“Nothing can stand against the will of the Haruspex. We will sweep all before us. Long ago, the Imperium looked to genocide to remove mutants from this world. Now we will bring genocide to the Imperials.“—Chakir Suleiman, pasha (general) of the Forces of the Haruspex
Imperial Voxcast, 3 813 740.M41—Mutant rebels decisively defeated Imperial forces in the Thar Desert Basin today and seized the Kazadan Tribal Lands.
With this victory, the mutant army of Ungolath has seized control of the majority of the desert basin. With the remnants of Imperial forces in the region retreating with all haste, the mutants have a commanding position to the northwest of the hive city of Charcharoth.
“This defeat is a sobering lesson that the mutant threat is far greater than anyone imagined,” Grand Elector Fabius Nemetorius told a solemn crowd from the balcony of the Imperial Palace in Golgenna, the capital city of Morkai.
“But do not despair. Have faith in the God-Emperor. House Fenring is deploying an entire regiment to the Thar Desert Basin—a force large enough to send the mutant vermin scurrying back to their forsaken ruined city.”
Only a few hundred men of the once-proud 17th Battalion, 14th Morkai Regiment, are said to have survived the latest battle against the mutants. Its commander, Lt. Col. Murad Hamzah, is not among them. He was killed while defending the battalion’s right flank against a wave of mutant assaults.
The battle was fought among the Farik Pillars, an area notable for the hundreds of limestone mesas that dot the barren landscape, military authorities reported. The area also is notable for its natural springs. It is assumed the 17th Battalion chose this location because, after several battles over a period of days, the battle-weary troops were desperately short of water.
Although they did not fight with the 17th, warriors of the Kazadan tribe did assume reconnaissance duties for the battalion and warned Lt. Col. Hamzah of the approach of the large mutant force, authorities say.
Having experienced the effectiveness of mutant warriors in ambushing Imperial troops, Lt. Col. Hamzah deployed his three companies—and small Skitarii support—in a new formation that, he hoped, would counteract the rebels’ tactics.
As explained by authorities, , the battalion deployed in a concentrated formation, so that multiple units could direct their fire at the same threat. To prevent the mutants from sneaking close to the infantry before revealing themselves, armored vehicles were deployed in a screen to the battlion’s front and flanks.
“By patrolling several hundred meters in front of the infantry, it was hoped the vehicles would force the mutants to reveal themselves at a distance from our brave troops,” Nemetorius said. “This would allow Imperial troops to direct deadly volleys at the mutants before they could close into melee.”
The tactic worked for a time, authorities said. Several mutant mobs were forced to advance across open desert to target the Imperial line. But one mob managed to creep through a forest of deadly Shardwrack Spines to surprise a platoon on the right flank, and the mutants used a volley of autoguns to slaughter dozens of troops and rout the unit.
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