Monday, 30 December 2013

Ambushed! - Pelias IX

Craftworld Saim-Hann vs Warriors of Ynnead.

There is dissention in the ranks of the Craftworlds once again. A number of influential farseer's are dropping the blame for the loss on Khemet on the shoulders of the Warriors of Ynnead and demanding sanctions. After much discussion the warriors of Craftworld Saim-Hann were tasked with punishing the followers of Ynnead.

Knowing that the Warriors of Ynnead had retreated to the eldar forces on Pelias IX the Saim-Hann forces prepared an ambush for them. The Warriors of Ynnead were caught traversing through the ruins of a fallen hab complex. Many were cut down but recent engagements had honed their edge. Fighting back, the Warriors of Ynnead were able to withstand the fire and push back. Though outnumbered they did inflict severe casualties on their Saim-Hann brethren.

The Warriors refused to allow this callous attack to stop their goals. They would continue to support their brothers and sisters but perhaps with an open eye in future.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Sector Update #50

"The Necrons... you can't outrun them. You can't destroy them. If you damage them, the essence of what they are remains .. they regenerate and keep coming. Eventually, you'll weaken. Your reserves will be gone. They are relentless." - Farseer T'ate, Craftworld Iyanden

Major New Necron Offensive - Arathis Prime

Necrons vs Craftworld Alaitoc

Having driven the eldar forces from the Khemet system, the necron dynasty dispatched a huge army to dislodge them from another of their major outposts, the Arathis system. The army simply materialised on the desert plains in ever growing numbers. Ancient complexes buried for over sixty five million years were excavated and from them even more necron forces emerged. By the time the farseers of Alaitoc were alerted to the machine presence it was too late. Even so, the eldar mobilised to attack the necron army.

Farseer Starbane's plan split his forces into three columns (hereby listed as A, B and C). Columns A and B were grouped together while column C would hold back in reserve. The entire force crossed the desert badlands in preparation for a night assault. In the growing darkness things started to go wrong. Columns A and B somehow became separated, losing contact with each other, slowing the advance as they tried to reestablish contact. Vehicles became mysteriously separated and took over two hours to rejoin their forces.

Despite the delay columns A and B reached position an hour before dawn. Pathfinders under the command of Illic Nightspear lead the first forays into the necron base where they disposed of the outer sentries. The pride of the eldar meant that farseer Starbane took this as a sign that the eldar would be victorious this day.

However the necron army was expecting just such an attack so the eldar did not achieve the surprise assault that they wanted. As the fire prism bombardment began, the necron warriors crawled from the sand around the eldar on the left flank drawing fire away from the main body of troops coming from the necron base. Within an hour over eighty thousand necron warriors were attacking the eldar lines.

The eldar were all but wiped out in a matter of hours. A few wave serpents escaped to report back with the survivors but word was not good. After the attack, the necron horde continued advancing out from their cyclopean pyramids of black metal in all directions laying waste to anything they encountered.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Sector Update #49

"If you can create sufficient fear in your enemies, you may not have to fight them. Always remember that terror is also a form of communication." - Episcus, Night Lord.

The Tomb World Reclaimed - Khemet III

Necrons vs Warriors of Ynnead

The final battle in the current conflict waged on Khemet III began with a 10 hour necron bombardment by almost all the barges and skiffs the machine army could raise. They blasted away along a line roughly twenty miles in length by three miles wide. The main concentration of fire was on the right flank, a direction the necrons expected the eldar to flee by. The bombardment halted after ten hours as a ruse to lure any survivours out and into the open. Throughout necron air craft were largely unmolested by eldar fighter craft. Any that did engage were quickly shot down. Late in the afternoon, the necrons advanced towards the eldar. Deathmarks manifested and cut down their targets with ease. The eldar attempted melee with the attackers but it was impossible to tell if they were making a dent in the necron lines.

On the following morning the necrontyr had advanced into the heart of the eldar lines and seized control of the remaining webway portal needed for the eldar escape plans. The warriors of Ynnead managed to successfully drive back three other advances but by then it was too late and they were surrounded. With the eldar unable to escape it was only a matter of time before the last of their number fell.

Khemet III was back in the hands of the Necron Dynasty.

