Sunday, February 18, 2018

Destino: Novgorod expedition to retake "New Swindon" fails

- Alarielle's Triumph fortified with webway portal. Eldar victory

Tarlius II: Grey Knights invasion. Novgorod win in the south

 - Grey Knights vs. Death Guard @2000 - Crusade massacre (Mortarion and Typhus killed) - 7 pts to GK (4+1 massacre +1 characters +1 Space station)
 - Novgorod Guard vs. Thousand Sons @1500 - victory to Loyalists (4pts Imperial Tarlius II) - Novgorod deliver victory for Patreus in the south

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Aleph Sector: Current warzones

Kel Sandros land on Einmyrria

Even as the powers of the Aleph sector fought and bled for control of the Foramen Minoris ancient webway portals opened on the forgotten world of Einmyrria and a mighty Aeldari warhost poured forth. Spreading out across the barren, icy wasteland they began the search the planet's surface, combing the mountainous regions with jetbikes, grav tanks and Swooping Hawks in a rapidly executed search pattern.

Where once the world had only been host to roving bands of Tyrannoform creatures now, bathed in the roiling energies of the warp, far darker forces now called Einmyrria home. It wasn't long before one search party encountered the planet's new masters.

In the ruins of an abandoned Imperial base the Aeldari came face to face with their own worst nightmare, the dread servants of She Who Thirsts. Fuelled by a passionate hatred beyond human comprehension the Aeldari launched an immediate attack even as nearby forces abandoned their search and rushed to the area. Such was their fury that the Aeldari were headless of their own lives and rushed forwards with reckless abandon. Despite the cost they ruthlessly crushed the human pawns along with the daemonic forces that arrived across the howling wastes to their aid and not one servant of She Who Thirsts escaped that bloody battlefield.

Counting the bitter price in their own dead the Aeldari went back to their search, seemingly determined to find that which they sought in the hellish landscape.


The Aeldari of Kel Sandros

Farseer Tarquil allowed his mind to wander the paths of fate, gazing upon the myriad of possible futures the runes showed to him and felt despair. So few strands of fate ended in anything but disaster and damnation, not just for the Aeldari race but for the very galaxy itself. The path that Kel Sandros had so long striven to avoid now seemed inevitable. The opening of the Cicatrix Maledictum was but the first physical manifestation of the human race's inevitable self inflicted destruction. Like the Aeldari before them mankind's collective consciousness was fuelling the turmoil of the warp, birthing a foulness in their own image that, upon its manifestation, would not only destroy their own race but bring about the Rhana Dandra and the final ascendancy and triumph of the Chaos gods over the material plane.

The only way to escape such an ending was the rapid culling of humanity, a genocide on a scale unlike any the universe had ever seen. With the powers of Chaos waxed strong and the end times close at hand only a quick and rapid annihilation would succeed for in its slow decline from grace the Imperium fed the power of the warp with the suffering, violence and bigoted superstition of its trillions of soles. 

Tarquil saw one glimmer of hope, one shining strand of fate in a sea of despair. As the powers of Chaos neared their final triumph they were made vulnerable by their own success. With the fall of the Cadian gate and the division of the Imperium mankind now fought a war on all fronts. Once again there was an opportunity for the Aeldari to succeed where they had failed during the heresy, to provoke a total war that would see Chaos consume its own fuel source and be bled dry in the process. Into the vacuum a new power would ascend, one that would have the power to pacify the stars without feeding the hunger of thirsting gods.

Tarquil caste his gaze to a region of space in the far galactic east. On this cluster of stars the fate of the galaxy hung. There the opening of the Cicatrix Maledictum had cut the fledgling T'au Empire off from its path of expansion, even as the Imperium controlled a stable passageway through the immense warp rift. If the situation could be reversed the T'au would be free to expand unchecked into worlds totally isolated from centres of Imperial power and the guiding light of the Emperor's beacon. The fog of uncertainty lifted for a brief instant and Tarquil knew what must be done.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Tarlius 2: Hell continues

Despite the appointment of General Patreus to overall command on Tarlius, the situation on the second world took a turn for the worse in mid 02.018M42 as the forces of chaos, thought to be scattered and unsupported, received reinforcement.

