Battle Report (Narrative)

Tau raid moon of Druidia (Battle of Sculptor IIIa)

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A Hellhound tank incinerates a squad of Tau fire warriors.

Imperial Voxcast: The moon of Druidia in the Sculptor System was the target of a cowardly attack by Tau military forces earlier this month.  The xenos eventually were driven off the arid satellite of Sculptor IIIa by the moon’s Planetary Defense Force (PDF).

The xeno attack, on 3 173 738.M41, targeted the small rural community of Kaklic, a town of 10,000 Imperial citizens in the southern hemisphere of the lightly populated moon.

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The town of Kaklic, a small oasis community on the desert world of Druidia (Sculptor IIIa)

The attack began with an aerial assault by armored combat suits, followed up by infantry that the Tau refer to as “fire warriors.” A small contingent of avian auxiliaries—the feared cannibals known as “Kroot”—also were reported among the attack force.

The Tau managed to seize half the town before their attack was stalled by the local PDF, which set up a defensive line on one side of the main thoroughfare in town.

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The slums of Kaklic were the first part of the town to be seized by the Tau.

The xenos managed to penetrate the PDF lines on three occasions. On the eastern side of town, one force of Kroot warriors managed to seize a building on the south of the town, only to be thrown back by a counterattack led by Bullgryn auxiliary forces and flanking Sentinels.

On the western edge of town, a spirited Imperial attack spearheaded by a Hellhound, armed with an Inferno Cannon, enjoyed initial success in pushing back the Tau.

That attack, alas, was halted when Tau skimmers [Imperial Classification: Piranhas] outflanked the Imperial attack and destroyed the Hellhound and eventually pushed back the supporting infantry.

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Imperial authorities respond to the Tau raid by deploying the Planetary Defense Force (PDF).

Some of the fiercest fighting was reported in the center of town, where Tau Stealth Suits managed to jet into the courtyard of the Administratum Center. Local Arbites aggressively counterattacked the Tau, and deadly, close-combat and close-fire fighting continued throughout the day before the Tau finally withdrew.

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A Tau pathfinder stands on a rooftop to direct xeno fire more efficiently.

By late afternoon, the Tau attack was largely stopped. A final assault, launched by xeno armored suits [Imperial Classification: Crisis Suits], was stopped by armored Sentinels. Both sides suffered severe casualties in this action.

By early evening, PDF reinforcements began to enter the town, and the Tau withdrew. That night, under the cover of darkness, the xenos boarded military air transports and returned to orbit, where they boarded Tau warships that subsequently fled an approaching Imperial Navy flotilla.

It is not clear why the Tau attacked. Some sources, who insisted on anonymity to avoid disciplinary action from Imperial commissars, described the attack as a reconnaissance raid.

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The town’s primitive Administratum building was the scene of fierce fighting.

There are reports that members of the Earth Caste removed cogitators from several government buildings, and rumors exist that a number of Imperial citizens also were taken prisoner and spirited away.

Imperial authorities have discouraged speculation and withheld comment on such reports. Privately, some anonymous sources suggest the Tau are seeking to draw Imperial resources from the ongoing war on Dar Sai, an adjacent moon to Druidia that has been the target of a major Tau invasion.

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The fighting was up-close-and-personal in the town’s Administratum Center.

It’s also possible that—unable to support its besieged forces on Dar Sai—the Tau are looking to refocus their attack on Imperial space to another target. The lightly populated and lightly defended Druidia is a vulnerable target.

TheGM: Why did the Tau attack Druidia? Was I simply bored and decided to play a solo game?

Do the Tau have insidious plans to widen their assault ton the Sculptor System?

How would I know? I simply document what’s happening in the Corvus Cluster. Many times this narrative campaign has surprised me by going off in directions I never intended.

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The final fight of the day was between a pair of Sentinels and some Crisis Suits. The Tau won, but their casualties were too heavy to continue the fight.

As to the battle itself, my wargame club had just completed a “Seal Team Six” scenario, and the table looked so good that I decided that a City of Death scenario was in order.

I tweaked the OBs to reflect a raiding party that’s engaged by whatever Imperial PDF might be in the area, and I went at it. After a while, I gave up trying to seize objectives, and just played it as a narrative tale where the Tau try to take the town … or not.

As it turned out, I thought the Tau were going to win big, but the Imperial Guard turned things around after a few tough turns. But just as the Imperium was going in for the kill, Tau Piranhas swept the flank and took out the Hellhound and a lot of infantry. The Guard managed to take down the xeno skimmers, but neither side had anything left for an attack. So, stalemate!

The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog describing our wargaming adventures in the fantastical universe of Games Workshop.

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