echecs16.info Theory SIEGE OF VRAKS SECOND EDITION PDF

SIEGE OF VRAKS SECOND EDITION PDF

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If this is breaking any rules that I'm not aware of, please let me know and I'll remove this post. Anyway, I'd like to take a look at the rules. 2 - Second Edition - Adeptus Astartes - Overview (WH40K) Metal Boxes** My Overview Siege of Vraks Second Edition Review Forge World Imperial Armor Go. Imperial Armour Apocalypse 2nd edition (5ed).pdfJan M Imperial Armour Vol 5 2nd ed The Siege of echecs16.info M.

Although no exact figures remain available, it was believed that the population of Vraks Prime was some 8,, people and all of them now had to be considered Traitors and manpower for the Apostate Cardinal's army. Quality varied greatly in the militia, from well-trained and well-equipped troops who possessed fanatical morale to an undisciplined mob of half-trained conscripts. The best Vraksian troops were the Disciples of Xaphan. This elite cadre of troops were the Cardinal's own men, hand-picked by his Ecclesiarchical representatives for their loyalty to him. Many had prior military experience.

Volume One - Second Edition: Imperial Guard[ edit ] With 6th Edition out the door and no Imperial Guard Codex expected anytime soon, Forge World released an update to Volume One which includes updated rules for all of the tanks and super-heavy vehicles available to the Imperial Guard. The Armoured Battlegroup army list Leman Russ tanks as troops! Volume Twelve - The Fall of Orpheus[ edit ] The Orpheus Sector turns out to be home or, next-door to several Tomb Worlds , and the Necrons of the Maynarkh Dynasty aren't interested in sharing, especially since they've gotten an especially-nasty case of Flayer Syndrome which is to say, they like to cut humans up and eat them, despite being robots.

The Imperium calls in the Minotaurs and Death Korps of Krieg when all the shit hits the fan, who barely manage to fight them off. By which we means humans were curbstomped anyways, but actually managed to evacuate some forces and dealt some damage in return - before that battle Necrons left no survivers to tell the tale.

It should be noted that this requires an epic space battle that shows that Necron spaceships are still just as overpowered as they were in Battlefleet Gothic.

Imperials were driven off most of the sector, but managed to keep some ground, and are planning to reclaim their soil in a distant bright future when the Imperium wouldn't be in such deep shit as it is now. The Death Korps gets a new Assault Brigade army list which is very similar to the Siege Brigade army list, with a number of somewhat-important differences -- see our tactica , whereas the Necrons get the Dark Harvest quasi-army list; it has some changes to units including Necron Lords and Lychguard , and Flayed Ones can be taken as Troops, but most of the "new" units can be taken for the main book as well.

Those new units include the Night Shroud , a new Cronssant with a black-hole bomb; a Tesseract Ark, basically a Catacomb Command Barge that also has a black-hole bomb; the Tomb Sentinel, a new Tomb Stalker variant with a big old gun; and updates for the already-released minis, like the Tomb Stalker and Canoptek Acanthrites.

The Minotaurs also get a few new characters. The Elysian Drop Troops also got a new army list in this book, but it's not really that great. Forge World left in the rules for Tau space vehicles, and even gave them a fancy " Battlefleet Gothic " stamp of approval, even though their Battlefleet Gothic and other Specialist Games products had been discontinued.

This is especially surprising because the missions that involved other Specialist Games products, namely the Epic and Kill Team missions, were either converted into conventional Warhammer 40, games or, in one case, removed. As a nod to the rarity of the latter vehicles in the 41st millennium, all of these units have the "Relic of the Armoury" rule; a primary detachment of Space Marines can only take one unit with that rule unless a Master of the Forge or whoever the chapter's equivalent "Keeper of Relics" is is present, while a secondary detachment only gets to take one if it's being led by a Keeper of Relics.

Volume Four - Second Edition: The Anphelion Project[ edit ] Relatively similar to its original counterpart, but it adds some more characters to the Red Scorpions, an army list for Detachment D, rules for Zone Mortalis games, and revised rules for the FW Tyranid superheavies, including a new unit in the Dimachaeron think a bigger, uglier Lictor.

It also updates the Chaos Renegades lists introduced in the Vraks trilogy we have a tactica. In fact, they also sell a bundle of this volume with volumes 5, 6, and 7 for just 30 pounds more than IA13 itself. They say it's so that Chaos players can get the full history and full campaign rules of the Siege of Vraks, though it's probably also to shift the last of their Vraks books now that they are fully superseded.

