Sunday, May 31, 2020

Tau attack thwarted at Dnatha

On Dnatha the Tau forces led by Commander Malkaor prepared to take advantage of the strategic situation the Imperium now found themselves in by launching a rapid invasion of the inner worlds, including Dnatha Prime, the heart of the Imperial presence in the system with a population of several million.
Malkaor's troops landed without facing much in the way of resistance, bolstering the Tau belief that with the collapse of the Foramen Interdictum imperial forces on the wrong side of the rift were close to collapse. Over confident, the Tau high command did not commit their full force to the invasion, keeping several units of crisis suits in reserve in case pockets of resistance flared up.
The Imperium however were feigning weakness. As the Tau landed they were walking into a carefully laid trap organised by the Hammers of the Emperor. Suddenly a column of astartes impulsors surged into view, making straight for the tau positions. The space marine surgical strike was delivered with accuracy and devastating firepower, concentrated at the heart of the Tau positions. The Tau, used to having the edge on manouverability, found their positions overrun and their headquarters eliminated. Malkaor did now commit his reserves in an attempt to halt the advance of the space marines, but this was far too late. The Imperium, listening in to the Tau communications, determined the Tau were about to pull out, and rather than risk astartes casualties, the space marines for once let the xenos go, while the Tau were left to ponder how such an easy invasion had gone so wrong.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Mordecai System

Ynnari raid the orks on Hexis

Although the eldar had successfully acquired the necron device on Hexis, they still had a vested interest on the planet. They knew that beneath the surface of the shattered world there was another powerful artefact known as the Nexus Arrangement. In order to locate this, the Aeldari sent in small agile forces to scour the landscape, and determined that vital information on the artefact was held by the orks, whether they were aware of this or not. Rapidly, harlequin forces were sent in against the orks, attacking with surprise and overwhelming power that temporarily shattered the ork forces. Enough time was gained for the eldar to retrieve the vital information they needed, before the far more numerous greenskin hordes were able to counter attack and overwhelm the Aeldari force. The harlequins had given the eldar race valuable new information on the location and nature of the Nexus Arrangement.

Astralis arises

General Kutuzov looked across his desk at the Imperial headquarters of the Mordecai Secundus campaign at the adjutant standing with the imperial psyker who had just delivered a bombshell to the general.
"Is there any physical evidence of this?" The general asked.
The adjutant looked across to the Logis Strategos adept who shifted on his feet a little before approaching the desk.
"Sir," the adept paused, his fingers nervously handing over the intelligence data slate. Kutuzov had a reputation for raging, but on this occasion the veteran general appeared calm. Nonetheless the adept seemed afraid of the information he was delivering.
"Analysis of enemy troop concentrations appear to suggest that there is a ring of forces being prepared around Kuneus. In addition there are Emerald Serpent forcess massing to the north west of the position. It appears as if something of great value is taking place at Kuneus, and that the forces of chaos are preparing for a massive attack. It is... Consistent, with my learned colleague."
Kutuzov stood, his height giving him added presence amongst those in his planning chamber. In the alcoves, several of his colonels stood and waited for his instructions.
"So, the traitors are planning a ritual. For what purpose we do not know, but it must be stopped. Have the astartes been alerted?"
"They have my lord", answered his adjutant, "but they are unable to respond at this time."
Quickly the general's eyes bore down on his colonels.
"What units do we have in the area?"
There was an awkward pause as the colonels looked at each other, as if waiting for someone else to take that question. Eventually the southern front commander stood forward, and cleared his throat.
"Sir, the only forces capable of responding in the timescale suggested are... The Librian 101st and 57th regiments."
The room fell silent. Least trusted in battle following the secession of the Librian system, and having a record as unreliable in combat, the Librians had been posted to rear areas and mopping up jobs. Now they alone could stop whatever ritual the chaos forces were planning.
Kutuzov briefly looked at the floor before addressing the room.
"So be it. And may the Emperor protect us all. Have an offensive drawn up immediately".
The Librian regiments near to Kuneus received their priority orders on 2405.020M42. Tasked with immediately advancing towards a location where they were told forces of the traitors were "planning operations which could have a deleterious impact on the campaign", the Librians were simply given orders to advance and take specific locations. Nothing of the ritual was mentioned. Colonel Jefferies dutifully planned an offensive and less than a day later the Librians moved forwards from their start lines.
The reaction to the advance was rapid from the Emerald Serpent, who deployed their elite Thousand Sons against the Imperial Guard, using arcane powers to teleport their forces around the battlefield as they were required. The imperial bombardment from basilisks and manticores was heavy, and the battle soon hung in the balance. Dropping in from orbit, Scions of the 51st reinforced the tanks and guardsmen on the ground as they advanced, taking many of the imperial objectives. However, the use of psychic powers meant the numerically inferior traitor astartes were able to react to each threat, and despite many of them being reduced to dust, the Librian 101st regiment started to take heavy casualties amongst the infantry.
The Librian tanks soon followed, showing once again their alarming predilection towards explosive conflagrations, as the imperial right flank began to collapse. Although the Imperium still had ample artillery raining down on the Emerald Serpent and had taken the objectives on their left, the overall advance stalled. Two days later, with their main objective still not taken, the Librians were appalled to see a great flash of light stream up from the land in front of them, streaking into the night sky far into the Mordecai system.
Two imperial transports were annihilated by this psychic emanation, but worse was to come. As the imperial fleet detected an energy spike which blew out all their sensors, the warp itself exploded into realspace within the Mordecai system. With a psychic shock that every living thing felt, a daemon world forced its way from the immaterium in an obscene mirror of birth. Astralis, daemon world of the Emerald Serpent had manifested itself in the Mordecai system. The Librian attack was cancelled.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Craftworld Eldar take Fairmoor

Despite the eldar having taken the device, it was clear they intended to continue the war at Corticant until Veers' army and the entire human population was removed. Now cut off, the Librian forces at Fairmoor planned a breakout attempt while, they thought, the eldar attention was concentrated at the Excavation Site and at Violetwind Coast. However, as the tanks of the Librian Guard rolled up to their start line and prepared to start their offensive towards imperial forces at Lochford, they were suddenly and unexpectedly attacked by an armoured force from the Ul'Staer Craftworld which had not been seen before.

