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K-50490 is an abondoned world orbiting the star T-50490, which lies just off the Sentinel Worlds in Segmentum Obscurus. Records are sketchy, but it is believed that the world was once a promising mining colony in times before the great Heresy. Little is now known as to the fate of the original Imperial colonists or why they have chosen to abondon the myriad complexes, installations and cities that they have built on the planet, but it is suspected that this is somehow related to the Fall of the Eldar and the birth of the Eye of Terror.
K-50490 is itself an arid world, almost totally desert and with a shrinking ocean (which looks like a lake compared to the land mass). The only habitable region lies half-way to the northern pole (not surprisingly, where the Sea of Plenty - the only large water mass on the planet - lies) and is only about 15,000 square miles, the rest of the world habitiable only by the various indigenous beasts that somehow survive the scorching heat and arid desert environment.
Perhaps the only remarkable thing about K-50490 is the abundance of all kinds of ore and mineral deposits, a fact which prompted its colonization in the first place thousands of years ago. It is this potential wealth of the mines, and the mysterious arrival of the Tau, that made the ensuing conflict inevitable.
The Coming of the Tau
In M41, a large Tau colony fleet was caught in a freak warp storm and literally sucked into the Immaterium. Foreign as the warp is to this young race, a full 80% of the fleet and its crew were destroyed in the initial maelstrom. Of the survivors, a further 95% were either turned insane or suffered debilitating mutations. For an unknown time (some say centuries, others say minutes), the fleet drifted helplessly in the warp until another storm threw it back into real space. The hapless Tau survivors emerged battered and bruised near T-50490. Their ships were damaged beyond repair and they were in a region of space totally alien to them - the star was not even on their charts! With their ships failing, the Tau survivors made for K-50490 (which they named K'ola), where they hastily made planetfall and set up base. There they hoped to wait and be rescued by other Tau, although the likelihood of any Tau ship passing within even a thousand light years was almost zero.
On the Coat Tails of
Unfortunately for the Tau, the space around the Sentinel Worlds was far from deserted. In the wake of the Thirteenth Black Crusade, at least 3 Chaos battle fleets were in the vicinity of K-50490. It was a trivial matter for the Chaos fleets to detect the Tau fleet being flung from the Warp, and all 3 fleets dispatched patrol boats to investigate. When the augurs from the patrol boats reported the rich deposits on K-50490, the Chaos fleets turned and headed for the planet, aiming to garner easy pickings.
Cat and Mouse
This turn of events set the stage for the campaign, as unbeknownst to the Chaos forces, 2 Inquisitorial armies with a supporting Imperial Guard Armored Battleforce had been shadowing their movements, waiting for the right time to strike. When it became clear that the Chaos forces were headed for the undefended K-50490, all prior strategums to cut off the fleets piecemeal were thrown out. It was decided that the Chaos forces were to be denied the planet, with the resources diverted to the Imperium instead.
A fiercely fought space battle between the Imperium and Chaos ensued around K-50490, with neither side gaining the upper hand. Ground forces were landed and established on K-50490, thus starting the campaign to follow.
THE TAU - were led by
the esteemed Ethereal Ang'She. Although they
had no naval assets and were only a shadow of the original force, the
on K-50490 still had extensive ground forces. Fire Warriors were
by Kroot mercenaries, Battlesuits and Hammerheads. The Tau's fortress
hastily thrown up as soon as they detected the approach of the other
MALLEUS - The identity of the Inquisitor leading the Ordo Malleus
is as yet unknown. Its Grey Knights detachment was commanded by Brother
Captain Aernull. Not much is known of this Brother Captain, save that
was once a Librarian with the mysterious Nemesis Legion. The
army is further beefed up by Grey Knights armor, Inqiusitorial
as well as hordes of inducted Imperial Guardsmen.
OF BATTLE OF THE ORDER OF PROMETHIUS - Led by their Canoness
almost the entire fighting force of the Order of Promethius was present
on K-50490. Supporting the battle-hardened battle sisters are scores of
specialized vehicles, such as the Immolator and Exorcists. It is
that the Sisters also brought with them hordes of arco-flagellants as
as penitent engines.
