[E:A kriegspiel] Battle reports, Imp vs PDF narrative: Defence of Taranus (part VI 20.10.2022)

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Viestit: 1888
Liittynyt: Ti 10.05.2005 15:39
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[E:A kriegspiel] Battle reports, Imp vs PDF narrative: Defence of Taranus (part VI 20.10.2022)

Viesti Kirjoittaja Terminator Sergeant »

Englanniksi kopiona tännekin:

And now for something completely different.

With self-isolation and all that jazz going on, but the itch to game still burning strong, it seemed a fitting time to try out something I've been eyeing for a while. As wargames go, there are basically two broad categories: Little Wars (from Wells) with opponents clearly gaming it out between each other and good ol' Kriegspiel, where it's more about command and orders in a more lifelike situation as refereed by an umpire. But why not a bit of both, one wonders?

So, with that idea in mind I wanted to both get a better idea of how Epic Armageddon works and offer a few pals of mine a chance to hop in the boots of various bigwigs up in the command chain. I set up the field, lists and the scenario and gave the players a rundown of what their sides have and how they do in descriptive terms. The commanders would not worry about mechanics or see any of the dice rolling, they'd have to see the effects and live with what info they can glean. Naturally I'd give them clarifications on what can be achieved, what odds are in general for different situations and so on, but for the most part they sat on the edges of their command thrones and pondered what general orders they'd issue to the lines while I processed their subordinates who actually carried out... something along those lines. Both sides were in the dark about what their opposition is bringing, where they are and so forth until they came close enough to see something, used scouts, fired flares for spotters and so on. Naturally some liberties and oddities were taken with the rules corpus, as the situation was much more of a narrative simulation than a straight up battle game. Great fun was had in the cruel fog of war with secret orders, hurried phone calls to the front and all-important initiative rolls to see who actually gets to act before all is lost :)

On with the show!


*****
Seren II, a verdant agriplanet, had for the longest time been at peace. In the centuries long lull of solitude, generations of laxed standards had left the higher-ups in the defence forces and political powers that be to slowly slide into a silent separation into a self-dependent government beyond the oppressive Imperium's grasp. At some point the cessation of enormous food exports would be noticed in the wider Imperium and provoke action to remind the Serenites that their's was not a position of negotiation. While larger forces of imperial guard were gathering in the system for a massed planetary assault, a lightning strike from a nearby Benith flotilla of Black Templars shot through the blue skies on wings of fire.

Aboard the strike cruiser "Fist of Dorn", marshal Taraxacum adressed the situation. Planetfall was made in the dark of the night near the rural heart of the Taranus area and the first troops under castellan Grimwald were rumbling towards the important depot complex that was key to cutting the breadbasket of the separatists in half. It must be taken and held, unharmed, until the larger forces can arrive to crush the disorganised defences. Nodding to his terminator brothers as they were preparing to escort Langbar, the visionary champion, to the teleportarium, he turned his attention to the camera feeds from below.

On the planet's surface, commander Archibald 'Blood'n'Guts' Wodestone-Callahan of the planetary defence forces was rudely woken in the night when alarms of fiery dropships were sounded. Having time to only pick up his smaller hat (boasting fewer skulls), he rushed off to kick the 157th linecompany of the 4th home army moving. The Taranus depot must not fall into the oppressor's hands nor can it be destroyed or we'll have a famine in our hands. Get to it!


******

The situation starts before dawn in the dark. Texts were in Finnish, "short" and "mid-range" for scales, "agri depot Taranus" and "bio-center Taranus Minoris". Marine forces in the lower right corner were in transports, as were most of the guard units in mechanised detachments. Infantry markers are 10 men, vehicles 1-2 per.

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With the initiative on their side, the black clad Astartes slowed to combat approach and trundled onwards. Both commanders order moderately cautious advance before a contact is made to see what is happening.

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The homefront sends Valkyries to drop sergeant Benetto and his storm troopers to the woods near bunker 3 but they are intercepted by the Thunderhawk Sword of Justice as it screams over the field on reconnaisance flight, forcing the air taxis to dive hard into the woods in order to avoid effective fire. Hetman Trajan and his cavalry scouts trot towards bunker 3 to see if anything moves on the flank, but are soon taken by surprise as the Templars led by sergeant Holz jump out of their still moving Rhinos and start sending missiles towards them. An explosion throws ground and stumbling horses around, but miraculously none are lost as the riders turn sharply and retreat to relay information back to HQ. The 157th take positions along the main road as artillery commander Felix and his Basilisks drop flares near the road, where castellan Grimwald and his men are approaching in their Land Raider Crusaders.

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The action opens up properly when the hidden Basilisks open against Holz's men near bunker 3. Fields are ripped open as Rhinos and marines are blasted apart in the rain of death, survivors scrambling towards the bunker firing half blindly in the woods where the concealed storm troopers return scattered potshots in their general direction. Something is stuck with the Valkyries after the rough landing and they are forced to spend a while fixing their stuff, while Trajan's men take a piss at the order to charge bunker 3 and instead dismount to enjoy a bottle of local vodka. In the middle, Grimwald and the Crusaders crash through the woods before the waiting (but startled) guns of the defenders. Even though the mighty Baneblade, Freedom's Yearn, opens on them it is too far to bring effective stopping power against the veritable moving fortresses that are Land Raiders as they take the intersection and charge towards the biocenter and corporal Betson's group. One brutal clash later Betson and thirty men lie dying on the ground, rest fleeing for their lives even as commissar Len is shouting at them to grow some spine. While this is going on, corporal Huts is rushing southwards to capture bunker number two and roll out some prepared anti-air guns as the Sword of Justice rakes them from above. Even worse, something moves beond their sight at the flare's edge as the level headed brother Corvan, commander of the Predator detachment, opens up with a deadly accurate laser fusillade that skewers half of their Chimeras on the road.

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Castellan Grimwald is in bloodlust and unable to see how his subordinates are utterly pinned in the crossfire at the center, under las- and autocannon skots from all directions as Freedom's Yearn rolls on their position. As it blows up one Crusader and a few men, it in turn is devastated in a huge fireball as brother Corvan's impeccable Predator team hits a critically pressurized coffee maker behind it's front plates with longrange laserfire. Before Grimwald's position is overrun from all directions, Sword of Justice comes for another pass way too low for an attack run and opens its sides as furiously screaming angels of death shoot out on fiery jump packs and crash into Huts' detachment by bunker 2. Most of their men are slain by the transhuman monsters as the rest throw down their guns and run for their lives. From the North, corporal Ramirez and his fresh reserves charge out of the woods to take the biocenter's gardens from Grimwald but are brutally beaten back by the black knights, who fight a tenacious retreat out of there, dragging their crazed commander with them as plunging fire from colonel Halliwell's group at the depot wreck another Crusader. Situation at the eastern flank gets dire, as the Valkyries finally take flight again and unleash a rocket barrage on ancient Antaberro and the other dreadnoughts, breaking them, while Benetto draws his saber and charges sergeant Holz's position at the bunker.

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The air crackles as terminators appear in the northern crossroads, charging up the depot led by Emperor's Champion Langbar and take the enemy HQ by surprise. As they slaughter colonel Halliwell and his fiery orator aide, commissar Hart, hero of the revolution with scant casualties back, the rest break and scramble out of the windows and gangways to get away from the avenging horrors clad in black. Simultaneously Corvan shows again why he is an absolute boss as the Predators drive up and blow up five Chimeras on the field before they can support the right flank, driving them away just as broken as the other remnants of Halliwell's detachment. All is not gloomy for the defenders, though, as castellan Grimwald regrouped towards bunker 2 only in time to eat an artillery barrage, breaking his last men again and driving them out of there. Fritz, the leader of the bloodspattered assault marines, takes to the skies to avoid the worst of the barrage and jumps to take the fight towards the biocenter, but misjudges the situation and is torn down by massed lasfire and bayonets of the men there after decapitating the brave commissar Len in a duel. Trajan's riders, having drunk all their current alcohol reserves, finally see the order to Emperor-fokken-dammit charge out and fix explosives in their lances before rushing to bunker 3. Holz, already under fire from the commandos and exploding dreadnoughts, is crushed by the cavalry charge even as his power fist punches through one rider as a last ditch effort. Benetto's group slips into the bunker's vault just in time to avoid the wrath of the Sword of Justice as it bombards the ground above. With their charges underground, the Valkyrie squadron decides to call it a day and disengages from the airspace before actually having to deal with the Sword of Justice again. Wodestone-Callahan is livid as he hears of this cowardice.

At the break of dawn, Benetto's men would roll a back-up Baneblade, Aigal's Might, out of bunker three as a great pillar of fire flashes down from the heavens to obliterate Felix's battery near bunker one in an orbital strike from the Fist of Dorn.

Situation seems drawn and no clear winner has taken the field as reserves start pouring in. This might escalate into some sort of a campaign during the Spring... :P

Thanks for reading!
Viimeksi muokannut Terminator Sergeant, To 20.10.2022 21:51. Yhteensä muokattu 5 kertaa.
Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.
- Carl Sagan
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Terminator Sergeant
Viestit: 1888
Liittynyt: Ti 10.05.2005 15:39
Paikkakunta: Helsinki, henkisesti ikuinen savolainen

Re: [E:A kriegspiel] Battlereport, IG vs. BT narrative defence of Taranus

Viesti Kirjoittaja Terminator Sergeant »

What-ho, once more unto the breach we go! More adventures in the fog of war as told by your most obedient servant.


***

This time the outskirts of the Taranus Obscurus area flare up in flames as the secessionist armies of Seren II try to push through to more important hot zones with their armoured forces. They fear encirclement by the marine forces and a portion of their strenght is sent to deal with the situation before it develops, but this might have been their intention all along as the 25th armoured company of the 4th home army trundles onwards into the waiting hands of the hidden Templars...

Can the iron will of general Archibald "Blood'n'Guts" Wodestone-Callahan push through and help the beleagured defenders of Taranus proper? Has reclusiarch Aramias Franz of the Benith flotilla drawn his armoured fist into its doom? Will anyone think of the poor farmers and the foppish relatives of governor Beldengrade at all?


***

Under the direct command of major Möbius, the 25th are marching the Russes of lieutenant Telos southwards with the intention of driving away any enemy forces before they can endanger the larger operation. Second lieutenant Fedel, utilizing the amphibious Chimeras, is joining the convoy from the east as we begin.

The view from the Serenite side:

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Meanwhile, having observed the advance of the Russ column, an outrider group of fast moving Black Templars awaits in ambush. Sensing the approaching clash, chaplain Beren has been sent some reinforcements in the form of "Witches' Pyre", a Thunderhawk loaded with assault marines that is on the way to the front.

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TURN 1

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As the sides in general advance, the Templars go in aggressively and sergeant Nachtor with his land speeders dives in to terrorize second lieutenant Fedel's troops as they are still getting to the shore. One Chimera is blown up and men inside either drowned or torn apart as they try to scramble out, rest surging forwardsto try and get into the cover on the shore.

Sergeant Peralta puts pedal to the metal and orders his bikers near the warehouse B-II to drive North and take the up-link station, gaining daring recon on the enemy positions while doing so. They are not quite quick enough to do this unnoticed, as major Möbius is setting his field command into the nearby hab-area and word soon passes to Telos' tankers who light up the station. Even while trying to avoid wrecking the whole place, they basically annihilate Peralta's men sans his own attack bike, which then careens eastwards to take a breather in the bushes. Sergeant Herbert, of the other biker squad, meanwhile goes to Villa Nebule to politely knock down some doors and mail boxes of the local bigwigs with a chainsword to tell them it's not yet too late to return to the Emperor's light.

TURN 2

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The action turns hot as flak starts flying and the firts speeder falls from Nachtor's group as they head away from Fedel's beaten group to gang on the tank column with everyone else. Peralta, the surviving member of his squad, considers a career choice as the hottest desperado on these roads as we'll come to see while brother Alderon of the Predator detachment opens fire on the front Russ. Ineffectively from so far, though. Telos, unsure of the situation beyond the crowded road and still eyeing the station to his East, mills about a moment too long and fails to urge his men onwards into a line on the southside of the up-link station. Through a hail of anti-air fire from the Hydras, "Witches' Pyre" swoops in to drop Lovel's assault marines into the Villa to bolster its defences while the plane itself goes to bombard the road in front of Telos apart. Some shots find their mark, though, and a trail of smoke pours forth from the Thunderhawk as it flies away.

Chaplain Beren and his men in their Land Raiders take positions by B-II, with the intention to jump on the tanks when they advance further onto the road, unaware that hetman Iberus and his riders in the western woods have spotted this info up in the chain.

TURN 3

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Nachtor's speeders rake the northern forces as Alderon's Predators jump the road and skewer the front Russ with deadly rays of light. Return fire from the tanks, who manage to get some of their act together, reduces most of Alderon's squad to molten scrap forces the last Predator to seek cover behind the trees as their previous position, now garrisoned by Herbert's bikers, is attacked by the advancing Hellhounds of one particularily effective sergeant Bucher.

