NEWS REPORT—Imperial forces defeated a xeno military force on Dar Sai, authorities reported today.
A company of the 728th Cadian Regiment, newly arrived on the second moon of Sculptor III, encountered a similarly sized Tau force on the western edge of the Hanui Valley, a rich agricultural region where ….
—Media report, dated: 6 023 735.M41
BATTLE LOCATION: Ruined Manufactorum, Hanui Valley
BACKGROUND: After the discovery of Tau forces on Dar Sai—and the subsequent defeat of the xeno troops in the Hanui Valley—Imperial authories on the second moon of Sculptor III went on full alert.
Soon after, the 728th Cadian Regiment arrived in-system. The vast majority of this veteran Imperial Guard unit was deployed on Hegira to respond to a growing ork threat, but a small detachment—the 6th Company under the command of a Captain Stevrous Stark—was sent bolster the PDF (Planetary Defense Force) on Dar Sai.
On 6 021 335M.41, Dar Sai’s military command received intelligence of xeno activity near an isolated maufactorum in the Hanui Valley, suggesting the xenos—who previously had retreated into the vast forests of the moon—were attempting once again infiltrate the rich agricultural region. Captain Stark was ordered to outst the Tau, which he accomplished with a decisive tactical victory.
HQ: Shas’vre in Crisis Suit, burst cannon, flamer. Troops: 4 x Fire Warrior squads. Fast Attack: 3 x Piranhas (2 w/fusion cannon, 1 w/burst cannon). Heavy: Hammerhead.
HQ: Platoon Command Squad. Troops: 3 x infantry squads, heavy weapons squad of 3 mortars. Fast Attack: Sentinel w/las cannon, Sentinel w/ missile pod, Sentinel w/ plasma cannon. Heavy: Lemon Russ Demolisher.
Players: Steve (Imperial Guard) vs. Rick (Tau)
Mission: Purge the Alien
Deployment: Tau deploy first, move first.
Objectives: Five primary objectives (3 VP each), plus Kill the Warlord, First Blood, Linebreaker (1 VP each)
Rules Variation: One error was to allow the three Piranhas and Sentinels to deploy independently rather than as squads.
TURNS ONE AND TWO
Tau Movement: The battle beings with the Tau Commander ordering a general advance. Personally leading Fire Team #1 and Piranha #1 (with burst cannon), the commander advances on the southern flank, using the forest to shield his troops from the heavy ordinance of the Gue’la (humans).
In the center, Fire Team #2 and #3 advance with support of Piranha #2 (fusion cannon). Fire Team #2 makes a dash through the ruins before them, seizing an unclaimed objective. Fire Team #3 advances very slowly, while the Hammerhead hovers behind, its railgun at the ready.
On the northern flank, Fire Team #4 and Piranha #3 (fusion cannon) pauses behind the woods, appearing unsure what path it wishes to take—and, perhaps, reluctant to leave the shelter of the forest.
Tau Fire: The Lemon Russ Tank is obscured but still visible. The Hammerhead fires its railgun but misses.
Imperial Movement: All along the line, the Imperial Guard advance. Alpha Squad is closer than the Tau to the manufactorum and deploy in its ruins. The Chimera moves into position at the corner of the manufactorum, using the ruins for partial cover. As part of this advance, the objective adjacent to the manufactorum is seized. The Lemon Russ Devastator and Armored Sentinels on the northern flank remain stationary, relying on a nearby mesa for cover.
Human Fire: As the infantry advances, only the mortar team and Lemon Russ have any weapons to fire. The tank misses a shot on the Hammerhead, but the mortar bombardment manages to kill three Tau in Fire Team #2.
TURNS THREE AND FOUR
Tau Movement: Aware that the humans have won the race to the manufactorum, the Tau commander on the southern flank slows his advance to set up a firing line. The Piranha deploys its drones to provide screening. In the center, Fire Team #2 attempts to hold their position despite withering enemy fire.