BATTLEGROUP 452, SOVETSKII IMPERIAL GUARD
- Under the command of Colonel Gary Lee, this veteran armored
was fresh from a 2-year rest and refit after fighting non-stop in the
wars. These battle-hardened tank-men are equipped with the very best of
Imperial Armor: Vanquishers, Destroyers, Basilisks, Manticores,
Exterminators and of course, the ubiquitous Leman Russ battle tank. The
452nd was also equipped with the experimental Bakuu War-Walker.
SYMPHONY OF SLAANESH - The roots of this Slaanesh army cannot be traced with any confidence at this time, although there is a rumour that they are almost entirely made up of Fallen Dark Angels (of course, don't say that to a Dark Angel marine, or risk painful death). It is known that the army is led by a Prince of Slaanesh, Lord Raziel. He is known to employ daemons of many shapes and sizes in support of his noise marines, along with Defilers and Predators.
CHILDREN, FORCE OF THE HERALD - This particular traitor detachment
is led by Lucidius, Herald of Slaanesh. Not much is known of Lucidius,
save for unconfirmed reports of prior sightings on the battlefields of
GC shortly after the Thirteenth Crusade. Lucidius is known to favor a
force of noise marines, daemonettes and heavy armored spearhead attacks.
SONS, WAR HOST OF AMUN SETH
- Not much is known of Amun Seth, Prince of Tzeentch. Some say that he
too was a fallen Dark Angel Librarian, while others claim that he was
human to start with, and was really an Eldar Seer from Ulthwe who got
into the clutches of Tzeentch by the promise of unheard-of psyker
This Thousand Sons detachment relies heavily on Thousand Sons space
OF ALAITOC - After a severe mauling by Alaitoc punitive forces led
by Farseer Lahnn, rebel Farseer Dh'anee led
his revolutionary forces far away from Alaitoc to escape the wrath of
Seer Council. It is most unfortunate that the planet they chose to seek
refuge on became the center of attention for so many opposing armies.
The campaign kicked off to a rousing start as the 3 forces in the center clashed with each other. A Sovetskii mechanized grenadier raiding force attacked the Emperor's Children base and were severely punished - the noise marines were prepared and Sovetskii APCs were destroyed as soon as they came into range. Recon Forces of the Emperor's Children and the Eldar set off to raid the Sovestkii Armored Battleforce fortress. Unfortunately for the Eldar, their Recon Force of anti-armor Vypers were hit by a Force 21 sandstorm - all the Vypers crashed with no survivors. Unsupported, the light raiding force of the Emperor's Children only managed to destroy a single Griffon before they were wiped out.
Meanwhile, the Sovetskii's main Conquest Force headed east towards the Eldar base, and were intercepted by the main Eldar army. In a fiercely fought battle, the outnumbered tankers managed to withdraw back to their base in an orderly manner, leaving 2 of their tanks.
The Emperor's Children's main force moved towards the Daemonhunter's fortress, and was intercepted by a larger Daemonhunters army. Although outnumbered, the Chaos forces fought the Ordo Malleus to a standstill, inflicting heavy casualties. All the Grey Knights, including Brother Captain Aernull himself, were seriously wounded in this encounter, and all the Inquisitorial stormtroopers were cut down.
The Sisters of Battle surveyed the abandoned base they annexed, and decided that time needs to be spent to purify and sanctify the site so as to be fit for habitation of the noble battle sisters.
The Thousand Sons, Slaanesh and Tau consolidated their positions, seeking resources and any valuable aritfacts they can find.
The battles in the center continued. With virtually all their recon forces disabled, there were no raids this time. The Sovetskii were to find themselves in the unenviable position of being trapped between 2 opposing forces. Their severely depleted Conquest Force sallied out to recover an abondoned Chemical Plant, only to be met by a superior Emperor's Children invasion army. Outnumbered 2:1, the brave tank-men had no choice but to bottle out, but not before the loss of the detachment commander, Captain Paulus, and his Vanquisher and a Bakuu Walker. This Conquest Force has thus been rendered unoperational and retired to their fortress' workshops for refit.
