Monday, March 16, 2009

Attraignnor IV Campaign: The Final Battles

By this point, it was obvious that the Tau has almost no chance of victory, and would not continue to waste Tau lives on a lost cause. Therefore they would attempt to evacuate the planet, taking with them as many of their human supporters as they could. The Tau in the North controlled the Spaceport Complex, and the Tau in the East controled the Railhead Terminus, but the two armies could not reach each other since they were cut off by enemy forces. It made sense for the Northern army to evacuate by transport ship back to their fleet, and the Eastern army to exit the city by train, to be picked up somewhere outside the city where it would be safe for Tau transports to land and pick them up. Then all the Tau would return to their fleet and depart, leaving the planet to its fate.

However, since the forces of Chaos had so clearly dominated the campaign, and because we wanted one final climactic battle for each of us, we would give the Chaos forces a change to prevent the Tau from evacuating the city. The fallen Imperial Fists would fight a battle with the Northern Tau army at the Spaceport Complex. If the Tau won, the remnants of their army could escape back to the fleet. If Chaos won and captured the Spaceport Complex, the Tau would have no way to escape, and would be cut off and wiped out. Similarly, the offworld Chaos Space Marines would battle the Eastern Tau forces at the Railhead Depots. If the Tau won, their forces and their human followers could escape the city. If the Chaos Marines were victorious, they would capture the trains and prevent the Tau from escaping, ensuring their destruction.

Attraignnor IV Campaign Map: Final Battle

The Eastern Front, Railhead Depots
The remaining Tau forces in the Eastern part of the city hastily formed up into a rearguard in the vicinity of the Railhead Depots. They hoped this force could hold off the attacking Chaos Space Marines long enough for the rest of the Tau army, their supplies, and the human Tau sympathizes from the city to be evacuated by train. Moving all of the equipment, support staff, and refugees to the Railhead Terminus and loading them onto the many trains that could take them out of the city would be a long, slow process. But if the rearguard was unable to stall the Chaos attack long enough, the remaining Tau, and their human allies, would be cut off from escape, surrounded, and slaughtered.

Lord Agramon knew by now that the city was clearly theirs, and he sensed, the urgent desperation in the Tau retreat. The enemy had been routed, but Lord Agramon didn’t just want to control the city. He wanted to slaughter every vile xenos creature that had the audacity to set foot on this human world. And even more, he wanted to butcher the wretched human scum from Habs Zeta and Epsilon who were rumored to have betrayed their very humanity by joining the alien invaders.

Lord Agramon himself wanted to lead the final attack personally. He hastily assembled a large attack force in Angel Square. He preceded the attack with a brief orbital bombardment of the Railhead Depots area, which damaged some of the buildings so severely that even entering them could be extremely dangerous, and they could collapse at any moment. Some of the critical Tau units weren’t able to get in good positions to defend against the coming attack as they had to spend time carefully digging themselves out of the damaged buildings, nervous about moving too quickly and risking the collapse of the buildings.

Lord Agramon’s attack came swiftly, with Agramon himself and several units of Berzerkers charging forward with reckless abandon. The Raptor, in particular, seemed almost suicidal as they recklessly flew through dangerous ruins and charged through collapsing buildings. They took several casualties because of their aggressiveness, but their fury paid off as they managed to wipe out some Kroot entrenched in a building and finish off some isolated battle suits. Their advance mad up the right flank, along with the perfectly timed arrival of two small terminator units, helped clear the area of defenders so that the Berzerkers could move in and capture the emptied buildings.

On the left flank, two large units of chaos marines advanced very slowly and carefully, capturing buildings as they went. Before them charged Agramon accompanied by some overzealous Berzerkers. As the Berzerkers charged forward in a frothing fury, their hatred blinded them to the danger of the terrain. As they tried to recklessly charge forward, they continually were tripped up and slowed down by the blasted ruins of the buildings. In pure frustration they tried to bash their way through the broken ruins of another building, only to cause it to completely collapse in on them, burying them in smoke and rubble, and making them easy prey.

