Monday, March 29, 2010

Tarsis Major - Space Wolves attack

With the newly created (or at least named) ASMOC determining that Tarsis Major was of tertiary significance, General Cunningham did not expect any significant reinforcement, and Imperial Tacticae predicted the fall of the northern front in under a year, without intervention, whatever strategy Cunningham put in place, so long as the Tau would accept the cost. While Cunningham and his advisors debated their plans and attempted to inflict the highest possible losses on the advancing enemy, there was an astonishing arrival.

On 2203.010M42 a single strike cruiser of the Space Wolves chapter entered the Tarsis system and, finding no Tau fleet immediately present, moved swiftly in system. Four days later they launched a full company from their vessel, taking the Tau defences completely by surprise and gaining a foothold on the massive orbital docks which stood silent above Tarsis Major's azure blue western ocean.

The Space marines now had to move quickly to secure the base before the Tau could deploy overwhelming force against them, and move quickly they did. The docks, built on one of Tarsis Majors' two irregular moons, allowed for the deployment of modified, if conventional forces. Attacking across the rocky ground in their rhinos, the space wolves soon encountered stiff resistance from the Tau huntre cadre stationed on the Docks.

In the first few minutes of the engagement Tau hammerheads, guided to their targets by pathfinder teams, made short work of the rhinos, but soon the Tau found that once out of their vehicles, the space wolves were no less dangerous. The destruction of on of the Astartes dreadnoughts did little to stop the space wolf advance, and the deployment of mobile fire warrior units in close firefights only hastened the xenos warriors' demise.

Even so the Astartes captain was growing worried. He knew that if the battle wasn't fought to a conclusion soon, the Tau would be able to scramble reinforcements. The loss of his vehicles had slown his advance, and his vanguard forces were now behind schedule. The heroes of the hour however were the assault troops. Despite taking heavy casualties the wolf brothers and their jump packs cleaved through the Tau forces, taking down first fire warriors, then crisis suits, then the heart of the Tau defence at the centre of the orbital compound. This one squad did much to capture the docks, although it would be unfair to attribute the ultimate Space Wolf success to just one unit.

In just a few short hours, a very relieved captain of the company reported that all Tau resistance had been wiped out. None had survived. The Tau had put u a brave and determined fight, but had been unable to deal with the marines' ruggedness, and frequently got too close to the jump troops, allowing the elite warriors to destroy each Tau squad in turn. A close run thing had eventually turned into a massacre, and the Imperium had retaken one of the two critical system objectives. The Tau on Tarsis Minor were put on full alert, and Strongspear urgently requested the support of the fleet. It may only be of tertiary significance to ASMOC, but to the Astartes it seemed, this was the Emperor's world, and would not be abandonned.

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