The renegade Eldar capitalized on their earlier victory and made a full-scale assault on the Sovetskii fortress. After a fierce battle that saw the IG lose even more tanks, Sovetskii forces managed to hold on and drive the Eldar invaders back.
The Thousand Sons, Slaanesh and Tau further consolidated their positions, while the Daemonhunters decided to avoid battles in order to recover from their previous mauling. The Sisters of Battle, having satisfied that their base is now clean and fit for the holy order, moved to capture resources.
Turn 3: Martyrs
In two apparently unrelated battles, the forces of the Daemonhunters and the Sovetskii Armored Battlegroup were driven off K-50490.
The renegade Eldar, now reinforced by vile creations such as Vyper-mounted D-cannons, struck again at the Sovetskii fortress. This time, the beleagured and outnumbered defenders fell to the renewed offensive, the brave tankers fighting to the last battle-cannon shell and to the last man. The desperation of the battle was reflected in actions such as the unidentified tank commander who used his Leman Russ as a gigantic steel-hammer to destroy a Wraithlord by ramming it. But even such valor is futile as by day's end, the proud colours of Armored Battlegroup 452, Sovetskii Imperial Guard were unceremoniously burnt off its mast by heretic fusion guns.
To the north, Brother Captain Aernull rushed his main force back to the Daemonhunters' fortress upon learning that it was about to be assaulted by a large Emperor's Children force. In a one-sided battle, the veteran Emperor's Children crushed the Daemonhunters' army, inflicting 67% casualties on the brave soldiers of the Imperium. The traitor marines then pressed on to their objective, where the small garrison was easily overwhelmed. By day's end, the once sanctified Daemonhunter fortress was defiled with all manner of hideous sigils and icons, not least of which was the Emperor's Children banner flying aloft the fortress keep. Much later, the following note was found on the broken body of an unidentified Inquisitor at the battlefield:
Lessons from a
stint in a campaign:
1] Try to use an army you're familiar with. Helps with longevity.
2] But if you only play & see an average of one game every 2 weeks [vs some ppl's ave 3-6 games/wk] and ITCHing to try out a new army
[hey, 40k is abt having fun too], try to keep it to ONE codex, instead of 2. That just confuses you and tests the DM's patience.
3] Try not to start at the edge of the map, surrounded by 2-3 hostiles. Other ppl can randomly roll good positions away from others, why can't you.
4] If you're surrounded by 2-3 hostiles who can reach you in a turn, try to use armies that doesn't give away so many XP to them [bad for
your allies who have to face vet units after you], and takes lots of RP for you to recuperate.
5] When grabbing land, try to stay out of lines of fire - esp from armies who, fluff wise, WILL clash on or near said piece of land. Getting in the way when you're weak gives XP away [bad for your allies etc], and costs you a lot.
6] When making casualty rolls & invul saves, always stick with 5s and 6s. Others can do it why can't you. Leave the roll of 1s to A&A.
Seeking to even things up for the Imperium, the Sisters of Battle sallied forth towards the Eldar fortress, intending to cripple it in a devastating raid. Unfortunately for the good Sororitas, their punitive force was hit by yet another sandstorm rated at Force 19. All communications with the raiding force was lost, and it is feared that this force has been scattered, lost or destroyed by the storm.
Meanwhile, in orbit around K-50490 the indentured Strike Cruiser St Nickolas engaged its newly-fitted cloaking device in order to manouver discreetly into position to lend fire support for the Order of Prometheus. The Emperor was not on the good ship's side as the cruiser strayed into a fierce space battle. A Thousands Sons cruiser flotilla had ambushed an Eldar destroyer flotilla dispatched to seek & destroy the St Nickolas. The outgunned Eldar were utterly destroyed in the battle, and as the last Eldar destroyer exploded, huge chunks of debris hit the cloaked St Nickolas, setting off a fusion reaction that tore her apart from stem to stern.
The other factions continued to consolidate their holdings, with the exception of the traitor marines of the Symphony of Slaanesh, who threw a week-long orgy to celebrate the birthday of Feefee, Lord Raziel's pet hound.