Meanwhile Agramon, himself no less overzealous than his men, was not willing to wait for his Berzerkers to flail and stumble their way through the buildings. He glided over the buildings with daemonic power, but also managed to injure himself in the dangerous rubble. Furious, he dropped down right in front of the heavily defended enemy flank and blasted some of his hated foe with deadly warp energy. Unfortunately the return fire from several battlesuits, vespid, and a tank was too much for him to overcome, and Lord Agramon was unable to continue the fight.

Back on the right flank, the berserkers continued their advance. A unit of Tau Fire warriors had moved out from their hiding place into a cramped alley to open fire on one of the small terminators units. Their fire, combine with that of two battlesuit commanders, felled all but one of the terminators. One of the commanders charged in to finish off the lone Terminator, but seeing the powers and toughness of his foe, he instantly regretted his decision and instead fled the battlefield.

Seeing a new enemy before them, the Berzerkers charged into the small, tightly-packed alley to attack the Fire Warriors. Fighting in the narrow, dark alley was difficult and awkward, with blood, chainswords, and limbs flying in every direction. But it was still a massacre for the Berzerkers, who were now, like the alley itself, coated in blood and gore. The lone terminator charged after the remaining battlesuit commander, and crushed the two shield drones defending him. But the commander managed to find a weak point in the nearly indestructible terminator armor as he fired every weapon he had at point blank range. The terminator went down, but as the commander looked back up, he found himself engulfed in the advancing Berzerkers, who dragged him down as he tried to flee for his life.

By this point, leaderless and without hope, the rest of the Tau army was in full retreat. Though Lord Agramon had been badly wounded, and the Terminators and Raptors had suffered significant casualties, it was a resounding victory for the Chaos Marines. With the Tau rearguard smashed aside, the Chaos Marines continued forward into the nearly undefended Railhead Terminus. The remains of the Tau army were in disarray, and were easy prey. They, along with their human refugees, were massacred. Since the Tau in the East were now cut off from the rest of the city, and the Chaos Marines were now in control of their only possible means of escape, the Tau were trapped. The rest of the campaign in the East would just be a matter of the Chaos Marines mopping up the rest of the surrounded and defeated Tau. With free reign of the area, the Chaos Marines could also focus on hunting down the rouge Imperial governor who had caused the entire war by dealing with the Tau in the first place.

The Tau Landing Zone, Attraignnor Space Port
The sun rose behind the once mighty Tau army as they loaded their equipment onto the last of the Orca dropships anxiously waiting to depart. Only two cadres were left to report back. Shas'o Vor Suelo led his forces from the artillery emplacements upon the isle the natives call 'Gibbet Hill', while Shas'O Guela Vostru fought a running battle retreating from the west with the rebellious citizens of the city.
The esteemed Aun Chie Zuhis looked upon his disheartened warriors and sighed...

The Western outskirts of the Spaceport
"Here they come!" Mickey readied his autorifle and swung down from his perch on the rubble. Another three of those big tan robot thingys were loping down their street. This was their chance, their real chance! So far, they'd only been able to bring down one of the xenos' robo-frisbees. But the robots! Those were big points! Just one of them'll be enough to get them ALL spots on High King Ferranus' new Attraignor Guard.
Bess, Johnson, Franko, Shots, they were all ready. They all know what this meant. Almost silently they crawled through the rubble towards the street...

Vostru signaled a halt to his bodyguard. The foolish humans stood out starkly on the infrared sensors of his suit. It was like this all across the city! Idiot humans attempting ambushes with no concept of training. The low rumble of what had to be a building collapsing somewhere was no distraction as he and his team raised their weapons to fire..

Mickey tripped as the super heated plasma ripped through the walls of the building ruin they had taken cover in. Shots and Bess were immolated in an instant, and Franko's screams filled the air, his legs gone. There was nothing else for it as rage filled his soul, it was kill or be killed.
"C'mon, Johnson! Let's go milk us some Xenos!"
Johnson paused just long enough to grab Franko's melta before following his boss through the newly made holes in the wall, just in time to see one of the big robo's chest blow outward..

