Sunday, August 21, 2011
Tau forces secure Vallerander
Following the successful if desparate air attacks on the Tau by the Imperial air force, the Imperial garrison was strengthened on the ground by a company of Salamanders. The overall position of the Imperium on the ground was however, pretty dire. The Tau had greater numbers and more equipment, and the destruction of the Librian guard units now left the commander of the theatre with just one Zadocian Guard regiment, a handful of PDF units and a few companies of marines. Tyndareous needed Imperial Guard reinforcement desperately, but that was weeks away, and the Tau new it.
Realising the opportune moment was now, the Tau attacked Vallerander in force, hoping for an easy victory against poorly equipped planetary defence troopers. What the Tau didn't know was that the Salamanders had identified Vallerander as a key strategic position and had moved quietly into position on the night of 1808.011M42. As soon as they attacked, the Tau came up against concerted resistance and began taking losses they did not expect. They were however of the Ksi'm'yen sept, by now the most respected Tau fighting force of the whole Aleph expansion sphere, and their experience and tactical knowledge against Imperial tactics proved invaluable, while the Salamanders, undoubtedly humanity's finest warriors, lacked exposure to Tau fighting methods.
After a bitter struggle lasting more than a day, the Salamanders grudgingly gave up Vallerander and moved off the high ground. There was no sense in losing their entire strength and they had at least inflicted significant casualties on their enemy. The commanders on Tyndareous now wondered how many reserves the Tau had, as their own forces were looking rather thin on the ground.