Sunday, August 30, 2015

Operation Nesting Asps- Final phase

With the Breach of the Haslem Line Imperial forces were compelled to pull back north.  Their retreat signaled the start of the final phase of Operation Nesting Asps.  Asura directed his forces that had acte before as eyes of the Fire Force phase of the operation to harass and stall retreating Imperial columns while the Stygian Guard organized a pursuit.
     The Imperials knew they had to cross the hilled desert regions and regroup to a new defensive position further north on the plains in front of the hive city.  Imperial high command was hopeful they could stop Stygian forces from capturing the hive but only if Imperial forces pulled back quickly enough.  Furthermore the resulting tactical withdrawal would shorten the decimated supply line and put the ground forces under the umbrella of friendly air cover.
     The retreat turned out to be a bloody affair.  Stygian militia blocked some of the passes.  There under the protection of sand bagged dug in positions they opened up on approaching Imperial forces.  Imperial forces under pressure to hustle to a new rallying point were temporarily stopped and often times strafed until they could form up and take the positions by storm.  most times the militia would retreat after inflicting what casualties as they could then come back at night when parts of the Imperial forces were through the strong point, and reoccupy the position and force the same confrontation on the other half of the Imperial force.





Nights on the march also grew to be trying for Imperil forces.  Such was the pace demanded by high command that Imperial troops would spend over half the night on the march catching only a few hours rest.  It was an endurance test that saw those that failed left behind to be picked off by pursuing stygian guard units.  Worse during the night marches the risk of ambush was far greater.  Furthermore some of the stygian militia were devotees of the cult of Khorne.  During the night they would use the darkness to close with retreating Imperial columns then launch devastating surprise charges into the imperials midst.  Their axes an chainswords causing carnage as they wantonly butchered all they could before being cut down.  Those militia units that did this were always annihilated but never before inflicting a disproportionate amount of casualties and weakening Imperial morale.  After all the devotees of Khorne knew that the blood god cared not from where the blood flowed, only that it flowed.

Another blow to Imperial morale came as they marched past supply depots and outposts.  These Imperial command had ordered destroyed in order to deny their use to the Stygian Empire.  Marching past Imperial outposts burning fueled the sense of doom and defeat on imperial regiments. At long last they reached the new defensive lines an occupied them in preparation for the onslaught they all felt sure was coming.  They had suffered on average 30% casualties on the march but they had reached relative safety now and so with grim determination they waited.




Asura the Alpha legion commander in charge had no intention however of launching an all out assault on the new imperial line and storming the hive.  He knew with the bloody attrition that city fighting brought about that he lacked the strength at the moment to take the hive.  Accordingly he established a new line and switched over to the defensive.  Operation Nesting Asps had negated the Imperial numerical advantage, forestalled an imperial offensive, and allowed him to take valuable ground vital for creating multiple defensive layers on advantageous terrain.  Furthermore the disproportionate casualties accrued during Operation Nesting Asps now left him slightly outnumbering the Imperials.  With the operation having achieved it's objectives Asura ordered the construction of new defensive strongpoints in a defense in depth and awaited the next strategic development in the north and shifted his attention south where the Stygian offensive was proceeding although at a reduced pace.

Friday, August 28, 2015

New Stygian "Land mine"


The Stygian Empire began to employ a new type of mine across multiple theatres.  Dark Magos of the biologis faction of the Dark Mechanicus had been experimenting in "Flesh Crafting".  The result of which was the "Naga mine".  The Stygian Empire employed these creatures much like a minefield.  The naga's would burrow and nest below ground then burrow up and strike at prey after detecting the sonic vibration emited by the preys movements above ground.  While the naga were extremely effective against infantry they proved to be less so against armor units.  Below is a transcript from an early imperial encounter with a naga.


"We had been selected to recon down towards the river.  The scuttlebutt went that the traitors had pulled beck the previous night to a new defensive position on the other side of the river.  Sgt. Beck didn't believe it as the sentry's had detected movement towards our front.  Either way come dusk they sent us, that is 2nd platoon to find out what was what.  We made it to the ridge near the riverbank and were beginning the climb up slowly and quiet like.  Then there was this sudden rumbling sound and we froze. This massive snake like worm suddenly bursts out of the ground in front of second squad.  It bit a man in two and the bone like razors on it's back cut another two men down before they knew what hit them.  A few of the second boys began to fire but I could see the shots bouncing off of the things hide.  Sgt Beck yelled at us to assist 2nd squad when another rumble began.  A second one of those things was on us.  I fired at it but it was too late for Sgt Beck and three of my mates.  The thng killed them and burrowed back into the ground.  We could feel the ground vibrate as it moved beneath us.  When it came back it got the corporal and that's when I heard the Lt. ordering the retreat.  There had been five of the things on the platoon.  The things chased us back a bit towards our own lines, that's when the Lt. bought it.  Of the seventy or so of us that went out only 42 of us made it back." private Hillman 219th Anglican infantry regiment.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Alpha Legion Raptors












Often found in support of Stygian Empire operations the Alpha Legion used squads of raptors especially in highly mobile operations. The Squad pictured above has two meltaguns an the champion is armed with a powerfist and plasma pistol.  The squad is geared for taking out armored units and bunkers while still retaining the ability to engage infantry effectively.  The tactical flexibility coupled with their ability to maneuver quickly makes them a prized unit amongst the alpha legion.

