Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Fall of Glavid Hive

Glavid Hive was the last hold out of the Imperialists on Mars.  From here they had seen off countless offensives from the Mechanicum and Secessionists both.  Seemingly inviolate and despite having been largely crushed on Mars the tenacity of the Imperialists, especially the Salamanders held Glavid Hive to the last. 

For this scenario we had 3 different objectives, one for each faction and they earned VPs based on those objectives.
Imperialists: Hold out for extraction, Imperialist units in their Deployment Zone grant VPs
Secessionists: Take and Hold, Kill Imperialists and get Secessionists into the Imperialist Deployment Zone
Mechanicum: Total Annihilation, kill everything.

Secessionist west flank all 3 Reavers are in sight although the Secessionist Reaver 'Rusty'is on the far side of the Imperialist Reaver.  Clearly a Pictographer will need a beating for that mistake.

 Perturabo paced his inner sanctum at the heart of the Cavea Ferrum. The Iron Circle stood on guard as the dim lumens cast flickering shadows. The Trident stood before the Lord of Iron. Forrix, Falk and Kroeger always felt uncomfortable after traversing the Cavea Ferrum. Its maddening geometry was beyond them.
“Well my Trident, tell me your thoughts.”
“Foolishness!” barked Kroeger.
“A plain talker as always Kroeger, explain.”
“Guilliman splits our forces in 2. The Emperor’s fools have had time to prepare for us. This all reeks of poor planning.”
“Not to mention that there is no non-aggression pact with the Mechanicum yet. We have potential enemies on 2 fronts” mused Forrix.
“Indeed” growled Perturabo. “We need the warriors of Mars. A fool fights a battle on 2 fronts.” He paused and came to a decision “we will not fire on the Mechanicum. I will see if we can forge some sort of truce from this madness.”
“But my Lord, what if they fire on us? They have done it before...” Falk looked to Forrix and Kroeger and could see they shared his concerns.
“We will focus on the true enemy here. I will not waste time fighting a potential ally. My orders stand – defensive fire only if engaged in close combat.”
It was never wise to question the Lord of Iron’s orders and the Trident stood in silence, each with their own doubts about this order.
“Forrix, you will lead the reserve force and secure my supply lines. Kroeger, you will take command of the fleet and destroy any of the enemy that escape us on the ground. Falk, I have a special mission for you. Yes, I think I will be sending you to Ryza if all goes to plan.”
“My Lord, I'm a warrior and I belong on the ground in the fighting!” Falk blurted out desperately.
“You belong where I say you belong my Triarch. Never forget that” Perturabo’s voice was on the edge of anger. “You are a Triarch now, when will you start thinking like one! I will take Golg with me. I need to be there and maybe I can show the Mechanicum that there is strength if we stand together. The Emperor’s madness must not spread or all we have fought for will be lost.”
“Of course, my brother may be there as well and whilst I humbled him once before, Vulkan is never down for long. This will be no chaotic retreat of rabble. He will lead a strong defence of those considered under his protection. Yes, I should be there...” His voice trailed off and the silence filled the room.


The Mechanicum Reaver 'Unicron' supported by 2 households of Knights

The Secessionist east flank, viewing the Imperialist Reaver.

Warmaster Guilliman and his command group look out onto the Imperialist position.

The Imperialists are well dug in but that is a considerable force heading their way.  The Salamanders favour an proactive defence as Vulkan's Land Raider rushes to meet the Iron Warriors

The Imperialist Reaver sights up Unicron and the Knights, The Skitarii and Legio Cybernetica troops forgotten amongst their titanic allies.

The Knights of House Taranis and Legio Cybernetica advance from the north

Imperial Fists and Iron Hands face the west flank.

The Merc with a Mouth, still active over 27,500 years in the future lines up his next shot whilst Legio Cybernetica forces stream past the legs of the God Machines of Mars.

The Ancients take up a defensive line.

Vulkan and Pyroclasts launch into the Iron Warriors as Puertuabo watches on.

When the order to withdraw was recieved by the vast Salamanders force involved in the fighting on Mars it was largely met with disbelief. Had they not proven themselves worthy in the the many battles so far and held firm against the enemy counter attacks?
Many spoke of not only holding the territory they had bled for, but launching a new offensive and pushing their enemys back further to prove the folly of the orders.
All talk of this was silenced however when Vulkan addressed the Legion en' mass telling them how proud he was of his sons, and that while they had done well their brother legions had not fared so well in the fighting.

