Sunday, December 08, 2013

Zadoc: Tau relentless advance

Following on from the losses on Foregi, the Imperium continued to retreat as 12.013M42 progressed. Once again Windgather's tau-eldar alliance was at the forefront of the tau advances, and the commander was becoming a significant hero in the Empire. For over a year he had enjoyed nothing but success, and his triumphs now put Shadowstrike's in the shade. However for the greater good, the alliance continued to use his forces as they battled on against the imperium.

On the chaos front the tau remained quiet, launching no offensives as they forged ahead against the imperium. The chaos forces too showed no interest in trying to defeat the alliance invasion, much to the vexation of general Brooke's successor, General Wavell. On 0712.013M42 the imperial front line reached Biordeosta, where imperial resistance stiffened, and for a while the tau advance was halted as they realised that a shadowsword was deployed in the outskirts of the city.

Windgather called on his elite units to counter this threat, and then advanced on the settlement, the largest on the continent. Eldar fire dragons were sent in on a near suicidal mission, while the rest of the alliance formation kept the imperial army at bay. The attack immediately resulted in serious imperial losses, as tanks and infantry were cut down by murderous tau firepower. The shadowsword proved to be hit and miss, firing widly inaccurate volleys before annihilating a mighty eldar wraithknight in one shot. Sensibly the tau riptides kept their distance, and only the eldar, in wave serpents or on jetbikes, proved brave enough to weather the storm of fire from the leviathan.

The jetbikes suffered intensely, and imperial tanks felled the central counter assault by eldar mechanised infantry. However the fire dragons weathered the imperial fire, advancing through the ruins of the west of the city, before unleashing concentrated melta fire. Sustained melta fire eventually overcame the shadowsword's armour, reducing the super heavy tank to ruined and twisted metal. A few guardsmen managed to get their revenge, but the fire dragons managed to complete their mission largely unscathed. The shadowsword felled, the tau felt able to advance once more, deep striking crisis suits taking out the centre of the line while the rest of Windgather's army now approached to deadly short range.

By 1012.013 Biordeosta had fallen and the tau advance was underway again. A second thrust of Windgather's forces simultaneously pushed south through the rugged terrain south of Monte Cressino towards Pereggor. The Apocalypse Riders attempted to intervene as the alliance force wound its way through the mountain passes, but despite concentrated fire obliterating a Wraithknight in the first moments of the engagement, the astartes force once again struggled against the enemy.

The Apocalypse Riders, now joined by Issodon, sprung an ambush on the tau-eldar alliance, giving them serious cause for concern. Fierce firepower was shrugged off by the astartes command squad, but elsewhere concentrated last ditch defensive fire kept the astartes at bay, just barely, while the eldar portion of the force took the fight to the imperial force. The chaotic encounter saw all concept of a front line disappear, as the tau held off outflanking forces while further south the eldar engaged in their own private battle with the marine rear, including Lias Issodon himself, who stood back trying to co-ordinate what had become a chaortic battle.

In the end however the alliance force shook off the astartes ambush and were able to draw up more forces from the north. The Riders withdrew, having given the allied force a bloody nose, particularly the eldar who had certainly come off worse than their tau comrades during the fight. Their sacrifice had bought the tau time to unleash their superior firepower, overwhleming the small astartes force, and allowing Windgather's army to start advancing once again. The imperium retreated once again, losing Perregor in the south by 1512.013M42.

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