The surprise was total, as eldar falcons and fire prisms, supported by weapons platforms and night spinners, swarmed into view. The Imperium didn't get the chance to open fire before nearly a third of their tanks were reduced to wrecks by the eldar firepower, and the supporting infantry found themselves in the open with nowhere to hide. The Librian commander attempted to regain the initiative by ordering his artillery to open fire, but the eldar vehicles were too agile and the Librians failed to do any real damage. With no alternative, and with his tanks showing an alarming predilection towards detonating in spectacular explosions, the Librian colonel ordered in his airborne reserve force.

Dropping in from high altitude the disciplined Scions of the Librian army landed in the midst of the enemy artillery vehicles, destroying one and pausing the eldar advance, at least for several minutes. Unfortunately lacking support, the scions were quickly mopped up by the superior aeldari firepower, and the remaining Librian units were systematically hunted down and eliminated. Eventually the colonel himself was killed by the eldar commander - a farseer riding a jetbike. Despite his refractor field saving him from the eldar spear, the eldar leader's gunfire put an end to the colonel and the last of imperial resistance in the west of Corticant. Fairmoor fell, and the eldar now had a secure front line against the Imperium from which they could launch an advance in a number of direction. The situation for Veers looked dire.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Imperium draw up new strategic plan

Justinian Flavius Maximus was at Vastrid when the news broke of the collapse of the Foramen Interdictum. Although this was a devastating blow, the Lord General Militant quickly established that astropathic communication across the rift was still possible, although at least for now, travel was not. Maximus contacted General Veers and Percival, confirming Veers in command of all forces in the Perseus Deeps and Percival in command of the Hadron Expanse. He ordered both to go over to the defensive until "the strategic situation improved" but ordered no evacuations or any withdrawals. The Imperium would fight for every last scrap of soil they held, to the last man if necessary. At Mordecai, Kutuzov continued to dig in, while Percival made provisions to defend Dnatha from the Tau and Konev from his myriad threats at Hexis.

Bova Magnus, his fleets now split on either side of the rift, pulled his fleets together to defend his most important assets. The fleets concentrated at Mordecai and in the Hadron Expanse at Awarath, to prevent a sudden and devastating invasion of the Imperial HQ in the subsection. General Konev, who had prosecuted the bloody campaign at Hexis for so long, was informed he would no longer have fleet support.

While the Imperium dug in in the Imperium Nihilis, the astartes were urged to seek and secure the one remaining necron device not accounted for. Lost by the inquisition while fleeing from the Emerald Serpent, the device was known to have phased out to its homeworld. Unfortunately, no one had a clue where that was. If it was in the Aleph Sector it needed to be found, installed and used to open a new Foramen through the Cicatrix, regardless of the "heresy" this would entail.

Lord General Maximus also ordered up plans to take the Hellheim system, consisting of the inhabited worlds of Donar, Cernunnos and Einmyrria, where the necron device holding open the Foramen Ancilla was located. Held be the Tau and Eldar forces, this would be challenging, and an advance from the Vastrid or Valitane subsectors would mean all out war with the Federacy, which the Imperium could ill afford on top of all its other woes. Instead, a plan to pacify the Tau at Parius then invading from the Nihilis side was drawn up. However, this would only be successful once the Bastien and Parthenope systems were hastily converted into fleet bases and supply centres, a project that could take months or even years.

Foramen Interdictum collapses

On 2605_020M42 the Ynnari performed a ritual on Corticant that deactivated the necron device. Immediately the Foramen Interdictum began to collapse. In both the Majoris and Minoris channels roiling warp currents began moving as two great waves of energy roared towards one another, finally crashing together in a vortex of incredible power. The shockwaves from the event were felt across the sector by psykers, with many suffering a sudden and unpleasant death as their minds imploded. Close to the rift itself planets were rocked by strange psychic phenomena. Plants withered and died, time briefly flowed backwards in some places and in others, many saw the ghosts of the dead walking for up to an hour.

Only one system, Paradorn, was caught between the crashing waves of the warp. However the eldar had already planned for this. Rather than being consumed by the warp, the system, now fully occupied by the Aeldari, simply vanished from existence, as the entire system was moved into the webway. Along the channels themselves however, it was those ships and convoys making the crossing that suffered the most dreadful fate. Hundreds of ships were caught in the warp itself as the Foramen collapsed. Badly needed supplies, mostly imperial, would never make it to their destinations. For the lucky few in the centre of the maelstrom the end came quickly as their ships were simply obliterated by the waves of warp energy crashing into them. Others were less fortunate as their Gellar fields simply collapsed under the pressure, and the denizens of the warp quickly entered the ships to feast on the souls aboard.

Within hours the storm had calmed and the Cicatrix Maledictum was once again an unbroken line from one end of the galaxy all the way to the last remaining stable channel - the Foramen Ancilla, held open for the Federacy and the Tau to maintain their forces by consent, at least for now, of the Aeldari. The device on Corticant, now inert, was taken by the Ynarri, who now had two of the five known devices. In the Perseus Deeps and beyond, Imperial forces were now in a serious position. Cut off from supply from the sector capital at Vastrid, the armies of the Emperor would now have to rely on local supply, but the Imperium lacked the number of major worlds to do this. Only Bastien qualified as a major supply hub, as the rest of the Imperium's holdings could only be described as outposts or minor worlds.

Imperium pushed back at Violetwind Coast

As the Imperium concentrated on the device chamber, their forces elsewhere reduced. The inevitable result of this was that when the eldar launched an attack against Violetwind coast, the Imperium were less than prepared. Craftworld eldar forces fell upon the city, routing the imperial forces there and pushing Veers' army south along the coast of lake Hartford towards Lochford. Although the Aeldari now had what they came for, it seemed as if they would not stop until the world of Corticant was taken from the Mon-keigh.

Blood Angels fail to retake Device chamber

On Corticant, general Veers knew he had to retake the device chamber, at any cost. If he failed, the Ynnari would almost certainly deactivate the necron artefact, leading to the collapse of the Foramen Interdictum with disastrous consequences for the imperial campaign in the Imperium Nihilis. With all haste, the Blood Angels launched a direct strike against the excavation site, hoping that the might of the astartes would break the Ynnari defences long enough for Imperial Guard forces to follow up and drive the xenos back north.

