Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Longstride defeats Blood Martyrs!

Fuel, or lack of it, occupied Lord Commander Lenord's mind in 09.007M42 and it was the Blood Martyrs who offered a solution. If Corunium could be taken quickly and decisively then resistance in the West Coronia Peninsular would collapse. This would yield the vital oilfields to the Imperium and force the Tau back into Genundis. Bottled up it would only be a matter of time before the Ethereals called a halt to the entire campaign, or so the theory went. With the plan settled the Blood Martyrs prepared their lightning strike on the city of Corunium, while Lenord planned a diversionary attack towards the river Stridius.

The attack, in the event, did not go according to plan for the Blood Martyrs. The landing, by Thunderhawk, went as planned, and the marines thought they had taken the Tau by surprise, but once again they had failed to understand Tau military philosophy. Commander Longstride had willingly yielded the city, which in itself was of no strategic consequence. Then, while the Blood Martyrs were bottled up in the narrow streets of Corunium, Longstride gathered his personal Guard around him and waited.

Tau intelligence was good, identifying the Marine breakout route. Then Longstride attacked. Longstride's personal Guard included veteran Crisis Suit operators, as well as Hammerhead and Broadside support. When battle was joined the heavy railgiuns made light work of the Blood Martyr's heavy support units, destroying their Predators and Vindicators with ease. Even the Marine Rhinos, racing towards their foe, were easy meat for the versatile Crisis Suits, and soon the Blood Martyrs found themselves in serious trouble.

Only Chaplain Ceralon of the 4th company saved Astartes pride. He personaly led his assault squad against the Tau, cutting down three Broadside teams, a unit of kroot, a Crisis Suit team and Commander Longstride himself before massed frepower killed him and his unit. Only a third of the Marines which went in to Corunium returned, fleeing north. The sight of the Blood Martyrs defeated and fleeing broke Imperial morale and by 0809.007M42 the Tau commander had forced the Imperials back across the Stridius and back to the borders of Whettis and Gwendel, despite the knock on the head he received in personal combat with the Marine Chaplain.

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