The low rumble was no collapsing building. It was the mighty growl of one of High King Ferranus' last working Imperial Fists Rhino APCs. The Rhino's stormbolter continued to roar death at the two remaining battlesuits. As the remaining tau trained their fire on the transport, the two bruised and dirty humans were all but forgotten in the face of this new threat. The yellow tank crushed forth, fallen fire warriors hanging lifeless from hooks welded to the side. The hatches popped....

Brother Sgt. Smith was first at the hatch as was his custom, and so was the first to glimpse the sickeningly curved xenos tank float blasphemously around the intersection a mere block away.
"OUT!!!" he screamed to his men before diving through the hatchway...

There was no noise. The Rhino merely crumpled as if made of paper as the Hammerhead's shot bore into its side armor. Thick black smoke began to seep from the cracks in the destruction that was the Rhino, and the stench of promethium filled the air before the sound caught up with the hyper-velocity round fired from the Hammerhead's massive rail gun...

Brother Sgt. Smith felt the searing heat of his transport's violent explosion buffet his body as he stood back up. A quick check of his auto-senses told him that Squad Smith had taken no casualties, though Brother Howard would need a new arm. Unfortunately, they would have no time to prep the missile launcher with those battlesuits so close. This was going to get dirty fast. Smith knew the next shot would probably be submunitions, just as he knew the foul abomination wouldn't get a third. He raised his fist, the Closed Fist of Ferranus, and the astartes charged...

Mickey and Johnson were thrown roughly to the ground as the massive yellow tank exploded, but the mighty Space Marines were already on their feet charging the alien vehicle. Surely nothing could stop the grand and benevolent High King Ferranus' mighty Angels. Suddenly, to Mickey's utter despair, a shot like a million spears of starlight tore from the alien cannon into the Imperial Fists, shredding even the very ground they ran across....

"A submunitions round! Good show!" thought commander Vostru as he and his last remaining bodyguard backed down the street, distancing themselves from the yellow monsters. A direct hit at that distance would annihilate an entire herd of houladons! He would have to recommend the crew for commendation. An audible crunch and a piercing human cry snapped his attention around...

The blasting shrapnel round created a nice dust screen for their advance, though the hyper-velocity force of hundreds of tiny balls pinging off their armor did slow them down. Brother Wessex went down, a ball finding its way through the hip joint of his armor, shattering the bone inside, and Brother Tse would not rise again after one of the tiny balls found one of his eyes...

"Load another round, Vortis, just in case."
"Aye, Shas'El!"
Shas'El Cualton turned back to the pict screen just as the dust began to settle, his eyes slowly adjusting to the movement on the flickering screen. Aggravated, Cualton popped the top hatch for a better look at his fallen foes...

The eight marines broke from the dust cloud just as the Hammerhead's commander rose from the hatch. The startled tau barely realized what he was seeing when Brother Sgt. Smith made a great bounding leap onto the hull of the foul xenos battle tank. In an instant his bolt pistol was against the bare head of the tau tank commander. Smith fired, and then adjusted his aim to kill the two aliens left in the vile monstrosity as his troopers primed their krak grenades against the known weak points of the hull. He leapt down just as the hideous heresy to the Omnissiah erupted into a giant ball of cleansing flame..

Shas'O Vostru looked down at the dirty human under his suit's feet as the second shockwave hit him. His weapons were already priming as he turned to face the tenacious threat of the human super soldiers. With the immolating squeal of a fusion rifle what remained of Vostru's last bodyguard fell before him. The tau commander frantically turned to see another dirty human peasant holding one of their kind's 'Mell-Taas', super heated steam pouring from the crude fusion weapon's vents.
The Shas'O, knowing he was defeated, engaged his suit's jet pack and took to the skies. Another squeal and his plasma rifle detonated, the force threw him into the wall of the destroyed building next to him. The wall collapsed upon him, and shrapnel speared through his armor and skewered his arm. His suit's emergency systems kicked on, and his body was filled with pain killers and stimulants. The desperate Shas'O blasted himself free of the rubble and soared into the sky...

