Sunday, January 28, 2018

Jornath: State of Conflict Year 3

The Battle For Jornath has now entered into its third year, one that is shaping up to be no less hard fought for the Imperium than the previous two. Here I shall endeavor to recapture the events up to this point in the war in short order, hitting the major highlights of actions and movements around the conflict zone in a brief manner. For more specificity, you can click on the "Jornath [40k]" tab on the top of this page to access a comprehensive list of every blog post made about the war in chronological order. 

Year 1.

Jornath is a largely typical Imperial World located in the Imperium's Eastern Fringe and situated just outside of the southwestern reaches of the domain of the Realm of Ultramar. It has a pseudo-feudal society based heavily on family, hereditary title and inherited wealth. The planet is responsible for sending 2 Regiments of Guardsmen into service every five years. The material export of Jornath pre-war was mostly made of average sized doles of wheat, local fruits, grox, and mineral wealth in the form of iron, copper, and tungsten (which forms in surprising quantities in Jornath's northern hemisphere).

Jornath does not structure its Planetary defenses in a typical manner to most worlds, forfeiting any sense of standardized Regimental system (which its tithed Imperial Guard Regiments are forced to adopt). Instead, it bases its garrisoning forces on ancient martial traditions of the Cohort, Hearthguard, and Mustermen. Each of these types of military formation can vary wildly in size, armament, and administration, because of the nature of the Jornathi political landscape. As a result of this confusing system, the Sub-Sector Capital of Casa Urient, which takes authority for drafting lengthy response plans for the planets under its control set many units into locations and called for actions which would become total compromising to several areas defensive integrity in the early war.

The Ork presence in the Jornath system was announced when a Krooza from the Ork fleet, preemptively threw itself into the teeth of the planets defensive platforms with no support. The Krooza was ripped apart in short order but split in half upon its entry into the atmosphere the back half crashing outside of Kula Hive on Jornath's larger northern continent. The front breaking into smaller fragments over the mountain ranges around the Mechanicus forge-city of Prima Jama. Orks, of course, survived the impact, but fortunately were contained by the natural terrain in the mountains and by immense amounts of PDF forces around Kula (placed there by a lucky clerical error) 

When the main body of the Ork fleet arrived and began its fighting with the Planet's small picket fleet and Orbital Platforms, the crude alien landing craft known as Rok's opted to drop in and around the areas where their ill-fated predecessors had crashed. Possibly to bolster their forces to effect a breakout or more likely, because that was where the fighting was already underway. 

Ork ground forces squabbled amongst themselves for the first few weeks of their deployment in earnest to the planet's surface, attempting to suss out who would command certain warbands into the fight. During this period Tactica Command Jornath is formed by the Council of Patricians and the Battle of Usamiljen Heights takes place. Large-scale pre-emptive strikes on Ork staging areas are not conducted. High Patriarch Neravan sends out a call for aid to any available Imperial assets.

Cohorts in the conflict area are lethargic to react to the planetary invasion, many formations act under the strict dictates of their ancestral boundaries. Meaning they will refuse to fight or engage forces not within the territory controlled by their funding guild or family, will refuse to fight alongside or in support of rival cohorts etc. 

In the North around Guffmans-Platz, Orks make a push south, and The Battle of the Ctre Valley is fought, making it apparent to a collection of larger Cohort commanders that an offensive action here is required before the aliens can gain too much momentum. 

Feeling that superior numbers and speed of action could be utilized to break the spirit of the Ork warbands in the mountains, forcing them into smaller groupings where they could be destroyed. The northern cohorts launched within two weeks of the plans first draft being sent to Tactica Command. 

The offensive, called Operation Remits Maw, was a disastrous affair as many of the cohorts had no experience in mountain combat, could not effectively supply their combat units without suffering severe losses from constant Ork ambush. The sheer size and inexperience of the commanders in operating on such a scale meant that there was little hope of overcoming these obstacles. 

Rather than breaking apart the few dozen large sized Ork concentrations in the mountains, Remits Maw gave the Ork leaders a singular target to descend upon. Drawing more and smaller warbands together towards the southern passes.  Inevitably leading to enormous numbers of PDF troops becoming cut-off in the mountains, without hope of an easy breakthrough.  

Astartes and Imperial Guard forces arrive in earnest at this point in the battle, Captain Vorodivo of the Mortifactors assumes overall theatre command of the battlespace, feeling that a full analysis of the strategic situation would be a better current expenditure of their time, the Mortifactors conduct limited operations, with the Dreadmare Companions, White Scars and members of the Jornathii Special Operations Battalion, to draw off Orks and allow the Imperial forces stuck in the mountains to fall back to Fort Behras.