The first the Imperium knew of the new power rising on the world was an outbreak of an unknown plague in the Imperial ranks, followed by reports of fighting in an area of the planet not controlled by Patreus or his forces. Scanning the area and sending in the Imperial navy to overfly the scene of battle, it became apparent that the Emerald Serpent was under attack from another chaos force, shrouded in an unholy miasma and accompanied by foul daemonic entities. The forces of Nurgle had arrived.

In truth, the Death Guard and their retinue had arrived on Tarlius with the intention of claiming the world for Nurgle, a situation the Emerald Serpent were none to happy with. Outraged by this interference by his brother Mortarion, Magnus the Red wasted no time and immediately set upon his siblings forces. However in a series of battles Magnus was bested again and again, and eventually had to come to terms with the fact that the Death Guard were now part of the chaos army on Tarlius 2. Should they be successful in removing the Imperium and plunging the system into the Cicatrix Maledictum, the world would now belong to Nurgle.

Meanwhile in the southern sector the Thousand Sons reappeared, assaulting and taking several key installations from Patreus' southern defences. Unable to respond immediately the Imperial General was pleased to see the arrival of a small contingent of Astartes of the Carcharadon chapter. Formerly part of the Crusade and with their loyalties still in doubt, nonetheless the Space Sharks attacked the Thousand Sons. On Tarlius the aims of the Crusade and loyalists were in alignment in any case, and neither Inquisition faction wanted to see the system fall to chaos.

The Carcharadon's were however unable to prevent the Thousand Sons from overrunning Patreus' southern flank, and while the Emerald Serpent and Magnus wasted time and energy fighting the Death Guard, the traitor legion he once led quietly made gains against the Imperium.

Destino: Crusade suffer setbacks

While Inquisitor Vorushko stayed in the Perseus Deeps consolidating her position, Crusade forces under the nominal command of Arch Magos Cybixx continued to try to establish a presence in the Destino system. Apart from a small eldar presence and the outer Imperial Fists fortress of Gregoria, Vandrax had essentially been secured for the Crusade, but Destino and Paradorn would be needed as well for the Crusade - and Vorushko - to complete their final plan to close off the Foramen Minoris. Standing in their way were Inquisitor Lord Hathek's "loyalist" forces, who were under instructions to prevent any other force, including the Crusade, from establishing a presence in the system.

In early 02.018M42 Cybixx learned of a personal threat to his own position, as a minor inquisitor loyal to Hathek had appeared in the Destino system, investigating Cybixx's latest actions and his past. Realising the Inquisitor may find out more than he ought to know, Cybixx sent a significant task force to Destino 3, a Loyalist base, in order to apprehend this dangerous member of the Inquisition.

The Mechanicum forces landed without incident and managed to find the Inquisitor in a relatively exposed position, far from Loyalist support and accompanied by only a small force of Novgorod Guard. The Adeptus Mechanicus forces attacked at once, knowing they would have to complete their capture of the Inquisitor and leave the world before the far larger loyalist forces surged out of their bases and overwhelmed them.

Despite devastating the accompanying Novgorod regiment, the loyalists managed to shield their Inquisitor from Cybixx's fire, and held on long enough to call for aid. Realising that the panicked comms signals indicated the imminent arrival of overwhelming force, the Mechanicum were forced to withdraw without their prize. If the Inquisitor had found out about Cybixx's past, there was now nothing he could do to prevent this information from reaching Lord Hathek.

Later in 02.018M42 the Crusade's main event occurred on Destino 1, as the Crusade force, led once again by the Mechanicum with the support of the Grey Knights, attempted to annihilate the Imperial Guard forces sent by Hathek to secure Destino 1 and create another loyalist base. A large set piece battle developed, which favoured the loyalists far more than the elite forces of the crusade, and the overwhelming firepower of the guard was brought to bear on the plains of the hot innermost world of the Destino system.

By 1602.018M42 the Crusade assault was called off, and the loyalists allowed them to withdraw, once again the loyalist fleet refusing to engage in a space action with the Crusade. With Destino 1 secured and the construction of a base underway, Hathek's grip on the Destino system tightened.

