Al'gel Campaign

Tau firing line slaughters orks on An’gel II (Part 1)

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The offensive of the 3rd Hunter Cadre began with a massive aerial bombardment of the ork defensive positions. Ork anti-air fire was intense.

One of the most glorious victories of the Tau on An’gel II was the defeat of the ork warboss known as “Klawtoof.” When this ork leader launched a brutally violent assault, the 3rd Hunter Cadre outmaneuvered and outfought the greenskins at every point—and utterly annihilated the ork threat.

It was a singular victory, an achievement that gave renewed confidence and hope to our gallant soldiers who would endure a long and heartbreaking military campaign in the years that followed.—“The Complete History of the Al’gel Campaign” by Aun’el Mor’kan Tal’is’ta, ethereal caste, Dal’yth Sept, (689-776.M41).

Prelude

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The ork counteroffensive was led by Trukks, supported by Grots and Warbuggies.

Following the devastating attack launched by the ork warboss known as Greenclaw in early 737.M41, the severely mauled Tau forces on An’gel II were forced to halt offensive operations while the Air Caste rushed new reinforcements and supplies from Dal’yth Sept.

Thankfully, the orks also were exhausted, so military operations on the planet settled into a pattern of small skirmishes as both sides raced to rebuild their strength and resume the offensive.

The Tau won this strategic race. On 6 021 738.M41, a new Tau offensive began with a massive bombing attack by AX 39 Sunshark Bombers and Manta Missile Destroyers.

With the 4th and 5th Hunter Cadres still regrouping from the heavy fighting of the previous year, this aerial bombardment largely targeted ork positions in front of the relatively unscathed 3th Hunter Cadre, which was given the honor of spearheading the new offensive.

The bombardment lasted exactly one dec (1.5 Terran hours), after which leading elements of the 3rd Hunter Cadre, supported by the 11th Armored Cadre and the 2nd Advance Insertion Cadre, quickly shattered the ork’s front line. Tau Hammerhead and Skyray tanks immediately exploited the opening and broke through, racing deep behind enemy lines.

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Klawtoof relied heavily on Trukks to help his orks cross the deadly kill zone in front of the Tau firing line. The tactic didn’t work.

By the end of Day 1, the Tau vanguard had advanced more than 8o kilometers and killed an estimated 20,000 greenskins. So complete was the Tau breakthrough that, over the next few days, the 3rd Cadre raced forward another 100 kilometers on a 70-kilometer-wide front.

As anticipated, ork resistance quickly stiffened, as many ork warbands abandoned quieter areas of the front to rush to the fighting. This weakening of the overall ork line allowed the 4th and 5th Hunter Cadres to launch their own limited offensives and gain ground despite their still-weakened fighting strength.

One of the most serious threats to the Tau advance appeared in front of the advancing 3rd Hunter Cadre. An ork warboss, known as “Klawtoof,” gathered nearly 10,000 orks under his command—just in front of the Tau vanguard.

Made aware of the ork concentration by drones, the officer leading the 3rd Hunter Cadre, Commander Lok’Ta, decided to employ the classic Kauyon tactic: His troops would advance offensively but revert to the tactical defense when the orks attacked. The goal would be to draw the orks into a deadly crossfire and, once the ork threat was blunted, the Cadre would resume the offensive.

The Battle

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The main ork atttack consisted of Trukks charging forward in the center (1). On the east flank, Stormboyz stumbled across infiltrating Kroot and were annihilated. On the west flank, an attack by Warbuggies was crushed by a Broadside team and Gun Drones (3). One mob of Boyz managed to charge the Tau line but were repulsed (4), while a Deep Strike by Commander Lok’Ta and Gun Drones devastated a flanking attack by Grots (5).

This major clash came quickly, on Day 7 of the Tau offensive (6 042 738.M41). Just before dawn, Klawtoof’s forces—transported by Trukks and supported by specialist troops (StormBoyz and Tank Bustas)—rushed directly at the Tau line.

The orks quickly ran into trouble. On the eastern half of the battle, a mob of Stormboyz stumbled across a force of Kroot warriors that had infiltrated behind ork lines. Ambushed, the Stormboyz were quickly wiped out.

On the west flank, the orks attempted to outflank the Tau vanguard with Warbuggies, only to run into a team of Broadside Battlesuits and a strong firing line of gun drones that dropped out of the sky. Superior Tau firepower quickly wiped out this threat with modest Tau casualties.

Click here for Part 2 of the battle.

The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K narrative campaign documenting our wargaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.

 

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