Sunday, May 17, 2009

Operation Triton

Commander Shadowstrike knew that the continual attitional battles against the Imperium on Tuva could not continue, and conceived "operation Triton" in early 05.009M42. On 1505.009M42 that plan went into action. Phase 1 consisted of establishing beacheads in strategically important locations on Tuva, specifically the Ork held mines in the north, and the vital industrial heartland to the North of Maybourne.Shadowstrike knew the Imperium would not expect this, as it was supremely confident that any air assault would be detected, intercepted, and destroyed.

On 1505.009M42 in the south of the continent contact was suddenly lost with several listening posts. When scouting forces reached their location they found them blown out craters, destroyed by some form of air to ground missile launched from close range. Imperial Intelligence speculated that some form of stealth fighter must have been used for the listening posts to give no warning of an airborne intrusion. But it was already much too late - low flying orcas had already successfully inserted ground forces to the outskirts of the Tuvan Industrial complex.

Warned by their own Auspex station the Porphyrian regiments which had been pulled out of the line following recent battles, rushed to defend the outskirts against the Tau assault. Lead by Star Fire, the Tau identified the Porphyrian's left flank as weak and launched the bulk of their forces against it. Desaster struck the Porphyrians when precision railgun fire exploaded their Leman Russ support, engulfing their infantry in a rolling fireball and sending them fleeing from the field. The remaining units found themselves unsupported and at the mercy of lightning assaults by Kroot skirmishers and Vespid.

Resistance was fiercer on the right where the Porphyrians massed significant forces amidst the denfences of their base, but they had little answer to the elusive crisis and stealth teams that plagued them. Their defence finally crumbled when drones were dropped into the centre of their defensive position by Tiger Sharks. Although they repelled this assault the distraction proved fatal as the Tau suites moved in and finally the Porphyrian commander was given no choice but to conceed his position as lost and withdraw what few survivors were left.

Imperial HQ was sent into chaos and confusion as reports of the Tau insertion, well behind the front lines, came in from the Border Heights. General Cunningham quickly dispatched several Librian regiments to this zone, angered that Imperial intelligence had let him down so badly. He was right to be angered. Somehow the Tau had managed to insert a large force of troops, by air, right under the nose of the Imperial navy. Tacticae couldn't say how they had not been detected, only that all the vital sensori stations in the region had gone blank less than an hour before the landings...

In the North Hawk Eye, recently returned from the Rim Worlds, commmanded the assault on the final pocket of Orks on Tarsis. Tau planners had identified the Ork territories as weak and an ideal position to launch a push on the capital from. However the Orks had position several 'oog missul launchas on the outskirts of their base rendering any large scale assault impossible as it would place the valuable Mantas at unacceptable risk.

A mixed armada of Air Caste fighters from the various Tau Septs present on Tarsis escorted a pair of Tiger Shark AX-1-0 to the target. The Orks proved surprisingly canny, forcing the Tau to engage them and offering fightas as bait to draw in their opponents. The Tau suffered initial losses but eventually Tau technology, discipline and teamwork began to tip the balance. Whilst fighters twisted and spiralled in the air the Tau Tiger Sharks dropped to begin their attack runs.

Disaster struck as one the the rare and valuable AX-1-0s was shot down by ground defences but the remaining bomber made its strafing run, aided by elements of its figher escort who had finally driven off the ork air force. 3 missiles were destroyed and one damaged. With 2/3rds of the Ork air forces destroyed and the missiles nutralised Hawk Eye ordered a full invasion of Northern Tuva and Mantas scrambled from the assembly areas around New Southwick. The Tau attacked in overwhelming force, rendering all resistance futile.

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