With the Imperium concentrating all its efforts on Bastien and the Perseus Deeps campaign, commander Shadowstrike decided to retake the initiative in the Tarsis campaign. In Tau circles there were mumblings about the failure to successfully complete the campaign, and some influential Tau commanders were beginning to question the continued war on the planet, as it had become clear that the Tau supply lines were largely inadequate to exercise overwhelming force in the campaign.
Shadowstrike organised an elite strike force to attack and take the mining colony on the outer rim of the Tarsis system, knowing that the facility was only defended by largely ill equipped Porphyrian troops, sent as far away as possible from the front lines following their comrades’ defection in 009M42. The Tau commander took a chance that the Imperial fleet would not be present in the system and brought his fleet from its base on Cernunnos. His gamble paid off as only two transports were present, loading more cargo to aid Cunningham’s war effort on Tarsis Major. After dispatching these when they foolishly opened fire rather than surrendering, Shadowstrike landed his Cadres on the mining colony.
In the low gravity and inhospitable atmosphere around the main facility the Porphyrians found themselves outgunned and outmanoeuvred in a savage but brief battle. Even so the Imperial regiment put up enough of a fight to warn their comrades in the facility itself, and by 1805.010M42 the last defenders of the outpost were holed up in the facility itself, waiting for rescue. That rescue would hopefully take the form of Commodore Cardale’s battlefleet which embarked for Tarsis as soon as reports came in that the Tau fleet had arrived in Tarsis space. A showdown was inevitable.