Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Eldar Ambush Thok

It took some time for the Grand Admiral to rebuild his shattered forces. The Tau had done considerable damage to his fleet, though the acquisition of facilities at Mordecai and Kendrenec meant that repairs were undertaken in double quick time.

Thok had also managed to wrestle the fleet of Lord Traegan from the old Chaos lord’s control. Traegan had not ventured out from his bases for five years and his crews had become restless. A quick coup while Tragean was distracted by his ongoing war against the Moonface Catechism added several new capital ships to the Admiral’s collection.

The refits had gone well, with several Carnage class vessels being refitted as Murder class. Imperial agents sent back alarming reports to the Imperial high command that the mad admiral now had as many as fifteen capital ships, including three battleships, at his disposal. This was far larger than the Zadoc subsector battlegroup but could not be confirmed. As such the reports went largely unacted upon.

Thok was still not satisfied with his forces. Using a combination of diplomacy and intimidation he soon acquired more ships from the Norsefire Chaos Empire in the Aurelis Deeps, a place his fleet had been for many centuries. Part of that fleet had stayed behind under a Nurgle commander and now Thok summoned his subordinate.

The Chaos fleet set off from Loki and began its journey to the Perseus Deeps, avoiding the Tau at Calabris and aiming to rendezvous with the rest of the Grand Admiral’s forces hubward of Calliden. Before they got there however, the five capital ships were ambushed by the Eldar.
The attack came as something of a surprise to the Chaos fleet. They had expected intervention from the Tau, and while an attack by the UFP or Imperium could not be ruled out, an ambush by the Eldar was the last thing they were expecting.

The Chaos fleet formed into a tight knot as the Eldar vessels, consisting of three cruisers and a host of escorts, used their greater manoeuvrability to avoid a major toe-to-toe clash which would leave them vulnerable to the greater weight of fire the Chaos fleet could bring to bear.

Eventually these sniping, hit and run tactics bore fruit as the Yersinia Pestis became isolated and was attacked by most of the Eldar fleet. She was left a burning wreck before the Eldar vessels fled from the guns of the remainder of the fleet behind the cover of an asteroid belt.

In their attempt to chase down the Eldar the Chaos fellet became strung out and another two vessels were hulked before the Chaos fleet fled. Only one Eldar ship had been caught, an Eclipse class cruiser who had been trapped behind a planetoid. She was blown to pieces having suffered a holo-fields failure, the only significant Eldar casualty.

The Grand Admiral flew into a towering rage when he heard of the events and vowed to wipe the Eldar out of the sub sector. Without the five extra cruisers he would now have to “make do” with his fleet of fifteen ships… Five more than the Zadoc battlegroup…

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Vork Ork Empire Makes Trouble

In 04.008M42 the Vork Ork Empire, a collection of Ork nations between Melberg and the Zadoc subsector, began to make forays in all directions. Imperial observers became concerned that this could only mean resources and territory in the usually manageable area of Ork space were becoming thin on the ground, leading to the Ork warlords looking outward for their spoils.

News of a raid on the Tau colony of Lucardium did nothing to calm Imperial nerves, even though commander Hawkeye had no difficulty in seeing off the rabble which attacked. Damage to Tau possessions however was more than the Tau commander would have liked and the ork fleet was able to get away before the Tau could catch them.

Next came news of an encounter on Danelloth, the closest of the Shadow worlds to the Vork Ork Empire, in the Zadoc subsector. The mining world, with a worker population of only 7,000 would have been devastated if a force of daemonhunters had not been present. Their arrival had been viewed with suspicion and fear, but the family run corporation on Danelloth were pleased to have them around when the green tide arrived.

The commander of the sector, Lord General Thadeus Roover, enraged by these fresh Ork incursions, ordered the Ork fleet found and destroyed. Lord Admiral Bova Magnus gave his subordinate, Admiral Jellicoe, to find and take out the Orks.

Jellicoe, a veteran of many Ork engagements ordered his carrier battlegroup, under Rear Admiral McManners, to find and destroy the Ork fleet before they escaped to the Vork Ork Empire. McManners, with the Mars class Illustrious and the dictator class vessels Intrepid and Redoubtable soon found the marauding fleet after leaving Fort Aerin.