These are standard CSM from GW.  The banner top is taken from the fantasy chaos marauder kit.  The jetpacks are from max mini.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Stygian Devil Dog



Armed with the powerful Meltacannon as well as a hull mounted multimelta, the devil dog is a heavily armed light support tank.  With it's weaponry it can easily and quickly blast apart enemy strongpoints in an infantry support role.  It can also just as easily take out enemy armor.  It's range however is far shorter than that of a main battle tank and it has far weaker armor.  The Stygian Empire however made good use of these vehicles both for infantry support and in armor clashes.  Indeed in most armor engagements the Devil dogs were often set on outflanking movements the second contact was made between armored units.  They would often then achieve surprise and a quick tally of vehicle kills that would see the Imperial armor units forced to retreat.

This is the standard GW hellhound/devil dog kit.  Chaos spikes were added as was the gunner in the cupola who has a fantasy marauder head.  The shields that festoon the tank are from the fantasy chaos marauder kit.  The chains that decorate the hull are from the chaos vehicle upgrade sprue.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Manticores







The most numerous and favored piece of artillery used by the Stygian Empire is the manticore multiple rocket launcher.  Devestating against light infantry and packing enough punch to pound heavy armor and war machines to dust.  Despite a limited ammo load out and slow reload time after all four rockets have been fired it remains a staple in Stygian Guard units precisely because of how devastating a barrage it can unleash.

Standard GW kit with chaos vehicle accessory sprue parts added along with shields from the chaos warriors fantasy kit.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Assault on the Haslem line finale

Major Verrox grimly surveyed the situation in front of him.  His defense line was thread bare at this point with another wave of Stygian forces about to engulf him.  Over the vox he heard similar reports at other sectors of the defense line.  The Stygians were punching through.  He began ordering the general withdrawal selecting a few squads to act as a rear guard.  Those units staying behind began to pour fire onto the oncoming stygian infantry.  It was weak fire and only a few of the foe fell to it.  The Guardians began retreating from the bloodletters throwing grenades at the daemons before rushing back to take up new firing positions behind the defensive line.  To the astartes if they were forced to retreat it would be by throne a fighting retreat at least.


Major Nagash saw the Imperials attempting to withdraw and franticly began calling out orders.  it would be easier for the Stygian units in the hills behind the Imperial lines to pick off huge sections of the imperial army if the retreat could be turned into a route.  Artillery fire began to fall on the Imperial position even as his troops surged forward to storm the line.



The Stygian forces charged the line slamming into the few units left behind as a rear guard.  The Stygians came in with bayonets fixed firing from the hip.  The mall number of Imperial troops were quickly hacked apart. Even the flesh hound reinforced by stygian warriors made quick work of the imperial squad that had stymied it's rampage for so long.



With the line breached the first of the Stygian infantry squads made ready to advance only to be met by a hail of bolter fire.  The Guardians chapter true to their name formed up a new rear guard between the advancing stygians and the retreating guardsmen. Their fire forcing the stygians to shelter in the trenches.  Major Nagash cursed as he watched.  The artillery ha already begun to displace and it would take another fifteen minutes until they would be reloaded and sighted in on the imperials.  They had defeated the Imperials and forced them to retreat, however the battlefield was heaped with Stygian dead, and it was a retreat not a route.  Still cursing Nagash tried to organize the pursuit.  It would be mostly up to the units in the foothills as part of Operation Nesting Asps to turn the Imperial retreat to the Hive city into a route.



Special thanks again go out to Chris Edstrom (pictured below) whose invaluable help made this battle report possible.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Operation Nesting Asps Assault on the haslem line part6

Despite the devastation suffered by the first units to reach the trenches the second wave of Stygians surged forwards screaming for the deaths of the hated imperials.  Against the imperial left flank the herald reached out with his mind and pulled the death screams of all who had fallen in the last few minutes into a sphere as he muttered incantations.  With a scream that pierced across the entire battlefield reality tore asunder and death in the form of a pack of bloodletters appeared.  their bloody banner waving in the sky giving renewed determination and rage to the assaulting stygian forces.  But the herald was not done yet.  He stretched forth his hand a rictus snarl on his visage and suddenly the ground beneath the sternguard burst into flames conjured from the warp.


Major Nagash began issuing orders at once determined to break through the Imperial defenses.  Some of the support fire teams were ordered to target the Storm talon and they swung their weapons to bear.  Since the marine craft had dropped to hover mode it made for a perfect target.  lascannon fire blew apart it's engnes sending it hurtling to the ground to impact and burn in the dirt.


The next order Nagash gave was for the surviving manticore to target the Imperial right flank and hammer the reserves that now occupied the bunker and trenches there.  Wanting maximum fire placed there to weaken it for the second waves assault the leman russ tank added it's battlecannon even as major Nagash's master of ordinance called in the heavy reserve artillery.  Suddenly the Imperial right flank was enveloped in smoke and fire.



Meanwhile on the imperial left flank the Flamer of Tzeentch leapt into the far end of the trench and pointing it' arms and opening it's massive maw spewed fire into the Guardian marines there, even as the conscripts opened up with their guns into the loyalist marines.
The survivors of a single squad charged the center roaring hate as they leaped into the trench.  Within seconds the pair had carved up three of theguardsmen but the primaris psyche was made of sterner stuff.  Swinging his staff wildly he cave in the head of the Stygian Sgt. before a reverse thrust of the staff caught the second stygian in the sternum and ruptured his diaphragm.  Further down the trench one of the flesh hounds was bayoneted to death but not before another guardsmen was mauled by it's fangs.  The Imperial line now held by a thread.

Special thanks go out to Chris Edstrom for his invaluable help in this battle report.  Unfortunately I have been called out of town for the next few days so I will have the final installment of this battle report posted on Monday night after I return, I thank you all in advance for your patience.