Monday, 31 August 2015

Second Siege of Agratha - Aftermath Part 2


The imperial line had overextended. In the West the Leviathan had pushed too far ahead and was now almost cut off from the main battle line. He had heard on the short wave vox that the force under Captain Caine had reached Gravis and were taking up defensive positions among the wreckage of a stompa, The Praetorian Lancers and Dragoons had also managed to reach the Leviathan and were organising themselves for a final charge headlong into the ork lines. 

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“Second Rank…”

In the East the Cadian armoured might had come unstuck. The near suicidal advance of ork trukks. battlewagons and bikes had delivered Warboss Gorblud and his retinue deep into their lines. In close quarters the tanks were no match and a great many venerable Leman Russ were unceremoniously ripped apart. Where these ork reinforcements had come from nobody knew, a great many had advanced on the Imperial lines from the flanks and the rear. The cunning of the orks had seemingly been greatly underestimated.

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Admiral Drax was close by. That much he knew. He had expected to link up with him near the centre of the Imperial lines, attempt to re-establish communication and better coordinate the deployment of the heavier elements of the Fourth Mechanised. With the renewed ork assault and the arrival of the Green Tide, Drax, much like Gravis had been almost cut off from the main Imperial lines. An ork Skull Hamma battlefortress had been closing on the Cadian support weapons. From the reports of his own scouts, it appears that Drax had decided to see to it personally…

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“First Rank…”

Colonel Winterborne was brought back into the present when the hull of a nearby chimera imploded under the impact of a crude ork rocket. The shock wave from the explosion washed over his command squad. A number of Cadians had been stood far closer and had been caught in the blast. Lord Stern strode over to them and unflinchingly administered the Emperor’s mercy.

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The sergeant major continued to shout orders at the amassed Praetorian infantry. The remnants of a number of squads from the fourth foot had formed up with squads of the fourth mechanised. Two ranks deep they stood, arranged in a long line punctuated by support weapons in the form of heavy bolters and autocannons.

“Second Rank...” 

The first rank took to one knee and began reloading their lasrifles. Their comrades took aim over their heads, picking their targets from the onrushing orks.


The nearest orks absorbed the Praetorian fire, a great many falling to so many well placed hits, but many more shrugged of the lasfire, seemingly uncaring or unfeeling of the injuries sustained. The heavy weapon gunners did their best to focus on the larger orks, some shots punching clean through, others tearing off limbs. But still they came.

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“First Rank...”

The Baneblade Indomitus Rex spoke with the fury of a god. It’s guns tearing huge holes in the ork advance. It advanced to the right of the Praetorian position, supported by Cadian veterans. These were the same veterans who had laid low the tyrant Warboss Gorblud. There hadn’t been time to find the body, and while these cocky veterans were prone to exaggeration, they were certain their melta fire had put too many holes in him to survive.

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Combined with the armoured onslaught of the Baneblade the ork advance began to waver. It was then that the world went bright white…

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Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Second Siege of Agratha - Aftermath Part 1

The orks emerged from the thick smoke, their guttural war cry hanging in the air. Colonel Winterborne gave a nod to the sergeant major.
“At One Hundred Yards...”

They had arrived late. Bloody late. No sooner had the Praetorian IV left Bolan flats they were engaged by ork Kults of Speed. They saw the orks off time and again, but every attack delayed the Praetorians further. By the time they got to the outskirts of Agratha the devastation was already apparent. Vast swathes of the city had been reduced to rubble, smoke billowed from countless fires and the sky was lit up with flame, explosions and tracer fire. Only the reassuring boom of the artillery companies safely ensconced behind Imperial lines confirmed that the city hadn’t already fallen. Or so they thought…

“Volley Fire Present...”
The disciplined ranks of Praetorian Infantry presented their lasrifles in unison.

Intelligence was still scarce and communication with the defenders had been a practical impossibility. Even with the powerful communications relay operated by Gravis’ command Leviathan precious little had managed to get through the trickery of the orks jamming. Not even the usually secure local vox frequencies worked. It had been suggested by Enginseer Argus that somehow the orks had acquired the Imperial vox codes and somehow decrypted the cypher, but such suggestions were dismissed with contempt for what ork could have the capability for such a complex task.

“Steady lads...”
The orks charged closer. Men in both red and khaki uniforms stood shoulder to shoulder.

The front lines had been a swirling mass of combat, death and destruction. In the East of the city Gravis had mounted a counter attack from the battlements of the Leviathan, laying waste to hordes of greenskins with every salvo from the mighty doomsday cannon. In the west however the Cadian lines had come under crippling ork attack and only the swift intervention of Drax’s armoured fist platoons and Leman Russ squadrons prevented total collapse.

