Friday, 21 August 2015

The Second Siege of Agratha - Tales from the Front (Part 3)

On the Front

The Artillery Fire was becoming sporadic. Even with the powerful comms arrays of the Leviathan, there was no response from the Artillery positions.

Gravis cursed, something was very wrong.

Still no word from Winterbourne either, though his troops were at last appearing on the right flank, though a single Leman Russ and a few support weapons joined his own depleted lines. A pair of Cadian Hellhounds had even managed to out flank the Orks some way in the distance purging the xenos with cleansing fire.

Small firefights kept flaring up along his section of the front now as isolated groups of Orks occasionally pushed forwards, nothing his forces couldn't handle, especially now the Krieg had secured his flank.

Despite it all, the battle was tilting in the imperials favour.

Then there was a bright explosion in the distance, followed by a second.

Gravis fancied it came from where the Hellhounds had been, but the wind had changed and smoke clouded his view. What was going on out there?

Behind the Lines

Caine died messily, crippled by a Slugga round to the shoulder before he was bisected by a massive axe. His squad fell around him.

The Praetorians sections fell back, losing ground rapidly, leaving the Dauntless spitting fire in all directions, and a handful of Penal Troops desperately fighting in combat behind.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the compound squad after squad of Death Korps fed themselves into the grinder, selflessly trying to buy time for the Artillery.

The Dauntless was soon beset on all sides by a group of hulking Ork Nobz, their Warlord meanwhile tried to swat the pesky Penal Legionnaire who kept dodging just out of the reach of his powerklaw.

Had he been looking elsewhere he might have seen his bodyguard ripping their way into the tank.

He might banged some heads and stopped them from trying to do so through the Demolisher Cannons ammunition store.

He might have avoided the titanic explosion that followed and the large piece of armour plate which took his own head clean off, leaving the stunned Penal Trooper to slink away...

Despite this minor setback to the Orks within just a few minutes more the Imperial Artillery was silenced for good.

In the Air

Pearson cursed as he brought his gunship out of its turn, the Fighta was right on the tale of his squadron mates Valkryie.

"Ace of Spades, Break, Break, Break!"

There was a hail of tracer fire, a dull krump and the Imperial aircrafts engines stalled, leaking thick black smoke. 

It fell like a stone.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

The Second Siege of Agratha - Tales from the Front (Part 2)

The Front

With every passing second the two lines drew closer, Artillery shells fell, much of it to the right flank in Support of Admiral Drax’ infantry.
The Deathkorps pushed forward from the bridge engaging the Orks there with Flamer, Lasgun and Bayonet - the fanatical and seemingly fearless Guardsmen drove the Orks backwards one step at a time.
Now the Leviathan spoke, and the ground itself heaved.
It was quickly joined by a fusillade of redcoated infantry and grey armoured tanks alike, green bodies and scraps of metal rained down but it could never be enough, storming through the smoke the lead Stompa emerged crashing into Gravis’ armoured squadrons headlong.

One venerable Leman Russ known as Old Warhorse, previously of the 57th Praetorian was torn into so much scrap metal in an instant, a second was flung rolling to one side, coming to rest on its tracks its crew shaken but somehow alive.

Like a giant ignorant of the destruction in wrought with each step its guns blazed destroying and cripping a complete squadron of Chimera transports as Ork boyz swarmed forwards through the wreckage of there dreadnoughts, though continued artillery fire from the rear kept these in check.
Gravis bellowed across the vox net,
"Co-ordinate all fire, bring it down!"
Lascannon barrels glowed hot, a Vendetta Gunship commenced a pop up attack, veteran infantry unit scrambled forwards meltaguns leaving rivers of molten metal running from the beasts carapace. Just as it seemed nothing could stop the beast from crashing into the Leviathans prow the battery of Rapiers which had been slowly grinding forwards on their track units commenced firing. The first merely scorched its paintwork, the second breached its armour. The third hit the same spot moments later.
It slowed to a crawl, smoke pouring from every vent and window before exploding spectacularly, taking a Russ and dozens of Guardsmen and Orks alike.
Across the battlefield, the first elements of the 4th Mechanised began to arrive, yet still to Gravis' annoyance no word had come from Winterbourne himself. Men were dieing in droves needlessly as the Orks pushed ever closer but for the want of a few more guns.
Drax similarly focused his fire upon the opposing Stompa, its fate was sealed when a group of Veteran Cadians rappelled from the back of a Valkyrie attached to Gravis' own force, their melta fire touching off something critical in the Ork war construct before it could get any closer.