Johnson lowered the melta just as the pounding boot falls of Ferranus' Fists heralded their arrival. A giant with a red helm put his hand on Johnson's shoulder.
"Excellent shot! I shall inform my Lord Captain of your prowess with the Meltagun, Guardsman....."
"Um.. Johnson, sir.." Slowly a smile creapt onto Johnson's dirty, scarred face. It was the first in over ten years...

Out of his fugue, Mikey saw a golden hand come out of the increasingly murky haze that was the rest of the world. His arm was a torn mess, attached by mere threads of sinew.
"Laying down on the job, Guardsman?" the voice boomed from the ether.
The words tumbled from his shivering lips in a flood, "..no ...no.. ..f'course not.. no.. ... .. wait," the words finally hit him, "Guard.. Guardsman? but.. my arm!"
"No excuse, trooper. You can always get another arm!" Brother Howard burst into thundering laughter as he helped the wounded man to his feet. Strangely, Mikey found himself laughing, too..

Brother Saotome loaded the krak missile with a soft prayer, raised his weapon, and fired..

The fire warriors defending the makeshift defenses of the spaceport cheered when they saw their great commander, Shas'O Vostru soaring out of the city. The rest of the cadre would be right behind him, and they could finally leave this blighted world behind them.
Their moral was finally broken when the missile soared from the city and impacted cleanly with Vostru's battlesuit. The tau looked on in horror as their great commander, their great hero, plummeted, lifeless, to the earth.
The tau defense was broken before the score of Alpha Legion bikes roared from the streets, before the crimson assault marines lept from the rooftops, before the hordes of Attraignorian citizens swarmed from the buildings.
The tau defense fled.
Their escape had become a rout...

The Tau Landing Zone, Attraignor Space Port
Aun Chie Zuhis watched as Shas'O Vor Suelo and a full half of his cadre set up their haphazard defense of the landing zone as the gunshots and explosions signifying the humans' attack drew ever nearer. He had already called down one of the much more survivable Manta class gunships to get himself off-planet safely. For the Greater Good, of course. Suelo was a competent commander, but the ethereal knew the fire caste would not last long after he, himself, had departed. Their moral would break, and they would flee and be cut down. At least half of the cadre would make it to safety... and Aun Chie made quite sure it was the more promising half...

Vor's stealth teams reported that the humans would be within sight in moments. Their clan-destine ambushes had not even slowed the attack. It was as if the humans did not even care about casualties among their citizens!...

Sgt. Smith saw the haze/blur and had barely enough time to toss one of the last of the ganger scum in front of himself before the searing heat of the alien melta squeeled to life. Before the charred human body hit the floor, squad Smith had opened fire on the xenos...

A motley horde of ragtag humans rushed from the cover of the Tau's own fortifications into the massive open plain that was the spaceport. Shas'O Suelo gave the order, and his warriors opened fire, cutting the foolish attackers down by the hundreds. Just as the assault began to falter, a screaming roar filled the air as the human super-soldiers, the first seen this battle, unleashed a massed strike upon growling bikes and screeching jetpacks. Vor Suelo, however, was ready for this. His hammerheads and broadsides were in perfect positions to redeploy and meet this dire threat. Suelo was not ready for the ominous sound of one of the Orca dropships detonating violently behind him...

