Sunday, November 23, 2008

Operation Deliverance

Although the Tau still had significant holdings on Tarsis they had not made the gains predicted during the planning stages of the campaign. After the prolonged attritional campaign of Melberg there was little will amongst the ruling caste for another protracted blood bath. With other commanders overseeing the Tarsis theatre beginning to voice doubts Shadowstrike formulated a plan to regain the initiative, Operation Deliverance.

The first step would be to significantly expand the Tau’s beachhead on Tarsis. Rather than drive the Tau’s limited forces against the elite Traitor Marines and their daemon allies the Tau would instead target the much softer Guard and Ork forces to the east. In this way the Tau could make significant gains in land without sustaining serious casualties, giving the Tau room to employ their traditional mobile approach to warfare, rather than be forced to stand and fight against the inexorable advance of chaos. The second step was already being prepared. A Tau fleet was assembling at Rhesius ready to strike at the Nightlords sector base at Typhon. Such a strike, if successful, would cut off the Night Lord’s supply route to Tarsis and give the Tau dominance in the Rim Worlds, allowing them to ship re-enforcements by a more direct route. The orbital docks at Tarsis were also earmarked as a priority target for a rapid strike. With these missions completed the Tau would find themselves in a much stronger strategic position to launch their own counter attack against the forces of Chaos.

Commander Star Fire was given the task of completing step one of the plan. Attacking at dawn two spearheads struck out to the east, one driving into the meandering and disorganised Ork hordes and the other into the lines of the Trebbian 9th, where intelligence indicated their were poorly supported with tanks and heavy equipment. In both areas the elite, mobile and well equipped Tau Cadres found opposition week. Employing the aggressive and stealthy tactics renowned of the Ksi‘m‘yen Sept the Tau struck from hiding, mowing down the enemy infantry with opportunist strikes by their Stealth Suites and Hammerhead formations and giving the enemy no chance to reply. The Tau quickly met all their pre-determined objectives and within the space of a single day the Tau all but annihilated the Ork presence on Merrin and claimed huge swathes of land from the Imperium. The Tau now had the breathing space they needed. Meanwhile the Tau invasion fleet had reached the edge of the Rhesius system and was preparing for its first warp jump…

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