Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The Battle for Volistad City - Volistad

Sons of Tantalus vs Orks

Pressure has been brought to bear upon the crusade by the surviving nobilitae of Volistad to recapture their world from the orks. Although occupied to just holding territory in the Midas Sector, Warmaster Xerxes acquiesced and agreed to sent a small Imperial force to the planet, including the Sons of Tantalus chapter, who would launch the initial strike.

By this time, the orks had destroyed the eldar presence on Volistad and were back into producing weapons, ships and gargants for Ghazghkull Thraka. The Imperial command were unsure as to his location, even if he was still on the planet at this time, and even more unsure where to attack first. Captain Democritus took the problem out of their hands when he took his fourth company, launching an all out drop pod assault into Volistad City.

The orks quickly sallied forth, eager for combat and a massive battle erupted in the central plaza of the city. The Sons of Tantalus were out manned and forced into a route, taking them south into the former temple district. In the meantime, other Imperial forces began a virtually unopposed landing north of the capital city.

Captain Democritus was concerned with saving his men, and not having a repeat of recent battles where many of his battle brothers had been killed or grievously wounded. The orks smashed into the rear of their lines under appalling winter conditions (at times the temperature dropped as low as -10 degrees).

At the same time from the east, orks assaulted the space marines. The greenskins threatened to encircle and destroy the entire company. The Sons of Tantalus were able to break out, less affected by the sudden drop in temperature. Shore on manpower and ammunition, the space marines called in for pick up and returned to their battle barge, leaving the attack on Volistad in the hands of others for now.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Sector Update #41

"Big concerns grow from small concerns. You plant them, water them with tears, fertilize them with unconcern. If you ignore them, they grow. I have ignored this Tau problem long enough." - Warmaster Xerxes

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Surprise Assault - D'Then

Soul Drinkers vs Tau Empire

A small force of Soul Drinkers, led by Sarpedon have fallen upon a Tau outpost, deploying via captured shuttle craft launched from the Space Hulk The Brokenback which had translated at the very edge of the system.

Still glowing with the heat of re-entry, the shuttles disgorged nearly two dozen small squads into the heart of the complex, scattering the Tau before them and razing their war machines before the Xenos could even respond to the incursion.

Using bundles of melta charges, the renegade Astartes broke their way into the central command bunker, gaining access to the tunnels beneath. It's unclear what they were seeking, but the chapters specialization in rapid boarding actions served them well. They punched through all resistance in short order, slaying all in their path. Shas'o T'ryk, the commander of the installation was cut down, along with his entire Crisis Suit bodyguard when a mutated monstrosity wielding dual chainblades jammed into the stumps of his severed wrists led a headlong charge down the access corridor which they had been defending, while Sarpedon led the main thrust into the heart of the complex, seizing the unknown objective.

At this point the Soul Drinkers retreated, fleeing to their shuttle before the Fire Warrior reinforcements could cut them off, leaving only Xenos corpses in their wake and a puzzled Tau High Command. Upon inspection of the gutted facility, Earth Caste scientists found the only items left unaccounted for from the facilities inventory was a small data wafer containing research data from an archeological dig conducted in the early stages of the Tau Empire's expansion into the Midas Sector.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

The Howling - T'Lau

Space Wolves vs Tau Empire

As the crusade drags on towards it's first year, Warmaster Xerxes has become concerned about the Tau presence behind him in the Medusa sector. Already the Imperium had managed to take some of the xenos mines on T'Lau and now he ordered that the planet's natural fuel reserves be taken to ensure the continued survivability of the Imperial fleet. Once again, the task was assigned to the Space Wolves chapter.

The initial landing was conducted under the command of Njarl Stormcaller with elements of Engir Krakendoom's great Company. The Space Wolves deployed from orbit via drop pod assault and were immediately met with heavy fire from the Tau defences. As they advanced towards the fortress at Fao's Landing, they were met by a dedicated force of Fire Warriors. The Space Wolves easily repelled these assaults but could not take the fortress by manpower alone. They take cover behind the breached defence lines and let the Long Fangs smash away at the fortress with all the heavy weapons they could muster.

The following morning saw the arrival of land raiders and vindicator seige tanks, which immediately began to smash the outer walls. Once the walls fell the battle brothers surged inside, engaging in savage close quarters combat. After forty-five minutes not a single Tau remained alive.