The Flesh Is Weak! - Minora IV

Iron Hands vs Night Lords

The crusade has reciveved surprise support in the arrival of the Iron Hands space marines. Upon their arrival in the sector they headed directly for the forge world of Minora IV and deployed in huge numbers. Their arrival revealed a frightening concern for the Imperium as they were not just dealing with the dark mechanicus here. A large number of Night Lords chaos marines appeared from the shelled ruins and battle was joined.

The initial series of engagements went well for the Night Lords, but it was not to last. The Iron Hands had superior numbers and more were deploying from orbit with every hour. The chaos marines were forced to retreat from one complex to another under unending and withering fire. Eventually the chaos war lord found a location he considered defensibly, a series of ruins surrounded by a wasteland of radioactive swamps and slag heaps. Their problem was the lack of supplies now that they had lost control of their original stronghold.

It soon became clear that the Iron Hands had enough forces to lay seige to the site and the supply lines to keep the attack on going. Once the Night Lords commander realised that there was no chance of victory he tried to lead his favoured warriors away to safety through underground passages. The Iron Hands, with schematics supplied by the Mechanicus, were ahead of him and had already mined the tunnels. The siege lasted three days before total Imperial victory was assured.

Xerxes was pleased with their assistance and has begun talks to keep the chapter around to assist in the war.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Operation: Skyfall - Khemet III

Sons of Tantalus / Demiurg Mining Consortium vs Necrons

Operation Skyfall was the name given to the Imperium's attempt to secure a firebase on the war torn desert world of Khemet III. Hoping that the fighting between the Eldar and the Necrons would keep their enemies busy, the Imperial forces launched the first attack under the command of the Sons of Tantalus. Some in Warmaster Xerxes war council advised against it considering all their recent losses but Xerxes was determined to allow the chapter to prove their worth.

The target of the assault was a site designated Scimitar Hill, a small plateau on the northern end of a lengthy mountain chain. Capturing this site would allow the Imperial forces an excellent location to deploy ground forces.

The assault began on the night of 171213.M41. Scimitar Hill was quickly captured by the space marines and their demiurg allies before a massive necron counter-attack manifested and drove them down into the irradiated ruins east of the mountains. The attack back never happened as the space marine squads became disorientated in the dark and forced into a defensive position by enemy fire.

With the battle already effectively lost, Captain Democritas turned his attention to consolidating a position. Something was better than nothing. The Sons of Tantalus took up whatever defensive positions they could, whether barricades or gully's. The chapter was already seriously undermanned due to casualties sustained in the crusade to date and Democritas was concerned that this battle may be the end for the 4th company.

As dawn approached Democritas escorted by a terminator bodyguards led several forays into the necron lines atop the hill. With no effective artillery support - the necron's targeted any vehicles upon their manifestation - each attempt was forced back. Eventually after several tries the space marines managed to make some progress up the slope but the necron forces seemed invincible.

As dawn broke across the blasted wastelands of Khemet III the necrons marched down the slopes of Scimitar Hill mercilessly slaying all in their path. Once again the Sons of Tantalus had failed to achieve their goal and lost more men, before being forcibly evacuated.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Sector Update #48

"Have you ever wondered why there are so many dead worlds out there? Let me tell you why. It's because despite the best advise of people who know what they are talking about, other people insist on doing the most massively stupid things." - Farseer Bri'an, Warriors of Ynnead.

The Imperium Strikes Back! - Fangol

Inquisition vs Warriors of Ynnead

The offence started with Operation: Firebolt was still ongoing. Against incredible odds the Imperial forces were steadily regaining ground against the hated Eldar. The next big objective was an Eldar outpost known to the Imperial scribes as Outpost X13.

The battle opened on 121213.M41 with a major assault by elements of the Inquisition supported by some Adepta Sororitas. In many places Imperial artillery had failed to break through the outer defences. Advancing over open ground within range of eldar lance batteries, Imperial losses were devastating. However, the Imperial forces were able to breach the outer defences and gain access to the facility, mainly due to numerical superiority. The inevitable supply issues and late reinforcements prevented them from exploiting it as they would have liked.

On the second day the eldar were able to consolidate and repel the Imperial advances. The inquisitorial strike teams found themselves facing an enemy dug well in and with extreme fields of fire. In just four hours, the Imperial forces had lost almost 70% of their ground forces and were recalled to their lines. The Imperium was in no position for further attacks.

