Operation Nesting Asps.
Tular Valley Massacre part 1
Following the Imperial Defeat at Khalita ridge the supply situation to the front had grown ever more critical for the Imperials.  Alpha Legion and Stygian Guard forces dedicated to Operation nesting Asps had also been worn down by attrition.  While still awaiting reinforcements from the stygian guard Commander Asura turned to drafting more and more militia forces and dispatching them to the ridges.  There they would continue the fire force tactics that had served the campaign so well.  In addition they began moving and raiding supply lines and depots on their own without air support.  These raids took on a strike and fade pattern, with the militia hitting a target inflicting as much damage as possible and retreating back to the ridges and valleys before retribution could be brought to bear upon them.  One particularly effective band was the Helcult that formed around the helbrute Khyrons Fury.  under the helbrutes leadership the cult was able to conduct a large number of successful raids.  Imperial forces noted the fanaticism the militia accompanying Khyron's Fury seemed to display.
Imperial Intelligence after a particularly brutal raid by Khyron's Fury was able to determine the Helcult was operating out of the Tular Valley.  Veteran Sgt. Surnov of the Guardians chapter of the Adeptus Astartes was quick to seize upon this intelligence.  He planned on dropping into the ridge and valley areas with a small force via thunderhawk transporters.  Once on the ground he would seek and destroy the helcult before moving out and slowly clearing the region of Stygian eyes with this attack from an unexpected direction, thus enabling supplies to be transported to the front.  Despite a note of caution from Techmarine Vollus, Sgt. Surnov planned on a quick easy string of victories that would see the situation restored within the week.
     Veteran Sgt. Surnov with his small task force made a sudden insertion into the entrance of the Tular valley.  Large numbers of Stygian fighter made the insertion dangerous and the Storm Talon escorting them in was drawn into air combat.  Still they had landed and the stor Talon assured Sgt. Surnov that it would be able to break off from air to air combat and provide tactical support to the operation.  Thus reassured Surnov ordered his rhinos to charge down the center of the valley in order to overrun Khyron's Fury's basecamp.

The roar of the Rhino's engines and the dust plumes the apc's threw up warned the stygian forces of the impending attack.  Bellowing roars of fury and commands through Vox speakers khyron's Fury formed the Stygians up to meet the onslaught.  On the Stygian right flank the Spawn advanced without orders their massive wings beating furiously as they raced up to valley to attack the loyalist marines.  Meanwhile Sokarn the obliterator morphed his arm into an autocannon and spewed fire at the onrushing imperial phalanx.  His heavy shots glancing hard upon the rhino's glancing them but failing to stop the relentless Imperial advance.
Sgt Surnov saw the enemy force before him and ordered an all out advance.  His sternguard followers dismounted their rhino on his left flank as the other two raced towards the stygians, pintle mounted bolters blazing away.  The Sternguard quickly changed magazines to poisoned rounds and took aim at the Stygian spawn racing towards them.  Bolter fire ripped through the air and hammered into the spawn.  The Sternguard marines watched as the poisoned rounds caused the spawn to thrash even worse than the impact of the shots until they fell in a heap dead and unmoving.  The Guardians had scored first blood and the threat to their left flank had been eliminated.

special thanks go to Chris Edstrom for his help preparing this battle report


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