Hylas: Van Dorn continues offensive

The success of Imperial forces on Hylas continued into mid 02.018M42 as Van Dorn continued his offensive in the southern half of Hylas. Buoyed by recent successes and the arrival of reinforcements, the Novgorod Guard pushed on from their new front line positions to the last settlement to hold out in the southern half of the planet's single continent. Covering hundreds of miles in just a few days, the guard entered Benger on 1202.018M42, and managed to push the orks out of the dilapidated city by 1602.018M42

The Imperium could now see the end of the long war on Hylas in sight, but Van Dorn's supply lines were now stretched, as Administratum logistics struggled to keep up with the pace of the offensive. Now Benger stood at the tip of a long salient, and Van Dorn's men threatened to cut the orks in Berkeley off from supply from the south. Everyone now waited for the ork counter attack, which must surely come.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Tarlius: Gregland founded

While General Patreus was trying to restore order on Tarlius 2 following the arrival of the Grey Knights, complaining bitterly to sector commander Titus Luthor, Arch Magos Vargus decided to send a significant portion of his expedition to the Tarlius system. Arriving in early 02.018M42 Vargus’ force requested permission from Patreus to land a force on the only remaining unexplored planet in the system, Tarlius 3. 

Welcoming their arrival Patreus readily agreed, but the plans of Vargus were not entirely altruistic.   The mechanicum has reason to believe that ancient archeotech lay beneath the surface of the world and Vargus was keen to establish the Adeptus Mechanicus as the custodians of the world. He also needed a base of operations preferably not under the noses of the Imperial Administratum. 

The adeptus mechanicus force landed on the world and established a landing zone, but were immediately assaulted by a host of daemons, in much the same way as on Tarlius 1 and 2. 

Fully expecting such an attack, Vargus had prepared his expedition well, and the daemons also struggled from uncoordinated and piecemeal attacks - as of the assault was a reflexive act rather than a deliberate military operation. After days of fighting the daemonic incursion was neutralised by the Mechanicum forces, at least for now, and the world was designated “Gregland” by the expedition, who claimed it for the Machine God. 

Hylas:Van Dorn launches new offensive

For many months the war on Hylas had entered a silent phase. On the wrong side of the Cicatrix Maledictum general Van Dorn had almost lost hope of reinforcements from the Imperium. Oblivious to the creation of the Foramen and the Inquisition struggle between Vorushko and Harhek, the general had been doggedly digging in, ensuring the orks had no chance to regroup. 

The orks in fact were in just as much difficulty as the imperium. The warp scar had devastated the Vork Ork expanse and the orks on Hylas were leaderless. So when a strike cruiser appeared in orbit and hailed Van Dorn the morale boost to the imperial defenders was huge. 

The Angels Repentant has arrived with just one company, and informed Van Dorn that the imperial HQ on Bastien was quite intact, and that while Libria and other systems had been lost, Hylas would not join them. 

Van Dorn immediately agreed to a new offensive, and threw his regiments of Novgorod guard into the assault. With the new arrivals the imperium managed a broad front attack for the first time in years, with the astartes concentrating on the fortified settlement of Desmond, while the guard moved on Finlay. 

During early 02.018M42 the imperium ground away at the ork defences with renewed enthusiasm. Both settlements fell, and now Van Dorn was looking at a possible end to the war on Hylas - an end which meant imperial victory. 

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Grey Knights raid Tarlius, create base

Having raided the loyalist assets on Destino, the Grey Knights moved on to Tarlius, where there were real concerns about the repeated daemonic incursions on multiple worlds. Arriving in system the Astartes were not challenged although they did not explain their mission or in any way attempt to communicate with Imperial forces.

On Tarlius, crusade goals intersected with those of Hathek, but the Grey Knights concluded that every regiment involved in combat with daemonic forces would need to be cleansed for the good of mankind. A view not shared by Hathek and likely be opposed by Imperial forces in any case.

The Astartes began their operations in the Tarlius system by arriving on force on Tarlius I. Here they found Magnus himself, in strength, accompanied by the Emerald Serpent Cabal and a host of traitor guard. In a series of major engagements, the daemons were systematically eliminated from the surface of the world wherever they manifested, while the Grey Knights progressively exterminated th traitorous Darrantine Guard.

Over the course of a Terran month chaos forces were cleaned from Tarlius I, and the hot desert world soon became a permanent base of operations for the Ordo Malleus. However, they now had to deal with the situation on Tarlius II.

On the second world of the Tarlius system the Lycaon Guard were resting after repeated engagements against Magnus and the Emerald serpent. For now the hellish conditions on the planet had subsided, and the remaining chaos forces had gone to ground. However, the Grey Knights had irrefutable proof the loyalist guard regiment had been "tainted' by their exposure to the denizens of the warp, or soon would be. 

