ADMIRAL DINOLA: What follows is a translation of an intercepted Tau transmission. It appears to be private correspondence between a junior Tau officer and a family member on one of the Tau Sept worlds. It offers an interesting description of a skirmish between the Tau and the orks indigenous to the world of Al’gel II, a world invaded by the Tau last year.—Lt. Dania Nulatti, Imperial Navy Intelligensariat
EST 09/036 260
INPUT DATE: 3 891 736.M41
INPUT CLEARANCE: Senior Command
AUTHOR: Lt. Dania Nulatti, Sector Fleet Intelligensariat
DELIVER TO: Admiral Hausu Dinola
SUBJECT: Analysis, xeno transmission interception
Tau Communication, intercepted by Imperial covert reconnaissance ship, Eye of the Emperor, operating in the Al’gel System. Contents follow. [Analyst notes in brackets]
My Dear [Sister?],
[The early section of this communication relates to personal matters of no military significance. Yet, in the latter half, the author turns to his personal observations of a recent military action.]
You no doubt have heard that we are having a difficult time of it on Al’gel II. This is true. But the difficulty is more the result of the sizable population of be’gel [orks] than due to any tactical prowess on the part of the creatures.
To illustrate my point, let me share with you the details of a small skirmish I engaged in recently.
My kai’ui was operating on the southern front. Here, we have largely eliminated any organized military resistance by the be’gel, although there are scattered groups of survivors still fighting.
[A kai’ui—or cadre—appears to be a military force equivalent to an Imperial Guard company.]
I was leading a patrol consisting of two squads of fire warriors, a Devilfish, two Piranhas, and a Broadside Suit.
Translation of military terms:
- Devilfish: armored transport using anti-grav technology.
- Piranha: Lightly armored skimmer with frontal weapons.
- Broadside Suit: Armored battle suit, usually equipped with railguns and missile pods.
We were advancing across a sparsely vegetated region, marked by reddish soil and dark green ground cover. Only a few copses of woods broke up the relatively flat terrain. For that reason, our surveillance drones overhead spotted the war party of be’gel long before it saw us.
With plenty of warning, I deployed my fire warriors in a firing line, supported by our Broadside battle suit. My Piranhas were ordered forward on the right flank to investigate—and they reported several [mobs?] of greenskins, as our gue’vesa call them, moving foward.
[Gue’vesa is the xeno term for traitorous humans who have turned their back on the Emperor and serve in the Tau military.]
Finally spotting us, a sizable number of the be’gel moved into some old ruins, likely as they were well aware of the power of our weapons and hoped to hide under cover. This was uncharacteristic behavior for the creatures, but given the severe losses they’ve sustained against our army, perhaps it was a sign that, as with any beast, fear can be learned.
We were outnumbered by the be’gel, but I was not worried. Given our firepower, this encounter appeared likely to be a simple exercise in extermination … until the arrival of a be’gel aircraft, what the beasts call a [Dakkajet], that began a strafing run on my Piranhas.
Fortunately, as per operational protocol, the Piranhas already had deployed their drones, whose artificial intelligence protocols immediately positioned themselves to absorb any incoming fire from the aircraft and protect the skimmers.
[Drones: A disk-shaped weapons system using anti-grav technology and operated using forbidden technology in artificial intelligence. These abominations have seen widespread use in Tau military forces and have proven highly effectively. Their heretical use by the Tau damns them as a species.]
The arrival of the Dakkajet was dangerous, as we had no reason to equip ourselves with anti-aircraft weaponry. All enemy aircraft had long disappeared on this part of the front. But, despite this unpleasant surprise, our Piranhas were armed with burst cannon, and our drones with twin-linked pulse carbines. They were able to fire on the be’gel aircraft with considerable firepower.
It proved sufficient. Within a few dec’taa [seconds?], the Dakkajet was afire and plunged toward the ground, its crash producing a quite satisfying explosion.