With many of his brothers withdrawing from Mars to safety Vulkan organised his legion into multiple forces to undertake different missions.
Many of these forces were sent out to rescue any civilians who wished to leave, and also any remnants of legion and militia forces that he believed hold true to his own ideals (or those who agreed to surrender their arms and be taken to safety).
Those who fought them or who had undertaken the slaughter of innocents were to be put to the flame or left to their fates at the hands of the vast mechanicum army that was quickly retaking the surface of mars.
The remaining forces of the Salamanders, and any of their allies who wished to stay in the fight, were to hold their ground until the rescue forces returned. Then they were to undertake a fighting withdrawl back to an evacuation zone, giving the fleets time to evacuate everyone before being evacuated themselves.
There were many from the XVIIIth that did not survive the fighting that followed, but given such purpose by their gene father they refused to be found wanting and many innocent lives were spared as a result.

The evacuation was almost complete.
All that remained was a small force of Salamanders lead by Vulkan, who was to be the last of his legion to leave the surface of Mars, along with the remnants of a Solar Auxilia cohort who had refused to leave their rescuers to fight alone. Standing alongside those who yet remained from other legions still loyal to the Imperium, watching as the armies sent to wipe them out approach and waiting for the time to come to leave this forsaken red dustball.

Secessionist Lightnings swoop down over the battlefeild in perfect formation.

Imperialists mover out to the outer defence ring as the Secessionists close in.

Fire Drakes advance on Unicron

Fire Drakes start taking fire from all sides.

The Ordo Reductor open fire and devastate the Imperialist positions northern defences.

A Taranis Knight takes on Rusty.

And the Reaver with no Name falls to the massed fire.

The Knight Lancer outflanks the Iron Warriors and Alpha Legion on the west flank.

Two units of Thalaxii deepstrike into the Imperialist position, and one unit is brought down as they land.

Tanks, Fighter, Knight and Titans battle above even the mighty Legionnes Astartes.

More Taranis Knights close in on Rusty.

In what is sure to be used as propaganda for the Mliitias 3 Lightning sweep over the blasted Imperialist position.

More Knights and Skitarii  advance between the buildings.

In a sudden change of events the Militia  under the charge of the Alpha Legion turn against the Warmaster. Even Rusty under unknown commands attacks Guilliman, who survives the onslaught!

Ratomir stood at the outskirts of what the Imperial Secondus grounds on Mars. He had spoken in depth to the Iron Warriors prior to the battle, and was sure he had an ally. The Warmaster had outgrown his usefulness, and the time to discard him had come. He was sure that the Primarch of the Iron Warriors had been convinced - the time was now. If the Warmaster was unable to secure the allegiance with the Mechanicum, it was time for him to step aside. Since their time on Mars began, no-one had managed to forge a long lasting allegiance with the Mechanicum. With the weapons they could bring to bear, it was no longer advantageous to hold out against them. Make a deal, or leave. Nothing else was an option.

And then, after the battle had begun, the Warmaster's voice echoed over all channels on the Vox, loud enough for even the Imperialists to hear, it was time to eliminate any traitorous men. Unsure as to who had spoken to the Warmaster, The attack on Ultramar's forces did not go according to plan. A small attack was made on the Scions of Guilliman, but when the Iron Warriors did not contribute, Ratomir knew he had to step up the attack. Before long, his Lightning Squadron had begun the attack against the Scions, and the Imperial Militia made a direct move on the Warmaster himself, combined with their new ally of a Freeblade Knight, and even the Reaver Titan designation "Rusty" opened fire.

But just when Ratomir thought success despite heavy casualties, and the Mechanicum nearly stepping upon them, the Warmaster plucked from thin air more allies. Allies enough to destroy the remaining forces of the Alpha Legion. With a price worth more than Ratomir thought worthy of paying, he withdrew his forces. Using the cover of battle, Ratomir gathered his remaining forces of Alpha Legion, Militia and the Freeblade, and left the Forgeworld, vowing vengeance upon the Warmaster.

Vulkan and Purturabo battle it out as their warriors look on in awe.

Secessionist Reinforcements arrive as the Secessionists try to establish who is friend and who is foe.

The Knights reach the Imperialist lines.

The ruimation can be seen all round as all the armies have been utterly wrecked.

Ultimately the Imperialists took the day managing to buy enough time with their lives to secure the Imperialist evacuation from Mars.  Moving to regroup back at Terra whilst the Secessionists and Martian Mechanicum continue to fight over Mars.

Perturabo sat alone. The room was silent and cold.

His jaw tensed and his fist tightened as he dwelt on the battle's outcome.
The Imperials had made an effective withdrawal. Despite losing their Reaver titan, they had managed to hold off the attackers and escaped with the bulk of their forces intact.
The Mechanicum had refused to listen to reason and had not answered any request for cooperation.
Even so, the battle had been in the balance until the Alpha Legion's betrayal.

