Strategic Update

A Strategic Update (Events of 740.M41) – Part 2

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Tau Piranhas proved a deadly threat to Imperial armor during the xeno advance on Port Aruna.

Tau seize Port Aruna on Dar Sai

An Imperial campaign to assassinate or capture theTau leadership on the agri-moon of Dar Sai was launched in late 739.M41and it proved devastating to the xeno’s military efforts in 740.M41.

With the loss of two Ethereals threatening to demoralize his troops, Commander Swiftstrike decided to rebuild the confidence of his Fire Warriors by going on the offensive: striking at the town of Sandeep, a key crossroads in the center of the largest continent on the moon, and on the large port city of Aruna on the southern coast.

Tau attack stopped outside Sandeep (3 156 740.M41) —A growing concentration of xeno troops outside Sandeep warns the Imperial High Command that an attack is imminent. A preemptive strike is launched by the Knights of Altair. Using an armored assault to pin down the xeno center, a secondary force using drop pods and Rhino transports slam into the xeno left, crush it, then roll up the enemy line. The Tau give up all hope of seizing Sandeep this year.

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The vanguard of a large Tau fleet that successfully challenged the Imperial Navy’s blockade of the agri-moon of Dar Sai.

Naval blockade over Dar Sai broken by Tau (3 305 740.M41)Desperate to regain the initiative on Dar Sai, the Tau Navy risks everything to break the two-year-old naval blockade over Dar Sai so that logistical support can be given to Tau forces on the moon.

Dozens of ships are involved in the subsequent fighting, but the Tau outfight the Imperial Navy. Imperial vessels withdraw from the moon’s orbit, and Tau ships restore contact with their army. Supplies and reinforcements flood to the ground-based invasion force.

Tau break Imperial line north of Aurna ( 3 234 740.M41)—His army resupplied, Commander Swiftstrike begins a campaign to seize the key port city of Aruna on the southern coast of the great continent. After a powerful artillery bombardment, the Tau stab at a heavily fortified Imperial defense line to the south of the Omao Plantation. Although repulsed across most of the line, sufficient xeno troops manage to infiltrate the line and force the Imperials to retreat.

Tau breakthrough rushes south to Aruna (3 345 740.M41)—Tau armored columns race southward, forcing Imperial infantry to fall back to avoid being encircled. Not all escape. At one point, an entire company of PDF troops finds itself surrounded by xenos and is wiped out.

Imperial armor slows Tau advance on Aruna (3 396 740.M41)—In a desperate bid to slow the Tau, the 30th Armored Company, supported by the reserve 15th Dar Sai PDF Regiment, make a suicidal charge at the vanguard of the Tau advance. Catching the xenos unprepared for a counterattack, the Imperial effort has astonishing success, stopping the xeno advance for weeks and buying time for fleeing Imperial troops to escape to Aruna.

Knights of Altair strike at Tau supply line (3 508 740.M41)—Despite slowing the Tau advance, more time is needed to regroup the disorganized units that have fallen back to Port Arunaand time is needed to shore up the city’s defenses. High command calls upon the Knights of Altair to strike again at the xenos.

The Knights target a key logistical center near Sandeep. Driving ruthlessly through stiff resistance, the noble Astartes shatter the xeno forces and destroy a huge logistical center for the Tau army. The loss of ammo, spare parts, food, and other supplies prevents the Tau from driving on Aruna for another few weeks.

Tau penetrate Aruna defenses (3 542 740.M41)—After months of effort, the xenos reach Port Aruna, only to find it protected by an impressive line of trenches and redoubts. The xenos don’t hesitate to attack. At first, it appears the Tau will be repulsed, but the xenos exploit a few cracks in the line and slip into the city.

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Imperial troops race through the ruins of Port Aruna to escape the Tau and reach the docks, where ships are evacuating survivors of the city’s defense.

Fall of Port Aruna (3 559 740.M41)—There is fighting in the streets for several days, but the Imperials cannot stop the xeno advance. All hope lost, Imperial troops begin to break, and the order to evacuate the city is given. With the enemy at their back, guardsmen fight their way to the docks and departing ships. Most troops escape.

High Mayor of Aruna flees the city (Date Unknown)—Sometime after the city’s fall, the fleeing High Mayor of Aruna, Petrov Konrad, stops at a hamlet to the east of the city when his transport runs out of fuel. A Tau reconnaissance party spots the mayor’s small party and attacksuntil finally being driven off. Nothing more recent is known about the mayor’s whereabouts.

Tau seize more territory around Aruna (latter half of 740.M41)—Their supply lines stretched to the limit, the Tau use the capture of Port Aruna as an opportunity to consolidate and regroup, bring in supplies, and recruit xeno-friendly humans to govern the newly conquered populace. A new offensive directed at the port city of Malifax is slated to begin in early 741.M41.

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The Death Guard proved unstoppable in their advance across the Pattoa Flatlands, a fertile agricultural center on Dozaria that the traitors spent the final weeks of the year seeking to despoil.

Death Guard makes gains on Dozaria

Although it is well known that the Death Guard has invaded the industrial world of Dozaria, the Administratum has been largely silent about the progress of the war. To many Imperial citizens, the lack of news is an indication that the fighting is not going well for the Imperium.

Still, a few accounts of the fighting has reached civilian ears. [A history of the early months of the Dozaria Campaign is available here.]

Knights of Atlair recover spy satellite (6 186 740.M41)—As a Blood Wolves patrol approaches an Imperial surveillance satellite shot down from orbit, two squads of the Knights of Altair Space Marine Chapter launch an attack that drives the traitors away.

Treason among the traitors (Early 740.M41)—Not all traitor Astartes in the Dozaria System are Death Guard—nor are they loyal to one another. The Blood Wolves cruiser, Brass Fang, attacks the Carrion Claw, an Infidel Raider-class gunship under the command of their erstwhile allies. Although ultimately successful in their boarding attack, the Blood Wolves began to succumb to the virulent diseases aboard the Death Guard ship and are forced to abandon their prize.

Space Wolves raid heretic-held town (6 162 740.M41)—A small Space Wolf force attacks the Tainted Souls cult in an arid region of Dozaria. Although the loyal Astartes kill many heretics, resistance is heavier than expected, and the cost of continuing the attack is too high. The Wolves withdraw, and the heretics celebrate their “victory” with the most disgusting atrocities.

Blood Angels repulsed from enemy cruiser 643 740.M41)—A demi-company of the Blood Angels Space Marine Chapter attempt to board a Death Guard cruiser in the war-torn Dozarian System but are repulsed with heavy losses.

First Battle of the Pattoa Flats (6 905 740.M41)—The Death Guard begin to target the food supply of the Imperial defenders of Dozaria. The Chaos Lord Ghaz Tak marches on the fertile croplands of the Pattoa Flats region and easily defeats a PDF regiment that seeks to hold back the traitors.

Second Battle of the Pattoa Flats (6 913 740.M41)—The Death Guard advance on a key agricultural processing plant in the town of Antiem. A double envelopment of the Imperial flanks is successful, shattering the Imperial defenses. The processing plant, as well as thousands of hectares of vital crops, are lost to the enemy. The traitors’ campaign to starve Dozaria appears to be gaining momentum.

Click here to read the conclusion of this strategic update.

Click here to return to the beginning.

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

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