Monday, January 16, 2023

Chaos make gains on Haven

In early 023M42 the fighting for the two strategic systems in the Hecate Gap continued, with the forces of chaos concentrating on the world of Haven, as Ergura's Fall saw a crescendo of fighting between the Imperium and the Tau. Reasoning that to take both world would be impractical, establishing control over Haven became the consolidated objective for chaos forces in the Rifts of Hecate. To expedite this the forces of chaos knew their biggest threat came from the greenskins, who had also put all their energy (whether by design or by accident), into controlling Haven, and now were by far the strongest force on the world. In order to prevent complete ork overrun of Haven the chaos forces conducted an offensive towards the greenskins in 01.023M42.

The battle involved small actual chaos forces, but pacts with the dark gods enabled their recon units to summon not only lesser daemons but their larger brethren, including a manifestation of Belakor himself. The powerful greater daemons smashed into the orks, and though the giant apparitions were wounded by the greenskins the orks were unable to deal with the sheer violent power of the warp. The chaos forces smashed their enemy before withdrawing, having dealt a blow to the greenskins' aspirations to dominate the world of Haven.

Mordecai: Chaos offensive in the east but Imperium retake Sathugar mines

By early 023.M42 Imperial high command on Mordecai Secundus became aware of a large build up of forces on the Eastern Front just to the north of the Kuneus traps. At this time general Kutuzov was focussed on the recapture of the Sathugar mines and was unwilling to entertain the idea that the Emerald Serpent would be contemplating an offensive from this direction. For months the action had been focussed on the central and southern fronts where the bulk of the strategic resources were located, but eventually Kutuzov was pursuaded that an attack towards Kuneus would jeopardise the Abrax mines, vital to the success of the campaign on Mordecai. Reluctantly the imperial general granted permission for the build up of defensive forces in the area, allocating a lance of knights, several mechanised imperial guard regiments and support from one Warhound titan. This was just in time, as on 1601.023M42 the forces of chaos attacked exactly where imperial intelligence had predicted.

This attack did not stop Kutuzov from planning and carrying out his own offensive against the Sathugar mines still held by the enemy, as he believed the forces in the east were now sufficient to stop the chaos advance. Over reliance on mechanised forces and heavy armour however soon came to haunt the imperial defenders. The chaos forces moved in stubborn infantry formations including several units of daemonic plaguebearers, which quickly overran key objectives. The imperial guard counter attacked with stormtroopers and tank units, but were taken apart by chaos supporting fire and were unable to shift the chaos infantry from their positions. After several assaults resulting in heavy imperial casualties, the imperial force fell back, yielding much of the Abrax mines to the enemy.

Meanwhile further south a semi mechanised Novgorod cavalry regiment conducted its own offensive against the forces of chaos in the Sathugar mines. The chaos forces responded by sending in their chaos knights, expecting their war engines to be too much for the imperial guard. However determined cavalry charges by units equipped with melta tipped lances, as well as accurate fire from their supporting vanquisher tanks took down the chaos knights one by one, wiping out the counter attack and taking the rest of the Sathugar mines. By the end of 01.023M42 the Sathugar mines were in imperial hands, but at the cost of losing control of the Abrax mines.