In case you were wondering, some of the parts to make my groovy Rough Riders were sculpted by Rob at Curious Constructs.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

The Massacre of Omicron Peninsula and Preparations for the Battle of Iron Vale

+++The HD85512B Campaign+++

It is a dark time for the Imperial Forces on the isolated planet of HD85512B.

After The initial loss of the major Imperial outposts, Renegade Space Marines have driven the Imperial Guard from their defences and pursued them across the planet.


Evading the dreaded Marines, a ragtag party of survivors led by an unlikely partnership of Commissar-General Marwood and Primaris Azzopardi, have found refuge in the rough mountainous terrain of the Iron Rangers at Cape Sierra.


Little did they know that their prayers to the Holy Emperor for deliverance had been heard as the damaged Frigate Heidelberg limped into Praetorian space with news of the Marine attack. 

Fearing that the isolated planet would become a staging base for raids on the Praetorian transit routes to Bakka, Segmentum Command dispatched the 5th Praetorian Battle Column with a modest Navel Patrol Fleet to retake the system…





‘Soon’ 
Aboard the Grand Cruiser Praetoriae Vindictam in orbit of HD85512B

Major-General (Margrave) Chretzo Sigenandus sipped his tea while he listened to Captain Slaymaker (Imperial Navy) finish his briefing. “... And with still no sign of the Astartes Strike Cruiser we have complete space supremacy, thus the Grand Cruiser Praetoriae Vindictam will remain in orbit around Hotel Delta Eight Fifty Five Twelve B, while the first squadron of frigates moves to...”

“Thank you Captain” Sigenandus interjected “You can save me from the remaining details. Major McQuirter, any updates from the surface?”

“Sir, reports are consistent again with those from every day this past week; the ground forces under the command of Brigadier Weeton are continuing to expanded the defensive ring around the initial landing site on the Omicron Peninsula with minimal losses. We are projecting that we will have complete control of the whole continent in another five weeks...”

“Five weeks!?” Sigenandus questioned.

“Yes sir, hostile weather in the upper atmosphere is hampering the heavy landing of troops and supplies.” McQuirter turned to the holographic campaign map projection and continued “Even still our forces are making excellent progress. We have reached Cape Sierra here to the south and the bulk of the 105th Dragoons are passing over the Iron Rangers here.”

As if summoned on cue, Lieutenant Brodhurst stepped into the campaign room with a voxnet report in his hand.“Sorry to interrupt Sir, we just received an update from the surface. A platoon of the 105th have come across a group of survivors hiding out in the Iron Rangers, Commisar-General Marwood is alive and among them.” The Lieutenant joined Major McQuirter at the campaign map “Their location is here… at this feature designated Iron Vale”

“Excellent” exclaimed Sigenandus with a twinkle in his single good eye. “McQuirter I want my whole command transferred to the surface. I’m tired of being isolated up here in orbit. We will set up camp at Iron Vale. I’m looking forward to meeting the infamous ‘Hangman’ Marwood himself!”

McQuirter began punching keys on the edge of the holo map “Very good sir, we will need to...”

“Just Make it so Major, make it so.”
Apologies, I can't find the original source for this picture.
The Major-General rose to his feet with the cracking of old joints and paced over to a large view port at the side of the briefing room. He sensed that victory was close at hand. As he peered out into the blackness of space his thoughts slipped away from the campaign to his lost daughters. He wondered whether the pirates that had murdered his wife and kidnapped them had sold them into slavery. He considered what other fate might have befallen them. “Soon” he promised himself, “soon I will be in a position to take this mighty force off mission and hunt down those pirate scum.”

Meanwhile, on the far side of the system’s sun, shielded from sensors by blooming solar bursts, long pale Eldritch fingers taped the flowing elegant arm of an admirals command throne in patient anticipation. The Major-General’s optimistic appraisal of the situation at HD85512 would soon be shattered. “Soon” the Eldar Admiral uttered. 




‘Duty’
On the Surface at the location ‘Iron Vale’

Commissar-General Marwood squinted and twitched as he sighted the squadron of Aquila Landers, flanked by Vendetta gunships, descend toward them. He tilted his head towards the large Ogryn standing next to him, raised his eye brow and quietly asked “Inbound aircraft?”