With the aerial threat destroyed, I began to again feel confident in the outcome of this skirmish. I ordered one of my squads aboard our Devilfish and sent it roaring forward to join the Piranha. Joining forces, the skimmers advanced quickly to turn the be’gel’s left flank.
At this point, the be’gel appeared to realize the threat they faced—and began to withdraw deeper into the ruins. To head them off—and kill as many a possible before the beasts gained the safety of cover—I called down a team of Crisis Suits overhead. (Commander Bloodsword has Mantas flying overhead continually with teams of battle suits ready to support the front line.)
I sent my skimmers forward as the Crisis Suits landed, and their combined fire—nine burst cannons and four twin-linked pulse carbines—ripped apart those be’gel that were still in the open.
The only other interesting moment of the fight was the arrival of a sole “DeffKopta,” a primitive yet dangerous single-seat be’gel aircraft, that attempted to strafe our lines. Our Broadsuit shot it down immediately.
I’ll spare you the final details. Suffice to say that the remaining be’gel, including a monster of a leader, fought on stubbornly to the end, despite no hope of overcoming our disciplined troops and superior weapons. It was a slaughter.
I realize, as I reread this communication, that you may be disturbed by my matter-of-fact description of the deaths of living beings. But please understand that such concepts as morality and mercy cannot apply to the be’gel. They are not sentient beings, at least not as we understand the term.
The be’gel are creatures of mindless violence, and I’m sure you’ve heard that the ethereals have ruled the beasts are incapable of integration with the tau’va [possible definition: “the Greater Good”]. I assure you that this is true. They are truly beasts of the most bloodthirsty kind, and we are doing the galaxy a service by ridding them from the surface of this planet.
But think no more of this. You are safe on Dal’yth [Tau sept world], partly because our glorious armies press outward into the galaxy, pushing back the horrors that lie out here. I am proud of my service on behalf of the tau’va, and should I fall in battle, know that I would have it no other way.
AUTHOR: Lt. Dania Nulatti, Sector Fleet Intelligensariat
INPUT DATE 5 891 736.M41
INPUT CLEARANCE: Senior Command
Several tactical notes:
- The release of drones is triggered by the proximity of enemy forces. This suggests that, if Tau forces can be ambushed, their firepower may be impaired as their drones are not yet activated.
- Broadside suits have anti-aircraft capabilities.
- It is standard procedure among some Tau commanders to maintain armored battle suits as a reserve above the battlefield to intervene in tactical situations.
Finally, no translation of a xeno language is ever 100 percent accurate. Although much of this translation reveals intellectual and emotional concepts familiar to the human mind, such an assumption of similarities between our species would be a mistake.
The xeno mind is, ultimately, incomprehensible and inferior to that of humans. The Tau, in particular, are a corrupt species, espousing noble beliefs through their so-called philosophy of “The Greater Good” that are nothing but propaganda that seeks to justify their aggression and seduce the weak-minded among our Imperial citizenry.
“Fear The Alien. Hate The Alien. Kill The Alien.“—The Imperial Infantryman’s Uplifting Primer
TheGM: The Gaffer is working on an ork mechanized army, so we have temporarily put aside the Hegira campaign, excepting the occasional “historical” skirmish game.
This skirmish of 500 points was set on Al’gel II simply as an opportunity for us to pit the Tau against orks, and let both of us get a sense of how these armies will work. The matchup also gave us a chance to add a tabletop game to the “history” of the Al’gel Campaign.
It was an imperfect experiment. A lucky 6 by a drone that had no Skyfire ability, following by a 6 for armor penetration, and yet another 6 on the penetration table took out the Dakkajet, the real threat the orks had. That’s the issue with a small game. Put a high-value unit on the table, and it can do great things—or die early and leave you with a cluster&%*.
Still, I have no qualms about an easy win, even if it’s through pure luck. My win-loss record isn’t that good that I can be gracious.
The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our adventures in the sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.