Turn 4: The
With banners proclaiming their faith to the Emperor, and chants and choirs filling the air with hatred for the heretic, the Sisters of Battle of the Order of Prometheus struck at the Eldar main fortress with the zeal only such as they could muster.
The Eldar committed both their operational armies in the defence of the fortress, but to no avail. A lesser Seer led the first line of defense, and while succeeding to destroy most of the Sisters' transports and Immolator, the Eldar were utterly destroyed. The Seer himself barely escaped the battle alive, thanking his gods and his rune armor for deflecting no less than 9 direct hits on his person. Rolling forward, the battle Sisters came upon the Eldar's second and main defense line, and despite a hail of heretical firepower and the good Canoness narrowly missing being mashed by a Wraithlord, the alien fortress fell to the victorious forces of the Imperium. Although closely fought, the fall of the Eldar fortress was a serious blow to the Eldar, who practically lost 2 armies in the battle.
Meanwhile, the other factions continued to consolidate their positions. Most notably, the Tau appear to be cherry-picking the territories they invest in, no doubt due to the trickery and wizardry of the upstart's technology. The Symphony of Slaanesh, party over, moved north, continuing their erratic pattern.
Turn 5: Invasion
the West! (and a dream too far)
Hordes of armored female mon-keigh pour onto the battlefield with burning hatred in their eyes, supported by two hideously crude machines spewing smoke. As they advanced, their leader and a few of their number were flung into the air as their clumsy footfalls set off the hidden mines in glorious bursts of fire. Pinned to the ground, the mon-keigh infantry halted while their two machines rushed forward towards the objective. Where K'at, with his aeons of wisdom, and the farseer, with his nine lives, stood waiting. With unerring ease, K'at dispatched the two machines one at a time, and thus 140pts defeated 1523pts.
And then Farseer Dh'anee woke up with sadness in his alien eyes. Finally, too late, the vision of what could have been were revealed to him. Alas, he had chosen not to fight that day. Ah, well.
Meanwhile in the West, the frosty peace between Lord Raziel and Lord Amun Seth was broken as Raziel's armies poured into Thousand Sons territory. The following was intercepted coming from the Thousand Son's comm-link:
The vile so-called Symphony of Slaanesh under their puppet prince Raziel and his gay pooch shall learn the error of their ways.
We of the Tzeentch have respectfully, and with great effort, avoided any conflict with Raziel by carefully circumnavigating their territories. However, last Saturday's invasion of of Holy Tzeentch Territory has proven that the dog Raziel is not to be trusted.
We shall reclaim what is rightfully ours! The armies of the Thousand Sons will march and liberate the lands fallen to Raziel, and the war will persecuted with extreme prejudice.
K-50490 is now truly ablaze.
Turn 6: A World
It seems like the whole world was ablaze, as throughout the habitable regions of K-50490, war raged in full earnest. The Emperor's Children moved deep against the Sisters of Battle. In two large battles, scores of brave Sororitas were sent to meet their Emperor. Hideously beautiful she-daemons set upon the armed female guardians of the Imperium, with the daemons slaughtering their human counterparts on every occassion. It was only by the skin of their teeth and a miscommunicated order on the Slaaneshi warriors' part that one of the invaded territories was spared.
To the south, the Tau finally took to battle. Intending to exploit the Eldar's apparent weaknesses, they sent forth a mighty conquest force into Eldar territory - only to be beaten back with appaling losses - even their ethereal leader was severely wounded. Tau raiding forces hit upon an Emperor's Children facility. The veteran defenders were fully-prepared and utterly wiped out the Tau raiders, down to the last alien warrior.
A Symphony of Slaanesh detachment ordered to seize territory unwittingly put themselves in the path of a vengeful invading Thousand Sons army. Amidst the gun-flashes that lit up the night sky, only a single Slaaneshi squad survived the massacre.
Korne was truly pleased.
