Strategic Update

A Strategic Update (Events of 742.M41) – Part 3

Warhammer 40K blog

An Inquisition team seek answers to the destruction of the Perdide Colony.

Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” — Sun Tzu, “The Art of War.”
* * *

Dryillian Quarantine Zone

Since their devastating defeat on the world of Tophet in 741.M41, the mysterious xenos known as the Necrons have mostly avoided major conflict with Imperial forces. But the past year did see hit-and-run attacks of convenience that proved the xeno threat remained.

On 6 113 742.M41, the Imperial cruiser, Golden Drake, was the victim of an ambush by a dozen small Necon warships during a routine patrol of the Vorta System.

Lasting less than three hours, the fighting saw the Golden Drake damaged and four Necron escort-class vessels destroyed. Ultimately, the xenos withdrew, and the Imperial cruiser made its way safely to Melinoe Naval Base, the main Imperial Navy outpost near the quarantine zone.  (Necrons ambush Imperial cruiser)

Although not widely report, the Perdide Colony, a small mining community of 12,000 Imperial citizens, also was destroyed—with authorities saying the destruction was the result of a Necron attack.

In mid-742.M41, a team of Ordo Xenos investigators arrived at the colony after receiving an Imperial Navy report of the destruction. Only blackened ruins and ash remained of the colony.

But investigators found ample evidence that the weaponry used in the attack matched that of other attacks by the Necrons, although no xeno remains—and no human survivors—were found. (Perdide Colony wiped out by Necrons)

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A mob of orks search for loot in  the Acheaon Suburbs of Hegira’s capital city.

Hegira Campaign

After years of titanic battles, the ork invasion on Hegira settled into an eerie calm in 742.M41—a reprieve for Imperial military commanders, but one that also was both perplexing and ominous.

That’s not to say there wasn’t fighting. The warlike greenskin invaders constantly were testing the Imperial defenses, and dozens of battles were fought. But none involved more than 20,000 to 50,000 xenos, and none were of strategic value or purpose. 

Imperial surveillance satellites did detect significant fighting deep in ork-held territory, which led some strategists to suggest that tribal conflicts or political infighting was distracting the xenos from focusing on the planet’s human defenders.

That appears to be as good a reason as any to explain why Susa City—the key to control of the desert moon—did not face a single major assault during the year.

In fact, the city’s defenses only dealt with a handful of raids, probes, and aggressive patrols. The largest of these, involving less than 1,000 greenskins, was a limited attack on the Acheaon Suburbs on the city’s west side.

An aggressive defense by Imperial guardsmen stymied the ork probe and, after an uneasy night of intermittent fighting, the orks finally withdrew. (Orks probe defenses of Acheaon Suburbs)

A more comical result occurred during a platoon-sized skirmish in the same area. Apparently conducting a looting mission, a mob of orks led by a “Weirdboy”—an ork psyker—was challenged by a patrolling platoon. The Weirdboy managed to destroy one squad of guardsmen by teleporting himself and a group of orks into the midst of the soldiers and catching them by surprise.

But, later, the xeno psyker’s powers failed him when he attempted to teleport into a narrow alley to attack the Imperial platoon commander—and instead materialized with half his body inside a nearby stone wall. Spooked by this disaster, the rest of the ork mob fled. (Enemy patrols clash in Acheaon Suburbs)

Warhammer 40K blog

The walled compound of Ma Sophia’s Farm, where a half dozen families held off mutant raiders for three days.

Morkai Campaign

A backwater planet, the desert world of Morkai rarely garners much attention—and that was particularly true this past year.

Although there were rumors of intermittent fighting between Imperial and rebel forces, no major military actions were reported by Imperial authorities.  In fact, only two small skirmishes garnered even slight notice by the general citizenry.

The first fight occurred when a patrol of militiamen from the hive city of Charcharoth entered an abandoned village and stumbled into a band of desert raiders.

A few well-drilled volleys sent the bandits fleeing into the wastes of the desert—a minor victory that was widely publicized by a planetary government eager to reassure the citizenry that all was well. (Troops clash with mutants in abandoned Morkai village)

The second incident garnered interest only because the heroism of the combatants caught the imagination of urban citizens—a story of a rugged band of rural farmers defending their isolated homes from mutant raiders.

Dubbed the Battle for Ma Sophia’s Farm, the fight centered on an moisture-collection farming collective where half a dozen families eked out a living. A band of nearly 30 mutant raiders surrounded their walled community and laid siege. 

Three days of fighting ensued, including several attempts to storm the compound walls. Thankfully, heavy casualties convinced the raiders to abandon their siege and seek easier prey elsewhere.

Sadly, however, the farmers had had enough. With a growing mutant revolt under way, isolated farms obviously were too vulnerable to attack. So, reluctantly, the victorious families packed up their belongings and abandoned their homes for the safety of the closest large town.  (Mutants attack Ma Sophia’s farm)

Warhammer 40K blog

An artist’s depiction of the asteroid strike on Daxim III. Astronomers have since advised that the image depicts an asteroid significantly larger than the three-kilometer-wide object that actually devastated the planet.

Other News

Obviously thousands of momentous events occurred across the Corvus Cluster in the past year. But it appears the Adeptus Administratum and Adeptus Militarum have been suppressing the free flow of information to the citizenry. So it’s impossible to discern what other threats, battles, and important events have gone unreported.

That said, a few stories have come to light:

• The colony world of Daxim III was struck by a massive asteroid that devastated the planet’s surface and played havoc with the world’s biosphere. Casualties reportedly were in the billions. (The burning of Daxim III)

• The infamous merchant rogue, Adeon Drake was briefly held by Arbites Enforcers on the planet Tygon after he killed three men in a gunfight in a crowded market square. He was subsequently released with a stern warning to leave the planet. (Adeon Drake narrowly avoids prosecution)

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Speed Freaks race across the desert of Nemea Primus.

• The ork invasion of Nemea Primus made significant gains during the year, with Imperial troops slowly losing ground against the greenskins. (Orks expand hold on Nemea Primus)

• A long-forgotten Feudal Planet, dubbed “Regno Borealis,” was discovered along the edge of the Heart of Darkness. Little is known about the world, but its proximity to the Heart of Darkness suggests that warp-tainted phenomenon is having an impact on the planet’s primitive human population . (Medieval World : Rogno Borealis)

TheGM: That’s all the news for 742.M41. For a number of reasons, particularly a major push by TheGaffer and myself to finish a major desert terrain project, the number of tabletop battles were fewer than previous years. And blog posts were far and few in the last months of the year as the GM prepared for the Shorehammer convention.

But the narrative story of our campaign continues, and we’re hoping 2023—or should we say 743.M41—will see the action pick up a bit. There is so much more we want to explore within the Corvus Cluster.

Click here to return to Part 1.

Click here to return to Part 2.

Click here to see more of the great artwork of Fredrik Eriksson.

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

Categories: Strategic Update

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