Aun Chie Zuhis ran as the Manta soared from the heavens. More lightning fields began to crackle around the remaining Orca even as its crew ditched the fuel lines in preparation for an emergency takeoff. The massive human super soldiers' battlesuits that had just teleported in and casually destroyed the first Orca had immediately headed towards the rear of the fire caste's line, ignoring the last Orca. Now Aun Chie knew why. He reached the Manta and vaulted aboard before the ramp had opened fully. Upon reaching the bridge, he ordered the immediate take-off of the ship. The Air Caste crew did not even question his order, knowing that leaving the rest of Shas'O Vor Suelo's cadre behind must be for the Greater Good. As an after thought, Aun Zuhis ordered the ship to fire upon the human battlesuits approaching from the wreckage of the second Orca, the remains of best and brightest from Shas'O Suelo's cadre still smoldering. The Manta easily took what meager firepower the battlesuits could bring to bear. Aun Chie Zuhis sighed in relief as the Manta soared into the heavens...

Shas'O saw his last hope fade with the departing Manta. His cadre was beset from both front and rear, and he now saw the despicable Aun Chie Zuhis for the coward that he was. It was as if a veil was lifted from his eyes. Looking out at what remained of his warriors, he knew they saw the truth as well. At almost the same time, a massive human tank ground to a halt not ten jumps from the Tau Commander. It's golden hull emblazoned with a halo'ed black human fist and crescent moon. The assault ramp yawned wide and a single human stepped forward. He hailed the commander in perfect Tau. He spoke of many things, and Vor Suelo found himself believing this truly honorable warrior before him. The remaining tau, fighting for their lives just a mere instant before, found themselves unopposed as they moved to better hear the words of the two leaders. Shas'O Suelo knew at that moment that he had been fooled. His life had been a lie....

Octavio Ferranus smiled. The little voice of his intuition had been completely right again. The xenos battlesuit before him opened wide and a diminutive alien stepped out and prostrated himself in the most respectful bow of his kind. Seeing the fealty of their leader, the remaining xenos soon fell to their knees before the High King's glance. Just one small step remained...

Low Orbit, Attraignnor IV
The Manta had just gained a visual of their mothership when the shiver went through the ship's controls and displays. The crew looked quizzically at their captain. Kor'O Yissil pointed at the drive master, and he immediately moved towards the exit to investigate the slight disturbance. As soon as he reached the hatchway, the entire hatch exploded in, flattening the poor Kor'Vre. Aun Chie looked on in horror as a truly massive human battlesuit crushed the wall around it as it entered the now claustrophobic bridge, a massive glowing hammer in its fist. To their credit, Yissel and the remaining Kor'Vres drew their miniscule sidearms and opened fire on the monster before them. The beast actually laughed as it swung a battered shield before it, the crackling and sparking forcefield still managing to deflect the paltry resistance. With but two mighty swings of that mighty hammer, Aun Chie's seven remaining protectors were no more. The eight dead tau lay all around him. Before the ethereal could even grasp the idea of running, the monstrous human super soldier was upon him. Aun Chie cried out as he's thrown to the ground, feeling bones shatter with the impact. He lays broken and sobbing, surrounded by the dead. He screams again and again as the beast rips his arms and legs away. The world begins to fade. An unknown substance is injected into his chest, ripping him from the bliss of unconsciousness back to the reality of pain. The esteemed Aun Chie Zuhis' screams grow impossibly louder as his intestines are torn from his destroyed body. The torture finally ends with the removal of his tongue. The gurgling blood quiet his screams. As his vision darkens, the monster swings his hammer again, destroying the control centers of the Manta. He turns again and his cold stare pierces Aun Chie's very soul as the lightning again comes and takes the monster away...

Tau Landing Zone, Attraignnor Space Port
The figure is kneeling before the lightning field of teleportation fades, and High King Octavio Ferranus looks down upon his mighty champion.
"Arise, Laotzu. A success as usual, I assume?"
"'Tis done, My Liege."
Lord Captain Ferranus knew it was so as a new, eight pointed star bloomed in the heavens. A truly cyclopean cheer arose from his people. The celebrations of this great victory would go on for months, of that he would make sure. The people would see that they made the right choice. They would love him. Then the rest of the system would be liberated. Ferranus smiled...

Attraignnor IV Campaign Map: Final Battle Results

No comments:

Post a Comment