Thursday, July 03, 2008

Tyndareous: Airborne Assault

Following the action against the Night Lords in 06.008M42 the Imperial Commander Colonel Spiggot came under intense pressure from High Command to take the fight to the enemy, not least to show up the Tau, who had been relatively inactive in their sector in the previous few weeks. Spiggot demanded reinforcements, troops which were able to match the speed and mobility of Tau forces, thinking his sarcastic communique would be understood by his superiors Eight days later the Librian 1st Airborne Cavalry unit arrived.

The Airborne Cavalry were a newly formed regiment, founded in the short years following the approval of Libria’s production of Valkyrie and Vulture aircraft. Only four regiments existed in 04.008M42 and none had seen combat. Spiggot was less than convinced by the new arrivals but immediately began planning an operation to attack the Night Lords’ territory. Perhaps novelty value and surprise alone would be a winning factor. The plan was simple. Surprise the Night Lords, destroy as much as possible, then get out. However the execution of the plan turned into a bloody shambles.

Tactical doctrine stated that airborne assaults should arrive together, in one shocking and overwhelming wave, supported by sentinels and Vulture attack ships. On Tyndareous the operation became a demonstration of how not to co-ordinate a drop…

First of all the Command units arrived before the other Valkyries, each holding ten stormtroopers. The heavy lifter aircraft, carrying the sentinels, went the wrong way, critically delaying their arrival. Worse was to follow, as the Vulture wing supporting the assault misunderstood their orders, leaving after just one attack run. As the attack craft began the journey back to base a furious exchange of vox messages finally made them change course towards the battle, but crucial air cover had been lost.

The Stormtroopers of the Librian 1st AirCav fought bravely and well where they could, but the attack was piecemeal and was soon brushed aside by the well prepared Night Lords. Some success was achieved and damage inflicted,including the destruction of a predator and a squad of Chaos terminators.Even so the attack was called off and the surviving aircraft returned to base. Inevitably the accusations began, with many questioning the value of airborne Imperial Guard units.

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