The Siege of Vraks[ edit ] An unnumbered volume which combines the lore from all three Siege of Vraks books and contains Vraks-specific characters, units, and army rules for the Death Korps of Krieg and Renegades and Heretics. Presumably, it was left unnumbered because calling a book "Volume Five, Six, and Seven - Second Edition" would start to look like a license plate.

The Doom of Mymeara[ edit ] Another unnumbered volume, though unlike with Siege of Vraks, removing the number was strictly unnecessary as the original book only consisted of one volume, so its really just an update rather than a consolidation. It provides revised rules for pretty much everything in the original volume, bringing the standard up a considerable notch.

Rules for all of the special characters were redone for better or for worse, and the Eldar Corsairs were given a massive overhaul without making them into something unrecognisable. Rules were also given for all of Forgeworld's Craftworld Eldar gear, and one brand new addition that wasn't in the original was rules for customising your own Craftworld, giving you a formation that let you choose your combination of traits.

Fires of Cyraxus[ edit ] An upcoming volume, also unnumbered because apparently GW lost count of how many IA books they've made now. Enemy losses had also been heavy, especially in armoured vehicles. All along the frontline, attacks that should have weakened the enemy only seemed to have emboldened him. Enemy defences had been organised, and now the second defence line would be much more difficult to crack.

A Gorgon -borne assault through artillery fire in sector After the sudden rush of the breakthrough and the crisis of the 1 st Korps, the advancing regiments of the remaining three korps were ordered to halt. Instead of a headlong rush, the Krieg regiments would approach the task at hand like they did the first line, by slow attrition.

The leading infantry companies and Atlas Excavators were called forwards, to dig the trenchworks all over again, always forwards, yard by yard they would close in. The enemy lines would be approached slowly, under the cover of artillery fire. Soon the Van Meersland Wastes were criss-crossed with a spidery network of trenches, which, day after day, grew into a labyrinth. M41, the 88 th Siege Army again committed itself to the offensive.

An all-out assault was launched by no less than six entire regiments. After hours of saturation bombardment the Krieg guardsmen would surge forward to attack the enemy's front line, trenches, defence lines or inter-connected bunkers. In most placed the attack was stalled, leaving the dead lying in piles across no-man's land.

In some places the assault succeeded and the attackers occupied the defender's positions, only for the attack to then stall under the counter-barrage as the enemy's pre-sighted guns unleashed an accurate storm of fire, isolating the attackers in their new positions.

The enemy would then counter-attack before the assault troops could be reinforced, as the artillery storm raged unabated. The sudden riposte would drive the Krieg guardsmen back. The waves of Krieg infantry would crash in, only to be repulsed, like the ebb and flow of the tides. This remorseless cycles of abortive offensives went on, each time the attack would be stalled, and the next day the attack had to be widened, to take in a neighbouring sector and eliminate its flanking fire.

Always the gains were negligible. Over the months, hundreds of attacks were made, but there was no breakthrough. Another years passed in stalemate. In the north, the 1 st Korps was finally reinforced by an influx of freshly-arrived troops from Krieg. They continued to push their trenchline forwards. The enemy continued to skirmish and harass, but without the protection of their deep bunkers and the reinforced ferrocrete of the defence lines, the Krieg artillery pulverised them.

Slowly the ground lost to counter attack was reclaimed, it took almost six months to recover all the ground lost in just a week. By the end of the year hab-zone one had systematically been pulverised by artillery fire, and then captured with barely a fight. After the attack, the hab-zone's prefabricated dwellings had been wiped off the map. The 1 st Korps was finally in position against the second defence line, and the Citadel was surrounded by a front of km.

During the 88 th Siege Army's advance they had overrun many of Vraks' outer storage facilities which had been stripped bare, the war materials plundered to the last round by the rebels. These war materials had been moved closer to the fortress for protection.

The tireless, pitiless cycle of war ground on like an insatiable beast, consuming men and equipment daily.

The endless artillery duel began again, turning the frontline into a crater field. Another year passed, then another, and the conditions worsened. Wherever the Krieg regiments made any gains, they were soon recaptured by enemy counter-attacks. Both side employed the tactics of constant harassment, which never allowed their opponents across no-man's land a moment of unguarded rest.

The result was that for long periods of time, sometimes years, the front was entirely static. The Krieg commanders wanted a big breakthrough, but for the time being, the war of attrition continued. M41, the th regiment made a large raid in sector Their objective - capture and destroy a defence laser silo, part of Vraks' network of orbital defences. To gain the element of surprise, the attackers went without the usual artillery bombardment that preceded an attack on the ground.

The attack was led by grenadier squads, infiltrating forwards across no-man's land under cover of darkness to quickly seize the silo's surface at dawn to clear the silo, which was mostly underground, protected on the surface by razorwire, a dense minefield, and several reinforced gun emplacements. The grenadier squads set off under cover of a dark and gloomy night, stealthily slipping into no-man's land and crawling from crater to crater through the mud.