Perturabo thought back to the conversation with Alpharius' envoy before the battle. Ratomir had spoken of dissatisfaction with the Warmaster, something Perturabo understood. His brother had not been seen on the battlefields of Mars in some time but the duties of leading the Secession had kept him occupied. Unfortunately, Perturabo had misunderstood the Alpha Legion's intentions. He allowed himself a slight smile at that thought. When did anyone know Alpharius' true intentions...

He remembered the moment of treachery clearly. He was approaching Vulkan. If his brother could be brought down again, the Imperials would lose their nerve and the defences would crumble. Instead, his stride had faltered as he saw the Ultramar Sicaran tank explode. It's slayer had not been an enemy.  He traced the shot in an instant and looked to their own Reaver Titan. Could it have been a mistake? No, the Alpha Legion was attacking Guilliman directly.

Again, madness seemed to grip the battlefield. Perturabo momentarily lost his focus as the assault floundered. His warriors were an extension of his will and they had paused as the Lord of Iron had seen the attack stagger and fail. His own terminators had failed to destroy an Iron Hands Fellblade. Such a thing was unthinkable...
Vulkan had taken advantage of the moment and pummelled him with Dawnbringer.

Guilliman had called for the death of the traitors and had then gone silent. The Alpha Legion had disappeared into the fog of battle. More Marines appeared, Raven Guard and Luna Wolves reinforced the attack but the warriors of Mars fell on them in cold fury.

From that point the outcome was sealed. Perturabo gave the order to withdraw. The Imperial position was too strong now and needless resources would be lost digging them out.

He drained his goblet of Olympian wine and considered the future. Politics and treachery. He detested them both. Mars had made it's intentions clear. The Alpha Legion had vanished and who knew where they would resurface or on who's side they would fight. Sending Falk to Ryza had been a good idea after all (even if it was for the wrong reason). The Mechanicum would never leave the forge world in enemy hands.

Enemy hands...
Such a thought had been inconceivable during the Great Crusade. Humanity's conquest had seemed unstoppable and now it lay in ruins.
Guilliman was not a perfect leader but he was the Warmaster. Perturabo decided to see his brothers plans succeed. The Emperor's madness needed to be stopped. Humanity's fall lay that way, he was sure if it.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Summary of the Eradication

Mars the greatest of the Mechanicum's holdings quickly drew the attention of the Emperor's Dark Imperium and Guilliman's Imperium Secundus.  War materiel had long slowed to a crawl from the red planet but this was largely unnoticed in the wake of the Isstvan tragedy.  In the wake of the devastation to the Isstvan Legions supplies were critically important.  All the Legions had sent some small force to the Mars to try and secure supplies of arms and armour for their Legions.  Mars however had become embroiled and a war of its own, a war that would become critical to the galaxy and would even outshine the betrayal at Isstvan.

Secessionists and Sundered Mechanicum try to push Imperialists off Mars but are ultimately thrwarted

The heart of the Mechanicum had been torn in two by the Emperor's proclamation and all sanctions on forbidden technology had been lifted. The effects were almost immediate.  Dark and terrible experiments and machines were made by those history would later call the Dark Mechanicum.  Followers of the Machine God that held to the belief that none were able to safely wield such forbidden secrets, known to posterity as the Sundered Mechanicum began raiding and securing all facilities that produced or researched the previously forbidden secrets.  The forces of the Legions that were on Mars as well as elements of the Solar Auxilia and several Militia regiments were quickly brought into the brutal fighting that ensued, each aiding the Dark and Sundered Mechanicum according to their factions or even individual Legions own agendas.  Some Legions just secured what they could and fled the world, most died on that world named after some long dead god of battle in a grotesque prayer to his name.

The Grand Battle of Sarum.  Imperialists try to secure the Forgeworld of Sarum.

The Warmaster and Emperor threw more and more Legions into the crucible of destruction.  Both sides trying to seize the production of the Forgeworld for themselves. The world's strategic importance was beyond that of any other world in the Imperiums besides Holy Terra and Great Macragge.  Soon Secessionists, Imperialists, Paladins, Dark Mechanicum and Sundered Mechanicum were all fighting for dominance.  No single faction was dominant but the ever increasing numbers the Legions poured into Mars could soon prove telling.

Solis Planum.  Imperialists marshal their defence.

