Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Imperium considers its options

On 2407.008M42 Imperial high command commissioned a senior tactician to analyse the situation in the Zadoc subsector and recommend a course of action. The outposts in the Mabb Nebula and in the upper Perseus Deeps were being lost at an alarming rate and the Imperial forces seemed to lack a central strategy to contain the myriad threats which beset the subsector. Although no major worlds were immediately under threat, there were many in the Imperium who were appalled by the consistent losses, particularly on Tyndareous and Danelloth.

Requester: +++CLASSIFIED+++
Date: 2007.008M42
Access point: Station Alterain Zadoc
Achivist: Hellian Griaz
Security Clearance: Aurantius-γ
Ref: Zsl.DtBs.2984298404/V
Search terms: Zadoc defence policy
Secondary items: Mabb Nebula, Perseus Deeps. Danelloth, Tyndareous, New Sparta, Priam.
Thought for the day: No joy is more pure than that found in doing one's duty!

My lords,

The following is a summary of my findings on the current activity in the Zadoc subsector, particularly that in the so-called Rim Worlds (Perseus Deeps) and Shadow Worlds (Mabb Nebula). These threats must be taken as a whole to provide a picture of the overall danger to Imperial interests, but the possibility of invasion or attack on the established Imperial worlds in the subsector must be analysed in the motives of each of the forces involved in the conflicts.

The Tau
The Tau have only been limited players in the recent increase in violence in the subsector, following the costly war on Melberg. Only Hawkeye, one of Shadowstrike’s lieutenants has been active, directing his attacks from Tau holdings in the Perseus Deeps (Cernunnos, Parataea, Lucardium), and has to date managed to conquer the warring factions of New Sparta. With his invasion of the small colony of Rhesius, it looks likely that a limited Tau colonisation of this region is the intention.

Such an invasion will be difficult to sustain given the current Tau assets in the subsector, and providing Hawkeye’s fleet can be neutralised, the Tau expansion in this region should be easily checked.

Recommendation: Increase patrols from Caitlen station to isolate and destroy the Tau fleet.

The recent resurgence of Chaos forces in the Aleph sector as a whole is deeply disturbing. Forces believed to be spent have resurfaced, such as the Moonface Catechism, which will almost certainly take Priam, and the Night Lords under “Lord Raziel”, who have already overthrown Imperial law on Typhon and taken Tyndareous by force. Neither force has a large spacefleet but both are being transported (it is believed) by the fleets of Lord Traegan and Admiral Thok.

A third force has also been identified working for Chaos in the Zadoc subsector, the Death Guard legion, though this faction seems subservient to both the Catechism and the Night Lords.

Though the individual motives and short term plans of the Chaos forces are difficult to uncover, it is clear that they are working together in an effort to carve out small Empires from the ashes of the Imperium. To stop this I recommend that we face the Chaos threat on these comparatively unimportant worlds before they collectively assault a major Imperial world.

Additionally the fleet of the rogue and unpredictable Admiral Thok must be hunted down and destroyed. The victory at Rhesius was insuffient to dissuade his lunatic actions.

Since the Chaos forces are comprised of three factions Imperial agents should seek to “divide and conquer”, breaking up the unholy alliance of the Chaos legions. We already know that the Moonface Catechism will not be subservient to anyone and it is highly unlikely that Lord Raziel will take orders from Moonface. Additionally there is no love lost between the devotees of Nurgle and the Night Lords, so a wedge should be driven there also.

The Orks
Waagh! Nazghat has been gaining in strength over recent months and with his speed freak allies it is clear that the Orks are intent on conquering the Mabb Nebula and liberating the Ork held Keprok by destroying the Imperial forts which protect nearby space lanes.

The Orks advance through space in a hap-hazard fashion, and their fleet is relatively poorly equipped. At least half the fleet of the subsector should be employed hunting the Orks in space before they get a foothold on the planets they are invading. Additionally, quick reaction forces, well equipped, are needed to counter any initial Ork invasion. Danelloth fell simply because insufficient resources were brought to bear too slowly, similarly to the loss of Tyndareous to Chaos.

Other Forces
The Eldar are potential allies but as ever it is difficult to rely on a capricious alien race. Their interest in Memnon proves they are as unhappy with Ork and Chaos colonisation of the worlds in the Mabb Nebula as we are.

The Tyranids have been found on a number of worlds in the subsector, but it seems the hive fleet itself is fractured and dispersed. Triton is a spent force though Hive fleet Phoenix, a splinter of Triton, may yet prove destructive.

Current tactical simulations and prognostications indicate the following risks.

Should Priam fall Chaos will already control two worlds in the upper Perseus Deeps and on in the Mabb nebula. Further losses here would seriously endanger the shipping route from Libria to Zadoc. This risks isolating the lower Zadoc subsector with the possible implications of losing Libria and Tyranteous.

If the Waagh! Nazghat is allowed to rage unchecked the Orks will inevitably attempt an assault on a major Imperial world. The loss of more planets in the Mabb nebula puts at risk the systems of Alphe and Betor in the upper Zadoc subsector particularly.

While the Tau position is not as yet that strong in the subsector, more conquests by Hawkeye in the Rim worlds simply improves their holdings in the Perseus Deeps and fuels their lust for unfettered expansion. It should not be forgotten however that the Tau may prove invaluable allies in the fight against the Orks and Chaos.

Imperial strategy must be co-ordinated from a central point. A force of at least three Adeptus Astartes chapters and at least thirty Imperial Guard regiments should be assembled into several rapid reaction forces, able to meet any threat in the subsector quickly and ruthlessly.

Such an assembly of forces however will overstretch the current fleet provision and leave shipping routes unprotected. Additionally there are less than five companies of Astartes in the subsector.

Imperial High Command should seek extra forces given the increase in hostiles in the recent months, citing the arrival of Chaos and Ork forces as the major threat. I recommend an increase in the fleet assets by at least six capital ships of the line. Since only one can be built every two years at Caitlen, we must ask fo assistance from the Naval High Command at Kar Duniash.

The Imperial Guard levy should also be increased on Libria, while we should seek the external recruitment of no less than ten regiments.

If we fail to meet the threats in the Rim Worlds and in the Shadow Worlds, we may soon find ourselves fighting our enemies on our strategically valuable holdings. It is far more preferable to hold our enemies at arms length.

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