“To see the heretical scum flee in defeat was a glorious sight to behold. It was also a tragic sight to see any of their number avoid the Emperor’s justice.“—Captain Alaric Galba, commander of the 1st Company of the Knights of Altair
* * *
Imperial Voxcast (6 664 742.M41)—Loyalist and traitor forces clashed in the city of Diaspar today in a bloody fight that saw traitor Astartes of the Death Guard repulsed with heavy losses.
The attack—the fourth launched against the city this week—began at 05:57, just before dawn. A large column of traitor armor advanced up the city’s Primarch Boulevard, while Death Guard warriors and heretical cultists advanced on foot to the north through the narrow streets of the city’s outskirts.
The Death Guard were confronted by elements of the1st and 3rd Companies of the Knights of Altair. These loyalist Astartes drew first blood in the early minutes of the battle, when a Predator tank fired upon the Death Guard column and destroyed a Vindicator tank.
Over the course of the next hour, the Death Guard continued their advance, while at the same time trading fire with a line of loyalist tanks. Both sides suffered casualties, but the tanks of the Knights of Altair proved far superior in accuracy. By 07:00, the only survivor of the Death Guard’s armored column was a Predator tank that had stopped, taken up position behind some rubble, and traded fire with the loyalist Astartes.
Bereft of armored transport, and confronted by powerful loyalist tanks, those Death Guard that survived the destruction of their transports rushed into the narrow alleys of the buildings on either side of the boulevard. Safely in cover, they advanced toward the Knights’ position.
A kilometer to the north, the Knights responded to the Death Guard attack with an armored advance of their own. Led by a massive Land Raider, “Tide of Wrath,” this mechanized column moved up the wide Silurian Avenue in an attempt to outflank the traitor forces.
Traitor resistance was strong. At one point, loyalist Astartes confronted a monstrous daemon-tainted construct known as a Defiler. A six-legged, heretical walker—bellowing black smoke from its engine and broadcasting warp-tainted screams over a loudspeaker—the Defiler crawled over buildings like a spyder as it sought to close with the Knights.
Well aware of the walker’s massive power claws, the Knights of Altair opened fire with every available weapon as soon as the mechanical monster was in line of sight. The Defiler withstood tremendous damage until a lascannon beam penetrated a gap in the walker’s front armor and left it a burning hulk in the street.
Monsters in the Center
It was well that Astartes—and not mere-mortal guardsmen—were engaged in the fighting. In an attempt to penetrate the Imperial lines, the Death Guard attempted to infiltrate the center of the Imperial line by advancing down the narrow alleys and small roads that winded through the city’s older residential neighborhoods.
Leading the attack was a Helbrute, a number of Chaos Spawn, and a horde of insane cultists, supported by two Obliterators—traitor Astartes whose warp-tainted bodies had melded with their heavy weapons.
This force advanced quickly into the city before encountering Evander the Daemon Slayer, the most ancient and revered hero still serving the Knights of Altair. Entombed in a Contemptor Dreadnought more than five millennia ago, this ancient hero stood alone for a time against the mighty traitor horde.
The first to face Evander was a squad of traitor Astartes with jetpacks. The dreadnought killed them in an instant, blasting some with his multi-melta and crushing others with his powerfists.
Yet this traitor attack was only the beginning—an early ploy to buy time for the Helbrute to advance without being fired upon. As Evander fought the last survivors of the Death Guard Astartes, the Helbrute burst out of an alley and charged the Knights’ hero. The sound of the two behemoth warriors meeting was heard across the battleground. Blows were exchanged, but the thick armor protecting both warriors was not easily penetrated.
Skill vs. Madness
An assault squad of Knights raced to the scene, seeking to assist their ancient brother, but the two dreadnoughts were locked in combat. Still, their arrival was fortuitous. Two Chaos Spawn—abominations of nature—attempted to join the fighting, and the Astartes used their bolters to end the threat.
As the two dreadnoughts continued their fight uninterrupted, it became clear that each fought in an entirely different style. The Helbrute attacked mindlessly, although with a ferocity that seemed impossible to stand against. Meanwhile, Evander moved with a grace and precision that defied the bulk of his massive dreadnought armor, sidestepping many of the Helbrute’s blows while launching fast counterblows upon the traitor.
In the end, Evander emerged triumphant. Sidestepping a swing of the Helbrute’s power fist, the ancient hero shoved his power fist into the face of the traitor, vaporized its helm, and ended its tortured existence.
Click here to read Part 2 of this battle report.
The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our gaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.
Categories: Dozaria Campaign
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