On 2201.018M42 a surprise assault by the Grey Knights brought havoc to the confused and unprepared Lycaons. In several hours of slaughter the astartes sought out those units known to have witnessed daemonic incursion and wiped them out, before withdrawing to their now fully operational base on the inner world. Whether the Grey Knights on Tarlius I were a blessing or a curse for Titus Luthor remained to be seen.

Destino: Sky Lords & Kel Sandros enter the fray

The loyalists at Destino had suffered serious setbacks after continuous raids conducted by the Grey Knights. However in early 018M42 the Grey Knights had departed the system, en route for the chaos infestation of Tarlius. The Crusade attempted to follow up the Grey Knights' success, deploying a company of Sky Lords into the system. The crusade astartes immediately landed on Tarlius 5, where they expected to find a weakened loyalist outpost. However, poor communication between crusade forces meant the Sky Lords were totally ignorant of the loyalist positions on the Ice World. In fact, new forces had landed on the world led by Arch Magos Vargus, whose Adeptus Mechanicus forces were in orbit and exploiting the world's resources.

The loyalist mechanicum soon found out that their newly colonised world - named "New Swindon" - had been invaded by the Crusade. Both sides sent out scout forces which eventually blundered into each other on 2001.018M42. The resulting encounters saw the Sky Lords make the initial gains, taking several key installations from the Mechanicum. However, superior firepower soon forced a general retreat by the Crusade force, and yet another failed invasion of Tarlius was added to the Crusade records.

The Key Sandros Eldar however were growing concerned. It appeared that the loyalists, despite the predations of the Grey Knights, were in the main prevailing in the Destino system. This was certainly not what the Xenos wanted, and they decided to establish a presence in the system as they had at Paradorn and Vandrax. Taking advantage of the recent fighting on the ice world of Destino 4, the eldar struck the Adeptus Mechanicus forces amid a swirling snow storm. Using the weather and the tall buildings of the loyalists against them, the xenos were soon amongst the Mechanicum, using their close range firepower and close combat prowess to overwhelm and eventually massacre much of Vargus' forces. The world of New Swindon was swiftly evacuated, as the Kel Sandros openly communicated to their vanquished foes. "Know this world as "Allariele's Triumph, Mon-Keigh!"

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Grey Knights raid Destino

Although allied to the Crusade and supportive of Vorushko's aims, the Grey Knights maintained their full independence of action in the Foramen campaign. While Vorushko rallied support on the Imperial worlds of the Perseus Deeps, and Cybixx continued his research on Vandrax, the Grey Knights decided to make sure that Hathek's "loyalists" would be unable to consolidate their positions on Destino.

Lacking enough forces to effect a full invasion, the Grey Knights detached a small force to raid and destroy the defences on Destino 3. With two precision strikes, the Astartes force was able to circumvent the Imperial fleet with ease, and drop forces directly on the defenders of the defence laser positions around the Imperial base. Still under construction, the Adeptus Mechanicus were the unlucky recipients of the "visitation" from the Ordo Malleus, and were given no time or opportunity to make their case to the Grey Knights. They were simply assaulted and systematically destroyed by the elite astartes force. At the beginning of 018M42 Hathek's loyalists found their position on Destino distinctly compromised.

Paradorn: Eldar consolidate presence

Ever since the Foramen passage through the CIcatrix Maledictum had opened, the eldar had been watching. Initially they merely engaged in spoiling attacks as the forces of the Imperium battle those of chaos for control of Paradorn, the anchor of both the Foramen Majoris and Foramen Minoris. Lacking in forces, the Aeldari had come to the conclusion that their best hope lay in the Alliance forcing a passage through from the galactic south.

Following the obvious reluctance of the Tau to even get involved, and General Elliot's woeful display at Destino, the eldar finally decided to intervene in force. The craftworld of Kel Sandros once again disregarded its former policy of manipulation of events, and decided to shape the outcome themselves.

Without warning the Kel Sandros forces appeared from the webway and sent a significant force to the third planet, attacking the mainly Librian garrison forces on the world. However their intent was not to destroy infrastructure or invade the world itself, but to deal a blow to the forces the Imperium would be able to commit to any counterstrike, as on Paradorn 2, Aeldari seers were carefully reopening the ancient and dilapidated webway portal. 