Turn 7: The Fall
The betrayed Thousand Sons pushed forth their wrath in a devastating two-pronged assault on Lord Raziel's fortress. The Thousand Son High Sorcerer Lord Charybdiis led his fresh detachment in the first wave of attacks, going head-to-head with Lord Raziel himself, along with his host of maddened Symphony warriors. In a bloody 2-hour battle, Raziel's force was wiped out to the man, the disgraced Lord himself lying in a pool of his own blood on the battlefield, his armor and his self punctured by countless bolter craters. Lord Amun Seth himself led the final onslaught into the traitor stronghold, wiping out all resistance in the doomed fortress.
Meanwhile, a Tau battle force invading an Eldar resource station was driven back with appalling losses, including the force Shas'el himself. The Tau fared better in their invasion of the Eldar fortress. The ill-led and ill-equipped Eldar were brushed aside by the superior Tau forces and by day's end, all Eldar had fled the stricken world.
The Emperor's Children suffered some minor setbacks in two separate battlefields. Their invasion of the Sister's of Battle forward fortress was thwarted, as intrepid Arbites fought off hedious daemons and held on doggedly to their fortress. Even so, many Battle Sisters were slain on the field. The Slaanesh attack on the Tau suffered a similar setback as the numerically superior Tau held on stubbornly to the objective.
The war has boiled down
4 surviving factions, all with their own unique strengths and
Who will emerge truimphant?
a decisive manouver, veteran Emperor's Children armies pummel the Tau
in their newly-won fortress. Hard-fought as it were, the battle for the
former Imperial Guard fortress was largely one-sided as droves of Tau
Warriors, Battle Suits and allied Kroot were mercilessly cut down by
Slaanesh warriors. While the Emperor's Children suffered neglible
the fresh Tau garrison was practically destroyed, its survivors
in a pell-mell route.
Battle Sisters of the Order of Prometheus capitalized on the confusion brought by the Tau offensive, and advanced deep into Emperor's Children territory. Indeed, the vanguard of the Sisters of Battle reached as far west as the forward pickets guarding the Emperor's Children northern fortress.
But the most ground was gained by the Thousand Sons. Advancing rapidly over a broad front, Thousand Sons detachments quickly over ran Tau pickets in no man's land. While the lightning-fast invasion captured some Tau territory, the most damage was done well away from the front lines. Thousand Sons special forces infiltrated deep into Tau territory, and using sorcerous trickery and devices, the Tzeentch elite warriors easily subdued rear-echelon Tau warriors and captured substantial resources, which will no doubt be diverted to cause of the Sorcerers.
It has finally come to this. War has been joined by the two largest factions on K-50490. The end is nigh. Or is it?
Turn 9: The
Beginning of the End
The Thousand Sons offensive drove straight East, meeting Tau resistance all along the line. Lord Amun Seth, Prince of Tzeentch, himself led the northenmost tip of the advance. Near a Tau Large Ore Mine (3-6), Amun Seth and a fresh Thousand Sons army under Lord Toriamos clashed with 2 Tau forces. Toriamos went in first in a bunker assault, but were held to a standstill by much smaller Tau forces. Amun Seth led his personal army in the second assault, and wiped out the Tau first line of defence for zero losses. Pressing on towards the Ore Mine, Amun Seth's force came head-to-head with a full-strength Tau battlegroup. In a fierce battle, the Thousands not only seized the objective, but also destroyed 75% of the Tau battleforce for the loss of squad Jembalangus and their Rhino. In this particular battle, the veterans in Amun Seth's force came to shine as they effortlessly brushed aside Tau resistance.
On Amun Seth's southern flank, CF2 under Lord Charybdiis assaulted a forward Tau fortress. The Tau manned their first line of defenses with smaller occupation forces and Charybdiis' veterans wiped out 2 of these forces for the loss of one Rhino. With the crippling and loss of so many battleforces, the Tau high command ordered a reinforcing full-strength Tau battleforce to disengange and retreat to better defensive positions. By day's end Lord Charybdiis' personal banner was aloft at the Tau fortress.
On the southern tip of the Thousand Sons advance, Ahriman himself led the assault on another large Tau Ore Mine. Boasting the Thousand Sons' only Land Raider dispatched to K-50490, the high sorcerer's army encountered no resistance as the installation had been hastily abandoned by the Tau. The Tau battleforce sent to stop him was also ordered to disengange at the very last minute.