Within days Imperial enginseers arrived to set up and reconsecrate the drilling and mining equipment. The Tau presence on this world was scattered and unable to establish a counter-offensive. The order came in to eradicate every last xenos on the planet!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Sector Update #40

"You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe." - Unknown Guardsman

Desert Storm - Pelias IX

Space Wolves vs Craftworld Alaitoc.

Space port Tanagra, situated only fifty miles from the front lines was a busy port and terminal, which ran from Tanagra to Hive Acheron one hundred miles further south. Tanagra was initially bombed from space by the eldar strike fleet but the void shields held long enough for the Imperial reinforcements to arrive.

The bombardment was not intended to cause damage but to keep the Imperial forces occupied while the eldar began an unopposed landing of troops and supplies a short distance from Tanagra. Within three days the invasion force was assembled. On the fourth day, at noon, the eldar marched on the space port. Well concealed defenders quickly broke up their advance. The fighting then turned into desert warfare south of the space port and bitter street fighting within the confines of Tanagra. Rangers and Guardians made good progress and entered the port, capturing the control towers and the commander's headquarters.

With the arrival of the Space Wolves, dropped from orbit by the battle barge Wolves of Fenris, many of the eldar scattered and fled back to the forces massing outside the walls. Many Guardians were attacked and massacred by the feral space marines. The Imperial Guard failed to play a significant role in the battle as their morale had been shaken by waves of Wraithfighters that battered their defences.

The arrival of aspect warriors striking from the south swung the tide of battle. Escorted by wraithknights, the aspect warriors enveloped the Space Wolves' flank and rear, launching close quarters combat that even the mighty space marines failed to contain. Within hours three companies had been obliterated or forced into retreat. When the Imperial Guard regiments fled, the Space Wolves were ordered to fall back and protect them.

Tanagra fell to the eldar and the Imperium lost a major objective in the war.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Retaliation Strike - Hermes IV

The Fated vs Blood Ravens

Guided by the visions of their Librarians, 2 companies of Blood Ravens chapter have launched an all out attack on The Fated's base of operations. Deploying an armoured column directly into the heart of the ruined city in which the Sons of Horus had established their stronghold, led by Epistolary Azhra and his Terminator retinue aboard a Land Raider, the Blood Ravens quickly swept down on the traitor force.

With their heaviest assets aboard their fleet, there was little the Fated could do to withstand the onslaught and fearing for the life of their still-wounded commander, the traitor marines retreated rather than face the foe head on, fleeing to their Thunderhawks and making for their fleet waiting in orbit.

Sergeant Darrus Kyrbarr refused to run however and rallied his warriors around him. At junction 1038 he met the Blood Ravens head on. Forming a firing line numbering nearly 50 warriors, he lay down a brutal storm of bolter fire, holding back the Imperial advance for nearly an hour, slaying all those Blood Ravens foolish enough to advance on his position. Even so, the numbers began to take their toll and Kybarrs forces were slowly pushed back, bleeding the enemy heavily for every foot of ground they gained.

Had it not been for the intervention of Fleet Master Marius Kazon, Kybarrs tiny force may have obliterated. As the Blood Ravens pushed their advantage, Azhra himself joined the fray, determined to slay Kybarr in single combat. As he closed on his target however, the sky split to the sound of aircraft and half a dozen Stormeagles and captured Storm Talons descended from the heavens, guns blazing. Caught off guard, the Blood Ravens were sent reeling, allowing Kybarrs force to clamber aboard the gunships and escape to the Reavers Hunt in orbit above, fleeing once more into the warp. It is said that two brothers had to physically drag Kybarr himself aboard a ship, such was the young Sergeants determination to continue the fight. Kazon however, saw no reason to throw away the life of even a single one of their warriors in futile gestures, when the future of The Fated was in such dire jeopardy.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Sector Update #39

"What is there left for our people if all of creation falls around us? There's nothing. No hope, no dream, no future, no life. Unless we turn from the cycle of death toward something greater. If we are a dying people, then let us die with honor, by helping the others as no one else can."
- Farseer Solon, Craftworld Altansar.

