Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tau defend outposts

News of the Iron Warriors incursion on Paratea reached Shadowstrike's battle fleet whilst it was docked for repair and resupply work at Calabris, the Tau's primary way station in the Aurelis Deeps. Realising that urgent action must be taken if the Tau were not to lose another minor colony a task force was immediately dispatched. Comprised of whatever ships and troops could be mobilised at such short notice the task force was limited in scope, so rather than engage the Iron Warriors in a bloody frontal assault the Tau employed the subterfuge and cunning that the Ksi'm'yen sept were rightly renowned for. Using Paratea's moon to hide the fleet's approach a hunter cadre was deployed covertly to the planets surface.

The first the Iron Warriors knew of this renewed Tau presence on Paratea was when their convoy came under fire. Caught on a road amidst wide open terrain the Iron Warriors lost all of their rhino transports in short order. Forced to dismount they initially pressed forwards despite being unable to identify the Tau positions which were heavily cloaked by stealth technology. As they advanced into the cauldron of fire they finally caught site of an enemy – crisis suites on their flanks, leaping from cover to cover and laying down a withering hail of missiles and plasma bolts. As the suites closed the range the Iron Warrior commander realised that his force was a sitting duck and that he would suffer heavy casualties for little gain if he continued to advance into the Tau's ambush. The Iron Warriors withdrew from Paratea and abandoned their beachhead on the Tau world.

Meanwhile Shadowstrike had succeeded in mobilising the rest of his fleet. Proceeding at full speed to Paratea they received the transmission informing them of the advanced parties success whilst they were still traversing the Aurelis Crossing. With scouting parties reporting signs of Ork pirates amidst the asteroid fields of a remote star Shadowstrike ordered the fleet to divert and deal with the menace to Tau shipping. Despite suffering early attrition to their advance escorts the Tau battle fleet succeeded in bringing their capital ships to bare and the Orks were annihilated, unable to muster any kind of defence against the Tau's torpedo and bomber waves. With the Aurelis Crossing secured for the time being the Tau were able to re-enforce Paratea and build up the Tau colony there to protect it from any future aggression.

As 03.012M42 approached its end however, not everything was going the way of the Ethereals in charge of the Tau expansion. They had held on to Paratea in the Perseus Deeps, but just as this victory was being celebrated, news of the abject failure of the garison of Va Doran to successfully contest the Space Wolf landing reached Cernunnos.

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