Playing EPIC in 28mm.

Friday, 22 November 2013

The Ibirnan Incident

The Fight-back against Operation Ewbehin

General Horpan ("Danny Bloodcoat") is no fool.  As he sees 72 Army Group's assets accumulate, he knows he must act before the imperium simply swamps his PDF.  His political leadership has promised direct military aid, which he is content to assume for the time being will be from other worlds with a similar separatist outlook.  But he doesn't want a stand up fight just yet.

He knows that 17 Korps is gearing up for an offensive and break-out of the Randstat area.  Operation Ewbehin is designed to prevent 17 Korps from focussing its fighting strength in one place.  He has hived off a (not insignificant) part of his own fighting strength, based around 2nd "Hunter" Div of the PDF; one division of four brigade combat teams (one of which includes 2 Battalions of 99th 'Bloodcoat' Regiment), a battalion aviation wing and full support service battalion.

Bloodcoat squads occupying Ibirnan
As 18 and 32 Korps are shipped from Acer to Benq behind 17 Korps' bridgehead, the PLA's 2 Div is not enough to face 17 Korps in a meeting engagement.  However, 17 Korps is not in the most wonderful of positions and it will take a number of months to get 18 and 32 Korps into good order and commence operations.  So one of Danny Blood coats four formed Divisions is more than enough to pose a serious threat to the Imperial forces; one that they cannot ignore. 

Operation Ewbehin is potentially a masterstroke.  He has positioned the PLA's "Hunter" Div to the SSE of the Randstat area, the imperial forces must move to counter the Division or leave their soft underbelly exposed.  Furthermore, to prevent the Division being a permanent thorn in said underbelly, they must commit significant forces to neutralising the threat.  Hunter Division is under orders to continue to fall back in face of the enemy, drawing them South and away from the expected main thrust of their campaign, towards Xyphonica in Central Benq.  If at any point the enemy appears to be losing interest then the Division is to turn and bite.

4* General Tolstoy knows he cannot afford to leave Hunter Div threatening his southern flank.  Keeping 901 (Cadian) and 902 (Kreig) Div to secure his position he sends 903 Inf (Valhallan) Div directly against the Op Ewbehin forces.  904 (Corbanian) Inf Div and 905 (Palladian) Inf Div to pincer the rebels and bring them to battle.  Even if the result is only that they are scattered, then the threat posed by the remains of Hunter Div is much reduced and would no longer preclude 17 Korps from concentrating on its main objectives.

903 Inf Div contains several units in administrative terms only.  Some are combat ineffective, one is actually on the other side, others are reduced strength.  The Valhallans look like easy pickings.  Hunter Div's sub units get carried away with local successes and over extend themselves, allowing the Cobanians to dig in and the Palladians to hammer them from the west against the Corbanian's prepared defences.  Chronologically, his happens two months before the Apoc game with Admiral Drax and Col Corbane in the summer. 
This game is the highpoint of Operation Ewbhlien;   The small trading town of Ebirnan, still some 400kloms south east of Randstadt.  Essentially, the tip of the Bloodcoat spear at the furthest extent of its thrust meeting the crumbling edge of 903 Div's anvil and the smart, shiney, Palladian hammer.  The Corbanians are digging in to the northwest to be the anvil; what we have here is the very first encounter of  17Korps fightback.

The defenders of Ibirnan

The Valhallans holding the town are a reserve company for 6th Bn of the Kado 540th Regt, which is deployed with all its support assets a few kloms to the east.  There is no expectation that the PLA would make it this far west.  The Valhallans are essentially waiting to be relieved by the incoming Palladians in order to move up and support the rest of their battalion.  Expecting the town to be secure, the Palladians bringing a troop of Basilisks into the town.

Why bring an earthshaker to a bayonet fight ?  Because Palladian SOPs say so.
The lead elements of 4EL are being supported by 836th (Armageddon) Arty Bty, with Kaptain Schwartzkopf pulling the short straw today, as spearhead FOO.  905 Divisional recce, manned by a motorcycle battalion of the Mordian Iron Guard, have screens of motorcycle outriders ranging beyond the main thrust.  Other Korps assets (aside from the ASL Arty) include Korps Liaison Teams from 11/157th Vostroyan Support Regt.    Additionally, 4* Gen Tolstoy has directed his firemen, the Arcomet 887th, to support the Imperial Guard response to Operation Ewbehin.

