Strategic Update

A Strategic Update (Events of 740.M41) – Part 3

Warhammer 40K blog

Early control of the Nisa Runs ultimately was decided by a contest between the Kastelan Robots and ramshackle walkers built by the mutants. The walkers were destroyed after a short but violent fight. Alas, the Imperials ultimately retreated from the ruins.

Mutants go to war on Morkai

In the first half of 740.M41, an increase in terrorist activity in the hive cities, and a growing number of raids against towns and nomadic tribes in the wastelands, signaled that Morkai’s teeming mutant population was becoming a major threat to civil order.

Open warfare broke out in the latter half of the year, when the Council of Electors decided to deploy troops in the Thar Desert Basin. It was the Electors’ plan to build a forward base in this region—and deal with the source of discontent: the mutant-held ruins of Ungolath. Alas, the mutants raised an army to challenge the advance of these troops.,

Mutants drive Imperial troops from Nisa Ruins (3 772 740.M41) —The 17th PDF Battalion arrives at the Nisa Ruins to build a forward base for Imperial troops, but it finds the ruins under mutant control. Launching an attack, the 17th seizes the ruins but is forced to withdraw as constant mutant ambushes threaten the Imperials’ supply lines.

Mutants seize Madad’za Channel on Morkai (3 782 740.M41)—Fighting renews a few days later. As the 17th attempts to regroup, a larger mutant force infiltrates the battalion’s base camp and launches a series of attacks. Relying on their vast knowledge of desert fighting, the mutants appear out of nowhere, attack, then disappear into the desert—each attack wearing at the morale and combat effectiveness of the troops.

Mutants wipe out Imperial force in Thar Basin (3 813 749.M1)—Falling back to a region held by friendly nomadic tribesmen, the 17th Battalion hopes for a respite—but it doesn’t get it. A yet larger mutant army falls upon the Imperial camp, hammering at its perimeter and even slipping assault troops through the lines and into the middle of the camp.

A pict of Lt. Col Amhud Hazmad in dress uniform, just before departing for the Thar Desert Basin.

After these assault troops overrun the battalion’s HQ, and Lt. Colonel Hamzah is killed in action, the demoralized men of the 17th break and run for their lives. The battalion simply ceases to exist.

This defeat stuns the planet’s population, and the Council of Electors finally accepts that mutant unrest is an existential threat to Imperial rule. A larger military expedition, led by a Sub-Maniple of the Charcharoth Home Guard, is ordered to retake the Thar Desert Basin.

Mutants continue advance on Morkai (3 834 740.M41)—The Home Guard advances on the Azari Oasis, only to  meet an equally large host of mutants. Organizing his troops into a tight square, the Home Guard commander, Dominus Kazzim-Aleph-1, begins a cautious but steady advance on the mutants. With no opportunity to launch their devastating ambushes, the mutants are forced to fight openly, and the heretics and traitors suffer severe casualties.

Despite this success, the Home Guard is plagued by a series of ambushes on its lines, and Aleph-1 deems it necessary to fall back and regroup. He deploys his Sub-Maniple to the Hazaha Wadi, the last region of the Thar Desert Valley that blocks the mutants from advancing and threatening Charcharoth itself.

Home Guard defeats mutants on Morkai (3 863 740.M41)—Having built a sizable communication array in the wadi, the Skitarii commander responds decisively when the mutants threaten to destroy it. Organizing his troops into a tight box formation, with his elite Skitarii in the center, Aleph-1 advances directly at the mutants. Finally, the Imperium wins the day, suffering minor casualties while inflicting devastating casualties on the mutants.

Military action dies down (final months of 740.M41)—The Charcharoth Home Guard spends the rest of the year constructing a heavily fortified base in the southernmost corner of the Thar Desert Basin. The rest of the basin remains in mutant hands, but after the losses suffered in the recent campaign, the mutants’ lust for battle seems dimmed.

Necron menace alarms Imperial command

Hostile activity by the mysterious Necron species was not limited to the confines of the Dryillian Quarantine Zone. Several Imperial-held worlds outside the zone are attacked, as are a number of Imperial Navy ships. This development has the Imperial High Command worried that the military situation in the region may escalate to calamitous levels.

Necrons make gains on Tophet (6 360 740.M41)—Supported by heavy armor, the Necrons launch a new offensive on the industrial world of Tophet. Imperial forces deploy significant armor assets themselves, but the superior technology of the cybernetic xenos wins the day.

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Imperial troops battle Necron Wraiths in hand-to-hand combat on Tophet.

Subsector dies after visit by space hulk (Early 740.M41)–More than 250 million Imperial citizens living in the Seraka Subsector are presumed dead after the appearance of the space hulk, The Shard of Damnation. The once-proud hive cities of the subsector’s planets are left in ruins. (It is believed that Necron structures dot the surface of the space hulk.)

Myopolis holds its own against Necron threat (Early 740.M41)—Although few details are made available by the Administratum, official reports indicate that the Adeptus Mechanicus is “holding the line” against the Necrons on the industrialized world of Myopolis. Ominously, the latest word is that the xenos are reinforcing their invasion force.

Strange structures spotted on Stigmata (Early 740.M41)—Before its destruction by Necron anti-air weaponry, a stealth reconnaissance craft reports that hundreds of xeno structures have appeared on the surface of the quarantined world of Stigmata. This confirms that the once-dormant Necron planet has fully awoken and is committed to a long-term period of activity.

Imperial ships destroyed by Necrons (6 489 740.M41)—Finding Necron vessels in the uninhabited Hawkins System, Imperial Flotilla 74-A8 disobeys a general order to avoid conflict with Necron naval forces. Launching an attack, the Imperial ships are is quickly destroyed by the xenos.

Necrons slaughter populace of NuDawn (6 507 740.M41)—Operating outside the quarantine zone, Necron vessels enter the Vorta System and land troops on the lightly populated world of NuDawn. The planet’s entire population disappears, with the exception of several thousand corpses.

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A pict-capture of the unexplained naval bombardment of Murella’s capital city.

Ominous reports from across the Cluster

Outside the major war zones, Imperial authorities confronted a variety of other threats and challenges:

Orks smash Imperial Navy in Sculptor System ( Early 740.M41)—Ork warships launch a series of attacks on Imperial Navy patrols and destroy or capture a disturbing number of vessels. In one action, 13 Imperial ships are destroyed, the single greatest loss of ships in the 20-year history of Fleet Corvus.

Blood Wolves raid shadow world of Volana (6 183 740.M41—Thousands of colonists are slaughtered by traitor Astartes before the Planetary Defense Force (PDF) is mobilized. Attacked by overwhelming numbers, the Blood Wolves withdraw with hundreds of prisoners.

Imperial Navy bombards Murella capital (6 478 740.M41)—For reasons still unexplained by Imperial authorities, a flotilla of Imperial warships appear in orbit over the industrial world of Murella and conducts a massive lance strike on the planet’s capital city.

Fate of Mograin Crusade still unclear—There has been no communications with the Varrenshall Sector—also known as the Burning Frontier—for nearly 18 months, and Imperial authorities reportedly are beside themselves with worry.

Tau ambush Imperial ships near Dar Sai (3 901 740.M41)–Imperial Navy Patrol 05-A, consisting of two cruisers and four escort ships, is largely destroyed by a Tau flotilla.

Click here to return to Part 2 of this strategic update.

Click here to return to the beginning.

The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our gaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.

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