As starshell rounds burst, casting its harsh light over them, the grenadiers froze or played dead, disguised as just another corpse.

Once the light faded to earth, the grenadiers continued to slither forwards. One squad stumbled into an enemy patrol, and a firefight erupted, but to the defenders' sentries it was just another nightly clash in no-man's land. The grenadier squads that reached their objective cut the first band of razorwire, clearing a lane for their fellow squads, when a starshell burst overhead.

An eagle-eyed sentry noticed the unfamiliar shapes on the perimeter and shouted out a warning as a Heavy Bolter open fired. The men below were roused from their sleep by their bellowing officers. With little choice, the grenadiers pressed on, scrambling through the wire and rushing forwards to avoid being massacred on the wire.

The nighttime erupted in explosions and heavy weapons fire. By dawn, the silo was shrouded in smoke and dust. Though the mission accomplished order had not been received, the order was given by the Krieg commanders to continue the attack as planned, and so, the infantry companies swarmed up and out into no-man's land. But, unknown to the new attackers, the genadier's attack had gone badly. Soon withering defensive fire turned no-man's land into a charnel house of burned, concussed or dismembered men.

The survivors straggling back into the cover of their own trenches again. The following day, only superficial damage could be seen, but the silo remained intact and functioning. Several hundred had died in the hopeless attack. Only a few of the attacking grenadiers ever reached their own lines again. Most were killed, those that were captured were tortured for information and then executed. Their bodies left hanging on the razorwire as grisly reminders of their fate. By M41, seven standard years had passed since the start of the siege, seven years of bitter and grueling fighting that had seen millions of men on both sides slaughtered for the gain of only a few miles by the Imperial Guard forces as they moved onto the inner defence lines of the Vraksian Citadel.

Each side had won victories and suffered defeats and both had suffered terrible losses, but neither side was yet ready to collapse. He believed that these extra men would bring the campaign, already running longer and far more costly than originally planned by the Administratum , back on schedule and help break the stalemate at the Traitors' second defensive line.

The order for more men was put through the standard Departmento Munitorum bureaucratic channels and the Adepts set to work to find the needed men from Krieg. The siege took an unexpected turn for the Imperium when disturbing reports reached Commander Zuehkle's headquarters on Thracian Primaris.

Not only was his campaign plan still well behind schedule, the defenders had also been reinforced. The Chaos Space Marines had crossed the no-man's land between the Loyalist and Chaotic lines by pretending to launch a counter-attack during an attack in sector by the st regiment. Several Gorgon assault transports had overrun the enemy lines and were threatening to force a gap in the second defence line, when the enemy had counter-attacked.

Only this time, the counter-attackers had been Adeptus Astartes in dark blue Power Armour. They had launched the swift attack that had seen the breach quickly sealed and all the Gorgon transports destroyed in battle. Unknown to the commanders of the 88th Siege Army, Vraks had indeed become a draw to the Traitor Legions.

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Arkos and his followers had presented themselves at the Citadel of Vraks Prime , offering their support in the name of Chaos Undivided for the Apostate Cardinal's cause. Arkos could not only provide the Chaotic defenders with superb superhuman troops, adept at raiding and disruption behind enemy lines, but also better training for the Apostate Cardinal's poorly-performing Vraksian Militia units.

Arkos could also add his own enormous tactical experience to the defensive campaign while his Astartes, all unflinchingly loyal to their lord and their foul Gods, would relish the chance to join the war.

The Alpha Legion had been drawn into the battle by the intensity of the fighting and their own desire to win the favour of the Dark Gods by compounding the slaughter for the servants of the Emperor. Lord Arkos was a useful and powerful ally for Cardinal Xaphan and the Chaos Lord's offer of aid was gratefully accepted by the Vraksian Traitors.

The Chaos Space Marines were immediately put to work bolstering the Vraksian defensive lines around the Citadel. This unsettling news was made far worse when the Chaos Sorcerers of the Alpha Legion sent a psychic signal burning through the Warp to call old allies to the support of the Chaotic forces fighting for control of Vraks Prime. Those elements of the Forces of Chaos lurking around the Eye of Terror were drawn like moths to a flame by the flickering psychic light emitted by the Alpha Legion's message that promised battle, slaughter and plunder.

M41, Lord Commander Zuehkle's requests for reinforcements were finally met. A convoy of transport vessels entered the system carrying the 46 th Line Korps, with three more regiments to assist in breaking the deadlock around the second defence lines.

