Sunday, June 23, 2013

Tyranteous: The battle of Wendrick

With the loss of the north on Tyranteous, Lord General Brooke at subsector command immediately got a verbal battering from his superior, which via astropath, was a surreal thing to behold for his command council. The irrascible tones of Lord General Thaddeus Roover came through strongly in the entranced voice of the diminutive astropath, who proceeded to deliver the dressing down of a high ranking imperial guard officer with no hint of the peculiarity of the situation. Roover was keen to know why General Denham on the ground had allowed the tau to gain a foothold in Wendrick, and whether the capital was at risk, while demanding an immediate counter-attack with the resources which were already "plentiful" enough for their purpose.

The highest ranking general in the sector sounded worried, even in the warp distorted and infuriated tones emanating from the astropath this was evident. Brooke, commander of the subsector was painfully aware of the arrival of the new sector government, and Roover's need to impress on them that the sector was in safe hands with him, despite the plentiful evidence to the contrary with the loss of Alphe, Betor, Tarsis, Melberg and the Rim Worlds... This meant more and more desperate urging that the campaigns on Hylas and Tyranteous be brought to a successful conclusion, or at least show some positive movement. For now the war against the orks was quiet, but on Tyranteous the tau were enjoying a string of victories with their new technology, and Roover was concerned that by the time admiral Jellicoe's fleet arrived, there would be nothing left to save.

Privately the senior admiral in the sector felt that Tyranteous would be lost before he could send a force, so Grand Admiral Bova Magnus did not order his subordinate Jellicoe to apply any speed to the preparations of the "Tyranteous task force". So far 6 months had past and it appeared the imperial fleet was no nearer to leaving Caitlen station, with Jellicoe citing "urgent repairs" and other pressing concerns as reasons to stall. General Denham had no choice but to continue the war, and in mid 06.013M42 with the help of a small force of Blood Martyrs, he planned his counter attack for his seniors.

Denham began his counter attack on 2006.013M42, using his Librian Guard as a blunt weapon against the tau forces. His objectives were the tau bases which had been set up behind the front line to act as marshalling and supply points for the tau army. His imperial guard forces advanced on a wide front, supported by units of Blood Martyrs and a savage artillery bombardment which crippled a number of hammerhead gunships in the early exchanges of fire.

The attack started well for the imperium, with the tau suffering losses. The aliens gave ground, with Denham's Librian mechanised forces reaching their primary objectives on the first day. Then commander Whitefire sprung his trap. Supported by the up and coming commander Dawnstride, Whitefire's forces included Riptude battlesuits, which once again the imperium found difficult to deal with. the battle escalated as Denham threw in his reserve, committing chimera borne veterans and hellhound flame tanks into the fight. Again the tau took heavy casualties, their infantry suffering to the imperial fire, but Whitefire now committed his reserves. Hordes of kroot which had been hiding in the marshy forests of northern Wendrick surprised the imperial attackers and disrupted their momentum. The Blood Martyrs leading the speartip of the imperial advance were forced to double back to deal with deep striking crisis suits, which proved to be a more difficult foe than even the astartes had imagined.

By 2506.013M42 further reserves had been committed, and the imperial navy had been called in to strafe and bomb the alien positions. Little by little however the imperial advance slowed, and although the tau continued to suffer, losing one of their Riptides finally on 26th, the imperial advance had once again failed to break through. On 2706.013M42 the imperial forces began retreating, a retreat which increased in speed as Shadowstrike committed a fresh attack to the imperial lines. Halt lines were overrun and soon the imperial guard was almost in full rout. The line stabilised on 2906.013M42, but by then the capital had been lost and the Wendrick bridgehead widened along the Lanwick sea and Jute Strait. On 3006.013M42 General Brooke's astropath once again reported a message from his commander. This time Brooke asked for it to be translated to him in writing...

Supply of food to Zadoc is further reduced.

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