Friday, November 07, 2008

Elan Ro pushes on Montgate

Just before the Daemonic incursion on Merrin the Tau high command, led by Shadowstrike and Elan Ro, launched their first major offensive against the Imperium since the landings. Their plan was to destroy Imperial war assets south of Montgate and to get near the city, before encircling it and taking it for the Tau Empire. The Imperium meanwhile, dug in and awaited the inevitable attack.

Using his usual tactics which had served him so well on Taris Minor, Elan Ro at first advanced at dawn on 0111008M42 with his armoured skimming tanks. The Librian 88th were caught off guard by the sudden appearance of Tau in their lines and were initially ineffective in their return fire.

The battle developed at pace after the initial contact, with Elan Ro reading the situation in real time to throw in his reserves, many deepstriking from low flying Mantas, into the heart of the most critical fire fights.

General Cochrane, in charge in the North of Merrin, was less able to react as he tried to form a credible defence with Librian, Zadocian and Tarsis forces, however the Librians did put up a strong resistance. This resistance however was broken when the Librians began taking heavy casualties from Tau pulse weapon fire, which proved accurate and deadly.

One notable problem for the Librians was the stability of their plasma weaponry. Almost all the plasma guns in use widely by the 88th malfunctioned, incinerating their users and making the remaining special weapon carrying guardsmen less than confident in using them. The lack of plasma weaponry became decisive when Tau Devilfish and crisis suits were used en masse late on the 6th. Following a stand at Millner, a small but vital town on the crossroads to Montgate, the Imperial Guard forces were taking casualties at a rate of 4/1, high enough for Cochrane to order a general retreat to the defences of Montgate itself.

Elan Ro began preparing his attack on the city, while Shadowstrike moved his forces into position to cut of a large proportion of the Tarsis PDF in a pocket, trapping them between the Tau and the recently arrived Ork forces. The Orks were in fact pinning the Tarsis troops in place so they could not manoeuvre out of the trap. All was going to plan - then the daemons arrived.

No comments: