Sunday, December 18, 2022

Ergura's Fall strategic situation 1812022M42


Orks make progress on Haven

On Haven the orks were gaining the upper hand against the Imperium in the south of the main continent as 022M42 came to an end. In late 12,022M42 The Waagh boss himself, Grimskul Bloodfang, and his body guard of goff beast snagags were hunting a lone knight Lancer when the Shadow keepers attempted to come to its rescue. Finding this new army standing between him and his prize, the Waghboss brought up reinforcements in the form of speed freaks and the stompa "Hope killer".

The initial ork assault resulted in many dead speed freaks as well as squig cavalry, including the cybork big boss Bouser (who had lead the initial invasions onto the planet against the grey knights), to the fist of the telamon dreadknight. In return the orks had only managed to wound a few Custodes. However what this assault did gain, was a lot of ground for the orks who now proceeded to loot and destroy vital imperial supplies. The ork second wave then arrived including the mass of greenskin heavy infantry, which almost destroyed the Knight Lancer Grimskul had been chasing. With nowhere to go however, the wounded knight charged into the Stompa, hoping to take the beast with it. Unfortunately an ignominious end followed, as the Lancer was summarily crushed under Hope Killa's mega chopper.

The arrival off the Aalarus terminators stopped the onslaught and finished off 'Hope killer', reducing the war engine to scrap once again, but nothing that couldn't be reassembled by the ork mechs. Seeing this the ork leadership ordered a "takticul retreet", but still claiming a strategic victory, as the imperial defence had failed to hold back the ork army on their flanks and many imperial supplies and munitions had been looted by the greenskins. Grimskul Bloodfang left the field with a wide grin on his monstrous face.

Mordecai: Chaos offensive in the Central Sector

On Mordecai the seemingly never ending war of attrition continued as 022M42 drew to a close. By now the Imperium's strategic advantage from winning a key space battle had eroded such that the forces of chaos had almost recovered parity in terms of logistics, supplies and reinforcement, largely thanks to the presence of the daemon world of Astralis. The Emerald Serpent had received new allies in the form of the Night Lords, and despite some difficulties getting the traitor legion to respect a chain of command, by mid 12.022M42 the forces of chaos were strong enough to begin preparing for a new offensive.

The Thousand Sons led the new attack on the Central Front, once again targeting the Sathugar mines. This ground had been fought over time and time again precisely because control of the mining areas meant resources, and whichever side control most of the mines would eventually prevail in the war. The attack was not a sweeping offensive of manoeuvre but a brital head on assault into the westernmost portion of the mining complex. The Imperial Guard made a valiant stand but were outmatched by the firepower and chaos psychic powers of the followers of tzeentch. A regiment of Kutuzov's finest was eliminated, and the Imperium scrambled to retreat to more defensive positions. As the fighting died down the Thousand Sons had achieved their main objective, denying the Imperium complete control of the Sathugar mines. Now they considered their next move.

Erguras Fall: Necrons awaken in force

In late 12.022M42 the necrons who, had until now been attacking piecemeal from their tomb worlds, finally awoke in force on Ergura's Fall, intent on protecting their ancient tombs and ridding the world of the interlopers. The attacks by the ancient xenos came as a surprise, as neither the Tau nor the Imperium had given much thought to the necron threat, as until now it had been disjointed and largely reactive. In the meantime the Tau and Imperium had been skirmishing along their own front lines. Given the size of the world and the small forces involved, many of these had been small affairs where vicious engagements would erupt where two small patrols met. One such engagement saw the elite Adeptus Custodes engage the xenos race, narrowly defeating them and securing what the Imperial commander believed would now be a defensible perimeter from which to launch a major offensive against the Tau in 023M42.

The necrons attacked the Tau and Imperium almost simultaneously, demonstrating their strength to be able to fight on two fronts. The imperial garrison reacted by calling for assistance from the Dark Angels, who quickly launched an offensive against the wave of mechanical bodies now flooding towards the imperial HQ. The astartes mowed the necrons down in droves, but it seemed this was never enough, as they would repair themselves, stand up and once more begin moving forward. After hours of this and despite eliminating the necron commander, the Dark Angels realised their position had become compromised, and yielded the ground east of the main plateau to the necrons. The Imperium and necron territory was now separated by a ridge of terrain which would slow the xenos advance, but hopes of eliminating the necrons from the world had now been dashed.

Further north the Tau had been patrolling in force in territory thought to be controlled by chaos forces. These however had been dormant, uninterested in engaging the Tau in open battle on the plains, busy as they were excavating the tomb complexes they themselves had overrun. In addition, the forces of chaos could see very well what was heading straight for the oblivious Tau, and were minded to wait and see the outcome.

The necron army set upon the Tau hunter cadre at much the same time as the battle against the Dark Angels further south. Despite advanced firepower the Tau found themselves blocked from moving further south, and began to take heavy casualties. Once again the necrons seemed uncaring about their own losses, and by the end of the engagement the entire necron force had been wiped out. However the damage to the tau force was such that they were forced to retreat, before the forces of the dark gods took advantage of their weakened state. By the end of 022M42 the necrons had established themselves as a force on Ergura's Fall.

Monday, December 05, 2022

Erguras Fall escalates

Following the setbacks to the Tau and Necron objectives on Ergura's Fall, the next forces of chaos and the Imperium continued to pour more resources onto the world. The forces of chaos in particular committed more traitor astartes to the campaign, including elements from the Iron Warriors and Night Lords. The Iron Warriors had not arrived in force, but their scouting units encountered lead elements of the Imperium in the shape of Adeptus Mechanicus patrols in early 12.022M42 on the central plains of the planet.

The initial patrols clashed in no mans land, leading to an escalation by the Mechanicum following their defeat. Seeing a second patrol now coming their way, the Iron Warriors withdrew. This however was a trap, as the imperial force now ran straight into a small host of summoned daemons. The Adeptus Mechanicus agents had managed to take important objectives however, and despite taking heavy casualties in the second skirmish, defeated the daemons and prevented the forces of chaos gaining any further intelligence on the base now being constructed in the southern region of the continent.

Further north, the Night Lords moved in force against what they thought was a Tau formation, only to find yet another necron army trying to prevent the other races from despoiling yet more necron tombs. Their presence however actively engaged the Night Lords' curiosity, and the chaos force moved to attack the aliens in their path. The Night Lords attack was succesful, killing the necron overlord and only narrowly failing to to capture the necron cryptek Szeras, who was now apparently highly invested in protecting these necron tombs. Once again the necrons were unable to achieve their main goal and yet another tomb complex was ransacked by an enemy.

The reason the forces of chaos did not run into the Tau was because their main force was already engaged further south. The vast plains of Ergura's Fall turned the engagements into something more akin to naval battles, as armies roved across the surface trying to find one another to bring them to battle. Apart from tomb complexes and the occasional ruined settlement, Ergura's Fall had nothing in the way of cities or population, and the war on the world was defined by these shifting mobile battles.

The Tau were engaged further south because they had been attempting to bring the Imperium to battle. Having suffered a defeat in the preceding week, the Tau now sought to "deprecate" Imperial assets, which in actuality meant destroy the imperial armies wherever they were found. Eventually the two sides met on the equatorial plains and a large engagement took place involving Commander Stormwatch and Aun'Tso. Opposing their huntre cadre were the Novgorod Hussars, once again supported by heavy tanks and cavalry, ideal troops for the flat featureless terrain of the planet.

The battle took place over several hours as the two sides clashed. The result was indecisive, with neither force able to cripple the others. By the time evening came both sides withdrew closer to their fixed defences, although the Imperium did lose one super heavy tank.