Behind the Lines

The Artillery spoke again another salvo shrieking across the horizon, the lethal Deathstrike Missile rocketing skywards amongst it.
But now Caine realised he had been right to be cautious of those clouds of dust, shapes were resolving themselves into orkish warmachines...
How they had out flanked the Imperial lines so completely he had no idea, but now the meagre defence force protecting the Artillery had a major fight on its hands as the first slots slammed into the Imperial positions, both Manticores disappearing in blinding explosions.
The Krieg were surging forwards, seemingly feeling offense was the best defence.
Meanwhile Caine put his trust in the silent grey landship Dauntless, a Malcador Heavy Tank. Having been deemed to slow to keep up with the main body of the Praetorian 4th as they rushed to support Admiral Drax, it had been left behind.

In the Clouds

Lieutenant Pearson had his hands full, weaving his Vendetta amongst the falling debris of the exploding Stompa as he came around for another pass of the battlefield. Proximity klaxons suddenly blazed into life as the Thunderbolt flashed across far too close for comfort, its autocannons blazing as it strafed the advancing Orks turning green bodies to pulp.
There was a brief flash, and wail of terror on the vox, abruptly cut to silence, as it suddenly blossomed into fire and ploughed into the ground, an Ork Fighta screaming across at high level. It weaved through the wall of flak put up by the Hydras on the ground, seemingly untroubled by the fire.
Already turning
Already hunting for its next kill.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

The Second Siege of Agratha - Tales from the Front (Part 1)

The Front

From his vantage point atop the Leviathan's fighting platform Gravis’ had a commanding view of the battlefield below. The command vehicle was amply equipped with auspex arrays and cogitators, enough that a planetary assault could be commanded by just a small command staff from within the safety of the Leviathans thick armour and void shields. However, Gravis’ view was that true battlefield perspective could only be granted by seeing it unfold with one’s own eyes, not to mention the importance that the men should see their leader in the midst of battle.

Privately he also conceded he enjoyed riding such a behemoth into battle the prestige it brought with it.

Ahead of the Leviathan, Gravis’ heavy armour rumbled forward, while to his left the Infantry was already taking up positions around their support weapons and a battery of Rapiers, more mechanised troops were drawing up under the bridge.

A heavy explosion in the distance drew his attention, closer at hand he noticed a detachment of skull masked Death Korps advancing. Gravis’ gaze hung on these unexpected allies for a moment, the building they occupied was already swarming with Orks but he had no doubt the Korpsmen would hold them back – no matter the cost.

Beyond them stood the 24th Cadian, massed infantry but with relatively few support weapons - their armour pushing forward to the far flank though, the Orks already moving to engage them rapidly.


 “Signals! Send my compliments to Admiral Drax’ and try to raise Colonel Winterbourne...”

Ahead, the Orks were massing.

“…the sooner the better.”
At their head came the massive Stompas, clanking and clunking forward with frightful rapidity.

Gravis' referred to his dataslate marking a dozen locations and passed it to the Artilleries liason officer.

"Carter, have the artillery target these co-ordinates, fire when ready."

 Behind the Lines

The artillery spoke as one, missiles streaking skywards as the massed Thudd Gun batteries let rip, all firing at targets well beyond Caine’s own line of sight. In the distance the sky lit up with at least one massive explosion as something big brewed up.

Already new fire orders were coming in from the front lines, but something else drew his attention, to their left a cloud of dust was blowing up.

It had to be Colonel Winterbournes Mechanised Regiment.

It had to be.

But why then were they heading this way, and not to the front?

Caine drew up his Platoon to the barricades as a precaution, and noted the Kriegsmen doing similarly on the other side of the compound...