Sdlaw's riders on the east, accompanying the Hellhounds, sneak towards the Villa in the woods but are taken completely by surprise when Lovel's assault group in the shade. No sign of them is heard again. Another assault squad, led by sergeant Erez, on the western side fare much worse. The Russes have stopped and Wodestone-Callahan has ordered Iberus' cavalry to charge forth to tie the Crusaders down, but this gets down the line a moment too late and the cross-marked assault tanks have already sped forwards towards the intersection. Iberus' men trot after them, but before they completely lose their momentum, Erez and his men drop on them from "Witches' Pyre" above and learn that dropping in front if a cavalry charge with shaped charges in their lances is still a bad idea, even if you have power armour. As the assault squad below gets trampled and scatters, the Thunderhawk is facing too much flak and retreats from its attack run.

Beren and his men, denied a proper engagement with the Russes, crash into the woods near them and fire missiles from the hip as they spill out of their Raiders. One Russ blows up, as their small arms and occasional las-shots from across the road rattle the flora around them.

Fedel's men, still a bit disoriented, waddle onwards trying to get a grasp of the situation.

Governor Beldegrade's relatives are most unhappy with being manhadled by the inhuman invaders and scream at major Möbius over the phone to stop at once or these brutes will hurt them. Möbius tells them to sod off into a basement and eat an artillery barrage.

TURN 4

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Sergeant Herbert, figuring it sucks to be burnt alive, leads his bikers to the warehouse B-II while chased by the furious Hellhounds to drive doughnuts on the field, leading them on to a merry chase that denies them any good shots. There they are confronted by the nearby cavalry, who find out horses don't do too well against heavy bolter fire and crush such upstarts with impunity. This does, however, cost them too long and sergeant Bucher gets a bead on them, setting the whole warehouse area alight. Only Herbert and some of his attack bikes make it out alive.

In the centre, assisted by the rogue remnants of his outriders, chaplain Beren charges out to take the tank column by storm but is driven back, broken, by a determined hail of las-fire and antipersonnel tanking after blowing up three more Russes. This includes Beren personally boarding and disabling Telos' command Vanquisher. The Serenite victory is short-lived, however, as the surrounding fire from all sides soon breaks their morale and drives the now leaderless tanks back North. Peralta, dashing around them with his multi-melta, wreacks havoc amidst the retreating tanks.

Same cannot be said of Lovel's group in the wood near Villa Nebule, as Fedel is warned of the riders' disappearence and hunkers down in case of violent psychomonks, which proves rather timely. A short assault follows, where some Chimeras are lost to melta bombs but the marines are otherwise broken and scattered to the winds by a stalwart defence.

TURN 5

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As major Möbius prepares to charge the up-link, Beren rallies his men to keep it as some of them hack the communications and manage to contact artillery not currently sectioned under Wodestone-Callahan's command. With a bit of social hacking shenanigans, the road full of wrecked Russes soon opens up in a dust cloud as a barrage of explosive shells hits the ground near Möbius' position and throws his Hydra around in pieces. Understandably startled, the major wastes no time to take advantage of whatever happened as a screen and rushes forwards to take the link station. Many fall on the way under the relentless overwatch of the marines inside, more yet to their blades, but in the end the bloodied men of the 25th kick the remaining knights in black out of the premises even as Peralta harries yet more Russes to their grave.

In the South, Bucher has had it with these lasers and forces Alderon to abandon his tank by bathing it in flames. Poor Fedel can't have a break even when no enemies are around and some of his Chimeras get stuck on tree trunks on the way to liberate the prisoners at Nebule.

TURN 6

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Möbius and his men hastily throw tables and beds about to fortify their position against the inevitable countercharge from the regrouped marines, but in a brilliant stroke of having had it, sergeant Bucher take the initiative and flies over to grill all remaining infantry from Beren's detachment. As the still burning chaplain is dragged into the retreating Crusader, the remaining outriders see the situation and head off to kepp the pressure on the tank column or what remains of it. Together, with Peralta at their head, they finish off the final tanks and bugger off towards their extraction site, leaving behind a bludgeoned rural community and a group of shooked guardsmen.

RESULT:

A draw on the field, with the Templars achieving their objective of destroying the tank column and the guard keeping the hold of their area while breaking the strenght of their enemy. The Russes did not get through, but neither did the Templars capture Möbius for questioning. Given the strategic value of the armour destroyed, while the broken encirclement was a feint to begin with, on the strategic level this probably dips more in the Templars' favour.

Thanks for reading!
Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.
- Carl Sagan
Avatar
Terminator Sergeant
Viestit: 1888
Liittynyt: Ti 10.05.2005 15:39
Paikkakunta: Helsinki, henkisesti ikuinen savolainen

Re: [E:A kriegspiel] Battle reports, IG vs. BT narrative: defence of Taranus (part III)

Viesti Kirjoittaja Terminator Sergeant »

Me oh my, here we go again! A new challenger appears.

At the fringes of the Taranus area, after the lightning strikes of the Templars, time has come for the imperial warmachine to change from a scalpel to a sledgehammer.

Having gotten a whiff of their landing areas near a local chemical plant, the 146th line company of the fourth home army has rushed to fortify the site against the incoming tide. This time general Wodestone-Callahan has had time to don a proper hat instead of rushing out in his pajamas, but as ever in defensive warfare, it's not like you ever have enough time before they are on your walls. Portioning some pillbox building equipment and tractors to the front, he picked up a phone and started listing orders to captain Cromwell while the moral officers were down at the trenches, raising the spirits. This was no fight for a mere sweatshop, this was a glorious undertaking to ensure our population's independence and sovereignity, free from tyranny and subjugation!

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Beyond the sight of the toiling builders, a more straightforward discussion took place. As the huge orbital landers were unloading troops and machinery for the upcoming planetary invasion, some were eager to get things on the way. Lord-Commissar Krampf would suffer no lollygagging when there were wars to be fought, here or elsewhere, with or without the heavy equipment that took so long to set up. Besides him, a man silently nodded, his features hidden by a gas mask so iconic of his ilk. Without hesitation, major Vogel and his 27th assault regiment of the 15th occupational army would march to war. That was what he was born and bred for, as were the rest of the men from the Death Korps of Krieg.


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DEPLOYMENT.

We've got a toxic hellscape near the central Factories, a Seat of Power to the right and some workers' Barracks to the south. Keeping a hold of these was naturally of interest to the defenders, while the attacker would want to take the important infrastructure and execute the work force as a good old fashioned back-hand slap to the face for the planet's population as to who is the law.

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Captain Cromwell's situation wasn't too much to his liking. No mines, no air support, a few hundred men and a battery of guns for the most part. Even the local bigwigs were a bunch of uptight arsefaces more keen on their petty squabbles than helping out. Still, even they had to be protected I guess, he sighed. At least he knew Fezos, their tank ace, was good at his job. If only the tanks were, too, old rust buckets all. They hadn't had too much time to dig in either, with a strip or three of some narrow trenches near the factories, seasoned with a sprinkling of fortifications in each. Really helpful, if what he'd heard of Imperial was true: either they'll bombard you for a month or drop cannibal angels from the sky to eat you alive limb by limb. Real helpful.

TURN 1.

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Heavy transports trundled closer by the roads, revving up speed as they ate the distance. Lieutenant Arnak position in the south was raked by fighter planes as a wall of smoke erupted in their front, preparing the way for the men hurtling forwards in their Gorgons. In the North, second lieutenant Fezos peered towards to road from under his camo net. Enemy tanks were coming closer in the open, what fools. Then again, who knew how much they had those bloody things. Having to make do with what he had, they opened fire on the invaders, slowly shifting in place to draw their return volleys into prepared dummies to throw them off. While there was something gentlemanly in the armoured duel of wits in the North, there was nothing noble in the South. As second lieutenant Maren and his Death Riders followed their major Vogel in their approach to the Barracks II area, pre-ranged artillery fire opened up on them and turned the fields to a deathly rain of mud in a heartbeat. Men and mounts flew apart, showering their comrades with their remains as they rode on. In kind, at Barracks I, lieutenant Messer and his group dismounted to systematically kick in doors and butcher everyone in sight as the fat cats watched from their cameras at the Seat of Power.

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TURN 2.

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Lieutenant Hotzendorf crashed his Gorgons against the southern trenches and urged his men forwards through the smoke while Arnak's men let rip with their rifles and machine guns, scything through the attackers as they came. Fearing the worst, Huron's howitzer battery was given orders to fire on their position were it to look like it's getting overrun and soon deadly ordnance was raining on them. Unlike one might have thought, Arnak's group was actually handling the situation quite well and the Kriegers had trouble penetrating their line before they felt the need to fall back and regroup, else they all fall in the killing field before the trenches. Having met surprising resistance caused some milling about and made them an easy target as Huron's shelling fell on them, but since no-one had remembered to inform Arnak in time some of his were caught in it too and there was some livid yelling in the comms soon after.

Similar fears were had further East, as Wodestone-Callahan made lieutenant Rabaz at the Seat of Power force the local bastards either blow up the Barracks I from their control room NOW or his troops would be on the move NOW. After some sweaty diplomatic wrangling a series of explosions wracked what was left of Barracks I, though Messer and his men were already making their way through the woods towards the Seat of Power by then. Woopsie. Before they got close, though, there was one bright sec. lt. Holmar lying in wait for them, hidden between the trees. One surprise assault later Messer's troopes were fleeing away, trying to put some distance between the deadly foe and get some picture of the situation.

Up North it was business as usual. Fezos and his trusty rust buckets poured fire on to the Russes, blowing one up, while they kept on firing at their decoys ineffectively. It was like fighting shadows, the Russ' commander Holden later remarked, brushing aside he made the calls on what to shoot at. Meanwhile the Imperial Thunderbolts swerved between lt. Njurou's flak fire almost tauntingly, mangling one howitzer with a rocket as they whizzed past. If the flak were to be overtaken, nothing would stop the planes from harrassing Huron's guns to the ground.

TURN 3.

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Time to fix those bayonets, boys.

Kuva

From the civilian slaughter of Barracks II, major Vogel's men charged up into captain Cromwell's position at the tip of the western trenches while smoke dropped behind him to shield them from punitive action in their flank, in which they were aided by the shrapnel launched from lt. Hotzendorf's position that pinned Arnak's forces down a bit. Though the counter fire from the pillbox was harsh, Vogel and his group did succesfully breach the bunker, taking both the good captain as a prisoner and threatening the nearby field guns of lt. Njurou. Not that they needed to, as sec. lt. Maren's riders soon brought their accompanying Hellhounds up and torched the guns with gouts of crawling flame. Gunnery commander Huron, upon hearing their partners' anguished cries on the comms, dismissed their last orders to fire on the Russes and furiously pounded the major's position instead, routing them momentarily. This turned out to be a slick move anyway, as the Russes had had enough playing with ghosts in the woods and instead rushed South full throttle, harried all the way by Fezos' fire that claimed another tank on the way.

As aircraft now boomed overhead unhindered, the situation in the eastern woods grew more and more chaotic. Explosions rocked the howitzer battery as lt. Rabaz was having a fist fight with the local factory overlords about something foolish instead of following Wodestone-Callahan's orders to ditch the blighters and make a run towards the factory area. Holmar's ambush group kept the pressure on Messer, but as the Kriegers realized they actually did outnumber their assailants, a surge of elan filled them and they charged. With the fighting now so close at hand, Rabaz could smack some sense into the elite and order support for their comrades in the woods, cutting trees and men down indiscriminantly as they fired in their general direction. Though Holmar and most of his men were cut down in the action, leaving few straggling survivors to run about in terror, so too were Messer's men mauled so badly by the flanking fire that they had to retreat further into the woods.

TURN 4.

This is actually the defender's viewpoint, Messer's men are still there but they were just hidden by the smoke. Didn't grab a full picture for whatever reason, it seems :P

Kuva

With the thin red line starting to buckle, Fezos' tankers trundled out of their woods and blasted one of Maren's Hellhounds as they crested the trenches here and there, never giving a good shot for Holden's Russes were they to shoot back. Humiliated and angry, Holden merely waddled forwards for the time being without firing a shot. In the thick of things, Maren's remaining Hellhounds torched what was left of Cromwell's men at the western trenches and rolled into the area proper as Vogel regrouped his men into the Gorgons, which spent the time blasting shrapnel on Arnak's position. As contact was lost with Messer in the woods, a wall of smoke was thrown in lt. Rabaz' face at just the right moment to cause his men to suspect attack and keep on peppering the woods with bullets instead of advancing towards the factory. Once more, Wodestone-Callahan was not happy with this action. Nor was Rabaz for that matter, but he was too busy herding the rich idiots around.