The Ork fleet consisted of a number of ramshackle escorts, including a number of ramships, as well as three Ork cruisers. The Imperial carrier fleet first dealt a heavy blow with some incredibly accurate nova cannon fire, before launching wave after wave of bombers at the Ork vessels. Despite losing their escorting Sword and Firestorm frigates, mainly due to insane Ork ramming actions, the three cruisers performed admirably, refuelling and re-arming their attack craft twice as fast as the Ork vessels could.

This battle was a major engagement of carrier forces unlike anything seen in previous engagements with the Tau. Jellicoe had sent the right ask force to do the job, though it took a lucky hit to silence one of the Ork cruisers, reducing it to a hulk. A second Ork cruiser was similarly put out of action by swarming Imperial attack craft, before the remaining vessel, known as “The Jolly Ork” was forced to disengage. McManners returned to base with minimal damge, though accurate turret fire from the Orks meant many of his pilots had been killed. Intrepid alone had lost more than half her complement of bombers.

Melberg Ceasefire!

Longstride launches major assault
Commander Longstride viewed the breakout by Shadowstrike with mixed feelings. It could lead to a quick victory on Melberg but once againt the Laurels of victory were going to a rival. However in the spirit of the greater good the Tau commander obeyed his orders and was delighted when given the chance to strike the final blow against the Imperium.

Intelligence suggested the Imperial Guard units supporting the PDF on the planet were running out of ammunition, stores, petrol and resolve to carry on. A final strike against the heavily armoured Librian 101st in front of longstrides line could break the defence of Atlas Prime while Shadowstrike was still mopping up resistance around Corunium.

Longstrides plan called for the deployment of all his anti-tank forces in a last gambit. The attack started with no preparatory bombardment and no warning, but Cunningham’s most experienced troops were arrayed against him. They saw the attack coming and within hours of beginning the Tau were staring a rout in the face. Broadsides and Hammerheads were shot to pieces by massed anti-tank fire, deployed on fast moving sentinel walkers. Before long the Librian armour rolled in and it looked like Longstride’s position would become untenable, marooning Shadowstrike in Corunium.

Just as Cunningham was about to celebrate success things took a turn for the worse for the Imperial commander. Longstride deployed his fast moving Crisis Suit units, tearing into the Librians at close range and neutralising their armour. Burning tanks littered the battlefield and blunted Cunningham’s counter assault before it began, allowing the Tau to withdraw. The battle had been a bloody draw with very only losses on both sides. Longstride was deeply disappointed, but the opportunity the destruction had created was not lost on another Tau commander...

Shadowstrike breakthrough – Atlas Prime falls
With Longstride locked in a devastating and ruthless firefight on the main front line, Commander Shadowstrike planned to make the most of the situation. Having secretly communicated his intentions to overall commander Sunstrike, Shadowstrike began a stealthy march towards the capital, outflanking the Imperial positions and carrying out hit and run attacks.

Shadowstrikes forces crossed the Atlas river to the north of the capital with only minor resistance. General Cunningham expressed his concerns over the strange movements of these Tau forces but he was overruled by Lord Commander Lenord, who urged him to take the fight to Longstride who was on the defensive. It was a fatal mistake.

Having crossed the river the Tau forces turned 90 degrees to the right, swooping down on unprepared and unsuspecting defences. The encounter was bloody and very one sided. It was almost like a training mission as each of Shadowstrike’s units performed their task with textbook efficiency. Before the end of 2004.008M42 word reached Cunningham that Atlas Prime had fallen, and he was surrounded.

Cunningham began organising his troops for a fighting withdrawal, pulling back from the front line. This allowed Longstrides forces to once again resume their forward momentum and their pressing attacks were strong enough to force the Librians and other units to abandon all their heavy equipment, tanks and artillery pieces which were invaluable to the Imperial war effort.

Only half Cunningham’s forces made it back to the next line of defence, while the Whettis army found itself forced back into an ever shrinking pocket of resistance around the capital itself. Thousands of panicked citizens tried to leave by boat, while the Tau air caste bombed the city without mercy.

The new turn of events was the final straw for the remaining unoccupied nations on Melberg. They had been loyal to the Imperium throughout but now it seemed that the Imperium had deserted them. On 2104.008M42 the remaining countries convened a meeting.