Newly arrived Imperial Guard personnel spread out through the Jornathi Cohorts to act as military advisors and improve the combat effectiveness of the planetary defense forces. 

Year 2. 

The end of the first year and beginning of the second year were suspiciously quiet, only featuring light skirmishing and raids around the no-mans land of imperial and ork controlled territories. Suddenly at the beginning of Summer, simultaneous assaults on defensive installations occur all across the Northern defensive line. Many sections are totally overrun and Orks begin flooding into the central Kula region. 

Astartes, Navy and PDF Air Forces all conduct delaying strikes as the Orks' press south. Intelligence identifies the commander of the Ork counter-offensive as being a Warboss called simply "Krump" 

Krump's forces lay siege to Fort Behras and are able to overtake Saine Yeltsville surrounding the Fortress in its entirety, threatening the massed armories within.

While Behras is put under siege, in the Ork exclusion zone by Kula, Imperial successes trigger a large grouping of Xenos to assault the city of Bolasku along the eastern portion of the encirclement. The aliens sieze the city and create a scrap fleet, which breaks into two detachments. One heads south along the coast toward Hive Oakenzid, while the other makes for the Isle of Nizajain.  

The southbound fleet is largely obliterated by navy air-strikes.  The assault forces heading into Nizajain are boarded by mixed forces of Naval ratings and Astartes, the surviving aliens are destroyed in a pyrrhic victory on Nizajain itself.  

 The Sons of Medusa arrive in the Battlespace, and begin conducting precision strikes in the Ork exclusion zone and supporting actions at Fort Behras. 

Tactica Command Jornath, in conjunction with the Astartes Commanders, formulate a new operation to regain the initiative. Operation Gray Jewel in launched at the close of the year, targeting the Ork encirclement of Behras, it has so far met with good success thanks to victory in The Battle of Mendorus Grove.

Year 3. 

With a newfound momentum, Imperial forces plan on rolling up the Orks concentrated at Fort Behras, ideally pushing them into the Ctre-Valley Agricultural Complex where they can be annihilated with Orbital Fire without risking damage to vital infrastructure. Hopefully drawing Krump himself into open battle and killing the alien, will aid in this effect. 

Only time shall tell.

Thank you for reading! 

-Your Favorite Madman-

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Jornath: The Battle of Mendorus Grove

Mendorus Grove, is a vital railyard to the southeast of Fort Behras. Its strategic importance in the War for Jornath lies in the Ork Forward Operations Base built into the surrounding area. Imperial commanders have spent much of the year orchestrating vast arrays of PDF and Astra Militarum assets into position for this battle. Space Marine, Mechanicus, and Knight forces will act in support of the attack. The objective of these great efforts is to smash through the "thinnest" Ork concentration within the forces encircling the Fortress. Resupplying the forces within Behras and securing the Nuclear stockpile housed beneath the mountain.

The central thrust of the assault would be focusing on the Repair Hanger and Comptoria Gantry that govern the comings and goings of freight through the facility. It is here that multiple warbosses have situated themselves to resupply and rearm after making attempts on the walls. Killing these warlords and obliterating their retinues will send a shockwave throughout the other aliens in the local area. As such the Astartes of the Sons of Medusa, the Elite Precpian Air Cavalry, and the Battle Hardened Fusiliers of the Usamiljen Cohorts have been committed to the spearpoint.

A tide of alien warriors and machines scramble through their holdings to meet the Imperial Spearhead. 

A view of the Comptoria Gantry

The Maglev Repair Hanger, overwatched by Lootas and guarded by the fearsome might of a full Ork Dred Mob

Fortunately for Jornath, a Knight of the Mechanicus strides to war in their defense. A violent foil to the Ork walkers.

Here we see a truly disgusting amount of unwashed alien barbarians eager and willing to massacre the noble defenders of Jornath.

**We actually had reserves too. Because you can never EVER have to many Boyz**

The men of Usamiljen shall not be found wanting on this day. The crack of hundreds of lasguns and the booming report of autocannons act as proof of their steadfast determination to scour the Ork from their world.

As the Usamiljen Fusiliers close ranks and advance into their objective, the Cargo Yard. The first of the alien mobs begin their headlong charge into the jumble of containers, ramshackle gantries and barricades. 

The Fusiliers, one of the most battle-tested combat units in the Eastern Usamiljen Conflict
Sector prove their mettle by laying down a torrent of las-fire into the aliens. The specialist motorized soldiers of the Grenadiers take full advantage of this cover by blitzing forward in hardened transports to assume positions within the cargo yard.

Around the Comptoria Gantry, the forces of the Precpian Air Cavalry form up along the highway and set up a brutal killzone, as Ork motorized assets thunder towards their position.

