I thought it was about time to try my hand at a little fluff so here goes...Baneblade "Imperator"
975th Armoured Battalion
Unit designation 012
Hull no. 936192 711th Cadian Combined Arms Brigade
The 711th CCAB is a mixed arms unit comprising of the 897th Infantry Battalion and their support vehicles, the 975th Armoured Battalion, the 201st Artillery Regiment (a mixed platform force), remnants of the 661st Squadron Air Support unit and a small force of Elysians.
The 711th was recently dispatched to Eridanus Tertiary, also known to the local population as "Rivers End" as, due to it's close orbit to it's sun, it is mainly covered by rolling dunes and scrappy vegetation. A significant force of Orks under Warboss Sturtuk had attacked smaller settlements and the Astra Militarum had been called to help the Planetary Governor whose only forces where a ceremonial bodyguard and they where fully unprepared to fight off the green horde.
On arrival, they discovered that due to a warp transit accident and extremely poor planning by the Departmento Munitorum, their full entitlement of desert adapted equipment had not arrived and they where only able to be outfitted in the distinctive camouflage clothing but not the equipment.
Sgt Major Nesh was heard to joke that the clothing reminded him of his mothers biscuits and so the Brigade unofficially adopted the name "Chocochip Rats".
The vehicles have adopted a mixed green/sand camouflage scheme which blends in well with the surrounding terrain although the constant abrasive effect of the wind blown sand does not take long to make a freshly painted vehicle look like it has been there for years.
The Brigade is currently shaking out prior to full deployment on a seek and destroy mission. +++Update+++Battle of Ridge 582 North
37 days after the initial deployment of the 711th CCAB on Eridanus Teritary, High Command believed it was time to engage in a major battle. The Brigade was deployed in force to Smitts Plain, a large area of rocky outcrops rising above a firm sand surface. The main feature of this plain was a long, rocky ridge-line running east-west with the only available fresh water spring for 100 clicks. The defensibility of the ridge and availability of a water supply made it an ideal location for a staging base for further and farther reaching patrols to secure more of the Western Great Desert area. Unfortunately the orks had also seen the possibility behind this location.
Aerial reconnaissance carried out by 661st Squadron Air Support showed a medium sized ork force in residence on Ridge 582 including infantry with vehicle support.
A mixed force of infantry, artillery and armour was sent to destroy any ork resistance and occupy the ridge.
On approaching Ridge 582 the Cadians where assaulted by the orks, who true to their nature had no intention of fighting a defensive battle and had decided to attack the column during it's advance. Unfortunately they had not considered that the flat, firm desert surface was ideal for armoured formations and although the orcs where destroyed, their numbers and fanatical attack made the Battle of Ridge 582 North one which was entered into the history of the 711th with pride and earned the unit a citation to add to the Battalion standard.
Individual acts of courage where too numerous to recount in full. Sufficed to say that in the heat of battle the members of the 711th proved themselves worthy of The Emperor. The Chimera transports of the 897th Infantry Battalion where to be found in the thick of the action, multi-lasers and hull bolters glowing with the heat of continuous firing whilst the troops prepared themselves to deploy to prise orks from between rocks where they where too well hidden for the vehicle mounted heavy weapons to have full effect. The Leman Russ variants (Battle Tanks, Demolishers and Vanquishers) targeted the fast moving ork Trukks and Buggies but the main force of the ork attack was aimed at the single Baneblade "Imperator" which had deployed directly opposite of the main assault, more out of luck than planning, and bore the main brunt of the orks anger. The Imperator
Captain Everson lowered his binoculars, he did not need them to see the individual ork vehicles spewing from Ridge 582 any more, they where getting close now. Sitting high up in the cupola of the Baneblade "Imperator" gave him a view like no other vehicle commander. The Baneblade was simply massive. A rock of Holy armour and violent death against the enemies of The Emperor. Turning to his left he gave a simple nod to SSgt McGarty who nodded back before cranking the load handle on the heavy stubber.
Inside the Baneblade the crew where loading the armament, taking a last drink and praying to The Emperor before the action was due to begin. They had fought orks before and knew what the ork assault would be like, simply a green wave of howling aggression aimed at destroying all in front of them but they had faith in the Imperator and The Emperor to protect them. It was a simple faith but well grounded as they had been in combat many times and they where still alive to boast about it. "Turret traverse, Target 039 degrees, Range 1950, Hi-ex, Fire for effect!"