Palladian and Arcomet forces advance to contact on the southern edge of the village
So with Karitas' Arcoment 887th spearheading Col Scipio's Palladians (in this instance, 4th Expeditionary Legion - part of 905 Div), the lead elements of the PLA's Hunter Division found themselves trapped in the thobbing metropolis that is Ibirnan.  
With me playing the Devos IV 2nd Regt and Headologist taking charge of the 3/99 Bloodcoats, the game began well enough for the rebels.  Plunging fire from Hvy Stubber and Las Cannon teams thinned out the Valhallans to the North and Palladians to the South.  Three or four Arcomet and Palladian tanks were toasted.  The unsanctioned psykers of the PLA network support battalions frazzled more Palladians than the mortars did the first turn.  Maj Drule, on horseback, was shot by snipers. 
Through devastating bombardments by rebel quad guns and mortars and 17 Korps artillery and heavy mortars, the infantry slugged it out with the Valhallans taking an awful licking from various Bloodcoat elements including massed autocannons.  By the end of the game the Bloodcoat infantry were poised to overrun the Valhallans and escape the Kessel; however the airmobile elements of the Arcomet force were dropped in to help contain the Bloodcoats, their Vendettas straffing the remaining rebel tanks.    

The DPF's 2nd Regt company was almost entirely wiped out.  The Coy Cdr "challenged" the Coy Cdr of the Palladians (already wounded by 2nd Regt snipers) and tipped him off his horse and aftger batting his sword aside, ran him through twice.  He was then bundled to the ground by the rest of the command squad.  Another one to be handed over to the OH and their Necroduman enforcers. 

Two Company Commanders face off.  Maj Drule of the Palladian Guard would spend the next two years in a military hospital in Acre.

The hammer blow was driven home by the Arcomet stormsword and hellhound.  The Hellhound accounted for the unsanctioned psyker chior, the snipers who shot Maj Drule, Bloodcoat autocannon positions and squads of 2nd Regt, Armchair generals for years to come will note that the Bloodcoats lack anything by way of AT and that the Palladians would have had much harder time pushing the rebels out of Ibirnan, without the assistance of the Arcomet heavy assets. 

In the end, less than a quarter of the Bloodcoat manpower escaped the Kessel, taking with them none of their heavy or support weapons.  As a fighting force, this company, were finished, their supporting tank troop and AT and fire support providing attachment from 2nd Regt were all consumed in the fight in the village.  

Chimeltavets from 1/1 SF Bn.  Their brothers in arms would excel against the Corbanians, but these guys were toasted by the time they were facing the right way.

What did happen was that the scattered survivors, possibly with help from sympathisers amongst the civilian popultion, managed to warn the main body of Hunter Div; they would go on to lead Palladians a merry dance for the next two months, until 72AG was ready to force the initiative. 


  1. Bravo, fine words and pictures, and quite quite how I remember it :)

    Although at some point i fear this tide is going to turn (you're "writing" this after all and you're on "thier" side) :)

    also, somone said there are pictures of traitor legionnaires somewhere round here... that cqant be this lovely, small internecine war though, can it? eh? eh?

  2. Nah. This is a local war. For local people.

  3. What a write up!

    How you manage to keep track of all these distinctly differing unit names... Impressive.

  4. Cheers Dai ! I'm still waiting to be caught out.

  5. Smashing post on a great game. Very memorable, and can't wait for the next big bash! Feel sorry for the chimeltavets...

  6. I love that last pic. Love it.


  7. Turned out nice again. I could get into this....

    Let's not feel too sorry for the Chimeltavets, their fellows did strip a structure point off a warhound...

  8. Excellent write up sir, brings it all bag. Some cracking photos too, dashed good game, even if the Bloodcoats did get a bit dead-y...