Thousand Sons special forces infiltrated deeper into enemy territory and discovered an operational Tau airstrip. However, confused orders led to the special forces rading a different installation, sparing the airstrip from sabotage.
Meanwhile, to the north, the Emperor's Children renewed their offensive. Their attack was met by a refreshed and rearmed Sisters of Battle force. The battle was closely fought at first, but when the Emperor's Children broke through the line, all hell broke loose, and the Battle Sisters were either routed off the field or destroyed.
As the week ended, it looks like Chaos may just truimph again.
During the following week, Tau High Command decided that the situation was untenable. As their leader Ang-She puts it in his own tongue, "Ta' boe lei tah hunn lo" (which loosely translates into, "in light of the prevailing circumstances and the Thousand Sons' mastery of the battlefield and seemingly endless reserves, and with veteran Emperor's Children bringing up the flank, there appears to be no choice but to give up the fight"). Thousand Sons' battlefield losses had been neglible, and were immediately replaced, while Tau armies lost major chunks of their forces (indeed, entire detachments were wiped out). Likewise, the Emperor's Children's small battle losses were also being replaced immediately, while the Sisters of Battle struggle to maintain a respectable force.
The Tau issued a general
withdrawal order, and what forces available were to make their way to
the home fortress for immediate evacuation. Given that only a handful
of Tau starships were operational, there really wasn't much hope for
the hapless aliens. At any rate, most of the advanced Tau forces were
cut-off by advancing Thousand Sons armies. In particular, two large Tau
detachments were left stranded in their mined defensive positions as
every avenue of retreat was shut by both the Emperor's Children and
Thousand Sons. A third full-strength Tau army was intercepted by lead
elements of Amun Seth himself. The fourth major surviving Tau army
managed to return to the home fortress, fighting a running battle with
Ahriman's personal detachment which led the pursuit. A heroic rearguard
action by the Tau ensured that all serviceable starships were loaded up
and left the planet. Unfortunately, space constraints meant that the
Tau only managed to lift-off with around 540 warriors. Of this, a
further 325 were killed when their ship was destroyed in the dash
through the Chaos blockade. Of those that remained on-planet, most
surrendered after a token show of opposition, the greater number
preferring to surrender to the Thousand Sons rather than risk the
depravations of Slaanesh.
Left to themselves, the
Sisters of Battle vowed to fight to the last woman. Which they did.
While Thousand Sons detachments cut-off any possible lines of retreat,
rerinforced and re-armed Emperor's Children stormed the warrior women's
fortresses, cutting all in their path. It is rumoured that one of these
detachments was led by Lucius himself.
Mopping up operations
continued for the next few months, during which isolated small pockets
of resistance by die-hard warriors were blasted to oblivion by massed
ordnance and lance strikes. The Emperor's Children gave recognition of
the Thousand Sons' suzereignity of the planet K-50490, in return for
significant holdings on the planet. Immediately after the Tau
Thousand Sons' planetary headquarters on K-50490 broadcasted the
Saleem (left) and Dhany before an important battle that decided the fate of the Eldar's original fortress. Dhany's Eldar fought bravely but tended to have the wrong detachment at the wrong place at the wrong time :)
Saleem's Sisters of Battle
were severely disadvantaged when he had to skip Turn 1 for various
personal reasons. Also, the loss of Gary's IG and Ainul's Daemonhunters
early in the campaign denied him of true Imperium allies.
We are still looking for pics
of the other generals: Gary, Ainul, Ang
and Azlan, as well as the DM himself, the great overlord farseer
Jon before his first battle against the Thousand Sons. The Thousand Sons had always intended to leave his Slaanesh forces alone. Jon had to break the peace by moving into Thousand Sons' territory. The resulting wave of Rubric marines destroyed all of Jon's opposition in 2 campaign turns. Here, the Thousand Sons and Jon's Slaanesh meet in a one-sided night-fight.
Rizal (standing) and Saleem before a devasting bunker assault. Rizal's EC were by far the most experienced armies, having fought in every single campaign turn. The scariest units in the EC armies were in fact their daemonettes, who at their height gained so much veteran skills that none could opposed them in close combat.