Thursday, July 30, 2020

Mordecai battles rage on

On Mordecai 07.020M42 saw a renewed escalation of fighting between the forces of chaos and those of General Kutuzov. The chaos forces, with the arrival of Astralis and the collapse of the Foramen Interdictum, still held a considerable strategic and logistics advantage, and they began to probe the defences of the Imperium even as Kutuzov ordered all hands to the construction of ever deeper and more elaborate entrenchments and emplacements.
First, the Death Guard once again tried to force the imperial southern flank, by deploying their elite formations for a narrow thrust along the coast. The Novogorod Guard were prepared for this however, and the opening counter barrage by the imperial artillery wrecked a great deal of the chaos assets, and stalled their initial advance. In the centre of the Death Guard formation, an entire group of blighthaulers exploded catastrophically, dealing a great deal of damage, and as the Death Guard slowly tried to regain some momentum, the insane bravery of one freateli militia squad gave hope to the imperial line, as they charged and bayoneted to death an entire squad of plague marines, as well as a dangerous Noxious Blightbringer. The southern flank held, and the entrenchments continued.
In the centre of the imperial lines, smaller probing attacks met with more success for the forces of chaos. Elite bands of Thousand Sons were able to find gaps in Kutuzov's defence lines between the southward facing "red wall" and the west facing southern defences. At this intersection, near Fort Drago, the imperial defences were incomplete, and Kutuzov had hoped that his Novgorod guard regiments would be able to resist any advance.
The forces of chaos however had learned from previous engagements, and their new assaults were supported by tanks, giving Kutuzov cause to think that this new Thousand Sons force may not be directly under the control of the Emerald Serpent. In any case, the heavy armour the predators provided quickly destroyed the Novgorod tanks support, leaving the infantry dreadfully exposed. Facing certain annihilation the Novgorod force was obliged to withdraw, opening up a salient in the imperial lines or "bulge", which Kutuzov could not afford to ignore for long.
in order to prevent an immediate exploitation of this new salient, the Hammers of the Emperor immediately conducted an armoured raid against the Death Guard who were now massing behind the new territory gained. Advancing from the north, the astartes armoured column made good initial progress, but the loss of an impulsor in a spectacular detonation inflicted heavy casualties amongst the Hammer's lascannon devastator squads. This was a severe setback, but the Hammers knew they had to reduce the capability of an immediate chaos attack so pressed on regardless. the final result of the engagement was a victory to the Imperium, but a highly pyrrhic one. The Hammers of the Emperor suffered serious losses in equipment and personell, and while the immediate threat to the imperial line had been diminished, their capacity to conduct similar operations in future had been reduced. The threat of a breakthrough by chaos forces remained.

Ynnari raid Grimlock

For years Grimlock in the Zadoc subsector had been an forgotten warzone. Since the tyranid invasion by hive fleet Nemesis the forces of chaos had lost much of their territory and were now confined to a small area in the southern continent. The tyranid invasion however had also stalled, as the Hive Fleet itself had moved on into the dark reaches of space between Grimlock and the Perseus Deeps. With no Hive mind to control them, the tyranids had reverted to beasts, existing and reproducing more like animals than a sentient single being.
In 07.020M42 however, a new force arrived. Appearing swiftly from the webway the Ynnari arrived, making a surgical strike against one of the tyranid hive nodes that represented a local manifestation of the residual hive mind. The aeldari forces struck with overwhelming force and ferocity, capturing one of the larger sentient beings before disappearing back via a webway portal. The Ynnari were seeking something on Grimlock, and it was only a matter of time before the other races in the Aleph sector discovered this secret.