Following a lull in the fighting, the eldar made a tactical mistake and tried to advance themselves across the body strewn no man's land. Here they came under heavy fire from the Imperial troops and with the arrival of Valkyrie attack squadrons, they were mercilessly gunned down where they stood. Any remaining eldar troops retreated leaving the facility in the hands of the Imperium.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Chaos Ascendant! - Crastus

Space Wolves vs The Fated

Both sides in the war for Crastus received reinforcements following a massive battle in the upper atmosphere. Warships from both the Space Wolves and The Fated clashed. Debris spun through the atmosphere and obliterated several minor hive cities. The loss of life has not been calculated. As both ships, badly damaged, began to drift ever close to the planet, they disgorged their landing craft to the war zone below. Hours later, both vessels plunged through the skies to impact in the north continent thankfully some distance from the main hive cities.

The Emperor's Children now reinforced by unexpected, and not entirely trusted, allies were able to force the Imperial forces back to their initial positions. The Fated did not seem all that concerned and seemed to be directing the brunt of their attacks at several smaller Mechanicus facilities on the edge of the war zone. Their presence was enough however to give the forces of Chaos the advantage. In a matter of weeks it could be possible to see the planet entirely given over to the traitors.

The largest engagement that the Fated fought in was against the self same Space Wolves they had tried to obliterate in orbit. Logan Grimnar himself, supported by the legendary Bjorn, led the attack against the traitors. The space marines had lost too many of their number in the space battle and even more during the planetary descend, and they knew that the Space Wolves did not have the manpower to defeat The Fated. But they threw themselves into the battle nonetheless and Logan Grimnar sought out the master of the traitors, Aphaldon.

Aphaldon was a bloated monstrous thing, his ancient Cataphractii armour fused with his skin in a hideous mockery of the Astartes form, standing fifteen feet tall and wielding a filth-encrusted mace and lightning claw. Bellowing a challenge that the Old Wolf could not ignore, Aphaldon, plunged into the fight, slaying a member of Grimnars Wolf Guard with every step. Shields broke and armour splintered. Nothing seemed to be able to stop the monsters rampage until Bjorn the Fell-Handed stepped between the beast and his chapter master. Dreadnought clashed with warp-tainted monstrosity, each blow struck with such force that it would have slain even a Space Marine several times over, but neither side seemed to be able to gain an advantage, until Bjorns claw rent a great gash in the villains armour, striking a desperate blow which left the ancient exposed. Wounded, but not beaten, Aphaldon swatted the Dreadnought aside, intent on closing with his true target: Grimnar himself.

Bellowing an oath to Russ, the Wolf King leapt to meet the challenge, the Axe of Morkai blur as he swung and parried the deamon-creatures every blow. In desperation, Grimnar launched himself at the Chaos warlord with renewed ferocity, driving the deamon thing to his knees. However as he stepped forward to land the deathblow and take the creatures head, it lashed out with the mace, catching the Old Wolf square in the chest and flinging him backwards, grievously wounded. Howling with rage, the deamon thing renewed its attack, but the wounds inflicted on it by Bjorn and Grimnar were starting to tell and the warp essence with which its body was knitted together started to unravelled.

The Space Wolves captured their fallen commander and fought to evacuate him from the battlefield. The Fated let them go knowing full well that this world would soon fall into fire and darkness never to again see the Emperor's light.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Helles Front - Crastus

Traitor Guard vs Imperial Guard

The original commander of the Crastus Planetary Defence Forces had been killed a week earlier in battle with the Emperor's Children. His replacement commander Hellias Gorn had not yet assumed full command when a series of counter-attacks against the chaos cultists was due to start. The attack was designed to a diversionary strike to lure the chaos marines away from targets that desperately needed reinforcing. Consequently, the attack was orchestrated by a more lowly adjutant to the fallen commander.

Due to a shortage of artillery, the attack was split into two parts with the 290th Crastus regiment attacking on day 1, while two further regiments would manoeuvre around to assist on day 2. They were facing four divisions of former allies, now revealed to be traitors to the Imperium. The 290th managed to capture some trenches but these were quickly lost to a counter-attack merely hours later. The Imperial Guard attacked again, again capturing the same stretches of trench works. The traitor guard surged forth once more, and control of the trenches changed hands several times in a single day.