The leaders of Thorland, Veraconia, Actopia, Cannabrini and Vaskia, with agreement from Whettis and Coronia, met with the Imperial High Command soon after the fall of Atlas Prime. It was clear from the outset that no amount of Imperial Commissars would dissuade them from their course of action. They voted unanimously to relieve Lenord from command and placed him under house arrest. Soon after they contacted the Tau.

A ceasefire was easy to obtain from the Tau who seemed all to eager to accept an end to the fighting, even if it was only short term. Negotiations then began in earnest. The remaining powers on Melberg made it clear they had no particular loyalty to the Imperium and would be content for the Tau to be nominally in command of the planet, but that they wished to remain in control of their own nations.

There were divisions in the Tau high command from the outset. Many felt that Melberg should join the Tau Empire and that no compromise could be tolerated. Others felt that the fighting had gone on long enough and that an honourable peace was certainly acceptable. After all, it was inevitable that the human societies, seeing the successof the Tau model in the territories they controlled, would join the Greater Good and find their niche in the grand plan.

The UFP were called in to arbitrate, much to the irritation of many on both sides, particularly Sunstrike, the overall commander of the Tau, and Lord General Lenord, still under house arrest. It would take weeks to sort out the details, but in the mean time the front lines fell silent, prisoners were exchanged and both sides took a deep breath.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Eldar close in on Ball

In the end the Tau were almost baffled with how easy securing the artefact was. The UFP had no idea of the artefact’s existence and a simple “fact finding” expedition to Hartak was welcomed buy the squat inhabitants. It was all going to plan.

By 1004.008M42 the Tau were ready to make their move. Forces assumed to be from the Saim Hann craftworld attacked the Tau outpost on Parius without warning. Commander Hawkeye immediately reacted to the threat but thee Eldar had taken the Tau completely by surprise.

The ensuing firefight was viscious and rather one sided with horrendous casualties inflicted on the Tau. The damage to the outpost was considerable and the Tau command in the Perseus Deeps had no option bu to call for aid. They could not suffer this kind of assault without having to abandon their recently won possessions. At length Commander Sunstrike agreed to strip the defences of Cernunnos, apparently unassailable, to defend Parius.

The Eldar now began the second part of their strategy and prepared an attack on Cernunnos itself, to take the Ball...

Libria V is Cleansed

Following the Librian 12ths defeat in Thornvale the governer of the planet ordered maximum force to be deployed in the villages and settlements of the temperate southern region. Eventually the Tyranids would attack and that would be their undoing.

Having set watch in all the villages close to the Tyranid infested forests of the southern pole, the wait didn't last long. Soon the village of Devlan reported a massive tyranid attack involving thousands of small aliens backed up by the larger monstrous creatures.

Within the hour the commander of the 12th had deployed her Leman Russ battle tanks and Hellhounds and the tide of battle began to turn in favour of the Imperial Guard. Thousands of aliens died to the burning fire of the Imperial flame tanks, and the Librians pushed through wave after wave of Tyranid attacks, breaking through and rooting the beasts out of their hiding places. One stormtrooper regiment excelled itself, killing genestealers, hormagaunts and winged Tyranid warriors without sustaining a single casualty.

Less than a day later the sounds of battle began to subside and the Imperial commanders realised the Tyranid threat in the south had been eliminated. Only a week later reports in the north indicated that the Tyranids were attacking at random, in an unco-ordinated fashion. Xenos experts quickly realised the hive mind had withdrawn from Libria and celebrations broke out across the planet. The Tyranid threat had been beaten.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

3rd Battle Of Melberg

The Imperial Task Force under Admiral Jellicoe reached the Melberg system on 0404.008M42 and dropped out of warp in good order. Immediately it was clear the Tau intended to attack as sensors on the lead scouting vessels picked up the main Tau battlegroup heading towards them. Jellicoe decided on immediate action and both fleets began closing at maximum rate. Very soon the third and final battle of Melberg would be decided.

Around the small moon of Vedra the two fleets met, with Jellicoe forming his fleet into a tight battle line of three squadrons. The massive lance boat, Agamemnon led Black Prince and Warrior slowly towards the Tau fleet firing their destructive Nova cannon. This proved almost immediately effective as the Protector Class cruiser Sun Sword was almost immediately reduced to a hulk as she emerged from an asteroid belt.