These were troops that had been designated for other warzones, but now Zuehkle's political connections had proved useful in getting the extra troops he wanted. The Lord Commander Militant's office had also provided some unasked for assistance.

The chance that the war on Vraks would escalate could not be taken. Instead, the Lord Commander Militant had acted independently of his subordinate commander and sent his own delegation in search of aid from the Adeptus Astartes.

The first to answer were the Dark Angels , the infamous First Founding Chapter , whose mobile fortress-monastery known as The Rock , had allowed them to react quickly. Led by Supreme Grand Master Azrael , the Chapter had responded with a huge commitment of forces - almost half of the Chapter's battle-brothers had been embarked for Vraks, with Azrael himself taking command.

Azrael sent no communications to the 88 th Siege Army's commanders. He simply set about his self-assigned mission -- the destruction of Vraks' star port which would sever any easy access to off-planet reinforcements. Needing no assistance, he saw no reason to involve the Imperial Guard regiments engaged on Vraks.

While Lord Zuekkle's staff were adjusting their plans for the inclusion of his new line korps into his front, Azrael and his Company Masters manoeuvred into low orbit and deployed their powerful strike force onto the surface of Vraks via Drop Pods and Thunderhawk gunships.

The Dark Angels plan of attack on the star port. Achieving orbit outside Vraks' orbital defence laser coverage, the Dark Angels released their cargos of Thunderhawks to enter the atmosphere and fly around the planet to the chosen landing zone at the Srna Flats. Azrael had chosen this area for landing because it was located at the foot of the Abaros Hills directly south of the star port.

It only took mere hours for the Dark Angels to unload their forces from orbit. The star port was chosen as the Dark Angels' primary objective for three reasons: Secondly, a new attack would force the defenders to commit forces against a new threat. There was currently only a small garrison to defend the star port, because it was not directly threatened by the Krieg regiments, and this in turn freed troops for the front line.

The Dark Angels would draw the enemy troops into a new battle, and thus thin the lines, which would aid the 88 th Siege Army's attacks and help bring about the long awaited breakthrough. Thirdly, and known only to the Dark Angels themselves, and probably the most compelling reason for their quick response, was that there were Traitor Legionaries now on Vraks.

These Traitors might have knowledge about the " Fallen ". Though Azrael had no proof that any of the Fallen were amongst the defender's new allies, the Inner Circle of the Dark Angels knew the name Arkos well -- a reviled black-hearted Traitor from the ancient days of the Horus Heresy. If Lord Commander Militant Zuehkle could not identify the power amoured forces now facing him, the Dark Angels' Inner Circle knew full well who these warriors were.

Azrael had brought along Interrogator-Chaplain Belphegor to extract information from any Traitors he could capture. Azrael's plan of attack was carefully considered. He would launch a fast moving armoured column across the Srna Flats, envelope the star port, and then strike at wherever he felt the enemy was weakest.

He could not afford to enter a war of attrition. Taking calculated risks, the Supreme Grand Master was going to commit his battle-brothers to intense street fighting without the aid of the orbital bombardment guns of his battle barge and strike cruisers.

His ships would not risk Vraks' defence lasers. Once the attack on the star port was underway, he would attempt to seal off the battle areas from further reinforcements by capturing and destroying the main roads across the Srna Fault line and Balan trench, a set of grand causeways that carried the service roads over great chasms.

With these gone no reinforcements could move from the Citadel or the defence lines to assist in the battle at the star port. This task was given to the 3rd Company under Master Orias.

Once completed they could move to aid the rest of the strike force already engaged at the star port. The arrival of highly mobile Adeptus Astartes forces created a strategic problem. They could strike anywhere at anytime, simply flying over the defence lines to strike directly at the Citadel itself.

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Now Arkos' wisdom proved invaluable and correct. The Dark Angels could not risk attacking the Citadel with its defences and garrison fully intact. Still, in order to counter the Space Marines' attack wherever it fell, troops had to be withdrawn from the second defence line and sent to garrison other locations, including the star port. The presence of just Space Marines was already influencing the entire war on Vraks. Ravenwing Land Speeders spearhead the Dark Angels ' assault. M41, the Dark Angels began their assault on Vraks' star port.

The armoured columns of Land Raiders , Predators, Rhinos , Vindicators and Whirlwinds were preceded by the Ravenwing 's Land Speeders , skimming ahead, flying close to the ground in search of enemy blockades along their chosen route of advance, kilometres overland across the Srna Flats.

The Land Speeders stayed in constant communication with the Thunderhawk gunships, which acted as aerial cover to the advancing armoured column. The battle-brothers of Orias' 3 rd Company maintained a defence around the base until required to launch their own vital part of the operation on the causeways. The enemy responded with its own reconnaissance forces, composed of Sentinel walkers and Salamanders , criss-crossing the flatlands of the Srna Flats in an effort to locate the Dark Angels.

