Rather than encircle the city, as Shadowstrike suggested, Longstride planned a quick and devastating assault, utilising his cadres’ speed and mobility. His attack bagan on 2509.007M42 and immediately yielded results. From across the Namin river hundreds of pathfinders lit up the hastily completed Imperial bunkers and nearly all were destroyed by devastatingly accurate Railgun fire in the first minutes of the attack.
Following the loss of their main defensive positions the Imperial defenders, part of the Narmala and Terris Kingdom Alliance under General Alexander, called for support. That support came in the form of General Jeffries’ and what was left of Army Group Centre.
The Librians counter-attacked ferociously, scoring some success with their Hellhound flame tanks on the unprotected fire warriors and kroot of Longstrides initial advance. These were both quickly withdrawn once the Hellhounds appeared and Hammerheads made short work of the Imperial tanks.
By the time that General Jeffries could deploy his main battle tanks and stormtrooper units the battle was as good as lost. The Narmalan defenders had abandoned the second line of defences and the Tau had crossed the river in force. Such was the momentum of the Tau attack that they simply brushed aside all resistance as they first encircled, then assaulted the city of Namivus.
On 2809.007M42 the Librians held just the extreme northern portion of the city. Cut off from the Terris Kingdom armies and Army group north under Alexander they were obliged to retreat to maintain their coherency and prevent Longstride from an all out breakthrough. In the event the Tau commander was quite content to hold the city and withdrew from the field, ready for the next strike.
The new Tau tactics continued to bear fruit, striking hard and fast at the Imperium before withdrawing. Now Sunstrike prepared for a new operation, conceptualised by the new Shas’O Shadowstrike. An operation which would shatter Imperial resistance in the north west and see the Isle of Cora fall to the Tau Empire.
First, and most importantly the Tau would launch a massive air campaign, using their entire fleet of aircraft launched from their carriers in orbit. This attack would be designed to smash the Imperial navy irrevocably, paving the way for a massive airdrop on Coravus. This would cut the isolated defenders in Cora and Namivus into three unsupplied groups. Capitulation would be inevitable.