News of a raid on the Tau colony of Lucardium did nothing to calm Imperial nerves, even though commander Hawkeye had no difficulty in seeing off the rabble which attacked. Damage to Tau possessions however was more than the Tau commander would have liked and the ork fleet was able to get away before the Tau could catch them.
Next came news of an encounter on Danelloth, the closest of the Shadow worlds to the Vork Ork Empire, in the Zadoc subsector. The mining world, with a worker population of only 7,000 would have been devastated if a force of daemonhunters had not been present. Their arrival had been viewed with suspicion and fear, but the family run corporation on Danelloth were pleased to have them around when the green tide arrived.
The commander of the sector, Lord General Thadeus Roover, enraged by these fresh Ork incursions, ordered the Ork fleet found and destroyed. Lord Admiral Bova Magnus gave his subordinate, Admiral Jellicoe, to find and take out the Orks.
Jellicoe, a veteran of many Ork engagements ordered his carrier battlegroup, under Rear Admiral McManners, to find and destroy the Ork fleet before they escaped to the Vork Ork Empire. McManners, with the Mars class Illustrious and the dictator class vessels Intrepid and Redoubtable soon found the marauding fleet after leaving Fort Aerin.
The Ork fleet consisted of a number of ramshackle escorts, including a number of ramships, as well as three Ork cruisers. The Imperial carrier fleet first dealt a heavy blow with some incredibly accurate nova cannon fire, before launching wave after wave of bombers at the Ork vessels. Despite losing their escorting Sword and Firestorm frigates, mainly due to insane Ork ramming actions, the three cruisers performed admirably, refuelling and re-arming their attack craft twice as fast as the Ork vessels could.
This battle was a major engagement of carrier forces unlike anything seen in previous engagements with the Tau. Jellicoe had sent the right ask force to do the job, though it took a lucky hit to silence one of the Ork cruisers, reducing it to a hulk. A second Ork cruiser was similarly put out of action by swarming Imperial attack craft, before the remaining vessel, known as “The Jolly Ork” was forced to disengage. McManners returned to base with minimal damge, though accurate turret fire from the Orks meant many of his pilots had been killed. Intrepid alone had lost more than half her complement of bombers.