 “Yea Comm-sah, Knuckles seen em” the Ogryn answered in a deep rough voice. Marwood gave a single curt nod and Knuckles pushed his chest out in pride at the Commissar’s approval.

Ogryns by Wen-JR 
Ogryn Knuckles enjoyed these frequent ‘tests’ that the Commissar would give him. Since being assigned as Marwood’s bodyguard he was slowly getting more correct. In the early days of his assignment, just after the Defeat at Complex 23, the Commissar would prompt Knuckles with questions like “Daemons on our left flank?”, “Snipers in the trees?” , or “Thunderhawk on the horizon?”. More often than not Knuckles would look as hard as he could but concede with a glum “Knuckles not see em”, to which the Commissar would grumble or sigh. The testing would also continue at night too. While Knuckles slept next to his charge, Marwood would bolt upright and yell “Warp Beast!” His ever diligent bodyguard would jump to his feet franticly levelling his oversized ripper gun at any movement around him. However, only once had Knuckles seen the threat identified by his charge. One night in the third week of his assignment, while sheltering in a dry creek bed, Marwood had yelled “Scout!”. The well-practiced Knuckles had rolled to his knee and put three ripper rounds each into two Marine Scouts who approached from one side of the bank. The nearby Troths and Teutons in their party awoke and killed another two Scouts that had infiltrated their camp after slaying the sentries. “Knuckles ‘add done well dat day” he recalled to himself.

The Ogryn’s ruminations were interrupted by the approach of Primaris Azzopardi. Knuckles rested his ripper gun up on his wide stocky shoulder and stepped away giving his two superiors room to speak.

“Still getting those hot sweats Bill?” Lawrenz Azzopardi asked William Marwood as he mopped his red face with a grubby handkerchief. 

“I don’t think so - I’m sure this is just the heat. I’m pleased to say that the hallucinations have stopped too. Just a slight tremor left in my hands. I never thought I’d survive going cold Attila-turkey off the stims, mind benders and grog.” Marwood paused and gave his kinsman a considered look. He would not have ever guessed that he would confide the secret of his addictions with anyone, especially an old senior Bolt Magnet like Azzopardi. Continuing, Marwood gesturing towards the inbound aircraft. “Well old Larry, we might actually survive this.”

“Not only that but we still have a few Troths and Teutons that you haven’t executed yet.” Azzopardi chuckled forming deep crow’s feet by his sunken eyes “I’ll tell the men that our rescue is inbound”.

“No, not rescue - they are reinforcements. We are not done here until these Marines are dealt with.” Marwood turned to face Azzopardi “Larry, I appreciate what we have been though here... but we’ll need to re-establish our formalities once these troops land. I have my duties to perform”.

“Don’t worry Commissar-General, I won’t undermined your fearsome reputation” Azzopardi stepped back, came to attention and gave Marwood a wildly over enthusiastic salute, then grinned his crinkled face and tuned to leave.

“Oh and Larry” Marwood added, “What happened to the Flecks?”

“Sorry Bill” Azzopardi said as he walked away, “but as a Psyker Primaris I have my own duties too”.  

“The Fliects. It was all about The Flects”. The old Psyker Primaris considered them as he ambled away from Marwood and his Ogryn. A thousand questions furled around Azzopardi’s mind. He did not understand it all yet, but he knew that those cursed warp tainted shards of Chaos reflected glass had brought them here. Whilst transiting the warp on the Frigate Heidelberg it was the Flects that had baited the warp beast attack. Had they orchestrated the frigate to detour to HD85512B? When he had found them in the Navigators cabin they had spoken to him. In a sly scratchy psychic whisper they had said “Here”. What was meant by that? Azzopardi had thought that they were revealing their location to him. However now he was unsure whether they were eluding the planet that their ship had pulled into orbit over. Later he had journeyed to the planet’s surface - only because of The Flect. “Descend” they had hissed to him. “Arouse, kindle - from its quiescence torpor - the great weapon”. Azzopardi knew how insidious Chaos and the Warp were. The Flects had previously been in Marwoods possession, and Marwood had gone to the surface. Was Marwood being driven by Chaos to find this ‘Great Weapon’? It fell to the Psyker Primaris to find out. And so, Azzopardi had led a group of his Teuton soldiers to investigate. Why then did the Marines attack? Azzopardi did not know if it was related to the Flects. He did not know if Marwood was an unwitting pawn of Chaos. He did not know what the ‘great weapon’ was. He had a thousand questions but knew one fact above all else – The Flects were horrifically dangerous.