Vlokarion makes a move for the Nexus Arrangement

In mid 07.020M42 the Ynnari had managed to locate three of the important clues to the Nexus Arrangement. There were still more to find, but in order to hide the existing information away from the prying eyes of the lesser races, the Aeldari chose places within the webway to keep their secrets. Unfortunately for Yvraine and her allies, the Drukhari lord Vlokarion, ever eager to gain favour with the his overlord Vect, coveted this information, and put in place a plan to have the clues, and the Nexus Arrangement, for himself.
Rather than act openly against the Ynnari, Vlokarion employed lesser kabals to do his dirty work, distancing himself from any association with those who would defy Yvraine and her purposes. However, this had a significant drawback. The kabalite forces sent against the Ynnari were inexperienced and less well equipped compared to the archon's own elite forces, and despite launching a series of raids on the Ynnari, the dark eldar were eventually cornered and crushed in a decisive battle within the webway. Yvraine's secrets were safe, and Vlokarion was denied the chance to claim the Nexus Arrangement for himself.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Hexis battles, mid 07.020M42

Heavy fighting continued on Hexis into mid 07.020M42, but the intensity of the fighting had begun to slacken as all sides ran short of strategic supplies. Hexis remained at the extreme end of every faction's logisitics framework, and even for the necrons and tyranids, who didn't have to worry about this, their resources to prosecute offensive operations were running low and needed time to replenish.
The main action in 07.020M42 saw the Adeptus Mechanicus track down and wipe out the kroot auxilliary force that had been sent to investigate the planet. The Tau force was eliminated, ending Tau hopes of finding the Nexus Arrangement themselves. If they were ever to benefit from it, they would now have to rely on their unreliable Aeldari allies.
In the south, the Ultramarines led an expedition to shore up the Imperial left flank in Menthotep. The Grot force holding the zone proved to be a surprisingly stubborn foe however, and after an intense battle, the ultramarines, mostly made up of light scouts, were unable to dislodge the greenskins from their positions on the southern edge of the city. Despite having everything thrown at them, the Grots and their ork cousins still maintained an irritating and thretening presence on the planet, and denied the Imperium the opportunity to unearth vital secrets from the south of the ruined settlement.

Hexis battles, early 07.020M42

General Konev finally recieved reinforcements in the shape of the Librian 118th Sappers regiment in early 07.020M42. The general was under no illusion that since the necron device had been taken by the Aeldari, the Imperium had lost interest in the war on Hexis. His superior, General Percival, had given him some vague instructions to look for the Nexus Arrangement, but the Mechanicum were leading the excavations and search. Konev wasn't even informed of what the Arrangement even was.
Konev however knew his duty, and in mid 07.020M42 launched a new offensive south into the ruins of Praxis, closing in on the centre of the city and pushing hard against the remaining stubborn Iron Warrior resistance that held the middle of the settlement. Using the sappers, the Iron Warriors were overrun, burned out of their positions by the mechanised guard regiment that specialised in flamer weaponry.
The Emerald Serpent meanwhile grew alarmed at the increasing pressure on their remaining holds on Hexis, and began a series of actions to protect their positions. In the east, a Thousand Sons force led an army against the tyranid hordes threatening to encircle them, breaking the Xenos army and reducing the pressure on the chaos southern flank. In the west of Praxis, a daemon host was summoned to deal with the necron threat.
Led by enraged Bloodthirsters, the daemon army was initially troubled by the highly mobile necron counter attack. However despite dealing with the greater daemons, the necrons had trouble removing the tzeentch components, and the unnatural warp magic took its toll on the necron unliving warriors. While the forces of tzeentch thinned out and dissipated the necron counter attack, a horde of bloodcrushers suddenly appeared in the rear of the necron lines, wiping out their elite units and even troubling their mighty monolith. After several hours of hard fighting it was clear the necrons couldn't hope to hold the tide, and the reanimated warriors phased out, yielding the southwestern districts to the chaos trespassers. At the same time, they were forced to abandon a vital tomb complex, allowing the Emerald Serpent to pick up the third of the six vital clues to the location of the Nexus Arrangement.