The plan fell apart almost immediately. As the Blood Angels closed with their enemy, their own standard bearer was taken out by the xenos forces, shattering the astartes morale. The elite forces of the venerable space marine chapter seemed to become paralysed by indecision, an the Ynarri force simply tore them apart. This disaster at the excavation  site was swiftly followed by a similar disaster as the guard, expecting their enemy to have their hands full dealing with the Blood Angels, sent in their attack unaware that the astartes attack had been a failure.

The result was predictable and horrific. What became known as the Massacre of Arid Plateau saw an entire astra militarum regiment simply wiped out. Veers was said to have wept at the news, as his army was forced onto the defensive to protect Lochford and Arenhal Junction. Any chance to retake the device chamber had now been lost, and Veers could only watch as events unfolded beyond his control.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Astartes stabilise the line at Mordecai

On Mordecai general Kutuzov was facing difficulties. Supplies were low and he had lost much of the territory gained in the offensive against the Saguthar mines and the strategically vital refining city of Kuneus. The Imperium were certain the forces of chaos were planning a new offensive and sought aid from the astartes to delay this inevitable outcome for as long as possible.

The Blood Angels and Hammers of the Emperor conducted two missions against the chaos forces in the south, with the astartes targetting key locations where chaos forces were mustering. The Blood Angels successfully achieved their objectives, disrupting supply lines leading to the front line, while the Hammers of the Emperor launched a mission deep into nurgle held territory.

The Hammers once again launched a narrow armoured thrust into chaos held territory, where the forces of nurgle and tzeentch attempted an ambush. Possessed marines rushed the column, causing some damage, but were brutally cut down by the intercessors as they disembarked. Following up with their hammers in hand, the loyalist astartes ripped into their enemy, as the chaos forces' psychic powers deserted them. Their ambush now blunted, the chaos forces were torn to shreds, allowing the space marines to raid their supply bases and return to their own lines relatively unscathed. The traitor forces ability to launch a full scale offensive had been reduced, at least for now, allowing Kutuzov to dig in his guardsmen along the front line.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Showdown at Corticant - Outcome

The failure of the Imperial assault on the Excavation Site came as a bitter blow to general Veers and all the operational commanders involved. The entire area had been almost completely levelled, and the surface of the world was a ruined and battered landscape. The sheer amount of storm eagle rockets fired would have seen off most enemies, but the Ynnari had not been removed. The Imperium hadn't even been able to sever the eldar supply line to Bymarsh thanks to the intervention of the eldar air wing, and now Veers knew it was only a matter of time before the eldar would be able to switch off and steal the necron device, plunging the Imperium into a new crisis in the Perseus Deeps.

This outcome had to be prevented at any cost. Now Veers turned to the astartes and implored them to retake the device chamber. The activated necron artefact holding open the Foramen Interdictum and the centre of bitter wars since 017M42 could not now be allowed to fall into aeldari hands.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Showdown at Corticant - Veers attacks the Ynnari

Basilisk | Warhammer 40k | FandomWith his plans for an offensive destroyed by the sudden southern rush by the Ynnari, general Veers quickly converged his forces on the Excavation Site now occupied by the eldar. With a titan, an enormous amount of artillery and support, the Imperium vowed to remove the eldar, or level the entire region with their firepower.

The advance on the site did not go as fast as Veers wanted however, as a combination of terrain and harassment from the eldar air force slowed the progress of the Novgorod Infantry. To counter this, Veers moved his super heavy battalion in a position to threaten the giant Vampire Hunters. The imperial behemoths were able to take one of the monstrous flyers down, at the cost of one of their own Shadowswords, and the Adeptus Mechanicus were instrumental in using techno warfare to confuse the aeldari communications traffic, nullifying the initial advantage held by the enemy in the air.

The eldar deployed multiple fast moving airborne units and bikes to constantly distract and pin down the Imperial forces. Although the Imperial Navy was on hand, the harlequin biked proved particularly difficult to deal with, and the all important Scion drop to cut the aeldari off from their supply was pinned down by aggressive attacks from the eldar air wing. Veers was never able to close this supply line, and over three days of heavy fighting, despite wearing the Aeldari down, they were unable to remove them from the Excavation Site.

By the fourth day, the action began to wane. The Imperial force had not been destroyed but was low on ammunition and simply couldn't keep up the bombardment. The eldar, battered and having lost their commander and several powerful war assets, were nonetheless still fully in control of the Excavation Site and the strategic prize of the necron device.

Showdown at Corticant - Craftworld Eldar repulsed

As the Imperium reacted to the sudden move by the Ynnari, the Gregorian regiments to the south west of Violetwind Coast suddenly found themselves under a determined assault by Craftworld eldar attempting to reach the Hartford Lake and cutting off their supply. Supported by Wraithknights the eldar pushed the imperial force back, but the Gregorians were able to call on their mobile airborne reserve and their Knight support.

The appearance of the Knight onto the battlefield was pivotal. As a Wraithknight turned its attention to the dangerous imperial war engine, its charge was halted by a well timed and well aimed shot with the Knight Valiant's Thundercoil Harpoon. The damage to the eldar wraith construct was devastating, and the battle turned after that, as the scions counter attacked, using their airborne units to outmanoeuvre their enemy and pushing forward with their taurox mounted units. The eldar were caught in an hellish vice, forcing them to retreat. The imperial force was able to pursue, routing the eldar and preventing the all important cut off against Lake Hartford. Now Veers had a real chance to deal a fatal blow to the exposed Ynarri force at the Excavation Site.

Showdown at Corticant - Prelude to battle and early Ynnari advance

Eldar Corsairs Review: Vampire Raider | Frontline Gaming
While general Veers was planning his grand assault on Corticant to take ground and hunt down the webway portals, he was unaware of the opposing forces' building up against him. The Ynarri and their eldar allies were able to completely disguise their military build up by hiding their forces in the webway. The force the aeldari were about to unleash on the Imperium in order to take the evacuation site and device chamber was massive, and almost equal to the forces employed by the xenos at the battle of Sentinel many years before. 

