This weekend I was fortunate enough to attend the 'Gedren Prime' event organised by Laurie & Will of the Great Crusade forum.
The background narrative was produced in collaboration with none other than Black Library writer Graham McNeil. I've written a heavily abbridged version of it below, although it can be read in its entirery here.
The Gedren system is comprised of a number of mining colonies, a result of humanities colonisation of the galaxy some ten thousand years previously. Life on these worlds is far from idyllic - a series of small empires, spread through the system, are ruled by the Fief Lords; These tyrannical individuals maintain their position through the mining of Pyrox, a substance as valuable as it is deadly. Such is the danger presented by the mining of these materials, that the Fief Lords have turned to a nearby lost oupost of the Mechanicum for assistance, and whose knowledge from the dark age of technology has allowed the production of massive clone workforces for the system.
The various Fief lords constantly vie with each other for power, armies of clones heading forth into battle at the behest of their lords, but this animosity is due to be put to rest, heralded by the arrival of a common foe....
It is the 77th year of the Great Crusade. The Emporer of mankind leads his twenty legions ever outward through the galaxy, their military domination absolute as Alien empire and lost offspring of humanity alike fall before the might of the Adeptus Astartes. Now the Crusade approaches the system of Gedren, yet another world seeded by humanity in the dim and distant past, and the thoughts of those commanding the Emporer's armies turn towards the possibility of not only a world brought into compliance without bloodshed, but perhaps even the discovery of yet another of the Emporer's lost sons' the Primarchs. But such an occurrance was not to be - a closed fist rather than an opened hand met the Imperial Diplomats, the Fief Lords of Gedren at last united under the banner of hostility. Corax, Progenitor of the Raven Guard and master of the expedition, was quick to order the invasion fleets of all twenty legions into position. Of the other Primarchs present within the fleet; Khan, Leman Russ and Malibron, there was no argument.
The military and industrial capacity of Gedren IV was impressive indeed. The world was ruled by the machinations of Fief Lord Nihl Macon, whose clone army controlled one of the largest artillery contingents in the system. Realising that such a force posed a threat to any future troop landings, Corax ordered the 12th Legion contingent, the War Hounds, to take the artillery at any cost. Such an assault favoured the inherent ferocity of the Legion, but the complex was protected by regiments of Macon's clone troopers, who would no doubt die for their lord without question...
You can now read all 3 reports of the games from the weekend, as well as a continuation of the narrative, in the Battle Reports section.
4 days ago