Talking about busy, Lord-Commissar Krampf was also busy learning new names as Hotzendorf's group seemed to go through quite rapid changes. First it was Hotzendorf on the phone, until a sharp whistle of bullets cut him short. Then it was his commissar Ulwenwald (the craven coward, always looking for a chance to benefit) lamenting how Hotzendorf seemed to have had a little accident and how he must take charge. That, too, was cut short by an artillery strike. Then it was picked up by one of the Gorgon drivers...

TURN 5.

Kuva

Though Nadar and Klüm, the Thunderbolt pilots, were both veterans with lots of tricks up their sleeves, it seemed nothing could touch the ace that was Fezos. In erratic but determined zig-zag he led the 146th's armour through the rocket fire from above, evaded the deadly reach of the waiting Russes and still managed to blow up more Hellhounds and Death Riders while forming a wall of steel in front of the ever important factories.

Arnak, similarily, seized the moment to fall back on to the second line of defence before Vogel and what was left of Hotzendorf's company were on them. Running the trenches, they were kept safe from the murderous Hellhounds by Fezos' dogged fire on their flank and protected from roaming Gorgons by the last few operational artillery pieces still firing in their aid.

Everything hung on what was happening on the Seat of Power. Messer, beaten and bruised, for yet another time, rallied his men and charged towards the premises. What they had not foreseen were the extensive razor wires planted in their way, slowing and slashing them while Rabaz' fresh troops open fire on them with machine guns. Still some of the fanatics pushed through. Eventually, the crush was too much and yet again the Kriegers fell back in to the woods, but this time they were followed by the vengeful defenders and cut down to a man after a vicious and drawn out battle under the canopy. Sadly, though reinforcements were nearly here, lt. Rabaz himself would not live through the wounds he received leading the counter charge.

RESULTS.

With the Seat of Power and Factories tenuously in the defenders' hands but both Barracks succesfully wiped out by the attackers, it is a 2-2 draw on the ground. The attackers managed to capture a field commander, which might have to be rescued soon if such a thing is to be done (Imperium is not really known for its compassionate interrogation techniques), but similarily a draw tends to be okay for the defenders who have just managed to stay in there by the skin of their teeth as more forces start pouring in.

Hard to say what follows, except one thing: millions and millions of lives lost, thrown away on the field for a tentative hold on a piece of land or the glory of their commanders. And for what?

Kuva

Thanks for reading, folks. Happy wargaming :)
Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.
- Carl Sagan
Avatar
Terminator Sergeant
Viestit: 1888
Liittynyt: Ti 10.05.2005 15:39
Paikkakunta: Helsinki, henkisesti ikuinen savolainen

Re: [E:A kriegspiel] Battle reports, IG vs. BT narrative: defence of Taranus (part III)

Viesti Kirjoittaja Terminator Sergeant »

What-ho, once more unto the breach. This time the stakes get higher as more and more men march into the grind, so much so that it took us two days to play this through :D

*****

At the mauled factory hub of Taranus Terminus borders, lieutenant Arnak leaned on his shovel wearily. The enemy had been halted for a moment and they'd used the brief respite to dig new positions in place, but the invaders were clearly building another offensive further South in the dark of the night. Captain Cromwell was lost and dragged away with them and he was now the senior officer in what remained of the 146. company, much to his chagrin. Lost in thought, he was startled awake by a loud cough next to him. "Lieutenant Arnak?" asked a rather chipper man with a captain's tacks. "Alfons of the 112. reserves, assuming command. Get your men to positions and give them an extra mug of joe, we'll make it through this yet." Arnak, twitching a bit at the man's carefree attitude, saluted and huddled off to the soup trains. He wished he could've shared the captain's optimism as general Wodestone-Callahan's orders started pouring in from the vox.

In the dark before dawn, South of the factories, major Reichsberg of the 27. Krieg assault regiment studied the map of the area one last time. He was about to make damn sure Alfons' cheer would yet turn to bitter ash in his mouth as the order to move was sounded and hundreds of men surged forwards in their massive steel coffins. For Lord-Commissar Krampf and the Imperium, onwards!


*****

Welcome back to Taranus! This time we have so much troops on the field (~4000 points per side, attacker with more men but defenders having lots of prepared positions) I changed the visualisation a bit to keep things manageable so all detachments are now shown with singular icons but in case of huge swathes of troops their controlled area is indicated by a translucent block underneath. I also made prettier orders of battle for the commanders, both to raise the atmosphere and keep things concise ~8)
(couldn't yet be arsed to change the language on the map to English, sorry! Next time then, when a new map is made I'll provide for your viewing pleasure. "Lyhyt" and "keskipitkä" in the scale denote short and midrange distances.)

In the defensive corner, the tenacious men of Seren II:

Kuva

And in the opposite corner, the ruthless paintrain that are the Death Korps:

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DEPLOYMENT

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In the South, both barracks I and II ("parakki I & parakki II") are bombed out and burned shells of previous habitats no longer important, while barracks III ("parakki III") in the West has been overtaken as a bridgehead position and converted into a supply dump for the invaders' armoured units. The central factory area ("tehdasalue") is still at the heart of both sides objectives, as are the vitally critical water pumps ("vedenpumppaamo") in the North and the symbolically important Seat of Power ("Vallan salit") in the East. Besides these locations, there are also victory points awarded for securing or cutting off, respectively, the larger supply roads to North and East of the area and for more ambitious plans like the attacker succeeding without 50% losses in manpower or the defender retaking barracks III from the enemy. Good luck with the last ones, both of you :D

ROUND 1

Kuva

In the northern fields tanks advance by the road as lt. Mauer's Leman Russes surge forwards and spotting something in the woods open fire. Turns out the defender had prepared some empty dummies there, commandeering transport tractors and trucks from the factories to confuse the opposition and succeeded in just that. As the civilian vehicles were being blown up, the actual tank units at the edges of the copse opened fire and forced Mauer back, two Russes going up in flames as they retreated. This in turn forced 2nd lt. Volleneis' death riders on the open to make way. Captain Feuerhaar wasn't too worried as he yawned and sipped coffee in his chair at the top of the Price of Disobedience, sluggishly trundling through the barracks and letting the younger officers take the first glory. Down in the Southwest, 2nd lt. Feldgrau and lt. Raoul made their way up the road as quickly as they could with no opposition besides some cosmetic bellringers from the western trenches as lt. Meros announced his defiance with the light pipes they had.

Kuva

At the first barracks the situation got a lot more heated.

While major Reichsberg was having a bit of C&C on the radio and advanced slower behind the rest of the column, a handful of huge Gorgon transports filled with riflemen and grenadiers punched into the first intersection already pounded by Earthshaker support from further South as preparation for the attack. Lt. Naawe, at the tip, discovered that the area was thoroughly trapped with anti-tank mines and soon lit up with lt. Huron's howitzer fire. As the artillery tore the spearhead apart, supporting fire from nearby lt. Morbu's and 2nd lt. Vesta's positions broke Naawe's detachment into falling back after losing one Gorgon and over 50 men in the opening salvos. The veteran grenadiers behind them kept on rolling however, heedless of small bumps and explosions as their heavyduty transports did what they were meant to do. Now knowing which trenches were properly occupied with the enemy, 2nd lt. Hauptman's heavy Bombard cannons opened up and tore through lt. Morbu's men, bunker busting shells caring not for their prepared positions as they tossed huge clouds of dirt and broken bodies in the air.

The air above the field was full of frantic action. Krieg's auxiliary Marauder bombers dropped their load East of the Seat of Power, ripping the forest in pieces but not causing any casualties while Nadar and Klüm were flying in escort. In haste, they had been sent in before proper count of the enemy capabilities was taken and 2nd lt. Vesta's flak battery near their route shot Wolt's bomber down in flames. This run was not a loss, though, as while the first pair of defenders' fighter planes were reluctant to engage with momentarily malfunctioning weapons, in their arrogance Saybak and Raminov still tried to engage the remaining bomber only to be both shot down from the sky by Nadar and Klüm hiding above in the clouds.

ROUND 2

Kuva

Krieg's Thunderbolts keep lt. Morbu's men at the first barracks rooted to the spot unable to escape as 2nd lt. Auberg's grenadiers barge in flamethrowers blazing, killing almost everyone sans the lieutenant himself as they take the position. This joy is shortlived, as the defenders counterattack with lt. Zabrat's detachment and drive the grenadiers in the open where they are destroyed by Fezos' tankers. Above their graves Lukas and Marie ambush their groundattacking counterparts in the sky, but just before they get the drop 2nd lt. Shreck gets the bead and blows Lukas to bits with AA fire. Enraged Marie pushes through and likewise cores Nadar's plane, crashing it into the woods below in a fireball.

Kuva

West of their position, Huron's artillery keeps on hammering the mined intersection as Gorgons push through. Through the maelstrom they too open fire with their one-shot mortars, filling 2nd lt. Vesta's battery with shrapnel and falling trees. Next to them, before lt. Naawe has had time to organize his remaining men into proper shape, an unauthorized charge from the men led by commissar Urjan was upon them. The good commissar had however underestimated the Kriegers' tenacity and pretty soundly whacked apart, his men torn to shreds as they tried to take on the fanatics their way.

In the North, the armoured war continued much as before. Lt. Mauer advanced slowly only to be again beaten back by a veritable wave of ordnance thrown his way while the Price of Disobedience rolled slowly on, pounding the woods near 2nd lt. Korozhev's northern tankers. 2nd lt. Volleneis started to trot through the fields themselves to gloriously charge the opposing lines, but was soon bogged down in the wet mud thrown about by 2nd lt. Jyerbic's tank platoon's suppressing fire. Behind the wall of steel, lt. Arnak rushed southwards through the factory area in order to bolster the crumbling South.

At the western front, 2nd lt. Feldgrau's tanks took position and started pouring fire on lt. Meros' lines to soften them up for lt. Raoul's impending assault.

ROUND 3

Kuva

The fight for the control of barracks I opens with another ground shattering salvo from Hauptman's Bombards, which take their horrible toll on lt. Zabrat's men. The rain of death ends rather quickly, though, as Huron's howitzers enact counter battery fire in an attempt to silence the southern anti-air fire but manage to hit Hauptman's position as well. This breaks both formations of guns in the South, causing havoc and misfiring munition magazines for pretty much the entire battle afterwards. For major Reichsberg, the ending of the bombardment is a sign to attack and he is off to storm Zabrat the hell out of there. Combined with Markov's Marauder bombing the area North of the trenches soon after, Zabrat is thoroughly shaken and his few tattered remains run for their lives. Rushing to claim the kill before it's too late, 2nd lt. Fezos rolls forwards to mow down those men who haven't yet had the time to consolidate into what remains of the trenches. Klüm, too shaken from Nadar's loss, is momentarily too far to intervene in the air as Marie, the defenders' sole remaining pilot, handles her grief in a different manner and recklessly charges the Marauder through its defensive turret fire and takes Markov down in a billowing trail of smoke that plows the woods.

Nearby, lt. Kram's grenadiers make short work of 2nd lt. Vesta's AA battery with their flamers, harried as they are from the flank by lt. Arnak's riflemen. At the same time captain Alfons moves from his command post to fire at lt. Naawe's remnants, driving them firther away from the factories.

The western front is relatively uneventful if not quiet for the time being, with lt. Raoul's group unable to rush ahead full steam due to 2nd lt. Jyerbic's tankers while trenches protect Meros' men from Feldgrau's Russes, but in the North we see a lucky one-in-a-million shot from 2nd lt. Zetter's AA battery penetrate captain Feuerhaar's window and throw a large gout of smoke and flames from Price of Disobedience, driving it backwards as the smaller tanks exchange fire without losses. (armour saves in this battle are on damn fire this game on both sides)

2nd lt. Volleneis' death riders advance in glorious formation through the tattered field, lowering their explosive lances in anticipation for the upcoming charge.

ROUND 4

Kuva

In the nick of time, Jyerbic's tanks open fire and cut down most of the charging riders, losing only one tank in the ensuing chaos but driving the cavalry back. North of them the AA batteries duel and lt. Mauer's Russes drive 2nd lt. Korozhev away from their pretty atomized wooden sanctuary with some long range help from captain Feuerhaar, a couple of Ragnaröks left burning in their wake.

Harrying actions are carried all over, as Fezos tries his best to hinder major Reichsberg's advance in towards the Seat of Power driving the broken defenders before him and captain Alfons keeps the pressure on lt. Naawe's dirty dozen. Huron's howitzers blow lt. Kram's grenadiers to smithereens and lt. Arnak's flanking fire drives the few stragglers further into the forest. The attacker's southern guns are still out of order as malfunctioning fuses and exploding munitions keep 2nd lt. Hauptman's group busy extinguishing fires.

Kuva

The sledgehammer hits on the western trenches as lt. Raoul charges lt. Meros supported by previous shelling from 2nd lt. Feldgrau's tanks. Wodestone-Callahan has ordered a last stand and that is what Meros delivers, dying literally to the last man in an extended bloodbath that takes a hefty pound of flesh down with them from the assaulting forces, but still ultimately falls under the superior numbers of the equally shaken Kriegers, who consolidate into the trenches to take a breather among the corpses.