A Crack In the Alliance - Medea

Craftworld Iyanden vs Craftworld Altansar

The leaders of the great Craftworlds have gathered on Medea to plan their next actions against the necron dynasty that is rapidly awakening beneath the worlds of the Midas and Perseus sectors. Most of the Craftworlds support Iyanden's call to strike at those worlds or enact such raids that it forces their enemies to do the fighting for them. Whatever the outcome, the eldar race would be ready. However, there is dissension in the ranks as the leaders of Altansar reject the plans presented. They call upon their brethren to turn their attention to a greater threat than the necrontyr. They point to Abaddon the Despoiler, who has used the distraction of many wars to lay claim to the throne of Infernus and now calls all the forces of Chaos to his side. They debate for many days but most see the necron threat to be greater.

As the Craftworld leaders depart through the webway, Iyanden strikes at the Altansar representives, calling them traitors to the cause. Only Iyanden have the power to determine the right course of action!  Altansar troops reluctantly strike back, launching a counter-strike. The skirmish is brief and the damage substantial. The Iyanden forces which survive are forced to retreat. Craftworld Altansar issues a statement that they will not sit by and allow Chaos to overthrow the sector. The slight against them by Craftworld Iyanden will not be forgotten, and they sever their bond to the other Craftworlds.

The leaders of the Craftworlds ponder events and wonder whether their Iyanden brothers and sisters are so fearful of their final demise that they will drag the whole eldar race down with them in one last blaze of glory?

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Convoy Raid - Hermes IV

Imperial Navy vs The Fated

Still reeling from the wounding of their commander, The Fated have withdrawn to a hidden base deep within an asteroid field. From there they have started raiding Imperial shipping lanes, preferring to plunder and raid rather than engage in open warfare.
One such raid was launched against an Imperal Navy convoy by a small group of ships under the command of Marius Kazon, a one-time Master of the Fleet within the Sons of Horus legion. The Aebethan, Eye of Terra, Bastard of Vorros and Lady Amelia descended on flank of the column, along with a large amount of escort vessels. Striking hard and fast, they crippled the Anvil, an Imperial Lunar class cruiser and the Mars class Grey Archibald before the Imperials could react.

The tide turned however, as the Imperials reacted to the raider threat far more swiftly than Kazon had predicted, bringing the guns of nearly two vessels round to bear on the intruders within a matter of minutes, readying broadsides to blast the tiny fleet into oblivion.
Seeing the tide turning against him, Kazon ordered his fleet to disperse, kicking their engines to full thrust and slipping past the encircling fleet before jumping to the warp. The 'Aebethan' stayed behind to slow their pursuers. Even so, the Eye of Terra suffered crippling damage as its flight path strayed to close to the Iron Hammer, lance fire scoring deep rents across its ancient hull.

'Aebethan' fought a valiant rearguard despite becoming surrounded. Its weapon batteries scoured the Dauntless class cruiser 'Resolve' from the void after volley after volley struck it amidships, whilst wave after wave of bombing runs launched from the 'Minotaur' were repelled. For a few moments, it looked as though the venerable vessel would win free, but as it engaged its engines to join its comrades in the warp, a Nova Cannon struck its rear section, detonation the plasma reactors housed there in an explosion which illuminated the void like a newborn star, tendrils of plasma lashing out at everything nearby. The 'Minotaur' was caught in the blast, along with 'Grey Archibald', which was too badly damaged to limp away in time. The deaths of these vessels triggered explosions of their own, sparking a chain reaction which crippled another dozen ships in turn, burning whole squadrons of escorts and countless fighter wings from the void before the conflagration ran its course. Over three million souls perished in just a few minutes as the plasma fires burned through the fleet, leaving only burnt-out husks in it's wake.

Once the fires had burnt out, the remains of the Imperial fleet regrouped, the Fated long fled. Those few Imperial vessels which remained limped away, bloodied and beaten. Many would need years of dry dock repairs before they would be considered battle-ready once more. Worse still, Sub-Admiral Groleo, a revered veteran commander had been aboard the 'Minotaur' when the fires had struck it. His loss was the most keenly felt by Imperial High command.
When news of the Aebethan's bloody demise reached Kazon (now safely returned to The Fated's base of operations) he was said to have mused that it was passing queer that the death of one vessel should cause far more death and destruction than the entire raiding party could ever have hoped to. Tech-Magos under his command are now working hard to calculate how they could recreate such carnage in the future.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Sector Control #38