The Precpian elite's soar into the combat zone, the Valkyries rocket pods and heavy bolters working hard to clear a landing zone amoungst the tide of greenskin warriors.

The Emperor's Finest,  the Space Marines of the Sons of Medusa and an Imperial Knight form the unyielding core to the Imperial assault force.

End of the first Imperial turn

A close up of the Usamiljen Fusiliers' Company Command squad. The cohort commanders putting on a stern face to inspire the younger soldiers. 

In a surgical strike, Precpeian commandos annihilate the battlewagon of one of the leading Ork warbosses, and set their multi-melta's upon his retinue. 

End of the Ork 1st turn movments on the cargo yard side of the field.

Adapting to the changing battle conditions the Astartes take firing positions around the Repair Hanger

The roaring engines of Valkyrie's above the complex's administrative buildings announce the shift in the tide of the battle, in favor of the Imperium.

Ork troops in the Comptoria Gantry swarm forward, in an attempt to dislodge the Precpians from their firing positions to mixed effect. The initial strike team by the smoldering remains of the Warboss's vehicle were swiftly surrounded and hacked to pieces. On the mainstreet, nearly a hundred Orks attempted to charge the vehicle convoy containing the bulk of the Precpian ground forces but were swiftly annihilated by massed heavy bolter and autocannon fire.

The lumbering might of the Ork Dred mob sends a hail of ordinance across the field, The Morkanaught paying special attention to the Imperial's Knight

In a flare of psyhic energy a unit of Ork warriors blinks into and out of existence, appearing amidst the ranks of the Fusiliers.  The aliens swiftly hack the men to pieces, but are soon met on all sides with pitiless rifle fire. The momentary distraction allows more of their kin to surge forward into the Cargo Yard.

fighting escalates amongst the admin block and around the gantry, as the aliens there finally get to grips with the Precpians.

Responding to the surging Orks, the Imperial convoy pulls back from the intersection, preferring to make full use of their heavy weaponry. 

The Fusiliers react to their unwelcome guests

A view of the combat within the Cargo yard, the Imperium has secured much of the ground early. But large portions of the Ork Warband still has yet to fully commit, leaving doubt as to the longevity of Imperial control.

Precpians dismount from the vehicle convoy to add more small arms to the fight, as the Ork's grow ever nearer. In conjunction with the Knight and Astartes the greenskins face down a truly enormous concentration of firepower. 

The Orks in the cargo yard, attempt to move forward, but are stymied by the sudden arrival of Astartes reserves in the form of Cataphractii terminators and Inteceptor assault infantry, both of whom strike from the skies to lend their expertise to the fighting.

It seems that the Ork magic was interfering more than a little with the fates.

The heat of the battle had subsided somewhat, much of the alien warhost had been cut down under the immensity of the Imperial crossfire. But those greenskins that did still remain were tenacious and not nearly ready to give up a fight of such magnitude just yet.

Ork Kommando's appeared from hiding behind the parked Precpian vehicle column, catching a few of the special forces men off guard. Were it not for the intervention of the Astartes, the damage may well have been far more severe. 

Imperial heavy assets begin to roll the front forward, eliminating the last vestiges of Ork resistance

The Orks make their final bid for the Comptoria Gantry, a sizable group of Nobz leap from their transports to charge the dismounted Precpians. The brutes do not make it far, between the vehicles, the commandos, the knight and Astartes, few make it further than a few steps. 

Pushing through the immense gunfire, the Orks at the Cargo yard swarm forward, hoping to break the momentum of the Imperial attack

A pair of Deff Dred's decimate the newly arrived Cataphractii veterans with a hail of heavy weapons fire. 

They are met with the vengeful rage of The Ancient Castellax. The redemptor dreadnaugt's onslaught cannons rip the chassis of the Deff Dreds to pieces, sending them to the ground in a blaze of acrid smoke and molten metal.

The Orks in the Cargo Yard still struggle to find any sort of purchase within the area. The Fusiliers holding their ground defiantly.

With the number of losses well in excess of five hundred, and with the burning remains of dozens of their vehicles the remainder of the Ork warhost opts to withdraw. 

The Imperial forces sally forth from their firing positions to see the aliens off with fire and sword. 

Mendorus Grove is a Major Imperial Victory.

Thanks to the success of the Offensive Imperial forces were able to puncture the Ork encirclement of Fort Behras. While the fortress is still under significant pressure from the North and the West,  it is now open to resupply once more. From here Imperial commanders will launch into the second stage of Operation Gray Jewel. An attempt to break the spirit of the Ork assaults coming from these approaches and beat them into the Ctre Valley Agricultural complex where they will be far enough from vital infrastructure to hit with orbital weaponry.