ROUND 5

Kuva

The race in the East continues, major Reichsberg pushing quickly through the woods with Fezos on his heels, Alfons and Wodestone-Callahan bellowing orders to the fleeing defenders to regroup and stand in vain. Hauptman is shaken by more malfunctioning munitions.

In the middle Jyerbic's Ragnaröks are driven out of the line with hard losses by a combination of air to ground rockets, Baneblade cannons and encircling Russes while lt. Raoul's line gets a minute to catch their breath in the trenches, though they are still pretty badly pinned by the enemy infantry consolidating in the factory area.

Attacker's northern forces are somewhat routed, though, as lt. Huron's artillery obliterates 2nd lt. Haber's AA battery sans one tractor and Marie disobeys orders to attack Feldgrau's tanks, opting instead to try and destroy the smoking Baneblade. This gamble does not pay off, but forces Feuerhaar again to fall back and yell for extra hands to put out fires in the limping behemoth.

ROUND 6

Kuva

The central line is in chaos, with remaining Ragnaröks pulling back from the onslaught while 2nd lts. Feldgrau and Shreck hammer captain Alfons' command bunker mercilessly as lt. Naawe's remnants advance up and capture a pillbox while noting for the command that this road too is filled with mines, götterdammerung. Lt. Huron's artillery takes some pressure off the captain by blasting Feldgrau's position (without casualties), but still lt. Mauer's Russes keep on advancing into enemy territory, blowing another of Korozhev's tanks apart as they go.

The northern attack falters as Volleneis keeps on retreating and Price of Disobedience smokes hard, but one spark of hope thunders forwards as the last puny tractor from the AA battery supresses 2nd lt. Zetter's last remaining crew on the chemical waste hills and dashes towards the water station.

In the East major Reichsberg is having trouble with keeping command of the situation elsewhere while also trying to push through a heavily razor wired forest and being shot from the flank.

ROUND 7

Kuva

Airstrikes break captain Alfons' hold on the center and falling back is authorized by Wodestone-Callahan, which is luckily not shot to pieces in the attempt by Feldgrau's tanks as they hit a badly bombed spot on the road following the previous pounding and one machine falls front first through the road into a hole, another buried beneath a crumbling building. While the defender's ace Marie prevents lt. Mauers's Russes from annihilating the retreating tanks completely, 2nd lt. Zetter's last AA gun drives the brave tractor back before it too is supressed by the now less smoking Baneblade blowing a cloud of white dust in the air behind them with its overcompensating cannons. Lt. Arnak, ever resolute, keeps on peppering lt. Raoul's western group and slowing their embarking as the Gorgons once more push forwards from the trenches.

Kuva

At the Seat of Power in the East, major Reichsberg is urged to charge the tanks in front of him by his commissar Tilsitz. This attempt ends horribly, as the shrewd tank commander Fezos nudges just right before them to lure the charging men into yet more razor wire where they are ripped to shreds with machine guns and forced to retreat. Under the major's command, this is still not a paniced blowout even if two thirds of the men have already perished in the push. Behind him, lt. Kram and his remaining grenadiers overtake the Seat of Power and start hauling the politicians out to be shot just in time to get hit by a hard shelling from Huron's guns. Kram is lost and his last transport falls back.

ROUND 8

Kuva

With planes running unopposed attack runs in the midfield, there is a concentrated push against lt. Arnak's position at the factories by remaining ground forces while lt. Huron's guns stop lt. Mauer's remaining handful of Russes from turning northwards and taking the water supply by the road. The northern defence finally breaks however, as captain Feuerhaar comes closer and blows 2nd lt. Zetter apart before he can try to make another lucky shot against the beast.

There is vicious action in the East as Fezos desperately tries to break the last of major Reichsberg's men before they get in the earthworks.

ROUND 9

Kuva

The attacker is surprised by Wodestone-Callahan's insistence on running his own men down to the last as the battle still continues. The North is saved by Marie gunning down Tobias and Janita in their tractor as they were preparing to unfurl the aquila banner on the water supply and by finally regrouped Korozhev with his last two tanks taking a potshot at the Price of Disobedience, which then finally blows its turret off in a grand fireball.

Lt. Huron's artillery drives lt. Raoul's exhausted dregs back from the factories, but cannot stop 2nd lt. Feldgrau's remaining tankers from pushing in and blowing apart what was left of 2nd lt. Jyerbic's platoon.

Volleneis' cavalry has a drink at barracks III and ponders filming propaganda pictures instead of fighting again today.

In the East, Fezos' final slaughter is denied by a surprise air raid by Klüm, which gives Reichsberg a split second to pop up and rush the tanks. In a frenzied mess, the Kriegers take out the whole platoon by either destroying or capturing the vehicles and their crew. At the same time the last transport of the dead grenadiers takes heart and rams through the door into the Seat of Power.

ROUND 10

Kuva

Giving no quarter nor order to fall back in total, Wodestone-Callahan truly earns his nickname Blood'n'guts as the exhausted attackers trudge through broken lines knee deep in corpses.

The battle is still undeniably lost, as Huron has ran out of ammunition and captain Alfons' last ditch attempt against the southern positions is repelled by 2nd lt. Hauptman's one Bombard that isn't on fire. Lt. Arnak is run down by Feldgrau's armour while Mauer is getting blasted by Korozhev from the North.

In the air, last remaining aces duel to no avail before disengaging (both hit, both save on 6+. Bloody hell with these armour saves today :D)

As it does on the factories, so too at the Seat of Power the sign of the aquila is once again hoisted high over the blasted landscape to the blood red sunrise.

RESULT

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With only the pumping station and northern supply road still in the defenders' hands, the field is truly lost and the Kriegers can enjoy their 6-3 victory on this rueful day. The price has been high, but they know that only through hardship in the Emperor's name can they find redemption.
Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.
- Carl Sagan
Avatar
Terminator Sergeant
Viestit: 1888
Liittynyt: Ti 10.05.2005 15:39
Paikkakunta: Helsinki, henkisesti ikuinen savolainen

Re: [E:A kriegspiel] Battle reports, IG vs. BT/DK narrative: defence of Taranus (part V 16.1.2022)

Viesti Kirjoittaja Terminator Sergeant »

Back to the front lines, for the Emperor or for freedom!

New maps, new shenanigans and more players join the escalating fight in this 2 vs 2 assault on the orbital defences of Seren II's Taranus region. Welcome to the battle for the Isle of Kheyus!

The strategic goal is clear: if the laser installation falls, the attackers have won. Every player has a secret set of side objectives as well, to direct their interests and possibly cause some friction with their allied forces should those interests overlap. While a side will win as a whole, naturally the player who best fulfills their list shall be crowned the best commander of the lot.

(This report uses googled art, if I've failed to source yours please do say so! The map foundation is by the inimitable Dyson Logos.)

****

Once more Seren II, a previously peaceful agri-planet attempting a civilized secession, fights for its destiny as the uncaring iron fist of the Imperium tries to smash it back into its proper place with a boot in its face. Lord-Commissar Krampf, having previously triumphed over the defenders and learned of their fortifications' coordinates, is ordered to carry out a marine invasion of one located orbital laser battery to clear the way for the large planetfall vessels. To this end, he is joined by Castellan Gaius Albert IX of the Black Templars and his reconnaisance force. A route is planned and transport ships launched on this probing attack to catch the defenders unaware, as the Templar recon teams blast off in advance of the fleet...

Kuva
Kuva

Bored out of his mind at this dead-end job in the middle of nowhere, brigadier Bernard 'Badger' Cresswell thumbs the report papers in his office. Nothing out of the ordinary. What would be, in a small fishing community such as this? Lacking better things to occupy his mind with, the brigadier once again pores over his planned war exercise plans to be conducted with the coastal reserve regiment at some point. Who's in charge of Taranus Aegis nowadays, anyway? Colonel Josif Dobrev? A new face in these parts, at least.

Kuva
Kuva

Roused from his thoughts, brigadier Cresswell notices a brief bilp on the alarm board. A southwestern radar station pings and goes silent immediately afterwards. Without hurry, he hails the station but no answer comes. Getting up, the general kicks one snoring officer in the break room awake as the comms from a southern AA battery start wondering, should there be any flights tonight as some commotion seems to be going on there. Suspicions turn into concern as the commline dies to nearby positions as well and tracer fire can be seen over the woods. "Commandos. Get the garrison into positions." A radar station pings from the eastern isles. "Enemy ships, sir! Multiple convoys!"

Brigadier Cresswell grimaces. "It's an actual attack? On this godforsaken backwater of an island? Oh... that's a lot of ships. General alarm! Alert the Aegis regiment! Enemy on the Isle!"


****

Kuva
Kuva
Kuva

For some, it already began though. The Templars had sent three Land Speeder teams out to scout the place in the darkness, flying near the water to avoid detection as long as possible on their approach from the southwestern part of the island. Detecting a ranging attempt, the group engages electric warfare with signal jammers and strikes hard before a word can escape towards the island. While others ransack the radar station for maps or other intel, squad Meier leads towards the woods west of the fishing port.

Kuva

The woods turn out to house enemy positions and the situation gets heated while the Death Korps' convoys appear from the seas.

Kuva

From the defender's point of view, something crazy was going on in the woods and no word could get through the jamming. Whatever it was, it was about to eat a lot of pre-ranged artillery right now. With the woods exploding in an earth-shattering barrage that severly damages the concentrated light recon forces, the battle proper begins.

ROUND 1:

Kuva

The garrison forces wake up in their positions as sirens blare in the night. As the leading officer of the 1st infantry is negotiating with the VIP's at the Isle of Ease mansions to escort them into safety, some bright bulb decides to fire their portable AT-laser out on the sea towards the destroyers escorting the transports. Doing unsurprisingly nothing, the attack begets retribution and the ships' heavy cannons pummel the island badly. The leading destroyer is destroyed by a naval mine, though. On the reserve shores, colonel Dobrev is scrambling his air wing to the skies to get a picture of what the hell is happening while amphibious detachments prepare to cross the channel.

Brig. C: "What kind of a ** idiot fires a flashlight at a warship when specifically ordered to hide? Do they want to die?"

ROUND 2:

Kuva

As the mechanised companies brave the roiling seas towards the island, some are tossed adrift. Due to suspected sabotage at the air field, some fighters don't get going in time and their outnumbered advance siblings fall to the northern convoy's AA as the invasion nears the shores. Cpt. Menendez of the island's fishing fleet, seeking admiration, foolishly turns to fight the destroyers in the south. Valkyrie riding storm troopers arrive in the mountain lines but mainly succeed in foiling the 3. grand battery's firing routine by fooling around the place. 1st infantry company, their officers dead from the shelling, descend into the secret tunnels with the VIP's led by commissar Blanco. Artillery pounds on the transports, pillars of water spouting everywhere.

Brig. C: "SEVEN heavy landing ships? And what does Captain Menendez think they're doing?"

For the naval context, there are some dangerous waters and bad landing spots on the area that the various plans need to navigate:

Kuva

ROUND 3:

Kuva

The northern region fills with AA fire, burning planes and debris as fighters surge through to blast at the ships and the Templars' black Hawks on their way to take the northern fortification lines. The destroyers hit more mines and sink, forcing the transport ships to unload their cargo early with a sharp turn towards the shores of the Crystal Graveyard, a deserted area full of haunted archeotech shunned by the locals. As Deathriders and combat engineers pile out into the beaches, they are greeted with bombs falling from the sky as the Marauders pass over them. The southeastern landing is a confused mess bombarded by the artillery batteries, men and machines sinking into the shallow waters. In the middle woods, veteran sergeant Meier's speeder crew encounters the Shadowsword escorted by colonel Hernandez' HQ company in the thicket. Beating a fighting breakout of the mess, they plant the teleport homers in place and a moment after the terminator brothers led by Emperor's Champion Langbar appear in the fight, ripping the titan-killer tank open. The heavier armour sails forth from the continent, also carrying with it a Mechanicus delegation on a priority mission to investigate the mythical Sky-Nail now that a suitably critical pretext has appeared to sniff about the island without pesky politics in the way.

Brig. C: "OH COME ON!? I wanted to see that Volcano Cannon fire just once in my life! Teleporters are such bs. Also, what in the world is going on in the northern skies?"

ROUND 4:

Kuva

The amphibious landings meet friction. Recon team Kuhn ambushes the 1st AA platoon as it tries to salvage its position in the dangerous waters, stops the approaching Hellhounds with prepared mines and obstacles and in general ties down the southern prong of the reserves on a merry ghost chase as they disengage to the South once more. The NW landing degenerates into a traffic jam on the narrow corridor of suitable landing area as the cowardly cpt. Parra of 2nd mechanised hesitates to crash against the shore with sufficient speed to get on with it. Magos Rho-Epsilon Primus, prone to anger on the best of days, ponders murder behind them in their ships. Air forces tear each other into bits again as artillery rains on the circus in the SE corner. Only by the combined actions of four storm trooper platoons and infantry companies are the terminators beaten and destroyed in the middle woods, taking their pound of flesh as they fall back. Krieg tunnelers dig deep and begin their advance towards the laser.