Some of the Sentinels were taken out by black Land Speeders that swooped in, Assault Cannons blazing. Soon the enemy commanders knew that the Dark Angels were heading across the flatlands, their target plainly clear -- the star port. Reinforcements were immediately ordered to strengthen the garrison. Leading the vanguard himself, Azrael rode in his personal Land Raider Prometheus Angelis Imperator , and were soon in sight of the star port.

A Dark Angels Assault Squad storming the causeway. As Azrael's attack commenced, Master Orias' force closed in on the Balan trench causeway. Leaping from a speeding gunship, two Assault Squads made a low level jump directly onto the eastern end of the mile long causeway and quickly overwhelmed its defenders.

Most fled rather than face the wrath of the Dark Angels. Those few that did, were quickly cut down like chafe before a scythe.

Two more Thunderhawks opened fire with missiles and turbo-lasers, blasting great hunks of masonry from the monumental causeway and turning the checkpoint to rubble.

The Dark Angels' Tactical Squads deployed as soon as the gunships touched down. Rushing along the roadway their Bolters hammered into the defenders causing them to fell back before the Astartes' furious onslaught, only to find themselves quickly cut-off by the Assault Squads which had already captured the eastern end. Caught between the opposing Space Marine forces, the garrison was wiped out.

Master Orias' lightning airborne assault captured the target in just a few minutes. As he set about rigging demolition charges, he had a Devastator Squad dig in on the eastern end to cover any enemy approach from the west.

Soon, enemy vehicles were seen approaching along the road, heading towards them in an attempt to reinforce the star port. The leading tank erupted in flames as a well-aimed Lascannon shot tore through its front armour.

As the following Chimeras swerved to avoid the flaming wreckage blocking the road, they soon found themselves under the withering fire of Orias' Devastator Marines. Krak Missiles and lascannon blasts turned the vehicles of the armour column into smouldering wrecks. In just a few minutes the area was littered with the burning hulks of Leman Russ Tanks , Chimeras , Sentinels and Basilisks.

As the Devastator Marines defended the bridge, the Assault Squads completed their demolition work, explosive charges attached to each of the causeway's main supports. Ordering all his men back across the causeway for immediate evacuation, the Thunderhawks swooped in and picked up all of Orias' battle-brothers.

The first attack had only cost the Captain three injured men, all of which, due to their enhanced physique, were fit to continue. As the last Thunderhawk lifted off and banked away north, Orias triggered the detonator.

Each of the causeway's supports exploded in rapid succession. The causeway crumbled under its own weight, the rubble plunging into the deep abyss of the Balan Trench, leaving only an expanding cloud of dust. By the end of the day, both the causeways across the Srna Trench would also be captured and destroyed by Orias' forces.

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The main routes of reinforcement had been severed. As the 3 rd Company successfully accomplished their objective, Azrael moved closer to the starport. Detecting a nearby enemy armoured column moving southwards from the starport, the Chapter Master directed his covering Thunderhawks to intercept, and ordered his own column forwards to engage.

By the time the leading Land Raiders were directed to battle by the Land Speeder scouts, the flats were already shrouded in the drifting smoke of burning wrecks. The Land Raiders smashed into the remaining enemy tanks, Lascannons cutting through the Leman Russ tanks and Chimeras as the enemy sought to withdraw to the relative safety of the starport. Azrael's thrust cut clean through the enemy, and swept eastwards, circling the starport. The Supreme Grand Master had already received Master Orias' confirmation of the destruction of the first causeway.

Now Azrael planned to attack from the east of the starport, draw the bulk of the enemy garrison to him, then move in 3rd Company from the west, catching the garrison between Orias' anvil and his own hammer. After the Ravenwing's Land Speeders reported back the best routes of advance into the city, Azrael sent forward his Vindicators , supported by Battle-Brothers riding in Rhinos and Razorbacks.

The Vindicators smashed the building occupied by the enemy infantry before the Dark Angels disembarked and began clearing the ruins of any survivors. Azrael's strike force continued to move through the streets of the starport and unleashed unrestrained destruction upon it.

Thunderhawk gunships that had already re-armed streaked overhead, remorselessly bombing the enemy from above. Whirlwinds fired salvo after salvo into the starport, their fire directed by the Ravenwing as they identified enemy concentrations before speeding away to safety.

The enemy found themselves under constant attack as Azrael's armoured thrusts carefully advanced, clearing the way as they went. As night fell, there was no let up in the attack, and the Supreme Grand Master continued to push forwards in the darkness. By dawn, the Dark Angels had cleared the eastern approaches to the starport's northern landing fields, and the enemy had fallen back in disarray.

