First Battlefleet Gothic Battle Report: A Narrative
Lord Apostle Kor Vijal of Lorgar’s Knights stood on the Mot De La Fin’s bridge, a Styx class heavy cruiser, staring at the viewscreen with the gargantuan chaos cruisers flanking the view. Clad in power armor we gripped the pommel of his personal weapon tightly, waiting for the coming fight. He had received word that the dark angels had dispatched a small strike force to this area consisting of not only a strike cruiser and several smaller escorts but one of the infamous battle barges. He loathed the concept of coming to blows against a battleship classed ship with his fleet but the orders from the Grand Apostle were clear: break the back of the Dark Angels in this sector. He had brought two carnage class cruisers, the Furieux and Roi Tueur. Terrifying gunboats in the right hands, however this is where he faced a problem. The mortal crew and borderline incompetent commanders, the Furieux’s commander slightly more so, were hardly the equivalent of his Chaos Space Marines onboard the Mot De La Fin and this meant that Kor Vijal could not count on either ship to respond to his orders when the time was needed.
“Sir, the Dark Angel ships have entered our sensor range, bearing three-five-five mark nine” the ship’s boson turned in his chair and called out. With a few taps on a control panel, the viewscreen pivoted to show the fleet at extreme distance. There it was, a battle barge with cruisers and escorts flanking it.
“Launch dreadclaws and supporting fighters, unlock guns, charge the lances, and tell those idiots in the other ships to target that damn battle barge. We’ll see if these fools are ready to meet that corpse that they have put on a throne. Come to intercept bearing, keep our guns on their prow” Vijal barked orders, his nerves calming as years of experience of command took the place of the impatience he had felt. He monitored the command console and saw the blips on the scanners representing his own ships swing into a wedge with a heading perpendicular to the dark angel battle barge heading. He saw bright flashes as lances arced across space and the vibrated as the prow weapons fired into the battle barge. The Furieux and Roi Tueur fired their full weapons into the bow of the oncoming ship. The shields of the enemy vessel glimmered as the oncoming fire fizzled to no effect. The squadron launched screamed into the darkness towards the space marine vessels, thunderhawks moving to intercept them. Several made it past the thunderhawks only to be gunned down by the wall of turret fire on the gargantuan vessel. Only a single dreadclaw found its mark, punching a hole in the side armor and spilling forth marines into the cavernous bowls of the starboard side of the ship.
Gregor Duman, the sergeant of the sole boarding craft roared as he leapt into the halls of the battle barge, chainsword screaming and bolter flashing and led his squad into the fray. He was met with by a squad of green clad marines. Gregor saw three of his men fall instantly to bolter fire and pivoted on a heel to gut a space marine that had sidestepped his flank. Firing two more shots into the enemy, he watched the bolter shells explode into the face of the oncoming sergeant and grinned as the helmet crumpled and blood spurted across the white walls. He bellowed to his squad to hold the line as he scrambled through the bulkhead into the weapons room and tossed the meltabomb he was carrying into the room. Duman ducked out of the room as the white hot blast melted consoles and vaporized the mortal crewmembers. With only two of his squad remaining, he rejoined the fray and fought his way back to the boarding craft. With only a single squad member alive once inside, he slammed his ceramite fist into the ejection button, watched the doors close and he felt the dreadclaw rocket into the darkness of space back towards the Mot De La Fin. With the starboard guns down on the enemy battleship he looked around and realized that the attack came at a high cost.
Vijal ordered his fleet to continue its bombardment of the battle barge and grimaced as he saw it had no effect. The space marine fleet positioned itself and fired into the Furieux. The fleets traded volleys and the Furieux began to hemorrhage air, burning furiously. Vijal ordered the ship to disengage and the commander responded that he was unable and under too much fire. Vijal determined that, should the commander survive that he would be executed.
“Bridge was just destroyed on the Furieux. She has no captain and is running blind” the boson reported. Vijal smiled at the convenience of the matter. At least he would be able to save the ammunition.
“Boson, have the fleet move to the far side of that asteroid field. Tell the remaining fleet to target that cruiser and those escorts” Vijal ordered. The fleet navigated through the asteroid field as the Furieux was destroyed and adrift, and was met at the far side by the Dark Angel cruiser and escorts. With hardly a moment to space, the Mot De La Fin launched waves of bombers and fired all weapons into the cruiser and escorts, being mimicked by the smaller Roi Tueur. The escorts evaporated under waves of bombers and the cruiser was crippled. Another wave of bombers turned the cruiser into a floating hulk but not before the Roi Tueur was crippled beyond combat capability. On fire and barely holding together, the badly damaged chaos cruiser fled. Vijal grimaced as he realized that he stood alone against the much larger ship.
Vijal ordered a risky maneuver that would bring the Mot De La Fin under the prow of the battle barge and allow the opportunity to outmaneuver the enemy. The plan worked with minimal damage and his ship put the asteroid field between the two ships. “Sir, enemy torpedoes!” the boson barked as alarm bells chimed and brace lights lit. The alarms rang late and before a reaction could occur, the enemy boarding torpedoes slammed into the stern of the ship. Chaos marines flooded the damaged portions, stopping all but a single enemy crew. The single torpedo to sink its teeth did so in the engine room and caused the destruction of the navigational equipment. The battle was lost. With no way to turn, Vijal would face certain destruction at the hands of the battleship to his rear.
“All ahead full” Vijal ordered. His plan now was to escape, and it would not be difficult as the enemy was far behind. The Mot De La Fin would live to fight another day and, while not a victory, the Dark Angel advance into the sector had been halted. With no support craft, the enemy battleship would be forced to pull back. Now Vijal had to repair his own vessel and proceed to tow the hulk left from the Furieux back to safety in order to repair it. He hoped that the crew had not survived as it always was such a waste to slaughter them after such an abysmal failure but he could not let such poor performance go unpunished.
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