On the Imperial side, Veers planned a simple but brutal advance using his Novgorod and Valdograd regiments, supported by a warhound from the Legio Titanicus, as well as a full battalion of super heavy tanks. From his start points this force would  fan out into the wastelands, harrying and pursuing any eldar forces in order to throw a defensive ring around the inhabited zone, while systematically destroying the access the eldar enjoyed to the world.

On 1905.020M42 the Imperium began moving its forces into position, but before Veers even got to start the attack, the Ynarri struck. Pouring from the webway the Ynarri raced south from their remaining positions on Corticant during the night with no regard for consolidation of their positions. The massive concentration of force included massive Vampire Hunter aircraft, a full spearhead of Fire Prisms and an entire Wraith Host.

This awesome eldar army simply smashed through Veers' screening line and before the Imperium could react, the Excavation site had been secured, along with Bymarsh and Blackhollow. Now the Aeldari had to hold on, long enough for them to deactivate and make safe the necron device. Long enough for the Imperium to respond.

To prevent an their enemy from launching a two pronged attack, the Aeldari used their Craftworld allies to launch a spoiling attack north east towards Lake Hartford. If the eldar could reach the shore, the Imperial Army would be sliced in two, and badly needed resources would need to be redirected north to counter this immediate threat to Veers' HQ. If successful, this diversion would prevent the Imperium from even being able to counter attack in strength at the all important Excavation Site. The scene was now set for the Showdown at Corticant.

Showdown at Corticant Order of Battle


Valdograd Super Heavy Tank Battalion (Shadowswords)

Legio Titanicus Warhound Scout Titan, 

3 Valdograd Artillery Regiments

2 Novgorod Armoured Regiments

6 Novgorod Infantry Regiments

1 Fraeteli Militia Regiment

14th Corticant Air Wing (Imperial Navy)

16th Stormtrooper Regiment

Aeldari (estimated by Imperial sources)

Yvraine, the Yncarne and the Visarch


Grotesques and razorwings

At least 30 Harlequin bikes

Eldar rangers

Dire avengers in wave serpents

Fire dragons in wave serpents

Spearhead of fire prisms

Air wing of Crimson Hunters

2 Vampire Hunters

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Mordecai: Scions and Knights halt chaos advance

After the loss of Kuneus general Kutuzov knew that he must win the next engagement in order to stop the total collapse of his southern armies on Mordecai Secundus. A drive north east by the forces of chaos risked the loss of the Abrax mines, a critical strategic asset crucial to the entire campaign. A defeat here could even signal the end of the campaign - and his life.
The chaos attack did not take long to develop, as a mixed force of tzeentch and nurgle forces pushed their way towards the mines. Defending the line were Kutuzov's remaining knights, with a force of Scions behind, ready to fill any breach in the lines. The battle raged furiously for hours as the imperial force stoically resisted the apparent wall of enemy forces coming towards them at a sedate but inexorable pace. The scions were forced to deploy early on to prevent this tide from washing over the defences, and many acts of heroism were noted, including the guard regiment's own 2IC, who threw himself infront of a horde of possessed to save the commander of the Gregorian 88th regiment.
At the climax of the engagement, a venomcrawler had come close to the largest of the imperial war engines when it was taken down by imperial firepower. The ensuing explosion was visible for miles, and as the mushroom cloud dissipated nothing was left in the vicinity of the chaos construct including the venerable imperial knight. The imperium had held on however, and the chaos forces had not made any inroads into the Abrax mines, ensuring the Mordecai campaign was still very much in the balance.

Hexis: Eldar raid Tyranid sector

On Hexis, the eldar had managed to gain a foothold once again, thanks to the efforts of the Sisters of Quartz, and now looked to use their knowledge they had gained of the planet to launch strikes agains the many forces now scattered around the world. the eldar were not interested in territory or the blasted ruins of the ancient cities. They had come for one thing only, information and components of the Nexus Arrangement, an artefact of such power the Ynarri had decided that no other race must obtain its secrets.
The aeldari intelligence provided by their seers had indicated that one such "clue" lay in the tyranid infestation to the north of Methoteph, and a raiding party of Ynnari set out to retrieve the object. Travelling by night, the eldar warhost slipped past the imperial patrols and into the shattered wastelands between the two cities of Hexis, and by dawn they were within sight of their target. The tyranids however were not about to allow the eldar to trespass on their ground, a fact which indicated the alien hive mind knew very well of the importance of the artefact in their possession. The eldar executed a brutal strategy to overcome the enemy, advancing on them behind a flock of razorwings that took most of the attention of the alien beasts. The Ynnari force carved a path through the living bioweapons and retrieved the prized item before melting back into the dusk shadows, content to leave the enraged tyranids to rampage through others' territory in a fruitless pursuit of their quarry.

Hammers of the Emperor retake Bymarsh

On Corticant general Veers was wary about further forays into the eldar territory around Bymarsh and Blackhollow for fear of further sudden incursions by the Ynnari. He did not want to risk a significant portion of his elite forces being cut off surrounded and reduced by a foe that had proved extremely adept at appearing from nowhere and savaging his armies. The Hammers of the Emperor however decided Veers was being too cautious. The only way to exit this situation on Corticant was to defeat the eldar in the field, then systematically find and eliminate all webway portals. Once this was achieved, Corticant would finally be safe.
The astartes had also been watching the eldar zone, knowing the Ynnari were small in number and could not be relied upon to be available in every crisis situation. Seeing that the only forces in Bymarsh were Craftworld forces, the Hammers of the Emperor launched another offensive on 1605.020M42.
As predicted, the Craftworld eldar used their mobile jetbike forces to ambush the apparently vulnerable column of impulsors, but the aeldari forces were caught off guard by the speed of the astartes counter attack. Intercessors pile out and quickly gained the centre of the battlefield just south of the settlement, opening fire on the eldar command units and night spinners who had closed too quickly with their foe. The eldar attempted to strike back, charging the marine line, but were met with fierce determination from the Primaris marines who refused to give ground. It was clear the imperial force had engineered this engagement to favour their durability, taking away the aeldari speed, and the eldar commander began to retreat. This act seemed to dishearten the warhost of Ul'Staer, whose resolve then seemed to falter. The astartes hunted the eldar commander down, killing him, and were on course for a crushing victory. Suddenly however, a troupe of harlequins entered the fray, taking down the Hammer's captain after he had narrowly escaped death from an exploding tank. Dazed from the blast, the captain of the space marines was cut down by the elite of the aeldari, but the harlequins soon suffered the same fate as their brethren, as the Hammers of the Emperor eliminated the entire eldar warhost.
Saddened by the loss of their captain, the Hammers of the Emperor had nonetheless recaptured Bymarsh, and only Blackhollow now remained an eldar stronghold. The astartes implored general Veers for one last mighty push to draw out the eldar forces and finish them once and for all. Veers now had to decide. Would he risk it all on one final effort?