Before dawn the 3 rd Company was also in position, landing to the west of the main landing fields and deploying as the back stop against the enemy withdrawals. By first light, the enemy occupied the large building surrounding the landing fields, hangars, warehouses and maintenance sheds, turning them into strongpoints as the Whirlwind's barrage continued to fall about them.

The roar of Thunderhawk engines could be heard again as the gunships arrived to deliver another payload of bombs upon the defenders. For the second day of his attack, Azrael contented himself with softening up the enemy and sending out fighting patrols to probe enemy positions, giving the enemy time to bring more defenders into the defensive ring.

The Supreme Grand Master sought not only the quick destruction of the airfields, but the annihilation of the enemy forces defending the starport. The second day passed with sporadic fighting, but the starport continued to echo to the sound of Whirlwind missile impacts and the crash of the enemy artillery as it returned fire, although the Whirldwinds' mobility made counter-battery fire very difficult as they lighter artillery changed position after each salvo.

By dawn of the third day, the landing fields were a veritable warzone, with rubble and masonry scattered about in piles around the streets. From the patrols conducted the day before, the Supreme Grand Master had an excellent idea of where he would attack in force. He mustered the battle-brothers of the 6 th Company, mostly Tactical Squads , placed them under the command of Interrogator-Chaplain Belphegor and gave them the honour of being accompanied by the Chapter's Sacred Standard of Devastation into battle, handpicking veteran brother Anmael as its bearer.

The 6th Company hooked southwards and launched an attack to seal the defenders in. Accompanied by Vindicators, Whirlwinds and Predators, the company jumped off its attack and was soon enmeshed in house-to-house fighting with the defenders. The dark green armoured figures could be seen advancing through the ruins, as bright orange tongues of flamer blasts burned the defenders out of their cover.

After a day of fighting the streets were littered with the dead. Belphegor reported that the souls of 15 battle-brothers had joined the Emperor, but that the southern sectors had now been cleared of resistance. Day four of the battle began with Azrael again content to improve his position and bomb the enemy into submission.

Azrael knew that the renegade forces now occupying the starport were effectively cut-off from resupply and reinforcement.

After consolidating his position, Azrael called for his Company Masters together for a briefing. Gathered inside the Supreme Grand Master's personal Land Raider the veteran commanders discussed the best plan to destroy the pockets of enemy forces they had created. A plan of concentric attacks was decided upon, with the first attack coming from the east by Azrael's forces, then from the south by Belphegor's Company, then from the west by Orias' Company.

Over the course of three days each force took its turn squeezing the enemy tighter. During Orias' attack, 3 rd Company reported they had overrun several landing pads and identified and engaged a force of Traitor Legionaries -- treacherous followers of Arkos.

Azrael wanted as many of the Traitor Legionaries captured as possible. This would be one of the objectives of the Deathwing assault come the final battle. Fighting for the Vraks Star Port for eight days, Azrael finally ordered the final assault. Leading elements of the 1 st , 2 nd , 5 th , 8 th and 9 th Companies the Supreme Grand Master led his Dark Angels to finish the enemy's resistance and finally overrun the starport. Dismounting his Land Raider, Azrael led the assault as he plunged into the enemy ranks of militia men, his black blade, the Sword of Secrets , cutting a bloody swathe.

As the Dark Angels were about to achieve victory, the duplicitous Alpha Legion sprung their trap. The Chaos Space Marines had been lying in wait, using the militia as bait to draw the Dark Angels on. As the fighting intensified Azrael saw brother Anmael fall, riddled with fire, and the Sacred Standard he was brandishing toppled.

Azrael knew he must recover the banner for it could not be allowed to lie in the dust. Racing through enemy fire he reached the banner just as the enemy did. The Dark Angels and Alpha Legionnaires fought over the fallen body of brother Anmael, neither giving ground. While the other Dark Angels fought to escape the Alpha Legion's sudden ambush, Azrael cut down the last of his enemies and plucked up the sacred standard.

As he did so, a massive armoured figure stroke through the smoke, his ancient Terminator Armour decorated with blasphemous runes and the heretical eight-pointed star of Chaos Undivided.

An Assault Marine launched himself into Arkos' path, only to be cut clean in half by the stroke of the Chaos Lord 's Warp -powered blade. The two mighty heroes, one of the Emperor, the other of the Dark Gods, clashed in a titanic close combat. Azrael was confronted by Arkos, and soon the two were engaged in furious combat. The two rained down smashing blows upon each others' armour, until blood seeped through the joints of Azrael's suit of Artificer plate.

