|Imperial SF infiltrate Xyphonica|
The purpose of this post is largely to signpost you to documents (blog posts) illustrating the campaign whilst describing the prevalent situation. If you enjoy this sort of thing and have a few hours to trawl through the links, pull up a chair. I am, of course, more than happy to entertain any questions which might occur to you as you soak it all up for your Rogue Trader Campaign....
The defenders of Xphonica were not numerous enough to engage in open or set piece battles in order to defeat the invaders from Outer Space. Their tools were based on classic guerrilla tactics – mines and booby traps could be constructed, manufactured and laid in the path of the invader. Where the blasted and ruined cityscape allowed suitable locations and escape routes, more conventional ambushes could be laid on. Here the remains of the PDF contributed an organisational model and military professionalism whilst the militia contributed local knowledge and manpower to such enterprises.
In the three years since Operation Tranquillity, Xyphonica has been subject to a widespread, intensive and effective bombing campaign. Initially, this was more to do with the punishment of the errant government and population of Devos IV but ultimately the rebellion was always going to make a ‘final stand’ in Xyphonica and therefore the bombing did shift to objectively having a military purpose as the defenders slowly fell back.
After the Battle of Chobli the PDF ceased to exist as a formal command structure. In all of the exercises and war planning, the PDF had always worked on the basis that if the struggle against the invader came down to a city fight in the capital, that they would have fought themselves into the ground; exhausting their fighting power and hopefully exhausting the invader as well. The planning (and extensive preparation) for this endgame had always been to arm the remains of the population and organise them on a local community basis – the remnants of the PDF who had made it back into the city would provide leadership and the militia would provide a bridge between the hard bitten veterans of four years of war and the shell shocked civilians who had spent four years hiding in bomb shelters.
The way the city militia has been organised has always been as a multiple connection network, their drill exercises had always involved using their own organic vox and data networks, whatever public communications networks were available as well as using runners and tunnels to share information and resources. So this would enable a certain amount of elasticity in the response to any attacks or incursions.
The PDF’s plan had always been to disperse and fight delaying actions at strong point after strong point, luring invaders in all directions and positioning them for guerrilla attacks from ‘stay behind’ units. Of course this strategy included a lot of things designed to preserve the trained PDF personnel, such as the pre-prepared bunkers of tanks, munitions and fuel and hardened hangers with replacement airframes, munitions and fuel. But the main facet was the well practice command arrangements where, following the first few set piece battles, the formations dispersed and the PDF High Command was, in line with its own plan, redundant.
This had always been a strategy to delay an invader. For thousands of years this basic plan has evolved and been rehearsed and resourced. It just happens that now is period where the resourcing has provided a fully equipped plan for the current, well drilled, PDF to execute. The departure from the script is that instead of their saviours coming from Agripinna, that’s where the invasion is coming from. The hope of relief for those thousands of years has turned out to be the aggressor they were defending against.
Following the interrogation of prisoners by the Commissariat early on the campaign, 72AG knew that the PDF High Command hoped for a negotiated settlement before events spiralled out of control. However, following the landings on mainland Benq in Operation Lockheart, the outlook changed for the worse. But their plan did give more time, besides, once it was in action, it ended in death or emancipation. Or both.
Now in this new reality, the plan hasn’t really changed. What has changed is the addition of a Blood Pact formation in reinforced Brigade strength. The emergence of the Ulatri from the ruins of San Cantor Hive, the arrival of Zhufor’s World Eaters, drawn by the promise of Belligera Rex and the emergence of Lord Eidolon’s Emperor’s Children from the shadows, possibly the driving force behind the rebellion.
Of the mortal leaders of the rebellion, there is every chance that having carried out Eidolon’s wishes, she has been favoured by Slannesh, certainly the government buildings were overrun by Deamonettes the night after the Battle of Chobli. There have been no been sightings of Chaux Na M’rsee since. The Commander in Chief of the PDF, General “Danny Bloodcoat” Horpan has not been seen for over a year. There is high likelihood that he fell in one of the running battles which characterised the period between the Battles at the Cudlip Lines and the Battle of Chobli.
When he arrived on Devos IV, Zhufor found the PDF Command Bunker swiftly made sure that the PDF was answerable to him alone. It is understood that the post invasion cell structure and the preordained sequence of pocket battles and delaying actions, over which the PDF High Command no longer had any influence, might have made him angry.