The Grey Knights and Imperial Fists made the most of this respite, engaging in training scenarios which proved that their newly arrived equipment was both effective and reliable, whilst showing that the Grey Knights themselves had tactical weaknesses they needed to address. Meanwhile the Novgorod Guard re-equipped and rested, but other than refitting, the problems with invading Mordecai Primaris were a lot deeper.
The astartes had previously destroyed the main spaceport and missile silos, but the planet still had other defences, as well as a nearby fleet base which would always need close blockade in any invasion. In order to even have a hope of a successful landfall, the planet would need months of "reduction", missions designed to reduce and eliminate key defensive capabilities of the world.
The Hammers of the Emperor chapter launched a raid with the destruction of artillery batteries in mind, landing in the deserts of the world and advancing on the chaos bases just after dawn. They had been detected however, and Cybixx himself had decided to intervene to counter assault the loyalist astartes. The main battle centred around a rise in the ground which led to the main transmitter of the void shields protecting the chaos positions. Both sides rushed this location, suffering horrendous casualties for both the imperial and chaos forces. Eventually the astartes withdrew, their mission unsuccessful, but the damage to Cybbixx's forces had been significant, and the arch heretek himself had been put out of action in the fighting.
The Hammers' assault had not achieved it's main objective, but in the end the capability of the chaos forces to defend had been reduced, thanks to the heavy casualties. The astartes knew however that raids would need to be more surgical in future. Kutuzov was still no nearer to setting a date for the invasion.