Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tau inch forward on Tuva

Operation Triton had suceeded in its aims of securing a hold on southern Tuva, claiming Maybourn, Silverbrook and the strategically important Tuvan Industrial Complex for the Tau. Shadowstrike needed to ensure these gains stayed in Tau hands and that Saphire Harbour was protected from any Imperial attack. To this end he needed to eliminate the salient of Imperial resistance that could form the base for an Imperial counter attack.

Shadowstrike wasn't expecting a massive breakthrough - the attack was obvious and Tau intelligence detected that the Imperials were well prepaired and deployed in strength. Still, only a small advance was needed to close the pocket and cut off the Imperial supply lines.

Cunningham had indeed predicted the attack and no sooner had the Tau commenced offensive operations the Guardsmen of the 101st Librian Regiment mounted a strong counter offensive. Unwilling to risk the high casualties that would result from taking on this offensive head on, Shadowstrike opted to harry the advancing spearhead, attempting to wear it down enough to launch his own push. The Guard of the 101st were veterans of the Melberg campaign, highly experienced and knowledgable about Tau battle tactics. They sustained few casualties in their advance, but were likewise unable to inflict any serious casualties on Shadowstrikes crack Cadres. Still, the advance gained ground through the shear presence of massed Tank and Infantry companies which the Tau were unwilling to take on in a battle of attrition.

In order to achieve his objectives Shadowstrike called in other assets to hault the Imperial advance. AX-1-0 Tiger Sharks launched from bases around the Tuvan Industrial Complex and began destroying Imperial supply convoys, guided by intelligence collected by stealth and pathfinder teams. Shadowstrike also began inserting commando teams and manta bourn cadres into the Imperial rear areas. With no air cover Cunningham faced a simple choice - pull back his men or allow them them to be annihilated, stranded deep in Tau territory without fuel or ammunition. He withdrew the Imperial 101st back to the safety of the main Imperial line and surrendered the pocket. Shadowstrike had removed the Imperial salient and with few casualties, but had failed to push back the Imperial battleline or inflict a defeat on the proud 101st.

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