Near the large building that dominates the center, Fire Team #3 advances to its edge to seize an objective. The Hammerhead trades long-range ordinance fire with the Gue’la tank, while Piranha #3 on the north flank sweeps around the forest to fire at the Lemon Russ.
Tau Fire: On the south flank, the Tau firing line explodes in a volley of pulse beams that kill six humans and send the remainder of Alpha Squad fleeing. The Hammerhead hits the Lemon Russ Tank and destroys the secondary weapon, an assault cannon, on the vehicle.
Human Movement: Although Alpha Squad flees from the Manufactorum, the Chimera, the Scout Sentinel on the road (with las cannon), and mortar squad lock onto the survivors in the central ruins. Beta Squad has taken a position where old craters provide cover and also targets the Tau-occupied ruins.
After crossing open ground, Ceti Squad advances into the central large building, seizing a third objective. For reasons unclear, the two armored Sentinels and headquarters squad remain out of sight, perhaps deployed as a reserve?
Human Fire: The Imperial Guard smash the Tau center with a devastating fire phase. The combined fire of the Chimera, Scout Sentinel, and Beta Squad annihilate Fire Team #2. The objective in the ruins is now unclaimed.
In the center, the mortar squad drops two direct hits on Fire Team #3 and kills four warriors. The Tau morale breaks, and the fire team flees. The Lemon Russ targets the piranha on the north flank, striking repeatedly, but its shells bounce off the xeno armor.
TURNS FIVE AND SIX
Tau Movement: On the south flank, the Crisis Suit, Fire Team #1, and Piranha #1 advance to the manufactorum.
In the center, the third squad rallies behind a copse of trees, and on the northern flank, the Piranha withdraws from the uneven fight with the Lemon Russ Tank, while the Hammerhead inexplicitly withdraws behind cover and gives up the long-range exchange of fire with the humans.
Tau Fire: Observing the Gue’la Scout Sentinel advance down the road, the Tau commander fires his burst cannon at the armored walker, striking a lucky blow and destroying it.
Human Move: The Lemon Russ Tank, startled by the powerful railgun of the Tau, maneuvers out of sight behind the central ruin, turning its battle cannon against the Tau advance on the southern flank.
Ceti Squad advances deeper into the ruins and seizes the objective on the east side of the ruins. The Imperial Guard now has seized four of the five objectives on the battlefield–the center of the battlefield is firmly in Imperial hands.
Human Fire: The mortar team drops accurate fire upon the Tau’s southern attack, killing a drone and three fire warriors. The mortars also put a wound on the Tau commander’s Crisis Suit. That’s followed by fire from the Lemon Russ’ battle cannon, which strikes the Tau commander with pinpoint accuracy. The Crisis Suit erupts in flames.
BATTLE CONCLUSION: DECISIVE VICTORY.
The Imperial Guard holds four of the five objectives (12 VP). The humans also achieve three secondary objectives: Kill the Warlord (1 VP) and First Blood (1 VP). Total: 14 VP.
One objective is unclaimed, and the Tau have earned no victory points.
HEGIRA PLANETARY DEFENSE FORCE (PDF) ASSESSMENT:
EST 02/341 TYROSH – PDF SUPREME HQ
INPUT DATE: 3 023 735.M41
INPUT CLEARANCE: Senior Command
AUTHOR: Colonel Badri Hackesh (Dar Sai PDF)
TRANSMITTER: Astropath Elpis Hesiod
The victory by Captain Stevrous Stark was decisive. Although his troops on the south flank fled (NOTE TO COMMISSAR: Punishment for the unit), the Cadians were aggressive in seizing the central objectives. The Cadian fire accuracy was impressive, particularly the mortar squad that almost single-handedly blunted the xeno advance in the center.
Both sides made mistakes. As is common with inexperienced commanders, portions of both armies spent several turns underutilized.