Orks threaten Tau supremacy in Hadron Expanse

Although the Tau advance in the Hadron Expanse was now gaining some momentum, the expansionist xenos did not have things all their own way as 020M42 progressed. While they were concentrating on taking the fight to the Imperium, less well defended systems soon found themselves under attack from a rejuvenated greenskin menace.
The first the tau knew of the ork threat was when an ork rok, along with a host of smaller craft, entered the Echo Reach system, at the heart of the Hadron Expansion sphere. The orks then fell upon the less heavily populated outer worlds causing chaos and destruction wherever they went. The orks seemed to be intent on looting and raiding, before taking back their spoils to their ramshackle fleet, but this was enough of a threat for the tau to send in an elite hunter cadre against the greenskins, in the hope of driving them out of the Echo Reach system.
Unfortunately the orks, supported by grot tanks and a gigantic squiggoth, were more than happy to engage in a fight, and the arrival of the tau military force only seemed to make them all the more enthusiastic. The battle on the outer worlds dragged on for days, before the squiggoth was finally put down. The tau meanwhile took heavy casualties, losing a tau'nar battlesuit, and the tau were forced to evacuate their cadre and watch helplessly as the orks ransacked their outer bases. By the time the tau sent in their fleet and several more heavily armed battlegroups, the greenskins were long gone, leaving destruction and devastation in their wake.

Mordecai Secundus: Kutuzov's southern front collapses

With the Imperial army on the defensive on Mordecai Secundus it was only a matter of time before the chaos forces launched their own grand offensive against Kutuzov's forces. Although the imperial general could not be certain where or when this attack would come, he madeplans to counter any chaos assault, digging in his front line guard units and holding his astartes forces in reserve as a rapid reaction force.
On 1405.020M42 the attack came, in the south, where Kutuzov's armies had had the least time to prepare positions. The attack was led by the death guard and a large number of elite dreadnoughts, that brushed aside the troops at the front and driving directly for the city of Kuneus. Now Kutuzov had a good idea of the chaos plans and the Carcharadons agreed to carry out a precision strike on the leading elements of the chaos attack, hoping to decapitate the offensive and force the traitor forces back to their start lines.
The Carcharadon drop went wrong from the outset. Somehow the chaos army had managed to gain prior warning of the attack, and had swarmed over the astartes planned drop zones. It was too late for the space marines to call off the attack however, and the as they landed the astartes came under withering fire from the Death Guard walkers, backed up by swarms of cultists. The Carcharadron strike was severely neutered, and the chaos forces had an insurmountable tactical position. Inevitably, the pockets of astartes that made it into contact with the enemy were surrounded and wiped out, leading to a tragic and costly massacre which directly lead to the collapse of Kutuzov's southern line.
Realising he had no choice, the imperial general ordered a withdrawal to shorten his lines and save what men and equipment he could, before the Death Guard could surround and cut off his entire southern wing. This meant abandoning Kuneus to the forces of chaos, and handing back the precious toe-hold the Imperium had in the Sathugar mines. The reversal now left Kutuzov facing the threat of a chaos breakthrough which could only be stopped by his reserve force of Knights and Astra Militarum Scions. Meanwhile, the Carcharadons began immediate investigations to find the source of the intelligence leak which had cost them so dearly.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Dnatha: Gregopolis falls to the tau

With the loss of Dnatha V, it was clear the Imperial outer world of Gregopolis would come under attack before any major assault on Dnatha Prime. The dusty barren yet habitable world was home to a significant armoury and inter-planetary missile silos and attacj squadrons. Leaving this world unconquered while trying to assault Dnatha Prime would leave the Tau invasion fleet vulnerable. Well shielded and kept in underground bunkers constructed by the Imperial Fists, the forces on Gregopolis would need to be overwhelmed in a land campaign before the main invasion of the Prime world could begin.
To counter the threat, Percival recieved aid from the Carcharadons chapter of space marines, who would lie in wait and ambush the tau forces as they disembarked from their mantas and began preparing an assault on the underground defence bunkers. Unfortunately for the astartes, Tau intelligence managed to sieze vital information, and when the Tau landed a decoy force on the world, the Carcharadrons took the bait.
The space marine vanguard veterans were supposed to be setting up their own line ready to ambush the advancing Tau, but, knowing in advance of their deployment, squadrons of Sun Sharks suddenly appeared and ripped apart the marine infantry positions with a devastating display of Tau firepower. Reacting quickly, the Carcharadons sent in their mobile reserve force, launching a drop pod assault directly into the tau command units. This caused some disruption and caused a significant number of casualties, but the Tau simply had too much firepower. Eventually even the determined cataphracti terminators were cut down by the withering firepower and the Carcharadon ambush had turned into a total victory for the invading Tau. Following this victory, taking the bunkers from the Imperial Navy personell was a simple matter of mopping up. By 1405.020M42 Gregopolis was in Tau hands and the path to the invasion of Dnatha Prime now lay wide open.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

White Scars defend Excavation Site

Space Marines: White Scars Space Marines Tactics and List Ideas ...With the necron excavation site on Corticant at risk of another attack by aeldari forces, general veers was forced once again to call on astartes help. Realising the importance of the mission and learning from previous engagements, the White Scars in the Corticant system launched a new offensive to clear the eldar forces from the vicinity of the precious necron device, preventing the eldar from making an assault on the road that kept the fortified site supplied.

