defences, and the remnants of the Hammers were forced to abandon their lines and retreat back towards the city itself.

The Ul'Staer craftworld then launched it's own attack, attacking the Hammers from the west and threatening to cut off the astartes from the city before heavier units from Veer's guard and adeptus mechanicus divisions could reach their positions. Supported by an astounding array of weapons platforms, the Aeldari tested the astartes as they attempted to fall back in an orderly way. In order to stem the tide the captain of the Hammers chapter ordered an attack to buy more time, as frantic messages from high command assured him that if he could hold for a few more hours, the Adeptus Mechanicus would be in position at Bymarsh.

The Hammers of the Emperor charged their foe, led by intercessors and their repulsor grav tanks. The initial assault was successful, causing mass casualties in the eldar ranks and pushing the aliens back. However the enemy regrouped and counter attacked,  massacring the Emperor's finest and decimating the chapter forces on the planet. However, the time bought by the sacrifice of the astartes was enough to allow the rest of the imperial army to deploy into Bymarsh. The battle subsided and the Imperium waited, wondering when the next assault would come.

Mimir VII retaken by Tau forces

Eastern Empire Down - Eastern EmpireThe war over Hexis and in the Persues Deeps was seen as largely irrelevant to the tau. Thanks to their alliance with the Kel Sandros Eldar, the tau had been kept largely oblivious to the wars over the necron devices, their Empire held together by the gift of the Foramen Ancilla from the Aeldari. The tau had suffered from the coming of the great rift, but still had plans to expand into the Hadron Expanse, with help from the Federacy.

Echo Reach had become the hub of Tau expansion, while Hussaria had become a warzone against the Imperium. The tau had successfully invaded the world but then a counter invasion by general Percival's forces put paid to any assumption that the Imperium would not fight for territory so far away from the strategically vital warzones. The Imperium would fight for every scrap of land.

Against chaos, the Emerald Serpent had a major base at Boltarean, and recognised the tau expansionism for the threat it was. Late in 019M42 they had invaded the outer worlds of the Mimir system, held by the Federacy, which had been countered and halted by intervention from the tau. Now the tau commander Malkaor finally had enough supplies to counter attack the chaos forces in the system, and landed on the besieged planet of Mimir VII, where the tau garrison had been holding out against the Emerald Serpent for months.

The attack by the newly arrived tau forces did not go as smoothly as they had wished, as the Emerald Serpent quickly sent in their elite forces to hold the tau attack. A brutal battle erupted in front of the single outpost on the otherwise cold dead world, with the tau forces coming under a brutal counter attack. After hours of savage fighting, somehow the tau invasion force held on, and as the Mimir star set on the battlescene, the chaos forces finally withdrew, preferring to continue the war at Mimir from a stronger position elsewhere. The death toll had been enormously high for such an unimportant dead world, but if the Mimir system was to be claimed by the tau, every chaos foothold would have to be systematically cleared. The cost of such operations would need to be reduced however, as this level of slaughter was considered unacceptable by Alliance high command.

Eldar make gains on Destino

Aleph Sector 40K Campaign: Escalation At PalantirWhile the Ynnari and their craftworld eldar allies continued to prosecute their campaign against the Imperium on Corticant, the Kel Sandros had matters to deal with elsewhere. Taking advantage of the distraction of the war on Mordecai, the eldar craftworld assaulted the weaker forces of chaos on Destino, a system which had been held by the eldar and chaos forces since the war for the Foramen had begun. The eldar hadn't shown much interest in fully taking the system, a situation the forces of chaos were content with, but on 0904.020M42 a full scale attack by the Kel Sandros fell upon the ice world of Destino VI. 
Unprepared and ill equipped to deal with the invading eldar, the small chaos warband garrisoning the world was swiftly overrun and destroyed. These "second line" forces, mostly loyal to the former leader of chaos in the sector - Lorek - once again failed to distinguish themselves, attracting the ire of Warsmith Stahl and the Emerald Serpent alike. However, these forces had been deliberately ill equipped and posted to backwater planets, a fact the Kel Sandros had been all to willing to take advantage of.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Knights overrun at Blackhollow

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The next move by the Aeldari on Corticant was at Blackhollow. The Ynnari were becoming frustrated with the failure of their craftworld allies to secure the initial breakthroughs their elite forces made, and were forced once again to use their highly mobile forces to probe the imperial defences. The loss of the Bymarsh webway portal was a setback, but the Ynnari, led by Yvraine and the avatar of the dead - the Yncarne, were sent into battle once again this time at Blackhollow, the next nearest settlement to the device chamber on the surface of the planet.

Defending Blackhollow was a detachment of knights from house Corvus, who were attached to the Adeptus Mechanicus mission on Corticant. General Veers had confidence in the knights, as the powerful war machines had bested a number of foes including the heretek mechanicus of Cybixx. However, the knights had never faced the Ynnari before, and the speed and durability of this new foe came as quite a shock.

The knight's firepower, awesome as it was, was found wanting against the fast moving and agile jetbikes, while the flocks of razorwings clouded the skies and were almost impossible to deal with. Although the knights stood firm and tried to give ground in order to bring their firepower to bear for longer, the Ynnari were too fast. Despite taking a shieldbreaker missile to the head, somehow Yvraine was able to rejoin the fight, and while the jetbikes were slowly whittled down by the massed guns of helverins and the knight Castellan, the imperial lines were soon overrun.

The appearance of the Yncarne in the middle of the imperial lines soon brought low the knight errant, and although the Mechanicum Skitarii put up a spirited defence of the buildings they had turned into fortresses, eventually they and their great war machines were smashed to pieces by the rampaging Aeldari. Blackhollow fell, and Veers was forced to move his reserves from fort Bastion, including the astartes from the Hammers of the Emperor chapter, who now took up positions north of Bymarsh to stop the inevitable move south by the eldar.

Necrons rise on Hexis

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Since the destruction of the necron device on Hexis the major powers had scaled back their efforts to hold and take ground on the blasted wasteland. Now the device had been lost altogether, the ruins of Hexis and the entire system of Lysis had lost all strategic significance, but for a number of reasons, the planet remained a contested battleground, although with diminished priority.

For the Imperium, the planet and the system still represented value. There was a necron ruin to explore, and the Adeptus Mechanicus were not willing to entirely give that up. General Konev still had a job to do, and if he was frustrated at no longer leading the most important campaign in the sector, he didn't show it. In the city of Praxis, the chaos forces held the ground, with the tyranids and genestealers of R'lyeh running riot in the eastern wastelands.

The necrons however, despite not being fully awake or able to access their full strength, still desired to rid the surface of their world of the invading "infestation". Marshalling a new host, the ancient race moved in force on the main city in early 04.020M42. Although defended by the chaos pact, the area directly to the south of Praxis was mostly occupied by the greenskin freebooters that had been present to augment the chaos forces at the outset of the campaign. The new necron assault took the orks completely by surprise, and over the course of a single Terran day, the greenskins were cleared from the south west of the ruined city, and the necrons were one step closer to retaking their ancient stronghold.