Mid morning on the second day, the 88th Crastus regiment attacked on the right flank. They did break through the lines but were driven back by even more savage close combat counter-attacks. The traitor's repeatedly counter-attacked for the next three days until the fighting subsided. Though the objectives could not be retaken, the Helles Front would remain of the busiest and most violent for the remainder of the campaign.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Return of the Dark Brotherhood - Minora IV

Space Wolves vs Dark Mechanicus

The Dark Mechanicus has returned to Minora IV. No one knows how they managed to appear without any Imperial auspex detecting them and if it had not been for a Skitarii patrol they may have remained undetected indefinitely.

By the time a detachment of Space Wolves could reach the forge world from Midas Prime the Dark Brotherhood had seized control of a factorum complex and fortified it against attack. It took some time for the Space Wolves to breach the outer walls and fight their way through the ranks of cybernetic warriors arrayed against them, but such opponents are nothing to the might of the Emperor's finest.

When the space marines breached the central chambers they find the Dark Brotherhood and found what they were after and had retreated down into the underwarrens far beneath the surface of the planet. Scanning the factorum records it would appear that they have uncovered and no hold the second piece of the Star Killer engine!

Black Death - Voidspar

Space Wolves vs Necrons

The Imperial push to recapture the Midas Sector has been blunted for too long. Resources meant to retake this corner of the galaxy were being redirected to the systems behind them and Warmaster Xerxes sought get his crusade back on track. He tasked the Space Wolves to pick a target and lead an Imperial force to take that world. The Imperium needs a victory out here or this will all have been for nothing.

On the night of 081213.M41 the Space Wolves landed on Voidspar ahead of the Imperial troop transports. Two grand companies made planetfall and immediately set to fortifying the landing zone. Once that was complete they were directed to capture a tomb complex only a few miles away. They never got that far.

The necrons had small outposts along the route chosen which had to be taken quickly and quietly. In all about a hundred marines were killed or seriously wounded in taken them down but not before an alarm was raised. Such a loss of strength would hurt them dearly.

The understrength companies continued to advance but any chance of a swift silent victory had been lost. As the sun began to rise in the east, the necron forces materialised out of the morning haze. The target tomb complex was awake with necron warriors and crawling with scarabs. The battle was joined though after two hours of fighting the Space Wolf commanders were not convinced that this was a battle they could win.

At midday the space marines reached the tomb complex. Combat was fierce and they had to contend with two flanks effectively. By skill, ruthlessness and courage the Space Wolves carved through the machine opponents and shortly it looked as though they may actually achieve the objective. But then the tide of battle turned. From deep beneath the ground arose a dark shrouded figure... a C'Tan! Already weakened by the numerous battles fought since they arrived, the marines could not deal with this monster of nightmare.

Less than four hundred marines returned from the surface of Voidspar. Their reports indicated that the necron presence was too great and that the crusade would need to devote a significant amount of manpower and materials if they wanted to take that world back for the Emperor.

The Battle of the Karst Plateau - Baphomet VII

Orks vs Craftworld Iyanden

Two weeks earlier the Eldar of Craftworld Iyanden had attempted to launch an attack against the ork forces on Baphomet VII. That attack had been repelled easily. No one had believed that there were quite so many greenskins down there. The Farseers however have foreseen a time when the orks will be reunited under their warboss Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka and the destruction of these forces may hinder them in the future.

Iyanden's tactics were as simple as they were harsh: after a heavy orbital bombardment, their troops supported by wraithguard were to advance directly into the enemy positions and take them. They hoped that such a massive barrage followed by supposedly over-whelming ground forces would allow the Craftworld to make a suitable bridgehead on the planet's surface.

On the Karst Plateau there took place an exhausting series of firefights and hand to hand combats, with severe casualties on both sides. Power weapons, swords, knives and random pieces of scrap metal were all used in the terrifying melee. The Eldar lost two thirds of their effectiveness in that initial engagement and were forced back into almost impassable terrain. The Eldar could not handle the orks at this time and the remaining ground troops were pulled back to the orbiting wraithships.

The Harrying - Bantis V

Dark Eldar vs Craftworld Alaitoc.

For two days the Dark Eldar pursued and harried the Craftworld survivors, picking up a few stragglers here and there to be taken back to the slave pits of Commorragh. Lance strikes took down many transports forcing the Eldar to flee on foot. They hunkered down around the remaining webway open to the Craftworld and attempted to hold off their vile brethren for just a few more hours.