The White Scars advanced east of Bymarsh, harrassing the eldar forces occupying the settlement, before a dark eldar army moved out in numbers to meet the new threat. This time the White Scars were more wary, keeping their distance while firing their bolters and multimeltas into the enemy host, taking out their transports and fast elements. The skirmish intensified as the dark eldar were forced to employ their aerial units, which were then taken out in turn by the White Scars' heavy weapons. With the mobile units in the aeldari host taken care of, the astartes captain gave the order to charge, and a coordinated assault into close quarters fighting finshed off the dark eldar force.

With Bymarsh now surrounded, the remaining eldar in the settlement melted away, allowing Veers' regular army to once again take up positions in the now shattered and virtually uninhabited ruin of a city. However, its location on the spur of the plateau that hosted the excavation site, it remained of critical importance to the Imperium.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Corticant: reversal at Blackhollow

HERO's Gaming Blog: Ynnari: Deploying against first-turn chargeGeneral Veers suffered a severe setback in early 05.020M42 as the Ynnari once again returned to Corticant. Attacking from the hills to the north east of Bymarsh the Ynnari showed Veers that while his forces had control over the habitable zones, they had no way of preventing such unexpected attacks from the vast uninhabited wilderness areas that made up most of the world. Not at least, until every last webway portal was found and eliminated, and Veers had no idea how many there were. For now, the Imperium had made sure that every settlement and the main road junctions connecting them had protection in the form of military garrisons. Being so close to the device chamber on Corticant, Blackhollow was under the protection of the Adeptus Mechanicus, but their skitarii forces were no match for the elite aeldari force that fell upon them with frightening speed. The entire Mechanicum defending force was wiped out, taking Bymarsh and cutting off the Imperial Guard at Blackhollow further north.
With no way to rescue his forces, Veers ordered the garrison to abandon its post. The defeat of the Ad Mech forces at Bymarsh was total, but the loss of Blackhollow as a result was an even more painful, as Veers now faced an enemy that was once again in a position to assault the device chamber at the excavation site.

Saturday, May 09, 2020

Tau forces invade Dnatha system

Following their success at Hussaria, it didn't take long for the Tau to capitalise on their success. The next obvious target was Dnatha, a world well within the Tau-Federacy sphere of influence, nestled on the main warp route that ran from the Cicatrix Maledictum, through Echo Reach to Hussaria. Prior to the invasion, the Tau made threatening gestures to the more heavily populated system of Arawath, ensuring the Imperium could not be sure of the target for invasion.
When it came, the Tau strike was clinical and overwhelming. Armed with huge amounts of missiles, the Tau smashed into the outer world of the Dnatha system, overwhelming its defences and striking into the heart of the small Adeptus Mechanicus outposts stationed there. The Mechanicum force fought bravely, with the skitarii fighting stubbornly to the last, but the strength of the xenos invasion was too strong. The Adeptus Mechanicus, keen to leave with their archeotech findings intact, requested a ceasfire on 1005.020M42, and the Tau accepted. The outer bases were taken by the Tau although general Percival was furious at the agreed retreat, he had no jurisdiction with which to overrule the Mechanicum force. The rest of the Dnatha system prepared for invasion.

Inconclusive fleet action at Mordecai

With the logistics and supply situation deteriorating for the Imperium at the Mordecai system the Imperial Navy were increasingly forced to run more convoy missions from the jump point to the Mordecai Secundus battlezone. This stretched the Imperial Fleet and gave them fewer opportunities to keep a sizeable battlegroup ready should the chaos forces venture out from their now blockaded base at Mordecai Docks. It came as no surprise then when the Emerald Serpent sent a significant force from their stronghold to probe imperial defences. They knew that if they could break through the screen, commanded by Admiral Gorshkov, the chaos vessels would wreak havoc amongst the weakly defended convoy lanes the Imperium relied on.
Gorshkov's fleet spotted their enemy early on, and through some accurate nova cannon fire quickly gained an advanage, crippling two chaos vessels before the chaos fleet managed to close within range. The Imperium could not rely on this to see off the Emerald Serpent however, and a cagey engagement ensued, as Gorshkov attempted to retain this advantage while the chaos vessels concentrated on pulling the engagement back in their favour. In the end, the imperial admiral was unable to prevent one of his dominator vessels from succumbing to sustained and concentrated fire, and was unwilling to risk his fleet in order to ensure a crushing victory.
Following the destruction of the dominator class cruiser, the chaos fleet were now in a tactically inferior position, and Gorshkov positioned his fleet in such a way that if the chaos battlegroup pressed the engagement, they would likely lose badly. Wisely the Emerald Serpent withdrew. The chaos fleet did not lose any vessels and destroyed an imperial cruiser, but they had taken considerable damage. The engagement was effectively a stalemate which neither side could claim to have secured victory. However, Gorshkov had ensured the imperial convoys remained unmolested.

Thursday, May 07, 2020

Imperium lose last base at Hussaria

On 0605.020M42 the Imperium lost their last base in the Hussaria system, just days after losing their last foothold on the major inhabited planet. The result of this defeat forced the Imperial fleet to abandon the system, retreating to Awarath, and further afield, the worsening stategic and logistics situation across the sector forced general Kutuzov to formally request that his forces be allowed to go on the defensive at Mordecai.
The Imperium, commanded by General Percival in the Hadron Expanse, always expected Malkaor to launch an invasion of the Hussaria III base, but the force that attacked the isolated station was nothing like anything they had encountered previously, and suggested that another Tau commander, with a clear fondness for gun drones, had joined the Tau forces in the system. When the assualt started, the White Scars chapter were ready to respond, but were overly confident, moving too close to the tau firing line in the open, taking serious casualties in the attempt to close to melee range.
The fast moving astartes force did manage to land their charge, but even then, a force of brave and determined fire warriors on the right flank significantly delayed the White Scars advance, holding on long enough for the rest of the tau army to reposition away from the remaining human warriors. The victory for the tau was total, as the entire White Scars force sent to counter attack the invading army was wiped out by the overwhelming tau firepower. The charge had failed and the entire defence of the Hussaria III base now became untenable. The Imperium conceded defeat and abandoned the system, precipitating the subsequent halt in all offensive operations across the sector until the strategic situation improved.