Hexis battles, late 06.020M42

On Hexis, as 07.020M42 the battles between the factions continued to rage. In the west, the necrons of the Ha'Tek dynasty continued to pose a significant threat, and extended their territorial hold, clashing with the remnants of Stahl's forces and pushing the forces of chaos back into the ruins of Praxis. In the east of the city however, the Thousand Sons, still hunting for the clues to the Nexus Arrangement, fell upon an Adeptus Mechanicus excavation at Menthoteph. They destroyed the imperial digging site, but found nothing of use.
In the space between the great cities, the wastelands became the site of several vicious battles as each side fought for dominance over the one strategic position. Deep below the area, the forces of chaos still maintained a fortress in the subterranean passageways, but above ground, the plains were a vast no mans land which each faction tried to dominate.
On such encounter involved the Tyranids of Hive Fleet R'Lyeh, as they attempted to move south from their northern strongholds. However they did not expect the ferocity of the Grot Liberation Front that barred their way, and the angry diminutive greenskins managed to turn the monstrous hive beasts back, protecting their western flank. As this action unfolded and the violence on the shattered world excalated, little did the participants know that three of the vital clues had already been removed by the Aeldari.

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Emerald Serpent assert dominance

While the battles increased in intensity on Hexis in pursuit of the Necron Device known as the Nexus Arrangement and the war on Mordecai stalled once more, the Iron Warriors saw an opportunity once more to challenge the Emerald Serpent.
By 06.020M42 Warsmith Stahl had retreated back to his domain at Charybdis, brooding over the failure of his allies. The Iron Warriors still maintained forces in the Aleph Sector however, and in late 06.020M42 the sons of Perturabo, backed by an army of daemon engines, assaulted the Emerald citadel on Mordecai Primaris, in order to destabilise the Emerald Serpent and force a change to the overall chaos strategy in the sector.
The arrival of a powerful Iron Warriors army outside the stronghold of the sorcerous cult was met not with reason or debate, but the summoning of a daemonic host led by three bloodthirsters, supported by large numbers of tzeentch lesser daemons. The Bloodthirsters gleefully charged forward, and although one was sent back to the warp by the combined firepower of the Iron Warriors, the remaining greater daemons slammed into the traitor astartes lines, tearing apart the vehicles and daemon engines of their enemy. Meanwhile the denizens of tzeentch poured psychic fire and arcane magic into the astartes themselves, thinning their number. The Iron Warriors prepared to launch a counter attack led by their lord discordant, but a soulgrinder, having failed to make an impact in the early phase of the battle, now landed telling shots on the enemy chaos lord, destroying the counter attack before it had begun.
Worse followed. With a tearing sound of reality buckling under the weight of chaos energy, an enormous host of bloodcrushers appeared, launching an immediate close assault against anything that stood in their way. By now the Iron Warriors had taken a beating trying to deal with the greater daemons, and the arrival of this new force broke their resistance. The remaining units of the traitor astartes were hunted down and eliminated, and the dominance of the Emerald Serpent was maintained.

War continues on Hexis

On Hexis the bitter fighting between the factions increased in intensity in late 06.020M42. The tau, reacting to intelligence reports that information of great value was still to be found on the world, sent an expeditionary force to the world. Made up of mainly kroot auxilliaries, they managed to land without detection in the far north of the planet and set up a base. However they soon found themselves under attack from a patrolling force of astartes scouts. The ultramarines recognised the new threat on Konev's northern flank and drove off the kroot forces, leaving the Tau Empire no closer to discovering the secrets of the underground tombs.

Further south, between Menthoteph and Praxis, the forces of chaos came to grips once again with their former allies or mercenaries, as the "Grot Liberation Front" made trouble on the eastern border of the chaos sector. The Thousand sons were able to defeat the grots and push back the greenskin held territory, but no useful land or artefacts of value were found in this action. The chaos sector was made more secure however.

In the west, the necrons and tyranids finally collided as the hive mind sought a way off the planet. The necrons, unwilling to give up their secrets fought the xenos threat in the plains south of Girishtar, but it was the ancient race who were on the losing side. Their army shattered, the necrons were forced to give ground, and the tyranids discovered vital information surrounding the nexus arrangement. Whether they would be capable of incorporating this entirely non biological artefact into their way of being remained unknown, but they tyranids appeared to be trying.