The attack bought the eldar time, and despite finding the Librian defenders a surprisingly tough nut to crack, they were able to force the Imperium into defending their bases, diverting the Imperial fleet from its patrols and allowing the rituals to continue unmolested. By the end of 01.018M42 the eldar had a fully functional webway portal on Paradorn 2, and would be able to deploy significant forces rapidly should the Imperium - or anyone else - try to remove them from the world. The thorn in the side of the Imperial hold on Paradorn had now become that much sharper.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Sector map 3012.017M42

Sector situation 0101.018M42

By the beginning of 018M42 the war over the Foramen Interdictum had become well established. In the rest of the sector relative peace reigned, although the war on Hylas between the orks and Imperium seemed to have no end in sight, and the arrival of Nemesis and other Tyranid hive biology kept Lord Inquisitor Huron guessing on Eris.

The forces of chaos, fractured as they were, had failed to prevent the Imperium from taking Paradorn, and now only one of the worlds of the system lay beyond the grip of Titus Luthor, as the eldar ambushed and killed any force that attempted to land on the barren rocky world. The eldar presence was a concern however, as plans for the construction of a major base at Paradorn would have to be delayed until the Xenos presence was dealt with. Clearly the Aeldari did not want the Imperium to control the Paradorn system, guarding one end of the Interdictum.

On Vandrax Inquisitor Vorushko's crusade had established a major base thanks largely to the efforts of Archmagos Cybixx. Cybbix Alpha and Beta were well fortified, and Cybixx had laid the foundations for the arcane mechanism meant - eventually - to destroy the Foramen Minoris connecting the Imperium Nihilus with the Xenos and heretical federal controlled space. There still remained many however who denounced her plan, and Lord Inquisitor Hathek led the campaign against her "crusade", managing to convince several Astartes forces and Imperial Guard regiments to wage war against their fellow man. The Imperial Fists had proved the most useful in this regard, setting up New Gregoria on the outer planet of the Vandrax system, maintaining a constant watch over the Crusade.

The Crusade also faced opposition from the Aeldari, who knew of Vorushko's plan and had set themselves against it. The Xenos had hoped to wage war against the crusade - and imperium - through their proxies, the Tau and Federacy Alliance, but the Alliance led task force under General Elliot had failed miserably to gain a foothold at the Destino system, and the Alliance fleet had withdrawn. The Rillietan had attempted to "poke" the tau into action by attacking their base on Protogonus, but the Aeldari knew they had to buy time for the Alliance to get up to strength again. So the Eldar began raids against the Imperium, both Crusade and Loyalist, trying to hold the might of Mankind off long enough for the Alliance to challenge them once again.

The Forces of chaos, having failed at Paradorn had moved onto Tarlius. More specifically Warsmith Stahl had begun landing forces on the outer worlds and fortifying them from his base at Minos, while Magnus the Red had led several factions into war on the inner worlds. Tarlius 3 had now become a horrendous meat-grinder of a war swallowing more and more of Luthor's resources, but gradually the encroachment of chaos had been halted for now.

Titus Luthor attempted to stay out of the Inquisition war between Hathek and Vorushko, as did Admiral Jellicoe. It seemed that the Inquisitors were fighting chiefly over Vandrax and Destino, so Luthor and Jellicoe concentrated on Tarlius, although Hathek, with his connections and presence on the light side of the Cicatrix, made it impossible for Luthor to do anything other than aid the Lord Inquisitor, and similarly Jellicoe was obliged to assist at Vandrax and Destino with naval battlegroups.

In space, no decisive battles had been fought, and fleets of all sides spent most of the time studiously avoiding each other. All sides knew that even a victory over a foe would leave them weak and vulnerable to a third foe, and all sides needed to keep their supply lines open. Commerce and supply line raiding became the order of the day as 017M42 came to an end.

Meanwhile Inquistor Lord Vorushko had been busy herself. In late 017M42 she arrived on Bastien and began her search for support. Fortunately Luthor himself unwittingly gave Vorushko a lifeline. Veers' second in command, General Patreus, was promoted and sent to oversee the campaign at Tarlius, while Veers saw his position diminished and his forces stripped of their power. Gone was the glory of the crusade against chaos, and Veers felt slightest. This was fertile soil for Vorushko, who by 018M42, had convinced Veers to join her side, along with all forces on Bastien and Parthenope. the Imperium in the Perseus Deeps had effectively become Vorushko's personal domain, although Hathek and Luthor had no idea..

General Veers.