Brig. C: "Vengeange for the Shadowsword. But it's looking pretty bad, they're already at the foot of the mountains and the main wave hasn't even started. At least Menendez finally decided to stop being an idiot."

ROUND 5:

Kuva

The Templar advance has crushed the garrison at the northern end of the mountain range, but is in turn pinned and destroyed under artillery retorts. The mauled storm troopers drop in to bolster the trench line as the Deathriders infiltrate closer. Sergeant Holz, having climbed his way out of the burning wreck of the fallen Thunderhawk in the Graveyard, informs the leadership of strange tremors and chaotic esoteria in the area. The NW reserves finally manage to land after a brave second-in-command takes the reins at 2nd mechanised's front but is immediately killed in a rocket ambush by the Templar's HQ hiding behind the Sky-Nail. Behind their advance, the reserve ships ram too far and beach themselves while hurling their cargo on the shores. Colonel Dobrev has his hands full with preventing Magos Rho-Epsilon Primus from enacting summary field executions to get this farce moving. In the East, 2nd infantry is pinned in place by the Templar speeder firing if they try to cross the open field and their southern front being hit with the invaders thermobaric radium mortar support. Incoming Gorgons of the Krieg HQ are crushing on them fast, ripping trees apart as they trundle forth through the defending artillery barrage. There seems to be some factionally motivated commotion amidst the garrison's tech department that turns into firefights in the laser installation headquarters. In the secret tunnels, both the tunnel engineers and the 1st infantry company are taken by surprise when their paths cross and a confused melee ensues. Both sides lose communications.

Kuva

Brig. C: "Faster, ally dear, faster. Menendez is dead, second company is also dead, we don't have the boots to fill the bunkers."
Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.
- Carl Sagan
Avatar
Terminator Sergeant
Viestit: 1888
Liittynyt: Ti 10.05.2005 15:39
Paikkakunta: Helsinki, henkisesti ikuinen savolainen

Re: [E:A kriegspiel] Battle reports, IG vs. BT/DK narrative: defence of Taranus (part IV)

Viesti Kirjoittaja Terminator Sergeant »

ROUND 6:

Kuva

Templar HQ beats back the 2nd mechanised in the North, being in turn driven off by the heavy Russ company as they advance inland. The trenchlines East of the laser are stormed by Krieg men as the reserve drop troops fight valiantly to their deaths. Taking a breather in the mountain fortresses, the last five remnants of the 3rd infantry company apologize for not being able to carry out whatever they were ordered to do (to retreat into the mountain fortresses and take a breather) since they lost all of their leaders to the battleship shelling. Lineman Fernando is field promoted to a sergeant on the spot. In the South, cpt. Menendez' encircled fishing boats see no way out but to attempt a boarding action on the destroyers, forcing them to take a surprised swerve away even as their supporting gunboats sink some of the patrol vessels breaking out. Heavy artillery fire keeps the Krieg's fast grenadier elements pinned and broken on the eastern peninsula. In the tunnels, unbeknownst to all commanders, the sole surviving member of the 1st infantry fights a brutal cat and mouse game of annihilation against the broken tunnelers as the ground starts heaving around them. Something big hauls itself up from the ground on the Graveyard, firing blindly around it as it stumbles from a dust cloud.

Kuva

Brig. C: "OH HELL WHAT IS THAT? Mechanicus, explain yourselves immediately!"

There is a brief exchange with the surviving technos, where the brigadier rejects a blood sport offering from a very reliable looking staff member:

Kuva

As pretty much everyone is dumbfounded by this event, a collective ceasefire is struck between the commanders for a moment as everyone gathers their wits for a second. There is intensive chatter between the commanders and their tech-support as to what should be done. Loyalties are unclear in the confusion. Private channels between brigadier Cresswell and Lord-Commissar Krampf are opened.

Brig. C: "Knew there's no trusting technicians. I really need this ceasefire to go through so I have time to go hunt down the traitors in my own staff."


ROUND 7:

Kuva

A ceasefire takes hold for the moment. The agreed upon "all big guns on the titan" peters out with mostly sad plinking from the garrison artillery and some Krieg transports happening, while everyone consolidates their positions. Templars evacuate their HQ and Holz' crusader remnants in their last Thunderhawk transporter as the AA cover recedes for a second. The rampaging Reaver crushes 2nd Deathriders, hurling their broken fortress cover against nearby Valkyries driving them away. While the reserves' mechanicus magos calls for bloody murder and purging of the island's tainted mech department, on the invading side Magos Astron Khi cackles in glee towards the heavily irradiated dump at the Trash Pot. If there's one, there might be more! 2nd mechanised is thoroughly confused in the North, with cpt. Parra resisting col. Dobrev's order to stand down. In the tunnels, unaware of the ceasefire in effect, commissar Blanco has single-handedly destroyed the enemy platoon and hurriedly escorts the VIP's away as the western tunnels collapse behind them.

Kuva

Brig. C: "Glad to see whoever's on the other side isn't entirely blinded by fanaticism. But I don't think the ceasefire will last any longer. Hopefully getting my forces back in position pays off more than allowing them to get their ducks in a row costs us."

ROUND 8:

Kuva

Ceasefire ends in fire as massed infantry waves start climbing the eastern slopes of the laser valley, Templars crash from the sky throwing a Land Raider Crusader through the window into the 2. grand battery's position. Only through the heroic actions of the reserve HQ's lt. col. Garcia is the valley held for the minute. In the North, the 1st armour smokes the clearing with intent to keep the titan busy but unharmed for future use as Magos Rho-Epsilon Primus' entourage starts boring through the Sky-Nail's crust. At the embattled laser installment, this is seen as a critical drop in the orbital void shield energy levels. In East, while the grenadiers are being packed into their transports for a presumed assault on the Isle of Ease, Templars having learned that to be the residence of the local bigwigs to be captured, Magos Astron Khi gleefully throws all security protocols out of the window and delves greedily into the Trash Pot. Radiation levels surge. 2nd mechanised gets some semblance of control back, being reduced to 20 % effectiveness as cpt. Parra departs to the seas in an attempted desertion.

Kuva

Brig. C: "Hold. Hoooold. If that southern attack gets here it's over for us. Also, are they planning on setting of a nuke at the Trash Pot or something? I have to try and detach 2. company to distract them."

ROUND 9:

Kuva

To the brigadier's chagrin, 2nd infantry is too tied down in the firestorm raging everywhere around it as the assaults on the valley intensify. 1st grand battery is overrun but the main infantry assaults are repelled on the corpse-strewn mountainsides. As the Sky-Nail expedition bores deeper and interfaces with the ancient systems, the void shield bubble protecting the laser from above fizzles away in a shower of sparks. Sergeant Fernando leads his brave handful to man the guns of the southern fortifications and manages to mobility kill the SE Krieg advance in the woods in conjunction with the artillery. Cpt. Parra is detained by the patrol boats, who have also previously managed to save some of the fallen fighter pilots from the waves. At the Trash Pot, the mechanicus detachment is flung through the air by an enraged titan ripping itself free from the junk, blinding beams of light slagging the 2nd infantry's position nearby. Commissar Blanco finally reaches a communicator and informs the brigadier of the situation. In the main fight, vet. srg. Meier, having previously reclaimed Langbar's fallen Black Sword from the field, now inspiredly leads his remaining squads to touch base on the laser, splattering security MP's and servitors on the walls with bolter fire as they proceed to kick down doors and plant explosives in the buildings.

Kuva

Brig. C: "The Guard is broken but that thrice-accursed hoverbike group is going to tell the Imps that the void shields are down! I'm going to have to go down there and drive them out personally."

ROUND 10:

Kuva

The final push begins. Col. Hernandez' HQ company proceeds to deny Meier's teams their objective by driving them out of the installation, though the colonel themselves perish in the struggle. 2nd infantry in their now melting bunkers are trampled to death by the berserk Warlord marching to stand on the mountainsides, warhorns blaring. The now bled Krieg companies lack the power to push over the mountains and are eventually destroyed by the sweeping security actions of the defenders while the southern companies discover yet more artillery positions in the mountains. The Reaver nonchalantly obliterates the 1st armoured as it too starts converging towards the Sky-Nail.

Brig. C: "We lived? At least if the Magos can shut down those walkers... Someone find some very fancy medals for Commissar Blanco and tell the artillery to keep annoying the retreating enemy, I'm going to go take a nap."

CONCLUSION AND EPILOGUE:

Kuva

With that, the battle of the Kheyus Isle comes mostly to a close. The Imperial forces are beaten, and while it takes further losses of infrastructure and lives, Magos Rho-Epsilon Primus' contact with them through the Sky-Nail manages to alleviate the situation without compromising the functionality of the orbital laser. In the following purges, it turns out that the island's mechanics had indeed worked long years with the God-Machines lying in their slumber, but lacking proper tools and industrial facilities had in their frustrations turned into darker means. While this could perhaps in time be turned into a great asset, for the moment it had mostly piqued the Imperium's interest and concerns further.

Seren II was no longer merely a mildly unruly food source, it might now be a harbour of deep-rooted chaotic influence as well as an unknown titan-grade threat. While the Imperium had suffered a defeat, it had learned that it was time to take off the kiddy gloves.

Brigadier Cresswell was commended on his ability to conduct a defensive operation in demanding conditions while keeping his domain clear of continential military influence afterwards. While the havoc at the archeotech sites would likely result in a decades long environmental catastrophe and the ~70 % casualties suffered demanded an immediate reinforcing of the ranks, the situation was deemed rather succesful.

As for colonel Dobrev, while not perhaps shining as brightly, proved himself above the petty regional politics as well as earning the respect of the local Mechanicus adepts in keeping the God-Machines intact for future investigation.

Lord-Commissar Krampf, having lost some 65+% of his task force and being unable to achieve the strategic objectives, has been severly reprimanded.

The rapid advance force of the Templars suffered the most losses, over 90 % on ground and 100 % in air assets, has reason to reflect. Sergeants Meier and Kuhn are lauded for their heroics, though set on the next mission with oaths of penance by Castellan Gaius. Meier in particular, having retrieved the Black Sword and reached the objective ground through constant fighting, is apprised for future championhood.

Thus ends the fifth battle in the Taranus region, with the initiative shifting to the defenders for a change. The sixth installment will probably take place sometimes later this year, so watch this space or suggest further developments.

Thanks for reading, happy wargaming.
Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.
- Carl Sagan
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Hiidenhirvi
Viestit: 204
Liittynyt: Su 09.07.2017 22:10
Paikkakunta: Turku

Re: [E:A kriegspiel] Battle reports, IG vs. BT/DK narrative: defence of Taranus (part V 16.1.2022)

Viesti Kirjoittaja Hiidenhirvi »

Tämä kamppis on kyllä ihan erityisen siistiä settiä. Voin kuvitella että fog of war ja tietynlainen jatkuva epävarmuus loi paljon mieleenpainuvia hetkiä pelaajille.
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Terminator Sergeant
Viestit: 1888
Liittynyt: Ti 10.05.2005 15:39
Paikkakunta: Helsinki, henkisesti ikuinen savolainen

Re: [E:A kriegspiel] Battle reports, IG vs. BT/DK narrative: defence of Taranus (part V 16.1.2022)

Viesti Kirjoittaja Terminator Sergeant »

Hiidenhirvi kirjoitti: Ti 20.09.2022 18:33 Tämä kamppis on kyllä ihan erityisen siistiä settiä. Voin kuvitella että fog of war ja tietynlainen jatkuva epävarmuus loi paljon mieleenpainuvia hetkiä pelaajille.
Kiitoksia, niinhän se toi. Pelityyppi on kohtalaisen niche, mutta voimakas.

Seuraava osa on tarkoitus pelata tässä noin kuukauden päästä, joten watch this space ;)
Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.
- Carl Sagan
Avatar
Terminator Sergeant
Viestit: 1888
Liittynyt: Ti 10.05.2005 15:39
Paikkakunta: Helsinki, henkisesti ikuinen savolainen

Re: [E:A kriegspiel] Battle reports, Imp vs PDF narrative: Defence of Taranus (part VI 20.10.2022)

Viesti Kirjoittaja Terminator Sergeant »

Back with a vengeance, baby!

The sixth installment of the Kriegsspielmageddon campaign for Selen II's freedom is here with more of everything! More players, more troops, more carnage and laughter of thirsting gods in the grim darkness of the far future. This time it's another pair of extra hands on deck as two more join the ranks for this bout of multiplayer madness with six belligerents. The game took about five real life days to complete as secret messages flew across the waves and updated maps were constantly drawn by the referee for the players fumbling in the everpresent fog of war. Using Epic: Armageddon as a basis for the rulings, both sides comprise of some 10,000 points per.