The Dark Eldar attacked at this point, trying to annihilate or capture any survivors who did not flee. The kaballites and their transports suffered heavy fire on the approach and were forced to hold up half a mile from the webway portal. They used a series of ravines to surround the webway but the Craftworlders had better fields of fire. Attempting to charge out across open ground would have been suicide.

On the right of the advance, the assault did not go well for the kabalites. Lacking raider support they were gunned down by guardians and slaughtered in close combat with aspect warriors. Despite losses they continued to try and press forward but with no reinforcements made no progress. By the time they retreated, the right flank had lost over 1500 warriors.

The Craftworld commanders were concerned that they were being surrounded and with so many left to evacuate through the portal. The battle field became a scene of vicious and bloody fighting as the Eldar commenced a series of counter-attacks.

The Alaitoc Eldar with plentiful manpower but lacking in artillery compared to their opponents made incessant counter-attacks but all were repulsed. Still, the open ground to the webway was firmly in the hands of the Eldar and all attempts to cross it were met with heavy fire and sharp death. However, the Alaitoc casualties lay somewhere between 14,000 and 16,000 over the three days they defended the portal, easily four times more than the Dark Eldar had lost.

In face of immense losses, the Eldar ceased their counter-attacks. Let the enemy throw themselves into the line of fire if they were so desperate. In spite of strong and direct urging from Phoenix Lord Jain Zar to continue the attacks, the Craftworlders hunkered behind what defences they had and waited and rested.

After two more days Jain Zar commenced another series of counter-attacks. Although they came within metres of the enemy lines the losses sustained were unbearable. Men were melted away under lance and poisoned fire. The attack carried on into the night and that was the mistake. Unaffected by the darkness the Dark Eldar had the advantage.

Under cover of night the Dark Eldar called in attack aircraft to strafe the battlefield. The dead on both sides mounted up but this was too much. The Craftworlds activated the webway for the last time and fled through it, sealing it from the other side.

The Dark Eldar had driven their Craftworld brothers and sisters from the planet but the battle was no over yet. Out there, in the wastes, the Tyranid hordes still waited.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Sector Update #47

Acolyte Flavius: "I thought you said you don't hold a grudge?" 
Inquisitor Butlerian: "I don't. I have no surviving enemies ... at all."

In the Grip of Darkness - Bantis V

Dark Eldar vs Warriors of Ynnead.

The attack came at dusk as the last of the Eldar fled the battlefront with the Tyranid invaders. The dark brethren swept out of the shadows and opened fire. Many were killed in the opening minutes of the battle but they were saved by the arrival of the Warriors of Ynnead.

On the left flank, the counter attack was blunted by fleets of transports whose massed lance fire decimated anything that tried to get close. Over 80% of the defending Eldar were wiped out in under an hour. The rest fled into the wastes to die at the hands of the Tyranids. The main force of Ynnead advanced through the ruins and made good progress despite losing contact with the rest of their forces due to interference. Elements of their strike force became trapped in a ravine, penned down by more lance fire. Elsewhere, a third force took heavy casualties from advancing kabalite warriors supported by high speed aircraft.

The engagement lasted the whole night. The battle lines flowed back and forth repeatedly but ultimately it was the dark eldar who prevailed. Their aircraft support and concentrated lance fire ensured that there was no doubt as to their victory. They had defeated the Warriors of Ynnead but their sacrifice had ensured that many of the Eldar escaped into the webway to safety.

The Jungle of Death - Savrip

Grey Knights vs Sons of Tantalus

Whilst on patrol deep in the Midas Sector, a battle barge from the Sons of Tantalus chapter detected a weak transmission coming from the third world of the Savrip system, the death world for which the system is named. Expecting to locate a crashed vessel the ship entered low orbit to search for survivors. Before they could begin an auspex scan the barge came under attack from the planet below. Crippled, the ship plummeted through the atmosphere and crashed.

The survivors who managed to avoid being killed or dragged away into the swamps tried to build a camp around the wreckage. Two days later the camp came under attack from an assault force of Grey Knights led by Inquisitor Corteaz. Stormraven gunships strafed them from the air, dodging dangerous lightning bolts from the gray clouds above. Ground troops in land raiders crushed the jungle foliage to surround the space marines. The Sons of Tantalus fought bravely but they were few in number. None survived and within days the jungle had claimed their bodies and their ship.

Corteaz' secret base from which to launch raids against the forces of Chaos on Infernus was secure once again.