The weight of Arkos' mighty blows had badly wounded the Supreme Grand Master in the one-sided duel. The Chaos Lord had the combined power of the four Chaos Gods with him this day. Arkos' blows forced Azrael ever backwards, weakening his opponent until a shoulder charge and a fast, low sweeping cut sent Azrael sprawling to the ground, the Sword of Secrets skittering from his grasp. Prone amongst the rubble, the banner still clutched to him, Azrael saw death approaching as Arkos loomed over him, raising his Darkblade for the killing blow.

As he reached out to strike the blow that would see Azrael's reign as Supreme Grand Master end, the impacts of an Assault Cannon sent Arkos staggering backwards. Belphegor managed to strike the Traitor to the ground with a blow that cracked his Terminator Armour. Arkos fell dazed and bleeding.

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Concerned for his wounded commander, the Chaplain turned to aid him. When he turned back to face Arkos, the Traitor had vanished. Though the ambush had inflicted painful losses upon the Dark Angels, the Traitors were unable to carry the day, and soon drifted away as they had been recalled by their thwarted commander. The Dark Angels proceeded to hunt down and destroy the remnants of surviving militiamen.

Their ambush had inflicted painful losses on the Dark Angels, with the loss of Battle-Brothers, but the traitors could not win this battle alone. The Dark Angels had failed to take a single Traitor Legionairy alive, although their Battle Barge 's cells did contain many captured Renegade militiamen who would face the formidable Interrogator-Chaplains on return to The Rock.

After ten days the starport was securely in the hands of the Dark Angels.

Imperial Armour Volume 5 - The Siege of Vraks

They set about destroying the facility with demolition charges. Two days later, the starport was damaged beyond repair. Upon completing their mission, the Dark Angels strike force departed the Vraks System. It had been nine years since the Siege of Vraks had begun. By now the 88 th Siege Army should have been entrenched at the inner defence ring having cracked the defences of the first two rings, and it should have had the Citadel itself within the sights of their heavy artillery.

But nine years of war had not gone entirely to plan. The 88 th Siege Army had been forced to request more men.

Siege of Vraks

The success of the Dark Angels attack gave cause for new hope, and Lord Zuehkle saw the chance to redeem earlier failures with a decisive breakthrough. The addition of a new line korps with three fresh new regiments gave his commanders on the ground the extra forces they needed to mount an unstoppable offensive. Lord Zuehkle was running out of time, he had been given twelve years to complete his mission and the resources of Krieg had poured onto Vraks in vast quantities.

He ordered the three new regiments, and those already in the line to plan and execute a big push, an all out offensive that applied constant and sustained pressure on the second defence lines over its full frontage.

This would draw in the enemy's reserves and then destroy them under the artillery bombardment or in powerful infantry attacks. By sustaining the pressure, the enemy would eventually have to break somewhere. When they did an assault korps would be ready to pour into the gap and smash through to the inner defence line. If the breakthrough attack was fast enough they might even be able to drive into the inner defence line and establish a foothold before the enemy had a chance to dig himself in again.

The defenders could not fail to notice the build-up for the attack. Patrols and observation posts reported the increase in troop numbers at the front and the stockpiling of arms and equipment. In response, shells rained down on the Krieg trench lines in an attempts to "spoil" the preparations now underway. Krieg's guns replied in their counter-battery role. Every gun destroyed now was one less to rain destruction down on the attack when it finally came time for the infantry to go over the top.

M41, the preparatory bombardment began in earnest. Every gun in the 88th Siege Army roared out, lightning the sky with muzzle flashes as they poured high-explosives down on the defenders. All day and all night the guns fired in an attempt to break down the defenders' resistance. The defenders grimly awaited the coming assault as the ground outside and above them shook with the force of the explosions.

In darkness the communication trenches began to fill up with troops, as the first wave got into position. The second wave was also ready, crowded in shoulder-to-shoulder, heavily laden with extra equipment, grenades, ammunition and rations for the coming battle.

As the darkness soon gave way to the first weak rays of dawn's light, the fury of the barrage stopped, and for a brief second there was silence. The attack order flashed through every vox-caster set in the forward trenches, and was relayed to the men. The Krieg guardsmen scambled up the ladders and over the parapet, surging forward in a tide across no-man's land. Across no-man's land the enemy responded to the lifting of the bombardment.

They ran to crew their crew-served weapons, awaiting the inevitable ground assault. Though their targets had not even come into view, the defenders opened a lethal hail of grazing fire. Men started to fall, but the attackers pressed on. Soon the defensive batteries that had not been knocked-out opened up with their own barrage. Shells started to crash down into the advancing Krieg rank, as the defender's fire increased. As the artillery fire hammered down it caused the utter collapse of the th regiment's attack in sector The Commissars amongst the retreating assault squads demanded that the men stand firm and push on, summarily executing the first men to take any steps backwards.