To the right of the Agamemnon and two cruisers, Vanguard and Emperor’s wrath were also closing with the Tau, while a squadron of Swords protected the left flank of the Imperial Van.
The Tau had formed up as they cleared Vedra’s asteroid belts which they had been using to screen themselves from the Imperial firepower. Vigilance and Shadowstrike’s Castellan escorts stayed back, launching waves of Mantas, while the line of forward firing Protectors, now reduced to two, we rejoined by the UFP Squat vessel Hearthguard, and prepared to engage the Imperial fleet head on.

At close range the Imperial fleet with their tough front armour were still almost invulnerable to the Tau guns and torpedoes, and the Tau very quickly lost Guardian, another Protector, the burning hulk careering towards the Imperial fleet totally out of control. Her prow deflectors were unable to defend against the awesome firepower of Agamemnon and Vanguard as Jellicoe turned the fleet to port, bringing their broadsides to bear.

The Imperial fleet had started well but were soon in trouble as the combined waves of Manta bombers arrived. The fighters put up by Emperor’s Wrath were pitifully few and quickly dispatched by Barracuda fighters. Soon the Imperial ships were forced into evasive action and their fire lessened, enabling the Tau to conduct damage control. Commander Shadowstrike’s Emissary class the Enigma, was forced to disengage after suffering serious damage, leaving the Tau with just one functional cruiser. The Vigilance and Hearthguard however, were relatively untouched.

As the Mantas began their return to their carriers the damage they had caused was evident. Both the cruisers Black Prince and Warrior had suffered severe damage and turned hard to port, disengaging from the battle. Agamemnon too had been badly damaged leaving just the Vanguard and her carrier escort in the fight. The Imperial battlegroup’s sword escorts had also been reduced to drifting hulks.

The fleets passed close, before the two Imperial battleships turned hard to starboard and tried to rake the Tau rear. The Tau however were able to counter this, using their Mantas to strike at their enemy and using the Hearthguard as a rear guard. On the “pass to the right” the Emperor’s Wrath became the closest target, and she was attacked by the full force of the Tau fleet. There was nothing the captain could do and her magazine detonated, blasting all nearby ships in a fireball which caused their shields to overload and collapse. Miraculously all the Tau Castellans, fully caught up in the explosion, came out unscathed.

Admiral Jellicoe took stock of the situation. With no escorts and no cruisers in the fight he knew the superior Tau ordnance capability would eventually overwhelm his damaged leviathans. The captain of the Agamemnon signalled the need for urgent repairs and under the cover of the Vredan asteroids, the Imperial fleet disengaged. The 3rd battle of Melberg was over.

The Imperial fleet reassembled in the outer reaches of the system and immediately began making their hulls safe for the return trip through the warp. Jellicoe could not hope to break the blockade with the Vigilance still undamaged. The battle had only been a minor defeat on points. The Imperium had destroyed two capital ships while the Tau had only destroyed one. However the crippling of the Agamemnon and destruction of the task force’s only carrier was a fatal blow to the mission.

Perhaps had the Vigilance been destroyed Jellicoe may have tried again, but on 0904.008M42 the Imperial Admiral made the jump back to the Zadoc subsector. The Tau were jubilant. Now the Imperial forces on the ground had no chance to resupply or receive reinforcements while they would continue to receive fresh troops and equipment from the Tau Empire.

Even so Commander Sunstrike new the Tau will to prosecute the war on Melberg was failing. The war had to be finished, and quickly. Tau analysts estimated the Tau forces had only one month to take the Capital and conclude the war. They were wearing out. Sunstrike could only hope that the isolated Imperial forces would wear out first.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Aleph Sector (Political)

Siege of Corunium lifted

Commander Sunstrike was unimpressed with Elan Ro's failure and immediately asked his most trusted general, the mysterious Shadowstrike, to relieve the situation and break out of Corunium before Cunningham had the chance to storm the city. Immediately several Tau Hunter Cadres moved stealthily by night, air-dropping into the heart of the now ruined city. Less than two days later Shadowstrike's forces were ready to strike.

On the Imperial side Lord General Lenord knew very well that Shadowstrike was now in Corunium with extra forces, and was more than a little irritated at the Navy for their failure to intercept the Tau airdrop. The Navy claimed foul play was involved as their tracking equipment had been unable to detect their presence.