‘The Massacre of Omicron Peninsula’
It had taken all day for the command staff to descend and set up camp at Iron Vale. The initial meeting of Commissar-General Marwood and Major-General Sigenandus had gone well. That was until Marwood had inferred that he was in command of all forces on HD85512B. Sigenandus refuted this assertion as his orders were directly from Bakka Segmentum Command. While they argued Azzopardi worried. He had to speak to Sigenandus. He had to express his fears. He had to tell the Major-General that all was not as it appeared on HD85512B.

The Following day in the early hours of the morning it was the Imperial Navy stationed in orbit that were the first to realise that the situation was not as it had appeared. This realisation came when multiple alarms and klaxons sounded as an Eldar Fleet launched its surprise attack from behind HD85512’s sun.



At dawn the ambuscade continued on the surface as Brigadier Weeton discovered that he had grossly overstretched his lines by pushing out faster than his reinforcements could be landed. To his dismay, he only came to this conclusion moments before a giant Marine chainsword chewed through his torso spilling blood, guts and undigested breakfast down his starched uniform and across his freshly polished boots. 


At numerous locations across the defence line, Praetorian officers attempted in vain to rally their soldiers and hold the enemy back. However, their defences were simply inadequate against an unexpected combined Eldar and Marine assault. At the northern and southern faces of the defences, two Praetorian Colonels watched the bulk of their regiments be decimated. Within the same hour Colonel Rogers of the 105th Dragoons and Colonel Wilkinson of the 63rd Rifles both attempted a fighting withdrawal of their forces. In both cases they found their regiments swiftly routed and they themselves were killed in the disordered chaos. 
Seclude from the fighting at the front, the officers within the command camp at Iron Vale received the news of what would come to be known as the Massacre of Omicron Peninsula. Before a course of action was decided on, they received a transition from an Astartes Strike Cruiser in orbit:

Attention Commanding Officer of the Imperial Guard Forces stationed on HD85512B.

Your defensive line and main military force on the peninsula designated ‘Omicron Promontory’ have been annihilated.

Your Imperial Navy support in orbit has been negated.

Your command camp at the location designated ‘Iron Vale’ is encircled by superior Eldar and Adeptus Astartes soldiers.

Breakout is impossible.

Survival is improbable.

Victory is unattainable.

Your only option is to submit to unconditional surrender.

Given your constrained tactical effectiveness, circumscribed by your status as human, and the superiority of your enemy, surrender is honourable.

Beginning with the transmission of this communication, a two hour term has been deemed adequate for human analytical reasoning to be executed.

Your annihilation will immediately commence after this two hour term.

Your removed from this planet is imperative and inevitable.

Transmitted by the commanders of The Ulthwé Empire & The Emperor’s Holy Astartes - Guardians of the sanctity of the Galaxy
Within the cramped command tent at Iron Vale, the transmission held all of their attention: Major-General (Margrave) Sigenandus; Commissar-General Marwood; Psyker Primaris Azzopardi; Colonel Cromwell of the 1st Expeditionary Marines; Colonel August of the 40th Line;  Major McQuirter of the 122nd Artillery; Captain Frargstein of the 10th Armour, as well as several Lieutenants and other command staff.

Moments later the Astartis and Eldar received a single word in response,

“Nuts!”

Above them in orbit, a towering Chapter Master clad in terminator armour activated his helmet mike and shared an esoteric transition in a deep rumbling growl,

Given them the two hours. And then massacre all at Iron Vale.”


Drop back in next week for the Battle of Iron Vale!

-A 7000 point a side game of Praetorians Vs Marines and Eldar- 


Cut off and surrounded, it’s an epic battle that not everyone will survive!

7 comments:

  1. Excellent stuff as ever sir, looking forward to this epic battle!

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    1. Cheers, I'm glad that you enjoyed it.

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  2. Excellent read!! It really does a great job setting up the story or the battle. Looking forward to part 2.

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    1. Thank you Marshal. It ended up a little longer then I intended but I'm glad that it has had a few hits (Fluff is never as popular as modelling posts lol) :)

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  3. looking fwd to what happens next

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