First Draft of Exemp. 1
Two distinct tactical specialties that would outlast the early incarnation of the Eagle Warriors was their predilection for the warfare of armoured tanks and nimble jetbikes. Combined with their Legion's prodigious size, these tactics allowed them to take on foes where other Legions would require the aid of allies, be they the God-Machines of the Ordo Titanicus or the massed ranks of the Imperialis Auxilia.
A prominent example of this can be found in a battle of the Drutayek Purgations. The xenos native to the cluster possessed a form of vast insectoid war machine, equal in size to Imperial Titans. Controlled by an organic network akin to a nervous system and protected by an adamantium exoskeleton, the presence of these weapons platforms ought to have brought a halt to the ongoing Eagle Warrior campaign while they awaited suitable reinforcements. It did not.
The xenos garrison at one of what might be described as analogous to our cities - designated target Theta in the overall campaign - included no less than twenty of these behemothic constructs. Some three months into the war, a sizeable contingent of XIIIth Legion tanks deployed so that it entered well within the attack range of this garrison, albeit on a trajectory that still avoided the city direct. Deployed with it was a significant detachment of landspeeders and jetbikes, high in number but significantly dispersed. A number of scouting forces from the city were intercepted and destroyed, but the aerial probes went entirely untouched.
Evidently, whatever command structure the xenos possessed overcame its hesitancy, the promise of an exposed and vulnerable target evidently too great to resist. The entirety of garrison Theta's Titan analogues departed the city's walls, intent upon obliteration. Initially they were unopposed. They strode over the gorges and ravines pitting the landscape with ease. The bulk of the Eagle Warriors made no attempt to alter their course either to evade or oppose. In truth, the xenos ventured further into danger with every step. Skyhunter squadrons and their kin were flocking towards the formation's rear.
Like the first insects of a swarm, they were hardly of any notice to the the xenos warmachines. A few units boldly struck first, racing at the colossi with melta bombs in hand. Most were slain, cut down by point defense weaponry. The few that got through were insufficient to inflict significant damage.
Over the next hour, as the Drutayek closed with the XIIIth Legion convoy, these assaults intensified. What could have initially been interpreted as desperation took on a far more coordinated aspect. One by one squadrons would burst from cover, target a specific part of a specific vehicle, then wheel away. Casualties were still significant, but piece by piece the point defense weaponry was being stripped away.
A titan's motive systems were crippled, and it began to fall behind. Rather than divide the warmachines by leaving others to defend it, the xenos advance continued. Within 13 minutes of exiting the supporting range of its comrades, the Drutayek Titan was overwhelmed. A flurry of close range firepower tore through its legs and it collapsed to the ground, where the housing of its primary weapons systems became subject to assault. With the construct immobilised and its heavy weapons neutralised, the attacking Astartes withdrew. This was to be repeated another two times, and still the advance continued.
With the Drutayek now almost within range of the Imperial force, the situation shifted dramatically. The armour column switched direction and altered its formation so that it was now moving to directly confront their aggressors. At the same time a vast array of grav vehicles rose from the from the ravines and crevasses. What had been a hundred different strike forces became a single wave, assembling for what would be the final charge of the battle. Recognising the threat at last, a handful of the rearmost began to turn.
Had the Drutayek war-machines been able to focus the firepower of their main cannons on the massed small craft, the Eagle Warriors would have been destroyed or forced to disperse. Instead they struck with overwhelming strength and speed. Despite the risks, they ploughed onwards like a hail of bullets. For every one of them that disappeared in a burst of flame or shrapnel or was hurled from their vehicle as it careened into the ground, four more made it through. With a near suicidal bravery they came, power blades carving into hulls and plasma blasts searing through gunports.
At the same time, the tanks were also engaging. Moving in an enveloping formation, dispersed enough to limit the effect of the incoming fire and close enough for them to concentrate their firepower. Predator and Malcador battle tanks drove beneath their foes arcs of fire, opening up at almost point blank range. Belching smoke and wreathed in flame the Drutayek Titans began to stagger and die.
This was only the first time the Eagles struck down the behemoths Drutayek. The xenos would proceed to display considerably high caution in their Titan's deployment, but to little avail. Time after time the Eagle Warriors proved willing to pay the price of destroying their foe's greatest assets, and within two years the Drutayek were consigned to the history books.
Edited by Beren, 30 June 2019 - 05:42 PM.