(This report uses googled art, mostly GW. If I've failed to source yours please do say so! The map foundation is by the inimitable Dyson Logos, available for free use.)

The Battle for Taranus Populus

The Imperial assault on Selen II has now continued for a good while, with Krieg's heavy Gorgon spearheads pushing forth like an unstoppable wall of steel. Behind them, they leave vast swathes of land that still needs to be secured by slower infantry forces as enemy pockets are left cauldroned in the wake of the main advance. Taranus Populus is a riverside settlement with extensive agricultural fields and research facilities, being home to some thousands of citizens. At its heart stand the indomitable fortifications of Fort Firmus, a refuge for the beleaguered population slowly crushed under the iron-shod boot of the Imperial armies invading their lands. This time, the sturdy walls of Fort Firmus also house a battallion of Selenite combat engineers, desperately dug in to hold out against the encircling force of Krige artillery, likewise determined to pin them in and grind them to dust. Unbeknownst to both parties, there are other forces on the move as well: a force of fierce Crimson Fist space marines has landed planetside with a mechanised column to show the Black Templar fleet present how this war thing is actually done, while two mechanised PDF battallions of the 4th Home Army are racing to lift the siege and rescue their engineer brothers from the Imperials' grasp. Watching all of this from the orbit, the Black Templars of the Benith Flotilla are eager to join the fray, both to snub the other sons of Dorn as well as to atone for their previous failure on the Kheyus Isle.

Blood shall be spilled on this day. Can Fort Firmus hold or are the brave engineers doomed as cannons are pulled into position, munition piles checked once more and men in their trenches wait for the whistle to signal the final assault?

Overview of the map:

Kuva

For the Epic enthusiasts following along, one hex maps to roughly 15 cm of tabletop distance.

Deeper Imperial lines extend to the North and somewhat into the South beyond the map, where the main Selenite lines are located. Here we can see the fortified centre of the defenders, dotted with bunkers, earthworks, minefields and razor wires of various kinds. The crucial logistics area with its resources cannot be given up, if the area is to operate and grow any crops in the near future. The defenders are, however, badly pincered between the Krieg lines to the South and Northwest, having lost the Heroes' Bridge as their southern artery of supplies. Their secret underground tunnel across the mighty river Bruzeh still works, though it isn't much use for transporting any heavy equipment. Another heavy blow against the defenders is the loss of the Comms Station and any long range signalling capacity they might have had with the wider war effort (the engineer commander could not communicate with their team mates until a contact of some sort was to be established) as the invaders flooded the waves with massed electronic jamming. In the swampy woodlands of the eastern and southwestern portions of the map we see Charnel Hill and Glade of the Ancients, both shunned and supposedly haunted sites of long-forgotten eras, full of rusty tech-relics and danger. In the contested zones, we also have the Cape of Enlightenment, housing the spiritual heart and temples of the local populace, as well as the northern bio-labs full of highly dangerous pathogens should they come under careless fire in the hostilities.

(The encircled engineer commander had to make their defenceworks first, before the Krieg commander got to see what they were working with to organise their own siegelines against any attacking relief forces. Others worked on their understanding of the territory as they gained intel either by advancing or communicating with other forces. Sometimes even their opponents!)

Dramatis Personae:

Beyond the main question of can the Selenites kick the Imperials off, save Fort Firmus and break the siege, every player has a secret set of ~6 objectives to direct their interests and possibly cause some friction with their allied forces should those interests overlap. While a side will win as a whole, naturally the player who best fulfills their list shall be crowned the best commander of the lot.

Kuva
Kuva

Major Štefan Escamilla, the engineer commander, is fairly sure that everything is in control and there is no reason to panic as the Krieg guns are raised to position.

OBJECTIVES:
- Survive alive and Firmus in your control. The city shall not be given up.
- Evacuate civilians to the South should the opportunity arise.
- Logistics area shall not be given up to anyone, not even allies. They'll just suck the fuel and sod off, leaving the locals dry.
- Heroes' Bridge must be intact and in control by the end.
- Cape of Enlightenment must be held.
- Destruction of the Bio-labs must be prevented or at least contained immediately should it happen.

Kuva
Kuva

Lt. colonel (res) Soriano, commander of the jaegers, a religious man drawn back to the war by the invasion after serving in the Imperial Guard for many long years. Torn over his faith in the righteousness of the Imperial Creed and love for his home.

OBJECTIVES:
- The encirclement must be broken.
- Cape of Enlightenment must be held.
- Charnel Hill must be secured. There's esoteric stuff there and we can't let the enemy play as they like with it.
- Northern road above river Rados must be taken to cut enemy supply lines.
- The spiritual state of one's allies must be ascertained. Are we the baddies?
- Techno wants the Bio-labs secured.

Kuva
Kuva

Cpt. Kairos, a young and ambitious armoured commander, racing to save his comrades with a sudden fury of a tank charge. Given the opportunity to lead this mission, his choice of words was "swampland? Give me what SPG's you can spare and we'll turn any terrain to a moonscape regardless."

OBJECTIVES:
- Heroes' Bridge must be taken intact. There will be no further counteroffensive in time if the route is cut.
- Comms Station must be taken to reinstate proper communications.
- Logistics area must be taken to ensure further offensive in the North, locals' needs be damned.
- The encirclement must be broken.
- Bridge over river Plentos must be taken or blown up to cut enemy supplies.
- Armoured losses to be minimized for further offensives to carry on.

Kuva
Kuva

Lord-Commissar Krampf, sat observing the situation from the orbit, has once again found himself as the only adult in the room simply trying to conduct a normal, honest war effort without having all of his eager Kriegsmen jumping to their deaths futilely while negotiating with two Astartes forces that regard each other as the dumb sons of Dorn and refuse to talk to each other directly. This will surely not cause any issues on the field.

OBJECTIVES:
- Fort Firmus and its defenders will be erased. It'd be embarrassing to not get one single encircled detachment of enemies done and dealt with.
- Comms Station will be held onto.
- Supply routes to West and North must be kept open.
- Heroes' Bridge will be either held or destroyed to keep the enemy from having access to their Southern lines.
- Logistics area must be taken. Best fuel is free fuel.
- Southern silos must be taken to feed the troops.

Kuva
Kuva

Castellan Gaius Albert XI leads his men on their quest for penance after the previous failure, having granted vt srg. Meier the honour of wielding the Black Sword to the Fort.

OBJECTIVES:
- Fort Firmus must fall and the black cross be unhurled on its ramparts before anyone else. For Dorn!
- Cape of Enlightenment and its heretical temples must be razed.
- Previous razing and any leaders' executions therein should be broadcast from the Comms Station to cower the local populace.
- False progress of the Bio-labs ought to be destroyed.
- The gruesome ritual activity at Charnel Hill ought to be destroyed.
- Krieg lines must hold, enemy mustn't get to open a line to the South.

Kuva
Kuva

Cpt Aaron Galán's troops thunder down the road to finish this pitiful clown show. What have these fools even been doing here thus far, as if putting down a rebellion is hard or something?

OBJECTIVES:
- Fort Firmus must fall and the crimson fist be unfurled on its ramparts before anyone else. For Dorn!
- Logistics area must be taken.
- Charnel Hill must be taken and pacified.
- Northern road above river Rados must be held open for supply lines.
- Cape of Enlightenment must be taken in captivity and the local leaders therein changed to a puppet government.
- Bio-labs are to be taken and carried home for the apothecarion's boys to study.



*********************


Major Plamodon, field commander of the Death Korps' 6th artillery battallion, surveyed the peninsula in front of him as the noon wore on. A couple of Black Templars' speeders were lazily hovering nearby, keeping a touch on the pulse of the war effort on the ground. The rebel forces had managed a fighting retreat in good order and fortified themselves into a solid defensive position. Clearing an urban area, undoubtedly filled with mines and booby traps, while bombarded by the heavy guns of the fort, would be an arduous and costly effort in the best of cases. Then again, his men were all too ready for such actions and the enemy wasn't going anywhere in a hurry, hemmed in by the rivers in their pesky little bunker with all their communications jammed to hell. Give me a week and plentiful ammunition and I'll see them all ground to dust, he thought proudly as soldiers grunted nearby, pushing a Medusa platform into position through the crater-pocked mud that once was a bountiful field. Sure, the enemy still fought back and held their positions doggedly, but what were occasional casualties in the grand scheme of things? Was it not the ultimate wish of every Krieger to eventually fall in the Emperor's service, particularly one such as this where they themselves were returning a lost lamb back to the Imperium's warm embrace?

As his thoughts wandered, a servoskull floated to his command post bringing news from the e-war team. What's this, intercepted radio chatter? Before the major could properly make sense of the broken excerpts, a screaming rocket slammed down from the sky near his position and sent his orderlies flying about in fine bits and pieces. Tactical displays lit with contact markers in the Southern positions as battlecannons started hammering those lines.

"6th battallion! Prepare for battle, Firmus falls today! Onwards, Death Korps, for Krieg and for our salvation!" he voxed hastily, wiping blood and spattered innards from his masked face.


*********************

ROUND 0: Recon Phase

Kuva

On the map above we can see the various forces arranging for battle:

- In the middle, the engineers sit tight in their fortifications with 2nd company keeping watch in the well hidden southwestern bunker across Bruzeh.
- Surrounding them, the Death Korps are preparing to blow up some big holes in their lines to rush through from.
- Kairos' armoured thrust rolls on from the southwestern road, following their skirmishing scout bikes that have infiltrated the area earlier on. More on them in a bit.
- From the eastern woods, the jaegers are trundling forth through the swamps in their Chimeras and Valkyries.
- Blasting down the highway full speed, the dust cloud kicked by the Crimson Fists in the North can't not be seen by anyone glancing that way.
- Barring the few Land Speeders in the Krieg lines, the Black Templars have not yet been called to the guardsmen's aid.
- There are some local hoodlums surely up to no good on Charnel Hill.
- At the Glade of the Ancients, the tank company recon stumbles on something altogether more sinister...

As the 2nd tank battallion is still racing towards the scene, their 1st and 2nd scout platoons have already sped forth to recon the situation. It quickly becomes apparent that the area is under heavy comms jamming, though simpler telegraphs still make it through to cpt Kairos. The bikers quickly observe Krieg's southern trenchlines and hastily laid minefields, mapping them out for following troops and make their way through the woods to the North, attemping to reach the river bank for further intel. As luck would have it, though, there are two key discoveries before this happens: communications falter and fail near the Glade, while deeper in the woods they come upon a hidden bunker that at first glance seems abandoned, but opens fire on the scouts as they attempt to sneak in closer. With orders to ensure the safety of the bunker, famously uncooperative cpt Kemeny of the 2nd engineer company had decided to shoot first and ask questions later. Casualties are avoided and when major Escamilla hears of the situation, he orders the garrison to hoist some unmistakably Selenite flags on the bunker walls to make it clear for any future attempts which side they are on, just in case the visitors happened to be friendly forces. Lo and behold, soon after the other scout platoon makes contact as well, this time managing to open talks between the two forces. By sheer chance, the besieged commander was reunited into the communication networks of the Selenites before the fighting would properly begin! This detail would not go entirely unnoticed by the Kriegsmen, as their busy e-war team on the other side of the river would soon find out.

(Just to reiterate the importance of all this work, we are playing with full on fog of war and broken communications here. Below is an example of what the jaeger commander would have known at the time when first shots are fired and even there most of the fortifications are marked out only because the tank battallion told them where they are.)

Kuva

Soon enough, the first spearhead wave of Kairos' vehicles would roll forth and start breaching the Krieg lines. Seeing rockets arc up from the southern woods, the Black Templar speeders snap immediately to action and put pedal to the metal towards this disturbance. Explosions ring out as the Krieg command post at the Comms Station and their 2nd infantry lines start to get hammered. With the communications playing all sorts of merry havoc, cpt Kairos is unaware of his second scout platoon losing their sanity by the Glade as they attempt to sneak close by and come upon sights no man was meant to see.

ROUND 1:

Kuva

The Crimson Fists trundle happily forwards in the North. Their leading Land Speeder scouts take a faceful of cannon and laser fire from the defenders of the logistics area, veering instead towards the laboratories to break off from the fire. Kairos' scout bikes in the woods are either too bamboozled by the eldritch powers at the Glade or harried by the Templar's speeders to provide much observations of artillery effects, but they attempt to find cover and position themselves as they best can.

While most of the jaeger force advances westwards, on Charnel Hill their light scout sentinels come upon a bunch of non-hostile locals apparently attempting to excavate something from the ground. Discussions on the nature of their activities are quickly tabled as the Crimson Fists break cover on the North slope, missiles and lascannon beams strafing the men. Above them, a black Thunderhawk screams overhead on a recon flight that seems to have awoken a multitude of angry AA stations, batteries and the 56th fighter flight that all combine to bring it down into the hillside as a fiery ruin.