In return, several Commissars were shot out of hand by their own side as the shredded assault companies scurried back to the safety of their own trenches. At the parapet the first wave collided with the second wave as they moved forwards to begin their advance. Fighting broke out as the officers of the second wave tried to force passage forwards.

After only a couple hours the th regiment's attack had disintegrated into shambles. For the regiment's abject failure, the colonel and his staff would be arrested and eventually executed. The regiment was then disbanded by the 88 th Siege Army's commissars. All the survivors would be sentenced to serve amongst the Penal Legions. Gorgons of the 11 th assault korps await the order to advance on the third day of the offensive. In other sectors there was more progress. The Cardinal believed these rogue psykers to be his own children, and claimed that they relayed messages to him from the Ruinous Powers.

Guardsmen of the Death Korps struggle to move equipment through Vraks' quagmire. The forces of the Imperium required to assault these formidable defences would be the Imperial Guard Regiments raised from the world of Krieg : the infamous Death Korps.

These were the best Astra Militarum regiments available to the Imperium. The men of Krieg were loyal, dutiful and extremely disciplined. They would fight with an almost inhuman disregard for the cost in casualties, seeing death in battle as the ultimate goal of their lives, to sacrifice themselves for the God-Emperor. The 88th Siege Army would be equipped depending on each regiment's designation. Most of the regiments would be siege regiments, equipped for a long war against static positions, with a special emphasis on artillery.

Artillery was the heart of the plan for laying siege to Vraks Prime, and it would be a gunner's war. Large concentrations of heavy artillery would be needed to blast the enemy from their defensive lines, allowing infantry attacks to sweep forward in their wake. Each regiment would have its own artillery companies, with weaponry ranging from small mortars to the medium artillery of heavy mortars and Quad Launchers.

There would also be heavy artillery in the form of Medusa siege guns and Earthshaker Cannons , the work-horse of the 88th Siege Army, as well as the heaviest Imperial artillery in use, the deadly Bombards.

To augment each regiment's own artillery company, independent artillery regiments would be attached to the army. Other regiments would be equipped as mobile armoured regiments, but for a siege campaign the armoured regiments would be used as breakthrough and gap exploitation forces and would not expect to man the lines as the infantry and artillery regiments would.

The tanks would be used to support the infantry's attacks and there would be no mass tank battles since the Imperial forces intended to deny the Heretics the chance to engage in armoured warfare.

For the men of Krieg, Vraks would prove to be an alien environment. All of them had been raised in the underground hive cities of Krieg, where they became used to the constant overcrowding and recycled air.

They had trained for battle on their world's blasted surface, amidst the frigid cold and radioactive hot spots of a perpetual nuclear winter amidst a landscape of ruined buildings and the hideous metallic mass of trench and razor wire left from the planetary civil war that had devastated their world centuries before.

While many of the Death Korps regiments were well-established, they had been brought up to strength with many new recruits who had never seen combat before they set foot on Vraks Prime. Vraks was a barren world, covered in a choking layer of volcanic dust, with little vegetation. Its climate was warmer than that of frigid Krieg, but violent electrical storms were a daily problem, as were the sudden downpours that accompanied them. These storms turned the ground into a churning sea of sticky grey mud as the water drained away into Vraks Prime's dusty surface.

The battlefield encompassed the whole of the planet's Van Meersland Wastes, 5, square kilometres of dusty, rocky plains with the occasional outcropping of volcanic rock.

The defenders knew this terrain well, but the forces of the Emperor would have to learn the nature of the battlefield as the siege progressed. By the time the Imperial siege of the world began, 3 defensive lines had been constructed to the north, west and south of the Citadel by the rebel forces, with the rest of the area to the south and east defended by gorges and canyons, rendering it unsuitable for a massed attack.

At the time of the uprising, work had not been completed on the outer defensive lines, providing the Death Korps' forces a target for the first strike against the Heretics' fortress when they finally arrived on the world in The Killing Fields of Vraks "Our creed is this. We are ready, at any moment, to sacrifice all for victory. M41 The Siege of Vraks would be a gunners' war.

A field artillery strongpoint unloads extra ammunition between fire missions A squadron of Krieg's Death Riders range ahead of the marching columns, to scout enemy positions and screen troop movements for attack In M41, , guardsmen of the Krieg rd Siege Regiment marched, up the boarding ramps and into the holds of their transport vessels.

They were the first men of the 88th Siege Army to begin their journey to Vraks Prime.