Still they came closer, you could almost see the whites of their eyes. Targets were picked.

A platoon under the watchful eye of Captain Caine and Primaris Savant had been sent to support Gravis’ men. The primary threat of the Bad Moon stompa had already been eliminated and the orks were dying in droves. That should have been enough. The priority had been to hold the centre draw the orks in further while the advancing forces of Drax and Gravis would spring the trap. That’s why he had gone there with his strength. That should have been enough damn it.

The lead advancing orks were punched off their feet by the fire to be trampled by the onrushing horde following in their wake.

Then the guns fell silent. Somehow the orks had outflanked the Imperial lines and set upon the lightly defended artillery emplacements. The artillery support was no more. In the blink of an eye the battle changed, no longer could the Imperial forces keep the orks back, emboldened by the respite from the withering artillery barrage the orks grew bolder and set upon the imperials with renewed frenzy. At this point the Imperial advanced began to falter and one by one advanced units were being forced to fall back or risk being overrun.   

“Volley by Ranks. Front Rank

The slavering orks came closer still, uncaring for their grievous loses. Intent only on tearing the guardsmen limb from limb.

to be continued...

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Second Siege of Agratha - Prelude

Praetorian IV Mechanised Infantry under the command of Colonel Animus Winterborne. 
Somewhere on the Mputu Ridge 50km Southwest of Bolan flats. 


Colonel Winterborne - How did the greenskins manage to breach the cordon? Details man, give me bloody details. 

Lieutenant Tavistock - Seemingly they breached at the Barlon flats and made straight for Agratha. The Tallarns posted there are... gone.

Colonel Winterborne - What the Hades do you mean gone?

Lieutenant Tavistock - Dead sir, every last one, the camp now resembles a charnel house. The Tallarns were seemingly caught by surprise, our scouts couldn't find a single living soul. 

Captain Caine - 2 full regiments of Tallarns... How on earth did the greenskin filth manage to take them by surprise? Commander Al'tshan is no fool.

Colonel  Winterborne - Quite Captain, seemingly the threat has been sorely underestimated. What intelligence was recovered? We must have something on what happened. 

Enginseer Argus - I can be of assistance Colonel. While the data feeds of the base are unrecoverable I have accessed the pict and audio feeds of a number of badly damaged munition servitors. By piecing together the data and...

Lord Stern - Enough techpriest, speak plainly, what happened?

Enginseer Argus - Apologies my Lord. Somehow the orks managed to conceal their presence until they were right on top of the base, by the time the alarm was raised it was too late. It is not known precisely how this feat was achieved, but closer inspection of etheric data suggests a powerful psyker was present. 

Captain Caine - How could one primitive ork psyker manage such a deception? 

Primaris Savant - It is true ork psykers lack finesse, however the way in which they harness the warp is markedly different from ours... how can I explain... numbers my lords, numbers...

Lord Stern - Primaris I grow impatient, what are you saying? 

Primaris Savant - ...the...the psyker feeds off the orks nearby, to achieve the deception needed to fool the augurs and sentries... I don't think we've seen a horde this size since planet fall. It's beyond even the most pessimistic predictions. Even if the Tallarns hadn't been count unawares... They wouldn't have stood a chance. 

Captain Caine - Holy Throne of Terra...

Colonel Winterborne - Captain! You are Praetorian and must remember to conduct yourself as such. 

Captain Caine - Yes Sir. Apologies sir. 

Colonel Winterborne - Lieutenant, Have you managed to get through to high command yet and notify them of the breach of the cordon. 

Lieutenant Tavistock - All long range communications are still being jammed sir, we are still cut off from high command. We have had no contact from any new regiments. There remains only one other regiment that we are contact with via long wave vox, they are continuing to make best speed for Agratha.

Colonel Winterborne - Looks like it will be down to us to see to the ork menace. I almost pity the greenskins. 2 of Praetoria's finest and being outnumbered only 50 to 1 by the orks barely seems sporting does it. Captain Caine, give the orders for the regiment to form up, let the men know it is time to fight alongside our Praetorian brothers again. 

Captain Caine - Gladly sir.

Colonel Winterborne - One more thing, Lord Stern, ensure the men desist with this Drax's last stand nonsense. He may not be Praetorian but he is no fool and decorum must be maintained. I won't be a bloody footnote in someone else's last stand, the emperor has far grander plans for this glorious regiment. See to it. 

Lord Stern - Consider it done Colonel.

Colonel Winterborne - Lieutenant, update the fourth on our latest intelligence and inform them that we will now make best speed for Agratha. Also, get me Gravis on the Vox, I intend to find out if he is a betting man...