On the southern road, the armoured column swerves to bypass the scouted minefields and begins smashing through the 2nd Krieg infantry, which is almost suicidally driven forwards to meet them by their cruel commissar. Near them on the Heroes' Bridge, however, the Kriegsters see some success of their own as their artillery blows apart some of the mines and obstacles set against them by the engineers. As the Stormsword "Breaker of Hope" fires on the walls to keep the defenders busy, the 1st grenadier platoon drives their Centaurs forth to smash a path through the blasted obstacles and fights its way into the suburbs near the fortress. A fierce firestorm ensues as combat engineers and grenadiers wrestle for the area. Another Thunderhawk flies by, harrying the defenders' efforts in conjunction with the battlecannons of the advancing Machariuses.

On the western trenchlines, the Krieg force starts its advance over the central fields behind the relative safety of the massed Macharius tanks while heavy indirect fire and rocket barrages drop on their heads en masse. The engineers, perhaps foolishly, immediately send out their mobile scouts reinforced with Hellhound flame tanks towards the Bio-labs for a quick breakthrough, but instead get caught in a brutal firefight with the 3rd Krieg infantry company stationed nearby. Though the Hellhounds cause massed casualties, the wave of Kriegsmen soon overruns the light scout detachment leaving no survivors. Realising this fight was for real, maj Escamilla began organising any found civilians into the underground tunnels and hurried them away to the South.

ROUND 2:

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Having observed the possible trouble the Krieg lines are facing, the Black Templars have been climbing into their drop pods high in the orbit. Benith Flotilla's flagship, battle barge "Pious Flame", maneuvers into position as precision lances warm up and men are sent down. As the battle below intensifies, the defenders are taken by total surprise by the trails of fire smashing down from the clouds in the midst of it all. Deathstorm pods are blown apart by the AA batteries in the first wave or smash down into the ground with their deadly payload clearing the landing zones, either way protecting the immediately following black-clad warriors that soon emerge from the billowing dust. With the support of techmarine Grabowski's meltateams, the crusaders led by Emperor's Champion Meier breach through the ceiling of Fort Firmus and forever silence the sizable artillery battery situated therein.

Though this is a catastrophic turn of events for the engineers, they do not yet crumble as the southern pressure lets up soon after. The Krieg grenadiers push hard against the fortifications, but are repulsed in fiery tatters by the defenders while behind them the Heroes' Bridge lights up. As the superheavy Stormsword attempts to cross the bridge, it suffers a critical rocket hit from the 56th fighter flight above and explodes spectacularly right before a flock of Valkyries zips closeby to disgorge elite storm troopers on ropes and grav-chute backpacks to take the bridge. Despite the best efforts of the armoured spearhead and the jaeger elite, the Kriegsmen situated on the little isle beneath the bridge do manage to raise their guns high and blow apart the main bridgeway before their position gets simultaneously pummeled to all hell by rockets, laser fusillades and plasma streaks until the whole area is one giant, chaotic cloud of dust and water vapour. While more reinforcements of the 2nd tank battallion pour into the fight, it is clear that any hopes of decisive crossing may have been lost.

Regarding the 2nd tank battallion, there was something tricksy going on. After contact was lost with the 2nd scout platoon near the Glade of the Ancients, a visibly shaken runner approached the command demanding to see Kairos. This being denied, after all that's what lower officers are there for, the runner attempted to attack the poor sod instead as if otherworldly compelled to his mission. After the runner was bloodlessly subdued, other merry havoc started playing in the comms network, almost as if some malign entities were roaming on the radio waves. Having finally found their way to Kairos' vehicle, a mocking ghostly voice rasping out of the loudspeakers deemed it fit to start instructing the young captain, offering assistance even. This obvious witchery did not sit well with the fiery youth, but he held his tongue and offensive plans for the time being, given the worrying decree of intel the voice seemed to have into their planet's situation.

In the North, the defenders gave what limited resistance they could fiercely. Machineguns mowed down the Krieg cavalry, aided by the indirect shelling from the South, while 1st AA peppered the Land Speeders zipping over the marshes, but the enemy was everywhere. Black Templars smashed them from behind with fire and sword, Crimson Fists' terminators revved their heavy Land Raiders through the prepared minefields to rake their lines and all the while waves of riflemen converged on the trenches. While the minefields certainly did their job on the lighter Rhinos following behind, almost taking out the CF HQ section, the situation was clearly untenable without immediate reserves.

On Charnel Hill, lt col Soriano had given explicit orders for the scout leaders to negotiate a ceasefire with the Astartes. After all, he was a loyal servant of the Emperor and these were his angels. Surely they wouldn't be here without a cause and for all our souls, this needed to be solved. The senior devastator sergeant did entertain this attempt, but wasn't in any haste to stop his tactical brothers from exchanging some pot shots with the jaegers' 1st mechanised company firts. All in all, the tense situation quickly turned into an ultimatum from the marines: to prove your loyalty, rebellious curs, you are going to immediately turn your rifles on this cultist riffraff and execute them on the spot while they watch. Not that Soriano would mind much, but some among the more patriot boots on the ground certainly did. One such individual in particular was a famously extremist commissar Matei, attached to the 1st jaeger company currently listening to this nonsense.

ROUND 3:

Kuva

More drop pods rained fire from the sky, smashing on the southern lines of Firmus as well as Charnel Hill. Castellan Grimwald stomped out of his pod, voxing to the nearby Crimson Fists in anger and demanding they stop standing on their hands and get on with burning all these witch-shelterers here. A firm rebuff from his more level-headed cousins ("You have no authority over us, Castellan. The situation is under control.") got under the furious Templar's skin and further violence soon broke out in the bushes. The whole thing became a bit of a debacle, though, as a lone, unsupported group of marines is not exactly what you'd like to have charging into a fully armed mechanised company and their helpful sentinel brethren pouring more fire on the aggressors. Though lots of broken bodies were left decorating the woods, Grimwald's men were driven away in disarray while the Crimson Fists stood passively facepalming on the side. In the ensuing confusion, the local diggers took their chance to escape captivity and retreated underground below the vast hatches they'd been excavating. True to lt col Soriano's orders, the scouts still tried to calm the situation with the Astartes, but being shown the business end of boltguns crushed any hope of such resolution.

In the South, the Templars' speeders had picked up some strange signs and light phenomena happening on the Glade of the Ancients, prompting their Krieg allies to fire indirect barrages there while the speeders themselves attacked the tank battallion's artillery positions they located in the deep woods. Kairos' HQ was floundering a bit, having to deal with the ghostly phone calls emanating from coffee mugs that started to melt and twist afterwards or notebooks that began sporting agonised grins rather unlike one would expect from their office supplies. By the wrecked Heroes' Bridge, the storm troopers were packing themselves back onto their Valkyries and left the tanker boys a gift: the Krieg artillerists under the bridge had quite surprisingly survived the onslaught without any casualties, but been so dazed and disoriented that the assault troopers had simply cuffed them up with a bit of a kick to the teeth for good measure. Their Medusa guns were still in a usable condition, so have at them! With the Bridge at least temporarily wrecked so that any heavy gear might not be able to cross safely, both armoured companies of Russes lined up to fight across the river Bruzeh as Krieg's Machariuses kept advancing on the other shore. While some 15 or so Leman Russ battle tanks are a fearsome sight, their deployment right there and then was to prove rather unfortunate as well: with an ear-shattering rip, the Pious Flame shot a pillar of light down at the silos. The riverside settlement shattered in a million pieces and tanks flew about like leaves in a storm.

At the main peninsula, the northern defence lines crumbled under the Crimson Fists assault and the last remnants of their fleeing defenders were brutally pursued and hacked down by the raging Templars, staining the shores of river Rados red with their blood. This was not without its own hardships, granted, as the assailants were under constant indirect bombardment as they advanced. At the riverside bunker, the Fists' speeders drove the defending 1st AA battery out of their hole but got likewise mauled by the retreating 2nd jaegers as they realised the northern line was being overrun. While the crusaders that had taken Fort Firmus were busy raising the black banner and massacring any civilians they could get their hands on, another force of theirs fought bitterly against the 1st sapper engineers on the trenches. The western Krieg line kept on advancing while the sky filled with tracers. Defenders' fighters attempted a run against the Machariuses but ate some fatal flak from the 1st Krieg AA towed behind them but most spectacularly, cpt Galan of the Crimson Fists had ordered his Thunderhawk, North Star, to swoop in to the thickest fighting. North Star sure did so, but also dove head first into a hail of shots that blew it abruptly in pieces, flinging dead and burning jump pack troops around the shores of river Rados as it tumbled down. Techmarine Grabowski and the jaegers' tech support under magos Septimus-Khi enjoyed their day blasting each other with heat rays, melta shots, laser beams and irradiated warcrime launchers across river Rados.


ROUND 4:

Kuva

As casualties mount, the northern advance slows down somewhat. Logistics area is consolidated on and the forces that pushed through advance into positions to support the final breakthrough at the Fort in the near future. Vicente's lone remaining Land Speeder is stuck in the muck.

While thus far the Kriegsmen have been able to utilise the Comms Station effectively for jamming and signal recon purposes, the Templars seem to have better use for it. 2nd Land Speeders, or what remains of them after some Russes shot them down, swoop by to rewire the station's settings and put an educational propaganda piece on the airwaves with full power. Titled "Reward of the Witch", this rather unsubtle message is now blasting across the various comms networks so much that even Lord-Commissar Krampf, leading the Krieg forces, has to take a break from his internal screaming to order the e-war team on signal boosting duties lest he get any of his own orders through either.

On Charnel Hill, the light sentinel units break away from the Crimson Fists and pursue the retreating Templars downhill while the boys in blue start blasting the 1st jaeger company apart on the hilltop. Led by commissar Matei, now openly defying lt col Soriano's orders of surrender, what remains of the 1st company starts heading underground as well to buy time for the locals to get on with whatever project they had at hand. Above them the Templar Thunderhawk "Lightbringer" rips apart two fighters of the 34th flight.

Desperation peaks at Fort Firmus, as the invaders wade against maj Ecamilla's position.

Kuva

First wave is lead by the spirited Emperor's Champion Meier himself, supported by a multitude of other units nearby. While not found wanting in élan, the attack is repulsed after all the Templars have been rendered casualties against the shattered walls. While the Kriegsmen prepare for another go, a daring charge of the 1st sapper engineers supported by the captured Medusas on the Bridge breaks the southern support and alleviates some pressure from the push. The Medusas themselves do the best they can under heavy Krieg fires from afar as barrages also drop on the Cape of Enlightenment's doorsteps.

Kuva

Left less than adequately supported, the Krieg charge fails as well with their men broken on the blood-slicked walls. Major Escamilla's quickly diminishing company has suffered at least 50 % casualties and their fortifications lie in smoking ruins, running molten from the melta beams and breaching charges arrayed against them, yet momentarily unbroken. Why are those jaegers just sitting their arses on the Cape of Enlightenment?

In the southwestern woods, Kairos' HQ attacks to drive away the Templars' 1st speeders. The Templars take this in stride, but turning North to attack the Glade properly this time they are in turn raked by coruscating energy beams and unnaturally coloured airbursts. Instead of mere armoured men in ritual circles and dancing lights, the Glade is now fully aflame with sorcerous power and strange structures are rising from the ground. Breaking contact from the fire, their last remnants flee northwards harried by light fire from below as the 2nd scout platoon has finally snapped back to its senses from its earlier witchcraft induced stupor. Lt col Soriano, an Emperor-fearing man as he is, has heard taken Kairos' warnings of potential sorcery seriously and sent his Valkyries that way on full speed as well.

Kuva

On the southern bank, both armoured companies are still violently shaken from the orbital strike, vomiting in their vehicles that flipped 720 degrees or lying unconscious from banging their heads who knows where. From what can be gleaned, it would miraculously still seem that most of the tanks themselves are still operational should the crews pull themselves together at some point.


ROUND 5:

Kuva

The main assault peaks as the combined forces of Fists, Kriegsmen and once more leading Templars smash against major Escamilla's position, now also pummeled by the Machariuses' cannons. All around the fight there's indirect artillery falling on both sides' lines as well as direct fire from the guns on Rados' eastern shore. Though many shall fall on the way, finally veteran sergeant Noqueira's crusaders blast through the inner walls. Given that the good sergeant is on a quest of penance for previous failures, breaching the enemy command post that has already claimed many of his brothers and by his nature a very, very frustrated individual, what follows for poor major Escamilla is not pretty.

Kuva

(One of the players made an artist's rendition of the good major's final moments.)