The Baneblade rocked on it's tracks as the Mega Battle Cannon fired it's first shot of the battle, the recoil physically shaking the 316 ton vehicle. This is what Everson lived for! The high explosive shell flew towards the orks who where temporally hidden behind the dust cloud so that Everson did not actually see the shell hit but the aftermath was clear. A group of ork buggies simply ceased to exist. "Watch for those Trucks!"
McGarty spoke calmly - almost leisurely. "They are getting close." "Turret traverse, Target 021 degrees, Range 1820, AP, Fire!"
the armour piercing shell flew the distance in the blink of an eye taking the armoured truck in the engine grill, passing through the lightly armoured passenger compartment and the bodies it contained before exiting from the rear of the truck and hitting a following ork biker who did not have time to register what had happened before he died.
Time blurred for Everson. The simple mantra of target acquisition was relayed to the crew over and over again. At some point he realised that he had given the command for the hull mounted Demolisher Cannon to fire but he could not remember when. The orks continued to close the distance. He had to give them that they where brave, stupid but brave. The Commissar said it was just the way of the ork, that they did not deserve respect, that they where just beasts with a beast's reaction. It was not bravery! Everson silently disagreed with that view even though he knew what the punishment would be if the Commissar ever heard him speak his thoughts out loud.
The orks where now close enough for the sponson bolters to start their deep throated chugg, chugg, chugg
. Orks fell but still on they came, closer and closer. McGarty opened fire with the heavy stubber meaning that the orks where now dangerously close, close enough that they could fire their large calibre hand guns at Imperator and the slugs ricocheted from the armour of the Baneblade. There where simply too many of them for the Imperator to kill. The rest of the Cadians also had their hands full and from his high vantage point, Everson could see that the majority of the orks would have to pass close to him in order to be able to get to the other Imperial vehicles and to the ork, a Baneblade was just too big to avoid, it had a magnetic effect on them.
Slugs ricocheted from his hatch, the stubber had run dry, orks had jumped from the nearest truck and their filthy feet where scrambling up the Baneblades holy hull. As Everson watched, one of the creatures lost his footing and with a howl fell between the Baneblades racing tracks. The remainder continued to scramble upwards towards Everson and McGarty. Pulling his las-pistol and firing he shouted "Left stick, hard"
and the driver reacted instantly, swinging Imperator into a hard turn to the left causing the orks to momentarily loose their footing and the Imperators left track rode up and over the ork truck, flattening it under the Baneblades weight. "Driver straight"
Everson shouted as both he and McGarty slipped into the turret, closing and locking the cupola hatches behind them. +++"Any vehicle, Imperator. We have hitch-hikers and would appreciate help discouraging them."+++
said McGarty over the Company Command net.
+++"Hellhound 450 glad to help."+++
came back over the net followed by the unmistakeable whoosh of an inferno cannon. "That will need a repaint."
commented McGarty looking at his captain with a lopsided grin. +++"You're clear Imperator. Carry on the good work..."+++
Opening the cupola, Everson's lip curled at the smell of burnt ork but he continued to identify targets, feeding the information back to his gunners and marvelling at Imperators destructive power. The only thing that would stop Imperator would be major damage or simply running out of ammunition but they where not thoughts he wanted to envisage.
Target, fire. Target, fire. Time passed, orks died. The battle was not one way though and Everson said a silent prayer to The Emperor as Hellhound 450, the very vehicle who had saved them earlier in the battle, was over-run and destroyed by a well placed ork grenade. The vehicle exploded in a wave of heat as the fuel tanks ignited taking nearby orks with it in a pyre of white hot flame.
As with all battles, the brain numbs with the constant action, the body grows weary.
War takes it's toll and Everson was brought back from his fatigue by a scratchy voice in his ear. +++"Cease fire, cease fire. Make safe main armament. Casualty and damage reports by unit on Command net."+++
With this simple message, the battle of Ridge 582 was over. Imperator had held firm, the orks where defeated. Capt Everson - SSgt McGarty