During this time Inwit was another bubbling cauldron of discontent.  The Imperial Fists had split roughly equally between the Imperialists and Secessionists.  The Imperialists finding leadership behind Sigismund and the Secessionists rallying behind Alexis Pollux.  Dorn demanded the Legion purge this treachery from its ranks, although did not at thins point take direct personal action.  Despite his tactical genius Pollux constantly found himself on the backfoot the fighting prowess of Sigismund and the added might of Dorn's Huscarls leading to defeat after defeat.

Back on Mars the Coniugatorii first appeared.  Magos from all manner of backgrounds who preached the unity and sanctity of the Mechanicum.  They decried the Dark Imperium and Imperium Secundus as failed and corrupt.  The Mechanicum was the only path to true unity in the galaxy.  The sanctity of the blessed machine in all its forms was the only true course.  It took months to even get the Sundered and Dark Mechanicum to even consider a truce, all the while trying to remain hidden from the agendas of the Legions.  Finally a meeting was announced between the two factions where the terms of a reunified Mechanicum would be discussed.  By accident or design the Imperialists and Secessionists learned of the meeting and were quick to dispatch forces to intervene in their interests.

Night Lords battle in a Martian Agridome

As the meeting began the Legions closed in on the weakly defended Mechanicum conclave.  The Iron Warriors representing the Secessionists and the Alpha Legion and Thousand Sons representing the Imperialists soon began firing upon one another over the top of the conclve.  Needless to say the Dark and Sundered were quick to curse each other for this betray of trust and called in the armies they had secretly held nearby in case of treachery.  The Coniugatorii barely managed to maintain the peace when coded voxes were received from both the Legion forces.  Imperialists and Secessionists would not interfere in the interests of a reunited Mechanicum if their faction was shown favour from the Martians.  Thus began the second phase of the Coniugatorii's plan.  He declared that combine the might of the Mechanicum could overcome the divided might of the fractured Imperium and an Empire of the Mechanicum, unbeholden to anyone else could rise ascendant in the galaxy.  This call to war galvanised the Mechanicum forces who quickly turned on the forces of the Legionnes Astartes and crushed them beneath the hell of the newly reforged Mechanicum.

Legions battle aroung the Mechanicum Conclave

A final pact was needed to secure the future of the Martian Mechanicum and to begin the crusade to liberate the Forgeworlds of the greater Mechanicum.  One of the greatest and darkest treasures of the Martian Mechanicum would need to be secured and brought forth.  The Sundered Mechanicum had early captured and destroyed all knowledge of this most forbidden of technologies.  Each half of the Mechanicum would need to give something to secure the future of the Martian Mechanicum.  Thus the Dark Mechanicum would be told of the location of the artifact and would be assigned to guard it.  However the only Techpriests allowed to deal with the artifact were those of the Sundered Mechanicum, if it was to be unleashed it would be done so by their command alone.  It was not long before the Imperialists and Secessionists learned of this facility and set out to secure the artifact for themselves.

Anarchy ensues over the ruined facility the mysterious artifact is kept in

Once again the offer was made by both factions that the Mechanicum would be left unmolested if they did not engage the Legions.   Treachery marked this battle unlike any before it, the confusion as to who faught whom and who was allied to whom was a spectacle all to itself.  The Sundered and Dark Mechanicum faught alongside each other weary of treachery but ultimately held true.  The Sundered Mechanicum held true to the truce with the Secessionists and did not attack them at all but threw their full might into the Imperialists.  The Dark Mechanicum launched into the Secessionists from the beginning as well as late in the battle attacking their erstwhile allies the Thousand Sons as they moved into a position to attack the Secessionists.  The Secessionists threw divided their might between the Imperialists and Dark Mechanicum whilst the Imperialists split in half as the Alpha Legion and their attending Militia cut into the Thousand Sons.  Ultimately the Mechanicum were successful and despite the death of the Coniugatorii, the Martian Mechanicum declared its independence from the Emperor and the Warmaster.  

*Mars becomes the next major battleground in the Secession after Isstvan III
*Skirmishes break out between the Dark Mechanicum, Sundered Mechanicum, Secessionists and Imperialists all trying to secure territory and supplies
*as the Legion forces get bled dry more and more Legionnes Astartes are sent to Mars
*the Imperial Fists suffer internal conflict as the Legion turns upon itself to determine if the Legion will side with the imperialists or Secessionists
*the Coniugatorii appears and tries to reunite the fractured halves of the Mechanicum
*2 major battles decide the fate of the Mechanicum
*1st sees the Mechanicum unite fighting off the Legions as a united front whilst the Legions offer a non aggression pack
*2nd sees The Martian Mechanicum reforged as old trusts are betrayed and the Legions lose their allies on Mars