The Selenites' counter on the southside is gathering some momentum as well, though. While Heroes' Bridge is wrecked and under heavy bombardment, the 1st mechanised company of the tank battallion has been making hasty reconstruction works and pushed through to the other side. Behind them, 2nd armoured has finally gotten themselves in some semblance of order and began fighting back. 1st mobile AA has also broken cover and approached the river to blast the Krieg's AA guns on the fields. Battered remnants of the scout platoons are either fervently attempting to communicate with the Templar speeders for help against the witches at the Glade or pondering the feasibility of swimming across the Bruzeh to blow up the bridge over river Plentos. The sun is starting to set and dusk falls over the battlefield lit by explosions.

The last remaining fighterplane of the 56th starts its attack run towards the Glade, but soon finds itself under attack as some ungodly fleshmetal monsters burst into the air from the woods and tear it down. The Valkyries that follow soon after are likewise greeted with crackling energy beams whipping over the treetops as machines are torn to pieces and men embroiled in a life and death struggle with demonic entities and foul sorceries as dark woods echo the wails of the damned and the cracks of plasma guns. Cpt Kairos, having sorted out his command squad's suspicions about what's going on, likewise barges in flame throwers roaring as artillery rounds fall into the roiling madness. Despite their multiple interactions, Kairos has flat out refused to listen to the ghostly voice's offers of help against the Imperium, which now merely prompts one final scoff from the other side.

"Ah, my little captain. I see that you've decided to come and make some rather bad decisions. So be it. Come, then, and enjoy the hospitality of Magister Nashtek and the Cabal of the Unflinching Eye!"

Kuva

The lines crash as reality breaks. Strange shapes float in the air gunned down by lasfire, witches riding on living disks of flesh and flames charge forth to mow down men and machines alike as all control breaks down. One wave of floating monsters breaks off of cpt Kairos' push, another in turn driving them back off, it itself destroyed under the jaegers' plasma guns.

Kuva

On Charnel Hill, the tactical group surges forth to drive down the remaining men of the jaeger's 1st company. A bitter tunnel fight breaks out and resistance turns out heavier than the marines expected. As they fight and die in the tunnels, the marines note these structures to be of rather large and sturdy make, also fitting with the previously noted titanic technology on the planet. Not that large, maybe ten or so metres, but... oh dear.

ROUND 6:

Kuva

The main peninsula is a mess. Crimson Fists' HQ attempts to aid their terminators and the Templars on the southern lines to repel any incoming mechanised charge but suffer almost total losses including their groundside captain in the ensuing clash, needing to pull back where their Predator support is also currently getting stuck after suffering some 75 % losses from the eastern batteries. While the tank battallion fights hard from their bridgehead position, they cannot push on the Fort alone and no help in that seems to be forthcoming as lt col Soriano's HQ hits full throttle and speeds over towards the rampant witchery at the Glade. "Fort is lost already, but so are all our souls if we don't put an end to this!" he shouts as he goes. 1st mechanised of the armoured force, almost bled to death and under constant fire, is undoubtedly very impressed by this turn of events. 2ns armoured puts up a fierce fight, but is unable to stop the Krieg Machariuses from shooting fish in the barrel as they casually tear through the still dazed Russes of 1st armour as they are unable to maneuver in response.

Having lost connection to major Escamilla's command post, cpt Kemeny of the engineers 2nd infantry has currently managed to march his men right under Fort Firmus. They see to the last straggling civilians that they find, though most that they find are indeed already victims of the Templars' brutal rampage. With the upper levels likely utterly taken by the enemy, Kemeny doesn't dare to order a full attack upwards without intel or communications to any supporting formations if there are any. Instead, he resigns to the loss of Firmus and orders the men to prepare rigging the extensive ammunition stores of the already destroyed 1st grand battery for demolition readiness. If the enemy has indeed taken the fortress, they won't enjoy it for long.

In the northwestern corner, the 1st scout platoon of the tank battallion stashes their bikes into the bushes, shoulders their explosive packs, slips into the cold stream and swims across river Bruzeh. The nearby Krieg 1st infantry is none the wiser, being busy with the latest educational materials being played on the radio, but the marines with their speeders' extensive sensor suites are not so blind to the situation. Preparations are made, for it is not immediately clear what the infiltrators are aiming to do.

Around the Glade, some of the glittering, silvery structures float away from the Glade and keep on hammering the fleeing storm troopers as ghostly Astartes pour after others. Cpt Kairos and his HQ have pulled their heads clear enough to take a little breather and bring down the remaining fleshmetal fliers when they swoop down towards the nearby artillery position.

On Charnel Hill, the Crimson Fists have realised the implications of the structures they are attempting to take: ruined and dilapitated, yet unmistakably functional Knight hangars. The tactical formation receives orders to bring the entrance down with all haste, aim the Vindicators against the walls if you have to, but close the damned hatches. Before they have the chance to do so, though, loud shots ring out from the tunnels as heavy cannons blast the Vindicators apart. Half a dozen hulking mecha suits follow, loudly bellowing their defiance against the oppressors as they toss any remaining marines out of their path and break out of their industrial tomb. Srg Miranda's devastators pepper them with missiles and lascannons from the moment they rise, but only one monstrosity falls before they turn to face these ants. The remaining jaeger sentinels are either ordered to extricate themselves from the battlefield to deliver a message to high command or heavily damaged by the Lightbringer's strafing run as it descends to pick the mauled crusader HQ up from the swamps where they were embarrassingly driven.

ROUND 7:

Kuva

Artillery crashes down everywhere. At the main Fort, gun batteries and tanks duel over the river as infantry tries to hold onto what gains they've made. The Crimson Fists armoured assets seem to be rather stuck and their manpower barring the terminators heavily depleted in the furnace of war while the Krieg HQ under major Plamodon has been doggedly waiting as a reserve in case any of the marine lines would fail.

In the North, jaegers' 2nd company, still almost unattrited, finally receives the order to head North and take the supply road. As they go, they observe a singular Land Speeder finally getting itself out of the mud and promptly destroy it as they go. On Charnel Hill, the first handful of knights roars forth and tramples the devastators into the dirt under commissar Matei's leadership. "For Selen II, for freedom and our salvation! You are a coward, Soriano! Death to the Emperor's false lapdogs!"

Kuva

In Northwest, the 1st scout platoon is monitored by the Templar speeders as it starts making it way towards the bridge. Flares are shot, Krieg's 2nd AA moves into the open firing on them and as the saboteurs abandon their mission, 1st infantry marches in to secure the position for good. The bridge shall stand for now, it seems.

In the accursed forest by the Glade, last remaining storm troopers are either atomised by the energy beams coming from the floating fortresses (themselves under constant artillery barrages, bits and bobs crumbling off from them or some even crashing down into the ground) or driven out of the woods and burned to death by the ghostly Astartes on their heels. Lt col Soriano's HQ is late to the scene, going around the minefields as they are, unable to support Kairos' brave charge against the encroaching abominations. Kairos leads his men once more unto the fight, driving Magister Nashtek's personal guard back but risking a nasty flanking maneuver from others to his right unless immediate support arrives in time. Move, Soriano, move!

As things unfold, the Crimson Fist commander is watching his tactical display like a stormy summer weather report... (joke here being our legendary Finnish weatherman, Pekka Pouta, sometimes commenting on the more absurd turns of weather with lines like "one can't but laugh at this stuff").

Kuva

ROUND 8:

Kuva

As if guided by the fates, Noqueira and other Black Templars at the Fort tap their Crimson Fist cousins on the shoulder, nod for a change of guard and start making their way towards the logistics area where their airlift is arriving. Chaplain Navarro and his terminators acknowledge this, but mere moments later their world goes flying as cpt Kemeny and his engineers throw the switch and explode Fort Firmus sky-high. Vast munition stocks blow up as one, sending concrete and men flying about like so much confetti. Few still moving survivors of the terminator squads are soon observed around the ruins, instantly under yet more fire from the 1st AA. Major Plamodon and his men keep their position, dusting themselves up from the rubble thrown on their roughly halved company. South of the Fort the tank formations keep exchanging fire while the Russes withdraw from heavy indirect battering towards a new hope: though the Heroes' Bridge is cut and battered, the last few men of the engineers 1st sapper platoon (87 % casualties) under lt Berenak have managed to round up enough supplies and civilian hands from the Cape of Enlightenment to build a pontoon bridge over the Bruzeh. It sure ain't pretty nor safe, but it might be possible even for heavier armour willing to take a risk.

Down the slopes of Charnel Hill, there are eight knights of various forms hurrying towards the main fight. What remains of the jaegers' sentinels attempts to convey lt col Soriano's encouraging words and identify the machines, but they are scornfully blasted to bits by the furious walkers. "No cowardice, no compromise! To the final victory, for Selen II!"

Madness reigns in the woods as fighting continues around the Glade. The ghostly warriors of the witches finally break any survivors of Kairos' HQ, burning them to crisp with otherworldly powers and bouncing off lt col Soriano's attempt in storming their position. Young captain Kairos himself is momentarily still alive, though a limb lighter and stomped face first in the mud having lost an arm in the struggle. 2nd scout platoon is near total destruction as it endures more crackling energy blasts from the unrelenting floating castles.

Artillery duels arc over the battlefield, yet sometimes the realities of too great ranges show up as well. As 2nd SPG of the tank battallion attempts to find its purchase on the Krieg's 2nd Earthshaker battery, the rounds fall just short and instead drop on the heads of their 1st infantry company.

ROUND 9:

Kuva

The end is nigh.

On Charnel Hill, the knights tread through the marsh and splatter the remains of the still woozy terminators with heavy cannonfire. The Russes of 2nd armoured finally manage to cross Bruzeh and partake in keeping the midfield as a confused mess. Krieg HQ falls back from the ruined fort, as Lord-Commissar Krampf sees no value in holding to it when the Fort itself is well and thoroughly destroyed. In the North, the 2nd jaeger company is driven further along by Krieg artillery.

In the land of the witches there is a sudden precision strike against any roaming disk riders over the woods as the Templars' speeders first make a pincer strafe against them, breaking them off to be ran down by a decisive Thunderhawk assault of every remaining marine at their disposal. South of their position the sorcerous powers are still battering the artillery positions and Soriano's panicked HQ down.

ROUND 10:

Kuva

The last hurrah.

Knights wade over Rados as the armoured units of the tank battallion thunder over the razed suburbs with banners unfurled to reclaim the ruined Fort. As they go, they finally destroy what was left of the Fists' traffic jam or the smoking Machariuses. In the North, a determined push of the tactical marines that have thus far merely looted the Bio-labs and played cards in conjunction with Soriano's mental breakdown over this daemonic business manages to convince the 2nd jaegers to sod off as fast as they can instead of holding onto the road on their own unsupported.

At the Glade, there is one final gathering of might as the tank battallion and Templars have found a common language in "witchcraft bad" as they strike against the insanity. As the 1st mobile AA fires away at the ghost marines, now one armed Kairos slumps over one of their remaining Hydras and orders all available guns on the sorcerers. As men charge to their deaths, clad in verdant green cloths or black ceramite, they stand side by side against the flickering fires of other worlds and silvery towers crawling with blasphemous runes and eyes. All of this comes crumbling down, however, as their charge punches through and Magister Nashtek, seeing the futility of prolonging his stay, steps into a portal and vanishes. After the mage's departure, the magical machinery and power animating his soldiery all fails, falling to mere rubble and dust as their animus fades.

As the final assault commences, cpt Kemeny, now the commanding officer of what remains of the 3rd combat engineer battallion, steps out of the secret tunnel. As he witnesses the unearthly light show over the night-shrouded woods, he recalls his old commander's words. "If only I had some rasp juice..."


*******************

CONCLUSION AND AFTERMATH:

The battle for Taranus Populus had come to an end.

The Imperial forces had suffered losses in manpower and equipment, but for the most part they had held their lines, taken the logistics area, robbed the laboratories and most importantly, practically wiped the encircled battallion and their fortress of the map. The Selenites had failed to cut the Imperial supply lines, punch through for deep penetration or save their settlement. The engineers' heroics had managed to save some 500-1000 civilians through the tunnels and the locals seemed to have gained access to more valuable war materiel in form of some knight armours (though for any operational purposes they do need to be properly repaired first, having been thoroughly neglected for ages).

As a whole, the situation is an Imperial victory where Lord-Commissar Krampf can smile (if he actually can smile, no-one knows) contently, as can the Black Templars who have honourably acquitted themselves of their previous shame with their blood. For the Selenites, their further technological discoveries have made it all the more possible to ponder if they could escape the Imperial retribution by offering the nearest forge world their vassaldom in exchange for intervention on their plight. For that purpose, though, they should try to open some strategic breathing space by disrupting the Imperial reinforcing actions to gain any negotiation leverage. Soooo, maybe a spoiling attack or some critical infrastructure target next time as the Selenites attempt to prevent the stabilisation of the Imperial siege lines?

Find out in the next episode. Thanks for reading, happy wargaming :thumbsup:
Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.
- Carl Sagan
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