Mordecai counter-attack straightens the line

Despite losing Festergax, the Imperium was able to carry out a further offensive on Mordecai Secundus, pinching out the largest salient of chaos forces that Kutuzov's recent advances had created. Led by the Imperial Guard scions, who had seen their colleagues stranded and annihilated by the Emerald Serpent following the Blood Angels' failure, were steely in their resolve to take revenge on the forces of chaos.
Defending the flanks of the salient the Black Legion had deployed several units, and these proved to be the most difficult to deal with, rather than the mass of under equipped nurgle cultists the front so often encountered. The Scions however were able to push the Black Legion back, closing the pocket from both sides, until the salient was cut off, trapping thousands of cultist forces, which were easily mopped up. The Black Legion's defence was not a total disaster however, and the chaos forces were able to evacuate much of their elite forces and equipment before the trap closed shut.
Kutuzov had a victory to celebrate, but the failure to hold on the Festergax and the inability to make wide and sweeping encirclements of the traitors on Mordecai, coupled with a deteriotating strategic and logistics position, gave the Imperial pause for thought. He now began to consider calling a halt to the offensives for the time being and go over to the defensive on Mordecai. However it was events in the far off Hadron Expanse which would finally make up his mind.

Corticant: Much of Blackwater retaken by Imperium

On Corticant, general Veers had managed to push back the eldar advance towards the device chamber, thanks to consistent support from astartes chapters. Now, the Hammers of the Emperor launched a new assault on Blackwater, where the eldar were still in control of the crucial road junction between Fairmoor and Violetwind Coast. The astartes attacked the settlement and were met by a vigorous defence from the Ul'Staer craftworld. Once again the Aeldari forces used their mobility and the webway to appear where the space marines least expected, but this time the Hammers proved to be more durable.
The Hammers of the Emperor took the fight to the eldar, causing a great deal of damage to their forces, although during the course of the battle, the astartes commander was slain in the heavy fighting. However, the crucial road junction was held, and the aeldari units were forced to retreat into the hills overlooking the settlement. Now Veers considered his plans to drive into the hills and shut down the webway portal that allowed the enemy to attack from a location so close to the device chamber.

Festergax retaken

 The counter attack by chaos forces at Festergax, the city that lay on the spur of the Mekken plateau, was not long in coming. General Kutuzov knew that control of the city was vital if he was to make the grand manoeuvres of encirclement to move the campaign forward at pace. Unfortunately for Kutuzov, the Emerald Serpent had taken an interest in this latest fight, and O'Tek Ra himself ordered the recapture of the city.
The Emerald Serpent began the assault on the city with an encircling movement, bypassing the Tempestus Scion forces who by now had fortified the city and breaking through the more vulnerable guard lines on the flanks. The city was soon fully surrounded, but the Imperium had anticipated such a move, and the newly arrived Blood Angels chapter sent their strongest elite force to break through the  chaos lines and relieve the Scions now trapped in Festergax.
The chaos forces were ready for this assault, and it was as the famed death company of the Blood Angels charged into the lines of Thousand Sons troops that their daemonic allies appeared. Infused with the strength of the warp, a Daemon prince ripped into the elite Blood Angels' squad, tearing them apart and shattering the astartes attack. The very best of the Emerald Serpent and their Thousand Sons legionaries battled with the superhuman astartes warriors for hours, but the power of the warp favoured the traitors. Shattered by the appearance of the daemonic host, the astartes reluctantly withdrew from the battlefield, ensuring the total destruction of the Scions now left to defend Festergax with no hope of relief. Just days later, the Emerald Serpent and their allies finished off the last of the Imperial forces, and in a bitter blow to Kutuzov's campaign, reclaimed the vital city for the Dark Gods.

Monday, May 04, 2020

Necrons move towards Praxis

The Imperium suffered a second reversal in a week following their defeat to the greenskins on Hexis. Clearly re-engergised by the Imperial interest in excavating ancient ruins around the Haknur Plateau, the Adeptus Mechanicus force protecting the investigations soon came under fire from necron forces. A savage battle erupted across the barren high ground, with both sides losing their commanding officers. Eventually however the mechanicum force were driven off by the ancient Xenos, and the alien force moved inexorably towards the capital of Hexis.

Sunday, May 03, 2020

Hussaria reclaimed by tau

Following the successful advance by the Tau in 04.020M42, the assault on Orebro was being prepared by the Tau commander Malkaor. He knew that the Imperium would likely put in place fixed defences which would be difficult to assault, while keeping back their astartes to counter strike when the tau attack faltered. Malkaor needed to come up with a strategy that would play to his army's strengths, instead of playing to the Imperium's script.
The assault started with a fire warrior and drone advance on the Imperial defences. Malkaor was careful to make this attack look like the main assault, baiting the Hammers of the Emperor into striking. This worked, and the elite astartes chapter sent their key forces sent in their armoured forces in a pinpoint strike against the strongest Tau force. This was the point at which Malkaor sent in his reserves. Hiding in a manta in low orbit a force of elite crisis suits, specifically equipped to deal with astartes, dropped into the centre of the astartes strike.
The sudden appearance of this force, described as a "crisis bomb" by the Imperial troops, had a devastating impact. The Hammers of the Emperor were massacred, and despite a retaliatory orbital strike, the damage was done. The Imperium had lost their elite strategic reserve, unhinging the defence of Orebro. Who could leave, left, as the Tau rapidly followed up taking the city and most of the PDF and Guard forces prisoner. Once again the main planet of Hussaria was in Tau hands.

