Dicing with Death – Battle of Kursche IV

The event which came to be known as the Kurschean Genocide was only discovered during the Scouring when Imperial administrators noticed the system had failed to deliver its tithes for many years. A task force of tithe-grabbers, archivists and data-scriveners were sent to claim the backlog of resources, men and weapons. When they arrived all they found was a dead system, the world aflame and the capital city a bombed out ruin. Using the few remaining satellites and data retrieval servo-skulls the task force were able to establish the following events…

Two large traitor fleets arrived in system within hours of each other and both raced to Kursche IV, smashing aside any orbital defences the planet had. The slender purple and gold ships of the Emperor’s Children launched Stormbirds and light landing craft immediately whilst the lumbering cruisers of the Iron Warriors spat out bulk craft that descended slower, but contained heavier cargo. The first message the inhabitants of the planet received was a blistering bombardment reducing much of the city to rubble. It is only possible to establish now that the two forces were after a stockpile of deadly weapons locked away since the Dark Age of Technology. Quite why the forces came to blows when they both fought on the same side is unknown, but it is speculated that each commander wanted the prestige of bringing the weapons to the Warmaster themselves.

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The Emperor’s Children force was the first to arrive at the site of the weapons. It was the XXII Millennial, who had made a name for themselves on the blasted plains of Istvaan V. With them was the venerable chassis of the Glaive tank ‘The Tyrannicide’ and they were led by Lord Legate Antigonus Chlorus.

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Against them was amassed a battalion of tanks formed up in an impenetrable wall of iron. Pict logs show the Iron Warriors were led by Rhommal, a praetor renowned for his genius at commanding tank squadrons and deadly accuracy with his personal Sicaran’s autocannon.

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Despite arriving last to the battlefield the Iron Warriors managed to steal the initiative and with a roar of engines the armoured spearhead advanced.

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With pinpoint accuracy the predators cut through the Emperor’s Children infantry in the open, but struggled to get rid of the marines dug into the large ruin on the left flank. The Iron Warriors Spartan tank opened up on its opposite number and the Emperor’s Children Spartan went up in flames. Antigonus and his terminator bodyguard stepped out of the ruined vehicle, now having to advance on the enemy on foot without the protection of his transport.

The Iron Warriors dominated the battlefield whilst the Emperor’s Children waited for their outflanking force to arrive. Tyrant Siege Terminators stepped from their Spartan and took great chunks out of The Tyrannicide, detonating its core and causing a titanic explosion. They all walked from the nuclear blast unharmed, wreathed in smoke and making for their next target.

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Things were looking dire for the Emperor’s Children when the distinctive whine of anti-grav vehicles could be heard over the explosions and screams of the dying. Emperor’s Children reinforcements had finally arrived behind the Iron Warriors and they trained their weapons on the enemy tanks…

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Predator after predator blew up under a hail of mult-melta fire and crushed by the effects of grav weaponry. Even Rhommal was forced to bail out of his Sicaran after a pair of javelins launched krak missiles into the rear of his tank.

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Ultimately it was too little too late and the Iron Warrior’s Arcus Strike Tank took down most of the speeders with its deadly warheads. Legion Champion Anthame, the rest of his squad dead, attempted to destroy the remaining Sicaran using a melta bomb in a last ditch attempt to even the field. However the bomb failed to clamp to the tank and so Antigonus ordered his forces to retreat from the battlefield and the planet.

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Having acquired the weapons the Iron Warriors retreated into orbit and bombarded the planet until nothing stood. So life ended on Kursche IV but this would not be the last time that events in the Horus Heresy brought war to the world…

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