Commander Shadowstrike, appointed to "advise" Sunstrike after his less than successful prosecution of the Melberg campaign quickly intervened in the north in order to stabilise the front which had been collapsing under repeated assaults from Taves' Northern army group. Shadowstrike wasted no time in getting his troops to the front and immediately organised an attack with his counterpart, Quicksword.
Taves was expecting the counter-attack and his troops put up a fierce defence of their hard won gains. Casualties quickly mounted and several battalions of tanks were wiped out. The Tau suffered too and bothcommanders thought about abandoning the assault.
The fighting eventually pivoted on the town of Blackwater, a small industrial centre south of Namivus. Here bloody fighting erupted with the Tau committing in strength. The firefight degenerated into a confused meleeand for the first time in the war significant hand-to-hand combat actions were fought. The result was carnage. By the end of 1708.007M42 the Imperial Guard forces were spent and Taves was obliged to withdraw.
The orderly retreat of the 14th AVR left the way open for Shadowstrike to relieve the beleagured and besieged Tau forces in Namivus. For now the Imperial Guard advance had been checked, but at such a high priceLongstride and Sunstrike wondered how long the Tau Empire would accept such high casualties.