Sunday, January 19, 2014

Carcharadons fail to halt Tau. Vieto, Morozzo taken by Skyfall

the beginning of a new Terran year didn't bring any respite for the beleagured forces of the Imperium on Zadoc. Although morale had been "stiffened" by the appearance of the Carcharadons, the front line defences had not. The Tau command saw fit to launch a dual new offensive in early 01.014M42, inviting commander Skyfall to plan and oversee the operation and execution of the new assault.

Skyfall immediately took to the idea of a dual assault. The tau, benefitting from internal lines of supply (as opposed to the external ones now faced by the Imperial, cut in two by the recent offensive to the Tucciomua Sea) could afford to launch an attack in the north and south at the same time. Seeing no immediate threat from a quiescent Chaos front, Skyfall made his plans.

The southern offensive saw the tau move swiftly west across the plains of Massatta in a headlong dash towards The Vett isles and the important city of Vieto. Using ambush tactics the tau overcame the Zadocian defences and circumvented the stronger Novgorod held positions, and by 1901.014M42 they had captured the city.

The only battle worthy force able to strike back was the Carcharadon force which had so recently chastised its comrades. However the space sharks did not shirk from their taks and launched an immediate and punitive assault on the tau - and human - positions on the southern Massatta plains. The Carcharadons massacred the inhabitants of village after village, to the distress of the local populace and the tau alike, but the xenos commanders would not be drawn. Eventually the Carcharadons were forced to assault the Tau directly, where Skyfall had built significant defences.

The critical battle occurred near Pereggor, as Skyfall's tau fought a desparate defence of their positions as they came under sustained attack from the astartes. Despite horrendous losses the tau gave as good as they got, and managed to fend off the imperial assault. Battered but unbowed the Carcharadons withdrew. They had caused material damage to the tau but failed to halt their advance.

Now the position in the south looked tenuous. One southern thrust would cut significant forces off in the east of Masatta near the Nanali Sea, and Brooke began looking at options for withdrawal to shorten his lines.

In the north things were no better. Pushing north from Todetto Skyfall's forces fought a bitter series of engagements with Librian regiments, and once again Wavell was not averse to fielding his heaviest assets in the form of a shadowsword company. The super heavy vehicle's Volcano Cannon proved lethal for any tau who got in its path, but Skyfall's tactics - which gave him his name - utilised the Tau air superiority to land elite crisis teams behind the imperial lines. This coupled with a serious failure of the Librian regiments' plasma weaponry, ensured that the imperial defenders lost too much in the way of men and materiel to hold the line.

By 2201.014M42 the front line had been squeezed back towards Morozzo, and on 2301.014M42, the city fell to the tau, leaving another tenuous strip of imperial land between the tau and chaos forces in the north. Wavell now had two withdrawals to plan. On 2401.014M42 Wavell gave the go ahead for operation failsafe, withdrawing all troops and equipment from the mainland of Zadoc and fortifying the island continent of Riontas and its islands. He waited nervously for the reaction of his superiors and the lord Inquisitor of the sector...

No comments: