Sunday, October 26, 2014

Mabb Nebula: Orks in retreat

While the Libria and Zadoc theatres of war grabbed headlines and the attention of senior commanders, the Mabb Nebula with its cluster of minor worlds saw an increase in hostile activity as the wars for the major worlds spilled over into the wider region. The tau, all too aware of their dangerously stretched supply lines, resolved to retake Memnon. To do that the tau knew that Bothorion, the other ork settled world in the region, would be a thorn in their side, and it was in fact a major reason why Memnon was lost in the first place.

Rahvan Malkeor was selected to be in overall command of the operation following his defence of Protogonus. With the help of the eldar alliance Malkeor was able to personally oversee preparations, utilising the webway to cross the sector in mere minutes. Although the tau were prevented from using the webway to transport armies, the eldar understood that allowing commanders more freedom of movement would improve the alliance without putting the webway itself at risk.

The tau force was only small, but large enough to deal with the ork threat, or so it was hoped. Things went well in the early assault however, as Malkeor was able to land his force without interception in space. Following their landfall the tau did find their way barred by orks loyal to Buzgob, a fact which in itself was alarming, once again demonstrating the wide reach of ork warlords in the sector. The tau were able to overwhelm the rather surprised greenskins however, and within a few days the first objectives of Snikfug and Duffrot had been secured for the greater good.

While the orks found their world of Bothorion invaded by the tau, they also suffered a reverse on Hylas. General Van Dorn launched yet another offensive on the planet following the success of the Mechanicum, taking Sarina on 2210.014M42 with Librian forces. Taking the city was the easy part, holding it against Buzgob's orks was more difficult. The counter attack came almost immediately, and while the Librians had initial success with their armoured units, the orks soon closed the gap between themselves and the human army, ripping apart units which stood in their way.

Fortunately for Van Dorn's offensive, the orks didn't have it all their own way. On their right imperial firepower caused the greenskins to flee, easing pressure on the imperial left. In the centre concentrated Kill Kannon fire did next to nothing thanks to woeful inaccuracy, and on their left the orks found themselves chasing shadows as the Librians, led by their commander, simply fled as fast as they could from the raging ork warlord, using the terrain as cover and refusing to face the orks in close combat if at all possible.

The cowardly human tactics bought the imperium time, and by 2810.014M42 Van Dorn had brought up reinforcements and dug in along the Sarina suburbs. Buzgob was forced to retreat, although the Librians suffered extremely heavily for the meagre gains. Nevertheless the imperium had now taken the initiative on Hylas, and once again started to believe they could win this long war after all...

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