"I think the Eldar have plans of their own. There's .. there's something going on.. Something they haven't told us yet. I don't think that they care about what happens to us anymore, Warmaster. I think their game just got bigger than that." - Unknown advisor to Warmaster Xerxes

Shrine World Violated - Callista IV

Sisters of Battle vs Craftworld Alaitoc

When the crusade was first launched Warmaster Xerxes approached the sisterhood of Saint Keeler asking for their support in the coming years. The sisterhood declined while offering no reason, though there are those who believe that the sisterhood and Inquisitor Lord Butlerian have clashed previously, and that they did not want to be associated with him.

The farseers of the Alaitoc Craftworld read the weave of fate and determined that the sisterhood might just be what was needed to overcome the threats from both the awakening necron dynasty and the forces of Chaos. Something was needed to bring them into the war.

The eldar launched a ground assault against the civilian population on Callista IV and forcing the Adepta Sororitas into action. Through the ruined streets they battled in close quarters combat and for some time it looked as though the sisterhood might just prevail and cast the eldar off their world. The arrival of eldar air support and outflanking walkers turned the tide of battle.

The sisterhood pulled back the survivors to set up a line of defence to hold the alien attackers. Meanwhile, the canoness was forced to call for aid from the crusade forces. She just hoped that it would not be Butlerian who answered the call.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Recovery Operation - Triton Prime

Ultramarines vs Necrons

Following the recent raid by the traitor war band known as The Fated, a detachment of Ultramarines have been following their wake through the warp and it has led them to a distant world, Triton Prime. Intercepted transmissions alert the space marines to the possible presence of Star Killer technology on the ocean planet below.

The Ultramarines deploy to the site of the recent battle between The Fated and the Necrons. They find the ancient unliving machines are waiting for them. Battle is quickly joined as the space marines battle their way deep into the heart of the tomb complex. Outside, air support and assault squads contend with the necron war machines which rise from the briny deep, which tactical squads with terminator support battle through hordes of warriors, deathmarks and other esoteric foes.

At one point the Ultramarines are almost successful, temporarily laying hands on a section of the Star Killer core. Communications this far underground and under the sea are patching, and they must fight back through the tunnels. Unfortunately the forces they encountered slowed them down too much and the lord commander of the necron forces on Triton Prime entered battle himself. He slaughtered his way through the squads arrayed against his troops and took the Star Killer fragment from the dead hand of the space marine commander.

The fate of the Ultramarine detachment remains unknown to the crusade forces, and it is assumed that they met their end at the hands of The Fated. Meanwhile, the necron dynasty has a quarter of a most powerful weapon, and their cold eyes search the heavens for the other three fragments.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Imperial Assault Repelled! - Voidspar

Sons of Tantalus vs Necrons

With the crusade on the verge of collapse, Xerxes has ordered all available forces to retake the planet of Voidspar. If the crusade is to continue, it is vital that the Imperium recapture the ancient shipyards and orbital docks. Only one small problem, hordes of orks and necrons fight an eternal war across the planet's surface.

The entire 4th company of the Sons of Tantalus were directed to deploy first to establish a landing site. The marines were weary, undermanned and low on ammunition following several recent defeats. 600,000 Imperial Guard were ready for deployment once the landing zone was in Imperial hands.

The landing site, one of the largest of the old space ports, was deep in necron territory, defended by legions of warriors and swarms of tomb blades. This was the location chosen by Xerxes' advisors, men and women who had not seen war themselves. Their choice would cost the space marines dear.

The Imperial Navy dispatched three Enforcer class cruisers (Deus Imperialis, Emperor's Pride and the Dux Venator) to assist and pound the site from orbit with lance fire and torpedoes. The battle barge Pride of Tantalus transported the space marines to the site.

The first strike to remove the necron presence was a massive failure. Despite heavy losses, the necrons held the facility. The second attempt a day later saw the Sons of Tantalus overrun the outer defences only to bog down in protracted fighting in the streets and ruins of the old space port. The sheer number of necron forces operating within was far beyond anything the Imperial forces had expected and the space marines pulled back, ordering a retreat to space.

The arrival overhead of two necron Khopesh class cruisers forced the Imperial ships to retreat and return to Midas Prime in shame.