Lenord met with his generals and the leaders of the Melberg armies. The majority reasoned that Shadowstrike would almost certainly strike west or south. If the strike was west the Tau could re-open a land corridor back to their forces occupying Gwendel. If they struck south they could endanger the oilfields of the Corona peninsular. Only Cunningham offered up the idea of a strike to the capital, Atlas Prime, and he was shouted down.

Cunningham drew up his defences, bolstering the forces in the narrow corridor between the river Stridius and Corunium. Meanwhile he began planning the attack on the ruined city. On 0304.008M42 the Tau attack began, catching the Imperial forces off guard. Shadowstrike was attacking north-east, into the green farmland country the Atlas belt, a wide area of provincial villages to the south west of the capital known as the garden of Melberg.

Cunningham permitted himself a wry smile as units of the Librian 5th and Librian 8th Grenadiers, along with the Army of Coronia and the remnants of the Central States Pact army (CSPA) were obliterated by overwhelming Tau firepower. A lot of the fighting took place in small villages, some of theoldest settlements on Melberg. This was all vineyard territory with narrow roads, thickets and tall hedgerows, and the Imperial forces found tracking the Tau very difficult in the terrain.

Local commanders pleaded for Hellhounds to burn the Tau out of the cover,but Shadowstrike had ordered that Hellhounds were the priority targets.Soon hundreds were burning in the fields. The Tau used their speed and manoeuvrability to good effect and the battle soon threatened to become a massacre.

For a time it looked like Shadowstrike's lightning assault would reach the Capital, and frantic rumours began spreading in Atlas Prime. A state of emergency was declared and the government prepared to leave. Meanwhile rioting on the streets as the inhabitants were stopped from leaving was brutally put down by the Whettis security forces.

Soon however, the Tau began making mistakes and their advance slowed.Cunningham ordered a fighting withdrawal, ordering his tanks not to show themselves in the close terrain unless they had a "cast iron" chance of destroying a valuable enemy asset. The Tau meanwhile spent too much time causing carnage amongst the Imperial Troops and too little time focusing their efforts in a combined move to continue the push north. On day one they gained nearly fifty miles. On day two they advanced just seven.

This delay, partially through Cunningham's conservative strategy and partially due to an over enthusiastic Tau blood lust, allowed the Imperial troops to withdraw to the outer defences of Atlas Prime long before the Tau had a chance to catch them by surprise. The Tau had made gains, but what had started so promisingly for Shadowstrike now looked rather less striking.

Task Force sails for Melberg

Jellicoe prepares the fleet
At the end of 007.M42 Admiral Jellicoe prepared a task force to relieve the beleagured forces on Melberg. He knew that despite recent losses the Tau still had a considerable force of ships at Melberg, and the later he left it the more likely it was that the Tau would be able to refit one of their hulked Custodian vessels. That would pose a real threat to his objective of wrestling control of the system from Admiral Coldsight's grasp.

Jellicoe's first problem was that his ships were spread out. Many, including the Battleship Agamemnon were on assignment in the Perseus Deeps, while the rest of the fleet, including the mighty Retribution class Vanguard, were at Zadoc. He would have to join this fleet together before making the long warp jump to Melberg.

Jellicoe had two choices, either to join the fleets at Zadoc or to have them meet up en-route. The first plan was the sensible, cautious one, allowing the fleet to merge at one of the most heaviliy defended space docks in the sector. The second saved time, something Jellicoe had precious little of. Hoping his plans would remain secret he ordered the fleets to join at the Heliocene system, halfway to Melberg. Unfortunately, the Tau, via a UFP spy, found out, and prepared a surprise.

Ambush at Heliocene
The rendevous depended on a number of factors. Jellicoe's fleet, which included Agamemnon, the Domiator class vessels Black Prince and Warrior as well as four sword class frigates arrived first, and were forced to wait for the Vanguard and her consort, the dictator class cruiser Emperor's Wrath. While they waited they soon found out they were not alone.

At first Jellicoe was unsure whether or not to believe the readings he was being given. It seemed to suggest that a pirate fleet of escort sized vessels, numbering a few dozen, was attacking them. Given the Imperial fleet had a battleship present and no supply convoy this was highly irregular.

As the pirates got close they dueled with the more experienced Sword Frigate captains and suffered horrendous losses. Even so a few hits knocked out Broke and Botha, forcing Warrior and Black Prince to intervene. Soon the two heavy cruisers had forced the Pirates to flee while the Agamemnon's powerful lance batteries ensured the Pirates stayed well away from the flagship.

