Although the sacrifice of the Porphyrian Guard bought the defenders time, the desperate and surrounded garrison of the asteroid mining installations around Tarsis could not hope to hold out against Shadowstrike's elite Hunter Cadres. But at the cost of their lives they did succeed in delaying the Tau still further, time which allowed the highly mobile formations of the feared Astartes to respond to this new threat. Thunderhawks launched from a Space Wolf strike cruiser landed packs at key points surrounding the central mining complex.
The tactic of lightning fast strikes falling from each point of the compass in quick succession would have thrown any other enemy into confusion, but Shadowstrike's cadres were veterans of the long and bitter Melberg and Tarsis campaigns. Although their normally textbook perfect patterns of fire and movement were severely disrupted by the densely packed mining rigs and pump houses the Tau managed to concentrate fire on each threat in turn, causing significant casualties on the lead waves. But not for nothing are the Space Wolves feared and renowned amongst the Emperor's enemies. Although largely protected by their stealth fields and countermeasures the cadre's supporting vehicles found themselves constantly disrupted by the Space Wolve's own supporting fire and their fire warriors suffered severe casualties in the brutal fighting for the facility's key central positions.
Held together by inspirational leadership from Shadowstrike's progeny, Shas'el Star Fire, the Tau succeeded in repelling the Space Wolves from the central areas, but the outskirts remained under Imperial control. Although the fighting gradually ground down into stalemate the Tau received reports of transports carrying supporting forces of the Imperial Guard inbound. Star Fire released his position was in danger of becoming untenable.
The Tau see no shame in abandoning an unfavourable position for tactical advantage and Star Fire understood that if he were to succeed in capturing the asteroid mining facilities he must conserves his forces and await the right time to strike. The Tau abandoned the wreckage of the mines to the humans for more secure positions in the labyrinth of caves that riddled the asteroids.