Hexis Current

Saturday, May 02, 2020

Fight back on Corticant

The fighting on Corticant had reduced to skirmishes since the Ynnari and Craftworld of Ul'Staer had taken Bymarsh. General Veers was keen to retake the settlement and detailed the Novgorod Guard to assault the small city. As ever with fighting the Aeldari, the enemy maintained no fixed defences. Instead the Imperial force was allowed to enter the settlement, before the predictable ambush occurred.
This time, the Aeldari force the Novgorod faced an assault by the Dark Eldar. The fast moving xenos, travelling in lightly armoured raider vehicles, attempted to rapidly close the distance, but, aware of their enemy's predeliction for hit and run attacks, the Imperium had made sure they were adequately protected by rocket artillery. In the very first volley the drucharii suffered a telling blow as their command raider was knocked out, forcing much of their elite strike force to walk. The Imperium kept up the massive bombardment, disrupting the eldar advance even more. Jetbikes attempted to distract and harrass, but the Novgorod guard were able to fight off these attacks, causing substantial losses. When the enemy deployed mandrakes appearing from the shadows close to the guard lines, the disciplined volley fire of lasguns prevented any break in the imperial lines.
After hours of savage fighting the dark eldar attacks became more sporadic and uncoordinated, and it became clear that the Imperium had secured the city, further digging in in order to dissuade the alliance of xenos forces from sending in any further assaults.

Operation Forum Hortus succeeds

Valkyrie | Warhammer 40k | Fandom

The defeat by the Emerald Serpent on Mordecai was considered a setback, but the damage to the Adeptus Mechanicus facility did not pose an existential threat to the prosecution of the ongoing campaign. Of more concern to general Kutuzov was his worsening logistics chain and the overall strategic position, which now favoured a chaos counter attack at Mordecai. To keep the pressure up, the Imperium ordered an audacious mission to capture Festergax, the strategically vital city on the eastern end of the chaos "red wall". If this could be taken and held, the defensive positions held by chaos would be weakened, and there would be multiple breakout opportunities to exploit.
To get to the city, several defensive positions would have to be taken and held while the slower moving Imperial guard regiments moved up. This would minimise the effectiveness of the chaos defences and ensure the frontal assault on the city didn't become a dreadful bloodbath. Operation Forum Hortus was conceived to take the city quickly, without the need for valuable astartes assets to once again be deployed in a strike against chaos.
The operation was divided into two parts. Operation Forum would be an airborne drop by the Gregorian 88th. Dropping at high speed from Valkyrie transports the mission was not without risk, but the highly trained scions, well equipped with plasma weaponry, were given objectives behind the main chaos defence lines, close to the Death Guard positions outside the city. The armoured units would then follow up as part of Operation Hortus, closing the gap to the paratroops as quickly as possible before they were surrounded and reduced by counter attacking chaos forces.
Colonel Winters, commander of the Airborne regiment, personally led the first drop into the chaos defences, only to find that not only Death Guard forces but also powerful war engines of the Host of Eschar, in the form of a Knight desolator and several war dogs. The initial strike was delivered with precision, taking out the war dogs and significantly reducing the chaos capacity to swat his precious aircraft from the sky. Some of his units were less fortunate, taking casualties in the drops themselves, then more to an unfortunate series of incidents with highly volatile plasma weaponry, which through the course of Operation Forum killed almost as many scions as the chaos forces themselves. An inquiry into the weaponry later resulted in several tech priests finding new ways to serve the Emperor as servitors.
The airborne operation had secured its objectives by 0305.020M42, and taken out much of the Death Guard artillery, but despite the sacrifice of many scions and several precious valkyries, the knight desolator still stood, its avenger cannons causing destruction amongst the imperial lines. The armoured support struggled to catch up, and for much of the operation the badly needed demolisher cannons of the Leman Russ contingent remained frustratingly out of range. Colonel Winters personally turned the tide of battle however, goading the daemonic war engine by shouting various derogatory remarks while waving his baton in the air. Annoyed by this, the giant knight, despite having taken significant battle damage, determined to squash the upstart loyalist itself, burning the colonel's entourage alive with its heavy flamers before leering at the colonel as it prepared to bring its mighty foot down on his head. This was the chance Winters had been waiting for. With an arm guided by the Emperor himself, Colonel Winters launched a krak grenade into the knight's armoured cockpit, where it exploded, felling the mighty engine and ensuring Operation Forum resulted in success.
The Death Guard meanwhile had delivered their own counter attack, as a unit of terrifyingly resilient blight lord terminators caused dismay in the mustering area of Operation Hortus. However, the terminators were slow, and despite the wildly ineffective and inaccurate shooting of the battle tanks holding this ground, the elite death guard unit was unable to significantly trouble the armoured push west. Eventually the Blightlord Terminators, realising the defence of the city had crumbled, simply left, ready to be deployed elsewhere.
Operation Forum Hortus had been a success, and the city of Festergax fell to the Imperium on 0405.020M42, although it was now flanked on three sides and the 88th Gregorian had lost much of its equipment, including most of its Valkyrie transports. Kutuzov now waited for the counter attack.

Guard get shock on Hexis

On Hexis, despite the loss of the necron device, studies of the ruins of Praxis and Menthoteph were yielding tantalising clues towards another artefact of great power hidden on the ancient tomb world. While the Adeptus Mechanicus attempted to maintain secrecy over this fact, the other powers controlling ground in the system had drawn similar conclusions. Somewhere on Hexis was the Nexus Arrangement, a small but powerful artefact which would give its controller a huge advantage in campaigns across the sector.
Having been informed of the essential nature of the continued campaign on Hexis, General Konev felt it wise to secure his perimeter in the second city of Menthoteph by putting an end to the "grot uprising" to the south. With this in mind highly mobile Valdograd regiments were deployed to sweep the southern front clear of the diminutive greenskins. The colonel commanding the operation was confident he had the firepower to deal with the gretchin, but as his force moved out into the wastelands he was in for a nasty shock.
Instead of an army of small greenskins, the Valdograd were swiftly attacked by an army of full sized orks known as "speedfreaks", who had clearly joined in the fight on the side of their smaller cousins. Hurtling across the plains an array of bizarre jet propelled land vehicles known as "scrapjets" smashed into the imperial lines causing utter chaos. The Valdograd were shocked by this turn of events but quickly concentrated on dealing with the crazed orks in their ramshackle constructions, only to realise that behind this first wave, mobs of infantry boyz were following up. Unable to create a defensive perimeter due to the rampaging speedfreaks, the ork boyz were able to close on the imperial force and set about them in brutal close combat. His forces overwhelmed, the Valdograd Colonel ordered a retreat back into Menthoteph, yielding much of the plains to the south to the greenskin horde.