The Imperial admiral was about to retire for dinner, thinking the action almost over, when there was a tremendous power spike followed by a bright flash several thousand miles ahead of the Agamemnon. Soon reports came in that the Pirates had used a fireship, a small vessel packed with explosives and forced to suffer a plasma drive implosion. Fortunately the Black Prince was far enough away and escaped with minor damage. Then two more were spotted.

An enormous explosion seared the vacuum of space, with the gravity wave strong enough to cause Agamemnon to heel over. Warrior had been caught in the full force of the blast, ripping her shields away and causing multiple blasts. Though her crews were able to get the fires under control the ship was crippled. There job apparently done, the Pirates fled. Jellicoe wondered how much the Tau had paid them...

Rather than proceed to Melberg with a crippled cruiser Jellicoe headed back to port. The repairs were conducted in record time but as the year ended and 008.M42 began and Jellicoe's task force once again left Zadoc, he wondered if the delay had been enough time for the Tau to get their repairs done too...

The Final Nail

The end of Imperial Power in the Aleph Subsector

With the loss of Cerberex and the destruction of more than 50% of the Imperial fleet the writing was on the wall. The UFP now controlled all the jump points into the sector save one. Hartak, Orvicare and Cerberex were secured, even if the planetary systems were not. Only Kendrenec held out, a bastion of Chaos and a thorn in the UFP's side.

Tallaxian defences were increased and bolstered while the UFP broke up her fleet into new divisions, each one assigned to patrol the four jump points into the Aleph subsector. The remnants of the Imperial fleet fled to the Valitane and Zadoc sectors where they bolstered the fleets there. Admiral Jellicoe, still favoured by the overall sector commander, Bova Magnus, was given the job of commanding the Zadoc subsector fleet, the largest remaining fleet of the Aleph subsector. Magnus stayed at Vastrid.

Initially the commanders of the Aleph subsector were loathed to give up on the remaining worlds of the subsector, Vornax, Ravitane, Banderossa, Pirinar, Carnaq and Ciprex, but with all entry points closed it was obvious that no large supply convoys or communication convoys would be able to reach these systems before a UFP fleet could arrive and intercept it. In the end, the decision was largely made for them anyway.

Very soon after the final Imperial collapse Ravitane defected to the UFP, followed swiftly by Banderossa. Pirinar was invaded in a bloodless revolution by Sartosan forces who came spreading news that the Imperium had shackled the medieval population needlessly for too long. The Imperium didn't bother putting up a fight. Carnaq V ceded from the Imperium and agreed to join a trading agreement, effectively becoming a UFP nation, while Ciprex, lawless as ever and effectively ungoverned made no objections when UFP and Tau traders began turning up at their docks.

Only Vornax remained loyal to the Imperium and became an isolated backwater in what was now unquestionably a UFP subector. The ruling council now grew to more than ten separate governing entities, though only the following were recognised on the council: Hartak, Tallax, Cerberex, Aleph 4, Ravitane, Banderossa, Myrentas II, Pirinar, Sartosa. Orvicare and Siebel were left out until a stable government and population were established.

The big four, Hartak, Tallax, Cerberex and Aleph 4 retained a veto on all matters of government, though the first question, whether or not to aid their Tau allies on Melberg became an interesting first test. Weary of war and busy defending their new Empire the UFP voted against military intervention. True to form Hartak sent a force anyway.

There are plans to retake the Aleph subsector and bring it under the heel of the Imperium, but for now the Imperium has bigger worries. The UFP after all are not hostile to other human worlds in the neighbouring sectors unlike their allies the Tau. The UFP and Tau formally agreed their alliance in early 008.M42, though many Tau were disappointed, even irritated at the rebuff from the UFP to join the Tau Empire. However the aliens could not disagree given that their positions were becoming overstretched in the Aleph sector.

In seven years Haskell's dream had come true and the systems of the Aleph sector had thrown of the yoke of their Imperial oppressors, at least for now, and the old Admiral decided to retire. From mid 008.M42 the UFP became introspective as they consolidated their gains. For the Imperium it was the end of seven years of spectacular failure and the loss of an entire subsector. Now the Zadoc subsector was under threat from Necron devices, Tyranids and the Tau. They would not lose this one as well...