|Battle of Ryza redirects here. For the Horus Heresy campaign, see Defence of Ryza.
Named after Ryza, an important Forge World located at its centre, the Ryza system comprises more than a dozen star systems. In response to the new threat, Imperial Guard regiments were raised from all planets within ten light years including the worlds of Barac, Dulma'lin, Ulani and Catachan. To meet the additional tithe requirements, the world of Dulma'lin drafted four-fifths of its total populace.[1a] The battle was decades in the making as Grax's Boyz gradually pushed the Imperium back across the system, arriving in ever increasing numbers. The response zone was increased to match secondary Ork threats.[1b] Despite increased reinforcements, the Imperium continued to lose ground; the expanding warzone turned into a meat grinder, swallowing planet after planet in bloody conflict.
Orks continued to capture Imperial worlds in the system. After a series of battles with battlewagon battalions, the orks captured the Ice World of Hyberia and its strategically important promethium mines, and the factory world of Proctus Prime was overtaken and billions of humans enslaved to produce weapons for the orks. Only the newly-arrived Catachan Jungle Fighters ensured that the Imperium maintained a hold upon a single continent of Ulani IV, although two of its sister planets fell under green dominion. The Orks failed to establish a foothold on the planet of Barac but, using treachery and stealth, they captured its trio of moons. As bitter fighting raged across a hundred fronts, many new warbands and whole Waaaghs! were drawn to Grax's banner and to the ever-growing conflagration. Led by Kommander Rarguts, the ragtag fleets of Waaagh! Rarguts broke through the Imperial Navy defensive blockade to once again threaten Ryza itself. Waaagh! Gorbad is also believed to have joined the assault on the Ryza system, while Waaagh! Skullkrumpa splintered away.
The Forge World itself was invaded three times over the course of the conflict. The ground itself shook before the clanging advance of Gargants, massed Stompas and a living green tide of orks as Fighta-Bommers tore through low-hanging pollution clouds. Imperial Guard armies mustered along trench lines, and immense numbers of Leman Russ Executioners were driven straight out of Ryza's factories and into the whirlwind of fighting. Super-heavy tanks, ancient Titans of the Legio Crucius and other weapons of the Adeptus Mechanicus also joined the fighting, lighting up the horizon with their firepower and marking the Waaagh! as one of the greatest conflicts of the 41st Millennium.
- 1: Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition):
- 2: Warhammer 40,000 6th Edition Rulebook, pg. 202
- 3: Apocalypse, pgs. 3-6
- 4: Codex: Orks (3rd Edition), pg. 3
- 5: White Dwarf 390 pg. 30